Avoiding Glastonbury's mud canoeing (!), I opted for a more convenient local festival, 02's Wireless in Hyde Park. Would love to have checked Vitalic (whose remix of Bjork's "Who Is It", was so hot, it inspired her to make music again) but was DJ-ing in the Xfm 'Blue Room' bubble at the same time.
Saturday 25 June, 02 Wireless Festival, Xfm stage. Tickets here:
Boy, I miss the fun I had with this little beauty, a phone scanner I bought in the early 90s after being 'turned onto' it by a cool experimental electronic artist, Robin Rimbaud aka 'Scanner' when he came in as a guest on an MTV Party Zone show I was producing (air date: 7 April 1995). This gadget created legal 'grey areas' as you could sit and listen to people's mobile phone conversations - f*cking awesome!! Jerky Boyz in FULL effect!!! I'm pretty sure Princess Diana's 'Squidgygate' nightmare came from a mobile scanner like the one pictured.
Forget much of today's glitzy semi-staged 'Reality TV', this was real, raw 'Reality Radio' beating any soap opera dead. Like messing around with a ouija board, it was fascinating - what you'd hear had loads to do with when you tuned in & turned on. Friday nights were heat with people getting charged up for the weekend, ready to "f*cking 'ave it LARGE!!" Sunday afternoons on the other hand, were incredibly dull yet made riveting transmission - old 'computer says no' type mono-tone moaners talking for ages about what they might buy if they got their sh*t together to venture to the corner shop or bolder still - the supermarket.
There's a film script in this piece of tech. My friends & I heard so many killer conversations - everything from people cheating on their partners, drug deals, a pop-group manager bitching how he'd been ripped off by a major record company, people involved in a serious Ladbroke Grove invident which we all read about the next day (pre-internet!). I remember being jet-lagged around 4AM so instead of vegging out to TV, let's get better entertainment from the 'AR800' and though the airwaves were sparse, I still got rambling Nigerians, luvved-up teenage ravers off their heads ranting and on the flip-side a drawn out relationship breaking up slowly across pockets of sombre static. The info. gleaned from this device could be devestating; once we heard these guys talking about a stage they were off to, giving out names, numbers etc. - need I say more?
Flying back from an MTV shoot in New York for Junior Vasquez, I tried the scanner at the airport, picking up baggage handlers plus a lawyer re-assuring a female client about her husband who was seriously harassing her.
So why do I miss the fun? In short, everything & everyone went digital leaving analogue isolated, making this specific model redundant if you got your kicks from eavesdropping. Anyway, you know that if you look hard enough, there's a new piece of kit on the block ready to give the ears that same thrill.
Touted as the new Google, this'll be plenty of fun for all y'all sample-spotters, media mash-upers & digital diggers - get widd it!
So Jacko's not guilty & vows to stop sleeping with boys. Some twisted PR in there, something along the lines of paying off his legal fees without having to shed his cherished Beatles catelogue, maybe a farewell sleepover auctioned on e-bay. Um, anyway, feast on these personal noteworthy/referenced bits & pieces I've come across during my recent mag & web frenzy:
FACT MAGAZINE/SUMMER 2005
Blogged loads on free mags & one of my faves, FACT do it again with Prince Charlie looking Chav-tastic on the cover plus great piece from Richard X with his top 20 hardcore records ever made during those old skool rave daze.
Talking of more quality free mags, 'GoodForNothing', published by several ex-Sleaze Nationers does the biz with issue 3 exciting me with its fresh smell, design, feature on Vitalic and particularly Jody Thompson's article on 'Top London Scams', you know the kind of stuff - guys in vans 'quickly' offering you speakers or laptops, pickpockets or distressed strangers asking for money due to stressful situations.
OK, let's make it 3 if we're talking free, I picked up 'Pimp' no.2 (logo/right) & was suitably impressed during some late night pre-shut eye reading with mini-sized features on Norman Jay MBE, 'scrawler' Nick Purser, Jason Bass & DJ Blakey.
Critics have called the above site, 'Pay-per-view slaughter'. Its creator, John Lockwood has 'targeted' (sorry!) his web invention at global marksmen & the Sunday Telegraph back in March mentioned some of his clients (!):
Dale Hagberg, 38 from Indiana, paralysed from the chin down for 18 years, will use a joystick operated by his mouth to shoot a black-buck antelope.
"I'm very excited," said Mr. Hagberg, speaking with the help of his father Bob, 68, who can interpret his murmurs. "The last time I was hunting was just before I was injured in a diving accident. I'llmove the gun with my lips and whem I'mready to shoot, I'll puff."
Howard Giles, 30, was the first person to shoot a real animal on the internet, using a 30.06 telescopic rifle rigged up in a shed on Mr. Lockwood's ranch and linked to the worldwide web. "Bang Bang, my baby shot me down(!)"
UNCUT MAGAZINE/JULY 2005
From interview with Van Morrison:
How do you respond to the accusation that you're an extremely difficult - even impossible - man to work with?
I'm not alone in that. Every famous person is described as difficult or impossible. Beacuse that's the way the media perpetuates the myth. The like to pin famous people down as difficult. Or they'll pin them down as a nice guy and wait for an excuse to turn it around and say, "He's done this, he's thrown a tantrum - he was nasty after all." There's always negative connotations going on with anyone who's famous. They may say negative things about me because I work very hard. I don't know. I think it says more about them than it does me.
Didn't you once urinate next to Elvis?
That honour was mine. It was in the bathroom of a Memphis club. I was standing there at the urinal and I thought this fella looked like Elvis, so I asked him. He said, "I am Elvis Presley and you sure look like Al Green." I'd liked to have shaken his hand but it didn't seem like the right time to be getting so close and intimate. That's the only time we ever met.
If you hadn't been born again (in 1973), would you be alive today?
I doubt it. With the life I was living, every night was a party. I didn't even have to throw the party. So long as I was in town, Al Green was the party. Damn right. And those parties...there was coke, there was smoke, there was wine and rum, there was naked women, every vice you can think of. If I hadn't stopped all that, I'd be with Marvin, Otis and Sam Cooke now.
How far gone were you when you converted?
The night I was converted, the whole band and myself were in a plance coming from San Francisco, flying over the Rockies. I'm drinking champagne, a lot of girls rubbing and feeling and loosening up, I'm lighting up a little pot, stoned out of my mind. See I was taking life like a whim. Say that plane had crashed into them mountains and blew my damn fool ass to pieces? I had to stop living loose. Did I need 14 women at one time? Wouldn't it be better off choosing one? See, I started to realise I was living a dangerous life. I was living outside my mind. I had to get hold of myself and realise that the kingdom of G-d was inside me.
What do you say to those who argue that being with G-d can never be as big a high as a line of coke and a willing sinner to get down and diry with?
Anyone who says that has to be a light-minded person who don't know anything about life. What that person doesn't see is that the end of the white line could be the end of the line for them. That person might want to make that line as long as they can. When you're a child, you can't see the foolishness of drugs. But when you become a man, you need to change, and you know where you're going. There comes a time when you need to stop playing around with fire.
Doesn't part of you miss cocaine, whiskey etc?
No, because I didn't know what I was doing when those things were in my life. It was only when I found Al Green in a Rolls-Royce sobbing his eyes out that I knew I had to leave these things behind. Al Green turned to Al Green and asked: "What is that cocaine doing in your pocket? Why don't you roll down that window and throw that packet away?" Well I didn't want to throw it away. That was $500 worth of coke. But I told myself that it didn't take rehab to get on that stuff and it wouldn't take rehab to get off it. That's when reason came in and all the egotistical, wicked fun had to stop. I'd been with women, a great many women, and my hand would be in all kinds of places it shouldn't have been. So maybe my hand was in the pit of hell, right there.
PLAYBOY: What's one of the most memorable responses you've gotten from a fan?
GIAMATTI: I was on Houston Street in New York City, and a bunch of gangbanger guys pulled up next to me in an SUV. One guy leaned out the window and went, "That's the nigger that played in Howard Stern!" which was the first time I'd been called "nigger." The number of movies I've done virtually guarantees that one of them is on cable at any time. It's nonstop Giamatti, which means those glittering performances in such fine pictures as Big Momma's House will be marching across your screen relentlessly.
THE WIRE MAGAZINE/JUNE 2005
From 'Seriously Funny' article, David Stubbs on discovering that humour and music do mix:
I first saw Derek Bailey performing solo at the London School of Economics in the mid-1970s. Carrying a portable TV on stage along with his guitar, he declared to the small audience, "Oscar Peterson is on later. I've always wanted to play with him." An hour later he switched on the set and jammed for a while with - more accurately against - the pianist's trio: an ironic take on jazz packaged for TV.
Californian noisemaker Boyd Rice/Non's 1978 LP, Pagan Muzak, consisted of 17 different locked and looped short tracks pressed onto a single side of vinyl 7", playable at the four speeds (16, 33, 45 and 78 rpm) on a regular turntable. An extra spindle hole had also been drilled off-centre to multiply the different ways the record could be played back. Taking into the account the turntable speeds, spindle hole choice and time it would take for a groove to wear out, Rice had effectively created the longest playing record in the world. Inevitably, the fact that this was a 7" record packaged in a 12" sleeve with the words "Stereo LP" in the right hand corner caused many a baffled record buyer to complain about being short-changed by five inches. In reality they had bought a record that could be played for eternity - or at least until the listener's turntable collapsed under the strain of grinding out Rice's embryonic noise attack ad nauseam.
Does acting help? You once said it was just a means to an end...
That was 'Old Mickey' talking. I'm grateful to have an opportunity to do it again. I've also aligned myself with people who have my well-being in perspective. I've got to be continuously be reminded, so 'Old Mickey' doesn't slip back in and fuck everything up, and I'm out of work another ten years. 'Cos this industry is not about ability. Which is what I wanted it to be about: just really fine acting.
But you've made some bad choices. How do you explain Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man (1991)?
Well, I bought a big old fucking house that I couldn't pay for, and then this fucking turd falls on my plate...They offered me a lot of money. But going to work every day, with a director who had no spine - who's letting Don Johnson tell him where to put the fuckin' camera...No house is worth that amount of money! I should have burnt the house down! If I'm working with some cunt and the material sucks and I'm doing it to pay off a big house and a couple of fancy cars, then I got no business doing that movie. But I'm not gonna do anything I don't want to right now. I'm not gonna do Karate Kid 92 for $200,000.
Why aren't people taking more chances on you?
Well, I raised a lot of hell for 15 years, so there's still the perception out there that "he's a scary guy". It's an old reputation that unfortunately people are still afraid of. I just want to be known for my work. Not my exploits off screen.
FORTEAN TIMES MAGAZINE/JUNE 2005
From 'Strange Days' column:
This single-minded Pole died a couple of years ago now, but we feel he should be memorialised. After the war he moved to London, married, and had five children. The family moved to Crouch End in the early 1960s, and it was there he first became a serious collector. He filled the upstairs room of his four-storey Victorian house with the spoils of hunts through the local builder's skips and junk shops. One room was packed with vacuum cleaners, another with cameras. He bought every recording he could find by Elvis Presley.
As time passed and his children moved out, the collections piled one on top of the other, like sedimentary layers, until each room was full to the ceiling. He pushed a small cart around Crouch End, gathering discarded building materials, which he carefully arranged in the garden - doors in one corner, windows in another. There were washing machines, wood, motorcycles and bicycles. His wife used to sit in a deck chair on a patch of grass, surrounded on all sides by a growing mountain of junk. In 1981 she left - and he covered that patch too. By 1998, Trebus was reduced to living in a small corner of his kitchen, surrounded by newspapers and children's toys, with only his Jack Russell terrier for company. The garden was so full of junk that he needed ladders to get in and out of the house.
Trebus's neighbours remained on suprisingly good terms with him, while making vociferous complaints to Haringey council about the rats that infested house and garden. After years of wrangling, the council decided to act. When its clearance team erected scaffolding, Trebus, then aged 80, climbed up with a pair of mole grips and tugged at the bolts holding it together. He was arrested and the contractors moved in. Freed from the cells several hours later, he returned to argue, with wit and infuriating logic, about the value of almost every item in the 13,905 cubic feet (394 cu metres) of rubbish they removed. He welcomed a BBC documentary team, believing that the prescence of cameras offered him a measure of protection. In 2001, he gave up fighting and moved to a residential care home. The BBC film, Mr Trebus: A Life Of Grime was shown posthumously on 13 October 2002.
Eccentric hoarder, born Ostrawa, Poland, 11 Nov 1918; died Haringey, London, 29 Sept 202, aged 83
From recent New Yorker, Donald Lau, the fortune cookie writer/composer:
Turntable + DJ = Musical Instrument - further proof? Click left-side logo.
Hold tight the underwater hotel bizness!!!:
Cubicle hurdling, trash-can long jumps etc. - doing exactly what it says on the tin/banner:
Someone once told me about these Dominatrixes who were onto a winner as their kinky-flipped-out masochistic clients would actually pay them to do things like literally lick their (the Dominatrix's) house spotlessly clean and naked (what a bonus!). Similarly weird is this 'Rent-A-German' site with Germans on offer to suit all occasions - trips to the beach, a German who will cook you German food, talk sport & politics in the kitched, do some Deutsch decorating. 75 on display when I last looked (!)
Colors on fi-ya again, harking back to those days when the slighest whiff or sighting of a new issue would have me drooling like a dog on heat. Some of those early ones like 'Race', 'Time' or 'Drugs' were so bang on the money with much creativity flowing from its pages - Tibor Kalman (RIP) and Fabrica, 2 solid examples. The current 'Lust'-themed issue had me from its opening salvo:
"THERE ARE THE SAINTS. AND THEN THERE ARE THE REST OF US, WHO SOMETIMES CRAVE, YEARN, COVET, HUNGER, ITCH, ACHE, PINE, AND HANKER FOR TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING. THIS IS LUST."
Momentary nostalgia's a great drug - at the right time, in the right conditions you feel great. Today, a quick burst, a flashback fix on a sunny Summer's day walking past Trax Records, Soho, en route to a Kidulthood meeting.
Shop manager, Craig, possibly the longest running record shop manager in Soho (!) is another important player in shaping my being.
Craig and the former shop he ran, 'Record Cellar' were seminal seeds sown in my musical development/taste; I could go as far as saying that much of my emotional outlook in life was formed by what I heard and felt back then in that dark, dingy basement below the Oasis Fashion shop in the alleyway of Newport Court, Leicester Square, WC2 (next to Steve Sounds), mid/late 80s, just before Acid House was about to explode. 'Record Cellar' & 'Trax' have been pivotal vinyl portals for the creme de la creme of DJs (Paul Oakenfold, Boy George, Danny Rampling, etc.) and the scenes associated with them i.e. Balearic, Acid House, Hard House, Trance etc.
Craig turned me on to endless Pet Shop Boys mixes & remixes, PWL promos, Desireless 'Voyage Voyage', Company B's 'Fascinated', Divine, Eurobeat, Hot Mix 5 records, Bobby O, those Upfront compilations; overall plenty of euphoric, uplifting Hi-NRG music.
If I'd ever gone or go the gay way, blame Craig!!! I told him how well he'd aged which came out all wrong (!) I meant to say how he actually hadn't aged at all after all those years; maybe I was (subconsciously) flirting......
News here too:
So simple, I love it.
PostSecret - an ongoing community art project where people mail-in their secrets anonymously on 1-side of a homemade postcard. The imposed basic creative limits give rise to some crazy, harsh, twisted results that speak for themselves:
Some secrets cannot be separated from the cards they're on. One sad little postcard has a lineup of seven 3-cent stamps, each with a picture of a Conestoga wagon on it, plus one 2-cent stamp of a locomotive: "I found these stamps as a child, and I have been waiting all my life to have someone to send them to. I never did have someone."
The following typed message was pasted onto a card made out of a $50 parking ticket: "I got a parking citation and so did the car next to me. I replaced the ticket on the car next to me with mine. My ticket got paid. And the one I took? I mailed it to PostSecret." It isn't so much a confession as a live performance of sin.
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