Thursday, 26 June 2008

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Monday, 23 June 2008

If all songs sounded like this song the world would be a better place. And that's scientifically provable.

Drum dancers.
What more do you want from a song?
(Answer: Nothing. Nothing more.)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Gratuitous Namedropping Alert

I've not been writing here
because I've been writing
here and because I got
drunk with Lemmy at the
Mojo magazine awards
and then took some photos
of famous people but they
were all rubbish and then
I had a hangover and
couldn't do anything but
lie on the sofa and eat a
Linda McCartney pie.

Lemmy was puking by 10PM
while my stomach was cast-
iron, mate. Does that officially
make me tougher than Motorhead?
(Answer: No. No, it doesn't. At all).

I also encountered the
righteous John Lydon
who I once wrote a book
and he made me laugh.


Monday, 16 June 2008

GeekFest 2008

Last week I took all the shittiest CD's I've been
sent to the record shop and swapped them for
a load of other CD's that I wanted, or thought
I wanted, or just maybe bought because I panicked
when faced with a record shop of possibility,
and grabbed them indiscriminately

It felt like a trolley dash in Supermarket Sweep.
Fortunately they're all good, all 8.5 / 10, and all
the bands will "do well". Perhaps I'm losing the
ability to write record reviews. I'm not sure.
It's just nice to re-fresh yours ears from time to time.

(PS - Having bought my first Fall CD,
I am now officially "in my 30s.")

Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Amon Duul II - Tanz Der Lemminge
The La's - The La's
Various - The DooWop Story Vol I
David Axelrod - Songs Of Innocence
Belle & Sebastian - The Boy With The Arab Strap
The Fall - A Sides
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Calibration
Various - A Visit To The Spaceship Factory: 20 Gems From The Early Years Of Prog
Weezer - The Red Album
Miles Davies - Bitches Brew

And because I'm going to a music awards
ceremony this week, I thought I would do my
own one based upon CD's I have bought. I
think I'll call it GeekFest, because everything
has to have the word 'fest' in it these days.

It's sort of a music industry law.

Inaugural GeekFest 2008 Winner's List

Best Song Title

Amon Duul II - 'Restless Skylight - Transistor - Child: Dehypnotized Toothpaste'

Worst Album Cover
Weezer - 'The Red Album' (like all the other ones, but red)

Stupidest Band Name(s)
Fuzzy Duck / Pussy / Sheephouse / Axe (joint winners from the prog album)

Best song
Little Butchie & His Buddies - 'Lindy Lou' (from the DooWop album)

Best rapper
Lil Wayne

Best Rapper Who Is Addicted To Drinking Cough Syrup
Lil Wayne

Best Use Of A Sample

Lil Wayne sampling David Alexrod (a strange coincidence...?)

Nicest Person I've Met From The Above Albums
Omar Rodriguez-Lopez

Person Who I Once Flew To LA To Interview Only To Discover He Was The Rudest Bastard I've Ever Met, Who Sneered 'Yes' And 'No' To Every Single Question I Asked And Who Left Me Feeling A Bit Deflated And Humiliated Until I Went Out To Eat A Mexican (Food, Not A Person), Then I Felt a Bit Better, Then Flew Back To London, All At A Ridiculous Expense To His Record Label And I'm Just Glad I Didn't Have To Pay , Though When I Think About It I Still Get A Bit Annoyed, But Still Listen To Their Albums Anyway (From The Above Albums)
Rivers Cuomo (Weezer)

Hardest Drinking Mancunian From The Above blah blah blah
Mark E. Smith (The Fall)

Best Song With Food In The Title
Weezer - 'Pork And Beans'

Best Album I Already Bought In 1990 Before They Blew It All On Skag
The La's - The La's

Album I Will Display Most Prominently In My House To
Unashamedly Impress Visitors
Miles Davis - Bitches Brew (pictured)

Thursday, 12 June 2008

'An Illustrated Guide To Contemporary Fishing'

1. Find 'idyllic' location. Put bread on hook. Tie fish hook to string.

2. Hoy it in the water.

3. Wait a while. Get frustrated. Go in after the little fuckers.

~ 'The End' ~

A new book by me (apparently).

A couple of years ago I was asked to write a sizeable
(20,000 words) piece on The Clash to be used as
sleevenotes in a DVD documentary that was being released.

I never actually saw the finished DVD, but a friend recently
got in touch to contact me to congratulate me on my
Clash book they had just seen for sale in Rough Trade.

I didn't know I had written a book on The Clash, but it turns out
I very much have. It is co-written with former Oz/International
Times/NME illustrator
and official "Clash war artist" Ray Lowry.

(The boring bit: the book is actually a collection of
images, writings and a triack-by-track discography
culled from two previously released DVD packages).

I've been a big fan of Ray's since I read his and Johnny
Green'sbook A Riot Of Our Own: Night And Day With
The Clash
. (He also designed the London Calling album sleeve).

I wouldn't normally endorse something that has been done
without my consent - or payment for that matter. I didn't even
get a free copy of my own book. However, I bought one

yesterday and it's rather tremendous. Ray Lowry's images
and scribblings capture the period and energy perfectly,
and my tagged-on notes aren't entirely shit either.

I particularly enjoy his oil paintings. The book is called
The Clash: Rock Retrospectives and it is available to
buy here or you can visit Ray's site here.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

'First Line Last – A Cut-Up by....'

'First Line Last – A Cut-Up by Yu-Han Chao, Joe Dunthorne, Paul Ewen, Steve Finbow, Amy Guth, Stewart Home, Travis Jeppesen, Paul Kavanagh, Haidee Kruger, Toby Litt, Melissa Mann, Martin Millar, Ben Myers, Kevin O’Cuinn, Joseph Ridgwell, Adelle Stripe.'

Crazy collaborative
literary shit here.

Drama versus Animals

I've been working on a couple of pieces for The Guardian,
both of which have coincidentally appeared online today.

Realism to 'reality: TV drama's sad demise

A Taste of Honey ushered in a golden age of British drama. Now we have Big Brother. What went wrong?

Read on...

Why we're all animal lovers

From Watership Down to Tarka the Otter, what is the appeal of anthropomorphic literature?

Read on...

(Pictured: a massive rabbit)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

A recording of poetry reading

You can hear my dulcet tones as
I read some of my spam poems
on Beat The Dust's online TV
channel. You can listen here.

Alarming ambient effects
provided at no extra charge.

Gogol Bordello interview

I recently had a chat with Eugene Hutz from Gogol Bordello when he was last in London.
It was for the latest issue of Bizarre magazine - on sale now. Here are some of the highlights...

You probably know all about Eugene Hutz, the comically mustachioed and colourful ringleader of the New York-based gypsy punk circus known as Gogol Bordello. But how much do you known Evgeny Aleksandrovitch Nikolaev, Ukrainian refugee, part Romany ‘liberated spirit’, voracious reader, teenager inhabitant of gypsy camps and defender of the insane? Let’s find out…

With Gogol Bordello your intention was to mix gypsy culture with punk rock. Do you think you’ve succeeded in breaking negative stereotypes?
To an extent. There is still negativity towards gypsies in certain places – Romania, Italy, Hungary. For the most part, Romany people inspire well-meant curiosity, yet the corny Hollywood stereotypes and the same stigmas still persist. Ironically, in discrimination-free environments, gypsies are often the winners. I currently live in Brazil and there are many gypsies – and many of them are very wealthy.

What were your school days like in Ukraine?
School is set up in such a motherfucking idiotic way, it made no sense to me. I was raised with a lot of help by my great-grandparents, and I think a lot of my liberated spirit came from them. When you’re exposed to their day-to-day wisdom it’s hard have any time for school. As a teenager I was notorious for skipping school for months. Of course, the evacuation from Chernobyl helped….

Do you think being of part Romany and gypsy descent has prepared you well for life in a touring band?
Sure. If you talked to my grandparents they’d tell you that they would travel seven hundred miles to follow the work – whether that was blacksmithery, fortune telling, playing music or trading shit. Incidentally, England is as nice territory for travelers, the nomadic communities or whatever you want to call them – it’s an island that’s not too big and the weather is OK. That’s why you see gypsies on the surface here in the UK. Of course, there’s a lot of romantic elements to gypsy life, but really it’s rough and you have to know what you’re doing.

What is your tip for keeping fit on the road?
Drinking, smoking and screwing all night long. We have built up our immune systems on the frontline very well.

What is your greatest phobia?
It used to be a fear of incarceration in a mental asylum. It was a reaction to the restrained Soviet environment I grew up in. The Soviets were known for terrorizing individuals through psychiatry – I had friends who were put in the asylum purely for being punk rockers. Very scary. That changed when I moved to the US as a teenager though because in America they’re too greedy to pay for the loonies. It’s true, man. The streets are full of them! I’m all for it though because I was influenced by Foucault’s Madness & Civilisation, in which he said that by locking up the ‘insane’ – whatever that means - you are in fact causing social imbalance. Personally, I could relate to such theories.

Do you have any crazy stalkers?
Yes, and we know them quite well. At one point they were in every aspect of our lives. There are some bizarre stories.

Well, this is Bizarre magazine.
Of course. Unfortunately however we are still dealing with some of these issues right now…

What superpower would you like have?
To appear entirely normal when I need to. Just because any security or immigration situation always seems to take ten times longer than the person next to me. I try to act normal, but it’s still not enough. I’ve been turned away from countries, deported from countries…

When were you last starstruck?
I’ve never been starstruck because that’s not the way I look at things. But I have become great friends with Manu Chao, who is the real deal. He’s a musical Che Guevera in every way. To become close to my hero is one of the most fantastic things in my life. Manu all the fucking way, man.

Are you ever going to write your life story down?
What am I – a fucking soccer player? Those guys write their autobiographies at 27. I actually did have a nice offer from a publisher, but it’s not time. When I feel like getting it all off my chest I will, but I haven’t even reached my peak yet, man...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

I like this

"Author Ben Myers 'assumes the personality' of Axl Rose."

I like this.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

An Agent

I now officially have a literary agent
in the US. Introducing then, the
venerable Mr Michael Murphy
of Max & Co Literary Agency.

Monday, 2 June 2008

A new literary blog from Ben Myers

I, Axl: An American Dream is the name
of a new literary project I am working
upon. It began life as book and as of
today I am officially launching it online.

In it, I imagine I am inside the mind of the
world's greatest eccentric, Axl Rose, then
write some poems about what I see. It is
certainly a strange place to be, but the perks are good.

It is an attempt to push music journalism
forward and sees a blurring of boundaries
between fact and fiction. It is however
factually accurate and thoroughly researched.

Regular readers may have previously seen
some works-in-progress in 3:AM Magazine.

You can read it here:

Please be sure to check it for regular updates.