alexsarll: (crest)
So it looks like entries every other month is now standard. I still have notes in amongst the films and bands about kicking the leaves around, and here we are almost at that point again (though for now it's still altogether too hot for my liking, with the prospect of donning the big coat nowhere near appealing). And I wish I had been better about writing stuff up, because there are names in those notes of bands I know I liked, but about whom I remember nothing - like Tomorrow We Sail. I'm sure they have a page somewhere which would remind me, but that's not the same as a record of how the show felt. At least with Pete Astor I had the sense to offer myself some reminder - "more like Nick Drake than most Nick Drake wannabes; timeless but raw". It's not much, but it's a snapshot, which is the most any diary can be. Him I saw supporting John Moore at a rather undersubscribed evening; subsequently, Moore's novel would be the first project I've tried crowdfunding which did not meet its target, is not (at least in that manner) coming to pass. If a cult act are too popular, get T-shirts in Top Shop, their cultishness comes to seem rather a joke; if they can't even draw a decent crowd to the Lexington, not even with balloon tricks and an impromptu Black Box Recorder reunion, that may be going too far the other way.
(The journey home that evening was one of the times I've had strangers get a bit overfamiliar on account of the beard. I wouldn't mind so much if they weren't always straight men with lesser beards wanting some kind of symbolic contact)
Who else? Sarah Cracknell's new band. Martin Carr's new songs. Martin Newell. You'll notice a theme here; new but not new. Every so often I read a piece about some hot new act who aren't an act I already liked reconfigured, and unlike its kin it doesn't instantly bore me, and I give whoever it is a listen. And at best I think...yeah, that's OK. Last night it was Julia Holter. Magical stuff, I'd been told. But what I heard was perfectly pleasant background music.

That all sounds terribly jaded, doesn't it? But even beyond all those old favourites that still do it for me music-wise, London retains its infinite supply of everything else. A little depleted by the bastards and the oligarchs, perhaps, but not half so much as the dismal opinion pieces might suggest. You can still hear Arthur Machen's 'N' being read in Abney Park, happen upon accidentally private rooms in pubs that haven't been gentrified and gastroed to death, attend celebrations of life's odd contents which have speeches about anything from lifts (Boring) to exorcisms (Nine Worlds). The galleries have Gothic gems and surprise chunks of Grayson Perry. I think the decider for me, at the point where too much stuff was closing down and too many people calling it quits, was rediscovering Bingo Master's Breakout, London's premiere bingo, poetry and karaoke night, where every month a band plays a karaoke set of themselves, and the poets have to sing and the singers have to read poems, and the landlord has a real thing for Half Man Half Biscuit, and someone wins a Werner Herzog film. It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
alexsarll: (default)
It hasn't been a vintage year for music, has it? I've tried a fair chunk of the stuff making the more mainstream album-of-the-year lists, and at best found a track or two pleasant enough. Some of my favourite acts released profoundly underwhelming records - Pet Shop Boys have now perpetrated a couple in a row, but I had high hopes for Words and Music by Saint Etienne, only to find too much of it sounding oddly tired. Sproatly Smith, Death Grips, Martin Rossiter and Gallon Drunk all released albums which had glorious moments but felt samey when taken as a whole; Godspeed, Madness and Guillemots (that plan to release four albums this year went well, didn't it?) all seemed to be operating well within their comfort zones. And I think the only hit single I registered with any interest was 'Gangnam Style'. Still, let's attempt to pull together a Top 20 from the wreckage...Read more... )
alexsarll: (Default)
Got another reminder last week of how much I dislike big gigs these days, whoever's playing. Maybe if I go to another I should get a seat? Not because I'm getting older, but because the rest of the crowd are - at Magazine I think the only punters I saw younger than me had been brought by their dad who, like most of the audience, looked like he'd been into Magazine first time around. And really, trying to be part of the energy down on the floor doesn't work so well when it's just a load of old blokes (plus a very occasional woman) standing around. And did venues all look the same like this before a few years back? I remember the Shepherd's Bush Empire and the Kentish Town Forum having their own personalities, but now I can barely remember which one I'm in (and that's not down to intoxication, not at their drinks prices). Magazine themselves were...as you'd expect. They played a little more of the new stuff than I'd hoped, and 'Because You're Frightened' was a surprising omission. The banter was a little embarrassing. Devoto describing them as "Magazine version 6.0 service pack 1 - thank you for upgrading" just emphasised the sense that, whereas on record their music still evokes a sense of vast, alien horizons and urban nightmarescapes, live it's always going to be forcibly grounded by the fact you're watching a bunch of old guys (plus a couple of ringers).
Far more satisfactory - and far stranger - was Luke Haines at the Old Queen's Head. I don't even especially like his wrestling album - its reference points are a little before my time - but seeing it done in that living-room-like space, with Kendo Nagasaki sat at the side of the stage watching TV, and a psychedelic rabbit stew recipe for an encore...well, that's not a gig where you end up wishing you'd stuck to the recordings on your headphones, is it? Or the weekend before, where I'd seen Thee Faction punching out songs about GDH Cole in a community centre where one of the crowd was dancing with a small dog. These are shows to cherish, not just part of The Live Music Industry.

Seen on the screen: the new Tintin film. Which, in 3D at least, is staggering. Most of the 3D films I've seen, it's been a gimmick which made for one or two impressive moments. Coraline was the only one to use it thoroughly, and well. But Tintin simply uses it better. It helps that the motion-capture world has a real physicality - one which reminded me somehow of Frank Quitely's art, cartoony yet still solid; only Bianca Castafiore teeters into the uncanny valley. Whether it will grip on the small screen, or flat, I couldn't say, but on the big screen it seemed a far worthier adaptation that many commentators are giving it credit for. I suspect they're just even older than me, and as such were rendered even more queasy by the rollercoaster ride of it.

Underneath one of Islington's libraries is a museum, where there's currently a Joe Orton exhibition called Malicious Damage. Containing, principally, the Islington books which Orton and his lover were gaoled for defacting. 1962 to 2011 could almost seem like a record time from outrage to assimilation if I didn't remember the Times giving away a Pistols CD, but even leaving that aside...they deserved to go to prison for this crap. The detournements of books' covers and blurbs, even taking into account that they predate Photoshop, are clunky and unfunny. Orton and Halliwell claimed to have been treated harshly "because we were queers" - but if this was a gay rights thing, how come they vandalised a book by Auden and Isherwood? If it was a protest against "endless shelves of rubbish", then how come the most common author by a long way is Shakespeare? And most of the rest is blameless guidebooks and handbooks. Set against all this, the exhibition also holds their diary of a trip to more liberated climes, and their sexual adventures there - and it is dreadful, dreary stuff, successful neither as literature nor filth. They were, in summary, louts, not revolutionaries. So if nothing else, with this exhibition Islington libraries get the last laugh.

*Primrose Hill on Bonfire Night. Going out among the people made for a change, if nothing else, but not one I am in a hurry to repeat.
alexsarll: (Default)
So yes, hasn't there been a lot happening since one could last log in to LJ? Though somehow it seemed that Russian spammers could post comments even when I couldn't get in to delete same. Not cool. Also not cool: too many deaths, near, far and famous. Unnecessary. Possibly the best bit of Jerry Sadowitz' set this week (first time I've seen him, unless you count his Channel 5 show back when they were what seemed at times like the only TV home for stand-ups, and what a strange thing that is to remember) was the Norway/Winehouse material, because it was where you could most tell that he was a man howling out his anger at an unfair world the best way he knew how, somehow being funny in the process like Elsinore's gravedigger is, and not just Frankie Boyle or some such twerp.
(Other comedians seen: Nick Doody and Henry Packer, both less famous and less wrong than Sadowitz, though the latter was pretty bloody wrong in places by any normal standards. As is hopefully obvious, this is not a criticism. Also Richard Marsh, although that was more of a comedy/poetry hybrid, or a storytelling show, or just a very strange thing for a man to do if he doesn't especially like Skittles, but v.good nonetheless)

What else? London is empty lately, isn't it, or emptier than usual, outside the tourist areas anyway. Some people say they're all on summer holiday, I suspect heat death. Which would be for the best, I mean, what's with all these people I don't know or like who don't even work in sectors of use to me, daring to clutter the place up? I went to some community art a week or two back in the Andover, more normally known for stabbings than experimental dance, and while obviously it's laudable that the denizens were watching the dance rather than stabbing each other up, their understanding of audience etiquette was sadly lacking. Oh, and courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] exliontamer's concubine I've been revisiting some classic board games of my youth. Well, first of all I had to visit one that was new to me, Dream Phone, which just felt like a queasy exercise in pre-Internet grooming. But then we got on to the classics. Well, I say classics but it turns out that Ghost Castle is barely better than Snakes and Ladders in gameplay terms - there's precisely one choice in the whole game and nobody ever takes the slower, safer route - and yet it does have a glowing skull tumbling down a chimney causing havoc, and that counts for a lot. But Escape from Atlantis, and Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs - these remain pinnacles of the form. Atlantis in particular is sufficiently spiteful that you wonder if Luke Haines' books somehow omitted a period as a games designer, its mechanisms encouraging needless nastiness and even at times a gleeful suicide drive from any player who knows they can't win. Excellent stuff.

I've also found the first new London venue I like since, what, the Silver Bullet? Namely Native Tongue in Smithfields, where the Soft Close-Ups played on Tuesday. An underground bar in the Buffalo Bar sense, but a little airier, a little more choice at the bar. Definitely to be encouraged. And I've been watching Torchwood, of course, though addiction aside I couldn't necessarily tell you why. The science fiction side of it all is being handled very well, in terms of the ramifications of death just...stopping. So's the horror, with that basic uncanniness and revulsion of a thing that should be dead or even more simply immobile and yet refuses to stop moving. But as drama, it's nonsense - and as evil as I am prepared to consider Pfizer et al, buying their stand-ins as villains for something like this just doesn't gel. So inevitably it's going to be aliens behind it all, but if so, why bother with the false reveal? Why, in general, is it all taking so long?
alexsarll: (Default)
If you haven't been keeping up with Luke Haines' recent ventures, he's just released 50 albums. Which so far as anyone can work out are 50 versions of the same album, Outsider Music each recorded live in one take, and each costing £75. I don't have it, no. There's various Bill Drummond-style rhetoric about this restoring the sanctity of the physical album &c, but given the old bastard has always made an art out of wilful perversity, I suspect a large part of it is making a few grand quickly while seeing what the fans will put up with. In much the same spirit, last night he played the new material live at the Hoxton Pony, a venue whose name is in a sense honest, but perhaps a little too disguised by the Cockney rhyming slang. The intro tape doesn't seem to be able to stay at the same sound level for a whole song, and two of those songs are by the Doors. And the support is a berk who is apparently from a band called Silvery, and who seems to have been booked just so Haines can remind himself how much he hates Britpop because his stuff sounds like something which [livejournal.com profile] steve586 would refuse to play at Nuisance. Haines himself is sounding a little odd on account of some missing teeth, and horribly plosive because he's doing stuff with the mic which even I know how not to do. It is, in short, not the ideal setting. On top of which, as Haines says while introducing the song about a friend who met Alan Vega of Suicide, "the new songs were rather like the old songs". One song, more recent even than the Outsider Music stuff, is introduced as part of a forthcoming concept album about seventies wrestling, and concerns the domestic arrangements of Kendo Nagasaki. From anyone else, you'd know that intro was a joke. But from Haines? (Suggested heckle: "Play the one about the seventies!")
Haines is in that spot a lot of artists get to where they've found their territory and, if they do get any new fans, it'll be through a critical rehabilitation rather than a sudden shift in the material. This is not necessarily a bad thing; I was listening to the new Twilight Singers album on the way to the gig, and there's not a surprise on it, but that doesn't stop it from being the third best album of the year so far (not the faint praise it may seem in mid-January, the H Bird and British Sea Power records are excellent). But if these songs really don't get any wider release...well, most of them I won't honestly feel as gaps in my life, the exception being the brilliant 'Enoch Powell'.
And then we get the old songs, and a reminder of why we put up with all this because yes, the man has written several dozen absolute and eternal classics, and here's a selection. Most terrifying is to hear 'Future Generations' in the company of a fan born in the nineties*, proof that Haines was, as usual, right when he first sang "the next generation will get it from the start".

I hadn't even been planning to go to that show until mid-afternoon; I had other plans, and I'd assumed it was sold out. And by that point I'd already reached my standing goal of doing at least two things per day beyond pootling around on the net or reading a comic or two or other minor stuff; I'd filled in my tax return, and I'd finally watched Videodrome (which is basically just 'Blink - The Queasily Sexy Years', isn't it?). This in spite of having developed a problematic addiction to "I am the man who arranges the blocks" after having heard it at Bright Club the night before, with which I had thought I should re-familiarise myself given I'm performing at the next Wilmington one on February 15th.

*edit: Actually 1989, I am informed, and unlike Wikipedia I trust people to correct their own biographical data. But I feel the point stands.
alexsarll: (Default)
Sorry to everyone whose birthdays and gigs I didn't make on Saturday, had a birthday of someone I'd not seen in far too long to attend in deepest Tufnell Park. The place started off very full on account of footballism, so we ended up in one of those internal pub crawl situations where every time a bigger and better table comes clear, you dash for it, sometimes holding on to the original table too, until eventually you realise you've over-expanded and cannot sustain your conquests. As one friend said, "like the Japanese empire in World War II - but without the rape camps".
On Friday I went to see [livejournal.com profile] xandratheblue and [livejournal.com profile] retro_geek DJ the Doe Face Lilian gig in Kilburn. Disappointingly, Doe Face Lilian have still yet to start coming on stage in a Trojan horse for a 'Doe Face Ilium' visual pun which I would appreciate enormously, but the girls played Swimmer One and The Ark, so I was happy. And yesterday, an autumnal Essex Tubewalk followed by local drinks which I had to leave early when I realised I could no longer feel my toes. Either it's the end of the sitting outside season, or I need some new socks.

There's a new album out by a bit of a cult figure who combines utter self-obsession and a bit of a knack for losing his audience, with a clear need for adulation. But Robbie Williams has had quite enough press lately, it's the new Luke Haines which is puzzling me. As we settle in for another winter of discontent, his Seventies obsession suddenly seems strangely prescient - but because that would make things too easy, he also has to include a three-piece spoken word tale of modern art pseuds and trepanation. And simply to fly in the face of the received wisdom on double albums, he's separated 21st Century Man and Achtung Mutha on to two CDs even though they'd easily fit on one (with a silent track between them to enforce the break). Bless his wilfully perverse little heart.

I've been reading Doctor Who books again, having ground to a halt a while back from the sheer repetitive grind of the Sabbath epic (in brief: after the Time Wars, an amnesiac Doctor is up against a human with mysterious backers who has set up as a new Time Lord, and is attempting to condense the multiverse down into one timeline). Decided to take a break from those and instead read Spiral Scratch, an attempt to give the Sixth Doctor a proper send-off what with him having had the worst regeneration scene in the show's history. And...oh dear, it's all about the multiverse again, and a villain trying to kill off alternate timelines. And yes, this coincidence in my reading order is hardly the writer's fault, but multiple versions of the same character is such an easy thing to do badly, and at the same time I was reading Charlie Stross' 'Palimpsest' where it's done so well, and the Buzzcocks references scattered through this are just tiresome given I was always more of a Magazine man, and...gah, basically. There are moments which make me feel like I didn't totally waste my time - glimpses of Evelyn and Frobisher, the sheer love for the Sixth Doctor which comes through - but mostly it's exactly the sort of second-rate fanservice people expect from the books, and it's such a shame there were so many like that in between the Lance Parkins and Paul Cornells and Lawrence Mileses of the enterprise.
alexsarll: (bernard)
Although these days he's more frequently seen in his guise of mediocre political journalist, John Harris doesn't want us forgetting that he started out as a mediocre music journalist. Apparently he edited "the now-defunct Select, a title that floated on the tide of Britpop and sank when it receded". Which is interesting, because I remember Select as being at its best just before Britpop, dealing with the bands who wouldn't quite fit into the grand narrative to come. And what does this rewriting of the past remind us of? That's right - Harris is a retromancer. Bemoaning how obsessed we all are with the past, he then goes on to rehearse the familiar old stories about how Lester Bangs and Nick Kent are the best music journalists ever (for the record - Kent was OK, but Bangs hated Roxy Music and as such, is never going to have anything to tell me. Or consider the Bangs quote Harris uses, of the mawkishness around John Lennon's death, Bangs wondering what "'the real - cynical, sneeringly sarcastic, witheringly witty and iconoclastic - John Lennon" would make of it all. If that's the real Lennon, who was responsible for 'Imagine' and 'All You Need Is Love'? Tosser). Obviously print dates are such that the article couldn't respond to the death of Steven Wells (for me, the saddest of last week's demises, even ahead of Sky Saxon). But consider all the other omissions. An article about the state of music writing which fails even once to mention Paul Morley is de facto worthless right there. But nor does it find space to mention any of the contributors to Melody Maker's nineties golden age. It bigs up a Mott the Hoople autobiography as "the best book written by a British rock musician" - well, I've not read it but if it's as good as Marianne Faithfull's first memoir, I'll be amazed. And recent years saw classics by Alex James and Luke Haines. Do they get a mention? They do not. The frequently-insufferable Pitchfork is cited as a good example of modern music writing; the consistently brilliant Popjustice is as absent as its predecessor, Smash Hits. I'm a fan of music journalism, and I don't recognise the field Harris is talking about.

Friday: Poptimism is less Jacko-heavy than expected, which is good given I only ever liked a handful of his songs. I inadvertently get far drunker than intended. Saturday: friends are drinking in my 'downstairs garden', and it would be rude not to join them en route to getting the paper, right? We end up cackling incoherently about eggs and realise that yes, we are no longer above this, we are drinking in the daytime in Wetherspoon's and we belong there. Although there is a break for Finnish bowling (actually just throwing a stick at some other sticks) and apocalyptic tempest, I proceed to get far too drunk, again. Sunday: Tubewalk day. I plan not to drink, but forget the sheer soul-shredding horror of the Edgware Road, End up drinking, on and off, for something like ten hours.
Today I really am not drinking.
(It's weird, though, almost as soon as you're off the road itself, the area is lovely, all odd little bookshops interspersed with I Saw You Coming-type establishments. Whereas on the road, you get girls proving if ever proof were needed that Rihanna's look only works on Rihanna. Also: the pub in Paddington station? It worries me. They have lightbulbs which are melting the picture frames beneath them, not to mention the clientele)

In other news:
http://www.explosionsandboobs.com
alexsarll: (manny)
As many of you will doubtless already have seen all over your friendslists, the New Royal Family once again decided to use my 'unconvincing disapproval' face to spice up the video to their latest smash, which for all I know may be the last music video Britons can watch on Youtube. The NRF are also playing the Gaff on Holloway Road this evening, so why not come along and see if I can look as unconvincingly disapproving in the flesh? Or alternately just watch the band, which would probably be a better idea all round.

Which item leads because it at least makes me look halfway cool, and since last posting, I have been otherwise been engaging in high-grade geekery to such a degree that even I still feel a little nervous about admitting to it. Well, OK, and I did go to lovely Soul Mole. But still, too many dice. As has been pointed out, compared to the various other midlife crises on offer, it's less deleterious than most.

I'm reading Graham Greene's The Human Factor - not one of his best, thus far. But it is a late effort, coming from 1978. Which feels weird right off - Graham Greene, whose Greeneland always feels so thoroughly mid-20th Century, was writing during my life. I'd...not even forgotten when he died, just never even considered the notion that he might not have passed with his age, like the Elves departing Middle Earth for the Grey Havens. But he had a book out in 1988. He died in 1991 - the same year Will Self published his first book (which I mention not as a passing of the baton but because Self is one of the few writers anywhere near the modern British literary mainstream whom I think worth reading). 1991 is, of course, 18 years ago, which is odd because in my head the eighties are still only circa ten years ago. And is Greene being anachronistic by having MI6 business sealed over grouse shoots in 1978, or am I forgetting how much of old England still persisted then? Especially given recent musings on Black Box Recorder and Red Riding, I suspect it's at least as much the latter.
alexsarll: (crest)
The radio adaptation of Iain M Banks' 'The State of the Art' reminded me how much that bloody story depressed me. Reading the Culture books out of order, because it doesn't really matter, I'd concluded that getting a native writer to introduce the concept of the Culture to a civilisation ahead of formal contact was exactly the sort of thing that wise and wonderful society might attempt. Except then I got to this one, where they find "the place with the genocide", aka Earth, and ultimately decide against contact. And all this set in 1977. I could have lived my whole life in the Culture, you bastards. Anyway. Good adaptation by Paul Cornell, and with the Doctor-who-never-was, Paterson Joseph, as one of the leads. Opposite Nina Sosanya, though race is never specified as an issue; I wonder if that would be as doable on TV? I'd like to think so. All the Who alumni reminded me that before I'd ever read Banks, my first encounter with the Culture was through their Who book analogues, the People. Even then I recognised it as perhaps the first utopia I'd ever seen which really felt like somewhere I'd want to live. Well, that and Miracleman, but if the latter ever does get completed, I now know that Gaiman planned for The Golden Age (where I thought the story ended, with balloons) to be followed by Silver and Dark Ages.

Channel 4 inexplicably scheduled the two things I wanted to watch this week opposite each other - nice work there, chaps. Well, OK, there was that Heston Blumenthal show in which he made absinthe & d1ldo jelly, but for all that I love his mad science, at times I was reminded that I was watching a cookery show, got bored and had to read a book on folklore. Which reminded me about the concept of being 'elf-struck' just as the ads showed that one about stroke symptoms - followed by one for Fairy. Terrifying moment. So anyway, C4 putting perhaps the most heartwarming episode of Skins ever opposite the terrifying Red Riding, a missive from that nasty old England of Black Box Recorder's that I was talking about recently, Life on Mars without the laughs. I had been looking forward to this flush of David Peace adaptations, but while this one (of a book I've not read) convinced me, I no longer have any interest in The Damned United given the producer 'said the film-makers had taken a conscious decision to lighten the book's tone. "We didn't dwell on his alcoholism or his decline. That wasn't the story we wanted to tell. In quite tough times, we wanted to make a film with an upbeat ending - you come out of the cinema thinking it was an enjoyable experience and that Clough was a good guy."'

Drayton Park - a station I've been through plenty of times on the train, but in spite of how near I knew it must be to me, not somewhere I'd ever passed on foot. This week I finally found it, part of a whole area sharing the name, tucked away between Highbury and Holloway with the same sort of tesseract magic as London uses to hide Somers Town away where there really shouldn't be space for a district. I love this city and its labyrinths. Passing through there en route to Shoreditch where 18 Carat Love Affair were playing with fewer bands than expected at the Legion, a venue whose refits have actually worked out pretty well, unusually for the area. Broke off from talking to their singer about Alan Moore to go to the bar, where the barman who served me had SOLVE and COAGULA tattooed down his arms; if the 'elf-struck' coincidence was terrifying, this one reminded me of the happier side of living in a world where magic happens.

More Catholic hilarity as helping a nine year old, raped by her stepfather since age 6, to obtain an abortion is judged excommunicable! No word whether Pope Sidious has personally approved this decision, but I think we can assume so. He's probably offered the stepfather a job too, he seems to have the main skills required for the priesthood.
edit: This Vatican endorsement of the Brazilian church's position just in.
alexsarll: (magnus)
I love living in a city where nobody even thinks to mention that there's a twenty foot tall statue of a jackal-headed death god stood in Trafalgar Square. Through which I was just passing en route to the Project Adorno show at Westminster Reference Library - one Westminster library I've not been to before, but one I love; it's how libraries used to be before they started chasing the will o'wisp of 'accessibility'.

You wouldn't know it from the picture where I appear to be teasing a horse, but last weekend's Metroland Tubewalk saw me come over all Fotherington-Thomas, chasing excitedly after unusual birds and cooing over flowers. I've seen horses while Tubewalking before, but never happy-looking ones, and certainly no bunnies, and if the uneven trails through the woods sometimes had a questing air about them, it was a considerably more jovial quest than the bleak and bloody slog to North Greenwich. Plus, in Metroland they even still have Routemasters! And restaurants where one can be the only diners and hog all the staff attention! It is a happy land, to which I am still half-convinced I would like to move and open a pub in a forest.

[Poll #1066074]

In spite of having initially decided that Gallows were just a bloody racket, I nonetheless decided to give them one more chance and give the album a spin. Why do I persist in doing this, believing that there must be some substance to the hype? I can still see exactly why Kerrang! likes them; I still have no idea why NME cares. And I would definitely still characterise them as a right bloody racket. Yes, Frank Carter is clearly very angry, and fair enough, if I looked like that and lived in Watford, I'd be very angry too. A lot of my favourite music is angry, from Noel Coward through the punk classics to Luke Haines and Trent Reznor - but at least there one has some idea what they're angry *about*. Here? Not a clue. I only know from interviews that 'Will Someone Shoot That Fvcking Snake' (the closest they come to a tune) is about how date rape is bad, mmmkay? - taken in isolation, I'd just be wondering why anyone would try to shoot a snake when a spade is so much more suited to the job, because the title aside, the lyrics are just a man screaming incoherently about SOMETHING WHICH IS REALLY GETTING HIS GOAT AAAAARGH.
alexsarll: (marshal)
The smoking ban. Catherine Tate as the Doctor's companion next season. The death of Fopp. The weather. And just because that's not enough bad news to be getting on with, the Chavez/Ahmadinejad supervillain team-up rolls on. "Today Hugo Chavez is the most talkative, launching a tirade against the "barbarians" he says have invaded Iraq, and comparing them with the barbarians he says destroyed the ancient civilisations of Latin America." Now, by now I would hope anyone reading this journal appreciates that I am not naturally on the side of aggressive Catholic imperialism, but he is talking about civilisations which practised mass human sacrifice. Civilisations whose own subjectt states allied with the invaders because anything had to be better than being a source of blood and beating hearts for the Aztec death gods - and who, in spite of the ensuing conquistador atrocities, were probably right. But no, as far as the Secret Society of Supervillains, sorry, 'Axis of Unity', is concerned, because those death cults were enemies of the West, they must have been the good guys. Next week: because the Jews opposed the sacrifice of children to Moloch, Ahmadinejad decides that even if it does oppose every tenet of islam, reinstituting the worship of Moloch can't be all bad.

Looking for some small candle to hold against this darkness, I find only unconfirmed possibilities; Boris Johnson is apparently 'not ruling out' standing for Mayor of London against the loathsome liche-lord who, in life, was known as Ken Livingstone. And in the new NME Eddie Argos mentions the formation of The English Travelling Wilburys - a supergroup featuring himself, Luke Haines, David Devant (presumably he means the Vessel)...and Frank Sidebottom. One fears these might both be back-of-beermat plans, destined to leave no more trace than the morning fog - but right now they would appear to be the closest things we've got to hope. Hell, even The Thick Of It seems to have lost its pinpoint accuracy; this week's special may still have had some good swearing, but in its failure to anticipate anything like the shape of the Labour leadership handover, it no longer felt like a smuggled report of the truth behind the scenes, and that was always at least as much of a factor in its appeal.

edit: Reading back through the friendslist, Stockholm Syndrome seems to be breeding excuses for the abomination Tate. As a public service, I offer a reminder of potential companions less inevitably dreadful than a reprise of Donna from The Worst Who Episode Ever:
Dalek Sec (having swapped his smart suit for a hoodie, better to appeal to Ver Kidz)
Russell T Davies' sphincter, expelling its contents onto the camera lens every five minutes
Adric
A Slitheen in a fez

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