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Archive for January, 2003

Snow reading

Posted: January 31st, 2003, by Dave Stockwell

I don’t know what the weather is like near you, but hopefully you’re reading this a long way from the south-east of England. Yesterday, a journey that normally takes me barely the length of Lightning Bolt‘s Fleeing the Valley of Whirling Knives (about ten minutes for those of you not fortunate enough to have heard such a marvel) instead took me approximately 2.5 hours by car, and another 60 minutes on foot – once said vehicle had been abandoned in a nearby Bat-cave.

But no matter! For such times are to be treasured. Cooped up behind a windscreen bearing the brunt of 8 inches of snow that was being hand delivered by gales, I was able to curl up (as much as you can whilst behind the wheel of an automobile) with a remarkable book translated into English from Japanese a couple of years ago. It was called Asleep by one Banana Yoshimoto. Three short stories with thematic links of epiphanies that sleep can deliver and take away, it was a book I had picked up in my local library because it had a nice cover. It also reminded me of an old friend from Singapore who would insist on calling herself ‘Banana,’ because her first language was English. Though we always did our best to placate and cajole her at these times, all our efforts to assuage her ego would always be in vain – her confusion about her cultural identity had long ago created a vicious circle of self-loathing which we could never break. The sadder, more tender moments of this book frequently reminded me of her, and brought out some dusty nostalgia within me.

During this time, I was able to enjoy uninterrupted two Leonard Cohen albums, and a preview of Reynolds’ Love Songs, whilst yearning for a camera to record the finer moments of a day that surely won’t be repeated any day soon.

Eventually, cabin fever broke my spirit, and I soon found myself wandering home through the gridlock, listening to Spiderland, and helping out the odd driver suffering from that lethal combination of icy slopes and useless clutch control. Finally, about five minutes away from home, I threw myself into a ditch of deep unspoilt snow. Though my journey had left me largely dry and warm, it had to be done.This truly is the stuff Douglas Coupland short stories used to be made of. (Whilst in the library, I also picked up a copy of possibly his finest hour Girlfriend In A Coma, for the grand total of 20 pence. The first person to email me can have it, if they feel they’re suitably deserving.)

Good technology / Bad technology

Posted: January 30th, 2003, by Chris H

Good technology: Bikes! On the way home last night the air was crisp, the road was dry, the chain was freshly oiled and I could zip around as I pleased. Don’t like that street, stop turn and go this way instead. MInd full of nothing but wheels and legs.

Bad technology: Passwords and Email! Anyone who’s sent anything to “moviemaster at diskant dot net” recently, or even just replied to a message from me that seems to have been ignored: I didn’t get it. I’ve only now realised there’s a problem and until I can remember the password that wasn’t being used I can’t get those emails. So anything important: please resend it, to “chrish at diskant dot net”. That address was delayed but is now working ok.

Damnit! I was really looking forward to those stolen Nigerian IMF loans too. How’m I going to pay for the condo this month?

Twelve paces behind the cool kids

Posted: January 27th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

diskant finally notices that Pitchfork have a new design and a new weblog thing called Repeat. Don’t think much of the redesign [the vertical menu is just…wrong!] but the weblog, where they’re writing short bits about single songs, is looking pretty cool. I’ll go add it to our links then.

I don’t like anything at the moment but I can tell you I hate sitting doing nothing, sitting reading books, trying to remember to take bright orange pills three times a day and dealing with the damned housing benefit fools. I don’t even know what day it is.

on saturday we went to see some bands. hurray!

Posted: January 21st, 2003, by Ollie

two great, two not quite as great. first on were akira who suffered from the age old snare drum rattle problem, which seemed to last throughout their whole set. i know they’ve been around for some time, and that being the first time i’d ever heard them, i don’t want to cast (too much) judgement, but they didn’t seem to really do a great deal. the first song sounded like blew by nirvana, which is probably as good an indicator as any.

next, charlottefield who were really very good indeed. i hadn’t heard of them until the day before the gig, and had no idea what to expect, but ten seconds in they were rocking out and i was loving it. they had shouts and stoppy-starty-swingy-roundy riffs and, probably most importantly, they seemed like a competent band, which the previous band sadly didn’t. i’m on the look out for their new 7″ on jonson family.

minutes to live feature three members of crs* along with one sexy bitch on bass. this was their first gig, and they played three songs. it was hard to know what to make of it, as nothing seemed that clearly defined (not that that’s a problem in itself, but there were a few times when the songs went nowhere, and left me feeling unsatisfied). still, it’s very early days…

finally, after months of anticipation, cat on form took to the stage. once i had overcome the shame of being made to feel like the tubby bastard that i am by steve and dan’s skinny shirtless antics, they proved to be my favourite band of the evening. the one thing that struck me overall is that the conviction and yes, the anger of these guys just doesn’t let up for a second. recently i mentioned how bands rarely play with that unabashed fury that first made rock music so exciting to me, and i was very pleased to see that cat on form apparently share my views. there was lots of leaping around and falling over and shouting and more shouting and sweating. i also decided when left-hand-side guitarist/shouter dan was lying at my feet scratching at the floor that he is possibly the tiniest human being i have ever seen. they played ‘back off man i’m a scientist’, my favourite song from their recent vacuous pop 7″ and it was mighty good. i hope they come back, this city needs bands like them to play here.

in other news, i just got a shitload of blood drained from my arm, and i have to go back tomorrow so they can drain some more cos they couldn’t get enough today. i’m covered in puncture wounds and i hate illness. me and marceline should start some kind of sick kids club, where you have to be pastey white and be calcium deficient to join.

On Saturday I met somebody preparing to go to Iraq

Posted: January 19th, 2003, by Chris H

Not as a soldier, as a volunteer human shield. His name’s Stephen, he’s 31 and in certifed good mental and physical health. He says he’s going because he’s not prepared to live in a world where people stand by and let evil things happen. I said I thought he was crazy but it came out sounding more harsh than I intended. Benevolently Crazy beats Malevolently Sane in my book and it’s not him I’d rather see on a bridge under bombardment.

15th February is a Global Day of Action (and not just Europe and North America, either) against the coming war and, obligingly, Tony Blair will be here at the SECC in Glasgow. Do come along and say hello to him.

Yesterday I had my driving licence taken away

Posted: January 15th, 2003, by Simon Minter

I have been disqualified for six months and told that if I am caught driving a vehicle within those six months, I’ll be liable for up to a £5,000 fine and a possible six months’ imprisonment. SO, I don’t think I’ll be risking it. But anyway, here are my top three tips for appearing in court:

(1) Smarten yourself up. Wear a tie, get a haircut.
(2) Don’t be cocky. If you know you did a bad thing, don’t try and get out of it.
(3) Be prepared to kiss ass. Nobody except the people in the court can hear you.

Follow these rules and you should be okay. It worked for me, in a way – I was actually told that because of my frank and honest attitude that instead of getting a fine (of up to £1,000) as well as a ban, that the ban itself was punishment enough.

But this whole deal has made me realise that, when it comes down to it, I just want an easy, stress-free life.

Good things on Pitchfork I noticed

Posted: January 13th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

– a very good sum up of Ride‘s career reviewing OX4 and joining the general consensus that Nowhere actually contains almost all of Ride’s ‘greatest hits’.

– excellent handwritten personal account of Pavement‘s “cocky, atrocious and clever” Slanted and Enchanted.

Nice work.


Posted: January 10th, 2003, by Ollie

well today, after months of hefty decision making, i changed my email address. it was formerly racing_the_tide@hotmail.com which was named after an old mercury rev song that i always had a certain fondness for. however, after witnessing the grotesque cabaret that was mercury rev at the junction last year, i decided a change was due.

cue 6 months of toiling over what to change it to. i wanted to steer away from obvious musical references (song titles, lyrics) but found that i really couldn’t think of anything else. yesterday, i gave in, and created miss_american_hair_pie@hotmail.com, named after a song by arab on radar. this seemed funny and cool and weird and most importantly a far cry from a mercury rev reference. everything was great. that was until last night when i was recounting the tale to kim, who kindly told me what a hair pie actually was. time for a rethink.

luckily today was a fucking slack day at work, and i had lots of time to think about this. i was reminded of a nickname i somehow picked up whilst dealing with carnyhand?! a while ago….


n : (jewish folklore) a demon that enters the body of a living person and controls that body’s behavior [syn: dybbuk]

…and lo, this afternoon ollie_dibbuk@hotmail.com was born. the children sang and danced in the streets while the mothers wept. “can it be true?” they cried! yes, yes it can. racing_the_tide is dead. long live ollie_dibbuk!

(all this seem a bit much to you? yes, me too, but i have to liven up my working day somehow.)

stuff i like

Posted: January 6th, 2003, by Ollie

ok ok, so my plan to kick-start the blog by spurring a frenzy of blazin’ squad appreciation didn’t go completely to plan. still, people are blogging again, so i might as well join in with the ‘stuff i like’ lists…

sweet lord yes!
those new chocolate bars with smarties in
chocolate in general
the horrible christmas rush at work being over
cold crisp mornings

hell no!
cold crisp mornings
bouncing rent cheques
money/banks/the western world in general
that guy from busted’s eyebrows, terrifying

i’ll have some of that action

Posted: January 5th, 2003, by Simon Minter

i’ll have some of that action

Things I like:
– My Beach Boys car tape which spans their whole career and Brian Wilson’s descent into loopydom within 45 minutes
– The film, 24 Hour Party People
– Oxford, which so far appears to be even more beautiful than Reading
– My new Bialetti coffee maker

Things I don’t like:
– The very real, imminent possibility of a driving ban due to getting caught speeding too many times. And yes, I KNOW it’s my own fault
– Coldness