Something for the Weakened

Archive for June, 2008

Prize Wiener

June 22nd, 2008 by

With the hit counter being as low as it has been, I’m quite astounded that anyone actually bothered to write in with a guess as to which multi-grooved album I was wittering on about last time. But two of you did, which is oddly gratifying. Perhaps it was the promise of some sort of pitiful prize (still don’t know what that might be yet), but both of you were sort of correct. Runner up and regular correspondent Fforbes Munchell had this to say;-

There was some Python LP with a double grooved side wasn’t there? That’s the famous one. And didn’t you tell me that Metal Machine Music had a single looped groove? I can’t imagine anyone else would have told me, and I certainly didn’t know of my own accord.

Young Fforbes is certainly correct about it being a Python record, but I’m not sure about the Lou Reed information. I’m not sure how you could make a locked groove (apart from run out grooves that would occasionally lock on certain types of aged gramaphone, hence the “never kiss sweet annie hoper” bit at the end of Sergeant Pepper), unless you made lots of individual tracks of only a few seconds in length. Or perhaps a single, very short song over the twelve inches, but I’m not sure that would be logistically possible. Whatever the way, I don’t think there was one on Metal Machine Music anyway.

The lad there was just pipped to the prize (whatsoever it might be) by the following missive that popped into my inbox a mere three minutes before his. It says;-

Having looked it up, there is one site (which told me the name of the Python LP was “Matching Tie and Handkerchief”) which claims there’s a novelty record with 38 grooves on one side, but I can’t find out what it was called. Damn it!

The three minutes, the name of the album and the claim to have actually done some research means the prize falls into your hands sir. Or madam. The writer neglected to leave so much as a name, so I’ve cunningly left out the decade in which the novelty record was recorded so you can write back and claim your prize, winner! The 38 groove disc sounds fascinating, doesn’t it. I might try and look into that one myself. Thanks again for taking part. Next time around I might try and put finger to keyboard and get an extended rant out that’s been brewing in the back of my mind for a while now. Or I might just transcribe the first bit of old tat that falls out of my creative cupboard. It might even be something interesting. Like directions to put up shelves.

Fragments

June 18th, 2008 by

Okay, let’s get back to the abortive archive shall we. This first fragment was written on the back of The Unpleasant Thing (see below) and was presumably a very short lived attempt to follow on from that. Shall we see what it says? Lets.

“Don’t you think it’s a little large?”

“What? No, not really.”

“But it’s completely out of proportion with everything else you’ve got on there.”

“Yes, I know. It’s emphasis.”

“Emphasis?”

“Yes, emphasis.”

“You’re emphasising a cow?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

Clarence paused to look at the piece fully. Indeed, the cow in the centre of the painting dominated the lanscape surrounding it. It towered over all the other beasts in the field. So much so that it appeared to be the size of a modest bungalow. It also appeared to be levitating.

“Why a cow?” he asked slowly, chewing the thought over himself.

“Yes. Can you tell me why you’ve spent the last three months painting a giant flying cow or am I going to have to withdraw your funding?”

Valerie didn’t like Clarence. He had been a thorn in the gallery’s side for too long now. She felt that she should be the one to pluck it out and cauterise the wound. He had been Adam’s pet project for the last three yearsof his life. She felt certain that his conviction that Clarence’s next work would be ‘the one’ contributed to the heart attack which finally finished him off. The belief that this portly dauber would be the one to usher in a whole new movement in the art world was not one that she held with. Getting him to produce anything at all was akin to a labour of Hercules,

And that’s where it abruptly stops. Which is a bit of a shame. I quite liked it. Maybe I will go back and add to it. In the meantime, here’s another bit that looks to have been written around the same time. Not read it yet, though seem to recall that I abandoned it because it was rubbish. I await your aggreement.

“How many grooves has a record got?”

Tony was trying to be clever again. Carefully phrased questions that he hoped would have people slapping their foreheads at their own stupidity for not seeing the obvious answer before them. This was seldom the outcome as Carol had come to learn. More often than not the response would be either the correct answer or, upon Tony’s elaborate reveal, a simple “oh” behind a painted on grin, followed by the questionee returning to the conversation he’d been having. They were always men. She couldn’t be sure whether it was some misoginistic streak running through him, a belief that they wouldn’t understand the eart shattering that he was about to reveal, or if it was just another level of insecurity. A fear of the different, the unknown. Of course, she’d known him for years now, almost ten, but in all that time he had never tried to confer one of his pieces of useless wisdom onto her. In a way she was glad.

Ralph sighed. “I don’t know,” he said with disinterested resignation. He had been subject to these little Q & A sessions many times before. He felt reasonably certain that he’d been asked this particular one on at least one previous occasion. These days he would just play dumb and wait for the glee to flash in Tony’s eyes. If he gave up the few seconds of his time to keep the dullard happy, then he could carry on drinking for the next half hour, fairly safe in the knowledge he wouldn’t be bothered with another piece of useless information. They were only ever brought out during lulls in conversation anyway and he’d found through experience that you ignored them at your peril. When he’d vocally stated that he had no interest in knowing what Florence Nightingale had invented, the little ginger man had flown into a mild frenzy, gibbering away at a mile a minute about everything and nothing for the rest of the evening. They only managed to calm him down by lacing his lime and soda with vodka until he finally nodded off in a corner. Of course Ralph knew how many grooves were in a record. “How many?” he asked morosely.

Tony chuckled. This was his moment. The time where he shined. His capacity for what others considered useless information was extraordinary. Only it wasn’t really useless was it. Moments such as this where he’d dazzle the assembled throng with a cunningly timed nugget of fact were when he was truly in his element. Or at least that was what he thought. Perhaps the over use of the part of his brain that stored all of these extraneous details overwhelmed those parts that dealt with empathy or even the simple ability to register what a look of utter boredom was. Perhaps we shall never know. “Two!” he cried triumphantly. “One on either side. A record wouldn’t play if there were more than that, now would it?”

The table smiled and nodded to him while Tony basked in the mild glory of a fact imparted. Ralph cleared his throat and turned to Carol. He got as far as opening his mouth when a voice from the bar cut him off. “That’s not strictly true though,” it said, clearly directed at the four people sitting at the table. They all turned to ascertain it’s source.

Standing at the bar was a scruffy looking man, resting on an elbow and gazing wistfully at the spirits just out of his reach. None of the regulars at the table had seen him before, which in itself was unusual. The village didn’t get many vistors, let alone ones who would come into the Hound and Ferret. In the summer tourists would occasionally pass over the village boundary, hoping to see a palatial, undisturbed community. Having realised quite how dull and disturbed the village was, most hurriedly left shortly afterwards. But a newcomer in late autumn was unheard of.

That’s where that one cuts off, thank Christ. I can be unpleasantly verbose at times can’t I. I think I’d envisioned this as growing into some sort of late twentieth century western, but it doesn’t even nearly get there. The mysterious stranger (who I see in my minds eye as Pete Richardson as Lee Van Cleef as Tony Benn in G.L.C. for some reason) was going to go on to discuss an album that had three grooves – some sort of pointless prize to anyone who can guess which album it was. Go on, the Contact thing’s working again. Oh, and I am Tony. I’ve done all of that on more occasions than I care to remember. Glad to see I can portray myself in such a bad light. I think it’s a different Tony to the one in The Unpleasant Thing, though that is an odd bit of synchronicity.

Next time – I dunno. Summat else I s’pose.

Soz,

June 10th, 2008 by

it’s been ages. What can I say in my defence that I haven’t said before. I have been laid low by my first cold in a year and a bit, which seemed to take far more wind out of my sails than normal, but it’s not much of an excuse is it? Will try harder. In the interim, here’s a reciew what I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Hope it keeps you going until I pull my finger right out and sort myself out. Much whooping and I’m elsewhere.