Sunday, November 18, 2007

I have my bloody valentine tickets

I managed to get tickets to see MBV. I am happy now.

The Grindhouse films - Planet Terror and Death Proof

I've just watched these two films on import DVD and I'm sad that I never had the chance to see them in the cinema as the directors intended. Tarintino and Rodriguez are both big-names in their own right and together they provide a blockbuster package. Sadly the package was a bit too complicated for the average American so it tanked at the box-office and the films were seperated for DVD release and world-wide distribution.

Planet Terror is a primary-colour zombie film. It's good fun and inventive. Not too demanding intellectually but worth watching. Death Proof is a road/horror movie with a cool soundtrack.

Neither of these films is a masterpiece but they are pure entertainment. If your like rubbish films you should see them.

Daywatch - DVD review

Daywatch is a Russian language film, the follow up to Night Watch which came out a year ot two ago. It is probably best to see Night Watch first to fully enjoy this film.

The story is about two opposing supernatural police forces in Moscow who work together to balance good and evil. It's based on a popular series of Russian novels (which I am currently reading). It has been seen as the Russian answer to the Matrix although it is not as tacky.

It's funny and weird with some big explosions and a twisty plot. I like it. You might too if you want something different.

Jello Biafra - live at the Glasgow Arches

Jello Biafra has been a hero of mine since I was a young teenager. I started to listen to the Dead Kennedys when I was about 12 and the songs were important to me. The anti-authority, questioning attitude of this music probably helped shape who I am. I listened to his music every day for several years.

Biafra is a strong character. He is very anti-corporate and anti-government. He has done his best never to 'sell-out' in punk rock terms. Despite recent legal problems with the other Dead Kennedys he has done his best to avoid his music being used in the commercial sector.

Now he works more as a spoken word performer than as a musician. He has recently recorded albums and toured with the Melvins but for the most part he runs his record labels and does 'spoken word' stuff.

'Spoken word' is an unusual concept. It can be funny but it's not really stand up comedy. For Biafra it is more like a lecture as he details the evils of George Bush II and the military industrial complex. My mate (who I forced to attend) described the event as a 'left wing self affirmation event' enjoyed the evening, possibly even more than I. This is a tribute to Biafra's magnetic personality and natural showmanship. Sadly after 3 hours and 15 minutes I couldn't take anymore and I had to go to the pub. I am a 'sell out' but I will never vote for George Bush.



On Wednesday we went to Avebury for something to do. Avebury is the largest surviving stone circle in the UK. It is rather impressive when you see it. The site is made up of a large ditch surrounding 3 rings of stone circles. Some of the stones are pretty big and it must have taken year to build the site.

No-one knows why the circles were created although a lot of theories exist. Unsurprisingly Avebury is a hippy mecca. The bookshop is a wonder to behold. Books describing a muliitude of alternative and unscientific thought are available there. Faith-healing, UFOs and paganism.

Julian Cope lives near Avebury and signed copies of his two slip-case edition scholarly works on big stones are available at the hippy book shop. My friendly chat with the shop-owner about Mr Cope resulted in her thinking that I was a stalker which was a bit uncomfortable.

We ate in the Red Lion, the local pub. The food was good and I would go back.

There is also a large white horse at Cherhill carved into the hillside outside Calne on the road ro Avebury. Worth seeing, and you don't have to pay for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I was in the same room as Julian Cope on Monday

Currently on holiday in Bristol. Escaping the cold of Scotland for the cold of the South West. Went to a weird krautrock gig on Monday night in a bar called the Croft. Two German guys were making weird electronic pulsing music. They used to play in Neu!, Kraftwerk and Harmoni. It sounded OK but I was so tired that I couldn't focus on the bands.

The interesting thing about the night was that Julian Cope was DJing. He's a freaky guy. I read his autobiography 'head-on' a few years back. It kicked ass (the book). He was playing heavy sounding rock records most of which I had never heard before and I am unlikely to hear again. It was good shit. He was wearing some sort of German tank commander hat and he just looks like a cartoon character. He also appears to be about 6foot6 tall.

The crowd in this place was weird. Long-haired krautrock fans who all seemed to be on mind altering drugs. My female companion was one of only 5 women in the building. She found it disconcerting.

My life intersected with Julian Cope again, later in the week (to be continued....)

My Bloody Valentine strike back

My Bloody Valentine are playing in Glasgow next year. I will cry if I don't get a ticket.