Tuesday, August 31, 2004

little matchstick owen

You can keep your Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches and your Bummed. This was Monday's defining album for me. Their defining moment having already arrived in the Bernard Sumner produced Freaky Dancin' some months earlier. This was a time of wearing ludicrous hooded tops and corduroy shoes from Oasis (good name for a band that). This was a time for repeatedly watching James in amongst a Leeds Inter-City Crew riot. This was a time for wearing ACR shorts and blowing whistles.

This stuff reassures me that something is still right in the world. This is simply good use of technology. This, however, is simply astounding.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

leaving new york

separated at birth

Steve Backley

Nicky Campbell

Saturday, August 28, 2004

forget everything and remember

The long road back. How do you come back from that? Lot's of cynicism around the PR's rationale but maybe her tests will reveal something unusual.

'You got vertigo?'

'Just 22 miles'

I'll miss the Olympics, but only really for a few events. God there's some utter crap isn't there? Aside from the virtually untelevisable sailing events, the unfathomable cycling events and the synchronised cock fighting what about the modern pentathlon? It's like It's A Knockout.

Thursday, August 26, 2004


I've spent ten years avoiding Jeff Buckley's Grace. He's one of those huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugely overrated artists like Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and, according to some, The Clash. However, having got Grace out of the library on several occasions and never got past past the first couple of tracks before dismissing it, I now have to apologise. Tracks 4, 6 and 8 are absolutely fantastic. Not just a bit but a lot. I mean huuuuuuuge tracks. Wow! The rest are shit though, so just download Lilac Wine, Hallelujah and Corpus Christi Carol (all covers, obviously) and forget the rest and thank goodness it's over.

RIP though, y'know, just in case.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

fragment (consider revising)

I'm going a bit woozy thinking about the lovely Yelena Isinbayeva who's just taken Olympic gold in the Pole Vault, as well as smashing the Olympic and World Records. Ooooh.

The canteen at work sells a range of healthy options. Pies, chips, mayo-stuffed all-day-breakfast sandwiches, you name it. I feel like that bloke from Supersize Me. I am going to turn into a Tub of Lard. What's worse is that the job is entirely sedentary, topped and tailed with two hours sat in the car. I need exercise and an extra few hours in the day.

Now, I'm not sure what's happening with Blogger's 'blog by email' facility. It used to be you'd fire off your email and by the time you'd opened your browser it'd been published. Now it's taking up to twelve hours to appear. So much for push-button publishing.

There's a new Douglas Coupland book on its way... Eleanor Rigby. Plus, in September, Guided By Voices terminal release 'Half Smiles of the Decomposed' (at least this is the last release before they split... I can't believe there aren't several hundred unreleased rarities hanging around in Bob Pollard's basement somewhere, destined for future box-sets.)

blog, step, jump

Apparently all of the Olympic athletes have been banned from blogging whilst attending the Games. This seems incredibly harsh but I suppose there could be a security angle to it. The only exception is made for bloggers who can prove that their site was up and running well before the Games. However, even they aren't allowed to upload their own photos or video - only that from approved sources.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

for the benefit of captain kipper

Seems that the Little Chef is too chubby. Apparently, the little fella is reminscent of an overweight child and is to be slimmed down. Blimey.

Well yesterday we took in the East coast. Whitby to be precise. I fell over running to jump into a photograph after pressing the self-timer button. Everyone found that amusing for some reason. I had a grass stain down my jeans all day like a big kid. Anyway, then we all got dressed up as Hussars/Victorian ladies for an old-fashioned photo which, I have to say, turned out exceptionally well and was not half as cheesy as it sounds.

Huge portions of fish and chips were consumed. Morris Dancing was watched (seemingly it's Whitby Folk Week, but no sign of Richard Thompson or Kate Rusby, but we did see her mate). A light-house was climbed (on the inside, but nevertheless). We even had a look around an old pirate ship, the Grand Turk. This cost a fortune and, somewhat naively, I was hugely disappointed to discover that it was only built in 1997. What a swizz. Anyway, there was a Punch and Judy show featuring sausages, Captain Kipper and Dracula, so all in all a pleasant time was had by all.

In the world, this was distressing to watch, but no-one died. Mind you, perhaps if she'd have filled up at a Little Chef beforehand Paula might've had the energy to finish. Pink and Dido apparently rocked the V Festival. This I'm finding hard to believe, but y'know.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

new world order

So I'm sat opposite the guy who's eating my dinner. What's more, I'm feeding it to him on a silver spoon. I should give out t-shirts saying 'my job went to India and all I got was this lousy t-shirt'.

This guy has four servants. He earns less than me, but in India he's a wealthy guy. What's more, he'll have a job in five years. Mine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

portable men's society

It seems that Madness have found themselves again in the guise of The Dangermen. Seemingly they've gone back to their roots and are wowing the back rooms of pubs across the land (well, the Dublin Castle) with Prince Buster era bluebeat and ska.

I got You Are The Quarry at last yesterday and really like it (what eventually encouraged me into this purchase was my Dad telling me about a dreadful record he'd heard on Radio 2 by Mozzer about a home for the blind... how could I resist). In fact it's refreshingly good. As is the Charlotte Hatherley record Grey Will Fade. I recommend.

In the meantime, lt's hear it for the erstwhile 'Donna Tartt of Pop', Juliana Hatfield.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

arms control poseur

Andrea's back from the US of A. She's bought sweets for everyone. Apparently she bought so many fridge magnets that the aircrew had to specially position her case in the hold so the plane didn't head for Burkina Faso or Khazakstan or Dudley.

I wonder how Bjork got the Olympic Games opening ceremony gig. More to the point, I wonder how much she got paid. I like Bjork a lot and can't wait to get Medulla but sometimes she's kinda inappropriate. Like for Opening Ceremonies. She's not Kylie.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

starfish and coffee

The Drunken Duck is an excellent pub/restaurant between Hawkshead and Ambleside. It's pricey, but you get an excellent menu and great service from real people. So often places like this think it's compulsory to have snotty young staff but not The Duck. I had pigeon with figs and then spider crab with celeriac. Nice. Rhubarb Tart with Gingerbread Ice Cream for afters and an excellent bottle of wine throughout.

Afterwards we crossed Windermere on the ferry. The lake was chocka with 'pleasure craft' flying 'NO 10mph BAN' flags. There wasn't enough open water between them to hit 5mph, it all looked so un-fun. Also, the size of some of the boats must make it so frustrating on such a relatively modest and clogged up little pond when they should be in the Aegean. Other craft look hugely unsafe. Windermere on an August weekend is an accident waiting to happen.

A couple of years ago we stayed near a lake in Italy where the fastest thing allowed was a pedalo and it was still busy enough to support local shops and restaurants but was infinitely less scummy (and I don't mean algae).

Blackpool are losing 4-0. It's time for a beer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

never rock or tilt

Usually when I'm faced with an arduous commute each day my music input ramps up significantly. Oddly though I'm listening to virtually nothing musicwise at the moment. I am radio-boy.

Even last night with the house to myself (aside from snoring infant) and the option of a full-wigout I elected to watch The Day After Tomorrow on DVD instead. On DVD you say? Why yes, I reply. But only a cheap pirate from Sunday's computer fair. I'm always stunned that these affairs aren't throbbing with undercover trading standards feds.

Also I promise myself each time that I won't buy any blag DVDs but do I listen? As for The Day After Tomorrow, judging by what I could make out it'll be snowing quite heavily on Friday but it won't stop anyone nipping out to the loo or fetching another monster bucket of popcorn. Be careful out there!

Monday, August 09, 2004

big issue

All bets are off. We ain't moving any more. Discovered the vendors are immersed in a nasty planning dispute with the neighbours. We are so out of there. I've pitched a tent in the back garden to give us the extra bedroom we need. Damn site cheaper and you don't need planning permission. What d'ya reckon?

Good of our friends to come round and help us pitch it, no? It was a hot weekend mind.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

blazing hornets

It's a while since I've been able to regale you with tales of village life.

Yesterday saw us enjoying a neighbourhood barbeque to celebrate the arrival of two new infants over the past few weeks. Any excuse really, but I'm sure Cinnamon and Hepsebar enjoyed it as much as the rest of us. The little oiks didn't put away many burgers though, which was perhaps a tad ungrateful.

Our contribution was homemade banoffee pie and summer fruit terrine... firm favourites in these parts. However, yesterday they were most popular with the wasps. What's going on with wasps this year? There's millions of them and they're dead slow and aggressive.

Well at least we haven't got the manic cicada plague.

Today, I will be mostly tidying up the house to get it fit to sell. Doh!

Saturday, August 07, 2004


Not much happened yesterday... other than we found out that a house up the road was going on the market, looked at it, offered and got it accepted. Blimey, so we've gotta move house now!! What a hassle...

Thursday, August 05, 2004

andy's chest

Hmm! The bad news is that I've had to pull out of the Olympic 100 metres as I'm now on Steroids. Actually, I tested positive for the banned substance TMEAC (Too Much Egg And Chips) years ago.

Anyway, Tim's comment on yesterday's Lou Reed post got me thinking about overrated artists and albums. I agree with The Clash... but what others are there?

OK... What about the Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds'? Don't get me wrong I love the BBs (Holland is one of my favourite albums). However, Pet Sounds, whilst good in parts wouldn't get near my Top 10 as a whole album. I appreciate that the world won't listen.

The Libertines are wildy overrated. See also Supergrass, U2 (risible) and Oasis. I could go on and probably will at some point.

There's also bands that I just don't get. These are often (not always) American - Hoobastank, Hootie and The Blowfish, the Dave Matthews Band...

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

mind the gap

As predicted, blogging on a bit of a backburner while I scale the 'new job learning curve'. Anyway, got a few minutes to spare as I'm sitting in the doctor's waiting room early (still can't shake off the supposed Legionnaire's Pneumonia plague... How long have I been ill?)

Had to brave the receptionist of course, which is the biggest challenge. Fortunately she thought I was a rep (I know!) and was relieved that I wasn't blagging surgical supplies.

Haven't done a list for a while but I've been mainly in Radio 4 territory whilst sat on the M62 each day. However, I've been revisiting Lou Reed's back catalogue over the past day or two and some of it just doesn't pass the test of time. Transformer does and, my personal favourite, New York but a lot of what came in between and afterwards just doesn't... in fact it's hard work.

I need to visit my neighbours in blogland soon. Everyone hanging in there?