Saturday, April 30, 2005

Citrus On The Dock Of The Bay

Not really any material to post about at all right now. But we are acutely aware that it has been a a while, and that next week you're not likely to get anything at all. So, greetings from sunny Flawda, where everyone says hello nicely, the sun is shining, and the cars are huuuuuge.

For that of you that asked, the Dirtbombs were delightful, but the Danes we didn't get. We'll see whether a whole review appears, although its possible we might have to fork it over to some hipster leeches. TTFN, and stay warm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Roll Up Yer Trousers

We started this little journey by reading this little post from Attytood concerning Senator Santorum's links to Opus Dei. And it sort of degenerated into a Wikipedia-fuelled crawl through the 19th century American polity.

The ins and outs of Opus Dei need not concern us here, so much as the organisation's appeal. There is also the possibility that any more poorly-written thrillers along the lines of the lines of the Da Vinci Code, and we might experience a full-on witch-hunt.

Opus Dei does seem to have an appeal to the sort of unsure young person that college Chrisitanity, or yes, cults, fail to pick up. In college one might assume that your inner life was empty and purposeless, but waiting to fulfill its potential. But as a twenty-something one might have been stripped of some of these illusions. Some never do question their place in the universe, the equivalent of Zaphod Beebelbrox surviving the Total Perspective Vortex, completely at ease with how important they are, and are usually fairly sound atheists.

On the other hand, an Ex-Christian, here attempts, rather confusingly, to accuse believers of the same arrogance. And the story also crops up here in a bible study guide. So, from all this we can deduce that atheists are really arrogant and self-assured, or that having God on your shoulder is like having Zaphod Beebelbrox' second head. Or that no vicar ever picked up an Ian M. Banks book, that's for sure.

But we digress, since we really wanted to look at whether the perceived dangerous influence of Opus Dei might lead to a massive hysterical backlash, or at least a short-lived movement along the lines of the Anti-Masonic Party of the 19th Century. Which was how we ended up becoming a potential Jeopardy contestant on obscure third parties we have known and loved.

We had thought, based on half-remembered snippets of a History Channel documentary, that the AMP was a roaring success, so much so that Freemasons could never show their faces again in public life, but the movement appears to have petered under the onslaught of the mighty Whigs. But we can probably all agree that the two of them weren't a patch on the Know-Nothings' American Party when it came to fear-mongering electoral ruckus.

Since Wickedy-Wiki already has a brief suggestion that fear of Masonic influence has its parallels in fear of Opus Dei, we prefer to stress the differences. As far as we can tell, the main problems with Masons and Opus Dei are what they do behind closed doors. In the Masons' case, that's dressing up a bit silly and fixing parket tickets. With Opus Dei it's self-mortification and plotting to increase Catholic influence over society. In fact we'd be quite taken by the Deist, freethinking and philosophical bent of the Masons, that is if they didn't carry themselves in such an undignified fashion.

GO the Other One in Pennsylvania in 2006!, in any case.

Youth Body Expression Explosion

Rikey. While we were sleeping, the Fun Guardian Comment Section moved from Tuesday to Wednesday. Propping up the batting order on Tuesday is still George Monbiot, who was on fine form yesterday, saying that environmentalists should stop looking so cheerful about wind farms going up. But Wednesday is rocking, ever since the boy Aaronovitch shifted from Tuesday.

Max Hastings is also in the house, today bewailing the fact that students aren't interesting any more. The title, "Bring back rent-a-mob", is a tad misleading, since Max wants some gently questioning and imaculately turned out throngs of students to present their grievances in a respectful fashion, as might happen in Singapore. He most certainly does not want them to go apesh*t and trash the common room or enact any scenes from Mudhoney album photos (be honest, did you get the reference?).

It's a good point, although we do remember the students turning out in pretty good numbers over tuition fees, but borader issues do attract much less agitation at universities. Max is inclined to blame the demon drink, and morphs into a severe-looking temperance campaigner. This suggests that poor Max has never been exposed to the full booze-fuelled energy of the mob, and might have meant to blame the evil opium instead.

Max says that students have plenty of time to spend on political pursuits, but chose to spend it in the pub. We're not sure, and Max does admit that there are more pressures on students to behave and work. We'd liken higher education in the 60s to business school today - hard to get into, and largely confined to the better off economically. Once there, a student can be assured of a reasonable living afterwards. An increase in access to higher education has increased the supply of graduates, and made performing in university much more important.

This is the result of a nummber of factors, some of them welcome changes in society, and some of them less elcome tinkers to the nature of higher education. Eliminating subsidies for students' alcohol is not likely to bbe a major factor.

On another note, we can't recommend the new Nine Inch Nails album highly enough and you can hear the stream here. We caved in and did a pearl of a review for the Sugarswine, to a which a link will eventually be forthcoming.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Insert Saccharine Beatles Song Title Here

In whose interest, exactly, was the hand-holding Bush-Abdullah picture taken? It does allow Wonkette to whinny with pleasure at combining high politics with illicit acts, but abosultely no-one else finds this picture useful. We're sure the Saudis asked for it, confident in the knowledge that it sure as hell wouldn't end up anywhere near their newspapers. It does, we guess, signal to investors and markets that they're still relevant.

But they would, we imagine, have gladly dispensed with the photo-op if Team Bush begged them not to. So what's in it for Dubya? He can get some points maybe for propping up an elderly ally, literally, rather than geopolitically. Again, maybe signal to the markets that he's got some juice with the swing producer of OPEC. Except that the swing producer may have lost that swing

In 2003, when Bush visited the UK on a state visit, Jonathan Freedland wondered aloud why on earth Bush had been invited to hang with the Queen when the prevaiiling wisdom was that Bush was somewhat toxic electorally. Freedland supposed that Bush basicaly wanted to collect a picture of the Prez and Mrs. Quinn together, although we don't remember the pictures forming part of the 2004 campaign adverts.

The same can't be said for these pictures. Expect the Democrats to be all over these images in 2006, dubious undertones be damned.

Monday, April 25, 2005


When it comes to highly intemperate, yet slightly adorable, invective, few rate as highly as the North Korean government. We do remember the Chinese government having a go at Chris Patten ("prostitute" and "eternal sinner" were amongst the kindlier ones). But they lacked a bit of color.

The finest hour of the North Korean government is still probably their description of the last Bond movie as a "dirty and cursed burlesque". We have no idea what they made of the Team America movie. And then up comes this nugget from the last arms control talks between the US and North Korea.

The star was one John Bolton, and his performance annoyed them so much they reached for the pits of invective, coming up with ""human scum" as an apt description.

We're sure that it's possible that these epithets are the result of willfully obscure translation, and that "uncooperative" might come out as "poxed offspring of a bandit jackal" in the wrong hands. But we like to think that it's just the way that they catch people's attention in an age of turgid diplomacy. It is not, after all, as if, for the time being, there's any way to express themselves violently.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Metal Up Your Mass

Just a series of barely related blog posts. But a trend nonetheless. Where does your denomination stand on MMMMMEETTTTOOOOOHHHHL? First up, because they've got the most recently chosen leader, are the Catholics, and, pace Stereogum, they're not keen. "instrument of the Devil" was the phrase Benedict XVI used when he was praying under the name Cardinal Ratzinger, not realising that that title had already been taken by the cowbell:

He called upon members of heavy metal bands to "purify themselves" and posited that AC/DC "referred not to alternating current or even bisexuality, but to the satanic phrase 'Antichrist, Death to Christ.'"

Either that, or he felt that the guitarist dressing up a schoolboy was dangerously provocative.

Satanists? 'nuff said. On side, despite Benny-boy's attempts to rock the Corpsepaint style.

Next, the Jews, what with it being Passover and all that, who are, according to Gothamist, well up for it. Gothamist (RSS makes for easy relapses) manages to mention Twisted Sister, and Anthrax, but not Kiss, who delivered the fastest smackdown ever to the idiot-childs who said that the "SS" bit of their logo was anti-semitic.

But we kind of peter out when we go any further. Arab rapping we heard of, although Islam in general is apparently less than tolerant of metal.

We could delve into the Beasties and Buddhism, but we'd rather tootle off into the sun for lunch, and wish you a very metal weekend, wherever you stand on transubstantiation and foreskins.

Uncontrollable Goose-stepping

We had no idea that the UK election already has a name, just like the Khaki Election of October 1900, or the Bonkers Election of November 2004.

But, according to this in the Guardian from top ex-Melody Maker scribe Tania Branigan, it is now known as the "Basil Fawlty Election.", on account of how no-one is mentioning the war. Tania was, to be fair, beaten to the tape by Martin Samuel in the Times.

Now those of you on Greenwich Mean Time might as well traipse off for a cup of char or somesuch, and then come back Monday. The reference is, of course, to John Cleese's performance as hapless hotel owner Basil Fawlty in 70s sitcom Fawlty Towers.

Basil, or Baysil, as you may be more comfortable calling him, is forced to try and control his crowing instincts when he has a German couple staying at his hotel. See, he can't put the war behind him? The episode is usually taken as a sign that Brits are aware that they aren't able to let go of the Second world War, although we've always suspected thet they get this little shiver even in such a vicarious fashion.

Not sure you can say it about the latest one, which, as the boy Gilliard points out, has become even less fun than Vietnam for its protagonists.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Read It And Weary

We're a tad on the bored side, as you might have guessed from our previous advert review. Which will go some way towards explaining why we're going to get agitated by a NY Times music review. Yes, this is one of those petty exercises in utility akin to flinging excreta at a Social Security office, but we'll justify this one on the grounds that we are genuinely perplexed by critic Kelefah Sanneh's choice of words.

It's here, towards, the end of a little trend piece on European singers, where Kelefah's discussing the career of Emiliana Torrini. Rather them, than us, we figure. And then along comes this line:

"In 1999, she released a glimmering, electronics-enhanced album called "Love in the Time of Science," and since then she has appeared on the soundtrack to "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers" (singing "Gollum's Song"), co-written a hit for Kylie Minogue (the hypnotic "Slow") and toured with the rather unpleasant lounge-fusion act Thievery Corporation."

The first bit of the sentence was perfectly enlightening, since we'd always assumed that Lord of the Rings gig was some kind of comeback or payday for Enya. Oh, it is.

But fast forward to the last bit on bold. Now, you can accuse Thievery Corporation of being a few things, but unpleasant isn't one of them. Unpleasant gets reserved for the likes of Napalm Death, or Slipknot, and definitely to An*l C***.

We've had a fairly unscientific rummage through our iTunes, and while noting the girth of our collection (684 artists), can only really find three of them that could realistically be described as more pleasant than Thievery Corporation. They are Gus Gus, The Orb, and Ezio, the last of which is one of Tony Blair's favourite bands, and a relic of our misspent youth.

We can sort of see what the writer's getting at. In fact we dwelled on it while the 'Corporation, as even their Mums don't call them, were being pumped through Park Avalon yesterday. They can be a tad bland, a crutch for stoners, too cool for their own good. But, O Paper Of Record, you're going to have to explain that rather than chucking in a misleading adjective just before you mention them. It's like saying the "slightly bewildered New York Times" - it needs explaining. That kind of laziness should disqualify you from college music journalism, let alone a paper that believes it has better cultural antennae than the Journal.

That all said, the idea of some ethereal pixie of a singer producing a misguided grindcore collaboration is one to treasure.

The new Enya, or the new Napalm Death? Who can tell?

Anyway, that was our stab at ridiculing the Gray Lady's cultural commissars, you will probably find this one funnier, not to mention a few degrees less tendentious.

You Like The Proud Structures, Yes?

We were going to title this post something like "We Need More Erections", but felt that being so smutty before even starting the post might upset our younger readers. We had a chance to catch NY1 this morning for a decent stretch. Certainly more than enoough time to work out that Kristen Shaughnessy is an utterly underwhelming replacement for Pat "St Pat" Kiernan. Although one weekend we were confronted with the trully horrible sight of Roger Clark in suit and pancake warming the anchor's chair. He lacked the warm authority of life's anchors - or "still looks kinda goofy" as cutesome put it. If he was a spaceship in an Ian M. Banks novel he''d be called Very Little Gravitas Indeed.

When your anchor's boring, and when you've stopped caring about Al Sharpton's latest flounce, you tend to focus more on the adverts than normal. Actually, you know that we seccrtly prefer the adverts, but it's our way of stresssing how rounded we are.

The latest attack-counter-attack ad has been on the air for a while, and it's decided to move a fair way outside of the standard construction-boosting ads. You might recall the ads from a while back by Save The Plaza, which used the children as well as a fairly handsome doorman to make the case that the Plaza hotel, where Croc Dundee stayed, should not be converted into condos. The campaign had a fair amount of backing from hotel workers' unions and ladies with very tight faces who were given to take tea there.

The developers, operating as Really Save the Plaza (clever, damn, clever!) swung into action fairly quickly, producing a reasonably gentle ad that says that the Plaza is losing a bunch of money and that all they want to do is improve it. As an opening salvo we thought it lacked punch, and it avoided any cool cancer-man voices that dredge up sordid statements about the opposition. But, in an act of sheer genius, the producers decided that all that attack-ad fripppery was not required.

No, what they decided they would use is a pretty and, er, statuesque lady to serve as their spokesmodel. And then they dress her in a really tight sweater. In truth, the rest of the advert had the same features as other construction adverts, in terms of some really futuristic artist's impressions, and a mention of lots of jobs. But when the numbers are faded you're still left with the impression of this smiling brunette telling you not to worry, because everything's fine.

Which indeed it apparently is. According to Save The Plaza, the city reached a deal with the developers to retain a fair amount of the old hotel, and this seems to have served most people's honor. We can only assume that NY1's advertising manager wouldn't give the developer their check back. Or that the Lure of the Sweater is too great. Note to the guys at the Jets trying to build their stupid stadium on the West Side - hire the sweater lady now.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Get Trucking

We are very impressed by the speed of nasty political attack ads these days, as well as the delightful way that they seem to be funded. First you need to go to some relatively lucid (left-wing, natch) site, and read about the weird-as events of the John Bolton nomination. We suggest Political Animal, because they're very well-spoken over there.

Now visit this collection of weird-ass right-wingers called Move America Forward, and their awesomely cheesy plot to bring down the first Republican to suggest that appointing a walrus-faced loon who advocates disfiguring the UN as UN ambassador is a Bad Idea.

What they've done is put up the text of an ad they'd like too run here, and then wait for the crazy money to come in, and the assault on cable TV will commence. We will reproduce some lines here:

Wife: Honey, were you watching C-SPAN today? Did you hear how disloyal Senator Voinovich was to Republicans and President Bush? Voinovich stood with the Democrats and refused to vote for John Bolton, the man President Bush has chosen to fight for the United States at the UN

Husband: No, I was streaming it on the Internet at the office, but from what I could tell, Senator Voinovich played hookey from the hearings?

We can deduce from this that Move America Forward's ideal couple is:

1) Trapped in a loveless marriage
2) Behind on its cable bill
3) Lying

The insanity of targeting a senator in a moderate state like Ohio is lost on them, unless they are aware of a secret plan for Alan Keyes to screech into town and take over after Voinovich flames out. Who can tell?

While we're on the subject of lunacy, why are there no plans for a Royal Trux singles album. We don't really have the patience to buy all the old ones, but there'd be an excellent best of... there. Like there was with Buffalo Tom. Do you really need more than one album of Buffalo Tom? We dare say not.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bad, Pope, Bad!

So, the new Pope, formerly Cardinal Ratzinger, now Benedict XVI, had a somewhat troublesome boyhood, just like our great uncle. In our day, it was all drink and surfer-agitating....

Also, the new White Stripes single, Blue Orchid, is rather good, if you can spare the time to hunt it down.

Oh Yes We Are A Pinko

Via one of our associates, and of marginal interest to half of you, a sort of vote predictor for the UK's election on May 2005. We heartily suggest that you follow events on the 5th of May from about 6pm on CSPAN, if they decide to carry it. Excellent drinking fun. All you have to do is take a sip whenever a Tory loses, and down the lot if a member of the Shadow Cabinet loses. The list can be found here. Know your enemy. We will unfortunately be Houston, not known as a hotbed of parliamentary enthusiasm. Unless the chaps at the Flying Saucer remember how charming we were last February. Anyway, follows where the vote predictor has us:

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:


Your actual outcome:

Labour 20
Conservative -41
Liberal Democrat 34
UK Independence Party -29
Green -2

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Monday, April 18, 2005

Clownshoe Blues

Via Steve Gilliard, a delightful profile of Brooklyn Borough President Marty "Why Do You Want To Demolish Our Local, You Insubstantial Buffoon?" Markowitz in the New Yorker. The article asks whether Marty's clownish exterior belies a deadly serious and impassioned drive to improve Brooklyn, or whether he's just a clown, the sort of cheery hack to which the Borough President job is best suited.

Let's take the clown thesis first:

during his first few weeks in office, he called Peter O’Malley, the son of Walter O’Malley, who had moved the Dodgers to California in the nineteen-fifties. “I heard that the team was up for sale, and I said, ‘Mr. O’Malley, it would be great for your family name and everything if you would consider moving the L.A. Dodgers back to Brooklyn,’ ” Markowitz says. “I must tell you, that conversation was very brief.”

That's right, Marty draws a salary of $135,000 per year to drool into a telephone like this. This is the sort of thing that a 12-year old writes letters about in his spare time. In the 1950s. Then there is the series of idiotic pronouncements at public events, and the fact that few professional politicians take him seriously. But we do admit that he's a much more earnest, and much less narrowly interested in the concerns of white Brooklyn than we first surmised.

The clown-with-an-agenda argument is based on the idea that it was Marty who first approached Bruce Ratner with the idea of buying the New Jersey Nets and moving them to Brooklyn. So, Marty is apparently blissfully unaware of anyone, outside of Forest City Ratner, with flipping great wodges of cash to lay down in support of his adolescent fantasies. Myopically wedded to the idea of a self-sufficient Borough, he turns to the man that ruined its downtown, and has had a pretty good stab at doing the same to the Atlantic Terminals area, and asks if he would like to finish the job.

So, we'll buy the clown-with-an-agenda ticket, but we still think he's horribly out of his depth. Marty ran for office in part by distancing himself from the Brooklyn democratic machine, and he probably got in because the majority of democratic voters thought he would be a servicable tourism promoter. A $5 million budget does not allow you much in the way of dodgy patronage opportunities. Clarence Norman for instance, had little interest in the job, and managed to run things nicely from inside the Democratic party.

But buzzing around poor Marty's brain is this mythical 1950s Brooklyn, all Juniors, Tom's Restaurant and, of course, Ebbets Field. And feeding this obession has gone from photo-ops at restaurants to vandalising entire neighborhoods. And he's found a way to make himself, er, useful, thanks to the Olympics making his project marginally more relevant.

Mr. Gilliard allowed Markowitz' own words to make the case for the prosecution, noting merely that minorities rarely see much in the way of a goldrush off the back of these projects. We'd add that some perfectly lovely three-storey buildings have been going up the other side of Atlantic, and been filling up with some perfectly lovely low-income families. Trashing some, admittedly rather shabby, rowhouses to make way for high-rise condominiums makes no sense as a development strategy. If you would like this kind of existence, then please move to some utterly ridiculous glass-plated thing in Manhattan.

Marty probably bemoans the fact that most of modern-day Brooklyn, even the rich people, define their borough by what it isn't, and what Manhattan is. Marty is probably only dimly aware that the vast majority of decent new clubs are in Brooklyn, or that most interesting artists have set up shop here. Which isn't to say that this is the only acceptable outcome in development, just that waving your new "skyscraper" over the East River, is an ugly and pointless use of public money.

Better, in other words, to work out a way of making sure that all Brooklyn residents find a way of tapping into the money sloshing into the borough as Manhattann overspill, than to spend hundreds of millions on creating jobs selling pretzels to basketball fans from Long Island, and as doormen at condo complexes of doubtful value. Marty, unfortunately, is so stuck in this childhood boys-own adventure he can conceive of no other solution.

The Blues? We just picked up the last Soledad Brothers album at Academy Records, and it's fine.

[UPDATE: Welcome, No Land Grab readers. There are a few posts about stadiums tucked between reviews of attack ads and metal posting. We approach the subject as a fan of small business, particularly the small bar business on 6th and Dean. But we do have a bit of experience following construction financing. Anyway, enjoy.]

Come To Sunny Saipan

The aspect that we've always most enjoyed about science fiction books is their freedom to imagine new political boundaries. The one example that always gets us thinking is the religious fundamentalist faction that takes over a large tract of the midwest in Greg Bear's Moving Mars. Green Idaho, it was called, and it was meant to exemplify how people might be tempted in the future to form political enities based on religious belief.

To be honest, we should have recalled the idea when we saw all those maps floating around after the election, which dubbed, rather insensitively in our view, the flyover states as Jesusland. It also bubbled back when we were reading Benjamin Schwarz' piece in the Atlantic, on how changing demographics would force Israel either to redifine its boundaries, or redefine itself.

We share what we think is a common European conception that, to paraphrase Don Rumfold, you go to work with the population you've got. Most Europeans have dealt with adapting political structures and societies to immigration, mostly by making government as morally unobtrusive as possible. Not that its necessarily been pretty, as you can see by the Netherlands recent scuffles over the tolerance that it should extent to less tolerant immigrants. But we still say that the European approach is now nearer to the old American approach, which enunciated, very clearly, the areas where government was not mean to to go. That American discourse now centres on where, morally, you as a citizen, or indeed Non-Resident Alien, may go, is to us rather disturbing. It should have caused more of a schism on the right by now, in our opinion.

The second area where we like science fiction writers to imagine states is where they do it on a grand economic basis. Let's say they don't care what the residents of a particular planet believe, but they all have to do the same thing. Douglas Adams did this a lot in his Hitchhikers books. There would be an entire planet devoted to beach holidays, or an entire planet devoted to record-keeping. The incongruous match-ups were the most fun. Indeed, you can go to the movie website and design your own planet, if you have the time and the boredom threshhold.

Which brings us to the unfortunate island of Saipan, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI). The place is all over the news because of the fact that Tom Delay was such a staunch supporter of their exemption from normal US labour protections. That made the island a top destination for cost-conscious garment makers that wanted to stamp their goods Made In the USA, because of the islands' status. DeLay's interest stems from his association with Jack Abramoff, a lobbyist that worked for the islands.

We'd have thought that it would be hard to entice congressmen into supporting your client by offfering them trips to the sweatshop capital of the Pacific. In fact, this was also remarked upon by the 2002 Irish World Cup Squad, who used the island to prepare for the main event in Japan and Korea. As Tom Humphries reported in his mostly entertaining book on the 2002 sporting year in Ireland, Laptop Dancing and the Nanny Goat Mambo, the squad were told by their manager Mick McCarthy that he'd played a few holes of golf there and it seemed rather fun.

And indeed, according to Marshall Whitman's Bull Moose blog, this is the same way that the Marianas lobbyists served their clients, flying over group after group of congressmen and their staffers for a spot of golf. Now, we're probably doing the islands a wee disservice, and apppreciate that our knowledge of them is down there with our knowledge of Pitcairn, but based on these two references, these two activites, golf and subhuman garment manufacture, are what sustain the islands' economy. A rum pairing, if ever we saw one.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Unleash The Meese

Time to get a bit of perspective on the news that the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist has decided that he will participate in a telecast that calls filibusters that block conservative judges an attack on faith. The idea is pretty ludicrous on its face, since even the greediest Republicans would turn on a party that is unncessarily in hock to very pious men.

But there, are of course, two lurking judicial mattters of import, the first of which, yes, will be an attempt to overrule filibusters in the senate. The second is much less talked about, on account of it being a little more delicate, but it has to do with Justice Rehnquist's health. We shouldn't be too ghoulish, but we haven't heard this discussed too much.

A while ago, you'd have thought that getting a fundamentalist looniecrat judge on the Supreme Court would have been the main event. So when the democrats, the blogs, and the Anti-Defamation League accuse the senator of ushering in a theocracy, you realise that the playing field has moved again. This time to Salt Lake City or something.

Where is this going? The charitable explanation is that the Republicans are simply making damn sure that the fundamentalists know that they tried their hardest before selling them out. Here's a more sinister call. When Rehnquist retires, which could be rather soon, might not, in the circumstances, and slightly less charming version of Antonin Scalia sail through a confirmation?

Does this make sense? Slightly. The Republicans have learnt that these noises can be turned on and off with relatively little in the way of permanet damage. Take UN ambassadorial nominee John Bolton. Nowadays we're meant to be worried about how he was gien to bullying subordinates. Very bad and all, but shouldn't the memory of Bolton storming the recount in Florida in 2000, all bug-eyed and crazy.

People forget this nonsense, untill the Court passes down some egregious judgement, and we ask how that brand new nutjob ended up flouncing around up there in a robe. We cn live with another Edwin Meese, indeed, the pornography might get even better as a result. But, the Supremes - they should not be messed with.

You probably don't know who I am. I was quite the puritanical busybody in my day.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Ass-ela, More Like

So we got back from DC to find this little note from corporate control in our inbox:

Amtrak canceled its Acela Express service that connects Washington, D.C., New York City and Boston today, April 15th, after a routine inspection found that there were cracks in the brakes of most of the coaches, the company said in a statement. The cancellation will remain in effect until the brake problem is resolved.

A mere 105 minutes after we had tried to booard one of the infernal machines, before being bumped to regular Amtrak, and that train being bumped to New Jersey Transit for most of the route. Boo.

The big news? We finally walked into the quite literally seminal establishment on 18th Street in Adams Morgan we call Madam's Organ. As a pun it should lose its allure quite early on, likewise for the atmosphere inside. But it does grow on you, especially the bar upstairs which has pool and a ridiculously convoluted way to get outside and drink on a streetside terrace. The dubious Latin popster didn't help matters, but then that's why the good lord gave us Jamesons.

Have a good weekend, and welcome, one Stereogum reader.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Words That End In "O"

There are only two that need maintain our attention here. The first of which is "limo". We can not, at least for today, resurrect our campaign to get it accepted as a substitute for "really cool" or "awesome". In fact, we'd like to ask out loud whether the word has indelibly become associated with something more sleazy.

The first time we sensed that the campaign might be in trouble was many years ago, back when stoner rock ruled the Brooklyn rock underground and no-one was allowed to wear tight trousers. Happy times indeed. For the hairy, as well as the unkempt, the whole western seaboard (of Brooklyn) was our playground.

And among the big bullies were Kung Pao, nasty sludgecore merchants that demanded the use of "molasses" as a metaphor. When they opened up for Therapy? at the Knitting Factory in 2001 the gap between sets was like being dragged out of quicksand.

What did Kung Pao choose as one of their signature anthems? The perfect means of explaining to the hairless their low-slung grimy sensibility was, of course "We Got Limo", which you can download at the linked bandpage if you have the patience. It worked, and a mere two months after traveling to New Jersey Country Club Wedding in one we could no longer associate them with purity or plutocracy.

This is a not unreasonable revulsion. Between the cheap gutrot liquor with which they are stocked, the amble floor space that encourages explicit gymnastics, and their popularity with fraternities and promgoers, you can see whay the classier elements that live on Museum Mile are reverting to horses and carriages.

The other word ending with "O" is Tempo, where we finally managed to grab a dinner as part of the "Not At All Like Manhattan Restaurant Week You Worthless Hack Marty" Dine In Brooklyn promotion. We wiill stop being ungrateful now, since Tempo joins that select group of Brooklyn restaurants with the class, and the brass, to rival the more outrageous Manhattan establishments. The other one we can think of is Gia in Fort Greene. We suggest you try both for DIB, although we desperately want to try Appplewood.

We also stop briefly to mourn French popster Johnny Hallyday's loss of a claim on his recording back catalogue. We must say, though, that we had assumed he was only borrowing it from Shakin' Stevens. Boom boom.

Finally we were genuinely shocked to learn while cruising Therapy?'s site that the mighty Tommy Vance was dead. We have been trying to cut back on using mighty, but there is no other word for Tommy, who was the king of rock, and convinced us that Rock DJs were more powerful than Indie DJs, and that both were merely sonic John The Baptists for the Jesus that would be the Metal DJs.

Tommy sounded like he was ordering your death, and you still wanted to curl up with his riffs. He was more abrasive than utter coke fiend Johnnie Walker and much better for it. We are sad that he will not be around to soundtrack the apocalypse, and sadder that we missed the news. Ah, the lot of a foreign correspondent...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Horror, The Horror

Not as you might first surmise, a reference to the majestic opener to Deadringer by RJD2, although you'd do well to stop by his head.

This is more a little note about the eerie similarities between Howard Kurtz the evil genius media correspondent at the Washington Post, or WaPo, and his namesake, the evil genius at the heart of Heart of Darkness, Colonel Kurtz.

This may take some time to expain, because we will try not to write as one overly dependent on political blogs. But we've been consistently astonished by the capacity of Mr. Kurtz to send the leftist bloggers into a frenzy, as exemplified by this pleading letter from Daily Kos for the WaPo to look into Mr. Kurtz' errors.

We were going to make passing note of this, and then tack on a dreadful pun, what with us having to spend so much time writing about Transport commissioners and all that. But while mulling over the dreadful pun, several parallels between the two and the way they influence their environment became apparent. We will own that the physical similarities between the Brando Kurtz and the Kurtz Kurtz are scant, to say the least.

But let's kick this feeble anlogy around for a while, positing the mainstream media as the overseers of the squalid plantation that is contemporary media, and the bloggers as the suffering native inhabitants, brought out into the open but brutally exploited, when they are not ignored.

And at the centre of this stands Kurtz, the biggest, smartest beast on the plantation, whose word is law. Kurtz, brilliant and capricious, is the only way that the whole edifice can keep functioning. He may be hated, but he will also be missed, even by his slaves. And is there a slight hint that he has gone native?

We think that this is a reasonable approximation of the Kurtz/blogger dynamic. They do hate him, they may be exploited by him, but they crave his approval, recognise what he can achieve. Could anyone say the same about Elisabeth Bumiller?

This media criticism is a funny business - the one area where blogs have pretty much as much power as the mainstream media to throw rocks at shoddy reporting, and the blogs spend a huge amount of time whining about the lone prominent practitioner. Jack Shafer, we note, has a much easier time, if only because he doesn't have a gig on CNN.

Anyway, enough pattern recognition for one day, we have our own Kurtz. It's called the Texas transport commissioner.

Or possibly Sugarzine, which wants more articles. should we oblige, or should we take them over and put them to work mining bauxite?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Last Thyrin Post Ever

Even if it brings us more traffic than god. Thyrin hs purchased airtime with several of our friends at Fox News, according to Spending Liberally, which suggests you try and confine your business to companies that buy from, um, progressive TV networks. Say what you like about Fox, as long as it's that Sean Hannity is a revolting liar, and we'll get along fine.


Another note on the shopping camp that is Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. What we found most disturbing about the place, so much so that it sort of took the edge off the cheap trousers, was how it ruthlesly reduced the experience to its core of the act of purchasing. The attitude was surely deliberate, one that said that the extras, the act of trying to broaden the experience, was not required given how awesomely cheap the trousers are.

The attitude serves as a kind of compliment to all of the other malls we have encountered in the US, the Somerset Collection and the Houston Galleria in particular. They're hardly temples to culture, but they've adapted to the way America's communities have developed and provide very comfortable and pleasant places to consume. And we're not ones for decrying consumption, what with this being a Rock Pig Blog (not a Thyrin blog, ya hear, Google?).

Visiting Woodbury reminded us of this article in the New Yorker about Victor Gruen, the father of the modern American shopping mall. Gruen was an Austrian immigrant, part of the wave of utopians of the post war years that thought that very ugly structures could cconstitute a force for good in society. Gruen, like many of his peers probably exaggerated the problems of city dwelling, and ignored what their plans did to what was left of the countryside. But we have to say that he meant well, hoping that the centers would bring people together, especially the teenagers who need places to throw Icees over each other.

So most of them still have cinemas, as well as maybe a place to buy a newspaper and hang out. The Somerset Collections, we must stress, is awesome in this regard. Woodbury, on the other hand, has possibly the least well-organised Starbucks ever, no place to buy a paper, and a brutally efficient food-court. In short the shopping experience pared back to its essentials, only spread across a huge area, because land is so cheap. But you couldn't quite see it as a sinister consumerist dystopia when the sun was shining off the mountains.

Anyway, back to getting boiled at NY1, in the form of tech reporter Adam Balkin who was going over a pimped-out Hummer this morning. Balkin's like a sslightly smug science teacher, one who knows about enough about his subject not to look too daft, and too much to be impressed by anything any more. Which is a pity, because some of the stuff he reports on could do with a little more bug-eyed amazement, and Balkin is so concerned with acting like a pro that he blands all of his subjects. Swap him with Roger Clark now.

We'd calmed down a little bit when who should appear but our disgusting hack of an "overlord" Marty "Resign Marty" Markowitz? He has ruined our morning in the service of pimping the excellent Brooklyn Restaurant Week. The urge to parrot Hunter S. Thompson's lines about Hubert Humphrey is overwhelming:

"There is no way to grasp what a shallow, contemptible and hopelessly dishonest old hack [he] is until you've followed him around for a while."

Harsh, overdone, derivative, maybe a tad unnecessary when criticising a Beep who is essentially a tourist officer. Yes, true alll of it, but the man is just an evil, rotten, senseless excuse for a politician who should barely rate the salary of a server at Uncle Louie G. Our intrepid reporter asked Marty whether this idea was essentially a reheating of the Manhattan fixture, not, in our humble opinion, that there's anything wrong with that. Instead of saying "yeah it is, but it's its slightly cheaper, just like everything else here, plus the food's better" like a real trouper, he starts mumbling nonsense like "ey, we're the real center unlike that, er, other "outer borough" Manhattan, hehehe, plus we've got all this diversity, blah blah blah..."

At which point cutesome sashayed in with coffee before we could attack our own eyes with ballpoint pens. The nasty manipulative tinker also set the prix fixe at $19.55 to commemorate some long-forgotten baseball team whose corpse he has robbed in the service of building an NBA stadium over our local. And he held this little charade in the Tuscany Grill in Bay Ridge, the only area that still takes his nonsense, as well as some other nonsense seriously. Most places more prosperous, or less white, tend to treat Marty with the lack of deference and interest this buffoon deserves.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Rock Lobster

The first day of spring comfortably exceeded the expectations of the weather-fiends. So there was only one thing do do - hit the park, drink wine outside, and get good and sunburnt. Hence the B-52s reference. By the time that the unexpected charms, and uncanny resemblance to the Tavern On Dean, of Sepia we were quite purple (follow the link for other places to get wild n' drunk n' burnt).

We followed the crimsoning of our right side with a visit to Woodbury Premium Outlets, the upstate cheap-trouser joint. Brimming with foreigners, including a sizeable contingent of Chavs. We have half a mind to submit it to Chav Towns if we thought the anxious middle class strivers that seem to populate their message boards would appreciate it.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

They Call Him The Puppeteer...He Seems To Be Obsessed With...Time.

Line from the trailer for Mindhunters, a piece of cinema so awful-looking it silenced the obnoxious hipsters sat behind us. We were waiting to see Sin City, and suggest you do likewise, if only to catch the trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy. Although the filumn itself is sexy enough, and reminds us of the sort of bloody cartoon vengeance we have in mind when we hope that someone gets "chopped up".

Er... congratulations to our future sovereign Prince Charles, on finally doing right by the Sensible One. He may yet grow into something more humble, and not have to be exiled.

Hopefully it bodes well for future behaviour of his waster son and his girlfriend Laura Gerard-Leigh. Or maybe we just had to mention the little tinker's beau because she brings us almost as much traffic as searches for Thyrin ATC, as well as the new! improved! resolutely ineffective! Thyrostart!.

You may have noticed that we have been rather silent on the subject of the Mets so far. That is deliberate.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Sacred And The Profane

Up early this morning to get some exercise, and we caught the Pope's funeral on NY1 (note to top news execs - give John Schiumo a satellite phone so he doesn't have to share the same crowded frequencies as the hoi polloi and get cut off). It did remind us of the Oscars in a peculiar way, with all the world celebrities milling around outside waiting for the action to start. Only it was a group of political celebrities, so we got Condoleeza air-kissing evryone instead of Nicole Kidman, and Star Jones was not able to sidle up to Gerhard Schroeder and pretend they were best friends.

While we're on important subjects, can we explain trolls to Michelle Malkin? She was very upset about someone dropping the C-Bomb all over her over at Political Animal's comments section. She was being wilfully naive in taking umbrage at the moniker, since, presumably, she avoids allowing comments because they'd be full of troils making her look stupid. Like she needs some help or something.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Mad Stylz Of Clarinetz

Nod there to the mighty Cutz And Stylz on Atlantic Avenue. Allthough the relevance is hard to discern, since we were not really planning an exploration of African hair salons.

No, we want to talk about a small step forward in our campaign against bafflement by Klezmer music. We were minding our own business, leaving a few intimidating calls with state transportation commissioners, when Cutesome dropped a culture bomb on us. "Come to a klezmer-hop/sheep/book-reading jam downtown," they commanded. We're there, we replied, and so we were, despite the best efforts of the crazy downtown roadbuilders, and the probably necessary security measures of the Museum Of Jewish Heritage. As we intimated in passing a while back, and as Gothamist laboured more recently (we fell back on the wagon), attacks on Jews are very pre-9/11.

The event was a reading by Sam Apple from his new book Schlepping Through The Alps, where Sam explores Austria's post-war experience of anti-Semitism through his travels with Hans, a half-Jewish shepherd, Communist and singer of Yiddish folk songs.

Sam's a sparse, humble, acute observer, neatly offsetting his grandmother Bashi's experience adapting to the Goy-drenched Houston of the 80s with the prejudice of post-war Austria. Sam only read about six segments, and the fictionalised bits were not that compelling, but he's smart and funny, particularly about lacking the essentials for a good sheep-yomp. He also notes that Austria went much less far in punishing its Nazis than Germany, in part to ensure the stability of the post-war carve up between Socialists and Christian Democrats. The reason for this was, in part, because of people like Hans, as well as the fact that Russia briefly occupied the country, and the uneasy compromise between the Allies did not encourage introspection.

(As an aside, and we hope that the author would not mind us briefly appropriating his observations, it should be noted that letting murderers walk free is often called the price of keeping out the Communists. The Pope, Pinochet, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan all believed it. It produces at best crappy justice.)

But Hans was very much the star, if only because he had a bit more of a backstory, and a slightly shy, very endearing, style of delivery. He also had a pretty fine backing band, trumpet, clarinetist and accordion/beats. We have a very ambivalent history with Klezmer, and still remember being hauled up by a Klezmer band that performed at school, and being forced to dance. We still remember skipping in a unco-ordinated fashion round the assembly hall, in front of a few hundred of our peers, and our ears burn with shame. We only managed to restore our faith in this artform thanks to the tender, if hardly orthodox, ministrations of jam-Klezmer titans Kugelplex in San Francisco.

Hans and co played a few songs, ranging from Romanian laments to jauntier clarinet-fuelled wig-outs, and even a few Klezmer-hop joints, courtesy of DJ So Called the aforementioned accordionist/beatmeister. The first was a tad ropey, a few lumpen house beats underneath a perfectly frisky performance by the three horns. It reminded us of the turbo folk so beloved of the serbs, although our ears are not a world music paradise, we'll confess. The second was much more fun, if only because it used some amazing, and very deftly-deployed samples, including pianos, which we fall for every time.

On the way out, one of the old ladies took aside and wanted us to know that Klezmer is Jewish soul music, a label we were ready to reject, if only because the dates of the two emerging as sounds were so far apart. But I guess gospel is too loaded with religious imagery, which, as far as our high-school German could tease out of the yiddish songs, was not the case with the Klezmer we heard. We could tease something out of that observation about the roots of the Jewish experience of anti-Semitism, but we'll do it badly, so we'll just stop here.

Final note to the princelings we spooked yesterday, as well as Marc Forne Molne of Andorra, and the Sultan of Brunei. We have found that this song (via Stereogum) helps. We can't get the stupid beastly thing out of our head.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We Feel Like God Has Defecated On Our Head

That a reference to some of the more troll-like comments left in a book of condolence for the Queen Mother. We noted earlier the unhealthy tandem fortunes of the Grimaldis and Hello! magazine. Well Hello! repays the favour with this skimpy yet cloying tribute to the patron saint of ageing playboys on its website.

Pretend Duchy's Just A Cornish Beer

While we're on the subject of small European principalities losing their rulers, if we were Fausta Morganati and Cesare Gasperoni of top obscure-Grand-Prix-host San Marino or Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein we'd be watching out for boney robe-wearers rather carefully right now.

And yes, Duchy is a rather fine Cornish beer, although it is a tad timid for our tastes. Better by far the dementia-prompting of the mighty Hicks Special Draft.

You Can Stop Gathering Now

A reference there to Larry Wachtel, the financial market commentary provider employed by Wachovia Securities, but most famous for his slots on 1010WINS radio in the morning. Larry will read out the closing prices, as well as whichever company is reporting its results today, and then read out the birthday of someone famous who was getting on a bit, and intone "gather ye rosebuds..."

The effect is delightfully sinister, as if only Larry is aware of the march of time. Rather like the recent idiotic panderings to the extreme right by Tom DeLay (The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior"), and John Cornyn, who essentially said, "I won't be doing any judge killing, but they are really annoying, aren't they? Hint, hint."

The ultimate analogy is probably the "who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?" line from top really-French-but-best-known-as-king-of-England monarch Henry II. Henry, getting particularly irritated by some ultramontane line-calls by his main priest, just sort of mused aloud about the Archbishop of Canterbury being chopped up in front of some likely choppers. Henry was, ultimately, sorry about what he said, and paid penance, in part because the Pope told him to.

Which brings our digression to a neat end, since we can now commence our Death Roundup, with the Bishop of Rome at number 1. Not that we have too much to say about the Papa's passing, what with being an atheist, raised, as all the best ones are, within the bosom of the established Church of England. He was evidently much more popular with those that didn't have to do as he ordered than with many of those that did. He was meant to be rather ornery, but that aside, playing what if games with some of his social stances can completely redraw the demography of the known world.

Number two is Saul Bellow, by whom we have not read anywhere near enough (our sum total is, we think, The Actual) to commment in detail. We did one day want to ask why both he and Philip Roth were so anxious to fit their narrators with incontinence pants, but such musings should be unfit for a day like this, or they would be if we had something genuinely erudite to say about him.

Number three, though is Prince Rainier, the top Pinochet-impersonator-and-overlord-of-anachronistic-statelet who ruled Monaco with an orange fist until yesterday. By all accounts Rainier was a personally dignified man who fought well against the Nazis. The problem we have is that his desperate attempts to maintain a viable state in Monaco tarnished the country, the dynasty, and even monarchy to an alarming degree.

A largely irrelevant backwater and plaything of the Grimaldi family, Rainier decided that the key to Monaco's greatness after the war was making it a suitable location for all the things that modern social democracies were a little more fastidious about. So he made it a haven for tax avoiders, B-list celebrities and Formula One. Grace Kelly and glamour made it a kind of St Tropez for the bronzed fifty-something, and probably condemned his children to tabloid hell. Rainier, more than any other monarch, caused the Hello!-isation of European monarchy. Elizabeth may have only just have inherited her position as Europe's longest-serving monarch from him, but she's been dealing with other, more poisonous, legacies for some years now.

There is also, of course, the truly wretched World Music Awards, which festered mightily among the Monegasques, and worked out a way to reward the musicians that sold records, rather than produced music of worth. But we spent good money and rare electrostim therapy removing the images from our brain. Let us just say that previous winner Roxette is probably inconsolable, if, as is possible, Prince Albert now has to devote his energies to running the mini-state rather than providing artistic cover to cheese-pop mongers. And top patron-of-Scunthorpe-chicken-processors 50 Cent scored big in 2003, while bringing hackery in rap to new depths.

Gringcorp is going to hell for stealing the CofE's bandwidth, and for getting confirmed despite not believing in God

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Beignets In A Black Suit? Not Good.

Another ginormous gap between posts - this time because we decided to travel without a laptop, and we have never worked out how to use Blogger's post by email function. We were in New Orleans conventioneering and drinking, and we didn't think the occasion demanded we get particularly tooled up, IT-wise.

Not that we used the freedom from laptop to actually explore the place. Five years we've been going, and we've barely strayed from the French Quarter. Round after round of parties on the epically tawdry Bourbon Street, as well as some reasonable, well, occasionally inspired, food. Including our first go at the sugar-dusted beignets, which are not a habit you want acquire, particularly if you're dressed like Johnny Cash.

In fact we took in more of the place during our ride back to the airport than two days in town gave us. William, the cab driver, a Nawlins native, recovering alcoholic and porbable ex-wild man, was good at pointing things out to us, and took us via Esplanade, fronted by grand old houses and covered in sleepy vegetation. So thanks to the obscure motivational seminar that caused us to avoid Tulane for that.

And thanks to jetBlue for restoring our faith in air travel. We'd love to be all perverse, and know that their fans can be a bit cultlike (two neighbors of our former acquaintance once hit on our roommate just because he once interviewed their CFO). But their people are all good, there is legroom, and they serve Munchies, which do for chips what Technotronic did for hi-NRG dance music.

Time for a nap.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Guer(err)o Rocher

We can only apologise for the paucity of posts over the last couple of days - as we have warned, we had a new media venture to launch. And there was barely sufficient time to cast a jaundiced eye over NY1 in the morning. A lot of it seeped in by osmosis, so we are dimly aware that Annika Pergament and Debbie DuHaime were replaced by understudies, in the latter case much to our relief (her voice sounds like a shrill, high-pitched version of Patty LaBelle).

But we should offer congratulations to Gary Anthony Ramsay, who recently sired a child that was the dead spit of that of a colleague of ours. This may be the reason why top general-assignent-but-really-human-interest reporter Roger Clark was plonked outside of St Pats wearing his sad face to, er, cover, the Pope's current illness.

Still, there's always room for that last refuge of scoundrels, the rock review. We went on a comfort metal-buying spree at the Virgin, and emerged with Leviathan, the latest from Mastodon and Guero from Bech, because we were weary, and the thought of buying yet more Backyard Babies brought on The Fear.

So, to Leviathan. We went to see them about three years ago (we're sorry, did you think this was a real review? No, it's a chance to show off, like all the other music journalism, so there) at the departed, but not yet siteless Luxx. Our associate for the evening expected that Mastodon, which does conjure up images of scantily-clad women on the back of hairy dinosaurs, would be a bit more trad. She was pleasantly surpirsed by how "mathy" they were.

At the time, the idea of describing metal as mathy was not too us a familiar one. We got the hang of it quite quickly, though, as early as the next Wetnurse gig, in fact. It goes to the heart of why metal is such incredibly versatile music - that something so noisy can be stripped down to its bare essentials or turned into a baroque mess while still sounding vital. So, Grindcore has the rhythm, but not the melody, and only the barest of arrangements. Death metal has the screeching, and some melody, but not much in the way of rhythm (which the racists of Scandinavia have decided is just not the Aryan way).

Math metal tends to have rather jerky stop-start rhythms, and the melody is rather elusive, but there is an impressive slate of arrangements. And Leviathan does this wonderfully, like head-food for the grumpy. We won't bore you with the ways that it draws upon Moby Dick, except to note that we seem to remember Meatloaf, playing Tiny in Wayne's World saying that a particularly good band "whaled".

Do we have much more to add? Not really, suggest you go to this pdf of a Times review if you want to hear a college boy talk metal (he thinks they're the soul of jazz). But they don't sound like Rush despite what you may hear. Their noise makes you feel helpless, like all the best stuff.

Guero we've come to far more solid conclusions on, although we have much less to say. There are three bands that are good at doing this loping, smiley-faced, rock-hop thing, and one of them is dead and the other one is mockney. You could say the Dust Brothers should be in there as well, but when they're not buffing up skinny boys with guitars they sound a bit like Thievery Corporation.

But the Brothers do keep cropping up, because the word is out that Beck has returned to Odelay territory. Of course, this line lasts about as long as your cloth-eared dilettante can remember the first song, which is, we must shamefully confess, guilty of stealing from So Whatcha Want, locking it up, and then making it all inane and bouncy. It gets wistful and Latin for a while, and then goes a tad downhill, and downbeat. Sounds a lot like Sea Change, which stole from Serge Gainsbourg but was no fun. And was played too much by the chap upstairs when we lived in P Heights.

Oh dear, this hasn't gone in the direction we wanted. because we really liked the album. We have spent the last few days sort of lunking around and bobbing like an underfed pimp to it. Be a great thing to play at dinner parties when people start getting stroppy. Blah, time to get our drink on. Happy weekend.