As if the imminent collapse of FIFA wasn’t enough, I have just managed to resolve an incredibly thorny and long-standing work issue which no one gave me any hope of succeeding with.
It has involved dozens of delicate phone calls, a lot of salesmanship and a good deal of careful diplomacy, but finally – finally – I have reached the promised land. This matter shall darken my desk NO MORE.
Below is some footage of me in the office this afternoon, celebrating the win.
Apologies for the bragpost, but I needed to share this joyful event with someone, and I’m playing it cool in front of my colleagues.
Anyone else got any mundane triumphs to share?
We had a good blog post on here the other day about the games people are playing at the moment. However, I increasingly find that, when I think about the gaming industry, what excites me isn’t the game I’m playing right now, but rather the revolution that’s right around the corner.
The development in games over the last decade or so has seen some really interesting innovations: motion control, the adoption of widespread online gaming via console, the boom in MMOs, the rise of Minecraft as an educational tool, the development of the mobile games market, live-streaming, etc. Often I find myself looking at the industry as it currently stands and quietly lamenting the hundreds of hours I sank into Treasure Island Dizzy on the ZX Spectrum – oh, to be ten years old right now.
So, what are the innovations which are going to make the games of 2015 look old hat?
First and foremost: virtual reality. Once the preserve of Neil Stephenson novels and over-excited editorial pieces in Zero magazine, we are now – finally – on the cusp of a proper VR revolution. A range of consumer devices from giant players like Sony, Microsoft, Facebook and » Continue Reading.
The greatest footballer who ever lived.
Do not discuss.
Very simple premise: who are the worst bands ever to grace the stage?
Let’s leave aside one hit wonders and novelty acts. I’m talking groups who at one time had a reasonable following, but who nonetheless comprehensively suck donkey balls. Bands who are so poor that not even amongst the Massive, those perpetual champions of the musical underdog, can they find a defender or champion.
They may be bands who get mentioned on here all the time (ahem). They may be bands on whom you feel the spotlight of scorn is too infrequently shone. They may be U2. It’s entirely up to you.
I’ll start us off: Dashboard fucking Confessional.
The year is 2003: Dashboard Confessional, an indie vehicle for emo singer-songrwriter Chris Carrabba sit at number 2 on the Billboard charts with their appallingly named third album: “A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar”. They are in the process of recording “Vindicated”, the song which will play over the closing credits of Spider Man 2. They are, by most measures, a “very big deal”.
“Dashboard”, as they are known to their legion of fans, peddle strummy acoustic chant-a-alongs with self-consciously poetic lyrics, usually about break ups. To this » Continue Reading.
So, I went to see John Wick on Saturday night. It’s really, really good – think Taken meets Grosse Point Blank meets how the hell is Keanu Reeves 50 years old? Excellent action sequences, excellent cast and at just 96 minutes a refreshingly short run-time, so it never outstays its welcome.
I would heartily commend the film to anyone who recognises that a henchman should never really be considered dead until they’ve been shot in the face.
However, perhaps more importantly, it also made excellent and unexpected use of a recent earworm: “Think” by Kaleida.
Having given this track heavy rotation over the last few weeks, it would never have crossed my mind that it might be successfully deployed as the backing music for a spectacularly violent nightclub slaughter, perpetrated by a vengeful Ted Theodore Logan. Nonetheless, there it was, and it fairly made the scene in my book.
If I can finally work out how to post links properly, I’ll include a youtube clip of said nightclub sequence. Obviously, it contains spoilers, although query whether anyone is going to go see this film without knowing that Reeves is playing a mad bastard killing machine who gets a bit » Continue Reading.
Post the greatest album-openers of all time. I’ll start with the undisputed heavyweight champ:
That drum roll, thirty seconds of build and then we’re off – straight into high gear and that brilliant, churning riff. Better still, it’s the blueprint for everything that follows. Hell of a way to make an entrance.
The Youtube comments say it better than I ever could: “This is by far their best song. I rocked this out on acid in the 90s.” Indeed, you did sir!
Over to you…
New Afterword site, new opportunity for me to write a paean to a record virtually nobody else actually likes.
Andrew W.K. I Get Wet. Officially my 6th favourite album of all time. Officially the soundtrack to the single best gig I’ve ever attended in my entire life.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let me take you back… back…. back….. back….
It is the year of our lord, 2001. The inkies are relentlessly hyping a new act named Andrew W.K. Very few people have heard a note of his music – it’s not on Napster yet – and all most of us know of him is a single image, the image which will eventually grace the front cover of his debut album, and which Dave Grohl will later describe as “the most beautiful photo of a man I’ve ever seen”. It promises so much: the bloody nose, the sweaty hair, the defiant look.
My first encounter with the music itself was… underwhelming. Saturday morning television. Ant & Dec, I believe. Some genius at the record company had decided that “Party Hard”, the lead single, had potential mainstream appeal and would probably benefit from being played to an » Continue Reading.
Shamelessly piggy-backing off Tigger’s movie thread, name the five people (be they actors, writers, musicians, or otherwise) who make you laugh the most.
If you’re so inclined, post a taster that suggests why you find each of them so amusing.
1. Groucho Marx
The little dance at 1.55 alone is comedy genius. He could do absolutely everything.
2. Julia-Louis Dreyfus
A genius of physical comedy. Here she is realising that her unwanted weekend guest has overslept and missed his flight home. 90 seconds of absolute gold.
3. Eddie Murphy
Karate man bleed on the inside.
4. P.G Wodehouse
“Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove”.
5. Steve Martin
Sooooo many others, but those are the » Continue Reading.
We often discuss the “best year for music”, be it Heppo’s endless quest to convince us that 1971 was the annus mirabilis of the album, or my own belief that everything peaked some time in the early 90s.
What I don’t believe we’ve ever discussed is the opposite: what was the single worst year for music in living memory? I suggest we limit entries to 1963 and after, so as to avoid “1922 – that really was a shit year”-style conversational cul-de-sacs.
I’ll get the ball rolling for you. 1998. My second year at uni. The year I would have hoped would be a veritable explosion of revolutionary sounds, wild, generation gap creating youth movements and iconic cultural moments. Instead (with some exceptions – all years have them) it proved to be a smouldering shite heap.
A quick look at the year’s best selling singles shows that pop music was the dominant form of the time, and terrible pop music at that. Barbie Girl. Angels. The Lighthouse Family. Will freaking Smith was huge and even Will Mellor (Jambo from Hollyoaks to you and I) made the charts. I recall going to endless uni events and wondering in horror how a » Continue Reading.
Pick an act, and then list their albums in descending order of quality (i.e. best at the top). Then others can tell you where you’re wrong.
I’ll start us off – Kate Bush:
Aerial Hounds of Love The Dreaming The Kick Inside 50 Words for Snow Director’s Cut The Sensual World Never for Ever Lionheart The Red Shoes
Over to you…
Am I alone in feeling both depressed and concerned about both recent events on the Paris Metro, and the way the story is now being played out?
As surely everyone must know, on Tuesday night video footage circulated of a group of Chelsea fans preventing a black man accessing a carriage on a Paris Metro train, before chanting en masse “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it”. Obviously, this behaviour is both deplorable and indeed criminal.
It didn’t take long for social media and the op ed columns of the major media outlets to fill with people expressing their horror, highlighting Chelsea’s long history of issues with these sorts of views, linking the incident to the John Terry court cause of a couple of years back, and calling for the perpetrators to be identified, banned and punished. So far, so good.
However, the story has subsequently moved into a secondary phase, as such stories now always seemingly must. Images of the fans inside the carriage have circulated, with a plea to identify and help bring them to justice. From what I’ve seen, it’s impossible to tell from the still images which of the individuals were involved in physically » Continue Reading.
That I for one will not consider this place to truly be home until….
FauxGeordie has posted a political rant that ends “they hate you and want to destroy you”.
Moose has dropped a double entendre.
Someone has TMFTLd.
I have personally crammed an unwarranted Limp Bizkit reference into a perfectly innocuous thread.
There has been at least one naval gazing thread about where it’s all going and whether it’s as good as it used to be.
Please feel free to add your own….