I Hate Music

Jan 05


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Day 15: Boston

Orange is not a colour that suits me. I tried to tell the prison wardens this but apparently it is the duty of the American penitentiary system to make people look as inhuman as possible. At least they could not make me over to look like Meatloaf, which is more inhuman than possible.

Apparently I was due up in court first thing in the morning so after a cursory breakfast I was chained, manacled and put in the back of a van for the trip to the Boston court. I t was a pity about the breakfast, as I always liked porridge. Indeed Porridge the sitcom was probably my favourite TV comedy due to lack of a theme tune. But I digress, back in the van I was chained to a young woman names Simone who apparently was up on some sort of shoplifting charge. We chatted briefly, she commented on my perfect elocution, and all was going well until I asked her what she had shoplifted.
“CD’s,” she replied.
“Seedy what’s?”
“You know, Compact Discs. Naz, Jay-Z all that shit.”
My blood ran cold. Here I was chained in the back of a police van to someone willing to go to prison to obtain music. But it was only going to get worse. After a moment or two of deliberately giving her the stare, we we stunned by a terrible squealing noise and then a massive wallop as the vans wall came to meet us.

Seconds later when I regained my composure, I saw the back of the van had been peeled away by a car accident. Not only that but Simone was on her way out through the hole.
“Come on,” she said to me.
“I’d rather stay. You see I have only been arrested for bearing a passing resemblance to Angela Lansbury-”
“I don’t care if you have been arrested for passing a bear through Angela Lansbury, you’re coming with me.”
I did not have much time to argue. She yanked the chain and I stumbled into the downtown canyons of Boston with her. I was now a fugitive, shackled to woman whose very ideals I despised. It was a bit like that film with Tony Curtis in it truth be told. Crispian would have known what it was called.

BOSTON: More Than A Feeling

What can be more than a feeling? A sensation? A wave of nausea? A slap round the back of the head with a house-brick? All of those films would be preferable to listening to Boston’s More Than A Feeling. A song which was invented seemingly to crystalise the who genre of Adult Oriented Rock, and that crystalisation seems to be lead guitars that sound a bit like bagpipes.

More Than A Feeling itself is supposedly a wistful song about a girl leaving the lead singer. Of course she’s left him. He is the lead singer of one of the dullest bands in the world. How long do you think it took them to think of the band name? Was it a finger in the atlas, was it looking at the address on the court order that told them to SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Apparently the Boston debut album, on which More Than A Feeling was the debut track was the best selling debut album in the US. I can only assume that this was also a record year for landfill sites all over America.

Jan 05

Day 14: Massachusetts AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

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Day 14: Massachusetts

Jail. Four walls holding me in. Bars on the window. Really rather oppressive. Not a place for a sophisticated girl like me. It turned out that they did not have the kind of specialist holding facility (pink ladies jail) in Maine, so they shipped me a couple of states down. It was all movement as far as I was concerned.

One thing about women’s prisons, is that you are not quite so afraid to drop the soap in tea shower. However I advocate the use of shower gel anyway, which gives a far more pleasing lather. Of course I would have preferred a bath with waiter service, but I did get a meal, a shower and a kip ina room which handily had a toilet in the same room. Just as well as the food went right through me.

Apparently tomorrow I will be shipped to the big city to stand trial in front of a judge. They asked if I wanted to see a lawyer, but that seemed a terrible waste of my time when the facts of the case (ie I am not Angela Lansbury) are so apparent. So I’ll just spend an idle evening in this Massachusetts jail, trying not to listen to every other female prisoner who seems to thinks he is some kind of Whitney Houston.

That said, a jail for over active songbirds. Now that appeals.

THE BEE GEES: Massachusetts

Teeth. I’m all for teeth in general. They provide a good solid barrier to sound coming out of the larynx and if clenched properly can almost completely stop singing all together. Unfortunately in the case of the Bee geek even their prodigiously large gnashers could not stem the tide of never ending banal hits from their mouths.

Are they English, are they Australian? Neither country seems to want the Gibb brother, and would you blame them. Falsettos that could make tins of paint spontaneously combust, chest hair that is guaranteed to turn the stomach of any girl. All of the Bee Gees package is so shoddy, so suspect that it is remarkable, nay suspicious, that they had a career at all.

Loathe as I am to suggest a conspiracy, their involvement as some sort of acceptable face of Disco smacks of some sort of racist whitewash. Used as unknowing (clearly unknowing as they barely had the capacity to know anything) a band who hitherto showed no affinity to slinky dance beats suddenly soundtracked THE disco movie. Saturday Night Fever, an affliction I still get when I walk past a club, should have been soundtracked by Chic or Ottowan (well it should have not existed but…) No, this is a conspiracy of the highest order.

As for Massachusetts. What do these boys of Empire know of the place? Again nothing. At least the band have finally split up, by dint of dying off – nature can be kind some time. Still, I have it on good advice that the remaining Gibbs can be hunted down in the West Country. Apparently its the only place they can still see Maurice Dancing. All those harmonies have impaired their thinking.

Jan 05


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Day 13: New England

I woke to a stunning sunrise after quite possibly 24 hours of sleep. Destroying out of control record obsessed newsreaders takes it out of the girl and I was looking forward to exploring my new surroundings. I did not have much chance as there were twenty or so local folk standing with pitchforks and flaming brands.

“Burn the witch,” one of them said – something that had not been said to me since I was surrounded by a local branch of the Camden Musicians Union.
“Her type is not wanted around here.”
“Good morning townsfolk,” I said in my cheeriest, non-sing-song manner.
“Burn her.”
“Now, now. Unless you are all members of The Killers, what have I ever done to you?”
“We saw you coming in on your flying bed, witch.”
“Any minute now you’ll be pottering around town, as innocent townsfolk get murdered and fingering the police-chief,” another said.

I must admit I was at a loss. I almost asked for someone to please explain the reason for this strange behaviour, but then realised that my puzzlement should never push me to quoting Duran Duran songs. It was only when another mumbled something about a broomstick that it dawned on me.

“Oh, I see. Flying bed, pottering about solving murders. You must think that I am Angela Lansbury. So would I be right in deducing that you are all Americans and your brains have been addled so much by watching too television and hence you cannot tell the difference between real life and fiction. You also seem to be blurring Lansbury’s role as a dotty witch in Bedknobs and Broomsticks with her admittedly implausible role as Jessica Fletcher in mid-Sunday snoreathon Murder She Wrote. Admittedly preferable top Chaka Demas & Pliers song of the same name, but not much.”

“Indeed we are in America, New England to be precise, and you are under arrest.”
“Arrest? What for?”
“Flying an unauthorised bed in US Airspace. And I am sure there is something suspicious about a haughty British woman who is covered in blood.”

He had a point. Lawley had spilled a fair bit of claret on me. I let them take me away to their prison. At least I would get some food.


Five things about the first line of A New England:
I was twenty one years when I wrote this song, now I’m twenty two now and I won’t be for long
a) Kirsty Macoll did not write that song
b) Billy Bragg wrote the song, but he did not write that line which was nicked off of Simon and Garfunkel
c) Who themselves nicked more than the idea from Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Sixteen going on Seventeen” from the Sound Of Music
d) When you think about it, the line – wherever it comes from – is logically impossible. Because if you accept the fact that the lyrics are a integral part of the song, he cannot of written it at twenty one, if he is twenty two now
e) It’s a load of useless toss isn’t it?

Specifically the Macoll version, which is no worse than the Bragg original but got in the charts and cleverly changed the sex of the protagonist because Macoll was obviously some kind of homphobialist. “I don’t want to change the world”: always a rather selfish standpoint which maybe she regretted when the world had its revenge on her and smashed her upside the head with a motorboat.

Oh and is Billy Bragg really not looking for a New England? Could have fooled me with his constant rants about reforms in the House Of Lords. I’ll give him reforms in the house, I’d kick him out and into the streets. See where your estuary vowels and rudimentary knowledge of two chords will get you.

Jan 05


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Day 12: Eruption

I did not have much time to react. The rumbling of the ground signaled either a very heavy bassline being played (say by the dual bassists of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin) or a major plate tectonic shift. Neither would be a good thing for me. I quickly looked around the lair of the infernal Lawley for something that could help me. Why did people on Desert Island Discs never take emergency lava proof safety craft with them. It was clear that lava had passed this way before as I could see above an old chimney of a dormant (but not for much longer) volcano.

The shelves which had house the infamous discs seemed rather robust so I tipped them over and covered the largest vent with them. I them insulated the whole affair with a four poster bed (possibly the pick of some Lord) under which I found a paragliding parachute. An idea came into my mind based on the properties of hot air. And I don’t mean the ability to send me to sleep when being expelled by Sir Bob Geldof on yet another one of his rants about how fathers are hard done by. No court in the land would grant a man who looks like a tramp and writes songs about mass murder custody of his kids.

As the room rumbled to an alarming degree I fixed the parachute firmly to the four poster bed and the shelving. Then, using a piece of plumbing that only the most anal of castaways would have chosen, I made a rudimetary exhaust to force the supeheated air up.

Needless to say, it worked and soon I, the bed and the shelving were soaring up the chimney. Not a moment too soon, as with a loud Bang, the volcano below me erupted. The slow progress was sped up by the jet of java which was luckily deflected by the metal shelving. Nevertheless, in seconds I was shot free of the volcano, the island and into the strasophere – only to drift over sea, towards land on the parachute.

Landing on a cold, rocky promontory, I took stock of the situation. And then went to sleep. Well I did have a four poster bed.

VAN HALEN: Eruption

Eruption is an instrumental. So at least we do not have to contend with the god-awful lyrics that heavy metal bands shoehorned into their songs. Instead, like all instrumentals, we get to project meaning fromt he ood of those playing, and from the audience reaction. The only hint we have is the songs name to its true meaning. Eruption. What could that refer to.

Well it could refer to a volcano of course, and it is in this sense I am using it. However in reality one need only look at the standard Van Halen fan to deign its true meaning. Lank, greasy hair, leading to the kind of problem combination skins that Laboratoire Garnier blanch at. Such skin which can only be improved by the nocturnal habits of such fans – and I don’t mean air guitar. No, eruption clearly refers to big, fat pustulating zits bursting with zealous glee. The zits being formed by a rebellious body which wants to do anything it can to get away from the appalling guitar wankery of Eddie Van Halen.

And as for David Lee Roth. Well if the words spandex, Pat Sharp hair, mouth the size of the Mersey tunnel, brain the size of a pea do not scare you off, then a quick listen to Why Can’t This Be Love* will soon convince you that this man is a aberration of nature. It could not be love by the way for much the reason their fans could not get girlfriends. You cannot love something too ugly to look in the eye.

Jan 05


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Day 11: So Lonely

I awoke strung up on some sort of makeshift crucifix. Upon further examination it seemed to be constructed from a sun lounger and my wrists were bound by the elastic used to keep the cushions on. Infront of me stood the hideous, hidebound creature whom I had previously seen a’capering and a’rending of flesh.

“Tribute,” it hissed.
“What? The lousy last gasp at a career by eighties Brit-soul no-marks The Pasadenas, who thought writing a song about all their musical heroes would make them as good as said heroes. In some respects they were right, in as much both them and Marvin Gaye were appalling. You missed the Right On in parentheses by the way. But why do you demand such a terrible record?”

“Silence,” it shrieked: a) after I had stopped talking and b) much to my satisfaction. I could not help but overhear some Roxy Music playing in the background which was far beyond my definition of silence. “Where are your records?”
“In a skip in a landfill somewhere. Along with all the sheet music, cds and tapes I could get hold of. When they said home taping was killing music I spent a solid year recording everything that was released in the sixties. What a gyp. Actually home taping is making more copies of music.”
“Quiet. I will ask you one more time, give me your records or I shall have to kill you.”

I had been looking closely at the creature and noticed something very strange. Despite the blood stains and the random bits of fur and claws, it did appear that the voice was coming from deep inside the body. Almost as if this outer-shell was a costume.

“I cannot help but noticing that you have killed everyone else anyway. No I am sorry. I shall not acquiesce. And I mean that in the proper meaning of the word, rather than as quite a clever word to make Noel Gallagher feel he was brainy despite not knowing what it means.”
“Then you should die,” the creature said, which was unfortunately a mistake (not its first) as I used this breadth of time to leap from my crucifix, and rip the carapace off.
“As I expected,” I said as I kneed the woman under the costume leaving her prone. “Sue Lawley.”
“But, but how?” Sue gasped.

“How did I escape. Simple. Elastic is a rubbish thing to tied someone up with, its most salient feature being its elasticity. How did I know it was you? There were clues. The complete works of Shakespeare, the Bibles. The Desert Island. The Discs. Frankly the only thing that surprises me is that you took Roy Plomley’s idea so literally.”
“These records are my treasure, and those minor Radio 4 celebrities are my prey.”
“You are a deluded old newsreader who needs to be punished and whose record library should go with you. And that vent over there seems thoroughly apt.”

At which point I ransacked her record Library and tipped them all down the steaming vent, with a satisfying cracking sound and burnt plastic smell.
“No!” Lawley screamed. At first I believed in some sort of misguided attempt to save her records, but then it became clear. “This is an active volcano, and any chemical imbalance might set it to erupt. Such as half a ton of vinyl.”
“Well I best plug up the vent then,” I said, turfing the newsreader down the hole. However, there were disquieting noises from below the surface. Not just the screams.

THE POLICE: Sue Lawley

Ho ho, you say out there, despite my traumatic experience. Tanya is doing that deathlessly funny thing of mishearing lyrics for comic effect. A staple of columnists, Saturday supplements and bar-room comedians everywhere. So yes, for the record I know that this track was released with the title So Lonely written on the record sleeve, and yes I know that Mr Sting, as an ex-English teacher is unlikely to get his spelling that wrong. But just as Queen do indeed sing “Fried Chicken” at the end of One Vision, it is clear that Gordon is singing “Sue Lawley” here.

To what end would a band in the late seventies devote a track to a middling newsreader, some say the Natasha Kaplinsky of her age? And here is where the cynicism comes in. The Police always had pretensions to cleverness, hence releasing an album with names either in French or long words. Outlandos D’Amour is not even proper French anyway, and the only Synchronicity Sting should expect from me is that between my fist and his nose. But nevertheless, for a man who takes six hours to shag his wife, he has plenty of time to think. And think he did about what a clever publicity wheeze it would be if they sang the name of a minor celebrity in a song.

This is of course the exact same route to fame flogged to death by no-mark one hit wonders R.E.M. in It’s The End Of The World As We Know It and A Tribe Of Toffs with John Kettley Is A Weatherman. And it is hard not to see a kinship between The Police and A Tribe Of Toffs, both with their Tory, authoritarian names and completely lack of usefulness to the human race. What both bands recognized early on was namechecking a sleb is a sure-fire way to get played by the gurning morons who earn a living as breakfast show disc-jockeys. At the time of The Police’s success, said gurner was Mike Read. Who is now responsible for Grief Never Grows Old. You said it, you have not been presenting a radio show for over twenty years, and I still can’t get over its grievous nature.

Jan 05

Day 10: Deeper Underground AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

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Day 10: Deeper Underground

I must have walked for miles in that cave system. Everytime I seemed to be getting closer to the source of the infernal noise, it turned out to be another echo chamber. Much of the system was lit by glowing mould, which I suppose would be a very polite way of noting the perspiration of the Sugar singer. Not being a naturally polite person I would call him that Sweaty Fat Fuck Bob Mould, but I digress.

Indeed digressions were my problem. Caves branched in places, and I generally head downwards, figuring that whatever creature was at home here would hide a far away as possible. At one point, tired to almost the point of exhaustion, I stopping a cool cave which had a natural pool in it. The water was reviving – not tonic water, not heaven help me Gin, but enough to quench my thirsty. I made a fire out of what looked like discarded Bibles (the only Bible I felt comfortable burning contained Boo Hewardine but it was not to be) and settled down. When I awoke what lay before my eyes was shocking. I crept to the corner of the cage as I watched some strange, inhuman creature ripping apart the body of what looked like Kim Catrall and dumping the corpse in the lake. Then discarding some books the mis-shapened beast picture up a small pile of records and ran off howling.

I quickly ran over the corpse. It was fresh but one could still see the lines on the Sex In The City star (or as I am sure Crispian would have put it, Mannequin star). Where were we? What was this creature doing to these minor celebrities and how. I could not let this injustice go on. After a quick search of what was left of her person for concealed miniatures (bah – Americans and their teetotalism) I set off in hot pursuit.

Hot pursuit it became indeed. In my headlong pelt I barely noticed that the heat was rising, as the occasional puddle of lava bubbled away in the periphery of my vision. That said, all the brimstone and lava in the world could not prepare me for the diabolical horror that confronted me, deeper underground, a sight of such hellish nature that I passed out with the heat and shock. For what I discovered in the lair of that infernal creature was my worse nightmare made flesh. Or at least vinyl. For this lava spiked cauldron of sin appeared to be A RECORD LIBRARY.


JAMIROQUAI: Deeper Underground

If there was one place that Jay Kay should have gone, and gone from his first benighted release, it would be Deeper Underground. Not in a musical sense, though I have never understood the suggestion that cutting edge, obscure music be called underground music. Perhaps it is due to the fact that we plant seeds underground, and they therefore have the promise of blooming into something fantastic. Not anything that would apply to any kind of music, who in the seed world would be like the magic beans in Jack & The Beanstalk. But without the beanstalk bit.

Even more amusing is that Jamiroquai could go even further underground than he was at that point. His status as a cutting edge, avant garde musician after all was as underground as standing on top of the Post Office Tower which had recently been transplanted to the top of Primrose Hill. ie Not very underground at all.

Perhaps Jay’s desire was linked to his liking of moles. Perhaps he wanted to go deeper underground to be just like them. Grubby, living in a world of perpetual darkness. Indeed living in a state of darkness would seem to be exactly the reason why Jay would want this deep core activity. After all he nicked his music from Stevie Wonder, there was no reason why he should not do the same with his eyesight.

Deeper Underground? Buried alive is preferable.

Jan 05

Day 9: The Sound Of The Underground AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES

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Day 9: The Sound Of The Underground

I crept back into the container to sleep, not trusting the strange sounds of this island. Hunger did over-take me the night before though and I trapped, killed and skinned one of those strange rodents which had been over-friendly. I suppose my actions were not friendly back but needs must. The creature tasted almost, if not completely, unlike chicken.

After breakfasting on some berries which looked if not tasted like juniper, I decided to head into the interior for signs of life. The jungle was think by the beach, and an hour of struggling I probably only made it half a mile. However I did soon come across a clearing, where there were copious signs of life. And what some might call signs of death. Blood splattered copies of the Complete Works Of Shakespeare were strewn all around the clearing. Bones were also apparent, as was one badly mauled rotting corpse. I must admit I was somewhat overcome by these signs. What could cause such carnage, and why so much Shakespeare.

It was then I noticed to the south of the clearing was the mouth of a large, dark cave. I made a makeshift torch out of a leg-bone and some rags and peered inside. Tracks of some inhumanly large creature were apparent, apparently dragging something. That was frightening enough, but what was worse was the sounds. Strange guttural belching, swooping yelps and primal, primitive drumming all mixed in and out of one another. It sounded a bit like the Band Of The Royal Marines playing Jerusalem. Whatever it was, it girded my loins. Was my task on this trip around the world to destroy music wherever I discovered it. This might not be music, this noise from underground, but that would qualify well over fifty percent of the UK Charts at any one point in time. Hatred can double up for bravery, and so I head for the source of these noises from Hades, these hellish Sounds Of The Underground.

GIRLS ALOUD: The Sound Of The Underground

The strange rag-bag of sounds I heard from underground were apposite when you consider Girls Aloud career. A kind of all girl Frankensteins monster of a pop band, taking choice cuts of The Stray Cats, Dick Dale and Mink De Ville. I can imagine these girls, dressed in their Top Shop glamoflage, mugging old rockers just to steal their ideas.

The mugging I have no trouble with. But why piece it together to make sub-Spice Girls tat? Why not just leave the fogey lying in the gutter and join me down the pub? Take the Sound Of The Underground. Its My Sharona for people who have not got anyone called Sharona. I have heard tube trains and they do not sound like this. Indeed the sound of tube trains is so thoroughly unmusical that if it weren’t for Down In A Tube Station At Midnight, I could happily live down there. Well, and the buskers.

Jan 05


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Day 8: Desert Island

I was awoken the next day by a small furry creature nuzzling up against me. Leaping back in fear in case it was a member of ZZ Top without the name beard, i discovered it was some kind of muskrat. Well to be precise, it was a large rodent of a type I had never seen before. But I am not rodent collector.

I shooed the thing away and cleared my eyes. Sunlight was streaming into the container, and the far door was swinging open in the breeze. Tentatively I took a look out and then emerged on to the sandy shore. (Not Sandy Shaw, who I would have jumped up and down on in hobnail boots if she had turned out to be underfoot). Blinking in the harsh but chilled sunlight I took stock of the situation.

I and my bright red container appear to have washed up on a deserted, and hence I suppose, desert island. Not all that warm, I was glag for the chunky sweater Captain Jack had given me before locking me in the makeshift cell. A wind was whipping up as well on the beach. It was a natural cove, bordered by rocks at both ends and a somewhat foreboding coniferous forest at the perimeter. It appears that this situation may well cause me some impediment to traveling around the world. My first priority must be survival and rescue.

After some time taken to gather flotsam to set a fire (a girl never travels without a box of matches, if only for lighting flaming spoons of absinthe), I took stock. The Jonah, was missing, potentially sunk. I thought about my own Man Friday, Crispian, who no doubt would have been urging kit-off Blue Lagoon excesses if he had been here. I was alone on this island, and island where strange noises were coming from the interior. And when examined the container again I made a startling discovery. It appears that the door had not come open by itself. Rather someone, or something tremendously strong had levered the door open, leaving large claw marks behind.

XTC: Desert Island

There are few things more soul destroying than being shipwrecked on a desert island with next to no hope of escape. Few things, but one of them is bonus tracks on reissues of already appalling albums. Desert Island is track sixteen on the re-release of Mummer by XTC, the last of the extra tracks. Which logically means that not only is it worse than anything else on the album, but it is the worst of the worst things on the album. And this is an album that has a track called Funk Pop A Roll on it.

If you have ever seen the Agony and The Ecstacy you may have some idea about how XTC misappropriated their name. Surely better titled AGNY, XTC were a punk band that never really did punk, a post-punk band that did not do really do post-punk, and some sort of maypole fetishists. Certainly by the time Mummer came out the band had given up touring (too much abuse) and were almost exclusively writing songs about going scumping and fancying the lass from the farm down t’road. XTC were often a band accused of being too clever for their own good, which I find surprising considering that would mean the perfect state of affairs would be for them to be single celled organisms.

Desert Island is one of those “clever” songs which suggests that Great Britain is a desert island. The lack of desert would be the first thing I would point out to them, plus the large number of supermarkets – which Andy Partridge seems to rail against. A political song without any ostensible politics, this is just a rant which the world could have done without hearing. Or being re-released as the worst track of the worst tracks that were not released when they made Mummer. Don’t say you were not warned.

Jan 05


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Day 7: The Darkness

I like to think of myself as a strong, capable woman. I have stamina. I can endure much. Why once I even fought my way through an entire stadiums worth of David Bowie fans to get to the front and throw a specially modified lollipop at him. It took him out for three months, which was more than worth it. But the last day, trapped in the solid blackness of this cargo container would be enough to break any woman. It would be, if that was all that had happened.

What with the darkness all over and around me (see note below to how repugnant this idea is to me), and just enough booze left in my body to lull be to sleep, I put my head down almost instantly. I am not sure how long I slept for. All I know is that was shaken awake by a calamitous crashing noise. The container, and therefoe I assume the boat, was pitching wildly in the ocean. On a number of occasions I was tossed against the walls of the container, and it was hard to remain on my feet. I could hear muffled shouts and screams from the Jonah outside, including some cursing of my name which I found most disconcerting. At least I did until there was another roaring sound and the wall of the container found my head almost instantly. I was too unconscious to be disconcerted at this point.

When I came to, the violence upon the container had ceased. Indeed all seemed much too calm, as even the quietest seas would not surely be this calm. I spent much time rapping on the walls, something which just seems to echo loudly around me and attract no-one’s attention at all. I have given up the rapping as a bad job (and indeed it is one of the worst jobs you can have, just below public executioner) because it sounded too much like a performance of Stomp.

I have had to come to the only conclusion one could draw from this solidity, silence and lack of company. My container was somehow thrown free of the ship and I have landed somewhere. But there is no way out of this container, I am firmly locked in. Will my intrepid journey end here, trapped in the darkness without food, or drink. Frankly a drink would do me.

The Darkness

Queen were taking the piss a bit. They were called Queen after all.
And yet The Darkness are like Queen but with supposed added irony. Where is the room for the irony. There is no room in the Queen bandwagon to even slip the slightest smidgen of irony down the back of the sofa. If a bands job is being the pompiest, silliest rock band on the planet – surely the way to go is to try and be more serious than them.

So let us suggest that this is what The Darkness are doing. That people only think they are being funny because that is inherent in the musical style. The singing high, the fireplace guitar solos, the stupid Sci-Fi iconography. Cheap, secondhand bollocks which are barely covered by a spandex jumpsuit. As opposed to Justin Hawkins’ bollocks which are clearly not covered by his silly spandex jumpsuit.

Permission To Land? Who granted it? A song about a scary East Anglian dog? These are not the things a pop career are made of. Get Your Hands Off Of That Guitar – Motherfucker.

Jan 05


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Day 6: Metal Box

Crisis has just hit. I was in rather high spirits last night, after Crispian had discovered exactly why tomcats make “THAT” noise, and was supping a comforting single in my bunk. I had just written yesterdays diary log and all was well with the world. My reverie however was interrupted by a sour faced Captain Jack storming into my chambers just after sundown

“What is the meaning of this,” he said, red faced and generally as unpleasant as the Billy Joel song with the same name.
“I think you’ll find if any man storms a lady’s cabin, they are the person who gets to use that line.”
“No, this,” he said indicating to a black box and a tangle of wires which had once been the ships radio.
“That? I think that is the radio I founf upstairs. Awfully dangerous things radio. One minute you are listening to a thoroughly fascinating play about some middle class people in Gravesend wondering whether to pack granny off to a home, and some fool tunes it in to Capital. No, best off without those things.”
“This radio is our lifeline.”
“I thought the rope tied to that rubber ring out there was a lifeline.”
My attempt at being both bewildered and beguiling however did not work on the Captain who was a vision of rage. Crispian suggested that he managed to sum up the pure boundless energy of rage in a much more coherent way than Ang Lee had in The Hulk. I was not so sure, merely thinking of Johnny Mathis can make me turn quite green and quite angry.

There was a summary trial of my actions in which the ships cook had the casting vote. I felt this was somewhat unfair as the cook was prejudiced against me swigging all of his rations of alcohol. How was I to know this was a non-stop voyage across the Atlantic. Anyway, suffice it to say that for want of a proper brig, the slap me inside one of the empty containers on the ship – and apparently I shall be trapped in this Metal Box for the rest of the trip.

Public Image Limited: Metal Box

I suppose I have been locked away in a metal box because I am a perceived danger to the crew of The Jonah. Public Image Limited’s release of Metal Box also came in a metal box. DRAW YOUR OWN CONCLUSIONS.

(My conclusions for comparison sake.) Sneering, learing, jeering and clearing his throat were pretty much the stock in trade of John Lydon (Johnny Rotten – can you people not take a hint). Never Mind The Bollocks suggested the album was all bollocks (there was nothing left to mind on that album). So Metal Box came with Lydon’s trade-marked irony intact, with packaging that dared to not to play it. Instead put a couple of Star Wars toys in the box with a twenty pence piece and bury it as a time capsule. Admittedly the future race of humans who dig it up will have evolved beyond music (lucky chaps) and treat the whole thing as being tantamount to nuclear waste. Perhaps even worse.

Jah Wobble was also involved in creating the particular aural horrors on Metal Box, which meant that there were burbling dub things going on all over the shop. Anyone else notice that dub is but one letter away from RUB, short for what this stuff is. Turn it into a frisbee, use it as a particularly well insulated home for your pet catapillar. But don’t play Metal Box, the packaging warns you.