Tag Archives: Amplifier

Oscar Night

Big fuck-off Hollywood /
and the paradox of tolerance /
the engineering of consent /
an America for Americans /
preserved in amber /
like genes for dinosaurs /
and dreams of the powerless.

[Death to Hollywood… ]


There’s a big fuck-off Hollywood /
in a church built by slaves /
where all glitters and twinkles /
and hungry are all the poor that you made.
Where the weather’s fine /
dark clouds all gather /
trusting and faceless…

[Death to Hollywood… /

… let’s put an end to Hollywood.]

–> “Oscar Night” lyrics copyright Amplifier, from the album The Octopus; please contact for immediate takedown if required. You can listen to the song here.

Posted here and now because, well, just look at the bloody news: plastic-faced glitterati patting themselves hard on the back while the world falls apart around them.

The great tragedy of the internet isn’t that it’ll destroy Hollywood’s business model; it’s that it hasn’t achieved it yet.

Friday Photo Blogging: I CAN HAS AMPLIFIER? redux

In which I display yet another piece of recently-acquired musical kit that I can’t realistically afford and yet which I could not let pass me by. Because what aspiring rock guitarist — even one who knows he isn’t very good and never will be — hasn’t always wanted a valve-powered amp stack?

Marshall JCM2000 DSL50 all-valve guitar amp

And yes, it is very loud. Which means that now the whole street can hear how much I suck, as opposed to just the houses to either side.

Who knows — maybe next week we’ll have a picture of something from (gasp!) outside my flat.*

Writing about music

It’s been a hectic week in music, because the pre-festival season sees the industry knocking out lots of new material. Next week promises to be even busier — I have ten albums to review for 2nd June, which means my usual one-per-weekday regime would be insufficient even were I completely clear of albums released on 25th May (which I’m not, yet).

Still, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter too much if I review stuff in its week of release rather than before. Better that than punishing my eyes and ears by trying to do two or three reviews a day to the detriment of other stuff, AMIRITE?

Album of the week

Hail Destroyer by Cancer Bats, no contest.

Good enough, in fact, to somewhat cool my disappointment that I had my guestlist for the gig revoked at the eleventh hour last weekend (literally about an hour after I posted FPB). 🙁

Writing about books

No solid writing, but I’m reading and taking notes on David Levy’s Love and Sex With Robots for a Vector review. I think I’m safe in saying that anyone widely read in sf isn’t going to find his core idea as shocking as the average person might. However, it’s still an interesting read (though I think I can see exactly where he’s going, and something about his writing style really bugs me beyond his heavy reliance on stats and psychology studies, both of which can be made to sing like canaries).


Fellow Fictioneer Justin Pickard has started blogging over at Futurismic this week (and how!), and the call for volunteers still stands until Sunday — so if you or someone you know fancies a crack at contributing to one of the genre scene’s most vibrant and cutting-edge webzines, jump to it!

Also finalised my first story contract and payment as Ed-in-Chief, which feels both weird and cool at once. Now, if I can just put some of Jeremy’s ideas into action … 🙂


So, masses of work for PS Publishing. I think I’m going to be able to do it quicker in future once I know the routines, but the learning curve is significant — though it’s not so much steep as it is long. Still, my legs could do with the exercise, to overextend the analogy.

And hey, I get to invoice Pete for it at the end of the month — and that’s a damn good feeling, let me tell you.

Books and magazines seen

Speaking of PS Publishing as we were, my only incomings this week have been a lovely box of titles from that esteemed establishment. And not wishing to lay it on too thick (lest I stand accused of grandstanding), anyone who has bought a PS title will back me up in saying that, as examples of books-as-desire-objects, they are very lovely indeed**.

Coda — the four-day weekend

Those of you who have been following closely may remember a false alert a little while ago when I thought I was getting a four-day weekend (thanks to the Dockyard being the nominal property of some old bird called Liz who lives up in London).

It turns out that’s this weekend — so yours truly isn’t back at the day-job until midday next Wednesday. A survey of those currently present seems to suggest that this is widely considered to be a Good Thing***.

All the more so when you consider I’ve spent most of the week with my nose to the grindstone, as it were. And that’s not a complaint – it’s great to have productive (and lucrative) things to do. But it’ll be nice to have a little breathing room in which to play catch-up (and sit-down).

And so – as is often the way – a busy week makes for a skinny FPB Coda. What can I say here?

Oh, yes — the new Red Bull cola is frighteningly addictive, allegedly contains genuine coca leaf (though only as a flavouring) and makes you feel like Henry Case after he scores the engineered amphetamine analogue on Straylight. It also appears to wreck my sleep, even when consumed around lunchtime; for this reason I may have to forbid myself from drinking it any more****.

And on the tail of that earth-shattering revelation, I guess it’s time to bring this to a close … after all, it’s time to fulfil that most sacred of rituals and genuflect with cutlery toward the Most Venerable And Esteemed Friday Curry For Great Justice And Virtuosity. And so, I bid you farewell for now.

Have a great weekend, folks — however long it may turn out to be. 🙂

[ * That sound I just heard was you all collectively holding your breath, right? No, didn’t think so. ]

[ ** Which, of course, will mean nothing to you freaks who don’t obsess about book-as-artefact. Selah; your blessing is also your curse. 😉 ]

[ *** Though given the acquisition of the amplifier, my neighbours may not be in complete concordance on this matter. ]

[**** This public service announcement has been brought to you by the British Dentistry Association — because, contrary to popular and justifiable belief, we are not sadists, and we don’t enjoy fixing molars that have been ground down to bloody stumps any more than you enjoy bringing them to us. ]

Friday Photo Blogging: I CAN HAS AMPLIFIER?


AmpKnobsColour (3)

Yes, I can.

I have been spending money I don’t have on things that make loud noises.

You may tell me this is unwise. You may tell me this will not endear me to my neighbours. You will be ignored on both counts, oh yes. 🙂

Writing about music:

Work continues apace at The Dreaded Press; this week’s recommended listen is I Am The Golden Gate Bridge by Creature With The Atom Brain.

Scuzzy whacked-out junkie rock’n’roll with a big helping of weird – think Butthole Surfers on a bong-binge.

Writing about books:

Still ploughing through the Book of the New Sun, meaning I’m falling behind on the Great Baroque Cycle Reading Project (not to mention other titles to be reviewed).

Some sort of concerted binge effort may have to occur this weekend; I’ve already had to concede that if I continue analysing the book as I read it, it’ll be well after Eastercon before I finish.

There’s just too much symbolism, and I’m getting hung up on trying to decode it all. Time to treat it like a normal* reader, I think.

Writing about other stuff:

In addition to today’s Friday Flash piece, I sent another one (a New Southsea story, as it happens) off to a magazine called Pseudonym.

It’s not a paying market, nor a science fiction market, but it’s one of those labour-of-love arty/designy type of magazines run by a friend of a friend, and they asked really nicely for something, and they said I could send fiction rather than non-fiction, so … I figured why not.

I quite like the resulting story, and will probably post it here in weeks to come.


I’ve been really chuffed with the responses to “Uxo, Bomb Dog”, and with the resulting traffic at Futurismic.

I’m also pleased to have discovered Project Wonderful, an ad network that lives up to its name and which will be discussed in greater detail here some time soon.

Books and magazines seen:

Just the one this week: Murky Depths #3 has arrived, like some spectre of guilt intent on reminding me that (surprise surprise) I still haven’t read the first two.

Murky Depths issue 3 cover art

Still, things should settle down at the end of the month**, so I can get some backlog-clearing done on the reading front.


This week has been mercifully relaxed by comparison to the last. While the above may not seem a catalogue of triumph on the achievements front, I’m quietly happy with the fact that I’ve done everything that needed doing.

I’ve also succeeded in getting up early every day – which really does wonders for the old productivity, with the side effect of making you almost physically incapable of typing by 10pm.

The universe giveth, the universe taketh away … still, I feel like I’m making progress with things, and that’s good enough for me, thank you very much.

There’s been no gig-going this past week, but I’m off to Brighton tomorrow night to see the superb stoner-bluesmen Dead Meadow supported by local wig-out psych-rockers You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons, which promises to be a great night out … provided there are no embarrassing invisible guestlist incidents, of course, so fingers crossed.

But those are bridges to be crossed when arrived at; the current span stands between my empty stomach and The Friday Curry Of Self-congratulation And Righteousness, and so I shall step forth on the path to culinary adventure!

Have a great weekend, folks. Hasta luego.

[ * For ‘normal’, substitute ‘sensible’. ]

[ ** How many times have we heard this one before? ]