MIDNITEMEN cast their cosmic gaze on 90s house classic and anthem for a greater humanity FREE by the mighty Ultra Naté, a song whose message of liberty and excellence rings true throughout the universe. DO WHAT YOU WANT! DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!
So I’ve been thinking about DONCASTING again lately, cos I have loads of music I’d like to play you and things I’d like to talk about and stuff and I kinda miss it. It was always a mental and time consuming and stressful challenge, but it was always rewarding. Then this came in:
Patreon’s another thing I’d been thinking of looking at. Any relevant ones I should check out? And where’s the best place to think about Doncasting now, anyway? Ustream? Google Hangouts? Something new?
I caught the train to Chester yesterday to get something I’ve wanted ever since I ran away to Liverpool on my 15th birthday. I suppose for perfect symmetry I should have gone to Liverpool to get it, but my research revealed the most suitable tattooist in the region to be down the road in Chester, so to Chester I went, and the award winning Golden Dragon Tattoo studio, where a talented young droog called Craig finally inked Evan Dorkin’s angry dairy products on my right arm, AKA my cartoon arm.
Hugely influential things happen over very short spaces of time when you’re young, compared to your later years. More events of lifelong import happened in the 7 months I was in Redditch between 16 and 17 than happened in seven of my London years. And the few days I spent as a just-turned-15 runaway in Liverpool were even more intensely concentrated.
One thing that came out of that little nuke of emotional intensity that would reverberate for the rest of my years had to do with comics. I acquired a little pile of comic books in the town centre, some stolen, some bought with cash I’d been given for sitting at the side of the road with “homeless” written comic-bookishly on some cardboard next to my teenage personage. One generous and emotional lady have me a handful of paper money, blinking back tears and muttering about the horrors of the modern world. I spent the rest of the afternoon sipping on milkshake in MacDonalds’ reading Tank Girl and A Tale Of One Bad Rat, and the evening in the back of a pub listening to the jukebox and reading Evan Dorkin’s Milk & Cheese. ”Dairy products gone bad,” Milk & Cheese were rageful and hilarious little alcoholic cartoon characters who railed against societal idiocy, raining righteous ultraviolence down on the heads of fools. I related to their disgust at world, I shared their rage. In later years they reminded me of that, when I fell into new age traps of cheek-turning and othersuch passive, submissive, bubble-dwelling, world-ignoring selfish faux-spirituality. They were Lydon’s “Anger Is An Energy” screed personified.
I finished the comics and doodled them on the back of some napkins (which, it transpires, was how Dorkin created them in the first place). When the pub closed I wandered the streets looking for somewhere to sleep and, eventually, after some adventures and incidents, I found an abandoned building, whose rotting old stairs I climbed to a room with no roof carpeted with pornography and drug paraphernalia and broken glass. I lay on my back looking at the lights blinking through the orange stained clouds, thinking of my life in all directions, as the songs I’d heard and the comics I’d read sunk into the tapestry of my consciousness. I knew whatever happened, it was going to be OK. I knew who I was what I stood for. I knew what I wanted from my life.
I decided that when I could afford it I’d have panels from all the comics tattooed on my arm. I imagined a whole sleeve adorned with bits of my favourite comics, telling the story of my life and my dreams.
To this day, my favourite thing to do in a new town is buy a comic, find a bar, and sit my ass down with a drink and and read. It feels holy. It centres me, it reboots me. It reminds me where I came from and where I’m going. Just thinking about it gives me a hair tingling sort of hiraeth, as the Welsh say.
TRUE DETECTIVE PLAGIARISM ACCUSTATIONS ARE BULLSHIT
Oh what that time travelling asshole Alan Moore spoilered the end of True Detective in 2001 what a dick sheez.
In all seriousness though, all this plagiarism stuff being flung at True Detective writing dude, I’ve looked at it, and yeah, he’s taken some lines here and there but who hasn’t, consciously or unconsciously, stuff is made of other stuff, and none of that stuff was created in a vacuum, that’s how stuff becomes stuff even TERRIFYING YE OLE TESTAMENTE YAWEH SKYGOD had to make Adam out of some dirt that was lying around and that Eve chick out of a fuckin RIB, and True Detective writing dude made a whole new thing out of loads of other things and some previously unbeholden shit that happened in the gutters of those previously existing things as they all meshed together in his BRAIN and that new thing was DOPE and TRANSFORMATIVE and didn’t exist before in that particular form so fuck all all that shit dude.
So sayeth the Don.
MAKONNEN GOING UP UP UP UP ON TUESDAY
Check out iLoveMakonnen, whose instant classic Club Goin Up On Tuesday we remixed the other week, reacting to Drake’s remix of the very same song that dropped this morning. Look at the joy! Mane, that response was one of the purest things I’ve seen from a musician in as long as I can remember. Shit made my eyeholes fill up with starjuice and everything. I’m genuinely thrilled for the dude. And with that Drake cosign, we can expect iLoveMaokonnen to get Migosed within an inch of his life over the next 12 months, meaning 2015 is gonna be rap’s weirdest year yet and I can’t fucking wait.
(also thank you DBS, Southern Hospitality’s resident prophet, always three steps ahead of the game)
GODSPEED ROBIN WILLIAMS
All my life he was there, being funny.
“Nanoo, nanoo,” my mum used to say, at the dawn of my human memory, doing her impression. That was the first time I remember seeing him too, as Mork, making me laugh from the faraway little TV hanging from the ceiling of in the Liverpool Children’s hospital ward I was in, getting my eight year old penis operated on.
Special as that was, I think I’ll remember him most fondly for that wonderful laugh he let loose with when he came out of the pub after the funeral in that episode of Louie. That was perfect.
This week’s MIDNITEMEN drop, following a pair of nineties reworkings, is set in the very present, Atlanta to be specific, where incredible new sounds appear like dew drops every dawn, inspiing this peakwave amplification of nu age based god iLoveMaokonnen’s amazing CLUB GOIN’ UP ON TUESDAY… first introduced to me by the always on point Southern Hospitality chaps, Makonnen is a breath of the purest deep space, an ultra melodic, ultra unique continuation of the good work begun by Lil Bars in The Bay executed by a Los Angelino in Future Town.
Can’t wait to play this one out, but its been most enjoyable in my ears running on my beach and booming around Don Studios V, Rhos On Sea, the sweetest temporary home I ever have known.
I got some incredible news the other day after paying tribute to the based deity beneath the Welsh Niagra of Aber Falls. This photo was taken before the news, but it conveys the feeling well, I think. Also the shirt. The most beautiful shirt I have ever seen.
I went back up there today with Hercules and my Mum. Hercules made friends with a horse. He was sad to have to leave him, when it was time to leave him.
He said to the horse.
At the speed of Hercules, we made our way up the hill to the gushing glory of Aber Falls. It dawned on me that “waterfall” is an intensely unimaginative word for so spectacular a wonder. We sat beneath it and felt its power. Hercules was sad to see the waterfall go too. As we walked back down the hill he turned around, which neither me or my Mum had thought to, and bid it a heartfelt and emphatic farewell.
“BA BYE. BA BYE!”
Perhaps sad is the wrong word. He wasn’t sad to see it go. He was grateful to have known it. Grateful to have enjoyed being in the presence of so truly awesome – if poorly named – a thing as a waterfall. Thank you thing of wonder, he was saying, thank you, I love you, I am so happy to have known of your existence.
He is right, of course. Hercules is always right. I hope to be more like him when I grow up.
EDIT: My little brother Alexander Velky reckons these are a rare species of magical horse-family creature known as the Carneddau Pony, that have been around since the Celts. He sent me this BBC article about them, which mentions some have been freezing to death, something my uncle, who used to live up Aber way can confirm as he and my mum happened across some poor dead frozen ponies a few Christmases ago.
I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Colwyn Bay has a disproportionate amount of charity shops. More charity shops than banks. More charity shops than pubs. More charity shops than newsagents. More charity shops than obese dudes in raggedy T-shirts begging money to buy smack. They are always open, they are always full. Where does all the stock come from? How do they pay their rent? How much is their rent anyway? Are their staff all volunteers? How come even the videogame shops can’t stay open while second hand suit and shoe merchants prosper? What does it say about a town when its high street comprises of charity shops, pawn shops, and Cash 4 Clothes outlets? How’s about I answer none of these questions and just post photos of my 18 month old son sat in in front of a ruin of shopfronts in his airport pushchair?
Hosbis Dewi Sant. 5/10
The first Charity sop you come across if you’re entering Colwyn from Rhos On Sea is this, a posh old ladies’ tea set of a charity shop, overpriced and over reaching, it seems in a perpetual state of Awaiting A Visit From The Queen Mum and the ladies who work in it glare at Hercules, a sure sign of psychopathy if ever I knew one. It does have some great lamp shades though.
Herc’s favourite, and mine. There’s always some new kiddy musical instrument in the window. He’s got a veritable home studio going on right now and most of it came from here. Deceptively windowed, the place looks like some vast paradise of second hand toys from the outside, then you go in and its fucking tiny, like some inverse tardis, and you realise 98% of the toys are in the window. Loses a point for its infuriating slogan, “believe in children.” “Why do I need to be instructed via slogan to believe in children they’re not fucking leprechauns are they they’re fucking everywhere look there’s one stabbing his obese mother in her obese gut with a Gregg’s sausage roll,” goes my internal monologue, speaking in Mitch Hedberg’s voice for no good reason.
North Clwyd Animal Rescue. 4/10
Pretty dry. Pushes its pro-animal agenda by putting stuffed dogs and plates with cats painted on them in the window, but doesn’t have much else animal themed when one enters, kind of a con really. Smells of murderous bed and breakfasts in places you end up because your car broke down.
Runaround Reuse: 9/10
This place is fcuking great, like some sort of carzy Aladins Cave of treasures. Weird old art, micro machines, racist ornaments, drug smoking paraphenalia. I got Herc’s first toy guitar in here, and if we were staying longer I’d have decked out my whole studio from this place alone. Technically not a charity shop, apparently, I noticed a sign on the window saying “WE ARE NOT A CHARITY SHOP”, which might go to explain its superiority, people tend to make more of an effort when its their own business with which they provide for their families.
Help The Aged. 0/10
You must be a pretty shit charity shop to have to shut down in this town, and with so many advantages: famous brand name, nice big windows… the place has some prime real estate too, located right at the top of the high street. Every time I pass its dusty ole windows I think about the wonderful possibilities of a true free market with no interference from government, then I think about bank bailouts and I get angry, so even if this place wasn’t getting NIL FUCKING POIS for being shut down it’d be taking a hit for that. Good riddance idiots.
Cancer Research. 6/10
Weird one this, pretty dry, doesn’t have a particularly high stock turnaround, and seems to sell loads of weird janky handmade shit along with the usual offensively bleak birthdday card packs. Fresh-ass paint job though, and the windows are always shiny clean.
Instant minus points for a lack of capitalisation on the sign, then some more off for debilitating political correctness – scope used to be called the Spastics Society which is a much better name, sounds like some awesome superhero team or something. Stockwise its pretty boring, mostly crappy old clothes and moth-gnawed lady purses. The carpet is a hive of terrors also.
Dan’s Den. 8/10
Not actually a charity shop, in that its a family run business that deals in Loads Of Random Old Shit, but they donate a lot of money to some charities I think cos the woman who set it up’s kid got set on fire or some fucking dreadful tragedy. They’re all really lovely in there and you can get a washing machine for £40, or a wardrobe for a tenner, and they’ll deliver anything for a mere fiver, its amazing and real boon to the local community. High fives all round.
St. Kennington. 3/10
Real talk, I’m scared to go in here, its looks like a doctors surgery or a dentist or something, and its hardly got anything in it anyway.
St Vincent’s. 0/10
This is the fucking worst charity shop in town, maybe the worst one I’ve ever had the misfortune to experience. I don’t know whether its because its located in the indoor shopping centre along with the Morrissons’ and The Works’ discount bookstore and the Holland And Barret that gives it its sense of superiority, or whether the owners are just social climbing assholes, but this place is so above it’s station its orbiting the fucking sun and banging into Russian satellites. It’s got gnarly ole sofas in it that you could cop for a tenner in Dan’s Den down the road on sale for £95, and the shop assistants follow you around click-clacking their teeth and rubbing their lace-gloved hands like your gonna shoplift or something. This place is the charity shop equivalent of old crones on the bus in Smethwick reading The Lady and sneering out the windows at single mum’s dragging the shopping at Lidl. Firebombs are too good for it.
British Heart Foundation. 7/10
Pretty classy and slick as charity shops go. It’s almost like people involved in it get paid and it turns a profit or something crazy. Always clean, well stocked with decent non tatty stuff that they could probably get more for on Ebay, like good-as-new looking Carcasan sets and contemporary celebrity autobiographies in hardback. The place is staffed by trendy young people with throat tattoos and flourecent hair and ear tunnels and I suspect its actually a front for some sort of secret ninja society or something. Must investigate further.
BONUS NOT CHARITY SHOPS SECTION!
All blockbusters should be left like this, closed down and unoccupied for all time, preserved like prehistoric moths in amber as warnings to humans of what can happen if you’re a non adaptive luddite behemoth idiot that can’t see the fucking volcano has erupted until your face is getting melted off with ten tons of hot fucking larva.
The first time I went into Colwyn Bay Spar the man behind the counter informed me I should enjoy it while I could as it was likely to shut soon enough cos since the Bargain Booze up the road opened no one comes in anymore, apart from old people to buy milk and what shop can survive on milk sales alone? Booze > Milk, is the lesson to be learned from that, I suppose.
Cash 4 Clothes
I was pretty stunned when I found this place, like, what, Colwyn Bay can sustain umpteen charity shops that mainly thrive on second hand clothes AND it has some sort of terrifying clothes pawning gaff that pays 60p a kilo for shoes?
Cash 4 Your Clothes
Bearing that in mind you can imagine how stunned I was when I discovered a SECOND shop doing exactly the same thing 5 minutes up the road from the first, differentiated by the number 4 in its name and some fancy window stickers of some chick looking delightedly at a perfect crisp fan of 20s having obviously just sold enough clothes to stock the charity shops of Colwyn Bay for a long cold winter.
I only took a photo of this hairdresser cos I was intrigued by what it was called before the first word was erased from the sing. What could it have been? Gucci Mane Attraction? Dare to dream.
The Outside Caff In The Supermarket Where The Old People All Go For Breakfast Everyday