Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Boris live at Glasgow Nice 'n' Sleazy

This gig was full of hipster arseholes and haircuts.

I myself am a dabbler. I had never heard of Boris until my friend texted me to ask if I wanted a ticket to see them. They are a noise rock band from Japan who have taken their name from a Melvins song. They have recently collaberated with another noted noise rock band SUNN(()). I don't know if I have ever heard SUNN(()) either.

For some reason the trendy fuckers of Glasgow have gone mad for Boris. The cramped basement of Sleazy's was sold out and jammed with stupid haircuts. Some of these people had to be Boris fans but I think that some were just there to be seen. I think some of them were taken by surprise.

I had a vague idea of what would occur when my drone rock/grindcore mad friend told me that this show would be 'very loud'. I had a more concrete idea of the situation when he pulled out a box of ear plugs before Boris went on stage and handed me a pair. That was kind of him.

The show was very loud. Bits of the music were very beautiful. It went from slow, quiet instrumental pieces to loud, fast metal to nuclear meltdown noise drones. I never saw my bloody valentine live although I would imagine that the noise segment of 'you made me realise' was similar to parts of this show.

Sometimes, extremely loud droning noises can have a really relaxing effect on you. Music can at times be so loud that you experience it as a physical force, almost like a sonic massage. The end of the Boris set tonight was like that. I think I was able to enjoy it without going deaf because of my ear plugs. I'm reminded of the episode of South Park where the kids search for the 'brown noise', the mythical tone that will make anyone who hears it shit themselves. I used to play bass in a band and sometimes when we were bored we would search for the brown noise, turning off the lights and turning our instruments up as loud as possible while playing one repetitive riff. Sometimes we would turn on a strobe light to make everything seem more freaky. It was good fun. One day the owner of the studio told me that we were so loud that we sent ripples through the ceiling of the room below. I am proud of that.

I like Boris.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Wimbeldon Green - the greatest comic book collector in the world. A story from the sketchbook of the cartoonist "Seth"

This is a great comic book about wasted lives and strange men. I liked the other book by Seth that I bought last week so I ordered this one from amazon as it had good reviews. I was well impressed.

The book is a bit like one of those 'talking heads' style documentaries you see about the Beatles or something from the sixties. The tale of Wimbledon Green, the mysterious alpha-male of the collector world is told through a series of monologues from his rivals. There is little in the way of hard facts regarding Green and we are faced with many unreliable narrators (one of my favourite literary techniques).

The story is pretty sad. It shines a light on the autistic spectrum style male collecting behaviour that is characteristic to nerds worldwide. As a fan of both comic books and obscure noisy music this does hit me a bit close to home (although I do like women too). The characters are well drawn and the depth of the loneliness of Green is hinted at in some of the sections.

Seth claims that this book was just a case of him 'knocking one out' for fun. He says that it is badly drawn and poorly executed. I think it's fucking good and I urge you to give it a shot.

I'm gonna try and spend less time in Forbidden Planet (or on the internet) and more time talking to women. This book is scary.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hot Fuzz - film review

This film kicks ass. Simon Pegg can usually be relied upon for quality and he does not disappoint here. Much like Shaun of the dead, Hot Fuzz takes a macho genre film plot and subverts it. Pegg plays a sort of super-policeman who is transfered from London to a sleepy English village because he is so good that he makes all the other policemen (sorry, police-officers) look bad. Initially it looks like village life will be boring but there is something sinister lurking below the surface.....

I have watched Shaun of the dead and Spaced many times. I think I will do the same with Hot fuzz. My only regret is that I missed it at the cinema.

10 out of 10 (excellent in its field)


Saturday, June 16, 2007

200 posts

So I have now created 200 posts on this site in the past two years. It's still fun so I'm planning to continue. I know some people read this at times but I'm really just doing it for myself. I like to write and I like to express my opinions. It's good to have an anonymous outlet.

I'll be 30 in September. I don't own a house and I can't drive. I've got a good job but I don't have a girlfriend right now. I enjoy my life and I love Glasgow. I'm lucky that events have recently conspired to allow me to stay in town for another year. It will be interesting to find out where I'll be after another 100 posts.

It's a good life if you don't weaken by Seth

I picked this up in Waterstones at the same time as Exit Wounds. I had heard a lot of good stuff about this book and I was keeping my eyes open for the reissue.

This is very much a personal, alternative comic. I think it is autobiographical. Seth is the main character in the book. He portrays himself as a disaffected loner who longs for a bygone age. He dresses as if he was alive in the 1940s and he becomes obsessed with an obscure cartoonist who published in the New Yorker magazine after the Second World War. He embarks on a quest to find out more about this man. He is so single minded in his quest that his relationship with his girlfriend falls apart.

The art is less polished than exit wounds but the characters are well rounded. I'm gonna check out more books by Seth. You might like this book but if you don't read comics normally I would try something like exit wounds or Hate by Pete Bagge first.

Exit wounds by rutu modan

I picked this up today cos it was a cold, wet Saturday afternoon in June in Glasgow (I'm stretching that a bit far). Exit wounds in a graphic novel from Israel by Rutu Modan. It is the story of Koby a taxi driver in Tel Aviv who meets a female soldier. She tells him that she thinks his estranged father was killed in a suicide bombing at a bus station in Hadera. Together they try to find out if the dead man was really Koby's father.

The story examines the realtionship between Koby and his dad. It turns out that Koby's dad had a lot of secrets.

The art is beautiful. It has nice clean lines and reminds me of Herge and Tintin. It is bright and full of warm primary colours. The script is good and the relationships between the characters are authentic. Comics are often male dominated so it is cool to read a book by a talented female creator.

Israel is not my favourite country but this book gives you a window into Israeli life. This is a good comic to read if you don't like comics. If you read it, you will want to read more.


Film review - Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer

I went to see this film last night because I had nothing else to do on a rainy Friday night in Glasgow in June (see a theme here?). I did not have great expectations as the first one was shit. I do love Fantastic Four comics and I have done since I was a kid so I thought 'what the fuck?' and bought a ticket. I wanted to see how they did the Silver Surfer and Galactus.

This is a better film than the first one. It has more jokes and some good action sequences. The Silver Surfer looks great although I felt cheated by what they did with Galactus.

Not the worst superhero film ever but not the best. At least I didn't fall asleep this time.

6 out of 10

Megadeth live at the Glasgow Barrowlands.

Have you seen Jurassic Park? This gig was like a mosquitto, trapped in amber a million years ago. Megadeth have not changed in any way that I have noticed since I first heard them in 1987/88. I don't really like them much now. I never really did.

So, why did I go and see them? One of my friends had a spare ticket and asked if I wanted it. I had nothing else to do on a wet Glasgow Tuesday in June so I went. It gave me a chance to go to the Barrowlands which is one of my favourite music venues. It continues to be a total dive as always.

I do not own any Megadeth albums. I think I have one of their 7" singles somewhere. I do like their first album 'killing is my business .......and business is good' because of the Nancy Sinatra cover 'these boots are made for walking' and Mechanix, the original version of Metallica's 'the four horsemen'.

I do think that most of their stuff is pish. In my subjective opinion tonights show did not prove me wrong.

Megadeth are competent. They can play their songs. They can play fast. They can walk around while playing. Dave Mustaine can't sing too well. All of the songs have the same sort of structure and tempo to my uneducated ears.

The set was OK. They played Mechanix, Peace sells.... and Symphony of destruction. I didn't recognise the rest.

I like some bands like Megadeth. Classic period Metallica (the first four or five albums), Anthrax and Slayer were all better thrash bands. I like heavy bands like Neurosis and Graveyard Rodeo. I like loads of hardcore punk. Megadeth are just dull.

The crowd at this show was odd. Loads of '80s style metal heads. I guess they do still exist and I don't go to the places where they lurk. I had long hair but it was never that long. The crowd was in a scary, fucked up time-warp.

So it was OK for a wet Tuesday night in Glasgow when I had fuck all else to do.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Further adventures in songwriting

I wrote and recorded another song with one of my friends the other day. It's a bit more introspective than the last one, sounding more like Arab Strap, Mogwai or dub. It's about having a hangover (which we both did when we wrote it).

I came up with the bassline and played it. My mate programmed the drums and played guitar. I then mixed the music track and wrote lyrics. We took a few attempts to get the vocals right. I think it's good but it needs more work.

It's called 'army of 1000 stoned drummers' for no real reason other than the dub-like sound and I'll stick it on myspace when it is finished.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Franz Ferdinand live at the Glasgow Grand Old Opry

I love the Grand Old Opry in Glasgow. It is an amazing concert venue. It's a country and western club in Govan on the south side of the Clyde. The last time I was there was to see Teenage Fanclub in 1998. It hasn't changed. The sound is good, the hall is intimate, the drink is cheap. There is no actual sawdust on the floor but I kinda want to pretend that there is.

I found out about this secret Franz Ferdinand gig when I was messing about on the internet. They are playing two shows in Glasgow to try out some of their new songs. The tickets were cheap and sold out in a flash. It was a good chance to play Glasgow indie bingo. I spotted the ubiquitous Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian as well as various members of Eska. There was also a high proportion of posers in the crowd. The guest list was pretty long.

The last time I saw Franz was at their SECC show a couple of years back. They were ok but not great. The SECC is a 'limited' venue and I think tour fatigue was kicking in for them.

Tonight they were on top form. They opened with a kick ass version of 'michael' follow by 'come on home' and a heavy version of 'shopping for blood'. I nearly shot my load. (I love shopping for blood cos it's about yuppies in the merchant city of Glasgow. I hate yuppies even though I am doomed to become one)

They played some new songs that whilst embrionic show promise. I think they have been listening to krautrock and they were certainly hitting out with some chilly keyboard sounds. The best of the bunch were 'new kind of kick' and 'turn me on' which had some heavy moog keyboard bass that makes me want to waste money on useless musical instruments.

We got a few more hits including 'walk away', 'the fallen', '40 feet' and a countrified version of 'matinee' (possibly a tribute to the venue).

My pal tried to tape 'take me out' on his phone but was stopped by an over-zealous security woman. Total joykiller! Anyhow I think the gig was filmed properly so I hope to see it again some time. My mate did consider trying to film the rest of the show through the fly of his jeans but the prospect of 20 minutes of murky footage of his cock soundtracked by Franz Ferdinand was just too disturbing.

A great night.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Film review - Pirates of the Caribbean - World's end

I went to see this at the cinema today with my dad. The word on the street is that it sucks but the last film ended on a cliffhanger and my dad was keen to see it so I thought I would take the risk. we went to an afternoon show at the local cinema and the place was full of screaming kids throwing popcorn and peanuts. Joy.

The film itself wasn't terrible although the plot was a bit convoluted. There are some great scenes with Johnny Depp lighting up the scene as Jack Sparrow. His first scene in this film, where he appears to have gone mad, is great. It's a bit out there for a kids film but I thought it was cool. I also like the scene where he talks about his 'magnificent vessel' with two young ladies. Keith Richards makes an appearance although for some reason he does not appear to be wearing any make-up.

Basically, it's not entirely pish but it won't change your life. Also, stay in the cinema for a touching bonus scene after 10 minutes of titles.