Requiescant Inpacce (10687)

Requiescant Inpacce
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Wednesday March 21, 07

Animal WRONGS Campaign

12:54 PM

Anyone who knows me knows that I am both a staunch vegetarian(borderline vegan) and compassionate animal lover. Over the years I have done my utmost to keep the profile of animal rights high in people's consciousness. was with both shame and disgust that I read about PETA suggesting that Knut, the baby polar bear, abandoned by it's mother in a Berlin zoo, would be better off 'being killed' than be allowed to live in what they have decided will be a 'humiliating' situation. They argue that for Knut to live in a synthesized version of his natural environment, away from contact from other polar bears will lead to a miserable existence, and therefor it would be better for the bear to be killed.

I cannot believe the crass stupidity of this thinking. How can ANY organisation that calls for the ethical treatment of ALL animals call for the enforced euthanasia of a baby bear. Where is the logic here?
The owners of the zoo have claimed that Knut has formed a bond with his owner, and that he will, over time, slowly be introduced to other polar bears...especially females.
The locals are also, quite rightly, creating uproar over this, demanding he be kept alive.

Anyone who has seen Jean Jaques Annaud's movie 'The Bear'(aka 'L'Ours') cannot but be moved by the plight of the orphaned Kodiak cub Youk, and while the circumstances are obviously different, I deplore the very idea of the killing of a bear cub when NOTHING is known of the future that awaits him.

I support fully all animal rights groups, but any group calling for the death of an animal for purely speculative reasons is not getting one ounce of support from me.'re a fucking disgrace!

Wednesday November 22, 06 cattivo...e il bello....

01:25 PM

Now that's what I call a Tuesday.

Il Buono:
My tickets for the SECC show next Saturday arrived.

Il Cattivo:
I found out that I've paid for them with the wrong credit card. Guess who's going to be paying a fair whack of interest for the foreseeable future.

Il Bello:
Glasgow Celtic 1 Manchester United 0
A wonder goal from Naka ten minutes from time, followed by a dramatic penalty save from Artur Boruc to send Celtic into the last 16 of the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Now that is what you call a fairly unforgettable Tuesday.

Saturday October 28, 06

Winter Kills....

11:40 AM

I am really dreading the change of the clocks this year!

It's not any kind of fear of the dark or anything like that. Even in high Summer, I always look forward to nightfall. I think it's all to do with the really bad Winter I had last year. I think there is a deep rooted fear of reprisals within me.

Last Winter saw me having to deal with a major health scare, followed almost immediately by a severe period of jet-black depression. Whilst the health scare turned out to be not as serious as I thought, the depression was one of the worst I have ever had to struggle through. It REALLY tainted everything.
Last Christmas was practically wiped out for me. I began to hate everything connected with it. Even the sentiments of the Christmas music, both carols and festive pop songs began to haunt me. Even now, when I hear something festive(like for example, in the 'backwards' scenes in the film 'The Rules Of Attraction', you can hear the melody of 'Carol Of The Bells', and this gave me quite a jolt when I watched the movie again the other night), I get a really deep feeling of unease within me. I'm hoping that Christmas hasn't been hexed forever for me.

I'm also feeling a deep encroaching unease about simple things like it being pitch-black when I leave for work in the morning, and then it being the same when I head home as well. Also, one of my few pleasures at the moment is going for long walks in the Scottish countryside with just my thoughts and my MP3 player, but as there is no street-lighting out there, I'll be forced to walk among the local streets complete with drunks, gangs of increasingly violent youths, and a general air of unpleasantness.

I think it's because there's just so much not going right for me in my life at the moment, that all I feel is sense of dread.

" I'm too cold to be alone this winter, I'm too old to be alone
I just want to hold you this winter, I know you get so cold
I just want to call you this winter
Where are you tonight? Why aren't you here? You should be looking after me this winter, I sure as hell can't
Behind everything I do stares the cold truth I don't have you
I still love you, I must be the world's biggest fool
Everyday I wish you weren't so braw coz I miss you
How am I supposed to unmake the world's biggest mistake
I don't want to be your open wound all winter; you don't need to see me cry
I think I need professional help to get better, this may take some time
My life is dead and I can't see a future, I never could and I still can't
Do you still think I'd make a terrible father? I guess his blood still runs in me
Behind everything I do stares the cold truth I don't have you
I still love you, I must be the world's biggest fool
Everyday I wish you weren't so braw coz I miss you
How am I supposed to unmake the world's biggest mistake".
                                                                                                            Malcolm Middleton.

Saturday October 14, 06

Bloodied But Unbowed

11:25 AM

There is a difference between being depressed and being unhappy.

Depression isn't caused by anything's a spectral miasma that creeps up on you unannounced and pummels you into submission. The thing is, because it's caused by something unreal it can be controlled. I can easilly hide my depression. I can hide it from practically anyone. It's not always a good idea though, because people the assume that you are okay and don't see or try to accomodate your anguish.

But unhappiness is much more difficult to hide. When something or someone is breaking your heart...there's no hiding place. When someone stops loving you...there's just no mask that will fit. My boss wants me to go to the doctors because he thinks I've got depression...hahaha....all those times I was genuinely depressed and he never once offered any help. Guess that's how good I am at hiding some things.

Guess that's how messed up I am at the moment.

Still...onwards and upwards, eh?

Thursday October 12, 06

When "Thank You" Simply Isn't Enough

12:32 PM

Today is officially 'John Peel Day'.

All over the UK, bands, artists and Radio stations(especially BBC Radio1 and Radio6) are celebrating and commemorating the great(greatest?) man with a day dedicated totally to his memory.

John Peel not only soundtracked most of my life, he is one of only three people who totally changed my life. Without him I shudder to think how my musical tastes, or attitude towards music would have turned out.

In memory of John, do something different today...
Listen to a band you would normally NEVER listen to.
Seek out some small unsigned band(this web-site's a great place to start) and give them some support.
Go see a local band tonight and cheer them on.
Go get up on stage somewhere and play your hearts out.
Create your own music and get it out there.

Or simply...
Have a glass of red wine and put on your favourite album.

Thanks John,
We love you....and we miss you.

Thursday April 20, 06

The Ringleader Was The Most Loved

06:29 AM

And so...

Eighteen years into his solo career, and with his eighth official studio album, Steven Patrick Morrissey delivers his greatest solo work with "Ringleader Of The Tormentors". In fact, if truth be told, it is his greatest work since 'The Queen Is Dead".
Vocally opulent, lyrically ambiguous and mischievous, this is a truly stunning work. And after all the slagging I've given The Lads over the last year or two on this very website, I doff my cap to them for turning out a solid, yet perplexing and surprising batch of music.
There is an almost eerie amount of references to death and killing on the album. Two songs have the word 'killed' in the title, yet just as this was the case with The Smiths eponymous debut album, this album is never morose or dour.
The whole thing revolves around what may be the greatest song of his solo career, maybe even since 'I Know It's Over', 'The Queen Is Dead' or 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', all from 20 years ago.

Here is my track by track review of the album:

"I Will See You In Far Off Places": Astonishing start. Eastern style instrumentation and thunderous percussion usher us in, recalling in a strange way 'Kashmir' by Led Zep. Opening line, "Nobody knows what human life is", practically sums up the whole album. This is Morrissey questioning the ambiguities and complexities of human nature. Possibly the most existential opening line of his career. A stunning opener, it's an absolute joy when he starts scat-singing at the end of the song in a way he hasn't done in years, you can hear the infectious enthusiasm he is feeling as his voice becomes totally impassioned.
"Dear God, Please Help Me": Before the album's release, this was the most talked about track, thanks to the maestro Ennio Morriconne's contribution. The song, while utterly beautiful, is also the most lyrically dubious. "There are explosive kegs between my legs" he tells us.'s not quite "Why pander lifes complexities when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat" now is it? A love poem to the city of Rome, it's a soothing balm after the bluster of the opening track.
"You Have Killed Me" Foolishly derided by many of the faithful, this is actually a fine single and is perfectly placed in the running order of the album.
"The Youngest Was The Most Loved": Another highlight, and I'm delighted to hear that this has been chosen for the second single. Thematically similar to "The National Front Disco", this time the baby of the family grows up not to be a racist, but a killer. But...there is nothing more poignant or startling than the childrens choir intoning "There is no such thing as normal" that just leaves me breathless no matter how many times I hear it. I CANNOT wait to hear it blasting from peoples radios this Summer. And finished off with the kind of 'yodelling' he used to do all the time but seems to have left behind in his solo career.
"In The Future When All's Well": Another possible single, and another highlight. A glam-rock stomp accompanied by another fantastic vocal performance, with more of that 'yodelling'.
"The Father Who Must Be Killed": Nobody come up with song titles like Morrissey...nobody!!! Great drumming and a tune built almost solely upon descending minor chords, this is very Smiths-like. The way he begins every verse with the word 'Stepchild' is almost haunting. And the"Just as motherless birds fly high shall shall I(the music stops) shall shall I" The voice soaring and beautiful. This is the perfect build up to what is coming.....the centerpiece of the whole album.
"Life Is A Pigsty": I DO NOT BELIEVE IT!!! This far into his career and he delivers his masterpiece. The greatest song of his solo ouvre.
A thunderclap.....then synthetic rain that recalls his greatest EVER song "Well I Wonder", then a dischordant keyboard tone, and you begin thinking "What is going on here?" Then the song begins(or so we think)...majestic opening line, expertly delivered sotto vocce "Its the same old S.O.S" and the song progresses understated for two verses, stops. And we're back with the rain and the weird keyboard.....(pause)....then a strummed acoustic guitar informs us we are in a different song, with a different time structure. "Life is a pigsty" he intones over and over again. then the vocals become truly incredible. The way he sings "Every second of my life, I only live for you" almost stops your heart, but this is nothing, for coming up is the most immaculately delivered line of his career so far. The way his voice CRYS when he sings "And I've been shifting gears all of my life" just KILLS me. It is utterly magnificent. And when he sings "I can't reach you, I can't reach you, I can't reach you anymore", there is genuine heartbreak in the voice. "Can you please stop time? Can you stop the pain" just builds and builds, until the kiss-off, "Even now, in the final hour of my life, I'm falling in love again". This is the high water mark of his career, this is how I imagined The Smiths would have sounded if they had survived beyond 1987.
Beyond superlatives.
"I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now": It's almost a blessing that the track that follows is one of the weaker tracks, for it allows a bit of breathing space. This reminds me of the average songs that filled out 'Maladjusted' and 'Southpaw'. Not bad, just not special.
"On The Streets I Ran": Lyrically and musically this is very Smiths-ish, and for some reason was picked on quite mercilessly by some critics, but this is a good solid song where he reflects upon his entire career, "Forgive me, on the streets I ran, turned sickness into unpopular song".
"To Me You are A Work Of Art": The only other weak song here, yet this is beloved by a huge number of the website loyal. Some people want it released as a single, but I can't see it myself.
"I Just Want To See The Boy Happy": Another potential single, and another song built upon minor chords, giving the song a very melancholic feel despite it being one of the faster songs on the album. The children's choir return, their presence again infusing the track with a strange poignancy.
"At Last I Am Born": Just as the album began with a diverse music style, so does it end. All timpani and slashing Bernard Hermann-esque strings. even going all weird and muted as Morrissey mutters "Look at me now, from difficult child to spectral hand, to Claude Brasseur....blah blah blah blah", before ending stridently with crashing percussion.

Where as 'You Are The Quarry' seemed to be thank you to his Chicano fan-base for keeping his name alive during the wilderness years, so this appears to be his 'European Existentialist' work.

Better than 'You Are The Quarry'? Definitely. Better than 'Viva Hate'? Without doubt. Better than 'Vauxhall & I"? To be honest, this is better than "Strangeways, Here We Come".
Morrissey has delivered, and we are truly thankful.

Now roll on Sunday so I can hear all of this live and in the flesh.

"I was once a mess
Of guilt because of the flesh
It's remarkable what you can learn
Once you are born...."

Sunday February 12, 06

That was the week that was

11:42 AM

Movies watched in the last seven days:

Satan's Slave(1977): Awful misogynistic toss.
The Hooked Generation(1968)
Monster At Camp Sunshine(1965): Interesting exploitation piece.
Star Wars:Revenge Of The Sith(2005)(Directors commentary only): Dreary commentary, superb movie.
Rough Cut And Ready Dubbed(1982): Excellent documentary on the immediate post-punk era. Blistering performances from Stiff Little FIngers and The Selecter. Dubious performances from Sham 69, The Purple Hearts amd The Cockney Rejects.
Vampyr(1932): Carl Dreyer's excellent expressionistic art-vampire movie. Dream-like.
The Girl On A Motorcycle(1967): Psychedelic fetishistic whimsy. Pretty dull in places.
The Kentucky Fried Movie(1977): Not as funny as I'd remembered.
Virgin Witch(1972): Not bad, but pretty routine.


Records listened to in the last seven days:

Lambchop: Jack's Tulips
The Libertines: Up The Bracket
The Happy Family: The Man On Your Street
Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Original Soundtrack
Various Morrissey compilation cassettes(for the walkman)

Rangers 0 Celtic 1
Not a classic, but any win over the Blue Satan is a joy.
13 points clear at the top of the league, 21 poits clear of 'THEM'.
Happy days.

Saturday February 11, 06

Pre Match Tension

11:47 AM

The night before an Old Firm game is always a strange thing. The realisation that the events taking place in a few hours time will affect your life for the next week/month/lifetime always fills me with a strange dread. Winning is the only accepted result. If Celtic win then life becomes easy, you walk with your head high, there's a spring in your step, and no-one can slag you off in any way shape or form......if you win!!!

But if you lose.....(shudder!!!!) doesn't even bear thinking about.

Still, thanks to the Jambos rather suicidal form of late, Celtic can actually afford to get beaten tomorrow and our title hopes will remain unaffected.
And it'll be fantastic to see the blessed Roy play in his first Old Firm game.

Bring it on!!!

Monday February 06, 06

Take a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy...

01:25 PM

F#cking Hell!!!
How good is the BBc television series 'Life On Mars'? I watched episode 4 last night and it is is just fantastic. By rights it really shouldn't work; Chris-Ecclestone's-Dr-Who-Meets-The-Sweeney(or for my unappreciative non-pretensious fan, Kurt-Vonnegut's-Slaughterhouse-5-Meets-Jean-Luc-Godard's-Alphaville.....Ha ha!!!, allow me a wry smile at my faux-twattery).
Sam meeting his mother may have seemed ripped off from 'Back To The Future' but was done with a lot more style and with a rather haunting atmosphere.
Despite this being a 'mystery' series of sorts, and while many people are probably wating for the pay-off of Sam returning to 2006, I for one would rather the story remains unresolved.

This is the best TV drama the BBC have put on in years, and we've still got 4 episodes left of this series.

Surely a second(third, fourth, movie?) series must follow.

Sunday February 05, 06

That was the week that was

12:37 PM

Movies watched in the last 7 days:

'Detour'(1946)Classic, ironic Film Noir.
'The Psychedelic Priest'(1968)Low budget Easy Rider inspired road movie.
'God Of Gamblers'(1990) Moments of inspired genius but stretched too long over a ridiculous running time.
'Eegah'(1962)Great to see this again. Reminds me of how I got into weird Cult movies in the first place. Arch Hall Jr singing 'Valerie' is too funny for words. "Vitamins are good they say//And so's a calorie// But I'd feel like a tiger//On just one kiss from Valerie".
'Snowbeast'(1977)Boring tripe.
'White Slaves Of Chinatown'(1964)Sleazier than a pack of tabloid journalists, but it does star Gigi Darlene, so that makes everything okay.
'A Smell Of Honey, A Swallow Of Brine'(1966)Sour, bitter, nasty little exploitation movie. Superb stuff.
'Soto Otoko, Kyobo Ni Tsuki'(1989)Outstanding. A 10/10 Japanese tale of violent redemption from Takeshi Kitano.
'The Butcher Boy'(1997)Neil Jordan's small masterpiece of childhood visions and religious ambiguity.

Records listened to in the last 7 days:

Surprisingly little. Because of getting into conversations with people on this site about alternative live versions of Smiths songs, I've had the 'Electric Ballroom' and 'From Manchester With Love' bootleg cassettes on heavy rotation.
'Electric Ballroom' is probably my favourite of all the bootlegs. They sound so frantic and fevered on that performance. They really were an incredible live band. It's a pity so little live footage of them exists. The version of 'Barbarism Begins At Home'(the first time it was EVER played) is simply stunning. Andy Rourke's bass playing is extraordinary, and Morrissey loses himself completely in the finale of the song that it's just an absolute joy to listen to.

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