Summer’s Coming and this year I’m gonna experience it. Last year I missed the whole season entirely as I was so neurotic about achieving my field research goals that everything just passed me by in a blur. So I’m taking the family off to Sardinia to see some more of those magnificent megalithic tombs known as tomba di giganti. They were built by obsessives for obsessives and cover the entire island. There are plenny in THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN but I gots to see more more more! Right now, packing my travel bags and listening to the second Alrune Rod LP and vibrating with joy at their spaced out space riffs, Man, those Danes put some transcendental music together on the cusp of the 60s and 70s, yet hardly anything is known about it. So this month, I’ve written a huge article entitled DANSKROCKSAMPLER which contextualises the Danish scene both musically and geographically. Check out its long haul ass and tell me they don’t sound heroic!
By the way, the Roger album has been temporarily held up, so hang fire one month before ordering said motherfucker, and scurry over to kingdomofroger.com to check out the delightful album sleeve. Sorry about this but we couldn’t find a way to avoid it. Same thing happened with the last delivery of photographs for THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN… one of my designers lost three important oversized photos from my Irish section and I had to ask my good friend Tom FourWinds to cover for me. Now, as anyone who reads the MODERN ANTIQUARIAN website will agree, asking FourWinds to visit a megalithic site can be a real chore. But he reluctantly agreed to do me a favour and the results are, needless to say, the pig’s business. So, thank you hugely M’Lud for bailing me out at the 11th hour AND at a particularly low (and energy free) point in this book’s proceedings.
Talking of losing important shit, how about Tracy Emin, Damien Hirst and Chris Offil’s big fire? Man, I can’t even glimpse how they’ll be feeling right now, but I’d be pretty damn pissed off if half of my work had gone up in the storage centre of some big bastard like Saatchi. I know Tracy was freaked that the Mail and Express types said ‘Good Riddance’, but surely that’s par for the course in what she symbolises. I’m sorry for her loss, but many’s the time I’ve longed to drive my car into the reception of Damien Hirst’s chemist shop-styled restaurant frontage on Notting Hill, so I can only imagine what the Lynda Lee Potter’s of the world feel about putty-mouthed Trace. Maybe this tragedy (that’s what it is) will turn them all into artists of real stature and even be the making of them. Hey, I’m so damned Utopian me! That’s why I really can’t decide if I feel sorry for the newly-returned Morrissey or not. He’s clearly so eternally-alienated from everything that it’s easier for him to have become some rich ex-pat living in L.A. But with people’s response to his return having been so positive, I can’t help but think he’d be doing a better job living here. And does this ‘Irish Heart/English whatever’… really ring true if you chose to hole up in the Hollywood Hills, or doesn’t this supposedly fiercely British attitude strike you as hollow when you’ve chosen to make your home in the twilight zoned gated communities of the California faultline?
Hey, and what a difference a month makes in Iraq! Now it seems that while the British troops were being set up with fake photos of abuse, the American Army has taken a worldwide tumble into the abyss with its systematic abuse of Iraqi prisoners. Dammit, if I sound in any way smug, it’s purely because someone else is temporarily taking the shit. Still, at least it’s taken a bit of flack away from our prime minister. At the beginning of the month, Blair made a speech about setting up a new comprehensive learning scheme for teaching pre-schoolers. In his grandiloquent manner, he looked to the horizon as though he’d had some sort of Christian vision and talked off not letting down this ‘underclass’ of nippers. What rot this man is delivering us! His centralised ass roves from one facet of education to another fixing and fiddling like a matron plumping pillows rather than administering medicine. Britain needs consistency in its education system not this undermining of yet another so-called ‘scheme’ that will last for two years before dying an ignominious and hushed-up death.
Someone is doing well in the British schools system – my 10-year-old Avalon! Last week she played solo electric guitar in her primary school talent contest… ‘Smoke on the Water’ into ‘Iron Man’ into Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker’ into ‘School’s Out’. Two of the judges gave her 10/10 and the third gave her 11/10! Eleven is so-o-o-o rock, so very Tap says Dorian to the teacher who did it. And the teacher didn’t even know! 31/30 for my rock’n’roll kid says I got me a dynasty in the making! U-Know!
Now, I’m listening to the new blue vinyl 12" LP by The Heads from Bristol and it’s a ruthless mother of a sonic attack. I’ve heard The Heads many times over the years but this is the first record of theirs whose sonic distribution has been unbalanced enough to really smoke my pole… Man, I so NEEEED the sound of dirty ass rock’n’roll shuddeering through my undies at the moment. I’ve been in Snottingham a lot these past two weeks getting the Dogntank album on the go. Doggen is putting together an excellent trip, somewhat redolent of early Plastic Ono band meets Terminal Lovers. We stopped in to see Stephen O’Malley playing at the Rescue Rooms with the mighty Khanate. I was the only motherfucker screaming for an encore at the end, but they were so damned good that most people there really appreciated achieving such a preternatural descent in the confines of a rock’n’roll club. O’Malley played with Holy McGrail later in the week in their Ginungagap Three guise, which I unfortunately missed but heard great reports of. Oh yeah, and the rumours of some solo Cope shows in September and early October are true. I’m preparing for the big tour with THE MEGALITHIC EUROPEAN (November) and the new album (January) with some singing and guitar playing. The shows will be at Colchester, Arts Centre (September 11th), Brighton, Komedia (September 16th), Reading, South St Arts Centre (September 18th), Oxford, Zodiac (September 25th), Stoke, Sugarmill (September 26th), Northampton, Roadmender (October 2nd), Tunbridge Wells, Trinity (October 3rd). Yup, and every show will feature the brand new monolithic trio Dogntank supporting.
Uh, look out!
JULIAN (M’Lud Yatesbury)