Sunday, November 14, 2010

TEAch yrself ENGLISCH: 1) "Drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open"


Drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open is a common UK slang expression, which has been in existence for nearly 400 years. It is typically used to denote the fact that things are 'going rather well'. It can also be used to describe events that would be considered 'fun', 'cool' or 'wicked'.

The popularity of the phrase declined somewhat in 1997, around the time that 'drum and bass' degenerated into sock-hatted students nodding off to Brown Paper Bag. However, it has enjoyed a brief revival as of 10th November 2010, when arsenal supporter and renowned retard KAY BURLEY used it to describe a student riot in London.

Casting a rheumy eye over the Flickr gallery of history, we click on 3453233.JPG - aka the year 1604 - and discover that genius wordsmith, master boozer and distinctly amateur sword-fighter CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE was the first to popularise the phrase:

GOOD ANGEL: O Faustus, lay that damned book aside
And gaze not on it, lest it tempt thy soul,
And heap God's heavy wrath upon thy head.
Read, read the Scriptures. That is blasphemy.

EVIL ANGEL: Go forward, Faustus, in that famous art
Wherein all nature's treasury is contained.
Be thou on Earth as Jove is in the sky;
Lord and commander of these elements. [Exeunt]

FAUSTUS: How I am glutted with conceit of this!
Shall I make spirits fetch me what I please,
Resolve me of all ambiguities,
Perform what desp'rate enterprise I will?
I'll have them fly to India for gold,
Ransack the ocean for orient pearl,
And search all corners of the new-found world
For pleasant fruits and princely delicates.
I'll have them read me strange philosophy,
And tell the secrets of all foreign kings.
Drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open.
Come, German Valdes and Cornelius,
And make me blest with your sage conference."

However, Martin Bernal, author of the controversial tome Black Athena, argues that the phrase actually originated in Persia, where it was first coined by OMAR KHAYYAM while penning his Rubaiyats. Unfortunately, as the phrase didn't scan, Khayyam scribbled it out.


eg - Dublin / Kings Cross, August 2009, via SMS
MRS DROID:How is the clash going?
DROID: Drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open ;-)
(transl: "I am beating John Eden, and have discovered a stockpile of Colgate to boot")

* When one's just copped off with a crush at a weekend-long warehouse rave
* Hurtling down Route 66 and playing Cutty Ranks at full blast
* When Thatcher's death's finally announced
* 5pm, Friday
* Winning a pub quiz
* Going on holiday
* Smashing up Millbank
* At Notting Hill Carnival
* Surviving a bus crash in which all the other passengers perish
* Nayim scoring against *rsenal from the half-way line
* Thinking you've lost £50, then realising you changed your jacket
* The time those cage fighters in drag panelled the piss-taking drunks in Swansea
* Watching Fatal Deviation (it's on BoobTube now!)
* Creating an urban myth and watching it spread like wildfire
* Just chilling out


* Working with people who CC the boss in on every email
* Listening to Intelligent Drum and Bass Vol. 1
* Walking into a Goa Trance night by accident
* Listening to somebody talk about horoscopes
* Waking up in Morden on the last tube home
* 7am, Monday
* When a prized, rare dancehall 7" starts skipping all over the place
* Catching 20 seconds of Mock the Week
* Getting kettled
* Actually signing up to 'Comment is Free'
* Being late for a WOOFAH deadline


As everyone is aware, the most plausible excuse for any offence, from vomiting all over a host's sofa to microwaving your partner's Radiohead CDs, is always, "THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT". But, in certain circumstances, Drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open can also fulfil this requirement. For example:

NASA: Mission Control to ISS...Mission Control to ISS, are you receiving?
ASTRONAUT: Uh...International Space Station, receiving...
NASA: What the hell's going on up there?
ASTRONAUT: Uh...loss of power...O'Mahoney's been sucked outside...can't...quite see him...
NASA: Sucked outside? What's going on? Can you confirm systems failure?
ASTRONAUT: Er...not sure...
NASA: Who's in charge?
NASA: So what's going on?? Why isn't the docking port secured, damn it??
ASTRONAUT: (long pause)...drum and bass is playing, and the beer is open.


It's highly unlikely Kay Burley has kept up to date with developments within the 'hardcore continuum'®, so she probably can't tell her Photeks from her Peverelists. Needless to say, Burley has displayed constant symptoms of deep bewilderment over the course of her career at Sky News – which isn't that surprising, given that the rolling news format's just a blatant copy of the Grandstand template. It is more likely that Burley's internal voice continually relays the line "WHEEP! WHEEP! WHEEP!" on a 24/7 loop, and she probably didn't even know what she was looking at when she opened her trap. So, in a fit of startled ad-libbery, she just chucked in the first cliche'd phrase that sprang to her tiny mind. Pretty much how senile football pundits come up with lines like, "And there's no way Villa can come back from this one! Unless they manage to turn the game around."

Monday, November 08, 2010

How NOT to co-host an Anarcho-Punk podcast for YOUAREHEAR

1) Reckon that spontaneity's a greater conduit for wit and lively chat than reading from a script, and subsequently prepare no notes whatsoever on the records you've selected. After all, you've heard them a zillion times, so it's not like you'll freeze up, have nothing to say and have to frantically ad lib when the mic's in your face, is it?

2) Have a few drinks before the recording, to counter your phobia of microphones. Knock 'em back sharp-ish, get pissed too quickly and then spend the duration of the podcast slurring, umming and erring.

3) Despite your long-suffering co-host's constant reminders to keep the mic at chest level, keep raising it to your mouth and/or leaning over to talk directly into it, ensuring your co-host has to spend hours editing out all the pops and distortion ((and beer swigging slurps)).

4) Have your mind go inexplicably blank when trying to describe the previous record, and why you think it deserves inclusion in the Anarcho-Punk canon. Reveal that the most interesting fact about, say, feminist punk-popsters Hagar the Womb is that they formed in a toilet. Summarise a certain tune's relevancy by saying it's "really good".

5) When the record's actually playing, and despite your co-host politely reminding you, for the 9th time, that these songs last about 2 minutes and that the next track needs to be cued up and 'ready to go', spend this brief breathing period gulping down lager, congratulating yourself on not having cracked up laughing so far, and popping into your co-host's kitchen to say hello to his partner.

6) Try to open up with some feeble joke about the Kronstadt uprising, then realise it's crap, so just veer off topic and start ad-libbing about something else entirely.

7) Yabber all over the top of the Crass track so your co-host has to re-record that segment. Then find nothing to actually say of any value about that band.

Still...could have been worse. We could have done an Oi! podcast.

Anyway, the BTi vs Uncarved vs YouAreHear production is up HERE. Many thanks to Jim and Magz for taking a punt and slipping the monkey the keys to the zoo, and to John Eden for providing the superior commentary, technical know-how and the Crass and Academy 23 tracks, which I forgot to bring to the recording. Apologies to The Mob, I don't really 'hate' you. Here's a rough track listing, for those who can't understand drunken Burnt Oaker:

Conflict - Berkshire Cunt
The Ex - Human Car
Crass - Securicor
Xpozez - Skitzofrenia
Class War -Better Dead Than Wed
Six Minute War - Strontium 90
Twisted Nerve - Neutral Zone
The Apostles - Mob Violence
Blaggers ITA - Jail House Doors
Potential Threat - The Hunt Is On
Flux of Pink Indians - Tube Disaster
XS Discharge - Lifted
Exit-Stance - Ballykelly Disco
Dezerter - Ku Przyszlosci
Hagar The Womb - Dressed To Kill
Oi Polloi - Commies And Nazis
Lost Cherrees - The Wait
Academy 23 - Ceartas Air Sgaith Albannach

And check out some of the other fine You Are Hear podcasts, including highlights from this summer's Sonar Festival. I'm off to nut a fur trader, see ya in a bit.

Thursday, November 04, 2010



ABOVE: Typical Halloween night bullshit

I know some pagans get upset if you don't refer to it as Samhain, but, according to Catholic doctrine, Halloween is the night that all the ghosts, ghouls, satyrs, demons, fauns, poltergeists, vampires, zombies, lycanthropes and hoochie coochie men get together and throw a massive party, before the shutters come down for All Saints' Day. It's basically like a load of ravers being banned from Glastonbury and setting up a DIY festival in an adjacent field. Incidentally, Samhain started off as a joke among Irish druids - it's true! It was a way of scaring the bejayzus out of the 'warrior class', who'd usually have spent the night drinking heavily, cussing the druids and bragging about how many heads they'd collected. Each Samhain saw these berserkers retreat early to their huts for a restless, sleepless night, while the druids got trolleyed, ran around screaming and honking on vuvuzelas ((possibly)) and reduced the hardest men in the village to quivering wrecks.

Now, some smartarses like to crack out the Waddington's OUIJA BOARD at Halloween, reasoning that the high volume of spirit traffic is bound to net them a few lively ((erm...)) ones. They then cry their eyes out when the ouija board bluntly tells them to "FUCk oFf PEniSbREAtH LoL", flies across the room and starts a house fire! Duhh - what did they expect? Using a ouija board on Halloween is the equivalent of setting up an unmoderated forum about PUA techniques; somebody's gonna troll it to death in 60 seconds flat. Shit, if I end up trapped between worlds when I cark it, I'll be hassling the 'ouija set' at every given opportunity. Be honest with yourselves – your dead grandmas have absolutely NOTHING to impart to you... and anyway, would you really drag them back to THIS?? This festering compost heap?? Where a specimen like george osbourne not only avoided being strangled at birth, but actually managed to get through this month in one piece?? Do you honestly think your grandparents would thank you?? Just look at some old photos, for Christ's sake...let sleeping dogs lie. And if you try it on with my grandparents, you're liable to get a slap, my friend.

Still, if some of you insist on dabbling, you might as well know what you're getting into. So here's a brief guide as to who'll be pulling your planchette on the night:

The Devil

AKA 'Auld Clootie', 'Old Nick', 'The Goat of Mendes...the Devil himself!', etc. Not many people know this, but the Devil wrote the first ever fanzine. It was hilarious, and he rightly mouthed off to his fellow angels about how good it was – 'til God cast him out of Heaven for the sin of pride. It's highly unlikely that the Devil will bother to attend your ouija session, unless you have some very pretty Catholic schoolgirls taking part. Of course, rogue spirits may claim to be the Prince of Darkness, cos they know that saying that'll make you shit yourself, but don't take all brags at face value. The Devil also likes to appear as the Virgin Mary, from time to time, 'for a laugh'. However, for some unknown reason, he can't get human feet right, so it's a dead giveaway when Our Lady of Fatima turns up with cloven hooves, demanding a barrel of Watneys Party Seven ((also, the Blessed Virgin doesn't listen to Discharge)).


Poltergeists are the Hells Angels of the spirit world. They started off in Germany, wrecking peoples' kitchens, but over the past 30 years they've established chapters across the world, united by an unspeakable hatred of inanimate objects and humanoid lifeforms. A poltergeist rarely engages in detailed ouija chatter - you'll probably get a couple of 'NO's before your wok mysteriously rockets out of the kitchen and proceeds to beat you around the head with great gusto. Contrary to most exorcists, there is only one way to get rid of a poltergeist. It's to lie in a foetal position on the floor, beneath a mountain of broken plates and saucepans, sobbing and moaning, until the spirit gets bored and wanders off to fuck up somebody else's oven. Still want to crack out that ouija board?


Spectres are pretty weedy, in a physical sense - they certainly don't have the power to smash your precious dubstep collection to pieces, or hurl babies from their cots. But they are remarkably good at psychological intimidation. Think of whatever bothers you most - this is all you'll be hearing about from these wind-up merchants. Your ex died in a tragic car accident, and you still have nightmares about the taxi ride to the hospital...that's right - the spectres will conveniently inform your circle that you had a wank on the morning of the accident and not let the subject drop, 'til some other spectre barges in. Oh, if it's any consolation, you do get other supernatural types butting in and taking over proceedings - so you won't be stuck with the same piss-taker all night. Unfortunately, they do tend to get more spiteful and creatively twisted as the evening draws on. Other common tactics include pretending to be your mum ("U R NOT MINE") or informing you when you'll die ("B4 X FKTR").


AH HA, WOULD YE LOOK AT THE WEE FELLAS? THE WEE LASSIES WITH THE WINGS? Pixies think they're well cool, but even a novice ouija dabbler would have to be a complete waste of oxygen to take this mob seriously. They're fond of playing word games and acting mysterious, but it's just the supernatural equivalent of a Divine Comedy fan lulling around on a beanbag, spliffed out of their brains, and trying to catch you out with passive aggressive sarcasm. Tell pixies to fuck off. Yes, from me, if necessary. Otherwise, watch your ouija session degenerate into an episode of Give Us A Clue.

Dead Pop Stars

There's a time of foolishness in every youngster's life, when the manipulation of an ouija board to contact a dead musician seems like a swell idea. Perhaps Kurt Cobain might pop along, to offer some profound relationship advice? Or Sid Vicious will say hello, and give you tips on being the only rebellious teenager in Wing? ((it's a village near Leighton Buzzard, seriously, look it up)). What you don't realise is that, if these characters were egomaniacs when they were alive, how swollen d'you reckon their heads are now, after years of adulation and being blu-tacked in poignant, monochrome poses on bedroom walls across the world? Pretty fucking swollen, I'll let you know. I mean, the last two are probably bad enough, but imagine getting the Gibb brother who died, or Karen Carpenter. I contacted Ian Curtis once ((using a JetStar 12" cover with the letters and numbers scribbled on in felt tip, and an upturned whiskey glass with a horse's head on it as a planchette)) and all he did was moan about his Factory contract and how he hated playing down South. IMPORTANT WARNING - Rick James became a poltergeist, do NOT piss around invoking him.


I don't speak Arabic, fuck knows.

Nan Clark's ghost

Here's some NW London psychogeography for you. In Mill Hill, there's a street called Nan Clark's Lane. It's basically one of the richest places in the UK, flanked by 7-bed houses worth about £5 million, twee cottages and lots of foliage. It also happens to be the stomping ground for a ghost. I've heard scores of variations on this, but the background's basically that Nan Clark was a housemaid for some big wig and one night she got stabbed to death by a maniac / by her employer / by her employer's wife, while leaving her employer's house for the night ...either way, a sharp knife was involved. I mean, people as far away as Colindale talked about it. Apparently, if you go up Nan Clark's Lane at night (which is pitch black), you get to hear manic sobbing and screaming and, if you're really unlucky, Nan jumps out, still sliced up and gutted, and fondles you with a clammy, ghostly, bloody paw. You're sitting there smirking at such superstitious nonsense NOW, but I bet you haven't ventured up there on your own at midnight.

Subsequently, Nan Clark is a real prize ouija catch - it's the only way of finding out what actually happened on that night of blood-soaked terror, and who carved her up. Unfortunately, if she doesn't stray from Nan Clark's Lane, you're unlikely to get in touch with her from your flat in Michigan. But if you do, let us know. Cos my dad swore she hung herself.

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