Friday, December 03, 2004

Tellin' stories

Sometimes you have to wonder why we bother with books, when fiction is ubiquitous.

Walk into any pub and the chances of being accosted by a bar-room bard are extremely good. Once the cogs of conversation have been oiled by an exchange of mundane pleasantries and a few sips of lager, storytime begins.

Last night's bard began by striking up a rapport over our shared North-East roots and our mutual geographical displacement, and before I knew what was happening I was privileged to personal and intimate revelations, and regaled with the sort of tales that Guy Ritchie might go down to his local boozer to overhear - pub brawls, cocaine dealers, armed robbery, arson, shooting up houses.

To be sure, tall stories for the most part, but the boundaries between fact and fiction are never quite clear, and the scarred cheek and the lengthy disappearance to the toilet and subsequent sniffing fits hint at someone who straddles both worlds, but who cloaks himself in fiction as a way of dealing with life and projecting an ideal self-image.

These pub proponents of the storytelling art are of the highest order, living and breathing fiction as much as a Rushdie or an Amis - indeed more so in that they make no division between work and life, and they go unpaid. Instead, they are rewarded by gaining the ear of a listener. The act of telling is an end in itself.

Listen up, and you can hear stories being told all around you.
Open wide and say "Aaaaaarrrggggghhhh"

What is it that makes dentists such sadistic bastards? Does their graduation from their dentistry degree hinge on how often they enjoy pulling the legs off flies?

If you're told you need a filling, then it's natural to assume that there's a hole which needs to be filled. So why do they then insist on making use of their full array of drills to make the hole bigger? Is it some kind of punishment? "Through neglect you have allowed your teeth to become decayed, and for this you must afflicted with unnecessary pain"...

Worse still, they not only make you complicit in your own torture - during Wednesday's visit I was asked to hold my tongue out of the way with a metal implement to allow the drill easy access - but also then force you to pay for the privilege.

It's enough to make you spit blood.

Oh for those halcyon days of Mike Read, Mike Smith and Steve Wright! Inspector Sands laments the demise of 'Top Of The Pops', while Diamond Geezer looks back at what used to make it must-watch TV - "The most important part of TotP should be the music, not all the peripheral fluff that's grown to smother the show over the last decade. We don't care if Britney is on tour in Las Vegas, or what Geri Halliwell's favourite colour is. We can get enough of that crap on Saturday mornings thankyou. We just want the music".


He Only Lives Twice has to endure the hell that is the corporate presentation / conference - "Exciting numbers, exciting opportunities, colourful pie charts. Made-up words. In the vein of Iain Dowie’s bouncebackability but sillier, with more superfluous flourish";

Mark presents us with a rogues' gallery of some of his namesakes;

Vaughan is left sleep-deprived and traumatised by a troubling thought - "What if there are even more Bedingfield siblings waiting for their chance to begin a pop music career?";

and Jonny B is left disappointed by the delivery of his latest consignment of organic vegetables...
"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in"

The Stylus I Love The 1990s series has reached its conclusion. Yep, MENSA members, that means 1999. As usual there are contributions from myself and Nick. It was very unnerving and, I must confess, surprising to discover that I'm practically the lone dissenting voice amidst the cacophony of scorn directed at 'American Beauty'. The level of hate is almost as staggering as the level of love shown to 'American Pie'...

Part One: 'Fight Club', 'No Scrubs' - TLC, 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?', 'Being John Malkovich', Pokemon
Part Two: the Latin pop explosion, Miss Cleo, Tom Green, 'American Beauty', Kid Rock
Part Three: Napster, 'Eyes Wide Shut', 'Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)' - Baz Luhrmann, 'The Blair Witch Project', Moby
Part Four: 'American Pie', 7UP / Budweiser adverts, 'You Get What You Give' - The New Radicals, 'Family Guy', the teengirl pop explosion
Part Five: 'The Matrix', Woodstock '99, 'Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace', 'Last Kiss' - Pearl Jam, Y2K scare
Quote of the day

"At least under the Republicans you get the thrill of feeling like a dangerous subversive just by being functionally sentient."

Amblongus, slowly coming to terms with four more years of Bush.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A tribute to Two Tone

As seems to be becoming a disturbingly regular occurrence with all C4's best programmes (see also: 'Six Feet Under', 'Peep Show'), 'Two Tone Britain' was hidden away in a darkened corner of the TV schedules by controllers too besotted with shows telling people how to sort their sorry sordid lives out.

Aired at 11pm on Monday night, the programme, narrated by Mark Lamarr, told the story of the movement which centred around the Coventry record label Two Tone in the late 70s and early 80s. As the label's founders, The Specials were naturally given most of the limelight (though the lack of interviews with either Jerry Dammers or Terry Hall detracted from its value somewhat), but attention was also paid to Madness, The Selecter and The Beat, amongst others.

Not being a massive fan of the music, I was primarily interested in the political agenda of the movement's major players, and glad that Two Tone's wider cultural and political significance was very much at the heart of the programme. At a time of desperate divisions between whites, blacks and Asians, Two Tone fostered a disregard skin colour and actively promoted interracial mixing and a collective and inclusive ethos.

Fulsome praise was lavished upon The Specials' crowning glory 'Ghost Town', and with good reason - surely there can be few singles which not only sound brilliant but can claim to document the sociopolitical circumstances of their production in quite such a profound way? A record as much of its time as it's possible to be, and I mean that in a good sense.

Which is why the section on Two Tone's legacy was rather disappointing. The Streets, yes - the influence is there both musically and ideologically. But The Ordinary Boys - a pretentious and substandard indie band that missed the Britpop boat by ten years? Fuck off.

Why not talk about The Dead 60s instead? Even then, though, whilst the ideals and ethos behind Two Tone might still be relevant today (as the bloke from Brummies The Beat claimed), it hardly makes sense for the new generation to give their songs titles like 'Riot Radio'. We're not living in the same climate as we were when The Specials wrote 'Ghost Town'. As Mike Skinner would have it, new music needs to push things forwards, as his very much has, rather than drift into empty revivalism for the sake of it and, ultimately, anachronism.

The other thing that struck me is that there seems to have been a real flight from politics in pop music since punk and Two Tone. The Specials, a band with a serious political agenda, had #1 hits. How often does that happen now? Indeed, it's perhaps worth wondering whether it could happen at all. Of course it's still perfectly possible to look at politics and music together - cultural forms are always at least in part a product of their sociopolitical context, though they can in turn affect that context - but nothing's as overt and in-your-face anymore, or at least not in the mainstream.
Feel good hits of the 1st December

1. 'Not Even Jail' - Interpol
2. 'Chris Michaels' - The Fiery Furnaces
3. 'Falling For You' - Weezer
4. 'Ghost Town' - The Specials
5. 'Expressway To Your Skull' - Sonic Youth
6. 'First Of The Gang To Die' - Morrissey
7. '88-92-96' - Six By Seven
8. 'Whole Lotta Rosie' - AC/DC
9. 'Teenage Kicks' - The Undertones
10. 'Hit The City' - Mark Lanegan feat PJ Harvey

Friday, November 26, 2004

Reasons To Be Cheerful #3

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

Cold Rice

Cold Rice is a sort of club night at Bar Academy that started out as a Sunday evening thing but which has now firmly established itself on a Saturday night.

Entry is free, and the DJs - usually of the shaggy haired, striped T-shirt, studded belt and torn jeans variety - relish displaying their impeccable taste. The flyer suggests they'll play anything from Sly & The Family Stone to Fugazi, from Boards of Canada to The Boredoms.

The set might have been rather less catholic than that last time I went - predominantly deliciously grotty rock 'n' roll - but it was still thoroughly enjoyable. We arrived to the sound of 'Blood' by Sons & Daughters, and were regaled later in the evening with tracks by Blondie and the Stones.

Steer clear of the Carling by opting for a decent lager and you're guaranteed a good night out.

On Casino Avenue Inspector Sands has been having thoughts about giving up blogging, but thankfully he's decided to carry on, and with posts of the quality of this one, a creative rewriting of the Queen's Speech, his site continues to entertain and amuse.


Jonathan writes about The Vines in the wake of the news that Craig Nicholls has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. It certainly gives an interesting twist to the final two sentences of the Stylus review of Winning Days, but Nick's overall assessment of the band - "accomplished and full of bluster but ontologically completely hollow" - remains spot on;

Kenny's smitten by Joanna Newsom - "She starts off with an a capella clap-along number which is pretty brave in such a small studio room cramped full of about 150 people breathing down her cleavage (uh, OK, that was just me) but having pulled it off, she can be pretty sure she's got the audience just where she wants them for the rest of the show: spellbound";

Amblongus discusses a feature entitled 'The Urban Archipelago' - "Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands";

Phill is bemused to discover that dimly remembered nu-shoegazers My Vitriol have their own blog and reviews Brownstock, a benefit gig for FC St Pauli, a German football team beloved by punks;

and Backroads offers the handy guide How To Dismantle U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.
Happy New Year

Just as I'm starting to think about those good ol' end-of-year lists, 2005 is shaping up nicely with news of two albums hotly anticipated in the land of SWSL.

First of all, there's Low's The Great Destroyer, recorded by Dave Fridmann and their first release for Sub Pop. There are also a smattering of tour dates, including a gig in Wolverhampton on 19th February that I really ought to bust a gut to get to.

Then there's the delicious prospect of ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead's fourth LP Worlds Apart, released on 25th January. Over three years have passed since their last album, Source Tags & Codes, and they've recently undergone a line-up change, bassist Neil Busch being replaced by Danny Wood and Doni Schroader coming in as a second drummer / percussionist.

Yum yum.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Do not disturb

I guess it's a natural progression. Once you've taken people to task by scrutinizing every aspect of their home (inside and out), their diet, their clothing and their personal hygiene, the only place left to go is into the boudoir.

But surely if you're having problems in that particular department, the last thing you'd want would be to have some self-proclaimed "sexpert" watching your every move by videocamera and probing you intimately (if you'll forgive the choice of expression)?

More honest than 'Big Brother' maybe, but this is still voyeurism masquerading as earnest self-help docudrama.

Update: Oh dear. Once again I find myself venturing perilously close to Daily Mail territory. Since posting the above, I discovered to my horror that today's edition of the aforementioned rag contains a full page article entitled "Save us from the sex inspectors!".

However, unlike the Mail, my objections to the programme have nothing to do with the sanctity of sexual relations or any such drivel - though I realise the hastily chosen title of the post might suggest otherwise. That sort of insistence on prurience and wholesomeness I can't stand.

Nope, shagging is great. The depiction of shagging on TV is great. But the depiction of shagging on TV dishonestly dressed up in the ill-fitting clothes of therapeutic and informative documentary is not.
Going nowhere

Having missed the first episode of 'Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere', I was seriously underwhelmed by my first taste of it last week.

It seemed to be based upon a only a few half-decent but predictable ideas stretched out too thinly (the A-Team skit which took up most of the second half, for instance), and I'm not convinced the characters are strong enough to centre a whole series around. In 'Phoenix Nights' they're simply two small parts of a much larger - and much funnier - machine. It didn't help that the Phoenix Club and its assorted regulars made an appearance during the flashback sequence - a tantalising glimpse of what we were missing.

Overall it smacked of being a vehicle by which Peter Kay intends to keep himself in the public eye, but, rather like Max and Paddy's motorhome, it was pretty directionless.

All of this is based on the evidence of just one episode, though, so I'm hopeful that the next installment this coming Friday might change my mind.
Hot stuff

With the help of a select panel of bloggers including Largehearted Boy, Information Leafblower has compiled a list of the Top 40 Bands / Artists In America Today.

Yes, it's a list! And it's not even the end of the year yet! But who cares? As is the way with these things, the list itself makes for interesting reading (Ted Leo & The Pharmacists out on top with Wilco and Interpol making up the top three), but the real pleasure comes from immersing yourself in the sea of comments the original post has generated. Some people take the opportunity to take issue with choices and to suggest their own, whilst others gripe about the homogeneity of the whole list - but hey, that's natural when it's compiled from the views of several different bloggers.

The complete list of nominees can be found here.
Text message of the day

Received in the very early hours of Tuesday morning:

"Hey mudafucka. I just beat richard herring in a cider drinkoff to win 2nd place in an al murray pub quiz. Ive just vomed in a sink. Viva la revolucion!"

(Note the fact that I restrained from amusing myself by putting [sic] after the word "vomed"...)

Not spoken to the sender yet, and there's nothing on Herring's Warming Up blog to corroborate the story and provide more details. Perhaps that shouldn't be surprising, though - as someone who famously (notoriously?) hails from the West Country, he's unlikely to want to broadcast the fact that he suffered defeat in a "cider drinkoff".
Quote of the day

"Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say? "

Kurt Vonnegut, as quoted here.

(Thanks to Kenny for the link.)

Friday, November 19, 2004


Hooray! My fellow Morpethian Sarah has returned from Greece and started blogging again! The rest of you: beware of the Northumbrian Blog Mafia - we're taking over...

Also added to the SWSL blogroll: Hydragenic. Welcome old friends and new.

The re-recorded Band Aid single seems to have polarised the blogging community. Actually, perhaps that's blowing out of all proportion the fact that Nick and Kenny disagree quite spectacularly over its merits. Not heard it yet, and I won't be buying it, even if it is all for charidee.

Meanwhile, Mish has been pleasurably deafened by Lemmy and company, whereas Jonny B has had to endure excessive sex noise whilst staying in a London hotel. If you'll pardon the expression, he had no part in the proceedings - perhaps that was the real root cause of his irritation?


Jonathan imagines himself as a Roman soldier upon the visit of a VIP to his office - "If multinational corporations are modern-day empires, this is the equivalent of Julius Caesar turning up in Wallsend and asking to be taken for a quick walk along Hadrian's Wall. Hell, it is like Julius Caesar turning up in Wallsend right this afternoon and being asked to be taken on the Metro to Whitley Bay";

Inspector Sands bemoans the deplorable state of the British print media - "Speaking as somebody who works in the media, cheering a paper's slow demise doesn't exactly feel right. But when I have a day off, and wander into the newsagent and take a look the shit being served up on the front page, I walk out feeling ashamed to share a profession with these toe-rags. It's not a good way to start the day. When it comes, the slow and painful death of the British newspaper, kicking and screaming against imaginary foes, will be just what it deserves";

London Mark offers a handy guide to help you ascertain your current level of job satisfaction and dedication - "If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? (a) My salary (b) My colleagues (c) My work (d) All of the above";

and Anna lists five inevitable things - "(3) If you are wearing white, and no matter how careful you are, you will get food on you. Even if you're wearing a bib. Even if you're eating white food, and it isn't even drippy white food. Say you're eating raw cauliflower florets. You will think you are safe, look down half an hour later, and discover you have a penny sized rich tomato sauce circle on your left breast".
Party like it's 1994!

A Pearl Jam retrospective Rearviewmirror and a repackaged edition of Pavement's classic LP Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain? What with the Nirvana box set about to appear, it's like the last decade never happened!

Elsewhere: Dave Eggers extols the educational virtues of rock. It seems a bit strange to be thanking Sting for anything at all, but providing an introduction to Nabokov is indeed deserving of gratitude.
Quotes of the day

"It seems quite ironic that at a time when whole departments in radio and TV stations are given over to 'market research' and 'demographic investigations' that someone who attempted to please nobody but himself ended up forging one of the most profound links with his listeners in the history of broadcasting."

"[T]he point was that Peel gave people a chance. Sure, he had his favourites, but generally he was concerned with seeking out new stuff, giving it a go, and then moving on to the next thing. It was for other people to sift through it all and decide what it meant. It was for other people to make a career out of it. That's why his show never felt formulaic or stale because he was always on a quest, always just passing through on the way to who knows where."

"Ultimately, I think, Peel's appeal came down to something very simple: he was an enthusiast. The only reason he was doing what he was doing was because he loved it - and he loved it so much that he wanted to share it with people. To have your own radio show and play just what you like! To communicate with the audience just as if you were talking to a friend. What a simple idea! How obvious! So how come no one else is doing it?"

Jarvis Cocker on John Peel in the Guardian.

(Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the link.)
Feel good hits of the 19th November

1. 'Freakin Out' - Graham Coxon
2. 'Supernaturally' - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
3. 'Millionaire' - Kelis feat Andre 3000
4. 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' - Joy Division
5. 'Teenage Kicks' - The Undertones
6. 'Blitzkrieg Bop' - The Ramones
7. 'Plug In Baby' - Muse
8. 'Can't Stand Me Now' - The Libertines
9. 'Don't Ever Think' - The Zutons
10. 'Perfect Lines' - The Promise Ring

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

"Shut the fuck up, Donny"

The penultimate installment of the Stylus I Love The 1990s series, 1998, featuring contributions from Nick and myself. Nick's anti-'Dawson's Creek' rant in Part Four is particularly well-considered, if you ask me...

Part One: 'Rushmore', George Michael's arrest, 'The Powerpuff Girls', the 'Got Milk?' adverts, the swing revival
Part Two: the boyband explosion and 'Total Request Live', 'That 70s Show', Chris Rock, 'Pi', Sosa v McGwire
Part Three: 'Armageddon' and 'Deep Impact', the Grammies, 'One Week' - Barenaked Ladies, 'Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas', the WWF revival
Part Four: 'The Big Lebowski', 'Sex And Candy' - Marcy Playground, MTV's 'Wanna Be A VJ?', Starbucks
Part Five: nu-metal, the Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson sex video, 'Antz' and 'A Bug's Life', 'The Boy Is Mine' - Brandy & Monica, the last episode of 'Seinfeld'
Quotes of the day

"America has been a grate, self-appointed proponent of democracy in the modern world, while, in actuality, it has treated it as a nuisance and an obstruction when it gets in the way of its self-interest".

Amit Chaudhuri, Indian novelist and critic.

"The exclusion of the rest of the world from the American sight is one of the most disturbing facts about American society. Even with its gigantic media system operating with state-of-the-art technologies, the US functions as a society closed to information, facts and opinions of the rest of the world. No wonder Americans as a whole are so unaware of the growing hatred felt for the US in the rest of the world".

Jim Dator, Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Reasons To Be Cheerful #2

(If you're wondering what this is all about, click here.)

The Bartons Arms

The Bartons Arms really is a diamond in the rough. Not only is the rough really rough, but the diamond is 24 carat.

The pub's situated a bit out of Birmingham city centre in the Newtown area of Aston, a quick and cheap taxi ride away but notoriously dodgy. In the Elbow Room club round the corner, a bloke out celebrating his birthday was so badly beaten up that he's now paralysed from the neck down, and a friend of the friend who took us there for the first time was once on board a bus which, when stopped outside the pub, was hit by three bullets.

It's a haven inside, though - a grand red brick Victorian inn with elaborate decorative tiling which had descended into disrepair until Oakham Ales bought it in 2002 and reopened it after some much-needed restoration work.

When it comes to real ales and strong continental lagers the landlord really knows his onions, having been lured away from the Fat Cat in Norwich, a pub which wins major awards every single year. I passed a very pleasant evening on Bishop's Farewell and a selection of cloudy wheat beers.

Neither is it average when it comes to pub grub - far from it. The menu consists solely of Thai dishes, which are delicious, beautifully prepared and reasonably priced, and which prove the attraction for a large number of visitors - the rear dining area is often full of an evening. The Thai influence also extends to bar snacks, which, even after a full meal, we couldn't resist - warm peanuts with lemon, chilli and salt.

In short, far and away the best pub I've found in Birmingham.

It was reassuring to know that, after a manic few days up to my eyeballs in work, there would be delights aplenty awaiting me when I made my return to the blogosphere...

Just in case you were wondering, I'm not alone. There are other bloggers out there proselytising about Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, most notably Kenny, who, as part of a great album review compendium, argues that Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus "exhibits the full range of Cave's songwriting skills and it's a record rich in quality, atmosphere and good old-fashioned hell-raising", and Vaughan, in whom it inspires apocalyptic thoughts: "If, personally, your life's feeling like it's all been thrown up in the air and you're not sure where the pieces are going to land, and if the world is really destined for four more years of some nebulous War Against Terrorism in an attempt to impose one superpower's strange brand of democracy on any nation it doesn't think is reading from the same hymn sheet, then the least we can do is to all go to hell listening to some absolutely heavenly music".


After a bit of a hiatus LondonMark is back and in good form;

in deepest rural Norfolk Jonny B's been battling against insomnia - "Ninety minutes later, I am still lying there, and I realise that I have exhausted the entertainment possibilities of studying the inside surface of my eyelids. They are featureless and boring";

an honest mix-up with her mobile phone nearly leads Mish to mistakenly tell someone their mother has died;

Amblongus continues to pick over the bones of the US presidential election, including this summary of what Republicans seem to think the Democrats should do over the next four years to be victorious next time round;

Phill's met Girls Aloud - "they were all five foot tall and wore tracksuits, chav chic if you will. A couple of them I must say were quite good looking, but one of them was decidedly rough I have to say (presumably she's the one that can sing)";

and Wan's been dreaming about Johnny Cash.

And finally, Secret Knowledge Of Backroads has a tall tale about a converted milk float - "With great fanfare, the whole family including, and this is true, two guinea pigs, set off for two weeks in the Lake District, a distance of fifty miles or so. Sadly they never got that far. In fact it took them three days to get as far as Garstang (Home of the World’s Biggest Onion, fact fans) where the milk float’s battery eventually gave out".
Warning: the internet can be a dangerous place

160 unpublished manuscripts? They must be REALLY bad.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

His satanic majesty


Set list: 'The Lyre Of Orpheus' / 'Hiding All Away' / 'Messiah Ward' / 'Abattoir Blues' / 'Nature Boy' / 'Easy Money' / (at this point I lost it a bit but I know all the following were played: 'Breathless', 'Babe, You Turn Me On', 'Carry Me', 'Get Ready For Love', 'Supernaturally') / 'O Children' / 'There She Goes, My Beautiful World' // 'The Weeping Song' / 'Henry Lee' / 'Deanna' / 'Red Right Hand' / 'God Is In The House' / 'City Of Refuge' / 'Stagger Lee'

Love. Disgust. Hope and warmth. Malice and foreboding. Songs of beauty. Stories of violence. Weightless balladry. Blazing fury. Carefree days of sunshine. Dark nights of the soul. Gossamer threads of guitar. Bar-room blues on PCP. The sublime. The ridiculous. "Babe, you turn me on". "Routine atrocity". "GET READY FOR LOVE!!!" "THERE IS A WAR COMING!!!"

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds experience.

Stick-thin and of vampiric complexion, Cave himself is a talismanic frontman, priest of love singing sweetness and light and prophet of gloom barking out the Old Testament, but always aware of the absurdity of it all. Throwing shapes in his sharp suit and pointed shoes, he reminds me of Vic Reeves.

Behind him are the Bad Seeds - placid guitarist Mick Harvey, tuft-haired bassist Martyn P Casey, drummers Thomas Wydler and Jim Sclavunos, chainsmoking keyboard player Conway Savage, new guitarist / piano thumper James Johnston and dishevilled multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis whose psychopathic attacks on his violin are something to behold. Plus four gospel backing singers.

They sound incredible.

For anyone not in possession of the new LP, the main set is likely to be something of a disappointment. All 13 songs are lifted from Abattoir Blues / The Lyre Of Orpheus, only four album tracks not getting an airing. For those of us that do own it, though, it's simply awesome. As someone who admittedly has had difficulty making it past the first CD because it's so damn good, this live performance brings out the comparable merits of the second CD, most notably 'Supernaturally' and 'Easy Money'.

Even then, though, from the moment they reappear and Cave says, "So, what do you want to hear?", the encore's just a little bit special. Cave sneering the reference to "moral sneaks in the White House" in 'God Is In The House'; the explosions of noise in 'Red Right Hand'; the entirety of 'Deanna' ("I ain't down here for your money / I ain't down here for your love / I ain't down here for love or money / I'M DOWN HERE FOR YOUR SOUL"); blood-soaked murderfest 'Stagger Lee' making gangsta rap look like kids' stuff.

He doesn't play 'Do You Love Me?', but if he had I would have shouted "Yes".

(Incidentally, if you happen to attend a gig that my girlfriend and I are at, don't piss her off by shoving her out of the way, insisting on standing right in front of her thus blocking her previously unimpeded view and generally behaving like a cunt. She will have absolutely no hesitation in rubbing chewing gum into your shirt. Tosser.)
Feel good hits of the 11th November

1. 'I Love Her All The Time' - Sonic Youth
2. 'There She Goes, My Beautiful World' - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
3. 'Chris Michaels' - The Fiery Furnaces
4. 'The Living End' - The Jesus & Mary Chain
5. 'That Great Love Sound' - The Raveonettes
6. 'Memorial' - Explosions In The Sky
7. 'Pretend We're Dead' - L7
8. 'Take Me On A Cruise' - Interpol
9. 'Country Mile' - Clinic
10. 'Freakin Out' - Graham Coxon