Monthly Archives: May 2009

back to the US of A

We’ll be back in the USA as of Friday evening.  We fly from Heathrow to Minneapolis to Boston, where our friend Harold is getting married and then on to Detroit.

The picture above is of the Guardian Building where Jeremy and I used to work.  It is, in fact where we spent part of our first date.  He took me up to the rooftop and we looked out over the river and the city. That was just over 10 years ago now.  I’m not sure how it’s possible that I’ve known him for 10 years, but I guess it is.

Anyhow, I probably won’t be on here much for the next week and a half.  I’ll be too busy gallavanting around and not being at work.

Also I will be having a sumptuous anniversary feast at the Whitney on the 30th as we celebrate 5 years of wedded bliss (mostly).

Catch you later.


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ATP Curated by The Breeders – The really long recap (three days of music takes awhile hey)

So on Friday we took the train from Paddington to Taunton and then a bus from Taunton to Minehead where we began a solid weekend of drinking and music.  Yes, I wore earplugs after Jeremy nagged me for ages, and yes, it was a good decision.  Because, yes, most the shows were really loud.

Anyhow, let’s breakdown Friday’s line up.  At least the stuff I saw.  The day started with The Holloys.  You can see above in the photo of Friday’s schedule that I crossed them out.  This is because they were dull.  Giant Sand got an eh, because they were okay.  The Bronx, as you can see from my notation, were loud.  Very very loud.  I left after they threatened to piss on my hopes and dreams.  Throwing Muses were, as expected, very good.  I liked them alot but still left a little early to check out Yann Tiersen.  Yann Tiersen composed the music for Amelie.  Yann Tiersen is awesome.  The slightly tipsy notes coming from his name read Godspeed You Black Emperor + Arcade Fire + Leonard Coen + Serge Gainsbourg + Oboes = Awesome.  I liked Yann Tiersen a lot.  His band was astonishing and the man himself is crazy talented.  He played a song on violin that almost made me cry.  Awesome as hell.  Then it was on to Bon Iver who was, unsurprisingly good.  We skipped Buffalo Killers because they were rumoured to be hippies and in stead went back to the chalet for drinks.  We came back for Pit er Pat, they are crossed off because i did not like them at all.  They were annoying.  After that we went dancing and Jeremy quite bravely bumped bellies with a man whose shirt bore the name Dangerous Brian.

On Saturday morning Jeremy taunted the geese and I risked my life by walking amongst them to take this photo.  It was very, very, scary.  But the resulting photo is full of awesome.

And here we have Saturday’s schedule.  After taunting the geese and making a big lunch of Smoky Aubergine (Eggplant) Salad and Pasta with Halloumi, Preserved Lemons, Watercress, Artichokes and Olives we headed to the very stinky Centre Stage (think hot dogs + feet + old beer + general grossnes) and started the day with The Whispertown 2000 who I liked A LOT.  They played sort of rocky bluegrass and were generally adorable.  Then on to Bloodred Shoes who were okay.  After them I ran up to see Th’ Faith Healers with my friend Julia and we both agreed they were not so good despite the fact the the singer sounded a bit like Mary Timony. Then it was time for CSS and they were very fun, as expected.  Next was Wire, who I wanted to see more of but there was too much feedback so I vacated the venue and gave my ears a break  while I waited for Teenage Fanclub to start.  They were really sweet and nice and I very much enjoyed their show.  I did not see Shellac because I know from experience that I do not like Shellac.  Hence the word Barf next to their listing.  I DID see the Breeders and they were awesome.  This was both expected and appreciated. Tricky was awesome, but I left shortly after Council Flat played because The Frogs were on early since Juan Son was advised not to leave Mexico.  The Frogs were hilarious and awesome and worth checking out if you like rude glam rock.  After The Frogs Jeremy and I ran up to see Zach Hill (who Jeremy had a nice conversation with earlier in the day, they are totally BFF now) Zach Hill is a really good drummer.  Sadly, I find shows that consist of just drumming and sparse samples to be boring.  Jeremy was awed.  We stayed where we were and got a table for El Mariachi Bronx (The Bronx doing all their songs mariachi style) they were really good and I liked them better than their punk rck version.  Kim and Kelley Deal sang a new Breeders song with them and it was very pretty.  Holy Fuck was on nnext and they were good but it all got a little clubland Ibiza.  We sat with  bunch of friends at the back and watched all the people and laughed and had lots and lots of fun.  After we did a little dancing again, but Dangerous Brian wasn’t around so we came back to the chalet, watched some Breeders programmed TV and then went to bed.

And then it was Sunday.  Our friend Matt, Lindsay, Wynn and Charlie came over to our chalet and made pancakes.  Matt tried to make two pancakes into the peninsulas of Michigan but he was not successful.  Lindsay, Paula and I went to knit with Kelley Deal (although we didn’t actually see her) and they stayed on to read Scarlett Thomas read (I already read her book and didn’t like it enough to stick around)  Jeremy, Jane and I went to the beach and climbed on rocks and watched a guy nearly get blown away while flying a kite.  Then we headed back and watched a little bit of The Heartless Bastards’ show which was okay but nothing super special, sort of Americana rock n roll type stuff.  Then it was up to Dianogah, who I really wanted to like, because they were friendly and charming and started one song by saying, “This is a song about snowpants.  It’s called Snowpants.” But, I don’t know, I was just sort of bored while watching them.  I took a break then because by sunday I was sleepy and vaguely hungover, but came back for Deerhunter, who were awesome.  According to Jeremy they were like “If Yo La Tango and Shellac had a car accident but instead of cars they were on tricycles.”  I thought it might  be worthwhile to add in the Cocteau Twins as well.  The Deal sisters performed a song with them (an Amp cover I don’t know the name of) and the lead singer almost passed out from joy.  He kept hugging them and giggling.  He was also completely astounded that so many people wanted to see them play and it was very cute.  I bought their t shirt and will soon buy a cd.  Following Deerhunter I ran upstairs and watched Kimya Dawson for a bit.  She was funny and good.  I liked her kids songs a lot, especially the one about shaving.  The  next band I saw were the Foals who were really good and lots of fun, all afro beats and dancy pop songs.  I skipped X because I’ve seen them before but Jeremy said they were really good.  Distortion Felix were okay but not good enough to justify the feedback, so we closed out the night, and the weekend, with tUnE-yArDs who was awesome.  She did lots of looping and layering of vocals, snare drums and vocals.  Also, she looked like our friend Tal but with an asymetrical haircut.

And then, because we were tired, we went back to the chalet and packed up and went to sleep.

And then in the morning we took the bus to Taunton, and then the train back to Paddington and then the bus back to Nunhead.

It was a really, really good time.


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Brought to you by the letter M, for MUSIC

  1. Jarvis Cocker is a grumpy old man and he hates everyone and it’s kind of awesome.  His kids are markedly less pretentious.
  2. ATP ATP ATP ATP ATP ATP ATP ATP ATP!!!!!!!!! The Breeders and X and Bon Iver and Teenage Fanclub and Tricky and Throwing Muses and Kimya Dawson and knitting with Kelley Deal and it all starts tomorrow.  Also there will be movies and beer and the sea and a wave pool and a bowling alley and it will be a vacation!  Yay!
  3. I’ve been using my new laptop lately and haven’t yet installed i tunes on it so as a result have been listening to older cds while I am TCB on the internets.  Recent rediscoveries include: Leona Naess, Matthew Sweet, and Sarah Harmer.  It was wrong of me to be so neglectful of them (especially the Girlfriend album, that this is pop genius).
  4. This article in the Onion’s AV Club mentions two of my favorite things: M Henry and Dolly Parton

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So this winter I was all gloaty because I only had a few weeks of arthritic pain.  I was all like, ooh look at me and my mostly working joints, I’m so fancy , I’m practically a normal 31 year old (because I was still 31 in the winter).  I am now being punished.  My left sacroiliac joint (the ass) has been hurting on and off for the last week and starting yesterday it’s bgun to feel like someone is pinching me hard whenever I’m sitting down.  This makes working at the office (where I sit approx 90% of the time) kind of a pain, to put it lightly.

I left early yesterday and finished the day from home where I just spent an hour with a heat pad and am now loading on some comfrey root lotion.  I am also dosed up on indomethicin and cocodamol.  So basically, I’m spacy and smell like an old person.  Awesome.

I think at this point it’s safe to say that my arthritis is kind of a bully.  It knows I’m going to ATP this weekend and back to the states next weekend and it’s keen to keep me from having too much fun.

Positives in the situation:  working from home is nice, my new laptop is making it even nicer since it allows me to shift around, Oliver has been very cuddly, and I get to listen to music while I work (She&Him right now, Neko Case on deck, Sarah Harmer earlier).

Still.  I’d rather not feel like I was being kicked constantly.  I know, I’m so fussy.

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all of the stuff

  1. I gardened the hell out of our tiny little postage stamp garden this weekend.  Most notably, I finally won my battle against the jasmine vines planted by the hippies who owned our house before the previous owner, Charles, whose view on gardening was one of neglect.  So the hippies planted the jasmine and then Charles let it go mad and for the last two years I have been hacking at it and chopping and snipping and considering purchasing a machete in order to keep it from pulling down the fence.  On Sunday I finally managed, after much huffing and puffing and Sleater-Kinney on the I-Pod to yank out the massive root of the plant.  Jeremy was making lasagne whilst I was hacking away at this malicious vine base and when I finally got it out I held it up to him as if I were Herod displaying the head of John the Baptist to his hussy of a step daughter and said, “If at any point, I ever say to you, ‘Hey, jasmine is really pretty let’s plant some in our garden.’ you totally have permission to punch me in the face.  Hard.”  He said, “Duly noted.” and I threw the root into the brown wheelie bin specially designated for garden waste.  Once the gardne area was cleared and the soil turned we added compost to the garden bed and dicovered a massive slug had been living in the compost bag.  After we both shout “Ugh!” in unison we moved him to a new home in the wheelie bin as well where he can feast on our garden waste and soon be given access to all the garden waste in Southwark. Then we planted tomatoes, chillies, Swiss Chard, Strawberries (in a separate container), Pumpkin (also in a separate container), chives, two kinds of basil (purple and greek) and greek oregano.  All of these have been watered and fed with seaweed based plant food and now we must cross our fingers and hope they flourish.
  2. I saw a new rheumatologist on Thursday of last week.  Dr Ma.  She was very nice but really had nothing new to say.  Yes, I will probably have arthritis forever.  If it gets worse again we will need to look into oral steroids (not a particularly enticing option as they suppress the immune system). No, there isn’t much more to be done about it.  None of this is unexpected news.  None of it is even news really.  It’s still sort of depressing though.
  3. I got my birthday laptop (belatedly) this weekend and I love it!  Now I just need to cover it in stickers.  I have a bunch of Shepard Fairey stickers for it but will be on a hunt for others.  I also need to choose a name for my belated birthday laptop, any suggestions are welcome.
  4. This coming weekend is ATP as curated by the Breeders.  I can not wait.
  5. The weekend following that we are going back to America.  First to Boston and then to Michigan.  I’ve already got my traditional nerves about the trip back.  That vague sense of returning to the crime.  It’ll be nice to see Boston again and spend some time there.  And it will also be nice to troll around Detroit for a bit.  We’ll be celebrating our 5 year (5 years?  How did that happen?) anniversary at the Whitney in Detroit.
  6. We watched The Crying Game and Something Wild this weekend.  i am still digesting my thoughts on both of them.

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Correction #2

Gates of Steel is not on Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!  I am a dork and knew better.  BUT they still played it in the encore.

Also I always forget how awesome Gut Feeling is.  The intro to that song kills me.

I did a fair bit of jumping last night.

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Devo will be playing at The Forum at Kentish Town tonight,  not the Roundhouse.  I apologise for this error on yesterday’s note.

I have worn sensible shoes today because they are going to play Gates of Steel (this is guaranteed as the show is a Don’t Look Back show put on by ATP of Q: Are We Not Men?  A: We Are Devo!) and when they do play Gates of Steel, I will be jumping.  It is not something I can, or want to, avoid.  I will probably do some rhythmic pointing as well.  It’s been known to happen.

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