Tonight: Direction: Manchester

Okay, in the final few minutes of No Direction Home tonight, before the Judas bit, there was a film of a car going through a British city. Which looked awfully familiar - especially the Midland Bank, the building resembling a Dutch Pancake House on Oxford Road. And five seconds later, the other side of a clearing looked very much like the Oxford Road as well.

But where was the Odeon? Surely the building was older than 1966? It certainly felt that way when we went there.

So the question - was that Manchester? Or is my mind playing tricks on me, and they just used whatever film they had before cutting to the Free Trade Hall gig?

EDIT: Answered my own question - if it was Manchester, it wasn’t the Oxford Road, because the Odeon has been there since the 1930s. As you were. But! You can take part in my round-table discussion in the comments: Highway 61 Revisited and Briniging It All Back Home are much better than Blonde on Blonde, which, to be honest, gets a bit dull in places. Discuss!

currently playing: junior senior – take my time

The Booing!

Lots of fascinating things on the first part of last night’s No Direction Home (although I feel a little cheated by discovering that his manager conducted the interviews, and not Martin Scorsese (apparently, a big Johnny Boy fan!)), but aside from Dylan’s comedy theft of folk records, Liam Clancy (or Big Comedy Irishman, as I believe he should be known as from now on), and Dylan’s different stories of his background, there’s this: the album Bob Dylan originally sold 2500 records. On Columbia Records. If you did that today, Sony would drop you in a second…

currently playing: Black Box Recorder – Sex Life

On The One Hand…

…this is a sad story. On the other:

KILLER DOLPHINS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO!

We’re living in the 21st century now, baby!

EDIT: OH MY GOD.

KILLER DOLPHINS IN THE GULF OF MEXICO!
GO AHEAD, MAN. MAKE MY DAY.

currently playing: R.E.M. – Star me kitten

A Million Nerds Crying Out As One

OH MY GOD!

Yes, it’s a bit blurry, but that really is a Transformer that turns into an X-Wing. Damn you, Hasbro. Damn you.

currently playing: New Order – Regret

LaurenWatch

Well, I think she’s settling in, but oh dear, that Johnny’s timing is pretty bad, isn’t it? Highlight of the show was Lauren’s reaction to the suggestion that the Stereophonics were her favourite band. Or perhaps 50 Cent’s (50 Pence: a Mark & Lard sketch that should have been?) rather creepy suggestion that Myleene could help him get to sleep.

Not entirely sure that they’ve thought this MiTracks thing through - it would be rather bad if a committed fanbase rigged the charts for several weeks. And vote for Bottle Rocket! There’s a small possibility that I’m in the video!

Right now: hating tennis. I want Colonel Blimp, dammit!

currently playing: The Distractions – Time Goes By So Slow

We ♥ Paul Morley

HOO-HAA!

(also, Sam Waterson! Young! In! The! Great! Gatsby!)

currently playing: The Mighty Wah – Heart As Big As Liverpool

What's Your Favourite Cut?

A House Panel of Republicans has met to see what they can cut from the Federal budget in order to pay for the Katrina reconstruction (because dropping the inheritance tax changes is Not Going To Happen. That’d be far too sensible). Some highlights:

  • You remember NASA’s announcement last week that they gave last week? Well, don’t get too attached to seeing the moon again, as the plan calls for the cancellation of the entire project.
  • Eliminating government support in Graduate loans
  • Eliminating support for Northern Ireland and drastically cutting back on an international AIDS initiative.
  • Cancelling all federal support for National Park areas.
  • Eliminating grants for drug-free schools, and as a bonus, removing all federal money for teenage family planning (abstinence education is still fully-funded. I’m sure you’re shocked).
  • Federal funding to Washington D.C. will be reduced even further (D.C. has no representation in the House and Senate, as control of the district was given to Congress in the Constitution (inhabitants couldn’t even vote for President until the 1960s)).
  • Erm, you know PBS? Home of Sesame Street? Well, as Toby isn’t on the watch, funding for this is going to disappear. The National Endowments for Arts & Humanites will also be tossed out.
  • The EPA is going to be slashed across the board: forestry, water quality, and waste disposal all take major cutbacks.
  • CDC to have its funding reduced by up to 25% (good thing America isn’t worried about biological attack, or that the world is supposedly facing a flu pandemic, eh readers?)

And then! Because you know they care about the man on the street, they get tough with corporate welfare! Shall we look at what they’re planning to eliminate? Shall, we children? Why, look:

  • Eliminate: Applied research for renewable energy sources, clean coal programmes, the FreedomCAR programme (to encourage more efficient cars)…and, and: President Bush’s hydrogen fuel initiative.
  • To be fair, they do also eliminate a few other non-environmental welfare programmes, but boy, does it look like they’re using this as an excuse to kill everything they don’t like the look of.

What’s that? Surely, the military will be spared cuts in this time of war? Not a chance:

  • A yard sale of old military technology, bypassing the need to get Congress’s approval for large naval ships
  • Encouraging military personnel to opt-out of the TRICARE healthplan and buy cheaper, less-comprehensive ones.
  • And, in a fit of, well, I’m going with insanity, restricting first-responder grants in the event of terrorist attacks or natural disasters. Nice one.

And all this because they want to hold on to those inheritance tax cuts until the bitter end. The Republican Party’s new motto: “And You Thought Harding Was A Bad President?”

currently playing: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (BBC Session)

And, why was Scotland Yard never interested in her boyfriend's drug habits?

It’s fairly obvious what today’s generation of editors were reading thirty years ago, eh readers?

currently playing: Handsomeboy Technique – Season Of Young Mouss

No, really, aren't there terrorists to fight rather than models?

AMAZING FANTASY #16 Written by Simon Furman Penciled by JAMES RAIZ Cover by LUCIO PARILLO The fans have spoken in Marvel’s second online pole for which character will get revamped in AMFAN. Friends and foes alike, may we introduce to you Death’s Head 3.0!

I’m not crying, yes? It’s tears of joy, yes? The continuing adventures of a freelance peacekeeping agent…oh goodness.

currently playing: Billy Bragg – The Myth Of Trust

Kate Moss Takes Cocaine! Shock, and indeed, horror.

Yesterday most disturbing sight: was it the scantily-clad CGI women turning into a giant chicken to entice Gonzo, or the female Blue Peter presenters dressing up in Japanase fetish outfits?

In other news, can we call on the USA to refund the taxpayers of the UK? I mean, come on, if you don’t want the rations, you could at least send them back rather than burning them.

Rachel Stevens’s new album first impressions: I really don’t see what everybody’s jumping up and down about. On the first listen, it’s not as good as Anniemal. Although it will annoy purist Cure fans, and annoying purists is always fun.

currently playing: The Cure — Lullaby