Thursday, September 30, 2004

Music to dump girls by 

As much as I tsked and shook my head at the news Pete Doherty had failed to make it to yet another gig ("I fell down the stairs", mmm, nice one), I still can't bring myself to absolutely give up on the kid. But that's another story.

Very quickly, since it's late in the day, it's music Thursday here at Smacked Face, brought on by the fact that thinking about Pete makes me think about Libertines songs, and thinking about Libertines songs almost inevitably brings me to thinking what a wonderful track Music When The Lights Go Out is, and how it would be the perfect song to break up to.

Here's your QOTD then (stealing just a little bit from fellow blogger Oeillade): what song would you play to someone to get the message across that they're ditched?

I'd go with the above Libertines gem, obviously, follow it by trotting out Teddy Pendergrass's excellent I Don't Love You Anymore (sampled, to best effect, in SF's opinion, by Chicago house don Gene Farris, trainspotters), and top it off with The Smiths' Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before - a track containing the lines, "Nothing's changed/I still love you, oh, I still love you/Only slightly, only slightly less than I used to, my love". This last song was in fact played to a 16-year-old Smacked Face by a boyfriend too chicken to come out and say, "You're history, girlie." But you have to like his style - if you're a Smiths fan, that is. If you're of the school that thinks Morrissey sounds like a whining Mancunian banshee, it'd just be rubbing salt in the wound, wouldn't it?

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Most of the tracks on Teddy Pendergrass's superb self-titled album - one of my favourites of all time, and woe betide if anyone should ever steal it from my crate. Apart from the dope cover, would you just check the tracklisting?! The More I Get..., You Can't Hide From Yourself - the man's a soul machine.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Boys vs girls 

Ooh, surprise, surprise, the sexes are different. Before you scamper off to your browser's back button, relax, I'm not going into any Women's Studies-type gender analysis here - perish the thought (I only lasted two weeks in Women's Studies 102 anyway). This is just an idle collection of observations of how certain cultural works act as beacons to truly drive the point home.

The first one is John Fowles' book, The Magus, as referred to in my rambling Greek holiday account below. In my experience, men love it, women are a bit 'meh' about it. Personally, I loved the evocative prose and sumptuous descriptions, but couldn't get into all the twisted psychological 'god-game' nonsense. It veered too much towards the 'paperback thriller' mode for me - but basically, it just didn't grip me. I found the characters mostly unsympathetic and the plot pretentious. Much like with Fight Club (see below), male friends encouraged me to persevere, saying the twist at the end would redeem it. But, much like Fight Club, it actually made it worse.

Regular Smacked Face reader Raoul Djukanovich says, of my men vs women theory here (and I hope he doesn't mind me quoting him), "I think you're entirely right. The twisted stuff only works if you're as twisted as [main character] Nicholas Urfe, which most young men are, unless they've already figured out Conchis's god-game. I liked it especially because he seemed to have captured something very telling about how people's minds work - but girls have probably already figured that sort of thing out for themselves, usually from despairing of boys."

I think he might be on to something.

The second boys-vs-girls divide comes with, yes, Fight Club, and possibly for exactly the same reasons as Raoul offers. Again it's a twisted exploration of the psyche, but perhaps this psyche - being so overwhelmingly male - is something girls can't relate/can't be arsed relating to. I have yet to find a female fan of said film, and it's not anything to do with being pussy about the levels of violence or anything - most girls I've spoken to simply found it dull, and claim the "thrilling twist" of an ending is both predictable and pointless. So there.

The third... hmm, what was the third? Oh right, Adam Sandler's foray into arthouse, Punch Drunk Love . It's been a while since I saw this, and to be honest, it made so little impression it's no wonder I can't remember much about it, but I do recall the then-boyfriend coming out of the cinema almost in tears at its genius. And me wondering if I'd missed something... Talking to girlfriends reinforced my opinion that no, I had not.

Anyway, there's three sweeping generalisations for you - boys like this, girls don't like this - with, as usual, not a hint of any analysis to back it up. Or even a point. At the very least, it might inspire some of you to get busy in the comments box and provide me the argument I so desperately need.

Monday, September 27, 2004

It's all Greek pt 1 

As promised, the holiday rundown. I could go on and on, but I know 90% of you only look at the pictures anyway. ;)

Sunday - Plataria:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usManic 90mph taxi ride from Preveza airport where I fear for my life - on passing a fatal truck-car head-on, the driver says, "They should have slowed down", possibly advice he himself should heed. On reaching the marina, I see the sis for first time since January - it's a touching reunion - and meet my sailing companions, the sister's workmates, gorgeous Glaswegian Matt and darling Darwinite Niko, and visiting Scottish doctor Kate. I take over the yacht's stereo system with funk CDs specially compiled for the sibling unit, who hates them - tasteless sod. Lots of stray dogs here, which are fairly harmless but no doubt riddled with fleas and have a tendency to knock you over while fighting. A six-year-old blond cherub bikes past, whom the sis tells me to avoid at all costs. They call him Damian, for obvious reasons, and I notice a cold, hard glint in the devil-child's eyes. We head over to Stephanos's fine waterside establishment for an afternoon of beers and catching up, which extends well into the evening. Bliss.
Lunch: Greek salad, tzatziki, many beers
Dinner: aubergine dip, moussaka, more beers

Monday - sail to Mourtos:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usFirst taste of life on the open sea. Actually, first time on a yacht since 1999. I've still got the sea legs from a dinghy-sailing youth though (my own childhood, that is - I didn't amputate a child). I try wakeboarding off the back of the boat, fail miserably and bruise my wrist while giggling like an idiot. I declare Mourtos to be the most beautiful place ever. Drink lots of beers with the boatmates, buy a sarong which I will not change out of until journey's end (it does get washed, I'm not a total skank) and enjoy the finest seafood chowder on the planet over dinner with the Saga types who make up the rest of the flotilla. Have to explain to one elderly couple three times that I do not work for the Daily Mail and would rather fry my own hand than do so.
Breakfast: Greek doughnut, pinwheel scone thing
Lunch: Tzatziki, vine leaves, frappé, beers
Dinner: seafood chowder, swordfish steak, beers, coffee

Tuesday - sail to Lakka:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWake up dying for a piss, but don't fancy the boat's tiny toilet, so I take a running jump off the bow for a refreshing dip/wee combo. Attract the attention of the shore patrol and receive a reprimand - "No swimming here, boat only!" We set out for Lakka, the water is like glass - perfect wakeboarding weather. I give it another go and discover a hidden talent - well, I only faceplant twice. Declare THIS the most beautiful place ever, as I swing my legs over the side of boat and watch the water change six different shades of turquoise beneath my feet on entering Lakka harbour. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usSpend the afternoon wandering about back streets and sipping frappés at waterfront cafés. Multi-yacht-owning friends of the sister's sail in and join us for a quiet bevvie before dinner at Dionysus (much-vaunted specialists in garlic-stuffed lamb). This turns into many bevvies and a foul "Euros pitta" (filled with chips - chips!!) en route to Bar Romantica, which rapidly becomes the least romantic venue in town as a bewigged Smacked Face goes on a disco bender. Thankfully the only casualties are a stained frock and broken flip-flops - and a hundred old men's hearts...
Breakfast: full English
Lunch: courgette pie, beers, large chocolate ice cream, frappé
Dinner: "Euros pitta", far too many beers, cocktails, shots...

Wednesday - sail to Mongonissi:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAn early-morning dip rapidly sorts the hangover, though uncovers no trace of the broken flip-flops reportedly turfed by Smacked Face into the drink as she was carried back to the yacht by Weegie Matty the night before. The writer heads to a café to hide after reviewing the night's photographic evidence, before the boat sets off for the paradisical island of Mongonissi. Its sole taverna promises Greek dancing, but oddly enough, no one's terribly keen in the sober light of day. Am introduced to the island's lone resident duck, which drinks from the sibling module's bottle of water. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAhhh. Spend the afternoon snorkelling and sunbathing, start on the airport purchase of Robert Evans' The Kid Stays In The Picture, having finished Andrey Kurkov's Death & The Penguin the previous afternoon. Am forced to do 20 minutes of Greek conga after dinner (the biggest, juiciest prawns known to man, gahhhh), but make a break for it when the Timewarp kicks in.
Breakfast: omelette
Lunch: stuffed peppers, spinach pie, feta dip
Dinner: stuffed vine leaves, prawns, baklava

Thursday - sail to Gaios via Emerald Bay:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us9am, and I hurl myself off the bow, performing a bomb Peter Kay would be proud of. Unfortunately, this drenches the elderly couple breakfasting on deck next door. No matter, they should be thankful, as we're under attack by an army of wasps. The sis and I head over to Gaios in the inflatable to pick up supplies for the evening's proposed punch party, before setting sail for the aptly-named Emerald Bay. The scattering of luxurious villas tucked away on the coastal hilltops remind me of The Magus, and I imagine our journey being secretly observed by mysterious eyes with sinister intent... At Emerald Bay, we have lunch, swim in and out of caves and perfect the fine art of 'arse bombing' (like a belly flop but on your arse), which Matt has read about in the latest Nuts magazine. Life doesn't get better than this. I could stay here forever, but a slightly chill wind picks up, so we head next door to Gaios. Kate and I have our own pre-punch party, indulging in a super-sized waffle cone ice cream, sinking a beer or two and feasting on cheese and salami crispbreads. That doesn't prevent me consuming half the dips and the punch at said punch party, leaving no room for dinner at Alex's taverna. Which I eat anyway. The sis and I reminisce, Scottish Matt looks bored, I sink far too many Metaxa sunrises and foolishly decide to cram in Greek donuts and ice cream for pudding. On retiring to my cabin, I'm not feeling too good. Gaios is beautiful, btw - though more touristy, its village charm (and superb ice creams) make it possibly my favourite place in the Northern Ionian...
Breakfast: yoghurt and honey, cheese pie
Lunch: cheese toastie, Pringles, large ice cream waffle cone
Dinner: cheese and salami crispbreads, punch party dips, mixed meze, Greek doughnuts and ice cream, mucho punch, Metaxa sunrises

TO BE CONTINUED, yadda yadda...

It's all Greek pt 2 

Friday - sail to Lefkas:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe morning's not off to the best start as the effects of last night's binge come back to haunt me. Ugh. Worse, there's a southerly, meaning our hopes to head for Parga are dashed. Niko reveals at our 9am briefing that we're leaving the island of Paxos and goin' south to Lefkas, which is fine but means I miss out on the much-anticipated meal at a five-star Parga restaurant - sob. We head back to the boat and hassle Matt about the revelations from our neighbours in Lakka, who claim Matt kept them awake for hours listening to Dolly Parton's Jolene on repeat, followed by Rolf Harris's Stairway To Heaven. (I knew donating the Vegas party compilation CDs to the boat was a bad idea.) Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWe set off and the strong winds kick in. The sea's choppier than the Karate Kid on match day, so it's waterproofs all round. The sis and Matty head down below and make a valiant attempt at napping while being thrown from one side of the cabin to the other. I, on the other hand, stay topside and, with reading out of the question (FYI I've finished The Kid Stays In The Picture and moved on to Simon Gray's excellent The Smoking Diaries), I commandeer the stereo - The Clash proves to be perfect for the occasion. Lefkas is a somewhat charmless yachties' town and doesn't appeal hugely, so I take the opportunity to head to an internet café, where hundreds of noisy Greek teens are hogging the PCs, playing Doom. My inbox reveals an invitation from a young gentleman to visit him in San Francisco before year's end. This proves rather tempting, so I spend the next hour geeking online, planning a Californian jolly with the venerable Ms G. Before dinner at the Lighthouse, I foolishly try on the jeans I wore on the plane over here - they no longer fit. Christ.
Breakfast: yoghurt and honey
Lunch: cheese sandwich, Werther's Originals, two peaches, pistachio bar
Dinner: tzatziki, moussaka, yoghurt and honey

Saturday - sail to Little Bathi:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt's the last day of the trip, and it turns out to be one of the best. As is tradition, I purchase a cookbook in Lefkas before we hit the high seas. The journey to Little Bathi, on Meganissi, is fantastic - deliciously warm, sunny and cloudy in equal measures, the waves drenching me in spray as I sprawl on the deck, taking too many photos of cloud formations. I stick a compilation of classics on the stereo, and sailing into the gorgeous village of Little Bathi to the strains of Bowie's Helden makes my heart swell like the ocean beneath me. Superb. It's hot as hell here, so the sis and I opt for an afternoon of bonding and chilling par excellence. She and her yachtie mates have mocked me all week for my urbanite grooming habits (such as washing), but this is forgotten as I give her an Eve Lom facial and we trade manicures and pedicures. Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAt dusk we take a walk to a tiny village in the hills, where I spot the most incongruous sighting of the holiday - an old Greek widow sitting on her porch, eyes contentedly half-shut, listening to a badly-tuned radio - which happens to be blasting out Guns 'N' Roses' Welcome To The Jungle. I take more photos of majestic cloud/ray formations and truly feel the presences of the gods. Dinner at Kiki's is delicious but subdued, although I still manage to put away a staggering amount of nasty red wine. I don't want to leave tomorrow.
Breakfast: yoghurt and honey
Lunch: a peach, Greek salad
Dinner: stuffed aubergines, lots of red wine, special coffee

Sunday - return to London:
I wake at 2am with stomach pains. Damn that red wine. Just as I manage to get back to sleep, a storm kicks in. By 5am, the boat is being tossed about like a rugby ball, so we all get up to share a fag, hang out of the hatch and watch the lightning. The gods are mighty in their furious glory. At 6.30am my alarm goes off, as I've the 7.30am ferry to catch. But will it even arrive? The storm is more ferocious than ever. Finally we see the lights in the distance, and make a mad dash to the dock, getting drenched in the torrential rain. I'm glad the weather's packed in - it makes it easier to return to normality, knowing London will be only slightly worse than this. I farewell the kids and give the sister a huge, teary hug. It's been a fantastic week and even though we've had our fractious moments, we didn't kill each other, as anticipated - I'm gonna miss the little cow, bless her. Preveza Airport is chaotic, with no announcements and no departure screens, and 1,000 people angrily milling about. Luckily I manage to get to the right place at the right time, even having time to smash a jar of peppers and purchase olives, Metaxa, olive paté, dirty Greek playing cards and a motherload of Marlboros at duty-free. London here I come.

THE PICS (there's nothing more boring than other people's dreams - except other people's holiday snaps. Zzzzz...)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Guess who's back 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOh man. As already stated, am tanned as a native - bonus; have gained an entire dress size - shame. No wonder I spent the whole week in a sarong - my formerly loose-fitting jeans were straining disturbingly at the seams come week's end...

Anyway, all the details tomorrow, when I will be too holiday-shocked to do any proper work. Will edit the pics too and throw up a link to Smacked Face's trying-to-be-arty scenic gallery and the obligatory dancing-on-top-of-the-bar shots of shame.

PIC: Sunset in Mourtos, where we moored on Monday, from the deck of our yacht. It was OK, I guess... ;)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Gloat bitch 

Oh. My. God.

All I can say is this holiday rocks. I'm already brown as a nut and have gained two stone from a constant diet of alcohol, tzatziki, the best seafood on the planet and, er, more alcohol... The sibling unit is making me proud as the hostess with the mostess, although I'm not holding up my end of the bargain, being the lazy bitch who just sunbathes on the front deck, who's not only utterly useless at wakeboarding but proving absolutely useless on the help front too. But fuck it, she gets paid to do this - the lucky, lucky sod.

Currently in Lakka, a place I can safely say is perhaps the most beautiful little village I've yet encountered... However, it's only Tuesday. Five more days to go - and so many stories to relate already. But no time for that now, it's 30 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Must dash... ;)

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Gone fishing 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usRight. Come 3am, I'm off to the Greek Islands for a week, courtesy of Smacked Face the Younger. We shall be going here and here. Encouraging texts were received last night from said sibling (who's been working on luxury yachts over there for the past eight months, thus why I get the free holiday):

"U'll never believe who's parked 40m away from us. Dirty old Prince Charles. Woo hoo!"

Swiftly followed by: "Just got chased away from Charlie's yacht by a big spotlight. What a bummer - but what a summer! Jumped off the bow of Bernie Ecclestone's superyacht last week... See ya soon!"

Ah, that crazy kid.

Anyway, for obvious reasons there'll not be much action here until my return next Sunday. See you then.

Love Smacky xx

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Rotation, Herb Alpert (I was going to put Herb's Zorba The Greek, it being timely and all, but then I was reminded just how beautiful this track is. Grab that special someone and get slow-dancing, damn it.)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Just say no no no 

You wait all month for a blog post idea, then three come along at once... Thank you to all those readers who emailed their gig reminiscences, although there was a common theme of these memories being far too embarrassing to share publicly, and nearly all of them involved liquor or mood-enhancing drugs in some form (Mr Lapin, I'm looking in your direction). Funny that.

Which leads me to the subject of today's post - your most shameful antics while wasted. Ms Cam once wrote on my Friendster (remember that short-lived craze?) testimonial, "SF rules for embarrassing stories", but sadly I actually don't have an awful lot at my disposal - though I am happy to be publicly corrected. Mainly, my bad behaviour under the influence consists of staggering around slurring at people, and telling long, dull anecdotes - earning me the nickname 'Chatty Cathy' - but by its very nature, this doesn't lend itself to anything but another long, dull anecdote. Most stories of note have already been well-documented elsewhere on this site - however, I'll start the ball rolling anyway with this gem...

Roots Foundation, Escape, Wellington, 1996 - where the writer smokes too much Kiwi green at a Roots Foundation gig (biiiiig dub styles) and needs to get outside in a hurry, suddenly finding herself on the verge of a major whitey. About to collapse (ears screaming, vision tunnelling in), she attempts to get past this person in a corridor who keeps blocking all her moves and refuses to let her pass. She argues loudly with them for two minutes - almost crying in her desperation - before realising she's taken the wrong turn and is talking to a mirror.

I still think Jimmy's ketamine story is the best I've ever heard, although this tale, from another friend who I'm sure won't mind me sharing it, comes pretty close:

Auckland Harbour, 2000 - where the friend (who has far too many of these stories, incidentally) consumes far, far too much acid and receives a mission from God that he must go to Great Barrier Island, off the coast of Auckland. He makes his way to the ferry terminal, losing his shoes and gaining a boxer dog en route, and proceeds to repeatedly board the wrong ferry, ending up in Devonport rather than Great Barrier Island, and is forced to take a succession of taxis back to the ferry terminal, 20km away. He is eventually picked up by the police for trying to hijack a ferry and ends up in the cells, where a little bird tells him to escape... [I've paraphrased wildly, otherwise we'd be here all day - it only gets worse...]

Actually - ah, shit - the photos below have just surfaced (thanks, Ms G), exposing the second paragraph as a litany of lies. I do rule for embarrassing stories. For the love of god...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.usImage Hosted by ImageShack.us

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Disco Dancer, Devo

Silence of the spams 

It puts the lotion on its skin. [Thanks Mr Bingham.]

Or you're gay. [Thanks Mr Force.]

Late addition, ye scurvy dogs: Sunday is International Talk Like A Pirate Day apparently. I'll be on a luxury yacht in the Greek Islands, so that suits me. Yarrrr, y'all.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Total recall 

"And all the memories of the pubs
And the clubs and the drugs and the tubs
We shared together
Will stay with me forever…"

The Libertines, Music When The Lights Go Out

If I had a pound for every party, club night or gig I've been to over the years, I'd be... well, a few quid up. There have been a few, too many to remember, and no doubt before I die - much like all those boozy nights lost to the alcoholic vortex - they will flash before me, leaving me to shuffle off this mortal coil with a smile (or grimace of horror) on my face.

But some do stand out in the annals of memory. They weren't necessarily the best nights or the best musicianship, but for whatever reason, they will stay with me forever. Such as:

Pseudo Echo, Nelson, 1987 - where the writer experiences her first gig, perfects the art of pushing to the front and manages to touch keyboardist James Leigh's foot. [Not familiar with the Aussie 'new wavers' who butchered Lipps Inc's Funky Town? Read all about them here. God, they're worse than I remembered - but in their favour (and in a nod to the New York Dolls maybe?), their bassist was called Pierre Pierre. Cool. Maybe.]

The Exponents, some crap pub, Nelson, 1991 - where boozy singer Jordan Luck throws a sweaty towel into the crowd, and the writer throws it straight back, knocking over the mic stand in the process and bringing the gig to a brief standstill.

Morrissey, Opera House, Wellington, 1991 - where the writer smokes a big fat joint (Kiwi-style, all weed, no tobacco, you UK pussies) before going in, ending up in the front row, sweating but unable to remove her suede jacket due to the crush. Comes to outside on the street post-gig, clutching a small square of Moz's chiffon shirt and a battered daffodil, remembering nothing but Moz lying on his back with a double bass between his legs.

Morrissey, Royal Albert Hall, London, 2002 - where, in light of the previous disaster, the writer doesn't touch a drop, and bursts into tears as soon as her hero takes the stage (and repeats it in Manchester 2004). Mind-blowing.

Derrick Carter, Ministry, Auckland, 1998 - where the writer indulges rather heavily in the new MDMA capsules that have just arrived in town, and halfway through the evening turns to her friends and says, "Wow - I can't believe Carter's wearing a goat mask!" Friends banish her to the back room, where she observes how pretty it is that everyone has large sunflowers growing from their heads.

The Gathering, Takaka Hill, NYE 1999/2000 - where, at three minutes to midnight, the writer is being filmed by a TV station, dancing badly and sporting an LCD-display T-shirt that flashes the countdown to midnight, when it will then go mental and flash '2000'. She notices a young mong nearby wearing the exact same shirt - except he has omitted to connect the wires correctly, so all his flashes is '76... 76... 76...". (Buying an LCD-display Millennium T-shirt: £50. Seeing the look on that dude's face: priceless.)

Derrick May, The End, London, 2001 - where the legendary Bobby B removes his shirt, spins it above his head and busts podium dancing moves for comedy effect, except he has to do this for 20 minutes before the writer and friends bother to look around - and get the shock of their lives...

Basement Jaxx, last-ever Rooty @ The Telegraph, Brixton 2002 - where the electrics short out and the room is plunged into darkness before the vocalist for Romeo takes to the stage and for 40 minutes sings acapella versions of Jaxx hits to make your hair stand on end, while Simon and Felix dish out flowers to the crowd until sound is finally restored.

Sonar, Barcelona, 2001 - where Steve Rachmad plays a blinding 6am set to a rapturous audience in brilliant Spanish sunshine, before being asked to call it a night by organisers, only for the crowd to continue clapping, hugging strangers and demanding "One more!" for a further 45 minutes, by the end bursting into spontaneous applause just for the hell of it to see how many people will join in. (And far too many other moments to mention...)

Sonar, Barcelona, 2002 - where the writer's novelty glasses first make their public debut, and Mr Scruff plays a set of monumental proportions (email me for a copy), provoking a roar that lifts the roof off when he mixes Get A Move On into the original Bird's Lament from whence it is sampled, and ends his set with Inner City's Good Life. Still talked about in hushed tones today.

Sonar, Barcelona, 2003 - where LCD Soundsystem drop Andrea Doria's Bucci Bag, Northern Monkey Boy goes mental, and the writer forgets she has a broken foot, throws away her crutches and dances her arse off. And pays severely for it in the morning. Ouch.

New Order, Finsbury Park, 2002 - almost forgot this one, where the writer suffers pouring rain, biting cold and mud baths, but undergoes a religious experience as Barney and Hooky launch into Regret and the sun comes out from behind the clouds. Tears roll down Smacked's face as Barney pays tribute to the recently-departed Dee Dee Ramone [who's now been joined by Johnny, RIP] and 50,000 sing along to World In Motion. Beautiful.

That's for starters. I haven't even touched on this year yet...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: I Love The Nightlife, Alicia Bridges

Wednesday, September 15, 2004


This blog received its first critical email today. That's not to say I've been living in a fantasy world, believing no one had ever slagged off this collection of nonsense before (though I did make it to the ripe old age of 15 before I twigged that, as much as I bitched and gossiped about my friends, they might also - gasp! - be bitching about me) - it's just no one's ever had the balls to tell me as much. Until now.

Anon writes: "This website is such a waste of space. Why do you think you're [sic] readers want to hear about all the stupid shit you and you're [sic] mates get up to at weekends, or your pointless observations? Can't you think of anything more intelligent to write about?"

Good point, well made [sic] - but you've, er, rather missed the point. I write this rubbish for myself - if other people happen to read it, all well and good, glad to be of service, but put pure and simply, this is an outlet for my (arguably, it seems) creative urges and a more-than-satisfactory way of filling in idle hours and skiving off real work. And in years to come, this online diary will serve as a convincing argument to other people's children that choosing this lifestyle path is WRONG. Just say no, kids...

There are plenty of other blogs out there providing "intelligent" commentary - why should I go up against them with what would only be a half-baked attempt? I may have been born a genius, but my brain cells have been greatly eroded over the years, and these days I'm deliriously happy leading (and recording) this shallow, fickle, pop-cultured life.

Coincidentally, I also received an email from an old acquaintance regarding a mild backhander made about someone a while back, which read along the lines of: "______ read your blog yesterday, and is (justifiably) upset. This is out of order - please remove the comment, cease and desist."

Luckily I'm well-versed in the whys and wherefores of libel law, so know I'm usually above reproach legally (although I did get the fear when that Darius post found its way to Popbitch...), due to most of my ramblings being either true or an honestly-held opinion, sans malice. I'd certainly never use this forum as an opportunity to air my dirty laundry (except when I really feel the need) or to fully put the boot in, but I'm not going to shy away from a little light ribbing where warranted. If you can't do the time, don't do the crime, honey. ;)

Anyway, that's the correspondence dealt with. If you don't like this site, don't read it. Simple really. xxx

[Oops - seems God is striking me down - my sidebar's gone belly-up. If anyone finds the missing lower half, do let me know...]

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: The Bitch Is Back, Elton John

Here's to The Sun 

No, not that sun - that large fiery ball is surely ne'er to be seen in these parts again - but happy birthday to The Sun, which turns 40 today. (Or not, as Casino Avenue points out.) I've always had a bit of a soft spot for the hideous beast, despite having been in league with the opposition. But then I'm not from Liverpool...

Next to a Dominion newspaper article about the Nunbun back in 1996/97 and a picture of a baby otter drinking from a bottle (ahhh), the clipping that has remained on my fridge the longest hails from Wapping's finest - the tale of the murderous squirrel from Knutsford. For this outstanding piece of investigative journalism alone, The Sun deserves your applause.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Everybody Loves The Sun(shine), Roy Ayres

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Image Hosted by ImageShack.usOne pair of novelty spectacles, answers to the name 'Novelty Specs', sorely missed by loving family. Last seen on Streatham Hill rooftop, may have been stolen by envious party-goer. Have searched Ebay, Google and jokeshop.com to no avail - cash reward to finder.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us[And found! (-->) The World Wide Web is a beautiful thing... Now I shall have a whole new litter (for they come in packs of five) to play with. Group shots - oh, the hilarity.]

Monday, September 13, 2004

Dancing on the ceiling 

Bleurrgh. Post-party exhaustion has hit Smacked Face Towers, not helped by the fact we've got a week of clean-up still to do - the carpets need a thorough steam cleaning (you're not in a pub now, children - stop ashing on the floor and don't stub your fags out on the shag pile) and the wood floors are still stickier than Jordan's gusset, even after two good moppings.

But what a night, marred only by the 90mph (possibly) winds outside, the ever-present threat of a particularly moany neighbour and the swiping of my novelty specs very early on in proceedings (to the perpetrator – I will find you and kill you). I even managed to spend half the night on skates without breaking any limbs, which makes a change.

Obviously 100 people traipsing through a flat is never going to be nice for the downstairs neighbours, but for some reason we thought putting the sound system on the roof would keep the noise down for the other tenants. This was discovered to be a falsely-held premise when the people at no 16 ventured up on the roof for a fag the next morning. "I hope we didn't keep you up?" "Um, kinda. Though we did think about coming up and joining in when the funk kicked in - especially that T-Connection track." `If they could pinpoint the song two storeys down, it must have been somewhat louder than we thought. Oops.

Highlights are far too many to mention, but include a videoed trip to the off-licence sporting pink micro-mini cocktail waitress frock and fake comedy arse, noting the marked increase of people doing "start the chainsaw" dance moves (thanks to having watched the mpg below), a certain pair of scalliwags getting on the nitrous oxide in the morning and substituting condoms in lieu of balloons before putting them on their heads and blowing them up to look like aliens, and a reprise of the infamous c*** game for three hours on Sunday afternoon.

But it's definitely heads down now. I've drained myself in all departments - physically, emotionally and financially - so quiet times are ahead. Although they may well be famous last words...

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[See the full horror here and here...]

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: The Roof Is On Fire, Bizzy-Bone

Friday, September 10, 2004

Ravey Davey 

I had loads to say today - reflections on what happens to old soul singers whose big break never happened, a doff of the cap to rubbish old driver Olivier Panis who's retired from F1, the fact I went to Richmond at 7am this morning (it smelt of old drains) to see the dentist, who's arranged to give me new teeth, hurrah...

But all I've done is watch this bloody mpeg of a ginger raving and laugh/sob/howl uncontrollably in front of my Mac. Then try to work out how on earth I can share it with you all, as a lot of people seemed to have trouble accessing the original link. All I can come up with is this: go here, make sure you sign in as smackedface1, password smackmybitchup, and hit the Smacked Face folder. Or drop me an email and I'll send it to you, if you can handle 6mb of pure gold...

Say heck no to techno, kids.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town 

Preparations are well underway for our grand 'Viva Sarf Vegas' rooftop flatwarming extravaganza. The roulette wheel arrives tomorrow, the new decks are all set to get their virgin spin now the flatmate's home from Cyprus with his speakers and amp, the ingredients have been ordered for a veritable banquet of culinary delights, and all other party necessities are safely in hand... The only thing we haven't got well under control is the one thing we can't control - the bloody weather.

I've been seeking solace all week in the Beeb, which has steadfastly refused to digress from its optimistic forecast of 'sunny', though the humidity levels have shot up and the temperature down from 22 degrees on Monday to a still-doable 20 - though an overnight low of 12 degrees isn't too encouraging for those of us planning to be strutting about a south London rooftop in a gownless evening strap...

Today, however, having heard rumours the weather is supposed to pack in tomorrow, I ventured elsewhere and sought a second - and third, fourth and fifth - opinion. The CNN and Yahoo are in agreement - stormy weather looms. CNN predicts a mere 18 degrees - gadzooks! It simply won't do.

What's going on? Are the BBC merely keeping that British stiff upper lip and defiantly looking on the bright side? Surely they learnt from the Michael Fish hurricane disaster of '87? Although let's not tempt fate - there'd better not be a bloody hurricane on Saturday. I'm having enough trouble keeping my skirt down from around my ears today as it is...

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Michael, Franz Ferdinand

Sort it 

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIf it's not one thing, it's another... For once it hasn't been my lack of inspiration/imagination contributing to the inactivity on this site, but the Blogspot server playing silly buggers all yesterday, and now my comments boxes seem to have gone AWOL.

Until everything sorts itself out, here's a picture of two women licking pork. And a recommendation to get along to Tunes.co.uk and buy the Wheedle's Groove compilation immediately. It's that good. I defy anyone to hear Black On White Affair's Bold Soul Sister, Bold Soul Brother or Cookin' Bag's This Is Me without getting a serious groove on. Perfect funk for this glorious day...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Big up the Franz!!


Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Fib fest 

After a 'gregarious' weekend, on checking my phone I often find loads of messages I've typed to myself - trainspotted track names, reminders to do things, possible subjects for future blog entries... The real skill is deciphering them – the bigger the weekend, the more unintelligible the text. What the hell does the message '7200!!!' mean? And 'heaven is a giant doiley'? (Actually, I believe Ms G could answer that one - but that story's not for public consumption... alas. It's pure gold.)

Anyway, at some stage over the duration, someone must have suggested that 'Lies your parents told you' was a good subject for a post. I know this because there's a message in my drafts folder that reads 'Kids yr sardor told you'. Ah, the joys of predictive text. An ex and I created an entire language for ourselves based on mis-predicted words, eg: "Hi spunl, just going for a stick riot before getting on the 73 cup to come good. That book with you?"

But back to the subject at hand. Lies your parents told you. I've been racking my brains to think what brought this up, and all I can think of is the fact I mentioned how scared I used to be when my labrador Kelly would chew on golf balls because Mum had told me the insides were filled with poison. (Lies! All lies!)

I can't really think of too many others. There's the old chestnut of cabbages growing behind your ears if you didn't wash properly, or poking your eye out if you picked your nose too much (obviously I was a delightful child). But that's where my familial fibs seem to run out. So yet again it's over to you - the (non-poisonous golf) ball is in your court. Let the lies begin.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Friday night, Sunday morning 

You can't keep a good girl down for long, and after the relative quietness enforced by the move last week, it was back in the saddle for Smacked Face this weekend - in a big way.

Friday night was Foreign Muck's first birthday bash. It being the Donkey's baby, I hadn't ventured back there since we split, but figured as I was there for its conception, it was only right I properly celebrate its coming-of-age. The night kicked off at a birthday bash for a friend of a friend at the Bacchus in Hoxton Street, possibly one of the skankiest pubs I've frequented for a while. Usually I find a bit of seediness adds to a pub's charm, but when the seediness extends to a human turd on the floor of the ladies' loos, it really is taking it a bit too far. It was all good fun though, and the memory of the worst karaoke ever to torture these ears will stay with me forever.

A sambuca chaser or two at the Lux Bar later, we arrived at the Key, with the intention of staying for a couple of drinks, then hitting the road back to Streatham. I didn't make it home until Sunday lunchtime.

'Twas a great night. As always, the lovely Greg Sonata wiped the floor with the guest talent, DJ T, but I still managed to have a right old boogie for most of the night, when not getting in people's faces with my trusty camera or embarrassing myself with a never-ending onslaught of bad jokes. (Example: on finding a rubber band on the way in, putting it on my wrist and saying to all and sundry, "Hey, I'm in the band.")

Bizarrely, we ended up at the Donkey's place for the after-party, which meant I finally got to properly meet his new bird. She's lovely - a bit wet, but very sweet all the same, and all credit to her for allowing her man's bolshy, boisterous, bad-joke-cracking ex-girlfriend to infiltrate her love nest. And true to form, the ever-tactful Donk provided another reminder of why we grew apart by expounding in great detail, while sitting next to me, how the new bird was the love of his life, how no one else came close, etc etc. It's so much water under the bridge now that it didn't bother me, but one had to wonder whether he was deliberately putting the boot in or just being... well, a stupid Donkey. He was hardly the love of my life either, but I never exactly felt the need to rub his nose in it. But no matter.

The rest of the (simply gorgeous) day was spent lounging in Clissold Park with assorted randoms and a silver candelabra purchased en route, before an absolutely shocking dinner at Il Bacio (risotto like fried rice, corked chianti, a rubbish pizza and a waitress who slipped my dining companion her number, the cheeky cow), a few pints at the Londesborough, an extremely badly-behaved visit to All Over My Face at Herbal and eventually waking up the next morning in a shocking state in the wilds of Highbury. It's lucky I lack any sense of shame.

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View from the top 

And this is why I moved to Streatham Hill...
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Friday, September 03, 2004

Hot gossip 

I'm feeling very gossipy today. While other sidebar-approved blogs, such as the esteemed Casino Avenue and Onionbagblog, mostly devote themselves to news and the local community, you'll find no such lofty aspirations here. Hell, I trade in gossip for a living, so I'm not going to defend myself.

My inbox has been even more jam-packed with libellous tittle-tattle than usual this week. The Popbitch mailout held my attention longer than usual with its bit on Jack Black filming King Kong in Wellington, and the mention of the most excellent Fidels establishment on Cuba Street, a former favourite haunt of this writer. The great thing about Peter Jackson loyally filming all his movies in small-town New Zealand is the fact that nearly everyone has gossip to relate. During the filming of LOTR, it reached nigh-on fever-pitch among the Wellington clubbing community. It seemed almost everyone had slept with Liv Tyler/tripped over Elijah Wood/given Ian McKellen a hand job. Brilliant. I can only wait with bated breath for the stream of King Kong-related tales to start flowing my way - and of course, you, dear reader, will be the first to know.

The Auckland local body elections have thrown up a few juicy nuggets as well, with first-hand reports of various key players' failure to meet debts, overdoses, etc, etc. The discreet forwarding of these has paid dividends too - netting returns of scandalous tales of MPs' affairs and covert cover-up operations, as well as the particularly fruity tale of a dog attack victim whose house was found to contain videos of owner and dog, er, making the beast with two backs. (Now there's gratitude for you.)

Anyway, as always my media law grounding kicks into play and a nagging voice at the back of my mind says, "Shut up now, darling, before you get into trouble." So I shall, making this a largely pointless post yet again (I blame my blissful new Streatham life). But keep that goss coming, yes?

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Journalists Who Lie, Morrissey

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pay attention 

Right. I know a reasonable amount of wine was drunk last night and the over-dinner conversation was truly enthralling, as it always is when the venerable Quentishtown and Ms Cam pay a visit. Perhaps it was the excellent quality of Smacked Face's pad thai that so held our attention. (Cough.) But with the new Streatham flat's much-vaunted 360-degree views over London, how the hell did we miss this?

Ha ha, tonight I'm off to relieve some desperate, debt-ridden bastard of his brand-new 1210s and Vestax mixer, which are being flogged at a scandalously cheap price - thus proving that where God closes a door, he opens a window. The poor sod.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Of boy bands and disco boots 

No broadband connection at home - and a 72-page issue and ferocious deadlines this week - makes Smacked Face a dull blogger. Sorry.

Continuing on the dribs and drabs theme - and let's be honest, lately it's been mostly drab - here's a hotch-potch of assorted nonsense to cover the fact I'm too buzy/lazy to draft up a proper post of any substance. Although reading over this site, it's debatable that any posts have ever been of any substance.

• Sunday 12 September sees the next installment in The Loft party series. Yes, that's right, The Loft, as in David Mancuso, original New York disco GOD and all-round nice fella and freak. He'll be manning the decks and I will be there, slavering like a sycophantic trainspotting fool in front of the decks. The parties are put on by Tim Lawrence and friends, Tim being the author of one the very best books on disco and early dance music culture ever written, Love Saves The Day. I may be well slavering over him too. Anyway, I won't post the ticket info here, but email me if you want details.

• Spotted on a new Kingsland Road housing development last week during my last walk to work from Stokey: "Estate agents will be first against the (south-facing) wall." Snigger.

• I foolishly bought a stylee new pair of Frye boots from Urban Outfitters on Sunday a size too small. Then wore them to work and slashed my poor feet to ribbons. Duh. US size 6 - £170 and they're yours...

• And Smacked Face has three CD singles to give away to one lucky reader. Simply answer this easy question to win the latest offerings from Phixx, The Noise Next Door and All Eyes. No, I don't know those last two either, but trust me, they're boy bands with great hair: TNND seem to be triplets; All Eyes are running a contest, seemingly with SpecSavers (?), to find their last member - IT COULD BE YOU!!!

Q: A wannabe celebrity was recently quoted as saying: "You can see two things from space - the Great Wall of China and..." What?

a) Will Young's jaw
b) Nadia BB's jaw
c) Darius's cock

Answers on a postcard please.

> INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Time Is Tight, Booker T & The MGs

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