If you didn’t see Sir Rodney on Sky today pulling the balls out for the Scottish Cup draw you missed a comedy masterclass which will be hard to beat in 2017. Does anyone know, does Rod like a drink?!
All right thinking people should read Diamond Geezer’s blog and today’s post is particularly interesting. The new Nobel Laureate perhaps hasn’t been entirely straight and there is a rumour that he isn’t that familiar with the easel and brushes has we think.
This is a very enjoyable romp through the history of Quiz. Alan Connor is the question editor for the marvellous Only Connection and writes in a very fun but in-depth way starting with the beginning of Quiz just before the WW2, evolving from the American ‘bees’ up to today’s Pointless and Only Connect.
Tracing the origin of the word quiz (no one really knows) The first exams (probably the ancient Chinese) The troubled beginning and end of Trivial Pursuits and everything in between. Focusing mainly on the TV quizes but with plenty about Radio, Pub, and board games as well. The dark side of Quiz is also covered with the $64000 question and the Millionaire ‘coughing Major’ scandals.
Also what makes a ‘good’ question, why they don’t give away speedboats anymore and what techniques will help you win.
And included in the narrative are 300 quiz questions so you play along as the history unfolds which adds greatly to the enjoyment of the book.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Any historys of TV, quiz books.
One thing you’ve learned
That the first question ever asked on Mastermind was wrong
What does it sound like?:
Strobes are a new trio comprising keyboardist Dan Nicholls ( Squarepusher and Matthew Herbert), drummer Joshua Blackmore (Troyka) and guitar and synth man Matt Calvert (Three Trapped Tigers) and could in my ears be described as Prog (perhaps!). First track Winder sets the scene, noisy, arhymic, afrocentric beats but full of hooks. But not easy to dance to!
The rest is much of the same, harder edged in places but with the same exciting feel. A really stunning debut recommended to prog lovers with an adventurous bent.
What does it all *mean*?
Who knows? Music can still be moving forward in an exciting way?
Goes well with…
A long day cutting reams of paper and saddle stitching.
Might suit people who like…
Three Trapped Tigers, Battles, The Comet is Coming, the harder side of Gentle Giant. Math Rock. Any ‘out there’ Prog
What does it sound like?:
There is plenty of music out there that has a poor reputation, perhaps none more so than New Age. Hippy Dippy rubbish sold in those shops that sell crystals, incense and books on witchcraft and healing. And the music? Aimless, tuneless and mainly whale song. This of course is crap, New Age probably has no more percentage of trash than any other genre. Light in the Attic has picked some of the best for this new compliation which is the follow up to last year’s ‘I Am The Centre’ which focused on the American side of New Age.
(The Microcosm) is shows the European side of the genre with some well known artists like Popul Vuh, Ash Ra Temple and most famous of all Vangelis, who after reading the copious sleeve notes I learnt that he thought that the rest of Aphrodite’s Child weren’t sophisticated enough for him and a bit ‘boring’.
There’s plenty of new/old on this comp as well the best is probably Untitled by Francesco Messina with some of the most beautiful piano I’ve ever heard. But it is all stunning and a pleasure from start to finish.
What does » Continue Reading.
Phew! Well done Donald, for one minute there I thought you might win. Now you won’t…………………..probably?
Shame I missed this, my wife was terrified of Johnny Winter in the seventies. I would have loved to seen her face opening a parcel containing his beard.
Year: 2015 Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Green Room is the third feature from Jeremy Saulnier who’s last movie was the fabulous revenge thriller Blue Ruin. This is a thriller/horror which grips from the off and doesn’t let go. It follows punk band The Ain’t Rights slepping around the bars and dives earning next to nothing when they get a gig in the backwoods playing to a load of Right wing skinheads. At this point we get a rather good cover of the Dead Kennedy’s Nazi Punks Fuck Off but after that a shocking discovery ups the ante. From then on the band are in a fight for survival with limited weapons and no way out.
We really enjoyed this in a gruesome watching through your fingers way. The violence is ultra realistic and shocking when it happens. But there is a dark wit running through the film which is very well played. The performances are excellent with the nervous bassist played by the late Anton Yelchin and the cold calculating club owner Patrick Stewart standing out
A great horror that has been pared to the bone and well worth the 90 odd minutes.
Might appeal to people who enjoyed:
Last House » Continue Reading.
In the doldrums this Bank Holiday afternoon? Clive James one of the greatest living writers makes a rare live appearance on the Radcliffe & Maconie show on 6 Music at about 2.30pm
Unmissable I would venture.
Year: 1968 Director: Various
This is a box set of perhaps the greatest ongoing detective of all time along with only the various Sherlocks, Poirot and Morse that match the quality and sheer enjoyment of this series. Columbo was created by William Link and Richard Levinson and played wonderfully by Peter Falk who provided his own raincoat and chose the car and dog that appeared in some episodes. Starting in 1968 with Perscription:Murder the first of two pilots, the second three years later. The fist season proper started the same year with a new upcoming director Steven Spielberg at the helm. It was an part of a strand of police programmes on NBC with McCloud and MacMillan and Wife and because of this there would only be ten or so episodes a series so the writers could keep the quality high and produce slightly longer and more in depth shows.
Columbo’s investigations mainly involved the rich and famous which the writers deliberately did to play the scruffy, dishevelled Columbo off against them, in fact writers said their ideal murderer would have been Noel Coward. Always coming out on top against his supposed betters Columbo has been described as the most » Continue Reading.
I have stayed away from ‘political ‘ threads mainly for the sake of my mental health but I have to get this off my chest.
Last week at the Democratic conversation Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala stood and paid tribute to their son Captain Humayun Khan who was killed serving his country. It was a dignified, emotional and powerful speech that showed the Trump’s proposed ban of Muslims entering the USA is constitutionally and morally wrong.
Of course Trump has responded which is his right of course, but saying “If you look at his wife, she was standing there, She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say. You tell me.”
I don’t know where to start with how wrong this is, I would hope if a British politican had said this he would told to retire from public life and never return but I can see that Trump supporters are just cheering him on.
I’m asking if there is a point that he will finally say or do anything that will cause his supporters to desert him, or was that point reached months ago and nothing happened.
And yes » Continue Reading.
This looks interesting. At least it makes a change from yet another documentary about the bloody sixties.
Author:Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Steve Ditko/Wally Wood
This set consists of 10 of the Marvel Masterworks series which have been running for years. In the big and heavy box you get the 10-15 first isues of Amazing Spiderman/ Fantastic Four/Davedevil/The Incredible Hulk/Doctor Strange/Iron Man/The Mighty Thor/The Avengers/The X Men (or the comics they were first featuredfeatured in) and for the first time Not Brand Echh, Marvels answer (sort of) to Mad magazine.
This is an amazing set, beautifully presented in a large box depicting the Avengers mansion. The books are available separately but these are bound with new covers.
The stories inside are simple and naive but are totally charming and the artwork is fantastic. Steve Ditko’s artwork on the early Spiderman and especially Doctor Strange is mind blowing.
Completely recommended to comic fans.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Any comics from the last 50+ years
One thing you’ve learned
That Steve Ditko was the Da Vinci of Comic books
At the risk of repeating myself last weekends Freak Zone was brilliant yet again. With a very interesting interview with top sound recordist Chris Watson.
Also included was this fantastic, spooky, poignant track from Chris Hughes.
A rather fine Freak Zone last night (Faust, Gentle Giant etc) and an interview with Laila Skovmand about Aquasonic and their marvellous, beautiful and slightly scary to watch underwater music.
The video is quite stunning I think.
Poking around on the taxdodgers and this was recommended. At £3 you can’t say no.
In a moment of madness I’ve decided to rip some (not all, I’m not that mad!) with EAC and turn them into Flac’s. But have a couple of questions.
Is this the best program? Is Flac the best format? And does anyone have any tips in using EAC?
Many thanks in advance.
Year: 2016 Director: Dan Trachtenberg
A rare trip to the pictures for us this afternoon and to see a film that was released that day! Unheard of! But only because we are on holiday and what a pleasure it was.
Trailed as a ‘blood relative’ to the 2008 found footage film Cloverfield (which was OK in a cheesy, aren’t this people really annoying way) this is Dan Trachtenberg’s first directors job.
Basically a three-handed starring John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead & John Gallagher Jr with Goodman & Winstead (who generally lifts the films she appears in, see The Thing prequel) turning in top rate performances.
There isn’t much I can say about the plot except you will change your mind about the Goodman’s true nature and whether the world is as he says. There are three times we jumped out of our seats and the suspense is ratcheted up to breaking point in places.
Some may feel the final act is a massive gear change too far but we both bought into it and walked out with smiles on our faces.
This a brilliant movie with a great performances, superb direction and a gripping story.
Might appeal to people who » Continue Reading.
A fantastic interview with “The Nugget” here. Fairly unlikable in the eighties but a real star now he’s discovered life outside snooker. And brilliant taste.
(Sticky Drama by Oneohtrix Point Never included for reference)
Cards on the table, ISIHAC is in my opinion one of the greatest programmes that has even been broadcast on Radio, only John Peel’s show’s are equal (but totally different of course).
This is described as a greatest hits tour as this isn’t a radio broadcast but all the best bits from the last few years.
jack Dee was in ‘charge’ with regulars Barry Cryer, Tim Brook-Taylor joining him. The other two panelists were semi-regular Jeremy Hardy and newish player Miles Jupp. Other regular Graeme Garden wasn’t there and wasn’t mentioned. Also there was Pianist Colin Sell but I’m afraid scorer Samantha couldn’t make it, sending many excuses (via note) about why she wasn’t there.
All the usual games were in evidence, Uxbridge English Dictionary, Censored Song, Just a Minim, Pick-up Song, Letter Writing (Julius Caesar to Cleopatra), Sound Charades, Karaoke-Cokey, One Song to the Tune of Another and of course Mornington Crescent.
It was of course incredibly funny, Barry Cryer and Tim Brook-Taylor were absolutely brilliant but I felt that the heavy lifting was being done by Hardy and Jupp which isn’t surprising considering their ages.
Jack Dee held » Continue Reading.
Heard about this yesterday, very sad. I know he is barely a footnote in Rock history but I really like his album and Space Ace is a fantastic song.
And this is a lovely piece from The New York Times.
Oscar Noms came out today, the usual suspects (but Mad Max was a surprise) but this is always a highlight of the day. Posters if they told the truth.
The Amazon 12 days of Kindle has returned again and there are some bargains, but perhaps not so much this year.
Of interest for the discerning on here are Keith Richards, Patti Smith and Danny Baker for 99p or £1.99 and some of interest in the History section.
Have a lovely Boxing Day.
Year: 2015 Director: Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville
This is a documentary about the 1968 Television debates between liberal Gore Vidal and Conservative William Buckley centred around the Republican and Democratic conventions. These debates were an idea that ABC had because they didn’t have the money to cover either convention fully like CBS & NBC.
Both Vidal and Buckley were failed politicians, having both run for office earlier in the sixties and lost but otherwise had become successes as authors and social commentators. This finds Vidal just after the publication of Myra Breckinridge had become a cause célèbre, and Buckley cosying up to Ronald Reagan as he tried to define Conservatism for the future decades.
Both men came into the debates detesting each other and coming from polar opposites, Vidal gay ultra-left & Buckley Catholic establishment right-wing so from the first debate sparks flew and the animosity just grew until a flashpoint which shocked America and troubled Buckley until the day he died. That outburst probably set the tone for the political debates (or non debates) that we suffer today.
The film has plenty of wonderful archive footage especially the 1968 Democratic convention riots and is very enjoyable look » Continue Reading.