Friday, June 30, 2006

How Are the Mighty Fallen (Or Did He Dive?)

According to Steve Rushin in the June 12 issue of Sports Illustrated, this is the world's worst Wikipedia entry.

And to think that everything I knew about footie as a kid I learned from him. I could trip over my own feet in the centre circle, land inside the box, take out the keeper's eye from 15 feet with a well-placed gob during the run-up to the penno, and then slot the ball into the left-hand corner with a look of injured innocence, all at the age of 10.

Who says footballers don't provide great role models?

I Guess the Drummer Had Had Enough

Sleater-Kinney announce indefinite hiatus.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

One for Dan Brown's Next Book Perhaps

I'm not saying that there's any connection between what happened to Gianluca Pessotto this week and the on going scandal in Italy but I reckon Dario Fo should be claiming royalties.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Spanish Zombies Hit the North

Back in 1974 on a family weekend out visiting the Peak District, after a few hours spent in the plague village of Eyam, we decided to visit the purported final resting place of Little John. Legend has it that he's buried beneath a yew tree in Hathersage cemetery but when we arrived at the church we were denied access because there was a film shoot taking place. We were told at the time that it was an Italian horror film so we stayed for a few minutes and watched while several scenes of a Zombie attack on the church were shot.

Remembering this last week I was curious to see if I could confirm the story by googling "Hathersage" and "Horror Film" which eventually led me to "The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue", a dvd of which I now own. And there amongst the badly dubbed scenes in Manchester, Cinecitta Studios and various Derbyshire dales are very moments of terror we witnessed over 30 years ago. Worth every penny of £6 to see it all again. And to top it off, in the "Extras" there's an interview with Barcelona born Director Jorge Grau in which he tells a story about tourists to Hathersage watching the film being made and complaining about the desecration by the film crew of a sacred site.

Now if I can only find that episode of Bergerac we saw being filmed in Jersey I can die a happy man, (only to rise again and eat your brains).

Blogging from the Great Beyond

Cornelius Castoriadis has set up his own blog here, despite dying 9 years ago. Still relevant, except he seems to be a massive Manic Street Preachers fan.

Some interesting friends, too, though why he's associating with spoofers like Zizek, Derrida, and Debord is beyond me. I guess when you're dead you have no choice who you're stuck with.

Hmm. Which prompts the thought: Is he in Heaven or Hell? Purgatory, perhaps.

Courtesy of Agora International.

Friday, June 23, 2006

England F

One thing pissing me off this World Cup is BBC and ITV's failure to accommodate people who either tape games while at work or tape one game while watching another. At least during the final group games they have the excuse that it can add to the mounting excitement as qualification changes depending on what happens elsewhere but they've been spoilers too often during previous games. I've turned the sound off completely at times only for a pop-up league table to appear or a box showing goals from the other game. I demand a digital option that says "Don't tell me the score I'm taping it!".

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Guns for Beginners

The June issue of Field & Stream magazine carries advice for parents on choosing the first gun for their kids. We are reliably informed that 20-gauge pump-action guns are an ideal starter gun for kids so long as they fit properly and the correct ammunition is used. You see, children must be able to confidently handle a gun in order to shoot well with it, and pump actions are easy for small hands to operate. What's more, once more than one shell at a time is being loaded, pumps are safer than autoloaders or two-barreled guns. They are also inexpensive, which is important because young shooters must begin with a gun that fits, even though they will quickly outgrow it. It is also important to use low-recoil ammunition, which is the best choice for crucial first outings.

By outings, by the way, I can only assume that the writer meant hunting trips, not bank jobs.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Even Dwarves Start Small

One of Werner Herzog's lesser known films and last night post-footy entertainment. I can't believe some of the images from this Bunuelesque (I'm thinking Viridiana) movie haven't been appropriated by more mainstream media. Not exactly haunting but extremely memorable visually. It came as part of a 5DVD package for £12 which includes Kaspar Hauser , Fata Morgana and Stroszek.

The Art of the Overlap

Ashley, if you are going to sprint down the wing taking the covering defender with you allowing JC to cut inside, don't then cut back into the box bringing bodies in front of the ball. Stay wide. Joe's only going to pass to his mate Frank anyway.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Had to be Done

Johnny Vegas in The Podge and Rodge Show

With apologies to Lorcy, who spotted it first.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Quite Extraordinary

Discovered via Frank's blog that I, Ludicrous are back. Marvellous!!

The Monkey Behind The Curtain

If you 're looking for some decent music to listen to while posting give Seattle's KEXP a go. Some decent sessions and interviews including Richard Hawley, Sufjan Stevens and Jon Langford.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Something about Scientology versus Christianity with Wonder Woman Somewhere in Between. Or Something.

Those Flaming Lips in action.

Sonar After Primavera

After the Primavera Sound, we are having another big music festival in Barcelona, the 13th International Festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art (aka Sonar 2006).
Last Thursday Jordi and I got to see one of the main attractions of this edition: Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto performed at L’Auditori (nothing to do with the Primavera Sound venue at the Forum). It was a duel between Sakamoto’s piano and Noto’s laptops, punctuated with figures and shapes lighted on a LED display at the background.
Yesterday I walked to the “Sonar by Night” (the night shows are held in L’Hospitalet, not far from where I live) and spent some time going around the different stages and checking some of the performances. I stopped at the stage called SonarPark, to watch Linton Kwsesi Johnson & Dennis Bovell Dub Band.
Finally I decided to stay at the SonarLab, listening to Masami Shimomura DJ’s session and Sora’s show, and I even think I had a little doze while lying on the artificial turf.
After that refreshing rest I could watch part of Jimmy Edgar’s show and Jeff Mills’ session. I admit that is not my kind of music, but I could see why they invite Mills to perform at the Sonar so often. He’s always a sure winner.

As for the Primavera Sound, I can’t add mucho more to Martin’s lists of highlights and lowlights, and John’s comments on some of the bands at the festival. I’d just like to mention some bands few people seemed to notice.
One of the very first bands to play was Southern Arts Society, which caught my interest with their use of a drum machine, especially in an edition with a considerable number of tough guitar bands.
The most crowded band in the festival performed at the smallest stage. Nobody had heard about I’m From Barcelona before their main song (titled “I’m From Barcelona”) was chosen as a kind of hymn for the promotion of the festival. They are not even local. Actually they’re from Sweden.
And I’d also like to mention 12twelve, with their instrumental jazzy rock, because they, like me, are from L’Hospitalet. That’s a good reason to mention them, isn’t it?

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Early Signs of a Drink Problem Were There for All to See

From today´s Guardian (international edition), under "What We Miss About the World Cup."

"England were 3-1 down to Brazil in the quarter-final of the 1962 World Cup at Viña del Mar on their own dog-day afternoon when a pitch invasion from a stray, woolly black puppy, improbably called Bob, brought some light relief. Having stalked Ray Wilson, right, and gambolled about the field evading capture, Jimmy Greaves summoned up the dog-napping skill of 101 Dalmatians´Cruella de Vil to crawl on all fours toward the hound, calmed it down and removed it from the field. . ."

I´m still trying to figure out who was trying to capture Jimmy and why? Any ideas?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Curse of the Mekons (Fan)

Every time I go away on holiday, one of the class enemy dies. Last time it was Dennis Thatcher, the time beofre that it was Reagan, and this time it´s Haughey. Strictly small fry by comparison, I realize, but they all count.

Far be it from me to wish misfortune on a fellow human being, but perhaps I should holiday more often.

And I hear Dick Cheney hasn´t been well . . .

I Could Do That!

Two years ago during the European Champs. Motty told us about the new wunderkind of German football, Bastien Schweinsteiger. I sat there dumbfounded as the lad tripped and stumbled his way through a second half only to be continually praised by the commentary team. I was more shocked that in the pub and at footy my mates believed what they'd heard and not what they'd seen.

So I feel vindicated that two years later there is at least one player at the World Cup that I'm better than. And Mick McCarthy wasn't fooled either.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Despatches from Catalunya #3: Obligatory Orwell Reference

The "library" in the hotel here in Vilanova consists of one Stephen Coonts novel (I won´t insult you by posting a link), Zafon´s Shadow of the Wind, and 1984. Not entirely sure why this particular Orwell novel is offered instead of the more obvious ones. Perhaps it was left by a guest who´d assumed it was Orwell´s account of his trip to Catalunya 22 years ago.

Surreal TV viewing tonight enabled me to watch Michael Robinson comment on England´s chances tommorrow, Germany´s surreal win against Poland, and an interview on TVE1 with Subcomandante Marcos, live from Mexico City. Now, I don´t have much Spanish, but does that guy speak sense or what?

Oh yes, and one last comment on Primavera, that I´d forgotten until I consumed the better part of a bottle of 1992 Tempranillo: How can you watch the Flaming Lips and NOT rejoice?

Wish me a happy hangover.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Despatches from Catalunya #2: Assorted Notes from Primavera

I´d planned to replicate last year´s review, but Mart´s more or less beaten me to it, and since I´m still absent in spirit, all I can offer are these brief collected on-the-spot reflections, made while under the influence of large Cuba Libres:

I Am From Barcelona: Gave an impromptu performance on the steps of the AB Hotel outside the venue prior to the start of the festival. A sort of Catalan Polyphonic Spree. Jordi reliably (?) informs me that they took their name from Fawlty Towers.

The Coconuts: This year´s Grabba Grabba Tape.

Killing Joke: Reminded me of a Killing Joke tribute band. Nice to see some things don´t change. "This song´s about depression": Thunka thunka thunka thunka. "Gracias. This song´s about climate change": Thunka thunka thunka thunka.

If the Spanish and Catalan members of the áudience understood Jaz Coleman, I´m sure they´ll have been bemused to learn that they don´t have any water left in Spain. Well, that´s what he said.

Richard Hawley: One of the best performances of the weekend, by a long way. A Sheffield Chris Mills.

ESG: A Brooklyn Mekons, in the sense that they decided to form a band when none of them could play. Twenty years on and now they´ve learned a note. One note. This was impressive: They had the balls to offer us a one-note instrumental. The same note, plucked over and over, accompanied by percussion. Makes me wish I´d joined a band too. And all I need to practice is the accent: "Cwam awn Barcelawna!"

No Neck Blues Band: Now officially renamed the Some Neck Blues Band. At least ESG smiled so you knew they weren´t taking themselves seriously.

Sleater-Kinney: Slightly-Tiny. Music for the gingham and Doc Marten brigade, and that was just the blokes. Great sound check. Prompted the joke, "What do you call two musicians who hang around a drummer?"

The New Christs: The Old Christs, really, had Christ lived past the age of 33 and looked and sounded like Bill Nighy with an 80-a-day fag habit.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre: For anyone who´s seen the movie Dig, the biggest irony of the weekend was that this is clearly the band to go to for guitar riffs suitable for adverts. The Dandy Warhols are nowhere near as commercial!

That´s about it for this year, I guess. Photos on the way when I get home and have suitably doctored them.

Monday, June 12, 2006

How Does One Phrase This Without Being Considered Racist?

Have the barns in Ghana not got fucking doors on?

C&S go Primavera (Part 3 )



1) Big Star (for me , John hated them)
2) Brian Jonestown Massacre- not as bonkers as we'd hoped and a damn fine version of "How Soon is Now"
3) Violent Femmes- great way to end the festival. A little bit rock, a little bit country and everything between.


1) TV Personalities- cancelled 2 years on the trot
2) BJM- after one 5 minute mid-set conference they complained about the lack of black artists at the festival*. Mmmm.. and how many black band members do you have?
3) Lou Reed-all 5 minutes that I could be bothered with.

* They obviously missed ESG.

Despatches from Catalunya #1: Anyone Here Like Football?

Major miscalculation of the year #1: Vacationing during the start of the World Cup in the rugby-playing region of France. Christ, what was I thinking?

I was watching the Poland-Ecuador match in the only bar in the village of Chalabre (if you can find it on any map, I´ll be impressed), in the company of assorted locals playing poker or swearing at the fruit machines; fine, I thought, if no one else is interested, it means I have the TV to myself. And what should happen except that at half-time the bastards switch channels to watch the under-21 world rugby championship match between France and Ireland, taking great delight in cheering every French point scored and miming zero signs in my direction: At least, I hope it was zero signs they were making.

Major miscalculation of the year #2: Using the noun "vacation" as a verb. Where the fuck is this, Cancun?

Major miscalculation of the year #3: Thinking I´d have enough time to drive from Chalabre back to Carcassonne in time for the England match. Left-hand drive means the gears on the right, fuckwit. I had a nice run around the town before finally locating a bar with the match, missing the first 20 minutes as a result. And could they be arsed scoring again for my benefit? What do you think?

Major miscalculation of the year #4: Assuming everyone in Catalunya below the Pyrenees loves footie. They´re not all Barca fans, and I had to scour the entire town of Vilanova i la Geltru before I could find a bar showing the Angola-Portugal match. There was nowhere, I repeat, NOWHERE, showing the Holland-Serbia match. Fuckers.

Uncalculated stroke of good fortune #1: A hotel in Vilanova right on the beach, with 50 different types of Scotch. And after I got back from the Angola-Portugal game last night, what did I find at the back of the hotel? A dedicated sports bar with a fuck-off 70-inch screen showing the footie. I´d have noticed it earlier, I´m sure, if I´d bothered to learn Catalan, the language everyone speaks here (Doh!).

So I´m off to watch Australia-Japan this minute. I hope you´re all in work. Salud

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Controversy Looms

If Paraguay get a decent result against Sweden and England beat T&T will Sven put his reserves out in the final game having already won the group? Will Paraguay mind? Do they know Sven's Swedish? I can't wait to see this one unfold.

Friday, June 09, 2006

C&S go Primavera (Part 2)



1) Karen O's two-tone tights
2)Richard Hawley- best singer all weekend and dedicated a song to Grant McLennan
3) Catching Sleater-Kinney soundchecking by accident
4) The Flaming Lips. One huge rock'n'roll kids party. Balloons, streamers,puppets and fancy dress. And they played all the hits. Fantastic.

1) Richard Hawley vs. the Dance tent (or Shit tent as he so eloquently put it)
2)Sleater-Kinney's soundcheck being their best performance of the night
3)Flaming Lips finishing with "War Pigs". Nice sentiment but a real anti-climax.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

depends which way you look at it

fancy messing with your brain with an optical illusion blog?

look no further. well, just a bit further. no, over there.....

C&S go Primavera (Part 1)


1. Spotting Nick Barmby in Airport bookshop checking to see if he's in Gazza's new biography.
2. Pete Doherty getting arrested at Barcelona airport.
3.Lemmy dedicating a song to The Ramones.
4. Yo La Tengo playing Little Eyes
5. Hotel 50 yards from festival site

1. Pete Doherty being released in time to play
2.The No-Neck Blues Band. A lot of neck if you ask me.
3. Hotel room overlooking Dance tent that didn't finish until 6am

Not the World Cup

In case you missed the latest news on Altrincham's ever changing league status they have now been reinstated to the National Conference at the expense of Scarborough. Alty have been in more divisions in four weeks than Crewe have in four years.

Of course, if Scarborough were to appeal then....