26/1/2009 - The Single Sock Alliance

So this morning I reached as far as I am going to reach in my attempt to become organised. The ‘free world’ has a new leader, and I have a new sock drawer.

My socks haven’t been paired for about 6 years. Consequently, I just keep buying socks, making the problem worse. This is my last task on the road to domestication, so I go at it blindly, almost drunkenly.

I invent a mythology for myself to makes things go easier. A sock mythology. As I try to pair, and I find many socks bereft of a partner, I come up with a union which I call The Single Sock Alliance. They plead for socks fallen on hard times, and try to save them from destruction as a single sock. One of the lines I hear used in a sock’s defense is

“He’s basically a Good Sock!”

It’s when I hear this line in my head, I realise that domestication isn’t everything. I have to get out. Lewis and Tolkein got a lot of mileage from anthropomorphic trees and animals, but socks ain’t gonna do it.

How about I get back to records and stuff.

Records and Stuff

god help the girl. an update of progress please stuart?

Ok, Matthew, glad you asked. The record’s going to come out in late spring. That’s the LP God Help The Girl. 12 Songs, unless I get annoyed with one of them and boot them off. Very late spring, shall we say?

Before that I think we’ll have a single or two. No queing up in Woolie’s anymore! No, you’ll have to look even harder!.. To your local independent stockist (at least for the vinyl). Or you could just download with the flick of a digit.

I think the first single is going to called Come Monday Night. It’s sung by Eve with a bit of Cass. It’s basically a lullaby for an overworked boy. My notes for the relevent scene say

Cass and Eve annoy James at work. They borrow his keys, and promise to have a song written by the time he’s finished work. When he gets home, they have rifled his stuff and are watching a porn vid.

James retreats to the pub. Eve and Cass drink James’s booze and talk about lactating and laundry. When James comes home the worse for drink, they sit him down and surprise him with their song, “Come Monday Night”. He is quietly enraptured.

I need to make a video for this track. I’m looking for an attic bedsit in Glasgow to film it in, preferably one with a sink and slopey ceilings. Bad carpets, a lumpy bed, and an alcove with cuttings depicting your favourite recording star. Serious, if you’ve got a place, or if you know of a place, get in touch and we’ll come and have a look. It’ll save us decorating. (The alcove is optional..)


Right now I’m listening to The Woodentops, to Sandy Posey and to Jimmy Cliff ‘The Harder They Come’. I know because I just checked my ‘recently played’. But I also been digging some new stuff. I got a copy of the upcoming Butcher Boy long player, ‘React or Die’, and it’s a great listen, a real classy record from start to finish. I’ve been listening also to my two favourite tracks from last year. They are ‘Brand New Start’ by Little Joy, and ‘Hitten’ by Those Dancing Days. In fact, the Dancing Days one is a bootleg from their concert; it starts real slow and then winds up to hit single speed. Very nice.

Marisa and I went to see Dancing Days when they played in Glasgow at the end of last year. I had arranged to meet the group because I had a track that I thought they might want to record.

As you might imagine it was a bit akward at first, believe me. I’ve been there, I’ve been in the group when some music biz type comes in with a proposition… If it was Belle and Sebastian, we’d be sitting there in our little gang, waiting to be impressed, but ready to dismiss..

So there they were, gathered round a cosy bar table. I was one box of chalk short of feeling like a school teacher. Marisa and I had anticipated the awkwardness. We decided that the best way to combat awkwardness was to make it more awkward. I don’t know how we figured that one out.

The idea was, that if my words were met with stony silence, then I was to awkwardly mention an ‘achievement’ of mine, then Marisa would respond with a chorus of ‘Hercules! Hercules!’

For example
Me: “I have a Brit Award, you know.”
Marisa: “Hercules! Hercules!”

Me: “I’ve met Prince Charles, you know.”
Marisa: “Hercules! Hercules!”

We were sitting in a bar called The Captain’s Rest. There was an ugly statue of an old sea captain above our heads. Another facet to our plan was that any time I mentioned the name of the bar, Marisa would stand up, salute, and shout

“Aye Aye Sir!”

It’s almost a pity that we never got to try that one out.. The girls were very nice and accommodating. Our conversation was quite constructive; we decided we would get together sometime in the New Year to try something out.


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