Lord, Alexander Siddig was *good*. Such a powerful performance. He played an Algerian who infiltrated a Muslim extremist cell in Birmingham who were planning a suicide bombing. I had to hide my eyes at the end because I knew what was going to happen and I couldn't stop it. The whole thing was frightening and painful in the best sort of way.
They need to give Danny a good story and Zoe was a bit one-dimensional this week after her weekend heroics in exposing Tessa but me darlin' Tom Quinn suffered beautifully, in a Muldertorture-ish way.
I am addicted, addicted, addicted and it's hokey and I don't care.
It's on A&E this summer, but they're going to rename it MI5
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Weird bookends to the day. After being woken up by frelling jackhammers again, I had breakfast in front of Sky One and behold! "Fire" on XF, which was very amusing and MSTable with some fabulous lines.
[Sky One hates me. S1 XF, then early Stargate, then Buffy, one after another 10am to 1pm. I need to *work* , dammit]
Then, after Spooks I switched to UK SciFi and it was Firefly's "Shindig", which featured Cecil L'Ively again.
I like this episode a lot.
"I guess I'm just a good man :::stab::: well, I'm okay"
I still find the premise off-kilter but I think that if it had been given its full run so it could bed down, it would have been wonderful. It was heading in that direction, though there remained strange lacunae and oddities in the world-building. There's scarcely a character I don't love, though Inara is the Lana Lang of Serenity.
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lilydale reminds me that I am being useless with the music project.
I bought 31 Songs (or Songbook. Whatever) the other weekend, in which Nick Hornby declares that he is not writing his autobiography through songs because that's stupid and these songs are not the ones that changed his life or anything like that. Then he spends the next 80 pages or so contradicting that statement.
It's a charming, peculiar, rambly and unfocused book but he loves Teenage Fanclub
For that he can be forgiven almost anything. Anyway...
#3 BLUE MONDAY, NEW ORDER
Twenty years ago. It's hard to believe that this record came out 20 years ago because it still sounds as fresh and modern today as it did back when it was a 12" record that was passed from person to person as if it held the secrets of the universe in its shiny black grooves.
There were lots of reasons to love New Order -- not least the fact that in "World in Motion" they released one of the very few good football records ever and the Hacienda nightclub was a great night out.
In 1983 these were the reasons to love them: there was their tragic history, their stroppy Manc insouciance, the fact that they had a girl in the group ... but the foremost reason was Blue Monday.
Released on Factory in a black sleeve with specially sliced out sections so it looked like a computer disk, it has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and a million in the UK alone (still the best-selling 12" single ever) yet it made almost no money because the sleeve cost so much to produce.
Blue Monday was wound around Hooky's sinister bassline and a drum machine pattern that's the most distinctive section of the record. When I was at school it was a badge of honour to be able to tap out the drum pattern on the benches in the chemistry lab. It's almost impossible to do it fast enough with one hand, yet if you try to drum it with two pens, you can seldom repeat it correctly twice in a row.
A lot of the best music that Britain produces seems to come from taking elements of US black culture and twisting them about. The Beatles took Little Richard and Chuck Berry and added elements of skiffle,music hall and goonish humour to create something slightly new; New Order took underground US dance culture and added the gloomy European sensibility of Kraftwerk and the iconoclastic spirit and DIY ethics of punk.
I think that one of the reasons I like it is that it fit the times in which it was released. It was dark and harsh and sinister and the period, with its Thatcherite-induced economic malaise that wrecked the north, was dark and sinister.
I taped it off the radio early on, but I didn't buy it until 1986 -- didn't have the money until then. It and The Fairytale of New York were the first records I ever bought with my own money, for myself.
"Blue Monday" sparked a love affair with electronic music which lasts to this day. I don't understand how people can find it cold and mechanistic. "Blue Monday is harsh and depressing, perhaps, with its slightly opaque lyrics about alienation and loss of feeling, sung in Barney Sumner's threatening monotone, but it is not trite nor is it predictable.
A mark of a good record is that it's very hard to ruin it through remixes and cover versions. I have heard some fairly woeful covers of this and I don't think that the 1988 remix is entirely fabulous either, but the song remains strong. Like Sympathy for the Devil, you can put it on in a club today and the people there will loose a collective "woooh!" sort of sound and begin dancing like maniacs
"Blue Monday" led to dance music for me, which was a big part of my life for four years, back when my embarrassment at my terrible dancing still didn't outweigh my love of doing so.