When 0 = 45

When 0 = 45

How to deface this sign? A random swear word? A Fauvist splash of ferocious, masking primary? The venerable jizzing cock?

No. The defacer was clever. S/he made a mathematical addition (heh). The simple, almost minimalist placing of that Indian invention, the numeral 0.

We are both surprised and confounded. The defacer has made 0 = 45! S/he is like a baby Godel, throwing our bourgeois maths in our faces with a sneer and a burp of Red Stripe.

Dare we drive round the hairpin curves of Springwood Leisure Centre car park at fifty miles-per-hour? We can. We should. We ought to, since the sign clearly says that we are allowed. Ours is not to question the legitimacy of the sign, we revere authority, it is our blankie and best friend.

And we remain, as ever, incomplete and desolate in the face of the crumbling of truth.

Summer Singalong 2009


Here’s another Summer Singalong, a playlist that’s just the right length to burn onto a CDR and then bung into your car. Hopefully, it’ll make you yell along, windows open, like I do.


A Place to Bury Strangers – It Is Nothing
Taking Back Sunday – Sink Into Me
Even as We Speak – Falling Down The Stairs
Burning Hearts – Iris
Cats on Fire – The Borders Of This Land
Exlovers – You Forget So Easily
The Decemberists – The Rake’s Song
Tim Hardin – Don’t Make Promises
The Lonely Forest – Borders And Towns
Manchester Orchestra – Tony The Tiger
Wheat – H.O.T.T.
The Answering Machine – Obviously Cold
Palpitation – I’m Happy Now
Canadian Invasion – Standing On The Shoulders Of The Carcass Of John Mayer
The Paper Merchants – The Kids At The Club
Felt – I Will Die With My Head In Flames
Fruit Bats – The Ruminant Band
Surrogate – A Constitution
Beachbuggy – Kickin’ Back
The Primitives – Stop Killing Me
Marching Band – For Your Love
The Lucksmiths – Self-Preservation
The Format – Oceans

Obama Murders Nine More Pakistanis

US Drones Murder Pakistanis

At least nine people are reported to have been killed in north-west Pakistan in a suspected US missile strike.

One or two missiles targeted a compound in the village of Dande Darpa Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan, Pakistani officials said.
(Source: BBC News)

Another day, another terror attack by US drones on innocent Pakistanis. The same as I reported here, here and here.

While the ‘civilised’ world wrings it’s poor little hands about the evil North Korea or unruly Iran, the USA’s merciless missile attacks against innocent Pakistanis pass totally un-mentioned.

Apparently, when the USA launches missiles against women and children, that’s a good act, a great act, an act of peace and love and altruism. That’s why Gordon Brown approves this just slaughter.

You see, the US has to kill these Pakistanis to save them from being killed by the Taliban. That would be horrible – imagine being killed by the bullets of fanatical Muslims?

Far better to cower in your house before welcoming the warm embrace and fiery flowers of the American Empire.

By my estimate, this now makes around 400 killed by USA missile strikes. But who’s counting, eh?

Certainly not the Americans.

Bzangy Groink Playlist 12/8/09

A Place To Bury Strangers

Whoop! The best new track tonight was ‘It Is Nothing’ by A Place To Bury Strangers. It’s a bendy, distorty wall of shoegazey loveliness. Check out the album too, they thow a swaggering, garage twist into the mix.


The best old track was ‘Kickin’ Back’ by BeachBuggy. This is the perfect song to blast out when you’re driving round on a summer’s day. Sooo good, in a surfy, Pixies-ish way.

This is what you heard:

Gifts From Enola – Weightless Thought
Infinite Scale – Behind The Scenes
Woodpigeon – Knock Knock
Seven – The Darkness
The Answering Machine – Obviously Cold
Wienzeile – geisterbahn
Skeletons And The Empty Pockets – Oh Brother
Freeland – Under Control
Mother Mary – Magnetic Space Plug
St. Vincent – Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood
LMFAO – I Am Not A Whore
Far – Bury White
U-God – Stomp Da Roach (Featuring GZA And Scotty Wotty)
Minor Threat – Filler
Major Lazer – When You Hear The Bassline feat. Ms. Thing
Wave Machines – I Go I Go I Go
August Burns Red – Rationalist
Michael Hunter – Soviet Connection (Theme from Grand Theft Auto IV)
Tiga – Shoes
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Panasonic Youth
LCD Soundsystem – Losing My Edge
SonnyJim – Running Late (Ft. Irs)
Folsom – Looking Good (And Being Scene)
Palpitation – IΒ₯m Happy No
Exlovers – you forget so easily
Dan the Automator – Rapper’s Delight Tepr Remix
Taking Back Sunday – Sink Into Me
Cats on Fire – The Borders of This Land
mc chris – Fett’s Vett
Gojira – Toxic Garbage Island
Surrogate – A Constitution
Beachbuggy – Kickin’ back
6BLOCC – Warning
Venetian Snares – Einstein-Rosen Bridge
A Place to Bury Strangers – It Is Nothing
Atmosphere – THE ROPES
Animal Collective – water curses
Burning Hearts – Close To Her
Wisp – Katabatic
Fruit Bats – The Ruminant Band
Endwell – Living Through Losses: 02/30/01
La Coka Nostra – I’m An American Ft. B-Real
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Quiet Little Voices
Ultravox – 05 The Thin Wall
Lovvers – creepy crawl
Hackman – Loophole
Four Tet – She Moves She
D.O – Watch Out
The Invisible – Monster’s Waltz
Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
Zed Bias – Colditz
Even as We Speak – Falling Down The Stairs
Stellastarr – Robot
Eyedea & Abilities – Burn Fetish
Ochre – Circadies
Matt & Kim – Daylight
Sparks – Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth

McDonald’s Roof Protest

McD Roof Protest
Click any of the pics for more shots

Today, 17th August.

A man climbed onto the roof to shout out his protest at the way Derbyshire police had failed to investigate him being mugged. Malc and I were just walking up St. Peter’s Street and we joined the very calm, very peaceful crowd of onlookers who wanted to hear what he had to say.

The police turned up, mob-handed and proceeded to make the whole situation worse by provoking the onlookers. We were completely peaceful, we weren’t causing an obstruction – nothing.

And yet, the police were rude and heavy-handed, pushing us around like we were cattle. We had zero rights. They had at least three police cars and a van! For nothing. This is how they waste our money.

McD Roof Protest

They pushed one woman onto her child and reduced her to tears. No apologies. When she complained to a WPC, she just ignored it.

I saw them pushing at least three other people, provoking them as much as possible. They inflamed a situation that would otherwise have amounted to not much at all. If they’d simply had a couple of officers standing around, we would have watched the bloke and then moved on. As it was, it became about asserting our civil liberty as much as the poor man’s cause.

McD Roof Protest

Eventually, the bloke decided he’d made his point and climbed down. He was lead away to cheers from all of us. He hadn’t caused any damage, he’d made a peaceful protest. If only our police acted with as much civility.

It was a totally peaceful event, apart from the actions of the police. Remember, we pay their wages and yet they threaten us and treat us like peasants.

Police state? The question mark is redundant.

Indietracks 2009

Au Revoir Simone
Au Revoir Simone

On the 24th-26th of July, I went to Indietracks.

And it was great.

For the miniscule sum of Β£55, I got to see loads of wonderful bands. And I mean loads. In fact, if I have a moan, it’s that there were simply too many great bands on: I couldn’t see everything I wanted to. This is exactly the opposite of how I feel about most multi-band affairs.

Cats On Fire
Cats On Fire, on fire

The highlight for me was seeing Cats On Fire in rip-roaring form. Of the bands I saw, they got the best audience response, peeps were dancing, clapping and just happily shouting along.

Butcher Boy
Butcher Boy

But, really, there were so many fabulous artists – Au Revoir Simone, Butcher Boy, Eux Autres, Teenage Fanclub. And the spirit of the event was equally unique. There was a definite feel-good vibe for the entire weekend.

So, see you at Indietracks 2010! πŸ™‚

(Click any of the pics for the galleries!)

How Does It Feel Playlist 18/07/09

How Does It Feel, July 18th 2009

Pic nicked from Ian’s HDIF site, click it to see more!

Again, I had a marvellous time DJing at How Does It Feel. I played plenty of old indiepop classics but also threw in some newer stuff, like the Fresh & Onlys, Loney, Dear and Matt & Kim.

It was lovely to get everyone up and rocking to Dinosaur Jr. *and* King Bee. I mean, come on, if ‘Back By Dope Demand’ doesn’t get your booty shaking, what will? πŸ™‚

Thank you again to Ian How Does It Feel and all the well-groomed, sexy people who came down that night. Hugs all round!

This is what I played:

Pulp – Stacks
La Casa Azul – En noches como la de hoy
Soft Cell – What?
Hello Saferide – Anna
The Lucksmiths – Camera-Shy
The Vaselines – Son Of A Gun
Suburban Kids With Biblical Names – Parakit
The Hidden Cameras – In The Union Of Wine
Au Revoir Simone – Sad Song
God Help The Girl – Funny Little Frog
The Buzzcocks – Love You More
Marching Band – For Your Love
Jens Lekman – You Are the Light
The Primitives – Stop Killing Me
The Darling Buds – Shame on You
Loney, Dear – Airport Surroundings
John Barry – Amicalement Votre (Theme)
Teenage Fanclub & Jad Fair – Behold The Miracle
Denim – Middle Of the Road
Magnetic Fields – I Don’t Want to Get Over You
Cats on Fire – Tears in Your Cup
Jonathan Richman + The Modern – Roadrunner
Matt & Kim – Daylight
Devo – Girl U Want
The Fresh & Onlys – Endless Love
Pixies – I’ve Been Tired
Cure – In Between Days
Dinosaur Jr. – Freak Scene
King Bee – Back By Dope Demand

Newcastle Gig

White Town Live In Newcastle, July 12th, 2009
It’s me! (Pic taken by Geoff Kosmonaut.)

On July 12th, I played at The Head of Steam, Newcastle. It was great.

The gig was organised by Stephen This Almighty Pop and I was lucky enough to be playing with his band Kosmonaut and also with The Honda Express (featuring members of Strawberry Story).

Although Stephen thought the turnout was too low, that never matters to me. Having done both, I’d rather play to a small audience who are really into it than a hefty swell of disinterested hipsters.

The audience was perfect for me: I could look at them, try to connect with them. My songs are all intensely personal, all autobiographical so every gig is something of a confessional. Somehow, being able to see the eyes of the person you’re singing to makes it less contrived, more real.

A lovely girl came up after the gig, she’d come along because of ‘Your Woman,’ of course, but she’d danced and swayed through the rest of the set too. She said I’d made her year, bless her! That’s the kind of comment every egomaniac songwriter loves to hear. πŸ™‚

After the gig, I was on such a high that I was mentally fit enough to go and play the Cosy Den Festival after all. You see, these things snowball…

So, a very belated thanks to Stephen and everyone I met that night. You’re brill.

A Busy Time

Busy Bee
Busy bee!

I’ve been very busy lately which is good for my life, bad for regular website updates. πŸ™‚

To round it up:

Sunday July 12th – first British gig in years for my mate Stephen Almighty Pop. Ace!

Saturday 18th July – I DJed at How Does It Feel in London. Double ace!

Friday 24th to Sunday 26th JulyIndietracks! Triple ace!

Tuesday 28th July to Tuesday 4th August – I was in Sweden to play the Cosy Den 5 Year Festival. Infinity ace!

I’ll write more about each of those events shortly, when I have enough thinking time to sort everything out in my head. I feel like the last four weeks, I’ve done more than in the previous six months. I’ve played two fantastic gigs, met loads of lovely new people and heard some wonderful secrets.

It’s been intense and I feel utterly drained today. I’m wondering… what now? Inevitably, there’s something of a sense of post-come about everything now. Although I know that will fade, I partly don’t want it to dissipate as it spurs me on to keep trying to be more adventurous. Innit.

So, for any regular readers, sorry for the paucity of posts. But you’ll be getting shitloads soon. πŸ™‚