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.