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Archive for February, 2004

Wolves! (of Greece)

Posted: February 26th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

Hi. The Wolves! (of Greece) record is out now through Gringo.

We have a new website at:

www.honeyisfunny.com/wolvesofgreece

that is slightly less usable than the last one. So if you’ve been kind enough to link us then please update the address.

xx

MY BIRTHDAY PARTY

Posted: February 22nd, 2004, by Marceline Smith

Coincidentally, it’s my birthday soon! My personal birthday comedy is to find a great gig happening on my birthday and then insist it has been specially organised as MY BIRTHDAY PARTY and force all my friends to come along. Hence my birthday party a few years back in Aberdeen when Godspeed played and wee Stuart Mogwai drove all the way from Glasgow just to be there (for My Birthday Party! etc.) . This year My Birthday Party is being held in the Scala in London and will be hosted by Steve Albini and his rather good Shellac band. I hope to see you all there brandishing cake and presents. The date for your diaries is March 25th which is also Hobbit New Year, giving even more excuses for the consumption of cake.

This will then be followed by ATP Weekend One fun. There’s been some talk that Weekend Two looks to be better. But are the diskant staff going to weekend 2? NO. Therefore weekend two is FOR LOSERS, once again.

I urge you all to go see Paper Cut Out if their extensive tour happens to visit your town. It’s always a relief when your friends bands aren’t dreadful and it’s even better when they’re really fantastic. I was mightlily impressed with their complicated rock and glad I am in a simplistic lo fi electronic band.

We’ve seen some films recently

Posted: February 21st, 2004, by Ollie

Some of them were even at the cinema and everything. Along Came Polly was about as funny as you would expect really. That’s the thing with Ben Stiller films, they’re always precisely as funny as the last one (which means the odd chuckle here and there, and a general feeling of indifference once it’s over). Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the best thing about it unsurprisingly.

Monster was a weird one. What could have been an interesting tale of a female prostitute turned man-hating serial killer was told in a pretty boring and lacklustre way, which is saying something considering the often graphic violence. Christina Ricci was fucking dreadful as always, how does she have a career? By far the best thing about this one was Charlize Theron’s astonishing transformation into a real skank, which was very convincing, and probably worthy of an Oscar (if anything really is).

A recent trip to Blockbuster yielded some interesting results. Versus was a crazy tale indeed. Clearly very low budget, it looked like some film students got together and said “Lets film a bunch of people chasing each other round a forest. We’ll give them guns and there will be some Kung Fu. We’ll also throw in some zombies, and give them guns also. There definitely needs to some samurai fighting action too. Ooh, and we should probably do something with dark magical powers and trans-dimensional weirdness too. Fuck storyline, let’s make a fucking MOVIE!” That’s what they said (word for word) and it worked very well indeed. Frequently absurd, often cool, and always a lot of fun. There wasn’t an original idea in there and it didn’t matter, it was just made by people who enjoy film and don’t mind completely disregarding The Rules.

Not quite as fun was Naqoyqatsi. I mistakenly picked this out thinking it was one of the earlier films of the series, Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, which I’ve always meant to see. Unfortunately the one we got came out in 2002 and was lame. I guess some people enjoy watching an hour and a half of terrible CGI of mathmatical equations floating in space, and slow motion footage of the sea, but I don’t. I guess some people see this kind of thing as avant-garde since it comes from Hollywood, but I thought it was about as avant-garde as a Scottish Widows commercial. Tripe masquerading as subtlety and insight, avoid.

Happy birthday to John for last Saturday. I agree that the way birthday cash slopes off is highly depressing. It seemed to happen far more abruptly for me, I swear one year, maybe 18 or 19, they just didn’t come any more. Granted, I hadn’t seen most of the parties in question for a number of years, let alone remembered their birthdays, but it’s just something you come to expect from childhood, birthdays=money. And John, you should count yourself lucky, I’m younger than you and I got about 3 cards last birthday. Oh, the pain!

It was my birthday last Saturday

Posted: February 20th, 2004, by John Coburn

I’m now 24. I’m pretty sure I’m not the oldest blogger on here (Chris Haikney is 46), but by god, I think that’s rather old. 24 is closer to 30 than 17. A terrifying statistic, I’m sure you’ll agree. Being born on February 14th, aka Valentine’s day, I’ve always been able to deceptively brag about the number of cards I receive on that particular day.

(man who just thinks it’s Valentine’s Day and not my birthday)

“So then, John. Get any cards this year?”

(Me)

“Yes, I got 23. And 14 of them contained cash”.

Some of those who know me have said this joke is tired and is well past it’s use-by-date. But y’know, every year I love getting the chance to say it and I’ve always found it funny (between the ages of 14-19, I might have used this line 5 or 6 times every birthday). And in a small kind of way, it makes me feel like a better man. But for the first birthday in a long time, I opted not to play the guaranteed top trump of a gag this year. Not because I no longer found it funny (it’s still funny), but because I only received 6 fucking cards. That’s awful! I’m aware that relatives and friends and aunties who aren’t really your aunties feel less compelled to send you a birthday card as you get older, but honestly, 6 cards is a really poor show! Some might say it’s the end of an era. I feel ‘comedy’, as a genre, is poorer because of it.

This next month will be fun. For the next week and a half I will be out and about with my band Paper Cut Out, playing some rock music for any interested parties. Glasgow, Manchester, Norwich, Brighton, London, Nottingham, Leeds, Belfast, Dublin, Newcastle, starting on the 21st (tonight!) and finishing on the 3rd of March, for those really wanting to know. So if you’re coming along, please say hello, buy my a drink, and maybe stick around for the bands? It’ll be great, I know it. Then on the 9th of March we’ve got the consistently tremendous Newcastle half-dayer 9×9 (No-Fi promote this- lots of innovation and rocking. Everybody come along), I know I’ll like that. Then it’s All Tomorrow’s Parties- I’m fearful the week I’m going (week one) is looking decidely inferior to the second! But who cares, everyone will still have a really good time, I’m sure of that. And then…at the very end of the month, my contract at work will hopefully be renewed! If not, March can only be remembered as a truly shit month.

Congratulations are the order of the day!

Posted: February 14th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

First to PHILL RODGERS (aka Phill from reynolds) for finally getting hitched to his long term lady Kate yesterday (Friday the 13th). I am getting suited up as we speak to go and get properly messy in a hall of people and probably slow dance with Matt Tagney at the evenings end, crying like a baby.

Secondly to JO WOODNUTT (aka Jo from Seachange) as it was her birthday yesterday too.

Hurrah!

I have a SHITHOT guitar for sale.

Posted: February 12th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

Hi folks. I have a reputation as the Arthur Daley of guitars (though my friend Neil refers to me as Denis Waterman to his Arthur Daley but whatever). So, don’t want to disappoint so read on.

I have a SHITHOT guitar for sale.

Its a 1970s GIBSON SG100 and it used to belong to DAVID PAJO . Of SLINT, PAPA M, TORTOISE, ZWAN, ROYAL TRUX, AERIAL M, PALACE blah de blah. No shit. It was used in the For Carnation and Aerial Ms first record as well as on stuff with Will Oldham/Palace. It was bought from the man himself in about 1999ish.

hunniisfunni@aol.com for info

xx

Elephant

Posted: February 9th, 2004, by Marceline Smith

Went to see Elephant last night. I’d heard quite a bit about it and seen the trailer and I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like it but I was intrigued enough to see it to find out.

Even having been warned that nothing really happens for much of the film it was still surprising how little does happen. Whole scenes consist of one character walking down endless empty corridors, others show the sky slowly darkening or pause to watch a character doing something entirely ordinary. But this does a great job of introducing us to all the characters and the locations, giving us the time to get to know them and the school and showing that all days begin as ordinary days. Their paths round the school interweave with each other so that we see the same scenes from different viewpoints. The languid pace and lack of action gives you plenty time to look around and see glimpses of other rooms or hear snatches of conversations and classes.

Some boys sitting behind us seemed bored to tears by this, obviously expecting action and gun-totin’ excitement and unwilling to put any more thought into things. Their continual interjections of stupid noises during the quiet bits, jeering at ugly people and their horrified disgust at the gay kiss only seemed to add an extra level, this being probably the only aspect of high school that wasn’t included in the film. Their confused disbelief as the credits rolled after the sudden ending was a sheer delight to behold.

There’s such a sense of incident throughout, all these little moments that had no real importance to the story but made you understand and care about these characters and hope they’re not going to die – ‘Ugly girl’ Michelle cringingly changing after gym class, Eli developing his film, John’s ass-slapping photo moment. Even the scenes where Alex is walking endlessly through corridor after corridor seemingly frustrated by the lack of people left to shoot. There’s just so much time to notice things and to think about them and consider things. It’s interesting as well how we get so little closure – you’re left with a lot of questions about who died and what happened afterwards. When one of the main characters is stood outside of it all, you half-expect something terrible to happen, that as a main character he needs to go through some life or death situation. But it’s not an easy film and it’s not out to give you answers.

So go see if you like thinking. Don’t go if you get bored easily.

Buddyhead Best & Worst list of 2003

Posted: February 8th, 2004, by Dave Stockwell

‘fternoon,

May I present a brief tonic for the Sunday “morning” blues associated with going out last night: the Buddyhead Best & Worst list of 2003. Before I was blessed by the Broadband Fairy, I used to avoid Buddyhead and the 15,000 years it took the homepage to load up like the plague. Now I’ve been elevated to the status of bandwidth snob, I’ve only just got around to discovering that it now only takes the amount of time it takes you to boil a kettle to load up. But just click on the link and you can bypass that to some pure, unaldulterated Buddyhead humour.

As ever, I agree with about 20% of their positive comments, but it’s the slatings that always hit the nail home. Choiciest quote:

“The legion of mall-emo grows every day, and this crap is the soundtrack for it’s [sic] followers who cry when they see dolphins and rainbows, and have an “online journal”, and a Friendster profile. More or less a mutation of the common hippy, but instead of beards, dreads, jungle muff, and armpit stink, it’s bad star tattoos, pierced lips, and studded belts.”

That’s almost as beautiful as having to point out to my housemate on Friday night that a picture in a “punk rock” bar (a whole other kettle of fish not worth getting into here) was of Joe Strummer, not Lars Ulrich. But then he’s a Thursday fan.

Lost In Translation

Posted: February 4th, 2004, by Ollie

We finally got to see Lost In Translation tonight and it didn’t disappoint. Powerful and understated. Bill Murray is truly the man. Miles better than The Virgin Suicides if you ask me, if only for the lack of Josh Hartnet. We also rented Ichi The Killer which is sure to be crazy as hell.

Chris had a good point about the cheap records thing. I hit a jackpot (by my standards) the other day when we stumbled across a sackload of cheapo vinyl at a store down the road. I got two GodheadSilos, a Blind Idiot God and a Mick Turner for $1.99 each (all new) and a Clikitat Ikatowi and a JAMS/Timelords for 99c each. I was beside myself with glee, especially at the GodheadSilo, a band who had been on my list of stuff I should own for years. They rock too, especially their Scientific Supercake LP, which is superb. The JAMS 12″ is shit obviously, but I’m unable to resist anything vaguely connected with The KLF. Side note: I discovered recently that my mum went to school with the guy who sang the chorus on their 1992 hit ‘America: What Time Is Love?’. He was also in Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, but neither of these points impressed me nearly as much as the KLF thing.

Apart from that, record buying has been infrequent for some months. Having said that, I did receive copies of Sunn 0))) – Veils It White and Harvey Milk – Courtesy And Good Will Toward Men in the post the other day. Two exquisitely packaged records which didn’t cost an arm and a leg, which makes a change.

[Did you like the amount of bold titles in this blog? Hopefully it will now become a contest.]

SHANDY

Posted: February 2nd, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

I rediscovered a drink last week and at the same time entered into a strange conversation.

I drove to a gig in Derby so even though there was a bar and people were drinking and a band was playing – a band I love too – get this; I COULDN’T DRINK. I know, it’s messed up.

I was moaning about this to my friend Alex. Alex is a teacher of Design and Technology and he also appreciates the finer points of the Saab 90/900 range of automobiles. So I knew if anyone could offer me advice on how to deal with this it would be him. Actually he also plays drums in a band that sound like Refused (Fixit Kid) but I’ll overlook that.

He suggested something absurd.

SHANDY

And he had a strong argument to back up his case.

The thing about drinking is that it’s all about show and also about comfort on the part of the drinker. I drink pints because it’s the norm and I feel comfortable drinking from a large solid pint glass.

So, I’m driving so I am allowed a pint let’s say to be on the safe side. My normal approach to shoot my load in one go and buy a pint then drag my heels around the rest of the night with a Coke.

I tried drinking coffee instead but it’s so damn long winded.

Another option is the half pint. But then you get it in a half pint glass and it looks stupid. And you drink at a faster rate than your fellow drinkers and you are out of step with the round buying flow. A bad move.

You could ask for it in a pint glass – which I’ve seen done – but even though we all know drinking is an exercise in machismo this act is akin to loudly broadcasting that you have a one inch chap. You would overstep the mark by doing this.

So the answer is Shandy.

A half and half allows for 2 pints. If your friends are on a mission then simply divide the predicted intake up and ask for 1/5 booze in your shandy if you have to. This way you don;t get drunk but yet you still drink pints and you know what? You actually feel like it’s a normal night such is the comfort of the fat glass in your hand and the rushing sensation of the weak bladder that us more experienced boozers get.

But that leaves one problem. How do you order a shandy? You might fool everyone else into thinking you’re on the hard stuff but not the barperson.

I consulted Alex for tips and he coached me through the process.

“You say it like this

Hi, can I have a shandy please – half and half if you will

then pause, look away, laugh to yourself as though you heard a good joke and add

ha ha…I’m driving

then smile”

So I approached the bar and went for it. And it was easy. It even cost the same as a pint so I had that warm feeling of being ripped off too. And get this, as I went to open my mouth the DJ played John Fahey. Incredible.

May I also take this opportunity to advertise the long delayed return of the rock band I play called Wolves! (of Greece). We will be playing in March in Nottingham and London with Oneida and then on April Fools Day we go head to head with Lightning Bolt in Leeds.

Lovely