Thursday, 31 October 2013
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Lou Reed was a true innovator and unique artist and will definitely be missed in this age of corporate-sponsored, bland, take-no-risks rock stars. I'll leave you with one of my favourite Reed songs from 1989's angry, political New York album...
RIP Lou Reed ( 2nd March 1942 - 27th October 2013 )
And back at the Wiltshire Pedro sits there dreaming
He's found a book on Magic in a garbage can
He looks at the pictures and stares at the cracked ceiling
"At the count of 3," he says, "I hope I can disappear
And fly, fly away..."
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
The Cost Of Living EP / Radio Clash / This Is England / The Magnificent Seven / Straight To Hell / White Riot by The Clash
C'mon Everybody / ( I'm Not Your ) Stepping Stone / Black Leather / Holidays In The Sun / God Save The Queen / Something Else by the Sex Pistols
Kick Out The Tories / Mindless Violence by the Newtown Neurotics / Flares 'n' Slippers EP by the Cockney Rejects / Into The Valley by the Skids / Kids On The Street by the Angelic Upstarts
California Uber Alles by Dead Kennedys / All Out Attack EP by Blitz / The Serenade Is Dead by Conflict / Puppets Of War by Chron Gen / Reason For Existence, Demolition War, Religious Wars by Subhumans
No More Heroes by the Stranglers / Stand Strong EP by Vice Squad / Into The Abyss by Sex Gang Children / Warhead by UK Subs
Sun Is In The Sky by the Seers / XX Sex by We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Going To Use It / You Trip Me Up by the Jesus & Mary Chain / Lean On Me by the Redskins / Catch by The Cure / Being Boiled by the Human League / Kiss by The Age Of Chance
( And just to prove my old singles collection isn't all about Punk and indie... )
Fascination by the Human League / Bang Zoom! Let's Go Go by The Real Roxanne and Hitman Howie T / Pump Up The Volume by MARRS / Saving All My Love For You by Whitney Houston / Sue Sessions EP by Ike & Tina Turner / Kiss by Prince & The Revolution / If Your Heart Isn't In It by Atlantic Starr ( really... )
Gotta have some Adam Ant to finish:
Deutscher Girls / Young Parisians / Antmusic / Cartrouble / Zerox / Dog Eat Dog / Stand And Deliver / Prince Charming / Friend Or Foe
Monday, 21 October 2013
Moffatt talked with his usual mix of dry wit, self-deprecation and megalomania ( how does he do that? ) on his two massively successful TV shows, before answering questions from the audience. Although managing not to reveal anything much about the forthcoming new episodes of either show, Moffatt was hugely entertaining and addressed such subjects as the Doctor's supposed regeneration limit, not targeting Doctor Who at an American audience, the megastardom of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the original pitch he and Mark Gatiss made for Sherlock and, as they say, much more. One of the most memorable moments came when he was asked by a member of the audience about the "message" of his shows. Moffatt said he didn't like built-in messages and, in any case, wouldn't go to TV writers for the meaning of life... but, if the shows had a message it would be "Clever is good and kindness is strong..." That'll do :-)
The Magic Roundabout fame, Sarah and I started a round of applause for the great man which soon spread around the marquee. ) As an extra treat, Thompson read from her second book, The Christmas Tale Of Peter Rabbit, enchanting children and adults in the audience alike...
Birdsong. In conversation with radio presenter James Naughtie, Faulks proved to be a warm, witty and eloquent public speaker, holding his audience spellbound. I read Birdsong last year and was absolutely knocked out by Faulks' brilliant evocation of the horrors of life in ( and underneath ) the trenches, as well as his portrayal of a passionate, forbidden love affair in pre-War France. The book became an instant favourite for me so I was extremely pleased to hear the author speak so movingly about his experiences researching the novel, visiting former battlefields and interviewing old soldiers. Faulks said that, at the time he was writing the novel, the First World War seemed to have been largely ignored in the public consciousness and he wanted to remember the sacrifices that had been made through his fiction, while the War was still in living memory. ( In fact his American publishers at the time - unbelievably - urged him to rewrite the wartime sections of the book and relocate them to a more modern conflict. Quite rightly he refused. ) Twenty years later, Birdsong is an acknowledged modern classic, taught in schools at A-Level, and the old soldiers are all gone. Faulks also mentioned the recent BBC TV adaptation ( which he was politely positive about ) and a potential movie version which has seemingly foundered. Of course, the book is the important thing and I'm sure no adaptation could capture its wounded humanity and shattering impact...
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
images from the forthcoming Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, The Day Of The Doctor, on their official site. I particularly like this one of Smith, Tennant and Hurt, all trying to out-grump each other. Cheer up boys... it's your anniversary :-)
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
Wednesday, 2 October 2013
David Bowie's recent, highly-publicised Top 100 books list has been all over t'internet in the last couple of days, creating much debate. I have to admit I've only read four books from his list ( well, I say "books"... but one was only Viz... ) and, at the rate I've been reading lately, there's not much chance I'll catch up with the Thin White Duke any time soon.
Big Dumb Objects: a mind-bogglingly huge construct - a whole solar system used as building materials and forged into a colossal ring, with a surface area larger than thousands of Earths, and set spinning around a star by unknown aliens. A team of four explorers - two humans, a humanoid tiger known as a Kzin and the utterly bizarre Puppeteer, Nessus - crash land on the Ringworld and fight for survival as they try to cross vast distances to find a way back home.
Niven sets up this huge canvas on which to tell his story and presents us with some initially interesting characters ( the long-lived Louis Wu, the unfeasibly lucky Teela Brown, the warlike Speaker-To-Animals, the insane Nessus ) but seems content to just let his explorers wander the Ringworld and constantly lecture each other on physics and interstellar politics... when they're not fighting amongst themselves. The long, long journey with unlikeable characters was a real struggle for me and the book felt far longer ( there's that word again ) than its 280-odd pages. Niven's prose is very matter-of-fact and failed to convey the sense of wonder I would expect from a story set in such a fabulous world, unlike Arthur C Clarke's similar Rendezvous With Rama which I definitely preferred. I'm glad I finally got round to visiting the Ringworld but I wouldn't want to stay there...
As a further update, I've just started reading Christopher Priest's The Separation and will have to post a review when I'm finished. Hopefully it won't take the months (!) it took me to read Ringworld ;-)
Soundtrack: In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel