Wednesday Looks Good To Me

Expect a quiet couple of days here, as I’m off to London tomorrow to see Saturday Looks Good To Me (having sorted out overnight accommodation). So no access to a computer for over 24 hours! How will I cope!?

currently playing: Bloc Party – She’s Hearing Voices


I want a magic cravat!

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me – Meet Me By The Water

The Vincent Black Shadow

I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

Hunter S. Thompson, 1937-2005.

currently playing: The Clash – 1-2 Crush On You

Adventures In Manga

One of the great things about the Internet is the lovely group of people known as scanlators. They take foreign comics that aren’t available outside of the host country (usually Japan), scan them in to a computer, and translate them into another language (usually English). Then they stick them up on the Internet for everybody to download. It’s a good way of discovering comics from other countries. Completely illegal of course, but the scanlators have a code of honour which means they take down scans once a title is released commercially in the translated language, so the comic companies don’t bother them too much (and indeed, they keep tabs on the scanlation scene to see what’s popular). Anyway, most scanlations are epic Japanese manga series, and not really suitable for casual reading, but every once in a while, there’s a few one-shots which are worth the three minutes or so it takes to read. Today’s discovery is a one-shot tale about a girl who gets turned into a fridge.

Yes. A fridge.

As you might expect, it’s quite bizarre, including almost obscene descriptions of a boy putting beer into the cooler, and it also shows you just why you shouldn’t annoy a fridge.

You can download it using BitTorrent from the scanlator, Kotonoha, but if you want a direct download, I’m hosting a zip archive of it as well:

The Female Fridge (probably not suitable for children)

Oh, and remember, manga is read from right-to-left, not left-to-right. You’ll get used to it, I promise.

currently playing: Annie – Chewing Gum


If anybody is in an urgent hurry to contact me via email, you can reach me at Hopefully, my poor excuse for a webhost will have sorted out their problems by the time the weekend begins, but I’m not optimistic…

currently playing: Stars — Elevator Love Letter

Human Rights Violations? Iran-Contra? Sounds Good To Me!

John Negroponte’s greatest hits! Definitely a person I’d trust with running all of American’s intelligence services. By 2008, I’m fully expecting Oliver North to be the head of the CIA, with Henry Kissinger and the Ghost of Richard Nixon on Foreign Policy…

currently playing: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

From the marketing geniuses at Warners!

I give you, Buzz Bunny!

currently playing: New Order — Krafty


iPod Lego!

Oasis sells out Madison Square Garden in less than an hour. Not bad for a band that “never broke America” (™ and © the British press, disregarding facts as usual).

Aluminium cases for the iPod shuffle.

USB Snoglobes!

That would be the record industry dedicated to paying the artists, then.

Alan Keyes (last seen being slaughtered by Barack Obama in November), being completely understanding: by throwing his daughter out of his house, and halting her college payments. Classy.

currently playing: Dubstar – Stars

This Is Not A Valentine

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s. That title would have to go to Dexy’s Midnight Runners, with either their cover of Jackie Wilson Says (I’m In Heaven When You Smile), or This Is What She’s Like; two pitch-perfect love songs, one describing the concentrated thrill as a crush walks by, the other an eleven-minute epic that manages to capture an almost indescribable feeling, and does it using no words. And yet you can tell exactly what it means.

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s, because I don’t think New Order were ever capable of writing such a thing. To indulge in a little indulgence, Love Tore Them Apart. But, of course, to say that is to ignore Temptation, which perhaps is the greatest love song of the 1980s; “oh you’ve got green eyes / oh you’ve got blue eyes / oh you’ve got grey eyes” Eight minutes of Factory heaven and the memories of picking up yellow tapers five floors off the ground.

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s. And that’s fine, because, despite the title, it is not a love song. It is, instead, a song for mending a heart. Stitching back together something that no longer works. 12 inches (and it must be twelve; 7”, in this case, is an edit too far, a course of antibiotics that you never finish, allowing the infection to grow back) of care.

It begins, with the forming of a beating heart, the drum. But something’s wrong; it skips, it jumps. It needs help. Which is where the synth comes in, dancing in and out of the left and right channels, hopping like a butterfly, whispering sweet thoughts to those who will listen to its charms. The drums chime in appreciation, allowing the synth to settle, and play its tune for all to hear.

Every time I think of you
I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It’s no problem of mine
But it’s a problem I find
Living a life that I can’t leave behind
But there’s no sense in telling me
The wisdom of the fool won’t set you free
But that’s the way that it goes
And it’s what nobody knows
well every day my confusion grows

Then there’s the bridge. The synth just glides over the beat, gleaming in its perfect shimmer, before another synth swoops in to introduce the chorus.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

And it’s just perfect. How wonderful does the backing sound here? Why does every chord sound as if it’s moulded to Sumner’s voice? Then the drums and the synth play against each other to head back. Back to the verse. Back to the real world. Back to hurt and suffering and loss and why does it have to continue? The drums clatter, as if something’s still not right.

I feel fine and I feel good
I’m feeling like I never should
Whenever I get this way
I just don’t know what to say
Why can’t we be ourselves like we were yesterday
I’m not sure what this could mean
I don’t think you’re what you seem
I do admit to myself
That if I hurt someone else
Then I’ll never see just what we’re meant to be

Resuscitation, An extended synth and drum piece. Effects bounce all over the studio walls, simple ideas becoming complex harmonies. Building up, then stripping back down to drums, real mixed with the drum machine. But can you tell the difference? Glitches stop and start. Then, something magical happens.

At 5:32, the song gives up. It accepts failure. And with that, it is cured. With that, it can live.

The song comes to life. The synth sings for us. Primitive Fairlight technology, but the merging of man and technology is complete. The synth, female, of course, sings the chorus for us, heart cured. It then duets with Sumner for a final encore, before it opens the door the outside world.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s.

It is a 12” band-aid for the heart.

currently playing: New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle

Welcome To America

While talking with audience participants, the president met Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a 'mentally challenged' son.

The President comforted Mornin on the security of social security stating that 'the promises made will be kept by the government.'

But without prompting Mornin began to elaborate on her life circumstances:

MS. MORNIN: That’s good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

currently playing: Björk – Hyper Ballad