Friday, December 24, 2004

Season's You Know What

If you like Christmas - Merry Christmas, enjoy every minute...

If you don't - hang in there, it's nearly over!

Love and good wishes to all...

Monday, December 20, 2004

At this time of lists...

I suspect this will be my favourite...


*wipes a salty tear away*


Seriously though, the things we've all been through - napster, the post napster consolodation period (winmx, aimster), the reign of morpheus, the heavenly audiogalaxy, the dawn of the all-conquering kazaa, the braying of eMule and the explosion of Suprnova.

There'll be another one along in a minute...

p.s. I, of course, have only ever used these services to share material I had copyright on! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Mark Thomas at the MAC

Sorry, that should be "Mark Thomas at mac" according to the PR person from the mac who claims it should be written lower case with no "the" (MAC stands for Midland's Arts Centre and is an arts venue next to Canon Hill Park in Birmingham and very nice it is too, but's "the" mac, it's always been "the" mac and it always will be!)

Anyway, that's really not the point...Thanks to the marvelous forward planning and organisational skills of Bob, she, myself, Dave andPhill got to go and see political activist and comedian Mark Thomas at the MAC. It was an incredible show. In the first half he told a few stories of himself and fellow activists on the campaign trail, culminating with the story of how he managed to get arrested whilst protesting outside an arms fair in London's Docklands. Always sharp and always funny the material was very strong and seemed to go down really well with the crowd.

The second half was considerably more serious - he spoke mostly about the Coca-Cola company and the world wide boycott which people are trying to arrange due to the apparent complicity of coca-cola in Columbia with the murder of trade union leaders by para-milatary organisations. It was strong stuff, strong enough to get me seriously thinking.

As I've said before on the blog at some length, I'm not really one for direct action, and I passionately believe that the world's ills need addressing in many varied ways, especially through the changing of our own attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. But product boycotts of the products of specific international multi-nationals because of a specific issue have been at least partially effective in the past (Nestle for example) and, hey, who's gonna lose out by not drinking coke?

Monday, December 13, 2004

This is very cool and everything...

But is anyone else thinking photoshop?

Cute babies R us

Here's a picture of my fake niece!

In other news, by the end of this week my first ever proper professional piece of film work will hopefully be finished. Huzzah.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Man, I feel like an uncle.

My oldest friend (in this lifetime) Mr Edward Barker is the proud father of a beautiful baby girl, Madeline (I'm presumably going to have to learn to spell that) although she is going to be known as Maddy for the time being.

I'm sure you'll all joining me in wishing them all well, and saying congratumalations, Mazeltov etc...

I might post a picture if he tells me I can...

I do really feel like an uncle.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Check it all the heck out.

The blogfather's started a new blog and I'm in on the action.

Yes, that's right, I posted my first post on the no doubt soon to be legendary Louder Than War. Being an exponent of the noble and royal arts of silence I'm not generally a fan of music which is louder than war, and indeed none of the stuff I put on there will be (unless you play it at really really high volumes, I suppose), but it sure is nice to be part of team LTW. (Since I don't think LWT exists anymore...)

Anyway, blog roll duly amended, and may you enjoy the offerings!

p.s. Have also added Black Custard to the great blogs section. I likes it I does! Nice photos and words...

p.p.s I wouldn't like anyone in any of the sections of my blog roll other than great blogs to think that their blog isn't great! It's just a place for blogs with no other section for them to go in!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I can't explain all the feelings that you're makin' me feel.

About 3.45 yesterday afternoon I was driving home from a trip to the dentist's and a visit to my mum and the phone rang. It was the blogfather and he was bearing glad tidings. He had two spare tickets to see The Darkness at the NEC that self-same evening. Thus it came to pass that I went with the blogfather, el Finchino and her friend and ex-collegue Simon to see the Lowestoft Legends rock the NEC Arena.

And quite a night it was too. For those of you thinking "pshaw, the Darkness are just a comedy pastiche of the music of my youth" then a. congratulations on using the word "pshaw" in your own internal monologues and b. they really aren't. They are a proper rock band, but with a genuine feel for comedy and an awareness of the preposturousness of "Rock." I reckon.

Having missed the first band of the evening, we arrived in time to see the fabulous Ash doing their support slot. They opened with the wonderful "Girl from Mars" which made me feel 18 again for a very brief moment (glad it was only a brief moment...) and rattled through a fine rocky setlist (with a healthy number of guitar changes between songs, three each for both guitarists if I'm not mistaken - an SG, an epiphoney type number and a telecaster for Charlotte and a flying V, a Les Paul and something I've forgotten for the fella who sings...). They also did a marvelous cover of the Boys are Back in Town, so extra marks there for playing to the crowd.

Marks lost all round for the bits between bands though - movie trailers and adverts for Orange on the big screens at a rock concert!?! Not very rock 'n' roll in spirit is it?

But marks gained for the sheer joyous nonsense mixed with really quite considerably impressive musicianship of the Darkness themselves. The pyrotechnics, the singing really high, and the blistering (and I do mean blistering) guitar playing had me waving my hands in the air like a crazy fellow. I laughed a gret deal too, not least of all when during Love on the Rocks Justin disappeared offstage just before the guitar solo only to appear playing it whilst sitting on the back of flying model snow tiger which did a leisurely tour round the audience. A special moment.

When they played I believe in a thing called love before the end of the pre-encore show, it could only mean one thing - the show would end with the Christmas song. And it did. Roadies dressed as Father Christmas came out and put trees on stage and the band belted it out to the accompaniment of big thingies firing glittery paper into the audience. They had made better use of the big screens immediately before that when they put up a huge banner with the bands logo with "The Darkness, livin' on the sledge" underneath it. Nice.

They played a couple of new songs, the best being "An English Country Garden" for which Justin enlisted the aid of a Keytar , which was nice. He also, at least three times, just sort of walked around playing blues licks on his gibson. I enjoyed that greatly.

The only downside (apart from the ads) to the perfomance were the slightly haughty dealings with the audience, particularly in the first half. Justin didn't seem to feel like the audience were loud enough, and resorted to some strong language in order to get the crowd screaming and waving their hands and such...but it warmed up second half and the crowd (and me) were left grinning with silly but fabulous rock music buzzing round their heads.

The Darkness. Long may they rock in an amusing fashion.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

What's your favourite vegetable?

Can you tell I can't really think of a good post?

Anyway, mine's currently asparagus, but the stalk part of brocoli is a close second...

What's yours?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

the song of mehitabel

how i love this poem

lack of capitalisation in this post is a tribute to it's author.

it's important to know that it's written from the point of view of a cockroach.


Well I never, all these many years (at least 15) I've been labouring under the misapprehension that Archy and Mehitabel was written by e.e. cummings. But it wasn't! Not even nearly. It was written by one Don Maquis. When I was first introduced to them as a wee slip of a lad, I must have been told at the same time about e.e. cummings on the basis that neither he nor Maquis used capital letters or traditional punctuation.

Tchh. You learn something new everyday etc...

e.e. cummings did write "buy me an ounce and I'll sell you a pound." Not sure how much I like the poem, but I sure do like the title.