A return to stability, an ideal for living, and a new resident

typed for your pleasure on 23 May 2014, at 7.07 pm

Sdtrk: ‘A A A A A A R’ by Two daughters

It may be too premature to tell at this juncture, but it seems that Deafening silence Plus is back to a state of DEFCON 5. What that means is that I’m employed again. *overenthusiastic thumbs up*
Frankly, the entire ordeal has been a fucking nightmare, and has probably taken about a year off my life with worry. I’ve never been keen on rollercoasters, and securing employment, let alone decent employment, was needlessly difficult. By the time things ended, I was working with six separate temp agencies, who couldn’t seem to get me anything in the field I really desired — data entry — and the best two or three of them could offer were positions in call centres, or in sales. As you’ll already know, I’d spent nearly twenty years in various call centres, and returning to one would be akin to taking a Vietnam veteran back through time to 1970, to spend some additional time ‘in the shit’; the best outcome for that person would more than likely be suicide.

Oftentimes either I wouldn’t be able to find something suitable, or there were instances where a place would want to set up an interview, which I’d attend, and whatever prospective employer would end up choosing someone else. One of my favourite bits was when I went to an interview and totally aced it, but ultimately, I was told I’d have to cut my ponytail off and not wear earrings in order to get the position. It’d be one thing if it was something I really wanted, but this was for a call centre that was paying $10 per hour. Even the temp agent who organised the interview was baffled at their Fifties-era dress code requirements, so what does that say?
No wait, I take that back: the best bit had to have been when a temp agent scheduled an interview; it went well, they told me I was hired and report to work in a week, but between then and the start date, the agent then informed me that the employer had a hiring freeze take place, and I wouldn’t be able to start when I was due to. That happened twice. With two different temp agencies, serving two different employers.

Thankfully, however, I’ve had a full-time job now since late April! I work for a place… wait for it… doing data entry! It’s Monday through Friday in the morning — actually, they have flex time, wherein I can come in as early as 7.30 or as late as 9am — and I’m in a room with eight other people, entering data and doing imaging for a national health-related company. It’s dead easy and stress-free, I can wear my headphones, and it’s five minutes away from a place that sells sushi. Plus, it’s the highest paying job I’ve ever had, so needless to say, it’s a pretty fantastic gig. The only downside to it is that it’s a 20-25min drive to work, and with insidious rush hour traffic, it’s nearly an hour home. Sure, I’m catching up on my podcasts, but ergh. I’m going to try my damnedest to start getting to work at 7.30am, so I can circumvent traffic both ways. That’s gonna take some training, as nearly seven months of being on the dole has eroded any concept of a ‘normal’ wake-up time. But it’s nice being at a stage of my life where I actually like what I do at work! The drive, however… not so much. It’s all for a good cause, though; i.e, me keeping a roof over my head.

Apart from freaking out due to lack of job prospects, what else have I been up to, you axe? Among other pursuits, I watched all of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, a passel of episodes of the fantastic QI on YouTube, put a sizeable dent in my ‘anime that needs to be watched’ list, as well as seeing ‘The Lego Movie‘, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘, ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘, and Gareth Edwards’ ‘Godzilla‘ in the theatres with the miscreants I normally hang out with, so there’s that. (Each one of those films is highly recommended, in case you were wondering).
Also I bought a copy of the reissue of Joy division’s debut EP ‘An ideal for living’ on Record Store Day! After all, I had my orders.

Despite the fact that I have a modest vinyl collection, composed mostly of stereo demonstration records, we don’t really have space for a proper hi-fi here at Deafening silence Plus, so the EP is currently being displayed in our record frame in our flat’s ‘hallway’, as seen here.


Upon reflection, I should’ve bought two extra copies, now that I see people on eBay flogging them from $40 – $60 apiece…

And the other major event was that my third Synthetik flatmate, Muriel Noonan, arrived home on 31 March! She’s from Coventry, used to work in a library, and is made by Textile Doll, the company from Latvia that I’ve mentioned a handful of times on ‘Shouting etc etc’. Expect a full review on her when I manage to get my post-work time sorted, but she likes it here, which is good, as we like having her here!

So that’s pretty much what’s been up with what’s goin’ down / In every city, in ev-er-y town. As I’m fond of saying, I have to get the barrels up to speed before I’m posting on what passes for a regular basis round here, but now that I’m no longer freaking out every other day for fear that I’ll have to move back in with my father for the second time, I should be posting again again! ‘Woo’, with an additional ‘Yay’

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

These are the people I work with on September 24th, 2004

Carry on Phoning / Like bladder, like brain on July 16th, 2007

So you just type stuff in here and it appears on the screen huh

typed for your pleasure on 13 December 2007, at 3.18 am

Sdtrk: ‘Jackie Onassis’ by Milky

Saturday! Traditionally known throughout history as a Day of Acquiring Knowledge and Stuff. And with my mates and I, that’s exactly what happened!

Our Algonquin End Table this Saturday past consisted of Jeff (aka Zip Gun) Derek et Steph, and Joe (aka SafeTinspector). We convened at Jeff’s digs at about 1.30, piled in D&S’s van, and sped off to the wild, largely uncultured city of Dearborn, as the Henry Ford Museum (now referred to as simply ‘the Henry Ford’, in an effort to make the place sound ‘hip’ and ‘with it’) had something we wanted to see: they were holding a temporary exhibit entitled ‘Best of Friends: Buckminster Fuller and Isamu Noguchi‘. Initially SafeT told me about it a number of weeks ago, and he and I had made arrangements to see it, and Zip Gun and D&S elected to come with, as it was something different from our usual week-end fare.

On the way to the Fuller/Noguchi exhibit, we stopped to look at the car John F Kennedy was assassinated in. Upon reflection, I should’ve gotten a pic of myself near it, for Extra Ballard Points.
Having looked through the info provided on the Dymaxion house, we had to actually queue up for about ten minutes for a guided tour, as there were quite a few interested people there with us as well. The Dymaxion house was, like a lot of Bucky Fuller’s ideas, startlingly ahead of its time. Essentially after WWII, there were hundreds of American soldiers returning home to find there was a housing shortage, while at the same time, aircraft manufacturers were laying off employees left and right, due to the decreased demand for fighter planes. Bucky Fuller presented a design that he’d been refining since the Twenties to the aircraft manufacturers that would solve both problems: by using excess aluminum material, he would retrain the employees into building homes instead of planes.

It was very ace thinking. The house was like an IKEA house: all parts were shipped in a rather large tube, and the whole assemblage took only three days to build — two days for the major assembly, and the third for installing the bathroom and electricals. As the home was built using cables suspended off an enormous central pole, not only could you raise or lower it, as it needed no foundation, but if you didn’t like where you lived, you rung up the builders, they came round and broke your home down, and set the whole thing up again in your new locale. 1000 sq.ft of self-contained living, featuring a gutter that collected rainwater for later use, ‘Ovolving’ (vertically rotating) shelves built into the walls for clothing storage, and other such fab amenities. Very forward thinking, especially for the late Forties. Unfortunately, as per usual, the general populace wasn’t ready for such a thing as kit housing, which is why the homes never went into production. The Henry Ford has one of the two prototypes in existence, and over the course of three years, restored it to its finery.
I regret not getting more pics of the house — the tour we were with probably had about fifteen people, so it was kinda cramped — but I did get this pic of the Dymaxion car, which was part of the Fuller/Noguchi tour proper, and as such, isn’t a permanent exhibit.

Four hours later, we made our leave. If we’d had more time, we would’ve gone to see the seat where Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, as well as the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, but ZG had fatherly duties to see to. However, we made a brief stop in what passes for Dearborn’s downtown district, and hit up the comic store Green brain, as we were in the area. They’ve got quite a selection, although I didn’t see too much manga, but perhaps I just overlooked it. I did grab something that completely slipped under my radar: the trade paperback for ‘The gifting’, the all-new Tank girl series. When I bought it, I was a wee bit hesitant, as Jamie ‘The Hewll’ Hewlett wasn’t the artist — too busy working with Mr Albarn, undoubtedly — but art duties were competently handled by someone named Ashley Wood. Tank girl’s new character design wasn’t what I was used to, as sometimes it veered from somewhat sketchy to sub-Hewll, but since Alan Martin was still writing all the stories, it was just like meeting an old friend after a twelve-year long absence. A sweary, lager-swilling, heavy-ordnance-toting friend who lives in a tank with her kangaroo boyfriend. And we all know someone like that, right?
Our purchases duly made, ZG, SafeT and I dashed upstairs to Stormy records, to see what they had on offer. My purchase there? ‘Merzbear‘, by Merzbow. As it is, I’m gonna have to give it a good solid listening-to, as so far, it’s proving to to be wildly mediocre — too much like ‘Houjoue’ and not enough like ‘Oersted’. Masami, you’re killin’ me, man!

DAVECAT (flipping through the Merzbow section): ‘I can’t keep up with all of his releases!’
ZIP GUN: ‘Who can?’

Upon getting back to Zip Gun Towers, we split our separate ways for dinnair, as unusually enough, we couldn’t come to a decision as where to eat. SafeT and I filled up at Quiznos, then the lot of us (minus Steph, as she called it a day) returned to ZG’s, for several unbridled hours of Godzilla: Unleashed. I still can’t get entirely used to properly using those Wiichucks! This means I am old.

The end!

Technorati tags: J.G Ballard, Buckminster Fuller, Dymaxion, Isamu Noguchi, The Henry Ford, Tank Girl, Merzbow, Godzilla: Unleashed

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Be a Good Consumer on January 14th, 2007

Saturdaysunday on January 23rd, 2006


typed for your pleasure on 20 April 2007, at 2.35 am

Sdtrk: ‘Die Wäscheklammern’ by Stereo total

After getting over a case of the 24 hour flu, which personally I’d never previously had and only thought they existed in films and television, I contracted a case of consumption (ho ho) as recently, I’ve purchased:

+ the trade paperback of Grant Morrison’s Sebastian O. Finally, a comic miniseries that asks the question, ‘What if Oscar Wilde was an assassin that lived in a steampunk London?’ Lovely stuff, but far too short

+ the 2-disk version of ‘The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou‘. Y’know, I think one of the reasons that I dig Wes Anderson as a director, is that he often uses the same typeface, known as Futura, in his films. That man loves him some Futura. I think I fell in love with Futura after realising that one of my all-time fave directors, Stanley Kubrick, used it wherever and whenever he could. Honestly, ‘Shouting etc etc’ is only in Century Gothic cos most people sadly don’t have Futura installed on their computers… I don’t see why not! It’s the Typeface of the Future, circa the Twenties!

+ Penny Arcade’s The Warsun Prophecies. Always a laugh riot, our Tycho and Gabe

+ the 40th anniversary Prisoner DVD boxset (comes with a full-colour map of The Village!)

+ I’m Alan Partridge – Series 1, which I know I shouldn’t have bought as Series 2 isn’t domestically available yet, and once it is, you’ll merely wait about six to eight months, and both series will be available in boxset form, cos that’s how they get you. Bastards

+ Vol.4 of Naoki Urasawa’s manga, Monster, a ‘taut psychological thriller’

+ Tomorrow’s Eve, by Jean-Marie-Mathias-Philippe-Auguste, comte de Villiers de l’Isle-Adam (his homies just called him ‘Cheezy-J’). As it’s a book from turn-of-the-century France, concerning a man who falls in love with a Gynoid built by Thomas Edison, it was obviously a book that I had to read

+ the RealDoll Complete Collection DVD, which was more of a gift exchange thing I’m doing with MaRi-chan‘s lad atsushi-san. (He also shipped me the first ‘Ergo proxy’ DVD. How generous!) In exchange, he’d like a Detroit Tigers baseball cap. Done and done, sir!

+ and finally, a stand for the Missus. I’ve yet to assemble it, as I’ve been busy playing catch-up on everything lately, it seems, but that should be on the week-end. Shi-chan’s been wanting to stretch her legs!

The slight irony behind all the DVD purchases is that my DVD player — the one that replaced my previous CyberHome that went tits up — has gone tits up. So now I have to acquire a new, sanely-priced, region-free player that converts PAL as well. Guh.
At this point, I have to retract my recommendation for the CyberHome CH-DVD-500 player, as pretty much all of my mates bought one, and pretty much all of them have expired unceremoniously. Maybe other CyberHome models are more robust, but I’ve no idea. This time, I’m thinking Malata, which is, by all accounts, the Cadillac of region-free player brands.

All of this mania is brought to you by Tax Return Cheques! WOOOOO

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

!!! (no, not the band) on July 20th, 2004

Yes; sadly, my life revolves around acquisition. on July 31st, 2004

Be a Good Consumer

typed for your pleasure on 14 January 2007, at 11.13 pm

Sdtrk: ‘memory one’ by The caretaker

The only fab thing about being employed again? The money. Or, as Winnie the Pooh might have it, the munny.

Over the course of the past three days, I’ve purchased
+ an airsoft MP40, courtesy of the Bay of e, so I can pretend I’m with the Wehrmacht. With the exception of the highly-coveted P90, my airsoft collection is complete

+ volume 2 of Ultraman, in conjunction with a $10 BestBuy giftcard that I received on Christmas. Initially my plan was to either buy the Prisoner thinpack, or the ‘Doctor Who: The beginning’ box set, but I forgot I was at BestBuy. ‘If it’s not brand new, or a hot item popular with the masses, we ain’t got it.’ Fuckers. O well, I wasn’t even really looking for Ultraman v2, so it all worked out

+ Borders had Emailed me, saying I had until 31 Jan to use up my Holiday rewards savings (a grand total of $7.63), so I hit the location near my work and grabbed volume 2 of Monster, and an Audrey Hepburn calendar for 2007. Not my ideal choice for a calendar, but 1) they were 50% off, and 2) that was the best they had left out of their remaining selection. Thankfully, I’ve always found Audrey hot, so it’s okay. But at the register, I was informed that I’d need a hardcopy of that Email I got, in order to use my savings, as they start tallying savings for 2007 after 01 Jan. Ergh. So I guess I’ll be using my $7.63 to buy Monster v3

+ Also within the same quarter mile as BestBuy and Borders was a GameStop, where I used some trade-in credit dating back to 2005 to get $20 off Samurai warriors 2 finally. The trade-in receipts were yellow and fading, much to the register biscuit’s astonishment. ‘Dude… were these printed on the Declaration of Independence?’ he’d asked. I chuckled

+ My hex key set that I’d ordered through the corporate gift catalogues issued to us at work arrived through the post! From now on, if I ever have a hex placed upon me, I can unlock it with no trouble whatsoever

+ Finally, be witness unto my New Cellphone.

No idea why the pic is blurry — more than likely, it’s due to Shi-chan’s complete inability to hold still — but yes, those are gaily-decorated human skulls as my wallpaper. (If you’re fully intrigued, you can download a copy for yourself from here.) But it’s a Treo Smartphone by Palm, which means that unlike my old Kyocera 7135, it’s smaller, lighter, has a faster processor, a built-in QWERTY keyboard, a 1.3 MP camera, a camcorder, and won’t crash like three times a week. Summation: it is a sexay machine.

So yeah! Stuff Week, or as the Germans might have it, Stüfwoch. O wait — now what the hell is this??

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Swagfest '99, and a Question on March 3rd, 2005

the Return of Stuff Week on December 15th, 2004

Don’t mention it

typed for your pleasure on 1 January 2007, at 3.42 am

Sdtrk: ‘Music (In my mind) (Prins Thomas remix)’ by Lindstrom and Christabelle

My Saturday and Sunday comprised a good way to end the year, I’d say… Saturday morn Derek, Steph, Jeff, Mike and I piled into Steph’s van and headed out to Ann arbor, for our usual bi-bi-monthly shopping extravaganza. Jeff, Steph and I sold a passel of Cds and DVDs at Encore records; I was awarded $80 in cash, so I picked up Art brut’s ‘Bang bang rock and roll’ release. After that, we convened at Borders, where I purchased the first volume of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster, which is a hell of a manga series, and highly recommended. Up until now, I’d been borrowing Jeff’s copies of volumes 1 – 6, and it was just a matter of time before I broke down and started buying my own copies. ‘A taut psychological thriller’, as a book club would undoubtedly describe it.
Following that, we stopped by our favourite overpriced anime boutique, Wizzywig, where I bought one of the newer Evangelion gachapons (Unit 01, if you’re curious), as well as two different KOS-MOS figures. We then had a delicious luncheon over at the Japanese restaurant Totoro, and finished our day with a stop round to Vault of Midnight, where I… actually didn’t buy anything. It was one of those in-between periods, where there was nothing new out yet that I’d wanted, and I couldn’t find anything older in the store. They did have the Medicom Johnny Rotten figure for $20, but I’m holding out for all four Sex pistols Kubricks, all told. Ah well — money saved, I suppose… Nevertheless, a grand day out! We got back round 5ish and went our separate ways for the eve.

As for Sunday, I’ve just now gotten back (well, about two hours ago) from hanging out with my mates again, minus Mike, for the evening, playing a devastating combo of Apples to apples, Milles bournes, and some variants of poker. We were accompanied by Kari, Jeff’s wife, and Kari’s friend Ellen. I can’t remember how this came up, but interestingly enough, Ellen says that her best friend back at grad school played Missy, Bill S. Preston’s new mum from ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent adventure’. How fab is that?? *does riff on air guitar*
Later on in the eve, I got a call from T-money that I put on speakerphone, so we could all yell at him, and apparently some ball fell somewhere in New York city. Really, it was much like last year’s festivities, which is quite alright, as we tend to swear by consistency. A heady evening!

Any resolutions for 2007? I haven’t made resolutions for about the past ten years, as I’ve been of the opinion that as soon as I say, ‘well, this year, I’m going to _____,’ then it’s pretty much a guarantee that it won’t be done. This year, however, I’m making an exception: I am going to get ‘Kitten with a Whip!‘ back up and running in some capacity before 2008. A single photograph and six lines of text do not a website make. Plus, Shi-chan’s getting cranky. Right right; you may laugh, but you don’t have to live with her.
Also, I’d really like to get everything sussed as far as ‘Shouting etc etc’, i.e., the things I’d mentioned a couple of posts ago. That one’s not really a resolution, by the way; I just thought I’d mention that.

So there you have it. Happy 2007, and best wishes for the new year!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Past my bedtime? Why yes! on August 7th, 2004

Saturdaysunday on January 23rd, 2006


typed for your pleasure on 23 January 2006, at 11.46 pm

Sdtrk: ‘My name is Nobody’ by Ennio Morricone

Panic and Adventure were the Order of the Day that day, as I had arrived at Jeff’s house, and found him repairing the babygate, as the latch had self-destructed. Fascinating device, the babygate, as it happens to be constructed entirely from the bones of recently deceased infants. Also, it’s really haunted. As implied by the name, it keeps out babies, and pretty much everyone else, really, by apearance alone. But it was busted, and Jeff’s wife Kari was stressing out about it. She took off in search of a new one, at which point, Derek materialised, and the three of us headed to the basement to ostensibly began our evening. We managed to watch the first episode of ‘Nighty night‘, which is a riotously dark Britcom, and well worth viewing, when midway through that, Kari returned home, and asked if Jeff could go looking for a better babygate. So after the Nighty night ep was over, we scrambled upstairs, piled into Derek’s car, and sped off to the nearest Meijer.

We wandered round probably for a sum total of ninety minutes. Jeff, cos he walks so damn fast, lost Derek and I, and then my phone rang and I lost Derek. Mari rang me, as she was just getting off work, and said she’d meet us up at our Meijer location. As I was on the phone with her, my eyes were drawn to a rather nice-looking watch that I figured would finally be my current watch‘s successor (more later).
Eventually, I reconvened with Derek, who’d found Jeff, and we ran into Mari down the front of the store. Jeff couldn’t locate a babygate that wasn’t up to his standards of material — when you’re used to your gate built of femurs and the like, you’re gonna be rather hard to please, let’s face it — so he’d picked up a hook-and-eyelet pack, so he could jerry-rig a new latch. Materials and participants duly gathered, we then headed back to Jeff’s. I went with Mari to make sure she didn’t get lost, so I got to drive her car, which was fun. To me, it’s always fun driving other peoples’ vehicles, as it’s like a wee holiday from my own automobile. Like a little rolling Ibiza.

We returned to find that Tim and his new friend Mikki were already there. They needed to meet up with Derek, as Tim had left his phone betwixt Derek’s sofa cushions on Friday night. That sounds rather pervy, but we’ll let it pass. The lot of us kinda milled round the kitchen, Jeff and Derek having a go at the babygate repair, and twenty minutes later, anti-infant security was restored! Then Derek took off, cos he needed some sleep, as he’d been up since 7am playing World of Warcrack.

Back downstairs, the main thing we watched were highlights of a fillum that Jeff chose to review for his digitallyObsessed.com gig; a real piece of work called ‘Let me die a Woman‘. It. Was. HORRIBLE. Apart from the esteemed Dr Leo Wollman speaking to the camera and obviously reading from cue cards, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film with so many random sex scenes that were utterly devoid of any vestiges of eroticism. And there was this excruciatingly close-up sequence of Dr Wollman examining a post-op shoddily-assembled male-to-female transsexual that will give me nightmares for the rest of my days. I will never look at roast beef sandwiches the same way ever again. Yes, we were all laughing, but I think it was mostly due to shock.
Eventually, Tim and Mikki ran away screaming took off, and we viewed the first four eps of ‘Black books‘, as I had raved about it to Mari on several occasions. Then Jeff kicked us out round three. A fine, if partially repulsive, evening!

Met up with Mari late in the evening, for the purposes of ‘hangin’ out’. It was a bit unusual, as I hardly ever go out-of-doors on Sunday, as that’s my ‘catch up on stuff that I neglected over the course of the week’ day, which could also be read as my ‘get out of bed at 1pm’ day. Anyway, I got round to Mari’s digs round 7pm, and since everything was pretty much closed, we hit Meijer, and wandered round there for almost four hours. Yeah, that astonished me as well, when I got home and realised how much time we spent there. That’s a whole lot of Meijer. However, I did manage to buy that watch I’d mentioned spotting.

I’m having some difficulty getting the fecker set though. Also, there’s no light-up function for it, the lack of which I would’ve overlooked, were I not having difficulty setting the fecker. So I might well return it later this week and try again. Looks nice though, doesn’t it?
Our evening came to an exciting conclusion, as we stopped round to Blockbuster video, so Mari could rent some fillums. She grabbed four: Oldboy, The Football factory, Immortal, and something else. I’d suggested the first three, as The Football factory was ace, Oldboy is worth seeing cos the first half of the film is fantastic (but the ending’s shite), and I’ve been wanting to see Immortal, so I’m having her be my guinea pig for that one. And then I dropped her off home, and then went home myself. A fine, if mostly Meijer, evening!

Happy 23rd! The end

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

The Goddess of Stuff pays a visit / der Linkage on July 21st, 2004

'This is not your sawtooth wave' on November 7th, 2005

‘This is not your sawtooth wave’

typed for your pleasure on 7 November 2005, at 3.52 am

Sdtrk: ‘Microtronics 13’ by Broadcast

So yeah, as you may have suspected from the Subj.title and soundtrack choice, I decided I was well enough to go witness Broadcast on Sat eve. Was it worth it? Indeed it was!

Jeff, Tim and I left got to the Magic Stick round 8.30, as the doors were due to open at 9, and we didn’t want to have to wait in a potential queue that stretched round the block, like when the faint played there. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a line at all! Not that we were complaining, of course.
As I’d stated, the doors (meaning, the iron gate at the top of the steps that lead up to the venue) were supposed to open at 9, but they didn’t actually do so until almost 9.30, which was weird, as the Stick is usually spot on with their ‘door open’ time. That’s the sort of silly bollocks that we’d come to expect from seeing shows at St.Andrews in downtown Detroit, back when 90% of the good shows played there, which is something that hasn’t happened since the mid-to-late Nineties. But St.Andrews used to do that all the time — they’d say ‘Doors open at 8pm’, and they’d open like an hour later, sometimes longer. I tell you, waiting for whoever to get their shit together and open up when you’re physically waiting out in the weather was truly the Apex of Fun. But I digress.

So we get upstairs and grab a table off to the right. About ten minutes after that, the merchandise guy materialised, offering vinyl, T-shirts, and the coveted volume 2 of ‘Microtronics’. Broadcast has always been a band that have worn their influences proudly on their polyester sleeves, and the Microtronics series is no exception. Basically, it’s their collision of the heyday of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the Manhattan Research Incorporated years of Raymond Scott, and music from science class 8mm filmstrips. Pretty much standard Broadcast fare, only each track is an instrumental averaging about two minutes in length. Plus, the art is done ‘in the library style’, meaning the 3inch Cds look as if they belong on the shelves of a broadcast (ho ho) studio’s library. All of these factors add up to Cds that are required purchases. Besides, they’re a snip at $8..

Round 10pm, the opening act Gravenhurst, from Wales, by their own admission, took the stage. Labelmates of Broadcast, they’re best described as ‘competent’, and ‘indie’, and unfortunately, ‘nothing to write home about’. They had a number of fans amidst the crowd, as signified by the number of ‘wooooo!!‘s between numbers, but you could also chalk that up to people getting their pints in. Unremarkable? Yeah, pretty much. Good try though, lads.

Broadcast went on round 11. Trish, James, and the two new/fill-in blokes played to a by-now full house, performing songs from ‘Tender buttons’, and a couple dating back to ‘The noise made by people’, and going on for about an hour. I had a couple of misgivings when ‘Tender buttons’ came out, as former guitarist Tim Fenton had left the group, bringing the number of original members to two. Not only that, but the recent release had more songs based around a drum machine. Don’t get me wrong, Odhinn knows I love my drum machines, but to me, it initially didn’t jibe with what i considered the ‘original Broadcast sound’, despite the fact that you can hear the change from ‘Work and non work’ up to now. So initially, I was like, I dunno.. Thankfully, they didn’t let me down at all live. Although it was weird to see everyone save the drummer using Roland PC-70s, instead of more traditional analogue keyboards..
Much like New order during the Eighties, Broadcast had to do the double duty thing with their instruments: Jam played synth as well as his bass, the New Guitar Guy played synth as well, and when Trish wasn’t playing her synth, she had this odd little guitar which boasted a large headstock and a shortish neck. (I wish I could remember what it was called, as the name was right there on the pickguard, but I do remember it said ‘London’ beneath the name.) The fill-in lads did a really good job as well; any drummer that can manage to get through their extended concert version of ‘Drums on fire’ and not literally burst into flames can definitely hold his own. And during the encore, they played a really ace version of ‘I found the F’. Nice!
Between their darkly psychedelic Motorik sound and their customary visual backdrop, which consisted of film stock from Sixties and Seventies-era science class filmstrips, it was an excellent show! But it’s Broadcast; you simply can’t go wrong by them..

The three of us stuck round after the performance, cos I wanted to get autographs, like I had done for the past two times Broadcast visited. There was a bit of a wait — Trish and Jam were set upon by four people apiece — but it was definitely worth it. I requisitioned Trish first, and as soon as she got a good look at me, she exclaimed, ‘I remember you! You’re the one with the ace name!’ She even managed to pull Jam’s attention away for a couple of seconds from his own signing frenzy to notice me.
‘It’s something-cat, right?’ she asked.
‘Yep.. Dave. Davecat,’ I replied. ‘I was rather happy to hear that you had a song on the new album called “Black cat”!’ Which is entirely true, as it’s one of my favourite songs on that release, and the title just makes it better.
While she was signing my copy of Microtronics v2, I asked her about that strange guitar of hers, and if she’d found it at a car boot sale. No, you can still find them in shops here and there in England. She mentioned it was just her size!
I got James to sign as well, and asked him, ‘Everytime you guys come to town, you’re missing a member, what’s going on with that?’
‘Well, Tim left cos he wanted to go and do stuff on his own.’
‘Was the split amicable?’
‘Not really.’
He also mentioned that he wanted to do either two more volumes of Microtronics, or four more volumes of Microtronics. Sounds like a plan!

They’re fine people, Trish and Jam. Wouldn’t hear a word against ’em. Come back soon!

Random similar posts, for more timewasting:

Past my bedtime? Why yes! on August 7th, 2004


« Previous entries