Wednesday, January 26, 2005

An Ode To No One *

I was walking from the bus to home this afternoon when I had an unbelievable ache for music. That may sound weird to some, but I'm sure others know what I mean. You know, when you really, really, really need to hear music. So, what I done, rather than what I had intended to do - which was shopping at Sainsbury's, pop into JJB Sports for cheap loungeabout clothers, get another pint, etc etc - was get indoors and play extremely loud music. This included Devo, Roxy Music, Kate Bush (with one of the best albums ever in Hounds of Love) and a 1960 recording of Madame Butterfly, which I regard as one of the most beautiful and best pieces of music ever put on viny, cassette or disc. The soprano Victoria de los Angeles takes the title role in this recording and a question drafted into my head: Didn't she die recently? The answer is: Yes! It is sad, but true. De los Angeles, a quite amazing singer, died just a couple of weeks ago.
For an obit, try this. The particular recording of Madame Butterfly that I have just been listening to, which I requested as a Christmas pressie about 15 years ago, is an astounding album of music and singing - very emotional, too.
So, why is Reidski posting during daylight hours? He has been to the hospital for yet another check on the ongoing swallowing issue (posts passim), in which the doctor found.........nothing wrong!!!!! A few months back I had a barium swallow, an endoscopy (camera down the throat) and no problem found. Today was the ear, nose and throat department of the hospital with a visit to a doctor wearing a (urghhhhh) green velvet jacket who put camera up my nose and down my throat (all at the one go, by the way) and felt my neck and surrounding areas. Appointment in six months time and, meanwhile? Reidski has to put up with not eating unless pint of water accompanies said eating.
On way back from hospital - and before the ache of music came upon me - I dropped into Weatherspoons pub in Lewisham for a pint and lunch. I should say that this is definitely not normal behavour for Reidski. Notwithstanding my attraction for alcohol, I never, and I mean never, go into pubs midweek midday. But today I did. And what did I discover? Pub fucking packed out is what I discovered. Three pints later I left feeling totally bewildered as to why that many people should be in a pub during the day during the week. It was weird, maaaan.
Anyway, if you want to cheer up, you could do no worse than take a look at Inveresk Street Ingrate - his last two posts have been totally hilarious!

* Smashing Pumpkins from the sublime Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

Monday, January 24, 2005

This Is Not A Joke *

I was casually reading the February edition of Word magazine today when I came across the shocking news that Kevin Coyne had died. This shock was compounded a short time ago when a search on the internet resulted in me finding out that he died on December 2nd last year. Fuck knows why I didn't come across this news before now, but there you go. By the sounds of things, he had been suffering from very poor health for some time, even to the extent of needing to have oxygen at his side when on stage over the last year or so. I suppose, as the father of 'er indoors was told by the doctor who is treating his cancer, "we all have to go some time" - heartless wanker!
Coyne, for those who don't know, was a brilliant musician, painter and writer. My interest in him rests with his music, with a quite amazing output of work that he produced since the early '60s. One of my older siblings would play his music while the Reidski was growing up in the late '70s, but, at this time I was a musical snob - listening to punk and only punk. My ears were opened up to a more eclectic taste in music in subsequent years, however, and Kevin Coyne much later.
I suppose my interest in his work was reignited (or should that be simply ignited) by a work colleague, who was not only big fan of Coyne's but, through this, a personal friend also. I decided, therefore, to accompany said colleague to The Borderline for what turned out to be a pretty damn good gig. Being a journalist at the time, I also wrote about it and reviewed his next CD Room Full of Fools.
I then went over to Blackheath Concert Halls the next time he was in town, this time he was accompanied by Brendan Croker and they made a great duo, to once again review for the newspaper I wrote for at the time and enjoyed a lovely meal with him afterwards.
Among the stories told, and I'm sure it has been told on countless other occasions,was the rather hilarious one regarding him being offered the job of fronting The Doors less than 24 hours after Jim Morrison died. "I thought they were fucking crap," he told us in recalling why he turned the offer down. Anyway, for a better obit than I can manage, try this one.

These are strange days for the Reidski. To lose one friend in a month is careless, but to lose two, well...........
Before I go on, the Reidski is well innocent in the latest episode, by the way and 'er indoors and partner of new ex-friend are witnesses to that.
And the subject of this falling out? ART! Yes, art, for fuck sake. The Reidski had the temerity to challenge the opinion that fine art, unlike the other arts, are beyond criticis. And, in particular for this not-to-be-criticised form of art are the Chapman brothers - friends of said now ex-friend. Reidski didn't even criticise them - leaving that to 'er indoors - but merely suggested that no-one's work is beyond either positive or negative comment. Art, according to ex-friend, is for "the self" and has no life outside the gallery and therefore cannot be commented upon outside that gallery. Now what the fuck is that all about, I ask you? The words "pure" and "pish" come to mind.
The Reidski, believe it or not, remained very level headed and restrained throughout, while now ex-friend ranted and raved and ended up telling Reidski - and 'er indoors, not incidentally - to leave his house.
It's a funny old world, innit?

All this on the same weekend that I received an e-mail from Darren over at Inveresk Street (see blogroll on left for more on this geezer) saying that the Gang of Four were playing in one of my locals on Friday night. The Reidski was on child-minding duties so couldn't make it anyway. Pity poor young Darren, however, he made the trek across this dry and barren land only to find that it was a guest list only affair!

And, last but certainly not least, was the real big news of the weekend: the boy's team have reached the semi-finals of the cup following a magnificent 3-1 victory against a team who beat them 8-1 last season. The only drawback? They now face Welling, the side whose parents regularly abuse not only their own kids but also their opponents, their opponents' parents and the referees - remember, this is under-12s footie! Methinks Reidski is putting on the boxing gloves for that one.

*Kevin Coyne and Brendan Coker from the Life is Almost Wonderful album.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The Good Times Are Killing Me *

I wonder what I'll do tonight........mmmmmm.......ehhhhhhh....oh, I know!!!!! I'll go and see the Trashcan Sinatras in Islington!

Today I posted something to someone seven weeks after I should have. She will be pleased when it arrives, though!

*Modest Mouse

Friday, January 14, 2005

Somebody To Love

"Spencer had a flow, a way of going, an impulsive power that was irresistible and unique. He was capable of creating a charming, loving rhythm machine for ecstatic dancing."

That's Grateful Dead drummer commenting on the death of Jefferson Airplane's Spencer Dryden. A lovely quote, I would say.

tnr opened up my ears to sounds such as Jefferson many years ago, for which I will be forever grateful.

I recall some stupid idiotic article I once read which argued that, because Jefferson never literally mentioned getting the troops out of Vietnam that this meant they weren't really "radical". I recall reading it, but not where or by whom. Needless to say, whoever it was is a real twat (probably some trot wanker)!

Definitive Gaze *

I very rarely have a spare half hour, so don't normally get around to random blog searching (you know, the next blog button on the top right) or random surfing the net.
But...tonight I did. It must be said that I came across an amazing amount of crap, right enough, but, even so, wow, when you think about how many millions of people out there are doing this moronic thing, it become quite mind-blowing. So, for every crap blog, there is also its anti-matter good cousin.
First, one of the bad ones. The latest comment posted on Wedding goes:

"Evaluating superior Love Question Relationship places online is often hard

What the fuck does that mean???? Anyway, don't look at that one unless that quote means anything to you!

I did enjoy this bloke. I particularly liked his "What the fuck were they thinking awards 2004" post. Very very good it is.

And there was the leftie US christian geezer Tom Herod, whose posts are excellent critiques of the christian right, such as Jerry Fulwell (have I spelt that correctly?), Pat Robertson, et al. Herod is okay, I like him. But, and this is a big BUT, weird inclusion when looking in his profile.
Favourite music: Stevie Wonder, Temptations, Bob Dylan, Howlin Wolf, Rolling Stones, the Eagles and.....wait for it, ..... Del Amitri!!!!! What the fuck is that one doing in some middle-aged yank bloke's record collection? Each to their own, I suppose!

Blogger supreme at the moment has got to be Darren over at Inveresk Street Ingrate (link on the left). He didn't post a comment for around two months and, all of a sudden, he cannot stop writing. He may post some weird and obscure Trotskyist stuff now and again (then again, what is not weird and obscure when it comes to Trotskyism?), but I like his style big time - and I don't say that just because he has the decency to say nice things to me at times. He has a decent taste in music - although the fetish for Lena Martell is way beyond the call of duty in my mind.

Darren's blog I look at just about every day of the week, likewise times new roman, Ardeelee (at Life in Print - what amazing photos she publishes, by the way) and the Scottish Patient, although the latter has been a bit lax on the writing front recently.

Right, that's enough about blogging - I'm bored!

I started worrying about my attitude in the gym today. No, I don't mean that I worried about my attitude in general and that this came upon me in the gym. I suppose I mean my attitude about the gym. I started getting obsessed about my health and fitness - and my ever-expanding beer gut - a couple of years ago. I cycled to work every day, so that at least meant I was doing some exercise. But a new job in a different part of the city meant leaving the bike in the garage. It also didn't help that I was now being paid double my previous wage (although this was definitely the only part of it that was negative) as this resulted in more trips to pub. However, hurrah, hurrah, shortly after starting this new and, it must be said, brilliant job, my new employers arranged for cut-price membership fees for a string of gym clubs. We have one 5 minutes walk from work, so Reidski got in quickly and started working out with the weights, running on the treadmill, rowing on the rowing machines, having a sauna, etc etc, during lunchtimes and after work when I didn't have to pick up the boy from school. Go back a few sentences to the cut-price comment - this was meant to be £16 or so for a month instead of the usual £35. But they messed up my direct debit payments and I still haven't paid a penny in the now nearly two years since I started going. So free gym membership for the Reidski. Working out at the gym is incredibly boring, however. But I've put up with it....until now. No, don't get me wrong, I have no intention of giving up this pastime. But it's been tough this week. I tried a few new routines out and haven't lasted so long. Going into the steam room is ace, so I've still done that one, though. I do know what my biggest problem is: too many nights in the pub. So, come next week, that will be cut down drastically, hopefully......

Side one of Magazine's Real Life (the first song of which is the title of tonight's blog) is about to end, so must go to change over to the equally as brilliant side two.
Nighty nighty.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Hard Road To Travel *

Koktebel, what a superb film. Went to see it tonight with Sister Ann. If I'm not mistaken, it's the first Russian road movie that I've ever seen, believe it or not!
For a couple of reviews that are vastly superior to what you are about to read try this and this.
But I'll give it a go anyway...
...Koktebel is the planned Black Sea coastal destination of a father and son from Moscow, who take road, train, pavement and field to get away from their misery. Mother has died and father is an alcholic who has given up a decent engineering job to take the boy, who dreams of taking to the air like the glider pilots of old in Koktebel, to his aunt's house in the Crimean seaside town.
It's mostly a hellish journey, but, for the viewer of this film, it is extremely scenic, beautifully filmed and excellently acted.
They come across some real tasty characters along the way, with, as the above reviewers suggest, some of the more bitter and twisted among them probably longing for an economic, social and cultural era which was destroyed in 1989.
It's a lovely film - go and see it. But, as I normally say with such things, you're unlikely to see this at your local multiplex.
Apart from going to the cinema, I had a great evening out - gym session, superb noodle dinner and, after film, excellent conversation and glass or two of wine with Sister Ann.
And then it was home to write this rubbish blog, listen to Pavement and drink sauvignon blanc.
A final thought before I log off. I never think in terms of league tables in terms of who or what disaster victims are most in need of our aid our assistance, but...
...before I go on, let me say that I think the tsunami disaster is a 100% valid beneficiary of whatever amount of money people can raise - it's a decent cause, basically.
But there's loads of decent causes, disasters and wars which have been and still are being continually ignored. Nearly a million people died in Rwanda while the colonialists stood by and let the gangs loot and, subsequently, control the diamond mines because that was what the West wanted; Yugoslavia was bombed and split apart because, firstly, a bunch of Croatian fascists wanted it that way and, then, so did the West; Zimbabwe has been isolated because, more than 20 years on, white farmers have decided that they don't like the terms of the independence deal that was struck between the colonial masters (Britain) and Rhodesia to redistribute the land when democracy finally came to that southern African state; the earthquake in Bam, Iran, which, I believe, took the lives of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of lives a few years back; the carpet-bombing, continued occupation and near-total destruction of Afghanistan and Iraq by Britain, the United States and their allies, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In fact, I may have the reason for all this shit - CAPITALISM.
*I'll sign off by mentioning that I will now end each of my rubbishy bloggy things with the names of the artists that the titles refer to - for instance, tonight's Hard Road To Travel is Jimmy Cliff.
But, finally, Pavement has ended and I put on Pablo Honey by Radiohead. Haven't listened to this for a hellavu long time - it's good, it's very very very good.Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Idiot Wind

Snippets from the badlands:

"Charlotte Church has taken up karate - to lose weight. The Welsh diva, 18, is going for lessons twice a week as part of a fitness kick....As well as joining her local karate club in Cardiff she has quit cigarettes."

"Jamie: I'll get son in the oven....TV CHEF Jamie Oliver says he longs for a son."

"Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall has vowed to copy her screen character - by sleeping around."

"Becky (the page three stunna) was shocked to hear that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston had split.........'I just hope they remain good friends'"

"A disgraced Royal Navy chief ordered home from his key Mediterranean posting to face child porn charges has been found dead in his swimming pool."

"Sex mad diet guru bedded patients*
Diet guru Dr Robert Atkins thrived on bacon and LEGS - by bedding his patients and nurses.

*So that's how he kept so slim."

"My John's a useless pig.......but I love him"

These items of "journalism" are all taken from today's edition of the most widely read newspaper in Britain, The Sun. I suppose this is what you get with a so-called free press!

I don't usually read the Sun, but I did pick it up on a Tube train tonight on the way home from yet another defeat at five-a-side football. Yet again it was a group of solicitors who defeated us. The Reidski scored three of our team's five goals in a 8-5 defeat - one of which in particular was a stunning strike on the turn, it must be said. I was getting well pissed off with one geezer who thought that football consisted of throwing his weight into the opposition players' backs (usually Reidski) and kicking many ankles and legs ( again, usually Reidski). But a good time was had by all - the Reidski only lost his temper five or six times!

I've got over my regrets from last week - to paraphrase Billy Joel: "I didn't start the fire."

Oh, and I didn't mention the Celtic victory over the reactionaries in the Scottish Cup. The reason being that I was in mourning cos the boy's side lost a crucial game against the league's top side. Victory would have meant that they could have gone into the last game of the season still with a chance of winning the title. They will now have to settle for second place if they win next sunday.

And, finally.......I'm well excited. Not only do I have tickets to see Gang of Four in a couple of weeks, but I'm also going to see the Trashcan Sinatras next Tuesday - whopppppeeeeeee!!

Friday, January 07, 2005


"Finished with my woman
'Cause she couldn't help me with my mind
People think I'm insane
Because I am frowning all the time

All day long I think of things
But nothing seems to satisfy
Think I'll lose my mind
If I don't find something to pacify

Can you help me
Occupy my brain?
Oh yeah

I need someone to show me
The things in life that I can't find
I can't see the things that make true happiness
I must be blind

Make a joke and I will sigh
And you will laugh and I will cry
Happiness I cannot feel
And love to me is so unreal

And so as you hear these words
Telling you now of my state
I tell you to enjoy life
I wish I could but it's too late"

written by: Iommi/Osborne/Butler/Ward

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I Was Wrong...

...and don't I fucking know it now! Life teaches us some harsh lessons at times and I've just been taught a very important one. That is: always think before you either speak or write. Result of this fuck up = Reidksi, who was already short of friends, now has even less. Well, looks like I will just have to accept that, then, won't I?

There will be those who are wondering what the fuck I am going on about, but please don't ask, only to say that when Reidski cannot see the eggshells, but knows they may lie behind the door, he still barges into the room with as much grace as an elephant! Posted by Hello