The film thread is bubbling away nicely which and I was going to post, saying I was surprised that The Lego Movie hadn’t been nominated but that I hadn’t been able to make out a lot of the dialog so missed a lot of the humour, to the point where I pretty much switched off. This leads me to ask, why is so much movie dialog so difficult to hear? It’s pretty bad at a theatre but even worse at home where we usually have to play films through external speakers in order to follow the plot. I realIse that modern thin screens have poor speakers but we don’t have the same level of problems with TV shows that we have with the mumbled, incoherent dialog in expensive to make cinema films. Is there an argument for a “home” soundtrack, mixed to get the best out of a domestic TV or am I (and more often, my wife) alone in finding this a problem?
Bullets and Blood Part 3, the latest Secret History of Hollywood podcast is available now. Well worth a few hours of your time, it kept me company for a 5 hour round trip into London yesterday. Thoroughly recommended.
A quick shout out for the third series of The Corrupted, currently on iPlayer Radio and well worth a few hours of your time. The story of a London crime family has reached the 70s and Joseph Oldman, played by Toby Jones, is still avoiding the law while engratiating himself with rising politician, one Margaret Thatcher as well as trying to get the better of a paedophile nobleman. Five brilliant episodes that would grip you on you daily commute.
Has anyone else had an issue with randomly getting a “skeleton” view of the site on Chrome or Firefox? This happens on my Mac and iPad and doesn’t seem to affect any other site. I loose all headers, colour and layout so it looks like an old style message board. It’s fine on Safari BTW.
Worthing Assembly Halls
We went to see Roy Wood almost on a whim, being familiar with the best known of his songs. At £29 per ticket, we had high hopes of a fun evening, almost certainly ending with “that” song, it being December. On the plus side, he had a full band with 4 x Sax players, plus the usual bass/drums/keyboards but it became clear very quickly that there was something very wrong with the sound. The support band (2 x electric acoustic guitars and keyboards had been fine but this was a stodgy wall of sludge with the saxophones, bass and drums way too high, drowning out Roy and the keyboards. There was a backing singer who seemed to be there to lighten the vocal load for Roy but unfortunately, she didn’t really add much, being a bit “pub singer”. The band were all very competent and Roy’s voice seems not to have changed over the years but they were badly let down by the sound and using the venue’s very basic lighting rig didn’t add to the experience. They played all the crowd pleasing classics: Blackberry Way, Angel Fingers, See My Baby Jive, I » Continue Reading.
Year: 2016 Director: Makoto Shinkai
I went to see this with my 13 year old daughter who decided she would rather see the subtitled, rather than the dubbed version. It’s only had a limited release in the UK so we had to travel to Southampton to see it. The fantasy story revolves around two strangers, Mitsuha, a high school girl living in the rural town of Itomori and Taki, a high school boy living in Tokyo. Mitsuha is bored of life in the country and longs to live in the city. One day, Taki wakes up and finds himself in Mitsuha’s body while Mitsuha has been transported to Tokyo and is inhabiting Taki’s body. Taki and Mitsuha wake the next day, returned to their own bodies and lives, having to deal with the fallout from the understandably strange behaviour that went on the day before. As these random body swaps continue, the pair, realizing what is happening, start to communicate by notes and then by messages on their phones until the swaps suddenly stop. Taki discovers that the Mitsuha’s village had been destroyed by a comet three years earlier, Mitsuha and most of the village had been killed and their » Continue Reading.
In 1994, I was in Sydney for three days and spent my time walking the city. One of the attractions I visited was a small museum/exhibition dedicated to Australian rock and pop which covered, amongst others Mushroom Records, Cold Chisel, The Easybeats, AC/DC and a bunch of artists that never really made it outside Australia and NZ. Does anyone remember this? I can’t find anything on Google about it, maybe it was temporary.
The former Mott The Hoople singer has recorded a tribute to David Bowie. Fitting, considering Bowie’s part in Mott’s success. I rather like it.
After a long day during which, in no particular order: A pedestrian just off London Wall swore at me and said I should look up what the road surface meant in the “fucking Highway Code” (I checked with City of London Police: the raised cobbled surface I turned right onto, just by Waterstones, is just a speed bump. The pedestrian assumed it was an extension of the pavement and gave him right of way, which it didn’t and even then wouldn’t be an excuse for not looking before stepping out.)
I was forced into a bus lane in Battersea because the driver overtaking a bus coming in the other direction couldn’t see my 9′ high, 22′ long van on a sunny day and pulled out anyway, assuming I’d let him go because why wouldn’t you let someone so important drive on the wrong side of the road rather than have to wait for a bus to pull out?
Another impatient driver went inside of me joining a roundabout then cut in front of me, finally turning right, having effectively gone across three lanes, straight onto the M25 where the traffic was almost stationery as usual.
The BMW that nearly drove » Continue Reading.
I’m looking at changing from Virgin to BT. Does anyone know how good the new “strongest signal” really is? We have to use wifi extenders at the moment and it would be good not to have to rely on them. Also, the BT max speeds aren’t as good as Virgin claim. BT offer minimum 35mb, probable 44mb – 58mb. IIRC, Virgin speeds are around 75mb. Given that there could be 4 people all streaming content, how much difference, if any, would we notice. I’m not too bothered about customer service horror stories as everyone has bad experiences, I’m more concerned about service performance and reliability.
As always, many thanks
We want to install a simple video monitoring system to keep an eye on my mother in law who has dementia. She lives alone in a flat into which we can get wifi installed.We would like to be able to record footage, speak to her over the connection and access it via smartphone or tablet. Has anyone got experience of setting up something like this? There are lots of products out there but all seem to have very mixed reviews. BTW, don’t put “granny cam” into Google. “Shudders”
Hello all. Owing to a work commitment, I have 4 tickets for Calexico at Brighton Dome on 26th April. I’m keen for them not to go to waste so if you think you can use some or all of them please PM me.
I’m in Cardiff today, working on an event. I walked past a couple of local crew pushing a load of portable dance floor squares. I couldn’t resist commenting “It’s murder on the dance floor” and they quite rightly ignored me.
Have a good day all.
A school, West Sussex
The last couple of weeks have been taken up with my children’s school show. They weren’t in it but I got ambushed at a parent’s evening by one of the staff and asked if I could help out with some equipment. This turned out to be absolutely everything. Sound, video and lighting. The school had chosen to stage We Will Rock You, an ambitious show for a school and when I finally got to speak to the drama teacher it became clear that the “schools script” required lots of visuals and half decent sound reinforcement to prevent it being kids on a bare stage trying to compete with the live band. I’ll admit that when I found out what the show was, my heart sank a little. In addition to the corny script and story, Queen to me long ago became staples of Radio 2 Drivetime request shows, to the point that I have to be desperate to listen to Simon Mayo on a Friday in case Kevin and Debbie on the M6 with their kids, on their way to Cumbria for Gran’s 97th Birthday, phone in to ask for Bohemian Rhapsody. » Continue Reading.
Robert Elms is broadcasting from the Hayes pressing plant tomorrow.
Flame haired guitar minx Bonnie Raitt is on Robert Elms’ BBC Radio London show as I type. Available on Iplayer afterwards, she’s in the last half hour. Message ends
I was delighted to find a new episode of The Secret History of Hollywood in my podcasts this morning. If you haven’t listened to them, they really are wonderful. Thanks to @attaboyclarence for researching and recording them.
My wife was watching You Make Me Feel Like Dancing on BBC2 last night which is about teaching ordinary people how to ballroom dance and temporarily reopening a Bolton Palais de Danse. It seems my mother in law used to go to the now demolished Hammersmith Palais, probably in the 50s, which inevitably reminded me of The Kinks’ Come Dancing. It’s probably not going to be anyone’s favourite Kinks track. It’s a bit cheesey and dated. The video hasn’t fared any better either but I still really like it.
Have a good day all.
Can anyone suggest a piece for my son to play as his solo piece for music GCSE please? It will make up 30% of his marks. All I’ve come up with so far is Black Sabbath’s Laguna Sunrise and Dire Straits’ Going Home. I’m not sure how to describe his ability: competent strummer with no solo experience?
I received an email from Aimee Mann (swoon!) with a link to her new Christmas song. I promised myself I was going to make it to her Christmas shows this year but haven’t managed it so this will have to do. Barry Mitmas* to all.
*It was the closest my son could manage to Merry Christmas when he was a toddler.
I saw the much praised Jabra Revo headphones in HMV today for £50 and nearly bought a pair but realised I don’t really like full sized headphones any more, I prefer in ear, as long as they are comfortable. Any recommendations? I use them mainly for watching film and TV on the iPad as I prefer to listen to music over speakers so bass is not a priority whereas clarity is.
As ever, my thanks in advance.
A less than promising start to the day: Heavy rain, sulky daughter and son who had dental surgery four days earlier. Oh well, to Southsea, as we’re going over that way, for a late lunch at Pie & Vinyl http://www.pieandvinyl.co.uk/. It’s a cafe or, more accurately, a pie & mash shop that sells records. They don’t really offer any other food other than really good pies about the size of a 45, drinks and a small selection of cakes. I had Blue & Moo (beef, red wine and blue cheese), the GLW and son had the Freeranger (Chicken, ham, leek & cheese.) Sulky daughter had a glass of water (bloody kids). It was very busy. Too busy for record browsing really, although my wife managed to pick up a Tame Impala album. I’ll be going back another time in the week. On to Portsmouth. I didn’t used to bother with support acts but Texan, Jarrod Dickenson, was excellent. Wearing an extravagant hat, he and his band played what he describes as “folk, Americana and roots blues.” After a brief turnaround, it was on to the main attraction. The Waterboys started with Destinies Entwined, from » Continue Reading.
I’ve watched the first part of Amazon’s take on The Man In The High Castle and I’m looking forward to the second episode (no idea when they will make the rest of it.) Is the book worth a read? Some of the reviews I’ve read suggest it might be hard work and although I could just take a punt on it, it’s more fun to ask all of you.
My wife won’t cook on a Saturday. It’s her night off. Tonight, as with many other Saturday’s, I’m cooking chilli to the accompaniment of Calexico’s The Black Light. What are you having tonight and can you suggest any spicy tracks to add to the Spotify playlist?
I often walk past the former HMV store in Moorgate ( in the City of That London) and wonder how much longer the reborn company has left in it, what with Apple Music, Spotify, Netflix, You Tube et al, let alone pirate downloads. even the supermarkets don’t seem to be that bothered about selling shiny silver discs in quite the same way they were before. In an idle moment, I had a look to see how HMV are doing and was surprised, nay astonished, to find that the company is in rude health. How can this be? I almost never go in to my local store as Spotify/Netflix/Amazon are able to provide most of what I need. What’s going on? Are HMV being fattened up for a strategically timely sale or is it really still possible to sell music and film on the high street? I wouldn’t want to, see them go again but I had them marked as another lame duck struggling against the inevitable (see also Morrison’s. I give it five years or less before they’re bought by Aldi or Lidl.)