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I thought I might talk about things you might like but might not have heard of.

Moses Jones. [If you can get the BBC iPlayer you can watch it all for the next five days here]
This is a three-part drama by Joe Penhall about a detective investigating the murder of a Ugandan immigrant in London. Moses Jones is the son of Ugandan immigrants so his boss tells him to look into the murder of an elderly man who is found chopped into pieces, piled into a suitcase and dropped into the Thames, on the grounds that they are "his people". Moses objects on the grounds that he was born in Shepherd's Bush. However he gets dragged in, along with an ambitious white police officer, Dan Twentyman (played by Matt Smith, who will be the eleventh doctor some time in 2010), and uncovers grim secrets at the heart of the community.

It's very dark and sporadically violent. There's not a great volume of violence but when there is, it's excruciating. There was a moment at the end of episode two where I actually had to leave the room. It's not without faults or issues but there are some terrific performances, particularly from Shaun Parkes as the lead character; Eamonn Walker as the band leader, Solomon; Indira Varma as a restaurateur who doesn't lose her compassion even in the worst circumstances; Dennis Waterman as a sleazy former boxing champ; and Wunmi Mosaku as Joy, whose uncle is the initial murder victim. The eventual villain is terrifying.

What I like about it is that it's a portrait of a complete world, and one that I know exists but seldom see. It plunges you into this milieu of knocking shops; restaurants; paperless refugees; secret dance clubs and casual and not so casual racism, and makes almost no concessions to unfamiliarity. There's a pleasing, if infodumpy pay-off.

2. The Lilac Time
The Lilac Time were formed by Stephen Duffy, who remains famous for three things
a) Being in one of the original line-ups of Duran Duran
b) This 1985 hit, Kiss Me, which was much-mocked for its lyrics. A little harshly, I think. It's very very 1980s
c) Co-writing most of an album with Robbie Williams before he completely misplaced the plot.
In between (b) and (c) he formed a group called The Lilac Time, who wrote folk-rock much influenced by Nick Drake and had pretty much zero success with it. They were the very definition of music press darlings whose critical acclaim never translated into sales.
Their albums have been rereleased with lots of live and radio editions of their songs and B-sides. I have only two so far but plan on buying more. Here are some favourites from the albums I have
Julie Written On The Fence Belongs in the same category as Disco 2000, a reminiscence about adolescence from And Love For All. From the same album, Fields
The Beauty In Your Body from Paradise Circus

3. Teddy Thompson
Last week I had the pleasure of going to see TT in Shepherd's Bush in the fine, fine company of ravurian, ruric, parthenia14, rhade_rad and some other nice people whose LJ names I don't know. He's excellent live and I urge anyone who sees him playing in their area to go and see him. He's very handsome, has a wickedly dry line in onstage patter and his band play like bastards. His website is here.If the name seems familiar it's because he's the son of Linda and Richard Thompson but he's great in his own right. His most recent album, A Piece of What You Need, lives up to its title. It's varied, funny and rocking.
• The lead-off single you might have heard before. In My Arms is the song you didn't know you needed on your iPod. It works anywhere. I have no idea why it is not ubiquitous. It should be.
• From the online version of the same album, two bonus tracks: Long Life and The Price of Love, an Everly Brothers cover.
• A cover of Leonard Cohen's Tonight Will Be Fine
• From the wonderful album Separate Ways, my current theme tune: I Should Get Up

Apparently Lindsay Duncan is going to be in the Christmas thing, as the new one-shot companion and fail is already hoving into view because she's in her fifties. Oh, people, people, your ageism shames you. When I was young and impressionable I saw an excerpt of Les Liaisons Dangereuses from the original production in London, with Alan Rickman as Valmont and Lindsay Duncan as Merteuil. It defined hotness. (It made such a big impression on me that I went on to see the play twice in my teens and twenties, studied the book for French A-level and wrote an A-level English essay comparing narrative techniques in LLD, Wuthering Heights and Brideshead Revisited and always, in my head, Lindsay Duncan was the Marquise.)

Both of them remain astonishingly hot. No age qualifiers, not "for their advanced years", they are both terrific. And Lindsay Duncan is an amazing screen presence even when the script isn't that brilliant. Anyone says otherwise? Who doubts that she's going to be anything other than top-notch (script permitting)?

They're called glasses. Avail yourselves of the optical technology, people.

I'm a little glum this week. It'll be the bowel-squinching fear of failure that's doing it.

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Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
violetisblue
Feb. 19th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC)
"...and fail is already hoving into view because she's in her fifties."

I knew it would be a matter of literally minutes before this happened, though fortunately I haven't seen any of it myself (not that I've been looking, I'm no fool). And if I had a TARDIS of my own, that particular production of LDD would be on my top list of things to do and see.

Edited at 2009-02-19 03:46 am (UTC)
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
Cheeringly, most of the posts I've read this morning have been along the lines of "don't you know how fabulous she is, you useless ageist tarts?" Yay for the backlash.

And if I had a TARDIS of my own, that particular production of LDD would be on my top list of things to do and see.

Me too. I saw it on a programme about the play. When I saw the full thing while it was on tour, I could only imagine how fantastic seeing all the Rickman/Duncan version would have been, as the versions I saw were great enough in their own right.
violetisblue
Feb. 19th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC)
The only fail I've seen thus far is some crack about her being "old enough to be the Doctor's mommy." Okay, let's explain this yet again, the Doctor is OVER NINE HUNDRED YEARS of age. Adelaide (if she's presumably as old as the actress playing her) will be FIFTY-EIGHT years of age. The number nine hundred is MUCH BIGGER than the number fifty-eight. This really is the IQ level we're working with here, isn't it cheering?

"Cheeringly, most of the posts I've read this morning have been along the lines of 'don't you know how fabulous she is, you useless ageist tarts?' "

Most of the posts I've seen are "OMG OMG, Servilia's going to be on Who!" I've never seen Rome but I'll take their word for this being a good thing. :-)

"When I saw the full thing while it was on tour, I could only imagine how fantastic seeing all the Rickman/Duncan version would have been, as the versions I saw were great enough in their own right."

And, of course, they passed them both right over for the film. Oh, Hollywood.

Edited at 2009-02-19 04:40 pm (UTC)
minim_calibre
Feb. 19th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
The Lilac Time! I loved their cover of Bird on the Wire on I'm Your Fan!

(Which somehow didn't translate into me getting anything else of theirs, despite the occasional, "Hey, I should check them out!" impulse.)

infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
They're really good. Lots of instrumentals, lots of pastoral folk, quirky lyrics. I don't like everything on their albums but I like enough of it that it's worth buying.
pandarus
Feb. 19th, 2009 05:17 am (UTC)
Oooh, hey, I saw that production when it came to Yorkshire! My GOD, you could have cut the sexual tension in the theatre with a freaking knife!

Ahem. Yes, so - I'm not worried about Lindsay Duncan in the slightest, and I'm rather sorry if anyone is. Silly buggers. She can ACT! And is hot! Where is the bad?
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
You jammy sod. I would've given my eye teeth to see it. This morning most of the reaction I've seen has been people rolling their eyes at the ageism and saying "you do know who she is, don't you, she's xxx" and giving her roles. As I said above, yay for the backlash. There is no bad. It's Lindsay Duncan. Shut up, mad cult-of-youth people
(Deleted comment)
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd seen all of that production. I only saw bits of it which were, I think, on a programme about the play.

The week of pimping is entirely opt-in fun. I just wanted to do it because I want to be positive about something for a change. I hope you like The Lilac Time. Let me know if you do and I'll upload more.
(Deleted comment)
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC)
I *know*. What is wrong with people?
muridae_x
Feb. 19th, 2009 12:39 pm (UTC)
and fail is already hoving into view because she's in her fifties

I'm hoping that this is just from the section of fandom that's never heard of her and/or never seen anything she's done. And even so... can't they just have a little faith?

My first reaction, on the other hand, was to chortle with glee and pick up the phone to call the fellow Who fan with whom I went to see the Duncan/Rickman reunion in Private Lives. She was just as blindingly good in that as in Les Liaisons Dangereuses. I'm sure she'll make a terrific companion.

Incidentally, the first result of your week of pimpage is that I've made the acquaintance of Spotify. Many thanks.
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping that this is just from the section of fandom that's never heard of her and/or never seen anything she's done. And even so... can't they just have a little faith?

Bah. I shake my fist at you, cult-of-youth failmonkeys.

Incidentally, the first result of your week of pimpage is that I've made the acquaintance of Spotify.

I like it but if you find out how to do the shared playlists thing, please let me know so I can feel slightly less stupid.
muridae_x
Feb. 19th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
I have read of the shared playlists' existence. I haven't found the trail of breadcrumbs that leads to them yet.

The thing that sucks at work is that, since they've ripped out all our physical phone handsets and given us phone software and a headset, I have to listen one-eared there. But - even though it fails my early-80s-stuff-that-never-got-to-CD obscurity test - I like it enough that I'll probably download the client and put it on my PC and Mac at home over the weekend. Much nicer than fiddling with last.fm in a browser window, and you can play everything by an artist straight through rather than have to take your chances with the radio station grab-bags.

Even if I only ever use it to audition albums that I haven't decided whether I want to buy or not, it'll be handy.
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 20th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
I think I might be using it for the audition purpose too, though I was very keen on the shared playlists. I like reading other people's playlists and usually get around to downloading them when I am on LJ
muridae_x
Feb. 20th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
This seems to be the information on shared playlists:

http://www.spotify.com/blog/archives/2008/01/30/collaborative-playlists/

I guess in the LJ environment you could restrict access by just posting the link in a friends locked thread. It probably needs a separation of edit and listen in the longer term though.
parthenia14
Feb. 19th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC)
Oh God, what am I like. I assumed it was a Bryan Ferry cover. I'm so Eighties.

Also, am still embarrassed at how much I fancied Bryan Ferry.

infinitemonkeys
Feb. 19th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)
So did I. Only my *mum* corrected me, with great glee.

There is no shame in fancying Bryan Ferry when you were a whippersnapper (I tell myself). It would only be worrying if you fancied Otis Ferry.
fourteenlines
Feb. 20th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
Oh, dear...for some reason I always mix up Lindsay Duncan with Lindsay Crouse, who would be a bizarre addition to DW and whom I loathed on Buffy.

But! Lindsay Duncan is AWESOME.
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 20th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
She is. She's playing Thatcher on BBC2 this week. I heard a clip on Radio 4 last night and she was terrifying.
vonniek
Feb. 20th, 2009 04:20 am (UTC)
Oooh. I am out of loop re. Who spoilers and this is the first time I'm hearing about Linsay Duncan. Holy awesome....! The first thing I saw Duncan in was this middle-brow adaptation of Joanna Trollope's The Rector's Wife back in the 90's, and even though the plot was fairly predictable, you couldn't take your eyes off her. The woman just vibrates with charisma.

(And how mad jealous I am that you got to watch even an excerpt of Rickman/Duncan version of LLD? Whoa.)

I snagged most of the Teddy Thompson the last time around, I think. The Lilac Time sounds interesting so I'll take the tunes. Thank you!
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 20th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
She's playing Thatcher on BBC2 next week in a 90-minute play. I've set the DVR already.

See what you think of The Lilac Time. They're a four-five songs off every album band, rather than a whole album band, if you see what I mean
ravurian
Feb. 20th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
I loved the first two eps of Moses Jones, but missed the last one - I'll be catching up on that at the weekend. Can't wait to see how it plays out, particularly because this is the first series in ages not to bloody spoonfeed the audience.

Thanks for the Teddy track Long Life - hadn't heard that one!
infinitemonkeys
Feb. 20th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the Teddy track Long Life - hadn't heard that one!

Victory is mine!! ;) I didn't think I would post something you didn't have.

I loved the first two eps of Moses Jones, but missed the last one - I'll be catching up on that at the weekend. Can't wait to see how it plays out, particularly because this is the first series in ages not to bloody spoonfeed the audience.

I'd be interested in what you thought. I liked it a lot, particularly the way it played out with Solomon and Mutikula. Without spoiling, the end scenes were awkward but I think they earned it and told me what I wanted to know.
ravurian
Feb. 20th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oh no, really, I'm an absolute neophyte when it comes to finding music on the net. I wouldn't know where to begin, frankly... That's why I was a bit hyper when you said that you'd tracked down rarities, LOL.

More on Moses later, I reckon.
barkley
Feb. 23rd, 2009 12:17 am (UTC)
I am retroactively enjoying Pimp Week!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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