I Want To Join A Prog Band

Keith Emerson
Tarkus The Otter

Over the last few months, since playing live again, I’ve had this growing feeling. And now I can put it into words:

I want to join a prog band.

As you may know, I’m rubbish on guitar. But I’m excellent on synths, both programming and playing them. Sometimes, I’ll just sit round idly soloing through fractured pentatonics at ridiculous speeds, wishing I had somewhere to inflict share my widdling with the world. Then I realised – PROG! I want to play enormously widdly synth solos in a prog band. Perhaps with one of the oscillators tuned up a fifth? 😀

I want to play for fun so it’d have to be a proper prog band, not some postrock atrocity of chin-rubbers making “challenging” music (which inevitably means ripping off Godspeed forever) nor mathrock which is far too serious and c(o)unty. Ideally, I’d be stationed in front of a wall of modular synths. We’d have songs about jesters, intergalactic space gypsies and obscure 18th century art movements. Each song would be at least five minutes long and feature perhaps two bass solos. We’d have a spoken word piece performed by an achingly beautiful actress that documents the journey of a comet through the Oort Cloud. Proper prog!

Eventually, I’d turn to Eastern mysticism (pretty easy for me, admittedly) and retreat to somewhere in the Home Counties where I’d form my own ashram of devotees. There, guided by the stridulations of my massed synthesizers, we’d chant into the night, healing the cosmos with our charmed vibrations.

But that all comes later. First I want to prog out!

Anyone got a spangly cape in my size?

US Attorney General Shunned

Georgetown Protest

Alberto Gonzales spoke before law students at Georgetown [University] today, justifying illegal, unauthorized surveilance of US citizens, but during the course of his speech the students in class did something pretty ballsy and brave. They got up from their seats and turned their backs to him.
(Source: Insomnia)

The pic above has really cheered me up. There’s the Attorney General, spouting some bullshit in an attempt to justify the illegal surveillance of American citizens. And there are some future lawyers shunning him.

Think of the courage that kind of protest takes in the US right now, a country that is rapidly approaching the old Soviet Union in terms of state repression, media toothlessness and a never-ending war against “the enemy.” Just take any old Soviet speech and replace “capitalists” with “terrorists” and you’ve got the gist of it.

What if you want freedom? Freedom of speech, movement, to not be spied on by your own government? What if you want liberty? Well, hell, are you a terrorist? Only a terrorist or a terrorist sympathiser would dare question the almighty government. In fact, you no longer have a right to question. Anything you say will be held against you and presumably added to some NSA file. Imagine the old KGB with the technology that the modern US agencies have access to…

So, that’s why I salute these students. In making their protests, they’ve been photographed, it’ll be on their records. They’ll probably be investigated / wiretapped. It will certainly affect their future employment opportunities. They knew all this before they decided to make a stand. And yet they decided the future of their country was more important than their own personal status. Would you do the same?

Bless Playlist 24/1/06


The best new track tonight was ‘All For U’ by Aceyalone and RJD2. It’s from the forthcoming stunna, ‘Magnificent City.’ I’d normally stick a load of links in here to various related sites but I can’t find one goddamned site that isn’t hobbled by the CANCER OF THE WEB KNOWN AS FLASH. GAAAAH!

…and relax..

Anyway, even if their websites are all rubbish, their music is ace. ‘All For U’ pops with a head-nodding beat and Acey’s as on form as ever. Real lyrics, lyrics you can connect to and that actually try to draw you in. Get your pre-orders in for the album now, it’s due out on Feb 7th.

John Foxx

The best old track was by the geezer above, John Foxx. ‘Underpass’ is a cracking lump of Blitz Kid synthpop, taken from the seminal album ‘Metamatic.’ If you see any electroponces around nowadays with silly hair pretending to be robots, they owe a lot of it to John Foxx. Who ripped it all off Kraftwerk, naturally. 😀

Tonight, you heard:

The Human Value – Kill Pangs
To Rococo Rot – Bologna
Royce Da 5’9 & Mc Jean Gab’1 – Internationally Known
Various Artists – The Lancaster Orchestra – Bad Horse
Jackal & Hyde – Dark Star
Fugazi – Exit Only
Why? – Speech Bubbles
The Hartmans – Indiependent
Karneige – Dusted
Victor Scott – Chimp Farm
Goldspot – Rewind
Serguei Iwanikov – Let Me
Boo Radleys – Lazarus
Aceyalone And Rjd2 – All For U
The Joggers – Ziggurat Traffic
Dynarec – Handjob
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Oregon Girl
Gang Starr – Code Of The Streets
Komeda – It’s Alright, Baby
Clorox Girls – Pop Codeine
Digitalism – Zdarlight
Actarus – Hundekeks
Love Is All – Aging Had Never Been His Friend
Illuminous 3 – Paper Chase
John Foxx – Underpass
Broken Social Scene – Major Label Debut (Fast)
Electric President – Insomnia
Mission Of Burma – Dirt
Youth Of Today – Thinking Straight
Edan – Promised Land
Pendle Coven – R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Teenage Fanclub – Cells
Shellac – Canada
Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
IAM – La Saga
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
Tokyo Eye – Tori Spelling Wears Me Out
Mccarthy – Write To Your Mp Today
Bearsuit – Chargr
Huggy Bear – Herjazz
Mikkel Metal – Align
Man Or Astro Man- – Green-Blooded Love
Half Man Half Biscuit – Four Skinny Indie Kids
Yo La Tengo – Speeding Motorcycle

Israelis Order Three-Year-Olds To Be Shot

This is taken from a transcript between and Israeli commander and his troops:

SENTRY: We spotted an Arab female about 100 meters below our emplacement, near the light armored vehicle gate.

HEADQUARTERS: Observation post “Spain,” do you see it?

OBSERVATION POST: Affirmative, it’s a young girl. She’s now running east.

HQ: Are you talking about a girl under ten?

OP: Approximately a ten-year-old girl.

cc [to HQ]: We fired and killed her. She has . . . wearing pants . . . jeans and a vest, shirt. Also she had a kaffiyeh on her head. I also confirmed the kill. Over.

HQ: Roger.

CC [on general communications band]: Any motion, anyone who moves in the zone, even if it’s a three-year-old, should be killed. Over.
(Source: Boing Boing)

What hope have we when we live in a world that produces the above?

There’s nothing more I can say about this.

Apple Rip-Off Postal Service

Postal Service Ripoff Ad

It has recently come to our attention that Apple Computers’ new television commercial for the Intel chip features a shot-for-shot recreation of our video for ‘Such Great Heights’ made by the same filmmakers responsible for the original. We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent. -Ben Gibbard, The Postal Service
(Source: Postal Service Website)

Oooh, naughty, naughty, Apple! Although I’m guessing they may not have known they were being palmed-off with secondhand ideas.

If Sub Pop paid for the orginal vid to be made, surely that means they own the copyright? I wonder if they’ll sue Apple for copyright infringement? 😀

Punch Tape Music!

Punch Tape Music Box

Rambling round the web, I just stumbled on the above: a little musicbox movement that you can program to play your own music by punching holes in tape. And it’s only £25.

This hand cranked 20 note Musical Movement plays by punched paper strips. Easy to use, the movement has a range of 20 natural notes from C to A2. It’s quite amazing just how many tunes you can actually achieve with this!
(Source: The Musicbox Shop)

How cool is that?

I’ve got to have one!

Hmmm… I wonder if I can do a whole album using only one of these doodads…?

Bless Playlist 17/1/06

Mikkel Metal
Mikkel Metal… so very nearly Metal Mickey….

In a shock development, tonight’s top new tune was not by a Swede! Yep. It was ‘Align’ by the extremely lustrous Mikkel Metal who is… Danish. ‘Align’ is gorgeously sparse minimal electronic music and it’s taken from Mikkel’s album, ‘Victimizer,’ which is released in twelve days. Get your pre-orders in now, bleepy-clicky-bloopy fans!

Jangly hyperlords, McCarthy

The best old tune tonight was ‘Write To Your MP Today’ by McCarthy. Here are the lyrics:

If you are under attack, I’ve got news for you
They’ve got away with it for long
Here’s what to do
Here’s what to do today

Oh go ahead, don’t be afraid
Go on ahead and write to your MP

Oh go ahead, don’t be afraid
Go on ahead and write to your MP

If twenty racists are battering at your door
The friends of the thing you trust threaten to make your life hell
Well I’ve got news for…

If the gay-bashers are throwing rocks at your head
Enough is enough
We must campaign for the return of Labour to power

So go ahead, don’t be afraid
Go on ahead and write to…
Oh go ahead, don’t be afraid
Go on ahead and write to your MP

I’m amazed so many people misunderstood McCarthy at the time, missed their sarcasm and righteous anger and lumped them in with all the woolly-jumpered Red Wedge reformists. Aren’t those lyrics painfully explicit? Whatever, if you’ve got a liking for anything remotely known as “indie” and you haven’t got several McCarthy records in your collection, you’re missing out hugely. I still miss the buggers.

Tonight, youse hoird:

Cornelius – Count Five Or Six
Heatmiser – Disappearing Ink
The Lancaster Orchestra – Bad Horse
Karneige – Dusted
Telex – Rock Around The Clock
The Joggers – Ziggurat Traffic
Saskrotch – Super Spy Hunter
New Flesh – Norbert & Cecil Featuring Roots Manuva
Puffy Amiyumi – K2G
Jackal & Hyde – Dark Star
Lamb Of God – Purified
Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy
Shellac – Squirrel Song
Julie London – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
Jeans Team – Oh Bauer
Keith Masters – Resume
Actarus – Hundekeks
Orgue Electronique – Pong
Brakes – Sometimes Always
Cheek – Mökkireissu
A+P – Kontrolle
Refree – Faltas Leves
Modeselektor – Dancingbox (Featuring TTC)
Goldspot – Rewind
Danger Doom – Space Ho’s
John Barry – Hit And Miss
Jarcrew – Paris + The New Math
Ochre – Drink Malk
Tokyo Eye – Tori Spelling Wears Me Out
Quasimoto – Rappcats Part 3
The Samuel Jackson Five – If You Show Off The Milk, Who’s Gonna Buy The Cow?
Victor Scott – Chimp Farm
Isolee – Schrapnell
The Fall – Spoilt Victorian Child
Royce Da 5’9 & Mc Jean Gab’1 – Internationally Known
Stars – Ageless Beauty
Mikkel Metal – Align
Sambassadeur – Between The Lines
Cats On Fire – Higher Grounds
McCarthy – Write To Your Mp Today
Non Phixion – Rock Stars
Sibiria – Men I Tusen År

Chomsky On The ‘War On Terror’

Noam Chomsky

You can measure the number of terrorist attacks. Well, that’s gone up sharply under the Bush administration, very sharply after the Iraq war. As expected — it was anticipated by intelligence agencies that the Iraq war would increase the likelihood of terror.

And the post-invasion estimates by the CIA, National Intelligence Council, and other intelligence agencies are exactly that. Yes, it increased terror. In fact, it even created something which never existed — new training ground for terrorists, much more sophisticated than Afghanistan, where they were training professional terrorists to go out to their own countries.

So, yeah, that’s a way to deal with the War on Terror, namely, increase terror. And the obvious metric, the number of terrorist attacks, yeah, they’ve succeeded in increasing terror.
(Source: Alternet)

As always, Chomsky hits the nail on the head in a frighteningly robust manner.

This is the world we inhabit since Bin Laden, Bush and Blair started their campaigns of mass-murder. A lot has changed in the last five years. When I was last in London a week ago, I had a weird feeling. After a while, I recognised what it was: I felt like I was a kid again when the IRA were carrying out bombing campaigns all across England. I had the same unease. That’s a nostalgia I think I can do without. Spangles and Hector’s House, yeah, shattering sheet glass and nailbombs, no thanks.

It’s difficult for an average person like me to work out if my fear is at a justifiable level. The British public has been lied to so much by Blair and his government of toads that we have no true idea of how safe we are. Is there a terror alert because we’re genuinely at risk or is Blair pulling another publicity stunt / getting ready to bomb another Iraqi city flat? Who knows? Our safety has been sacrificed by Bush and Blair in their “War On Terror.” That’s the Great Lie that covers up Just Another War For Resources:

We are under a rigid doctrine in the West, a religious fanaticism, that says we must believe that the United States would have invaded Iraq even if its main product was lettuce and pickles, and the oil resources of the world were in Central Africa. Anyone who doesn’t believe that is condemned as a conspiracy theorist, a Marxist, a madman, or something.

Well, you know, if you have three gray cells functioning, you know that that’s perfect nonsense.

The U.S. invaded Iraq because it has enormous oil resources, mostly untapped, and it’s right in the heart of the world’s energy system. Which means that if the U.S. manages to control Iraq, it extends enormously its strategic power, what Zbigniew Brzezinski calls its critical leverage over Europe and Asia. Yeah, that’s a major reason for controlling the oil resources — it gives you strategic power. Even if you’re on renewable energy you want to do that. So that’s the reason for invading Iraq, the fundamental reason.
(Source: Alternet)

It’s 2006. Soon, it’ll be three years since the biggest mass-movement in British political history mobilised against Blair and his poodlery of Bush. Three years of enormous demonstrations, all of which were denounced by Blair at the time. He claimed there were WMDs, he hinted at secret evidence, he said we were 45 minutes from attack.

All lies

He lied and he continues to lie to this day. It was never about the safety of Britain, it was always about power. As all wars are.

Another New Year and Butcher Blair is still in No. 10.