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15 May 2008

jigsaw puzzle blues

"we all of us somehow caught. we born this way or that way and we don't know why. but we caught anyhow... me is me and you is you and he is he. we each one of us somehow caught all by ourself."
- carson mccullers

it's thursday morning. last night it was wednesday, and it was unexpectedly big. but then i wonder if perhaps wednesday nights are the big ones now. it used to be fridays, and it was thursdays for a bit after that. but i don't get excited about thursdays the way i used to. in the sixties and seventies i think it was saturdays, but i wasn't alive so i can't be sure. it just always seems to be saturday nights in films and books from then. it's never been mondays as far as i know, and sunday nights are always going to be subdued, especially now that itv have moved midsomer murders to eight o clock, which effectively means the night's over by ten. which only leaves tuesdays and wednesdays, and tuesday gets lumped in with monday too often for it to amount to anything much. so i guess it's wednesday nights that are the big ones now.

tuesday night was not big. it was very very small indeed. i ended up getting involved in a jigsaw. actually it was two jigsaws. two double sided clangers jigsaws. two hundred pieces in each. i didn't think it would be much fun at first, but i kind of became obsessed and i forgot myself and it was like nothing else in the world mattered to me until i'd finished them. although sadly, one of the jigsaws only had one hundred and ninety nine pieces in so it will never be finished. i've taken a photo of it though, and if by chance anyone has got the same puzzle and doesn't care if they never finish it again, then could they send me the piece i'm missing. i'll send them a swap in return. i don't know what it's equivalent swap would be. perhaps a barbie or something. doing a jigsaw was a surprise though. i think people should do more of them. you can always drink and take drugs while you do them.

we're playing at the innocent village fete in regents park in august. i'm quite excited about it. i've never been before, but apparently there'll be welly wanging, morris dancing, duck herding, dog agility, ferret racing, cream teas, a coconut shy, dancing, homemade cakes, funfair rides and a big farmers' market. which obviously just sounds like any other weekend in the village i live in, so it won't be that special for me. but i imagine that for people who live in london it will be quite exciting. tickets are available from ticketmaster, and we're playing on both days.

i read an article in the paper yesterday about someone who's been creating knitting patterns for dr who characters and then putting them up on her website so that other fans can knit from them, and the bbc have told her she has to take the patterns down or face the threat of legal action. it all came about because someone else knitted some of the monsters from the patterns and put them up for sale on ebay, and the bbc felt obliged to protect its trademark. it seems kind of ridiculous to me. it's a bit like if someone typed up the lyrics and the guitar tablature for one of our songs and then posted it on the internet so that other people could learn the song, and then someone else recorded a version of the song and made a cd and then put it up for sale on ebay. i suppose it would be normal to expect to be paid properly by whoever performed the song and recorded the cd, but it hasn't got anything to do with the person who put the lyrics and the guitar tab up on the internet. i suppose it's not that simple, because if someone recorded a version of one of our songs and made a cd and then put it up for sale on ebay, i'd just be really flattered and try and bid for it myself. lots of people have made models from our artwork out of all sorts of things and i've always thought it was a lovely thing for them to do. i love it that they like it enough to do that. anyway, i thought that i should probably show some sort of solidarity just because we're into knitting things now. i couldn't find any pictures of a knitted ood though, but here are some of a knitted adipose. whatever that is.

i think i'll have to get some knitting patterns done for our website.

anyway, i must get back to whatever it is i do.


06 May 2008

spin songs you need to download now

i just found out that 'i box up all the butterflies' is number one in this month's spin magazine's list of songs you need to download now, which has made this sunny day in england even sunnier. i think i'll go to the pub to celebrate. if anyone wants to meet me there, i'll be in the red lion from midday. i expect you all live too far away though. oh well, if you want to see the bit in spin then you can go here or you can go and buy a copy of the magazine. it's the one with my morning jacket on the cover. which is reason enough to buy it anyway.

and if you want to download the number one song you can go here and it's yours for free.

happy tuesday


02 May 2008

the awful rowing toward god

"you keep rowing and i’ll keep smiling."

i went to see 'happy-go-lucky', the new mike leigh film on tuesday night. i thought it was really lovely. i'd read some reviews that said the main character, poppy, was incredibly annoying, but i didn't think she was. she was just a bit of a dick sometimes. but a very likeable one. it was quite refreshing to watch a lead character who wasn't troubled or over thoughtful, but had the same tights in every colour, and just seemed happy and kind of hopeful about things. there's a lovely bit at the end when poppy is on a boat in regents park with her flatmate zoe, rowing round and round in circles, and it made me think of the anne sexton poem 'rowing' from 'the awful rowing toward god', and it might not have been the subtext of that scene at all, but i enjoyed it more thinking it was, and that's the scene i took the quote from at the top of the page, but i might have remembered it wrong. i just liked the idea of smiling while everyone else is rowing round in circles endlessly searching for some sort of bigger meaning to life, when perhaps there isn't really one, so you might as well just be happy and not worry about it. anyway, i really liked the film, even if no one else did.

"was i bored? no, i wasn't f**kin' bored. i'm never bored. that's the trouble with everybody - you're all so bored. you've had nature explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the living body explained to you and you're bored with it, you've had the universe explained to you and you're bored with it, so now you want cheap thrills and, like, plenty of them, and it doesn't matter how tawdry or vacuous they are as long as it's new as long as it's new as long as it flashes and f**kin' bleeps in forty f**kin' different colors. so whatever else you can say about me, i'm not f**kin' bored."

so i figured that if i was going to include one quote from a mike leigh film then i might as well include some of my other favourites. the quote above is from his film 'naked' and the quote below is from 'career girls', and the other two are from 'naked' again. i probably should have included some from 'abigail's party' or 'nuts in may', because they're two of my favourite films of his, but i could only think of "laurence. angela likes demis roussos. tony likes demis roussos. i like demis roussos. sue would like to hear demis roussos. so please, do you think we can have demis roussos?" from abigail's party and that didn't really seem to fit in anywhere, even though i did just end up putting it anyway while i was trying to explain why i couldn't put it in, and i wanted to put in the bit about chewing thirty times from nuts in may but i didn't have time to watch the film again to check the accuracy of the quote, and i've already included one quote i'm not certain about.

"i'm not an idiot. i'm like an idiot savant,
i just haven't found my savant yet."

there's some good news and there's some bad news.

bad news first. i'm afraid we've had to cancel the show we were going to do at the bush hall at the end of may. i'm really sorry, but for various quite complicated reasons it was just going to be impossible for us to do it on that day. anyone that bought tickets will be able to get a full refund from wherever they bought them from. a big "sorry" to the school and rod thomas, who i was really excited about having on the bill with us as well. i'd even had some special posters printed to put up, which i guess are all useless now. perhaps they'll become collectors items instead. i'm not thinking they'd be valuable or anything, just that perhaps there might be some people who collect posters for concerts that have been cancelled. anyway, hopefully we might be able to get both bands back on to a bill with us on some dates in the future.

the good news though is that we are playing another show in london at the end of may. so for everyone that wanted to see us at the bush hall, there's still a chance that you can see us. it'll just be a day earlier, on the 28th of may at the union chapel. we're supporting andy burrows at a special one off show for his new solo album, and i think it'll be a really lovely night. i hope some of you can come. if you do want to then you can buy tickets from all these places.


the same places you have to go to to get a refund for the bush hall show. we really are very sorry.

"it's the future that f**ks you up, brian, it's the maggot in the apple... i wouldn't even mind, but you don't even have a f**kin' future, i don't have a future. nobody has a future. the party's over. take a look around you man, it's all breaking up."

becki and rose have left the pipettes. and even though there are two new members coming in to replace them, so i suppose at least the pipettes will continue to exist, it still makes me kind of sad. i'd only just got used to gwenno replacing julia, and now everyone else has left. it feels a bit like when mike nolan left bucks fizz and david van day continued touring as bucks fizz with none of the original members, until he was made to change the name of the group to david van day's bucks fizz show, which i always thought was a funnier thing to call it anyway. perhaps they should change their name to the new pipettes to differentiate them from the previous line-ups. like when the seekers became the new seekers, and then they could represent the united kingdom in the eurovision song contest like the new seekers. and like bucks fizz. i just end up going round and round in circles. like the bit in the film. anyway, i suppose everyone should just be happy because if they all release records then it'll just mean more pipettes all round. but i can't help feeling a little bit like the world will be slightly different from now on.

i've spent the last couple of weeks working on the artwork for the promos for the new single and the album with my brother. we had to photograph them outside and fit it in around everything else that is going on in our lives, and it kept raining and we had some trouble with the poster paints we were using. we finally managed to get it finished at lunchtime, and then the sun came out and never went in again for the rest of the day. typical. the covers look really good though. we will reveal them to the world in the next couple of weeks, as soon as we've confirmed release dates and that sort of thing. you can be excited if you want.

"have you ever thought, right, but you don't know, but you may have already lived the happiest day in your whole f**kin' life?"