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{Saturday}

 
SKYMMMM ...

{- I just popped up the road for my daily dose of SMOKING KILLS LITE and on the way back I noticed this big U-Haul type truck and on the side the legend or ™ was CAN MUSIK or CAN MUZIK, cool!!, I mean from what I could make out frm the rest of the amateur-daub colorful text it wuz probably some kinda TURKISH mobile disco or disko or s/t but who knows, maybe it DOES belong to some itinerant group or roving band of Stoke Newington based Krautrock obsessives ...}

... but no, anyway so, talking of Underworld, listening to them last night I got this feeling I always get, that well, they're not exactly "under rated" as such - I mean, they have had their fair share of critical acclaim, maybe at times even un critical acclaim, and public success, so much so that they can probably still headline a certain sort of Creamfields event what do I know ... but e.g. the last time I mentioned this pash of mine for Underworld to a real House/Jungle type afficianado they snobbishly turned their nose up like, yeah, I can see how YOU would like THEM, I.P., not knowing any better, but see I don't even seehear them in those kinda terms {how could I, given that I never go OUT anymore?}, I always think of them more hand in hand with ST ETIENNE, say, who, in a very similar way have always had their "fair share" of critical and popular blah, but ... but ...
... it's just this feeling I get they're [both] taken for granted, a situ both units have OK sorta contributed to inasmuch as:

a} they have occasionally come out with samey-sound treading water product; and
b} they have never excelled, either of 'em, in the INTERVIEW stakes, so that at a time say when the inkies and Q and Th'Observer Mag and Uncle Tom Fanboy and all were devoting 12 unedited Q&A pages a week to These Fascinating Plebs, Darling, Don't You Know coke-stoked WE'RE GREAT US rants of e.g. Oasis and/or pseudo-lad-era Blur or Weller or Primal Scream or whoever's PR they were all getting pissed with or buying coke/speed off that week, the actual sublime BEAUTY and sad mad INTELLIGENCE of certain periods or plots or pop!s of St Etinne and Underworld went univestigated.

SOME RANDOM EXAMPLES

Tiger Bay : = one of the Great Works of the Past [insert random number] Years and yikes! just looked at the cover and am staggered to see it came out as long ago as 1994. Recall also having a CD 45 spesh which had a remix of "Cool Kids of Death" which went on for eeeeeeever and was one of my fave remixes ever as well as an instrumental which stroked the heart if u know what I mean.

Tiger Bay = also one of my all-time favourite DRIVING tapes;
likewize
Beaucoup Fish which wuz listened to one end to t'other last night on a dark journey home and there was a time when we were rounding a shady glen/bend in the Highlands a few years ago and "SYKM" [track one Side Two if you're on tape - and Beaucoup Fish IS arranged so that it does make sense as a TWO SIDED beast/treat/platter/mirror] - yes, "Sykm" came on and I burst into tears just like that out of the blue and that's only happened one other time in my in-car listening experience, when I ill-advisedly put on a tape of Astral Weeks at a certain {wrong} moment and a certain moment in a certain track came up and we both looked at each other and wordlessly knew: We'd better pull over here and let out throats stop aching and/or tears abate before we go on ...
... but "Skym" can TEAR ME APART in any situ.
I remember the first time I heard it, I'd switched late night radio on, think it was that love-it-AND-hate-it R3 prog Mixing It, and the track had already just started and I was STARTLED and for the life of me couldn't imagine who this could be, was thinking - has Peter Hammill finally got a hip remix producer in or something?!, who on unearthly earth IS this?! Which just goes to show how powerful a role CONTEXT as pre-judgement has in our listening I think, as Marcello was likewise recently saying about the price of CDs - something I've thought for a cash-poor while now and agree with whole heartedly b/t/w ...

And I DO SO wish Underworld would do a whole CD of all their Melancholy Slow Ones; especially as the tooled-up THUD THUD THUD 808 power-tool ones [like the aforementioned "Kittens"] aren't really living room muzik any way you look at or listen to it ...

But Beaucoup also contains possibly my all-recent-time favourite in-car summer-day windows-down cool-breeze drivin' track, which is the opener, "CUPS", a GORGEOUS track by anyone's measure, surely ...
... and I haven't even started on the rest of their catalog, even starting with the motion that dubnobasswithmyheadman and Second Toughest In The Infants are two of the best LP titles ever.

I'm not even gonna attempt to start on Tiger Bay; except to say a}I've just never understood this rockboy sneer about St Etienne - especially prevalent at the time of Grunge and Britpop - that they were too knowingly "kitsch" for their own good. KITSCH? What kinds of IDIOTS get jobs as music writers these days ...?
& b} - the lyrics to "PALE MOVIE" ... O-H! come ON!
"All of his friends have been wondering / Why he spends so long with her / He's so dark and moody / She is his sunshine girl [...] In the bed where they make love / She's in a film on the sheets / He shoots dreams like a movie / She's the softness of cinema seats / Dreams come true as he holds her / Til the Xs come up in her eyes ..."
I mean, come ON: is this not Pop that is clever but still Pop but still clever but still able to open up old & healed over or so you thought mnemonic scars deep inside your HEART ...?

· Not altogether sure why, but I always think of Tiger Bay in tandem with two other works that I LOVE, i.e., love like one loves people not objects:

· WHEN I WAS A BOY · Jane Siberry
· MORNING DOVE WHITE · One Dove ...

And TWO other favourite all-seasons-round NEVER-tire-of-'em i-am-the-passenger IN CAR classics:

· EVERY MAN & WOMAN IS A STAR · Ultramarine [1992!*]
· CRUEL INVENTION Sam Phillips [1991!*]

*{which, still not as hard to believe as the FIFTEEN years that have now elapsed since 69 by A.R.Kane. And talking of the latter and under rated releases, I gave their doomed third lp a smudgy fudgy ambivalent but pretty DOWN review in The Wire at the time, but it was one of those things where you have five days to play & think about it and you put the thumb half down and then over the course of the next few months realise you've been playing it more and more and finally far more than supposed Album of That Year type releases. Shamefully, I can't even remember its name. It was very un-conceptual short-soul-song type stuff ... and the only copy I had of it, a PROMO CASSETTE, I lost - along with a CD of the equally underrated [I thought] solo-project SUFI cd - also a real slow grower - when they were left behind or "borrowed" or nicked from a TV production company office in circa Summer 1998 ... so, paw people, taped or burnt-off or bartered COPIES OF BOTH would be HIGHLY APPRECIATED {and it WAS my b*rthd*y last week ... yeugh I know I know ...

{just listening to Tiger Bay as I type and OH but my my my by Venus and Orpheus and Aphrodite & all the muses, how can sublime stuff like "Western Wind/Tankerville" and "On The Shore" and {a personal fave: "Former Lover"} be considered "kitsch" on anyone's compass ... ? Wasn't it just that callow young rockpress fanboys were frightened of the type and depth of emotion(s) stirred up in the cloudy rockpool here ...?

"
in ..... my ..... head
listening to windchimes
married a fool
i know
married a fool
i know
why on earth didnt i wait for you?
now look and see
who's paying .....

"

+ ---- +

posted by Ian 8/09/2003 03:01:00 PM
(0) comments
 
T.V. O.D. {Other side of the lens ...}


OK so these two guys from a Canadian Arts Slot are in London doing a doc/profile re IAIN SINCLAIR. And they're coming to interview me for my 20 mins worth - partly becoz I'm a peripheral member/observer of that Invisible College communitas and know and am friendly with some {more than other} of its members; but mainly, I think, becoz in their researches my review of Landor's Tower was the nearest thing they could find to a recent near-critique {for which I.S., incidentally, hasn't quite forgiven me, I don't think, not pleased, no as per free copy of London Orbital for me this time round, which i think is bonkers personally but that's just me, my logic was, who else but a true friend yadda yadda last thing we need is to turn into some MICRO version of smug London publishing circles yadda yadda ...}.

So does anyone in this loop have any I.S. lamentations or speculations, pro or not "anti" necessarily, but FRESH, especially on the LONDON angle, I know it's been mentioned by one or two people recently, and I'm sure ONE of us in this little Village Blog Deconstruction Society had something along the line of "this ain't quite on the money" to say about it ...

I am NOT interested in sticking a figurative knife in, that's not what I'm at with this, partly becoz I.S. was a massively important figure for me in mid/late 80s {which I DID also say in the LT piece b/t/w} - in the same way all the French Stuff was a decade earlier - it opened a [k-] hole and all this Other stuff came tumbling in, for one thing, and like the French stuff it came along at just the right time when you were tearing your despairing hair out at all these cheesey Amis types who were getting all the hype but who, when you tried to read 'em, were just, like ______________ zilch, zero, don't get it, sorry.

But round about Landor's and to an extent Orbital I was getting a bit fed up reading all these Observer type lead review five stars which all semed to go: 'i don't know what the HELL he's on about and it's DENSE to the point of unreadable in places but I SAY it's darned tootin' radical ...'
Which, this is partly on my part that {unfair} reaction of the long-time fan to johnny come latelys, but also, but also as I saw it a failure to actually ENGAGE with either what I.S. might be trying to do, whether he succeeds, and/or whether he's done it better before and has now {good luck to him 'n all BUT} just turned it into something of a cottage industry.

The most interesting thing in re Sinclair to have slipped out of late for my money is this little slip of a book on a micro local label, no big London publishing hype or parties, etc,:

THE VERBALS
Kevin Jackson in conversation with IAIN SINCLAIR
[Warpole Press £12]

- which is a series of interviews covering ALL Sinclair's life and career, and is especially good/interesting on the pre-White Chappell days, portrait of I.S. as a young multi media artist on the make in 60s Dublin and London; and Kevin actually has the nous/balls to front Iain with the one question most of the too-pally by half interviewers don't, which is: all this magick stuff you half-invoke half-rip the piss out of, do you actually believe in it, or, if you do, in what way ... and even if Iain's "answer" isn't 100% persausive, well, in matters like that fair do's it is maybe better if you keep your more amorphous "beliefs" or personal [tarot] cards close to your chest, but at least the Q/ is raised ...

I should declare a semi-'interest' here in that I know Kevin, just as I am good pals with e.g. the director of the C4 Orbital film ... which I found hypnotic, and I loved nearly ALL of it, including Iain's early 60s home movies spliced in, loved nearly all of it except I thought Iain's voiceover jarred, seemed to be from a different Arts prog, and, fair dos, I've had to deal with BBC2/C4 arts people myself, and I know that even the friendliest/artiest of 'em, even the ones who at the outset promise you the RADICAL earth, 'yes of COURSE you can freeform mix it like a Mille Plateaux comp, yeah SURE it can be nearer Brakhage than Yentob ...' comes editing suite time you're out on your arse and it's suddenly '- well, there's been mutterings from the boardroom about the rough cut I'm afraid, er, too abstract, and we think you need to go in a more Arena circa 82 direction ...'

But the Orbital film allows for great remix-it-yourself ops, turn the VOLUME down and stick on yr own soundtrack, Stars of the Lid or Neu! or whoever ... talking of which ...

Was out on the Orbital last night, late at night, pedal to the floor, "KITTENS" by Underworld on LOUD so that you felt like you were in one of those videos/films where 300 miles of road are revvvvvd down into 30 seconds of film ... heart race flows of death-drive fluX ... cool.

Speaking of Underworld tho' but ...

posted by Ian 8/09/2003 12:42:00 PM

(0) comments

{Friday}

 
IDENT i KITTY fi CAT i ON?


What exactly is it that's going on with The Guardian and The Observer profiling ALL OF THEM, every last one, from Dannii Minogue on up or down, Ashanti, Discounti, Avril Cruella Longest Month, Melanie Blatt*, the Presely gurl {oh, and there was SO MUCH point to that review, Petridis, yeah right}, Girls Aloud, you notice they all have one thing in common that's right: they're NOT INDEPENDENT, they're PR-heavy e-zy dishes, sushi pop, no pips, no pipes, sassy sashimi on a photo-op plate, no interesting profilers, no drift I can see, I don't get it, like Channel 4's stomach turning HYPE up lost-weekend canonisation of the execrable ROBBIE, posing like he's a coke-pumped Lazarus via some gay stylist with bad Catholick hang ups, but there you go, it's work for everybody, the PR depts, the stylists, its INDUSTRY, but ... there's more to it than that, surely, and I JUST don't get it, altho I suppose from one populist angle it could be said to be "laudable' but ... BUT ...

I just don't feel right with it; even if I couldnt yet tell you WHY.

There are dozens of Japanese French German US post-rrriot girl own label voices who may just be possessed of s/t like dream vision, paradigm irruption, some are already pre occupying my listening air, colleen of course, Maja Ratke and Nagisa Ni Te and the wonderful wonderful almost ritual almost awe-limned almost jouissant pointilism of Mira Calix and Barbara Morgenstern and Cat Power and ... what do THEY all have in common?
... well, apart, of course, from the fact that we're ALL so relieved certain Groanydad hacks haven't got their dreary 400 words on them yet ...?}

posted by Ian 8/08/2003 02:42:00 AM
(0) comments
 
SMITTEN NO LONGER ...

... not even that consciously, not making any big deal or fuss or look at me looking away like this! quirk about it, the penny's dropped, the room its own colour again, unblue, I've been slowly cutting down on it anyway, recently, casually, day by night, wresting back CONTROL from that remote no place where we've really NO IDEA who is in charge, who says YES or NO, who knows, not me, no, no, yes, I've been cutting down on it, until . . . today, no de-cision to it, as such, but today, my + or minus one, a new day, tense today it can't be denied, words POURING out of me like a Niagra fault, curl, rush, un damned, un dimmed, yep, cut to the cut in question: I didn't even switch it on, not once, not even for the Simpsons repeat, no: yes, NO TELEVISION WHATSOEVER today!
NONE: not so much as an on again and straight back OFF again: nope.

There.

My eyes are closed but I CAN SEE
The sky stretched over head...


No T.V. O.D.for me.
And so ... something begins, again, to be felt, to be dreamed.

Day One: an un done thing which lets all my ghosts speak to me so I can actually hear and feel their presence again, their chatter, their ... weather.

A bit scary, yes, true, it has to be said. Humid. Still.

Still.
A start.

{ .... and NO RISK of Peter bloody Mandelson say popping up in my own damn living space once more tonight which, is it just me BUT it feels like, he's been here more and more, who said YES to this? Not us for damn sure! When there's 3 thousand Other folk, even just their traces, their revenant faces, I truly long to seefeel ... the way I do in dreams or their faraway Call ...

{+ instead, all day & night & into tomorrow again, Sylvian's BLEMISH which, I feel this shaping up something truly special, like, I haven't played anything this way, non stop, un wearyingly, since some time in the 70s possibly ... like, Rock Bottom, just one e.g. out of the old rotten hat. We touch rock bottom; and it's all waterfall from here ...

Affirmation: do you cv?

It's LOVELY to SEE you ...

posted by Ian 8/08/2003 01:20:00 AM

(0) comments

{Thursday}

 
ARROW CONNECT // OPEN LETTER

... hey, luke,
i SO do not want this to descend onto EITHER ping pong pupils {funnily enuff …} addresses 'grasshopper' OR hey working class brother gimme five soul shake bollix - BUT ...
... just read yr "anthropology intvw" rrrnt - and never forget how much like "apology" that word sounds to outsiders - and for my lack of money yr "we have a code. we're nice to each other" is My Quote of the Year already - and uncannily around & about how i already feel about certain stuff - and redeems us all potentially and indicates that you already know a GALAXY more, in yr marrow, about Mauss & Levi Strauss & Bataille & I.E. THE GIFT - the "potlatch" - economy of the gift - than this guy will EVER know, WE GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTATION OF ANY RETURN, and if it's any comfort, which i know it probably ain't, shit i made all these notes and now i can't read 'em ..., - uh - my own Official Education ended at 18, and let me tell you, when words flow through you without YOU HAVE ANY CHOICE IN THE MATTER and you don't have to "THINK" twice about how the world irrupts inside you and irritates your membrane and meme-brain and you KNOW the sun shines INTO your HEART becoz you love an unknown pedestrian's smile a Villon times more than the 'could do better but B+" of some dessicated Fawlty teacher, let me tell you, L for loose L for love L for let them stop me, eventually, they come begging to YOU, becoz the academic life is lived - as no less than Derrida sez - BEHIND FILTERS - and your's isn't, THAT much is obvious to a fool, and the idea, NO, not "idea" but the Being a daily living of giving without measure, of love, friendship, circulation of love & info & ideas & just plain gifts to make people YOU'VE NEVER EVEN MET smile, is something that cannot be taught or bought and is PRICELESS and so think hubert selby jnr or Hollenbecq or Bataille or whoever never bowed or scraped to the hack-ademic con game, me included, even if i'm edgy here, edging away from going the other way and unfurling MY degree from the School of Hard Knocks, get OUT of here ...
... partly becoz it's back door hackamoor BOORish, and becoz, after all, what did it get me except poverty and vrs addictions and a virtually reclusive existence, well, like i said the other {birth} day and i can say it with 23 chakras and dark fleurs it got me LOVE and appreciation from people i've never even met, and even some who i have, and you know OK i'll admit it at times i almost want to bask in something like the saintly glow of how i seem to have become something like that NICE TEACHER everybody remembers fondly, but it's more, i didn't have to grind myself down to do it, get it, and i don't say this lightly, L., but you already have this ability to let your real emotions sprawl across the page in a way which - well, i've pretty much 99% only ever found in women i've known, which is another subject entirely {and which links to something Mark sez/asks, about 'Does he have any female readers?' Well, mark, i really couldn't say but i imagine you do, and what's more we all do, and what's MORE, i imagine a certain percentage of them could write us under the fucking table, without even trying, but for some damn reason they don't, and that's all i'm saying, becoz i know this from personal experience, i've had fucking FAN letters from girls/women which SHAMED me, they were so - not "well written", but were so THERE, already, without trying, like Jean Rhys {one of my all time bow-down-before heroines}, and Luke, i dont know a fucking thing about you pal, really, except you were considerate enough to write me a nice e mail on my birthday when a lot of people weren't, and you don't realy know very much about me, so i'll tell you, just in case it's any sort of a help or push, i am the original shabby autodidact, like, or-ig-inal gangster, O.A., old skool, and maybe it's some twisted working class reverse snobbery at base, {revvvin yr own engine} but i was never taught how to think it's always been done for a "living" of sorts, made up or picked up as i wnt along, so nearer hustler than prof of humantiies, fuh sure, and for many years {until, fortunately or unfortunately i discovered certain self medicatintg solutions} i was a crippled admixture of arrogance and near terminal shyness, and it doesn't ever REALLY go away, i still wonder sometimes if i shouldnt have "gone to college" or "uni" {BLEURGH word!} or art school, made it official, you know, the feeling lingrs, but in 1996 i DID go on this course, i was fed up with the freelance fanboy life, was thinking along the lines of 'time to grow up' or s/t, so, this course, maybe just learn about Lacan, maybe actually switch careers, don't know, but there was no interview to get in, so ...
... and it was mostly what you'd expect, trendy and serious young students, who in terms of footnotes and Hegel and putting their hand up and asking 'er, excuse me, if you're saying X doesnt that contradict Y, which K said in his G?', they could note-quote me under the table, note perfect, i was still - part of me - a FRIGHTENED unqualified PLEB, scared of just how fluent some of them were in stuff i still found OPAQUE, but at some point this elderly woman, long time analyst, not Lacanian, but still had an open mind at whatever age she was, spent 2 or 3 days a week doing practical NHS stuff, virtually unpaid of course, which is - as far as i was concerned - what it was all about, or SHOULD BE, could be, or would be, {not, for instance, charging £50 an hour to make your interviewer, Luke, a "nicer" more socially personable bourgie bourgie guy} and at some point this lady took me aside, and said something to me, which i won't say here, because it's special to me, special in a way it's impossible to gauge or measure, but it was about how i was a "natural" [not her word] for the dirty work side of this game, and ...
... and i never contd, no, never did it, and it's one more deferred or abandoned possibility, but she, that wonderful woman, and her quietly awesome life, quietly paradigmatic self, an un celebrated life in which knowledge had a certain human(e) POINT, had a daily END in the lessening or lifting of other people's grief and pain and break and hurt, it's not a "lesson", it can't be taught or bought, but ...
.... BUT: she is the EXACT OPPOSITE of yr interviewer today Luke, and who knows might well have said the same thing to you she said to me, for as far as i can tell, you're already there, the head may be down but the heart is open, you listen to and communicate with strangers daily, there is a resonance which - i dont know him but i'd bet - your interviewer is a stranger to, but let's do him a favour and let's imagine something went wrong somewhere along the way FOR HIM too, maybe one day long ago he was you or me and something happened which brought him here, something unconvenient, and Orpheus knows i've skirted it myself, i'm no fucking angel, and indeed it's only lately i've even fully appreciated i think ... whatever.

... SIGH ...

... i used to be on this deleuze-guattari "LIST", it was one of the first things i did when i first logged on to the NET, and i was mister fucking can't-wait 'who ARE these American student plebs', but numb, SO numb, just SO out to SHOW people i could write or think rings around them, and then this ONE guy, just like the NHS analyst ... in an opposite but similar way ... i think his work was something to do with working with prisoners or victims or both, bringing them together, pragmatic actual non-theoretical non-fundamentalist but fundamental redemption, but he made no big deal about it, and i couldnt quote or name or date ONE thing he wrote, in general or to me, but there was something one time when he made me feel ashamed of wanting to be TOP DOG, of wanting to be a combative HACKADEMIC by proxy, and of course he didnt do it in a shaming way, almost more by his ABSENCE, what he didnt do or say rather, his example, based in real day to day stuff, Foucault and D&G were, for him, not footnotes qualifiers rosettes mortgages, but something like blooms or orbits or compost, passkeys not passnotes, and his ETHICS - which was totally and utterly anti-revenge of any kind [whether you believe in such a thing] really got to me, and it's taken years for me to realise his chastening effect on me, i think, but again, Luke, he's both the person you should have been interviewed by today and he is also, potentially, YOU, you interviewing somebody, INTERVIEWING YOURSELF, in 20 years time, or not, or not at all, maybe instead just being your own anthropologist, apologist to no one, no letters after your name, JUST LIKE ME, not that i'm an example of anything much except why not to defer and why not to dabble with hard drugs, but shoot, L., you could sit down today and ... well, you already have: WE READ IT.

{See also: first chapter of Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace b/t/w ... might make you LAUGH IT OFF a bit ...}

... but you can't imagine how happy/sad yr report made me...
sad because you were obviously treated like a lump of chewing-pleb to be scuffed off the heel, and you ARE scuffed up by it;
... but happy because you're already in a place it takes some people aeons to get to, L., and some people never even susect the existence of ...

and if for some far fetched misguided reason you like what I do, or if you can listen to something say like {I am at the moment, and have been ALL DAY} the UNTOUCHABLE heart musick of the new sylvian songsuite and BEAR IN MIND that the ONLY REASON HE AND I BOTH are where we are is because long, long ago, we were SO scared or revolted or suspicious or unable to contemplate ONE MORE INTERVIEW ok tell us yr hobbies then "well, i lisen to john coltrane and i read thom disch and ..."

B L A N K E T Y B L A N K

... never again
... never again

... and what i do "have" may not in most people's 2003 eyes even COUNT as a "gain" on 1977 I.P., but I think that, say, my ability still to respond in kind, or cry, or laugh unfettered, or lose myself in reading for weeks, or listen genuinely listen to someone's voice and love them more than kudos or credit itself ... and by "voice" i DON'T mean some singer, I mean ...

posted by Ian 8/07/2003 09:36:00 PM
(0) comments
 
ASK ME ...

record of the season .................
{in a l l s e n s e s} ...........
cool cool record for an overheated situ
songs to guide our aspiration ........
paw boy blues par differance..........


- and I'm not just talking about The Loveliest New Song on The Planet Indeed™ i.e, "A FIRE IN THE FOREST", but near everything enrolled within the parchment the hypnerotomachia the shared meaning element imperfection immaculate concurrence coming together the most UN selfish UN solipsistic UN sad "solo" record in the World, ever:: David Sylvian · BLEMISH [samadhisound sound-cd 0001]

i ---- () ---- e

"
i dont know
how long she's been here with me
but it's been a long time coming
make it last for ever
make it last for ever
yes it's been a long time coming

there's a name for this one
there's a name for that
call me by my true name
i'll call you back

but i've no intention of
s e e k i n g you out

and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better
and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better heart
better, heart


and every night is wedding night
in my bed
my eyes are closed but i can see
the sky stretched overhead
the mattress on the floor ...
i see your face is at my door
and every night is wedding night
and i'm set

and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better
and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better heart
better, heart


when she whispered in my ear
what did she say?
she put her hand hard on my chest
what did she say?

oh but nothing really matters
... in the end
and if everything still matters
... what then?

and the air is humid
and my face is red
and the driver's much too drunk
to see

but she's sitting in my place
devastating beauty in my place
and i'm absent from the place
i ought to be

and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better
and the mind's divisive
but the heart knows better heart


ha ha ha ......... (?)

hea hea hea ...... (?)

ah ah ah .........

{THE HEART KNOWS BEST

{david sylvian · blemish
(p) and (c) 2003 samadhi sound }

i ---- u

{iMpROV:

so mad he ...
so sad he ...
so lo he ...
so hi i ...

... write a list or something ...
we don't need to need a thing ...


(p) and (b) ip 7/8/03

hi ................ u!




posted by Ian 8/07/2003 01:59:00 PM
(0) comments
 
MORNING WOOD

... talking of sex tho' {and, as per above, as w/ Morrissey 45s, this is all being written from memory, so ...*}

... I did actually try to catch the comeback of Sex in The City, first episode, the four Dorothys in situ at - surprise as per surprise! - an outdoorsy table of a trendy new bar in - OH yes! we see! we get the 'gag' - [s]ex meat packing district, and the first double entendre off the supposedly "ballsy" one's lips and I just thought, this is nothing but a would-be urbane NYC Carry On..., carry on shopping or quipping or coming, or something, like, Prada-sheen mere M.O.R SMUT rewritten by a closet gay Tom Wolfe or s/t, and UNBEARABLY quippy, like, it's not the supposed spot-on girls-talk femininity that irks me - as per Kate Flett's 'people divide into those who GET SITC [ie women] and people who don't [ie men]' {no, honey, people don't divide, they're not compasses, and even if they were, I think these days it might just come down to something a teensy bit more pressing, like, you know, some Barnsley housing estate, I wonder if they wait breathlessly for Sunday to roll around so they can divide around who agrees with THAT observation about Sex in The City and who doesn't?} - - and it's certainly not the 'some viewers may be offended' post water shed "sex", like, there are places on the Web where there are post-Lydia post-Courtney post-queer Grrrrls having a rrrriot with smudging ALL the a-priori sex-I definitions ALL over the shop and who don't NEED to SHOP for identity clothes and who, the only thing they LOVE more than 'giving offence' to [y]our pre-conceived notions of femininity is LOVE itself, LOVING themselves and their others ...

... no, irk wise, it's the hi-heel-thin bottox-unnatural brittle "girly girl" facade of it all, for surely this is no more than a WHICH? QUEEN version of How Girls Are ... ?

And anyway but, like I say, I tried, but mid-quip, PRADA bags at their kitten heel feet, fork poised, NO, NO MORE! and that was it, couldnt take another sliver or quip, so \/\/\/\/\/\ switched to a (repeat) of Victoria Wood's Dinnerladies [BBC2, same time, same day], also an in situ comedy about the clique and clack of femininity, working girls, ladies who MAKE the lunch you eat, dolls, and do you know what?

i} within seconds I was laughing - like, big LAFFS, out LOUD, not '-hmmm, inner titter, THAT's a piquant social observation about the Observer reading classes and their consumer choices...' - LAFFing fit to BUST ...

and ii} - talking of BUST {a word she seemingly loves - and why not - and deploys marvellously} Victoria Wood's double and triple and octogenarian entendres are a 1,000 times quippier whiplashier and RISKIER than ANYTHING in SITC ...
iii} ... I FANCY Victoria Wood a 1,000 times more than ANY of the witty dishy in-the-know Vogue-mahone kittys in SITC. There, I've said it. What's more, Victoria Wood's "sexuality" is a 1,000 times more fascinating, straight (so to speak) off the bat. This isn't some saddo post-ironic tease/joke/protest on my part: line 'em up ... the SITC bitches coven + the unstandard curves of VW, and I know who I'M going home with, 2-nite, in my head ...
{see also: my paen to the Daschund Girl [Pill Box passim] ... and "Ordinary" Girls as the most sublime things you ever do see ... glancingly ... from the corner of your desiring "I" ...

$ ---- $

DRAG MAMA DRAG ...

Somebody American would have to verify this speculation, but how USA or more pertinently NYC specific is SITC anyway? Isn't it about men as a kind of "commodity" in scarce supply?; sex as a "market" in which you indeed have to market yourself in all the right "in" clothes & bars & heels & kinks & fetishes?; and Which? Queen gay men as the ulti-mate post-feminist role models? {All work AS play, or play of quippy ironic signifiers?}
And isn't it, like Will & Grace, this strange kind of 'maybe Gay Men make the best Husband Material after all' kind of phantasy, which traduces the TRUE DESIRE[s] of all - straight & gay - concerned? Which replaces FLESH - & cum & blood & saliva & difference & angst & LACK and every Other troubling thing - with the list tick framework of those THIS MONTH "IN" pages all the glossy mags specialise & lead with? Like, never mind if your hubby hasn't actually fucked you for 19 months - and you suspect he's actually seeing a far better groomed Other, and, what's worse, it's another GUY he's seeing - at least you've burning the right scented candles du jour, bought on his credit card, which, at least THAT has an endless capacity to please you and means you never have to hear "NO" or "STOP" or "THINK" or "LACK": a no-limit credit card means never having to stop - or maybe start - coming ...

... and doesn't this also kind of flow into and out of a certain Gay scriptwriter ambivalence about SITC-y women? [NB: "fag hag" - does that SOUND like a term of endearment to you?]
Which isn't so far from Mark's McGroot thing, which, sorry, I ain't gonna go NEAR that with a schtick, no way, partly becoz I haven't read the original in full, and, what I did read, I just felt, OK, s'funny enuff as a kind of none-more-tricksy trickster CLASS WAR prank, but I JUST DONT HAVE THE TIME to work out how entangled the post-ironic tones & tenors & traits are from the under-lying "truths" and so on ... also, that one should NEVER be more careful than when publically broadcasting the STANCE of having your back firmly turned to Kapital's MIRROR OF SEDUCTION ...
... like, people in glas houses?
... and like, unless you're living some kinda UNABOMBER existence - and good luck to you, long as you're only self harming, and life is one long endless production of critique ... - I'd be VERY careful about any yah-boo at the ruses & traps of consumerist subjectivity, even if it does turn out to be one big prank, for how many of us can say, hand on Lack, that we are utterly utterly untainted - right down to our Unconscious flows & contradictions - by post modern BUY ME iconography, and ---
... and I think I have a lot to say about this, properly speaking, and after all, there are precedents [Throbbing Gristle and Marcel Duchamp leap instantly to mind e.g.] but I'm not gonna just riff n rant on this one ... tempting tho it is in a Lenny Bruce/Bill Hicks kinda way ...

*{"Truman Capote told me once that certain kinds of sex are total, complete manifestations of nostalgia, and I think that's true.
Other kinds of sex have nostalgia in varying degrees, from a little to a lot, but I think it's safe to say that most sex involves some form of nostalgia for something.
Sex is a nostalgia for when you used to want it, sometimes.
Sex is nostalgia for sex"**
{from FROM A TO B AND BACK AGAIN The Philosophy of Andy Warhol [1975]

**{{ - and Is It Just Me, or does that sound like, like, Jean Baudrillard, what exactly were you reading in 1975?
Neuralgia for a page yet to COME ... ?

- ---- +

I KNOW how late I am with a lot of these judgements, how long it invariably takes me to catch up with the Latest Thing {i.e, my Dizzee piece will probably surface in, like Autumn 2006}, but ... I've just been trying to listen to the last [year's] Sigur Ros cd, 'cos I liked that one sorta-hit of their's, it was used really well in an early episode of CSI once, but, Sigur Ros - aren't they like, STATUS QUO for limp little indie boys who want the world to think they're sensitive?
{Won't say "sad" - partly because I like the word sad - and I'm genuinely sad myself a lot of the time - and partly coz I know Mark's trying to reclaim it.
{Christ, just remembered: Coil "supported" Sigur Ros, South Bank, October 2002. After a WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN indelible mind shattering multi media poly-emotional STORM of a Coil set, we likewise tried to sit through Sigur Ros, but, one and half songs in, thought, NO WAY, no WAY are we sitting respectfully politely through this one long self-same WHINE after ... after the APOCALYPSE and how of Coil. Yes, "supported", that sure is the word for that night ...

posted by Ian 8/07/2003 11:51:00 AM
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WE KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT THIS THING

Even with Mark-punk writing about it, I'm not ploughing through x paragraphs on Morrissey at 7:52 in the am; even writing about how you've never been that taken by Morrissey, BUT - ... kinda plays into his little 'the more you ignore me, the closer i get' min[e]d games.
+
as little credence as I place in unattributable rock goss {maybe there should be a RockBitch, for all those ostensibly 'straight' fanboys who are actually ten times as bitchy and cliquey as any 12 year old girls locker room when it comes to their pop/rock likes & dislikes} I wouldn't swallow Morrissey's "celibacy", necessarily, as anything more than an essential part of a tightly constructed & codified mythos.
This is always the mistake his fan boys AND detractors make, and, thus misinterpreting, they have missed [as with the ham shazam of RADIOHEAD] that he's as media savvy and control phreak and image-sourced and bizness-savvy as Madonna, say {a not coincidentally close contemporary} if not far more so, and he always understood the Game, long before the rest, just like her.

How does anyone think they have a CLUE whether Morrissey is or ever has been "celibate" anyway - whatever that actually means, and I was always confused by its meaning, or lack thereof. (I always preferred to think in those early 80s POLYsexual terms - i.e., that everything can be sexual, and that everyone is or can be sexual, in their own way, on their own terms, from minute to minute, from the minutest caress to the most passing glance, to the most borderline sublime/filthy thought, the St Theresa syndrome ...

But it's part of the mythos that Morrissey is clean, and pure, and untouched by the filthiness of other pop people, the grubbiness of filthy lucre, or white lines on toilet cisterns, or career management, or snail trails of sperm down stockinged or denim'd legs ...

Into the woods? {Of adult darkness and wood and wet?

OH no, not Morrissey, dear, Morrissey remains in that cottage back over there, no, not that kind of cottage, the one made of clean gleamy sweeties ... smarties ...yeah, right, dream on children. And why not? I refuse no one the right to their own particular dreams, except I personally find something fanatically askew, disjunctive, about Morrissey's public pretence to a wholly wholesome wonderful world ...

Thus: myth number 87, Morrissey isn't part of Celebrity whoredom, and/or isn't interested in it: just like sex. He doesnt DESIRE: thus, he can't be corrupted [or disappointed].
Except ...
EXCEPT ...
that he PURSUES people he idolises, and loves meeting them, and WHEN he meets them, it practically looks like HIS EYES ARE COMING... [mutual inter-optic orgasm: these are the eyes that are looking at my eyes looking at those eyes that are ...]

· First ever Morrissey/Smiths 45 sleeve [and the only record of their's I ever actually bought, based on a Morley review, when Singles Pages were still things that gave you a 7" hard-on ...]: This Charming Man. And wasn't it - fanboys can correct me if my memory's wrong, for I am working on sheer memory here - Cocteau's lover {you only have to look at him to see he's} coming, arms around the fountain of his own image/gaze, how many men are coming here? How many men come here in a fountain around this unReal reel image, this look of self-love? Jean Marais as Jean Marais {an ACTOR, acting his part in a Masquerade, which was Genet's definition of femininity, or, a certain sort of identifiable or imitable femininity, a femininity of signs, and sighing, and endless mirror gazing ... and all mirrors are endless, if you think about it, which is why they are one of the most reliable providers of a certain sort of narcissistic coming, altho two can tango too, if it comes to it, do you c ...?}, Jean Marais as Orphee, a film about surfaces and reflections and coming and going, and in which terms, a PUDDLE can provide as much jouissance as the smooth pert buttocks of a pretty statue or the open legs of a fawn, the feathery copse within, Jean Marais as Cocteau's own lover, so the whole thing is a Coctease, and I could go on, reading kneading this image ad infinitum, stroking myself through the guaze and blinds of my own gaudy words, a performance thru a beaded curtain, but it'd be far more about mirrors than Morrissey, believe me, so - ...

... so, back to front this Plotting boyman, this Peers unPloughman, Morrissey, who 'comes out' as a Pop Star, with a song about an Older Man and a callow/shallow image of a lad, and the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat, his pop virginity goes 'pop!' in a song about a young lad losing his (possibly, probably), seduced by an older man, and wasnt that what all pop used to be about {cf my own 'The Broken Glass' and Ferry/Bowie as seducers of my generation of children}, whereas today children are relieved of their pocket money by imitations of their own little hip-tot selves, mirror stage school puppets, but why did Morrissey go HUGE whereas Green say, withered in the shadows, Morrissey wasnt shy of showing his huge SELF LOVE and narcissism [two very different things, b/t/w] in public, whereas Green was frightened to let the world in on what all his Echoes and friends already knew, that there was NO ONE Green loved more than Green, the SWEETest boy [neurosis & neurasthenia = a good blind for what is ultimately a chorus which goes: how could anyone prefer THAT - ie the world - to THIS - ie, me] and that where Morrissey's cool-gay sensibility wasn't shy of fumbling with mirror images in public, Green had to carry on pretending, it wasnt about bodies it was about brands, and plans, and penetrating the marketplace, alone; "She left because she understood / the meaning of defiance ... " - possibly, possibly mind you, the most fraudulent line in the history of indie pop, or at least, a masquer-aid pretending it wasn't, WORD girl, never mind, I'm going off the plot here, this charmless man literally who could not STAND before the public's gaze without having a HEART tremble, how stuck at the mirror stage is THAT, children?, it certainly makes self-branding a difficult trick to turn, so castigate the whole Imaginary image-construction process [while insisting on your own personal make up artist for photo shoots, and going & cooing through a Diana esque train of disastrous image changes, mirror probes], whereas ...

... whereas Morrissey just sat there and had CHARM in buckets, and spades, and arcades, look at it, coming on as "natural" as the freakiest I.D. bracelet in the world, I mean look, really look, his first issue, this charming man, a man hugging himself {I could of course have this ALL wrong, I could be remembering the wrong image/45 entirely, in which case ...}, and it's a great problem, men have so much trouble writing about womens bodies the way gay men have writing about other men's bodies, {how many male author descriptions of women as reverential - as toucing and as TOUCHy - as Genet's of his men? And we're not even talking about "beauty" as commonly understood here, no, not at all... or even cock and cunt, although that comes into ... it ...} but Morrissey goes one further, and says: this body gives me more pleasure than any other, why should I change {not that I necessarily believe him, when it comes down to it, and that there isn't a whole Other Morrissey world, say, with secret box numbers and "Henry would like to meet fellow gladioli enthusiast: must be willing to hose down the hot house,' or whatever}, but OTHERwise, I'm with him on this, there is a prurient hypocrisy at the heart of the UK's Tabloid Nation, which is: wanking is the unmentionable, the original sin, the loneliest, saddest, thankless, desperate last resort... {unless it's a sexy girl of course, and we're squatting at the qui-hole...}, but if Morrissey gaze is a poly ... sorry!, just lost interest.

You want to think any more about Morrissey, be my guest.

{Not that I've really been thinking about Morrissey whatsoever, while we were doing this, or at least I wasn't, I thought you understood. Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you KNEW that was my 'thing': I was looking over there, in that mirror, the entire time ... oh for god's sake DON'T start crying, like all the bloody rest, we're both adults, well, I certainly am ...}

Talking of sex, tho ... just look at Philip Larkin and Alan Bennett.
Two great Morrissey-esque figures who for the longest time were thought of as celibate or ambiguous/ambivalent at best, shrug faced, pasty organed, so on ... and how does it turn out? Ambiseuxal or omnisexual Neros the both ...

posted by Ian 8/07/2003 09:07:00 AM
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20 THERMIDOR

Well: thermidor enuff for ya buddy?

It would be the HOTTEST day in 13 years on MY BIRTHDAY, thus rendering any form of movement after about 1:00 pm actually painful, so that one had no choice but to just GO UNCONSCIOUS and OK, I won't mention MY BIRTHDAY again until - YIKES! My computer screen is morphing, like, from shade to shade to shade {"We FADE TO GREY!"*} - which I hope is an afterburn result of things I did on MY BIRTHDAY and not ...

Actually, I was a bit Krusty the Klown yesterday wasn't I?
'It's THREE HOURS OF FUN time, kids! [Krusty laff!] But seriously, today is also HORRIFIC HIGHWAY DEATHS DAY ... and [squints red eyes] according to the terms of Krusty's Court Order ...'**


*{ I never thought there'd be circumstances under which I found myself quoting THAT.

**{ALL TIME KLASSIC Simpsons quote sometime in the last 48 hrs: the one where OMNITOUCH™ mobile phone company have bought up the Bill of Rights, becoz, as the right wing bossy babe spokesperson explains to Lisa: "Uncle Sam needs to spend your tax dollars on the ESSENTIALS, such as ... anti-tobacco programmes ... pro-tobacco programmes ... killing wild doggies ... and Israel." [Thus: one of the many benefits of the BBC's endless-loop REPEAT of the handful of Simpsons episodes they currently have: what simply made me cough up my cheesecake the first coupla times becoz I was laffing so hard I can now nerdboy transcribe word 4 word ...]

posted by Ian 8/07/2003 07:27:00 AM

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{Wednesday}

 
6.8.... ?


Besides being my birthday (once shared too by ROBERT MITCHUM! and ANDY WARHOL!), let's NEVER FORGET August 6th is also ... Hiroshima Day.

posted by Ian 8/06/2003 06:03:00 PM

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{Tuesday}

 
18...19 THERMIDOR

WON'T YOU SIGN IN STRANGER ...?

Hey, citizens!
Now, come on, call off the search party, dear hearts, haven't disappeared off the face of the earth just yet. Only:

i} It's deadline week, lots of reviews for The Wire

ii} It's IP Birthday Week, so no need to search for a party, altho a semi reformed Pill Box do these days is decidedly less DionysIAN {tho' no less carnivalesque) than certain all-week blow-outs past ...

iii} Something regrettable has emerged from the past to severely vex me; to wit, an unbelievably nasty LIBEL would you credit it ... and thus it's consider my options time, it's consult a lawyer and/or consult Crowley's Magick in Theory and Practice, and so if you have in the recent past been "responsible" for a completely mean spirited, stab in the back and above all UNTRUE libellous statement about my time at the NME ... well, "friend", think on ...

One thing I will say in re the latter vexation, tho', is that, an inadverantly pleasant side effect, as also with Pill Box correspondance in general, is that it's made me realise just how lucky I am. Not only that I, personally, have not turned into some bitter flailing old wrung out stuck-in-the-past hack, but that I am surrounded by LOVELY people, friends, e friends, supporters, letter writers ... all of you.
And so can I just take this opportunity of my birth date to thank you all and wish you all nothing but truly heartfelt LOVE and apawlogise for continued failure to answer all/most e mail, which please don't imagine it isn't opened and read and appreciated and in some cases makes me feel quite humbled and lit up and loved and gee but you folks are the smartest, loveliest, most urbane and all round GORGEOUS readership a guy could wish for ...

Which, I mean, it doesn't rebalance the scales of Justice, per se, in re this specific and HATEful slur; but in karmic or something terms, it really does make all the difference in the world.

Yesterday, nothing special, just strollin' + singin' rockin' + rollin' down Seven Sisters, as you do, I had one of Abraham Maslow's "peak experiences" [I think that's the term]: just suddenly flooded with non specific everyday JOY; which kinda went hand in paw with the realisation (partly thrown into relief, it must be said, by JUST how desperate and desperately unhappy and booze strafed and crack pipe edgy SO MANY fellow citizens looked to be: so sad, so widespread psychic triage somehow ...} that I really have a pretty peachy life, full of good stuff, and good people, and good potential could I just shift my skinny ass up a gear or two ...

Same thing sorta happened on Saturday last just outside Clissold Park: when I came across this girl contentedly struggling with three or four [I think] daschunds on their multi leash, so cute (some of 'em smaller than some of my CATS!} and I caught myself blooming into the fondest fellow pet owner smile, and I looked up and the dog handler girl returned my smile with this BIG OPEN BEAM of her own which just ... melted me. And I mean - this wasn't wink wink boy-girl stuff, (or not just, or very little) it was just EROS in the widest application of that word, life is good, and also cos I am so used to and FED UP with people STARING at me in the street or supermarket if I'm smiling or singing, staring like it's ME that's some kind of desperate case, ME with the problem!, and it can get you down, y'know, and this was the opposite, strict English social defences down, OH JOY, sweet & open & disinterestedly lovely ... and I have no idea who you are, anonymous pawgirl, and doubtless our paths will never cross again, but like that little mnemonic speech in - is it Magnificent Ambersons or Citizen Kane? - I can imagine never forgetting that drop-dead or rather come-alive UN GUARDED smile, for the rest of my days ...
... sometimes, in the city, such simple unadorned un "special" signs can redeem a world of downs or perplexity or lost faith. And not that I wasn't already in a fairly tip-top frame of mind, as it went, but ... if anyone in Clissold Park or environs knows a girl who walks daschunds, tell her THANKS from this paw boy. And that in his book, a street-level smile like that is worth a thousand billion 'it girls' or tabloid cover-snap addicts, boob-job dinosaurs, or bony up-themselves models or Big Brother flashers or lad mag phantasy dolls ...

As the quietly wise Paul Buchanan put it in one of The Blue Nile's most moving and movingly lastingly resonant moments:

AN ORDINARY GIRL...
CAN MAKE THE WORLD ALRIGHT


++ ---- ++

So: Love & thanks to you all: I.P. {at time of signing off, 43 years, 11 months, 30 days, 7 hrs and 53 mins ... x.

posted by Ian 8/05/2003 07:56:00 PM

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