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Dead letter drop

Good evening, Vladivostock!

This is a dead letter drop. If you have anything to ask me, if you wish to contact me or if you have critical remarks on my behaviour, whereabouts or the colour of my socks, feel free to leave a comment.

Comments are screened, anonymous posting is enabled. It'll stay at the top of the journal page.

Jan. 25th, 2016

Imagine you had a favourite band, back when you were just out of your teens and seriously into music, back when everything didn't sound like a retread of the sixties or the eighties or whatever decade happened to be in vogue that nanosecond.

Imagine that this band had a slow simmer of a career. Its founder took a chance on two frontmen that paid off spectacularly. He had a small group of songwriters working with him, some of whom also turned out to be pretty damned good. (And a sexy baldy bass player and double-crossing keyboard player who became the specialist interests of some delightful people and improved every song in which they had a solo.)

extended metaphor ahoyCollapse )

::dons T-shirt that says "I still wish I could quit you". Holds up lighter. Takes a drag of the imaginary cigarette of bitter cynicism::

[See also: Doctor Who]

*Yes, album. I am an old. Go away.

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/191237.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.

Happy 2015

Wow, 2014 can bite me. But now, new year! EVERYTHING WILL BE TOTALLY DIFFERENT, OBV.

This year we have a general election. Three bunches of arseholes, the Argos Mussolini and the Green Party, who are led by someone I know vaguely and don't care for. Can the Scottish National Party stand in east London, please? They have the best policies :::ignores oil price:::

For now, some videos to ease your hangovers. I have to be at work for 9.30 tomorrow via whatever byzantine via-Penge route Transport for London decides to foist on us poor saps, so I am sober as a judge.

A reminder that while my job may be difficult, it at least does not involve dancing on top of a train


I still love this. It's the laughing.


All QI with Toksvig is good QI


Philomena Cunk's Moments of Wonder: Evolution


Stewart Lee ♥ . Comedy with Anglo-Saxon poetry.


This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/191030.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.

FIVER #2: music

Let it Go aside, I've been listening to a lot of music lately. Here are five things some of you should like. Maybe. Asgeir, Emily Barker and the Red Clay Halo are awesome, Paolo Nutini, Elbow (of course) and KwabsCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/190720.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.
My house now has two thousand quid's worth of steel rods holding it up at the back. It better bloody work.

I have Amazon Prime, which means as of about a day ago, I have Amazon Instant video thingie, the new one.

So I decided that I would watch Chris Carter's new pilot The After. For a treat, like. I wasn't going to but I am weak for Aldis Hodge, who is the main name.

Basic plot: an odd assortment of people find themselves in a hotel elevator which gets stuck. When they force open the doors, they are trapped in a parking garage, all doors locked and car alarms blaring. Among this assortment are a police woman, a French actress who just wants to go home to see her daughter; a gay clown; a rich older lady; who is constantly referred to as "the old lady" GGRRRRR; a slimy lawyer and a prostitute who I just BET is going to turn out to have a heart of gold; an escaped prisoner; and a Irishman who is such an IRREDEEMIBLY VILE, DRUNKEN HUMAN BEING that if this were the seventies, I would suspect it of being secret MI-6 propaganda. I think we are supposed to find him swaggeringly irreverent and funny, maybe?. He's a knob.

Every one of the men swears like crazy because this is EDGY don't you know.

Honestly, I feel like I am turning into my mother, but I hated it. It's boring. It's a word you can take out and nothing changes because if every adult male is doing it every five seconds, then it doesn't tell you anything about the character.

And unless you're Malcolm Tucker it's not clever either. It is just unimaginative bollocks, which is a shame because there are some deft touches in the script - though nothing as characterful as in either Millennium or The X-Files, where you knew who those people were straight away and wanted to find out more. It's reasonably well put together and has some gloriously creepy behind the sofa moments.

SpoilergeddonCollapse )

I'd watch a series, I know I would, though I feel a little foolish saying so. I am not sure how far I would get before I gave up on even Aldis Hodge's effortless charisma. I quite like Gigi and Dave the clown, but everyone else is either a bit nondescript or actively AWFUL. We don't know why our brave crew of panicked extras representing TEH WORLD!OMG! is acting the way they are and believing the end is nigh. It could be for [reasons] or it could be because Chris Carter thinks it looks cool and has no intention of explaining. It could be brilliant. It could be incoherent bollocks masquerading as profundity again.

We are, after all, playing plot-sense roulette with a Chris Carter script. He's won big a few times but that was quite some losing streak at the start of the noughties there.

Back on the horse again. [personal profile] vonniek asked:


- What do you think about the prospect of the new Doctor Who with Capaldi on board?
Includes one casting spoiler of someone in more than one episode but I don't know what they doCollapse )


- Wax rhapsodic about whatever has you most fannishly excited about right now.

I wish I were excited but the only TV that made me cheer lately is Coffee Prince.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/190411.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.
[personal profile] kirbyfest asked: what music are you listening to?

Not Elbow's new single. It is woeful and I find that demoralising at a time of year when things need to be good to make up for the shitness of the weather and the misery of the populace in general. I know there are people who do not self-medicate this way.
… below the cut, music talkCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/189953.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.
Hello! Americans, please stay warm! British people, please stay dry! And the rest of you, just, you know, generally don't have bad things happen to you. Thank you.

My icons are so 2008, but this one is at least timeless. I would have been writing angsty stories about the tortured love of these two like mad when I was 14, had I known what such a thing was and had the ability to password-lock it. These days Morrissey mostly elicits a tired sort of sigh and I don't want to read his autobiography.

Yesterday's Metro contained this delightful letter, which I am about to type out for you, all old-school like, because I can't find it online.

Headline: PE is a lesson in life

So Max Nottingham thinks PE lessons could be too tough following the reported deaths and injuries of some pupils (Metro, Fri)? Honestly, I hope that letter was a joke. Back in my day, and I am only in my thirties, albeit with a private school (sensible and less rule-run) education, if someone had died on the pommel horse, they had either lied about being able to do it or were 'being unthinkingly silly' and that was a lesson to us all.

In my class alone, seven people died in six years at secondary school -- many of them on the rugby field.

However, it was a valuable lesson and taught us to respect the dangers of life rather than to cower in fear and formality.
John, Surrey



I went to a very large rural comprehensive school. There were 300 pupils in my year. I can't remember one pupil dying in my time there, never mind seven.

Honestly, you just can't get the education in the state sector, can you?

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/189240.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.
So this new year's resolution plan isn't going too well. If I want LJ/DW to be a lovely healthy place where I read all sorts of people saying interesting things, I have to try to write in it. Otherwise everyone will go to Facebook or Twitter and I really, really can't stand those two. I don't give a shit about your score on Farmville or whatever horrifying-opinion-espousing group the person I haven't seen since school is 'liking'. I do give a shit what you actually think.

I didn't do a 2011 music round-up, but fortunately I have a ready-made excuse to do one now. A year ago, I reset the playcount on my iTunes, so I know exactly what I listened to most:

The 10 songs I listened to most in 2011Collapse )
And finally, my personal anthem for 2011:
10) National Shite Day by Half-Man, Half-Biscuit (118) [Extremely weird fan video]
I cannot render in mere pixels how much I love this and how much it makes me laugh. It has the best mention of Stockard Channing in popular song, a lesson in pedestrian etiquette and the sad tale of Stringy Bob, sent to prison for sending dead birds to bad comedians. ♥


Apart from a weird period in summer where I mostly listened to Half-Man, Half-Biscuit (and really, no one on here's going to be interested in them), these are the new 2011 things I loved:

Imperial by Butcher Boy. [YT live version]
This is completely wonderful -- a little like Belle and Sebastian and yet more proof for the theory that the best music comes from Scotland. ♥

Suzanne and I by Anna Calvi [YT link to video]
This whole album is really interesting, like a cross between PJ Harvey and Chris Isaak. This has an amazing rolling drum pattern that sounds great listened to on headphones. [YT link to Blackout]

I have spoken before of the wondrousness that is King Creosote, a singer from Fife who writes strange, unexpected songs. Diamond Mine was a collaboration with Jon Hopkins, who produces electronica records. It's a short album, recorded with lots of ambient sound. It's a kind of meditation on that strange time of life where you're no longer young, but you're not old either, just somewhere in the middle and completely out of ideas. (Not that I over-identify with that or anything.) Here's Your Young Voice (which can reduce me to tears occasionally) and Running On Fumes, and here's a funny YT video of them talking. ILU King Creosote. ♥

The English Riviera by Metronomy looked to the 80s. Here's the scene setter: The Bay [YT link to video]. I am a bad person and find it funny that he's basically singing about Torquay, home to Fawlty Towers, when the music evokes some kind of imaginary high-concept Los Angeles of the English imagination.
The other standout was She Wants [YT link], which is a bit like a warped Duran Duran track.

I liked The Horrors album Skying a lot but I suspect that was because they took the eighties and filed the serial numbers off. They stole from, that I noticed, The Cure, Simple Minds, Ride and Curve, which made their high dudgeon at not being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize particularly funny. Here, have Still Life, which steals the bassline from the remix of The Cure's Pictures of You
Everett True wrote an amusing review of Skying for collapseboard, and I recommend it to you. I don't agree with a lot of what he's saying (except maybe the U2 bit) but it's very perceptive.

Most of summer was spent listening to Half-Man, Half-Biscuit, and sadly, I fear I shall never convince people of the wonder that is songs such as Dickie Davies Eyes, or The Trumpton Riots. Let me offer this country song off the 2011 album 90 Bisodol, RSVP, which is a pretty tale of murder at a wedding reception.

I think that Love Movement (Ulrich Schnauss remix) by Justin Robertson is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard, and that the bit at 3.03 sounds like the shafts of godlight you see over English hills on cloudy days, but please bear in mind that I adore repetitive soundwashes and adjust expectations accordingly.

I also listened to Thea Gilmore's winter album, Strange Communion, which is all sorts of wonderful. If you've heard Fairytale of New York once too often but still love it and want to hear something similar, you might like this Elvis Costello cover, which is all about murdering your family the day after Christmas. Who among us hasn't been there? Practically the meaning of Christmas, that is. The St Stephen's Day Murders [bonus Mark Radcliffe!]

And for this time of year: Sol Invictus



Oh, okay, one more Half-Man Half-Biscuit song: Give Us Bubble Wrap, which is about solving international diplomatic crises through the use of packing materials. And which should be a classic Who vid.

* * *

And noted for cuteness/ reasons of *stuff* ;)

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/188900.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.
It's lots of days into 2011 and it really doesn't seem to be sucking less for most people than 2010 yet. I feel there should be a rule about that.

I didn't manage to do a round-up of music from 2010, but I am going to justify that by saying that what I listened to in 2010 is not as important as the songs we all take forward and keep in 2011 and beyond. [/excuse]

Actually, I think the problem was that I stopped listening to music between about the middle of March to the middle of June because of work and have only recently found my way back to it. So here is the stuff I found in 2010 that I loved. Lots of dance, lots of indie and a bit of plate-smashing goodness.

Hot Chip, The Heavy, Laura Marling, Fyfe Dangerfield, These New Puritans, and OMG JOHN GRANTCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://finisterre.dreamwidth.org/3382.html. All comments welcome anywhere. comment count unavailable.

It has come to my attention...

... that it is the birthday of [personal profile] cofax7, all round good egg, smart cookie, other metaphor of splendidness involving foodstuffs, fine writer and destroyer of worlds (fictional).

Happy birthday, dear [personal profile] cofax7. In honour of your birthday and your penchant for writing destruction, battles, wonderfully snarky remarks and rebuilding, I made you a soundtrack for apocalypses here


...Collapse )

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