Friday, April 27, 2007

Hat Trick!

Thanks to the glory of iPod I've recently experienced visceral flashbacks to the 90s, courtesy of Pulp's 'Different Class'. An onlist offhand comment mentioned the possibility of 'seeing Jarvis' at an upcoming summer festival. 'Hmm,' I wonder, 'do they mean Jarvis Cocker?' And so I google and lo and behold the man has emerged from his millenial funk and produced a solo album. And quite good it seems too, from the couple of tracks I've heard.

'What next?' I hear my hipster muso friends think. 'Will she discover the wheel?'

Well, almost. I discovered Jarvcast, a podcast that has managed to score a hat trick with me through:
1) The seductively flat Sheffield tones of Jarvis Cocker
2) reading me stories
3) by Richard Brautingan!

Yes! I'm lying in bed and Jarvis Cocker in reading from The Tokyo Montana Express, one of my favoutite books of all time. Truly, the man can do no wrong.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Ask me about my poor self-image....Part 2

Ummm…Where was I?

Oh yeah, tattoos. One of the first things that struck me about St. Kit’s was the disproportionate number of Tattoo studios (6 in the city centre). Of course, now that I know about the city’s crystal meth cottage industry it starts to make more sense. I’m not saying that meth and tattoos are an inevitable pairing, it’s just that for me they tend to fall into the same category of ‘poor lifestyle decisions’.

And the odd think is, I used to really like tattoos. I was fascinated by them back in the day when I had a biker boyfriend (and yes he did have ‘Live to Ride, Ride to Live’ on his bicep). Every chance I got, my fingers traced the raised ink lines with childish wonder. Painted skin. Cool.

And yet, and yet…I’ve never seen a genuinely good-looking tattoo. In the websites and magazines dedicated to ‘the art’, the content tends to be distinctly underwhelming despite. Dragons, Skulls, Roses, Crosses, Hot Babes. So I was quite exited to find myself watching a docu-dram about top tattooists and the stories behind their creations. As someone whose thought for may years about getting a tattoo, and knowing many in the same frame of mind, I was intrigued to learn what other people’s thought processes are when they go to get inked. Proper thought processes, not drunken clarts on holiday stumbling past the resort tattoo parlor at 2am (hello Hersonissos!).

So I was sorely disappointed to find that people going to Miami Ink basically commissioned the same core iconography of Dragons, Skulls, Roses, Crosses, and Hot Babes for basically two reasons: 1) commemoration of a dead person, 2) finding God (and this often involved reason 1 as well). Executed with wonderful skill but in response to sore lack of imagination. Which really does force me to conclude that there is something essentially mimetic about most tattoos. For all that the customers are claiming their design as a mark of individuality the effect is homogenous branding. I think I will leave my tattoos on the inside.

CODA: Walking into one the Second-Hand bookstores a few weeks ago I overheard this snippet of conversation between the owner and a customer ‘…and he tells me he’s off the meth. And he’s given up the daytime hookers.” Note, nothing said about night whores.