Sunday, 28 November 2010

Hablar De Cerveza...

The other thing I'm going to treat myself and whoever's lucky enough to drink it with me to is a few bottles of Brewdog's ultimate stout, and probably the only beer ever inspired by Space Invaders: Tokyo - Intergalactic Fantastic.

An 18.2% (yes, you did read that right - and it's not even close to being the strongest thing the 'Dog makes) motherfucker of a beer, brewed with 5 (count 'em) different malts, jasmine and cranberries in the kettle, dry hopped to hell and back and then aged on toasted vanilla French oak. It may be pricey, but sometimes you need a bit of luxury, and this stuff is just so decadently fucking delicious I couldn't care less how much it sets me back. Godfuckingdammit I'm dribbling already...

So if you like yr stout and y're feeling decadent too, I suggest you join me and my drinking companions in tasting the most gorgeous fucking dark beer it's ever been my pleasure to get down my extremely discerning gob. We'll be raising a bottle to yr health and good taste, wherever you are.

Delicia, Embotellada

Normally I wouldn't write anything praising Tesco's, not because of snobbery, I'll shop almost anywhere that sells what I want, but because they seem to be attempting to beat Starbucks at their own take over the fucking world game but I have to now, because they seem to have gone completely mental as far as booze is concerned, getting some of Britain's finest independent breweries to come up with some seriously special beers for their "Tesco Finest" range, including an excellent porter from Harviestoun, the people who bought us the fucking magnificent Old Engine Oil, one of the best beers I've ever tasted, but more importantly (for me anyway), they've got the mighty Brewdog to make an astonishing double IPA for them, under the very unBrewdog name of American Double IPA*.

9.2% of fermented fucking hop heaven, with a Seville orange marmalade nose and backnotes, a simultaneously resinous and floral bitterness from the huge hop load and an wallop of ginger biscuit sweetness which is fairly unusual in a double IPA like this. It's also deceptive in that if you didn't read the label, there is no fucking way you would know this was 9.2% until you wondered why you were twice as pissed as you should be and then actually looked at the ABV. Seriously though, it's amazingly easy drinking for an ale of this strength and character and an all round killer beer, if not quite as awe-inspiring as Brewdog's Punk, Hardcore or the much-missed Chaos Theory IPAs. Then again in the world of beer not much comes close to those for me. Take into account that it's only four fucking quid for three, and you have whatever the fuck you have when you go through bargain and come out the other side. I'm going to empty the shelves in my local branch tomorrow when I've been paid, because I ran out on Friday after sorely underestimating the addictively delicious nature of this marvellous brew, and I don't intend to make the same mistake twice. I suggest you do the same.

*I know Brewdog are from Scotland, but Double IPA is originally an American craft brewing style, so I'll let 'em off.

Bestia Excelente Cinco

The Horniman museum walrus. Perhaps the ultimate badly-stuffed winterbeast. 

En Invierno

My immune system is fucking insane, as we all know now. But, aside from all the horrible shit I have to put up with at completely random intervals, one good thing seems to have come out of going through Guillain–Barré, namely an outrageous resistance to whatever cold and flu viruses happen to be knocking around the air. Before I got sick, if someone so much as sneezed near me, you could pretty much guarantee that I'd have that cold pretty fucking quick. I dreaded flu season, because nine out of ten times I'd fucking catch it, and real flu* is fucking awful. But since I contracted GBS (more on that in a bit), nothing, and it's not like I haven't been exposed to it since, I mean, during the swine flu outbreak, my then girlfriend caught it, and we were basically quarantined for a week so the flat was full of piggy virus and I didn't catch it, not even a twinge, and I was slightly shocked by this given my history with flu, I fully expected to be flat on my back within a day of her getting it but somehow remained immune.

And as for the flu jab, get fucked**. Although the doctors always urge me to get the jab every year (which lead to a spectacular argument with the same idiot doctor who neglected to tell me about tramadol withdrawal), I always refuse now, because I've had the jab precisely twice in the last 15 years, and on both occasions ended up with the worst fucking flu I'd yet experienced, the second time being the (probable) trigger that caused the GBS, (I say probable because to be frank, my neurologist told me we have no real fucking clue what causes GBS, it just mainly seems to kick in after bad viral infections). So if one good thing seems to have come out of my immunoinsanity, and believe me, it's the only fucking good thing to come of this, it's the fact that I can now enjoy the winter without experiencing it through a haze of snot.

Which is nice, because I happen to love the winter, the sharpness and clarity of the light and the way it seems to reveal hidden detail in the world around you, the heightened contrast of land and sky, the shock of breathing in freezing cold air which wakes you up better than any coffee or powders ever could. Not that's it's got anything to do with my abiding love of hot women in sharply tailored winter clothes. Well, maybe just a touch. What can I say? I have a thing. And in this fair city, there's a lot of people who know how to fucking dress, and the winter brings out the best in stylish*** people, blokes too, but I'm not really looking in that direction am I?

So what I want now is snow, a hipflask full of excellent brandy or single malt, and my inner flâneur will be in hog heaven, because I fucking adore randomly wandering for miles until my feet go numb through London and its fantastic parks in this weather, and the snow just makes a beautiful scene all the more wonderful.

So yeah, winter rocks, and not just in a black metal way.

*Not man-flu. I may have many faults, but I don't indulge in that particular form of wallowing, and find people who do really annoying. As I said to the office prat a few days ago when he was whinging about having flu because he had a cough and a few aches, if you can think straight through the whole-body ache, let alone actually get up and come to work, you do not have the fucking flu, you have a cold so stop fucking moaning or go home and drink brandy. Flu hurts, and hurts everywhere, enough to knock me onto my arse for a week or so and I have a fucking high pain threshold. So stop fucking whining you knobs, y're making the rest of us look bad.

**Not that I'd advise anyone else not to have it, it works for an awful lot of people, and to be honest, I wouldn't fucking take health advice from me, this is just my experience and no one knows how they'll react to a particular illness, or it's associated vaccine.

***Note to anyone who doesn't know me that well. When I say style, I do not mean fashion. I mean that innate sense of ease and rightness that exudes from someone who knows exactly how they want to look, and exactly how to pull it off.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Rareza De Rana

On the bright side though, Otobahn II was another very good night, and M&N's frogprog dj set seemed to go down nicely, and it's always good when someone comes over to say thanks for playing Archaïa, which given their ludicrous obscurity and completely batshit music, (imagine a cross-pollination of Heldon and Magma and y're sort of there, but somehow they manage to be even odder than that implies) isn't exactly an everyday occurence. I must write about them at great length at some point, because even by the standards of 70s French lunacy* they're genuinely odd. But I'm off on one again, and was just going to say that now there's been two, there should definitely be a third and it really should become a permanent fixture. I know I'd be one of the regulars because it's just such a nice way to spend an evening, drinking fabulous beer in such excellent surroundings, and I'd really fucking like to do a Larsen Effect gig there, because I reckon it might go down quite well. Here's hoping.

*Which sets the weirdo bar way higher than their more celebrated German contemporaries.

Mal Momento

Bugger. I really fucking wish I'd been paid on time. Then I could have gone to see Palehorse this evening. Because I'd quite like to get drunk right now and bury my head in a wall of unbelievably loud bass-driven sludge, but because this month has been somewhat hard on the finances I'm fucking skint until Monday, and so you find me chainsmoking fags listening to Effi Briest at fucking stupid volume and writing bollocks on here in a doomed to failure attempt to not think too much about the phonecall I had earlier, which delivered some news which I knew was on the cards, and which, in the abstract and for the person concerned is fantastic, but for me less so, because it means that something brilliant will end in a few weeks time. So I'm simultaneously selfishly pissed off and happy for them at the same time. Oh well, life's been somewhat complicated, if enormous fun (in the main), lately, and I can't complain really, but it would be nice if certain areas of my life could proceed in a relatively normal manner for once. Then again, knowing me, I'd probably get worried if everything was too fucking simple, and it's often been pointed out to me that I almost never do anything the easy or normal way*.

On reflection, it's probably a good thing that I can't afford to get pissed tonight, but still. Arse.

*I was once told that if you cut me in half, I'd have the words "contrary bastard" written through me like in a stick of rock.

¡Explosión Inmensa De La Levadura!

I do like my food, as you may have gathered, and I've been hopelessly but happily addicted to Marmite* for my entire adult life. I love the stuff to the extent that I reckon I could go longer without tobacco than Marmite. Which is why I was extremely happy to discover the product pictured above, which is to normal Marmite as crack is to caffeine. Military grade salty yeasty gorgeous gloop that, coupled with some outrageously strong cheddar in an enormous toasted sandwich** creates a flavour explosion so intense that it makes the skin inside of yr mouth feel like it's peeling away, and actually makes you sweat. This is a good thing, by the way. Fuck it's good stuff. Looks like an industrial lubricant, tastes like heaven.

*Vegemite is rubbish though. Sorry Australia.

**Marmite, cheese and mixed herbs. Still untouched as the stoner's snack par excellence 17 years after I was first introduced to said sandwich by a certain Ms Levy the first time we got completely battered and now nothing else, short of a very expensive steak or 18 bowls of Shreddies can banish the munchies. It's all her fault.


Goddammit where's the fucking snow? We were promised and I demand snow*, otherwise there's no point in it being this fucking cold and I can't injure myself by sliding down Observatory hill on a dustbin lid** unless there's fucking snow. Also, why do I work for a company who are incapable of fucking paying me on time? Bastards. How hard can it be?

*I do actually mean the weather and not coke. Just to make that clear.

**Again, the teenage skater lurks below the surface ready to make me injure myself when the opportunity arises. It's fucking great fun, that hill is seriously fucking steep. We did this last year when the country froze to a standstill and I highly recommend it if y're that way inclined.

Friday, 26 November 2010

El Acero Sagrado

And now we move from the devil's music to the lord's. I may not be a god-fearin' man (don't go there*) but good Gospel just nails me to the floor, and when you get into the Sacred Steel stuff, well, there ain't much that gives me the shivers like the Campbell Brothers. Think you know what a slide can do? Watch Chuck Campbell and learn.

*I come from a mental Irish family, and by birth I'm half orange and half green. For some reason this helped put me off religion for life...

Tiene Que Moverse

If Homesick James wrote one true classic it was Got To Move, covered by Elmore and Fleetwood Mac* to name but two, and he probably recorded it about 400 times throughout his outrageously long career**, but if there's one version which just nails it, it's this live take from 1978 which is a fucking lesson in how to fucking rock the bottleneck, especially give that he was around 70 when he pulled this particular rabbit out of the hat. 70 years old and he still just killed. Listen and learn kids, and by kids I mean all of you who think you know how to play the Blues after playing along to yr SRV or (lord fucking preserve us) White Stripes*** records, you really fucking don't.

Homesick James - Got To Move

*When they was good, i.e. when Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer were up front.

**Depending on which date of birth you choose to believe he was between 94 and 101 when he died, and the fucker played live at least once a week right up until his death. What a man. The proper Homesick article will turn up soon, this should keep you going 'til then.

***Jack White isn't a bad guitarist, but he can't play slide for shit. Don't argue with me on this one, you will lose. Badly.

Demasiada Información

How the fuck did this band escape my attention 'til today? The band in question being Factums, and the reason I ask is because this lot seem to have absorbed the lessons that Chrome tried to teach us back in the 70s while almost everyone was too busy drawing mucky doodles on their desks to listen to Mr Creed and Mr Edge. I'm fucking stunned, this truly is the real fucking shit. Creepy, sleazy, buzzing, clanking, crashing, bad acid-drenched goddamm motherfucking awesome trash beamed in on alien shortwave radio. Deeply, beautifully warped and wonderful. So that's another lump of this months pay taken care of, because I need to own everything they've done immediately. Seriously, I love this music more than I lust after Kari Byron*, and I can think of no higher praise at this moment, so if you like psychedelic punky muck, do yrself a favour and get some Factums into yr lugholes right now.

*The reason I was once asked by an ex to "stop drooling" while watching Mythbusters. You know those lists of (normally famous) people that you'll be allowed to shag should the astonishingly remote opportunity arise without ruining yr relationship that get drawn up in drunken conversations with yr better half? Top of the list, closely followed by Eve Myles and Grace Slick (circa 1967 - I know, I'd need a time machine, but a man can dream...). Although I always like to add "yr sister" to the list just to see the appalled reaction. I know, really bad joke, but it always makes me giggle, even if it does generally earn me a slap. I think that's enough of an insight into my skewed mind for now.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Polvo Mi Escoba

It's been one of those weekends again. My brain still thinks it's Sunday night and wants to carry on. My body disagrees and wants to move as little as possible and eat stuff. Which is why I've just wolfed down an enormous, and extremely fucking delicious pile of rigatoni with gorgonzola and walnuts, and am thinking of having some more. When I can move again. In the meantime, I'm doing the sensible thing, sitting here with a spliff as large as a very large thing, an even bigger gin & tonic, and Elmore James* blaring, which is exactly what my brain needs to calm the fuck down. I've been simultaneously tired and wired all fucking day, and the only music that's going to work right now is the Blues, preferably served up with huge amounts of bottleneck guitar.

You might have noticed I'm quite keen on a bit of slide, in a similar way to William Burroughs was occasionally partial to the odd dab of smack, and you'd be on the money. It's a lifelong obsession, and my favourite sound in music, bar none. I grew up in a house surrounded by fucking great music, especially Chicago Blues, my dad having a seriously fucking amazing record collection, and the stereo being on a lot more than the telly, I was absorbing the sounds of Elmore, Muddy, Wolf and the rest from before I could fucking walk**, and I can never remember a time when the sound of the bottleneck didn't make my spine jellify. Especially if it's electrified. I mean, I love Country Blues, and count Son House and Bukka White as two of the greatest fucking musicians I've ever heard, I play a National for fucks sake and listening to those two taught me more than anyone, but it doesn't rip my fucking heart in two the way Elmore's guitar does.

People talk a lot of shit about guitars wailing. You want to know what a crying guitar sounds like? Listen to Elmore James. No one plays bottleneck like he did, no one. The fact he had a raw blowtorch of a voice didn't hurt none either, and The Broomdusters were a shitkicking backing band (when he remembered to pay 'em anyway), but when that slide hits those strings and that beautiful, treble heavy crystal scream comes slashing out, fuck, nothing quite comes close. Listen to this. If you don't like Elmore James, you are officially deaf.

For further proof, check here.

*The Complete Chess, Chief & Fire Sessions, if you were wondering. You don't get better than that. You just can't. Although, and I know this will be interpreted as heresy by some, Homesick's version of Crossroads (see previous post) just smokes Elmore's. More on Homesick James soon, he was erratic as fuck, but when he was good, he was fucking amazing, and he had a deeply odd guitar sound. Possibly because he used to tune down to B quite a lot. Which is lower than most doom bands.

**Not an exaggeration. My earliest memory is hearing The Sky Is Crying whilst lying in my cot.

Friday, 19 November 2010


Oh yes good people, it's bottleneck time.

De Gama Baja Lujuria

Want. Need. Must have. Well, I haven't bought a guitar for fucking ages. Not for 3 years*. I'm having withdrawal symptoms. And I don't own a bass at the moment because I flogged my old Thunderbird ages ago in a fit of madness (or skintness, honestly can't remember, it wasn't exactly the best time of my life). But, fuck me, look at it. That thing is fucking gorgeous. And the bastard sounds even fucking better than it looks. I foresee a rapidly emptying bank account on payday next...

*I know that's not that long. However, I have a bit of a... problem, and 3 years is like a lifetime for my instrument lust to remain unsatiated.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Al Azar

The thing I really like about the stats that blogger gathers about yr readers is that it tracks the search terms that lead unwitting fools into my world of stoned foolishness. I'm amazied how many people get here by searching the word "fucking" and I suspect they're seriously disappointed by the content herein. But the reason I mention this is because I was extremely pleased to discover someone came to this blog by searching for "largest ever big fuck off wombat".

Whoever this person is, I like the way they think.

And yeah, I'm in a slightly better mood now.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Diversión Con Melvins

So, seeing as fun and the Melvins at appalling volume go hand in hand as far as I'm concerned, and I did promise that this post would be more fun than the last post, I present without much further ado, their entire set from some festival in Belgium in 2003, featuring probably my favourite line up; Buzzo and Dale Crover, obviously, with Kevin Rutmanis* on bass. If you don't fancy the whole thing, may I recommend part 3, a psychotically brilliant version of amazon/AMAZON whose bendy slow riff is one of the greatest examples of that noble art known to man, and part 6 where they absolutely grind The Bloat and The Bit into the ground in a truly fucking glorious manner. See you when I'm in a better mood.

And as a bonus, an unbelievable live version of Honey Bucket recorded live in Amoeba records in 2008. This is the fastest, nastiest version I've ever heard them do, so sit back, and prepare to be beaten senseless, in the nicest possible way, by the greatest double drummer pile-up y're likely to hear in a good long while.

*Bit of an unsung fucking basslord is Mr Rutmanis, not least because of his fucking fantastic slide bass playing. See also Cows (AmRep).

¡Vete A Tomar Por Culo Guillain–Barré!

You don't have to read this post if you don't want to. It's not particularly pleasant reading, nor is it very coherent, but I really feel like fucking breaking something right now and yelling at the internet is probably the safer option. I am in such a poxy mood. I've got fucking unpleasant GB damage issues right now, I can't fucking eat without tears pouring out of my eyes, or fucking dribbling, talking isn't too fucking easy either, I can't smile, and I can feel the dead fucking nerves and inactive muscles as a useless absence and I fucking hate it. Loathe it with a passion you wouldn't fucking believe, because when this happens it just stops me dead in my tracks because I'm constantly aware of it, I just cannot fucking ignore it, the pain, the numbness, the effort involved in actions that are normally unconscious, involuntary, just fucks me up when it kicks in like this and makes me want to withdraw. And I really don't fucking want to feel that urge anymore, especially now I've conquered that particular demon in practically every other sphere of my life.

Sorry. I'm alright, just seriously fucked off with this shit*, it just gets really, really fucking boring after a while. I'm going to listen to the Melvins** at appalling volume (again). That always helps. As does shouting my head off on here. The next post will be more fun, I promise.

*And some other shit***, but mainly this shit.

**The finest fucking band America has produced in the last 30 years, bar fucking none. Prove me wrong...

***To be honest, the other shit is more confusing than anything, but it's not exactly helping either. Then again, I'm probably tying myself in either imaginary or unnecessary knots, possibly because I feel like shit because of the above. O joyous fucking circle of fun...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

La Lata

I am a little blurry today, due to last nights single malt and free jazz overdose, meaning I must listen to krautrock at punishing volume to realign my brain cells, and Can at their most singleminedly metronomic is just about the only thing that'll do do the trick. So I thought I'd share, because deep down, everyone loves a damn good motoriking, and also because if y're still not convinced Jaki Liebezeit is the greatest fucking drummer ever, these videos provide incontrovertible proof of the absolute wrongness of yr opinion.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Mirar Esos Muslos

Oh yes, more Cosmic Psychos for y'all. An old Australian TV recording of (She's A) Lost Cause, memorably covered by the wonderful L7*, actually, fuck it, here's both versions, and sorry about the shitty sync on the CP video, not a lot I can do about that**.

I'd write more, but I'm a little frazzled and incoherent at the mo', so the Cosmic Psychos article proper will have to wait a little while.

*Ah, Smell The Magic...

**Actually there is, I just can't be arsed.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Psicópata Cósmicas

Before I leave this place to go to another place where bad behaviour will undoubtedly ensue, I'd like to leave you with one of the high points of Australian culture, Dead Roo by the Cosmic Psychos*, from the magnificent LP Blokes You Can Trust (Amphetamine Reptile). Just be thankful there's no video for my top CP song, Hooray Fuck...

*Another band who've never really had their due, their influence on a bunch of bands associated with a fairly well-known Seattle record label was quite profound to say the least... More on the Cosmic Psychos soon.

Vela Pasar

BBC Radio 4 is one of the broadcasting wonders of the world, and I am, and have been for years, totally addicted to it's peculiar and unique mix of programming*, particularly its amazing documentaries and site specific audio portraits, its peerless coverage of science, history and the arts**, but also because where else in the world could you possibly hear Dame Joan Bakewell learning to beatbox?

*Except the Archers. I hate the fucking Archers. And its stupid fucking theme tune.

**And the Shipping Forecast, obviously.

Oooh, Reluciente

I'm enjoying a much needed few days off work, so I thought I'd use that time constructively* by mastering the Larsen Effect album, and knocking up a suitably lovely cover for the (occasionally) howling madness contained within, the fruits of my design endeavours being displayed above and below. The actual album itself will be available in a week or so, as soon as I can get away with abusing the expensive printer at work...

**Well some of it anyway, I s'pose it depends on what you consider constructive... But more on that later. Possibly.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

¡No Hablarás En Serio!

Go here. Read it. Read it again, because you really will not fucking believe what you just read. These people actually wield some power in this country. Fucking hell, I don't know whether to piss myself laughing or shit myself with fear. Although on reflection I think the laughter wins. And if ever there was an argument for an elected second chamber...*

Checks and balances my arse, I wouldn't trust that shower of shit to put their trousers on the right way round without a fucking instruction manual.

*You know, like in the rest of the civilised fucking world.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Viaje, Viaje, Viaje En La Otobahn

Oh yeah, it's back. We didn't know if it would be, but it is. Told you it was a good thing. And this time you've got Morgen und Nite on the decks, and no fuckers do tag team frogprog/krautrock/uk underground/psychedelic muck DJ sets quite like us. If that, plus Cafe Oto's delicious range of world ales and ciders aren't enough to tempt you, not to mention all the other good music and stuff that be there, then you are very boring and probably shouldn't come.

If on the other hand you are tempted, and you should be, it's only £2, then the hipster express to Dalston Junction will deliver you almost straight to Oto's door where you can relax in the company of like minded people of taste, class and distinction. Like me.