Archive for May 2002

All my songs are shit   Leave a comment

Few too many bods in here this morning to write much.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the big toe on my left foot had gone partially numb (not numb in the emotional sense, just physically numb). A couple of nights later I was lying (again, in the physical sense) in the bath and I realized that the numbness had passed from the left big toe to the right, where it has remained until now. My diagnosis is heart disease, or possibly brain cancer, or maybe even a voodoo curse. What do readers think?

Fucked off with the weather’s inability to dedicate itself to one form or another. I’d rather have monotonous cold and grey rather than this teasing sunshine and thunderstorms combination. It sort of undermines you. Anyway, enough of the sodding weather.

A few weeks ago I saw two young women walking through the Grafton Centre. Suddenly one pulled the other up to look at a poster advert for a clothing store. “Look at that blouse,” she said. Then the voice of their ample-figured companion was heard, who had been walking a little way ahead, big bum all mangled up in denim: “Nah, it’s mingin’ in real life.”
The DAT-ing is going slowly. I think I’ve got about 23 one-and-a-half hour tapes, not all of which is necessary to put onto CD, but quite a good chunk would be nice. Weird going through old stuff too. Most of it is embarrassingly familiar from countless late-night self-obsession sessions, but some stuff sounds better than I remember. A lot sounds piggingly awful too. My top ten problems with my music are:

· Wanky lyrics
· Mannered singing-style/needless American accents
· Vocal is recorded too quietly
· Vocal is absent due to laziness
· Over-use of one loop/sample
· Disgusting production
· Song/section of song goes on too long
· Song is too short
· Song is shit
· All my songs are shit

Posted May 30, 2002 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

flying off the shelves…   Leave a comment

Urgh. Another day feeling like Han Solo when they thawed him out that stuff. If only I had Chewbacca sat next to me here at my dole course…

“Naaaaaargh…!”
“Don’t worry Chewy, it’s only for 13 weeks…”

Our Photoshop tutor comes in twice a week. Yesterday he told me I have to sketch everything out on paper beforehand, which is a bit like asking a blind man to make a few preliminary drawings before doing an oil painting. Glad I don’t have to do songs like that (spends a few minutes thinking about a piece of paper with lots of arrows and things on it like “noises”, “other noises” and “particularly harsh noises”. Hey, that gives me an idea…). I mean, on the UM greetings card I’d nicked this image of a deer off a proper greetings card and fucked around with it until it looked kind of mean and spooky, but that’s hardly the kind of thing you’d plan in advance is it?

Yesterday Mark, Jo and Finn came back from Spain. We bought:
3 40g packets of Golden Virginia
1 bottle rough vodka
1 bottle rough gin
1 carton rough red wine
1 bottle less rough red
1 bottle less rough white
8 cans rough lager

Bobby J also bought quite a haul. There were about ten of us crowded into Number 4’s living room, with everyone chucking it back and Syd and Finn playing with all the bottles and cans.

Last Christmas I was in Sainsburys and I saw this little encounter between two guys, who seemed to have worked at the same place at some time in the past. One was a small tidy-looking upwardly-mobile type and the other was a hulking fucker in a big coat. The big guy had about 9 or 10 bottles of various spirits in his basket. They went through an awkward little exchange that inevitably culminated in the big chap being asked what he was doing for Christmas. He explained with a sort of defensive aggression that he and some of the other blokes at 222 had clubbed together for the booze and the plan was basically to “get pissed”. I was sort of lurking nearby, not knowing who to feel most sorry for. I even felt a bit sorry for myself.

Trouble with typing on the sly in here is that I have the loudest and most clackety keyboard I’ve ever heard, and its not as though I’m meant to be learning Word or anything.

Copies of UM For Charity are flying off the shelves by the way.

Posted May 29, 2002 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Writing from a dole course…   Leave a comment

In early today for my dole course so I get to do this while no-one is watching. Apologies for piss-poor diaryings lately, or even the lack of them. Borrowed my man Andy’s DAT machine to hoover up lots of stranded UM (my DAT died a little while ago) on that format. Realized that there are a few “gig” versions of tunes that I’d thought only had full vocal mixes, (so I can now do them live) but the bad news is that the mixes are by and large perverse, eccentric or stoopid or something. Like I’ve wilfully removed the wrong vocal part of something. Anyway, I’ve been busy, and I’ve also been ill, and I’ve been drunk quite a bit too.
I’m kind of getting into the idea of this course actually. At first I was a bit aggrieved because of all the coercion and because on the first day they made me sit in a chair for 6.5 hours (with a Photoshop manual) and then on the second day they gave me a PC with 3.5MB of free space on the hard drive. I tried to use the type tool in Photoshop and a little tear dripped out of the corner of the monitor screen.
Finally (on the third day) a harassed Spanish person appeared and told me I had a month to produce a greetings card. I’ve decided to tailor all assignments to my own ends (“Greetings From UM”, it says) and to use the endless hours of unsupervised (yet mandatory) attendance here to produce as many dumb CD covers as I can. I’ve decided to supplement the Perverse History Of UM series with a parallel series of lesser works, i.e. crap stuff. The CDs will be the same price but will contain marginally more music, as I’m trying to get shot of it basically. There won’t be many of them either, so they’re strictly for collectors and completists, ha ha!
Just think, apart from the copy I gave Dave Records, there is only one copy of UM For Charity extant at this time. It lay like an unprotected lamb in clover in The Red Cross Shop, and then the lion represented by Em Kanner came along with her 95p and gobbled it up for the developing world. Wot time Em? I only put it in at 1.30PM so it didn’t lay there long…
Gotta stop. People…

Posted May 29, 2002 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

The Vichy Government = The Best Name Ever   Leave a comment

So yeah, what happened at Retro Electro the other week?

Uh…

Adele played “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zep and me and Susan were looking at each other going “oh my God, she’s playing Led Zeppelin!” Mind you, I think Larry Levan or some other hip name-to-drop from disco history used to incorporate the freakout section in his mixes though, so maybe its sort of a devastatingly cool reference. She also played “Father’s Name Is Dad” which I had planned to spin as The Most Obscure Cool Record Ever. And she played Syd Barrett and Captain Beefheart. She’s also mates with The Super Furries and claims:

“Tom Jones is the boy.”

The Vichy Government had threatened to be either good or so bad they were good, and quite frankly I wouldn’t have cared either way. Turns out that Andrew is some sort of Casio virtuoso (well, he can use both hands and that always makes me stare in raw wonder like a Kalahari bushman at a waterfall) and Jamie, given the right level of amplification, can actually be heard by the human ear. Sorry, I take the piss, but they were fucking great and you’d never have known it was their first gig. They need a producer (in the sense that they need to record some tracks, and well). I did consider it myself but that would be like asking a dead bear to look after your honey.

I was a bit rubbish because I had my first ever A&R man come and see me and it spun me out a bit. Like I always say, its all grist to my mill so I made mention of his presence and he just stared at the floor a bit livid-like. He took a couple of CDs off me but I reckon that was in lieu of having to tell me I was any good or whatever.

By now I was completely fuck-o-ed and all subsequent recollections are hazy. I was pleased with my DJ set because I had planned what to play and I stuck to it, rather than frantically sifting through a thousand MP3-to-wav CDs trying to find something that isn’t Nurse With Wound.

Last thing s I remember are walking up to a table at random and seeing some keys on the floor and then thinking:

“Hey, those are my keys…”

Then Rich was on some doomed female operations and I sat down at a table where he was hanging with his very new lady mates and he turned to me, indicated about seven total strangers and said:

“Pete, can these people stay in your room tonight?”

I was like, “no”.

And I don’t remember getting home at all.

Posted May 9, 2002 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Hold out for the Space Echo   Leave a comment

There’s been some debate as to whether people’s dreams are interesting second-hand, and whether mine are adding anything to the diary. Given the alternative is a description of events in my real actual life; I think they constitute a little variety at least.

So last night I’m watching (seemingly from a small aircraft which enables overhead shots and cinematic swoops into the heart of the action) three very strange primitive-looking men(almost non-homo-sapiens – very stocky and dark) rushing through shallow water with a hollow log which they use to entrap Caymans. Incredibly fast and dangerous-looking. The Caymans keep narrowly escaping and thrashing about in the water. The men are moving incredibly fast.

Then I was in a large department store and suddenly Syd was missing. Then I saw that his pushchair has rolled down several flights of steps and out in the street. I raced out to save him. Rain was falling on his upturned face. He looked sad but not distressed.

Next I am with a group of young men who have turned up for the beginning of some kind of course or training-scheme. One of them is the singer from (local fops) The Dawn Parade. I seem to have some kind of supervisory role, or am at least responsible for the boxes of stationary and vinyl LPs that are piled on desks around us. I suddenly sense criminal intent in the minds of some of the young men, and in particular Dawn Parade-boy. I notice he is concealing an LP under his jacket in an over-casual manner. Action elsewhere keeps distracting my attention, but I can clearly see what he is up to and I’m saying to myself you fucking amateur. I suspect this is because he was acting as compere at The Wild Skies gig.

A deeply enjoyable CRS* (is that pronounced kurse?)/ Broken Family Band (or, as CRS* geezer seemed to introduce them, The Bloke-In-Family Band) gig at The Champion Of The Thames on Tuesday. I’m much more of a fan of CRS* since seeing them at The Simon-Baker All Dayer recently. Maybe I read too much in but I’m sure Arthur and Matt were having some kind of silent onstage barney (amidst all the Mogwai, sorry, elegiac guitar noise) along the lines of:

“Play in time you drunken cunt!”

“I am!”

“You’re not!”

“I am, see?!”

“You’re not, see!”

I’m always watching that kind of thing when I see a band. It’s like my Eastenders. I once watched a group of about 9 African singers/mbira players in full tribal dress play (crowded onto the tiny stage) to about 5 people at the Portland and the expressions of involvement-in-the-act faded from the lead guy at the front to the 3rd woman-singer at the back with a savage decline. I came out utterly exhausted from the ecstasies of the subtext. I’m also gutted because they’d brought with them an electrified thumb-piano (1/4 inch jack out/ gorgeously home-made) and they wanted about 30 notes and I stinged it and I’ll never see one of them in Resale. Still a bit aggrieved that I didn’t get that Watkins CopyCat. Hold out for the Space Echo I guess.

Oh yeah, I haven’t got Ringworm or impetigo. I’ve got shingles.

Posted May 3, 2002 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized