Monday, 2 December 2013
Reached No 5 in the UK Charts in 1989
Somehow this is the only track by The Cure to reach the top 5 in the UK. There's a random factoid for you. I love the song and sleep is fleeting and disturbed right now so it is an appropriate choice to start the week.
OK, so it has been a bit quiet around here lately.
First off I have been off writing a book, get me! I finished NaNoWriMo with a word count of just over 53,000 and I am still editing and trying to tidy up all of those words. I think I might take the plunge and do something with this one. I know it still requires a lot of work but it is the longest complete piece of writing I have ever completed and I am proud of myself for sticking with it and getting it done. It is hard to feel a sense of purpose sometimes when one day is much like another and I no longer have such a clearly defined goal to work towards. It helped a lot.
Movember is over thankfully. The boy grew an excellent Mo and I am very proud of him as always. I am also very glad he is back to his clean shaven and even more handsome self though. That thing is scratchy!
I was in hospital last week and it didn't go that well I'm afraid. A different surgeon did the procedure and despite me telling him beforehand that if he wanted to treat the suspected issue with a particular medication that wouldn't be possible because I react to it.... I woke up to find that was the medication he had prescribed. When I had made him aware of this beforehand he said not to worry because there were other options. When I woke up properly he had left for the weekend and there were no other options apparently. So I had to leave hospital after 12 hours in more pain than I started in with no pain relief. I am not exactly a happy bunny - not least because they want to see me in 8 weeks to see how the treatment I am not having has worked and to discuss the results of the tests.
The consultant I saw in the first place was also aware I had tried and could not tolerate that medication and had told me that if investigations confirmed his diagnosis he would treat it surgically while I was there.... Shame he was the other side of the atlantic when they knocked me out then eh.
OK I'm done. Onwards and upwards.
Friday, 22 November 2013
Hurrah for Friday, well this Friday anyway. Next Friday I am in hospital for colorectal investigations and possible surgery. Because the fun just never stops ladies and gentlemen. It never stops.
Still that is next Friday, THIS Friday is a good Friday.
Although he is doing it more to raise awareness than money this year, his Mo Bro page can be found here if you want to chuck a quid in the pot.
NaNoWrIMo has gone really well too and I cracked 50,000 words on the 19th. I am currently working on editing the manuscript because I am planning to take up Lulu.com on their offer of a free hardback copy. Then I might let some one else read it. Eventually.
The big news though is the Doctor Who 50th! The special episode is on tomorrow and I will be with my best friends, in a cinema, in London, watching it in 3D. Sunday we will be at the celebrations at ExCel. I have had a really hard few weeks and it has been a godsend having something positive and fun to look forward too. For once it is really nice to see stuff I love all over the TV and internet and being swept up in geekery and fandom is good for the soul.
I am sure you will hear all about it next week.
You can't say I haven't warned you.....
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
There were complications after surgery, flu caused a chest infection, bilateral pneumothorax causing left lung to collapse. Robyn also had tacychardia to deal with.
She has responded well to antibiotics and came off ventilation much earlier than expected. Robyns first words were to say she missed her big sister Morghan and the whole family felt a lot better when she was able to visit a couple of days ago. Lisa told me this morning that Robyn has just come off oxygen too. All her chest drains and the one in her neck have been removed too.
Lisa, Ross and the girls have been flooded with messages of support which has helped a great deal. Keep those good thoughts coming though please. I asked Robyn to choose a song and Lisa told me that " 'try try get up and try try, by Pink Girl'. Otherwise known as Try by Pink. It's been her fav for ages which has always struck me as apt for her."
Keep going team Lathane - you rock!
Monday, 18 November 2013
Right. I recently posted the top 20 music movie moments which can be viewed here, here, here and here.
Naturally the boy disagreed and after changing his mind half a dozen times, he came up with his 'proper list'. Now Pete is getting in the action.
I stand by my choices though.
Five Fabulous Film Tracks.
Whilst reading Fiona’s, and that of her pet’s, lists of favourite music from the movies, I could not help but notice there were glaring omissions in what were otherwise excellent examples of movie music. So, without further ado, here is my list of proper music from the movies that should be heard – and watched –to be appreciated.
Play With Me - Extreme (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure)
Fiona quite rightly mentions the “Bohemian Rhapsody” scene from Wayne’s World, where Wayne and Garth rock out to the Queen classic whilst driving around. What made that scene work so well was that it rang so true. Ask anyone from the rock scene at that time, and they will all admit to having done this.
However, running alongside Wayne’s World, and incorporating many of the same themes, was Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the film which kickstarted Keanu Reeves’ career, as well as bringing the words “Bogus” and “Excellent” into the pop culture lexicon.
The film follows Bill and Ted on a journey through time and space as they collect important historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Sigmund Freud, to help them pass their history exam. Whilst retrieving Napoleon Bonaparte from Waterloo (a waterpark in San Dimas), they leave their other historical figures in a shopping mall.
Left to their own devices, these historical figures investigate the shopping mall, whereupon Joan of Arc takes over an exercise group, Genghis Khan finding a sports-shop (taking a liking to the baseball bats), whilst Socrates and Billy the Kid try to chat up some girls. Hilarity ensues, to the rocking “Play With Me” by Extreme.
Not only is “Play With Me” a cracking song in and of itself, but the fast-paced tempo of the track matches the chaotic nature of this segment. Likewise, the changing beats of the music matches the shifting scenes, thus the music never feels incongruous. We also have Beethoven in a music store, playing – on three separate keyboards no less – “Play With Me”, which culminates when security finally evicts him from the store.
Get A Bloody Move - The cast (The Italian Job – ie the original)
The phrase “iconic” is often bandied about in my presence, but it is never more than appropriate than when used to describe The Italian Job. Michael Caine’s Charlie Crokerand his gang of criminal buddies are off to Italy to pull off the heist of the century, by hacking into the Turin traffic management network to send the city into gridlock, hijack an armoured car, steal some gold and escape with it in three minis.
The Italian Job is a very British movie, such that the three minis are coloured after the Union Jack. Whilst I am generally disenchanted with any semblance of nationalistic overtures, there is something wonderfully charming about this film.
The final segment of The Italian Job, with the gang escaping in the three minis across the rooftops, is played to Get A Bloody Move On (which many have since called “Self Preservation Society” due to the chorus). Despite the song having since become a football anthem and often finding itself crammed onto “Proud to the British” albums, there is something incredibly catchy about this track that will have even the staunchest libertarian proudly banging their fist to their chest and singing along with the best of them.
Born to Raise Hell – Motorhead, with Ice-T and Whitfield Crane (Airheads)
Whilst the Wayne’s World and Bill and Ted movies were perhaps the most popular movies centred around rock scene, Airheads was perhaps the most accurate in representing the sub-culture. Celebrating and mocking the rockers in equal measure, the appeal of Airheads lay in its honesty.
The film follows three friends in a band who, tired of being stuck trying to find a record deal, decide to take matters into their own hands and hold a radio station hostage to play their demo-tape. Things do not go well, as they soon realise that the tape they brought with them is the wrong format for the radio station, and now the police are now surrounding the radio station. What do they do? Have fun!
Opening the film is the wonderfully appropriate “Born to Raise Hell” by Motorhead, with the rapper Ice-T and Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe. Like the film, this pro-rock track, will have even the most jaded metal fan bouncing along screaming “I love this music!” and when you have Ice-T growling “Don’t you be scared”, you cannot help but take notice.
What impresses me the most is how the studio managed to bring these three tempestuously divisive musicians together without the building imploding from the personalities involved?
In a wonderful piece of synchronicity, Lemmy of Motorhead makes a brief cameo-appearance at the end of the film (he is the one who shouts out that he used to be editor of the school magazine). Somehow, I doubt this to be true.
Kung Fu – Ash (Rumble in the Bronx)
Rumble in the Bronx is the (sort-of) sequel to Jackie Chan’s Rumble in Hong Kong, and intended to introduce Western audiences to Jackie Chan movies. It is an uncomplicated plot, where Jackie (played Jackie Chan) visits his uncle in the Bronx for a wedding, and soon finds his embroiled in the local gangs and diamond thieves (as you do).
Like all Jackie Chan movies, during credits reel at the end includes a series of out-takes from the film’s stunts, some painful and many funny, highlighting the danger in trying to emulate Jackie Chan’s stunts. Played over this sequence is “Kung Fu” by Ash.
Written independently of the movie, Kung Fu nonetheless remains relevant due to the focus of the song being Tim Wheeler’s love of Jackie Chan movies, and as such does not feel out of place.
“Kung Fu” opens up with a brief sample from the kung fu film Close Encounters of the Spooky Kind and soon snaps into the catchy guitar rythms and rapid drum beats that will have anyone bouncing around the dancefloor whilst mimicking their favourite scenes from Jackie Chan films. Tim Wheeler’s enthusiasm for Jackie Chan translates beautifully into the music, and whilst the chorus makes no sense (“I think it's strange / He's friends with Fu Manchu / And he thinks he knows you / Oh Daniel San made in Taiwan / Come on Jackie Chan”), they are sung with such gusto that you cannot help but enjoy it.
Too Sick To Pray – The Alabama 3 (Gone in 60 Seconds)
A controversial choice perhaps, as the track is only briefly heard, but the music video that was released as part of the film’s promotion is where I first heard it, so I stand by my decision. For the film geeks amongst you, the track is heard over the radio in the caravan in the desert. “Too Sick To Pray” was a perfect choice in evoking the bleak beauty of the American dustbowl.
Whilst many bands proclaim themselves outlaws or cowboys, the Alabama 3 are the real thing. This is despite hailing from Brixton, with their music being a blend of country, gospel, acid and rock, or maybe it is because of this. The band admits that, on paper, this blend of musical genres should not work, yet somehow it does.
“Too Sick To Pray” opens with a melancholy guitar solo, with the opening lines sung by Larry Love, wonderfully evoking this cowboy image of the lone wanderer: “I'm in a lonely room / Hank Williams sings a lovesick blues / Winter's walking up the avenue / But I ain't seen the sunshine since the 6th o' June.”
Sunday, 17 November 2013
His 6th 'executive album' (no I am not sure either) called 'You Were Right' is released in Europe on the 25th November 2013. It is an album full of lush soundscapes, twaggy guitars, brass, songs called things like 'She's Trying To Poison Me' and 'I Don't Want To See You Anymore'... can you spot a theme here?
I really like this album, partly because it is so hard to neatly encapsulate in a couple of comparisons to other singers and styles (even if that makes writing about it flipping hard). What is more frustrating is the lack of videos on youtube for me to pop here. There is plenty to be found on Bensons website though which you can find here. I'd encourage you to check him out.
The NaNoWriMo word count is over 43,000 now so I am well on track to finish before my trip to London for the Doctor Who 50th.