@uspic¡ous Fish¿!
Delirious With Weird

Tuesday, April 27, 2004  
She's So Wonderful
In time you'll realise / it's all for you / I do


4/27/2004 10:22:00 pm 0 comments

Chewing The Fat
okpinkerton: what you been up to as of late
NickJSouthall: writing about you being a sod, actually
NickJSouthall: just posted it about five minutes ago
okpinkerton: hahaha no shit!
NickJSouthall: aye
okpinkerton: hahaha nick.
okpinkerton: you, you.
NickJSouthall: likewise
okpinkerton: i dont like this record because its embarrassing.
okpinkerton: i dont like this record because its boring,
okpinkerton: its merely okay.
okpinkerton: i listened to it about 15 times.
NickJSouthall: i find it to be none of those things
okpinkerton: not cause im in love with myself.
NickJSouthall: i'm on about 30
okpinkerton: i mean, sure i am.
okpinkerton: but of course.
okpinkerton: so are you.
NickJSouthall: with you or with me?
okpinkerton: lets not have me be a jobber, though
okpinkerton: lets talk about this record some more
okpinkerton: you like it cause it grooves and stuff?
NickJSouthall: not reallt
NickJSouthall: i like it because it's often very beautiful
NickJSouthall: i like it cos it does interestin g things
okpinkerton: mmm. point taken. cite something interesting it does
NickJSouthall: i like it cos they're NOT embarassed to play some songs
NickJSouthall: the yelps in 'pure for' are about the most emotionally exciting thing i've heard in ages
NickJSouthall: the tiny, burried yelps in the background
NickJSouthall: this really sad tune, floating, and there's these yelps
okpinkerton: lemme pull it up again
NickJSouthall: like a lemming at a rave somewhere far away
NickJSouthall: i deliberately didn't write about them in the review cos i'm gonna doa seconds column about them
okpinkerton: yeah, i guess those are pretty cool.
okpinkerton: but doesnt assessment's coda embarrass you?
NickJSouthall: the bit in assessment before the coda when the coda is playing but muffled, like through ehadphones
NickJSouthall: fuck no, i love it
NickJSouthall: why does it embarass you?
okpinkerton: oh yeah, that part is really cool, the muffle bit
NickJSouthall: i've not been embarassed by a record since...
okpinkerton: because its unncessarry. it feels tacked on.
NickJSouthall: well, embrace
okpinkerton: i feel like this band
okpinkerton: is onto something with the song.
NickJSouthall: and i'm not embarassed by them anymore
okpinkerton: i mean. its just the wrong mood
NickJSouthall: that coda made me so happy
NickJSouthall: trumpets
okpinkerton: its completely different.
NickJSouthall: i love them
okpinkerton: i dunno. trumpets. yeah. "you're happy, steve.:
NickJSouthall: he's not though
NickJSouthall: they're vainglorious trumpets
okpinkerton: exactly.
okpinkerton: this is not a happy song.
NickJSouthall: vainglorious is something you'll get later on
NickJSouthall: plus
NickJSouthall: plus
NickJSouthall: plus
NickJSouthall: it's a concept album about evolution
okpinkerton: ive heard the word 'vainglorious' before.
okpinkerton: oh, well, i didnt catch on to that.
NickJSouthall: yeah, the word, but the thing, the signified, what it means to be vainglorious
NickJSouthall: that comes later
okpinkerton: do you know what my favorite beta band song is?
NickJSouthall: no idea
okpinkerton: Dry The Rain
okpinkerton: do you know why?
NickJSouthall: hahahahahahha
okpinkerton: because it doesnt rely on any fucking gimmicks.
NickJSouthall: cos you're fucking nick hornby and want me to kill you?
okpinkerton: there it is. its just a perfect melody.
okpinkerton: now you thought i was gonna say The Beta Band Rap, didnt you?
NickJSouthall: and they stripped away the gimmicks with hot shots
NickJSouthall: with sequensizer
NickJSouthall: they're are no gimmicks on this record
NickJSouthall: just ideas
okpinkerton: um. why are there dogs barking.
NickJSouthall: i have about four fave beta band songs
okpinkerton: whats going on.
okpinkerton: which are?
NickJSouthall: push it out
NickJSouthall: needles in my eyes
NickJSouthall: she's the one
NickJSouthall: pure for
okpinkerton: needles in my eyes is awesome.
okpinkerton: mine, id say--
okpinkerton: dry the rain, needles in my eyes, dr baker, human being
NickJSouthall: dog's barking = disco inferno
okpinkerton: yeah thats fucking loony.
NickJSouthall: how is it a bad thing?
NickJSouthall: i wish they';d had them in all the way through the song
NickJSouthall: it's not a gimmick
NickJSouthall: it's an idea
okpinkerton: i mean its not DI at all.
NickJSouthall: the whole first album is a gimmick
okpinkerton: what.
okpinkerton: how is it a gimmick?
NickJSouthall: the album
okpinkerton: not the three eps, self-titled you mean
NickJSouthall: not the EPs
okpinkerton: ?
NickJSouthall: yeah
okpinkerton: oh, okay. explain
NickJSouthall: cos they had so much shit about them, they thought that';s what they were
NickJSouthall: a gimmick
NickJSouthall: cos everyone said so
NickJSouthall: so they threw everythign in
NickJSouthall: and it failed
NickJSouthall: so they lost the gimmicks
NickJSouthall: and started writing ebautiful songs again
NickJSouthall: and making them more beautiful by doing them with ideas
NickJSouthall: and heroes is just carrying on with the same thing
NickJSouthall: what did you expect?
NickJSouthall: what did you hope for?
okpinkerton: i hoped theyd make the three eps.
NickJSouthall: well fuck off
NickJSouthall: they already fucking did
okpinkerton: hahaah. you, you.
okpinkerton: or:
okpinkerton: i hoped theyd make the three eps or
NickJSouthall: i thought you said you DIDN'T want to go back to 8th grade?
okpinkerton: something different.
okpinkerton: something so different.
NickJSouthall: but were they EVER going to do thjat?
NickJSouthall: no
okpinkerton: uh, why cant they?
NickJSouthall: they're only people
NickJSouthall: they're not going to spin in reverse and they're not going to become different people
okpinkerton: uh.
okpinkerton: liquid bird.
okpinkerton: what a fucking mindjob that is.
okpinkerton: you know?
NickJSouthall: aye
NickJSouthall: it's great
okpinkerton: why didnt they do more of that
NickJSouthall: but it's one song
NickJSouthall: why would they do MORE of it?
okpinkerton: hey nick. "wonderful." bad melody. even more techno gimmicks.
NickJSouthall: did you write and tell them in pre-production that this was what you wanted them to do?
okpinkerton: well if they were smart theyd do more of it.
NickJSouthall: wonderful starts like shit
NickJSouthall: cos it's meant to
NickJSouthall: YOU are NOT the beta band, sam
okpinkerton: well im a beta band fan.
NickJSouthall: no
okpinkerton: and id like them to do that song some more.
NickJSouthall: you're a three Eps fan
okpinkerton: oh, i liked HS2
okpinkerton: back in eighth grade.
okpinkerton: i guess i used to be a betas fan.
NickJSouthall: you've gotta remember that i was, like, 18/19 when i heard them
NickJSouthall: first thuing i heard was Los amigos del beta bandidos
NickJSouthall: i still have it
okpinkerton: which EP is that
NickJSouthall: bought it the day it came out
okpinkerton: 3rd?
NickJSouthall: the last one, with needles in my eyes on
okpinkerton: yeah,
okpinkerton: needles in my eyes. dr baker.
NickJSouthall: aye
okpinkerton: those are the songs.
okpinkerton: inner meeet me, thats good too.
NickJSouthall: that's on the patty patty sound
okpinkerton: yeah i know, im just sayin, for posterity's sake.
NickJSouthall: the house song
NickJSouthall: that was a gimmick
NickJSouthall: but what a gimmick
NickJSouthall: i have to go
NickJSouthall: i cant sign off cos we've got wireless
okpinkerton: the hosue song. yeah thats a good groove there.
NickJSouthall: but i have to write stuff for unterberger
okpinkerton: what stuff?
okpinkerton: i love the 1992?
NickJSouthall: i'm gonna post this conversation on auspishfish


4/27/2004 10:16:00 pm 0 comments

Tempting Fate
The beach is ten minutes walk from my house. If you jumped, you could do it in three.

Nick Southall lives at the top of a cliff.


4/27/2004 09:41:00 pm 0 comments

The Folly Of Fickle Youth
Sam has signed off from Stylus (not, I think, by mutual consent) with a Beta band review. He’s wrong, of course, the same way as he was wrong about The Clientele and Basement Jaxx. I hadn’t seen sam’s take on the record before I wrote my piece, but I knew he was writing about it and I knew he wouldn’t be keen. How did I know he wouldn’t be keen? Because it’s Sam. Because Heroes To Zeros isn’t an overtly exciting and envelope-pushing record. And so it’s a hippy record made by hippies. Oh fuck off. And so my piece ended up being dull and workmanlike because I knew I’d have to counteract his gushingly inverted hyperbole, his damning with faint praise, his hatred of the past and the present too, his inability to understand the finer nuances of less obvious emotional signifiers and signifieds. On what planet is “the milky way results / from the crowding / of extremely faint stars” not a wonderful lyric, especially delivered as it is? Or maybe he’s never taken anyone to the other side of the cliff, out of the glare of the streetlamps, and shown them the smear across the sky that is the galaxy?

Sam’s review is yet another “this would be great if it was anyone else but The Beta Band” piece, and that meme is already beginning to seriously piss me off. What the fuck were you expecting? Jungle? Bit 1996. Hip hop? Did that last time. Guitars and beats? Oh come on. It’s a record. They’re a band. Grow up. They’re fighting robots on the cover.

And for what it’s worth, I think part of me would love to go back to eighth grade… I’m not sure whether I’d deal with it in the Nietzschean manner and repeat everyday as it had already been or whether I’d want to try and change things. Part of me wants to be a superman. But I think I’d change things. I’d change quite a few things. Take some risks, maybe, that I wouldn’t have taken back then. Yes, the past is the one thing that best prevents us moving into the future, but you’ve got to understand it or you’ll never go anywhere. I think. At least right now.

(I wrote this on this ILX thread last October;

Nick12; Why do we still live with mum and dad?
Nick24; I can't afford to move out yet.
Nick12; Why not?
Nick24; I only work in a library.
Nick12; Why aren't we famous yet? We're going to be famous, right? An actor or a writer or something.
Nick24; I don't know. I’m planning on writing a book when I'm 30.
Nick12; Why are we waiting?!
Nick24; Virginia Woolf said so. I don’t know. Just because I’ve got nothing to write about yet. I need more time.
Nick12; Why are we still pudgy?
Nick24; I lost it! I wasn’t pudgy at all from being, like, 13, all the way through to 21!
Nick12; Then we got pudgy again? Thanks a bunch. I see we’re still wearing glasses. Please tell me we’re not a geek. Please.
Nick24; I used to be able to out-drink almost everyone I knew. I play football! I’m a music journalist! Look at my jeans, my shoes, my hair, look how fucking cool I made us!
Nick12; A music journalist?
Nick24; Not really. Kind of. On the internet.
Nick12; I’d ask about girls but I’m afraid.
Nick24; Don’t ask about girls.
Nick12; How long have I got to wait?
Nick24; A long time.
Nick12; Are we gay?
Nick24; No, but we’re open-minded.
Nick12; What does that mean?
Nick24; You’ll find out in about 9 years.
Nick12; It still sucks being me, right? Doesn’t it?
Nick24; No.
Nick12; Did we go to Oxford?
Nick24; No.
Nick12; Why not?
Nick24; I got… distracted. And angry.
Nick12; …
Nick24; Why are you crying?
Nick12; Why aren’t you crying?!
Nick24; I can’t.
Nick12; Since fucking when?
Nick24; Since you cried all the tear-quota, you fucking wimp.
Nick12; Does it get better?
Nick24; Um… a lot of the time you don’t notice that it’s bad, or that it ever was bad, or even could be bad.
Nick12; What do you mean?
Nick24; You just get on with stuff… More people like you than you realise. Seriously. A lot more. Listen, I want you to do us a favour.
Nick12; What?
Nick24; Well… Don’t be afraid… Take risks. Don’t just do things because people expect you to. Never be scared to tell anyone how you feel, or ask them how they feel. Never let people forget that you care about them. EVER. But don’t let that care limit what you do. Go where you like, do what you like, see who you like. You don’t realise just how clever and cool and good you can be right now. People keep telling you, but you don’t listen, or don’t understand. You read books, you play football, you paint pictures, you write stories, you do whatever you want. Do it all. You can. You really fucking can. Just don’t, please don’t, spend all those evenings, mornings, nights, afternoons, sitting on your own, thinking about what might happen. Don’t waste those chances. Never ever feel guilty or embarrassed about anything, especially not all those stupid little things. Masturbate more when you’re young and less when you get older. Learn to tell people that they’re beautiful. Mean what you say, even if you don’t mean it immediately afterwards. Don’t fuck people around. Don’t fuck yourself around. Ride your bike more. Work at things a little more rather than just assuming you’ll be good enough to pass without doing any work. And try not to swear so fucking much.
Nick12; …
Nick24; Does that make sense?
Nick12; A bit. Some of it.
Nick24; Good.
Nick12; Who are we going to be, Nick?
Nick24; We’re going to be me, Nick. All the time. Every day. We’re going to be me.)

I love Sam and I think one day he’ll make a great writer, but right now he’s a spoilt little rich kid who can’t see further than his own chin (and just try looking at your own). You can’t have everything exactly as you want it right now. And nor should you want it that way. Sometimes you just have to take things as you find them. It’s often better that way.


4/27/2004 09:40:00 pm 0 comments

Monday, April 26, 2004  
iPod Lounge
Download EuPod, which will increase your volume by updating iTunes or something, you poor Europeans.

Expect tinnitus updates in about three weeks.


4/26/2004 11:10:00 pm 0 comments

What's Happenin'?
Gone a bit mad for the new Method Man single with Busta, which has rising creeping bass like some kind of scary electrical surge and weirdy scratchy spectral ghostguitar plus Busta shouting C'MON in the chorus. "Grab somebody (what?)/ grab somebody (what?)/ stomp somebody (what?)/ slap somebody (what?)"... That weird bass man, that ghostguitar. Fucking wicked.


4/26/2004 08:32:00 pm 0 comments

Buying Records In Public
This Is Why I Use The Internet All The Time
Of course back in 1997 people were convinced they’d never heard anything quite like The Beta Band, and in some ways they hadn’t (acoustic guitars and beats? how innovative! dub? how innovative! krautrock? how innovative!), which is why so many people (Nick fucking Hornby?!) flipped their fucking lids like Pavlov’s dog at a bell ringers convention. Scattershot and seemingly stoned (they weren’t – as Steve Mason said, you can’t make music like this by accident, you condescending nobheads [the role of drugs in most popular alternative music is very much overstated, I feel]), they strummed and hummed and sang and harmonised and banged gongs (or just big cymbals, I could never tell – “Push It Out”) and weirded out until they were deep in our hearts. So deep that they became dodgy posterboys for hipper-than-though left-field nodding sad sacks (Nick fucking Hornby?!). Or at least those early EPs did. Sod this R&B flavoured stuff they tried to do afterwards. (Fools! and now everyone loves The Neptunes do you even realise?) Then they made a dodgy proper record, denounced it themselves, went garage (for one b-side), made a great but understated comeback album, and now this (Heroes To Zeroes) and it’s seven (7; count ‘em, SEVEN) years since Champion Versions and people know what The Beta Band sound like now so they’re not the band that no one has ever heard anything like before. Possibly because they were so (critically and creatively) successful that every other fucker decided to try and sound like them in the interim. And so you get the nobhead in The Daily Express (Marcus Dunk) proclaiming something like “from anyone else this would be a great album” but because it’s the Betas it’s not good enough to get any more than 3 stars. Likewise whoever reviewed it in The Guardian. 3 stars. “Yeah, it would’ve been great seven years ago, but now we’ve got Keane! Yippee!!”

So I just bought my real copy, and as I was queuing two conspicuously ‘4 real’ punk/goth/alternative/grebo/whatever kids (so ‘4 real’ that one of them, due to the unseasonably hot weather [it’s not warm anymore in Devon, it’s HOT], was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt which exposed his oft-lacerated left forearm, permanently ridged from razor blade strokes, like a ploughed field only made of human flesh from which nothing will ever grow [I winced, probably noticeably – what’s so bad so young that you need to do that to yourself? I can’t ever hope or wish to understand]) felt the need to comment upon seeing what I had in my hand that “[they] fucking hate The Beta Band” (maybe if you didn’t “fucking hate” things so much you wouldn’t cut the fuck out of- no, I wont go there). Yeah, cheers for that. Maybe I fucking hate you too. Saying you don’t like a favourite record of a friend or colleague or associate is not a reflection of what you think about them; saying it out loud about someone in a record shop who you don’t know from Adam, and so that they can hear you (because you want them to), IS a reflection of what you think of them. “I fucking hate The Beta Band; I fucking hate you; I don’t know you (I don’t know The Beta Band) but I fucking hate you.” Those that fuck nuns will later join the church; those that claim everyone hates them will hate on everyone.

The guy behind the counter was impressed though;
“I played this already this morning, it’s really good!”
“Yeah, I’ve had it downloaded for weeks, I really like it.”
“Oh right, well done for buying it as well.”
“Gotta buy the good ones so they can keep making them.”


4/26/2004 02:38:00 pm 0 comments

Sunday, April 25, 2004  
Friday's Mist
Friday morning saw the clearest blue sky I’ve witnessed in months; probably since the end of last summer, in fact. November often brings crisp azure plains with nary a cloud to be seen, but as I spent most of it in a basement at the university (the audiovisual department is on the lower ground floor of the main library, and has no external windows) I missed them if they were there. But Friday was as clear as I’ve ever known it; I don’t think there was even a vapour trail to be seen.

However, two miles east from the top of the cliff where I walk each morning to get to the train station is the mouth of the river Exe, and rolling all the way down the river and way, way out to sea, as far as the horizon where it blurred with the sea, sky and sun into an indistinct white ghost, was a sixty-foot tall coil of mist, the cold waters of the Exe sucking moisture from the air into an enormous snake of fog. The train to Exeter follows the course of the river from Dawlish Warren to just past Starcross, at which point it moves slightly inland; as it halted in Starcross station the mist was so thick that the world appeared to be made of milk. By Exeter the sky was blue again, beautiful enough, but nothing compared to that horizontal channel of fog, twice the height of Red Rock (an enormous promontory atop which I have lain on my back, stoned, and watched the Red Arrows circle and dive and fart coloured smoke from their behinds to the whoops and cheers of a hundred thousand holidaymakers below), drifting towards France… exceptional. I wish I could say I’d been listening to something suitably ethereal and strange, but it was “Gangsta Shit” by Outkast.

Almost as wonderful was the rainbow I saw at Exminster on Wednesday evening as I drove to football, rising from a spot on the canal which I could see clearly from certain angles as I drove (slowly!), echoed twenty yards outside itself by a second and less distinct band of colours. But the inner band was so bright and vivid that it looked as though you could take a knife and fork to it and cleave yourself a chunk of refracted light to have for supper.

The weather has been wonderful this weekend. On Saturday I went to get a paper and it took me two and a half hours because I dallied on the breakwater (advising a young boy not to jump off the end because the tide wasn’t in far enough, and there was still debris from where the breakwater was ruptured a couple of months ago on the seabed), in the rock pools and by the crazy golf, where my friend Ben works (the best job in Dawlish – paid to read the paper in the sunshine and hand out golf clubs!). Just across from Ben’s ‘office’ is the main road through Dawlish, a confluence of one-way streets, roundabouts (the crazy golf is in the middle of one), traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. At one junction in order to turn right you need to pull up to the lights in order for a sensor in the road to trigger the red, red-amber, green sequence; a hapless tourist was sitting stationary a good ten yards from the lights, with a queue of irate locals behind him to polite to beep and unable to pass until he moved forward. As I passed on the way to see Emma in the off-licence I leant down to the passenger window; “You have to pull right up to the lights or they’ll never change,” I said. “Thanks! I’d have been here all day!” The car immediately behind, who must’ve been waiting there for five minutes, beeped and cheered in thanks. I waved my paper at them in acknowledgement…

Today I reviewed the new Beta Band album, and this afternoon Emma and I walked out to Warren point, where I got sunburnt shoulders (in April!) and built a bench with piles of driftwood. A good weekend.

In other news, Orbital have announced they are to split after fifteen years. Well, as they’re brothers I’m not sure ‘split’ is the right word, but… end, maybe. One last record (Blue Album; back to the swirling atomic logo) is to be released on June 21st, and two last gigs – Glastonbury (June 27th?) and Brixton Academy (25th). Although they’re about my favourite band of the last decade I’ve never managed to catch the Hartnoll brothers live, and while I’d love to, and am seriously considering a sojourn to London in order to do so, part of me thinks it would be romantic to never manage it. Hmmm… The Beta Band and The Streets are both in Bristol next month. If I didn’t hate live music I’d be excited…


4/25/2004 10:48:00 pm 0 comments

Friday, April 23, 2004  
I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning
In the vague and distant hope that I’d know somebody there (I always used to, back in the day [the day being about 6 years ago, now]), I’ve just been down to the Brunswick Arms for a pint of Guinness. I didn’t know anybody there. Sure, I recognised a dozen, two dozen faces, the barmaid, the landlady, several drinkers, but I didn’t know anybody. I used to be able to go for a pint at 3pm and chew the fat with people, I knew everyone there when I was 19. Oh well.

I walked home along the seawall and up the cliff, intending to stand on one of the breakwaters and listen to Spirit Of Eden (I thought about buying some closed back Sennheiser PX200s earlier today to cut out the train noise which so pisses me off each morning, but remembered that if I did that I wouldn’t be able to hear waves lapping against the shore as I stood in the dark listening to Bark Psychosis or Talk Talk, and spent the cashmoney in the 5 for £30 campaign in Virgin instead). Sadly there were fishermen on each breakwater and a gaggle of teenage kids spread across the seawall and up the cliff face at several places. So I turned the iPod off.

And oh how it made me wish I was ten years younger and could hang out on the beach at night on a Friday and imagine what sex was like and smoke spliffs and think beer was foul and talk about who we hated and who we loved and how cool this was and feel sick at the thought of getting off with that girl and excited at the prospect at talking to this girl and feel jealous of my cooler better looking friends who were actually having sex somewhere and instead we would be setting a bonfire in the middle of the beach and taking a piss against the sandstone cliff to see if I could erode it and placing a bench on top of the beach hut as a statement and never ever ever even considering the prospect that one day I’d be nearly 25 and go out in Dawlish on a Friday night and not know anyone.


4/23/2004 09:56:00 pm 0 comments

An Air Tonne Senner Haiku

No one remembers
Poor Roland Ratzenberger
Despite his GRATE name.

I loved Formula 1 when I was 13, but Senna's passing marked the end of my interest. He was by far my favourite because he had that mark of divine madness about him; he even claimed in an interview that he would never die on the racing track because God loved him, and that was why he drove like such a lunatic. Silly fool.


4/23/2004 09:50:00 pm 0 comments

This Is A Local Band For Local People
Fuck knows that nobody from further afield than Taunton would be prepared to put up with this backwards, idealess, derivative growling shite.

Three bands last night, each playing for between 20 and 40 minutes at The Cellars Bar in Teignmouth, the town’s ‘cool’ pub where the teenagers in distressed denim and their dads who used to be in blues bands drink. And the builders with extravagant tattoos. The quiz always used to be on a Thursday – it was good fun. We’d generally come second to a team made up of people’s dads.

First up was Heresy, four local kids with too many guitars (third on the bill at a small Devonshire pub on a Thursday night and you shouldn’t really be swapping guitars after every song – they’re all drop D tuned and the acoustics and sound mix [ha!] in here mean no one’s going to be able to tell the difference sonically). I was sure they’d announced themselves as ‘Hennessey’ and was thus expecting some bling bling punk. What I got was Kyuss-go-emo without the campness and virtuosity. Not pleasant. The singer was wearing a white shirt with a tie.

Second came 62pennies from Birmingham. All hail Linda Blair in The Exorcist! When did it become a viable option for singers in ‘rock’ bands to imitate that guttural, possessed howl? To be fair 62pennies rocked and rocked hard, much more dynamic than the first band on, lots of jumping and throwing punk rock death metal shapes. But not my thing. And I don’t hold out much hope for the singer being able to speak properly in a few years time if he keeps on growling like Bill Hicks’ impression of a heavy metal demon for every chorus.

The reason for being there was Clay (spelt with a K – I’m google-proofing it [and wont mention names either]), a band who I went to school with and who are managed by Muse’s first manager. The one who didn’t manage to make them successful.

The singer and guitarist I knew for years at school without ever being friends with, since we were five years old or so, captains of the football team, good middle-class sporty stock, dads with moustaches and Vauxhalls, mums on the PTA. The singer I don’t think I’ve ever exchanged more than five words with in nearly 20 years. I don’t think anyone’s exchanged more than five words with him in 20 years. The guitarist is a nice enough bloke, but when we were 15/16/17 and everyone was into music, when I was an anachronism into Massive Attack and Orbital and The Verve and everyone else ‘into music’ at school was into grunge and post-grunge (this is 1994-1996, remember – provincial Teignmouth and Dawlish working at about 3 years behind schedule to London or wherever), he liked The Stone Roses and Nirvana and that was it. Now the bassist and drummer, that’s a different matter. The bassist is a girl a friend of mine sued to go out with (she dumped him to go out with the mute singer when we were 18), and a classically trained musician – cello, double bass, piano, violin, just about anything was pick-up-and-playable for her – and she actually teaches music as her day job. The drummer is her brother, and equally musically talented. And yet both of them are stuck playing post-grunge pseudo-Mogwai rhythm patterns for an Americanised singer with nothing to say (one lyric was [uergh, cliché alert] “are you listening or just waiting for your turn to speak?” – you don’t need to listen because he never says anything, he’s like a conversation blackhole, you become as mute as he is) to drawl over and the captain of the football team to riff on top of. Sure, the drumming was wicked (it carried the instrumental passages), but there are two fantastic musicians in this band being woefully underused, and as my mate Joe (who’s in a band in Leicester which I shall tell you more about over the coming weeks and months) said a couple of years ago when we last saw them, it’s fucking criminal to neglect that talent and ability.

Maybe it’d be OK if the songs were OK, but there was nothing there. Some postrock ambling by people who’ve heard Mogwai and maybe that Slint record but never bothered to explore beyond that (I wonder at this stage if Disco Inferno aren’t postpop as opposed to postrock), some Americanised drawl as I already said, some riffing… It sounds as if they’ve heard maybe five record between them, those records being The Bends, Nevermind, something by Soundgarden, something by Fugazi (bought for them) and something by Mogwai (bought for them [and probably Come On Die Young). And the worst thing is that the guitarist of the teenpunkpopgroovenoie band I helped give a prize too about a year ago (search the archives) was there (he’s had a growth spurt) and was obviously in awe because they’re older and more proficient than him, and because his brother’s friends with them, when his band were 1000 times more enjoyable and exciting.

I left feeling depressed and miserable at having wasted an evening I could have spent at home, alone, with a couple of glasses of red wine and a record I actually enjoyed, as backwards and safe as that is.


4/23/2004 02:02:00 pm 0 comments

Thursday, April 22, 2004  
Bizarre But Strangely Beautiful
Such are the reader reviews at Amazon, especially when they're written by people who don't speak English as a first language and thus don't suffer the awful colloquialisations that have driven a sense of poetry out of some of the everyday usage of the language. I just found this gem in a review of Black Secret Technology by A Guy Called Gerald written by someone from Valencia;

I do not remember much about this album,I heard it only twice or so, in a record store in Hamburg, but I recollect I liked it a lot...The question is if I was prepared for it,if it wasn't a little "far ahead from me" these year (1996)...At the time I was not so introduced in electronic and techno music,which I began to "investigate" later, but I've always regreted not having bought this album when I could...
Nowadays it is a really really hard work,finding it...
And just now I have a doubt: the boy at the record store,did really play for me this album,or was it anything else what sounded in my headphones that day?

This is another of my favourites, from a review of End Hits by Fugazi. The author is from Istanbul;

i think this is little differ from the other fugazi albums. its not only hardcore. you wait the song finish but it still going on you wait the refrain but it never come again i think its something different i called it avant hardcore i think you realy like it.


4/22/2004 12:53:00 pm 0 comments

What's with...
Emails that look like this;

From: "Ôèëèïèé Åâëîãèåâè÷" Add to Address Book
To: auspiciousfish@yahoo.co.uk
Subject: Âðåìÿ áðàòü êîíäèöèîíåðû
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 2004 21:29:33 +0000


Ñàìñóíã îò - 300 ó.å.

Toshiba îò - 550 ó.å.

Panasonic îò - 550 ó.å.

Çâîíèòå åñòü âñå!!!

741-32-78, 778-84-47

I mean, wtf?!


4/22/2004 11:22:00 am 0 comments

NME Says...
"Assessment" is a chest-bursting celebration of innovation and experimentation.

No it isn't. I mean, it is great, yes, but it's not that, you fucking idiots.


4/22/2004 11:13:00 am 0 comments

Atkinson's Barmy
Ron Atkinson isn’t racist. At least I don’t think so. And at least not at any active, conscious, discriminatory level anyway. What he is, is a fucking idiot. However, by immediately resigning and apologising unreservedly he has at least done the right thing with regards to him being a fucking idiot.

One of the most amusing things about this whole kerfuffle is how the story was reported on This Is Lincolnshire, where they published the following sentence – The comments were understood to have been directed at Chelsea's Marcel Desailly, who is black. Atkinson is believed to have called the defender a "f***ing lazy nigger”.
Thanks to Dom for finding that priceless pearl of political incorrectness – obviously they’ve taken it down now.


I’d apologise to anyone offended by my usage of “the ‘N’ word” (as EVERYBODY on Radio Five Live comically referred to it last night – but what else can they do on the BBC? on any channel?), but if you’re bothered by it’s usage in that context then you should probably take a long cold bath.

Ron spoke to Five Live this morning and said he couldn’t remember saying it, and the consensus from black footballers who’ve worked with Ron (and let’s not forget that there have been many over the years – Ron was the first manager to field three black players in a starting eleven when he was at, I believe, WBA; plus, you know, DALIAN ATKINSON, who Ron insisted on playing at Sheffield Wednesday despite the fact that he was crap. Ron liked Dalian so much he even took him with him when he TURNCOATED OFF TO THE FUCKING VILLA FOR MORE MONEY THE ASSHOLE, AND LEFT US WITH TREVOR FUCKING FRANCIS WHO PROCEEDED TO RUN SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY INTO THE DARK DANK HOLE THEY NOW EXIST IN. THANKS, RON!), in fact just about everyone who’s worked with Ron, as a manager or as a ‘pundit’, seems to think it’s out of character.

The Guardian are reporting that Atkinson’s full statement was “He's what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger.” I’m not sure whether that makes it better or worse. Could you infer that Atkinson meant “some schools, but not mine”, and even if you could would that make using the word any less deplorable? Do his comments suggest a more deep-seated bigotry that he’s managed to thus far conceal? Or is he just a man of a certain age and a certain demeanour, to whom the word ‘nigger’ has a very different connotations than it does to, you know, everyone else? He knows he shouldn’t say it; he tries not to say it; but, this once (and maybe more, who knows?) he couldn’t help himself; he didn’t realise; it just ‘slipped out’. I don’t believe for a second that Ron Atkinson is as bad as Noris McWhirter (or my gran for that matter), but one thing is for sure.

Ron, you’re a fool.

Plus he once called Francesco Totti “a little twat” on-air, and while this may be true, as Totti is a God round AusPishFish way, it’s not acceptable, Ron!


4/22/2004 10:27:00 am 0 comments

Wednesday, April 21, 2004  
This morning from the train (the intercity rather than the normal piece of shit) I’m sure I saw a seal about 30 yards off the Dawlish coast. At first I thought it was a large black dog, it certainly wasn’t a shag or other seabird, but then it ducked under the water and vanished. Last time I checked, dog’s didn’t have gills, so I can only conclude that it must’ve been a seal. And that’s brilliant.

But anyway…



Two weeks without so much as kicking a football. Two weeks at least, more like three, due to holiday, trips to Halifax (dogs can’t look up, can they?), European games, etcetera. But tonight, shifted from Tuesday’s at 8.30 to Wednesday’s at 7.30 (time to eat a pizza, drink a bottle of wine and do some blogging after the game!), back in action with Timepiece FC at the five-a-side (tonight was seven-a-side) ‘training’ session. Did my usual lap of the pitch and a few stretches to try and loosen my dodgy knees. And then, away!

Goal down early on, not good. And then… Hat-trick! And a hat-trick of nutmegs too! And I set up two more goals! And we won 7-5! I’d describe it in greater detail but I’VE BEEN TRYIGN TO WRITE THIS SINCE 10PM AND BASTARD PEOPLE KEEP BASTARD INTERRUPTING ME VIA MSN MESSENGER TO DISCUSS ARTICLES OR ASK FOR RECOMMENDATIONS OF MUSIC. Not that I mind, but, you know, I was gonna wax lyrical and bask in my footballing genius.

For the record, three right-footers and one that came off god-knows-where off a fast low cross.



4/21/2004 11:07:00 pm 0 comments

Delakota - "The Rock"
This is due for publication on Stylus in a week or two, but as it's a minor piece I don't think there's any problem with posting it here now.

How many times do you hear a tune on the radio and absolutely lose your shit? If memory serves, and it doesn’t, I spent 1997 perched by my shitty stereo with a tape at the ready and my finger on the record button, tuned to Radio 1, stealing music the old fashioned way. I lost my shit for “Kowalski”, for “Block Rockin’ Beats”, “Bitter Sweet Symphony”, “Play It Cool”, “My Mate Paul”, “Risingson”. I remember hearing “Blind” on the Mary Anne Hobbs show incredibly late at night, incredibly quiet, half asleep, not knowing who it was and wondering what the fuck it could be, whether it was- no, it couldn’t be that. But it was.

I never lost my shit as much as I did in spring 98 when I heard this though. I must have caught it half a dozen times and been frantic on each occasion. So frantic I never managed to catch who it was by. Maybe I was driving, or just stepping out of the door to go to work. Maybe I was delirious? I’d passed the recording-stuff-off-the-radio phase and hence never had a tape to hand in order to catch the bugger, so all I ever got was fleeting glances, tantalising whispers. I set about scouring NME and the internet for reviews of current singles to try and find out what it was. Eventually I concluded that it must be this, but I still wasn’t sure. Sod it. My brother worked at the time as a rep for a record company, so I called him on his mobile, knowing he’d be in and out of record shops all day, and instructed him to buy me a copy. If I was wrong I’d lost £2, if I was right I could play the fucker every damn day for the rest of my life.

I was right.

I don’t quite play it every day. But I would if I remembered. My memory is poor.

So what was it that made me lose my shit? A simple acoustic strum, a shuffling beat, some tactfully placed, ringing piano, bass that you feel rather than hear, some wispy slide guitar, a guy who can’t really sing talking about how “if there’s a boat or plane / out of here / I’ll be leaving” and sitting on a rock in the middle of the night “with a mirror and a flashlight / but nothing came / it’s alright / and I turned the speakers on their side / I pointed the sound right up at the sky…” Which is good, great even, but twirling and dancing out of the right-hand channel all the while was this sound that I can’t explain… The most beautiful sound in all the world… I’ve had people tell me it’s a guitar trill run through an FX unit, a blues scale sped up to triple speed, whatever, whatever, whatever… It’s lazing on a beach. It’s a light breeze across your warm face. It’s palm trees, sand, sunlight and shade. It spirals and spins and sings and soothes and it’s there all the time, through the verses, the chorus, the heady climax when the slide guitar on the opposite side of the world feels like it’s going to make you giddy and sick with delirium, through the fade-to-sunset when the piano rings out over it in perfect concentric circles. Sometimes it falls almost silent in the mix and sometimes it grows and grows and threatens to overwhelm the rest of the song but at all times it’s there and it’s bliss.

The single edit ran for four minutes, straight into it and out of it again. When I finally got hold of the album a couple of months later it was stretched out, beginning with submarine sounds and a dub daze, the strum and the sound dropping in at 38 seconds, the most beautiful sound in all the world and I’d be quite, quite happy if it lasted forever. I’ve mentioned this song twice in other features for Stylus and every time I get emails from people who remember it, people who think it houses the most beautiful sound in the world too. It does. Believe me. Find out.


4/21/2004 10:34:00 pm 0 comments

Faded Seaside Glamour

You may have already read this on Stylus

Delays look like mid-90s hairdressers. Which is to say that they’re even more camply and messily stylised than The Cooper Temple Clause. Which is to say that if you saw them in the street you’d thing they were nobheads. Which is to say that… They’re from Southampton, which is most definitely not Brighton. I doubt they take pot plants on stage with them. Or potted plants. Maybe pot plants.

Anyway, four boys from Southampton with silly hair and some guitars and a singer who sounds, when he realises what he should be doing, like a girl. And a really beautiful girl at that. Delays also have some Cocteau Twins records, some Byrds records, probably that first Verve album, and, as their secret weapon, Graham Sutton (Bark Psychosis) on production duties. As such Faded Seaside Glamour sounds absolutely immaculate and beautiful and crystalline and occasionally just noisy and ragged enough to not make you feel like you’re being slowly squeezed through a piece of perfectly clean and clear glass into a strange alternate universe where Sigur Ros are rabbits and Kate Bush is an enormous smiling cat.

“Wanderlust” starts with synthetic steel drums and sounds like a collaboration between Liz Fraser, Plaid and some boys with guitars and lots of reverb pedals. Obviously this means that it’s marvellous and makes me want to be a bird or something, particularly when the girlboy voice impels us to “come over / we’ll go missing”, the running-away-together meme never sounding quite so ethereal and compelling. And those steel drums, oh boy. “Nearer Than Heaven” follows quickly afterwards and is almost as lovely, laden with harmonies like The Byrds dissolved through a kaleidoscope, and slowly devolves in a haze of guitar abuse and echo. The opening triumvirate is completed in style by “Long Time Coming”, in which singer Greg Gilbert (he does have a name, after all) perhaps inadvisably sinks from his McAlmont-esque dream-woven falsetto into a gruffer register, but the arrangement, tune and, most prominently, the production, save the song from failing drastically and in fact take it somewhere wonderful.

And that’s the key to this record. On about 30% of the songs Delays strike pay dirt; as well as the opening trio, single “Hey Girl” soars like The Hollies, closer “On” is beautiful house-y shoegaze, and “Stay Where You Are” rocks in an understated, rich way, but the likes of “Bedroom Scene” and “There’s Water Here” are largely inconsequential. Nice enough melodies and average tunes are repeatedly elevated by the superlative, rich and detailed production which makes Delays sound like a much better band than they actually are. Still, while it lasts, Faded Seaside Glamour is a beautiful trip. You just might not feel compelled to take it all that often.


4/21/2004 10:32:00 pm 0 comments

Albums I Am Looking Forward To
Or else already know are brilliant but which haven't been released yet

The Beta Band
The Streets
Mouse On Mars
Bark Psychosis

Note that these are in order the third, ninth, second, fourth, seventh and second albums by these artists. Is this because I am growing old?

Also... What Would You Like To See More Of On AusPishFish?
See that 'comments' button directly beneath these funny words? Use it, suckers.


4/21/2004 01:16:00 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, April 20, 2004  
Cock A Hoop
Last night whilst channel hopping during the last bit of the 10 o'clock news before Enemy Of The State came back on, I flipped to Sky One which was showing Britian's Wildest. I have never seen this before. Anyway, the twunt (thanks Jess) presenting it said summat like "what would Britain's Wildest gameshow be like?" and then described 'Cock A Hoop' in which three young men put rings attached to electrical sensors around their willies and then receive a lapdance from an Essex girl and the last one to get an erection (the erection causing a bell to ring and a light to flash [the light being in the shape of a willy, obv.]) wins the money.

Anyway, obviously this was hideous, and there were three young men sitting in these throne-like contraptions with red pants on (fitted boxers type things, in case anyone's wondering), and at the signal they put the rings around their willies and then the Essex girl came in and took her bra off and did a dance in just a thong and TWO OF THE GUYS WERE FROM DAWLISH AND THIS MORNING I SAW ONE OF THEM AT THE TRAIN STATION AND IT WAS VERY WEIRD.

So yeah.

It was the last guy to get an erection (who was thus the winner) who I saw. Does this mean he's impotent? Obviously I realise this doesn't mean he's impotent at all, just that he might have a small dick. Impotence is no laughing manner

Also, Cuddle Parties.


4/20/2004 10:12:00 am 0 comments

Monday, April 19, 2004  
I mean...
Have you heard "Peacocks"? If not go and buy Tallahasse just for that. And the fact that, you know, the rest of it is fucking amazing too.


4/19/2004 08:56:00 pm 0 comments

The Mountain Goats
I've avoided mentioning them at all because I vaguelly know John Darnielle via ILM and thus it would be weird, but FUCKING HELL WHAT BEAUTIFUL MUSIC.

That is all.


4/19/2004 08:55:00 pm 0 comments

Sunday, April 18, 2004  
Adem - Homesongs
Why do the members of Fridge work so much better seperately than together?


4/18/2004 11:28:00 am 0 comments

Friday, April 16, 2004  
How Many Times, People?
Got some faith back, oddly enough. Whoosh! Spaceships crashing! Fucking hell.


4/16/2004 05:26:00 pm 0 comments

Monday, April 12, 2004  
I am going to Halifax for a couple of days, and imagine I shan't be online for this period. Not that I'm online much anyway at the moment. So don't email me, cos I'll be even less likely to reply than usual.


4/12/2004 07:15:00 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, April 07, 2004  
How's Your Father?
Let us go into the garden and rut like stoats.


4/07/2004 07:09:00 pm 0 comments

Thursday, April 01, 2004  
April Fool
If you're brought here by this.


4/01/2004 09:54:00 am 0 comments



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Nick Southall is Contributing Editor at Stylus Magazine and occasionally writes for various other places on and offline. You can contact him by emailing auspiciousfishNO@SPAMgmail.com

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