Saturday, 31 December 2011

counting down

ok, we all know what's going down tonight, and we've just about finalised what we're gonna be doing tonight, which isn't much to be honest, but anything to do with New Years Eve must involve a tremendous amount of mucking around so that you can subscribe to the cliche that New Years Eve must be an amazing celebration

and since december is nearly over once again, we must wait another 11 months before it is officially ok to watch Elf again, so let tune into the sweet sounds of Zooey Deschanel teaming up with 500 days of summer co-star Joseph Gordon-Lovett




this video, along with a couple of free mp3s and looks towards 2012 can be found over at my music blog Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

and i'll see you all on the other side....

have a good one

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

all wrapped up

well, i've done my celebrating and eating (and more eating) and taken my little sabbatical from checking websites and social networks that really shouldn't be a part of anybody's christmas celebrations, so i thought i would pop back in to share a little of how my holidays were constructed

my brother has already revealed his intentions of never paying for wrapping paper ever again, and he supplied me and my girlfriend with some wonderful presents this year, including a magnetic black knight who now adorns our fridge (in four pieces)

of course, it is the giving that is more important than the receiving, and i think that i managed to undertake all of my christmas shopping without breaking the bank (if you ignore the bundles of money that we must have spent stocking up our food and drinks cupboards in preperation, which still remain, for the most part, well stocked)

this has meant that i have been in and out of charity shops and picked up a number of good quality bits and pieces in order to keep costs down, not only that, but i had a part in handmaking a gift and a couple of soft toys that were given as presents, not only has this given me pleasure to do, but it means that these presents were unique and thoughtful and were appreciated as such

and for members of my family, that i tend to only see once a year and do not really have a great insight into their tastes and preferences, i would be a fool for spending a fortune on shit that they may not even like and may end up given to charity.

so instead i go straight to the charity shop with the intention that if they really are not keen on it, the charity shop will have benefited twice

the board games went down well one year, as did the books that i bought (well, i presume so from their reactions anyway)

this was was perhaps not quite so successful.

it seemed a natural progression to buy them all CDs.

like i've said, i do not know their tastes and preferences, so i instead searched high and low for some music that i would like to recommend and perhaps turn them onto.

by now, my cousin's Bowie loving husband will have opened his Robbie Williams CD.



my cousins seemed thoroughly uncertain of Artful Dodger's All About The Stragglers and George Martin's In My Life collection of Beatles covers

Artful Dodger Mini Mix :)

and i'm not even sure my aunty and uncle even thanked me their respective presents of Macy Gray's On How Life Is and Dashboard Confessional's Places You Have Come To Fear The Most

after taking out the CD and perusing the inlay booklet, he still seemed none the wiser (and no more grateful)

he did mumble a little while later that it was a shame that he did not have a dashboard to get it working on....


oh dear, better luck next year i guess...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

what's the worst that could happen?

the last couple of articles i submitted to the Enfield Advertiser that were unjustly ignored did not cover a local angle, and i wonder if maybe this contributed to the reason they were not picked up to run, or perhaps they just shunned them regardless.

so i'm making one last ditch attempt to see if my local newspaper has any interest in actually featuring stories on local bands, by submitting this piece on Worst Case Scenario that i have just run over on my music blog Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

and just to keep you up to date on what i've got going on over there i thought i'd bring it to your attention over here too

so give these guys a listen....

in a band?


broke?


don't worry about it.


shunning expensive studio time, Worst Case Scenario show local bands how it should be done, self recording and self releasing their debut EP.



'Lost In The Element', available through iTunes, is a clear indication of a D.I.Y ethos prevailing and proving how a clear talent and determination can shine through and give hope to other bedroom musicians.


Formed in 2005, Worst Case Scenario have garnered six years of experience performing live and becoming a well respected act amongst Enfield's musical community, and it is these years, along with a recent roll-call shake-up that has lead to the long overdue recording of 6 tracks, that were released in late October.


A laptop with Cubase was set up, a microphone was borrowed, £10 was invested in a pop-shield, a mic-stand was improvised by taping the microphone to the side of a door, and some friends and family were roped in to provide shouted vocal takes that were recorded onto a phone before being added to the final mix


and yet, aside from the EP's interesting and inspiring creation, the music speaks clearly for itself.


Mostly a mid-tempo affair with a number of crowning flourishes, the tracks featuring on 'Lost in the Element' connects the dots between a number of disparate influences, touching on the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paramore and KT Tunstall amongst others.


As the EP plays through the opening 'Intro' and into 'Point of No Return' the band lay down their wares as a serious band with considerable talent, showcasing a tooled-up acoustic sound that permeates throughout the release.


with 'Save Myself' and 'This Is Your Truth' the strength of these mature songs, belying the youthfulness of the band, holds strong, whilst the musical direction simmers down until it reaches the stripped back, yet overwhelming, stand-out track, 'Whole Again'.


The EP seems to hinge on 'Whole Again', taking in the listener as the the pace has eased through four tracks out of six, only to be hit by a breathtakingly beautiful track that is all the more fragile through the sliding contrasts that have lead to that very point.


leaving us with only the closing salvo of 'Throw It Away' to once again kick things up a notch and round out an accomplished EP that signposts a promising future for Worst Case Scenario.


It may not have the professional sheen that these songs are clearly deserving of, but this is only the cherry on the top of a very pleasing cake that is missing,  it is still a powerful set of songs recorded and released in a manner that is a testament to one young band's capabilities and conviction.

 stream: Worst Case - Whole Again

Monday, 12 December 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas

oh yeah


the christmas tree is up, personally picked and felled in the beautiful landscapes of Morrison's carpark

so it is about that time of year again where i whip off my kit and and allow you to download (for free, i know it has been a tough year for you) my cynical christmas single



and since we are living in a more environmentally aware age, you will be pleased to know that i have been recycling this song since 2008, and that this wonderful digital download has not been manufactured in china and transported across oceans by carbon monoxide fumes

with every year that passes, my sentiments that i sarcastically put into this song strengthen, sick of the christmas that we are having marketed at us every late october through december


help yourself

and please feel free to share



Hunchbakk - www.xmas.com




thanks

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

what draft? first draft?

ok, i'm sticking with this writing theme for just a little longer, until i get distracted by reading comics or something at least.




and i had been asking what happens next.


when i first discovered the notion of NaNoWriMo, it was on a BBC Breakfast feature, with a couple of authors sat on the couch next to the hosts.

they talked about the lost opportunities of all those that had ever considered writing a novel, and i counted myself among them, and they talked of using these 30 days to just write anything, just to keep writing, and i did, and they talked about taking that first draft, and giving yourself a break from it, and returning to it in january to edit your first draft, create a second draft, possibly edit that later in the year, and so forth, until it if done.


first draft?

what?


yeah, ok, i guess it is.

but keep whittling away at it, time and time again?  i have conceded to the idea that it will need editing, it was slapped together so hastily that, above all else, it does need a second look to eliminate all spelling and grammatical errors (unless they were intentional), but i've been giving more thought to this...

i may change my mind, but i'm unsure if my 'novel', my NaNovel if you wish, really needs 'editing'.

i think it may well go through a number of changes if it is called for, and some of it most certainly is a bit of a mess, but it is my mess, and maybe, just maybe, i'm a messy worker.

some of the thoughts that spilt forth from my mind, splashed across this novel, may have no real place in modern literature, but why should i let a little thing like that stop me.


this is not my money-maker, this is not my retirement fund, this was a writing exercise, thas was fun (sometimes), and rewarding.  and i may even self-publish it.

but i like it the way it is.


my writing has always existed that way.  almost like an impulse.
to be acted upon.   and then that is it usually.




i read Roger McGough's autobiography a few years back, and was surprised to read that he writes poetry and revisits it and revises it accordingly, working on it until it is complete.

and i was shocked.

not once had i tried to write my poetry this way. i had never even considered it.
so i tried it.  and i didn't really like it.


and last year i wrote my first ever 'short story'.  in one sitting.  and had no desire to change a thing.


perhaps i am foolish for considering my work finished.

or perhaps that is just my style.


perhaps i'll find out in january when i attempt to re-read my very first 'novel'.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

cosmic odyssey

and now i am just wondering where to go next.






i did spend the few days after completing my NaNovel not really knowing what to do with myself, knocking out a blog entry, but other than that, feeling slightly lost without the crutch of frantic and near-constant writing to lean on.


i could feel how devoting so much time to it had seemed to have given my life purpose, and how blocking out practically everything else (plus the looming deadline) had given me a strong focus.


sadly i feel it slipping away from me already, as 'normal' life creeps back in and all the jobs i had put off until i had finished writing now needed doing.

in addition to housework etc, there is still some more home improvements that need further advancing (if not finishing) before christmas, mix in my intentions to record another christmas single, a follow up to my 2008 effort, and also wanting to learn to play guitar a little more competently and my time is soon spent.  and then there is the full time job that i will need to fit all of this around.

i've also made promises of a couple of reviews of Enfield bands that need to go up on Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle sometime soonish and seeing if the Enfield Advertiser will go on ignoring pieces submitted on local acts by a local journalist, which i probably can't do until i've rewired some speakers, and i guess i've got my work cut out for me yet again.


progress on the NaNovel will wait for now, i'll take another look at it in January perhaps, give myself some distance from it and return to it fresh in the new year to work on a second draft, but for now my girlfriend is reading her way through it, and i am preparing a pdf copy to fire off to a handful of people for judgement.


and if i could find the time to write 50,000 words in just 29 days, i really haven't got much of an excuse for infrequent blogging, have i?

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

has absence made the heart grow fonder?

i would like to apologise.

if you read the last blog post that went up on the 2nd of november, then you are probably aware of why i had taken leave for so long.


it was not that i wanted to, but once i was caught up in my NaNoWriMo novel, it became difficult to escape it.

i have a passion for writing, clearly for writing about just about anything from the past form of this very blog, i have had a passion for writing about the music i love, whether it is being published or not, and i wanted to take up this challenge and write a novel.

50,000 words in 30 days.

mine weighed in at 50,778 when i verified the word count last night.


it was enjoyable, and it was stressful, and it was so rewarding to have crossed the finish line, and to have crossed it with time to spare.


it was not looking quite so hopeful earlier this month, i had been writing daily, writing under my own steam, and figured i was not too far off the cumulative word count expected when trying to attain 1,666 words written each day, some days i had missed and i hoped others had made up for it.

on day 17 i took a break from the writing to log back into my NaNoWriMo account and log my word count, only discovering at that time that it would be input onto a dandy little graph and would spout statistics at me.

this was wonderful.

what was not quite so wonderful was the fact that even writing just short of twenty thousand words by that point, i was still over 8,000 off par.

the stats told me my average daily word count to date, how many words i would need to write daily to finish on time, and if i kept going at the rate i was, i would finish on the 13th of december.


much like drivers always aim to beat the little estimated time of arrival that their sat-nav displays as they set off on a journey, i too aimed to whittle down the days and reign in the challenge.  i would be proud of myself regardless of when it was complete.  but i wanted to do this.


and that is my excuse really.





i'm sorry i couldn't share any words with you over the course of my writing, almost everything that fell from my mind was channelled straight into the novel, i allowed myself the timely distractions of tweeting, but to have given any kind of worthy update on here, or to share anything on here at all, would have felt like a squandering of words that were much needed to plump up my novel.


so now, on this last day of november i sit here.

relieved it is over.

proud that i made it.

contemplating my return to blogging.


and with a rather attractive handlebar moustache to boot.

(please donate what you can afford, thank you)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

what month is it?

there are a number of answers to this question.

a couple of which i shall look at in some vague sort of detail.


the most obvious answer would be November.

this is correct (1 point to you)


but over the last few years or so, men have been cultivating cookie dusters to raise money and awareness for men's health charities.

this well-meaning trend has seen the month formerly known as November now dubbed as Movember.

and since i thoroughly enjoyed showing off a bit of top-lip fuzz when i went to a screening of Anchorman, and quite impressed to people's reactions that had seen photos of my moustache, but not actually met it, i decided it was only right for it to make a return, for charideee.


the plan is simple, you start November 1st clean shaven, then let nature take it's course until you have enough facial hair to groom into something fascinating

i would be grateful if anyone feels the need to donate via my profile

(i expect contributions to be low whilst i go through the primary stubble phases)

and i shall update y'all with imaginative self-portraits over the course of the month





it is also NaNoWriMo

which looks like some kind of maths equation or a distant relative many times removed from the periodic table, but it is in fact a campaign to engage people in writing for the whole of November (or Movember, or NaNoWriMo)

and as someone that has spent years thinking that i would make a brilliant novelist, if only i would just get my head down and get on with it, this movement is pretty much geared towards people like me

alas, when i struggle to keep my blogs updated and barely find time to do any of the things that i genuinely intend to do, i can't promise how i am gonna fare over the course of the month, the aim (set forth by the campaign) is to complete a 50,000 word novel, broken down, this is over 1,600 words a day, and i didn't exactly get off to a flying start, or any start at all, yesterday.

shit.

less yapping nonchalently.

more natural facial hair growth and unnatural feverishly paced novel writing.

wish me best of luck at both (please)

Friday, 28 October 2011

star of wiki

strange how some things all of a sudden get turned around

from writing for my local paper as a music columnist to wondering whether they'll ever print anything else from me ever again

from having good relations with my editor at glasswerk, to having a blooming amazing understanding with her successor  only for him to leave and all and any glasswerk activity to have dried up completely


but my last editor, in the brief time he was there, sent me some awesome stuff to review

when asked for musical preference i did wonder if i was giving him a tough time with my nit-picking and obtuse reply, but he just 'got' me


and for a lot of what he did for me, and for a lot of the music he sent me, i am grateful


and it is through my uber-wunderful ex-editor that i have attained one of my own personal goals

yup, if you look hard enough, you shall find me on wikipedia

ok, so it is nothing quite as spectacular as having an entire entry dedicated to me, listing my swimming awards (yellow and green), my achievements (good at Creep and This Charming Man on Singstar) and my allegiances (Monster Munch Fan Club and Dennis The Menace Fan Club) but it is still pretty amazing to think that somehow i have made a contribution to the world that was considered worthy of record on the ever-growing, ever-expanding and ever-omnipotent wikipedia

what it is in fact is my opinion on a contribution to the world that was considered worthy of record on the ever-growing, ever-blah blah blah wikipedia




heck, this is an awfully long winded way of saying that if you read the wiki-entry for Crystal Fighters 'Star Of Love' album and keep on reading into the sub-category dedicated to opinions on the Deluxe version of the album, you will find my name, and a quote from my glasswerk review, that sounding out of context sounds rather negative

it sounds rather negative because it is preceded by this introduction...

'Various other reviewers have, however, commented on the re-release in a somewhat more negative light.'




argh


ok, let me clarify


i bloody love the album


it is amazing


i bloody love Crystal Fighters


they are amazing




what i am less fond of tho are pointless money-suckling re-releases that slap a bit of extra fodder onto an album


but you know what, the extra tracks are still bloomin' amazin'


and i got sent the album for free, so i didn't have to pay for it!


honestly, i'm full of positivity, i reject negativity


my real issue is the 'tacking on' of extra tracks, no matter how great they are, that are simply added on a whim in order to add extra time to an album's natural lifespan, and piss off those that bothered to shell out for it the first time round




all this is kind of by the by


and a little outdated


and a little rambling








................................






hey, my name's on wikipedia!!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

something's missing

it was with certain pride that i took up my mantle as 'music columnist ' in The Enfield Advertiser

ok, so it was hardly the Observer or NME

but it was stilla column that i had been reading for years, a column that i had applied to write for a number of years previously, and through the local music scene that (for a little while at least) thrived i had got to know the guy that pipped me to the post when they were last looking for new blood


but now it was my time to shine

heck, it wasn't always easy going

there were a fair number of articles that were published long after i had submitted them, and also a considerable few  that were never published at all

i toiled on tho

and i think i done Enfield a great service, introducing Flamboyant Bella and Die Antwoord to a wider audience, musing on the influence and insight of Mike Skinner, popping along to gigs by Deadmau5 and Frank Turner and plenty more besides

most importantly, i gave a lion's share of my columns over to covering and discovering the exploits of Enfield based bands and grass-roots events that gave them a chance to shine


and even despite a blip when the future was uncertain, my columns returned and it looked as if the centre section of the paper known as 'The Weekender' that dedicated itself to culture and entertainment, may have been given a reprieve from the extinction it had been threatened with

those that follow my blog already may already be familiar with what happened next tho, as strike action was taken in the face of a once-great paper being run by an over-stretched skeleton staff as journalists were leaving and not being replaced.

these were the death knolls of the quality paper that people had come to expect

and things were only going to go from bad to worse when The Weekender editor and stern campaigner for improvement at the paper, Jonathon Lovett, left the Advertiser in September.

he contacted each of the journalists that contributed to his section, informing us that despite his departure, no decisions had yet been made on the future of The Weekender, we were breifed to 'keep calm and carry on' as it were and given a new contact for submissions


it is just such a shame that my submissions since seem to have been ruthlessly ignored.


it is yet another devastating blow to Enfield's music scene that suffers continuous setbacks, it is a shame that The Enfield Advertiser now offers less content than ever before, and it is a shame that i have had a platform that i used to shine a light on others, taken away from me.



music articles and opinions will still continue to appear on my music blog, Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Female Superheriocs in the DCnU and the quest for more boobs

i may not have had time to write about it yet, but i have been making time to catch up on the brand spanking new DC universe that has been ruffling feathers since September '11.

ok, so nothing is further than the second issue as we speak, and i've been working my way through a handfull of the #1s after reading Flashpoint and making the decision to completely bypass Blackest Night and Brightest Day since they haven't even happened now anyway, oh wait, hang on, or have they, bloody hell, all this confusion needs to be saved up for a DC confusion specific post

what i wanna focus on here briefly is the role of females in the new DCnU

forget stuffing them in fridges and depowering them, the females characters that i have read so far have all basically been sex on legs, prancing around in underwear for the titillation of presumably teenage boys and lonely geek men as if they were some kind of 2D stripper, oh, have you read Voodoo?! that one actually is a 2D stripper....

again, i think i'll touch on the bigger problems elsewhere, but lets take a closer look at Catwoman shall we

how close do you want to get....



ok, so that is just the first page.

and since this is the DCnU, this is your introduction to Catwoman.

no wonder people are up in arms about this, we're being flashed more boob than we're seeing face and it kind of sets the precedent for what follows, until things get even more full on...

one thing i don't usually believe in is spoilers, yet i'm unsure if this spoils anything since the issue is low on story and high on the boob count...

so, what happens next, well, she escapes from her apartment, yet still hasn't managed to dress herself properly,   she goes about her business tracking someone down, in disguise, but with her boobs hanging out, and by the end she is humping Batman... seriously, check out this blog for proof





and if you don't mind the prospect of having to burn your own eyes out, stick with me





c'mon, stay with me...









you ready...





aaaaaaarghhhhhhhhhh!!!


don't you just love simpsons fan-art inspired by overly sexualised comics.

i know that i don't.

sorry.

Friday, 21 October 2011

paint it black



oh yes, the black paint is out.

and i am back in the attic.



whilst the aim is to keep most of the house bright and breezy, the attic is a different prospect entirely, it will be my sanctuary, and possibly the boldest decorated room in the house since my girlfriend keeps nixing my proposed murals for other rooms.


yet it does feel slightly odd bringing darkness into what was a rather unbelievably spacious looking attic space, but it will be worth it once all the ideas are in place and come together properly.



and now we are raising questions over what will be done with the fireplace in the front room, i suggested the exposed brickwork should be painted white.... my girlfriend suggested we paint it black.

and i think she may be right

Paint it Black (Paradigm Remix)

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

'God bless you'



i have lived most of my adult life as an agnostic theist

and it is alright with me

i don't need to attend church, or fast for religious festivals, or study scriptures or sacrifice my first born or anything like that

i'm quite content to live my life and believe that if i strive to be the best person that i can possibly be then these efforts will not go unnoticed by the universe and whatever higher powers there may or may not be

i certainly have my own personal values that gravitate around the principle of karma, and i do wonder if there isn't really something in afew of these religions that are knocking around, i'll certainly take into consideration anything anyone believes and my even borrow from these beliefs if it suits me, i also went to a Baptist church sunday school when i was younger, and i definitely think it gave me a good grounding in life.


all this is getting away from the point, but may be useful background.


my work has recently involved more and more unreasonable stress, unreasonable customers, a pathetically faltering computer that doesn't make getting anything done any easier, a boss that expects too much and expects it now and a whole host of myriad factors that have made these last few weeks rather depressing.  but i'll live with it, i'll keep going in the hope that things will improve, and most importantly, i need to pay bills.

today was no different at all, worse even, throw in a fax machine that is ever-jamming and in my own personal life, a credit card company that is almost certainly retarded, and it was hardly a thrilling time working 9 til 5.

except one customer kinda made things better towards the end of the day.

i'd helped her out, shown her around a few bits and pieces and told her any information she wanted to know and that i though may of been helpful to her.  she said that she would let her nephew, her daughter and her grandsons know.  i made sure she had our contact details and also handed over a few 10% off leaflets.

i was only doing my job, and i take pride in actually being able to help people when they need it.

she seemed overjoyed at the discount flyers, and thanked me, and said

'God bless you'



now, let me clarify, this wasn't a habitual kind of 'Bless you' that follows a sneeze or anything, i could tell that she was grateful for any effort that i had made for her, and the way that she spoke made it obvious that she had a real belief in God

and it felt good, it felt like being touched by something

i could almost feel a glowing inside of me, as if through some brief verbal communication i had truly been blessed by a deity that i can't even honestly say that i have solid convictions in

this isn't my turning point, this isn't my announcement that i have seen the light.

but it was a beautiful moment that i wanted to share.


credit where it is due:


accompanying artwork, Angel by ~UnKnOwns

Friday, 7 October 2011

Geronimo watch 4

and so, for the second time this year, Doctor Who has finished.



despite early misgivings, i think that Matt Smith has truly made the role his own and it seems that we have lived with the cast of the 11th Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory for far longer than the two seasons and a crimbo special.

perhaps this is down to the odd splitting of season 6, which meant that after being here for a little while, it went away again, and then came back for just a short while longer and then went away yet again, it perhaps this is down to just another timey-wimey thing, where it goes all wibbly.

and i think that i only actually counted one 'geronimo' that i can remember, uttered in the season finale and nowhere near offensive as when it had been shoe-horned in multiple times in order to give the 11th
incarnation a bloody catchphrase.

so, this season, and the season finale (and even the silly mid-season finale), i must admit that i was rather impressed yet again, it may be true that not every episode was a stone cold classic, but i believe it definitely had more hits than misses, and even the misses were near misses in my opinion, hitting not very far off the mark, just a little bit wider of a usual high standard, but c'mon, nobody's perfect.

and i'm surprised at some of the negativity towards ' The Wedding Of River Song', i infact think that this has been one of the most satisfying finales in quite a long time, there seems to be an unwritten rule that the season should close with an epic story, that the stakes should always be higher and the action more, erm, actioner.

praise Ja, that this time they bucked the trend, look, didn't you get enough action and suspense and dramatic reveal in the mid-season finale, how much do you want from a fractured season that has already finale'd once?! i loved the more subtle sense of drama and soft glaze of confusion that surrounded this last episode, and the fact that the Doctor even took the time to revisit James Corden in the penultimate episode instead of crafting a high-octane two-parter was perfect pacing.

(spoilers ahead here people, look away now, or go watch BBC i-player of something)

we all knew the Doctor was not gonna die, and even tho we knew he wouldn't, he does anyway, there was no getting out of it this time, which makes a change, except of course he did get out of it, but we all expected that anyway, but they let you think otherwise even tho you knew otherwise, and i commend them for that!!

bloody hell, i'm rather bored of faux-danger being faced in each closing chapter of a series, if this version of the Doctor was likely to cop it, it never stays much of a secret that the current actor has chosen to make this series their last.



now with any luck, the Beeb will refrain from any urges to split the next series down any further into tantalising micro-series that will have three micro-series finales and another final end of season finale all spread out across the year, i haven't had any Doctor Who since Christmas, and i'm quite capable of finishing a whole one, thank you very much.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

the best jobs in the world...

like most of my days off, i did not have the telly on this morning

i simply got up and got on with things

i fixed myself a bit of toast, fetched my bike out of the shed and grabbed my i-pod off the dock in the kitchen.

i scrolled through, and stuck on Dizzee Rascal's Boy In Da Corner to listen to whilst i cycled to my Dad's.

when i got there, he stuck on the kettle, and i told my brother about a website he might be interested in.

we fired up my Dad's apple mac and i proceeded to retrieve the link from twitter.

it was only then that i saw the trending news

RIPSteveJobs

i was shocked

in a strange way

i knew he had health complications

but Steve Jobs just seemed to be a constant in this world


i don't know if i can truly say that i am deeply saddened by the news, not personally, but in some way, i do know that this existence has just lost someone that changed so much about our modern lives

with no thought about it at all i had already used two of Steve Jobs apple products that very morning, almost by instinct, they are so ingrained in our lifestyle

all those people walking around with their i-phones, all the music i keep on i-tunes, and my plans to pick up an i-pad in the not too distant future

all these measurable technological stepping stones that have transcended the realm of 'gadget' to become thoroughly mainstream and unquestionably accepted

and we have lost the man that made this happen

and if that weren't a startling enough thought, here is another

without Steve Jobs, we would never have had Toy Story.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Batmeme

i love Batman

and the internets love Batman

he has provided some classic moments rife for internet riffing


and since it is still on topic if you've been following recent blogs, here is a classic for you to enjoy


Monday, 3 October 2011

women in refrigerators

so lets continue from that cliff-hanger ending

as i am sure you are all desperate to know what happens next!

y'see, i didn't even realise at the time the comics were published that Kyle Rayner's significant other ended up sharing space with Green Lantern's milk and sandwich ham, and i had no clue that her bizarre death actually served as a springboard for a movement that focussed on the humiliating, severe or just plain old tragic circumstances that see so many female comic book characters suffering.



the Women in Refrigerator movement saw a list produced of superheriones and female supporting cast members that had been "either depowered, raped, or cut up and stuck in the refrigerator", those on the list of particular relevance to my own reading habits and my own blogging include Barbara Gordon's Batgirl (who was paralised and tortured at the hands of The Joker), Donna Troy (who seems to get a pretty bum deal everytime there is a universe wide shake-up) and other DC heriones such as Wonder Woman, Huntress, Black Canary, Jade, Starfire and Zattana seem to have been abused, raped and stripped of powers between them all.

and there is also the saga of Gwen Stacy, Spiderman's squeeze that met an unfortunate end when Spidey's attempt to save here ended in the worst possible way.



I love that Gail Simone (who went on to write, among other comic books, Wonder Woman, Action Comics and Birds Of Prey) got her knickers in a twist in such a huge, attention grabbing way, and i love that the whole premise of the argument is based on a hacked up female that has been rammed into a fridge.

Some of the points are entirely valid, and some points are irrelevant to me, but i can't help but feel, particularly wth the case in point Kyle Rayner, that for the sake of the story, and to properly convey the desired effect, those closest to the hero will suffer.

Perhaps i have missed the point slightly, and i will agree that there are a sizeable number of instances where female characters seem to miss out on all the luck, but losing parents at a young age or even losing your parents, your home planet and the entire race you belonged to are still gonna be pretty tough on the guys too.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

promises, promises

we in England have been promised an Indian Summer all week, it finally decided to arrive today.

most people pray that our country's pitiful amount of sunshine will actually land on their day off, but i tend to be quite the opposite.

whilst other people may relish the chance to laze about in the sun on their day off, i actually see it as an inconvenience, for whilst we are supposedly living in the future and so much of our lives depends on keeping our social networks up-to-date, i would much rather break away from the computer when the sun is shining, which means that remix-work or writing or blog-posts will likely go AWOL whilst i seek to spend my few hours away from housework out in the garden or on the sun-drenched streets.

owning your own home becomes such an enormous burden, waking up on a beautiful day to find that this unseasonal warmth means the bedclothes need changing, and of course the bedroom needs sweeping, and clothes need putting away, and the washing up too, not to mention the fact that i want to finish a remix that needs to be submitted today, when all i should really be doing in basking in the sun like a teenage mutant vitamin D obsessed turtle.

so with housework done, i proceed to prepare for our unseasonable Barbeque, it will be the first of october on saturday, today, on wednesday, just three days prior to that traditionally autumnal month, we are experiencing heatwaves and planning for BBQs, just a shame that the sun still seems to set at some time just after 7pm.

so i google some vegetarian BBQ recipes, head off to the Co-Op down the road to pick up a couple of ingredients, and then later, with my dishes ready to marinate and a couple of sailor jerry and cokes down myself, i proceeded to make room in my fridge for the influx of beer that i expect.

jars of olives and capers are repositioned, and tubs of philly are moved.

which reminds me....

didn't i say i was gonna post up some ol' draft blog posts...

last week i had gone looking into Forbidden Planet for a couple of back issues of some DC comics (that i never managed to find), particularly the DC Retro-Active line of comics, featuring stories by writers and artist from the '70's, '80's and '90's.

i was looking out for the 80's era Superman issue, anything featuring Batman, and the '90's era Green Lantern.

y'see, i liked Kyle Rayner, of course i liked Hal, but i was also quite into this new age of comic books that seemed to be occurring around me and the new blood in superhero talent that seemed to be taking over from some of the old guard.

of course it was all a marketing ploy back then and given time the status quo would be restored (hmmmmmmmmm) and of course, the new Green Lanterns and Green Arrows and whatever else would be usurped by their predecessors given time , but i didn't realise that then.

anyways, much like most plotting for modern day comic books, i have no idea where i thought i was going with this, but i do know that i told you guys that i was intending to shed light on some almost forgotten blog-posts, and y-know what, as fate would have it, the oldest of those posts actually does pertain to circa '90's Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and a rather unfortunate predicament his girlfriend found herself in..



see....

this is almost practically relevant to my BBQ preparations.

i had to find room in our fridge for all the chicken and other marinated meat that were likely to turn up.

and yeah, a bad guy stuffed Kyle Rayner's girlfriend in a fridge.

i might explain further tomorrow if the sun isn't shining.

otherwise you'll have to wait.........

Thursday, 22 September 2011

a second life for street furniture

those that are following this may be please to know that i am now the proud owner of a makeshift computer desk that used to be someone else's filing cabinet

it also handily doubles up as my filing cabinet now

i feel as if i am following in the ikea trend of life by having dual functionalities for my furniture

and i am also following the green way of living by rescuing a piece of furniture from the side of the road (with a lil help from my brother) and thus recycling it in my own home, meaning that not only have i saved this filing cabinet from becoming just another addition to a landfill site somewhere, i have also probably reduced my carbon footprint or something equally green and trendy to be doing by not having to buy a new piece of furniture

although i am in the market for some new furniture

probably from ikea

the home is slowly becoming a contrast of ikea products and stuff that other people no-longer seem to want (should i call it up-cycling, no, cos that sounds stupid)

a couple of our garden chairs had been discarded just down the road from me (although one of them does only have 3 legs, perhaps this is why it was no longer wanted), the extendable table was a bargain from a charity shop and the same goes for a couple of the chairs around it, other chairs in the house have also been chucked out of their old homes for no good reason, our tv unit has been up-cycled (hmmm) from its original purpose as bakery trays, in the spare room there is a, frankly, quite stunning re-upholstered chair that my brother up-cycled (arrgggghhhhhh) and gave to me as a present for my birthday aaand there is still a rather fetching trunk in the shed that i still haven't found a use for just yet, but i shall.

oh, and perhaps lets not mention the horse (or the dog).

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

the secret shame of street furniture

ok, forget revisiting the past for now, i got something else i wanna say


i've just got back from a quick wander around the block

i didn't intend to walk round the block, but i did anyway

my sole reason for leaving the house this morning was to claim a cheap looking little three tiered unit on wheels that had been sat in a front garden on my road for the last couple of days

and herein is where the problem lies.

the poor ejected piece of furniture was about midway up the drive of the house, and in my mind i consider this something of a grey area, i know for certain that there are other people that have no qualms (for i have seen them with my own eyes) about getting stuck in to a pile of rubbish or a skip on someone else's property, but i'd be happier to make myself known to anyone that may be in the house and make my intentions clear, just incase they find that helping myself is something they didn't want happening and i end up on the receiving end of some unwelcome attention or abuse

i actually went down to the house after work on monday and knocked, yet despite there clearly being a telly on, and i could see a PC all fired up and running and what looked like a socked foot, there was no answer, perhaps the socked foot wasn't actually attached to a working leg, i am unsure, but i could see that someone was obviously home, and even tho they didn't notice someone politely knocking on their door, i was concious that they may notice someone making off with something from their front garden, so i left it

i returned this morning with the intention of having it away if there was no answer again, it seemed a safer bet that most inhabitants would either be at work or at school, making for a slightly less embarrassing getaway

but i was too late, it was already gone, and i kicked myself knowing that someone with a lesser set of morals  had probably upped and away with it without so much as a second thought, whereas i had been mulling over the idea of helping myself to it since spotting it on sunday afternoon

i also kicked myself as i already envisaged it being put to use as a slightly more practical solution for my computer that is still temporarily set up in the front room, with the monitor set atop a folding table, which then has to be removed and stuck back on the floor if anyone fancies a cup of tea with biscuits or we have guests over and bring out the cheese and wine

i also pictured the small stereo sitting rather comfortably on the bottom shelf, whilst a few light reads, magazines or perhaps my library books might look rather smart in the middle gap

alas, it was not meant to be.

so, if there is a lesson to be learnt from this, i guess i should learn to lose my fear and slight social embarrassment and act upon my impulses, or else live with the disappointment

i decided that i wouldn't walk straight back home, instead i'd take a quick wander around the block (as you already know)

and what do i discover, a home throwing out a cheap looking filing cabinet, sat in the middle of their front garden, now, i'm not entirely sure what i'd do with it, but i'm sure i could find a home for it, i'm just not sure i'd feel entirely comfortable wheeling the thing home (presuming it even had wheels)

oh well, here we go again


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

saved as draft



i was just about to knock up a quick blog post, inspired by an image i had seen in a newspaper at the weekend, relating it back to an earlier post on this blog that it had reminded me of.

so, with picture uploaded i went searching through my archives in order to find the relevant post in question.

and it didn't exist.


blast it, damn, it must have been one of those ideas that i had previously had, yet never had the chance to fully flesh out, any self-respecting blogger will know that these are saved as drafts, so that they can be revisited later, updated and blogged properly.

yet any self-respecting blogger will probably also know that it isn't always the case that these drafts actually see the light of day.

they're just forgotten about, as you go about your normal bloggy life, whilst other ideas that come to fruition quicker supercede that initial thought and get left behind.

this also reminded me of another idea that i'd had way back when, when it had got to the point that i had a number of drafts that were being neglected.... 'hey! why don't i do a number of posts that finally shed light on those poor discarded nearly-posts!'

yep, that was the plan, except i never got round to doing that either.

i now have 120 draft blog posts. not all of these were destined for publishing, i sometimes use blogger just to put together ideas, or to work on reviews that end up on other websites, i tend to find blogger and it's auto-save a rather reliable tool and it also means i don't have to worry about where a word document is saved and having to take it with me


but considering my blogging can get a little bit slack occasionally, i think i shall have to go back through my saved posts and breath new life into them

and what can you expect?

hmmmm, well the missing post i went searching for featured a certain superhero clad in green that has resurfaced a few times since what should have been his initial debut on my blog. so keep your eyes peeled for that one....


but i can't be the only one with drafts piling up. what does your unpublished blog list look like?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

he's our hero




i've come to that age when you suddenly starting clinging to nostalgic memories, longing for discarded toys and feeling the need to revisit old tv programmes that had you glued to the idiot box in your formative years

this is why you'll find 80s cartoons gracing the t-shirt racks of many highstreet clothes shops, and why you'll find dvd reissues of classic cartoons

now that we have grown up and no longer ask our parents for money, we are invited to spend our disposable income on recapturing our youth, as if we didn't rinse enough of mum and dad's money on merchandise the first time round

and i'll pity anyone that has coughed up for something like the Thundercats box-sets, as a few years ago i got my hands on a video (retro, i know) of the Thundercats movie that he was chucking out, it is essentially the first few episodes cobbled together without any title sequences to break it all up, and it was utterly disapointing

obviously my under-developed brain was more than content with the flimsy stories that usually lead to fighting and a moral ending, i had thundercats wallpaper in my bedroom and oversized Lion-O and Mum-Ra toys that would also keep me entertained for hours on end, sadly, rose tinted memories were blown away by watching the cartoon with a more mature point of view (although i'd love to get my hands back on the toys, just for old times sake)

and now of course we endure barrages of remakes, either on the small screen or in the cinemas

Transformers enraged me, Turtles entertained me, and it is with trepidation that i shall view the new Thundercats cartoon


i've also come to that age where i have had friends over to my house who are younger than me, and looked bemused at mentions of Captain Planet.

guests at a superhero themed party were urged with a message from Captain Planet to recycle their empty bottles and cans in the correct bins

and even with nostalgia on it's side, Captain Planet is still considered something of a joke amongst those that witnessed it first time around


which is why the news that it is currently being considered for a cinematic revival is troubling news indeed.

cos to be quite honest, Captain Planet was shit.


but if Hollywood had the balls to handle the film like this (seriously or not) i'd be a hell of a lot more interested




let the campaign start now...

Don Cheadle for the power-crazed Captain Planet

Sunday, 4 September 2011

we're going through changes



so, as of this week, everything changed.

except some of it didn't.

not that i'd know too much about it, having just finished reading Battle For The Cowl and still not having touched Blackest Night and Brightest Day yet, let alone Flashpoint.

yeah, i'm talking about comics!


not only was the 31st of August 2011 an important day in my household, being the first anniversary of getting the keys to the house and going in and cleaning everything before settling down for a pizza and a night on an air mattress, it was also the day that followers of the DC universe may or may not have been waiting for, as the comics company swiped away a whole bunch of history and began re-numbering issues from #1, starting with JLA #1, ahead of 51 other other titles that shall be following shortly



i won't be clamouring to pick up a whole barrage of number 1 issues, to be honest, i doubt i'll actually buy any, there won't be much on offer to me as a comic book fan other than the chance to get slightly obsessive and delve back into the addictive world of buying monthly issues of comics, that i left behind some 11 or 12 years ago (not counting a slight blip buying the english reprints that got me hooked on Grant Morrison's run on Batman)

if there are stories worth reading that evolve from this 'new universe' than i shall consider stumping up for the collected trade paperbacks to find out why Superman doesn't wear his red pants anymore, why oh why can Barbara Gordon walk again and will Green lantern devise anymore crotch-mounted artillery?


these are comics tho, and i wonder how long it'll really be until the real reasoning behind a new universe is revealed, or how long until whatever changes are made are reversed, or rewritten, or forgotten or maybe just borrowed from in the next big shake up that will inevitably follow at some point or another.

but if i'm losing you... perhaps hear this guy out and see just why these changes are so important...

Friday, 26 August 2011

it's the geeking weekend!

not that weekend's hold any real importance to me at all, i shall still have to be in work tomorrow morning for what will be my 6th day working in a row, having juggled days off around so that i can go to my girlfriend's cousin's wedding sangi dance on sunday and to a cricket match on monday

so how do we roll on a friday night?

we flick through the ikea catalogue before watching the rest of the Harry Potter film she fell asleep during on sunday, we then quickly pay a credit card bill and discuss home insurance before sticking on another Harry Potter film that she promptly falls asleep during.

leaving me to finish off reading the last couple of issues of Battle For The Cowl instead of having to watch the same film twice over


i'm not quite sure if i'll get the chance to complete a geeky trinity of Harry Potter, Batman and Doctor Who this weekend, as i've been informed that a friend is coming over for dinner and is insisting that we watch Sex and The City

so i have been given permission to hide away in the bedroom and read comics and i shall have to play ketchup after this Bank Holiday weekend's excitement, and for those that have missed it so far, there is a little web-exclusive prequel to the returning Doctor Who knocking around, which i shall stick

right

about

here



and no matter how emotional the mid-season finale or this prequel may be - i still can't help but wanna laugh out loud everytime i read that:

The Doctor will return in

Let's Kill Hitler

Thursday, 25 August 2011

my list




there are a number of things in my life that i would like to do

occasionally i find it useful to make a list of the certain things that i want to achieve, and i know other people live their lives by constantly listing, i think i particularly find it fulfilling to cross through my list and slowly whittle it down to a short number og goals that have so far remained unobtainable

ok, so i know i bitch everytime NME decides to publish a list in it's magazine and that my last post was over a week ago, inching ever nearer to that two week mark, but those lazy gits actually get paid for bumping their heads together and sticking a bunch of things in numerical order, i merely try and jot down ever may be going through my mind, writing and updating in whatever free time my hectic life allows me

you've probably missed out on some real gems of blog posts that never were, simply cos i just wasn't able to get near a computer for long enough to communicate my ruminations..

which reminds me of something else i should probably add to the list..

this is what i want to do:


  • actually get my Riot Music EP completed
  • grow a proper beard
  • find a decent modern-looking blue sofa-bed for the spare bedroom
  • buy some frames and the blinds for the spare room
  • remember to actually properly look at the items on the pages of the ikea catalogue that i folded over so that i wouldn't forget
  • write up reviews/articles for the new EPs from Getaway and Twisted Hearts
  • try and blag my way into reviewing the autumn Crystal Fighters tour
  • and work on keeping Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle a little bit more frequently updated


of course there are tons more things i'll have to do, since i went to my cousins wedding last week instead of having time off for myself the upstairs floors need sweeping, but that was possibly getting far too mundane and pedantic to keep listing, oh and i should bring the wheely bins back up the drive this evening, but that would be stupid to give you each and every task and chore

i just wanted to let people know that i am still here

i am still writing (when i get the chance)

and i am still trying to get my house in order and inch slowly closer to having a complete looking (or at least updated) decor throughout

i'll refrain from using my blog as a noticeboard in the future

credit where it's due:

Monday, 15 August 2011

before the memory fades




i still can't believe that a week ago Enfield was the heart of trouble kicking off as riots took over the capital for a second night, it felt bizarre and terrifying that this could be happening in my home town and that the few clips that were circulating on the news were of places that i walk past virtually on a daily basis, so familiar, yet so different, transformed by the presence of riot police and organised chaos

thankfully things seemed to have calmed down now, but last week, amidst all that was going on, i tore myself away from the computer screen and wrote a short poem on the feelings that had been stirred inside me, this week, as situations were looking worse, i began expanding on this idea, and on others, to produce a few pieces of music to reflect the times and the tension

this piece is still slightly unfinished, it needs a little more tweaking and polishing to get it up to scratch, but i wanted to put it out before the memories fade


Riot Music EP: Track 1 (unfinished) by Hunchbakk

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

#Enfield



what a horribly bizarre and scary night

i should be going to bed but i wanted to put into words exactly how i feel about everything that has been going on, sunday night onwards

my dad had been in touch with me about the tottenham riots, making sure i hadn't been out in london and trying to get home, and news of the devastation was horrendous, but that was tottenham

when i was home from camping i just busied myself, stuck the washing on, washed up my cooking kit and had a bloody good sort out around the house, it probably wasn't until about half 6 or 7 that i turned on my computer and logged into facebook

a shot from the flats above the shops was being posted around, a photo of a smashed police car soon cropped up



there was shock and concern, and as the night drew on and darkness fell it all melted into a large overwhelming blur as hours fell into each other whilst #Enfield was trending on twitter worldwide and all there was to do was keep refreshing social networking feeds and flick between BBC and Sky news' slender coverage as it rolled round and repeated itself


waking up to the cold light of day brought an uneasy calm and a restless mind, i cycled into town to survey the damage done, though most of the reported damage seemed to have been confined to twitter, none of Krispy Kremes, Cineworld or Nandos had gone up in flames the night prior and petrol bombs on the a10 were pure chinese whispers that were soon being passed off as fact

Enfield Town itself was bewilderingly serene, cordoned off as the town played host to plenty of curious visitors that were more confused by it all than shaken in anyway.  some premises faired better than others, ranging from a handfull of broken windows to full on looting from sports and electrical shops.

My work was still open, we suffered a broken window along our shop frontage but nothing else, as the sun beamed and people busied themselves it all felt slightly anti-climactic, friends dropped in as they passed by and a couple of pints sunk in The George beside a deserted one way system and police line all contributed to a strange buzz as people came to terms with what had happened

but as the afternoon drew on and grey clouds drew overhead, the atmosphere visibly changed, talk of offices recieving advice to evacuate prompted an ominous vibe that hung heavy in the air, more rumours were dispensed through the day that the same was expected tonight, or that it would be hitting Barnet and Waltham Cross, or Brookfield Farm and Brent Cross

again, rumour and false reports were rife on the way home, my best friend rang me to warn me of a vehicle on fire on Turkey Street just before i had made it that far, i proceeded with caution, but there was no truth in it at all


and i wanted to keep clear of it all this evening, i pulled up weeds in the garden and favoured Don't Tell The Bride over rolling news coverage of scuffles and fires in peckham, i put on a film to escape it all for a couple of hours, but sadly it was all still there, and worse than ever as curiosity got the better of me and i checked the news for a quick update

you don't need me to tell you what is going on all over london, and also in birmingham, i am purely sickened by it all, i'm not sure if there is anymore that needs to be said on the matter, and that is certainly all i will say for now

so as i finish typing this up, and prepare to power down, helicopters overhead and regular sirens wailing are still audible.

good night london, i'm praying for a better tomorrow tonight