When Vice told me that some fancy spy store sent them a new tiny hidden camera that screwed into a shirt button and they (the magazine, not the store) wanted me to use it to spy on people, I gave them an unflinching yes. I think I was imagining I was about to get involved in some James Bond-type shit. But then I found out that I was just supposed to go to the park and talk to people and invade their space. I wasn't disappointed though--I'm a lot better at being creepy than I am at espionage.
Immortal bassist Apollyon took time out from organizing festivals (sorry to mention Aura Noir again), touring, teaching kids music, and playing in six or seven different bands (he's lost count) to come to London and meet me for an interview. Here's some of what we talked about over a few beers (and a lot of Pantera) in The Hobgoblin in Camden last week. By the way, did you know that he played bass for Gorgoroth at the now infamous Krakow show? Well, now you do.
As 1989 moves back into journalists’ crosshairs and we’re treated to one more round of documentaries on the roots of British club culture – as the familiar who’s who zoo of Mike Pickering, Carl Cox, Danny Rampling, The Hartnolls, Mr C, Tony Coulston-Hayter, and so on all traipse across our screens to tell us again how “mental” it was at Shoom – James Palumbo, founder of Ministry of Sound, is one key figure of the period who won’t be grinning a mouthful of ground-down molars back at the world. In fact, you won’t see him at all.
Anna Biller makes movies about sex and sexy women who are smart, which is a super weird coincidence because she's exactly the same way. Take, for example, VIVA, essentially an ode to the swinging 70s that encapsulates all the best bits of Playboy, Russ Meyer and John Waters films, and lonely-heart love letters written by housewives in need of satisfaction. It was directed, written, produced, and edited by one Miss Anna Biller, and it was her first film. She also stars in the movie, which is lucky because she's awesome.
Volker Gerling journeys from town to town, carrying a hawker’s tray full of flipbooks, reviving the tradition of hobo craftsman in his own way. A film academy graduate turned self-proclaimed flip-bibliopegist, he entertains people with a one-man motion-picture theater. Remember that photography was a gateway drug into motion pictures--and when you take it back to flipbooks, time can actually flow through your fingers, he says, and he’s fascinated with the gaps.
Sorry to dwell on a band's name, but Silver Shampoo? I didn't really get it, so I googled it and it turns out it's the name for a shampoo for people with gray hair, which makes sense. I guess it turns you into a silver fox, like Clooney or Gere. It's the opposite of those evil ads where the precocious, disrespectful children convince the withering widower to clasp life to his chest once more, dye his hair, and go on a date with that hot widow who teaches at their school. Silver Shampoo encourages people to embrace their silvery locks and the beauty of age. So much more posi.
On a recent trip to visit Philly friends, I felt a stomach pang of immediate stress urging me to hit up this one thrift spot they had taken me to before. I demanded to be hastened there and all of our catching up and chatting would have to wait until I found my enchanted vestments. I felt a hot spasm inside my soul that a glorious treasure was waiting for me at the thrift, and if we didn't get there immediately, I was going to have a violent blood puke seizure!
At a thrash metal gig in Kilburn I was introduced to Deborah Grayson and Tamsin Omond, two of the founders of Climate Rush, a gang of ecological activists who spend most of their time invading parliament and super-glueing themselves to things. We talked about the run up to the Copenhagen climate talks this December and how everyone ought to be out protesting like mad, demanding our leaders grow some green balls and actually do something meaningful about climate change. They invited me to spend September walking with a horse and cart across the southwest of England, organizing protests and doing activist stuff along the way. I thought, Why not?
This might not seem like a big deal if you're not from down South, but, if you are like I am, then you'll understand that what I'm about to say actually is a big deal. Growing up, I didn't like barbecue. Not ribs, not chicken, not pulled pork--nothing.
No matter how drunk you are, there are things you simply should never do in Berlin. One of them is falling asleep on the last circle train during a weeknight with your cell phone in your hands. When this happened to me last week, two guys stole my phone, only to return it five minutes later. I was standing in front of them at a deserted station platform: confused, disoriented, and waiting to be ripped of my wallet too, but no.