Friday, 30 November 2007

Where is my mind?

Frank on stage with Placebo in Paris as they cover the Pixies classic - which was also the backdrop for the closing scene in Fight Club.

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind

Way out in the water
See it swimmin'

I was swimmin' in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rocks
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin' to talk to me, coy koi.

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind

Way out in the water
See it swimmin'

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself

Where is my mind
Where is my mind
Where is my mind

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

More insidious behaviour

If you thought yesterday's tale of the nazi handbag invasion was ridiculous then brace yourself for today's installment of relgious stupidity from the Middle East.

A British teacher in Sudan has been charged with inciting hatred and insulting religion - and could face 40 lashes, a fine or six months in jail if convicted.

And what heinous deed has she committed to warrant this? Did she vandalise the mosque? Burn a copy of the Qu'ran in front of the local cleric? Get drunk and play poker in the town square?

No, something far far worse than that.

She named a teddy bear Muhammad.

Fear not people of the Sudan, it's safe to go out into the streets of Khartoum again for Gillian Gibbons is safely behind bars and no longer a threat to your national security.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

An insidious fascist plot

The fashion chain Zara has withdrawn a handbag from its stores after a "shocked" customer pointed out that the design featured swastikas.

You can just imagine the neo-nazis carrying these things around, can't you? They're just perfect to keep their flick-knives in.

Clearly from their design, these bags have nothing to do with peace-and-love or tree-hugging religions like Buddhism, in which the swastika is also a meaningful symbol. Indeed, swastika comes from the sanskrit word svasti which means well-being.

I'm just glad that Zara managed to thwart this insidious fascist plot before the whole of the UK was overrun with nazi handbags.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Pushing the envelope

I've mentioned before my liking for Lucy Kelleway's weekly column in the FT, where she hilariously pokes fun at management fads and jargon and celebrates the ups and downs of office life.

Her latest column features a company of solicitors called Eversheds which has come up with a list of personality types to embody what it is looking for in its trainee lawyers. Finding the English language inadequate, the company has pushed the linguistic envelope and thought out of the vocabulary square by inventing new words, including:

Knowlivators Knowledgeable motivators
Logithizers Logical empathisers
Proactilopers Proactive developers
Winnowmat Winning diplomat

As Lucy says in her column, this is old hat. Martin Lukes, Kelleway's FT alter-ego columnist and another favourite of mine from the FT, invented these hybrid concepts in 2000 with his leading edge Creovation™, which was 50% creativity, 50% innovation – and 120% bollocks.


Friday, 23 November 2007

Making a mountain out of a molehill

The British singer who sang the Croatian anthem before England's ill-fated match with Croatia apparently got the words wrong and accidentally sang My penis is a mountain.

And I thought the Croats were laughing at the team put out by Steve McLaren.

The line which singer Tony Henry slipped up on should have been "mila kuda si planina" (You know my dear how we love your mountains). But what he actually sang was "mila kura si planina" which means Dear Penis, you are a Mountain or My Dear, my penis is a mountain.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

The hardest job in football

If being manager of England is, as many would have us believe, the hardest job in football then you'd think that possible candidates for the now vacant position would have the right kind of experience and the necessary skillset to guide our now-not-so-golden golden generation back to the path of glory.

Fabio Capello says he's interested in the job. Good. Ok. He's at least won some trophies - unlike the previous incumbent. So what does he say his credentials are?

"I'm the right age."

Oh dear.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Man's best friend

Sounds like some typical lads conversation down the pub at night.

Man 1: Is Selvukmar's new bird fit, like?
Man 2: She's a right dog, she is. Wouldn't touch her with a barge-pole...

So when I saw the Man marries dog headline on the BBC a few days ago it didn't strike me as being particularly out of the ordinary. Why is this one of their most read and most mailed stories, I wondered. Then it hit me.

Man marries dog. Literally.

India's been the source of quite a few From the Planet Gong stories recently, and this one perhaps takes the biscuit - the dog biscuit of course.

P Selvakumar married a female dog, hoping to atone for stoning two other dogs to death. He'd been cursed since the killings, suffering paralysis and a loss of hearing.

The wedding took place at a Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu state. The 'bride', who is called Selvi, wore an orange sari with a flower garland and was fed a bun to celebrate.

I don't get this at all. Does the guy have to consumate this marriage to cure his curse? And how does the dog say "I do"?

Another amazing little fact is that this kind of thing is not uncommon in India. Superstitious people in rural parts of the country sometimes organise weddings to animals in the hope of warding off curses.

They say every dog has its day so let's go back to that pub conversation:

Man 1: So what's Selvukmar's new wife like?
Man 2: She's a right bitch, she is.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Thursday, 15 November 2007

North American Scum

LCD Soundsystem - one of the highlights from this year's Summercase festival in Madrid and Barcelona. James Murphy plays everything on the albums and then puts together the band for touring.

Clearly a very talented bloke.

Though not talented enough to do the female vocals on the albums he's still very impressive :-)

A Scotsman and his beer goggles

Beer goggles can turn the most hideous crone into something approaching shagable but Scotsman Robert Stewart has really pushed that particular envelope in this story.

He was caught – whilst under the influence - trying to have sex with a bicycle and has been sentenced to three years probation for his sins.

The story brings a whole new meaning to the idea of shagging the town bike.

Sheriff Colin Miller, who sentenced Stewart, said: "In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind, but this is a new one on me. I have never heard of a 'cycle-sexualist'."

No shit.

Full story on the BBC

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The reincarnation of Vishnu

Lakshmi Tatma's mother Poonam Devi says of her daughter: "She is a miracle, a special blessing from God."

Obviously not that special though, as she goes on to say: "But she is my daughter and she cannot live like this."

The girl was born on the celebration day of the Vishnu, the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity after whom she was named.

It's strange that Vishnu is the goddess of wealth when the parents only earn 50p a day as casual labourers.

Someone's certainly going to make a packet out of her though, as the operation to remove the parastic twin - which has no head - costs £100,000.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

The numbers game

Camelot, which runs the lottery in the UK, has been forced to scrap one of its new games because punters couldn't understand it.

It's hardly Mastermind, but the Cool Cash game - launched on Monday - was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.

To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on the card they'd bought. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.

However, the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for many and Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6.

Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme (near Manchester), called Camelot after failing to win with several cards: "I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher, not lower, than -8 but I'm not having it."

And who said that standards of education were slipping? Fantastic!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Demented Are Go

Demented Are Go are apparently psychobilly, but they're nothing like the old school psychobilly I know. The double bass is cool though! And they put on a good show at Gruta 77 last night.

They look quite scary up there on stage but when you realise it's just two Welshmen, a Yorkshireman and a German - and you see them after the show, and they're not that tall at all - it kind of takes the sting out their tail.

Still, I'm glad I wasn't anywhere near the front.

On a related note, I noticed that the Demented Are Go drummer didn't have a hi-hat as part of his kit. Instead he spent most of the time using the floor tom or the ride cymbal. Maybe this is a psychobilly thing as I remember in my old band, our drummer Jeremy loved psychobilly music and more or less refused to ever play anything on the hi-hat, which he called "the bitch". Curious.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

This the sound of a Deadman's song

My band Deadman played our first concert on Halloween.

At the last minute we were asked to play with the highly experimental (but very cool) Proyecto Moi at La Leyenda - a place I've played at many times before with my old band The Plant She Killed.

We're still polishing some material so we only did a short 25-minute set of 6 songs:

Hating / Looking away / Without me you're nothing / Seropram summer / Out of my head / Hear this

Deadman will be back on stage on 24 November in El Juglar (c/ Lavapies 37), supporting Estereotypo, a britpop band from Santander. Can't wait!

(And I'm glad I resisted the temptation of using the easy title Deadman walking!)