Thursday, 30 October 2003

good point there about Phoenix and such, one feels, (though of course the punk's debut album is ace, and really still worth taking over phoenix's debut album, one rates), but still, definitely feeling that.
save title ix
very good points from our man there, also that glossary was 'ckin brilliant!
wiley in jockey slut and a tufluv review of his new riddim comin' up - can't wait.
tell you what, and that's that tim marlow is basically single-handedly redeeming channel 5, man's a national treasure.
i shot the sheriff and the muthafukkin deputy
god, i love that mary j. debut elpee ('specially the title-track), superb

Wednesday, 29 October 2003

hugely enjoyable trash-tainment over on channel 4. Some points or seven:-
(1) Alexis Petridis is a little cutie and all, with nice jumpers, but when he was discussing Cunningham’s video for ‘come to daddy’ he mentioned the descriptive “dance music” at one point, and said some rubbish about tower blocks getting glamorised, perhaps he was referring to the glamour of gangsta rap, scratched me brains, can’t think of many examples of whatever he was vaguely striking at, but you could feel the counter go off as he waffled about dance music, still, shows the utter rightness of P. Sherburne’s piece slagging him off a bit ago.
(2) All the chaps from ‘the league of gentlemen’ were really excellent and thoughtful analysts, very clever and stuff, one of them the spit of Wayne Coyne (the Flaming Lips played in Cardiff the other night, with support from Clinic; Public Enemy played in Manchester the other night).
(3) Most of the critics, well there was a lot of them, really liked a British woman called antonia quirke.
(4) You remember the first few months when the blair witch project came out? And every film school snob you knew was all ‘well of course it’s a rehash of Cannibal Holocaust and such, so shouldn’t be given the time of day’ well that’s all poo, admittedly the first time i saw it i was just laughing because i was hungry (we ate Hunanese in the end, and then goulash and plasticky Frankfurters at home; after nicking a giant cut-out of some sharks from the pictures) and so couldn’t concentrate, but rented it once, and you know, context is all, contextualise it, it’s good, inventive, scary, fill yer boots, well done.
(5) Contradicting what one’s just said about context and like similar (idiot shockah is me huh!?), FWIW, the ring (well, the original, although the peanut and jelo and Brian Cox’s accent in the remake were quite scary, spose) is far scarier than, say, the exorcist. Must admit, don’t think that the exorcist or poltergeist are scary, but practically pooped my pants when first saw one episode of the x-files they didn’t mention, one with gargoyles in it and it was the detective wot done it. good to see props for gems such as nosferatu, don’t look now, and the wicker man, from memory probably three faves shown.
(6) My scariest doctor who moment is either the sea devils/vampires, coming out of the water in a Kentish type landscape, or that big huge towerblock one with the (possibly carnivorous?) knitting old ladies, and mentalist cleaning droids? Sly McCoy on the telly. Surely the big silvery dudes (Cybermen: NOW you see why the great somedisco stayed out of all those Delia Derbyshire and Radiophonic Workshop discussions over at k-punk recently) are far scarier than the daleks who – after all – are essentially inverted waste paper baskets with some cardboard egg trays stuck on their chests and a plunger for a beak?
(7) The scariest thing fullstop was surely empire man kim newman’s hairstyle.
(8) felt a bit of a churlish foo’ for views on David Quantick. he kept appearing to say ‘well, some theorists say this film is all about reds under the bed, but really it’s about giant ants taking over Scottsdale’ and such, demystifying theories about film with his ‘look at me, a regular bloke’ bluster. normally, one is well disposed towards such perspectives, slaying the unwieldy dragon of pseuds-corner thought (there’s certainly enough of that on the nerdosphere eh), but it was just plain irritating with him, a bit of a ‘I’m a hero for saying this, ooh, daring, going against the grain of the other talking heads’, or rather of course – that’s what one felt. but then it was revealed he was the writer of ‘jam’ so really should be given deserved props, so fairy nuff like.
must confess, the ILM discussion about Daddino’s (is that his name? apologies if misspelt) piece on GBV has set off just about the most enjoyable thread for me personally there in a long time (writing as a very occasional ILM reader and even less occasional poster). ‘bee thousand’ is now safe enough to be pronounced canonical, practically, and that is to be applauded even if – like me – you aren’t a GBV fan.
saw elliot smith once, at glasto or reading, a good five or six years ago it was (if memory serves), and his poor man’s speedball of some smokes and black coffee went down winningly well, so all hail him.
as for Erase The World on the rugby, i feel this a tad unfair, kinda, but also basically agreeing. i know many working-class (actual working class as opposed to sociology lecturers, students, politicians, and guardian readers that lie about themselves, FWIW, my parents are working class, but i’m not, i’m {lower} middle-class, fucking hell, i’m a pompous cunt hey) rugger fans in the manchester area, for one, and more than a few very working class brummies that are passionate about it. there’s also the issue of League, which admittedly is an almost wholly yorkshire/bits of lancashire thing (there’s the London Broncos, to be fair), but the classic rugger bugger that erase is discussing, that’s true, mean, not going to complain too vociferously about all those handles or anything as my own experiences of this sort in northern and Midlands posho environments (e.g., Keele, Staffordshire; Wilmslow, Cheshire, have also been singularly depressing), but footballers themselves are generally (perhaps) – as Jimmy Greaves simply and eloquently testified once – Thatcherite sorts as a (horrible blandishments, muddying the waters, generalisation) rule, one gets the impression proper southern Twickers Waitrose picnicking fans do more for charity than the likes o’ me, so it behooves me to recognise the fine upstanding individuals you get in Richmond and leave it at that.
i agree, when Emerald Daze goes boid-watching, it’s supremely fine.
top of the pops review, Friday just gone.
REM played their new song, which was seen on Parky a few days earlier. Michael Stipe has that cool blue make-up, a slash of marine, like a trepanning with a trowel or wide screwdriver encrusted with bleeding aqua crystals, that then widens its remit. This was a good, jumping-around REM song, and is to be recommended.
The fragrant Sugababes are number one with another good song (seems a bit comparatively spare this one, and not necessarily in a good way, but still bloody enjoyable obviously), even if this one doesn’t quite have the chorus of ‘Round Round’ or the all round thermonuclear brilliance of ‘freak…’.
Emma Bunton, who one normally would be expecting to despise her choons, well, even her effort was quite nice, a little breathy, almost a little Trevor Horn touches and flourishes in the back there, as Emma’s effervescent essence was foregrounded.
Britney’s new tune has been foreshadowed and submerged in some quarters beneath frisky chatter about the video, which sees her and Madge nearly swap saliva at the end, before the delicious apparition of the Material Girl vanishes into thin air. now, you can sit there and spout a load of supposedly amusing – actually poisonous boring fart, banter about the video if you want, but we’ll take the tune, which is quite alright (i am of course not referring here in any way to good points from k-punk and spizzazzz on this subject, more the general tabloid press crit-school, etc., of late).
There was some bloke with a soca-type thing; whose name escapes me, and that was well wicked. Light, and bubbly, and like Dutch laid paper type thing, going on. that was that. is it Kevin Lyttle? see how pisspoor we are round here.
Or so it seemed.
There was some angsty indie-rock girl, possibly from that fame academy type show. Technically you could slag this off as boring rockist conservatism, but it felt the way the chorus stuttered into being, kept calling itself back into view, like the singer had it on a leash and it was running off outside the picture, but then she kept cropping the central focus (which might have been a tower in the background, or a rocky outcrop garlanded with pretty flowering blooms in the foreground) and re-iterating her demands, that was okay. so that was okay. one’s heart leapt when it appeared she was wearing a tee shirt bearing the legend ‘Greeley’ and that perhaps she was a Northern Exposure fan, but it was not to be, and the shirt said something else.
There was Sophie Ellis-Bextor, who wasn’t so hot with her effort.
Can’t remember if there was anyone else.
for the record, would just like to state that last Sunday, in the main newspaper, the normally reliable and gently – Pooterish – funny columnist of the telegraph, Oliver Pritchett, was a straight-ahead racist. He wrote a column – he’s supposed to be a light-hearted ‘funny’ (a bit like Beachcomber of the Daily Express, spose) – about the Chinese launch of a spacecraft (or something like that; if you know what i mean, you know what i mean), and it was filled with vile terribly unfunny rubbish about Cantonese take-aways. Horrible and bilious nonsense.
the sunday telegraph magazine restaurant critic column, normally helmed by the irrepressible Matthew Norman, has started marking establishments (out of ten). Using a number-based grading system, instead of relying ‘only’ on the red rockets glare of Norman’s sprightly prose saddens me, and makes me fear for the future, in some loosely terrible way i clearly can’t begin to articulate with any sense. one’s favourite British food writer, beating even Nigel Slater into a cocked hat (apologies for hammering this point home in the past, but he really is piss funny).
the latest missive from Trafford Council’s paean to the wrong kind of political correctness, a New Labour puffpiece, Trafford Today, contains the following gem on page 10:=
An exciting new project to change the face of the underpass complex in Stretford Town Centre is currently being developed by Trafford Council….The project will tackle the persistent nuisance of graffiti and negative perceptions of the area by providing a blank canvas for the local community to express their artistic talents – with a mural, painting, poem or other art in the subway.

as someone who uses the subway every day and is consistently delighted and challenged by the graffiti around there, which is exploding recently, some real nice tags f’r instance, it’s clear there’s a very real artistic talent at work in what the council refers to as a nuisance. what a bunch of missing-the-point numpties. of course one’s being callous, old folk don’t like graffiti, blah blah blah, councils spend millions cleaning up, just wish they wouldn’t bother personally. the council’s ideas about an officially sponsored Art Attack! are very intriguing, and sound really rather encouraging to these ears, but erasing one set of histories for an alternative, official-sanctioned narrative (even one that is subscribed to with ‘the community’, that nebulous local government-speak term) makes me feel a bit queasy.

rather gutted about Matt’s assertion that I'll not be posting photos of my arse, we could turn the nerdosphere into a lad’s mag with that sort of refreshingly zany caper.
obviously bravo etc.
right, firstly, basic responses to Jon’s recent feast of prog.
oh, this felt a tad unfair; It's all very well compiling amusing and exhaustive list of band names that sound vaguely proggy or may have had a tendency to name tracks, Jon and Simon were just employing time-honoured research methods here first, one supposes, and mapping out the terrain they’ve got to cover (c.f., Orwell, ‘the first duty of the intellectual is to state the obvious’). as for Does this not reflect badly on what's around today, when the mere thought of what some beardy geezers from Walsall might have been getting up to with mellotrons and lutes seems immensely more appealing that the sex-decorated shiny confections of now that is clearly not the case for either of those two chaps, who luv it luv it luv it past and present, for all to see.

good stuff about Matt’s quote, psych being multi-coloured and prog greys and browns, the usual modesty from Dale about his difficulties in grappling with the texts, and a crucial point made with I also think that the idea of ‘psych rock’ as an evocation of the psychedelic experience/mind-state has totally dissolved, in fact, it started to dissipate in the early 1970s; you don’t hear this often enough. in fact, i think that more people might still tend to veer towards psych as shorthand for (among other things) psychedelic dabblings and experiments than cleave towards Jon’s new position. dunno like, it just seems like whenever one reads most magazine features on psych, say, the text is dripping with juicy ‘oo-er, saucy’ references to hallucinogens and pharmaceutical goodness. can’t actually think of any concrete examples for this off the top of one’s head, just a general long-soaked in tendency to write this whole area down as ‘one looong drug experience’ trope and be done with it, and if that’s the essential drip-feed impression one still receives, there must be something in the water somewhere, still.
Anima and film books – truly we are blessed!
Dom’s ‘Edge of Time’ sounds nifty.
oh, and his closing paragraph a delight, sheer delight.
must be honest here and admit i’ve never even heard of any of these Scando hep-cats , but what a lovely dig at O’Rourke heh-heh.
Latin America
potentially the most interesting section from the POV of a middle-class white-boy Briton cultural tourist pose, and not to be disappointed, it’s Peru’s Traffic Sound that come good, who’d a thunk? Alberto Fujimori, the Shining Path, and a sophomore effort called ‘Virgin’, it’s almost all too bizarre. the late 1990s hipster index placing of the Tropicalia movement a winning aside there, also nice to see someone sticking their neck out against the general consensus in favour of Os Mutantes, wouldn’t have thought that was Jon’s cup of tea, but comes out fighting nonetheless. well done that man.
well, he may not be Cummings, but i think that’s pretty good for most of us. don’t mind ‘fessing up, as per, only heard of, of about half these folk (let alone heard, haha). And what a superb mini-essay from Cope there he links to; that site in general is a marvellous one actually, the ol’ headheritage place.
Harvest Records
an interesting section but mainly skirted out by meself in order to rush to Dale’s homeland section, given that that Extradition record sounds like about the tastiest thing he mentions fullstop.

come to the top of the class, we say!
a sterling effort, etc.
anyway, enough of this banter, onto other matters.
where is Jon? as one doesn’t tire of saying, he is the best writer on Bark Psychosis.
before anything else, here’s a couple of cracking quotes from that idiosyncratic artist, Arshile Gorky:=

- Cezanne is the greatest artist, shall I say, that has lived.

- Has there in six centuries been a better art than Cubism? NO.
they've sacked Joe Scully?!
bunch of arse disgrace!
there are some proper tools on that guardian webchat archive discussing tings with man like Petridis.
clearly i'm a fannypack man (take that how you want), it should - of course - be noted.
perhaps it's because one feels one should not be allowed (clearly a wrong-headed approach, and know so) to get so worked up about the guardian's american list of, admittedly, not actually bands but 'things etc.', but really, it's someway more agreeable than the British one they did, which kinda floundered into a piss-poor avenue.
sure, could still argue til the cows come home, but won't, pointing out instead for once (what a refreshing change!) some things to big up, apart from to note
that Fannypack is predictable yus.
but Emmylou and Xtina and Pink and Missy and Dolly
and Lambchop and JT (tho' praps not Beyonce as the 'dead shark eyes' meme is fairly persuasive round here) and Em and, yes, the Neptunes (at least they got it right, and put Timbaland above), and Outkast are all right and fair.
see it coming as many miles off as a Kansan town whilst out driving in them thar flatlands that the Lips would be above the 'kast, but, yunno, still, give 'em some due, somewhat better than the Albion list, as was pointed out...
more tomorrow (promise pwomise) including a long post (by _disco standards) that had been promised for the weekend just gone, but, well, you were (inadvertently) lied to.
peking 0 is so good one feels almost rude reading it.
yes yes YES (napkins fall from table, bread rolls shudder about, cutlery flying, other diners look on aghast open-mouthed, that level up to carousing almost) to Marcello, but esp. Archies, 'A Boy Named Sue' (classic after all, and big in Cyprus with the bar-owners IIRC), Connells, East 17 (one of them pissed his pants on the bus once, they said), Sophie Ellis-Bextor's best moment, Ronan Keating (yes), New Radicals (of course), 'No Limit', and obviously Shania.
true to all dat (especially about Smith and Glasgow).
over rated old duffer John Cale heh-heh, fantastic!
tour de force clap post on Missy and John Meyer {like 'body is a wonderland' myself, bit cheesy video mind}.
the last post might be a bit morally dubious stalker territory, perhaps a little mawkish, you say. well, fairy nuff.

in order to alleviate any feelings of that, i direct you this way, my school certainly wasn't like that.
wow, the lovely companion adores this dude, having spent a year being taught by him and a year of record shopping with him in their free period and, e.g., she has a wonderful photo of the two of them in San Francisco hanging out (two Clover mentions from S/F-J, kewl) and, e.g., he writes sweet dedications on his own volumes (seen it with me own eyes, fact that).
Simon R. once told me that Josh Clover was a house DJ, back in the day. i believe he lives in Berkeley or New York or somewhere with a ridiculously attractive Frenchwoman, good for him.
he's also won a Whitman something award for being the best young poet that year in the USA.
Ashbery bigged him up, it's true!

Tuesday, 28 October 2003

The Self-Unseeing

Here is the ancient floor,
Footworn and hollowed and thin,
Here was the former door
Where the dead feet walked in.
She sat here in her chair,
Smiling into the fire;
He who played stood there,
Bowing it higher and higher.
Childlike, I danced in a dream;
Blessings emblazoned that day;
Everything glowed with a gleam;
Yet we were looking away!
_Thomas Hardy
here’s a test for lads right, don’t know what the female equivalent would be, but it’s lad-proof anyway, basically,
if you refer to your mother as mother at any point, that’s A
and if you have never referred to your mother as mother at any point, preferring instead mamma or mummy or mam or mum or mom (or whatever it is in your part of the world), that’s B

WHERE A means you’re a bit pretentious or poncey
WHEREAS B means you’re not.

me, i’m A. there’s not necessarily anything wrong with being a bit pompous, i mean look at Proust!
very self-obsessed (probably a conversational dullard, repeating tales about himself, you’d wager)
one certainly knows – can think of two very definitely, and probably more – male mates that are also B, most blokes one knows A, which is, yunno, healthy.
i reckon Luke always calls his mam mum and has never said mother in his life, that too for Jon Dale.
Not sure about Ingram or Reynolds but they are public schoolboy types eh…

incidentally, i sound like a 13 yr old boy, but that’s OK as it’s all to do with refracting the self, actualisation of the other, subverting the post-modern paradigm and all that, it must be right, having just read a bit of ole Terry Eagleton.
incidentally, i believe at least one of the chaps at it’s all in your mind is a Southampton fan.
obviously, that’s why i don’t write scripts for Australian soap operas, or indeed any soap opera (tho’ some of the Brazilian ones would be worth a crack).
what the deuced blazes are they playing at in ‘Neighbours’?
most of the fit girls have left, having seen it today, - there’s no Chelle (who arrived on the show as a little kid, granted, but blossomed into a beautiful young lady, as my mate Thaxo said; used to well fancy her), no Flic, and worst of all the absolutely gloriously fanciable Lori has departed (perhaps for her native N.Z., but most likely for a bar job in Deptford, is my guess), leaving just Nina (who actually has cancer in real life egads) and Steph (who apparently in the show has breast cancer egads), don’t try and argue for Libby with me, that doesn’t cut the mustard oh no.
among the boys, Jack is kinda cute still, if still stand-offish still (still!, after all this time!) with his supposed mate, the fairly spunky (as one believes they say in Oz) Taj, and the Irish lad has nice eyes.
apart from that, it’s all poof! Disappearing acts.
bizarrely, Lyn’s mother appears to be a Scouser (well, she certainly seems to have a mild Bootle accent)!
did Lyn emigrate from England as a youngster and acquire a new accent over the years?
there was one funny line where an actually cute girl – some guest star who has snogged Jack (see, i’m all 11-year old schooldisco in an unironic manner!) and who Taj fancies, IIRC – asked Jack (who lived in England for a while, plying his trade on the soccer {sic}field) if he’d met (Mark, Aussie player playing over here) “Viduka”. Jack said aye yeah, but nothing else!
what a wasted opportunity, could have extended the franchise of Neighbours from students, pensioners and young girls who watch at teatime, to footy-mad 8-year-old boys in the West Yorkshire area.
you see, if i was the scriptwriter, at that point we could have dropped in some comment about Leeds United’s current financial woes, and a pithy analysis of Graeme Souness’ outburst at the weekend.
luv luv LUV that tune
And the years folded up like pocket handkerchiefs
-Toni Morrison
Yesterday was the start of Ramadan.
the lovely companion gets musical -
there are ships going under the bridge on michigan ave right now, so the bridge is up and the bells are going off (as normal), but i swear it's the exact tempo of the white stripes' 'seven nation army' and so i'm sitting here at my desk and in my head i'm going 'i'm goin to baltimore! a seven nation army couldn't hold me back!'
political/artisan signifiers -
last nite i attended a presentation of pre-civil war quilts on the south side, and it was so amazing. i had no idea the extent to which messages and communication were perpetuated through patterns and symbols on quilts. the presenter was a woman whose family (generations ago) escaped from slavery, and she learned about the history from her grandmother, and now she makes her own replicas, and tours with the few originals she has (they're in plastic protective covers) and she's written a book as well.

on yo azz.

Sunday, 26 October 2003

fuckin hell, all these exclaimation marks.
ha-ha, a new domino comp. 2-discer, celebrating their birthday etc. is called 'worlds of possibility'.
Jon, watch ya back!
txt off mate:
Sadly fictional headline: "Canon Jeffrey John - Bashing the Bishop?"

the mate later wrote 'it works on so many levels and is so shit at the same time'.

my reply: 'it's fucking ace!'.
there's been a lot written about the grunge band Nirvana but i think the only decent bit i ever personally read about them was somewhere like Q and i only remember one sentence where the writer had put something like fact: no nirvana song ever ended on a fade-out.

Friday, 24 October 2003

holding scissors like that for 20 yrs, that's agonising, heart-breaking.
with ref. to the blog/prog debate, if one could scan, do programming, construct charts and tables etc., i'd probably be into the gatefold era by now, indeed, bejewelled cases and the like.

as it, taut (read: irreverent throwaway shite) is best.
big up yoself
crecallshowupdate [see below]
a long rambling call from Cobb Rescue and Appreciation Project (well, he is in beautiful Dorset) failed to produce any concrete funding for the Lyme Regis spot, but did offer invaluable intel about the sheep and cows.
later trumanshow/edtv-type aktion planned, doutbless...
i leave you with this worthwhile resource.
still on the scotsman, their very good heroes and villains column has a fine feature this week, making many sensible points.
this is another good one.
actually found that scotsman 100 ting quite enjoyable, be sure to read two increasingly hilarious ILM threads about it, and the to be fair very reasonable scotsman op-ed piece.
can't quite feel marcello's luv for the primacy of no.52, quite fond of 3 and 8 meself, someone over at ILM mentioned wot no jackie leven?! and i can't see his name in there either, which is puzzling.
i like this bloke (if only because he shares a surname with my mate) and y'all should read him; one trifling correction, it's china's eastern coasts, you'd say...
___once a pedant¬
possibly news item of the year?
course don't hold a brief for either man (knowing fuck all about economics helps hah) but Weblog by Joshua Micah Marshall, the thinking man's Paul Krugman on the WSJ opinion page of links just reads like half-arsed tossed-off conservative punditocracy to me.
a piece you can find here is the best thing in that new nyrb thus far - gripping, balanced, and excellent, frankly.
ronald dworkin at
philo nyu, law nyu.
oh, this bloke works for BBC news, and his personal blog makes interesting reading.
right, off for a bit, will put up a fairly longish post sometime over the weekend (well, by my standards, even if we're no Jon 'Florian Fricke' Dale round here...)
meanwhile, any readers (readers, readers?! hah-pah, must be jokin'___) might like :=
(1) ten classics from cognitive science
(2) lao tones
(3)korean american museum oral history series
how infuriating (to write the least)
i'm well chuffed with that, as several weeks ago i supposedly told my mate Timbaland was retiring, apart from the occasional special project and stuff with Bubba. i don't know where i read that, but apparently i did - i recall him telling me, as it happens, but he recalls vice-versa, so fairy nuff.
perhaps one of us is right, and he is retiring, and this constitutes a special project, but what a glorious thing to read.
here's to Mr Mosley.
four stars for Ingram's bete-noire, the redone rockness one. still, AMG staffer Tom Erlewine is one of their rockular correspondents (desert island picks Rundgren's 'A Wizard, A True Star', Urge Overkill's 'Exit the Dragon', Naughty Rhythms: The Best of Pub Rock, Rockpile's 'Seconds of Pleasure',
the Dan's 'Can't Buy a Thrill', the first Clash in the US and Suede's 'Dog Man Star', so eminently reasonable write-up from that standpoint. also, he did do that fine revolver overhash).
that whole Tibor Fischer/Martin Amis spat, i don't know.
i've never read either (tho' obviously like Amis' old man).
my unasked for and unqualified opinion is that Fischer most likely was OTM, but all the reviews i saw of his most recent novel (released the same day as the offending Amis, after all) saw a critical caning dished out even worse than 'yellow dog' received.
so there we are.
besides knowing an aside about hitchens, c., is pointless and misses the spot, (Fischer wrote if you're such a Lefty, why are you in the cocktail bars of Manhattan and not in a ball-bearing factory in Bucharest?), here's
fischer at complete review, fischer in the guardian, and amis in the telegraph.
and Meme's uncarved colleague on point too.
and as for
- it's all too much. badbwoys both (to paraphrase the Newham sage).
delightful new knock-knock off in style there from Philip S.
apparently, Barcelona is one of the graf capitals for our delightful continent.
you know, treating people as people and not statistics, scroungers, leeches, etc...
shut up, mr letwin, enabling them to work is part of mr blunkett's key phrase.
that's interesting.
i find the IR 101 aspect of quite a lot of US newspaper journalism fascinating in itself (for what it says, leaves out, etc.)

saying what needs to be said, etc.etc.etc.
he looks like a hard nut eh
over at loaf, can i just say that that shaar murray line is probably my new current fave thing, ooh, anywhere.
murray's hendrix book is good, especially corrective chapters about the chitlin circuit, all that blues, jazz, etc.
you remember that florid NME review he did of Jah Bob at somewhere like the Lyceum?
it was in that NME birthday issue a year or so ago.
top times man.
Meme back huzzah!
good points about grime, Laswell (guilty of that myself, TBH), Outkast, and such.
good work Bill

Thursday, 23 October 2003

p.s. you the man, oh you the man dog
head here, for (fairly offensive and vaguely puerile) all good fun, put up in the event of all work-related systems being down for over a week at work as we await, a-quivering, the rollout of Siebel v1.2, going live, ooh, any day now [note: please know i'm not responsible for any of the writing or phrasing on the site, that is a colleague's brainchild; indeed, i was also assigned roles, if i was choosing myself, i would have preferred other directions, still we all suffer for our art, and this is my equivalent of provincial panto work before i'm off to Broadway and TONY glory eh].
today he wasn't biting (that is, answering his phone to any calls, all day), which is a shame, as i had a fantastic largely freestyling narrative germinating in my head about an Irn-bru factory in Stranraer and the machinations of the English Institute for Scottish Drinking, that would certainly have been the most rambling yet {note, i have never been to Stranraer and don't even know if they have an Irn-bru factory there. nevertheless}.
if you look hard enough, you'll even find a picture of yours truly there in one of the subpages (warning, my GINGA hair needs the barbers EVAH so!, one takes shit photos {look like a skinny football hooligan}, and this is the worst spot week for fecken years, truthfully)
god, i feel dirty for posting that. very solipsistic (hey, i care about spots, i must read HEAT...) and American homepage-like (fortunately you're spared my shit poetry and pseud thoughts). ;)
apologies. it's an occasional attempt at levity heh-heh.
an IDM fan no less, his first move to see if Autechre would come out to play, do you see?!
just taken delivery of the latest, sumptuous & 40th anniversary issue (no less!) of the nyrb.
sorry, but this has always been my favourite magazine in this ballpark, well surpassing any love for the lrb or the tls; also in the literary avenue, here are google magazines and papers, magazines and e-zines, and good old-fashioned journals.
right, shortly i'm off to the bog, new edition in hand.
expect me to emerge around November 12th.
that French dizzee ras review, that's ace that.
so we're two lots of comedians straight over round ere = blimey!
Nektar-Elbow yeas,
UNCUT is rather daft, yussir.
[of course one's comments here shouldn't be read as me knowing what's up before the facts are in, and i'm hardly one of those no smoke without fire types] but it is a little puzzling, personally, how some of the chattering classes have taken al-jazeera to their collective bosom in such a way {do luv Garzon, to be fair}

Wednesday, 22 October 2003

swear blind just saw the girl who plays Chelle Scully (from tv's Neighbours) driving a battered VW Polo into the carpark of Stretford tram station.

Friday, 17 October 2003

so i got a little shouty, a little blatant, a little lairy in that last post. apologies.
on the other hand, this is rather good.
Let me take a stab at the question posed in your Oct. 6 editorial "Our Friends the Serbs." You ask, "Who'd have thought that the Serbs would turn out to be better friends of America than the French." The answer is "anyone with a sense of history."
During World War II, after the collapse of the French, the Serbs fought valiantly against their Nazi occupiers. Many American airmen owed their lives to Serbian resistance fighters who faced brutal German retribution for aiding American pilots. The Serbian people suffered both civilian and military casualties because of their heroic efforts to protect our servicemen during the war.
Going back further in history, the entire conflict in Kosovo is a remnant of battles fought centures ago when the ancestors of the Serbs halted the Muslim invasion of Europe. So it should come as no surprise that we should find the Serbs allied with America in the war on terror.
The French of that age produced Charles Martel. The French of today boast Jacques Chirac.
Let me be clear. Slobodan Milosovic
(sic) is likely to be convicted of war crimes in the Hague. He ran a brutal regime in a brutal part of the world. A fair reading of the Balkans would suggest that one could find individuals from all parties in the conflict who are candidates for war crimes trials.
_Ron Lawson, Houston.

from the wall street journal, thursday, october 9, 2003, letters to the editor.
unfortunately, i cannot find the original editorial in question; the journal site is mostly all 'subscribers only' on yo azz.

anyone with a sense of history should be applauded (apart from revisionists, who should be argued with).
and this is mostly fair enough.
it's kind of amusing he misread the Kosovo/a aircampaign like all those letters to the Daily Mail back at the time did, from old pilots, do you remember any British readers, e.g.,
'it is appalling that the present day RAF is joining with our mortal foes the Luftwaffe to rain down death on the noble Serbs, historically good friends to Britain' (i PROMISE i read one letter pretty much like that once, it HONESTLY referred to the contemporary German airforce as the Luftwaffe!)
i assume all the stuff he's referring to about Serbs fending off an Islamic invasion of Europe is the sort of narrative that culminates in that now almost mythical battle at Kosovo polje. it's interesting he mentions a chap who'd been dead for several hundred years by the time that rolled around, if what he's alluding to is what i've assumed it is. still, history that far back kind of does boil into one big story eh (it's also kind of interesting that his historical parallel should be a figure known for, among other things, driving back the spread of Islam across mediaeval Europe; i realise he must want it 'within context', but for an alternative laudable historical French figure, try Villon or Joan of Arc).
the only problem i really have with this letter - and being a nerd enough to type it up and inflict my woefully ill-informed haranguing on anyone reading - is the tone of some of it.
i'm hardly a fan of Jacques Chirac - you only have to understand how Gaullism is preprogrammed into his political DNA to appreciate why he can be so stubborn and self-serving - but it's more the general 'woo! Islam' atmosphere. mainly that So it should come as no surprise that we should find the Serbs allied with America in the war on terror. line.
and it's true that a "fair reading" of the conflicts in the Balkans could support his final paragraph, of course (among other things, including Croatian abuses and crimes against ethnic Serbs obviously, i wonder if he's thinking about a meeting between Tudjman and Milosevic to talk about carving up Bosnia-Hercegovina?).
but i hope it doesn't sound like he's under the impression that the most horrible, and longest lasting, of the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s wasn't mostly about anything other than an attempt to drive out, to displace, to kill if need be, in large number, Bosnian Muslims and to make an ethnically pure Greater Serbia construct.
tho' really, she was a tad unkind to Laramie, WY and Fargo, ND, you'd say.
"The Census Bureau reports in a September 18 press release that as of July 1, 2002, Cook County had the largest population of black people in any county in the country - 1.4 million. The top county for Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics was Los Angeles."
[source: Chicago Reader, October 17 2003].
{ed. note, on a thrust of populist cliches, i wonder if San Francisco had the second biggest Asian population? we all know that Vancouver and San Francisco are the biggest Chinese/ethnic Han/say what you want/ cities outside the Pacific Rim countries, rite}.

so i just read that in the paper, and so given that Los Angeles has more Native Americans, Hispanics and Asians living there than anywhere else in the USA, and that Chicago remains the capital of black America, i was just idly wondering outloud which city had the most white people.

me: It's probably New York, i suppose, if only through sheer numbers and the size of the place.
the lovely companion: (quick as a flash, adopting scarily realistic huckster drawl) Topeka, Kansas.
been trying to think of any Chicago rappers and the only real big name i can think of is Common.
so when people say the Midwest, i suppose it's Detroit, Cleveland they're thinking of.
and St. Louis, of course.
(some of today's) BIG UPS
found magazine
chicago wilderness
ho-chunk constitution
bustan l'shalom
nomy lamm
this is angelica (well, it's a webpage detailing said angelica, but 'you know what i mean').
America as the apex of post-fordist, post-modern (or, at the very least, we're into high modernity with its baubles and bear-traps; no, not that bear market, for instance, neither meaning a, yunno, actual bear [e.g., sun, Kodiak, polar] either), largely untrammeled, furiously inventing and uninventing and redoing and rethinking, consumer-driven but corporate-protected hyper-capitalism, the world on a stick, in a shaker.
i know this because yesterday, in a gift shop, one sighted a child's doll that was actually a Sigmund Freud ACTION FIGURE. there is not much left.
i suppose we can now turn to the
malls of Dubai, or something.
P.S. The fountains at this place, literally, astonish.
There are, of course, unfortunate side-issues related to such matters as, well, the likes of Banana Republic and the similar types currently have several suits pending against them, from Latino or Asian or black prospective employees who were turned away on, essentially, racial grounds. there is a distinct Hilfiger Hamptons look at play there, of the blandly cheery and not very good looking but technically is, let's be frank, whitebread scene (TBH, Hilfiger himself, and in his shops and adverts, even if you are of the qualified opinion his meandering is loathsome shite [which 1 does not, not subscribing so much to the adbusters perspectives these fine days], would not stand for such despicable and unacceptable behaviour in hiring practices, but some of this Abercrombie & Fitch type-nonsense really does have to be seen in its natural mall-rat habitat to be, well, almost believed {as it were}).

finally, my brother's football analysis of Manchester City against Lokeren has the air, it is true, of the stereotypically arrogant Manc (Ian Brown swagger, and suchlike), but here it is, reproduced below: =
Yeah City's display last night wasn't great to be frank but
professional (i.e. very boring to watch but were in the next round
so who cares). Telling in the Sun and Express today that Us,
Scousers and Toon got full page reports on our Euro games but Saints
and Bburn got small bits at the bottom of the page, support,
tradition and general importance will always see the likes of us
rise above those two nobodys.

mind you, he is a Radiohead fan, so you can't have everything now, can you. typical Thacko.
my friend Chunkers has got himself a new woman. that's good.
he's also been to see Damien Rice. that's bad.

Thursday, 16 October 2003

Wednesday, 15 October 2003

here's one, then two interesting articles from the guardian. oh, and here's a general good eggs article at bbc football.
inabit, i'll have that letter up from the wallstreetjournal i was bitching about, some uninformed comment about edward said, and doubtless one or two other matters.
can i just say that, seconding k-punk, the utter rightness of Nick's feverish holding forth on the Suicide de-but album here is an invigorating treat-and-a-half, whilst - don't ask me to say why, cause i don't know - emerald daze's essex salty-tinged flats piece starts with, for me, the most sheerly enjoyable opening two sentences i think i've read anywhere thus far this year. strange huh.
the fact that the lovely companion is enjoying her copy of Graham Swift's startling 'Waterland' really doesn't have anything to do with it, i feel (incidentally, that Swift link is labryinthine and quality, check it out do if you're at all arsed about that book).

so TWANBOC admits there's a big prog special on the way, and reading at blissblog suggests more to follow, and apparently a southern hemisphere-based personality may be weighing into the mix soon enough on the same topic___is it too late for me to develop an ardent interest in Jethro Tull?
goddamnit, i knew really, even as a 7 year old, i shouldn't have scalped all those rare-as-hen's-teeth Gentle Giant sides of the old man's down M&VE just so's i was able to go to the panto...

Tuesday, 14 October 2003

okay, so the following url is obviously biased, it's bill o'reilly sucks
but check out this here, it's quite interesting. i read the issue of the new yorker in question and here is the column.
i mean, o'reilly makes me laugh, but you know, that's not so nice.
this is a very good column on the subject of American television punditry/
a big sanddune, hundreds of feet high, you have to make like a snake to get up there, sandshifts from side to side and your feet go all gawky and splayed like a rift valley flamingo's in terms of fragility-
from the top there is everything, a prehistorically great big lake, little white spurs and caps out on the water which is not just glassy like a flat lake should be, after a few minutes of intense focusing little semi-transparent white platters of a cottony material start to float around, beguiling you and disturbing you simultaneously, in the background over your shoulder is a wooded scene reminiscent of somewhere like the appalachians, with power lines of an odd looking size and makeup trailing away into the distance, out of the corner of your eye is a huge furnace that is part of some powerplant deal and when they were younger the small children called it 'the cloud maker' feeling it responsible for the beauty of this vast sky, and the sand is always shifting, little creatures like tiny spiders and bigger ones like large flying ants joust with each other, avoiding dogs tongues and small boys rolling down the slopes, the sunset turns the silhouettes of the fossilised trees first a cheery yellow, then an intense orange and finally the maudlin and powerful purples take over as you scurry away from the gaze of the lake
which was a little misty and a light haze in the air, meaning no manmade architecture for your ocular pleasure that day, but it could have been worse
right, i should stop this before Private Eye come here and slap a Pseuds-Corner arrest warrant on my azz
whereas, that, that's really funny

that's funny -given what we've been discussing

i thought i read somewhere over there that Ingram says you can trace where somewhere lives geographically from the url of their site.
is that true?
what about posting from a laptop in a Chengdu hotel room when you live in Antwerp?
surely that's not right.
i do actually like Dylan, i still prefer one off singles to his ouevre in general, and i've not owned anything by him for years, but the good folk over at it's all in your mind of course nailed it and then battened down the hatches; dylan's about the sonix int' it. wide open spaces and migrants moving to this great big free land (hey, i forgot Woody Guthrie or Leadbelly!), whirring leaves off special trees, cicadas, stirring a pot of some strange black tea at your camp on a musky night and your kettle is whistling a strange little beguiling old-country tune under the big moon, yeah, that's the main deal with bobby d.

-on a related note, i wish it's all in your mind would post more, they are definitely one of the (a) best blogs; and
(b) cleverest blogs
(tho' they might not like the second description)
though they wanted to stop i gather, but there again wishing for Rundgren is a truly fine desire.
i mean, at least in the USA, there's what, it's like Satchmo, Berlin, Elvis, Parker and Ella and 'Trane and Miles, Copland, Charles Ives, Charley Patton, the Gershwins, Sinatra, Young, Bing (gotta agree with AMG here), etc.
ye gods, sounding all rockist now, danger danger_
bloke at NYLPM buys single best piece of 20th century music.
so that's agreeable of course, very much so.
but this:=
The Iraq analogy arises again. What made Saddam Hussein's Iraq more of a "threat" in March 2003 than it had been during the years of containment?
- you heard quite a bit.
i must admit, i do think this is just useless as a corrective point to be raised.
everyone knows that there is a great many serious things left to be desired about all of a sudden deciding that the regime in Baghdad was 'more of a threat' than in all those years of UN-embargoed containment. unfortunately, surely people asking the question are aware that - with the leaders and their plans the USA or the UK currently has - they're not going to get a straight answer. i don't want to sound like some hawkish slob or spokesperson for a neo-conservative impulse, but you just end up looking naive to your debating opponents, right?
i agree with here that Radio 1 focuses on too much of one particular thing these days, but i mean, surely, f'r instance, the 50 Cent album sells more in the UK than Ani albums?

just a thought.
chi-town film festival as said before, a source of much rich beauty.

the local broadsheet the chicago tribune is really good, but the reader is better, four massive supplements full of absolutely superb journalism, wonderful phrasing, researched, all left-of-the-field levity, and all completely free.
anyway, their introduction to this year's film festival was preferable to the tribune's, as theirs just waxed compellingly lyrical about the lushness of all these global flicks on other, whereas the tribune film crit did some half-arsed thing about 'oooh, the need to understand the world is greater than even before for us americans', which is - granted, technically entirely accurate - but just irked as some sort of half-arsed shabby parochial thing, as if 9/11 hadn't happened, his readers wouldn't need to be going.
i realise that's a puerile thing to write, as the bloke would - in an alternate reality, not besmirched by the tragedy of 9/11 - still be plugging away about the necessity of the chi-town film festival with its goody-bag of international plunder, they'd probably be able to do it more agreeably to this prissy reader's eyes, but just - well, i guess, just - the tone struck one as the insular way to persuade his readers.
and that ain't that good.
or healthy, one supposes.
gosh, what a load of garbage is written at this place!
as you can tell, i'm in a linking mood, so there's where i went to uni.
there was a good one, some proper dons amongst the faculty. academics can get slagged off now and again, but they are at least a corrective to ideological poison from axe-grinders sometimes. what i will say, i won't say anymore, that's all legal, but you see that Kyril Drezov, my mate Soph was telling me she went to a research seminar once about something to do with some particular aspect of the Chechen war, and he had some rather rum views, shall we say...
...margaret canovan was one of my favourite members of that department, Arendt specialist, top woman.
god, it's getting all self-absorbed and misty-eyed round here about my schooldaze, seems almost appropriate i was nodding off to blonde 'dawsons creek' boy in that film 'varsity blues' the other night!
of course, the social anthropology department at that place used to be OK, but it was getting broken up (funding etc., the usual) and everyone's favourites lecturers were getting tenure at places like liverpool instead.
anyway, must just big up - on the academic tip - cheese like PPG, a nuanced literary chum of mine if ever there were, they're currently doing that, that course handbook is a PDF, interesting document to download if you can be bollocksed, though, and my boi Qasim, who's here, remember the name Qasim Latif he's going to be a famed authority on radical Islamism in the future, i don't envy all those languages he's gotta learn, well, yeah, that's him, when he's not doing stand-up or being just about my finest conversational foil on the subject of international cuisines and cookery.
anyway, everyone knows that the best writer working in English on the Balkans is not some supposedly 'brilliant sweep of my unconventional prose who shines a light on uncomfortable truths for colluding queasy internationalist liberals' leftist who churns up all before them, but rahter, Misha Glenny [Granta, NYRB].
true dat.
and another slightly odd thing about some supposedly scientific far-left, etc., analyses of conflict in the Balkans is that the championing of Serbs, the right for a 'Serbian people' to be regarded with normalcy - the height of laudable intent, after all - is sometimes let down, or degraded, by the less than scrupulously fair attitude towards the plight of the Muslims of Bosnia (if you're going to be criticising a biased media, after all, for focusing attention on the miseries of one group of people behind one line but not another group of non-combatants, you really had better make sure you yourself are above reproach on that score, hey?).
i think Ed Vulliamy was very much accurate when he called, in some ways, the Muslims of Bosnia back in the early to mid1990s the 'Jews of Europe' for that era, in some respects.
this is bringing ethnic politics into play here, and you could say it's descipable of me, but the only half-insightful line, one would argue (well, from memory, so please forgive me Winterbottom fans) in 'welcome to sarajevo' is when Woody Harrelson's character is remarking he can't help but think that the western world would have been bothered to intervene quicker in the Bosnian-Hercegovinan quagmire if the majority of those suffering had not been Bosnian Muslims, (historically, not technically European, in the old conception, Europe as Christendom, and all that guff), but ethnic Serbs, say, Orthodox Christians, Slavs all.
so this is just about the best film to chronicle 1990s catastrophes in the Balkans however; certainly 'welcome to sarajevo' falls down a lot.
so the mole rojo sauce at this place is stupendous: like refined chocolate, without all that sugary bad vibe, a little spicy, and presentationally inviting, the essence of a tension between an inviting sweetness that does just enough to convince you everything is okay, before the glorious heat chargrills its companions and proselytizes for the delights of textural/sensation triangulation in yo eating (wow! what a pseuds-corner sentence; it really doesn't mean a thing if you deconstruct it, huh). drizzled over my entree, it was just a divine eating experience. and the tableside medium-heat guacamole prepared dinerside, fun-size pestle and mortars abounding, was incredibly moreish.

oh, and the mega-cocoa buckets here are possibly the best one's ever supped.
dunno about the Jeff Buckley tribute though, they were playing some unrecognisable roots when i was in.
i adore what clap clap has written in defence of Robinson's irony piece and bigging up Tom and that; taking to task that zenarchery dude.
so you see, in early august of 1995 (the 4th), the Croatian army embarked on "Operation Storm" to retake the Krajina. hundreds of Serbs died and approximately 200,000 were displaced. the Krajina had been under the control of separatist Serbs since 1991, when presumably a load of Croatian civilians etc. had been ethnically cleansed from the region in the first place, but you never can find anything hard and fast about that on the internet (i mean, i can't, well, i can, but it's all academic and too boring for the casual reader to link to probably and hidden in the backs of other things) although i remember being told that and discussing that with many peeps in classes etc (keele uni, where i went, had a very well respected balkan studies groove don't forget).
in the aftermath of the offensive, Serbs were summarily executed in large numbers, many people 'disappeared'_____________________________

Franjo Tudjman was vile, essentially modern day fascistic impulses, kissing the flag, bad man bad man
here is an interesting Bard link.

the point is that some far-leftists who opposed any intervention in Bosnia-Hercegovina or Kosovo/a, on the internet DO, i feel, get Serbian apologist, for that section of irregular Serbian paramilitary, Yugoslavian-Serb military type and accuse everyone during all the interminable Balkans conflict of being racist towards Serbs and demonising them, and it's been a long time since i was studying international politics (well, a few years) so unfortunately i can't phrase this eloquently and with fiercely packed, o'er'brimming intelligence - which in writing terms - is the very least analysis the subject deserves, but i sincerely believe that's a load of hooey. no one i know ever felt generalising impulses towards "the Serbs" but what you should recognise - and if you are going around SCREAMING that we are all puppets of the USA and their New World Order this might be lost in the mix (the Kosovo/a intervention to build a US military base actually) - is that between 1992 and 1995 there was a concerted effort to create a state comprised ideally only of ethnic Serbs in Bosnia, and to ethnically cleanse all the Muslims from the area. it was not really a civil war, so much as it was slaughter.
some far-left commentators in ignoring the pain of others, and being selective with their commentary, and accusing others of being supine fools who want for 'economic globalisation so Uncle Sam can bleed everywhere dry' bleh bleh are, frankly, talking regrettable nonsense.
this is almost a fascistic impulse.
the views of some people might almost be summarised as 'i'll ignore a wide variety of literature from people who all have differing views in favour of this ONE person who says EVERYONE else is ENTIRELY wrong and they are accurate ALONE because they TELL THE TRUTH everyone else LIES LIES LIES'
it's ridiculous, and i genuinely think you could call it morally suspect. there is a real danger with revisionism here.
look at Ed Vulliamy he knows the score, ignore any slurs against him, he is the man in an arena like this, he saw it, some crappy group of deluded neo-Marxists in a backroom surrounded by pamphlets for WSWS meetings and slogans on the walls, nah, not having that
here you go
Sipowicz was pretty depressed in the first season i guess, he was certainly hitting the bottle
i also want to post this that i got in the same mail off rebecca, not to endorse it, just to have a giggle in a what's wrong with the wire style:-

mon 27th oct 2003
the 12 bar club > denmark st > london
___________________SKILL 7 STAMINA 12 > brighton 4piece jazz fusion post rock crossing stereolab with the fall - pioneers of the underground COVE > crashing noise rock with time changes and speaker tearing riffs - links with Jonsonfamily records and unlabel ANDREW ROBINS > folk genius in the style of Jim O'rourke on a hangover sunday. release's with the likes of Meets Guitar JASON AND THE ASTRONAUTS > synth noise youngster build a wall of noise. debut single out on Unlabel records now.

be sure to catch SKILL 7 STAMINA 12 eh folks?

"stereolab with the fall"
i mean clucking bell
there you are
attn london dwellers!!

PRINCESSHEADBUTT >"Eases in with gentle electro-noodling underpinned by some
delicate guitar and rather fab and restrained percussion, y'know, less IS
more and all that, then it slides into a fuller-figured sound with the brass opening up, ah, lovely stuff..." - unpeeled
QUERELLE > this will be the launch for the long awaited QUERELLE / THE WOW split 12" > an incensed display
of resplendent emotion and desire > "querelle sculpt an excellent blend of post-punk and post-rock, out of their
tiny undernourished buzzing hearts." - drowned in sound
MR JAMES SKINNER >the man behind the anguished guitar of 30 DAY HEX brought to you for a special
accoustic hearing > dangerously graceful songs of fleeting thought and harsh reality >

+ silver rocket dj's

sunday the nineteenth of october two thousand and three
@ the buffalo bar > nearest tube highbury islington > london
> doors open 7:30pm till midnight.

just got that off me bezzie Rebecca, i don't even know if she's part of Querelle or Princessheadbutt, but she assures the reader that she'll be playing all three chords on the six-string that she knows,
rebecca works oop north where it's boring and slow, in fact she works at the Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, and is responsible for this rather tasty sounding exhibition here about the divine Ms Kathleen Ferrier (she even got mentioned in the guardian guide woo-hah).
i thought it was time to move the goalposts and think outside the box and touch base with a little nepotism at this place, after all it's my feckin blog wot?
and re. that washington times editorial below, i'm quite a cynical rightwing pragmatic cunt me, in principle some of the stuff is not disagreeable, but it's just been written idiotically innit, with a lack of research etc.etc. like 'yes the red cross didn't know what happened in Penn., DC, Manhattan on the 11th September 2001; the red cross must think every single detainee is completely not guilty of being an al-qaeda or taliban member or fighter' no, give the red cross credit, but credit your readers with some brains and nuance eh?
edited highlights from the latest missive off our kid, over in Hull (there had to be extra-aesthetic reasons for sticking up for Larkin you knew it!) :=

Still I await Saturday when the second most annoying team from Gtr Manchester (aka The Bolton Breezeblock Army) come to CoMS and do their usual shit We only hate Man United, wankers,should be a good one, £29 quid in for me, as Bolton are apparently worthy of a category B game....By the way just got Gyles Brandreths diarys and its another Alan Clarke full of hilarious observations about the top orders at Westminster, heres a taster Soames pushed his way through the crowds, barking at the Wintertons ,You're cunts and ugly ones to boot

i like Soames me, he's a good laugh, remember one time when Prescott got up to speak and Soames barked out "A G&T for me, Giovanni".

OK, so we all know that compared to its sister journal, the washington times, even the post looks like a bastion of social-democratic mixed-economy bleeding heart Scandinavian liberalism, but this editorial from the times the other day really does take the biscuit.
the headline itself, "twisted" red cross is truly inflammatory, think of some of the word associations to go with that huh?
still, judge for yourself.
here from radio australia shows what a jam the red cross is currently in.

Monday, 13 October 2003

zenarchery update: - reasonable sorta clarification/cum-delicate refinement of views here re. the whole irony thing at FT, but i still think FT has it. "horrifyingly evil"?
chatting nonsense about things i don't actually know about, in a preening and pompously self-absorbed fashion
here is a provocative take on Diana Johnstone's fools' crusade: yugoslavia, NATO and western delusions [amazon link here]. the author spends some time slagging off the likes of Noel Malcolm, Michael Ignatieff, Chris Hitchens, and similar luminaries who - frankly - in this area i trust more than the author.
it should be noted that the article is published at the Monthly Review, a far-left site (it's also intriguing to note that the paperback of the Johnstone book is published by Pluto Press, which is vaguely significant if you know anything about that particular publishing house).
the horrible events that took place in the town of Gospic in the autumn of 1991 were being noted at the time, contrary to Herman's claims; HRW has information on that here, although carries slightly differing information to Herman's writing.
Herman does have some good points about an embedded media and toeing a party line and whatnot, and about the new-imperialist left-leaning types that basically followed the actions of the western governments in support thinking that the good (that outweighed evil side-effects), that was supposed to be being done (i was certainly one of these at the time during the 78 day aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia, although after the fact started to re-assess that position, typically when the like of one too many Robert Fisk reports came to light, detailing civilian casualties thanks to the usual suspect: Nato 'smart bombs'; i was, essentially, deluded into the one position, you see, although my final analysis was that of a fence-sitting one) was 'worth it', etc.
if you do a google for Johnstone or Herman's name, you'll sooner or later turn up some interesting views on the admittedly frankly fairly ridiculous Nato spokesperson during the Yugoslavian air campaign, Jamie Shea, and that sort of thing.
basically Johnstone and Herman and other colleagues are railing - and fair enough too - about the demonisation of the Serbs that certain media quarters, etc., probably did lapse too easily into during all the different days of the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, across many years and regions (and they would be forgiven for airing distaste about some of the less than rigorous reporting the world got about the UCK/KLA from certain quarters [Amnesty International]).
however, if personal experience is any guide (especially thinking of being a undergraduate student during March 1999 - when the campaign {which was estimated to cost Britain a bill of one billion pounds a year every year for a decade from the year in question, incidentally} got going - onwards), then some far-leftists should have been asking themselves some far harder questions (than they were) about abuses being committed against Kosovar Albanians, etc., from sections of Serbian society, etc. and not just have been going about making lazy and somewhat puerile anti-American points, etc. but there again, it's easy to get caught up in romanticising one end of a conflict and not trying to see the whole picture and all the multi-varied shades of grey, i know i've done it.
another example of this might be the student socialist worker newspaper of the period - this something distinctly recalled, especially since i was good mates with the chair of the student socialist worker society at the students' union - devoting much time and space to the bombardment of Yugoslavia but then ignoring any Russian abuses in Chechnya at the same time, and definitely ignoring blatant Russian abuses later in 1999 when the second Chechen conflict actually started.
here is a Yahoo! link for Tim Judah, who wrote - among other books - the excellent The Serbs, not an apologia for Serbian excesses, but a balanced look at an embattled society that deserved more credit than it got sometimes (and certainly more international recognition in response to certain heinous issues, such as the Croation re-taking of the Krajina, a situation of catastrophic proportions).
and, finally, here are one, two pieces from Ed Vulliamy at the Guardian about the ITN libel trial. there's not much continuity in linking these two pieces to my ill-felt rant above, but did want to observe that the second Vulliamy piece is literally the finest piece of writing i think i've ever read in the Guardian (within that ballpark, anyway), and Vulliamy is OTM here. don't believe all the bullshit from LM apologists, and Srpska-Mreza, etc.etc.-type nutjobs.
it's really not what it was all about.
i would just like to say that i agree more with Tom Ewing and Jim Robinson than zenarchery: see comments on that post also.
here are some additional points.
(i) a united fan friend was good enough to forward
It is hard to see how anyone at the club thought Ferdinand would remember a drug test he had been told about several hours before. After all, Sir Alex Ferguson must have told him whom he was supposed to mark during the Champions League match against Stuttgart and he forgot that in less than five minutes. That the defender was apparently photographed shopping on Tuesday afternoon indicates that he had also forgotten he was moving house. Or possibly he had wandered in to the glitzy department store under the impression it was his new house, having forgotten what the real one looked like.
from the Guardian, which we both enjoyed.
(ii) just wondered this in an email but are there any cities in Britain outside of the capital that are truly great in a New York/Paris/Tokyo way (you know warramean)?
perhaps the two Scottish braves (though i've always enjoyed Glasgow more than Edinburgh personally; it's hardly controversial to note the latter can be too precious about its culture, which Glasgow also has in spades, after all) and certainly the only English candidates (sorry Cymru) would be Birmingham and Manchester. i don't know, but it's a question of some interest to me. if only for reasons of mythology, and Bernard Shaw/Wilde/Beckett/Joyce type purposes [excellent tourism link], if you extended this catchment area to the British Isles, the only stone colder apart from the Smoke would be Dublin (even though it's smaller than many English cities).
(iii) Da Weaver (scroll down to Sat. Oct. 11) responds to me, and makes crucial points about: -
(a) demographics, true dat
(b) Sara Cox is execrable yeah, but Chris Moyles has never struck me as any good either (in fact, i'd be tempted to dismiss him as largely awful which would be unfair of course). i am a bit out of step though, thinking Mark and Lard terribly over-rated and i know that, really, they're cool, cause virtually everyone likes 'em.
(c) the freewheeling catholicism of a Jeremy Vine (he's no Paxo on Newsnight, but otherwise___) programme
(d) Radio 3's classical coverage. but, to be fair, that alone is brilliant. so, really, that's a tad unfair. though they do have a lot of Lucy Duran type world coverage, which means presumably that chez Wyatt/Harris they're not required listening... ;) (Duran shitting out Matt on his Senegalese tekkk trip), and crappy Wire abstraction, but in an overweeningly pretentious manner (whenever i've heard, you know, those two blokes, Sandall or whoever)
(e) and a brutally honest - and, to be frank, most likely accurate - assessment of Paul Gambaccini's "casual" listeners.
oh. and i honestly do enjoy Ani DiFranco as much as the next crunchy folkster, but Radio One ignores an awful lot more than just the acoustic folk-pop scene, so we may as well just open a barrage of criticism on all fronts, huh? :)
(iv) it always seems the Nobel literature is a good one, whereas people like to argue over the Nobel peace prize. obvious, but true dat (this is a fine piece at the guardian about the nobel in lit., via the boston review).
(v) one of one's favourite Nobel lit. winners in one's lifetime was 1992 (derek walcott).
(vi) laters.
here are some points.

(1) that from Jess is wonderful (falling in love with cities is one of the loveliest things in the world), and the bit about Peaches was spot on too. her whole sound seems grainy and rather tedious round here, to be truthful. not grainy in a decent Pygmy percussion way either.
(2) Robin's whole run of form on weekend gone was, basically, astonishing to read.
(3) Forest fan k-punk is shining brightly here.
my own views on this are that out of the United fanzines i've recently read United do pride themselves on their anti-sectarianism stance, let's be fair. and their fans are supposedly less tarnished by some of the excesses of the traditional (read, bigoted white chaps) football fan in some other towns (Mcr is hardly the most ethnically place in the provinces, or even the least white town in the north, but it is a far more ethnically mixed population than, say, Leeds or Liverpool or Newcastle or Sheffield). a lad i know who goes up the games often discusses the love-in he thinks the fans of Celtic and the fans of Liverpool have, to an extent. and he - very reasonably, after all - criticises Liverpool fans (i don't know if this actually accurate, or just a fantasy, but i shall take him at his word) for cosying up to Celtic fans. there's a sidenote here which says that some people, i believe, still do have a perception that out of the Old Firm clubs, Rangers have the higher percentage of fans whose minds have been twisted by the sectarian agenda.
i don't know, but an obviously blatant reason to posit why this might be the case in, certainly, England, is to do with a certain warping of the left-liberal mindset (fairly common among English youngsters, if my circles of acquaintances are any representative judge, and i'd say they roughly are) that supports Irish unification and so - the Bhoys fans, in patently being identified with that cause (see also all the Palestinian flags that Celtic fans wave at the derby matches) - this is why Celtic are bigged up in this regard (see also all the Israel [as well as Union flags, of course, to counter the Irish tricolour the Bhoys hoist] flags that Rangers wave at the derby matches) over the rightwards gaze of the Rule Britannia chanting Gers.
interestingly, i forwarded the link to my younger brother (the aforementioned Altrincham and Man City fan, like myself) and i'll transcribe his reply below. my brother is a centrist, nominally left-looking internationalist type btw, solidly Labour, does quite a bit for others bleh bleh, so he's not just some miserable Little Englander 'bitter blue' with no conception of political identities. his frank riposte certainly interested me.
Yep. I was lucky enuff to read the article in question in the Observer in full yday, and having come across this twat Kurt before, I must say a lot of the points made in the article you mailed hit the nail on the head. In much the same way the arrogant wankers think 'forgetting' a drugs test is a valid excuse for the most expensive player in english football history, Kurt seems to think United fans are some left leaning internationalist sophisticates or something. Utter shite.
The fact of the matter is from the top down United have one huge persecution complex and think that the normal rules of football shouldn't apply to them. I must say this week that nearly all proper fans I know fully backed the FA and that doesn't happen that often really. They really make me laugh the rags.

i do basically agree with the persecution complex thing. i know a lot of United fans and they're always - to be reasonable - at pains to point out they have this perception that everyone wants them to do badly (though i find myself very ambivalent towards United these days, and the only time i really want them to lose is when they play either City or other Prem teams i have much time for, e.g., Birmingham; it's Liverpool FC i can't stand heh-heh), but that practically translates into a persecution complex for some, i'd say.
okay, crappy unscientific straw-poll, but the collective two penn'orth from this end.
i certainly know enough racist, white United fans with the same regressive views on illegal immigration that those Little Englanders down in (far less white, as population goes, incidentally - Trafford borough, where United play, is comprised of about 92% ethnic majority citizenry, and the city of Mcr about 80%; the figure in Leicester is about 60%) Leicester are, apparently, guilty of having. in fact, they constitute probably the majority of United fans i know.
so i don't know about this.
i also would say the best United fanzine is united we stand, over and above ones like red issue or red army or whatever it is, but then again, i only semi-regularly get to see or discuss their fanzines with two united fans i know, and they seem a bit less laddish than most united fans i know, so i don't know if their own prejudices are colouring my reception.
one side-note i think fairly interesting is that all the united fanzines you read do still seem to have chips on their shoulders about Mcr not being London (hah!) and they will even quote Evening Standard articles slagging off Mcr (IIRC one such feature once in, i think, UWS) and get all hot and bothered about it. of course, to be fair (what a lot of times one uses that phrase), the Evening Standard must have been doing its own version of a fairly pathetic provincialism to earn UWS's ire, some puff-piece on Arsenal that childishly slagged United off, if memory serves.
but all the end-of-last-season wrap-up features i read in the summer's issues of the 2 or 3 united fanzines i have semi-regular access to were almost shockingly embittered about Arsenal (and, by extension, glorious cosmopolitan London?).
funny thing hey.
(4) yeah, i know that how ethnically diverse an English town is has little bearing on the make-up of its team football crowds, which are still overwhelmingly white even in London.
(5) the Cubs on the verge of the World Series is a bit like Notts County or Huddersfield on the verge of winning the Prem.
(6) more points later.

Friday, 10 October 2003

OK, i'm off now honest.
the 'hard-floor' type tekno societies at the students union i was a member of, would often flyer metallers to try and get them through the door at their night, using wonderfully florid descriptions about alien machine soul and trying to find commonalities it had with their beloved metal, about clanging beats, ooh la la~

that's why it's easy to foresee that 'classic' Detroit will find itself rehabilitated/canonicised in future with - relatively speaking - little fuss from all them rockists.
it's a somewhat different kettle of fish to the house that Jack built over in Chicago, where one gets the impression it'd be more difficult to persuade White Stripes fans to sling away their guitars. Angus would probably be best at explaining why, but the cold self-regard and intellectual self-mythologising of tek has gotta be fairly palatable to, ooh, prog fans and, generally speaking Pere Ubu/Bright Eyes/Television etc. fans that prioritise 'real' music, clever themes, etc., explored in haunting depth right?

whereas the supposed hedonistic narratives implicit in a lot of 4/4 might be harder to digest.

this here from tufluv is superb (as we all know rite), not just the Lemonjelly descriptions but how the minotaur shock impulse towards bedroom comfort is plotted. and the trajectory about does tufluv have the right to be writing about music, where they were discussing a fave of theirs when they were 14 the other day some cheesy divaesque vox, such good stuff,
it beats me the pedestrian shite that is written in some of the pop mags these days and that cheeky swine who edits the new look (but still crap, funnily enough, although good in a vibey sense for suburban indie kid hipsters) NME saying, off the back of Simon's Guardian moment of fame, blogging is good, who knows, perhaps some of these bloggers can be poached for the likes of the nme, bugger me, these people are already writing better than paper journos.
cheeky beggar/
this just in actually, additional, from our kid (the mail having the tactful subject header of Touch of a rapist : mind you, he is a big fan of Peter Kay and that whole Phoenix Nights arc, and that 'witticism' has been used there in the past, one believes).
so, he writes :=
The players are mate in order.
The Leeds badboy is Jody Morriss and he has been suspended by the Bellend Road boys for two weeks and also fined two weeks wages. The Rozzers are investigating as we speak.

The other scandal goes as follows. Kieron Dyer booked the rooms in which the girl was 'raped' (or otherwise) but wasn't there at the time, Carlton Cole (Chelski but currently on loan at Charlton) had sex with her first - i.e. the consensual sex and guesses as to who the rest are generally take your pick from the young black players at Newcastle basically- Carl Cort, Titus Bramble (who got done for speeding in court this week incidentally) Shola Ameobi, and some say Paul Konchesky of The Yid Army was involved too. But that's what I know.

{incidentally, to refer to Spurs as Yid Army is not evilly anti-Semitic; the Spurs fans themselves chant it, in part of that 'reclaiming taboo words' way, and there was once a very thoughtful article from a Jewish Man City supporter in a City fanzine about hearing their "Yid Army" type songs at White Hart Lane [N. Mcr is the second biggest Jewish community in the UK, i think, after areas like Golders Green of course]. tho' it's very instructive to read Hornby's 'Fever Pitch' - still his best book eh - about Gooners fans using truly wrong slurs against the Spurs fans. and there's that vile West Ham song about, well, Luke might know to what i refer... ...i heard it getting chanted on the tube once, actually}

[ETA: apparently i wrote the above, including the reference to *** Army - dear me]
this will sound like a terribly militant left-wing thing to shout (odd coming from me: cynical centrist par excellence) but perhaps the reason the Gambaccini show on radio two has stopped playing a lot of the billboard charts is because, frankly, it's the 'wrong kind of music from black folks'.

radio two plays a lot of "black music", but - AFAIK - it tends to be yer Sunday Times/Telegraph rock critics/Q classicisms of sun-burnt and sandy roots or cartoony ska (shows with the Mighty Diamonds and Ethiopians on), rather than the most up to date Diwali-related riddims with slack toasting on top; it tends to be yer old-mannish Peebles/Robinson/Reeves soul, rather than Timbaland beat-science bashment divas screaming; and i'd bet if they started a hip-hop show it would be Run DMC, Public Enemy, NWA, all the way up to a load of Def Jux or Anticon artists with no mention of Scarface or Lil' Wayne.
'course, i don't wanna open that whole blissblog/claps/auspicious fish/ the world_ and her hubby debate again (undie-hop &c.), so i best shut up whilst nominally ahead...
___Mojo has now said it's -okay- to listen to classic Detroit related iconography in the field of tek, and doubtless you can see side columns there proseltyising about the goodness of, say, Oliver Ho (if techno's your thing), or other non-Detroit artists (as Reynolds said, kow-towing to classic Motor City tekkk is a bit canonical innit), but it's kinda funny (and extremely predictable) that they'd dabble in this whilst - as Gutterbreakz rightly observed - couching it in such daft 'Richie Hawtin is the Elvis of techno' type terms.....still, anyway, the levee still breaks right_
on the other hand, sullivan doesn't go overboard mentioning the Central American dictatorships bit, but you can't have everything now can you.
so there's not enough time to here go into further detail about this particular wall street journal letter that needs addressing.
one thing you should know is that the letter itself - concerning a journal editorial that mused on serbia being a better friend towards the americans than france - isn't especially bad, and it says some good, solid points that any right thinking person with a heart would agree with.
however, there are one or two turns of phrase that i'm choosing to interpret as perhaps - intentionally or not - somewhat sleight-of-handish, and i think somedisco needs to write a riposte.
how joylessly pompous this blog is!
what can be done is to direct you towards this interesting link instead, for now.

and this is a kindly and balanced link from andrew sullivan (only went there at Angus' prompting).
thing is, like, i do like radio 2, will certainly listen to it (heaven knows thank gods for their Radio 2 Folk Awards - bigging up the like of the magisterial John Tams in an otherwise sea to sea shining ocean environment that is bland UK is to be applauded - crunchy irridescent marginalia in an oft-homogenous landscape)
but, only___


1xtra and 3 and 4 and 1 are all better.

i mean, really~
my man Weaver can usually be relied upon to nail things pretty well, but am a bit confused via his stuff on: -

"Fact. The top ten singles in this week's Billboard Hot 100 are all by black acts.

Fact. Paul Gambiccinni, on the show formerly known as America's Greatest Hits, has stopped using the Hot 100 to end the show, and now uses the US Singles Sales chart. Reason? In the past year, only Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson's hits have fitted into Radio 2's incredibly broad format.

Tentative conclusion. Billboard's Hot 100 has stopped reflecting the popular taste in the US, and is tilted too heavily in favour of radio airplay. "

he's probably right, and i'm definitely not going to worry about the defence of mass-scale radio, but must confess, there's something about this upper-low to lower-middle_brow narrative of the last 3 or 4 years that Radio Two is the don for 20 to 40somethings of discernment and choice given that Radio One dumbed down (or whatever happened, happened), that, well, narks me (is that a word?)_
sure, Mark Lamarr does ROOTS and BASIC ROCKABILLY 101s and people like Mica Paris or Dave Godin or whoever do DEEP SOUL or MOTOWN 101s and you have the likes of Lloyd Bradley or Wynton Marsalis on to explain about Sizzla or Jelly Roll Morton or whatever, and improving in the educational is all good, and the slogan ("the nation's favourite") is accurated according to ABC listening figures, but it just almost plain irrirates me.
i know i'm being very childish here, but it's this soft middlebrow pipe and slippers, or is it?
maybe it's not that, i don't object to that after all, i'm no ageist, and don't want to fight against the inevitable, it's just i seem to find something of a smug, preening tone there sometimes.
dunno like.
for all man like Weaver's good points, he does - last time checked - think 'boy in da corner' is a crap album, so let's leave sleeping dogs lie perhaps.

Ludacris or Kelly Clarkson - i know who i'd rather listen to___
a good friend of mine has been, or is going to see, recently, or soon, Bruce Springstreen, Gillian Welch, (the absolutely beautiful) Emmylou Harris, and the Dixie Chicks.
i admire the Chicks and the Boss and positively adore Welch and Harris. but this good friend of mine also berates me for liking, say, Sean Paul. so, yunno, screw 'hm...


==y'all ge't'me hear right? all just ain't gonna say what i mean...

i would just like to note that some American company whose name i didn't catch but think it was Erin-Son (or similar) have the most sinister radio jingle i have ever heard...
the following is a pretty 'nice' story from one of the Chi-town papers (the Tribune, published october 8th).

Having a Prairie State connection isn't a prerequisite for winning a Nobel Prize this year, but so far it hasn't hurt. Winners of the three Nobels announced for literature, medicine and physics have ties to Illinois. Must be something in the water.

South African-born novelist John Maxwell Coetzee, who won the Nobel prize for literature, has been a visiting professor in the fall quarter at the University of Chicago since 1996.

Paul Lauterbur, who shares this year's Nobel for medicine with British scientist Sir Peter Mansfield for discoveries leading to the development of magnetic resonance imaging, is at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

And two of the three winners for physics are Illinoisans. Alexei Abrikosov is at Argonne National Laboratory and Anthony Leggett is also at the U. of I. in Urbana. They share the prize this year for their contributions to the theories of superconductors and superfluids with Russian Vitaly Ginzburg.

Beyond the Illinois connections, there is no common thread that connects these winners and their work, except for this: In each case, this prize reflects a lifetime of monumental achievement. These Nobel laureates have touched the world and changed it.

Coetzee's novels, grounded in the moral bankruptcy of South Africa's brutal apartheid, explore universal themes of human cruelty and loss, and yet capture the divine spark in man.

Leggett's work with superfluidity, the Swedish Academy said, may illuminate "one of the last unsolved problems of classical physics"-- how order turns into chaos. And the superconductivity research of Abrikosov and Ginzburg may one day lead to power lines that can conduct current more efficiently and high-speed trains that float above the tracks.

Perhaps the most dramatic example this year is Lauterbur and Mansfield's Nobel for work they did independently in the 1970s that ultimately led to the MRI. That breakthrough revolutionized medical diagnostics. The MRI is used more than 60 million times a year to detect or rule out illnesses. It gives doctors accurate three-dimensional images inside a patient, particularly soft tissue areas that could previously only be viewed through exploratory surgery.

There's no guarantee, of course, but the number of Nobel winners with Illinois ties could grow Wednesday when the prizes for chemistry and economics are awarded. After all, 22 of the 49 Nobel laureates in economics have been either faculty members, researchers or students at the University of Chicago. The school also has claimed 14 chemistry winners.

Former Gov. George Ryan's work on the death penalty has brought him mention as a contender for the peace prize.

So Illinois may not be done. Too bad, though, that there isn't a Nobel Prize for turnarounds. There's a team in Chicago that would be a lock.