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we're happy: it's a fact.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"British people in hot weather,
Fill green envelopes and send them to ya
On train ride, read Marx tracts
Play walkmans loud behind ya
Demonstrate on Oxford Street
About what the Hell they couldn't tell ya
British people in hot weather
Have a heart-to-heart with your sister
People in shorts drunk before ya
Beached whale in Wapping
His armpit hairs are sprouting
Serpentine ah.... Serpentine grrr...
British people in hot weather

Press hot houses waste tree statements
Compare your pearls before the King of Monks
I'm telling ya, oh
Do they know they can get cancer?
Designer tramp goes grrr...
Looking jolly from Stoke
As he walks through and makes up
Titles like this, to order
They're well off their trolley
Smoking like a chimney
Bespectacled stare-out
British people in hot weather

I was a candidate for club 18-30
but I've been through all that shit before
British people in hot weather
That's it, I'm looking straight for the car
If that's how you feel, let's go
British people in hot weather "
-the fall.

i love that bit about reading marx tracts on trains, because that's what i do sometimes.

Next time you cook some risotto [assuiming that you do such things], and you’ve got a bit left over at the end of the meal, don’t worry. Make little balls out of it, brush them with beaten eggs, roll them in bread crumbs, fry them + you’ve got a delicious snack that keeps really well that you’d pay loads for at borough market + other such places.
Roni size + aim + ugly duckling at nottinham rock city 17 march,
Meant to write about this ages ago, but I forgot. It was a weird night.. it didn’t feel like being in a club, but more like being at a gig. Everyone was crushed towards the stage, there were live drums + bass in roni size’s set + the whole presentation felt like a gig, which I don’t really like. I don’t like it when people stop and bask in applause. I want them just to carry on + do their job. I don’t like it when everyone stares up at a stage with a weird, idolising gaze. I don’t like everyone pushing forward for a closer look and stopping people from dancing. Musicians should be anonymous as far as possible in most situations. But the music was OK. I’m not a big drum n bass fan. To me, there seems to be something unappealing about that whole one-bar rhythm loop. It sounds like punishment music, grooveless, sexless and self flagellating in a way. But that’s just me. I mean, grime is probabl;y equally sexless and grooveless, but it often has the whole fucked up, rickety dreamy quality that drum n bass doesn’t [or at least . the drum n bass around today that acquainted with, with is hardly anything]. But the basslines were still great and there was sometimes a sense of exhiliration at just how hardcore + streamlined + metallic + mechanical it sounded, but that’s exactly what makes it a bit boring for a whole night. The mc, I think it was dynamite, was excellent though. He should cross over into grime he he. And that young protégé Tali was also on stage with roni size but she was bit rubbish. Although I don’t like it when people sing over club tracks anyway as a rule, she was particularly dull. She didn’t work the crowd at all + was a totally fogettable presence. She might be good at doing relaxing drum n bass albums for the Sunday broadsheets to review though. AIM was excellent, with samples of dragging guitar riffs + rolling breaks. Much better than I’m making it sound. And ugly duckling [who Neil says are famous, although ignorant-me had never heard of them] were kind of fun. Comedy hip-hop should be terrible, but sometimes its OK, like Cex and ugly duckling. They started taking the piss out of someone on the dancefloor for acting like a gangsta with his hood up and screwface and all. They were really laying in to him, and I thought that it was going to get a bit ugly cuz Neil tells me that nottingham rudeboys have a particularly fearsome reputation. But it was all OK, thankfully. Loads of other stuff happening on the night as well, of course, but I can’t remember it…

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

" 'do you make mistakes?'- yes
'Have you made any mistakes lately?'- NO"
- Wiley.

to forestall any calls of hypocrisy from people who know me, i should point that despite what i said in that thing about i-pods, i love The Streets. i just think its unfortunate that mike skinner now seems to be daily mail reader's token 'dance/urban purchase' of choice. [actually what is The Streets? its not really uk hip hop, and its not garage. i'm not sure what 'hooligan house' is- and i doubt those who coined the term really do-, but it doesn't seem to be that. he's alone out there.]

also, i like a lot of people who own i-pods.

i'm going to try to make silverdollarcircle a bit less angry. the sun is shining after all. on days like today, when the temperature is up, things SOUND different. everything sounds a bit softer, a bit more echoey. is this just my imagination, or is there a scientific explanation? if there is, please tell me as i would be delighted to find out. in fact, even if there isn't a scientific explanation, feel free to make one up and tell me. as long as you've got impressive scientific credentials I'll believe you, and i'll still be delighted.

that wiley single isn't out till next week. i was so disappointed last night when i made it to the shops. i'm sure they said it was going to be out on march 29th. in virgin megastore on oxford street they've got this pretty gruesome 'tribute' to kurt cobain. 10 years since his death and all that, so Virgin would like you to buy a nirvana album off them to show appropriate respect. anyway, they've got this board up for people to write their tributes to him, and one says, 'I'm sorry that they have marketed your death' in big letters. excellent stuff.

Monday, March 29, 2004

some more links up there>>>>>>>>>>>>>

right i'm off to see if i can still get a copy of wiley's 'what do u call it' before the shops shut and i advise you to do the same...
every body go to this:

30th april, coronet theatre elephant and castle london town
-papa m
-four tet
-matthew dear
-explosions in the sky
-animal collective
-soul jazz soundsystem
and a few more i've forgetten

come on, its like ATP without the hassle. so lets go...

ROLL DEEP have got some new words;
'shanguli', which apparently means getting through things by the skin of yr teeth [and wiley's devil mixes are now shanguli mixes]
which means getting fucked over by the police.

be told.
full story here

there's a good d.e.e interview on rwd as well.
was in kings cross at the weekend, seeing that boys who sew exhibition at the crafts council [its alright, worth a look...] and all up pentonville road there's loads of posters saying 'text Wiley to this number...'. i wonder what happens if you do.
i bet its spectacular.
i was watching Friends the other day [i know, i know...] and at the end they gave a number to call if you wanted 'friends tips texts' sent to yr phone. what on earth is that about. what happens? whats a friends tip? Advice? Jokes? Love? who pays good money for this stuff? i'm almost tempted to phone up and find out, but i'm poor as chickens...
desert sessions is driving me a bit mental. its been a tough week and i've really needed some nice music but i've only cracked once, yesterday, when i decided to tune in to deja for a bit of respite. and they played adverts for a whole hour. fuck, i thought. and then went back to desert sessions

Right every day when I get on the tube there’s some young professional type with an I-pod. Apparently these can store a billion songs [on a conservative estimate]. But everyone who owns one seems to be a real two-albums-a-year type [these being robbie williams’ latest-‘saw him at knebworth. Brilliant showman mate’- and amy winehouse- ‘really good to chill to’-, if yr interested. And maybe The Streets is they fancy something a bit ‘dancey’ and ‘urban’.] so whats going on? Unless yr a serious record collector like, say, matthew woebot, you don’t need an I-pod. You just need a C90 tape. Sorry if this sounds all prejudiced and snobbish but, you know, I’m a bad person….

Saw Bardo pond and Jackie-o-motherfucker at the ICA the other night. The ICA is a crazy place. When we got their lots of people seemed to be getting handed free champagne. But not us. They must have realised that we were just common ruffians, not the contemporary art elite. Anywhere that sells beer that costs £4.80 a pint and ‘handmade’ crisps instead of Walkers/Golden Wonder and hands you yr change at the bar in a silver tray is treading on dangerous ground. But its alright. Jackie-O were a bit underwhelming. The first 20 minutes or so were pretty excrutiating. Drone guitars played with violin bows, tiny bells rung next to mics [what is it with improv groups and tiny bells?], muffled recordings played through dictaphones. Exactly what you’d expect, in a way. And it came perilously close to a kind of Fast Show skit of what an improv. Concert is like, in its po-faced austerity and uncertain fumbled sprawl. lots of semi-nervous, 'are they taking the piss' glances in the audience. But after that they branched out into skeletal improvised country riffs, sounding weather beaten, eroded, but still smouldering like desert sounds. Things picked up, but I still think if they weren’t called jackie-o-motherfucker they wouldn’t have got half the attention they did, and do. Bardo Pond were magnificient, though. You know what yr going to get with these. They just do one very particular thing very well and that’s it. But it’s a good thing to do. I’d like to live in Bardo Pond’s sound world, imagine constantly inhabiting these aquatic, rainforst-dense noise waves. Just for a day, that’d be a great day. The music drifts and swirls, soundwaves crashing, the singer slurs in that way she always does, a mark e smith for students on hallucinogens, and you can feel it all through you its so loud, and the bass has control over yr stomach but its soft +chemical like a warm bath, bubbles, like Merzbow should be perhaps, you want to dance, just as an excuse to float around to the music, just to slip even further under but then you notice that some people are dancing and even though they look kind of cool you know you couldn’t do it and it wouldn’t be comfortable. Not in the ICA on no drugs. It’d bring you back with a jolt. It was surprising how raw it all sounded. It was more like seeing a hardcore band than anything sometimes. The guitarists even pogo’d. everyone was happy.

Thursday, March 25, 2004



Regular, long term readers [if there are any] might know that my feelings on the plasticman/mark one/jon e cash/hatcha version of grimey darkness- the dubstep or sublow or Croydon sound- is pretty variable. First, initial enthusiasm, rising to fervent praise for plasticman’s crew Virus Syndicate, then fell out with it as a little bit too heavy on the grimey darkness and too light on fun and excitement. I still think the latter, overall. I think rinse, with its pretty much 24/7 mix of croydon sounds, is probably one of the worst garage pirates around [I sentence which looks weird, I know]. But I think I might have been a bit too hasty. A few things have led to this. Simon reynolds comment that grime isn’t dance music really hit me as something shockingly, obviously true. But something I hadn’t realised before. Part of this is due to how I came to grime. Before getting into it I listened to mainly dub, old dancehall, digital hardcore/breakcore, and a bit of jungle and ragga. I got into grime on the basis of friends recommendations that it had many similarities with cutting edge dancehall, and when I finally heard it during xmas 2002 I was really struck by how much it sounded like early digital hardcore- to me, it was like someone was carrying on what Shizuo and Bomb 20 had started, but in a proper SCENE this time, with a real, concrete cultural context and importance. This wasn’t the micro-movement of a small group of musicians like digital hardcore, but a real, plausible attempt at a full scale takeover of the airwaves and the ears of britain’s/the world’s youth. A movement. [in a way, of course, grime really tried to achieve, and has partly achieved, the kind of victory that DHR only talked about]. But this kind of background meant that I heard grime in a particular way- as dance music [just like dancehall is dance music] and as primarily instrumental music. Of course a lot of grime tracks and most grime pirate shows have MCs but coming to the music for first time I listened for the music, rather than for the MCs. Partly this was due to my musical background, and my expectations that I took to the music [grime as an offspring of jungle for example.], but also I think it’s a fairly natural reaction of someone new to this sound- the instrumental tracks are much more immediately alien [and, I guess because of this, immediately interesting]- have more of a ‘what the fuck is that?’ factor- than the MCing does.

Only fairly recently, after listening to a great deal of grime, have I lost these intial expectations and scene grime for what, I think, it really is. Its not dance music, and its very much MC oriented- on a lot of pirate shows the DJs are turned right down with the MCs almost completely dominating the mix. And the rhythm of grime matches the stop start, syncopated flow of the MCs rather than the needs/demands of the dancefloor. The music is often a bleeping, stuttering sound poem to complement the MCs poetry [contrast jungle MCs transforming themselves into a percussive instrument aimed at the dancefloor]. You could even make a case than the sheer strangeness, the alien contours, structures and sounds, of grime are due to it NOT being a dance music, to it largely doing away with rhythmic pulse in a way not even jungle did.

At first the MC dominance in grime, when realised for what it is, frustrated me. Which is one reason I liked, and still do, new brand flex’s + dj macky’s sets on deja- with them, you can often hear grime tracks unadorned {not drowned out} by MCs, in all their thrilling brutalist awkward beauty. To hear the DJs no longer second to the MCs was relaxing in a way, and even felt strangely liberating [listening to MCs chat and shout and rant and hector night after night can quickly become an oppressive experience- try listening to a full two hours of crazy titch]. But gradually, I returned to my love of the MC pirate sets. The more often you hear the same MCs the more rewarding it is: you get to know them, spot runnign themes, minor obsessions and continuing wars, hear how they’re playing around with and having fun with old lyrics, coming up with new ones. You even end up feeling an artificial kind of affectionate closeness to some. Also, once I realised that grime wasn’t really a dance music I noticed just how well the music fits the Mcing- the best MCs {say Demon, god’s gift, kano, jookie mundo ] can lock so tightly with the tracks sometimes that the energy seems to just burn out of the speakers-like this, at its best, grime sounds unstoppable, almighty, almost psychopathically focussed [check out the ‘shenanigans’ sequence in ‘can’t hold me down’ by durty doogz for a good recorded example].

But back to the point- now I’ve finally realised that grime isn’t what I used to think it is, the Rinse FM sound has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s the vanguard dance music of london at the moment, the cutting edge dancefloor sound of the pirates. The ONLY new form of dance music that the pirates are pushing. In a sense, its all we’ve got. That could make the whole thing disappointing, cuz a lot of this music is pretty unenjoyable. But its current role, its unique position, seems to make it worth checking out at least sporadically. To give up on it totally would be truly sad, an admission that dance-wise the pirates have nothing at all that’s both new and exciting to offer now. And if the sublow/dubstep sound begins to mutate, begins to lighten up a bit as the summer sets it and the sheer economic necessity of getting the ladies on the dancefloor has an effect, it could become a fantastic scene. Imagine how great party-sublow sounds would be. Like a true uk version of brutally minimal miami bass perhaps. A return to youngstar’s boom + whump of the distorted kick would be good. People taking up geeneus’s acidic tendencies [on ‘detroit’] could also be a way forward. Geeneus is picking up the tempo’s + putting out tracks with memorable riffs + melodies. If people follow him, this scene could become vital. Right now it feels like the darker, slower plasticman + hatcha + jon e cash type stuff is winning out though. I’m not sure if now is a crucial tipping point for the scene or not. I think probably it’ll get darker and more dubby, more smoky and blunted, [even further into the ‘ZFI’…perhaps even further than anyone’s gone since drill n bass!] until there’s a massive reaction against it. But that’s probably just because I’ve been reading about Marxist breakdown theories all week.

Expectations you take to music are important, I guess as my experiences with grime show. And I think I came to the sublow stuff with the wrong expectations. I expected it, wanted it, to be a continuation of jungle [and I guess of grime too], with that same kind of manic excitement. Perhaps I thought this just because of the people involved- slimzee, rinse fm, god’s gift, geeneus etc. I don’t know. But really, sublow seems to have very little in common, artistically, sonically, with that continuum. Its more like a brutal, beltram-ish vision of techno- check out The Alias’ ‘Gladiator’, for the best example of techno pulse + sick shimmer and glow. Again, once you see the scene in this light, it becomes a lot more interesting- it’s a form of techno produced by + for working class london kids, not the middle class elite that techno tends to cater for nowadays, where its often just another ‘academic’ theory-laden music sitting comfortably on the pages of The Wire. Sublow could, or is, taking techno back into the position it was in during the early nineties- a druggy, minimal sound for grass roots dancefloors and air waves. Its hardcore.


Palace- ‘its not like an urge, its more like a duty’. Here will oldham seems to be drawing attention to the differences between a Humean and a Kantian view of motivation. Rather than aligning himself with the Humean view that only desires, which assail us as ‘urges’, can motivate us to act intentionally, the bonnie prince shows some support for the Kantian view that the cognitive recognition that an act conforms to duty (rather than simply desiring the performance of the act, or the outcome of the act) can itself provide motivation to act. Whether he agrees with Kant that only acts performed out of a sense of duty are morally virtuous is unclear. He doesn’t come across as someone much concerned with morality.

Bonnie prince billy- ‘death to everyone, is going to come, and it makes hosing much more fun’. Heidegger again, I think. Heidegger, in Being and Time, argues that for human beings [what he calls Dasein] death is an ever-present possibility that allows human actions anc existence to have meaning- only by constantly facing the possibility of its own destruction can a Dasein be ‘always-ahead-of-itself’. That is, always projecting itself into the future, making decisions and determining what its being is. Dasein is necessarily a temporal being for Heidegger, and hence must necessarily face its own finitude, its own destuction in the course of time.

Smog- ‘We are constantly on trial- it’s a way to be free’. This seems to echo Camus’ thought [was Camus a philosopher? I’m not sure] that we are always free to choose how we act, and because of this can always be put on trial- we are always responsible for our actions and can always be judged by others. Sartre thought that being judged by others momentarily paralyses us, transforms us from a free being-for-itself, to an objective, determinate being-in-itself, as the judge’s view of us casts us as a particular kind of being with a particular nature and essence, rather than a free being which had a ‘nothingness’ instead of a determinate nature and essence. But Sartre is bullshit…

[I’m well into the word bullshit at the moment after that grime MC- not sure who it is, maybe someone from east connection- who goes ‘bullshit lyrics, bullshit bars, bullshit bullshit BULLSHIT!]

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

soup making might be a form of alchemy.
just found out that tom lehrer used to be a student of W.V.O Quine's. that makes me quite happy.

i've noticed recently that i say 'so' at the end of sentences very frequently, like, 'it was a really enjoyable night out so.', and i'm not even irish.
first things first, the devil dances... blog here is the best thing on the internet at the moment, easily. paul is absolutely SHITTING on all other bloggers at the moment. literally as well as figuratively, trust me.

its so good in a way i don't even want to do this any more, but i'm going to anyway.

i started the desert sessions listening experiment [which has been called both cageian and sadian...] last thursday. actually, i got it wrong- its actually desert sessions 5+6 i'm listening to, not 4. but i doubt yr interested in that.
hows it going? well, is it still lent? it feels like lent. deliberately denying yrself something you love and depend on can be strangely liberating and rewarding...now when i want say, a good going-out tune, a waking up tune, a going to bed tune, i have to search through the pretty meagre resources of this album and try to get SOMETHING that matches my needs, however inexactly. and that can feel good, as i learn to settle for less and just make do. i guess it forces you to become more creative and active in yr listening. yr no longer a passive figure, sitting back and taking the music in, but an agent trying to seek out some aspects of the music that meets what you want- focussing on certain bits, trying to convince yrself that this music really IS doing what you want it to, trying to concentrate on the positives. sometimes its nice not to have everything already presented to you perfectly, to have to make a better situation out of the materials at hand. the experiment also makes me realise just how exact my musical wants are- often i'll get in and think that THIS particular track is the perfect one to listen to, and only by forcing myself not to listen to it, but to go back to desert sessions [how aptly named...], have i realised how often i'm in a mood where only one track will really do.

so its not driving me crazy at the moment. i wouldn't say i'm enjoying it immensely, but it does feel good. also, its just good to listen to blag dahlia's [from the dwarves] again [he sings ona few tracks]. i was a major dwarves fan in my late teens. used to listen to them, zeke, new bomb turks, the stooges, hellacopters and stuff all the time. blag has the best way of saying 'yeah' ever, like this tearing barking sound. and check this out for a lyric [from 'punk rock caveman living ina pre-historic age]..." i rode into town on a wooly mammoth, and i began to jammeth/ i had the rock before you had the wheel". ok, its a bit tenacious D but it still makes me smile.
if i saw jack black on the street i'd be well tempted to offer some abuse; how could you not? but thats another story.

...but which reminds me of this story: the other day we were walking home and this limo was down the road [christ i can't believe i just used the word limo...feel sick and dirty], and these women were leaning out of it waving at passersby, waving glasses of champagne and all that. real deliberately conspicuous wealth stuff. so i got annoyed and starting muttering [to my girlfriend, i'm not one of those crazy people that mutters on streets to themselves yet] about how fucking stupid they were. so the car pulls up opposite us, and the women/footballers wives are still leaning out and waving to us, and i turn and give them the V's. they drive off.
now after this i felt so proud cuz i always want to do this kind of stuff in that kind of situation but my natural shyness/not wanting to draw attention to myself particularly, gets in the way. but this time i overcame it and did what i wanted to do. but then i started to feel really bad, that i might have wrecked their day. they were having such fun, leaning out of the windows and showing that they were rich enough to get pissed on champagne and i could have spoilt all that, at least momentarily. i know they were stupid and all, but still...just being in any kind of confrontation with people, making people upset causes me to feel a bit nauseous, and so wrong. [thats why i used to hate doing flyering for anti-war stuff- you'd get oxford union tory boys coming up to you and you'd have to confront them. and even though i thought they were wrong, and largely an evil group of people, i still hated the confrontation].

in a way i think that the champagne women deserved it, even that they needed someone to show them for what they really were. i just wish i wasn't the person that did it.
i don't think i'll do that kind of thing again.


silver jews;
"why is there something, instead of nothing?"- that's Heidegger. i think its actually the first line of his 'Introduction to Metaphysics". Heidegger thinks that the above question is fundamental to to the most fundamental ontological question of all; the question of Being. That is, the question of what 'Being' in general, rather than the being of particular types of existents, means.
"you can't change the feeling, but you can change the feeling about the feeling". i think this is really Harry Frankfurt's distinction between first order and second order desires. for example, an addict might have a first order desire for heroin but a second order desire not to desire heroin, and to not be an addict. the silver jews seem to be linking this view with an argument concerning responsibility, so that one is not responsible for the first order feelings/desires that one has, but one can be held responsible for the second order feelings and desires that one has.



one of my favourite things about the 'mad sick head nah good' dancehall mixtape on greensleeves is that a lot of it sounds like a grime pirate broadcast, in that different vocals offer radically different takes on an unchanging musical backdrop. but on 'mad sick...' you get the strange result that although the MCs SOUND like they're trading ideas, and answering each other, this is just an artifical conversation constructed by the DJ. just like sampling creates music that was never performed in real time, here the DJ creates what sounds like a conversation, but its an exchange that never happened. a good example; when danny english and egg nog are singing 'parties going all night long' on Party Time and then bounty killer suddenly interupts them, with the diwali rhythm still shaking underneath, bursting in with a chant of 'born as a sufferer, grew up as a sufferer, survive as a sufferer...', as if reminding them of the other side of dancehall, of the need to keep it real...

Friday, March 19, 2004

i'll do a proper long post soon.
should clarify that the vegetables record is actually done by joe little dogs day, and put out by ian 86400 seconds.

i went to Bow the other week. all the old people there really do speak like dot cotton. you know that way of saying 'for' so its split into 2, or may be three, syllables, like 'foy-yah'. actually nothing like that but fuck it. it was still nice to hear. on richard and judy the other day they were talking about how glasgow kids have started speaking cockney but then provided no evidence for this.
i like to annoy london people by pronouncing cockney like 'cockerney'. it works. try it.

...ever get the feeling the lack of editor control on a blog can be a curse as well as a blessing? hey? you're feeling that way right now aren't you.
see how i can mirror your thoughts.

watched 'you've got mail' last night in a post-roni size haze [lots more later]. jesus christ thats a foul, evil, disgraceful film. i almost detroyed our telly i got so angry. i was expecting it to be bad, but jesusfuck....

somedisco likes my NW slang but joe little dogs day is the absolute master, saying 'spoffed' and all that.
follow him.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

have to confess that i haven't started the desert sessions marathon yet. i just got too many great cds for my birthday. check it;

-bonkers triple cd happy hardcore set [ feel a bit dirty listening to this at home but its a good exercise in embracing what you've been conditioned to despise. its like that pot noodle advert innit]
-flamingo 50- my reason [these are the greatest rock band on the planet].
-vegetables- riverside erotica [this might be the most subversive thing i've ever heard. imagine if the flaming lips were inbred country alliance types. on the mighty quiet records, done by ian who does the 86400 seconds blog]
-gasman- remedial [like going to a rave underwater. and in the 19th century. surrounded by ghosts]
-i roy- don't check me with no lightweight stuff
-lfo- frequencies

but i'll star the desert sessions stuff tomorrow. after i get back from nottingham where i'm seeing that man roni size tonight. whoo hooo etc.

on mile long shadow of the cooling tower paul has put the lyrics down for one of his songs which is really one of the best songs ever. honestly, if he put it out, you'd love it. but as it stands its still a lovely bit of poetry. shopping centre shopping centre shopping centre...

'try to act like i'm not so far away
try to be right in whatever i say
i want to live"
david byrne

Friday, March 12, 2004

i'm 22 as of yesterday. how crazy is that? not very, i'll grant you, but it still came as a shock to the system.

i'm going to take part in a little experiment.

i've been wondering recently what would happen if you took a piece of music that wasn't amazing, but wasn't bad or offensive, merely a slightly throw-away piece of mediocrity and, in a sense, based you life around it. if this music was the only music you listened to for weeks, the music you woke up to, worked to, walked to, cooked to, got drunk to, read to. would you begin to hate the music passionately? dread listening to music? or gradually come to love the music, see its subtleties and depth where previously you only heard briefly diverting surface? or will you still hear the music in the same way, but it will graduallu become more important to, as it forms the [almost] ever-present backdrop to experiences and memories. could such an album become one of your favorite albums simply because of the role it played in your life?
well, i thought i'd find out. so i'm going to listen to only one album only for the next three weeks. this album will be, 'desert sessions 4' by josh homme [kyuss + queens of stone age etc] and friends. by no means a bad album, its just a very forgettable, throw away one [ as befits its productions- i think it was written and recorded in a few days]. as such, its perfect for my experiment. there's fun to be had listening to it [nice dwarve-ish dirty punk, some good stoner rock riffs etc], but really i doubt anyone has ever made this album the focal point of their listening lives. i don't think they were ever meant to. but i am.

i'll try to post regularly to tell you how i've been going along.
hopefully i won't go crazy.

this might perhaps make this blog a little bit boring. no excited ramblings about grime tracks recently heard, perhaps- or may be the break will do me good, likei suggested a few weeks back.
anyway, here goes...

Monday, March 08, 2004

ruddy hell, here's joe and the kid.

have a go, you'll like them.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I think Bruiser is my favourite MC at the moment. He has a really unique, whimsical, sing-song style that manages to sound both puzzled and deadly. he's really 'avant', he he. kind of a see-saw rhythm, more focussed on individual sounds than flows. love that lyric where he goes 'have i made my point?' in a really condescending teacher-ish way.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

the WOW are playing a free gig this saturday [one of those rota thingies at notting hill art centre]. we're had them at munkyfest for 2 years running and they're MIGHTY. formed out of the ashes of the legendary spy vs spy, but with more of proggy side to the hardcore pressure than that band. and you have to see doog drum at least once in yr life, proper force of nature stuff. go see!
ha ha, 30 minutes after writing that last post i found myself in uptown records buying 'lord of the decks'. so much for the break from grime. the CD is actually quite disappointing, i think. a lot of grime doesn;t really seem to translate well to Cd- it often ends up sounding a bit flat, and you realise how clean a lot of the production actually is. but Cock Back sounds even better on CD- its crisp, high-end production really suits it.

The DVD is enjoyable though- its nice to finally see interviews with people whose voices i've heard so often. some comments:
crazy titch comes across as nervy, jumpy and absolutist as a young john lydon; wiley seems more laidback and far funnier than his sometimes uber-serious MCing suggests; whereas dirty doogz comes across as slightly menacing and dark, i contrast to his grime-jester MCing [e.g his squeals of 'its reeeal' etc]; pleasing to note that j.me says 'serious' in exactly the same way whether he's just talking or MCing; lethal b is far older and less hyper than i expected; the no-budget video for DTI is a minor classic.

crikey ian's got an excellent blog too. go go go
shouts to the frodsham massive!
and all that

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

i was thinking about what heronbone said, about life really ending at 21 years of age. and i think that really, the big chage happens abiout when your 12 years old. Before then, you can generally talk to anyone, quite freely. But at about 12 years old,you begin to notice divisions and demarcations between particular groups, and start to gradually align yourself with certain groups. This happens once become aware of which class we belong to, the way we talk [and how it is different to how others talk], of the importance of where we came from, where we grew up, what school we go to. And at that moment, something is lost, irretrievably. Awkwardness in social situations now becomes much more common, as we begin to feel that we don't 'belong', that the group we are in a particular time isn't truly 'our' group. And after these divides have first been noticed, we quickly start to discover/establish more. As we go through life and develop a certain history for ourselves, a 'narrative' to use Alasdair MacIntyre's phrase, we align ourselves with smaller and smaller groups. so, for example, at school it begins to be important which kids are into sport, and which aren't, then which music you listen to, then what you get up to after school [clubbing, pubs, gigs], then WHICH pubs you go to. And of course after leaving school the process continues, so that divisions occur between those who go to university and get jobs. between those who go to university, the types of course one studies aligns us with a certain group and removes us from other groups [ alot of arts students at my university had a big prejudice against science students, for example].

Largely, growing up seems to be this process of finding that one feels that one truly belongs to smaller, and smaller groups. The free, open, talkativeness of our childhood is replaced by often crippling feelings of social awkwardness in many situations. The vast majority of humanity become strangers to us. this might simply be the price that we have to pay for developing a sense of our own indidividuality, our own unique narrative. But its undoubtedly sad, even tragic. Which is why i often think that 'Club Reps' is the saddest progamme on TV [and not just for snobbish reasons, i hope]. I know that a lot of the people i talked to and was friends with in primary school and early secondary school go on holidays like that but watching 'Club reps' i realse, that if we met now i could think of nothing to say to them, nor them to me. an uncomfortable silence would descend, something that would be almost unthinkable when we were younger, when we could always find SOME common ground, and not by desperately searching for it.


i think that i need to start listening to the radio a bit less. since i came to london in september i've been listening to the pirates for on average about 2-3 hours a night, and its worn me down. i find it oppressive now. it even makes me feel slightly nauseous. i need a break- i'll try not to listen to grime for about a week or so. i also want to start paying proper attention when listening to grime tapes, instead of just quickly hearing them once through and moving on to the next one. in a way, i miss the days when i used to come to london occasionalyy, just having time to tape say one pirate show, then go home and listen to it over and over again, obsessivly, thinking that this was the way i'd always hoped music would sound. i wouldn't say that i'm jaded now, but i certainly don't think that i'm paying this music the attention it deserves. i feel i need to remove myself from this overload of sound a bit. hopefully that'll make this blog better- i've noptced that recently, my comments on tracks have become very cursory. this is probably a result of the way i ended up listening to this music- you end up only getting excited enough to write about tracks that are new to you, but you haven't heard them enough to really weigh in with detailed critical comment. and older tracks, even if they're incredible, often just don't seem worth writing about, they don't stand out as something special in the deluge.
that might be one reason why skykicking and blissblog are so good on grime [aside from the fact that thy're both amazingly talented, enthusiastic writers]. at one remove from this music, in a sense, perhaps they can give this music the attention and time it deserves. like skycking mentioned that he heard most grime through mix cds sent by friends, which might be the perfect way to hear it, as frustrating as lack of access to pirate radio undoubtedly is.

that said, a quick comment on grime- dirty danger from ruff squad sounds so like dizzee its ridiculous. the first few times i heard him i thought it WAS dizzee making a return to the pirates. he even has a lyric based on a repeated call of 'stop dat', and says 'yeah' in the same, strangulated way that dizzee does, breaking it up into thre syllables or so.


its all about Mates of State this spring.

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