All entries for May 2005

May 30, 2005

Hey man, I wanna have a fight with you

Yes. In future, all entries will be titled with Shellac lyrics, at least until I forget.

Anyway, revision continues at its slow pace. To distract myself from the icy embrace of Friday's exam, I have dedicated this evening to wine, ice cream, South Park, and the joys of music. Like usual then.

AnYwAy: Now I will list some bands that manage to be both British and amazingly manage to still be good (and haven't split up!): Electrelane, Bearsuit…um, can't think of any more right now. There are probably at least, oh, six more that meet the criteria, and who didn't peak five/ten/twenty years ago.

List of bands that really, really suck: Hard-fi. Of course, many thousands of bands suck, but I would like to stress just how much Hard-fi are a band that define absolute nothingness. They're practically a call to convert to nihilism, for how can you believe in anything at all when a band so weak are allowed time on television. People may complain their bleating faces to the point of bleeding when it comes to Crazy Frog, but the deranged amphibian is a mere drop in the ocean in comparison.

I would love to add Maximo Park to the list of suckage, but I have as yet heard nothing by them. I would say that I'd love to be proved wrong, that they actually sound great, but that would be a lie: I hate to be proved wrong about ANYTHING. I have built up an irrational dislike of this band, on God knows what evidence, and I want it to be fulfilled. Ah well, I once said I hated Portishead, and they turned out to be the most awesome thing ever (when I was a 15-year old, anyway).

Am worried that I might be becoming a reactionary. Mental note: go out and torch some cars tomorrow. Hit the capitalist lackeys where it hurts – get Top Gear taken off of the air!

I totally don't get this, but it seems "fb" for the sake of arrogance, so whatever – probably just another dumb FFVII fan, like me.

I watched "A Fistful of Dynamite" last night – it was pretty much awesome, despite the overbearing misogyny. One day I will write mine feminist thesis, and it will stun the world (though I am becoming increasing terrified that I am nothing but a chauvanist in disguise).

I find myself thinking thus: why are not more blog entires like this: a stream of spit random thoughts, composed by alcohol abuse and a deeply insecure and desperately posturing to be cool by some criteria psyche. As opposed to being either: a) boring, b) too smart or c) unfunny crap. Mental note: stop insulting all and everyone. I will definately expand upon this in future, when it isn't buried in a stream of consciousness rant (it's not really a rant, but hey).

This entry is definately sponsored by the humble colon (:!!!). I love it like a brother, that handily seperates my phrases in often-incorrect grammatical ways.

I realise that this is not containing enough in the way of obscure bands, so I will mention one song in capital letters, to better attract the attention (of nobody, I know): KNAPSACK - KATHERINE THE GREATFUL. It sounds in the vein of early Idlewild, whilst not actually sounding anything like them. Yes, that fucking makes sense.

Oh, the power of swear words.

Discovery made today: the wonderful sound of vintage Stereolab can replace even grey Coventry with the beauty of Amelie-ish Paris. I even saw hot air balloons, and I goddamn hope they were a hallucination.


May 27, 2005

I am very disappointed

I thought this evening I had been the victim of a happy slapping attack, and would thus shortly be guest of honour on a Trevor McDonald ITV special.

Sadly I'm pretty sure nobody was filming it, so I guess I was just punched in the head by a random drunk.

No tabloid tv five minutes of fame for me then. On the bright side my brain has yet to haemorrhage, so I guess I'm unharmed.


The reemergence of Satan (Big Brother)

Goodbye to any chance of anything half watchable in the middle of the night on Channel 4, for at least the next two months. Original comedy? Groundbreaking drama? Repeats? Why bother, when you can simply fill up the schedule with five hours of security camera footage showing the extroverted pondscum of British society being asleep.

Seriously, I can accept the fact that the moronic and voyeuristic need television that caters towards their needs. I also know that attacking Big Brother for being a horrible signifier of how widespread puerile celebrity culture has become is a cliche. It's pretty much true, as this extract from the pre-launch fever highlights:

"Eleven of the thirteen are single
Two are gay, two are bisexual
One a former paratrooper
Three are foreign
One is a former windsurfer
One has breast implants"

Still, a million and one columnists and talking heads have already debated this fact, simultaneously gifting this freak show more respectability that it deserves. It's a boring issue now.

However, it must be noted that Channel 4 is a cut above most other channels. It has a remit to provide an alternative to the existing terrestrial output. It does not have a remit to try and out-ITV ITV. It already dedicated virtually all of its E4 channel to covering Big Brother, so why does it need to dominate the post-midnight airwaves as well? Jesus H., THEY'RE ALL ASLEEP FOR FUCKS SAKE. Put something good on. Even Channel 4's tactic of flooding its late schedule with any sport it can find, whilst inferior to its policy of a few years ago that involved actually showing original programming as opposed to repeats, would be preferable to PEOPLE BEING ASLEEP.

Whoever scheduled the last series of Big Brother desperately needs a blunt instrument to the head, repeatedly. Sadly, I feel the same will be true of this series.


May 25, 2005

A use for old essay notes

Number one in a series of one: wrapping paper


May 23, 2005

An interesting statistic

2004/5
Number of league goals scored by Manchester United's £75m-worth of strikers: 24.

Number of league goals scored by Villarreal's Diego Forlan: 23.

One game remaining for Villarreal, at home to third-from-bottom Levante. Can the famously-ridiculed Forlan do the unthinkable and outscore his ex-club's entire strikeforce? Hopefully, yes.


T2X: Shadows of the Metal Age

Writing about web page http://www.thief2x.com

I had a slightly well-written entry about the new fan-made mission project T2X - in effect a free add-on pack for Thief 2. However, the noxious twin filths of internet connection and blogging software conspired to not only lose me what I had written, but also to delete it from the clipboard I had copied it to for safe keeping. Thank you technology, it's good to know that when I actually drag myself away from anger and attempt something vaguely constructive, you're there to bring me back to where I belong :*)

I am not having a day that could be interpreted as good in any possible way.


May 22, 2005

Oh man, how perfect

For some reason, I had assumed Helen Love had split ages ago. I checked their website around three and a half minutes ago, and happily discovered that this is not the case. \0/

Does your heart go boom is utter wonderfullness:
"I know he's getting better 'cuz he's getting excited
telling everyone he hates Man Utd".

Such wonderfully apt and timely words. Joy unto all the world.


The flag of Cuba, the flag of Cuba, the flag of Cuba, the flag of Cuba

If there was one song I could recommend to the populace right now, and I was forbidden from mentioning either Prolapse or Shellac (the twin bastions of awesome), it would thus: Sofa – Monatone.

I have this song on a Constellation Records compilation, which was given to me by someone, but with it being left at home, I just downloaded it. Omg etc, fight the power, download taping is killing music. Whatever. Downloading music rules: from napster to audiogalaxy to indious on dc++, my musical tastes have greatly expanded thanks to the powers of the interweb. God forbid people are allowed to listen to music that isn't played on the radio, society is on the verge of collapsing thanks to such evil innovation.

Anyway, it rules, the perfect blend of post rock and not being boring and shit. Joy.

I have taken the liberty of downloading another Sofa song, to see if this is merely a one off. One minute in, and the signs are good. Man, this is really good. I know they split some time ago, which is a shame, but par for the course given my record of liking bands precisely five minutes before they break up.

In fact, they split in 1997, when I was a mere twelve years old. Goddammit. Just a four year existence. I hope payback for this is enacted when The Rolling Stones spend eternity burning in hell.

Interlude: great moments of the Olympic games, number one: Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fists in the black power and unity salute, on the podium. For this, they were stripped of their medals, forced out of their national athletics system, and banned from the Olympic village.

Remix of the day (night?): Chicks on Speed – Fashion Rules (Alter Ego remix).

Further statistical information: the best single released this year so far is: The Futureheads – Hounds of Love. I am right.

I'm currently ahead of schedule to become an alcoholic by age 25, by as much as two years! Wooh! A triumph for people who lead a boring life.

Changing the subject to that of football: I was overjoyed to see the result today, particularly given the dominance of the evil empire that is Manchester United. I watched in the student union today (or whatever that side bit of it is called, the bit above where you go to collect keys, I can never remember its name). One individual even noticed my Barnet shirt, and I had a two minute conversation with them. They were a Billericay fan, the team from whom we signed Richie Graham, esteemed producer of excellent runs, brilliant crosses, and frequent piss poor passes.

Such affirmation of non-league support was positive, but it did strike me that, given that Warwick University, to the best of my knowledge, draws most of its membership from the south of England, it was rather odd that Man Utd supporters appeared to outnumber their Arsenal counterparts by quite a considerable margin. I fear there was weeping in the streets of Dunstable and Chelmsford tonight.

Conclusion: I rule.


May 21, 2005

Guess the point that I am trying to prove (there probably isn't one)

"influences include gnr, ac/dc, aerosmith, thin lizzy, led zep all classic and hard rock"

"influences include the smiths, the clash, the libertines, the beatles, joy division etc"

"I like a wide range of music from Led Zeppelin to G'n'R to Iron Maiden"

No no no no.

Why do peope who form bands tend to advertise for those that, like themselves, share such mediocre tastes? Obviously, such adverts are generally going to contain well-known names to maximise the respondents, but, in interviews, bands regularly cite similar names, whilst their music betrays the obviousness of their imitation.

There are a million and one shitty, nothing to them bands, filling up pubs across the country, and all sounding like the worst kind of derivative dirge. One of them, Oasis, managed to escape beyond even the clutches of a one page NME interview, and assumed a major role in musical culture.

Oasis fans – just what exactly do you see in them? "Proper rock like?" I despair.

To me, the rise of Oasis and others of their kind has had the same effect upon British music as Hitler had upon German democracy, and for once THE COMPARISON TO NAZISM IS PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED.

On the bright side:
"SONIC YOUTH/ DINO JR/ CONTORTIONS/ ERASE ERRATA/ YEAH YEAH YEAHS/ BE YOUR OWN PET/ CAT POWER/ PIXIES/ EARLY PATTI SMITH/ DUKE SPIRIT/ SNOW WHITE OR JUST ANYTHING NOISY, FAST, FRESH, MESSY, AND NOT OBVIOUS"

Praise be to God.


May 19, 2005

The old 1–2

Reasons to like Nakatomi Plaza:
1. They sound really good. Yeah I know, what an ineloquent reason – where are the flourishes ffs?
2. They take their name from Die Hard. Which, let us be honest, is a great film.

Reasons why One Armed Scissor is an utterly fantastic song, but The Mars Volta aren't all that:
1. ATD-I were never anything special, beyond that one song (in my mind, anyway).
2. But man, that song. Seeing them mock tv slimes such as Jools Holland by afroed jumpings and hurlings of guitar, barely coherent singing and guitar playing, no relationship to the stand-and-strum that pollutes music, provoking the disapproval of anyone who ever liked Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and thank fuck for that. "Will you get this letter" etc, man it is something.

Reasons why The Honor System disprove old stereotypes:
1. American spellings are not only just as valid as English ones, they are often easier to type.
2. They prove that not all "emo" is sucky shit.

Reasons why I will be either pleased or displeased by the random choice of next song I am about to choose from my hard drive:
1. Pachinko – The Ballad of Bon Scott Mominee.
2. Dammit, I am neither pleased nor displeased. Note that next time I will fix this so it's something great or shit.

Reasons to justify the existence of Dressy Bessy:
1. It's summer, and so are they.
2. Twee is good, just remember Talulah Gosh.

Reasons why The New Amsterdams disappointed me:
1. They failed to live up to the name.
2. In fact, they were just pretty dull really.

Reasons why Shellac will always deserve more than two points covering them:
1. This great live in Tokyo set I just found.
2. Just fuckin' kill him.
3. That absolutely brutal guitar, particularly on Dog & Pony Show. The audio equivalent of hitting things with a wall, and I'm not just saying that for NME factor, that is actually what they sound like at times.
4. Steve Albini being himself.
5. Being prepared to have an instrumental three minutes prior to any lyrics, AND being able to pull this off perfectly, because guitar, bass and drums happen to be 75% of the fun in this case, not just fodder for a whiner to excrete his voice over. Scum bands take note.
6. Cocaine and cosmetics, mafiosi and prosthetics…BACK IN THE BOX (I think).

Two songs I have been particularly loving recently:
Wire – Ex-lion tamer
Papas Fritas – Afterall

Coming soon, "Refused, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, and how I learnt to unlove the Baader-Meinhof Gang".


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