- Filed in Welcome to my World at 15.53pm on 15 November 13
Typing this and watching the sky. Today we are expecting a storm of biblical proportions, not seen since the days of Noah or, somewhat more prosaically, the 80s when trees were uprooted and hurled thousands of miles into space where they float to this day, in orbit, like an interstellar lumber yard. If, on a cloudless night you gaze upwards, somewhere between Orion's Belt and Pegasus' eardrum you can just see the starlight reflecting from the branch system of the seven oaks that gave Sevenoaks its name. Their orbit is decaying of course (that's orbits for you, always decaying) so NASA can confidently predict their re entry on the 14th of August 2015. It is widely believed that after 30 years of flying around in the vacuum of space the trees may well be dead, but scientists are keen to retrieve them just in case.
Will this storm be anything like that? Possibly, which is why I've taken the precaution of cutting down all of my trees and storing them in the cellar. That way I know they're safe. Also stored in my cellar pre storm are; the cat, grandma,
A blond Roma child, several millionaire French footballers, Andrew Mitchell, an honest cop (I've saved a place, but I'm still looking for one), Ed Ball's grin and the economic recovery. They'll be safe there, I've lined the walls with energy bills and Scottish devolution leaflets, both impervious to water, fire and logic - nothing will get through them.
For myself, as soon as I finish tippy tapping I'll ask a neighbour to pop around to help tie me into an armchair I've attached to the national debt which, as we all know, ain't going nowhere.
I defy you storm, do your worse, crack your cheeks and all that, we will stand firm in the face of natural disaster, laugh in the face of surging seas and chuckle as cars fly past the window.
Bring it on nature, you wonderful, destructive thingy.
And you can do the same, just download my app, 'God is a pussy' and you too will be able to snear at the elements and treat the cosmos as your plaything. £599 from all good app stores.
- Filed in Welcome to my World at 8.00am on 01 October 13
Welcome To My World
Well, I actually managed to get a five day holiday this summer, and bloody marvellous it was too. Trolled down to North Devon to commune with waves, birds, trees and the local brew. Amazing. But I wouldn't want to live there, in fact the young lady who ran the farm we stayed on was originally from London and had moved there in search of the good life - she hadn't found it, miserable and lonely she admitted the whole thing had been a ghastly mistake. As we stood in a leafy lane, the sun filtering through, a cow mooing in the distance, I once more found myself repeating those two old sores; the grass is always greener and be careful what you wish for. Could I ever trade the hectic hurly-burly of Brixton for beautiful, but empty, vistas? This is the danger of holidays, and the reason I take them so rarely, last time it was The Norfolk Broads, so of course I came back full of plans to buy a boat, only to ditch them when I realised it wouldn't fit in my living room.
Devon is unquestionably beautiful, but dig a little deeper, visit some of the non-coastal towns and you find distressing levels of poverty, much worse than the urban equivalent, largely because these folks are stuck in the middle of nowhere. And just like London, the poverty lives side by side with incredible wealth. Such is capitalism I guess.
I was glad to get back, I felt wrong there, another London interloper looking to raid the countryside for all it could give and leaving nothing but a few quid spent in local shops and a deep and abiding sense of guilt.
And the realisation that town and country are as far apart as ever.
But I did have a new Gary Numan album to listen to. So that's nice.
I was lucky enough to meet Mick Farren and subsequently correspond with him. He, along with Nick Kent, was the music journo hero of my youth, even though we couldn't have been further apart both musically and politically. You see, Mick could write. And not many can.
All sorts of images rush through my head when I think of him; nitrous oxide (yes, they were doing it back then and they didn't use balloons), waving a gun around at the LSE, Greasy Truckers, cigarettes, Afro hair, Motörhead, squatting, Marxism, booze, speed...
But what I really recall is the writing, whether journalism or novels like my personal favourite The Feelies. He was blessed to be born in interesting times, the 60s and 70s were the high point of popular culture, it's been downhill ever since. I can't put it better than this comment below his obituary in The Guardian:
'Another hero dies. Mick Farren a man who lived life to the full and died about as rock and roll a death as he could ever have wished for. If only some of todays musicians had half the integrity and a quarter of the committment then maybe the world of rock and roll might offer some hope. But they don't and it doesn't.' Happyhead16
The greatest image manipulator of all time is back. The man who wrote the book about staying ahead of the game has a new album. The man who tried to bend art to fit pop, with mixed results, has folks running up their own arses all over again. Easy isn't it Dave? Been doing it all your life, running around looking at what the outsiders are doing, knocking off the rough edges and selling it to the people. You see, some people are so gullible that if you call it art it is art.
Hide away for awhile and start the speculation: is he doing a Garbo? Or is he dead?
Suddenly release a single without fanfare and make a video that makes as much sense as the Ashes to Ashes video... so it must be serious, deep, art.
Follow it up with a video featuring international queen of pretension Tilda Swinton and some Europeans we're supposed to know the names of but don't and therefore realise we are cultural deserts waiting for Dave to irrigate us. Just in case some folks weren't watching at the time make the video a remake of something David Lynch left twitching on the cutting room floor 20 years ago.
Or is that deliberate? Who cares?
Dave's a lovely bloke, full of life and humour. But you'd never know it. Funny Dave prefers us to see serious Dave because it makes him less human, a trick learned from arch comedians Kraftwerk.
And it's a trick that trips otherwise sensible people into writing nonsense...you know who you are, don't do it again, stuff that could fill pseuds corner for the rest of eternity.
It's pop music OK?
And some people are very good at it, and the game that goes with it. Bowie is one of the best. As are Kraftwerk. They make clever people look stupid by inviting them to jump off the cliffs of pretension - gigs in art galleries? Then it must be art and must be written about with different words that make me look very clever while the 'artist' sniggers behind his hand and counts the takings.
As somebody once said of Zaphod Beeblebrox, "He's just this guy you know?"
David Bowie, he's not the messiah, but he is a very clever boy, and most critics aren't.
Tom Artrocker Fawcett
Editor in Chief Artrocker Magazine
After a Christmas made memorable not by angelic faces carolling in the snow but by rain and novovirus I for one am happy to bid farewell to the whole damn thing. Only the inevitability of its returning 12 months or so hence brings a small cloud into my otherwise perfect sky. But after yet another Yuletide spent sniffling around the TV I've decided that, as far as the Artrocker household goes Christmas will be celebrated this year in July. Admittedly that isn't going to preclude the rain if the last two summers are anything to go by, but spontaneous up-chucking and howling winds would probably be less likely, probably. Whoever it was (I'm looking at you Vatican Council) who decided to plonk our one annual bean feast in the middle of winter didn't live in Blighty that's for sure. It's the only thing that could ever make me cast an envious eye on Australia, but it would take a lot more than that to make me ever consider actually living there. God put Australia at the other side of the world for good reason, to hide it. He never expected a bunch of Polynesians to stumble across it while out shopping and he never foresaw Captain Cook setting foot on that blasted earth and doing anything other than purchasing a return tout de suite.
So we're all back at the Rock face, banging away at the old keyboard, trying to work out what it was that we did at the office party that makes the intern giggle every time she catches the eye. And like a rocket of relief here comes Artrocker to lighten up the dull skies with our New Blood Festival, six nights kicking off tomorrow at the Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen. And you can get a ticket for the whole damn thing, 24 bands, for a tenner LINK WORD!here
If you can't make it console yourself with our latest Django Django clad issue here.
And don't forget our Gary Numan special app for tablets, it's a cracker, available from Apple for iPad here, Google Play for Android devices etc LINK WORD! here (?) and from the Amazon store for Kindle Fire HD any minute now. Even in Australia.
OK, I'm done plugging. You can look now.
Here's to another year together
Issue 134 is here...it's out on Halloween so find someone called Ian and say, "hallo Ian it's Halloween" and really confuse him
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