Rubbish stuff that’s happened today (but I did get new headphones and the Wolf Parade album I suppose)
So, my mobile phone is broken and I can only hear anything when I use the speakerphone but this just means that I can’t ever answer the phone in public because then all my colleagues or the people on the bus or whoever will have to listen to the bank telling me I have no money or my friend Nick talking about comic book conventions and I’d have to put my best couldn’t-care-less face when my fantasies about being an incognito MI5 agent are crumbling all around me. Unless you want to call me up and pretend to be Judi Dench with my next foreign assignment - I’ll totally answer then.
So anyways, I have a fault code from Orange and I have to take it in to the Carphone Warehouse to get repaired. Darren’s Mum’s lent me another handset but that keeps switching off and I don’t know the PIN number (why do we say PIN number? It should totally be PI number, but then everyone would try to be clever by choosing 3.142 and we’d all get robbed every day) so I’m still not sure that it will even accept my SIM card. So, I went into Carphone Warehouse on Saturday and the girl said “well, yeah, you could leave it with us today but no-one’s gonna look at it till Tuesday” so then I took it back today and someone else said “Nah, the engineers won’t be back till next Monday so you may as well just use the speakerphone for another week” and I felt like smashing it into his face and demanding a whole new phone because the other girl was a BLATANT LIAR but I didn’t, I just went “okay then, thanks” and shuffled outside WHERE IT WAS PISSING IT DOWN.
Then I bought some new headphones and my mate’s band, Ten Bears, are being used on the packaging for these little rubber iPod case thingies and that cheered me up for a minute or two because there were like 20 little pictures of Jo and Sam and Kris and Dom and Luke grinning back at me in HMV, but then I had to phone BT because ever since Andy got a computer he’s basically been downloading the whole internet every month and now we have to pay them a trillion pounds and he has to stop fucking using his laptop as his own portable cinema or pay the fucking price, but it turns out that when I signed up they gave me some silly BT email address and they’ve been sending me YOUR HOUSEMATE IS DOWNLOADING THE WHOLE FUCKING INTERNET emails for months but I never even knew. And I said, sweet as pie, “would it be possible for you to change my address to the hotmail one I check on a daily basis?” and the idiot bitch on the end of the line was like “Your internet provider is BT Miss Vaughan so you were provided with a BT email account when you registered and anyway Hotmail is AOL and nothing to do with us.” And I was like “No, actually, Hotmail is an MSN website and has nothing to do with AOL and email is free so can you not just change the destination of your emails?” and then she was like “no I’m an idiot bitch” so then I sent a death ray down the phone lines and killed her dead.
Actually, I didn’t do that last bit but I did phone back a few minutes later and ask another guy if he’d reset my BT password so I could at least find out what disgusting female ejaculation porn Andy’s into. And then I downloaded the Wolf Parade album to cheer myself up and because if the internet’s in my name I’m bloody well going to take full advantage of it. Hmmph.
There appears to be a trend in the alternative pubs and bars of Manchester; that the more gaudy retro crap you have on the walls, the more attractive your patrons are. This may just be a false perception, because plastic junk shop shit, wooden enormo-lizards or neon Dolly Parton wallpapers may simply detract from the mingers in the crowd, but, generally speaking, The Deaf Institute and Odder will attract more of the sculpted goddess population than, say, the student union bar at the Academies.
Got some old typewriters behind the bar?
Here, have some fashion students.
(Not that you have to be hot to study fashion of course, but it generally helps if you don’t feel like a wet sandbag when you go clothes shopping.)
In one of life’s spiteful twists, it’s generally the bars with the stuffed reindeer and furry wallpaper that provide us with the best live entertainment, albeit enjoyed from the darkest shadows of the establishment, where no-one can see that your jumper’s gone through at the elbows and your face is shinier than the sun. We must face our inadequacies if we want to enjoy Rook and The Ravens on a Sunday night.
Thankfully, for last night’s comeback Sideways Saloon session (the first at Odder, after relocating from the infinitely more ugly-friendly Bay Horse basement), I found us a dark corner to loiter in (Jacko came with me, although I am casting no aspersions on his genes) and I had stopped staring at all the thin people within half an hour. Things were looking up!
Sideways Saloon is run primarily by Adam from The Travelling Band, with Spenny looking after sound stuff and a rotating selection of DJs from the Revolver and Growl clubnights, so Adam did a few solo bits and pieces to start things off yesterday. He’s my favourite singer from The Travelling Band, although he didn’t do Lanes Of Names, and there was no banjo last night either, so we really must deduct points. This is a picture of Adam, taken on my mobile phone from dim shadows yesterday. Note the massive vase and sunflowers.
Then Sam and Tim from Ten Bears did a few songs, including Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark, but mainly their own stuff. Ten Bears used to be called The Deadbeats, and they used to be all like “yeah, we’re really retro and country and we sit down on bales of hay to play our gigs”, which was amazing, but then they totally electrified and stood up at gigs and it was all a bit Bob Dylan at the Free Trade Hall. Now they have one song that starts with a dog barking, which they attempted to do a near-acoustic version of last night, and I was surprised that it worked. Listen to the full-powered version here, and try to imagine a less hairy keyboard player, because there have been line-up changes since this performance.
Then we were expecting Rook and The Ravens, except some other guys showed up who definitely weren’t Rook and The Ravens. I was all indignant and demanding answers for a couple of minutes, and then the imposter band turned out to be amazing and everything was cool again. They were called The Sapphires, and there was a beatboxer and a John Martyn-a-like (not in looks though, don’t forget that Odder’s only for hotties) and Jacko was all like “do you think he knows how much he sounds like John Martyn?” and I was like “are you kidding? I bet this is the first time that guy’s left the house since he died.” Jacko’s looking for a new band right now. He should totally join The Sapphires.
And then there was Rook and The Ravens, who used to make below-par Dad-rock until about six months ago when they all ate super-charged Levon Helm Weetabix and came back to life as the band that Ten Bears used to be when they were The Deadbeats, except with more electric guitar. Their song Make Ends Meet appeals to the throwback in me in the same way that Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses makes me want to act out the supermarket scene.
“You mean you forgot cranberries too?”
OMG. Just been to Rook and The Raven’s MySpace and it turns out they’re from Langley. Langley! That’s just near Macclesfield! No-one good comes from Macclesfield!