Archive for June, 2002

pop tart blowtorch

You would have thought that back in 1994, before everybody in the World had their own website (a point reached in March this year), the Internet would be a rather studious place, a haven for scientists and academics alike. But no, it was still full of people with far too much time on their hands, like the “scientist” who constructed a Pop Tart Blowtorch.

cough fetish

Does this describe your ideal date? “A tall woman, age around 40-45 and with a deep, ‘warm’ smoker’s cough who starts a coughing fit with a prolonged rattling. She then inhales deeply with her hand cupped over her mouth, and there’s a little rattling sound coming from inside her when inhaling.” No? Then it’s pretty safe to assume that you don’t have a cough fetish.

world guestbook

I don’t have a guestbook, even though several people have asked why I don’t. I may get round to it one day, but in the meantime please use my guestmap, a clever device whereby you can show me where you are on a map of the World. I’m interested in where people come from to read this page, so please let me know where you are… (via Pop Culture Junk Mail)

brian wilson

Finally, I got to see Brian Wilson perform live:

“Knock Knock”

“Who’s there?”


“Cadillac Who?”

“Cadillac wild if you pull its tail.”

Brian Wilson may be a musical genius, but he can’t tell jokes for toffee. When LA band The Wondermints released their debut album in 1995, Wilson said, “If I had the Wondermints back in 1967, I would have taken Smile out on the road.” Ignoring the fact that poor Brian was unklikely to leave his bedroom in 1967, let alone venture out on tour, it’s a lovely tribute, and thirty-five years later he’s as good as his word. Alongside the Wondermints (whose own Tracy Hide is just about as good as anything Wilson wrote at his most creative peak) and a clutch of session musicians, the Beach Boy performed selections from Smile (Heros And Villains, Surf’s Up, Good Vibrations) alongside all of Pet Sounds (performed in original track sequence), plus every other hit imaginable in a set that, if you’ve read any of the earlier reviews, lived up to all possible expectations. Yes, he gets a standing ovation after nearly every song. Yes, grown men weep. Yes, Wilson sits behind a keyboard he doesn’t play reading the lyrics off a teleprompter and still gets them wrong. Yes, the band perform those teenage symphonies to God with an unnerving and beautiful accuracy. Yes, it’s probably close to being the best gig I’ve ever been to.

But he’s still rubbish at telling jokes.

catching up

Just realised that I haven’t updated in nearly a week, but there have been far more important things going on. Thursday night saw a very drunken Kilburn bloggers meeting with David and Sasha, while Friday found me in the Odeon Leicester Square with 2000 others to witness England’s glorious victory over Argentina. Yesterday I went on the London Eye for the first time, while tonight I’m off to see Brian Wilson.

Boring personal stuff over, here’s a site about origami fucking.

a crap evening in

When Ozzy Met Lizzie

Happy Golden Jubilee indeed. Three indisputable truths emerged from one of the most laborious, ludicrous evening’s “entertainment” I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through. 1: If you look the up the word ‘smug’ in your dictionary, you’ll find a foolish looking picture of Paul McCartney. 2: Ricky Martin couldn’t hold a tune if it came with a guidebook and full set of instructions. 3: Brian Wilson is still haunted by whatever demons have gripped him since Pet Sounds. His performance of “Warmth Of The Sun” had me in tears, but he looks terrified, as if convinced that life will leap out with a loud bang and swallow him whole at any moment. I really hope he’s happy. Next Sunday I’ll see him play live, and have the distinct feeling that it’ll be a somewhat emotional night.


New on blogjam: Last August I travelled from Moscow to Beijing on the Trans-Siberian railway. I took my PDA and compiled detailed notes on everything I did, saw, heard and thought about, planning to write up the journey when I got back and upload it to blogjam. Predictably, I lost everything I’d written (note to self: paper doesn’t crash), and shelved the whole idea. Today I decided that at least something should go online, so I cobbled together a few images, dredged up some memories, and wrote about a few moments that remain clear in my mind. Here are the results.

five chapters

I was going to go into some more detail about my trip to Prague, but I’ve been beaten to it in five distinctly fictional chapters. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.