Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Another Record

I keep getting annoyed at myself for not updating this often enough. The days have really been going by pretty quickly. And it makes me think about what I have achieved in the summer. In terms of enjoying myself, it's been fantastic. T in the Park was excellent. I've secured myself a great boyfriend. I've been putting my past self to shame in terms of alcohol consumption. I've watched acclaimed motion pictures such as Zombie Flesh-eaters, Sharktopus, and Hobo with a Shotgun (courtesy of said boyfriend). And I've found a flat to move into soon. Fantastic. Hours of looking up shady adverts just so I can plunge myself into debt more. And at the start of the summer I told myself I'd start learning French again. Past me is an idiot and he needs a punch.

I don't even know what they are talking about,
but it's probably something you've never heard of
You know what was a huge disappointment for me? The book/motion picture High Fidelity. The story has its  moments, but it failed to live up to my odd little expectations. Having heard a little about it, I assumed it was going to be about 3 guys in a record shop that made top 5 lists all day and got up to a whole load of hi-jinks. And to an extent it was. But then it decided to slide down the piss covered little chute of a romantic comedy. And the protagonist's constant moaning got on my tits (fair enough I moan on this, but by christ I don't go out and make a whole book of my my smug little views  on whether eggy bread should be called french toast or whatever the fuck). But despite my disappointment it made me want to work in a record shop. I've given up on this pursuit due to the fact that whenever I ask such places if they have positions available they snort derisively and look up from a stack of limited edition Sonic Youth records just so they can say 'no'. Nevertheless I love the whole atmosphere of these places. Sometimes I'll hear something that's playing on the shop's sound system, I'll ask about it, and I'll be opened up to a whole new world of bands/musicians. No matter how much music you listen to, there's always going to be doors you haven't checked out. That band you don't like that much? You might just start to love them. Or you could just hate them even more. But it's good to be informed about bands you don't even like (this comes from someone who has been late more than once because he was looking up the discography of a band he'd never even listened to before). Another thing about record shops I love is the fact that the experience isn't just an audio one. Walking through the second hand section can be like walking through an art gallery. The more inspired album artwork is something to really admire. And it's probably something I do as a complete creep, but I just love the smell of that cardboard and vinyl. The scent of a record shop isn't one of 'buy this' it's one of warmth and history. Or maybe febreeze.

My last blog makes out that I think news stories are pretty close to fantasy, which isn't really what I aimed for. I just think that it's hard to grasp the concept of goings on in space when you are sitting in your living room, and that despite the fact that news outlets usually make every efforts to stick to the facts there's always the possibility that they fucked up or exaggerated, so sorry if I didn't make that clear. It's incredibly hot in here, so I might just watch some b-movie horror from my boyfriend's massive pile to entertain myself for the time being. I also have the horrible feeling that I've done a blog exactly like this before, but if that's the case then maybe I just really like record shops so fuck the police.

What I'm currently listening to > \The Clash - London Calling/

As always, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Faith No More

Now there have been riots going on throughout the UK recently and the subject has been blogged to death. Just about every single opinion is out there for everybody to hear, so I'm really not going to bother with a post about it at all. I've been a little inactive on here recently, but I actually have an excuse this time. I've been extremely busy trying to find a job and a flat. I signed the contract for my own room yesterday, and was contacted about a job interview, which is tomorrow. The whole thing has been a real growing up experience. Which is rather ironic, because me and some companions were doing the least mature things we'd ever done a couple of nights ago at a friend's 21st birthday party. These included such shows of adulthood as a game of pass the parcel, lifting someone out of their room bollock naked shouting TOGA TOGA TOGA (while dressed in bedsheet togas of course), and lighting fireworks wedged in the groin and the gluteus maximus. I'll let you guess which one resulted in injury.

WOOOOOOOO - a recreation of the
events that took place outside my
bedroom door 
If you've read my blog for a while, you'll know I'm not particularly religious. But we humans generally have a lot more faith than we'd like to believe. If we hear something on the news about a meteor that's hurling itself across some galaxy at 50,000 miles per hour, a lot of us, probably even the majority of us, will just believe that it's happening. The only evidence we have is that someone on the news told us about a number of folk that live thousands of miles away who apparently saw something happening billions of miles away. But we don't really have to go that deep. I was watching a documentary on otters not so long ago. Apparently in the UK there are people that get employed to walk up large areas of river to check for signs of otters and make sure everything is okay for them. And I just believe this, even though I've never met someone who does such a job. So why the sudden deep blog about belief? I suppose it was partly inspired by what I saw, or what I thought I saw last night.

Not long after I'd gone to bed, I was distracted by something out the corner of my eye. Through the frosted glass of the room door, I saw a tall, white-grey shape moving past the door. Now my first thought was this - the window behind the bed is right beside a road, so fairly often a car will go past and the light will reflect off the opposite side of the room and glide across. But in this case there were no cars outside, the curtains were pulled shut, and there wasn't really anything outside that could produce such a light. So I watched from my bed as it walked from one side to the other and then back again, and it suddenly dawned on me that this shape was rather like a a person pacing up and down the hallway. Turning away for a while, I wasn't too bothered because I figured it could be anything. I then looked at the door again - there was a huge black shape just behind the door. Again, this could be anything, but I've slept in that bed for almost a month and I'd never seen anything like it. As my eyes adjusted, I was more disturbed as I realised the black shape was pulsating. At one point while I was watching it my skin turned cold in a way it had never done before and my penis shrank a little. I can safely say I was freaked out. This happened for about 5 minutes until I realised I couldn't stay up all night and that I wanted to sleep. So I said;
"I've had enough of this, please fuck off"
Still scared out my wits I ran across the room and turned on the light. I checked the hallway and there was nothing there, which means little I suppose. Now most of you will probably snigger. There are probably a hundred explanations for what I saw and I was probably being an idiot. But it just made me think that people are quick to laugh at things like belief in a god or spirits or whatever, but they'll happily believe something they saw on TV even when they have nothing else to back it up. Whether it's a ghost in your hallway, or the belief that otter shit smells like jasmine tea, it's faith, ladies and gentlemen. Faith.

Apologies for the length, hopefully y'all still liked it. I think I'll wash the dishes and read up on this place that's going to interview me. I'd like to go out to the shops to get some decent food, but my flatmates have the keys, and they are elsewhere so half a tub of this was my brunch for today.

What I'm currently listening to > \Faith No More - Angel Dust/

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Elegance and Decadence

Things are much the same as last week. The days are beginning to blend into one another, much like the buildings and the sky in this city which are both the shame shade of depressing grey. There are some events that stuck out though. A hundred metres or so away from where I am typing, a seagull was trapped on a roof yesterday, stuck in some wire. Normally this wouldn't really be noteworthy, but the fact that someone grew concerned about the bird, and the fact that two fire engines were summoned to remove the avian from the roof was a little ridiculous. Some Mormons also approached me after going for a booze run, and they gave me a free Mormon bible. Now I like to think of myself as open minded, so I promised them I'd read a passage. They even wrote down their number and used it to bookmark the chapter they wanted me to read. Then Kim, my flatmate and primary lasagne maker approached me.
"Can I rip this up for my art project?"
I hesitated for a second. But then I realised the truth - I'd never bother reading it. So I told her to go ahead. God can wait, there are more important things at stake. Like getting an A. Or lasagne.

Yes, they do look like a bunch of child molesting accountants.
Today I'm going to talk about one of my favourite groups, and specifically, my favourite album by them which nestles comfortably in my top 5. If you've listened to any kind of electronic music, then technically you've listened to Kraftwerk. Their melodies, bleeps and bops can be heard in Depeche Mode, Daft Punk and New Order. In fact, you can probably blame them for the vast majority of electronic and dance music today, which may or may not be worth boasting about. Their popularity arguably started with the hit from the album of the same name, Autobahn which reached #11 in the UK charts in 1975. The four Germans in matching attire went on to create 4 more highly influential albums, one of which is Trans-Europe Express. The album opens with the upbeat Europe Endless, the melody of which was inspired by the sounds a train makes. It also gives us the haunting number 'The Hall of Mirrors' which starts off with a cascading series of chirps, and gives way to a an echoing drum beat and a dark synth bass line which still gives me goosebumps. Their deadpan delivery of "even the greatest stars discover themselves in the looking glass" should be laughable. But the tale of a celebrity who falls in love with his face and then continues to change and rework it feels eerily familiar. Not taking themselves too seriously however, the track 'showroom dummies' opens with a 'eins zwei drei vier', a parody of the Ramones countdown. The lyrics are based on a review of Kraftwerk's live show which described the band as 'barely moving showroom dummies'. The track 'Metal on Metal' has been sampled many times, most notably Afrika Bambaata's song 'Classic Rock'. 'Franz Schubert' and 'Endless Endless' drive the Express to a gradual close, ending one of my favourite albums.

Trans-Europe Express simultaneously sounds modern and retro, and perfectly captures Kraftwerk as they were sifting from a progressive and experimental sound to one more bouncy and minimalistic. It is completely timeless; it doesn't sound like it was made in the noughties, the nineties, the eighties, and definitely not 1977, its original release date. I highly recommend it, but please don't listen expecting catchy chorus filled pop, it's not quite that.

The librarian is harassing me to get off the computer. I could finish this at home but I want to challenge myself. Time to get an image and think of a witty caption

What I'm currently listening to > \Please get off the computer - The librarian/

Thanks for reading!