January 31, 2007

Taken at an environmental rally, 2006. ‘Hate breeds hate’.



who is Pop Levi?

January 28, 2007


who is pop levi?

the man has style

So last week, at the recommendation of my friend Neilus, I popped out to the WaterRats in Kings Cross to catch a gig. The show was Pop Levi, £7.

It was a while before he came on and two other bands, one with a beautiful lead singer, were on before. Then the lights dimmed, a red light washed upon the stage and Pop Levi, with his goatee and Liverpudlian mophead haircut, strutted onstage.

Now I say strutted, this guy has some style. He pulls some great air guitar faces and switches smoothly from low growl to falsetto trill easily. His music sounds like glam rock updated for this generation, little bit of Merseybeat swing to the rhythms. I was impressed, I liked the guy. Two singles, Blue Honey and the latest one, Sugar Assualt Me, they’re perfect sounding. Sugar Assault Me sounds like a nicely rounded gem of glam poppy rock that scratched into your head.

What happened when we got outside was cool too. Everyone needed to catch the tube home; all things to do tomorrow. I wouldn’t have minded staying; I was in a dancing mood but alas, away we went. So we strolled outside and who was standing outside? The Pop. So we introduced ourselves. His Merseyside onstage twang has faded slightly, his voice all sung out.
‘So what did you think?’
‘Well, I hadn’t heard a note until tonight, but I’ll definitely be downloading it when I get home’
Kind of a shit joke really.
Anyway, he laughed: ‘Cool’.

We said hello, Mikael talked about Ladytron (he was bassist before) with him, and Decanus took a beautiful picture. He looks bit weird though in it, but I like that. That’s Neilus in the centre, me on the right. If you meet someone whose music you like, it always helps if they’re not a wanker. caught the train home and the first thing I did was download some of his tunes. Of course, with Pop Levi’s blessing now, added into the equation.

Some artists, and I suppose I’m thinking of Bolan and Bowie here, I’ve always liked. You can’t quite put your finger on the appeal exactly, but it seems like they are stars. Sing brilliant songs. Pop Levi? The man has style, that’s a good start. I mean, look at his videos…

I’ll be buying his record tomorrow.

x, J.

Sugar Assualt Me

Blue Honey

January 24, 2007

Happy happy joy joy! My domain name finally works and redirects to this blog.

Go on, test it, you know you wanna!

Must post about Pop Levi before I forget… and maybe a bit about Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and the Shins as I’ve been listening to their new albums lately.


I bought a domain name at the weekend, which I was hoping I could post about, but I’ve got to wait 48 hours for it to be sent up. I can’t believe it’s so cheap nowadays.

I guess it means that I’ll continue typing out rants on this blog, at least for the next two years. I was unsure whether I’d do enough on here, it started as a six-month experiment, but now, I guess I like it enough to keep going.

What I like is that it keeps me writing – whatever it is. You mention ‘blog’ to some people and they turn their nose up at it. Like it’s ‘uncool’ to do it or egotistical or whatever. The ‘uncool’ I take issue with. Frankly, who cares? Each unto their own.

The egotistical thing I can understand and pretty much agree with. Obviously I think I’ve got some things to say and I think they’re worth reading. But this is, I suppose, a way of communicating to people – maybe I’m just reaching out to people, trying to be noticed, trying to convey my small part of the world.

I’ve never really tried to get more readers as such, I’ve only given the address of this blog to a few people who (I hope) read it. Then I guess they’ve told other people. A few find it through wordpress, another few through searching the Internet typing in certain things. A number of people have found a post I did on the Rapture, purely through the title of the post, which was part of the lyrics. I love seeing that randoms have found it- it’s quite exciting in a way. Comments too, are awesome as you realise some people actually read this (thanks by the way)!

It’s amazing some of the people who’ve ended up finding this through knowing me. People have sent me emails from school that I haven’t seen for ages, which is awesome – the memories come flooding back. A girl that I fell for at uni even emailed me (she said she was too shy to post me a comment) and I hadn’t heard from her in a couple of years. That was cool. I suppose it’s just nice to think that someone reads now and again and thinks of (the actual) me.

I suppose more than anything though, it was an attempt to ensure that I carry on writing. Whilst I haven’t written any short stories for a while, I’ve been doing a lot of groundwork for the novel I want to write. My screenplays have all but dissolved into the ether but I have lots of jottings and even started a second first-person book which I’d like to continue

Ideally, I’d like to finish my novella about Morocco and put the rest up here, which hopefully, I may do tonight. But only after I’ve watched Hidden, which should be delivered by LoveFilm this morning – I’ve been waiting ages to see that movie, meant to be very, very good.

Anywho, I suppose after deciding I would give this site a six-month test – it’s passed and I will continue to write non-sensical, lengthy rants for the next two years. Ideally, I’d like to turn this into a ‘submissions’ site, so it’s not just me ranting, and have it more based on short stories,  retrospectives and and fiction but I’m not sure I’ve got the discipline to hunt things like that down.

And also, hopefully will redirect to this site very soon.

N.B. – The other thing I wanted to post about was Pop Levi, who I saw on Friday with my good friends Decanus, Neilus and Mikael. However, Neilus, I’m waiting on you to send me the picture… hopefully tomorrow.

Thanks for reading (if you made it this far),


My boss found this. It’s exceptional.


fitness needed. urgently.

January 18, 2007

Well. I said I would maybe not write about it again, but I feel obliged.

Dynamo Chicken Kiev suffered an honourable 4-1 defeat on Tuesday, in the Thurrock Premier 6-a-side league. We lost to the Thurrock Falcons who pretty much dominated us all game.

We’re now hovering dangerously above the relegation zone in tenth which, let’s be fair, is pretty crap. But I’m not really demoralised – they were just miles fitter than us. And my mate Decanus took over a team mid-season, that had already lost a whole bunch of games. They didn’t half whinge though, arguing every decision, it was like watching Chavski play or something.

We did score one lovely goal but if it hadn’t been for one left-footed bloke (with the least accurate shooting I’ve ever seen) hogging the ball from his team-mates they probably would’ve won by a lot more. Half the time I was reduced to just looking up to the heavens as another pass was misplaced. Oh well.

Myself though, I think I did pretty good. It was a huge pitch and I did some hardcore sprinting and runnning – especially in the first half. My passing was ok, I didn’t bottle a tackle but I did again realise just how crap a sprinter I am.

I lasted about 20-odd minutes before I let the sub take my place though. Had a beer on the touchline for the last five mins or so – I couldn’t be bothered to go back on.

I was expecting pain over the next couple of days too. I felt fine yesterday but am now starting to feel the pull on the muscles.  Think that’s ’cause I did a load of walking going over Tottenham yesterday. Maybe it’s time to get fit…

…or not. I’m not a particularly driven person sport-wise. We’ll see.


my mate decanus…

January 16, 2007

my mate decanus…is very excited about the football today. After a lengthy abscene from the game, I – accompanied by my good friend the Doctor – will be making my debut for his team.

Dynamo Chicken Kiev (I’m 70% sure that’s the name but I can’t remember exactly), I think they’re called are currently mid-table in the local six-a-side league after taking over another team’s position in the league mid-season.

Decanus, my friend, is this man on the right –>>>>>>>

Doesn’t he look threatening? He’s harmless, but this is what he looks like when he plays football.
Or so I hope.

But for me, the football will be hard and I hope for Decanus’ sake, it isn’t too hard.
See my friend, the Doctor, is a sporty energetic man. If I remember correctly, my old friend is a shouting, aggressive bloke when playing. I, I’m afraid to say, am none such thing. Well, maybe shouty. Decanus too is a sporty man – he gyms, he will run a marathon this year. Even the team’s ‘biggest’ player is probably far more athletic than I. But nonetheless, I shall rise above it and once again, become a footballer.
For thirteen minutes each half.
I shall ache, I shall get cramp, and I’ll probably cough up my lungs but yes, I shall be, a footballer again.

I’ve heard the Doctor has been boning up on research, reading an edition of FourFourTwo that has Arsene Wenger’s guide to five-a-sides in it. Nice. Decanus will probably wake up tomorrow, limber up and prepare his mind throughout the day. I shall have a beer on the train home and see what happens. He emailed over the teamsheet this morning, all nicely laid out on half a green football pitch the size of A5 paper when printed, letting us know the starting six. (It’s pasted below).

I’m adopting the no running, playmaker role in midfield – I like to think of it as the fountain, distributing passes, spraying the ball around. Like Tommy, Tommy Huddlestone – the future of English football (except the Newcastle game at the weekend… shame).

I’m afraid I’ll be a bit more the stone, not moving and looking lifeless.

But it’s nice while it lasted. At least for these few seconds here, I’m mentally a footballer. But I’ll try my hardest goddammit, I’ll fight for Dynamo Chicken Kiev and kiss it’s buttery badge of herbs and chicken and oozing watery stuff from inside its beautiful breadcrummy exterior.chickenkiev.jpg

And if, perchance, we win the game and I notch a couple of goals, then I’ll walk home happy with myself and with a spring in my step, faith restored in life. And I’ll walk into that pub. I’ll breathe in it’s smoky air. I’ll neck that pint and… fuck it… I’ll buy a 99p frozen Chicken Kiev from the Turkish corner shop on the way home.

Then again, if it goes badly, I don’t expect I’ll write about this again.


Tuesday’s line up

the edge of the storm.

January 15, 2007

the edge of the storm.

x, J.

something for the weekend.

January 12, 2007

The weekend’s nearly here and this week I’m hoping to get something out of my head. For the last three weeks I’ve been unable to stop an earworm – although admittedly a brilliant one – Hip to be Square by Huey Lewis and the News.

It’s ridiculous, I’ve even got it downloaded at work on my computer. Why this happened, Gawd only knows, I think it may have been seeing a few minutes of Back to the Future over Christmas and hearing Power of Love.

Then it started me thinking, what else is this song famous for?

In recent years, a very famous scene in American Psycho. This scene has an exceptional piece of dialogue that stays true to the original text. Now I love Bret Easton Ellis’ work. Maybe I should write about him next week, especially all the hullabaloo that surrounded American Psycho. I am a big defender of that book and its contents, but that’s for another time. First the brilliant bit of dialogue, then a nice clip…

“Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in ’83,I think they really came into their own, commercial and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consimante professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He’s been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humour.
“In ’87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is “Hip to be Square”, a song so catchy, most people probably don’t listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it’s not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it’s also a personal statement about the band itself.”

And so… something for the weekend to make you laugh? (or cry?)

Clip from American Psycho:

clean slate.

January 9, 2007


What is it about this time of year?

First you get the newspapers regaling you in advance about just how miserable everyone will be for the next month or so. Then they tell you half the people are fine as none of them are at blooming work anyway – at least not until January 8 apparently. They can’t even make up their minds, and I think that’s a problem for a lot of people now.

It’s all this end of year stuff too. It’s just a time that people (at least those who don’t fret about their direction or definition every single day of their so far meaningless lives) take stock, all because that little number at the end of the date clicks over, we reset back to the all powerful 01 of 01, and it suddenly seems to make people go crazy for a few weeks. New start and all that.

Like New Years Resolutions, I just find it a bit bizarre y’know? Why not change during the year? Why not change make these changes on a Thursday in November. Is it just this period of assessment that makes us do this? Or just the symbolism of that last digit clicking over?

It’s more likely to happen and be something stuck to if it happened at some point during the year, without everyone repeatedly asking how’s it going. Maybe sub-consciously, the person knows that most resolutions fail and that’s part of it all. Or maybe they’re just determined, I don’t know, I just suppose I don’t think everyone (or anyone?) is actually going to keep it up.

So what about me, did I make one? I tried to think of one (fucking hypocrite). I got a text at 2am on the (all powerful) 01 of 01 from a friend saying ‘here’s mine, what’s yours?’. So I thought and typed out ‘I’m going to be productive‘. Next morning though, when I was deleting old messages on the phone I saw that in my drunken state I’d actually typed ‘I’m going un be productive‘. Now, while that may not be grammatically accurate, I think it’s the kiss of death to that thought process already.

Incidentally, the friend wanted to not swear so much this year. I suppose that’s pretty easy really. I’m disproved immediately. I suppose the only conclusion I can come to, is pick something that doesn’t cost money at least. Or just go to the fucking gym and use the membership and don’t lose all the money you accumulate from working a job. (Warning: sweeping generalisation alert…) Especially when quite a lot of you hate your jobs anyway and wouldn’t be there if you didn’t need the cash.

One day, maybe I’ll be able to say: “This year, my resoulution is to be a man of leisure’. That’d be nice.

x, J.

i have a dream…

January 2, 2007

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in my head.

red zebra

I have a dream that one day a group will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “i see ma’ bebe, well she’s so fine.”

I have a dream that one day on the dancefloor of London town, the offspring of band members and groupies will be able to sit down together at the table of red zebra.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Essex, a state sweltering with the heat of binge drinking, sweltering with the heat of cheap sex, will be transformed into an oasis of beautiful music and animal noises.

I have a dream that my three little monkeys will one day appear on a stage where they will not be judged by the smell of their bodies but by the content of their songs.

I have a dream today…  an evening with red zebra + friends.

This is our hope, and this is our faith that I go back to the underworld with.

red zebra. x.

P.S. not that I’m trying to devalue what ol’ MLK was saying.

new year, same stuff.

January 2, 2007

Happy New Year and all that malarky to anyone who reads. The ego within me wants to point out that my New Year’s resolution is to be more productive. Considering I haven’t posted since before Christmas, and actually missed having a January 1 post, I would say it’s already not going well. However, productivity is not so defined, so I’ll suppose I’m the only one who will know. One thing I definitely want to do, is start my novel all over again, afresh, this year, and hope it goes better.  I also want to finally put up all of a month in maroc – my novella on Morocco. Again, here’s hoping.

But I would like to put one thing on record (so I can look back on this late in the year) that this year, 2007 (how weird), I’m hoping to finally organise inadvisable? – an evening with red zebra + friends, at a venue yet to be decided, on a date yet to be decided, with bands… again… yet to be decided. It will be a Christmas spectacular, at a hired venue, with hopefully some of our good friends…

But who are red zebra? Why is there no music from them on this page?

Why Sir, that is because I’m lazy. One day. Next post…