Something for the Weakened

Archive for May, 2006

Solitude

May 28th, 2006 by

Not left the house in over forty eight hours. Not seen another human being in thirty six. Appear to be developing a rash. Discovered a lump in my armpit. Off out now. I might be some time.

Thirsty spiders drink from your eyes while you sleep

May 25th, 2006 by

They do you know. Welcome to the drought.

Poorly thought out argument that I don’t really agree with, but am a bit bored at the minute

May 24th, 2006 by

I’m not sure that I trust the wearers of contact lenses. It’s the fact that they seem to be trying to hide the fact that they have shoddy eyes. Of course there are some who it’s acceptable for – people without either ears or noses wouldn’t have much luck trying to keep spec’s on their faces. But it’s this dishonesty that seems to be ticking me off for no particular reason this afternoon. I’d be sort of happier if they just wandered around squinting all the time, if they have such contempt for glasses. Plus someone who willingly sticks a finger into each of their eyes on a daily basis has to have some sort of masochistic tendencies to them, eh readers. Discuss.

A Reply

May 24th, 2006 by

Over the past couple of weeks, my postbag runneth over, which I feel I must thank you all for. As well as regular correspondants Ffobes Munchell and Mr Colgesso of Manchester, a few more of you have sent in some messages that I felt that I should share with the group. The first came shortly after my post about having broken my works computer. It was adressed as having come from yourboss@wheryouwork.com and said:

“yes we do read your blog alastair, and we are coming to take you away! mwahahahahahaha”

At first I was concerned, until I remembered that my bosses e-mail address is actually myboss@wherEiwork. Still, nice try ‘yourboss’, you nearly had me going. Now fuck off and buy a dicshionary. The second letter I felt that I should show you all arrived anonymously and simply read:

“oi. laughing boy, why no teeth?”

This one has me stumped rather? It might be a reference to my shoddy self portraiture on the icon that is referred to as “dodgy eared guffawing” here in the Something for the Weakened control centre. If so, I think that there are actually teeth in there, but they’ve become quite faint due to the scanning process. If they are your concern, then please check out the appalling placement of lughole. If it really was there I wouldn’t have any cheeks! On the other hand my mysterious chum might be enquiring about the health of my actual teeth. I have been having some dental issues of late, though can’t for the life of me remember if I’ve been whinging about them on here or not. If so, thank you for your concern. I still have most of them at the moment they’re all in my head, including the wisdom tooth that’s turned black and I’m convinced has died. Those that have been extracted currently reside in my Admiral Akbar wallet, in a drawer in my parents house, awaiting the next time I unhygenically stick them in my mouth and spit them out again for next to no comedy value and cries of disgust. Well I still think it’s funny. Then again, maybe it’s a threat, a sort of “Oi, where’re your teeth? On the end of my fist!” POW thing. If that is the case might I beg for my life now? It’s just that I’m seeing yo’ Momma in an hour and wouldn’t want to have to explain your death until after I’d finished.

Did that sound hard? Hmm, thought not.

Weak comic conceit

May 21st, 2006 by

There are these two characters, one called Mr. Straightman, the other Mr. Funnyman. Now, the twist is, ha ha ha, this is great, that Mr. Straightman actually gets all the laughs, which just annoys Mr. Funnyman! Hilarity ensues.

Lucas and Walliams, if you’re reading this you can have that. Gratis. Sorry if it’s a bit clean.

Slight Clubbing

May 21st, 2006 by

I don’t really understand why I keep going to clubs. It almost always ends the same way – with me propping up a corner, drinking some over priced booze, watching everyone else prance about and enjoy themselves. Admittedly there are occasions when I have found myself on the dance floor, but those have either been down to obscene drunkenness or continued badgering by the party I’m with. It’s not that I particularly dislike dancing, or that I’m really bad at it (which I regularly convince myself I’m not), but in a club environment it always seems so horribly forced. I suppose it’s partly down to my elitist musical tendencies – if I were to run my own club night I imagine it would be pretty empty and frankly undancable throughout. I have found myself in clubs, standing stock still, listening to the first few bars of a song to see if I judge it worthy of my dancing too (I wasn’t described as a musical nazi once for nothing). More often than not they are unworthy and I maintain my grumpy vigil by the wall.

So why do I do it and more importantly how could I make the experience even slightly pleasurable? Well, it’s obviously the social aspect that lures me in, along with the possibility of continued drinking after hours in an environment where you’re unlikely to get bottled (see pubs in town centres with late licenses for details). I always convince myself that it won’t be a problem getting a table and that we can all sit down and have a bit of a shout, occasionally nipping off for a boogie if and when the mood arrives. This never happens. There’s the possibility that I might get off with that girl I like. This never happens. I refuse to use cloakrooms, so am normally left lugging my coat around, which suddenly becomes a haven for every loose particle on my scalp under ultraviolet light, giving me the appearance of a walking flapjack. This always happens and also works on any dark clothing I happen to wear. But how could I make the whole thing seem more enjoyable? Staying at home would be an obvious choice, but the social aspect is too great for me to want too. Being less self conscious about the whole dancing thing might work – “Dance? But I’m a white Englishman?” – but would probably cost a fortune in therapy. My musical tastes are too entrenched to be significantly changed at this late date. Which as far as I can see leaves me with two options; – 1) Get completely bladdered before going clubbing or 2) Start my own club night. I think I’m probably sitting in the venue now, with as many people as would come. And as much dancing.

The Walker Report – Conclusions

May 20th, 2006 by

So Scott’s latest opus finally came out a couple of weeks ago with as little noticable press interest as I had expected. Admittedly my not reading newspapers or normal music magazines means that there might have been more, but what I have seen seems to have been the incomprehension that I predicted some months ago and yet another Best of The Walker Brothers collection. Local branches of W H Smith and Tesco seem to be stocking that in their cynical top fifty charts, but no sign of The Drift’ anywhere. I assumed that it might have at least nudged it’s way into that end of the charts on it’s first week of release, but I was way off with that particular hope. The only mainstream review I have come across was courtesey of Channel Four’s teletext which, unsurprisingly, described it as being difficult while possibly being ahead of it’s time. Damning with faint praise is admittedly better than just damning, but not by much. I was also correct in my assumption that The Wire would get an interview, which was a well written and informative overview of the album, which acted as a useful companion piece to my first listen, pointing out some of the more obscure lyrical references, not to mention which track features a man thrashing around inside a large wooden crate as percussion.

I’ve listened to it around half a dozen times now, which has allowed me to form an opinion, so excuse me while I put on my reviewers cap for a minute and bore you with my opinions. The album follows a similair trajectory to his last, Tilt, using a minimalist musical pallette with industrial leanings, over which Walker lets fly his extraordinary vocal chords. Some songs do feature a whole string section, but they are always used sparingly, either providing moody drones or repeating simple motifs. There is some non-box based percussion too, but much of it on fairly unusual ‘instruments’. Footsteps walking down an echoy staircase or the sound of someone punching a side of beef are the oddest, but in there contexts they are remarkably effective. Like much of his output, the lyrics themselves are at best obtuse, at worst incomprehensible. The repeated line “I’ll punch a donkey in the streets of Gallway” at the end of Jolson and Jones seems to come out of the blue and have no reference to anything to the casual listener, though does have some vague relevance if you read the aforementioned article in The Wire (though even then it doesn’t seem to make an awful lot of sense). The overall sesation that one experiences listening to the whole thing is one of unease. There are sounds that seem designed to make one uneasy layered into almost every track, which I can only imagine was the intention and on that level the whole project succeeds. Comparing it to Tilt, I think it stands up well as a continuation down this path. Though it’s sadly lacking anything as outstanding as The Cockfighter (currently one of my personal Desert Island Discs) it does hold together as an album better than the previous effort. Where Tilt seems to me to lose its direction rather in the second half, The Drift maintains the listeners interest far more throughout, while having less actually going on. I think that it might be that amazing voice that holds it together for me, but that’s no surprise. It’s been entrancing people for the past five decades and long may it continue to do so. In the interview he said that he’d been working on some material that could be performed live. If anyone wants my right arm if dates are announced, it’s yours.

MySpaze

May 18th, 2006 by

Being hopelessly behind the times as always, I’ve only just had my eyes opened to the incredible possibilities of MySpace. In my defence, I have known about it for some time, but living back with eighties technology at home haven’t been able to listen to much music with a dial up connection. I did manage to hear a bit once, but for every ten seconds of music I had to wait for the computer to go through twenty seconds of silent buffering, which rather tarnished the experience. I’d given up after that experience and wasn’t expecting the opportunity to have another go until I finally upgrade to nineties kit. That was until I discovered that my work computer (already broadbanded to the hilt) had an internal speaker that someone had switched on in my absence. It was a joyous revelation and led to a fortnight’s worth of obscure sounds from names I knew and obscurer ones I didn’t before. I was in cheapskate, short attention span musical heaven.

The problem started insinuating itself shortly after I began listening to stuff. Error messages, claiming that the computer was short on memory had cropped up before, so I didn’t think much of them. Then they started to appear more regularly. The message changed to claims that there was no more memory left, but still I ploughed on in my relentless quest for brand new tunes. A couple of days ago I finally realised that I had to stop, where it got to the point that I couldn’t have more than one programme open at a time without the whole PC crashing or shutting things down of it’s own accord. As of yet I haven’t plucked up the courage to ask any of the I.T. crowd to have a look at it – the last thing I want is people at work realising quite how much time I spend floating about online. But I’m sure it’ll all turn out fine. I mean, computers heal themselves, don’t they?

So, what’s the moral of this little Tale? I don’t know yet. I suppose it depends on whether I have to ‘fess up to having knackered yet another slightly crappy PC, or if it all gets magically better. At which point I’ll undoubtedly start spending every other minute on MySpace. It’s only been two days and I’m missing it already.

Don’t know if anyone at work reads this. Kind of hope not.

Who my hair currently resembles

May 16th, 2006 by

It’s uncanny really. Just print it out and draw some specs on and it’ll be as if I’m in the room with you. I should not attempt centre partings.

The Worry

May 14th, 2006 by

I’m concerned that my dealer’s supply is about to dry up. You see, the London supplier is about to bite the dust and that might mean that the distribution out here in the provinces might be coming to an end too. I’ve heard that there’s another outlet in the county, but I can’t even be sure if that’s still pumping out the product either – there’s not been a listing for it in the past couple of month’s trade publications. Yes folks, Comic Showcase of London is closing. It used to be a chain of three shops, but the one in Cambridge (or was it Canterbury?) seemed to vanish years ago, leavng just the two. It’s owned by the fellows who run the London shop, who’ve been forced to close up due to a ludicrous rent rise. But will they leave my local open or cut their losses, cash up and run? Will I be left with no viable way of feeding my habit? I’d ask, but they don’t like me in there.