Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Physics lists

when i was at school, my two best friends were Oliver and Dan. We would spend alot of time writing out our Top 10 Lists, mainly of which bands we liked the most that week, and it was generally a big change each week. It would genrally revolve around these bands though;

Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Big Black, Rapemean, Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Flipper, Slint, Rodan, June of 44, Scratch Acid, Melvins, Nirvana, Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr, Joy Division, Fudge Tunnel, Sepultura etc.

This formed the basis to our Physics lessons, as our teacher believed that we would understand some basic laws of said subject if he span a full bucket of water above his head.

Also, Physics and Religious Education both had the same colour and size textbook, so avoiding work was easily acheived by handing in the wrong book to each lesson. In this spirit, and as we are all getting older and getting married and having babies and getting fatter and losing hair, we are restarting the Top 10 Club, changing subjects regulaly, in the interest of where our passions now lie, 15 years down the road. Here is Olivers top 10 for fiction novels and my reply to this, a few similarities are cropping up which is nice to know.

1. John Fante: Ask the Dust - The perfect antithesis of romance, two people attracted yet unbelievably cruel to each other. I always like a tale about a struggling writer!
2. Fydor Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment - I don't think anyone writes like Dostoevsky, so illustrative and meticulously narrated through dialogue. Again, I love the stuggling academic!
3. Fydor Dostoyevsky: The Idiot - More of a warming tale than the grit that is Crime and Punishment, the character of the idiot is how I imagine Jesus to be if noone had ever written about him.
4. Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margharita - The devil visits communist Russia and screws with people's heads while simultaneously telling the story of Jesus as if it has been completely misunderstood by his disciples and the Christian faith. The damn Catholic faith has made me a tad obsessed with Jesus while convincing me of the complete nonsense that is organised religion!
5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez: 100 Years of Solitude - This book is filled with so much detail, and tells a story so intricately without really succumbing to great passages of elaboration.
6. Will Self: The Book of Dave - A taxi driver goes mad due to his divorce and writes a rant that becomes a book addressed to his son, which is then found hundreds of years later and worshipped as the new Bible! Brilliant critique of all religion.
7. George Orwell: 1984 - Brilliant book, which I must admit loses me at the point when the main character reads the handbook about the essential ethos of the regime he wants to resist, but I like it in a doomed romance sense.
8. Roald Dahl: Completely Unexpected Tales - Really dark short stories, great for reading on the bog!
9. Albert Camus: The Outsider - Haven't read this one for a while actually, and I struggle to get into any other Camus books, but I like the idea and the mood of this book.
10. Hubert Selby Jnr: Waiting Period - Another really dark story about a man curious about killing someone and getting away with it. Similar to Crime and Punishment with regards to reasoning killing and then suffering the human consequences, but I love how well researched the method of killing is!

I'm sure I forgot lots of books, and I've got such a long list of books to read, that I'm sure this will change for future physics lessons!

My Reply:

Albert Camus – The Outsider
I couldn’t think about anything else for weeks after I read this, and as Oliver said, which is great, really intense and wrought with tension.

Charles Bukowski – Ham on Rye
My personal pick for Bukowski, which is strange as it his biggest departure from his classic style, which I love, but it sets up his other novels in terms of sowing the seeds of apathy and hatred.

John Fante – Ask the Dust
Almost like a mix of classic Bukowski and Knut Hamson, making me wish I was living in California in the 20’s & 30’s. I think I bought this for you Ollie?? I hope I did as it topped your list.

JG Ballard – Empire of the Sun
What an impact, especially as a young man, and as a set up for his other books, and his fascination as an author with the darker sides of life. I wanted to put sown also the follow on novel ‘The Kindness of Women’ and his short novellas ‘Running Wild’ and ‘Concrete Island’.

Billy Childish – Calling Things by Their Proper Names
Although not one of his awesome novels, this is my favourite volume of his poetry, with an awesome screened / beautifully bound hardback cover.

Henry Miller – Tropic of Cancer
The most intelligent dirty old man, awesome.

Mark Danielewski – House of Leaves
Mind blowing, my only new book on the list, are real strange format which demands a physical inclusion, and probably best not for a bus journey, attention demanding to say the least, but very satisfying and esoteric in equal measures.

Phillip Pullman – His Dark Materials Trilogy
I know, but I loved it, even though we have discussed it faults, but all three ruled my world for a good week or so. I almost wish I could read them again fresh.

Knut Hamson – Hunger
My choice for the starving artist syndrome award, perfect, and almost timeless in that it could be set in any era apart from a few pointers to when it is set.

Truman Capote – Music for Chameleons
Amazing set of short stories, with a pre-cursor to In Cold Blood, with the most amazing picture on the front of the penguin edition, Truman dancing with marilyn, top stuff!

I look forward to Dans reply now!

Pancake day

my girlfriend took care of my sick man-flu infested ass yesterday by cooking me amazingly thick pancakes which we drizzled with golden syrup and nutella , i say drizzled but in my case poured on. man they were good, nice and thick, slightly browned, mmmmmmmm.
I would have taken a picture but i was hungry and ate too fast so instead i'm posting a picture to give you an idea of how out-of-this-world amazing it was!


Tuesday, 24 February 2009

not even a one hit wonder # part 1

i spend a large amount of time listening to 60's garage punk / psych comps with bands that might have had one 45 out,played a few local dances and maybe (in the rare cases) released an album. I wish i was a teenager in the 60's in America when everything seemed possible and being in a band with matching outfits was the rad thing to do so you would cool whilst playing at the local sock hop.

Maybe we'll look back and remember playing every dive in East London and squashing into the old blue for free shows, but none of us have hot rods or garages for us to practice in which sucks.

Here are a few choice selections, some are quite well known and some are not, but they are all essential! This post is all Pebbles or Nuggets based stuff, i will do another one on other comps. such as Back From The Grave / High In The Mid 60's etc.

The Journeymen - 'She's Sorry'
no one has much info on this cut apart from they were from Tampa, Florida and this song kills me everytime. (sorry no vid)

The Litter - 'Action Women'
Raw midwest punk, awesome riffs which stick in my head forever.

The Floyd Dakel Combo - 'Dance Franny Dance'
I can't remember if this was played at Rockabilly Rebels in Hackney before but this is what i want to dance to on my saturday nights, classic texas rockin punk with hints of Eddy Fuller / Buddy Holley. This video is a reformed version of the backing band, its not great but its all you tube has to offer.

The Shadows of Knight - 'Gloria'
This was originally written, weirdly enough by Van Morrison and was made famous by Them, but i prefer this Chicago bands version. Also check their other single 'Oh Yeah' which was a stormer of '66 with an awesome R N B feel.

The Stoics - 'Hate'
Snotty vocals make this as does the backstory for this gem, going that this band from San Antonio, Texas were favourites of local mexican gang called 'Capinch' whose leader Jay Ketira is credited as author of this song although his only band contribution was to pack out their gigs and make sure they one every battle of the band competition they entered!

The Little Boy Blues - 'I Can Only Give You Everything'
So Beck stole this guitar line for Devils haircut and we (Thee Fair Ohs) stole it for our song 'Hospitals', as Dan Reeves once said, "riffs are riffs, cabs are cabs". I don't get the second part, but that riff is so good it needed stealing again.

The Choir - 'Its Cold Outside'
Complete British Invasion love here, with this Cleveland band apparently starting their career covering b-sides of The Beatles/Kinks etc and previously going under the name 'The Mods', but still this songs is not from the Mersey but is good enough to be.

The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - 'You're Gonna Miss Me'
I swear everyone has probably heard this song without realising, but its so good and they even released a few albums, with the first 2 being insanely good, get the re-issued mono version of the debut album on vinyl, its great.

The Standells - 'Dirty Water'
This band gave garage punk one of its best riffs, the boston red sox its signature song, the london club its name and Minor Threat a great song to cover (good guys dont wear white), nuff said.

The Castaways - 'Liar Liar'
Hands down, one of my all time fav's. Again, like the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, alot of people don't realise they know this, but it got revived in that Lock Stock film by Madonnas ex dude who has been remaking the same film for the past decade unsuccesfully. Still this song is beyond good, and written by 18 year kids, fuck!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Yo La Tengo

i really miss my copy of 'I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One', which has been lost to the numerous house moves or friend lends of time. It makes me sad as this is such a great indie rock record, and although i have a few other Yo La Tengo albums, it just makes it harder as it not the songs i want to listen too.

When i was a teenage in Reading, i didn't steal Cds from HMV like some of my mates, but i did come across this record, inside its cover, ripe for the picking in an un-manned shop who had a rip off merchant for a boss and i went for it, straight out of the 'Y' section, into my pocket, out the shop to glory. Only when i got to the Forbury Park to look at my first 'steal', i realised that in the panic, i had picked up the wrong CD and was now holding in my hand the second Veruca Salt album, and i dint even like the first one! My karma was pretty instant, showing crime = bad times.

If anyone wants to sell their vinyl copy of this album or make me a CD-r version i would be very happy!