Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Concert: Prison Love

Prison Love are a local Dublin band who play what might be termed old-timey music. They dress in the kind of overalls that prisoners wear, and have names like “Hurricane Barry” emblazoned on their front. They play many concerts for left wing campaigning groups, meaning that a surprising number of people are aware of their existence. Thus when Irene and I sauntered down to Whelans expecting the place to be half empty, it was in fact rammed. The cheap admission price might have helped too, and the place was perhaps too full of people who wanted to drink and talk and have fun rather than reverentially appreciated the band’s Cajun and bluegrass tinged sounds, but this is essentially good time music so that did not create too much of a problem.

Prison Love are an entertaining band, and it’s nice to see them becoming a significant live draw. Because I can’t remember things for shit I cannot tell you much more about this, as I took no notes, but I did enjoy their cover of ‘Ace of Spades’ and it was nice when support band Choral Sex (weird gothic choral group) joined them for an encore, playing a well known song.

If you are thinking of checking out Prison Love's website, make sure you don't go to by mistake.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


This is enjoyable enough, but it does maybe go a bit overboard on the whole post-apocalypse stuff as opposed to the relentless zombie attack stuff. There are precious few scenes where you find yourself quaking in your seat as people desperately battle to defend themselves from unstoppable hordes of the undead. I think too that maybe the whole thing is a bit too obviously an allegorical attack on consumerism and elitism in American society. Still, Asia Argento is very watchable (rustle rustle) and the film is never dull.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Record: Steppenwolf "Born To Be Wild - the Best Of"

Zodiac Mindwarp’s awful cover of ‘Born To Be Wild’ got me thinking – why do I not own the original version of the song? I mean, surely it is one of the greatest tunes ever recorded, and it would be worth buying a Steppenwolf album just for it, and if any of the other songs proved to be even listenable that would a bonus. So I bought this record. Marxist Science reveals that ‘Born To Be Wild’ is indeed one of the greatest tunes ever recorded, and we have had loads of fun in the Vicarage jumping around and playing air guitar to it. None of the other songs are remotely as good, but that’s not to say they are rubbish – this is not an album I take off when the first track ends. ‘The Pusher’ is particular pleasant in its strung-outedness.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Hey, nice blog!

Everything you ever wanted to know about Conor Kostick but were afraid to ask.

The Secrets of Grapefruit Juice explained.

Record: Zodiac Mindwarp & the Love Reaction "The Very Best Of"

There is something very impressive about taking your first album and changing its name to “The Very Best Of”. If you are of a certain age you will remember Zodiac Mindwarp. He once flew around in a space ship and then flew down to earth on the back of a jeep which drove a wall into the dormitory of a girl’s boarding school, playing hard rock music the while. Mr Mindwarp’s amazing powers turned all the demure schoolgirls into heavy metal sluts, with predictable consequences. I've already mentioned this in the context of discussing a novel by C.S. Lewis.

There is one big problem with this record – it’s not very good. The tracks all sound the same, and now that I am older and wiser Mindwarp’s spoken word intros and phrasings come across as the wrong kind of funny too much of the time. ‘Prime Mover’ is still great, though, but it is unfortunate that they did not figure the long intro as a separate track. ‘Backseat Education’ does the job too.

The cover of ‘Born To Be Wild’ is pretty woeful, though, suggesting that there are some things one should leave to the professionals.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Film (Cinema): “The Ipcress File”

This is an oldie spy film on show in the Irish Film Institute, based on a novel by Len Deighton. It is set in a world of espionage very different from what you see in the Bond films, with no gadgets, a relative shortage of girls being eaten by sharks, and a lot of boring plod work to find out what’s going on. And there is this sense of the intelligence agency as being some kind of grossly dysfunctional hidebound hierarchical organization. So it is all a bit proto John Le Carre, except that the actual plot of the bad guys (to brainwash British scientists so that they will no longer be able to do cutting edge science) is the kind of insano nonsense Bond would have to deal with. Still, great look and feel to it, with 1950s/1960s London intriguingly painted.

The main character (played by Michael Caine) manages to be both a ne’er do well rebel and a glamorous man about town, all the while sporting an amazingly geeky pair of glasses. I like how they establish that he is a bit of a maverick by having him be a good cook (he whips up a tasty looking vegetarian omelette at one point), but the film’s sense of what constitutes good food ingredients is a bit weird… please kill me if I ever find myself shopping for tinned mushrooms or tinned prawn curry. Or maybe this was that 1950s austerity I keep hearing about.

The brainwashing stuff is great crack, all swirl lights and funny voices like in all the best brainwashing scenes in films. They really go for it in this one, and it does remind of all that “Six” “Five!” stuff in “The Prisoner”.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

“The March of the Penguins”

You may well have seen this. It’s about the breeding habits of Emperor Penguins. They go to some freezing isolated hell hole in Antarctica, shag, lay eggs, and then the parents take turns trekking for ages back to the sea to eat food they can then regurgitate to feed their chick. It’s got a slightly intrusive narration by Morgan Freeman, but apparently the original French version had cutesy overdubbed pretend dialogue between the penguins so be thankful for small mercies. I understand that in the USA this film has become part of the culture war because of its alleged portrayal of happy family units working together, but it is worth remembering that they are just fucking penguins and not people. Penguins are teh cute, though, and you can see why the King of Norway wants to make one the commander in chief of his army. Wait - have I already mentioned the King of Norway and the Penguins? Maybe that means I have already mentioned this film. Maybe my short term memory is gone and I've just been cycling through the same three posts ever since this blog started.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"It stems from the communist influence of the Frankfurt School."

Yesterday I enjoyed the film "V for Vendetta". Today, thanks to a review by Dr. Ted Baehr, I understand that I was a victim of vile neo-Marxist pro-homosexual bigotry.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

the land of make belief

I saw the "V for Vendetta" film today. I recommend it highly, and may talk about it in more detail in the future.

I also saw the following trailers:

Ultraviolet: Some lamer sub-Matrix bollocks in which people run around shooting things. One of those attractive ladies plays the lead.
Alien Autopsy: Lamer non-comedy about people faking a film of an alien autopsy.
X-Men 3: The trailer looks great in a "the gang's all here" kind of way. I'm curious as to how Dark Phoenix this will all go, or whether the X-Men films can remain good indefinitely.
Some film with Paul Bettany and Harrison Ford: It seems to be kind of based on the Nothern Bank Raid, only in this one Ford decides to go after the hostage takers and kick their arse.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Have a good time all of the time

These are some gigs I am thinking of going to. Maybe you would like to go to them with me.

Monday 01 May (Ambassador): Low
Tuesday 02 May (TBMC): Dresden Dolls
Thursday 04 May (The Hub): CIRCLE
Saturday 06 May (Whelan's): Fiery Furnaces
Monday 15 May (Vicar Street): The Brian Jonestown Massacre

It looks like my birthday week is going to be busy.

Just in case you've been living under a stone, Low are the doomy Americana band, Dresden Dolls are the theatrical US goff band (but without the shite lamer metal trappings of recent Goth), CIRCLE are some space rock nutters from Finland, Fiery Furnaces are the brother-sister mentalist combo, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre are the band who would still be playing the toilets of America were it not for their star turn in popular documentary film "DiG"

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Funny Folk

World's Greatest Blog found! Or at least, so it appears to be on first glance, but being a bit image heavy it is hard to look at from dial-up land. It carries comics by Vic Fluro.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Yesterday was Womens Day

You saw from my last post how down with the ladies I am. Just to reinforce the point, here are two sensational women related news stories.

i) Kylie Minogue is writing a book. I gather it will be very good.

ii) I was amused to read that Rachel Weisz won one of those Oscars after appearing in a film adaptation of a John Le Carre novel. John Le Carre has many many virtues, but writing credible women characters is not one of them.

Monday, March 06, 2006

My path is a lonely one

In the recent past I was loafing around the city centre when I found myself in the vicinity of the Irish Film Institute. Deciding to check what was on, I wondered in to look at the timetable, absent-mindedly taking a piece of paper that was handed to me by someone outside, assuming that it was some kind of flyer. But inside the time-table told me that the IFI were showing "Deep Throat" that evening. The leaflet was revealed as a document written by feminists condemning the showing, and the people outside who handed it to me were picketers.

It was disturbing to find myself cast as the kind of person who might go to see "Deep Throat", but I was more struck by something else. The leaflet was written from a feminist anti-pornography perspective, and while the arguments might have seemed a bit shrill and (maybe) over-stated, they articulated an old-school feminist argument against pornography that has a long lineage. But what really struck me was how this is a battle that anti-porn feminists have lost, irrespective of whether their arguments are objectively correct or not. Why picket the IFI for showing "Deep Throat", given what is available in any video library, or when half naked non-celebrities stare down from from the covers of a thousand bloke magazines? The leaflet seemed like a document from a bygone era when the horse had yet to bolt, where sexually exploitative images of women were not yet the wallpaper of society.

More recently I had another encounter with the changing tenor of our times, on an internet forum based around indie music and culture. Some guy had posted an image reproduced from the Suicide Girls website, and a debate then ensued as to whether this was the kind of thing that should not be allowed by moderation guidelines. It was interesting how generally non-plussed by the image most people were; I basically ended up looking like a crank for hardlinedly arguing that that kind of image has no place on a tweefuckers website based around Belle & Sebastian fandom.

So what's my point? Not that I'm right and they're wrong (that goes without saying), but more that the world has changed and I've not changed with it. Cue grumbling about the degenerate and depoliticised nature of young people today... it's all downhill till I retire, let me tell you.

I was going to link to the discussion in question, but they've gone and deleted the image, so I reckon I will leave them both to your imagination.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Tonight, instead of going to this, I sat at home and composed orders for a postal board game.

I think we can safely say that my life is over.

Tag of Doom

I've been tagged by the wonderful Idleberry.

For the moment I have sworn to have nothing to do with blog memes, but I appreciate the gesture.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Country bends, oh country bends

I've been thinking a bit more about public information films. One classic example of the genre missed by the BBC is that "Bedtime Routine" one, where this 1920s style couple perform a Noel Coward-esque song and dance routine about how it's a good idea to turn off electrical appliance before you go to bed.

Less excitingly, there was this other one with a simple message: "Old People! Do not get so carried away with reminiscing about your youth that you fall asleep with a lit cigarette and burn down your house!".

I don't know, the '70s... were people always falling into rivers and burning down their houses back then? This never happens now.