New Years Resolutions, Winter 2004.
(From Plan B Magazine)
all DJs watch kids, but this DJ hates them
Sometimes it seems people invite me out just so they can call me a miserable sod and blame me for ruining their evening. I wish they’d phone and tell me; drop notes. They should know by now that summer kills me, that my spirit dies when mercury rises. I only go out when I have to, but at the weekend I’d be skint as a badger’s runt if I didn’t DJ. So every Saturday night I press the flesh, and every Sunday morning I try and scrub myself dirty again. There’s these kids, see. They’re loyal. They’re on the dancefloor every Saturday night. Don’t ever let me live anywhere where Saturday night doesn’t matter. They dance to Pixies, Breeders, Pavement, Fugazi, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, The Smiths, Sebadoh, Mudhoney, Grandaddy. A circle of boys and girls committed to a certain pantheon that can’t be questioned but does strike one as terribly precious. One of them moans the guy in the main room is playing Prince, so they’ve come into my side room to hear some ‘proper music’. I scowl and dig out ‘Hot Thing’. See, they don’t even dance to The Specials. They’re not from round here. They’re students from dahn sarf. They’re beautiful, but this week I kill the room an hour early and tell them all to, “Fuck off into the main room – the people are prettier.” A holler of disapproval. “We want real music,” they whine. “POP IS REAL MUSIC, Y’DICKS!” I bray, and then I pull the plug. It’s a gimmick thing .It’s all jealousy on my part, of course. Being into that music never got me friends, but there they are, loved up and moshing to ‘Teenage Riot’, surrounded by gorgeous androgynous replicants. Fuckers. Where were these sexy, young, thrusting, weird people when I was their age? I reassure myself by thinking that something’s lost now the underground rock of my youth is the ‘classic’ floor-fillers of my present. Listening to Dinosaur Jr’s ‘Don’t’ when you’ve got a rockin’ social life is one thing – listening to it in a bedroom is another. One implies a shared joy and the interpersonal flow of substances both emotional and physical. The other implies self-implosion and crystallised spunk on your jimjams; it’s about me and FUCK you. It’s nice turning your natural repulsiveness into an aesthete’s self-exile. Now that people insist on talking to me, forcing me to cough up words so sour they almost make me retch at my repetition, I want that young fogey, frigidaire, hemmed-in, mute virginity back again, big style. I want to go back to when I believed in nothing but a future, rather than the grisly horror the present always seems to end up being.
give up on keeping up
Modern life demands you think about such colossal trivialities. In 2005, don’t ponder Franz Ferdinand or Tracey Emin or whatever mediocrity is being jabbed in your face. Think about the following: JS Bach. Shakespeare. Leonardo. Picasso. Michaelangelo. Miles Davis. Jean Renoir. Y’know, the greats. Depressing gods, all the above, because they created new things but destroyed any possibility of originality for everyone since. Realise always that art, all art, great art should always endeavour to explain and describe. When it loses sight of this transcendent purpose, when it simply wants to keep up with the overladen, eager meaninglessness of the mass media or instant fix satiety of consumerism, it’s proper fucked. The past contains so many futures we ain’t even got round to yet. And Goya didn’t do owt decent till his sixties, so bear up, bison. There’s time to change the world yet.
life’s additives keep you alive
Listen to pop music greedily; on the radio anywhere except Radio One. It’ll make you happy like Haribo. Sour. Buzzy. Hopeful. Tragic. Immortal. Dead in a week.
take stock. y’fat knacker
Go on. Really take a long, hard, brutal look at yourself. Take your clothes off. Pinch your rolls. Tweak your tits. Make fun of your carcass. Put into place a mental block that stops you yearning for what can never be. The myriad lust-objects you see everyday, see through you to real people. You’re a chubby ghost of an urge. You’re no longer a participant in silly games, unless we’re talking Janet Kay, and only the emasculating horror of self-realisation can save you.
stay in. talk less
Disconnect all your phones. Open letters, but forget how to read them. Look at and through them like a monkey would. S’a lot easier being the idiot you are than the smart arse you’re meant to be. answer the call of the wilderness Go to the beach. Look at a hillside. See the curvature of the earth. Look at the moon. Get foetal in cathedrals. Realise your place in space, the little speck you’re stretching at every opportunity. And the sodding sun can stay across the street.
consider the true majesty of Trout Mask Replica
The way you can always feel it raising your expectations on life. The subconscious and mathematic and stellar and here and there and reality and dreams all rushing out at you. And the beauty. The primal kick of the fucking thing. The goodbye paid in ‘Frownland’, the mutterings of a man who’s gonna walk up the high street for 2,000 miles until he’s out in the world, the real world (matched by the Magic Band’s unrepeatable stumble-ass, L-plated progress). Where he can gather his thoughts about thisworld. See the damage done and wield the scalpel, finally let his heart’s tenderest aches find voice. ‘Trout Mask’ is a documentary of what happened to these people while they were making it. Yet it’s a transcendent triumph of the imagination as well, charging connections in your brain possibly dead since puberty. There is a sense of wonder at nature and the unnatural – and the way words can come so close to both. It’s not such a bad thing for a poet to make you feel things again. Or provide a picture of his nation so thoroughly sensual in its enjoyment and brutal in its disappointment, so total in its understanding and compassion. There’s venom here. And words that knead your shoulders like the first drink of the day. At once outwardly futurist and inwardly ancient, the earth’s first and last song. Take it monthly.
swear down that you’ll address your addictions
Not the harmless ones like crack and Terry’s Chocolate Orange. I’m talking about the habits you picked up randomly from no one, but you can’t shake because they don’t occur to you as addictions. Like cracking your fingers arthritically. Taking corners too fast. Listening to your mother. Shaving your mono-brow. Saying ‘sorry’ after cumming. Saying, “Erm, yeah, give us a couple of days on that” when you know you have no intention of doing a fucking thing. Arguing. Getting out of bed. And of course, the most difficult habits of them all to shake: pornography, and hope.
now, more than any
other time, is the right time to finally go mad
It doesn’t mean you have to be a full-on, sectionable, lip-diddling loon. It just means relaxing a little. When you see someone buying The Daily Mail in a paper shop, don’t resist the shout of ‘NAZI’ that comes to your lips. Release it. Enter competitions. When the beer-lads stare, stare back, pull faces, front the fuckers out. If you feel like drawing on your face before you go out, do so. Show off your hickeys in your child’s school playground. Scan your face onto 40 A4 flyers and hand them out on the street asking for help in tracing your identical twin. Commence a long-running correspondence with a local free paper. Commit yourself to every moment and kill the false modesty: when someone asks you what you do, tell them plain that you’re the new messiah. take out some insurance in case none of the above work. A bomb’s good, but a sponsored suicide for your favourite charidee’s even better. Failing that, promise yourself you’ll look into the opportunities of monastery/convent life. Try and get yourself hid, or die trying in ‘05. Cos by 2006 you’ll be too nuts to think straight. Imagine that.