The Black Hole on my Bedroom Shelves

Well it’s a bank holiday Monday, I was going to get lots done today but seeing as it’s 11 and I’m still in bed that probably isn’t going to happen. Alarm went off at 9, I woke up, cat sat on my face, I made a cup of tea, went to drink the tea in bed and had an epileptic turn. Saw the universe in the hole in my banking file, which then melted and everything melted into it. Took a while to figure out which universe I’m supposed to be in after that. Once it was over I went back to sleep where a very old man sat next to me in a hospital toilet cubicle and told me he had polio. His friend said he was only joking.

Had a good gig in South London on Saturday, a lovely friendly crowd who were well practiced in shouting “hurrah!” with the required hand signal. Sold some Biro Beast drawings and a couple of Rude Mechanicals Glass Eye albums as well. Glass Eye was the bands first album years ago, it sold out but folks have been asking for copies recently so we had another 100 made. On Saturday someone said we sound like Nick Cave and John Lee Hooker, I think that’s good, anyway it’s all gone a lot darker and swampy than it was and I like that, it suits the universe melting into a black hole in my bedroom files.

Last night I went to see Infernal Contraption play at the 100 club on Oxford street. They were very good with lots of odd noises and well thought out songs with interesting subjects. I also got in for free as Jowe put me on the guest list and then I had a drink brought for me so this felt good given my terrible financial situation currently. I managed to go out for the night in Oxford street for the £3 bus fair there and back. I also drew the a possible perfect child whilst waiting for the bus. Could be a development on the old logo?

32583A3A-FAC3-43E0-BDFD-8B1DF5507283 I’ve taken the teeth from a crocodiles smile I’ve stolen the brains of a rich man I’ve torn the tongue from the snide st witch I’ve threaded my needle and now I must stitch[/caption]

11. Her Pet Project

Girl drawing a parrot Elsie was a good girl. Always had been. From a middle income family who wanted the very best for their little girl. She was an only child. At 12 Elsie was remarkably good at art and harboured an ambition to go to art school. Her parents informed her otherwise. There was no point in them paying for her to do an art degree, what good would it do her? Certainly wouldn’t get her a job. So she went into arts admin, and worked hard. She became PA to a notable art director. He grew dependent on her so she got a decent salary. She was very good,  but she was very bored. That’s when Abel came along. An arty type, he played in a rock band, full of dreams and ego. They met at a gig in Dalston and the very sight of this guitar-abusing beast on stage made her heart turn somersaults.

“Looks like a tramp!” her mother said.

Elsie knew he was trouble, a self-obsessed nobody who cared for nothing other than his guitars and effects peddles, but she also thought she could change him.

Previous:

10. Water

9. So where were we…

8. Drunken Delirium

7. Hallucinari

6. Dread

5. Slapdash

4. Eyes in the Machines

3. Underlondon

2. Abel

1. What YOU Need!

5. Slapdash

Old woman, theatre performer.
Harmonica player outside Baron's Court Station

There’s a woman standing outside Baron’s Court tube station playing, or rather attempting to play, a harmonica. I’ve seen her here before, she hangs out at Baron’s Court Housing project where they do free meals. She wears a wig and theatrical makeup. I thought at first she was a transvestite, like my neighbour Steve who goes to the Coop in stilettos and a mini skirt, but apparently not.

My other slightly more sober neighbour tells me she is an old theatre performer, been out of work for years though, a drinker with mental health issues. “A right care in the community that one” say’s my neighbour “a real special“.

The story goes that she was having medical treatment for a congenital brain disease during the privatisation of the NHS. She could’t afford to continue the treatment with the specialist hospital so ended up going through the Charity Care system. The hack-up job the church hospital did was well meaning but naive and slapdash, her memory was blown to pieces.

This is all just rumours you understand, but she is quite mad!

Still, she stands there at Barons Court station feather bower and all, screaching out lunacy and blowing down that poor old harmonica. The Station manager occasionally moves her along but she’s back the next day. On Sundays she is particularly enthusiastic, her words seem to take on a hell fearing vigor as she denounes the Sunday shopping  public.

Next – 6. Dread

Previous –

1. What YOU need!

2. Abel

3. Underlondon

4. Eyes in the Machines

Notes on the Grand Plan: The Further Adventures of The Spletzer-Martin No 5.

Warning – If you have never read The Time Machine by H.G. Wells this blog may well spoil it for you. Not completely ruin it, just tell you a little bit too much.

So this grand plan of mine, solo album/sci-fi novel/musical/radio show/religion,  is called The Further Adventures of The Spletzer Martin No.5.

I cannot just work with the Rude Mechanicals on it as it would just turn into the Rude Mechanicals. Besides Cos and Guy are sly cold blooded men, especially that Cos. He’d have slit my throat from behind by now if only he could find another blonde wigged front person like me. All smiles on the surface, he’d never show a sign. The two of them would be on the radio interview and Guy wouldn’t say a word and Cos would be saying how they miss me and how they are waiting for me to come back, whilst I’d be bleeding to death in some gutter, gnawed by flea-ridden dogs he’d been breeding and raising for years specially for the job. And Guy woudn’t rescue me.

So this project is going to take a long time.

I’ve been round recording noises, water, tunnels etc. It involved a vile poo-bathing incident with Monty which I won’t go into now, but I did get some good sounds. Now what?

Well I’ve got the story started. Its about a man called Abel, set in London during a recession, in the future, but not that far in the future. There is a mad woman in it who accidentally starts a new religion.

In The Time Machine  the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi who live on the surface, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutish light-fearing Morlocks who live underground.

At the same time as I was reading The Time Machine I read an article in The National Geographic about how there is a community of people in Las Vegas who live in the tunnels under the city, coming up at night to feed off the leftovers of the above-landers. The start of the split between the Eloi and Morlock? Hmmm…

So this is the basic premise of my story, but its set in London. London has many tunnels and hidden rivers.

Carnival will be very important in the piece. Some experts think the term Carnival comes from carne vale a Latin expression meaning “Farewell to Meat”. Traditionally it was a festival before Lent when rich foods such as meat had to be consumed. A meat eating festival.

And Rough Music, plenty of that sort of stuff: Noisy, masked processions held outside the home of the supposed wrongdoer, involving the cacophonous rattling of bonesand cleavers, the ringing of bells, hooting, blowing bull’s horns, the banging of frying pans, saucepans, kettles, or other kitchen or barn implements with the intention of creating long-lasting embarrassment to the alleged perpetrator. (Wikipedia).

I think I will have to have a recording session where the musicians wear masks and hit bones and frying pans.  No I’m not joking.

Musicians, now there’s a tricky question. I have to use them, can’t not. I’m interested in the group, improvisation, collective action and rhythm. Slime Mold cells in sync! ( the majority of people who visit my blog seem to be looking for Slime Molds. They are great). But musicians do insist on doing music. And a lot of musicians see improvisation to be merely about individual grandeur rather than working together.

“Well”, you might think to yourself, ” Miss Roberts is very into individual granduer”, and you’d be right. That could be why The Spletzer Martin No.5 project might have to kill her off.

I went to exchange chilli peppers for cups of tea yesterday with Django Bates, and we got talking, or rather I harassed him with questions, about vocal improvising. He told me to listen to Phil Minton and played me some great stuff by Salsid Endersen ( I have probably spelt that wrong). The first one he played was just vocal noises she made in the more avantgarde album, appealing but noone would ever listen to an album of me doing that. No one would listen to more than 30 seconds. The second album was more like poetry, I may have to ask to borrow it. I like Phil Minton’s Feral Choir, will have to pinch that idea for the masked musicians.

I don’t know why I’m even interested in this vocal improvisation stuff really, but it seems I am, and Phil Minton can now be held responsible for some of the noises I am likely to make in this album/sci-fi novel/musical/film/radio show/religion/artwork. Which, although having considerble resemblance to music, will be everything but.

So first recording session end of January. Any questions?

Update – This has now been put off till May when I will be celebrating still being alive. 

Aliens – The Hammersmith & City Line

It was after Sexton Ming’s 50th Birthday party, I was sitting on the train in the platform waiting for it to leave, singing the Rude Mechanicals song Aliens to myself.

You see the mice on the tracks, you see them as you wait for your train

You think they’re vermin but they’re not

It was late. There was a man sitting opposite looking at me with a puzzled expression on his face as if to ask what I was doing. I stopped singing and asked him “Do you think this train is going all the way to Hammersmith? Or terminating at Edgware Road?

“Yes” he said with a sly glint in his eye, “its going all the way to Hammersmith. I’m the driver”.

We were silent for a minute, I still had the Aliens song going round in my head

They’re all aliens they’re aliens I’m sure

I hummed under my breath. He looked straight at me.

“Would you like to sit in the front of the train with me? ” he asked.

I was going to say no but something inside urdged me on. Up I got and followed him into the light blue cabin at the front of the train. He checked mirrors, pressed bright lighted buttons, and off we zoomed into the dark tunnels.

Bred by the train company

Fed till they’re big and fat

The stations appeared like small islands springing out of the blackness. They were mainly empty. Lonely looking controllers pressed buttons, grunted, and signalled us onwards. We chatted about his job as a train driver, the night shift, the hours between last train and first train, the appalling fact that the circle line nolonger goes in a circle.

Squeezed all they’re fluid flowing out

“what were you doing tonight?” he asked

“Performing” I said

“Are you in a band?”

“Yes”

“what do you sing about”

“Actually we’ve done a song about the mice on the train tracks and how they might be aliens”

The train jolted slightly. He turned his face to me. It twictched.

” And London Underground know the mice are aliens but they’re….”

“Breeding them so they can use alien juice to power the trains” He finished my sentence.

He knew! It was true!

Cheaper than gasoline

The train was pulling into Hammersmith now. He turned his head back to concentrate on the driving. I clamped my mouth shut tight.

“You are a little mouse like” he said

I said nothing

“I have my car at the station, I’d better drive you home”

The cabin door opened, he moved towards me but before he could grab my arm I’d scrambled down onto the platform.

Hurriedly I gasped “Thankyou but no, I’ve got to walk my dog now”

With that I jolted to the station exit and ran as fast as I could all the way back home.

Rusalka

Rusalka - Water Demons
Water Demons

I am possessed by demons due to wearing the evil mask Simon Aronson made me. But luckily it will all be alright because the 11th June is Rusalka Night!
It is in early June that the Rusalka water demons are most dangerous. They leave their watery depths in order to swing on branches of birch and willow trees by night. They entice bachelors and children dragging them down into the watery depths or tickling them to death!
To render these water demons harmless and perhaps lay their souls to rest the Rude Mechanicals will be celebrating Rusalka week on Saturday 11th June with music, dance, and the ritual burial of mermaids. http://www.rudemechanicals.co.uk