Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday 6 December 2010

Monday 6 December 2010

Dream: I am at an Eastern European version of ATP being held in the winter.  It has a much more fun vibe than usual but I’ll be fucked if I can understand a word that anybody is saying.  Randomly they dance in hardcore circles.  It is mental.

When the alarm buzzes this morning it is freezing but thankfully not to the degree of last night.  That said I am beat and do not feel physically or mentally up for the day.  I am very ready now for my Christmas break.

Gradually I pull myself together and exit.  As I leave the building the washing machine and television still sit dumped outside 15 Hollytree Court.  Stu said that these would be gone this weekend.  He lied to me.

This morning I sleepwalk through proceedings.  This is a bad sign.

Before I realise it I find myself on the train platform where five minutes later a specky geek turns up and tries to cut in on my place on the platform and later entering the train.  What am I invisible?  Am I irrelevant?  I know certainly some people think so but now strangers are looking to take liabilities also?  Man up.

Once the train turns up from here the journey proves nondescript and pointless.  In the end the train crawls into Liverpool Street fifteen minutes late as it drags it heels and occasionally beaches on the way.  This is a pathetic shout/showing.

From here the tube gets me across town at a more efficient rate and eventually I step into work pretty much on time (against the elements).

The day begins without the Filipino who has a routine doctor’s appointment/check up.  Later when The Girl trots in it is with the double whammy of bad news and how she had her iPhone stolen in a nightclub at the weekend and how her car has finally packed up for good (the head gasket or something).  Needless to say she is grumpy as a result and I do my best to pacify her (at least not wind her up).

Today I finally begin work on the accounts of the existing company.  This is always a good point of the month,  I can get a lot of work accomplished on autopilot without necessarily having to think too much.  Somehow I can be lazy but very productive.

Eventually the Filipino arrives which takes the pressure off me in dealing with The Girl.  She can at least offer a degree of empathy containing some hint of sincerity.

Our boss is in this morning but he needs to soon head off to Sussex to tend to his ailing mother and her affairs.  Sadly about twenty minutes after he leaves the posh boss pops his head into our office to say that she “has just popped her clogs”.  From here a solemn air attaches itself to proceedings.

With things being quiet I throw myself into work while the other two continue to complain about the smell in our office which they suspect might be a dead mouse.  Personally I can’t smell it myself.

Eventually we reach lunchtime where as per routine it is pasta Monday.  Pasta with French Fries mixed in.  This is such a bad decision and choice (lifestyle choice) both morally, spiritually and physically.

In the afternoon while I am getting drinks downstairs I spot Prince Naseem as he and his entourage (his crew) trot into the restaurant.  Not a fan.

Beyond this the remainder of the afternoon plays out in strident fashion as I get lots of work accomplished in the process.

Before long 5.30PM arrives and I find myself heading to Highbury & Islington to meet up with Racton as tonight we are heading to Café Oto to see MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ perform.  When I get to the station (via Kings Cross) I head towards The Alwyne Castle where we went for his birthday in June.  After a little hiccup I get there perfectly (with help from the map on my iPhone) just as Racton is at the bar getting a cold drink.

Not being spoilt for choice we take a perch near the entrance as once sat I become distracted by a strong Zoë lookalike.  Yikes, it was three years ago now that she was stomping my heart and breaking it.

From here we order some food but still feeling relatively full from my carb heavy lunch I plump for just a couple of starters including crab cakes which come with the promise of Wasabi.  Unfortunately this is not necessarily realised when the food eventually turns up.

I struggle with conversation tonight, I am just shattered and exhausted and as a result my brain is like a goldfish bowl of swirling wet activity that does not necessarily make much sense.  In other words for the first part of the evening I mostly just babble.

As we wait quite some time for our food I slip into angst mode eventually commenting on many movie loners that I appear to be associating with.  Why?  For some reason I begin spewing out my guts in my confusion regarding Travis Bickle which sends me on some kind of ‘Nam flashback to the summer of 1993 when I saw the movie for the first time while I was in the midst of my wilderness year, post-school and pre-work and thoroughly aimless with it.

Eventually we finish up and grab a bus towards Dalston.  While we wait we are offered the vision of Santa heading down the road on the back of a carnival float.  At first I think I am hallucinating and/or drunk but Racton sees it there also.  I guess Christmas really is here now.  Then comes the horror of the prospect that it may be heading our way and how it is destined to be some kind of charity scam.  Fortunately a bus arrives before this moment and serves as our chariot to the safety of Dalston.

When we arrive at Café Oto we are met outside by the sight/vision of a gorgeous Japanese lady stood outside trying a give a spare ticket for tonight away.  It is an insane world where a lady such as her gets blown out.

Stepping inside the venue Racton quickly bumps into his old Limn bandmate who is doing the sound tonight.  Its always a relief to spot a familiar face in Dalston.

Like a wuss I opt out of more booze, instead switching to coffee.  I’ve changed.  Then from here we with some effort we snag seats at a table in the corner where a person on their own is sat reading a book.

RICHARD YOUNGS begins the night’s music with his wonky brand of singer songwriting.  He opens in acapella before playing his guitar in a fashion that would suggest he cannot play.  It takes a rather belligerent soul to wreck a song so spectacularly.  I guess it’s in the notes that he’s not playing (© Lisa Simpson).

YOUNGS is a strange mixture of intense but feeble.  His output is passable but fails to blow me away.  At times he reminds me of Alasdair Roberts, which I guess is a positive comparison from certain perspectives.

At the end of the day I don’t get it.  In many ways he appears to be doing a purposely bad version of being a kooky guitar man which fails to convince.  It just shouldn’t rub.

When MAHER SHALAL HASH BAZ step onstage it is in shuffling fashion.  They are incredibly Japanese, not in a negative way just one that makes them look uncomfortable and painfully polite, like tourists.

I have to admit I am initially shocked by the amateurism of the playing.  It soon becomes apparent that this technique is also shonky playing on purpose.  Is this the Japanese equivalent of Daniel Johnston we are seeing?  In fine style he truly carries himself like a div kid.

Through the set Tori Kudo appears to be bossing around his band members.  In a way this is understandable.  Despite his bolshiness the songs remain blocky and purposely bad.  At times I swear that I recognise portions of songs from western pop hits but maybe its just my imagination.  Eventually the band tear through a song which I halfway through realise is “Come Up And See Me (Make Me Smile)” by Steve Harley.  This is truly a surreal selection, what is driving this man?

From here Kudo shifts things around including dragging the gorgeous drummer (the Japanese Janet Weiss?) up to sing with an older lady who appears to be traumatised onstage.  Later she even has to sit down and sort herself out.

Eventually the lumpy set comes to a conclusion as I am still not really sure what was good about it.  In some ways it was slightly like The Shaggs but that was a joke, right?

Regardless the crowd of hipsters call for them to return for an encore while Tori Kudo sits in the corner seemingly relieved that the set is over.  Soon he returns for another awkward song which he plays before proceeding to play it backwards.  This is very entertaining.  Unique.

Naturally people remain on a high off the back of this thus prompting the band to return for a second encore which entails a song consisting of the single word “hi”.  It all feels like some kind of practical joke.

With that the gig finally comes to an end as an awkward Japanese lady makes some pigeon English announcements from the stage.

From here we step out onto Dalston towards the bus stop where almost immediately a bus for Liverpool Street arrives at which point I swiftly ditch Racton without a proper farewell for the evening.

I remain no fan of buses.  It is perhaps with this in mind that by error I press my parents contact number on my iPhone and accidentally call them at just before 11PM on a Monday night.  I hope I didn’t wake them.

In the end I wind up on the 11.18PM train to Colchester, the train you can safely fall asleep on without fear of waking up in a weird part of East Anglia.  It ends where I need to get to.

Early into the journey my phone rings a couple of times.  I hate talking on the phone while on the train.  It always feels deafening, like the only thing people can hear and thus everyone listens into my conversation regardless of whether they want to or not.  Obviously the number ringing is my parents.  I ignore it.  However by the third call I feel obliged to answer it.

When I connect I hear dad’s voice and he sounds worried, he eve says “is this Jason’s phone?”  Immediately guilt overrides me as I respond “yeah, its me”.  He asks me if I am all right because I called them.  I’m fine.  He then enquires if I have been drinking.  “No!”.  With this I very quickly deny any knowledge of the phonecall and express my apologies for getting them up and making them worry.  I’m a bad son.

Eventually the train slopes into Colchester just beyond midnight.  This was a mistake.

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