zang tuum tumb

My musical discovery of the weekend; part DJ set, part documentary, and part art-project, featuring portions of Words And Music read by Paul Morley himself. The story of Pop Music in the 20th century, in just under an hour. And if you’ve read Words And Music, there’s no prizes for guessing what the final song is!

Anyway, off to London tomorrow for a job interview. If you spot a bewildered me wandering lost around the London Underground tomorrow, point me towards Moorgate…

currently playing: Slumber Party — Electric Boots


Well, I was going to point you the debut of New Order’s new single, Krafty. But it seems that Radio 1 doesn’t archive all of its shows anymore. So booooo to them.

Meanwhile, the BBC has apologised for using the Red Hand in Blue Peter.

Hopefully, I’ll update sometime in the next few days when I find a copy of Krafty (and also assuming its any good!)

EDIT: Okay, Pete Tong played it tonight. Go here and have a listen (It should take you to straight to the song). It sounds like a subdued Regret to me. Not bad!

currently playing: New Order — Dreams Never End



currently playing: Kate Rusby — Sweet William’s Ghost

After Tea?

Wait, there’s an hour missing from The Avengers? The petition for a director’s cut begins here!

(and hurrah! There’s at least one other person on the planet who agrees with Bonnie and myself about this film!)

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me — When You Got To New York

The First of A Possibly Semi-Regular Feature!

True Stories of Music Videos, Part 1!

currently playing: Saint Etienne — Marble Lions

All I Have Is Links

This is the greatest thing ever. I just love that a company exists with no other purpose other than to sell DVDs that are simply fading colours. Of course, I’m going to go one better; I’m currently decided on whether to write a DVD that plays a game of noughts and crosses or one that implements a Turing Machine for my conference appearance in June.

Another UK mp3 blogger is stopped by the BPI/IFPI.

“Military Intelligence? Isn’t that a oxymoron?”

And so the UK Top 40 goes out with a whimper rather than a bang. It’s the end of the world, and all they’re playing is Elvis.

currently playing: Paddy McAloon — I Trawl The Megahertz

This Week In The Factory Catalogue


Flowers bought for Horse’s (from the Happy Mondays) wedding.

currently playing: Aimee Mann — Guys Like Me

The Almost Traditional Post-MacWorld Post

Reading Apple rumour sites is a bit like discovering your presents a week before Christmas; it’s rather disappointing to know everything in advance. However, seeing the new products for the first time is almost as exciting.

The iPod Shuffle is what the iPod Mini should have been. Yes, I know it’s very popular, but I still think it’s overpriced compared to equivalent players made by other companies (especially iRiver and Creative), and is an odd fit within the iPod line, considering the 20Gb iPod is only $50 more. The Shuffle, though, is at exactly the right price point: $99/$149. I’m not going to complain about the lack of screen; after all, most Walkmans and portable CD players don’t have one, do they? Plus, the Shuffle has a button that should really be present on all players: a switch on the side that turns random playing on or off, rather than having to navigate a host of menus. Do not eat the IPod Shuffle.

The iLife update is a little disappointing, consisting only of incremental improvements and a $30 increase in price (although I imagine the BitTorrent version will be doing swift trade at the end of the month). Although GarageBand 2 now features autotuning! You can pitch correct your voice - and create a mini Stock, Aitken and Waterman factory!

(hmm, Grange Hill is turning into Hollyoaks Junior. This makes me sad)

But! But! The Mac Mini! Swoon! The cheapest Apple Mac ever! So small you can hold it in your hands! A fully functional Macintosh for under $500! Less than what a Commodore Amiga used to cost! Yes, it doesn’t come with a keyboard, mouse, or monitor. But it’s aimed at PC owners, who would like to switch, but don’t fancy spending out the $1,000 for a complete iMac. They have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor already. Just get rid of the box, and plug in the Mini! drool

Oh, and the New Order album might leak on Friday. Consider this a two-day warning; if what I’ve heard about the record so far is true, I will be gushing uncontrollably…

currently playing: The Chemical Brothers — Out of Control

Odd Moments In TV

Yesterday on Blue Peter (a long-running UK children’s show, in case you didn’t know), they announced a new competition. Children have to send in designs based on the theme of “Best of Britian”, and the winner will have their design placed on the tail fin of a British Airways jetliner. Nothing wrong there. But then the presenters gave some examples of what they thought would be good on the tail fins. The new presenter, who’s from Northern Ireland, cheerfully held up her design.

The Red Hand of Ulster.

Now, the legend of the Red Hand goes back a few hundred years, but there’s no doubt that for the past century, it has been associated with the UDA (Ulster Defence Association), a umbrella group for Loyalist terrorists.

Good choice! I look forward to the “No Surrender” tail fin. For reasons of balance, if nothing else…

currently playing: Nouvelle Vauge — Love Will Tear Us Apart

The Future Was Then

On this day, twenty years ago, the ultimate driving vehcicle was unleashed on an unsuspecting British public. Oh sure, Dean Kamen’s Segway is all very well and good, but we were there first. I give you — the Sinclair C5!

a page from the Sinclair C5 brochure

You have no idea how much a five-year old me wanted one of these. It was like the Space Age had arrived. An electric car! I would soon be taking one to school, and surely jet-packs would not be far behind.

The reality of the C5 was a little more mundane. A top speed of 15mph, a motor with relays that would go open circuit if you pushed it backwards, and so small that a Mini could crush you. I can’t imagine the terror of being stuck behind a lorry. The C5 became a national joke, and lead to the downfall of Sinclair Research (and the poor Spectrum was sold to Amstrad).

But still, there’s something charming about the silly-looking tricycle. And that Sinclair went out of business in a staggering blaze of glory, making sure that they’d never be forgotten in Britain, unlike, say Commodore, whose gradual slip into bankruptcy was just embarrassing. And just once more, for the record: The Spectrum? A heartbreaking work of engineering genius, blessed with the best home computer versions of R-Type and Chase H.Q.. The C64? Well, it makes a good doorstop…

There’s a group of dedicated C5 fans, and obviously, they have a website. One has even modified the design to get a top speed of 70mph. Which is terrifying. But I want to ride in it…

currently playing: Bran Van 3000 — Montréal