Sunday, 26 October 2008

Gig in A Halfpipe

I've seen some bands in strange places (typically toilets with a rickety stage installed) but last nights Ramp Jam was a new one, a gig on a Skateboard ramp promoted by Digbeths A Third Foot and hosted by Ideal Skateboards at the Custard Factory. Leeds Garage rockers The Gentlemans Pistols (supported by Stinky Wizzleteat and Doom Patrol) gamely clung on to the plywood sides whilst the mosh competed with the halfpipers (forgive the total lack of skatebording lingo*) for floorspace. Good night allround with much throwing of beer and sliding down the walls.Third Foot bloke says he hopes to have more stuff on there in the future so worth keeping an eye on. I've Flickr'd a load of pictures but amidst the chaos, beer, dust and poor light they didn't come out too good.

* when i were a lad the Holy Grail of Skateboarding tricks was the handstand, whatever happened to them?

Bring It On Home.

Forewent a usual Saturday morning lie in to spend a couple of hours at The Home Of Metal shindig at the Wolv' Art Gallery. Capsule 'sisters' Lisa & Jenny pulled off a blinder showcasing Brums veteran rock bands which ended up influencing the world stage, Zeppelin, Priest and Sabbath alongside Napalm Death & Godflesh. Not just a bunch of pictures but a digital archive of stuff involving photos and interviews (think rock themed D.S.S appointments "where were you '89?","what were you listening to?"). Nice touch with Kerrang's Johnny Doom hijhacking patrons for impromptu talks and reminding me of long gone Birmingham venues such as The Mermaid, Kaleidescope and the Barrel Organ as well as grilling Earaches Digby Pearson. Truth is though i felt like a bit of a fraud as in the 80's i wasn't a Metal fan but a big time Punk poseur, it just so happened that Napalm Death crossed the floor into my Discharge coloured noise threshhold (much like Motorhead did).

On a more selfish interest at the time i used to subscribe to Sounds (couldn't stand the N.M.E's pseudo political posteuring) and ended up hoarding Ten years worth of the f**kers in my loft so the picture you see above consists of several scans of articles from them which leads nicely to ....

Forty Two years and at last a printed confirmation that i contributed something to someone somewhere!.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Damn Cosmic Coincidences!

Tomorrow looks like some weird Nexus point between the various threads of my interests. So morning i'll give The Home Of Metal a whirl (i conntributed some Sounds papers so there's a selfish interest), then back to Brum to hopefully catch some tattooed babes smash themselves to bits at a Roller Derby. Time for a swift half at Scruffies perhaps then it's a toss up between the gig at the Ideal Skate Ramp or a night with veteran Brum punk stalwarts G.B.H at the Asylum. Truth is though they've lost their Mojo recently so it looks like i'll be swotting up on the likes of 'Ollies', 'Mongoing' and a bunch of other Skate terms i'll never understand in order to get down with the kids at the Custard Factory. Busy day indeed (what would Diceman do?).
Addendum: And The Stranglers are playing The Academy, their first Three albums were frickin' awesome but post Cornwall they ain't that great.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

eee Ubuntu

Installed Ubuntu 8.10 'Hardy Heron' (seriously!?) for eee on Asus. Half hour job start to finish and a doddle. Trick is to comment out 'cdrom' entry in fstab else it won't mount removeable storage without 'root access' error. Looks a lot slicker (and grown up)than the Xandros default install.

Monday, 20 October 2008

IGly Google Interface

Just when i had my iGoogle thing all nicely set up i now find they've put the tabs into a left hand sidebar, on my funky new eee 4G it takes up far too much space on the 7" screen. Even stranger it flicks back and forth between the top and left positioned tabs depending on which computer and even which browser i use. The problem/solution?, logging in via google.CO.UK/ig gives you top positioned tabs, logging in via google.COM/ig gives you the sidebar. I think this feature is in Beta testing so hopefully it'll turn up as an option in settings?.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Baaa Baaa Bar Academy

How on earth does the Bar Academy get away with treating it's punters like frickin' cattle (yes, i know Sheep ain't Cattle but it's the best title i could think of). I'm talking about overpriced (awful) beer, Lack of staff (who do their best), the occasional bolshie doormen, P*ss poor stage (don't get me started on the barrier) and so on...What's desperately needed is some decent ~300 people capacity competition in Brum city centre which might give them the impetus to pull their frickin' fingers out.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Bike Hardware Gender Politics

Nothing looks more sexier and screams "Blokes Bike" than a pair of shiny Black 'bullhorn' bar ends!!.

(yet another street/skip find)

Wednesday, 15 October 2008


I have a new box of tricks, the Asus eee 4g netbook. Plenty of (favorable) reviews elsewhere but a nippy piece of kit, Small as f**k, Cute as a barrel of kittens. Tiny being the watchword it has a compact keyboard (fits my itty bitty digits just great), small 7" screen which is suprisingly easy to read even through my -9 contacts lenses, and a minute solid state memory which just encourages you to use removable/online storage. The real moneysaver/dealbreaker is that it uses the Linux os, i was a Slackware geek for about 12 months so find the hackable nature of this stuff an infuriating adventure. Four hours out the box it's now running a KDE advanced desktop and has GIMP tweaking my pictures. Sits in the bottom of my bag now ready for realtime Pub blogs an' such :).
Stay tuned for the blog in which i sit on the f***er and bemoan spending my money on something you could literally choke on.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Blatant Nepotism I Tells Ya...

I seldom plug bands here but Urban Village's resident fop Joe's band Jensen and the Interceptors are playing on Thursday the 16th October at the Bar Academy (even though that place is a frickin' rip off!) supporting the Big Bang. Be there or be decidedly obtuse angled, bring money!!.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Boot Hill

Annual Shoe Report 2008
50 Pairs
About 25 in regular rotation
Shoes and sandals not Included

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

There's Custard In Them Thar Radiatiors

Y' know Winters drawing in on Gibb St when the radiators make this weird dripping sound but never get b*stard warm.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Of Comic Nerds and SteamPunk

A rapid rise from the Custard Factory (c/o CF's own Andy Baker) to Millenium point Birmingham International Comics Show is by far the best graphic novel shindig this side of London. Plenty of whipper snapper independent comic writers which are a breath of fresh air compared with the usual Marvel superhero fodder you get at 'vanilla' fares. Trouble is with a visual feast such as this it's pretty much impossible to photo (spoilt for choice) so i've only caught (and Flickr'd) some bits and pieces and to be frank some Forty odd year old bloke asking some cosplay babe to pose is creepy to say the least!. Roll on next year.

ask nicely and i might show you my Calculus Cat Tattoo


Can't finish without mentioning Gaslight Garage for the inclusion of some incredible SteamPunk paraphenalia, a retro-futuristic subgenre which is turning up some frickin' bizarre eyeboggling material!.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

We Came For Johnny And Screamed For Bob

Top geezer John Cooper Clarke at the Hare and Hounds. He's like your first motor, a bit ropey, splutters and stalls a bit but when he's firing on all cylinders nothing sounds sweeter. Unlike the last 'Hare' show he struck a balance between comedy and poetry that just hit the sweet spot. 'Chickentown','Beasley St' and lymeric faves delivered in that Salford drawl that even made old chestnuts funny again. Best value for money this side of Ken Dodd

Special mention for Bob Log III. that's right folks, he did the whole set in a sparkly fighter pilots helmet fitted with a 300 series phone handset mike. Slide 'trash' guitar, bass drum, footpedal tambourine and Delta Blues driven ditties that had my mate convinced it was Jon Spencer inncommunicado. Kudos to Bob for allowing beardy bloke to sit on his knee when he was clearly expecting a dame (see Flickr).

(note to support act, Asian guys doing comedy about aunts and marrying cousins isn't post modern any more it just ain't funny but muchos respect for braving hecklers and an indifferent audience)

Friday, 3 October 2008

Evidently Chickentown vs. Moped Lads

I haven't made my mind up if i'm seeing Johnny or Peter and the Test Tube Babies tonight but either's a good punt in my book (i suspect 'The Tubes' will be packed hot and sweaty).

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Gorillapodastic! (Blatant Product Endorsement!?)

I'm not always that sold on Gadget Show stuff,it either seems pointless or just too damn expensive but i've just been persuaded to splash out on this Gorillapod camera gizmo. Great stuff, it'll wrap its flexible little rubber legs round anything (ooer), is pretty damn sturdy and even has a quick release boss.
So you can now expect plenty of arty long exposure trashcam shots where the Still lords it over the Animate.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Transgendered Toilets and Jim Bowen (4 Degrees of Separation)

It wasn't so much the story 'toilets with urinals,it's P.C gorn mad' that made me smile it was the fact that the bar is in the affectionately called Steve Biko building (how 80's). At Coventry University (early 90's) we had both Biko AND Mandela bars until in a typical show of student political fickleness Nelson M got Jilted for 'Bullys Bar' as in (Bullseye) which was then opened by Jim Bowen.