"If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron."
Everything we like is bad for us.

Well, that's not strictly true. I am sure that watching, say, the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica hasn't done me any harm no matter how much I might have frakkin' enjoyed it. No, I'm, talking more about physical rather than intellectual pleasure.

I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, and it's not the thrill that some weirdos get from a session down at the gym. I'm talking about eating whatever we like to eat, drinking as much as we want, and in some cases introducing pharmaceutical products into our bloodstreams in order to alter our mood or behaviour. These are all things that can give us enormous pleasure and yet seem to be ultimately very bad for us.

It's not that hard to work out where this annoying state of affairs comes from at least with respect to the food and drink. All we need to do is to invoke our old friend Thugg the Caveman.

Back in Thugg's World it would have been impossible to overindulge in this way. Thugg and his cronies would have considered themselves fortunate if they were lucky enough to bring down a mammoth a month; what's more that mammoth would then have to sustain the whole tribe until the next mammoth day bonus.

Thugg's physiological and psychological makeup would be fine tuned to take advantage of this state of affairs. Fatty foods were a useful source of energy so craving them would be a good thing - Thugg would have had no idea when he'd next get the chance to stuff his face. Foods containing sugar - a substance that provides a quick and easy source of oomph - were even rarer, so worth craving even more. Thus was the concept of the sweet tooth born, a biological imperative that was almost impossible to disobey.

Evolution had no idea that only a few thousand years down the line we'd start inventing things that stimulated these instincts supernormally. Up until Thugg's time, pleasure had been designed as a survival aid, and doing what felt good was a way of ensuring that the future contained our genes rather than those of our rivals.

But this quest for pleasure became a runaway train, and we discovered how to short-circuit the survival aspect of pleasure by inventing doughnuts and chocolate. Our instincts for survival are still strong - which is why it's so difficult to go on a diet.

That explains the food. What about the sex and drugs and... well, rock and roll has not, as yet, been proved deleterious to well-being.

Sex isn't either. In fact as far as our genes are concerned sex, is the be all and end all. The only reason we macroscopic beings exist in the first place is to have sex in order to pass on more copies of those selfish genes. We are the dispersal vectors of DNA.

But from the point of view of one of these vectors... sex has become bad for you. It's the most important survival instinct and therefore the greatest pleasure, but unfortunately our attempts to access this pleasure outside the normal procreative route, to invent the sexual doughnut in other words, have backfired.

The invention of the contraceptive pill was seen as the birth of a new sexual liberation (although to be honest I'd be more convinced if it had been readily available for both sexes) after years of repressed Victorian attitude. As a young teen I hoped that by the time I became sexually active these new morals would have become bedded in and I'd be having a whale of a time.

Of course, then AIDS appeared. Absolutely typical. All sexual freedom had meant was that an opportunistic virus had made a break for the big time. So, it was back to prophylactics, the grandparent's contraceptive.

One day we probably will invent the sexual doughnut; some kind of direct stimulation of the pleasure centres of the brain. And then, as I discussed before we may become like those rats, and stimulate ourselves at the expense of all else and starve to death.

It would be one in the eye for the selfish gene though.

Next time...

Regular readers of this blog will know how fascinated I am by the mind and by consciousness. As I'm now writing this on a weekly rather than bi-daily basis, by the time I come to write the next entry my brain will have had its first ever cold-reboot. By that I mean I'm having a general anaesthetic for the first time, which by all accounts is very different from going to sleep. If a night's sleep is the equivalent of the brain being on standby, a general anaesthetic is more like turning it off and on again.

I am very interested to find out what this experience is like, and will report back here next Sunday.

Metablog
As I'm still using my repurposed blog-time to get a move on with writing my novel, I'm pleased to report that after another week it still seems to be working I have now moved the central character on a year albeit within a flashback sequence.

Now that I'm only writing weekly, I think by definition these entries are going to be a little metatextual at first, talking about what I've done and how things are going. Whilst this is in no way a bad thing - after all that's probably a description of a large proportion of the blogosphere - I hope I can get back to picking reality apart in short order.

In general I think I can report that this past week's experiment with the diversion of my creative juices has been a moderate success. On what would have been the designated blogging days I did manage to write short sections of my novel, perhaps comparable in length to the unwritten blog entries from those days.

It's still not enough. Even though I've now managed to drag my protagonists Genie and Wendi from the night club to the beach and finally to the hotel, it's been one of those hard going passages, a sequence in which I already know the destination so there are fewer surprises in store than normal and therefore I find it less... exciting. To return to the archaeological metaphor, this is archaeology by ultrasound; this site has already been thoroughly scanned before anyone lifted a trowel. What I've been up to is mere spadework.

Not that there haven't been little surprises though. The ultrasound doesn't reveal everything and I've uncovered a couple of gems, including one of whose existence I was hitherto completely unaware - and yet it offers a clear signpost to and foreshadowing of something later in the novel.

Still, if you don't mind a mixed metaphor, there are uncharted waters ahead. Once they've left the hotel in the morning, Genie and Wendi will be parted for nearly a year, and I'm not sure what happens when next they meet. Then there's another missing scene of Genie crossing a desert in the underworld. All unknown quantities; I can't wait.

In the meantime though, the health of my blog visitor statistics seems to have been failing. Normally it's a fairly healthy heartbeat; systole blog, diastole day-off, systole blog, diastole day-off. In the last week however it's begun to flatline. Not that it matters at all really, but as a number freak it's the kind of thing the exercises an unhealthy fascination over me. Mmmm, statistics. Why did someone in Japan read that blog entry on that day, and what led someone to Google for "Caves of Androzani overrated" and end up reading one of my Dimensionally Transcendental Confession entries?

Like many things, I suspect this statistical obsession is merely a very clever form of displacement activity; whilst agonizing over my blog audience ratings I'm neither blogging nor writing the novel. In the real world I am absolutely certain that the transition to a weekly systole won't do my blog any harm whatsoever in the long run. Maybe I can liken it to going into a coma or perhaps (more excitingly) going into suspended animation for the duration of a journey to another world.

And as I mentioned earlier; there's lots to write about. I've still to write the final third of the Dimensionally Transitional Confession memoir, there are other memoirs in that head thing of mine, and there are any number of things that I've started pondering.

I'll leave you with the following thought - a "Next Time on this Blog..." if you like.

Why are the things that are fun bad for you? Societal conditioning or god's sick sense of humour?

"I'm just a face in the crowd / Nothing to worry about
Not even trying to stand out
I'm getting smaller and smaller and smaller
And I got nothing to say / It's all been taken away
I just behave and obey
I'm afraid I am starting to fade away"
Nine Inch Nails, Getting Smaller
I don't know what Trent Reznor thinks he has to worry about - he's the same age as me and yet made his mark years ago and chalked up an achievement that many of us would like to, that of credible songwriter rockstar.

But I know what he's on about though. Given that it's been written by someone who doesn't know what it's like, the above quote is an uncannily accurate reflection of the thought processes of someone who's reached my age without achieving anything worthwhile.

It's easy when you're young of course. You can entertain all sorts of notions about how you're going to be a rock star, a writer, a DJ, and it all seems quite achievable. The only problem is that there doesn't seem to be any rush and that consequently you spend so much time enjoying yourself that you suddenly wake up and realise that you've missed the boat. Those that have already made it were the ones that actually focused on the task at hand when they still had youth on their side. Either that or they were incredibly lucky.

Another mistake that we make when young is that we see the achievement of our creative ambitions as a means to an end. In my case I hoped it would get me a girlfriend and loads of money. That is not the point. Creation of art, music or literature is an end in itself.

It's easy at this point to start pointing the finger of blame and indulging in the if only game. Ultimately though this is unproductive, like some kind of narcotic it might make you feel better for a few minutes, but in the longer term it's eating away at the pathways of your remaining ambition, and if you're not careful you'll end up sitting in a pool of your own piss in an old people's home with those magnificient octopi unwritten in your head.

When someone tells me "It's never too late" my initial impulse is to bludgeon them around the head with the nearest blunt instrument and push them into the path of an oncoming vehicle, but there is some truth in that annoying aphorism. By the time I'd entered my thirties I'd given up on any hope of playing in a band, but to my surprise and delight before my thirty-fifth birthday I'd been on stage in front of a huge crowd in the South of France at an all-dayer. OK, so this might give an exaggerated impression of our importance - most of the time we played in pubs but one summer were lucky enough to get on the bill for a European Tour. And I discovered that the one thing I enjoyed more than watching a band perform was being in a band performing.

My other major ambition, writing fiction, has no Best Before. You can start at any point. The abortive start I made in my late twenties won't be held against me, and in fact now that I'm older I find ambition more urgent. I'm not going to get distracted by having fun as I've now reached the position where I can see the downhill slope of the remainder of my life and have spotted the Grim Reaper waiting at the bottom looking impatiently at his or her watch.

Besides, the act of creation is having fun.

So, I have decided to knuckle down and strike out for the finish line of my novel. I've now been writing this blog on at least a bi-daily basis for exactly six months, and so I'm hoping the exercise loosened my brain bowels enough for me to finish the novel in a couple of months. So I won't be blogging every other day any more - at least not until the first draft is finished.

I'm not totally cutting myself off from the blogosphere though - I'll check-in here for an update, say once a week, and no doubt will continue to express myself in 140-character chunks on Twitter.

So it's by no means goodbye. I've already got several future blog subjects backed up. Let's hope that they're like wine and that bottling them up will improve the quality.

See you next week.

I'm in two minds.

Or rather sometimes it seems as if two minds are in me. I can't really work out whether I'm a miserable curmudgeon complaining about the current state of the world and how things were so much better back in the old days, or an immature man-child who refuses to grow up.

This means that sometimes I react to things in an unpredictable manner and seem to be capable of holding two contradictory opinions in my head at the same time. It's a kind of doublethink but it's not at if I don't notice the contradiction. I do, but I decide not to let it bother me.

For instance, whilst I may bang on about how selfish people are trying to monopolise more than one seat on public transport, I am equally as capable of complaining when someone sits next to me on aforementioned public transport. I don't know if this means that I'm capable of seeing both sides of an argument or am just monumentally selfish.

However, I do try not to be selfish in my dealings with people. I'm just being selfish in my head, which by definition is probably the only place where it's permissible to be so (the self is in the head, right?). Whilst I may be internally seething when some malodorous stranger sits next to me, on my coat, on the bus and starts reading Metro with his mouth hanging open, there's no way he'll ever be able to tell from my demeanor, will he? Or perhaps I'm lucky and don't ever happen to internally seethe next to someone whose particularly insightful.

I just hope cheap telepathy isn't invented and made available as an app on people's phones otherwise I'm royally screwed.

Does it make a difference though? As I've discussed before what really counts in this world is outward appearances, so as long as I'm polite people should have the same attitude towards me as if I actually was full of bonhomie.

Then again maybe everyone is else is pretending and there's no such thing as bonhomie. Or maybe I just over think things.

One thing I do know is that I should probably stop with the seething already. If I don't let my internal contradictions bother me then why let external annoyances do so? The subjects of my seethes are always external and will never know (or care about) my animosity, but in the meantime the seethe-energy has nowhere to go and so ends up just bouncing around in my psyche and probably doing no end of harm.

So I either need to nip the animosity in the bud and stop getting annoyed in the first place (easier said than done of course, and I don't have any easy answers) or find some way of harmlessly venting this mental toxic waste. Like, and if you'll excuse me whilst I go meta again for a moment, blogging for instance.

The good thing is that the subjects of my rants will never read this and what's more I usually never see them again. And yet I get the bugbears safely off my chest and out of my head (to mix bodily metaphors). Hopefully this isn't too boring for any readers I might have.

And to be fair that's not all I talk about. Is it?

"People want to believe a simple version, a radically simplified, actually imbecilic version of complex and largely incomprehensible reality."
William Gibson
We probably all know somebody who revels in conspiracy theories. Someone who isn't happy unless they're deconstructing a largely well documented and relatively recent historical event and blaming it all on Them.

The identity of Them does vary, but most of the time it is drawn to the strange attractor of the US Government or perhaps a shadowy cabal of super-rich multinational-owning American neo-cons. For some reason They have a lot of time on their hands and spend most of it trying to confuse the issue on a global scale. But despite their near limitless resources and frightening ruthlessness, they always seem to get caught out by a weirdo living in his mum's basement (let's face it, they're usually male). A weirdo who, despite the fact that he nearly has a panic attack when he tries to talk to the girl who works in the corner shop, seems to be capable of toppling governments.

In his head at least.

Why do I think these conspiracies are unlikely? If Basement Weirdo is right, perhaps I'm just being closed-minded and accepting the line fed to me by Them...

I'm not though. If They actually exist then about the only thing I think They are capable of doing is feeding me a line. A government or any similar organisation, shadowy or not, is just a bureaucracy, and anyone who's worked in a bureaucracy will know that they're 99% incompetent. I just don't think that US Government would have the co-ordination or cojones to have secretly masterminded 9/11. Bear in mind that this was a Government with a President who less than two years earlier, when asked who the Pakistani leader was, gave the answer:

"General. I can name the general. General."

In many ways governments are just like spammers. They can spread misinformation and lies because that costs nothing, but are incapable of doing anything that requires an effort. Belief in conspiracy theories of this kind is the equivalent of believing that online pharmacies are putting something in the water to cause impotence in order to sell more viagra.

So why are these crackpot theories so attractive to some people? I think it's because a belief in Them is a more attractive prospect than attempting to understand, say, the motivation of Al-Qaeda. The shadowy cabal of men in suits meeting in a darkened boardroom and sending their minions to bump off an investigative journalist in an underground car park is familiar from countless TV shows and movies, in some ways it's a far more comforting idea than the thought that someone somewhere in the Middle East wants to kill you because you don't believe in their god.

And like any addiction, once you've started, it's very difficult to stop. Far easier to believe that They faked the Moon landings than to get your head round the incredible technological achievement of the Apollo program.

And then it starts getting silly and you end up with the idea that Morrissey somehow knew that Princess Diana was going to die years in advance of the event.

In my opinion there are far more interesting things to think about.

After the dramatic spectacle of the Fifth Doctor's exit, the Sixth Doctor really had something to live up to. And this time we weren't going to have to wait a whole year to see what he was like. For the first time (in a never to be repeated experiment) the regeneration had taken place before the end of the season. This was a move as bold as the transmission times being shifted to mid week. I couldn't wait, and what's more wouldn't have to.

I must admit I was dubious about the casting. Actor Colin Baker had already appeared not long before as Time Lord guard Maxil, who had attempted to execute the incumbent Fifth Doctor. Would they attempt an in-story explanation for the remarkable similarity? Furthermore I was already familiar with him from his appearance in Blake's Seven as Bayban the Butcher. Did this mean that the Sixth Doctor was going to be played as a violent maniac in leather and studs?

They passed on the leather and studs, but kept the violent maniac, at least that's what I thought when I watched his first story, The Twin Dilemma. Having him attempt to strangle companion Peri during the first episode was an interesting twist, especially given that only hours before he'd laid down his fifth life for her. If they'd kept up this theme it could have made for an interesting story, but as it was, as soon as the TARDIS arrived on the planet Jaconda, the plot deteriorated into a brightly-lit embarrassing affair. I was glad to see the back of it, even though it meant I wasn't going to see any more of the show for a year... Still, this was the new Doctor. Whether I liked it or not.

The following year the show was back on Saturdays, but in another odd move each episode was now 45 minutes long, which meant that each story now had only two (or occasionally three) episodes. I was no longer on campus and instead was living in a student house in Hove above a dry-cleaners. This meant that I could watch Doctor Who in the living room on a large monochrome TV, which was a marked improvement on the previous years' viewing arrangements. On the downside, all four girls with whom I was sharing the house seemed to invite their cool boyfriends round to visit on Saturday evenings, which meant that even though I got to watch the show, it was against a steady background of relentless piss-taking.

The season was an odd beast. Despite flashes of brilliance, the bulk of it seemed to be heavily relying on continuity or, dare I say it, fanwank. I was almost as if, I don't know, producer John Nathan-Turner had let a rabid Whovian loose on the scripts...

It started to find its feet though and despite largely fan-pleasing appearances of the Cybermen, Sontarans and the Second Doctor, I found myself warming to the Sixth Doctor, garish costume and all. For the end of the season they pulled out all the stops and re-engaged Graeme Harper to direct (and co-incidentally my dad to score) the final story, a bizarre tale of Davros, Daleks, DJs and dead people. Revelation of the Daleks.

The Doctor and Peri were almost relegated to the sidelines as a whole company of vivid fully-formed characters leapt to the fore. Bounty hunters Orcini and Bostock, "grave-robbers" Natasha and Grigory, sadistic mortuary attendants Takis and Lilt, Alexei Sayle's DJ and Clive Swift's Jobel, the latter a marvelously pompous buffoon with a blatantly obvious wig and a fine line in acid put-downs, telling his love-struck assistant Tasembeker "I would rather run away with my mother than own some fawning little creep like you!"

It was after this story that I realised the Sixth Doctor had won me over. The role was obviously in safe hands and I looked forward to the next season.

Then the BBC announced that the show was being suspended.

Cue cliffhanger shriek.

Wanting to look a bit different wasn't just because of the girls.

Once I'd sidled into this subculture I found that there was a lot more in there that was to my liking. There was a certain point of view, an attitude, that I found myself in alignment with. I'm not saying I wanted to Smash the State, far from it (if we descended into anarchy I was hardly going to be assured a regular supply of SF novels and Toyah LPs), but more that I found the different way of looking at things appealing. And the music of course.

Yes, we did think we were different, but I wasn't so obtuse as not to realise that the subcultural vogue was a uniform in itself and that I was not so much refusing to conform as choosing to conform to a different (albeit more minority) mode. A common criticism often leveled at me and my siblings in style, especially by lapsed members of the congregation interestingly, was that we "thought we were something special and better than everyone else".

I don't think I did. Whilst there very probably were those who pranced around, chalking up internal victories every time their unconventional looks raised an eyebrow, it wasn't that at all for me. It wasn't about gangs either - in my experience the only conflict occurred when gangs of Casuals (forerunners of today's Chavs) decided to give a kicking to a lone punk or goth. I was once on the receiving end of such a kicking myself at the age of nineteen; I can only say that I'm glad they were all obsessed with wearing trainers otherwise I might have been in far worse shape afterwards.

No, for me it was to do with what I felt like.

It was the inverse of the Neuro Sartorial Programming I discussed in a recent post here. Instead of allowing my thoughts and attitudes to be moulded by the uniform I wore, I felt I was expressing my thoughts and attitudes through my appearance. I may have been shy and, not to put too fine a point on it, hard work for some people, but I used my appearance to undercut this shyness. Visually I was announcing that even though I might be quiet it didn't mean to say I wanted to hide in a corner. People could get an at-a-glance precis of my personality from how I was dressed; if anything I hoped my appearance might encourage others to talk to me and thereby overcome the single greatest obstacle in my social life - the fact that I had absolutely no idea how to start a conversation.

You'd think that in the 21st century, after all this time, people would now be used to the sight of punks or goths and that it would provoke less hostility. Unfortunately that's not the case. Even today - and I dress fairly ordinarily now in comparison to how I used to - I occasionally am verbally abused from the safety of a moving vehicle. The funny thing is that what with the speed of the car and the doppler effect I never have any idea what these motorised maniacs are shouting.

And the violence continues with such horrifying cases as the murder of Sophie Lancaster.

Sadly the government refused to extend the definition of "hate-crime" to cover such attacks, despite the fact that it is exactly what they are. Acts of unprovoked violence based solely on the victims' appearance and choice of lifestyle.

You might not think it to look at me now given that I'm a bit of a slob, but once upon a time I was quite spiky and interesting looking.

Well I thought I looked interesting, but then I would say that, wouldn't I? The punky alternative gothy style has always been to my taste. Why is this? I can sort of answer that, although the answer itself only raises a further question.

Like many things that happen to teenage boys, it all comes down to girls. Of course.

At school it seemed as though the majority of my peers waxed lyrical over the physical charms of Olivia Newton John, Farrah Fawcett and the like, not to mention the airbrushed women in the creased glossy magazines they used to sneak into class. I could never really see the attraction. They all seemed so bloody wholesome. Except for the ones in the magazines who seemed plastic and soggy.

Due to my lack of enthusiasm for the traditional teenage boys' fantasies, I was often branded a "bender" or a "mo". This wasn't the case. I thought women were brilliant, but the only ones that sent my stomach on a rollercoaster ride and made my viscera turn somersaults were the scary looking ones I'd seen on TV and in the Kings Road or West End when I'd made my solo trips into town to visit Forbidden Planet in Denmark Street. Punk girls.

I don't know what it was, but there was something about the combination of brightly coloured scruffy hairdos with shaved bits, torn fishnets, leather jackets, extreme makeup and unsuitable boots that seemed to press all my buttons simultaneously.

This raises the further question, why? Punk was a relatively new phenomenon; it's not as if I was remembering something from deep in my childhood. To this day I have no idea why my brain decided I would be attracted to fierce, frightening-looking women.

But of course at the time I wasn't bothered why. I just knew that there was no way any of those beautiful beings would be remotely interested in a short spotty nerd in a white arran-knit jumper and corduroy trousers clutching a copy of Doctor Who magazine. I'd have to radically change my image if I was to stand a chance against the competition, which at the time seemed to largely consist of blokes eight and a half feet tall (if you included the extra two foot of mohican), arms like tree trunks, complex tattoos covering 98% of their skin surface and half a pound of scrap iron embedded in their face.

I wasn't so keen on the scrap iron or the tattoos, but made an effort and after a while drifted sideways from a New Romantic Influenced Punk look into the new subgenre of "Goth" (or "Positive Punk" as it was known at first). At the time this wasn't nearly as morose or pretentious as it could sometimes be in later years; a lot of the time it was a laugh.

Looking back on it of course my obsession with unconventional beauty meant that I missed out on a lot of opportunities over the years. Walking around with my alt-blinkers on meant that I completely failed to notice when normal looking girls showed an interest in me. This probably explains why I was single such a lot.

It doesn't explain why I didn't have loads of punk and goth girlfriends instead though.

to be continued...

"It's certainly a phenomenon in all walks of life.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever. All walks of life: George Best, for example. Had it, lost it. Or David Bowie, or Lou Reed."

"Lou Reed, some of his solo stuff's not bad."

"No, it's not bad, but it's not great either. And in your heart you kind of know that although it sounds all right, it's actually just shite."

Sick Boy & Renton, Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh
Odd that people tend to sneer at the new and different. It's been my observation that the creative mind can be at its most interesting when first it releases its brainchild upon the scene. Perhaps people have an inbuilt conditioning to be wary of the brand new? In Thugg's World, for instance, what's brand new might conceivably kill you.

People also dismiss the new and the popular because of the hype. In an attempt to appear more sophisticated than what they imagine to be the lumpenproletariat, some people affect a disdain for anything that's all the rage and only after it's been going for quite a while will they grudgingly admit that in fact it's quite good.

This is a shame, because a lot of the time by this point it's not as good any more.

This can happen in any creative field, but is particularly noticeable in the music business. The first hit (and associated album) bursts upon an unsuspecting nation and people can't get enough of the new star in the ascendant. However, despite the difficult but critically acclaimed second album, after that releases seem to be subject to a law of diminishing returns. The third album is OK I suppose. The fourth album is a return to form! I didn't really like the fifth album....

There are many reasons this could be. Some people probably only have one great work in them, one Magnificent Octopus. But the nature of the music industry in the west is precisely that. An industry.

A lot of the time the Money Men of Gigagram Records have already invested a lot of time and money in the New Artist and so are determined to flog the latter to within an inch of their creative life to extract every possible last drop of profit, even though the latter may only have had six months to give.

Sometimes the New Artist is more prolific and has years of creation left in them. Unfortunately in many of these cases the Money Men fixate on something inappropriate as the reason for the success and force the New Artist down inappropriate aesthetic avenues resulting in a series of glossy well presented turds.

And sometime it's just because it's taken them a while. By the time their have their Hit Album they've already got five Obscure Albums under their belt and have run out of material.

There is always reinvention. Some stars manage this on a regular basis, and superficially, it seems to work. Unexpectedly swapping genres and shining in a new arena is a particularly clever trick and can extend the shelf life for years. But after a while even this seems to pall. Taking a step back and looking at the big picture of the career curve it becomes obvious that each successive reinvention was marginally less successful than the last. Eventually the reinventions will start to become a bit of a joke. Oh no, please, don't...

Some artists should - and more importantly should be allowed to - just stop. Hopefully before people become bored with them. They can then go away and write a book which will do incredibly well because everyone has such fond memories of how brilliant they were and how they quit whilst they were ahead.

Of course none of this applies to our own personal favourite bands. How can you say that? That seventeen album with the ambient trip-hop spoken word section was genius...