Saturday, 28 February 2009

All this talk of leaving when it still feels so far away.

Today is a heavy internet day for me. So be it.

For Lent this year I'm going with the old standby of giving up booze. There've been the odd occasions in the past when (for lent or other reasons) I've given up booze where the fact that I really didn't want to meant I needed to; this time the fact that I'm not bothered about it means it's all just as well.

I mailed off my visa app yesterday. The weight off my shoulders is tremendous. I probably have about 2 -4 more months in Swansea now and I've got shit to do. Among the things I've got planned:

--> Help Theresa move forward with her plans; she sent off an application to Grad School in Cardiff yesterday and will be looking to move soon. I like our parallell trajectories in some ways; we're helping each other along. Also, do more fun stuff with her now that I'm not in perma-whinge mode.

--> Global Poetry System. On March 27th there's a workshop in London I go to (this may be one of the few notable Lent Exceptions I allow myself as long as its determined ahead of time) and we'll get some events nailed down. The idea being to schedule a series of events related to poetry found in unconventional places and presented in new and unusual ways. It's a UK-wide deal and I'm Swansea's guy for it.

--> Pare down my collection of books, clothes and CDs; when I do move I want to minimise shipping costs. Maybe get the odd new item to supplement; I can throw out five old T-shirts I never wear a lot easier if I have one new one I think is rad.

--> The Crunch. Get that shit official; talk to Academi and get funding so we can pay features from out of town. Find someone to host in my eventual absence. Keep the momentum we have.

--> I still owe a few people Letters from Wales. It's way more exciting (when you're in Seattlingporthamland) to receive Letters from Wales than from Stanwood.

--> Tunes with John. Demos at least. Something to remember the Unnamed Trio by.

--> I'm thinking of making an extended version of Swansea Morning Coming Down with 15-20 poems in it; mainly ones written since coming to Swansea. Maybe a few old standbys. It'd be a cool thing to have as a record of a specific time and place; plus I could schedule a few readings and sell them. I'm broke.

--> See more of Wales. Preferably the parts that weren't bombed to shit by the Luftwaffe and subsequently paved over.

--> Get a few more pictures of this town, country and my friends that aren't taken inside Mozart's Wine Bar or The Office. This will possibly be the most difficult.

Friday, 20 February 2009

It's a song that just makes you want to travel

Wednesday I got paid. My policy on getting paid is that even if you have gotten far less money that you hoped/needed (which was certainly the case this time around) you should still allow yourself some fun. Because if you can't waste a bit of money the day/weekend you got paid. . . well shit, son.
So I went home and stashed most of my wages (paid in cash) where I always do and left the house with twenty pounds. The leaving-with-only-what-you're-willing-to-spend policy is also helpful in keeping things on the "oh, I shouldn't have bought that CD/last beer/t-shirt" range as opposed to "Shit>.!! I just spent everything i own and some of what I don't on dogfights, cocaine and women of the night."

Headed to Coyote for a punk gig. Coyote is about the size of someone's living room, so the music doesn't have to be great, just genuine. As it was, I saw Exeter band The Dead City Stereo who I keep ending up seeing on accident; I'm starting to recognise their songs. I don't go to many gigs at all, so the fact that there's a band (from out of town, no less) I've seen more than twice surprises me.
I also remember when that was my life.

At the gig I met up with Dave Beer and his Newport buddy Stubbs and we headed down to Mozarts for their first ever Open Decks Night. That's right. Show up with music, the in-house DJ shows you the ropes and you get 20-30 minutes to play whatever you want.

No one was there. Which was ideal, really. The Punks (john&jess) showed up and Keiran (who had his best buddy from back in the day visiting. It was mainly us and the staff, so I ended up getting to spin for an hour. Thing is, Rick had just played a pretty great set of proto-punk and leather-coated indie (Sonics, Brian Jonestown, The Only Ones) and Gemma went before me with a consistently bang-on set of '60s soul and r 'n' b. I knew I couldn't compete on that level of single-minded focus.

so what to do?

The answer (as is often the case in matters of life, death, taste or religion) lies with Steve Albini and The End of Radio. (see video above.) I believe the song to be one of the great combinations of music, lyrics and ideas of the last five years. . . that, however doesn't make it traditionally melodic, atmospheric or less than nine minutes long.
The beauty of leading with something like that is you can pretty much do anything you want after it.

This had a drunk-off-Stella-and-Tuborg Dave Beer jumping around and shouting HIT THE NOOORTH! into the faces of anyone there. There were a few people there by then and I just ended up playing a fairly trad-Graham set; some "anything by Ladytron" for Keiran, TV on the Radio and so on, closing with McLusky's "To Hell With good Intentions." Which i'm not posting here because if you know me, you've probably heard it. Enjoy some synth pop and Welsh instrumental maths, though.

This segued nicely into the next set, which was Hollie playing a mix of classic rock song and bands that sound like The Bronx.

"This is a total abortion of taste."-- Keiran, on the aforementioned set, possibly during a track by Boston.

So. From one abortion of taste to another, Adam, Keiran and Ian and I went and got Curry. At 2 a.m., when eating more always sounds like a good idea. The problem is, while nominally better for you than the dreaded Kebab, Curry is even worse the next day. It sits inside you and seeps through your skin; even the act of showering feels like you're wallowing in your own filth. The day after a post-midnight curry one genuinely feels like while there may be fleeting joys in life, nothing will ever be clean or whole again, for the rest of your life.

Which isn't necessarily how you want to feel getting up at 9:30 and rushing to the station to meet your girlfriend to catch a train to Cardiff.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

I can't believe we've lost our cool

Started the day with a goodbye to two very old friends, opened my e-mail to bad news from home. Tonight I work at a local pub during the rugby match between Wales and England.
This is the beginning of the longest two weeks e-var.

on an up(?)side, I got a couple in Apparently there will be a print edition as well. Credibility and all that.

Friday, 6 February 2009

We Laughed at the Same Thing > M4W >(Thursday outside the Garage, after midnight)

the assignment was to write one in the style of a craigslist missed connection. this one is true, in a non-specific way.

Every time I get off work I think I’ve stopped with girls forever, I just notice the way the street is a sewer after 10pm in that bermuda triangle of chips and styrofoam where Sketty turns into Walter. I saw you by accident, a pleasant surprise in scene-profiling. There was the contrast between the twee scarf and the scuffed cons and you seemed vaguely capable of murder. Or charity work.

So. Definitely my type. . . and obviously you were smoking. You didn’t see me until the couple outside Mr. D’s started yelling at eachother, her an orange lizard in white mini-skirt, him a brick-built cliche, dropping his chips everywhere and never standing on both feet at once.

“Don’t ye fackin’ tells me that! Where was you! Where was you!?”

Outside the Garage where the rockers clustered you shook your head with a smirk. I was wearing the frame of a guy who would like to fall in love but couldn’t be bothered. And a wrinkled black shirt. You looked like every girl I’d ever kissed or wanted to fucked and made babies. And real good in a blue jacket. I’m the guy who laughed with you and tripped over the gum on the pavement on the way to somewhere else.