Friday, 25 December 2009

Emma Louise Fisher's Christmas Message 2009

2009 has been IMMENSE!
Most definately and undeniably the best year of my life so far, and the reason for this is because of YOU!
I have been so lucky to have become friends with a huge number of exceptionally talented, beautiful, interesting, smart and funny people. Without dwelling on 2008, it was little stagnent.
This year I have renewed friendships with people I have known for a while, and although some of them I don't get to see anymore (my english soul sisters especially) it makes the short contact we do make with each other even more special!

There are a multitude of people I really really want to mention by name, but that's a little creepy on my part! So in a secret-unbreakable code, thank you to: all the lisburn road kids, the north coast contingent, a carnival queen, the gruesome threesome, my Forfey and Rathlin crew, old and new uni folks, panic dots/ni chart'ers, the few decent folk left in hmv and the ghosts of collegues past, and of course team weekend blackout fridays and laverys saturdays forever!

Apologies for the gay post, but there's a lotta love that needs shared!
Bring on 2010

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hastily written lists

A friend of mine is currently putting a lot of thought into his top 10 albums of the decade (hi ruairi!)
I'm not, I wrote mine in 30mins, I've probably missed lots of amazing ones, and I haven't thought terribly much about it at all...and I can't narrow it past 14...and most of them are 2009... here is my rather rubbish run-down!

Emma's top albums of the noughties
Manic Street Preachers - Journal for Plague Lovers (2009)
Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More (2009)
The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Breakfast, Dinner, Tea (2009)
Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing (2009)
Frightened Rabbit - Liver Lung FR (2008)
iForward Russia! - Give Me a Wall (2006)
Joan as Policewoman - Real Life (2006)
Andrew Bird - The Mysterious Production of Eggs (2005)
Decemberists - Picaresque (2005)
QOTSA - Lullibyes to Paralyze (2005)
Radiohead - Hail to the Thief (2003)
Regina Spektor - Songs (2002)
Malcolm Middleton - 5:14 Fluoxytine Seagull Alcohol John Nicotine (2002)

an unadvisable post

Now, for obvious reasons I don't blog about the trials and tribulations of my love life, but allow me this small indulgence...

A while ago I adopted a "sure who cares, everything's transient especially emotion" type attitude. It's very moulin rouge without the gun fight scene in the theatre and the presumption that they were going to be together forever (until she popped her clogs). To a degree this is a fantastic way to be, on paper it should be the most healthy way to approach attraction. Jump in both feet first but always remember it's going to end as quickly as it starts. I think I fall a little bit in love with someone new every few weeks, and it's never going to end well.

This has all spawned from falling a little bit in love with another boy this weekend...

Friday, 4 December 2009

Take Back The City

...and just a quick link to a certain Miss McGlinchey's article on scenesterism! She can no longer make fun of my musical ways-if it isn't from Norn Iron, then I just haven't heard of it lads!

The photos at the start are all taken by me...but don't worry, I didn't want credited anyway like...haha!

Oh aye, and it's all in Irish, bhí sé ar doigh...or something...

Belfast's red lights

Every other Sunday since I was born until I was around 17 I used to go to Newry (well, past Newry-Warrenpoint/Rostrevor etc), I hated that journey, absolutely abhorred it! I'm a terrible traveller at the best of times but when you're 9 and your parents thing it's ok to fill you up with sweeties and fizzy drinks to shut you up on the journey, you really are just heading for queazy-ville! I only have two plesent memories I have of those car trips, firstly, and a testiment to how socially inept a child I was, is my Saturday evening, obsessively timed, mix-tapes. I had tape deck control travelling there, dad had dictatorship on the way back. Over the years most of the tapes have gone missing or have been recorded over, but I still kept a hold of a few gems!

My second happy memory is from the way home from Newry on the winter nights like tonight. I used to stare out the car window with my head on the little ledge between the car boot and the side window, and just look at the stars as we were driving down endless miles of motorway through (what I believed to be) the darkest depths of the countryside. But the highlight was always the red lights from the signal mast on the hills as you're coming into Belfast. It was like a shining beacon that yes, you were going back into comfortable surroundings, soon you would be able to recognise the streets in town and then just a wee while more you could be at the house and in your bed, where the transport induced nausea would eventually subside.

From my new house on Lisburn road I can see the three red lights on the signal mast, I've quite awkwardly angled my bed and purposefully sleep with the blinds open (ooh eer, no one can see in I promise). It's a lovely recognisable symbol of being at ease with the city, I still get the same feeling of happiness when I get to come back home to the lights.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Gimme Back My Alcohol...

Finally got round to buying (then having to exchange it because Cinram are eejits) and treating myself to the aural delights of the reissue of Nirvana's Bleach! It's the 20th anniversary delux edition with live tracks from the Pine Street Theatre makes my 21 year old self miss the 13 year old grunge kid that she used to be!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A Weekend Synopsis in the style of youtube videos

Yes, I know it's Saturday night, but Thursday/Friday tired my weary body out so I've spent my night in bed with dvd's!
Truely epic pre-weekend!

Thursday saw the return of English Abi home to us, an old school Radar night was called for, and in early celebration of Greggles birthday we had a re-Union (geddit? geddit!)
Supporting JSC was Seven Summits (sorry-I missed Jumping Orbit)

Seven Summits own lovely instore playing Make Lemonade earlier this year. It's another fantastic Bandwidth video by the lovely Will McConnell!

Headlining were John Shelly and the Creatures! My own moment of loserness occurred when someone poked me and said "shout for them to play that song everyone knows," so muggins here screams "Annngelllllinnnneeee"...yeah, apparently they have a really famous ad on TV, and my own little nichart favourite is not the cool hip JSC song anymore!

Angeline-it was the encore anyway! So I didn't look too fangirly...only a bit

Friday! Much more of a "rawr-enducing" night musically...and generally...
Stiff Kitten for La Faro (and by La Faro I mean Team Fresh...)

Strait Laces again I missed because of napping not pre-drinking this time! That's slightly more excuseable. So I came in with just enough time to push to the front, harass Rik who was djing, and get my Team Fresh head on!

Last Orders! There's no way you can look cool singing along word perfect to this.

Finally La Faro, A certain doherty sister and I got a little carried away during Mr Heskey, but I can't find it online anywhere! 222...888...444.

Tupenny Nudger, almost as good as Mr Heskey, certainly less likely to cause two girls to anger the majority of those surrounding them!

The aftermath of these gigs is not suitable for public blogging, but my lordy, I do love a good night out in Belfast!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Quizzes? How wonderfully 2007!

Hello to lovely new follower Tommy Vice
From his fantastic blog I have been an absolute scoundral and stolen the 20 questions quiz, it's been a while since I've done one online so allow me to indulge a little, I went through a slight obsession back in the days of bebo.

1. when did u last throw up?
Not too long ago, I'm not great at remembering specifics

2. who was your favourite starwars character?
The ewoks, I wanted one as a pet!

3. if you could throw one celeb to the lions, who would it be?
Only one? Probably Cheryl Cole for crimes against music

4. if you could have a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to travel through space and time

5. what's your booze of choice?

6. who's the biggest arsehole celeb you've met?
Mikita Oliver from T4 barely a celeb, barely a human

7. have you got any strange phobias?
nah, I'm well hard me!

8. what would your funeral be like?
I'm going to have a huge outdoor gig with all my friends around properly partying! I'll be jealous I wasn't there

9. do you do the myspace / twitter thing?
Myspace yes, twitter no, I have one but it's been lying dormant for months

10. what's the most illegal thing you've ever done?
criminal damage, not proud kids, not proud!

11. what's the worst injury you've received?
I've only ever been given one injury by someone, a broken collar bone from Chris our neighbour when I was 10.

12. what's the worst idea you've ever had?
Most saturday nights result in some sort of bad idea

13. what was the first album you bought?
Nirvana Nevermind, no one ever believes me though :(

14. what makes an awesome night properly awesome?
Getting ready/dinner at mine with a few friends, meeting a few more at the pub then everyone at Blackout or Lavs with a Lisburn Road afterparty.

15. what's the stupidest thing you've ever said to a girl you liked?
I'm going to substitute this for boy (watch out PC brigade) but that would be less of a "said" more of a "moronic laugh" that occured very recently...It was the epitome of scunderedness.

16. no arms or no legs?
no legs

17. what have you seen that you wish you could un-see?
One specific episode with my dad an ambulance and a fuck load of blood

18. what's the most you've ever needed the toilet?
Again...most saturdays. But I think it was actually when I was going home from school when I was about 15, I remeber searing pain in my bladder!

19. what's the punchline of your favourite joke?
'Cos as soon as their head hits the pillow their legs spread... (it's pretty much the only joke I know)

20. tell us something brilliant.
I've been happier this year than I probably have been my entire's brilliant to me :)

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

*sigh* oh sleep, why do you tease me so!

So I was fully falling asleep, happy as a pyjama-ed girl tucked up in her cosy corner (my bed has a cosy corner now)...

"wonderful" thinks I,
"lovely, up nice and early for work and be fully on form for my first day back"
No no.
Sleep would not have it...
Sleep decided to evade my mind and instead have it polluted with imagination!
"OH NO, imagination, go away!! Leave me to my slumber"
but no sleep retreated in fear of the epic AMAZINGNESS that imagination was creating.

And so, at 2am, I am writing a whimsical yet socially astute song parody.
...of course!

Yes. Anyway,

I dont believe I ever posted *this*...this being the music video that I, albeit briefly, was in for Katie and the Carnival. I do love bubbles!

I am proud of my meagre achievements!

I am also goingt o see this band tomorrow and I might just pee my pants a little if I get to meet them! A load of my friends are being interviewed at it, 'cos they're important band types, and I, because I am an unimportant tag-along type am, well...tagging along.

And finally, a while ago I went through a big obsession with waking up every morning to the Voluntary Butler Scheme, but for some reason never blogged said obsession. He is simply perfection. I saw him at Dukebox completely by accident and wouldnt have remembered who it was if Toner hadnt pointed the album out in work just before he left. So yeah, it's one rather charming man doing things with pedals that I don't understand (like Ruby Colley, she too, creates mind-blowing music by tapping her wee foot).

I remember it was this song in particular that made the ladies fall in love with him, terrible quality video, but worth it for nostalgia!

Ok, I'm going to try and tempt sleep back into my head, I think my creativity for the night has been spent. I was arts and crafts'ing earlier too! Children like I should be tuckered out and awaiting the sandman by now...metallica's sandman obviously...

Thursday, 12 November 2009


Fuck me this shit is painful



Saturday, 31 October 2009

This Town Ain't Big Enough For The One Of Me

God, I love Belfast, there is so little I don't like about it, if you took away the scumbags and political nutcases it'd be perfect! But everything is getting a little samey, Monday night pub quiz, Friday night Blackout/Gigantic, Saturday night Laverys, Sunday night No Dancing. and repeat...
It's great because parties are always mega, and the banter is class, but it's just the same places I think. There's a handful of decent venues despite the fact theres an above average number of kick ass bands to play in them, so we end up in the same places night after night. I think I'm going to need to run away and go on another adventure soon, I need a change of scenery and a little escape! Then I'll come back because there's nowhere in the world I'll ever love more than Belfast (ha, city-proud uch emma?!)

A free house, a sound-system and a fridge full of beer;
I've known how this story ends for a good few years.
The night lays out before my eyes, there's no new faces, no surprises.
This town is growing old with me, so I'm making a move.

Everybody round here's been out with everybody else,
Which makes talking to girls hazardous to my health.
They've been in this genepool so long they've got wrinkled toes;
I don't want all her exes to be people I know.
There's millions more fish in the sea, so I'm making a move.

I'm bored of this town, bored of this scene, bored of these people, yeah.
I'm bored of this town, bored of this scene, bored of these people, yeah.
I'm an expert at pretending that everything is OK,
But I'm just a kid and it seems as if I've signed my life away.
I need to get out and see what the rest of the world is about.
This town ain't big enough for the one of me, I'm making a move.

Every guy with long hair round here is a star,
According to his girlfriend and the way that he holds his guitar.
If anyone gets out they stick in the knife, I don't want to get stuck here for the rest of my life.
I'm sick of these fuckers, I'm moving on.

I still want to be buried here, just like I said,
but I'd prefer it if you'd wait until I'm actually dead.
It's easy to get caught inside a town that seems to have a hive-mind,
But I'm packing up and moving on,
When I move out from my parents' house I'm gone, yeah fuck you guys I'm gone.

This town ain't big enough for the one of me,
So why don't you get from in front of me?
We're all going to move to london anyway, so I'll see you in town.

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Why hello!
It's nearly hallowe'en ooOOOooooo!! Can't wait, I'm going to nana and papas for old school hallowe'en partying, then up west for Sarah's getting ready partay, then to the AU ball! So much fun! I'm going as swine flu, so basically I'm a sick piggy (despite the fact I woke up this morning and really AM a sick piggy, but I'm hopin thats because I slept in my arts and crafts box lol!
I've met a mad amount of new people recently! It's been class, I love making new friends! People are so lovely! I'm working loads but I'm just kinda keeping my head down and getting through it, it's going to happen a lot more coming up to xmas-but sure! Means I can save (ha!) some money and get a wee trip over to see my english folk I heart in 2010!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

so freeking excited about Question Time!

Now I'm a liiittle bit of a Nordie politics nerd (probably one of the few without a strong political allegiance), and my Thursday night routine was the source of giddiness for me for years. Mum works Thursday nights, so I got to sit undisturbed in the kitchen and bake delicious treats while watching Hearts and Minds, then Lets Talk, then over to the Politics Show on BBC2, but oh my, Question Time was my dirty little dip into National politics, I'm most definately less knowledgeable about the UK political system, but I get by! So tonight (in case anyone has been living under a rock) Nick Griffin will be on the panel representing the BNP, thats my main contension, I think he should be there unaffiliated with an illegal party, but anyway.... It's going to be a tumultuous show, there's bound to be some sort of disturbance, god I adore live tv! My friend who works in the BBC in Belfast was giving me a facebook chat second by second detailed description of the protest, we're miles away and the anti-BBC feeling is so strong! I don't agree with the reason behind protests (for once), I do believe that everyone has a right to their own opinion and should be given the opportunity to defend it, no matter how disgustingly bigotted and hate-filled that opinion may be. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE protests, such a spirited display of passionate people, it makes me proud when at times I feel like society has become entirely apathetic. I love strong views, I love passion!

10.35... (don't miss Hearts and Minds first though)

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I forgot how much I loved this song!!

1997-excellent year!


*cough* are 3/4 done...

oooh look a butterfly...

The week before last was bad bad bad and I can put the blame squarely on me being silly and boys...and a collaboration of the two elements...

this week

has been


I have been an exceptionally busy bee! And it's all because on Monday I met up with a certain Katie Kazam who set the ball of exhaustion in motion. Monday I went to the pub quiz and won a bottle of wine which mcglinch and I decided should be stored in Gary AM's house for safe keeping! So on Wednesday and Thursday I was at the Beat making glittery amazing butterflies for the carnival, yessir, I sat and did arts and crafts all day! If there is a heaven it's the Beat workshop, I'm certain of it! Tuesday I went to see the fantastic Rocktoberfest gig in Annies, the highlight being the Panama's acoustic gig, seriously, SERIOUSLY good! Thursday after the Beat was the PK's secret gig too and then the Team Fresh gig in Radar, (which has been dubbed "The Riot at Radar"-I still have all my bruises from clambouring over the barrier). Friday I was in the hell of HMV, it was ok though because it was Toner's last day and I brought him to city hall for a liquid lunch. After that it was the off to Gary AM's house for some vino then Queer Girrafes last gig before Toner ran off on tour for two months with the Panama boys the next morning. That ended up at that house in Lawrence street, and I finally got to meet who lived there as I flitted round the house going "seriously, who actually lives here, I've been here three times and no one seems to know!" Saturday I was at the carnival all day, being a butterfly and generally feeling like a child (despite the late-night drama of saturday). It was just magical! I went home after the carnival, slept for a couple of hours and was woken up to see if I wanted to go back to city hall and take photos of the atl gig for the bbc website...hell yeah I did! Sunday I was playing purcussion for KoKo and the Boomtown Cats, despite the fact poor Katie had no voice. And Monday was meant to be "back to the real world" but instead McGlinch met me from work and we harrassed Gary to let us come to his flat and drink wine-it worked and we left suitably merry!

So now, I have to do my PK review for nIchart (it'll be glowing, wee Stubell put me on guestlist bless him, even though I'd made such a fuss to him last week about there being too many guestlists in Belfast and people just expect to be on it!) I have an album review for Panic Dots, I'm quite worried about, I've never done an album review before! I have to finish my CV and then investigate just how on earth I can burrow my way out of hmv! Oh and find some money, yeah that's uber important...I literally don't have bus fare to get home!

I hereby pledge to have my nichart review done for 2pm, that's only 2 hours...I'm going to stop writing....NOW!

(after this song which has been in my head all night)

Weep for yourself, my man,
you'll never be what is in your heart
weep little lion man,
you're not as brave as you were at the start
rate yourself and rape yourself,
take all the courage you have left
wasted on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

but it was not your fault but mine
and it was your heart on the line
i really fucked it up this time
didn't I, my dear?

tremble for yourself, my man,
you know that you have seen this all before
tremble little lion man,
you'll never settle any of your score
your grace is wasted in your face,
your boldness stands alone among the wreck
learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck

but it was not your fault but mine
and it was your heart on the line
i really fucked it up this time
didn't I, my dear?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

A Brighter Beat?

I've had an absolutely horrible 24 hours, but for once in my life I really don't want to dwell on it, I'm just going to pick myself up, brush myself off and start again!
Anyway, I've had a good wee dance and there shall be more dancing this week too, nothing can go that badly wrong that can't be fixed with a good ol shimmy on the dancefloor!

In the words of my favourite faux-mexican tequila comeback band..."BOYS, SHITTY BOYS!"

ok... moving on

I've given in and decided to do more hours in work, hopefully there shall be a domino effect of good vibes from doing something that I hate, the universe owes me happiness! I'm going to attempt to get out of horrible-debt into reasonable-debt, then run away somewhere, somewhere far away where I can have a soul fulfilling adventure! (ok I don't believe in souls, but it's a nice image)...

There's no such thing as rockstars
There's just people who play music
And some of them are just like us
And some of them are dicks...

Thursday, 1 October 2009

An unshakable feeling of dread.

I now have two (albeit potentially coincidental) reasons to believe that something has happened which everyone is trying to hide from me. And I don't have a clue what it could be... So I'm thinking it must be pretty flipping bad. I mean, I'm nice enough, I never show anger, so chances are, if something has happened, it's a big life changing something that people are worried I'm going to get severely emotional over...
I hope to science this is just extreme paranoia... :|

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Stay Close Sit Tight

So the past few days I've been thinking that I would give anything to have someone, anyone come over and sit with me for a while, just watching tv or doing nothing, but something restful and calm. Tonight I am at mum's house where it is neither quiet nor peaceful, but it's away from streets that when I walk them I see people I know on every corner, and frankly that's a good enough reason to be here than any. I just need one night of complete alienation from everything (and I do realise that saying this whilst on the internet is counter-productive, but it too will end soon). I tried to calm my silly little head down last night by delving head first into some philosophy and in the dark randomly reached out to the bookshelf, fumbled a guess, sat down, switched the light on, and in true dark humour the fates had conspired that I pick up Hume's On Suicide. (It wasn't that odd a choice really, 2/3 of my books in Ashley are existentialist/nihilistic masterpieces). I had a quick flick through and realised that I had read it so many times it needed to be laid to one side for another few months. So I broke out the ipod swirled the little control and hit play (and this is where it just got creepy), I ended up listening to Malcolm Middleton, perhaps the most moreose songwriter on the planet. He is excellent though, so as I go to have some quiet time I leave you with an utterly depressing but wonderfully lovely song.

*cough* There appears to be no videos of it online you only get the lyrics...which are pretty self-indulgently disheartening... but fuck it, it's my blog I can do what I want!

Stay Close Sit Tight
I can feel stuff coming
I'm scared of a life of pain
Just round the corner is sadness and misery
Tomorrow I can die
Today I need to sort this out
Start with the kitchen, the bedroom, then my family

I can feel depression coming
It always starts with the clouds
Then the fear of phones and mirrors and not wanting you around

You stay close
And you sit tight
Don't be so faraway tonight
I may be bad
And I may be wrong
But you know I won't stay this way for long

Then I remember
That you remind me
I do have have some stuff to look forward to
Like those replica screaming eyes
That are going to look to me
To tuck them in at night and raise them right

Don't call me
Because I wont pick up the phone
Don't come around
Because I probably won't be home
There's this little thing that is mundane and a bore
But it locks me up and stares me out and drills a hole

Don't invite me
I'm safer where I am
Best not to make plans
Because I'll just agree and then cancel
There's this little thing that is mundane and a bore
But it locks me up and stares me out and drills a hole

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Broken Heart

Though I have a broken heart
I'm too busy to be heartbroken
There's a lot of things that need to be done
Lord I have a broken heart

Though I have a broken dream
I'm too busy to be dreaming of you
There's a lot of things that I gotta do
Lord I have a broken dream

And I'm wasted all the time
I've gotta drink you right off of my mind
I've been told that this will heal given time
Lord I have a broken heart

And I'm crying all the time
I have to keep it covered up with a smile
And I'll keep on moving on for a while
Lord I have a broken heart

Monday, 21 September 2009

Sick of Feeling Sick

(I should apologise that all my captions recently seem to be Frightened Rabbit quotes, but this one is necessary, for I am ill and am frigging bored of it! Plus I heard the absolutely MEGA news that Frightened Rabbit are supporting Modest Mouse in December in good ol Belfastland, so I am positively beaming!)

But yes,
I'm ill.
I lasted an hour and 35mins in work today then admitted defeat and went back to mammy emma's house where I have slept up until now. Thats 8 hours, a whole nights sleep, I haven't got that in quite a while. And the silver lining of this whole thing is that for once I will get to stay in bed and sleep my way out of my energy deficit so I should be back on track and positively buzzing as soon as I can move without crying again!

I've been extremely self-destructive recently, which although undoubtably is a bad thing, it's good to have some sort of cathartic outpouring once in a while. This is some sort of self-involved cathexis which has completely consumed my life recently, bad things have happened to other people and I seem to be drawing them into myself, recounting the problems of my friends and investing all the emotion onto the blankness of myself. I cried today because I was ill, but it was so so silly, I never ever cry, I generally would prefer to be likened to an emotional vacuum, apathy isn't such a terrible lifestyle in my opinion. But I know I'm wrong, I'm being self-indulgent, because by shunning outward emotion I'm building a barrier.

Those that will judge
will say you're aloof
but you know the truth is a seed
you know what you need
is a conflagration
cause when I see your blood
and the bits of your broken tooth
it gives me the proof that I need
it's the proof that you bleed
and it's a revelation

A mister Andrew Bird ladies and gentlemen, I'm so predictable with my lyrics.

Bah, I intended to move onto more cheerful topics but an absolute wave of exhaustion has taken over so I think I'm going to head to sleep again. Come on white blood cells, do your thing!!

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Loose Lips
loose lips might sink ships but loose kisses take trips
to san francisco, double dutch disco,
tech tv hottie, do it for scotty
do it for the living and do it for the dead
do it for the monsters under your bed
do it for the teenagers and do it for your mom
broken hearts hurt but they make you strong and

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we're just dancing, we're just hugging,
singing, screaming, kissing, tugging
on the sleeve of how it used to be
how's it gonna be?
i'll drop kick russell stover, move into the starting over house
and know matt rouse and jest are watching me achieve my dreams

and we'll pray, all damn day, every day,
that all this shit our president has got us in will go away
while we strive to figure out a way we can survive
these trying times without losing our minds

so if you wanna burn yourself remember that I LOVE YOU
and if you wanna cut yourself remember that I LOVE YOU
and if you wanna kill yourself remember that I LOVE YOU
call me up before your dead, we can make some plans instead
send me an IM, i'll be your friend

shysters live from scheme to scheme but my 4th quarter pipe dreams
are seeming more and more worth fighting for
so i'll curate some situations, make my job a big vacation
and i'll say fuck Bush and fuck this war
my war paint is sharpie ink and i'll show you how much my shit stinks
ask you what you think because your thoughts and words are powerful
they think we're disposable, well both my thumbs opposable
spelled out on a double word and triple letter score and

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we won't stop until somebody calls the cops
and even then we'll start again and just pretend that
nothing ever happened

we're just dancing, we're just hugging,
singing, screaming, kissing, tugging
on the sleeve of how it used to be...

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen...we are floating in space...

In a blatent attempt to pick any remnants of selp-pity out of my little head I decided to take a little break from seeing people recently. Iscolation after a long bout of hardcore social interactions. It was really good in some aspects, I did a lot of reading, got stuck into my philosophy again and took some time to breathe. On the other hand it was devastatingly lonely, but a kind of necessary lonliness (to be a complete fangirl and steal a line from a friend's song, but one which can properly convey the sentiment- "you think I'm lonely, but I'm only on my own".) Anyway, I had my week and a bit of extreme self-involved introversion and decided my slump was well and truely over! On Thursday I got to blow bubbles in a music video for one of my friend's bands! I'll post it up when it's finished, I can only imagine how phenomonally sureal the entire thing must look (I dont want to spoil too much before it's up). I then absolutely hit the ground running into public life with a Saturday extravaganza thanks to the police closing down the au party and us having to relocate to a house on Melrose Street, the ENTIRE au party, in a house 1/4 the size. It. Was. Fantastic. The most wonderful part though, was even though I'd been awol for such a short amount of time in reality, people noticed, my friends were lovely and patient with me, people who I barely know were making sure I was going to come to the party and not slink off home. I am unbelievably grateful to have such gloriously caring people around me!

And so, I have returned to live a life of hedonism, rampaging through the streets of Belfast with early morning bottles of rosé! Long may it continue!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Bee Scene and knot herd

Talking- it's a wierd phenomonon isn't it?

It's one of the first landmarks in life, we spend years developing it, trying to do it skillfully, with tact and honesty, employing an appropriate eloquance, and understanding to the tiniest degree the enormity a few words can have on someone.

But when all is said and done, most of us still can't say what we want to, and when we do, if we ever do, chances are there'll be no one there to listen.

Here's a man who I think has an astounding way with words, the catalyst behind my blog title, and an altogether amazing artist. He explains the meandering ideas of this blog post better than I ever could.

Tables and Chairs
If we can call them friends we can call them on red telephones
and they won't pretend that they're too busy or they're not alone
if we can call them friends we can call
holler at 'em down these hallowed halls
but just don't let the human factor fail to be a factor at all.

don't you worry
about the atmosphere
or any sudden pressure change.

'Cause I know
that it's starting
to get warm in here
and things are
starting to get strange.

And did you,
did you see how
all our friends were there
and they were drinkin' roses from the can

how I wish I,
I had talked to them
and wished they
fit into my plan..

And we were tired of being mild.
oh so tired of being mild,
we were so tired.

I know we're gonna meet someday in the crumbled financial institutions of this land
there will be tables and chairs
pony rides and dancing bears
there'll even be a band
'cause listen after the fall there'll be no more countries
no currencies at all
we're gonna live on our wits
throw away survival kits
trade butterfly knives for adderal
and that's not all
there will be snacks, there will
there will be snacks.

And we were tired of being mild.
oh so tired of being mild,
we were so tired...

So don't you
don't you worry
about the atmosphere.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Oh my...

Putting my ipod on shuffle is a fairly recent occurance for me, I really am more of a "full album or nothing" type gal. But I've been coaxed into giving the auld shuffle a hit one or two times every so often, and the bus on the way home today was one of these oppertunities. So I skipped past the first few terrible terrrrrible tracks and settled into a nice medeley of Emma-tunes.

And then...while passing S. D. Bells (a cafe) in Ballyhack, this song came on, and to be honest I was going to laugh or cry...for the first time in a few days I decided to laugh at my own my own stupidity.

She Bathed Herself in a Bath of Bleach
She'd walk on broken glass for love
She thought burnt skin would please her lover
To keep love alive and lust beside
Kind people should never be treated like...

Empty arms and naked heart
Violence, a sad truth followed with a
Table for two, such a sweet delight
Whispers "I love you my darling" tonight

Love bathed her in a bath of bleach
"I brought you here, no one else will"
Don't hurt her anymore, stop now
But salmon pink skin memories took care of...

Empty arms and naked heart
Violence, a sad truth followed with a
A table for two - such a sweet delight
Whispers "I love you my darling" tonight

Yeah, fuck it, I've permanently messed my face, but c'mon, you gotta laugh...

This is a spade.

Today has been exceptionally rubbish by anyones standards. Upon dragging myself into work for the first dayback after my holidays I was greeted by the welcome of "have you heard who else is leaving?" There's been a mass exodus (well, granted, as much a feeling of as an exodus a months notice can envoke) from my place of work (*cough* lets call it HM...B?). Now, another two of my favourites have handed in their notices, leaving my nose distinctly out of joint; I'm not sure how they can do it so freely and I can't, although now the idea of leaving is becoming a lot easier. I was in a foul mood all day, so much so that a girl I work with, and don't have terribly much else in common, told me to tell them I was ill so I could go home because "I looked so sad". Not content with depressing the hell out of the building I also went on an extreme rant when in reply to "I wish all my friends weren't leaving" my boss said "don't worry Emma, it's probably no consolation but I'm not going anywhere." I'm going to need to keep my head down for a while.

The second, possibly more soul destroying portion of my day is documented in my notebook and on various untitled notebook entries on the computer. I'm writing some very difficult things at the minute, the victory of head over a capricious heart. Instead of actually sending them though I've just had them lying open for hours, doodling in margins or re-wording until my brain can take no more. In fact, of all the things I have written today intended for other people, I have only sent one of them, another one it is necessary I will send, the others will probably get lost in the dark recesses of my bag until I find them in a few months, read back over them, and remark "Jesus, what a twat am I!" I just need to send this necessary one and it will be a weight off my shoulders in one respect, and a crashing elephant on my chest in another. It's for the greater good, my Benthamide-self would be proud!

Finally, I got asked to do a review a couple of days ago, it was one of the most difficult ones I've ever done (which is saying something because my inhability to write coherently means every review is a struggle), I just didn't like that kind of music at all, and it was the band who requested the review! Anyway, I did it and very timidly sent it away, I heard back from the band today who luckily sent a very nice response saying they thought it was a very measured response from someone who admitted they didn't find any redeeming qualities in that particular music genre. This is all really just an excuse to say they called me a good writer!! Yay! I was properly chuffed! And it never rains but it pours with reviewing. I got asked earlier today to go a gig review tomorrow, I'm still in two minds over whether I'll do it or not, but I'm so happy to be asked because I thought the particular site that it will be for hated me! Alas, chances are I'm not going to be able to do the review, my social abilities have depleted back to zero the past few days, but still, it's nice to be asked.

Seriously though...

Flipping Einaudi!!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Desire Not Consolation

I know I'm not alone in this feeling, when someone feels obliged to alienate themselves from society and await the release of enlightenment or self destruction. For me this results in a lot of music, classical for the most part interspersed large dose of existentialist philosophy.

I had a discussion with someone recently about "recovery", take from that what you will, life recovery, a recovery of what you once had, something specific, it's unimportant. An extremely intuitive, clever lady, she told me about the necessity of balance. Balance of body, mind and soul. All of which I have been neglecting recently in favour of some sort of unfulfilling hedonistic lifestyle, I love it, I don't want a quiet existance, but right now, I just want some peace, a break to gather my thoughts and put myself in a better frame of mind for the future.

This has been my day in blog form:

Ludovico Einaudi's Le Onde on repeat. This album reminds me so much of the three years I lived with Abi, I miss her so so much.

Saint Saens' Danse Macabre, this makes me think of school, the most phenomenal piece of music I have ever heard. Probably the first classical music I bothered paying any attention to. I think of Mrs. Smye's music class, she made us close our eyes with our heads on the desk for an hour and listen to it over and over again imagining the skeletons getting up from the graves to dance until dawn, and then the mad dash to return to the dead before the sun came up. I still can't listen to it without picturing it. I'm sure everyone else in the class was sleeping.

The Stranger by Camus, the first existentialist book I ever read. It's like a comfort blanket for the lost.

In truth, the majority of the day was spent in a self-loathing, vaccuous spiral, but these are the aspects I choose to focus on, the creative, the soul fulfilling, the socially acceptable madness.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

More Career-Based Ramblings

Yes, the old man in the previous blog has very obviously affected me. I spent the majority of yesterday -well into the early hours of this morning- trying to find something, anything that could act as an aim for a future career.

So I thought, what am I good at? Unfortunately the answer is sweet f. a! The most useful thing I could come up with is I can fit my fist into my mouth with both my legs behind my head at the same time (oh yes, it has been photographed) unfortunately fetish prostitution isn't very high up in my life ambitions.

So I moved on. What sort of things to I enjoy? Luckily this didn't inspire the same feelings of objective loathing, in essence, I'm a very easy lady to please. I enjoy lots of things, usually I'm cheered up by the most simple things. I love music, but my extensive knowledge doesn't go much further than local bands - but at least that's something. Something I know that I have a fairly comprehensive knowledge of, I enjoy it, but alas Rigsy has already monopolised upon the King of Local Music crown.
I love photography. It's a fairly new endeavour, I never really got the whole Art scene in school, in fact, I was pretty damn annoyed that the art kids could have so much fun (and listen to the radio) while I was stuck in the Business Studies mobile next door. Luckily I wasn't completely consumed by jealousy as my best friend at the time seemed to have a breakdown everytime an art deadline loomed it's ugly head. But photography was never a seperate GCSE in my school so I never had any encounters with it at all. Fortunately now, years later, I've had the pleasure to meet some very talented artists and photographers. I've been given hit-and-run lessons in photography and seem to not be absolutely horrific at it. More important than any actual skill (in my opinion) I really quite like doing it.
My final option was one I've been bouncing about my empty head since GCSE, and bear with me on this one, I used to want to be a sound engineer. Random, I know. I don't really know where the desire came from, it was possibly when I decided my music career had disappeared when I went on my "give up on everything" year (I do have a habit of writing everything off when one route doesn't work out "oh the car door's closed, I guess I'll never learn to drive..." Eventually this progressed into me doing a couple of starter courses in university and realising I was slightly too mathmatically inept to be good at it, however, I found a new love, lighting! I was a lighting artist for a play once, and oh my, it does sound like a fairly non-job, but it was something I loved and did well at. Unfortunately the play lasted 2 weeks in 2nd year of uni, and never have I ventured into anything like that since, out of practice, out of love?
(I did however get to climb the beams and rig up the lights, I thought I was the coolest mo-fo in the world!)

The sad thing is, I know what I want to be when I grow up. In fact I could probably list 10 or more things I could spend the rest of my life contented to the point of ecstacy to be able to have as a career. But they all require a talent that my dumbass creative side never thought to expound upon in my early life. So, fetish prostitution it is then?

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Monday, 24 August 2009

My New Careers Advisor

Today an old man yelled at me in the street and made me run home to cry. He's generally nice enough, he lives a few doors down from my parents house and I've never had major qualms with him before, in fact, he's usually a delight. So this afternoon I was walking up the horrible hill to my house (after 21 years I still can't do it without wheezing) and I noticed him walking towards me with a big grin on his face. And so it began:

"Hi Cecil, how are you?"
"EMMA! Your hair!! I don't like it, I liked the other shade of purple, this one's too...too bright"
[Yikes, right to the jugular]
"Oh, ok..."
"So have you got a job yet?"
"Oh yes, sure I've been in my job for 2 years now"
"no, I mean proper job. What are you going to do with your life?"
[not a happy question]
"Ah, I'm not sure yet Cecil, I'll find something"
[and so began the death rant]
"EMMA you are 21 years old, you finished university in a silly degree [ouch], and you don't even have an idea about what you want to do? Just what on earth did you think would happen after you finished [my chin starts quivering]. You must have an idea, you're not stupid are you?! I mean, come on! Your poor mother, you need to wise up one of these days [eyes start welling up].
"ok Cecil" *sniff* "I'd better head home..."

Alas, the man has a point.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Legal Love

So since Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is more or less guaranteed to be sent back to Libya I've been thinking about the role of compassionate grounds for release within a modern judiciary system (because I'm just that cool!) I was born in the year of the Lockerbie bombing, it holds no great emphasis for me anymore in comparison to others closer to home or events I may have more personal connections with. The liberal (read:soft touch) in me is screaming "aww c'mon, send him home to die with his family" but there's some niggling doubt in my mind. It was only in 2001 he was charged and he's meant to serve a minimum of 27 years, for killing over 200 people, mothers, fathers, children, brothers and sisters. Yes the man is dying, but he caused an insurmountable amount of grief for the families and friends of the people he killed. I'm in a state of extreme ambivilance over the entire issue, just how does one decide where compassion is warranted and where is isn't? What precedent must be set that other appeals are weighed upon? I'm going to claim ignorance on the actual legal processes involved in meriting compassionate release (or transfer in this case) but I can only imagine it's too subjective to have a set of criteria to be met, yet equally I'd imagine it occurs regularly enough for there to have to be some sort of guidelines, however strict or open to interpretation. Morally I have serious qualms with putting a value on anothers misfortune, no matter who the individual is.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Maybe today, the world might be a more colourful place...

Why Hello :)

Tonight I make my return to blogging! I don't really know why, I think it's quite an odd concept actually, but theres something ultimately cathartic about the whole thing.

Anyway, just to make up for my abandonment I'd say I'll rattle on a fair bit.

An increasingly noticable theme that seems to be recurring around my circle of friends and onward into society as a whole is that of extreme self-involved paranoia. I am guilty of being a headcase at the best of times, but recently I've noticed other people catching up and being more vocal about their negative emotions. The problem remains as to just how necessary it is to express how you feel. A Sub-Camp Queer (I'll explain later) rule was to not be self-depricating, it was a wonderful idea that some of us made a concerted effort to follow the entire weekend. Just how effective was it to our own self worth though? Just because we don't say certain negative things doesn't mean we don't feel them. Undoubtably in oh so many cases things are said for attention, for a constant need to feel assured of ones own value, secure in the knowledge you don't look grotesque, sound stupid, act unconventionally. On the other hand does stifling these feelings inside yourself allowing them to fester without interference allow for a more socially acceptable outcome? It seems feigned self-hatred is all the rage these days, and it makes a genuine cry for help get lost amongst the flurry of cries for attention. Self worth should only ever be viewed as an abstract concept anyway, no one is worth anything, we were all born and we will all die, what happens in the middle is filled with what we want to fill it with, and no one can judge anothers worth from their own subjective choices. It's completely illogical to assign degrees of good upon an independant entity, so why does it suddenly become acceptable to ascribe it to ourselves?

Onward to happier and less head melting subjects, as I mentioned above Sub-Camp Queer was formed at Forfey (hopefully not to perpetuate the idea of band gang culture). Since then we have been meeting up regularly,specifically thanks to a wonderful young lady who shall only be known as Tesco Value Whiskey, I am immensely glad to have met such a person, and although I knew most of the other members of Camp Queer reasonably well, I think as a group we can take over the world! Happier times are to come for us all!

A selection of Sub Camp Queeros, Ruth's in this photo too but blogspot is mysteriously cutting the silly photo in two! Damn you technology! ...I'm joking I love you...don't ever change

Music has been sweeeet the past few months, I've been sorting out my back cat (I'm such a hmv drone) and I have been properly immersed in some pretty fantastic stuff. First and foremost Frightened Rabbit, but I'm still on a Manchester Orchestra buzz too! I've been hitting the oldies again, more Dylan and Neil Young. I'm moving away from my Emmy the Great and other female singer/songwriter obsession though, no real surprise there, there's been a bit of a lull recently. I lost my itunes library, I'm pretty devastated, but I'm holding out hope that the internet will hold the answer to somehow getting it back, it's going to take an age to put all the cd's on, nevermind the downloaded stuff! oh dearie me!

This entry hasn't been half as intense as I imagined, I suppose I have done an excepional job of avoiding saying the important things and instead only skimming the surface of this crazy life! And that, my friends, is why I never had a flair for reviewing!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Just to continue on the downer...

it's exactly 10 years ago tonight the man broke into my house and stabbed dad.

Yup, I'm a bundle of laughs

Tuesday, 16 June 2009


A man was found dead in the shallow river in Dundonald, he was beaten around the head. The post mortem is being carried out tomorrow so I will know for sure. But I think I know him.


You don't choose your friends, but nor do they choose you. Friendship is born out of a shared fear of lonliness, abandonment or desperation. It may feel nice and cuddly and warm, but that's all an illusion, emotions that you have felt a hundred billion times since the first person in the playground came over to talk to you because they didn't want to spend lunchtime alone.
I'm feeling distinctly lonely. It's at times like these when I launch headfirst into my philosophy, bring on the existentialists! All is full of Nothing.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Calcium is Deadly

Generally I start blogging with some sort of intention as to what I want to talk about, something that can act as a focus to drag my ramblings back to. Not this time, so apologise for the rather twisted train of thought.

Since last blogged I saw the Manics, it was phenomonal, I cried, yes, I am a twat. The next day (Sunday) I took Abi on her mystery birthday tour. We went to Dublin to see War of the Worlds, Alexis James ran around the audience and a fleeting thought gripped me as I sat at the end of the aisle..."jump in front of him". I didn't but oh lordy it took some personal strength. Justin Hayward missed his cue for the Eve of The War too, that was mad!

And so ends the official post-exam celebrations. Oh...except for the traditional end-of-an-era piercings!
As of Wednesday 10th June, I am the proud owner of three more surface piercings, all around my right hip bone! Two green discs with a purple star in the middle!

(Similar to this but with three of them a less attractive tummy)
I love them so much, it's a little worrying that no one else likes them, but hell, if I'm destined to be alone I'm going to be alone and happy!

I was going to launch into a self-reflexive commentary on my most recent dabblings in self destruction but I don't think I have the energy for soul searching today.

Instead I'll end with a run down of the exciting July ahead, all courtesy of the Trans Belfast festival. It amazes me the amount of people who don't know what's going on in their own city, it's a real shame

Copy and Pasted straight from my facebook note, these are my "must do's"
If anyone needs me in July, you shall more than likely find me in the following places!

The Lowly Knights
Panda Kopanda
Seven Summits
John Shelley and the Creatures
Desert Hearts
Dutch Schultz
Strait Laces
Before Machines
(This is going to be annoying because panda kopanda and dutch schultz are on at the same time (presumably) in different places in the Waterfront!-Argle!)

10th July - WATERFRONT
Panama Kings
Axis Of

14th July
La Faro
A Plastic Rose

15th July
Arts as a form of protest (discussion panel)

16th July - WATERFRONT
Liverpool Showcase

16th July
Do the rights thing

18th July - BLACK BOX
Super Extra Bonus Party
Team Fresh

19th July
Black Market

19th July - ULSTER HALL
John Shelley and The Creatures


26th July - BLACK BOX
Money Back Guaranteed
(Katie and the Carnival)

26th July - BLACK BOX CAFE
Sunday Service

There's a good few with clash (mostly with silly work) and some more which I would like to go to but I don't know that I'll have the energy for. It seems I'm lacking in motivation for life as full as it once was.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

I am the Girl Who Wanted to be God

Yesterday I finished my final exam in university, and since it I have been in a foul mood and I am hugely apologetic for it. I went out last night and saw my wonderfully talented friends gigging, and then met up with some other friends all with their own unique amazing skills, everyone had something that they are renouned for being phenomonal at in comparision to everyone else. My friends are fantastic and as the night wore on I felt smaller and smaller.

That was day one of my post-finals "celebration" and instead of moving forward I'm spiralling right back to where I had come so far from. Old issues are fast reappearing to slap me in the face, it never rains but it pours.

Tonight I'm going to see one of my top 3 bands in the world, the band who made my favourite album of all time, and I would much rather just crawl under a blanket.
I'm very mixed up about a lot of things at the minute, and whilst it doesn't make me feel better, it works as a sort of empathy through music.

I'm going to experience the Manic Street Preachers, most likely for the last time in my life.

Isn't it lovely,
when the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.
Isn't it lovely,
When the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.

Goodnight my sweetheart
Until we leave tonight
Hold me in your arms.
Wish me some luck as you wave goodbye to me.
You're the best friends I ever had.

Goodnight, sleep tight.
Goodnight, God bless.
Goodnight, nos da.
I'll try my best.

Isn't it lovely,
When the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.
Isn't it lovely,
when the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.

I will be waiting all my cares are for you
Dreams they leave and die.
I'm just gonna close my eyes,
think about my family,
shed a little tear.

Goodnight, sleep tight.
Goodnight, God bless.
Goodnight, nos da.
I'll try my best.

Isn't it lovely,
when the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.
Isn't it lovely,
when the dawn brings the dew?
I'll be watching over you.

Leave me, go Jesus
I love you, yeah I love you,
Just let me go.
I even love the devil
For yes he did me harm
To keep me any longer.

'Cos I'm really tired
I'd love to go to sleep and wake up happy
Yeah I'm really tired
I'd love to go to sleep and wake up happy,
Wake up happy.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

I'm Planning to Make Plans of Plans

My whole life has revolved around plans, I used to list things obsessively, time my day down to the second, everything would be written out nice and tidily ready for order to just follow of it's own accord. But it never did, because as well organised my intention was, my execution is always and will always be chaotic to say the least. I went through school and fell into university, largely because I didn't seriously consider any other option, as of Friday my life "plan" comes to an end. I never thought to plan past university, surely then everything falls into place? Apparently not.

I used to have such hopes and ambition, and I planned to follow it, but I never saw it through. Prudence got the better of me, not that Philosophy can be considered a terribly usedul subject, but at least it has some element of structure, some basis for intellect, people are interested in the whats and the whys regarding it. I wanted to be something special and as I got older I kept saying it was too late, when I was still in primary school I thought I was too old to start doing things, my age has always found some way of embarrassing me no matter what age I was. I don't know why I thought my life was over before it had even begun.

Myself, my Mum, Auntie and Nana laughed in the garden today that my Papa wanted us to be the Von Trap family, he would love to hear us sing, he adored it, and he's a hard man to please. He was always stern when I did concerts, he had no fear in chastising a 9 year old child when she was off or out of time, he did it because he wanted her to be the best. He drove me to the School of Music every Saturday for three years, he was the only one who came to ALL my concerts, I never remember Papa missing one, my own father has never heard me sing despite the fact that until I was 16 I was doing shows, recitals etc at least every other month, but dad never wanted to go. Papa went to everything. Papa told me I would be in West End, I would be a leading lady, or an opera soloist, whatever I wanted. Until I gave up, and now I don't sing anymore.

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Enemy

As of tonight I'm officially retiring (for the forseeable future) from my short career of doing gig reviews!
Basically I just can't justify the intellectual turmoil that it puts me under, every sentance I write I have to read over meticulously for fear of coming across as too harsh, too nice, snobby, stupid, mostly just stupid. I have an issue with that, I HATE being called stupid, it's a flyaway comment that is used all too often, I'm guilty of it myself, but calling another human stupid is a grave insult in my book.

Blogging is different, no one cares about what I have to say here, but reviewing actually means something, my last review the promoters asked me to do it! I'm the enemy if I express my opinion, I'm a liar if I don't. Either way people are pulling me from both sides to be something. I love music, I enjoy writing, it should be a perfect match, but I have no authority for my opinion to be worth more than anyone elses. You want to know what a band is like? Just go and see them gig, form your own opinions, they are the most important, and don't judge gigs on what people like me say.

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.

So here is my last ever review, it's probably my worst actually, it was pretty rushed, but you can see my others on nichart and nipodcast if you really care

Reno Room, Rupture Dogs, A Plastic Rose
Xposure, Auntie Annies 24/05/09

Xposure at Auntie Annies is fast becoming a mecca for new bands in Belfast, usually focusing on a locally established headliner coupled with up and coming acts, tonight saw Reno Room and The Rupture Dogs support A Plastic Rose. With a bank holiday on the horizon it would have been fair to have anticipated a packed house of revellers intent on making the most of a Monday off, but the crowd trickled in steadily only building up towards the headliners. Nonetheless the atmosphere made up for disappointing numbers early on in the night.

Reno Room valiantly took to the stage first and grabbed attention with the immediate highlight of their set, 'Can't Stop Hiding', the guitar riff to which instantly implants itself in the audience's head and refuses to let go. The grinding guitars are most suitably likened to an earlier Biffy Clyro sound, a time when vocals took a backseat to the purposeful intention of the melody. Unfortunately four songs into the set the lead singer's string broke, not an unusual occurance by any standard, but it seemed an excessively long wait before they were ready to play again. After the string debacle, despite being overtime already, they were rushed into one final song with their confidence obviously shaken.

Second up were The Rupture Dogs, providing a considerably darker, gritty element to the lineup, 'Today and Tonight' is an excellent example of how a good alt-rock song should sound. Rupture Dogs are brimming with potential for the future, their uncomprimising energy was evident on stage and explicit when word was spread that bones were chipped during the performance. Impressively powerful drums burst through every song, overall a highly enjoyable set which paved the way well for the headliners.

A Plastic Rose have been embarking on a whirlwind of gigs recently with the trend set to continue well into the summer. Fresh from supporting the ASIWYFA vs Fighting With Wire gig, A Plastic Rose have found their own following, evident by the marked increase in the crowd, and their willingness to edge ever so slightly closer to the stage. The harmonies in 'All You Know and Love Will Die' are staggeringly beautiful, vocally emanating a stripped down, raw side to the band, A Plastic Rose are versatile, and well aware of it. 'Opus Dei' begins in the same vein, emotionally effectual vocals contrasting with the increasingly harsher melody as the song progresses. This song obviously envokes some sentiment within the band, not least because they announced that originally it was an instrumental before they later added lyrics, both times debuted on that very same stage in the attic. As they announced they had played their final song I couldn't help but notice a few distressed glances around the audience, however after succumbing to the power of encore pressure, A Plastic Rose performed their essential crowd pleasing party-piece, 'Kids Don't Behave Like This'. The room was electric, they certainly have learnt how to whip up a furious reaction, a skill which is altogether lost in a huge number of other bands. As the chorus repeats the boys are obviously revelling in the crowd singing their own song at them, as the night draws to a close and Annie's dies quiet you can still hear the echoes of A Plastic Rose threatening “put your f*cking hands in the air! ...No...Seriously.” For a band like this, we'll do what we're told.

- Emma Louise Fisher

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Journal For Plague Lovers

I've been quite the Manic Street Preachers fan girl for many years now, I saw them touring Send Away The Tigers (probably the worse MSP album) and have been waiting like a fat kid for cake on Journal For Plague Lovers. The Holy Bible is possibly my favourite album of all time, definately top three, and since the entire concept behind the new album is as a follow up to The Holy Bible, it had the potential to be the biggest anti-cimax in musical history. A ruin to Richie Edwards memory, the final nail in the Manic's coffin, the end of the era. I avoided downloading the album, I dutifully switched off the radio when the single came on, I had braced myself for the worst and had my own obsessive regime I needed to follow. Establishing my own rules for music, I suppose I'm an eternal hypocrite. On Friday 16th May Journal For Plague Lovers came into work, after my lunch I begged for it to be put on the playlist. This album was meant for me to hear in the way I intended. The first few words made me scream and giggle like the loser I am;
"You know so little about me...what if I turn into a werewolf or something"
It's a quote from Christian Bale's character, Trevor Reznik (a nod to NIN's Trent Reznor) in The Machinist, one of my favourite films(ie. one of the only films I can watch again, and again, and again...I generally dislike films, but that's another story for another time.

Idon't want to be an idealistic, airy-fairy, adorational, lunatic about the whole album like it's some magical gift from Richie wherever he may be. There are a few honest critisms, though I feel like I have absolutely no authority to make any negative comment, I can't put something on an unreachable pedestal in my mind and then rip it back down.

On occasions it feels like it's trying so hard to BE The Holy Bible, perhaps that's just inevitable, Nicky Wire kept harping back to how this album was about doing justice to Richie, but it felt a little forced. I'm thinking, the overlapping quotes such as the Machinist one. In The Holy Bible it acted as an introduction to the overall atmosphere of the song, sometimes as an accompaning statement which gave some insight into the actual background to the lyrics, like the tv advert in ifwhiteamerica or the Archives of Pain quote from the mum of a child murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper. Journal For Plague Lovers doesn't do this to the same extent as Holy Bible, but I can't decide whether the quotes compliment the songs in the same way. I'm very tempted to say they don't, but that's a strong comment I'm not confident enough to commit myself to, so I'm leaving it as a suggestion for consideration.

Nicky Wire. I just think, William's Last Words would have been the absolute zenith of the MSP discography if it had been sung by James Jean Bradfield. I presume they were trying to show some distinction between the rest of the songs, and it does sound like an eerie suicide letter, it makes you sit up and take notice, but I just don't think Nicky Wire should be singing it. It's a personal gripe, a lot of other people are going to prefer it the way it is.

I'm going to finish this with the lyrics from Pretension/Repulsion. I'd love to be inside Richie Edwards' head when he was writing, I don't know if the context of his lyrics I associate with them are anywhere near what he intended. But even if I'm "wrong" it means a lot to me.

Sickened and housed street death's burned
Blacked, lived, compelled and cold
Closed down and swallowed formed and regained
Blacked, curt, gloat and discerned

Shot from shot
The androgyny fails
Odalisque by Ingres
Yet your bones for sale
Pornographic, this is pornographic

Expertly clothed amazed and perturbed
Assumed annoyed and ceased
Bow down together
Agonised and locked
Mixed, sealed and received

Monday, 18 May 2009


Just thought I'd pop up one of my old essays from last semester on Metaphysics. People are immediately put off by the thought of reading a philosophical essay, especially a very traditional strand such as metaphysics, but it really is so simple once you get your head around the new concepts that I think everyone should be able to appreciate a little philosophy in their lives.

If I was given any sort of power (more fool whoever gave me it) I would make philosophical studies compulsory in religious maintained schools. I went to a Catholic grammar school, they made a big deal out of their reputation, a reputation which would have been severely tarnished if half the scandals within the school broke into the mainstream public attention. Anyway, I digress, when we chose out A Levels religion was a popular choice, I suppose it was something we had very obviously grown up with, something the school flourished at teaching, to accomodate this there were a number of elements which made up the Religious Studies A Level, each pupil studied 2 elements, usually one biblical and one more modern. I was one of the lucky few who got randomly placed with the "good" combination, Luke's Gospel (horribly uninteresting, but a great teacher, and Philosophy). By this point I was already fairly set in my athiest ways, but I was interested in learning about the ideas of why people believe in a god, why specifically Christian, and the argments for and against it. I have ranted about this many times to anyone who is willing to listen to me, I truely believe that my life would be so unbelievably different if I hadn't been given the oppertunity to study Philosophy. At first I concentrated on the religious aspect, as I suppose the school was encouraged to do for a religious A Level, but then I moved onto the existentialists, the nihilists, political philosophy, Marx, Locke, at the end of the year I remember the teacher saying the last element on the syllabus was taken off the exam so we didnt have to do it if we didn't want to, and I begged her to give me the information sheets and readings anyway, I'll always remember, it was a rediculously simple introduction to Freud and Jung. I still have my A Level Philosophy folder, my teacher let me keep Camus' The Plague and Sartre's Nausea because I borrowed them so much, I promise one day when I'm out of debt to buy them a series of philosophical novels instead of the old tattered copies hundreds of grubby handed students had destroyed.
Philosophical ideas are beautiful things and deserve to be kept that way.

Just a brief introduction to the essay, assuming you know nothing of the subject, metaphysics is a study into elements of subjects which you can't dissect with science or logic. It is called metaphysics purely because when they were trying to reconstruct Aristotle's work, they formed it in such a way that this section didn't have a title, they named it "metaphysics" because it literally came after the chapters on physics! Now this essay is specifically on Bundle Theory, but the question it is flitting around is basically, if we take away all elements which describe something for example, take the properties of redness, roundness, and appleness, away from a red round apple does it immediately cease to exist? How many properties must be taken away before it disappears? Can something exist we cannot describe? There are NO right answers in metaphysics, only logical conclusions. The trick is using Occams Razor, you have to come to the least conveluded, likely answer. Though I've always had a problem with Occum's razor, a simple question to it..."why?"

This isn't a fantastic essay, I just scraped a first with it by the skin of my teeth, it's pretty badly written but the detail is all there. I think it's an interesting subject if you want to dive into the nitty gritty of philosophy. I'll post up some more accessible, perhaps more popularised philosophical essays later.

Is an individual material substance constituted exclusively by its properties?

A substance is commonly recognised to be a culmination of properties which we can use to adequately describe it. When we consider this matter in greater depth however a number of problems arise which render us unable to commit ourselves to the description of substance as purely properties. Proponants of this idea, a bundle theory, would agree with the original statement's intention. Criticisms to this stance are numerous which means it is now very difficult to hold this view successfully.

The bundle theory is a reductive explanation of the elements which make up a substance, it states that a substance is only it's attributes with no other abstract features. This contrasts it with the Aristotelian substance-attribute distinction, Aristotle in Book VII of Metaphysics (350 B.C.E.) sought to highlight a difference between the matter and form constituting the substance. The bundle theory is intrinsically linked to Leibniz' identity of indecernibles principle (Discourse on Metaphysics 1686) this states that if X and Y share the same properties then X is identical to Y. It then follows for the bundle theory that if two substances have entirely the same constituting properties then the substances are identical; if any element of the properties is different then the substances are distinct.

Leibniz and Hume are both in favour of the principle of the identity of indecernibles on the basis that it is illogical to reject it. Macdonald in Varieties of Things (2005) highlights Leibniz view that the principle is a “neccessary truth,” this in turn means that the bundle theory is true also. Hume advocates the principle also, but from an empirical standpoint, he believes it is counter-intuitive to think we can describe something without making reference to the properties it contains, it is necessary to have the sensory experience. The bundle theory's success is found in the common sense notion we have when describing something, because we refer only to the substance's properties we cannot concieve of a substance being anything more. This certainly makes for a plausible theory on the construction of substances however it fails to be entirely convincing and a number of objections have been raised that question it's validity.

A potential objection to the position of the bundle theorist is the distinction between necessary and contingent elements within the substance. Any substance is contingent since there is the possibility that it could never have come into existance, however, the properties of the substance are necessary, they could not fail to exist in any possible world. The bundle theory has then created a contradiction since the same entity would be both neccessary and also contingent.

The bundle theorist may respond to this criticism with an opposition to the supposition that since the properties are neccessary it then follows that the substance should be neccessary also. The example of a large object made out of small bricks could be used to the bundle theorist's advantage, it would be wrong to call the whole object small just because it's componants are. However, in examining this, the problem of the co-exemplification of relations arises. Instead of the properties being contingent, the bundle theorist could respond that it is the relation of the properties themselves which is the contingent element. Using the co-exemplification relation in this way leads to an infinite pattern since something will always be needed to relate the properties to their relations.

This criticism can be more successfully rejected by a bundle theorist utilising the idea of trope theory to clarify their argument. It is similar to Aristotle’s idea of individual accidents. In trope theory we percieve the property as being particular within that substance, two apples may look the exact same colour of red however they exist in two seperate entities so they are not identical, the property of red is similar in both apples so they are grouped as being the colour red. Tropes are not the same as universals since they are locationally distinct and they are also contingent since they may not exist within that substance in a possible world. This seems to successfully refute the claim that the constructs of the substance are neccessary whilst the substance itself is contingent, however trope theory in itself is a highly disputed idea.

Another objection raised against bundle theory is that of the intrinsic unity of substances. We would commonly associate a collection of things to be nothing other than that, with no qualities to link them, however the same is not said for properties of a substance. Macdonald gives the example of sitting in a chair holding an apple, we do not consider the whole thing constituting a substance, that of a chair, a person and an apple. Yet, the bundle theorist remarks that the properties of redness, roundness and being an apple, are sufficient to call the substance an apple and not just a collection of properties.

This criticism, although similar to the first, poses more of a problem for the bundle theorist to respond to. A possible claim could be made about the neccessity of some properties to each other, therefore making them instrinsically linked, however this by no means accounts for all properties in a substance. The bundle theorist could describe the essential properties a substance has, however this is unhelpful as it is trying to reduce substances by making reference to the substance thus getting caught in a circular argument. It seems that for this criticism to be rejected the bundle theorist would need to employ the use of co-exemplification relations again as extra properties to create a link between the properties and the substance. However as we have seen before, the use of co-exemplification relations is flawed so this would not satisfy the objection. It is apparently very difficult for the bundle theorist to try and satisfy the objections that are raised through the lack of an intrinsic link, it is a reasonable feeling, yet theoretically difficult to say that some properties just naturally warrant an individual substance whilst others do not.

The bundle theory appears to create neccessary truths about a particular substance in relation to its properties. The objection states that the bundle theory only serves to make logical truths, not informative statements, about a substance by ascribing the properties to it. If the bundle theory claims that a substance only is the sum of it's properties then by making reference to its properties we learn nothing new, providing we are aware of what the substance is. Macdonald gives the example of Felix the cat to illustrate this objection. Consider the statement “Felix the cat is a feline animal,” presuming this is true the bundle theorist can only say “the cat is the cat” since the property of being feline, and knowing we are talking about the substance Felix, cannot provide us with any new information. If we are unaware of a property Felix has, the example being that of having forty teeth, then the true statement about Felix cannot then be true since we should not be aware that the substance is indeed Felix. The bundle theory needs to account for how can one be assured that the substance is exactly what they think it is, despite the fact we do not know all the properties of the substance. The bundle theorist would claim that it is not neccessary to have a full knowledge of all the properties of a substance, there would have to be a point that a certain number of properties is sufficient.

Truths about substances according to the bundle theory which seem to result in them being neccessarily true is worrying since it follows that the substance needs the specific properties neccessarily. Properties are not all definitions of the term itself, using the example of the statement “batchelors are unmarried men” we can see that it is analytically defined. The bundle theorist can make the distinction between essential properties and kind-determining properties however this too is troublesome as it seems to contradict the theory that you can have the substance without a property no matter if it is essential or not.

In a response the bundle theorist needs to address the problem which arises from all truths being logical truths when one considers any true statement made about the substance to be obvious by knowing the substance itself. One way a supporter of the bundle theory could do this is to highlight a distinction between what is an obvious logical truth and what is less obvious. The counter-argument relies on the knowledge of the individual themselves, whilst a logical truth may be obvious to one person it may not be to another and so appears to be informative to them. The problem here is not with the bundle theory but with the imperfect knowledge of the person who is referring to the substance. Another attempt to combat this objection can be found by considering the use of tropes again instead of properties. From our understanding of tropes it is then possible to discover informative true statements since the we are not using the idea of universals. If the trope occurs only once in anything then within any substance we can find new information about it.

The fact that substances persist through time causes another problem for supporters of the bundle theory. According to the theory it would seem the substance becomes new if it gains or loses a property over time. The best way to counter this is by focusing on diachronic identity, as opposed to synchronic identity, that is, identity over time as opposed to at certain stated points. The substance would only need to be identical with itself at a certain point in time for it to be the same unchanged substance, so this does not really pose much of a problem to the bundle theorist. However problems arise when considering the properties of a substance which has changed at different temporal positions. When we make reference to a substance we are doing so at a particular point in time yet the idea that temporal change is somehow built into a substance does not do justice to our common-sense notion of change. It seems the bundle theorist does not have a clear rejection of the problm of substances persisting through time.

The strongest criticism which could be used against the bundle theory is proving that the identity of indecernibles is false, this would then collapse the entire bundle theory. To do this we would need to find two non-identical substances which have exactly the same properties. Using the principle of the identity of indecernibles if two seperate substances have the same properties then they are identical, however it also has to have the property of being identical to itself. The damning problem with the bundle theory here is that to make reference to the substance (being identical to itself) in the context of one of it's properties it ends up becoming a circular reductive argument.

There is the oppertunity to clarify between pure and impure properties for the principle, meaning that only pure, non-relational, properties are considered. It then becomes a lot more difficult to disprove the principle of the identity of indecernibles since all apparent rejections are focused on relational properties.

The counter-example to the principle of the identity of indecernibles is given by Max Black in his thought experiment of two identical spheres. This situation can only take place in a possible world where nothing else exists, only the completely symetrical world and two identical spheres, no observer or anything for them to be in relation to. Black succeeds in this opposing example because he posits that the two distinct spheres exist despite the fact they have the exact same properties. This means that Leibniz' principle has essentially been proved to be false thus the bundle theory falls apart since it relies entirely on the identity of indecernibles to be true.

Through the various objections to the bundle theory which make it increasingly difficult to defend the bundle theory's claim that substances are only the sum of their properties. Even setting aside the fatal destruction of Leibniz' principle of the identity of indecernibles the mounting pressure against the theory which led it to withdraw to the use of trope theory and co-exemplification relations results in a weaker front being established. It is, through the final attack of Leibniz law being proved false, nearly impossible for a bundle theorist to seriously uphold their claims without having to make some serious consessions and so it is highly improbable that a substance could be considered as only being constituted by it's properties.

Emma Fisher