Tuesday, 29 December 2009
People who read this blog know that Nirvana are one of the greatest personal inspirations for me. Besides their obvious talent as musicians and songwriters, they were also a very political and opinionated band. Race, sex and sexuality were issues which they discussed frankly both within and outside of their music.
I recently interviewed Sune Wagner of The Raveonettes for P.I.X Magazine and one of the questions I asked him was how he'd thought the music industry had changed in the last decade since they first started out as a band. His reply was that it was so much easier to communicate with fans and this was a great thing.
I completely agree. Back in the days when articles in Melody Maker and NME were more critiques and structured essays rather than 2 sentence rants about which indie star was spotted in a football kit in Tesco, a feature length interview with a band would be at least 4 pages long. In those 4 pages you would read everything from the latest release, to upcoming gigs, to bands' thoughts on current topical issues. I knew everything about my heroes and this was pre-Google days. The journalism was informative and beautifully descriptive. I honestly felt reading and watching Nirvana interviews that Kurt was talking to me, to us, to his fans. He was a person, a musician, an artist who contemplated, discussed and speculated. He wasn't some too cool for school robot who just watched his bank balance grow all day and couldn't be bothered to communicate both on and off stage like some current bands.
Use of blogs, bulletins, messages these days is a great way of communicating with like-minded people. Unfortunately we will never receive the Everett True or Paul Morley type-interviewer as they are very few and far between these days. This is why we write and post our thoughts out. Because we will always be mis or under represented elsewhere. We don't want you to give us your money by buying gig tickets and records and that's it. We have commenced an open forum for discussion through our music, through our opinions....Whether you want to respond to it or not, that is not our concern. Our main concern is to create, explore and discuss.
Personally I find bands who think they are to cool to communicate directly with fans totally off the radar. Being faux mysterious does not fill me with an ounce of inspiration however someone with an opinion always does. My dear friend Dario gave me an NME Original Nirvana magazine for my birthday which has every single Nirvana interview, review and photo that was ever published in NME from their first ever London show and release up until Kurt's death.
It is littered with beautifully, poignant and inspiring quotes, some of which I have posted below.
'I like the comfort in knowing that women are the only future in rock and roll'
About The Breeders:
'They're strong women but it's not that obvious. They're not militant about it at all. You can tell they love men at the same time'.
'I hate tie-dye t-shirts...I wouldn't wear a tie-dye t-shirt unless it was dyed with the urine of Phil Collins and the blood of Jerry Garcia.'
Monday, 28 December 2009
I'm currently watching Female Trouble for dress up inspiration for Decasia's John Waters extravaganza at The George Tavern on Thursday!
I'm hoping however that I don't celebrate New Years with a black eye similar to the one Divine is sporting in the following clip. Having said that, by the end of this excerpt she's worring about more than just a black eye... This clip quite frankly symbolises the dinner party from hell- dinner guests who won't eat your food, a petulant child, a crazy neighbour...and Christmas dinner is barely a distant memory!
FEMALE TROUBLE- JOHN WATERS CLASSIC!
Hmmm spag bol anyone?
See you for New Years folks!
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009
Thursday, 24 December 2009
I love films about scenes - whether documentaries or parodies. Surely everyone at any one time belongs to some scene somewhere? Isn't it a part of our innate sense of being to cherish the feeling of belonging?
A girl band composed of teenage runaways. Black Flag and Redd Kross feature heavily on the soundtrack plus there's a cameo from Slash pre-Guns N' Roses days.
What the hell else could you possibly want in a film??
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
As I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, I’ve been watching a lot of David Starkey's documentaries on Tudor history. The man's pompous style of story telling is riveting but in wanting to find out more about this guy, I did what is usual these days...I searched him on Wikipedia.
The following snippets are taken off his enlightening wiki page...
I particularly like his view on the Queen...
More recently, he (Starkey) received considerable attention when he compared Elizabeth II unfavourably with her predecessors, calling her an uneducated housewife, and comparing her cultural attitude to Joseph Goebbels, by suggesting that she gave him the impression that every time she heard the word culture she wanted to reach for a gun (in fact the line is most commonly attributed to Hermann Göring, but was really written by the lesser known Nazi playwright Hanns Johst).
But as a woman of Filipino descent I find his views on multiculturalism frankly shocking...
Formerly a leftist, Starkey is now known for his right-wing views. For example, he says of multiculturalism: "What's striking about our problem ethnic communities is that they are the ones with the least commitment to self-betterment."
Yes Starkey, of course us ethnic communities 'fresh off the boat' have no commitment at all for self-betterment. We left the shores of our homeland in favor of foreign privileged countries not for self-betterment but for other reasons? But if by 'self-betterment' you mean in a cultural and intellectual sense then in this regards we are on a par with royalty it seems... I suppose it is a well known fact ethnic communities are illiterate and lazy, yes Starkey? ...ridiculous.
Starkey also offended some viewers of BBC One's Question Time in April 2009 when he criticised Scottish, Irish and Welsh nationalism and described these nations as "feeble".
However, others, including some of the studio audience, supported his attacks on politicians. (Small victories Starkey, eh?!)
Damn and I'm in the middle of watching his 4 part documentary on Henry VIII...
Damn and I'm in the middle of watching his 4 part documentary on Henry VIII...
It's comforting to know Britney Spears does not eat squirrel, that her dad is not drugging her AND that she loves Australia.
I was however upset and frankly shocked to find out that the story about her two young boys trashing a hotel room turned out to be false. Or in Brit's words 'BS'. Where's the rock n roll in that?
And finally for the record like Britney I DID NOT set up fake auditions to pick up male models. IT'S ALL LIES.
Over and out.
I know it's Christmas when I actually enjoy staying indoors more often. My main highlights of the week include me vegging out and watching films and erm...vegging out and watching films. I'm beginning to think I'm turning into a couch potato or maybe I'm more of a couch potato than I’d like to admit!
I spent last night watching the entire series of David Starkey's documentaries on the six wives of Henry VIII. I've always had some fascination with this area of history. I think this primarily stems from childhood memories of visiting places like Hampton Court Palace on school trips (and puking during the coach journey back home much to the horror of the classmate I was sitting next to at the time- my sincere apologies…). The idea of some tyrannical larger than life king killing his wives is compelling stuff for an 8 year old! I understand most of it was sensationalist melodrama befitting for a class of easily distractible 8-year-olds but the grand history behind the Tudor dynasty is utterly fascinating. There's sex, violence, drama, love, death- EVERYTHING.
Last night I also watched a documentary exploring the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary Queen Of Scots. It was a bit of a Tudor history marathon last night in the X-Bird house!
Executions were commonplace in Tudor England. Henry VIII was obviously infamous for beheading two of his wives but what I found most intriguing was the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. I think my fascination with her demise stems from trying grasp and understand how she endured 24 years of imprisonment before her death warrant was finally signed by Elizabeth I. It was reported that her death warrant was signed with much trepidation. A trepidation, not born out of remorse but from the predicted repercussions of how signing such a warrant could affect the political sphere for England and Elizabeth I at the time. The religious/political climate during the time of Mary Queen of Scots’ execution put Britain in a state of unrest, her death would again be a tactical execution but could also give way to more political uprisings against Elizabeth and spur revenge from Mary’s son who would later be James I and unite Great Britain.
Mary Queen Of Scots was a tragic queen whose royal career was one tragic blunder after another, it was only at the time of her trial and subsequent execution that she seemed to carry the strength and composure of a woman in absolute power.
Mary Queen Of Scots appeared on the scaffold on 8 February 1587 and with the composure and dignity befitting of a queen knelt gracefully by the block awaiting her fate. It took two blows of the axe to severe Mary’s head from her body. The first blow striking the back of her head, at which point she was reported to have cried, 'Sweet Jesus!'. As her head fell away from her body after the second blow a small thread of flesh remained where her head once was. This was later cut away from her body as the executioner used his axe as a saw! Mary Queen of Scots’ head was then held up by her infamous auburn tresses, her lips apparently still moving. It was later reported that her lips moved for 15 minutes in what some regarded as, 'in silent prayer'. As her head was held high to the executioner’s cries of, 'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN', Mary’s severed head then fell to the ground. People were shocked to find that the auburn hair that the executioner held on to was in fact a wig. Her auburn hair being a symbol of her infamous beauty had become after 24 years of imprisonment, short, grey and stubbled. At this point cries were then heard coming from underneath Mary's skirts. Under the folds and layers of her clothing Mary’s lap dog was found covered in blood, mourning her master's demise. The dog then later, unable to overcome the death of her master, refused to eat and died soon after...
Tuesday, 22 December 2009
I love year-ends and year-beginnings...it's the only time you really think hard about the past and the future as everything hits the wayside during the year and you rarely have time to stop and take anything in.
Being in this profession, it is not just talent alone that gets you anywhere. We Birds have worked our arses off and continue to do so. We don't rely on nepotism or previous bands we've been in or anything like that to get us off the ground. Therefore we really appreciate it when people help us of their own accord.
One of those such people is Simon Price of The Independent. He's been a great supporter of our band since he saw us play at Durrr back in January 2009. I deeply admire Simon. He is a great writer and they are such a dying breed especially in the music industry. He is also a die-hard music fan. He wrote a great biography on the Manics and seems to possess what few other music journos have these days - genuinity, intelligence and real zest for music. My respect for him increased even more a few days ago when I saw he posted out a rant referencing Rimbaud and Keats and the great masterpieces they wrote aged 25 and in comparison and at the same age, certain young TV/radio personalities are such imbeciles. Hear, hear...my sentiments exactly. The continual moral and physical destruction of the English language is unbearably painful and I am glad a few people out there acknowledge this.
Anyway, here's to Simon Price and I hope he continues to write and support many more bands for many, many more years.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
There's another fresh layer of snow outside and I am considering buying myself a sledge. I'm all cozy and warm indoors, hot mug of tea, fag etc and all seems perfect with the world until my dreams of a sleigh ride are (partly) dashed due to the fact that i can't literally leave my front door without a shovel. But hey, I NEED this much snow for my sledge right?
Aside from doing actual work today (I'm in the middle of editing a new video project and it took me 6 hours to edit 30 seconds the other day...technological nightmare!!!) I am going to make time for building a snowman and possibly an igloo conservatory at the back of my house for my parents. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
In fact I have enough snow here to build a whole village of igloos, i might even build a fancy ice hotel like like the one in Sweden.
I HAVE GRAND PLANS....
We did a session for his Xposure show back in October and last week we were summoned to XFM Headquarters to play some favourite songs and talk about our new EP.
John has been a staunch supporter of our band since the very beginning. He's an old school genuine alternative music fan and it's great to see such people still around in the industry today. It gives us all hope.
I wrote a post a while back about John Peel and it seems to me that the person picking up the pieces of such a legacy is John Kennedy.
Check out his show, phone in/text in, request songs and bands as your voice is being heard by someone out there and that's a great thing.
Friday, 18 December 2009
He was one of the few who kept me company at The George last Christmas when I had nowhere else to go.
Our gig on New Years Eve will be dedicated to him. In the meantime, search and explore this remarkable artist that deserves to be remembered and adored.
Martin Selfish Cunt
Matthew Selfish Cunt
Artrocker have reissued the EP for a short time so download here if you want to hear it:
Thursday, 17 December 2009
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Its a Wednesday night and I’ve spent the past week completely rushed off my well heeled feet, so much so, the other day I actually fell over as I was so exhausted! I was concealed under some shrubbery for about 2 mins concerned about where the hell my shoes flew off to during my decent into the wild shrubbery of a London alleyway. It was a pretty comical way to end the night I must say and to think I was more concerned over my shoes than the gash on my knee, ughhh I hate to think this says a lot about me...anyways if I lost my darn shoes I'll be walking around London bare foot which you will have to agree is not ideal in this weather. Anyways...yes it's a Wednesday night and I think to myself I have got to get away from the computer, all day working, working, working (which I have to admit as much as I complain...I actually enjoy), I digress AGAIN...so its a Wednesday night...I finally tear myself away from the computer and decide to sit down and watch a film. A pretty normal way to end the day relaxing eh? So I decide to go all 'Bridget Jones' on myself and watch a rom com and I ain't your rom com kinda gal, AT ALL. Yep, I have actually spent the last 1 hour and 30 minutes of my life watching some hybrid of Four Weddings, My best Friends Wedding and Pretty Woman. I imagine that was the exact pitch the producer used to sell the film as well...'it's gonna be a hit' etc etc. And I put my hands up...I enjoyed it. Yes, this hard arsed Bird enjoyed a rom com AND i was happy the guy and the girl got in on and will live happily ever after. I even found myself smiling at the end of the film, COMPLETELY INVOLUNTARILY I may add! Shock, followed by complete horror.
Am I a romantic at heart?! Or has my judgment been severely impaired by lack of sleep????
Ok, so there isn't much intellectual deep rooted symbolism over whether Richard Gere gets with the sex worker or if Hugh Grant gets with the hot American Lady or whether Julia Roberts does what ever she needs to do at her best friend's wedding but I have to admit, I just spent the last 90 mins of my life hooked on whether the chick from Will and Grace was gonna get with the guy from My Best Friends Wedding in another rom com flick about a single woman attending her sister's wedding with a male escort to make her ex fiancé jealous (fiancé is also best man at said wedding). Hmmm I see a rom com pattern here..... Complete plagrism aside, I don't care that whoever wrote the screenplay for this film is a rip off merchant, all I care about is whether or not I was entertained AND I was entertained. I was entertained by the sheer cringiness of it and the complete brazen approach to constructing a storyline based on our stereotypical outlook on love and relationships. We're all aware that something as intimate and complex as forming human connections is the most beautiful and at times destructive part of our human instinct but simplifying a complex connection like this in someway leaves people feeling hopeful in a sense. It lulls us into a state of euphoria, even for a moment. Everything with the world seems so much more simple and clean cut in films like this. The biggest problem is whether or not the bride will get jilted and not whether she can pay her bills or feed the kids.
I disengaged my brain for an hour and a half and why not? We’re all allowed our guilty pleasures and I was entertained and in some ways felt cleansed by the complete escape from reality.
I think I’m going to sleep easy tonight knowing the chick from Will and Grace got with her male escort and more than anything…I find this pretty surreal...
Rom com hell, heaven, hell, heaven?
Whatever, I'm off to dream about male escorts and weddings now. Night, night.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Myself and two friends have been sending each other some of our poems today. For me, I think I love poetry even more than I love music and I guarantee you, that's a whole lot of love there. I first fell in love with words and as I became older, fell in love with the way words were arranged to music. Most of my lyrics are based on poems I've written in the past.
I used to be involved in spoken word and my last spoken word performance was at Patti Smith's Meltdown Festival in 2005. Getting up and reading poetry in front of Patti Smith was no easy feat. Since then, I've thought about getting back into it but a growing lack of confidence and fear for something I once loved so dearly has overwhelmed me.
Anyway, I have begun taking little steps towards reacquainting myself with the old, lyrical me. This poetry correspondence is one of those ways.
It's always nice to find kindred spirits in whatever you do and the hardest battle is finding them. Personally, I feel that poetry is a dying art form and want to devote a lot of time next year into regenerating it in whatever way I can. I hope I am proved wrong and that words are out there thriving and I am just an unaware, simple soul.
Monday, 14 December 2009
Some great releases this year. My favourite ten below.
1. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
2. Projekt A-Ko - Yoyodyne
3. Sonic Youth - The Eternal
4. Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions - Through The Devil Softly
5. Hatcham Social - You Dig The Tunnel I'll Hide The Soil
6. Lou Barlow - Goodnight Unknown
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz
8. The Raveonettes - In and Out of Control
9. The Whitest Boy Alive - Rules
10. Beirut - Live at the Music Hall of Williamsburg
Karen Carpenter, I love you!
Coupled with the superb songwriting skills of her brother Richard Carpenter and the legendary Burt Bacharach, The Carpenters wrote such beautiful, beautiful pop songs.
I would love to collaborate with Richard Carpenter - anyone know where he lives?
Sunday, 13 December 2009
I did the whole eating chocolate in bed thing yesterday which made me think of Barbara Cartland for some reason... I wasn't wearing a frilly nightie or a gown with a caribou trim but I should have...
The carol singers are getting progressively louder....
I'm thinking of going to my local carol service this year, haven't done it for years. It always amuses me when people get over zealous with the singing, song books shaking as they hit the high notes! Oh yeaaaah. I'm definitely going this year!
A friend of mine recently went to her nephews school nativity play where he played the role of a star to dramatic effect so i am told! Oh how i miss the excitement of the school nativity! I once played Mary when I was 5/6 years old. The role meant I had to sing a christmas carol to the Jesus dolly i was cradling quite haphazardly i must say. For example I'm pretty sure babies, even those who are the sons of God should not be carried upside down etc etc... I remember how as I was singing a rendition of Away In The Manger I forgot the second verse of the carol. Children being so honest about things, I just stopped singing, put my hand against my mouth in overly dramatic shock and exclaimed, 'Oh dear!!! I don't know the words!' I have to say I got a lot of 'ahhhs' and 'how cute' for that little escapade. Major drama and what a drama queen! I even have the whole thing on video somewhere. These days I'm happy to say I'm a lot more professional about things... C-Bird was an angel at the same nativity and had to hold her arms up in the air like a halo for 3 or 4 minutes, quite some feat for a 5 year old kid! haha But the ol' girl got through it, even though her costume consisted of a white bed sheet and a tinsel halo that kept falling over her eyes. What a pro! At least she didn't have to wear a tea towel over her head like our shepherd friends in the nativity.
I have a 2 year old nephew and I can't wait until he's old enough to be part of the school nativity. Moments like these are pure gold. My parents still go on about it!
The Christmas tree is up and my house currently looks like a giant ball of tinsel, probably a major fire hazard but if every inch of my walls aren't covered in the stuff then it ain't Christmas.
HO HO HO MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Will be at Decasia and The George Tavern's New Years Eve Party which is John Waters themed!
Join us and this great line up!
A DIRTY SHAME NEW YEARS EVE!
A very unique tribute to the one and only JOHN WATERS!
We will have everything for your absolute pleasure - performers, live characters, musicians, DJs, flamingos! Let's go sexing? Hell yeah!
Guests are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite characters.
The performers on the night will be as superb and eclectic as ever!
We will tantalisingly be revealing the line up in the next coming weeks. The George is the best pub in the world and there is limited capacity so get your tickets NOW!!
*** DECASIA CLUB
"Decasia typifed the multidisciplinary culture shuffle that thrilled boom-time clubbers" DAZED & CONFUSED
*** DIVINE INCEST - Dee 'Cry Baby' Fodor and Miss Felicity 'Babs Johnson' Hayward!
"I am Divine Incest, a monthly club night and occasionally an irregular gender bending sex mess."
*** Princess Julia
“the face of a goddess” - (Boy George)
***Dorian Cox (The Long Blondes)
'They produced two great albums (Someone To Drive You Home and Couples), and a pretty weighty stack of classy singles and b-sides (Ten Reasons To End It , Christmas Is Cancelled and Long Blonde to name a few). These, along with their sense of fearlessness (in their music, attitude and look), will be their legacy.' The Guardian
*** Adam Dineen (Death Disco)
SYNTH / NEW WAVE / ELECTRONIC BODY MUSIC / ITALO DISCO/ 80's ALTERNATIVE / MINIMAL WAVE / FRENCH COLDWAVE & FUTURE
*** Jungs and Technik
*** The Liberty Snake
*** Brave Exhibitions
"Brave Exhibitions is cold/minimal/no wave muzak club that happens sporadically in east London and east Berlin. Bands, performance artists, and guest DJs play. People dance. Then we all go home."
OMG Just Confirmed::::::
AN EXPERIMENT ON A BIRD IN THE AIR PUMP
"In times when everything seems sewn up, we need someone to tear it apart. In an age of smoothly sellable corporate indie, we need someone to take a knife to the façade. At the start of 2009, the band stepping up to that challenge is An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump." The Independent on Sunday
*** ORAL ORAL
"This bunch of demented faggots really rocked Brave Exhibitions last night. They're like Crass with John Waters as creative advisor." James Lowry, Brave Exhibitions
AND A WHIFF OF DIVINE INCEST
BOOK YOUR PLACE FOLKS! ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY OF COURSE!
£10 in advance on We Got Tickets
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Click here and download away!
The Girls Are Podcast No. 1
Fever Ray - If I Had A Heart
Mika Miko - Take Hold
Lydia Lunch - Spooky
The Shermans - Dumbhead
Dum Dum Girls - Ship of Love
Mazzy Star - Ghost Highway
Blue On Blue - See You In Day
Camera Obscura - Eighties Fan
Theoretical Girl - O Holy Night