Saturday, August 25, 2007

Guns are bad, mmm kay?

This is a new anti- gun crime cinema advert made by Choice FM (Matt blogged this before me)

The remarkable thing is that, as jaded as I am, I actually found myself thinking they really were going to show what it looks like when you shoot a kid. Obviously, it would have been done via CGI rather than actual homicide, but I was still really expecting it. When the kid's head came up, I actually drew breath. Clever stuff. Oh, and I like the way the skin of the fruit sort of splits itself into little segments - that's neat.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Big Arm, David Jordan, and Envy Corps

Went to a gig at Water Rats tonight, and saw three great acts, for the bargain price of £6.

First up were Big Arm, the spin-off project from Happy Monday Paul Ryder. It was alright stuff; very poppy beatsy indie, with repetitive choruses of chantable lyrics. Paul had surrounded himself with bright young things who seemed quite technically minded (you can always tell this when the band all wear headphones), whilst he stood there looking leathery, wearing a tracksuit top and a man-bag, singing his lyrics of a sheet on the floor. The tracks all seemed ripe for remixes and the indie/dance crossover crowd (shades of Mint Royale in some of the rhythms). It's not going to change the world, and he must be feeling happy that the Mondays have reformed, but it was a good start to the evening.

Next up was David Jordan, the act me mate Tom reckons is "one to watch" over the next year or so. And rightly so; he had a beautiful voice, with incredibly tight control and a wide range. He had a very soulful, retro-pop sound, a great falsetto, and very tight trousers. It crossed over into hair-rock a few times, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially when he was supported by a suitably hirsute guitarist. The obvious comparison here, which I suspect he is fed up of hearing, is Terence Trent D'Arby, but there were also shades of Dangerous-era Michael Jackson (the GnR rock sound helping that), and maybe a little Prince and Lenny Kravitz in there for good measure. He's being produced by Trevor Horn (whose pedigree I had to have explained to me) and it surely destined for mainstream success. I'm not sure if the youth market will embrace such a straight pop sound though - they seem to like their pop a bit more kooky (Mika) and their soul a bit more edgy (Timbaland), and I think it could be more of a Radio 2 sound than Radio 1. A bit of remix action could work wonders though.

Finally, The Envy Corps. Geek chic American indie rock, it was right up my street. Really tight guitars, keys, and an amazing drummer. It was reminiscent of Doves and Bloc Party, with no pretensions and no egos, just really ordinary guys who liked their music. The band looked fantastic too, from the Napolean Dynamite-esque drummer, through to the Jack Black lead singer, they all looked like they were ready to rock. They're doing a four-week residency at Water Rats, of which this was the first night, and I might even go to see them again. Oh, and Edith Bowman was there with Princess Leia hair, running around taking photos with a Digital SLR. Which was nice.

Colbert on Wikiality

I keep losing this clip, and I always want to show it to people, so I thought I'd embed it here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

December Boys

I went to see a free filum tonight, so I feel I should write some things about it (cause when you get free stuff, it's only fair). The filum was called December Boys and it starred Harry Potter and three other kids as the four eponymous Australian orphans (all born in said month) who, for no apparent reason, get to go on a summer holiday to the beach and live with a dying woman. Life-forming incidents occur, and before you can say Stand By Me, Cobber, the boys have gone through a rite of passage and come out the other side ever-so slightly more grown up.

It was alright. My friend Annie thought it was poo, but I thought it was alright. There were a few bad things about it. Harry Potter is still a rubbish actor, and he still has an irritating speech impediment that means he can't say SH or CH sounds (this film was made between HP4 and HP5, and since he also had it in HP5, I'm not surprised). He also has a a weird head-bigger-than-body thing going on, which can be excused since he is still growing, but he has very little physical acting ability and looks like a gallumphing idiot when he tries to run.

Other bad things; it was very twee, nothing really happens very much, and it's difficult to think who it's pitched at - it's from a book, which I can imagine being too simple for kids, and not interesting enough for adults. So, I don't really know who's going to like it, to be honest.

Good things about it; it looked spectacular, though I give more credit to Sheila Nature for that, than I do to director Rod Hardy. The adult performances are good, especially from their benevolent host, the dying Skipper. And there's an interesting mix of music, from original score to 60s pop tracks. It's moving in parts, not too shmultzy, and the other three kids have definate potential as actors.

It's a kinda 2/5 to 3/5 on the old star rating - it's nowt special, but I didn't look at my watch or wish the lead actor was on a broomstick at any point, and that's an achievement for the lad.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I really wanted to like the Kate Nash album...

...but I don't. And I'm kinda disappointed in myself, because it's just soooo trendy to dislike her and I wanted to buck the trend.

People compare her to Lily Allen, and in many ways she is like her - they're both from London, they both have the Notting Hill posh-set accent, they both did the whole myspace thing, they both write observational lyrics (which, when you're just turning 20, are inevitably about going out, failed relationships, drinking cheap wine with your friends, and thinking your boyfriend's mates are much fittaaaah).

But if she were like Lily Allen, I'd really like her, cause I love Lily Allen! She's got a great variety of musical influences, she has a sweet voice, and lots of melody. And it's musically that Kate Nash is nowhere near Lily Allen standard. Kate's heard the Regina Spektor album, thought that it's acceptable to make plinky plonky noises with the piano, and chatter over the top, squeaking every now and then for effect. For Regina, it works to sublime effect, but for Kate it just sounds a bit playdays.

The album is repetitive and a bit dull, and doesn't even feature Caroline is a Victim for which she was held in good underground repute before the excellent (and really only Lily-esque track) Foundations moved her into the mainstream. But Foundations is as melodious as the album gets - you can barely notice a chorus in any of the other songs, which you just implore to kick in at some point, but never do. I've owned albums before where you never bother listening past track 6, but this is the first one where I would recommend stopping after track 2.

Bad luck Kate. And sorry for the Lily Allen comparisons, that I expect you hate, but hey ho.

PS - since writing this above, I have discovered the chorus in three more of the songs. But they're not as good as foundations'

Killing in the name of Mr Oizo

LOVING this at the moment-
Mr Oizo / RATM - Killing In The Name [visit the MySpace]

and the DJ Clumsy remix is amazing too
Mr Oizo / RATM - Killing In The Name (DJ Clumsy Remix)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Songs Prince didn't play

Raspberry Beret
Little Red Corvette
When Doves Cry
Diamonds and Pearls
My Name is Prince
Sexy MF
Gett Off
Money Don't Matter Tonight
Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Nothing Compares 2 U (woulda been nice!)

silly purple tosser

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

New combined RSS feed

Nerdy indeed, but I've combined my several blog feeds into one feed, so you only have to subscribe to one thing (yes you, loyal reader). I've combined the three blogs, flickr, and my facebook status updates.

I did this using Pipes, a service on Yahoo that let's usually visually program your feed data to combine it into one output, manipulating the data along the way with Regular Expressions, etc etc. Very neat.

Here's my pipe You can click on the subscribe button on that page to get an RSS or other feed