commonpeople1: (Avatar)
upload by olliefern
upload, a photo by olliefern on Flickr.
For 9 days, between Saturday 7th and Sunday 15th, I didn't check my emails, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, Tumblr or the other many social networks I use regularly. I also didn't mean to use the internet but I had to break this a few times to look up info: did the Lowry Exhibition at Tate Britain come with an audio tour? Where exactly did the country walk from Hassocks to Lewes start? Were we on the right path in Richmond Park? How much money did I have left in my account? Where exactly was that store in Brighton that sold 2nd hand postcards?

Sounds banal to say it but when you're not busy scrolling through your mobile phone you start to notice life around you. Like the amount of homeless and drunks in the Eastend. The amount of people walking while texting. The amount of people driving while texting.

I turned off roamer on my mobile phone so I wouldn't get push notifications (temptations.) I'd catch myself during the first weekend wanting to check something, or thinking up a tweet/LJ post/Facebook update. I started sleeping for longer periods, with less interruptions. I wrote more in my journal. I read more. Ideas for short stories and novels flooded in. My decision to never do NaNoWriMo again wavered.

Bliss: no idea what was going on with my family nor with my work. Days stretched away - a week felt like two weeks. I began to dread having to check my emails again - in fact, by this last Sunday I had terrible insomnia/anxiety. Woke up exhausted and compulsively went through all my notifications, updates and emails (mostly junk.)

A lot of my physical problems can be traced back to the internet: insomnia, r.s.i, bad posture. I personally don't think we as human beings were meant to be digitally connected 24/7. A few hours a day - maybe OK. More than that? Not good. Social networks are the processed cheese of the 21st century. And Zadie Smith was right about the internet being terrible for writers. Some writers.

The internet is my alcohol and it doesn't help that I work in a distillery. But I need to keep taking these breaks, so I'm going to try Friday night to Monday morning from now on. Save the weekends for non-digital stuff. Follow Henry Miller's suggestion that you should always finish what you started.

Yesterday, I joined LinkedIn.
commonpeople1: (Default)
Voguing in NYC by MichelleMcCormack
Voguing in NYC, a photo by MichelleMcCormack on Flickr.
I get the feeling the next big flash-in-a-pan trend with (straight) hipsters will be voguing. I say straight because with the gays it's something that never really went away, even if only as a panto move you make in the club, encircled by your friends.

But the whole 80s house sound keeps getting re-explored by ever more artists on the wake of Hercules and Love Affair, to the point where i think that voguing is the only way kids can go these days with their dayglo and moustaches. There's even a book just out on voguing and the House Ballroom scene in NY in the 80s.

I had this thought about voguing last night at 2 Many DJs Xmas gig at Brixton Academy. They were accompanied by guests - the fantastic DJ Paul Chambers and some other nameless DJs - but, more interestingly for me, Azari & III, who I had never heard of and who I really took to. Essentially, they are two singers who sing very catchy house pop in the style of Hercules & Love Affair accompanied by a band/DJs. Oh look, they have an ace single coming out soon!

I was with [ profile] loveinsuburbia, who kept wishing they'd bugger off the stage; but I think she was just incapable of truly appreciating their goodness thanks to the constant flirting between her and the boy across the way we nicknamed Superman.[1] We had tickets for the Circle at the Brixton Academy, which meant dancing in front of your seat and being distracted by ushers going back and forth trying to stop people leaning over the railings to gape at the downstairs crowd.

There was this really cheeky, tiny Irish bloke completely off his head who kept sneaking past security and dancing right by the rails, his hands raised to the stage, a big grin on his face. Then he'd turn around and high five us. When we'd see security coming, either us or Superman and his mates would pull him away until security were gone.

It was a great night of dancing, and I was happy to realise that I could stay up until 3am non-stop moving without the need of MDMA. Just a couple of pear ciders, gin and tonics and water did the trick for me. 2 Many DJs set was great but the next time with them will either have to be in a field or a proper club.

For those of you who don't know what voguing is, here's the trailer for Paris is Burning (1990).

[1] The flirting got so silly that I had to actually give Superman a thumbs up as I walked away (without [ profile] loveinsuburbia's knowledge), to see if he'd finally make his move. But the silly bugger was either too shy and fried or he really thought I was her boyfriend, despite me camping it up to dissuade him of the idea. A pair of good looking guys later introduced themselves to [ profile] loveinsuburbia and again, as they chatted to her, they kept looking at me with that "are you her boyfriend?" look. Good manners still exist, people.
commonpeople1: (Default)
Lovebox 17/07/11 by antonyprice
Lovebox 17/07/11, a photo by antonyprice on Flickr.
This was the moment at Lovebox on Sunday when 2ManyDJs ended their set. We'd been on our feet for 8 hours by that stage - most of it spent dancing. We were also freezing cold even though most of our bodies were buzzing (and some didn't even stop when it all went quiet.) No applauses, no calls for 2ManyDJs to get back on the stage. Everyone was too knackered as they trudged through the mud out of Vicky Park (apart from the gay boys who found each others tongues pressed against the ferris wheel's grates.)

My memories in no particular order:
- [ profile] kirsten 's mint spray and the delicious taste it left in my mouth. The taste of Kirsten's cigarette. Kirsten's coffee too.
- [ profile] amy 's excitement when Blondie came on, and the crowd erupting when they sang "Heart of Glass"
- The discovery of the 80s tent, playing Communards, Journey and Flashdance to ecstatic jumps.
- Dancing R&B with [ profile] kirsten and [ profile] kevin because it was warm and cosy in that tent.
- Meeting brasilian girl M who knows my friend B in São Paulo and who was high on acid. Going on an amusement ride which flew us into the sky and from where we didn't want to come down.
- Beth Ditto nearly naked, blowing the top off Vicky Park, especially when she karaoked Vogue.
- Marc Almond's lacklustre performance. Very unfair to put him in the afternoon on such a big stage when he'd be perfect in a dark intimate venue.
- [ profile] kirsten and [ profile] amy 's smiles, which always lifted my mood.
- Coming home like the living dead and [ profile] kirsten breaking the news that Rebekah Brooks had been arrested.

My favourite performance was probably Beth Ditto though I had fun dancing to 2ManyDJs. I just checked out her EP on Spotify and it's pretty good - very, very Hercules and Love Affair.

Promises have been made to repeat Lovebox next year. Join us, won't you?
commonpeople1: (Cabbie)
If you're ever feeling depressed or sick - life's getting you down - there's one easy and inexpensive thing you can do that will heal you immediately. This antidote costs less than £10 - one payment only - and you own it afterwards for the rest of your life. It is 100% guaranteed to fix you.

The only possible side effect is that you might get addicted to it, but research has shown that the likelihood is minimal and that most users experience only good effects before recovering their health and spiritual wellbeing.

I fully support this product and can vouch that it's healing powers are awesome. I'm currently using it and life finally feels so much better. I'm looking forward to using it on a fairly regular basis from now on.

And I think you should too. )
commonpeople1: (Jump)

Grace Jones
Originally uploaded by virgorama
If a bomb had been dropped on Victoria Park yesterday, it would have wiped out 99.99% of London's lesbians, gays and trannies. Are steroids flamable? Because there was enough there yesterday (covered by fine trimmed hair and tattoos) to set the EastEnd ablaze after the explosion.

I never saw so many gayers in one space. Gaydar and Gaymers banners floated everywhere, drag queens danced and sang on top of a makeshift 1970s New York club (NYC Down Low) while punters with real and fake moustaches lined to get in, Stonewall volunteers paraded with their banners and handed out stickers, and every corner seemed to have a beat going for a happy group of semi-clad hands-in-the-air types. It was all very enjoyable and sunny.

I've got some photos to upload tonight. In the meantime, here's my brief review:

Best Gig
Hercules and Love Affair, hands down. They were fan-tas-tic - like gods from the height of 70s disco coming down to throw a party for us mere mortals. They showcased a lot of new music and it all sounds bri-lli-ant. Possibly better than the first album! I hope they play London again soon, and I hope I can get tickets. Second album is scheduled for a September release, apparently.

Nearly Best Gig
Grace Jones, who changed headware for every song and finished the set by hoola-hooping through a whole track. She was funny, she had legs that went for miles, she wore a thong that showed off her toned butt, and she sounded like Dionne Warwick in the mood for all-night-sex. She closed the festival with a golden key she normally keeps in her 80s dub pop box.

Sadly Missed Gig
Hurts. So very disappointed I missed them! And New Young Pony Club, who we caught towards the end of their set and sounded a-ma-zing and good fun. Must listen to them on Spotify when I get home.

Slightly Disappointing Gig
Cut Copy. Their old material had the crowd jumping in happiness but the three new songs they showcased just didn't do anything for me or most of the crowd. It's a departure from their old material - one of them sounded like Dire Straits - but hopefully it's better on record.

Honourable Mentions
- Amusement park in the middle of festival! Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, slides - all right beside the gig stages. Genius idea.
- Hot lesbians who dirty danced and got everyone in the mood to jump around.
- Gay boys everywhere, in all states of (un)dress. Muscles and fat, smooth and furry, deaf or with just one arm, tall and short, in groups or alone and off their tits. So so so many boys - the lover of people-watching in me was thrilled.
- Lots of great food stalls to choose from. We had Greek wraps and a lot of bottled water.

Dishonourable Mentions
Cigarette smoking. Everywhere. All the time. One after the other. Smoke blown in your face. Over and over. I feel today like I had half a pack of smokes just from all the secondhanding. I had a very dark thought on the way home: if everyone who smoked suddenly dropped dead at the same time, a lot of the world's problems would be solved... the only cranky thought from an otherwise extremely happy, satiated, TIRED mind.
commonpeople1: (Clarice)
My novel for this year's National Novel Writing Month is called Jason Voorhees Is Dead. I wrote just under 20.000 words before I had to give up due to repetitive strain injury (an ongoing problem since then.) However, Jason is not dead. I plan on taking up with him again sometime in the holidays, when my fingers are relax'a'licking good.

By the way, next time you slag off Jason because he's ugly or he killed scores of horny youngsters, just remember that he was a victim first of all. Of bullying, of his wacky mom. Have some compassion.

Some weekends ago, at Warp Records 20th Anniversary, I was sitting in The Coronet's bleachers resting my feet when my friend Natallica asked if I had a mild form of OCD. Yes, I replied. I think I do. Because when iTunes' Genius and Amazon's Recommendations tell me to listen to something, I make a Spotify playlist out of it. Because what's random to others is synchronicity to me. Because, like I said, I haven't given up on Jason yet and will make those 50.000 words squeal by the finishing line.

A mild, mild form of OCD.

I've been posting my NaNoWriMo ramblings over at Succès de scandale because Wordpress has this neat system that tells you what people type in Google to find you. From those searches I create new posts - a type of spiral that feeds back into Google and pulls closer ever more people interested in those topics.

I also have Google Alerts for anything to do with succès de scandale. Over a week ago, a story came up about the American artist Ed Kienholz and how an exhibition of his in the 60s was particularly scandalous. I was suffering from insomnia that night so I took the opportunity to write a short piece about it. As I was finishing, my brasilian friend B woke up and found me in the living room. The piece wasn't discussed between us.

Later in the day, when I got back from work, I found B sitting in our living room checking his e-mail. He was coming down from a LSD trip. He told me he'd been downtown and visited the National Gallery, but an art piece by Ed Kienholz freaked him out so much that he had to find refuge with Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Do you see the beauty in this synchronicity? Now, I have to of course visit the National Gallery and see this piece before it leaves. I'm hoping that new doors will open from the visit.
commonpeople1: (Jorge)
I only have eight days left of work until Christmas holidays. Then it's home run all the way, bay-beh. Last night, I began my season's celebration by attending Warp Records' 20th anniversary at The Coronet, a nice old theatre near Elephant and Castle. I was actually there to see Broadcast, who were absolutely stunning and mind-bendingly brilliant, but I also wanted to check out some of the other acts lined up, especially the DJs. I was somewhat surprised to discover that the general Warp fan wears an anorak and a 7 o'clock shadow, though the dancey second floor room had a more "lively" crowd, especially under DJ Strictly Kevin. Because I'd been working all day at the East London Design Show, I was knackered and footdead; didn't score myself anything to keep going into the early hours, despite back-and-forths by txs mssgs, so took the night bus home around 2am. Everyone who attended bagged a Warp compilation CD on the way out, which is a bit hit-and-miss (like most of the stuff on the label.)

Today, had a tray of grease at Roman Market's best caf, Fiesta, then wandered through Brick Lane with [ profile] wink_martindale and brasilian friend B. I learned of a job opportunity in Oxford, being the P.A. for a royal, but it would involve either moving in with her or buying a car and commuting to Oxford, so not really workable right now. In a few hours, we'll be descending upon the Victoria pub for some pints with friends we haven't seen in ages and a screening of Flatliners with free popcorn. Closing the week with a golden key.

December is not the new February.
commonpeople1: (Livia)
Feeling Gloomy played Umbrella-ela-ela last night.[1]

That is all.

[1] OK, so it was the Manic Street Preachers' cover. But it was still pretty cool. I danced all night, with a little help from my friends. And I left an important part of my brain in a field somewhere in Hampshire, alright.
commonpeople1: (Ludovic)
Morrissey, Something Is Squeezing My Skull

Morrissey, Something Is Squeezing My Skull, May 2009
Morrissey has his arm around Johnny Ramone's statue for this single's sleeve - a hint perhaps at the concrete and steel he wanted to embrace in his previous single "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris." It's also a reminder that those he truly love are now dead and gone. If he can't find love in people, well, he'll make eyes at inanimate objects. This time, though, Morrissey seems slightly unhinged thanks to anti-depressants while also up to shenanigans in the back of taxis. Morrissey the slightly sordid. Morrissey the punkily pissed off. Morrissey the lost. Where will the taxi driver drop him off? God only knows. Not the most obvious choice as a single from his "Years of Refusal" album, but you're not hearing me complaining. The B-side is a live cover of "Best Friend On The Payroll" from his unjustly maligned "Southpaw Grammar" album.

23 days till I see him live at the Brixton Academy!!

commonpeople1: (Tom)
Dear Friend,

I am James Barry, 1st Marine Division, 7th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion 4th Marines, Fallujah-Bagdad, Iraq. I am an army contractor attached to the US Military for the sole purpose of reconstruction work in Fullajah-Bagdad, Iraq.

On the 27th August 2008, I and my men discovered some metal boxes (4 in number) piled on top one another, each with a sign written on them, one filled with hard drugs (heroine), two filled with bullets and the other one to my amazement contained U.S. hundred dollar bills which we counted and discovered that the money in that box total to $5.2Million. We hide the box containing the money in untraceable location, I am now in desperate need of a reliable and Trustworthy person who would receive and secure this box of money containing the US Dollars until my assignment elapses.

We cannot afford to leave the box of money here in Iraq for any reason since Iraq is getting unsafe and dangerous every day. I am fully aware of what your thoughts would be next, but on receipt of your response, I will send my picture as well as my Identity, for you to know whom you are dealing with. I assure and promise to give you 15% of this fund, please assure me of your keeping this deal a topmost secret. Send your reply to my private E-mailing address;

My Sincere Regards,
James Barry.

Yo James,

That's fucking awesome. James Carvalho here, 1st Marine Division, 5th Marine Regiment, 2nd Battalion, currently back in the U.S. of A., stationed in Camp Horno. Yes, i promise to keep our dealings a topmost secret. You can have my word on that, and as any guy from my regiment will tell you, my word is the law when it comes to secrecy. And maybe you heard too, if my reputation got as far as you, there's some heavy shit i had to keep to myself when i got back from Iraq and, hey, i'm no stranger to having questions asked of me but keeping quiet in order to maintain the peace? Easy. Know what i mean?

Ok, your e-mail really interested me. i have no clue how you fucking found me but i'm assuming it was through one of our acquaintances. Whatever. i was kinda expecting some shit to blow my way, but i was thinking more along the lines of scoring some heroin. Now, you gotta tell me what you did with the other boxes. i'm not so curious about the bullets, but what did you do with the heroin box? See, in my view that's where the money is. Trust me JB, that box of US dough is fake. Kiddy money to keep the peace with the locals. Worth nothing. Burn a couple if you don't believe me. i know the heroin is the real deal though. Seen it used in some heavy duty negotiations, if you know what i mean.

i've got an aunt called Sister Jasmine (she's a nun) who's going to be in Iraq in a couple of days, doing some missionary work. i could arrange for you to meet her. And if you gave her a statue of the Virgin with the heroin in side it, she could fly it back to the States. But she can't know there's junk in the statue! i'll check the merchandise when it gets here and we can see how to get the rest over.

Now here's a photo of myself. Please send me a picture of yourself, with i.d., so i know that you ain't some time waster.

Catch you later,

James Carvalho

Marine James Carvalho
commonpeople1: (Ulf)
Hi there!

It has been long time since we did not meet. I hope everything is okay with you. I found a great medicine shop on the net. I ordered some meds and got my orders in 3 days to my postbox.They are cheap and quality. I thought that you may be interested.Here is their advertisement :

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Choose us and you will feel well: Always!


I'm crushing your head! I'm crushing your head! Your head is flat now.

commonpeople1: (Ronin)

I spotted my first Meth Head yesterday in Mile End. He was trawling the aisles of the local Budgens supermarket, picking up random items then putting them back on the shelves. His face and neck were covered with sores and open wounds; he had that dirty, grimy look that is so recognizable from websites like He eventually left the supermarket without buying anything and headed for the Tube, but not before lifting a squashed cigarette from the pavement.

Mile End is going all Camden on my ass. It now has its first goth/alternative/rock n' roll pub - with indie nights on Wednesdays, free cinema (and popcorn) on Sundays, and a stage for all the Eastend Neogoth and Emo bands to cry their hearts out. (Heads up, [ profile] sushidog) The Victoria was until December a non-descript local pub with an older, working class clientele, a karaoke machine and an underused back garden. A Thai restaurant on its second floor shut down a few months after its inauguration. [ profile] naturalbornkaos checked with me the pub's programme and we both agreed that it's an interesting new venue for London, with a lot of potential. I've now just got a message from him with a link to this Livejournal post, and The Victoria has, apparently, The Most Gothic Toilet in London. COOL!!!!

I think a night out at The Victoria is in order. It's fairly easy to reach for many of you, and there's always crashing space at my flat for anyone who lives too far away.

I'm excited with the prospect of a five-minute walk home after watching a gig. :-)
commonpeople1: (Zack)
On my flight back to London I had a stopover in Frankfurt. As I was getting off the airport bus, a dishelved man standing by the arrival gate walked over to me and started talking in hushed tones. I told him I spoke English and he looked a little flustered. He hadn't shaved for a few days, his eyes were nervous. He wore a trainspotter winter coat. He showed me a badge and said in his broken German accent that he was a customs officer.

"We are doing a training exercise today. Could you help us by carrying this bag?"

It was early in the morning, Frankfurt was covered in snow and I was still half asleep.

"We are training one of our sniffer dogs. It's over there," he said, pointing in the direction the other passengers were heading to. "You need to carry this bag past the dog."

You hear stories of innocent people made into drug mules, rotting away in some prison because they accepted this kind of request. The guy laughed nervously and explained that I only had to carry it with my left hand and wait to see what the officer with the dog (indeterminate, large breed) would say. Other passengers walked past us, some looking curiously at me as if I was an illegal immigrant that had just been busted.

I took the plastic bag with my left hand and joined the queue. Up ahead stood a female officer with the dog, sniffing everyone that walked past her. I looked back but the man was nowhere to be seen. Other passengers gave me some space, probably because they had witnessed what had happened and thought I was about to be arrested.

It came my turn to go past the dog. It sniffed the bag and immediately moved in front of me then shoved its snout in my crotch. The woman took the bag from me and fished a test tube from it with some kind of clear liquid. She threw it on the ground and the dog leapt on it. She laughed and said thank you for participating in the exercise.
commonpeople1: (Yolanda)
Addicted to TV

Beautiful Thing, dir. Hettie Macdonald, 1996
This film is so adorable I dare anyone to dislike it. Filmed like a made-for-TV film, it retains much of the stageyness inherited from the play it is based on, but this doesn't matter because of the great job done by all involved. The chemistry between the two teenage boys who fall in love is palpable and may, erm, even make one watch the thing on repeat and wipe away a few stray tears! It also has tons of Mama Cass songs and some good laughs along the way. Life should always be this romantic and uncomplicated.

Imaginary Heroes, dir. Dan Harris, 2004
There's a good movie struggling to burst out of this American Beauty/The Ice Storm rip off. A typical American middle-class family is torn apart when the middle son - a popular swimmer primed for the big time - kills himself. The youngest boy, used to being ignored and treated like nothing, suddenly becomes the focus of the father's anger and the mother's grief. As he falls in with the next door neighbour's junkie son, secrets unravel and a lot of emotional scenes take place accompanied by sentimental piano pieces. There are gaping plot holes and character inconsistencies, and the darker (and more interesting) plot turns don't get explored. The end is a colossal cheese fest.

Franklyn, dir. Gerald McMorrow, 2008
This movie could have been this year's Pan's Labyrinth. Could have been. The story is set in two parallel worlds: a fantastical megalopolis called Meanwhile City, where religious multiplicity is the law and atheism is outlawed; and modern day London. Eva Green (from Casino Royale), Sam Riley (from Control), Ryan Phillippe and Bernard Hill are the four lost souls that navigate these two worlds, their paths destined to collide. The scenes in Meanwhile City are gorgeous and reminiscent of China Miéville's sci-fi novels. Sadly, not enough time is spent there or on the fleshing out of the characters. Some cliches get dished out, some plot twists are too obvious, and the predictable (and sentimental) ending is a let down.

The Anniversary Party, dir. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming, 2001
A group of 30-somethings get together for a party and soon they are taking drugs, sharing intimate secrets and having existential crises. No, this is not a re-cap of my last weekend but a film written and directed by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming. The plot parallels their own careers in some ways, with actors who are friends of the couple in real life playing similar parts in the film, Alan's published novel Tommy's Tale making an appearance, and even Jason Leigh's celebrated role in Last Exit to Brooklyn getting a mention. But this bunch of wannabe Hollywood types are boring, shallow and uninteresting, despite the many ups & downs they go through in one night of relationship committal celebration. The film was released just before 9/11 and it does a good job - in a historic kinda way - of showing the final days of a naive time in Hollywood.

The X Factor )
commonpeople1: (Jasmin)

Planet Angels
Originally uploaded by Daisy Flame
When Kevin and I left the apartment yesterday evening, we thought we'd meet some friends in a downtown pub for a quiet night of beer, trays of nachos and chit chat. Never in our wildest dreams would we guess that by 5am we'd be wandering the empty streets of London, pupils so big they took up half of our faces, bodies still warm from dancing at Planet Angel.

We nearly didn't go, but [ profile] rosamicula is very good at changing people's minds and making them see the light. So, after a few hours of mellow pub conversation with the [ profile] patsy_social, we headed back to Rosamicula's - courtesy of [ profile] sarcaustick and [ profile] thirstypixel who were in town and willing to drive us - for some food, wine and outfit changes.

Planet Angel doesn't have a fixed address. Every month they throw a party in a different London location. Yesterday's was in Vauxhall, in a venue decorated like a 60s sci-fi film set smoked with hundreds of incense sticks. Bouncers and "carers" wandered around, through a mostly young crowd, smiling at everyone and making sure people were having a good time. Rooms played hard trance, drum and bass or happy house. The latter was my favourite, but it was played in a tiny room used as corridor for the other two main rooms, so one couldn't get lost in the music without someone pushing past on their way somewhere else.

The crowd was mostly young. Really young. As in, I saw groups of 14-year-olds and I wondered how the hell they'd got in. [ profile] rosamicula seems to think many were freshers, and she's probably right. I think it's very precocious of 6th form freshers to party like this these days!

Once in a while, in the sea of smooth torsos, pouty emo boys (oh, how [ profile] sushidog and [ profile] naturalbornkaos would have loved there) and tiny girls in angel outfits, you'd glimpse someone in their 60s, clearly making time there until the outdoors festivals return. A giant poster on one wall, with paint on the floor, encouraged revellers to scribble messages or decorate their own faces. And if anyone felt like getting some rest, there were couches in chill out rooms, videogames, lego and toys to lose oneself in. They even sold food and tea, and occasionally bar staff wandered around with trays of strawberries and grapes.

But despite all this, Kevin and I didn't have enough energy to dive head-first into the night. We tried our best in each room, finding briefly some fun in New Order's "Blue Monday" on the happy house dancefloor, but the feeling never remained. Men kept approaching Kevin and asking him for drugs or lighters. Rosamicula disappeared because she wanted tea and a podium to pound the night away (plus, she seemed to know half the people in there). I was still wearing my work clothes and didn't feel 100% comfortable. So, at 4am, Kevin asked if we could leave.

Outside, London slept and the streets were deserted. We walked past a silent House of Parliament, and it suddenly struck me that I was peaking. I asked Kevin if he felt anything and he jabbered for about 10 minutes on how he wasn't high at all, and how he really could do with some chips, and how there were various places we could catch the night bus, and how he wanted to do some drawing on Saturday, and how he might come to Sushidog and watch X Factor and on and on and on. So cute.

Today, we have been completely useless. We watched Beautiful Thing and Horrible People, and we ate easy fare like oven chips and fish fingers. My lower back has gone to pieces and I keep forgetting what I want to do. I'm surprised I managed to write this post. It must have taken me about two hours, but I can't be sure. What I do know is that the X Factor and some hearty winter food from Sushidog's kitchen will be the perfect way to ease me into the night.
commonpeople1: (George O'Brien)
It was an unusually beautiful Sunday in London, the likes we haven't seen this summer. So, of course, Kevin and I filled our thermos with coffee, grabbed some books and a bedsheet, then headed for Victoria Park for a bit of sunshine. Lying on the grass, listening to my new iPod, watching a young boy play football with his father and grandfather, it dawned on me - and I know this is trite - how little time we have for anything: we'll never get to read all the books we want, hear all the great music recorded, watch all the top notch films, attend all parties, dance in all night clubs, kiss all the beautiful boys, swim in all oceans and seas... you get the picture. The New Yorker has a podcast in its arts section where an author, each month, reads a short story by another author. Where am I gonna find the time to listen to these, on top of all the other things I want/need to do? (I still haven't cracked open the two gay mags I bought in Paris, for example.)

This existential drama played in my head as I reflected on my two social engagements yesterday. I had a housewarming party in Walthamstow with friends and, across town, a ticket for some stand-up comedy. I tried to do both - and it worked out fine - but it left me feeling at the end of the night that I didn't get enough of anything.

I brought vodka to [ profile] suzi's housewarming (also known as The One Girl And A Whole Lot Of Blokes Party), drank pina coladas and cheap lager, answered the hostess' mobile phone and intercom in my best impression of her, laughed a good deal and was hitting my stride when the clock hit midnight 7.30pm and I had to dash out. (Did any of you witness my near fall when I stumbled down the step?) I'm particularly sad I missed out on the magic cookies...

Suzi has a great terrace just off her studio (which is a charming little lodging that reminds me of a cottage) with plenty of space for BBQs and social interaction. If there were firecrackers, we would have lit them; if there were banners, we would have waved them; if there was a snogging line, [ profile] craig would have been first in line since he's the primary one. See... just thinking about the general silliness, the drunken text messages I exchanged with the party goers afterwards, makes me regret missing the rest of the party (and the ones who arrived when I was leaving/gone).

The 99 Club, temporarily housed in a pub just off Tottenham Court Road, hosted routines by Holly Walsh and Paul Foot. My experience with stand-up comedy (years and years ago) has been that there's usually one or two good performances, and a whole load of mistakes and deadly silence from the audience. Last night was generally great, with both acts delivering really good routines (they lucked out with the crowd). I didn't know this until afterwards but Paul Foot is a bit of a celebrity (he was even on an American TV show, Last Comic Standing.) There was a group of teenage boys right at the front who got teased mercilessly by him (they loved it). Afterwards, Paul joined us (he knows Sissy Jen and her fiancee) for some late drinks and food; we ran into the teenage boys and they fawned all over Paul as if he was the Second Coming. He suggested we go for omelettes at the Laguna Cafe, a dive just across the street from the Astoria, after he dispatched his fans but, oh boy, he must have really regretted that suggestion! He ran away from our belligerent selves as soon as he'd scoffed that omelette and downed his Coke.

The Party Dance )
commonpeople1: (Default)

Originally uploaded by lemmy_caution
Soho's Curzon hosts midnight movies once in a blue moon. Like last night, for example, with Fantastic Planet (1973). Kevin and I nearly didn't arrive in time (11.40pm) thanks to drinks and a game of Scrabble with our landlords that went on for too long. The nights have been balmy and there's nothing better than sitting outside a pub (such as the Royal Inn on the Park - too bad they are soooo ridiculously expensive) after the week has come to an end. Fruity beer is my thing.

I saw Fantastic Planet for the first time 9 years ago. Kevin and I were visiting Canada's east coast, staying with some of his friends in Halifax.[1] We were all a bit drunk, and after a fat joint was passed around, our host Chris decided to put this film on. I didn't pick up at the time how much it influenced the french band Air; just the horror, the cruelty of those bug-eyed giants towards the humans, tripping me out as I lay on the carpet. Very much like Planet of the Apes, but far creepier and sci-fi-ish; far more beautiful and eerie than any other animation I've seen since. It was good to finally watch it sober and slip inside its world, unemcumbered by paranoid thoughts. There was a short film beforehand, I Met the Walrus, based on a tape interview between a student and John Lennon. It's great and you can watch it here. And here's the trailer for Fantastic Planet.

[1] They lived in an apartment right below Rick Mercer, one of the main stars of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, one of Canada's most popular TV shows at the time. One morning, Rick and his partner were in the garden, just in their bathrobes. We said hello and our hostess had a brief chat with them. I was all starstruck..
commonpeople1: (Default)

Thank you [ profile] yearning for being a wonderful friend - our eyes, feet and mouth in Paris. Thank you for making our Two Days in Paris so special. We have returned home with many good memories. Remember that you always have a room with us if you happen to be in London. And if you ask me to go to the theatres... I'll say yes!

But you know he’ll always keep movin’
You know he’s never gonna stop movin’
Cause he’s rollin’, he’s the rollin’ stone.
And when you wake up it’s a new morning
The sun is shining, it’s a new morning
But you’re going, you’re going home.
commonpeople1: (Rockasilly)
I think it's safe to say that my first trip to Slimelight was a success. What I thought would be a club filled with attitude and unfriendliness turned out to be a darker, campier version of Popstarz when it was housed at The Scala. I danced to The Cure's "Killing an Arab", Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" (EBM version) and a whole bunch of other stuff that I can't name; had a death metallist offer me his lap; bumped into various LJ people (even the kind I only know through icons); was offered drugs (which I declined - but won't next time); had boy-on-boy action with [ profile] dj_alexander in the toilets (with an audience); drank a lot of Red Bull and Vodka served by the very friendly bar staff; was wished a good night by the coatcheck people (who made a point to look for my lost scarf); and didn't take too long to reach home after a solitary wait in the freezing cold and two nightbuses.

I'd been craving a club night in ages, and things got off to a nice start at [ profile] sor_eye_ah and [ profile] fross's place, where we drank vodka and cokes, ate nachos and listened to Equinox (a Front Line Assembly side project which I'd never heard of before, and which was quite good). Once the girl was booted, corseted and ready to go, we took the No.43 bus and were deposited a few metres away from the club's entrance (which is just behind Angel tube station.) [ profile] sor_eye_ah was my side-kick for the night - passing on the job to others the few times she needed to venture into the foul-smelling toilets or grab a drink.

We were one of the first people to arrive (10.30pm) so she gave me a tour of the place. Immediately after the entrance is a little bar and a door to a room that plays trad goth all night (it's actually quite a boring room, with most of the songs being too slow and lacklustre to bring out the people standing in the sidelines to the dancefloor.) I heard my first recognizable song of the night in this room, The Creatures' "Gecko". From there, [ profile] sor_eye_ah walked me through the cinema (a freezing corridor with chairs, at the bottom of a staircase, facing a screen playing Bugs Bunny), up to the middle floor (where most people spend the whole night, and which plays EBM to a sea of weaving glow sticks.) On the third floor is where they supposedly play more industrial noise and experimental stuff but I actually didn't hear anything of the sort the few times I wandered through - it was pretty much the same type of music as the second floor, with some abstract variations. It was in the girls' third floor toilet that we spotted the night's first casualty - a pair of legs and boots stretched out on the floor, security surrounding him/her.

Back on the second floor, I found [ profile] bottled_cat, [ profile] kixie, [ profile] denalyia, [ profile] zenithed and Tom-who-turned-out-to-not-be-brasilian, sitting on one of the leather couches facing the bar. You know those American high school films where the nerd shows up to a houseparty thrown by the cool kids? It felt a bit like that when they recognised me underneath my neon dreadlocks, goggles, moon boots and PVC terminator suit. It was really good to see them and for the rest of the night we bumped into each other, discussed the club and its people, gossiped about LJ and so forth. Surreal moment of the night goes to the individual who showed up as a Star Wars stormtrooper, clearly confusing Slimelight with Torture Garden.

I forgot what it was like to be in a club filled with stick thin, pill-popping kids. It was a nice nostalgic trip, on a carriage lane I'm not used to taking. My biggest surprise of the night, however, was that you can bring your own drinks to Slimelight?!? I've never heard of such a thing, especially since the venue also sells alcohol. There was a high rate of good looking girls and not-so good looking boys (but all the girls are mentalists so it's not worth it, according to [ profile] dj_alexander). I lost track of the amount of girls with their asses hanging out, which certainly shatters my pre-conception of goth girls only wearing big frilly dresses. Some of the people dancing were so thin, they practically had no energy to turn their bodies. I thought about opening a hamburger stand outside, for the early morning survivors, then changed my mind when I remembered how cruel London's winter nights can be. Once in a while, I spotted older folk like myself in the crowd, enjoying some dancing, watching this younger scene they no longer belong to, some lurking in the shadows like sharks, waiting to pounce on the first nubile 18-year-old that wandered by. My heart goes out to the ones, like myself, who still want to go out once in a while for the sheer joy of dancing, drinking and judging other people's outfits - no strings attached. It's the same in every club, every city, actually. Cursed be the day I stop enjoying night life.
commonpeople1: (Morrissey)
One of the reasons I stopped taking ecstasy was an article in The Face magazine, in 1998, that said ecstasy caused long-term brain damage plus depression (they claimed a drop in serotonin production over time for ecstasy users.) Even Pulp recorded a song around then, "Sorted for Eez and Whizz", which echoed that fear of "leaving your brain behind in a field".

But according to the last Horizon show, a group of scientists who have been studying the drug for over ten years have come to the conclusion that it's one of the most harmless out there - more so than marijuana, alcohol or cigarettes, for example, and just slightly more dangerous than poppers (you can only die from it if you dehydrate). All those past media claims turned out to be urban legends.

This calls for a celebration! :-)

Ecstasy has always been my favourite drug (especially when in its pure MDMA form - not mixed with speed, etc.) My best memories from Hong Kong and Sao Paulo's clubs were the ecstasy fuelled nights I shared with my friends. Sometimes, the party never left our own apartments. It may have affected negatively our taste in music (I seem to have a Renaissance compilation at home which I bought purely for getting high). We are all still alive today, blissfully free of Prozac or its derivatives.

The documentary had some damning evidence on alcohol and cigarettes (which everyone already knows), but it especially burst the marijuana bubble. Studies have already been published linking pot to gum and lung disease, but these scientists claim that new research shows a link between the appearance of psychosis and long-term cannabis use. I'm the first one to admit that I enjoy a joint once in a while, but to me it has always been a drug that should be used with other people - like sharing a bottle of wine - instead of smoking/ingesting it by yourself every day. A treat for the weekend, for that special get together, rather than a daily escape from reality. I was a pothead for a while in university - the wake & bake kind - and I experienced all the negative side-effects even when I wasn't smoking: paranoia, loss of memory, loss of concentration. In the end, I realized I was psychologically addicted to it and it wasn't fun any more.

This is not to say I'll be showing up tonight at Camden, looking for a bag of pills; but it makes me feel more excited about the possibilities in the future if I get the chance to purchase some MDMA (apparently, a pill goes for £1-5?!?!)

Meet me on the dancefloor.

April 2017



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