Collected Local Songs

by Steven Ball

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about

"... a drifting, sometimes aleatory assemblage of signs and signals encountered in South London's Deptford and New Cross. Ball sees the city as plunderphonic terrain, and this music is built up from layers of centrifugal texts... Memories, fragmented and not always lucid, act as bulwarks against capitalism's amnesia." Sukhdev Sandhu, The Wire, April 2015

Read this and other reviews here:
directobjective.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Collected%20Local%20Songs%20reviews

credits

released February 2, 2015

written, performed and recorded by Steven Ball
image by Riccardo Iacono
www.riccardoiacono.co.uk

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about

Steven Ball London, UK

Steven Ball works across various audio-visual media including film, video, sound, and has exhibited in numerous exhibitions, screenings, and performances, since the nineteen eighties. He is also a member of the legendary post-punk DIY group Storm Bugs.

Also available by Steven Ball:
"Life of Barrymore" on Linear Obsessional Recordings
linearobsessional.bandcamp.com/album/life-of-barrymore
... more

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Track Name: Beautiful Shoes song
a step, a stop

not so much shuffling, hobbling, or stumbling
but stopping and stopping,
more stopping than walking
then falling forward
falling and stopping
forward and stopping
stopping and falling
stopping and walking
walking and falling

across Creek Road
and then down the High Street
into Douglas Way
Amersham Vale
Amersham Grove
right into Edward Street
left down the High Street
across Creek Road
into Watergate Street
up to the river
and back down
Watergate Street
Track Name: Cloud of Dreams song
woke up one morning
singing phrases from a dream
into his mobile phone
his note book out of reach
in the morning

it doesn’t matter
one fleeting impression
among many others
dream diary in the cloud
in the morning

a cloud of dreams
geo-tagged, metadata,
dreams no longer forgotten
from this morning

this song, singular thing
thing, ephemeral thing
a memory from a bar
a run around the park
in the morning

dreams all encoded,
uploaded, to a cloud
[there’s no one listening in]
from pillow to server
in the morning

a cloud of dreams
related to a data subject
pseudonymised fragmented
from this morning
Track Name: Ray song
waiting now for the story
of how the neighbour
is being played
by another actor

Ray went away for a long time
and now he looks quite different
but he does all the things that Ray does
cleans his car
stands outside and smokes a cigarette

he’s played by a different actor now
someone who doesn’t look like him

what can I do?
Track Name: Riverside Living song
turning the tide on the river
getting higher every day
down by the creekside
high spec apartments
higher and higher and higher
every day

selling place to the foreigners
nothing gets in their way
down by the river
water and networks
slower and slower and slower
every day

turning their backs on the village
(but) nothing just goes away
sewage and bandwidth
the tide and the rainfall
higher and narrower and higher and narrower
every day
Track Name: Signs and Wonders song
signs and wonders
every last Friday

I've got a folder
on my computer
named 'Current Projects'
this song is in it
along with others
they're current projects

a woman stops me
stops me to ask me
is that the Albany
the Albany Deptford
I say yes
I didn’t realize
it was so close
I could park
I could walk
I say I guess

myself wants to talk
to talk to yourself

nobody trusts this
warm weather
they’re all wearing coats

singing songs
songs with lyrics
full of meaning

the boy walked into
into the road
because he was hit by
hit by the bus

he’s got the ‘ump
Emergency Tax

basically
literally

it should be
no larger than
a sheet of A4
a sheet of A4 paper

the girl that passed
passed on the platform
the aroma of chocolate

It's just the worstest
time really

The Welshman on
on the night bus
said he'd had enough
of this country
he couldn't wait
to get back to China.

she's living on toast

two phones
on the bus

New Cross pavements
health insurance?

music on earphones
whose earphones?
his earphones?
no, mine.

unattended bags
cause delays
please keep yours with
you at all times

the exclamation mark
is to the right
of the block of text
and runs its full height
vertically
the point at its base
is a graphical image
of a case
we stop and start
through the emptied estates

CCTV
is in operation
at all times
at this station

in the same place
but not in the same state
in the same place
but not in the same time

the thing I notice
on the old estate
the smell of weed
new seats
and the puddles are
all in the same place
the puddles are
still in the same place

to help and bless
and save the working
the working classes

stinking unpaved
unpaved lane
rough sailors
from cattle steamers
women selling
jumping jacks
men hawking
primrose roots
rabbits dangling
from the end of a stick
here would be a vendor
a vendor of whirligigs
there a mender
of old umbrellas
a blind beggar

Italian women
women with cages
of fortune telling
fortune telling canaries

the hemp that is to hang me
is not grown yet

the police stopped
stopped all such customs
the electric light
can never be applied
applied indoors
without the production
of an offensive smell
which undoubtedly
causes headaches

about a pound a week
from the butchers'
and greengrocers’ shops
gaslights flared
flared and flickered
wild and ghastly
haggard groups
of slipshod dirty
dirty women
bargaining for
scraps of stale meat
and frost-bitten vegetables
wrangling about
short weight and bad
and bad quality

fish stalls and fruit stalls
lined the edge of the greasy
the greasy pavement
sending up odours
as foul as the language
of sellers and buyers

blood and sewer water
crawled from under doors
and out of spouts
reeked down to the gutters
among offal, animal and vegetable
in every stage of
of putrefaction

she would bring
bring a tray up
with a bowl of water
soap and flannel
and a towel for washing
and make our bed
comfortable
and meals such as
as we could eat
were brought upstairs

sometimes Mum was
given back
a shilling or two
I can imagine how
she must have saved this
to buy something
to improve the home