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Rockin’ & Shockin’


ROCKIN’:
Prophet Omega’s home studio
SHOCKIN’:
Is in an old dude ranch in the Catskills, miles from civilization
ROCKIN’:
That apparently once belonged to Gabby Hayes
SHOCKIN’:
The guy from the Butthole Surfers lived up here?
ROCKIN’:
No, that was Gibby Haynes; Gabby Hayes was apparently an old John Wayne sidekick, so famous he was once the subject of the “Gabby Hayes Comicbooks”
SHOCKIN’:
And I didn’t know that
ROCKIN’:
They were holding DJ parties until recently in this old dude ranch
SHOCKIN’:
Except no one thought to invite me!

Watch the wonderful video for ‘The RIght Thing’ by Prophet Omega, filmed in the Catskills, here.

ROCKIN’:
Scritti Politti play New York City
SHOCKIN’:
For the first time. Ever, I believe.
ROCKIN’:
I saw “their” first ever show
SHOCKIN’:
Back in November 1978, at the Acklam Hall, when I was only 14.
ROCKIN’:
They were on the the bill with Cabaret Voltaire. And The Red Krayola. And Prag Vec.
SHOCKIN’:
It probably costs all of 50p for the four bands.

Scritti Politti finally plays live in New York City.

ROCKIN’:
Meeting a friend for a pre-show drink at my new fave Lower East Side bar, Fontana’s
SHOCKIN’:
Two glasses of wine go straight to my head. I’m a light-weight!
ROCKIN’:
Seeing so many old friends in the bar at The Bowery Ballroom.
SHOCKIN’:
We’re about the only people there. Seriously. Scritti Politti finally gets to play in America and they barely half-fill the Bowery Ballroom on a Friday night.
ROCKIN’:
The “new” Scritti Politti album, White Bread Black Beer. Listen to it on headphones. Listen to it alone. Listen to it intently. And appreciate its beauty.
SHOCKIN’:
That, judging by attendance, Americans obviously haven’t done so in any great numbers.
ROCKIN’:
That an album of such pristine quality can now be recorded entirely at home, all by one person. Direct to computer.
SHOCKIN’:
That Green Gartside ever needed record albums like this in expensive studios with even more expensive musicians.
ROCKIN’:
The reception that greets Green and his band of Hackney pub friends
SHOCKIN’:
The show that follows. It never kicks in, never packs a punch, never really gets going, sadly lacks soul. His Hackney pub friends are competent enough, but frustratingly unexciting to watch.
ROCKIN’:
The show includes ‘The Sweetest Girl’ and “the first song I ever wrote,” ‘Skank Bloc Bologna.’
SHOCKIN’:
That those two songs stand up so well and yet ‘Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)’ sounds so irreconcilably 1980s. Check those synth drums!
ROCKIN’:
The perfect sound mix. You can hear every synthetic keyboard note.
SHOCKIN’:
That no one lets loose and does something unscripted – apart from Green halting the second song a few bars ins to start all over again.
ROCKIN’:
Green’s voice still sounds like it’s wrapped in silk, even after all these years. And he looks healthier than he did in 1978.
SHOCKIN’:
That he’s 50 years old already.
ROCKIN’:
That I still go to gigs on a Friday night to hear old people playing their new songs
SHOCKIN’:
Sometimes they don’t live up to expectations

Green and friends. Competent but frustratingly unexciting.

ROCKIN’:
Running into a former Warren Street neighbor in Gorilla Coffee on Park Slope’s 5th Avenue on Saturday morning
SHOCKIN’:
This same former neighbor now lives near us in the Catskills. Why are we running into each other in Brooklyn?
ROCKIN’:
Running into my former next door neighbors in the diner on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.
SHOCKIN’:
Calling the dad Tony (His name is Tommy) and the son Julian (his name is Jordan). Sorry guys! Guess I’ve been gone a year already.
ROCKIN’:
Tommy tells me he’s still DJing the hip-hop clubs
SHOCKIN’:
But no longer using vinyl. Or Cds.
ROCKIN’:
He’s doing it all via the laptop
SHOCKIN’:
Some of us still buy vinyl.

ROCKIN’:
The clothes stores on Manhattan’s Lafayette Street: still one of the coolest stretches in citydom
SHOCKIN’:
Triple Five Soul has gone the way of Stussy and stopped making decent togs now it’s become the label of the masses .
ROCKIN’:
Fortunately, Sweden’s We Are The Superlative Conspiracy has opened in the area; the clothes are good quality, not too flashy nor too expensive
SHOCKIN’:
Though of course the cheapest are made in Chinas
ROCKIN’:
The new-look Astor Wines store on Lafayette, across the road from its former location…
SHOCKIN’:
…Seems to stock more wine than ever
ROCKIN’:
An old wine buddy of mine now works at Astor and knows my palate well enough to recommend some good Italian wines
SHOCKIN’:
What happened to good Italian wines costing less than $10?

ROCKIN’:
It was such a beautiful sunny Saturday
SHOCKIN’:
And fog has now descended on the mountains
ROCKIN’:
The sense of freedom and appreciation of nature that comes with driving up the back mountain road
SHOCKIN’:
The BMW in front of me insists on going at 10mph. What a waste of a great car.
ROCKIN’:
Having new expat City upstate neighbors around for dinner
SHOCKIN’:
Realizing how often we ran into them in the City. (Just not to say hello.)
ROCKIN’:
Their toddler was born just a few days away from Noel
SHOCKIN’:
That we haven’t been setting Noel up with play dates yet
ROCKIN’:
Watching the two 22-month olds parading around the living room together
SHOCKIN’:
The thought that we’d ever get tired of watching this.
ROCKIN’:
My dinner friend brews his own ‘Big Indian Beer.’ And he’s brought me a bottle. It’s great!
SHOCKIN’:
There’s only two cases of the stuff.
ROCKIN’:
Posie’s olive-and-cauliflower pest pasta – still great after all these years
SHOCKIN’:
That there’s so much left over
ROCKIN’:
The bottle of Sicilian wine from Astor goes just perfect with it
SHOCKIN’:
That it’s gone before we notice it.
ROCKIN’:
Our friend’s home-made Brownies.
SHOCKIN’:
That dinner dates end before 10pm when you have toddlers.

ROCKIN’:
Finally getting a great night’s sleep
SHOCKIN’:
And upon waking at 8:30am, jumping straight out of bed, skipping on the shower,
ROCKIN’:
To run a race round the Ashokan Reservoir 30 miles away. In the fog.
SHOCKIN’:
That my concept of a Sunday morning lay-in is the extra hour’s sleep, not actually staying in bed for the morning.
ROCKIN’:
Coming 14th overall in the 4-mile race – I credit the uphill mile, my forte.
SHOCKIN’:
I’m not among the 30 or so people in their sex/age groups to get an award. To have qualified as 3rd fastest male in the 40-49 age bracket, I would need to have finished 4th!
ROCKIN’:
There are awards left over. Including bottles of wine kindly donated by The Wine Steward
SHOCKIN’:
That anyone would expect anything other than that I snag one of them
ROCKIN’:
That’s the second race this year at which wine has been among the awards
SHOCKIN’:
It’s also the second race this year which run on school or state grounds, necessitating a warning that ‘Alcohol is not permitted on the premises’ on the race application! Someone is taking the piss.
ROCKIN’:
Next week is the final road race of the year… But it still feels like autu,m
SHOCKIN’:
That Belleayre thought it would open for skiing this weekend

North London, la la la…

ROCKIN’:
Watching Arsenal-Liverpool live on the telly.
SHOCKIN’:
Wondering how it feels to be an Arsenal fan when your team plays at the Emirates Stadium, the players wear shirts that encourage fans to “Fly Emirates”, the coach is French and there’s not a single English name among the line-up.
ROCKIN’:
Playing FIFA 2006 on the Playstation at night
SHOCKIN’:
My Palace team losing 4-0 at home. Even in real life, they only lost 1-0 at home this weekend.
ROCKIN’:
Setting up a ‘career’ on the Bode Miller Alpine Skiing Game.
SHOCKIN’:
Wiping out on my first two runs. Some career!
ROCKIN’:
All the new indie music on my CMJ Music Marathon iTunes sampler
SHOCKIN’:
Working my way through the 116 tunes and trying to formulate an opinion on each and every one.
ROCKIN’:
Getting the Fabric Live CDs in the mail
SHOCKIN’:
That people are still releasing mix CDs.
Endless Wire (W/Dvd)
ROCKIN’:
The new Who album is getting the thumbs up
SHOCKIN’:
I still don’t own a copy.
So Divided

ROCKIN’:
The new album by …Trail Of The Dead
SHOCKIN’:
The new album by Forward, Russia!
Give Me a Wall
ROCKIN’:
Sunday night: so many books to read
SHOCKIN’:
So little time!
ROCKIN’:
Another good weekend
SHOCKIN’:
How sore and tired I feel on Monday

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Discussion

1 Comment(s)

  1. 15 November, 2006 at 10:41 am

    Lord Tony, but you are getting rocked and shocked at every turn! About the football, I been watching a bit on the telly and is it the referees running around with ‘Fly Emirates’ all over the shirt as well? Greatest footballing pleasure I took this week was watching the Weymouth v Bury FA cup qualifier, seemed like a little atavistic something thrown up from a long time back. No glitter and pomp, a lot of huff and puff and precious little silky skill and a stadium low enough you could see the surrounding country side and a kind of luminescent seaside town air quality from the camera eye vantage point.

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