Thursday, March 30, 2006

All Apologies *

Well, how was I to know that "comment moderation" meant that I could moderate the comments? Yes, stupid fucker that I am. I've just realised that I done that!

Anyway, hopefully anyone and everyone can put comments on now! And there was me thinking that cos jane was off that no-one gave a fuck about me. Does it show that I'm on my second bottle of wine of the night, by the way? Posted by Picasa


Wait And See *

Wow, emotional and funny shit here five minutes ago.

1) Went to make sure the boy was in bed and not playing PS2 game in the bedroom. Not only is game not being played, but light is out and boy isn't even reading.

2) I say: "Okay sonny? Night night honey, I love you!" The boy says: "Dad, can I tell you something?" I say: "Of course you can mate, you can always tell me anything except that you want to support Rangers!" Boy says: "I think I'm going to get rid of my cuddly toys dad cos I don't cuddle them any more!"

Pause ... I'm nearly crying writing this shit!

Anyway, back to conversation...

... I say: "Well, son, we don't need to get rid of them, let's just put them up in the attic when you definitely decide you don't want them in your room any more, okay?" He says: "Okay, daddy!.

The boy is 13 this summer and methinks the hormones are kicking in - shit, I even gave him a drink of my beer tonight, but I did stress to him that he doesn't do that shit when his mum or me are not around.

Yes, I know, another crappy personal bollocks story from Reidski, but there we go ... Posted by Picasa

* Stiff Little Fingers

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

We Are Heroes *

The new season of five-a-sides starts tomorrow night. Will we be any better than the player pictured above? I'll let you know, but I doubt it.

Followed three days later by a trip up to the north east of England to take part in a full-on proper game against a side which won five trophies last season. We even have a very prominent MSP in our side, but no names will be revealed here. I may come back to this one before I leave on Saturday morning! Posted by Picasa

*King Adora

Whatever Happens Next *

So it's goodbye Nikki Sudden. I remember going to the only decent record shop in Ayrshire - in Kilmarnock, forget the name of it - back in 1979 (I think) to buy my copy of Jane In Occupied Europe. Sold it many years ago, along with half of my collection (and that story is for another day) but I think I'll look out for it on CD.

*Swell Maps

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Number One Song In Heaven *

Taking advantage of having the house to myself this morning by playing music extremely loudly. As I write, NWA are on with Fuck the Police, which followed Straight Outta Compton, and I'm thinking: "Are there two better songs ever written?" Right, I know that when I think for a moment that the answer is obviously "Yes", but, right at this precise moment, the answer is "No!" Quality, pure fucking quality! Well, come on, a band which comprises Dr Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Mc Ren - that's beyond class, isn't it?

Anyway, before that, I looked through my vinyl and decided to give the soundtrack to Diva a listen to, which includes a most amazing aria from La Wally by Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez. Classic film, and a classic soundtrack. But what strikes me when I take it out of its cover is how thick the plastic is on this disc. Does anyone else have this on vinyl and do you notice this too? Just thought I'd ask!

Saw this great description of the film on some web site which goes by the name of Heartless Bitchfest on film, or something like that:

This is an excellent film portrayal of Delacorta's slim novel, now become a cult classic. The male characters are great -- worthy of honorary Heartless Bitch membership, right down to the extras. Check out the strong female characterisation, which is everywhere. The film opens with Luna, refugee, survivor, and a thief with a heart of gold. A modern day Robin Hood who appears to steal for sport -- useless, frivolous items from people too rich even to notice--stuff that she immediately gives away. Be inspired by the gorgeous black opera singer Wilhelmina Wiggins Fernandez, whose character eschews untold wealth to protect her artistic integrity, chooses to sleep with the skinny postman (when she could have anyone), and is only ever-so-slightly vulnerable at the end, which can be explained away in terms of artistic temperament. Her rendition of the "avalanche" aria from La Wally is the film's recurring musical theme, and you will NEVER forget it. Add a helping of Tennison-like gritty female cop, a dollop of whistle-blowing former moll (who dies for her bravery) and you have the perfect recipe for a Heartless Bitchfest sans pareil. Magnificent.

* Sparks

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Leaving On A Jet Plane *

If you read Jane's stuff, you will know she is off to Dubrovnik tomorrow morning. Yes, I know, how selfish can you be? And last night she simply laughed in my very stern-looking face every time I told her she wasn't allowed to go. What has happened to traditional male-dominated relationships these days, eh?

Talking of last night, we did spend a rather lovely evening together, but, then again, every evening we spend together is rather lovely. The only downside being? Leaving her, of course!

But I won't see her again until next Friday - boo hoo hoo hoo hoo!

* Take your pick from the Corrs (the bloke's the nicest looking one in that band, don't you think?), John Denver (it's a pass-the-sick-bag site - wait, do you think that's what he said just before ... err, stop it, that's not funny - ed), Chantal Kreviazuk (who she?) or Peter, Paul & Mary (very nice).

Still Don't Give A Fuck *

Are we supposed to be concerned or something about this?

* Eminem

Kill The Assholes *

San Francisco Assembleyman Mark Leno says of this lot, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco." I don't agree with the latter point, as I would hope the good people of that fine city would dish out some people's justice to these nutters!


Friday, March 24, 2006

I Drink *

This is Jane and Reidski's next weekend away destination.

* Mary Gauthier

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tales From The Riverbank *

Okay, I could fill in the last week by telling everyone once again that I had yet another brilliant night out with Jane, that we went to some nice pubs, had a lovely pizza and had a stupendous snog here, but I'm sure you don't want to hear all that stuff.

No, cos I know that what you really want to hear about is how much of a wee, lazy Roger Hunt the boy is. Got a message at work from his mum that he was in tears on Monday morning as a result of not wanting to go to school. Right, I'm a hypocrite when it comes to forcing him to go to school, having missed school (just about) completely from the age of 14 myself for one reason or another. "He says he hates going to classes, he thinks the teachers are all picking on him and he just didn't want to go," this e-mail says. It did go on to say that he did eventually leave for school.

Oh, and what a fucking hardship his week has been!
Okay, a day in classes on Monday, fair dues to the wee man, he did actually have to do some learning that day. As for the rest of the week?

Tuesday was a day a a training course as part of his student support mentor stuff - he listens to his peers if and when they wish to talk to him about any problems they have, him intervening is playground disputes, etc,. So he has a day at a training course getting told he is a little gem for helping others and being encouraged to continue in this role and being shown and taught how to improve in this role.

Wednesday, fuck, he has to attend classes.

Thursday, it's a half-day visit, as part of the new Labour bollocks gifted and talented scheme, he goes to the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich - lucky wee shite!

And, Friday, it's a visit to the Globe Theatre with his drama class.

Now, have I got this wrong, or is that the easiest week imaginable at school?

* The Jam

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let's Go To The Pictures *

As I commented elsewhere, the closing 10 minutes or so of the five-a-side football on Tuesday saw me flat out, gasping for breath, hardly able to do much more running, so I resorted to kicking and barging my way into the opposition players. At this stage, I'm thinking that I'm knackered as a result of fellow players being rubbish and giving me no back up whatsover. I'm playing up front and, while the ball from keeper finds me just about every time, no-one is following up to accept the ball from me so this means I'm doing all the work in taking on the oppisition defence on my own and banging the shots in time after time after time. I score our only goal - for the second game in a row - but, in a 6-1 defeat and a ratio of shots to goals of around 20:1 it's pretty pish from me, even if ill. So, anyway, I'm not well after the game and go straight to bed and get a lot worse as the night wears on. But up I get in the morning cos I have a date with Jane in the evening and there is no fucking way in hell I'm going to miss that just cos I have a bit of a runny nose. So I struggle through work and get on the train and get off the train and get what I've been missing and desperate to receive for a week - a kiss and a hug from my perfect friend.

Off to the cinema we go to see the utterly stupendous The Proposition. Lisa and Kev have already given us a run-down of this one, but only to say that it is an amazing work of film, great acting, superb direction, brilliant script from Nick Cave, beautifully evocative score, and some stupendous cinematography.

The night is rounded off with a glass of wine at what is becoming my favourite bar and then Jane drops me off at the station. I should say at this point that I'm thinking I'm spoiling her evening somewhat by my constant coughing - but, Jane being the perfectly nice person that she is, assures me that everything is fine!

As soon as I board the train, I'm missing her. Unfortunately, my mind is soon unable to have any thoughts about anything other than bad contemporary r 'n' b music - you know, the kind that has no resemblance to proper rhythm and blues but gets that description nevertheless - as the guy sitting behind me is listening to it on his phone. Fucking wanker! At least I get the chance to have a bit of a kip when he departs at Watford.

Eventually get home and into bed and the inevitable shakes and sweating start again. I have every intention of going to work in the morning, but, as dawn arrives, I decide that, as I can hardly talk and that every swallow feels like I'm drinking broken glass and that I'm sweating like I have just run a marathon, I'm not going to work after all. This is about only the second day off with illness I've had in my three and a half years in the job but I'm still feeling bit bad that I don't go in, but rather that than spreading my germs throughout the office, eh?

So I've seen some of the Commonwealth Games (with Scotland briefly heading the medals table after their success in the swimming pool) and then some cricket.

As the day has worn on, I've felt better and better. In fact, so good do I now feel that I've just put some music on - the amazing late great Kevin Coyne (Room Full of Fools). Whether I go to work tomorrow or not is, of course, another matter ...

* Wreckless Eric

Talkin' Hard Luck Blues *

No, I'm not laughing cos there is absolutely nothing funny about it, you sick fuck!

* Woody Guthrie

Monday, March 13, 2006

All Possibilities *

Eh, don't know what to do. I'm pathetic. Needed boy's mum to be in tonight to help. Erm, still don't know what to do.

The thing is, the boy declared just as I tucked him into bed tonight that he is "so definitely" looking at this blog tomorrow. Right, so my reaction should have been to sit him down and explain the kind of things I write about. But did I? No, i simply tucked him into bed and said "goodnight sonny - love you!" as I do most evenings. In other words, I copped right out of deep and meaningful father/son talk.

Right, it's not as if I have anything to hide from him. He's perfectly aware that mum and dad are not exactly a proper couple - in fact, not a couple at all - but that we remain good friends. He has also been teasing me recently about the time I spend writing texts, e-mails and making personal phone calls out of his ear shot. On the latter, he even caught me at it the other night there when picking up the phone on another extension and hearing me speak to a woman on the other end.

But the moment hasn't quite been right to tell him what I've been up to recently. Oh well, tomorrow night could be interesting. And I'm out playing football so his mum will have to deal with it - so how much of a tosser does that make me??

On another subject, hints were made elsewhere that my lack of posts over the last few days suggested that I may not have had a great time in York last week with my fantastic and fabby new friend. To set the record straight, it was among the most perfect two days I have ever spent in my entire life. Things couldn't be any better on that front! Roll on Wednesday night!

But back to my football, I didn't get round to posting about our last game - a whopping and embarrassing 10-1 defeat to a team of solicitors, although yours truly scored our only goal - a fucking beauty it was too. Tomorrow night, we take on a team of journalists and I expect to score a barrel-load. I'll keep you posted - unless the boy has given me a bad kicking in the meantime.

* Badly Drawn Boy

You'll Never Walk Alone

It's maybe a bit pathetic to cry about someone you have never met who has died. But, as Jock Stein said, he was "better than Stanley Matthews." Jinky, we shall never forget you ...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Mr Songbird *

An alternative Desert Island Discs selection:

1. Range Life by Pavement
2. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye by Soft Cell
3. Another Girl, Another Planet by The Only Ones
4. Reel Around the Fountain by The Smiths
5. Needless to Say by Loudon Wainwright III
6. Queen of Hearts by Dave Edmunds
7. Everyone Thinks He Looks Daft by The Wedding Present
8. Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants.

Why have I chosen them? Cos I wanted to and cos every one is perfect!

* The Kinks

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Song Of Joy *

I am one of those who have been meme'd by lisa to do a desert island disk list of eight songs, so I can do no more than agree to her request. The following are in no particular order.

You’ll Never Walk Alone – Shirley Jones
Jones sang this very beautifully in the beautiful beautiful Rogers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. It is a superb film, with the story surrounding the character played by Gordon Macrae, who is given a chance to return from the dead in order to rectify some of the mistakes he made in his life, one of which is to get his daughter to go on the straight and narrow and not to follow her father’s errors. Jones plays the mother of the child and, obviously, widow of Bigolow. You’ll Never Walk Alone is the final song in the film, sung by Jones to her daughter, and, by the time it is finished, everyone watching is in floods of tears.
Now, of course, there is another reason why I would choose this song. Yes, I know that Liverpool supporters adopted it as their own following the release of the Gerry and the Pacemakers’ version in the early ‘60s, but we Celtic fans also know it as one of ours. There is nothing quite like being in among 60,000 people singing the same song and two occasions stand out for me when thinking about it – and for very different reasons.
The first was just over 20 years ago three days after our former manager Jock Stein died at the end of Scotland’s victory over Wales to get our country into the World Cup play-offs (in which we eventually overcame Australia to make our way to Mexico). The first Celtic game following his death was a home match against Aberdeen at which I stood on the famous terracing known as the Jungle. Following the minute’s silence for the big man, we gave an impeccable rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was filled with passion and emotion, at the end of which I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many working-class males in the same place wipe tears from their faces. To know how much big Jock meant to Celtic fans, was to experience that occasion.
Episode two came when Celtic were in Seville to play Porto in the UEFA Cup final in 2003. The day itself got off to a strange start when the bloke who had made the travel arrangements decided at the last minute – and this was the last minute as the doors of the plane had only been reopened to allow an engineer on to screw a door closed – that maybe he should be at hospital with his partner who was in labour at the time rather than go to the game.
Onto the song and, after Celtic took the field, we belted it out. For me, it was a unique moment in a unique three days in Seville. None of us who were there could really fully describe what it was all about. This might sound stupid, but, while spending the following Saturday night in Madrid where I came across a bunch of fellow Celtic fans – a priest from Florida, a young unemployed bloke from Ayrshire, a strip club manager from Toronto and an actor from Glasgow – we all decided that we were glad that Celtic got beat because we wouldn’t have been able to handle the emotions of a victory. Yes, I know it sounds stupid now, but it made sense to us then.

Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols
Very simply, this song changed my life – even though I didn’t know at the time it was released. Getting into punk music – after not really being into music of any kind previously – in 1978 (yes, I know I was a latecomer!) gave me a direction in life. I was heading into secondary school, which were to become the worst days of my life, but I had music and one or two mates to keep me going. Not to sound morbid about it, but, looking back, if I didn’t have the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Jam, 999, the Vibrators, Siouxsie, X-Ray Spex, etc, I may have topped myself! Anarchy In The UK started it all for me and remains the most important – rather than my favourite – song in my life. It will be played at my funeral!

White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
There are a few reasons why this one is in here.
One, it is a damned fine song, a classic in fact. However, the first time I ever heard it was as a brilliant cover version by The Damned.
Two, it was the only cover version played by what jim describes as the one-gig wonders In Prague, with jim on guitar and vocals and yours truly on bass. Incidentally, the band also featured the original Trashcan Sinatras drummer, but that’s not really important. The band also featured, as guest in the rehearsal studio on occasions, a late friend of ours. So I can think of this song and think of jim and think of the times when Ian would pop in and just pick up the guitar and pick up anything we were playing and improvise like the utterly brilliant guitarist he was. I still have an old acoustic guitar of his which he gave me when he was moving house and I will be able to play it some time, I promise.
On a happier note, I was recently out with Jane and took her to a fabulous bar in the West End which has an equally fabulous juke box. First, she sings along to the Members’ Sound of the Suburbs and I’m thinking: “Can I love this woman any more than I already do?” Up I go to put some sounds on and decide to put White Rabbit on. I haven’t told her what I picked, but, as soon as that bass line starts, she exclaims how much she loves this song. And I love her.

Obscurity Knocks - Trashcan Sinatras
I remember one Friday morning back in 1989 and rising out of bed after the alarm had just gone off, song playing on the radio kind of sounded familiar, or, more precisely, singer's voice sounded helluva familiar. Thought it a very very good song also, it must be said. "That sounds like Frank Reader!" I exclaim. "Whose Frank Reader?" 'er indoors asks. "Guy I was at school with and who is in this band with a guy I used to be mates with in Irvine and who I used to work with." DJ didn't say who the band were or what the song was called when it had finished. Didn't think much of it until two days later and same radio station - with, if I remember correctly, Chris Evans as DJ - playing same song and declaring it to be "fantastic" and saying that it was the Trashcan Sinatras. I am totally excited that my old friends are on the radio and I am totally excited that their first single is absolutely stunning, with some of the wittiest lyrics ever heard. Unfortunately, they may have been singing about their own future, but knowing the lads, they probably couldn't give a fuck - they weren't in it for the fame, they are in it cos they love playing music. This, therefore, is the song which started it for them and it is a wee beauty. Oh, and if anyone mentions the Pete Wylie incident at one of their gigs, you die!

God Only Knows – Beach Boys
Paul Macartney has described this as the perfect pop song – I can only agree. There are other songs which can compete for that accolade – namely, Oukasts’s Hey Ya or any one of Abba’s brilliant catalogue (I think I would plump for Dancing Queen, however), so why go for this gem? Well, because it is a gem. Also, while I always liked the Beach Boys, I didn’t respect the genius of Wilson until very late. In fact, I went along to the Royal Festival Hall when he was on his world tour that saw him perform Pet Sounds in its entirety and in its original order about five years ago. A mixture of the crowd’s reaction, their applause, their noise, their shouts to him when he took the stage, combined with the man himself, made me think I was in the same room as a musical genius. From that very moment, I realised how important Wilson was to music and how I had to listen to songs such as God Only Knows for the rest of my life.

Stay Free – The Clash
Maybe weird that I’ll choose a non-Strummer track for this list as I regard him as one of the great writers ever. But this song gets the old goosebumps going every time. It’s a beautiful story about friendship and solidarity and about sticking with your mates through thick and thin.

Free Nelson Mandela – Special AKA
In 1988, I was one of a select few (25, in fact,) chosen to walk from Glasgow to London to mark the 25 years since Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his attempts at crushing the fascist apartheid state and this song was our soundtrack. Also on the march was ‘er indoors and she got to be the one addressing 250,000 demonstrators at Hyde Park at the end of the five-weeks. We had a good few years together – and a few bad ones – we produced a brilliant child and we are still very good friends. Jerry Dammers, who wrote the song, was, I am told, one of the supporters in the Anti-apartheid Movement who were pressing for such a march, so thanks to him and thanks to his song, etc etc. Bye the way, I never did make the return journey back to Scotland.

White Collar Boy – Belle and Sebastian
I thought I’d choose one contemporary song and I can think of no better choice than this. Well, it’s from the excellent and perfect The Life Pursuit, which jane gave me as a present and, if I’m going to be on some desert island on my own, then I would want to hear something which reminds me of her.

I sat down to start this not really knowing what I was going to pick or why I was going to pick them - other than two or three that is. Now that I look at what I have written, I think it's a strange choice but, at the precise moment of writing, these are the eight I would choose. Like others who have carried out this little project, I too would expect that if I did this tomorrow, or , in fact, tonight, or, in fact, in half and hour, the choices would be different.

Where is The Kinks, Velvet Underground, Christy Moore, Love, Dead Kennedy's, Rage Against The Machine, Steve Earle, Public Enemy, Jay-Z, the Delgados, Camera Obscura, Skids, Sonic Youth, Stone Roses, The Smiths, Heaven 17, Elvis, Beatles, Dylan, Blondie, Woody Guthrie, Richmond Fontaine, Undertones, Prefab Sprout, Thin Lizzy, Beastie Boys, the Damned, Pavement, Babyshambles (ha ha ha)?? Well, as I say, if I do this again tomorrow, the list will be totally different.

*Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Corporate Slut *

How dare anyone suggest that this is anything but a genuine blog from a rather lonely and pathetic US exile doing some undercover work. He's done it again, another classic! But please stop following me and my fantastic and fabby new friend around, Mac!

* those art-shocker-rockers Selfish Cunt (who else for the CIA's top operative in Ireland) - bye the way, have I ever told the story about how I was at some art show at the Rhythm Factory in Whitechapel (the link is the Selfish Cunt play here now and again) about two years ago when someone said that "Pete Doherty's new band" Babyshambles were playing in the back room. Sneaked in and, well ..... I was so pissed (well, there was free booze all night) that cannot remember anything about it after that. Watched the band's full set - that I do know - but don't remember anything, and I mean anything, about the music. Thank goodness, cos they really are crap. Why am I mentioning this? Oh, that would be because I am a terrible and shameless name dropper. Take last night for instance when I happened to drop into my conversation with Jane how I once interviewed Rio Ferdinand .........

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sad Lyrics *

"I used to keep in my mind that Iraq will come back one day. Now the Iraq I wish to have cannot come back. There is no core left to rebuild."SHIROUQ ABAYACHI, a resident of Baghdad.

What an incredibly sad thing to read - spotted on the New York Times website today!

* Pearl Jam