Friday, November 10, 2017

"Grimes Is Not Tune-Yards (Is It?)."

I had a sudden epiphany –– I thought,  "Grimes is not Tune-Yards." The two wymmen had morphed into one tantric metaphysical Sarah Lawrence deluxxxe alchemical chimerical being in the deep dark tundra back of my medulla oblongata.

Face painting workshop –– ukuleles –– the ultra-liberal minstrelsy –– juggling club alumni ––  Bread and Puppet Theater –– New England now that Emerson is gone –– Allen Ginsberg is my stylist –– upper-middle class white dred –– Fort Thunder lite superficial trappings –– RISD meets Sarah Lawrence "uptown". You get the idea.  Sarah fucken Lawrence a go go gone batshit nutfarm.
Like Beck says, "You fill in the blanks."

Whatever dude I got the Tune-Yards album from Los Feliz library strictly for free because I was thinking, still, that it was by Grimes as well / instead. "Tune-Yards, oh cool, I wanted to listen to Grimes."

Remember looking for a cheap copy of Grimes LP in the Village and never finding one. A lost era. Remember seeing it full price in the window of the shop round the corner from Washington Square Park, Bobst Library, too much. Remember that glorious feeling lost gone lost. Near that restaurant that only serves peanut butter. 

Doubling. Double consciousness. I think I had confirmed in the recesses of my skeleton that I didn't like Tune-Yards but I hadn't ever heard the Grimes LP.

Have I heard Grimes?
What if they had a Grimes LP listening party and nobody came?

Like I say they became one divine transcendental androgyne in the alchemy of my reptile brain over a period, say 2013– the present. Today though I was listening to Tune-Yards' album "Nikki-Nack" anyway and I wrote in my patented notebook of "compable tracks" ("according to Kreiter") that tracks two, four, five and seven were worth putting on a compilation. Then I frowned and concentrated for a moment and surveyed the dim crawlspace of my consciousness and realised that I had conflated the two for the past five years and sort of with a mighty scimitar, and like wise King Solomon, I cleft the twain apart. Two similar but separate wymmen stood before me.

Now I know I like Tune-Yards okay, albeit with an amazingly long list of serious reservations (the face painting the ukuleles the folderol minstrelsy the kabuki the juggling club moves) but I dunno for the life of me what I think about Grimes.

The main headline, if you like main headlines, the exclusive revelation, the radical journalistic discovery is that TUNE-YARDS IS NOT GRIMES.

I'd rather be listening to Lavender Diamond.

Monday, April 3, 2017

"Willie Nelson Retired."

On Sunday Morning Willie Nelson was talking to Bob Schieffer about his new album. Willie said the thought of death didn't frighten him. "No of course not, you're stoned clean through the back of your eyeballs," Bob said.

No he didn't.

He said, "Willie, when are you going to retire?"
Willie grinned simplemindedly and said "I smoke dope, play a beet of golf and dominoes and play guitar, why would I want to retire?"
Bob said, "In fact, you retired at the age of about eleven, didn't you Willie? You've been in retirement ever since. Rock stars are all retirees in point of fact."

No he didnt't [sic].


Friday, March 24, 2017

"Ghostface Plays LA."

 

Ghostface played the Regent in downtown LA.

Last time we had been there was to see the RESIDENTS, when we were all sat down in front of the stage, and the show started promptly at 7:30 with a documentary film.

Hip hop shows "beez being" very odd.
The support acts "beez being" so very awfully bad.
They make you long for the indie chancers we are used to.

The first applicant was just blurping synth noodle-doodles on a laptop while his sister and her friend made semi-obscene interpretive dance moves in perfect discord. I thought, "Is this Lars's lost solo tape from 1989? Smuggled out past the lawyers' noses? Is Colin Bishop about to come out with his silly silvery keytar?"

Now on came a homeless man who has an album out. He was trying to do stand-up comedy that would morph, not seamlessly (what is the opposite of seamlessly –– seamfully?), into rapping. He was livid about something and cracking misogynistic jokes. He wanted to get the crowd on side by whipping them into an anti-woman fury. "Fucking hell," I said. "It's the black Tom Muir." He looked like MC Hammer in a thrift store suit. The black Tom Muir, exactly. This must be the suit he does his court-appointed job interviews in.

Followed an actual real-life midget who had at least a lot of great guts tenacity integrity and positive energy. He said "Yo, we still fans." He was not inflated despite his great fame. I forget his name. Still I appreciated his humility. In his head he was a star. In real life he was a little person from the mean streets of Portland, Oregon.

I forget his name, even after he rambled on at length about the nice cleverness of his chosen moniker, and how the fratres ignorantes routinely mispronounced his rap name and the pun embedded in it. How hard it is, to be misunderstood. He then announced a new track that was available online, and on cue the weird and horrible "Bobby Bucher" lolloped onstage and bellowed "GOOGLE IT!" Is this the new way of it with music? Live links to websites? Fucking hell and they say music is dead.

Then, when we thought Ghostface was finally coming on, three hours into the ordeal, on came a pair of Wu Tang Z-list weed carriers to hector us and holler. They tried to make so much of the fact that they were from Brooklyn! This, to me, who I was born in Brooklyn.

This was their first time out of the state. They had two ugly Greenpoint skanks just standing to the side, chewing gum & texting on stage. Then there was this animated woman of colour in a mustard yellow coat strutting about taking photos on her phone bunching up her lips and throwing her chin out. She crossed the stage sort of duckwalking. She was extremely annoying. The deejay was this dumb lunk looked like the Hulk with dreads. We the crowd grew sick of their amateurish patter and booed them. Beautiful sound. First one of the night. I believe I even ventured "FUCK OFF!" Someone threw a plastic cup of beer over the girl in yellow which made everybody smile for the first time in three hours and for all their strutting and posturing at this they all retreated.

Only then and finally then came the excellent Ghostface, this evening accompanied by Cappadonna and Killah Priest. They were good enough that he made the hard bad suffering the PTSD that had come before tolerable.

Ghost & Cappadonna.

They did a sort of greatest hits package, which seemed to me to be almost like dozens of James Last or Mitch Miller micro-fragments of longer tracks. They would do Wu Tang tracks, but generally only the portions of those tracks they rapped on. At one point, they did "Proteck Ya Neck" (what, no "Gravel Pit"?) from the first album, and invited audience members to come up and rap the Method Man and ODB sections. "But yo only if you know the lines."




I cowered. I shrank. I staggered away from the stage. I put up my hands and resisted the invitation vociferously. I was physically sick.

If pressed I could probably rap "Reunited" from Wu Tang Forever. 

                                                            Reunited, double elpee
                                                            We're all excited

Actually no I could not *.

I could probably manage MCA's part from "No Sleep Til Brooklyn".

I could certainly sing a medley of sea chanteys in the arrangements by Paul Clayton or Richard Dyer-Bennet but that might have been odd at a hip-hop show.

I knew my limitations and going up on stage with Ghostface, Killah Priest and Cappadonna and singing the ODB portion of "Proteck Ya Neck" is well outside either my "bailiwick" my "wheelhouse" or my "pay grade". The champion that did lurch up to sing ODB's part was a white guy who pulled off his shirt and swaggered around and then lamely googled the lyrics on his smartphone –– we all saw him do it –– and still fucked it up and got roundly booed for it.

Your correspondent. "Please don't make me rap."

Other than that, Ghostface spent a lot of time hectoring the lighting engineer from the stage. He'd stop in the middle of a track and demand they change the colours. "All red," he'd say, now "all green," then a blue period. At one point the house lights were turned up. and we all saw each other in our grisly reality. Suffice it to remark that the shitty fucking camera on my iPod couldn't cope and so all my photos are awful (see illustrations).



It were a reet odd crowd. Downtown LA is full of homeless varmints anyway. There seemed to be Skid Row veterans, junkies, gangbangers and fratboy wiggers in the audience, all engaging enthusiastically in that odd ritual, the mosh pit.

Weeks later, at Darya in Costa Mesa having lunch with my mother-in-law, I told her, "We went to a hip-hop show."
"Did you hip-hop?" she asked.
"No. I edged away from the moshpit."

This categorizes my gig-going experience for the last twenty-five years. "See you in the pit!"? Hardly. More like, "See you at the very fringes of the pit, staring nervously at the whirling mass of fists and hair, rather than at the stage."

We got home by 2:00 AM. Cappadonna was not our lift.

____________________________________

* I fully believe that Wu Tang Forever is their best LP, superior to Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Histoire Du Rocque. Great Performances (In French)."


Alex; Harvey

Before the great time of awful, hard threshing sure to come, and the wild hunt that must follow, I would set down my confession to the Recording Angel.

I say freely and uncoerced that I have wasted too much of the past decade noodling pointlessly through the underbelly of the "darknet". These are the lost decades unreturnable to us except in the realms of reverie. I don't think I'm alone in that –- do you, Damian Morgan?

I gave it up (the cock-a-doodle noodling) somewhat, in a panic, in the last few years.  Too much surface dandruff and not enough substance online. I am not a Millennial and I still watch TV –– listlessly, uncritically –– but this is still a heroic gesture.

Now we have Chromecast though and occasionally, when I am Chromecasting Huell Howser episodes to the TV, between episodes I detour through a few of the old Youtube favourites.

Recently, in conversation with wife I found myself more or less quoting Alex Harvey's "Next" which naturally led to me finding that Old Grey Whistle Test performance of it.

Alex Harvey being played by Harvey Keitel in this performance. ("Yes. Alex Harvey Keitel.")

This led me, admittedly Millennially, to Jacque Brel's original "Au Suivant," where I found a quite remarkable, contortionist, and magnificently gurning performance by La Brel.

Last night, meanwhile, wife and I were discussing places in the northern segment of our State, and we spoke of Petaluma, and I remembered the Harry Partch piece, "And On The Seventh Day Petals Fell on Petaluma".

And because of this Youtube (in its subtly manipulative style) suggested for us a BBC4 documentary on Partch, which we watched and enjoyed well, never mind the poor psychic resistance to suggestion from the master machine.

But then, perhaps to stave off wife's desire to watch The Crown on Netflix, I kept diddling and dawdling like Scheherazade putting off the dreaded thing, and I went to look up the classic performance by Magma of "Otis" on French TV.  I couldn't find it. It seems to have disappeared indeed. But earlier that day I'd been listening to Ghostface Killa's Twelve Reasons to Die II LP  and I'd noticed a resemblance in the track "Return of the Savage"  to the song "De Futura" by Magma (from Üdü Ẁüdü). This (and my natural recoil from mawkish British "historical" TV drama) led me in turn to click on a Youtube video of "De Futura" performed live in Paris in 1977.

Line this up alongside the Brel performance  and you have a credible case for remarking tediously in the pub that perhaps the French (also the gentlemen of the "Benelux" countries, if you must be pedantic) are the great rock performers of the degenerate age of rocque.

Or would you rather watch Mick Jagger? 

Or would you rather date Mick Jagger? 

When you read about these young women who date Mick Jagger, albeit they are suddenly rich and lead an idle deceitful very wicked life, you think –– as you do when you see Melanoma Trump –– "Was it worth it? The awful sacrifice of virtue and sanity? Each night you lie abed with demons!" 




Sunday, November 6, 2016

"Overrated Underrated."

                                                          Underground overground
                                                                       Wombling free...

When you are English, and a young man, and with a certain type of tertiary–level education, and you have an older brother who is switched on to with–it sounds, and then besides you have a certain slant to your way of thinking –– and I am, and I was, and I am, and I do, and I do –– you are very apt to veer perversely and deliberately from the main stream, the shining path, the Western Canon constructed by your humdrum peers, and to scramble into the hawthorne bush, and then to blunder on, deeper and thicker, into the most distant darkest precincts of thought.

Which is to say: the young men will always try to out-do each other in being willfully obscure.

I fell so deeply into this delirium, this revery of anti-commercialism, that I began to recoil from anything that was readily available. This bad trait has often led me to good places, of course, and is an instinct that has seen me right as often as it has led me astray. It is manifested even today in my unconscious (or semi-conscious, since here I am writing about them) habits. I will take books out through Los Feliz library and read them in the bath, while I leave neglected on the shelves all those books that I have purposely tracked down and actually bought because I want to read them, because I like them.  Instead I persist in looking for that which I do not have, do not know, do not need to know. It's like watching Real Housewives of Orange Country when I have had the DVDs of the Sabata Trilogy waiting to be watched for over a year.

I have written on a piece of paper and tacked to the top shelf of a bookcase the Thoreau quotation, "READ THE BEST BOOKS FIRST, OR YOU MAY NOT HAVE A CHANCE TO READ THEM ALL." I put it up, knowing it to be excellent good advice, but still from day to day I find myself straying very far from what I am actually excited by, in search of fresh game. Some of the directions this takes me in are patent cul-de-sacs. This is all prologue to a few brief remarks about the Bob Stanley–"curated" Robin Gibb three CD set.

Review #1. Robin Gibb, Saved By The Bell: Collected Works, 1968–1970

Which, I been listening to it.  This collects his first solo album, the excellent Robin's Reign, reproduced lovingly in Mono and Stereo versions –– a "deluxe extra" the merits of which have always eluded my understanding, but then I am not a subscriber to Mojo –– and a second disc with out-takes, Italian versions, demos, and interviews.*

It also contains Gibb's "lost classic" Sing Slowly Sisters, an album Bobbin Gibb recorded in some primitive style but never released.  I had read about this lost ana, and being an early Bee Gees cultist, had always wanted a copy.  So some years ago I got my regular bootleg man, one D. Oregon Morgan,  currently residing in northern Sweden they say, to procure a copy for me.  It probably wasn't that hard to track down using the internet, but I was always loath to download torrents for the very bourgeois fear of getting a virus, or I was too timorous and paranoid, afraid I would get arrested for making illegal downloads. Damian scoffed at me and took the "risks" on my behalf.

Boring aside.

I should say that as a preface, like when people say, "Long story short" before telling a story. Before you begin, say "Boring aside:"

Anyway I didn't really listen to the Bob Gibb lost album once I had it –– typical –– so it continued to wobble in the back of my conscious mind as a sort of lost classic. However, I did listen to the copy of the Warner Brothers Album by the Residents Oregon "obtained" for me and it was largely terrible.  Ditto another, unnameable, unmentionable, unreleased album the Residents made before their classic, Meet The Residents.

There should be a name for such crummy disappointments. It's like a Thomas Pynchon novel. You might read about it, read around it, hear it praised by critics who refer breathlessly to the various motifs and the obscure symbols and the erudition, and emit short quotations, and you think, "This sounds like a great book verily." Like Pound in "Moeurs Contemporaines," you'd say "This is a darn'd clever book!"

Then you finally get around to reading it, and it is a gross pronounced disappointment, a pathetic bellyflop from the high diving board into the kiddie pool, and the imaginary book it could have been floats away out of grasp, yet to be realized, never to be manifested at least from the gnarled, withered hand of TOM RUGGLES.

It's a Pynchonian effect. Well, so when Bob Stanley and Rhino Records released this 3CD Bobbin Gibbons set, I took about a year to get round to listening to it, listening to no end of marginal chaff first. Now I have finally listened to it, I thought: "This sounds like Tiny Tim with a metronome covering the Residents' Commercial Album but with the lyrics of Noel Gallagher."

That makes it sound better than it is––
Ach ––

Review Two: Tom DeFalco, Strange Days TPB (Fantastic Four #s 403–416)

As handsome partner to this disappointment, I had had it in my head for years that Tom DeFalco's period writing the Fantastic Four (early–mid Nineties) was a great underrated run. I must have read it in the Oughts in Brooklyn, and still thought so. Were my standards so far lower then? Did I think I could live forever, and so tolerate salt water? So comparatively recently?

Rereading the "run", it is quite urgently bad. DeFalco (or, as Autocorrect aptly calls him, "Deflate") does awful tracts of exposition "concealed" within asinine conversation. He is extremely guilty of writing the Thing as the most wearisome purveyor of stale quips in comicdom –– makes the current (loathsome) Spider-Man or Deadpool, even when he has a bad writer, sound like the late Dorothy Parker of New York City.

                               Even the Thing's team mates –– including that professional lover of all things vacant, 
                                       fun foam and silly string, Johnny Storm, gracious sakes –– are sick of his incessant
                                      nervous wisecracking. They wish he'd lose his rocks and TRUCK off home! (#385)

                             
(#399)
                                        Johnny's sister, "Susie" Richards has no time for Thing's automatic knee-jerk 
                                        need to leaven the moment with an empty comic metaphor. She echoes the late 
                                        Ronald Reagan of California, who said, "Mr. Gorbachev, please tear down 
                                        this stupid ugly heap of bricks!" (#389)    


                                                   Their enemies feel the same way. This is not actually Dr. Doom's 
                                                   "faithful retainer" Boris, it is really Zarkko the Tomorrow Man, a 
                                                    Thor villain thoroughly superseded by Kang and Immortus,  
                                                    presumably using an image "inducer", very like that extremely 
                                                    interesting device used by Nightcrawler of the X-Men. Nevertheless,
                                                    the thought is one universally held. (#398. Zarrko recurs, used well 
                                                    for once, in Dan Jurgen's excellent Thor Volume 3.)

Aron the Renegade Watcher speaks for the many. (#398)

    So say we all. (#399)

This run also features the sensational disappearance of Reed Richards and Doctor Doom for about forty issues. Good call, Tom. Get rid of the most interesting characters to concentrate on the bit parts. Thist allowed DeFalco to develop (however cack-handedly) the interesting character created by that arrogant genius Johnny Byrne: Kristoff Vernard, the twelve-year old boy with the mind of Doctor Doom programmed into his own brain. Englehart continued it in FF and then West Coast Avengers in a storyline where Kristoff and Doom were at war, because it was unclear which one was the authentic Doom. The boring postgraduate in me nods and remarks: Good examination of identity. DeFalco ("Deflate") futzes around with the dregs of it.  

One touch I did like. Every few issues while Reed Richards is absent DeFalco features a panel where the Thing suspends momentarily his dreary wisecracking to indulge in a little revery about how he misses Reed Richards's windbag expositions. I don't know if DeFalco was aware that he kept repeating himself, or if it was a running joke.

(#383)

(#389)

(#398)

(#400)

This was the run after Steve Englehart s excellent few years writing the book. He was physically removed from the title for DeFalco to take over.  Rereading them in sequence, I reaffirmed the greatness of the Englehart run, the interestingness of the Walt Simonsson interregnum, and then the awful rapid decline under DeFalco. Englehart created a character in Silver Surfer afterwards called "Clumsy Foulup" who manages to become the ruler of the Kree Empire through scurrilous talentless ruthlessness, and despite his pronounced ineptitude. This character is generally understood (by the very few people who investigate such matters with such critical scrutiny) (the very few people who care) to be a sort of roman a clef about DeFalco ascending to being Editor-In-Chief at Marvel, as well as the writer on the Fantastic Four.

Why did I ever rate this run? Was it my awful perversity, my appetite for obscurity, creeping up and clouding my better judgement? I was girding myself to make a critical case for Tom DeFalco as a great underrated writer, alongside Larry Hama and Mark Gruenwald, while condemning Frank Miller and even Alan Moore as overrated. I had the thesis in my head. Even wrote down a brief summa. But rereading this, I thought, "This is bad awfulness. What demon possessed me, that I rated it so well?"

I had been looking for copies of the run (second copies, since I have the full run in storage in Oxfordshire even as I sit at my desk in Los Feliz) in Roger's Time Machine, now on Tenth Street. When I went to pay for them, Roger was justifiably aghast. "You're buying them, and passing over issues of the Byrne run?" I lisped faintly, "It's a great underrated run, Roger."

No it isn't. It has some great plot elements if you can abide the diabolical dialogues. These issues featured the heights of the obscure meddling done by that cocksman that old Priapus Nathaniel Richards, his unctuous insinuation that not only was he was the father of Reed Richards, he also fathered Dr. Doom and Kritoff Vernard. This is the storyline where Franklin Richards is transformed from a prating five-year-old to a dynamic alt–future twenty–something (presumably to cash in on Cable and get some of that X-Men money).

Both these rather excessive plot elements were revived to good effect by the good Hickman decades later. It also features the very interesting (if thoroughly botched) Celestial/Watchers war. Still, I bought the trade paperback Strange Days collecting #s 403–416 and it has taken me about 180 "strange days" just to try and read half of it. The book never seems to end. I started it with the naive thought, "This will be a good prologue to rereading the Hickman run." That was almost a year ago.

Not much more to say than that. Did you ever claim something was underrated, and then realize in the tabernacle of your inner soul that you'd overrated it?

* * * * * * * * * * 

Speaking of Bob Stanley, I love to tell the story of the time in the late–mid– Nineties when Laurence Remila and I were in the Spread Eagle, Camden, where we habitually went to drink junk, and snarl and ogle at gurls, and to bait the minor indie rock stars. We'd go from the Mixer to the Dublin Castle to the Eagle. Ash and Menswear and Bob Stanley. We were bugging Bob there then, and I was ker–blunk on Strongbow cider and avowing forcefully that Pussy Galore's Dial M For Motherfucker was the single greatest LP in the known space–time hemisphere. (That might still be true.) "Do you not like it?" I said to BOB with malice. "Rock?! Does it frighten poor Bobby?" I said. "Don't you get it? The rock machine? Don't it turn you on?" I said. "Don't you love to kick out the jams?"

Then (or was it another time) I was swaying in the passage between the bar and the front door leading down to the sort of lounge, cornering Bob to lament anent the sad state of pop and waxing nostalgic about the Manchester band World of Twist. "Zzvat was a good group. Zzzz a good group out uh Manchester! Remember that zong, 'Sons of the Stage.' Good group!, toally vuhgotten by the timezzz. Lost to us forever, helas, sad to say, never to return." Bob Stanley replied, "Actually, they're sitting over there at my table." I squinted over to where he and his cronies sat, the banquette seats in the front side of the pub, and there indeed were several members of World of Twist. And I went, "Oh yeah. So they are. Oh well, they were all right I guess."

Same principle. You get my point, right? Same thing going on.

We love to rate things and overrate them because of our own petty egos. We attach ourselves parasitically to works done by others to elevate ourselves socially in the marketplace and in the boudoir. Like we're the best fucking curators of refined and delicate objects in the world.

Well we're NOT.

* On one interview the Radio 1 deejay –– could be Alan Freeman [It's Brian Matthew –– ed.] –– asks Robin what he's been up to and Robin reveals he's been writing a short story collection. Robin mispronounces the word "Dickensian" and then reveals, in that rarefied noli mi tangere voice, without the crucial sense of his own ridiculousness that marks common mortals, that he is also looking to make a film of his writings. "And again there is the writing of musical scores." The deejay shoots back, with some irony, "Mm. Well, there you go. You can do the lot. You don't paint do you, by any chance?" Unusually astute barb, I thought. Robin obliviously replies, "Well yes I do actually."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"NPR: Googling As Journalism (Googling Is Now Journalism)."

Wife had on NPR. The "story" filed by some female roving correspondent was one about an actress who had died. The correspondent, in the process of idly googling, had come across the late actress singing a Sondheim song from Company. She had then, still idly googling (one imagines, face propped up on fist as she wanly chomps on a ham and cheese pastry) looked up other people singing the same song. She came across a Sondheim "masterclass" on an old South Bank Show. She went on with her googling and eventually found one of the composer of Hamilton doing the same song.

I was listening, waiting for her point. In fact, it transpired, the trail –– let us call it the "recent history"  in her browser –– was the entirety of the story. She and the NPR host gushed over her marvelous trail of googles as though it was a proper job completed, hard work done.

Is this to be journalism now? Aimless googling from one thing to another and points in-between? I recall googling Shaun Ryder on The Word years ago, and ending up watching Salvador Dali on What's My Line? Was this a great exclusive and I didn't realize it? Will NPR pay me to go off on googling odysseys, I wonder?

Dear NPR,
                 I can find amazing sites on Google comparatively effortlessly.
                 Just yesterday, idling through Youtube, I watched an episode of Runaround with the late Mike Reid, in which Charles Hawtrey showed up to ask the kids a question (which he systematically fudged). Please may I have a job?

                 Yours,

                   &c.
                   &c.

"Two Funny Memories."

Two funny memories came rushing to me today in the kitchen. Both about the same gurl I used to know. I am never more susceptible to the whooshing rush of recollection than when I am standing knee deep in washing up at the sink or idling at the kitchen work surface.

I was listening to Six Organs of Admittance, Asleep on the Floodplain, a rather dull album, and thinking with a curled lip, it were "music for Lee Ranaldo devotees." People like this sort of thing, but then maybe they are people in the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand and Japan, countries where they are unusually susceptible to minor works by minor types.

It's like listening to French hip-hop.

No matter. The music first made me think of an occasion when me and everyone I knew all liked Will Oldham. We were all going to see him play a show on the Tottenham Court Road. Me, Gorgon, Jonesy, think Matilda went too, and was Pricey there? Harry maybe... was Adkell there...? It was the famous time when my brother harshly and baldly told Gorgon that he looked like Harry Nilsson.

My female ladyfriend at the time, who I liked her right well, she made herself unpopular all through the day leading up to the show by going on about how she didn't like Will Oldham and telling us why. In the Coach and Horses. Everyone else was there to see the show. She was not going to get a sympathetic hearing for her point of view. She was not preaching to the choir. Although she was apt to preach. Anyway, that was rather typical of her, and I liked her for it and I like her in memory for it now. And then we all said cheerio, and left her on the Tottenham Court Road as we filed into the show.

The second memory of the same gal-pal (I use the term extremely facetiously) came to me, continuing my boring thinking about Lee Ranaldo's French fans. That really wide-eyed and lame way the French have of misunderstanding everything. I like the French a lot, but it's nevertheless true. I recalled to me now being in Pere Lechaise cemetery looking for the grave of Proust. There emerged a lad of maybe sixteen summers in a German army jacket, who asked us with great youth and exuberance whether we were looking for the grave of "Jeem". I said, with boiling-over sarcasm, "Oh, ouai, Jeem est le plus chouette." Like John Lydon to Bill Grundy. "Oh yes, we really like his music. It really turns us on."

The other day I was walking on Western towards Franklin when a German with a skateboard under his arm asked me the best way to the Hollywood sign. Could it be done on foot from here. I said, "Not easily. Go up there and keep walking and you'll hit the hills."

Anyway, the memories, they roll in, and it will probably always be this way, Christ willing!, and especially, it seems, when we are in a kitchen.