Thursday, 27 March 2008

Raef (Not) Fines

Favourite moment from last night's Apprentice, was when appalling laquered dark-eyed Raef hit back at the really quite okay Alex as he defended his miserable ability to not know the price of fish.

"This is not the time for hyperbole, Alex" the future Tory MP decried. Seconds earlier he had extolled his hard work not knowing the difference between sharks and hamsters by saying "I had blood, literally, coming from my hands." Hyperbole for some then, it seems.

The one thing that will put an end to evicted Nicolas's appalling smugness was the fact that he will be bald by the time he's 28 and look rather like a worse Brian Eno.

Listening: Radio Four at 40

Reading: Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut (again); Confederacy Of Dunces (again) Flat Earth News

Monday, 24 March 2008

Brief candles Zombies

Some footage of the Zombies reunion two weeks ago. Shaky cameras do not diminish how lovely this gig was, 40 years since they last played together - but coulda been yesterday. Big plaudits to the drummer and bassist, who haven't played professionally, let alone to 20,000 folks since '67.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Bad puns

I've been forking about down the allotment for a few weeks now. Trevor, the previous occupant who drives/pedals one of those key-operated bikes, had planted rows of lavender which we have had to uproot painstakingly and painfully, before 'turning' the ground over and then giving the soil some much needed nutrition. All this life-affirming pursuit reminds me how many bad puns come from allotments. My love of a gardening cliche ' faster than shit off shovel' 'where there's muck, there's grass' 'it's a forking disgrace' etc etc is growing far faster than any plant-life as yet. Next week we put down some perenials, whatever that means. But I'm still legit, still rock n' roll. I was listening to Dead Kennedy's while a-chittling.
Reading: No Country For Old Men (brilliant, somebody should make a film of it. I reckon that Javier bloke...oh right); Aberyswith Mon Amour - Malcolm Pryce; Flat Earth News - Nick Davies
Watching: The Sopranos (note - not good to introduce fiancee to this in final season. Christopher has just died and she cares not.)
Saving hard for: The Wire Season Four (no drama is better than this. Nothing. Not even Dexter.)
Listening: Drill n' bass, dubstep, new Supergrass, old Nick Lowe

Cops and downs

Me and Dee have been watching Dexter, a cop show TURRRRRNED ON ITS HEAD!!! (as the advert would probably go). Dee loves it. Me, I'm grimacing behind a cushion at all the bloody boney bits. For those not in the know, it's about Dexter, a forensics expert who is also a serial killer. But it's okay because he only kills serial killers, making him some sort of twisted hero. Like Jeffrey Dahmer arm-wrestling Ed Gein for light entertainment (and how long before that show's on BBCThree?). One can only wonder at the moral conflict that Dexter (not helped by the fact that he looks like Ben Folds) must feel. Whatever next for the cop, superhero show? Bestial cops? Sadists on spacehoppers?

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The Last Shadow Puppets

My haven't you grown, young Alex. One minute ago you was all shy back stage at Silhouette (now an a=over 25s nightclub, sadly) - now you're coming over all Nikita in this amazing new song

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

What no Gene?

Appropriated from another blog, but this story about a foppish political speechwriter inserting Shed Seven song titles into a key speech, unbeknownst to his boss, still makes me chuckle. The culprit should be easy to spot - he'll be the one with the snakey hips and the eyes on the ground, shaking his maracas then.

Monday, 10 March 2008

That means allot

Me and Dee are now the proud leaseholders of an allotment. Free to rent for the first year, it'll cost us the positively feudal price of £8 a year from then on. Obviously, 17th century prices bring out some very stange smallholding relics. Our shed neighbour, Trevor, "drives/pedals" a key-operated bike. Almost a two-wheel shopper acting as a smokescreen for laziness. It's gonna be some time until we can actually sow anything and live out our communal, misguided dream. We've got rows of lavender to dispose of, and some abandoned lino. I'm covered in Richey Edwards esque scratches after coming off worst in a lavender bagging exercise. But that'd definitely one of the most varied weekends I've had for a while. Getting dewy-eyed at The Zoms on Friday, admiring Red Ken's swanky new council offices on Saturday and a forking liability in Lincolnshire come Sunday.

Saturday, 8 March 2008


A day of heightened extremes down in the Cap, with a look at the Greater London Authority's half-egg shaped nonsense offices on the proper south bank, not the Barton-on-Humber one. The council chamber, with its funky laptops, and views across the Thames, resembling a Jedi Council, is nothing like policy and scrutiny down Cleethorpes on a Thursday.

Zombie jamboree

Down to the marvellous Shepherd's Bush Empire, hundreds of feet high in the old cheap penny seats, to see the Zombies perform one of the finest albums of all time, Odessey and Oracle. I veered between pensive and ecstatic during the show, seeing as two of the four original band haven't played the material on stage for 40 years or more, if at all. It was all the more endearing for its chaos - some fluffed lines and dropped drumsticks, but all the better for the sheer euphoria of hearing such a blissful set of songs faithfully recreated. And Chris White, the bassist, had the kind of giddy hysteria of a man who couldn't believe his luck.