Saturday, December 23, 2006

2007

Last post before I board up all the windows and retire from the world to a darkened room for a few days. Fortunately I'll have things to do - in particular, finishing the mixing for this new album for which details will be posted soon. Anyhow, whichever way you choose to spend your holidays, I'd like to take the opportunity to say thanks for reading this blog, for all the kind comments and mails (yes, even you, 'rootmarm'!), and for hearing the music - it really means a lot. Have a great time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

PROPAGATION OF THE FAITH

Please indulge me this one last broadside, I do solemnly promise this to be the absolutely final blog entry regarding The Wire magazine.

Our school head, a patronising maternalistic old dragon, often tried to force us to eat the weekly shepherd's pie, which all of us hated despite her it's-good-for-you exhortations and yet I did really use to love the rice pudding. Especially with a blob of jam. So anyway, as I was tucking into a third bowl of the goo, Martin, a nice kid with good intentions, who regularly used to sit at the table opposite me, would contort his face, and say, 'William, I don't get it, I just don't understand how anyone can eat that muck, it's disgusting, you're crazy!'. He couldn't get his head round it and that was an early moment I realised how people can be such prisoners of their belief systems, anything that doesn't fit into their narrow worldview is incomprehensible to them.

Keith Moliné, please tell me how much your article helped to pay a bill. Tell me how much sex it'll help you get. Tell me how it's improved your journalistic CV. Tell me how it's helped you do a bit of networking. Tell me what success really means to you as you stop and reflect that this is not about us, it's about you. And in the meantime, while you rewrite your 1,000 words on 'Noise and the Failure Imperative', I'll just sit here and enjoy my rice pudding.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

STREETLIFE

We once played at Thekla, a boat venue in Bristol, and I recall an amusing story Philip told me about some old (and unspectacular) graffiti by Banksy discovered on the hull. Of course, Banksy has now gone on to far bigger and better things and so, during a recent refurbishment, the painters had to carefully work around his old tag which was along the lines of 'TUPAC ROOLZ OK'. Here's some street art, some of which is admittedly quite funny.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

ALETHEIA

There's a marvellous documentary on the philosopher Jacques Derrida which, while not comparable to reading the books, does amply demonstrate what a wonderful human being he is. A man with a rare depth, an unpretentious elegance, and an always playful sense of curiosity. The DVD comes with lots of fascinating extra footage of him giving responses to questions on specific topics, and for all you fans of Straw Dogs (the John Gray book, not the Peckinpah film...), his response to the topic of 'animals' is priceless, extremely touching, a defining moment that sets him far apart from the dreary humanist tradition of his profession.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

THE INSIDER

Another serial killer and another sorry slew of expert hypotheses stretched out across the pages of our newspapers and TV news channels like the Suffolk police combing a muddy field for clues. The one thing you can be sure about these armchair detectives' so-called revelations into the mind of the murderer, psychological profiles, criminological deductive pattern analyses, and all the other tasseomantic nonsense, is that they'll be way off the fucking mark when the killer is caught. By accident. And it goes without saying that it won't shame these CSI fantasists into keeping their mouths shut next time around.

So, right on cue, in today's Daily Mail, that ubiquitously touted rogue Colin Wilson crawls out from under his stone to take a stab at it (forgive me for the mixed metaphor, I couldn't resist it). Wilson's dabbled in philosophy, fiction, non-fiction, mysticism, true crime, the occult, to list but a few - and I've read much of it. Am I alone in thinking his work is as lightweight and unbelievable as it's poorly researched and articulated? In fact, to me, it's just more voluminous rubbish.

UNBURIED ALIVE 3

Predictable and, of course, under-reported update to the story behind all the nonsensical 'security' at European airports these days - featuring that very same numbskull with the big gun who's still itching to start spraying bullets in the direction of some 'terrorists' (read 'holiday-makers').

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

ALL YESTERDAY'S TEENAGE BEDROOM WALLS

Being named after a 40-year-old Velvets' song is the giveaway.

If there's one thing I really have a problem with in music, it's this cringeworthy veneration of the distant past. It's like one of those 'legends' football matches where some fading star like Beckham gets to have his teenage idol Pelé in his team.

And I'm sorry to say this but ATP is the modern-day equivalent of the fucking revival cabaret tour. There's no irony lost on these guys, they even take place in Butlins holiday camps. It's bad enough when all those godawful 80s bands like Flock Of Seagulls and T'Pau come back to haunt us but this ATP stuff is arguably worse: it's predominantly the 60s and 70s. It's at the level of Elvis impersonators. It's fucking nostalgia unlimited.

I can hear some hecklers saying, well, you cunts did ATP in London, you're just bitter 'cos you got bottled off the stage. And there is some truth in that because, for fuck's sake, Whitehouse is 26 years old, and at the time I do admit that concert was a totally frustrating and depressing experience, albeit compounded by the breathtaking incompetence of that legendary numpty, the ATP stage manager. However, on kinder reflection, I look back on our premature exit as a vindication of sorts. A reassuringly healthy disrespect for 'tradition'.

And bear with me a bit longer while I'm still ranting on this topic (it's one of those days, I'm afraid); it's really disappointing, for all the above-mentioned reasons, to hear about Thurston Moore showing old Come Organisation videos at last weekend's bash without even asking for permission (which, by the way, wouldn't have been given). So there.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

SUPER-SIZE THIS

Love it or hate it, we've all grown up with the hamburger culture that is McDonald's. In Brighton for such a long time, the only place to hang out for a milkshake was the appalling Wimpy joint, and when McDonald's wanted to open up a restaurant in Western Road, there were even quaint street protests about it. Fast Food Nation should be enough of a deterrent.

If aliens were to visit our planet (and surely they've got better things to do with their time), they could be forgiven for thinking, judging by the advertising, that today's Mickey D's was a leading health food chain - until it became glaringly obvious that not one single child ever ever EVER orders the fucking carrot sticks or the fruit bag.

So yes, how times change. Here's McDonald's first ever TV advert - it's from 1963 when Ronald hadn't yet quite perfected the serial killer chic of the clown.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

TATIANA

For so long I had such a yearning to visit what was the USSR, then, as soon as the Communist regime capitulated and the union began to split up, sadly, that desire also waned. It's weird, because nowadays it's pretty hard to remember that era having existed, and it's only occasionally you're reminded of the curious romanticism of those times. This was certainly true whilst compiling for the Extreme Music From Russia project - there still exist elements of artistic and cultural isolation that have the real power to intrigue, and another example is with these almost unearthly buildings.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

CACCIA ALLA VOLPE

Thanks once again to Piers for creating another wonderful Cocadisco experience on Friday night in London. Hearing those magical sounds in a club setting is a forceful reminder of my long-held capricious wish to spend 2/3 months exploring the sights, sounds, and flavours, of the length and breadth of Italia.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

TORTSOV 3

Heike Sperling's blog.

AGE OF AQUARIUS 5

You see Jesus Camp sincerely expecting another bellyful of laughs at the expense of yet more nutters for 'Jesus'. Big mistake. It's not funny at all, it's just deeply fucking depressing.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

ATTAINMENT

I'd like to invite you to explore a connection with me for a small moment. How could I describe to you the sensation of attainment accomplished?

Let’s try something: when you take a second to stop and think of that really special moment, this time, as you recall the captivating pleasure of the instant just before, the tidal wave of feeling that washes over you, below you, through you, that makes you feel at one, do you know what wouldn't happen if you didn't? Or is it that you feel that you want that to continue forever?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Monday, November 20, 2006

WALL STREET

On witnessing an infuriatingly, alluringly, buff Daniel Craig in Casino Royale emerging from the shimmering Caribbean waters, my ears later pricked up on hearing this barbed open-ended reference to 9/11.

CATS VERSUS WOLVES

Can cats be friends with wolves?

CATS VERSUS FLEAS

A bit of an odd one, and a bit of a minor treasure. Recently, on a total whim, I saw the intriguing cult documentary Grey Gardens which has been released by Criterion (possibly the best DVD publisher there is) - and now discovered there's even a website.

Friday, November 17, 2006

OSLO

A big thank you to all the guys in Oslo for their great hospitality and impeccable organising of the recent show we did. Was really a total pleasure. As was being at the charming and eccentric Charlemagne Palestine's piano concert the night after.

Monday, November 13, 2006

PROPAGATION

These days I know it's hard enough to find a woman who can move one beyond lust, and to find two joined at the hip that can barely move me beyond pity is sadder still.

When you take the risibly small coin from your humourless taskmasters, I accept you're both only obeying orders, yet you could at least still do so with a modicum of grace - I mean, if you don't like something, just don't go, just ignore it, just move on. You end up coming across as really fucking shallow and, yes, pathetic when your sole means of critical expression is reference to age and testosterone levels. Sort of revealing that you say nothing of this about harmless old Pierre Henry, don't you think? Next you'll both be complaining that my 8-inch dick isn't big enough for you. Ooh, such bitches. And to think I get accused of misogyny... baby, I've clearly got a lot to learn.

Oh, and 'council tax'? Now what the fuck are you talking about?? Either your shaky receptive English language skills need to be quickly upgraded for that wannabe career in low-level music journalism you harbour, or else you need an urgent irony oestrogen transplant, because what you're doing just ain't working.

I shamelessly reiterate my earlier point:
I don't care who the fuck you are, because you'll never get it. Everyone knows how full your magazine is of petty conservative white male middle-class narrowmindedness and straightlaced attitudes, what perhaps isn't immediately apparent to most is how much of that is just dressed-up stupid lazy ignorance.

Sincerely, William.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

COOKIE JAR

Watch this amusing case of the Bush regime with their hands caught in the cookie jar.

ISIS

This image must be one of the most stunning and beautiful I've ever seen in my whole life - a solar eclipse of Saturn as pictured by Cassini. The small insignificant dot at 10 o'clock is our own humble planet, Earth.

Monday, November 06, 2006

UNBURIED ALIVE 2

Just came across this excellent article published today that echoes my thoughts on the previous topic rather propitiously.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

UNBURIED ALIVE

This afternoon the Blair Broadcasting Corporation quietly sneaked out this bit of news - WHAT A FUCKING SURPRISE! Look at that idiot in the photograph, what the hell does he think he's going to with his big stupid toy?? Strafe the check-in queues? Remind yourself of all this every time you have to take your shoes off at UK airport 'security', every time they pat you down for illegal toothpaste, every time they triumphantly take a can of Fanta and a chocolate bar from a small child, every time they open their fucking mouths and use the word 'terrorism'. My theory is that with each day that passes Britain is one step closer to being North Korea - except Kim's nowhere near as bellicose and the UK female soldiers' uniforms aren't as sexy. To put it mildly.

Monday, October 30, 2006

SIERRA VISTA

To be honest, when it comes to gore, I can take it or leave it. This third time however, with the ever inventive pornographic violence, and some further extended examples of John's cutely twisted philosophising and poetic monologues, it results in easily the best instalment.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

LA DALLE

This blog's degenerating into a fucking restaurant guide. I do apologise. However, while I'm in Dusseldorf right now, I can't not recommend Robert's Bistro here. The menu almost defies you to choose something that isn't going have you salivating like the ravenous wolf I know you're brazenly dancing with right now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

THE RELEASE

And I remember that it was in that beautiful room that she was quietly screaming the need to be released from the double bind, the inner conflict, the sheer helplessness of not knowing whether she should be begging me to stop, or begging for me to continue doing the same thing. I continued.

By the way, you heard it here first, there is a new album planned for early next year.

CAGE SEEKS BIRD

It's invisible and I can't ever remember feeling so unsettled; that feeling that one tantalisingly, incredibly, pricelessly, valuable thing needs to be done. It's not exactly an unhappy feeling, in fact it should be the prelude to some kind of higher inspiration. Shouldn't it?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

WATCHER 2

My cousin just got in touch with me about this. She loves writing and recalls, at the age of 7, making up a magical story about being chased down a rabbit-hole by a giant beetle. Her parents loved it. Why? Because it was 'childish', so when she was 14 - and still writing - being 'childish' was no longer allowed so she found she had to start faking it, pretend that she was somehow adult by being 'intelligent' or 'sensitive' or 'humorous' or 'mature'.

YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.

LA REGLA

OK, you can call me a bit old-fashioned, but in relationships I have 2 or 3 rules before I'll go out with someone, and one of them is to always call a person's bullshit. Like lateness. I try to always show respect and turn up on time and expect the same in return. So if a woman's wilfully late, I'll say so and give her a nice smack on the ass, and then demand she kiss me hard to make it up to me. It really works wonders.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

WATCHER (AT THE GATES OF THE MIND)

Is our best creative work because of or despite our education?

You often hear teachers and parents disparagingly refer to children as if they were immature adults, and perhaps it's time to stop and rethink. And really rethink. I say most adults are atrophied children whose fire has long since been extinguished. There are so many of them everywhere, all of them with their fucking opinions. Bitter, uncreative, closed-minded, frightened, unimaginative and often hostile individuals permanently scarred and internally damaged by their education and upbringing.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

BUTTERFLY DREAMS

The experience of the Consumer Electronics Festival in Berlin was perfect, shattered only by next morning's getting to the airport and being told by GermanWings that the flight to Oslo is delayed by at least 3 hours thus missing our SAS connection to Bergen. The weather conditions are perfect, so, with 11 hours to spare, surely there must be some way of getting to the show from Germany's capital city?

The answer calls into question the adage that you have more choice about the way you live than the way you die.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

VATICAN CRIME SYNDICATE 2

Is it really over 3 months now since I started this blog? Hard to believe that.

Anyway, just wanted to add a book recommendation to this topic: Spanish investigative journalist Pepe Rodriguez's 470pp classic La Vida Sexual Del Clero (The Sexual Life Of The Clergy). Amazingly thorough and detailed in its scope, it packs in everything from paedophilia, prostitution, sadomasochism, illicit affairs, homosexuality amongst monks, priests and their charges, cover-ups, you name it - all meticulously researched.

Also of interest is another of Rodriguez's works, this time a fascinating primer on the techniques and strategies of investigative journalism.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

666

Warning to Manson fans and neo-apocalyptic folkists: this won't interest you one bit. Joseph Atwill, redoubtable author of Caesar's Messiah, is working on another magnum opus, this time with his study on the book of Revelation. You can now read his early draft; it's heavy-going yet well worth your perseverance.

Monday, October 09, 2006

PENCIL ME OUT

Why do you have to be DIFFERENT from everyone else, man?

Because we CAN.

But hey, we know what's KEWL, and we are SAFE here TOGETHER with our knowledge of what's KEWL.

That, my friend, is WHY we're DIFFERENT, for TOGETHER you may be SAFE... but WE are FREE!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

VATICAN CRIME SYNDICATE

"What profit has not that fable of Christ brought us!" Pope Leo X

Sex Crimes And The Vatican edition of BBC Panorama

Not like any of us should be in the slightest bit surprised by any of this, there are only about 2,000 years of institutional precedence reminding us why Christianity (along with its apologist servants) is still the most worthy target of utter disrespect.

CIRCLE OF EMOTION

Have felt excessively inspired today for absolutely no particular reason, is it a full moon? In the process have captured some infernally fucking grandiloquent ideas for new material.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

TORTSOV AND SONYA

It wasn't always immediately apparent but one of the things I've learnt about being a performer, whether on stage, in the studio or in rehearsal, is to reach with both hands a place where you’re no longer giving a performance, to reach that place where you consciously step aside. And then you can let that performance just flow through you; it’s really about a moment of surrender to something greater, to something it's pointless resisting, to something that can really positively fulfil.

SELF-COMMUNION

So I watched a Japanese film last night entitled Vibrator, and while I confess the title evoked a vision, as it might you, of some sexy Tokyo OL in bondage being aroused to multiple crazed orgasms with a remote controlled battery-operated sex toy, was not disappointed to discover a study of an altogether different subject matter.

It's a charming slow-moving road movie, amazingly well-acted, stunning photography, which conveys the spontaneous thoughts of a lonely and remarkably anonymous (therefore universal) young woman living in a large city. In addition to the metaphor of the constantly and necessarily vibrating truck the male protagonist drives, the one thing that has the ability to make her happy is the vibration of her mobile phone, even though she never picks it up. A poignant reminder of the disenfranchised nature of modern living.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

WITCHFINDER PENCIL

The guardians of morality at The Wire magazine have this time 'Savage' Pencil interviewing Chris Corsano for Invisible Jukebox. He plays Shitfun for him, then proceeds to goad him into condemning the supposedly 'dodgy' views inherent. Corsano commendably doesn't take the bait, stating that he appreciates and enjoys the music, even pointing out that his wife (who doesn't much like so-called 'noise music') very much enjoys Whitehouse.

The interview continues, Pencil prodding CC with questions perming the theme of whether Whitehouse are 'dangerous': even going so far as to mention the erect penis on the album's cover, and questioning its dangerousness (ironically declining to mention that the penis in question is the work of Wire favourite Steven Stapleton).

EXOTERIC

Most art depends on some kind of distancing strategy that is absent from what I know I like to do or have happen to me. They prefer to comment on experience judgmentally and offer explicit interpretations. Isn't it more emotionally demanding when you don't provide that? And that's the real difference between me: nothing's to be handed on a plate because there's no short-cut around; there's no way to stand above or beyond or outside; you either engage or you run away; you're either part of it, or you pointlessly try to rationalise your rejection, by in effect rejecting your own superficial feelings.

The mystery and the reward lie in the metaphor not the literalism, they lie in that great infinite ocean of possibility and promise, they lie in that place where any thing can and will be done.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

SCYLLA

If enlisting into the armed forces is a legitimate way for a youngster to become a career murderer, I wonder what that says about the psychiatric profession.

Here's another take on the subject I brought up after seeing the Kampusch TV interview - and a chance to see some extraordinarily striking photography: www.opacity.us

I suggest ignoring the visitors' comments for each photo and allowing yourself to hear those muffled screams as the pictures tell you their own dank dark perturbing tales. And many thanks to my favourite heathen friend for recommending this link, in another age we should have been justifiably burnt at the stake by now....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

INFINITE EXTRAVAGANCE

When was the last time you ever had your mind blown just by something you drank?

One of my favourite haunts in this wonderful city here, is located on the Royal Mile, where for a price they will make you a cup of the chocolate as featured in the book (and film) Chocolat. Just as the Aztecs might have drunk it. In other words, totally pure 100% txocoatl and with hot hot chillis. About as far removed from that sickly Cadbury's muck that you could ever get. It's both so shamefully and so shamelessly good, and will take you to places so fucking amazing, I'm almost surprised it's legal.

AGE OF AQUARIUS 4

I've had several requests for book recommendations on this topic, and while there are plenty of good ones to recommend including The Incredible Shrinking Son Of Man, a serious academic but very readable work by the eminent scholar and theologian Robert M. Price, there's also an enlightening and entertaining website here which is full of fascinating material. In particular, check out the page about the Turin Shroud.

Monday, September 18, 2006

CHARYBDIS

Did anyone else notice the sinister guy in the white coat standing behind the scenes during the recent Natascha Kampusch TV interview? I wonder if she wasn't better off in the hands of the 'abductor'.

I say 'abductor' because there's clearly far more to this story than meets the eye - the fact that they went on a fortnight's skiing excursion together (which she initially denied); were regularly seen by neighbours out and about shopping, driving and taking walks; and the highly selective filters she allows for questioning. What a prize possession she is for those barking psychiatrists: a live specimen for their 'Stockholm Syndrome' labelled jar.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

THE SECOND

So this evening I quickly jump onto a bus from Waverley train station after coming back from Sheffield, and this perfect-looking feline of a woman, about 40 years old, sits next to me. All expensive French perfume, smooth skin, Agent Provocateur?, red heels, and immaculate hair. I'm absolutely shattered after the concert the night before, which by the way was most enjoyable once again in every sense (thanks Moodi + Brian), am probably looking even more rough and not-so-ready and degenerate than normal, so feel no energy whatsoever to engage in any dialogue, even though she's looking across a couple of times. But then there's a nasty messy car accident in front of us. Some guy with his girlfriend crashes his shiny Mercedes into railings at the West End of Princes Street and as so often happens, a moment of drama interrupts a process and creates a common close connection... and so almost like a scene out of In The Mood For Love, we find ourselves engaged in the most electrically fucking charged of conversations, both skilfully weaving around mixed suggestive metaphors like a pair of old sluttish pros, oblivious to who or what's around, until a butterfly's lifetime later it was her stop, and with a wink and a wave and a smile to each other through the departing bus window, were gone into the night.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

LOVE COLOURS

Do you ever stop and think about how much is a child's painting worth?

As artists we have no-one to blame but ourselves. Censorship comes entirely and remorselessly from within, from within ourselves, as you yourself stand in the way of your own work. No-one else does. Why would they? I do love to be loved yet I'll take on anyone who tries to prevent me from doing what I want to do because I only care if you care.

AGE OF AQUARIUS 3

www.horusmaat.com - someone posted this nice link at the Susan Lawly forum. Jesus = Mithras = Osiris = Krishna = Buddha = Dionysus = Horus (so yet another cute example of the many mystery religion rising/dying sun gods myths/allegories) etc. etc. etc. Oh, but I forgot, the ones that predated Jesus (with almost identical biographical detail) were created by that scoundrel Satan (or should that be Baal or Beelzebub? I'm losing mythological track here) to test our faith in the 'real' anointed one. And the rest.

Like to read more? Here's an overview, with a comprehensive and fascinating list of comparisons

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Saturday, September 09, 2006

OPENING NIGHT

I don't mind what you've done. I don't mind where you've been, or where you come from. I want to know what makes you.

What makes you scream. What makes you giggle. What makes you cry. What makes you melty. What makes you gasp. What makes you shivery. What makes you rage. What makes you fucking hold on tight?

And if you don't tell me, I'll find out anyway, so that you'll know if you can take it further.

Friday, September 08, 2006

NAME DESIRE

www.naturalbeautiescontest.homestead.com/retouch4a.html - thanks to my good friend Michael for pointing me in the direction of this extraordinary site. Adobe have a lot to answer for.

TORTSOV 2

philipbest.blogspot.com

KFC

It's water under the bridge.

Knitting Factory show last year was blighted by Jason, arguably the worst sound technician on the planet (compare to last night's always attentive, very efficient, and friendly team at Numusic in Stavanger), and we ended up having to abort the show because of his totally unacceptable behaviour - and it's not because it was us, the KF's house sound guy is known to treat all bands with the same high-handed contempt and disregard, knowing his job secure and safe owing to the dependence on the club's backers: a major multinational petrochemical company.

Despite all that, it left an awful taste to hear about people that had come to see us there, many having travelled a long way, to leave disappointed.

Monday, September 04, 2006

THE FRANCHISE INDEX

There's a brief, but nevertheless amusing, list of band name origins.

Only the very naive will believe the explanations given for Whitesnake and Pearl Jam... and the hilarious story I heard Lemmy tell about Hawkwind's is a notable exclusion.

It all reminds me of when I'd have read Burroughs, Camus, or maybe Anthony Burgess novels, or even Dickens, and it seemed like every other page you'd stumble upon some band name or another (of these there a couple of examples in the list), and you'd enjoy a quiet moment of wry self-satisfaction at your discovery.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

THE FRANCHISE

The Rolling Stones have made some enduringly dreary music, and Jagger's grating mockney accent can only be rivalled by those other phonies Guy Ritchie, Jamie Oliver, and Dido. That said, owing to their advanced years, the Stones are the best example of a theory I've had for some time: the rock franchise.

In other words, their business franchise is now so incredibly valuable that the 'band' will have to continue long after all the original members are dead and buried, each one replaced as needed. In fact, I'd love to be around in a hundred years' time just to see if the theory's proven true. It'd be capitalism at its purest.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

BOTCH

news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/world/europe/5294548.stm - if you (rightly) thought the UK police, or the US's FEMA, were Keystone Kops, check this one out. Beslan was one of the most disastrous examples of strategic planning since the Charge Of The Light Brigade. (Although the House Of Culture theatre gassing in Moscow runs pretty close.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

FJORDS

Really looking forward to the Numusic Festival next week in Stavanger. Last time I visited Norway was, believe it or not, a cruise trip through the fjords and discovered a fascinating country full of echoes of mysterious ancient traditions. And I don't mean that in a 'Death In June'-way...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

UNLIST

Yo Blair's army desperately continues to attempt to persuade, if not subtly coerce, young and naive youth to sign up through expensive glamorous adverts promising 'passion', 'adventure' and 'excitement'. Yeah, right. Truthfully, while they train you to be a dangerous serial killer, all that should read as 'institutionalised bullying', 'probable death or serious injury', 'endless time away from family and loved ones', 'fighting pointless wars for Halliburton', 'pathetic wages', 'long term health risks', and 'lifelong psychological trauma'. Today's government spin is about increased recruitment, carefully not mentioning 25% drop-out rate, thousands going AWOL, and all the aforementioned deaths and serious injuries. Consider me a traitor.

Friday, August 18, 2006

PREMATURE

I so love the tone of this strange old short story, published here online.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

TORTSOV

Acting is far more difficult than we often give credit for, and when you get a good one, it's something exceptional to behold. Just as in music however, so many love the mirror so much they prefer to watch the outside and ignore the inside. I saw a play last night of competent, mechanical actors, yet they were all so clearly (and tediously) self-conscious of us, the audience. I love the genial Keith Johnstone's perfect solution of doing maskwork, while merely providing dentist mirrors to his cast.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

KAZOO MAN LIVES

The so-called biggest annual arts festival of the world, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, commenced here at the weekend. The city is, as usual, full of kazoo-playing juggling clowns on unicycles, various 'living' sculptures, multi-coloured dungarees, Shakespeare in a bouncy castle, and the usual faux controversial plays and exhibitions, in addition to the other 20,000-odd shows that are reputedly on. You'd think there must be something worth seeing...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

SEATTLE

Cannot sleep at all well lately, I don't think there's anything on my conscience... ;-) I guess it must just be this summer's strange weather conditions.

By the way, thanks to all those who have added comments - really not sure what's motivating me to write this blog, but it's definitely nice to know some people are reading it.

Friday, August 04, 2006

CORRUPTION IN MIAMI

Commendably, Miami Vice is rather difficult for a mainstream movie, and hard men with guns aren't my thing but I did enjoy the way the dialogue seems wilfully impenetrable at times, either through loud extraneous noises, Gong Li's dubious prosodic features (but great looks), the constant mumbling, or their talking over each other that reminded me of the amazing sequence in Fire Walk With Me that takes place in the disco.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

AGE OF AQUARIUS 2

Tibet just sent a friendly and as always charming email regarding my original AoA posting, this is the relevant bit here: 'I must say I NEVER said that AIDS was a message from God (Tiny Tim did, maybe they are confusing us!); I just said that increasing disasters everywhere are a sign of apocalypse (or, from your angle, a sign we are in for lots of sunshine!)'. Fair enough, even though 'sign of apocalypse' or 'message from God' seems to me like a minor semantic difference, I do know that magazines can misquote, or take things out of context, and things get even worse when bits are sloppily retranslated and recycled on blogs like this one. Heathen that I am however, I can't resist adding that since religious believers are the ones traditionally responsible for the disasters that have caused most human bloodshed, agree with me or not on the premise, might it not therefore behove them to follow the original advice?!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

OPEN KEY

Currently working on a follow-up to the two thematic songs Cut Hands Has The Solution and Killing Hurts Give You The Secrets.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

OPHIUCHUS

Really regret not being able to make it to Stefan Danielsson's recent I Hide In Snakes exhibition in Sweden. To me, right now he's the most exciting artist around. You can enjoy some of the amazing images here: www.galleriloyal.com/IHideInSnakes.html

Friday, July 28, 2006

TRANSFIGURATION

There's a marvellously touching PBS documentary called Monkey In The Mirror. Ostensibly it's about how so much more intelligent chimps, monkeys, and apes are than we give them credit for. To me, especially to my more misanthropic side, it's rather just another depressing reminder of how arrogantly fucking stupid human beings are.

AGE OF AQUARIUS

Just received the latest copy of Elegy from France, one of my favourite newsstand magazines, a delightful mixture of dark music, art and fashion - certainly nothing to compare to in the UK. Anyway, as I was flicking through the pages of photography of sexy fetish goth girls, Trevor Brown-style artists and various reviews, stumbled across an interview with that loveable old rogue Tibet who inexorably brings the subject round to the imminent apocalypse, the second coming of JC, added to some remarks about AIDS being a message from God - and in the process managing to outdo some of the more extreme US Christian fundamentalists. In this case earnestness somehow belies ignorance. David, if you're reading this, I adore you to bits and we want to give you a final chance to see the light: like Noddy, like Minski, your Bible is just mythical literature, there was no historical Jesus Christ; like Krishna, like Mithras, he symbolises the sun, so just go out and relax and have some fun.

Monday, July 24, 2006

DESTINATION FINAL

After publicly recommending the Final Destination film franchise, I got a barrage of shocked emails. Now I'm as pretentious and can be as irritatingly smug as the next arthouse film buff and am no lover of Hollywood trash, yet I believe these films are great. Why? Not for the scripts, not for the storyline, nor for the acting, but for the remarkable and unique killing set-pieces. Each one is like a beautiful artwork to be admired and revered. I find the dark humour, the unique beauty, and the inventive cinematography, of these individual set-pieces totally inspiring.

Can't wait for the next instalment.

PAPER IDOLS

It's nice to see some sacrifice.

I know all sorts of other people can make perfectly good music for dancing, for driving to, for headbanging, for the radio, for chilling out to, or even for the basic purposes of improvisation or experimentation, or any of the other common basic functions of the medium. It's that music, on account of its publicity and spectacular side, attracts many who merely want to capitalise their beauty or careers, and you see them, gamblers one and all, meaninglessly lining up week after week, generation after generation, in the music magazines, on music TV channels, and elsewhere, sucking into the camera lenses, plying their mechanically-created wares.

RUBBER STAMPS

So the question used to ask myself in the process of musical creation is: how can this music affect in a way that causes to : go to that special place, and : allow these very special emotions : come out to play? In such a way that no matter how hard we try to deny that desire, it takes on a life of its own, compelling, vivid, real, where you’re prepared to take this stranger’s hand that leads you into the woods: yes, I want to step into this special place and explore something risky, exciting, dangerous, and to some potentially even life-changing.

And that’s really the only criterion by which it can be measured. There is really no other incentive.