Tuesday 30 June 2009

Spider-Man 600

Over at the wonderful Diversions Of The Groovy Kind, Ol' Groove is currently showcasing some of John Romita's iconic 1970's Marvel covers. Inspired by that pulsatin' post I decided to raid Marvel.com for a more recent example of the Jazzy One's artwork. He's still got it!

Soundtrack: Hearts Of Stone by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes.

Monday 29 June 2009

Bruce Week Part 1: Greetings From Hyde Park, W2.

Last night Bruce Springsteen and The E-Street Band rocked London's Hyde Park at Hard Rock Calling 2009. They opened with London Calling ( what else? ), Bruce's tribute to the late Joe Strummer and The Clash. What a way to start a gig! From then on it was a great mixture of classics, recent songs and the now-familiar "sign collection" where Bruce picks out homemade signs from the audience, requesting songs. ( Unfortunately he decided against playing Incident On 57th Street, one of my faves I've never seen performed live. Can't win 'em all. ) The band were on fine form, playing up a storm, especially Roy Bittan and Nils Lofgren. Bruce was clearly there to party, obviously buoyed-up by the brilliant Glastonbury show the night before. He clowned around with Stevie, handed the mic to a young kid in the crowd to sing a chorus of Waitin' On A Sunny Day, and generally ran up and down the stage like a man half his age. At one point, after jogging along the camera-pit, he fell up the steps back to the stage and joked "I need a frikkin' elevator! I'm pushin' 60!"

The highlights: an epic Outlaw Pete ( works really well live ), a spine-tingling Racing In The Street, the Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon duetting on No Surrender; Rosalita and Jungleland show-stoppers as ever. The reaction from the crowd was at sonic-boom level, singing, cheering, clapping, chanting "Broooooce!!!" at the top of their lungs. I did hear some people near me complaining that Bruce didn't perform The River or Thunder Road and I admit I was surprised the latter didn't appear in the set. But with The Promised Land, Badlands, Glory Days and Dancing In The Dark all present and correct we had enough classics to keep us happy.
So, a great, baking hot day in the idyllic setting of Hyde Park, only slightly marred for me by our capital city's wonderful road system with its refusal to display any useful roadsigns. Welcome to London: you'll never leave!Honourable mentions to The Gaslight Anthem and The Boy Who Trapped The Sun for standing out among the other bands, and a big thumbs-down to The Dave Matthews Band who were unbelievably tedious.

As the title above suggests I hope to blog some more about the man they call The Boss throughout the week, inbetween the usual nonsense...

Soundtrack: Working On A Dream by Bruce somebody.
Hey, post number 100!! Shouldn't I get a telegram from the Queen, or is it all emails nowadays?

Saturday 27 June 2009

Going GaGa

Lady GaGa at Glastonbury yesterday giving a performance that managed to be sexy, hilarious, fun and ridiculous at the same time. Makes a change from the usual senstitive indie boys whining about their girlfriends. Neil Young headlined the Pyramid Stage last night: hopefully not on a revolving pedestal and showing off his arse...

Friday 26 June 2009

Not another one...

Just as I was putting the PC to bed Sarah came and told me that yet another pop-culture icon had died. Michael Jackson passed away from a heart-attack, aged 50. Bloody Hell, what a day! ( As well as Farrah Fawcett, the relatively obscure but - for me - influential music journalist and poet Steven Wells died yesterday from Lymphoma. )
What to say about Jacko? Everybody knows the man's story and his music: there's nothing I can add except to say it's such a sad day for his fans and, of course, his family.

RIP The King Of Pop, 1958-2009.

Thursday 25 June 2009

Farrah Fawcett

The actress and 1970's sex-symbol Farrah Fawcett died today, aged 62. She had been battling with cancer for a few years and sadly passed away with her long-term companion, Ryan O'Neal, by her side.
I can't say I was a real fan of Ms. Fawcett, but I certainly remember Charlie's Angels ( her breakout TV show ) from back in the day, and her charms were undeniable for a 1970's boy. I was only watching her in Logan's Run last Sunday and didn't realise, seeing her in her youthful prime, that she was so ill today. The above is the iconic 70's poster that adorned many a bedroom wall...

RIP Farrah Fawcett, 1947-2009.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Full of sound and fury...

...signifying nothing.

Yep, I took James to see Transformers 2: Blow More Shit Up last night. ( I think that's what it's called. ) Almost a spiritual experience for the lad, not so much for me. The film more or less goes like this: explosions, robot battles, bad humour, more explosions, much more bad humour, more robot battles, slow-mo Megan Fox, really big explosions, really bad humour, more bloody robot battles, and on and on and on. With all that excitement there wasn't much room for such luxuries as plot, character, pacing, suspense, wit, intelligence etc. etc. Sorry to seem so negative but the film was just surface and spectacle, which eventually became draining and tedious. It all looks fantastic but so what? It's like having your face Sellotaped to a games console.
Oh, yeah... and Paris got trashed again. What is it with Hollywood blockbuster auteurs (cough!) and Paris? We'd just seen a trailer for GI Joe in which the Eiffel Tower is destroyed in a way highly reminiscent of Team America: World Police. But that film was a satire... wasn't it? Time and again France in general and Paris in particular are used to show how decadent and left-wing those goddamn pinko Europeans really are. It does get a bit boring, Hollywood. Why not have a go at some other country? Canada? Now you're talking.

Sunday 21 June 2009

Race For Life 2009

Sarah and Sophie completed the 5km Race For Life today at Hartpury College, Glos., in aid of Cancer Research. Congratulations and here's to 10km next time!

Friday 19 June 2009


Watched the first episode of Psychoville last night. As you'd expect from League Of Gentlemen members Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton it's dark, unsettling and funny in a did-I-just-laugh-at-that? kind of way. No idea where it's going or how all the characters' stories tie up, but I'll stick around the 'Ville to find out how it develops. Can't say the same for Krod Mandoon And The Flaming Sword Of Fire...

Soundtrack: Kids by MGMT.

Wednesday 17 June 2009

Black cat auditions, Hollywood 1961

No, honestly, I did see a mouse. It was right over there...See, you've missed it again.

( Pic courtesy of Life magazine. )

Tuesday 16 June 2009

Planet California

It's a familiar theme from many science fiction novels and movies: a race of primitives living amongst the misunderstood technology of a previous, more advanced society. But what if it was true? What if great advances in science had been made but then thrown away, leaving us in ignorance? Glancing through the small ads in some 1970's SF mags I came to realise that a Golden Age of knowledge had been forgotten:

From The Magazine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction Sept. 1973:
Antigravity Device. Brochure rushed free. AGD, Box 3062, Bartesville, Oaklahoma.
Now, Artificial Life from our Lab into your very hands! WACKYSACK will absolutely blow your mind. Recently patented, totally new scientific principle. A handful of dilitant fluid hermetically sealed in an elastomeric membrane, it feels and acts alive. It slithers, creeps, oozes, writhes and shrinks like a giant amoeba. $2 ppd to: Rosenberg, Psychorheology Lab, 23 N. Chelsea Ave. Atlantic City.

From Galaxy Science Fiction Dec. 1976:
Earthpersons of courage and unusual talents, learn who you are, who you were, your special companions. Friendly universal travel association welcomes your enquiry. Send 9 x 12 envelopes to: EOS, 1254 Seventh Ave. San Francisco, California.
For answers from higher beings on other planets to 3 questions send $6 to Suan Dwyer, c/o Burghorn, 7114 Hawthorn, Los Angeles, California.

The above are all genuine ads from old SF mags. But where are these intellectual Titans now? What ever happened to Rosenberg, Dwyer and Burghorn? I think we should be told. And where the Hell's my antigravity device???!!!

Nearly there...

Hopefully I should finally have my PC fixed by tonight and will be able to get back into some serious blogging. No more of this posting-at-work which is a pain, to be honest. It's been a long time coming. Of course I'll have to compete with the kids and their respective obsessions: msn Messenger and YouTube for Sophie, Lego and er YouTube for James. So once we get all the videos of farting cats etc. out of the way I'll hopefully do some posting and possibly redesign the blog and make it shiny again. Fingers crossed...

Friday 5 June 2009

David Carradine

Very sad to hear about the death of David Carradine, star of Kung Fu, Death Race 2000 and Kill Bill. Even more sad to hear the lurid speculation in the media about the manner of his death. I'm sure his family and friends don't need that at this time. Anyway, here's a pic of Carradine from Kill Bill, when Quentin Tarantino had temporarily rescued him from DTV Hell and given him one of the meatiest roles of his career as the ice-cold killer Bill.

RIP David Carradine ( 1936 - 2009 ).


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