Monthly Archives: March 2008

Hot Gig Information

Rabid fans, please note: the Edinburgh Cellars gig advertised on myspace and the FaceOmeter website as taking place on the second of April is actually taking place on the 31st of March. Apologies for the false advertising.

This is going to be a free gig, sidling from the brain of Jamie “Magic Lantern” Doe, who is gathering the forces of the Hectic Eclectic to present what should be a most memorable evening for y’all… do come down!

Also, keen observers will already have noticed that I’m kicking off the Oxford Punt with a short set in Border’s bookstore near St. Giles on the 14th of May at 6 in the evening. This is an oxford-wide showcase of some of the city’s finest, and it’s a thrill to be a part. This gig will also be free, so… do come down!

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My DS life

I’ve owned a DS for well over a year and a half now (ah, it feels like only yesterday that Beffrey and I took two road trips to Newton Abbot to procure it), and it strikes me that, since I’ve just finished some brutal essay writing, a little nugget of my experiences might come in useful for the tiny percentage of readers who are considering availing themselves of this brilliant console.

The first thing to note is that it is a brilliant console – I don’t think a handheld has ever matched it for either general brilliance or availability of games. If you’re buying, get a Lite model as opposed to the clunkier old ones: the only significant difference is the screen quality, but it’s an enormous difference and well worth the extra c.

This one doesn’t have a title yet either

This is a song for every girl who’s ever done the twirl
Or tip-tapped two-step in a skirt that crept the ankles
Tranquil in the night-club’s din, the other lights dim,
One left reflecting steps delecting as she sways and swirls.
& it’s a song, too, for every person who
steps outside to escape and takes to fields or treetops
in summer on a smoking train, or driving authumn rain
with nature’s breakbeat bridges interfering with the drops.

This is a song for just moving around
On dance floors or between front doors, that pause
Spent either twisting hips or hearing whispers lisping
Over night-time engine’s omnipresent sound.
& things stand still when movement happens, brains arranging complex patters
headlamp constellations weaving, in and out of time
illuminations that we make boiling into space,
traced across a landscape by a narrow glowing line.

& this is a song for, yes, even the clouds
Which wander lonely as Wordsworth, whirling around
That vague, o’erplayed horizon, rising soft above the speckled ground
Shadows cast down, sun’s frown bouncing off to show the silver lining.
& that low, slow, earth hugging mist which whistfully
(pathetically pastoral) kisses the tips of toes, ebbs and flows,
shows there’s room for fog in every tryst
loading up decodings when its mystery we can’t believe we can’t resist.

This is a song for every single one of the above
With love. Keep on the move, the outer or the inner groove.
Stop to make some stuff sometimes –
Beats, bobs, essays, plays, videos and rhymes-
& never say never, seldom say always
all these days are rushing by quicker than my eye can see
so while there’s air to bear our shout, we’ll settle in, then we’ll set out:
an excellent soundtrack, and just a little twee.

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All times are approximate

Thursday 13th March
15h39 Your host hands in an essay and takes to the mean streets for a few days of conscience-free frolicking.
16h58 A packet of Steak McCoy’s I later regret
17h04 The bus to London is boarded. During the journey the lyrics to a new, as-yet-untitled song (which have been written slowly over the last four months) are finally finished – publishing them soon on this very site.
18h41 Step off the bus and on to Shepherd’s Bush Green, home of Ginglik – serious Top 5 Venue contender.
18h53 Chop chop, a chinese on Shepherd’s Bush Green, is a good place for aspiring artistes on an extreme budget.
18h59 Greeting Skipper
19h15 Greeting the Swindler
19h20 Playing the new FaceOmeter World Of FaceOmeter Top Trumps Card Game with the Swindler
19h26 Running across busy four-lane roads carrying Magic Lantern’s equipment
20h03 Gig: FaceOmeter / Magic Lantern / Gabby Young / Hooverville
Incredibly fun, a video launch for Gabby, with Balloons and terrifying clowns aplenty. We didn’t play very well but we had a great time!

23h45 The Dapper Swindler and I board the bus for a return to Oxford. The Swindler stops for Jerk chicken, I for Ginger Beer.

Friday 14th March
02h00 Vigorous South Park / Super Mario Galaxy Session chez moi
03h00 Bed
09h00 Arising for the Exeter Haaj. Waking the Jones proves complicated.
09h44 Dale arrives whilst I’m showering.
10h13 Speedy departure officially abandoned in favour of Wii Golf.
11h03 Coffee at Coco’s followed by a walk to the Peug
11h42 Greeting the Peug, loving the Peug, packing the Peug
12h12 Departing Oxford
13h50 Slow trundle along the M4 – Marks and Spenser service station. Why? Sandwiches. Sushi for the Swindler. Dale procures Rhubarb and Custards.
14h15 In thick rain, Peug windscreen wipers which should have been replaced about a year ago almost completely useless. Quest to find new ones.
15h10 Quest not going well
15h33 Quest abandoned. It’s stopped raining anyway.
15h59 Having ditched Dale, we sit in the Peug rinsing internet. We await George.
16h03 Arrival of George, including characteristic walk.
16h10 Mission to retrieve Genevieve.
16h40 Recording session for the narrations of the Irritating Maze begins.
17h30 With 6 o’clock deadline looming, ideas of recording abandoned in favour of practice for a record the next day. This is because when English students write srama we use long, confusing words (sorry!). It’s all quite… Irritating. Excellent.
18h05 Dropping the Drama kids off for Icarus and Daedalus slightly late (sorry Sam!). To the North Bridge!
18h27 Arriving at the North Bridge, we see a handwritten sign advertising “FaceOmeter (Will Tattersdill and the Dapper Swindler): Multi-Instrumental Folk duo”. Excellent.
18h46 We can do our own sound! We are men!
19h04 Best Pub Ever
19h37 Beer Garden rehearsal vibes
21h00 Gig: FaceOmeter
A two part gig, the first with me on my own, the second with the Swindler and other guests. A slow burner which eventually went really well – I messed my voice up and it was a mixed crowd reaction but this was still one of my favourite gigs ever, if only because it saw the live debut of the Irritating Maze. Some video will be along at some point.

Saturday 15th March
00h27 Equipment packing up. Gig must have been good – we got booked for someone’s wedding (!) (?) (!)
01h23 House party eject for tea party at Lucy’s – she agrees to put us up for the night. How kind! She also has a blue piano.
02h51 Sleep, with thoughts of Let’s Do riding the brain.
12h00-15h30 Sitting in Let’s Do, the traditional Saturday breakfast locale. Salmon ciabatta and scrambled egg happens. Also much tea. Brief walks to fill up car meter in irritating rain due to irritating town being irritating full on irritating saturday thanks to opening of irritating new shopping mall.
15h37 Coffee in Zizzi’s; spying on George
15h50 Wiper blades mission finally successful thanks to legendary Halfords man and Jones Tech Technology
16h13 Another lift for Genevieve who reveals unexpected eject plans owing to parental pickup schedule. Sunday’s performance of Irritating Maze jeopardised!
16h30-18h00 Recording the Irritating Maze. Much faster than recording music due to consummate professionalism of the two actors involved. The Swindler fluked it. Would have been quicker if we’d done some warm-ups, sung Rose Red, and so on, first. I enjoy my first insight into the world of the director. My hints: 1) steal all george’s ideas, 2) tell everyone to do it again, all the time.
19h30 Watching the latest Theatre Alchemists production, Icarus and Daedalus. Incredible use of space (no, really). George’s improvisation skills apparently know no limits, adapting themselves to collapsing sets.
20h41 Thai House scoped in interval
21h53 Thai House visited. Good results. Car eat.
22h30 Meet Phil, Lucy and Dale at the Odeon to give them a lift to somwhere that turns out to be about fifty feet from there. We drive via the fire house to get rid of the Swindler for the evening. We don’t need him. No-one explains the distance thing to me when they board the Peug for some reason.
23h07 Party has kicked off instantly for a frenchman who spends most of it singing happy birthday (it isn’t anyone’s birthday) and trying to paint my face and pour beer over people’s cleavages.

Sunday 17th March
00h32 A brilliant game of Just a Minute marred by questionable umpiring decisions from D
ale and a frenchman who spends most of it singing happy birthday (it isn’t anyone’s birthday) and trying to paint my face and pour beer over people’s cleavages. Gaming George(TM) makes a welcome appearance.
01h33 The eject. Lucy’s again for me – this time I create a wholesome night light zone on the understanding that we’ll all meet for tipple in the park the next morning at 10h30. Bed.
10h20 Fuck!
10h30 Everyone else did it as well.
11h21 Tipple abandoned. Rain a contributing factor, George (the Frisbee bearer) carries partial blame for going back to sleep – ultimate blame rests with Nokia, for making my shitty, shitty “sporty” phone, the 5500. NEVER BUY IT.
11h32 Dale proposes a bacon sandwich for those of us who actually made it to the park in the rain. From a shop called “Roy’s Rolls”. This excites me very greatly.
11h51 “Roy’s Rolls” turns out to be called “Martin’s Pie Shop”. I restrain myself from killing Dale.
12h00 “Martin’s Pie Shop” turns out to be closed. I restrain myself from killing Dale.
12h16 Breakfast in Terry’s Brutal Greaser (possibly actually called that) on Sidwell Street. Violent amounts of bacon-ridden grease further choke the killing urge, as well as, at the age of 37, me. I want Bjðrk to sing at my funeral if she’s hasn’t sold out.
12h06 Departure of Lucy. Surprise encounter with Ottalie, she of the Princess Bride, visiting Iceland.
12h11 New peug quest – for a new cassette adaptor. Dixon’s have nothing.
12h18 “Zavvi” have one! (You’ll never persuade me not to use the inverted commas)
12h46 Perving technological goods in the Apple store, also running into faitful ally Jon Chatwin. Am even less convinced now than ever about the MacBook Air and Games for Mac; coming round to the idea of the iPhone (the screen is amazing); iPod nanos are for complete idiots; the new Brian Davidson equivalents are very swish but I’ll clutch onto him until he’s a complete doorstop. A cassette adaptor in Apple costs £17.50, the one from “Zavvi” was £5. Lesson learnt.
13h21 Dale on leaving the Apple store: “That shop made me feel old, stupid, and poor”
13h47 Poundland. This is more like it.
14h10 An extensive series of ‘tests’ of the new cassette adaptor (Video footage forthcoming). Dale can’t section us by himself because we outnumber him.
14h50 Dale dispensed with. Voyage to Tamsin’s house soundtracked entirely by the Swindler and the Doctor.
15h10+ A welcoming Tamsin loads us up with tea, internet, food and, best of all, showers. Three-wheeler parked outside. Sun fliters through the clouds. Clean clothes. Woodstock DVD. Extreme contentment.
18h30 Departing for Tiggas bar. ‘Power Out’ on the stereo system, Looe Road passed and paid homage to, Peug experiences an almost empty parking lot for once.
20h00 Gig: Stephen Jago / Jonathan Chatwin & Hannah Martin / Sonic Raj & Confucius Jefferson / FaceOmeter
A gig sadly let down by an illness of the Swindler’s which I had assumed was faked, and my voice, which at this point is well beyond ‘proper fucked’. In addition, the unexpected and unwelcome early appearance of our sworn foes Sonic and Confucius leaves a sour taste in our mouths for the evening. Sections from Love It magazine save the day, comined with a big final Irritating Maze finish, Sam Morris graciously (and expertly) reading in for Genevieve. Final chorus brings venue to its knees; our work here is done; Max passes out and is revived with Red Bull.
23h30 Favourable comparisons to Jeff Lewis from stranger: never bad. Also good that Jeff is becoming more of a household name! Slight ice effect on peug negated by its powerful heat vents. Sorrowful goodbye to most of our Exeter friends (the ones remaining: many had already left over the preceding days, driven from the Swindler’s face like rats from a sinking ship).

Monday 18th March
00h03 Max beeps the horn repeatedly at departing Princess Brideys just as a really really well illuminated police car drives past. I watch my rear-view mirror the whole way back, but they must have decided we weren’t worth it. Or the vibe came down and turned their wheels into squares. I prefer this explanation. The Jones finds all of this really fucking funny, which is just great.
00h12 Back to Tamsin’s. Minor dark regarding a near-wrong turn to somewhere I used to live. The Swindler’s MacBook and phone create a safety zone.
01h59 As Dale’s head hits the pillow, he remembers that Roy’s Rolls is in Coronation Street.
09h00 Waking.
09h58 Dale arrives, two minutes early.
10h03 Departure.
10h11 The Jones has forgotten his scarf.
10h30 Departure again.
10h43 Fiasco re: which side of the Peug the petrol cap is on. I’ve only had it two years.
11h15 England is a really beautiful country.
12h31 Coming off a junction early. Mad antics.
13h28 Return to Oxford – division of spoils, incredible Wagamama, Ben’s Cookies and Blackwells experiences, Boot shop windows, Mario Strikers, more buses… many things are to occupy our heroes as they prepare for the beakening once again, but this record must close here.

Secret Bonuses
1) At no point during the special did anyone wait longer than 10 minutes for an Oxford Tube
2) Another two Oxford trips for the Swindler without tapheads assaulting either of us
3) The whole trip paid for itself exactly

The proprietors of FaceOmeter Inc wish to thank Tamsin and Lucy, the generous souls who put us up in the evenings, as well as Eddie of North Bridge Inn fame, a most radical chiller as ever there was, and all the generous patrons of both the North Bridge and Tiggas whose donations made our trip possible!

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Peug update No.1

Ladies and gentlemen… it is an historic moment. For the first time ever this blog comes to you live from the Peug itself! That’s right, the Swindler and I are parked up, rinsing somebody’s wireless to look at David Attenborough videos online. We offer you salutations thus:

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Half Man, Half Bear, Half Pig

I definitely shouldn’t be linking you to this less than reputable streaming video site with every South Park episode ever. For a start, South Park is immoral and wrong, and everyone who touches it turns into a liberal. Secondly, stealing South Park is immoral and wrong, and internet piracy causes infertility. I maintain however that if you watch the odd low-quality episode on this website it won’t be long until you’re legitimately buying the DVD Box Sets – they certainly just jumped to the top of my purchasing list, though you can only get up to season 6 (of 11, soon to be 12) in this country at time of writing.

I’m on-off with South Park, and always have been. Initially I was “off” because I was annoyed by its lowest common denominator scatalogical can’t be bothered puerile humour, and then more recently I was “off” because I thought Trey and Matt’s popularity was pushing them into the establishment (cf. The Simpsons). Now I probably don’t need to tell you how very, very wrong I was both times – South Park’s immature side is but one facet of what I now genuinely believe to be one of the most brilliantly-written television shows ever produced, and if you think their edge is softening (the argument that things becoming popular automatically get worse is always a dangerous one, even when its true), you clearly haven’t seen this.

So after this latest spate of being “on”, I think I can safely say that “on” I will stay. Why? I was engaged in a heated pub-discussion about this very question recently (never engage in heated pub-discussions, they can have consequences) – if any other show, and I do mean ANY other show, showed a nursery schoolteacher having an affair with one of her pupils (maximum age 1 and a half), I’d switch off in disgust. How can a show which forces you to laugh at a crippled child at least once every five minutes be a good thing?

I think it’s largely about an expertly calculated tone, but I offer you three more tangible reasons that sceptics should give the show another try:
1) Cartman – the most complicated character in fiction. If he doesn’t get some kind of physical reaction out of you in under ten minutes, you aren’t human.
2) The Home-made vibe. If South Park has a huge production team who are often ignored, it’s because Trey and Matt ooze out of every scene. The show isn’t written, acted and directed nebulously, it’s made using lots of resources by a relatively small group of people who are both focused and totally in love with what they’re doing. As discussed with numerous friends and colleages recently, this alone will cancel out any shortfall in production values, and I think it goes some way towards negating shortfall in ethical ones as well (just a suspicion).
3) Spritual connection. As I have long-maintained (supported by this), Trey and Matt are the direct artistic descendants of Monty Python – in range and complexity of humour, style of animation, and social relevance. The passage of the years has done much to vindicate the at-the-time scandalously daring Python team, and whilst they never showed a nanny on her knees eating her own excrement, I think something similar could well happen to the South Park team. Here’s hoping.

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Sausage, uh, no, wait, link fest

A bit quiet on the western front, but before today’s link I feel I should tell you about some really big shows that are coming up after a bit of a silence on the FaceOmeter SCENE. They’re all this weekend, and split between Devon and the Smoke. The Dapper Swindler will be present at all the below…

Thursday (13th) – We’re at Gabby Young‘s record launch party, along with Magic Lantern and many other fine acts! This is gonna be a carnivalesque event in a victorian public toilet, so you’d be insane to miss it (but e-mail me if you’re coming).

Friday (14th) – Exeter has us for the Vibraphonic Festival at our favourite pub, the North Bridge Inn.. a brand NEW SONG will hopefully be appearing at this one. Brace yourselves, world! (most of you know it already)

Sunday (16th) – Co-struggler,

Je me presente le docTOOOORR

It’s a new episode of fOwl, folks! Check it!

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I love it, part 29349234

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An abuse of facilities

Today’s update comes from the Upper Reading Room of the Bodleian library, where the Swindler and I have been comparing late nineteenth century awesomes via digital means. The swindler contributes this website, which you should peruse if the fin de siecle aesthetic interests you in the slightest. I’ll post some findings from the first edition of the Strand Magazine later if possible! Exciting!

Update: Well I’m not allowed to show you the actual joy, but my transcriptions seem to be allowed. Try and imagine this over a half page with loads of quirky fonts and awesome illustrations:

best remedy for all Rheumatic Afflictions, Nervous, Muscular, or
Organic Disorders, Local or General Debility, &c., is Nature’s
great Restorative – ELECTRICITY – which may be imperceptibly applied to
the system in the form of mild continuous currents by simply wearing
imparts new life and vigour to the debilitated constitution, is very
comfortable to wear, poduces no shock, improves the figure, keeps the
body at a uniform temperature, prevents chills, assists digestion, and
promptly renews that vitality the loss of which is the first symptom of
[it continues]

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