Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A quick thought on alienation.

The nature of our lives these days leads very easily towards alienation. This is especially true for 18-30 year olds. Often single, living away from where they grew up to get work, a social life that is geared around consumption......etc. In short, a lonely life geared around work or the search for work.

The media constantly reinforces predudices that are designed to seperate us. Plays on generation gaps (The old are boring, the young are criminals.) race (Don't trust them Muslims folks!) class (Bloody single mothers!) and sex (Phwoar! single mothers!). Which should inevitably lead to greater distrust within society. And at first glance this appears to be the case. The Bnp is growing in a few areas, people seem to shit themselves when they see youngsters in hoodies...etc.

But there is an interesting side effect to this sort of alienation. We have to figure out whether we trust our perceptions, or not, more quickly. Often this trust will be won on the basis of brand loyalty, your favourtie brand of pie in the newsagents for example. But we also have to trust strangers more, simply because our livelyhoods and our lives move around more quickly. Every time we move job or home, we have to start from scratch with the people around us.

Anyway, this needs more thought. I'm just trying to get the basics of my line of reasoning down so I can work on it. There may be more to come on this.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Stop the War doing that primary rythm thing.

I got dragged out to a Stop th War fundraiser in South London by my housemate last night. The line up was a bunch of unknowns as far as I was concerned. Paul Millns, Wizz Jones and Brendan Croker.

Here is a photograph of Paul Millns.

He was great. He played the piano and sang the blues. The best thing about hearing the Blues played naturally and well on the piano is the pure technical thrill. He was smashing out emphasised ground bass with his left hand, while his right hand channelled out harmony and melody like water dripping into our minds. I'd definately recommend catching him live.

Now the guitarists.

The bastards.

Here is a photograph of Wizz Jones.

His son came on stage and played flute, sax and mouth organ with him. I think I can safely say that when Eric Clapton plays unplugged, he really wants to be Wizz Jones. His right hand is a natural rythm machine. If he's not plucking a note, he's hitting a rythm onto his guitar. Guitarists be wary. I was glued to his left hand and the chords he was playing looked pretty standard, but the notes he was plucking around them were far from it. I convinced myself that he was using drop d tuning at one point, only to be confounded in the turnaround bars by what could only be described as crunching pentatonic resolutions. The best thing about hearing a good blues guitarist is the pure delight they get from stretching the boundaries of each sound. With Wizz, the technique is there for all sorts of possibilities, sometimes he lets the natural harmonies ring out, other times he lets you fill in the gaps, then moves things along in another direction, sneaks in a change around the corner of where you were headed before.

Here is a photograph of Brendan Croker.

He's evil. He sprayed what looked like an ovation electro acoustic guitar with silver paint. It looked great on stage, but I can't help dissaproving. When I learned that Jimi Hendrix had smashed a Fender Stratocaster on stage I felt the same way. What a waste! He could have given it to me. He also had a silver Nylon string, and a silver Ukelele. Visually stunning, but evil none the less. He played the guitar like a drunken teenager, which sounds bad, but combined with his voice, and rythms that creep your ass involutarily out from underneath you, it was fantastic. He sang the blues with the respect it deserves. Moving his vocals from chest to throat to flegm, he covered all angles. At points he would simply give up playing the guitar and hit it, and at one point managed to harmonise around the tinny sound of his ukelele being hit then stummed with open strings. He also provided us with a fantastic light display using some Laser levellers he's bought at either Netto or Lidl. Pure industrial strength blues.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I wandered lonely as a cloud....



RUN! Oh bloody hell, I hate heights.

Yes folks, it's autumn. It makes me feel like writing a poem. Here goes...

The tree outside my window. (If you have an electric keyboard, switch it to bagpipe mode and play some chords. Read this poem aloud in a prim Scottish accent and pretend you're Ivor Cutler.)

(Actually, there was a quite interesting telly program on him

the other night.)

The tree outside my window is dropping leaves
onto a peugot 206 parked beneath

it is trying to clog up the air intakes
when the owner turns the engine on
little bits of leaf will blow at her and remind her
that she has parked beneath a tree.

The tree outside my window is glowing gold in the light of a rising sun
and dropping leaves onto a peugot 206 parked beneath

now it isn't

now it is again

now it isn't again

now it is again, and really brightly this time.

The tree over the road still has green leaves
the peugot is black
the sun is golden
the tree with the dropping leaves has mossy green bark
and greeny red crab apple type things.

Telephone wires have nested in it's upper branches, so that conversations may be had.