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A Chromatic Scale [24 Jul 2007|01:06pm]
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A Flock Of Go-Gols [22 Jul 2007|08:18pm]
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You will excuse our discussing supernaturalism for just one moment.

The difference between a milk bottle and a cassette-recorder, I believe, is that a milk bottle left still in a empty room will, eventually, go off, while a cassette-recorder in an empty room will go off only if left running.

Accounts abound of such recorders clicking into the off position once their time has run and, inscribed upon their electromagnetic tape, listeners-back can hear the disturbances of those passed on, clattering and wailing. Clairaudients attest it, while cynics try and test it. The sounds, whatever their origin, the clanks, the clinks and the sepulchral pitches are there for you to scrutinise with your own ears. The only prelimary that the professional spiritualist asks is that your cassette be blank and your room be empty.

But not only cassettes be blank and rooms be empty. The head of the rock musician, if we may be so glib, is far emptier than an abandoned trunk and his imagination blanker than an uncomprehending stare. If two rock musicians take the room together, how much more the emptiest, for the emptiness of one overlaps, but does not join up, with the other. Two-fold is the blankness that becomes almost white brilliance.

A tape was left to record in a room with three such men. What they did in there is unknown; the cassette is the only evidence not burned. The contents, that is white noise, of the cassette was stretched backwards and forwards as it was searched for communications from the dead - the 'Congratulations, you have just found the secret message' of Pink Floyd's Empty Spaces or 'The music is reversible, but time - turn back!' of Free On High by ELO. Not a note played in the room, if even one note were emitted, is replicated here.

At long last, the death-like utterances of rock and roll's spirit is released on tape. This group, now deceased, if not always so, were named with a punning gallow's humour. For your amusement, these dead new wave souls are called The Go-Gols. Let us say no more about them.

Mr. Charles Hatcher and Mr. Reggie Chamberlain-King.

Our thanks are extended to the estates of Mr. O'Reilly, Mr. Costello and Mr. McAuley.

01 apple-pie, but
02 not today, Ben.
03 But, unfortunately, he doesn't say anything.
04 tight & nice & warm
05 hairy-faced men

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...I am the blood... [31 Oct 2006|07:29pm]
I am the footsteps that follow behind you
I am the hit man hired to find you
And kill you, for you are the person I'm assigned to
And there is no escape!

I am the blood that spurts and gushes
I am the eyes peering out from the bushes
I am the embarrassing scenes that cause blushes
I'll gag you up with tape

I am the rain clouds
The lightning, the flood
I am the stained shrouds
Of corpses
I am the blood

* * * * * *

I am the nightmares you have in the nighttime
I am the wrong thing happening at the right time
I am the third line that doesn't employ a slight rhyme
Your minutes are numbered, dear

I am the death in your immediate family
I am the pavement which scrapes your elbow and knee
You'll be in so much pain, I'll be glad I am me
And that I slumbered near

I am the rain clouds
The lightning, the flood
I am the stained shrouds
Of corpses
I am the...
I am the wellies
Stuck in the mud
With disemboweled bellies
I am the guts;
I am the blood

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New Bats In Old Belfries [05 Sep 2006|02:48pm]

The King and I started work on a new album back when the summer began, but don't let we be misunderstood: this record is glummer than a summer album; it's really more of a dismal, chilly, crepuscular winter album. A number of mean, red demo tracks were recorded, though work had to be halted this past month due to my burdensome health. Even typing this entry is testing me. And I'm failing. So I shall be brief... the band: The Vile Bodies, the brand: Glum & Base.

But Where's The Coffin? (3.03)
Don't Even Try (2.32)
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On Bands And Bonds [08 Jun 2006|05:18pm]
Each incarnation of The Essential Penguins has, after a time, dissolved, but they were never really dissolved to begin with. In chemical terms, the bands were more suspensions than solutions. There would initially be the illusion of bonding and unification, but gradually this turbidity would settle out and separate into layers: typically Reggie Chamberlain-King and I distinct from the other members. There was no great acrimony or ill will, but simply a difference of intent. This may have been workable if some members did not care to express themselves through composition, but in an age when wearing one's heart on one's sleeve is considered merely accessorizing, that scenario is as unlikely as the Baudelaire siblings are unluckly.

Claire McGreevy, the songbird once caged and forced to sing melodies that were not her own, was therefore set free. Sad though it was, anything else would have been cruel. We were no doubt keeping her grounded and now she can reach heights at which we'd only suffer vertigo. Oddly, though, experiencing some breed of Stockholm syndrome I expect, she does on occasion return to visit us, and sing for us. Most recently, perhaps in the spirit of entente cordiale, she offered a rendition of a Lubricants tune we wrote. It was so sweet a performance that I think it only right to share it with the world.

C. McGreevy -- To Date You Is To Hate You

I now realise that when it comes to creative personalities, the direct democratic model only succeeds if everyone agrees, a very rare happening indeed, and it becomes less and less likely when numbers increase. On the other hand, I don't think I could survive working in a solo capacity -- at least for any great period -- in my eyes, it's comparable to drinking or dancing alone. Then there's the disconcerting propensity for solo artists, completely free from mediation, to become tediously obdurate megalomaniacs (you know who you are). It's fortunate, then, that C-K and I see eye to eye on much of everything... we are two tyrants who agree, I believe is how he puts it.
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Is It Because I'm A Vampire? [28 May 2006|11:44am]

The second-last ever gig ever performed by the now bygone band, The Essential Penguins, took place in Belfast's Empire Music Hall in March of 2006, and was digitally recorded by the delectably steady-handed themonkeypolice. I've uploaded some zeros and ones in an order that translates as the number, Is It Because I'm A Vampire?, to the reject bin of intertainment known as YouTube. Like the hands of a pianist playing Rachmaninoff, the video skips about a bit, but you get the horrible idea: woe-fi, with a sprinkling of macabaret. Endure!

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Supa Rupa [20 Mar 2006|04:16pm]
Have I ever told you about Rupa Chawda? I don't think I have. Which is odd, to say the most. She is one of those... you know, one of the beautiful darlings, one of the brighter stars, the creamier creams, the lovlier lovlies; she was dealt the genetic royal flush; she hit the genetic jackpot; potted the genetic hole in one.

Rupa first contacted me before the century turned, when she tripped upon some website or other related to Les Pingouins Essentiels. She wanted to interview us! At such an early stage of our musical careers this was quite the novelty (it has since become simply a rarity), and so we of course obliged (said Pinterview may be uploaded here somewhen, if I could but be bothered).

After this, an MSNightlife ensued -- this liaison was aided by the fact that she was holidaying in Canada and I was a chronic insomniac, though it continued for some years after she returned to her homecity of London. Each night we would let down our hair, sails and mothers, baring our souls and boring our selves. We did gay things like mix tapes for each other. We would decorate boxes, fill them with random objects and post them to each other. (The video files dispersed about this entry are extracts from a somewhat Dadaist video I made for one of her birthdays.) So close, became we, that when reggie_c_king and I visited London to attend a Future Bible Heroes gig (one of the Chickfactor 10th Anniversary shows), we arranged to meet Miss Chawda for some hitting of the bottle and dancefloor.

Sadly, though, in the past few years we have become cloven like hooves, split like hairs, torn like anuses, distant like ships on the horizon. I'm a horrible person you see, especially in the long term. When it comes to sustained sociability, I'm a complete maladroit. I still carry high hopes though that some day, minutes from now, I will again become her significant bother.
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Songs Of Hate And Love [13 Mar 2006|09:08pm]
The Lubricants are, as their name suggests, homosexual undertones. Like their country fellows, The Undertones, they come from Northern Ireland, but in a gayer sense. Comprised of musical journeymen, Charles Hatcher and Reggie Chamberlain-King, here working under the pseudonyms, Reggie Hatcher and King Charles Chamberlain, The Lubricants wanted to write music that conveyed their spite, without conveying their talent. And they have achieved that.

Songs Of Hate And Love, their first release, compiles the uncompromising misanthropy of Leonard Cohen alongside the uncompromising misanthropy of Luke Haines, all to the uncompromising misanthropy of tinny drums, tinny keyboards and tinny vocals.

Says Hatcher: "I wanted to create a record that doesn't speak to people in much the same way that I don't speak to people."

That's not to say that romance doesn't get a look in. After all, what is love but the lion's arse of a two-sided coin that has the crowned head of hate as its reverse? But even here there are conflicting ideologies of cynicism and romance. As King Charles puts it: "You can't spell misanthrope without a little bit of hope."

Hate is a bitter pill to swallow, but The Lubricants make it go down easy.

01 To Date You Is To Hate You
02 Love Song #1
03 I Don't Love You And I Never Will
04 A Cowboy Alone On The Range
05 There's Nothing Quite As Dangerous As Love

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Dublin (27 Oct 2005) [24 Jan 2006|12:03pm]
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Self Portrait In Sunglasses (26 May 2005) [23 Jan 2006|02:00pm]
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Rita Victim In Wax Crayon, With Watercolour Background (2 June 2005) [22 Jan 2006|01:31pm]
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Rita Victim In Charcoal (2 June 2005) [22 Jan 2006|01:26pm]
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Rita Victim In Watercolours (2 June 2005) [22 Jan 2006|01:23pm]
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The Pod Couples [09 Jan 2006|10:33am]

Okay, alright, yes: it was promised that The Pod Couple would chum up fortnightly and record their exchanges, but promises, like hearts, bones, records (particularly those by David Gray) and pool balls arranged in a triangle, are always being broken. Deal.

The more perceptive of you may have noticed that this edition of The Pod Couple has been pluralized. In the podcasting equivalent to swinging, another couple, the duo of Andrew Chilton and Jamie Manners (less nominally known as The Vichy Government), were invited to partake in an oral vex. It all went down in the burburrian milieu of The Bridge House Club, Belfast, and some very rather subjects were tackled and pinned to the ground, including favourite ways to diminish one's life expectancy, clubbing seals with Seal, choosing not to recognise the death of John Peel, Camp Coffee, and being sued by John Cage and The BBC.

The Pod Couples 08.10.05 ( mp3 | m3u )
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Milkman, 39 [07 Dec 2005|01:54pm]
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Karma Chamo LOGWSeleon [09 Oct 2005|03:13am]
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus [08 Oct 2005|05:22pm]

When I was but the butt of schoolboy jokes, I remember encountering this conversation:

Rapscallion: How do you spell hiv?

Me: You mean hive?

Rapscallion: No, hiv!

Me: Well, phonetically, I guess it would be spelled H-I-V.

Rapscallion: Are you positive?

Me: Well... no. I'm not even sure that "hiv" is an actual word... in fact I'm quite sure it isn't.

Rapscallion punches me and runs off.

The sh- is bananas.
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The Pod Couple [07 Oct 2005|10:42am]

As a wise band once titled their début album, everybody else is doing it, so why can't we? The pretentious gabfest between reggie_c_king and iself, which shall henceforth become a fortnightly happening, was this week recorded in the lynchian surrounds of Delaney's caféteria, Belfast, and broaches such prickly issues as reading Kafka whilst listening to music, tennis-shoes nipping feet, the fear of not being, and cakes with Maltesers in them.

The Pod Couple 05.10.05 ( mp3 | m3u )
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Jennifer Ritchkoff [04 Oct 2005|11:56am]
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Review Not Published By The Vacuum [30 Sep 2005|11:17am]

Waiting in the rain for the late Rita Victim (late is being used here to refer to the incredible tardiness of said Sir, as opposed to his being unalive), my dearest and queerest friend, I find that my umbrella inspires some heckling from passing youths. As I’m internally ratiocinating carrying such an item (my hatred of being wet far exceeds my love of being cool) I notice Rita, decked out in fashions that seem to defy the laws of physics and decency, approaching like some leighbowerian hellcat.

“What vile time do you call this?” says I.

“Viertel vor fünf.” (Jesus, it’s one of his faux-German days.)

“The gallery closes at five… You really do make unpunctuality an art.”


“Those are some bold batts, by the way.” (I'm currently trying, quite vainly, to resurrect the extinct language of Polari (the British, gay slang with its roots in Yiddish)).

“Vye are vee here? Zomeone shall be giving a free vacuum for ze reviewing, nein?”

“Yes. That’s perfectly correct… now come on, it’s about to close!”

What Rita meant, of course, is that a Vacuumer had asked of me a critique of an exhibition of Catriona Grant’s work examining the relationship between public institutions and private experience, titled “The Examination Room”.

As I enter the Belfast Exposed gallery, I’m first struck by how sequined, nine-inch heels really do go with tartan trousers, but when Rita finally moves out of my way, I’m second struck by how the gallery’s atmosphere is very like that of an examination room; cold, bare, aseptic. How clever, I think, that the Edinburgh-based Miss Grant would trek her surrounding isles in search of a suitably dank and unfeeling gallery to display her current work (I can only assume this is how it happened, and my assumptions may not match up with actuality). I also note how diminutive the exhibition is: one, average-sized, white-washed room. Less than a dozen pictures being displayed.

It takes me less than a minute to circle the room. Rita is still standing by the entrance. “Kaan vee leave? I haft mein Sanskrit class to attend!”

“Yes, okay, okay; but what deek you of the exhibit? Bona or catever?”

“Iz like Devo… Iz Bockmist!”
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