Tuesday, March 30

Electric Cinema Auction
I'm at work experience at the BBC and today I wrote about tomorrows auction for the Electric Cinema in Birmingham.
You can see the article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/birmingham - today and tomorrow morning it will be the lead story!
Also if you are in the West Midlands then there will be a feature on Radio WM between 8:30 and 9:00am tomorrow.

It's all very exciting stuff - tomorrow I think I might have the choice of interviewing Steve Lamacq or a group of Morris Dancers. It's a hard decision, my sister told me to go with the Morris Dancers - what do you think?

Friday, March 26

I tried in vain to get some Madonna tickets this morning, but it just wasn't to be. On a positive note, I wrote an article about Bernard Chandran - Malaysia's 'Prince of Fashion'. I met him on Tuesday and he was a very cool guy. Much more down to earth than how I imagined a fashion designer would be...

Tonight is my last night in Preston for a while so I am going for a few pints and a curry I think.

As for tomorrows football, i've got a feeling that a resurgent Leeds are going to beat a below strength Birmingham side. We've offloaded a few players to create space for some new summer signings, but has left the squad woefully short and we are gradually slipping away from European contention.

Danger! High International Postage
I'm delighted to report that as well as readers in America, I now have readers in New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Germany and Singapore.

This is very cool indeed!

The Lovejoy Revival

I still can't believe that Tinker from Lovejoy is in Eastenders now!
With the return of Dudley Sutton, surely its only a matter of time before Ian McShane drops into the vic for a swift half and a 'word' about mullets. Or how about a Lovejoy revival, it has to happen. Especially with antiques programmes so popular at the moment. We must start a campaign immediately.

The most poetic thing i've ever read about Lovejoy:
"He may be perpetually broke, his private life is always in a mess, he is a liar and pretends to be a coward, his business dealings are unethical, no woman is safe from him, but he responds to antiques the way Mozart responded to the key of D minor. They set up a vibration in him, and all of a sudden this dubious character becomes an artist."

- Newgate Callender, describing Lovejoy in The New York Times Book Review.

The most worrying news story i've seen today:
"The last time I saw Dudley Sutton he flashed at me on the stage" - Dot Cotton

Other bizarre headlines of the day:

Top doc backs picking your nose and eating it

Player sent off for tackling streaker

Berlin considers employing pig catchers

Scotland invents deep friend chocolate

And the great moustache debate

Chris De Burgh banned
The housewives favourite has been given the boot from the shelves of HMV in a move that I can only humbly applaud after once being forced to sing Lady in Red during a quiz.

Thursday, March 25

Morrissey bans kebabs shocker

Morrissey has banned all meat products from his forthcoming gig at the MEN arena.

The be-quiffed one is quoted as saying: "It would be hypocritical to sing 'Meat Is Murder' amid smells of hamburgers."

The recent documentary on the Mozster featured him saying the immortal line "I only ever eat toast", so perhaps the gig will be the start of something I have been campigning for over a long period of time, Toast vending machines. Like a can machine - you put in your money, choose your spread and/or jam flavour and it makes up the toast for you.


What's that you say?
An online flash version of Sonic The Hedgehog
That's just about the coolest thing ever!
(via Expecting To Fly)

What you need in your life is a Big Lebowski random quote generator
(via Fat Buddha)

Wednesday, March 24

I've handed in my project - YAY!

It's like an enormous website shaped weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now I just have to make another whole website by the 10th of May...
So i'm looking forward to tonights match, where I think Chelsea might just spring a surprise, but we'll see.

By the way - did anyone see Stella Street the movie the other day on TV - it's one the funniest programmes i've ever seen.

Milkman "Jack, I like your films"
Jack Nicholson "Dave, I like your milk"

Also Basquiat is on TV tomorrow night at about midnight and I urge everyone to watch it. Even if you don't like Basquiat as an artist, its worth it to see David Bowie doing a bizarre turn as Andy Warhol.

Pixies....what's the big deal?
Everyone is going mad about the Pixies reforming, but I don't really see what all the fuss is about. I mean they are a good band and stuff, but they have kind of become the sacred cows of indie music - a bit like the Beatles. Now call me iconoclastic, but I don't really like the Beatles either. I mean they are alright to listen to over sunday dinner with your parents or something, but just not my cup of tea.
Frank Black is about 35 stone now and I think they only way they are going to rock the foundations of music in 2004 is if the esteemed Mr Black goes on the rampage after running out of pies.

Talking of pies, the one band that I would like to see this summer are The Cure...

Tuesday, March 23

New Link Time

After a couple of hours of mindless surfing, i've found a few more most excellent weblogs to add to my soon to be alphabetised side bar!

Naked Blog is very funny and always one of the first with the Belle De Jour rumours.

Though Link Machine Go remains the king of all BDJ news

Silent words speak loudest is a top class blog by a guy called Ben who has links to Ikara Colt, Idlewild, Ross Noble, The Icarus Line and The Rescue Rooms in his sidebar - that's how cool he is.

The whole wide world of fat buddha - Musings of a misanthropic Birmingham City loving social worker! - genius

Large Hearted Boy A blog by a guy called David with excellent taste in music and who lives in Birmingham Alabama

Monday, March 22

OK - due to public demand, i'm going to devote a whole post to Bad Obsession - 'The Uk's number one Guns n Roses tribute band'

Sadly - i'm not going to be able to make the May date in Wolverhampton as I am going to be in Preston that day most likely attending Pestons only Goth night!

But do not worry, BO (nice abbreviation!) are playing in Birmingham in April so I can see them in action!

The full tour dates for April are:

Friday 2nd The Standard Walthampstow
Saturday 3rd The Cartoon Croydon
Wednesday 7th Chicago Rock Bury-St-Edmunds
Friday 9th The Flowerpot Derby
Saturday 10th The Rock Cafe 2000 Stourbridge, Birmingham
Sunday 11th Mr Kyps Poole, Dorset
Wednesday 14th Chicago Rock Bishops Stortford, Herts
Saturday 17th The Roadhouse Stirchley, Birmingham.
Sunday 18th The Bierkeller Bristol
Wednesday 21st The Limelight Belfast, N.Ireland.
Friday 23rd The Forum Waterford, Rep of Ireland.
Saturday 24th The Ambassador Dublin, Rep of Ireland.

Apart from the fact that I think Stourbridge isn't in any way actually in Birmingham (possible controversial talking point), I also notice that they played a gig in the mighty West Bromwich last week!

Their website is a joy to behold, especially the image gallery, where the fake Slash looks to me more like angry Scottish 'comedian' Jerry Sadowitz.

And even better you can book them! So that's my birthday sorted. Last year fire eating, the year before laser quest. This year a guns n roses tribute band!

Stirchley Roadhouse April 17th, i'm there!

Top 100 mispronounced words in the English Language
via Green Fairy
My favourite is Heineken Remover

Hello America!
My site stats tell me i've had five hits from America last week. So if you are Amercian, leave and comment and say hi, and tell me why your President is such a fool...

I just realised what a cool place the house I live in is:

- Opposite a chruch/arts centre, a book shop, and a library with 24 hour broad band internet access and free video rental

- Around the corner from a shop 'The Night Owl' that is open until 4am. It is reputed to be actually run be owls, but this is unconfirmed. And besides, how would they operate the till?

- Also around the corner from several delicious take-away establishments. HOT NEWS - Keith's Hawaiian Chicken faces new competition as the take-away across the road has opened up bigger and better than before. It has new tables and an even bigger kebab spinning machine!

- Just down the road from a selection of rather fine drinking establishments including the marvellous Dog and Partridge - where you will find the finest jukebox in Preston

- Five minutes walk from a cool gig venue

- Ten minutes walk from a train station, a coach station and Europe's second largest bus station!

What could be better really?

Saturday, March 20

Jimmy White arrested in Preston

High drama at Britain's ugliest hotel earlier in the week as snooker legend Jimmy White was arrested for a little bit of extra-curicular drug taking (allegedly).

It could be the most famous arrest in Preston since the
Lancashire Weavers Riots of 1826

Well i'm going back to Birmingham in April to do some work experience at the BBC, but i've picked a good time as there are some great gigs in Brum that month:

April 1st - This is Normal @ The Sunflower Lounge
April 5th - Amen and Ikara Colt - Academy2
April 6th - Erase Errata - Medicine Bar
April 12th - Yeah Yeah Yeah's - Academy
April 21st - Franz Ferdinand - Academy
April 27th - The Stills - Academy2

And a special treat in May:
May 15th - Bad Obsession (Guns 'N' Roses tribute) - Wolverhamton Little Civic

See you there!

Hot Parking News

Below is an email that was sent as a circular around the entire University of Central Lancashire email system, proving just how mush of an important issue parking is in Preston!

"Car Parking Update

The issue of car parking was raised at the Vice-Chancellor's annual address in September and that a promise was made to keep staff and students aware of possible future developments.

It has now been confirmed that a traffic consultant has been appointed and will advise the University on the best way to meet the challenge of on-campus parking. The University is also looking at ways of reclaiming lost spaces and, in the short term, hopes to create more temporary spaces. This includes the recent leasing of 30 spaces from the English Martyrs church at Canterbury Hall on Moor Lane.

Work will continue on exploring these and other public transport opportunities and staff and students will be informed as and when major developments occur.

Wow! A Traffic Consultant. Why didn't I see this job advertised, I would have been the ideal candidate!

Note the promise of "major developments" in the last line of the email.

What could it mean? Are we about to see a revolution in the world of parking (in Preston). Keep checking back to Danger! High Postage to find out...

Congratulations Andy!
Just want to say a bit congratulations to Andy. His partner Toria gave birth to Eddie last week and early reports indicate he is shaping up well to be a future Blackpool FC player.
Cheer up Andy and come back to uni soon!

Extreme Gardening
I just want to say a very big hello to the Extreme Gardening Blog who have given me a nice link in their side bar. Thanks! I was just wondering how extreme could gardening actually be? Could it be combined with perhaps snowboarding or parachuting. Or even, dare I say it...Ironing

Friday, March 19

Ikara colt my favourite band in the whole world are playing in Preston! and i'm not going to be here to see it as I am going to be in Birmingham doing work experience! NOOOOOOOOO. The finest day in Preston's rock history since Iron Maiden played in the 80's and i'm not here. Oh well, at least I have the consolation of seeing them in Birmingham...

Thursday, March 18

The lease on The Electric Cinema is up for auction on March 31st. I'm having a bit of a whip round to make an offer, so if you want to make a donation then just leave a comment with the amount.

On a serious note, the cinema was a Birmingham institution and I really hope that someone who wants to carry on running is as cinema wins the auction. The cake was legendary, the seats smelled of wee, the toilets were foul, but the film programme was diverse and amazing, and the staff are great people.

Tuesday, March 16

Birmingham - it's not shit

May I recommend the Birmingham It's not shit website. A great source of information about our beloved second city, famous brummies and debates on hot issues such as Stan Collymore's evening antics.....

Monday, March 15

So i'm still doing my project this week - it's kind of annoying me now, but i've nearly finished.

In other news, i've seen the new traffic warden in Preston! I spotted the young pretender in action in the city centre, itching to give someone a ticket. He obviously knows he needs to stamp his authority on errant motorists ready for when John retires in a couple of months...

More traffic news later...

Random statistics of the day

A list of why concerts by sweary comedy northerners the Macc Lads were banned or failed to happen

Local Council objections (103)
Police/Licensing warnings to venue (99)
No reason given (91)
Venue owners/managers with cold feet (22)
Protests from clergymen (21)
Local resident committee petitions (17)
Insurance company veto (15)
Minority rights group petitions (9)
Immigration veto/ visa refusal (9)
Git discovers concert to be charity benefit (5)
Venue ceased trading (4)
Pseudonym revealed (3)
Band member in hospital (2)
Local promoter received death threats (2)
Death of local promoter (1)
Band member in prison (1)
Local promoter put wrong date on posters & publicity (1)
Venue owner changed name of venue, but didn't tell anyone (1)
Venue flooded (1)
Power cut (1)
Police raid unlicensed premises (1)
Lads discover concert to be in aid of hunt saboteurs (1)

And the all time best reason for cancelling a gig...EVER

Lads discover concert to be Nazi rally (1)

Sunday, March 14

Ryan Adams / Carina Round

If you like either of these singers then be sure to download the rare Ryan Adams song 'Karina' from the unofficial Caina Round website. The song was written about Carina Round by Adams after they toured together a few years back...

I wonder if Ryan Adams has ever met his similarly named Canadian MOR rock nemesis, hmmm...?

Monday, March 8

Spot the gig cliche
Nicked from Fragile cus it's funny.

Type 1- The Wannabe Groupie

Pigtails? Check.
Over-the-knee-socks? Check.
Belt length skirt? Check.
Morals? In short supply.
Key Phrase: "I luv yooooooooooou *enter band member name* "OMG OMG OMG,HE LOOKED AT ME! HA, he soooooo wants me!"
Groupies. Gotta love them. Well, actually no you don't, most people love to hate them, but you can guarantee that they'll always be there. Wannabe groupies, obsessive 'fans', band aids, call them what you like, these girls, like a bad rash (that's all they'll have if you're lucky) just won't go away. Look at the front of any gig and you'll see them, brandishing fat marker pens and crudely drawn banners scrawled with the lovelorn messages of a hormonal teenage girl. 'I luv u Dave!' 'Bob is well fit!' 'F*** me Fred!' You get the picture.

Type 2- The 'Journalist'

Dictaphone? Check.
Questions? Check.
Backstage Pass? Check.
Camera? Check.
Key Phrase: If female: "GOD DAMN IT, I AM NOT A GROUPIE!". "NO you can't have my backstage pass. No not even if you pay me. " "No, this isn't an excuse to meet the band, I really AM interviewing them. Argh. FINE, don't believe me then, I'll phone the tour manager. *sighs*"
Aha. The 'journalist'. Normally seen entering venue early, scowling at security who mistake them for Type 1 ( wannabe groupie), or seen leaving tour bus, grinning at groupies to wind them up. Second group that people love to hate. Often to be found skulking by the bar or with band members after the gig, sometimes frantically scribbling journalistic gems in a notebook if they've actually bothered to review the gig. 'Journalists' are very easy to wind up, just accuse them of being a wannabe groupie.

Type 3- The "Real Fan"

Numerous autographed items? Check.
Band t-shirt? Check.
Extra thick coat for waiting outside the venue for seven hours? Check.
Key Phrase: "God, she blatantly wants to shag the band." "Yeah I've known the band for X amount of years" "I know the drummers sisters boyfriends half cousin!"
Not to be mistaken for Type 1, the 'real fan' talks a lot louder, but doesn't squeal. Normally heard bragging about the time they met the drummers sisters boyfriends half cousin, they'll talk your ear off and generally try to make out that they're more important than everyone else, ever. Permanently clutching handfuls of signed memorabilia, they look down on Type 1, and hate Type 2 as they get to meet the band when they "aren't real fans".

Type 4- The Desperate Unsigned Band Member
Demo? Check.
Another Demo? Check.
Another Demo, just in case? Check.
Latest set of photos of your band taken on your mates budget camera? Check.
Key Phrase: "PLEASE can you listen to our demo? We're called erm... 'Binbag.' " "oh yeah, I've just remembered, I've got my demo with me, could you give it to *enter band member name* or their manager? Please?" "PLEEEEEEEASE????"
The desperate unsigned band member is usually seen hovering around the backstage entrance, talking to anyone wearing a suit. Normally fidgeting wildly, for fear that some record company bigwig might walk in while they're in the loo, meaning they've missed their "big break". Most of these bands aren't actually very good.

Type 5- The Indie Schmindie Kid

"I Hate NME" badge? Check.
Obscure band cd? Check.
Permanent sneer? Check.
Key Phrase: "Ugh, they're such sellouts." "Not an original bone in their body!" "They're not as good as Upside Down Meerkat Tango were in the early nineties..... What do you mean 'who????' Cretin. They've blatantly stolen that riff!"
Noone actually knows why the Indie Schmindie kid actually goes to gigs, seeing as they never like the band. They appear to go just so they can bitch and moan about how the band are "sellouts" or how they've stolen their riff from some obscure 90's indie band who were never good enough to hit the bigtime. The Indie Schmindie kid is everyones nemesis. They hate Type 1 and dismiss them as "brainless airheads", despise Type 2 as they feel they "kiss bands asses", and ignore Type 3 for "deluding themselves", and write Type 4 off as "Unoriginal, uninspiring." Indie Schmindie kids are normally seen by the bar at the back of the room, or standing at the side of the stage with their arms crossed.

Type 6- The Lovers

Copious amounts of lipgloss? Check.
Love hearts? Check.
Matching outfits? Check
Key Phrase: "Oooooh I love you snugglebunny fluffykins!" "Everyone else is just jealous sweetie." "No, we're not moving."
The Lovers. There's always a few at every gig. They normally position themselves at the very front by the barrier, ensuring that they block everybodys view, and proceed to slobber all over each other with the sole aim of discovering just how far down each others throats their tongues can go. If someone tuts or tells them to get a room, The Lovers will roll their eyes, giggle, and say it's because we're 'Just jealous'. No, it's because we want you to get a room. Alternatively, you have the shy lovers who favour the darkened corners of rooms. When asked what they thought of the band after the gig they respond "Huh? Gig? There was a band on?"

Type 7- The Drunk

Vodka? Check.
Beer? Check.
Wall/Floor to cling onto? Check
Key Phrase: "Iiiiii am NOT drunk *hic*." "aaaaaah jus' one more... oopsh." *to the band* "YOOOOOOOU SUCK!"
There's always one. Really likes their drink, but can't handle it. The Drunk is usually alone due to their friends pretending that they don't know them after they launch into a tipsy rendition of YMCA or the Cheeky Girls. It's quite impressive just how drunk they can get on other people's money, insisting that "oops, they've lost their wallet!". Normally drunk before the first support band come on, they then weave and stumble their way to the front, where they cling onto the barrier for dear life. After several vodkas, The Drunk suddenly feels that they are the worlds greatest music critic, spitting out such gems as "youuuuu shuck! har har!" "IIIII can play better than yooooou when I'm pisshed!" "guitarist/singer/ one with long hair, I want youuuuuuur babies! You still shuck though!" Between bands they fight their way back to the bar or nearest toilet, until eventually they can't walk anymore, and find themselves clinging to the floor so that they don't fall off.

These men must be stopped!

Sunday, March 7

Rob Newman
Inbetween having stresses over using Flash and tracking down errant cinema owners I am still reading Rob Newman's excellent new book 'The Fountain at the Centre of the World'
He has a website you know!
And for all you Mary Whitehouse fans....

The Great Tea debate

Is it milk first then tea - or is it tea first then milk?

George Orwell has his own opinion:
"...one should pour tea into the cup first. This is one of the most controversial points of all; indeed in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject. The milk-first school can bring forward some fairly strong arguments, but I maintain that my own argument is unanswerable. This is that, by putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk whereas one is liable to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round.'
[Via Link Machine go]

Personally i'm from the tea first milk second school of thought, mainly because I often actually forget that I don't have any milk in the fridge and have to steal some from my alcoholic elf of a housemate.

Friday, March 5

On the jukebox

I'm kind of getting into The Stills at the moment, not to be confused will dull northerners The Stands, The Stills are a very cool band from Montreal, Canada in an Interpol kind of way and have a fine song called 'Lola Stars and Stripes' and their album is called 'Logic will break your heart'
Soon they are doing a short tour of the UK with The Shins, another cool North American Band, this time from Alberquerque. I think its about time the Shins got a bit of recognition over here as they are very good indeed.
Also from accross the Atlantic !!! have announced that they will be playing some European festivals this year, as well as releasing a full length album. Personally I can't wait, as so far I think their sole European dates have been three shows in London - if you are into wobbly punk funk, you should really check this band out.
I never really like the Von Bondies before and didn't have any time for their debut LP, but their new album 'Pawn Shoppe Heart' is very cool indeed.
The Liars have gone very bizarre indeed on their new album - with tales of witchcraft and suchlike, but they're not goths...oh no.....
Ikara Colt did an amazing Peel Session on Wednesday, which you can listen to for the follwing week by clicking here. Their new album is going to be amazing...I have no doubt.

Thursday, March 4

chopstick violence

I did a very bizarre psychology experiment today as I was seduced by the promise of a crisp five pound note for an hour of tests about 'reaction time'. Little did I know that this would mean me being assaulted with a reinforced chopstick...

The deal was that there were two participants in two different rooms, we had to do a few reaction tests and then we would be pitted against each other in the chopstick game, where you have to hit each others chopstick before you move it out of the way - a bit like the game slaps...

Anyway - the game was going fine until the other guy started whacking my hand with the chopstick and going "yesss" and "gotcha"
Strange behaviour, but as I am a mild mannered chap I smiled through the pain and carried on playing by the rules despite a vicious beating of the knuckles by his eating implement.

Anyhow at the end of the experiment it turns out that he was an actor trying to provoke me into a response.....

In the words of the master
"No way should any blame be attached to him there. He's entitled to chin the fella."

Never has a fiver been more painfully earnt.

Well it's been a strange week for multinational capitalist scum

Firstly coca cola's new mineral water is rumbled as a modern day peckham spring water

And now mcdonalds have announced they are phasing out supersize portions in the US to promote better health.

Personally, I think they should just give out copies of the book Fast Food Nation in schools

Wednesday, March 3

Spelling Equestrian backwards

Watching the four most stupid people in the world play Cranium was one of the most entertaining things I have ever seen on TV. I am talking of course about Channel 5's flagship show 'Back to reality' and the 5 hour game of Cranium that occured last night between Maureen from Driving school, Craig 'the brickie', royal thicko James Hewitt ann of course Jade.

The most hilarious part was where Craig had to spell he word Equestrian backwards. Jade tried reading the question but couldn't pronounce the word. James Hewitt took over, but the vacant scouser still didn't grasp it.
Shall I spell it for you said Hewitt, E-Q-U-E-S-T-R-I-A-N.
"I just can't do it" said an exasperated Craig, seemingly unable to comprehend that all he had to do was copy what Hewitt just did BUT IN REVERSE ORDER!
"Have a go" said Hewitt. Craig concentrates brows furrowed - "no I can't do it"
Maureen sits there staring vacantly accross the table, a stray bit of spittle drooling out of the side of her mouth...

But at just after 1am, things got too much for the programme schedulers and they cut the coverage, just as the game was approaching the crucial point. Who won? I'm desperate to know!
Are they still playing?

Tuesday, March 2

"Uncompromising nihilistic grunge riffery"
It's one of those eternal mysteries of life, why I only almost always ever seem to update my weblog in the first half of the week and never at the weekend. Well it's because he's hanging out with rockstars, getting drunk with a dalek and going on hot chocolate fuelled gambling sprees in casinos you might think (i'm sure you have).

Usually this isn't the case, but this week, guess what....you were right!!!

Friday night I interviewed Ash and the hairtastic Winnebago Deal I did a radio interview with Ash which may or may not be broadcast on the radio soon.
It was OK, but I think its safe to say that i'm not going to be having a career in radio. But hey, Ash gave me three beers and it was cool to hang out backstage, particuarly when one of the Ash roadies thought I was in Winnebago Deal!
On the Ash front I can report that Tim is very short, Mark is very tall, Rick has an alarming beard and although Charlotte is very attractive and a great guitarist, but she just doesn't do it for me. Maybe I prefer bass players...?

The interview with 'The Deal' went much much better, probably as it was after the gig and we had a few beers by then, and partly because I had lost my questions and so just ended up chatting to them for about 20 minutes...

Sadly I didn't make it back to the hotel with the bands for a groupie filled game of strip Simpsons Cluedo, but hey another time...

On saturday after the radio show we went to the Fab Cafe in Manchester which is a science fiction theme bar...
I danced to Joy Division with a middle aged woman who could hardly stand, yet this seemed to actually help her move on the dancefloor and the stacato beat of JD.
We then ended up at a casino at 2:30 am where we discovered that you got free coffee, tea hot chocolate and soft drinks - WOW. We even managed to get three free balls out of the overpriced foosball table.

Official: All night casino's with free hot chocolate are the new rock'n' roll