Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ulster Says "Hello Sailor!"

Andrew Sherman reports on the passing of Sammy Cuddy, Loyalist paramiliatary by day, ribald drag queen Samantha by night: Obituary for a terrorist

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Oldest Living Animal Killed

The BBC reports that Icelandic fishermen have killed what is believed to have been the world's oldest living animal, a clam.

I know all about bicycles

I discovered yesterday that the thing I thought was my gear changer is actually a bell.

The Sixth Doctor: "The Ultimate Foe"

This is Colin Baker's last, and the last of the Trial of a Timelord. In this one the trial is over, and for no obvious reason the Doctor disappears in the Matrix, a weirdo computer generated landscape of existential threat. This one seemed a good bit more enjoyable than the rest of the Trial rubbish – it was baffling, absurdist, and reminiscent of the stranger episodes of The Prisoner (then very popular among my pals); the Prisoner similaries were heightened by it being revealed that the Timelord guy who was prosecuting the Doctor was actually the evil side of his personality from the future (or something).

I will at some stage talk in general terms about the whole of the Colin Baker "Doctor Who" era. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The BBC reports on the 2007 Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition winner being announced. The winner is a spectacular picture of a bull elephant by one Ben Osborne, but my preference is for this picture taken by Patrick Corning of some Costa Rican squirrel monkeys.

The Timeless wisdom of political realism


"Guys, come on... do you not think this has gone on long enough?"

Exciting News For All Readers!

Blogger have finally introduced a new feature whereby people can choose when leaving comments to be notified of follow-up comments. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on people's commenting habits (I mean on other blogs people actually read, not this one).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

When Journalists Attack

I went to a talk last night by investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. He has broken so many astonishing stories in the course of his career that his fellow journalists look like total slackasses in comparison.

In his talk he said many interesting things that I should maybe talk about in my other blog. He also came across as a rather amiable fellow and nothing like the grumpster he is sometimes reported to be. Or at least he came across as amiable during the talk - when it came to the Question and Answer session another side of Mr Hersh emerged. The scene was set when he interrupted a stream of consciousness ramble by some Socialist Worker guy with a curt "Sorry, do you have a question?", and when the guy came back with something plainly a statement Hersh disdainfully said "Well, I disagree" and took the next question. Seymour Hersh is a hero to us all.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What is Oink?

In my day Oink was a comic for kids. Now I am old and writing what is in some sense meant to be a music blog, but over on Freaky Trigger Tom talks about something called Oink that has apparently busted in a manner significant for people who write music blogs. I have no idea what this Oink is. I am so out of the loop.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

"I've dropped my soup!"

A post on Thinking Outside The Helicopter has got me thinking that the above phrase needs to have a rude double meaning, kind of like "I've dropped my chips!" does. I have not worked out what this other meaning is yet.

Here, meanwhile, are some people who have "drunk their milk".

EDIT: If Sealion bukake is the kind of thing your boss disapproves of then stay away from that second link while at work.

Monday, October 22, 2007

When animals go fierce

I have already mentioned Tasmanian Devils, animals so fierce that they are driving themselves to extinction. Their extreme ferocity is proving to be a greater threat to their continued existence than habitat loss, as their continuous fighting with each other is causing the spread of a virus that leads to them growing repulsive tumours in their mouths and dying of starvation. Scientists project that they will become extinct in the next couple of decades, unless they stop being so fierce. As a Tasmanian Devil move away from ferocity is not considered likely, the BBC reports that scientists are trying to move uninfected animals away from their infectious kin, in the hope that this allows the species to survive. I hope it does.

In other fierce animal news, the BBC reports that India's notorious maqaque monkeys have claimed the life of SS Bajwa, Deputy Mayor of Delhi. He was set upon by some of the loutish animals, who forced him off a balcony to his death. This is only the latest and most extreme outrage perpetrated by this uncontrollable animals, believed by many to be embodiments of the God Hanuman. Inhabitants of Delhi are probably hoping that there is no repeat of the 2001 events, in which the city was terrorised by an entity that was half-man, half monkey, and all monster.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Looks Familiar?

I know what you like

I don't really know what you like, but I know what I like. I like Gallon Drunk. I've just seen them live, and they've still got it. Have you?

Wikipedia knows all about Gallon Drunk.

Exciting News For Cockfarmers!

Attention Cockfarmers! Is it a source of great annoyance to you that you cannot make and receive Very Important Calls while travelling by air? Soon this annoyance could be a thing of the past, as the European Union moves towards the approval of a system that will allow for inflight mobile phone use.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

metalert

Over on Freaky Trigger, yer man Tom Ewing has been doing a lot of musing about music blogs and all that. This reminds me of how this was originally meant to be a music blog, recycling stuff I had written elsewhere for the wider public of the blogoweb. Sadly, dogs and other animals intervened, making this a blog in which music only marginally appears. Maybe in retrospect I should have started yet another blog for the non-music stuff. Or whatever.

I would post a link to what Tom was saying about music blogs, except that when you post a link to a Freaky Trigger post, you appear in the comments to said post with a link back, and basically you look like you are trying to pimp your blog. I would rather wait until I have something to pimp.

Konono No.1 / Tarwater / Cas Pas Cap

These were on the same bill as part of this strange free festival of stuff happening down in the docklands area of Dublin. This was during the summer, when I was meant to have been working on my thesis.

Cas Pas Cap were on first, and were not that good at all. This was unfortunate, given the lineage of some of the band's members, but I didn't really like their record that much either (and in fact forgot to mention it until now). They combined annoying vocals with uninspiring chuggy music, although they did occasionally lock into an entertaining groove. But not entertaining enough.

Tarwater are German fellows, who played electronic music and looked really kewl. Me bird liked them more than me, but even I was somewhat impressed by their cinematic sounds. Er, I can't actually remember anything about what they sound like, but I do remember thinking they were at least quite good.

Konono No.1 – well, if are a member of Frank's APA and have been paying attention then you will understand that these people are the Congotronics sensations from Kinshasa who play thumb pianos through home made amps and loudspeakers, accompanied by multiple drumming and chanty vocals. I do not know how famous they are to people who are not yet part of our gang. On this occasion, the audience maybe took a while to get into this – but I did not, spending a lot of the time up the front, where the people near me hovered on the fringe of event people hell (doing a lot of photographing each other, and I think there were some of the Alps-Plane posse here too. But yeah, deadly stuff, I loved it… it was truly an honour to see these people, including Mr Konono himself, who was sporting the same shirt tonight that he does on the record.

Friday, October 12, 2007

i can has light? & light wuz

The Lolcat Bible.

Link from Jim's Occasional Journal of Sorts

Rather worryingly, I have found myself recently signing off work voicemail messages with "OK, thanks, bye".

Small number of idiots spoil things for everyone

The Dutch government are banning magic mushrooms, following some high-profile incidents where tourists over-indulged and made fools of themselves. Several people who need to get a brain have apparently jumped from upstairs windows and balconies, perhaps, somewhat stereotypically, thinking they could fly.

There are no plans reported to ban alcohol, as drinkers never commit foolish or dangerous acts.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

ACHTUNG HUHNLANDWIRTER!

One of the things I have been meaning to do since I started this blog is talk about Frank's APA, and how maybe it is something you might like to get involved with. I am not going to do this now either, but instead I will post a link that will perhaps make clear to the more sensible among you just way you should not be led astray by us: Apatatistische Gewalttäter

The Things You Learn From Reading Blogs

Ontario is the most populous province in Canada. They have just had some kind of election there. The local Conservatives are led by a Mr John Tory.

The local Conservatives are officially the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Ban this evil fruit!

The BBC reports that the cultivation of cheap strawberries for the UK (and, implicitly, Irish) market is driving Spain's lynxes to extinction (by lowering the water table in the wetlands in which these fury predators live). Will we wake up to the fruit menace before the Spanish lynx is extinct?

Tom Murphy

I read yesterday that the actor Tom Murphy has just died. You might know him as one of the eponymous characters in Adam & Paul. I knew Tom slightly in college, even treading the boards with him in a production of John Antrobus's Why Bournemouth? I never saw that much of his acting stuff since then (I still have not got round to seeing Adam & Paul), but he had seemed to have made something of a name for himself, winning Tony awards and stuff. I never begrudged him his success; this is not something I could say regarding the other people I knew back then who have gone on to greater things.

Monday, October 08, 2007

v/a [Mercury Prize 2007 album of year competition compilation]

I bought this because I realised that I am very out of touch with the young people's music. On a first couple of listens, the young people's music turns out to be rubbish.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

"Mean Team"

2000AD Xtreme features in its latest issue the complete Mean Team. This was one of those future sport stories they liked in 2000 AD. These future sports were always sub-Rollerball excuses for extreme violence, and this one was no exception. Or so it was initially - after a bit the titular Mean Team, who were all slaves or indentured servants of some sinister team boss, busted loose and escaped from the planet they lived on, making their way to the now abandoned planet Earth. At this point the story became incredibly strange, though not in a good way. My recollection is that Mean Team started promisingly enough, but then became one of the worst stories to ever appear in 2000 AD, rivalled only by the interminable Strontium Dog: Ragnarok or that forgettable suckass story about the taxi driver. Or anything featuring Durham Red. I'm almost tempted to buy the reprint, to see if Mean Team is as bad as I remember.

v/a "From the Closet to the Charts: Queer Noises 1961-1978"

This is a Jon Savage compiled record of music by homosexuals. It runs the gamut from tracks where the gayness involved is very oblique (or tongue in cheek) to in your face tracks like '53rd & 3rd', before finishing with some cheese-tastic disco nonsense as a way of celebrating the mainstreaming of gay culture, at least in music. A lot of these tracks are very novelty, and here as examples of a type of music rather than anything anyone would say is actually good music, but there are some great tunes here, notably Tornados b-side 'Do you come here often?' (Joe Meek releases an overtly gay record to a world that does not care).

I suppose the track I most like on this is the one by Jobriath... he was some guy in the 1970s who was one of the first overtly gay pop stars (or would-be pop stars; his career tanked). His track suggests that he was some kind of genius who invented a new musical genre that combined pop with the baroque.

The record has a nice sailor on the frontcover, so it might be useful to you for research purposes.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Two albums by Talking Heads

Two cheap ass Talking Heads purchases bring me ever closer to completion – or at least, completion of their good stuff. 77 is the debut, have not fully got to grips with it yet, but I do like the way some of the songs prefigure the African interest of peak era Talking Heads. 'Psycho Killer' is also excellent, one of the few Talking Heads songs that is not better on its Stop Making Sense. version. And as a civil servant, I appreciated the sentiments in 'Don't worry about the government'.

Fear of Music is a somewhat redundant purpose, but I thought it would be nice to be able to listen to this on my iPod. This is the second of the band's three albums with Brian Eno, and one I think that maybe gets overlooked in comparison to Remain In Light. It is a most enjoyable record, if a rather sparse one. Last time I bought it (on vinyl), one of my then flatmates begged me to never play it when he was in the house. I still find this attitude strange – while I can imagine people not liking Fear of Music, I find it hard to comprehend that kind of visceral loathing. Such was life.

Friday, October 05, 2007

None more Black (Slight Return)

Research reveals that MAYHEM's current line-up comprises NECROBUTCHER, BLASPHEMER, HELLHAMMER, ATTILA, and BRIAN.

It is suspected that these may not be the band members' real names.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

None more Black

Once upon a time there were three guys in a band. Their names were Dead, EURONYMOUS, and COUNT GRISCHNACHK. Their band were called MAYHEM. After a while, Dead got a bit bored with being in a band, so he blew his head off with a shotgun. Then EURONYMOUS ate some of his brain. COUNT GRISCHNACHK also got bored with being in the band, so he left and formed his own called BURZUM. He also changed his name to VARG VIKERNES. EURONYMOUS would have been all sad being in the band on his own, so VARG stabbed him to death and was thrown in jail, where he lives happily after. So who is playing in the Button Factory (formerly the Temple Bar Music Centre) on the 29th November?

More on MAYHEM and BURZUM

Children of the Stones

The BBC reports that mysterious stone carvings have been appearing in a number of Yorkshire villages. Some nineteen of these sculptures have appeared in three locations separated by some 80 kilometres from each other. They all seem to feature a carving containing the word "paradox".

Grainy CCTV footage shows an unidentified man dropping some of the stones off from a car in the village of Braithwell, at 4.00 am on the 23 August

A publicity stunt is suspected.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Missy Elliott "Under Construction"

This came after the one that had 'Get UR Freak On' on it, and is famous as the record that spawned a thousand "what does Fremme Neppe Venete mean?" threads on ILX. Like the other one, it is co-produced with that Timbaland fellow, but it is basically not that good. There are two things wrong with this record. Firstly, Missy does too much shiting on about stuff between songs, to which I say "Shut up and play more music!". Secondly, there are too many feats on this record, with Beyoncé's feat being particularly rubbish… it's like Ms Knowles is auditioning for the job of being the new Whitney Houston, something I have no objection to her doing so long as I don't have to listen to it. As against that, the record does have 'Work it' on it, which 1. is heavily ripped off by at least one CSS track and 2. finally allows me to understand all this Fremme Neppe Venete stuff. The record is nevertheless overall one for the transfer list.