Friday, December 30, 2005

Save the Freebie

I wrote this piece questioning the transparent use of Adidas marketing in Lady Sovereign's 'Save The Hoodie' campaign, and all I got, all I got people, was this lousy, quite expensive looking hoodie from Sov's p.r. company. What am I bid for it?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

you'd be mad not to

is there anyone who isn't on this line-up? essentials, ruff sqwad, newham generals, roll deep, logan sama, plasticman, lots of BIG vocal grime, and a dubstep allstars line-up in the second room to rival the dmz all-nighters (of which, incidentally, the next installment is january 7 in brixton, so book that one in too to warm up your new year's permafrost).

it's a rave i've been blathering drunkenly about to y'all for a while, so make like me and sushon and buy your tickets now! forget new year's eve, this is the real thing. and it's in south london!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

2005: My Highlights

These are going to be aggregated into one big Dot-Alt end of year review, but here are my unfettered highlights. No complaints about how there's too many grime things you haven't heard of, these are my personal highlights and thassit. Do add your own by all means.

*‘The Thick of It’ on BBC4. Apart from The Office this is the best sitcom ever made.
*Sky Mangel from Neighbours. Ridiculously hot anyway, she then compounds my love by becoming a rabid anti-capitalist activist on a mission to expose Paul ‘Satan’ Robinson, and namedrops Roots Manuva and TTC. Hot damn.
*‘Cesky Sen’ (aka Czech Dream) – it had Prague, it had anti-capitalist art stunts on a massive, flawed scale, and the wit and cynicism that comes from 50 years of oppression by Nazis and Commies respectively. What more do you want?
*Labour getting re-elected in May. Because otherwise we would have a Tory government now. And if you even think about saying ‘it would make no difference if we did, they’re all the same’ man will slap you in the chops with your own self-satisfied, self-imposed detachment from the political process. Like people never heard the expression ‘the lesser of two evils’, let alone understood it.
*England winning the Ashes and Liverpool winning the Champions League. The finales of the second test at Edgbaston and the Champions League were the most nail-biting sport I have ever seen. And as much as I’m a patriotophobe, it was exhilarating beating macho Aussies and smug Italians respectively.
*The TV Punorama. 'Slattery’s Not Included', 'Qaddafi, Duck', 'Jung Guns', 'Luther, Rinse, Repeat', 'Crimea River', 'The Long Good Furby', 'Balti Towers', 'Buffy the Christian Slater'; these made me laugh much more than most real TV programmes.
*Bossman dropping ‘God Save The Queen’ at FWD>>: an awful song to have as our national anthem, but in his Midas-like hands turned into pure brilliance. The two Essentials sets at FWD>> this winter were the two live highlights of the year by about a mile. Southman it’s about time we slew!!
*Five rewinds in a row of ‘Request Line’ during Tubby’s set at FWD>>, especially the desperate, needle-busting way it was done.
*The moment it felt like something had gone wrong with the speakers during Distance’s set at Dub Pressure – head-caning feedback from a bone-shaking PA. Like he’d been getting lessons from Sonic Youth.
*Saturday Looks Good To Me live. Their handclaps and shimmer-shimmer summer indie, performed, appropriately enough, in the summer (July) in the Brixton Windmill (the indiest venue in London).
*Big girl’s blouse-y indie. The Arcade Fire, Rufus Wainwright, Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes (back in January) – indie is best when it’s gay as a window.
*Why and 65dos moving on with their new LPs. The former to poppy indie, the latter to more sophisticated glitchy post-rock.
*‘One Thing’ by Amerie. Pop music don’t get no better. It makes me lose my grip on English grammar it’s that catchy.
*Dubstep’s explosion into my life. DMZ’s ‘Neverland’, Loefah’s mix of Skream’s ‘Monsoon’, the Vex’d album, all of these made my head rumble like an old washing machine in the best, best possible way.
*Heartbreakingly sweet r’n’b, chipmunked (it’s a verb now) into grime riddims: Wizzbit’s ‘Nicole’s Groove’, Ruff Sqwad’s ‘I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight’, Davinche's 'Sometimes' and Low Deep’s ‘Jedi’. These are actually probably my four favourite tunes of the year.
*That sorta swallowing sound on Young.Dot’s ‘Bazooka Riddim’. How did he do that?
*Skepta's catchphrases. ‘Oh my diddy!’, ‘it’s Skepta the African hotty’, ‘oooonnnnnghhhhhhh I would kick you ooooutttta!’, ‘Gowonen gowonen!’, ‘if you’re single, then mingle’. Most of these are lyrics not catchphrases, but when you hear things that often… we even started playing ‘count the diddys’ at FWD>> and got as high as five one night.
*‘Midnight Request Line’ by Skream gets its own asterisk. Undisputed tune of 2005.

Monday, December 19, 2005


Some of the most hardcore doublethink I've heard in a while, from the master himself:

"US President George W Bush has told Americans that Iraq is now a strong ally against terror and a force for democracy in the Middle East."

An ally *against* terror? Tell that to the civilians - currently somewhere between 27,477 and 30,989 of them according to Iraq Body Count - who have been killed since the war began.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cheese and a pint of bitter

The final Download of the year is devoted to cheesy Christmas music, which I am only slightly embarassed about having written.

The NS actually printed a brief music review of the year in their Xmas edition, which since it was written (a) by someone other than me, and (b) by someone who I have never heard of and never known to have written music stuff ever before, I am slightly bitter about (can you tell? ;-)).

Lynsey Hanley (for it is she, whoever she is), selects four albums as the highlights of the year, which is silly to begin with - who chooses a Top Four? - and they are:

Sufjan Stevens' 'Illinoise', Franz Ferdinand's 'You Could Have It So Much Better', The Arcade Fire's 'Funeral', and Beck's 'Guerero'.

So I'm just like "shit, did you work that out all by yourself, or did you just copy it from the Q/Guardian/NME acceptably-though-non-threateningly-intelligent-and-just-left-of-centre-enough-to-reassure-you-you're-still-cool-though-still-you-haven't-managed-to-look-beyond-white-boy-indie-rock list?".

Also, I mean, Beck? Haha! Fuck off!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Yuletide? It's more like a yuletsunami

i'm feeling unusually festive.

maybe it's the combination of wine, beer, and greek food from my office christmas soiree.

maybe it's the fact i missed the run-up to christmas last year thanks to being in warmer, sunnier climes eating tapas by the bucketload, and now i'm making up for lost time.

maybe it's having a chica to chase. there's certainly something in the air other than the cloud of noxious gas falling out from hemel hempstead.

or maybe it's just destiny's child's '8 days of christmas' playing over and over on my ipod. sample line - 'on the eighth day of christmas my baby gave to me: a pair of chloe shades and a diamond belly ring'.

is it wrong to be this excited when i dislike/reject both the religious and the commercial aspects of the season? what is it exactly that i like? it's not the tinsel fosho.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

He's not saying he's Jesus

...that is for others to say.

For God's sake get someone to buy you Stewart Lee: Stand-Up Comedian for Xmas.

I saw it for the first time last night: and, for as long as I've loved the man and his works, it's only now he's evolved into what we should have guessed he could become - our Bill Hicks. Slightly surreal, poignantly bitter, as sarcastic as a sledge, and usually working about seventeen levels ahead of the audience. He even uses the word 'prelapsarian' during his assault on the US' prevailing values, and (in an inspired bit of sacred cow-slaying) slags off Eddie Izzard after one of his jokes doesn't get much of a laugh:

"Well that didn't work. Maybe I should've improvised like Eddie Izzard... pretends to do. *audience catcalls* No, don't get me wrong, it's not easy improvising for real, in fact it's really difficult. That's why it's much easier to just say 'um' in every sentence and give the illusion of spontaneity."

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Saw them first, slated them first

January 2003
I go to see Ikara Colt return from a prolonged hiatus at the ICA with Tom and Ian. We arrive early, and rather than stand in the ponce-heavy ICA bar we choose to watch the support bands. This proves to be a mistake. The first band are playing turgid, 70s-fixated bloated retro rock of the worst kind. There is a lot of it about at this time in the aftermath of Strokes/Stripes/Hives mania in the preceding year or two. Iggy Pop is suddenly everyone's lord and saviour, and it's getting a bit boring anyway, but this opening band are just dreadful. So dreadful in fact that I am provoked to do something I've never done before or since: I heckled. Well the place had only about 40 people in it and the music was just so infuriatingly derivative, the poses so forced, that with some gusto I shouted up at the stage: "Iggy and the Stooges finished twenty years ago man! Move on!". The band don't hear, but this scenester-cow in front of us does, and she's clearly friends with them, cos she turns around and berates me half-heartedly for not supporting new bands as if that's somehow morally wrong. I mutter something along the lines of 'whatevs' under my breath.

December 2005
Tom and I are looking through my gig-list (really, don't ask), and notice that the band first on the bill supporting Ikara Colt on that cold day in 2003 were called, um, The Killers.

So, yeah, how's that for being ahead of the game?

Monday, December 05, 2005

All I want for Xmas is

-the Seinfeld Season 5/6 box set
-some jamon serrano
-some Kahlua
-Athens 2005 for the PS2
-a hand-held blender so as to make soups more quickly
-to spend a day watching the entire Ashes DVD set from start to finish
-to get drunk in an awful pub in Streatham on Xmas eve as is traditional
-for FWD>> to become a weekly event
-lots of self-indulgent list-making
-some 'neath-the-mistletoe action
-world peace and all that

...and you. all of you.

The Gordonian Revolution continues

I know the word is 'Brownite', but I think only 'Gordonian' imbues the man with the appropriate level of grandeur.

He's about to get a bit of a lashing on the pre-Budget report, but two stories caught my eye in the last 24hours - first this one about GB fighting on to get a deal on farm subsidies; anyone remember them? All those white wristbands and that moronic self-congratulatory Live8 bollocks were for a reason: putting a stop to the entirely un-competitive farm subsidies that continue to make the world such an unfair place to trade in. Blair effectively gave up on a deal already when he allowed some of the UK rebate to go, and Mandelson's being a prick about it and briefing against SuperGordo, quel surprise.

Then there's this: more help for young families to get on the housing ladder. It's not so much the policy as the media delivery that interested me - Brown's probably going to get a bit of a lashing about taxes going up in tomorrow's papers, yet his team still managed to get the following front page in the Daily Mail-owned Evening Standard - 'Brown Signals Help for Young Families'. And you can't buy publicity like that - pure unfettered positive news that's aimed at pretty much everyone.

Roll on Brown Vs Cameron in 2009! My current feeling is that Brown could just about sneak it. The more I read about Cameron the more light-weight and beatable he seems.