zotz: (serious)
I should say something about it having flown by, and in some ways I suppose it has but it also seems like several lifetimes ago.

Last time I tried to get round to saying anything here, I was going to talk about having seen Kate Jackson in Glasgow with Mark and Lauren. She was very good. A bit more relaxed than when she was with the Long Blondes, I thought. Hopefully it won't be another six-or-so years before she's back.

The support band were Kaspar Hauser, from Glasgow, who I really really liked too. They started off with the guitarist saying Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be Alison Moyet, which made no sense in or out of context. There was also something that sounded like "Nowt by Northwest", which I think is still available as a name to anyone who wishes to start an avant-garde music festival in Preston.

You're welcome.

They were not what I would call appallingly hipsterish, except in that they were selling demo tapes. Tapes. Cassettes. Really. It's the 21st century, so obviously they came with a download code, but still.
zotz: (Default)
The highlight of the day is when the BBC engineer, who has no idea who Albini is - thinking he is just our pal invited along to give a second opinion - commends the American on his technical proficiency, asking if he has ever considered a career in the recording industry.

Yes, I've just finished Luke Haines' book Bad Vibes, and very good it is too. He's just as acerbic as you'd expect from the records, although he does occasionally and grudgingly concede that a few people aren't actually as worthless as he'd believed from their work . . . and it turns out there are a number of people he likes and admires. He also manages to phrase this in ways that don't leave it being too much of a disappointment.

In other news, Beltane went percussively and is now descending into its periodic fit of navelgazing, Anna Calvi's album's very good and people are worrying too much about the lack of AV, which everyone campaigning for would by now be wanting to replace with STV anyway.

Haines claims, incidentally, that during the week before Lady Di's funeral (the time when I wrote A Certain Email) Albini gave him a present. Two presents, in fact - a copy of Candle In The Wind, and a shiny new hammer.


Apr. 12th, 2011 11:29 pm
zotz: (Reasonable and compassionate)
I have apparently been whistling "Civilian" to myself for about the last four days. Charlotte is starting to get a little annoyed.

("Show more" under the video on that page for lyrics. There doesn't seem to be an actual video)
zotz: (southpark)
I should really use this thing more, but I don't really have much to say at the moment.

However, I'd like to point out this article about this record, which is a collection of covers of Cardiacs songs to raise money for Tim Smith, who a couple of years back found that a night out seeing My Bloody Valentine can be a literally heartstopping experience. It sounds quite good value to me, if you're into that sort of thing. Which I am.

How odd. The autodetect thinks I'm in Weymouth.
zotz: (Cropredy)
Which means that once more it's time for the annual hippy-herding expedition. Among other things, this means that the next time we talk I'll be in a position to tell you whether Status Quo are much cop as a live band these days. I suspect the answer's Yes, but I don't see any harm in finding out for certain.

I'll be out of touch, mostly, until about Sunday, so it's probably a good time to get on with all those disgraceful things you didn't want me to hear about. So enjoy yourselves, and remember - safe, sane and consensual (pick any two).
zotz: (Default)
I'm still not updating much. However, occasionally there's a matter of real significance.

The Guardian has a full page article about Age of Chance.

And apparently some bloke got a prize. Well done. Entirely deserved, I'm sure.
zotz: (Default)
Haven't been saying much lately. I should really get round to some sort of update. It's reached the point of being poked . . . I'm very sorry and will say something substantive soon.

In the meantime, those of you fortunate enough to be in Edinburgh may be interested in this event tonight at the Bongo.

The Processional, Beastie, No Point and Te Pooka drummers, and the Edinburgh Samba School. Five percussion groups for only five of your Earth pounds.
zotz: (Default)
After popping down all I could think of and flipping through the record collection to remind me . . .

Which bands have I seen . . . ? )

This is partly because some other people have done it, and partly triggered by a taxi driver last night, who took a genuine interest in which concert we'd been to, liked the description of Ladytron and noted them down to search out later, and then chatted amicably about music for the rest of the trip. Most refreshing. He liked the Waifs from hearing them on the radio (me? I saw them supporting Billy Bragg in the Corn Exchange, Cambridge, about 2002).
zotz: (Default)
In my ongoing quest to bring you only the most important international news, I may now reveal that top furry child-entertaining beat combo the Banana Splits are to reform for a new series. That page has a clip of the theme tune, but for some reason not the definitive version.
zotz: (Default)
Very good last night, he was. A very nice man, with very talented friends.

They played:

Dance me to the end of love
The future
Ain't no cure for love
Bird on the wire
Everybody knows
In my secret life
Who by fire?
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye

Tower of song
Boogie street
I'm your man
A thousand kisses deep (although this was read as a poem, with little in common with the words that were used for the song. Similar versions can be read online, if you're interested)
Take this waltz

So long, Marianne
First we take Manhattan
Sisters of mercy
If it be your will (sung by Charley and Hattie Webb, two of the backing singers, with acoustic guitar and harp, and I believe a contribution by the keyboard player too)
Closing time

I should probably drone on about this at some length, but I'll restrict myself to noting that more dates have been announced for the autumn, including several more UK ones between the 5th and 22nd of November. Tickets are on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 9 am.

Afterwards, at the Halfway House, we (Nicky, AJ, and I) were wondering which was his most depressing song. Tricky, because that's not the defining characteristic it's said to be, and mostly a definite optimism (or at least defiance) in there, but . . . anyway. What do you think?
zotz: (mugshot)
The Hussy's were very good, but getting to see them was more work than I expected. The ad in The Skinny had no fewer than three URLs but no time, and none of the URLs had any obvious time listed. Their wn website didn't list one either. After a search, one of the sites said 7pm if you clicked down far enough, so at seven I was there and reading some notices saying they were on at ten. So I went home and came back at ten, to find a support band setting up. After watching them set up and play - Ross Fairweather and the Billy Shears, tuneful stuff but not exactly up my street, seem like decent blokes - The Hussy's themselves were on. It was nearly eleven by then. They seem to have shed a guitarist and swapped out a keyboard player. Oh, and written a load of new songs, which on one listen are about as good as the previous ones. Apparently there's an album coming along imminently, which is certainly welcome. They were about as good as I expected from previous gigs, which was very, and then I went along to what was apparently the last Neon for the moment, which is a shame but was a good use of the rest of a good and very cheap evening.

The Hussy's's "street team" have a MySpork of their own, with vido and stuff. And if you've seen them before you may be interested to know that Fili's looking more of a rock chick every second.

Tuesday was the biofuels thing at the Forest. The high point of the evening was noticing a copy of Dreams Of Sex And Stagediving on their bookswap shelf, which is now on one of my shelves. The factual bit was moderately interesting, and the music after (with [livejournal.com profile] decomposingsoul on saxophoid) was intermittently shambolic (but not nearly as much as it apparently deserved to be) and reasonably coherent.

On Thursday I went beachscouting with [livejournal.com profile] sleepycinderell and [livejournal.com profile] princealbert We found a couple of nice ones and wandered around a maze of p(h)easant-infested farm roads looking for a landowner's house near Tantallon Castle (and found a big ruined house called (IIRC) Seacliff) before coming back. As it happens the camping trip was cancelled due to today's weather conditions, but there you go.

On Friday afternoon Ed came round and we wandered into town after chatting to a slightly ill Charlotte. Ian Kendall was doing magic on a table on the High Street, and I was surprised he remembered me. A good and funny show, as you'd expect - apparently he's had a mixed couple of weeks, as some bastard stole his wand.

In the evening I went to BlAlex and Marianne's 10th Anniversary bash at the Counting House, with loads of old faces and a surprise Brigid. It was good, and I elected not to go to listen to loads of Eighties chart pop at the Shitrus club afterwards, for some unfathomable reason. And today I spent the afternoon playing some game out at Mark's.

Clive Stafford Smith has written a whole article about the use of music as torture. James Hetfield gets a thumbs-down for not caring enough to give a serious answer ("If the Iraqis aren't used to freedom, then I'm glad to be part of their exposure."), although apparently Lars was quite upset about it.

There was also an article, today, about Jamaica, which my mum mentioned on the phone because she thought one of the hotels mentioned sounded like one we we went to a couple of times while we lived over there (but I think we stayed at this place, which doesn't even seem to have changed its name in 30 years), as well as other places like Port Antonio, the Blue Mountains and other stuff outside the big resorts. Must go back sometime.
zotz: (primal)
Yes, it's a picture of me baring my torch. Obviously.

Writers Bloc had readings in Biggar and Prestonpans. Read more... )
Stephen Pinker gave a lecture for the Uni, which had to be moved up into the McEwan Hall due to demand. Contains swearing. Big, clever, funny swearing. )
Obviously at the end I did what I've done many times before - tried to work out what it says around the base of the dome. "Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding: exalt her and she shall bring you to honour." Proverbs, chapter 4.

Much fun. After that I went out to Dalkeith country park for a drink with Jim the arsonist and his mates, which was also great. I found some lager in Tesco's called "Lech", which is a very funny name if you ignore it being Polish.

After that it was the Meadows Festival, which was a lot smaller than previously, but then it did have its legs cut out from under it in the meantime. This was the first one for two or three years, and pretty good for effectively a new first time. Hopefully it'll gather momentum again over the next few years. There was a genuine 9/11 conspiracy theory stall, which I didn't stop and ridicule in spite of the fact that I probably could get back in touch with a structural engineer who studied the collapse of the towers in detail - something that, famously, said wackos have never paid any attention to.

Yesterday I went to see Mark Stewart and the Maffia. Read more... )
I've been reading my new (i.e. the older) copy of My Friend Mr Leakey today, which has been fun. I've noticed one thing, though - where the Seventies printing mentions Negroes as the victims of a particular kind of African devil, the older one uses a different word. It still starts with N, though. Pinker had mentioned it as currently the most taboo word in US English. I guess that in Britain it was still OK to use it in front of children as recently as 1948.

On getting back from the gig (OK, and from the pub afterwards) last night, I found a mail from a ticket agency with a whole list of stuff I've no interest in and details of Amanda Palmer playing at the end of September. Well and good, although I notice that Dolls gigs do apparently still happen very occasionally . . .

However, that wasn't the eyeopener. Other Dolls are afoot. New York Dolls, in Glasgow, anyone? In a venue the size of (and probably, admittedly, with the aroma of) a gorilla's armpit? That sounds like a good deal to me. And a couple of weeks later, Swervedriver.


Now that's not a name I thought I'd hear again. Still, tempting . . . I wonder if Dave Hetherington knows about this? I may have to pass a message via CJ.

Mixed week in politics, of course, SCOTUS have belted Bush one in the bollocks over Guantanamo. Your friend and mine Antonin Scalia, however, seems by all accounts to have delivered a shameless dissenting statementlamenting the effects of the actual decision, which would fly exactly in the face of everything he said about the grounds for his beliefs when he spoke in New College last year. Ah well. Maybe he's been misquoted.

Over here, a certain disastrous vote went the wrong way (but was tantalisingly close) and a Tory MP has resigned to fight his own safe seat at a point when the government's in trouble. His party leader, one David Cameron, described the move as "courageous", presumably meaning by Sir Humphrey's definition of the term. The words "nothing much to be gained" come to mind - he's likely to find that his only serious opposition comes from the Sun. If it descends into a farce and he ends up making himself and his party look ridiculous, he will undoubtedly go down in history as a political genius for finding a way to make the government look good in spite of its recent misadventures.

And if you think that sounds harsh, listen to what some other people are saying - one shadow cabinet member said. "There is a slight hint of self-indulgence and a slight element of tragedy. David cannot come back in a bigger position. He can only come back as even more self-righteous, but will he be more morally pure with a majority of 1,500 over the Monster Raving Loony Party? He has walked the plank and this risks looking like a pantomime."

I must finally mention that Weegie popsters The Hussy's are playing FOR FREE at the usually-execrable-but-I'll-make-an-exception-this-time 3 Sisters (on the Cowgate, if you've had the good fortune not to have come across it) on Sunday. Actually, they're playing in Manchester, at the Dry Bar, on Tuesday and in London Village (Purple Turtle, apparently) on Wednesday, so some of you could do a lot worse than pop along. Sadly, I've no indication that the other gigs are free, but I'm sure you can, as the saying goes, check local press for details.
zotz: (Default)
Well, it seems that Mr Sulu's gonna get hitched. Excellent news, and my congratulations both to the prospective happy couple and to the Californian Supreme Court.

The Captain's Rest is a pub in Glasgow, on the Great Western Road. It's not an especially big pub; about averagely sized, I'd say. On asking the bar staff, I was told that the bands play downstairs.

Fix the gash in your head )Today I picked up some bike lights and went to give blood, having sat out the quarantine after my cruel rebuff of the other week. It was quite busy, so I read a book ("I'm member and preacher to that church where the blind don't see and the lame don't walk and what's dead stays that way.") for half an hour or so until I got to do the formfilling, question-answering and preliminary bleed. When I'd gone through to the back and was waiting to be punctured, another man walked in - about 60 - and sat down. Slightly later one of the nurses said "Graham?" and he looked up and started to rise. I obviously looked puzzled, because she then said "Graham Clark?"

He stood right up. I said "That's me." The nurse looked puzzled, peered down at the forms on her desk and started to laugh.

I don't need to tell you the rest, do I?

Anyway, she made sure that she had us right by address and date of birth and the rest went predictably. I was finished before him and when he came out for his cuppa we chatted briefly. Nice bloke. I've been aware of various other Graham Clarks over the years, but I don't ever remember actually meeting one. I don't know why not. It's a fairly common name.
zotz: (Default)
Almost everything you ever needed to know about My Bloody Valentine:

The flute is not an instrument one usually associates with extreme noise terror, but, when My Bloody Valentine unleashed the show's crescendo, a track called 'You Made Me Realise', the instrument added an almost unbearable shrillness to what was already a blizzard of sustained sonic overload. As the tour progressed, the song became a thing of ever more terrifying beauty due to an extended white noise section that could last up to 10 minutes and was built around the repetition of a single chord played by Shields and his then girlfriend, second guitarist, Bilinda Butcher. Both had already suffered for their art, Butcher with a perforated eardrum, and Shields with the onset of tinnitus. Now, it was the audience's turn.

A Place To Bury Strangers are in Glasgow tomorrow. I have to buy earplugs. Anyone else fancy?

Also from the Absurder, "Since Dr No was released in 1962, James Bond has killed more than 150 men and slept with 44 women, three quarters of whom have tried to kill him."

That certainly puts my problems in perspective.

Yesterday's start-of-summer drink was cold and overcast, but it's good today and the ash trees at the bottom of the road are starting to come into leaf. I notice Luke Mitchell's appeal failed, too, which didn't really surprise me. There wasn't any good lab evidence, but that in itself isn't fatal - courts worked for centuries without it, and the jury didn't take long to convict. I hope they got it right, though. I'm glad it wasn't a decision I had to help with. William Beggs had an appeal mounted too, but I haven't heard what happened there.

Londoners may be pleased to know that the ongoing Telectroscope project is nearing readiness: "If you should happen to be in the vicinity of City Hall in London or the Fulton Ferry Landing in New York next Tuesday or Wednesday, you may see something strange going on. And on Thursday, 22 May, a Telectroscope will be installed at each end of the tunnel, and will open to the public for the first time." More information here.

And there's a new ballboy album soon too. Life is good.

High rise

May. 14th, 2008 04:06 pm
zotz: (Default)
Steve Bell has an update on Ebbsfleet.

Yesterday I met Mark and Lauren down in some shopping centre in Leith (Beth wandered past too, but then headed off on her way) to see Doomsday. If you're not aware of this cinematic entertainment, it's Escape from New York reset in Glasgow with added plague, mediaevalism, and (worst of all) Eighties chart music. It moves along nicely and is entertaining despite some blatant ludicrousness. To be honest, it has holes you could drive a bus through, but as big dumb films go it's pretty decent.

After that it was off to Glasgow to eat soldiers see Ladytron. The support were fellow Scousers Elles S'appelles, who were quite fun if not as distinctive.

They have some real instruments these days. Not just a drummer, but a fetching guitar/bass pair of Vox Phantoms too. And three piles of keyboards, obviously. They played a load of stuff off the new album (the ones on MySpork), several ones I know (mostly from Witching Hour) and about three others a couple of which may also be new. Very good. Marnie seemed pleased to be in Glasgow. They probably play there more often than Sofia, though, so I doubt folk feel too deprived.

Traffic was obviously crawling on the M8 as we approached it, so we took the scenic route to avoid the jam. This may have taken us longer than it saved, but it had the benefit of taking me through Bishopbriggs for the first time in about 35 years.
zotz: (Default)
I hadn't realised Carter were playing again. Two gigs, as before, but London and Birmingham this time. And almost sold out already.

In other news, one of my favourite ex-accountants is on tour, with friends:

24-6-08 - Asbury Park, NJ- Asbury Lanes
26-6-08 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
27-6-08 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
04-7-08 - Glasgow, UK - ABC1
05-7-08 - Manchester, UK - Academy 2
06-7-08 - Wolverhampton, UK - Wulfrun Hall
26-7-08 - London, UK - Kentish Town Forum
29-7-08 - New York City - Webster Hall

Yes, it's Butthole Surfers, which means I have to phone Glen.

Back in the day, the cool indie kids were into the Pastels and lots of Bearsden bands (and Sonic Youth, but they were right on that score so I'll ignore it). Liking the Buttholes was considered prima facie evidence that there was something wrong with you. Somewhere along the way it's become, if not acceptable, at least forgivable. They have become elder statesmen of acid-crazed brain-damaged swamp-rock, and are widely regarded with a certain affection in the press, although I'm sure this stops short of actually buying their records.

I knew they were playing London, but Glasgow's even better.
zotz: (mugshot)
Err . . . I went to see Ed on Wednesday, then went to the pub, which was nearly empty because the Goff'n'Rawk-Soc are apparently all away home for Easter. It was OK, though, because we got to recommend Top Secret1 and Dr Strangelove2 to people who haven't seen them.

Thursday was Saunderses as usual, then pub, which was not quiet as the redfolk were in attendance, Friday had Ed dropping by in the afternoon, then an evening finishing a book. Today's been more reading and the news that A Place To Bury Strangers will be touring Britain, including a gig in some tiny pub in Glasgow.

I've always wanted to be deaf.

1: "Listen to me Hillary. I'm not the first guy who fell in love with a woman that he met at a restaurant who turned out to be the daughter of a kidnapped scientist only to lose her to her childhood lover who she last saw on a deserted island who then turned out fifteen years later to be the leader of the French underground."

2: "You can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
zotz: (Default)
New Biscuit LP. 28th April. From an apparently reliable source.


Mar. 22nd, 2008 01:06 am
zotz: (avatar)
I thought that strike thing was a bit daft, but by about midmorning a few people (you know who you are) were being sufficiently ridiculous about breaking it on principle that I decided to join it anyway.

It was a lovely bright day today, if a touch windy. There was a Basque cultural event on the Meadows, with dancers (some of them blokes with really big cowbells tied awkwardly to their backs) but while I was passing there were only a couple of guys playing big xylophones, in a rather interesting style. A couple of monks wandered past as well, in white robes and black cloaks, and a woman in a burqa. All very cosmopolitan.

Phil has for several days been the proud owner of a life-size radio-controlled tarantula. Sadly, the cat isn't too bothered about it, deigning only to be slightly annoyed when people make it run into him.

The Long Blondes were quite fun on Wednesday, although the sound could have been better - down the front, the singer was hardly audible. She had a radio earpiece to monitor from, and I couldn't help wondering if I'd have heard her better from the foldback if there had been more. They seemed otherwise on form, though.
zotz: (Default)
Well, Firewater tour dates have been announced, and guess what?

Yes, I'll have to go abroad to see them. As predicted.

Just to make it more annoying, most of them are while I'll be in Oregon.

No further word on Cohen.


zotz: (Default)

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