Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mohammed Jimmy Mohammed, Mesele Asmamaw, Asnake Gebreyes - Ethiopian musical genius

I went to Haarlem (Holland) last Saturday 25 March to see Jimmy, Mesele and Asnake play in a jazz club. This trio make music that would make the gods shake their thang. Jimmy's haunting voice is a revelation carrying forward the songs in a triumphant and joyful manner. Mesele and Asnake brew the tunes that swing and swagger like kings. The 3 boys are special......they are funny, sharp as pins, and cracking company. And their music and performance should be heard and seen by one and all.

Getachew Mekuria....Ethiopia's top sax champ....will be performing with The Ex soon, as will Jimmy and the lads. People.......go and see this wonderful show!!!!

Reviews / Interviews in the press

we got a fine review of the 7 inch single in THE WIRE (April 2006 issue) from Byron Coley. There's also a "The Fall" primer in there, so well worth picking a copy.

Also in Holland, we have an interview / feature in music paper FRET (should be out end March / start April). Paper is free and available in all record shops / venues.

Dallas Wednesday 29 March 2006

howdy y'all, I hear you cowboys kinda like each other! saw it in the movie, big boy, must be true.
Out here with Dino Jr.
Dead Meadow played with us.....gotta love it
grassy knoll got a good watering today. Very little sun. where is the summer?
friends you gotta check out this Pirro makes the wonderful copperphone microphone. What a sound! Buy one. Try out his other mics......the guy is a talent. Dallas invention supremo.
I am contributing a The Bent Moustache track for our first free download...its called Texas. Recorded about 5 years in Boston Mass. I love it....hope you do too.

Nieuw Zeeland continued

Te Anau in the south of the land sure is purdy. Made the trip out to Doubtful Sound, which is a huge fjord. Glaciers carved out huge valleys millions of years ago and when all the ice disappeared, it left the way open for water to fill in the resultant hole in the ground. Yes folks ....thats a fjord. The glaciers were hundreds of metres high. We sailed through crystal clear waters and were entertained by dolphins, penguins and sea-lions. At one stage, the captain of the boat asked everyone on the boat to be completely quiet for 5 minutes, and he turned off the engines and generator. Tranquility and beauty in is possible kids.
Queenstown is a town for adventure seekers. The ones who like to bungy jump, climb mountains, do extreme sports. At night, all the beefcakes lug down jugs of beer in the one pub, and entice the girlies with tales of bravado on the piste. I found an Indian restaurant and was very happy. My adventuring extended as far as taking a speed raft thingy through the rivers and The Remarkables - mountain range used as location spot Lord (or should that be Bored) of the Rings. Man everything in this country is Bored of the Rings. They have milked that particular association to death. Saw a eaterie in Auckland called Lord of the Kebabs - for jeez sakes!

Did some glacier walking at Franz Josef glacier. A magnificent sight when viewed from down in the valley, but when you hit that huge slab of ice its a monstrously great vision. It streteches for about 6-7 kms up up up. We had a norwegian guide walk us up the glacier. Mountain boots with spikes attached. Sherpa Ajay taking a giant stride for humanity! I could keep saying how beautiful, stunning, wondrous New Zealand is, and I will.
Stayed in Haast - one horse town. The piano stopped playing in the bar when I walked in there. Drove up through Arthur's Pass on way back to Christchurch. Picked up 2 hotchers....turned out to be 2 Israelis who had finished in the army! Shit! If I'd known that before, they would have been still hitching there! But it turns out they were forced into the army against their will.
People...go to New Zealand!!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand 18 March 2006

So we are down under! Hot hot hot.

Japan was finished off in Nagoya and Osaka. Nagoya is a fine city, with its own Central Park running down the middle of it. The beautiful old castle there was partially destroyed during the war. It was rebuilt thereafter. The emperors of old took refuge in this fine abode after a busy day of pillaging and burning. The rocks used to build the temple were dragged over wooden rollers and dumped here.

The kids in Osaka went crazy at the gig. Moshing and a-leaping, crowd surfing and baying like wolves for more at the end of the set. Afterwards there was a frenzy amongst the kids to acquire any form of souvenir associated with the band...setlists, plectrums, broken and unbroken drum sticks, Murph's sweaty towel, anything. What is also amazing about Japan is that the true fans always find the information, time and energy to track down their idols at airports, hotels, train stations, etc. The band were met on numerous occasions at train stations or in hotel lobby's by fans, who somehow found out where the band would be, and would wait for hours to get either and autograph, or picture or both.

The Japanese crew that accompanied the band were fantastic too. Everything would be ready by the time we arrived at the venues and made simple. Shows start early in japan. Doors normally open at 6pm, and the main band is usually onstage by 7pm. That means and early finish and dinner after the show.

And then Australia. Arrived in Perth where it was 28*C! Rather warm actually. Perth, like many of the Aussie cities, left me thinking of Florida mixed with Blackpool! It's somehow tropical and fab with a hint of America, but also a wee bit trashy and naff, with a sprinkling of Blighty! The locals are young and beautiful, but they are happy to fart and belch as loudly as possible without blinking an eyelid. The waterfront is cool and open and lush, and just behind it all are the malls which are concrete jungles.

You will hear "no worries mate" being uttered alot possibly followed by a belch. Aussies let it all hang. I spent my Sunday at the WACA (famous cricket ground) to watch the cricket : Western Australia vs. South Australia. A more perfect way to spend Sunday you could not have.....lazing in your seat, watching the game, watching people, writing postcards, eating lunch, maybe opening a tinny or two, or having a wee snooze.

For Byron Bay read Byron Dismay. A surf / hippie town which attracts all the young dudes and dudettes form Oz and beyond. They are here to surf, swim, get drunk, get high and have their first sexual experience. Its a one street town. You can walk from one end to the other in 10 minutes and you've seen it. But it does have a beautiful beach. J and I went scuba diving and saw turtles, manta-rays, wobbygong sharks, and other beauts. The dive leader came to the show and was happy to see that J didn't have the bends onstage.The audience at the gig were great - the best on our Aussie tour.

The Brisbane show was at the Metro Theatre...a beautiful old Victorian building. Hung out with the local builders restoring and building in the theatre. At the end of the day, they pulled out a bucket of cold water and filled it with tinnys. Those boys proceeded to tear through those beers at a rate that would put Guided By Voices to shame. They taught me the local lingo and told me how the Aussie sheilas were the best in the world. No argument there. Les, the most charismatic builder there, looked like WG Grace with his long flowing white beard (more cricket references folks). He told me how he used to play rugby league for Widnes in the 80s. could never tell.

To get to shows within Australia, you have to fly from city to city. No vans or buses needed for these long trips. Apparently there are 2 sleeper buses in Australia and they are used by MTV Australia which shoves some hapless band in there, and throws them on a merciless tour of the land, filming them the whole time, watchinh them crack under the strain!
Had a bizarre experience leaving Brisbane airport. i had on my Cockney Rejects shirt on, and as I walked through security, one of the security ladies practically ripped my head off in joy at seeing a Rejects shirt! She said she was an old punker and in all her years working there, she had never seen anyone wear any type of punk shirt....certainly from bands that she 4-Skins, Vice Squad, Discharge, Angelic Upstarts, etc! Glad to have made her happy!
2 shows done in Sydney and 2 shows in Melbourne. For a rock nation, I have to say that the audiences in Oz were lame. I expected rowdy crowds, who would heckle and pogo. Instead we got the polite people. Come on up! At least Chief was there (Kevin's injun friend from the reservation) and he sure made the party happen in Sydney on the first night. Injuns and alcohol!
I did however walk over the Sydney Bridge! Amazing! Steel sent from middlesbrough, England and designed by an engineer from M'boro. It takes 100 people to maintain this steel structure full-time. The ANZAC bridge across town needs just 2 full time staff....concrete you see. But what a fantastic structure....I love great feats of engineering. Rivets galore. And what a view of Sydney and the surrounding country. Ripper mate.

Onto Auckland, New Zealand. left Melbourne at 5am and arrived at the venue in Auckland at 7pm! The gig was fantastic! The crowd were excellent...moshing, jumping onstage and dancing and generally much love being spread around. take that Australia! I also met up with Conway Paton, a thoroughly agreeable gentleman who happens to co-run the unofficial "The Fall" website (way better than the official one folks). We talked all theings The Fall....very nice.
A big thanks to jason, our Ausiie tourmanager for swearing, farting and belching at the right times.

sooooooooooooooooo friends that was the first Dino tour of the tour. The band buggered off to other climes and I stayed in New Zealand on my own to investigate the south island.
Booked a cheap flight down to Christchurch. On arriving booked a cheap car for a week. Hit Christchurch which was uninspiring and left straight away. Drove to Lake Tekapo which is a beautiful place and stayed there the night. The colour of the lake is a shade of blue I have never seen comes about due to the fact that in years past, glaciers scraped along the rock, giving off a dust which gave the lake its particular hue. Stunning.

The next day I drove to Mount Cook. A beautiful mountain located on the southern alps of New Zealand. A gloriously sunny day paved the way for perfect views of the mountain range. I drove from there and headed south. I saw a young fellow hitching my the side of the road and stopped. He said he was also heading south and so I obliged him with a lift. His name was Mitch and he provided to be excellent company for the 6 hour journey south and a great source of information about his country. We sped through amazing countryside....mountains galore, lakes aplenty, wide open spaces, deers and sheep littering the fields. Deers are farmed here for their flesh....they are highly prized. i have seen more deers than sheep on this trip. Deer farms everywhere. We stopped by the roadside in Cromwell (fruit centre) and got tasty fruit for the road. The wine from this area is apparently overpriced, but darned tasty. The man who invented bungy jumps...AJ Hackett...was from this area. We visited his centre where he started the craze and watched people leaping 100m into the unknown! Not for me thanks Cyril.
We finally hit Te Anau in the south of the island. I will furnish you with further tales later.....the money on this internet server is fast running out. Stay tuned for tales of glaciers, Captain Cook, dolphins and sea-lions, and dead rodents.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Osaka Wed 1 March 2006

"one person writes and the whole world reads"....quote from a futurologist on the BBC this morning about advancing technology. Hub cap thefts have fallen 70% in Las Vegas due to increased camera surveillance in that crummy why can't we have more cameras everywhere in the USA asks CNN?! Good grief!

I refer to these 2 cases as its really strange how, through advancing steps in technology, the world has become so much smaller and the eyes of the world seem to be upon individuals all the time. Civil liberties are eroded and personal expression suppressed.

I've had differing thoughts about this blog thang in the last few days. Its kinda strange that I can post tales affecting my life from different parts of the world and anyone can read this. For whom am I writing this for? What is the purpose of these tales? Do I really want people to know what is going on / do people really care? No no no...this is not emo-blog-griping! Its just strange that I can fart in the morning and the world knows about it by teatime.

2nd Dino show in Tokyo much tighter...Murph wore decent shorts and not the G-string from first night...Lou had his shit down... J kept fret noodling to decent lengths.

Food in Japan amazing...albacore in delicious parmesan sauce, giant prawns sauted with sweet chilli sauce, steamed veg with crisp bite. Visited "Kiddyland" toystore in Tokyo...what a place....5 floors of goodies...Jap kids sure get treated to weirdest shit ever...monsters and furry blobs live side by side with techy toys.

Go to the musicpage of
and watch the Kiddyland-toystore-drummers play

Wrote a votive / prayer and hung it at holy tree in temple in Tokyo...surveyed other votives/prayers/wishes and came across "Death To All My Enemies" scrawled on one!

Dino fans sprinkled band with presents at show and found their way to hotel where they got their autographs and do they get all this info like which hotel bands stay at or what flight they arrive on? Ran every morning very early through Yoyogi park and saw Tokyo bums waking up in the freezing cold from under their blankets...ravens everywhere giving sinister vibe to park...tai-chi groups stretching in slow motion...grandads jogging at 2kms an hour, but it was so cool to see them doing it...trees in Yoyogi park wrapped up in special blankets by tree doctors. Took bullet train to Osaka...270kms an hour...smoother than a baby's bottom...ate sushi and drank green tree and didnt drop a bit...past Mount Fuji which was feeling peeky in a haze of cloud...arrived in Osaka and met by Dino fans armed with Cds to be signed and telephoto lens to take pictures of J's nose. Will meet "Mice Parade" tonight as they also play in Osaka...they were excellent at Echo Lounge in LA a few nights ago...Kristin-Anna from "Mum" sings with "Mice Parade" and Gunni from "Mum" is opening act (solo careering / free holidaying). I love Japan.