Wednesday

gig update

cult of luna:
dry, and alone, and feeling exhausted, ii went to the cult of luna show. the lights went down and a beautiful taped piano version of 'marching to the heart beats' came on, and people didn't shut up. then, when they walked onto stage, instead of going straight into 'finland' like you expected, they played it experimental and went with the old set closer 'waiting for you' but without anymore drums than tambourine and light synthetics. the guitarists played it totally straight - but there was no huge big banging. instead of the singer running out for the last 15 seconds (of 8 minutes), we were left with the guitarist's, often off-mic, efforts. ii can understand why people would talk through the (lengthy) opening music, but when they're on stage, please, just shut up and let's all enjoy the band. when the singer did come on, he couldn't quite get the force of the recordings and couldn't hold a note. but the musicianship - if a little close to the album versions largely, with some great variations in tempo and volume (the intro drum roll on 'echoes' is now monumental) - was excellent. a shame at the vocals generally let it down, especially on 'crossing over', which is actually possibly the most beautiful moment in metal ever.

bill bailey and the bbc concert orchestra:
often something of a mel brookes-style slant to this evening; the vastly expensive crap joke, of which part of the humour is 'i can't beliieve you made all that effort for that cheap joke', which of course just makes it funnier (bad e.g. 'what's the matter colonel sanders? chicken?'). but a great way to refresh some now-very-old tunes, and a great opportunity to see someone playing the theremin really well.


girls girls girls:


yes, girls girls girls, but more importantly, me giving luke the masters for my last five releases and saying 'now go make me some money'. i could talk much more (as always) about the awful supporting wench then the very acceptable girls, whose new songs definitely impress in an unexpected way; but what, no 'south america', 'vepp's email' or 'morning sickness'? how can you flog a cd and not play any of the songs on it? can't really comment further, as i'm not an impartial observer.

euros childs:
fantastic. well i'd imagine so; it was sold out. tommy and i walked from piccadilly to the mall, then turned right instead of left, all the way down to the victoria monument, then back up to find it exactly where we'd joined the road. walking up to the door, i noticed two figures outside smoking;one was obviously david wrench, the other identifiable as the durmmer and multi-instumentalist in the euros childs band. i was well made up to see david wrench, who looked a lot frailer in real life than in promo shots. having just loaded up on copies of 'new boyfriend' e.p. (it's largely a 'single' thing, maybe not deliberate, but it seemed to work with the lovely marion) so i gave him a copy, and under pressure described myself as 'eclectonica' (which seems to have usurped 'prog-pop' and 'heavy meta-l'as my new favourite description). then we went in and found out it was sold out. we went back outside and hinted that the guys should sneak us in but they wouldn't have it so we walked across town, getting lost in the west end so we could find ourselves again with maps, and ended up in a nice belgian bar ion drury lane. it was a good night. and now i'm late for my bed appointment.
might just add some more face book's first.. where's all the white girls at?

why i joined facebook

in many ways, this is self consciously the stupidest thing i have ever done. it is also art. it is also for stalking.

it curdles my milk to think of joining facebook, a supremely useless website, the virtual equivelent of repeatedly asking everyone 'we're friends aren't we? good. because.. you know... i wasn't sure for a minute there'. i activated my profile at six o'clock. when i got back from the gig at half 11, i had six friends.

this number may have doubled, or more by tomorrow.

myspace was never this intense. 'how do you know this person?' the site begs, with the grace of the front page of a free newspaper, and then forces the information from you with exacting, pigeon-hole effieciency. the website pleads with you that you invest so much time in it, setting up your friend list so that it mirrors your life in the most precise detail. how did you meet? who introduced who? who's the big match-maker? whic groups do i belong to? poke luke! whimper. it's so stressful.
and it goes on and on and on and on and on.

so then i joined the 'anti-facebook' group, only to find a bunch of comments from people saying it wasn't as good as myspace, and a few comments from people saying that i was stupid for joing facebook then joining anti-facebook. so i left.

still, it doesn't have the class of the guy whose sole mission in life was to have more myspace friends than tom. oh no, i'm making reference to myspace folklore...

Sunday

pile of cds

while i've been waiting for my new hard drive to come through (pending investigation about noise levels) i have managed to acquire the following cds, which i have not yet managed to rip:

various artists of switchflicker records: selaed with a loving flick
i'm listening to this for the second time and it's great. very laid back - not what i was expecting from a label i only know through valerie and chloe poems. but great, soft jazz and mature, reverbacious music.

soundgarden: superunknown
it was a fiver in fop and now i own it and it's still great.

uncut: best of 2006 (who knew that 2006 was such a chilled out year?)

syd barrett: opel
only listened to it once - scratchy demoes and outakes. i may have heard it before when i worked in the offy, and realised that nothing is more psychaedliec than a man singing out of time and out of tune with a guitar that he's playing that's also out of time.

jethro tull: passion play
i got this and the above barret album for my birthday. this was a complete surprise - a zappa-inflected (reminiscant of cardiacs) proggy concept work with some astoundingly imaginative instrumental sections. really inspirational.

ooberman:carried away
actually quite a good record.. i didn't think i still liked pop. there's a new ooberon album out this week too.. spin off band. i'll have to investigate it, if not own it straight away

various artists of cherryade: a very cherry christmas one and two
bought for bobby mcgees tracks and general investigative purchase. bbc's DIY label of the year 2006!
anti-war protest double cd
bartok/albern quartet: string quartets 1-6
this is weird as fuck. bought because i heard some on the radio and thought it sounded like dillinger excape plan, harmonically and rthymically.

bach/graeme gould: goldberg variations, 1955 recording
distilled genius. i bought the recording he made thirty years later for iona;s birthday, and that was great, and when i saw this i had to get it.. perfection.

neutral milk hotel: in the aeroplane over the sea'
didn't strike me on listening as it first did hearing it at ian's. but then i'd just been listening to the goldberg variations and thinking 'oh god i've wasted my life'

i've also bought bohm's 'wholeness and the implicate order' and 'opening skinner's box'. my brain will soon be complete, but also incompatible with anyone elses.

i want to write proper reviews on this blog, reviews of every product i consume, every gig i attend and everyday i live. with percentage scores where appropriate. but there's no time. what's above is just a few words cobbled together, not the epics i start in my head while i'm on the bus without a book or walkman.

last week i found myself in a bad way, the cycle of caffiene escalating. i think i'm quite sensitive to it; a couple of cups of tea day and i'm over the table. how much i enjoy work is directly related to the amount of sugar and caffiene i consume. which sucks the life out of my evenings and leaves me slumped in front of whatever's on in the lounge, be it dinner computer games or star trek.
weekends have been trying and i've spent the last few sundays entirely indoors, despite the same being said for fridays. i suppose i need a couple of days off, which i'm now entitled to, but will probably save up to cash in at the end of this contract on the 16th, when i'll go mental and try and visit everyone.

lots of love.

Wednesday

i am the nutter on the bus, parts two and three

people just don't understand. well, in one case they did, and in the other they didn't.

leaving ed's, perhaps drunker than i'd realised and planned on saturday night, i got on the tube at finsbury park, plugged into my walkman and opned up the iain m. banks book ed had lent me. oh ok, and i dropped out. i couldn't read properly. there was a guy next to me with an ipod on, and i couldn't resist. i did what i've wwanted to do ever since i moved to london - i asked if whe wanted to swap headphones.

he was very happy to. i wasn't sure if i meant to swap mp3 players - i don't know about putting a stranger's headphones in my ears, it's a bit 'unprotected'. but he was happy to and i couldn't be bothered to do anything about it. he was listening to alice in chains, which i had never heard before but they have quite interesting vocal layers. i had mone on random - he was treated to ( i checked afterwards) mugison, audioweb, zabrinski and lester young. i only told him the name lester young as it was the one that was playing when he got off. so nothing to unfriendly came up. he enjoyed it and so did i. next to try it sober, and on a sufficeintly hip-looking girl wh's obviously cool but not one that i'm blatantly attracted to (because that would just be a chat up line, and this is such sa better scheme than that). of course, the ultimate aim is to be cool enough to use it on a girl i am actually attracted to without it being a chat up line but actually it is and i know it but actually it's not, honestly.

so then i was waiting for a bus last night, sat next to an older fella. he starts talking about the buses that go from here... you have to wakl to this stop and it's aslightly further but sometimes it's worth it because of the 607 express and that. then he says soemthing odd about all these people researching things when they should be researching the things that are really going to save them, and that's their fate (he might hvae said 'faith', it's impossibleto tell with his accent). we had a discussion on the way home - he was going on about the whole allah thing. you know - no democracy, this is allah's world. he didn't say anything that would actually convince me he was right, it was all just scare mongering and reinforcement - ooh, i'm going to hell if i don't believe in god. yes, but why should i? i a=would ask him. i can live my life fine withou god, i told him - it's god who needs you to believe in him. a cruel god, a miserable god, the usual stuff i pull out on peolpe. except that he was actually agreeing with me, yes, god is cruel. he tried to worry me with the fall of man, and i asked him how the hell did satan get into 'paradise' (he said it was satan, not me, which it is in the quaran). and i asked him how to decide between a real prophet and a false one - and he replied that god knows. well that's all very well, i said, but how do we we tell the difference between what god tells moses and what god tells the yorkshire ripper?

all this with a book about middle eastern mythology in my hand. i just hadn't got around to the islam section yet. not that i'd have had him anymore than he had me because he wasn't listening to me and his arguments waere pathetic - he tried to convince me that because the quaran drew on older material, that showed it was divinely inspired, he actually said that. but hat least he was old so i didn't think he'd actually attack me or anything, although he was very impaasioned..

all this time we were standing at the front, and when he got off i didn't notice the bus driver telling me to move down. then someone piped up after he got up the bus - picked me up onthe whole 'cruel god' thing. 'et the millionare driving around in his sports car doesn't think it's such a bad world, eh?' he said. his head lolled around in a wierd way. i agreed with him and tried to develop the point, but it seemed to come out like i was disagreeing with him.. went on like that for a bit until we were both very confused.

then i went home and played oblivion for four hours and wondered where the time had gone.

Monday

ill-informed rubbish

i think gospel music is a peculiar tradgedy. let's face it, at least the misguided missionaries gave them some hope, even if it was a false and perverse one. to take anything away from the slave traders and think it positive is awful, but i know there's only so many times a person can be punched in the head before they accept what they're being told. if blair has apologised for the slave trade (alawys one to back a safe horse, isn't he? oh wait, except iraq. and all the times he was wrong about everything), he should also abolish the church of england.


that some of their descnedants would cry, 'this christianity lark is shit! I'm converting to islam' is just a terrible punchline to the whole thing. it's not the practice or the god you're worshipping that's the problem, it's the fact that it's a religion. to misquote john gray, people need rescuing from salvation.

Sunday

oh what a weekend

so i went to work on thursday, the day it snowed, and i was fine. and then i began to feel like crap and i wanted to go home. but being the kind of self-critical person that i am, i wasn't sure if it was just a ploy to go home; sasfter all, there's not much incentive to stay at work when it's boring and the food's terrible. and since i wasn't leaking any disgusting fluids, i couldn't be sure i was actually ill. but eventually i gave in and said i didn't feel great to my colleague, who agreed that i didn't look too good (well, thanks very much) and came back. i was reading in bed at some point, listening to my folk collection on random, when teh power went off.i don't remember the day too well; i've spent so much timein bed, slck jawed, eyes closed or covered, utterly ignorant of the passage of time, that it's all melted into one long sunday morning, but shit. anyway, i felt worse as time went on and there was no power, plus no water orheat. i didn't mind the heat because i was in bed with all my clothes on. dan brought me some candles in (this is reflected on his blog), got me some wierd lemsip shots (loose mouthfuls of paracetemol, vitamin c and sherbert, which got progressively harder to take), and juice. i must have slept that night but it's all a huzz.

next day i thought i was a bit better. i've never felt that bad, i've just been comlpetely devoid of energy, stripped of consciousness, and slightly achey. so when the water came back on - signalled by it cascading into our hall and box room from the flat upstairs, who'd left a tap on, what with the taps being dry and all, i did what i had to do, and incompetantly set up pans and cloths. i tried to move things out of the box room but there was just too much stuff. the pans were filling up in about five minutes, and there was no way i was checking them often enough to even realise how fast they were refilling. until right at the end. so they were pretty ineffective. the whole expereince was pretty stressfull and i barely slept a wink all night - having uncontrollable feverish thoughts about boring random shite that wasn't quite dreaming because i wasn't asleep but i still not in control. in the morning i thought it my second worst night's sleep ever, but i'm sure i've used that phrase before so maybe it wasn't.

the next day, power and water went off and on again at some point. i spent the whole day in bed, expect for the making of breakfast. this weekend was meant to have been awesome - i had a birthday party, house warming, a band practice - the first - and a recording session to attend. and i blew it all away on a rubbish illness.don't know about tomorrow - even if i'm well, i don't want to go back to work, having yet had no real respite.

but on a different note, i was wondering in the bath last night if i will ever be obsessed with a band again, like i was with gorky's or simian. i mean, i bought everything gorky's ever released, with the exception of demo tapes and the gewn ni gorfen 7", which was limited to 1000 copies. i bought their entire e.p. back catalogue, and then bought the e.p.s collection because , well by that point, it was just handy to have them on one cd, and it was cheap in vinyl exchange. but then everything's cheap in vinyl exchange, and they've probably got whatever it is you want (but only a promo copy). i suppose it's a combination of my obsessionism waning, and my lack of a quarry. i'll still buy everything that's anything to do with gorky's, so maybe it's not over. i nearly went down the same route with simian when they split, but i lost track of simian mobile disco over various record labels. i'll have to buy the new artic lorries album when it comes out though, as it's produced by simon lord (not the drummer out of simian, oddly, who seemed to have more of a production role in both simian and garden).

but it's quite easy to keep up with many bands these days - for instance, releasing e.p.s is pretty rare in metal circles - buying up ephel duath and dillinger escape plan back catalogues was easy enough. i suppose i need to re-work the magic of the internet to my advantage, and not get lost in the open sea of talent. in fact it's not that - when surfing myspace it's difficult to find anyone who makes me wake up with quality. it's much easier to find a band you like at a show, check out their actual website, thne look at the bands they link to with ACTUAL WEBSITES. music sounded better before myspace.

Friday

email to ed

i'll see. i'm not well today - i actually thought that sentance before i'd realised i'd written it, that's how ill - sorry, i mean i wrote that sentance before i'd realise d i'd thought it. argh.i 'm gonna make the practice tomorrow, i'll have to, but i don't know if i'll be able to do much more. erk. the water's pouring through the cieling in the hall too, so i'm not getting much rest. doing my head in. sorry i missed your call. i got very confused with the phones, it's not until you actually have to confront someone that you realise how little your mind is working. i rang you back, thinking you were at home, and then there were two calls open on my phone, and i was speaking to this girl who said 'it's elvis', and i wasn't quite sure what had happened but i assumed it was elvis from valerie althugh she sounded a bit different, so i thought i'd just better play it out and see what she wanted. after a bit of silence, i remembered that elvis was the company you worked for and asked for you, but she didn't know your name, or rather, she didn't know who your name reffered to so i tried to call your mobile but it doesn't work. the other call was my mailbox/

i wish the water would stop.

Monday

mangina

danny gave me what might be described in various ways as a napsack, a stachel, a courier/newspaper bag, or a manbag. danny gives me lots of things and i'm always very grateful. he had already given me a good, large rucksack. too big for day to day use, probably, but perfect for a two-octave midi controller/usb audio interface (which he also gave me). so i went with this, a bag branded by 10tacle, with octopi outlined on the outside, and filled it with things my pockets couldn't hold. both my rough guide to london and my mini a-z, both pocket sized but what with everything else it made sense to keep them in my bag. with, you know, my things. my walkman (also pocket sized) and headphones (that fit a little too snugly round my neck when not in use). a couple of other books, an invisibles trade, lent to me by ed. out on monday at the bobby mcgees gig, i realised i was treating it exactly like a hand bag. picking it up, putting it down, rooting through it for stuff. pockets are great; things don't fall out of them, you can feel the items you need are there. how much stuff do i actually need to take out with me? if i need a bag to carry it all, is it too much?

i remember ex-house mate alex always took his backpack with him wherever he went, even when he had nothing to carry; he might pick up some veg on the market on his way back, or something, being the logic. i remember being criticised by a mancunian in brighton, in the toilets after a gorky's gig (curated by john peel) as a group of bag carrying southeners, having my bag with me for all the things i need for a night out; that was different. it was cold, and a backpack is something you can put your two jumpers and jacket in when you get in the venue. i like my pockets, i can fit most things in them, and even when i carry this fine napsack again, which i will, it will not be as a manbag.

and so ends the tale.

Thursday

I want to be at luke-boo's house, playing network doom, eating chicago town mini-pizzas.



I want to be curled up in bed in a bright spring/winter morning, watching cd:uk with marion.



I want a full-on Hollywood panic attack, writhing on the ground outside my suburban detached house looking like bill neighy, in a dressing gown, while paramedics fit me with an oxygen tank and the camera moves away and upwards, surveying the emotional carnage which is all just a set, you can tell because it's all to clean.



They think I'm stupid here. I accidentally dropped one private folder into another, and couldn't move it back. I went and reported it to the IT guys, and watched poke around a bit to fix it, which I could have done instantly if only I had the permissions. My mouse didn't work – the buttons or anything – and the same man came and cleaned the dust off the track wheel (which wouldn't explain why the buttons hadn't been working, or why sometimes it had a fit), and it was fine.



I *am* stupid here. I can't think. I miss simple things, forget what all this paper is for. I'm terrified of the responsibility of delegating to this other temp finding things for someone else to do. when an error page came up on the internet, I was terrified that those techie guys had noticed my inherent flitting over to see stuff, a low attention span is a habit I've always had. things drift to the bottom of the pile until they're irrelevant, sometimes if you do ignore things for long enough, they go away, like survivors in dead rising.