Wednesday, 31 December 2008

in with the new

Onwards into the future....

Happy new year to one and all!

Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Extract from David Peace, Nineteen Seventy Seven:

With the dawn and more soft rain, I woke again. They were sleeping, wilted across my furniture.
I lay alone, staring up at the cracks in the ceiling, the chips in the paint, thinking about her, thinking about him, waiting for St Anne.
I rose and tiptoed past them to the table.
I pulled the paper from the typewriter.
I held the words in my hand and felt my belly bleeding:
Yorkshire, 1977.
The heart absent, the door still locked from the inside.
She came up behind me, leaning over my shoulder, warm against my ear, staring at the words I'd written:
Yesterday's news, tomorrow's headline:
The Yorkshire Ripper.

Monday, 29 December 2008


When I were a lad I used to love pop-up books. Today, Dennis Cooper's wonderful blog hosts a whole day dedicated to them.

Sunday, 28 December 2008


The ice under our feet. It's something we should all be grateful for, this thin veneer separating our routine protocols of adherence, compliance and procedure from that heterogeneous mass lurking silently beneath. What lies in wait off-picture is a shadow stalking our everyday workaday lives, lives bound to honour the strict social contract, grinding out a dismal wage among our neutered, battery farmed brethren. A teeming, violent, feral chaos of base urges invoking all manner of profanity, screaming a primal language that comes from somewhere just beyond our scripted replies. What is betrayed by these two lustrous orbs, whose reflections seem to show us the merest glimpse of a deadening routine that is their prison? Only a desolate blackness whose inscrutability defies any seeker of truth. An infernal glimmer, a speck of inverted light, and we know full well that won’t be enough.

Friday, 26 December 2008

marching on together

To Elland Road today for Simon Grayson's inaugural game as Leeds United manager. My brother had bought us tickets for the Leeds vs Leicester City boxing day fixture, and we saw a game short on good football. Still, it's one that we're happy to come away from with a point. A last-gasp equaliser made it 1-1, a good result against the division's current top team, and from here on in it's surely onwards and upwards.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008


Back in Crossgates for the holiday season, and I hereby award this effort first prize for most garish suburban Christmas decoration (East Leeds division).

Monday, 22 December 2008


Just in the interests of posting something, why not do yourself a favour and check out this beautiful depiction of Philip K. Dick's visionary tale Valis, illustrated by the mighty Robert Crumb.

Sunday, 21 December 2008


Ages ago, upon someone's recommendation, I tried out this website called StumbleUpon. It's a sort of hybrid search-engine/social-networking/information source thing for your toolbar, very "Web 2.0" or whatever the parlance is these days. So just now I've got re-registered, possibly sent invitations to all my Hotmail contacts by mistake, lost the best part of an hour, and find myself without a great deal to show for it.

Hopefully in the future this will mean I find lots of strange, wonderful links to share on my blog. We'll just have to wait and see now, won't we.

This is is one of my first stumbles. Mildly diverting, wouldn't you say?

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas competition

The new issue of Yuck 'n Yum came with a Christmas competition, and I hereby throw down the gauntlet!

Friday, 19 December 2008


Belatedly posting a few of SC's photos from the recent Yuck 'n Yum launch.

Thursday, 18 December 2008


Mick Peter, Telephone Conversation

Seeing as how I'm finally back in charge of a working camera, I've been able to make use of my Flickr account for the first time in ages:

Be my guest and have a gander round. Over the coming months I hope to post regular photo updates, technology willing.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Minimal Wave in Italy

This has got to be one of the best things I've heard of late. I've long had a fondness for that musical genre known as Minimal Wave, a style that emerged in Europe during the early 80s-post-punk era, characterised by deadpan, mournful vocals, glacial synthesizers, tinny percussion and killer pop hooks. An arcane and prohibitively expensive scene to be into, but newbies could do a lot worse than to check out the blog named 7" from the underground, which collects together some of the more covetable releases.

I've been especially enjoying the mix Minimal Wave in Italy: LINK

mannequinmailorder: "Here's a Minimal / Dark Wave compilation that i mixed and compiled for a radio show that was planned to be on a italian fm radio, Radio Onda Rossa. Hope it will be online soon also on East Village Radio, obviously thanks to Veronica (Minimal Wave label).

Note that ALL the bands/projects included in the mix are from Italy" :-)


doris norton - caution radiation norton
aus decline - she gave me algedy
lass crime - land of nothing
xno - the story of the death boy
chromagain - after the clouds
monuments - monuments from the future
mr. andrew - the bats
lisfrank - i still believe in love
cold phoenix - la fleur du destin
militia - limbo
baciamibartali-winterlight - isao
vena - insane
metal vox - future world
suicide dada - acque
san vito dance - boring sunday
atelier du mal - untitled

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

marathon diary

In April 2009 my brother Nick will be running the London Marathon to raise money for the Leeds branch of the MS Society. He is keeping a blog that will follow his training regime: LINK

For anyone with a spare bit of loose change rattling round their pockets, why not defy that economic downturn you may have read about. He has just launched a fundraising page where donations will be most welcome: LINK

Bookmark these pages to keep a regular track on his progress, and I'm sure you will join me in wishing him all the best.

Monday, 15 December 2008


3 anonymous drawings found at random in the workplace:

1. Floral Pentagram

2. Evil Eye (Left)

3. Skin Complaint

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Yuck 'n Yum winter 08 issue is go!

The winter 08 issue of Yuck 'n Yum magazine is finally online and downloadable for your delectation. Read it, and read it now! LINK

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Sad songs week, day seven: JACQUES BREL - Ne Me Quitte Pas

YouTube comments:

bacashou (1 week ago)
magnifique !!

Friday, 12 December 2008

Sad songs week, day six: SCOTT WALKER - Loss Of Love (Theme from 'Sunflower')

Love is storm and wind, then tide
All the tears your heart can hold
But I look back after loss of love
And find the days were gold

I see only shattered skies
Not a ray of light to find
But I look back after loss of love
And sunlight blinds my mind

Songs were sung with words as young as May
But in the mist of summer, winter came
A chill blew out the flame

Now the words have haunted suns
Ring as clear as they did then
Still I look back after loss of love
And learn to love again

Songs were sung with words as young as May
But in the mist of summer, winter came
A chill blew out the flame

Now the words have haunted suns
Ring as clear as they did then
Still I look back after loss of love
And learn to love

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Sad songs week, day five: SOFT CELL-Youth

YouTube comments:

annaDi1984 (8 months ago)
The Video is So simple and so genius.

Forgottentear (8 months ago)
I just turned 23, what a perfect song to listen eh eh

violentsilence4u (8 months ago)
ah relax... your still young...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Sad songs week, day four: CARPENTERS - Goodbye To Love

YouTube comments:

thankGodforDavidG (2 days ago)
Karen when I go to Heaven I'm going to look for you and please sing me a great song like
Goodbye to Love. R I P .

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Sad songs week, day three: KLAUS NOMI - Cold Song

In December 1982 Klaus Nomi performed ‘Cold Song’ from Purcell’s opera in Munich, Germany.

The audience were unaware that Klaus was suffering from AIDS.

Although frustrated with shortness of breath and fatigue Klaus was determined to perform to his home crowd.

6 months later Klaus Nomi died.

He was 39 years old.

Lyrics to Cold Song:

What Power art thou,
Who from below,
Hast made me rise,
Unwillingly and slow,
From beds of everlasting snow!

See'st thou not how stiff,
And wondrous old,
Far unfit to bear the bitter cold.

I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath,
I can scarcely move,
Or draw my breath.

Let me, let me,
Let me, let me,
Freeze again...
Let me, let me,
Freeze again to death!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Sad songs week, day two: ABBA - The Day Before You Came

Guardian Music blog, Abba made Joy Division sound like Jive Bunny: LINK

The Church of Me blog about Abba: LINK

Sad songs week, day one: NICO - Frozen Warnings (1969)

YouTube comments:

JoelDionysus (1 week ago)
Nico is haunting and beautiful, her music is so mesmerizing and enthralling, it reaches out and pulls on me like a ghost from the Middle Ages demanding that I feel the pulse of the haunted spirts of the after live, and recognize the yearnings of those that have already die before us, pleading that we will acknowledge their dreams and help them to live on to into eternity.

Dennis Cooper blog about Nico: LINK

Saturday, 6 December 2008


Mick Peter: Harmonielehre, Generator Projects, Dundee

What's another word for a telephone conversation? Really you'd need the renowned Inuit dictionary of snow to compare the hefty (reckoned, by conservative estimates, to approach around a million million) number of names firing across the synapses in a single half-second, and that figure arrived at on a brisk November afternoon when the mind is less wont to wander. Of these many phantoms the collection in Mick Peter's glossy Jesmonite menagerie Harmonielehre is but merely a selection of especially striking examples.
His Telephone Conversation is a mutant human/telephone hybrid whose coiling cords meld into striding limbs, flex bound tight over a muscular torso, high heels marching onward over a land peopled by his fellow monochromatic forms. The floor of the Generator is painted a lustrous black to highlight the vivid figures writhing for supremacy in a series of playful brawls, their slapstick conflicts played out before us between a parade of irreconcilable opposites, looking lively like a melange of playful paradox.
In the near corner an elegant white tribal sculpture, its brow furrowed by the effort of a thousand years’ inert solitude, has lost the nature vs. culture face-off against a perching eagle whose majestic lilac shit streams victoriously down his forehead. This is no abject humiliation, as that inscrutable face is offered as a blank canvas whose scars of avian discharge serve only to provide us with the prettiest of pictures.
The centre of the room is divided into two by the shiny grey Interference Pattern Screen, the barrier’s outlines appearing as undulating soundwaves carving up the wall’s surface, partitioning the room as it casts shadows of white noise against the gallery’s lights.
Meanwhile in the far corner a concrete-grey boxy-fingered hand bids a weary teary fond Wednesday Farewell in a state of languid resignation, waving what might be a snot-caked hankerchief or maybe just a loosely packed rolly-upper. Any sentimentality in the gesture is undermined by the figure’s bulky outsized awkwardness, its swollen touch ill at ease with delicate expressions.
Over in the smaller of the two spaces, the two drawing boards of Moldenke Fiddles On fight a brave battle against marauding hacksaws and the stabs of their setquare brethren. Bladed instruments melt and bend against the structures’ support, yet still they stand stoic, sliced-out holes forming windows of negative space in their resolute angled planes.
The sculptures stand with a bright cartoony charm, a playful stark graphic clarity, each insisting on its own lumpen materiality even against this sleek silken stage set. These objects seem to hint at a withheld narrative, a suggestion that their internal conflicts might yet be granted a happily smooth resolution, for after all everyone likes a happy ending, don’t they? Whatever the outcome, however intractable such problems might appear, these would still be engaging encounters to stand on the sidelines and cheer.

Friday, 5 December 2008

this is the end

Now here's a rather lovely and poignant photo set on Flickr. It's a collection of vintage "The End" cinema title cards and no matter how varied the series might be, there can only ever be one outcome.

Dill Pixels:
"The End: What started as a lark has turned into a collector's obsession. Just the typography alone attracted me first, but also I am fascinated by the variations on a very simple, limited theme. Looking at them in the The End pool, they make a kind of story of their own, of Hollywood (mostly) and the movie industry changing with the times. And every once in awhile you come across an end title treatment that dares to play with the convention or even poke fun at it. I must admit to feeling a bit of wistfulness, too: "The End" as recurring theme of life and death and saying goodbye to the wonderful fantasy, until next time..."

Thursday, 4 December 2008

File under: Exotica/Esoterica

I've managed to whittle down to an easily digestible album-sized portion the playlist from last week's launch party.

File under: Exotica/Esoterica

1. Alain Goraguer – Ten Et Tiwa
2. Martin Denny – Cobra
3. Dick Hyman – Topless Dancers of Corfu
4. Alain Goraguer – Strip Tease
5. White Noise – Firebird
6. Martin Denny – Was It Really Love
7. Les Baxter – The Ancient Galleon
8. Delia Derbyshire – Gothic Submarine
9. Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes For You
10. Vladimir Ussachevsky – Wireless Fantasy
11. Delia Derbyshire – Environmental Studies
12. Ennio Morricone – Terrazza
13. Martin Denny – Quiet Village
14. Fabio Frizzi – Suono Aperto
15. Nurse With Wound – Coolorta Moon
16. Glenda Collins – It’s Hard To Believe It
17. Dick Hyman – Total Bells and Tony
18. Linda Scott – I’ve Told Every Little Star
19. Delia Derbyshire – Science and Health
20. Alain Goraguer – Piste 03
21. Claude Denjean – United We Stand
22. Mort Garson – Plantasia
23. The Blue Rondos – Little Baby
24. Alain Goraguer – La Femme
25. Martin Denny – Let Go (Canto de Ossanha)
26. Darlene Love – Strange Love
27. The Electronic Concept Orchestra – Misty
28. Earl Grant – Imitation Of Life

Wednesday, 3 December 2008


So the 2008 Turner prize was won by Mark Leckey, a fair result I think. Me and my mum went round the show on Monday, and we saw all the tables and chairs laid out in the Duveen galleries ready for the evening's ceremony. Too bad the dark horse Wilkes couldn't triumph, but she was always an outsider and my own attempt at a wager came to naught anyway.

There's an interview with the victor here, and he seems a nice bloke. His idea for a Two Ronnies-style variety show is an intriguing one.