There’s been much talk in recent years of how out-of-touch the political and media classes are with society, and this alienated relationship feels particularly pronounced in the UK and America.

My anarchist side welcomes this breakdown, as part of me remains hopeful that public resentment of these propagandist times leads to pressure which engenders change. However, there’s a prejudice in me that feels people will instead make stupid decisions when they’re angry. Have I been guilty of stereotyping Brexit and Trump supporters? To some degree – but it’s hard to ignore the contradictions in their arguments. The blue-collar populations of America whose lives were destroyed by outsourcing have voted for a billionaire capitalist whose own business uses outsourcing in order to avoid creating jobs or risking money (…/column-trumps-outrage-over-outsourcin…/). In the UK, a significant section of the population stubbornly cling to the belief that their misery is caused by small Polish sausage and cheese shops rather than the gargantuan financial, political and media corporations.

Trouble in Paradise

I’m really enjoying Slavoj Žižek’s “Trouble in Paradise” just now.


This work has turned me onto wholesome red-blooded Commie ‘dialectic humour’:

“A guy sits down in a cafe and asks the waiter for a coffee without cream… the waiter apologises and says they’re out of cream but would a coffee without milk be OK?”

I’ve recently started using Goodreads, why not join me: 

Last 10 songs added to my YouTube favourites list:

  1. House Of Broken Promises – The Hurt (Paid My Dues)
  2. Neil Young – The Needle and the Damage Done
  3. Cat Stevens – Sitting
  4. ELO – The Diary of Horace Wimp
  5. Betty Boo – Hey DJ I Can’t Dance
  6. Rapeman – Two Nuns and a Pack Mule
  7. Green Day – BBC Sessions 1996
  8. Jaco Pastorius – Dear Prudence
  9. Sluts of Trust – Leave You Wanting More
  10. Trouble – Tales of Brave Ulysses



More Maxims

  • Writing lyrics is my least favourite part of creating music. I’ve made some terrible lyrical mistakes in the past which should have been punished by tar and feathering. Approaches which are valid: stream-of-consciousness; critical/political; surreal; punny. Approaches which stink: obvious/literal; love and/or sex; boneheaded banality; nostalgia; twee.
  • Vocal styles which I detest: that screamy screamo/hardcore/emo thing; and similarly, the ‘bowels of hell’ impression of satan that usually happens at some point in a screamy screamo/hardcore/emo track (“OK auld yin, and is the jitterbug too highly sexualised for your taste?”); the whispered baby-voice that accompanies acoustic interpretations of popular 20th Century songs on TV ads just now; twee baby-voice; people who sing from their postcode rather than heart (e.g. exaggerated “Laaahndahn Taaahn”).
  • Calvin Harris, David Guetta and Skrillex earned an average of $42 million last year. Since 2014, I have earned $12.87 in royalties (half of which were my own purchases to test that the royalty system is legit). They say “you gotta live the blues to play the blues”, but I’m broke and my pentatonic riffs always sound like Lenny Kravitz.

The last 10 videos I added to my YouTube favourites playlist were from: Desalvo; Tim Cappello (Lost Boys); Bruce Hornsby; Ghostbusters Theme Remix; Roy Buchanan; David Bowie; Beastie Boys; Stevie Wonder; Gloria Gaynor; Primus

I particularly recommend the Roy Buchanan track (“Sweet Dreams”) – beautiful guitar playing. Also, Desalvo were a band from Glasgow I had the pleasure of watching live in 2008 at the Balcony Bar in Dundee. Excellent stuff, shame they split. Also, Desalvo employed a screaming vocal style which sounds sincere to me – that’s what makes the difference.

A Shopping List of Thoughts


  • I’m a jaded mid-30-something. Ten years ago I was a jaded mid-20-something, and so forth. Disillusionment is no longer a feature to be experienced by some individuals at a certain point in their life, but rather has become a defining characteristic of the overall contemporary age.
  • I’m treading carefully though – declarations of ‘the end of ideas’ in the past have rightly been mocked. The quote “children must be taught how to think, not what to think” is attributed to cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead which I think resonates well with the jazz adage “It’s not the notes you play; it’s the notes you don’t play”. The world would be vastly improved by teaching people what not to buy.
  • Sentimentality is a big selling point in art and business (as this article highlights). Subsequently, I think it’s fair to deduce that the fear of sincerity from within the spheres of art, business and media has become a cultural obstacle which has paralysed our natural instincts of exploration. In 1965 Mick Jagger sang (I can’t get no) Satisfaction; 50 years later the anthem should surely be (I can’t get no) Exposure.
  • Milk
  • Bread

The last 10 videos I added to my YouTube favourites playlist were from: Captain Beefheart; Frank Zappa; Motley Crue; George Michael; Le Tigre; LL Cool J; Focus; Mahavishnu Orchestra; Satchel; Wang Chung.

That makes my taste look pretty eclectic, but the reality is I’ll listen to any old shit.


More ‘sheet’ than ‘press sheet’, click here for a PDF of empty words which accompanies the pathetic letters I send to record labels. Detailed biographical information can be invented by starting a Wikipedia entry on my behalf. I have recently finished album No. 7 – The Landed Gentry. I have started work on the follow-up record which shall probably be a 5 song EP.

Writing about my own music isn’t an easy thing to do as there’s a good dozen other things I’d rather be doing instead. If it helps, the last 10 videos I added to my YouTube favourites playlist were from: NWA; Herbie Hancock;Torche; John Lennon; Kinski; Curiosity Killed The Cat; Massive Attack; Nick Cave; Al Green and The Spencer Davis Group.

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