Archive for November 2003

doll looks like a New York dude/subconscious sex power trip, for fuck's sake   Leave a comment

Well, the wine seems to have evaporated from my writing style, so that’s good. What a prat (confused readers may wish to know that my last diary entry was written after I’d spilt a glass of red wine over my keyboard and housing benefit form, and then tried to wipe it up using the Kiss T-Shirt my brother gave me, which didn’t stop the malfunctions).

It is additionally sobering to realize that my paternal grandmother would be 100 years old today, were she alive. She predated the bloody aeroplane, for goodness sakes.

Alexis is sending me a Domino package. I’m saying prayers to keep postal workers honest. He says it’s big. I think they should get more money actually. Postmen and women are cool. I worked in a post office once, sorting letters for two days. Employment agency called something like Personnel Selection sent a whole bunch of us running down the depot, but a percentage of us stopped under a bridge for a joint. I was worried that my faculties were impaired and that I wouldn’t be able to perform the task, but of course, as it involved putting first class post in one tray and second class in another on the conveyer belt there wasn’t much drama in the learning curve. I popped on my headphones and dug the Sonic Youth/Pixies tape that Phil Benson had done me.

There’s this postwoman who comes in the shop and gets her lunch. She has a sweet, shy smile, and we have an unspoken understanding that we like each other.

OK. Here’s the dream I had the other day. I’m in bed with my ex-girlfriend, who keeps morphing into my present girlfriend, and sometimes seems to be an exotic new, separate lady. She’s particularly exotic because she has a, well, uh…y’know… she’s um…she has a COCK. And she’s really sexy. Now let’s get one thing (at least) COMPLETELY straight – it’s not the cock that’s making her sexy. No. She’s just being really coquettish and stuff. But we’re not having sex or anything. Well, maybe we are a little bit, but the cock thing is bothering me to be honest. It’s sort of getting in the way a tad. Anyway, adding to all this confusion, and giving weight to my theory that I dream in joke form, is the fact that we are staying with my mum and David (in a house I’ve never seen in real life – quite luxurious coastal location) and the other guest is Jerry Nolan from The New York Dolls (for fuck’s sake). At one point we see David helping Jerry (who appears to be a frail woman in her mid-60’s) up some steps. Now nothing much else happens in the dream, but it ends with me becoming sexually possessive over my bedicked amalgamated ladyfriend, who is indicating to me that she is a gal (?) with needs that can never be entirely met by one man (?!). I begin to argue you with her in a mean-spirited way. “We’ve been together for ten years!” I spit, “When did you get this goddamn cock? And who fucking paid for it?”
“Jonathon.” She admits, patiently, as though all this fuss needn’t concern her overmuch.
The Jonathon to which she is referring is the American owner of the company I used to work for (ripping stories out of newspapers and filing them) with whom my office manager of the time would have flirtatious and sexually explicit conversations daily across the Atlantic, much to the distaste of the rest of us in the office.

And then I woke up, and I can honestly say I felt profoundly disturbed.

Posted November 28, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

wine spellintgs   Leave a comment

Syhitg nitgtgaz. I justg spilled some red wine all over myh keyhboard and myh yhousintg benefitg form and itgs made myh spellintgs tgo all fucked up. Tgyhouyhtg I[‘d syhare tgyhis litgtgle momentg witgyh yh[‘all. I tgreid tgo mop itg up witgyh tgyhe Kiss –Syhirtg myh bro tgave me butg…


Posted November 27, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

I miss my Brother.   Leave a comment

Feel a bit inadequate as a human being to day because The Melvins are playing in Cambridge tonight and I know I’m not going to go.

On the other hand I’ve got that faintly superhuman feeling that comes from doing a good gig, and last night’s at the Bull & Gate was almost that. Really good place, I thought – really good sound, nice guys on the sound and lights etc. Plus a few people came, which is always a bonus in showbusiness. The really odd thing, especially as this was in the capital city, was that people actually paid attention. Now it’s all grist to my mill, as you know, and so if there’s chat or whatever I feel that ultimately it’s up to me to get their attention, if that’s what I want. Anyways, even giving a hard stare at a chatter is usually good for a half-laugh from someone who’s watching. But last night they were, which you don’t get in London, unless you’re at the 12 Bar or something and you’re practically in their lap. It’s probably something to do with the shape of the room at the Bull & Gate too, which is nice and square, so that the stage forces itself upon people. Nice high ceiling too, so the lights can make the stage look dramatic. Anyway, it was good, although I didn’t seem to have my funniness shoes on. I think I was enjoying hearing good sound for once so I was trying to sing. Unfortunately the sound was so pukka I fucked my voice keeping up with the volume and then couldn’t find all the notes. A couple of the chaps from The Chap came down too, so that was a boost.

I don’t think the guy from EMI came though…hey let me tell you about that…

When I played in Bury the other day with Yumi Yumi (little Japanese girls) and The Secret Hairdresser (sounds like a load of cats) it reinforced the theory that I can do no wrong in BSE. I’ve played there three times and it’s always good. Jason does great sound, I like the room, and people come. I suspect it’s because there’s not a great deal of competition, unlike in Brighton where I played on Tuesday where the promoter just pointed to the shoals of flyers blowing up and down the streets by way of explanation for why I wasn’t going to get paid, which is fair enough. Anyway, they were loving it, especially the guy with the red wine and eyes who told me that he was going to play my CD next time he did some smack. Really hard to know what to say to that, because you have to admit: it is a compliment. He reckons he can get 30 drunken freaks who will be right into it for my next gig, so that’ll be good. So, yeah, I get offstage and when matey isn’t bending my ear I’m flogging the odd CD and shaking people’s hands and generally being a wanker, so much so that when someone taps me from behind to get past I’ve already got a CD out of my box and a smug grin on my face, which soon fell off, I can tell you. Anyway, as I’m about to leave I feel this little tug on my shirt, and I revolve, beer-eyes googling, and there’s this tiny woman there who I decide has just accidentally caught my shirt, and I turn round again and start to walk off. Then I hear her say “Pete!” almost sternly, and I find myself towering over her like some kind of stricken giraffe as she explains that she was due to meet Mike Smith there, who is some big A&R guy for EMI, but he hasn’t showed, but she would like a CD to give him anyway. Now I can tell you straight off that me and EMI do not share a destiny together, because that would be like the US military sponsoring an ant with no legs or something. However, since it’s all grist, I email Lisa, for that is her name, a few days later. She responds, and tells me that she’s after an A&R job at EMI, and may have one soon, but hasn’t yet. She did give my CD to Mike Smith, and he liked the little miniature giveaway posters, and although he wouldn’t be able to attend the Bull & Gate gig, he would send someone along in his stead. Well, I was there last night, and I didn’t see no EMI boy in no stead.

Funnily enough, I’ve always wanted to do A&R, so if I did meet Mike Smith, I think I’d hassle him for that kind of job, rather than a pop job. Mind you, if I was an A&R person, I’d probably realize that I really wanted to be a record producer, and if I was record producer, I’d start hankering after making my own stuff, so I think I’ll just sit here in my room and get on with it.

Oh yeah. It was nice to meet Leon, the agreeable new manager of the Camden Record & Tape exchange. He gets a reasonable wage, plus £120 worth of vouchers to spend in his own shop every month (I think I’m getting this right), plus a discount on anything, plus he gets to cast his eye over what the to-be-humiliated masses bring in. Now that’s a fucking job. I’d go mad though. My room would look like the Camden Record & Tape Exchange and the shop would look like the upstairs room of the Glisson Road Red Cross Shop. Leon asked Simon if he’d heard anything interesting lately, and I immediately started thinking about my Warp booty, and so did Simon, who reads these pages. Leon goes: “I really like the new Plaid album…Spokes…”

It’s funny how you can have antennae for things like that, because I really bit my lip before he said it. I remember being caned and watching Big Brother, and Lynn (was that her name?), the volatile Scot was asked what sort of music she listened to and in the split second before she answered I jabbed my finger at the screen and blurted “Massive Attack!” just before she said it. Sam wasn’t that impressed, but I felt like The Emperor Of The Sussed In His Imperial Robes and a big crown with “I’M SUSSED” written on the front.

I miss Big Brother. Watching it on dope was like a horror movie for me. I’d be in the fucking house. When the music kicked it at the end and Marcus Bentley did his comedy voice “Hoo gauze…” I’d roll back on the bed, hand on my chest, exhaling deeply, very, very close to just having had a heart attack.

Posted November 26, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

I just got cold hands…   Leave a comment


Half past nine on a Friday night and I’m here at my desk, as straight as a die, whilst the rest of the world knocks off for the mash-up. The balance is redressed, but I fear I’ll be tearing its knickers off again by tomorrow.

Another Retro Electro the other day. I’d got over my DJ-ing ennui, largely thanks to remembering that I actually quite like music, and also because Johnny kept referring to my last set in hyperbolic terms. This time I felt like I knew what I had to play and why I had to play it. Of course this began to seem irrelevant when there were only about 6 people in the club and none of them were even in sight of the DJ booth. By about two thirds of the way into my ferocious assault on the foundations of Western culture via the symbolic medium of the wheels of steel I decided that I might as well play “Our Secret” by Beat Happening, as no-one was listening anyway. At this point a small group of young women, who appeared to be virtually pubescent to my tired rough-boy eyes, materialised and commenced a hypnotic bop-grind that was so vital in nature that I found myself squinting through the perspex to check that it wasn’t a hallucination. Thereafter I felt in tune with my destiny and attempted to keep them at it with my 7″s. Andrew smirked because I played Tainted Love, and although I didn’t feel as though I had to defend my actions, I dimly recall trying. As I typed that last sentence Andrew phoned to arrange the return of my cartridges and admitted to giving in to a drunken Scotsman’s insistence that he play “Ebenezer Goode”, so I won’t be covered in shame for too long. Talking of synchronicity, apparently there were 67 through the door, just like last time.

Some days later…

Yuck. My fingers stink of foul drain shite from trying to fix Sam’s blocked sink. She’s got a plumber coming tomorrow but, being the handyman I’m not, I thought I’d try and save the co-op fifty quid. Maybe they could take it off my rent arrears. It’s not happening though, there’s some serious dreck up there. Stinks like a nazi and you can’t get it off you.

At Arjuna I work with this woman who happens to be called Gay. Now I’ve got such a puerile sense of humour that I pitied the woman for being christened (or whatever) thus, and didn’t find anything about her name funny whatsoever at all until I heard a co-worker, who is slightly nervous with members of the public, when asked by one of them, say: “Er…the person you need to speak to is Gay…” and I had to bite my lip to stop me from blurting out: “Hey! That is irrelevant! Who cares if…”? Etc. Anyway, Gay I like a lot. She’s about…ooh, I dunno, forty-something, she’s got a dry sense of humour, and you get the sense that she’s seen a few things come and go once or twice. Despite the fact that I like and respect her, she said something to me once that depressed the hell out of me at the time, and continues to niggle away at my self-confidence to this day. Gay’s husband is a musician, and so is her son. It’s like a fucking curse I tell ya. Anyway, Gay, referring to her husband’s continued activities on the fringes of the music biz, with no sign of the big payoff in sight, remarked, shaking her head as she did so:

“Musicians. They never, ever give up…”

I was stunned. It was like a Nagasaki on my gameplan. You see, I thought it was just me. Endurance was my secret weapon! I thought I was going to keep chucking out my oblique little art-chunks until they coalesced (hey! I spelt that right first time!) into an undisputable snowball that would roll down the hill and crush the village of y’all, including your mortgages. Turns out that this is just a delusion! An adolescent daydream that accidentally survived like a coelacanth (didn’t get that one)… or a Japanese soldier on a remote Pacific Island who still believes he is at war…or …sorry, I’m frothing at the mouth.

Ah, fuckit. I believe it was Rainer M. Rilke who said: “works of art are infinite loneliness”


Posted November 26, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Down with the scene.   Leave a comment

Disjointed head… been a busy couple of weeks…

Sat up with Andrew from Shires Recordings last night trying to sort out the graphics for the Um single. Once again I found myself being acutely aware that I was having a monumental struggle with the decision-making process; indeed, there was no processing going on at all. Funnily enough it’s not because it matters to me, although it does, it’s just because I’m a fool.
When we saw my titles overlaid on the record label mock-up it was real heavy on my stoned soul, like porn for the poetic spirit. I was grinning through my red slits, and it made me think of how many dreamers would sign anything at this point.

Quite like this new LFO LP actually. Can’t see the point of the Vibert, or Plaid. Really prog. Dead wood. Glad to have the opportunity to make a judgement though, bagman. Invigorates me.

Saw equestrian handbook in Sally Ann’s this morning on the nursery run: Your Horse’s Mind. Perfect Um title, like Africa Is A Fridge.

Played Andrew Pence Eleven’s No Rats Aboard THIS Ship! (not all of it of course!) last night in attempt to prove Andrew’s theory of their invisible greatness back to him, and although it was like drinking wine by the drop, I was struck once again by the heroism of Nathan’s courageous trust in the preset to speak the feelings of his heart. Since he got bombed by Russia he has ceased to be creative, he says, and PE is all over too. He used to work like a fucking art dog too. He’ll be back though. Too much talent. Look forward to it.

Oh yeah. At Retro Electro the manageress waggled her finger at me and The New Girl and said “There’s the booth. No drinks, no guests, no coke.” And I went “No coats?” and then realized what she’d really said. I should have immediately quipped “Does this young lady look like a coke-freak to you?”

Oh yeah. If you end up playing the Kambar bring your own cartridges because theirs are fucked and you won’t have to cycle all the way home to get yours. And make sure you’re pissed when you get there because the selection’s lousy. I had to drink weak Heinekens and then strong cider to get my rocks off on the cheap.

Right, let me look at some 7″s and get to printing more copies of The Old Album before Phil wants his Epson back.

Posted November 19, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Can't talk about the Scream   Leave a comment

Sorry, been very slack again, and lots has happened, or at least lots that I wanted to write about.

I can’t write about the Primal Scream party because it’s too dark. My mates in Brighton used to call them The Scottish Band so as to avoid bad luck, and I can see why. It was a very long night indeed. When I bumped into Simon Baker at Kings Cross at about 9AM the next day. I could barely string two words together. I think I said about five words but they were all unrelated to each other and my voice sounded like that of a smacked-out goose.

I kind of thought Retro Electro had failed, but then I learned that we’d had 67 people rather than the 35-odd I would have guessed at, and apparently Lamacq at The Junction only had about 70, so y’know. It was weird DJ-ing again. I used to enjoy it so much, and I didn’t mind playing what people wanted to hear. Then I kind of went into a phase where I thought about my sets a bit more, and made an effort to dig things out that were a bit further off the beaten track, and of course nobody danced etc. When this happens it gets a bit galling when someone plays something obvious later in the evening and you find yourself thinking “Well, I could have played that” Anyway, this time I just felt completely neutral about the whole thing, especially in the light of the fact that things like Electroclashâ„¢ are quite a long way back down the line. It’s like, well, I can still play stuff I like but now it’s going to sound a bit passé once again. In the end I played a sort of pointless compromise set and left out a lot of the things that I did definitely want to play. I didn’t play Felix Kubin or Harco Pront, for instance, but I did play Der Mussolini because I had an inkling that Johnny would approve, which he did, and I also played Freedom Fighters by Dalek I because Richard Rippin was coming, but he didn’t. Rich got arrested the other day for calling George Bush a fascist cock or something. As I was leaving for Brighton I noticed the chaps in blue swarming about in his room through my window and looking at his ‘puter. I almost emailed him to say “I smell bacon” or something, but I was in too much of a hurry. For a while I tried to film the cops but I couldn’t get a decent enough view without being obvious and I didn’t want to blow the Brighton gig by filming the house search of an enemy of the state and getting in trouble for it.

We might have discovered what the source of my voodoo (routine trouble with computers) is. Aicha reckons that some people have weird magnetic fields that can mess with PCs. The other day I went round Sam’s and tried to print an UM CD cover and within 10 minutes I had broken her printer completely (print heads crunch violently several inches to the right during printing process) and corrupted her graphics card drivers, making her PC more or less inoperable. She’s really chuffed with me.

Right, sorry this entry is dull. On my lunch break.

Posted November 18, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

The streets are awash with alcohol   Leave a comment

As I was unlocking my bike outside Arjuna the other day I noticed that my fingers were getting wet, and I saw that my bike had been sprayed with some kind of liquid. Looking at the colour and consistency of the drops I was able to immediately apprehend that they were of beer. Against my better judgement I yielded to curiosity and sniffed self-consciously at my hand. It was beer. Suddenly I felt mocked from some hidden quarter.

Once I heard a painter-decorator type (maybe in his early 50’s) in the Co-op (shop) telling an acquaintance that he got through two bottles of white wine every night after work. Yesterday I saw him again and my eyes shot to his basket. Sure enough, two bottles of white wine. Are GPs telling heavy drinkers to switch to wine or something? It seems an odd drink for a working class geezer like matey. After Tony Blair’s heart scare the other week they interviewed some prominent males with dodgy tickers and football manager Peter Reed (am I getting this right?) was saying that he used to drink a lot of beer and whisky, but he’d been drinking red wine for 8 years on doctor’s orders. He made it sound like it had been 8 solid years of quaffing red vino, but purely for medicinal purposes.

I was envisaging my return to the wholefood business as a good time to draw a line under my tendency towards excess, and I spent the day before my first day back pushing Syd around the park and trying to stay focused on this idea of myself as an individual reborn. As we cut through the APU campus I passed a Japanese couple on a bench. They were both laughing as she pulled a bottle of Bells Whisky a little more than half full from her rucksack and then dropped it into the bin adjacent to the bench. This time I was sure: not only are the gods laughing at me, but; they are pissed-up themselves.

Today I saw a very old woman. She was a hunched and shrunken crone, with faltering steps. Between the bony fingers of one hand she held a cigarette. It was a life-affirming moment for me.

I apologise if the diary has been a little cryptic lately. I shall try and be a bit more straightforward for a while and see how we get on. The Vichy Government did play with The Damo Suzuki Band and Phil did get flamed by Peter Pringle ( Pringle claims that making a theremin beep is forcing it to do something it doesn’t want to do.

Right, and now I must attend to sorting out my set for tomorrow’s triumphant return of Retro Electro at The Kambar. I always liked the way that the DJs were kind of anonymous at Retro Electro (no names on the bill etc, which seemed wholesome, which I thought quite stylish) but now some of those anonymous names have moved onto bigger and better things, and we are stripped down to a hardcore of three from the original bunch, two of whom will never see thirty again, plus a young female University person, who hopefully has lots of mates. The other old bloke likened it to a Beatles reunion made up of John Lennon, Ringo, Dave Davies and the Bluetones bassist.

Posted November 5, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Somewhere else, it all makes sense.   Leave a comment

My professional millieu gets weirder and weirder. First The Vichy Government share a bill with The Damo Suzuki Band (and a random group of mourners), and now Peter Pringle is locking horns with Man From Uranus in the Moog forum.

Posted November 4, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized