Thursday, May 17, 2007

An Outburst!

Thundering arsebilge! No, that’s not the title of the new Keiji Hano release (that is, I believe,“Manfat spasm cavity of arcane nihilification”, (or was that his last one….)) It’s my reaction to discovering that there’s some kind of a Nineties Vidclash going down. “Shitetown”!?* (actually the puns from this point on get progressively worse, so you might want to click away now.)
“Crap”? (err..that’s“Snap”)
"The Twatghan Whigs"? (twatghan/afghan, see?)
"Saint Crapienne"? (if anyone can do better they can have my copy of the "Hug my soul" 7-inch. Don't worry, I'll clean the vomit off first!)
"The Twatima Mansions?" (reasonable phonetic fidelity to the original there, you’ll grant me…)
Is this what we’re going to wake up to being pumped from the re-education camp's loudspeaker at five-thirty every morning and soundtracking our obligatory breakfast of brutalist gruel before we set off to work in the newly collectivised Call Centres once the Kino Fisters have been swept to power on the shoulders of a baying mob of Connells and Whale-starved comrades? I Shudder to Think! Anyway, here’s the best song of the nineties. Yes, yes, it is all so terribly unsophisticated and simplistic, yes, it is a prime example of the dreaded genre of Funk-metal, but frankly if it's a choice between, say, Faith No More and the poverty of Pearl Jam or Sub-Zep shriekers like Soundgarden I’ll take the latter any day. Amongst the five most exciting rock songs of all time, if you don’t agree you’re either in terminal denial or have had your entire nervous system cauterised by a freak lighting strike.

I also notice that bonsai Silverback is coming on all straight-edge over on FS. A great pop song indeed, but is it as good as this?**

You is sick, man.

Nice to see Matt Woebot fessing up to stalking gamine pop-waif Panda Bear (did Matt go to public school, I wonder?) I heartily approve: A) because let’s face it, that Panda Bear album is phenomenally great B) because it’s nice to know that despite Woebot’s no-doubt advancing years and a record collection of Himalayan proportions he can still get a big doe-eyed, heart-fluttering crush on someone, but also and more importantly C) that I also have distinctly Stalkophile tendencies myself, though the object of my particularly unwelcome attentions is no tousled and dulcet-voiced ephebe, oh no, quite the contrary, why, it’s non-other than turbid and tonsured, glowering behemoth, David Thomas!

My own flagrant attempts to get a bit matey with him are invariable disasters. First I get copiously lagered-up during Two Pale Boys’ shows (smaller venues than when Ubu play, hence exposing him more to potential glad/man-handing from deranged semi-obsessives such as myself) then, as he goes through the ritual humiliation of flogging CDs from the stage edge I approach on the pretext of possibly not owning a particular work (in fact I have everything they’ve ever done) and, breasting the chilly, baleful pall that shrouds the Thomasian permasulk I try to “engage” him in conversation, offering up such icebreakers as, “ You insulted Keith Moline a bit less than usual tonight” or ( nervously gesturing at dog-eared box of CDs ) “The Art of Walking” was one of your low-points really, wasn’t it?”

One of the more regrettable exchange’s ran thus:

Impostume: “You know, I think those lines in “A Dark Suit” really are the best you’ve written”

Thomas:(frostily) “That’s why I said so.”

:(attempting to dazzle Thomas with his erudition) “Really similar to that Tennessee William’s line about all of us being condemned to solitary confinement for life within our own skin and that personal lyricism is the song of one condemned man from his cell to the others.”

Thomas: (not even the tiniest spark of interest kindled) “I’ve never read that.”

Impostume: “But I’m saying, comparably you know.. you’re a great poet in a particular, y’know American tradition”

Thomas: (icily) “ I just write rock lyrics.”

Impostume: (quick, emboldening swig of fourteenth pint of lager)“ No, but I mean, come on…. you’re a poet!

Thomas: (icier still) “ I write rock lyrics.”

Impostume: (more impassioned) “ You’re a poet, you’re a poet.”

Thomas: (frowning so heavily only his double chin is still visible) “ I write rock lyrics”

Impostume: (determined to impress upon Thomas the depth and profundity of his body of work) “Just accept that you’re a great.." (long-suffering Mrs Impostume intervenes to drag Impostume away, sitting him down in the corner and explaining with the disarming frankness for which the Latin peoples are justly famed: HE DOES NOT LIKE YOU! “But he’s my hero,” blathers the Impostume. HE DOES NOT WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU, EVER! Mrs Impostume re-iterates into husbands misty-eyed, star-struck face.)

Naturally, with the true stalker's inventive zeal I do also employ a variety of other tactics. Buddying up to Keith Moline and Andy Diagram by heaping praise upon them (not that they don’t deserve it) in order to make my general presence less loathsome in Thomas’s eyes, turning up in unexpected places ie, Brussels and suddenly emerging from a mini-throng of polite Belgians to pounce, “As I was saying about you being a great poet….” Actually on that particular occasion I did notice a flicker of irritated recognition ripple over his otherwise oceanic imperturbability, something along the lines of .. “not this cunt again!” Yes! I thought to myself, overjoyed. He is aware of my existence!

Actually this being a “fan”, having some sense of a deep personal affinity, this confusing of the work with the person and the assumption that anyone who can affect you so strongly in one particular way must also somehow be able to answer to some other kind of need is both completely understandable and deeply wierd. An ex-girlfriend actually asked me, quite earnestly, after about half an hour’s worth of tedious exposition on all things David Thomas-y “Who do you love more, me or David Thomas?” I dissembled, naturally, (ever the Gent!) but suffice to say she’s now an ex-girlfriend while the torch I carry for Thomas blazes on undimmed. Clearly this kind of intense cathecting happens most commonly in adolescence ( I had, I’m ashamed to say, a five year obsession with Jim Thirlwell during my teens, partly fed by the sheer unavailability of his records/information/interviews with him, I used to dream about meeting him at parties and when an interview finally did turn up in Melody Maker I read it with such intensity that my eyes practically scoured the words from the page) no doubt all this says something deeply revealing about the Narcissistic personality but then again, if you are deeply affected by someone’s work, and why shouldn’t you be, what’s wrong with expressing it to them…what’s wrong with being passionate about something?

Yes! Say it Loud and Proud! David Thomas: I Love You!

(Mrs Impostume enters rapidly armed with a Valium and decked out in full tongue-lashing regalia in order to drag flustered Impostume from keyboard)

*Amusing to notice that Professor Infinite has misremembered Whitetown as Whitehouse (revealing her dark, Nordic, S&M side, no doubt! The minx!) Now the universe in which Whitehouse was one of the surprise novelty number ones of the decade really would be one I’d want to live in. Imagine the scene: Dave Lee Travis scraping fingerfuls of tapioca-coloured cum from his sodden beard, “Phew, quite a performance. That was GG Allin still at number two with “Bite it you scum” and straight in at number one, knocking Skinny Puppy off the top spot, it’s Whitehouse with “I’m coming up your Ass!”" Cue whooping applause, cut to emaciated, loincloth and swastika-clad William Bennet hurling buckets of elephant dung and pig slurry into the audience's faces as the keyboard frequencies blow out the studio lights.

** a good point at which to mention that the new Bad Brain's album, produced by the hamster-faced one out of the Beastie Boys,(a man whose rodenticity of feature is perhaps only comparable to that of the aformentioned Zack de la Rocha: in fact, try and spot the difference: Hamster, Yauch, Rocha, ) is amazingly good, and on the best tracks, like "Jah People," both razor sharp/shit-kickingly fast AND sublimely dubbed out at the same time, pissing from a great height on pretenders such as Roots Tonic.***

Who says so? Four people! Me, Myself, I and I.

***Though it has to be admitted that H.R's not exactly Bob Marley, or even Buju, lyrics-wise, is he? Doggeral seems a generous term for lines of the order of: "let me tell you I and I love Jesus Christ/ let me tell you it because he treat us nice/ maybe some people dem a want to make him act like a fool/but what they did to him was a very, very cruel."
Impostume adopts earnestly even-handed, liberal countenance beloved of Creative Writing teachers everywhere: "Yeeeeessssss, I suppose accepting his own mortification/crucifixion in order that we, fallen humanity, may be granted access to the bliss of everlasting paradise was him "treating us nice" in a way, and the Romans did, in a manner of speaking, want to see him trip up and fall into disrepute,"act the fool" as you say.... and of the cruelty there is clearly no doubt, so.. most importantly it all rhymes, doesn't it? So all in all I think this probably merits a distinction...."