Rain Over Bouville

Nothing seemed true; I felt surrounded by cardboard scenery which could quickly be removed….

Tonight was so appalling that it delivered me into a minor existential funk.

Consider that I’ve been DJing (paid) since around 1986. That’s a lot of bad nights and, thankfully, some beautiful ones. Man. But as I looked round the Bless tonight, the staff vastly outnumbering the grumbling patrons (“Why won’t you play Rammstein?” “No Killers? How about The Sugababes?” “New music? Who wants to hear new music?”) something integral fractured in my Reality Denial Mechanism. Thus, I realised…

… I’m wasting my time.

I’ve been DJing for three years at The Bless. That I play mostly very new music is known to regulars. If I can’t drag out more than a handful of people after three years, I’m wasting my time and the Bless’ money. I believe Sartre called it “pissing dans le vent.”

This is in no way a criticism of pub-goers in Derby: you can’t force people to be interested in new music. If they want to hear non-stop corporate-indie with the occasional corporate-emo band chucked in, that’s what they want. Why should they put up with me playing them “mad” music?

I won’t miss: the interminable requests for Coldplay, Keane, Radiohead, the Manics, Oasis, The Killers and James Blunt. The withering looks when I tried to explain that I was playing new music. Oh, and the funniest joke DJs ever hear: “Oi, mate, have you got anything good?” Oh, how Oscar must wish he coined that evergreen jape!

I will miss: the lovely people who’d come and thank me for playing The Postal Service or Love Is All or Ceephax Acid Crew or Cyne or The Arcade Fire when no-one else in Derby was playing them. The handful of dedicated music geeks who’d come out week after week and try to catch me out with bizarre requests, my kind of peeps! The lovely Bless staff – all gorgeous, especially Russ.

There is nowhere else in Derby that is as easy-going and flexible as the Bless. I can’t imagine any other venue that would let me play Decapitated next to Adam Faith. Everywhere is niched now and homogenised: there is no intermingling of alternative genres now, we want them all separate like a picky kid with its veg and meat. So I see no point in trying to do a DJ night anywhere else as no other local venue cares about the music they play even a hundredth as much the Bless does. I get restless, I couldn’t stand to play one genre of music all night. Actually, I’d find it immensely tedious.

I’m going to look into alternatives, ways that I can still proselytise rabidly concerning the glorious new music that’s around without the weekly weary that DJing has become. Maybe podcasts, maybe net radio? Maybe a camp fire and a damp blanket?

Meanwhile, here’s the last playlist you’ll be seeing for a while, goodnight and thank you for listening:

The Girls – Return To Zero
Smimooz – La P.R.I.M.E.R.A.
Ceephax Acid Crew – Exidy
Dead Kennedys – Nazi Punks Fuck Off
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Oregon Girls
Stereo Total – I Am Naked
Ghostface Killah – R.A.G.U. (Feat. Raekwon)
Quincy Jones – Soul Bossa Nova
Serena Maneesh – Drain Cosmetics
Quintron – Place Unknown
Michael Fakesch – We Got A Generator
Apathy – All About Crime (Produced By Celph Titled)
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
Band Of Horses – The First Song
Pier Bucci – The R-8 Mooger
Say Hi To Your Mom – Pop Music Of The Future
Tapes ‘N Tapes – Crazy Eights
Masta Killa – Ringing Bells (Produced By Bronze Nazareth)
Send More Paramedics – The Pain Of Being Dead
Glen Campbell – Tennessee Home
Clark – Re-Scar Kiln
My Latest Novel – Sister Sneaker Sister Soul
Why? – Speech Bubbles
Ellen Allien & Apparat – Under
Au Revoir Simone – Hurricanes (lovely, floaty girl vocal synthpop, album’s a fiver in Reveal!)
Murs And 9th Wonder – Murray’s Law
Loney, Dear – The City, The Airport
Cats On Fire – Higher Grounds
The Knife – Silent Shout
The Dresden Dolls – My Alcoholic Friends
The Red Chord – L Formation
Danger Doom – El Chupa Nibre
Simon & Garfunkel – Richard Cory
Marco Passarani – Again
Kelley Stoltz – Birdies Singing
Shelter Red – Little Heaps Of Dirty White
MF Grimm – Get Down Feat. DJ Ekim
AFI – Porphyria
Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today
Miwon – Brother Mole
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
The Like Young – For Money Or Love
Perceptionists – Black Dialogue
Jackal & Hyde – Dark Star
Actarus – Hundekeks
Black Lipstick – Viva Max
People Under The Stairs – Tuxedo Rap
Throwdown – Raise Your Fist
Akir – Politricks
The Billy Taylor Trio – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (amazing track and something I was singing on the way home, on my own. In the dark. With an owl…)

Filmmakers Against War

Filmmakers Against War

Filmmakers Against War are a collective of activists, filmmakers and artists who are using their creative skills to help raise the awareness of UK and International War Laws.

Filmmakers Against War seeks to educate and raise awareness of UK and international war law, and to highlight military actions that have been taken now and in the past, which violate these laws.

Filmmakers Against War will where possible report on legal actions undertaken by other groups or individuals, and inform the public on steps ordinary individuals or groups can take.

Filmmakers Against War would like to see an end to war and conflict, an end to the arms trade, and for those who are suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity to be brought to justice. If we are to live in a world of peace it must be through the implementation of international law.

They are our laws so let’s uphold them. It is our justice system so let’s use it. They are our leaders so let’s prosecute them. It’s our world so let’s reclaim it.

If you would like to become involved, or would like more information please contact info@filmmakersagainstwar.org

Ta to Danyul for the link, please check out Filmmakers Against War.

Police Jeer As Black Man Dies

Christopher Alder, murdered by the police

Four police officers were guilty of the most serious neglect of duty over the death of ex-paratrooper Christopher Alder in 1998, a watchdog has ruled.

Mr Alder, 37, who was black, choked at a Hull police station. His sister said after the report that those responsible had still not been held to account

Mr Alder, a father-of-two and a Falklands veteran, was injured during a scuffle outside a Hull city centre hotel and taken to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment. He was later arrested for an alleged breach of the peace and taken to Queens Gardens police station.

Half an hour later he choked to death on his own blood and vomit as he lay on the floor of the police station, without moving, for 11 minutes with his trousers round his ankles.

“The failure of the officers to explain to the IPCC their actions, including noises recorded on the video before and after Christopher’s arrival in the custody suite appears to have contributed to the IPCC view regarding unwitting racism.”
(Source: BBC News)

So, after eight years, the verdict is in. And, what a surprise, it’s another whitewash.

“Unwitting” racism? What the fuck does that mean? Does that mean you are unaware you hate black people as you watch one die in front of you without lifting a finger. Is the IPCC seriously trying to create a new type of racism here?

The Independent Police Complaints Commission grumbles a bit and wishes its officers would be a little nicer to darkies but, as usual, there is no justice for the man left to die.

Mr Hardwick said he was “disappointed” that the officers directly involved had refused to cooperate with the IPCC review.

He also emphasised the inappropriate behaviour of officers caught on CCTV tapes on the night of Mr Alder’s death.

The footage shows the paratrooper dying with his trousers around his ankles. Monkey noises are heard being made at the beginning of the officers’ shift and after Mr Alder’s death.
(Source: The Guardian)

What would you call a group of men who stand around for 11 minutes watching a black man choke to death on the floor while making monkey noises at him? I’d call them murderers.

This is our wonderful police force, these are our lovely boys in blue.

All of the officers have taken nice, comfortable early retirements on “medical grounds.” Fat pensions all round for them, paid out of our tax money. We’re paying these murderers when they should be behind bars.

Will this news story change anything?

No.

Because the majority of the white population don’t care if the police are racist. It doesn’t affect them, after all. Every time I talk to a white person about these issues I get the same tone back: it’s a tone of disbelief and “oh, they’re not really racist, it’s all exaggerated.” I can talk about cases like Christopher Alder or Babar Ahmad or Stephen Lawrence and it makes no difference.

The British police are racist through and through. There can never be justice in this country while that racism exists. The evidence is overwhelming to all but the willfully blind.

UPDATE!

I got this email just now from Danyul Plans And Apologies:

jyoti.

I seriously respect your politcal views and have done throughout the 3/4 years i have known you. However im disapointed with your “Pole jeer as black man dies” article. I agree with everything you say but one sentence is unfair “Every time I talk to a white person about these issues I get the same tone back: it’s a tone of disbelief and “oh, they’re not really racist, it’s all exaggerated.”

I dont know how you scientifically selected these “white people” but i cant ever remember hearing a positive view of the police force from any “white people” i know. Im probably only emailimg you this because on saturday i was entrapped by the police, got the sack and i am also going to have to pay an £80 fine for the privelige. Whilst recounting this story to many “white people” (including my dad who used to be a copper for 15 years) i was met largely with the same response “ahhh welll…they’ll use that money to beat up blacks in the most efficient way possible.”

bullshit aside……i really enjoy your writings on bzangy. I find it hard to find sources on the net that are as biting (and as truthful) as you, written by people who i have respect for

BUT….please dont lump me into a racial category and assume that because of my ethnicity i have some kind of shared politcal outlook with other ‘pale skin honkies.’ I fuckin hate the police, the condition where it became “necessary” and the blatant racism that has occured as a product.

If you changed the sentence to “Every time I talk to a middle class liberal about these issues I get the same tone back: it’s a tone of disbelief and “oh, they’re not really racist, it’s all exaggerated.” then i wouldnt give a shit. Im not asking you to change it..id just like an acknowledgment that not ALL white people are police apologists.

Danyul

First, I apologise to Danyul. I was very angry when I wrote the above rant and that anger bled through into my wording.

But I do say “the majority of the white population” in the sentence before the one he objects to, which of course implies there’s a minority. And, of course, there is a minority of the white population in Britain that hate the police’s racism, even if it’s impossible for them to be victims of it themselves.

So why did I choose that wording?

It’s based on my experience. It’s completely un-scientific and anecdotal. I have given up talking about police racism in the white circles I know because, in my experience, no-one gives a toss. It may be tut-tutted briefly but there is no passion there, no real anger and I always get the sense that I’m being humoured. Oh, there goes Jyoti, off again!

It’s the same as our invasion of Iraq. Out of all the people I know day to day, only a tiny handful have ever cared enough to protest against it (Danyul being one of them). The rest simply don’t care enough that we’re killing innocent civilians every day. So… I’ve given up talking about the war in public. I rant about it on here precisely because most people’s eyes glaze over if I raise the war in a conversation. But, that doesn’t mean everyone I know doesn’t care, just the vast majority.

So, yes, I was wrong to say “Every time I talk to a white person.” I should have said “95% of the time I talk to a white person.”

If what Danyul says is right about the people he knows, I guess I’m hanging out with the wrong people.

How The Police Waste Their Time And Your Money

Brian Haw

Brian Haw, the anti-war protester who has lived at a one-man peace camp outside Parliament since June 2001, was arrested yesterday on suspicion of obstructing the police.

Mr Haw said the incident began when police tried to confiscate one of his banners. “It’s a beautiful pink banner with large black letters which say ‘Bliar War Criminal’.” Ms Tucker said: “Because it was Mother’s day, I thought I should be down there with Brian, praying for other people’s children.”
(Source: The Independent)

Have you been mugged? Raped? Burgled? Has a crackhead broken into your car and nicked your stereo you saved up ages for?

Fear not!

The police will be onto those cases, right after they finish harrassing Brian Haw. Yep, look at him. Doesn’t he look like a dangerous criminal to you? He positively reeks menace with his excessively pacifist demeanour and hippy placards.

The arrest of Haw is harrassment, pure and simple. He’s a political dissenter, one of millions of Britons who disagree with Butcher Blair’s warmongering. I am stunned the police can even think they can get away with this flagrant bullying. But I guess it’s symptomatic of Blair’s regime, our rights are eroded every day and the perpetrators claim it’s for our own protection!

For more information on Brian Haw and how our great leaders are scared of one man’s voice, please click here.

US Military Lied About Murdered Iraqis

US military investigators are examining allegations that Marines shot unarmed Iraqis, then claimed they were “enemy fighters”, The Independent on Sunday has learned. In the same incident, eyewitnesses say, one man bled to death over a period of hours as soldiers ignored his pleas for help.

American military officials in Iraq have already admitted that 15 civilians who died in the incident in the western town of Haditha last November were killed by Marines, and not by a roadside bomb, as had previously been claimed. The only victim of the remotely triggered bomb, it is now conceded, was a 20-year-old Marine, Lance-Corporal Miguel Terrazas, from El Paso, Texas.
(Source: The Independent)

It’s the second paragraph I find particularly chilling. Those 15 innocent Iraqis weren’t killed by “insurgents” as the US had previously lied. They were apparently murdered by US troops.

This is one incident we now now the truth about. How many other times have civilian murders by US troops been successfully covered-up and blamed on “insurgents?”

Please read the whole article, linked above. I’m not quoting any more of it here as it makes me feel too sick and angry.

Enormous Protest In LA

Enormous Immigrant Rights Protest

Joining what some are calling the nation’s largest mobilization of immigrants ever, hundreds of thousands of people boisterously marched in downtown Los Angeles Saturday to protest federal legislation that would crack down on undocumented immigrants, penalize those who help them and build a security wall on the U.S. southern border.

Spirited crowds representing labor, religious groups, civil-rights advocates and ordinary immigrants stretched over 26 blocks of downtown Los Angeles from Adams Blvd. along Spring Street and Broadway to City Hall, tooting kazoos, waving American flags and chanting “Si se puede!” (Yes we can!). The crowd, estimated by police at more than 500.000, represented one of the largest protest marches in Los Angeles history, surpassing Vietnam War demonstrations and the 70,000 who rallied downtown against Proposition 187, a 1994 state initiative that denied public benefits to undocumented migrants.
(Source: Common Dreams)

What an amazing demonstration! Look at that picture, there’s something surreal about seeing that many people gathered in a political protest, it looks CGI from a film rather than a flesh and blood demonstration taking place now.

HR 4437 is a slap in the face of all the people in that demonstration. It’s also a supremely morally dubious position: it’s basically one load of illegal immigrants pulling up the drawbridge behind them and criminalising their successors. That the US should persecute people so desperate to live the American Dream seems particularly perverse.

In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands of people have staged demonstrations in more than a dozen cities. The Roman Catholic Church and other religious communities have launched immigrant rights campaigns, with Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony taking a leading role in speaking out against the House bill and calling on his priests to defy its provisions that would make felons of anyone who aided undocumented immigrants. In addition, several cities, including Los Angeles, have passed resolutions against the House legislation and some, such as Maywood, have declared itself a “sanctuary” for undocumented immigrants.

“There has never been this kind of mobilization in the immigrant community ever,” said Joshua Hoyt, executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. “They have kicked the sleeping giant. It’s the beginning of a massive immigrant civil rights struggle.”
(Source: Common Dreams)

I love that phrases, ‘They have kicked the sleeping giant.’ Seems to be happening a lot lately, with the various mass movements of people power organising around the globe.

The ordinary people of the world are becoming increasingly uppity and disrespectful to their masters. What a wonderful time to be alive!

Bless Playlist 23/3/06

Akir

Top new track this week was the amazing ‘Politricks’ by Akir. Here’s a snippet from the final verse:

I got a letter from my brother
Said the media confuse ya
The Army Navy game
Was slippin’ Quarters from Fallujah
No proper armor when they move us
Damn we trapped
Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis surround us in Iraq
Kerry lost
Colin Powell threw in the towel
Ashcroft assed off
The shit is even getting more foul
Network, of elected delegates
Are all derelicts
Look how shiesty Kerry get
Damn it’s all relevant
It’s never how they tell it is
So I gotta get my shit straight
And handle my biz
The next time I have to go vote
I might go
Plus I heard there’s a lot of jobs
And lot of fine ass hos, in Ohio

‘Politricks’ has some of the best lyrics I’ve ever heard in my life. It’s a brutal mix of humour and horror, despair and hope. Reading them above doesn’t do them justice – you have to hear Akir’s incredible flow. His timing is immaculate, surreal. And it’s set in a spooky, oppressive beat that frames it perfectly. Akir’s album, ‘Legacy,’ was released this Monday. It’s an essential album for 2006.

The Wedding Present

The best old track was ‘I’m Not Always So Stupid’ by The Wedding Present. Smashing song featuring classic Weddoes cheese-grater guitar.

Tonight, you heard:

Actarus – Hundekeks
The Invisible Cities – Instaglo
Perspects – Desire And Efficency
LA Symphony – Broken Now
Soundtrak – Available Memory
The Radio Dept. – The Worst Taste In Music
Murs – Murray’s Law
Casco – Cybernetic Love
Mclusky – Gareth Brown Says
Ghostface Killah – R.A.G.U.
Love Is All – Talk Talk Talk Talk
Ghosty – Hey! Somebody
Ellen Allien & Apparat – Under
Masta Killa – Ringing Bells
Serena Maneesh – Drain Cosmetics
Cyne – Automaton
Venetian Snares – Twelve
Band Of Horses – The First Song
People Under The Stairs – Tuxedo Rap
The Knife – Silent Shout
Converge – Death King
Loney, Dear – The City, The Airport
Akir – Politricks
Clark – Re-Scar Kiln
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
Wedding Present – I’m Not Always So Stupid
Apathy – Th Buck Stops Here
Miwon – Brother Mole
Rufus Wainwright – California
Substance Abuse – Collateral Damage
Alias – Life Is But A…
Tapes ‘N Tapes – Crazy Eights
The Samuel Jackson Five – If You Show Off The Milk…
Jel – WMD
Most Valuable Players – Stockholm Doesn’t Belong To Me
Goudron – Art School Fuckheads
Kelley Stoltz – Birdies Singing
Guru – Hood Dreamin
Frog Pocket – Celebrimbor Tur-Anion
Grandaddy – Elevate Myself
MF Grimm – Get Down Feat. DJ Ekim
Agent Simple – Make A Right At Jordfallsmotet
Matmos – Solo Buttons For Joe Meek
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
Black Lipstick – Viva Max
EU – Rilly
The Decemberists – The Engine Driver
Danger Doom – El Chupa Nibre
Vapnet – Kalla Mig
Jeans Team – Baby 3=1+2
The Perceptionists – Memorial Day
The Unicorns – The Clap
Cylob – Flicklife (Cylob Mix)

Musicians And Drugs

Cannonball Adderley
The wonderful Cannonball Adderley

My lovely mrs. came across a riveting article from Playboy published in 1960 where they interview some jazz legends about the links between music and drugs. Here’s an excerpt:

C. ADDERLEY: I’m afraid that I have played with many musicians who were stoned out of their minds and played like never before. I wish it were a truism that if a guy were addicted to narcotics, I could say, “Well, he’s high, he can’t play,” but ….

COHEN: I ask Dizzy point blank – is it possible for a musician under the influence of narcotics to play in an ensemble?

GILLESPIE: I think it is. It’s according to the degree of genius in the musician, I think. Because I know some musicians stoned high and they still can play, but I know some musicians who sit down and they’re high and they’re slobbering all over their instruments. I’ve seen a well-known musician under the influence of narcotics – I know he was high because he was nodding and you’d wake him up and he’d start playing and just play, play, play, play, play – and I’ve seen the same musician under the influence of alcohol and I had to call him off, and say, “Look, think about all your fans out there.” He’s dreaming. He’s going around with a fifth of whiskey all the time, and maybe he’s trying to substitute for the drug by drinking the whiskey. He’s playing nothing – absolutely like a beginner – and I know this guy’s a genius.

HENTOFF: In other words, although we’re not advocating the use of drugs, I think the only way to get a useful discussion of this problem is to do away with what ever moralistic myths we can. And one is the myth that if you’re on you can’t coordinate. It’s just not true.

TAYLOR: I worked with Charlie Parker, and Bird said a couple of times in print that he felt some of his worst performances were when he was under the influence of drugs. And I think this is borne out by some of the records that he made – Relaxing at Camarillo and some things like that – and he was in pretty bad condition on some of those records. He was such a sensitive guy, it’s very difficult to understand how he could stay on dope, because he knew it was suicide, that he was killing himself, but his other personal problems were just such that he wasn’t physically or mentally able to stay off.
(Source: Cannonball Adderley.com)

Fascinating stuff, well worth reading the full article if you’re a musician. Or a drug addict. Or both.