The Dance

Shit, when I said “Get me out of here”, I was joking.

Thanks to a rushed job offer, I’m on my way over the Pennines to Sheffield, a city that hasn’t been knocked down and regenerated so many times it oddly resembles a picked-at scab.  Unlike Manchester, arf. All of this means I’m fucking moving house again.  Now begins the dance.

The dance occurs when you leave a rented accommodation for another.  You owe your landlord a month’s rent.  They owe you your deposit.  You know damn well, if you’ve danced before, that landlords normally treat your security deposit as a signing bonus and spend it on crack, whores and paying fines for streaking children’s playgrounds as soon as you’ve moved your stuff in.  Consequently, you know they’re going to pick apart every pinhole in your wall, coffee stain on the desk or semen stain on the ceiling, and you’ll be lucky to see a penny of your cash back.

Coincidentally, the deposit is usually one month’s rent.  Which is easy, right?  You stall the landlord until you move out, and don’t pay the last month’s rent.  It’s a messy way of doing things, but you can’t deny the effectiveness of not giving someone money.  Unless you’re unlucky, and you’ve drawn one of the few honest landlords in the UK.  They do not spend your deposit on crack and staying off the sex offender’s register.  They spend it on bailiffs, and then reclaim the money it costs in consumer electronics.

The dance, you see, is a tango between two men, and both have the other’s balls in their hand.  They circle, unwilling to break until they’re sure the other isn’t going to rip off their testacles.  On the other hand, both know they’re going to have to tango with another man soon – and a spare set of cojones would sure be handy…

Unfortunately, my landlord is a landlady, and has many more bailiffs than she has balls.  I’d work out how that translates into my tango metaphor, but frankly I’m scared and I’m not sure I want to know.

Jonathan Coulton & Paul and Storm, Manchester Academy

So yesterday was the Jonathan Coulton(website) and Paul & Storm(website) concert at Manchester Academy.  I’ve been waiting a long time for Coulton to come over this way (he never writes, he never calls…) but it’s got to be said, it was worth it.  Call me shortsighted, but I’d never realised just how much his audience is biased towards the Y chromosome; admittedly, he sings about robots, evil overlords and mathematical functions but yeah, whatever.

Paul & Storm were a surprise for me.  I mean, their songs didn’t have the geekily identifiable vulnerability of Coulton’s, but they made up for it with pirates.  It was a beautiful, beautiful moment when they asked for a “dejected arr”, “surprised arr”, as well as “perverted arr”, and the audience to a man nailed it.  When they asked for a “William Shatner arr” the guy on the front row was rightly presented with a packet of Haribo Starmix (Starrrrmix?) when he correctly stood up and screamed “Kharrrrrrrrn!“, and I think we’re getting an accurate image of the atmosphere here.  The only thing that surpassed the chaos of pirates (new james bond title?) was the Rickroll at some point in the gig, though I’m not going to let slip where.

Another thing I’m not going to tell you is who the surprising celebrity guest was, though I’ve no idea if it’s even recurring.  Put it this way though, there was a squeeeeee from the few female members of the audience that was just about audible over the roar of approval from the guys.  Who knows, if you pay careful attention you might be able to figure out who it is from this blog.  And if I’m impressed by a celebrity, you know it’s good.

Coming soon, possibly; blurry pictures of Coulton performing that could equally be bigfoot.

Put’choo onnit (kill me)

Fuckbuttons - Street Horrsing album art

I’m spending a lot of time lately listening to Fuckbuttons (myspace, media heavy, duh), a duo from dahn sahf bringing a kind of harmonic tribal white noise to my ears; it’s hard to describe beyond “ambient electronica” which frankly fails to capture it; if you’ve got a better description then feel free to tell it to your own backside.  The best suggestion I can give is to head over to their Myspace page and listen to Sweet Love for Planet Earth.  Go on; fuck off, you’ve got my permission.  Then come back.

It’s nice to see Late of the Pier (myspace, website)  getting some mainstream recognition lately.  I’m not actually much of a music wanker (my reasons for being a bit of a wanker are completely distinct) but it’s gratifying to see a band that I’ve already discovered, listened to and grown bored of gracing the cover of the NME under the title “next big thing”.  To be honest, I’ve had trouble getting into anything of theirs as much as Bears Are Coming, which sounds like an epileptic in a pan shop with a keyboard.  I also think it’s going to be my new favourite thing to scream while running naked through the local park.

Anonymau5?

Anonymau5?

Furthermore, Deadmau5 (website, media heavy).  The guy’s clearly a fantastic house musician with an awesome helmet and solid geek credentials.  Why haven’t I heard of him before this week?  I was against Dave Pierce’s insurgence on BBC 6 Music, but maybe it’s what I need if I’m going to hear Sometimes Things Get… Yeah for the first time when I’m shopping in a music store.  Last week I asked the cashier who was on the stereo and it was Soulwax.  And I didn’t know it.  I live in Manchester, she gave me a look as if she was expecting me to commit seppuku.

For the unaware, Manchester’s vibrant, youthful, progressive image can basically be interpreted as follows; at any point in Britain, you are, allegedly, at most five feet from a rat.  Rats in Manchester complain that they’re being swamped by fourteen year old Amy Winehouse dressalikes, swarming around the shopping centres and showing off the latest fashions.  The kids, not the rats.  As far as I can tell the latest fashions – for the image conscious reader – all involve a charity shop and a random number generator.

Get me out of here.