Friday, May 28, 2004

Mind the gas 

British Gas are still on my case about apparently owing £290 in power bills, even though they admit it's their error and acknowledge two girls who are rarely home of an evening couldn't possibly have run up that much in two months. However, they don't seem to have been able to communicate this to their computer system, and the red letters keep coming. Sigh. I can see this one is going to run and run.

Maybe I should take a leaf out of the Pettifogster's book. I recall back in our university days, he and his flatmates planned to save on power bills by wearing night vision goggles around the house. Alas, the plan was scuppered at the last minute by the goggles' $1,000 price tag.

Anyhow, here's Smacked Face's bank holiday weekend round-up (as if you care but...):

Tonight: We're off to Worker's Playtime at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club (42 Pollard Row, from 9pm), for some sleazy, kitschy sounds courtesy of the Karminsky Experience, Martin Green et al, possibly followed by Fesh at 333, where SF-fave Rusty Egan holds court with NYC electroclash-daddy Larry Tee (but no more accusations of Smacked Face being a "trendy Hoxton wanker" please, I'm a scruffy sod from Stokey who generally hates all things electroclash, so shut it).

Saturday: A spot of rambling in Hertfordshire, where Ms G and I will no doubt proceed to polish off enough cream teas to feed a small Eastern European principality.

Sunday: Scotland? Kent? Brixton? You tell me.

Monday: BOOZE, DISCO, ETC - of course. I've spent all this month's entertainment and clothes budget on records, so although I will be neither drinking nor smoking and wearing rags, goddamn there'll be some good tunes. Even better is the fact that, thanks to DJ maestros Terry Bristol and Jamie Robertson, there'll also be some good mixing, something you certainly won't get from me. And best of all, Monday means ALL-DAY HAPPY HOUR. Ease back into your working week with a big fat hangover, that's my advice. See you there - the Whitehorse, 94 Brixton Hill, London SW2, 4ish-late...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Black Gold Of The Sun, Rotary Connection

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Hobo selector 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThere were uncomfortable glances all round on the Northern line last night as an old tramp woke up and started to growl at the occupants of his carriage. The poor girl seated next to him looked about desperately for an escape, but with passengers packed in like Capitaine Cook's Sardines à L'huile, there was nowhere to run to, so she was subjected to a barrage of abuse - and I could smell him from my end of the carriage. Fully awake now, he brought out a can of Tennents from under his dirty duvet, complete with - the pièce de résistance - a straw. Cue muffled guilty sniggers from the masses and, I'm ashamed to say, I whipped out my phone for a sneaky snap or two.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usBut then I stumbled across Bumfights: A Video Too Far on Five last night and my secret shame turned into abject mortification. I would launch into some serious critical analysis here, but I'm still reeling from shock. For those who didn't see it, the documentary was about the public reaction to a video in which a group of smarmy-brat teen film-makers paid tramps and addicts to fight each other and do such charming 'stunts' as pull their own teeth out. Understandably people were horrified, and the creators are now - rightly - facing criminal investigation. And, unsurprisingly, doofus American teenagers are now making their DIY Bumfight-style videos with their own neighbourhood hobos.

And I can't even take the moral high ground because I take photos of unsuspecting alcoholics (the tramp, that is, not the lot below) and post them on the internet. I am evidently a very bad person.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Learn Spanish with Michel Thomas, CD 6

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Papa Cool? Yeah - real cool 

Did I say we were well-behaved the night Papa Cool came to Brixton? I lied, obviously. (Right-click for full-size pics, I've had to shrink 'em - the buggers were ruining the design...)

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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us "Apparently the Daily Mirror will be going to print with the Pixies concert photos next week," said Popbitch regular jacques_as_in_hattie, with regard to this photo (<---) while I was lurking and working hard as usual yesterday. How I laughed.

What I haven't been laughing at, however, is the rank, rotten, festering, purulent, putrescent, offensively bad service I've received from Dell, while trying to get my rubbish PC fixed (obviously it should never have crapped out in the first place, being just four months old, but that's another story).

On contacting Dell's "customer helpline", I am told:
1) I don't live in the UK so will have to go elsewhere;
2) I bought my computer in 2001 so am no longer under warranty.

This is obviously news to me, so having "politely" informed them of their errors, I explain my problems, which are threefold - 1) my CD-R/DVD drive refuses to work, 2) I can no longer get any internet connection and 3) my hard drive is crapping out, losing memory and crashing continuously. To which I receive the following "advice":

A) Put the xxx disc in the disc drive. But my disc drive is fucked.
B) OK, log onto xxx and download the following... But I can't get any internet connection.
C) Ah right. Um, here's 22 pages of instructions - you'll need to take a screwdriver and reseat the disc drive, then remove the hard drive and...

It's a wonder I have any hair left.

"I've seen you smile, but I've never really heard you laugh"
You've Got Everything Now, The Smiths

Spent most of last night on the phone to New Zealand, consoling my oldest friend whose 'long-term life partner' had just decided to sleep with someone else. I hope I was a good counsellor - after all, she was there for me when everything last went utterly tits-up in the romance department - but I fear I wasn't the most positive person in the world.

"You'll be OK, darling," I said, launching into the stock clichés (but they're truisms for a reason, you know). "It's going to hurt like a bitch, but you will get through this, and one day - as crazy as it sounds - you'll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about."

"Yeah, I guess," she replied. "Because you're OK now, aren't you?"

"God yeah, I'm fine. I'm having more fun than ever before..." And suddenly it struck me. "But I've completely lost my capacity for joy. Fun and good times, yes; unfettered joy and delight, no. The last great betrayal has turned me into a cold, hard, cynical bitch, rejecting affection and leading a superficial life lacking in... Shit, no, forget I said that, you'll be fine, um..."

And that's the last time I offer advice in the ways of the broken-hearted. Let's hope she didn't slash her wrists there and then.

In much brighter (and more superficial) news: my former countrymen Fat Freddys Drop, Vee and Charlie Kartel play Neighbourhood tonight. It'll be very, very good. I highly recommend you go.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Shack Up, A Certain Ratio

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Couldn't have said it better 

Matos (hwjwarzzzows@afromontreal.net) spams:

"Life is Short, Get a Big Ding-dong"


In summary 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRight. Just to get all the Mancy stuff out of the way, the last remaining fag ends of my notes. These include our one and only Morrissey sleb spot (---> it's Badly Drawn Boy, I'm using a T610 camera phone before you start criticising my photography, and no, those munters are not our friends); rediscovering the joy of gin and tonics post-gig back at the hotel until 3am with glam'n'gorgeous "new besssht mates" Max and Walter from Milan; the lack of anywhere to get brunch in the Canal Street area and surrounds ("Brunch starts at midday" - er, that would be lunch then?); passing a nightclub called (I kid you not) "Mutz Nutz"; the bus driver smoking a PIPE before opening the doors to let us on; the pikiest family ever seen (mum in bra top and tracksuit pants, teenage daughter with Croydon facelift and tracksuit, resentful-looking grandchildren in, er, tracksuits), who frightened us so much we took all our belongings off the bus when we stopped at the services; the old man sitting behind us who cleared his throat on the minute every minute for 4 1/2 hours...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAnyway I think I've exorcised the Manchester demons now. It was fun, don't get me wrong, but next time we'll choose a non-football-dominated weekend to avoid a repeat of Ghost City. It's left me well out of pocket too, damn it. Therefore, this week I will mostly be getting my kicks from free activities such as silly-product-name-spotting (left). And of course, getting down for another Bank Holiday bonus session of BOOZE, DISCO, ETC at the Whitehorse on Monday. Come on, you know you want to.

Bored? Check these new "worster album covers" (lifted from Joe Bloggs). Or test your vast musical knowledge and win an Ipod at the Observer Music Monthly's online quiz - at last the mag's good for something other than wiping your arse with.

And to the Whitehorse bouncer and whoever it was who raved about 'next big thing', dyslexic hairdresser-cum-popstrel Kristian Leontiou in the papers the other day - be gone, all of you! He's not the new Messiah, he's just a very average boy. Don't believe the hype.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Everything Changes, Keane

Monday, May 24, 2004

Manchester part II 

And so we get to the main event. The gig of a lifetime - for me anyway, a Morrissey fan since the sweet and tender age of 13 (that's 16 years ago, how frightening), on his BIRTHDAY in his HOMETOWN. And with new favourite band Franz Ferdinand as support. Does it get any better than this?

No. It doesn't. Especially because, thanks to the Frenchman and his contacts, our guestlist seats were, quite frankly, the best in the house. First-tier seating, in front of the stage, at eye level with the performers. I just about died with excitement, and indeed was threatened with death for gleefully jumping up and down and spilling my beer over the row in front.

Let's start with the Franz. Regular readers of these pages will know of Smacked Face's vast and all-consuming love for Alex Kapranos. They will then appreciate the sheer joy to be had in being seated right next to a 10-foot screen of said Scottish warbler.

But again, I digress. My love for Glaswegian pop stars is beside the point - "What were they like?" you cry. "Were they the stuff of legend?" Er, no. Not really. Any thought that they might be able to handle stadium-sized gigs (and the MEN Arena is MASSIVE) were quickly dispelled. Not yet, lads - they were OK but they just don't have the confidence yet to really rock a big crowd. Alex's singing seemed below par and whoever was doing their sound deserves a bullet. The only track they really shone on was Michael, where the thunderous drum riff seemed to fill all corners of the venue and they finally started to come into their own.

But whatever - anyone who supports Moz on his home turf deserves a medal. The majority of the crowd probably wouldn't have even heard of FF, they just wanted the main act. The first time I saw Morrissey, in Wellington in 1991, he had a string quartet as his support, and crikey, did they get a bottling from the Moz-mad mob. Franz Ferdinand, you're still heroes in my eyes. (Especially you, Kapranos.)

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Anyway, Morrissey... Oh my. As soon as the 10m-high lights spelling Morrissey blazed into life and he strode on stage, just like at the Royal Albert Hall the other year, I cried like a little girl. No matter that he and his band these days look like auditionées for Phoenix Nights, I cared not a jot. Suddenly I was 16 again, a crazed fan with a re-inspired obsession only teenagers and socially-inept geek-adults can usually muster. He sang like an angel, joked and laughed with his adoring crowd, extended a helping hand to the steady stream of would-be stage-divers prevented by burly security from getting through...

And what a set list.* Highlights (because this is going on for far too long): I Know It's Gonna Happen Someday, with its big, torchy Rock'n'Roll Suicide-sampling riffs, my favourite song to mope to as an 18-year-old; First of the Gang to Die; all the Smiths songs, natch, especially The Headmaster Ritual and Shoplifters Of The World Unite, and an absolutely beautiful There Is A Light That Never Goes Out as the world's most perfect encore. Sob.

It wouldn't be Moz without a shirtless moment (even though some might think better of it at 45), and we got two - one at the end, one after the encore, with not only the shirts being torn limb from limb on their arrival in the crowd, but the unfortunate shirt-catchers also getting a pummeling. The first shirt was still being fought over long after the band were safely ensconsed in their dressing rooms with a lager top.

Anyway, you've all stopped reading well before now, so I shall cease and desist. Suffice it to say, it was pure brilliance, and I fear, yea, know I shall never see the like again. Alas.

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* First of the Gang to Die / Hairdresser on Fire / Irish Blood, English Heart / The Headmaster Ritual / Subway Train (into) Everyday Is Like Sunday / I Have Forgiven Jesus / I Know it's Gonna Happen Someday / How Could Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel? / Rubber Ring / Such A Little Thing Makes Such A Big Difference / Don't Make Fun of Daddy's Voice / The World Is Full of Crashing Bores / Let Me Kiss You / No One Can Hold A Candle To You / Jack The Ripper / A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours / I'm Not Sorry / Shoplifters Of The World Unite. Encore: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out. (Thanks to Morrissey-solo.com for the set list - I noted it down, but trying to make sense of it was too much for this girl to handle.)

Manchester part I 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI knew the weekend was going to be a good 'un when I saw the front page of the Evening Standard (<---) – if ever there was a good omen...

To get into the swing of things, I tuned into Top Of The Pops on Friday night, but one could have been mistaken for thinking you'd tuned into the Saga channel instead, what with the Beastie Grandads Boys Ch-Check-ing It Out (and probably Pu-Putting a hip out), and dear old Moz, looking much like, as Charlie Brooker put it, a portly northern workingmen's-club comic... but more on that in a moment.

Anyway, many glasses of red wine later, Saturday morning was upon us, and, after much poking of the Frenchman with a sharp stick and threats of a cold-water drenching, we were on the road and, for once, managed to make it to the station on time. This would have been cause for celebration had we not been taking a bus all the way to grim old Mancy - a bus. A bus! Transport of the student masses and pikey classes! And worse, we were too late to be able to sit together and had to sit two rows apart at the back next to the toilet. Horrorshow. Thankfully, with everyone indoors watching the footie, the roads were clear and we completed the journey in the promised 4 1/2 hours.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOur hotel (the Britannia, two minutes from the station, convenience-central) was fabulous - all massive chandeliers, elegant sweeping staircases and faded grandeur. Even our room - a last-minute cheap-as-chips deal - was big enough for any self-respecting after-party to swing a cat or three in, though the lack of a window made for some surreal moments. Sleeping in a room with no light source is a very bizarre thing, waking up in one is even more so - and those prone to flights of fancy would have an absolute field day shagging in one...

But I digress. Manchester means music, so it was off to Oldham Street for some serious record-shopping. Window-shopping mostly, alas, as the sorry state of my bank account meant the Frenchman had to drag me kicking and screaming from half of them before I spent the rent money. Did pick up some killer bargains though, mostly at the Oxfam (Pass The Dutchie, some Stevie 45s, T-Rex, Bauhaus, Best of Hall & Oates) and the insanely excellent Vox Pop, where, among others, I stumbled upon a brilliant comp LP called Disco Unusual (and the discount of the century, see left). The Frenchman, not having the cash to record-spree it either, wouldn't even go into indie-fave Vinyl Revival for fear he might cry, having spotted the vast Bowie section and original Haçienda cloakroom sign.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us"Make sure you check Affleck's Palace," said everyone on learning we were heading Manchester way. So we duly did. Apart from providing vague sub-editor joy with this spelling mistake (<---), it was kinda rubbish. Sorry. And to be honest, at this stage, Manchester as a whole was looking pretty rubbish. The streets were near-empty, with only fat chavs drifting aimlessly about like pikey tumbleweed. A quick bite to eat at Night And Day and I was glad to head back to the hotel, away from the ghost town below, to prepare for the big night... But that's all in part 2. And it gets a lot better from here on in.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Black Skinned Blue Eyed Boys, The Equals

I went to Manchester but it was closed 

What a brilliant weekend - Morrissey was superb (I bawled like a baby - again), Manchester was fun if deserted (apologies to all those who received somewhat-premature texts expressing the sentiment "This place is a hole" or similar), and even the bus wasn't too bad. As soon as I've compiled all my notes and deciphered them, I shall reveal all...

Friday, May 21, 2004

Hard driving the point home 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRighty-ho, I'm just about outy 500. Any last-minute suggestions for fun in Manchester-England-England will be greatly appreciated, as will any nuggets of mirth to cheer up a poor lass whose "IT expert" ex-boyfriend has handily just managed to wipe her entire hard drive. Sayonara to the 2,000+ (illegally) downloaded tracks, cheerio digital photos, au revoir emails... Sob.

Thanks to Chuck Pettifogspot for the pic (<---). You can find more graffiti/hip hop/interesting stuff here.

PS: The view at sunset from the top of Streatham Hill over West London looks like Barcelona if you squint hard enough. Check it out if you're bored/in the area/trying to escape rioting Millwall fans this weekend.

PPS: Darius Danesh, if you're reading this, be proud (not literally, if you're going to get caught flashing your winkie on camera again) - the promise of seeing what's under your kilt has brought 20,000 visitors to this humble blog in the past 48 hours. Thanks. x

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Morrissey, Morrissey, Morrissey (sung to the tune of 'Ere We Go, thus combining the main two features of the weekend in one handy package)

POP: The new Javine album is great. Really.

BITCH: Who thought it would be a good idea to bring an entire class of Dalston primary school children on to the 149 bus this morning at rush hour? I will find you and kill you.

Ah, Manchester, so much to answer for. I wondered why I couldn't get a seat on a train back to London post-Morrissey on Sunday for love or money - s'the bloody FA Cup, innit? Which has seen this contender relegated to the third-division - the bus. (I would continue on with the football analogy, but it's a bit balls - ba-doom-tish.)*

Anyway, reading through the comments spurs (heh heh) me on to ask today's Question Of The Day:

What are the most hideous, most annoying, categorically worst-ever tunes you can think of to have on Internal Jukebox?

Obviously the offering below is your starter for 10...

* EDIT: Dave emails to say, "As I am a pedant, I had to point out that the problem you have in getting a train from Manchester to London is probably not related to the FA Cup Final. The Cup Final is being played in Cardiff, between Man Utd and Millwall. This would mean that very few football fans are likely to want to travel from Manchester to London. They will all want to travel from Cardiff to London (including most of the Man Utd fans, as they all live in Kent).

"As I live in Cardiff and am a Liverpool fan, I am of course relishing the prospect of thousands of Man Utd fans strutting about. Stupidly, I am also helping promote a gig in a club mere yards away from the stadium on Saturday evening. Here’s hoping it does not become a venue for one of the many inevitable clashes between Millwall and Cardiff City fans."

Thank you Dave. I'm happy to admit to being an ignoramus in matters of this year's FA Cup final - not only will I be on a bus at that time, but even if I weren't, I'd be watching the Scottish Cup final between Dunfermline and the mighty Celtic. But in honour of Dave's pedantry, I think everyone in Cardiff should go along to his night, if only to mock him for supporting Liverpool - Clwb Ifor Bach, Womanby Street, featuring the 'melodic rock' of Loudaphone and Last Man Standing, from 7.30pm, £4.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now, Starship (thanks to the Metro - make it stop please. NOW.)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The reason you're here 

Nice and big (the picture, that is)

[Opportunity knocks: while you're here: BOOZE, DISCO, ETC - Whitehorse Brixton, Sunday 6 June. See last time's guff for details. Do come. And if anyone wants to take two tickets to the Morrissey Manchester gig this Saturday off my hands (seated alas), drop us a line. Nice one.]

Things making me snigger this morning... 

... on my usual sweep through the sidebar (work? what's that then?).*

• New-favourite-blogger Hackney Lookout's description of the exact route I walk home (is he stalking me?), and his skanky pigeon quest

• The saddest hen night in the world

• Nutgroist's Bergerac dream

JonnyB's observation that Radio 2's Steve Wright is "the marrow of DJs"

• The IMDB Troy 'pants game'

Engrish.com (as per)

Unlucky Man's confession that the first single he bought was Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face. I would laugh and point but - apart from The Wombles' "Top Of The Poppers" 7" (four storming Wombles hits including Remember You're A Womble and White Tie And Tails, which wipe the floor with that "Underground, overground" nonsense) when I was very young - the first music I remember choosing was the Huey Lewis & The News album Fore!. Shame. (And no, I am not Patrick Bateman.)

LATE ADDITION: Bill Drummond. You are a souperstar.

* Everything seems particularly mirthsome this morning - quite an achievement, really, seeing how I am sitting in a sweaty fog of last night's alcohol seeping from my pores, facing the worst hangover I've experienced in quite some time. (The Frenchman is trying to tell me he had to carry me to bed last night, but considering he is an inch shorter and probably considerably lighter than me, how he could have negotiated two flights of stairs remains a mystery. And most definitely a lie.) Actually, I'm probably still drunk. :(

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Shaddap You Face, Joe Dolce (yeah, cheers Unlucky Man)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Roots en route 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us I walked to work this morning listening to an old Prince Far-I album. I don't know whether it was the reggae, the sunshine, the ancient battered Birkenstocks, or a combination of all three, but it took me 20 minutes longer than usual (though I did stop to take this photo (<---) in Hoxton Square along the way).

Anyway, hurrah, I've just been handed a week-long press trip in Mallorca - sun, sand, sea, 5-star hotels, Gaudi, subterranean lakes, Michael Douglas's house... I'm a very happy bunny, especially as a big parcel of books and goodies has just arrived from Amazon - perfect lazing-on-a-beach material, if I can keep from devouring the lot beforehand. True bliss.

It certainly promises to be better than last weekend's day trip to Balham, which I've just been reminded of. Our picnic in the park was lovely, the Bloody Marys at the Bedford were fantastic and I highly recommend you sample our lovely pal Mark's fine executive-chefing of a lunchtime, or perhaps before a spot of comedy in the natty little (read: massive and round) theatre out the back. But what in hell's name is going on with the Balham locals? Every second person seems to be aged 80 and severely crippled. You can't move on the high street for walking sticks akimbo and wheelchair scooters burning rubber...

Finally for now, the charmingly-named Gobsausage play 93 Feet East tonight (sadly not, this time, alongside the even more delightfully-monickered Fist Fuck Deluxe). I don't know why you need to know any of this, aside from the fact I've always wanted to include the word 'gobsausage' on these pages.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Irish Blood, English Heart, Morrissey

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usDaniel Bedingfield (another Donkey lookalike) recently claimed God had warned his parents he would be involved in a car crash.

Some would see this as proof God exists. I agree - keeping Daniel out of the recording studio and away from stage and screen for months on end certainly seems like there's a God to me. (Eagle-eyed readers will notice Daniel's T-shirt reads "Everything's better in Lynfield*". I think this says it all really.)

But that's enough Bedingfield. Oops, let's get that punctuation right - I mean, "That's enough, Bedingfield!" I trust we will not have occasion to see him on these pages again. On to REAL music, and it's with a vaguely heavy heart I can announce there's definitely no Sonar for me this year. But after three years running, it's time I gave it a break - I've had some brilliant times, but each year I've seemed to enjoy it slightly less, and to be honest, this year's line-up leaves me somewhat cold.

But I still intend to get down Spanish-style this summer, which is why I've chosen to FIB it at Benicàssim. I've heard only good things, not least from my hero Alexis Petridis - which is lucky, because persuading this comfort-lovin' lass to pack up her rucksack and hit the campsite is no easy feat. But the still-TBC line-up might have succeeded alone – it's brilliant! Hurrah! Hurry up August!

* Rubbish middle-class suburb of Auckland

Go bag! 

Courtesy of Quentishtown, the Smacked Face press release of the day:


Amazing new disposable urinal bag solves the problem of where to go ... when you're on the go!

Now that summer's here, the problem of finding a clean, convenient public lavatory whilst out on a day trip with the kids or stuck in those horrible traffic jams could be a thing of the past for thousands of people following the launch of the PWP Go Bag - a revolutionary new personal toilet that instantly turns urine into an odourless gel.

The discreet PWP Go Bag is a toughened, leak-proof bag containing a second bag holding a crystal pouch inside. These polymer crystals solidify urine and other liquids instantly into an odourless, spill-proof gel that is non-toxic and safe for disposal in any normal bin. The bags are ergonomically designed for use while sitting or standing and each one can be used up to three times.

Hundreds of people are also buying the magic bags for summer festivals like Glastonbury and Reading, as well as camping holidays and day-trips in the UK and abroad... The bags are used by the US Army and are also used by commercial drivers, campers and outdoor pursuits enthusiasts. In fact, anyone who ever needs to use the toilet!"

It goes on, but you get the point. Surely a wind-up, we thought, but hark nay. So, er, if you're off festivaling it this summer and feel like pissing in a bag, check it out here. After all, Go Bags are used by "anyone who ever needs to use the toilet" - so unless you're hooked up to a catheter, what are you doing without this product?! Don't say we're not good to you...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Go Bang!, Dinosaur L

Monday, May 17, 2004

Oh lord. My sub-editor's brain is going into overload.... can't breathe... What is going on with this email I've just received?





For the love of God, someone please get the woman a new SpellCheck™ programme.

Utterly batterly 

If there was ever a day I felt like pulling a sickie, it's today. But seeing as it's the most spectacular weather seen this year, I figured it might look a tad suspect - as Monday sickies tend to anyway - so I forced myself to haul my broken and battered self into work. (And at least I still have a job - unlike poor Piers Morgan, the shockwaves of which are still being felt round these parts. I'll be sad to see Piers leave the Mirror, if only because of the amusement to be had watching normally sensible women turn to jelly in his presence and prostrate themselves at his feet at parties.)

And anyway, my weekend was positively tame compared to some. I may have been the girl you spotted at 7am on Sunday morning doing handstands in Brockwell Park surrounded by empty bottles of Smirnoff Ice, but such dawn gymnastics pale in comparison with the antics of Bad Boy's Girl, who is mad as a sack of cats. The Scottish lassie's Sunday mission saw her and Irish Jim banned from several bars, Camden Market, Virgin and Burger King, moved on by the police for pestering a homeless man, and ended only when she returned to the White Horse much later that day, sporting a rather radical new haircut and clutching a small dolly, a nasty frilly bag, and a light-up musical pony on a stick.

So things could have been worse. And anyway, I've seen the video footage and we weren't too misbehaved at all. If you don't count my 5am danceathon in the Frenchman's PVC pants, who learned the perils of a life spent as a dandy follower of fashion after his wardrobe was ransacked and the dress-up games began. But you really do deserve all you get if you insist on keeping last decade's hideous tartan stovepipes and plastic pants in public view. We say Opti-NO.

Oh, and a very happy birthday to Jamie R, last seen walking a microwave home from Brick Lane on Friday night, even stopping at lampposts so it could relieve itself. The freak.

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> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Marquee Moon, Television

Friday, May 14, 2004

Friday afternoon musings 

A discussion at the pub last night made me realise most people - not just me - secretly fancy themselves as resembling someone famous. I'd like to think I look like Charlize Theron, but as she is 6ft, blonde and gorgeous, and I am 5ft 7, dark-haired and scruffy, I realise others might not see the similarities. (I have been told I look like Juliette Lewis, Chrissie Hynde, former Kiwi kids telly presenter Hine Elder and, er, Keith Richards, but only been by drunk blokes trying to chat me up.) However, the Frenchman practically IS Napoleon, and the Donkey ex seems to be a dead ringer for hundreds of stars - Eddie Izzard, Kiefer Sutherland, Rankin, Philip Seymour Hoffman - with a new one seemingly being added every couple of weeks.

Actually, thinking about it, most of my exes seem to look like (semi-)famous people. I'm still trying to think of suitable analogies for the Pettifogster, the Crime Reporter, the Singer and the First-One-Who-Proposed, but sure they'll come to me in the dead of night (the analogies, that is). And let's not even get started on the bit players (even if I could remember them).

Anyway, that's the last word from me. This weekend I shall be mainly visiting Brick Lane - 1001 and Vibe Bar this evening, Secret Sundaze on, er, Sunday - and rotten bung old Brixton on Saturday, for a little bit of Eurovision (hopefully no limb-snapping involved this year) followed by the finest funk'n'soul mayhem from Papa Cool's Billy and Batty Mauch at the Whitehorse. Hurrah! Weegies RULE.

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The 6th Form Stunner The Radio Star Ex The IT Boy The Odd Choice The Donkey

You're all winners! 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us... For today is Smacked Face's 200th post, which means you've put up with a helluva lot of nonsense these past six months. Well done. Here's to you all. Champagne? Well, it has only just gone lunchtime... But, ah, what the heck - and crack us open a beer* while you're there. With a whisky chaser.

Anyway, enough already. I had loads to report this morning but the extraordinarily lovely morning - so lovely even Brixton Hill looked nice, and it takes pretty phenomenal weather to make Brixton look decent - has seen all my ideas vanish into the muzzy stratosphere of my hungover brain.

In the meantime, thinking of beer - mmmmm, sweet liquor - has reminded me of the ale-related antics of a philistine friend, a story which I reckon is now safe to post. Let's give it a whirl.

"SO. We're at a messy after-party, and a few of us are sitting in the host's bedroom, in the absence of the host. A cool new acquaintance who I'm still trying to impress passes me a bottle of beer and says, 'Did you see this?' I'm stoked we've managed to find some booze at 10am and run off to find a fag, come back to the beer and start to crack it open with my lighter, bogan style. Then, like in the movies, it all goes slow-mo - I hear a 'NOOOOOOOO!' from the acquaintance, who's flying across the room... We tumble to the ground, freeze-frame style, but it's too late - I've opened the beer. It only turns out to be one of those fucking limited-edition Jake and Dinos Chapman Becks Futures bottles - one of 23 ever made - which he had merely been trying to show me. Luckily he jams the lid back on and we pretend nothing has happened, and manage to escape before the alarm has been raised. The perfect crime? Perhaps. But very shameful nonetheless. Not so cool now, am I?"

Brilliant. Personally I think the Chapman bros would love this story - it transcends mere art (and what is 'art' anyway, yadda yadda) and becomes ROCK AND ROLL.

PS: After 200 posts, it's good to see the Gender Genie still thinks "the author of this passage is: male!" Back in November, my scores were Female: 1139; Male: 1312. Now they're Female: 1171; Male: 2357. It would appear I am getting blokier. Crikey.

PPS: As anticipated, Troy is a steaming pile of crap. The acting is as wooden as the horse, the liberties taken with the storyline unforgiveable, the script unbelievably tedious. Not even good in a mindlessly-entertaining Bruckheimer blockbuster way. Avoid at all costs.

* Preferably the new Kronenbourg Blanc. It's terrrrrrrrrific!

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Judy Is A Punk, The Ramones

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Walk this way 

If you've ever wanted to walk a mile in Smacked Face's shoes, here's as close as you're going to get - some pics from my journey to work this morning. Delight in the corner stores of Stokey! Thrill to the "urban grit" of Hoxton! Laugh at the wee neds in their Burberry-cuffed jeans! Welcome, as they say, to my world.

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Thanks to the Tedster, who directs me to the Kiwi Puppet Company to "further indulge your passion for NZ bird gloves [see below]. Let the experiment begin!" Er, quite. I can't decide which puppet might have the most devastating effects on an infant, but I'm rather liking the idea of 'Hairy Horace'.

And lastly, RIP John Whitehead. Though I personally think Risco Connection did a better job of Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now (yes plebs, the Fame Academy theme tune), there's no doubting the whopping talent of the man responsible for, among other stormers, the mighty Back Stabbers. What a tune. What a dude. Respect. (Ironically, it turns out there wasn't "no stoppin'" him - a gun seemed to do the job fairly well. Alas.)

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Trash, New York Dolls

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Glove will tear us apart 

Hey, hey! It's Wednesday and that means... um, random ramblings I've collected and stored over the past little while in a wee file called "Blog Bollocks". It definitely does what it says on the tin.

Inspector Sands' "wanker" pic and subsequent responses - featuring such gems as "Cops are cun", from a sprayer who'd obviously been disturbed halfway through, as well as the "Big Dave's Gusset" and "Good morning losers" grafs near London Bridge - reminded me about the grand Smacked Face graffiti quest, and it's definitely time for an update. I keep waiting for decent light to take some pics of witty Stokey/Dalston graf, but in the meantime here are some more arty-farty snaps from our Serge Gainsbourg Parisian pilgrimage (I still like the "grate skellington" best).

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Have YOU seen any graffiti to rival the infamous "Simon Hawkins is a plastic cunt" in the Stoke Tup toilets? Smacked Face needs you! Feel free to 'tag' the comments box etc...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAlso, for no other reason than I read something about a pukeko yesterday, I'm reminded of one of the Radio Star Ex's grand scientific schemes/fantasies. If I remember rightly, it depended on the (thankfully statistically unlikely) event of him having twins, whereby he planned to lavish upon one child all the comforts and privileges in the world; the other, he would place in a box and feed through a hole on the wall, via a "pukeko glove" (similar "takahe glove" demonstrated by model, left), to see if it would grow up, à la Greystoke, believing it was more beast (or bird) than man. Then, on their 18th birthday, he would bring the pair together again to compare and contrast.

Sometimes I wonder why we never ended up together...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: White Man In Hammersmith Palais, The Clash

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Darius proves he's a true Scotsman. But did he have to do it in front of a six-year-old? For shame!

Shoegazing can kill 

My horoscope* today, courtesy of Astrocenter.com, informs me:
"This is one of those days when you will be walking down the street, and all of a sudden you will notice a twenty-dollar bill in the gutter. This doesn't mean that you should go walking around town with your head down today. In fact, just the opposite is true. Keep your head held high at all times."

Sadly I didn't read this until I got to work. In the meantime, while walking from Stokey to Old Street this morning (I'm quite the fitness guru), I got so distracted by the beauty of Ulrich Schnauss streaming through my headphones that, misty-eyed and gazing at my shoes, I walked straight out into the path of the No 76 to Waterloo, which missed me by mere inches. And I didn't spot even a dirty old penny in the gutter, let alone 20 bucks.

Cheers to the consistently wonderful Inspector Sands at Casino Avenue, who has been quoted as enjoying the rubbish on these pages, citing that Smacked Face "oozes a lust for life". Which is certainly better than the usual stuff I can be found to ooze (generally the stench of cigarettes and alcohol from every pore) - and well, who doesn't like to be mentioned in the same breath as Iggy Pop every once in a while? (Although it's sadly all too common these days, as the photographic evidence on this site will testify to.)

* In case you were curious, I am apparently an Aquarius on the cusp of Pisces, with Leo rising. Supposedly I am "adventurous, curious, flexible, idealistic, humanitarian, independent, innovative, intuitive, loyal, original, resourceful, sociable and spontaneous" and (not so good) "eccentric, inaccessible, inconsistent, intolerant, peculiar, quixotic, radical, rebellious, scattered, unpredictable and unrealistic". When I use my powers for "selfish reasons", my "intense personality may suffer from arrogance, autocratic pride, egocentrism, and extreme narcissism". If you believe all that guff. (Which you should, because it's all true, more's the pity.)

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Get Up Off That Thing, James Brown

Monday, May 10, 2004

When song went wrong 

Criminy! This Saturday is Eurovision time! How quickly it seems to have come about. Could it have been one whole year since I last slurred "Nul points! Nul points!" at a television screen?

Ah yes. Eurovision holds a rather special place in my heart. Not growing up in Blighty didn't stop me taking to the song contest like a native on arrival on these fair shores, but it was Eurovision 2003 that really changed my life.

The last thing I recall about the whole sorry affair was the New York City Girl and I being told off for cackling too loudly over Jemini's abysmal performance, and the two of us seeking sulky solace in a large bottle of vodka. The next thing I knew, I was back in my own lounge trying to balance a large bag of frozen peas on my foot, before passing out again and waking the next day with a left foot the size of a basketball and as blue as an E-muncher on a Tuesday.

What had gone on? The Donkey didn't know, but shamefacedly recalled how, the night before, believing me to be crying wolf, he had ignored my whinges and pleas for a cab and forced me to walk to the tube station. Oops. (I'll see your guilt and raise you a cup of tea and two months' slavish devotion.) There was only one person who could sort this mess out - Quentishtown. We got him on the blower quick smart.

"Jeez mate, I dunno, I was wrecked," came his unhelpful response. "Hang on - I do kinda remember someone skateboarding down the stairs... Was that you?"

Indeed, dear readers, it probably was. It didn't ring any bells with me, but the kindly doctor at the hospital said the savage break in my fifth metatarsal was consistent with having struck something such as a wall or banister with massive force, such as that compounded from traversing a steep flight of carpetted stairs while sitting on a truckless skateboard. She also said I wouldn't be putting any weight on it for at least the next six weeks. Which naturally boded well for our forthcoming two-week holiday in Barcelona and northern Spain.

Yep, it's Eurovision this weekend. Just be careful out there, kids.

Do YOU have an embarrassing/laughable/rather dull and pointless Eurovision story? Why not use the all-new, improved Comments box and share your stories with the world? Half a dozen readers already have. Six people can't be wrong!

Big Brother is watching you 

Why do I feel so utterly rubbish today? Am I a) still suffering from a big long run on Saturday morning; b) still suffering from Saturday night on the turps at Fabric; c) still suffering from spending Sunday in bed either scoffing down high glycaemic index carbs or vomiting them up; d) still suffering from a sleepless night due to an apparent Sunday night/Monday morning changathon going on in my lounge; or e) all of the above?

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us (BTW, speaking of Fabric, how good was it to hear the Optimo boys play Pigbag? Not only is it the subject of the world's funniest conversation, but it's a fantastic track which deserves to be heard out more. It's been lurking cowardly at the back of my bag for months, but no longer! Smacked Face says: Pigbag - yes!)

Anyway, until my head gets itself together again, I'm going to have to resort to the oldest blogging trick in the book, the use of a referral list to fill the gap until inspiration returns. Forgetting the million searches for "dovebridge", "zigfrid" and "secret sundaze" (I'm so Shoreditch right now), here are a few of the choicer search terms being sent Smacked Face's way in recent weeks:


> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Let's Go Swimming, Arthur Russell

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