Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Really here

lost my tweeting fingers yesterday - overwhelmed by the lads winning the cup. #mcfc #bluemoonrising #reallyhereless than a minute ago via Mobile Web Favorite Retweet Reply

We wanted it more, standing up throughout, imploring, urging, exhorting (unlike Stoke's lot who sang 'sweet chariot' for some reason and looked as though too much ale had been downed). But we've wanted success many times before to be left with nothing. This time we did it. This time the quality was on our side. On 73 minutes Yaya seized the moment after clever Silva/Balo footwork to belt the ball home. In the tumult and dry celebratory humping with other males Marc said he'd just begun communing and consulting with departed relatives on 73 minutes. The moments probably weren't connected but we had been getting desperate. Fifteen minutes later City had won their first trophy since 1976 and I had a little cry. As Kant said 'before every satisfaction there must first be pain'. And we were shaking off a lot of pain in these moments. Now maybe United, after too much satisfaction and not enough pain, will experience the 'rapid death of delight'.

Then came the celebrations (Quo, Queen, Roll With It), and the collective joy between players, staff and fans was really something to behold (and which even the reviews on Sunday acknowledged by largely downplaying the 'bought a trophy' sneers).

The first step, as they all said, is always the hardest and now we have foundations on which to build; City, always 'the best team in the land and all the world' in our fertile imagination, could and indeed should be a force again. Outside the ground, we were in beatific rather than mad-for-it mode. Some were going straight back on the 'shameless' coach they came down on; others hung around soaking it all up. For many it was nothing less than closure after the harrowing defeat to Spurs in the 81 replay and the subsequent decline. Later we went to Finchley Road and met up with Pickering's crowd for a few more but then Marc and I made it to mine kebab in hand for the highlights, a few more and iPad YouTubage into the early hours. Arguably, we should have kept the socialising going but we were drained after that collective effort and it felt right, as matchday partners for many a season now, to get back and take the highlights in together.

I wont flood this post with embeds mainly because Blue Moon, with its 300 or so versions across Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll and Rock over the decades generally sounds a bit tired, so here's a few outriders on the Blue Moon theme.

But if you really want to hear the song on Blues' minds right now, it's this ditty on Balotelli beautifully sending up his misdemeanours this season over a driving rhythm, all verse-as-chorus, chorus-as-verse insistence. 'All season i have been shit' he told an ITV reporter. But he was MOTM on Saturday, and like this famous club of ours can go as far as he wants to go (warning! boorish football fans).

Lastly, there's some righteous frustration over at Up, Close and Personal on a shoddily assembled programme of 1991 indie-dance hits that showed Screamadelica to be very much the exception rather than the rule. Yes this was a pure music blog once but it serves the task better over there.
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Friday, May 06, 2011

Concepts for Cowell

News that ITV1 is set to unleash a new Saturday night gameshow conceptualised by the Uberimpressario Simon Cowell has so far failed to provoke comment from the UN. However, the greedy moguls at ITV1 are believed to be pissing themselves with corporate glee at the prospect of once again being able to deliver their lobotomised Saturday night audience to advertisers with a premium rate phone-in thrown in for good measure.

“Red or Black” is a “high concept” gambling vehicle (but don’t call it “gambling”, since that’s not allowed under ITC rules; Cowell prefers the euphemism “risking one’s luck”) fronted by Geordie geniuses Ant and Dec. It’s understood that the shows, in which contestants get the chance to win £1 million by gambling on the spin of a roulette wheel, will be recorded at Wembley Arena.

In anticipation of this revolutionary TV event Truth invited the one-time Whorecull collaborator, gnostic maoist and suspected Afpak cave-dweller Frank Capri to meditate on some alt-reality manifestations of this sure-fire ratings winner. Here’s what he came up with, and what perhaps should have been commissioned instead of this cack:

* RED OR BLUE. Based on the “low concept” of Arte culture documentary Marx Reloaded but carrying a high risk, TV viewers are randomly selected and given the choice between pushing the blue button on their remote controls and waking up in Pizza Hut on an all-you-can-eat binge as Chic’s Good Times repeats in the background, or pushing the red button and taking ITV1 off the air. In the latter case, instead of winning £1 million contestants will be liable for ITV1’s lost advertising revenue, which they can then “gamble” in a final double-or-quits spin-off.

* END OF THE RAINBOW. Celebrity based show in which contestants get the chance to “gamble” on the ever-growing size of Simon Cowell’s personal fortune to the nearest £100 million. On guessing correctly Cowell is then tastefully “killed” (but don’t call it “killing”, since that’s not allowed under ITC rules; I prefer the Chilean euphemism “disappearing”) but continues to live on in some post-metaphysical universe reminiscent of the plot in Gaspar Noé’s Enter the Void (at this point readers should click on the following link and enable their woofers):

Given that this is a Gaspar Noé joint, there could be some kind of interactive element based on rape or hallucinogenics here, possibly celebrities on LSD let loose in an Alice in Wonderland 3D dreamscape? Video gaming spin-offs and merchandising would quickly follow.

* RUSSIAN ROULETTE (sponsored by Smirnoff). It’s been far too long since the Derren Brown spectacle involving live ammunition at that remote undisclosed location didn’t kill him. It’s also a travesty that the spectacle of fatal self-inflicted gunshot wounds has never been considered as a new “revolution” in Saturday night entertainment. Admittedly this is taking the schedule more in a “snuff” direction, but imagine the suspense. And how that strapline could marshal us home from the pub with all the unstoppable discipline of the Hitler youth: Tonight someone is going to die! (sponsored by Smirnoff).

* SERBIAN ROULETTE. Exactly the same as Russian Roulette except this time everything is secretly controlled by the Russians through remote team-viewing software. Interactive, multi-platform, corporate tie-ins, the usual.

* RED WHITE AND BLUE. Post royal-wedding patriotic assault course in which white racist pondlife engage in Generation Game-style challenges for the right to proceed to the “conveyor belt” (but with a twist). Once there, contestants are dressed as immigration staff and have to weed out economic migrants passing their baggage through an X-ray machine. Strip searches with needy Bollywood stars in burqas add a “spicy” element to proceedings. Sponsored by Sharwood’s.
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Sunday, May 01, 2011

My areas: Shepherd's Bush (images)

I start my W12 tour by getting off at Goldhawk Road tube, and then head west down Goldhawk Rd, north up Askew Road, cut through Askew Gardens before heading back east down Uxbridge Road, onto the green at the end of which I was pulled in by the shiny new and misshapen Westfield-led transport and commerce hub.

This pub used to be the Bushranger and for a skunk addled moment in 99/00 this spatial combination of the pub, the quiet Wells Road (for a kickabout) and the cover cast by the Hammersmith & City line before and after City's visits to the Loftus Road was my idea of an urban manna. But the Bushranger was never a great pub, and they're calling it the hardly alluring Stinging Nettle now.

Here's the iconic southern entrance to the market (insert Fools and Horses line about Trevor Francis tracksuits here) and the Goldhawk pub, a favoured venue but only occasionally frequented as said skunking dominated over more laddish/modish lifestyling in the local area. Steve and I were more frequently found in the Record Exchange a few doors down before it shut.

Into Askew Road itself, with this bland HQ for an entertainment production house marking the bend in the road. Not only do many individuals in the sector seem to live in this patch of west London, but quite a few businesses are also based here, such as the Town House recording studios.

Views of the main charm-free drag, the chippy and our flat (second and third floors of the one of the right). It was pretty grimy inside, with horrific 80s -legacy mirrored walls in the kitchen/lounge and my bedroom (no early nights for me as it was inconveniently right next door)

Into Askew Gardens and someone suffered from the BBC cutbacks.

View from 'our' Uxbridge Road bus stop, and another if not thriving then at least surviving pub. Where other areas have pared back the traditional pubs to the bare mimimum as the gastro conversions and chi-chi cafes move in, the Bush still supports a high number suggesting sufficient demand from locals and incomers for mythical dodgy Lahndan boozer fayre.

Further down, Arab stores and restaurants still dominate, though the Somali community has gained a retail foothold as it has in other western districts like Ealing.

The huge Pavilion is still unused and unloved (there are plans for a four-star hotel which will gut the interiors), while its tiny cousin thrives on southern hemispherical patronage.

On the green, groups of mainly black guys were wiling the day away with casual drinking, suggesting a loss of jobs and opportunities despite the retail behmoth we're about to see. Before that there's the Green shopping centre which cruelly timed its spruce-up (chain cafes, a cinema, more amenities) just ahead of the Westfield development, where the shoppers now flock.

The old victorian central line station was a casualty of the Westfield hub redevelopment (opposite they added a handy additional stop on the Clapham Junction-Watford line; I used to use Olympia one stop down for its lack of ticket gates). In its place is the usual ultra-bland, larger-scale metal-plated look.

And a couple of images of Westfield should make clear the architectural disaster visited upon the area, making one pine for the former infrastructural wasteland behind the station. + a note regarding the old Victorian library back up the road.

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