posted on July 23rd, 2013

LYRICS: Idris Lung

The first taste of our new LP is the song ‘Idris Lung’ because it’s included on the new Xtra Mile label comp Great Hangs. Here’s the lyric and at the bottom a bit of an explanation.

‘Idris Lung’ by Chris T-T

Breathe in smoke through the Idris lung
Nothing we say can ever be undone
You stare at a face you will end up hating
Gutless transparent and asphyxiating.

Sitting in a circle the angels came
They slowed down time, they stole your name
Colours in the sky: shame and fear
You’re so fucking high it’s crystal clear:

You wanna be an atheist but you’re not
You don’t wanna believe but it won’t fuck off
Breathing smoke through the Idris lung
Nothing we say can ever be undone.

  We disarm your defences
  We’re in command of your senses

You’re Michael Caine in Children Of Men
You were cool for a while but you died in the end
We’re watching television with a gallon of wine
And we make all our money playing cards online

Yours was the face that you ended up hating
Gutless, transparent and out-of-breath
But we’re breathing smoke through the Idris lung
And we’re not giving up til there’s nobody left
We’re not giving up til there’s nobody left
We’re not giving up til there’s nobody left.

explicit

This lyric is about a moment of clarity that only comes when you’re very stoned. An ‘Idris lung’ is a lung (for inhaling pot) made out of an Idris brand 2 litre plastic fizzy drinks bottle. Magoo used to make them all the time. Back in 1996 I wrote a song with the same first two couplets and keyboard riff – it was my first 7″ single in 1997 but I haven’t been able to refer back to it (was a 4 track home recording) because I can’t listen to the vinyl, so I have no idea how similar or different this sounds. It’s very much a new song at heart, though: it was mostly inspired by being high in a motel room in Joshua Tree a few years ago and looking in a mirror and seeing what I look like to others, for maybe the only time ever, which was a CRAZY (wildly odd, horrific) moment that I’ve never forgotten.

Unusually, I’ve had no feedback about what people think of it, maybe because musically it’s (deliberately) a curveball / dislocating first taste for a new T-T album, very different from what people may have heard before. Maybe people hate it and that wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. I love the collective vocal (Hoodrats sing the whole song not just me) and I love the beats-heavy ness of it. I love the sense in which the collective voice of the universe slaps down the individual narrator, at his most vulnerable, high as a kite. Also Jon Clayton’s keyboard effects solo after the explosive bit is immense. It makes me think a tiny bit of ‘Flame’ by Sebadoh. Sorry about the Children Of Men spoiler by the way – but that’s an old enough, great enough film that you should’ve seen it by now.

A couple of people have pointed out that calling the new album The Bear when it’s so dark / sweary / alt-rock could be funny for listeners who’ve only discovered me through the A.A. Milne stuff. Let’s embrace that potential as a great one!

So, I’ve not yet had a single response – and even the band were a bit iffy about ‘Idris Lung’ because we constructed it, rather than us playing it live like so much of the new album, so I hope people are as bemused as I think they are, rather than just hating it on first listen.

I’m very pleased to announce that this autumn I’m supporting Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo on their UK album tour. There’s a full list of dates and ticket links below. read more

From Words
posted on April 24th, 2013

Recently I made a mistake. Nobody called me out on it – no-one seemed to notice – but it was a mistake and I kept wanting to apologise to every smart feminist I know. So I tried to write a mea culpa but this felt self-absorbed and valueless. Instead here’s a simple commitment: from now on I won’t sit on any all male panel. If I’m invited onto a panel, on any subject, in any industry, I’ll check the lineup and query it if there are no women. Then if it’s not fixed, I’ll bow out. Never again. That’s all. x

Was having a studio conversation yesterday with Hoodrats (mainly Ben) about favourite films. Here’s Ben’s Top 10 from his blog. He pointed out a significant gap in my cultural experience: that I’ve hardly seen any great, significant European cinema. Anyway, afterwards I went back to the couple of times I’ve worked out lists before – and made a new favourites list. Then I fell asleep on the sofa and froze in the night.

1. Leon (Luc Besson)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick)
3. Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull)
4. Prince Mononoke (Hayao Mayazaki)
5. Enter The Void (Gaspar Noe)

6. Stop Making Sense (Talking Heads/Jonathan Demme)
7. When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner)
8. A Matter Of Life & Death (Powell & Pressburger)
9. Local Hero (Bill Forsythe)
10. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)

11. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)
12. Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Mayazaki)
13. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman)
14. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
15. Alien (Ridley Scott)

16. All The President’s Men (Alan Pakula)
17. I Am Cuba (Mikhael Kalatozov)
18. 12 Angry Men (Syndey Lumet)
19. Sunshine (Danny Boyle)
20. A Bout De Souffle (Jean-Luc Godard)

21. The Searchers (John Ford)
22. Children Of Men (Alfonso Cuaron)
23. Battle Royale (Kinji Fuakasaku)
24. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
25. Life Of Brian (Terry Jones)

I wonder if this list means I don’t get much of my deeper emotional nourishment from cinema: instead just want to be shown stuff in a way I haven’t expected, or seen before, and/or get top line emotional escapism.

From News, Words
posted on March 20th, 2013

I’ve been commissioned by The Royal Pavilion & Museums to be blogger-in-residence at their five amazing sites: The Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum, Hove Museum, Preston Manor and The Booth Museum

read more

From Comment, Words
posted on March 8th, 2013

Loughborough Junction is a poor neighbourhood but a buzzing community. It’s one of London’s in-between places; halfway between Brixton and Camberwell down the Coldharbour Lane. You can walk there from Brixton in 10 minutes and post-Olympics its railway station is busy. I go there a lot because One Cat Studio is there, where I make most of my music. The more you get to know it, the more vibrant it feels: plans flying around recently for renewal.

The last thing they needed was a Tesco mini-market. There are already a thriving bunch of local food markets that keep eachothers’ prices competitive. There are already other branches of Sainsburys, Tesco and the rest within 15 minutes. This is a Tesco opened not for the weekly shop but specifically where it isn’t useful; where the company can siphon a load of money out of a circular day-to-day local pedestrian economy, onto its own balance sheet.

And it opened last month in basically the worst location possible: on a tricky bend in the main road. It’s not glass-fronted nor welcoming; it looks threatened by the area it landed it. It looks like a bank.

Tesco (as per) over-rode significant local opposition, opened directly opposite a long-running independent mini-mart which has instantly shut and the company isn’t even bothering to fix its own smashed windows from disgruntled locals.

But the worst thing is this: there was just one possible benefit from a new Tesco: a free cashpoint. There are none within a 15 minute walk, so several pricey paid ATMs live along this stretch of road, ripping off locals. Tesco apparently decided not to put in a cashpoint because it would cause traffic congestion. Yet the store’s unloading lorries are causing a huge logjam each time, that fouls up a busy through-route on a risky bend and stretches back towards Brixton.

Piss poor effort, Tesco.

 

 

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