July 22nd, 2004



Had I scrolled down this page earlier in the week, I might have been alerted earlier to this oversight. Hmm, Russian country and western, that's something I wouldn't mind giving a go for the hell of it. Oh, that's me! I'd be hard pressed to describe MorT as Russian C&W and I hope listeners will too. Am I supposed to be getting annoyed with somebody over this...?

What I'm trying to say is that it turns out that this Saturday afternoon at The Foundry is effectively double booked. The manager's recollection is that we had agreed to Saturday 31st July and not the 24th, yet he also recalls that the launch was on the day of my birthday (which has been the same date for the last 37 years). Hmm, well, obviously there has been a communication breakdown of sorts. I think it's neither John's fault nor my own, though I have a certain annoyance with Herr Wednesday that he didn't address the problem directly when he heard about it (and, more importantly, actually tell me the full story), but Sarmoung isn't about bitching, except when it comes to celebs and the like.

The MGT are attempting to move the booked act, laptoparian Ben Guiver [Guyver? Gwiver?, to the next Saturday. No news as yet. I'd advise everyone to still turn up at The Foundry. As I said to John, it's too late in the day for me to cancel. It wouldn't be the end of the day if I didn't get to perform or have various friends DJ. I could still physically hand out the CDs and, provided Mr Guiver was willing, squeeze in a ten minute break for the tombola. We'd just sit around drinking and talking and listening to whatever was on offer. Let's check the weather forecast for Saturday. Assuming that there aren't any Angel vs. Old Street microclimate issues, it should be reasonable weather, so we could just stand outside. Show must go on, mustn't grumble, blah, blah and answer your frickin' phone, Basil!

I met up with Wynd whilst I was there. It's good to see him after these months and I look forward to hearing what really has been going on. It's all rather bright lights with him these days. I became a little agitated by his friends, probably I was worrying about Saturday. NO! There is an age of consent in Japan. How would you know? Because I do! It's not an appealing character aspect and far less appealing to witness in oneself.

The Joanna Newsom gig is a no-no. That's a double bill with no additional floorspots. I've got a spare ticket, so if anyone would like to join me for the evening, tell me in no more than 15 words why. Just why. They've only four tickets left now. However, I have been offered a gig far sooner than August. Subject to confirmation, I may now be playing a week this Friday (the 30th) as support for bayoubilly Mike West. That might work out quite well if The Foundry goes pear-shaped-belly-up-fubar. I listened to some more from Newsom yesterday. There's some very nice songwriting there, but the little-girl-lost voice, and definitely the screechy bits, seem a little overplayed at times. I suppose it offers a counterpoint to the harp, but if she applied as much musicality to her voice as she did to the instrumental part. It could well be the producer wanting to give it more indie appeal. Or (her?) youth. Or just me.

Perhaps not in this case, but I do wonder whether musicians hide their voice in affectations. Voices are vulnerable things, something you expose rather warily. Remove your clothes before the lover and what is that look in their eyes exactly? What is the balance of their desire? I am ugly, I will disgust you. Better that I make myself ugly. If I give myself a wart here, a lump there, then these will be the things you see. I see them also. We agree that these are the things we see together. Beauty will break our heart. When the concept of beauty is something constructed and controlled so forcefully in this modern world - we are terrorised by a profusion of unattainable images. This is part of the reason I'd like to return to the medieval world. I'd like to see far less cookie-cutter beauty and far more accidental epiphany.

It's not in the interest of the Empire that we control our own aesthetic. Or maybe it is. We're given the freedom to construct within certain boundaries - whether that's airbrushed perfection or body modification in extremity. It's all marketable and it sustains the greater illusion. That moment when you looked across at somebody and thought them beautiful for no greater reason than they were. Months later, you looked at them with an indifference that might even pass into revulsion. Wh'appen? Was it just chemical imbalance or did you lose something when you weren't looking...

I'm sure if I was better versed in Indian philosophy, and less prone to knight's move thinking, I'd be able to describe what I'm getting at far more precisely. Christianity doesn't generally address the world in terms of its illusion and I'm in persistent danger of becoming more Gnostic, or heavens forbid, Manichaean, as the years pass by. I don't have the ability or knowledge to pass off this assault upon beauty as being a complex interplay of various realities and their respective illusions. With my frequently Byzantine mindset, I just pass these things off as the work of the Evil One. A snare we are all trapped within that prevents true beauty assaulting us throughout our lives. It would be too painful. Better the Photoshopped version, the pan-and-scan variety. Well, I'd better be off before I become anymore parenthetical. I'll read some St Isaac the Syrian, he's good on these things.