Friday, February 03, 2006

rinse and repeat

This morning was a bugger to get out of bed. Lisa’s not at work today so for the sake of compassion I repeatedly punched the ‘snooze’ button on the alarm clock, and thus it took me an eon to rise.

I also had to wash my hair this morning as the damp smell of the rehearsal room was clinging to me somewhat, much to Lisa’s displeasure. Now that my hair seems to be growing at an alarming rate, washing my hair is becoming a depressing necessity that I hate. Not to say that I never used to wash my hair on a regular basis, but when it was short I could get away with washing it every other day, now however, it goes far too fluffy and ‘big’ and looks extremely ridiculous and curly, Not that I’m new to this phenomenon of course. Throughout my life I have always had a mop of uncontrollable and unruly hair, and I have always resented its unmanageability, but it’s sadly just the cards God has dealt to me. I’m just grateful I was blessed with the talent of making exceptional tea, as throughout my adult life this has made my vast array of jobs run much smoother, Granted it made the persuit of ladies a tad harder, but it is about one of my few redeeming features that keeps Lisa by my side.

The office is a horrible place to be on a Friday. No one can be arsed and everyone’s is in a vomit enduce-ingly good mood- which as you might have gathered makes me that little bit more miserable. Thankfully though I received a spot of good news. Yes, the original line-up of the greatest band in the world, Dinosaur Jr are to record new material. Oh yes, oh yes and indeed ; oh yes!

After the re-release of their first three albums, it had reacquainted me with my love of all things J. Mascis. I was st the front at their Leeds Festival performance and even stooped so low as to record footage of them with my phone (something I loathe other people doing) Ahhh, I once again feel the need to blow the dust off my Tokai Super Edition Black Strat’ (the Matt-a-caster) copy that I purchased of Luke for £90, hook it up to my feedback damaged Marshall Master Lead Combo via the thrift store distortion pedal I love so, and re-learn Mascis penned songs that I learned to play guitar to all those years ago. During my Art Foundation course at H.C.A.T, I would rush home early to play along to the live version of ‘Thumb’ which is featured on the B-Side collection ‘What ever’s cool with me’ (hence the Blog title) incessantly. I knew every sound, bend and distorted howl of that song- as did my family and neigbours.

My first ever Dinosaur Jr gig I went to, I still regard as one of the finest and pivotal moments of my young manhood. This was during the ‘Outta’ Hand’ Tour of 1997- which although wasn’t their best regarded work, was still a fine album nonetheless. The band featured Mike Johnson on Bass and George Berz on drums and of course J. Mascis of guitar/vocals. (I had actually received a promo copy of this album during my short lived Student Magazine writing days, and I wrote a thousand word review which the dumb editor cut down to 250 words- “how dare they tamper with my work!!!”)

It was the first gig whereupon I knew ever song that was played. It was the first gig that I had ever attended sober. It was also the first gig I’d been to in Manchester. ( a school boy dream was fulfilled when we performed at that venue when we supported the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs “oh my God I Dinosaur Jr have played on this stage”)

Ahhhh I still remember the twenty-minute guitar solo of ‘Seems Like the Thing To Do’ note for note. The other main recollection from this show was getting lost in Manchester for the first time, and getting pulled over by two lady police officers on the Harrogate Road in Leeds. That, I can tell you, was not a good experience.

Because the gig was SO loud, my hearing was totally shot, so when the first lady copper approached my car’s window I couldn’t actually hear what she was saying, which thinking about it now would probably be why they must have thought I was either drunk, stoned or retarded. (insert own joke here!). I remember them accusing me-quite wrongly of cutting several cars up and not stopping at one of the many round-a-bouts the fair city of Leeds has and driving in a “wreckless manner.”

“Do you know why we’ve stopped you?”
“Can you please step out of the car”

I was then escorted to the back seat of their massive Volvo estate police car, where I was grilled like a ‘terror’ suspect for ten minutes. I tried my best to explain my temporary loss of hearing, and I really struggled to comprehend what they were accusing me of. I remember the sight of the back of Luke’s and his ‘special’ friend at the time; Lucy’s heads in my stationary car ahead of us at the roadside.

I think I had short hair at the time, so at the very least if I was to be arrested my mugshot wouldn’t be too bad.

I did protest my innocence, until realising this was doing no good, I decided to take it on the chin. I was eventually set free from their clutches after looking sufficiently apologetic and worried (this talent should be up there with my tea making abilities –and I owe a large portion of my love life and career to this gift) I also threw in the classic phrase “my dad’s a policeman,,,” into the conversation in the vain hope of a reprise from them.

Upon my return to my Citroen, and grumbling about Police harassment, I was duly informed by my two travelling companions that I had been driving a tad erratically, especially when I had let go of the steering wheel to play air guitar to ‘Start Choppin’
Anyhow the police followed me for the majority of the remaining journey back to Harrogate, and when they did eventually leave me alone, and when I knew they out of sight I gave them the V Sign and re-cranked up the Dinosaur Jr. on my feeble car stereo, but safely ensured that I curtailed my air soloing until I got home.

I only hope that the album won’t disappoint me like so many other long awaited albums that have plagued my life. With this in mind I have decided to list in a Blog stylee, the top ten most disappointing albums in my collection. Please feel free to pour scorn on my snobbery:

The Beach Boys- Party

I read in one of my many Beach Boys related books that this was regarded as a I forgotten classic, and was infact the album they release before ‘Pet Sounds’. When I finally got it I felt sick that I’d blown my record buying buget on this dross.

Faith No More – King For A Day, Fool for a Lifetime.

After ‘Angel Dust’ I couldn’t wait for its follow up. Alas, the departure of Big Jim Martin meant this album was bobbins.

Faith No More- The Album of the Year

Perhaps my beloved ‘Angel Dust’ was a fluke? This album was marginally better than ‘King for a Day…” but that wasn’t saying much

Sugar- F.U.E.L

Fact: Bob Mould IS a friggin’ songwriting genius and I loved ‘Beaster’ and ‘Copper Blue’ to an unhealthy leve. This album, and the subsequent live performance that promoted its release was utter dross. The track ‘Explode and Make Up’ was the album’s only redeeming feature and a bloody beautiful song. NME actually had it spot on for when they stated that Bob mould could have written the album in his sleep.

R.E.M- Monster

A total snooze fest and one of the most boring gigs ever. Put it this way, I was shocked that one of the support act, The Beautiful South, pissed on their performance from a great height.

Swell – Too Many Days Without Thinking

I only acquired this album recently after years of searching. With the exception of ‘I know the trip that you are’ whioch I had as a single anyway, it doesn’t hold a flame ‘41’ which is a classic.

Pavement- Terror Twilight

The Pavement album I never listen to. Not a bad album per say, however as all their other albums were genius , this just sounded jaded. I was appalled when I first heard ‘Carrot Rope’ as I thought it sounded like The Barenaked Ladies.

Grandaddy – Sumday

It pains me to admit that this album didn’t live up to any of my expectations that the two albums they released before built up. It is okay I suppose, but as ‘Software Slump’ and ‘Under the Western Freeway’ are classics, this is just a tad bland.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite sadness

A double album of Baldy Billy and Co. was too much for anyone to take, despite it having two or three great songs.

Smog- Dongs Of Sevotion
I love Smog completely, however this album just grates on me and is no- where near as good as any of his other albums. It has ‘Dress Sexy At my Funeral’ which seems to be his biggest hit – and that annoys me too.

No comments: