30.6.05

Beethoven.

The last Beethoven symphonies (6 through to 9) are available to download from the BBC Radio 3 site. I'm still processing the actual sounds (it always takes me a while to hear depth in music), but it's absolutely fantastic to have music so freely available in such good quality with historical context thrown in to boot. They won't be there forever, so if you want them, download them now. I think it's worthwhile.

Spotted 30/6/05

A sixty year old lady in white slacks and a pillarbox red fringe coming out from beneath a multicoloured bandanna. Her shoes were black and white polka dots, and she looked funky as hell.

29.6.05

Link Dump 29/6/05

  • - NIN tour song stats. There have been more than 39 shows now. Holy crap. It seems like only yesterday we were watching Leo on the webcam.

Tags.

Dear Blogger;

Please incorporate tags. Please. I really really want tags. You have to be working on this by now. Please please send me tags for my birthday next month.

Please.

Love,

Natali
x

28.6.05

Houellebecq.

"Houellebecq (pronounced wellbeck) may be the only writer alive to have been accused of being a Stalinist and a Nazi, not to mention a sex maniac and a drunk. He is almost certainly the only writer to have fallen asleep while being interviewed on television. (The question was too long, he explained later.) His work has been described as racist, sexist, homophobic, reactionary, nihilistic, pornographic and repulsive, as well as moving, funny and prophetic. Three years ago, he was put on trial in Paris for inciting anti-Muslim hatred after he called Islam the world’s “most stupid religion” during an alcohol-laced interview with the French literary magazine Lire."

~ L’Étranger in a Strange Land: Michel Houellebecq’s Weekend in L.A. by Brendan Bernhard.

27.6.05

The Taste of Canada.

Christine makes food into tiny separate deities worth worshipping until my knees are raw. She just posted what she thinks Canada tastes like.


"I live in Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada. We are blessed with abundant fresh seafood, organically grown produce, and excellent wineries.

Whenever possible, I try to cook and eat only wild salmon instead of farmed salmon (see Farmed and Dangerous for more information on this controversial subject). The Asian ingredients reflect our location on the Pacific Rim, but also my own Japanese Canadian heritage. My grandfather and great-grandfather were fishermen based in Steveston, B.C, and fished the waters up and down the coast before their boat was confiscated and they were interned and relocated to the interior of B.C. in 1941. Every time I sit down to a meal of wild salmon, I honour their memory and their place in one of Canada's most painful episodes in its history."

She then goes on to give a cracking recipe for Sake and Maple Syrup Wild Sockeye Salmon.

In my memory, Canada tastes of fresh salmon sushi, blueberry waffles with Maple syrup, chinese pears and good ol' Molson beer. Not so complicated or eclectic, but it works for me.

Not even in twenty years kid.

"Excuse me? Have you got the time."
"No, I know it's somewhere past 4 though."

I keep walking.

"Excuse me?"
"Yeh?" I turn around.

"Did anyone ever tell you that you have beautiful breasts?"

WTF? He's a school kid, about 14, in a white shirt and black trousers. Cropped blonde hair. Kind of scrawny. He probably goes to my old school, and is waiting for a bus home. There is no hint of irony in his face whatsoever.

"Yes. All the time."

"Can I touch them?"

WTF?

"No..." WTFWTFWTF "...sorry."

I walk on.

"Excuse me."

I think "Oh god, is he going to ask for a shag next?"

I turn around.

"You're really beautiful you know."

WTF? I'm wearing my dykey trucker hat, a green t-shirt and oversized jeans. The only flesh on show is my arms and I'm not wearing any make up. Not that you can even see my face.. Marilyn Monroe, I ain't.

"Uh... thankyou."

It takes me ten minutes and a computer store window display to stop laughing. At least he didn't try to kancho me.

26.6.05

Richard Whiteley R.I.P.

Richard Whiteley has died. Countdown is a British institution, and by default, so is Whiteley. Everyone in this country has watched the show at least once, and attempted the Countdown Conundrum and maybe even the really hard maths as well. And now Whiteley's buggered off and left us. We all knew he'd been extremely ill, but no one ever expected he would die. I don't know how they're going to keep the show running without him.

So Richard, champion of students and pensioners and everyone else who's watching TV in the middle of the afternoon: this one's for you.

25.6.05

Link Dump 26/6/05

  • - "the security administration advises against wearing metallic jewelry, belt buckles and hidden body piercings and says passengers who set off the metal detector will be subject to hand-wanding or a pat-down that includes the torso."
  • - Beyond the Takeaway is a radio series focusing on second and third British Chinese people: "we're the third largest ethnic minority here so why have we remained such ghostly figures on the landscape of British society and what are we doing now to make ourselves more visible? Hopefully the series will help to dispel some of the standard stereotypes of British Chinese - we don't all do kung fu and work in takeaways!"
  • - "The mermaid lies naked on the palace steps, as if at the bottom of the sea; here, away from the familiar embrace of the water, she's laid out on the cold stone whose marbled surface mockingly imitates the shifting rhythms of the ocean. And where she once had the protective armour of a scaly tail, her newly acquired legs are pale and vulnerable, and a ribbon of seaweed trails from her toes like a shred of memory."

24.6.05

Delay reality.

There's something about the fact that the BBC are now going to delay "upsetting" live news, that just gives me the creeps. It was disturbing enough when the John Simpson report (about nearly losing his life and watching people be blown apart in front of his eyes) received complaints. But this is just... ridiculous; no one should be shielding viewers from the realities of life under the misguided ideal that they are "protecting" us. Censorship is not protecting society, it's enforcing the culture of Hollywood violence that we're all caught up in. I want my news stations to report fact, not smothered reality. It's a good thing I don't rely on them for 24 hour live news coverage. I'll stick with Sky News for now, methinks. And maybe a little Ogrish.

23.6.05

Billie.

"Some of those men inhabit this book, but so do many witnesses to her resilience, her generosity, and, most important, her extraordinary musicianship. “She could find a groove wherever you put it,” says pianist Bobby Tucker, a longtime accompanist. “She could swing the hardest in any tempo, even if it was like a dirge. . . . Wherever it was, she could float on top of it.” Her clarinetist friend Tony Scott told me (and the quote is in the book), “When Ella [Fitzgerald] sings ‘My man he’s left me,’ you think the guy went down the street for a loaf of bread. But when Lady sings, you can see that guy going down the street. He’s got his bags packed and he ain’t never coming back.”"

~ Lady Day's Journey, review by Nat Hentoff.

Weather.

After finally getting used to the unrelenting warmth and all the fun that comes with it, it turns out that the weather's going to change. Thunder, lightening, rainstorms, hail: the works.

I guess I won't be going to the library tomorrow after all.

22.6.05

Link Dump 22/6/05

20.6.05

Hart Island, New York.

Hart Island, New York is one of the few places in the city where tourists aren't allowed to tread. For nearly two hundred years it's been a dumping ground for the unwanted, the social outcasts and the violent: several prisons, a reformatory for boys, a woman's charity hospital, a yellow fever quarantine, an asylum, a missile base during the Cold War have all claimed their places on the stretch of land. Most famously, 45 acres of the island (as seen in the film Don't Say a Word) contain the bodies of over 800,000 people who have died unclaimed or unwanted in New York City.

"At the morgue, the bodies of the deceased are wrapped in shroud paper and sealed in pine coffins which are lined with waterproof paper when necessary. Unknowns are fingerprinted and photographed, and are interred with all their clothes and belongings, so that they can be identified later. Inside the coffins and on top of them are placed the duplicate and triplicate, respectively, of the burial certificate, chemically treated so that they are legible even after 25 years.

The bodies of the deceased are then taken to the City Cemetery at Hart Island via a Department of Hospitals morgue wagon, which operates twice weekly. It is transported from the Bronx to the Island by a ferry run by the New York City Department of Marine and Aviation."

It can be found east of City Island, New York, but you can't visit. It's off grounds for everyone except the NY Department of Corrections who undertake, via prisoners from the Rikers Island correction facility, the burial of the miscellaneous bodies (about 8000 a year, 1,500 of them being babies, and the first being 24 year old orphan Louisa Van Slyke in 1869). The inmates also built a tower to honour the people that they have buried; it was completed in 1948, stands 30 feet high and can be seen at the northern end of the island. Sometimes missing people who have died end up being buried when paperwork is mismanaged. When that happens, the bodies are often dug up and sent home to their families to be laid to rest.

April 27th (presumably this year), the DoC opened it up to be toured by a group of historians, academics, genealogists and other researchers. So there are some pictures but very few of them. There is also a book, compiled by Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld, who fought hard for the difficult-to-possess permits necessary for accessing the island.

I wonder how many of those who died on 9/11 are buried there?

19.6.05

Rape.

"She says that he immediately began making suggestive comments. When he got to her house, he kept driving and turned into a dark side alley. She says he stopped the car, locked the doors and pulled down his pants and underwear. He demanded that she perform oral sex on him, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head toward his crotch.

"He was saying: 'You're lucky this is all I'm asking you to do,' " she says. "He said, 'If you don't like it, I can take you to my friends and we'll pass you around.' ... He said he would bring me out into a forest where no one would ever find me."

~ Victimized Once by Michael Mainville.

Link Dump 19/6/05

  • - Google are making some bad moves recently.
  • - The (unofficial) remix competition for NIN's first single is drawing to a close. The top twenty remixes have been posted, and some of them are absolutely fantastic, especially in comparison to the awful Photek mixes that featured on the official release. My money is on The Kid mix. Go check it out.

18.6.05

Doctor Who Finale.

The last episode of the new series of Doctor Who airs in one hour here in the UK. The Daleks are back, the Doctor regenerates... but how? Why? What happens?! I've managed to avoid all key spoilers, so I'm incredibly incredibly excited.

I'm going to miss Christopher Ecclestone, he's really made this series something to be proud of, something special. I wish he didn't have to go, but that's the way the immediate series is turning out. He's back for the Christmas special, which is good.

I have no idea what I'll be doing on a Saturday evening now.

17.6.05

How to...

sell ice to eskimos.

16.6.05

Link Dump 16/6/05

  • - I really really despise ticket touts. They make gig-going bloody miserable.
  • - Netrunners "are the cosmopolitans of the Net. They live there, using all their spare time surfing the Web, searching info & files, downloading warez, mp3's, pics, ircing, talking, chatting, writing mails & newsgroup postings... communicating!"
  • - Bosozoku: "Among their activities is shinai boso: it consists of driving down the streets at high (illegal) speeds. It is not properly a race; mostly, it's done just for the thrill of it. With many cars (or bikes) involved, the leading one is driven by the sento sha (the leader), who is responsible for the event. Nobody is allowed to overtake him. Others keep a lookout for side and rear cars/bikes."
  • - Doctor Who's third series confirmed. Series One ends on Saturday, and it's really hard to keep away from the spoilers. Even that BBC article has them.

Spotted 16/6/05

Scotsman on the bus. Red, green, blue tartan creased kilt, white knee high socks with a dagger (!?) tucked into the left one. Black jacket, bald spot. It's pissing it down outside, and he spends the entire bus journey up front, past the "do not stand in front of this sign" sign, talking to the driver, picking up dropped customer change.

15.6.05

Sushi.

The thing I miss most about Vancouver is the sushi. Yes, I know that it exists somewhere out there in this fair island country of mine, but it's not there when I step out of the door yet. You can't buy 6 pieces for less than $5 CAN. You don't get cool-assed multi-Asian restaurants with the good luck cats and Asian girls serving girls with bright green sneakers and razorcut hair. And you certainly don't get the gorgeous fresh fish pulled in by local people from the BC waters that makes eating sushi in Vancouver something to be experienced.

Oh god, I think I'm drooling.

When I was in Vancouver, I was living just off Lonsdale Avenue, which is pretty much built out of Asian and Iranian eating places. Asian food was practically a currency: there were at least 15 places in a 5 block radius. But when it comes to the UK, there are three options:

  • - stale pre-packaged overpriced (it's the equivalent of $5-8 CAN for 6 pieces no bigger than your thumbnail) crap from the supermarket with wasabi that tastes like regurgitated vomit.
  • - assemble the ingredients from the supermarket "Oriental" aisle (we're really quite backwards in this country when it comes to Asian people outside of India) where the mayonnaise and wasabi are practically non-existent and you face the eternal struggle with sushi rice sticking to your fingers.
  • - scour the streets of your local large city in the hopes of finding a high priced Asian restaurant that will no doubt overcharge you. And won't have take out.

I wish the multicultural train would get it's arse in gear. I want my $2 sushi! It's a good thing I'm planning a trip back sometime soon.

Link Dump 15/6/05

  • - Freeway Blogger. A bunch of people protesting the Iraq war and other social issues by placing signs on the sides of US freeways. "When you put a sign on the freeway people will read it until someone takes it down. Depending on its size, content and placement it can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people." They have 1200+ sign posts in 48 states of the country. Grassroots protesting works.
  • - Haruki Murukami, a rebel in Japan eyes status in America: "During a recent interview at his office, a barefoot Mr. Murakami, wearing jeans and an orange shirt, spoke on a variety of subjects, from his place in contemporary literature to his writing habits."

14.6.05

Fidel.



When I was at school, one of the history teachers was the spitting image of Fidel Castro. I've always had a queer respect for Communist Cuba, just because it takes a lot of balls to kick the Americans out on their arses and then do it all over again when they try to force their way back in.

Also, Cuban men are kinda hot.

13.6.05

Foreign Natives.


"The British are very nervous and reserved people and when I ask the children to stand up and say something good about themselves they can't.

To survive for 200,000 years like we did, we needed to do that to our kids. But you don't speak to each other, you don't even know your neighbours and hence you have a weakened society."

~ Frances Firebrace, an Australian Aborigine speaking his view of British culture.

12.6.05

I have not, and will never kiss Aaron Carter.

Last September I posted a link to a picture of Aaron Carter shoving his tongue down the throat of some poor unidentified skeezy ho. It's now showing up in search engine results, and for some reason his fans think that that's me kissing him.

WTF indeed.

I've had an email from one of them, and after the aforelinked comment was posted I had the feeling I might get more. It's also messing with my stats, as they are descending on my blog in the hundreds. So, as hilariously awesome as this is, I have to set the record straight: I have not, and will never kiss Aaron Carter. Ever. That is not me in the picture.

The internet is so fucking weird sometimes.

Link Dump 12/6/05

  • - Interactive Fridge Magnets. I managed to spell out "Nine Inch Nails With Teeth/Out now/sold out tour pwnd us all" last night. Yes, I'm a nerd.
  • - Court TV's Diana Dimond has had a restraining order put out against an agressive Michael Jackson fan who delights in calling her a "liar", "whore" and "she-devil" outside the court in Santa Maria. There are some real batshit fans there just waiting to explode.
  • - "...[he] would keep the others waiting so that he could speak more playfully to me, his blue eyes dancing, his tiny gray mustache twitching, his big soft hands squeezing my arm or stroking my fingers or thigh or even massaging my shoulders." ~ My Women by Edmund White.

11.6.05

Summer.

Pros:

- legitimate excuse to eat ice lollies again
- lower electricity bills
- the really gorgeous smell of pollen in the air
- excursions to see bands and the beach
- suntan

Cons:

- moths!
- sweating
- having to ditch sweaters for a few months
- having no reason to stay indoors on the internet all day long
- local kids aren't in school, and are therefore annoying
- sunburn

Fanfic.

"From the folds of his robe he removed a shiny silver object; at my reduced height I could see it for what it was: a microphone, not unlike the Shure Beta 58A he gave to me whilst in the pit at the San Diego concert two short weeks ago. He held the microphone out at waist level, it's shiny silver knobbed head even with my face.

"Give me all that you have", he said. "Make it hurt. Make it hurt real good, now."

"I love the pain."

Suddenly the stockade burst open, and I was free! But I didn't run; instead, I clasped both hands around Trent's, and brought the microphone to my lips. "Perfect little dream, the kind that hurts the most," I uttered.

"Forgot how it feels?" Trent asked me?

"Well, almost." I replied."


May the With Teeth era of Trent Reznor fanfic rock on! :(

9.6.05

This disgusts me.

"A teenager who fears being subjected to female circumcision if she is returned to Sierra Leone has failed in a legal bid to seek sanctuary in the UK.

Zainab Fornah, 17, was refused asylum in 2003 and the Court of Appeal in London backed the decision on Thursday. Asylum seekers must come from a social group fearing persecution, but it was decided women facing genital mutilation did not fall into this category."

When we said we wanted you to cut down on immigration Tony, we didn't mean that you should start sending genuine people back to the fucking slaughterhouse. I am so deeply and thoroughly ashamed and outraged and at a complete loss as to what to do. The system, once again, lets down another kid.

[From BBC News]

Spotted 9/6/05

One girl with a waist as wide as my thigh!

Surprisingly, all her clothes fit. She was very tall, and very thin, and had a short fat friend in black lycra. Both wore gold Elizabeth Arden jewellery. Both had boyfriends.

8.6.05

Sugar Rush.

Sugar Rush is a Channel 4 drama about what it's like to be a teenage queergirl.

It's pretty accurate (and kind of pokes at me a little), to the point where I think it's a goddamned shame they've made it so explicit (why did they have to show the mother being fucked over a table by the decorator? Was that necessary?) because it would be a really useful thing to be shown in schools. Maybe there will be an edited version available? I'd like to think so. It's the first teen-based thing that I've seen that makes being gay look... normal. Shouldn't be allocated to late late Tuesday night where no one will see it, except the usual cruising candidates of men looking for girl-on-girl action to wank over.

It's based on the book of the same name written by Julie Burchill. Who, as I have just found out, is from the same city as me. Which is always an odd thing, because I never expect to not know who is from this city.

Link Dump 8/6/05

  • - Michael Moore is organising a free film festival for the people of Michigan. It's scheduled for the last weekend of July, there will be a wide range of films shown, from independent to the classics - Jaws and Casablanca are being considered, and there will be no political bias featured whatsoever. This is so cool.
  • - Buddyhead Gossip updates with some remarkably stupid pictures of Nine Inch Nails dressed up as pirates cholos*. And by stupid, I mean hilarious.
*I have been formally corrected by the wondrous eugenie.

7.6.05

Bush, that's just pitiful.

Is it any surprise that Bush will only send aid to stop Africa starving, and refuses to help them stand on their own two feet and gain independence, knowledge and an equal place in the world?

We can't let those niggers get too full of themselves, can we George? God knows, they'll be learning to read next! And marrying our women! And then what will we do?

Fat.

"'You're too fat to fuck.'

I was eating dinner in a cafe with a fellow I liked. I shouldn't have liked him, but I did. We were seated across from each other in a booth. I was eating a cheeseburger, holding the assemblage in both hands. Crisp around the edges, the bun was warm and squishy, squeezed between fingers and thumbs. It had been fried on the griddle, had soaked up meat grease, and my hands were getting greasy. I was glad that I was chewing and that my mouth was full."

~ The Weight on My Mind by Judith Moore.

6.6.05

Link Dump 7/6/05

  • - The first two free from the BBC Beethoven symphonies have gone up on their webpage (all nine will be up by the end of the week). One is over 50MB! They're tagged by the radio presenter with a comprehensive introduction, so even a classical n00b like me can consider themselves informed.
  • - Whoever edited Jools Oliver's book needs to be shot in the crotch. This is the worst writing I have ever read in my entire life, and for once, I'm not overexaggerating: "Within two months I was pregnant with Daisy, but I'm not going to write much about her as she's not that interesting. One of the best days was Poppy's first birthday, which just happened to fall on the same day she was born! WHAT a coincidence." What a fucking idiot.

Hospital meals.

It's a well known aspect of being in hospital that the food sucks. When I was in there last month, it wasn't so bad, I managed to have fresh salad most of the time. The main problem I think, was that there wasn't enough of it altogether - and that sentiment was shared by my fellow patients. I lost well over 5lbs in a week, doing nothing but sitting around killing time between meals waiting for surgery.

So, the remarks made by Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in this article piss me off, oh, just a tad. They can be summed up by this sentence: "He said nurses should be made responsible for ensuring patients eat properly."

Point one: if people aren't eating food in hospital, don't you think this might have something to do with the fact that they are in hospital? They're sick! They might not want to eat.

Point two: every day they make you tick a menu of choices so that they know what food you want to eat the next day. Sometimes that food isn't available, so a lot of the time, you're left choiceless and therefore with food that might be the equivalent of someone shitting on a plate and serving it up with watery gravy.

Point three: nurses can't make anyone eat anything. In the second hospital I stayed at, there was an old lady in the cubicle next to me. She didn't want to eat, and anything she did eat... well, lets just say it didn't stay in her for long, and there are things far worse than vomiting. Her family tried to make her eat. For hours. The nurses tried to make her eat. For hours. End result? She ate when she decided to, and not before. We are human beings with the ability to make our own decisions, let's not forget that.

It's not like the nurses couldn't care less about the people they care for - one morning I woke up with extremely low blood pressure and they made me drink a litre of water straight down, no protesting allowed. So it's not really a matter of them not doing their jobs. Any government suit that has the nerve to try and make out that they are lousy at what they do, day in, day out, with everything that they have to put up with in their line of work... well, they deserve a shotgun blast to the crotch. During my stay in hospital, the nurses were the most fabulous, kind and efficient people I have ever met (except the one who shot heperin into my goddamned muscle... ow). So it's nothing to do with that. It's all down to the crappy, claustraphobic, boring atmosphere; the lack of choice; and really, just something as simple as people being ill.

I am so goddamned sick of politicians taking a crack at people who work their asses off to take care of other people. No wonder we have so many issues with the health care system in this country.

I have issues with your website design.

The RIP extension for Firefox is one of my essential interweb things. Why? Well, it's basically a webpage content deletion tool. You right click, you delete what you hate, and not only does it disappear, it disappears permanently. Dangerous maybe, but it comes with an "undo" feature so you can always backtrack if necessary.

I use it to take out all my unspoken hatred against sites that clog my screen with annoying attention grabbing advertisements, shitty design, and unnecessary columns filled with crap I don't care about. Everyone needs to be in possession of this. It's a tool against internet rage.

Example: I hate BoingBoing's overadvertising bonanza (they seem to think that we actually want webpages to be choking with messages asking us to part with our money), but I actually quite like reading the content they publish. Not at all happy with adblock - the filters are tricky to configure in my opinion, I'm not inclined to learn otherwise, and the white spaces it leaves in place of the ads just suck - I deleted everything but the necessities. Turns out that there's actually a blog to be found beneath all the crap.

Before:



After:

Poseur.

My brother was a mod. I remember walking with my mum along the high street in Burnt Oak, where we lived in north London, and seeing my brother Barry with his little huddle, hair teased up into a cockatoo bouffant, jacket buttoned just right, leaning on a perfectly rolled gentleman's umbrella, its spike wedged in the pavement like some urban shooting stick."

~ Forever Mod by Robert Elms.

5.6.05

Downsizing.

If you've passed by in the last five hours or so, you might have noticed that I've done a little downsizing and reshuffling of overall site content/design - I made good on my realisation that the home page was basically wasting a lot of space.

As a result, I moved the content from home.html to the side bar here and deleted the useless page from the server. As a result everything should be a little more clean, minimal and easier to navigate. Let me know if it isn't.

Somewhere along the way I also wasted a lot of time trying to redesign this page into a three column layout: tried CSS, tried tables, swore a few times, and then ditched it all to compromise with the Blogger template. Sometimes, it's just not worth the bother. However, I did tweak the design enough to be pleased with it. May those stupid vertical pink lines never return.

3.6.05

Schreck.

"So now they wear something they call the secret insignia of the right-wing scene: New Balance shoes. The "N" on the shoes is supposed to stand for "national," something that would never occur to mothers. They download songs by bands like Störkraft (Disturbing Force) and sport closely-cropped hair. And instead of making them outcasts in their school, their music and their haircuts are even considered hip in German schools these days.

Quietly and persistently, a new youth culture has developed in both the eastern and western parts of Germany. It's Germanic and xenophobic and potentially explosive."

~ Shock Mom and Dad: become a Neo-Nazi by Dominik Cziesche, Conny Neumann, Barbara Schmid, Caroline Schmidt, Markus Verbeet, and Steffen Winter. Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan.

Bad Wolf site goes live.

I stole that title from a post on Popbitch. They also gave me the link to the Bad Wolf BBC site.

There are clues, there are theories, there are revelations... all neatly tied up in blue flash and skin crawling creepy music. I can't wait until the end of the series.

Link Dump 3/6/05

  • - Scotch Ostrich Egg. Words cannot express how awesome this is, and how hungry it makes me.
  • - Gig Etiquette: A Simple Guide. For everyone attending the London NIN gigs in the summer, I expect you all to adhere to these unwritten laws. And please don't elbow me!

2.6.05

Spotted.

One ferociously angry man in a baseball cap, jacket and blue checked shirt screaming at police officers in the doorway of Superdrug.

Apparently they wouldn't give him a refund.

1.6.05

Gorillaz - Demon Days review.

I'm really enjoying "Demon Days" - the new Gorillaz album. It has a late night quality to it, reminds me of the nights I've walked at 2am through a silent yellow-lit Bedminster on my way home after seeing a band at the Fleece and Firkin. Reminds me of all those thoughts you let yourself have when you're walking alone at night because not only is no one else around, but they're all probably unconscious (besides the ones that want to rape and mug and kill you). They won't even hear you if you scream. And then suddenly, there's this huge amount of untapped power conjured up from the inner coils of your own brain.

So it's got a lone reflective quirky quality: not particularly upbeat or downbeat, but even and thoughtful and interesting. As if a secret world you forgot about is flashing by and everything, good or bad, is equal to each other, there for your casual perusal.

Favorite tracks include "Feel Good Inc" (the first single from the album, and the one that caught my ear in the first place, owing to the awesome lines contributed from De La Soul), "Kids with Guns", "El Manana", "White Light" and "Fire coming out from the Monkey's Head". The last one is a really odd song about tribes and culture and the invasion of strangers, something that would be considered out of place if it weren't from a band that is basically animated and out of place in the pop market anyway.

I didn't even expect to like this album. But I suppose, that's the whole point of the band's existence: no one expects what they deliver, and what they do deliver, is something you shouldn't expect in the first place. A very twisty human album.