Sunday, March 29, 2009

CD Reviews! Coming soon - maybe

As you may know I hardly ever go on about music. However, sometimes a CD is just sooo good you have to go on about it. So after a quick mention of the Shins (Wincing the Night Away) which I'm still playing months and months after I got it and a quick nod to Oasis (the latest album is actually 'pretty good') I need to thank Mr Maconie on Wunnerful Radio 2 for directing me in the direction of White Bread Black Beer by Scritti Politti (have I even spelt that right). Came out in 2006 apparently. Thing is it's absolutely fab - I've played it about 50 times now and really don't want to turn it off when I start - it's a giddy delight of pop confection in the slightly off kilter non-rubbish vein of pop. I shall be going on about it again - and I have the chance to review it on ebay!

I don't know if anyone actually does these reviews on ebay and if anyone reads them but I will do one for this one. I bought a copy to give to someone in a kind of 'here's one of the best records you're likely to hear in a very long time' kind of way. The last record felt strong enough about to 'review' on ebay was New Model Army - who were always so much better than most right thinking people thought and I will always defend. So there.

More on this at some point I expect.

An example of my email thang

If you should sign up for the JP 'newsletter / occasional email' this is an example of what you get. I'm not saying its any good it just IS OK? Just send an email and I'll put you on the list. Or take you off if you want.

Hello, and to the show, Well...come!

Welcome to the thankfully rare JP / Wholesky Monitor update.

...And the computer is back at AAZ / FR Records HQ after what might be described as 'quite a long time' being repaired. It stopped working. We took it to a shop and said 'make it work'. They kept it for ages but then they made it work. So now it works. Simple these computers really.

So, the evenings of singing hymns with the family around the pianoforte, playing cribbage with the curate from the village, crocheting harpsichords and generally doing 'other stuff' are gone and we can get back to deleting messages from myspace, Facebook, a million and one bands, suppliers to bands, websites that make you famous, magazines, ebay, gig adverts, record adverts, spam and friends stranded in Nigeria / open mic nights and all the other fab internet nonsense that wastes your life like 'other stuff' used to.

So, instead its time for us to clog up your inbox with stuff about a gig. Here are a list of 'desirables' at a gig:

1. A good day of the week - how about a Friday then? That any good? Yes, Friday is good, no school in the morning, can stay out late etc.
2. Decent time - how about 10pm? You could go on to a club, even a pub or just get a bus, train or pre-midnight taxi home. Or simply have sex in an alley near the venue and sunrise won't expose the depths of your iniquity.
3. Decent venue - how about the Elbow Rooms in Leeds? Call Lane, just down the hill from the Corn Exchange.
4. Not too expensive - how about £2 for 4 bands? That's TWO POUNDS - that is not a lot of money even for you tight wads, come on now.

So...(and congrats to those of you who spotted this one coming...)

Whole Sky Monitor are playing at the Elbow Rooms, Call Lane, Leeds on Friday 27th March. That's a week or so away, plenty of time to not forget. On about 10pm though its OK to turn up earlier and watch the other bands. If its actually Room plural you knew what I meant, I just didn't bother, I thought you'd know OK?

So we're on 4 out of 4 so far. So, yeah, the music might be a bit dodgy but 4 out of 5 isn't bad and you can't have everything eh? Boom Boom! (I'm so glad Basil Brush was re-invented pretty much on the old model by the way - and the latest book I'm reading mentions Kunzel cakes - see the blog via for details...I'll do that at some point soon)

This is the first WSM gig for ages and it'll be the last for a while and we'll be 'previewing' (this is a word that means 'playing') some of the songs that we're recording for the new album which will probably not have the word Fritzl in its title though it could be a close run thing. If you need reminding or would like to see the poster or want something to forward to your nephew in Colchester here's a link: You can get tickets in advance from band members if you like too. You hand over £2 and they give you a ticket - easy!

Right, that's enough of them. Here's some advance notice of a JP gig what I am doing. I'll send more details nearer the time. This one is 'for cheriddy' (I do fuck all for charity and love to talk about it etc...and I own shares in BT - actually I don't, that was Bernard Manning and not me there for a second)

It's Friday 8th May at the West Indian Centre in Chapeltown off Chapeltown Road starting at 7pm (see most of the above re good things to have at a gig). It's for a thing called the 'Whiterose Initiative'. This is a charity dedicated to supporting and promoting out of town shopping centres during the recession and concentrates on the White Rose Centre off Dewsbury Road. Actually, I just checked and it's not. It looks like a bunch of pinko do-gooders who are merely postponing the workers revolution by their naive capitalist liberal do-gooding (see, I told you they were do-gooders - for those who aren't sure, do you really prefer do-badders?) Find out more at The website was last updated in December 2006 so they're my kind of people.

It's getting late so if I have to go, I'd better go now, or else I'll have to stay all night.

Just come to the gigs eh? Then I wouldn't have to write this stuff which wastes the foam of the best blood (if anyone gets this reference you are very clever indeed with a very good memory)

Good night to one and all and see you at the gigzz


Saturday, March 28, 2009

New key sir?

Guess how much a new key is for a Vauxhall Vivaro van. A fiver? Ten? Surely not £20? Nope, its £145. Really!

He was looking at the camera officer

This is all getting too predictable. They spend our taxes on adverts telling poor people that they'd better not work on the side for an extra few quid or the law will be after them. It's the usual thing - steal £20 and they're after you, steal £20 million and you'll be invited to advise the government. But now they're inviting people to inform on people looking at security cameras.

Occasionally I look at security cameras and wonder why they're watching the poor areas. Actually it seems pretty clear, they're there to direct the vans when the plebs start rioting. But now, according to the posters we're all paying for, lives will be saved by people reporting other people for looking at the cameras. The posters have been produced for or by our friends the British Transport Police (why?!) You'd think the cameras would be recordng the people examining them wouldn't you? I wonder how this works? Maybe its that the average nutjob terrorist so desperate for sex with a string of virgins he'll blow himself to pieces doesn't want any pictures afterwards? The same kind of people who make those terrific videos showing off their big holy guns?

Anyway the message is clear - they're telling us not to dare question being watched all the time because its for our own good. Then with find Orwellian irony they'll tell us that our way of life and 'freedoms' must be protected. By watching everyone. And torture. Not that this country has ever had any involvment in any of that. Obviously.

Point proven I think

Well! Within seconds of posting all that stuff about "large introduction and embedding of systematic approaches to commissioning and provision of services to facilitate and enable lifestyle and behaviour change" from the NHS and I get a message from the blog people saying that my blog is probably spam and will be deleted! It would appear they have a detector which recognises spam by its "irrelevant, repetitive, or nonsensical text"! I guess this is all that minced up Dickens and stuff that comes with your penis enlargement opportunities.

I reckon all official 'information' should be scanned for spam. If it comes up as spam (and it surely will) delete the lot, sack 'em all and put the kettle on - job done!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Even more changing room behaviour

Who’d have thought that swimming pool showers and changing rooms would continue to produce new observations. Today’s is the simple statement that watching a small boy wee in the shower is actually not the funniest thing ever in the history of the world as his Dad and the bloke next to him seemed to think. Not that I’m particularly objecting I hasten to add, just not worth the belly laughs that’s all.

Then there's the bloke drying his bald head under the hand dryer in the same way one might if one had hair. Which he didn't. As he was bald.

"Behaviour Change Workforce Competence Framework"!

Via work I receive a booklet (a proper, printed, full colour booklet mind) from ‘Yorkshire and the Humber NHS’ (the Humber being a river containing, so far as I know, no hospitals) about something called ‘Healthy Ambitions’.

A thing called the ‘Yorkshire and the Humber Public Health Workforce Advisory Group’ (i.e. a bunch of people who go to meetings) have analysed this and developed a ‘multi-partner approach with human resources at the core’. All very heartwarming I’m sure though anyone who has ever worked in a large organisation will know the value of HR (i.e. none at all). But anyway, I digress…It says “Language like ‘industrialisation’ has been used to describe this imperative. What this means is a large introduction and embedding of systematic approaches to commissioning and provision of services to facilitate and enable lifestyle and behaviour change”. Even better, ‘a behaviour change workforce competence framework’ has been commissioned from Sheffield Hallam University. Now we all know that nobody speaks like this. We also know that no-one in their right mind can read this stuff. So are the people who produce this sort of language all freaks and weirdos? I suspect not. I suspect that they just learn to pretend that they understand this and that this kind of language is ‘academic’ and using it makes them somehow as clever as all the other people who can’t get an idea across without talking nonsense. We are of course paying for this stuff. I think its about telling people that things like smoking are bad for them. I think the idea is that the people at Sheffield Hallam University (that’s Sheffield Poly to you and me) will think of clever ‘industrialised’ ways of telling people that smoking is bad for them. You could just tell them I suppose but there are no middle class jobs in that.

The thing that makes me mad is that the spongers, timewasters, talkers, meeting junkies and verbal diarrhoea monkeys would all get very cross and defensive if you told them that they were a bunch of sponging layabouts being kept in jobs by the tax paid by the smokers crowding round the hospital gates. Can’t we pay people just to stay at home reading the Guardian? At least that way there’d be no-one who took ‘industrialising behaviour change’ loose on the streets.

At some point in the not too distant I will have to find a new job and the people with the jobs could be these self-same NHS freaks. What am I going to do?


Never have anything to do with 'Mums'. They have Mamma Mia parties and go to see that bloke who used to be in Wet Wet Wet in cabaret in Skegness. This cannot be forgiven. There really is a limit to how Liberal you can be. Lines must be drawn. Get off with an old punk or Goth. Even if they are a Mum...

The last CD I bought

The last CD I bought was (wait for it…) ABBA Gold! I should explain though that this is not one of my guilty pleasures (of which there are a few…) but a present for an 8 year old. Mind you, I did feel like Alan Partridge. But I still know that Mamma Mia is the worst film ever. I know this from the advert on the side of buses. Nothing else needs to be said. I will not be going to see it (actually, it was on a while ago wasn’t it?) and I will treat any man (or any straight man at least) who went to see it with ridicule and distain whatever the excuse.

On a similar subject, that song by the Pussycat Girls or whatever definitely has the words in it that the 8 year olds think it has, namely 'I wanna have boobies'. Search on t'internet and it'll say 'groupies'. Nah.

I do find it reassuring though to find that pop music that I've always thought was written for 8 year olds is actually consumed by 8 year olds.

Comfort Cameras

Wilkinson's (the cheap shop that's just like Woollies used to be but with no pick 'n' mix or music section) have a notice that says customers are being watched by CCTV for their 'comfort and safety'. Could I just ask in what way am I made more comfortable by their CCTV?