I've probably left it too late to recommend a creepy, atmospheric horror film for you to tuck into late tomorrow night - or any night - but I'll recommend one anyway. Made in 2001 by Brad Anderson (who would go on to deliver the excellent Christian Bale film The Machinist) Session 9 is a delicious piece of disturbing, understated, lingering horror that is set (and was actually shot) in the abandoned Danvers Mental Hospital just outside Boston. The plot sees grizzled, walnut-faced Scottish actor Peter Mullan as the manager of a group of asbestos removal men, hired to tackle the chillingly Shining-esque structure and remove the asbestos within before a major renovation. His small gang of workers begin the job in the looming, spooky hallways and abandoned rooms of some 'extreme' forms of therapy and, typically, things start to get a little crazy following the discovery of recordings revealing the 'recovered memory' treatment of a patient long ago... This is a gem of a movie that, on paper (or computer) reads like it has been done to death but thanks to Anderson's guidance, the beautiful cinematography of Uta Briesewitz, and an excellent cast, of perhaps slightly under-written characters, in which Mullan, Josh Lucas and even David Caruso shine, the end result becomes a slowly building crescendo of dread, the subsequent piecing together of a horrible story and an ambiguous last act that should have taught (but didn't) a multitude of horror directors in the last 7 or 8 years how to actually construct a proper chiller with a brain and no laughs. If you liked The Others or the recent Guillermo Del Toro-produced El Orfanato (The Orphanage) then Session 9 should appeal to you too. Happy Halloween.
So Brand and Wossy have been suspended because the 'public' are 'offended'. Apparently Sachs was happy with an apology but as the issue came to the mainstream media, the complaints mounted and now two of the Beeb's most popular employees have been suspended. Is this really what we care about? Woss making a joke about Brand shagging Sachs' grandaughter? While the world is about to melt in a financial disaster?
Edit: Kelvin fucking MacKenzie - former ed of The Sun and conservative Thatcherite bastard - is on Sky News acting outraged at this saga. This is officially bananas. Ok, I'll stop now.
Going away for a few days with 5 mates is physically trying. Where once you could bound out of bed at 9.30am after an Oliver Reed-esque session, as you get older the bound becomes more of a 'head falls on floor of hostel, followed by body and then sheets/pillows'
You realise that you have a morning routine - that everyone has a morning routine - and because you are in an unusual environment (a 6-bed, exclusively male, stinking dorm) then your day begins...weirdly. Just me? Fair enough. Also, men fart. Alot. And unless the window is immediately opened first thing, the hangover nausea can become unbearable at best and projectile vomit-inducing at worst.
Luckily, Madrid is very warm this time of year - compared to here anyway - and the Spanish know how to do coffee. Strong coffee at a reasonable price too. Not like the Tim Hortons shit I banged on about a while ago.
Got to see No Age in a Madrid venue called Moby Dick, which was a nautically themed rock venue akin to sticking a load of wooden fish and ship wheels around Crawdaddy. I bought a lovely No Age t-shirt (the one that no other blogger seemed to like the last time they played upstairs in Whelans here in Dublin) and a 10" vinyl with three songs, then proceeded to leave them in some ropey Columbian bar up the road about an hour after the gig.
Naturally our group got separated and everyone was beyond intoxicated and into some kind of strange limbo world where upon standing still one looks like a malfunctioning robot in the corner of a room.
Somehow we all survived and made it back to Ireland on Sunday night. Now I have a cold/flu and my work holidays are being wasted by having to stay in bed doped up to the eyeballs on a concoction of over-priced drugs that make me feel drowsy and have me discussing the American election at length with the dog who, to be honest, is far more interested in showing me how easy he finds it to lick his gonads no matter what room he's in. I also get to witness first hand that all he does all day is sleep and snore. Must be nice actually.
This post has been brought to you by Nurofen, Sudafed and Rubex
Said by McCain campaign spokeswoman, Tracey Schmitt, following questions regarding Republican party spending since late August for Sarah Palin and her family.
"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."
Is she for real? Charitable purpose? They have spent $150,000 on clothes for the Palins in the last few months as an economic doomsday looms and this is the shit we get fed? No wonder The Daily Show is so damn good these days with material like this to use.
Charlie Brooker is a God of sorts. If you haven't caught the ads yet, there is a new 5-part horror series, devised by him, about to launch on Monday the 27th of this month and running until the 31st. It's a zombie series set in and around the Big Brother house and sounds like it's going to be alot of fun. First episode is over an hour with four follow-up episodes of about 35 mins. The whole lot is also meant to be out on DVD in early November this year too, in case you ain't got E4. Read about it all here in an interview with Mr Brooker
I have managed to pry my eyes open and get some tea and toast into me after last night's Shred Yr Face triple-bill with Times New Viking, No Age and Los Campesinos. Budvar is a harsh mistress but switching to Kopparberg probably didn't help either. Also I was obliged to head to Howl At The Moon later in the night to visit my good lady at a work bash and there really is not enough alcohol in the world to numb yourself enough to that utterly horrifying place. My first time there, and I pray it's my last.
Great night before that anyway and I interviewed No Age for The D. Randy and Dean are two of the nicest interviewees I've had and aswell as the band being absolutely brilliant, they are involved in so many other things I'm surprised they have time for the music. For the first time I felt properly nervous just before we began and had to get my 'I really love your band' speech out of the way to calm myself. I made the cardinal error of asking them the same question twice but when the interview ended, and the recorder was off, we finished our beers and chatted for a while more. Lovely guys.
They also told me of the dismay the Los Campesinos gang were feeling that they're being dismissed on this tour (despite it being their tour) and that everyone is there to see the other two bands. While that was true of myself and a few others last night, it can't be denied that Los Campesinos had the biggest crowd and went down extremely well with the heaving masses on the floor.
I didn't notice that they had shredded my face - and if they did it was a remarkably blood-free affair- and I'm still not entirely convinced by their style of music but they had energy, stage presence and passion and if I had a hat, I would take it off to them. Right, time for a bit more tea. Enjoy your Saturday.
I never watch these Jamie Oliver programmes because he is basically a twat. He's got a bit of get-up-and-go though. And I share his shock at seeing the 'fat chairs' in the Rotherham hospital he visited tonight on his programme.
Usually we only see the obese portrayed on television as massive, coke-guzzling Americans but it was nice to see it closer to home tonight. Apparently the largest patient this hospital had was 55 stone. Now, everyone puts on a bit of weight here and there. In Ireland - and for me personally - it's generally the booze. We all know how to lose weight and it takes willpower. But 55 stone? You're a disgrace, put down the sandwich. There is no excuse at all. If you are that obese, or anywhere near it, you have systematically avoided eating well for a lengthy amount of time with flagrant disregard for your health and appearance. If you have half a brain you have no excuse to get to a weight like that. Now, I'm going to order Chinese. Who's in?
Certainly deserved of a far longer, more in depth post, but Guns 'n' Roses are the reason I really started listening to music. Hated by as many as loved them, for me, they were everything I wanted in music as a greasy-haired teenager and as they developed into a pompous, drug-addled behemoth, I loved them more and more. I'm glad I have not grown up in a microwaveable music world where bands can come and go as quickly as Firefox shuts down unexpectedly. When G 'n'R were all that mattered to me, I had all their albums on cassette, three t-shirts on rotation and a slew of blank videos bursting with MTV clips, videos and interviews for years. They started out raw as botulism and spiralled into an obnoxious, cocaine-and-heroin-addled blur of overblown shit and musical genius. Listening back to Use Your Illusion I & II, they were so clearly deep in the throes of egomaniacal snort-fuckery....it was gripping. There was no better place to begin a musical discovery as they straddled punk, hair-metal, cock-rock, acoustic balladry, encroachment - via MTV awards shows - on the grunge scene and then they sent me off in the direction of hip-hop and hardcore punk at the exact same time...in a way. I began listening to the Dead Kennedys and the Wu Tang Clan around the same time thanks to Guns 'n' Roses conversations with friends - and older brothers of friends - who then turned me onto the Jesus Lizard, Big Black, Butthole Surfers and the like. But G 'n' R were the beginning of it all for me. A more considered post is probably required but for the moment I'll leave you with a classic G'n'R song that represents what they were, far better than any track from Appetite For Destruction could. Youtube was made for these moments...
*Got a horse and carriage home from a massive Dame Street session at the weekend. I highly recommend it. I fully expected to be held up by a highwayman or, at the very least, Adam Ant.
*How are these Obama vs. McCain debates being touted in the media as 'having no clear winner'? It's Obama every time. Seriously. Am I just biased? Probably.
*Plastic Little in Whelans last night: excellent. Check them out. Bringing a nice dose of non-po-facedness and scatalogical humour to Wexford Street, or as I call it, Camden Street.
*I have taken to drinking red wine lately and have so far destroyed most of my favourite t-shirts, most notable my Why? t-shirt. At the moment it looks like I was shot in the chest while in a nightclub of disrepute.
*Those people that do the keyrings for a fiver in clubs? Genius idea. Collect one of yourself with every friend you have and then attach them all to your keyring to avoid awkward questions.
If you are like me, you probably spend alot of your travelling time with earphones in and an iPod on. I travel to work by bus and it's about 40 minutes each way from home. Have you ever done a familiar bus journey without earphones? Really strange. Everyone seems really quiet and way too close to you. Paranoia kicks in. The modern world has ruined us all. Now I understand why wars are started.
The previously mentioned Vivian Girls album is about to come out (it's brilliant too) so surely it's only a matter of minutes before an Irish gig is announced? Anyone?....If you build it they will come and all that shite?