Jun 20, 2006 · 1 minute read
Well, it took just under a year from when I rambled on about Top Of The Pops, but today, the BBC finally switched off its life support, axing the show after 42 years of faithful service. And it still strikes me as unnecessary. Even worse, it leaves the BBC with Later… as its only regular music show. shudder.
Let’s hope that the final show has a compilation of John Peel’s withering comments during the chart rundowns, and a shot of the pair that were simply too ugly to ever appear on TV again before the watershed
(at this point, I would also like to plead for someone to YouTube the ‘Topless Lard’ bit from their football series. I…I have my reasons).
And ten, fifteen years into the future, maybe it’ll get its own RTD to bring it back…
Jun 18, 2006 · 1 minute read
I have just come into possession of Y Kant Tori Read. Hurrah for the magic of the Internet.
Jun 15, 2006 · 1 minute read
A very weird thing happened to me today. I was reading a press release for an upcoming concert in London. As you do. And, as customary in these missives, they feature press clips saying complimentary things about the band. They’re easy enough to skim, so I read while the ticket website was loading. But idly, not paying too much attention.
As I was reading, something seemed very familiar.
They had included quotes from my review in their mailout. Directly after The Guardian.
Wow. I’m still a little starstruck that they thought my review was good enough to put on their press. It’s like living in Almost Famous
. Almost. And I couldn’t be happier that they were the first band to do it.
That’s Johnny Boy
. Playing at the Luminaire
in London on June 25th. I recommend them once again. Wild horses, and indeed the prospect of spending Monday morning in a haze, will not stop be from being there.
Jun 13, 2006 · 2 minute read
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Lansing-Dreiden – Two Extremes
It’s taken how long? Twenty years? But an American band has finally embraced New Pop wholesale. Lansing-Dreiden
is, well, I’ll let them describe themselves:
Lansing-Dreiden is a multi-media company founded in Miami, FL and is currently based in New York. Its output includes artwork in the form of drawings, collages, sculpture and video, as well as the production of music recordings and Death Notice, a free newspaper containing fictional stories and images. All Lansing-Dreiden projects are fragmentary, mere stones in a path whose end lies in a space where the very definition of “path” paths.
Yes, so they’ve got the incredibly pretentious pose down pat. They even have a separate group simply to perform their works live. Thankfully, the songs on their new album The Dividing Island
don’t collapse into a Sigue Sigue Sputnik
-level disaster, instead sounding like a lost Trevor Horn sideproject from 1983, coupled with Paul Morley’s scribbed manifestos (and while we’re on the subject of Mr. Morley: while I appreciate that the Joy Division/Manchester scene is important and well worth revisiting, I’d love a ZTT retrospective piece focusing on what exactly he did during those years as a pop svengali rather than another look back at Factory. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Factory era, but there’s other stuff to talk about sometimes! Besides, we all want to hear the story about how he came to be in The Look Of Love
Having said all that, it’s not quite as shiny and glossy as a proper Horn production; songs often jerk at right angles instead of being slimline pop works. And their closest relation probably isn’t ABC
, or even The Art of Noise
; it’s Disco Inferno
, the greatest forgotten British band of the 1990s.
So download Two Extremes
and see how many different Horn pieces you can pick out!
The Rosebuds — Shake Our Tree
The album this is taken from was recorded in Carrboro, and as such is already known to a few people who read this blog. The Rosebuds’
core is Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp, a couple who started the band just a week after getting married. And, well, there’s really not a lot more to say about this; it’s just a fun song that would have sounded right at home over here during the 1994-1996 era of Britpop. When played live, it gets a lovely call-and-response section, but you’ll just have to imagine that.
Jun 12, 2006 · 1 minute read
Oh Star Bar, I found you again. Last time on Manchester’s Oxford Road, this time in Oxford itself…
Jun 10, 2006 · 2 minute read
Well, it’s been a few days, so it’s time for the almost legally-required post about how I’m getting on with my MacBook.
So far, it’s going quite splendidly. I know everybody rolls their eyes at Mac owners with their ‘oh, Apple stuff is just so much better than Windows’ rhetoric, but sometimes it really is deserved. When I first turned the new Mac on, it asked if I had another Mac, and if so, would I like to copy all the stuff from the old Mac over? A quick reboot of the old Mac, a firewire cable, and it spent the next twenty minutes copying. Not just files, but preferences, caches, network setups, license keys, pretty much everything except applications (it would have done that also, but I decided to start over to ensure that I’m mostly installing Universal apps). Having already set up my accounts from the old machine, it logged straight in afterwards, completely ready to go. Hurrah!
It’s fast. Very fast. On my G4, iPhoto was beginning to choke on the photos from my new T9 camera. Not anymore. No delay. No stuttering. Firefox feels a lot more responsive too. Oh, and I can run Google Earth now! Lots of fun. As I now have Tiger, I’ve been playing around with the widgets, but they’re all much of a muchness, really. I’ve decided just to keep with the weather, calendar and dictionary ones.
What about Rosetta?
I installed Creative Suite 2 last night, and again, it seems to be much quicker than on my G4. But for everybody with G5s, you’ll probably be best to stick with them until CS3 comes out next year. For my needs, though, it’s fine (actually, Illustrator was tracing 6 megapixel photos last night within thirty seconds, so it’s a big speed-up for me).
Any downsides? Hmm. Firstly, the writer of the iPhoto weblog plugin appears to have taken the software down, so I’ll have to research other ways of automatically uploading photos. Perhaps a move to using Flickr on this page. We’ll see. The other issue which I’m keeping an eye on is the heat. The machine runs very hot. The left-hand side soon becomes uncomfortable if you’re trying to use it on your lap. Which is a bit annoying, though I’m hopeful that coming firmware updates will reduce that a little.
To sum up: Yay!
Jun 7, 2006 · 1 minute read
I will speak more, obviously. But ooooh! So fast! So sleek! So white! So much fun!
Meanwhile, David Cameron: He’s a rockist, and he doesn’t care who knows!
Jun 6, 2006 · 1 minute read
UPS: I cuss you bad.
The saviour of Radio 1, there.
More stupid copyright laws!
Meanwhile, back in Britain.
Perhaps the BPI should reflect that Allofmp3.com has managed to get 15% of the UK market without advertising, without the backing of a huge technological juggernaut. Something to ponder when they’re pushing to increase single prices to £1.50.
I could be doing this tomorrow!
Oh, and finally:
These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much.
That’s Ann Coulter, talking about some of the women who were widowed by 9⁄11
Jun 5, 2006 · 1 minute read
I believe they fiddle with their package tracker just to get people’s hopes up.
Jun 4, 2006 · 1 minute read