Screamadelica 29/6/2004

Last Saturday, me and Daz made the mistake of hauling ourselves to Notts, paying the ridiculous £5 entry (FIVE QUID!) and then walking into the Rescue Rooms. Brilliant! Forty people, all blokes, dancing to cocking Jet. Perhaps we’d gone there too early? Nope – that was at 12.15! What a bastard waste of time and money.

In contrast, last night at Scream was FABULOUS, FREE and LOCAAAL!

It was rammed when I got there, as busy as I’ve ever seen it (not like last week). And, unlike every other Derby club, a totally wanker-free zone. No pissed-up twats trying to start fights with anyone happening to nudge their pint/look at their bird. Just happy, dancing people throwing shapes to the best mix of music you’ll hear anywhere in Derby. And Notts. No other club is playing old stuff like Refused and Fugazi next to new stuff like The Shins, Postal Service, Bloc Party etc. The only thing I find depressing is that if this night shut down, I’d have *nowhere* to go out 🙁


I also find it bizarre that a Tuesday night out in little old Derby should be so much better than a Saturday night out in big, bad Notts. Huh?

Click here for the piccies!

Bless Playlist 28/6/2004

Deerhoof. The nutters.

Wahey! Busy again tonight. Had loads of requests which is why the newer tracks are crammed towards the start of tonight’s playlist and there are loads of old faves like Le Tigre, xThrowdownx and At The Drive-In.

Tonight’s best new track was the amazing ‘Milkman’ from the identically titled album by Deerhoof. The new album maintains Deerhoof’s unique mix of experimentation and great pop tunes. Honestly, this is the kind of rock band that should be in the charts instead of all the retro clag clogging it up, like cocking Jet. Go and buy the album NOW!

The best old track was ‘High School Dance’ by The Sylvers. My sister was a soul fan and, since she was four years older than me, she had all the cool records like Parliament, Boz Scaggs, Bar Kays etc. And also the 12″ of ‘High School Dance.’ The Sylvers were a bubblegum soul sensation, sounding like a hyped-up Jacksons but with even more catchy bits. Still sounds cool 27 years after I first heard it 🙂

Shake your rump to the funk, now:

A.C. Newman – On The Table
Cex – Destination: Sexy
Mykill Miers – Somethin’ To Get Into
All – Dot
Twin Atlas – Make The Right Sound
Telefon Tel Aviv – 8 Track Project Cut
Crass – Punk Is Dead
Athletic Mic League – Birth Control
From Autumn To Ashes – The After Dinner Payback
Kings Of Convenience – I’d Rather Dance With You
Goudron – Rumble Queen
Helmet – Role Model
The Emotions – Best Of My Love
Some Girls – The Prettiest Girl
Tomato Weirdo – La Salle De Bain
Non Phixion – Rock Stars
Cable – Whisper Firing Line
Fluxus – Om Zeep
Deerhoof – Milkman
Swollen Members – Lady Venom
Lamb Of God – Purified
Dan Tyminski – I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow
Pedro The Lion – Foregone Conclusions
Ooo – Group Heartbeat
Sleater-Kinney – Hubcap
Elected – Go On
Death Cab For Cutie – I Was A Kaleidoscope
Boards Of Canada – Roygbiv
Throwdown – Raise Your Fist
Queen – Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon
Le Tigre – Let’s Run
63 Crayons – Mice And Feathers
Michael Fakesch – We Got A Generator
The Decemberists – July, July!
Kiss – Detroit Rock City
Minor Threat – Minor Threat
The Hidden Cameras – Music Is My Boyfriend
Li’l Cap’n Travis – Steady As She Goes
The Sylvers – High School Dance
At The Drive-In – 300 Mhz
Antipop Consortium – Ping Pong
Pretty Girls Make Graves – Speakers Push The Air
Sodastream – Blinky
They Might Be Giants – Broke In Two
Soft Cell – What!

End The Occupation Of Iraq – Democracy Now!

Wednesday June 30th 6pm – 9pm Parliament Square
(Nearest tube Westminster)

GUEST SPEAKER – Michael Berg, father of Nick Berg, the US hostage executed in Iraq.

The supposed transfer of authority in occupied Iraq on June 30 is fast approaching. The Stop the War Coalition continues to demand a full military withdrawal from Iraq and the transfer of real sovereignty to those who genuinely represent the Iraqi people. The Stop the War Coalition is organising a day of action in Britain on June 30th to protest against this undemocratic farce. We would like to see symbolic protests in every community in support of the following demands:

  • End the occupation
  • Iraq for the Iraqis
  • Bring the troops home now
  • Where possible, these should be evening protests, to coincide with the actual “transfer” at midnight in Iraq, which is 9pm GMT. (Source : Stop The War UK)

    I think if Michael Berg can make the effort to come to Britain and speak to us about the reasons his son was murdered, we should make the effort to turn up and listen. But if you can’t make it cos you’re at work or whatever, you could always join/stage a local protest. And if you can’t do that, try emailing someone in the UK government and asking them about the sham surrender of sovereignty.

    Every day brings more bloodshed and horror from Iraq as the people there fight against the occupation of their country by the US invaders, those smiling, torture-happy troops. Just today, the invaders slaughtered another 25-30 more civilians in a brutal attack. This is what their propaganda chief had to say about it:

    “Today, coalition forces conducted another strike on a known Zarqawi network safe house in southeastern Fallujah, based on multiple confirmations of Iraqi and coalition intelligence,” the coalition’s deputy director of operations, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, said.

    “This operation employed precision weapons to target and destroy the safe house,” he said.

    The total death toll from the three raids is 59 to 64 people, the US military, warning that it would not shrink from carrying out further such strikes. (Source: Channel News Asia)

    So, with evidence as nebulous as that used to justify the illegal invasion, the US military thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to murder civilians. An occupying army that no Iraqi wants there, slaughtering people as they see fit. Zarqawi is now the new WMD – we must bow down and let the US do whatever it wants because of Zarqawi, he’s so evil! He’s a mass-murdering terrorist! Really? I wonder if we tallied the deaths how they would compare: the US invasion has killed at least 10,000 Iraqis. Zarqawi is a rank amateur compared to Kimmitt and his foreign invaders, shelling mosques, schools and hospitals. But the US is murdering Iraqis to save them from… being murdered by terrorists. So that’s alright then.

    Of course, that’s not the official line. We’re told the Iraqi fighters are “insurgents” battling a legitimate Iraqi leadership. The people fighting the US must be evil terrorists.

    Pretty much the same propaganda peddled to the population of the USSR when the Soviets invaded and occupied Afghanistan. Or when the occupying Nazis and their puppet regime called the French Resistance terrorists.

    Q: When does a brave freedom-fighter become an evil terrorist?
    A: When they stop fighting our enemies and start fighting us.

    Fuck Tha Police

    To Protect And Serve… the LAPD help Stanley Miller’s head to find their jackboots

    LOS ANGELES — Officials vowed yesterday that any officers who broke the law during a videotaped beating of a black man will lose their jobs and be brought to justice. …A TV news camera caught the violent arrest on tape this week, and the beating quickly drew comparisons to the Rodney King case. …A Hispanic officer was seen hitting Stanley Miller at least 10 times with a flashlight after it appeared the man had surrendered following a car chase.(Source: Calgary Sun)

    What other title could I have for this rant when it’s about the Los Angeles Police Department beating up a black man who’s from Compton?

    And for every police beating caught on videotape, how many go unseen? Ten? A hundred? Perhaps the best way to stop the illegal activity of the LAPD would be to assign people to videotape every officer? Then perhaps they might actually start solving crimes rather than committing them.

    “The thing that hasn’t changed is the accountability level as far as police violence goes, and particularly the department’s continued failure to weed out rogue cops,” said former police commissioner Melanie Lomax.

    Rogue cops… yeah, right! Just a few ‘bad apples,’ we’ve all heard that lie before. The truth is that the LAPD is as institutionally racist as the British police force. If you’re murdered in Britain and your skin happens to be the wrong colour, the police won’t break a sweat:

    The report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence labelled London’s police force “institutionally racist” and condemned officers for “fundamental errors”. (Source: BBC News)

    And in Los Angeles? Fifteen years after this song was released, twelve years after the L.A. riots, it doesn’t look like a damn thing’s changed.

    Who watches the watchmen?

    Poll Shows Bush Popularity Plummeting

    President George Bush’s bid for re-election is stalling as a result of the turmoil in Iraq, according to the results of an opinion poll that shows he has fallen behind in the race for the White House.

    For the first time a test of the public mood has shown Mr Bush trailing his Democratic challenger, John Kerry, not just in the overall contest for the presidency but in what was considered his strongest suit: the fight against terrorism.

    The President now trails Mr Kerry by 45 per cent to 53 per cent, one of the widest margins yet recorded. (Source: The Independent)

    If this poll is accurate (and I admit that’s a big if), it looks like the tide is finally turning against Bush in the US. This is heartening news for any civilian who wishes to sleep safe in their bed at night without getting strafed by US weapons. How many thousands of lives in Iraq have been lost to Bush’s criminal crusade, his illegal attack on a non-aggressor nation? All those people murdered in the wild goose chase for WMDs that never existed… all the lives devastated by the US and UK’s use of cluster bombs. For what? The racist, imperialist agenda of PNAC. The extreme right-wing cabal behind the PNAC can legitmately be called neo-Nazis. Listen to this shite from William Kristol:

    According to Kristol, the group’s thinking stemmed from the principles of Ronald Reagan: “A strong America. A morally grounded foreign policy… that defended American security and American interests. And understanding that American leadership was key to not only world stability, but any hope for spreading democracy and freedom around the world.” (Source: ABC News)

    America, America, America – it’s like the rest of the world doesn’t even exist. Just what gives America the right to lead the world? Nothing but military superiority, the same justification of natural leadership beloved by the Nazis. The neo-Nazi PNAC cabal favours pre-emptive attacks against any enemies it deems a danger to their rule. The same justification used by Hitler for his invasions. They have carried out and are carrying out war crimes:

    Article II Sec. 4 of the Constitution states that:”The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Boyle says that waging a war of aggression is a crime under the Nuremberg Charter, Judgment and Principles. “It’s very clear,” he adds, “if you read all the press reports, they are going to devastate Baghdad, a metropolitan area of 5 million people. The Nuremberg Charter clearly says the wanton devastation of a city is a Nuremberg war crime.” (Source: Impeach Bush)

    Well, they did devastate Baghdad, in a blitzkrieg that would have made their political forebears proud. Remember all that gung-ho bullshit about ‘shock and awe?’ For ‘shock and awe’, read Ôbrutal mass murder of scores of innocent civilians.’ Since then, their troops have added torture to the list of war crimes. And these are the people who are promising us freedom and democracy?

    *If* this poll is truly representative of US public opinion, perhaps it shows that the sleeping masses are finally waking up to the monstrous lies Bush and the other puppets of PNAC peddled in order to further their own imperialist agenda. Let’s hope that Bush gets the same electoral kicking in the US that Butcher Blair got recently in the UK.

    Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

    Screamadelica 22/6/2004

    The combination of Glasto tomorrow and black sheets of rain made for a low turnout tonight… but it was still dead good and I danced right to the end. Unlike the softcore bludgers who left early (Stu! Gary! Matt!).

    Top song was definitely ‘Crocodile Rock,’ a great contrast to the rest of the night and timely proof of how whank the Scissor Sisters are.

    Click here for the piccies!

    Sony Ericsson P900

    Above is a pic of me holding my lovely new gadget, a Sony Ericsson P900 PDA / phone. This isn’t the first organiser phone I’ve had: I had a Sagem WA-3050 four years ago. Although a very cool gadget, in the end it was a wee bit too wide for daily ergonomic comfort. And I’ve never liked dialling numbers on touchscreens.

    No such probs with the P900. As you can see, it has a proper keypad, it fits snugly into my hand and the display is still enormous. Can you see the pic of the best band in the world EVER I’ve set as my wallpaper? It’s crystal sharp on the phone, the moire pattern is just from the interference between the pixels of the phone and the sensors on my little DSC-V1’s  CCD.

    I’ve had my phone about a month now and it’s ace. The Symbian OS is nippy and processes searches and menu functions very slickly. I’ve only got a couple of slight niggles. The first is that when the phone is auto-keylocked, sometimes it takes a few seconds to unlock, like it’s gone into a standby mode. The second is that all the supplied software is for PCs. I’ve managed to get the P900 up and synched with my Powerbook’s iSync but it’s a flaky process, not anywhere as easy-peasy as the T610. I hope a future update from Apple sorts these issues out. Having said that, general bluetoothing connectivity is excellent, I’m able to drop mp3s, jpegs and anything else I feel like onto the phone. I even got  Doom  running on it. Looked very, very cool but it was a tad hard to control. Plus, I was always shit at Doom, give me Rise Of The Triads any day.

    I’ve popped in a 128meg memory stick, bunged loads of pics, mp3s and other triviana on there, it’s a little activity centre for when I’m bored on train journeys. I love the little flip-down keypad, it’s so doody.

    Flipping it down puts the phone into speakerphone mode so it’s pleasingly close to using a communicator from ST: TOS. Ahhh, what self-respecting geek doesn’t long to flip open a communicator and instantly be in touch with his loyal crew and perhaps some fit green-skinned lass?

    The built-in cam isn’t any match for a dedicated camera, of course, but compared to most phonecams it’s a Hassleblad. The following pic is a collage of P900 pics, none of them have been Photoshopped apart from resizing (most of them were taken at 640×480):

    Really, I’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to the power of this supergadget. Games, legible web browsing, music, boring officey shite, it does it all!

    WordPress Woo Hoo!

    I’ve just switched from using Movable Type to WordPress on Bzangy Groink. The major reason is that I saw it running on my mate MWNP’s site and was jealous of its beauty.

    Installation was a piece of piss, even for an SQL / PHP / Unix noob like me. It just *worked*. I find it depressing that a piece of free software can be so simple and transparent and yet stuff that’s cost me seven or eight hundred quid is as user friendly as ebola. So full marks to all the WordPress geeks there!

    If anyone is worried about migrating their Movable Type site to WordPress – don’t be. It was even easier than the install. Backed up all my MT entries to a text file, stuck it in the right folder and then one click and it was all done. Plus, I can now wave goodbye to all those interminable rebuilds. I’m not saying MT is a piece of crap – it’s just that I personally find WP far less clunky and far easier to work with.

    I downloaded some CSSes from Alex King’s wonderful site and ended up combining elements of Buddha and Scandinavia with a lot of head-scratching and my colour blindness. So don’t blame them if your eyes hurt reading this 🙂

    I’d readily recommend WordPress to anyone who wants a powerful content management system for their website but is afraid of too much geekery. Take it from me: I barely know my way round CSS let alone the rarefied realms of PHP or XHTML. If *I* can get WordPress up and running all on my lonesome, so can you.

    Rainy Day Flowers

    Scorching lately but today was a bit nippy and showery. So I popped out and got a few watery snaps.

    The first half of the photos were taken with my 10D + Canon 50mm f1.8 lens. I just love this lens: it’s the cheapest in the Canon range and yet the 1.8 aperture means you can get beautifully dreamy bokeh, providing there’s enough light, of course.

    The second half were taken with my Canon 100mm macro, rapidly becoming one of my faves also. Very sharp and excellent for portraits as well as macro stuff.

    Click here for the piccies!