Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wednesday 29/06/11

Tuesday 28/06/11

I've never been associated with an artist more in my life than I have with Bjork. Debut came out when I was 13 and I don't remember how or why I came across it, but I know for sure that I spent my remaining teenage years utterly sucked in. I know that most people who have visited this blog associate London Preppy with Ellis, but let me tell you, in pre-internet life back in the 90s I sure fucked off enough people with a different obsession.

My first concert ever was Bjork in 1995, a fact that I'm still immensely proud off, enough to start 'oh, so what was the first gig you ever went to' conversations with anyone I want to victimise. Because they sure ain't gonna top that.

My favourite Bjork moment remains her walk up to the stage after winning Best Female at the '95 European MTV Awards. Look how she stumbles out of her seat when her name (or something close to her name anyway) is read out. Look how she pauses and blocks her ears, partly trying to take the moment in, party trying to tune everything out - most likely the voices in her head, which I'm sure are always there.

There's less scope for pop obsession in one's 20s and 30s, but even a couple of years ago when I decided to get some lyrics tattooed on my body I went back and drew from Bjork, leaving me with the hilariously apt etching of ARMY OF ME on, erm, my right arm.

I think the most telling moment of how much I loved her and her music as I was growing up came two years ago when I was setting up a new surround sound speaker system in my living room with my Dad. Once connected we both stood in the middle of the room and I started playing Pagan Poetry very loudly. A few second into the song (and try to think of a better song to test clarity of sound if you can) my Dad said 'is this Bjork?' And for a 60-something year old from Greece who's never really had an interest in music, never owned a record, to recognise a voice in a song that came out half a decade after I moved out of home...well, both I in my teenage years and Bjork must have been doing something right.

The new song, Crystaline, makes me so happy to have this story to share. No one like her ever again.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Tuesday 21/06/11

Well, here's the proposed back cover blurb for 'Exit Through The Wound':

‘Where are you even getting morphine from?’

‘It just seems to gravitate towards me whenever I pass a hospital. I think it can smell pain.’

Maine Hudson has a high tolerance for pharmaceuticals and a low tolerance for everything and everyone else.

This includes his Greek parents, who require Maine's frequent appearances in Athens as the price of bankrolling his glorious isolation in London.

This includes his career as a consultant, his clients, his boss, the majority of his colleagues and people he sees on the way into work.

This includes the dumb model boyfriend of the American girl that he has decided to fall in love with.

This includes her also.

When Maine fails to obliterate himself through drug-overdoses, the obsessive changing of his legal name and half-hearted thoughts of suicide, it falls to his central nervous system to pick up the challenge of trying to kill him off.

Can Maine survive with his lack of values intact?

(Full credit to NJ for this)

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Thursday 16/06/11

These are my favourite songs from the last two months. This endeavour is also known as Best of 2k11 - Part 3 (May/June). I might even write a little comment for each one.

(I have posted clickable links for the songs that I could find on YouTube)

1. Redemption - Frank Turner > Well this is amazing, plus it namechecks Bruce Springsteen in the first verse, so I don't know how you can ask for more than that to be honest. It seems to me that you're just being deliberately difficult. In other news, Frank Turner has the skinniest arms on the planet. It's quite scary actually

2. All for you (ft Didi Bruckmayr) - Wolfram > This is a Japan-only bonus track on the Wolfram album. It appears to be impossible to find on the internet, even just to listen. Go and make some Japanese friends. It's worth it. Also, this person is Austrian. AUSTRIAN

4. Beth/Rest - Bon Iver > This is the most un-Bon Iver song in his catalogue and I'm sure most Bon Iver fans hate it, but they are probably stupid and too young and they weren't around in the 80s

5. Dial my number - Sophie Ellis-Bextor > I have a Sophie Ellis-Bextor fetish, I'm really sorry

6. Calgary - Bon Iver > This Bon Iver single has the worst video of the year so far and I'm currently awaiting an apology from Bon Iver himself [via twitter]. It appears to have been inspired by Gap commercials from the beginning of the last decade and Twilight. An embarrassment for everyone involved. Nice song though

7. Abducted - Cults > I wish that somebody would break my heart so I could listen to this in a more meaningful way. Unfortunately, when you're permanently alone such opportunities are limited

8. Bronx Brooklyn Queens - Carte Blanche > I would play this song if I were a DJ, but only near the end of the night when everyone's passing out on ketamine

9. Battle axe - Tepr > I <3 Tepr

10. Arabest - SebastiAn > I don't know how these French ppl keep coming up with the best music

11. Taken by a stranger - Lena > Yes, this is the German Eurovision entry. I've always liked this girl, but I was watching some pre-Eurovision show (because I'm obsessed) and someone was interviewing her and she said that fans can go up to her and talk to her if they want, but they are not allowed to touch her. And I fell in love. Thankfully, Lena raped me with her eyes when she was on stage performing the song in the final and I didn't have to deal with another case of unrequited passion

12. One foot before the other - Frank Turner > Best lyrics of the year so far and the third song on the list to mention 'blood'

13. Another day - Chris Malinchak > Some ramdom blog mp3 that no one's heard about but it's really good

14. Love in motion (ft Mayer Hawthorne) - SebastiAn > I have a friend who thinks the vocals in this song are 'very sexie', and perhaps he'd be most sexually content in a sanatorium in Switzerland in 1923 taking care of tuberculosis patients

15. Never saw the point - Cults > This is quite summery, I guess, if you live in a country that has seasons and stuff. I don't :-(

16. You are a tourist - Death Cab For Cutie > This is quite good in an 'indie dad' kind of way

17. Blue cassette - Friendly Fires > Again, summery

18. 2 hearts - Digitalism > Huh. More German ppl. Isn't Europe fucking great for music? Yes, it is

19. Dead or alive - Yuksek > Oh look, more French ppl

20. What about my dreams? - Kati Wolf > This is the Hungarian Eurovision entry and I better move along quickly before I realise that I've included it here

21. Pumped up kicks - Foster The People > 'My jam of the summer, y'all' -A lamestreamer

And finally, since we're halfway through the year and all, here are my Top 10 albums of 2k11 so far:

1. Safari Disco Club - Yelle

2. Wolfram - Wolfram

3. Bon Iver - Bon Iver

4. England Keep My Bones - Frank Turner

5. Zonoscope - Cut Copy

6. Total - SebastiAn

7. Cults - Cults

8. Pala - Friendly Fires

9. House Of Balloons - The Weeknd

10. Holy Ghost! - Holy Ghost!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Wednesday 01/06/11

So this is the awkward stage in my life, these few months before my book comes out, where I’m kinda thinking that maybe something will happen when it does, something will change and I won’t have to work anymore, or in any case I won’t have to work in the same sense that I’ve known all these years since I left University, i.e. going into an office from Monday to Friday and working for a big corporation and waiting for the weekend and then repeating the following week and doing this until I’m 65. Is it 67 now? When have they set ‘retirement age’ for? 68? It feels like someone just pulls these numbers randomly out of the air, completely arbitrarily. As if I’m going to live that long, as if any of us will. And until September when the book comes out, I’ve kinda already given up on all this full-time employment business, and I’m blindly hoping that I’ll ‘break out’ or become a ‘literary sensation’ (because it’s 1922 in my head) or ‘find fame and fortune’ and I’ll be able to spend the rest of my life (or whatever’s left of it anyway), casually working on subsequent novels, living off huge advances, but really just traveling up and down the west coast of the United States, flying to properties that I own or rent in desired holiday destinations as perceived by the residents of metropolitan cities in the western hemisphere (Cabo is an actual place, right?) and taking unplanned trips to southern European capital cities – even Athens – where I’ll be getting drunk outdoors on warm Wednesday nights with mixed groups of ‘cool’ locals and other careless travelers who don’t have to get up in the morning to go to work. And I’m counting on one novel to accommodate this for me, one measly novel that would probably need to sell more than fifteen million copies for the plans that I have in mind to actually materialise. And I don’t think it will, though I do like it a lot and I stand by it like no one’s fucking business. So 2011 is my so-called ‘wasted year’, the year that I’ll look back on when I’m 45 and think, God, was I young and dumb or what? Because nothing’s gonna happen, none of this anyway; instead I’ll bum around for a few months, the book will come out and sell a few hundred copies, I’ll do a few readings here and there with progressively sparser attendance before it finally clicks that this is not how things were meant to work out for me and I’ll go back with my tail between my legs and ask if my desk is still there, same person as before, only minus the false impressions and a little more broken. Well, a lot more broken actually. So yeah, I guess this is a one-off stretch in my life right now, where I have a few months of ‘hope’ (read: ‘delusion’) ahead of me before it all crashes down, and it’s an interesting and precarious stretch where I can sell myself as someone who’s about to do something…before my remaining years arrive, which I’ll have to spend as someone who almost did.

Exit Through The Wound is out in 99 days.