(This is a really short one, kind of a rap song with just a bit of percussion and my creamy vocal stylings)
I've decided, in a last gasp attempt to actually write some new songs and keep this crazy ride ticking along, that I'm going to upload just about everything that I record on to this blog (it'll also be archived on the main website so check that out too.) So without further ado...
(this isn't strictly speaking a 'new' song as I've been playing versions of it for about a year now but it is the first time I've recorded it. It's about a trip to Tesco I took last summer and it rained so hard they had to shut for 3 days because of a hole in the roof.)
Nothing Can Stop You When You Get Started
(this is brand new. I wrote the lyrics quite a while ago and just jigged them around a bit and forced them onto this little tune.)
It's been a pretty uneventful couple of weeks for yours truly, including one job interview (and the inevitable disappointment which comes with it) and little else. Yep. Just finished playing Monkey Island 2, which was fun. Also been watching Tim & Eric as previously mentioned but also the fantastic HBO miniseries The Corner, from the people behind The Wire, which I intend on re-watching in it's entirity. Other than that, totally bored.
So I was going through some boxes in my little bedroom and found a copy of my 3"CD I did for the Homocrime singles club. It was released 2 years ago and I'm pretty sure was the lowest selling Homocrime CD they did (mostly because my first show for them was an absolute fucking disaster.) Unfortunately Homocrime ceased to exist last summer and it's now very unlikely you'll be able to find a copy anywhere. Which is why I've decided to upload it here and letting you all download it, aint I sweet? It's got a dozen songs on it, including one cover and I think it's pretty good, even though my vocal is so creepy (this was when I was recording things late night while everyone in the house was asleep.) Enjoy.
(ps. I also uploaded a new-old song to myspace, it's called Pets and was featured on a Homocrime compilation, yep.)
Over the past few weeks I've had a number of nice times. Sometimes when you're not really enjoying everything that's going on in your life it really helps to have some respite from the slow, grinding depression and a good evening out with some nice people can really do you the world of good. Having been driven into the ground by a lack of funds and the utterly tiresome bullshit task of looking for work I was constantly finding new ways to stress myself out. Wow. But then...
...I had a couple of good gigs to fall back on.
A couple of weeks ago we had Sleeping States come to town. I've totally fallen in love with this band, and if they're not huge this time next year then everyone else sucks big time. Seriously. The Clock & The Moon played too, as well as a wonderful pair from Dublin, Elsworth Cambs, who I was lucky enough to spend a whole day with, winding up girls dressed as pirates and watching them fall asleep in public. The Fishmarket did it's usual Fishmarket thing by being charming despite being pretty empty. Good.
Then last thursday I had to prepare myself for the arrival of the 7 headed beast know as Shimmy Rivers And And Canal. I decided it'd be nice to cook them some food and overcoming the joint obstacles of vegetarianism and no functioning cooking appliance, microwave vegetable lasagnes were settled on, with some nice fresh bread and a mixed salad on the side, a feast fit for a priest! Then I found them outside, singing and jumping up and down on the roof of their van. We went to labour club and one thing led to another and they played their set (but not before Wizbit did his thing, more about him later.) All scratchy and tunefull and jumpy and loud, it was really quite special. Then 9 of us altogether went to sleep on the floor and that was that.
AND AND AND on saturday I went to Webbstock 2007, my first. Webbstock has a long and vibrant history, coming across as a mix between a magnificent and depraved Roman orgy and The Wickerman, but with added volleyball and caravans, it was a pleasure to be invited. After a short delay I began drinking and gradually built up my enjoyment level, thanks in part to this Englishman's ability to withstand any weather condition (so long as it's not too warm.) Shelter was erected to avoid the steady downpour and bands played in a small tin-roofed shed. At the earliest opportunity I stole a guitar and played an impromptu set atop a red tractor. Then my good friend Wizbit played a set (not on the tractor) and we all danced, some more than others, others more like Bez than others. I had planned on camping, but I left my tent at home and I got offered a lift so I slept in my own bed, so I win.
Some Undereducated gigs coming up too, including the return of the greatest rock and roll band of all time and the most punk thing to ever happen to Northampton, but mostly the darling Blanket and (hopefully, if we can sort it out) Buttonhead, both from London and both totally rad. Check it.
In the past couple of weeks I've spent too many nights sleeping on my friends' sofa. Their hospitality is truly invincible. I know how irritating I can be and it's a wonder I've woken up at all some mornings, knowing that these guys have had the chance to quietly suffocate me beneath a couch cushion. Well done to them.
In the past week or so and a bit or something I've been catching up with some viewing which I'd promised myself. So I watched Everything Is Illuminated and The Squid & The Whale (which were both very good, go watch) and also For Your Consideration, as part of a new secret flim night I'm involved in. All fantastic. I also strongly recommend watching Who I Am And What I Want, co-directed by my personal favourite man with a pen David Shrigley. Probably the most special thing I've been watching at with my eyes is the first series of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job (part of the insane Adult Swim family of television programmes.) The show is really hard to describe but I like to think of as a sketch show made by people who have never seen a sketch show before. Go and watch an episode, it's not long.
And listening to music. Here's Zeek Sheck, who I know nothing about at all. 2 songs. Listen.
Earlier this week I went to London for the evening. I haven't been on the train into St. Pancras for some time so I was a bit upset to find that the station still isn't finished with their big refurbishment (and you've still got the slightly confusing walk from the train platform to the underground station with signs that seem to change before every single trip.) Apparently all the work will be finished in october this year but I'm not optomistic. Personally I can't wait for all the scaffolding to come down so everyone can see the full splendor what can only be described as The Most Terrifying Building Of My Childhood. Having lived in Wellingborough for most of my life I have often been in and out of St Pancras every couple of months and I can't remember a time when the building hasn't given me chills down my spine. I don't know where I'm going with this but I'm sure these refurbishments will have sucked most of the character out of the building and replaced it with glass and chrome and a pleasant bleached pine effect.
In case yr still reading, the reason I went to London was to see David Cross and the opening night of his 2 week run at the 100 Club. David Cross is pretty much my favourite man in the world right now, I'm currently taking in (mostly through osmosis) the 4th and final series of his Python-borrowing sketch show Mr. Show, and his character Tobias from (the amazing) Arrested Development is one of the most absurd, twisted and delightful characters there have been on TV in pretty much forever. And of course there's his stand-up comedy, which is inspirational and insanely cynical at the same time.
The show was pretty disappointing, the main main reason for this being that David Cross didn't even really do a real set, rather he compered the show, doing about 10 minutes between acts and introducing his friends. The other acts were really good (Ed Byrne was a bit slick, Kristen Schaal was nice, but I'd really recommend checking out Todd Barry and Eugene Mirman if you get a chance because they were rad) but I (and most people in the room) had come to see a proper David Cross set. Oh well.
I'm really trying to absorb as much comedy as possible at the moment, maybe to compensate for my empty empty life.
In other news, I'm trying hard to sort out Undereducated shows in the next couple of months. It's hard sorting out venues sometimes. We've got Sleeping States coming to Northampton in July and we're doing a show for The Blankket in London. However, I'm trying my damnedest to sort something out for Shimmy Rivers And And Canal's tour at the end of july, they are such an amazing band live and I want to do a really great show but Northampton kind of sucks. Fingers crossed.
It's been ages since my last confession. When I started this blog I was determined to keep it regular, but being the lazy scatterbrain good-for-nothing lowlife I am, this whole thing has fallen into a state of disrepair. I bet you've been chewing away at your own knuckles in anticipation of finding out what I've been doing with my abundance of free time, and wilting away into a mere husk of your former self without the reassurance these blog entries provide you. Well, I think that says more about you than it does me.
Last weekend Undereducated put on 2 big big days of stuff in Northampton. And it was good in varying degrees. Friday I found myself really disappointed, mostly due to the fact I played first, opening the night, and got caught up in my own self-loathing, meaning I couldn't enjoy the rest of the evening. Which sucks, because I missed the whole of Anni Rossi's set, which I'm told was amazing. I am an idiot. Then on saturday we had a whole day with Gay Against You. Well, not a whole day. A mixture of traffic problems and other acceptable excuses meant GvsY were not able to carry out the afternoon workshop which we'd planned. However they did do a great improvised set as part of the Fishmarket's opening of their new Alex Gene Morrison exhibition, and then tore the Labour Club apart with one of the most fun half hours ever. I also got to meet Gentle, Friendly, who are 2 lovely boys from Birmingham (via London) and played fantastically, House Mouse blew everyone away with his midi-guitar, laptop and interesting hooded sweatshirt, and Thrulk showed how much they are improving and fast becoming my favourite band in Northamptonshire. Just yesterday I finished uploading a WHOLE BUNCH of videos from the weekend to YouTube so that's worth checking out.
So here's a song by Gay Against You, it's from their album Musclemilk (on Adaadat) and it's ace. Also, recently I've been listening to the forthcoming Liars (self titled) album and I'm struggling to get to grips with it, it just seems too easy and straightforward. Anyway this is a track from that.
Not very interesting this so I'm sorry. A few people have complained/commented that they're having trouble streaming the MP3s on this blog. I don't really understand it myself but, yeah, it's crap innit? Here's what to do, right-click on the link for the MP3 you wanna check out, then in the little menu thing which should pop out you can either click 'save target as' (it might be 'save link as' or something similar) and then download the track, which is fine. OR or you can click 'copy link' and then paste in into the 'pay url' option of whatever media player you like to use on you computer.
For Mac users, work it out yourself. You've onlt got one mouse button and I don't get it.
Told you it wasn't very interesting.
On saturday night we all had good fun at the Fishmarket for the opening of the James Jessop and Harry Pye exhibition. I got lumped with the 'setting up sound gear' job which always stresses me out (though I can't complain too much as I did volunteer, but I do like complaining) but after that got done everything went mostly smoothly. It was strange seeing the Fishmarket actually looking like a place you'd want to spend time in, very very exciting. Also, it was very nice seeing everyone who had worked so hard to get it all done, and they've done a great job, able to let their hair down and have nice evening. A big hand for everyone.
So, what have I been doing. I recently started working on a little book which eventually I'm gonna photocopy and make available in my shop and wherever else I can. It's a project I've been talking about doing for some time and I thought I'd better just get on with it and stop procrastinating. It takes the form of one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular in the 80s and 90s. (You might not remember them but apparently the series sold over 250 million copies, so I'm not making it up.) So, here's a page of the story, it's pretty weird.
Figuring you’ve developed some new and cruel allergy to out-dated dairy products, your stomach instantly does backflips and you run out to the street, instantly hurling your guts into the gutter. This lasts about 10 minutes and you can taste every meal from the past week spilling from you in slow motion. Gross. You gradually regain some semblance of composure, reminding yourself that illness is for the weak and you are better than this, sure you’ve turned into some weird cartoon-ish comedy creature, but in your mind your still a strong independent human being with a conscience and a soul and tickets to see Rod Stewart this weekend. The thought of Rod Stewart forces another little bit of sick up out of your throat. Tears start to well up in your eyes and, unknowingly, you begin to walk towards the town centre. Looking up towards the sun you can actually see and hear the clouds moving, whooshing through the air, you also notice the birds darting in all directions desperately trying to avoid the same moving clouds. It takes a little while to work it out but apparently the clouds are chasing the birds, round and round, about seven clouds to fifteen birds.
Then something happens. As your eyes start following one particular bird which seems to be struggling with a damaged wing being toyed with by the clouds, the birds manage to escape and fly away to the safety of a nearby tower block. The clouds have stopped darting about and are now all hovering in close formation, and you can’t be sure because they don’t have eyes, but they seem to be focussing on you. Everything’s getting colder and your starting to get a bit scared which is understandable. Like bees and dogs and bus drivers, clouds can apparently smell fear and to them it smells like lunch. Fear turns to the much tastier panic as all seven clouds combine as one large mega cloud and momentarily form a large hand with an index finger pointing straight between your eyes. “Gulp.”
“I’m not one hundred percent certain but it has occurred to me that this cloud could potentially cause me a measure of bodily harm. I’m not normally a coward but on this occasion I think I’ll make my excuses and leave.”
Or“I bet you I have probably got some really cool special powers, it seems only fair to compensate my loss of good looks with something helpful.”
Now for some music to tide you over (as if anyone is actually still reading this.) First is a track by Cradle Of Smurf from Strasbourg, France, a mostly electro pop act with art rock tendencies, this track is instrumental but they aren't all instrumental, and you can dance to it. Then there's a pair of 13 year old girls from Portland, Oregon (indie capital of the world don't you know?) called Blübird, and their song is about global warming. It's nice. Listen. (sorry i'm not writing more, but my eyes are weak from monitor burn)
If you spend too much time on the wild wild web (like me) you'll always find things to do, like this blog for instance. Other things you'll realise are how quickly your tan fades and some people dress funny. I've kinda become fascinated by the lengths some people go to for fancy dress costumes. Isn't strange how people can spend there lives being resolutely UNcreative, but give them a chance to dress up funny and they suddenly become a cross between Roy Lichtenstein and Liberace. Here's some of my recent (kind of) favourites.