New Blogroll

28 11 2008

After making a google images search for Olympic medalist and world champion Victoria Pendleton, I came across a great wordpress site called greenjersey about the sport of the gods (cycling to you uninitiated) which takes a slightly odd look at all things 2 wheeled.  Anyway, just thought I would let you know that I have done it.

Now for some gratuitous Victoria Pendleton shots.  Woohoo!

sport-graphics-2008_693335avictoria-1

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Forgotten More Than I Can Remember

26 11 2008

I ended up doing a pub quiz with Andy and Stu last night.  I really needed to get out of the flat so suggested that we went up to the Sunshine for a few, just to get out of the house.  So we did, and it turned out it was quiz night, and being semi-intelligent young men we decided that we would have a go, plus we got to choose a comedy name, so after much discussion went with My dog ate Red Rum.

We started off with the picture round and did fairly well, I couldn’t remember the name of John Darwin (The guy who faked his own death in a canoe and turned up in Panama), and none of us had any idea it was Dick Cheney, but hey.

Then the questions started.  In the first round 4 and a half out of 5, pretty good.  The 2nd round was about strictly come dancing (we didn’t have a clue but managed to scrape 3 and a half).

After that it kind of steadied off but the real shock came with the lyrics round, normally this would be my speciality, but could I remember where “Heaven holds a place for those who pray” came from.  Could I heck.  Then I missed Tender by Blur too.  What a failure!

In the end My Dog Ate Red Rum got 42 out of 60, and finished 5th which wasn’t too bad.  I can’t help thinking that I may have forgotten more than I can actually remember.

By the way, it was Mrs. Robinson by Simon and Garfunkel, or the Lemonheads depending on your point of view.





Hidden Gems #1

24 11 2008

This is the first of the Hidden Gems series, where I will talk about some great tracks on some randon Albums that wouldn’t have been singles.  Most of these will probably be quite random, and it will depend on what I have listened to in the car.  The first one is a product of me grabbing a CD in the dark, skipping to track 11 (A cover version of To Love Somebody) and then carrying on with the album.

In The Long Still Night is the title track of the 1996 album by Gallon Drunk (A band that I thought had split ages ago, but it turns out they are still recording and touring).  The album itsself is quite in your face, garage rock, but then the last song on the album hits you, starting quietly with piano followed by a military style marching beat.  Throughout the song the piano and drums are intertwined with the best vocal performance on the record (Its not all fuzzy and distorted for one thing) and lyrics full of hope against betrayl and the world getting too much.  This really struck a chord with me this morning.

I played this song on the way in to  work twice today, at 6 and a half minutes long this took my entire drive, and it was well worth it.  I had picked up the album from a car boot sale years ago, and confess that I had never really listened to all of it since the day that I bought it.   I am not the biggest fan of this album, but I have grown to appreciate the style of music more than when I was younger, but this track really is a hidden gem, and worthy of its place on my list.





US TV

12 11 2008

I have been watching a lot of TV lately, mainly because there is a lot of good stuff on.  However, I don’t watch any British TV (apart from Top Gear and Last Man Standing at the moment).  Its all US hour long series that I have become addicted to. 

I think that it started with the X-Files back in the day, with American Gothic with Space above and Beyond (Ive just re watched this, and having never seen the last episode before, I am really dissappointed, not because its a bad story, but because there should have been a second series) on late on friday nights, but then you had about a 10 year spell with nothing really good coming out.

All of a sudden about 4 years ago you had utter brilliance all around.  24, was completely addictive, even if Jack Bauers daughter is the most annoying person in the world, I mean who gets kidnapped twice in one day.  Lost was so fresh and new when itcame out, it was a shame when the latest series got so confusing it was almost unwatchable.  House on the other hand is almost constantly brilliant, now in series 5, Hugh Laurie rules best actor awards for his protrayal of the grumpy, pain-killer addicted, sarcasm monger, and deservedly so.  The worst you can say about that series is that it was formulaic in the way cases were solved every week.

Now, there are new anti-heroes in ever more watchable programmes, where attractive women and guns are the order of the day In Dexter for example, the likeable hero is a police forensics expert and serial killer, Burn Notice I guess is a bit of an update on Macgyver with an ex-spy helping out those that need it.  Chuck however has had the CIA database uploaded into his head and has forced him to turn into a Spy (this has also brought about the Chuck Chug drinking game, where you have to down a shot everytime he remembers something and the image flashes).  Eli Stone has resurrected the career of Jonny Lee Miller (The first Mr Angelina Jolie) as the eponymous lawyer-turned-prophet who has visions of George Michael singing in his office (Its much better than it sounds).

The 2 biggest though have to be Heroes (orinary people discovering their super powers) and Fringe (like the x-files, but with Pacy from Dawsons creek in it). 

What I want to know is why can Britain not make anything like this?  All we get is the very good, but incredibly camp Dr Who, and aimed at the saturday night family audience Merlin and Robin Hood.  I am fed up with sit-coms and reality TV, and have not watched a soap opera since Madge was in neighbours.  I can’t be the only one, so why is there nobody in this country that can make a 24 part comedy/drama/sci-fi series that is cinema qulaity?  I guess its because they are all in America doing exactly that. 

 

*(I will grant you Life On Mars was good, but I missed the sequal).





Alt. Country.

10 11 2008
Caths Cake

Caths Cake

Firstly sorry about the lack of postings, I haven not really done a whole hell of a lot so didn’t want to bung up the internet with more crap.  Secondly I have been having a bit of a turning 30 crisis recently, even though this is not for another 18 months yet.  I should probably choose my reading materials more wisely.

Anyway, this weekend I went to Caths surprise 30th, and once all of the old people from University that I haven’t seen for years left with their kids, we got down to the serious task of drinking Baileys and breathing in Helium.  My personal favourite was Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech.  Think how the world could have been changed if he hadn’t been so shouty, but used helium instead.

Then last night I went to see Micah P. Hinson at the wedgewood rooms, I have seen him twice before, both at festivals, and so this would eb a chance to see a fairly intimate gig.  Until I got there I wasn’t quite sure how intimate it was going to be.  There were tables and chair out in the room and about 60 people turned up in total.  Shame really because it was a fantastic night, and I did something that I can’t ever remember doing at the Wedge, have a conversation with someone that I didn’t know.

The support came from the Retribution Gospel Choir, that feature Alan Sparhawk from Low.  They played slightly psychedelic, mainly rocking songs and came as a bit of a surprise, I suspect that they will feature at some festivals next year, my guess would be at The End of The Road and probably one of the ATP ones.  They hail from Deluth Minnesota, home of Bob Dylan and they added a few covers of his songs.

Then came Micah P. Hinson.  He isn’t your typical frontman, who seems to shy away from the front of theMicah P. Hinson stage, but once he gets going, its difficult to take your eyes off of him.  Singing from behind a big old 50’s style microphone the tone of his voice dominates the room, and his tunes full of their dry wit, got everybodys heads bobbing.  When him and the drummer went into a dualing banjo situation, the crowd went a bit wild.

Probably the worst part of the fact that you had to sit down was the politeness of it all, no one seemed to know when to start clapping and there were moments when the room was completely silent.