Friday, 30 July 2004

talk about missing the point~

Thursday, 29 July 2004

but we're patient for now
and we're patient for tomorrow
when the past will redeem
all the toil extreme
and all the sorrow
MESSAGE for my man Harm:

what is this like then?

(as once mentioned, the lovely companion lives across the road from a Romanian church but they seem to be on the vino always)
Felix Da Housecat in town to play Sankeys this weekend, local rag interviews him and has reverent words for such Chi-Town greats as Roy Davis Jnr, Mike Dunn and Armando.

re. that Kirk/SR/Ingram debate of ages ago, was it soul-boys or authenticity?

i don't know, i can't remember what i had for tea last night.

i digress.

anyway, i mean i can't even remember what it was now, but some Motor City artists listening to Yello or the 'Ran or something, or would it just be P-Funk? black artists, to what degree did Jeff Mills listen to Scritti Politti and ACR or something.

well Felix here says he was brought up in a "black household with black music" and the only way he's ever heard Depeche Mode, New Order or the Human League was their big hits via James 'DFA' Murphy.
so that's interesting.
Silva Morosa by Nigel Cooke
- as demonstrated, worth a punt

jane bad bad girl, 2004's Cryptoveldt is a fine otherwordly jewel, we much prefer Jake Chapman's lavish and dedicated...simultaneously impoverished¬
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Foreign Policy Aspects of the War against Terrorism


We conclude that the violence in Iraq stems from a number of sources, including members of the former regime, local Islamists, criminal gangs and al Qaeda. Iraq has become a 'battle ground' for al Qaeda, with appalling consequences for the Iraqi people. However, we also conclude that the Coalition's failure to bring law and order to parts of Iraq created a vacuum into which criminal elements and militias have stepped~

one key point, MPs say, is that troops from more nations are needed in Iraq.

this would chime well with Colin Powell's cautious welcome this morning to the Saudi proposal to send Muslim and Arab troops to Iraq to share peacekeeping duties [brief Channelnewsasia analysis].
i'm not a complete dolt though readers!

i do, for instance, have strong positions on Mexican food
ok, possibly dodging spears from Simon SDC here, but i've always wuvved the velvets (go Moe)


Marcello's latest naturally raises some interesting points, even if it's hard for a breakfast blog (cheers Ian! not that this is even a breakfast blog; if Ian is a full fry-up or luxurious continental breakfast, i am perhaps a sliver of kebab meat and some yellowing lettuce strings from the night before grabbed on the hoof as one runs for the bus, late again) such as myself to take a position on the two blogs cited, given i'm a fan of both.
it's easy being a duffer!
you can just shrug yr shoulders at all these high-flown and tightly-packed philosophical popist debates etc. and sigh "it's just like being back at school", and then run along farting merrily {which is, granted, one's regular routine anyhoo}
and yet Henry Scollard and Stevie Nixed (in comments) are making a persuasive case for Satellite Of Love.
i don't know.
but Martin Skidmore's 2 sounds eminently reasonable as well.

i don't know.

i suppose i should hear the thing before passing judgment...
and second freaky trigger link of the day, but the latest Square Table on the Lou Reed remix has some agreeable comments in the lower marks range (faith restored after the hating on Usher last week).
Derek Pop Life on Keenan and noise

whoever you agree with in that whole debate, it's certainly agreeable what Simon said in the k-punk comments board at one stage: that Keenan's writing is really enjoyable.
Dear Mr North Korean government spokesperson,


*drip*drop*drap on the dizzee video

(also loved the post about the college dropout; that album has been with me for about four months now and it's often making me cry, it does so much for me, currently 'Family Business' is killing it)
sorry to link to the guardian twice in two minutes, but here is gorgeous
some American bloke (?) makes some sensible points about 'the afterlife' here
Ned Raggett on the greatest of soups.
the local Conservative party activists (Stretford and Urmston Tories) were out this morning, and i got a leaflet on my way to work.
they are complaining about the govt decision to pull Metrolink funding (somedisco passim).
granted, this ticked me off at the time, but who exactly is going to be pulled in by the Tories' cheap opportunism?

the flyer itself wants to predicate the discussion on a base anti-metropolitan reaction [i.e., London 2 Manchester 0, that sortathing, discussing money down the drain] which is tacky. of course i'm naive, i mean how else would they be expected to hammer this angle, politically speaking it's an obvious shot to make so they may as well go for it. but gosh you don't half want to wash your hands after reading it!

it's really all just more fuel to the fire for me about the Daily Express at the moment (i realise i'm out on a limb here and getting dangerously obsessed with a low-circulating tabloid newspaper; it's certainly time to have a word with myself outside, but i can't bring myself to put me shoes on yet), it's a perfect accompaniment to the wilder fringes of Toryism.
Freddy Forsyth has joined as columnist, they are taking to making broad shots across bows in a far from nuanced way, and in their daily phone-in poll, Wednesday's question was 'Should we bring back hanging?'
Erase The World
crumbling loaf
guardian leader on Victim of a forgotten war (appalling couple of lines at the end of the second paragraph).

Wednesday, 28 July 2004

[a potential]


Satire ~

Raconteur and essayist who rose from humble beginnings in the city-states of an embryonic Italy to achieve great success, latterly a much loved international bon vivant.
b. Rome, c. 1st century B.C.
d. Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, July 12th, 2004 C.E.

Satura...tota nostra est ("Rome is preeminent in satire")
Institutio oratoria, X, 93

Notables such as Lucilius, Horace, and Persius were some of the early associates of one of the great intellectual figures of this, or any age, Satire, who passed away peacefully in his sleep in central Asia recently.

Although never one to court the limelight, Satire achieved notable success collaborating with the Irish writer Jonathan Swift on the latter's celebrated book of baby recipes (recently reprinted with a new foreword from Jamie Oliver and greatly extended bibliography); he was also involved with Roman comic Juvenal in a critically acclaimed, long-running revue on the criminal justice system in the early days of his career.

Satire sadly outlived his home-maker wife - who shunned publicity - and their two children, PoMo and Conceptualism, who both rose to prominence themselves.
The family was struck by tragedy earlier this year when one of Satire's many grandchildren, the British-born visual artist YBA, died in mysterious circumstances in an east London fire.

Satire enjoyed flower-pressing, country walks, and poetry.

He will be sorely missed.

_Billy the Fish.

Thursday, 22 July 2004

about a dozen friends and i are off on the lash - in fact i'm catching the sauce train tomorrow morning - to Birmingham this weekend (Second City beanos: always a pleasure, never a chore).

so this is probably the last you'll hear off me until sometime next week.

shout to e crunk
re. Darling, Crossrail needs to be built, as most major cities seem built on north to south transport and east to west London would be a quality route, but shelving plans in Southampton, West Yorkshire and mcr is clearly unpopular.

Darling should speak with the many, many people across mcr and the conurbation there who had to leave houses that have since been demolished.

Autechre are from Rochdale.
don't ya know.
said in a grime-lite style ("don't ya know", i mean)
UK plans for military intervention in Sudan
...another government minister who - at a guess - would struggle to get laid in a brothel is beleaguered (it's a rare skill to have civil liberties groups, environmental campaigners, and motoring organisations all up in arms against you, in this case re. some of the details of the toll plan) Transport Secretary Alastair Darling.

round our way, reactionary calls for senior figures to resign are often distrusted, and apt to be characterised as knee-jerk politics, but in this case - clearly i'm biased - Manchester city council might even have a point.
Our armed forces are being asked to do more with less. Iraq has shown that winning the peace needs more troops on the ground than wininng the war.

- Paul Keetch, Liberal Democrat defence spokesman.

seriously damage our military capability

_Nicholas Soames, Shadow Defence Secretary.

the above quotes are a small sample of what the opposition are saying in response to Geoff Hoon's announcement that there are to be job losses of nearly 20,000 positions in the armed forces.
the defence secy says the move is necessary to deal with the 21st century challenges of international terrorism, and that modernisation of the British military is needed.

far be it for me to state that Mr Hoon - a chap surely familiar with the words 'party' and 'brewery' if ever there were someone - is an absolute fucking muppet, but...
as promised, there will be some discussion of the band that preceded Ian's.

Ian's band, incidentally, were nice (best on the night, although the headliners were pretty good too, basically a frontman who was a youthful MES shouting and wrestling furiously with his geetar).
Ian was best, he threw good angular post-rocking shapes, had some wicked bass lines, squelchy and exciting, and played keys.
his group had a drum machine and a charismatic frontman, although we spectators all agreed the singer's voice was not the strongest (you should do jazzed-up Dirty Three instrumentals Ian fella!).
the first two choons (and they were choons) had hooks to land blue whales with, marvellous.

btw, the venue was notorious sweatbox the Roadhouse.
if you are any sort of rock gig-goer in NW England, you'll probably have been in there at least once, contributing to their regular policy of blatantly breaking all known fire and safety regulations.
i saw a fine Sleater Kinney set there once (approx. 500 ppl crammed into a space that really should hold no more than half that) and in my younger days had been tempted by assorted riot-grrl all-dayers, but its main value these days is as a home to Friends and Family, excellent hip-hop night.
and FUSE is usually there, dense and scary breaks night (Mike Skinner likes FUSE! *woo*!!).

a word about the bar (fairly standard range for these parts, stick to the bottles of Budvar or various fruity beers, or have a big can of Red Stripe), 'cking rip-off (2.70 IIRC for a can of Red Stripe, admittedly a big one), no thanks.

the opening act.
well it was an unsigned night and there's the rub.

they were poor.
not, you know, shockingly so, but just inadequate.

if i say they droned on and on that could be a compliment, we could be getting all Rajasthani trance or LaMonte Young on yo azz, but that was not the case.
they droned in a turgid retrograde northern English indie rock style.
i think to say Prefab Sprout via Preston (at the very least, Northern Uproar re-imagined in Featherstone, without even the consolation of coming from the suburb of a bigger city) would not be too unfair.

they just jammed on, although there would be some use as a soporific.

needless to say i wouldn't cut it as a critic, look at how inadequate my bitching is...
today is George Clinton's birthday.

Happy Birthday to you George!

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

regrettably inward looking, shabbily parochial post

this pub, which is but a couple of minutes stroll from my mummy's dwelling, richly deserves the accolade described.

the food is good and reasonable, the wine list is - certainly for the area - extensive and quite keenly priced, and the guest list is frequently changing, with some real finds and quite a few utter beauties (there is a wonderful poster on one wall that i should very much like to steal if i were less civic-minded, that shows the badges of some of the ales the landlord intends to bring to his boozer in the next three months: about 30 ales in all, virtually if not all of which are unfamiliar to me, but with nice iconography which is what matters in this situation).

my own bottom line is that, over a great deal of visits, the IPA has never been less than excellent and, on occasion, world-class.

DEC - Sudan Emergency
oh how awful (the head of an American hostage found in a Riyadh fridge)
you know that No Doubt song, 'Underneath It All'?

must admit that tune has great personal resonance and sentimental value for me {in a this one goes out to the one i love stylee}.
did you see 'The Shield' (British viewers) last night?

bloody ell, Tavon and Shane's fistfight, that was bloody ell!!
Marcello is right to be gobsmacked that Ty has a nomination but not Infinite Livez.
i take it Baal is a Heaney fan, does this sidestep the Thomas/Hughes issue or what?

i like the crow series and whatnot w' the best of 'em but on that score i'd hafta say Thomas.

seven people have been charged [falsification of records] following the Tamil Nadu school-fire last week.

the BBC had a few horrifying pieces about the fire, including this that includes the admission After the fire was put out, I saw several children clinging to the grilles on the windows....It will not fade from my memory as long as I live.
obligatory link

Adrian Searle at guardian arts remains on form of late, here holding forth on the joys of that ace-sounding Jasper Johns exhibition that recently started in Edinburgh.
Independent record labels have said they are disappointed by the EU allowing Sony and BMG's merger, saying it was given "easy clearance", reports the BBC.
it's emerged that sixteen men were nicked earlier this week, following a riot at Harmondsworth - an asylum seeker detention centre near Heathrow - that started brewing late Monday.
i'm well aware that The Rambler alerted uncareful readers to DJ Martian's commentary on the Mercury music prize (and all the shite i could spout about that but won't bother; i'll restrict snarky commentary to please to the panel leader and NME editor who i both saw quoted in the press this morning don't take this as evidence of the wonderfully eclectic world of British and Irish music when a lot of the nominees are rock [indie-ish, let's be frank] bands) which is certainly a more interesting take than you'll get in the dailies (dear Metro commuter newspaper,
who is comparing Amy Winehouse to Lady Day?
shall i compare Helen Fielding to Virginia Woolf shall i?)
[although i'd still far rather see Wiley in there than Squarepusher, TBH], let's all hope for a Robert Wyatt win purely for sentimental reasons etc.
at least the token entries are gone, that was a good point to be reasonable from the NME editor, make it more populist, it is more honest this way which is something.
obviously Simon silverdollarcircle is lovely cheers Si!

certainly with better tee-shirts than i (his mate does stencils and that's where his Big Youth shirt comes from, i want one so badly).

it's the cover of BY's first album, the 'Screaming Target' one.
The Aladdin, Las Vegas management: hang yr head in shame.
do we believe Mustafa Ismail?

some reports are quoting the minister as saying the assertions from HRW are 90% false, here in this particular item it's one hundred.

yesterday Mr Ismail was quoted as saying something along the lines of anyone could get hold of headed letters with access to a typewriter.

i normally pay little to no attention to local politics but i'm not surprised there's "anger" in this case.

the metrolink is certainly the most successful, most-rode &c, provincial tram scheme (unfortunately it's also the most expensive AFAIK, but you can't have everything).

i hope the Transport Secy will be writing with a personal apology to those who had to leave their old homes, now-demolished, but 'obviously' [not guerrilla language, the Prime Minister's spokesperson uses it] i'm doubtless being unrealistic and naive.
sorry about that, dunno what came over me.

(they do say) the old ones are the best {boom-boom}.
there's a girl at work who thinks Johnny Cash is spare change from condom dispensers.


Tuesday, 20 July 2004

- happy mondays 'holiday'
- kraftwerk 'the robots'
- DRI 'commuter man'

sheesh i wuv these choons.

look at Luka he's got a burgundy thing going on there (rouche, rouche), that's ace that innit.
the utterly fantastic worlds of possibility with a superb piece on Coil.

completely great in a way that only the likes of Geeta are.
Khartoum: a vile and politically illiterate govt of liars, and much, much worse.

It’s absurd to distinguish between the Sudanese government forces and the militias — they are one.
_Peter Takirambudde, HRW Africa.

here's the proof.

What's your favourite city in the world?

- LA.

Isn't that a nightclub in Hull?

- Shut up.

Colin Powell on Darfur and Khartoum.

Monday, 19 July 2004

Monk with Blakey's Messengers: i love how 'Evidence' lurches/zips along, it's like ice cream in a thunderstorm.
one thing i found interesting about that grime DVD would be a possible celebrity endorsement opportunity.

Dizzee Rascal and Wiley were both clearly supping from cartons of Ribena at different stages as to refresh their mouths in between spitting, so perhaps SmithKline Beecham could pop a few baht their way?

it'd be like fresh orange juice companies giving money to celebrity ravers, etc. in return for their seal of fashionable urban approval (refreshing yrself after drugs/dancing/booze/etc.).
there's a photo of Crazy Titch at this 1Xtra minisite and he's wearing a rather cool hoodie i must say.

he was wearing a good baseball cap on this DVD.
Crazy Titch is apparently the brother of Durty Doogz, and Luke went to school with him, and Si silverdollar told me that Luke said Titch had a reputation for violence growing up.

i only mention this cause Titch was on the grime DVD i mentioned earlier.

he is so watchable, he has a very insistent manner in which he delivers his words, and there's an almost feral energy about him.
watching him emcee in the pirate 'studio' must be a bit like how early Victorian crowds felt when they experienced George Stephenson's Rocket or early trail-blazing trains.
his limbs seemed to be powered by propulsive forces, a steam-engine maybe that could account for some of the pumping (given he seems relentlessly energetic and up for it when he's almost violently prancing around), the little dances, the shadowboxing-type business, or perhaps powered by some light-rod crystals that allow you to do what you want (as in sci-fi shows) that would account for the more fluid side of his movements and body language.
it was like watching a far funkier pogo-jumper on the edges of a moshpit at a punk gig. at times.

anyway, it seemed that Lady Fury and Dizzee Ras might have some underlying sexual tension there i think, the often-little glances sideways, and such. we both thought that actually.

Si also told me Honest Jons [web] have released soca compilation and lo and behold it's there on the website for you to see, it's called Lif up your leg and trample, and it's 9.99 notes-wise.
Damon Albarn should get far more props for this than he does.

i seem to recall a lot of the 'rock' press were quite disparaging about his Mali Music release.

the BBC has the skinny on the gallery showing the Trojan covers artwork exhibitions.
the guardian artwork page for some of 'em is here.
did you see that Tamara Khadzhiyeva, of the pro-Moscow United Russia party, has been killed, at her Chechen home.
and Amnesty International have a new report called Darfur: rape as a weapon of war.
i feel really bad now about my feeble attempts at humour below. not about the actual joke (sic) content, but the mean-spiritedness below.
it's cheap and nasty, and it's not very kind at all to the Calling, in fact it's rather unkind.
but i'll not delete it because it's only a blog and that would be cheating and i don't think i've deleted things in the past (well, probably the odd thing) and so it should be more honest this way.
The Calling update:

Eddie Vedder might be alright, but Scott Stapp from Creed has checked in to complain his voice is missing.

that'll be it then.
The Calling update:

Eddie Vedder just belled me (his speaking voice is about as gruff as his singing would suggest) to say his vocals are fine, and haven't been missing at all.


the plot thickens.
saw a photogenic rock band on Top of the Pops Friday night, name The Calling (they had a hit a few years ago).

that frontman!

Eddie Vedder wants his voice back.
Si silverdollarcircle and i spent yesterday drinking and talking (a wide variety of excellent real ale, as well as good lager and Guinness), listening to music [3 of a kind's 'babycakes' truly is wicked, this year's 'never leave you', this year's, well, it's something quality], and walking (wild flower meadows, a forest and ponds, an incredible view of the north Welsh mountains, the Mersey and Dee rivers, the Wirral and Liverpool from a huge, high place), and i got to watch a half-hour grime DVD that the wonderful Gareth 1471 sent in the post.
i shall have to blog more about it all later on.

in terms of the nature we interacted with, and whatnot, it was an incredible day, uplifting and educational and mysterious.
there are so many good things about Delamere forest (it's all that munkyfest crew's manor).

in terms of the philosophy papers i skimread, a draft Gerry Cohen piece (he's the prof. of social and political theory at All Souls, if you didn't know, which i didn't) was intriguing, and in terms of the music i heard courtesy Si, it was all very invigorating (some incomparable soca mixes).
the grime DVD was one of the greatest things i've ever seen.
again, i shall have to blog about it.
Lady Fury was there at a pirate session with a load of boys, lots of the names, and - as Si observed - even though the place (a room on the roof of a tower block) was clearly alive with a very agressive testosterone that was just seeping out of the roof, through the walls, sliming down the towerblock onto the E3 streets far below, she more than held her own, and ripped the boys new ones.
RIP Paul Foot.
that report due on Thursday offers fresh evidence of a relationship between al-Qa'eda and Iran [on top of the newsworthy story that 9/11 hijackers went through Iran en-route to the eastern seaboard], whilst a child was reportedly among the dead in the Iraqi-approved American-actioned Fallujah airstrike that killed 14 people yesterday, targeting militants.


it's all kicking off in Gaza, whilst further north, another Moscow journo is found killed, and a car bomb has done for a high-level Hezbollah member.

Friday, 16 July 2004

Wednesday, 14 July 2004

INTERVIEW with Craig Murray.
unpicks Anglo-American hypocrisy in a shabby relationship of convenience (we could be kind and call it unseemly foreign policy realism or a lazy meekness, but let's not be kind, rather accurate) before now, and worth a look alone for the frankly grimly hilarious dissection of classic public school and Oxbridge influenced FCO house style.


We're only making plans for Yasser.


The Butler Committee Report


have you seen the story below? it's about the welcome intention of the American govt to withold up to $18million in aid from Uzbekistan over concerns about the pace of human rights progress and democratic reforms there [HRW before the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe here, and applauding the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development back in April here].
do you notice towards the end of the story about Craig Murray, the British ambassador to Uzbekistan, who has been censured in the past by the FCO for his outspoken views on the regime?
there's not too much you can read about this story online, although here makes reference, almost as an after-thought.
Hi-Pakistan has more about some of the treatment Murray has received from bosses.

one can't be naive about political realities on the ground (or should that be realpolitik?) but this sort of mickey-mouse joking around is, alas, not entirely surprising coming from a dept. that boasts Bill Rammell as one of its seniors.
check LENIN'S TOMB (sparkling comments box ever delightful) for an entertaining account of the plight of the Chagossians.


you might think this letter here somewhat overstates its case, perhaps in the last paragraph or sentence especially, but it does in fact convincingly illustrate that - frankly - to label Mr Rammell a clown is doing a disservice to children's entertainers everywhere.


Congress must approve Powell's wise (if long overdue) measure, and let us see if the Europeans follow suit.


Tuesday, 13 July 2004

if you click on the reddish-brown word here you will be transported to read Peter@It's all in your mind, writing the greatest words ever written about Rachel Stevens.
ooh, i would like this.

Jo at work once dreamt about Leo Sayer dancing on her mum's Vauxhall car as a child.
"Ministers Receive Lord Butler's Wmd Report": a day before it goes PD.
incidentally should big up the lovely companion. her and her girl Krebel are getting ready to welcome their boy Frostie, in Chitown on buiness, Frost lad one of the South-East's nicer metrosexuals (and, pace Eppy, a big Freaks and Geeks fan).

i gather a good time will be had by all this weekend as Torontonian types and Iowa/German branch congregate somewhere in the House of Illin for larks and vibes.
had a dream last night.
can't remember too much but a lot of good friends of mine, acquaintances, and the lovely companion and i were all watching an Ali Farka Toure gig at an African club in London.
which was nice.

he said something wise and epigrammatic in an unknown tongue (a linguist with us asserted it was neither Songhai or Bambara, nor Peul; no-one else recognised it as, say, Wolof) to start off the show, and then kicked into it.

he bewitched us with a transfixing and powerfully simple show.
good, and indeed, eggs.


being a complete ignoramus, i'd never heard of that particular Dennis Wilson LP that Marcello pointed out the other day as urgently needing a mass-market reissue.
anyway i saw a mate and his better half last night, and he - being a BB anorak - was telling me how he reckons this one is about the best BB-connected thing fullstop.


obligatory big-up link to the latest interesting Adrian Searle piece at graun arts: on Spaniard Santiago Sierra's latest, a kind of live sculpture.
in the midst of Gordon Brown's latest controversy, there are both budget increases, and cuts, in the pipeline, for defence.


Meanwhile, in Israel - amidst the party jostling as Shimon Peres and Ariel Sharon agree to form a new coalition so as to push through reforms unpopular with the right-wing of Likud - an elderly, wheelchair-bound Palestinian was crushed to death as an IDF bulldozer razed the home he was in.

Palestinian medics and witnesses said Ibrahim Mahmoud Khalafallah was inside his home when the bulldozer arrived and his family was not given enough time to get him out before it was wrecked.

Monday, 12 July 2004

dynamite Robin Cook article
granted that Jones piece on Sickert does have some half-arsed lines, not least The great monsters of the modern world were invented in late-Victorian Britain.

alright, Leopold of Belgium same century, but not other folk (unless he's being arty-farty in a 'want/popular imagination and terror' etc. kinda way)
as a world AIDS conference opens in Thailand, there is the - potentially - hugely cheering news that research appears to demonstrate it is possible to test for HIV as a woman is undergoing childbirth, with a quicker way of finding out whether the mother is positive or not (and therefore potentially her child too), meaning medical science may be able to start treatment far earlier on the infant [this is an interesting story from an American journal, about HIV infection among young African-American women].


of course, the real story behind the headlines:


They will be put behind bars or even vanish without a trace. Who cares?
_Wan Muhamad Nor Matha, January 2003.


A normal person lives for eighty years, but a bad person should not live that long.

__Pichai Sunthornsajjabun.

There is nothing under the sun which the Thai police cannot do/
+ Thaksin Shinawatra, January 14, 2003.

is in a sobering HRW report, Not Enough Graves, released last week.
speaking of Sickert, i've always wuvved, among others, this one.
so we've established his taste in novels is not necessarily as cutting-edge/with it as his visual art commentary [not entirely surprising since this is how he earns his bread] and - indeed - his politics got a bit simplistic in the back there (central European arts argument of a month or two ago) but what a fab piece by Jonathan Jones on a new Walter Sickert exhibition.
Angus on Dusty {tru dat mate}, and his faves of the Y2K4 ~
re. a post the other day with a picture of Chloe Sevigny linked to the words "FASHION VICTim" i don't know what i was playing at.

i didn't mean to suggest Chloe is a fashion victim just because i wrote the link like that, but i don't really know what i was playing at (Chloe Sevigny is certainly fashionable, and worth bigging up for her performance in the likes of Boys Don't Cry).

it looks mean of me to put something like that, in retrospect, and now i feel awful.
shamefaced and awful.

profound apologies.

incidentally, is Kids any good [i'm sure i've moaned about this before]?
the one time i've seen it i wasn't really too impressed. it was true to life, the drugs and booze, the casual violence (and, indeed, homophobia) of the gang of kids, the callousness (kids are little bastards eh), but i dunner... ...i realise i'm terrible at articulating myself but is this supposed to be good? i suppose it's his first attempt and so deserves praise as a (fairly) realistic slice of life.
but i was expecting to be blown away (not Clark's fault, or that of any actors in the movie is it though), and i was, well, underwhelmed would be too harsh, but...
1, 2 immense Anthony Easton/Freaky Trigger pieces.

Saturday, 10 July 2004


we knew we were in for a good night when the first bloke introduced himself with a given of 'Kenny from Bolton'...
speaking of

if you're being irritated by god-botherers (Christian) in your local city centre, making like Kanye on the mic, then bellowing Allahu Akbar at the top of your lungs in their general direction is normally enough to put them off {especially with some ugly side-lines that were practically Lord's Resistance Army} as we found out today.

and it all started off as an experiment!

Might suggest the Jewellery quarter as a nice place to while away Saturday arvo....some classy bars...and fragrant flowers help block out the stench of rotting corpses and crackhouses in nearby Hockley.

Saturdays are care in the community day in Birmingham, so they let people from Lozells, Saltley and Alum Rock into the city centre to blow off a little steam and see functioning toilets for a change. Would suggest that you do not stare at these poor benighted souls as a bottle in the face often offends.
[ed. note: "no, I don't live in .... because it's a shithouse"]

listening to the WU-TANG CLAN [fallopian tubes, meth; Samurai; can you guess?!].


Thursday, 8 July 2004

Claims that Britain is facing a "tidal wave" of immigrants have been dismissed as a "myth" by an influential committee of MPs.

it might be an idea for someone at the Daily Express to read this [dept.'s own homepage for the report]
American sports interlude: Brewers sweep the Cubs: full story: we say: 'balls'.

Wednesday, 7 July 2004

surely that introduction to doing business in North Korea website that Oliver links to is a joke?

i suppose there are some similarities with the Dear Leader:

- For quality control purposes, however, the presentation itself is videotaped, with the camera in fixed angle at all times pointing at Michael Hay.

perhaps he's an American secret agent, trapping businesses that would consider doing work with the NK regime??

if it were not satire (can't think of any targets, admittedly), then i suppose This permits both the presenter and the attendees the greatest freedom in which to speak would be taken more seriously.

so, let's recap: potentially sickening, and chilling.

well done Mikey boy!
LENIN'S TOMB on intervention in Haiti {argumentative comments box too}
i know i'm always ragging on the guardian (more offline than online, certainly, but because it's got a useful website it can be hard to ignore); nevertheless, this is a sensible editorial.

Tuesday, 6 July 2004

ok mate in jamfish on me 5th jar of wifebeater may well b here til closing, i.e. 1:30ish so key under mat may be a ripper i rec

Restaurant review
The Place,
Stamford New Road,
WA something,
0161 something,
last Sunday teatime.

this blog mistakenly identified the Hogshead chain as having a name change in my three months away from the UK, recently. well that was yet another glaring somedisco falsehood/inaccuracy (delete as applicable as per your level of generosity). The Hogshead chain has basically turned into Hogs Head, or something like that, just a little cosmetic frippery (though there is a large Hogshead on Oxford Road in the southern district of Manchester city centre/Chorlton-on-Medlock M15 area, that has been renamed the Oxford, and I believe that is part of the chain still).

My confusion largely stemmed from the nearest suburban Hogshead to my present location being changed into another boozer entirely, the Place (the next nearest, in Sale, is still a Hogshead, and that Hogshead was always better than the one in Altrincham anyway; the Didsbury Hogshead was always more tolerable than either of these places). this has got nowt to do with Hogshead, as far as one can tell.
The Place is a John Barras pub or something like that. you’ll have seen them around no doubt, if you’re an UK pub-goer, I shouldn’t wonder. The only other one round here I know of is the Gorse (well, its formal title is slightly wordier but that’s what everyone calls it) that sits proudly on Chester Road, Gorse Hill, south Manchester (very near the Old Trafford football and cricket grounds).

My last anonymous review was a mere 24 hours before this one, in the West End, at the charming Michelin two-starrer, Pied a Terre, on Charlotte Street. There we had feasted on lime-marinated scallop ceviches, pan-fried sea bass with fresh asparagus and morels, roast banana with praline mousse and butterscotch ice cream, and a huge quantity of petit fours. Dinner for one here came to 75 pounds (including the coffee and wine).
Not bad like, I think you’ll agree, for such wonderful scran.

As time was tight, (a strict drinking schedule at a couple of other alehouses was calling) we (my companion and myself) would have to sample the delights of the Place’s ‘Express Menu’, and therefore not risk any of the more adventurous off-menu options. Delightful, but time-consuming in preparation (there was no way we would have remembered to call ahead 12 hours in advance to warn them we wanted to eat the whole roast suckling, Laotian-style).

Eschewing a bulky starter we decided to dive straight into the mains, and purchased some liquid accompaniment. My companion (dangerously paralytic the previous night, and still drunk) opted for a fresh orange juice, ice cubes, and orange slice garnish. I myself, feeling in a slightly staid mood and therefore wanting the comforting tang of familiarity, opted for a tart scoop of Stella (it’s so nice to see the proper Stella pint pots again, after a slight absence on my part due to being in the USA where at least in my experience I’ve found Stella is served in some very nice but just not the same short-ish glass). As usual, the Stella shone all on its own, no accompaniment needed (if “shone” is the right word, but it will have to do; adequate lager perhaps “svhoons”??).

My companion – their curiosity piqued by my reports from the M32 area – opted for the so-called Ultimate Burger. Arriving with a fresh salad leaves garnish and a generous helping of thick-cut chips, the Ultimate Burger nestles on its seedless bun, a good three-quarter pounds to one pound uncooked. It really is a beast of a burger, a real daddy of the burger world, a true don.
I’ve made my point.
Covered with melted cheese and bacon rolls, the Ultimate Burger is a carnivalesque experience for your hungry meat-eater.
I was looking for a whiter-meat experience, so went for the scampi. Eight or nine juicy, delicious, large portions of this arrived, with plenty of chips, steamed and a little too soft if truth were told carrots and peas, and a more than competent big bowlful of a moreish tartare sauce.
Both diners professed themselves satisfied (and full as a bucket*), although the surroundings were not as salubrious as the previous night’s sensory experience.
A gaggle of Top Shop 80’s girlies wearing Claire’s Accessories-type business, shocking colours, and trucker hats, mingled with the more usual scally crowd, including some extremely unsavoury looking characters.
We lost a shedload of money on Millionaire and Hangman (Hangman! Hangman! Bloody hell, I’ve always been shite at that), and went onto the next watering hole.

All in all, a most satisfactory dining experience.
Not for every day, if only because on the weekend and weekend nights, the place is so full of numpties, but a bankable choice for the time-short metrosexual in a hurry on a quiet weekday.

Cost of dinner for two, including drinks:
Six pounds eight pence (and no fucking tip either, which is more than can be said for Pied a Smegging Terre).

we did later eat some salted peanuts.
here's some actual (and not nice) news.
John Gibson of FOX News: wrong, wrong, wrong [tho' it took FOX awhile to get onto the story {caution for bored long-term readers, REDUX}]. oh, here is the FOX search, and here the BBC.

no nuance, no real attempt to go for a deeper understanding, broad brushstrokes, broad splatters.


incisive take on world music from Tom Ewing, complete with scarifying commentary in the box below {also Alex Thomson's article the day before}.

some of those Real World discs can get pretty bracing though, and far from inert. long-term readers of my waffling elsewhere might recall my deep wuv for the antic Haitian and Bollywood sndtrk efforts of a few years ago, whilst some of the more recent releases such as that Brazilian electronica [for want of a better word] one are fairly good achievers as regards the 'lively' bracket.

on the other hand, plenty of Putomayo and (even the seemingly slightly less naff in fandom-circles) Nascente releases are so much flock wallpaper (based on one's frankly limited listening).

curious and curiouser.
as for that graun artic. that Thomson throws to, all the major issues aside, 1 is at least cheered to see someone else w' a less than 100& view of the Gotan Project...
Adrian Searle on Gabriel Orozco.

Monday, 5 July 2004

in the interests of balance (remember the superb Daily Mail and David Blunkett generators) - and via the good ship ne quid nimis - comes a leftist cant generator ["fresh progressive commentary"], and {my favourite}, an automatic generator of Chomskian speech.
Simon Winchester in Granta: 'Diego Garcia' - essential reading.
i know the astronomy picture of the day is a regular check but Sunday's was incredible {homepage for the Cassini mission here}
a monumental and historic day for Indonesia.
the beleaguered Yukos has announced it has been declared in default.

the FT has a fine piece, 'Yukos: The endgame' here.
the Telegraph was amusing yesterday about Sharapova's victory over Williams in the tennis (glad Federer won).

practically licking their lips, one writer enthused about Sharapova's 'flaxen hair' and 'blue eyes'.
there was almost a very distasteful subtext (or perhaps there actually was!).

[also, Robin Carmody wrestles impressively, but can also conclude by feeling the love]
"The past months have been challenging for us in the anti-war camp. I am ashamed to admit that there have been times when I wanted more chaos, more shocks, more disorder ..."

_Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (in the Standard), quoted in this Ann Clwyd article.

Yasmin is merely "ashamed"?

she's being rather generous to herself.

absolutely disgusting.

meanwhile, in another guardian article, Ewen MacAskill is right about the islanders' right of return-debate in Diego Garcia.

Sunday, 4 July 2004


Absolutely magic.

there is a neighbourhood on Chicago's westside called Greektown.
if i was still in the USA, i would like to think the lovely companion and i would be there tonight, downing the retsina.
Attn. any American readers:

in celebration, below are links to seven pictures {days of the week} of said people, mostly from the arts (because being an arts blagger and not being familiar with the real creatives, the sciences and maths of the day, this is howwedo), in tribute. click on the name to be transported to a visual representation of them.

- James Baldwin
- Eudora Welty
- Mark Twain
- Gertrude Simmons Bonnin (Zitkala-sa )
- Richard Feynman
- Emily Dickinson
- Sarah Vaughan

Saturday, 3 July 2004


Actually I’m probably going to recant my Koons outburst yesterday. I read somewhere his ‘conceptual pieces are slight’ but heck I wuv the bunny. I suppose the upshot of the matter is that even though I find Hughes at least nominally agreeable on many artists (his BBC2 documentary about Gaudi and Barca last year was unalloyed delight, television as educator but not in any dowdy or worthy sense, rather a joyous festival of flavours as it were; and, incidentally, worth my license fee all year just for that), I don’t want to go the whole nine yards.

Hughes on Rothko is damn straight up though, it must be said, you know his piece that opens with a discussion of the corpse of the artist and whatnot. As noted previously, I have a love-hate relationship (well it’s not hate at all, but sometimes not quite love) with Rothko. Essence of divine, spiritual suggestion, abstract, floating blocks, yeah, all very well. he probably is one of my favourite Abstract Expressionists, but frankly that’s at least as much to do with the fact he’s definitely one of the most well-known people from that grouping, so prints and opportunities to see him second-hand abound, and it’s politically correct to like him (terrible and complete misuse of the phrase), just as much as it’s politically correct (ditto) for (probably imaginary all these pot-shots of mine, but hey I’ve been reading a tabloid newspaper this morning and they like making up imaginary targets to fit their screed around and on top of) a certain type of hobo-smoking art-ish-a-nista to disdain terribly middle-of-road-bourgeois people hanging mass-produced mid-period Rothkos on their walls.
And the consensus of both chattering-class and really-rather-normal-chick-on-the-Namur-omnibus about him is deafening, and sometimes it’s an almost shrill chatter, rather than any soothing convo (still, what does that matter, and yes this is all caricaturing the probably/potentially only smallish body of society that does actually care for Rothko/knows who he was, to begin with, anyway… …and also potentially a case of me thinks he doth protest too much…).
But I will say there’s a very nice, extremely large, mainly orange canvas of his in a Chicago gallery (it resembles, somewhat, his celebrated ‘Orange and Yellow’ that hangs in Buffalo, NY; except quite a lot better for my money, but that is a redundant opinion because if you really wanna go anywhere with Rothko (well, not just him obviously) you have to see him in the flesh – I’ve only ever seen decent Rothkos in London, Chicago, and San Francisco, I must admit – if you haven’t seen Rothko in the flesh it’s still the same actually {strictly not true but I say this as a sop to any lovelies that might be reading who like Rothko but have never seen a Rothko in person} because I don’t want this rant to degenerate into something elitist, but what one is trying and failing to articulate is the sure knowledge that people who love Rothko but have never had the chance to appreciate a canvas in the flesh would surely jump at the chance to see one….anyway I’ve never been to Buffalo is my point, even though I would jump at the chance to see Manhattan-in-miniature-on-the-lake and be near an international border at the same time) that is indeed great, but it’s hung near a similarly-sized Pollock (sturm und drang and immense) and an even greater Still (vast and imperturbable is this Still, and but largely dark and glowering if you want that too).
It’s been repeated visits to this place to learn my own truth (how very pseuds-corner!) that I find this particular Still and this particular Pollock far superior to that Rothko (there’s a very small Newman in the next room with an exquisite frame that seems up there or probably the equal of this Rothko: size isn’t everything) and somehow containing that grain of truth that all posh critics bang on about, and other sixth-form cod-intellectualism’s if you’d like to jot ‘em down and are keeping score, but hey bugger it.

And I have to say, I think Hughes on the epic narrative of Rothko’s place in the American canon is pretty spot-on, the Abstract Expressionists forging their new white-heat technology in the crucible of the New World’s ideas factory, (gleefully?) displacing louche and decaying old Paree (Hughes would have preferred Hopper to have been canonised earlier, and in Rothko’s place, and by Jove that’s an attractive and good idea), the Abstract Expressionists had to count (don’t wanna go on some politicised rant about American hegemonic blah blah, especially given it’s only Germany, as a country and across mediums, out of fellow western nations that produced visual art – as a whole that is, not individual brilliance in terms of particular artists or the odd monumentally influential movement from certain other countries and sorry to use ‘of course’ but it’s needed innit! – to rival that of the USA in the western visual artists’ 20th century, but still…). Obviously I know I’m chatting complete bollocks here and my thesis is a mess as Still and Pollock were all considered abstract expressionists all together too, and they all hung around the Big Apple, I just wanted to make my point felt that – in my view as conventions dictate – Still and Pollock, to use a British colloquialism, piss all over Mark Rothko (who I mostly also adore, too), from the evidence presented to my own eyes, heart, and (bit of a long stretch this last un) brain.
Looking at a huge Still work, accustoming oneself to the traceries and sub-regions co-habitating and reacting with each other, seems to suggest to viewers things being made and unmade, it’s a real performative (oo-er!) process, high-flown/top-end acting peppered with violent and profound asides (seeking kinship with Flaubert or Zola or Turgenev). Rothko is a talented host, implying celestial bodies and a whole bunch of world-wide artistic traditions being ingested, put through the wringer with the rest of the fabric of time and space, and then spat out to (sometimes) glorious effect, but he still doesn’t seem as immeasurably strong as Still.
Not too sure if there’s as much learning, and unlearning, going on with Rothko as there is with Pollock either, but he doesn’t seem as thrilling as Pollock these days. he does contain faith (I was gonna write ‘a range of faiths, both mono-, and polytheistic’ but that seems fussy, redundant, and also unselfconsciously stoopid), in his cloudy action, and you can see storms and human history and turmoil and peace/love/n’philosophy, which is pretty bloody action-packed, but the other chap seems to have it

there was an ILM thread once (dunno where now, but remember it clearly) about, well, just generally IDM/electronica and then in general dance (IIRC that bit) where people were saying the basic noble truth about magic in repetition (and other dancey tropes, to ensnare non-dance fans) if you wanna find it blah-de-blah, and someone posted a picture of a Rothko painting to illustrate a point. All perfectly eloquent with silence and all that I’m sure, yadda yadda yadda, but for some reason I just shrugged my shoulders when seeing that. dunno why, not a very nice thing to do, for which I apologise, I’m sorry.
anyway what do I know, I was shite at GCSE art, quite a lot of mates graduated from unis with fine or visual art degrees, but I read politics and anthropology!
big up Ian at 86400 seconds yet again, he is of course right, Henman is actually a very fine, talented player (whatever The Sun says), with a superb grass record. I was just in a foul mood or something like that, most likely, so accept my humblest apologies.
+ I ADORE Robert Hughes’ accent. It’s such a rich tone, not the plummy uber-fertile and expensive tones of an English luvvie or something (hello Donald Sinden), but like a ‘fair go’ Aussie version (more or less), and a brilliant nasal-side to it sometimes. When, during that documentary series he made for the Beeb about his native land, he was showing the utterly brilliant Dreamtime images Qantas had got Aboriginal artists (or at least non-Aboriginal folk with spraycans working to Aboriginal art essences and ideals) to paint onto the tailfins of their jumbo jets, I was so excited I think I blacked out: fantastic images, and a comforting, hot bath conversationally guiding you through it.
The Clash’s version of ‘Police & Thieves’ (which is being heard right here as we type, after a long absence on my part) is so inferior it’s really not funny, is it?
Mind you, Strummer and the gang always said that himself anyway, to be reasonable, so it’s hardly a daring opinion. And they loved Murvin, so respect due to the Clash anyway.
That was a good film, Natural Born Killers, wasn’t it.

Friday, 2 July 2004

hughes is probably just going to end up sounding like Bloom.

i roy junior?

Ineffably wondrous Velazquez portrait in last week’s Andrew Graham-Dixon of a Franco-Spanish lady, breast slightly exposed.
Slow-burner: upheaval, migration, Vanity Fair, and eroticism.


apparently Louis de Bernieres’ latest Birds Without Wings is not much cop. well, unfavourably compared with either Pascali’s Island or ‘The Rage of the Vulture’ from Barry Unsworth anyway (with their thoroughgoing dissections of the Ottoman empire calculated to entrance).
Turkic-Hellenic magical realism can probably be useful but this one’s just overweight, basically.
Orhan Pamuk’s latest Snow [ta Jess!], on the other hand, is sparkling Anatolian sorcerer-dust, boiled up and refined down to a pure high.

really looking forward to tomorrow night’s Robert Hughes docu.
previews note that special venom is reserved for Koons.

dunno what to make of that, i was enchanted by what i'll term an exquisite piece of his {yes! Wacko and Bubbles, yes} once seen at (the amazing) SFMoMA, and Hughes is certainly a grumpy holder of cudgels, but his “resonance, guv” calls are appealing. a lot of art blogs (i.e., ppl that know what they’re on about) will argue for Koons, and some won’t, and it’s true that arguments for Koons are more convincing than a knee-jerk rejection.
basically though, i don’t really feel Koons too much, i suppose.

I got a hard head like a hammer

really feeling Doogz. The BIONIC FIST? Strider.
ALL KLASS. I luv that “the wolfpack’s about” and that lurch, and that handclaps swerve, and all that speed.
five hours on gotta big up meself

compact discs to buy:

? Janet jackson
? Girls aloud
? Rachel stevens (united in poptimism etc.)
? J-kwon
? Usher
? Kompakt comp.
? Junior boys
? Rephlex grime comp.
? Britney
? Quite possibly maroon 5
? Some Cecil Taylor or something
- more Ethiopian things
- this is it


1. Big tune Jammer production
2. Some UR stuff
3. Maybe some Astrobotnia, going cheap
4. Dillinger

WOEBOTNiK: priceless.

this Morley alternate histories pop arc thing is all very well (and indeed agreeable) but VDGG and Faust and all that aren't old Texan countrybluesmen still.

Franz Ferdinand are inspired by Dennis Potter it's true it's true!

mischief and DIVERS ALARUMS. heh.
i don't know, i really don't.

i think the company i'm temping at must just send out promotional literature that reads TIMEWASTERS ONLY PLEASE.
excellent leader in the guardian about the sun newspaper.
bloody hell
you know you're in England when it's damp and chilly on a July morning.
you know you're at work when you're hungover to fuck on a Friday morning (sausage and egg barm from a nearby Jamaican caff sorting out woes).

did you see old Saddam in court yesterday, eh?

pure theatre, wasn't it! electrifying!

he heard about Halabja, he said. very decent of him.

that suit!
he's a good looking fellow i tell you.

all that Bush is the real criminal stuff, fantastic.

i wonder if they allow visitors?
he should have Michael Moore round for a brandy and Havana, that's the sort of one-eyed bollocks he likes to spout.

Thursday, 1 July 2004

how do you say tour de force in all the languages?

29th June radio free narnia entry: what right[ness]!
Marcello likes Robert Hughes - hurrah!

{tho' i like Tim here}
Jon Dale in conversation w' David Grubbs
marching on together

big up your chests
three people charged over the deaths of 21 cocklers
fair enough in the case of the Home Office whistleblower Steve Moxon, who has said he does not want to go back to his job.
he certainly shouldn't be sacked for contributing to the row that led to the resignation of Beverley Hughes, immigration minister, back in April. The Home Office says his disclosures were not in the public interest, but it's difficult to agree with that perspective.

however, purely out of interest, one would like to note that Moxon thinks fundamentalist Muslims should be "silenced by nuclear weapons".