Friday, 24 April 2009

Deadman @ my birthday bash

After The Plant She Killed it was time for my new band Deadman to take the stage. We played a short 4-song set before giving way to my friend Javi's new band, Our First Date. It was nice to have a captive audience and I think the songs we played went down pretty well.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Plant She Killed @ my birthday bash

A semi reunion of my old band, The Plant She Killed, specially for my birthday party at Triskel Tavern on 17 April, 2009. Thanks to everyone for putting up with us :-)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Coldplay vs. Joe Satriani

Coldplay are being sued by Joe Satriani for plagiarism and I think after seeing this video it's clear they've ripped him off. I'm surprised that Coldplay even listen to Joe Satriani though, given the disparity in styles between the two.

Coldplay's defence is that Satriani's song isn't very original. But what does that say about them? They're so unoriginal they rip off something that itself is unoriginal. So much for them being the pinacle of britpop, the twats.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Fuck yeah!

It's refreshing to see that Britain's most liberal broadsheet is using API technology in the right way. I'm curious about why 'cock' was big in 2000 - and glad to see that the paper's editorial policy prohibits the use of fucking asterisks!

More in The Guardian.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Holiday in Cambodia Redux

Foo Fighters with System of a Down's Serj Tankian playing the Dead Kennedys seminal classic at some MTV thing in 2007. Awesome, though I'm not sure if Jello would approve of changing "nigger" to "brother" in the first verse. Just not punk, is it? Another sign of the PC times we live in....

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Orgasm Addicts

Buzzcocks playing in El Sol in Madrid on 4 March. Their current tour is to promote the re-release of their first three studio albums so they were playing all their old stuff in this gig.

Amazing energy from both Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Låt den rätte komma in (Let The Right One In)

Last weekend we went to see this fantastic film in one of Madrid's big old cinemas. I hadn't been to Cine Palafox since seeing Pulp Fiction there and I was surprised by how big it is. Most cinemas are small roomed multicines these days so it was refreshing to see a film literally on the big screen.

The film itself was part of a festival organised by the Sci-fi TV channel and also contained the premiere of Watchmen as well as recent horror classics like Eden Lake and The Midnight Meat Train.

I haven't seen such a tender vampire movie as this before. It was a cool story that told of the friendship between a bullied young kid and a vampire girl. It focused on the predator's difficult fight for survival in the modern world and the boy's alienation in society.

Låt den rätte komma in was a true breath of fresh air in the horror genre - and it contains the best cats-attack-vampire scene in cinematic history!

Monday, 23 February 2009

Deadman in the studio

Last weekend my band Deadman went into Estudios Corleone with Jaime Zamora to start recording our debut album.

We laid down the drums and bass for the 9 tracks that will make up the album. Next weekend, guitars and vocals... and hopefully a few more photos.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Football and politics

Andrei Arshavin, Russia international and Zenit St. Petersburg playmaker, is on the verge of a £15m move to Arsenal but some Russian polititians are not best pleased about it.

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the "Liberal Democratic Party" of Russia, thinks Andy is wrong to sell himself to an English club. But why?

"England brings our country only harm. They have incited revolutionary feelings all over the world."

Nothing to do with sporting issues then. Of course, some may put forward a pot-kettle-black argument at this point, and they'd be right. I'd also be the first to admit my country's mistakes in the past though, however irrelevant they might be to this argument. But Vladimir's not finished with England yet:

"Our thieves run there and our fugitive oligarchs who took Russia's money hide themselves there. "

Abramovich anyone? Romanov? Gaydamak?

And of course Dmitry Piterman in Spain.

Vlad's got a final plea though:

"If you've had enough of playing for Zenit, there are a lot of other clubs like Spartak, CSKA, Dinamo, Lokomotiv. Think again Andryusha!"

Myself I'm also against the transfer. Why? A guy called Arshavin joining the Arse - it just sounds too silly.

Legends of (indie) rock

Here's my band Deadman playing at La Leyenda Rock Bar in Madrid on Saturday 24 January, 2009. I'm also showcasing the second t-shirt I bought in Dario Argento's shop, Profondo Rosso, in Rome late last year.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Guitar nipple vs. cello scrotum

As opposed to tennis elbow I guess.

After reading about some medical hoaxes this morning on the BBC I was struck with what is probably a pointless-but-at-the-same-time-curious question:

What would be more painful - guitar nipple or cello scrotum?


Friday, 16 January 2009

Down on the upside

No, not the Soundgarden song.

Last week in her column, management fad and bullshit bingo columnist Lucy Kelleway unveiled her twaddle awards for 2008 - and, as usual, there are some real gems in there.

2008 was a great year for economists getting it all entirely wrong and then being spectacularly wise after the event. But here's a World Bank economist hedging his bets so cleverly it's impossible to know what the fuck he thinks.

He told those fine upstanding defenders of the English language, the BBC: "In our base case simulation there is an upside case that, er, corresponds on the flipside of the downside case in kind of an adverse direction."

She also gave an award for the best new job title. Now this is something I've noticed where I work as well - the higher up some people get the longer their job title becomes. But, of course, more is not always better.

Late in 2008 Diageo put out an announcement saying Darren Jones was joining "the Diageo Way of Selling team as Design Director for Customer and Channel Profitability and Trade Investment." Nice.

One award I particularly is the Nouns Moonlighting As Verbs category, which was so popular that the judges gave out three gongs. The 2008 Olympics introduced the world to the verb 'to medal'. This entry medals with a bronze. The Silver medal in this category goes to 'to auspice', while gold goes to the verb 'to sunset'. AOL used the verb to great effect last summer in declaring that it was canning some products. "Bluestring, Xdrive and AOL Pictures will be sunset. [They] have not gained sufficient traction in the marketplace or the monetisation levels necessary." In other words they were bollocks.

Another category was Improving Existing Jargon, which featured 'to cascade around'. Lest anyone be offended at the idea that a cascade falls from top to bottom, this new preposition makes the idea less hierarchical. There's also the outstanding phrase 'strategy staircase', which represents a step change on the existing strategy tree, and ladders the concept to a whole new level.

Don't you just love this stuff?

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Sneak preview

Here's a sneak preview of what's cooking in the Deadman kitchen (or rehearsal room). We'll unveil this new song officially at our next gig in La Leyenda on 24 January with the excellent Hendrix-in-a-stoner-band-esque June Mack.

Check out the Deadman Youtube channel for some more new goodies!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

A dying god coming into human flesh

I think I posted this video in my old blog back on Live Spaces. After seeing the new Metallica video the other day with its living dead and eastern bloc coolness I went back to have another look at the mighty Frost.

I was fortunate enough to see them live in Madrid after the release of their comeback album Monotheist. This song is from that album.

From the gig I'll never forget bass player Martin Eric Ain's "There is no god!" speech which most of the audience didn't really understand. For example, he asked "Do you believe in God? Do you go to church?" and all the crowd were yelling "Yeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhh". Duh, this is black metal dudes!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Empty stage

The observant amongst you may notice that I'm wearing my new giallo t-shirt from Dario Argento's shop Profondo Rosso in Rome.

Out of my Head

Another gem from Deadman's 15 October set at Gruta 77. My wife thinks this one could be a big hit...

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Rock the kasbah II

I haven't really published much from this year's trips so here are a few pics from our summer long weekend in Marrakech, re-treading the steps of Plant and Page when they were recording their Un-led-ed album.

I'd previously been there in May on a work trip when we'd stayed in tents in the desert and painted a school.

I took my wife there a few months later for a long weekend. We stayed in a fantastic riad with a lovely central patio and rooftop solarium.

It was hot (50+ degrees) in the city but we had a great time shopping in the souks, eating in the main square (and avoiding the multitudinous snake charmers) and visiting the famous baths.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Sunshine Lies

This looks like the same (or very similar) lineup that I saw in Madrid a few years ago. This guy truly rocks. I love the wall of sound the guitars produce and the lead guitar almost constantly soloing is a real hallmark of Matthew Sweet.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Profondo Rosso

Here I am outside Dario Argento's shop Profondo Rosso in Via Gracchi in Rome last weekend.

Thanks to an amazing slice of luck the shop was actually in the same street as the hotel my wife and I stayed in on our romantic anniversary weekend in the city.

I'd first heard about this place on an extra feature on the DVD of Phenomena where Dario was seen in his own shop showing Tim Burton around.

The shop itself is pretty small with surprisingly little memorabilia (though I did buy a couple of cool Argento t-shirts). Downstairs, though, is a kind a brick cellar which has been turned into an Argento museum. It costs 2 euros to go down there and they play a commentary (in heavily-accented English for us, which kind of added to the feel) where they've got piles of framed posters and loads of props and FX from Argento films - both directed and produced as Lamberto Bava's Demons and Michele Soavi's The Church are heavily featured.

I really enjoyed the mirror/picture piece from Profondo Rosso itself where the killer's face is pictured as part of a hideous painting which David Hemmings sees in a mirror as he enters the scene of the first murder in the movie. Wonderful.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Seropram Summer

Another uplifting track from our gig at Gruta '77 on 15 October, 2008. Does anyone think it sounds a bit like Ash?