(Full disclosure; I started this a week ago and didn’t get my finger out, so this’ll be non-sequitorial as fuck. Shit happens.)
These are sketches, not theses.
Not every post on the internet is a declaration of an ideological position, but industrialised capitalism is the enemy.
Approaching five weeks of lockdown and we still haven’t completely lost our minds. I’ve put on weight. This has probably been the most extended period of healthier eating that I’ve experienced in about twenty years. My mother will be relieved, she thinks I’m wasting away every time she grabs my bones when giving me a cuddle. Well fed but with ants in pants and the knowledge that it’s hardly suffering to be indoors, we deconstruct existence through curated newsfeeds.
It’s been nice to have some time, a little breathing space, but we’re keenly aware of the privilege of our position. The stories are getting worse every day; this morning they’re talking about temporary morgue at the technology park and how we’re running out of body bags. Just a couple months ago, we were discussing the possibilities of a park and ride there, now we’ll be prepping to stack corpses, if some stories are to be believed.
I think it’s pretty clear to everyone that neoliberalism has succeeded in protecting the rich and fucking up everything else. I started writing this blog a week ago, got distracted, and we’re drowning in more data and (dis)information every day, so this particular screed is non-linear, even by my own skewed shitty standard. That nobody has any trust; institutionally, culturally, inter-personally; is of no great surprise. Roasters gon’ roast.
The American preppers who’ve spent the last twenty years getting ready for the “impending race war” or whatever misguided bloodthirsty nazi bullshit these clowns spout are fucking insane. To say they’ve picked up the wrong end of the stick would be a considerable understatement. Be careful what ye wish for, ye may just get it, “hard” Brexit and that. Maniacs of the far-right aside, if you are out and about on your government-mandated daily exercise or getting supplies and see someone out there on the street struggling, please god give them a hand if you’re in a position to safely do so.
We demonstrably can’t depend on the criminally-negligent powers that be to take care of us, each other or our communities, and that stretches from the essential frontline staff of the NHS to the homeless dude begging for something to eat on the street; they don’t give a fuck about any of us if it ain’t lining pockets, yo. We can dream of post-crisis accountability but we live in world where Tony Blair is considered the measured voice of the labour movement and not a war criminal, so I don’t have high hopes.
This has been longest period of time without being at or playing a show in my life. I miss the live punk rock exorcisms pretty badly. However, this has also been useful, insofar as it is clearly not solely loud music that causes and perpetuates the ringing in my ears. I’ve been for multiple hearing tests and can hear all frequencies. I suspect it’s got something to do with dead nerves or directionless pathways in my broken tooth, long overdue removal after being broken in a ruckus outside Kage thirteen years ago or so. The less said about that, the better, but I really should go and get that tooth pulled. Either way, ear plugs strongly recommended.
Also, I’d suggest vocalists should be buying and bringing their own microphones to shows. This is something that I’d recommend anyways, but doubly so now. I took one telling, once, from a massive scary fucking sound man for swinging his mic around at a Joey T show; “if you’re gonna pull that poser shit, bring your own fucking mic”. Yessir!
Given that we’ve got some time on our hands, Purple Haze and I have been working through the record collection from front to back. Like everybody else, we’ve been keeping in touch with everyone on social media. We both have siblings with toddlers, friends with families, and I’ve seen a lot of reminiscing online. Seismic catastrophic shocks will give rise to pondering, to reflection and shifts in perspectives. I wrote this about booze four years ago. I’ve seen Jonny recalling some Uniforms stories on FB and was reminded when we got to “B” about The Bomb.
Uniforms played with them at the post-Book Yer Ane Fest show in Edinburgh, I think it was either BYAF VII or VIII, whatever one happened in 2013. I was full of self-congratulations as I’d managed to “behave” myself all weekend, at the after-party I was merely “letting off steam” because I “deserved” it. All utter bullshit, of course, the lies that we tell ourselves. It had been a long weekend for everybody and, quite rightly, Jonny was in no mood for my shite after he’d packed the van, which I didn’t even realise he’d done. Despite the fugue and everything that followed, I remember his words clear as day; “ye can either get in the van and I’ll drop ye at yer door, nae bather, or ye can stay with that prick and yer one yer own”. I stayed with that prick. A blessing in disguise, I guess, as that was the last time I ever drank.
“The Half Life Of Teaspoons” is the debut LP from Follow Your Dreams. It is out now on TNS Records and 5 Feet Under Records and I implore you to go and check it out immediately. There’s always a lot of hyperbole gets thrown around about “pushing the boundaries” of hardcore when a new, fresh and exciting record drops, but, on this occasion, I think it is truly merited. Follow Your Dreams are not an easy proposition; confrontational, contorted, driving, furious, angular, articulate, passionate, literate, rocking, packed full of noise/samples/RIFFS and fucking A+ philosophical lyrical content. It’s one of the most ferocious and exciting UK hardcore records I’ve heard in a long time, something like Crows An Wra meets Converge meets Punch meets Crass, absolutely jawdroppingly wonderful stuff. Buy it.
While I’m sure everyone who reads this will broadly agree that the most that we’re in has been a long time in coming; that a decade of Tory austerity has stripped the state and civil society of its heart and capacity to cope in times of crisis, and that our current governmental, parliamentary, economic and ecological institutions are no longer fit for purpose and that we are, existentially and for lack of a better word, fucked. The “normal” that many long to get back to isn’t, wasn’t and never has been normal. The emergency response stimulus packages thrown together by governments around the globe has proven that, once again, the magic money tree does indeed exist, especially when it threatens to the future capacity of those with means and capital to continue to grow them in future. The entire construct has been exposed as a sham and Piers fuckin’ Morgen is being lauded as a national hero sticking it to the government. We are through the looking glass, freedom is slavery, etc.
Prepare for tomorrow today, the future will be built from the ashes of the industries and institutions that have destroyed our ecosystems. They’ll be paying you to fill up at Tesco shortly, oil is worthless in an economy without consumption. We need a transformative global socialist green new deal and we need it forty years ago.
I’ve got some more coherent ideas about this but riffing it out on the blog right now ain’t the moment.
We started doing DAE YER ANE STREAMS this week with Jason kicking things off with a Shupostekud set on Monday night. It’s dystopian as fuck that we’ve already normalised communicating with our loved ones exclusively be electronic means but I guess if there’s a positive lesson to be taken from the alienation, the learning points towards gratitude and appreciation. I know I am guilty, as fuck, of taking those around me for granted, especially those who you share space/art/principles/love with, when things are “good”; it shouldn’t take crisis, or a intersecting crises, the get the ego in check but, alas, here we are regretting being an arsehole for the millionth time. Tell the people that you love that you love them when you have the chance to do so.
Alldeepends took the stream on Tuesday night and provided one of the most entertaining lockdown sets that I’ve seen so far. Ye cannae go wrong with two transatlantic maniacs armed with banjos, bongos, punk rock bangers and firecrackers. Their “Hello MY NAME IS” 7″ is now available for pre-order from the MTAT Bandcamp page and they’ve got a couple of truly superb DIY music videos up on Cowpunk TV. We’ve also just uploaded “In Ruins”, a new short film from Owen McLaughlin, a live Dog Eared video covering Chewing On Tinfoil and some live footage of Seas, Starry from the last night of Dundee Women’s Festival, the last show held in Conroy’s Basement, courtesy of Johnny P. Threshold.
There are 300+ videos from over the last decade or so, many of them fair cringey if you’re me, up there for your delectation, please feel free to have a deep dive and let us know what ye think. If you’d like to publish something on Cowpunk TV or Write Yer Ane Zine, get at me and we can sort something out. All content will be considered, have ye read some of the shit I’ve written on here?!?
Queequeg’s Coffin will be bringing the ruckus to Dae Yer Ane Streams this evening (if I ever got this damn thing done and published) with Buffalo Heart on Thursday before Chris Snelgrove beams into our living rooms from Montreal. We’ve got four sets happening over the weekend from Paper Rifles (go download their new “Headstrong” EP immediately, all proceeds to Health In Mind), Dog Eared, Beth Wood of Sofa Time and the wonderful Little Anchors on Sunday evening. All sets streaming from the Make That A Take FB Page. Week Two details coming so, if we decide to do a Week Two, which we probably will.
It’s not ideal, it’s not much, but at this stage in the game, you truly do what you can with what you’ve got.
With Rad Apples being closed, we have no physical store and, obviously, there are no shows to sell records at. As such, Purple Haze and I FINALLY got to stock-taking and making a full inventory of the records, CDs, cassettes and all other merch, which is now available online through our Bigcartel page. We’re got STACKS of vinyl going and we’re down to last items on a whole bunch of things, so if you’ve ever wanted to own a copy of The Fur Coats’ “Short-Brain” EP on snot green 7″ vinyl, now is your time to do so. That Goodbye Blue Monday EP is gonna be ebay gold one day, mate. Five small MTAT HXC Cross shirts left too. Cool free shit with all orders.
MTAT also released the new “Luxury Interior” EP from Concept Car. Four tracks of blissed-out 80s-inspired transcendental synth-fuelled float-y post-rock goodness for free/pay-what-you-want download. All proceeds to the Cowpunk Defence Fund. Spaces cost money and that.
I couldn’t be more grateful to be facing the future with Purple Haze. It’s been thirty three days or something since our business closed and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She’s been sitting sewing masks while I’ve been spewing forth spoiled bratty screeds on the internet. I love her, she’s the best. She is also absolutely wise to bullshit, of which I spew plenty, and mental riffage can be a form of sport.
Talking of bullshit, “On Bullshit” by Harry Frankfurt may be the preeminent essay of our late-capitalist times, “Calling Bullshit” an online course all internet users could benefit from. With the world at your fingertips, ignorance is no excuse.
If you’re in a position to do so, find a local mutual aid network and get involved. Here’s a list of vital services in Dundee, cribbed from one of the online support groups. Cheers to Steve Not Bombs Dundee for bringing it to my attention. I’ve just straight copied and pasted it, so, ken. For web links, just search your preferred engine provider.
Groups & Organisations providing support during COVID-19z
Domestic Abuse Helpline 24 hour helpline
Domestic abuse helpline: 0800 027 1234
Dundee Women’s Aid Phone, text & e-mail support – domestic abuse support & access to refuge
Helpline: 01382 207099 (check opening hours)
Text: 07763 682 105
Rape Crisis Helpline every day 6pm – midnight
08088 01 03 02
Women’s Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre. Live chat & phone support – sexual violence, abuse & exploitation. Dundee Helpline: 01382 205556
Abused Men in Scotland: Call 0808 800 0024 Mon – Fri, 9am – 4pm
Boomerang Centre: Distributing sandwiches, fruit, bottled water and school meals. Mon – Fri 12:30pm – collect from 10 Kemback Street. Bring carrier bag.
Broughty Ferry Foodbank :Food parcel delivery. Delivering Tue & Friday. Make a referral online.
Camperdown & Lochee Ministry (CALM) :collection/delivery of prescriptions for those self-isolating & delivery of emergency shopping essentials Call 07903673547 (Between 13th-19th April call 07511713940).
Coldside Community Cupboard: Fruit, vegetables and bakery to take away Collect Mon – Friday 10am – 2:30pm, outside Maxwell Centre.
Community Fridge, Perth Road: Open as usual
Open 11am – 4pm.
Eagles Wings & Parish Nursing:Small food parcel collection available. Collect between 1 – 3pm Monday – Thursday from Eagles Wings, 10 Douglas street.
Dundee Thegither :Food parcel delivery
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org / call: 01382 413072
Haven on Hilltown: Food available to collect
Collect Wed and Thurs 11:30am – 12:30pm
Kirkton Food Larder: Food available to collect each Thursday between 11am and 3pm. Contact the Larder through Facebook to arrange to collect.The Larder now based at the Attic Lounge, Beauly Avenue, Kirkton.
Lifegate Church: Soup, sandwiches and snacks to take away. Collect Tuesday & Fridays between 11am – 1pm
Lochee Community Larder: Food deliveries and collection available. Call between 10 & 11am 01382 936191. Open Mon, Wed & Friday between 10 – 2pm. Collection from 5 Whorterbank.
Menzieshill Church: Various food items to take away. Mon – Friday, 12:30 – 1:30pm (free school meals to take away); Mon, Wed & Fri 1-3:30pm (FoodBank); Wed 1-3pm (takeaway soup); Thursday 11am – 1pm (Food Hub)
RockSolid @ Douglas & Mid Craigie Church: Community larder, soup to take away & takeaway school meals Mon-Fri, 12:30pm (free packed lunch school meals), Wed & Fridays 2-3pm (Food Larder). Please bring your own bag. 1 bag per household. Deliveries are possible. Please PM the RockSolid FB page or email email@example.com to request a next-day delivery Mon-Fri.
Salvation Army: Food bags, tea & coffee to collect
Collect from Salvation Army, Thurso Crescent Mondays 12-2pm and Fridays 6 – 7:30pm.
St Lukes Church, Downfield: Food bag delivery
Call 07711410017 between 9am – 3pm every day. Deliveries after 3pm.
St Mary’s Church: Food bags to collect
Collect Saturday between 1-2pm from Grays Lane, Lochee
St Paul’s Group: Hot drinks, filled rolls, fruit & cake to take away. Collect Saturday between 7:30 – 8:30pm from South Tay Street car park (across road from Lidl/Overgate car park entrance)
Taught by Muhammad FoodBank : Food bag delivery only. Call 07505009097 to arrange.
Tele Taxis VARIOUS: Support with collection of supplies & prescriptions for older/vulnerable people Call 01382 825825.
The Friary FOOD & TOILETRIES:Tea/coffee available. Food & toiletry packs to take away
Collect from Tullidepth Rd. Mondays between 10:30am – 12:30pm.
Transform TOILETRIES: Free sanitary products
Call 07849 085 007 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for support.
Whitfield Food Larder FOOD: Supporting mainly own volunteers and participants but if you live in DD4 area and require urgent food bag, get in touch. Contact via Facebook.
Mental health support
Age Scotland: Free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Call 0800 12 44 222 Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm
Alternatives Listening Rooms Helpline for pregnancy choices, abortion/miscarriage support
Phone 01382 221112 (24 hour answering service) or text 07599 955231 to make an appointment.
Breathing Space Phone support for people feeling low, anxious or isolated Call 0800 83 85 87 – advisors are available in the evenings (6pm – 2am) and at the weekends (24 hours)
CALM Helpline for people in the UK who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. Call 0800 58 58 58 or live chat here (open 5pm – midnight every night)
Camperdown & Lochee Ministry Team Befriending for older/vulnerable people in the Lochee area. Listening service for those concerned about their mental wellbeing or substance usE-mail RGrahame@churchofscotland.org.uk
Call Louise on 07511713940 for listening service.
Community Companions Phone support/listening service. Call 01382 305736, 07983707168, 07939154330 or e-mail email@example.com.
Cool 2 Talk: YOUNG PEOPLE: Confidential and safe space where young people aged between 12 and 26 can get questions answered accurately and without judgement as well as access the 121 counselling service. Visit http://www.cool2talk website
Cruse Bereavement Helpline BEREAVEMENT: One-to-one support for people facing bereavement
Call 0845 600 2227
Dundee Thegither General phone social support.
Call 01382 413072.
Dial-OP Blether Buddies & Morning Call Phone support for vulnerable people. Offer two different telephone services – a Morning call which is a quick 4-5minute check in to see the person is well and has everything they need. The other service is a Blether Buddy where volunteers are matched with a vulnerable person and they blether together once a week for 20-30 minutes, building relationships and sharing news and stories and keeping connected. A vulnerable person can choose one service or both.
Access via: VolunteerDundee.org or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01382 305757.
YOUNG PEOPLE: Providing support via video chat including peer support, talk about the difficulties of isolation, and ask for a food/care package to be delivered to you. Talk about your mental health, recovery and self-care. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1500-1800. Visit book.feelingstrong for more info and to make an appointment
Healthy Minds Network
Phone support and live chat on Facebook. Virtual Drop ins (group video chat) on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:30pm – 2pm.
Contact Lynsey McCallum on 07530237465 / email@example.com; Louise McEwan 07948239575 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual drop in spaces should be booked in advance.
LGBT Helpline Scotland
Information and emotional support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their families, friends and supporters across Scotland. Support for those questioning or wanting to discuss their sexuality or gender identity.
Call 0300 123 2523 Tue & Wed (12-9pm) or live chat.
Living Life Appointment-based CBT support for people who are feeling low, anxious or stressed
Call 0800 328 9655 Mon – Fri (1 – 9pm)
Lochee Baptist Chapel Chaplaincy Support Helpline. Listening service for those experiencing stress, anxiety, fear, anger, addiction, suffering, grief, relationship breakdown etc.
Call 01382 612348 Mon – Fri 3-4pm. Leave message out with these times and someone will get back in touch.
Making Recovery Real: Phone support and live chat on Facebook
Call Michelle Donoghue on 07377788817 / e-mail email@example.com.
NHS Tayside Community Listening Service Listening service to talk to someone if you are worried/upset. Phone appointments available Mon – Friday. Call or text 07967771941.
Samaritans Phone support for worries, concerns, suicidal thoughts etc. Call 116 123 free 24/7
SHOUT Crisis Support: Text-based crisis service for people struggling to cope and need immediate help. Text Shout to 85258
SilverLine OLDER PEOPLE: Free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call 0800 4 70 80 90 Freephone service
Uppertunity/ Phone call listening support only for people with additional needs, families & carersCall 07931560936 or 07948212504 (9am – 6pm)
Young Minds YOUNG PEOPLE: Online resources to support young people who are worried or concerned: visit website.
Substance use / alcohol support
AA & NA online meetings Online sessions available
Various online sessions.
Albert Street Hub Essential drop-in support Drop in at Boots Albert Street Hub Monday, Tuesday & Thursday – times flexible – call 01382 206888.
Crossreach Tayside Support Services. Phone support and online recovery meetings Monday – Friday Call Lucie on 07384836092 Monday to Friday; Stan on 07384836091 Monday to Wednesday; Nan on 07909253840 Monday to Friday. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Drinkline Scotland Free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am–8pm, weekends 11am–4pm)
Hillcrest Futures: Harm Reduction Centre at the Cairn Centre, 12 Rattray Street Dundee. Lunch packs available every Tue & Friday. Telephone support to anyone struggling with their own, a family member’s or loved one’s substance use.
Opening times: Monday 9-5; Tuesday 10-6; Wednesday 9-5; Thursday 9-5; Friday 10-6. Phone support: Les 07734599521; Paul 07917585530; Alan 07452917976; Kelly 07725593900; Graeme 07452923544.
NHS Tayside (Safer Injecting) Delivery of injecting equipment and naloxone kits Call Hillcrest Futures on 01382 200532 Mon – Fri 10am – 4pm (naloxone & injecting equipment); We Are With You on 07760755673 Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm (naloxone only). Order online.
NHS Tayside (Harm Reduction Nurses) Wound care and anti-biotics, BBV testing, advice on safer substance use, naloxone
Face to face: Cairn Centre, 12 Rattray Street, Dundee Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm. Call 01382 496745 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.
NHS Tayside (online advice) Advice for people who use drugs.
Peer Recovery Network: Phone support for people affected by substance or alcohol use. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 077199957849.
RecoverTay: Telephone and online support for anyone struggling with their own, a family member’s or loved one’s substance use RecoverTay are available to offer support through their Facebook page.
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs
Helpline and live chat support if you are concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Chat, offer advice and information, and link you either into their services or services local to you. Call 08080 10 10 11 weekdays 9am – 11pm.
SMART Recovery – online meetings Online sessions available every day
Tayside Council on Alcohol: Phone support available. Call 01382 456012. Alternativey e-mail email@example.com or contact via Facebook.
Terrence Higgins Trust: Phone & e-mail advice for people living with HIV Call 0808 802 1221 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm Mon – Fri.
We Are With You (formerly Addaction)
Free confidential support to people experiencing issues with drugs, alcohol or mental health
Call 01382 206888 or access their web chat.
Hope some sense was gleamed from this stream-of-subconsciousness and barely concealed disgust. Love, of course, would probably be the more compassionate approach to healing, but I’m preoccupied with the rules of engagement for Guillotine or Gulag?.