Archive for May, 2007

Modest Mouse fan video

When Modest Mouse announced a competition for fans to come up with a video for them, they probably weren’t expecting anything as amazing as this . . .

Wired magazine has the how, why and wherefore.


Young boy writes book, fails to gain worldwide recognition

I wrote a book once. I was 11 or so and my school was holding a competition. Students were encouraged to write a story and illustrate it with our own drawings.

Mine was called Beyond the Stars and was about an astronaut marooned on a strange planet.

Shit, even back then I was casting melancholy eyes at the sky and wondering what it was all about. It’s hardly surprising I’ve turned out the way I have.

But there were a few other pointers along the way.

A year or two later I discovered Sherlock Holmes and obviously decided that I too wanted to be an international supersleuth, and dedicate my life to fighting crime.

Like Holmes, I would master the violin and maybe even battle to overcome a narcotic 143660sherlock-holmes-and-the-secret-weapon-posters.jpg addiction.

I came to be haunted by the image of Holmes standing by the window in his rooms at 221B Baker Street, bow and violin in hand, lost in a reverie of abstracted thought.

Watson arrives home, stares over at his friend and asks if he is OK. Unhearing, Holmes resumes his sad playing and Watson, spying the used syringe, feels his heart sink.

Tintin came next. Herge’s young reporter absolutely fascinated me.

There is something fundamentally unknowable about him that drew me in. Somehow both ageless and sexless, his individualism appealed on a basic level.

Not an outcast exactly, it is as though he inhabits life’s borderlands, eschewing conventional attachments in favour of deeper, albeit more fleeting connections. His friends and acquaintances are all similarly eccentric.

Tintin’s world exists on the fringes of our own. Which was exactly where I found myself. tintinsnowy.png

These themes are also explored in Frederic Tuten’s strangely disarming novel, Tintin in the New World. By transplanting Tintin from the comic book world to the real one, Tuten gives us a more fleshed-out character, with human weaknesses.

Holmes and Tintin, then, are linked by their aloneness, and their apparent indifference to a life corralled by the everyday trappings that bind the rest of us together.

Not really understanding much about this world, or my place in it, I found solace in the adventures of these two strange fictional characters. It’s alright to not get it, they said. All this is just a game.

Lightning dust

I passed out once.

I fell asleep on a hot summer’s day, woke up feeling like I was sinking to the bottom of the deepest, darkest ocean, made it out as far as the patio, and then just fell on my face.

I’d like to think that the sound I heard as my knees buckled and my body dropped was Listened On by Lightning Dust. But I doubt it was.

The song is in the box. You can find more here.

Farewell, Deathtrap

It is with great sadness that I have to report the theft of my trusty cycle, Deathtrap.

I absolutely loved that bike.



Love lives in memory, I think, personal and collective.

Once, a long time ago, I was reading a magazine and I came across an article with extracts of the letters of a young Cambodian couple forcefully separated by the Khmer Rouge. It was the saddest thing I have ever read.

I can no longer remember the exact circumstances of their separation. Either way, they never saw one another again. We learned at the end of the piece that the man was executed in some squalid Khmer Rouge detention camp, no doubt on the flimsiest of political pretexts.

But the tenderness and beauty of those letters, the depth of feeling of one human for another, has stayed with me.

However fleeting the love of that couple, it lives in those letters, and in me.

Help computer

There’s dozens of these GI Joe spoofs knocking around on You Tube, but this is my favourite.

Mark David Ashworth . . .

. . .  spent a few months in a hotel in Mexico City recording an album called Viceroy.

Sad, strange and beautiful in equal measure, the songs are like fairytale paths, leading us over the horizon.

You can listen to elevator, battle, distance in the Box on the right.

There’s more information at his Myspace page, and his official site.