Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning

Wow, our hall's ball on Friday was AMAZING! then on Saturday we had a rather good night at the Cavern too! (Yes i know you're supposed to give your liver 48 hours to recover between parties, but just once can't do much harm, can it?) Will post more details later when i have more energy and my computer has fewer technical problems...

Monday, June 19, 2006

Video Killed The Radio Star

Bored during summer? Never fear, I'm here to post some videos to starve off boredom and kill time! These are all off YouTube (so you can watch them in your internet browser) unless otherwise stated. Click the links below to watch 'em...

Comedic clips:
"10 Things I Hate About Commandments" trailer (a combination of 10 Things I Hate About You and The Ten Commandments).
"C For Cookie" trailer (a combination of V For Vendetta and Sesame Street).
Cockney DragonBall Z.
"Don't Be A Gimp, Keep Britain Tidy" advert (Flash and Windows Media versions available).
England football player Peter Crouch scores a goal and celebrates with his now-legendary robotic dance.
Human beatbox.
Lego people playing AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."
Pac-Man: The Movie trailer.
Rowan Atkinson "Welcome To Hell" sketch.
"Walk This Way" Transformers.
Bill Bailey standup shows:
Cockney and classical music.
Kraftwerk tribute ("Das Hokey Kokey").
Photographing kebabs.
Rave version of the BBC News theme.
Rock ballad.
Sirens.
Starsky and Hutch (on SpikedHumor).

TV programmes/trailers:
Bill Bailey on TV:
Eyewitnesses.
Humble apologies.
Lost luggage.
Messing around on Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
Doctor Who:
American trailer.
Dalek fan film.
Mini-episode featuring Doctors Nine and Ten (shown on Children In Need telethon).
Tardisode Seven ("The Idiot's Lantern").
Tardisode Eight ("The Impossible Planet").
Tardisode Nine ("The Satan Pit").
Tardisode Ten ("Love And Monsters").
"Tooth And Claw" episode trailer.
Trailer for the current series of Doctor Who (with the 10th Doctor).
Trailer for the previous series (with the 9th Doctor).
"Wassup" Budweiser advert spoof.
Have I Got News For You:
BBC News 24 mistaken identity.
Chinese state visit (President Hu).
Paul Merton drifts off into a daydream...
Pirate Video introduction.
President Bush and the Royal family.
The Angus Deaton Scandal.
Look Around You:
Maths.
Water.
Germs.
Ghosts.
Sulphur.
Music.
Iron.
The Brain.
Jack Morgan (BSc): "Little Mouse" music video (from "Music" episode).
Not The Nine O'Clock News:
Constable Savage.
Gerald The Gorilla.
"Gob On You" song.
Hi-Fi Shop sketch.
Kate Bush parody.
The Life Of Christ debate (spoof of the Life Of Brain debate).
QI:
Barbara Streisand's moustache.
Christmas special.
The Moon/The Triple Point of Water.
Trailer.
Top Gear:
Car football I.
Car football II.
Mercedes radio.
Mini ski jump.
The Toupee Test.
2004 Awards.
2005 Awards part 1.
2005 Awards part 2.
Watch the latest episodes on the BBC website (you'll need RealPlayer for this).

Live music:
Art Brut's Jasper Future and Eddie Argos sing karaoke to The Vengaboys' "Boom Boom Boom."
Bauhaus cover David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust" on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
The Buzzcocks - "Ever Fallen In Love?".
Cheap Trick - "Surrender".
The Darkness - "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".
The Dead Kennedys - "Holiday In Cambodia".
HIM - "Your Sweet 666".
Led Zeppelin - "Immigrant Song".
Lordi - "Hard Rock Hallelujah" at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (with Terry Wogan commentary).
LT United mime "We Are The Winners" at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest (awful, but worth watching just for the crazy dance in the middle during the violin solo!).
Morrissey - "Ganglord" (B-side to new single "The Youngest Was The Most Loved").
The Music - "Take The Long Road And Walk It".
Patti Smith - "Because The Night" on The Old Grey Whistle Test, 1976.
The Smiths live in Madrid, 1985:
"William, It Was Really Nothing."
"Handsome Devil"
"That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore"
"Shakespeare's Sister"
"Rusholme Ruffians"
"The Headmaster Ritual"
"Barbarism Begins At Home"
"This Charming Man"
"Hand In Glove"
"Still Ill"
"Miserable Lie"
"Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now"
"Meat Is Murder"

Music promo videos:
AC/DC - "Who Made Who?"
Aerosmith - "Janie's Got A Gun"
Aerosmith - "Livin' On The Edge"
A-Ha - "Take On Me"
Alice Cooper - "Poison"
Art Brut - "Emily Kane"
Art Brut - "Good Weekend"
Art Brut - "Modern Art"
Bauhaus - "She's In Parties"
Blur - "Coffee & TV"
Blur - "Country House"
Blur - "Girls & Boys"
Blur - "Parklife"
Blur - "Song 2"
Bon Jovi - "Say It Isn't So"
The Buggles - "Video Killed The Radio Star"
Buzzcocks - "What Do I Get?"
Buzzcocks - "Wish I Never Loved You"
Cheap Trick - "Dream Police"
Cheap Trick - "If You Need Me"
The Clash - "Rock The Casbah"
Culture Club - "Karma Chameleon"
The Cure - "Friday I'm In Love"
The Cure - "Taking Off"
The Darkness - "Friday Night" (rare video - continues where "IBIATCL" left off)
The Darkness - "Get Your Hands Off My Woman"
The Darkness - "Growing On Me" (uncensored version)
The Darkness - "I Believe In A Thing Called Love"
The Darkness - "Is It Just Me?"
The Darkness - "One Way Ticket"
Def Leppard - "Photograph"
The Feeling - "Sewn"
Franz Ferdinand - "Do You Want To?"
Franz Ferdinand - "Matinee"
Franz Ferdinand - "Take Me Out"
Gene Loves Jezebel - "Desire"
Green Day - "Basket Case"
Green Day - "Holiday"
Justin Hawkins - "This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us"
HIM - "Join Me" (13th Floor mix and video)
HIM - "Join Me" (Razorblade Romance mix and "ice" video)
HIM - "Killing Loneliness" (old version)
HIM - "Killing Loneliness" (new version)
The Hives - "Hate To Say I Told You So"
The Hives - "Two-Timing Touch And Broken Bones"
The Hives - "Walk Idiot Walk"
Husker Du - "Could You Be The One?"
Husker Du - "Makes No Sense At All/Love Is All Around"
Idlewild - "A Modern Way Of Letting Go"
Idlewild - "Little Discourage"
Idlewild - "Love Steals Us From Loneliness"
Idlewild - "When I Argue I See Shapes"
Led Zeppelin - "Whole Lotta Love"
Lordi - "Hard Rock Hallelujah"
Men At Work - "Down Under"
Modern English - "I Melt With You" (original version)
Morrissey - "Dagenham Dave"
Morrissey - "First Of The Gang To Die"
Morrissey - "Suedehead"
Morrissey - "The Youngest Was The Most Loved"
Murderdolls - "White Wedding"
Muse - "Bliss"
Muse - "Butterflies And Hurricanes"
Muse - "Plug In Baby"
Muse - "Time Is Running Out"
Oasis - "The Importance Of Being Idle"
Public Image Ltd. - "This Is Not A Love Song"
Pulp - "Babies" (original version)
Pulp - "Common People"
Pulp - "Lipgloss"
Radiohead - "Just"
Radiohead - "Karma Police"
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - "Spinning Round"
Run DMC vs. Aerosmith - "Walk This Way"
Sex Pistols - "God Save The Queen"
Sisters Of Mercy - "Lucretia My Reflection"
Sisters Of Mercy - "This Corrosion"
The Smiths - "Girlfriend In A Coma"
The Smiths - "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side"
The Smiths - "This Charming Man"
The Smiths - "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"
The Stone Roses - "Begging You"
The Stone Roses - "I Wanna Be Adored"
The Stone Roses - "Fools Gold"
Tenacious D - "Tribute"
The Timelords (a.k.a. The KLF) - "Doctorin' The Tardis (Doctor Who)"
The Upper Room - "All Over This Town" (opens in Windows Media Player)
The Upper Room - "Combination" (opens in Windows Media Player)
The Vines - "Anysound"
The Vines - "Get Free"
Wolfmother - "Woman".

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One Way Ticket To Hell... And Back!

Over the last few days i have had trouble finding important stuff due to my room being an absolute mess. It reached a peak when i was going to go to an "employability" event (stuff like how to answer interview questions, what to put on your CV, how to fill in application forms, that sort of thing), and i had to reserve a place on it and pay a deposit by cheque... and i couldn't find my chequebook! That was when I realised i had a bit of a problem, so i gathered up all my work and remaining textbooks (I took some back home when I went to see Morrissey in Oxford, but some remained in the mess of my room) and decided to take them home and make some space here. I staggered down the hill to the station with a very heavy bag of books and work and used a machine in the station to get tickets.
One option seemed almost too good to be true: a cheap day return ticket for £27, via the "Honiton and Southampton" route (a route i hadn't taken before). That was the cheapest so i bought it and hopped onto the first train that went to Honiton. A few minutes later I was there and looked around for something that would tell me when the next train to Southampton would be and which platform it would be from, and I found a timetable that seemed to show that I had to go via Salisbury. The train I had just got off was on its way to Salisbury, but the ticket machine hadn't said anything about Salisbury, so i was a bit confused - should i have stayed on that train or not? why did the machine say Honiton instead of Salisbury? which station should I change at?
I asked the bloke at the ticket desk and he looked at my tickets and went on about them not being valid for that journey and told me i'd have to buy another ticket. I had no idea why he said they weren't valid, as they covered my whole journey and they'd been checked by staff at Exeter station when i bought them. He said something about what day they were valid on, then noticed the date on them and said they were valid for today after all, and then he went on about some other reason for them not being valid for the whole journey, like i'd used up the outward ticket (I had travelled less than 25 miles, and the outward ticket was for a 165-mile journey!) and for some reason that meant that i couldn't use the return ticket either except for getting back to Exeter. I really don't know what the problem was, and i half suspect that he was just trying to get money out of me (the ticket home that he said i had to buy was more expensive than the one i had bought...). I know that there are a lot of conditions attached to train tickets, like if you pay £X you can get from A to B but if you pay £Y you can go from A to B via C but only between time D and time E on day F, but there suddenly seemed to be a lot more conditions attached to my ticket than there had been when I'd bought it. I think he might have been making it up in an attempt to supplement his measly wages. I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd said that my ticket was only valid when Venus was in Capricorn or something like that. Actually, he probably did say that.
I felt like punching him - now I understand why ticket people are protected from the public by a window! I gave up and asked if I was able to go anywhere with my tickets, and eventually he answered that i could use my return ticket to go back to Exeter. So i did. I suppose i could have tried sneaking onto the next train to Salisbury when he wasn't looking and go home that way, but Honiton Station is hardly a hive of activity: there weren't crowds to slip into, and the next train for Salisbury wasn't for at least another hour. The next train to Exeter was a few minutes later so i got that - I just wanted to get the hell out of Honiton as soon as possible! When i got back to Exeter, i considered getting on another train home (and changing at the right station this time!), but by then i was tired (my luggage weighed a ton and didn't have wheels... if only there had been a supermarket nearby, then i could have "borrowed" a shopping trolley...) and the only thing i felt like doing was drowning my sorrows :o(
I was not in a brilliant mood, but then i saw a couple of things on the train back to Exeter that cheered me up: a stranger smiling, and the familiar sights of my current "home" (I saw Holland Hall, Duryard's rival hall of residence, shining (it's all shiny and new and reflects the sunlight, unlike the dull old (but much-loved) "Dirty-Yard" Halls) in the hills, surrounded by trees... it looked like the HOLLYWOOD sign!). Then, on the struggle up the hill, i met my mate Claire, who helped me carry my stuff home... what a star! :o)
I didn't go binge-drinking after all; there was an Archery Soc social that i thought about going to (I signed up to tons of societies in Freshers' Week, but Archery ended up being one of the only ones i regularly attended... well, not really "regularly", more like "sporadically", but that's a lot more often than some of the other societies i signed up for) but didn't bother (i was a bit too tired from lugging so much luggage about), and instead had a quiet drink in The Welly with football (Germany v Poland) and friendly faces (including regulars Gareth and Big Mark, who are such regulars that they probably secretly live in there, most likely behind the quiz machine that Gareth seems to spend his entire student loan on). It may be a complete tip, it may be crumbling and barely habitable, it may have dodgy lighting, leaky rooves and asbestos in the walls (and in a lot of rooms, no paint or plaster on the walls!), and it may be miles from my family and permanent address... but for now, Duryard is my home.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Back To The Old House

I went to see Morrissey again last week - Thurs 25/5/2006 at the New Theatre in Oxford - and i'm afraid i've taken ages to write up a review. This time I was in the top balcony instead of the thick of the stalls. It was a bit odd, because some people up there were singing along, punching the air, moving in time with the music, whistling, that sort of thing, like I was, but a lot of people were just sitting there quietly, clapping politely, as if at a play, which (to me at least) seemed a bit odd at a concert.
The performances by Morrissey and the gang were excellent again, and new album Ringleader of the Tormentors sounds great live: although the album is really beautiful and graceful, it sometimes sounds a bit too restrained; but live, Moz changes lyrics (e.g. when he sang "who am I that I come to be here?" in "You Have Killed Me", he knelt on the floor and sang "who am I that I come to be kneeling down here?") and his band of rockabilly lads beef up the sound and rock out more. Also his voice is just as good live as in the studio - he doesn't use half as much studio trickery as some pop stars do, and a lot of his classics were done in one or two takes (I think he never does more than three takes).
At this particular gig, he seemed in quite a good mood despite nearing the end of a long national tour - no end-of-tour fatigue here! He got through four shirts (a red one, a greenish one, a black one and a yellow one), and there was an absolutely priceless moment when he threw the greeny one into the crowd in the stalls: normally he runs offstage to get another shirt, but this time he skipped merrily offstage, which was quite funny. Another amusing moment was when he was talking to someone in the stalls, he liked the bloke's shirt and was trying to asking him where he got it from, and was whistling to get the guy's attention. He talked to the audience and moved around quite a bit. Of course there was plenty of his famous mic-whip stuff, and also he dragged the mic stand around the floor in circles around him quite a bit (if you've seen the "Live In Dallas" DVD/video you'll know what I mean), not to mention shaking hands with quite a few audience members (no stage invasions, and not many (if any) crowdsurfers this time, but lots of people were trying to reach out and touch his hands). If you had to compare it to his live DVDs, i'd say that it was a bit like a combination of the advantages of "Live In Dallas" (high-energy show, shame about the poor sound quality) and "Who Put The M In Manchester?" (musically better and talked with individual audience members, but didn't move around so much at times). Guitarist Boz Boorer definiately seemed to have more energy and moved around the stage a lot more at this show than on "Who Put The M...?" and the other You Are The Quarry tour performances that i've seen.
I also liked the humourous way that Moz introduced the band to the audience: "They were once quite happy, reasonably balanced, and not bad looking. Then they met me." Also he introduced keyboardist/one-man horn section Mikey Pharrell as "the boy with the horn by his side," a reference to a Smiths song, which lots of fans liked.
The setlist had a lot of similarities to the one at the Manchester Apollo - starting with the glorious romantic singalong "First Of The Gang To Die" and the malaised manifesto of "Still Ill", lots of Ringleader stuff in the middle plus some Smiths songs and later solo stuff, and an encore of alternative national anthem "Irish Blood, English Heart." There were a few variations - this time we didn't get Magazine cover "A Song From Under The Floorboards", B-side "My Life Is A Succession Of People Saying Goodbye" or Maladjusted standout "Trouble Loves Me," although we did get Quarry's sweet "Let Me Kiss You" and one more Ringleader track, "I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now."
Again, people may complain about the setlist, but it was one hell of a good show. Although i didn't like sitting down at a gig at all, I did get an amazing view. I took some photos, and in the first few songs I took loads, but after a bit I worried that the staff would confiscate my stuff. I wasn't worried so much about losing my camera - it was quite cheap and i could easily sneak the film out and hand over the empty camera if i had to - it was my cameraphone I was scared of losing: i don't want to lose my phone, or stuff on it like people's phone numbers! I tried taking photos and filming with my cameraphone a couple of times, but they turned out rubbish, so i quickly gave up and mostly used my camera. It's an ordinary film camera (hence why it cost so little) and i haven't used the whole film yet - once I have, i'll get it developed and post the pics I took. One cameraphone photo turned out OK-ish, here it is, click to enlarge...

Anyway. I stayed at a youth hostel afterwards - it was good to have a rest, shame that it was next to a nightclub! i guess that will give me a taste of life next year, as i'll be living quite close to a club. I went home (home-home, not uni-home) by train, via Reading Station, which was a bit of a pain: firstly because it's huge, secondly because for such a large station it seems to have few timetables, and thirdly because it has a weird system of platforms. Most stations have separate platforms, but Reading has some platforms which are more than one platform - it's hard to explain in words so I drew a little diagram in Microsoft Paint, but that was on my home computer, not my uni computer, so i don't have it to post here.
Got back to my humdrum hometown, visited some teachers at my third school, then popped home with the intention of only staying for a day or two... and ended up staying a week. Much as i love my family, pets and house, i got really bored and depressed and lost all motivation to do anything, to be honest. The weather was a bit rubbish, which probably contributed to that feeling too. I stayed longer than planned because of various reasons - my own laziness, news of train delays and cancellations, being nagged by family to do stuff, etc. In the end i got sick of it and went home (uni-home this time) on 2/6/06 by train via London (thereby avoiding the problem of changing at Reading).
The weather is much hotter and sunnier in Exeter, there's people sunbathing everywhere. Although it sucks to cram for early exams like i did, at least you get more time off afterwards than everyone else. Now there's not a lot going on as nearly everyone here is revising all the time for their exams, or they've gone home because they've finished or to do revision in peace. I did go on one night out last Saturday with some other Duryarders, to the Cavern's monthly ska/punk/reggae night. I really enjoyed it, they played proper ska (e.g. Madness), proper punk (e.g. the Clash) and proper reggae (e.g. Bob Marley), as opposed to so-called ska-punk bands like Less Than Jake, which basically play ordinary pop-punk songs with a milisecond of brass and try to pass it off as "ska." It annoys me slightly that there are some really good ska-punk bands (especially around Brighton) that blend ska and punk seamlessly and smoothly, yet have only a cult following, while some rubbish American bands do the same thing only not so well and are massive!
Just before I go, i'll post this link here (an English-to-American dictionary), as i've noticed on my guestmap at the side that there's a lot of non-Brits visiting my blog, so it may help them understand it more.