... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

309:on the eve of @Eurocultured ... (instead of sleeping)

Long day ahead tomorrow as Eurocultured kicks off in the streets (well, some of them) of Manchester; crowding the archways and side streets tunnelling underneath Oxford Road station.  I’m meeting mein mama und papa, and I’m gonna roll up packing press pass; promises to be a good day, weather permitting.  Weather, I permit you to rain down a short light cooling drizzle, if you promise to bring warm sunshine and gentle breezes.

If you’re heading down tomorrow you might want to download this pdf of the Sunday running order; bands, djs, breakdance competitions, etc.  Personally I’m most looking forward to the street art, and I’m anticipating stalls selling foods I’ve never tried before.  Get me a caramelised piglet on a stick and a packet of salted scorpion bones and I’m happy as a cat on the ‘nip.

So my camera batteries are on charge, I’ve got a pen and a notebook somewhere to hand, and a bank holiday weekend in the bank.  Now all I need to do is get some sleep, and get an early start tomorrow.  I’m all blogged out today after all the catch-up, so this is going to be a short one.  Tomorrow I am taking my parents to visit BLANKSPACE for the first time, where I hope they will enjoy Eurocultured X Manchester.  And let us all celebrate the historic occasion now by looking at some excellent photos of the preview nights way back on Thursday.

Photos supplied by Gareth Hacking and his flickr account:

Eurocultured X Manchester Exhibition Preview
Eurocultured X Manchester Exhibition Preview

307: Charity begins with cheap 2nd-hand sci-fi

Oxfam, I’m sure you do lots of great work n that, and your stores now look more like boutiques than charity shops; but £2.99 for a tattered old science fiction paperback is way, way, way overpriced.  You would make plenty more money if you reduced your prices.  I walked around today and saw at least ten books I would have eagerly snapped up at a more reasonable price.  And since haggling in a charity shop is the absolute height of rudeness, I walked out without spending a penny.  Moments later I ignored a Big Issue seller, stole the shoes off a homeless man, kicked a dog up the bum, and mocked a baby’s inability to talk.

Withington is legendary amongst arty, studenty, trendy types for the wealth of charity shops (and pound shops, but that’s less interesting) full of dusty bound paper, knitted rags, and strange functionless objects called video tapesBarnabus, a Christian charity helping the homeless and needy (all in the name of Christ), sells its books for 60p each or four for a pound.  Now that is cheap enough to override my healthy aversion to donating to charities with religious affiliation.  Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) “is an independent humanitarian medical aid organisation. We are committed to providing medical aid where it is most needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or gender and also to raising awareness of the plight of the people we help”.  MSF lacks religious affiliation, indulges in no proselytising, and just plain helps people; my kind of charity.

Usually Barnabus, named after an extremely early Saint who did something Christian or other (I don’t know, handing out homophobic comic books or something), is totally lacking in good books.  I went in today on the off chance, and vowed only to buy a book (even at such a low price) if I found something from my Amazon wish list.  Along comes Ringworld by Larry Niven.  And then, as if by some form of future-magic (“any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” –Arthur C. Clarke), pops up three more thumb-worn paperbacks to complete the two pound: Out of Space & Time, by Clark Ashton Smith, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, and Outland by Alan Dean Foster.  I’m leaden with an indulgent orgy of speculative fiction.

There’s going to be some long reading sessions with this lot.  Not only that but the cover art of cheap print paperbacks are intriguing and appealing; pleasing to the eye, don’t you know.  I dream of my own library, filled with combustible wodges of inky paper; a leather topped desk, a roaring fire, a well-stocked humidor, and one of those old wooden globes with bottles of whisky and brandy nestled within.... erm... The End.

Smith_Out_of_Space_and_TimeFoster_Outland  Burgess_Clockwork_OrangeNiven_Ringworld

Saturday, May 28, 2011

306: my friends, da da dah da da dah daahh.

My friends ain’t enough for one hand,
My friends don’t amount to one hand,
One hand.
My friends don’t add up to one hand,
My friends don’t amount to one hand,
One hand.
My friends don’t count up to one hand,
My friends cannot count on one hand.
My friends don’t amount to one hand.

This song has completely hypnotised me.  The bass line bangs away and the lady intones da, da dah da da dah da daah, as Mark E Smith yelps I’ll tell you about my friends; my friends don’t add up to one hand, one hand.  The song begins with a fade-in, ponders along for the customary three and a half minutes, and then fades out again.  Along the way we get no changes or chorus, just the occasional rising of a synthetic organ, and the click of a snare rim-shot; and of course the repetitious my friends, da da dah da da dah daahh.  As soon as it ends (enz?) I just want to press play again.

I know nothing about The Fall except the stuff everyone knows: main (and only constant in an ever changing line-up) member is Mark E Smith from Salford, he once read the Saturday football scores on BBC1 (cos his Theme from Sparta F.C. was the title music to the scores), they were John Peel’s favourite band, and... well that’s it.  They have a million different albums, with a trillion different songs; they have the record for most John Peel sessions recorded, at a staggering 127.  There is no way I can get into that massive confusing world of varied shit and diamonds.  I just happen to have stumbled across the song Frenz, and so far that has sufficed to fill a gap; over and over and over again...

It helps cure me on occasions when I might be suffering from earworms related to Friday or Hip Hop Happy Birthday, both of which continue to haunt my inner monologue regularly.  It’s rounded repetitive edges, combined with Smith’s rough colloquial barks, are the perfect balsam for loosening unwanted stuck tunes.

And if anyone wants to put themselves forward as an expert on The Fall, then please give us some recommendations on how to ease myself into the various styles of the band over the years.  Years ago when I wanted to get into Frank Zappa, the three-CD set Läther was the perfect way in.  It contains a freaky-wide sample of Zappa’s diverse musical output, all strung into a mess that makes sense.  If such a Rosetta Stone exists for The Fall then I need to discover it quickly, before the sun turns supernova and scorches the Earth.

304: The Footballer & the Gross Infringement of Human Rights

This post, which should have been done earlier in the week, was going to be oh so controversial with its subtle references to Ryan Giggs, twitter, Imogen Thomas, and gross attacks on freedom of speech committed by obscenely rich immoral boy-men.  Then John Hemming MP (a good ol’ Liberal Democrat – don’t believe the hype, still the same great party they were before the coalition) used parliamentary privilege to ruin my blogging plans: “With about 75,000 people having named Ryan Giggs on twitter it’s obviously impractical to imprison all of them...”  But still here is the gist of what I intended to write:

On Monday the front page of the Metro had a pointless little fluff piece entitled ‘The kids are alright’.  It had three pictures of United players celebrating their 19th league title with their kids.  The pictures of Ferdinand and Rooney were dwarfed by that of Giggs.  Confined to page five is the headline ‘Paper reveals player behind Twitter storm’, which references the previous days Sunday Herald (but makes no mention of who the player might be), a Scottish paper with the following front page:

We are given no direct overt indication by the Metro of any connection between the two stories.  But let’s conduct a thought experiment and assume the following axioms: there is a connection between the two stories, and for some reason the paper has refrained from mentioning them.  We can feed this information into a formula Mp1+Mp5=Hp1, where Mp1 is ‘Metro page one’, Mp5 is ‘Metro page five’, and Hp1 is ‘Herald page one’.  This clearly states that were the initial axioms to be true then page one of the Herald would contain answers.

All of that becomes tediously uninteresting since John Hemming MP ignored the ruling of a judge to impose common sense upon a gossiping population.  But the great thing is I can now talk openly about my concerns related to these current events.

The Judge in the Arena, Gerald Scarfe
I in no way support the press’s freedom to root through people’s bins and take up-skirt snapshots.  A massive amount of what passes for ‘news’ is unbearable shite that the world could do without.  But what Giggs tried to do, aided by a Judge was disgusting beyond belief.  It amounts to a minor conspiracy committed by two power-crazed arrogant men; a judge flexing his power and making up laws as he goes along, and a rich spoilt shit throwing his wealth about to repress an individual's freedom of speech, and continue to wallow in filthy lucre and privilege, unbothered by the consequences of his immoral lifestyle.  Together they left a young woman, unguarded by wealth and legions of adoring fanatics and hooligans, unable to defend herself or even to exercise her human rights.

The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, one of the most valuable and important works of humanity, states “...human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want...”  Actions taken by Giggs against not just Imogen Thomas, but against the entire population of the country clearly remove some of those rights.  It could be argued that Article 12 of the declaration states that “no one shall be subject to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence...” and that Imogen intended to deprive Giggs of these rights.  I would counter that argument by saying that Imogen has also suffered the deprivation of these rights due to her inability to afford the superinjunction that was pocket change for Giggs.

She has received death threats from throngs of small-dicked morons, and been the subject of countless interfering press stories.  Moreover Article One states “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.  The Judge and Ryan Giggs clearly view themselves as having risen above this due to their accumulations of wealth and influence; to them Imogen Thomas is below contempt.  Not to mention the treatment of the free men and women of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Wherever there is conflict between two of the Articles a resolution should be sought that causes the least damage to individuals and the population as a whole, and which results in the most minor of infringements.  As a result it is clear that the path that has been taken has been a farce; crushing the rights of an entire country, simply so that a single rich man may continue to hide his immorality from some piss-rag newspapers.  All the while, his lawyers and the Judge have made a mockery of the laws of this Great nation.

Of course it goes without saying that the affairs of a ball game playing millionaire are not in the public interest.  But if these superinjunctions continue to be made, and go unbroken, they will soon be being used to hide news that is genuinely in the public interest.  What if they were used by industry to hide negative safety reports, or pharmaceutical companies to hide evidence of dangerous medicines?

While Imogen Thomas’ motives may have been greed, she has inadvertently become a hero in my eyes.  What a fucking weird world we live in.

308: Gundam, Ganesha, Ananta, etcetera - @BlankMedia @Eurocultured

Groan – the hazards of art preview shows; all that free beer – my head.  But it’s not all treachery and danger; there are positives and rewards too.  There are the hyper-nerdy debates about whether stereolithography or 3D laser printing would be capable of creating a coiled spring loaded with potential energy or if there would be technical limitations due to the way energy is stored as mass (because as you should know e=mc2).  There are the rambling discussions with artists about why certain things work, and other things could be improved upon.  There are the breakdancers flying in, twizzling around on a piece of lino, and then flying out again.  There’s the beer – did I mention that?  Have I missed anything?  Oh yeah, there’s the art too.

I’ve already mentioned the stereolithography and 3D laser printing; but what is it?  It’s this, obviously:

It’s a super-smart method of printing successive wafer-thin slices of plastic to build up a complete solid physical replica of a digital 3D model.  That’s the medium-length way of saying it’s something awesome.  You can read the full-length way of saying it here (U.S. patent 4675330)Eurocultured X Manchester marks the debut of work created using this technique being exhibited in BLANKSPACE.  The exhibition, as well as including a wide range of graffiti and street art styles, also includes the technical marvel of Ananta by the talent-splat that is Sumit Sarkar (I don’t know what a talent-splat is, but it’s probably a good thing).

At last year’s Eurocultured Sumit’s Kerstcar had pride of place in the food court; a stunning display of glimmering (evanescent, scintillating, gleaming, etcetera, etc, &c) distorted steel jagging out from a gutted car husk.  Looking like a freeze-frame of a transforming robot, it somehow forms a digital-era wildstyle tag.  And it’s big; in fact it’s the size of a car no less.

Now exhibiting Anata, Sumit’s touring exhibition of work inspired by Hindu gods, anime/manga, and Transformers/Gundam; hauntingly simple animations of Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Ganesha and friends set in smooth black monoliths, and a frantic sped-up video showing the process of creating digital animation.  Star of the show however are the three large stereolithographic prints of a reared up viper, a robotic beast with two backs, and a scorpion-tailed cow.

Rumours spread quickly around the gallery:  these are printed, no way!  How?  That’s awesome!  My god, the things they can do nowadays, eh?  And it gets me aching for the future history of Star Trek when 3D printing has become the replicator, and I can say “tea, Earl Grey, hot” and immediately the microwave in the corner of the room prints me a China cup full of fine tea, Earl Grey, hot.

Shiva, the Destroyer, by Sumit Sarkar

Sad, angry end
Today, after the great fun of last night’s exhibition preview, it turns out that during the fun dark things were afoot.  Blank Media Collective and Spearfish welcomed the public into BLANKSPACE for Eurocultured X Manchester, and one member of the public didn’t see fit to repay our hospitality.  No, there was a theft.  So I say this directly to you, the person who stole a laptop from the staff kitchen: you dirty little piece of shit.  The police have been called.  Return it now, undamaged, and apologise, then cooperate with the police.  Alternatively your fingertips could burn and melt as your thieving fingers tap away on the stolen keyboard; your eyes can pop and fizzle as you stare at the screen that is not yours.  Fucking prick.

Last thing
Expect posts 304, 306 and 307 on Saturday.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

305: @Eurocultured X Manchester >>> COME!!!

Yes, I know; I’ve missed out 304, but it’s on its way.  It was going to be a clever dick thing about Ryan Giggs but then ol’ parliamentary privilege went and scuppered those plans.  It can still be done though; there is plenty of ranting and venting left in that.

The install is well under way for tomorrow’s launch of Eurocultured X Manchester at BLANKSPACE (43 Hulme St, Manchester, M15 6AW) is well underway.  All the donkey-work is done; the big canvases are hung, spray paint is drying on the walls, and the ‘SPACE is looking vibrant and like, well street, innit, ya get meh?  I’m just going to have a walk around and see what I can see.  And then I’m going to keep it all to myself, cos if you want to know what there is you had better come down yourself.  It’s tomorrow, remember?

Eurocultured is put together by some guys called Spearfish who “proudly present a group show featuring some of our favourite artists in one of Manchester’s premier art spaces for one week only!”
Brand new work featuring installations, sculptures, animation and work on canvases by...

Also a retrospective of original works created at past Eurocultured events including:

Mr Kern (France)
Impe & Woozy (Greece)
ECB (Germany)
Elph (UK)
Guy McKinley (UK)

There you go; that’s all the info you need and more.  Plenty of links for you to check out; a website here and a blogspot there, now go for it!  Get clicking and see what you can see!  I’ve invited you all on facebook (tried to plug it on twitter but the bloody thing is over capacity) and I’ll do it again here.

Eurocultured X Manchester kicks off what will be a great bank holiday weekend.  Even my parents are coming down to shake their money makers and stroke their beards of a Sunday afternoon.  That is a mark of quality.  The last time they joined me for an event like this was for Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry at the Dome, Morecambe (R.I.P), where they skanked and dubbed with the best of them.  I had better get some sleep before tomorrow kicks in, or by the time the weekend is here I won’t even be able to keep up with mama and papa.  They will be out-walking me, out-talking me, out-eating me, and out-drinking me in and out of the arches under Oxford Road Station.

See you tomorrow :) 

greenroom - a blank media collective tribute

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

303: Ivor Bradshaw, Guard of Honour to Emperor Haile Selassie I

I’ve just got off the phone with my dad; he’s been regaling me with a tale that means either my granddad is a fascinating man with many untold stories, or he is liar or madman.  After the Cried Wolf of the whole Uncle Pak Joon-ho imaginary family history, there may be those amongst you disinclined to believe the following words.  I have assurance they are all true, and I gift that on to you, dear reader.

Today my parents treated my paternal grandparents to a Sunday trip to Muncaster Castle.  It’s a beautiful castle with a stately home interior, public gardens and displays of owls (and maybe other large predatory birds, if memory serves), up near Ravenglass in Cumbria.  The four of them were wandering slowly around the castle rooms, gazing at the pictures on the walls.  After untold minutes of this delightful pursuit, my granddad pulled my dad over and said ‘ere, look at this picture.  See that little fella there?  I used to be Guard of Honour for him.

What? replied my dad, slightly boggled.  You used to be Guard of Honour for Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, the Lion of Judah, The King of Kings, God Incarnate (as perceived by members of the Rastafarian movement)?  Granddad was a little surprised dad had heard of the funny little African chief; Yeah, Haile Selassie, that’s him.  You’ve heard of him?

Haile Selassie, known to Rastafarians as Jah Rastafari, did not think of himself as a second coming of Jesus; he was a hereditary monarch of the ancient Ethiopian throne.  He lived a short while in exile in Bath, while his home land was ruled by Fascist Italy.  Later with help from the British Army he regained his throne and ruled for many years.  Due to his close ties with Britain he was provided with Guards of Honour from the British Army.  Being a short man, he requested even shorter guards, presumably to make him feel like a giant.

While my granddad was stationed in Mogadishu (doing something Army-ish, I’ve no idea what), he was selected to served temporarily as Haile Selassie I’s Guard of Honour.  His main qualification was that he was the shortest in his regiment.  His chief duty seemed to be looking after Haile Selassie’s pet cheetahs; letting them out for a run, and feeding them.  Granddad only worked as Guard of Honour for Emperor Haile Selassie I for a short time, and had managed to go over 50 years without mentioning it to my dad.  He seemed utterly unaware of the fame and historical influence of the man; a man who almost a million pot-heads worldwide consider to be God.

The reason there was a photograph of Haile Selassie on the wall of Muncaster Castle is that a member of the Pennington family (who have owned the castle for over 700 years) once visited Ethiopia.  He met with the Emperor and gave him some tips on how to use a mechanical lawnmower he was struggling with.  As a result he was gifted a rosette and a photograph.

In the mid-1970s a group of Soviet-backed dissidents took advantage of military unrest (due to wage disputes) and staged a coup.  Haile Selassie was deposed and placed under house arrest; soon after many of his high-ranking officials were executed without trial.  Selassie himself died soon afterwards, officially from complications after surgery, but possibly murdered.  Until 1987 the Derg, a Communist junta continued their military rule over the people of Ethiopia, executing tens of thousands of political opponents.

Meanwhile my granddad was living in Morecambe, watching Everton matches on the telly and doing a spot of gardening.  He’s a great granddad, but possibly could have done a better job as Emperor Haile Selassie I’s Guard of Honour.

P.S.  I can't ignore the fact that this is blog post 303.  Enjoy:

Monday, May 23, 2011


Roger Waters The Wall stage at MEN Arena

Today is Saturday (just pretend; suspend your disbelief), and last night a Wall was built across the Manchester Evening News Arena.  It stood strong and tall but after a brief but intense Trial the bricks tumbled and a man called Roger, who once hated his audience, embraced a crowd of thousands.

Robbie (Derogatory of Surreal Knowledge and Tactical Thinking, who took that picture up top) and I sat higher than Mount Olympus with only one row of seats behind us.  We viewed the stage almost side on, and a huge hanging cloud of speakers obscured our view of the circular projection screen at the back of the stage.  Having not had the foresight to bring binoculars or opera glasses we could barely make out the tiny dots representing band members.  They resembled insects so much that maybe a magnifying glass or microscope would have functioned better.

Behind us (the only seats behind us) sat the two most annoying cunts (yes, that’s right!) in the building.  The Wall was originally seeded in Roger Waters’ mind after he became severely grouched with the behaviour of indifferent audiences.  This lead to him spitting on a particularly irritating Canadian in 1977... ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?  Now, thirty-four years later on the near-side of the Atlantic Ocean, two pissed-up Scousers sat behind me and Robbie talking all the way through the fucking gig.  One of them even shouted CHOOOON as the band began to play Mother.  When they weren’t acting as if they were in the pub, such as when they were nipping out for a bifter; it became a little easier to focus on the mind-blowing spectacle of the greatest rock n roll show in history.

The Wall is a concept album about isolation told through the life of a young man experiencing the death of his father, an over-protective mother, bullying teachers, fame, drug addiction and overdose, a failed relationship and a string of empty sexual encounters, flirtations with fascism, delusions, and eventually full-blown insanity.  Each of these experiences is Another Brick in the Wall he constructs to protect himself from pain, humiliation, love and emotional dependence.

Through the first half of the show a giant wall is constructed across the stage between the band and the audience.  Grotesque puppets of a tyrannical school master, scorpion wife, and psychotic mother tower over the audience.  Roger comes in front of the wall to sing a duet of Mother with a projection and recording of himself thirty years younger.

There is a cringingly stupid and artless moment during Mother, when after the line ‘Mother, should I trust the government?’ the words ‘No Fucking Way!” are projected onto the wall.  The crowd obediently cheer, selectively ignoring the relative extreme luxury and freedom we live in.

After a 25-minute intermission the band plays unseen behind The Wall.  A brick is removed for Is There Anybody Out There? and a section folds down revealing Roger sat watching TV in a hotel room.  From here he sings Nobody Home, but graciously allows the audience to scream ‘I got thirteen channels of shit on the TV to choose from’.  Only thirteen?

Pig (A Different One)
Comfortably Numb with its lyrics and its guitar solos and its complete and undeniable perfection leads us into side D; the best side of this double vinyl album.  The band appears before the wall, dressed in fascist black garb and surrounded by the pervasive oppressive marching hammers motif.  A giant inflatable pig emerges from behind the wall and flies around the arena, high above the heads of the crowd.  Well, not high above our heads; we are looking down upon it from a great height... I feel dizzy.

During Waiting for the Worms (possibly my favourite on the album, and one of the most lyrically difficult), after Roger uttered the line ‘Would you like to see Britannia rule again, my friend?’ a noticeably large portion of the crowd cheered.  My heart sank.  If the two twats behind us could so deeply misunderstand the concept of being driven to self-enforced isolation, could it be that many have mistaken the vicious ironic fascism for genuine xenophobia?  Perhaps they were just playing along with the spectacle, but I dreaded such a reaction to the next line: ‘Would you like to send our coloured cousins home again, my friend?’  Fortunately I didn’t detect a cheer for this twisted sentiment.

The crescendo of the entire show is the musical The Trial in which Roger takes many roles with a dizzying array of voices, and Gerald Scarfe’s wonderful animation is projected onto The Wall.  It ends with a mass chant of TEAR DOWN THE WALL, TEAR DOWN THE WALL, TEAR DOWN THE WALL, before the whole structure literally crashes forwards onto the stage and security pit.  Then the band comes out to play Outside the Wall on acoustic instruments, and to say their goodbyes.

Despite the odd gripe mainly to do with our seats, the show was tear-welling and unforgettable, and I would happily pay twice as much to see the show again with better seats.  Roger was everything you want from Roger; the musicians and sound quality were world class (obviously); the pig was actually flying with a little propeller and no strings; the guy singing David Gilmour’s parts was a better singer; and the whole production looked amazing.

I was in a confused, dumb-founded state of disbelief for the next few hours.  That is until I had a few drinks and danced to Snoop, M.I.A. and Outcast at Henry and Josie’s house party.  That night was too good; what did I do to deserve all this.  Thank you Lord.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

301: A scrobble babble rabble (in a puddle with a poodle).

If I could have three wishes the first would be that everyone else was as into last.fm as I am.  (For the completists amongst you the second wish would be for some new shoes, and the third would be to provide Coca Cola to every child on earth.)  Last.fm is utterly, entirely and indeed completely pointless.  It serves no use as a social networking tool, has little marketing value, and there is next to nothing to do on it.  I listen to music on WinAmp or Spotify and last.fm “scrobbles” it, i.e. keeps an exhaustive list of all the music I listen to.  My listening habits can then be viewed in a variety of different lists, charts and graphs.  God, I love Last.fm; it is the obsessive-compulsive’s dream.  I’m going to give each band name in this post a link to a relevant YouTube video; you can thank me later.

For instance I can confidently tell you that the first song I listened to after joining last.fm was Saddest by Drumcorps (spotify link and YouTube link).  That was on the 6th October 2007; since then I have listened 14,671 songs on my computer.  In the last three months I have listened to Guns n Roses 79 times, Snoop Dogg 36 times, and Mungo Jerry once.  If only I could scrobble from YouTube then I would be even closer to perfect happiness.  In the last week I have listened to Pink Floyd 13 times (cos I iz goin 2 c Rgr Wtrz ply da Wall 2nite), Danzig eleven times, and Credit to the Nation once.  In the last year I’ve listened to Frank Sidebottom 143 times, Frank Zappa 66 times, Frank Chickens 14 times, Frankie Knuckles eight times, and Frank Sinatra three times.  Isn’t it great to know these things?

music listening habits
Generated on May 22 2011 - My Music Habits


Many other web- and people-places are trying to get in on the act of indulging my imaginary OCD, by 
creating extra ways of visualising my music listening habits.  Here is a pointless collection of some.  Oscar Wilde said all art is pointless.  I've also found out here that the average age of my neighbours (i.e. people with very similar music tastes) is 26; they are also all male.  Doesn’t this arrangement of charts and graphs look beautiful?  No, of course not; it's awful.  Most of the graph/chart generators are put together by piss-poor hobby programmers, and most don't even work.  So this is what I'm left with; three ugly boxes that don't play nicely.

Anyhoo, time to step out into the real world.  It’s Friday (Friday, gotta get down on Friday) and Roger Waters is playing The Wall live at Manchester’s MEN Arena (fun, fun, fun, fun).  Must I explain further?  No, I did that the other day... erm... right... I’m off.  Bye.

Oh, one last thing.  Two artists I enjoy scrobbling are Shakira and Danzig.  Separately of course; they wouldn't go together at all, ho ho!  And surely no one else could be a fan of both these two?  And then YouTube did what it does best, and gave me this:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

300: 300, poetry, and... where was I?

Thursday; Thor’s Day.  Daily blog number 300; legendarily the number of Spartans that faced the mighty Persian army at the battle of Thermopylae.  To me 300 seems like a milestone, an important event to celebrate, but predictably my chips were pissed on.  Apparently 300 doesn’t count as anything; it’s the 365 that I should be looking out for.  I don’t know which is more arbitrary, centuries or complete orbits of the sun.  What do you think?

Fortunately for everyone involved I haven’t read the Frank Miller graphic novel 300, and nor can I remember much about the film (other than its general unexceptional shittiness).  It was directed by Zack Snyder who nailed it when he directed Watchmen, so maybe I’ll give it a second chance one day.  If I had read it then some sarcastic pseudo-analogy would surely become the tenuous pretence for this post.  As it is I’ll barely mention it.  I won’t be going on and on about it in a lame effort to pretend I’m not going on about it.


What was the name of that comic you have never read, which also spawned a film you didn’t really like directed by the guy who later made Watchmen which you loved?  Oh, you mean 300.  Yes that’s the one.  300.


Apart from doing what I’m doing, what else will I be doing?  After I’ve finished writing this crap and leeching off BLANKSPACE’s internet (or even if I don’t get this finished), I’m going to pop down to greenroom for Freed Up (“Manchester’s friendliest open-mic nights for new poetry & spoken word”, with a shit MySpace thing as their website).  It is the last one to be hosted at greenroom before its imminent closure.  It’s also the first one I’ve ever attended.  I am going because two of my friends are performing, both talent poets.  I’m not really sure about what constitutes good poetry, but I know what I like, and cliché cliché cliché.  Funny and clever and free from cliché; that’s all I want.

The compères were an amusing double act that reminded me of David Walliams and Matt Lucas, especially when they are out of character and bantering. Dominic Berry and Steve O’Connor; it was extremely amusing and I hope the event can find a new home soon.  Dominic did a funny skit with a magic kettle or something.  Erm... it was good; I liked it.  Sometimes it rhymed.

I’m loosely involved in a little project to make some performance videos of a poet friend of mine; he has ambitions of performing at Glastonbury et al, and requires moving pictures for his curriculum vitae.  So as a little act of research into the genre of performance poetry video, here is Dominic Berry, Kevin Eldon and Simon Munnery (which is kind of like weird poetry stand-up something).