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Archive for April, 2003


Posted: April 28th, 2003, by Ollie

The above is an indicator of the calibre of music I was subjected to in the latter half of my Saturday night. Luckily, before I was plunged head first into a rather surreal UK Garage hell, I was fortunate enough to attend the very final Why Can’t We Just All Get Along shindig at Nottingham’s Junction 7. For a somewhat amazing ?2 you got 4 bands, bargain central I say. First on was Brown Owl who did the whole math-rock thing (remember that?), plucking for crunching rather than soothing. The overall opinion of people I spoke to was that they needed more vocals, but I think they did just fine as they were, a great opening band.

Next, stepping up with less than 24 hours notice, Scout Niblett sang and played drums, and then sang and played guitar, and then shouted, and then rocked out with some big old riffs. The number of people rammed into the room meant that apart from the few in front of the stage, no one could see more than the top of a blonde wig, but the general strangeness meant she went down quite well.

After some more oddness in the form a bearded man and his rather worrying monkey friend, the spectacular Unit Ama stepped up. Not too sure how to describe them, but each song of theirs was an exercise in building things up with angular schkrings and yelping vocals, before breaking things down until the guitarist and bassist were leaping around pulling disjointed shards of noise from their instruments held at arm’s length, as if they were saying “WHY….WON’T…THIS….DAMN….GUITAR….WORK?!!” over and over again. Tremendous stuff.

More monkey things, and then curators of the evening Wolves! (Of Greece) proceeded to shred every eardrum in the room. There were two very clear signs that something special was happening. Firstly, the singer was covered in blood from the outset, and secondly, by the time they finished their relatively long set, at an epic 20 minutes, one of the speakers was smoking. Blinding was a word that sprung to mind at the time. As recently pointed out by someone at Skippy’s Cage, Wolves are a band that people will claim to like because the music is very challenging and difficult to listen to, so they can see themselves as hip or whatever, but it is obvious that the motives behind the band are a world away from fitting into any trendy new experimental/noise/hardcore clique. They do also exert more energy in one short set that most bands could in about twenty, which is no mean feat.

A wonderful evening. Thanks to Chris Thrash for introducing me to the joys of, amongst other things, The Ex-Models, and to my wisdom tooth infection (urgh) for introducing me to the sorrow of non-alcoholic beer.


Posted: April 27th, 2003, by Simon Minter

The incorporation of Paypal into eBay has been incredibly damaging on my pocket. Now I can buy things from all over the world without having to leave the (relative) comfort of my red office chair. This could be a good thing – after all, eBay is like the best record shop in the world – but have they given no thought to those of us with absolutely no sense of self control?

The Oscars

Posted: April 17th, 2003, by Dave Stockwell

Everyone knows the Oscars suck (especially this year), but on the 15th April they were the cause of one good thing happening to Region 1 DVDs. Miraculously enough, diskant’s favourite anime director HAYAO MIYAZAKI won this year’s “Best Animated Feature” category, with Spirited Away. This has spurred the usually evil Buena Vista Entertainment into capitalising on Miyazaki’s new-found fame (?) and releasing ‘special editions’ of three of his films – all of which have previously been a bugger to track down: Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle In The Sky, and Spirited Away itself. Even better, despite having high-gloss English soundtracks with such amazing actors as Minnie Driver and Dawson out of Dawson’s Creek doing the dubbing, they’ve all got the original Japanese language versions too; unlike the shitty R1 version of Miyazaki’s best film My Neighbour Totoro (apparently this too will be rereleased by Buena Vista as a special edition in cooperation with Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli, once they’ve wrenched the rights to it away from those nasty cash hounds at Fox Entertainment. I’m not sure when though).

Also, I’d previously never rated Roger Avary much as a scriptwriter or director, but Rules Of Attraction is pretty much everything the adaptation of a Bret Easton Ellis novel I had hoped Mary Hannon’s disappointingly limp farce American Psycho would be.


Posted: April 14th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

The other day, Fate sent me to see the BEST FILM EVER. Originally intending to go see The Rules of Attraction, tickets sold out at the precise second we got to the ticket desk. Snap decision and we instead went to see THE CORE. Anyone who has seen the trailer will no doubt have been similarly amazed and hysterical as we were at the film concept. In a nutshell – the core of the earth has stopped spinning, END OF WORLD! DOOM! etc. but it’s okay ‘cos we can send some brave young people into the centre of the earth to fix it with NUCLEAR WEAPONS – undoubtably best plot ever. It’s hard now for me to fully explain the marvellousness of this film in that it is even better than the trailer would have you believe. The plotline is stupendously idiotic and unscientific but that doesn’t daunt any of them for a second. Before the film even gets going properly it has a space shuttle landing in central Los Angeles, something that in any other film would have been the major event. But not for The Core, oh no. It then introduces a complete set of disaster movie cliche heroes and villians [plucky young girl, careworn old mentor, supercilious evil scientist, rugged hero, foreign expert with wife and kids, ‘crazy’ inventor] and sends them into the centre of the earth in a specially developed rollercoaster made of concrete to save the world. Hurray. They then go through a series of disaster movie cliches, people start dying in fantastic ways, everything goes horribly wrong, they come up wth a Plan B, defy the People In Charge with the help of a GEEK HACKER and some whales and save the day. Double hurray! There are too many best bits to even think about mentioning and without giving away every single minute of the film. Definite highlight is that they do manage to do the ‘ship broken, must go outside and fix it’ cliche despite being in the centre of the earth and they stand about wearing ‘pressure suits’ that look like they’re made of rubber and plastic. In the centre of the earth! The only way they could have bettered this scene would have been to have a giant lava monster jump out and eat someone. Seriously, GO SEE THE CORE.

Two more reasons why Mogwai are Tremendous

Posted: April 10th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

Buy em now from their website. [And that’ll be their new, fancy website so that link immediately stopped working and now they seem to have sold out of the tshirts as well. Gah]

See also Wee Stuart having it out with John Battsek, the producer of that Britpop documentary Live Forever in The Scotsman.

Stuart: “If by influential you mean Hirst has opened the door for a plethora of like-minded chancers to exploit the swamp of postmodern Britain by churning out similarly banal, contemptuous artefacts and that Albarn is a multi-talented multi-faceted composer/musician in the sense that he has spread his soulless drivel over a variety of musical genres then you are correct.”

The other guy gets the best put-down though: “Maybe you were too busy printing T-shirts and missed it.”. HO ho. Oh dear.


Posted: April 2nd, 2003, by Ollie

I feel an attempt to discuss the current state of the word in an articulate and valid way would be an exercise in futility. Like Marceline said, it’s near impossible to take account of the whole sphere of issues and collect them into neat little sentences, and right now even thinking about it for more than 10 minutes at a time makes me very unhappy indeed. See? Even know I sound like a complete fool, so I’ll change the subject…

THE INTERNET! There’s a good one. I’ve been giving a lot of thought of late. Well, the internet in the terms of how I and probably a lot of people reading this might use it. So far I haven’t come to many solid conclusions, but there are a lot of interesting things to think about. There is pretty much one reason I will bother to look at anything on here, and that is music (dun dun duh!) and obviously this is how I stumbled across diskant and many other sites of a similar vein. Nowadays, or at least recently, this has turned into a seemingly endless pursuit to hear new things that excite me, which seems to manifest itself in the purchase of more records than I can afford. The centre of this activity for some time has rather predictably been that wretched hive of scum and villainy, Ebay. Now, it has long ago occurred to me and no doubt many of you, that spending one’s time simply acquiring possessions (which is what it is at the end of the day) does not a worthwhile existence make. I have a big list of the records I own up on Skylabcommerce, so that other people can see how great I am at what I do. I am under no illusion that this is the most horrifically anal and inexcusably geeky thing that I could be doing, but hear me out. For a long time I bought the latest CDs from latest bands that NME had decided that I should like, because that was all the exposure to anything vaguely interesting that I was exposed to in my happy little middle-class town. This lasted for some years, until I saw fit to further this pastime and invest in a shiny new computer. And lo, all of a sudden, I was given choices. There was literally a world of information at my fingertips, and I was bombarded with bold new ideas and ways of doing things that I would have probably been blissfully unaware of if I’d stuck to the safe old NME. And now, some years on, I still discover new things everyday that remind me why listening to music is exciting to me. I say listening, because I am one of the few who have never made the transition from passive spectator to a doer. I feel that this, while apparently branding me worthless in the eyes of some on the other side of the spectrum, does allow me to see things objectively. This is kind of irrelevant, and not what I was aiming at, but I do feel some minor glimmer of self importance in that I can feel how I want about a band, without the worry of having to appear to ‘do any better’. Anyway! Had it not been for the internet, I would not have been given said choices. This is why, despite the endless amounts of bilge that riddles this place, I do feel like it will always be a vitally important thing in terms of kids and music. My account with Skylab may generate many mocking remarks in those who simply see it as me ‘showing off’ in some pathetic manner, in fact I myself cringe a tiny bit everytime I look at the page, but it is one of the few ways I am able to hear the things I would otherwise not be able to. It’s very easy to condemn such activity if you come from, or live in a place where things are happening around you which excite you. Those who live in the places where stuff does appear to actually ‘happen’ (London, Nottingham, wherever) do not know the struggles of those of us shut away in our bedrooms trying desperately to be impressed, amazed, or sometimes even mildly amused. Damn, this is getting quite long. All this stuff stops me from completely condemning things like Makeoutclub, which while on the surface is solely frequented by the most despicable hipster/scenester scum, I’m sure it is for a lot of kids, the only way they have to meet people of a like mind. If there weren’t these few things which remind people that there are things going on outside in the world, then there would I’m sure be even more filthy ben sherman clad macca fuckwits roaming the streets. These things actually have the ability to save kids from the horrible inevitability of a working in a bank, going down the pub on a friday night/picking a fight on the way home, 2 weeks in Ibiza every year lifestyle that so many young people already subscribe to.

FUCK KNOWS what I’m talking about now. As usual I can’t convey how I feel with mere words. Contrary to popular belief, I’m a simple boy, and I don’t need much to make me happy. The love of a good woman, and knowing there are a few boxes of vinyl in my living room are more than enough