Jimmy The Saint's World Of Rant

Tuesday, May 03, 2005:

WE HAD JOY, WE HAD FUN, WE HAD SEASONS IN THE SUN

Some people believe that all goodbyes should be sudden. With that in mind, I'm shutting down my blogspot, but it shall remain here as an archive for some of the most incredible memories of my life, and maybe yours. All good things must come to an end, and tempted as I am to leave you all with some some sort of fluffy tree-hugging advice, the fact of the matter is you have to live it before you can understand it. Thank you all for taking time to read this and leave messages. It meant a lot to me, but now it's time to move on. Properly. See you next time.

ps
Some of you may find this of interest
James // 5:25 AM

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Thursday, April 28, 2005:

YOU CAN GO WITH THIS, OR YOU CAN GO WITH THAT

Sometimes, the simplest decisions in life can turn into massive existentialist dilemmas that threaten to unweave the very fabric of space-time itself. Example? My MP3 player (
an Archos GMini XS200) gayed up last night so I took it back to Dixons and asked if they could swap it. They said yes. It was then that I realised that for £20 more I could get an iPod, at which point the stable universe fell out from under me and I spent half the day agonising over which shiny little box I should stick my Weezer albums on.

The iPod has good looks, is easy to use and gives you that oddly satisfying gratification that comes when you buy Something You Don't Really Need That Looks Really Cool. It also has that nice little clicky wheel thingy. The Archos is less attractive, more functional, more versatile and has better sound quality.

And then it hit me: it's the classic quandary. Who do you choose, the pretty, bookish girl or the stylish slut? You always see the stylish slut out on the town and you know that beneath the flawless exterior she's actually totally devoid of anything resembling substance. The pretty, bookish girl, on the other hand, is quiet and reserved. She doesn't brag about how she'd like to be a stripper or do coke off of hip-hop LPs. Instead, she smiles her wry smile and wears nice cords.

But still! The stylish slut is inviting. Yes she may be vacuous and fleeting, but just look at those shoes! And now she's talking to you! She almost seems nice! But wait, she's suddenly being non-committal and the only reason she wants you to follow her to the next bar is so you can flatter her ego some more whilst she texts her mate the drum n'bass DJ just to look cool.

The pretty, bookish girl, however, wants to have a conversation about how shit Big Brother is and why the new Queens Of The Stone Age album was a biiiiig let-down. Shit, she even likes Kyuss! The stylish slut only got into Queens after she heard No One Knows. And now she's letting some stubbly dude feel her up! Suddenly, the truth dawns on you...

And so it was that I strode back into Dixons, slapped my warranty down on the till and asked for, nay demanded, an Archos GMini XS200. As I walked out of the shop, I could almost hear God Only Knows playing in the background. Go for substance every time, kids. And the pretty, bookish girl is usually more dirty in bed anyway.

That said, if my Archos fucks up again I'm getting an iPod. Omens n' shit.
James // 8:35 AM

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005:

ARMOURED CARS AND TANKS AND GUNS CAME TO TAKE AWAY OUR SONS

One of the most difficult/annoying aspects of moving on after a break-up is that everything seemingly reminds you of your ex. There's obvious stuff like books, films, records and clothes but then you start getting into the really tedious shit like locations, toiletries, haircuts, mannerisms and eating habits. When you're watching Collateral and Jada Pinkett-Smith's smile suddenly reminds you of you-know-who, then you know you've got it bad.

It is for this reason, then, that one of my most played rekkids at the moment is Let The People Sing by
The Wolfe Tones. Why, you ask? Because it doesn't remind me of ANYTHING! It's a rare thing these days; an album with no emotional significance whatsoever. It doesn't bring back any memories, fond or otherwise. Let The People Sing is 12 tracks or so of stirring, robust pro-IRA folk music that stirs the senses and heats the blood. It also has nothing to do with girls.

It's like having a get-out-of-jail-free card for the emotional part of your brain. Anytime I feel blue, I simply whack it on and stand in the front room at Evington Road with my fist held aloft, drinking in the joie-de-vivre of fine Irish men with beards romanticising what it was like to get shot my the British in Dublin in 1916.

It's a very odd record, as it's essentially Terrorist folk music, but to be sure and begorrah, it's the perfect antidote to putting Slint on and gazing mournfully out of the window thinking about That Time One Of You Said/Did That Really Meaningful Thing. Up the Irish!

"For freedom comes from God's right hand, and needs a Godly train
And Righteous men must make our land a nation once again..."
James // 9:56 AM

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Sunday, April 24, 2005:

LAST OF THE FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL PLAYBOYS

Notable famous people I have met...

Ozzy Osbourne

I've actually met the Double O twice; I served him bread rolls once in a hotel a few years back and all he could say was "Mkksrymmmanaibbm". Maybe he wanted butter or something. The second time was at a signing at Tower Records in Piccadilly Circus (RIP) and all he could say then was "Mmsasaisiwwehmwmdhdarran." Maybe he was saying hello.

Clive Barker

Clive Barker (better known as the man who invented the Hellraiser series) is officially the nicest man in showbusiness. He did a Q + A at the ICA in London in the mid-90s and didn't go until he'd answered everyone's questions (I recall asking him some tedious geekboy shit about screenplays) and then did an impromptu signing afterwards. And he had lovely hair. What a nice chap.

Rivers Cuomo

The creative powerhouse behind Weezer is officially a fucking weirdo. I worked at the Reading festival in 2002 and saw him wandering around backstage. I clocked him while watching NOFX backstage and he clocked me clocking him so he walked off. I clocked him again five minutes later and had to hold my hand up reassuringly to get him to stay where he was. When he shook my hand he didn't look me in the eye once. Twat. Good songwriter, though.

The Aphex Twin

One of my more surreal encounters; I was walking along Shaftesbury Avenue in my suit in 1998(job interview) and there was Richard D. James heading straight for me. This was around the time Come To Daddy came out so there was no mistaking his bearded Cornish face. I stopped him and he looked momentarily puzzled before I explained he didn't know me but I was a fan. I expected lots of kids wearing his face to come running down the road and attack me while he screamed "I WWAAAANNNT YOUR SSSOOUUULLL!!!". But he just said thanks and went on his way. Phew.

Sepultura

You can imagine my shock when, having listened to the Brazilian metal warriors for years in fear and awe, I met them at a signing in 1994 only to find out they all sound like Kermit the fucking Frog when they talk (with a mediterranean accent, obviously). Nice lads, though.

Katy Puckrick

Remember her? She used to co-present The Word and some other late night barrel scraping TV, and I used to think she was cute. Anyway, I was at a taping of Later with Jools Holland in 1996 and saw her so I went over to say hello. She's about 4 ft 7 in person and has nuff freckles, but was a thoroughly nice young lady. Very polite.

Queens Of The Stone Age

I've got mad love for Queens, and meeting them at Reading in 2000 was a bit like meeting Elvis, Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles all rolled into one. They were totally off their tits. I went to shake the keyboard players hand and he put a beer in it instead. Respect. Josh said he liked my shirt and my most distinct memory is when Nick and the drummer saw a trio of very skinny, very nervous 14-year-old rock chicks...

NICK: HEY, LOOK AT THOSE BABIES, MAN!
DRUMMER: WE'RE GONNA GET THOSE BABIES, MAN!!
NICK: YEAH WE'RE GONNA GET THOSE BABIES LATER, MAN!!!!

The poor young things huddled together as if they were about to be eaten. Which, if Nick had had his way, they probably would have been.

The Wolf

Not to be confused with that receding-hairline twat on Gladiators, this dude was the Tigers Woods of Sumo wrestlers and The Wolf was the translation of his Japanese nickname. I had my picture taken with him at Simpsons-in-The-Strand when I was a schoolkid and I remember he looked pissed off cuz he had to shake hands with some speccy twat instead of eating fucking boiled beef and carrots or whatever he was having. Never got the picture, either. Shame.

James // 5:33 AM

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Thursday, April 14, 2005:

THOSE WERE THE DAYS MY FRIEND, WE THOUGHT THEY'D NEVER END

(Author's note; for maximum effect, listen to theme from Cheers while reading the following passages)

The Jolly Miller is a small pub on Conduit Street, just behind Leicester train station. It's a modest place that seats about 100 people and there is very little about it, inside or out, that makes it stand out to the casual observer. It just happens to be the place where I have some of the fondest memories of my life.

For about three years, the Miller was my local, even when I didn't live anywhere near it. It was a place where my friends and I would go to drink cheap Guiness, play pool, put songs on the jukebox and have deep, meaningful conversations about utter nonsense. It was why pubs exist; a warm, friendly place full of familiar faces and smells and sounds. It was an old friend, a well-kept secret that endeared it to its customers but also one which opened newcomers with open arms.

The number of special nights I had there are beyond count, suffice to say that in three years I don't have a single bad memory of the place and the nights where we used to cram round a small table, pint glasses stacked in front of us, smiling and laughing like we'd just got into Heaven, came thick and fast.

On Monday night, Lee and I revisited the place on a whim. Just out of curiosity. Just to see what had changed. We were expecting the worst, but what we found left us absolutely gobsmacked.

It hadn't changed a bit.

It was all there; same interior, same bar, same local characters propping up the bar, same musicians playing fiddle-dee-diddle-dee Irish standards, same atmosphere, same warmth. It was hard to describe how I felt, sitting there with my pint and trying to take it all in. It was like we'd gone back in time, like the pub was waiting patiently for us to return so we could be reassured that good times are forever and some things never change. Needless to say, we both sat there and smiled, and it was that same smile from that time. The smile we saved for when we were there, all those years ago when all we had were good times.

I've changed so much since then, to the extent that I almost don't recognise the person I was. But I do know that I've come on in leaps and bounds, and The Jolly Miller was part of that. Thinking about how much life has shown me and how much is yet to come, how much is possible, makes me feel good. And as the memories came flooding back to me a few nights ago, I felt something special, almost like the Universe was giving my soul a hug.

The last couple of months have been a struggle and it's only now that I think this horrible black cloud in my life is starting to clear. Something about Monday night was part of that. At a time when all my recent memories make my heart ache, all my recollections of that little pub and the times we shared are untouchable and covered in gold.

The Jolly Miller reminds me that life is an incredible thing, worth celebrating every single minute even when your heart is so cracked and broken it feels like part of you has died. It reminds me that people and places change, but not always for the worse. It reminds me that what I have, who I know and how I live is a blessing. It reminds me that life is good and life goes on. There was heaven in between those four walls. Here's to next time.


(Shame the price of Guiness had gone up, though)

James // 5:15 AM

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Thursday, March 31, 2005:

IF THERE'S HELL BELOW, WE'RE ALL GONNA GO

It amuses me that many people think of Hell as a place where horned imps pour boiling lava on you and stick hot pokers up your arse. If only it were that easy.

In my experience, Hell has nothing to do with nerve endings or what we feel outside ourselves. Real torment is what we feel inside, something buried very deep that won't go away and eats at you every second. Hell is the pain you can't ever get rid of, in the one place you will never reach. Either that, or being stuck in a lift for eternity with Paris Hilton, Razorlight and that bloke from the Halifax ads.

In the interests of balance, the same principle applies to Heaven, only with nicer feelings (like, duh).

James // 4:13 AM

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005:

ALL THE WATER IN THE WORLD CAN'T FILL A BUCKET WITH A HOLE

In marked contrast to my last entry, these are the only words which make sense right now.

"Goodnight my love
Remember me as you fall to sleep
Fill your pockets with the dust and the memories
That rises from the shoes on my feet

I won't be back here
Though we may meet again

I know it's dark outside
Don't be afraid
Everytime I ever cried from fear
Was just a mistake that I made
Wash yourself in your tears
And build your church
On the strength of your faith

Please
Listen to me
Don't let go
Don't let this desperate moonlight leave me
With your empty pillow
Promise me the sun will rise again

I am too tired now
Embracing thoughts of tonight's dreamless sleep
My head is empty
My toes are warm
I am safe from harm..."

- Slint

James // 5:18 AM

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James
All the ducks are swimming in the war-ter; fal-de-ral-de-ral-de, fal-de-ral-de-ral-de!




EAR CANDY

1) The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightning, Strike
2) Mastodon - Leviathan
3) Johnny Cash - The Sun Recordings
4) The Wolfe Tones - Let The People Sing
5) Echo and The Bunnymen - The Killing Moon


GREAT THINGS
1) It's nearly Spring 2) Housemates who cook for you 3) Flattery 4) Elvis impressions 5) Progress 6) Exodus to Reading 7) Seeing Slint live 8) Irish Stew 9) Exploding heads 10) Bike rides in the sunshine

Mates

BoneyBoy
Pablo
Rob
Ted


Links

QOTSA
The Onion
Buddyhead
Aint It Cool News
Weezer
Virtual Crack


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