Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday 17 November 2010


Wednesday 17 November 2010

Today is my bad luck, bad fortune day.  This is my annual day of feeling solemn and edgy as it represents both the day I was sacked for blogging (six years ago) and the day that I decided to end Gringo Records (eight years ago).  It really seems/feels inconceivable that both events were so long ago now but they were certainly pivotal moments in my being/existence that over the years have left both physical and mental wounds/scars and caused me to develop opinions/impressions of humanity that are not necessarily very positive.

I awaken around 8.05PM, emerging from flustered dreams.  As ever I suspect/expect my boss has forgotten that I am taking today off work and with that I half await a call from him just after 9AM.

Avoiding all news (it’ll just be about the boring royal wedding) I step into the US sitcom filler that Channel Four lay on in the mornings.  How does Everybody Loves Raymond endure?  Charisma I guess.  The show is kind of poor but the players are great, all likeable and very well constructed.  Afterwards Frasier appears complete with guest spot from Nathan Lane stealing his briefcase and subsequently his identity.  Its strong stuff, possibly even better times.  The world feels a more cynical place now than it did when Frasier was in the prime time schedules.  Oh well.

My morning gets going as I put on my download of Danny Baker’s return to his BBC London show yesterday.  Within fifteen minutes he is playing “Down On The Street” by The Stooges.  This is exciting stuff, it is genuinely so great to hear him back on the air and sounding in top spirits.

I guess I spoke too soon about my Bad Fortune Day going smoothly when as the post arrives I open what should be my DVD of the Boredoms77 Boa Drum” only to pull out a copy of The Vampire Diaries on Blu-Ray.  What is this shit?

Before I realise it the day has reached midday and I have almost got through the first half of my bad luck day without calamity.  At this point I take a break from writing to watch some downloads.  Nothing great, nothing really worth noting.

Into the afternoon I resume writing until I eventually pick up and watch disc 2 of the Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide documentary.  This is an alphabetised introduction/synopsis/review to the first 37 titles placed on the original video nasty list.  The talking heads vary in quality from the ever excellent Kim Newman through to the knickers model Emily Booth who phones in her piece.  Before long I find I nod off and when I reawaken the DVD has still only reached C in the list with all the cannibal movies of the era.  Pretty messy.  From here I make a point of continuing to watch until Driller Killer even though the cheap movie trailers are by now doing my head in.  When Driller Killer gets profiled it is by Brad Stevens who wrote the Abel Ferrara biography a few years ago.  Its interesting stuff.

After this I finally pick myself up as I enter the home straight towards the evening.  From here with the usual piece of shit reality TV buzzing in the background I desperately attempt to spew out some writing before heading out tonight.

At 6PM The Simpsons arrives and with it the necessary teatime ritual of watching it while eating.  It just like setting a clock.

Tonight I begin watching Toy Story 3 in what would appear with a morbid sense of curiosity.  Everyone I know that has seen this film (adults) have expressed a real affection towards it, telling me of a heart wrenching element to it.  With this I enter into the movie hoping to experience some kind of heavy emotional response.  I actually would have gone to see the movie at the movies but a man going to see an animated movie on his own just has nonce written all over him.  It’s a sad life.

Eventually the night arrives at time to head to tonight’s DOOMED BIRD gig with thirty minutes of the movies remaining of the movie.  I guess I’ll have to save some for later.  Then stepping into the gig tonight sadly I haven’t made it onto the guestlist.  Denied!

Within seconds of stepping in I spot Mark and Racton who I promptly cling to for security.  Gradually elsewhere I begin saying “hello” to everyone else but today/tonight I am distinctly wary of all humanity and the issues that potentially can come with them.

ANIMTATEDDOG opens proceedings which is Nathan Mann from Dead Rat Orchestra singing mainly acapella songs.  His set is all about the song and power that comes from his voice as the set displays a rare breed of bravery and emotive posturing.  In very earnest fashion he appears to be taking his cues from delta singers, not necessarily in their technique more the raw emotion and desire that comes from the desire to sing for joy as an expression of being.

Performing in front of the stage he shares where the origin of these songs come from, both historically and personally.  The highlight comes as he sings a Spanish folk song in its native tongue while knocking out a rhythm using tools bouncing off a block of wood.  It is truly talented stuff.  Towards the end of the set he makes an earnest declaration as to why he sings and where his voice comes from.  It is a display of modesty from an artist that is brave and rare in this day and age.

From here THE DOOMED BIRD OF PROVIDENCE take to the stage sat in a crescent in orchestra fashion (save for the guitarist that likes to stand).  At the centre of all this is Mark Kluzek holding court.

Armed with new and fresh material tonight they perform deliver their trademark dark songs derived from desperate times and desperate era.  Australian to the core, it all feels like some kind of history lesson designed to smear shit across our British atrocities, ensuring that these people, times and places are not forgotten.

The band is a layered unit of econo strings and superb orchestral displacements as even the ukulele is offered space to shine.  As ever the focal point of the THE DOOMED BIRD OF PROVIDENCE are the shanty like vocals of Kluzek that often come accompanied with dry explanation and humorous introduction.

I think THE DOOMED BIRD OF PROVIDENCE are my new favourite band of the year.  These are songs with depth and a purpose that address historical issues with colourful flair that get otherwise neglected, issues such as human rights on slave ships heading to Australia over a hundred years ago.  With this it crashes to a tasty conclusion with a deep appreciation from the audience.

When EMILY PORTMAN takes to the stage she is flanked by young ladies sporting various implements in the name of accompaniment.  It feels like a plush cauldron of activity.  From here she launches into a set of Wicker Man-esqe folk songs of ordinary strangeness.

This music is not necessarily for me.  Folk is a kind of music that I feel says nothing to me and is a genre that people listen to in fads.  That and the weird fanatics that seem to get passionate about such earthy things and pursuits.

EMILY PORTMAN comes over as a pleasant person singing in a style that is not pleasant.  All in all it’s a kind of unicorn music delivered by middle class people that have evil in them.  Some would say that these songs are evil on their own.

It’s probably a bad sign that I notice the colour of her coffee mug matches the colour of her dress.  Is this co-ordination and by design or just plain witchcraft?  We are in the right part of the country for it.

Soon it all comes to a close where everyone feels victorious as gestures are made towards heading out for some after show action.  Myself, I head home to the conclusion of Toy Story 3 served as a midnight movie.  In the end it fails to deliver in the fashion that people were promising.

Highs and lows.

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