Monday, 28 December 2009

Today's music tips

Greetings, gentle readers.

I've just found two groups I really like.

First, thanks to BBC News Online's coverage of the UK music pundits' poll, I finally got the message about Animal Collective. Really cool psychedelic-indie-trance-rock-sampling-oh-whatever. Just take a listen and work it out for yourselves, geez, make me do all the work, why don't you?

Secondly, having gone to Animal Collective's MySpace page and added them as fiends - sorry, friends - MySpace suggests some guy called HJ, out of a group called Nemesea, from Holland. This guy is nuts. In successive tracks, house/trance that morphs into something like an Evanescence number, then superbly executed lounge jazz (a skit on "Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)"), followed by classic Ibiza house, and finally sublime fast rock that suggests what would happen if Steve Hackett fronted Metallica and riffed on Latin monastic choral music. HJ's guitar work is superb, absolutely top-drawer, and he's got such a broad reach in styles that I'm in awe.

[Later note] I did get the Nemesea back catalogue. I won't say I was disappointed, but it was very much an Evanescence clone, nothing really to get as excited about as HJ's own work.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Off to the vet's...

Well, that's it. I've been "fixed", like some dog or cat. Two kids, and that's the lot. That's OK, two kids are quite enough!

Such a quick procedure too; about 20 minutes later, it's a plastic cup of water (didn't fancy the aspartamine-laced blackcurrant squash), a plate of biscuits and a feeling of, "Was that it?"

Monday, 7 December 2009

In today's news...

1. From Ananova (

A council has spent thousands of pounds on a scheme to teach the over-50s how to wear their slippers safely.

The Warwickshire County Council service allows 'older people' to bring in their old slippers and replace them with a new pair, to cut the risk of falling over.

For a fee of £5, participants receive a fitting session, a new pair of the Velcro fastening slippers, and advice on how to wear them, reports the Daily Telegraph.

In other news, South Cambridgeshire District Council are due to introduce "Breathing safely" seminars.

2: (Many sources) Contestants on I'm A Celebrity... catch, kill, cook and eat a rat.

And this is a If I was being starved by the producers, I'd have done the same thing. It's supposed to be - if you can believe it - a survival situation. That's the premise. So you treat it as a survival situation. Best of all, it was a world-renowned chef (Gino D'Acampo) doing the killing and cooking! Blimey, even I would eat rat he'd cooked - and, seafood aside, I don't eat meat!

The really daft thing is that contestants are eating invertebrates every day, for entertainment, and apparently it would even be acceptable to kill and eat crocodiles, "but it depends very much on the way they are killed and processed for human consumption," according to the Australian RSPCA. So you're only allowed to kill animals that aren't cute and fluffy. Future contestants please note.

And finally...

3: Go Go Hamster toy Mr Squiggles is safe, Cepia insists (


Two minutes after its wrappings are rent from its trembling, terrified body, it will be mauled and abused by hordes of unrestrained and brutal youngsters bent on trauma and suffering! If it could speak, it would be crying for Gino D'Acampo to give it a merciful end.

Somehow, I suspect it's a Slow News Day.