June 09, 2005

A few additional thoughts to bear in mind…

Writing about Life, Top Banana and Everything. from Juicy's Blog

Listen up, y'all!

I was going to post this as part of the discussion on my last entry but thought there were some key points in here which I didn't want lost in the ensuing banter, so here goes…

In various recent debates about Top Banana and the music in the Union in general it has been suggested that our job as DJs is not to educate the audience, but rather to simply give them what they want (a suggestion which usually rankles us, since "what they want" is usually an extremely limited selection of tunes, most of which are what the French refer to as "Le Toss". But hey, as has been rightly pointed out, these records have their place so let's not pass too many value judgements here).


"Can't... hold...own... against...good... music..."

However, an interesting point to consider is that yes, we can rest of course on our laurels and pander to the masses by refusing to exert our own tastes on them, but think about this: on the first night of the academic year, I put on a then relatively little-known record I absolutely loved called Mr. Brightside by The Killers, and only a handful of people knew it while most others looked on in bewilderment and/or disgust. Convinced of the fact that this was a song which a lot of people had the potential to like, I kept plugging it relentlessly at every major Union event I DJ-ed over the course of the year (Freshers Ball, Skool Dayz, End-of-Term parties, Baby B, Top B) until eventually everyone decided that this was in fact their new favourite song of all-time (watch it top the Top B Top 40 vote with flying colours when the poll goes up soon…)

Now I'm not saying that I'm solely responsible for bringing this track to Warwick's attention, as chances are when Somebody Told Me became such a big hit many more people would have come across it through buying the album (or, as is unfortunately more likely here, scamming it off DC++... or in fact just downloading the one track, lest we forget the blank-faced reaction to All These Things That I've Done a couple of weeks later).

Of course, let's also not get into the irony that Brightside (essentially a misunderstood and deeply melancholic song about sexual jealousy) has now become the new Chesney and we're getting a bit bored of playing it, but still – unless people in positions of influence (and no, I'm not claiming mine to be one particularly but, as has been demonstrated by some of the records we've helped break into Top B, we do hold some sway over things here) take the time to help push these things, most people aren't going to bother investigating them of their own accord. Look at the way Chris Evans singlehandedly broke Ocean Colour Scene, for example – there was a band with clear mass appeal who simply weren't getting the support they needed until someone in a prominent position stood up and said "I like this, and I think you might too".

Many people have accused me of musical elitism in the past, but what has often frustrated me is that a great deal of the lesser-known bands I like ARE in fact extremely accessible and WOULD have the ability to cross over into mainstream consciousness if both the media and the public were just a little more dilligent in helping to identify and support them. The recent Head Automatica single Beating Heart Baby is a great example of this - although quite spiky in its articulation, it's a very poppy tune which went down well when we started playing it in the Union and is now requested regularly (though whether most people would know what it is when it comes on is still debatable). Look at what happened when we played One Way by The Levellers at Top B the other night - when I was at school this was literally the biggest song of the night at our discos, and has one of the most hollerable choruses in the history of popular music ("There's only one way of life, and that's your own, your own, your own" - I mean come on, if you can't pick that up then there's something seriously wrong with you!) When we put it on, literally only four people recognised it; however, rather than just submit and take it off, I persevered with it until the end, by which time a considerable amount more people were dancing away and found themselves quite enjoying it. Indeed, as James astutely pointed out in his comments on the previous topic: YOU DON'T HAVE TO KNOW WHAT A SONG IS TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY IT. How did you react when you first heard Mr. Brightside? Did you honestly say "This record's shit because I've never heard it before" and dismiss it forever? (Although let's not forget the legendary first play of Britney's Toxic at Top B a couple of years back, which was greeted with hoots of derision and strenuous objections from basically everyone…)

This is why we find it annoying that people are so close-minded towards anything remotely different at Union events: it's because oftentimes there are much better things out there that we think you'll like if you just give them a chance - but of course many people aren't even prepared to do this, mostly due to simple complacency, ignorance and/or laziness. With this attitude, how are you ever going to embrace anything new? It's always frustrated me that bands like Fountains of Wayne and The Lemonheads - both of whom make, or have made, very accessible and catchy pop songs of an exceptionally high standard - have previously met with only limited success due to underexposure. However, what narks me more than anything is when a great band with the clear potential for mainstream appeal (Silver Sun, for example, though obviously they've persevered in the face of adversity and recently put out a new album after several years in the wilderness) just get completely overlooked and are forced to break up, which deprives the rest of us of their work. When their music means so much to you as a fan, I just find it such a fucking shame, and so hopefully you'll forgive my anger at those people whose ignorance breeds this kind of apathy and robs genuinely great musicians of their ability to get heard.

I suppose the nub of the argument is this: there comes a point – and this is something that a lot of people tend to forget – when you have to realise that the Union is here to cater for everyone, and not just you. So next time you feel the apparently insatiable urge to come up to one of us and complain that what we're doing is "shit" or that you don't like it, please bear this in mind: THOUGH THE RECORD WE'RE PLAYING MAY NOT BE YOUR FAVOURITE SONG, CHANCES ARE IT IS SOMEONE ELSE'S. As DJs at Warwick's most popular events we aren't out to wreck anyone's night by playing wilfully obscure music, and we're certainly not out to patronise anyone by exerting our own tastes on the masses without any thought for how well it might translate to them (it always flummoxes me when I'm accused of just playing "my" music, as I was when I dropped R.E.M. 's Losing My Religion into Baby B after it trounced all-comers in that week's Pounder vote – believe me, if I played most of the stuff I enjoy listening to you'd see a mass dancefloor exodus of Biblical proportions…)

However, please realise that we do know what we're doing and can keep as many people as possible happy if you just trust us to do our job and open your minds a little from time to time. Regardless of the changes that have been made, pretty much every track we play during peak time has been at least a Top 30 hit at some point, usually higher (go look at the playlists on the Top B forum after signing in here if you don't believe us) - which must mean that some or indeed many of you bought copies of them at some point. Hell, we aren't even doing anything particularly radical with the music at Top B - it strikes me that if you don't know the vast majority of the records played past 10:30pm, there are serious gaps in both your own musical knowledge and your ability to just have a good time. Believe me, we love nothing more than when the dancefloor's heaving and people are having fun, and ultimately this is our aim with any event we DJ (we'd be pretty crummy at our jobs if it wasn't…)

On a different note, to whoever it was who accused me of pitching myself as some kind of Musical High Priest, as a complete atheist I suppose I do see music as some kind of spiritual substitute… But hey, that's a different matter entirely!

As you were…


June 06, 2005

A few timely notes on ATTITUDES TO MUSIC AT WARWICK

Follow-up to Warwick Students Union presents… THE TNC SOUNDSYSTEM from World of Mr Agreeable

Morning all...

As some of you may be aware, on Saturday night we held an event in The Cooler which was radically different from anything else piloted in the Union this year. The original details are posted on the webpage above for anyone who wasn't there or wants to get an idea of what I'm talking about.

Now, one common complaint I hear levelled at the Union is that many events are too similar in terms of music crossover – most people would be hard-pushed to tell you the difference in music policy between Top B, Score! and Skool Dayz, for example. Well here we did something completely different, and for the most part what did we get? People complaining that it was… yep, too unlike all these events.

So my question is this: what is the perpetual obsession with "Cheese" at this place (a bracket of music which is - take it from me - extremely limited in its scope), and why is there such a vehement insistence on only hearing the same set of songs played over and over again? If you went out to a club night anywhere else, would people go and complain to the DJs if they weren't playing a non-stop barrage of Britney and Chesney? I'm interested to know if the same people who complained the other night would do the same to the DJs at Delicatessen, or Ramshackle in Birmingham - both of which are nights which incorporate many elements of Saturday's playlist. For the most part, the music you heard the other night was extremely danceable and perfectly standard for an alternative club night OR STUDENTS UNION in any major city (in fact, by many standards it might be considered quite tame in comparison). Why is it that Warwick has such an aversion to it? Does it - oh, dear lord - does it ultimately all come back to this again?

I realise that the event was originally named 'Party Tunes' and that its direction hadn't been fully finalised when this term's issue of Lowdown was published, so I can forgive anyone who read that and thought it was going to be a night of 70s and 80s music (though in case you didn't notice, there are two seperate events which cover these areas about three times a term...) However, the publicity around campus had advertised what the event would be, and this information was readily available to anyone who wanted it.

Saturday was intended as an experiment in trialling a different type of club night at the Union with a broader music policy, and to be honest it saddens me that so many people felt the need to complain so relentlessly throughout the evening. Perhaps I'm more open-minded in my approach to music, as I've always taken the view that if I haven't heard something, that's a positive rather than a negative thing. However, just to illustrate what we were up against, here are a selection of the "discussions" we had with various people…

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Disgusted Punter: "This music is shit".
Exasperated DJ: "No, it isn't actually – if you opened your mind a bit you might enjoy yourself".
Punter: "But the event's called Party Tunes".
DJ: "No, it's called Party Tunes presents The TNC Soundsystem".
Punter: "What's that then?"
DJ: "This".
Punter: "Oh. Well, can you play some Queen?"
DJ: "No, that's not what this night is about".
Punter: "But you're being paid to play party music!"
DJ: "No, we're being paid to try something different for the night. And besides, this is party music – just one that doesn't fit your narrow definition".
Punter: "Yeah, well, it's shit".
DJ: "Next!"

[Minor point to bear in mind for future reference: going up to a DJ and simply telling him/her that what they're doing is "shit" is hardly likely to endear them to you or your cause].

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Punter: "Can't you play some cheese?"
DJ: "No, that's not what the music policy is for tonight".
Punter: "Well what is it then?"
DJ (for the millionth time): "Electroclash, alternative dance, alternative hip-hop, dance-indie, breakbeat, funk and rock'n'roll. Basically just a big mash-up of really cool stuff".
Punter: "But look at the dancefloor, no-one likes this!"
DJ: "Er, are you in fact completely blind?! We've had the dancefloor two-thirds full on what is quite clearly an off-night terms of attendance for a good few hours now".
Punter: "But no-one likes it!"
DJ: "No, you don't like it. You're rather selfishly imposing your own opinion on the people who do".
Punter: "I'm leaving! You've ruined my night!"
DJ: "You'll be missed…"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Punter: "Is this the type of music you're going to be playing all evening?"
DJ: "Yes. That's what this night is. It was billed as such on the publicity".
Punter: "Well I don't like it".
DJ: "Well, er… I'm sorry about that but we're not going to change it just to suit your needs!"
Punter: I'm not enjoying myself".
DJ: "Well, er… leave then!"
Punter: "No. I've paid to get in and I'm going to stay. But I don't like it".
DJ: "So you're just going to sit and complain all night then instead of trying to have a good time? That must be terribly fulfilling for you…"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

Punter (at 1am): "What music are you playing tonight?"
DJ: "Er… the stuff we've been playing for the past three hours".
Punter: "Yeah, but what is it? I can't dance to this" .
DJ: "What?! Do you even have ears?! Feet?! A sense of rhythm?!"
Punter: "I think your music's a bit too cool for me".
DJ: "Er… well I'm, er, sorry about that… I… think…"
Punter: "Can't you play some proper dance music?"
DJ: "You what?! This is the fucking Prodigy, and you just heard The Chemical Brothers! Oh of course, forgive me - they've never contributed anything to the arena of dance music…"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

And my personal favourite of the night, a lady for whom the concept of self-awareness and/or irony seemed to be notably lacking…

Punter: "Can't you play some good music - like Saturday Night or the Macarena?!" - (then, as the door to the DJ booth closes in her face): "... YMCA?!"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

A big thankyou to all those who came along with an open mind and had a good time – especially any of you who wandered over to either ask what certain tracks were or to say they really enjoyed themselves, despite it being not quite what they were expecting. One girl who'd complained bitterly at the start of the night even came up at the end and said that she took it all back and that it was the best night of music she'd heard in the Union all year – which goes to show that you are able to enjoy something a bit different if you're prepared to embrace this "difficult" concept.

As I said to all those punters who wanted to know if the event would be happening again, if you enjoyed it then for god's sake, MAKE SOME NOISE. E-mail Gaz Barker (cvo@sunion.warwick.ac.uk) and tell him to pass the feedback onto the Ents Department so that they know the demand is out there. Despite the inevitable whingers trying to spoil it for everyone, James and I had an absolutely great time doing it as it gave us an opportunity to share with you music which you might not have heard before or perhaps wouldn't normally get to hear at the Union.

And so, in inevitable High Fidelity style, here's the playlist for anyone who's curious…

  • Transplants – "Tall Cans In the Air"
  • Gisli – "Go Get 'Em Tiger"
  • MC Lars – "iGeneration"
  • Stompa Phunk – "The Crowd Seems To…"
  • N.E.R.D. – "Lapdance" (Freeform Reform Edit)
  • Tiga – "Hot In Herre"
  • Radiohead – "Idioteque"
  • Bloc Party – "Like Eating Glass"
  • Mclusky – "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues"
  • The Hives – "A Little More For Little You"
  • Novy vs. Eniac – "Smoke Dis"
  • Alter Ego – "Rocker"
  • Bugz In the Attic – "Booty La La"
  • Peaches – "Set It Off" (Disco Remix)
  • LCD Soundsystem – "Give It Up"
  • The Faint – "Worked Up So Sexual"
  • Le Tigre – "Deceptacon"
  • The Bravery – "An Honest Mistake"
  • Mylo – "Musclecars" (Reform)
  • The Sugarhill Gang – "Apache"
  • Thomas Rusiak feat. Teddybears HTLM - "Hiphopper"
  • Atmosphere – "Trying to Find a Balance"
  • Ignorantz – "Phat Girls"
  • Fallacy & Fusion – "The Ground Breaker"
  • Roots Manuva – "Witness (One Hope)"
  • Blak Twang – "Rotten"
  • Jay-Z – "99 Problems"
  • Dizzee Rascal – "Fix Up, Look Sharp!"
  • Soul Coughing – "Rolling"
  • Alabama 3 – "Woke Up This Morning" (Urban Takeover Mix)
  • Kosheen – "Empty Skies"
  • Audio Bullys – "We Don't Care"
  • Basement Jaxx – "Get Me Off"
  • Felix Da Housecat – "Silver Screen Shower Scene"
  • Green Velvet – "La La Land"
  • Mylo – "Destroy Rock & Roll" (Tom Neville Remix)
  • Mr. T vs. Fat Beats – "How 'Bout This, Sucka?"
  • Kasabian – "Club Foot" (Jagz Kooner Vocal Mix)
  • Bomb the Bass – "Bug Powder Dust"
  • Prodigy – "Hotride" (POJ Remix)
  • The Rakes – "Retreat" (Phones Remix)
  • The Chemical Brothers – "Battle Weapon Number 7"
  • Nirvana – "Lithium" (Medicine 8 Remix)
  • BT feat. M. Doughty – "Never Gonna Come Back Down"
  • Soulwax – "E Talking"
  • Fluke – "Absurd"
  • James Brown – "Get Up (I Feel Like a Sex Machine)"
  • Maceo & The Macks – "Cross the Tracks"
  • Kool & The Gang – "Jungle Boogie"
  • The Killers – "Mr. Brightside" (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Mix)
  • The Chemical Brothers – "In Dust We Trust"
  • The Grid – "Shapes of Sleep"
  • Prodigy – "Smack My Bitch Up"
  • Underworld – "Born Slippy"
  • Josh Wink – "Higher State of Consciousness"
  • Kaiser Chiefs – "I Predict a Riot"
  • The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – "Mister Mental"
  • The Rolling Stones – "Paint It, Black"
  • Dick Dale & His Del-Tones – "Nitro"
  • Elvis Presley – "Such a Night"
  • Danny & The Juniors – "At the Hop"
  • Vitalic – "La Rock 01"
  • LCD Soundsystem – "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House" (Soulwax Shibuya Remix)

June 03, 2005

Mr. Agreeable's World of Violence presents… BATTLE OF THE SPINDLES

Yes indeed, people. For years, the world of professional pugilism has been dominated by the kind of braindead ubermensch you regularly see hollering words like "WOOORARGH!" every Wednesday night in the Union, dribbling pints of Purple down their club-approved pastel shirt & crap tie combo. However, no longer will this be the case. For now, rising up from the ground like willowy flowers comes the immortal clash of the titans that is... BATTLE OF THE SPINDLES.


[Dramatic drum-pound]

BRING IT!

ROUND 1: CARTER vs. SINGH

In the blue corner, a scrawny wretch masquerading as the saviour of Top Banana and prone to waxing lyrical about the work of R.E.M. to anyone desperate enough to listen. In the red corner, a petite Asian bombshell known for her astonishing ability to wangle tickets to any gig in the West Midlands at only ten minutes notice. At the last count, Singh's wrists were, amazingly actually almost thinner than Carter's – a fact which he's not happy with and is determined to rectify by snapping her like the proverbial twig.

Unlike the delectable Shall, it's not going to be pretty. In fact, it's probably going to be one of the most pathetic sights ever witnessed by a television audience. Seconds out – Round 1. LET'S GET IT ONNNNN!!!

As soon as the bell rings, Singh and Carter go at it tooth and nail, elbows flailing and generally just flapping like two Belle & Sebastien fans scrapping over Stuart Murdoch's snotted-up handkerchief on eBay. Singh deals the first blow with a mean slap across the face which brings a pitiful tear to Carter's eye. But then…

Carter floors Singh with a piece of cutting sarcasm culled from his pop-culture anthology of mindless film quotes. Unfortunately what he hasn't reckoned with is Singh's unassuming dry wit, and she promptly parries the blow with a wry dig at his numerous failed sexual exploits. Withered by the put-down (and, tragically, unable to deny a single one of her charges), he staggers backwards and collapses in a sorry heap. He's on the floor!

But wait…

Carter cunningly assumes a foetal position as if to suggest a mortal wounding, which Singh mistakenly takes as affirmation of her inherent superiority. High on the adrenaline rush of taking down this mouthy gobshite in a mere matter of seconds, she scampers over and places one elfin foot upon the supposedly broken frame of Carter, cupping her hands either side of her head in the internationally-recognised gesture for "champ". But no – trickery!

Biting and clawing like a neutered alley cat, Carter whips out one spindley leg and takes Singh down a few pegs with a devastating swipe to whatever muscle it is that sits at the back of your shins. Dazed and confused by this awesome display of treachery, Singh stares blankly around for several seconds before Carter plunges in for the kill and they writhe around on the floor in what can only be described as a frankly dismal display of scrappy violence. However, the ever-wily Singh's got the upper hand – she's gone for the hair!

Carter's squealing like a little girl and batting at Singh's decrepit wrists, but there's just no stopping the West Midlands Tiger. Unfortunately, at the moment of her impending triumph, Singh's phone rings. Holding up a wiry finger to momentarily halt the bloodshed, Singh takes the call. But oh no, disaster strikes – she's late for an interview with an up-and-coming band at Birmingham Academy!

Carter seizes upon the opportunity by administering a wimpy shove which threatens to break Singh's delicate shoulder. But it's too late – she's already hotfooted it out of the ring clutching a MiniDisc recorder and shouting "Onward, quest for new music!" Carter looks around in flummoxed bewilderment as the final bell rings. It's a victory by default. And the crowd goes wild!

Sadly, Carter is then rushed to hospital after collapsing face-first onto the canvas under the weight of the title belt. However, much like a certain T-100, he'll be back…

NEXT WEEK: CARTER vs. CRUISE (possibly). BRING THE NOOOOOIIIIIISE!!!

June 02, 2005

Warwick Students Union presents… THE TNC SOUNDSYSTEM

Now see here, kids!

Exams finished? Housemates a bore? In the mood for something a little different this Saturday? Then get yo' ass along to PARTY TUNES in the Students Union for a night of the most bangingest, thumpingest, poudingest tunes this side of a full-on bludgeoning from Lennox Lewis.

Oh yes indeed. It's the event so awesome they had to make up a bunch of adjectives which have never existed. For one night only, THE TNC SOUNDSYSTEM bring you a selection of massive tunes guaranteed to get the monkey shaking to the point of apoplexy. You may not know them all. You may not even know any of them. But by god, come with an open mind and we guarantee you more fun than a bathtub full of Jennifer Aniston lookalikes!


[Gratuitous cheap ploy]

TWO DJs. NO RULES. NO CHEESE. NO COMPROMISE.

Come along, or the dog gets it…


May 30, 2005

A little–known fact…

…I was a member of The Offspring for three months back in 1995 and am still awaiting my royalty cheque from my half of Ixnay On the Hombre.

It's true.

No, you're right, it's complete bollocks. Special thanks to Millicent and the House of Funk for providing this temporary respite from my boring and inconsequential existence…


May 15, 2005

BLOG HIJACK: XX can you hear me?

[nb. A word to the wise - never leave yourself signed into Warwick Blogs at a friend's house. This is what happens!]

Good women folk of Warwick

Have you seen this man?

Well have you?

Is often to be found cruising through the Union, incisive wit in one hand and R.E.M. DVD box set in the other – yes it does exist

Don’t be put off by the forlorn face that stares at you from the Advance desk, this is merely a disguise for the hopeless romantic he really is.

Although sometimes invisible sideways, this loveable tyke makes his presence known in other ways.
Loved by some, tolerant of others, Chris’ bread-winning work in both The Grid and The Union gets him a reverend response from all those in his nest. See what we did there?

Give him a chance he’s fiercely loyal and let’s face it, there’s no better way to get your requests played at Top B.

Oh and: you want to catch him before the AIDS does.


May 12, 2005

AN OPEN LETTER TO WOMANKIND

[nb. This post was written prior to the hijacking of this site by the gruesome twosome, a.k.a. Shall 'und' Milly (as the Germans say). However, just to clear up a rather bizarre rumour that's floating about, my excessive thinness is not a result of me having AIDS, or indeed any kind of eating disorder. For the record, I am perfectly, er, "healthy" and quite comfortable with my ridiculously scrawny frame. And now, onward!]

Dear ladies,

It is with deep regret and a certain sense of liberation that I announce my decision to impose an indefinite hiatus on attempting to connect with you on any level other than that of simple friendship. "Huzzah!", I hear you cry, "And not a moment too soon!". Out with the bunting, let's crack open the bubbly and have us a par-tay!

Well, I'm not disagreeing with you. To be honest, I'm a fucking disreputable rogue and you're really well shot of my sorry ilk. However, I want you to understand that this is not a decision which arises from either a deep-seated misogyny or some latent homosexual streak seething beneath the surface. Au contraire my dears, 'tis quite the opposite: the problem lies in the fact that I absolutely love womankind. I worship femininity in all its incarnations and seem to find perfection in even the most imperfect of female forms. This, though, is probably the main source of the conflict: not a single one of you has ever reached the ridiculously lofty standards that I have set for you. Those among you who I find so fascinating are either simply my good friends or else already taken, destined to forever spurn my doltish advances with a hearty sneer of disdain. To be perfectly frank though, despite the relentless onslaught of hotties wandering about campus (stop wearing those black thick-framed glasses some of you, for god's sake it drives me wild!), I've been finding it very difficult recently to encounter many of you outside of the friendship category who even interest me in the slightest. What a motherfucker, eh?

I have done everything for you that the stereotypes laid out by our culture demand: I have written you numerous songs, declared myself the provider of everything you could want and have committed acts of grandiose romantic stupidity so ludicrous that even The Grinch once sent me a Christmas card saying he dug my style. I have laid myself open time and again, naked in all but physical form. I have offered myself to you repeatedly in heart, mind and soul but still you deny me. In short, I hereby pledge that I simply no longer care about that which will potentially endear me to you: about how I look, about the bizarre eczema blotches which periodically decorate my face, about disguising my own hang-ups, about what you think of me when I get more animated at the thought of a conversation about Elliott Smith's back catalogue than I do at the prospect of sex.

In addition to this great weight being lifted, I also don't need to worry anymore about whether or not you feel disgusted by the experience of having us interact in some intimate physical way, no matter how consensual or even self-induced the experience may be; likewise, I am equally free of the irrational feeling of disgust and loathing which washes over me as soon as our admittedly sporadic and generally unfulfilling encounters conclude in a haze of sticky fingers and used tissues. Summer is on its way again and I'm not wild about the thought of my undersexed brain going ballistic at every sighting of exposed female flesh; in fact, since arriving at this juncture, for the first time in years everything seems perversely calm inside – Zen, almost…

It's a decision grounded purely in self-loathing I'm sure, and consequently it will most probably come of great relief to a good many of you. Hell, I don't blame you – though I've got a few moves here and there, I'm a shocking wreck physically and am at best a pretty average lay (although the experience can be brightened considerably by running a thumbnail up my ribcage, thus creating a xylophone effect which plays the theme tune from Beverly Hills Cop). Plus, and be honest now, how many of you have ever had the misfortune of going home with someone who'd rather watch R.E.M.'s Parallel DVD than make with the lurve? Those among you who are wincing in embarrassment right now - yep, chances are you've had The Carter Sexperience ™...

And so to my Polish Princess, my exotic temptress, my one and only, wherever she may be: I lay down now and wait for you. I will wait forever in countless teeming bars, watching the lights spin on the ceiling as the alcohol bubbles drowsily beneath my slovenly eyelids. I will wait on abandoned railway lines, under frozen lakes and in wrecking lots, listening to the metallic howl of machinery screaming in carnal bliss. I will stumble along desert highways, delirious with thirst and burning beneath the sun in the hope that one day you will find me. We shall be one before long and I hereby renounce all temptation until this day comes. No fear. No pain. We'll go dreaming.

And to the rest of you, I say this: it's been emotional, but it's time for the fool to get out. I hope you understand.

Yours faithfully,
Mr Agreeable.


April 25, 2005

SPANDEX playlist – Saturday Week 1 (23/04/05)

- GUITAR!!!

(r) = Request

  • Bon Jovi – "Hey God"
  • Staind – "So Far Away"
  • Puddle of Mudd – "Blurry"
  • Nickelback – "Too Bad"
  • Michael Jackson – "Dirty Diana"
  • Smashing Pumpkins – "Tonight, Tonight"
  • A Perfect Circle – "3 Libras"
  • Soul Asylum – "Runaway Train"
  • Pat Benatar – "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"
  • ZZ Top – "Legs"
  • INXS - "The Strangest Party"
  • Mike Oldfield & Maggie Reilly – "Moonlight Shadow"
  • Pearl Jam – "Alive"
  • Metallica – "Fade to Black"
  • Mike & The Mechanics – "The Living Years"
  • Jimi Hendrix – "Foxy Lady"
  • The Knack – "My Sharona" (r)
  • Foghat – "Slow Ride"
  • Bachman Turner Overdrive – "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet"
  • Theme from Home Improvement
  • School of Rock – "School of Rock"
  • Power Tool – "Two Heads Are Better Than One" (r)
  • Deep Purple – "Hush"
  • Gun – "Word Up"
  • Extreme – "Play With Me" (r)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

BAND: SCARLET ROULETTE

"Welcome to the Jungle"
"Night Train"
"Sweet Child O' Mine"
"Paradise City"
"Since You've Been Gone"
"Livin' On a Prayer"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

  • Free – "All Right Now"
  • DVDA - "Now You're a Man"
  • Motley Crue – "Shout At the Devil" (r)
  • Motorhead – "Ace of Spades"
  • Led Zeppelin – "Immigrant Song"
  • Alice Cooper – "Poison" (r)
  • Stiltskin – "Inside"
  • AC/DC – "Back In Black" (r)
  • Lenny Kravitz – "Are You Gonna Go My Way"
  • Meatloaf – "Bat Out of Hell" (r)
  • Tenacious D – "Fuck Her Gently"
  • Don Henley – "The Boys of Summer"
  • Roxette – "It Must Have Been Love"
  • Cutting Crew – "(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight"
  • Bonnie Tyler – "Total Eclipse of the Heart" (r)
  • Belinda Carlisle – "Leave a Light On"
  • Foreigner – "I Wanna Know What Love Is"
  • Aerosmith – "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
  • The Scorpions – "Wind of Change" (r)
  • Tina Turner – "The Best"
  • Norman Greenbaum – "Spirit In the Sky"
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – "Sweet Home Alabama" (r)
  • Ugly Kid Joe – "Everything About You"
  • Steppenwolf – "Born To Be Wild"
  • Thin Lizzy – "The Boys Are Back In Town"
  • Bryan Adams – "The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me…"
  • Team America S/T – "Everyone Has AIDS" (14 seconds worth, just for the crack…)
  • Black Sabbath – "Paranoid"
  • Iron Maiden – "Run to the Hills" (r)
  • Dire Straits – "Money For Nothing" (r)
  • Spin Doctors – "Two Princes"
  • The Darkness – "Get Your Hands Off My Woman"
  • Kiss – "God Gave Rock & Roll To You II"


April 22, 2005

Leave me alone, you sweaty man!

Well hello, Sailor!

Following a demoralising few weeks of realising that the female race has resolutely amassed and united themselves in opposition to me and my fellow housemates, last night we decided that if you can't beat ’em (and let's face it, that's laid down quite specifically in law), you might as well join ’em. And so, off we trotted to the pumping paradise that is the delectable Rainbow's somewhere deep in the shady outskirts of Coventry.

Now, I consider myself a cosmopolitan kind of guy, I really do. I'm a lefty, liberal, hippy-type sunnovabitch. Without even thinking about it I’d imagine that probably half my friends bat for the other team and, truth be told, I’m not entirely closed off to the idea that the person I end up schlepping my life away with may not be of the opposite gender to me. However, I’ve got to draw the line somewhere. And that somewhere is getting hit on by a sweaty 40-year-old slaphead with a face like a prune.

I was reliably informed while leaving the house last night in the patented ‘red T-shirt/ black long-sleeved shirt over wirey torso’ combo that I would quite probably make some strapping some lad’s night in a ripe-for-the-picking, just-turned-16 Queer As Folk sort of way. Unfortunately, having never braved the wonders of this sort of environment before, I was blissfully unaware of the apparently commonplace incident which was to occur when I innocently wandered into the shitter to take a casual whiz.

While evacuating my bladder (paying special attention to the patented ‘more than three shakes is a wank’ maxim), I became distinctly aware of a lascivious gaze being thrown in my direction by a member of this so-called ‘gay community’. Upon draining the weasel and zipping up, I was then accosted by a man who can only be described as oily at best and kill-yourself greasy at worst.

Shirt unbuttoned to his no doubt heavily scuzz-filled navel to reveal a ludicrously fake-tanned chest, he motioned to my red attire and blustered, “Ooh! Are you Daredevil?!”. Not quite getting the logic but feeling the warm glow that occasionally arises from connecting spontaneously with a complete stranger, I chirpily (and mistakenly) replied “Yes, that’s me. I’m Daredevil”. EH-ERRRRR!, as the buzzer says on Family Fortunes. “Well then”, he countered, gripping my wrist and drawing me towards him, his scaly tongue snaking back and forth between his slimy lips; “Let’s see you be daring then!”

“Not fucking likely!” I replied, viciously assaulting him with my brutal 200-pound frame (actually, I politely turned down his advances and shook off the physical imposition before hotfooting it out of there quicker than you could say “Wake-up call from God”). Frankly, the only way to shake the distinctly uncomfortable feeling somewhere in the depths of my colon was to get hideously trashed, compliment Jon from Pride on his rather fetching skirt and start pounding the floor to the sound of a ridiculously speeded-up version of tATu’s All the Things She Said.

Mind you, it could've been worse. Eim ended up going home with some frumplike loony tune who started screaming “No! No! – I love it!” while hitting her repeatedly during sex. Guh.

A great night, all things considered, and I'd certainly go back again. See you at the Glitter Ball, kids!


April 04, 2005

Roadkill of the Day

This one's for you, animal-lovers!

Nothing quite brings out my inner redneck like the sound of an audible 'whump' under the wheels of a car.


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