Monday, 29 February 2016

The room of worries



Record yourself speaking a worry into an analogue tape machine, reel to reel preferably. Create a loop out of it.

Set the machine to run with output audible.

Do not switch the machine off.

When the tape breaks/demagnetises/degrades, or when the machine breaks down/overheats/burns, or when power is lost, something will have happened.

Repeat process for all worries, using another machine for each loop. 

When the room is full, this is a poem.


Friday, 26 February 2016

What happened to the Shiny Phantom Pearl?

There’s a website – Gigwise – that was just starting out when I found myself in Liverpool in 2000. It was and still is a mix of reviews, news, internetty stuff: largely a local music focus with an increasing amount of touring acts covered. It was started by Andy Day, Mike Davidson and I think a dude called Simon doing the programming.

I think it’s fair to say that at least at the outset it was finding its audience, which was the Liverpool music scene of that generation. That would be bands like Iconoclast, the Inner City Sumo bands like Flamingo 50, etc, Ji, and loads of other Merseyside acts looking themselves to bloom and spread their wings, which is a good trick if you can do both cause it’d make you a flying flower. I remember accessing the site on dial-up in Jon Hall’s house, to his chagrin because he was paying 1p a minute for it and it was well slow. The reason I was doing it was that I was – like loads of others – addicted to the forum.

Forum fuck's sake
The Gigwise Forum, to gig-goers of the time, was one of the funniest places to be. It was full of in-jokes (‘What is punk’ was a recurring thread, as was the consequential, ‘Is this site on some sort of a loop?’ as it was in the way of these things essentially self-referential.) Through the site and the boards, though, people would actually meet up in real life: there were loads of friendships made/strengthened, bands created or members invited (I once auditioned for Iconoclast as a bassist, which was a terrible fit and never went anywhere) and generally the forums served as a real meeting point for the community. It was excellent. You’d go on there and people would be pitching in on all sorts of subjects; veering off-post was pretty much guaranteed.

Amongst some of the regulars were Moly, who was I think an Iconoclast dude. I do remember him starting a thread called ‘I drew an ace’ after he had a shit and didn’t need to wipe afterwards. Kearnsy, who was always sending letters to parking officers etc claiming that he was ‘a legal fiction’ and as he didn’t exist, he didn’t have to pay. He was also a music maker into da bass and electronica. There was also Jules from Liquidation, invicta Hi-fi label etc, who would take on various personas and once he’d reached 5,000 posts abandoned them and started a new one. Gobbledegook, I think, was one of his [Edit: It was Chockablock. Close though eh.].

Chief amongst them was the wonderfully gnomic Shiny Phantom Pearl, who’d write in CAPITALS and format his submissions carefully, each one a pronouncement of situationist art as much as it was engaging with the thread. I wish I had some archived but sadly they’re all gone to the ether. But he’d come on in a thread about, say, The Maybes? And proceed to slander and single out individuals for their perceived lack of vision, foresight, talent, musical emotion. These pronouncements often did actually skewer people extremely accurately and Shiny was both loved and hated for it. It was silly to argue with him because he was simply there to tell you stuff, not discuss it. In that sense, he prefigured all the below the article commentators of the present day: I AM ANGRY AND I WANT TO TELL YOU I AM ANGRY (what about? It doesn’t matter. Facts? They don’t matter either.)

Gout-ridden swami

So Shiny was like this gout-ridden swami somewhere halfway up a mountain, eating stardust and casting his furious gaze over the minions of the Liverpool music scene day after day, and day after day lasering into Gigwise forums to tell people that they were basically inadequate, always missing the point, and furthermore he had 20,000 songs written that would show the world exactly what was right, true and would blast all this wannabe nonsense aside.

Inevitably, calls came for Shiny to show himself. In the way of all gods, the challenge became in itself and of itself a dynamic and iconoclastic response to his commandments sent from on high. For a while, Shiny could deflect these by ignoring them entirely and creating another wise and weird lightning bolt for his minions to consider. But not forever.


Is this the real life?

And it was a Wednesday, and I was there. As were (my memory says) about 20 others. Shiny’s band played: first or second support so about 8pm at the latest. It was a disappointingly normal setup – guitars, bass, drums. I think he might have been wearing a helmet; my mind plays tricks.

What I did know is that it was a cacophony of inadvertently Fall-like rough-edged post-punk that lasted about two songs before first the guitarist walked off then Shiny himself raged offstage.
I’m both glad I saw it and sad it happened. Better by far for Shiny to remain an untarnished, teasing pearl: well-named, because at the root of the pearl is grit. A phantom, because he was both there and absent. Shiny, well, because why the fuck not?

It knocked his pronouncements a bit. Now he’d come down from the mountain and like the Wizard of Oz was shown to be mortal. Less than mortal, in fact: wizened and out of touch. He continued to post, I think, til the forums were knocked on the head in about 2007.

Irony: who is Shiny?
Fast forward a couple of years and the now London-officed Gigwise has overtaken NME quite easily both in readership and credibility.

I wonder what Shiny is up to now. And I also wonder, truly, whether he existed at all or was the alter ego of Andy, or Jules, or a collective and entirely virtual provocateur consciousness that became self-aware after constantly indexing itself day after day, contemplating punk and looping through itself, again and again, faster, faster and forever.

I don't want to know, either. Live long and prosper, you beautiful fucking lunatic.

Edit 2: Here is the gig in question. Fucking great line-up, too. I am pretty sure I had one hell of a time that night. Ace.

Monday, 22 February 2016

And why the fuck should it?

The World does not care.
Of course not.
My mind is squeezed dry
And so what:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
Not a jot.
My bloodshot, dirty eyes
Ain’t a lot:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
It does not.
My trudging, tousled time
And all that:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
Not a spot.
My empty squalid cries
Are all rot:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
For these words.
My scribbled brain’s hopped-up
Regurgitate curse:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
If it hurts.
My entitled self’s fucked-up
Gibbering burst:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
Who came first.
My chicken and egg, suck-up
Gravelclad nurse:
The World does not care.

The World does not care.
Angst is worst.
My train seized long ago, rust-up
Future burned:
The World does not care.




Thursday, 18 February 2016

Political awakening no.1

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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A list of death/thrash/black metal bandnames I invented (or remembered, possibly) instead of doing the actual work in front of me


Tonight We Prey
Mother Mary’s Last Period
Ripper Gore
Burnt Nunjuice
KaoskillaZ
Mangling Rats
Balls of Jesus
Insane Fastness
Gary
Rippers of Pain
Cantankerous Irascible Gaslamp
Champions of Satan
Darkness Of The Scab
Wounded Messiah
Chaoz Arimithea
Nobilis Desecrado
Buried by Masturbation
Incestor Gadjet
Helldog Parade
Lemonparty Jesuits
Fuckforce
Rammed Reprobate and the Zombie Hash Crew
The Delinquent Underside
Wormpiss
The Fucksuckers
BeElvisBub
Pinhead Reborn
Terrified Castigation
Licentious Furby
Gandalf Shot Himself
Jimi Helltrix
Fuck Everything
Rusted Maidenhead
bAsTaRd aGenDa
Fuck You
Anal Fissure
The Price of A Shattered Soul
Betrayers of the Passion
Shattered Sunday
XIII
Dongflesh Reborn
Exploding Pustule
Kill Your Pets
Burning Tension
Churchman Idiot Torture
Xanthian nutsacK

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Donald J. Trump’s BUSINESS AWESOME


HOWDY FUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!












The Donald here to talk some sense into the conversations. We gotta find out what the hell is going on with the Musclims and the Mexicans! This is the United Streets of America and I didn’t make it to where I was by accident! What are you, stupid? I built my Trump Towers from the streets up with just a few million pounds in my pocket from my father. Don’t worry, though, you ain’t gonna get fired – unless you are one of those terrorwrists coming for our guns. Yeah, watch out Obama and your Kenyan African commies! Donalds J. Trumps is here to share his tips on how to get to the top! No hand-outs, just hand-ins! Here’s my Business Awesome. That’ll be twenty dollars you dumb fuck.

  1. Be The Prize
You wanna get to the top? Huh? ‘Want’ ain’t gonna cut it, bozo. You need to be the top! Be the prize, don’t want the prize! Change your habits! It ain’t enough to want the pizza, you need to be the pizza! Put tomato sauce on your face and stuff cheese in your ears! Now you know what it feels like to be a pizza! Feel the prize! Be The Prize!

  1. Involve off a LION
Scienceists say that men involved off a Monkey? What? Sure buddy, you sit around all day pulling off your dick an throwing your shit at tourists! You deserve to be in a zoo! I tell ya! Who do you think you are? Zebedee Q. Hackysack? Yeah, sure. Listen up: I tell you Don’t Involve Off A Monkey, Involve Off A LION! Look at a mirror an you’ll see you can involve off a Lion too. That ain’t hair, what you seein is your main! Open your mouth! That’s Lion Teeths! You can see your Lion imerge! You are the King of the Jungel! And what do Lions do? That’s right, they BARK!

  1. Thinking is for PUSSIES
These are beyond doubt the world’s great business mens: Lord Alan Sugars. Donald Jarvis Trumps. Richard Branstons. Ian Beales. But do you think they wasted time THINKING? No way!!! They went out and grabbed it! Don’t think, do it! Just grab it! Do it now! NOW! Say it! Thinking Is For PUSSIES! Do it! Grab It! It doesn’t matter what it is! It’s yours! Get it! RUN! FASTER! TAKE IT! NOW! NOW IS TOO LATE!!!

  1. There is no such word as NO
Say it! No! What am I saying to you!? No! That ain’t the Donald way? You are right! Say No! One Last Time. That’s the last time you’ll hear it! Positivenessity is the only word you need! I can show you how to reprogram your inner negativer into a positiver! There Is No Such Word As NO In Business! Believe it! Do it!

  1. Look at the sun
Never mind Mars, Bluto or Venice! The Sun is the best planet in the sky! You wanna know why? When the sun comes out what happens? That’s right, people put on their shades!  And shades are cool! So the sun makes everyone cooler! Look at it! Look At The Sun! Right at it, yeah! Be the sun! Make everyone cooler! This is the way to success! Stare at it! Harder! HARDER!

  1. Cook off gas
Smart cooks spoil no moss! That’s what the saying says! But I say you gotta be DUMB to cook off your own gas! Cook off someone else’s gas! Then they pay for it, dummy! Yeah! Gas don’t grow in no tree, you get me?

  1. Expandiate yourself
Nobody ever got nowhere without no expandiations of business awesome! You wanna be as big as me? Eat, eat, eat! Then you got all the food! And food is money, remember! Chomp it down. Faster! Do you want the other guy to eat your money? No? Don’t be a sucker! Be a eater! EAT IT! FUCKING EAT IT NOW!

  1. Become the game
Don’t forget: the concept of money is predicated on a deferred reward system in which goods or services are not exchanged in kind, but rather tokens are used as a shared system of perceived worth, to be used at a future date in return for other services and goods! And when this system of tokens is dislocated from any tangible shared concept of worth it is merely a lie and therefore inherently unstable! You betcha!

More BUSINESS AWESOME next week!!!!!!!!