God bless America

“WE’RE supposed to be a republic, that’s what we were founded on, not a democracy, dumbass. Now, thanks to morons like you, we will be neither ..”

I managed to provoke this comment from one of our online colonial cousins the other day (needless to say, I’ve tidied up the punctuation and grammar), when I opined that the democratic process means that sometimes the other guy wins.

Our angry and inarticulate friend was, of course, referring to the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States or, as he viewed it, the coronation of Pope Obama I.

I usually subscribe to the view that no-one with the ability to really effect change would ever be allowed within a mile of the Oval Office but this guy somehow seems to have slipped through the security cordon. Like pretty much everyone else in Europe, I’ve fallen for the Obama hype hook, line and sinker.

He’s got a big job ahead of him, not least convincing the rest of the world that the bad old days of idiocy, corruption and stealth-fascism we endured under George W Bush have finally gone. But simply electing Obama in the first place has given the US more good PR than it’s had in decades.

So this one is for you guys. Thanks very much for getting rid of that fucking monkey (or at least having a constitution which allows you to get rid of that fucking monkey after two terms). Maybe we can get onto the important stuff now – signed, the rest of the world.

[I wanted to use Dr Nina Simone’s superlative version of this song but, inexplicably, it’s unavailable on YouTube, so here’s a version by another bad gal diva, Rachel Hylton from last year’s X-Factor. I think it gets my point across.]

And if not, here’s Maya Angelou.

What else is making the world a better place as we hunker down for what looks like being, despite the joyous events across the Atlantic, a very long and bleak winter?

Well, there’s been some great music lurking in various sites on the expletive undeleted blog roll over the last couple of weeks. For example, Fat Roland contributes his own celebration at the inauguration of Prez Obama with a splendid remix – and pretty cool video – of Daft Punk’s Aerodynamic by Adam Freeland.

Acid Ted (“Everything from Andy to Weatherall”) continues his quest to upload every electronica record ever – or at least lots of the heavier, harder stuff from the early Nineties – with a particularly good line in obscuro Weatherall remixes. He posted a load of Drum Club stuff recently, including their take on the Fall’s Middle Class Revolt. Or is it? The jury is out but head here for some top Drum Clubbery either way.

More acid house tomfoolery comes from the aptly-named The Acid House who turned up some interesting information on the evergreen rave classic Robin Wants Revenge (such as, it’s not actually called Robin Wants Revenge) and did a very marvellous thing by posting one of those tunes you loved back in the day, but never actually knew what the heck it was called or who it was by – in this case, an old Italo tune by the name of I’m Going To Go by Jago, remixed by one “Frankye Knuckles”. Beautiful and fantastic.

More groovy music of various hues comes from the ever reliable Just Press Play. My most favourite bit of download love recently was a rather excellent remix of a new tune by Franz Ferdinand. I know. What is happening here?

It’s been done by Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve aka Errol Alkan and Richard Norris. It’s great and, like vodka ed sez, it does sound a little bit like Don’t Go by the Awesome Three. Rave alert!

Talking of all that uploading, downloading stuff, over the next couple of days I’m going through the whole blog fixing broken links, uploading replacement files and adding a few that never went up in the first place. No clues as to what or where, because a) that would be too easy, and iii) I don’t want to encourage fly-by-night mp3 tourists who just download and fuck off without contributing to our little commonwealth. So browse, click and enjoy, and remember that your comments are always appreciated. And please feel free to suggest anything you particularly want to hear.

This month, televisually, I am mostly drooling in anticipation of Red Riding.

My days as a door-to-door potato salesman started at a chaotic depot in Morley, a small market town on the outskirts of Leeds. There’s not much else to tell you about the place.

The legendary techno club, the Orbit, opened its second venue here to handle the overflow from their first venue down the road in Osset, and ended up staying for a decade. People tend not to – stay in Morley, that is. The retail-led regeneration of Leeds has largely bypassed Morley, though its sturdy, confident, no-nonsense Victorian architecture still stands as proudly as ever.

But Morley is the hometown of ‘twisted Yorkshire noir supremo’ (what inane shit people will come up with just to get on a dust-jacket) David Peace, and for that reason alone, we should celebrate it, even if he’s lived in Tokyo with his wife and kids for some years now.

Channel Four have bravely commissioned a three-part adaptation of Peace’s Red Riding Quartet (the third book in the series, 1977, was judged to be a stand-alone piece for some reason. Hopefully they’ll get around to that in due course) to be broadcast in feature-length two-hour chunks sometime in March.

Covering the years 1974, 1977, 1980 and 1983, the four books of the quartet (and its equally powerful sequel /companion volume GB84) deal with corrupt coppers, well, corrupt everyone – cops, journalists, politicians, businessmen – as they rule their dark, cold, damp West Yorkshire fiefdom with an autocratic, almost medieval savagery.

Taking in everything from IRA bombings and Peter Sutcliffe to the strike and Madam Medusa herself, Thatcher, as well as her various familiars, the books are dense, dark and claustrophobic and while they can’t exactly boast what you’d call a linear narrative, they are superbly written and horribly, terribly compulsive.

Proper Yorkshire noir.

A stellar cast includes Paddy Considine, Sean Bean, Maxine Peake, Mark Addy, Warren Clarke, Andrew Garfield, Peter Mullan and Lesley Sharp. Miss Red Riding at your peril. You’ve been warned. Alright?

And finally, just to lighten the mood once more after all that spine-tingling, stomach-churning depravity, here’s your chance to chant down Babylon inna rub-a-dub stylee with the aid of some killer rhythms and a cartoon Mikey Dread. Cheers Ringo!

“Bless up all massive and crew .. Dread at the Controls!

Isn’t this where we came in?

POSTSCRIPT: 21/01/09

It’s looking good already. Oh, and lest we forget ..

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21 Comments

Filed under expletive undeleted, hyperbole

21 responses to “God bless America

  1. Thanks for the link. Fingers still crossed for Obama. How much expectation can he endure?

  2. It’s a pleasure Ctel, I’m a big fan.

    Obama couldn’t possibly be any worse than Dubya, could he? And the chances are, he’s actually going to be a lot more useful and maybe even a force for good in the world. I’m quietly optimistic.

    What he’s doing giving time and space to that homophobic, pro-abstinence, anti-abortion prick Rick Warren is another matter. Not impressed.

  3. I’m hopeful about Obama. Hopeful that he’ll change his mind and sack the war criminal Defense Secretary he’s kept on from Bush.

    hopeful he’ll sack his Zionist Chief of Staff, stop turning a blind eye to israel’s nuclear weapons and and stop the $3bn a year in military aid that the US gives to Israel.

    Hopeful that when he says ‘clean coal’ he knows that there’s no such thing, and that he’ll reverse his position of building over a hundred new coal fired power stations.

    Hopeful that he’ll reverse his plan to open new gas fields

    Hopeful that he’ll abandon his plan to build new nuclear power stations.

    Hopeful that he’ll go back on his plan to ‘make this century the next American century’ (a realife Bush line if ever I heard one).

    Hopeful that he’ll go back on his plan to escalate the war in Afghanistan, a plan that seems to predestine him to be, like every other President in living memory, a war criminal who would be dangling by a rope if we applied the standards of the Nuremberg trials.

  4. Cheers for the link, that Obama is just swell ain’t he?

  5. undeleted

    I suppose it’s all about degrees of wrongness, isn’t it Merrick? We all have to make the best of a bad job. But you talk a lot of sense. And your blog looks interesting and very funny .. I will set aside some time this weekend to have a good read.

    I remember the days when I thought Obama was just swell, Just Press Play. Oh, they were happier, more innocent times ..

    And it is a pleasure to link you up.

    Thanks very much for stopping by chaps.

  6. linda

    sorry its taken me a century to get back here. Yeah, we got rid of the monkey but you know, as much as I fought for Obama (more like fought against getting a replacement male/female monkey team), what did we used to say? Government is government. He’ll do better, of this I am sure. But good luck untangling the mess left to him.

  7. undeleted

    We have a similar phrase over here linda: whoever you vote for, the government wins .. be interesting to see how things develop over the next few months, that’s for sure.

    Thanks for popping by!

  8. Hey Undeleted, Don’t mean to clutter your site over here. I think I have your wrong e-mail address.

    I posted one of my tracks on neworderonline.com and I guess enough people read it that it made my song #6 in the “House.” I don’t think it is officially a house track on Soundclick.com LOL

    The feedback was mixed but I think we all agreed it needs some more production and it has potential.

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=910986&songID=7280481

    I actually wish Obama the best. But I still have my eye on him.

  9. undeleted

    Hey JR, nope you have the right address, I’ve just been a bit busy in the so-called ‘real world’ .. I’d just echo what some people said on neworderonline – for me, it needs a bit more structure but it also needs to have a bit less going on. Less is more etc etc. Very nice sounds though.

    Glad you’re down with the Chi-town O-Man. From this side of the pond, the world definitely seems a safer place since George W fucked off back to Texas.

  10. Good I hope you are right…

    I just need one respectable track. I’m working on my production skills as we speak. If Mylo can do it I can do it too.

    This was posted on my birthday. Good luck on your steadily growing audience here. I may have to return to bloging. I want my next next blog to be so off the wall that there is nothing else so passionate and loved filled on the internet.

    There is no mediocrity only insanity, failure and success. At least with me. Its all or nothing I guess, thats my gift and curse. It runs in the family.

  11. BTW my friend was showing me all of these new bands I’d never heard of and a few of them were from Manchester.

    You have something special there.

    Then he started ranting about the movie CONTROL. Then I told him that Joy Division became N.O., which he didn’t know.

    Then I told him Ian Curtis was a great lyricist. Probably over glorified and maybe even would have survived with modern medications.

  12. Then I told him I needed “a heaven, a gateway, a hope…” lol

  13. undeleted

    Manchester city council put stuff in the water, there was something about it in the paper .. not really.

    The place is a big melting pot of different cultures, there’s a lot of students with disposable incomes and a lot of small venues. Add a wealth of musical history and a fair bit of musical infrastructure – studios, labels, rehearsal space etc – and you have the recipe for a major rock’n’roll town. Probably. What do I know?

    The city seems to produce the best music during times of recession and high unemployment, so we should be in for a treat over the next couple of years.

    Who was your mate on about? Of the current music scenesters in Mcr, I’d recommend Crazy P, 808 State, Sisters of Transistors, Badly Drawn Boy, the Elektrons, doves, the Whip .. is that everyone? Probably not but it’s enough to be going on with.

    Keep on plugging away with the music JR. Practice makes perfect and all that.

    And I can’t wait for your return to the blogosphere. We are missing you!

  14. Fingathing mainly, then he started ranting about the Control movie…

    Because he knows I always rock early New Order Substance…

    He wasn’t aware Joy Division is 3/4 New Order…

    Then we remember about the time he couldn’t get into an early Arcade Fire concert here for some BS reason of not having an ID or something where hardly anyone was there and I got the set list and talked to all of them…

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=910986&songID=7369058

    Beside the point here but I could definitely see myself going insane sitting in a room somewhere and playing the above over and over . Althought I wrote the above but I can’t play 1/16 notes it requires so I got Pro-Tools to do it.

    Until I get my blog back I guess I’ll just clutter up other peoples in the comments section.

  15. undeleted

    Ah, Fingathing. They’re quite well thought of around these parts but I probably prefer the cover art to the music. Not really for me, I’m afraid, even though I somehow seem to have wound up getting a load of their records for free.

    Talking of NO and Joy Division, I have a book recommendation for you – Simon Reynold’s Totally Wired: Post-Punk Interviews and Overviews.

    It’s got interviews with people you’re interested in like Wilson, Steven Morris and Phil Oakey but also people you might be interested in like Andy Gill from the Gang of Four, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo, Alan Vega from Suicide, Richard H Kirk from the Cabs .. loads of stuff.

    It’s also got a couple of pieces about the portrayal of Joy Division in 24Hour Party People and Control which got me quite annoyed – but you shouldn’t just read books you agree with, right?

    I recommend highly.

    Don’t worry about the Pro-Tools thing – it’s what it’s there for isn’t it? Nice little tune you have there. Reminds me of this:

    http://www.indian.co.uk/hauschka/

    What do you think?

  16. I don’t know whats up with my e-mail but I keep on receving these “delivery failed” notifications when I try to mail something.

    “I am thinking about traveling to the UK and Ireland this summer. I wanted to stay for a few weeks or possibly longer if I have something constructive to do.

    I wanted to ask you if you knew of anyone who would be willing to have me as a guest. Couldn’t think of anyone better to ask because of your Manchester music connections. I’d really like to bum around with some people in the scene there.

    I’d be willing to work and pull my own weight. I have my passport and I want to get the best travel experience by staying with natives and such. By meeting new people and getting a taste of things before I finish up with school. I think something like this would give me a real sense of what I need to do for the rest of my life.

    I know you are busy but if you could maybe ask around if anyone would be willing to accomodate me for a weeks. Thanks for your help.”

    That was the e-mail I tried to send. But anyways I have no speakers at the moment so I’ll get back to you in my piano tune sounds like the above link.

    In terms of the book, I love all of that kind of stuff. And many bands I like I found out are from Manchester after the fact. Fingathing with “Walk in Space” is one.

  17. undeleted

    Hey JR, you’re coming to Europe? Have you informed the relevant EU authorities? Remember you’re not allowed to bring guns over here, okay?

    I can certainly ask around about places for you to stay but most of my mates have got noisy toddlers and are probably not accepting house guests, so I’m not sure how much use I can be to you. I can recommend a pretty good backpackers place in town, which is cheap, clean and close to whatever ‘action’ you’ll find in Manchester city centre. Obviously I will be able to give you the grand tour, and try to blag you into a few places too ..

    I’m not entirely sure how easy it will be for you to find work over here either. It’s not a good time to be an ‘illegal’ worker in the UK (because, unfortunately, that’s what you’d be seen as) and I’m not sure how easy it is to find cash-in-hand bar work these days. I think you might need to do some research on all this stuff JR, maybe on backpackers forums or something?

    Manchester International Festival is on in early July, so that’d be a good time to get over here. Last time around they had the Happy Mondays, the Fall and the Gossip live, the premiere of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s Monkey: Journey to the West opera, and lots of other fun stuff.

    We probably won’t be around too much in August though.

    Let me know how if and when you sort anything out.

  18. But If I do come over there, which I want to, I’d need something constructive to do like a job or credits at a university or labor or something.

    And I want to really get intwined with community and locals like my inspiration from the free Human League concert I saw in Chicago. Although they are a Sheffield band I guess.

    I think that Northern England has the descendants of Irish and English like Chicago does. Which is my background, although my grandma is from Italy. Probably why I somehow found all my favorite bands all go back to the Northern England over there.

    And Chicago is industrial or was like Manchester. Thats where this growing fascination comes from. Believe it or not Smithy, I think the people up there might understand me. Or maybe a handful of them.

  19. Yeah, thats just a whim. I’ve already been to London already and France when i was younger. Supposedly there are suppose to be riots this summer. So I feel I need to make the situation as peaceful as possible.

    I need to solve the economic crisis through peaceful insanity.

    I could watch their kids. I’m really down to earth actually. I was raised with 7 brothers and sisters.

    Yeah, apparently they are more into stabbing people over there than shooting people so I’ll leave the guns here.

    Wow those last two sentences probably don’t sound the best together.

    I’d have to become cultured to British reserve Smithy, which I fully respect but do not fully understand.

    But I’m a crazy American as I think I freaked you out the first time you came on my blog. I’m not your typical crazy American though as I want to get the hell out of this country at the moment.

    But you know I’m sure there are some freaky stuff in Manchester and some people a little off their rocker like Tony Wilson. Its all for the greater good.

    J.R. in Manchester and who knows what could happen.

    Uneleted I’m American and I have no problem doing hard labor for families and maintaining a level of normalcy when needed.

    I’ll probably end up crashing in the gutter somewhere though, thats always comfortable. I think I will make a sign that says, “American looking to form the greatest Manchester group of all time”

  20. I’m basically looking for the warmest gutter around there with the most potential.

    But honestly I’m not as crazy as I may sound. And I’d being willing to do any sort of work. Promotions manager?

    Come on Smith, 50 million hits with me as the promotions manager. I just need 50% and some attractive females younger than 25 from Manchester. How about Ian Curtis’ daughter? I hear she is from there.

  21. undeleted

    Lovely to hear from you again JR.

    I asked around my mates with kids, saying that you’d offered your child-minding services but, strangely, they said no – even when I told them I’d met you on the internet. Or when I said that you’d assured me you’d be able to maintain a certain level of normalcy “when needed”.

    I’ve no idea what their problem is.

    I can’t promise you riots this summer but there are definitely lots of people who are off their rockers in Manchester. I can certainly point you in the right direction.

    As for introductions to attractive ladies, I’m afraid you’re going to have to sort that out yourself, but I have every confidence in you JR.

    As ever, thanks for your comments .. drunk or sober.

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