Monday, July 25, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Tramp the Dirt Down
The Super Thing *
Spur of the moment decision took me to the Borderline to see Richmond Fontaine last night and what a decision that turned out to be. This is the third time I've seen this band this year and last night's was the best. A truly stunning set saw them performing songs from old and new releases alike. Standouts were Post to Wire, Winnemucca and the awesome Western Skyline. Spoiled just a fraction towards the end when four scouse wankers attempted to start a fight with me and my fellow gig-goer for no reason whatsover - northern tossers! The night was topped off by me waking up in a bus garage many miles from home with no idea of where I was. Eventually got home about four in the morning (I can feel a song coming on here - don't know what I mean? Look up Faron Young!). It's twenty past four and my hangover is kicking in. Urghhh, I feel like shit!
* Devo, which reminds me that frontman Mark Mothersbaugh had a part to play in both the Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums soundtracks, which also reminds me that many people always believed that Devo were the faces behind the enigma that was and is The Residents, which reminds me of of a great gig I once attended, which reminds me of falling asleep on the bus, which reminds me of my hangover, which makes me feel ill.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Lazy Sunday Afternoon *
Oh dear! Abour one minute after I published my last post, got a phone call from 'er indoors saying that garden centre visit she was on with her mate was finished and they were now off to the Pilot in Greenwich and would I like to join them. Predictably, then, no decorating was done, but a rather large plate of fish and chips was consumed along with a couple of pints, followed by cycle home (yes, I went on my bike) and slump in front of box to watch the closing holes of The Open. Tonight I am mostly drinking Bloody Mary's and reading in the garden.
IT'S FUCKING HOT IN THE BIG CITY!!!!
*Small Faces, as if you didn't know!
Forever Drone *
That last post was pish and was written when I was pished, but I'm not going to change it cos ah cannae be bovvered!
Anyway, stayed up really really late last night to watch the legendary 40-year-old Bernard Hopkins take on the highly rated young(ish) Jermaine Taylor for the undisputed world middleweight title. Didn't last the pace, however, and took the decision to get to bed at around 3am when they announced yet another fight before the main event. Watched the replay this morning and I'm extremely glad that I didn't stay up any longer for it - what a real disappointment it was. Too much cagey boxing and not enough fighting for my liking, but I could see why Jim Watt would think it was fascinating as, at his prime, he was the epitome of boxer rather than fighter. Fuck, I do go on. Read the BBC report of the fight here, or try the round by round commentary from ESPN.
Before that, watched the Royal Tenenbaums, what a hoot and what a great soundtrack. Then, call me a saddo, but, before the boxing came on, I watched Masters Football, which is played by retired players whose beer guts are only outdone by the bald heads on show.
Interesting things happening out in blogland. Try this one for starters, which various bloggers have already made mention of. And we've no reason to doubt the claim that the author of this one is an undercover CIA operative working in Ireland - it's essential reading.
I note young Ardee has not only amended the look of her blog, but has made dramatic changes to her life also. Good luck Ardee, hope it works out well for you!
Jane has posted a music quiz, which was gnawing away at my brain on Friday as I attempted to nurse my hangover following the work's beano the day before - I'm down to only having two answers missing. Give it a go for a chance to win prizes galore!
Right, I've put off the decorating off for too long - off I go to do some domestic chores!
* Josef K
... The Dears
Last Tuesday night got off to a great start when I got to the entrance of the Astoria and spot notices posted up regarding the times and line-up for the evening: "...House of Love 8.30-9.45...". "Whoofuckingpee" I think, as House of Love are, according to me, one of the classic late 80s/early 90s guitar bands whose quest for world musical domination was thwarted by the rise of grunge and/or dance/techno/druggie shit - oh, and the fact that guitarist Terry Bickers and singer Guy Chadwick hated each other and vowed never to play with each other ever again. So, in I goes to catch the last couple of numbers from Bikini Atoll - they were okay, but a bit too much of the Sonic Youth wannabees coming through. On come House of Love shortly afterwards and I decide, fuck me, they are still fucking brilliant (this all said in my head, by the way, as I go to gig on my own)! First track is the classy Never and I'm thinking; "Who is that classy guitarist with the metal thing (I don't know what they're called) going up and down the frets?" The answer comes the next day when someone at work tells me that Bickers and Chadwick have kissed and made up. Well, thank fuck for that, cos they make a terrific pair. And they make terrific music. What a wonderful set - Christine hasn't sounded better, I Don't Know Why I Love You blows the mind and 32nd Floor excites the brain like not many songs do. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! And then it got better! But, before going on and, apropos of nothing, I have a great memory of listening to The House of Love's eponymous 1990 album. It involved a really really hot (early) summer Sunday afternoon in my old house, and it must have been the year after the album was released. It must also have been one of the first season's that Italian football was shown on Channel 4 cos I remember taking the tellie out the back garden and pitching it on top of a box, while me and the brother of 'er indoors and two of his mates watched and drank (my) home brew (I was skint that year and the years leading up to it and for many years subsequent to it). This was after we had been down the boozer for Sunday lunch (no food was consumed) and then returned home to find 'er indoors and the (then) wife of the brother of 'er indoors half way through watching Lawrence of Arabia. Us boys being drunk, we were having none of that girlie shit, so, out the garden doors the other tv goes. We're pissed by this time and much merrymaking is made, including one of the grassheads (for that is what they indulged in - getting completely and utterly out of their heads on weed as the Reidski boy simply got pissed) running round the garden with a sun-shade on his head acting like one of the "ladies" from Little Britain. Back to the point, after the footie, on goes House of Love and we chill out like no-one has ever chilled out before or since. Sunday afternoon, sun belting down, six pints to the wind, sitting in the garden - nothing can add to that other than Chadwick's voice on Beatles and the Stones. I'm getting the fucking chills just thinking about that day. It didn't end there, by the way, cos, once the record finished it was up to Telegraph Hill with kite and falling over each other's legs and feet and the legs and feet of other park-dwellers while unsuccessfully trying to fly the fucking thing. Then it was back down the pub. No food was consumed all day - needless to say, two-day hangover followed. Beautiful day it was, however.
The Dears - been around for years apparently and, to paraphrase their own words, sat around for many of them discussing their obsessions with Morrissey and how to carry on the great man's legacy (before I go on, I must use the description for Morrissey that I always do: The World's Greatest Living Englishman - there, got that off my chest!). They have, thankfully, progressed from being simple Morrissey/Smiths clones, as their latest effort, No Cities Left, testifies.
They are, fronted by singer, guitarist, writer of lyrics and music and all-round creative focus of the band, Murray J Lightburn. They are great. The bulk of the set is taken up with tracks from the aforementioned No Cities Left and, by the time they leave after a couple of encores, we are thoroughly entertained. They do ballads, they do indie-guitar stuff, they even get a bit of Suicide-style shouting and noise. Fucking superb. And, what I always like to see from (relatively) new bands who are making a name for themselves and garnering quite a bit of hype, huge dollops of humility and distribution of thanks to the crowd for turning up to see them, buying their records, etc etc.
The Next Day
A day of work and play - and how well I did at five-a-sides, blasting the goals in from all directions. I wasn't on fire, I was a fucking forest blaze tearing down the Amazon rainforest.
The Day The Mother-Fucking Bombs Went Off (now to be known as TDTMFBWO)
Up I get to go to work - with hindsight, I think it's good that, as I do most days, I volunteer to do the 8am start (while we do enjoy some flexibility in our working hours, there has to be someone in our department from 8 and then until six at night - but not, of course, the same person at both ends of the shift). BTW, the days I don't start at 8 I usually walk from Charing Cross to Euston, my route taking me through Covent Garden, past the British Museum, through Russell Square and then through Tavistock Square and Upper Woburn Place. Or, if I get on the underground, I either get on the Piccadilly line which takes me through Russell Square station and, like my alternative Tube route on the Metropolitan Line does, through Kings Cross ( you get the point I'm trying to make?). So there I am at my desk at 8 and working away for an hour or so before sketchy stories start coming through about some sort of "bang" or "power surge" which has been causing havoc on the Tube network. Enquiries start coming into office about what has happened and I get annoyed when colleagues start telling people that there has been "an explosion" on the underground as I usually go for the cautious approach at such times and take the official line. One colleague always distrusts the official line on such occasions and I overhear him saying: "Well, the state is saying there has been a 'bang' but we shouldn't always trust what the state line is." Not long afterwards, I think I should take his approach to these events in future. I'm on the phone quite a bit during this time and don't really pay attention to what is happening around me. But I do take notice when a colleague from another department comes in to ask if we felt the building and windows shake. I don't, but he looks shaken. Mention of bus blowing up on BBC website proves any comments about "power surges" is bollocks. Shortly afterwards, staff are told to go home, except managers and Reidski, who gets certain responsibilities to carry out as I used to be a journalist and our press officers are not in work. Meanwhile, the boy's school phones and informs me that he has infection of insect bite on his arm and the arm is starting to swell. Luckily, his mum is contactable and able to go home with him and take him to the doctors. I then have lunch. I then decide to go home and, as I start my journey, the realities hit home. I turn the corner into Euston Road and prepare to take my usual journey (when walking) home on foot. Let me say at this point that I have seen the reports regarding the bus bomb in Tavistock Square and it hasn't really registered in my tiny stupid brain just how close this is to my office. So, one minute into my journey home, I walk over Euston Road, traffic-less for a change, and try to walk down Upper Woburn Place and my route is blocked and, WHAM, I think these maniacs have hit far too close for comfort. I then have to take a huge detour and witness what seems like thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people - most talking on mobile phones, walking past mostly empty shops, offices and pubs. Everything is mad, everything is mental and I am starting to get really angry about whoever has done this (and also angry about Blair, cos I'm thinking religious nutters have done this as a result of our government bombing other sovereign nations) and I'm also getting emotional about those who are not able to walk home like I'm doing as a result of being smashed to smithereens by the mother-fucking bombs. The most stupid comment I hear comes from twat who tells female fellow rambler: "The people who done this are cowards." And I'm thinking: "No, they might be maniacs. They might be fascists. They might be all sorts of things. But, to either strap a bomb to your body and blow yourself and as many others as possible, or, to leave a bomb on a train or bus and hope to blow up as many people as possible IS DEFINITELY NOT THE WORK OF A COWARD!!!!!"
Anyway, I get home, eventually.
THE DAY AFTER TDTMFBWO
Finish work at lunch time and play pool and drink a couple of beers. I then sleep between the hours of 4 and 8pm, during which time the boy has ordered a very expensive pizza takeaway and paid for it by dipping into my wallet - the wee shitebag!
The boy being out all day on the Saturday, took the opportunity to join 'er indoors for trip to Denmark Street to look at the guitar shops for ideas for the boy's birthday present and went for dinner at Wagamama's for excellent dinner before heading for home.
Sunday morning: washed the internal and external windows, sweated like a bucket. Spent the afternoon cycling around the Greenwich peninsual, Dome etc and then stopped at Greenwich Park to watch some cricket.
Scored loads more goals at five-a-sides, had a great day out at Brighton as part of our work's annual beano and sank a few gin-and-tonics at Pitcher and Piano after a coincidental meeting with two old mates as I walked past the place.
Went to work on the bike and cycled home, where I watched lots of golf.
need to do some painting outside, followed by watching lots more golf on the box.
* Joy Division
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sex & Drugs And Rock And Roll
Well, I will at least get the Rock and Roll tonight, I'm off to see The Dears.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Bad Baby *
This is funny.