Friday, February 01, 2008


Cloudboy and I will be playing a one-off show at The Cube, Bristol, next friday (8th feb) which we're prettty excited about as it features a fab line-up incl. the legendary Pekko Kappi from Tampere, Finland, one of Yeovil's psychik twin-towns and Kath & Phil Tyler, who are featured in this month's Wire. Wow, we get to play at The Cube w/ someone from Tampere - how cool is that.

We've been working hard over the last few week's to put something new together, so that any Bristol-based folk who came to see us supporting Sunburned Hand of the Man back in Nov. should be pleasantly surprised. We've got a couple of cool things up our sleeve that will be great if they come off...

Here's the official bumpf from Chiz and the good folks at Qu Junctions, who we hereby thank for inviting us to play:

Men Diamler
with Pekko Kappi + Ice Bird Spiral + Kath & Phil Tyler

at The Cube Cinema

(Fri 8th Feb 2008 / 7pm / £6 adv)

Men Diamler launches not one but two albums into the world with this showcase event. "Sea Shanties For The Far Inland" on Dulcet Thud and "Lon Chaney Vs. Dandelion Batman"… a f**cking amazing limited CD-R. The man will play two shows: one early bird acoustic one show and one late night, beautifully ravaged show. Joining him will be 3 acts who exhibit different sides of the wild. Pekko Kappi, the highly recommended Finnish musician, far flung intergalactic sound shapes from Ice Bird Spiral, plus Cath & Phil Tyler, a married couple of folk singers from North East England playing whistles, banjo and guitar.


Preposterously busy over the last few days...tho I bet Simon Reynolds could've polished this work off in an afternoon, or Paul Morley in 15 minutes, while having a quick trim at the barbers. Hemmingway, however, would've dictated it in whistle-language to a Cuban man-servant whilst landing a blue marin or fighting a bull.

Also, been busy working on new Ice Bird Spiral live set (more on that, maybe later today, possibly).

Anyways, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent inter-blog interaction that bled out of the 10 Guilty Musical Secrets chain-thang that Dom started. It felt like some unlikely Marvel Team-Up Annual from the mid-70s featuring a host of unexpected guest-stars like The Vision, Black Knight, Scarlet Witch, Dum Dum Dugan, a rogue malfunctioning Sentinel and, uh, Uri Geller playing himself.

Nick's choices were excellent, I thought, tho mostly cos virtually all of them were tunes that I like anyway lol. The first 4 tracks on Nick's list are played regularly in our car - good ol' fashioned family singalong fodder. And The Floaters are a perennial fave, fer sure.

Betty's list helped me home in on one of the unexpected trends that emerged from these posts and led me to the following inescapable conclusion: namely, how awesome were The New Seekers? I'm def. going to have to track down a vinyl of "Circles", which sounds cool as youknowwhat. "You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me" is another car-stereo fave. Also have a weird hankering to hear Demis Roussos' "Forever and Ever" - camp as hell, I know, and I hated it at the time, but there's something ghostly and ghastly and strange about that track that's howling banshee-like round the wobbly cracks in my long-sufferin' grey-matter. Demi was a member of the mighty Greek freak-prog outfit Aphrodite's Child, so maybe I'm projecting more on him than he can handle, but that warbling falsetto of his has started to intrigue me again after reading Betty' s post.

Loki, meanwhile, opted for a scraping the bottom of his i-Pod type approach. You can't go wrong w/ David Essex or Iron Butterfly, I reckon...But what's with this lo-level Bedingfield obsession that's surfaced amongst some of my esteemed colleagues? (another unexpected micro-trend that this exercise has tickled into appearing... ) Divine's "Walk Like a Man" - total genius. But never much dug Phil Oakey's voice beyond 1st couple H. League albums. "Dare" is a stinker, I think; never much liked it. And I'm not trying to be a purist either. In some ways, it signalled the beginning of the end of something or other. "Sound of the Crowd" felt like their last hurrah and the B.E.F. stuff straddled the Avant/Pop chasm far more convincingly...but, hey, here I go analysing stuff again, which is missing the point entirely. These are Loki's choices and (adopts voice of creepy Californian Life Coach cum Guru character) "we thank him for sharing them with us."

Meanwhile Dan wore his heart firmly on his sleeve and tackled this with admirable vigour and enthusiasm (cf w/ Nick's Grumpy Old Man schtick/post-blogging agenda LOL ): Yes - kerchiiing! U2 - kerchiiiing! Deep Purple - kerrrchiiing! Springsteen - Katchnnnng! Led Zep - triple raspberry kerchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnngggk! w/ nuts on it.

How wonderful it was to hear Dan describe them as 'dull'....attaboy: I thought I was the only person who couldn't stand Da Zep. I just never saw the point of them - never have done, tho I love all sorts of other sludgy early 70s Blooz throwbacks. Can't stand The Beatles; can't stand Led Zep: ha! It's taken me two-thirds of my life to finally embrace early Deep Purple, so maybe a deathbed conversion to LZ might be on the cards, but somehow I fucking doubt it.

Where's the crunching riffs, the outre weirdness that I desire so desperately? The Zepsters tease, but rarely deliver in the bedroom. They seem to apply such needlessly disproportionate, desperately macho muscularity, but with so little's all peacock strut and cock n balls, but not much of a seeing-to for all that pre-shag boasting dn the pub.

Hey, and good to see The X emerging from her winter hibernation.

And we even started The Cult of Toni. So: Fuck Journalism, I say. That's not what this is about.

See? It's the interaction that I dig - the rough and tumble...'course, the blogging as a substitute for middle-aged blokes and wimmin talking toss dn the local metaphor has been raised before, but Doppelganger makes some valid points. This is more than just pub-chat trivia tho, this is also about manifesting our dreams in some way... (which is why I think the title of Loki's blog The Idiot's Guide to Dreaming is so ace, because it makes that idea manifest or explicit)....even if it's just talking about what we like or what we miss, then it still says something about how we see the world or how we mourn the loss of certain energies...and how we're coping with ageing and change, etc...and when our dreams overlap then something magical happens and our whispers start to resemble a shout, and we slowly start to change something in the world around us, if only in a little way. Not changing it back to some comfy, cosy imagined teenage past, but gently punting it forward into some future realm of possibilities where we rule the roost lol, not some corporate bean-counter or PR stooge telling us how culture should look this season.

After all, like Blair, we need to think about our 'legacy' lol.

Still, all this bollocks feels strangely important in some way, as if all our 'inanities' (as Nick would have it) might be the last gasp of some collective consciousness before it lapses into its own twilight...will those who come after us grasp the true significance of the 1st Lurkers' album or "Ricky's Hand" by Fad Gadget? Will future gens know or even care about Klaus Nomi, Jean Vigo, The TV Personalities, Budgie (the series and the band), Hogan's Heroes, Gil Kane, etc, etc...or will it just be more self-referential grue and grist for the PoMo wood-chipping machine?

Ironically, the era that has done the most to self-document itself is also the one most vulnerable to an emp data wipe-out resulting from over-zealous Russian Post-Capitalist brinkmanship, an Islamicist A-Bomb or supra-normal sun-spots...thus denying digital archeologists the joy of reading our ramblin' pop-cultural reminiscences.

So, ultimately, all this time and effort might yet be to no avail: a pointless, thankless endeavour; an existentialist's wet-dream, like Life itself, that eventually adds up to nowt.

Tho the fun, as ever, is in the talking, the doing and, most importantly, the dreaming.