Thursday, July 17, 2008

An unfortunate conjunction

As I write, the top of Times Online's today's Most Read stories tab reads thus:

I had sex with my brother, but I don't feel guilty
Top 50 'wish you'd been there' moments

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


BBC 1 recently launched a new drama series called Bonekickers. As far as I can be arsed to establish, it's basically a cross between Time Team and that time-travely ITV thing with the dinosaurs, except without the time travel bit, or the dinosaurs. So, erm, just think archaeologists talking urgently and rushing about a bit, really... In Bath.

Anyway, here's the pay-off line from a Radio 7 trailer for Episode 2:

"Bonekickers: the search for the truth is beneath us."

Nope. I was wrong. They probably don't rush around at all. They must just sit there looking conspicuously bored and sighing occasionally:


ARCHAEOLOGIST 1: Oh, there must be higher ideals for us to pursue, don't you think, Jenkins?

ARCHAEOLOGIST 2: I know. Truth's just so passé (SIGH).

ARCHAEOLOGIST 1: Yes. Old hat.



ARCHAEOLOGIST 2: Aren't we naming bits of Indiana Jones again?

ARCHAEOLOGIST 1: No. (PAUSE) And we never shall. Not after that stupid plot twist with the aliens...

Monday, July 07, 2008

One of my occasional music posts

First things first, the following is brilliant and should be downloaded immediately:

Johan Heltne - Hjärta. Instinkt. Principer. [courtesy of It's A Trap! Scandinavian Music Journal]

If you haven't done that already- and let's face it, why should you have done - I guess I should probably try to explain what's so brilliant about it. Which is a bloody nuisance, quite frankly... but anyway, re being brilliant, it just is - in a Swedish chamber-pop, Andrew Bird mixed with Joseph Arthur and lots of lovely strings and plinky things kind of a way. If it were a person he/she would put you at ease immediately with his/her gentle warmth, openness, enthusiasm and charm, inspire you, make you look at things anew, then unexpectedly and wisely leave before all that became, frankly, just a little bit wearisome - whether you might see him/her again, you'll have no idea but, in a way, that won't even matter, they made you feel good for a while and you'll settle for that; that's better than most chance encounters go.

Of course, this is where music has the advantage over people, you can press play again and bask in that feeling as many times as you like. Ha, beat that 'people'!

Erm, anyway, there are three more free tracks to download on his website, plus an album to buy here (or at iTunes), and the inevitable MySpace page. He's with a different set of musicians on each track, apparently, so don't expect them all to be like that one. But do expect them all to be excellent, especially Din alkoholism är ingen alkoholism - a walk along a breezy, deserted beach in late-October, just as dusk's falling, except in song form. Wonderful.

In other news: some naughty techie types have worked out how to download any song from MySpace. The tracks you'll get are only 96kbps bit rate, but you could always just buy them instead, couldn't you? Except when you actually can't, because they're unavailable as far as you can tell, which is when that link really does come in handy.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

He mostly just wimbled on about his book, really...

On Radio 5, for the last couple of weeks, Simon Mayo's afternoon programme has been coming live from Wimbledon, so there haven't been too many Daily Mayo podcasts. Evidently rain stopped play today, though, so Julian Clary popped in for an interview.

Wherever Julian Clary is involved the possibility of innuendo is so great that you become sort of hyper-alert to ambiguous turns of phrase. In other words, I'm not sure whether Mayo served up these feedlines deliberately - the delivery was entirely deadpan - but here they are:

Referring to the probable outcome of Federer vs Ancic:

"I suspect Roger's just going to think 'I'm going to get this over with and blow him off the court.'"

[You can almost hear the late, great Humphrey Lyttleton saying that first line on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, can't you? Followed by a pause and "Well, he wouldn't want to do that on court - you can get arrested for that sort of thing."]

About 30 seconds later, discussing match winning celebrations:

"Do you like the Andy Murray style - when he was so pumped up the other day after the five set match and he was yelling and shouting and waving his fists around, and he showed everybody the size of his... [LONG PREGNANT PAUSE] biceps?"

Amazingly, both those serves went unreturned. Must have been distracted by the claustrophobia he kept moaning about, I suppose.*

IN OTHER NEWS: I have become addicted to olives. Especially the huge green Spanish Gordal olives sold by Provedore - pigeon egg-sized and just bursting with umami... Yum :)

Hmm, I don't think I've ever developed a healthy addiction before...

*Apparently, he was finding the studio/commentary box thingy somewhat cramped, but he could cope so long as they kept the door open.