Monday, December 16, 2002

Dumb and dumber

Frank Sinatra once said that rock 'n' roll is music "sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons; and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd - in plain fact, dirty lyrics - it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth". Man, he would have just LOVED The Datsuns and The Hellacopters at the Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall on Friday.

Like a worryingly large proportion of bands around at the moment, The Hellacopters seem to have appointed ZZ Top as their style gurus. In musical terms, they resemble Guns 'N' Roses - if getting rubbed down in diesel oil had been their next move after Appetite For Destruction, instead of all the pomposity and pretension of the Use Your Illusions double album. That they're very hairy goes without saying.

The Datsuns followed - an exceedingly tight-trousered Kiss if they'd had a brief hot 'n' sticky dalliance with punk. The fiddly solos, the complete lack of irony, Dolf de Datsun's remarkable duck-bill lips - it's all so WRONG. But then 'In Love' or the chorus to 'Super Gyration' smacks you repeatedly round the head and you start to feel the dumbness spreading downwards to your extremities until you, like everyone else in the room, are a dead-eyed zombie chanting such nonsensical mantras as "Harmonic generator, intermodulator!" like some kind of braindead Hare Krishna.

Anyway, I quite like being a sideburned delinquent.
Oh we don't like to be beside the seaside

By all accounts a solid performance at Southampton on Saturday - but we STILL can't win there. Our last three point haul away to the Saints was back in 1972, I think.
Alan's quote of the day

"Dangerous dogs should simply have their teeth replaced with strips of rubber"

Thursday, December 12, 2002


No lengthy autopsy of NME this week - I'll leave that in the more capable hands of Simon at No Rock 'N' Roll Fun. I could bang on about the barrel-scrapingly lame and drawn-out coverage of Liam Gallagher's little German fracas which signals the ever-increasing tabloidisation of the news section, and about the fact that even the supplements are now possible only with corporate "support" (hello V***phone!) - but I won't. Two observations on skimming the issue briefly, though:

1. Re: the news item about nothing more than the fact that "hot new Aussie band" (copyright NME for the next six months) Jet don't want any hype. Someone in the news team has a SERIOUSLY developed sense of irony.

2. Re: Piers Martin's review of the Burning Brides' EP Glass Slipper. Apparently they sound as though they think Sonic Youth's Sister is the pinnacle of modern cultural production. The fools! How misguided! It's Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation, of course!
The Spanish Inquisition

Did Tuesday's downpour just delay the inevitable? Well, in a sense, yes. OK, Barcelona chalked up their tenth successive Champions' League victory against us - but it was the manner of the defeat which will have come as little surprise to anyone who's been watching us over the last year or so. No disgrace whatsoever. A goal down after seven minutes and Overmars tormenting our defence all night, it would have been tempting to fear the worst for a team with an average age of 24 - but these lads have got real heart, and Ameobi seemed intent on taking them on on his own, turning in a sensational display. Three things stood between us and at least a point: a couple of defensive lapses, Robert's shooting (again...) and Dyer's John Inman-esque efforts to clear Motta's header from a yard behind the line. So, a great deal of pride to be taken from the performance, and the Spaniards' visit to St James' should be quite special.
Alan's quote of the day

"The man is mentally ill. I've seen him eat a plastic pie"

Did anyone else think the 'Bono' Lynn found at her Baptist church looked remarkably realistic? Oh, just me then.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

The golden age of Impact magazine RIP

Everything in this world is transient, fleeting, ephemeral. All love must die, and sadly that includes Impact Love (OED definition: 'the pathologically obsessive fondness for and devotion to the University of Nottingham's student magazine, which results in a dangerous disregard for the wellbeing of mind and body'). In the space of the last month, editor-in-chief Dean and editor Kate have both quit, due to a fundamental lack of support from the editorial team in terms of sharing the workload, and indeed a campaign apparently aimed at actively undermining their leadership. Kate's departure was particularly undignified, forced out and faced with staff changing computer and door access codes. According to Olav, there was a suggestion that I might be approached to help steer the rudderless ship. Well, they can go fuck themselves. I've got neither the time nor the inclination. Impact Love has been stretched to breaking point. And the straw that finally broke the camel's back? This, from the most recent mailing list posting: "issue 150 in the new year is going to relaunch the magazine with a new design layout, editorial content and largely changed editorial team". I hope you fall flat on your smug fucking faces, you cunts. You know who you are.
Arse adventures

Newsflash: teenage boys caught tampering with Kylie's bottom.
The rain in Spain

After last night's washout, the re-arranged Barcelona v Newcastle match hopefully goes ahead tonight. Not a problem for all us supporters back in Blighty, and I wholeheartedly agree that the pitch was unplayable and any attempt at staging the game last night would have been farcical - but spare a thought for those Geordies who travelled over in anticipation of a magical night in the Nou Camp, and who have had to return home before the game has even kicked off due to work commitments. It's a generous gesture on the part of our slimy and piggy-eyed chairman Freddy Shepherd to offer compensation to those who travelled with the club's own travel scheme - but anyone who made the trip independently will be left up to £300 out of pocket only two weeks before Christmas. And given the state of our depleted side, the players could have done with all the support they could get. The cruelty of the elements, eh?
Alan's quote of the day

"That was the best full English breakfast I've had since Gary Wilmot's wedding"

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

One giant leap (of faith)

Barcelona in the Nou Camp without Shearer and Bellamy? Tonight is going to require one almighty dollop of that good ol' mindless optimism!
Alan's quote of the day

"Beefeaters do not live in caravans. They live in the Tower of London and they are restaurants"

Monday, December 09, 2002

What a refreshing change

An away win against Villa, and a clean sheet - yes, unlike myself and the vast majority of right-thinking people in this country, it seems my beloved Newcastle actually ENJOY visiting Birmingham. Just when it looks like the game might be petering out into a creditable draw, Shearer comes up trumps again and bags us all three points. No rollercoaster ride this time, no fingernails bitten down to the bone - no alarms and no surprises. Same time next week, lads? We've got that horrific Southampton hoodoo to break...
A Song For Whoever

2. Michael Jackson: 'Bad Babysitter' - Princess Superstar
Alan's quote of the day

"I prefer David Attenborough. At least he's honest - he interviews real mice"

Friday, December 06, 2002

Found: young soul rebels

ITV's 'Rock Legends' programme was last night dedicated to Dexys Midnight Runners, and deservedly so. The narrative traced the sheer hard work of their beginnings in Birmingham, before moving on to consider their three albums (I think there were only three...), devoting particular attention to the record which was regarded as a 'great lost album' almost as soon as it had been released, Don't Stand Me Down.

What was really pressed home by the programme was the incredible chameleon-like changes the band's sound and image underwent over the space of only a few years - they were constantly redefining themselves to the extent that even David Bowie's career seems far more coherent in comparison.

Dexys Mark I - Searching For The Young Soul Rebels: black jackets and hats inspired by the film 'Mean Streets', awesome horn-driven single 'Geno' propelled to Number 1 in May 1980.

Dexys Mark II - Too-Rye-Ay: gypsy chic, dungarees and neckerchieves worn as a marker of group solidarity, lots of fiddles, another Number 1 in the shape of 'Come On Eileen'.

Dexys Mark III - Don't Stand Me Down: serious, difficult, mature, ambitious, inspired by Irish rebel songs, suits and ties, no singles.

It's a shame that, as Kevin Rowland admitted, 'Come On Eileen' "became bigger than the group", and that Dexys will seemingly be forever known for the song that has inebriated wedding guests falling around on their arses up and down the country every week. Whereas on Too-Rye-Ay Rowland confessed they "sold out a bit", 'Geno' in particular has a real uncompromising purity and purposiveness about it, common to both Searching... and Don't Stand Me Down. In the end, a classic tale of "contrary buggers" (Rowland's words again) who, in their fierce independence and perverse adherence to a vision, became the inadvertent architects of their own destruction, leaving in their wake a legacy of great music.
A Song For Whoever

(This hopefully might become a regular feature...)

1. Winona Ryder: 'Been Caught Stealing' - Jane's Addiction

It ain't drug-dealing, it's as simple as that.
Next week in NME

Following on from this week's free New Rock Revolution badges, next week's issue of Hot New Revolutionary Rock Mag NME will come with one of a range of New Rock Revolution lollipops, flavoured like the genitalia of your favourite New Rock Revolution stars - yes, you too can find out what they taste like! Will you get Nick from The Beatings' musky aroma? The cheesy tang of Dolf de Datsun's foreskin? Or Karen O's fragrant pantyjuice? You'll have to suck it and see!

Next week's issue also comes with even more self-congratulatory wankslop and absolutely no shame.
The end is nigh

The demolition of Wembley began in earnest today, and I've got mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was a fucking awful ground as far as spectators were concerned - if, like me, you're anything over about 5ft 5", you found your legs crushed against the back of the seat in front. There are also personal footballing reasons to be glad of Wembley's demise - having shelled out £90 in successive seasons (1998 and 1999) to watch Newcastle capitulate in pathetic fashion to Arsenal and then Man Utd in the FA Cup Final, helping both secure the domestic double, I think it's understandable. Add to that our 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Man Utd in the 1996 Charity Shield and the agonising and wholly undeserved 2000 FA Cup Semi-Final defeat to Chelsea, and I could perhaps be forgiven for positively rejoicing at the fall of the twin towers. On the other hand, though, as a fan of football in general, and one embarrassingly prone to bouts of wistful sentimentality, it's hard not to feel some sadness.

Anyway, here's to the future - a brand spanking new national stadium to rank alongside the fantastic Millenium Stadium in Cardiff. And let's hope Ken Bates's involvement is minimal - what a horrible little gnome he is.
Alan's quote of the day

"Well, now you've got Norfolk's maddest man. I wanted to watch Roger Moore necking with Fiona Fullerton - but instead I have to watch a giant Michael Bolton lookalike throwing an oven over bales of hay"

Thursday, December 05, 2002

You advent seen nothing yet...

... if you advent taken a look at the Framley Examiner's festive 'Advert Calender' and had your mind warped and brain washed by the power of surreal advertising. Today's advert for an ideal Christmas gift from Newby's of Molford? 'Goose Fight' Top Trumps, of course, in which various geese can be pitted against each other with respect to their unladen weight, their fear factor and the newspaper they read. A fine stocking-filler. I also liked yesterday's advert for a plum cosy - cold plums are such a nightmare.
Partridge: "da bomb", not "a bomb"

Thus far I've avoided commenting on the 'debate' about whether or not 'I'm Alan Partridge' is having a damaging influence in its depiction of Norfolk and its inhabitants, but remaining silent is no longer an option, given the content of yesterday's Eastern Daily Press newspaper. Following in the wake of claims by West Norfolk councillor Charles Joyce that the series does indeed have a detrimental effect, UEA academic Victor Morgan wrote, in all seriousness: "This type of thing can destroy individual lives or damage economies just as surely as can unfounded allegations on the internet or the terrorist's bomb". WHAT A FUCKING COCK. And all this despite the fact that 86% of respondents to an EDP online poll dismissed the programme as harmless. So, Mr Morgan, The Facts:

1. Alan Partridge is the finest comic creation for years.

2. He is not in any way explosive and does not pose a threat to the lives of innocent Norfolk civilians.

Almost equally baffling, though, are the comments of some of those who are defending 'I'm Alan Partridge' as harmless. Independent councillor Andy Pearmain has been quoted as saying: "At the back of my mind I'm honest enough to accept that Norwich is a bit of a cultural backwater". Now, forgive me for being defensive, but I've loved the place ever since I first visited, and Norwich is NOT a "cultural backwater". It is a beautiful, friendly, historic and yet vibrant city, and if all this escapes the attention of even its own councillors, it strikes me that the debate should centre on them and their perceptions, not on how the city is depicted in a comedy series.
East Country delights

Norwich really is a magical place. It's got a puppet theatre, for fuck's sake! What more could you possibly want?
Quote of the day

"George Bush is more a corporation than a human being" - Ralph Nader
Are you listless?

Is your life currently devoid of quality lists? Why, you want to get yourself over to Troubled Diva, where they're compiling a mighty fine list of songs whose lyrics basically consist of lists. I was going to suggest Le Tigre's 'Hot Topic', but someone's beaten me to it. Not just a big list but also a fantastic song, that reminds me of prime pre Stock, Aitken and Waterman era Bananarama.
Alan's quote of the day

"I hate archers, 'The Archers' and Jeffrey Archer. You're all deceitful cowards. I've just realised that only applies to archers and Jeffrey Archer, but not 'The Archers', who, to be fair, are a mixed bag"

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Shearer sticks it to the Toffees

My slightly belated comments on Sunday's win over Everton - nearly an hour and a half of tension and frustration building and building, and then five minutes of sheer bliss at the end. (I could have made that sound even more sexual, but I abhor gratuitous vulgarity, as I'm sure you've realised by now...). Kevin Campbell scored against us at St James' YET AGAIN and after Yobo was sent off I must admit Everton did defend with admirable resilience (although ably assisted by some wayward finishing on our part), but anyone claiming we didn't deserve the victory is quite frankly talking out of their arse. Apart from the goal, Everton had no chances - we had ALL the opportunities and made ALL the play. OK, so we huffed and puffed but in the end Bellamy's fortuitous winner was just desserts. Shearer's equaliser though - WHAT A GOAL! He's got a foot like a traction engine. I'm sure I'm not alone among Newcastle fans in thinking that UEFA should let him off his Champions' League ban for elbowing Cannavaro purely on the strength of the quality of that strike...
Ben Elton

Saw Ben Elton on 'Liquid News' the other day. He is a cock.
Laid low

Unhappy news for fans of It Makes No Difference. Olav, the man behind the angry and often fantastically entertaining rantings, has been hospitalised with a "piloidinal abcess", whatever that is - doesn't sound too pleasant, though. So, blogfans, it may be a few days until he's able to write, but when he is you can be assured he'll describe the experience in the most gruesome detail. In the meantime, get well soon buttmonkey.
Alan's quote of the day

"Oh, butter my arse!"

Monday, December 02, 2002

An incomparable experience

There really isn't anything like winding up an evening's carousing with a round of Ladyboys in the nightclub voted the worst in Britain by both FHM and Mixmag. There really isn't - I tried it on Friday. Oh my God.
Alan's quote of the day

"If a bomb went off in here, society would collapse ... in Norwich ... for a bit"

Friday, November 29, 2002

Alan's quote of the day

"That was classic intercourse, so thanks"

Thursday, November 28, 2002

A can of worms

Well, put a crown of thorns on my head and nail me to a cross! There was me quite happily taking a little pleasure in the fact that my ramblings about last week's J Mascis gig, written more for my own amusement than anything else (like everything on here), had mysteriously materialised on his official website, only to discover that I don't know what I'm talking about - thanks Javro! Flippancy aside, I'm sure he did play 'Even You', but then I hadn't listened to Dinosaur Jr for ages and so I'm prepared to stand corrected. Thanks to Olav for his metaphorical fist-shaking in my defence, though. I must remember to grab a copy of the setlist next time I go to a gig.
Straight Inter trouble

I remember thinking when we beat Feyenoord, "From here on in, it's all a bonus - we've got absolutely nothing to lose every time we go out there in a Champions' League game". That's been revised since last night's home match with Inter Milan to: "Please let's not embarrass ourselves".

The 4-1 scoreline in the Italians' favour doesn't really tell the story, though. On the negative side, they could clearly smell blood and every time we made the slightest mistake they carved us up with awesome speed like the proverbial knife through butter. Again, we were generous to a fault - when will we learn that teams like Inter really don't need a goal and a man advantage after five minutes to have a sporting chance of victory? Bellamy's petulance got the better of him again, and on another night Shearer would have followed him down the tunnel for that elbow on Cannavaro, while Dyer was again conspicuous only by his lack of involvement.

But, on the positive side, we never gave up and our second half rally was a stirring spectacle. We might have grabbed more than just a consolation goal if Robert had had the shooting boots to match his overall contribution. Speed in particular turned in an excellent performance with some passing of real quality, and didn't deserve to finish on the losing side.

So, not really sure what to make of it all. The scoreline suggests a mauling, and Inter were a class apart when they were at full throttle, particularly the likes of Zanetti and Crespo - but on another day our dogged persistence when they eased off might have been rewarded with a point. Next stop, the Nou Camp. There's nothing quite like a challenge!
Feel good hits of the 28th November

1. 'Feel The Pain' - Dinosaur Jr
2. 'NYC' - Interpol
3. 'Smack My Bitch Up' / 'Sexxlaws' - Prodigy VS Beck
4. 'Dark Diving' - Cave In
5. 'Draw Your Lines' - qhixldekx
6. 'All My Life' - Foo Fighters
7. 'Pay For The Piano' - Dismemberment Plan
8. 'Personal Jesus' - Depeche Mode
9. 'Aerials' - System Of A Down
10. 'Whatever' - Liam Lynch
Alan's quote of the day

"It's just a cushion that simulates rectal gas"

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Joke of the day

"My local is a very rough pub. If you were to throw a petrol bomb in, someone would drink it before it had the chance to go off" - Jim Bowen
Alan's quote of the day

"King of Anglia!"

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Not You, The Other One

May I recommend that you peruse the blog musings of a fellow Morpethian? Thank you. Hello Sarah!

Amazed to discover my review of last week's J Mascis solo gig in Nottingham has made its way to his official site - cheers J!
Devilishly good

I feel compelled to follow in Wan's footsteps and say something about Ken Russell's 'The Devils', screened last night on Channel 4. Not being very well-versed in all things cinematic, I'd not even heard of the film, let alone actually watched it, and I only wish now that I'd seen it in its entirety, and the Mark Kermode documentary that preceded it. Starring Oliver Reed (whose superb performance seemed to involve a lot of sweating) and Vanessa Redgrave, 'The Devils' is a disturbing probe of the dark and twisted underbelly of Catholicism - fairly reminiscent for me, in its emphasis on obsessive and perverted sexuality and the hellish horror and fear of damnation, of some of the novels of Graham Greene and Joyce's 'A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man'. So, then - a combination of theology, obsession, brutality and sex culminating in Reed's character Father Grandier being burnt at the stake for being possessed by the devil. Russell seems to share the same slightly gratuitous fascination with the naked female form as Stanley Kubrick, but as someone who felt 'Eyes Wide Shut' was better than the critics made out, I can see that Russell's depiction of debauchery and orgiastic excess is far superior.
Devilishly good

I feel compelled to follow in Wan's footsteps and say something about Ken Russell's
Maybe now that Alan has found himself unwittingly drawn into the world of "sex people", he might relinquish his nymphomaniac tendencies.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Bobby Robson's words of wisdom

An occasional series...

"Jermaine Jenas is a fit lad. He gets from box to box in all of 90 minutes"
I hate Man Utd

The 'baby-faced assassin'? The baby-faced cunt more like. Oh yes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's disgraceful "challenge" on Aaron Hughes, which left him with a clean run on goal, is STILL rankling with me, two whole days after our miserable defeat in Manchester. Bet the celebrations in Kent went long into the night. Of course, Solskjaer is merely a convenient scapegoat for my vitriol, as it's not often football matches are won by teams who've conceded five goals and whose defences are as solid as a post-Vindaloo stool. We've got to learn that sometimes comebacks just aren't possible - giving those bastards a 5-2 lead before starting to play really was being generous to a fault. Christian Vieri and co must have been pissing themselves with excitement.
The web unravels

Tug at one thread of the web and it all starts to unravel. I've discovered a fellow Nottingham blogfiend, Mike - or, rather, been discovered. Mike has not only stumbled over my sordid little corner of cyberspace but has been kind enough to recommend some of its contents (particularly the horrendously anal gig reviews) on his blog, as well as linking to Olav's outpourings on obsession, anger and quizzes. Cheers! It's both intriguing and comforting to know that there are furtive bloggers out there, moving amongst us unseen, unheard and unknown. Maybe we should form some kind of masonic pact - secret handshakes, head-nods, inconspicuous yet distinguishing items of clothing etc etc. As for all those gigs, Mike, I don't think I'll be there - but then you may never know...
Breaking the Sexxlaws

My Friday night at the Birmingham Academy was made especially memorable by the airing of a fantastic bootleg of Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up' and Beck's 'Sexxlaws' - the third truly great bootleg I've heard, after Sugababes' 'Freak Like Me' (surely the best number one single for ages) and 'A Stroke Of Genius', Soulwax's splicing of 'Genie In A Bottle' by Christina Aguilera with 'Hard To Explain' by The Strokes. Sometimes something that looks so wrong on paper just sounds so good in reality.

Alan's quote of the day

Sonja: "Alan, I love you"
Alan: "Thanks a lot"

Friday, November 22, 2002

Fighting talk

I think my addiction to 'Question Time' is becoming more acute - but then there are worst TV programmes to which I could develop an addiction. 'Hollyoaks', for instance. The formula for 'QT' is brilliantly simple - just assemble a group of five politicians, commentators and media people, while making sure that at least two of them will hate each other's guts. Last night, we had Tony Benn up against that cock from the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens - pack them together in a powderkeg situation, and KABOOM! It gets ugly, and that's not just Hitchens nailing his colours firmly to the death penalty mast. Sometimes it makes me laugh that the Daily Mail thinks it speaks for the whole nation, and expresses the common-sense views of every "right-thinking individual" - and then at other times it seems that maybe it DOES sum up the majority view. That and its pernicious influence just scare me.
Alan's quote of the day

"'Appen 'e thinks I'm a right indecisive tit!"

Thursday, November 21, 2002


For anyone with an interest in the social and cultural power of language, the transience of meaning, and the value of the swear word - a Guardian article on the word 'fuck' by Jonathan Margolis. Not being averse to using such profanity myself, I like to think I'm judicious and thoughtful, not overliberal to the point of diluting its impact. A well-timed or well-placed swear word can still be incredibly potent, regardless of whether the word itself is losing its force. But it is with some sadness that I have to agree that 'fuck' is undergoing the same gradual process of desemantisizing as 'shit' (as in the American "I'll get my shit together"), and like Margolis I can envisage a time when 'fucking' will be a plain old intensifier just like 'very' and 'really'. Still, as he suggests, dedicated swearers shouldn't get despondent about it - new swear words will be created and thrown up to take its place. Hooray!
TV to die for

As is often the way, last night I found myself watching a wonderful programme (on Channel 5, since you ask) entitled 'The World's Nastiest Neighbours'. By "the world", of course, they meant America. Cue inbred farmhands shooting at each other over disputes about driveways and surburbanites twatting each other with shovels in a grass-clipping-related moment of fury. I turned over to Channel 4 only to find I'd been missing the recorded-as-live footage of the autopsy performed by the bloke behind the 'Bodyworlds' exhibition in That London. Not entirely sure where I stand on the whole issue - education, art or self-aggrandising sensationalism? Still, the concept of Krishnan Guru-Murthy sat interviewing professors of ethics and surgeons at their 'ringside seats' struck me as a bit odd - rather like 'The Late Review' transplanted to a WWF wrestling contest. I'm sure there are educative benefits of witnessing an autopsy, but last night seemed a bit much of a self-publicising freak show.
Alan's quote of the day

"Go to London. I guarantee you'll either be mugged or not appreciated"

Incidentally, in a case of art imitating art, I spotted Phil Cornwell (aka Alan's fellow Radio Norwich DJ Dave Clifton) playing a fuck-up implicated in a series of gruesome S&M murders in 'The Bill' last night. Reminded me of Series 1 Episode 3 of 'I'm Alan Partridge' (the one featuring Chris Morris, Simon Pegg, Peter Baynham and the cow on the boat), when Alan's "wife" can't make the second day of filming for the canalboat video as she's landed a part in 'The Bill' playing a shoplifter. "Quite good", sniffs Alan.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Jurassic Park!

Last night really was what gigs are all about - half an hour queueing in the freezing cold to snaffle up one of four remaining tickets for J Mascis's solo show at the Social, and what turned out to be a fucking awesome evening's entertainment.

Supporting was, according to a guy behind me in the queue, "a bloke from some band called Codeine". Yep, Chris Brokaw, another American alt-rock legend and veteran of not one but two criminally underrated bands from 90s underground rock. Drumming for Codeine he had a hand in their Frigid Stars LP, one of the most majestic articulations of misery you're ever likely to hear, and a record which paved the way for the likes of Low and Mogwai. Brokaw spent most of the 90s working with Thalia Zedek in Come, producing a couple of very fine albums along the way (1994's Don't Ask Don't Tell and 1996's Near-Life Experience) and signing the T-shirt that features on the cover of Sonic Youth's Washing Machine album.

So, there I was, exchanging glances with the man himself in a packed-out venue both before and during his acoustic set: I knew who he was, he knew I knew who he was, he knew nearly no-one else knew who he was. Which led to the slightly surreal feeling that he was directing the rendition of 'Recidivist' (from Come's 1998 album Gently Down The Stream) straight at me. Tracks from his recent LP Red Cities got an airing, as did a track he's co-written for Evan Dando's new album, but it was fairly clear the audience had only come to see one man, and it wasn't him. Why does everyone in the Social have to be so damn, well, social? His acoustic was always fighting a losing battle against the chatterers. A shame, and no 'Shoot Me First' either.

So, it was the Lord Of The Drawl everyone was there to see, J Mascis. Dinosaur Jr always were a bunch of misfits and outsiders - even within the hardcore scene from which they emerged, thanks to their apolitical slacker apathy and guitarist who could really fucking play - and J remains one of the most recognisable and idiosyncratic people in rock. He's long been considered a wizard, and now he's starting to look like one, his stoner locks becoming increasingly streaked with grey - kinda like Noodles from The Offspring if he were to be shut up in a cave with The Grateful Dead for a couple of years, with the mannerisms and speech of someone who's just been woken up from a deep sleep only to be injected with morphine. And last night he was rocking the bodywarmer look.

And he played some music too. Not an acoustic set but a solo set (so there was some serious volume), and not a load of songs from the new Fog album Free So Free but a whole slew of classic tunes from his entire career. And it was absolutely magic. We got 'Freakscene' as early as the third song, along with 'Ammaring', 'Same Day' and 'Waistin' from the first Fog album More Light and Dinosaur tracks 'Flying Cloud', 'Grab It' and 'Even You' plus 'What Else Is New?' and a brilliant 'Get Me' from my favourite album Where You Been?. 'Alone', the sprawling centrepiece of 1997's swansong Hand It Over, wrapped up the main set and after a single-song encore of 'The Wagon', the legend was gone.

Cheers to all the guys from Night With No Name and Why Can't We Just All Get Along? for a fantastic night.
Alan's quote of the day

"That's like some sort of voodoo canape"

Thanks to Boony for linking to my blog.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Alan's quote of the day

"Could I have a condensed Pink Floyd concert for £500?"

Monday, November 18, 2002

National treasure

Congratulations and felicitations to all the crew from Impact - Saturday night's star-studded (well, T4's June Sarpong was presenting...) Independent / NUS Student Media Awards at the Globe Theatre in London saw my old pals from Nottingham's finest publication retain the title of Best Student Magazine which we claimed last year amidst riotous scenes at Kings College. Thanks to Sian for giving me a passport to free booze and to editor of the Daily Telegraph's Juiced the Hoggmeister himself for his unrelentingly cynical commentary on proceedings.
Unlikely union Mk III

I don't believe this. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer has sold his soul to the devil (although some would argue he did that long ago when he credited Jimmy Pop of The Bloodhound Gang in the sleevenotes to The Green Album) and formed an unholy alliance with Limp Bizkit for their new album Less Is More. As far as I'm concerned, when it comes to those wankers there's always too much.

Calling all Morrisphiles: Chris Morris's debut short film, 'My Wrongs 8245-8249 And 117', the first from Warp Films, gets its first screening at the Auto Festival curated by Steve Mackay and Jarvis Cocker of Pulp and which is being held at the Magna Science Centre in Sheffield on 14th December.

On the subject of Pulp, if the festival DOES see them performing their farewell gig, then it'll be a sad day for British music. While I wouldn't count myself as an admirer of their music on the whole, I'm a fan of Jarvis Cocker - he's always got something to say, and for the last ten or so years they've been one of the most intelligent and literate acts around, positioning themselves carefully somewhere between the pop world and the leftfield, slightly out of place in either. They've never followed trends, and equally they've never stood still. Following Different Class with This Is Hardcore was, as Jarvis himself said, "commercial suicide", but it was also evidence they hadn't lost their artistic integrity and were brave enough to make a difficult record, and releasing the title track as a single was as risky as Radiohead's post-The Bends comeback with 'Paranoid Android'. So, respect to perhaps the only Britpop-era band that deserves it (apart from maybe Supergrass).
Alan's quote of the day

"Shoot from your hip. Your new hip"
Stroke 'n' Slash

Hot on the heels of the unlikely union between Billy Corgan and Dave Pajo in Zwan comes the news that Strokes drummer has been jamming on Rolling Stone songs with Slash and other Guns 'N' Roses cast-offs. Whatever next.