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Thursday, July 24th, 2014

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?

OK!

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.

Barnardo’s. 8\10

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.

scope. 4/10

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!

Blockbuster

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.

Bargain Booze

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

Because DOPE PERSPECTIVE.

THEEYA!


— Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

YASSS BISSSHHH!

The weekly MIDNITEMEN remix assault continues with this very fucking wavy remix of Oasis classic nineties power ballad WONDERWALL!

This week’s transmission was intercepted by Eddy Temple Morris who played it at the top of his legendary XFM The Remix show on Friday night. That would be the first MIDNITEMEN airplay! LEGENDARY!

BIG HIM THE FUCK UP ALL DAY LONG! You can listen back here for a limited time, and we’ve ripped it to Youtube for posterity.

Meanwhile rad New York EDM site Electronica Oasis just blogged it, with the following scrolls of wisdom:

LA production duo MIDNITEMEN are smashing it again this time with an Oasis remix; just one of the many releases to come out this week by the duo. You’ve got Noel Gallagher for starters, so all the girls and boys are singing along, next you have a 90′s classic with a modern autotune twist and to top it off a sub bass that will make any deep house fan pay attention. This is a contemporary work of a cult classic and it works. Free download too.

BIG THEM THE FUCK UP ALL DAY ALSO!

We’ve got a whole gang of these in the can and are constantly working on new shit so these are gonna keep coming on like The Shamen. Also look out for our first official remix commission coming next month for a legendary  artist…

 

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— Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

I first came across Alabama legend G-Mane in 2010, which seems like another era already. I connected with the sound instantly. Somewhere between Nate Dogg and Pimp C, it had style, soul, substance, swag, swang and superior storytelling in abundance. I made me want to learn to drive again so I could cruise around in some great boat of  a vehicle banging it. It was his Sex, Drugs And Money tape, on which he hit a beat that sampled Tom Petty, same song I sampled on Show The Joint.

So, despite coming from entirely different places, we were already united by music. That is the power of recorded sound, brothers and sisters. And a few years later, he hit me up on twitter for some beats, and I sent him some, and he liked the one that sampled Mercury Rev, and asked me to rap on it with him, and lo, there it was, Anglesey to Alabama, united in sound for eternity.

Splash.

And now its been released, as part of his brand new album In God We Trust, which you can stream above, and purchase here. Its G Mane, so you already know its another beautiful collection of timeless rap music. Dude is as consistent as consistent comes. I’m working on some new shit for him right now, so you can look forward to more cross cultural country classics. Amen.

MEANWHILE IN WALES!

I have been continuing to run on my beach, go for walks every morning, and spend happy, happy times with my girl and my son. I’ve also been drawing more one off albums sleeves for people, so get yours while you still can. Oh, and I do believe MIDNITEMEN just got their first official remix commission from a legendary artist. Can’t wait for you to hear it.

Speaking of which, I do believe there’ll be a new transmission today…

OVER AND OUT.

SPLASH!

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— Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Help The Aged

When you live in a city, you sometimes find yourself wondering where all the old people are. Well, I finally found them. They’re all in Rhos On Sea. Drinking tea in the shopping centre. Sitting in bus stops, not waiting for buses. Playing the accordion and signing ole-timey war songs. Perched on plastic chairs on the promenade eating ice creams. Lounging on benches looking out at the sea. Walking hand in hand along the beachfront. Staring at lurid headlines on the front pages of the tabloids in Morrissons. Nearly running me and Hercules over in large automobiles. All day, every day.

I noticed an old couple the other day as I was wheeling Hercules out of the drive in the cheap and convenient airport pushchair that replaced his old Hummer Quinny Buzz. They were shuffling along, he looming Lurch-like, leaning lugubriously into a stroller (I think that’s what they call them. Sort of metal frame contraption with wheels). His tiny wife trudging alongside him grimly. Eyes fixed straight ahead, they moved slowly, oh so slowly, towards the seafront. I looked down at Hercules, him at the start, and them, them at the end, and thought how cruel life is, to give everything when it can’t be understood then take it all away when finally it can.

We headed supermarketward, pretty seaside Rhos giving way to the identikit British town familiarity of  New Colwyn, nodding at bleary eyed old drunks sucking down Superkings outside the Weatherspoons, once an elegant cinema, wide open for business at 9:00 am. Bulbous smoking explosions of red veins and resignation slopping out of checkered collars, shaking like leaf debris in the cool morning breeze.

We crossed the road. A car was coming towards us in the distance. Faintly I heard the sound of its horn.

The early drunks’ sober old schoolchums were filing into the town centre, gathering around the emergent market stalls, browsing the  giant bags

of sweets an dogfood and fake Beats By Dre and the canvas prints of bootleg Batman mashups, trickling into the myriad charity shops to rummage through things their friends gave away, or their friends children gave away when their friends died. Colwyn Bay has more charity shops than it does anything, pubs, banks, bus stops, smackheads. Every other shop on the high street is a charity shop, and the rest are pound shops if they’re not a Bargain Booze or a Pawn Shop or a mobile phone shop advertising no-credit check handsets made by exotic sounding brands. Or The Bloody Manshop, that sells men’s shirts and coats in a kaleidoscope of beige and grey and sick and magnolia, and has been having a closing down sale since we first came here four months ago.

In Morrissons old men hovered around the newspaper rack, peering at typically cheery and inpirational Red Top headlines, before picking up The Daily Mail and wandering off.

An excited old couple approached us by the £1 croissants bin, resplendent in matching biscuit coloured sweaters. “Hiya,” said Hercules, happily.

“Did you see us, at the lights, we could have killed you,” gushed the male part of the arrangement. “At the lights,” agreed the lady side, peering out from under his left elbow giddily. “We put the brakes on. Could have killed you. And the little one. Didn’t you see us?”

“Hiya,” said Hercules.

I said I saw them, yes, and I was pretty sure they were very far away at the time, perhaps I was experiencing time in slow motion, that happens sometimes, but thank you for not killing us, sorry for any concern. I gave them both half a hug each.

“No harm done,” said the man, who looked a little like Ron Swanson’s dad, I realised, “we’re all safe now.”

“Bye,” said Hercules, scrunching his hands in their general direction, five minutes after they’d wandered off up the cheese isle.

Mobility

There’s a railway bridge by our house. Hercules likes to shout when we go under it, playing with the reverb, listening to the echo. “HIYA! HIYA! HIYA!”

The old couple from earlier were in front of us, he  worrying the roof with his head, leaning into his stroller, she at his hips.

“HIYA! said Hercules.

They turned, and she smiled. I’d never seen her smile before. “Hello young man,” she said. “Those are lovely shoes you have.”

“HIYA!” agreed Hercules, merrily. His shoes were very cool. They looked like blue crocodiles.

We passed them, under the bridge, as a train rumbled overhead. Hercules loves the train. We see it out the kitchen window every day. “BUP!” he shouts, pointing. “TRAIN,” I’ll say. “TRAIN.” “Bup,” he agrees sagely.

There was horrible sound, a sort of dry crack, and I turned around and the tall old man was laid out on the floor across his tiny wife, his stroller tumbling into the road, their arms dangling off the side of the pavement. “You stupid, stupid,” she screamed. “Stupid, stupid old man!” She lay thrashing beneath his weight, cursing him, as I parked Hercules and ran to them. With some effort I pulled the man to his knees. He seemed to weigh as much as car. He felt like metal girders swaddled with cloth. His eyes were brimming, violent bright blue fish holes in Eskimo Town. Incomprehensible high pitched protestations fell from his paper lips as his wife lay on the pavement, finger aimed at him like a crossbow, “Stupid! Stupid old Man!”  He looked as crushed, as utterly defeated and humiliated as I’ve ever seen a fellow, there in my arms, on his knees, almost up to my neck, this

great tall man, still handsome, shit, I thought, he probably used to box, probably fought in a war, saw radios and TVs get invented and men walk on the moon, now he’s on his knees under a trainbridge in the early days of the 21st Century unable to move, drowning in the contempt of his wife.

He stayed like that, on his knees, up to my neck, in my arms. I didn’t know what to do. Why wouldn’t he stand up?  Then I remembered the stroller, out in the road. I felt like the worst person in the word. Somehow,  I managed to get him to his feet, and keep him up there as I retrieved the stroller and leant them both against the wall. He looked at me blankly then down at his wife, still cursing her “fool” husband. I offered her my hands and started to pull her up, then suddenly what felt like fifty people appeared from out of nowhere, arms all around her, lifting her up, like a pop star at a festival.

The old man leant against the wall, shaking softly. Blood spilled from a tear in his paper cheek. The townsfolk gathered around them, a warm embrace of genuine and friendly concern.

“You OK fella?” “You alright luv?” “You’ll need stitches.” “Needa lift to the hospital?” “Let me get my car.” “”You need to phone anyone?”

“Well done mate,” one said to me.

“You’re a good lad,” said the little lady, smiling again. “Thank you. Go to your boy.”

“Hiya,” said Hercules.

— Monday, July 7th, 2014

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

midnitemen-kate-bush-venn-main

GOOD NEWS! Those righteous droogs at The Quietus have intercepted afresh transmission from MIDNITEMEN, believed to the the first of a rumoured WEEKLY REMIX ONSLAUGHT, in the shape of this very peakwave KATE BUSH reworking. Read about it over there, and listen to it right here.

DOPE HUH? Get your free download on the FB page or the MIDNITESITE. And let me know what you’d like to hear MIDNITEMEN tackle. I am interested in these things. Someone on FB suggested Interesting Drug by Morrissey. My kingdom for an accapella…

Back on Earth, I totally trod in a jellyfish last night whilst out running along my beloved beach, and lo, I did KEEP ON RUNNING without missing a STEP cos that’s how I get down right now. Amen.

— Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Batz Inda Belfry – Seaweed

Harking back to a time when music videos were mini movies and cost a billion pounds, behold ye this ultra ambitious Kubrick-inspired visual for the debut single from my ole pal Envy and her Mancunian partner in rhyme Onedaful. NORTH GOT NEXT!

RiFF RAFF – Introducing The Icon

The Neon Icon welcomes you to his world.  ”A relentless and spectacular three minute barrage of vivid, visual, visceral freestyle rap over some classic beefed up Bomb Squad-esque 90s industrial rap production,” as I described this rack thusly in my Quietus review. Dope video too.

Zane Lowe meets…. Rick Rubin

Say what you like about Lowe’s fawning interview style, but this is a rare and fascinating look into the world of one of the 20th century’s most influential beards.

King Los – Woke Up Like Dat

Love this song. And the video reminds me of LA, where I’ll be returning soon.

Everlast – “Folsom Prison Blues” Martyr Inc. Records

Whitey Ford gets out the greenscreen and appears on the Johnny Cash show, to perform a break-infused cover of the Cash classic, and it is SHOCKINGLY DOPE (and way better than anything Eminem’s done in the past decade).

Most of the videos were MVs this week, huh? I been crate digging and working on my library is why. See you next week!

BONUS:

Peaches and Gonzales – Red Leather

I never saw this before, probably cos it wasn’t shown on UK TV when it came out in 200 and we didn’t have streaming internets video then. Weird huh? Anyway, this is great, and has Chilly in a belly top in it, HISTORICAL.

 

— Tuesday, July 1st, 2014