Archive for May 2005

And you will know us by the trail of the dead machines…   Leave a comment

Hello world. My computer is sort of dead, so assume I am without email, and making very challenging music on a reel to reel machine.

Nice one.

Oh yeah, all those times I played I Feel Love have been cosmically rewarded by:

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/shows/15110

Posted May 30, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Tonsillitis in the house.   Leave a comment

Syd has tonsillitis. Sick kids are always a worry, especially for a Zulu worrier like myself, and I always freak out whenever he gets a temperature because of his history of febrile convulsions. That’s where your kid stops breathing and turns cold and blue. I recall the first one quite vividly, as I didn’t know what the fuck was going on and I presumed he was on his way out. Anyway, he’s on the mend now, but it’s been tough on the nerves over the past few days. At the height of his fever, when we were panicking about meningitis and checking for signs of mental confusion, he announced weakly that he wanted to listen to music and dance. This isn’t quite so bizarre as it sounds, as Syd is a recent convert to what he refers to as MOOZICK, and since he refuses to do almost everything unless aided in some way, I have to spend a proportion of my time whirling round Sam’s flat to The Plastic Ono Band’s Why with Syd in my arms with his head on my shoulder. That’s his current favourite, but he’s pretty broadminded. He even likes an obscure Um tune that only he and I have ever heard, so that’s nice isn’t it? But while he was ill we danced along to Superfreak by Rick James. Can you imagine a wan and listless four-year old cradled tenderly in the arms of a ratty-looking dude with stubble and dirty hair? With Superfreak playing? That’s the video of my house at the moment. The thing I really dig about Superfreak, by the way, is that the freak is not judged, but celebrated in her freakiness. Hence: “…that girl’s alright with me…” etc. Oh yeah, the other thing he, Syd, asked to do (when he was basically too sick to be out of bed) was to go and look in skips. He has arrived at the music by himself (I figured there’s no headway to be gained by foisting the family trade on him: “Now Syd, can you say: Trout Mask Replica?“) but I did get him into skip-diving. We’re building a “nuts-and-bolts city” out of random street crap, you see. It’s coming along slowly. These things take time…

Posted May 20, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

European Tour, Day 3   Leave a comment

OK, Day 3…are we here already?

So we all gradually awaken, each musician slightly more obscure and hungover than the last, and tuck heartily into thee breakfast. Probably Patrick roams about 16% wider over the bill of fare and with about 47% more good grace.

Then we listen to Fannypack, which I get interested in, and William Shatner, which I don’t.

Then we go out and do the tourist thing all over again, only this time with Patrick, who is very interesting and witty, although perhaps a little cold, as he has traveled to Berlin dressed as you might if you were going to The British Library on a warm Spring day. He remains cheerful throughout, but has to keep jumping up and down to keep his circulation going, and talking a hell of a lot. He is especially amusing expounding on the following subjects:

· How he was cured of sadness (his girlfriend threw him a party and his friends came, thereby ridding him of the notion that he was alone in a universe that didn’t care).
· How he is the originator of various, if not all, musical ideas and styles, including the SINGING-OVER-TAPES method and the BAD LOOPS method.

I am always slightly in awe of people like Patrick, but thankfully he breaks the ice by coughing up snot on me. What happens is this:

Patrick coughs chestily, and exclaims something like: “Jesus! Ugh! Where did that go? I think I just coughed up something horrible onto myself.” He starts examining his front for unwanted phlegm. “It probably landed on me,” I quip, as I am positioned slightly in front and to his left. Immediately I am proved hideously correct, as my first glance at my coat reveals a vile chunk of gack from Pat’s lungs, or one of them. It is surprisingly solid in nature, large, and of various hues. Our friendship has got off to a flying start, I observe.

Then we go back to the DOUBT building (see UM’S EUROPEAN TOUR DAY TWO) and make a funny film, although I haven’t seen it because my camera is fucked. We try and make a funny film of me doing a showbiz descent down the steps of the museum too, but I fail horribly in my role because I feel shy and embarrassed in front of all the Spanish tourists pretending to be Nicholas Parsons. Not the tourists, you idiots.

Eventually we end up in the pub, possibly at my suggestion. I am getting text messages from Felix Kubin, who is coming to the gig tonight, and I am starting to worry about having something to prove, which one should never do when one has something to prove. The barmaid in the place, Turkish possibly, attractive in an unremarkable way, has a pink scarf tied over her tight black jumper, either over or under her breasts (I don’t recall which, but I remember there were breasts involved). She uses halting English shyly, and I get a lonely kind of horn. Perhaps there’s something inherently sexy in the phrase: “Would you like another beer?” Unfortunately I have a gig in about 9 hours time and I need to be the right side of ratarsed to be truly professional, so we shuffle off back to Nathan’s. It’s just a flying visit for Patrick, so he has to get ready to go to the airport, and I need to change into my suit for the gig and so on.

Next entry: the gig.

Posted May 20, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

No fool on the plane in Spain.   Leave a comment

I am now officially back from Spain, but it might take a while for what passes for normal service to resume.

Yesterday was hilarious. I woke up after precious little sleep feeling particularly awful and estranged from myself. This was because of all the holiday drink, and also because I’d decided to orally ingest a big chunk of vacation resin the previous night because I didn’t want to have to throw it away or take it through customs (again). I was able to just about cope with being heavily monkeyed the night before, even in the restaurant, but when I awoke, if that’s what you could call it, I didn’t feel particularly, uh…together. In addition we were in a stressed-out hurry, and Syd was pretty fucking livid, and there was a lot of running around to do involving chucking out rancid meat and cheese, pulling plastic bags full of shit lager out of swimming pools, the finding of pants and so on, and basically an innumerable sequence of tasks that I couldn’t even begin to get my brain around without a cup of tea, which we didn’t have. I was also pretty paranoid about the flight, and the fact that in order to get on the plane we had to negotiate some laughably dangerous mountain roads that had been freaking the shit out of us the whole week anyway. Somehow all these various Achilles’ heels in my normally invincible emotional armour suddenly felt the need to make them selves known to the forces of evil and a full-on, Bobby J style panic attack started to race around my body and brain like a Border Collie chasing its own tail. This has never happened to me before, or at least never when I’ve been straight. In fact I wasn’t straight. I felt exactly like I would have done if I had been straight and then done a couple of hot knives or something, first thing in the morning. I was really caned, and I was freaking right out like the guitarist in Blur. Getting on a plane seemed like a sick joke. Getting in a car seemed like a sick joke. Trying to pretend to be vaguely psychologically together seemed like the hardest thing of all. I couldn’t look Syd in the eye because I didn’t want to pass on The Fear. I had to try really fucking hard to think of a way to tell Nathan and Sam that I was having a spot of bother with the old adrenal gland, and that the only way I could think of to try and vaguely sort myself out would be to start boshing lagers ASAP, even if it was 8AM. The last straw was when I had to get into the car and pack several rubbish bags filled with the aforementioned rancid meats and cheeses, plus unmentionable sanitary stuff and fag ash around my trembling body. It was like a sauce for my fear, and |I almost broke. I shut the car door and immediately informed Nathan and Sam, the real people, the responsible, dependable, adult human beings that by the fucking grace of Christ I was travelling with that I would be sitting in the back drinking pissy Portuguese beer all the way to Granada while they drove and map-read etc. I also had a ten-strength diazepam from Dr. Sparkle, but I think it was the beer that did the trick. By rights I should have been mullered, but all I felt was ABSENCE OF THE HORROR. I even had to top myself up with sneaky brandies on the plane to keep the edge of it. Syd slept through the entire descent and landing as his dad quivered like a maltreated dog in the seat next to him. You’d have thought I’d be getting a bit old for all this shit wouldn’t you? No fool like an old fool.

Posted May 20, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Last V/VM gig ever? I was there.   Leave a comment

Went to Colchester a month or so ago with the Bad Timing posse to see the last V/VM gig. I was feeling incredibly physically weary and spiritually fucked-over, but I forced myself to go, and I’m glad I did because it definitely joins the long list of best gigs ever. I’m feeling a bit physically weary and spiritually fucked-over today, so I won’t get into the details like I ought to, but here are the moments I remember.

James comes on in what I presume is a wig (pig mask too, obviously) but what eventually turns out to be his real hair, and makes a short speech about this being the last gig for V/VM. He says he’s been doing it for 8 years and he feels it has run its course. It’s hard to tell exactly how serious he’s being, because it all feels a bit poignant here in the unlikely surroundings of Colchester Arts Centre (a former church). The maverick artist is telling us he’s giving up the fight. The thing I find with V/VM is that there is something redeemingly sincere at the heart of this huge pisstake. Then he announces he’s going to kick off with a few Elton John tunes, because, he says, he always wanted to be Elton. Strangely enough, with the funny hair and the mask, he does have something of Elton about him. Then he does, of all things, Nikita, which is a piece of 80s hammery that I happen to be extremely familiar with. Now James is only a bloke in a pig mask miming along to Elton John, but he somehow rises above the actuality of the situation and produces something genuinely affecting. And this is what he does all night. You might think it would wear off somehow. At one point he does The Ace Of Spades and leaps off the stage with the mic stand as though he is genuinely hoping to injure himself, and then has some sort of rock ‘n’ roll epilectic seizure on the floor in the middle of the small crowd. All the time the venue security people are standing about wondering what the protocol is for dealing with crazy dudes in pig masks who know no fear. In fact they are kept struggling with this conundrum for the rest of the evening.

Right, must finish this off because its been hanging around for ages. I can’t remember too much about the rest of the gig until the bit at the end, but it was all quality pranksterism with genuine Northern soul. Now, I must admit, both to the reader, and to the specific readers that I went to the gig with, that I was a little bit mashup for this gig, because when I went outside to check in phonewise with the wife, I had the tail end of something from the night before or whatever. All I’m saying is I had a heightened sense of the absurd, not that you’d probably need it watching V/VM in a church. Anyway: the finale. Near the end James goes into Earth Song by the famous Michael Jackson, and is joined by the purple gown-wearing members of humorous faux metal support act Fast Lady, who have some tunes out on V/VM’s imprint Test Records. As the orchestral pop pomp of Earth Song starts, these dudes position themselves at the front of the stage and start to implore the small audience to come up the front, as though we’ll help sick kids by doing so or something. Dutifully, everybody starts shuffling forward, but then the Fast Lady gents start pulling people onto the stage itself! This is where the magic starts. You have to remember that Earth Song is playing, right? It’s the end of a long evening in licensed premises. Most people immediately get onstage, and they beckon to the rest who are standing out there in the big auditorium, feeling a little foolish perhaps. Suddenly there is no performer/audience divide, because we are all one, and we are all miming to Earth Song, and it’s fucking great! Of course the arms start going… “…What about us?!” and so on, and everywhere you look everyone is joining in and holding hands and waving their arms and swaying and grinning their arses off and to me it feels like we’ve just taken back everything that’s true and real and beautiful that had been stolen from us by the global entertainments industry and then handed back everything that’s shitty and packaged and crass and fake and told them to stick it in a post-apocalyptic Michael Jackson Disneyworld where the sun never shines. I honestly felt redeemed. It was fucking great.

More spam!

Hello…

In a Hidden News article, I read that you were convicted in stealing credit card numbers and using them to purchase different goods on the
Internet. They write that you are one of the criminal elements in the criminal crew. However, they do not know and therefore do not disclose your name there. But I know for sure that it were you!
Please read it here – http://www.nogoodnews.org
See you later, I or the police will call you…

Ah, I love that. Also, while I can just about believe that there is somebody out there who thinks that I will believe them when they say I have been “approovved” for a mortgage, and I can almost, almost believe that they are called “Nolan Patrick”, but any vestiges of credulousness about the email can soon be discounted by the subject, which simply reads “obtrusion trout.”

My plans for the rest of the day:

Purchase kebab and consume.
Drink lager.
Make short film about Voting In The 2005 UK General Election Whilst Drunk (all works with historical precedent are grist to my mill)
Put child to bed.
Hang out with Man From Uranus.
Watch Election Night Special until bitterness becomes too much to bear.

Posted May 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Swings and roundabouts   Leave a comment

Sometimes when I’m pushing the pushchair along I have a tendency to look a bit unshaven, sweaty, paunchy, round-shouldered, edgy and fatigued, and when I see my opposite numbers, my counterparts in the straight world, with their neat hair, clear eyes, and primary-coloured weatherproof climbing jackets, I automatically look down to check their kid out. The sight of a tidy and well-laundered child is like a sort of stick that I seem to need to beat myself with, because my hopeless addiction to shame is immediately gratified with thoughts of the dearth of mortgages and foreign holidays and power steering in my life and in that of my offspring. As my man Teppei said, somewhere in Holland, “my character is shame”, and as Bobby J said when I relayed the quote: “that just about says it all”. Anyway, I was going through this self-flagellating process the other week in town, as we were on the way to the library. In front of Syd and I was a dude/kid combination like what I have just described, and when I looked Dad in the eye to see if he had clocked a certain yawning chasm between us, I could tell that he had, and I felt the shame waters rise in the canyon. As we passed each other I looked down at my own son. His hair looked sort of accidental, his clothes generally shabby and in nondescript hues, and his shoes were scuffed. In addition he was slouched back in his faded and fucked and too-small pushchair, with the ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other. In short, he looked like the dopest motherfucker to ever walk the Earth, if only he could be bothered to get out of his pushchair. So, it’s swings and roundabouts, this bohemia business.

Posted May 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Honest labour: voodoo update and plea   Leave a comment

Here is a list of things wrong with my computer:

My anti-virus thing (AVG) is out of date. This means that when I boot up I am told that my anti-virus thing is out of date. An update automatically begins downloading. However, at that point:

An error message concerning Windows Media Player comes up, which is actually due to some sort of confliction with Mozilla Firefox Web Browser. This seems to halt the download of my anti-virus update.

I then get a message to tell me that my computer is at risk.

The Windows Media Player error messages continue to come up intermittently and at random for as long as my PC is switched on.

Most programs, and in particular those dealing with colour images or graphics, are subject to a memory problem (I’m told) with my video card. Little dots of colour appear all over the screen where there shouldn’t be little dots of colour, or at least of that hue.

Occasionally my screen will just black out for about four seconds and then wonkily reappear. Sometimes it goes for good and I have to restart.

The thing with the parallel lines (pretty parallel lines on my monitor – never the same, always different) has started again.

My (broadband – £17:99 a month) internet connection seems very unreliable. I can never tell when I am going to be able to check my email or smoothly browse the net. Sometimes I can’t do either for hours. Sometimes I have to repeatedly open the site to make it work.

My CD-RW drive is going funny. I seem to be able to write CDs, but then, although the same drive will be able to read the CD and see the files, it cannot open them or play them back. When I try and read data off old CDs it tends to do it reluctantly, with a lot of stuttering and crashing.

When the system crashes and I restart it wants to check every drive for FAT System 32 errors or something, which takes forever. Occasionally it’ll give me a nice DISK BOOT ERROR as well.

So, anyone out there who is geekishly inclined, and also just loves to help the foolish who cannot fend for themselves, like one of Britain’s hidden carers, might apply here for honest labour. For as sure as you can trust Tony Blair, I will always have something wrong with my computer.

Posted May 5, 2005 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized