Tuesday, 31 July 2007

A Short Story.

Once upon a time there was a young lady called Staz. She lived in Bumblebee Hill with the honey makers. After an apprenticeship at the Central Hives, she got a full time job collecting the royal jelly. It was testament to just how hard she had worked, as this was a highly sought after position. Young Staz would collect the royal jelly and put it into the special safety jars for transporting to the factory, where they would be labelled and then distributed throughout the land.
Once every year, the queen bee would call for her most prized worker to collect her very own special royal jelly. That which the queen had made herself the previous year, and left to mature in the diamond mines of the mole people. The queen announced that this year it would be Staz who had the honour of this most highest of praises. Staz could not fucking believe it.
The day came and, dressed in the traditional ancient robe of the ancestors, Staz went forth into the Mole Mines of Annanabhar to collect the royal jelly. She gazed upon it in total awe. "Wow." She said. Her mouth was watering. As a child her parents had not been rich enough to afford even the smallest jar of "Queen Gertrude's Amazing Matured Royal Jelly", and here she was, holding the very object of her life's desire. She could not resist, and opened the maturing pot to have a little taste.
"Mmmmmmmm! It's delicious!"
Then the alarm rang.
Terrified, she placed tried to put the lid back on the pot, but she still had some royal jelly on her hands, and it slipped crashing to the floor and breaking into many pieces. She could hear footsteps. Panicing, she ran and hid In a mole tunnell.
"Where is she?! Where is she?! Someone find her immediately!" It was the queen's voice. She dare not show herself, for fear of what might happen. She stayed hidden.

Meanwhile, outside the Central Hives, all the workers had congregated, and the queen was checking who was there.
"Where's Staz?! Has anyone seen Staz?!"
No-one had.
"I saw the smashed lid! I know she was in there! Where is she?!"

Staz was getting very hot. She stayed hidden as long as she could bear it, but she was getting so hot in the mole tunnell, that she could no longer bear it, and had to exit. She prepared to face the music, and crawled out.
"Oh shit!"

Sirens were coming up to Central Hives. The queen greeted them as the vehicles approached, but was clearly aggitated. "You HAVE to find Staz!" she cried. "She's the only one who hasn't made it out!"

Staz's exit was blocked by fierce flames, and smoke was filling the room. She tried to climb back into a mole tunnell, but they were collapsing under the pressure of the fire and there was no way she could get through. She started to cry for help, but immediately her lungs filled with thick black smoke, and all she could do was cough. Unable to breathe properly, she collapsed to the ground and fell unconcious.

Minutes later the fire crew emerged from the Central Hives carrying Staz. They tried to resussitate her, but to no avail. The queen screamed. Virtually unconsolable, she threw herself crying onto Staz's body. In desperation she started giving CPR to Staz herself, but everyone knew it was too late. The queens guards stepped in to intervene.

"Cough cough cough....."

No-one could believe it. The fire crew ran back with an oxygen tank, and they took her to an ambulance. Against all odds the queen had managed to bring Staz back to life.

A few days later Staz was discharged from hospital, and after a couple of months she was back at work and fighting fit, helping to rebuild central hives. On her first day back, she recieved a heroes welcome. The queen had been slightly annoyed at Staz's misbehaviour, but was so glad that she was alive, that she fully pardoned Staz, and her record remained unblemished.

In a couple of years everything was back in full swing. Staz was once again given the honour of collecting the special royal jelly. She performed the ritual perfectly. Everyone was extremly proud of her.

That Christmas, Staz got a special present from the Queen. Her very own jar of "Queen Gertrude's Amazing Matured Royal Jelly".


Friday, 27 July 2007

Axl's Adventures In His 7 Inch Collection (Part One).

(Pfffff.... Tee hee hee!)

As some of you may know, I'm a bit obsessed at the moment with a Dutch electronic musician called Machinefabriek. I won't start banging on about just how good he is, just take it as given that I totally heart him.
Anyway, I recently ordered a 7 inch of his and put it on a shelf waiting to be listened to. Today I did that, but I had put it in front of my Foals "Hummer" 7 inch, which I realised I still hadn't actually listened to either. This prompted me to revisit my 7 inch collection. I went through a phase of buying loads a couple of years ago, and there are tons in there that I'm sure I never actually got round to listening to. So that's what I've been doing today. I grabbed the first box and delved in.

The first unlistened to 7 was a Vibracathedral Orchestra/Phonophani split. It was an awesome one to start off. 2 sides of joyful noise. White vinyl too. Then followed ace 7's in the way of Lootpack, Fonda 500 & the Hella/Four Tet split. Then came Pink Grease. Good a-side, terrible b. Then came a run of the average and not so good. Concretes were a bit dull, Fiery Furnaces (x2) were ok, Client were awful. So were My Red Cell. Mission Of Burma were ok. Selfish Cunt:- why did I even buy their second single? I hated the first! Then on listening, "Authority Confrontation" sounded really good! Was I going to have to give Selfish Cunt another chance? No. After a minute or so, it went from a really good song to the dreadful trash I remember them for. The b-side was rubbish too.
All in all this was not proving to be the experience I had hoped for. I was considering stopping this excercise and just watching some more X-Files. Then came Sam Cooke. "Bring It On Home To Me". Sublime. Wonderful song, wonderful voice.
Then came Rose Royce, some ace a-sides with hilariously dated 80's b-sides from Paul Hardcastle & Brass Construction, and then some real forgotten (as in I forgot I owned them) gems in the form of "Groove Is In The Heart" by Deee-Lite and 5(!) KLF sevens!
Next came a couple of soulful Lou Rawls which brings us to Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes with "Satisfaction Guaranteed (Or Take Your Love Back)". It's a pretty standard affair but with one of the funniest grunts I've ever heard. I was gonna stop now, but I've just seen that coming up there's En Vogue, ELO & Village People. Oh Yes.

Lyric of the day "There's no need to get nervous, Coz Tony's gonna give you the best service." HA! A prize for anyone who gets what that lyric comes from.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Note courtesy of Alice Bevan. If you can't read it, it says:
"Dear Axl
yr a Wanker"



When did coughing become an acceptable way of gaining someone's attention? "Hmmm, I wish to attract that chaps attention with the intention of asking him something. How could I do that? I could always just ask him. No, that would not be polite enough. I know what I'll do. I'll expell some germs from my mouth in a very obviously fake manner, over-emphasising the sound and then look expectant when he turns to me. Yes, that would be best for all, I'm sure."

Wrong. It is rude. Rude and unsanitary. If you do this, you are a prick. I've started ignoring people who cough now. It pisses them off. Serves them right, wankers.

Although, that said, there is one thing that pisses me off even more.

"Hmm, how can I get this nice young man to help me? I could ask him for his assistance? No, don't want to seem pushy. Cough? No. Oooh, I know. I'll go and pathetically stand next to him and just look at him, saying nothing until he notices what I'm doing and asks if I need any help. Yes, that's the one for me."

Fuck's sake. Don't just stand there like a lemon you idiots. I can't read your mind you know. If you want to know something, your going to actually have to say something eventually anyway, so why the whole ridiculous "Ooooh, I couldn't possibly be the first one of us to speak" bullshit?

These are just a couple of things that have pissed me off at work recently. I made a list that I was going to post as a seperate blog, but I might as well just do it now.

There was a guy in last week who asked "What are you playing?"
It was the new recording of some Golijov works. I went to show him the cd. "Don't worry, I'm trying not to listen to it."
I showed him anyway, partly coz I was already doing it, but mostly to piss him and his smug fucking face off.
Then he chipped in with "Are you playing it backwards?"
Cue smug face and chuckle.
God I hate knob-ends like him.

Just like I hate people who try to make small talk while I'm serving them. Ok, I don't hate all of them, but it's at least 85%. They'll say any old shit, seemingly unable to handle any speechless situation, desperatly trying to fill the void with their stupid mouth noise. I especially hate the ones who feel the need to justify their spending of money to me. I don't care. Go away. The people who seem to seek approval really piss me off too. People who say things like "That was quick" when using the card reader can shut the fuck up too.

"Have you got this in stock"- No, sorry. Nothing in stock I'm afraid- "What, nothing at all?"
No, I mean nothing apart from my secret stash I keep up my arse.

I have to go now, as I'm falling asleep wile typing this.
I'll put the rest up later.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Axl's Adventures At Truck Therapy.

So yeah, Truck was called off, as you all know. So Oxford's promoters all sprung into action and organised some Truck replacement gigs. One at Brookes, one at Purple Turtle and one at Port Mahon. I was not looking forward to the prospect of having to choose between Fuck Buttons and The Walk Off. The Walk Off won in the end, which was lucky really coz I'm pretty sure Fuck Buttons couldn't make the PT gig anyway. The only reason I haven't included Youthmovies in this list of choices is that I couldn't afford to spend 15 quid to get into Brookes.

So Port Mahon bound, slightly sad that I would be missing Hreda and Jonquil at PT, I met up with the Alice's Bevan & Handscomb at The Star and we moseyed on down. Booze, garden, meet up with The Walk Off & Staz. They were a combination of boozed up and jetlagged (ok, the second part of that only applies to Blake & Staz), and they fed me some Tequila & Rock Star. Rock Star is an energy drink that comes in a can that looks like it holds about a litre of liquid (it was fucking massive) and the drink itself is the colour of radioactive piss. I'm not kidding, it looks like it glows in the dark. Drank cider. Watched The Rock Of Travolta. Good stuff. Started on the Swedish pear cider that they've started selling at PM. (It's a bit too nice and tastes a bit too non-alcoholic which is probably why I drank so much and why I have such a hangover today.) Then, the Alices left! Looooooooserrrrrrrrrssss!! They missed a pared down A Silent Film, who as a twosome sounded a bit like Postal Service would if Postal Service were any good. A Silent Film were good. They missed Frank Turner, but so did I. I can't actually remember what I was doing when he was on. Hang on, I think I was drunkenly telling Cotty why I like The Walk Off so much while he had a fag in the rain. They missed the joys of unisex toilet queing, with everyone desperatly trying to not look really uncomfortable being with members of the opposite sex in the same toilet. They missed someone buying Cotty's hoodie off him, which only cost Cotty a fiver but the guy insisted on paying him 10 "Coz I know how much you like it.", the first time I think I've ever seen someone trying to haggle a price upwards.
THEY MISSED THE WALK OFF!!! (I think that sums up my feelings rather well, but just to clarify, The Walk Off were awesome.) They missed Cotty hilariously throwing his guitar against the wall several times. The highlight for me though had to be when Michael turned up and we had some proper dancing. Music + Michael = good time.
They also missed Nought. I'd never seen Nought before. They were really good! Instrumental noisy rock fare. Nice.
Then I bought another pear cider and took it to The Star. I only realised how drunk I was when I stumbled into The Star shouting "OH HELLO!!" and then proceeded to run up to Emma's boyfriend, stroke his Battles t-shirt and try to bite his nipple. This was after Viner & Tat bundled into me hugging me big time which felt real good. Then Viner & Tat stole me and took me to PC's house, and Jef C was there! I like Truck, I get to see people I haven't seen for ages. I don't really remember anything that happened there. I vaguely remember walking home via Kebab Kid. At about 7 this morning I woke up with my computer switched on and I was wearing all my clothes except my trousers. And I was wearing sunglasses. And there were chips & kebab meat spilled on my bed. I tidied up and went back to sleep. I woke up and ate the rest of my chips & kebab meat at about 12.30. My hangover is in that general feeling of drained groggyness. I'm really hungry. I'm gonna go eat something.

Axl's Adventures In Community Radio.

Did you hear it? Did you?

No, of course you didn't. The whole thing was so last minute that I only had time to tell about three people. 2 of them had plans already and the other couldn't decipher my very rushed message.

Basically, what I'm on about is the OX4FM (87.9) community radio station. My chum Helen has a show on it. Anyway, she had asked me round there to keep her company and chat to her when songs were playing so she didn't get bored. Then when just about to go on air said, "D'yer fancy bein' on air?" or something similar. So I ended up co-hosting her show. I say co-hosting, I mean being her sidekick really. I don't remember much of it now coz I'm really hungover after the Truck replacment gig at the Port Mahon. What I do remember is that I got told off for talking about shagging, ("I bet you did! I bet you rode him bareback, like the horse you had when you were a child!"), and also talking about urinating. And I did funny improvised skits about working in an abatoir and home taping (I say funny not because I'm arrogant but because Helen was laughing at them), and I did one about being locked in a cage that was pretty lame. And I slagged off Jamie T. Coz he's shit.

It was really fun. I had a really good time doing it. If anyone ever gets a radio station and wants me to present on it, I will happily do so. Very unlikely I know.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Just To Clear A Few Things Up: Volume 1

No matter how many times I tell people that I like or dislike something, people seem to forget. Usually when their opinion is different to mine. You all seem to just block it out. So here, in the first of a series of posts I will be writing, are some things I like and dislike, that no matter how many times I tell you them, they never sink in your brains.

* I hate the Arcade Fire. I think they're painfully shit.
* I don't like Captain Beefheart. His songs fall into 2 categories. Obtuse for the sake of it, or boring.
* I hated the film "Secretary". It's fucking rubbish.
* I don't like coffee or tea.
* I don't like beer.
* I like Jamiroquai.
* I liked Sexy Breakfast.
* The film "The Lost Boys" is fucking boring.
* I don't like Modest Mouse.
* I've never seen an Alfred Hitchcock film. No, not even that one.
* I don't like avacado.
* I love bovril sandwiches.
* Sometimes I don't wear underwear.
* Low is not my favourite David Bowie album.
* Diamond Dogs is.
* I really really hate sneezing.

That'll do for now.
The next person who acts surprised when I mention one of these things gets knifed in the genitals.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

People Who Say That Sarcasm Is The Lowest Form Of Wit...

...are the lowest form of life.

OK, maybe that's too harsh, but seriously, who suddenly decided that? And how did it become some kind of universal truth? Next time someone says that, I urge you to challenge them. The conversation will almost certainly go something like this:

You: Sarcastic comment.
Them: Smug as fuck "Oh very clever. You know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, don't you?" Adopts hideously smug pose in the face.
You: "Yeah, says who?"
Them: "Everyone."
You: "Really? I don't say it. I know people who don't say that. I've got friends who don't say that. So who says it?"
Them "Oh you know, people."
You: "What people?"
Them: "Oh you know, people in general. Lots of people say it, it's like, widely acknowledged."

This is when you go for the kill. This is when you show them right up for being the wallies they are. Go for the whole "Just because lots of people say something, doesn't make it true. Lots of people said that WMD's would be found in Iraq, but they never were.", or some other thing like that.

With your help we can get this ridiculous notion eradicated from the human conciousness. And make some right smug cunts eating their words and feeling stupid. That's enough of a motive, surely.

Friday, 6 July 2007

A Couple Of Things I've Been Wondering About.

1. When a lady gives birth to a baby, the umbilical cord needs to be cut. Then comes afterbirth and it all flops out. But what about other mammals? Surely they need umbilical cords too. So what happens to then? For example: If a wolf gives birth in the wild, what happens in terms of umbilical attachment? How does a little wolf cub not have to wonder around with afterbirth trailing behind?

2. Wimbledon is a members only club. Does that mean that in order for players to compete in the Wimbledon tournament, they have to become members first?

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Another Excellent Permanent Vacation Night...

...And most of you missed out. Losers.

You missed Her Name Is Calla with their "sounds a bit like a lot of bands rolled into one without apeing any of them" sound. The last song was especially good, an extended workout proving that not all extended post-rock numbers have to be Godspeed rip-offs. Well of course, we all knew that already, but it's nice to have it confirmed so well.

You missed Glissando, a dreamy piano-ballads-with-soundscape-backgrounds duo. Although to use the word ballads seems to do them wrong. These were ballads from a much darker place than you would normally see them from. And a wonderful cover of Bjork's Possibly Maybe to round things off.

And you missed Patel Pretal. In a time where it seems that new drone artists appear every minute, it's refreshing to hear one coming through with a seemingly new take on the sub-genre. Their vocal-drone sound layering creates something similar to Machinefabriek's extended workouts, but with a totally different method comes a totally different sound. It's good to see that new drone/noise acts are still coming thru with a true experimental attitude that makes them different and original.

So yeah. You all missed out on yet another excellent PV night. To be honest, after Fuck Buttons, I was a bit worried this would be a let down. I am very happy to say that my worries were very unfounded. Permanent Vacation continue to be the promoters of the moment in Oxford.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

So anyway,

I spent ages coming up with this bloody MySpace questionaire, and the bastrads won't let me post it. Although, my test bulletins appear to have posted fine and care free. My conclusion is that MySpace are censoring bastards. But I spent too much effort crafting it perfectly to have it banned from public view, so here it is:


1. What's the best thing you've ever bought in a charity shop and how much was it?

2. How many teeth do you have?

3. If you were ever forced to play Russian Roulette, how much do you think you would shit yourself?

4.If you had to lick yourself clean like a dog or a cat, and you'ld licked everything else clean, which would you clean first, your genitals or your anus?

5. If, like Duran Duran you were Hungry Like The Wolf, how would you sate your lycanthropic hunger?

6. Which of your bodily functions do you enjoy the most, and which do you enjoy the least?

7.Have you ever hospitalised someone? If so, how?

8. Would you rather have sex with a live animal or a dead human?

9. Would you either wear an eyeball on a necklace, or an appendix as a bracelet?

10. Soul singer/legend Solomon Burke has 21 children. If you had 21 children, what would you call them, and what system would you implement to tell which child was which?

11. If you had to eat part of your own body, which part would you pick?

12. What does your soul look like?

13. If you were shrunk like those kids from "Honey I Shrunk The Kids", how would you go about alerting your friends and family to your situation, and how would you make sure they didn't think you were an insect and either kill you, swat you away, pick you up in a tissue and throw you away, or put a cup on you, slide a card underneath and chuck you out a window?

14. If you were on a reality tv show where you had your hand cut off and put in an identity parade of hands and your only chance of getting your hand reattached was to pick your hand out from it, do you actually know the back of your hand well enough to choose your hand?

15. Speaking of hands, and be honest now, do you ALWAYS wash your hands after going to the toilet?

16. What about every time you have a wank?

17. If a film were made about your life, what would it be called, who would play you, & would everyone say the book was better?

18. What would you deem a reasonable price for a prostitute to charge for a blowie? Is this the amount you would charge yourself if you were a whore?

19. Pick the top 2 friends on your MySpace of the opposite sex. If you were trapped on a desert island with these people, if you had to, which one would you eat, and which would you have sex with?

20. If you ever had sex with a member of your own family, do you think you would ever be able to look them in the eye again?

Take that wankers.

Cowley Road Carnival

Wasn't it awesome? Didn't you all have a wicked time?
Yeah, I bet you did you wankers.
Some of us like muggins here had to fucking work.
No dancing in the sunshine for me.
No afternoon boozing for me.
No jerk chicken for me.

No. I had to put up with shit like "I need an album that's got the songs "Ave Marie" and "The Swan" on it." and "I need this piece of music that goes dur dur duuur dur dur duuuur dur duuur duuuur duuur dur...." and "Have you got record of a new one or one that's coming out, of a blues album by someone who, their surname's Taylor, and there's a song he sings with his daughter on it." and "I've found that swan one. It's on this Swan Lake one by Cheroffski"

Walking down Cowley Road at 6:30ish yesterday was like being at the end of a festival you didn't go to. Like a cross between those films about Woodstock and the beginning of 28 Days Later. Without the effect of 4-6 hours boozing, it was hideous. Go to a pub for a drink, oh look we have to wrestle our way in and it's really crowded and takes ages to serve. Leave work mates for another pub, oh look there's some friends and people you know who've been having a really good day and are drunk and it takes ages to get served. Go to The Star, oh look same again. Except by now people are pretty much finishing their nights or carrying on somewhere else and I really can't be bothered coz I've got work in the morning and quite frankly I'd had enough by halfway thru my first drink at the first pub I went to.

So where does a bitter Axl go when he's feeling low? KFC of course. Buy a box of chicken, go home, watch episodes of Lost on the internet. Then wrap me up in my quilt cocoon and I am one happy chap. Play me some drones and and watch that smile return. Aaaaaaaaaah, that's better.