Sunday, December 31, 2006

Neutral pig's head island

“Those who say that fiction isn’t relevant any more should read Houllebecq – he is in a class of his own”
- Literary Review

That’s what’s written on the cover of the paperback edition of Michel Houellebecq’s ‘The Possibility Of An Island’. The Post-Modernists argue that fiction isn’t relevant anymore, and the book world is listening fearfully. Brandishing Houllebecq, it lands a confident counter-strike…

No, of course the book world isn’t fucking listening; it’s a non-issue cooked up by a reanimated corpse-journalist, rotting but somehow still walking, who very likely hasn’t read the book, instead cobbling a review together by cribbing the press release, posing a few straw men and hitting the word count with a handful of desperate cliches. If blogging really is a public challenge to print journalism, and this is the standard we are up against, then it’s a pushover. In 1946 Orwell wrote ‘Confessions of a Book Reviewer’:

In the morning, blear-eyed, surly and unshaven, he will gaze for an hour or two at a blank sheet of paper until the menacing finger of the clock frightens him into action. Then suddenly he will snap into it. All the stale old phrases—“a book that no one should miss”, “something memorable on every page”, “of special value are the chapters dealing with, etc etc”—will jump into their places like iron filings obeying the magnet, and the review will end up at exactly the right length and with just about three minutes to go.

After sixty years of journalism little has changed. Indeed, it has probably got worse. Orwell, after all, is dead.


“Quintessentially English”

“Achingly beautiful”

“…on acid”

“…on crack”

The decline of the pig’s head in butcher’s shop windows

In the past, when people were fully aware that what they were buying was a dead animal, the customer would check out the eyes for signs of decay. Milky? Sour complexion? Then it’s been hanging around too long. The trained consumer looked for signs of a healthy animal. At least, healthy until it was slaughtered. Nowadays, the consumer’s reaction to a disembodied pig’s head would be along the lines of “fucking hell! That’s a fucking pig’s head. Jesus, that’s revolting”, and they would promptly leave. The public want their food free range, organic, humanely reared and slaughtered, but they certainly don’t want anything resembling a dead animal.

Not Partisan

According to, this blog is, amazingly, politically neutral.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Damp food, bright lights, dead eyes

The Organ
, responsible for my favourite pop record of last year, have called it a day after five years, one album and a handful of EPs. They have admirably chosen to keep their reasons to themselves. A punishing schedule may have played a part in their disintegration; touring provides the musician with the classic bi-polar experience. In sympathy, I’m taking this opportunity to publish an excerpt from my last tour diary. It was nice to know you, ladies.

A snow-bound drive from Brugge to
. A service station. Damp food; bright lights, dead eyes. A notice guaranteeing a thrirty-minute toilet hygiene inspection. Above the cubicle, gaps in the styrofoam celing panels. Cameras, probably. You turn and your leg brushes against the bowl. You take part of it back to the van with you and leave part of yourself there. Now you know why the French shit in holes in the ground. The less contact the better. In/out as quickly as possible. Extract yourself from the dance before it tries to hold your hand.

A Holiday Inn south of Paris. Prison windows groan over a Legoland interzone. You open the door to your rabbit hutch and the rolling guff of a thousand lonely cigarettes swoops down your throat like a decaying pigeon searching madly for a quiet place to die. The bird surfs the slipstream of fruit-scented mustard gas; like hopeless medieval physicians pitching a poultice against a plague, the cleaning staff spray something into the air to combat the stench but for some reason choose to leave all the windows closed and turn up the radiators. Inside the apricot sweat-box the despair hangs in mid-air, blinking in the half-light. Nowhere to hide in the metal door, veneer walls and plastic curtains, it seeps quietly into the pores of its new friend. Pubic hairs on the carpet, semen grease-film on the T.V. remote, suicide-prevention half-windows. Push your face too deep into the pillow and last night’s smoker shares the bed with you. Switch off the metal wall heater and it will switch itself back on at 3 a.m. Baked lizards thrashing in the sheets. Wake up paddling in a diseased lung. The sweat beads can’t get past the plastic curtains. The cloud regroups in mid-air and you have made your contribution to a thriving, multiplying mass grave. You have become part of the room. You have made it that bit worse for the next guy.

love, love, love

Monday, December 11, 2006

All Tomorrow's Parents

You'd have to be in a coma not to be feverishly aware that Britain is sick with feral adults who breed feral children to become feral adults. The Tories choose to point this out to us with reference to Victorian morality and homosexuals. I thought Cameron was paying public relations gurus to show the Tories how to aim away from their own feet. Steady... steady.. and jerk goes the knee!


All Tomorrow's Parties festival at Minehead this past weekend had a running theme: your parents' band is better than yours. Thurston Moore curated the line up, consisting chiefly of bands signed to his Ecstatic Peace label. Many of them were boring. The weekend was rescued by the indie rock elder statesmen: Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, The Melvins, Gang of Four, and The Stooges. It shouldn't have needed to be.

Too many noise guitar bands were hiding behind noise instead of using it. I don't want to see an experiment, I want a carefully prepared demonstration. I want you to crack my skull open. I want this

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

terrorists/hot women

The correct response to a terrorist attack in London

The United Kingdom has an estimated population of 60 million. Of these, 14 million people live in the London metropolitan area. 60 percent of these are aged between 18 and 60.

Roughly half of these are women. According to Gaussian distribution, 50 percent will be judged as average looking, 30 percent as above or below average, 10 percent will be a bit rough, and 10 percent will be pretty hot. This means that approximately 420,000 women in London are by any reasonable measure, pretty hot. This gives us a city the size of Bristol entirely populated by hot women. Who's winning now, terrorists? Hah.

n.b the term 'men' may be substituted for 'women'

Current listening: 'Asceticists' - Whitehouse

"I'm a terrible babysitter. i've got your child in the shower" - early draft lyric for 'Bad Babysitter' by Princess Superstar

Saturday, November 25, 2006

It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you


The weather this week: cramped, dismal and Russian. It serves to remind one of why the English are quite so wretched.

Boring man

Last week I met a very boring man. I was trapped in his company for about an hour, perhaps longer. It was enough time for me to appreciate a distinction between the boring and the merely dull. Dull people are without merit. They lack qualities. Boring people are different; they actively engage you in conversation, and suck you into their tedious world of anecdotes and solipsistic pomposity. They are wasting your time. They are standing too fucking close. If you insult them they don't notice, which is enraging. You want to kill them but they will not die. They simply will not die. My friend was mugged and the boring man immediately told her in great detail of the time one of his friends was mugged, as though as it were a competition. Boring people are intensely competitive. Likewise, intensely competitive people are boring. Sometimes the world is simple, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Eva Green
I had Bond Girl Eva Green tipped for stardom after five minutes of dirty old Bertolluci's bi-curious arthouse skinflick The Dreamers.

There are two types of cigarette and they are both Class A Cigarettes. The first is your standard filter-tipped wincer at around £5.50 a pack. Camel, Marlboro and Lucky Strike are favoured by the young and trendy, who think that Rothmans are a bit working-class. The second type is smoked by older people who are in the know. This cigarette is longer, cheaper, comes in packs of 25 and has an aristocratic name, such as Mayfair and Regal. Those attracted to an elitist, clubroom, invitation-only aesthetic may enjoy the smooth taste of John Player Special. The packaging is often exquisitely gaudy, with gold trim and bevelled edges. Some of these brands are menthol flavoured. All these cigarettes taste and smell disgusting and no-one would smoke them if they weren't highly addictive. They are sprayed with chemicals so that each cigarette burns itself out, ensuring you light another if you forget to smoke continuously. Remember, they are both Class A cigarettes made from a careful blend of only the very finest Virginian and Domestic tobbacos. I have a Craven 'A' tin from the 1920's. On the inside lid reads the legend 'These cigarettes are specially formulated to prevent sore throats'. The fact that companies are no longer allowed to lie to us so brazenly means people think that they might now be telling the truth. Let them lie to us again; let them weave colourful webs of ludicrous deceit; then it will be obvious that they aren't to be trusted.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

like, one day I was in Lidl innit

Penetrating social commentary, wryly minimalist video

volume 1
alright then

let me tell you about a little trip I had, innit
like, one day I was in Lidl innit
and this is how it went
check it
one day I went to Lidl
I went to shoplift in Lidl
then I got caught in Lidl
now I don't go back to Lidl
one day I went to Asda
I went to shoplift in Asda
then I got caught in Asda
now I don't go back to Asda"

I am also enjoying this immensely

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ultraskull Presents: News summary in animated Gifs




A great week for American women
Kira Cochrane - The Guardian

"...Nancy Pelosi's historic election to Speaker of the House, the third-highest position in US
politics and the most significant ever held by a woman (if George Bush and Dick Cheney were
to die, Pelosi would become president)...For the first time in US history, not one, but two
women represent the most visible, and probably the most powerful politicians in a single party.
Hillary Clinton's landslide victory in New York, where she captured 67% of the vote, has
naturally been seen as another positive step on her now apparently unstoppable journey
towards a candidacy in the 2008 presidential elections..."

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld: "I am human and I need to be loved"

In his resignation speech, a visibly shaken Donald Rumsfeld asked the media 'How can you say I go about things the wrong way? I am human and I need to be loved'. Responding to questions regarding his handling of the war in Iraq, he became impatient and truculent, proclaiming 'I crack the whip and you skip, but you deserve it. You deserve it, deserve it, deserve it.' Asked whether his resignation signalled the beginning of the end for the Bush administration, Rumsfeld responded enigmatically 'There is a light that never goes out'. When asked whether he had any regrets, he paused briefly, then said "No more apologies. no more apologies. I'm too tired. I'm too sick and tired and I'm feeling very sick and ill today". As he left the stage he muttered 'My life is a succession of people saying goodbye ...'. His speechwriter was unavailable for comment.

Poor Donald. Not a good time for him. Let's give him a treat. Let's take him surfing. 'Waterboarding' sounds like fun. I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Isn't it like when social workers take groups of 'problem children' on expensive adventure holidays to encourage team building? Come on, Rummy! Let's hit some primo swells, check out some honeys and shoot the shit about all that totally bogus Jihad gig. Woah! Wipeout! So where's that Bin Laden dude? He was rippin' it last week.

No, hold on, wasn't that Cheney that was into surfing?
I'm lost.

"He's a ruthless little bastard. You can be sure of that." - Richard Nixon on Donald Rumsfeld

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

This could go on forever, in which case I’m doomed.

Like Dennis Nielsen, I drink myself into an unsleepable trance and listen to music very loud on headphones when most sane people are safe in their beds. Unlike Dennis Nielsen I don’t have a dog named Bleep, and I don’t have any dead men buried beneath my floorboards. Like Dennis Nielsen, I do like ‘Oh Superman’ by Laurie Anderson, I stand slightly left of centre, I am scared of being alone, I lack self control and I have made some poor decisions. But I don’t like Tubular Bells, so I think the comparisons end there. Dear God I hope they end there. Right now it’s ‘Speedway’ by Morrissey. It was the same in 1994. Nothing has changed. The song and my response remains the same. Your record collections may be the only constant. Unlike your friends, you can’t wear them out. They don’t get exhausted by your constant neediness. You don’t have to appeal to them, you don’t have to change to win them over, you don’t have to do anything for them. They are there for you, unreservedly. They never spurn you, they never reject you. They never lead you on, whether innocently, deceptively, naively or ambiguously. Just hit play and the therapy resumes free of charge. They are your friends. Hold on to your friends.

I have a thorn in my side and it’s nobody’s fault but mine. A dear friend said it might be the artist’s lot to suffer for their art. I hope that isn’t true. If it goes on forever, I am doomed. I was touched to find out that someone quoted me once. I’d like to say that now my heart is full, but it just ain’t.

I just got back in touch with an old friend; a friend who has an inner strength I can only dream of. This old friend has it worse than me; and I wonder whether this is the key. Perhaps you get to a certain point where you simply must cope; you don’t have the luxury of limbo. Sister you’re a poet. Sister, you are a survivor. Good night and thankyou.

It's not right, but it's not wrong

I just invented a new cocktail. It's called a Gin Giblet. Take four parts of the roughest gin you have lying around, in this case, the only gin you have lying around, Tesco Value Gin. If you don't have gin, use the 80% abv. Polish grain spirit you bought as a 'joke', or failing that, the 90% abv. Irish Poteen you bought to poison cats with. Mix it with two parts five year old lime cordial you will find at the back of the kitchen cupboard. You may have to wrestle with it. It's stuck to a bottle of salad cream that should have been binned years ago along with the cordial. You don't have any tonic water, so don't bother looking for any, just top up the mixture with tap water. You won't find any ice, because you don't think ahead, and there aren't any lemons to garnish it with because if you had fruit lying around this would indicate a healthy lifestyle, in which case you wouldn't be in the state you are in now. Swallow it very fast, pour yourself another and have a good think about bathing face down. When it reaches your guts, drink some more so you can't feel what it is doing to your guts. You are now stinking drunk. Smoke some cigarettes. Do something you will later regret, then collapse. Wake up somewhere, then repeat as necessary.

The album is nearly finished. Maybe it will sell enough copies for me to be able to afford some more Poteen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?"...

... John Lydon asked from the Winterland stage at the end of the Sex Pistols' last concert.

Ever ruined a favourite record? It's easily done. Vulnerable times. You play the songs that made you cry. The songs that saved your life. The songs that make sense of the senseless. You go back a long way, you and those songs. They've seen you through some bad times, those songs. Wise words and waveforms etched onto vinyl, handled with care, will last you a lifetime. Then the world you were grappling with, the world you thought you had just about got a handle on, a world you didn't fully understand but at the very least thought you recognised, turns out to be something completely different. You didn't see the signs. You didn't notice the clues. A shapeshifter. The soundtrack to the carnival is sullied forever; someone poisoned the well and waited a while before telling the villagers. The band played on as one by one they fell to the floor. It gets worse: you shared the songs, passed them back and forth. All those words: all messages on an ill wind. An interloper speaking Your Private Language in Your Private Inner World. The Trojans must have had trust issues for years afterwards. The soldiers emerged from the horse, the city was in a drunken stupor. Never let your guard down. You'll be truly disappointed.

You can't just sit there moping. You must get out for a while. You pay a few quid to see the Turner Prize nominations. You could have bought a hotdog instead. But you didn't. You paid to see the work of a new generation of artists at the cutting edge of popular culture. How you longed for that hotdog, all forlorn on that hotplate. While you were looking at some stuff in some rooms, someone else got that hotdog. The hotdog you were so close to having and holding. That hotdog with your name on it. Your hotdog. Still, as you walk on, hungry, dispirited and wondering if you will ever again be able to trust your own appetites, you have to say to yourself: it's only a fucking hotdog.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Verhoevenfest 2006

The largely spiritless British public seems to need some kind of austere paternal authority to enforce the soul-cleansing cycle of sin, guilt and contrition that the fear of God once provided. This new authority is the institution of Health Terrorism; a continual media barrage of bewildering medical statistics, nutritional guidelines and fitness recommendations that leaves citizens in a twenty-four hour state of Lovecraftian lurking fear. Don't even THINK about enjoying life today unless you have eaten at least five portions of fruit and vegetables. What's that carefree fucker over there hiding? Must be hiding something. No-one can be fulfilled unless they obey a strict discipline of alternately mirthless, smug and anxiety-ridden lifestyle masochism. Health experts have a monopoly on the good life. Fitness is the only virtue. Live longer, or regret it later. Never mind lying awake at night terrified of cancer caused by leaving televisions on standby. Those oranges you bought aren't even the right kind. You think you are getting the nutrients you are told you need BUT YOU ARE NOT, AS IT TURNS OUT, YOU FOOL. Did you not read the latest reports? GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE SAND, MORON. And what are you so stressed about? Do you not know that stress will kill you? WRITE IT TWENTY FIVE TIMES ON YOUR FUCKING FOREHEAD: STRESS WILL KILL ME. Don't even THINK about going to sleep tonight until you have fully comprehended the fact that your are GOING TO DIE FROM STRESS. Oh, and women: you will always be fat and there is FUCK ALL you can do about it. And, as it turns out, your home is absolutely filthy, and your wardrobe is so HOPELESS IT ISN'T EVEN FUNNY. YOU ARE A FUCKING DISGRACE.

Last weekend some friends and I celebrated Verhoevenfest 2006. Robocop: The Directors cut; Total Recall, Starship Troopers, and Showgirls. Afterwards I lay down in the dark and listened to shortwave radio test transmissions. A series of soothing, meaningless tones and callsigns passed through me as I sank slowly into the floor, down through the shop below and deep into the earth, and then, when it all went a bit Lair of the White Worm, I thought: life is good.

religions don't deserve special treatment

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

slap my hand

Just a bad penny
I always come back to you
Should have known you couldn't trust me
As far as you could throw me

This link may die soon - when someone tried to upload more Big Black it was rejected. Apparently You Tube would not approve it. It has a rude word in it.

Monday, October 02, 2006

I don’t have any skin


We had been drinking for hours. An impromptu speech by a film maker prevented us from setting up on time, and we were told we had an unrealistic five minutes to prepare ourselves. Before I even had my guitar out of it’s case the stage manager (hereon to be referred to as ‘Mr. Gitboy’) told me that we “really must start now because we are already running seriously behind”. We had been waiting around for seven hours for them to get their shit together. If we are rushed, we fuck things up. After many years and something approaching a hundred gigs, we are not prepared to be rushed. As I casually plugged in and tuned up, Mr. Gitboy barked at Michelle “he could have done that ages ago!!!!”. Dave was seriously pissed off, which always improves his playing. We were completely unhinged. I nearly fell over. I hit The Zone. It was most satisfying, even though there was a continual, piercing feedback from my monitors which made my brain cry even though I wear earplugs. After See My Friends I asked the audience if there was time for one more, aware that the Mr. Gitboy was giving himself an aneurysm. The audience shouted back “YES!!!!”. Righteous. We played a very long version of Black Holes in the Sand. While I was fucking about with my pedals at the end of the song, Mr. Gitboy gave Huw the evils and made that cut-throat gesture they make when they really, really want you to stop and piss off. Huw continued at a particularly casual pace. At the end of the set Dave looked like he had been swimming with his clothes on.

While I was packing away a man came up to me.

Man (adopt Dutch accent): That was very good. But where is the girl?

Me: The girl?

Man: Yes. On the last song, on Black Holes in the Sand, where is the girl who sings on the record?

Me: er… there isn’t a girl singing on the record. It’s me.

Man: It didn’t sound like the record.

Me: It was supposed to…

So that was embarrassing.

Mr. Gitboy aside, the promoters and the volunteers running the show were absolutely wonderful and unnecesarily courteous. After us, Hot Club de Paris played their fast, Scally-bantering math-rock pop nuggets, as tight as a UK promoter’s purse-strings. I was distracted by a monstrously tall Dutch woman. She was taller than Dave (six foot seven). She was wearing superfluous high heels, as though she had looked in the mirror that evening and thought “Hmm. I'm definitely not tall enough. Tonight I will be taller”. Entranced, I didn’t know whether to bolt out of the room in terror or sit down in a comfy chair and light a cigar.

Flight back home: fucking choppy. I’ve never experienced that kind of thing before even though I’ve flown a lot more than an environment-conscious liberal like myself can probably justify*. Rollercoaster stomach; waiting for the captain to tell us we can phone our loved ones. Half the passengers suddenly find God. I think bugger, I haven’t finished the album yet, but at least the world is just as random as I’ve always believed. I’m as insignificant as the grotesquely obese man taking up three seats in the row behind me, but we are both more privileged than the infinite people who will never actually be born. So God: you and I haven’t ever really got along. For a start, you don’t even have the common decency to exist, so what the bloody hell do you expect me to do? Go away and learn some manners and perhaps then we can have a mature discussion about my impending death.

*What exactly is a ‘hand-wringing liberal’? I don’t even know how to wring my hands. How do you do it? Is it fun?

Friday, September 29, 2006

and they catch him, and they say he's mental

I am making an album. I am enjoying making an album. But I ask myself, will it really belong on a record store shelf alongside Loveless? Seventeen Seconds? Strangeways Here We Come? Vauxhall and I? Copper Blue? Playing With Fire? Liege and Lief? If this record gets lost in a record store and wanders into the ranks of the above, won't it get it's coat and quietly shuffle out? When you make a record you have to ignore this worry. You leave it up to the journalists. Then you disagree with them on principle. How strange. There's an essay in there somewhere. If you want to hear more, I'll be in the bar with my head on the bar.

It might be worth spending a tenner on. The artwork will be nice. It won't be as good as this though:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Growling for dog food

Today's listening pleasure has been provided by the Tony Mansell Singers

On saturday we are playing a show in Rotterdam, whose startling modern architecture includes this and this. Rotterdam was bombed to pieces in the second world war by these in these. Until recently it was the world's busiest port; it is now the biggest port in Europe and the seventh biggest in the world. Unlike Amsterdam, there thankfully aren't too many of (brace yourself) these (sorry about that) though there are still a few of these that hopefully don't look as as bad as this or this.

But we won't see any of it because we will only be there for one night.

Monday, September 25, 2006

it's the turnstiles that make us hostile

Tune for the Day: 'Love Theme From Prisoner: Cell Block H' - William Motzing Orchestra

Thought for the Day

This morning, some kids down the road were playing footie with a severed head and it made me think: we must reclaim the George Cross from the England football team. For too long our national flag of St. George, Mighty Dragon Slayer and Palestinian Patron Saint of England has been appropriated by the dark forces of competent sportsmanship compromised by weak management and flagging team spirit.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I will not change and I will not be nice

You're just so busy busy busy busy . Take a break and test your knowledge with the random Smiths lyric generator. It's brash, it's outrageous and it's free. Unfortunately it doesn't include any of Morrissey's solo work. I was hoping it would generate 'new' material based on a pool of idiosyncratic words and structures, like this Guided By Voices song title generator. Generating Guided By Voices-style material presents a far lesser challenge as Robert Pollard's lyrics are meaningless. The closest we can get to a Morrissey lyric generator is the famous Alanis Morrissette lyric generator.

For the truly lost, here is the apathetic online journal entry generator

A random Gravenhurst lyric generator would be most welcome. It would make my life a lot simpler.

Monday, September 18, 2006

What's the secret, Max?

Fred West decided what he was going to do several months before he did it. He took small strips from the bedclothes each day and nobody noticed. The rope got longer and longer and nobody noticed. Fred carried on being his jocular self. He effortlessly charmed the prison officers. Fred was on 24 hour suicide watch. He was supposed to be checked every fifteen minutes. Fred reckoned that New Year's Day celebrations would disrupt the routine. He seized his chance.

The skilled predator knows the importance of patience. It watches carefully and silently for the right time to pounce. The human predator enjoys a sense of intellectual superiority in outwitting its prey. It knows patience will reward it twiceover. It will gorge itself on the prize and gorge itself on winning it.

How do you learn patience when you are not a predator? How do you learn patience when you are trying to minimise harm? How do you know whether you made the right move at the right time? You cannot 'win'. There is nothing to feed on. There's no prize.

"A couple of drunken nights rolling on the floor
Is just the kind of mess I'm looking for.
I'm gonna dream 'till Monday comes in sight
I want to see the bright lights tonight

Meet me at the station don't be late
I need to spend some money and it just won't wait
Take me to the dance and hold me tight
I want to see the bright lights tonight"

Friday, September 15, 2006

message on an ill wind

Current listening: have a guess

An interviewer in
France asked me "is being ironical a way of life for you?". I guess she expected me to personify my lyrics, but business and pleasure... She was truly disappointed. I don't like to disappoint, so I'll have a bash at documenting, in real time, my uncensored, incoherent thought processes.

Ok Mr. Scientist- explain this: a time machine would totally rule right now. No new mail! There's always Google News if you're looking for something to read. The glass is empty but why not repeatedly turn it upside down anyway? No new mail! The sum total of all your problems will show in your Quick Contacts depending on how often you email them to your
friends. It is Magic! >Undo. There's always a Google Feelings and Opinions Generator if you're looking for someone to be. No conversations in the Wastebasket. Who needs to delete when you have over 2000 megabytes of memories?! (memories that need to be temporarily Trashed will be automatically deleted after 180 days but you can UNDELETE). Do you really think those last words will change if you read them again? Buy now or wait for improved credit score? Remember, absolutely disastrous emotional policies can lead to psychological stagflation!! Wait! Don't wait! >Undo. Your heart may be repossesed if you do not keep up repayments. Well stop playing with it, son, and it will probably go away. A time machine would totally rule right now. >If you have no desires, and then you have no desires to be thwarted, but the person underneath where does he go? He knows I'd love to see him. No new mail! How truly disappointing. Young girl, one day you will be old but the thing is, if I stop playing with it, it might go away. Do I really think those last words will change if I read them again? There's always a Google Feelings and Opinions Generator if you're looking for someone to be. Fuck! I've drank too much and I've said too much and there's nowhere to go but the inbox. There's always Google News if you're looking for something to read. But essentially I am an optimist. In the end, all the baddies died and he got the girl.

Not fun. Check out previous or later posts for something more entertaining.

Judge Reinhold, yesterday

Kevin Shields , yesterday

(Sorry Kevin)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'll have you, I will

BBC 6 Music tent at Summer Sundae Festival

Not clear what is going on here.
Caption suggestions welcome.

Gideon Coe: you fuckin' watch it son or i'll clip you with this umbrella and smash that fuckin' Fosters can down your shittin' two-bit indie loser throat*

*Mr. Coe is a respected broadcaster. He would never utter such inappropriate language on air or in private conversation. He is a scholar and a gentleman and the very suggestion that he would indulge in this kind of behaviour is a disgusting slur against a man whose conduct and reputation are beyond reproach. Actually I think we were discussing our mutual love of Red House Painters.

Thanks to Sophie Harris for the photo.

Monday, September 11, 2006

kill yr idols

Many of my favourite bands (Wire, Joy Division) are considered post-punk, but I don't believe that punk was as important as many rock historians say it was. It’s received wisdom that punk represented a profound musical revolution, but most noisy guitar bands could learn everything they need to know from The Velvet Underground and the Kinks. The Smiths, Red House Painters, The Handsome Family, Broadcast… it’s not immediately obvious that punk has any relevance to these bands at all.

(ducks and runs for cover)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Somebody left the door open and the wrong dogs came home

I just made this Iraqi border town Airfix model

I was in a hobby shop off Denmark Street in London with my friend Pete. I was approached by that bloke from Channel Four News who asked me if I would mind being interviewed on camera about the Airfix company going bust. I agreed. This much was straightforward.

Bloke: So how long have you been making Airfix Models?

Me: About two weeks.
Bloke: .....Okay....and what attracts you to them?
Me: I'm a musician and making music is killing my life so I've started revisiting a childhood I never actually had. I like the idea of having a world that I CAN COMPLETELY CONTROL. (This last sentence was the only bit they broadcast, making me look like a social retard)
Bloke: So why do you think that kids today aren't interested in making models?
Me: They are too into computer games. And drugs.
Bloke: (looks at assistant, looks back at me) . Urr... we can't use that really.
Me: But it's true.
Bloke: Yes, but we'd have to consult our solicitor.
Me: Well okay. Kids can't relate to wars that happened over sixty years ago. Most of the people in this shop are old men. If you go into Forbidden Planet you'll see that they sell loads of pre-made scale models of characters from movies. If Airfix had aggressively pursued contracts with major studios for, say, Batman figurines you can actually build and paint yourself, they may not have gone bust. They haven't moved with the times. They should have employed me as their marketing manager.

That was it. They didn't broadcast the two sensible things I said.

Things to do on boring journeys

By train:
Find a nearly empty carriage. Approach someone who is sitting alone by the window at a four berth table, point at the seat right next to them and ask 'is anyone sitting here?'. Before they can work out how to respond, sit down next to them, spread a broadsheet newspaper across the table then promptly fall asleep.
By coach:
At regular intervals, crawl down the gangway, rest your head on the driver's shoulder and ask "are we there yet?".
By taxi:
Many taxi drivers make tiresome small talk for the duration of the journey. Disarm them by talking excitedly about your new wallpaper. Phrase your witless meanderings as though they are questions. If the driver attempts to change the subject, run with it for about twenty seconds then elegantly steer it back on course.
By plane:
These days, security regulations are used to excuse miserable, sour faced service and deeply humiliating immigration procedures. If you so much as look slightly wrong this can be used as a reason to deny you boarding. As such, there is little scope for stupid behaviour on air travel. Pretty much anything but blind obediance is seen as insubordination. If you really want to push it, you can keep asking the air stewards if there is anything you can do to help, praise the quality of the food and try to strike up a conversation with them when they end the flight with the traditional but clearly anachronistic individual farewells.
By ferry:
There is fuck all of interest on ferrys, and little you can do about it. But outside, what can you see? Waves, sky. Oh, but look down, look down. Swirling black nightmare drowning downwards forever and ever those railings could simply give way at any time no-one will even notice you've disappeared for at least an hour oh my God this is actually happening. Meanwhile, indoors: greasy food, fruit machines and the smell of dusty vomit-caked carpets. Disco disco disco disco disco. Find a cabin and drink yourself into a coma. If you venture out of your cabin at night you are likely to be intimidated by gangs of drunken fat neck Brits on the piss. If approached, pretend to be retarded, show them your scale model of the ferry, tell them the Captain gave it to you and play with it on the carpet.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

DAXX: Total C****

Today I experienced the most baffling and insulting interaction of my entire life. I wanted a USB lead for my mobile phone which would enable me to download photos to my PC. The thoroughly nice Vodaphone shop chaps suggested I go to a shop in the Galleries in Bristol called 'DAXX'. I went to the shop, walked in and there were two men behind the counter. I spoke first with the younger guy. The conversation went like this:

Me: Hi, do you have a USB lead for one of these phones so I can download stuff onto my PC? Vodaphone suggested I try you guys.
Younger bloke: what is it.
Me: (I show him the phone ) it's a Nokia ( I show him the connection on the phone)
Younger bloke : (grunts and taps stuff into a computer). No we haven't go it
Me: Oh, okay. Any recommendations where i might get one?
Younger bloke: No.
Older bloke: You won't get one. If we ain't got it you won't get it.
(meanwhile younger bloke leaves shop)
Me: Er.. so if you don't have it then i won't get one... in the whole of Britain?
Older bloke: You're being a cunt, get out of my shop
Me: (baffled) ...I was only trying to clarify whether there were any available, anywhere
Older bloke: You are being smart, just get out
Me: I really don't understand.
Older bloke: Oh, yeah well, i've got a university education and i'm smart, fuck off
Me: um..well thanks for calling me a cunt. That's great. have a nice day. (I leave the shop)

Baffling. These people are trying to run a business. It is clearly not a retail chain. They specialise in unlocking phones and supplying phone accesories.

I suggest you repeatedly phone them and ask them for a USB lead for a Nokia phone.



Classified Directory

0117 929 1590

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Furious, Tonbridge Wells

Yesterday I packed my rucksack with hair gel, an aerosol can, matches, a stopwatch and a copy of the Koran with demented scriblings in the margins and various pages ripped out, and boarded a London bound 737 at Helsinki airport. Unbelievably, I managed to get through security with these items. This is just another example of one rule for the terrorists and another for the public.

Friday, August 11, 2006

terrorism rescues earth from environmental catastrophe

Heathrow: Terrorists attempt to blow up planes by mixing liquids. Water banned on planes.
Problem: body made up of 75% water.

Result: human beings banned from planes.

Victory for the Environmental Lobby! The end of air travel!!!! Earth saved!

Thanks, Islamists! We owe you one!

Monday, July 31, 2006

left the house, returned

Not much going on here, busy recording a new album, playing some festivals, writing this, reading this, this, this, this, and this, and playing with this on the carpet.

New look Gravenhurst website by Dave

Playlist - copy it and be inside my ears

the butterfly collector – ARkane

dress up in you – Belle & Sebastian

snowstorm – Galaxie 500

red sleeping beauty – McCarthy

wendell gee –- REM

has he got a friend for me? – Richard and Linda Thompson

the light that will cease to fail – Stereolab

le parc (theme from Streethawk) – Tangerine Dream

brother XII – War Against Sleep

papua new guinea – Future Sound of London

little black egg – the Nightcrawlers

perfume garden – The Chameleons

o.d. catastrophe – Spacemen 3

Saturday, June 10, 2006

f**** s***** **** ***** *** ****

two things:


is the best thing a major label has signed in living fucking memory?


Their album is out now. Allison Veronica the drummer is so cool she even got in industry session drummer slagazine Rhythm.

ULTRASKULL issue two is out now and don't read it at work

Don't Hassle the Hoff

Thursday, June 01, 2006

an award ceremony where everyone wins a f***

Special post to draw attention the new Geisha album via their myspace site:

"Hello, you have made the wise choice of viewing the profile of the noise group Geisha, who live in Bristol. We began like many groups out of boredom and sheer hatred of what was around us, not to save music, but to destroy it through an ever inreasing number of FX units.

People often ask me what the words are about, I usually make things up, but if you must know, its mainly about people being eaten, the many different and varied ways one might have sex with another person and the mish-mash of a hundred Jess Franco movie plots."

Band MembersAnton Maiof - Voice, Guitar, Electronics / Steve James - Bass / Sean Talbot - Percussion
InfluencesGyorgy Ligeti, Iannis Xenakis and Parliment.
Sounds LikeAn award ceremony where everybody wins a fuck.

Mondo Dell'orrore LP (Blood Red Sounds / SuperFi Records / Crucial Blast (USA))

CDs are available RIGHT FUCKING NOW for sale via
and in the US of A at

And, for a sharp contrast, here is Belle & Sebastian performing their superb forthcoming single on Scottish TV:


Saturday, May 27, 2006


Currently listening to

Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
Scott Walker - The Drift
Magnetophone - remixes, demos, b-sides and rarities

Currently working on Ultraskull issue two


Tom's weblog has a discussion regarding the Da Vinci Code and Foucault's Pendulum. I was rather pleased with my contribution, so I am reprinting it here for the purposes of continued self-pleasuring:

I tried to read 'Foucault's Pendulum'. I had to stop ten pages in with the tacit admission that Umberto Eco is too clever for me. With the Da Vinci Code I had the pleasure of stopping after ten pages, confident that Dan Brown is too stupid for me.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


A new web comic from us Silent Age Records people.


cover illustration by Will Schaff

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


When it comes to pulp horror novels that fail to live up to the promises of their lurid cover art, we have some catching up to do. These guys put out the French translations of our favourite trash auteur, Garth Marenghi, sorry, I mean, Shaun Hutson.

(You can see the whole lot here but it is full of pornlinks)

Compare the French and English versions of 'Shadows':

I say we are being short-changed.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

absence and apologies

Date cancellations

Tue 07-Mar STRASBOURG, la Laiterie
Wed 08-Mar DUDINGEN, Bad Bonn
Fri 10-Mar VIENNA WUK Club

Regarding the cancellation of the above dates, we regret that for
personal reasons the band had to return to the UK earlier than planned. Sincere apologies for inconvenience and disappointment caused. We are currently attempting to re-schedule these dates and hope to see you soon.

In addition, the Belfort show had to be cancelled due to the extreme weather conditions. Again, we look forward to re-scheduling this show also.

Monday, February 20, 2006


The Gravenhurst Multiple-Level Euro Mega Dance Party Sound Machine incorporating Anne Widdecombe's Black Indian Treacle-Mouthed Mock-Leather Caged Dancing Jesus Christ No Oh God No She's Written A Fucking Novel Now Burlesque Revue will be on tour until 12th March or something.

And in a move seemingly designed to piss me off, two of my favourite contemporary bands, The Organ and The Vibration, are once again playing the UK whilst I am away:

Perhaps someone can attend on my behalf and take copious notes so i can enjoy the shows vicariously.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Thought for the day:

the White Stripes have ripped-off the Runic symbolism aesthetic from my website

See me after class.

Mood: In Arkansas, shooting empty cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon with an air rifle, cigars, protein

Listening to:

Neil Diamond - Twelve Songs
Electrelane - Axes
My Morning Jacket/Songs Ohia - split EP
Simon and Garfunkel boxed set
Johnny Cash - At Fulsom Prison

New Year's Resolution: stay in bed drinking Guinness and playing darts. Discard opinions, form no new ones.