Saturday, March 21, 2009


Saturday 21 March 2009

I feel slightly lost this morning. If there were ever an actual condition such as “abandonment issues” (and there isn’t) I would feel inclined to admit that they are there in my psyche.

Just one weird dream last night during a long lengthy bout of sleep that came following passing out at a ridiculously early hour again on a Friday (and weekend) night. Surely this cannot be healthy; as the world acts and interacts I opt out through a degree of laziness.

The dream was hilarious. Somehow I ended up with Trevor Horn in my flat hanging out checking out my record collection with enthusiasm. This was a Horn the polar opposite of the man I worked for a couple of years ago and now had the kind of friendly demeanour that my current boss has. Unsurprisingly looking through my CD racks he knew of very little of my artists/albums but surprisingly picks up on the Brian Jonestown Massacre CD enthusing about the nasty attitude of Anton Newcombe. Did he turn into Stevo during the dream at some point? All the while during our hangout I felt nervous, seemingly afraid to put a foot/step wrong and get the sack (as was the rate of staff turnover at the studio). Funny.

Beyond the news but obvious first stop is Facebook just after I get up – this is the real (social) CNN. Nothing happened on that overnight either. Too many of the Facebook statuses from last night appear to be bemoaning the lack of things to watch on TV, this is my generation.

The one notification I have is pointed towards a friend suggestion by/from one of the girls/ladies featured in Gestures. The suggestion of a girl I used to fancy at school that lived in the village/town that bordered my own (Weeley onto Little Clacton). Obviously I never spoke to her; I was too intimidated to do that. With curiosity I click to see if she has an open profile. I have absolutely no idea why the girl is suggesting this girl to me but regardless I find myself immersed in yet another school days memory pitfall. Sarah has two photos on her new-ish profile and both look awful. What on earth happened to this girl and what made her think posting a picture of her swigging from a giant beer glass while exposing the mother load of spare tyres beneath would be a good look. This sums up the mentality of the majority of people I went to school with and just how little they appear to care or cared – that smalltown mentality that offers no plausible opportunity for a person to claw their way out of their rut. It is perhaps wrong that I can derive such a conclusion from one photo on just a guarded profile but regardless I do so anyway.

Just before 9AM I do the Asda run. This summer I would really like to do shirts but fear I am too fat to pull the look off without looking either man pregnant or housed in a tent. Undaunted I buy a couple of shirts from Asda, albeit humungous and cheap ones.

From here I do my Mothers Day part and buy the requested Girls Aloud CD in addition to a slightly soppy (but not too soppy) card. At the end of the self service checkout I am shocked and depressed when my bill comes to £43.41, especially when the only food stuffs I buy are some chicken tikka sandwich filler, wholemeal pitta bread and a box of Cheerios.

This week I change my caffeine energy drink from Relentless to Rockstar Punched – it fails to energise and spur me on as I write today.

In the early afternoon Nina texts me to see if I am going to the art event at the Arts Centre this evening. I didn’t think anybody was going but I definitely want to.

I head to the olds in the afternoon. When I arrive the old man has his former workmate called “Santa” visiting. This guy is great, he looks insane with as you can imagine all white candyfloss hair.

As I head into town Millwall are already losing 2-0 to Hartlepool, so much for that.

Town is sedate today. With less open shops now (and more empty shop windows with “For Lease” signs) it means the surviving shops are more packed. At the same time however the recession also means shoppers are staying away giving a nice amount of breathing space in so many shops. Not that there is anything worth buying in any of them.

Upon returning to the parents the old man tells me that Neil Harris has scored a hat-trick. I think he is taking the piss and I get annoyed by this. When I check the BBC website and Sky Sports and Jeff Stelling (Hartlepool’s most famous supporter) finally this is confirmed and I believe it. To me this is the world being turned upside down as a hero I thought had long “lost it” displays a superhero feat. My mood explodes through the roof.

Things improve through the roof as Doug gets in touch about heading out to the event this evening also and suddenly we have a social gathering.

I head out in my grey now knackered American Apparel hoodie. For an arty event this really is attire a bit too chav to be turning out in. As I stop by the cash machine to get some money the ATM initially rejects my car. A quick lick and rub of the chip later and we have money. Beyond this as I head towards the Arts Centre I see a girl called from Dani from my dark past. She looks different and I barely recognise her as she appears to immediately clock me, thus explaining why she gives me a funny look. In my hoodie at this time I must look like a zero progressed loser compared to the last time I saw her (2002 or 2003) and I had called her a “prick tease” much to her chagrin. Before realising/acknowledging all this however I just responded to her with a natural (and perhaps confused) smile.

When I get to the Arts Centre Nina is already inside and going through the door I immediately bump into Lee who is really happy to see someone bother to head out for his Mixomatosis lecture set tonight.

We get locked into conversation about the new David Lynch Lime Green Set boxset and it sounds great.

The evening begins with the first act being Rebecca Nevset dressed regally reading a whimsical and kitsch story that most people in the audience probably do not really understand including myself. I guess the piece is all about the delivery and the usage of mysterious prop held between her legs in her lap.

Next on the agenda is a stage full of brown paper bags. In anticipation of the performance more brown paper bags are handed out to audience members as Dot Howard takes to the stage, herself encasing her head with a brown paper bag. She requests that the audience put the bags on their heads also before launching into a set that sees her crawling across the stage and wriggling around the jungle of bags like a creature suffocating at the hands of its own fate. A video camera comes into proceedings as its viewpoint is beamed via two screens either side of the stage. Dot Howard then proceeds to use the microphone as a pretend penis piercing the brown bag and making rude noises. Eventually she introduces herself to the audience while dragging her head from the paper bag and inserting it into her mouth.

Rebecca Wigmore follows with a monologue delivered shortly after she decides to strip off and whop out her vagina. No one told me that there would be fanny at this do, yay! Her monologue is very female delivered at one hundred words per minute at a psychotic rate. On either side of the stage the two video screams detail her shaving her bush and with all the decoration/distraction around the actual verbal content of the piece gets lost in delivery. I sense the length of it is intended to arouse embarrassment and shame. And it does for all parties involved.

The Dr Mixomatosis lecture provides the highlight of the evening. Entitled “Originality In Music” the set serves to expose in an edutaining manner the borrowing and down right theft by popular and modern composers of elements and structures of songs. The first individual to fall foul of the accusation is Andrew Lloyd Webber who is exposed as the tune burglar that he is three times. Moving onto pop music the biggest/most familiar example displayed is the lifting of Nirvana from Killing Joke on “Come As You Are” that even forty year old accountants argue about in pubs. To prove his point further Mixomatosis proceeds to unveil an expertly crafted mash up of the two that is seamless which actually enhances both the originals rather than degrades those involved. Following on the finger pointing comes Kelly Osbourne’s electroclash effort that aurally (and probably orally) lifted wholesale from Visage. With an audience now riled up by the theft disco Mixomatosis now takes centre stage unveiling more obscure but obvious thievery in the form of Ray Parker Jr (the black guy from the 118 118 adverts) constructed the Ghostbusters theme around a Huey Lewis groove. As Mixomatosis bounces about the stage he hands over to the audience to sing/retort “Ghostbusters!” to a Huey Lewis verse and with such a baying response the fourth wall is broken prompting something of an Andy Kaufman moment. Here is a man with a message and it is getting over! As the strains of a Steve Winwood mash up of the man wrestling back “Valerie” from Eric Prydz and once more making it his own the “lecture” has proved the undisputed highlight of the night so far.

With the unenviable task of following the most popular performance of the evening next is a staged piece by Ilona Sagar delivering an alternative but convincing history of Colchester read by Joel Sams while minions scale the room creating some kind of border/pattern taping the floor and giving plateaus to related objects with a video backdrop illuminating proceedings. The narrative is very entertaining and causes the spectator to question their own knowledge of the surroundings and really works.

The next piece is performed by Holly Rumble without people actually realising what is happening. As the lights dim there is a buzz around the room which nobody can quiet pinpoint and as people begin to suspect the sound is emerging from the floor the brief act is over and was a “mobile disco.”

Tristan Burfield follows setting up all kinds of Nintendo paraphernalia on stage including an NES which completely takes me back to my childhood. Wowed I find myself fully submerged in his set of 8-bit computer sounds as the Mario orchestra kicks out the jams. The set is played out fairly cohesively, generally as “proper” music compositions which feels slightly lacking in adventure/experimentation when considering what people like Scotch Egg have been doing for a few years now. Regardless of this though it still sounds great and….he has an NES!

The final act I see is Dawn Rose. Her act compromises of a well dressed and turned out late middle aged lady circling the pillars of the Arts Centre with duct tape before slightly undressed, slipping into a white painters overall full of dirt before proceeding to toss the dirt in the ear making an ungodly mess while letting off a shrieking scream. From here the lady proceeds to attempt to clean up the mess by blowing the dirt into little manageable piles seemingly with the view to making them easier to tidy up at the end. We get more screams and a climax whereby the lady proceeds to tie herself up in duct tape (face included) in a real messy struggle I guess in a gesture and expression of exorcising some kind of set of demons with view to making a statement. It is an unnerving set/piece from which many of the crowd emerge feeling uncomfortable. It felt unnecessary and I didn’t like it but it definitely left some kind of mark on my memory of the evening.

It was during this act that I decided things had gone too far. Suddenly I found myself in a thought space considering what her gestures meant and as I attempt to read into them with too much depth in a sudden moment of clarity and realisation it occurred I was beginning to think in the horrible manner of a pretentious wanker.

As the lights come up and the woman begins unwrapping herself from the tape I make my excuses and say “goodnight” for the evening heading home in a moment that felt like escape, which is a slightly cynical and unfair way to consider things.

Happily I find myself home by 10.30, tired and entertained happy to have actually got out on a Saturday night for once. I fall asleep watching last week’s Saturday Night Live.

When I awaken in the early hours as I channel hop I come across a strange drama on BBC2 tucked away as if the Beeb didn’t want anyone to actually see it. Looking into the listings it is a movie called “The Announcement.” It being filmed in DV actually made me think it was a TV show at first.

The movie is a British film from only a few years ago featuring many familiar UK TV faces including David Baddiel and Morwenna Banks. It centres around a dinner party held in Greenwich featuring many upwardly mobile and trendy couples. Friends this is not. The film looked like a UK attempt at Dogme movie and as a result featured dark humour, strange cuts to strange acting and the inevitable announcement. The movie captures my attention and I cannot believe I have never heard of it before. It ends with the suitably dark conclusion of broken marriages, regret, fights, death – basically anything that was not expected.

Looking into the movie it would appear it was Morwenna Banks’ baby. There is surprisingly (and frustratingly) little information on it on the internet but it does confirm that I recognise the actress playing the most attention seeking female character as being the prostitute they save in Mona Lisa who it turns out is actually Bill Oddie’s daughter.

I hate discovering these kinds of movies in the early hours on TV. I doubt I will ever have the opportunity to see this film ever again when I would really like to and its distinct allusiveness begins to make me question whether I actually saw it or it existed in the first place. Thank God for IMDB.

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