12 Albums

12 Feb

I’m only here really because I saw the 12 Album challenge thing on Facebook and I thought I’d have a crack at it. But I didn’t want to put it on Facebook as I bore people on there about music enough. So I’m putting it here, just so it goes somewhere.

The idea is to name 12 albums that have stayed with you. Not necessarily your favourites, but the ones you keep coming back to, or that played a big part in your life. So in no particular order:

Suede – Suede. Because it was the first album I bought while at university and it completely changed my musical tastes. Before then I’d been into metal (and Grunge) and they opened up the whole world of indie music for me. Admittedly, that meant I spent a few years lost in Britpop but I won’t hold that against them.

The Smiths – Singles. Is a compilation a bit of a cheat? Maybe, but I’ve listened to this at least once a month since I bought it about 20 years ago. Probably the best band ever.

Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town. Everyone thinks of Springsteen as being a bit of a dull, middle of the road pub-rock singer. And sometimes he is. But this album is just superb. On it he’s like a small-town, blue-collar 70’s version of Bob Dylan. It’s proper haunting. I listen to it all the time and I don’t care who knows it.

John Frusciante – Shadows Collide with People. The songs on this record have the same effect on me as crack cocaine would. When I listen to them I listen to them over and over to the exclusion of everything else. I don’t know why. Probably because Frusciante is a genius. He even made the Red Hot Chilli Peppers worth listening to.

Nirvana – Unplugged. I know, Nevermind is a masterpiece. But I listened to it so much for so long. I didn’t ruin this one for myself as much and so I still go back to it a lot more often.

Jeff Buckley – Grace. Just one of the best and most original records ever recorded. Such a shame he never really did more. Seeing him live is one of my favourite memories from my student days.

Portishead – Dummy. In the same week I bought this I also bought REM’s Automatic for the People, and Nirvana’s Nevermind. What a week that was.

The Lemonheads – It’s a Shame About Ray. Criminally underrated band, and this is their best record. It’s just full of perfect, though slightly wonky, pop songs. Wonky is good. I like wonky.

INXS – Kick. Just because when I was a teenager everyone had this record. It got played at every party and you could dance to it without looking like a dick (or so I like to think).

The Misfits – Collection. Another compilation, but all their songs sound the same anyway so I reckon I can get away with it. Not much in terms of melody or tunes or musicianship. It’s basically just sheer energy, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Radiohead – The Bends. Better than OK Computer for me. Everything just came together on this record. And Thom Yorke was the coolest man alive for about 6 months when this came out. I bought a leather jacket and a pair of trainers that were the same as the ones he wore in the video for ‘Just’. Oh dear.

The Prodigy – Fat of the Land. It just hasn’t aged. I listened to it the other day and ‘Breathe’ sounds like it was recorded last week rather than nearly 20 years ago.


Metal Machine Music

8 Oct

skylarkShort post because it’s late, and I’m tired, and I have work tomorrow, and I need to shave my head before I go to sleep…

Issue 1 of Skylark Review is now out and my story ‘Metal Machine Music’ – a fictional tribute to the best/shittest album Lou Reed ever produced – is in it. For which I feel duty bound to tell you it’s surely worth £7 of anyone’s money. (That’s £7 for the other stuff in there and you’ll get my story as a mandatory extra).

Oh, and I’ll probably be reading something, maybe ‘Metal Machine Music’, maybe something else, at the launch event in Cardiff on 16th October.

100% / Serpents

18 Aug

Very very very short post – so short in fact I had to stick three ‘verys’ into it to pad it out, as well as this explanation which is also now padding it out…

Ok, so my story ‘100% / Serpents’ is now on the brilliant Drunk Monkeys website as I mentioned about a week ago. You can see it by clicking here: 100% / Serpents on Drunk Monkeys.

Also, while you’re on there, check out the Cathy Ulrich story ‘Bitter Tea’. In fact, check that out first, it’s better than mine: Bitter Tea.

That’s all really. Step away from the blog, nothing else to see here on the blog.

News and utter nonsense

8 Aug


It’s been over a year since I wrote on this blog. A whole year. In that time I have been writing, a bit, but I was also blocked for a good portion of it. Have recently been a lot more productive and finally seem to be getting back on track.

At the moment I’m about one or two stories away from a new collection of shorts called (Slight Return). The story I had out in Litro last year – Werner Herzog Gets Shot – is in it, as are two more stories I have coming out in the next couple of months. I’ve had one called Metal Machine Music accepted by The Skylark Review and this will be out in November. I’ve also had a story called 100% / Serpents accepted by Drunk Monkeys, and this will be out soon too (date to be confirmed). More details to follow on these when I have them.

In the meantime I thought I’d post up some nonsense I’ve been playing about with. The story behind this is that I set myself the challenge of writing a sci-fi piece and I started on a story as a bit of a joke which was framed as a screen-play pitch. The sci-fi part was the film being pitched. But it turned out that bit was better than I expected it to be, so I dropped the whole pitch idea and started writing it seriously. So what I’ve been left with are these shitty film ideas that I put together and I had so much fun writing them I thought I’d stick them here. The very fact that one of them led to a semi-decent idea means I’ll probably keep doing it, but for now I have these:

  1. The Matrix meets Billy Elliot. But instead of about dancing, it’s about a musical prodigy in a digital age. (Believe it or not, this has become my story Dead Cities and it’s not as shit as it sounds, well not quite as shit as it sounds).
  2. Terminator meets Forest Gump. All the main historical events of the past are being controlled by a group of Anarchists in the future. That’s why everything seems so random. Henry VIII, he’s a cyborg. Napoleon, Lee Harvey Oswald, Ed Balls: all cyborgs. Sent back with the sole purpose of creating chaos.
  3. Avatar meets American History X. A genetically engineered skin head is controlled by FBI agents to infiltrate a group of Neo Nazis.
  4. Alien meets Footloose. Rogue Nanobots take over the people of a small town. They create replicas of people from their own tissue and the copies burst out of chests and do weird shit (though probably not teaching others how to dance).

Werner Herzog in Litro 136

7 Jul

As promised, link to the latest issue of Litro which has my story ‘Werner Herzog Gets Shot’ in it: Litro 136 – Music

More inane ramblings to follow later. Too tired tonight to add much else…

New Material

24 Jun

Just some shameless self-promotion really, for the spambots that target my blog and anyone else who may or may not still check in despite me neglecting the thing massively for months…

My first new material for ages, ‘Werner Herzog Gets Shot’, is going to be in July’s edition of Litro Magazine. More info to follow I guess, maybe a link if it goes on their website as well as in the magazine.

Comments now welcome on how to increase my penis size or collect the parcel I never ordered from UPS. Cheap Canadian meds? My favourite. Tax Refund? Only as long as I can stop the bank account I never opened from being suspended first.

#9 Dream

3 May

Bus lanes suspended
Use all lanes
Regular diesel 139.7
Everton 4 Kirkdale 5
Kebab Open Tattoos
News ‘n Booze
JADE football stadia
Lanes merge
96.7 Student Rooms
Hashtag DEMAND
The Car ton Pub ic Ho se
Gemma Walker is a Slag
Emergency Works
Garage in use 24 hours