Wednesday, July 30

Nas vs. Fox

No, it's not a remix. This is in reference to this saga currently unfolding in the US. Now, regardless of Nas' quality as a rapper with a penchant for shitty beats in recent times and a flair for opportunistic publicity, going up against Fox - and in particular Bill O'Reilly - must be commended.
O'Reilly is a hateful fucker; everything that is wrong with the narrow-minded, ill-informed, blinkered, knee-jerk reacting Republican side of the US. I get sick of people bitching and moaning in general about Americans, when what they mean is either a) Fat, idiotic, loud American tourists in Ireland or b) the ten or eleven Americans they've met in their lives, five of which were loud and annoying. America has given us some of the greatest, if not the greatest, films, music, television and books the world has ever seen. True they have also given us the most heinous war criminals, covert missions of death, lies, Christian fundamentalism and a host of other horrific shit but I really like Curb Your Enthusiasm so I'll overlook those for the moment.
The Yanks do stand out and it is fine to bitch about them when you see a gaggle of them on the streets, cameras resting on their humungous stomachs, gaping at the spire on O'Connell street like it was the world's biggest piece of good ol' beef jerky and they were hungry as those starving pigs in Hannibal. But these people are not 'all Americans' and the horrifically racist Irish public (that's another post altogether) need to try and remember this in the long term. Anyway, back to O'Reilly. He's a cunt.
It's funny that people like him exist out there. People who I know I disagree with on pretty much everything ever, without even hearing their opinions on most of it. And vice versa. And whatever my opinions on Nas, a talented rapper who has made some mistakes, if he is making a public stand against Fox/O'Reilly in the States, then I am all for it. I would have preferred it to have been Jay-Z, Method Man, Gza or Andre 3000 but anyway, that's just a rap thing.

Tuesday, July 29

100 posts all over your face

Tis the 100th post (of sorts) of There Will Be Blog and allow me to raise a glass to my reader(s). In the last few months, I have regular blogs I dip into, I've met a few peeps here and there and all in all, despite the jaded outlook of a few other blogs out there that I have stumbled across, I'm still new enough to all this to just enjoy it and have a bit of craic with it. I have perused various blogrolls, lamented the lack of There Will Be Blog on some, shouted 'huzzah' at the presence of it on others, posted plentifully and not so plentifully, had comments a-plenty and comments a-fuckall. As a celebration, I will be making a There Will Be Blog 100 post compilation soon and it'll be stuck up on rapidshare for download. It's been emotional and long may I continue to enjoy it. It's weird though. It starts to occupy a large part of your time as you wonder whether or not to blog on certain things, feel guilty about not blogging, write, re-write, comment, reply. Anyway, it's cool to have a place to ramble and rant so this drink is for anyone of you that have read this. Cheers.


Just from flicking around the usual places today (and a few unusual ones) I would like to note that if I had 140 comments on a fucking post, I don't care how egomaniacal it might be, I would be absolutely delighted. Very uncool of me.
I think for those of us that have not been blogging for years and years, we want as many people as possible reading/enjoying/hating the stuff we write, don't we?
Of course you write for yourself as a starting point but who doesn't want others to take a peek? Goes for anyone who writes I matter what the medium may be. 140 comments? Jaysus. And even that's not much compared to the stuff written after Charlie Brooker had his 9/11 piece put in the Comment is Free section of the Guardian.


A leaked trailer has emerged for Oliver Stone's upcoming George W. Bush flick. This should be an interesting work to say the least..

Friday, July 25

The Dark Knight

The 'reimagining' of the Batman franchise continues with this black, bleak, typically dystopian, chaotic masterwork, The Dark Knight.
With a script penned by his brother Jonathan, Christopher Nolan has fashioned a modern crime saga that displays its comic foundations proudly and takes all the best things about smart summer blockbusters and makes them even better.
The key, firstly, is to provide a decent story and script. Then get yourself a rock solid cast. Then ramp the action up to 11 and keep the violence ultra and the editing fast.
It seems redundant for me to point out that Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker is astounding, not least because this jars so strongly with his last outstanding performance which was one of heart-wrenching quietness and poignancy as Ennis in Brokeback Mountain. Ledger brings to this role a physical and personal transformation so convincing, I effectively forgot it was an acting performance and bought into the character entirely from the outset.
His vocal stylings owe a little to Jack Lemmon, with his deliberate, whiny Middle American drawl and his hunched posture, ragged face and scar-licking lizard tongue only serve to heighten an absolute tour-de-force display as the script gives him all the best lines and he makes the most of every chance to play the creepy, anarchistic headcase. There is no sadness here and the idea that the Joker role may have been a factor in his mind's state at the time of his death is absurd - he clearly relished the acting role and Christian Bale, in interviews, has said as much. This role is any talented actor's dream - an opportunity to really make a mark in a massive film.
As always, there will be detractors moaning about bits and pieces but people need to remember this is based on a comic so quibbles about 'reality' and 'that is impossible' should be fucked into the bin.
Comic books people, comic books.
This is more of a hyper-reality that looks at major themes in society: terrorism, politics and vigilantism, among others, and does a decent job of it.
And Eric Roberts gets a part too? Genius. And as with any summer blockbuster, it is unbelievably entertaining - from the Michael Mann-esque opening bank heist to the truck/van road chase set-piece to the huge laughs Ledger generates with just the words 'Yeah' and, later, 'Hi'.
Yes yes it's a fraction too long and the whole Two-Face thing (that's not a spoiler if you've read any reviews)is a little unnecessary but it doesn't matter.
This is the future of the blockbuster. Everyone else needs to pay attention.

Tuesday, July 22

Generation Kill #2

Episode 2 of the 7 part series has aired and it's all coming along nicely. In the same way as The Wire manages to do, it starts to get under your skin, yet for long periods there doesn't seem to be that much happening. Don't worry, I'm not going to start doing plot-spoilers for Generation Kill but I'll flag up if/when I manage to see an episode.
The script is typically smart and savvy with some really meaty deliveries, particularly from the 'Joker in full Metal Jacket' character, Cpl. Ray Person (James Ransone AKA Ziggy in The Wire Season 2). We see the boredom, the futility, the homoeroticism, the bigotry and the fear of soldiers in Iraq. The Vietnam comparisons have never been more blatant than with the wired, witty banter being spat out by this hodge-podge of a battalion.THis episode sees the Marines encounter their first bit of proper action and the Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright (Lee Tergesen) gets his first taste too. Excellent stuff.


So, they caught Radovan 'genocidal shithouse' Karadzic at last...I knew one day alternative medicine would be outed as a cover industry for war criminals.

Sunday, July 20

Generation Kill #1

I managed to get my hands on the first episode of Generation Kill, HBO's new 7-part mini series based on the book of Evan Wright, the Rolling Stone reporter who was embedded with the First Recon Battalion of the US Marines in Iraq in 2003. He subsequently wrote a series of articles and released the book. Now, in a lip-smackingly good turn, the crack team from The Wire, of Ed Burns and David Simon, have shot the series based on said work.
This first episode sets itself up with we, the viewers, being shat into a scene we know nothing about, and with exposition being kept to a minimum. A marine's pre-credits take on a destroyed Kuwaiti battlefield is wonderfully Wire-esque and we are introduced quickly to the mixed bag of Marines.
Those familiar with HBO will be glad to see Ziggy from Season Two of The Wire in a lead role as a smart-ass radio operator/driver, joined by Oz's Beecher as the nervous hack arriving in a Superfly t-shirt and quickly winning the grunts over - after initially being treated with contempt - thanks to his stint as a one-time writer for Hustler magazine.
In the next hour we get savvy, sharp, jargon-heavy dialogue with no concessions made for the viewers' civilian status, keen observations of the boredom of army life, black humour, tough-talking and a disregard for authority that McNulty would be proud of. I read somewhere that Simon and Burns could be the goggle box equivalent of Hemingway and their hard-ass literary approach certainly backs up this theory.
There are only 7 parts so I expect things to move swiftly along, the usual HBO heads to pop up and this to be a cracking show, more than capable of filling the Mad Men-sized hole in my television schedule for the next while.

Read more on wikipedia, hbo and buy the book at a dead cheap rate from amazon

Saturday, July 19

Give them a chance at least

It appears that in the UK, it is common practice to have children adopted by parents of the same ethnic background and to try and stop children of differing ethnic backgrounds to prospective parents from being allowed to go ahead with the adoption process.
It also seems that the majority of children waiting for adoptive parents are mostly non-Caucasians.
Is this really what this shitty world needs? Non-white children having to wait for non-white parents or vice versa? Idiocy. Ethnicity and an idea of ethnic identity is important, yes. A child from a particular culture should be made aware of their ethnic background, some later than others, but in adoption cases surely the priority is that the children are found a loving family as soon as possible to avoid the horrible circle of foster care and being stuck in 'homes'.
If parents are vetted and want to adopt a child to offer a loving home environment, does it really matter what fucking colour anyone's skin is? Are there not enough problems in this world without perpetuating this kind of myopic bullshit before a kid even has a chance at a family life?
My aunt and uncle adopted two Chinese children years ago and they now both have the lives of young Americans approaching their teen years with an adoring mother and father in a cool little surfing town about an hour from San Fran. They were adopted from a Chinese orphanage when they were very young;one when she was 2, as far as I remember and the other when she was not even a year old. They were found under a bridge and in a field, respectively. Without being adopted they might still be living in a dingy Chinese orphanage where the lives they now have would only ever be seen on television programmes or read in books. Do you think I give a shit what colour the skin of their parents is, or what colour their skin is? Should anyone? I remember them coming to the shops in Galway with me years ago when they were visiting and introducing them to a friend as my little cousins, because thank Christ that is what they are. Things could really have been so different for them. I'm not sure of Irish rules and regulations regarding any of this but I sincerely hope that ethnicity is not a factor for any part of the adoption process.
Hippy as it may sound, love is the only factor that should matter. Racism is a serious problem and life can be difficult enough for a child, but life can be shit for children regardless of race. At least give them a chance of love at home before you start deciding how the rest of their lives will turn out.

Friday, July 18

Gig Hard 2: Gig Harder

For a while it has seemed that gigs in the capital city had taken a break of sorts. There was a time a few months ago (I think it was around the time No Age played Whelans) when there was at least 56 gigs a week for 2 months straight. I tried to blag as many as possible and it worked out well enough but fuck me by the end of it I was more tired than a Guardian reader at a horticultural & organic produce market doing a weekly shop.
And now the gigs are back. Back hard.
Tonight you could go to Ministry (Tripod, supported by the legendary Giveamanakick) or Johann Johannson in Grand Canal's CHQ building.
Tomorrow you should only be going to Analog's Efterklang/Tortoise/Liars triple whammy deluxe, although you also have Silje Nes in Grand Canal Square or Ministry in Tripod to pop along to if you can bear missing an Efterklang show. Monday sees electronic buzz-makers Storkboy Choons at the Byoom Byoom Ryoom.
Tuesday is Jim White in the Suicra Club.
Wednesday is Antics (if you have the chutzpah to brave it, old man/woman) with New Amusement playing.
Thursday is crackers coz it's the fucking Butthole Surfers (I'll be naked at the front) or Dry County if you like (and by 'if you like' I mean 'why are you not at the Buttholes to sing along with Cough Syrup??').
You could then round it all off with a dose of Robotnik (who was great supporting Laura Marling a few weeks ago) who graces Crawdaddy on Friday with his skills.
So there you have it: a gig plan for the week (for those of you in Dublin).
I'm off to grow a moustache and sprinkle fairy dust on my winkle-pickers for the Efterklang gig and then sacrifice some doe-eyed baby animals for the imminent industrial aural molestation of the Buttholes. I'll squeeze everything else in too, if possible.
Enjoy it. And a shout out to Brendan who asked me to mention him in this post.

Thursday, July 17

Guest post #1: Cha (the man with the rant)

Me mate Cha, currently residing in Engerland, had some stuff to get off his chest and i have kindly given him a place to do so in the public domain. The following rant may contain violence and/or sexual swearwords so your children may want to leave the room. Take it away, Dr Hook:

I don’t go to that many gigs but those I do go to tend to be towards the heavier end of the scale and in bigger venues (1000s of people), so my experiences may be particular to this type of situation but I’m sure these archetypes are common, in some form, to other type venues and shows and I’m sure all shows share some version of the sage, chin-stroking, aloof muso.
Having been to a show last night I experienced again the various joys of spending time in close proximity to these folks but last night I encountered a new beast, some godawful cunt who needed a good dig. He and his girlfriend had gotten right to the barrier and so about 4 ft from the stage. He was over 6ft tall but standing on the slight riser in front of the barrier stood about 6ft 5. He wanted to make sure his girlfriend was ok, no harm there, but insisted, physically, that he should have enough space to lean back arms fully extended. That in itself was irritating; as it was, I didn’t reach his armpits height-wise and couldn’t move for the crush and so was trapped. That’s all very normal but the killer was his insistence on dancing in the manner he did. Pogoing was fine but this lad ‘needed’ to swing his hips from side to side and front to back in such a violently thrusting manner that it looked to all that he was trying to dry-ride his girlfriend over the final hurdle and over the finish line somewhere around the drum kit. My nipples were effectively getting a very unwelcome and belligerent lap dance.
Now, I see barrier as a privileged position and saw this as a cake and eat it situation. If you want to mosh, join the pit. If you’re in a desperate crush, stop being a cunt and have a bit of consideration. And whatever you do, do not try to impose yourself physically and loom aggressively over my girlfriend when she, with her elbow, prevents herself being hit in the face with your shoulder for the second time. Trying to intimidate her will only get your ankles hacked and heels stamped on (by her), and your ‘I’m looking for Garland’s beach’ ¾ length cotton pants and flip flops won’t offer much protection.
But that situation did offer an opportunity to engage with a quite common, benign and amiable gig fixture, the fellow punter with whom you can share a shrug and a mouthed ‘what the fuck’ or ‘twat’ when encountering the likes of hipshaker guy.
Further to that there were a couple of the other regulars in attendance; most a pain, some quietly satisfying.
Firstly, the teenager: the one aching for the classic heckler putdown ‘I remember my first beer too’ (or spliff or pill or whatever). You know the type: determined to elbow spines, kick legs and spill beers and that’s before the music even starts. They often segue into the type who needs to talk to their mates about what’s happening right now on stage lest you be able to actually hear for yourself. This vision appeared last night in his best shirt, Corey Haim spikes and single earring, sporting dinner plate pupils and a drunken stagger.
Then there’s the ‘sweet’ couple (she standing in front of him with his arms wrapped around her), intent on reminding each other that this (every) song is their song and they need to lean far apart to be able to see each other without breaking the love grip and then chew each other’s faces off in that teenage fashion.
The people with the rucksack - what the fuck? A while back I stood in front of people who came to the show with a suitcase, a fucking suitcase. It was on the floor placed perfectly so that if I swayed backwards in the slightest its edge got me in that point at the back of the knees that made your legs immediately buckle. Cunts.
Cameras and camera phones. I’m going to write a conference paper about this at some point, Sontag and Benjamin will be invoked, but this one does for some have a pro as well as a con. For shorter people (like me) there is the opportunity to use others’ digital cameras as a kind of periscope. But why do people insist on leaning callously across others’ faces, repeatedly, elbow in their face, to get a shot; especially when it’s a blurry, unidentifiable mess? (I know the answer to this, and it’s profane).
On the other side, aside from the amiable fellow punter, the only stalwart of merit that comes to mind right now is that perennial metal fan. These bastions of metal sense turn up in their sleeveless black t shirts and metal tattoos. One part benign sentinel one part ghost dog thing (Sigourney Weaver in Ghostbusters not Forrest Whitaker) they dispense pit justice, look after cute rock chicks and stand arms crossed seemingly unmoved by any of it. (note: typically this is at a show somewhere lower on the aggression/noise level than Slayer or the ilk, as when that’s part of the equation all bets are off).
My first, and most impressive, opportunity to witness this phenomenon was years ago at a gig in France. The venue was half full and some ‘my first beer’ was taking the opportunity offered by all the space to run 30 feet or so and jump knees and elbows up into the backs of the row of people at the back (This was before the band had started too). On his fourth or fifth sortie he passed close to two metalheads: mullets, sleeveless Slayer/Metallica shirts and Sepultura and assorted generic metal tattoos. Without turning his head the guy closest to him, at the perfect moment, threw his arm out and caught him with an immaculate clothes line. The kid’s head stopped but legs kept going, upwards. It was a perfect Brad Pitt in Snatch, hanging horizontally for a split second, lay him out connection. Mullet man resumed his conversation with his friend seemingly oblivious to the damage he had so righteously wrought.
So that’s a few of the ‘types’. I know there are plenty more, both completely different specimens and hybrids of the above. Off the top of my head there’s the I-indicate –I-want-to-get-past-you-but-then-decide-to-stop-in-front-of-you prick, far worse for those of us of short stature; actually come to think of it most people of a taller disposition (say 5ft10 ½ plus), are unwittingly annoying for me by virtue of their innate view of the stage blocking ability. Not to mention the talk-through-the-quieter-parts-or-actually-take/make-a-call people.

Monday, July 14

My Black Ass

Over at Thrill Pier, a mention of Steve Albini's Shellac got me thinking about their performance in the Temple Bar Music Centre back in the 90s I think...maybe it was 2000 or so. Anyway it involved the type of journey that people from Dublin just don't understand: a bus up from Galway for a bunch of cider-drinking teens and booking into a (shitty) hotel for the night. That's what we had to do, jackeens. Many a journey was made from the shticks up to Dublin gigs. It's a pain in the hole and something I absolutely don't miss. Living in Dublin, you are spoiled for gigs most of the time.
Shellac were plugging an upcoming new album (Terraform) but they played a shitload from At Action Park, one of my favourite albums of all time. It's an album best described as 'walking hard' music; propulsive, driving, rhythm-pounding, hard-jamming tunes.
It's also an album I used to put on on my headphones and stomp to UCG (now NUIG, kids) to. The drumming is just stomach-tightening. And the live show was heavy as a wet bag of shit with Todd the drummer in centre-stage, flanked by Albini and the bassist, smashing out the time with reversed drumsticks and cracking a pair of said sticks every other song. I was right at the front, going bananas and we managed to chat to them afterwards as they sat at the edge of the stage entertaining a young, enthusiastic crowd. I even got a poster signed (can't find it now..) It's a gig I won't forget and you can be guaranteed I'll be there to see them this October. Here's one of Shellac's best tracks and it should really have the effect of making you want to stomp-dance your way around the room playing violent air guitar - if not, then maybe Shellac aren't for you..
My Black Ass - Shellac

Thursday, July 10

My mate's ambitious, original play

I'm gonna plug this because it's truly unique and I want him to succeed. If you think you or your mates would be interested, go buy some tix and tell more of your mates. I've certainly not heard of anything quite like it being staged here before.
Read on for info.

Moonshine Travellers
A Play by Patrick McCarry

Live @ Vicar St. Sept. 11th

Tickets on sale Wed. July 9th @ 9am!

Vicar Street will play host to a unique mix of theatre and live music as Moonshine Travellers hits the stage this Sept. 11th. The night features four amazing acting talents and four eclectic and excellent bands, combining to tell a story about the forgotten folk of the music world - the roadies. Tickets are €20 on sale Wed. July 9th @ 9am through Ticketmaster and other usual outlets nationwide. Booking Line: 0818 719 390.

Moonshine Travellers is a comedic play about a young man, Ray Harknett, on his first night on the job as a roadie. He is mentored, chided and procrastinated to by a veteran stagehand, Sonny Flidgeon, who takes it upon himself to show the rookie everything he knows. Ray is a huge music fan and takes on the task of being an 'amp jockey' to help raise funds for his band's promo EP, Neon Love (as he says - "We have some kick ass titles, all we need is the songs").

In between scenes (running from 5 to 10 minutes in length), four bands will play short sets on the night. The mix of comedy, drama and quality live music will be involving, light hearted and a first for Irish audiences.

Moonshine Travellers is presented by Patrick McCarry, a ground-breaking writer who has staged events both at home and abroad. The Dubliner has written several plays and short stories and has a passion for producing plays outside the confines of conventional theatres.

Talking about the play, McCarry said: "The whole idea for this show comes simply from being inspired by the venue and wracking my brain to find an angle for an event here. I became fascinated with the hard working roadies, testing the mics and stepping on guitar pedals unflustered, almost as if the audience was behind a two way mirror. After that night my task was set."

Monday, July 7

Evolution: the proof is on the buses

I used to have the unbridled joy of getting a nice bus to work in the mornings. It was a delightful journey, passing up George's Street, through Camden Street, Terenure, Templeogue and the leafy 'burbs. On a sunny day the birds would flock to the window and nuzzle up against them, poking chewy toffees through the window for the smiling passengers to nibble on. The driver would pat me gently on the behind as I swooshed past him to take my seat.
I no longer get that bus.
Thanks to moving house (admittedly my meals have improved considerably since I moved in with my expert chef girlfriend Sinead) I now must ride a darker beastie altogether. This is a bus that farts and belches its way through the ominously stinkier parts of Baile Atha Cliath. It's grim grim grim all the way to my destination and often features the kind of Neanderthal, staring primates you are surely all too familiar with. These are the ones who are genetically predisposed to chatting to you if it's just you and them upstairs. Earphones are a 'please talk to me' distress signal. They shift in their seats, looking into everyone's po-faced fisogs, playing tinny techno from their phones and hoping you will say something/anything to them.
Christ it's like school sometimes.
Today I got the gimp in the seat in front who turned fully around, on a packed bus, to eyeball myself and my seat mate. I played the 'looking intently out the window' game expertly. Usually these fiends jump off the bus as quickly as they have jumped on and invariably you see them running nimbly from the bus when they alight - there's always some pressing engagement they've been yapping loudly about on their phones before disembarking.
Anyway, I shouldn't bang on too much. Nothing has happened yet, but I could be just a stare away..
In other news, check out Christopher Hitchens getting waterboarded for a Vanity Fair piece. Disagree as I may with some of Hitchens' political views, the man is a wonderfully intellectual writer with a scary knowledge of history and a formidable constitution for the sauce. I'm reading his 'God is not Great' book at the moment, hence the mention.
In Big Brother news, for a change, the blind guy is a nightmare. Like a creepy Billy Connolly with a lobotomy and disguised as a student from 1992.
Also, do not go see Kung Fu Panda. Peddling a message that obese fantasists can achieve anything they want if they only belieeeeeeeve strong enough? To kids? Blaaaarrrrggggg, give them Spongebob or Fairly Odd Parents over this, anyday of the week. That aside, it just ain't funny or clever in the Toy Story/Monsters Inc kind of way.
And finally, check out the Oxegen previews - and indeed my own preview of the New Band Stage for the weekend - over at drop-d
Sorry for this splurge of a post. I'm sure there's more to mention that I've left out. Here's a bit of Denmark's Trentemoller anyway. Get his Chronicles discs. Nice dab of glitchy, minimal techno.
Minimal Fox - Trentemoller

Friday, July 4

Usher should take lessons from Montell

Can't get it to embed but how's this to get you goin on a Friday?
Got it

Wednesday, July 2

Laura Marling review

On entering Whelan's, you could be forgiven for thinking that Robotnik and his particular slant on acoustic guitar-playing and hardcore pumping techno have hijacked this supposed gig of Hampshire's Laura Marling (she's not from Reading, she later points out).
Dublin's Chris Morrin is on top form, jumping around the stage and blasting out a clutch of ridiculously catchy tracks from his Pleasant Square album, along with a cover of Daniel Johnston's True Love. He is eager to get the crowd really hyped up for...a folk singer? No matter, it's a fine performance and the place is packed as he finishes his effervescent set.
Marling is an 18-year old pixie, with a blonde bob and a voice that seems to come from another world and she has tried hard - and successfully - to distance herself from the current batch of Nashduffyadele clones that have been spat out by the clunking conveyor belt of the British music industry. The venue is mostly jammed with glistening, chattering teenage girls, complete with headbands and braces - and a particularly unattractive couple in front of me who kiss during pretty much every song - but there is wondrous silence when the first song begins.
The songstrel pulls out mesmerising versions of Shine, Ghosts, My Manic and I and Blackberry Stone, along with a few new ones - one of which is a gorgeous track called Rebecca - a move that shows she is unafraid to shake herself free of the shackles of touring a debut album for too long. Her songwriting ability is uncanny and the themes of love lost and spirituality seem way beyond her years and have nearly everyone in the crowd hanging on every note. Joining her on an array of instruments is Marcus Mumford whose band are apparently called Mumford and Sons and both performers mumble goofily through alot of jokes while Marling comes across as incredibly shy and awkward onstage, especially when she speaks.
Cross Your Fingers and Crawled Out Of The Sea are followed by a quiet-then-loud version of Alas I Cannot Swim and her lovely encore is a new song with 'So Believe' in there somewhere, so that is what I shall call it.
As a Joni Mitchell fan, I am thrilled that a precocious teen such as Marling is harking back to Joni's, and indeed Joan Baez's, brand of heartbroke folk and I imagine there are countless beautiful performances and albums to come from this young lady yet. A hypnotic performance from a glorious talent.

An amazing parp

I'll blog of other events at a later stage but for the moment I'll tell you of the guy who, last night as I cycled home from Laura Marling (more on that later too), cracked out a stonkingly large fart as I zipped past him.
Hitler would have been proud of his timing. He must have seen me coming, done the quick calculations, decided I would be gone fast enough that he could let it go, let me hear it, smile to himself and I'd be peddled off into the night barely able to remember his face. Sneaky bastard. I wish it had been me. Anyway, if you are reading this, fartlord, I bow to your precision and think you should use your powers for good, not puerile enjoyment. Actually no, keep going the way you are, you talented sonovabitch.

Tuesday, July 1

Home is the sailor, home from sea,

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

A close friend of mine lost his brother last week in a freak and devastating accident. There is a gang of us - including this friend who has now buried his younger brother - who have been close mates since we started secondary school and the weekend has been a horrible shock. Not having any brothers myself, I see these guys as the equivalent and it meant alot for me - and for us - to be there when one of our group needed the others most.
At the graveside this epitaph of Robert Louis Stevenson's was read and it rang out perfectly on a gloomy, wet afternoon in the desolate countryside cemetery, so I reprint it here.
Apologies for the change of tone in this post - if it jars a little - but I needed to mark it here, for my own peace of mind if nothing else. Back soon..