Sunday, June 25, 2006

Cartoon Ali


impossible songs

Whilst Ali is a complete and finished piece of artwork
Cartoon John is at present only a ghostly scribble...

impossible songs

Life as a Ghost

impossible songs

impossible songs

& impossible songs may be young marble giants

Life as a ghost

Strange to think that to some people, old friends, relatives or colleagues you can become no more than a ghost. A phantom who passed across their lives at one time or another and now has crossed over and is gone. You still walk and talk but for them you are gone, you’ve passed away into the sublime complexity and confusion that forms all of our histories and memories. Every so often there will be some chance encounter and you may for them for a brief moment adopt human form or then perhaps not. Remaining as a ghost is generally the easier option, particularly if dragging up the past brings unwelcome issues along with. I understand that for many people now I am a ghost, no more no less. At first I had difficulty with this and fought and struggled against my ghostly fate, then I met some of my fellow ghosts and things began to make more sense as I learned of their experiences. The real ghost stories in the world are all around you but are generally untold except between ghosts. The one sure thing about ghosts is that they stay dead and for them that is for the best. Maybe you think you’ve never encountered ghosts at all but it is probable you have and maybe quite unintentionally created some. Your actions, your omissions, your words, your indifference, your hardened beliefs bring the ghost world closer and make it larger every day. Of course I am as guilty as anyone of these things but now that I understand and acknowledge my own ghost life, it’s not so bad. Watch out for us.

They might be young marble giants.

We keep getting compared, and thankfully quite favourably, with the “Young Marble Giants”, gone but not forgotten. Terms like “stripped down” and “pared back sound” are used. I think this is down to Ali’s vocal style primarily and our relatively simple songs. What will the world make of the Roughboys remixes?

Dreaming about having a dream.

Ever have a dream about having a dream? Amid a houseful of early morning hay fever sufferers I drifted away into a deep sleep where I met some old friends and managed to convince them I’d met another old friend who was from a different dream. I woke up confused and not sure quite who it was I had met and where. When dreams collide, reality can seem a long way away and is hard to grapple back to. Hay fever does provide an expedient short cut back.

OOTB Face Painting.

A fever of face painting broke out at Thursday’s Out of the Bedroom in the Cannons’ Gait cellar bar. The usual musical mayhem was taking place when, as a result of a chance raffle prize win the face painting fury began. At the last count some ten poor souls were seriously affected.

The cat ate a pigeon.

Yes he did, and he left me the grotty task of picking up the remains from below Mz VW Golf. We’d noticed he seemed a little sluggish and disinterested in food and in being around us – he clearly had other things on his mind. The sad carpet of feathers and debris left in our car parking area is still lingering. Still his predatory presence does nothing to discourage the Woodpeckers, Wagtails, Green Finches and of course the Crows that return and feed, on a regular basis in our garden

Friday, June 16, 2006

Scalextric Ladyland

impossible songs

impossible songs

Scalextric Ladyland

I think it’s important to state that the first LP I ever bought was Electric Ladyland Part 1 by Jimi Hendrix, every so often I think about it and how great it was to listen to it alone in my teenage bedroom. I was probably still into Scalextric at the time, sad or what?

Devil’s caravan

Spent an hour today driving along behind a caravan with backwards number plates, this was on the Drymen to Stirling road. Very strange, no idea where he (the devil ) was going, a long weekend in the Scottish central belt? Watch out for him if you’re on holiday round these parts.

Queues in fast food outlets.

There should be three separate queues really, one for kebabs (people who really have lost the plot), one for fish and chips (drunk but following peculiar natural instincts) and one for deep fried Mars Bars and pizzas (no hopers altogether).

Radio Rentals Apprenticeships

What must it have been like to be a TV repair man apprentice in the days of valves and tubes? They did say "you’ll be glued to our sets, not stuck with them". Learning the trade, knocking on the doors of puzzled housewives, fixing those massive wood and plastic sets in black and white and blurry colour. Those unreliable TV days are gone forever now.


What is the point of bagels, are they a Jewish delicacy? Are they some form of unleavened bread, are they actually nice or are they crap? I think I only became aware of them as a result of “Friends” on the TV, they seem to be some kind of extension of the “New York experience” we all seem to want to share in, but I can’t believe they really serve any purpose. Still they are pretty popular. Not sure why.

Death row recipes.

If you had to choose your final meal / experience what would it be?

Steak with two fried eggs and red wine.
A Korma Curry with beer and nan bread.
An all day breakfast.
A parachute jump over Argentina.
A nice long visit from your girlfriend or wife.
A long chat with a Priest.
Watching Viva Maria or Steelyard Blues on DVD.
Reading a paper on the latest theory about quantum physics.
Six pints of Guiness and a packet or two of Hula Hoops.
A large cup of coffee, some donuts, the Guardian and a good cigar.

Monday, June 12, 2006

A tadpole story

impossible frogs

Once upon a time there was a poor little tadpole who only had one leg. While all the other tadpoles swam and explored the pond, he remained alone, swimming as best as he could in small, sad circles. He continued swimming and swimming and getting nowhere. His friends and brothers and sisters grew big and strong however, they were slowly turning from tadpoles to young frogs. The little tadpole did have one talent that none of his siblings possessed, he discovered one day, while swimming in one of his great pond-wide circles that he could sing.

At first he hummed, quietly and nervously to himself when the other tadpoles and frogs were on the other side of the pond. But as he swam and sang in his watery orbit his confidence grew and his singing became stronger, more tuneful and sweeter. He realised that though he may have had only one leg he could do something his fellow frogs could not, he could really sing. In fact when he was singing he quite forgot about his lack of direction and skill in swimming and concentrated on the sound of his voice.

The other tadpoles had largely ignored him because he was so feeble and different from them. Few cared that he was trapped in his circles and none of them ever offered to help him or steer him across the pond or to listen to his songs. Strangely he did not mind any of this; somehow he knew his singing made him special.

Then one morning a large black crow appeared at the edge of the pond. The other tadpoles all busy swimming and diving paid no attention to him but the little tadpole spotted him from his 360o circling. He didn’t like the look of the crow one bit and hugged the water, staying a little more below the surface than usual and he stopped his regular singing. Every day the crow came back to the edge of the pond, his beady eyes peering across the surface of the water and around the banks. He looked like he was content to wait for his own perfect moment.

Days passed, the crow waited and the little tadpole watched. The other frogs grew up and became more curious; something was calling them out from the pond into the wet grasses and reeds that lay beyond. Some nagging whisper was interrupting their swimming and feeding and vacuous frogging and telling them that the time to leave the pond was coming closer. The little tadpole, now a bit bigger and greener but no better a swimmer was still slowly circling the middle of the pond, still watching.

Finally the day came, without warning and in their own migratory way the young frogs all headed for the bank, for the reeds and grass and the wide world beyond. A phalanx of frogs swimming for the shore leaving, in the middle of the water a very puzzled and anxious one legged frog in their wake. As he watched them swim towards the shore he became aware of many flapping, torn black shadows hovering over the pond, he could not quite look up but he knew what it was, a great crowd of hungry crows. There was only one thing to do, he couldn’t catch the other frogs, even if he could swim straight, he would have to sing.

The notes were not quite right, the sound was not so sweet, it was only the noise that mattered, he sang out at the top of his voice. “STOOOOPPPP!!!” The wave of frogs were almost on the bank, a steady frenzy was building up within them as the new strength of the land called out to them. Could they hear his warning song? Would they hear his warning song? Would they turn back?

Well sad to say they didn’t. The crows dived bombed the frogs as soon as they reached the shore and gobbled them up, not a single frog made it into that green grass or those brown reeds. All perished that day except for one. Nancy a little girl frog who had for some reason stayed behind on the edge. She had heard a distant frog song and for a second turned back. The quick turn saved her as she dipped down into deeper water and avoided the crow's carnage on the shingle shore. Shocked and confused she headed back for the safety of the middle of the pond to meet her singing hero, who despite his one leg, she had always had a soft, slimy spot for.

She gently nudged him and he realised that, with Nancy beside him, steering and influencing him, he could now swim in a straight line. Neither frog wanted to ever go to the shore after the crow experiences, so they set up a simple home on a bright green lily pad and lived happily ever after.

impossible songs

Check me out!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

what are we like?

Princess Peach wants to know what on earth is going on with impossible songs, who exactly are they and what are they like? (This is really a bit of a filler post while we work up a few other little projects and catch some rare Scottish sunshine - keep the faith!)

John: Songwriter, vocals, guitars, buddah machine & fx.

Ali: Songwriter, vocals, keyboards, chimes.

That's about it really - but keep checking these pages please.

impossible songs

Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome to the Roughboys

Some newly written, recorded and remixed tracks are now available at:

Four new songs are out there and there are more to follow:

"Hunter" and "God bless the witch" - recorded by Martin Freitag and remixed by the Roughboys.

"Hidden soul and "The Crow Wars" - recorded and mixed by the Roughboys.

All material written by John & Ali.

Check me out!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lawnmower Man


Long may you run, Long may you run,
With your chrome heart shining in the sun,
Long may you run, Long may you run,
Long may you run.

Long may you run, Long may you run,
With your 50cc, 35 HP heart shining in sun,
Long may you run, Long may you run,
Long may you run.

(Apologies to Neil Young)

Friday, June 02, 2006

The Dixie Chicks

Dixie Chix blocking pop-ups etc.

The Dixie Chicks crashed our broadband, without apology or anything, they just made the whole thing swing, and then the screen collapsed on itself, the sound sputtered and spattered like a red hot stir fry, the picture failed and I asked them to send an error report.

The Kings of Leon broke my I.pod, they melted down the little clever twisty bits, a string of hits, some nonsense and rock and roll, too much for these small circuits to control, in the end I was beyond consolation, little ear plugs full of frustration.

Confushion fused my video, black and white and tartan effects, guitar solos behind the shed, along the shore with rotting wrecks, he does the stunts himself, I can tell, confusion and all that and now my video’s not so well.

The crows invaded my garden and so the crow wars began, first two then three then seventeen, a black cloud of feathers and feeding frenzy and Mafia manners at the feeding table, get back to your own sky, your Burger King car parks, your roosts and nooks high up in somewhere else. This isn’t road kill; this is fine dining for the aviators.

Out of the Bedroom messed up my bed, songs and noise, home to late to sleep, out too late for whatever happens the next day, invariably a Friday. Now I’m an insomniac, afraid of the dark, and the Cannons’ Gait, where they lurk.

The city froze my soul. I was warm looking up but when I looked down my shoes were imbedded in blocks of nice, not nice. Cardboard cups of hot coffee couldn’t thaw me out, that’s what the city is all about, taking you down and stretching your neck, to see the sights and quickly forget.

Coke and a Cake made me late, for something, listening, thinking, then I was somewhere else in the other place that is on time, late by the hands of the clock, or the radio Jock, or microwave messages bleeping from LCD heaven with there never wrong numbers.

Girls Aloud made me feel a little proud of not really discovering them, or their hidden depths and talents on X-Factor or Sex-Factor or Celebrity House in the Apprentice Country Fame Game. But I like them just the same in some intelligent but ironic postmodern kind of existential no nonsense way.

Impossible Songs proved me wrong, life is good and does move on, impossible is possible and not really a real thing at all just some stretched concept that keeps you in check because it will all come round and suddenly be strangely achievable.