Drugs influence taste, well, my taste for drugs

IMG_0536

I don’t do drugs, I am drugs.” Salvador Dali

When I was a kid, I used to look up at the sky at twilight in wonderment. It seemed to hold so many possibilities and secrets. The azure blanket sent sparks all around my brain, setting off a demented creativity. I would write weird stories, come up with silly songs; think about a future where I wouldn’t be an accountant or engineer like everyone I knew. I wanted to explore the otherness of the world around me, the flashing lights in the sky, the wrong colours of the morning, the glow around people that wasn’t from the Ready Brek commercials. I didn’t want the boring cycle of cigarettes leading to alcohol all the way to heroin. Fuck that, I thought, looking up at that blue sky, the entrance to space as I saw it. This was my gateway drug.

Back in the late eighties, early nineties, certain freedoms seemed to enfold. There was a push away from conservatism, toward activism and self-expression. The city streets were filled with identity. Goths, metallers, punks, indie types, grunge, clubbers and a fair few paisley shirts could be seen on a sunny afternoon in any park anywhere, all trying to carve out their corner of the universe. The schoolbag was your canvas and your social media account: The Pixies and the Stone Roses; The Cure and the Smiths; Metallica and Slayer. Take one look at the schoolbag and you knew roughly who this guy or girl was. Those who had nothing on their schoolbags belonged to a world that seemed to abhor creativity. I mean, fuck them. Probably got them free from their local bank.

We were the Generation X-ers. A term which I hate as it fits into the niche of the marketing rather than the human experience. We weren’t all out wandering about like we were living in the Douglas Coupland novel. Maybe we were a little more disaffected about society than the baby boomers and maybe there was a more nihilistic quality to the art that flourished in that time. However, plenty seized on the money train and those who grew up to be politicians followed the same template as those who came before them. So who were these Generation X-ers? I was a slacker by heart but a worker by necessity. When I left school it became apparent that everybody financed their weekends with the drudgery of a working week. Who was I to go against that wretched tide? The art that was created had to be worked at and refined. It was a serious business and its legacy can be seen in that all the bands from the slacker era are still gigging and producing nearly 30 years later.

Naturally, staring at the sky led me to want to see it in different ways, with a constant soundtrack running through my head usually through a skinny silver Sony walkman, an artefact which I still miss because post-punk doesn’t sound right to me on digital devices. I wanted to see that sky through different eyes, with different emotions. Identifying myself as an other meant I did exactly the same things as everyone else like me, but I considered it individual. The first hit off that cigarette waiting for the bus at 7am would give you a headrush for at least twenty minutes before you had that second cigarette upstairs on the bus, full volume Ride album smashing your eardrums as with every other sleepy soul in that foggy vehicle. My greasy long hair didn’t really work as long hair in the conventional sense but it was mine. I looked pale and like shit most of the time. This was the look I was going for. I can’t imagine that sullen fucker’s face being a profile pic in today’s vanity driven social world. My vanity was completely at odds with reality, existing in my head, a place I longed to get out of.

Everything seemed a bit more real in the 90s. There was a conscious attempt to get away from the 1980s and all its shiny accoutrements. The jet set life of Duran Duran, cocaine, models and champagne didn’t fit in well with the grim realities of unemployment, terrorism and social upheavel. You had to search out your favourite bands, getting excited if an Iron Maiden or House of Love album appeared in your tiny record shop or repeatedly harassing the owner whether he had the latest Fall or Wedding Present album. It was a cycle: save up the money, hit the shop, buy the album. Listen on repeat for two weeks then start the process again. I still know the lyrics to albums I haven’t listened to in 25 years. I kept the cassettes beside my bed which as a 12 year old provided a tiny curtain to hide the empty cans of beer behind. Experimentation is the key to creativity right? So swig a bit of Harp, realise it was disgusting, hide the can under the bed. Swig some stout. Ugh I hate this. Swig another bottle of stout. How do people drink this stuff? More and more and more…until my mother cleaned my room, pulled back the bed and found thirty empty cans. She cried and cried despite my protestations that every 12-year-old experiments and I wasn’t a raging alcoholic.

My eldest sister got me into smoking which I remind her of to this day. 1987, I was at U2, my first gig, wide eyed with wonderment. Lou Reed was there too. Who was this guy? That guy’s amazing. People were drinking cans, everyone was smoking. I was a sports nut but these people seemed cool, so this is where it was at. Sis handed me a fag and asked if I wanted a drag. I didn’t hesitate and started a lung support structure which would only end a few months shy of my 40th birthday. I know it is ridiculous, but smoking WAS cool despite what the ads said. It was. Maybe not for the non-smokers, but smokers looked at each other with a “we’re dying together” sense of community. Like the schoolbags you could tell what kind of person you were by what you smoked. I smoked Marlboro Reds from a young age because I was into all things American. The USA was cool, unlike today. The lead crackled as you dragged the smoke into your immortal body. Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch, David Lynch. Their movies formed me. Everyone smoked.

“Hair and drug-use issues notwithstanding, I’ve never thought of you as any less than professional.” ― Thomas Pynchon

My other sister and her friend introduced me to hash. I was the cool younger brother on display. I’d do anything to be cool. Being cool wasn’t a vanity thing for me. It was what seemed to be the mode d’emploie. The first hit from the joint didn’t make me cough but acted as a giant weight which sat on my soul pushing me down on to the carpet and forcing me to look up at the sky. That blue sky from earlier now looked fucking amazing, displaying an array of possibilities. This was where this fourteen-year old wanted to be. From then on, this was as important to me as the rugby team I was playing for, the writing, the friends. There were a lot of drugs out there and I wanted them and I wanted to get fucked up. It was a plan, right?

I drifted toward people who looked like they would get me what I wanted. There was very little weed around when I was a teenager, so hash was the only option. Leb or Soapbar. Soap always was a happy fun time drug, making music immersive and the world a bit brighter. We were knee-deep in the grunge phase and drugs formed part of the miserabilism (except it was fun). These days at school discos, the girls are dressed like Kardashians, whereas in the 90s it was plaid shirts, big jumpers, big pants and wooly hats. Well, apart from the line dancers. Nothing prepares you for the shock of finding out that people you knew all your life donned cowboy shirts and formation danced, all fuelled by a combination of Budweiser and vodka. Being stoned in that scene did bad things for your karma. I drank as much as I could find too. There was no point where I found real life acceptable. Everything had to have an edge. An evening would be for getting wasted. The daytime could be more pleasurable with a small amount of acid.

I found hash led me to my more indie tastes. As Linklater’s “Slacker” came out, a movie about people in Austen, Texas just hanging around, I decided to work hard at doing nothing, but well. With the lazy ramshackle music of Pavement and Mudhoney and then the darker Nick Cave stuff, I formed an identity (mostly hidden) but recognised by my own type. It was almost masonic. You are like me, we are not like them. I slouched from here to there. Got some of my more conservative friends to start taking stuff. Like a dick, I pressurised them. They agreed but I had to be careful how far I pushed my druggy agenda, because not everyone is mentally capable of this world. Later, I would include myself in this category. Working hard at being a slacker was generally exhausting.

Soon, you began to notice the styles around you. We were drifting into acid, while others were heading straight to ecstasy. Being misanthropic, the Tolkienesque world of blue skies, nature and walking around for 12 hours in tie-dyed t-shirts appealed to me more than the dayglo t-shirts and fiver in the wallet mentality of clubbers. However, dance music  invaded my world, not so much through the house music crowd, but the grimy, weirdo intelligent dance music, Aphex Twin side of it. The clubs were dirtier, purposefully. The drugs were dirtier. People danced in t-shirts that should have been thrown out years ago. There was an nihilistic spirit to the whole enterprise. Whereas the loved up crowd would want to hug everyone, the underlying sinister vibes of the places I went added to the excitement. The trip was all that mattered. Something had to be constantly happening.

What I did notice the more I made drugs my existence was the commonplace situation of being in a dealer’s flat. The grim, shitty pretence of having to like this person to get them a) not to rip you off and b) shut up long enough that you could get your stuff and get the fuck out of there. Friends decided that the dealer was their friend and that hanging out there was the ultimate experience. People from well-off backgrounds were suddenly spouting urban patois. Also, individual identities changed. Colour drained out of my friends. Their clothes became, well, just like everybody else’s. There was no style. These drugs opened their minds but the culture closed them rapidly. I got sick of these dealers and found my own way of getting stuff.

Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.”  ― William Burroughs

Grunge ended after Cobain died. Music got darker and so did I. Drugs became a crutch. Industrial music invaded my world and I shaved most of my hair off, leaving a floppy mess on top, and started dressing in black. When I get dark, I actually get dark. I was smoking constantly, drinking constantly with the aid of my little wraps of dirty speed. My friends and I would take a load of speed, hit the pub, drink hysterical amounts of alcohol, run out of speed and all get blind drunk instantly before last orders. It was a fun game, except you had to be an accountant to factor in the cost of the speed with all the booze. The upside of all this was that you were hilarious, the down side was that you were hilarious and completely unattractive to most women. I was hardly a catch with a smudge of greasy hair, my over worn Pigface t-shirt and my speed-driven gum rolling. I once went on a date where both of us realised we were on speed by our last drink. Despite having a great evening, she looked at me and I at her and we both thought, “You lied to me!”

Around the time I started messing with cocaine, my drug use had become cliched, and I also started to suffer anxiety. I had a tendency to fly from rooms and friends got really annoyed because they thought I was just being an asshole. I would throw them out of my place because I could feel the adrenaline rushing and needed to be alone. I didn’t know what was happening to me, so naturally, of course, I assumed I was dying. One night after a particularly heavy session, I had a full on panic attack. Thinking it was my heart, I crawled down to my parents’ room and forced them to bring me to the hospital. My dad, pissed off, drove fast and at one point turned and asked, “Do you have a pain in your chest?” I said, “No.” And he went, “You’re not having a heart attack so.”

The Junior Doctor forced to deal with me turned out to be a beautiful girl who I kinda knew from across the road. My anxiety had gone and the horrible sensation of realising where I was at in my life kicked in. She tried to not feel contempt for me. I mean she really tried. A few weeks later I tried to cure a panic attack with a line of cocaine. Don’t recommend it. This was smack bang the end of my drug adventures. It was done, over, kaput. I had overdone it. I had become boring and the people who I used to have so much fun with were boring druggies too. I suffered with anxiety for a number of years before I started to turn around. I was caught in a hinterland where I had lost a fair few friends, my taste in clothes was functional and I had shaved my head because I had no more imagination. I had started a new career and needed to become that guy, a working stiff. Something which I have never quite recovered from.

Years later, I was sitting in a bar chatting to my best friend feeling sorry for myself about where I was at in my life and career and wishing maybe I had cooled it a bit back in my youth and concentrated more on becoming a doctor or whatever. I knew stupid people who had passed me by. I received invitations to school events, but didn’t want to see those people. I complained about my stupidity. He was getting pissed off at me and eventually cracked, grabbed me by the shoulders and loudly said,

“Shut the fuck up. I was there. I saw you. You had a fucking great time. Even at the end when things started getting shitty, you were still having a better fucking time than some of the rest of us. You did it to yourself. No-one else. You. And you had a ball.”

“Unlike some men, I had never drunk for boldness or charm or wit; I had used alcohol for precisely what it was, a depressant to check the mental exhilaration produced by extended sobriety.”  ― Frederick Exley

Stretchpants of the year Part two (Or I thought Ian Paisley was dead. No, wait, that was one of the Everly brothers. I always get them mixed up)

cool-offices-25

Our office is so modern and cool. The toilet is a bit whiffy though.

After no sleep for five days, I gorged on sleepytime, sleepynights until I became comatose. I had a dream that I was a music reviewer for a prominent magazine and I had thick rimmed glasses and I drank complicated coffees and had a bike and rode the bike and gave out to traffic and stopped occasionally to appreciate the design, the DESIGN and went to a place and ate really small food and then came back to the office and put my satchel down and stared at the pool table and decided NO and went to the fridge, got an ironic beer and put my B&O headphones on and really liked this new album but couldn’t give it a decent rating, because ratings were just stupid things that Kerrang or the like did and I was cool, look at the step in my hair, I didn’t even like fixies, I preferred retarded huge steel frame bikes from the fucking 1920s, and when my review didn’t even get published, I was like whatevs, because I’m just too fucking lazy to say Whatever. I woke up and decided someone’s gonna die tonight.

Anyway, most classic bands and classic albums originally received lukewarm reviews. If you go back and check out the NME or Melody Maker or Hot Press (Not Sounds, Sounds was great) from the late 80s you’ll be surprised by the now classic albums that were deemed just alright. I will never sleep until they all are mashed.

So, here’s more music thingys that tickled my pits last year (again, for whose benefit?).

Hong-kong-phooey

Phoenix: Bankrupt!

See, apart from their pervy president, their inner city disenfranchisement, the rise of the far right in the hearts of the electorate, the national embarrassment of their part in the second world war, their reliance on poor Daniel Auteuil to play a part in every single french movie in existence, their shocking behaviour at the 2010 World Cup, their part in the formation of laissez-faire economics, their waiters, their Gerard Depardieu pissing, their unbelievable inability to finish the job in Irlanda against the British in 1798 and their Johnny Halliday and their fucking bourgeoise, the French are pretty cool.

A perfect example of this is the cool boys of Versailles band Phoenix. Stretch first encountered this lot on the Lost in Translation soundtrack and I thought…ehh, yeah, not bad. The monstrous Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix delivered such classics as “Lisztomania” and “1901.” They’re not the kind of band that I like, but the overwhelming optimistic feeling in their music coupled with excellent musicianship and an ability to drift into cool electronica when they feel cool enough makes them really fucking annoying but likeable as well. Also, their fucking skinny jeans, slouchy but probably expensive silk shirts, their short leather jackets, their singers whiny voice… aw fuck I really probably hate the fuckers. But it kinda drags you in. Bastards.

For Bankrupt, they seemed to have dropped some Hong Kong Fooey acid. The manic “Entertainment” is a frustratingly enjoyable but annoying song and the album just flows from there. It’s a music that throws  a myriad of colours out. As their two videos to date show, they are the kind of band who like things to feel like a perfume ad. Maybe it’s a Parisienne thing, I dunno, but Jesus, models, motorbikes, Japanese people: It all feels like a travelogue for the street on which they live, rehearse and lounge. M83’s “Midnight City,” is the type of song that makes advertising people leave damp patches in their sleek grey suits, and I think that “Entertainment” also might be soon used to sell German cars, expensive after shave and even fucking Tetra Delta.

Still, a very nice album. Although I do feel that if I watched them at a festival, I might grit my teeth as really happy fans with day-glo faces and no sense of self-loathing would screech out of tune to the choruses of their songs with fat Waterford accents. Jay-sus.

maxresdefault

Boards of Canada:Tomorrow’s Harvest

I wrote a piece about this album a while ago which more or less summed up how I felt about it. Click on “Screeching for the dead” which is really fucking long. Here’s a shortened version.

Not as good as Music has the right to Children, better than The Campfire Headphase, sort of the same as Geogaddi, not as good as Twoism. Better than a lot out there.

Actually the above article doesn’t give any of these opinions. The best thing to say about Boards of Canada is that they manage to remain aloof and relevant. No PR, rare public appearances, no ego, yet a loyal and pretty obsessive fan base, bordering on the weird. The music is cult-like and there are grounds that the boys could easily ask their fans to kill themselves and some WOULD die. Justin Bieber could do the same thing, but proportionally, BOC would win out. Although Burial is now running a close second for this ideology. So in terms of potential suicides on per capita basis, I reckon Boards of Canada first, closely followed by Burial and Bieber and then Lady Gaga a distant fourth. However, listening to Robin Thicke might distort this league table and it’s possible said suicides would be changed to actual murder once the charge sheet comes in. What a bastard!

My+Bloody+Valentine+mbv+live

My Bloody Valentine: MBV

In terms of time, My Bloody Valentine were on par with the changing of popes for releasing music. Dr Funkenstein, Pope Franco has messed with this by becoming a pope who likes Gays and doesn’t like the Popemobile. Stretch wonders what Franco thought as a boy watching JP2 hairing around in that converted ice cream truck all cool like. A young Franco might have though it pretty lame and decided that it would be far cooler to wander around in a cheap piece of shit car, with no bullet-proof glass. He got rid of all the gold and appears to treat the Vatican like his personal squat. Fervent religious believers might actually think he is the devil incarnate, which may be true, as the time of the hipster Pope is upon us. What was that phrase?

vatican-pope-new-car

Da Babes gonna love did. Am I right? Yess? Am I right?

“The biggest trick the devil ever played was to convince the world he didn’t exist… and to increase the popularity of 1984 Renault 4 hatchbacks.” I think that was the quote.

Anyways, when known agoraphobic Kevin Shields left the studio after the final mix of MBV, everybody got real excited. They released the album themselves one Saturday night via the Interweb box and expectant fans lost their shit and journalists immediately tried to figure out where in their top fives of the year it would go.

The problem they all had been that the phrase du jour “companion piece to Loveless” stopped this from being whispered as a truly classic album. Which it’s not. Since Loveless, so many artists have ripped off the My Bloody Valentine sound and have made fairly successful careers themselves (M83, Smashing Pumpkins, even U2’s Achtung Baby). So, that sound is not as new as it was back then.

It’s a great album though. I listened to it a few times when it came out. Then left it a few months and went back. It became more relevant then. A true slice of indie that has been missing for years. Less beardy than its contemporaries and with a bat shit nuts leader that only rivals the Pixies for odd frontmen.

Their mind-pitch bending music may not suit a pregnant woman in the heights of morning sickness, but the psychedelic sludge that starts off MBV brings you right back to the early nineties. The tremelo arm is used more here than 1980s metal lead guitarists would and creates a warm sound. Even though “She found now” can’t compare to “Only Shallow” as an opener, it acts as a re-introduction to the band. Or, the “what the fuck did you expect?” song. From then the driving guitars kick in and Shields and Butcher’s inaudible lyrics layer over you and the mind bending begins and you get stuck in it. A beautiful album with unexpectedly cool guitar parts and a haunting feel that makes you forget that half these peops come from Irlanda. When you see posters in Irlanda of Delorentos, Kodaline and the utter dumbfuck that is Bressie, you can’t help feel Irlanda music has gone in the wrong direction these past years. The only solace is that Shields is holding the beacon for something different and special.

The standout track for me is “In another way” a joyous track with a beat laden guitar sound and tribal drums  that brings memories of “Soon.” For this song alone, the album is a little bit of a classic. Just a little.

Mudhoney

Mudhoney: Vanishing Point

Again and again AND again… They’re back, Mudhoney with Mark Arm, a manic leader who looks like the result if you put Tom Petty in a washing machine and left him on for a long spin.

When the whole grrrrunge thing started, it was easy to get carried away with it. I was about 15 and that truly is the time to get carried away with things. With a face with poppable pustules and an insatiable interest in music, cigarettes, soapbar, christmas lights, and growing my hair even greasier, the grunge thing was the next logical step.

BUT, it didn’t actually feel like a movement, because a lot of the bands supposedly involved didn’t actually sound similar. Recently, Mark Arm had a crack at bands who copied the sound at the time, and insists that Grunge was just the sound they called the sounds coming from their guitars. Grunge killed grunge, not that Cobain man. All those bands got signed, they came, they went, but Mudhoney remained and just got on with it.

And they’re still here. There is something very comforting about growing old with a band, whose idea of changing up is adding an odd horn here and there. So, Vanishing Point came out, an extremely tight album with Mudhoney at their mostest. Arm throws every possible shape you can think of, from the blistering “Chardonnay,” reminiscent of their early work, to channeling Iggy in “What to do with the Neutral” and the brilliant “The Final Course.”

Sometimes it’s good that things don’t change much. I still remember in my teens driving home with Ol Papa Stretch and Ol Mama Stretch after collecting my Auntie, a follower of Jesus, in Nun’s clothing. I forced them all to listen to Every Good Boy deserves Fudge. They all hated it so much that the car crashed into an embankment, and we were left all dazed and the stereo couldn’t be turned off or down. A GOP (Irish policia) leaned in the window and demanded to know if any of us had been smoking the aul cannabis. We all shrugged, due to concussion as Mark Arm was screaming “HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY…..Whoooo you drivin now?” The Gop became very angry and melted into some sort of liquid metal right in front of us and took the visage of the follower of Jesus in Nun’s clothing that was my Aunt. He screamed like the Nazgul and took off through Crumblin on a stolen motorbike after a young boy and a gay weightlifter. Shit, maybe that was a movie. Ha, I was bleedin baked beans! Wha? (Sorry)

CHK-CHK-CHK

!!!: THR!!!ER

The singer from this band is an asshole. Okay, let me explain. He knows he’s an asshole. A funky asshole. Danny Glover knows what I’m mean, right Danny?

“Oh yeah baby.”

Anyways, Nic Offer is the guy and at a gig, due to his short shorts, you are never more that about five to ten feet away from his penis. And the way the man dances, the penis might reach you first. He looks like Tim Curry in Rocky Horror Picture Show if his make-up was stolen and he was forced on to the bread line.

At Electric Picnic (not THE PICNIC) a few years back, they completely owned the place and Offer was an obnoxious asshole, in fact he was a genius at being an asshole. I suppose to describe !!!, you could describe them as a post-punk, dancey, funky acid band (with a fucking asshole for a singer). To me they are the antidote to the criminally overrated LCD Soundsystem. On a festival poster, they’ll always be down the list somewhere but are unmissable. A friend who doesn’t dance found himself dancing to these guys.

So THR!!!ER came out last year and served up a cocktail of damn cool funky shots into your eyeballs. The great guitar breaks in “Except Death,” the fantastic closer “Station (Meet me at the)” and the pisstake “Californiyeah,”complaining about a place where the bars close before two.  Not much music makes me want to dance these days, but privately in my small bathroom I sometimes throw shapes listening to !!! and freak out because they make you freak out. It’s probably their most coherent (from beginning to end) album and definitely was one of the highlights of that year that this is all about.

Oddly, their albums always get lukewarm reviews by reviewers like the one I dreamt about many words ago at the beginning of this mess. I don’t get it, they are brilliant musicians who know how to make a party sound and use a Crybaby like it was intended. Music reviewers should fuck off, including me. Fuck Off!!

If you missed the part one and are already bored with this one, then go to that one by clicking here:

Stretchpants of the year Part one (Or how did jennifer Lawrence get outacted by a dying French woman and a six-year-old Bayou child and still win an Oscar?)

a message to the BBC

Jo Whiley, Zane Lowe, Mark Radcliffe, Lauren Laverne…..

FUCK OFF!

so fucking unnecessary. Who actually enjoys it? Well?

Who?

Pile of shite. Glastonbury. U2, Beyonce, fucking Coldplay, fucking Kaiser Chiefs, Elbow. What a dreary bunch.

Zane Lowe, fucking Zane Lowe. What does that man see in the mirror, really, WHAT?

anyway, here’s something better.

Being attacked by insects preview no.1 (the main drags)

Watch out, Stretch gonna eat you up.

Feile 1992: losing my friends, my voice, sleeping in a ditch, bumming cigarettes off people like a mute and then....her

So you are going to your 400th festival of the summer. Congratulations, you are now a hobo. One left and Stretch has loosened his morals and will attend as a sociological experiment. The nausea I feel is usually strong when I, like 1000s of revellers, get branded at the gates and am told to act like an individual. The national newspaper of record will hand me a bag full of pretension, containing items bound to get me beaten up or arrested if the tinned condom is anything to go by. I will eat food which is fantastic for the price, but they will run out of toilet roll on the Sunday and I will be forced to return to my roots, in fact I will use my roots for that thing, y’know. However, I will have discovered new music, met new people and exorcised the demons of Feile 1992…oh jesus, the weirdness…

Roxy Music

Imagine you are a 20 year old girl and you’ve just heard Roxy Music for the first time, coz they’re playing “the Picnic” and as you scour the shops for suitably cool wellies, you tell yer girlfriend that you can’t wait for “the picnic” and you are just lovin the Roxy Music stuff and then you get to “the picnic” and the silky smooth voice you imagine to belong to a sexy white suited man, is belching out of your grandad and you gasp as you never knew people could get so old. It makes you sick all over yourself.

Leftfield

You remember when the Prodigy and the Chemical bros were the new big things. Underworld’s “Born Slippy” had become an anthem for a generation wishing they had the balls to try heroin. Those who did experienced the weird RodStewartesque side-effect of injecting skag into their arm, developing a Scottish accent, morphing eventually into a posh London accent and becoming a luvvie, never off the TV and always riding your motorbike up to poor children even though no one actually asked you to.

LCD Soundsystem

Stretch here is unsure who invented the word overrated. Maybe it’s just me. Although, I do like this.

The Frames

You know that friend in school who was nice enough but would never stop writing poetry, wearing waistcoats, stroking his beard and being really serious even when you were joking around. Well that fucker got a record contract and an ability to take life’s knock in his stride, and despite an almost Polanskiesque disregard for age, won an Oscar and will never ever shut up. Complete with a collection of fans that would make fans of U2 or White Supremacy irritable. All in all, if you are going to watch the Hansard, you’ll be glad to know that I won’t be anywhere fucking near you.

Anyway, here’s their song.

The National

Like Vic Reeves singing in classic club stylee. I made the mistake of hearing my first National song “Mistaken for Strangers” on the radio one day. I was so impressed that I went out and bought the album Boxer. Within minutes of the opening track, I had pulled my cardigan around me and gone all Winona. The cast of Dawson’s Creek arrived and told me to pull myself together, except for Katie who wrestled me to the ground and demanded her cardi back. We both sulked together later, it was nice, until her husband arrived later and raped me, thinking I was her, I think.

Imelda May

She’s from Dubalin and she sings rockabilly, wild. Can’t find fault. It’s weird. Rockabilly gone mainstream, kinda, but still feels like your listening to better produced versions of the Cramps or the Sonics. Kudos, I think. And if you say anything bad about her, she’ll knock lumps out of you, says my accountant, Simon Swan, 0859897773.

more to come… including, How fat is John Lydon and is it true Seasick Steve has a degree in Actuary?

take back the adf powahhhh

I think I may have mentioned this band once or twice before…hmm i dunno

Anyway, some people have U2, some have the Stones, some have the Beatles, some have the Ramones, some have Jayzee or Metallica and some even get themselves all up in a tangle over Dan Deacon, though fuck knows why.

Stretch has these dudos and they kinda rock lotsandlots…as relevant as music can get.

I’m just rambling on about them now. Why don’t I just go and marry them is what I do be hearing you say?

Why don’t I just sit at my ADF altar, whip it out and adore adore adore and leave us out of it you say?

I’m only trying to help you get over  the adverse effect of mass media, that’s all.

I mean SORRY, fucks sake. Yer always like this y’know!

this post is more for Baines, Fuckface and Molly Malone….they know why, oh yes they dooooo

Really sorry but you tend to be an idiot. If I die in the next 10 days and don’t get to see them live, I’m going to fucking haunt you all!

forgotten music: the God Machine

these guys only put out two albums, because their drummer went and died. popped his clogs!

but if you can get the albums, they are amazing. Scenes from a Second Storey and One Last laugh in a Place of Dying

still an all, after seeing one or two top 50s, 100s or 1000s recently, I am firmly of the opinion that the years 2000-2009 have not been the best musically and I pity young people growing up with such a barrage of unfiltered music, yet oddly, a complete lack of diversity. Weird, huh? With ipods and the internet, quality has suffered. Odd huh? Maybe the record companies were the guardian of what we listen too. Too far man, too fuckin far! Anyway, it’ll be a good few years til U2 splatter out a new album, so we’re safe for now! An by the way, will the Killers just fuck off. You are not as good as you think you are. Just shut up!

and here’s a peculiar promo that could only be made back in those crazy Northern Exposure, Twin Peaks, Alternative Nation ol 90s days

MAJOR KUDOS DUDOS

Mais, THE FAI DO NOT GET KUDOS DUDOS

To quote Conor Graham from who lives in FACEBOOK “Well done John Delaney you embarrassing fuckwit. It’s like getting turned down for a kiss and then asking for a blowjob instead.”