Eric Idle – A Real Fucking Punk

Eric Motherfucking Idle!

Have a listen to this song by Eric Idle, a very nice Python indeed.

How much more punk is this posh 62-year-old than the hordes of screaming fools currently clogging up “alternative” radio and TV? Oooh, look how loud and scary and metal we are! What are we shouting about? FUCK ALL! What are we doing to change the world? FUCK ALL!

Would the MTV punks risk their lucrative careers by deliberately baiting the current neo-Nazi US government? Would they take a stand for freedom of speech like Idle has in this song? Do they even give a shit about anything apart from looking cool in their glossy videos? No, no and no.

Remember kids – punk isn’t a set of trendy clothes, a musical genre or a wacky haircut, it’s a revolutionary state of mind.

If you’re an apathetic, apolitical, conformist dickhead, you can wear all the fancy clobber you like. But you’re not a punk, you’re a poser.

But a better writer than me summed-up all the above a long time ago:

PART-TIME PUNKS
Walking down the Kings Road
I see so many faces
They come from many places
They come down for the day

They walk around together
And try and look trendy
I think it’s a shame
That they all look the same

Here they come
La la la la laaa la
La la la la laaa la
The part-time punks
(repeat)

Then they go to Rough Trade
To buy Siouxsie and the Banshees
They heard John Peel play it
Just the other night

They like to buy the O Level single
Or “Read About Seymour”
But they’re not pressed in red
So they buy the Lurkers instead

They play their records very loud
They pogo in the bedroom
In front of the mirror
But only when their Mum’s gone out

They pay five pence on the buses
And they never use toothpaste
But they got two-fifty
To go and see the Clash tonight

Here they come
La la la la laaa la
La la la la laaa la
The part-time punks

The Part-Time Punks
The Part-Time Punks
The Part-Time Punks

Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday. I got:

Birthday Cake!
Cake by Ele!

Iam Compilation
From my Mum.

Roxio Toast
From my Dad.

Ken Burns Jazz
From my sis.

Shaun of the Dead
From Paul.

Bewitched Elephant
From Matty.

Now Compilations
My big presssie from Ele, with loads of help from Matty.
This one takes a bit of explaining. My fave game to play when mates are round is Pop Quiz, basically name that tune with forgotten pop gems, via iTunes. The box above is loads of Now That’s What I Call Music comps, going back to Now 16 (1989). Lo, I shall be able to construct the most fiendish pop quizzes ever! Step up, Fresh 4 Featuring Lizz E! Mwahahaha!

Keysonic ACK 540 Alu

Keysonic ACK 540 Alu

Today, I swapped my standard PowerMac keyboard and Microsoft optical mouse for the Keysonic ACK 540 Alu above.

One of the constant annoyances of being a computer-based musician is the lack of any proper ergonomic way to work. If, like me, you like composing at an 88 note controller keyboard, how do you fit that in alongside the ASCII keyboard and mouse? And what about using a hardware controller like the C4 or Control?

Why is there no existing workstation, some bit of studio furniture that can accomodate controller keyboard, fader box, ASCII keyboard, LCD monitor and maybe even monitor speakers? I’m sure if someone designed one that worked, they’d sell a bundle of them, even if they cost a fair bit. There are plenty of professional musicians like me who are developing crooked spines and knackered eyes trying to cope with ungainly setups.

For the moment, the Keysonic has saved me valuable desktop space, space into which I could now plop a C4, maybe. My setup still isn’t ideal: I have my controller keyboard off at the right, at 90 degrees to my LCD. This will have to do, for now, but I hate not hearing things I’m playing in proper stereo. And it’s virtually impossible to tweak softsynths and play at the same time. Grrr…

OSX Tiger handled the Keysonic beautifully, just asked me to press a couple of keys and then it was configured. The trackpad worked right away and I much prefer it to a mouse. The Windows key is the Apple key and everything else is as labelled.

I was a little puzzled about how to eject my DVD drive but it turns out that if you hold F12 down for longer than normal, that ejects the drive. A nifty little bit of UI design there!

So, for any music geeks out there, Windows or Mac, looking to save some deskspace, check out the Keysonic! 🙂

Ooop! Forgot to say – the Keysonic has two PS/2 connectors at the end so I had to buy a lead to convert both of them into one male USB plug. An additional expense but still worth it.

Mouse!

Little Wood Mouse, probably

Laura spotted this little feller scurrying off the patio. I managed to get a few shots but the poor thing looked too terrified so I left it alone (I wasn’t very close to it as I was using my 350mm zoom).

Later, Ele and I tried to puzzle out if it was a mouse or a vole but after heavy cyberwent consultation, we reckon it’s probably a baby wood mouse. It was tiny! No bigger than my thumb.

Altogether now…. awwwwww….

Click here for three pics of the wee beastie!

Mobile Phones And You

Microwave Lens Damage

Microscope photographs of lenses incubated in organ culture conditions for 12 days. Right frame shows Control lens with no damage. Bottom frame demonstrates the effect of microwave radiation on bovine lens sutures for a total exposure of 192 cycles (1.1GHz, 2.22mW).Each cycle lasts 50min followed by 10 min pause. In the absence of microwave radiation, the bubbles are generated by temperature increase to 39.5 8C during 4 h; see left frame.

Although the researchers are cautious about interpreting the results of the experiment and its possible implications to public health, it seems that prolonged exposure to microwave radiation similar to that used by cellular phones can lead to both macroscopic and microscopic damage to the lens and that at least part of this damage seems to accumulate over time and does not seem to heal.
(Source: IsraCast)

More good news for you mobile-loving kids out there – YOU’RE FRYING YOUR EYES!

Not really. This study is properly scientifically reserved, unlike my alarmist ranting.

But it’s something to ponder, eh? The next time you’ve been on the phone to your mate for half an hour and your eye feels a bit funny, just think of it being microwaved, turning white like a boiled egg.

Mmmm…boiled eyes! Yummy!

John Major vs. Blair

Major vs. Blair

The war in Iraq has heightened the threat of terrorist attacks in Britain, the former Prime Minister Sir John Major has claimed.

His intervention is a setback to Tony Blair’s attempt to play down any link between the London bombings and the Iraq conflict. Sir John told BBC Radio 4 yesterday: “I think what has happened is not that the Iraq war and other policies created that threat, I think it was there and growing, though it was not in full bloom.
(Source: The Independent)

It’s the world turned upside down all over again.

John Major now appears to be further to the left than Butcher Blair. What the hell is going on? Why is a leading Tory articulating the reality of our position in Iraq when the Prime Minister and his cronies are still spinning desperately?

But, as I said before, we know what’s going on:

A YouGov survey yesterday found that 62 per cent of people believe that Iraq did contribute to the reasons behind the atrocities and 23 per cent think it is the main reason. Only 12 per cent believe there is no link.
(Source: The Independent)

Now, I’m not saying that terrorists were no threat to us before our illegal invasion of Iraq. That would be ridiculous in the face of the 9/11 attacks and the many other murders carried out by Bin Laden’s lunatics.

But only a fool or a liar would argue that our mass slaughter of innocent Iraqis has in any way stopped terrorism. It’s actually created legions of new recruits for religious insanity and a country that’s now a living hell for its populace.

The Government’s line has been undermined by last week’s report by the Chatham House think-tank, which said the war had boosted al-Qa’ida’s propaganda, recruitment and fund-raising, and a leaked assessment by the Joint Terrorist Analysis Centre a month before the 7 July attacks warning that “events in Iraq are continuing to act as motivation and a focus of a range of terrorist-related activity in the UK”.
(Source: The Independent)

Chatham House isn’t some lefty enclave, neither is the Joint Terrorist Analysis Centre. And John Major hasn’t suddenly become Wolfie Smith. But once again, Blair and his New Labour drones ignore anything which won’t fit into their warped version of reality.

The Parents + Sludgefeast

Sludgefeast

I’ve been a fan of Sludgefeast since stumbling across their CD in Soundclash way back when I lived in Norwich. Here’s a little review of their debut album.

So I was chuffed when Andre from The Parents emailed me and said they were playing with the rock masters at The Vic. I popped down and had a great time, both bands played with a huge energy and sense of fun. What a fantastic night for only two quid!

Click here for the piccies!

Why Indie Musicians Are Cunts, Part 58

Whenever there’s an interview with an indie rock band, the band always says things like:

We’re just after something different, y’know? We don’t want to sound like anyone else.

Or

We spent ages trying out different things for this album, that’s how we got this unique sound!

Or

We just make music for ourselves, if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus!

The last one became an NME in-joke cliché, it was heard so often from the mouths of the latest indie babes.

So, explain to me how I’ve been watching MTV this morning, taped from last night, and I’ve seen four bands who all have the same drum patterns, angular guitars and shouty singing of Franz Ferdinand?

I’m not taking about vague similarities here, I’m talking about “shut your eyes and it could be Franz”-type copying.

It appears every single indie band is trying to sound EXACTLY like Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party or The Killers. Apart from the ones desperately bunging pianos on everything and doing plodding ballads in the hope of some Keane earnings.

If indie bands were just honest about it, it wouldn’t be so annoying. Yet the pose is always one of being mavericks, tortured artists. But the reality is that the only difference between most current “indie” bands and manufactured boy/girl bands is their style. There is no difference in aesthetic, only in how their hair and clothes are done.

I hate musicians. They’re all lying fucking bastards. This is what they should say:

We make music for our label and the press. If we like it, that’s a bonus!

Fuck me, a band have just come on MTV that sound EXACTLY like LCD Soundsystem. What the fuck is going on?

ARGHHH!

New No2ID Pledge

No2ID

Just got this email:

Hello–

Since we have succeeded you may not get mails from me quite as often in future (though I will keep in contact until it is time to call in the pledge), but I did promise to let you know when the follow-up pledge was launched…

It is now online at http://www.pledgebank.com/resist

It reads:

“I will actively support those people who, on behalf of all of us, refuse to register for an ID card and I pledge to pay at least £20 into a fighting fund for them but only if 50,000 other people do the same.”

Please DO NOT sign this new pledge yourself. It is for those who are unable to take the step of refusal but nonetheless are against ID cards and want to help–those of your friends and family who are supporting you in your stand, for example. Please do encourage other people to support us this way, either by signing online or texting “resist” to 60022.

Finally, I should give special thanks to those who have signed the pledge since its success and who may not have heard from me before: thank-you. If the Bill passes then we will need all the refuseniks we can get, and the more people who pledge the stronger a signal it sends to the Government that it cannot win.

Yours sincerely,
Phil Booth

XBox 360 Games Announced!

Pic nicked from UK Resistance
(This pic is nicked from UK Resistance. Send them your money)

I am so fucking bored of all the war games out there. Especially since all the non-WWII games seem to be from the viewpoint of white Americans shooting brown/black/yellow people in the head from a great distance away.

Can you imagine a war game from the other point of view? Where you’re a terrorist stalking some comfy white suburb? How tasteful would that be? Would gamers still cheer as they blew up busloads of kids and grannies?

Video war games are training courses in imperialism. They use the latest tech to transport us into 19th century morality where the only race that counts is white. Everyone else is subhuman.