Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday 17 October 2010


Sunday 17 October 2010

Dream: I am at the England v Germany game from the World Cup in the summer.  It is very different from actual events and surprisingly sparsely attended.  I am sat behind one of the goals and the ground gives off an air/impression of being an indoor stadium.  Inevitably German opens the scoring and takes the lead.  Then something happens in the crowd.  Its not like traditional crowd trouble, more focused and intentional.  Needless to say the game gets stopped and eventually I find myself behind the scenes in one of the dressing rooms.  It is in there that I meet a lady and immediately under the circumstances we click.  From here we spend time together and it is joyful and fun.  However we lose contact and lose each other.  Later I find myself at work in St Johns Wood rushing to get to the ICA for a movie screening at 6.15PM (this appears to be a precursor of Tuesday).  I take something of a shortcut and wind up in Pimlico but luckily I soon pull myself together and arrive at the place just in time for the beginning of the movie.

This morning I wake with the day still grey.  It is early but I feel strangely content.  I do not want to get up just yet but because I am unable to lie in without getting a headache soon I am murmuring and stepping into Sunday.

Early on I finish up watching season 3 of Mad Men which climaxes in spectacular and upbeat fashion as Lane really comes through.  From here I then continue with my downloads watching a new episode of The Simpsons before getting ready for today.  The Simpsons has changed forever, its now about gags first and storylines second.  Also the peripheral is more important than ever.  Springfield remains a fantastic universe to dip in and out of but sadly more times than not there is a degree of satisfaction missing from proceedings.

Tactically I jump in a bath.  Today I want to be the best possible me.  Today I want to ensure that I get repeat invitations to such events.

On Andrew Marr today the powers that be from the Conservatives and Lib Dems are insisting that the upcoming cuts to funding are necessary.  I really find this hard/difficult to believe.  Once more our glorious leaders are just chipping away at the easiest targets in society to strip down and fuck over.  This coalition government is frightening; it is so conceited and lacking in substance.  They have some kind of style but not one that necessarily inspires confidence.  Indeed for me they generate downright terror.  How many times can you get/take blood from a stone?  Less times than these guys are hoping.  Batten down the hatches Britain, hold onto everything you own and hold dear.  If you don’t they will take it all away from you.

Today I am heading up to London, to the BFI to see BLUE VALENTINE at the London Film Festival.  In the end I leave just after 10AM aiming for a 10.30AM train.  This day is one of those depressing days where National Express East Anglia is not up to scratch unable to offer a decent service and thus from Witham to Ingatestone I will be on a bus which ultimately means in order to guarantee I am at the South Bank (BFI) for a movie at 1.30PM I need to provide a three hour buffer for travelling.  For what is really quite a short distance in the grand scheme of things this necessity is ridiculous.

When I get to North Station there is the 10.30AM train followed by an 11AM.  So if I hadn’t set off so early with precaution I would have been fucked.  Regardless I suck it in and board the 10.30AM only to experience some stinky cunt sat behind proceed to cough over me with fag breath.  Welcome to my Sunday.

My utter disgust and dismay at National Express is not complete until when between Marks Tey and Kelvedon two ticket inspectors board and request to check our tickets.  Let me get this straight, they are doing so on a Sunday morning when they are failing to deliver/provide an acceptable service?  The front of these guys.  I then truly feel disgusted as the inspector proceeds to bust the guy sat behind that has just been coughing up on me.  OK, I guess to some degree karma would suggest he deserves this.

The inspector is a true jobsworth, a fat fuck who was plainly bullied at school and is now lashing out at the world in response/revenge.  That or he was the bully who was just too stupid to gain an education and is now operating at the lowest level of enforcement, taking out his misery on the world and anyone that he can target and victimise.  This is how the world works.

Eventually as the train pulls into Witham fifteen minutes later the inspector is still running the riot act on his spluttering victim.  As the stops and I get up he is in my way so I make a large gesture of accidentally on purpose crashing into the cunt.  A small victory.

From here I board the crappy replacement bus where we have to endure the shitty radio playing Lady Gaga and Snow Patrol over the coach stereo.  Driver go fuck yourself.  Later when we finally exit the replacement bus it is to the strains of “Back For Good” by Take That.  National Express might as well have just smeared shit in my face.

We arrive at Ingatestone around 11.15AM to be informed that the train sitting in the station will not be leaving until 11.35AM.  What is wrong with it now?  National Express East Anglia truly is not value for money.

By this point I have ploughed through an old episode of The Bugle on my iPhone and am now onto an old podcast interview with Douglas Coupland.  Somebody needs to write a Doug-esqe book on this experience.

Before the train is evening leaving Ingatestone my iPhone is losing energy bars and far too early into the day I find myself experiencing battery angst.

The sluggishness of the service persists as the train eventually crawls into Liverpool Street around 12.15PM having by now added one hour to what should/would/could otherwise be a very simple journey.  This world just does not work.

From here thankfully in contrast the tubes are faithful to me as I easily ride across to Tottenham Court Road and down to Waterloo.  At Leicester Square I experience slight tension as some black dude boards the train and pretty much stands on me.  Subtly I shove him but it just proves too subtle as he proceeds to delight in talking to everyone on the carriage that isn’t me.  I guess he can tell the extent of my conversation would just be for me to tell him to “fuck off”.  Tourists.

It is with some relief that I finally arrive at Waterloo where I immediately head to Starbucks for sanctuary.  While I wait in the queue for my trademark caramel macchiato a text arrives from Racton to say that they will arrive at 1.15PM.  I’m well ahead of that game.

With coffee now in hand I exit Waterloo station being briefly accosted by an Irish dude macking me for 50p towards his train fare.  Why am I such a mark to these people?

From here I head to the Southbank and to the book stalls opposite the BFI as I wait for the others to arrive.  With this soon they are telling me they are inside and I quickly hook up with them as we step inside BFI Screen 1 to check out BLUE VALENTINE.

BLUE VALENTINE has arrived at the London Film Festival in much lauded fashion but personally I find it something of a slog and come the end I am left cold.  I think it is the pace that defeats me as it does not necessarily enable me to warm to the characters played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams despite (I concede) they do both give great performances.  Sadly I just find them vacuous and selfish.  Perhaps it is that early on in the piece that Williams is established in my mind as the clear villain of the piece (which later gets disputed by the others).

Cassavetes comparisons are a given as the ending of their marriage is done in very detailed fashion.  Less endearing are The Notebook-esqe flashback origins during which once again the Gosling character comes over as charming while the Williams character, with her tough home life at the hands of John Doman from The Wire, powers through twenty five partners before falling for an evil joke.  Truly she still holds that Traci Lords air about her.

Perhaps my opinions of the movie reveal more about me than the work at hand.  Is it wrong that I side so vehemently with the Gosling character?  Indeed he may have a slight taste for booze and little in the way of career prospects/achievements but he did stick by Williams when she fell pregnant at her most testing/troubled moment.  Additionally it would appear that it was her moping that she lost the family their dog.  Maybe I don’t understand why she isn’t reacting enthusiastically to his attempts/efforts to keep their family alive, why she isn’t giving it a chance.  She says that their home is broken, well to me it appears she is the one breaking it.

I don’t wish to be a naysayer but I fail to love it as we emerge and the others comment “that was bleak” while expressing how impressed they were by the movie.  It would appear I am the only person in our party that didn’t think it was any good.

With this in mind suggestion gets thrown out as what to do next as the notion of food sounds very appealing as is the proposition of Yo! Sushi.

As we head to the new South Bank location sat outside is a gorgeous and captivating Spanish looking lady who I covertly gawp at longingly in sadness.  Is there something about the movies that makes me lonesome and horny?  Eventually she heads off and I resume being part of the group (part of reality).

For some reason today the Yo! Sushi! feels light on the ground (light on the conveyer) as options and variety feel limited.  For the longest time I watch the same dishes roll around the circuit as I fail to reach out and grab anything.  Still it’s a fresh feeling to here at this time, in such an environment not least invigored by the cool soundtrack.

Soon we finish up and with vouchers giving us five free dishes we head off in our respective directions (them to see Everything Must Go and me back to Colchester to see MELT-BANANA).

With a sense of resignation I head to Waterloo in the realisation that I have the replacement bus service to wrestle with on the journey home.  For me this just defeats the whole idea of a train system.  And they still have the gall to charge for this service.  Quickly I get back to Liverpool Street and find myself aboard a train heading only to Ingatestone.  It all feels so fucking futile.

By this point I am listening to the latest WTF podcast which features an interview with Jonathan Ames.  Miraculously it manages to make an awful journey interesting and almost enjoyable as Ames turns out to be a fascinating person, quite removed from the Jason Schwartzman version of him in Bored To Death.  It begins with much talk of Spalding Gray which takes the episode in some very strange directions.  Then he speaks at length about writing so personally and running the risk of too much revelation in the process.  He states that he feels the need to take a break from this.  Sometimes I think I should do that.  Moving on and talking about sex he uses the term “the obliteration of self” in the context of sexual desires and fetishes.  He regards himself as having the “luxury of figuring our brains out”.  Then he arrives at the subject of boxing as it turns out the scene from Bored To Death at the end of the first season was based on real events.  Its interesting stuff, definitely one of the best episodes of the podcast I have listened to.

Despite this entertainment once off the train and onto the coach the journey drags on in depressing fashion.  There is just something that feels wrong about driving along the A12 in a bus on a Sunday afternoon.  Its spiritually crippling.

Eventually to compound the misery a set of flashing lights are spotted in the distance as a queue of cars begins to build up as the police slow and hold things up on the motorway.

Against odds we finally get to Witham when at times it looked like it wasn’t going to happen.  Here I board the waiting train only to sit for an additional period of agony waiting for it to actual move.  Why?

As I continue to listen to the Jonathan Ames interview, a black dude with his son sits opposite me eating a Happy Meal.  Suddenly I become paranoid of having fast food spilled over me by him.  That and a sense of envy towards his food.

When the train nears Colchester we spot a hot air balloon in the sky.  It’s a rare beacon of beauty, something that suggests optimism and freedom at a time when faced with so much bondage.

By the time I get back to Colchester the night is nearing 7PM.  Somehow I have registered five hours travelling to just watch a two hour movie.  These are definitely diminishing returns.

Checking my Facebook there is a message from Mark saying that he will be in the Hole from 7PM.  It is 7PM now, thanks for the heads up.  Despite this I slowly pull myself together as I try to work out why tonight there are such early doors at the show for only two acts.

Eventually I catch up with Mark and his friend Neil who for some reason are persisting with the Hole.  Its not ideal.  Tonight socially I am not good value, I’m zonked.  I should really make more of seeing friends at this time but physically it is just too tiring and hard.

As we sit in the corner of the pub some specky underage lad begins playing darts near us.  Is this the darts equivalent of Billy Elliot?  After a few throws he begins asking us if we want a game.  Maybe he’s actually the darts equivalent of The Hustler.  The fucking front of this kid.




Finally we pull ourselves up and out of the booth and head over to the Colchester Arts Centre where the ABOMINABLE MR TINKLER set is coming to a close.  My bad, my loss.  Happily though I manage to snag a place on the guestlist and soon I am inside bumping into familiar faces from the scene and find myself having to cross streams.

Tonight it would appear the reason for the early start and small bill (single support) is due to a curfew of 9.50PM.  That is an early night.

With this in mind it doesn’t take long for MELT-BANANA to take the stage as the entire venue goes pitch black save for some lights onstage attached to the heads of the musicians.  From here they fire out uncomfortable and squealing bolts of sheet noise that make for an uneasy Sunday evening.  All in all it serves to be quite disorientating, as if the audience were being punished for something.  Looking around everyone is guilty.

At this point at the risk of embarrassing myself I only just realise that the front person of the band is female.  Why did I never previously clock that?

Eventually the lights come up to reveal an astonishing proposition.  From here the noise set becomes more band based as their thundering rhythm section pounds in support of some of the most blunt and direct music that I have experienced in a very long time.  Tonight I fall in love with MELT-BANANA.

Despite this show being the height of Japanese noise hipness it feels odd to note that at the front of the crowd are fashionite punks for whom this music sounds like The Exploited.  Personally I wouldn’t trust these people being anywhere near Yasuko Onuki.

MELT-BANANA is an incredibly tight unit able to bring a pleasingly surprisingly fresh angle to noise.  The majority of the songs in their set feel as if they barely pass the minute mark as all races to a speedy conclusion.

Without missing a beat the band tears through its entire set in what feels like no time at all, such is the ferocity and velocity of proceedings.  Then when they return for the inevitable desired and deserved encore Onuki announces that they will be doing ten songs in five minutes.  She is not lying.

Then with that the encore is over in no time and soon also is the night as the band remains good to their word and the gig is over just before 10PM.

Soon the lights come up and so does life.  Without hesitation I hit the merch stall for a CD (Bambi’s Dilemma) before the night finally turns social too late in the game.  Even local star Bernie Sizzy is out this evening which feels a rare appearance.  Similarly I manage to crash into Jason from Antigen Records and manage to thank him in person the Bum Gravy CD that he sent me a few weeks ago.

Eventually after doing the rounds Mark and I split the scene and head back relatively early on a chilled night.  Sadly we have barely had time to talk and now he is already off back to Berlin.  All is well though, this was another great hang out.

When I get home my neighbours downstairs are indulging in some Sunday night shenanigans soundtracked by bad, loud music.  Were I not in such a good mood I would hate them.  Instead keeping with the Japanese noise theme of the evening I play my Wnico CD at absolute full volume on my mini stereo.  Ultimately and unfortunately these speakers don’t cut it.

From here I go to bed with both my ears and mind buzzing.

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