Friday, February 29, 2008

It's Friday. Let's Boogie!

While we await a report from the Mekons gig in Barcelona (Josep, Jordi, hint hint), here's the Three Johns on The Tube in 1985 singing "English White Boy Engineer." I think this was the first time I ever saw the Johnnies and I was hooked straight away.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Dustin Wins Oscar for Best Original Song!

My mistake. That was Glen Hansard. THIS is Ireland's entry to Eurovision. Enjoy.

Anyone We Know?

The Blue Noses Collective.

No, not those Blue Noses.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's Friday. Let's Boogie!

The Laws Have Changed. And So Has Greil Marcus.

From the February 2008 issue of Interview magazine:

Seated in a half circle at the Gramercy (now the Blender Theater at Gramercy) in Manhattan on October 3, celebrating 30 years as a band, the Mekons took the form of a minstrel show about an old marriage; there was bickering, old scores that could never be settled, and there was, as in their last song, "Wild and Blue," a hint that it is only perseverance, and the years to make it count, that sets the voice free. That free voice was the treasure offered by the New Pornographers. A woman who attended their October 25 show at Webster Hall in Manhattan wrote on the blog Battle of the Midwestern Housewives: "I think I could live the rest of my life in the moments they played 'The Laws Have Changed'." I came away telling friends the show had restored my faith in humanity. The New Pornographers know the trick of high voices: Pitched right, and at the racing pace they favor, they can, on their best nights, make everything seem in doubt, every stand worth making, every chance worth taking. This was their best night.

I Can't Tell If It's Honesty or Jealousy

In the December 7, 2007, issue of the lay-Catholic magazine Commonweal, writer Dennis Burke discusses his work at San Quentin jail:

. . . The Q, which sits on prime real estate on the west side of San Francisco Bay, is a bastion of Christian fundamentalism. Bulging with born-again believers, a Bible in every cell, the prison sometimes feels like a multitiered revivalist church.

The inmates I have met over my years of prison ministry come from the meanest streets of California's fifty-seven counties. Most lack high-school diplomas, are marginally literate, and are prime targets for religious preachers. Suddenly isolated from family and friends, the new inmate is often in a state of shock. In such circumstances he may think, "Maybe God can help me. Nothing else has worked so far."

Written, I think, without a trace of irony.

Heaven Not Hell

Whiskey! Women! Tales of heartache and boozing, rollicking guitars and country twang. What could this mean? Why that The Mekons are on tour, of course! The legendary Leeds country punks are on the road again, setting hearts afire and playing damn fine rock ‘n’ roll music. And they’re coming to a town near you! Well, if you live in the United Kingdom, Spain, or what many people consider to be the Barcelona of America — the Midwest.

The band celebrated their 30th anniversary last year with the release of their 26th studio album, Natural (TMT Review) on Quarterstick Records. In addition to this exciting news, my friend tells me that original Mekon Jon Langford has a really cool scarf with skulls on it that you might enjoy seeing him wear. So get out your dancing shoes and Western shirt, because it’s going to be one hell of a tour. And if I don’t get this story finished soon, I am going to be late to dinner. Oops!

02.21.08 - Bristol, UK - St. Bonaventure’s
02.22.08 - Exeter, UK - Phoenix,
02.23.08 - Winchester, UK - The Railway
02.24.08 - London, UK - 100 Club
02.25.08 - Brighton, UK - Komedia
02.27.08 - Barcelona, Spain - Apolo
02.28.08 - Madrid, Spain - Gruta 77
02.29.08 - Benissa, Spain - Centro Social
03.01.08 - Murcia, Spain - 12 & Medio
03.25.08 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s
03.25.08 - Chicago, IL - Schuba’s
03.26.08 - Iowa City, IA - The Picador
03.27.08 - Madison, WI - Barrymore Theater
03.28.08 - St. Paul, MN - Fitzgerald Theater

Thank you Liz Louche.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Oh, How Long I Have Waited

With eternal thanks to WBS.

Friday, February 15, 2008

It's Friday, Let's Boogie!

What A Come Down!

Poor old Andy Mitten of 4-4-2; it can only be a disappointment after seeing Alty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

You Are The Ref (Again)

As Player (A) steams through the midfield, he is hacked down by an opponent, the Referee plays advantage as the ball has been picked up by Player (B), one of (A)'s team-mates. Player (B) advances 15 yards to the edge of the box before he too is scythed down by a Farsley Celtic centre-back.

What should the ref give, and where should play be restarted from?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sound Advice

from the very wise folk at Your Dog:

Scooting can be an indication of inflamed anal sacs, which require immediate veterinary attention. Anal sacs are small glands around a canine anus at the 4 and 8 o'clock positions, which secrete intense-smelling, brownish fatty acids, and when the dog defecates, the sphincter muscles surrounding the anus squeeze the sacs to force the fluid out and onto the stool. Inflammation of the sacs is a common problem in canines, caused by the sacs not emptying properly, and the dog tries to ease the discomfort by scooting—dragging his rear along the ground. Overweight dogs, sedentary dogs, and dogs who do not get enough opportunities to exercise and eliminate may be at an increased risk, and small dogs tend to develop the condition more frequently than large ones. Veterinarians examine the dog's rectum and may attempt to express, or empty, the sacs manually while the dog is conscious, but owners should probably not attempt to express their dog's anal sacs themselves.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

He Never Started World War Three

Johnny Cyclops is dead.

Biding His (Tea) Time

Aberdeen and Dundee United could be in trouble after objects were thrown during Tuesday's CIS Insurance Cup semi-final at Tynecastle.

Objects were thrown at referee Iain Brines by supporters in the Aberdeen end of the stadium.

And the game in Edinburgh was briefly halted after Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield was pelted by missiles, including a plastic cup of tea.

Not a plastic teacup, you'll observe. Nor a cup of plastic tea. Not even a plastic cup filled with tea. But a plastic cup of tea. One can only assume that this is some sort of prop from a play or for use in a magic trick.

Who would take such a thing along to a match?

Monday, February 04, 2008

How I Sleep at Night


1: Manners, Deference, and Private Property: Or, Elements for a General Theory of Hierarchy

2: The Very Idea of Consumption: Desire, Phantasms, and the Aesthetics of Destruction from Medieval Times to the Present.

3: Turning Modes of Production Inside-Out: Or, Why Capitalism Is a Transformation of Slavery (short version)

4: Fetishism as Social Creativity: Or, Fetishes Are Gods in the Process of Construction


5: Provisional Autonomous Zone: Or, The Ghost-State in Madagascar

6: Dancing with Corpses Reconsidered: An Interpretation of Famadihana (in Arivonimamo, Madagascar)

7: Love Magic and Political Morality in Central Madagascar, 1875–1990

8: Oppression


9: The Twilight of Vanguardism

10: Social Theory as Science and Utopia: Or, Does the Prospect of a General Sociological Theory Still Mean Anything in an Age of Globalization?

11: There Never Was a West: Or, Democracy Emerges From the Spaces in Between

12: On the Phenomenology of Giant Puppets: Broken Windows, Imaginary Jars of Urine, and the Cosmological Role of the Police in American Culture

I kid, of course. These are the essays contained in Possibilities, the new book by the brilliant David Graeber from those wonderful people at AK Press.

Get it, or you won't get it.

Friday, February 01, 2008