Wednesday, March 30, 2011


MACBA have just posted an extended conversation pdf as additional downloadable documentation for this Friday's lecture.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


My favourite Dalry greasy spoon, of which there are sadly too few anywhere nowadays, has as limited choice of reading matter as it does filled rolls. But I do like the atmosphere of the place. And eating and reading go so well together that I'll even reach for a tabloid newspaper in the absence of the café's copy of Nuts.

The thing is, there's almost nothing to read in these rags bar gossip on 'celebrities' I've genuinely never heard of, maybe a tiny vaguely alarmist footnote on page 12 or so about impending apocalypse in Japan or the Middle East, or wasteful reams of dreary sports coverage. That said, there are pervy flesh-pics to drool over, and best still, the personal problems page. Personal meaning sexual, that is.

Troubled souls who write to the tabloids' letters pages could undoubtedly do without me foisting completely unsolicited ethically questionable advice and comments upon their already adequately constructed misery racket. But I'm old enough not to apologise for doing so anyway, none of my bullshit can be much worse than Tracey's, Jane's, or Deidre's. Especially Tracey's.

Expect more, much more, of this.

(Daily Star Sunday, 27/3/11)
My husband is always going on about me never wearing sexy underwear so I bought some and put it on for him the other night. His response was to rip it off the second he saw it. I spent all that money and made the effort but what's the point if he's not even going to look at it on me?

Uncle William says:
What the fuck is this woman's problem?
The only way the outcome could have worked more exquisitely for her is if hubby, in addition to ripping her frillies off, had stuffed her fancy bra and lacy panties down her throat and tied her arms to the bedposts with her ripped black nylons, ripped from having been forcibly led round the room on all fours like a dog. And then, without further ado, had proceeded to screw her as good and as hard as she'd only been able to once upon a time dream about.
Seriously, the only reason some women like to talk up all the soft ambient music, candles, nibbles, massages, and endless foreplay crap is because they don't really want to fuck you. See, a guy takes one look at the object of his desire, in this case his middle-aged wife in fine lingerie, and he's ready and able. Now, that's all it takes. It's a huge compliment, so just be grateful.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Buckle up as this relentless 80s odyssey continues.

Happy Birthday To Me, 1981 (****)
it was a stroke of genius to cast Mary from A Little House On The Prairie as the main protagonist in this uncommonly (for its time) intelligent and memorable slasher; the weird narrative will have you guessing right till its satisfyingly macabre setpiece ending, convoluted though it may be; Syreeta's HBTM theme song in the closing credits is painfully exquisite

Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, 1982 (*****)
forget about all the other oft-cited nonsense, this is hands down the best punk/music/anti-music movie ever, one which, along the way, takes all kinds of subversive swipes at the path the burgeoning MTV-led music industry would lead us to today; it succeeds where others fail principally because it's not trying to sell or mythologise some shit band; morons Steve Cook, Paul Jones, and Paul Simenon seem like the only ones not in on the joke, unlike Fee Waybill, who is both knowing and amazing as Lou Corpse of The Metal Corpses; not to mention the special treat of seeing jailbait Diane Lane (who I loved in Unfaithful) in a compelling nuanced role as the band's lead singer, Corinne '3rd Degree' Burns

Avenging Angel, 1985 (***)
although much of the original Angel cast is the same, out goes Donna Wilkes and in comes Betsy Russell as Molly the (now ex-) teen hooker; there are still flashes of the brilliance of the first: the Strip documentary style, the bedroom abduction scene, and odd bits of random pervery

Sleepaway Camp, 1983 (*****)
camp slasher extraordinaire that, by lulling you into expecting the genre's predictable tropes, continually manages to catch you off guard: deliciously twisted script, sleaze galore, nasty gory kill-scenes, and how it brilliantly manages to recreate the raw hyperactive sexual interactions and tension typical of large groups of adolescents together better than any other film that I can remember, to the extent it often made me shudder to recall how scary it often is to be a teenager

Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers, 1988 (***)
despite a budget of zero and the absence of the glorious original's Felissa Rose, this is still well worth seeing

Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland, 1989 (***)
sadly, although considerably more money was spent on this second sequel and the prize of its accordingly higher body count, the sleaze and gore factor is greatly diminished; that all being said, if you, like me, love the values of the original then you also need to see this


Thursday, March 17, 2011


They're doing a short series of lectures at the Museu d'Art Contemporani in Barcelona, and they've kindly invited me to come and do one of these talks on April 1st. The link above has all the information.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


The album has now been mastered by the audio legend that is Denis Blackham and there should be an official release date to announce shortly. Am excited. More news soon.


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Private School, 1983 (****)
as you'd expect from a teen sex comedy, there's lashings of nubile flesh on display, often partially wrapped up in arousingly slinky 80s lingerie, plus the irresistible treat of having Betsy Russell and Sylvia Kristel in the same movie, but the direction is crisp, the characters come across as real human beings, and it's its rare sincerity and honesty that makes Private School such a cut above other generic trash

Angel, 1984 (*****)
outstanding cult classic about Molly, a bright 15 year old schoolgirl by day, Hollywood Boulevard hooker by night, plus her colourful band of faithful friends including a Jewish dyke, a huge tranny, and a glass-eyed cop, amongst others, as they try to nail a necrophiliac serial killer who's on the loose around the Strip; Donna Wilkes is sensational as young Molly and it's almost impossible to believe she was 25 when making this; I also can't imagine a film nowadays portraying subject matter like this with such affection and without condemnation, now we're stuck with hateful born-again moralists such as Moodysson and Haneke

Heavenly Bodies, 1984 (****)
the beautiful Cynthia Dale is fantastic as the female lead in this awesome low budget Canadian dance movie about three girls who set up an aerobics studio in a converted factory, the hi-nrg soundtrack is one of the best of the decade

Tomboy, 1985 (****)
80s camp heaven - you've got everything here, music, hairstyles, sexy clothes, bare breasts, and the iconic beauty of Betsy Russell (yes, she of Saw fame) in a fantastically nuanced role as the young girl working as a car mechanic

Bloody Pom Poms, 1988 (**)
a pretty incompetent generic slasher you badly want to like but ulitmately merely serves to remind one how effective and brilliantly made the canonical non-apocryphal first eight Friday The 13th movies were, even with the limited budgets at their disposal

Vicious Lips, 1988 (**)
intergalactic cyberdyke band Vicious Lips, along with their new singer, race across the galaxy to perform a gig; despite desperately low production values (and yet probably only a little worse than the shoddy fx in Star Wars), it's worth watching for the highly enjoyable musical moments and some occasionally successful flashes of campy humour


Tuesday, March 08, 2011


Yes, it's hard to believe. After several years' toil, all the songs for the Cut Hands album are finished and there's not going to be any more tweaking, enhancing, or indeed fiddling. The finalised track listing is here below. So now before there comes any more temptation for meddling and interference, it's going to be shipped off for mastering.

Welcome To The Feast Of Trumpets
Stabbers Conspiracy
Rain Washes Over Chaff
Nzambi Ia Lufua
Who No Know Go Knows
++++ (Four Crosses)
Shut Up And Bleed
Munkisi Munkondi
Ezili Freda
Bia Mintatu
Rain Washes Over Every Thing

Friday, March 04, 2011


Bingo And The Suicide Strategy

Don't ask why as I can't even remember myself how, as a teenager, I started going along to bingo evenings at the local Mecca, a gaudy cavernous hall in Brighton that had clearly once seen more elegance and glamour. Maybe it was just the allure of experiencing an unusual subculture; it certainly wasn't in order to meet anyone there, mostly frequented by  middle-aged or elderly women as it was. Each and every one armed with a drink and a fat marker pen, all entirely focused on their table array of bingo cards, readying themselves for eyes down.

Clickety Click, sixty-six. As a panicky neophyte fish amongst these experienced female bingo sharks, I found it surprisingly hard to keep up with the numbers, even with my one tragically solitary card. Two Fat Ladies, eighty-eight. Most of the other players would have, incredibly, by comparison, from six to a dozen cards each to keep track of. Kelly's Eye, number one.

The tension got really bad in the second game when all the numbers on my card started filling up. Fuck, I now only need the 11 to win! Legs Eleven, number eleven. 'Bingo!', I blurted out. There was a sharp disapproving collective intake of breath. Not only did this male interloper insult formal bingo protocol but he had the cheek to win the £50 prize with his lone card. Unlucky For Some, number thirteen.

It was in conversaton a few weeks later I made the facetious remark to someone that I was now qualified to write The Skill Of Bingo. Surprisingly, and unwittingly, that turned out to be an invaluable lesson to me, and formed the basis of a rather special longstanding theory of mine. Heaven's Gate, seventy-eight.

See, on the face of it, bingo is a game of pure chance. Ostensibly, there is no skill. But, upon reflection, I began to realise that there was quite a bit. But not in the obvious sense.

First, to get the best odds you should only have one card. Otherwise you're effectively playing against yourself in a game in which the house takes a percentage; a bit like for example the folly of backing the entire field in a horse race, or betting on every number on a spin of roulette.

However, more than that, the most important skill of all: you must cross the numbers off correctly.

One number mistaken or missed and you cannot win a game of bingo. Many of these older ladies are playing with far too many cards at once and often simply can't keep up. Why do they do it? Because it's edge play, it appeals to superstition, to marginalisation, it's more exciting, it appears to give them more winning chances. In truth, it's a suicide strategy.

It sounds too obvious, and yet this is a priceless transparent concession, one where delusion is the inevitable precursor to success, and failure to disappointment. In other words, what if the most critical skill isn't founded in doing something well, it's in the simple managing to avoid adopting strategies for self-destruction? The longer that resonates, the more it begins to make sense, in all kinds of unexpected ways. Staying Alive, eighty-five.