Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Blacks as you can see now looks like a Gap or a little Miss Selfridge the upstairs is full of cottony performance outdoor wear in pastel shades.
Take the ubiquitous fleece when they first appeared they were a weird form “performance” clothing that you had to wear next to your skin. There were only three types a “tog 24” in green which was sort of lumpy and the pride of Norwegian fishing fleet Helly Hansens daringly in either blue or red (I had red one because our A had Blue one!).
Of course New Blacks et al aren’t aimed at campers or walkers anymore, no they want to attract “independent travellers” who are going “Trekking in Patagonia”. You’ll have seen them a blonde toothy couple in some advert crossing some unblemished wilderness having flown all the way there in diesel guzzling jumbo.... (ahh eco tourism so much to answer for).
Everything is complicated in New Blacks they sell energy bars in all flavours except Kendal mint cake. You can have a titanium cup for £30 quid which will still be red hot when you put tea in it.
The staff were nice though and friendly and my new rucksack is ace. I’m a dyed in the wool Karrimor fan nothing against Berghaus just settled on karrimor young and have never changed. My teenage flirtation with Fjall Raven dwindled (yep the only kids in school to have Norwegian climbing gear instead of Puma, I’m not sure why we weren’t beaten up more often).
Resisted buying a complicated knife or a compass and nothing in world would make buy a “camel back” “look at me I drink a lot of water I do”.
Anyway I shall be dubbing me boots this evening and dreaming of having a back packer's breakfast, if only I could head out to Bleaklow this afternoon and go peat hagging and watch the sun go down over Jodrell bank, has any one seen my gaiters.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
In the olden days when digital still refered to calculators and watches or even sometimes fingers, film making was different there were video cameras but that seemed to be the realm of tv companies or wedding parties.
No your arty amateur went for super 8. That's were I came in, the whole thing was great in many ways; it was cheap the camera I used the most cost £2.50, the film was £7 quid, you could make a 3.5 min film for £15. Even my lovely Eumig 824(the best thing to come out of Austria after chocolate cake!) projector only cost £35 from the Cancer Research. I'll post some pics of my kit soon for all you lovers of 70 graphics.
As well as cheap super 8 looks great, all those saturated colours or sharp black and white, it's a shame it's become short hand in film for memories or reconstructions as to my mind the world's better looking in super 8.
The other great thing about Super8 looks initially like a downside, it's short, each film is 4 mins tops meaning you have to think about what you shoot and also the world is already full of miles of unedited video footage so let's not add to this mountain.
Anyway here's my first film the quality on you tube is not great the grainness of the night time stock doesn't help. Anyone who's in it I can sort out a DVD(better quality hopefully) when I've done some more, so bear with me. And as always enjoy!
ps. A note on the music it's the one I use to play over it at the time and I thought about changing but it's of a piece and I have a lot of time for Blur (when they are not making cheese)
Saturday, 26 April 2008
We fall into the arms of Soho and down the hill
All around us girls fall in and out of dresses
their boys are falling over their words.
Their friends simply falling,
falling in the gutter
or into the doors of shops
falling over their heels
towards the river
Some fall into cabs
Some fall for each other
And may tonight fall in love
Most will just fall into bed
or the lucky ones the sack.
The further gone fall for the lines of taxi touts
Or fall in line for the glitzy dives down Haymarket
Fallen Tigers in electric cages
Others still will just fall foul of a hot dog vendor's wares
And fall asleep on the 453
Falling towards Charing Cross
Friday, 25 April 2008
A straw poll in a mixed group the other day showed that in the group of 5-8 adults of 21-45 year old’s (mostly without children) at least 6 had been to see Ratatouille. The rest had been to see some really grim torture horror films. One woman got really defensive as she had only it seemed been to see children’s films (without any kids). I ended up feeling like some ivory tower elitist intellectual having only been to see No Country for Old men and Juno (ya know adult films)!
The kidult group are the same types who only read Harry Potter et al. All the time Hollywood can draw in these high spending individuals as well as the family crowd these films will get made.
My view is that the good children's films should be written for children forget the post modernism, if a film is well made and thoughtfully written it will engage adults. The fact that they weren’t knowing and were just good stories, well told is why Wallace and Gromit and the first Toy Story are great films, full stop. School of Rock is on the boundary but I think it works because its innocent and playful and just good fun, the plots not super complex, there will be others I'm sure.
The list of great films I liked as a kid are all predictable really anything with animated skeletons or swords fights, star wars and fantasy films, I don’t ever remember sitting through a whole children’s film foundation film.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
Things that irk me more than they should pt 45
Whilst enjoying a very pleasant evening in London's Clerkenwell with G and BLBW, I came across this minor irritant.
Eating places that pointlessly decant condiments
aka "leave the cocking sauce in the bottle for F**KSAKE."
A perfectly decent pub with a recent gastro pub make over; I've no big problem with gastro pubs if the foods ok and the food here was good. Except they followed the stupid modern trend of little dishes of salt and pepper, little saucers of ketchup and most stupid of all a little cream jug of vinegar.
I know I know there is a googles worth of things to get upset about in the world, but too much vinegar on y'chips can ruin y'day and us high falutin musuem curators are sensitive flowers....
So the camapign starts here
"Britain says put the sauce bottle on the table and don't charge too much for your olives Marcus" who's with me anyone , anyone...
Things to do on your day off.
1.See the Battersea shield.
2.Have a very good steak and kidney pudding
3.Make a film
4.help curate the pictures at The National Portrait Gallery.
Yes, me and SF had a very good day, we spent most of it plotting, breaking off for the aforementioned repast washed down (for remedial purposes) with some excellent pride in the Newman Arms.
We took a stroll down town to NPG, which was as good as ever. One thing caught my (gimlet-like!) Eye in the modern gallery the print of Joe the fist (or whatever his nick name is) seemed to reversed, the “Everlast” on his shorts was back to front.
A quick check on the inter web confirmed my suspicions his tattoo had moved shoulders. Anyway the diligent “C” a curator at the museum was quick to hold their hands up and the caption is being changed.
I am Andrew Graham Dixon and I claim my ……
* gets out pen* “Now Dear Senor Prado I was surprised to see….”
Here’s the email.
Thank you for your e-mail about the Joe Calzaghe portrait by Sam Barker. The photographer confirmed that the portrait was taken in a mirror and the slight texture on the print, is the boxer’s sweat! It is very confusing and I am now going to add a line on the caption. Thanks very much for drawing this to our attention.
All the best
Ps. please god I’m not turning into the sort person who starts every sentence "I think you’ll find….”
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
Friday, 18 April 2008
"Stepping up to the Plate:"
Now I'm Normally with Orwell on so called Americanisms ie. that some of them are good and some of the bad. Most of the one's people go on about most are actual an old English usage or word that's come back to us, we in mean time having moved on.
But there are few that are annoying "stepping up to the plate" is one mainly because we already had "taking the crease". Also I'm always weary of people using American sporting slang because none of us have a clue about American sport in general let alone the minutiae of Baseball.
Can't we start a campaign to generate more European versions , here's some ideas :
"taking the Okie", " Cueing the pink" " flicking the shuttlecock" oh I see I think I see a problem.
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
I downloaded the new Laura Cantrell tunes today, bit of a first for me being the first time I’ve paid for a download. I only did it this way as there’s no cd. As far as downloads vs. cd’s go “a man needs something he can hold onto like 10 lld hammer or women like you” but needs must when....
Anyway my Luddite tendencies aside Ms Cantrell new song cycle is bunch of covers devoted to travel. The song I was destined to like is her version Love Vigilante by New Order which is excellent. LV is an already classic song rendered extra poignant by Laura's wonderfully distinctive slightly sorrowful voice. “Silver wings” is good too well worth a listen. I do like the way Laura Cantrell sings she has a wonderfully pure voice but with hints of country nasal twang (which sounds better than I’m describing).
I can remember the day I bought “Low life” it was this time of year and I wandered down town with some birthday money and after a quick check of the prices in woolies smiths etc, I headed to EGS records, past the cassettes and pictures discs and there it was in shining a matt white sleeve, Steven Morris’s angular face scowling through the semi opaque paper sheaf, to say it looked cool was an understatement. Anyway half hour walk home and straight to my room to put it on and it was a good as it looked. Brimful of classics like Perfect Kiss, Elegia and of course Love vigilante; a tale of a soldier's return from war and now it’s a country song, perfect!
I wrote the above last night and was thinking about what a tune to post, New Order songs are too obvious and easy to find, I thought of NO cover but couldn’t land on the perfect one. I was going to choose Frente version of “bizarre love triangle” but it seems to have spawned countless twee bedroom copiest on youtube, however I did find this marvelous artifact which renders my record buying memories redundant. It’s a recent reshooting of a video for Temptation starring Victoria Bergsman the lead singer of Swedish popsters the Concretes, it’s indie kid heaven, if only we’d been born French. Dancing in my bedroom was never this cool!
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Rob Brydon as always is excellent. Most of it is well written and there some are some genuinely funny bits. I could do without the scenes with meaningful music over the top though.
I do prefer “Pulling”. I was put off the first series as it was on BBC3 but have caught some of this one and it’s good.
It isn’t an out and out comedy but is still funny. Last nights story about having your kebab robbed was very good, (it is helped by the fact I’ve been to the same Stokey kebab shop it was filmed in) in fact if anything they under played the story, my mate got mugged for his Doner on green lanes (one street over) at gun point!
Sadlt the joke about Cock lollies would have been very good; if it hadn’t had come up the night before in the excellent underrated Dodgeball.
Monday, 14 April 2008
Sunday, 13 April 2008
I went shopping in that London this s'after it never puts me in good mood, by the time I’ve had to lie on the floor to buy a pair of socks, had my shoe sized doubted by someone who looks like this, seen the price of cd’s in HMV waited an hour for me dinner I am never the happiest rodent thankfully one of my favourite shops has eaten loads of happy meals so you don’t have to, which put a smile on my face.
Thankfully some of that fancy Dan Belgium beer in the company of P and L in London’s fashionable Hoxditch further revived my spirits.
Happy new week (as GG always says)
New Cross: Rock and Soul hang out.
The excellent chippy on the one way system just round the corner from me is obviously the plaice to be. The owners are friendly and chatty and the food is good too. They cope with the nere do wells, street drinkers and cocky students of the area in a cheery accepting manner and even lift up your fish so the vinegar and salt gets evenly spread over your chips (the god is in the detail in retail) .
So good on them for making something of the times when one of the world's most famous men (a BASS player no less) stopped off for his tea.
Saturday, 12 April 2008
These strips remind me of the milieu depicted in BBC4’s Madmen. I haven’t watched for few weeks but saw the latest edition, what’s most striking about it other who gives toss about advertising and the awful exposition (this week a treatise on the early 1960’s relationship to Israel/Judaism/Holocaust next week homosexuality, it seems to be written for people for whom 1992 is the distant past) no the main thing that sticks out is the Sopranos’ connections.
In the endless teaser ads the fact that it written by Sopranos writer Matt Weiner was much publicised they weren’t lying the whole thing is the Sopranos with better suits. The main character played by the marvellously named Jon Hamm (one supposes he added the M to reduce the actor jokes a bit) is a troubled anti hero who lives a duplicitous life, a friendly apparently loving family man at home in ‘burbs and a ruthless unfaithful business man in the city.
In last weeks episode he even had a flash back a la Tony Soprano (let’s hope they avoid the tedious dream sequences which almost ruined the Sopranos).
The scene where he goes to the office past the typing pool is the same as the strip club in Bada Bing except the girls wore more clothes in 60’s. The way his admen crew josh and drink and smoke in office is the same Tony, Pauli, Pussy and the boys. I mean one of them is even secretly gay for Christ sake. Then there’s the whole nascent therapy angle this time based on his wife’s depression but isn’t there another way into characters thinking on American tv. Also His ingénue female assistant played by Jed Bartlet’s daughter (actress Elisabeth Moss) is a similar role to Tony’s cousin Christopher.
Then we come to “the bits on the side” just swap proto hippy-beatnik designer for Real estate agent and they have been given similar roles. It even ends with an apposite song (this is an annoying trend in all American telly I think it’s because they have so many ad breaks your need to tell the audience the bloody thing has actually stopped)
The main difference between Madmen and Sopranos is as yet nobody has died, the life or death tension and better acting (of the Sopranos) is what splits the two as I’ve said before making an ad for the Tel Aviv Hilton isn’t that gripping getting whacked in the reeds is!
Friday, 11 April 2008
The first episode of Dr Who seemed to be written in entirely in clichés:
- Characters who walk up to a large building and stop before walking in and look up the entre length of building like you don’t.
- They seemed to be showing a PowerPoint presentation on celluloid film using a projector?
- We had the over branded evil lair, if you were sucking a planet dry would you really bother to have a logo fitted to the window cleaning cradle?
- We had the evil character exposition bit.
- Is there anywhere that still has steel dustbins not wheelie bins?
- Why did the henchmen shoot down the door when the baddy later opened another door with her sonic screw driver?
- Did we really need to have a diabolic machine actuated by a huge switch?
- Why does Katherine Tate seem on the edge of one her comedy show characters all the time?
- Flying cocking saucers.
I do know that genre shows use cliché as short cuts but if you raise the bar on a genre you have to meet your own standards. And yes I’m coming over like a sad Whovian but I bet my sharp nephews would have spotted a lot of the above, kids aren’t stupid and deserve well written programmes.
Good points it is Dr Who and I quite liked the Adipose creatures, I’m sure it will get better but it is worrying.
Met up with MJ “who’s a man you don’t meet every day” and amongst many things we discussed, the acoustics of Winchester Cathedral, the best place to find snakes head fritillaries, Will Self’s choice of sushi, conversation turned as it does with people of taste and distinction to blue grass music.
Sadly this may not be good as fiddles played on the backs of pickups in the Tennessee woods and any blue grass only grows through the cracks in the side walk but why not try some Laura Cantrell (that’s her on the right next to Barnsley finest Kate Rusby! )
Her website is particularly generous with a range of stuff to download. Why not try “not the trembling kind”, or may be some tracks recorded at Peel acres. Here 3rd albums there to stream for free. I sure I’m not the only one looking forward to her covers of Transport songs including Bacharach-David, Merle Haggard and Love Vigilante etc out next week.
So the answer as it normally is make sure you choose the finest freshest cuts, a hint if wasabi never goes to waste and much like the tuna belly you won’t believe you don’t do it more often.
Thursday, 10 April 2008
Something strange has happened at Flickr, you can now upload videos hmmmm, I'm not sure this is good thing the best thing about Flickr is that it's about doing ie taking pictures yourself and sharing them (there is the odd scan on my bit but you I know what I mean).
Youtube god bless it is a passive thing ie a small number of people upload stuff the rest just surf and browse. I fear that Flickr will get cluttered with hilarious guff . Admittedly it's only 90 sec burst so pop videos are out, we'll see.
Another day another libel case, In general I think you should never sue newspapers as it only encourages them. That being said, one aspect that always puzzles me is that after the wronged celeb gets the cash they have to make a show of giving it to charity.
Now there are loads of over paid stars in world but if they are libelled by the News of World and get a pay out I'm more than happy for them to keep the cash.
The paper was in the wrong it's lost out justice has been done. I know it's to show it's not about the money but I don't care keep the cash, if the paper had won it gets to keep it's profits from telling tales about people. Most papers in Britain do little for charity apart from saving the odd donkey so keep the cash give it charity if you like (but don't tell anyone which is the best policy in general) if not spend it on an island holiday in Norway, paps like hanging out in sunny places with cheap drinks generally.
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Enrique badia "Romero"
It’s spring time to get in shape ready for the beach this summer so you can imagine my delight at finding this book, my kind of exercise plan indeed.
The book is really marvellous the artist is Romero, here he is in all his 77 year old pipe smoking glory, you’d be foolish to allow your young niece to tarry in his Barcelona love nest to long as you can see. His work shows him to be a lover of a firm shapely *cough* ankle. You’ll know him probably from his work on the 70’s Modesty Blaise strips is the Daily Express.
The strips in the book are gloriously the wrong side of pc and I’ll post a few over the next wee while, we wouldn’t want you all ending as flabby, un-toned and unable to attract Mr or Mrs right…. and look he can draw other stuff there's a fish in this picture.
To commemorate Ryan Babel’s winning goal for Liverpool against Arsenal the Metro back page reads.
“Ryan’s Smash & Bab”
Which are apart from being rubbish is rude where I come from, “Bab” being the Yorkshire colloquial verb/noun to defeca......
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
I mentioned the other day that even though I love the cinema I can't hand on heart real off some well meaning polish film when it comes to my favourite film ever. I love Challenging , entertaining films from around the world but if I was ill on the sofa, I would plumb for Yule and the boys probably. This is because as a kid films where a rare thing and good ones like Mag7 or Jason and Argonauts rarer still. It's not too rose tinted to say they appeared only on Good Friday, when there was chocolate and good things to eat (and possibly it was my birthday too) so they are linked with good times in my mind.
Which brings me to Charlton as after the above Ben Hur was a favourite with me and my Brothers, we were into Asterix and the galley battle and the chariot race where great, comics made real. They were so good we'd sit through the stuff with the tile and the lepers just for horse action.
So I have always had a soft spot for Charlton.
There's an excellent piece here. The modern view of him is heavily tainted by his perceived politics, so have a read and decide for yourself .
One interesting thing in the article is that David Thomas says he acts Laurence Olivia off the screen, which in my opinion happens a lot . As I think LO was never that great on film and if his reputation was based purely on film you would wonder what the fuss is about, he never learnt the simpler less showy style of acting favoured in Hollywood films that Charlton with or without his vest was so good at.
Monday, 7 April 2008
I was reminded the other day of the newish shops in Soho that seem to stock only Chick pea derived products a namely the hummus Bros and Falafel Express (it’s full name alludes me). Now a well soaked, cooked and flavoursome chick pea is a thing of beauty and I’ve talked before about the correct way to serve falafel but you have to admire the cajones of these corporate guys; talk about cheap as chips, raw chick peas are even cheaper. A bit of soaking, some boiling, a pitta, a splash of harrissa and voila that’ll be £5 quid please madam. Oh did I miss you have to style and decorate the place to encourage the types and sorts to come in that might be put off going in to a Turkish etc place by the laminated signs, evil eyes, weird words and the sheer goddam ethnicness of the places.
Any fule no that if you are in town and want some falafel action head for GABBY’S on Charing cross road the foods good, and you can get black currant and soda and you can play count the pictures of Matt Damon this week. (6 and rising)
Lastly any budding food entrepreneur should always contact Our S, for shop names he is the king of puns. Suggested chick pea emporium
“Falafel Do nicely”
Foodie word of the day:
Burrito translates as “little donkey”.
Smoothie name of day
“Mango Madness”: wouldn’t the words just die in your mouth as you ordered?
Sunday, 6 April 2008
I posted this before but it's even more apt today.
Galaxy 500 :listen the snow is falling
9 am update: How highs the snow mama 3 inches and rising son.
Amazon have just sent me a offer for gardening tools etc!
Saturday, 5 April 2008
Living on the hedge:
If everytime I cross that gloriously silty brown river, things like this happens ,North London could grow on me ;)
Not sure exactly where this is, I was being driven around in a blacked out transit at the time. This may be old hat to Northerners, like the T-34 tank off the old kent road is to us Southrons but it made me smile. Top Topiary.
Comply or die you beauty!
Just round the corner from our Elefriend above is a nice "bookmakers" where for a small fee they give you a piece of paper and after you've watched some nice horses run about for a bit on the telly they give you your money back and lots more hurrah besides!
Friday, 4 April 2008
Tee hee, so let's get this right Yorkshire is the biggest county, has the best scenary, great beer, excellent cheese, brilliant curries, pies to die for, the best artist (living) Hockney, the best british film ever made Kes, the best football team, come on you reds And now people think we talk reet clever.
Tee hee of course there have been clever Mancs Alan Turing for instance but unfortunately tha's got ta sound smart if tha wants people to think tha a clever beggar.
As for poor old brummies the best advance and something Tykes never do is to keep schtum.
ps we don't mention the terriers, Leeds United, Black Lace and most of Rotherham by the way.
Thursday, 3 April 2008
I couldn't find it last night. I love "grace under pressure" by ELBOW but this is my current fave. It makse me happy, it's sing along but not in bad Coldplay way. It has the phrases " holy cow" "chamois-faced" and "thin lipped" so what's not to love.
Wednesday, 2 April 2008
Here's one present I got already it's in 3d and signed by the drawer! Alan Moore as we all know "knows the score"
I'm going to have some this for sure
If I'm being honest after all the fancy films I've watched and liked, I'd watch this on my Birthday, but it was on sunday so that save me a jobs and remember the villagers always win...
this always cheers me up!
somebody has to sing to the birthday boy!
here's my other birthday present Aretha singing my song
Later some of this may be taken.
and then we'd listen to Otis sing or maybe something new like this .
(I'm not going to come up with some fantasy party guest bit pointless as the women who plays the book stall owner in the "long goodbye" is long dead and I bet she wouldn't wear those glasses anyway. So it would be just the people I love and like.)
and what better way to drift off than this
Anyway please excuse the solipsism normal service will resume shortly.
Before I retire for the evening, can I point you in the direction of Swedesplease an excellent swedish music blog. This tune in particular is great, the 2 young scandanavian ruffians having a shower in the picture is entirely the behaviour we expect from our pop stars. They are called I think Kasban (please note no "i"). Anyway enjoy and nighty nighty they are playing Elgar on tv so sweet dreams...
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
I haven't posted any tunes recently, my clean up over the weekend did turn up the hard copy of this 7 inch. It's by The Association who were new to me, the web didn't cast much light on them. This is the B-side partly because I like it better and also the A Cherish is just too scratched for public consumption!
It's called "Don't blame it on me" and it's marvellously bittter and twisted. I think the best policy with some 60's songs is to blame on the times as the politics can be a bit eye watering, as in :
"Hey joe where are you going with that gun in your hand?"
" I'm off to shoot my old lady down"
"oh ok are ya coming down the club later they've a turn on"
" ay probably let me just top the wife and stab deliah and I'll see ya for swift one..."
Cherish sounds like a weird internet stalkers hymn by contrast in "don't blame it me" the protaganist just seems cheesed off at being dumped !
Once again apologies for the scratches as Peel use to say this one sounds like it was recorded on a section of the m4....
Don't Blame it On Me -The Association
COME ON YOU TYKES!