Sunday, October 26, 2008
Hello! Calm yourselves! I am still here. Poor blog, feeling all neglected. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks, summed up best by the gorgeously wonderful and sublimely funny Josie Long, who I saw doing stand up week before last...
I don't get cynical people. I mean, it's not like at the end of your life they give you an award and say "Well done! You didn't enjoy anything! Congratulations, you hated it all..."Or words to that effect. Can't remember exactly. It was a while ago. But the point, I hope, remains valid. Good to get stuck in. Before it's too laaaaaaaaate...
And so my own unique Oktoberfest has been rather lovely. I caught Ms Long's comedy stylings alongside the equally ace Natalie Haynes, who I know mostly off of Newsnight Review. After that there were a plethora of important birthdays, including my DJ partner Tombo, my Dad, and a party for my friend Kate in Brum that I played at last weekend. My first time DJing in Birmingham, the biggest tune was probably Fleetwood Mac's unlikely dancefloor attack 'Everywhere' and the best moment was a cute girl dashing to the DJ booth to declare her undying love for me just for playing 'Dub Be Good To Me'. I must play that more often...
Last week was a throwback to my summer of tinnitus inducing festival goodness. Monday was Times New Viking, No Age and Los Campesinos at Camden's Electric Ballroom with Ben Silent Words. All of whom were superb, most notably No Age, who's latest album was impossible to resist on lovely vinyl. Tuesday saw Miracle Fortress wow me at 93 Feet East. The kind of deep gorgeous dreamy pop with such eager sincerity that's impossible to resist. They were simply wonderful. Wednesday saw my head blown off by M83 at the Scala. Just stunning, one of the best live performances I've seen all year. I get chills just thinking about it. Aaaand Thursday I went to the gym and listened to my iPod.
Then Friday it was a trip to the Astoria 2. We started by being absolutely knocked sideways by support band Rolo Tomassi, who according to wikipedia play "synth driven spazzcore mathcore screamo". Which doesn't even get close to describing their sound. Like someone throwing screaming punks, chugging synths and a jazz quartet down a lift shaft, played by five ickle pixie children who then took their clothes off at the end. In any normal situation they'd have stolen the show, but then headliners Blood Red Shoes came on and confirmed their status as live band of the year for me. Another superb set, including new songs that sound like the old songs. But better. The kids invaded the stage at the end and the world became a better place.
Then to round things off, a wedding in Liverpool this weekend. Congratulations to Suze and Rupert. And the most wonderous reception in an amazing glasshouse with palm trees and cacti, like a baby Kew Gardens. Mercifully I wasn't DJing, but a good friend was. "What should I play now to get people dancing?" he asked me during a momentary lapse in the mayhem. "Groove is in the heart!" I replied, immediately. He obliged. And everyone swarmed back to the dancefloor. Which is just as well otherwise I'd have looked a bit daft. But then again, 'Groove Is In The Heart' never fails. Ever.
1. Blood Red Shoes - It's Happening Again
2. M83 - Coleurs
3. Miracle Fortress - Have You Seen In Your Dreams
4. Los Campesinos - My Year In Lists
5. No Age - Things I Did When I Was Dead
6. Rolo Tomassi - Film Noir
7. Bomb The Bass - Megablast
8. The Crimea - Everywhere
9. Beats International - Dub Be Good To Me
10. Deeelite - Groove Is In The Heart
I will be having a quiet week this week I think...
Monday, October 13, 2008
Natwest Barclays Midlands Lloyds
All together now...
A British bank is run with precision
A British home requires nothing less!
Tradition, discipline, and rules must be the tools
Without them - disorder! Chaos!
In short, we have a ghastly mess!
I quite agree!
Whoever scheduled Mary Poppins on ITV3 this Sunday afternoon has both a wiley sense of humour and the kind of foresight much needed in the financial sector at the moment...
Give me back my money!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Modes Of Transport
Glorious Sunday afternoons in mid-October. Lying on the grass in the park, finding an amazing sweet spot, with jets flying overhead and the unmistakeable rumbling of Piccadilly line tubes beneath. Like a transport sandwich. It's a wonderful park. Ducks, coots and geese on the pond. An amazing kiddie play area that I'm jealous I'm too old to play on. Squirrels everywhere. Loud drums coming over from the community centre that emerge during the quiet parts of the songs I'm listening to. Reality gently imposing.
Sunshine, the Sunday papers, blue sky, grapes, mango smoothie, and music of course. My new iPod has this Genius button thing. You select a song, and it builds a playlist around it. Which is a bit spooky, because it's really good, and works with the mood you're in. Like it can read your mind. I'd been humming Starman. So that seemed the logical place to start...
1. David Bowie - Starman
2. The Cure - Lovecats
3. Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes
4. Lou Reed - Satellite Of Love
5. The Kinks - You Really Got Me
6. The La's - There She Goes
7. The Stranglers - Golden Brown
8. Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK
9. Pulp - Common People
10. T-Rex - Get In On
Bang a gong, get it on!
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
French Kissing In The USA
I have some Katy Perry promotional cherry chapstick. Does this mean I'm going to hell, too?
Sunday, October 05, 2008
No no, I've not disappeared. Just been in that busy frame of mind where I've had lots of work to do and lots of fun things to do and lots of stuff buzzing round my brain, but little opportunity to spill it onto a keyboard for lovely blog soup goodness.
Now, big news: I've sold my soul and, with the meagre return, bought an iPod. Woo.
My dear old iRiver, that I've had since it was a child, has finally gotten so decrepid, it was time to retire it. Recently, I realised that the headphone jack was broken, meaning that even though I had headphones plugged in, the internal speaker was still playing out loud. Which meant that while I was listening to songs on the tube, people could also hear what was playing. And because I was wearing headphones, I was unaware of it, and therefore have no idea how long this had been going on for. And whether it had revealed to the good people of the Victoria Line that I was listening to Girls Aloud's 'The Show' on full volume of a Tuesday morning...
Anyway, big fat new slim shiny iPod bought from the Apple store on Regents Street. Going in there, it did feel like I was being initiated into some sort of strange cult (mentioning no names...) But, y'know, it works and is shiny and the pictures of the album covers come up. Which is extra nice when it's the Lost In Translation one with Scarlett Johannson's bum in the see-through knick knacks. On repeat, I think.
So, yeah, great stuff. And it's been soundtracking fun times of late too. Which is essentially what I want it for: to turn my life into a movie with an immaculate score. Lots of lovely things out there to discover, including a whole raft of superb eponymous debut albums. Here are some of them, and a few more lovely long players I've been loving lots.
1. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
2. Glasvegas - Glasvegas
3. Friendly Fires - Friendly Fires
4. Ladyhawke - Ladyhawke
5. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue
6. Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid
7. Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel
8. The Streets - Everything Is Borrowed
9. Bloc Party - Intimacy
10. Nirvana - With The Lights Out (Boxed Set)
With the latter being a dig through Kurt and co's dirty laundry that I'd never really delved into before. Sure, like The Beatles anthologies that it clearly aims to imitate, the vast majority is somewhat dispensible, but there are some sublime, moving moments. The closing acoustic reading of 'All Apologies' is heartbreakingly wonderful and confirms it's place as my favourite Nirvana song.
My new most likely cause of death is being run down on the bus whilst gazing in awe upon the coverflow...