Hello IE Users!

Yes, now you can see the Santa hat too. I wasn’t attempting to drive you mad by talking about things that weren’t there in the last entry, honest.

currently playing: Missy Elliot — Work It

Best of 2003: Finding Nemo

At its heart, it's a very simple film, but Pixar once again wrings every last bit of potential out of the scenario. The CG is flawless as always, stepping up a level to realistically model water, and there's the now-traditional blend of fun humour for the kids and extra bits to keep the older kids entertained. But what makes this film special is Dory. Ellen DeGeneres manages to take a character who could easily have become annoying very quickly, and turns her into somebody we laugh at one moment, and feel extremely sorry for the next. Who knew that a bluefish had so many levels? All together now — "IIIIIIIIIIIIIssssspppppppeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaakkkkkkkke eeeeeeewwwhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeee!"

The First Window

Okay, so you’ve probably seen the Santa hat by now. The plan is to have a different picture and link displayed for each day of Advent. It might not always be a web page; it could be a sound clip, a song, a movie clip, or other random weirdness. Hey, it could be fun…

currently playing: Cat Power — Names

Best of 2003: Cat Power — You Are Free

Anyone who expected a reprise of Moon Pix is going to be disappointed. Die-hard fans may even decry the appearance of such major-label faire like Dave Grohl and Eddie Vedder. This people are Wrong And Should Not Be Trusted, for this is Cat Power’s most assured work yet. It’s about loss, both childhood and adult, in the heartbreakingly sparse “Good Woman” and “Names”. It’s about freedom in the complex productions of “He War”, “Free” and “Speak For Me”. It’s about Chan seemingly being confident once again. It’s about being as fragile as a snowflake. Tough as nails, brittle as ice.

Advent Time

The Christmas CSS file is now up. Not quite as many changes as for Halloween, but it’s going to be like this for most of the month, so it needs to be legible. After midnight EST (0500 GMT), put your mouse cursor over Father Christmas for an extra surprise!

Also, from tomorrow, I'll be starting my requested-by-no-one-in-particular Best of 2003 feature, where I'll talk about which female singer with a guitar I liked this year. Hurrah!

currently playing: Air — Venus

Is It Too Early?

  1. Vaughn Munroe — Let It Snow

  2. The Waitresses — Christmas Wrapping

  3. The Pretenders — 2000 Miles
  4. Fountains of Wayne — I Want An Alien For Christmas
  5. Emerson, Lake and Palmer — I Believe In Father Christmas
  6. Pet Shop Boys — It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas
  7. David Bowie & Bing Crosby — Little Drummer Boy
  8. Juliana Hatfield — Make It Home
  9. Low — Just Like Christmas
  10. Tori Amos — Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  11. Eels — Everything’s Going To Be Cool this Christmas
  12. John Lennon and Yoko Ono — Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
  13. Joni Mitchell — River
  14. Saint Etienne & Tim Burgess — I Was Born On Christmas Day
  15. Calexico — Gift X-Change
  16. Aimee Mann — Christmastime
  17. Darlene Love — Winter Wonderland
  18. Run DMC — Christmas In Hollis
  19. Slade — Merry Christmas Everybody
  20. Vince Guaraldi — Christmas Is Coming
  21. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl — Fairytale of New York

That's my Christmas mix-cd for this year. If anybody wants a copy, let me know (if you're overseas, then I'll probably need to know by Wednesday, otherwise you will get it in January). Comes complete with simple paper cover design!

Oh, also, expect a few Advent changes on Monday. Muahahaha…

currently playing: Outkast — Hey Ya

A Special Message

Wait, we can not break bread with you. You have taken the land which is rightfully ours. Years from now my people will be forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people will wear cardigans, and drink highballs. We will sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you will play golf. My people will have pain and degradation. Your people will have stick shifts. The gods of my tribe have spoken. They said do not trust the pilgrims. And especially do not trust Sarah Miller. For all these reasons I have decided to scalp you and burn your village to the ground.

she linked me, and it felt like a kiss

Yes, it’s another cut-price weblog entry, replete with links that you’ve either been bored with a month ago, or dull things that you’d never considering looking for. I live to serve.

First up: The Elvis. The finest in American sandwich-science. Is anybody game enough to try it?

More spectacular news about the all-new Top of The Pops. Ooh. Three weeks of Victoria Beckham, that'll give the show a shot in the arm. For those of you who aren't in the UK, it's difficult to explain quite how culturally important this show has been over the past thirty-five years (I suppose I could say it's a bit like MTV, only it isn't a channel, it only lasts for thirty minutes, and isn't backed to by a huge multinational conglomeration. So it's not much like MTV at all, really). Suffice to say, for every week since 1967, TOTP has provided a snapshot of the country's taste in music. Most of the time, it's pretty bad; in 1982, people actually went to shops and actually bought Renee and Rento's Save Your Love without being openly derided by right-thinking people (WARNING: if you click that link, I accept no responsibility for any ill effects it will cause. Your ears are precious. Anything, I mean ANYTHING else from 1982 is preferable). On the other hand, the programme records the moments of genius as well: Rod Stewart performing "Maggie May" with John Peel playing along, Dexy's Midnight Runners singing "Jackie Wilson Says" in front of a portrait of the Jock Wilson, famed darts player, the indie-dance episode that had both The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays in the same studio, Nirvana's weird rendition of "Smells Like Street Spirit", and many more. When I was eight, we'd all come into school on Friday morning talking about last night's TOTP, about how good Salt-n-Pepa were, having fights over The Bangles' "Eternal Flame", and wondering just why Fuzzbox wanted the help of International Rescue.

Umm, there was a point here somewhere. Oh yes. Over the past few years, TOTP has been marginalised, shunted to a Friday night slot up against the most-watched programme in Britain, and yes, it's seen better days. I'm not sure whether extending the programme, cutting back on the music, and filling the time with fluff interviews is the way to go myself. But who knows? It could be good. Once Victoria Beckham's residency is over, naturally.

Next up, the people over at Suprnova. Normally, I can't complain; they make it easy for people to grab BitTorrent links of their favourite shows and pirate the latest cinema releases. My complaint at the moment, though is this: STOP RE-ENCODING KILL BILL AND DO THE FILMS I WANT TO DOWNLOAD! Thank you.

I haven't seen this but, apparently, the Swedish Chef attempts to eat Big Bird, and there's this exchange which officially makes it one of the Greatest Films Ever:

Kermit, Doc, Sprockett and The Count are looking outside at the raging blizzard

DOC: Boy, that storm sure is getting worse!

KERMIT: Yeah, I hope Miss Piggy will be OK.

DOC: (to the Count) That is one worried frog, I tell you.

COUNT: Aha! That's One...One worried frog!
(Robin enters)

ROBIN: And he's not the only one!

COUNT: That's two...two worried frogs! Aha-ha-ha-ha! (thunder and lightning outside)

It's genius, I tell you.

Did you ever want to know about the Zip Code and how it came to be? Well, then go here and satisfy that desire. We won't tell anybody. Honest.

Jimmy Has Fancy Plans, and Pants To Match.

And finally, a shaggy dog story from Raleigh, North Carolina.

currently playing: Belle & Sebastian — If She Wants Me

A Moment of Nerd.

Yes, I know I’ve said nasty things about Slashdot in the past few months, but…

DVD Authoring In Linux

Woo-hoo!

currently playing: Wilco — I am trying to break your heart

A Serious Moment

It has been brought to this website’s attention that America currently suffers from a lack of blackcurrant. This horrible state of affairs even appears to extend to their dictionaries, which currently refuse to consider the word’s existence. It is our opinion that many of America’s problems stem from the lack of this wholesome fruity drink, and, in these upcoming times of joy and good tidings, we’d like you to spend a moment of your time to think about the 260 million people who, every day, have to live without blackcurrant.

Please, help us to help them. Adopt an American today.

currently playing: Pet Shop Boys — Flamboyant

Santa's Got Himself A Posse

currently playing: The Beatles — Octopus Garden

4-Track Mind

  • BeckFeel Good Time

    Beck's original version of the song sung by Pink on the Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack. This is a bit funkier than her version, sounding like it would sit happily on his Midnite Vultures album.


  • Tori AmosDo It Again

    It's Christmas time, so it's the point in the year when the music world is flooded with compilation releases. Tales of A Librarian is Tori's effort, with remixed versions of tracks from Little Earthquakes, Under The Pink, Boys For Pele, and From The Choirgirl Hotel. And two new songs to convince fans to buy the album, (happily, the iTunes Music Store allows you to pick and chose what you want, so you don't have to go out and buy the old tracks again). It also serves as the final album in a record deal that she hasn't been too happy with, which might explain why it's a fairly uninspired collection (nothing wrong with the songs - it's just that there's a stack of unreleased material sitting around which would have made an impressive box-set). Anyway, this is a Steely Dan cover, taken from the Spark single, and it's quite lovely. Yes.


  • Fountains of WayneSink To The Bottom With You

    Still a big hit in Connecticut, apparently.


  • GeneSave Me, I'm Yours

    Finally, another song from the Britpop days, a perky and bouncy number from Gene. (Note: actual contents may vary from description)

currently playing: The Clash — Ghetto Defendant