Welcome

diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

Archive for December, 2003

End of the year

Posted: December 29th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

While trying to think of something to play yesterday I had a sudden realisation that I had almost missed the window of opportunity to most suitably listen to Low‘s Christmas album. So out it came and I’ve been listening to it on and off today at work (and with only six of us the office I can actually hear it as well). If they piped this through shops during December I might not go mental so quickly. Go dig it out if you’ve forgotten it yourself.

I see the 2003 Best Ofs are getting off the ground too. Ours are in the pipeline but, judging by the first batch of votes, it’s going to be as wideranging and random as last year with hardly any two people voting for the same record. We seem to be more in agreement (more commercial?) when it comes to films.

Having been particularly skint this year it’s not altogether surprising how few of Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of 2003 I’ve heard, let alone own. A mere 5 to be exact. Number owned = 0. More worrying is the fact that I have heard of less than 50% of the artists. I fear I may be becoming Out Of Touch. Oh well.

EXCITING MP3 ROUND-UP 2003

Posted: December 22nd, 2003, by Ollie

ok, so it’s not that exciting, but i felt the need to say a few words about soulseek since it’s been so kind to me this year. i got out of the habit of file sharing about 2 years ago, but this year scarce funds and months of unemployment have thrown me right back into it. since the demise of napster and audiogalaxy, i never really found anything that had much i wanted to hear. i never got all the fuss over kazaa, seemed crap to me. soulseek on the other hand is wonderful and i’m sad i didn’t discover it earlier. as well as getting random stuff i wanted to hear but couldn’t afford to buy, i also managed to find a bunch of stuff that i would have had no other way of hearing ever. i’m talking old random demo tapes, stupid ‘limited edition of four’ 7″s and lots of other obscure live bits and pieces that have somehow surfaced on slsk, and thus made me very happy. here are some highlights:black dice and wolf eyes – chimes in black water vol. 1

caroliner – wine won’t do it, wife won’t do

the champs – triumph of the air elementals

earth – phase 3: thrones and dominions

the heads – relaxing with…

hella – 3 track demo cd-r

khanate – live on wfmu

neutral milk hotel – beauty

neutral milk hotel – hype city

neutral milk hotel – invent yourself a shortcake

sleep – demo

sleep – volume one

sleep – volume two

wolf eyes – strangled in filth

wolf eyes / emil beaulieau – split

i would have had no other way of hearing all stuff had some kind person not decided to share them. i heard yesterday that some record companies had lost a court case where they wanted to be given the names of file sharers, which made me quite happy. i’m sure slsk will go the way of all the others at some point, either shutting down or offering a subscription service, but i’m still thankful in the meantime for all the gems i’ve picked up. i’d be totally happy if the riaa made it so their cds couldn’t be shared, leaving the rest of us to hear the stuff we want. the stuff i would like to hear that’s covered by the riaa is all stuff i could just go out and buy if i ever get that desperate, so it wouldn’t make a huge difference to me and i’m sure countless others if their stuff wasn’t available to download anymore. i wish they could sort themselves out and leave things like slsk alone for those who are just interested in independent stuff.

some handy links:

soulseek

riaa radar

Henry Rollins’ journal

Posted: December 19th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

I am stuck in the living room at my girlfriends house. In the adjoining kitchen is a grasshopper the size of my hand. Sure, it doesn’t look like it’s up to much but I can see it thinking. And you know what? It’s thinking about when it’s going to land on my face. I don’t intend to give it the chance.

So, I thought I would take time to type up a document I found in the toilet on the plane over here. It was written in red ink on journal paper and appears to be some fresh writing from none other than Henry Rollins himself. As someone who has read much of his work I feel it’s my duty to publish it for the world. I only wish he’d dropped more of it in the john. Enjoy:

September 18, Los Angeles

Woke up same as normal. By repeatedly punching myself in the face to break from the false world of DREAM. Dream is evil. It is the temptation to break from what is REAL. In this dream I was at a fun fair with a friend. We were on the merry go round, screaming and laughing. As the cars went round in circles our legs were pushed together. I woke up with an erection so I punched that too.

September 19, Los Angeles

I was eating the bleeding heart of a cow with 4 raw eggs in my favourite coffee shop style tortured beat poet hangout in the trendy upmarket area of LA that I live in, when a woman approached me and asked if I was Henry Rollins. In my mind I saw myself get up from my seat and pound her pretty face into pulp.

?MY NAME IS HENRY ROLLINS BUT YOU CAN?T MAKE ME TELL YOU WHO I AM?.

But I answered yes.

She told me she was a fan of my work. But she told me she was a PIG. And she told me she was offended by the ?anti-police? content of my ?work?. Who the fuck do these people think they are? I think back to my tortured youth spent living in Mr and Mrs Ginns purpose built office, them bringing out milk and cookies to me while I picked dried cum off my gym shorts with my fingernails. The PIGS never did me any favors then, I think. I think about my adolescent pig-beating masturbation fantasies. It?s then that I snap out of it and realise I am dribbling cow blood and egg white down my moleskin slacks. The PIG looks horrified as I tell her to fuck off. I cannot believe PIGS consider themselves people or worse that they are doing anything good in their weak, pathetic lives.

I have to head back to my pad as a journalist from some newspaper is calling to profile me in advance of my upcoming spoken word tour. I walk back to my pad, carefully avoiding the fact that, by creating moral panics to sell copies, the newspaper she writes for is probably just as directly to blame for the ?attitude? of the police and the general public than the PIG I met earlier and I am about to sit down and help the newspaper out. Sure is great to be me.

September 20, Los Angeles

Wake up late. Do 860 push ups in the nude in my garden. Drink coffee. Kill neighbours cat for being representative of the lazy lay-about nature of the modern human. Rub faeces and cat brains into my chest and thighs. Masturbate. Go to bed.

September 21, Los Angeles

Before my upcoming spoken word tour I have a few European shows with my band, called The Rollins Band after me, Henry Rollins. I walk to our rehearsal space, a shitty run down garage styled hangout near my pad that I am describing here to reassure you, the reader, that I will never stray from my punk rock roots and what is real. I was in Black Flag. With that fucking wankshit cuntface Greg Ginn SPIT SPIT SPIT

who is the greatest guitar player ever and a constant source of inspiration to me even now. The air conditioner isn?t working when I get there and my personal assistant Maurice has ONCE MORE forgotten to stock the fridge with asparagus hearts. This is the rage I need to play and I play hard. The band is hot. Hot and tight. We will DESTROY on this upcoming tour on which I expect I will debate endlessly with myself and my journal about whether I like music, these people, the crowd (doubtful) etc etc reaching no conclusions I can act upon but filling 155 pages of hardback splendor available from my publishing company.

September 22, Los Angeles

Today we fly out to Europe. Being in Economy puts you in with the masses, the American masses. It?s like a wake up call to how much people stink. Their rotting bodies writhing back and forth in their tiny chairs. Their obese bellies fighting with their obese arms as they spill the shitty aircraft food onto their immediate neighbor. Dirty, diseased children fight each other for control of computer games designed to divert their attention away from the freedom of youth and bury them early into the grave of consumerism. Economy is the place to really see the world for what it really is.

Which is why I always always fly first class.

As a coincidence I am today seated next to a fellow actor; Ted Danson.. When the cabin attendant comes round I note with horror that Teddy Boy opts for a light Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil dressing for his Four Leaf salad. He must have moved out of LA as everyone I hang with wouldn?t be seen dead nibbling on a rocket leaf covered with anything except lime and crushed chili.

Later in the flight Ted asks me to kindly change into some pants as my miniscule black gym shorts are drawing attention to the veins in my legs and Ted says it looks like worms are crawling around under my skin.

September 23, London

Yesterday we arrived early evening in London, England and I hooked up with my band who took an earlier flight to save money. I am so disgusted with this wound of a city that I found it impossible to write in my journal last night so I put my laptop back in my bag and concentrated on getting to the hotel.

The streets of night time London are filled to breaking point with prostitutes and drug addicts, each one selling or abusing themselves for a cheaper, more immediate short term high. Drug addicts make me sick. I would never pollute my veins with evil, my body is a temple. A great big, rippling, brilliant, masculine temple.

I can?t wait to get back to the USA as later this year we are opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who really are swell guys. Being American I see no irony in this.

Hi all. I am in Australia

Posted: December 18th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

Its HOT as a bastard. And a mosquito bit my index finger yesterday and it’s swollen up so I can’t play guitar even.

Which brings me on nicely to a venture I have in mind for late January when i get back to good old cold Blighty. THE NICE GUITAR SHOP. A revolution in buying guitars. A shop THAT TREATS YOU WITH RESPECT and (get this) doesnt rip you off by ONLY SELLING GOOD STUFF. wow. You’d think someone would have though of it before. Small business advisors watch out, I’m after a loan.

This is how it works. I work from home and I buy and sell stuff. Its all online, with nice big photos so you can peruse. If you want to have a look come and have a cup of tea and spend as long as you like.

If you want a particular guitar or bass let me know and I’ll try and find it in your price range. You just pay me a little for finding it. And by find it I don’t mean “check EBay”, I mean get you what you want.

And if you have something that you don’t use, email me – hunniisfunni@aol.com – and either sell it to me, trade it with me or I can flog it for you for commission (a lot less than normal guitar shops charge).

At the moment I have a white Travis Bean Standard guitar that I should hopefully be selling on someone’s behalf. Its a museum piece. Its that good. So email me, this one’s not cheap, but it is good. Sorry for the pointless ad.

I have 2 columns on the go – one a review of the Michael Moore book “Dude, Where’s My Country?”, the other an article called “The Soledad Brothers are not a Band”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him

Posted: December 18th, 2003, by Simon Minter

Marceline’s having internet problems at the moment, which explains the lack of recent content on the site – and believe me there’s some exciting new content on the way when everything’s up and running again!

For now, I thought I’d put onto this blog a column which I received from Ross McGivern yesterday, as it’s particularly timely. I’m hoping that he’s not the only person out there who’s been more than a little concerned about the recent reactions to Saddam’s capture… here it is:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him”

These were the words that I awoke to on Sunday 13th December, I was as surprised as anyone as I was expecting to awake to the dulcet tones of John Craven on Countryfile discussing the intricacies of unsustainable farming policies. Admittedly we had it on the wrong channel but watched to see what was going on in Iraq.

My first reaction when I heard that US forces had captured a suspicious bearded man this close to Christmas was that they had in their wisdom captured Father Christmas,or, the 2 of Clubs as he is known to GI’s around Tikrit. Maybe they had mistaken “my first Chemistry set” as a mobile bio weapons lab capable of launching a strip of magnesium sulphate on British citizens within 45 minutes, only if the budding scientist had a meths Bunsen burner and a pair of crappy plastic goggles.

What I’ve picked up over the course of the week are mixed messages from our ‘leaders’ and media, such as where he will stand trial, what’s his punishment will be and WHERE ARE THE WMD?

So far we’ve heard that its likely that Saddam Hussein will face trial in Iraq and not in an international war crimes tribunal or other type of International Court. This maybe because the US do not want to sign up to the idea of an International Court as it will leave their military actions open to account, such as killing 15 children in less than week in two separate raids in Afghanistan. And given that there was no UN mandate to go to war anywhere there could be a counter claim, and I think there should be! Presumably in the consumer friendly Iraq where smuggling and Sky dish installation are now the number one occupations, this case will be handled by a British No Win No fee solicitors advertising in Iraq (shortly before offshoring to Baghdad to open a call centre). “Have you been injured in an accident at work or been hit a Daisy Cutter? Then call Claims Direct” They then cut to a little kid saying how claims direct helped him as he was hit in the face by a football and now needs to wear glasses for the rest of his life.

Today, 15/12/03 Bush came out and said that Saddam should face the death penalty, now this is where I get confused. In a news report during the week I had heard how in the new Iraq, the death penalty had been abolished, yet Bush wants him to face it in the Iraq. Is this another example of the US president trying to dictate someone else’s policy? It does to this cynic. In the speeches made, you can’t help but hear the undertones of revenge, such as “facing the treatment he gave his people”. If, post saddam, this is a better world why are still hankering after revengeful acts such as the death penalty, however coming from Bush, who as Governor of Texas oversaw the executions of many prisoners, including those with severe mental illness, it isn’t surprising. Yet our leaders and media trumpet that we have won a victory for civilised society.

It does amaze me at what short memories some people have, when justifying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Human Rights abuses and specifically public executions were highlighted as atrocities which needed resolution by dropping a vast amount of explosives on them and installing a US friendly administration, but by allowing the execution of Saddam Hussein, or even encouraging it, aren’t our world leaders being hypocrites once more? Surely if we have turned the corner, we should be making sure that everything is done properly and fairly, not as Tony Blair has said “seen” to be a fair trial. Even though he is undeniably an evil dictator who should be held account for his murderous reign, what is wrong with making sure no short cuts are made?

After all, if short cuts are made and he faces a public execution, which will probably be shown on Sky Pay Per View, what signal will this send to supporters and citizens already resentful of the occupation of Iraq? By showing footage of him being manhandled by a US doctor, they have already enflamed many across the Middle East by humiliating and degrading him; and this is the reaction from those are pleased that he is gone.

Finally they have found Saddam Hussein, less than 6ft tall, but they haven’t been able to locate 20ft rockets, whats going on? I maybe exaggerating but if they found a couple of screws they’d claim it comes from a rocket launcher which is set to hit Skegness in less than an hour. But still no sign of them I find this interesting, maybe that’s because there aren’t any? I had initially thought that once they had captured him, and with such ease it won’t be long before a deal is struck and Saddam avoids death by either telling them where the WMD are, or allowing them to be planted etc, however it appears he is now not talking so that might have scuppered that theory.

All I’m suggesting is that before demanding that the only course of action is the death penalty, or a fixed trial or an illegal stay in Camp X-ray that a bit of common sense is applied and serious consideration is given to the consequences of an imperialistic vendetta.

I have however thought of some “hilarious” punishments

1. Replacement for Bertie Vogts as Manager of Scotland.

2. Leader of the Conservatives, a torturous affair no less

and finally…

3. Take my place for the horrors that await my Christmas; not only has my mad mother in law invited herself to Christmas lunch (I’ll be the one cooking), thus spoiling plans already made, I’ve also been volunteered to drive her and her new chap to Gatwick (they better not canoodle on my backseat). They have to be there for 4.00 am I’ll probably get home around 06.00 Boxing Day. Sleep Deprevation and White Noise must pale into insignificance.

Elf

Posted: December 10th, 2003, by Greg Kitten

So in an effort to get back into the swing of things in the world of BLOG, I have recently been dedicating my time to GOING OUT and DOING STUFF. This has opened my eyes to the fact that MANY THINGS are better than sitting around doing very little while OUT OF YOUR BOX. It also has had the bizarre side-effect of writing a lot of random words in ALL CAPS while blogging. I only discovered this two minutes ago.

Last night, Kat Kitten and I toodled along to see the Xmas buster-of-blocks known as Elf. Since admitting intending to see this film I have been on the receiving end of much ridicule, though I understand not the reason. It features Will Ferrell getting hurt a lot while wearing an Elf costume. Let me run that by you again: GETTING HURT in an ELF COSTUME. It degenerates into a bit of a Christmas Sapfest(tm) toward the end, but that’s totally acceptable, what with it being Christmas and me being a sappy muthafucker at heart. Plus, we had ice-cream and smuggled in muffins and milkshake, despite knowing that we couldn’t possibly eat another bite after our hugest ever dinner. Kat had a dish named Ultimate Fish and Chips. Which i guess is kinda like The World’s Best Cup of Coffee. Life imitating art imitating an Elf getting hurt a lot. You don’t know what i’m on about, because you haven’t seen the film, and you probably won’t because you’re too DAMN COOL to go see a sappy Christmas film. And you probably won’t be fortunate enough to have hysterics before the film starts, when a group of Big Rugby Lads walkshout over to you “Is the the screen for SWAT?” and you have to tell them that it’s not, they’re in the screen for Elf, and they go on to explain that “I thought it was a bit strange that the tickets said Elf on them”. Sheesh.

Next Week: Brother Bear!

Sapfest!

The Ex

Posted: December 9th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

I have just finished punching myself in the face for 45 mins as punishment for letting The Ex avoid my attention for 24 years. Wow. Just saw them play and I haven’t seen such joyful intensity since erm…Saturday with Black Eyes but before that, years maybe. Christ. Deerhoof supported and were almost equally as great and the closest thing to the Magic Band I’ve ever seen (the Magic Band included). But The Ex, somebody kick my ass. Put the Shellac records in the damn cupboard.

Black Eyes

Posted: December 7th, 2003, by Chris Summerlin

Just got back from seeing Black Eyes play in Birmingham. Despite an unbearable hawk of cunts in the crowd, they blew me away. They make you recall about a million different things but the mesh of styles is never contrived. It just seems like they were born playing that way. Truly amazing. Lazy journalists of the world – if you dismiss this with a half arsed review that mentions Dischord and Fugazi you will die.

Also, spent all my money yesterday and booked a last minute flight to Australia for Xmas. I go in a week and get back in a month. woohoo.

Funniest gig listing ever?

Posted: December 2nd, 2003, by Chris H

“…..The AM feature former members of Jeff Buckley’s band. Support from Glasgow band How to Swim.”

(paraphrased from today’s Metro)