Thursday, March 23, 2006

louder e....

two sundays ago we went t see lou reed in concert in pordenone, friuli venezia giulia.
by the great gods of valhalla, what a gig! i've always liked the velvet underground and lou reed's music, but i've never bee a 'fan'. in fact thinking about it most of the lou reed stuff i know is from that group of 'classics'. (I loathe Sunday Morning and I'm not that keen on Walk on the Wild Side, but the rest - well it's OK)
But this gig, woooah! A load of stuff I'd never heard (apart from the lame encore of Sweet Jane). the theatre was small, even near the back row we were near the stage, near enough to see the wrinkles! Lou Reed came on stage like an old, old man, holding his back like me on a cold, damp, venetian morning - but he played like a very young man. amazing to see and doubly amazing to hear.
two basses, two guitars and one hell of a drummer, drones and feedback, bowed electric viola (?) and ear shattering volume, trance enducing riffs and all that sort of really hard to explain stuff.
i was converted, well encouraged to go and listen to the lou reed stuff i have. i discovered that i have 3 or 4 discs that i didn't know i had! yep, i am that much of a fan! i found good stuff!
what IS interesting though (apart from the fact that at 39 I was among one of the youngest in the audience at a rock concert, my gosh! i've started to call them concerts instead of gigs! nurse the sanatogen!!!) is that i realised that i play the guitar very much like lou reed. ok he may be a little better than me, but style wise and in fact chord-wise. interesting as because guitaristically (!) i've never really referred to lou reed, keith richards, peter buck possibly. actually just thinking now, io don't really have a guitar hero or any particular influence - the stones probably are the most significant, but the rest ...? i play the way I do because i never took a lesson and still, after 20 years i still struggle to recognise anything but the major chords. and i tend to play my own chord structures - wrong fingering etc. sound cool but its a bloody nightmare when i have to play with another, competent, guitarist - one who actually knows what they're doing. however the stuff daniele and i knock out in the rehearsal room is a lot like the stuff i saw on stage that sunday. we is good at the old psychdronemelodicrepetativeriff thing - makes me want to get a band together, and do it my way for a change. i saw someone doing something similar to what ive knocked out for a long time, albeit at a much poorer level, but still could be interesting here in mestre where there's never been a market for what i like to do. makes me want to do it all the more, and now that i am a mature, sensible father, makes me want to do it all the more!
anyway, that was all a bit irrelevant...
lou reed, amazing!
did i say that?
i liked the way that it wasn't a 'spectacle', the sounded like a garage band, wobbly levels, too much bass at times, solos that drowned the rest of the band, but it all worked - even to my hyper critical ear.
bah! here we go, another time when i try to explain myself and then just when i get a little way into it, i lose the thread and it all goes mushy.

still if they will sell 5 litres of pinot nero for €6!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


well they're finally here.
clawing at my stomach and my lungs, sitting on my chest, filling their pockets with lead shot so as to slowly crush the very breath out of me. those faceless, shapeless shadows which dog my every move. sly bastards who don't even have the decency to hide properly, to just give me a chance once in a while, a headstart to let me see if i can finally out run them.
they pretend to give me a headstart, but there's always one or two of them hiding right out in the open in places so obvious that in my naive stupidity i simple don't see them. and then,
"oops, did you trip?"

people come and go. friends and family come and visit and it's lovely. but i'm at a point now where i can't enjoy the company properly. over the past 8 years visitors have come out and gone home again and each time they take a little of my spirit with them. nowadays i find it so difficult to have visitors for the sheer fear of them leaving again, in a way it's easier to not see people, but that is too horrible too.

winston churchill used to have black dogs that came after him in his moments of depression. i wish mine were dogs, at least i could try and throw them a bone.

my brain's stopped working. all i can see is a mess of letters on a screen, all i can see is a mess of words in my head. the noise of the heater and the computer is interfering with my concentration, if the phone rings i fear i could collapse.

so i'll stop, i can't get out what i'm trying to say anyway.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

ooh! an entry....

this simply isn't good enough!
and not just this blog!

i just don't have the time or energy to get round to this. a hundred thoughts, a hundred things to relate, pictures, musings, happenings...there all still there. i just don't have time to get them onto these pages.

and it's driving me crackers!

along with a lot of other things, all of which are probably far too boring to bother with; like being in a job that actually costs me money to do! and i'm not self employed or trying to set up some business. No. I'm a b1°°dy schoolteacher. a schoolteacher who's being shat on from a great height by the school he's been instrumental in building up.
instrumental, not by doing any great feat, but by being there, being consistent, committed (should have been when i think of all the time and energy i've dedicted to the place), trying to do my very best for those in my charge. the boss is great at making stupid decisions and we (the long term staff) are great at getting the school out of the §h1te. this time however i fear he may have overstepped the mark just that once too often, rubbed my rhubarb the wrong way, p1§§ed on my chips just one too many times...

you see?! i shouldn't be writing about this crap! i should be writing witty and charming stuff, expressing fantastically interesting points of view, sharing stunning images and waxing lyrical over unfeasably cheap, erm decent wines. actually this is being accompanied by a downright impertinant little chianti from the coop. a 2004 chianti from the cortebaldi stables (imbbottigliato da s.c.a.r.l., tavrnelle val di pesa, firenze). a real bottle of cheap plonk - about €3.00, but actually really rather drinkable. a little shallow with an aftertaste of very old ribena (TM) and a feel of the old vick's vapor rub, but drinkable all the same.
on the shelf as i write, dear a 'madonna del piano' brunello do montalcino, riserva 1998. bottled by vicenso abbruzzese on the valdicava vinyards, montalcino. highly recommended and winner of several prizes, i was warned to treat it kindly as it is pretty good - hence it still being there. don't suppose it'd go with a boiled egg sandwich.
the twins are eating us out of house and home! at 18 months! yesterday they had steak, mashed potato and carrots. we had egg sandwiches as there was nowt else to eat, nor will there be unless they pay us!
oops was nearly off again.


i am seriously close to the edge. and that worries me. if i go over they won't pay me. the sheer worry is enough.