Brum With Emma

WELCOME!

On Monday, on a whim and a dare, Emma and I decided to train it to Brum in order to hunt down a specific hair dye she was jonesing for (Manic Panic’s ‘New Rose,’ hairophiles).

It was a gorgeous day, Birmingham looked like Milan and the people were suitably laid-back and chillin.’ Even the mad old blokes kicking empty cans and cursing in Cantonese seemed inwardly content to be soaking up the sun while startling passers-by.

A Lorra, Lorra Laffs

We ambled and arrived at the keeper of the precious. But the shop had changed hands, no dye! Argh!

Ah well, some Krispy Kreme doughnuts soon lifted our spirits and we had a bit more of an amble, a lot more ogling and then headed back home to Derbs. It was a lovely day, you can’t plan that shit. Click any of the pics to see more!

Infected By Saves The Day

Saves The Day

First, it’d be useful if you read this.

Well, it’s happened again.

I wasn’t an old-school Saves The Day fan, I only got into them when I heard ‘Freakish,’ which is off their third album, ‘Stay What You Are.’ That was in 2001 and I’m pretty sure I only noticed that song because I saw the pop vid at the time and it featured some awesome muppets. But the song lodged in my brain. Poppy, yeah!

Roll on a couple of years and I’m doing my normal singalong comps for the car. And, for some reason, I think of ‘Freakish’ and stick it on the comp. I’d played the track while DJing and it just started going round my brain.

Saves The Day

I stuck the CDR in my car. It was chock-full of singalong splendour but I kept just playing ‘Freakish,’ again and again and again and again and again. Track ends, skip to start. The only time I wouldn’t play it is when I had passengers because I didn’t want them to see just how freaky (heh) I’d become.

Soo… I went back to the album. And I fell in love with it. Obviously, at first the infection vectors were the poppiest tracks like ‘At Your Funeral’ and ‘Certain Tragedy.’ But it wasn’t long before I’d be out in town and find myself humming ‘Ghost’ or ‘Jukebox.’

Saves The Day

The last two months, maybe longer, pretty much all I’ve been listening to in my car has been ‘Stay What You Are.’ Going to Mosh at 11pm, driving home after at 3am, going into town, round to see my parents. I’ve become obsessed. Again, the only time it’s not on is when I have passengers.

The infection isn’t just the one album, though. I’ve been listening to all of them far too much. Saves The Day used to be way, way down on my Last.fm artist list. Now, take a look. They rate higher than Kraftwerk, my fave band of all time and whose music I’ve been listening to for at least twenty years longer than Saves The Day! This is madness.

Today, while I was doing weights, I listened to ‘Under The Boards,’ their last album to date. I love it. These lyrics from ‘Can’t Stay The Same’ in particular got to me:

Go if you wanna go
Don’t wanna lie here while you cry yourself to sleep
And say what you wanna say
Cause I can see by your face that somethings not the same

Hey, hey everything’s okay
I love you more than I can say
But we can’t stay the same
Yeah!

Do what you wanna do
Don’t wanna keep you here holding so tight you can’t breathe
And stay, not a minute stay
Cos I don’t think I wanna live here dying all alone…

How can anyone not relate to those lyrics? If you’ve ever loved and lost, it’s all there. ‘Under The Boards’ has got loads of other similarly poppy and moving songs. That’s the classic Saves The Day trademark: infectious guitar-driven pop backed with lyrics that just pierce your fucking heart, even when you don’t want them to. Whether it’s ‘Get Fucked Up’ or ‘Kaleidoscope,’ they throw stuff at you that you want to dodge but can’t. Conley’s aim is too true, too horribly accurate.

Saves The Day

My life over the past eighteen months has been the lowest of lows I’ve yet experienced. Even though it’s been full of brief, shiny moments with beautiful friends who’ve lifted me higher than I can climb on my own, the general trend has been down. The only thing that’s been able to make it all make sense is Saves The Day. More so than Leonard Cohen, more than Tim Hardin or Michael Nesmith or any of the other songwriters I normally turn to when everything turns to shit, like an alky turns to whisky.

When I’m singing along, I’m lost and I find myself. I need the loudness, I need Conley’s soaring, shredding voice, always on the edge of breaking. I can’t really explain how much his music has given me succour, how much he makes me feel less lonely. Today, I realised I had to write this post as I found myself crying and weight-training and listening to yet more Saves The Day. Is there anything more emo than crying while you’re doing wrist curls?

Saves The Day

So, Saves The Day and songwriter Chris Conley now own me. I stalk him a bit on the net (not excessively, just a bit), I’m waiting for the new album, I’m listening to all their previous albums on infinite repeat. I am infected.

And I hope, if you’ve read this far, that I may have passed on the infection to you too. 🙂

Bzangy Groink Playlist 20/5/10

MC Esoteric

Best new track tonight was easy – MC Esoteric‘s ‘Waxing On Decepticon’ is pure, thefty genius! If you like the idea of Le Tigre with some fucked-up rapping all over ’em, you’ll love this. Please, please check out his new album. Just for the Gary Numan shit near the end. Esoteric, I salute you, you daft bastard.

Taking Back Sunday
The best old tune was Taking Back Sunday‘s ‘Timberwolves.’ Jean Claude Van DAAAMN but I want to dance to this motherfucker when I’m out! I’m looking at you, Mosh DJs… 😛

Maundz – Milk Crates
Avi Buffalo – Five Little Sluts
Ambush! – Unholy Matrimony
New Creases – Come Around
Arcyn AL – 2 Da Top
Kidz In The Hall – Jukebox (Feat. MC Lyte)
From First to Last – Chyeaa
The Answering Machine – Obviously Cold
Lair of the Minotaur – Riders Of Skullhammer, We Ride
Diversion Tactics – Return Of The Ladies Man
Die Fantastischen Vier – danke
BOLIK – Dead Singers
The Story So Far – Spark Fires
In Tall Buildings – The Way to a Monster’s Lair
The Slits – I Heard It Through The Grapevi
LCD Soundsystem – North American Scum
Saves the Day – Certain Tragedy
Endwell – Living Through Losses: 02/30/01
PTTRNS – Higher Grounds
We Have Band – Divisive
Misery Index – Day Of The Dead
K’naan – T.I.A.
Anarbor – Drugstore Diet
DEFRAG – the stones
Bronze Medals – Escape Routes
MC Esoteric – Waxing On Decepticon
Los Campesinos! – Straight In At 101
Holy Roman Empire – Action Figures
Sage Francis – Three Sheets To The Wind
Circuits – Pistols at Dawn
Taking Back Sunday – Timberwolves at New Jersey
His Statue Falls – Sooner If You Let Me
Salem Al Fakir – Virgin Mary
Braille – Up
Butcher Boy – Carve a Pattern
Less Than Jake – Sleep it Off
I Am Abomination – Since 1776
Wilco – Wilco (The Song)
Paramore – Crushcrushcrush
last dinosaurs – Honolulu
Holy Fuck – Red Lights
Blacastan – Anything Less
Medications – Seasons
Past Lives – Hex Takes Hold
Killamu – Tiramakossa Remix
second to last – Three Months (Anywhere But Here)
B. Dolan – Fifty Ways To Bleed Your Customers
Dez & Nobs – James Turner Affair
Allo Darlin’ – Silver Dollars
For.The.Win – Robber Barons And Rebels
Slag In Cullet – Time to Explode
Access Immortal – Everything I Know

NK BAAD, US GOOOD!

Cheonan

A North Korean submarine’s torpedo sank a South Korean navy ship on 26 March causing the deaths of 46 sailors, an international report has found.

Investigators said they had discovered part of the torpedo on the sea floor and it carried lettering that matched a North Korean design.

Pyongyang rejected the claim as a “fabrication” and threatened war if sanctions were imposed, say reports.

The White House described the sinking of the ship as an “act of aggression” by North Korea that challenged peace.
(Source: BBC News)

First, let’s acknowledge the hilarity of the US, the most rogue state in the world today, criticising any other country’s warmongering. It’s not so much pot, kettle as black hole, kettle.

Moving on, this is top news today, all the radio and TV bulletins are carrying the story of NK’s act of aggression.

Which, of course, it is. NK is a brutal, dehumanising dictatorship, cut from the finest of Stalinist cloth. Only a fucking moron would try to deny that.

However…

Since the start of 2010, the US has launched at least thirty missile attacks on Pakistan, using its robot drones. Obama has personally sanctioned the murder of over 200 Pakistanis in that time.

These attacks were started under Bush and Obama has happily continued the slaughter. I’m trying to keep count of the number of Pakistanis murdered by the US in these illegal attacks, these war crimes, over the last few years. Up to the 11th May, it must be at least 500.

Pakistan officially protests against the missile strikes on its territory as violations of its sovereignty, but it is believed to aid them. The US rarely discusses the unmanned drone-fired strikes, which are part of a covert CIA programme.
(Source: The Guardian)

But that’s 500 Pakistanis which, apparently, isn’t as newsworthy as 46 South Koreans.

Has this been on the news? Are we kept up to date on the almost weekly US drone attacks on innocents? This is an act of aggression! Surely multiple drone missile strikes killing random civilians is newsworthy, isn’t it?

It seems that some evil is not newsworthy.