Sunday, October 20, 2002

Mmmm... Bad Girl!


I'm an American tired of American lies - 'Woody Harrelson'
- the bongmeister can not only act, but write and think.

The man who drives me to and from work is named Woody too. A relief to me, as it minimises the chance of my forgetting his name. I call him Woodman and he calls me Wood. He has become my best friend here, even though he's upset that I have quit drinking beer. He's smart, funny, and there's nothing he hasn't seen in 33 years behind the wheel of his black cab. He drove me for a while before I felt confident he liked me; he doesn't like people easily, especially if they have a rap for busting up black cabs.

Woodman and I agree about a lot of things, but one thing we can never agree about is Iraq. He thinks the only language Saddam understands is brute force. I don't believe we should be bombing cities in our quest for one man. We've killed a million Iraqis since the start of the Gulf war - mostly by blocking humanitarian aid. Let's stop now. Thankfully, most of the Brits I talk to about the war are closer to me than to Woodman. Only your prime minister doesn't seem to have noticed.

Keep reading
Lyrical Fragments
- when words mean a lot

'The Tracks Of My Tears'
People say I'm the life of the party
'cause I tell a joke or two
Although I may be laughin' loud and hearty
Deep inside I'm blue

So take a good look at my face
You see my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it's easy to trace
The tracks of my tears."

Institutionalized
"Sometimes I try to do things
And they just don't turn out
the way I wanted to
And I get real frustrated
It's like
I take my time
And I try real hard
And no matter what I do
And no matter what I try
It never works out
It's like I concentrate on it real hard
But it never works out
It's like
I need some time to figure these things out
But there's always someone there going
"Hey Mikey!
We've been noticing that you have
a lot of conflicts lately. You know like
Maybe you should talk about it
You'll feel a lot better"
And I go: "No, it's OK
I'm having some problems
I'll figure it out myself
Just leave me alone
I'll figure it out"
And they go: "What are you talking about.
You'll feel a lot better"
"I don't know
I don't want to
Just leave me alone
I'll figure it out myself"
And they keep on bugging me
And it builds up inside
It builds up inside."

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

I wouldn't kick her out of bed for farting!
Come on down, Kylie Minogue!


Keith Moon and Norman Gunston



This was not an interview with Moon The Loon. Whatsoever!


Recommended listening: 'Creep Diets' by Fudge Tunnel



A mate called Pat turned me onto this outfit, which basically make an art out of rhythmic power. Combining mighty sledgehammer riffs with noise and the odd hook, you won't remember the lyrics but you will certainly get the head banging as you get drawn into the cadence. Good shit! I'd forgotten all about this album until I dug it up earlier today. It was a 'smoking' album at one stage of my life.

"Despite their rough-hewn, incredibly heavy, feedback-drenched sound, Nottingham's Fudge Tunnel quickly transcended the obvious heavy metal tag to find widespread critical praise outside such limits. And while this support never did translate into commercial success, it is interesting to note that Fudge Tunnel's surprising crossover appeal, along with their low-key image and absolute lack of pretense, marked them as un-hailed British predecessors to the Seattle scene." - Ed Rivadavia, All Music Guide.
The Vines 26/9/02 Brisbane, Australia


Neon and The Anyones warm up the slowly growing crowd, but let's be honest. The bulk of the audience is here for The Vines. The hype behind this band has been tremendous. Comparisons with The Beatles and Nirvana notwithstanding, the recently released 'Highly Evolved' album stands out as one of the better Australian debuts in quite some time. Chart and critical success on both sides of the Atlantic ocean has given this band a foothold in territories many Oz acts simply can't get a break.

The MC5 kick out the jams over the PA. It sets the mood. We're looking for a raw rush of power and abandonment of the every day. The lights darken and The Vines hit the stage as the crowd yells in anticipation.

Singer/guitarist Craig Nicholls occupies front stage left, looking slightly ragged in a green sleeveless t-shirt and a bad haircut. The beefy chorus of 'Highly Evolved' evokes a rumbling gut, plus screams and yells from the audience. Swaying silhouetted upper torsoes block some of the view from near the sound desk. But that's the point. Arses are moving.

The Vines aren't afraid to bring the mood down a tad with some of their more laid-back psychedelic-tinged pop. Call it a bit of sonic foreplay if you want, but delivering the softer material only makes the anticipation of rock just that little bit sweeter.

'Get Free' acts as a petard, blasting out to the audience as Nicholls delivers himself twisting and straining with the guitar.

From here on in, it's a swag of material from the 'Highly Evolved' album. Some mightn't dig the lighter, melodic songs or appreciate the effects on the vocals, but The Vines deliver a reasonable rock show.

After leaving the stage and getting calls back for more, The Vines ultimately take the rock show to its logical conclusion. The mic stand goes flying, the drum kit gets trashed and the show is ended. Maybe it's passe, but so what? It's one rock tradition that never fails to generate a reaction from the crowd.

As the room lights back up and the crowd files out of the venue, the question is asked. Are The Vines that good? They're never going to live up to the comparisons, but they currently have more to offer than most of their mainstream Aussie rock ilk.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Billy Idol!

I saw Billy Idol a week or so ago. The guy is total rock and roll showmanship. It's like he hasn't bothered changing his image since 1982. The sneer, the pumping of the fist and the camp leather costume is still central to his image. Best of all, though, is his back catalog. The guy can play for over an hour and have the audience drawn right into the action because so many of his songs are that well known. At times he looked like he was feeling his age as he worked all points of the stage while belting out the hits. No matter, though. Steve Steven's decided to treat us all to a blast of virtuoso brilliance and a bag of tricks, including playing the guitar behind his head and with his teeth. Over the top? Yes. But this was a real Vegas experience and when you don't get them often, you don't mind the silly showmanship and rock dude attitude.


Interview with The Damned

Stoner rock journo memories

The Damned's Dave Vanian lets out a little snigger when I ask him about Guns 'N Roses covering 'New Rose' on the 'Spaghetti Incident' covers collection. How can I blame him ? How could anyone take Axl seriously after the guttural vomit that was 'November Rain'

"It's a two edged thing isn't it ?," he says. "It's a compliment in some ways, but it's also funny in another. Ironic. Brian wrote that song so he's the one that got the (financial) rewards, if any."

For over twenty years, Vanian has been the frontman of this seminal English band who have managed to blossom from vigourous punk-pop into psychedelia and goth. Whereas the Sex Pistols detonated and The Clash became stadium rockers, The Damned have gone through various troughs and triumphs. But all the while, they've managed to generate some great musical moments.

Set your mind back a touch over ten years and remember the remake of the late 60s hit 'Eloise'. Or perhaps rewind through your memory banks to the classic power-pop of 'Smash it Up'. Then of course, there's the massive drum intro to 'New Rose' followed by an infectious, frentic two minutes of gusto.

"We're touring simply because we were asked," answers Vanian in response to cliched rock hack question number one."Nothing any simpler, really. What happened was that one show was going to be here and that fell apart and we ended up doing a whole bunch of little ones instead.

"This is a wierd scenario where Captain (Cpt. Sensible of 'Wot ?' fame) and I are in seperate bands these days, but we played together and we were offered a few shows in England and then a few shows in Japan came up. It seems that everytime we go back to England someone offers us shows elsewhere and we go. It's not if anything is planned. But now we're thinking of doing a new Damned album."

Over the years, Damned lineups have changed with regularity and this time round sees Vanian and Sensible being ably assisted by Patricia Morrison (ex-Gun Club & Sisters of Mercy) along with Monty and Garry from Punk Glorious. One notable exception from the band is the venerable drummer Rat Scabies who has been there right from the early days of 'Damned, Damned, Damned'.

Vanian seems a bit reluctant to to into details about Rat's absence.

"He's off somewhere else, doing something - I don't know what," he says despondently. "We've fallen out with him in the last six months with a dodgy deal he shouldn't have done. It's a bit of a long story and an unfortunate one. That kind of ended that relationship for a little while."

Punters can expect a greatest hits package from The Damned which will include a fair chunk of early material as well as a re-working of the epic 'Curtain Call'. If reports from down south are anything to go by, this will be a scorching evening of entertainment and a real lesson for those who think it all started with Nirvana.

So, to close, just what has kept both you and the Captain in the game for so long ? The music industry has been vicious hasn't it

"To be honest, at any one point in time that we've done this - it's because we enjoy doing it," he says. "There was obviously little money involved. Unfortunately we're one of those 1000s of band who were ripped off over the years. But we struggle on."

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Did you know?

Richard Branson once completely sold out a 15,000 limited release record and simply printed another lot and prayed that the buyers with the same numbered limited release would never meet and compare notes? Sourced from Crickey.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Hint to self: When updating this site in Netscape, reloading the Blog Editing page can be of great assistance!
Coincidence

Decided to watch The Beatles Anthology on video. Where I am it's October 9. John Lennon's birthday!

Celebrity sluts (18+ readers only)

Most celebrities are sluts of one form or another. Media, money and so on. But what I'm really interested in are pornographic celebrity fakes. Some artists refuse to sell out and grab a wad of cash by shaking their booty. But some geeks can't help themselves and scan pictures out of magazines, decapitate a digitised starlet and BAM BOOM you've got Britney Spears fucking a dog.

The brilliant entertainment comes on two levels. One, you get a taste of what could well be. And two, some of the fake shots are so amateurish that you'd think that the people responsible were wanking on the job. Skinny girls with big tits. Organs that are slightly the wrong colour.

Yup, there's no stopping some people.

Britney

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Christina Aguillera

Dubya on the job

You can't beat Ally McBeal, but you can eat her!

Want to see a starlet? Let me know who and maybe I'll dig up some filth for you.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

The music tastes of an eleven year-old
Pity this zine doesn't go out to marketing executives at major record labels, as I'm sure they'd get a mighty big boner about the tastes of Michael. He's my girlfriend's little bro and a cool little bastard.

Last Easter, I was faced with the choice of geting the little punk an easter egg or something a little more concrete. I've got a big problem with purchasing easter eggs. No, don't get me wrong. Jesus was the original punk rock nigger. But I hate paying five times the price for the same chocolate I normally eat, simply because it's in a pretty box which, in turn, denies the religious significance of Easter itself. After all, the chocolate dealers love nothing more than unifying Hindu, Muslim and Christian kids out of mutual appreciation for a Cadbury's chocy selection.

Fuck man, choccy might even solve the middle east conflict! "Yassir, I thought you were a Palestinian pig until we shared a Whitman's choclate assortment at Camp David. I feel I know you like a brother." Ah, but Michael...

I decided to get him something that would rot his brain, as opposed to his teeth. So, with that, I asked Jen what he'd like most. In the process, I managed to find out a few of his fave bands. Limp Biscuit, Linkin Park, Offspring and Green Day. For some time now, I've had the feeling that bands of this ilk are nothing more than children's entertainers. Looks like I'm right.

For the record, I bought the little snot a copy of GreenDay's 'Minority'. I bought myself Warped!'s 'Strychnine Girl' and 'Roll On' by The Living End. Jen scored Bjork and Fat Boy Slim. But the question must be asked. Will Limp tour for the fans in 2021 on a KISS-like revivial? Will Fred Durst sing 'My Generation' at 50? What do you fucking think? Of course, he will if the money is right. Just ask Pete Townshend
The loud tragedy of Keith Moon

I'm a drummer and I know what I like. Keith Moon played some of the most decadent, explosive rhythms ever put to vinyl in the 1960s. So I just had to read 'Dear Boy: The life of Keith Moon'. The size of brick, it is one extensive tome. You get the idea that author Tony Fletcher really tries to keep easy tabloid-like content at arm's length but just can't help writing abut drugs, sex and rock 'n roll. Sadly, that's because Moon couldn't keep himself away from drugs, sex and rock 'n roll.

If you plough through this book, you'll quickly realise old Moonie had a dark, ugly side. Given to being the life the party, he also had it in him to be one hell of a nasty bastard. 'Dear Boy' is worth the effort if you're a fan of Moon, The Who or just want to read a detailed study of a man at odds with himself. The guy was a nutter and I'm left with the sad feeling that I'd like the guy if I met him, but wouldn't want him as a friend.

Monday, October 07, 2002

The strange irony of strip-clubs

I was recently discussing what goes on in strip clubs with my girlfriend and it occured to me that there is an extreme irony in the unnatural milieu that is a tits 'n flaps show.

You pay your money at the door of your favourite strip joint and then sit down with your drink while some uninterested scrubber bumps and grinds in your face.

Irony number one. The music they play in strip clubs is generally not the sort of shit you'd want in your collection. It's surreal to sit there in silence with a bunch of drunken strangers as a bored tart takes her togs off to Britney Spears or Janet Jackson. After all, the music is for the wench. Not you. There's nothing more quietly amusing than watching a pissed rock ape jiving away to Destiny's Child as she dangles her tits in his direction. After all, he's trying to make an impression. Why?

Irony number two. You've knocked back several drinks and you're sitting there by yourself when some bird walks up to you and sits down on an adjoining chair.

"Hi there," she says.

"Hi," you reply.

"So are you looking for some fun tonight? I'm free, you know."

Anger and bruised pride strike you.

"Do I look like the kind of guy who can't get any?" you think to yourself.

And then you realise you're in a strip club full of prostitutes. Doh!

Irony number three. All the guys are busy watching some misguided starlet waving her bacon rashers. Then in comes a woman. Fully clothed.

This is nothing more of a turn on for a lot of guys in a strip club.

And therein is the ultimate irony. Even an ordinary woman becomes an arousal. She's the unknown quantity. The one you didn't pay to see. And because of that, you're fascinated.

Three things enter the guys collective minds. She's either a hooker, a stripper about to get to work or, gasp!, a horny bisexual woman looking for a session with a female stripper and, gasp!, maybe even you. Fuck yeah!

But you don't have the balls to get out of your seat and chat her up. Do you?

What the fuck is this all about?

By day I'm a corporate whore. And I come across a lot of web sites on my daily travels. There are a lot of so-called cunts out there claiming to be 'web experts' and they fucking shit me. The sites they report on are generally all in good taste, corporate and driven by some kind of useful service or product.

Who gives a fuck about Amazon.com? Who gives a fuck about customer service for WAP users? I certainly don't. And I don't give a flying fuck about a bunch of American cocksuckers who have had two billion downloads on MP3fuckingCOM.

Sure, the Internet is more noise than signal. But it's all about freedom of expression, communication and speech. To some this means saying fuck a lot, but for others it can mean fighting for what you believe in. I'd like to think I'm somewhere in between.

So here it is. Pointless, crude, offensive and utterly without commercial value.