Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Best Album Title Ever.

A band from the Democratic Republic Of Congo called "Kasai Allstars"just released a new album which is called:

"In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic."

and if that's not the best album title ever, I'll eat my own shit. No, no, hang on, no I absolutely categorically will NOT do that. No, I'm not risking a photo blog of me consuming my own faeces. But seriously, I don't think it's possible for there to be a better name for an album than that. If any of you think you know one, then leave me a comment on here. But I warn you, if anyone suggests "5,000 Spirits Or The Layers Of The Onion" by The Incredible String Band, then you are disqualified from being my friend, coz that is a fucking lame name for an album. Yeah, the album itself may be pretty good, but come on, that name. It's rubbish.

Anyway, far from being just a band who can spin a fantastic title, Kasai Allstars are awesome. Brought to us by the same label and series of albums that gave us the unbelievably good Konono No1 (whose "Congotronics" album sounded like God himself had converted to Voodoo and given us a new form of Gospel to live by), Kasai Allstars are similar to them in that they play a modernised yet still very much D.I.Y (home made electronics, bottles for percussion, etc) form of traditional African trance music - infectious, repeated base riffs and rhythms with other instruments and patterns coming in and out as the locked groove plays on. The kind of thing you get really into after about six minutes and by the time a piece ends, you wish it was twice as long at the very least.
Don't go thinking that if you've heard Konono No1 that this is just more of the same tho. Kasai Allstars (at least sound like they) use different instrumentation, and their 25 members come from 5 different ethnic groups, so the end effect is very different, albeit from a similar starting point.

I just realised that probably none of you will have heard Konono No1, or give a crap about either of these bands anyway. More the fool you. Whatever, I saw "Dark Knight" yesterday and it's pretty much one of the best things ever, so I don't care. Seriously, "Dark Knight" is incredible. I reckon the American Film Whatever Board Thingy who decide what and who gets an Oscar should create a new category this year, "Best Performance By An Actor Or Actress Who Is Now Dead In A Film Released In The Last Year", just so they can give a posthumous Oscar to Heath Ledger - HE WAS THAT FUCKING GOOD!!

Seriously.

Anyway, to wrap things up on this post, I will attempt to follow up my correct prediction of a Mercury Prize nominee, by predicting the winner. I reckon they'll give it to Burial. Like when Roni Size/Reprazent and Dizzee Rascal were winners, Burial is the non-obvious choice album that is doing something new, fresh and exciting. (It could be argued that this also applies to Klaxons, Talvin Singh & Portishead too. In fact, you could argue that with every winner of the Mercury Prize so far, it's not necessarily the obvious best album, but the one the judging board thinks is the most new, fresh and exciting album. Of course, with choices like M People in 1994, you could also argue that if this is their agenda, they sometimes get it dead wrong.) That's why Burial is my prediction to win.

And just so we're clear on this, there will be absolutely NO bodily emissions consumed if I am wrong, got that? UNLESS it's the tears of everyone who doubted me, being proved wrong if I do get it right. I would happily drink those tears right down. Yum yum yum yum yum.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Something I Forgot To Put In Yesterday's Post About Sharleen Spiteri

Right, in the Texas song, "Say What You Want", when she sings "And when I get that feeling...", is that a credited/acknowledged lift from Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" or have they just nicked it hoping no-one would notice? If you can bear to bring yourself to listen to that song again (I had to, I was at work), you will hear that it's not just the same words, it's sung in exactly the same way, and I don't know why, but it's really bothering me.
Either way, I hate that song even more now. Admittedly "Sexual Healing" was hardly his greatest song, but it's still a billion times better than anything Sharleen has ever thought of in her whole life. Even if it was a dream about dragons. She'd make a dream about dragons bland and boring.
"Weell, yu caan shaay watchu waoon bud it woan ch" SHUT UP!!

Smuggy McSmugo's Lovely Potato Farm or Axl Was Right!

The Mercury Prize nominations were announced today. As probably none of you will remember, I made a prediction in my blog on the 27th of February (this one: http://axlspotatofarm.blogspot.com/2008/02/someone-almost-certainly-said-something.html )
that the Protico Quartet's album "Knee Deep In The North Sea" would be nominated.
Guess what? I was totally right! Yay! Go me! I am brill!
http://www.drownedinsound.com/articles/3702446 Go there if you don't believe me. Go on, I dare you.
See that Craig?! HA! TOLD YOU! NER-NER-NE-NER-NER!!
Yeah, I'm feeling pretty smug right now.
I should be canonised or something.
Saint Axl. Saint Axl's Glorious Flora And Fauna Field.
Oooh, no. No, I don't like that. Thanks there Mr Pope, but I think I'm gonna have to say no to that one.
I'm still gonna be smug though.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Why Do People Fancy Sharleen Spiteri?

Have you seen the cover of her new album? She looks about 2 Photoshop airbrush strokes away from Marilyn Manson on the cover of the "Mechanical Animals" album. Take away the photoshop and make up and I suspect she'd look like KD Lang, and no-one fancies her. Importantly tho, KD Lang can sing. I'm not a fan, but there's no denying KD's got talent. Whoever told Sharleen Spiteri that she can sing is mental. Sure, she can hit the notes, but that voice. She sings in about three or four different accents in the course of one line of a song. It's like listening to a cat being subjected to Chinese water torture. And it's always been that way. "Aah doh'n waon er luh-verr, oah jers neeeed err fren." JESUS, GOD, NO, STOP IT!!! I'LL TELL YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT TO KNOW, NOW MAKE IT STOP!!!!!
In terms of accents, her singing's the meeting place between America, Scotland, and London. Which would put her voice originating from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere. Sod Guantanamo Bay or Alcatraz, you want a hard bastard place to send people, just build an oil rig where Sharleen Spiteri's accents meet up geographically, fly her out there and make her perform at alloted times every day. Send anyone out there, they would say anything to get off there after about 3 or 4 days. Any more than that and they'ld be driven insane and any info or testimony gained probably wouldn't hold up in court, so you'ld end up doing the merciful thing and throwing them overboard.
So bearing this in mind, I'm left wondering why almost all the guys I work with virtually cream their pants over her. I have come to the conclusion that they are all masochists. It's either that or they're stupid, and I don't like thinking that people I like are stupid. So freakish sexual perversions it is. Yep, I work with sex freaks. Now, if only they'll realise this, we can start having some fun at work again maybe.

Dear Johnny Rotten.

Oh Mr Lydon, you old fool. You used to be so heroic, so dangerous, so exciting. What happened John? What happened?

Johnny Rotten then. Was it all a front? An act right from the very start? A character you merely played, and we, the idiotic consumer masses bought into?

This brash, confrontational, obnoxious man seemed to really matter. Seemed relevant. The Sex Pistols were like a bomb. You destroyed all in your way, leaving everyone, yourselves included, having to pick up the pieces and decide what to do next.

And what did you do? Public Image Limited. Still in many minds one of the great British bands. PIL seemed to prove that you weren't all talk, you really had the talent and know how to be in the place you were. That material still resonates now. Still matters.

So what happened? When did it become like this? The Sex Pistols re-formed. Why? What was the point? You went on "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!" Huh?! Could the figurehead of blistering 70's punk really be doing this tawdry, publicity stunt of a show? Why did you do it?

You seem to have become a living pantomime. Something that just cries out for attention. Is this what you've been all along, a publicity seeker? Are we only now realising this because as time moves on you have become less, well, relevant in the public eye?

Was it all about getting attention? Was there ever any substance at all?

And now this:
http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/2008/07/21/Johnny_Rottens_racist_tirade_against_Bloc_Party_frontman

Your tirades and outbursts used to be quite funny, relevant sometimes. But this? If this is true, then this is preposterously pathetic. Unbelievable.

So Johnny, my question to you is, who are you?
Are you an old man disillusioned with the fact that you didn't actually win the battle against the right wing and the upper class, who wants a piece of what he feels is owed him?
Are you merely a publicity seeker who's had us fooled all along?
Are you just one of those pathetic people who likes to complain about or find fault in absolutely anything as loud as possible to whoever is within earshot, just to get some attention? Have all eyes on you?

Seriously Johnny Rotten, who are you? Whatever the answer is, if it doesn't include the words "Washed up, bitter old man", I'm gonna find it increasingly hard to believe.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

But What If

the sun and the moon and the stars and the coal and the james and the rail and the love and the road and the price of the sides and the graft and the thrift and the toil and the foil and the grail and the hail and the goal and the love and the laugh and the trousers and the draft and the graft and the only one who walks n and gives you a kiss on the cold autumn nights when the barley is when the aphids are when the crops are when the dance is when the apricots when family when terraces we rave and we try and we ground ourselves in impossibility always praying always dreaming always within reach of our desires but never able to touch the romance the evidence the trailers run waiting waiting harmless but waiting failing falling before our eyes returned to the scent of our lovers past and present years upon years of judgment who is sorry now that returns are made in a valiant stance refined at a glance reported by the men of the often outdated who realises that ummmmmmmmmm distinction is tantamount to individuality is respected by the fringes but rejected by the masses molasses destruction a wilderness crayfish the cats meow the sun still shines down the rest is unguarded as if it were unwanted as if as if as if it decide that the world was not the world that was ready to bear it's children destroyed by greed and the brotherhood of man greatly received first second and third in a foregone conclusion this hierarchy is unpleasant it stinks it's corrupt but it tastes so good it's unbearable rust revolving rightly save now or act lightly mouse bearing a family an apple a cherry a final word a lasting turn a learning curve a noticed verb a twisted herd bearing down on me for all eternity.

Monday, 14 July 2008

A Weekend In London.

This weekend, after I finished work I went to London to help my good chum Gripper to celebrate his impending age increase. This we did at the Trocadero centre. I'd never been to the Trocadero before, but all Gripper's messages had been apologising for the fact that we were meeting there. All I knew was that there was a bar and a bowling alley. What I didn't know was that they were on the top floor of what appears to be some kind of bizarre experiment where the makers of Blackpool were asked to re-create Japan in Piccadilly Circus. It's like a small town. It's like in Demolition Man where Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock go in the sewers, but clean and tall like Blade Runner. Look, it's just fucking weird, ok?
They've got clothes shops, places to eat, places to drink, an HMV, a fucking massive arcade which includes full size dodgems, a place where you can get a massage, a whole load of other shops and stalls, and I didn't even see it all! I reckon if you spoke to the right person you could get a room for the night and a selection of prostitutes to choose from should you so desire. And buy a pet shark. And enroll in the Olympic Gymnastics squad. And kill someone legally. Seriously, the Trocadero seems to have everything you could ever need. If they did accommodation, people would never leave. They'd never need to. I'm sure I saw a newsagents and I bet there's some sort of mini supermarket somewhere.
Walking in there for the first time was like being in "Lost In Translation" (Have I said that before on here about somewhere else?). Everything so fascinatingly bright and in your face. Slightly obtrusive yet strangely compelling.
Anyway, the important thing is that I met up with Gripper, James et al at the bar, we got drunk, we lost at quiz machines, we played on some games at the arcade (include those ones where you have to dance which are surprisingly fun), we had a go on the dodgems, we had good fun.
I'm pretty sure I had another million pound idea, but I can't remember what it was now. Should've written it down. If I did have one that is.

Sunday I woke up at James' and left early afternoon. I then tried to make myself spend a day in London even though I didn't really want to. What happened was that I ended up just wandering around London for ages not actually doing anything. Eventually I gave up and decided to go home, but then the subway exit at Marble Arch was closed and so I had to use a different one. There was a list of alternate exits, and one was the one by Speakers Corner. I thought to myself, "I've never been to Speaker's Corner before. I'll stop by there on my way home and see what it's like."
I ended up staying there for four and a half hours.
It's amazing! I absolutely loved it. Initially it did just seem like it should be called "Religious Nutters Corner", and a lot of it was religious, but there were people talking about many different social issues (the guy I found most interesting was a guy who had been accused of conspiring in the failed July 21st London bombings), and they would pretty much always take any questions on board and try to give an answer, or shoot down any hecklers, and people would start their own conversations about what was being talked about, which themselves would get an audience and other people participating. No conversation is private in Speaker's Corner! It's always evolving too. Every time I went to leave, there would be new crowds around new people talking about new things. It was fascinating. Fascinating too to see how people were interacting with each other. Conversations that would normally descend into chaos in almost any other social situation, were being nurtured and encouraged in this (almost) anything goes atmosphere.
I personally found it very interesting to see a Muslim and a Sikh discussing their thoughts on the path to paradise. They were genuinely interested to hear and try to understand one anothers opinion, while accepting that they did not agree with each other. It was an absolutely fascinating debate. It made me think to myself that with my experiences of Christians and Christianity, this conversation would be virtually impossible with the majority of Christians. Indeed, there had been a debate between a Christian and a Muslim a couple of hours before that which had just seemingly resorted to the Christian man shouting over his opponent coz HE CAN SHOUT LOUDER COZ HE'S GOT OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST ON HIS SIDE!! NO, DON'T TRY AND SPEAK, THERE SHALL BE NO DEBATE HERE!! He liked to mix it up every now and then by getting the Christians in the crowd to faithfully chant "YES!", "NO!" and "JESUS!!!", when he hollered a question their way. I wonder how Jesus would feel about his name being bandied about in such a gratuitous way?
"Daaaaaaad, they're doing it agaaaaaaain!"
"Well son, I'm afraid that's just the responsibility that goes with being the Messiah."
"Hmmph. I never asked to be the flippin' Messiah. It's not fair. Why did I have to go down there and have all these people..."
"Sorry, what? What was that? What were you saying there?"
"Nooothiiiiiiinnngg."
"Glad to hear it. Let's keep it that way, Hmmm? Now, run along and play with John, there's a good boy. I have things to do."

Ermmmm, I've kind of lost what my point was.

Anyway, Speaker's Corner is awesome. Oh yeah, there was a guy trying to tell people that women don't deserve equality and saying that all women are manipulative and essentially evil. Some of us decided to tell him how ridiculous he was being, and why his points were invalid. I'm not saying he was wrong just because I disagreed with him, his arguments were actually ridiculous, and he had no comeback for any disagreeing voices. Gradually those of us who were arguing with him got bored and left. 10 minutes later he had no audience and looked extremely unhappy. I kind of felt sorry for him.

I can't wait to go back again. I could've easily spent a whole day there. I just found the whole thing incredible.

Right. Enough of this. I need booze. The pub is singing my name. I shall go to it like a sailor to a mermaid.

(Something screwy's going on with the text here and I can't sort it out. This computer's a right git. I miss my laptop.)

Friday, 11 July 2008

I'm Gonna Lose My Thoughts In 200 Blogs.

First person who gets that reference wins a Snickers.

Yes, this is the 200th Potato Farm post. Hard to believe, eh? Most of you probably thought when I started this thing that it would last a few months and then I'd get bored and not keep it up. Well how wrong you were. Anyway, I wanted to do something a little different for the 200th blog. It was a little intimidating trying to think of something grand to do, so I decided instead to keep it simple, and look at why I wanted to do a blog in the first place. Yes, that's right folks, it's time for the painfully self-indulgent, uncomfortably personal blog post. The type of blog I've always shied away from, because, well, quite frankly they're just so, so, ........bleurgh. Seriously, if you don't wanna read this, that's fine. I won't be offended.

Ok. Deep breath. Here goes.

Right, so the whole point of writing a blog is to put something out in the electronic ether for other people to read. You compose, you construct, you submit. You hope other people read. You hope they react, respond, enjoy, think, you hope they think it's good or of worth. A blog is in many ways a cry for affirmation. A way for someone to feel like they've achieved something, no matter how small. It's an attempt at leaving a lasting impression, just like any form of art. It is there to provoke something. Anything. Anything at all. For the writer, it fulfills a need, realises an ambition, however small a scale that may be on.

Personally, this blog serves 2 functions. The first is the obvious one. I like to write and I want other people to read what I come up with. The second is a little more abstract maybe, but no less obvious. I want to be cool.

I first remember fancying someone when I was about 4. There was a girl who lived on my street who I used to play with. No big story or deal there. I didn't really even know what fancying was, how could I? I was 4. But that's what it was I think. Anyway, one time when she was over. we broke this toy that I can't even really remember now, but in my head it was some sort of weird canvas playhouse type thing. After that I wasn't allowed to play with her anymore.
I think.
See, I can't even remember it properly. That may never have happened. I don't know.
I can't remember her name. I remember seeing someone in a supermarket once when I was about 12 and being convinced it was them. Probably wasn't.
See, I can't really say I fancied them though, because I wasn't like, attracted to her or anything. I just liked playing with her more than anyone else. I remember thinking about her a lot in my little 4 year old brain. Probably didn't actually fancy her though. No, the first time I properly fancied someone, was properly attracted to someone, was when I was 8. Her name was Jenny. She was kind of weird looking, but there was something that I was very attracted to. Well, however attracted to someone you can be at 8 years old that is. Anyway, she didn't fancy me back. This was my first encounter with 2 things. Unrequited feelings, and the fact that I am unattractive. Yep, I was being told I was ugly at 8. Beat that.
8 was quite an age. The first times I was told I was ugly and not cool were then. At my first school, there was a group of cool kids who everyone thought were cool. They didn't think I was cool.
So yeah. My ambition in life since the ripe young age of 8 was to be cool and attractive. This wasn't a particularly strong desire at 8, but steadily as the years went on, and middle school came, and all my other friends had had girlfriends (even though they had no idea what to do with them), this grew and grew. At about 14 you can substitute "attractive" for "sexy".
Nothing new there though. Everyone wants to be cool and sexy, right?
Middle school (when I was growing up we had a 3 tier schooling system in Oxford. Primary, middle and upper.) wasn't so bad, coz although I was always thought of as ugly, at 12 & 13, among most of the boys in my class, I was considered funny and kinda cool.
Cheney School changed that though.

Ah, Cheney School. I don't know what it's like now, but when I went to Cheney, nobody wanted to be there. When we applied for upper school, we had to give 2 choices. What would happen, what parents would always do, would be; first choice would be the school you wanted yer kid to go to, the 2nd would be the closest school to you after that. The one you were most likely to get yer kid into because you lived in or near the catchment area. Nobody put Cheney as their first choice. Cheney was the school you HAD to go to. Cheney was the last resort. It was even like that for the teachers. One time in a Science lesson, our teacher said to us "Look, if you don't pay attention now (at school), you'll end up failing and you won't do well at university and you'll have to become a teacher like I did!" That's the kind of people I had teaching me. The kind who didn't give a crap. They weren't totally stupid, they would put on the whole "Oh your son has great potential..." bit for the parents evenings, but then would more often than not turn a blind eye when a kid who didn't like you decided to show you this with his fists.
And if it wasn't physical, they practically didn't care. Cheney kids may have not exactly been the cream of the crop, but when it came to abuse, they really knew their stuff. All through my life I've had people make jokes out of my surname, and it's always a variation on "Paul, can I ask you a question? Ha ha ha!". Except for at Cheney. No, that wasn't anywhere near good enough. For a start, where's the insult? So for 3 solid years Paul Askew became known to virtually everyone as Paul Arse-Screw. Very inventive. There was also the rumour that got started that I was a test tube baby. I don't even know where that came from. Some kid just decided one day that I was. See, this stuff's funny now, but at the time, going thru puberty, all your friends have gone to a different school and everyone at this school acts like they hate you and you have no idea why, it was pretty horrific.
Even the kids I used to kind of hang around with at school only let me hang around them coz they liked my best friend. It was a very sorry state of affairs. Hear those violins? Yup, there they are. Playing away there in the background. I think that's the music from The Incredible Hulk they're playing. You know, the bit where he's walking away down the road on his own, trying to hitch a lift to the next town or wherever he's going next.
What was my point? My point is that for three years I was pretty much being constantly told that I was an ugly twat. When the only people who don't think yer an ugly twat are yer family, you kind of tend to believe that that's what you are. When that happens during yer formative years, you kind of find it impossible to shake that idea off.
It's had a knock on effect on the rest of my life. My social skills are terrible. I find it extremely difficult to talk to most people when I'm sober. More often than not I'll just freeze up and let the other person do all the talking coz in my head I'm still 15 and no-one wants to know what I have to say. Every time I open my mouth to say something, I feel like I'm in that maths lesson when I had got involved in a conversation with two other boys who normally wouldn't have given me the time of day about whether "TFI Friday" was better than "Don't Forget Your Toothbrush" or not, and then one of them suddenly looked at the other boy and said "Hang on, why am I talking to Paul Askew?!" right in front of my face. That one moment was worse than any of the physical shit I got from anyone. That moment was one of the worst moments of my life. In my head, that's just as bad as when I was 18 and one of my best friends tried to kill me.
Pathetic, aren't I.
I can't just blame everyone else though. A friend of mine once said that he reckons a lot of kids wouldn't get bullied so much if they didn't let themselves be. He puts it more eloquently and has good arguments to back this up that I can't remember right now. I see what he means. On the one hand, I had no friends at this new school and I was an easy target. On the other hand, I never really made any great effort to get out of that. You know what school's like. People's first impressions of you are what yer stuck with for the next few years as in their eyes. If I hadn't just, I don't know, resigned myself to the fact that I was an outcast, then maybe I wouldn't have become one. When other kids did actually talk to me, most of the time I was trying so hard to not be hated that I would overdo it, being a hyperactive idiot. So people didn't like me because of that. I couldn't win.
Then, like a lot of people do during their late teens, I went thru a bout of depression. At this point I was involved with the Pegasus Theatre. There, for the first time in years, people were genuinely interested in me as a person, wanted to know me, wanted to spend time with me.
I couldn't handle it. It had no idea how to react. I would literally run away from social situations that I wasn't comfortable in. Suddenly people liked me, and I had no idea why.
Pegasus Theatre was a lot of fun while I was there. I wish I'd been able to make more of my time there. I loved that place and the people I'd met there.
Finally had my first kiss at a party too. Yup. I first kissed a girl when I was 17. Most people I know had lost their virginity by then.
My life since then has been full of internal conflict. I was still never considered to be an attractive person until I was about 23/24. By then I couldn't handle or accept it. I don't think I ever will. By then also, you've kind of gotten past the stage where you can find yourself and experiment with your life and your body. By then you're too old. You are whatever people think or have thought you are. This is what I've found anyway.
As for being considered cool, well, people tell me I am, but again I'm not sure if I'll ever truly believe that, although I do find it easier to believe when it's said. I am very lucky that people find me funny. The reason I find this easy to believe is that I think I am funny. That may sound arrogant, but fuck it, I make myself laugh. If there is one thing I like about myself, it's my sense of humour and my ability to make people laugh with my ideas or views of things or simply the things that seemingly randomly pop into my head. I think this is why I find it more believable when people say I'm cool.
But what is cool anyway? Whatever. That's for other people to discuss. I'm not going into that now.
Anyway, this is the motivation behind my blog. I will almost certainly never believe that I am an attractive or sexy man, but what I think maybe I am good at, is spinning a word or two. Sometimes. It's hit and miss, but then what creative process isn't? Either way, writing my blog and having people like it, makes me feel cool. I write this blog so that for some moments of my life I can feel content and not like that 15 year old ugly twat.

Thankyou for reading. I really mean that. xx

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Mr Axl's Lovely AWARD WINNIN' MUTHA-FLIPPIN' BLOG Y'ALL!!!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_gHXfSn5I3-g/SGy6cXP2OGI/AAAAAAAAAEk/Le4NR-CfZ6A/s1600-h/ArteYPico.jpg

This computer's being a twat and not letting me put a picture on this fucking thing, so go to that web address and look at the picture now before going any further.
SEE THAT?! That right there is an "Arte Y Pico" award. It's an award among the blogging community, that bloggers give to blogs they deem to be particularly good and deserving of recognition. Yup, first I've ever heard of it too, but guess what? I don't give a fuck, coz my blog has been awarded one!! This was a surprise to me as: a) I'd never heard of it before: b) I'm not really part of the blogging community, I just have a blog. You may say that this makes me part of the blogging community by default, but I say that just because I get drunk, doesn't make me an alcoholic, so just because I have a blog, doesn't mean I'm part of the blogging community: and c) My blog is the kind of unfocused nothing that I assumed the blogging community despised and wrote off as a waste of time, but apparently not. Well, to one member at least.

It is apparently the done thing to give this award to five other blogs once you have been given this award. Trouble is, as I'm not really part of the blogging community, and coz my laptop has been broken for about 6 weeks now, I haven't been looking at any blogs past my own approved list, and most of them can't be bothered to update their blogs more than once every 3 months or so, so I'll start off with 2 awards, on consider my other 3 as time goes on, and award them accordingly.

My first award would probably go to the blog I got mine from, which is almost certainly not the done thing, but fuck it, they're my awards to give out so I'll give them to whoever the fuck I like.
"Blog Is Not A Four Letter Word" ( http://www.wurzel-power.blogspot.com/ (sorry, I can't do fancy links!) is a blog written by a guy called Sean who I worked with about 3 years ago. He was this odd little yank who knew a lot about prog and fusion jazz, just as I was going thru a prog & fusion jazz phase. He made me this wicked compilation of fusion jazz, and a friendship was forged. Working with Sean was fun, coz we'd take the piss out of shit music a lot, trading amusing insults and observations. His blog started off as a shared blog with other writers, but has become almost solely kept updated by Sean himself, with the occasional new post by his wife. This blog is always well written, with good attention to details and research gone into their subjects. Sean always writes touching and informative obituaries too. Even when writing about something yer not particularly interested in, the writing is of such a standard that it will still always make for a good read.

My second would go to "Fudge". ( http://www.dontgiveafudge.blogspot.com/ ) "Fudge" is also written by an American. Do Americans make the best bloggers? Maybe. Anyway, "Fudge" is the blog of another friend of mine, Rhyannon. Rhyannon's blog is basically a reviews blog. Sometimes they're unabridged versions of reviews that she has written for websites. I like Rhyannon's reviews a lot. She reviews in a way that seems to me to be very original and fresh and not like some cliched wannabe NME/Q/Plan B/etc writer. Different perspectives and interesting views, as journalism should be, surely.

So there. My first two awards gone. I'm keeping the other three to give out later on.

In other Axl news, I can't get that Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris song out of my head! After thinking it was shit when I first heard it, it seems to have grown on me so much that I'm almost thinking about breaking up with my girlfriend so I can go out with it. I don't know why, it's not really even that good, it's just so fucking infectious!! Another one to file in with "Guilty Pleasures" then. I've been told recently that I have too many guilty pleasures and I am in fact just a bit guilty. Maybe they have a point.

Went to 2 gigs in 2 days. At each gig, the band I went to see were really good, and the other bands weren't.
Gig 1 was to see Theo at the Cellar.
I can't seem to find anything about who the band on before Theo were, which is a shame because they were absolutely terrible. At the time they reminded me of an emo re-working of the end credits music from the anime series "Cromartie High School." I can't think of a better comparison, which isn't going to be much help to any of you, so I'll try a description. They sounded like someone trying to make a gravel smoothie. No, that makes them sound like a noise band. You know what? I can't remember them well enough to write about them. I just know that I really didn't like them. At all. So much so that I said after they'd finished, that they were one of the worst bands I had ever seen.
Theo was awesome. Theo's guitar loops and live drums combo gets better every time I see it. I put this down to real development of the guitar work. Loops and lines that in themselves mesmerize and excite, far from being just a prelude to the beat. Theo has always had the talent with the drums, and is now really getting the skill with the guitar to match it.
A band called Nitkowski were headlining. I was told I would like them. I didn't. They were ok, until the guy started singing in that horrible affected emo voice people just keep on singing in. We left during the first song. Or was it just after? I can't remember.

Gig 2 was to see So So Modern at the Zodiac.
So So Modern are back in the country for the Transgressive roadshow tour. I've creamed over So So Modern on this blog before so I don't think I need to do it again. Needless to say, they were excellent. Two criticisms though. 1. They didn't play for long enough (They were only given half an hour). 2. They should have been much higher up on the bill. Especially considering that Absentee were on after them, a band who were so dull, you forgot what they sounded like approximately 3 seconds after they'd finished playing. I'm pretty sure they did a cover of a song from "Grease", but I may have subconsciously made that up in a vain effort to make them seem slightly more interesting.
A band called Esser played next, and confused the fuck out of me, quite frankly. Did you ever see the Channel 4 show "Faking It", where people were taken out of their regular routine and put in the opposite situation (classical musician becomes dj, fine arts student at Oxford becomes graffiti artist, etc, etc) to see if they could do it? Well this lot look like some really extravagant version of that programme, where they've all been picked to try to fake it to each other, aswell as the rest of us. 4 of the most misfitting people you could imagine, brought together to see what happens. You've got a dodgy Link Wray impersonator on vocals, the unknown 4th member of The Jam on guitar (might've been bass), an Indian Yannis-from-Foals lookalike on synths & samplers, and a skinhead on drums. This is probably why their music at first comes across as bizarre. First song sounded like a meeting point between My Bloody Valentine and Bill Haley & The Comets. Then came equally perplexing songs, thought I cant't remember why now (knew I should've written that shit down.). I do remember one song sounding like Lily Allen. After being confused for about 4 songs, I just started to find them irritating. Yes, we get it, you like to mix up styles and see what happens, now can you please get more talent so it's interesting please. Then, they play the last song of their set, which actually sounded good for about half a minute, until I realised it sounded exactly like Hot Chip, and the magic was gone. I saw Hot Chip this year. They do the Hot Chip sound much better.
Jeremy Warmsley headlined and was a bit pedestrian. Bit boring. Even with a bass player who permanently looks like he's having sex. We left after 3 or 4 songs to go to the pub.

Seriously, So So Modern far outshone everyone else on that bill. They're playing Truck this year. Hopefully they'll be this years Disco Drive. I don't know anyone who saw Disco Drive who didn't think they were one of the best bands, if not THE best band of the weekend. So So Modern are gonna rule Truck this year, mark my words.
AND they deserve it coz they're really nice people. I met them, they were really nice guys. They were staying at 'Caela's coz they know one of her housemates. I had breakfast with them. Me & Bevan showed them Pitt Rivers museum and how to get to bookshops.
After the gig, a couple of them came out to booze with us. We took them to Hi-Lo Jamaican Bar. We drank Rum Punch. We had an awesome nite.

Ok, that's more than enough for now. The next post will be the 200th potato farm post. I have no idea what I'm gonna do for it yet. Eeeeek!