Archive for February 2004

Holy Fire/Yer typical Um fan   Leave a comment

Was meant to be helping Sam in kitchen today, but am not due to lingering cramps from presumed “stomach bug”. Mightn’t have been anyway as Syd was puking milk and Thomas The Tank Engine pasta shapes at 9PM last night (he seemed to get a real adrenaline rush of the event) but he’s all chirpy today so he went to school, and somehow I’ve a day to myself to prepare for the Sandpaper Sessions. Day half gone and I’ve done fuck all so far, mind you. I was tidying my room and watching it snow when I became aware of a sort of electrical burning smell, which seemed to be coming from my computer. I panicked and shut down, rueing all those unarchived files etc. After it had gone through its usual business of refusing to shut down and restarting, hanging on a murky brown/black screen and generally acting like another toddler in my life, I powered it up, and when it gave me a “disk boot error – insert system disk” I assumed the worst, as I’m in no financial position to buy a new hard drive (plus whatever else would have been fried), as well as get a new ISP and printer and fuck knows what else – shoes for my kid? Then I switched it off again and let the fucker cool for a bit and carried on tidying my room. Simon and I had established that Loukas’ old Teac reel-to-reel was “fucked” the other night so I was heaving that back into its position next to the radiator when I thought I might as well have a look at the recording heads since everything else was literally going up in smoke around me. Turns out they are covered in what looks like paper that someone has glued onto them, as though in an act of sabotage, rather than being simply dark ‘n’ gunky as you might expect (I’m sorry if I’m boring lady readers), so I got out the surgical spirit and cotton wool that I use for this purpose (and that of keeping piercings clean – no interesting ones, if you were wondering) and gave them a good rub down like tiny magnetic horses. Then I switched on my computer again and was astonished to see it managing to struggle its way into loading Windows (after the usual disk cache errors of course). I immediately started burning things onto CDs and returned to the Teac. Soon I had managed to record on one channel but not the rest, which was the situation I was in when I first inherited the machine after Loukas joined the yogic cult and began giving away worldly stuff. After a bit more tinkering, however, I realized that I was making the kind of stupid mistake that I had suspected I might be making, which is why I called Simon in for a second opinion. Further tests have revealed a Teac A-3440 in decent working order! How nicely it sits next to its a-3440 S sister machine here in my crowded room. Unfortunately I think it’s my Mackie mixer that was burning. They’re meant to be tough old workhorses too. Cheap yank crap. Should have bought Korean. And I’ve done nothing today. This is a typical day – two steps forward, 19.5 back.

Three cheques for Um through the post in the past two days! One from a grey-haired lady who talked me into doing a special edition of “Jerry At The Beach” with “Just Like Kurt” on it, one from a consortium of Belarussians who wanted Old and New Albums, and one from an English expatriate in Berlin who I’ve never met who apparently gets wasted in an ugly East German-style building and dances to The New Album in the middle of the night!

Posted February 27, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Load up thy woman and dispense with silly Fopp bags   Leave a comment

You know what I hate? Well lots of stuff really, but I really hate seeing male persons who look to be about thirty-odd (or worse – male persons who look to be about thirty-odd but are in fact in their twenties) wandering hither and thither about town of a Saturday in their fur-fringed wanker coats (available in high-street shops) clutching little bags from Fopp, like the tides of wage slavery have washed them up to the weekend and they don’t even know what the bloody hell to do with it. I won’t list the hundreds of reasons why these blokes annoy me because they’re all obvious, but I think that they should all fuck off and get girls pregnant. Any one will do.

Anyway I racked up a huge load of childcare points because Sam’s poor gran died weighing four stone, which sounds like it’s a South-Western custom to weigh you at both ends of your life, as though that gives some meaning to it, and so I went to that LEAPS thing at Kettle’s Yard. It were real classy, exclusively middle, very Cambridge. I felt really nervous just being in the audience cos it’s like the dread theatre, or something. I’d have shook with fear to perform, but I was still jealous. I thought about it, but the theme of turn-of-the-last-century would have just had me looping machinery and that’s clapped out. I mostly didn’t envy Phil either, because he’d done a wild rock gig in London and a wild Arabic dope party and had no sleep and then he had to wear a modernist suit and do astral tone clusters whilst that Guy geezer played grand piano, and in front of his wife and kid and loads of posh people and their posh kids (all strikingly well-behaved). Anyway it was a good gig and I wished I’d taken my camera instead of standing in the hallway thinking “shall I…?” because then I would have got some footage of Cos on the turntables (doing actual turntablism) that I could have digitally manipulated and shown at the next LEAPS event instead of looping machinery or whatever. Next to me was some sexless old buffer (who got everyone to shift up one) and her silent hubby, and though you could tell she was utterly emotionally unengaged for the entire thing (like being in church or eating an oat biscuit) and Phil’s precise wafting of historical matter might have just as well come from Uranus for all she knew. When Cos’s radio piece threw up a tiny snatch of “Tea For Two” she started patting her knee and I felt a rush of real nausea.

At the end Martin Green slips up to me and starts being really nice about my music, which was so touching (because I was feeling like a timid ghost that no-one had even noticed) that I started to feel hot and stammer nonsense and then I noticed that a whole clump of strangers were looking at me and I thought, hang on, this is just getting silly and then I realized they wanted me to get out of the way because they were trying to show slides.
Roopak Gupta and his assistant were standing outside handing out CD flyers (interactive audio/video text ‘n’ graffix) for The Sandpaper Sessions next Saturday. He’s obviously spent the bands wages already but I don’t really mind because it’s nice to see someone trying to make a splash, y’know?
And then on the way back I popped into Fopp and bought a book of essays on Charles Bukowski. When I’ve got through my Sun Ra book (prepare yourself for a new SPACE song, featuring PHIL FROM FLORIDA) and my (oh, actually this belongs to Adam “Spunk” Teasdale) Harry Smith biography I’ll get stuck into that.

Right, I’m just about to do a mailout about The Sandpaper Sessions and the Spontaneous Leap Year gig in Hitchin, so if you don’t receive that then you know you are no longer on my mailing list (because I’ve lost your address due to PC voodoo) and you can firmly grip your wife’s hand and weep at the relief.

Posted February 23, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

UM email back! Addresses lost!   Leave a comment

Christ, this diary is getting tedious…

Er… right. I can now send email again, thanks to Andy Coleman, who records as both Andrew Coleman (for Thrill Jockey) and Animals On Wheels (for Ninja Tune). You should check out his stuff. It’s really great.

However, I’ve lost my address book in the process, and although I’ve been able to retrieve many addresses from emails that have been sent to me, I’ve lost a lot of contact details for people. If you’re reading this and you want to make sure that I have your address so that I can clog up your inbox with lots of pointless Um spam, then please send me an email and we can renew our acquaintance, so to speak. It’ll be like old times.

Posted February 21, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

UM email fucked! I can't reply!   Leave a comment

Right, I’m still here, but I don’t know for how long. I’m scared to ask in case it speeds up the process.

I sort of had the money to find a new ISP last week but then the wife wanted her money and I’m proper fucked now.

And I spent £15 quid on ink for a printer that doesn’t work, so I can’t make any CDs to flog.

And my copy of Vegas has got corrupted somehow so I can’t capture video, which is a shitter because Rob Jackson asked me to do some video stuff for him to play guitar to.

And, just now, my PC crashed (restarts itself and then doesn’t like it) and now my copy of Outlook Express is fucked. I can receive email, which is nice, but I can’t send any back.

So, if you send me an email and it seems like I’m really busy or a bit rude, that’s not why I haven’t replied.

Right, now I’m off to try and fix a washing machine (yeah, right) and then pick up my son from school.

Posted February 20, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

UM Website under threat!   Leave a comment

Newsflush!

UM Website under threat! Karl Hartland where are you!

Just been informed by my webmistress (or something) that if I want to do all this crazy diary shit and update my gigs and list people I don’t like very much and so on then I’ll have to switch my ISP and pay lots of money to do so too. I’ve had this bizarrely cushy deal thus far you see. Fuckit, fuckit, fuckit. Anyone want to buy any UM CDs? Six pounds each; deals available on multiples. Anyway if the site disappears you’ll know why. Hopefully I can get it back up again with the fiscal equivalent of Viagra. Shit!

Trying to calm down. Got a gig tonight. Need to rehearse. Got to put things in bags. What do you do for cabaret again?

Had a dream the other night that I was looking at some live shots of Radiohead and Thom Yorke had a yellow cap just like mine (you know, the one with the hole in the peak). I was gutted. Everyone’s going to think I’ve got a Thom Yorke hat, I was moaning to myself. There was a really cool photo of him onstage, taken from below, and you could see right through the hole. When I woke up I had to do rudimentary mental checks to see if it was a dream or whether me and TY had the same hat. I was a bit rattled.

The other day I came out of my room and my housemate was listening to Radiohead and singing along with Yorkey. Sounded really funny I’m afraid.

Right. Rehearse. Put things in bags.

Posted February 11, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

space is endless   Leave a comment

Recently found myself reading loads of random people’s Live Journal diaries and realizing that there were a lot of similarities between the various ex –Eng.Lit students’ accounts of the tedium of their lives (described in neurotic detail) and I sort of wondered what the point of all this truth is when it’s sold by the ton.

Last night I dreamt that I was with my brother and Charlie, and my dad, and some faceless children, in the north of England somewhere. I kept noticing these signs on the walls that simply said “PINT” (in a sort of old-fashioned pub-sign script) and had an arrow pointing. I remember thinking that it served a useful function at the time, but now that I’m awake I can’t help but feel it’s nothing short of revolutionary.

Had a dream the other week that was particularly amusing, and I jotted down the following to help me remember it in detail, but it hasn’t worked. Still:

family drinks
be nice for a change
cocktails for me and brother
cliff richard
strawberry switchblade

On Mill Road the other day I noticed a man leaning against a bin, and I as I passed I saw liquid collecting around the base of the receptacle. He must lead an incredibly busy life, I mused.

Been watching a lot of “I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out Of Here!” which was sold (to me at least) on the basis of John Lydon. It’s kind of turned my world upside down, as I find myself lost in some kind of interpretation vortex. Last night I’m watching Jordan and Kerry McFadden eating flies, maggots and huge fish eyes and having to really, really struggle to make some kind of sense of it all. It was a bit like when you’re a kid and you try and think of space going on forever and your young mind can’t let go of the idea of finitude or whatever. It’s like some kind of offensively rancid version of postmodernity. Don’t get me wrong though, I fucking lap it up. I ought to watch it straight every so often though, just to get just a bit of perspective. I’m also worried at just how fond I’m becoming of Ant and Dec. I keep slurring eulogies to their instinctive comic teamwork to Sam, who just laughs at me.

I must write more about I’m A Celebrity, and John Lydon in particular. I was doing some shaky theorizing to Andrew in the pub the other night, but I think I was drinking Rochefort 10 by then, and it didn’t really come off.

Posted February 2, 2004 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized