The ears have walls

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Jessica Joslin is creating a menagerie of animal sculptures out of all sorts of interesting materials inluding animal bones, antique hardware and saxophone keys. These unsettling creations range in size from 1 inch to nearly 6 feet tall. Click here to find out more.

Via News of the dead.

Newsflash: Over 600 trampled to death in Baghdad

In today's OTHER huge disaster (I'm looking at you Katrina) hundreds of people, including many women and children, were trampled to death in a massive stampede on a bridge over the river Tigris.

Nearly 650 Iraqi Shi'as died in a stampede on a Tigris River bridge in
Baghdad on Wednesday, panicked by rumours a suicide bomber was about to blow himself up, an interior ministry official told Reuters. Most victims were women and children who "died by drowning or being trampled" after panic swept a throng of thousands of people heading to a religious ceremony, the official said.

Via IOL News

Update: According to CNN the death toll is now at 965. It may also be interesting to note that this story is the 10th one down on CNN's top stories list, narrowly pipping an article entitled "Study: Male chromosome to stick around." 11:05 PM GMT

Bob, by Burdon

This is an irie painting of Bob Marley by none other than Eric Burdon of The Animals and War fame. To see this and other paintings/artworks by musicians like Iggy Pop and David Byrne visit YuppiePunk.

Via Stereogum.

Hope Floats

Alfred, a brave young boy from Benin, had a facial tumour the size of a basketball removed by surgeons, part of a project called 'Mercy Ships', who travel up and down the West coast of Africa on a boat bringing life-saving medicine and help to the poorest of the poor.

Alfred was ten when the tumor appeared that would take over his life and slowly seek to suffocate him. Like many boys his age, he'd been in a fight with an older cousin, and returned home with a sore jaw from a well-placed jab. Unlike many other boys, that same week, he developed a cemento-ossifying fibroma - a rare rapidly growing facial tumor. It began a frightening metamorphosis that would make Kafka cringe or Hugo's hunchback smile at the mirror.

Read the rest of Alfred's story here.

Via Wired News

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

When Zombies Mob!

Hundreds of bored Canadian-type people recently flash-mobbed a Vancouver shopping mall. Canadian housewives out shopping with their children were interrupted quite suddenly by throngs of the living dead who, in the true flashmobbery spirit, eerily disappeared just as soon as they had appeared. Well...not quite, they kind of hung around a while and were eventually shooed away by a few mounties (Norther Exposure meets Dawn of the dead?), and all that remained were straggly pieces of half-eaten flesh and little scraps of blood-stained clothing scattered amongst the shopping trolleys. George A. Romero, sadly, was nowhere to be found.

Via Boing Boing

Monday, August 29, 2005

With sonic love .. from Agmod in P-town.

the first step
into a new life
came with no regret
seconds became minutes
those became a lifetime none was took
for granted
smelling lavender
and bending arms
one at a time
strange stares
to where the heart
lies rubbed between index and thumb
the visionary voice
the Maria
knowingly smiles
at our souls

Newsflash: Elephant gets prosthetic leg.

This elephant has had a fully functional prosthesis fitted to replace the limb it lost in 1999.

She made headlines [...] by stepping on a landmine during work at a logging camp near the Thai-Burmese border. Vets managed to carry out delicate repairs on Motala's left foot, but the leg was left shorter than her others.

In other news, Dumbo has had penis enlargement surgery and Nelly is about to undergo a revolutionary laser hair renewal procedure.

Via BBC News

Sunday, August 28, 2005

When we were orphaned
And love lost it's meaning,
The girls of my youth
Danced together one last and lonely time
Before collapsing
Into heaps on the ground.

Noise from the future reflects in time
And manifests as dead air
On pirate punk radio stations,
In cities that sprawl
And squat along mighty rivers
That trickle and piss
Fossil fuel by-products.

Androgynous teens persuade nervous truck drivers
To strip in gas station restrooms
And photograph the shameful faces
While the high priests and hipsters
Hold seances in hotel lobbies
And burn effigies of all
My fallen heroes.

I took the last train to run
To the edge of the city slums
And waited for what seemed a lifetime.
A million unremarkable moments
Were moulded into one by the fire of streetlight
And the stale smoke of cheap cigarettes.

Now orphaned by killer waves of neglect.
Now choking on hot ash from Volcanic eruptions
Of combustible hearts and white-hot kids
Who talk in breakbeat rhythm
While chewing the sides of their mouths
Until the blood doesn't flow anymore.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sonic Yoot.

This picture is from Sonic Youth's gig on 19 August at Marlay Park in Dublin. Here are some of my thoughts from that show:

The sound (apart from the obvious booboo's with Lee's mic during Mote) was fuckin incredible, really something considering it was a big outdoor rig. I fucked my timing up a little because the clock on my phone was slow so was sitting miles away puffin on some chronic when the first drones of Golden Blue started coming out. Needless to say I legged it towards the front of the crowd - and had my life threatened by some coked-up dickhead whose had the misfortune of me standing on his sandalled feet with my size 12 chuck taylors - just in time to hear the first melodic guitar lines of the song. I also badly needed to pee at this point, a fact that was complicated even further by the half litre of tepid budweiser I was tossing down my throat. More about that later. Kim was looking particularly fetching in her babydoll dress, Thurston not so fetching but he's still the man yo. Jim looked my high school geography teacher, and I suddenly remembered what the capital of Ivory Coast was at the exact moment he started noodling on his axe. Go figure. Seconds became minutes and Golden Blue became Stones and then Pattern Recognition as the to-be-expected Nurse material opened the show. Thurston really hit his stride at this point and swung his guitar around by the cord, and eventually climbed down off the stage to mix it up with the lucky people in the front row. He did have some difficulty finding his way back on to the stage, and ended up entangled in the canvas covering at stage left. The hapless guitar tech recovered his still-whining guitar and handed him the next one as they tore into the next song. At the end of this Thurston announced to the crowd that they were gonna play Schizophrenia and things really began to heat up. It was one of the best live versions of that classic song I've ever heard, and Steve's helicopter drumming in the last third brought a tear to my eye. I think I said something like "lord you can take me now.. i'm ready" but thankfully he spared me for the blistering Drunken Butterfly and (technical-problem-blighted) Mote. It was at this point where my bladder really began to become an issue. You know the kind feeling where you can actually feel it throbbing.. you've moved past the simple I-really-need-to-pee part and are now bordering on I-may-need-surgery-if-this-continues part. Bravely, I carried on... each guitar shriek like a hatpin in my lower abdomen. New Hampshire passed without incident and segued into a beautifully chaotic PCH with Kim rockin on on muted lead trumpet. This ended the gig in earnest, although they did come back on (to muted applause it must be added) for a dig at Rain on Tin. Ok. those are my flushed first impressions of a great show, gonzo style. I didn't hang around for much of Chemical Brothers as the idea of battling for space with 18 yr old kids on crystal meth and ecstacy isn't how I like to spend my twilight years. Natch.Out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My letter to her today

Dear xxxxxx,

I always find it difficult these days to explain myself in person with you. It's strange isn't it.... to feel almost embarrased and ashamed to express myself with somebody I was so close with only a few short weeks ago? Things have certainly changed.

When I saw you on the street on Monday, I instantly recognised you. It's the way you walk, your small and characteristic movements which I learn by heart when I was with you - The slight angle of your head as you wait to cross the road, the hurried pace of your gait and the way you hold your bag in your right hand. I had practiced this encounter in my head for days, each time going through theways I would be cruel to you, or just ignore you completely and try get the moral upper-hand. It's all bullshit, and I don't know why I believed that Icould actually act this way towards you. I don't have those feelings in my heart for you... I could never be cruel towards you on purpose. Yes, I'm angry about the way things turned out. Yes, I'm hurt and confused. Yes, some days I blame you for the way I feel. But I want you to know one thing...The memories that I have of our time together are all good. There is not one moment of our relationship that I look back on with regret or resentment. It's important tome that you know that.

I still have questions, though. There are things that leave me very confused and perhaps one day you will be able to explain them to me. Maybe you don't know theanswer to some of them, perhaps you don't want to hurt me more by being brutally honest with some small truth. Either way, I don't expect you to give me any answers now. Maybe one day we'll both be more willing and prepared to discuss these things comfortably with eachother. I know that I'm not comfortable with it at the moment, and it wouldn't be fair to you and it definitely would not be good for whatever friendship you and I would have, and it MOST definitely wouldn't be good for your current relationship with xxxxxx. Of course I am jealous at the thought that someone else gets to lie down at night with you.. I am only human and anybody would feel the same. But, I have never lied to you about anything and I will not begin now... I still respect you too much and, as you know, I'm still secretly (haha) in love with you. Enough of the serious shit for now.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Sonic Youth on Friday, and to xxxxx coming over on the 23rd. I don't know if you will get a chance to meet him and honestly I don't know if I would even feel comfortable introducing you to him after all that has happened. It is a particularly difficult time for him and I as the 23rd is also the anniversary of our mother's death, and we will both be emotional, drunk and probably not inthe best mood on that day. As they say in Ireland: "To honor the dead, you must surely spill some whiskey on their graves".

Ok for now. It really makes me feel better to write to you, for some reason. Perhaps it's the catharsis that comes with confession and the idea that I canat least articulate my fucked-up feelings to the one person in this town that I truly care for. There aint no sunshine when you're gone mon ami. Another day without light.

Love, xxxx

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Welcome to the suck

You can watch a preview of Sam Mendes' new film 'Jarhead' here. I'm sold already on this one as it combines three of my favourite things: Donnie Darko, War and Bobby McFerrin. Or is that American Beauty, Abrams tanks and oil fires? Maybe it's Ray Charles, Private Pyle and Santa? Who knows anymore. November 2005.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


We had a work-sponsored dinner last night, after which a seriously unhealthy amount of drinking took place. Heineken and Tiger beer to start off with the meal, a white russian ice-cream cocktail for dessert, then off to the pub for more beer, scotch and vodka redbull. Needless to say my tongue was glued to the top of my mouth when I woke up this morning and I could tell just from the taste that I was smoking last night as well. Fuck. Anyways, to cut a long story short we ended up at some little dive of a casino at about 5am and I promptly lost 100 bucks in the space of a few minutes playing their (obviously rigged) blackjack. Bitch kept dealing herself aces, yo. I got another 100 bucks and lost that too. Against my better judgement I got ANOTHER 100 worth of chips and decided chance my arm at the roulette wheel. Somehow, I managed to turn a deficit of 300 euro into 700 euro profit. Fuck knows how I did it. I barely recollect placing the damn bets but next thing I knew I was cashing in my sizeable stack and thumbing the thick wad of fifties as I walked out the door into the night, feeling a little bit James Bond and a little bit Henry Sugar. I could get used to this.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Things that have helped me get through this month...

- The Mountain Goats - Sunset Tree. Breaks my heart but leaves me clean.
- Sufjan Stevens - Illinois. Layers of sound and songs that transcend.
- Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights. Yeah motherfucker.
- Springboks beating All Blacks in the Tri Nations clash at Newlands
- Moving house.. again
- Playing in the company 5-a-side football tournament.. and losing.
- Getting a haircut. Short back and sides please.
- American Apparel clothing - Go buy some. I'm serious.
- The Director's cut of True Romance. I love you Patricia Arquette.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lee is Free

This picture is of Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth noodling away on stage at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona in late May of this year. A friend and I flew there from Dublin specifically for this one magnificent moment. It was a culmination of years and years of geeky fandom on my part, and The Youth didn't disappoint. Earlier on that day, we went to see Lee's experimental side project Text of Light and actually got to meet the man himself. Well... I use 'meet' in the broadest sense of the word because all we did was stand around by the stage after the gig and try not to make fools of ourselves, and Lee walked right up to the group we were standing in and said "Hi!". Some other dudes handed over a demo of their (no doubt unlistenable) band and Lee, gracious as ever, accepted it. He just seems so earnest and grounded, completely different to what you would expect from a Big Star in a Big Band. Ok... some of you may be saying that SY aren't your typical Rolling Stone covershoot, Cristal-gargling, groupie-banging hedonists but they're still pretty fucking big. They drew the largest and most enthusiastic crowd of the festival by far and you get the feeling they would have been torn limb from limb had they not encored their set with a blistering 'Teenage Riot'. This after playing a surreal and most excellent version of their anthemic tour-de-f0rce 'Expressway to yr skull' from 1987's EVOL. Click here for more Primavera pics.

Goddam I can't wait to see them again on the 19th here in Dublin.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I walked across the same bridge every night on the way home from your house.
On the left side the river curved away from me
And towards the rest of the world.
On the right a gentle slope that led up to the reservoir
Grew thicker and greener with the lengthening shadows of summer.
D'ya remember the time that I threw your hat over the edge?
You were angry at first but then started to laugh
We chased it for what seemed like hours
Down the winding route that the river had cut into the earth.

Your father always knew that we were something more than friends.
We'd pass eachother in the High street, him and I.
Me on foot and him behind the wheel of his fancy German car.
He'd slow down almost to a crawl and slide his eyes towards where I was.
Those eyes would always remind me of you when you frowned
You'd deny it and then spend ages squinting at yourself in the mirror
While I tried to convince you that I could barely notice the resemblance.
I would lie quietly in the bed and watch you
As you brushed your hair before crawling in beside me.
The world began and ended with those late summer mornings
Those fragile moments that seemed so easy back then
Now evaporate as dreams that disappear with waking.

The bed you used to sleep in remembers you
By the gentle contours that your body made as you lay.
That lazy hollow in the centre of a linen sea
Exists only to amplify the fact that you're not here.
It's in loss we're meant to come to understand
The wider entwined roads our lives lead us down,
But it's a clarity that comes at far too high a cost.
Somehow my feet find the ground when I walk
And my mouth forms the words that I use.
The shell is still whole and unbroken
And lies for the sake of the rest of me
Which cowers and starts at the slightest sound.
I'm newborn and helpless without you.

The first dream on sunday

Another week has passed, and I've moved into a new place now. I had two very strange and disturbing dreams on Sunday night. The memories of both are sketchy at best but I'll try recall them in as much vivid detail as possible. In the first her and I were playing in a friend's band back home, but we were on an aeroplane or a bus or something long and tubular with lots of rows of seats in it. In an obvious nod to my paranoia about sex and her distinct lack of interest in it while with me, we began comparing the sex she had with me to the sex she was having with her new partner. Of course, the sex she was having now was monumentally better and more intense and more expensive with toys and perversions and all the things which we couldn't do while the two of us were together. I lost my temper and started screaming myself hoarse at her, calling her a fucking prude and frigid and assigning blame to anything other than my own self. The dream began to dissipate and fragment at that point and I woke up shortly after angry and on the verge of tears. I'll tell you the second dream later.