Wednesday, 20 April 2011

El Ruido Alegre

Frank Zappa once said something along the lines of "the best thing about free jazz is it's capacity to annoy". That's because Frank Zappa was a fucking idiot. What free jazz expresses better than any other music is pure fucking unalloyed joy. The joy of love and life lived, of music and the power of communication and real fucking empathy, of deeply shared experience and emotion and knowledge, raw and beautiful and intense like no other music on this fucking planet. I know this because I've just witnessed the fucking glorious explosion of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet in full flight, and it was truly fucking righteous, astonishing and profound like no other music I've experienced for a very long time, if ever. Fuck, I'm high as a kite and I've had nothing stronger than a beer or two, and tomorrow I'll try to explain why in a coherent manner, 'cos right now I can't, because I've been steamrollered in the best possible way by a force of fucking nature that burned like a newly born star. Damn. I wish everyone I know could have been there 'cos this was so special, genuinely extraordinary, just everything music and art should aspire to be.

Cerveza Afrutada

I like beer. This is probably not a surprise to anyone. I love wheat beers, particularly spiced ones. What I don't like tho, is when the barkeep puts a fucking slice of lemon or orange* in my bloody pint without asking. Now I can sort of see the sense of putting a lime segment in a bottle of Corona or Sol**, 'cos let's face it, that type of beer (and I use the word in it's loosest possible sense) has slightly less taste than tap water and the lime kick might just trick someone with no sense into believing that the insipid piss they're drinking has some vague flavour to it, but good wheat beer is already chock-full of yeasty, banana-y and citrusy goodness even without the optional coriander, fruit peel and whatnot that goes into some of 'em. As far as I can tell, all the citrus slice achieves is a dulling of the spicier notes and the delicate nose of a good wheat beer, because it just accentuates the already present citrus flavours at the expense of any subtlety or depth, and because of the citric acid, decimates the lovely fluffy head characteristic of these brews, and destroys the inherent slight creaminess that many examples of this style possess.

I don't drink beer just to get pissed**, and I certainly don't drink beer to show off my exquisite fucking taste to those around me or because said beer is "the thing to drink" according to whatever shadowy cabal decides these things. I drink beer because I love the fucking taste and if I'm paying four quid a fucking pint I expect to have that beer served to me the way I fucking want it, and not the way the marketing department of the brewery says I should be "experiencing" it. So please, when a thirsty Wommm comes into yr pub, and asks for a pint of Blue Moon, and then politely asks you to remove the offending piece of fruit from the glass, please don't sigh and make a face like you've suddenly got a faint aroma of shit in yr nose, and when I buy a second pint, specifically ordered without the orange, please don't tell me "it tastes better with the orange", just pour the fucking beer, please. You may prefer the taste with the fruity addition, and that's just fine. I don't. If I wanted a fucking alcoholic fruit cocktail I'd have ordered Pimm's for fuck's sake.

I may take the piss out of America occasionally, but if there's one thing they get so right over there, it's customer service. It's really easy, just be nice, respect the customers wishes, and you'll probably sell a lot more beer. And people will come back instead of going elsewhere, they'll have a better time, your job will be less stressful because you haven't aggravated yr customers (never really the best idea), fuck me, it's not exactly rocket science...

*I believe the lemon slice was originally Hoegaarden's fault, and Blue Moon are responsible for the orange. At least Blue Moon have had the decency to admit it's a gimmick, albeit a fucking stupid one.

**Well, not usually. We all have our moments...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bestias Excelente Diez Y Once

Check out those mutton-chop whiskers*. Meet Wing Commander Pietrain and Squadron Leader Mulefoot, pride of the RAF (the 110th Flying Bacons to be precise**).

*I know, I didn't take the opportunity for a really shit pun. I do have some self-control you know. Well, sometimes. 

**Also known as the Hambusters. I'll stop now, I promise.

Buen Tiempo Para Cuero Negro

As you may have gathered from the last post, I'm feeling considerably better than I have done of late, not that it doesn't still hurt and get in the way of doing/planning shit, but I feel so much better in myself, now that (after a deeply unenjoyable and gruelling day of tests)* the good people at the hospital have found out what's going on**, knowing that there's no more nerve damage, that I'm just having a reaction to that poxy virus that did the rounds a few weeks ago and that it will pass is a weight off of my mind. It means I can begin to plan stuff again, to stop being Mr Unreliable-pain-in-the-arse**, and actually start to have a bloody life again, because I was wondering for a while there (yeah, I know, overdramatic, but it really does feel like everything's falling apart sometimes), and I'm royally pissed off that this unhealthy fucking hiatus robbed me of the some of the musical momentum I'd manage to start building up in the earlier part of the year. Now tho, I can channel that anger into motion (slow motion at first, but hey), as opposed to stewing in my own juices, which is not a good thing for me to do, as we know...

So give me a month or two, and The Larsen Effect will hopefully be (dis)gracing a stage near you soon, I can actually start putting cds out (like I said, when I grind to a halt, I really stop dead, that's why there's been nothing about the album etc. lately - but I digress), and I can enjoy the process of auditioning drummers*** for the as yet-unnamed clattering psychedelic sleaze monster I mentioned in the previous post, and hopefully, more awesome M&N stuff will happen too§. Plus I had some other irons in the fire before the stoppage, which hopefully are still glowing hot enough to get back on the anvil and work into shape (yes, I am being deliberately mysterious; my blog, my prerogative).

Seriously though, you know what the worst thing's been? Not the pain, or the weakness, or the depression it engenders, but the fucking boredom. I hate being bored, being forced to do nothing. Being lazy on my own terms is great, in the right (wrong?) mood, there's nothing better than having a bone-idle day or two, but when it's out of my control, when I have no choice but to be indolent, it's the most frustrating feeling in the world. I've missed too many fucking gigs and events over the past few weeks, missed seeing everyone as often as I usually do so fucking much. Last weekend was the first time I've actually managed to go out and enjoy myself for an entire day for far too bloody long, and it made me so happy I actually thought I might cry. Daft? Yeah, maybe, but I don't care.

So here we go again. All I want is a few weeks clear air, and finally, it looks like the fog's almost melted away.

*I cannot believe how many test tubes full of my blood were lined up in a row on the doc's desk. Looked like the bar at a really dodgy goth club.

**I know 95% of people around me know I can't help it sometimes, but it doesn't stop me fretting about it. It's been a rotten few weeks to be honest, and once again thank you, thank you, thank you to all the usual suspects.

***Oh deep joy. How I love the process of auditioning.

§I haven't posted any of the last gig yet, not because I didn't deem it good enough for these hallowed halls, but because in my bleh state, I haven't even heard the bugger back yet. It will appear at some point.

Se Busca: Una Batería

I need a drummer. Badly. Someone who's equally happy locked into a krautrock/frogprog groove and clanking out off-kilter greasy Chromesque psych-damage* with a side order of mucky garage, a Trashy Liebezeit if you will**.

The reason being that I thought I'd treat myself to a new guitar, as I've been having a shitty time of it, and, breaking the habit of a lifetime, I bought a Fender***, a Duo-Sonic to be precise, and it's a rasping trebly snot machine par excellence which makes me want to blast off into sleazy motorik space every time I pick the fucker up. So yeah, I need a drummer, any takers?

*Think Damon Edge as opposed to John Stench. Owning a 50lb bomb casing is optional.

**Sorry, can't help myself.

***Yes, that was a flying pig that just streaked past yr window. Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate Fenders, I just hate Strats.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Terapia De Electrochoque

I fucking love this song. For so many reasons. Chrome's finest pop moment. So wrong, and yet so very, very right.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Muy, Muy Alto

Ok, here's some proper damaged brainwrong, and something I didn't expect to turn up on youtube. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, from the grey depths of 80s Britain*, the excellently freaked-the-fuck-out fuzzbomb that is Get Stoned Ezy by High Speed & The Afflicted Man.

Warning: this record contains extremely long guitar solos. Really, really fucking long ones.

*1982, not sure whereabouts they're from exactly tho.


I know this is Mudhoney covering Spacemen 3 ripping off the MC5, but fuck it, I love Mudhoney, and this kicks the crap out of the original(s). I just wish the last 30 seconds or so went on for much, much longer.

Turn this fucker up.

Lo Siento Señorita Christensen

I make no apologies* for posting this masterpiece/monstrosity of 80s metal from Denmark's magnificently named Evil. I know it's shit, but, and this is crucial, it's also fucking brilliant for exactly the same reasons.

I am now imagining High On Fire covering that. Fuck.

*Except for the one in the title.

Ya Estamos Otra Vez...

Okay, I'm back. Not 100% yet, but feeling slightly better in myself, a little more level after the last months constant battering, and more able to take care of shit instead of wanting to run away from it all. Thank fuck for that, and I'll say no more about it*. I'm going to listen to Red Exposure at ludicrous volume, have a big coffee and a bigger spliff, and then I may just write something that doesn't involve moaning**.

*For the mo', anyway. You know what I'm like.

**Well, not much...