Right – so after I foolishly did a hungover-still-slightly-drunk edit to last week’s post, I’ll try to make up for that with an ultra boring sensible post. “Try” being the key word there.
Firstly – the one gig I made it to in the last week or so. Das Racist – some alternative hip-hop. If you’re open-minded about music, you should definitely check these guys out. They’ve become popular because of their slightly gimmicky ‘joke-rap’ songs, and accompanying videos – but they are also actually really freakin’ talented, with a fair bit of ambition thrown in. In fact, their best known song is probably their worse. So yeah – it was pretty sweet to see them in a tiny venue – XOYO – just around the corner from my place. Every gig I’ve seen there has had their ‘visuals’ limited to some smoke machine, and usually not too much of that – as the place is just too small. But these guys had a full on light-show, with the backwall covered in images/videos, and all that. And yeah – good show, with the crowd being an odd mixture of geeks there for the “joke” rap, homeboys there for the “proper” rap, and me – there for the good music. Yeah – something like that.
The following night – I had tickets to Thurston Moore at Union Chapel, which I was really rather looking forward to. I also had my work’s end-of-year dinner/party (known to some as “the Christmas Party”). I left work in time to avoid the giving of gifts/etc – headed home, and got changed into my “lounge suit”. I then headed back into town, to the “lounge” where we had drinks and dinner, while everybody enthused over my suit. I really have to stop dressing so well – I get tired of compliments so easily. Anyway – I took my tickets to Thurston with me, hoping to slip away at some point. But – I got caught up in it all – a good dinner, free drinks, etc… and ended up missing the gig. Instead I got drunk enough to ignore my promise to myself to not bring up the prospect of a payrise with my boss while drunk. I knew I was going to do it – and had desperately tried to do it during the two previous days while at work – but had failed. So – as was always destined – I instead did it in the midst of a drunken conversation with one of the company owners – how unprofessional is that? But, it seemed to go well, as his response was “of course, yeah”. I now just need to follow up while we’re both sober. Or maybe – organise more drinks, and have some paperwork handy next time. Anyway – more drinks were had, I did some breakdancing, drank plenty of wine – and eventually left everybody when the decision was made to go to a casino. I don’t do casinos. (The list of illegal stuff I’m fine with is rather long – but gambling… that’s where I have to draw my moral line in the sand. Go figure.) I think I got a bicycle rickshaw home.
And woke up the next morning with my first “proper” hangover in quite some time. And proceeded to half-drunk-half-hungover babble all over this website. And then crawl off back to bed, and spend the rest of the day alternately stumbling about trying to eat, drink, and sleep. (And came very very close to whim-purchasing flights back to NZ/Aus for the 25th/31st respectively. I was actually seriously considering flying out, landing in NZ on the morning of the 25th, spending a couple of days, flying to Melbourne or Sydney on the 31st, having a party, and then flying back to London on the 2nd. Stupid hangover urge.)
Books – I think I was reading Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman, at the Das Racist gig, and it has somehow lasted most of the week. Quite good – even though – or actually because of – it’s rather gimmicky premise. More qualified, if not better, people than I have called this book “overhyped”. Perhaps it is – but probably because of this, it was quite welcome in the middle of all the other Man Booker nominees I’ve been reading. It’s just trying so hard to be “literature” – that it perhaps pushes a little too far, but instead of becoming overly pretentious – actually becomes just bad enough to enjoy while being good. I realise that makes little to no sense – but I can’t be bothered trying to explain it any further. Essentially – a story written from the viewpoint of a 11-year old boy, in the middle of immigrating right into the middle of London’s much-publicised knife-crime. So yeah – the expected attempt at a poignant mixture of wide-eyed innocence – facing normal childhood experiences, along with gangs. And then just randomly throw in a mystical connection to a pigeon – seemingly just to justify the title. Odd.
Oh – and I was also supposed to see the Felice Brothers on Tuesday – which was possibly one of my most eagerly anticipated gigs of the month. But then one of them went and got facial shingles, or so they claim – and that’s been postponed until March. Which has resulted in rather a quiet month – most welcome.