It seems that I lied in my previous post, intended as a sort of temporary finale. The idea was for that to be the last piece on Secret Cave until Issue #1: Birth sees release. I had a feeling that wouldn’t be the case. Too many things have happened that require a small update on the site itself. So, while Benjamin and I keep working on the zine, I thought I’d put this out as timely housekeeping. Incidentally, before I move into other territory, work on the zine has been a mixed bag. We’ve been coming out with some very strong results lately, and I can’t wait to make them public. However, this past week has seen us stretched across the realities of life and profession. We’re not far from completion, and the next fortnight will see us buzzing around frantically behind-the-scenes.
First to break our self-imposed, and incredibly short, silence was a great contribution from Georgia Stephenson; a review of Majken’s debut LP, Dancing Mountains. Georgia’s an impressive, young talent I met when she interviewed my old band, Chariots. She runs Gigs and Freudian Slips, a lovely local blog centred on championing new and independent artists. I love what she’s doing in that regard, and I was very happy to invite her to write for Secret Cave. We both hope she can put forth some more reviews in the future but, until then, I wish her the greatest of luck with her pursuits. Go and check out Dancing Mountains if you’re so inclined; it’s an interesting record from a resoundingly unique voice.
Once that review went live, the floodgates somewhat opened. I realised that there’s probably going to be a lot more that needs a mention over here at Secret Cave while, by and large, our concentration leans on finalising our physical edition. Tomorrow, I’ll be publishing an interview I conducted with Sean Tillmann (best known as Har Mar Superstar). This will come in the form of an article and a bonus episode to SCP3, our third season of podcasts.
It was short conversation, only ten minutes in length. As a result, it makes sense for me to release it as soon as possible, to coincide with the release of his excellent EP, Personal Boy. Benjamin and I decided in SCP2 that any episodes beneath twenty minutes would be considered bonuses. Therefore, it seemed appropriate to make this a preview as opposed to waiting a month or two for the season to begin properly. As stated in my finale post, we’re holding back our first episode with Vic Berger until we publish extracts of it in Issue #1: Birth. Despite only having brief time with Tillman, it’s a brilliant chat. In just ten minutes we discuss his latest release, arcs in his catalogue, body shaming and the songwriting process. Look out for me posting that tomorrow!
Next up, rather than being some mere update, is actually a nice little bit of content that I’m experimenting with. In my earliest days for Secret Cave, as I’ve outlined before, one of my main avenues was through streaming. I’ve played and adored video games my entire life, and my knowledge can be, at times, tragic. It was that which led me to take my gameplay live, with my cousin, Dale Fowler, in-tow. We hadn’t done it for a long time but, off-the-cuff and on a whim, we let a broadcast roll just last night. I said I’d put up the end-product if it turned out better than “total shit”, and you can assume my feelings on it as I present this first SC Streamcast. Dale and I will do more of these as and when he’s available. Keep subscribed to our YouTube to stay up-to-date with them!
The SC Streamcast, which is still something we’re feeling out, isn’t the only thing going on over at our YouTube. We maintain a steady flow of SCP Minis, as curated by Benjamin. Since I last wrote here, and introduced an SCP Mini featuring Vic Berger, we’ve released another two. In our latest, Benjamin presents us with an extracted conversation from an old episode. In an attempt to tread philosophical ground, I brought up a misjudged aside about the mathematical impossibility of an “uninteresting” number. Suffice to say, this didn’t go down particularly well with either of my co-hosts. Incensed by the attitude of Ben Mulholland, I lose my temper in a fashion that’s slowly becoming synonymous with me. Benjamin has also highlighted many of our personal quirks in this edit, so see if you can notice all of his exaggerations. Some are very subtle!
The second SCP Mini in need of official context follows the insights of Alex Lowe, the man behind Barry from Watford. Like with Tillmann, my conversation with Lowe was also unfortunately short. Yet, he covered some of the most emotional ground of SCP2 when he brought up the demise of a Kodak factory in his area. Once a prolific provider of reliable jobs, its destruction has left a lot of previously secure people unemployed. Lowe muses that this ongoing lack of security is what drives so many to give up and explore their expressions through, as he poetically put it, the white-hot heat of the internet. His current show with Noel Edmonds, Cheap Cheap Cheap, is getting critically ravaged on social media. I hope this SCP Mini can help the uninitiated to appreciate the skills and intelligence of Lowe.
Lastly, I want to make clear that there will be an ongoing quiet here at Secret Cave, but it’s not the total radio silence I initially predicted. I’ll be bringing out an Office Chart at the start of September, just to keep the site active. Also, remember to check back for my interview with Tillmann. I’m greatly looking forward to getting that out, but I hope you enjoy the SC Streamcast and SCP Minis. You can expect some more posts about content like that before Issue #1 – Birth, along with a report on Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger’s comedy double-bill in Manchester next month. I admit to feeling some discomfort with keeping the site quiet. In some small way, this might give some extra perspective on our movements. I wish I could show off some of Benjamin’s astounding zine designs but, for that, you’ll have to sign up…