7/21/2005 06:12:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|I think Russell T Davies might live in the flat downstairs from us - I know he lives in Cardiff Bay. Today I found out that one of the people on the tenants association for the building is called Russell Davies. I might go and knock on the door and ask a few questions. If he fails to provide a convincing explanation for what Bad Wolf was all about, I will know it is indeed him.
We saw The Descent, the new Neil Marshall film, last week. It was a lot grimmer than Dog Soldiers - pretty intense and gruelling and just downright unpleasant in parts. So obviously I loved it. I've only been potholing once, and I thought I enjoyed it, but this film put me right off going down into the earth again. And that was before the flesh eating nasties showed up.
This is an extract from the new film by Henry Selick. It looks very nice.
I am blogging to:the bit at 5.15 in "Cowgirl" by Underworld where the keyboard line comes in and it is like every guitar solo you ever heard in your life all wrapped up together and spraypainted silver|W|P|112189447611530582|W|P|Hello, just wondering if you can explain all that heart of the Tardis stuff? No, thought not.|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/15/2005 04:18:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|In a shameless steal from Marcus' blog, I'll mention a couple of books I've read recently. First up was Michael Marshall's Blood Of Angels. Now, I remember him when he was Michael Marshall Smith, writing some really good science fiction at the back end of the 90s, with great ideas thrown away on almost every page (Spares and One Of Us come particularly recommended). These days, he's writing serial killer novels. The first, The Straw Men was pretty good, convincingly nasty with enough fresh twists on this hackneyed genre to keep me reading. But then he wrote two more. The Lonely Dead had an engagingly bonkers Bigfoot sideplot that rather disappointingly fizzled out, but this new one doesn't even have that. Don't get me wrong, it's perfectly competent, and kept me solidly entertained for the couple of hours it took to read (in one sitting, I should add), but my abiding feeling on finishing was that he's better than this. I hope the next book is either a radical departure, or actually does something with the Straw Men mythology it seems he's built up only to ignore.
I've also read a couple of novels by Mark Poirier, whose territory is the American Southwest, and the idleness it inspires.Goats in particular stood out. In some ways it reminded of the film Igby Goes Down, as it's about a lost boy not really fiting in at an expensive East Coast private school, but the marijuana-fumigated descriptions of the desert and the Goat Man father figure character make it comfortably it's own work. I really enjoyed this and Modern Ranch Living, maybe because of the endless dry heat that's been beating me down the last few days here, although both evoke massive open limitless landscapes that I can only dream of here in South Wales.
I am blogging to:Bob Dylan|W|P|112137039427299522|W|P|Jackanory|W|Pemail@example.com/15/2005 05:09:00 PM|W|P|Marcus|W|P|Yep agree about Blood of Angels, you should read some John Connolly, especially the first 3 Charlie Parker books. Evil, nasty and bad :)7/15/2005 05:16:00 PM|W|P|Marcus|W|P|Oh and my comment on my blog a while ago about Blood of Angels, Black Angels and evil was more about the series in general as opposed to the individual books.
(Obviously no ones cares but still :) )7/12/2005 05:00:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|and I am so goddamned tired that while I logged on with the intent of writing something pithy, right now I just want to finish my wine and fall asleep on the sofa listening to spooky old Neil Young records
I am blogging to:Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere|W|P|112111212715237310|W|P|it is so goddamn hot|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org/03/2005 11:25:00 PM|W|P|dan|W|P|I'm listening to Television's The Blow Up LP (and it's a real LP, there's a lovely circle of green vinyl revolving thirty three and a third times a minute over there in the corner right now), and I have been struck by the urge to put something down about this music. Because this is it. This is what thirty years (at the time of recording) of rock music's evolution was reaching towards. This is what you play to sniffy critics who maintain that rock 'n' roll can't be an artform. It may well be the best guitar record ever recorded. When guitar fans talk about fantastic playing, they often end up discussing idiotic hard rock, made by men with names like Zakk Wylde and Yngwie Malmsteen. This has none of that slobbering meathead notes per minute virtuosity, or tiresome dependence on the blues. It's from somewhere else, icy and cerebral, but filled with passion and excitement. This is music big enough to contain both those extremes.
A live record, originally a bootleg, it was recorded on their final tour in 1978. It's like jazz in that it takes an existing set of material and then entirely recasts it, as the two guitarists, Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd, take the songs to places never dreamt of in the studio versions. You can hear echoes of Coltrane's sheets of sound in the improvised solos that dominate the record's two highlights, extended fifteen minute workouts on what are nominally "Little Johnny Jewel" and "Marquee Moon", but really it's otherworldly stuff. Rock music never sounded like this before, and sadly, it has all too little since. It's the first record I've listened to in a long long time that has forced me to stop, turn and look at the stereo, and made me feel absolutely subsumed in wonder, this beautiful angular electric noise that comes spiralling endlessly out of the speakers and picks you up and carries you along with it, until "Marquee Moon" finally ends, and you're left shaking your head and mumbling about how you didn't know music could be like that, could do this to you.
I am blogging to: you have to ask?|W|P|112040311454116097|W|P|Cadillacs And Graveyards, or Television Is Good For You|W|Pemail@example.com/02/2005 04:40:00 AM|W|P|dan|W|P|Yesterday afternoon I finally got the new Richmond Fontaine album. I don't mean got in the sense of bought it, I mean it just clicked with me after a month or so of baffled listening. I don't know why it took so long - it's very much in the lineage of Springsteen's Nebraska, and Neil Young's On The Beach, two of my favourite records. Just like those it is relentlessly downbeat, with sparse instrumentation, and lyrics telling stories of lives at their lowest ebb, people washed up and left behind. It's intimate and confessional, with Willy Vlautin's voice hardly ever rising above a whisper. He forces you into an amazing empathy for the characters in his songs, the gamblers, the battered wives, the drunks and the derelicts. You know life isn't going to get much better for these people (except maybe "The Janitor" and the woman he rescues), but you have to keep listening.
Maybe I especially enjoyed that kind of thing yesterday in reaction to my exploits of the previous night when, and here I am about to type something I never thought I ever would, I went to see U2. And yes, I am fully aware of the irony of writing that in a post immediately succeeding one crowing over Nike being embarrassed by Dischord records. I got some free tickets at short notice, and the Millennium Stadium is just a ten minute walk from my flat, so we thought "why not?". My first stadium rock experience. It is a weird beast, terrific spectacle but oh so distant. I was surprised to find that Mr The Edge is actually a pretty decent guitar player, and that I knew more U2 songs than I thought I did. Bono is a great frontman for that kind of huge spectacle - he is all big gestures, passion and portentous soundbites. Which is great when you're performing in front of 60,000 people, but probably a pain in the arse when he's in the queue in front of you at the local Spar and all you want is a pint of milk. Not sure how I felt about him telling me to "make poverty history" when I was sat in a seat that would have cost eighty five quid if I hadn't blagged it, either.
I am blogging to: Rev Hammer|W|P|112024843323626818|W|P|Miserable alt.country vs Bono|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org