Friday, 31 July 2015


Whenever you pick up a Stephen King novel, there’s one thing you can always rely on: you won’t be bored. You may be shocked or terrified or bemused or even disgusted, but boredom should never come into it.

Which is what surprised me about last year’s Revival. It’s well-written and it creates the atmosphere and it sets the scene beautifully – but after 30 pages you start waiting for a punchline or at the very least a vague but intriguing promise of it, and it just never arrives. You’ve probably read enough books by King to know that the hook will come at some point, but before it happens – and despite the plot which is definitely there – Revival is a non-event. 

For a man so passionate about music, King drags you through too many clichés in his description of the main character becoming a musician. His atheistic stance is well-known and too obvious. But the main thing – is that he doesn’t make you care. He doesn’t make you uncomfortable – which is so unlike Stephen King. Fans will like it all the same, I guess, but that’s just boring consolation. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Falling in love with Times Square

I’ve just heard the album of the year - you know when you hear it. And that’s me knowing PJ Harvey is going to release a record this year. Robert Forster is having one. Luke Haines. The Libertines’ LP has no business being bad.

But for the time being - the great freewheeling spirit of Dan Bejar’s songwriting renders everything else grossly irrelevant. It makes me drunkenly dizzy and fills my heart with lightness and air. “Hell” is majestic. It all is. 

The album is called Poison Season and will be released by Destroyer at the end of August. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Opening acts

So often at various concerts I end up thinking about opening acts. Whereas it would be so much easier not to think about them at all: bland, forgettable, underwhelming, do they really merit a serious consideration?.. I guess Tigers Jaw were the best opening band I’ve seen (supporting The Menzingers a couple of years back), and that’s not because they were any good. It’s because everyone around was singing along to “Plane vs Tank vs Submarine”.

Upstaging the main act is nigh impossible, of course. It’s like stealing voters at the polling station. You have to convert a thousand hard-nosed, intensely indifferent agnostics for whom you are merely an annoying distraction. A fucking fly.

And the oddest thing about opening acts is that they all try to be good. To play their songs well. To pave the insipid way for the act we have all come to see. To be loved. The trouble is – nobody cares. Honestly – why would I care about four good-looking guys playing good-sounding soft rock (or whatever) and even having the depressing effrontery to introduce each member of the band by their name? Come on now. 

What I’ve come to realise over the years is that an opening act can’t impress with the songs. Even if the songs are genuinely good (no one will even find out, will they?). Live, unknown songs by unknown bands are simply irrelevant. In fact, it would make so much more sense if they just threw a drum kit into the audience or set the stage on fire. At the very least – they would be noticed.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Rules Of Attraction

Bret Easton Ellis is the writer you read for the process of reading. It’s the sort of prose that swings. With a novel like The Rules Of Attraction (or American Psycho, for that matter), you know exactly what the author is getting at on page 7. And while most novels would die a humiliating death in a similar situation, this one doesn’t. 

It’s a cliché you go ahead and use: the writing breathes, on every page. Ellis pummels you with yet another punch (here mostly coming by way of dialogues) and throws you (oh with gusto) into the bohemian vibe of a bunch of spoilt American students at the fictional Camden College. Whether you like any of these characters or not – that’s a different matter. But you are right in the midst of them, you don't want to be anywhere else, and that should count for something. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Indie who?

Please don’t use the word ‘indie’ ever again. Because in 99,9% of cases you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. I don’t know either. And nobody does.

Open the latest issue of a music magazine:

Indie-rock. Indie-pop. Indie-funk-rock. Indie-country. Indie-folk. Indie-polka. Indie-hard-rock. Indie-Russian-folk. Indie-bubblegum-pop. Indie-punk-rock. Indie-roots-rock. Indie-pop-punk.

I give up. This goes on and on and on. 

So please don’t. The word has been abused more than a porn movie actress. And even if you are that 0,01% and think you know the deal – don’t use that word anyway. Because chances are – you still don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. I don’t know either. And nobody does.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Here comes a regular

It was a strange feeling of uneasiness that I first associated with this old lady with a drooling dog and a vague desire of what she really wanted, with a taciturn teenager sipping hot chocolate in the corner, with an Eastern foreigner coming at exactly the same time for over two weeks and ordering the very same apricot croissant.

I couldn’t see what it was until Bertie mentioned Paul. Paul, I thought? Ah yes. Paul. Hell, where was Paul?

Paul was someone you wouldn’t notice. In his navy blue tracksuit and with a look of disarming dimness, he was virtually nonexistent. And yet in a way – he was conspicuous. There was something about his awkward ways and quiet voice that did not spell central London. Paul would come every day. Normally, he would search for coins for what seemed like eternity and then order small tea. Or else I could offer him water (straight water) and he would accept it gladly.

After I placed the reason for my anxiety, I found it hard to concentrate on work, mixed up a few orders and Bertie did most of our job that day. Paul didn’t come that day. In fact, he hadn’t come in over a week. Bertie said she had no idea. 

The next day I asked this strange Indian lady Paul sometimes talked to if she knew where he was. ‘Who?’ she asked. ‘Paul’, I said – slightly taken aback. And even when I described him to her, she still looked puzzled. It was raining heavily that day, and I thought I would go look for Paul after work. The old lady with a drooling dog wanted cappuccino and I made her one. She said she wanted regular, not big. She stared at me impatiently and I thought I would never find Paul in this rain. In central London.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

An outing

They were meaning to go for ages. This resulted in drawn-out arguments, temporary peace treaties. They hadn’t done it in, what, 7 years, and they were getting dangerously close to the moment when each time and year could be their last.

Despite the pouring rain, tedious in its predictability, this time they knew since early morning that they would go. Their movements were slow and shaky but also nervous and anxious. Their preparation lasted for several hours and culminated, later in the evening, in him finding her favourite umbrella and her kissing him on the cheek.

And then they finally went out, for the first time in so many years. They looked around, recognizing no one. In particular, they could not recognise those three American girls sitting near the piano. But never mind. 

They ordered Guinness, like they always did.

Friday, 24 July 2015

On the way to Victoria

Do you look or you do not? But then again, the question is irrelevant. They won’t notice anyway. The ability to not notice, that uncanny skill – sometimes it takes real magic.

And this time it does.

I see them at the bus stop on my way to Victoria. This Lebanese guy, conspicuously unremarkable, and this girl from Bangladesh. The girl is dirt pretty. Which is the best kind of dirty and the best kind of pretty. They snog, they exchange soundless jokes, they never see us.

They are poor verging on homeless. She hasn’t washed her hair in days, he hasn’t shaved in weeks. But that is not the reason why none of us can’t stop dashing glances and stares in their direction. We do that (do you look or you do not?) because we are fascinated. Because we do not exist. 

But then my bus comes and I get on and I hope they will follow me. This Lebanese guy, this girl from Bangladesh. But they don’t. They keep standing there, drowning happily in the intense French kissing of the London shower. And also, they need another bus.

Thursday, 23 July 2015


Jamie had not been in the theatre for years, and now it felt like he was there for the first time. Everything seemed new and, when another plot twist came or when an actor was standing too close to the edge of the stage, a little bewildering. Jamie felt bullied, and his anxiety only started to dissolve during the intermission when he had a glass of white wine.

So it was during the second act of the performance when Jamie noticed the old woman sitting directly in front of him. It was not even the old woman herself but rather her hair. Big, sumptuous, something you could see in old American movies. The thing about the old woman’s hair was that Jamie desperately wanted to touch it.

The desire, this most illogical and ridiculous desire, came during a rather dramatic scene that should have by all means stolen Jamie’s utmost attention. Yet there he was, fantasizing about the hair. In the midst of this charmed audience staring at the stage, Jamie could hardly contain himself. His fingers felt salty, he wanted to lick them. His fingers felt hot, he had to put them in cold water.

And it all could be resolved by this utterly improbably act: touching the hair. It’s like nothing else at that particular moment in time could bring him any relief. The consequences? Oh he imagined the screams and the indignation, even if he could find the moment when the scene was especially captivating and everyone was fully there. Maybe, he thought, it would all come to police action?.. 

But then Jamie did it. He stretched his right arm and slipped his fingers into the old woman’s hair. A pause lasting eternity or perhaps a second. Then the old woman turned around, he closed his eyes, and the actors on the other side of the stage started to laugh and cheer and applaud. In an odd sort of way, Jamie felt he was enjoying the moment. He always was.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The Circus

Basically, you can’t tell chicken fodder from good literature (or maybe you are just a terrible bore) if you don’t like Jane Austen. And I believe there isn’t a place more iconic, more Austen-esque in its spirit than five maple trees standing in the centre of a grassy lawn, surrounded by four orbed houses and creating the perfect architectural circle called The Circus.

The place is situated in Bath (where else?), and it has more magic per square metre than any number of Roman baths or Assembly rooms or striking abbeys. 

The Circus, a name as unbecoming as it is fantastic, seems a place you wish to encircle right until the moment you drop dead from dizziness and exhaustion. It has all the poetry and charming simplicity and desperation of Austen’s prose, once so brilliantly captured by Sally Hawkins’s character in the most dramatic scene of Persuasion and perhaps the whole of English literature of the period.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015


It’s not a frying-pan-wielding Warren Ellis you meet in a clothes shop. It’s not a money-sucking penny arcade you still can’t resist. It’s not a short story you write in a greasy café serving something exotic called ‘butterfly chicken'. It’s not even cod & fish you eat on an early, stormy morning pier. 

No, it’s something else. It’s that elderflower gin & tonic cocktail you drink late in the evening, just outside Kemptown. To the sound of “Piazza, New York Catcher”, drunk Englishmen discussing the Queen’s Hitler salute and an elf-like girl mixing the drinks for you like some witch from another world.

Monday, 20 July 2015

By an Italian cafe

Of all homeless people spending their nights in sleeping bags along Oxford Street, Marco seemed the least likely. It’s not that he was Italian. Certainly not his clothes, as torn and ragged as anyone else’s on that straight, never-ending sidewalk. No, I believe it was something in the way he raised his head and looked at you. His eyes were intelligent, sharp, well aware of himself and what he was doing.

So much so that at first I preferred to shun his presence and chose not to give him change on my way to work. People walking past his spot by an Italian cafe would ask him ‘How are you doing, Marco?’ and ‘What’s up, mate?’, but I stared ahead of me, listened to music or thought about another tight week at the office.

Once I happened to be in Oxford Street when it was dark and Marco was lying on his side. Facing the glass door, fast asleep. I looked at his hair, which looked so hopelessly disheveled you could not imagine any gel or shampoo doing the trick. This time, I threw money into his cap and quickly disappeared around the corner. 

A couple of days later I did that again. And again. It was easy now, almost too easy. And then to his face, to his open stare (less intelligent, though not any less sharp). Oddly, roughly one week after that first incident things started to go really well at the office and I was promoted to a position I’d been craving for years. To this day, Marco long gone and my company extinct, I consider that to be the mark of cruelty of the world. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015


As ever, he was in the main square. Doing Houdini. The famous performance, the one they all wanted to see. Yards of chain tight around his body, a dozen heavy locks, gaping kids touching him with their fingers just to make sure. Then a thick screen to hide him, twenty-eight record breaking seconds – and he was free. Chain in his hands. Smiling.

This time the crowd was much the same. A couple of scoffing teenagers, adults dragged here by their kids, a few easily amused tourists and an old woman who had nothing to do on a sunny day.

And it was her, this old woman with sloppy hair and a huge bag of groceries, who made him feel uneasy for the first time in years of doing this. He suddenly realised the most astonishing thing: she had always there. Standing in the back row, eyeing his every move. And then applauding and throwing money into his hat – like everyone else. Except they changed and she never did.

He was going through his routine, forgetting a few words here and there but mostly doing okay: he had done the show too many times now. But as a kid tried the lock for one last time, as he made his solemn promise to get free, as his assistant put the screen over him – he knew he would fail. This time, he would not do it.

“47 seconds!” scoffed a teenager, looking at his mobile phone. 

He looked around, chain in his hands like a flaccid snake meaning shame, loss, disgrace. He looked around, trying to find her. Stretching his neck, bulging his eyes. But the old woman wasn’t there. The old woman was gone.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Old school

Belle & Sebastian live is like wild sex with a shy person.

Today I was going to write about something else entirely, but then “Nobody’s Empire” started playing, and now I just want to post this.

‘Encyclopedic audience’, Murdoch said at some point. ‘I like that, you’re old school’. And then he played The Jam's “Town Called Malice”. With the obligatory “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying” to finish off. 

What a match. 

Friday, 17 July 2015

West End

I have no idea what her name was, but I do know she lived in Brixton. In a shoddy flat she shared with three other girls, in a room that overlooked an abandoned pond. She worked in a hostel near Pimlico four days a week. Four nights a week.

And there was nothing she liked better than to take her battered bike out and head towards West End. This happened at night, when the other girls were sleeping and most of London was sleeping, too, and she had those streets all to herself.

She could almost smell them, feel their taste in her mouth. She ogled them like a lewd pervert, circled them, and sometimes, when the lights were on, could even see what was going on inside. Several times she saw things she should never have seen. Still, mostly the windows were dark and she sensed great, inexplicable calm marrying those streets with her anxious heart. 

And then, in the morning, she came back to her place in Brixton. It was barely dawn and the girls were still sleeping. She hid her bike, made herself a weak cup of coffee and went to bed. If there was no work tomorrow, in a hostel in Pimlico, she could sleep till noon.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Waving at Airplanes

Music is best experienced in unknown surroundings. That way, the sound comes sharper and lyrics make sense even if they don’t. So that whenever I travel and expect to see something new (which is always), I travel with music I have never heard previously.

The trick is that even if it’s not good – it would still be rendered special (likely) and sentimental (definitely) by simply being discovered the way it was. On a train, together with a bunch of awkward people you wish to unsee. In a churchyard, with a few squirrels running around the tombstones. On a bench by a river. 

Tobin Sprout’s “Waving at Airplanes” is a brilliant song, but even more so – it’s the discovery. The way it happened for the first time, in a dodgy Romanian suburb near Turnpike Lane. Never underestimate the circumstances under which you... This sentence should go unfinished.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Kubrick's Lolita

You are an odd kind of person if you read Lolita and don’t ask yourself how in God’s name can this be made into a film. All I could envision, as I closed the book for the first time a good decade ago, was that Lolita could be made into pornography, boredom or boring pornography.  

But when I saw what Stanley Kubrick did with it in 1962, I easily understood two things: why Nabokov didn’t care for it and how Kubrick made it work. The answer to the first question is actually very straightforward: Nabokov didn’t care for cinema, considered it vulgar and cheap. The answer to the second one is less obvious. Kubrick made it work by… adding humour to it. By diffusing the dubious sexual tension with the light and the playfulness of Peter Sellers. Times demanded that but also, I believe, the source that in its original form is too literary for the screen. 

I said Kubrick made it work. No, it’s not just that: with Lolita, Kubrick made his greatest film. Weirdly for a book as brutal as that, Lolita is a film that has warmth to it. Something Kubrick never had much time for.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

To Kill Harper Lee

Never mind the way I was brought up. Never mind my experience. Never mind any of that. But this Go Set A Watchman situation is total madness.

There is something inherently sacred about a book. Some virginity you should not disturb. A higher voice, if you will. Witnessing this horrendous onslaught of Harper Lee’s novel release made me wish it was a new album by Lady Gaga, a World Cup final, a new round of Greek talks or another tablet from Apple. We are like an African tribe who has never read a typed text in our lives, and we are supposed to go for it. Tweet, queue, salivate.

To Kill A Mockingbird is okay. A novel whose greatness was destroyed by goodness. But if in another world, in another dimension, they discovered an unpublished novel by Saul Bellow or James Joyce, how would I feel? Excited, yes, but not if it were pushed into my face. I would go to a bookshop and buy it. Order through Amazon, download to Kindle, maybe, but I would not want to see my excitement diluted by a million messages, articles, comments. I would not want to see a liveblog spawned by modern-day obsession. 

At the end of day, what is left of the author? At the end of day, we may be an African tribe – but a book is still not an iPhone. Even if this one – well, it probably is. For me it is. 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Queen Elvis

Sometimes it’s not the idea but the shape of it. 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Good plot

Ending may be the most important part of a story but inevitably you find out that with a certain plot you don’t have to plan too far ahead. What you should do with the characters, good or bad, and will it all end up in laughter or in tears. You just write it down, trying not to squeeze out too much toothpaste at once. 

Good plot takes care of the ending. That is one of the most fascinating things about writing fiction. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

All The People I Like Are Those That Are Dead

If you were cool and British and lived in the 80s (‘I’m against the 80s’), you didn’t listen to The Smiths. You listened to Felt.

Less obvious, less popular ('it's better to be lost than to be found'), less depressing, not any less talented. Lawrence is an amazing character, certainly one of Britain’s greatest songwriters. Whether it’s Felt or Denim or Go-Kart Mozart, he’s always had the tunes.

Like Peter Perrett, he seems to be a bitter man these days, but that’s the price you have to pay for being too good for the general audience (‘we’re lazy and selfish and greedy’). Even with all those pop songs. And even when he wrote the inescapably irresistible “Summer Smash” in 1997 – it all went so hilariously, so horribly wrong after a certain high-profile car accident at the end of August. 

Well, who wouldn’t be bitter?

Friday, 10 July 2015

Girl, 27

This was 2011, end of July. Sweltering night in Paris. In a hotel room in the dimmest suburbs of Goussonville, on TV you watch because you’re exhausted after a very long day, they kept showing Amy Winehouse footage. Every second channel was at it: live shows, videos, interviews, iconic Grammy performance. Frankly, it didn’t make any sense.

But even that is not the point. The point is that I just found it so electrifying I couldn’t switch it off and go to bed (must have been an early morning). After years of not giving a damn – I found it hard to look away. And then we decided to turn the Wi-Fi on and saw the news and… Ah fuck it. 

Just now, as I was booking my tickets to see Amy in exactly one week, I was again reminded of that hot night in Paris and how it suddenly clicked with me. Maybe too late, maybe not. What I know for sure is that it’s 2015, almost four years have passed, and I can’t possibly do better than I did four years ago: On Amy Winehouse’s death.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Philip Larkin

If ever a person comes up to you and says he doesn’t care for poetry, give him a poem by Philip Larkin. Any poem by Philip Larkin. The sharpness, the wit – they are timeless, all the more so if you consider the loneliness and seclusion which so naturally suited him.  

I can’t think of another poet who makes reading poetry such a joyful process. And that’s in spite of his subject matter, so often grim and hopeless. It’s in the language and the ideas.

And yet I don’t read him too often. In my reading experience, Larkin is rather close to another favourite of mine, Saul Bellow. Whenever I read a sentence from Bellow, I want to write and I want to give up writing. Every sentence is a work of art, with a swing and the edge and the weight. 

I feel like I shouldn’t do that too often. I want to live it slowly so as to get the full punch in the guts. I want to suck it dry – but it can never be dry. I guess only Larkin, Bellow and maybe Nabokov can do that to me.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Isaiah Berlin

“It’s becoming popular? It must be in decline”. You simply can’t argue with that line from Isaiah Berlin and you could spend days and days listing examples just to prove that. 

For a philosopher that line is perfect. As an abstraction, as a witticism. It’s when hopelessly one-dimensional people start adopting it for everyday modern culture that I start having problems with it.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Half-year report

And speaking of good songs, this is my top ten list for the first half of 2015. In no particular order.

“What I Want” by Will Butler
“Ever Had A Little Faith?” by Belle & Sebastian
“Waitress” by Hop Along
“Johnny Delusional” by FFS
“When I Get To Hollywood” by The Monochrome Set
“A Death Song” by Darren Hayman
“Should Have Known Better” by Sufjan Stevens
“Gunga Din” by The Libertines
“Street Pastor Colloquy, 3AM” by Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat 

*Note that the only reason why “Piss Crowns Are Trebled” by Godspeed You! Black Emperor didn’t make the cut is that it’s not a song. It’s something else. Otherwise – the thing is astonishing

Monday, 6 July 2015

Gunga Din

Now of course it is a good song. Why on Earth wouldn’t it be a good song.

But watch those sorry, mole-like creatures crawl out of their holes saying it’s not as good as “Don’t Look Back Into The Sun” or “Can’t Stand Me Now”. Watch them. They might even complain about dull verses and overproduced choruses. Some might even comment on the way Doherty is looking these days.

Oh what a waste.

They still haven’t lost it. There’s the natural, delirious talent spewed out with drugs and alcohol by two great modern songwriters. And out of all that generation – they are the only ones who have retained the vibe, the energy and the edgy sense of youthful excitement. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but they are still the real deal. The raw deal, despite the production. 

And yes. Of course Anthems For Doomed Youth is the perfect title.  

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Joycean paradox

One of the most striking things I've learnt from Richard Ellmann’s monumental work was that Joyce had poor taste in art. Not in music (was a remarkable tenor and had a great understanding of opera), not in wine (he only drank white), not in poetry (he had his doubts about Ezra Pound) – but in the visual and decorative art.

As Ellmann writes, he brought to his home in Europe (and Ireland was not Europe, not in those days) absolutely hideous vases and such. Tasteless, utterly vulgar things. And this was not Nora – he was himself responsible for it, and in fact took some great pride in buying those pieces. 

Probably not a paradox at all. Could of course be an element of profanity in every genius. After all, his taste in literature was impeccable. But then I’m reminded of the first appearance of Leopold Bloom and I get this strong feeling that if you strip that scene of words – you are not left with too much taste. Are you. But then the words were all he had and the words were all that mattered.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Oh years ago. As we were talking about his son, Martin (whom I considered at the time, and still consider, the greatest living writer), somebody mentioned Kingsley Amis. Suddenly, the tone of the conversation turned ugly and I wondered why. “The bugger had no idea how to write properly”. Others just scoffed.

It took me a couple of years to get down to Lucky Jim, and the moment I got over the fact that Kingsley did not write in the style of London Fields (my glaring ignorance in those days), I realised it was actually one hell of a good book. Later, I struggled with The Old Devils (lengthy, uneventful dialogues bogged me down in particular) and quite enjoyed Girl, 20.

Thing is, I had no intention to go any farther. I moved on to other, seemingly better things. And still I bought his memoirs in England 4 or 5 years ago, waiting for a day I would wish to get back to him. And the day finally came yesterday, and I was yet again delving into the nonchalant toughness of his prose. 

I guess I got it this time. It’s that incredible ability of a writer from the second half of the 20th century to write with zero pretention and without caring one tiny bit about whether you will like him or not. And that is so remarkable from someone who made his name writing comic novels. 

Friday, 3 July 2015

Songs To Play

Please don’t twitter; let me imagine you.

This is the 2015 album that matters.

Thursday, 2 July 2015


Green. Dark green. Deep, mossy colour made all the more depressing by the dim light of the hotel. It’s an empty, dingy room with a tough bed and a typewriter that looks old-fashioned even for early 40s.

The wallpaper is slowly, anxiously peeling off the walls, and no amount of glue can do the job. Sometimes the sound is so intense that it almost muffles out a couple having sex in the adjacent room as well as someone else groaning on the other side. The story doesn’t come. It doesn’t even know if it wants to be a novel or a play or perhaps a Hollywood script.

As for the sound of the hotel, it goes something like this:

If you can hear it, that is. The music. Because mostly it’s not for you, the one who’s inside, but for the outsider looking in. For the audience. Barton can only hear the green, mossy wallpaper coming unstuck. Sound that is mixed with dangerous groans of a big man as well as the delirious moans of love-making.

Also, there is a white sheet of paper blanking you with indifference. A strange box by the typewriter. And there are questions asked by some pretty girl lying on the beach, hanging over your desk like a cruel dream.

‘What’s in the box?’

‘I don’t know’.

‘Isn’t it yours?’

‘I don’t know’.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015


I’m not saying it is the best album of all time. I’m not even saying it is the best album by The Clash. But what a fascinating trip.

People who claim side 6 is a waste of tape and question the purpose of having “One More Dub” right after “One More Time” are totally missing the fucking point. Sandinista! has 36 songs on it, for Christ’s sake, so that’s a bit like criticising a novel for having a couple of adjectives you don’t like. I’m grossly exaggerating of course, but I’m trying to prove a point here.

Try taking Sandinista! on a trip somewhere. Start at home with the quasi-hip-hop of “The Magnificent Seven”, go to the airport to the delicious pop of “Somewhere In England”, board the plane singing along to “Up In Heaven”, step off the ladder with the insanely addictive “Lose That Skin”, dance across a foreign city with the deranged rhythm of “Version City” and check into your hotel screaming “Career Opportunities” at the top of your lungs. Like those kids do. 

Sandinista! is for special experiences. That said, side 6 can get you through boring household routine like cleaning windows and ironing shirts... Oh, and “Shepherds Delight” is for taking drugs alone in your room, after a long and exhausting journey.