The Power Is On

Imagine, if you will, that Snoopy and the rest of the cast of Peanuts were moved from their idyllic home of Anytown, USA, and dropped into an 1970s New York Project. Sally and Linus playing double-dutch next to a fire-hydrant, Charlie Brown and Lucy in a game of basketball, and Schroeder’s piano replaced by a set of turntables in the park. And the music produced would sound like The Go! Team, a UK band that borrows from Glen Miller as much as Grandmaster Flash.

The Go! Team — Bottle Rocket

How to explain? A song jam-packed with joy and excitement, mixing a bubble-gum rap with a homage to children's TV themes that brings to mind the Children's Foundation Films of the 1970s; all oversaturated film stock and riding on the sidewalks (hey, it is New York), mowing past girls playing hopscotch and four squares on an endless summer day. It's the childhood we secretly wished for while watching rain pounding on the windows on a cold August afternoon, wrapped up in three minutes and forty-two seconds of glee. Listen and smile.

The Go! Team's debut album, Thunder, Lightning, Strike is out next week, drawing influences from Bollywood, 1940s swing, and rap. By the end of Junior Kickstart, you will be bouncing around the room…

currently playing: Low — Last Breath


You’re making me cry…I think we should form a posse, kidnap her and put her in a recording studio to prevent any further embarrassment. Dammit, I wanted to hear the real versions of Open and Ian.

Apologies to any non-UK readers, or non-Kenickie fans, who don't know what I'm talking about. But the pain…the pain!

currently playing: Carole King — It’s Too Late

Welcome to Pier 57

currently playing: The Flaming Lips — Waiting For A Superman

The Long March

It’s been a quiet morning so far — WAIT! COMING IN FROM THE TIME-STREAM, IT’S ZELL MILLER OF 2001! HE’S COME TO KICK KERRY’S ASS! Oh, wait:

My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation’s authentic heroes, one of this party’s best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend.

He was once a lieutenant governor – but he didn’t stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.

In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington.

Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so.

John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment. Business Week magazine named him one of the top pro-technology legislators and made him a member of its “Digital Dozen.”

The press got bored with the lack of Democrat rebuttal last night, and decided to get their serve on. I give you: the adventures of Zell Miller, wherein he wishes that duels were still in fashion so he could kill a journalist. Plus it turns out that Dick Cheney as Defense Secretary, also opposed several of the military programmes that were mentioned in last night's speech.

We'll let you out when the Republicans have gone home. And not a moment beforehand.

Oh, and Mary Cheney is at the Convention. But was conspicuously absent from the family stage get-together at the end of last night.

If you're looking for baseless rumours, the word is that the reason that nobody has been making any policy statements this week is because the GOP has found their magic bullet. They really are going to dismantle the IRS, and replace general taxation with a flat tax. At this point, I still have some hope that someone in the Republican Party has the sense not to throw the country away, not to decimate people's savings, and not to destabilise the US Treasury. It sounds great (NO MORE TAXES!) except it turns out that the rich, who tend to spend less as a percentage of their income, end up paying less tax. By a considerable margin. On the other hand, the current Administration likes those types of tax cuts.

Uh? What is this line-up? A bunch of Olympic medallists (that'll go down well with the IOC), Michael Williams, the Governor of New York and Bush? Is that it? An intriguing change from this conventions ten-minute speeches, I feel.

Courtesy of Bonnie Queen of The Couch (All hail her Iron Fist that controls the Remote!), I've learnt that Kerry will be holding a rally in Ohio immediately after Bush's speech tonight. Which might explain why Democrats have been a lesser-spotted affair this week.

Incidentally — I know celebrity endorsements are not the best way to chose a candidate, but this picture is Cool:

John Kerry and John Lennon

The Labour Party is quietly aligning itself to Kerry.

Here come the Olympians and football players! Because, er, well, the Right likes celebrity endorsements when it gets them, despite decrying the Liberal Hollywood Bias.

Hmm. There's just stopped singing. What's going on? Laura Bush is coming back. Only she's not. She's standing in the crowd waving. That was pointless.

And now the military. Is there anyone below General on the stage? Here's Tommy Franks. Getting a rousing reception. They really are praising FDR this week. Considering he was the great liberal president of the last century, it seems a little strange (but obviously not - they're trying to associate Bush with the war-time image). "We've taken the fight to the terrorists!" And some other people who got in the way. "Some people think we should retreat to a defensive position." I'd love to meet these people, because they're not represented by either the Democrat or Republican platforms. By the way, been outside Kabul recently? I hear it's quite nice. Aww, we've just been thanked for taking part in the Iraq invasion. Yes, and if you had bothered to listen to the inspectors, you might have realised that you wouldn't have found any nuclear weapons.

IT'S BARBARA BUSH! Giving support to the Bush Twins. And introducing a Twins-presented documentary on the Bush family. LOOK AT THE CUTE BABY BUSHES!

Call Martha Reeves. And The Vandellas. Dancing In The Street?. They're currently being taken away in zip-cuffs in the street, you know.

Ah, Michael Williams is the assistant organiser of the Convention. The "some of my best friends are black people!" speech.

Aha. Laura Bush lifted the spirits of Afghanistan women. Is it just me who finds that a little arrogant and insulting?

My God! PIERCE BUSH? They are just like the Kennedys! Only without the predilection for dying young.

Stephen Colbert! Hehe.

Oh, please. Does it really matter anymore about Cuba? I mean, I know Castro isn't a saint, not be any means. But there's far worse out there, and he's not doing you any harm.


And now the Governor of NY. Thanking everybody for their help on 9/11. Quite sweet, actually.

I've just read Bush's speech. As expected, he's left most of the attacks to the Vice-President OH GOD! PATAKI'S JUST MENTIONED BIN LADEN! In an attack on Clinton. For not protecting America, and blaming 9/11 on Bill. Wonderful. Of course, the 9/11 commission found that the Clinton Administration stopped the Millennium Attack.

Anyway, ignoring Pataki's shameless attempt to position himself for 2008, the Bush speech is fairly ordinary on paper; a few references to his difficulties in talking, promoting his achievements in the past four years, a big name-check for Blair, and a small section attacking Kerry on the same subjects (voting for and against bills and so forth), but nothing stirring.

Time for Bush. Another Law & Order actor introducing (Fred Thompson). Some more trading on 9/11 for the introductory video. Wow, he threw a ball with an armoured jacket. (yes yes, symbolism, but they made out like he single-handedly revived New York's spirit)

Huge applause. 'Four more years' And the speech itself. I suppose the thing with Bush is that your expectations are so low, anything that sounds coherent seems like an improvement. He is much better when talking from a script. Oh, and the flat tax thing isn't in the speech. He does mention reform and simplification of the code, would could be a hint, but the speech, like all speeches, is light on the details.

I really don't have much more to say, bar Bush turning into a Space Squirrel at the end. It ends with a whimper. But Kerry's coming up in an hour, and I might just hang around for that…

'activist judges', attacks on Hollywood, the marriage amendment. It's not a speech for undecided voters.

HEY! I'm on realplayer now - did people just try and rush the stage?

A resounding endorsement of democracy! Well, I suppose you do owe your presidency to voter fraud, after all…

Look, I know he acts like a Conservative, but Tony Blair really isn't your friend.

John? I like you and everything, but I don't think that worked…

currently playing: RNC — 2004


MISSING: The Democrat Party. Last Seen: Sometime last week. HAVE YOU SEEN THE DONKEY? The GOP was all over the Democrat Convention, but the response to the past two days has been timid to say the least. Perhaps they’re waiting to spring a big surprise at the end of the week. Or maybe they’re running around like headless chickens.

But first. THE GOD OF CONTEXT. Or, "how you can vote for a bill, then vote against it when people tack on $20 million to build a lamppost in Baker, California."

Meanwhile, the thorough fact-checkers of Unfit for Command failed to notify several of the 300 Veterans that they had used their names in support of their book. They're happy about it. Honest.

Oh, and welcome to Pier 57. Razorwire pens, protestors held without charge, without access to lawyers, and some suffering chemical burns from the strange substance on the floor of the former Manhattan Transit Authority building. Well, if the campaign is going to relive Vietnam, revisiting 1968's Chicago is inevitable…

I'm not in the best frame of mind for this tonight, and rumours abound that the speakers will be going all out to attack Kerry. So expect heart-crushing and weary commentary.

By the way — two days in, and no-one's mentioned the guy who carried out the attacks on New York and Washington. A little curious.

Wow, did Microsoft just photocopy iTunes for their new music website, or what?

And now! Rick Santorum! Will he compare homosexuals to bestiality again? Ah, culture wars. Damn those rappers. Comparing them to the Great Depression is a bit much though. Strong marriages! Because THE GAY would cause them all to collapse, as every man and woman in America would be forced to marry someone of the same sex. Well, it must be true. Why else would they be so worried? Damn that Kerry standing up for the Constitution.

I must have missed the Karl Rove/Barney The Dog skits. Oh, because the Dean Scream didn't get old, like back in February. Yes, they are just as bad as you can imagine. Oh, the Kerry dog is a French Poodle. It's like the Bouncer episode of Neighbours. Only that was funny.

James Brown. I Feel Good. Someone tell the Texas delegates to stop dancing. It's just SCARY.

Bono on O'Reilly! He's going around telling America that it's great, apparently. Bill can't pronounce Geldof, and he's slagging off Live Aid. Muahaha.Unprotected sex is rife in Africa because they think it's "macho"? EH? Or perhaps it's the Catholic Church.

It's not our fault! It's Clinton's fault we had a recession!


The woman speaking is rather annoying. But thankfully we're leaving Pennsylvania now.

The convention has just been ordered to get on its feet by a band called Third Day. *googles* Oh, a Christian rock band. I know it's highly judgemental, but I just can't take Christian Rock seriously. The oxymoron is too big for me to ignore. But! The RNC pulls out its first big gun! "You got the slightly-fey Reagan! OUR ONE IS ALL MAN, BABY!"

Chances of Iran-Contra turning up in this tribute? Oh, well, it was just a thought. Or perhaps his gutting of anti-trust laws? Or setting up the conditions for the S&L collapse? Or Nicaragua? AAAAAA THATCHER! KILL IT KILL IT KILL IT! *pause to laugh at Mark Thatcher* Gorbachev, naturally, just sat on the sidelines while Reagan dismantled the Soviet Union WITH HIS BARE HANDS.

The big speakers should be up soon. Firstly, we're going to have the Lieutenant Governor and Governor of Massachusetts, presumably to bash Kerry's record as Senator. Then Senator Zell Miller (D) who will be selling out his party for a packet of Rolos and an option on Michael Owen. Finally, the Cheney double team. Fun fun fun.

Today's fun fact! Kerry voted to increase taxes 126 times. You'll hear it many times. Hmm, I seem to remember that being a Conservative tactic in past elections over here. It's worked like a charm. Assuming that they wanted eight years of Labour rule. Yawn, 'activist judges' yet again. Oh, a Heinz joke. "we don't want a President who comes in 57 varieties" Now, supposedly, there was a rumour that Romney's speech would drop a bombshell. HAHAHAHAHHAAHA. Surely they have to give up their claims for 'fiscal conservatism' by now, after creating a deficit so large its gravity affects the tides. But no bombshell.

Like the devil, the Democrats have the best tunes (I'll gloss over the PMRC). Soul Man. With all the life sucked out through a straw.

So, what does the Democrat have to say? Ah, Kerry has no backbone. He's jumped because "my family is more important than my party." Oh, so the Democrats shouldn't make national security a partisan issue. Well, let's be fair. Tom Ridge started it. THAT'S BECAUSE THEY'RE DEMOCRATS! THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO OPPOSE THE REPUBLICANS! IT'S HOW A PARTY SYSTEM WORKS, DIMWIT! Oh, and Americans freed Europe all. by. themselves. Naturally. Next up, reporters, artists, and dissenters are worthless compared to a soldier. And now a list of military hardware that Kerry opposed. He's working the crowd quite well, depressingly. "Kerry would let Paris decide when to use force." And Bush has a "spine of tempered steel" GO WEAPON BUSH! BESERKER RAGE!

I will send someone a crisp £10 to the first prime-time speaker that doesn't mention 9/11. Lynne. It's getting beyond a joke now.

THE MAIN EVENT! I don't know what it is; Cheney is like a genetically engineered version of a Republican. All compassion selected and removed at the basic DNA level, leaving only a core of pure, well, evil (yeah, yeah, he's not really evil. But to look at him, he'd crush you underfoot without a second thought). This is definitely the second most depressing thing of the not. Wait - people are being bundled down in front? What's that about? The Taliban have been driven from power! Or Kabul. But don't worry! almost eleven million people have registered to vote. Sure, only nine million are eligible to register, but hey, we're skipping to Tamany Hall-era democracy.

Meanwhile, on NBC, John McCain on Miller:

I just don't agree that Democrats are unpatriotic.... I believe John Kerry is qualified to be commander-in-chief.

Oh, and no, Cheney hasn't mentioned bin Laden either. Now we're getting into Kerry-bashing, along with UN bashing on the side. Hurrah! Oh, for God's sake, even Bush talked about sensitivity! It's pretty much the usual — Kerry's a wuss who would ask France for permission to go to war, and so on. I really hope that SOMEONE, SOMEONE from the opposition will explain how a bill can voted for, and against. And…no…I've just had too much. See you tomorrow for the finale.

currently playing: RNC — 2004

Self-inflicted Pain

And here we are again.

After a weekend when it seemed that common sense had broken out in the White House, it seems the War on Nouns can in fact be won. At least that's what Bush is saying today (warning: links to Rush Limbaugh and shady logic). Oh, and hurrah for saving companies some money!. Who likes birds anyway?

I'm starting later tonight, because yesterday was rather boring until 9pm.

Elizabeth Dole! YOU SENT ME LEAFLETS! Oh, an attack on Clinton. How original. Really. "Hi! I'm Bob Dole! I attack decorated Veterans for fun and games!"

"What we believe has never wavered." 3/5ths of a natural person! You know it makes sense. Ah, now gay marriage, abortion, and religion. All the hot buttons. I'm impressed. Is this live on the networks, or are they not coming on until Arnie turns up? "ACTIVIST JUDGES ARE KILLING BABIES AND SPITTING ON THE FLAG!". And I think you'll find that we split the atom first, ma'am.

Oh, George Soros was not pleased with Mr. Hastert's drug claims (especially since he's going around the convention repeating them to all who ask), so he's written a letter asking the Speaker to substantiate his claims or shut the hell up.

And now George P. Bush. It is scary just how much the Bush clan is beginning to become the GOP's answer to the Kennedys. Apart from public speaking. Hmm, I wonder what the Ally McBeal episode is tonight? "I will not stand to be disparaged!"

Okay, back. And there's been some singing. Miss America 2003! Bigging up Faith-based initiatives!

And yet more singing.

It's 9pm, and the thing begins to start in earnest, I expect. Sen. Bill Frist. I'm going to guess and say tort reform. Oh, no, prescription drugs. Once again, it's really quiet. I suppose Madison Square Garden is much bigger than the Fleet Center in Boston. Now, it sounds like a wonderful idea — having an account where you can save money tax-free to pay for healthcare. But no-one expects to get sick. And you can't know what you're going to become sick with. So it doesn't seem like a good idea to me. But then I live in a country with universal healthcare, so what do I know?

TORT REFORM! Oh yes, I rule. Okay, it was obvious, but hey, I take victory where I can. Bonus points if he can work in John Edwards into the tirade. 50 BONUS POINTS! And stem cell research to finish. Er, isn't Mr. Bush going to the UN to request the banning of therapeutic cloning? Oh, yes, I think he is. "This President will not use your tax dollars to destroy human life…[fill in your own punchline]".

I'm going to have to stop listening to the music bits. I know that they have as much right as anybody else to use them, but it's just SO WRONG.

whoooooooosh....Barack Obama joke flies, and dies horribly on the rafters. We really need Al Sharpton here. And now! For a run through of John Kerry's voting record, including the Defence of Marriage Act.

And now! A surfer sings!

ARNIE! "Don't misunderstand me, I love Austria…but…" and his love of Nixon. Well, hurrah. Dude, you became a Republican on the back of Nixon? That's harsh. HAHAHAHA "It doesn't make any difference who your parents are." Tell that to legacy students, hmm? Oh, and the Soviet thing is interesting - I mean, given that they'd just spent the past eight or so years under Nazi rule and propaganda, well – Oh I really despair. "Econominc girly-men." Is that the best that the Governor of California can do? One America! Three jobs to earn a living! Stand behind your decisions, even if they're revealed to be completely wrong later on! Never apologise! Never show weakness! Stand fast!

"We fight AIDS in Africa." Yes. While lining the pockets of drug companies — WTF? WTF? WTF? "When that lone man stood in front of the tank in Tianaman Square, America stood with him" So, I wonder. How's that guy doing right now? Yes, that's why they're hosting the next Olympics. It's not as if their human rights record has improved. And your use if Nelson Mandela would have been so much better if the Vice-President hadn't been a tacit supporter of apartheid.

Oh God. The Bush twins. Just. No. It's a comedy routine from Hell itself. And I think I'll skip Laura Bush. Although the hamster gag was okay. Hey! John Kerry namechecked "Hey Ya" first, bandwagon-jumpers!

currently playing: RNC 2004

Elephant Goes To Town

So, yeah, bub. The lion is lying down with the lamb, chalk and cheese have been seen holding each other’s hands, and the Republicans are having a convention in New York. People are not amused.

Meanwhile the Republican Party is calling respectable financiers fronts for drug cartels, and giving the opening invocation to somebody who compares the fight against gay marriage to the struggle against Hitler. Classy.

I have a sick fantasy for tonight. John McCain will get half-way through his address, then undergo a Damascus conversion, yelling "No, I'm sorry. With all my conscience, I cannot recommend George W. Bush for the Presidency. Kerry/Edwards 2004!" before being bundled off the stage by the Enforcers.

But that won't happen. McCain is a party man like all the others. He owes to continued career to the Party rallying around his when he was implicated in the S&L scandals during the 1980s. He is not as moderate as he appears. He just seems that way. Tonight, he will pledge loyalty to the Bush family, not withstanding all the smears, the disagreements, and the lies. For McCain believes in the Elephant, That's why Kerry/McCain was nothing but a flight of fancy.

OutKast are singing up a storm at the VMAs. Sorry, MTV UK doesn't show the VMAs until a day afterwards, so they can edit out all the bad language, even if it's ten minutes to midnight. "For the millionth time, Hey Ya!" Still great. (the tenuous connection? the set is laid out like a convention, and now balloons are falling from the ceiling), Although it should have been held in New York. Pop v. Politics! It would be like West Side Story, but with only one side dancing. I can't be the only one who wants to see Andre 3000, Big Boi and P. Diddy face off against George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, can I?

Oh, perhaps I can.

My BitTorrent source for The Daily Show has disappeared, so I'm devoid of my snark this week. Bah. As you can imagine, there's not much of interest right now; BBC Parliament is showing people calling into PBS. Awesome.

From the platform document!

Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, including sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS. Therefore, we support doubling abstinence education funding. We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for contraception and abortion.


Dear God. Playing Let's Stay Together. That's almost criminal. Still, I think they've finally understood that Born in the USA is not the best song to play at a convention. And the songs going over the speakers will probably be the best music of the convention. I mean, even Bruce Willis decided to hang out with P. Diddy rather than turn in. Man, that's harsh.

Hurrah! Now, I'm not normally one to be a Luddite, but you don't get this problem with pencil and paper, you know…

Okay, so I watched Justice League, and when I came back, there's some scary singing group doing a 'thing'. Oh, it's an introduction to New York. Dear me. It's bad. BUT NOT AS BAD AS THE SNL SPOOF. MY EYES.

Is it just me, or does the sound have a great deal of echo? And Dennis Hastert is pretty awful as a speaker. Which is unfortunate for a Speaker of the House. Aha, out first flip-flop mention of the evening. Oh, and he's gone. Perhaps I shouldn't have been watching Ally McBeal (first season - obviously).

Hey hey! it's Dick Cheney! "Dick Cheney's daughter couldn't be with us tonight, because most of your will be afraid of catching gay cooties" (of course, I don't know what she looks like, so she might actually be there, I suppose) AND WILL THEY STOP WITH THE MOTOWN CRIBBING? I do not want to associate the sublime You're All I Need To Get By with Lynne and Dick Cheney.

Pat Buchanan is laying the smackdown on the neo-conservatives! Although it speaks to how twisted the world is these days that he's starting to make sense.

ON THE FLOOR! THEY'RE BRINGING THE ROCK TO THE CONVENTION! HARDCORE! VAN HALEN! JUMP! GEORGE BUSH SR! Imagine the chessiest promo, and square it. They just did the Dallas triple screen effect. BUSH READING A BOOK IN A COMFY SWEATER! BUT HE JUMPS OUT OF PLANES TOO! Bah, they're just looping the riff. THE GOP IS HOLDING BACK THE ROCK! LET IT FLY! Or just stop. Bah.

It's Ron Silver! Oooh, "You guys got Toby Ziegler, but we've got Bruno!" "Who?" "You know, the guy who was in the West Wing for a while before they dropped him down the lift shaft on top of Mandy and Ainsley." And he talks about how the President is doing the right thing by going after the people who destroyed the World Trade Center. Quite where Iraq comes into that, he doesn't say, but you know…

"This party isn't about the past" Which is why you've spent the past ten minutes interviewing Veterans. Riiight.

erm. erm. okay, it's only me who finds this army/navy/air force promo tacky. At least they're not including real war footage I suppose.

Hmm. The first day of the DNC was more interesting. By now, Gore had come out swinging. I'M WAITING FOR THEM TO GET THE PARTY STARTED.

Yes, the oh-so-brave President that didn't bother to show up in New York UNTIL THREE DAYS AFTERWARDS. So brave.

Can't be bothered to rebut the PATRIOT Act defence, except laugh at the "critics say that we can snoop at library records. Well, only terrorists use the library anyway" gist.

No one is speaking for long tonight. It's all five minutes and out - ANGIE HARMON! THE GRAVEL VOICE HERSELF!

And now, a little country breakdown. OR PERHAPS? YES? COULD IT BE? A HOE-DOWN?

Meanwhile, rumours abound that the delegates are wearing Purple Heart band-aids to mock Kerry (classy), and that the Secret Service is preventing reporters from interviewing Michael Moore (that's from NPR). Which sounds ridiculous.

CHIC? BOOK ME A TICKET, I"M GONNA FLY OVER AND KICK THEIR ASSES. DON'T YOU KNOW WHAT THESE PEOPLE DID? THE NIGHTS IN CLUB 54? Mind you, it is a soulless version, and the two cowboys line dancing are funny.

Here comes McCain. Woo. Although he might get more than five minutes.And for the first time tonight, the crowd sounds like it's actually there. And begins by quoting FDR. Yeah, I know what I said earlier. But actually seeing him doing it is another thing. To be fair, at the moment, he's going out of his way to not criticise the Democrats. But still. OH, FOR ***************** STAND UP MICHAEL. STAND UP. That was a cheap shot of the lowest order.

I'm sorry. Have to stop, before I punch something. I can guess what Rudy is going to say, and I…a party man to the bitter end.

currently playing: RNC 2004

Why Linux is Cool

Use Gmail as your filesystem!

currently playing: Johnny Boy — The Johnny Boy Theme

The Pumpkin Invasion

They’ve taken over our garden! NOWHERE IS SAFE!

Not An Eggcup

One day, some mad soul is going to write a complete history of Factory Records (and no, it probably won’t be me — I know just enough about the catalogue to realise that anybody to tries to do such a thing will go insane. At which point, they’ll be the perfect candidate to work on the history of ZTT Records), and they will discover all sorts of wonderful bands that weren’t New Order or Joy Division. Forgotten names such as Section 25, Minny Pops, Stockholm Monsters, and Crispy Ambulance (yes, really). And hopefully, the author will have a soft spot for FAC 12.

As ever, a Peter Saville cover is a hallmark of quality. FAC 12: The Distractions / Time Goes By So Slow may be the greatest 7" single ever released by Factory (Blue Monday was 12" only, remember, and the 7" of Temptation is a pale shadow of the glory of the full-length version). The Distractions were rather out of place in late-70s Manchester; bands borrowing from decades of pop weren't all that welcome in a post-punk world. Joy Division, however, loved them, and The Distractions often found themselves playing support for Factory's biggest band. They provided a contrast to JD's intensity; although their lyrics were no less melancholy, the OMD-like synths and perky guitar gave their songs an upbeat new-wave feel.

Time Goes By So Slow is a tale of lost love touring around the centre of Manchester. And it contains one of the greatest lines in Factory Pop: "But Albert just won't do / I don't need him but you" (referring to Manchester's Albert Square). Plus! It's not often a song discusses petrification! Oh, and how the guitars drop out at 2:00, leaving the song wallowing in lonely synths and the saddest drumbeat you've ever heard, right before the final repeat of the chorus. It's just fantastic.

"I wonder why you had to go / and time goes by so slow"

Doubtless, you'll now be itching to hear this song (unless you're Tom, who heard it last week), so I'll list all the outlets where you can currently purchase a copy:


Factory were never all that reliable about keeping their catalogue in print, and the failure of the company compounded matters somewhat. This song made the jump to CD in 1990 on a compilation called Palatine: The Factory Story/1979-1990, but again, that has been out-of-print for many years now. So, short of tracking down the original 7" and a record player, you can't hear this wonderful record. Unless you know where to look.

currently playing: Monaco — What Do You Want From Me?