Archive for October 2003

I don't listen to Radio Um   Leave a comment

Last night I was sat here in front of my computer drinking Guinness and doing things like checking my email and looking at Jamie Vichy’s diary to see if he’d posted anything new, because I’d completely forgotten that what I was meant to be doing was eagerly tuning in to national Radio 3 FM to hear the good people at Mixing It play my song “I Am In Love With Myself”. Now either the years of abuse are starting to have fuck with my processes, or I have turned almost overnight into some sort of blasé pop turkey, or I am just some sort of twat who forgot, but I just forgot. The last time they played me on Mixing It I got so drunk (by way of celebration) that I could hardly hear and then filmed the radio with my video camera whilst my song played. This time I forgot. Anyway, although it isn’t the same, you can stream last night’s show from the following address:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/world/mixingit.shtml

I think my song is about the fourth or fifth played. It’s the one after the track by Audianasty anyway. Although they introduce it as “I Am In Love With Myself”, which is what they told me they were playing, which made me protest that the track was done in 1998 when I was barely a musician of any kind, the song that does get aired is in fact “I Can’t Take Care Of Myself”, which I did about two months ago. Mark Russell and Robert Sandall remark that it sounds “very fresh” for 1998.

Posted October 25, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

On the curriculum   Leave a comment

Just had another bag mail in the mail bag from Felix:

Tues 9th October

Woke up early again this morning, while the sun was still low in the sky over the shed behind the house. Casting a strange almost eerie light over the garden. Wandered down to the remains of last week’s bonfire at the bottom of the garden. Now it’s just a bloody big mess. But what a big blaze it made – brilliant. Standing there barefoot in just my dressing gown, a thought occurs to me suddenly: where’s that bloody bag? Then I recalled: I’ve been searching for it for over thirty-four years. Went back inside and made breakfast, the same thought reoccurring constantly for the remainder of the day.

Poor feller. I know roughly how he feels.

Check this out: in the past three days I’ve had three people in the teaching profession tell me that they’ve played some of my Um to their students. It feels odd to go from the laughable obscurity of the Cambridge Scene to the National Curriculum in such a short space of time, but I’m sort of flattered, even if the Youth Vs. Um aesthetic appreciation was as follows:

Test One: “They liked it, laughed a lot, and couldn’t believe that anyone was making music like that.”
Test Two: A teacher, who is unknown to me, said: “This would get
top marks in Music Tech. A-Level…”
Test Three: “Most of them didn’t like it.”

Keep meaning to talk about the Danielson Family gig but I haven’t got time now. I have to rest up because tomorrow I’m going to a genuine rock ‘n’ roll party in London where Primal Scream (who my Brighton mates always used to refer to as “The Scottish Band” to avoid bad luck) are going to be playing in Boat Race-sized room. I’m a bit scared of the whole thing. I’m relying on the science to just get me through to the mail train or whatever. You can take the piss in whichever way you like.

Posted October 24, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Neighbourhood threat and safety pins   Leave a comment

Wasted a big hangover today by not writing anything, so I’ll see if I can quickly make amends before the Forces Of Responsibility catch hold of my elbow to direct me once again.

The Kubin/Man From Uranus/Um gig was a stone-cold fucking killer dwarf triumph. I’ve felt good all day and I only had about 4hrs sleep. In fact I feel a bit like Mrs. Thatcher today, sort of important and mad. If there were a Tory male nearby his thoughts would turn to sex, so thank goodness I’m alone in a cold dark room in the ghetto. It’s so hardcore round here in our neighbourhood that the other day a trio of crack-lovers turned up at the door of number 6 and asked to see Dan. When they were asked: “Dan who?” one of them nudged the other and he pulled out a gun. They then demanded cash and organic valuables, smacked one of the Number Sixers, and pushed another to the ground with a gun at his head. I’m kind of going on hearsay but this is roughly what happened I guess. The mateys were so off it they dropped half their loot on the way out. The cops were called and arrived 45 minutes later and surrounded the co-op. It took them so long because they only have one armed-response unit and they were in Newmarket or somewhere at the time. Fair enough but they might as well have been a one-legged response unit for all the help they were. This is the second time in a year that that house has been held up. Just to make matters ever so slightly worse, someone had pushed a big metal refuse container onto the pavement outside No. 6 and set fire to the contents earlier the same day. Someone has tagged the bin with the word “acid”. Aicha told me that she heard some woman walk past and, seeing this symbol of urban degradation, sniffily remark “Acid. Just about sums this place up.” See how the sufferahs is misunderstood?

Anyway, Felix Kubin. Was fucking excellent. I was a bit average, bordering on reasonably good, and Phil had a lonely experience outside the zone. It’s funny how you can’t turn it on and off when you want. I think Phil had had about three really good gigs in a row, which is a perfect recipe for a bummer. I mean, it’s not as though he was crap or anything, but you can tell when he’s enjoying himself. I refer you to the video of the gig in Switzerland where he does the 18 minute krautrock jam with a spliff in his mouth and the drummer played 29 outro rolls and Phil didn’t notice because he was flying his ship through a German bit of SPACE. Now that was a good gig, as I may have mentioned before.

Felix Kubin himself is incredibly talented and wears brilliant green shoes that I coveted more than his ability to play the Korg MS20 faster than the eye can cope with or the ear can deal with in an emotional sense. He has earned this ability because there are photos on “The Tetchy Teenage Tapes” that show him at the age of 13 with the same synth. He plays gloriously fucked up dance music and he wanted us to dance to it, but apart from French Colin’s wasted French mate in the suit and sunglasses no-one really did. I would have done out of solidarity, even if I hadn’t wanted to anyway, but my trousers ripped half the way down the back because they are some 30-odd years old jumbleware and the stitches were rotten, so you would have seen my pants. At the end of the gig I had to wander round holding them up like a confused geriatric on the wander. I was telling Toby from Charlie Don’t Surf (who has a fucked-up wrist that he obtained in a wall-punching incident and exacerbated in a drunken DJ-ing period at the Venetian Snares gig) that me and him should form a pantomime horse. I don’t know why that seemed funny at the time. Ah yes I do, it was the convivial atmosphere and all the drink I’d had. When we all got back to the Bad Timing HQ I asked if there was a safety pin in the house and Felix goes “What size would you like? and pulls out a tin with a small one and a large one, which was rather enigmatic coming from someone who is presumably with any midwifery qualifications.

Right. Got to go and care for someone small. Before I take my leave I will leave you with this fact and then actually leave:

Every time you, or anyone else in the world, eat either a Jammy Dodger or a Jaffa cake, it has been made by the Man From Uranus. This isn’t a joke or a lie. It is a fact.

Posted October 23, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

A flock of sneagles   Leave a comment

An odd day so far. Took Syd to school with bizzarro hair because he’d been doused in nit cream last night. We call head lice “sneagles” in our house, and I’ve been toying with the idea of calling the long-awaited Um 5-track e.p “A Flock Of Sneagles”, but it would be silly, a) because it’s a pun and I hate puns, and b) because it’s an in-joke, and c) because its silly. Anyway Syd had a sort of wonky quiff, which I thought looked quite cool but I could tell that the nursery ladies thought he was a bit deprived and I regretted not sorting it out. Actually they realize that I’m a sort of joke figure now because Syd told them the other day that he “speaks English and Daddy talks nonsense”.

On the way into nursery we stopped off in Sally Ann’s, where I was forced to bear witness to some geezer walking off with the store’s stereo. They keep it on a ledge which is on top of the wall of the changing cubicle, so matey just walked in, shut the curtain, picked the stereo (very large – like one of those home stereos with a handle like a boombox and detachable speakers) off the ledge and down into the cubicle. He then must have spent some time trying to get it into a bag or something, but it was too big, so after a little while he just opens the curtain and walks out of the shop with it. I’m doing my “6ft invisible man” trick it seems, because although the shop is full of both customers and staff, and although I’m dealing with a two-year old who talks non-stop, I see him and nobody else does, and he doesn’t even see me when he opens the curtain and takes a quick look round the shop to see if anyone’s clocked him, and I’m staring right at him. I’m standing at the counter amidst the Sally Ann bidsters thinking: “Hello! Really obvious crime of theft occurring in real time just to your left!” but of course I say nothing, which makes me feel nasty for a while. You see homeless bods nicking clothes and stuff in there all the time, and you think what the hell, but…

Came back home and found MTV on in my empty living room. Eminem seemed to be talking directly to me…

Did a Google search for “baghad blogger”, thinking that the vortex might have whipped round again, but I couldn’t find anything about myself.

Posted October 17, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Vortex alert: don't get suckered in!   Leave a comment

Fuck. Got stuck in a dangerous, post-modern technology VORTEX today. My old pal Felix told me in an email how he didn’t need to ask me how I was or what I was up to because he’d read all about it in my diary (this one, vortex fans). He also said that it was only a matter of time before it was “published in a baghad blogger style”. Writing back I related to him a tale of how I’d recently been having a slightly superficial conversation with an old acquaintance when he suddenly interrupted my stream of banalities to tell me that he knew all about what I was saying from my diary, at which point the companion he was with (who I didn’t know) nodded and said “yeah, hur hur”. This had made me feel odd, like I’d been caught out having an inner life or something, or that my real life was somehow trivial, awkward and fake, and I felt a queasy sense of guilt. Felix responded:

“That situation you mentioned sounds funny – you should write about it in
your diary. Then again, that might create some kind of dangerous, post-modern new
technology vortex. And no-one needs one of those.”

Then, because I’m a nimnum and it was only last month that I was asking another friend what a blog actually was, I asked Felix who this baghad blogger was. He said:

“Hey Pete – surely you’ve heard of the baghad blogger? It’s the online diary of this guy who had a bag that he lost one day, and it casts this dark shadow over his everyday existence. Funny and tragic all at the same time”.

And I thought: oh, that sounds interesting, so I looked it up on Google. There were a few hits about a “Baghdad blogger” writing in Iraq, plus plenty of misspelled versions of the same, and quite a bit of speculation as to whether he in fact existed, but nothing about the poor guy with the lost bag. Funnily enough I used to have the piss taken out of me at school for being bagless, because I used to carry so much paraphernalia in the way of walkmans, tapes, sunglasses, notebooks, bike locks etc that several times I forgot to bring my bag to school. My African classmates used to think this was about a dozy as you can get, and yet they are wrong, as I think you can tell I have begun to prove. So yes, I identified with the chap with the lost bag. I imagined it as a glorious metaphor in an ongoing work of genius by some hidden charismatic, and I like that kind of thing. So then I told Felix I was struggling to get the full gen on the baghad blogger, and he wrote:

“That thing about the baghad blogger was ironic of course. Perhaps your response was also ironic. I fear a vortex may develop here also. But there is someone called the BAGHDAD BLOGGER who writes an online diary from Baghdad of all places.”

So, there you are. Pete UM: online prat. I told Felix off for making me look thick and if there wasn’t a baghad blogger there bloody should have been one. Whilst I’ve been typing this, he’s produced the following by way of reparation:

“Weds 17th Jan

Woke early this morning: the digital display of my bedside Casio reading 5:03 AM. Felt exhausted in body and spirit, a wave of nausea creeping over me. Stomach cramps. Rushed to the bathroom and pissed. That bloody bag – I miss that bloody bag so much. I’ll never have a bag like that bag that I had. My life without it is a sodding joke.”

Right, better stop now or we’ll all be fucked by the VORTEX. Watch out people.

Posted October 16, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Too much heroin/beer.   Leave a comment

Right, very quickly.

Saw street person in throes of accidental overdose yesterday on Mill Road. His mates were holding his limp body up and slapping his face and arse. “Open your fucking eyes! You are not dying!” Very shocking actually. Of course passers-by are just passing by, including me. Time seemed to be moving very slowly. Saw polite homeless geezer (“Excuse me, I don’t suppose you’ve got 7p, have you?”) with multiple addiction problems observing the scene from some way down Mill Road. Grim look on his face.

Poured myself a glass of Guinness yesterday and Syd, seeing Sam’s mobile phone lying next to the glass, just couldn’t help himself. I knew what he was going to do as soon as he picked up the phone. Plop! Fucked.

Posted October 7, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Looks like Berlin is off   Leave a comment

Strange end-of-the-summer-holidays feeling, which has a lot to do with the fact that it’s suddenly autumn and I have to back to Arjuna in a couple of weeks. Pretty much failed to do everything I had hoped to accomplish during this sabbatical, especially learning to drive. Did a song about failing to learn to drive though (DVLA).

Looks like Berlin is off, so I hope none of you were hoping to surprise me by turning up. Reasons for the cancellation are complicated and dull, but mainly boil down to money, or the absence of it. It may well be rescheduled, but it’ll be a shame to miss that party thing, which sounded like fun. A bit of me is relieved because I would have been going on my own, and drinking pints of beer alone in the airport bar is kind of sad. God help me if I ever had a proper tour. I think I would invent parts for a triangle player who liked a drink.

Can’t quite believe The Vichy Government are supporting The Damo Suzuki Band. Perhaps other readers can think of unlikely bills? (I should point out that I have the greatest respect for both sets of artistes here).

My mate who works for the BBC has just been given several hundred 7″ singles (recorded at 33) containing “field recordings, atmospheres, tribal recordings and more birdsong that is good for you”. I’m writhing around on the floor with jealousy, but he say’s he’s going to give me a few.

Posted October 3, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized