Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Monday, 27 December 2010
fairly brings out a’ the wee details.’
Balanced at a fraction of an ounce
the fat cartridge sank down like a feather;
music billowed out into three dimensions
as if we could have walked between the players.
My Dad, who could appreciate the difference,
went to Largs to buy an elliptical stylus
for our ancient, beat-up Phillips turntable.
We had the guy in stitches: ‘You can’t…
er… you’ll have to upgrade you equipment.’
Still smirking, he sent us from the shop
with a box of needles, thick as carpet tacks,
the only sort made to fit our model.
(Supposing I’d been his son: lets eavesdrop
on ‘Fidelities’, the poem I’m writing now:
The day my father died, he showed me how
he’d prime the deck for optimum performance:
it’s a lesson that I recall – how he’d refine
the arm’s weight, to leave the stylus balanced
somewhere between ellipsis and precision,
as I gently lower the sharp nib to the line
and wait for it to pick up the vibration
till it moves across the page, like a cardiograph…)
We drove back slowly, as if we had a puncture;
My Dad trying not to blink, and the man’s laugh
stuck in my head, which is where the story sticks,
and any attempt to cauterize this fable
with something axiomatic on the nature
of articulacy and inheritance
since he can well afford to make his own
excuses, you, your own interpretation.
But if you still insist on resonance –
I’d swing for him, and every other cunt
happy to let my father know his station,
which probably includes yourself. To be blunt.
Saturday, 25 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Well, here goes!
#1. Anna Calvi.
Sounds like Patti Smith or Jefferson Airplane soundtracking a
Western. It's very weird. Not in a good way.
It's a song in which virtually nothing happens. Not in a good way.
It's boring. Very boring.
#2. Clare Maguire.
(Song: 'Aint Nobody')
Not a cover of the Chaka Khan song. Shame, it might be a bit more interesting if it was.
Clare Maguire probably thinks she's doing something really interesting and different but in reality it just sounds like she has listened to a lot of Kate Bush and totally missed the point of it.
Again, it is very boring.
This song also has a really lacklustre ending, like she just went... hmmm... how can I describe it... Right. Have you ever seen the Bill Bailey live bit where he talks about how it sounds like the writer of the Countdown theme tune just couldn't be bothered to finish it properly? That's what the end of this song sounds like. Like she went, 'Oh, I can't be bothered with this song anymore, let's just end it there, yeah?'
Also, whoever directed the music video has watched the video for Madonna's 'Frozen' a bit too much and thought 'I'll do that but in a bit more of an edgy, surrealist cinema style. Yeah, that'ld be cool.' It's not cool. It looks like the song sounds. Lazy and dull.
(Song: 'More Than A Woman')
Another song that share's a name with a very famous song. Is that gonna be a theme of this list?
Daley has fucking stupid hair.
He can sing though.
And he's not afraid to show that off. This song pretty much is just his voice with very minimal accompaniment from a drummer and a bassist. After three minutes some minimal keyboards come into play too, but this is a song based on his voice.
But it's just inoffensive fluff. Another white boy who got soul wrong.
#4. Esben & The Witch.
(Song: 'Marching Song')
I've heard of this band but never actually heard them. Let's see how this goes.
Ooooooh, apparently the video "Contains upsetting scenes." Scaaaaaaaryyyyyy.
Okay, Esben & The Witch might be my Gold Panda for this years list. That was fucking good. I could tell how good I thought it was because I didn't write anything for the whole time it was on and am in fact listening to it a second time now.
It's a really good, slow building, atmospheric post-rock song. Now, as a sentence to describe music, that has become as overused as 'LOL' is on Facebook, but I can't think of a better way to say what it is in a way that is understandable.
And the video is actually kind of genuinely disturbing. It's like they've been taken hostage and been made to sing after various stages of being beaten up. It fits the theme of the song (war, battle, loss, etc) really well. It's actually left a bit of an impact on me.
As I said about Gold Panda last year, I will definitely be keeping my eyes and ears out for this band.
#5. Jai Paul.
(Song: (Hang on, they haven't put a song on there. *Hunts the internet* Okay, now I can see why everyone is complaining about MySpace. *Hunts more internet* This computer isn't letting me look at YouTube. *More hunting* Okay, hype machine has something.) 'BTSTU')
Fairly interesting song. Sounds like a discarded MIA instrumental slowed down with some male falsetto singing over the top. Some interesting things going on, but it just manages to miss the mark in terms of making me go 'Yeah, this is good,' and so I just think this is alright.
#6. James Blake.
(Song: 'Limit To Your Love')
Right, a couple of people I know have been creaming themselves over this guy, so I'm pretty interested to see what the fuss is about. Apparently he makes 'Post-dubstep torch songs.'
This song is piano and vocal chorus followed by slowed down dubstep verse, the cycle is repeated then both elements are brought together for the finale.
Here's the problem. There just slightly too little going on. The concept of what he's doing is actually very interesting, I just think it can be done better than this. It does show definite potential though, and I will certainly keep eyes and ears on him as he could well come out with something very good indeed. The ingredients are there, for sure.
#7. Jamie Woon.
(Song: 'Night Air')
Weirdly, this sounds like Ali Campbell from UB40 covering Jamie Lidell. As a song, it doesn't really go anywhere. It's a little bit nothing. No, that's harsh. It's alright, it just doesn't really do anything.
#8. Jessie J.
(Song: 'Do It Like A Dude')
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!!! THAT IS ONE OF THE STUPIDEST VIDEOS I HAVE EVER FUCKING SEEN!!!
The song sounds like someone listened to that awful Ke$ha person and instead of thinking "This is a total rip off of Uffie and it's terrible," thought "Hey, this is so modern and edgy. Let's do a faux feminist take on it!"
It's awful. Seriously awful.
(Song: 'Trouble On The Way')
Generic, boring rock music that doesn't in any way actually rock.
The funny thing is that the BBC iPlayer got bored of it about halfway thru and stopped playing it. Sadly after a little rest, it played the rest of the song.
If you like that band The Gaslight Anthem, then you'll probably like this.
Okay, this song gets IMMEDIATE props for using clips of 'Cyber City Oedo 808' in it's video. I fucking loved that anime! WHY HAVEN'T THEY PUT IT ON DVD?! I only have it on VHS and my stupid video player doesn't work BECAUSE NO-ONE'S VIDEO PLAYERS WORK ANYMORE. That was the series that got me into anime. It was the first anime I ever watched and I absolutely loved it. I STILL DO! WHY ISN'T IT AVAILABLE ON DVD?!
Oh yeah, the song.
It's kind of a combination of trance and dubstep, if that makes ANY sense at all. The result is that it sounds VERY commercial and Nero will probably be massive.
Again, it's alright, but it's fairly standard. It follows a formula rather than stretching any boundaries, which it could potentially have done.
#11. The Naked & Famous.
(Song: 'Punching A Dream')
(Hate the band name. Love the song name.)
Sounds exactly like a slowed down MGMT song but with a female singer.
It's boring. It's massively derivative. It's irritating. I'll probably have to hear it about a thousand times, everywhere for the whole of 2011.
Fuck you, The Naked & Famous.
#12. The Vaccines.
(Song: 'Blow It Up')
They might well be the The Drums of 2011. By that I mean they are massively boring and simple but everyone will think they're cool because they use an old guitar sound.
Amazingly enough, even though this band are so massively hyped at the moment, I still haven't heard them.
I would be willing to bet money that my girlfriend would love this. It sounds a bit retro, but still pretty modern. The kind of sounds she really goes for.
It's pretty good to be fair. I'm liking it.
Oh, that's annoying. They've become victims of the "I don't know how to finish this song properly" bug that Clare Maguire had. Shame, it was building into something pretty special too. I will definitely check out more of their stuff.
#14. Wretch 32.
Traktor? Is this song going to be an homage to the short lived band I was in, Traktors? Will it be an onslaught of awesome noise? Will it? Will it?
No, of course not, Axl. Don't be stupid.
Wretch 32 has a very odd face face. He looks like he could be anything between 20 and 40 years of age. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I found out he was really old or really young.
The song is a little boring. No, that's a little unfair actually. It's alright, its just that it's one idea repeated just a little bit too often.
And I'm pretty sure one of lyrics is "Eat peas every day."
I saw this band a few months ago and found them pretty boring.
Yeah, my mind hasn't changed. They still just sound like a less good version of Dinosaur Jr to me.
Quite dull. Very derivative. Don't bother. Listen to Dinosaur Jr instead.
And that's it for another year.
Top 3 time.
1. Esben & The Witch.
3. James Blake.
Check them out.
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
One time when I went to ATP, me, Gen and our mate Alison all bombed a load of MDMA and missed seeing Fucked Up because we were all just sitting in the bowling alley bar staring vacantly and unable to move or converse. Occasionally one of us would say something like "Woah. I feel really spaced out." and the others would agree.
This is what it was like today in Weatherspoons about half an hour after we'd eaten their burgers. We were seriously monged. I don't know what the fuck they put in those, but it made us all feel very mellow and sleepy and unable to talk to each other or move very much.
I can only conclude that the marketing people at Weatherspoons should promote them as a legal high. They would make a shitload of money if they did that, I reckon.
You could say this is yet another of my million pound ideas. They would never take it on though. They'd probably be worried about negative reactions in the press or something.
Monday, 29 November 2010
Next year, Walkers should make giant advent calendars that have a packet of crisps behind each door.
Why don't they do that?! I would fucking love that! They should do it. I'm gonna send them a letter or an email suggesting it.
Them: "Sorry, can I just say something?"
T: "I thought about 90% of what you did was shit."
M: I was caught a little off guard so just ended up saying "Oh."
T: "Yeah. There was this one poem you did with this image of shoes hanging..." they were talking about my poem 'Suspended' "...which was really good. Why do you do all that other superficial stuff?"
M: "I enjoy doing it. It makes people laugh and I enjoy doing it."
T: "Really?! I didn't enjoy it at all."
M: Pretty sure I just said "Oh." again. I was totally off guard and couldn't come up with any intelligent response.
T: "Yeah, I just think that if you can conjure up that kind of imagery like you did in that one, why would you bother doing any of that other stuff? I hated that most of what you did. You shouldn't do that other stuff, y'know?"
M: Resigned to the fact my brain has pretty much stopped almost all immediately useful functions. "Okay. Well, that's given me a lot to think about. Thanks for the honest feedback."
T: "Oh, no problem."
This made me feel pretty weird for a bit. Then as soon as I got on the Oxford Tube, I suddenly started smiling. I realised, I had my first hater! Someone had such a reaction to what I did that they felt the need to stop me and tell me about it. It was kind of cool.
I mean, yeah, if it happened all the time, that would be pretty demoralising. It's certainly not something I would want to happen too often, but, oh I don't know how to describe it properly. I just thought it was pretty cool, that's all.
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Normally, I perform poems that are trying to be funny, that people usually find funny. I've used the last couple of Betsy Trotwood performances to try out new poems. This time, that included a poem called 'Grief' and one called 'Suspended'. These are poems about... I wrote what they were about and deleted it. If yer at all interested, nip over to paulaskew.tumblr.com and have a read.
Now, I'm used to audiences having a reaction of some sort. People either listen and laugh, sometimes applauding, or don't listen and have a chat, or even just get bored and leave. There's always some sort of reaction though.
After I read these poems tho, nothing. Silence. Absolutely nothing.
I was told later that people were unsure whether to applaud or not because they felt uncomfortable doing so. They didn't know how to react, so they just didn't. It seemed to really affect people somehow. They were the poems that everyone specifically mentioned to me afterwards. It was pretty awesome to know that people were willing to let me give them something a bit different to what I usually do, and that they really took it in and considered it.
I really like performing at the Village Green Preservation Society night. They always create such a great atmosphere there and the upstairs room at the Betsy Trotwood is a really cool room to perform in. Next one's at the end of January (they're having December off), 27th to be precise, and I am already looking forward to doing it.
Tuesday, 23 November 2010
Social networking, for all its good points, does seem to have made people a lot more quick to judge and less considering of things. It's as if we've become accustomed to now only know how to have an instant reaction to anything and no longer really think about what's actually being said.
People seem to be forgetting that things like context exist and are very important.
People seem to be forgetting how to take a joke or how to take something on the chin.
Everything we say can come under such scrutiny now that it almost feels like people are looking for something to be annoyed about and it's not worth actually saying anything because everything we feel comfortable saying is becoming so sanitised to the point of it being almost pointless.
Maybe we all need to give social networking a bit of a rest and learn how to actually comunicate with each other again.
Or am I just becoming an old fuddy-duddy?
Sunday, 21 November 2010
I would go into more detail but I'm not sure I can while doing it justice. Just accept that I fucking loved it.
Anyway, I ended up not leaving the Coronet until about 4am. I had to be at work 6 hours later. In Oxford.
I got home at exactly 6.45am.
I got less than three hours sleep.
I had to go to work.
So maybe I was hallucinating when I saw a man dressed like a mediaeval warrior going into The Magic Café on Magdalen Road.
Maybe I was imagining the tramp with her trousers and pants down round her knees as she was looking through the bin on the corner of St Mary's Road and Bullingdon Road.
And you know, work was pretty tricky on so little sleep, so maybe I wasn't really walking behind a man who was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt who was eating a cornetto (Remember, it is currently a particularly cold November at the moment).
No. All of those things happened. And I'm still really tired. But it was totally fucking worth it.
Thursday, 18 November 2010
Me: 'It's not really comedy. It's poetry. Some of it just happens to be funny.'
Person: 'Really?' Eyes glaze over and they stop listening.
It's kind of infuriating that if I were doing anything other than poetry, people might actually be interested in what I was doing.
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Friday, 12 November 2010
Something that I've found interesting though is the simultaneous accuracy and inaccuracy of the coverage of the incident, so I thought I would share my experience of it, to try and give a more realistic account of what happened and why it happened.
One thing that interests me is the use of the phrase 'Peaceful protest.' The protest was in reality anything but peaceful. It was loud. It was raucous. Thousands of angry people had come to make their voices heard, and we were shouting at the tops of our voices about how we do not find the proposed education cuts acceptable. It was not a peaceful protest. It was simply a controlled one. Until we got to Millbank that is.
How I ended up in Millbank (for those who don't know, the Millbank complex is basically Conservative HQ) was simply by following those who were in front of me. The march had been permitted to pass Millbank and me and a couple of mates followed the people in front of us into the grounds just because we thought that's where we were supposed to be going. (Some people ahead of us were carrying what looked like a person made out of cardboard and other stuff. This, it turns out, was the effigy that was burned outside Millbank Tower and 30 Millbank.) Once we were there and got a handle of what was going on, we wanted to stay there. This was the headquarters of the party that are planning to put these massive cuts (my college stands to lose about 80% of its teaching budget and will effectively be forced to close) into action. This is why so many of us congregated there. These were the people we wanted to hear our noise, our disapproval, our anger, and we shouted it at them as loud as we could. The tabloid headlines of Thursday would seem to want to have you believe that everyone who congregated at Millbank was a mindless thug, but we were all there for a very definite reason.
Now, the violence. I've been thinking for quite a while about how to write this. I think I'll just have to write it as it comes to me. Sorry if it rambles and doesn't make too much sense.
It started to become clear that something was going to happen when a few people started setting fire to their placards. It wasn't what started the trouble, but it did seem to coincide with the anger of the crowd turning into action. Police officers were blocking the entrance to 30 Millbank after some people had rushed the doors and got in. This meant that they were stuck inside. Some news reports have said that this was when the vandalism inside 30 Millbank started. That's not really the case though. At that stage it was more like when people walked into the Vodafone stores to protest against their tax evasion. They seemed to just be concerned with making things difficult simply by being there.
Anyway, a few people started to throw things and as more people came into the complex, more people were pushed up to the police line, which is when they first raised their batons at the crowd. By now the people setting fire to their signs were putting them on the fire remaining from the effigy and creating a small bonfire. The shouting was getting louder and angrier. More things were being thrown. The area outside Millbank Tower and 30 Millbank was filling up with smoke. Then riot police turned up. Then people started to try and break the windows of 30 Millbank. At some point a drumming group turned up and got people dancing. All of this going on at once in such a small area created a truly incredible and addictive atmosphere. It was exhilarating just being there watching all of this happen. That may sound weird, but it really was something that was easy to get caught up in.
At some point it actually started to get a bit scary and I decided to force my way out (I had been pretty much trapped in there by the sheer number of people) of the Millbank complex and go next to the river by the other side of the road. From there I watched the windows of 30 Millbank get smashed and more people getting inside the building (which is when the vandalism inside the building really started). I watched as a group of police officers trying to reinforce the police line were bombarded by people until they had to turn back and retreat. I didn't see the fire extinguisher being thrown/dropped from the top of the building, but a friend of mine did and said it was pretty terrifying.
I'm amazed it didn't get worse. When it became apparent that the protesters were effectively had the power in this situation and that there was no way the police would be able to control the those who were in the complex was when things got bad, but they could've got a Hell of a lot worse.
I feel that the violence of the day has been somewhat misrepresented. Yes, it was a comparatively very small number of people actually being violent, but they were being egged on by a good couple of thousand people. Few may have done the action, but believe me, many more than that really wanted it to happen.
I'm also not sure how to take the claims I've seen that anarchist groups like The Babylon are to blame for what happened. Firstly, I can't help but think that it would've been worse if there were. Secondly, in a way I think it's an attempt to undermine the whole incident. Chalk it up to anarchists and let's get on with it. If it's anarchists then it's just violence the sake of violence and you don't actually need to consider why there was violence. From my perspective, a lot of people were very angry and wanted to act on that.
My opinion is that this was inevitable. You have the Conservative party, who've always been seen as just be a party of the rich and for the rich, in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats who've been seemingly far too ready to turn their backs on their pre-election pledges and policies when given a whiff of power and are suddenly ready to tow the tory line. This is already a government that has left a lot of the people who voted for it feeling massively let down. Now add to that the bold moves of raising tuition fees to triple the amount and slashing teaching budgets (cutting budgets entirely in some subjects it would seem) and you are going to make a lot of people very angry. They seem to have underestimated how much people really care about education in this country. The protest on Wednesday was about showing that we will not lie down and let ourselves be walked over. With a march of this kind being allowed to go past Millbank, well, what did they expect was going to happen? People are furious and some will act upon that fury if given the opportunity. That is an inevitability.
A point one of my tutors raised today: How was it that this march was allowed to go past Millbank in the first place? How was that authorised with as little police presence as there was?
I'm still not entirely sure if I'm for or against what happened. Either way, one thing I am certain of is that, no matter what news outlets might tell you, it was absolutely not mindless. It was not petty or pointless. It served a purpose. That purpose was to forcefully underline that people will not stand for what the powers that be are trying to force upon them and if you try to make them, they will fight back.
There will almost certainly be more demonstartions against the proposed Government cuts. People will protest against the cuts they see as being unfair. This time it was actually pretty lucky there was as little violence as there was. It could've been a lot worse. A LOT worse. This was a bunch of students who still have a chance at something. Wait til you have a massive group of people who feel like they have nothing to lose and are at the end of their tether. Then see what happens.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
The first band, Sissy & The Blisters, weren't bad, but I think they might be used to playing to a more appreciative and involved audience than the average Oxford gig crowd. They looked a little perplexed at times to be playing to room of people standing virtually still while they threw all their energy into a set of fairly loud rock music that sounds like a bunch of bands I can't think of now. I felt sorry for them. A room with a bit more response might have created a bit of chemistry between band and audience that might have elevated them somewhat. As it was the front man's energy in throwing himself around made his shapes look awkward, but I'm not sure that's his fault. I found him annoying, but then that night I was finding pretty much everything annoying.
The guy who's bag kept hitting me as he swayed to Chad Valley was annoying. The couple playing face hockey at the bar were annoying. The fact that my ex-girlfriend was there was annoying. Pretty much everything anyone said was annoying. All these things that would either not normally bother me or that I could do something about by, you know, just moving or something, were just really getting on my tits. I'm pretty sure in hindsight that I was still suffering the effects of concussion that night, as this is what tends to happen to my mood just after I've had or am at the end of concussion. Thinking about it, I've had concussion quite a lot. Maybe that's why my memory is starting to get so bad and why I keep mixing up my words or not being able to think of particular words I want to say even though I know I know them. Years of head battery have caught up with me. I really should be more careful.
The fact that NO-ONE was dancing to Chad Valley, now THAT was genuinely annoying. If there was one thing that was gonna get me out of that funk, it would've been having a good old dance to Chad Valley. People were swaying and bobbing their heads and that, but no-one was GETTING DOWN. I was disappointed by that. The only person I saw who clearly wanted to dance was someone I met for the first time and very briefly at that Blessing Force party, which was frustrating because if I'd known them a bit better I would've grabbed their arm and gone "COME ON, LET'S HAVE A PROPER FUCKING DANCE!!" but that would've probably just freaked them out quite a lot, so I didn't. Instead I stood too still and got hit by that swayer's bag quite a lot. While bobbing my head and that.
Then, during Chad Valley's last song, suddenly everyone started dancing! What with that? "Oh yes, we'll dance to the last song because that shows we've had a good time, but we can't possibly physically exert ourselves otherwise." You bunch of bastards.
Chad Valley was of course awesome. You don't need me to tell you that again.
I left halfway thru the headline band, Fiction, because I found them boring and I'd had enough of the night to be honest. Stupid concussion, ruining my night. If I ever meet concussion, I'm gonna kick it really hard in it's goolies.
#1. Don't be surprised if I can't help you to find what You're after if you come up to me and say something like:
"Hi. I'm looking for a flm but I can't remember what it's called. All I know is that there is a tree in the picture on the cover."
#2. If you say something like, "I've looked everywhere mate, and I can't find Kenny G at all. Do you not have him?" to which I say, "Kenny G's in the jazz section over here." and you're response is, "Oh, I didn't think to look there." then you haven't looked everywhere. Stop trying to portray yourself as some kind of retail martyr. It's tedious.
#3. Believe it or not, I am fully aware of how hot the basement I work in is and I don't need EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF YOU to make a comment about it. Seriously. It's fucking infuriating, so stop it. Stop it now.
Man 2: "Yeah, alright."
Man 1: "Okay. What do you call a Scottish terrorist group."
Man 2: "Dunno. What?"
Man 1: "Och Aye-da."
Man 2 gives the kind of nervous half laugh you give when you really don't find a joke funny but don't want to disappoint your friend by letting them know they've just told a really fucking terrible joke.
Friday, 5 November 2010
Friday, 29 October 2010
* Been sorting out my student loan.
* Had a meeting with Blessing Force and helped to set up a house for a party.
* Finishing poems for another performance I did at Betsy Trotwood last night.
* Going to the house party (at which Pet Moon, Chad Valley, Jonquil and Jack from Fixers all played very good sets), dancing and getting far too drunk. It was a pretty epic party. Oh, and a journalist was there from NME covering it along with a photographer who took a big old Blessing Force group photo (which I'm in!) AND a journo and cameraman from Vice TV were there to cover it too. We all put on our best of party behaviour for them.
* The party left me hideously hungover for the whole of yesterday.
* I had to go to London yesterday for above mentioned Betsy Trotwood performance. I had to finish two of the poems on the coach and was late due to two accidents on the M40 and of course, I was still hungover. I thought it went badly, but seemingly no-one else did. Massive compliments from everyone and I'm doing next months too.
I am still hungover from the party. I haven't had a two day hangover since I stopped drinking vodka. I'd forgotten just how truly unpleasant they are.
I'm sure I had more to say but I can't remember it now.
Tuesday, 26 October 2010
So, the plan is that this will be where I keep some of my creative writing bits and bobs. Poems, etc, and all that. I decided it might be a good idea to keep this stuff separate from my personal blog. I’m not entirely sure why I thought that, but I did, so here : paulaskew.tumblr.com : is my new, other blog.
My personal blog still lives here and will still have all of my pointless ramblings posted onto it, so don't you worry about that.
Monday, 25 October 2010
Friday, 22 October 2010
Thursday, 21 October 2010
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Friday, 15 October 2010
When that song came out, I was 9 years old. I came up with a version that went "Ice ice baby, never get lazy, or you'll have a baby with the town's Miss Lady." That nonsensical, juvenile shite has more value than that fucking Halifax advert. THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS.
ISA ISA baby can just fuck fucking off.
If you like that advert, or any of the Halifax 'radio station' adverts, then you are a fucking idiot.
Now, if you need cheering up after that rant, go and check out Hatebeak. A heavy metal band whose vocalist is a parrot. http://www.myspace.com/beak666 Now THAT'S funny.
Thursday, 14 October 2010
She didn't wave back.
'How dare she ignore me,' I thought and made my wave more exaggerated. She would have to wave back now.
Then I realised it wasn't my friend, but a very similar looking woman. Except this one looked a little bit freaked out.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Now, when you sing Happy Birthday in a place where drunk people are, some of them will no doubt join in with a cheer and applause that seems to have become customary to do when someone has Happy Birthday sung to them. But I was singing Happy Birthday to a packet of crisps. No-one would applaud that, surely.
Well, actually it seems that no matter what you sing Happy Birthday to, surrounding people are seemingly conditioned into responding to the melody itself. People in the pub who didn't know me were applauding the fact that I sang Happy Birthday. To crisps. They were applauding crisps.
I thought that was quite funny.
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
I have no idea how to finish this post.
Friday, 8 October 2010
No, the Rapture I'm talking about here is the independent record store in Witney, which is apparently the only independent record store left in all of Oxfordshire. How fucking depressing is that? Anyway, for 3 days they are taking over the old Videosyncratic store and Oxford get an indie for a weekend. I popped along today and I had honestly forgotten how much I love music shopping. It was so nice to be able to do something I used to take for granted years ago. I knew that I miss it, but I didn't realise how much I miss it. It felt really good to be excited by music shopping again. It's kind of ridiculous how good it made me feel. I bought a copy of what they were playing because what I heard of it sounded really good. It's an album by a band called Fool's Gold (no, it doesn't sound anything like The Stone Roses) and I'm really looking forward to giving it a proper listen.
I could go off on one here about memories of music shopping and how I grew up doing it and all that stuff, but that would probably just be really boring for you, so I'll skip that bit.
I find it really depressing that there are no places like that in Oxford anymore, more so after today and the fact that by Monday it'll all be gone again.
Well, thanks anyway Rapture. Thanks for giving me that feeling again. It was awesome.
Hmmm... I just read that over and something about it seems very... odd. Oh well, I mean it and I'm not gonna not post this just because I can't word it right.
Thursday, 7 October 2010
On The Tube.
Mum, why does the train make so much noise?
Mum, why does the train stop so much?
Mum, are there there four stops left or three?
Mum, are we getting off here?
Mum, why does that man look so grumpy?
Mum, why are those two holding hands?
Mum, can you hear that? It sounds like a guitar. Why is there a guitar playing?
Mum, why is that man singing? He can't sing. He'd be rubbish on the X Factor.
Mum, when I grow up, can I have a farm and drive a tractor?
Mum, can I have a Mars bar?
Mum, why are we getting on another train? I don't want to get on another train.
Mum, why was Daddy so angry this morning? Is it because he hasn't got a job anymore?
Mum, what does Tampax mean? That lady has a box that says Tampax in her bag. What is Tampax, Mum?
Mum, am I going to die one day?
Mum, is that man a lady?
Mum, are pirates real?
Mum, can I have an iPhone? Simon's cousin's got an iPhone. They're really cool. You put your finger on it and things go whoosssshhhh, whoosssshhhh. Can I have one, Mum, can I?
Mum, I'm sure that man is a lady.
Mum, when I grow up I can fly an aeroplane can't I?
Mum, can I have an XBox for Christmas?
Mum, did you know that there's a big telescope that can see everything in space? Do you think they can see our house with it?
Mum, when will Daddy get a new job?
Mum, why do people believe in God?
Mum, why is Simon's Mum younger than you?
Mum, why do cats have claws?
Mum, why are there criminals?
Mum, why do you always make that look?
Mum, Mum, this is you Mum. 'Urgh. Stop asking so many questions Johnathan because I'm really boring and smelly. Blah blah blah blah blah.'
Wednesday, 6 October 2010
A couple of weeks ago I was walking up St Mary's Road, and saw something I've never noticed before. Right near the corner, as St Mary's Road goes onto Magdalen Road, opposite the convent there, is what is essentially an extended bungalow. (Here endeth the tedious Geography part of the post.) I've walked past this many, many times, but I've never noticed the sign before. The sign that says 'Church Of Christ.'
Now, I can't get this out of my head. This church looks so inconspicuous. It looks like you could fit no more than about 20 people in it. It looks like the kind of place that gets investigated on Dispatches for bizarre and unsound practices, or the sort of church that secretly hides some bonkers American cult or religious offshoot that you'ld see some crazy news story about secret incestuous practices happening there.
I also can't find anything about it on the internet, which just makes me even more curious about it! I really wish I had to guts to take a Sunday off work and just go there one day to see what it's all about. What it's deal is. But I just don't. What if they're insane? What if... Oh just what if?!
I haven't been this curious about a church since the old Spiritualist church just off Cowley Road up by the petrol station. It's not there anymore, well what intrigued me so much about it certainly isn't.
It was such a plain looking building apart from the fact that it used to have a red crucifix at the top ot it, which they would light up at night if a service was on. Again, this really intrigued me. I wanted to know what what going on there, but I was never going to be able to actually go in there through the same fear that keeps me from ever setting foot in the one on St Mary's Road.
But why do I want to? I'm not in any way religious. There is just something that really intrigues me about it. Something about the plain-ness and that unknown fear. I just want to know what is going on there, because it's something I never knew was there in an area I know so well.
What is it?!
UPDATE: No, I didn't go there, it's nothing that exciting, but my Dad got in touch leaving a comment on this post to say that he's found their website! Although this does mean the mystery is somewhat taken away from the place, it's still pretty interesting just to find out a tiny bit more about the place, and for you lot it means you can see the place I'm talking about. Go here http://www.oxfordchurchofchrist.co.uk/index1.html if yer at all interested in seeing what a church that looks like a bungalow is like. I was pleased to see that in the photos section, it does pretty much just look like the inside of someone's house.
So yeah. Thanks Dad!
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Sunday, 3 October 2010
Tom Cruise falls in love
with a dead duck, fucks it and
takes it to the moon.
Saturday, 2 October 2010
* People who say 'Amex.'
It's 'American Express' you goons. Abbreviating it to 'Amex' makes you no better than people who say 'Lol' in conversation. Actually no, that's not fair. It makes you far worse, because people who say 'Lol' just say it. People who say 'Amex' say it in a really fucking smug, superior way that makes me want to bash their brains out on the counter. If you say 'Amex' then there is a 95% chance you are an absolute wanker.
* People who chuckle when you give them a penny change.
What? A penny not good enough for you, is it? Is it so beneath you caring that you find a penny ridiculous? Why don't you give it to charity then, hmmm? No, you'ld rather be all smug about it. 'Oh, it's almost not worth me bothering, ha ha ha!' Tosser.
* Daniel O'Donnell fans.
I know that, you know, taste is all subjective and that, but sorry, if you are buying an album buy Daniel O'Donnell then you are in NO position WHATSOEVER to criticise any other music, ESPECIALLY not Bach, you simpleton fuck.
* People who say they need a bag and then put that bag in another bag.
'I'd better, I've got food in there.' What, do you think your cd case is going to somehow penetrate your tins of fois gras and boxes of bruschetta and spoil the flavour? Are your bangers and mash somehow going to be tainted by the plastic wrapping of an album? NO! THEY'RE NOT! GROW UP, YOU FUCKING IDIOTS! HAVE YOU HEARD OF A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED 'THE ENVIRONMENT'?! STOP BEING A TOTAL DICKHEAD!
* People who say something as a statement when they mean it as a question.
It has somehow become acceptable for people to ask questions without asking them. For example, someone came in the shop today and said 'Frank Sinatra.' That was their way of asking either if we have any Frank Sinatra cd's or where would our Frank Sinatra cd's be. This is how so many people enquire about things. Do they ask all questions like this? Do they stop people in the street and just say 'Time', 'Lighter' or 'Magdalen Road'? No, if they wanted any of those things from strangers, they would at least word it in the form of a question, not just disrespectfully bark out what they want and expect that person to bend over backwards to help them. But of course, I work in a shop, so it's somehow acceptable for me to treated with as much respect as something they just trod in. THIS IS NOT ON. It shows a fundamental lack of human respect. Make no mistake, IF YOU DO THIS, YOU ARE A CUNT. YOU ARE A CUNT AND YOU DESERVE TO DIE A VERY SLOW AND PAINFUL DEATH BY HAVING YOUR INSIDES PULLED OUT OF YOUR ARSEHOLE, YOU TOTAL, UTTER CUNT.
A-hem. Sorry about that. Actually no. I'm not.
Friday, 1 October 2010
Going to see Plaid play at the Oxford Playhouse tonight with the Southbank Gamelan Musicians. I'm really excited coz I've been a fan of Plaid for about 10 years now and have never seen them live.
I've also wanted to see some Gamelan musicians live for a while too, pretty much since I first found out about it. I love percussion and percussive instruments. Gamelan is the sort of thing that's right up my street.
So yeah. Tonight should be fucking awesome.
Also, See Tickets are bastards. They sent me an e-mail asking me to phone them and when I did I was on hold for over half an hour (at 10p a minute) and didn't end up speaking to anyone. That's over three pounds I've spent on being dicked around. Thanks See Tickets, you bastards.
Thursday, 30 September 2010
This is the picture they are using to promote it.
I think it's pretty cool.
It's at a place called The Betsy Trotwood. I've never been there.
I'm doing an about 15-20 minute set of my poetry.
I'm pretty excited as last time I did a gig in London, it was the best performance I've done yet.
The theme for the evening is 'Hippies Vs Beatniks.'
Sweet G is trying to convince me to wear a suit.
Hmmm... We'll see.
One of the other acts is a guy called Emit Bloch who recorded his whole album on a dictaphone.
I thought it was pretty good. I'm looking forward to seeing him live.
Anyway, must go. Want to shower and make myself delicious.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Then, this year, they released their third album. 'The Suburbs.'
I read reviews saying that it was a change of direction of sorts. That it was a toned down version of Arcade Fire. That by taking the subject matter of often ignored suburban areas (of America/Canada), they had ditched the bombast and created a more personal and involving album. Everything I read got me intrigued. I thought I'd give it a listen to see what it was like.
I love it.
I suspected I thought it would be good, judging from what I'd read about it, but I wasn't expecting to love it quite so much. The reviews were right. Gone is all the pomp and instead we have a very human sound. Songs you can relate to. Songs that invite you into them. Songs that make me start writing really pretentious sounding things about them.
Yes, I never thought I would say this, but the new Arcade Fire album is absolutely brilliant.
I said this to a couple of workmates who've always been big Arcade Fire fans and they both said the same thing. They can't get into it and they find it a bit boring. No offence to them, but this kind of backs up why I like it so much, because it doesn't sound like Arcade Fire. It sounds like like a fucking great band who've made a really REALLY good album.
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Monday, 27 September 2010
Because I never actually bloody write anymore. This is a serious impediment to someone who wants to one day write for a living.
See, I've become one of those really boring people who spends far too much free time on the internet doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
So, time to properly resurrect this blog. This will actually get me writing something for a change. Also, I've written a bit more on here recently and have been enjoying it again.
Now, I know I've made bold statements on here before, and I know how broken-record this is going to sound, but here goes.
From today onwards, I intend to post something on here everyday.
See, on days that I write on here, I've found that I actually use the rest of the time in my day more productively. My brain seems to go into a 'Oh, I've just done something! What else can I do?' mode.
At least, this is the theory.
In about a week or two's time when I'm back to being an internet slug, you can all say 'I told you so,' because I know that what few regular readers I still have left will have got bored of me saying/doing stuff like this.
But, if in a week or two's time I'm still writing stuff on a much more regular basis, maybe it'll kick start my other writing into gear. That's what I'm hoping for anyway and I SERIOUSLY need to start doing some actual fucking writing again.
Either way, let's see what happens.
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
I've been meaning to put this up for a while now and FINALLY got round to doing it last night. I'm gonna put the other parts (I'll probably split the whole thing into 4) up over the next couple-few weeks too. As you can tell, I'm was pretty nervous and it took me a while to get into it, but I'm still pretty proud of what I did. I hope you enjoy it.
* What is the point of having a bulletproof car if you still have to have 8 security guards walking alongside it?
* I found the backlash against people opposed to the Pope and his visit from the people who didn't care one way or the other about it to be rather worrying. (What, we're expected to have this thing shoved in our faces all day every day and NOT react to it?)
* Constant, continual news coverage is kind of killing the quality of tv journalism. (I think Charlie Brooker has already well and truly covered that point much better than I ever could tho.)
* Some people said some stupid things.
* I cannot take the word "Popemobile" seriously.
* On the subject of the Popemobile, didn't it look and move like a massive motorised wheelchair?
* Some people said some really stupid things. One particularly stupid thing I copied and pasted from I can't remember where read, "I can't help but think it's the protestors who are the real bigots, not the pope. "thou shalt not have a different view to mine"=hypocrisy" which managed to give an opinion on the protestors while entirely missing every single point of the protests themselves. Now that takes some kind of Fox News style skill in the art of complacency.
* Fuck off, Pope.
There. A far, far less coherent post than it would've been, but one that can now have a little pin placed in it for the Potato Farm to move on from.
...and the next post will be something I hope you will all enjoy.
Monday, 13 September 2010
No bold statements of intent to mark the occasion this time, as I never keep to them.
No out of the ordinary item or quirky thing, as I'm at milady's Mum's house and I can't really think of anything special to do for it anyway, but I don't want to lose the new found momentum I've regained with writing this blog.
However, today I found out that Hannah Simpson aka Cakeyvoice:- http://electricbiscuitonline.blogspot.com/ , who is also by the way the lady responsible for me even having a blog in the first place, gave birth to a boy, so my 400th post is a soppy sentimental wish of a happy and healthy life for Frank Vincent Lewis. His parents are awesome, in fact Matt Lewis, Frank's dad, is responsible for what is considered by many (myself included) to be the best post ever posted on this blog:- http://axlspotatofarm.blogspot.com/2007/11/blog-post.html , so this is bound to be one pretty awesome dude.
Happy Birth, Frank Vincent Lewis.