Monday, 28 February 2011

I'm Bored

I never get bored. I actually thought I was incapable of enjoying boredom. I'd often marvel longingly at facebook updates of friends reporting 'crippling boredom' and 'not knowing what to do' with themselves.
Statements that cunjured up exotic flights of fantasy wherein the protagonist is taken from their busy routine and thrust, Alice In Wonderland style, into a labrynthian system of dense mind infused fancy as a result of all mundane grounding being violently stripped away and a psychedelic slice of hemispheric free form spasm tears the safety ropes from the earth in the wake of its crushing ennui.

What is it to be bored? And if this is how it actually feels then do people really appreciate it enough? Do they appreciate it at all? Do they see boredom as the lunchtime holiday in the working week of life that it truly is? Do other folk sit at the station of boredom or leap onto the first train that comes trundling through?

While I sat and contemplated on the topic I figured you like to watch a baby monkey riding backwards on a pig.

Y'see I was supposed to go house hunting today, but the planning side of the venture was left to someone who has scant talent in the art of planning, and, therefore, was left so late as to be ultimately canceled. The urge to get frustrated and angry was mercifully fleeting and joyfully replaced with a calm that bordered on remedial. And the calm turned into boredom. Beautiful, strange, bewildering boredom. Which got me thinking of this thing:

That little dog, he lives around here. See him every day. Cutest little fucker I ever saw. Every time I walk past him I feel like I've brushed the hallowed personal space of a hollywood star.

It doesn't actually feel like that in Hollywood, y'know. Being in the presence of fame feels kinda disappointing in Hollywood, like those recognisable Hollywooders are never quite tall enough, or just a little older than you'd expect.
This furry little fella, however, is exactly how he looks in film, except it isn't really film is it? It's something called hi def video, that's supposed to look like film. Doesn't look like any film I've ever been in awe of, truth be known. Guess awe is a little cut price these days, like most other things. Maybe that's why the word awesome has replaced 'great', and there's no word for awesome anymore.

Anyway, this thing upstairs was my first attempt at filming and editing (even wrote an original song for it, and this can only be seen/heard on youTube, y'know? Artistic statements, however received, are pretty thin on the ground these days too).
Honestly? was a pain in the arse to edit music and movement on iMovies but I persevered until, by then end of 2010-shooting a Michael Monroe road movie footage, I got pretty good at it. Kinda looked like the road movie was going to top and surpass the hour mark too, when my laptop started straining under the weight of the sheer amount of footage I was filling it with.

It was rumoured that there would be a loaner laptop supplied with which to finish the movie.
There was also talk of visiting an editing suite to finish the movie.
Neither happened, the laptop died and the movie was lost.
There's a bit of it on the deluxe version of the new Michael Monroe album, if you really want to see the diaper years of my editing/filming training.
Seems a little redundant to state that the editing got way better as the movie progressed, suffice it to say that I guess it's kinda cool to have a 'lost' movie.

Wish I could show you some of it here, though.
Regrets? Ah, I call them all experience.

So, in the absence of presenting the 'found' footage of the 'lost' movie (trust me, it is truly lost) here's another bozo doing their thing.

Which got me thinking of this video:

Then I started to get so thrilled by my new found boredom that I decided to make a list of songs that I have lying around spare, unreleased, unheard, unloved. I had to stop counting when I realised that there's an easy triple album of stuff waiting to be recorded. Maybe I'll do that this year? That would be fucking mental, and I do like to court challenges that scare the living bejeezus out of me.
Boredom certainly makes you fantasise healthily about the future. And if I do happen to make a triple album of stuff this year then we can thank this little period in the wilderness for that too.

Boredom, it would appear, rocks.

Bet the people who came up with these little gem like visual fabrications were bored, right?

I thought about UFO's while I was bored. I've a feeling that there's going to be some groundbreaking revelations made regarding information disclosure in the next few years. I also reckon it's going to make a lot of sense out of a lot of stuff that doesn't make sense.
Anyway I like UFO videos.
Even if they're patently fake I still get a thrill if they're well executed.

Speaking of executing I'd like to have everyone publicly garroted who makes or spreads those annoying fucking videos where some innocuous footage you've been duped into watching suddenly bursts into a scream and a horror face leaps out at you.
Remember those fuckers at junior school that'd pretend to push you off a bridge if you were standing too close to the edge? These are the same cunts that enjoy spreading this shit. Probably.
Public removal of their intestines, that's what I say.
No one would miss them, right?
Not even their own family.
In fact I reckon even their own kids would be relieved to live without their pretend-pushing-scream-video-arse-cocking antics.
But that's just me being bored.

Hey, speaking of kids, it's almost time to pick mine up. This has been fun. I can't wait to be bored again. Think I like being bored.

This evening I'll be praying for more boredom. Big fat chunks of it hurtling at me, urging me to dance my way out of their trajectory. And dance I will.
Hey, maybe Dancing With Boredom is a good song title? Shit, stop...I could end up with a quadruple album at this rate. Now that would be boring.

So, can boredom really be as fantastic fun as it appears to have been?

Or is the stark truth, as I fear, merely that some people just can't get fucking bored?

While you ponder on that one, here's the least boring action sequence ever. Have a stimulating day.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Good Rats

Okay, listen to this:

Right, if you're still with me the listen to this next:

I'm loving The Good Rats today. My love for this New York based band from 70's/80's is based on the fact so few people know who they are that I make regular converts of previously blissfully unaware people happy in the knowledge that they've heard everything they need to hear. People who insist that they're immune to feelings of "what the fuck was that?" and "can I hear it again, NOW, otherwise I will stab your face" when considering new music (and by 'new' I mean 'new to the listener').
Have we got so used to information access that we forget that access is limited to our own experience?
Experience, itself, being concept that should be in a constant state of flux, by its very definition.
Isn't experience that which hasn't happened yet? Like everything exciting that is going to happen to you for the rest of your life.
Few things are as thrilling as hearing a new band, and then discovering that they're armed with a rich mine of material it'll take you the best part of fucking ages to track down and fall in love with.

I think this was the first Good Rats song I fell in love with:

I saw a photo of the strangest band I'd ever seen, on a record in a second hand record shop-in the bargain bin, and gambled the 2 quid on what could have been a slightly disappointing listening experience and a brief bout of regretting that I hadn't spent the money on ten Number 6 instead.
I can't even say that I loved the whole album instantly, in fact I almost certainly grew to like this album over the next year or so, but it made this little music hound go searching out more Good Rats stuff, just in case, y'know, maybe these bozos were onto something.

The next purchase was "Tasty", an album who's cover yelled "buy me" more than any album since the inner gatefold of Kiss Alive 2. Once that red and green headache of a cartoon cover had made its way back home with me the album started to befriend me in a way I was entirely unexpected for. The opening track (that you can find at the beginning of this missive - surely one of the best opening songs of any album, ever) aside, the harmonies and dueling, snarling guitars lured me in like the sweetest trap this young gormandizer had been subjected to in his brief tenure on this ball of nonsense that calls itself earthville. This title track, for instance?!?!?

Sure it rocked, which was the deal maker, but it made me think in a way that Kiss hadn't. Hell Kiss STOPPED me thinking. The Good Rats were forcing my brain to actually engage in a way that only punk had previously demanded. I was young, I didn't want to think if I had a choice in the matter. Dammit.

So here I am, 16, thinking about music, how it can fuck with your standards, challenge your politics and, sneakily, shape the player you're about to blossom into.

The Good Rats made me realise that Punk is a moral and political stance, and not just an excuse to play lousy guitar. Rock is the extreme nature in which you present yourself as a performer, and not a reason to avoid listening to anything that your mates might be afraid to approve of.

The Good Rats made me choose my own personal side of the fence.
How many bands/artists force you to make this decision? Wouldn't it be a better place if music forced you to choose? Aren't you tired of feeling slightly deflated in response to a band that someone is forcibly championing like a belligerent floon? Maybe you even feel slightly deflated at The Good Rats themselves?

That's not the point I'm making, and you know it.

The point I'm making is that if you aren't satisfied with the sounds you're hearing today then dig deeper, dig a LOT deeper. If choons were better when you was young, and it all seems a bit samey n' stuff, then do your damned research, delve into the vaults of music history and check out some bands you've otherwise/innocently avoided until now. Do the grunt work. Make the effort. Get off your dissatisfied arse.

Don't let music lose you. Don't give up on it, baby.

It really is your best friend, be nice to it. Let it lead you. Steer those two odd shaped vessels either side of your head into strange, unchartered waters and expect nothing but great adventures and wonderful experiences.

Hey, begin with The Good Rats, why dontcha?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Why Can't I Relax?

How hard can it be? Chill out, do nothing, vegetate and attempt fuck sodding all. How can that be a feat of almost unfathomable complexity?

It's not like I couldn't use it. I started the year seeing the album I helped write and perform on (Michael Monroe 'Sensory Overdrive', lovely album, you'll like it) reach completion before writing an entirely new album, then performing and co-producing the bleedin' thing, resulting in a grand total of zero hours off so far in 2011. It looks like this theme will continue as Mr Monroe takes the new album on tour. Then my album will come out. Then something else will happen, I'd imagine.

With such a rich well of activity running alongside fatherhood and the search for a new house, you'd think that, given a very rare evening off, little 'un asleep & missus on the lap top, I'd be able to sit back and enjoy a few valuable, contemplative hours of blissful nothingstance, right? RIGHT? No, I'm sat here with the last flimsy whisps of strength I can muster forcibly dragging open droopy eyelids to do something. Anything. It doesn't matter what it is, just as long as it isn't nothing.

Never give up, never surrender.

Go to sleep, you fucking mutant.



My point exactly.


Some of us were meant to wander along this road allowing opportunity and experience, inevitably, to bounce off us along the way. And some of us are meant to pat fellow imaginary successors on the collective back for achievements slightly greater than not forgetting to breathe while sleeping.

I guess the main reason why I can't relax is because I want to be aware. When something, anything, happens to drop my way I want to be a human fucking catchers mit. If life decides to throw me a bone I'll be the hungriest, most toothsome hound around and I'll snap up that bone and the arm, and the person behind it.

And if nothing happens? Then I'll make something happen.

See, I can't sit around. I can't. I wasn't made to do that.

And that is why life has forbidden me the kind of success that would give me time off.


This place....

What's this all about then?