Wednesday, 14 January 2015

BEING CONSTANTLY ANGRY IS EXHAUSTING

I was going to write a lengthy, scathing blog post about the hypocrisy of "Je Sui Charlie" and a condemnation of how us in "the West" only get riled up when white people are killed but barely even pay attention when 100+ school Children are slain in Pakistan by the Taliban or when 2,000+ people are killed in Nigeria by Boko Haram, etc. But, I just... Being constantly angry is exhausting, and I feel that me rambling on about racial inequality and 'free speech vs satire' and other such issues on this blog that no one reads would be somewhat futile. 

(Read this article. That is why I am not Charlie.)

No, instead I am going to post a picture of my cats. Becuase they're cute as fuck and there is enough horrendous bullshit going on in the world at the moment, so let's all just take a second to focus on the LITTLE KITTIES.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

NERD PUNX POEM

John Connor
versus
Skynet

Rioting with rough necks
balled fists
pose minor threats
Staring down the barrel
Our glory is
Ramshackled

RoboCop
versus
OCP

Kettles aren't just for brewing
Tea
Brewing up
Mischief
Black flags flying
F
R
E
E

ThunderCats
versus
Mumm-Ra

DON'T MOVE!
STAY
WHERE
YOU
ARE!
Phasers set to
Stun
Whatever you do
Don't
R
U
N

Ash Ketchum
versus
Team Rocket

Resistance is futile
Nothing we do
can stop it
Rancid politics
Projectile vomit
People will always
play second fiddle
to profit

Daniel LaRusso
versus
Kobra Kai

Don't fear
the darkside
Goonies
Never say
Die
Do or do not
There
is
NO
T
R
Y

The Rebel Alliance
versus
The Galactic Empire

Let's all fuck it off
Set the world
on fire
Burn it down
Start again from scratch
Dragged
through the mire
A Phoenix
from ash

The Power Rangers
versus
Lord Zedd

No Gods
No Masters
No Cameron
No Clegg
Let's all take our
Chances on
Anarchy
Instead

Monday, 22 December 2014

10 AWESOME ALBUMS OF 2014

DISCLAIMER: I am not a music critic. I am a music fan. If you don't agree with any of the albums on this list, good. As they say; opinions are like arseholes, everyone's got one. So, without further ado, here is my arsehole opinion...


Charlie Simpson - Long Road Home (4th August)

I know what you're thinking: "Charlie Simpson? That dude from Busted?" or "Great, another white boy with a guitar signing about 'feelings'" ...Yes! I don't care how many punk points I lose for liking this album. Whilst the rest of Busted are prancing around like complete idiots still singing faux-pop punk songs that made them famous fifteen years ago, Charlie is doing his own thing. And 'his own thing' is pretty damn good.

Favourite tracks: 'Comets', 'Haunted', 'Would You Love Me Any Less' 



The Menzingers - Rented World (22nd April)

I feel slightly bad for The Menzingers because no matter how good this album is (and it is is very good) it was always going to be in the shadow of their previous album, 2012's On The Impossible Past. Following up a legit modern classic is always going to be tough but Rented World is a great album it its own right and you'd be a fool to overlook it.

Favourite tracks: 'I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore', 'Where Your Heartache Exists', 'In Remission'




The Lawrence Arms - Metropole (28th January)

The first survivor from my mid year list. In that review I described this album as 'Pop punk gets gold gracefully' and I stand by that. There is nothing worse than men in their late 30s still singing songs about skating and getting dumped etc (See my previous comment about Busted). This is a thoughtful and mature album that from a band that knows neither them nor their fans are kids any more (but doesn't let that stop them doing stupid shit).

Favourite tracks: 'You Are Here', 'Drunk Tweets', 'The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic'



The Smith Street Band - Throw Me In The River (31st October)

The third album from these Australian punks. One of the things I love about singer Will Wagner's song writing is that he is so honest, brutally honest at times. He certainly isn't afraid to highlight his flaws. It is that honesty and rawness that makes their songs so personal and relateable. Plus they are one of the best live bands around today. I saw them supporting The Menzingers this year and they stole the show.

Favourite tracks: 'Surrender', 'East London Summer', 'Throw Me In The River'



Perkie - Time Machines (1st April)


Another survivor from my mid year list. In that review I described the album as 'an indie/pop/folk/DIY/piano punk extravaganza' and if anybody has come up with a better description of the album since then I wanna hear it! It's a fantastic album that's guaranteed to put you in a good mood and get you tapping your feet.

Favourite tracks: 'Teachers', 'Things That Make Us Different', 'Walls Come Crashing Down'





Moose Blood - I'll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time (7th October)

This Canterbury based 'emo' band are probably sick to death of being compared to American 90s bands like Knapsack and Jawbreaker, but the truth is, if you dig those bands then you will likely dig Moose Blood. This album is fucking great. It is one of the few albums that no matter what mood I am in, I can put it on and enjoy it- and that is no meat feat.

Favourite tracks: 'Gum', 'Swim Down', 'Bukowski' 


Gnarwolves - Self-titled (15th September)

Gnarwolves have only been in existence since 2012 but it feels like they have been around forever. They generate quite polarising opinions in the punk scene- People either LOVE them or think they're over hyped and average. Obviously I fall into the former category because I think that this is one seriously fucking rad album. I caught the band's Brighton homecoming show at the end of their recent UK tour and it was fucking crazy. Definitely one of my favourite gigs of the year.

Favourite tracks: 'Boneyard', 'Bottle to Bottle', 'Smoking Kills'

Maid of Ace -  Self-titled (19th Apil)

A survivor from my mid year list and probably the album I have listened to most out of all of these this year. It is gritty, aggressive and does not give one single fuck. I am a sucker for female-fronted punk bands and the awesome thing about Maid of Ace is that not only are they ALL female, they're ALL sisters. They're like punk rock Nolan Sisters, or something. They're also from my home town so I've seen them a whole bunch of times.

Favourite tracks: 'Nothin' On Me', 'Dirty Girl', 'Dickhead'


Ducking Punches - Dance Before You Sleep (2nd May)

These Norwich DIY folk punks are one of my favourite bands at the moment. This album, short as it is at only nine tracks, is jam packed full of awesome. No filler here. As the title suggests the theme of this album is living life to the full before it is gone. Singer Dan Allen crafts songs that are equal parts passion, raw emotion and sing along anthems. 

Favourite track: 'Cursed Luck', 'Big Brown Pills From Lynn', 'Six Years'

Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues (20th January)

It was a long wait from AM!'s 2010's album White Crosses to this one, especially with everything that happened in that time, but it was worth the wait. A return to the lo-fi, grittier sound of the band's early work. This is probably the most important punk album since 1977. It is more than an album, it is a call to arms and a middle finger in the face of every cretin that ever make a joke (or worse) at the expense of a trans person. 

Favourite tracks: 'True Trans Soul Rebel', 'Obama Bin Laden as the Crucified Christ', 'Black Me Out'




NOTABLE MENTIONS: 

Rancid - ...Honor Is All We Know
Andrew Jackson Jihad - Christmas Island
PUP - Self-titled
The Holy Mess - Comfort in the Discord
Chuck Ragan - Till Midnight
Officer Down - Dead Lands
We The Heathens - Self-titled
Arroyo Deathmatch - Through the Fear of it
Adam and Bones - Don't Move
Lee Scott - CactusOwlMoonGoat 

Friday, 19 December 2014

I READ ZINES [#6]



Stacy Russo - 'Poems a Librarian Wrote on Her Lunch Break'

This is a collection of poems all written in September 2013 and, as the title suggests, all written in Stacy's lunch breaks (albeit with a few minor exceptions). This is a really, really great collection. Russo is a fantastic poet and just to my taste; No flowery, pretentious bullshit, just concise, thoughtful observations about day to day life. Pick of the bunch, for me, was a love poem to Henry Rollins. I know how you feel Stacy, I have a soft spot for the man myself. I will definitely be purchasing more of Stacy's poetry zines in the very near future, and I would advise that you do the same.

 
Magnetic Poetry Zine - 'drunk poetry, lingering magic'

This zine is a compilation of poems created using fridge magnets. I really love this concept. A friend of mine once had alphabet fridge magnets and everyone would mess around with them, writing swear words more often than not, but I wish it had all been documented like this. My only issue with the zine itself is that the presentation is a little lacklustre. A little more gusto in the design would have elevated this zine from good to great.




Hand Job #6

I may be a little biased towards this zine for a couple of reasons. Firstly I have a short story called 'Him upstairs' published in it, and secondly, editor Jim Gibson is a mate. However, all bias aside, this zine is seriously fucking great. A celebration of British writing and culture with the old school photocopied, cut and paste aesthetic of 70s/80s fanzines. A new feature in this issue is a review section, with the inaugural review by writer/poet Gwil James Thomas of Joseph Ridgwell's short story 'Cuba (In Search of Hemingway)' which was published by Pug Ear Press.

 Gut Feelings #6 - 'The Organised Crime Issue'

Gut Feelings describes itself as 'a zine about food and everything else' and as the title suggests, the theme of this issue is organised crime - It combines tales of famous gangsters and criminals with recipes and food related trivia. Straight off the bat the print quality is noticeably better than previous issues and is even glued together rather than stapled.  In amongst the usual beautiful hand written type and quirky illustrations, my favourite piece is a touching story about a woman, her deceased partner and their love of The Sopranos.


Alice Ash - 'Home Alone, a Christmas special'

This mini zine from Brighton-based author Alice Ash contains a short story of her alternative, and decidedly more grim, take on Macauley Culkin Christmas classic 'Home Alone'. It's kind of an 'alternative ending' to the movie; a fucked up, non-family friendly alternative. I really enjoy Alice's writing, as well as her dark sense of humour, and I am looking forward to reading more of work.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

REASONS WHY I DON'T HAVE CHILDREN AND NEVER WILL

This is a continuation of previous posts REASONS WHY I DON'T HAVE A SMARTPHONE AND NEVER WILL and REASONS WHY I DON'T DRIVE AND NEVER WILL. I have been meaning to write this one for a while, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, a few months ago my younger brother and his girlfriend had a child. This inevitably led to almost every member of my family saying ridiculous things like "Your turn next then, Martin" to which I would hastily reply "Hahahahahahaha No". My stepmother's reaction to my disdain towards parenthood was the funniest of all because she just can't get her head around it, it's baffling to her that somebody doesn't want children. Just as it is baffling to me that anyone does.

The second reason for this post is because around the same time that my brother's girlfriend was popping one out I found out that my best friend is pregnant. And whilst I'm 99% certain my brother's baby was not planned, hers was. Kind of. She and her boyfriend were not using any form of contraception, in an "if it happens, it happens" kind of way. And it happened. Again, to me, this is fucking baffling. And this is why...

  Image source: Becuo

Okay, let's just get this one out of the way first; I just don't like children. Yes, they have their 'cute' moments, and sometimes they can be 'funny', but let's be honest, most of the time they are selfish, ungrateful, rude, whiny little shits. I really don't understand why some people get so desperate to inflict this amount of grief on themselves. I realise that it's all about how you raise them and discipline and blah blah blah, but if it is that much effort just to control them, I'm definitely out. My girlfriend and I got kittens this summer, two of them, and if they have taught me anything it is that I am highly intolerant to small, annoying creatures - there is absolutely no way I would have the patience to deal with a snot nosed kid. I'd just end up locking the fucker in a cupboard or something (Not that I have ever locked my kittens in a cupboard, but I have been known to lock myself in the bedroom to get away from them).

 Image source: Eco Internet

Looking at the bigger picture - there are already too many people in the world. Our resources are stretched beyond their limits as it is and this planet does not need people adding to the problem unnecessarily. I always thought China's one child policy was a good idea (or rather, would have been a good idea had their society not been so hung up on that one child being a boy. Idiots). Something definitely needs to be done to stop people having children. In the UK it is almost like people are rewarded for having more children, especially if looking after them is beyond their means, the government just hand out money. But here's a better idea: DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO LOOK AFTER THEM. I also think that it should be illegal for people below a certain IQ to have children. Seriously, stupid people should not be allowed to breed, it causes no end of problems. I know, I am a self-righteous prick.


I think what it really comes down to is that I like my life how it is right now. I earn enough money that I can keep a roof over my head, I can feed myself, and I can treat myself to little luxuries pretty much whenever I want to - I can go to gigs, I can buy booze and smokes, I can buy zines and books and DVDs etc, - I don't want to give any of that up in order to feed and cloth a child. Maybe that is selfish, but I live within my means and I am happy. Luckily, my girlfriend is equally as opposed to having children - but she has her own reasons for that. For me personally I just can't understand WHY anyone WANTS children - I know women have maternal instincts and such, but sometimes I have urges to kill people, it doesn't mean I should do it. The only benefit to having children that I can see is to provide ones self with someone to look after you when you're old and decrepit, and THAT is the most selfish thing you could ever do.

The only way I can ever see myself having a child is if I accidentally knock someone up and they want to keep it, or if I do ever get a better job and have more money - I would consider adoption. There are so many unwanted, unloved children out there already, I would much rather take care of one of them than produce my own. I still don't like children though, so the former is much more likely than the latter.