Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 - review of the year

Finished my last 10 hour shift of this year today. It was a bit of a skive so I can't complain. I have 4 whole days off before I have to go back to work. I'm gonna study as much as I can. I already did a bit tonight. Hopefully I'll see a couple of my mates. They might remember me.

'Weren't you that fanny I went to school with?'

Shit. I might even have a beer.

2005 has been an incredibly good year for me. I've had lots of good luck. I live in a city that I love now and I've got a really good job. I've learnt loads. I've made lots of friends. I've met some really cool people and I've done some really cool stuff.

I've seen some good bands. LCD soundsystem. Dinosaur jr. Teenage fanclub. I've heard some great records. Hung out with beautiful women. Not exactly the 'playboy' lifestyle but close. Good enough for me.

2005 was a definite improvement on 2004 which was kinda cool but did have some suckey parts. 2003 sucked big style and was probably one of the worst years of my life (1998 was the worst year) so all in all I am very happy right now. And I think it will get better.

I love Glasgow in the summer. Lying on the grass in the botanic gardens. Playing with the squirrels......

I was watching MTV2 this evening. Lots of modern guitar bands that all sound the same. MIA played one song. Very pretty girl. Very good song. Queens of the stoneage were OK. The streets were funny. Franz ferdinand were good and the arcade fire were spectacular. I hope I get a chance to see them some time.

I actually quite liked a song by Hard Fi. I'm shocked. I expected them to be pish.

All that live music made me dream about being in a band again. I like making music and expressing myself. I like making very loud noises and screaming and pretending that I'm kevin shields or a member of spacemen 3. It's just a shame that no-one likes listening to me do it.

The noises in my head are always much better than the noises everyone else hears. Writing a blog is much easier. I can express myself clearly with the written word.

There was a documentary on BBC Scotland about the Broons. For non-scottish people the Broons is a comic strip about a typical scottish family that has ran in the Sunday Post newspaper for the past 70 years. They live in a parallel scotland where Glasgows' tenemants were never demolished and no-one has heard of smack or buckfast. I loved the comics as a kid. I'm gonna search my parents house this weekend to try and find some of the old books.

Anyway, think I'll wander round the shops tomorrow. I need some clothes.


Monday, December 26, 2005

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

I've finished reading this book after I was given it as a christmas present by someone special yesterday. I quite liked it and I would advise anyone who likes a good read to check it out.

Plot-wise the story is that of a freak of nature, Grenouille, who is gifted with the greatest sense of smell of all time but cursed with no human body odour of his own. The subtitle of the book is the story of a murderer and indeed he does kill. We follow his life from his squalid birth full-circle to his equally unpleasant death. We also learn a lot about the pleasures of scent and the manufacture of perfume in eighteenth century France.

Stylistically the book is a joy. Even though this book is translated (from German) the words leap and fly from the page, wafting your senses and letting us imagine the world of the inhuman Grenouille. It is a quick, easy and satisfying read.

I felt sorry for Grenouille because he is not human. He has no understanding of emotion or other people. He is a genius of scent and nothing else is real for him. People are just tools and objects. He kills, but without emotion or malice. He just does not understand that what he does is wrong. He is a monster. We should hate him.

Yet it is difficult to hate such a pathetic creature. The author paints a vivid picture of his alien life that is led only by his nose (the way many men think only with their dicks). People either actively hate him and try to harm him or ignore him as if he were little more than a snail. He does great things but no-one ever truly appreciates what he does. Imagine shakespeare explaining Hamlet to a monkey. He is not human so it is difficult to apply conventional morality to him.

The girl that gave me this book was surprised when I said that I felt sorry for Grenouille despite his horrific crimes but I do. I guess pity is a luxury afforded us by the author of this interesting work of fiction.

The only note in the book that I felt was not in perfect pitch was Part 4, the epilogue. It felt like an afterthought, an imposition of justice on an unfair world. It didn't add much.

Read the book! If you have already done so tell me what you think about it!


p.s. I've been told that there is a problem with posting comments on this blog sometimes. Don't know why but I will try and fix it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe

I liked this film. I enjoyed it a fair bit.

Like many people my age I grew up reading C.S.Lewis books. As a kid I really enjoyed some of this series (although I was less keen on others). I also watched the BBC adaptions of some of the books. I never picked up on the religious overtones of the stuff which I guess are more obvious to me now.

I was glad that Disney had kept the English wartime setting for the book. Everything seems to be very 'proper' in a stiff upper lip sort of way. I liked the detail in the evacuation scenes and the blitz/bomb-shelter section that serves as a prelude to the main story. I watched this film with a close friend who is German and she didn't know anything about the evacuation of children from British cities during the war.

In some ways I felt that this film was a better adaptive interpretation of the original book than the recent 'lord of the rings' and 'harry potter' films. I think that 'the lion....' was probably easier to adapt because the original story was less action packed and less detailed than those other childhood fantasy films. LOTR and Harry Potter films are always at risk of giving me a headache because so much happens in them. 'The lion...' moves at a gentiler place allowing for subtle moments of humour and pathos and some tiny scares. (my friend jumped a couple of times cos she hasn't read the books and didn't know when to expect a scary bit)

Some of this film is scary and some of it is sad. The pseudo-christian 'crucifixion' scene is upsetting and I wouldn't let a young child watch it. I think it could cause nightmares. This is a kids film that seems to be aimed at adults.

In summary, I liked this film. It stayed faithful to my 20 years old memories of the book. It wasn't watered down or sugar-coated. It was not obviously evangelical. It did the job in a workman-like manner.

See it if you liked the book. Write a comment if you disagree.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

We jam econo - the story of the minutemen

Just got back from a showing of a low budget documentry - We jam econo - the story of the minutemen. It's a film about the underground band that existed on the american punk scene from 1979 - 1985. I was 8 years old when the band finished.

The minutemen were unique amongst their contemparies. They came into existence in isolation in San Pedro, california. Mike Watt and d.Boon were best friends from the age of 13. d.Boons' mother made them start a band to keep them off the streets. She decided that d. would play guitar and Mike would play bass.

d. was fat. He didn't look like lead singer/guitarist. Teenage girls would never put his poster on their bedroom walls, they would never imagine what it would be like to be his girlfriend. Mike Watt is just..... just different. Uncomfortable in his own body.

They were like peas in a pod, like brothers. They spoke their own language. They would 'jam econo' and spread their 'spiel'. They were 'corndogs from pedro' who would 'drink and pogo'. As somebody says in the film, their songs were didactic. They would preach to their audience about intangible concepts like futurism and dadaism. They tried to identify with the average man on the street, the working man who just worked for the dollar at the end of the week. Killing yourself for no money. They wrote political songs for michael jackson and bob dylan was there hero because they felt that he wrote left wing propaganda.

So how does a teenage boy in Glasgow get into a defunct punk band from america? Basically I just wanted to be cooler than anyone else. You like Nirvana? Corporate whore! Pearl Jam - music industry stooge! You support the military industrial complex you fascist!!! I was a total fanny when I was 14.

I bought my first minutemen cd (post-mersh vol. 1) on boxing day 1990 or 1991 in Tower Records in Glasgow. I didn't like it at first. I picked it up because other bands I like had name-dropped them (the dead kennedys, black flag, fugazi) and because they were on SST records (the ultra-cool record label of black flag) and because no-one else had heard of them. But they were difficult to listen to.

I persisted. I found their more accessible records (Project:Mersh is the best 'in') and I grew to love them. I just couldn't understand where they were coming from. They were different.

Punk for me is about being yourself. I wear a shirt and tie to work. I wear glasses and I have tidy hair. I have a respectable job. But in my head I'm still a punk. I'm myself. I'm not my job. You can be a punk if you are white or black or asian or gay or straight or american or chinese or whatever. Just as long as you are yourself.

The minutemen (like many bands I loved and continue to love) said 'it's ok to be yourself'. You can make music even if you can't play guitar. You can be the singer in a band even if you are fat and ugly. All that matters is that you are true to yourself.

I loved this band. Sadly they finished in 1985 when d.Boon died in a car crash just after the end of a high profile tour with REM.

I loved the film. It made me smile at the beauty of being less than perfect, the glory of being a loser, the joy of being weird.

The film was made privatly by two fans of the band. Fr more info try To hear the band try and to find out what the unique Mike Watt is up to try

For a non-biased non-geeky opinion I asked my German flatmate who I forced to accompany me to the film. She thought it was OK but a bit too long with too much music where you couldn't hear the words properly. She did laugh at bits of it though.

Check it out if you want something different.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Christmas time

Christmas time.

At work. Pretending to like people you vaguely know. Getting drunk and making an arse of yourself. Talking about work because that's all you have in common.

That's the horror of the work night out.

Mine wasn't too bad this year actually. I didn't have anything to drink. I say things I shouldn't even when I'm sober (H, one of my closest friends, reads this and thinks I'm autistic. I think I have frontal lobe damage). I still enjoyed the night with alcohol and it's always fun watching other people making arses of themselves.

There are a few people in my department who seem pretty cool. Work related chat was kept to a minimum although there was an embarrassing discussion about the sexualtiy of a senior depatmental member who is 'a bit camp'. Who really cares? Anyway I made my excuses and left before the workplace incest kicked off bigstyle.

Earlier on, one of my bosses had compared my junior colleague to 'Jessica Rabbit' (from Who framed Roger Rabbit?). I now know that it is possible to laugh and cringe at the same time. I try to look at everyone I work with as androgenous drones. It makes life better for everyone.

Anyway, we just put up a fucking massive tree in the flat. I've bought most of my presents from the internet and I've even written a few cards. I'm almost a grown-up.

I have to work late on x-mas eve but I have a lot of time off over the holiday season. More time to study.

Anyhow, enough yuletide joy

Exit, Stage left (like a cartoon cat - Snagletooth????)


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

my adventures in rock journalism

I started my new job in a new department on monday. It's so much more fun. I just love it. Less boring routine stuff and more cool interesting stuff. I've been ecstatically all week. I danced out of the handover meeting in my old department on monday morning. Politically this may not have been sensible but what the fuck? That job was stressful and, so far, this one is cool.

The title of this post is 'my adventures in rock journalism'. When I was a kid all i wanted to be was a ROCK STAR. Kinda like kurt cobain without the icky blowing your head off bit or like shaun ryder without the pharmaceutical sponsorship. And if I couldn't be an actual rock star (cos face it, i'm not that pretty and the chicks don't dig me that much) i wanted to be a ROCK JOURNALIST. When I thought about maybe the rock stars would give the journalists some of the left-over groupies as a sort of promo thing.

That is how the mind of a fourteen year old guy works.

I actually gave it a shot.

At university, as I have previously mentioned, I wrote for the newspaper. I reviewed CDs and I interviewed a few bands. It kinda sucked.

The first band that I interviewed was an american alt-country band who made a few critically acclaimed CDs. They were called 'horse-sparkle' or something like that. Work it out, anagram fans. They were a bit weird.

The singer guy had problems. He had recently had a near death experience. He allegedly took lots of drugs and then fell over and lay on the floor for a while. His muscles got damaged messing up his kidneys and he had several nasty infections.

During the interview he was trying to freak me out. He had a bottle of perscription drugs (painkillers I think) and he swallowed them by the handful during the interview. He seemed really shy and edgy. He asked me what i studied at uni (biology) then he told me how he used to break into the medical school in his home town and play with the corpses. He may have said something even more disgusting but I can't really remember. He just seemed like a cock.

He only brightened up when I asked him about literature. He liked cormac mccarthy. It was the only thing that he seemed at all interested in. Other then drugs (opiod drugs I think). The cello player was nicer. She liked the butthole surfers whuch impressed me. My finished article gave more column inches to the buttholes than the band I interviewed.

Another group that I was meant to interview was the Beta Band. They just fucked me about for a week setting up meeting times and then cancelling them. They were a bunch of total wankers and their tour manager was king tosser. I'm not bitter. I got two tickets for the gig for free. I sold one of them making a tidy profit. Some of their records were good.

The worst thing I did was interview a close friend of mine who is in a successful noise rock band. I stitched him up. I asked questions like 'don't you think the guy in embrace is a knob?' andhe would agree saying 'talentless bastard. you can't polish a turd!'. When I wrote the interview up I made my questions more innocent - 'what do you think of the current music scene?' - while keeping my mates answers. (This was the interview where I slipped the c-word into the paper regular readers). My pal was told off by his manager. The interview was pretty good though.

I eventually decided against journalism because I don't have the killer instinct. I wouldn't want to publish a story if I thought it would hurt someone. Journalism appealed to me in the truth and justive, investigative watergate way but in reality it seemed to be dirty little men telling dirty little stories.

And the rock stars wouldn't give me any women.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Fantastic Four film

I fell asleep twice while trying to watch this film. Not a good sign......

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Harry Potter & the goblet of fire

I went to see this during the week with my flatmate and my cousin. I couldn't actually remember if I had read the book or not. I enjoyed the first few books until I started reading one of them (book 5 I think) where the prose in the first chapter was so turgid that I just never picked it up again.

I saw the first film in the cinema. I thought it was pish so I didn't go to see any of the others.

This film was kinda fun. Through logical deduction I established that I have probably written the book as I knew about the ending. The special effects were ok and some of the actors were much less annoying than before. Parts of the film were dark and parts of it were funny. It was really nice to see the girl from Motherwell in the film. I chuckled every time she had a line. Unfortunately she never used the term 'ya dancer!' and she was not seen drinking buckfast 'down the park'. I believe if these minor details were covered her performance would have been more authentic.

Anyway, fun film. 6 and a half out of ten. 8 out of ten if they do a special edition where Harry asks Hagrid to 'jump in for ma carry out big man'


The aristocrats - a film I haven't seen yet

I didn't get a chance to see a recent documentary film entitled The aristocrats during its recent limited cinema run. It's a film about the most offensive joke in the world (allegedly). This scatalogical joke is told by comedians when they meet. They try to be more offensive than anyone else.

The joke is about a family of cabaret performers with a unique act that transgresses every known moral boundary. Billy Connelly, the South Park team and a bunch of americans all tell the joke in the film. I think the film was made by Penn Jillete from Penn & Teller.

Basically I haven't seen this film yet and it isn't available on DVD until january. BUT I have been to the website and I have heard a really funny song.
Don't listen to this if you are easily offended.

The main website is interesting too



Friday, December 02, 2005

Easy week

I'm having a good week. It's good to be not at work (although still technically at work) and learning stuff. I feel really relaxed cos I don't have to wear a shirt and tie and I don't have any responsibilities. It's a shame life can't be like this all the time.

Most of the lecturers have been pretty good. It was quite nice today because one of the lecturers was a guy that I had worked with a bit a couple of years ago. He was doing well and he has just had a baby girl so he seemed really happy.

I've been lazily doing my christmas shopping over the internet. I've bought most of what I need to get. I can't really be bothered with shops at this time of year. Far too many people and the weather really sucks.

I've been listening to an interesting CD this week. It's called 'Gibby Haynes & his problem'. Gibby Haynes was the singer in drug-rock monsters the Butthole Surfers. The american magazine SPIN named him as one of the 50 greatest rock frontmen of all time. That means fuck all but I'm just trying to make him sound cool. I find it hard to describe the music of the buttholes to anyone who hasn't heard them. Some of their stuff is really warm, smily chillout music and some of it is possibly the scariest most emotionally damaging music ever. I remember first hearing their song 'jimi' on a mix-tape when I was in first year at secondary school (about 12-13) and being too scared to listen to it in the dark!

I'm a wuss.

Anyway, their music is basically psychadelic noise rock. They take the piss a lot ('sweat loaf' for all you black sabbath fans). They were sampled by orbital on 'satan'. I just like them a lot and they haven't put out a record for a few years. I stumbled across this Gibby Haynes album in Avalanche records and I've been enjoying it a fair bit. Upbeat noise rock songs with a poppy edge. Folky drug addled nonsence with distorted vocals. Something that sounds a little like heartbreaker by led zepplin remixed by the aphex twin. I don't have the linguistic ability to really describe it well. Go to where you will find information and MP3s.

Gibby once made a record with Johnny Depp. Really.


Monday, November 28, 2005

I always wanted to be a writer.....

I'm having an easy week this week cos I have study leave from work to do an intensive revision course for a professional exam I have to do. An easy week! I scored 45% in the pre-course test so I hope the course works. I have two months before the actual date so plenty of time.

Because this is an easy week it gives me time to reflect on life. I have a great job. I know I bitch and moan about it but it is great. It's just a job that I never dreamed of doing as a kid. I never even thought about it till I was 21 and I'm just really really lucky that I fell into it. I can't really imagine myself doing anything else now. I don't think anything else would satisfy me.

I'm wandering off topic. The title of this post is 'I always wanted to be a writer.....' and that's true. That's me. I always wanted to be a writer. I guess that's why I like blogging. It's the vanity publishing of the modern era.

When I was a kid I just wanted to write comic books or science fiction novels. At around the age of twelve I wrote a script for a Captain Britain comic and posted it off to Marvel Comics in London. It was totally unpublishable because it featured a LSD crazed gang of mutant neds beating up a drunken Captain Britain (LSD, alcohol and gangs were VERY cool at my school) but I still have the very nice rejection letter they sent. It has Spiderman on the letter-head.

Later on I wrote for the university newspaper at my first uni. I had the dubious honour of being the first student (in the 550 year history of that uni) to slip the bad 'C' word into the paper. The editor wasn't doing his job. I was told off. I then reviewed a CD by some obscure american band and randomly embedded the sentence 'Noel Gallagher is a 'c'' into the body of the text resulting in another warning. The editor was really shit.

That was about 10 years ago and I haven't really written anything since. Sure, I wrote loads of rubbish lyrics for the rubbish bands that I played in but they do not count. (Anyone can write 'Fuck you! FUCK you! arrrgh!) I haven't really written anything since.

I guess I could write work related stuff for journals, etc. but I don't know if that would be fun. I'm not sure that anything I would have to say on work related topics would be that original.

I was presented with an interesting opportunity on Sunday. I walked down to a comic geek-fest thing where a couple of successful local artists were signing stuff and chatting to people. One of them was actively recruiting people to write for a Viz style humour comic and asked me if I would be interested. It was tempting but I don't know if I could write that sort of stuff. I don't know if I could write and force it to be funny.

What would I write? Autobiographical stuff? That's essentially masturbation and there is a lot I couldn't write about. Some stuff is too personal. Other stuff could be funny but it would be ethically wrong to write.

Hunter S. Thomson was (and still is kinda) my hero. The energy in his stuff is amazing. I loved the innocence and wide-eyed amazement of Kurt Vonnegut. I like the simplicity of Charles Bukowski although I do think he's a misogonistic asshole. I like some PJ O'Rourke stuff (even if he's a republican).

I like plenty of trash as well: Chris Brookmyre, Neil Gaiman, Carl Hiaasen, Ian Rankin, Terry Pratchett, Chuck Palanhuk. The list goes on and on.

I just wish I had something to say or that I had the ideas or the time. The one thing that my job steals from me is time. I know I probably have about 8 more years of training in front of me. I'll wake up and I'll be 40. A lot of the time I don't even get a chance to read. The job is fun though.

I always wanted to be a writer......


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Franz Ferdinand - live in Glasgow

I'd been waiting to see this gig for months. I had to swap a couple of shifts at work but it was worth it. Glasgows adopted sons played a blinder of a show at the soul-less aircraft hanger that is the SECC.

This is the third time that I have seen Franz Ferdinand. I first saw them at Tin the Park in 2004 where they delivered a euphoric homecoming mid-afternoon set on the back of the early success of their debut album. Grown neds were crying. I saw them again in November of 2004 in Leicester at the De Monfort hall (which is a nice venue by the way). Again they rocked hard.

I feel oblidged to name drop a bit here. I have had some personal interaction with Alex. Back in 1995 he used to book bands at the 13th note in Glasgow when he used the name Alex Huntley. He booked my band a couple of times and told us that we were 'a bit ropey'. Faint praise indeed. Thankfully he has lost the quiff he sported back then and Franz Ferdinand are much, much better than the blisters or the karelia.

Anyway it was a diverse crowd on this icy cold night in the SECC. Teeny boppers rubbed shoulders with rock grandads. Neds were present in their buckfast soaked glory. It was a sold out show.

The support bands sucked. The editors (one of the supports) sucked in a coldplay like manner. They had a digital delay pedal and they were not afraid to use it.

The Franz boys saved the night. In the past they have been described as formulaic. It has been said that all their songs sound the same. Tonight they let the music breathe.

The massive commercial success of the band has afforded them a light-show that would not be available to most indie-rock bands. A video screen showed black and white images of the band on stage while clips from their music videos accompanied individual songs. Highly designed banners featuring images of the band hung behind the massive stage. The images were mechanised and changed between songs.

The guitar rock was loud and it was good. Most of the songs were dedicated to friends in the audience and exposition on lyrical texts was delivered. The band seemed glad to be in Gladgow. Indeed the lyrics to Michael were changed to 'Glasgow on your beautiful dance floor...'. The set ended with 2 extra drummers joining in on 40 feet.

It was a good night. I went home happy. The SECC still sux though.


Teenage Fanclub - live in Glasgow

For the past 16 years Teenage Fanclub have always been there. People often take them for granted. They are never the focus of your attention, just a lingering warm feeling at the back of your mind. But they have a secret.

Teenage Fanclub are very good.

I previously saw the Fannies in Glasgows Grand Ole Opry around about 1998. I had heard lots of their stuff at that time but I wasn't a massive fan. I had a good night of bouncing about and smiling. It was fun.

In the intervening time I have lived in England for five years. I would listen to the Fannies because they reminded me of Glasgow and Scotland. Mellow Doubt is one of my favourite songs ever. They are a great band.

So now that I'm back in Scotland I took the opportunity to see them again. I bought a couple of tickets and forced a mate to go and see the with me. He had heard their greatest hits CD and was not impressed. 'They're pish. All their songs sound the same.'

After this gig he was a convert.

Before the band came on I kept meeting people that I know. I ran into a few friends that I hadn't seen for several years. Mobile numbers were exchanged. I also took the opportunity to purchase a classic design t-shirt.

The band opened with 'hang-on' and continued with a mix of classics and new songs. Most of the new songs were pretty good with the minor exception of one that sounded a bit like Chris Rea. The sound was great. Mellow Doubt, The Concept, Sparkys Dream and Everything Flows. I don't want control of you. Tasteful noisy guitars. Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr meeting Big Star and The Byrds.

On the way out you were almost tripping over the Glasgow indie-rock mafia. My mate couldn't stop smiling and told me that the Fannies were indeed very, very good. Then he got a parking ticket.

That's life


Friday, November 18, 2005

The real spinal tap

This is really a post-script to my last post.

I just got back from the pub where I was chatting about rock documentaries like Dig! and I realised that I had not mentioned one of the funniest rock documentaries of all time - 'some kind of monster-a film about metallica'.

Many people would not watch this film cos it is about metallica. Many people hate metallica but you do not have to be a fan to enjoy this film. If you like Spinal Tap you will like this film. The band fight about songs, break up and then enter group therapy to save their career. Cameras follow them everywhere. Meet the drummers' comedy dad! Laugh at the spoilt excesses of multimillionaires! See the most extreme temper tantrums this side of elton john!

It is funny.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Dig - DVD review

I'd been waiting to see this documentary for a while so I was glad when I found out that it was now available on DVD. It had a really limited run in the cinema meaning that I missed it.

Dig is the story of two American alternative rock bands, The dandy warhols and The brian jonestown massacre. I think that these bands have really crap names. Cheap one note jokes. Despite my dislike of their name I do quite like the music of the dandy warhols. I own a few of their CDs, I think their songs are catchy and their lyrics are funny. It goes against all my rock snob instincts but I am a fan.

I'm less keen on BJM. I own their 'best of' CD and it is not in my regular play pile.

My response towards the main characters in these bands is probably the same as my response to their music. BJM are fronted by Anton, a psychotic cartoon version of a rock star. He sings like he is a member of Spacemen 3 and all his songs are perfect xerox copies of your favourite hazy drug drone stoner rock. He systematically violently assaults and alienates everyine he comes into contact with during the 100 minutes of this documentary. I realise that the film has probably been edited to highlight this part of his personality but Anton seems like a very unhappy guy. He just wants to hurt himself.

The dandy warhols are a more earnest bunch. They are corporate whores, signing to a major record label and they feel guilty about it. They continually idolise the BJM despite the fact that anton disses them at everry possible opportunity. They become successful by accident when vodaphone use bohemian like you in an advert in Europe. They are cheezy but they work hard. They seem like nice people.

The film is a bit sensationalist. It never really captures the boredom of being in a band and fighting with people. It makes it all seem like a laugh a minute comedy fist-fight when the reality is probably much more depressing. However it is entertaining and I did enjoy it but I just love music documentaries like this.

I would give it 8.5 out of 10. I will watch it again. And again. If you like this you should check out the ramones 'end of the century' DVD to see the heartbreaking story of one of the most important bands in the world ever. You should also check out the flaming lips'fabulous freaks' DVD for more insanity and real creativity and finally, if you are really hardcore you should see the fugazi 'instrument' DVD to find out about a real independent rock success story (

Anyway, I'm typing this when I should be asleep. Sorry about shit spelling and grammar.

Take it easy


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Back to work

Ah well,

The holidays are nearly over and once again my life will no longer be my own. Thankfully I only have about 3 weeks before I change jobs at the start of December and switch to a less punishing rota. I only have 11 actual working days cos I have a six day training course as well. I might even learn something.

I don't really want to go back to work but I know I have to. Sadly life needs money in this country so I have to work. If I could figure out a way to live without working I would do it. I am a lazy bastard.

I haven't really done anything much this weekend. Read the new Boondocks book 'Public Enemy no.2' which is as sharp as ever. Also read one of the Matt Groening Life is hell books which is pretty good (but not as good as Futurama). I caught one of the new episodes of South Park on MTV. Cartman pretending to be a robot to retrieve an incriminating video from Butters. Sick but funny.

Also read a comic book I'd seen recommended somewhere. It was called Supreme power and it's written by the guy who created Babylon 5. I can't spell his name. The book was pretty good but I think it does have more of a geek appeal than anything else. It applies Occam's razor to the superhero concept with a healthy dose of conspiracy theory paranoia about government agencies thrown in. It's been done before but it was a decent read.

After a quick check, the recommendation came from which generally seems to be a pretty good site about comic books.

That's all the now


Friday, November 11, 2005

Drunk after winning pop quiz.

Just been to a monthly pop quiz at one of the trendier vegetarian punk rock pubs in Glasgow and WON. The quiz is called pop life and takes place in the basement of the 13th Note. It's kinda offensive and Brendan O'Hare (ex of teenage fanclub and mogwai) has something to do with it. He mainly makes obscene noises. It's cool.

Anyway the quiz is pretty easy if you are a music geek like me and my mates. There is also a Bo Selecta round where you have a 'rap-off' against the other teams just like eminem in his 8mile film. I always get forced to do the rap off. Bastards.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - we won. A crate of stella. woo-hoo. I gave it all to my mates cos I don't like alcohol but woo-hoo all the same. The quiz is on the second thursday of every month so check it out if you are not easily offended.

I was looking at the BBC website and it was depressing as always. Apparently race-hate crimes are up 29% this year ( ). I guess that's 29% more idiots that need a brain transplant. What is even sadder is that these figures are apparently from before the london bombs. Why is the world so stupid? People are people and sometimes the ones that are different to you are more interesting. Or sexier.


I've been playing about with another blog, Required Records, which is gonna be a list of records that I get geeky about. How that blog is different from this blog I dunno but all the same. It's fun and it's cool if I get the time.

Right now I'm listening to the Ugly Cassanova album 'Sharpen your teeth'. It's the side project of Isaac Brock from modest mouse and it's rather good. 'Things I don't remember' is just class. If you go to

you can download the mp3 or the video. Good.

Just read the new Asterix book 'Asterix and the falling sky' and I liked it. I know I am 28 and this is sad. It involves aliens invading gaul looking for a secret weapon that will help them win an intergalactic war. Many reviews have said that this book is shit and Asterix has now 'jumped the shark' but I liked it. The aliens were cool, mildly reminiscent of other famous comic characters and it was better than the last one. Plus, I learned how to read with Asterix books so I'll not let anyone dis them.

Anyway, cease this drunken chatter.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Political cartoonists in the USA

I'm quite interested in comic strips and graphic arts. Most comic strips are rubbish but sometimes they have a point and sometimes they are worthwhile.

Political comic strips have a long history dating back to Punch magazine 200 years ago. More recently there have been a few interesting cartoonists in the right-wing mess that is the America of George Bush.

Ted Rall is one cartoonist that I quite like. I read a big article about him a few years ago and I meant to check out some of his stuff. As I'm on holiday this week I had time to play with the internet and I found a site where you can flip through a selection of his political cartoons.

You can find my favourite at

Another strip cartoonist that I really like is Aaron McGruder with his Boondocks series. The series revolves around two young black kids who move from an American inner-city to live with their grandad in the suburbs. One of them wants to be Chuck D and the other wants to be Snoop Dogg. My favourite strip has one of the boys calling the CIA to name Ronald Regan as a supporter of Bin Laden during the '80s. Class.

A good example of the strip can be seen at where the boys tackle bird flu.

The Boondocks book 'A right to be hostile' would make a great christmas present for any wannabe radical.


PS. From The Onion - still funny

Tuesday, November 08, 2005



Identity theft

Writing this post earlier than I expected. I had meant to write about this story earlier but I just forgot. I was listening to BBC radio4 in my semi-comatose state when I heard about a man who has been using the name Christopher Buckingham for 22 years and has only now been caught. He stole the identity of a baby who died at the age of 8 months in 1963 and he has only now been caught when he had a problem with his passport when re-entering England. He married and has two children, aged 17 and 19, while using the fake identity.

To be politically uncorrect, nuts or what?

The full story can be read at

Now, what would motivate a man to do that? Did he have a criminal record? Was he a murderer? A communist spy? A sad fantasist who wanted to feel like James Bond?

The judge in the trial commented that he had used methods described in Day of the Jackyl. If it's that easy could I go out tommorrow and look for details of a baby who died in the mid to late sevenities and steal their identity? What would I do with my new life? Become a hairdresser?

I know that in the mid-ninties some guy used the name Brandon Lee to return to the high school he had attended 13 years previously before retaking his exams and gaining a place at medical school in Dundee. He was only caught when he drunkenly revealed his secret to a few of his classmates. Further proof, if any was needed, that many doctors are nuts and the profession certainly attracts more than its fair share of loon-balls.

But anyway, back to 'Mr Buckingham'. He has been sentenced to 21 months in prision for various crimes. He has stated, through his lawyers, that he will never reveal his identity. The police say that if he keeps his mouth shut he will walk away if they can't find any details of his past life and potential 'dark secrets'.

All very interesting.

Have other people done this?



dats all fokes


Dreaming my life away a.k.a post-nights narcolepsy

Man-o-man, I'm knackered. I'm still recovering from the jet-lag hangover of my week of nights. I only managed to drag myself out of bed at around 3pm today. I didn't manage to cross the doorstep even though I was planning to buy food. Bed was too nice and warm and the weather outside was just too shite.

I think when you are tired you just have to give in to it or you can burn out. I should be studying this week but I'll start later on. I've borrowed the new Terry Pratchett book from my dad so I think I'll read that later.

I rented a couple of DVDs yesterday. American Pie: Band Camp which is as bad as you could possibly imagine. It's getting into Police Academy territory. Scary. Also rented 'The Descent', a British horror film about some women who have problems on a caving trip. It has some scary, jumpy moments but I kept falling asleep which spoilt the effect for me. Post-nightshift narcolepsy.

I've been rewatching the first series of Lost on DVD. I cheated and bought it from america a couple of months ago. I still think it's great. It's like clockwork, the way it all links together. You get a lot from repeated viewing. Stuff has meaning that wasn't there before. The makers say that they were really influenced by Alan Moore's Watchmen and I can see it.

I was playing with google earth last night. It's good fun although the navigation system could be better. I managed to find the street where I grew up and the building I live in now. Impressive.

Anyhowze, that's enuff for now

More soon


Saturday, November 05, 2005


The Brothers Grimm - film review

Went to see this film yesterday evening after coming off my night shift. I was only vaguely aware of its existence and I only went to see it cos my flastmate was keen on it. She's German so it is kinda connected to home for her. I was pleasantly surprised.

The story is about the Grimm brothers, a pair of travelling con-men who pose as ghostbusters in early 19th century Germany. The land is under French occupation and the authorities force the brothers to investigate some real, fairy-tale spooky happenings in an isolated town.

The cast includes Matt Damon, Heath Ledger, Monica Bellucci and MacKenzie Crook (gareth in the office, ghost pirate in pirates of the carribean). I thought the female lead was Keira Knightly but I was wrong cos I am stupid. It's Lena Headley and she's just as good, if not better.

It's a Terry Gilliam film so the sets are ornately designed. The film is very gothic looking and moody with some cool effects. It was pretty funny and I felt that it was a more human film than a lot of his stuff. It was more satisfying than Brazil or Time Bandits. Much better than his version of 'Fear and loathing in Las Vegas' (a favourite book of mine) which was kinda good but kinda sucked ass.

I've done a quick internet search and it looks like this film has been universally panned. My flatmate thought it was average but I did like it. I enjoyed it more than Broken Flowers. I'll give it 8 out of 10 and tell you to give it a shot. I'll watch it again.


Based on this it's a shame he didn't finish his Don Quixote film. It might have been cool

Thursday, November 03, 2005

At the risk of sounding repetitive..........

I really hate nights. I'm sitting about doing nothing at the moment. I've just been playing about on the internet for the past hour or two. I've taken the opportunity to add some more links to the side of this page.

I have one more night to do tomorrow (thursday) and then I'm on leave for nine days. It will be really cool. I can sleep in, do what I want and just enjoy life for a bit.

Before starting my nights I went to The Stand comedy club in Glasgow last Thursday. It's rather cool. They had three or four acts with Bruce Morton as the compere. Bruce Morton used to have a TV series on channel four maybe ten years ago and it was pretty cool.

Anyway he was funny. The headliner guy that night was a bloke called simon munnery (sorry if the spelling is wrong). He too was on TV and radio one as the league against tedium. He also used to write a column in the NME called 'Alan Parker, Urban Warrior' which kicked ass. He's clearly a smart guy and he was saying some interesting stuff. He too was funny.

The rest of the show was cool too. Two young blokes from sunderland did a sort of comedy songs/tenacious D type thing which was funny. There was a younger guy from Glasgow who had a beard and told jokes and stuff like that. As you would expect at a comedy club.

All in all it was a good night and it only cost six quid. I'll go back.

I still haven't been called which is good. I've just bought tickets to see teenage fanclub in a few weeks and I'm going to see Franz Ferdinand soon. Belle & Sebastian and Bob Mould are playing in Glasgow so I'll be going to lots of concerts if I don't have to work.

Life is sweet. Glasgow is a good place, much better than the midlands.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Nights suck

On night four of seven 12 hour night shifts. Horrible, horrible job. Boring and repetitive.

I'm kinda annoyed that I'm missing halloween. Normally a good night to go out. That's life I guess.

They don't pay me enough.

3 more to go


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Broken flowers - film review

I like Bill Murray. I think a lot of people my age do. I remember standing in line to see Ghostbusters as a kid and thinking that Bill Murray was the coolest man on the face of the earth. I still think he's pretty cool.

Broken flowers is the third recent film where Bill Murray plays a fifty year old man who has reached an empty part of his life. He's pretty good at it. He has a hangdog face that just broadcasts inner misery.

This time he's a don juan character who's recently broken up with his latest younger girlfriend. He then recieves a letter that tells him he has a twenty year old son. Unfortunately he doesn't know who the mother is.

He manages to narrow it down to five and spurred on by his sherlock holmes wannabe neighbour he goes on a quest to find meaning in his life.

I'm not gonna tell you what happens. I guess the film probably evokes life as a 55year old bachelor who sits down and asks himself what he has achieved in life. It made me hope I don't end up like that.

I liked it better than 'lost in translation' but I enjoyed 'the aquatic life...' more. The soundtrack isn't as good as either.

Check it out. I give it 7 out of 10. It's Jim Jarmusch aiming for an oscar.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Retrospective record reviews - Dirty by Sonic Youth

Dirty by Sonic Youth is a good record. I'm listening to it right now. I first heard it when it came out 13 years ago. I really liked it back then but I think I appreciate it a bit more now.

Now I don't think Dirty is the best Sonic Youth album and it isn't the first Sonic Youth album that I loved (That honour goes to Daydream Nation which was in my local public library for some reason. I listened to it for a whole summer when I was 12 or 13, the same summer when I got into the Doors).

Dirty is one of Sonic Youth's commercial albums. It was their second album on Geffen and it was produced by Butch Vig who did Nevermind for Nirvana. The record company tried hard to punt this one with several videos that still show up on MTV2 in the middle of the night and several singles.

What is often not said is that Dirty is one of their most emotional albums and one of their most direct albums.

It starts with 100% (also the first single), a song about Joe Cole, former Black Flag roadie and best friend of Henry Rollins who was shot in the back of the head outside Rollins' house in LA. Cole had toured with Sonic Youth and was a friend of the band. The lyrics are clear - "100% of my love, goes out to you true star, It's hard to believe you took off, Always thought you'd go far". The words hit you in the head and in the heart. They have a greater resonance if you know the story. I was lucky enough to see a spoken word performance by Rollins in 1993 where he described Coles death and the emotional impact of his words still spring to mind when I hear this song.

Swimsuit Issue sung by Kim Gordon is about sexual harrassment. Some of the lyrics are a bit clunky but the sheer anger and joyous noise of the guitar give the song some punch.

The next couple of songs (theresa's sound world and drunken butterfly) are classic sonic youth noise, nicely focused by butch vig. In the years since 1992 I don't know if they have ever sounded this sharp again.

Wish fulfillment sounds like a love song to me. Notes bend and distort like a Jackson Pollok painting. The lyrics are about acceptance and reaching out to someone. Is it someone the singer is in a relationship or someone he admires from afar? I don't know. I just think it's a beautiful song. "It's my favourite shot of you......I'm still beside you in spite of everything you do". Nice.

Thank fuck these things are anonymous and nobody could put my name to this.

Anyway Sugar Kane (about Marilyn Monroe) and Youth Against Fascism (george bush senior "yeah the president sux, he's a warpig fuck") both stand up as great singles. I guess, thinking about it, Youth against fascism is even more relevant today.

The rest of the album is bloody good too. I can't be arsed writing more but it's good. It came out as a fancy delux edition last year so other people must think so too. Give it a listen. You might like it, you might hate it.

Enough sub-student pontificating. The weather has been miserable today and the news has been kinda depressing today. Race riots in Birmingham. The result of social deprivation. Sad.

Work was a skive today. Hope it stays that way. Nights on Friday.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A blister in the sun

I've been listening to the Violent Femmes a lot recently. I was never really aware of them when I was younger. I guess they weren't the sort of band that would be massively popular amongst young males in the UK.

They sound pretty fresh to my ears, even though some of their best stuff is over 20 years old. Fresh in a 'first time you hear the velvet underground' way. Well maybe not that fresh, but my ears are cynical.

It's fast, acoustic bass led stuff. Short songs about unrequited love sung is a whiny voice.

I picked up one of their albums about a year ago mainly cos it cost 5 quid and I was bored. I listened to it a bit before I flung it in the pile. About six months later I bought an ipod and burned it on in my initial flurry of ipod related activity.

Then I started listening to the violent femmes. Just a little, at first. I wouldn't skip a song when it came on at random. Then I would hope the song would come on. Then I would just listen to the whole album. And now I've bought another of their CDs.

I guess I like them.

'Blister in the sun' is probably my favourite song of theirs. Gordon Gano (the singer) wrote the song for a girl who wanted to start a band with him. Unfortunately she shaved her head and went to canada and joined a cult. I'm not sure that has anything to do with the lyrical content but it's a class song. Makes me smile.

They have other great songs that are worth checking out. Lyrically they often go for enthusiastic descriptions of male sexuality. Red-blooded males if not exactly gangsta rappers. And much better than most of the pish that blighted my eighties UK childhood.

I think they sold a lot of records in america.



'I held her in my arms' is another class song of theirs. And I've worked out how to add links to the sidebar which is cool.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rubbish jobs

I'm trying to chill out tonight.

Imagine you had a busy job. Imagine you had to work for 12 days in a row. Imagine that your normal working day was about 8 hours long, but then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday you had to work for about 13 hours.

Now imagine that on friday evening and all day saturday and sunday you have a small device attatched to your belt. This device makes an annoying sound every 15 minutes. When this happens you have to phone someone. This person may be nice to you or they might be nasty to you.

Imagine you get no breaks and you have to eat while you work.

Imagine that you have a lot of responsibility and that people depend on you. You can call for help if you really need to but you don't really need to. You do your best to help people. Some of these people are really sick and some of them could even die. You try and stop that happening. You are responsible for about 180 people.

At the end of that you could be exhausted, physically and emotionally drained. You might even have a night of broken sleep because you are worried about one of the sick people you care for. And you still have another five normal working days before a weekend off.

And then 12 more days in a row....

Does that sound like fun?

Kinda sux, doesn't it.

Anyway, I'm trying to chill out now. I've been listening to Maps and Cold Wind by the arcade fire. Both cool (try and google the titles if you want to hear them). I've just read the third doom patrol book by Grant Morrison. It's bizzare but I like it.

I've also been looking at some cool photos by someone called mushsis which people should look at. I should be studying but I figure I deserve a night off.

Gonna do cool stuff this weekend. Play guitars with friends. See family. Sleep. Read. Visit other friends. Nice stuff.



Thursday, October 13, 2005

Classic eighties alternative music

I have recently been thinking about some of the brilliant bands that came out of the american underground in the 1980s. In my view these include Husker Du, the Replacements, the minutemen, Big Black and Sonic Youth.

Now I know sonic youth are slowly re-releasing some of their older records but what about Husker Du. Zen Arcade came out about 20 years ago and I know that some out-takes exist. I would love to hear some of that stuff but I don't forsee it coming out anytime soon.

Big Black have a similar story. I guess Steve Albini is politically oposed to re-releasing some of their rarities on CD but it would be cool to hear them.

I know the replacements re-mastered some stuff but I heard a story about them throwing all their master-tapes in a river. Sad.

Anyway, just a geek-out rant

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Supergrass - live in Glasgow

I went to see supergrass last night in the pissing cold Glasgow rain. I felt a bit like a drowned rat by the time I got to the venue. They were playing the ABC which is pretty cool.

I quite like supergrass. I've never been a massive fan but I own a few of their albums and I think they have a few classic songs. I've never seen them before.

This tour promotes their new experimental album and they seemed to be a bit 'experimental' tonite. They opened with about three new songs which sounded ok but were a bit long and slow. Nice textures but no focus, no bite.

During the course of the night they continued to play unusual arrangements of their classic songs. The version of 'mary' that they played was pish. 'Moving' was class as was 'pumping on your stereo'. We were not worthy enough to hear alright.

The gig was OK but it lacked passion. I might pick up the greatest hits if I see it cheap and the new album if I see it in a bargain bin. I won't specifically see them live again.

Da phunk

PS - scottish football - pish pish pish

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Serenity - movie review

I just saw a film that I've been looking forward to for some time. It was Serenity the spin-off film from Joss Wedons sadly cancelled Firefly series. It was worth the wait.

I guess a film that's a spin-off from a TV series that nobody watched might not be box-office gold. The set up to the movie sets the story up in a way that non-fanboy geeks should be able to follow. The effects are good and there is shit-loads of action.

It's dramatic too, with unexpected plots twists, emotional moments and QUESTIONS ANSWERED. Not your x-files movie pish.

So all in all 'five by five'. Kicks ass. Check it out and pray for a follow up or a spin off tv-series. Be warned though, it is more scary and violent than the TV show. Josh is enjoying freedom from TV censors and packing the blood in. My sensitive cousin was shocked.

Check it out!!!

And bring back futurama too!!!!

Now, even more geeky. Comics. I just read the first 'Strangehaven' book by Gary Spencer Millidge. It's cool in a prisinor rip-off way. Black and white and masonic. I'm gonna read more.

That's it for now.

Da funk

Monday, October 03, 2005

New franz ferdinand album

Just picked up the new Franz Ferdinand CD on the way home from work. I'm half-way through my second listen and I'm liking it so far. It's not a carbon copy of the first album, it's a bit warmer sounding, less angular. It has a couple of ballads and a few rock out tracks. It's a move in a different direction but it isn't a total jump into the unknown. Pretty good.

I'm looking forward to seeing them next month (if someone will swap my shift)

rock on readers


Playing with blogs

I've just spent an hour browsing some other peoples blogs. There is some weird shit out there. Some cool stuff too. It makes me realise how basic my little piece of the internet is. If I can I'll work out how to add more stuff to make it look better.

People use the blog sites for anything - MP3s, porn, airing their personal traumas, pictures of furniture and weird stories about cats. It's addictive. Can't be good for you.

I think this post is gonna get put in the bin sometime soon.

For something really cool check this out

Giant squid!!!!


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Top tens

I'm revising for a work related exam so I#ve been listening to some choonz.

Here's a list of what I think is cool

1. Sons & daughters - the repulsion box. Very nick cave, especially dance me in. Gets the blood pumping.

2. The replacements. Let it be. It's the best but most of the stuff is cool. Should have been much bigger.

3. Modest mouse - This a long drive for someone with nothing to think about. One of their earlier records but still cool. I think 'Good news....' is best. I want more of their stuff now.

4. Minutemen stuff I've downloaded from It seems to be mike watt approved. The live acoustic set is great. Amazing, amazing band. Hope that corona being the theme for jackass will make more people hunt them down.

I'm gonna but the new franz ferdinand album tomorrow. Sounds a bit metal but I will check it out. I've also been geeking out to a few comics. The 'identity crisis' hardcover by brad meltzer from DC comics is good. Dark story and I didn't expect the end. The oversized batman 'hush' book by loeb and lee is a thing of beauty. track it down if you are a geek.

Don't know if I mentioned it in a previous post but I saw dinosaur jr on their recent UK tour a few weeks ago. Great guitar sounds. Some classic songs and some pure pish but I did get a really nice T-shirt.

Just finished watching the american dvd of the first series of 'lost'. I was well impresed. Can't wait to see the second series. Also just seen 'the man' starring samuel L Jackson. Chewing gum for the eyes but a nice flavour.

Anyway, I've spouted enough bullshit



Friday, September 23, 2005


I'm pretty convinced that no-one reads these things. I'm sure that no-one has the time. I don't really have the time to read anyone elses. I don't really have time to write my own.

I'm on holiday this week. I'd just finished a week of nights. Seven12 hour night shifts in a row. Inhuman.

I did get some time to read. I read Jonathon strange and mr norrell by susanna clark (sorry about spelling - tired - might edit it later). That book is cool. A decent read and it's obvious that she made an effort to create the world for the book. Hope she writes something else - doesn't have to be a follow-up.

Also just finished anansi boys by neil gaimen. Very good book again. Short. Like terry pretchett or robert rankin or douglas adams. Read it yourself. I liked it.

Curremtly reading collected early writings of PJ O'Rourke and a book called planet simpson. Both seem good. May write about them another time. Studying for professional exams in january. Lot of fun


Does anyone read this stuff? Enquiring mind would like to know


Sunday, July 24, 2005

The world today

It's a rainy sunday afternoon in the midlands and I'm sitting in the library playing on the internet. I'm moving to scotland next week which will be a big change in my life. I've been in the midlands for five years.

The world is a bit crazy just now. I was shocked by the story about the police shooting the brazillian guy on the london underground. Brutal. I understand that they would be nervous after all the bombings and attempted bombings but it still seems like something out of an american TV show.

I do hope that the police catch the people who are targeting london but they should be arrested and put on trial. Executing people in the street is not right.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Nine Inch Nails live in Glasgow

I've just been to see Nine Inch Nails in Glasgow at the Barrowlands. I've seen the band twice before, six years ago at the Brixton Academy in London and eleven years ago in Glasgow.

It was a sold-out show tonight. The crowd was hot, sweaty and loud. The support act was Saul Williams, a political rapper who was OK but nothing special. It was nice of him to apologise for george bush but I don't think I'll look for any of his CDs in the immediate future.

The headliners came on at 9PM and played for almost two hours. The older songs such as terrible lie, wish, head like a hole and hurt stood out from the more samey new material. The new album is good but the old songs had more passion. The band jumped around and smashed guitars as you would expect from nine inch nails. Trent Reznor looks as if he has spent some time in the gym recently. He used to be such a spindly youth.

All in all it was a good show. I enjoyed the 1999 show and the 1994 show more but it was still a good night out. I didn't buy a t-shirt because they were all expensive and very black but I would watch them again.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London attacks

I just woke up about an hour ago after catching up on some lost sleep. My mother called me from spain and told me about the terrorist attacks in London. It's really sad.

I know a few people who live in London and I just hope that none of them were in any way hurt in the explosions. I have the greatest sympathy for everyone who was touched by these attacks. I hope the culprits are found and brought to justice.

I guess nobody should really be surprised that these attacks have occured. They have obviously been timed to coincide with the G8 summit and George Bush visiting Scotland. We in the west know that terrorists want to hurt us and hold us responsible for the ways in which their people and countries have been suppressed, killed and destroyed over the past century.

It was obvious that London would be attacked at some point. Since 2001 the question has been 'When?' not 'If?'. I hope it does not happen again but I am sure that it will.

My thoughts are with the people of London.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

War of the worlds - film review

When I first saw the trailers for this I thought I would hate it. I expected an americanised take on the classic book. I was pleasantly surprised when I watched this film last night.

Tom Cruise plays a divorced father who struggles to connect with his two children. He is looking after them for a weekend when America is invaded. Humanity meets a powerful enemy and it looks like everyone will die.

The aliens look good and people are killed in a scary way. Children are frightened of terrorists and there is no GI Joe element to the ending. It's a good film, better than Independence Day. I enjoyed it and I wanted to hate it.

Check it out and make up your own mind.


Monday, July 04, 2005

Minor Threat versus Nike

When I was much younger the american punk band Minor Threat were among my heroes. They meant a lot to me. They meant that you should stand up for your own opinions and that you didn't have to be one of the crowd. They meant something.

So I am sad when I read that Nike have used an advertising campaign based on Minor Threat album artwork. I understand that nike want to sell their trainers to cool skateboarding kids but it is a bit shit to rip off a band who never really tried to sell-out. Minor Threat were about being a teenager not selling shoes.

The next shoes that I buy will not be nike.



Sunday, July 03, 2005

Starting up

I'm playing about with this thing after I saw that one of my friends had one. I don't know If I'll use it much (or even at all) but it could be fun. I might use it to talk about music and books and stuff or about the world in general. I'm not sure.

I might put some biographical detail later on but I'll keep it minimal just now. I'm male, british and in my late 20s. I've got a busy job and I'm about to move half-way across the country. I like most sorts of music and I like books when I get a chance. When I was a kid I always wanted to be a writer and in some ways this is a chance to do that.

Normally I'm so busy at work I don't get time to piss about with stuff like this. I'm on holiday just now, so I'll give it a go and hopefully the habit will stick.

Anyway, seeya later