31 December 2007

Sale adverts on telly MUST DIE!

Even with the fear of looking like one of those shit TV shows with the z-list pundits giving you hilarious anecdotes about how they recall the greatest 100 numbers between 1 and 100 here's my top 3's of the year. Or 4 when I couldn't make my mind up...

Top 3 presents.
Guitar.
Distortion pedal.
Bike.

Top 3 movies.
The Lives Of Others.
Once.
Eagle vs. Shark.

Top 3 records that aren't metal.
Bjork - Volta.
Errr...I didn't buy many others.

Top 3 gigs.
Ozzy at Wembley!
Nuclear Gathering Of The Legions Of Doom in Berlin.
Black Witchery/Archgoat/Proclamation at the Electrowerkz.
GZA at ATP.

Top 3 metal records.
Inquisition - Nefarious Dismal Orations.
Ride For Revenge - The King Of Snakes LP.
Sadomator - Goat's Brew Alcolust LP.
Necros Christos - Triune Impurity Rites.

Top 3 skate vids/parts.
Traffic video.
Rick McCrank in the Es vid.
Nate Broussard in Static 3.

Top 3 dope things to happen.
Rachel!
Venice.
Moving to Burzle.

Top 3 dope things happening next year.
My wedding!
My Bloody Valentine gigs! I have tickets!!!
The slim possibility of finishing the Landscape video.

OK, OK so I've run out of ideas already but I tried. It's only because my fucking digital camera is still being fixed that I have to come up with these new ways of wasting your time by visiting my site. French and Kloakius are coming down tomorrow for NYE so after the alcoholocaust of doom I might get round to updating this in about 6 months.

19 December 2007

Have we enough to keep it together?

I just watched a documentary about Pete Doherty. It's hard to say whether I'm a huge fan of his or not - I have 2 songs by the Libertines on my iPod which I love but have never felt the need to look (listen) any further into his music. Musically I'd say he's a good lad. Even if the 2 songs I have are the only good ones he's done (probably unlikely) then that's still 2 more songs than I've written and others have enjoyed and 2 more than shitloads of other hugely popular artists have done that I could like. There aren't 2 U2 songs I like, there aren't 2 Clash songs that I like, there aren't 2 Bad Brains songs that I like (mind you I don't know any Bad Brains). So there you go - if 2 songs makes me a fan then fine, I'll sign whatever.

Anyway, what I've worked out is that even after nearly an hour of watching this documentary about him I still don't really know him. That's obvious right? I've seen him on the telly, I've seen him in the music press and I've seen him splashed all over the tabloids. I would imagine I have as much idea as most people about him. So why is it so common for people to say "Oh that guy's a prick" ? You can't judge somebody you don't know. Well, you can but that does make you unqualified and with an uninformed opinion, which means if there was an argument about actual facts then you'd probably lose.

Your opinion however is yours and can't be proved wrong. If going on the sketchy rumours, presumptions and stories that you've seen in the mainstream media (and what other kind of media is there? That you can trust anyway?) you've decided you don't like him then fair enough but you must realise that your opinion is informed by others of a similar position in that they don't know him either. If you see a photo of him looking drunk or fucked up alongside a story about drug abuse then your opinion is only being formed by what you've read of somebody else's opinion - it's not necessarily fact. Just because a journalist writes it in a paper it doesn't mean it's real.

When an article contains a sentence like " "Pete's really been on the brown lately" a pal said..." then what evidence is there that is is true? "A pal said" is not evidence is it? Nobody's being named that could be done for slander.

I'm losing track of what I first meant to say about him, it didn't start out as being as obvious as a rant about the media. What I thought I was trying to say is that like Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty is way more of a victim of us than we are of him. It's us that buy the tabloids that only run the stories because we read them.

To me he's not "seeking attention" by being a fucked up rock'n'roll singer on drugs - he's a guy that wrote/sang/played 2 songs that I really like which is a lot more than most have done. When I hear people go off on one about Pete or Amy being fucking idiots or whatever they just sound like a lowest-common-denominator bloke in a pub who thinks that all immigrants should be sent home and that "our boys" are doing a good job in Iraq shooting up the towelheads.

If you're quick to judge people on what you've read about them - Pete = bad, 19 year old british soldier who died "heroically" in Iraq = good) - then I think you've started to lose the ability to use reasoning properly. It seems obvious that we should question everything we're told but people generally seem that they can't be arsed these days. If we're told it's bad it must be bad.
And it's only really the media who tells us - there isn't some central truth-bank we can go to and trust 100% is there? Unless you've witnessed something with your own eyes and ears then how do you know it to be true? Because it says so on the telly? Come on!

If Rachel tells me that the film she saw at the cinema the other night was not the kind of thing I'd enjoy I then have reason to believe her opinion because I know her well enough to know she knows my tastes and therefore trust what she says. Actually, Rach calls the cinema "an expensive sleep" so this has never happened!

If The Sun tells me that Pete Doherty takes drugs and is a nightmare then I have no real relationship with the newspaper to form any kind of trust with them. I have these 2 songs that have allowed me to form an opinion that Pete makes good music (on 2 occasions anyway). Personally I'd rather enjoy the songs than listen to a journalist I don't know and probably doesn't know Pete. I realise of course that journalists have to write stories based on what they can find out about somebody, they're unlikely to be personal friends of course, but to read constant bad news about somebody all the time might lead me to believe that the journalist/newspaper in question has it in for their subject or that, even worse, the readers might have it in for the subject.

And that's basically how it works - star puts foot wrong, newspaper reports it and reader buys it. After that we get a taste for reading about how somebody has it harder than us, the paper gets a taste for the money we've given them to read about it and the next day they run another update on the poor fucker.

And if you've got no sympathy for Pete or whoever because they got fucked up on drugs then that's up to you and your conscience. Some see them as victims of themselves, some see them as victims of the world around them. I'm not sure I can have a one-size-fits-all opinion on it.

Personally I do know I've got no sympathy for "our boys" who make the papers all the time when they've got killed in one of our lovely wars. Joining the armed forces is way more fucking stupid than taking heroin. "Oh no, he went to Iraq and got killed in battle, he was only 18, it's so sad." No it's not - he was a HIRED KILLER! If he hadn't been trained how to kill people and shipped over there he wouldn't have been in any danger. Plus - he was PAID to put himself in that situation! We don't have national service or conscription, he volunteered. It's the people HE KILLS that we should be feeling sorry for and they far, far outnumber our dead boys.

I think my basic reason for sticking up for Pete Doherty is that I've realised I don't like being told who to feel sorry for and who to demonize. The media don't necessarily have it the right way round all the time and though I feel a bit cheesy saying that it seems we all keep forgetting.

So, yeah. I've ranted. No photos of drunken friends today but just a bit of exercise for my brain. If you're not a fan of somebody's music then that's fine, if you disagree with certain politics or wars then that's fine too. Just try not to be swept along by the opinions of others and ask some fucking questions for a change. Trust is something we take a while to build up with our friends but create almost instantly with the TV and newspapers. On pressing the 'on' button on the telly our brains seem to have got to the stage where we go "this must be true." And it's possible it might not be. Remember that. I'm not saying anything new.

Now fuck off back to reading the Metro and going "ooh look at Kate's cellulite".

14 December 2007

video
So my fucking digital camera still hasn't come back from the fucking menders yet. All I can do is point my shitty phone cam at things like Seth braving the weather at South Bank. The best thing to do when the ground is really cold and hard is to try and fall onto it as hard as possible.
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Or you could make it for marginally more fun.
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Oh look - another wallie manual! He's on fire!

I think I might have the flu. I'm all achey and dizzy.

10 December 2007

ATP


I'll start, as I do fairly often, with some graffiti for the connoisseurs of the activity. Bristol Temple Meads station - "ARSE", 2007, white paint, artist unknown.

This weekend I went to All Tomorrow's Parties at Butlin's in Minehead...

...with him, her, him....

...him again, her and her.


The festival was "curated" by Portishead. That means the organisers would suggest some bands to them and Portishead would go "Who?" and the organisers would say "What? You've never heard of The Flying Dingleberry's?" and Portishead would be like "No" and then feel kind of square and let the organisers pick whoever they wanted.

Thurston Moore was there so Jonno and some of the other Worthing nerds would have fagged out on him. I missed his solo set but saw this 10 guitar thing he took part in.

Keeping in shape at a festival is key.




I realise that my taste in art (and it IS art) might be a little highbrow for some people. I should maybe buy a marker pen myself one day and contribute to the scene I've loved for so long.



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Obviously we spent most of our time staggering like toddlers on lighter gas around the festival missing all the acts but when we did give an artiste our undivided attention we were well rewarded. Seasick Steve was by far the highlight. Shitkicking blues performed on guitars with only 3 strings, some tiny practice amp and a cigar box he stamped his foot on. He had several thousand people totally captivated with equipment he told us totalled at $129.00. It didn't even matter when he snapped a string, in fact it was all part of the charm. Ruler.
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The other highlight was seeing the GZA perform Liquid Swords in it's entirety. When he came on a mate of Gavin's apparently said he must have wanted to say "Good Evening white people!" but in actuality he said "Yo Minehead what's up!?!" Both equally funny.

This was an attempt for Teresa and Matt to get into Portishead for the second night running - it didn't work.

Soy was there.


03 December 2007

"...Me sixty foot divan"

I love Bristol. Best thing that's happened recently was waking up with Rach very early in the morning as she was getting ready for work on friday and hearing some random outside singing (in a raw bristolian/farmer's accent) "It's 7'o'clock in the morning! And I'm going on the piss!" Whoever it was is my new hero.

The other day it was thanksgiving round Matt and Teresa's (yes they're American, they can't help it). It was my first thanksgiving and I ate 2 whole turkeys (at least it felt like I had) and gave lot's of thanks (mainly to our horned lord Sathanas).



We had to make hats - either turkeys or pilgrims. As you can see Matt's pissed on mine...


The turkey hats came out dope though.


Shirt!




Things started to get a little messy towards the end of the evening.



Few days later it was my birthday (why I'm still wearing the hat I don't know) and Rachel bought me a FUCKING GUITAR!!!!!! AAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I have some lessons booked too apparently which might be useful seeing as I can't play a note! It's so sick - rad shape, good sound and Guy gave me a distortion pedal too! Give me a month and I'll smash it on the guitar!

The Sarge came down!

And Bilko!

And Steph!




And I got Butthead too, best game ever! Some of the following photos were taken by Ian Wilkinson, a real renaissance man.

Like this one of Bruce and the lovely spread we put on. Notice the mini-sausage and cheese'n'pineapple "hedghogs".

It's important to note that thanks to Bruce mustaches became the theme of the night. Those who could shave one in did so while others went for the eyeliner pencil. Click 'ere for a slide show with photos by Bilko.

Then we went bowling, unoriginal I know but I am 33 and my imagination isn't what it used to be.







The ladies of Lane 1.

The ladies of lanes 2-3.


The mandatory late night visit to the pub over the road...

...where random old codgers will harass you.

And even some young ones (who totally failed to impress Rachel).


Jesus!

By the end of the night Steph and I had swapped shirts. No, I don't know why either.
Thanks for coming out y'all!