Literally the funniest thing…

February 27, 2009

This is literally the funniest thing that I’ve discovered today.  I haven’t come across this concept before, to remake a music video with words that literally describe what is going on in the video.  Here are my favourite few from spending far too long on YouTube…

U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For

RHCP – Under The Bridge

Never Gonna Give You Up

(warning contains some Rick)

Lastly, this is slightly different, not a literal version but a bluegrass version of Billy Idol’s White Wedding – possibly one of the most mental videos ever made.

Book: Terry Pratchett “Reaper Man”

February 27, 2009

I like Death.  I’ve worked my way through the Guards series of Pratchett books and now I’m working through the Death books and he really is a fantastic character.  ‘Reaper Man‘ follows ‘Mort‘ which I finished earlier this month but really the stories don’t (and don’t have to) follow on from one another.  This is one of the characteristics of Terry Pratchett’s writtings I really like and something that I wish I had known earlier.

reaper-man-pbI had heard about Terry Pratchett and to be honest the thought of reading about some fantacy nonsense about a flat world on the back of elephants on the back of… etc.  never really interested me. It gave the impression that you had to geekily know all the background info and fokelaw to get anything out of it.  I assumed that you would have to start at the begning and work your way through or nothing would make sense – and that’s a lot of books to take on.

Now I think ( and I’ve not read them all so this may not hold true for all his books ) generally you could pick up any book, read it on its own and get a lot of enjoyment out of it.  The more you read the more you know about other characters and places but there is no great loss in not knowing these things.

In Reaper Man for example we meet Sergeant Colon of the City Guard on a couple of occasions talking to the unfortunatly not-dead Windle Poons.  This is fine, he is simply a side character in a couple of little incidents, unless you have read the books telling stories about the Guards in which case you know this guy very well and can tell exactly why he is guarding a bridge in case someone tries to steal it rather than doing something more ‘useful’ that may involve actual effort.

If you have never read any Pratchett start with Guards! Guards! – it seems to be a fairly safe bet.

So Reaper Man:  It is decided that this Death has too much character and so he needs to go.  He is given time, being a creature that lives outside of time this is new – so he goes off and works as a farm hand – reaping the harvest (one stalk at a time, but still very fast).  Meanwhile with no Death to collect the life force as people, animals, plants, etc. die there is a build up of excess life force not knowing what to do with itself.  Some tries to develop into a shopping mall but only partially succeeds. The Wisards go into battle against a compost heap and a small girl’s time runs out.

The highlight for me in these Death books so far is the general discovery of new things by Death.  Simple things like time passing, sleep, and so on.  It is very well described and often very moving, almost like Death has a soul – he doesn’t, but like that!

gig: The Ting Tings 25 Feb 2009

February 26, 2009

I saw The Ting Things back in May just when they were breaking with their first major hit – That’s Not My Name – it was a small gig at the QM, I hadn’t heard their CD at that point so didn’t know many of the tracks but they were an outstanding live act and even on the small scale they had a great performing style, lighting and visuals. I was a little nervous about seeing them again in case they didn’t come up to expectations and really wasn’t feeling like going to a mid-week gig but I’m glad I did.

The Ting Tings seem to have been constantly touring for the past couple of years and as there were no new tracks tonight I’m assuming they have been tweaking the same tracks live all this time.  The Ting Tings are a live band!  The CD is great, the videos are fun but they have to be seen live to be appreciated.  With only two people on stage (more or less) it takes a lot of energy to produce that multi-layered sound.

Music: The sound, look, performance, style, etc. of The Ting Tings  brings to mind post-punk, new-wave, early new-romantic sound of the early 80s for me.  I like their use of electronic keyboard sounds and drum machine, mixed with fantastic live drumming, sampling, guitar and now even a small 4 part brass section which joined them on a couple of occasions.

Performance: Energetic, sums up the Ting Tings performance style, but it has certainly become more rounded, professional and technical. Because of the multiple instruments Katie and Jules play you see the technicians on stage quite a lot doing change overs, putting things in place and frequently picking up things that particularly Katie has managed to knock over.  The brass section was a nice little addition to a couple of songs with two of them joining a little keyboard section of another song and even doing some live camera work in the finale.

Visuals: 8 months ago I liked that The Ting Tings were using interesting, simple, basic, visuals that seemed very accessible and added a lot to the show at that scale.  This visuals are now much more professional and complex.  The rear of the stage was a screen with multiple projectors (I never could really make out how many) and three screens above and in front of the stage.  From my viewpoint this was one block of visuals and worked fantastically together.

Sometimes the visuals were live, but never simply magnification to show the crowd a close up of the band – if the visuals were live it was small cameras in among the drum kit or on Katie’s feet dancing or with heavy effect filters or on the crowd along the front of the stage.  Other visuals were abstract and frequently bore no direct relation to the song – always really really good!!!

Venue: This is the third time I’ve been to The Academy, but the first time in the Balcony.  I didn’t actually know there was a balcony and generally I don’t like seated gigs, but this was fine.  We ended up right at the back but still had a good view, didn’t have people pushing and shoving all the way through the gig. Perhaps this is a sign that I’m too old for standing gigs?


Baby Slippers

February 24, 2009

wrong in so many ways, but I still think I would wear them…


What happened?

February 23, 2009

It’s time for bed on Sunday, and I feel like I’ve missed the entire weekend – and not in the good way. What happened to make sat and sun go so quickly when mon to fri took forever last week (and I was off last monday!)

Reminds me of a Douglas Adams line which I think goes “Time is an illusion, lunch time doubly so.”

Have a good week.


February 20, 2009

Great news …

This blog is now available in HD!

(to access HD mode, move face closer to screen)

who is looking after the President?

February 19, 2009