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Archive for October, 2003

Ugh. Edinburgh, what are they doing to you?

Posted: October 30th, 2003, by Chris H

As if handing over a fat chunk of the regeneration budget to the cloth-eared fuckwads at MTV wasn’t enough (‘cos the capital’s coke dealers need the extra trade now there’s a bit of a banking recession, presumably), at the same time, NATO is invading:

“‘After Iraq – a new transatlantic consensus? NATO at a crossroads!’ As well as high ranking military chiefs and political leaders, the 49th meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Association will also be attended by top executives of the world’s largest arms manufacturers including BAe and Lockheed Martin. Among those attending will be Supreme Allied Commander of Europe: General James L Jones (USA); Geoff Hoon, MP Secretary of State for Defence (United Kingdom); US Ambassador to the UK: Ambassador Nicholas Burns; Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, PC, Secretary General, NATO and Russian Ambassador to the UK: Ambassador Yuri B. Kashlev. Events will also include a Royal reception at Holyrood Palace, an evening on the Royal Yacht Britannia, a trip to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and a visit to Stirling Castle”

This is from the 4th-8th November and the schedule is up on Indymedia. Go spoil their party.

If I hadn’t spent half my life in the town, I’d advocate nuking the EICC.

I need a shower after thinking about this. And don’t get me started on this Musicworks pish either.

I should maybe follow Simon’s example….

I took the day off today

Posted: October 29th, 2003, by Simon Minter

Most people’s response to me saying I was doing this (it’s a Wednesday today) was to say “why?”, and there was a remarkable amount of surprise to my response of “no reason, really”.

Taking the day off for no reason, really is a great thing. It has reminded me that I do not exist to get up, go to work, and come back from work feeling tired. It has reminded me that the weekends used to be about more than resting and recuperating before another week of work. Today I have done these things:

– get up late
– watch a movie
– watch some tv
– write some e-mails
– do some writing
– listen to records

And I’ve done them all at a relaxed pace. I feel richer deep within my soul for this. It’s good to do nothing much for a while – it’s not lazy, it’s not a waste of time. Give it a try!

weird american things

Posted: October 14th, 2003, by Ollie

ok then, taking a cue from chris h, here is my ‘weird american things’ list.

– middle aged women like my accent.

– people drive like insane crazy loons. i have seen more accidents in the last three and a half months than i had in the previous 22 years. i’m not looking forward to learning to drive.

– a lot of people seem to think i’m from london, possibly because it’s the only english place they know.

– a lot of people regard me as simply being ‘from europe’ like there is america and then the rest of the world.

– meat is very popular on sticks.

– american curry isn’t as bad as you’d think.

– americans take charity shopping to bold new levels.

– the omnipresence of advertising is incredible. some days i feel i can’t open my eyes without being told to buy something.

– americans say “i could care less” instead of “i couldn’t care less” which makes absolutely no sense at all.

– the boss was correct when he sung ’57 channels and nothing on’.

– there are big scary killer insects and animals everywhere. locusts, raccoons, possums, groundhogs, and every other big silly weird thing you could imagine. including the guy pictured below who was without a doubt a big scary evil bastard killer.

[picture lost forever, oh no! – ed]

that’s it for now, there is probably more that i may post at a later date. chris h’s new article made me a little homesick. i kind of miss cycling everywhere, something i never thought i’d say. chris s’s beefheart stuff was pretty great too wasn’t it. to keep someone like me who knows nothing interested all through that stuff is no mean feat.

lastly, i am a jobless pauper who can’t afford to buy any records. if anyone would like to send me tapes or cd-rs or anything at all really, please get in touch.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Posted: October 7th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

Aw, everyone’s been doing much more exciting things than me. My weekend was mostly spent putting together exciting new content for diskant (lots on the way, keep an eye out), playing Zelda: Ocarina of Time (yes, I know it’s taking me actual years to complete) and managing quite well not to spend money even when faced with records and hamtaro things.

We did also go and see Pirates of the Caribbean in random Saturday night ‘want to go to the cinema, what’s on?’ thing. It was the only film on at the right time that we both kind of wanted to see and it was surprisingly fun. I only realised after it finished that I hadn’t found any spare time during it for my mind to wander on to other things. The plot’s very Disney (a happy-go-lucky mix of pirates, treasure and CURSES) and at times made no sense at all but it was all highly enjoyable and a bit stupid. Johnny Depp mightily fun as Bad Pirate Who Is Also Kind Of Good (a complex character for Disney there) and Orlando Bloom does ‘Orlando Bloom pretends to be a pirate’. Jeez, the guy can’t act. He just does ‘Orlando Bloom pretends to be an Elf’ and changes it slightly. I kept expecting him to peer through the rigging and shout, “They are taking the Hobbits to Isengard!”. He is very likeable though in a sort of dumb puppy falling down the stairs way. The last twenty minutes had enough plot ‘twists’ to keep anyone entertained but the actual ending was unbelievably lame like they realised the film was actually getting too fun and exciting and they better quickly simplify it into ‘boy gets girl, THE END, GO HOME NOW’.


Posted: October 6th, 2003, by Dave Stockwell

To continue Ollie’s admirable ascent unto the upper reaches of American Noise (TM), I thought I’d share about Sightings‘ European debut last night. On record, Sightings are something I find very difficult to adequately describe or evaluate. Their records are very much more an experience rather than some kind of tangible “enjoyment”, so I jumped at the chance of deconstructing the mystique of exactly how they make noises so harsh and tinny by seeing them perform in the flesh.

Now I’ve seen them (and got some pretty nasty tinnitus, which I expect to last a good couple of days yet), I’m happy to report that Sightings are very much more a conventional live “power trio” than I’d been led to believe – albeit one where the drums are played through contact microphones and the guitarist who has his “instrument” set to EvilNoiseBastard permanently. My general impression was that Sightings are doing their utmost to violate and disseminate the corpse of early ’80s NoWave armed solely with shards of glass and a knowledge of what is damaging to the human ear (that’s the guitarist placing metal rods under his strings and failing to play anything remotely resembling a tune or even recognisable notes rather than frequencies*). They have a habit of taking one very basic primal riff, and then playing through some evil squealy effects pedals. Unfortunately, this often meant that the bassist & drummer were doing very little but hit the same basic rhythm whilst the guitarist flailed around for five minutes at a time, but when they bothered to develop ideas into some kind of full flow, Sightings really started to take over all your senses and drag you down a path towards utter sensory destruction.

When I saw the infamous Black Dice earlier in the year, what I enjoyed so much about them was the sheer experience of the effect that the sound had on my body; this is what Sightings appeared to be aiming for – if from a different angle – and fitfully, they pulled it off. On the first night of a tour and with unfamiliar rented gear, it took them a while to get going. I’d anticipate that if you see them on upcoming date, they may well have got their confidence together enough to give your head a suitably punishing trouncing. They’re currently on a very brief European tour, so go check ’em out – if your ears are prepared to take the abuse.

*This is not a criticism.