29 November 2006
But I have managed to listen to some new music and in particular The Lost Levels self titled album, or rather EP. It's kind of electro-pop, but using 1980's sounding synthesisers, a little like Athletes first album, but more synth. The album has got a bit of a theme, a computer game - which is supposed to tie in with the style of music. I liked it. Very catchy and good hooks, probably just as well that it was an EP as I think an LP would have been very hard to maintain. But this works well. The lyrics are nice and psychedelic and a reasonable reference point for the singer would be early Steve Wilson (from Porcupine Tree - Up the Downstair, or On The Sunday of Life era). The album is quirky, interesting, and fun. So gets a nice thumbs up from me. You can find it at Burning Shed here.
Okey dokey, back to the lab...
I'm currently looking at the artists impression of the new skyscraper for Paris by Thom Mayne. I like it, kinda organic, smooth, and nifty. If nifty can be used to describe a large building. I'm all for interesting buildings, especially if they provoke people. I like Te Papa, but its not hard to find people who don't. My only concern on this one is: does Paris need another skyscaper? One of the things I really like about Paris is its lack of tall buildings. Bloody marvellous idea that. So do they need one? But for all that the choices so far seem good, this looks cool and the Louvre's glass pyramid is very cool. So perhaps I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Not that I suspect they'll care too much about one bloggers opinion in New Zealand.
I think I'll go shopping now.
27 November 2006
Finished getting images for my classical stuff today, so shifted that back to the ipod this afternoon. As an added bonus I found my Kino CD, it had been put in with my Shostakovich Sym#15. Which of course made perfect sense. Sometimes I confuse myself. Actually most of the time I confuse myself which is why I don't listen to me. But that shouldn't stop you. Go on. Listen, learn.
I have some slides drying at the moment and they'll get stained up shortly so I can peer at them tomorrow. That will make me myopic and grumpy by tomorrow afternoon, nothing like a focal length of 30cm and having a bright light staring at you for 6-8 hours to make your day!
Our office is now mostly setup. It seems somehow smaller after Rudi and I moved our stuff in. But its comfortable, has a view, a coffee grinder and filter machine, and much green tea. Huzzah!
I'm currently reading the Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes, which is interesting but not riveting. But thats more to do with having 'heard it all before' as he writes well. The book is his account of the hunt for mitochondrial Eve - a bit of a public misnomer that, as the title of the book suggests. All modern H. sapiens can be traced back to a small group (Sykes' suggests 7) of females based on extant mitochondrial variation.
And now, a bit of public admission. For sometime I have been hassling my geeky friends about their adoration of the new series of Battlestar Galactica. Mainly as I hadn't watched it, and figured geeky people liked it, it was bound to be crap, and anyway I could hassle them ... sadly I've now watched the first 7 episodes, and it's rather good. There I've said it. You lot were right, I was wrong.
Off to stain some slides now...have fun.
23 November 2006
I saw The Departed the other day. Very good movie, good to see Scorsese with his mojo back. There's been some criticism of it being a bit bloated, but in general it seemed to flow well. I reckon it's Leo's best acting, and even Jack Nicholson seemed to be trying. So for once it almost appeared that Jack was playing a character, not just playing Jack. It is worth seeing the original, Infernal Affairs, which is tighter and leaner than Scorsese's version. But still, I really enjoyed this movie.
I've been told that it can't be a blog unless I blog about cats. I'm not sure you lot want me to do that, but it may turn up anyway...
nd: japanese lime green tea from Tea Total
np: Sigur Ros - Takk
22 November 2006
I fixed a friends computer today, and he gave me some nice English ales. I feel a lot of manly love towards him right now. It has made my school bag heavy but eh, that's a small price to pay.
I bled the tuts yesterday which went pretty well. So the blood is culturing itself - well at least I hope its doing that. I'll be mighty grumpy if its not. So leucocytes, if you are reading this, stop and start culturing!!
Mmm just had lovely visitors to my office and they brought chocolate. I like visitors who bring choc. I'm off home now, then to the movies. You take take care now...
np: jolie holland
20 November 2006
In other news I did far too much labwork last week and was pretty shagged by Saturday. So after a bit of work in the morning, I headed home around 1-ish. And found beer. Macs White beer, which was very nice. I did housework, I finished restoring my harmonium (which I'll post something about with pictures at some point), watched TV and drank. This included the metal show from the night before - huzzah to extreme metal. Then some Porcupine Tree, and Pink Floyd. Odd. And beer. People rang me during this, and were somewhat disturbed by my mood. I was disturbed by my mood. It was so happy, and jolly, and odd. And so I wandered along to an engagement party - yay Fin and Tom!! And had a great time.
Sunday morning wasn't as bad I thought it could be. I learnt sometime ago that a bottle of Powerade before bedtime after the odd drink does wonders for the hangover. Having said that, getting up at 8am to get to the pub for the rugby at 9 was tough. But all credit to the French for having late games, 9am is far better than those stupid poms and their 4am starts. Everyone seems to be complaining about what a crap game it was, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Good intense test match.
But a quiet day after that, ended up watching Godfather 1 again. Ahhh. Great movie.
Ohhh excitement a friend emailed me to say she liked my blog!! hee hee big ups to you!!
Topics coming up: Diapsida vs Anapsida. Don't miss it, it's controversial, interesting, and full of holes - literally!!!
17 November 2006
The second half was the 8th Symphony, which is what I really popped long for. Damm its good. Violent, depressing, futility everything you want from Shostakovich, and as the conductor mentioned no-one ever plays it. Great stuff. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thought all sections sounded great. With the exception of the first Fr horn player, who appeared to having a nightmare night, flipping and cracking notes all over the place. Sadly this was very noticeable since I was sitting behind him. The rest of the horn section were fine, just their leader. I sense a rebellion ... But over all it didn't detract from the piece and I came away a happy wee camper. I'm trying to remember if I've got the 8th on CD (damm not having all my classical on the ipod) if anyone can suggest a good version of it that would be peachy keen.
And now the rant.
Old people are a symptom of the symphony. It may sound age-ist, but lets face it the demographic for the NZSO is not hip young things (aside from me...). Everytime I go I'm reminded of this and how bloody annoying they are, here's a list:
* twitchy legs, arms, necks - they can't sit still (this was worse last night at the Town Hall where their safety first rubber souled shoes kept squeeking on the floor everytime their leg twitched)
* an urge to talk including such gems as 'oohhh that conductor is very young, is it his first time' (it's all relative you half dead octogenarian)
* unwrapping lollies now I'm all for people sucking things (heh heh) particularly if it stops them coughing, but wouldn't it make sense to unwrap them before the music starts? and why unwrap slowly during the quiet bits? is it just to make it more annoying and last longer for the rest of us? twats.
* is it possible that every old person has a cold? it certainly seems that way. If you have a bad cold, why turn up to the symphony? Is it because you a) are a sharing person or b) figure if you have a cold and can't hear the concert very well, nor should anyone else?
* as my bladder appears to be able to handle two hours before it needs emptying, I won't mention the production line approach (Soyent Green?) to the toilet...
And finally, the zombie shuffle to leave the concert. Is it absolutely imperative that the three of you link arms? I see that in teenagers, who I believe you old people detest too, but the principle is the same. Three people heading down a smallish staircase blocks the way for the rest of us.
np: Rush - Test for Echo
16 November 2006
14 November 2006
Lady Terminator The premise was vaguely, hot chick onto her 100th husband who still doesn't do it for her. So he pulls out a snake which wriggles up her privates and turns into a knife. So, in a logical step at retribution, she tells him that she'll wreck vengence on his great-grandaughter. Cut to 1980's, and cute anthropologist is hutning down the legend of the Queen of the South Seas. The anthropologist bit is quite important, cue "I'm not a woman, I'm an anthropologist". Lots of explosions, guns, bigger guns, death count, eye-rays etc. All good stuff. Great way to start the caffeine overload.
Streets of Fire It had Rick Moranis and Willem Defoe (the first of two Defoe sightings for the evening) in it. The director, Walter Hill, wrote/dir The Warriors, and there's a fuck of a lot of crossover in this one, including the same settings! Except the Warriors is good (ish). Streets of Fire is about a young singer who gets kidnapped, and her ex (Michael Pare) a solo grumpy bastard, heads out to save her. Lots of singing, with her songs written by Jim Steinman (or should that be recycled by...) and everyone else by the legendary Ry Cooder. It did look good, nice moody lighting - but script etc didn't live up to the photography. So kudo's to the DoP. In other news I see Hill has announced for 2008 a remake of the Warriors...wonder if Jim Steinman is free ...
Burial Ground Yay Yay a zombie flick. Even better an Italian zombie flick! With incest! How could it fail!! Unsurprisingly it didn't. Being Italian all chicks were hot, storyline was vaguely : professor opens crypt, gets eaten by zombies, who then start rampaging around the house. What was never really explored was how were there that many zombies down there (body count was high, hee hee) and what they lived on before let loose on an unsuspecting movie public. A good beheading scene, and the zombies are far smarter than the victims. I mean, you've got 10 very slow moving zombies, and you are standing *next* to the car. What would you do? Many victims, and many houses - everytime the going gets tough the kids move onto the next house. Where, quell horror, more zombies! The incredibly weird and ugly looking kid (with the hot mother) makes a move on her, he's quite smooth actually, suggesting weird kids might get more sex in Italy than I'd thought. Sadly she rejects him, so he goes and gets zombied and eats people. Woohoo nice swing on disaffected teenagers... I enjoyed this movie, cheap, crappy, although not enough sex.
Crank The only new release of the marathon. Drug dude is on some shit that if he slows down he dies. So keeps keeping his pulse up by violence, guns, drugs, sex etc. It was less mindless than I thought it would be. Great pacing, I'd almost recommend this one ;-)
Troll 2 Here's a radical thought, lets make a movie called Troll 2 with no trolls. That'll blow their mind man. It does have goblins tho'. Plot (as it is): small boy speaks to dead grandfather who warns him of goblins, boy acts mad. Parents dispair. Go to village for houseswop (Nilbog - geddit? geddit?!) people turn into plants. Weirdness ensues. Real bollox. No redeeming sex scenes.
Behind Locked Doors And onto the sex flix! Swingers, with great music, are having a ball in a barn. Bad swinger tries to do bad stuff to cute swinger, some random old guy intervenes and is invited to the party. Turns out he's a mad sex scientist (I write these words, i feel uncomfortable) and drains their car, or something, and they come to his house. Spooky! Sexy! Sadly no, potential for a full on deviant sex flick is never realised, but there are zombies. For some reason the plastic things came to life at the end. No I don't understand either. Eh it was fun, but the music was the highlight. Note to Ant: more sex next time...
Thunderbirds are go Now I'm not the biggest fan of thunderbirds, and I've seen some of the movies over the years and been grumpy by the end. But violate a duck this was utter crap. Basically a 30 minute plot (if that), stretched out to a 2 hour flick. When they said it would take 10 minutes to launch something, the fuckers were talking real-time! By far the worst/most painful movie of the marathon. Thank god for coffee and V ... I imagine removing genital lice with a branding iron would be more enjoyable than this movie.
Glorify God with TV I don't think anyone actually worked out what the title was to this one, but a great wee cameo (I have no idea how long it was) program about how to make your TV watching glorify the greatness of God. Hey I'm sold...I guess this ties in with the old TVs where phosphorus was on the inside of the screen...
The Hidden Slug alien inhabits bodies, other alien comes to kill it. There, thats your plot. Kyle MacLachlan (before Twin Peaks) was in it. Enjoyed this one, pacing was good and indestructible stripper with guns - will get my vote everytime!
Astrologer Ok, this one weirded me out. Basically government bad people good, which was pointed out many times. And then nothing was done with it. Bright guy, Alexi, is trying to meld astrology and science whilst managing the second coming which he's established is from his wife. Which is why he's not shagging her, in case it needs to be an immaculate conception. Riiigghhhtt. Although it turns out she's already dropped a kid as a *Teenage Mother*! Shocking stuff. Sadly no good sex scenes. Oh as everyone probably mentions, the director went on to do Exterminator.
To Live and Die in LA A William Friedkin penned flick, with Willem Defoe again as the bad guy -whoda thunk it eh? Wasn't quite as good as I remembered, but still bounced along nicely. Car chases were excellent, violence was good, cynicism was good, and the ending is refreshing. Recommended, which sadly stands out as an excuse to pan it for this marathon. It does have the very memorable line: 'If you want bread, fuck a baker'
The Holy Mountain This was it, nirvana. Hell I'd have paid my money for this flick alone. Why yes, I do like Alexandro Jodorowsky. Weird pseudo religious flick with bollox loads of religious iconography in it. Guaranteed to offend anyone too wrapped up in beliefs, but very very cool. Toads and chameleons as surrogates for the Spanish raping of the Aztecs (?was it?) was pretty normal as things went weird from there. You could argue it was a moving about 'finding yourself', you could argue it was an exploration of human religious thought, you could also argue it was an inspired piece of drug induced beauty. I'd push for the latter. I loved it, I spent most of the movie laughing as its very funny. I really can't recommend this one too highly. For those of you who haven't experienced AJ before, I'd recommend Santa Sangre as a reasonable entry point... After 20 hours of caffeine, alcohol and strawberries (heh heh) the timing of this was perfect. Thanks Ant.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers The remake with Donald Sutherland and Jeff Goldblum. I like it, possibly not as much as some people. But it is well done. Nice way to end the marathon.
Overall: less sex and violence than I'd hoped for. A more 'stable' lineup than in other years, but thank fuck for no painful karate movies! Seemed very 80s this year. But as you may have gathered seeing Holy Mountain would cover a multitude of sins :-)
I had a mother of a caffeine hangover on Sunday - stupid water sucking drug.
I've spent the day staring down the microscope and small dots. Now my focal length is about 50cm which conveniently is the distance between my keyboard and the screen at the moment. Spooky? Coincidence? Or a second keyboard? You be the judge.
Tomorrow promises to be even more exciting when I bake some slides for 5 HOURS! How cool is that?!
Hopefully the slides have interesting stuff on them. That would make it all much much better.
Hmmm I wonder if I can hook my last.fm played list onto this site? I should look into that.
Next post will be a waffle about the movie marathon.
I was going to post some stuff about the movie marathon, but I think I might wait until I've got a list (richard? steve?) and work from that. But the undoubted highlight was The Holy Mountain see a link and all! Quite an emo moment seeing Alejandro Jodorowsky on the big screen. I've seen Santa Sangre and loved that, but THM was something else. An ideal choice after 20 hours of movies, caffeine, and ummm strawberries. Yeah I have an addiction to strawberries. What of it? Oh and the movie? weird, trippy, psychedelic, indulgent, visionary etc etc
hursday, November 09, 2006
Sleep is for the wicked!
24 hours of movie madness kicks off this afternoon. Woohoo. Then a gig with Phoenix Foundation, Little Bushman, etc (or a party) then the NZ v France test match on Sunday morning. Guess there's not much room for sleep or sordid behaviour this weekend!!
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
It's been a funny week, or rather week n a bit. My mate got married on Saturday which was a lovely. The champagne brekkie beforehand was also lovely, and lead to singing of the Night at the Opera album. Then we headed to the wedding, and impressively my mate had gold-tops on rather than rugger socks. Well done Smackers!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
I feel tired. I guess there are deep reasons for that. So this is a blah blog. I'm listening to The Who and am scared at how similar Townshend sounds like Peter Cetera (No Road Romance as an example). Odd. But there ya go.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Crayfish and Sunshine
Since the weather was crap y'day I ended up going to see Little Miss Sunshine rather than Tristram and Shandy which is what we were heading off to. And cricky, it was good. Really funny. And yet it had Steve Carrell in it, who fails in the basic aspects of being a comedian, being funny. Him playing his character straight worked well. But yeah fun movie.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
That was scary and Movies
That scary feeling when your ipod won't switch on, you try the reset combo and you see the apple sign. Feel better, then clutch at the heart again as it fails to do anything of the normal ipod-ness things. Eeeekkk.
There's something kinda mellow about chilling with his Bob-ness, I'm still not wholly sold on the new album. It's good, better than Love and Theft, but not as good as the perfect Time out of Mind. I could go a nice Chardonnay right now actually. But in the spirit of responsibility I might have a lemon honey drink. Which is a bit sad. Really.