Wednesday, March 31, 2004BOREDOMS/LIGHTNING BOLT
a fantastic gig last night, for all sorts of reasons. it's gratifying that BOREDOMS can sell out a venue the size of the Scala, and even more gratifying that the audience wasn't entirely made up of Wire readers. one of the most wonderfully diverse - and really appreciative - crowds i've seen for ages. which is no more than Boredoms deserved. after a brilliant showbiz start, with yer main man creating walls of feedback by using what looked like mic-ed up snow domes (?), they settled in a gorgeous three drummers/one man tinkering with analogue gear groove. there's something so intense about watching multiple drummers at work (see also early Tortoise) and just hitting their gear SO damn hard.....
the less said about BLACK DICE the better - 3 nerds tinkering with bits of kit and some guitar, which intermittently found itself in an interesting or even lovely place, but only in the same way a confused American tourist could go looking for the Astoria and find themselves in Union Chapel instead.
but biggest props go to Lightning Bolt.
two totally driven maniacs, just bass and drums (and a mic somehow worn attached to the drummer's face underneath his ridiculous mask/cowl affair) and what Julian Cope would probably consider a 'righteous frenzy'. the bassist could conjure up some amazing stuff with 4 strings and a myriad of pedals, the drummer was among the best i've ever seen. i guess they'd qualify as 'skronk' or something, but whatever the fuck, it was amazing.
they started off on the floor of the Scala next to the stage, which had security scratching their heads... there were no crash barriers and a lot of kids flinging themselves about, and if i was a 19 year old anarchist i could probably draw some tenuous conclusion about this showing how the people can look after themselves, right?
even more spectacularly, at the end of the set the drummer pushed everyone to one side, and tugged a mat that his kit was on into the very middle of the floor, slap bang in the middle of the crowd, and played the last number there, completely surrounded by whooping, grinning and wonderfully confused abandon.
an excellent, excellent night and some consolation for me having missed All Tomorrow's Parties... Lightning Bolt are playing the ICA on Friday (probably in the toilets or in the bookshop or wherever takes their fancy) and i can't recommend it strongly enough....
posted by dubversion at 8:49 pm
Monday, March 29, 2004DJ BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN
of course, it's not all pre-7"s and dubwise excursions round here, you know.. i have this alter ego, DJ Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain, and i was playing out last night (at the Windmill in Brixton as ever, playing in support of the fantastic cajun/country/gospel outfit The Rosinators )
so as far as i recall, the sparse crowd got this:
Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty
Bob Wills - Milk Cow Blues
The Rockingbirds - Searching
Smog - I Was A Stranger
The Word - I'll Fly Away
Freakwater - Crazy Man
Bobbie Gentry - Mississippi Delta
Uncle Tupelo - Screen Door
Jim Ford - Harlan County
Son House - John The Revelator
Wanda Jackson - Tunnel Of Love
The Waco Brothers - The Harder They Come
Jon Wayne - Texas Funerals
The Arlenes - Lonely Won't Leave Me Alone
Flying Burrito Brothers - Hot Burrito #1
Violent Femmes - Add It Up
Rockingbirds w/ Leslie Silverfish - Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad
and then after the bands, i hit them with some stomping Northern Soul and Stax classics, to send them home grinning...
posted by dubversion at 11:10 pm
the more eagle eyed will have noticed somewhere down below a rash suggestion that i might 'fess up to some of my dreadful crimes against good taste, and explain what went wrong.
i gave it a lot of thought and decided i was going to keep such horrors to myself. it would be boring, i shouldn't have to justify myself to you lot.
and anyway, sooner or later things would have come round to Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine. and some things just can't be defended.
so forget i mentioned it, ok?
damn fucking shame about Peter Ustinov, a gent, a raconteur and a decent man. we're running out of the old guard and what are we left with?
ben fucking stiller.
posted by dubversion at 10:04 pm
Saturday, March 27, 2004LIKE HAVING A RED HOT NEEDLE FULL OF BLACK INK DRAGGED ACROSS YOUR SKIN
took a while to get round to it, but i'm very pleased.....
a Vince Ray/Coop-style Easter Island statue on my right arm next..
posted by dubversion at 2:41 pm
Friday, March 26, 2004JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
posted by dubversion at 4:32 pm
picked up from paul meme's site:
Please tell ten friends The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of >donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman .
It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle). This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.
the breast cancer site
>AGAIN, PLEASE TELL 10 FRIENDS TO TELL 10 TODAY
so stop hitting penguins or watching The Exorcist being acted out by bunny rabbits and go click...
posted by dubversion at 9:58 am
in the blue corner, a National Heritage apparatchik talking about the Thames Gateway, rich in history and archaelogy to be explored before building sink estates.
in the red corner, Iain Sinclair who feels the Thames Gateway is a terrible term and fears the eradication of the 'poetic edgelands', that gap into which the denizens of London can pour their psychic trauma. A shadowland of asylums and Dracula....
it was never going to work..
posted by dubversion at 9:01 am
doesn't it ever disgust you that your sense of disappointment, your feeling of frustration, of a great big global opportunity that's been missed, is cast aside as naivete. or idealism. or pipe dreams?
doesn't that just make you puke your fucking ring?
posted by dubversion at 12:46 am
i'm not offering coherence, i'm offering determination.
"the billard player song" by shellac.
scour the edges of your brain pan and the far reaches of your eclecticism and you will be found wanting.
EVERYbody else can pack up and go home. it's all over. the calcuations have been made and you've, sadly, been found wanting.
you're not up to it. move along.
i'm not often lost for words. but all your best efforts are left panting for breath, are left futilely puffing out their chest, in the face of the Billiard Player Song.
it's guitar bass and drums but i don't buy your kneejerk reaction of what that can do. it can still flay your skin from your bones.
like this just did.
there was a man there tonight, a man called ian, who will only go and see two bands: whitehouse and shellac.
i hate whitehouse.
posted by dubversion at 12:31 am
Wednesday, March 24, 2004OH DEAR
posted by dubversion at 1:46 pm
posted by dubversion at 2:54 am
it's getting near the time to come clean.
none of us arrived here fully formed.
james lavelle talks about breaking, back in High Wycombe, back in the day. but it's just not true, is it?
the fallacy of the dance scene year zero. i'm not buying it.
any day now, i'm going to come to terms with all this shit. and i hope you do too..
posted by dubversion at 1:26 am
Monday, March 22, 2004Nick Crowe was the drummer for the rock band Gay Dad
one of the most entertaining things i've read for a while
after feeling your bile rise reading the article, stick with it for the comments.
posted by dubversion at 4:09 pm
i'm going to do my very best to avoid slipping into crass nostalgia or old fart condemnation, but i can't be alone (surely?) in thinking that the prevalence of ketamine on the (london?) party scene is sucking the life out of it. i don't mean that it's not active - a cursory glance at some of the party sites and forums shows the scene is as busy as ever.
but i mean the energy, the (jesus..) joi de vivre, the creativity.
for a variety of reasons, i've been going to a few more free parties of late than for a while (largely because my favourite haunt, the mighty Ministry Of Unsound, is no more and i was missing staggering round bizarre buildings as the sun came up).
and to be honest it reminded me why i started going to fewer and fewer a couple of years back. there's a hardness, an edge that's crept into the scene that surely wasn't quite as prevalent before? i know things generally have got harder - the police, the logistics of actually pulling a successful party off - but i just find it really depressing seeing some 16 year old kid with a thousand yard stare and ketamine crusted round their runny nostrils trying to find someone to hold on to who isn't as fucked as they are.
the last thing i want to do is judge or condemn other people's drug habits, none of my business. but look at it like this:
i have this idea in my head of a hypothetical channel 4 documentary film crew making it into a warehouse in Acton in say, 1995, and finding a room full of people just fucking having it. grinning, dancing, helping each other out. in the hypothetical documentary, the energy and creativity and sense of camaraderie would leap from the screen.
and now, the same film crew? what would they find? well, judging by the party i went to on sunday morning in Liverpool Street: a huge building (a tile warehouse in a former life) with - i'm not sure - perhaps 6 rigs, i lost track. all pretty much playing the same plodding lifeless squat techno, lacking even the harsh energy of the old Liberator/Stay Up Forever London Acid Techno scene. and somehow a greater sense of menace than there used to be....
don't get me wrong - there's always been a darkside to the squat/free party scene, and i used to be fairly immersed in it. but now the whole thing is just so dark, often literally - gone are the days when the building would get well cleaned up in advance, decked out in flouro canvasses and lights, the whole deal.
and i'm sure ketamine plays a very big part in this. i did k for a while (the first time, at a Butthole Surfers gig, which was simultaneously appropriate and yet a fucking dreadful idea.). and i'm afraid it's always been in my nature to sort of test chemicals to destruction, wring what i can out of them. and it certainly took me to some very strange places - after dabbling in polite, cocaine-proportioned lines, eventually i was scarfing it up like Tony Montana at the end of Scarface. in those sort of quantities, it can leave acid standing.
but i tired of it damn fast, and at the same time noticed how much it was taking over the party scene. from people doing a few lines in the morning to make the tube journey home more of a challenge, i was confronted by girls (almost always spanish or portuguese, somehow) staggering by midnight, falling and muddy and utterly defenceless.
even when i found it fun, i found it anti-social. i mean, take enough k and you don't know where you are, so why the fuck make the effort to go out?
and the disassociative properties mean you're not taking in much about your surroundings, so maybe that's why parties are so functional, dark, because there's no point bothering. and there's the increased crime at parties - the jackings, the muggings, the rapes. maybe i'm leaping to conclusions, but it's going to be easier to violate someone (financially, physically, whatever) when they don't have a fucking clue what's going on, and nor does anybody else in a 100 yards of where they are. there's a lot of blame placed at the door of crackheads, and i'm not denying the problem. but maybe they moved in when the crowd became easier to pick off.
it's not all bad - the Unsound crew put on blinding parties, and the lovely OCB folks put on a stormer on Saturday - great atmosphere, nice building, great visuals (if a little underattended) so maybe it's a question of choosing what party crew you seek out, avoid the more 'squatjuice' dirty techno rigs. but that's a shame, because i used to actually enjoy the kind of Mad Max insane scenarios i've found myself in over the years, and if there's an increasing split between crews trying to keep it too nice and then the big dark ones, which are somehow at the same time absolutely rammed but lacking life, that would be a shame.
i'm sure it's not all the fault of K, but it must be a factor. and maybe i'm showing my age, but seeing a 14 year old who can hardly walk or keep their face from spasming trying to sell me K depresses the fuck out of me.
i dunno, maybe it's just the comedown................
posted by dubversion at 3:19 pm
Saturday, March 20, 2004WORK IS A FOUR LETTER WORD
Found this great quote on the idler website:
"Personally, I have nothing against work, particularly when performed, quietly and unobtrusively, by someone else. I just don't happen to think it's an appropriate subject for an "ethic."
i was over them telling them about my new tattoo, due on Friday, of the Idler snail logo. it's been a long time coming, which i guess is in keeping
posted by dubversion at 3:33 pm
Tuesday, March 16, 2004I Believe
WHAT I BELIEVE
I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.
I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels.
I believe in the forgotten runways of Wake Island, pointing towards the Pacifics of our imaginations.
I believe in the mysterious beauty of Margaret Thatcher, in the arch of her nostrils and the sheen on her lower lip; in the melancholy of wounded Argentine conscripts; in the haunted smiles of filling station personnel; in my dream of Margaret Thatcher caressed by that young Argentine soldier in a forgotten motel watched by a tubercular filling station attendant.
I believe in the beauty of all women, in the treachery of their imaginations, so close to my heart; in the junction of their disenchanted bodies with the enchanted chromium rails of supermarket counters; in their warm tolerance of my perversions.
I believe in the death of tomorrow, in the exhaustion of time, in our search for a new time within the smiles of auto-route waitresses and the tired eyes of air-traffic controllers at out-of-season airports.
I believe in the genital organs of great men and women, in the body postures of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Princess Di, in the sweet odors emanating from their lips as they regard the cameras of the entire world.
I believe in madness, in the truth of the inexplicable, in the common sense of stones, in the lunacy of flowers, in the disease stored up for the human race by the Apollo astronauts.
I believe in nothing.
I believe in Max Ernst, Delvaux, Dali, Titian, Goya, Leonardo, Vermeer, Chirico, Magritte, Redon, Duerer, Tanguy, the Facteur Cheval, the Watts Towers, Boecklin, Francis Bacon, and all the invisible artists within the psychiatric institutions of the planet.
I believe in the impossibility of existence, in the humour of mountains, in the absurdity of electromagnetism, in the farce of geometry, in the cruelty of arithmetic, in the murderous intent of logic.
I believe in adolescent women, in their corruption by their own leg stances, in the purity of their disheveled bodies, in the traces of their pudenda left in the bathrooms of shabby motels.
I believe in flight, in the beauty of the wing, and in the beauty of everything that has ever flown, in the stone thrown by a small child that carries with it the wisdom of statesmen and midwives.
I believe in the gentleness of the surgeon's knife, in the limitless geometry of the cinema screen, in the hidden universe within supermarkets, in the loneliness of the sun, in the garrulousness of planets, in the repetitiveness or ourselves, in the inexistence of the universe and the boredom of the atom.
I believe in the light cast by video-recorders in department store windows, in the messianic insights of the radiator grilles of showroom automobiles, in the elegance of the oil stains on the engine nacelles of 747s parked on airport tarmacs.
I believe in the non-existence of the past, in the death of the future, and the infinite possibilities of the present.
I believe in the derangement of the senses: in Rimbaud, William Burroughs, Huysmans, Genet, Celine, Swift, Defoe, Carroll, Coleridge, Kafka.
I believe in the designers of the Pyramids, the Empire State Building, the Berlin Fuehrerbunker, the Wake Island runways.
I believe in the body odors of Princess Di.
I believe in the next five minutes.
I believe in the history of my feet.
I believe in migraines, the boredom of afternoons, the fear of calendars, the treachery of clocks.
I believe in anxiety, psychosis and despair.
I believe in the perversions, in the infatuations with trees, princesses, prime ministers, derelict filling stations (more beautiful than the Taj Mahal), clouds and birds.
I believe in the death of the emotions and the triumph of the imagination.
I believe in Tokyo, Benidorm, La Grande Motte, Wake Island, Eniwetok, Dealey Plaza.
I believe in alcoholism, venereal disease, fever and exhaustion.
I believe in pain.
I believe in despair.
I believe in all children.
I believe in maps, diagrams, codes, chess-games, puzzles, airline timetables, airport indicator signs.
I believe all excuses.
I believe all reasons.
I believe all hallucinations.
I believe all anger.
I believe all mythologies, memories, lies, fantasies, evasions.
I believe in the mystery and melancholy of a hand, in the kindness of trees, in the wisdom of light.
saw Iain Sinclair read this at the M25 Orbital launch thing at the Barbican. Most impressed, i was, and still am.
posted by dubversion at 8:00 pm
Tuesday, March 09, 2004It's the People's Republic Of Disco 2nd Birthday
sometimes i think designing the flyers is my favourite bit...
we're giving everyone a free gift this month. a compilation of all the most popular PROD tunes (AC/DC, The Streets, Dolly Parton and Aphrodite on one CD - how fucking eclectic are we?)
that's if I can face burning 100 CDs. one at a time.
posted by dubversion at 9:20 pm
Friday, March 05, 2004Smash Hits Moment
god forbid this blog ever turns into the sort of place where quoting lyrics is seen as anything but gauche.
but fuck it.
there's this band, the Weakerthans - far from musically radical - a bit Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom, Neutral Milk Hotel, Golden Smog: your regular Canadian alt.rock, but excellent with it. anyway, the situationism and polar travel obsessed gay frontman writes the most phenomenal, original lyrics, witty and dark and unlike anything i've heard. i mean, they're ERUDITE for fuck's sake.
and there's this song - A Plea From A Cat Named Virtue - which is from the POV of a cat trying to cheer up his lovesick owner. which is a DREADFUL, sixth form notion for a song.
but it's fucking lovely. and-it-goes-something-about-like-this:
Plea From A Cat Called Virtue
Why don't you ever want to play?
I'm tired of this piece of string.
You sleep as much as I do now,
and you don't eat much of anything.
I don't know who you're talking to
I made a search through every room,
but all I found was dust that moved
in shadows of the afternoon.
And listen, about those bitter songs you sing?
They're not helping anything.
They won't make you strong.
So, we should open up the house.
Invite the tabby two doors down.
You could ask your sister, if
she doesn't bring her Basset Hound.
Ask the things you shouldn't miss:
tape-hiss and the Modern Man,
The Cold War and Card Catalogues,
to come and join us if they can,
for girly drinks and parlor games.
We'll pass around the easy lie
of absolutely no regrets,
and later maybe you could try
to let your losses dangle off
the sharp edge of a century,
and talk about the weather,
or how the weather used to be.
And I'll cater with all the birds that I can kill.
Let their tiny feathers fill
Lie down; lick the sorrow from your skin.
Scratch the terror and begin
to believe you're strong.
All you ever want to do is drink and watch TV,
and frankly that thing doesn't really interest me.
I swear I'm going to bite you hard
and taste your tinny blood
if you don't stop the self-defeating lies
you've been repeating since the day you brought me home.
I know you're strong
i promise i won't make a habit of this. i am more than a little drunk and sentimental.
(PS these are some things that i decided i didn't like this week:
Bitches Brew. Vashti Bunyan. Piles. the NME (again). Nectar Cards. )
posted by dubversion at 9:00 pm
Tuesday, March 02, 2004losing that terror that used to motivate you
(i've posted this elsewhere, but i've been thinking about the past a lot lately so i figured i'd stick it here too.. it's not particularly in depth or considered, but i wrote it very quickly so maybe it has some kind of spontaneous quality or something.. eden would know ... )
"when i was about 11 or so, when the apocalypse really was a possibility and the russians moved into afghanistan and the government had admitted that sitting under a kitchen table for a fortnight wouldn't save you from the Bomb, every time there was a thunder storm i'd be sure this was the end of the world and i'd be so scared. i lived on my nerves, i was just sure we were going to die horribly.
so when i was about 12 i joined CND. it wasn't a political act, it was born of fear. then i learned about the bomb, and it become political. then in fairly quick succession, there was the Falklands War and the Miners Strike and the horror of Thatcherism and a lot of Crass albums
that kind of sealed it for me, i'd say. one of the reasons i was expelled from school was for taking them on for too many things, and i actually went a bit mental out of anger and frustration. by 15 i was pulling fences down at molesworth and getting baton charged in Grosvenor Square.
sad thing is, it all seemed a lot clearer then. is that cos i was younger and more simplistic, or is it because it really WAS simpler then?
posted by dubversion at 12:05 am
Monday, March 01, 2004Doubts on case for conflict may bring flood of claims
this could prove quite interesting. i suspect the circuitous legal approach is the only way we're going to get any fucking redress over this war
posted by dubversion at 10:18 pm