mr. zilla goes to town

Monday, April 25, 2005

what a friend we have...

Finally the perfect accompaniment to the Buddy Christ monitor ornament you have at work to remind you not to surf for porn - or at least to feel really guilty about it. Yes, it's the Lock'n'Load Jesus Mouse Pad! Yes, Jesus is coming, and this time he means business. Jesus has a Kalashnikov, and he's got YOU in the crosshairs. Dimensions: 7.75" x 9.25", sturdy rubber mouse pad with printed cloth cover, only $11.95 from!

(Via Jesus General.)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

the mighty sunday night

So the big college events in Oxford are called bops, right? Probably a term that dates to bobby socks in the 1950s or more likely the coconut-like sound of rowdy students' heads being banged together by publicans in the 1650s.

The Mighty Bop's 2002 12" I Go Crazy featuring Duncan Roy is a track I would have loved to have on hand Friday night but unfortunately I only picked it up this afternoon. Now theres nu jazz and jazzy house and wotnot but this is a truly demented hybrid of big band Tony Bennett styling served on a house platter so outrageous it's just impossible not to grin. You might even be tempted to use the word 'madcap' and I reckon you could get away with it.

Why Friday night? Well Wolfson Bar was where I kicked off playing in Oxford back in January so I was more than happy to come back Friday to play for them again. (Photo credit: Ms Z.) Particularly since their most recent event a few weeks ago was a 'You Program The Tunes' funky iPod style event and only managerial intervention prevented Thriller being played seven times. I was brought in for a night of ship-steadying 'We Know What's Good For You' and the abovementioned would have gone down a treat, somewhere in the vicinity of the Moodorama Mix of Tricatel Inc's Friday Night.

Speaking of Jacko, at one point in the night I found myself castigating a young miss who came up to request a tune from the kiddy fiddler and to be honest in retrospect I think I was only half kidding her. (Well when I asked if I could perhaps play some of Adolf Hitler's favourite Wagner for her instead, I'm pretty sure I couldn't have obliged anyway).

Makes you think though, will MJ now be persona-non-party if he's convicted? Will any drunken groovers care? Should his art be held above and aside from his other nefarious business? Er, alleged, of course. Of course musos and artists for years have been messy and transgressive types but is there a bridge too far? Jimi and Janis might have been all up for pharmacological expeditions improving the art or the appreciation thereof but it's off the wall to draw paedophilia with the same brush stroke. On the other hand, there's no doubt the odd architect out there who has been up to similar disgraceful behaviour but their creative edifices don't get knocked down as the sentence comes down...

Saturday, April 23, 2005

best of best of

Cheap but reliable laughs and a lazy blog post, courtesy of some of the best of the best of:

Insecure depressive seeks despotic ballcrusher to finalize descent into madness.

I am self-righteous. I am unforgiving. I am a conservative asshole. But I have had a life-changing experience that showed me how arrogant and ignorant I really am. A Pro-Lifer Repents.

Free unfriendly black hamster. I want to get rid of this as*hole as soon as possible. Now, all you animal lovers, calm down. I love animals too. But this jerk murdered my other hamster, whom I loved very much, by biting off and eating his head.

Oh alright, here's more than filler: Part of the fine Dustygroove shipment I had sent over recently - inspired by the continuing poxy USD - was the self titled Âme on Sonar Kollketiv. It's cruisy slightly techy electro house of the finest kind. I'm generally less inclined to buy artist albums over (unmixed) compilations as there's slightly less of a filtering process going on, but this nine track release from 2004 of their big guns seems to be a very passable collection, a little dark in places and dubby in others, never overbearing but without lapsing into being merely bland. In their own words:

Their soulful mission [is] to explore far beyond the borders of house music [has] already captured the attention all major peeps involved in present club music.

Go dig it.

please hold, your eyeballs are important to us

Sorry for the lack of images - two of my pics from Harajuku in Tokyo last year made their way into some of the top results on both yahoo and google image search and have eaten all my free photobucket bandwidth. I'll sort something out shortly...

In the meantime, since I've got bandwidth to burn at but can't be arsed migrating all my photos and ftping them myself, you might enjoy this old Hefner remix of Lamb's Gabriel from the 2002 Hefner: Reworks release.

Not that I want to turn this place into an mp3blog but the usual concrete umbrella record industry retardant disclaimers apply: this music is posted for sampling for a limited time and if you like it go borrow and rip your friend's copy that's in a dodgy CD case with blurry scanned-and-printed cover art that he picked up in a street market on a recent trip to Moscow, and buy him a beer as thanks.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

mr zissou goes to town

Lovely lovely Sardinia. Four days of slouching around in the Mediterranean sun was just the ticket. I'd like to thank our sponsors at Ryan Air for their ridiculously cheap tickets, the sunshine that stayed until an hour before we left, and the friendly Sards always being on hand with another bottle of red. After sucking up UK/Oxford prices, I could get quite fond of nonmetro parts of Italy... rounds of drinks with change from 10 Euro? I'll take three! (Even if the bar is called Tabernaque, a name which made Ms Y, our Canadian companion, laugh)

Some of the finer views from the medieval Catalan quarter of Alghero:

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By the time the longnecks were finished that fine craft in the middle distance on the right had been baptised La Vita Aquatica and the four of us headed out to sea...

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Fortunately we eventually washed ashore just down the coast in the authentic tourist hamlet (complete with cornukitschias) of Bosa in time for dinner...

Fantastic old town, it was very hard to leave, literally: the old guy selling the bus tickets back to Alghero out of his bar wasn't much interested in selling tickets to the day's bus out after midday. Curiously in his crowded cafe/bar, full of only middle aged local men not paying for their drinks, he had three separate drawers for cash transactions but not a euro in change available in any of them. Hmm, sometimes you just don't ask!

Fortunately the UK is still somewhat committed to the EU and the customs laws are non existent, so I didn't have to resort to strapping the nine kilos of salivatingly stinky peccorino cheese to my body to smuggle it back into the country. (By the way, how completely fucked are the Australians caught in Bali this week? And how completely fucked up is it that AFP procedures might have played a strong hand in seeing them condemed them to death?)

Well, good times in this part of the planet anyway, blessings counted and truly appreciated. (Except for that whole Conclave-appointed-by-JPII appointing JPII's pet doctrinal doberman as Pope Benny. Who woulda thunk?) Now its back to crazy busy here, but I've got six great new CDs and a few dozen records to tell you about which I'll try to get around to before long.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

d'oh the humanity

The good news is, Ms Z and I are off for a loooong weekend in Italy tomorrow!

The bad news is, we’re going to miss out on a great Friday night down at the Marquee club in London headlined by Nitin Sawnhey, Gruff from the Superfurries, and Bobby Friction.

The good news is, I was just asked to play on the undercard for the above…

The bad news is, Ms Z and I are off for a loooong weekend in Italy tomorrow!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

reflux redux

I remember back on the US election day in DC last year feeling so nervous about the possible consequences of the outcome that I couldn't eat all day. It was only after an amber steadier that I managed to eat around the time the polls closed.

Reading some recent posts on atrios this morning I've got that sinking, wrenching feeling that my fears are being realised. If you're a regular reader of the US domestic political news and top tier poliblogs you might find this old news and so skip over, but my guess is a lot of the readership here aren’t.

Atrios (and many others) point to this Dana Milbank article in the Washington Post about a meeting of leading conservatives on the subject of “Remedies to Judicial Tyranny”. That is, about pulling into line the one branch of the US federal government that they don’t control. The ire flowed most strongly towards US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy:
Phyllis Schlafly, doyenne of American conservatism, said Kennedy's opinion forbidding capital punishment for juveniles "is a good ground of impeachment."

Michael P. Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Kennedy "should be the poster boy for impeachment" for citing international norms in his opinions.

Strong words, right? Now get a load of this:
Edwin Vieira told the gathering that Kennedy should be impeached because his philosophy, evidenced in his opinion striking down an anti-sodomy statute, "upholds Marxist, Leninist, satanic principles drawn from foreign law."

Ominously, Vieira continued by saying his "bottom line" for dealing with the Supreme Court comes from Joseph Stalin. "He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him, whenever he ran into difficulty: 'no man, no problem,' " Vieira said.

The full Stalin quote, for those who don't recognize it, is "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem."
Certainly Vieira himself isn’t about to go and load his shotgun but this kind of dog-whistle rhetoric is the first stage in laying the ground for vigilante atrocities to happen. I’m sure there’s more than one Timothy McVeigh in the world, especially with the number of mentally traumatized veterans returning from the current Iraq misadventure.

What's important to note is that these are not fringe players in Washington. Besieged Republican House Majority Leader Tom De Lay has made similar cloaked anti-judicial threats and was going to be attending this meeting but cancelled to go to Rome. Also important to note is that the target of their bile was appointed to the Supreme Court by conservative demigod Ronald Reagan, so it's not like he can be tarred with the brush of Clinton. And Kennedy isn't alone in this situation. A majority of the judges on the Massachusetts Supreme Court who ruled gay marriage consitutional there were also Republican appointees. (Admittedly it was a New England Republican... a species to the left of the endangered Texas Democrat.) It's a pattern that shows you how far off the reservation these nutters have moved since the 1980s. These people are a disgrace, even by the standards of the Reagan era.

Now check out what is going into the West Wing’s slot on NBC this week:
This Wednesday the far right's cutting-edge culture of death gets its biggest foothold to date in the mainstream, when NBC broadcasts its "Left Behind" simulation, "Revelations," an extremely slick prime-time mini-series that was made before our most recent death watches but could have been ripped from their headlines. In the pilot a heretofore nonobservant Christian teenage girl in a "persistent vegetative state" - and in Florida, yet - starts babbling Latin texts from the show's New Testament namesake just as dastardly scientists ("devil's advocates," as they're referred to) and organ-seekers conspire to pull the plug. "All the signs and symbols set forth in the Bible are currently in place for the end of days," says the show's adult heroine…
America, we stand as one? You have got to be fucking kidding me.
Invoking Stalin, Vieira delivered the "no man, no problem" line twice for emphasis. "This is not a structural problem we have; this is a problem of personnel," he said. "We are in this mess because we have the wrong people as judges."
These freaks in power and their rabid associates are really starting to take on the stench of an intolerant, fundamentalist, proto-fascist regime.

grandmomma flash

China is not just heading towards overtaking the industrialized west economically, but is rapidly moving towards a stage where it's going to move through, and beyond, what we have to offer culturally. For this week in China it's out with the old skool Boundless Fist of Tai Chi Chuan, and into the streets some sheets of cardboard for some badass poppin and lockin...

Jin is 68, and a grandmother, but she does not look or behave like one.

She is fashionable and well-groomed, enjoys spending her money on clothes and make-up, and is a picture of health and vitality.

And every Monday morning, Jin and a group of her friends meet in a park in Beijing to practise their favourite activity - break-dancing.

Look I don't think we should underestimate the trend on this. If Chinese grannies are busting out in headspins we've really got to lift our game and find a way to bring our own older folk out from under their knitting in the nursing home and kicking some arse. How about some mandatory mutual obligation capoiera classes for over sixty fives if they want to receive their pension?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

blog on blog action

I often want to chide Mr Lefty for his onanistic indulgence of going over the entrails of his blog statistics for who is coming to pay a visit. Hopefully his impending marriage will put an end to such behaviour.

But I've just looked at mine and it seems like around 75% of the new traffic in the last week are people who have dropped by for my pictures of Harajuku girls in Tokyo this time last year.

So any reference of my own to that particular mischief seems almost redundant...

In other news, the CD/DVD drive in my laptop now appears to be totally bollocksed up and failing to rip any new CD properly. Gah! Pfah! And here I am just home from the pub on a Saturday night with this Mylo promo and three Shakedown remixes to feed into the maw! Blegh! Looks like its time for yet another USB gadget. And a high speed (2.0) hub too.

In other other news, this makes something like six posts in the last week. 10 points if you can guess which European country Ms Z has been in for the duration. Expect the usual desultory attention to the blog to return to form when she gets back late tomorrow, especially as we're off to Sardinia for the weekend... on Wednesday. Ha! That's what I call a weekend!

Una bottliglia di vino rosso per favore. Prego, prego. Andiamo!

when she smiles she lights the sky

Just came across a great mp3 blog, adoru. Some great picks and a diverse ear over there, particularly the latest entry of the 4hero remix of Plantlife's When She Smiles She Lights The Sky that was on Compost Radio this week just gone. This track is beautiful, 4hero's measure and control and gentle touch of the remix is breathtaking, it's going straight to the top of my playlist for Monday night at Thirst.

It will make you laugh and cry and remember teenage sunsets and loves long gone. Then you'll play it again.

Friday, April 08, 2005

proper gander

The US music industry has seen its share of artists falling off the political fence in the last few years, from Springsteen's contextual post-9/11 The Rising, to bubblehead Britney's views on trusting the President in every decision, to the Dixie Chicks expressing their shame of the President's Texan origins.

Still, this staggeringly naff piece of work called "America We Stand As One" has to be seen to be believed. It's also available in the iFilm viral video list. I can only imagine that either there are a lot of people in the CIA who miss Michael Bolton, or it is actually highly sophisticated reverse ferret psy-op by Al Qaeda to undermine US confidence in its culture from within. (Incidentally, there are people in no doubt that Al Qaeda have penetrated US intelligence. But more importantly, what the hell is with the whole bit in the clip with the US flag tied to his hand like a five year old sent off to school with a hanky?)

All I can say is thank goodness there are still some people in the US providing some clear values and exemplary leadership, not puff popaganda... like Bill Gates Senior:

Some of America's wealthiest individuals have declined billions of dollars in tax cuts bestowed upon them by President George W. Bush's administration and have urged others among the country's richest and most famous to donate their federal tax cuts to campaigns against the Bush package, often described as ''tax breaks for the rich.''

Bill Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation--the largest foundation on Earth--and father of the Microsoft Corp. co-founder, has spearheaded Responsible Wealth's campaign to oppose regressive changes to the tax code and to reform and preserve the estate tax.

'The next time a politician says we can't afford to fund something you care about, ask yourself if $69 billion per year would help,'' said Scott Klinger, Responsible Wealth's co-director. ''When you hear that the only choices we have are to cut budgets, increase the deficit or increase your taxes, remember that $69 billion in tax breaks went to people who made more than $200,000 last year.''

Thursday, April 07, 2005

brick work

Nice little latin flavoured 1 hour set last night at The Brickworks as a guest of the Peepshow:

Hajime Yoshizawa – Rise Me Up (Especial Records)
Mondo Grosso – Vida Soalhiera
Bebel Gilberto – Sem Contencao (Truby Trio remix)
Truby Trio – High Jazz (Vocal Mix)
Zero 7 – Distractions (Bugz in the Attic remix)
Quincy Jones – Pelando
Santa Esmerelda – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Oreja – Manana Por La Manana
Marzebian – Let It Ride
Rinocerose – Sublimior
War - Galaxy (Plump DJs mix)
Mondo Grosso – Don’t Let Go
Jazztronik – Song Of Bebe (Sunaga T Experience’s Jet Set Mix)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

letter to an advice columnist

Dear Abby,

So I'm like totally this together and collected pro DJ right. I'm so cool I put cucumbers in the shade*. I'm way blasé to all that clubland offers. I'm professional, a little cynical, all business, all blag, all over. I'm even getting the hang of turning down requests in a way that makes the requester feel special. "Yeah mate, I'm so with you. I'd love to switch to hardcore DNB for the final hour - but maybe that's just you and me ya know? I don't think the kids in here would get it the way we do..."

So why does it make me feel all tingly that I now have in my record bag a signed Portishead Cowboys 12" from the collection and hands of Andy Smith himself? Does the fact that I only chortled like a schoolboy on the bus on the way home from the gig, and didn't go all the way and giggle like a schoolgirl, mean that I get away with passing this off as the immense and proper respect due to a worthy colleague at the pinnacle of the profession? Or should I just own up to my mates about being a starstuck dorky fanboy at heart, and wear star trek t shirts when I play from now on?


DJ Blush

* No, I don't mean that I put them where the sun don't shine. you advice columnists all have such dirty minds.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

a blog burst

I'm sitting inside writing an essay, and out the window it is one of the most gorgeous, sunny, shirtsleeves days of the year so far. This is such an intolerable situation I am procrastinating by writing a blog entry which will keep me in here even longer. I don't think I ever claimed to be a bright spark...

Here are the abridged recent highlights in the world or mr zilla.

All the poor, poor fundamentalist Christians. Praying day after day and waiting all these centuries for the second coming so they can be saved and experience The Rapture. All they needed to do was be in the Medicine Bar last Saturday night, where Shuya Okino, half of Japanese production duo Kyoto Jazz Massive was behind the decks. While it was definitely the set of a composer/producer and not a turntable ninja, this maestro wielded bleeding edge chops that left the room gasping. Me, I was in such a state of pants-wetting bliss at the tunes I couldn't even manage to dance, or speak, or remember to go to the bar, or maintain bladder control, while drinking in the free wheeling future jazz at the same time. Highlights of the set included 'The Brightness Of These Days' from the 2004 KJM album Spirit of the Sun and 'Froro' from Jazztronik's Set Free.

Thankfully Ms Z managed to manuevre me out the door at the end of the night and although still speaking in tongues on the bus to the hotel in Paddington as the clocks shifted forward an hour, the night eventually passed without any further cults accidentally forming.

Sunday we roamed through Kensington Palace gardens for a while before head off down to the Thames. Known in these parts simply as The Boat Race or more informatively, the Oxford Blues vs Cambridge Blues annual mens coxed eights race down on the Thames. The Boat Race rates almost an entire day of BBC coverage, and perhaps the only thing that makes it fall slightly short of being a 'Race That Stops the Nation' is the lack of a few dozen horsepower of thoroughbred dog food. Its quite the do though and we spent Easter Sunday afternoon amongst the throng by the Hammersmith Bridge. Oxford weighed in with the heaviest squad in the century-plus history of the race, and roared away over the four mile course to finish winners by several lengths.

Sunday night and Monday afternoon we toured through southwestern rural parts with Ms Z's Aunt, from Salisbury to Avesbury and back to Oxford in time for me to catch a nap before getting to Thirst for the Monday night set. It's taken me a couple of weeks to settle into these 5 hour sets and get what I want out of the night, but the manager is more than pleased, the staff keep asking for mix CDs, and the residency is on indefinitely. That was such good news I immediately went and blew over forty quid at dustygroove and I'll tell you all about what I picked up when they arrive.

Back to the essay now, I've got to get it topped and tailed so I can nip down to Notting Hill tomorrow afternoon, I'm lending a hand with Oxfam's club night at the Notting Hill Arts Club in support of the Control Arms campaign.