Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Born To Run


Before we go through the final day of the trip, it's time for the couple-of-posts overdue 100th post super fantastic party celebration extravaganza - 2014 edition! My plans were massive for this, but then I remembered - I don't even like any of you, why should I make any effort whatsoever to please you? I work my arse off to give you a daily dose of entertainment and laughter, often at my very own expense and you don't give a shit for any of it, you just skim read the fruits of my labour and are too fucking busy to stick a three minute song on to encapsulate the mood I've worked so hard to create, when I spend sometimes considerably longer than is healthy picking a song that's fitting, enjoyable and humorous all at the same time. Yes, well, of course, that is just the sort of blinkered philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you spoonfed, infantilised idiots. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss about the struggling artist. You excrement! You lousy, hypocritical whining toadies with your Netflix-ready TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding nonsensical, unfunny acronyms! You wouldn't let me be part of your Facebook group, would you, you blackballing bastards. Well I wouldn't become a member now if you went down on your lousy, stinking, purulent knees and BEGGED ME!!!
(This is just a joke. I'm very grateful for any time any of you put into reading my shit and I hope you've got some enjoyment out of it. Thank you. I say again, I'm not being at all serious with the above)

So, I got some questions from you lot. Here are my answers.

Q: A (wild) bogus gasman appears - what do you say to him?

A: "Begone, sir. There will be no bogusing of my gas today! I would lock you out, but I don't actually have any locks. I am a warrior and I demand to be treated like one. So, you have forced me to this. Bidoof, I choose you!" Bidoof: "Durka dur"

Q: whats with the hating. so much hate.

A: What's with the trying to sound cool, Coolio? I knew someone once who thought speaking in short bursts and abusing the shit out of full stops was the coolest thing anyone has ever, ever done, ever. But it wasn't. Anyway, you want to know why I despair? That fucking Flappy Bird game is popular just because it's popular. What is wrong with you people?!

Q: Who should be thrown on an inferno (preferably made by the white man)?

A: Pharrell Williams, because of that thing he's going about with on his head at the moment. Also, he's black, so it works. If he's busy, stick Melissa McCarthy on there. She gives me the fucking creeps.

Q: yea everyone called me Dixie Cup for years juts cause I asked if it was alright to use a dixie cup as a condom in sex ed. im cool now though

A: Can I call you back?

Q: Whats so great about zias? :)

A: None of their shops fall within my restraining order zone. Sorry but I'm not going to answer this one properly, I think I give them enough free advertising. It's all deserved though, I'll say that much.

Thanks for those. Now, onto something with a bit of substance for a change. Here are.....


Or just (not top) ten albums you must hear before you die, according to my gospel opinion.

1. The Zombies - Odessey And Oracle

The UK's answer to The Beach Boys. The only difference is that The Zombies aren't one of the most overrated bands in musical history. Poppy, sweet, bittersweet, funky, rock and rolly, and a tune that brings the Rainbow theme to mind (Changes). Possibly the best album ever.

2. Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds

This shit is neo classical, which basically means it's classical but with rocky things going on as well. Very moody, very atmospheric, it sounds like how you think a martian invasion would probably sound. I know that cause you described it to me once. Even after all these years it still sounds futuristic!

 3. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

Believe the hype. The hype from six years ago now, but the hype nonetheless, believe it. Like all Elbow albums it takes at least two or three listens before it hooks you, but once it does, that's you, dead, sleeping with the fishes. Very inventive music with very clever lyrics. I never thought I'd feel sorry for every tower crane driver in the world, but because of this album, I do.

4. Neil Young - After The Gold Rush

Honestly, there are so many Neil Young albums I could've put here, like Harvest, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Zuma, On The Beach......but this is generally considered his magnum opus. So many artists today owe a debt to this man, and this album is a perfect place to start finding out why.

5. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

To be fair, shoegaze is a very Marmitey area of music, but if you're a fan of it, this is as good as it gets. MBV are still going and relevant too, they won Uncut's Album of the Year last year. Best line to describe this album comes from some guy from some site I read once: "It sounds like druggy sex, or sexy drugs" Fucking spot on. Only Shallow is one of the best album openers too.

6. Neon Neon - Stainless Style

A concept album that tried to tell the life story of John Delorean through 80s beats and bops...which succeeded. Big time. This is the backup if a party starts going the wrong way - people rarely know what it is but they're always down for some of that shit. Don't think I'll ever tire of I Told Her On Alderaan.

7. Slint - Spiderland

Let me put this into perspective for you: each and every member of the band were at some point committed to an asylum for a period of time during the making of this album. It's pure evil in audio form. The whole thing collapses in on itself at the end and I defy you not to widen your eyes even a bit when that happens.

8. Sly And The Family Stone - There's A Riot Goin' On

The birth of so many genres, all thanks to this album. Without this, no Stylistics, no Beyonce, no Missy Elliot, no R & B as we know it. Wait, why do I like this album again?

9. T. Rex - The Slider

The soundtrack of Britain for the late 70s, early 80s, and rightly so. It's not heavy, it's not preachy, you can dance to it or rock out with your Cocker Spaniel, it's all one with this album. One of the real greats, he was...R.I.P Notice I didn't add the last period so I'm telling him to rest in pee, and that's funny!

10. Massive Attack - Mezzanine

Here's a little story. On the strength of the songs Angel and Teardrop, I got a hold of this album. After two weeks I gave it a listen but only Black Milk really stood out, wasn't really paying attention to the songs. I play this album in America, in Irie Nancy's car. She's in Safeway getting something and the song Group Four comes on. It finishes. She comes back and I insist on playing it again so she can hear it, it was just that good. I've not known the album long but I know it'll stand the test of time. It's dark, paranoid, brooding, menacing, hypnotic and stylish music that ticks all the boxes for me. Listen to it.

And I'm spent. Onwards!



Yes, Comrades

Penultimate wake in me bed. There's a heavy feeling hanging in the air, which in hindsight may have been because Philip Seymour Hoffman had just been found dead. A bloody shame - he wasn't so much an actor than a bleedin' chameleon and the industry won't quite be the same, knowing he'll never star in a stellar role again. No more turning shitstorm movies into Shakespearean masterpieces (see 25th Hour) for ol' Phil. As I say, a real shame.

On a more selfish note, Ralph had made it known to the Shebas that he wanted to see me, maybe to discuss offing Fredo, or the chocolate bar and how good it is and should definitely go back to being 10p. Ruddy inflation, eh? Anyway, we picked up Mama Sheba and arrived at Ralph's. Debbie and Ed had been there a while and were just leaving. Ralph offered me some 'leño' which sounded just too exotic to decline. Turned out to be bog standard reg. I barely touched it - I was preoccupied with using the sun and my watch to create a spot for the dog to chase. We grabbed some ice and headed.

The ice was dropped off at Sheba's, following which we made like trees and got out of there to get some plane-friendly hookah. Back home, we got ready by putting on makeup and gathering bottles of Stella. It's like a really hard game of Guess Who, good luck. Today was the day of the Superbowl, something I had absolutely no experience or knowledge of.

After picking up Sheba and Tree, we made like Tree and got high. We didn't, I just wanted to say that. X's house was the venue for this American event and along with Mrs Nancy and a quick cameo from Alecia's mum Linda, we were the only guests. Our fun was made trying to catch ourselves swearing in front of Noa or Tatumn and judging the adverts. Well, now when people ask me who Bob Dylan is, I can tell them "He's the guy from that Chrysler advert" Good job, Bob.

The game itself confused the shit out of me for the first two quarters, but as the beer and pizza found a friend in me, I overcompensated so much that I actually paid enough attention to know what was going on. The Seattle Shadowhawks were slaying the Denver Broncos. What? Oh, sorry, Seahawks. Half time show. Don't you just want to grab Bruno Mars by his skinny little throat and roar "You are not Michael Jackson!!" into his tone deaf ears? No?

The game continued, finally. The Seahawks were bending the Broncos over and telling them to like what would come next. Everyone said this Superbowl was shit and they promised the next one would be better. Mhmm. I didn't care any road, I understood the game and dare I say, was enjoying it. You know how people grow up hating Gorgonzola cheese, then when they hit a certain age they want to eat nothing but Gorgonzola cheese? Maybe that's me with American football?

I was hugged bye by everyone, which felt a little surreal when you consider that not much more than a year ago, not one person in Phoenix, Arizona knew the name Sergeant Dread. We left X and Alecia's for my last time, this year at least, and everyone was happy to make one final trip to Zias. I had to hide the fact I was treating my comrades to DVDs, so it was an awkward visit. We left with Robin Williams Live On Broadway, The Artist and Life Of Brian and headed to #3.

It's not the hardest thing, guessing what we got up to. I said bye to as many family members as I could of the Shebas, including BK and Rico, the dogs. We agreed that if Sheba and Tree could get up at 4, they'd come along to the airport. Regardless, I said "In a bit" just in case.

Back home, we had some more bomb (hey! I don't touch the stuff at home, this here was the only libation I get!) and settled down to cartoons, as uge. Oh, interestingly enough, on the drive home, whoever the DJ was made a point of emphasising the words "All bad things must come to an end" which we found pretty neat. At midnight, sleepy time, to wake at 4.

A knock on my door. Oh. Fuck. It's 5. Within ten minutes, me, Nancy and her mum were in the car. Hope Sheba and Tree weren't too miffed. "I'm not seeing the connection to your homeland on this ticket". Double fuck. I produced the confirmation and after the lady's tinkered with the computer for about twenty minutes, it's all straightened out. Nearly had a total heart attack, so I did. We said our byes, which is never easy, then I made it on the plane with minutes to spare. Kept drifting in and out of consciousness on the plane, then arrived at Newark. Piece of piss.

And here I am, sat in an empty departure lounge, sucking the charging station dry, puffing on hookah, praying this arctic blast doesn't strand me here. The worst thing for me when flying is wondering if you'll ever see your case again. You always do (so far!) but still, it's fucking nervewracking. If you ever read this, it would be a safe assumption that there's been a happy ending. I hope.

So, we come to the end of another little expedition. It's a shame so many American idiosyncracies have stayed just that, I don't hesitate to say it would do so many places some good to embrace pancake houses, treating customers like more than simply that and $1 blue slurpees. One can dream.

I'll miss each and every one of the colourful characters I've come into contact with of late - I didn't meet a single person I disliked when here and I mean that sincerely. They'll all be missed, but like I said before, this isn't the end. Someone commented to me that I must feel weird, being part of this crazy Mexican group. Like I said to them, it makes no difference whether they're Mexican or not, they're beautiful people, the salt of the Earth. We made it! There now follows a massive break in transmission.

Dudes, I totally miss you.

"The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive"

In a big bit.

Harvest Moon


Yes, Comrades

Woke up feeling like anything but P Diddy. That's all fine. You'd be amazed how long it can take to fill up one full page of A4 with genius material each day. I've got about fifty minutes from this point, which is pretty ridiculous, all things considered.

I had been presented with a bunch of albums with no cases, including Hendrix, Dylan, Marley and Young, so today's mission was to infiltrate the enemy office superstore, acquire the max security CD sleeves and evacuate undetected. So, we hopped in the Nancymobile and sped along to the colonnade, after our usual argument about how such a thing is pronounced. We get to Staples - $15 for 100 CD sleeves? No, no, bloody no.

So we arrive at the Wal Mart at Christown Spectrum mall, my first time visiting this time. $3 for 25 sleeves? Much better. Nancy grabbed a few shirts and we left via the mall. Surprisingly, Cousin Nico came through for a day out, so we went to get him. He seemed to be collecting pillows, I was nearly forced out his door by them.

Soon, we were all sat at Applebee's eating buffalo chicken wings and weird triangular chicken won ton tacos and drinking beer and mudslides, chatting about naughty things we did in our childhoods. The service was questionable, but the food and company compensated. Apparently Applebee's are big on birthdays, so Cousin Nico told the staff, against my requests, that it was my birthday. That bastard. I got a free sundae, and they sang to me again...

After getting some glowsticks for Cousin Nico's rollerskate derby rave...thing, we popped to a park. It was freezing and dark, but so tranquil, especially with that massive block of cheese hanging in the sky, was something else. We made a quick call and made our way to home #3.

There, All In The Family was on. There's something about sitcoms from the 70s, 80s and 90s that seems lost now but was a universal thing: the innocent humour. The innocent part is all gone and I can't work out why, maybe Gervais ruined it by throwing 'cringeworthy' into the mix, dunno. Tree walked in. "Walk of shame". At 8pm? I'm going to miss her one liners.

We made a quick trip out and came back to watch Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. It sounds like a proper chick flick but it really isn't, I loved it. If anyone needs to take a ride, we've got a car - which we took home. I didn't like I Heart Huckabee's as much, but it was alright. I've been nothing but sleepy recent nights. Still, not like it matters now, sadly.

"Just like children sleeping, we could dream this night away"

In a bit.

The Times They Are A-Changin'


Yes, Comrades

Having gotten a late night and an early rise to ensure the rented car got back to Phoenix in time, us three weren't feeling at our most beautiful. Trying to sleep in a car is murder, I almost feel sorry for people who have to live in their Vauxhall Novas, with their tonic wine and "I am mental" bumper sticker.

When we arrived back, Mr Nancy and X took the rented car back while I dealt with my essentials. Mama Sheba was dropped off and since I smelled like St. Savile's Childrens' Hospital, I spent some time chipping some off the old block. When we got back into one group, our first destination was Fry's Electronics. Snickers ice cream had perked me up by this point, Nancy said "Godzilla! My niggah..." I laughed, we went in, then left for Chandler.

At Zias, she got two movies and a Gin Blossoms album for me, which was sweet. At Chandler Mall, my static shocks were in full swing. At the classiest chocolate shop, See's, Nancy got a bag of stuff, but I'd had a Po' Boy sandwich earlier which was a pound of three meats, so I was cushty.

One final stop at Wal Mart yielded a nice surprise. Before that though, we were hunting for Airheads after my last juicy experience. We found them and when we did, Swedish Fish came along for the journey. On our way out, we spotted something you may or may not remember. Mind when I said America has some of the finest minds of our generation? No? Well, we bought Bacon Bowls. I can hardly wait to eat vanilla ice cream from a bowl made of bacon.

I had uncovered Nancy's terrible secret on the drive home, so we sat down to give her an education. She learned the ways of QI, Fry and Laurie, Izzard, Jupitus impersonating Izzard, Bridges, Dee, retsupurae and by far the most important lesson of all, Laurel and Hardy. She barely knows who they are, but it's being remedied, calm those tits of yours.

At Sheba's, we were without the lady herself, who was with her sister. Tree and Debbie were and are fine company though, as we learned about albino lobsters, squirrels, deer and that. Standard night. Soon enough, the gang was back together again, sat watching Sheba eat a jalapeno burger with fries, despite being sick only the night before. Nothing stops this one, really. The burger tasted like wild Heaven though, so I don't blame her at all. We then went to get our own at Carl's Jr. Expensive, but my God, unbelievable. Back at home weighing double our usual, we tried to watch Chronicles of Riddick, but it didn't happen.

"Admit that the waters around you have grown and accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone"

In a bit.