Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Dananananayrkoyd - 29/3/2009 @ Clwb

Saw Danan at Clwb and enjoyed every second. I love the way they strip hardcore of all its meat-headedness and just keep the "we're all in this together" communal stuff. Breaking down the invisible barrier between band and audience. Their new 'thing' is to play some repetative programmed beats and have a breakdancing party in the middle of the crowd. Crowd was really into the whole show, especially for Cardiff (on a Sunday!). Impromptu Wall of Cuddles and everything. Nice seeing a band trying their best to entertain and the people reacting to it positively.

Decided earlier today (when walking up the stairs to the canteen in work) that the ultimate gig ever for fun would be Danan, The Mae Shi, and Les Savy Fav. Imagine it!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway

I just finished reading The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (who, it turns out, is John le Carre's son). I really enjoyed it. It's very geeky. Pirates, ninjas, kung fu, mime artists, truckers, soldiers, and corporate lackeys all thrown together in a post-apocalyptic satire of the Iraq war. Of sorts. The writing is very kinetic. Words spin and ricochet off the page, turn down dead-ends and head off on tangents. Quite breath-taking really.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

Been waiting ages for this. Spike Jonze's adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are. I have a vivid memory of reading the Welsh language translation a lot when I was little, sat cross-legged on the carpet of Mrs Williams classroom. I don't really remember what happens though I do remember the feel of the paper. Child goes off to the land of the monsters, becomes their king, and then goes home?

The puppet work looks lovely in the film, so glad they didn't use computery animations.

Photo Test

I'm only really doing this as a test. It's a photo I took on holiday in Canada. It came out wrong but I like it. I think I was trying to get an ultra-touristy shot of the Greek street signs.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Amazon Recommends - 24/03/2009

I’m a bit obsessed with Amazon Recommendations. Here is my Top 15 ‘things’ that Amazon.co.uk reckons I should spend money on (and my ‘thoughts’ on each one).

#1 - Generation Kill - Complete HBO Series [DVD] – I will definitely be buying this at some point. Because, like everyone else on the internet, I loved The Wire.
#2 - Homicide: Life on the Street - Season 1 [DVD] – More Wire related. I’m curious to see this. Found the Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets book really fascinating.
#3 - Netherland by Joseph O'Neill [Book] – I think this won an award or something. It’s about someone playing cricket in New York (and probably Nine-Eleven).
#4 - 30 Rock - Season 1 - Complete [DVD] – I caught the first couple episodes of this on one of the Channel 5 spin-offs. It seemed quite amusing. Would like to watch.
#5 - Dark Was The Night: Red Hot Compilation [CD] – has a couple of ‘exclusive’ tracks by bands I like on. The National. Arcade Fire. Probably some other people.
#6 - Gomorrah [DVD] – All the reviews for this said it was ace and really brutal and non-glamorising (uglifying?) and generally Worth Watching.
#7 - Generation Kill by Evan Wright [book] – If it wasn’t for the Wire connection I probably wouldn’t be interested in this. Will watch the series first and then see.
#8 - Fuckin A - The Thermals [CD] – I have the other albums on vinyl (and the new one on ‘t-shirt’). I want this on vinyl. I can’t find it on vinyl for less than £40!
#9 - Saint Dymphna - Gang Gang Dance [CD] – I don’t really know anything about these. Bloggy hype. Plan B cover stars.
#10 - In Ear Park - Department of Eagles [CD] – I saw Grizzly Bear once. It was good actually. I never investigated further, and so I’ve not heard this off-shoot either.
#11 - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand [CD] – Used to love ‘the Franz’. Quite liked the comeback single too. Not bothered at all about this. Might even tick it as ‘not interested’.
#12 - Where You Been: Remastered & Expanded - Dinosaur Jr [CD] – This Band Could Be My Life. Will get round to buying this eventually I’m sure.
#13 - The Corner (HBO Mini Series) [DVD] – More from the Wire family tree. I’ve got the book on pre-order already.
#14 - Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates [book] – Classic Book. Not really interested in it. I’m judging that purely on the film trailer, which seemed to be 2 people being miserable in a house.
#15 - Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Pains Of Being Pure At Heart [CD] – More bloggy hype. Another band I’m mentally cataloguing under “A Bit Like Vivian Girls”. They probably sound nothing like Vivian Girls.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Animal Collective and Japanese Food (Bristol)

Last night I went to see Animal Collective in Bristol. Amazingly, we only got lost once on the way. What was really amazing was that the 'wrong turn' I took actually got us to exactly where we wanted to be but we didn't realise this until we looped back around to get 'back on course'.

Found a nice Japanese restaurant and I had an increasingly firey beef ramen* which I really enjoyed.

First time I'd ever seen Animal Collective despite enjoying their music for a good few years so I was looking forward to it. Bits of it were great. They did 'Chores' really slowly and then at normal speed, which was brilliant, and they ended the main set on a killer double-punch of 'Fireworks' and 'Brothersport', but other than that I found the whole thing a little flat. I just didn't connect with it in anyway, and by the end of the encore I was a little bored and itching to get home. Maybe it was just a Sunday thing? I'd still go and see them again I suppose.

* - Here's a vid of someone eating ramen (side note: quite difficult to YouTube search for 'Ramen' without finding loads of emo music vids) :

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Home Style Chicken Curry by Atul Kochhar

Just made THIS* chicken curry from a recent Observer Food Monthly and it was very nice. Simple to make though I did add a little bit of water to help break the tomatoes down a little. Didn't think to take a photo, we've got enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow though. Tactical move.

I went to Atul Kocchar's restaurant Benares for my birthday last year. It was pretty amazing. When the waiter collected my empty (wiped clean) plate he told me that it was "an inspiration to the Chef" which I was pretty chuffed with until I realised he said it to everyone. Everyone except the woman on the table next to us who only took about 3 mouthfuls. Idiot.

* - it's #3 on the the list.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

ATP: The Fans Strike Back - Voting Round 2

I can't really remember who I voted for in the first round, but here are my votes for round 2.

  1. Deerhunter
  2. Mudhoney
  3. The National
  4. Dinosaur Jr
  5. Liars
I had hoped to vote for the Thermals but they're busy touring in the 'States'.

Here's a live video of Deerhunter I found on YouTube