Week from Monday 3rd January 2005

It is almost a sick joke that, within mere hours of my receiving a glossy brochure promoting a forthcoming WOMAD Festival in SRI LANKA, the area was devastated by an earthquake-related tsunami of unprecedented scale.

Happy New Year then! So, basically, the "HOLIDAY" was just like any OTHER weekend of the year only MUCH BIGGER! I read an awful lot (a couple of WILL SELF novels, as well as the usual periodicals). I watched a few movies ('Chocolat', 'A.I.', the 'Star Wars' trilogy, 'Young Frankenstein', 'Buena Vista Social Club'). I EXPERIENCED AN ENORMITY OF MUSIC (I'm still on a 'Suitable For Sailing' kick - lots of GENESIS and HACKETT - and in a Canterbury vibe - HATFIELD & THE NORTH and KEVIN AYERS). I finished off another volume of my 'MP3 PROJECT', filtering and converting all them pesky magazine freebies. I also fitted in one of my trips to Sunny Southampton, as I had to go to the Guildhall box office for a ticket to see "THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY" (more on that nearer the time). I, of course, 'DID THE SALES' while I was there and I had to 'DO THE ART GALLERY' too. There is a [rather patchy] exhibition of 20th Century ART, bequeathed by the late DR DAVID BROWN of the Tate, mate. I particularly wanted to see his unrivalled collection of ROGER HILTONs and you should too.

My New Year's resolution is to watch even less telly than I do now, listen to more GREAT RADIO and to read a lot more GOOD FICTION. Folks say I've got a one-track mind. This is simply not true. I've got an eight-track mind, they just don't make the tapes anymore.

Week from Monday 10th January 2005

I finished reading another WILL SELF novel (the third in as many weeks)and started on a TERRY PRATCHETT that I hadn't read before (such things do exist, y'know!).

A lull in the shitty weather allowed for a walkies to the CAR-BOOT SALE on Sunday morning. The WALK itself was, of course, the object of the exercise, losing myself in one of my MP3 JUKEBOX disks (you just ain't heard SUN RA's "Heliocentric Worlds..." until you've listened to it while wandering across an empty carpark in Bridgemary at nine o'clock on a Sunday morning). The car-boot sale itself was a pretty poor turn-out, but I did find a copy of the latest BLUE NILE album for 4! I think I mentioned this before, but Blue Nile are a band I've got into through THE MAGIC OF THE BARGAIN BIN (impulse-bought, having heard Peter Gabriel rave about them). I've now acquired all[?] three of their albums at sub-fiver prices.

Meanwhile at THE FREAK ZONE: Mr Maconie's team has woken up to the fact that the "freakzone@..." mailto links do not work (and haven't done since the beginning of December - told you so!). So now we, as CHILDREN OF THE ZONE, are encouraged to interact via Stuart's own e-mail address for the time being. Today's submitted mail hasn't come bouncing back yet, so THAT seems to have worked. This week's show included some rather splendid tracks by NEKTAR and CLUSTER, but did not feature LOVE's "Da Capo" as promised by the web page.

All fans of bad taste and bad language could do a lot worse than to see the hilarious "JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA", an overblown opus of offence, musical theatre for the DEREK & CLIVE GENERATION!

Week from Monday 17th January 2005

so Yeah! so basically Eddi Fiegel is sort-of this kind-of-like radio misfit who's kind-of raised this whole kind-of musical discussion oeuvre to the level of sort-of-like a teenage girl on the bus with kind-of a mobile phone habit so Yeah! she's kind-of a...

Sorry! I can't keep it going any longer. If you think that's absurd, you should've heard the articulationally-challenged Ms Fiegel try to sum up the music of CAPTAIN BEEFHEART in under fifteen minutes on this week's "FREAK-(ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER E-MAIL ADDRESS)-ZONE".

Suddenly, after twenty-odd years, I find I'm able to listen to the angst-ridden ubermeisters of alt-funk, THE POP GROUP, without getting tetchy! I'm taking advantage of this strange happenstance and turning all of my "BRIGHTON TAPES" compilations into an MP3 Jukebox disk. Rummagin' through the charity shops the other day (as you do), I came across a copy of the World Music Network's 2004 release, "THE ROUGH GUIDE TO RAVI SHANKAR", on seedydisk for a mere 99p! It is exquisite Sunday morning music and no mistake!

Sudd'nly Outta Nowhere: We 'gotten' an e-mail from that good ol' boy, SNILTWEASEL (DIRECTOR). Seems the hombre lost his fancy job in the ol' midwest'er Col-O-Ray-Ee-Do and so joined a wagon train headin' back out east t' Pennsylvanee y'all, where he's now sittin' 'round the fire with his son, hollerin' an' a-strummin' the gee-tar an' cookin' up a messa vittles an' searchin' for another ranch who're fixin' t' hire a human resources dude...

No, I never knew what a CARDBOARDBOX-A-PHONE was either...

Week from Monday 24th January 2005

Out of a sense of duty, I watched the BBC4 documentary about MARK E SMITH of THE FALL. Nothing I heard or saw did anything to change my opinion of this drunken, incoherent curmudgeon of questionable ability (Having typed that passage, I await with bated breath the inevitable backlash from the EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTH-EARS fraternity - You know who you are!)

I just got word from the ZIMPOON offices of a PROPER GIG coming up! See the ZIMPOON MAILSHOT page for all the exciting details! There is a reproduction of the poster on the HAHT GASSUP page.

Week from Monday 31st January 2005

I got around to watching Michael Moore's "FAHRENHEIT 9/11", which left me so depressed at the state of the world, that I had to watch something less harrowing afterwards, like David Lynch's "BLUE VELVET"! Steeped as I am in "americana" (lower-case 'a'), I'm also reading a collection of STEVE EARLE's short stories.

Some new KING CRIMSON product arrived through the letterbox. First of all, there was the TOUR BOX (from the 2003 show THAT DIDN'T COME TO BRITAIN - CHIZ! CHIZ!), containing the 'programme' booklet and a CD of unreleased music and interviews. Then we have the latest DGM CLUB release, being a top quality recording of the lads playing in Warsaw in 2000 (the year I DID get to see them!) ... Which Is Nice ... Very Nice Indeed, now that I've got a better pair of headphones for my 'WALK-and/or-BUS-MAN-and/or-PERSON'.

I sorted out a choice selection of old seven-inchers from the attic, with the intention of 'MINIATURIZING' them as MP3s. I haven't yet got arround to doing the taping required...

This week on 6Music, STUART MACONIE coined the neologism "OBSCURITAN" to describe those of us for whom ONLY THE STRANGE WILL DO. The Gridler will hereby be known as THE FIRST CHURCH OF OBSCURITANISM. And while we're at it, Shelfy can be known as EL CONEJO MAS LOCO... I've just been doing another SECRET SPACEWEB project for MERVYN PURVISS and the chaps, for which I hope to be paid in MP3s! And, as February rolls around again already, it's time to start distributing the first load of literature for the annual BIKE-O-THON...