Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday movie quiz - Yep, it was FARGO

Yep - It was Fargo.

And here is a clip of the scene I took it from...



The winner is Jo who will get some rock, but due to my massive generosity the following will also be getting rock - Garfer, Sniffy and Piggy. Now I will be expecting both Sniffy and Piggy to post piccies of you both eating your rock - Garfer is exempt  as I know he is camera shy. 

Next time the quiz will be a lot tougher. 

_____________________________________________

Okay, this one went a little better. 

A relatively straightforward quiz this - watch the clip and tell me which film it's from. Answers on a postcard please, or the comment box which will probably be much quicker. 

There is a prize this time; a lovely stick of genuine Brighton Rock - I know, right? Amazing! It does mean I'll need to walk down to the pier to get it, but never mind.

I know, more robots right?, I'm obsessed with the robots...

I'm a bit concerned that this is too easy,  oh well, if you guys get it straight away I'll just have to make the next one much harder.

Garfer - email me your address, you're getting a stick of rock for getting the last one correct. 

My email address is on my profile (for a bit).

Saturday, June 14, 2008

DX9878986TYNX51791b for short...


Okay, this didn't really go as well as I wanted. One of those things that you think half way through, 'I can't really be arsed with this', but by which stage I'd already put some effort in, so I figured I should finish it.

There's numerous things wrong with it; 'suppose it's good practice.

See what you think...


I have a couple of other ideas I'll stick up once done...

Friday, June 13, 2008

Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan at St Georges Rd Church, Brighton

It certainly was the oddest venue I've been to. Literally the church just up the road. 

St Georges Road Church, Kemptown
Bloody bins overflowing - typical of Brighton.

Fortunately there weren't pews but actual not-that-uncomfortable chairs.  But it was still a church with us parishioners faced forward toward the band who gigged in the bit that is normally reserved for the harvest festival layout and stuff - You can tell I'm clearly not a regular church goer, right? 

I was concerned that a church would make for a shitty venue, but then I guess religious types have been swearing by churches as the go-to venue for donkeys... turns out for once they were right; the sound was actually terrific, and despite the my initial thought that the place would be bit echoey this really added to the atmosphere.

They even served booze from a little table at the back, with the menu consisting of two types of cans of larger, bottled water and wine; red or white. Like a works do picnic. I know god goes all giggly for wine but does he dig Red Stripe larger as well? 

Very civilized. In fact, my chum that came with' said it was the most civilized gig he'd ever been to, and I agree. Everyone was seated for a start - I have never been to a seated gig before, I normally would consider this crazy behaviour, akin to moshing at an opera. But the truth is, the last few gigs I've been to this last month or so, have been murder on my pins. Sitting for the 90+ mins the pair performed was a pleasure. 

The audience was made up of Brighton's most middle class, mid-30's 'but-still-think-they're-with-it's' (of which I am most definitely one), and they were as well behaved and respectful of one-another as you'd expect from such a motley bunch. Absolutely inappropriate at a gig, of course. If I'm not being constantly jostled from behind, having beer spilt on me, idiots in front pogo-ing into me and at least two occasions of me giving someone the evil-eye prior to some confrontation, I don't feel like I've been to a proper gig. 

Regardless of this I thoroughly enjoyed the night. 

I am definitely getting old. 

Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell have put out two albums so far and an EP. The first album was the well received 'Ballad of the Broken Seas', and their latest collaboration is called, 'Sunday at Devil Dirt'. 

Their music is a mix of country, blues and rock. Most curious indeed, and very reflective of their musical backgrounds. 

Isobel is an occasional solo artist. She started with uber twee Scot rockers Belle and Sebastian as cellist, keyboard player and occasional singer. Since then she's put out a couple of country-esq discs. She was a breathy singing voice, almost dreamlike at times. 
 
Mark is a former grunger. He was (originally) the drummer and then singer for Seattle grunge band Screaming Trees. Since they split he pursed a solo career and regularly collaborates with one of my favourite bands, Queens of the Stone Age. I saw him about a month ago with one of his side projects, The Gutter Twins (where he sings with former Afghan Whigs frontman Greg Dulli). 
 
Campbell and Lanegan are a combination that really shouldn't work, but it does. Lanegan's deep growling vocals, and Campbell's serene breathy singing voice, almost dreamlike at times, combine in such a beautiful way...

Here's a little taster:

It's noice isn't it?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Le Cochon de Bonheur: Tension dans la salle de bain 3 (NOW WITH ADDED SOUND EFFECT)

Here it is, now partly revised, the final part in the Tension Trilogy (there will be NO more). 

Hopefully this answers some questions regarding some of the deep and meaningful stuff that came up in the previous two short movies. 

This really is my Return of the King; it's overblown, over long and by christ, it does not know when to end. 

Anyway hope you enjoy it. I'm off to see Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegen at the little Church venue 1 min from my flat. Noice. 


Enjoy. 

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Revelation Choquante! (Tension dans la salle de bain 2)

Or... My Sunday afternoon movie project. 

Enjoy...

Via Flickr and then YouTube - the flickr version I think is slightly better quality. 




Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday afternoon movie project

A little film created with my digi camera and the very basic iMovie...


If only I had a video camera, some decent ideas, a ton of cash and my youth back.

And now it's on YouTube - where it looks a bit crappier.


Friday, June 06, 2008

101 Reason's I'm going travelling - No.1

This was the most exciting part of my day: 



The fact that these aren't my eggs, this isn't my pan and that ain't my stove does not help to make this more thrilling.
 
These eggs were cooked in London SE1 - which to some may seem moderately more exciting, but I'm here to tell you it ain't. South East London (like most of London) is noisy, dirty, smelly and very busy. 

To be fair to the eggs they did form part of a delicious Jabob's Cream Crackers, butter and sliced boiled egg afternoon snack combo. I washed this down with a cup of tea, with one sugar, but no biccies - boo. 

I bought a little Canon Powershot in the US last year (think they're called the canon ixus here), I'm not at all a camera bod (unlike experts Sniffy and my lovely pal edwaado), however, I am very pleased with it; it's 8 mega pix which I think is noice and the little video facility isn't bad either (hence the little video, which is my first attempt to upload video to flickr and then onto the blog; this should be useful in South East Asia). 

Combined with iphoto on my macbook everything is piss easy, even for a total dobber like me. 

Art

Thinking of going along to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition on Monday. Tracey Emin is curating a gallery for the exhibition and this is already getting up the noses of the mass media who gleefully vilify anything Emin does, They understandably do this for two reasons;

1. Emin is a clever woman.
2. Emin is a clever woman.

I'm very fond of Emin's work which is much more than just My Bed; her monoprints from some years back are beautiful as is her photography and painting.  Check out some more of her work here.

She only curates part of the Summer Exhibition, but this has been enough to rain scorn on the event; to me this is enough reason to take a trip out to see it.

I will of course have my ipod with me; the prospect of listening to the waffle of the other gallery goers is horrific. I'm sure they're not all hideous tossers, but I'm just not willing to take any chances. 


Thursday, June 05, 2008

D'oh and a movie quiz

Oops, didn't mean to post that, fucktard, thought I'd bashed draft. Nobber.

See, that's the problem with doing anything early in the morning, you make mistakes, at least I do anyway. I'm not really effective until about 9 o'clock at night, and that only lasts for about 15 minutes.

Movie Quiz

Think it's time for a bit of movie quiz action - this isn't going to be easy peasy but this first one ain't that bad.

Here are two clues to a very popular flick - just name it.

1.  Dead monkey

2. "Ha, I bet you would!"

Simply.

Answers on a comment post please.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

London to Brighton: This is NOT the age of the train

train_wreck_at_montparnasse_1895_small

End of the Brighton line

Every other week, when the memory of my most recent drive between London Bridge and Brighton is still haunting me like the recurring nightmare of a recently deflowered socially train wrecked teenage at the hands of a toothless, scabies ridden embittered grandmother streetwalker, I decide that maybe the train would be less hassle.

It’s also not nearly as expensive.

Journey breakdown.

CAR

Brighton – London circa 50 miles

Diesel = approx 10 GBP

Congestion charge (outward) = 8 GBP (if I manage to remember to do it)

Congestion charge (return) = 8 GBP (ditto)

Parking (with vouchers) = 3 GBP per day

Total cost = Stacks, like can be over thirty quid sometimes, not to mention if I manage to get clamped, which i have 3 TIMES this year, at 120 GBP a pop. 

Obviously the cost can be reduced if I drive at night/ early in the morning, but seriously, who can be arsed.

Travel time = anywhere between 1.30hrs and 4hrs – honestly, when you set out on that journey it’s anyone’s guess. The only guarentee is if you set out in either direction at 11pm, in which case it can be done in 1hr 15mins.

TRAIN

For some reason I always walk to the station.

Return ticket (within one month and on any network) 25 GBP

Travel time = 30 mins walk to station

                      1hr on the train

                      15 mins walk from station

 

Wow, seems like a much better idea getting the train, right?

Nope.

Invariably, the train is old, dirty, stinky, very noisy and clattering about. The line between Brighton and London is dreadful, probably the result of way too many fat Londoners weekend day trips.

The train ALWAYS has some drunk on it, I think this is a policy. It will also have a number of yoofs. I’m not keen on yoofs for no other reason than they are the black hearted children of Satan.

Last time I got the train a family of about 6 fat, smelly, sweaty, drunken, sun burnt, football shirt wearing, tattooed up, almost to thick to string a coherent sentence together, bulldog puppy worrying, SARF Londoners sat right next to me. They proceeded to SHOUT EVERYTHING SINGLE FING THAT CAME INTO THEIR BLACKHOLE OF A MIND, and let their tick-infested mutt snuffle around unrestrained.

Between Clapham Junction and London Bridge they decided to have an argument about something, I think maybe they were trying to remember if they were related by blood or by Fosters lager. It quickly got heated and one of them stood up and walked to the other end of the carriage continuing to hurl abuse at the rest. Lovely.

I am English, so therefore I pretended nothing was happening; I had my gort nano on loud and a copy of Edge magazine (surprisingly quality videogame monthly rag).

Suffice to say, don’t like it.

In conclusion.

Avoid both London and Brighton. 

However, if you do need to travel, like I do to see the lovely Lou Lou (not a euphemism MJ), well, it may be a cunt in the car (it is if I’m driving) but at least you don’t have to share it with anyone else and you can listen to Radio 4 without someone calling you a tosser to your face.

Upon reflection...

Christ, I hope all my travel posts from the far east aren’t as misanthropic as my UK ones.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What's for dinner Meester Smeef?

Urgh, can’t be arsed to go shopping, going to London tomorrow for a week so really no point anyway.

So, lets see what’s in the fridge…

Hmm…

A couple of manky mushrooms…
Half a week old packet of Feta…
An egg…
Some Parma ham (3 curly slices)
Slowly liquefying bag of salad...
Some chillies…
Half a broccoli…
Some butter…
Almost empty tub of Guacamole…
Bit of a loaf…

So from these humble ingredients I shall be concocting this magnificent feast:

greencurrychicken
Is that a man in there... or something?...

Wow, tell me how!

It's quite straightforward as long as you follow this very simple guide.

Here’s how:

1. Get the best Thai takeaway menu out of the kitchen drawer where you stuff all the menus that are rammed through your letterbox every day of the week.
2. You’ll need a phone and a credit/ debit card. Alternatively you can use cash, but you will need to get this ready.
3. Phone the Thai place and order a Green Chicken Curry and some rice. I like egg-fried rice because I am a lardy bastard, you may want to try jasmine or steamed rice.
4. Maybe get some of those spicy prawn crackers.
5. Don’t order a starter, I know it’s very tempting but you just won’t finish everything and if you do you will feel bloated and be wracked with feelings of self loathing.
6. Here’s the important bit, speak slowly and clearly when giving your address. Remember the person on the other end of the phone may not use English as a first language, and if they miss hear you because you’re babbling away in that, ‘they should bloody well speak British as good as like what I do’ way that you do from time to time, you won’t get your Thai green curry. And in that circumstance who’s the one to lose out?
7. Agree a payment method.
8. Wait. My local Thai delivers within 20 minutes, depending on which evening it is and their proximity to you, you may be required to wait a little longer.
9. Once it arrives pay the fella and dish up.
10. Stuff your face and feel all happy as the chilli works its magic.

Perfik.

For pudding? Sod off, I've just bloody made dinner, sort your own pud out!

Monday, June 02, 2008

For the love of a beautiful game No 1: REZ HD

I’m a gamer, out and proud... 

... and have been since my parents got me a ZX Spectrum (48K 'natch) when I was 8 or 9. Since then I’ve seen them all come and go, the Commodore 64, the Atari, Megadrive, NES, SNES, Gameboy, PS1, Saturn, Dreamcast, N64, GBA, Gamecube, PS2, DS, Xbox; and I’ve owned and still own most of these and have an antique (esq) wooden trunk full of games.

Currently it’s all about the Wii and Xbox360. Don’t own a PS3 and don’t ever intend to.

I finally got onto Xbox Live at the weekend; this is basically Microsofts console server where you can download games, movies, updates, play games with others etc. 

I was after one thing REZ HD.

video

REZ originally came out for the Sega Dreamcast in 2001 (Garfer and Piggy already self-outed as owners; the shame of it!).  The Dreamcast was a doomed console from a manufacturer that had lost sight of what had once made it great. It was also not helped by a limited and poor line up of software and very very strong competition from Sony’s marketing giant. The game itself was not a success and due to the relatively few Dreamcast owners out there it disappeared. However due to it's critical success it was deemed worthy enough for a conversion for the Playstation 2 (I think) a year later.

It was moderately more successful but in light of an increasing trend for ‘realistic urban/war’ games such as the Medal of Honor and Grand Theft Auto series it was already somewhat of an anachronism – an on-rails shooter that last only an hour where most games were trading their desireabilty on many many hours of play (anything less than 20 hours of play is still seen as a rip-off). Few could see it's true worth. 

It again disappeared from gaming store shelves and 2nd hand bins, only to be found on eBay where it was changing hands (for both consoles) at only marginally less than when it was first released (albeit for an elite few, an anathema for the majority of old or 2nd hand games).

The thing is, REZ is not just a game. When you look at the trailer you can see that it appears to be about the visual and the music, and that is the point. It’s meant to be short because it’s meant to be played in one sitting; an hour of crazy shapes and booming beats that vibrate through your hands and arms until before you know it the games over. And although it does look complicated it is in fact very simple, point and shot. 

Just like a great album it has fantastic replay value; something many games simply do not have.

It looks terrific, and sounds fantastic. I hesitate to call it art because the issue of can games be art is so tired right now, and without the appropriate distance it’s impossible to be subjective. Saying that though, I’m certain REZ will be a contender when the definitive history of the first 100 years of video gaming is written.

Even better, Xbox Live has just released it as a download for only 4.00GBP and it’s in beautiful HD. The game looks absolutely phenomenal; crisp, sharp, colourful and loud. In fact the only thing to change is the HD aspect, everything else is as it was. Perfect. An absolutely bargain

GTA 4 is great, of course, and it may be a fun and bang up to date game now, but unlike REZ it just won’t be being played 8 years from when it was released; unlike REZ it will look old and yesterday.

REZ is pure gaming; fun, crazy and diverting. Sure it ain’t the real world but it has absolutely no pretense to be so.

Maybe next (and on a similar theme): JET SET RADIO FUTURE