Friday, December 30, 2011
Was trying to get a couple of things together earlier in terms of writing. The flesh and spirit are in cahoots and hell bent on making the formation of sentences difficult to impossible. And then I got to thinking that can’t everybody just hear stuff for themselves these days anyway? I’m not sure what the next set of numbers holds and yes smartarse, nobody does but I could really use a break in all senses of the word. A new kind of kick? Not necessarily new, I’d settle for one I’ve had before just so long as it was one in particular.
However, being that’s unlikely – I do hope that it doesn’t kick off quite so abominably as 2011. There’s one big (fairly) imminent event that I’m definitely not prepared for. In fact dreading is probably more fitting. And in town this morning, the squeals of “happy new year when it comes” made these toes curl as only that expression can bring it.
Still, time is fleeting and if I can throw caution to the wind and try to grab a few handfuls or something or other as I’m flushed around the U-bend of life then hey ho. Hope to see a good many of you before the Mayan lottery comes up. When exactly is that anyway?
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Happy holidays from Garth, Jon and Michael, your pals at Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.! Fare thee well, 2011...
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two cork popping shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31st / McKITTRICK HOTEL / It's a "Sleep No More" New Year's Eve gala, with SIT & Die Co. at 1am! / Strictly for the, um, well-heeled set...
Merrily yours, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Let me tell you about the past.
And how it seems to be fusing with the present and future right now. Seems like I never posted here for a few days and wasn’t even really aware of not having done so. Maybe that’s progress? Who knows, but it's no good looking at me.
Anyway, it’s Christmas day and I’m the only creature stirring around these parts and my thoughts are very much with my dear friend Miriam in the event that her mother passed away. This can be a cruel time of year spiritually away from the feeding frenzy of consumerism. It is about family, immediate and extended because after all the “stuff” is gone then it’s only the dreams and memories that actually keep burning.
The Rezillos Christmas Panto the other night took me right back to the Hotel International just down the road in 1976. It’s good that they’re still rolling in the thunder. It made me think about how these were the people that gave me the copy of “The Way I Walk” when they came back from recording “Can’t Stand The Rezillos” in NYC. The association was that life-changing. The version of “Can’t Stand My Baby” was ferocious in an “it’s behind you” stylee and I look forward to many more years of them doing this positive therapy for kids of all ages.
Opening was George Miller’s new combo, The New Piccadillys. Really great with and an eye-watering beat combo take on “Judy Is a Punk” that will be out as a 45 in early twentytwelve. I’ll keep you posted.
Other than that, I just got a copy of “The Ballad of Mott The Hoople” so methinks I’ll make some coffee and get in aboot that.
Photos by Julie Hayward
Thursday, December 22, 2011
T’was what? Four? maybe three days before Christmas and I’d been let down with a gift that I was trying to sort for someone. I guess I let them expectations rise a little high. Strange - because generally, I have no such thing. Either that or they are so low as to be as good as none. And here’s another case in point with regard to keeping all that on the DL. Because, in the main, I find that being let down is such a common occurrence that I’m not sure why it should irk me so much at this point.
I’d like to know if there’s a course or a seminar or something – where one can learn the art of letting people down. Oh, I’m sure that I’ve disappointed folks but never knowingly or wilfully. Usually it involves being an arse or just plain stupidity. I really don’t like to let anyone down though to an almost pathological degree. This can go from something that I say I’ll do to something as simple as punctuality. An obsession bordering on a condition.
So there’s the creek, where’s me paddle. Of course, the individual has not a scoob of what was on the cards so no harm done there but they would have dug the no-show a lot better than the M + S voucher they could well end up with.
However all was not lost and I did indeed find something, from a place not far away. And what’s more – the service and level of assistance was utterly exemplary so there are still exceptions to the rule out there in the undergrowth. It temporarily restored something I’m currently lacking, the commodity called faith. Hope and especially charity took off a long, long time ago. More about the source of the “goods” after the coast is clear (Sunday).
Which brings us to farcebook’s latest wheeze – “timeline”.
I rather stupidly jumped in them there rapids and have regretted it more or less ever since. What was I thinking? Well, not much obviously. I never spotted that it did indeed have shades of myspace which I’d forgotten ever existed. But yes, some switched on individuals have indeed twigged to just that. The processor on this PC can’t deal with much of anything anymore and the bugger just seizes up depending on what it’s trying to do. There doesn’t appear to be any means of reverting back to the common or garden farcebag timewaster.
I kvetch about this rubbish but there are way bigger fish to fry. Call it a coping mechanism or a diversion or whatever you want. The only thing that matters is that it’s nearly Friday. Don’t really care for Chrishmish but I’m open to cajoling. I’m not a cynic and prefer to think of my aversion to bullshit as realism. This consideration finds me as always largely in the minority. Colour me Grinch.
The Cramps box will be making its way out into the world right about now and I hope that Ivy will take the existence of such a beast to be the green light to get the archives in gear. I mean, if there’s this much excitement about stuff that’s been available before, imagine the appetite for unseen, unheard stuff.
For my own part it brings closure. I won’t write about the band again unless it’s to celebrate the release of a book or a video comp and wouldn’t ordinarily have been involved with a project like this but it marks the reason why Munster exists and how a bunch of us all met and became lifetime amigos. We’ve stayed sick as the credo suggests but hopefully the turning blue is some way off yet.
I’m off from the 23rd until January 5th. At this point in time, the canvas has a little light pencil here and there but nothing that couldn’t be erased to make way for something else. See you in Auld Reekie tomorrow nicht maybe? Tramline??
Monday, December 19, 2011
So far I’ve managed to suppress the urge to type “let it snow” into google. There have been a couple of times this year when I feel like I’ve "engulfed in indescribable sadness" like the North Koreans to some degree too but all I thought about when I heard of the “dear leader” passing was this video. And of course, South Park.
Will be heading out to see The Rezillos this week so if there are any overseas or wherever individuals that need a copy of the "Out Of This World" 45 – and haven’t ordered from the site – then I’m prepared to assist. It’s a fiver plus whatever postage to your particular corner of the universe. Just let me know by Thursday and we can figure it out.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Saturday, December 17, 2011
If you're in Glasgow then drop in on the What Presence! exhibit at Trongate 103.
Some nice images that include The Cramps, Suicide and The Ramones. And let's not forget The Dreamboys. The Bluebells played a short set with a line up that included Mick Slaven on guitar. those guys came up with some great wee pop songs that certainly stand the test of time.
"Ghostbusters" at The Hip' tomorrow anyone?
Friday, December 16, 2011
Worth hanging on for 2012 it seems with the news that Sir David Alvin and his Guilty Ones will make a pitstop in Glasgow at The Arches on Thursday April 12th. The Cluny in Newcastle the night previous too. When all dates are available then I'll post them here. Good on young KevMo for making this happen.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The small matter of time going in pretty fast and my not being able to be arsed with writing means that we'll be circling the holidays before we know it. I gave up with the shops and trying to buy stuff. At the same time as a big report on "the demise of the High Street". It is a shame but there's f-all to buy (except records and books but them's not for everybody).
Meant to mention that a Beat Room compilation was screened with "Serious Drugs" the other night. Some of that stuff did not stand up, it has to be said but thankfully there was the odd pearl in there like The Pastels "Unfair Kind of Fame".
I came on here to mention something in particular but have completely forgotten what it is. A mixture of old age and the aforementioned cannae-be-arsedness conspiring to flummox me. If it comes back then so will I but really, don't hold your breath.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. makes merry this week -- with a special hillbilly holiday show at the Rodeo Bar!
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan / Two holly jolly sets, from 8:30 sharp 'til 11pm or so / No cover!
And, later this month, ringing out the old at Otto's...
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29th / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two bell ringing shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!
Yours in Santa, Michael
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Not long back from a genuine world – as in never seen before in its completed state by anybody including the person that made it – premiere of “Serious Drugs”, a documentary about Duglas T. Stewart and BMX Bandits.
Four years in the making, Jim Burns took the task on did so because he wanted to get to the bottom of this music that helped him get a leg up to get over the wall of a nasty bout of depression. A one-time psychiatric nurse himself, this is a positive notion of mental health, to the extent that it could be re-titled “The Devil and Duglas T” although Duglas’ demons are maybe different to those of DJ.
“I'm not speechless, I'm still Duglas” said the subject when he joined the Q + A, chaired by Beat Patrol vet Peter Easton, the first man ever to play a BMX Bandits record on air and akin to being the first gent on the moon at the time. Over the shooting time, Jim was granted total access to the twisty, turny Bandit world. The context is fleshed out by bandmates, associates and family. At one point, Duglas’ mum says that he became the singer to prove his dad wrong. She was sitting directly in front of me at the screening and turned to his sister and said “that’s true”.
It was Jim’s family who pitched in on the making of this, the first film he ever made and quite feasibly his last although he did tell me about an idea he has for another that sounds like a hoot should it ever get beyond first base. “Serious Drugs” charts the progress from the early days of twee exuberance to the present. I recall my own reaction to the early BMX output as being remarkably similar to the lambasting Sounds review for “E102” revealed in the movie. It wasn’t until I actually met Duglas that it made any sort of sense and then somehow they got really good around the time they opened for Alex Chilton at Glasgow Tech, whenever the hell that was.
This will hopefully play film festivals and get a few other screenings along the way. Unlike the formula docs that come at us ten a penny, it paints the storyboard of a rather complex character at large in his own Trumanesque tragi-comedy. His always unique worldview reveals a hapless romantic that succeeds and indeed thrives upon swimming against the tide of crud.
You can’t prosecute a man for that, I believe? Not yet at any rate.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
I just realised that I never posted about Eric and Amy's show last Sunday in the Jordanhill 'burb of Glasgow. Something happened that kind of threw me off my game. Top venue courtesy of Alan Hendry, quite neatly packed and to put it bluntly, I think this was the best I've ever seen them - and I clocked some blinders from these two.
Clocking in over the 2 hour mark, the masterclass in entertainment provided thrills, spills and everything in between. They brought a show worthy of enormodome value to the function room of a tennis and Bowling club. The set contained everything a contentedly boisterous audience could ask for. Of course, there was a compliment of gibbering bastards that yakked but the volume and velocity mostly put paid to that.
And we had a nice wee pow-wow over some stovies, tea and wine in the small hours afterwards. The three of us even made it to the (Let's go to the) pictures on the Monday morning. Did anyone go to the Malmo show? Would love to hear about that.
Does anyone give much of a damn about anything other than their own "parsnips" anymore?
I'm thinking perhaps not. As we limber up for the transition between another set of numbers - waiting for the hammer to fall - and I'm not talking about the guy that sez "you can't touch this" or the place in Canada or a football team - then I'm well on my way to losing any kind of faith i have in much of anything.
Oh sure there are some people, and things - but I'm talking about the big picture. And morale in general. I consider myself to be pretty fortunate in some ways and utterly destitute in others. No different from anyone else on that score maybe but backbone and fibre seem to be in short supply. Self preservation surely isn't the be all and end all, or is it?
Today is my annual tussle with "It's A Wonderful Life". Part of my ritual, just like "The Apartment" is on New Year's Day. It's around now that one gets to thinking how it would be to have never been born at all and can see several faces lighting up at the very thought of that.
Friday, December 09, 2011
No idea what it is with me and December but it always ends up in a thud, one way or another. I guess it was impossible to sustain the high jinks of the last wee while so perhaps the perspective will make sense eventually. Or most likely not.
Anyway, the silly season is looming large and two weeks from today, the holidays will kick in. I have the usual intentions of trying to get to grips with stuff that has slipped or lapsed or in some cases both. No promises or contracts will be entered into though. There could be blogging involved somewhere along the line but I wouldn't count on it.
In just three weeks we'll be nudging 2012 so who knows what that bugger has in store. Will the Mayans be proven correct or did they have their fair share of shysters also? Likely the latter. Any way you deal it, there's a cold front moving in.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Friday, December 02, 2011
I imagine that a load of you will be heading to see Jack Oblivian in London tonight? There are a lot of shows here, there and everyplace. I'm somewhat out of the loop. Winter has really hit with a bang today although thus far not like last year at this time. I'm sure there are things that I need to bang on about but time is very tight. And the flesh and the spirit are week as one contemplates the seasonal madness.