Thursday, 30 December 2010

Smokes are for Losers


Smoke alarms have been silently sounding-off. The sour smell of stale tobacco on sweater sleeves. The hacking cough that wakes me every morning. The one that did it was seeing the terror with which Battlecat (see blog entry entitled Kitty Porn) recoiled from any cigarette smoke that wafted his way. It seemed like the smart Darwinian option. I read a self-help-quit-smoking-in-ten-easy-steps book, which transpired to be one of the most depressingly dull, badly written books I have ever read (I’m not quite sure what I was expecting). The success in the book’s technique is essentially inciting a feeling of such resentment for having endured such tedium for two hundred pages that you feel obliged to at least have a stab. To put your money (/no cigarettes) where your mouth is.
I think just as effective would be to read a book that you may actually enjoy (may I recommend Roberto BolaƱo’s ‘The Savage Detectives’) and just glance at these key bullet points. It stinks. Your clothes and car will stink. Your breath will stink. Girls won’t want to kiss you. If they do they will probably be thinking ‘this guy stinks’. It is anti-social. I work in a nice warm studio. We light candles and record pop songs and hang out and it’s fucking great. Then every half an hour I stand in the rain and the wind alone for ten minutes (American Spirits last longer than Marlboro’s). It’s banned from anywhere fun. The days of dancing (probably to At The Drive-in) in a club with a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other are sadly no more. It’s absurdly expensive. It’s so easy and very sensible for the government to tax as much as they want on something that costs them so much in hospital bills… which brings me to the last point. It kills you. It fucking kills you. It gives you cancer and then it fucking kills you. KILLS YOU. KILLS YOU!! KILLS YOU FUCKING DEAD WITH CANCER!!
I began to convince myself that smoking somehow defined me. That it was part of my personal brand. That it sent out the right ‘I don’t give a fuck’ messages. Well I guess I do give a fuck, and the older I get, the more the image of what it is to be a smoker morphs into something I don’t want to be. Whereas I saw myself as James Dean or Hunter S. Thompson the reality is nearer to that frail, yellow-fingered, stinking old geezer coughing up rubbery pellets of phlegm, standing in the rain outside the pub and that is something I never want to be. I enjoyED smoking but I also enjoy smelling nice, my friends, my money and being alive!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

In Case Anyone Wondered, My Albums of 2010 Are the Same as Everyone Elses

Toro Y Moi- Causers of This
Suckers- Wild Smile
Ariel Pink- Before Today
Das Racist- Shut Up, Dude
Diamond Rings- Special Affections
Girls- Broken Dreams Club
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All- Radical
Twin Shadow- Forget
Health- Disco2
Chromatics- In the City
Ceo- White Magic
Beach House- Teen Deam
Small Black- New Chain
Curren$y- Pilot Talk
oOoOO- oOoOO
Shit Robot- Cradle to the Rave
Delorean- Subiza
Aeroplane- We Can’t Fly
Tanlines- Volume One
S∆lem- King Night
Free Energy- Stuck on Nothing
Teengirl Fantasy- 7am
Theophilus London- This Charming Mixtape
Games- That We Can Play
Big KRIT- Wuz Here

… And yes, Kanye’s album is very good.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Morrissey: A public unapology


Teenagers are rarely subtle in the ways they emulate their heroes. This is never more apparent than when casting a glaze along the queue at a Morrissey gig. My teenage Morrissey impression lasted up until my band (named after a Morrissey song) started releasing (Smiths-a-like) records. Having dropped my unnecessary Christian name to be more like Steven Patrick and growing a proud quiff people began to notice my obsession and it was deemed as totally inappropriate behaviour for the singer in a band. I stuffed contact lenses in my eyes and demolished my quiff, flattening my fringe over my forehead. If there is an irony to be found in being uncomfortable with having to avoid copy-catting the world most notorious misfit then I see it only now. Now, when my hair is at it’s dizzying highest. Yet now, when my career is writing pop songs.

Morrissey has a lyrical style that speaks so directly to the listener that he becomes a kind of surrogate father figure. At once both laugh-out-loud funny and crushingly sad. Of course you already know this, and as I race through phases and trends in music (which is something I swore I would never do) I know that I can always return home to Morrissey. Morrissey I love you and I don’t care who knows it!!