Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mindshock: Transplanting Memories?

This Channel 4 show was as inconclusive as you'd expect it to be, but also as interesting. It was about heart transplant patients noticing extreme personality or taste changes after their operations - often in line with the personality of their donor. The story of one lady was simply astounding - or, I guess, fake. At first, the changes were minor (she answered 'I'd kill for a beer' when asked at a press conference what she'd most like to do now she's well again and, guess what, she doesn't even like beer) but then she had a dream about a man on a motorcycle called Tim L. Her donor was called Tim L-something, and died in a motorcycle accident.

There were a few psychologists and doctors talking about the heart's 'little brain' and neuron networks, but basically the very idea that memories can be transplanted with the heart is completely rejected by 95% of scientists. All we can say at the moment is, 'more things in heaven and earth' and all that.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

First 25 songs on my... Rio mp3 player....

...which is very good! Ok, so this meme (Lisa, Marie and originally from here) is doing the rounds, and while I've failed to get anything, other people seem very good at it, so I thought I'd give you all a chance to show off once again ;) A lot of them are stupidly easy, but hopefully a few will make you think...?

1) Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Green Day - (Wake Me Up) When September Ends, Mama Waits, via text!

2) If you think that a kiss is all in the lips, come on, you've got it all wrong man
The White Stripes - The Denial Twist

3) I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour...
The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, Stu_N

4) Last night she brought me to the state of mind in an empty room
Supergrass - Kiss Of Life

5) Somethin’ filled up my heart with nothin’
Arcade Fire - Wake Up, Stu_N

6) Take a walk, out the gate you go and never stop
Ben Folds - Jesusland, Mellie

7) Talk to me now I'm older, your friend told you ‘cause I told her
The Strokes - 12.51

8) I was surprised, I was happy for a day, in 1975
Belle and Sebastian - The State I Am In, Matt_c

9) Up on a hill is where we begin this silly story, a long time ago
The Strokes - The Modern Age

10) I fall for this season everytime, when it's hot and everybody smiles
The Divine Comedy - Pop Singer's Fear Of The Pollen Count, Mellie

11) I lost a sacred feeling but I made a couple of friends
Razorlight - Up All Night

12) You see her, you can't touch her
Franz Ferdinand - Auf Asche, Matt_c

13) I knew along that I was right at the start
Dirty Pretty Things - Band Bang, You're Dead

14) People will know when they see this show, the kind of a guy I am
Loudon Wainwright III - One Man Guy

15) I wish it was last September, when we could lose ourselves in crowds everyday
Ben Folds Five - Emaline, Mellie

16) Your day breaks, your mind aches
The Beatles - For No One, Mellie

17) Is it worth it; a new winter coat and shoes for the wife..?
Elvis Costello - Shipbuilding, Stu_N

18) Hello, I've waited here for you...
Foo Fighters - Everlong, Bluto

19) I thought I'd write, I thought I'd let you know...
Ben Folds - Gone, Mellie

20) Cos - breaking up is so very hard to do
Walker Bros. - Make It Easy On Yourself, SimonHolyHoses - though the version I had was actually the very live Divine Comedy b-side version that Dean mentioned, so he gets points too!

21) First you get down on you knees, fiddle with your Rosaries
Tom Lehrer - The Vatican Rag, Dean

22) Is there anybody going to listen to my story...?
The Beatles - Girl, Mellie

23) I'm turning the lights down low, ready to make my move
Badly Drawn Boy - Tickets To What You Need

24) Thank you for this bitter knowledge
Rufus Wainwright - Go Or Go Ahead, Matt_c/Lisa

25) Feeling my way on the crest of a wave, it's like magic
ELO - Living Thing, Stu_N

Good luck!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Billie/Rose related stuff

So Rose metamorphosed before our very eyes, last night, into an 'old hand' companion; 'deducting' (I'd have preferred deducing, but whatever) and all sorts. And just before she.... *runs away sobbing*

Luckily, Rose will live on under a different name, and Ms. Piper has got LOADS on her plate. is JUST as thorough and borderline scary as its DT affiliate, and has photos of her as Sally Lockheart for the filming of The Ruby In The Smoke, and info about her role in ITV's 'Austen Season' which will also involve, apparently, old friend Christopher Ecclestone and Trinny and Susanna. But of course.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Divine Comedy's new album...

Victory For The Common Muse is an absolute treat: cheeky, clever, beautiful - nothing less than you'd expect from the stupidly talented Mr. Neil Hannon, in fact. Go buy it now. Now!

Friday, June 23, 2006

"And please put your hands together for Boba Fett on keys..."

This is just brilliant - Star Wars and Gnarls Barkley brought together - it was only a matter of time, wasn't it?! Thanks to Paul for the tip-off.

(P.S. YouTube really is taking over the world, isn't it? The spoofs that are always the MTV Movie Awards highlights can all be found there too.)

World Record Attempt

Jef Sarver is attempting the world record for the longest ever gig, and it's being webcast right here. Will it get exposure, sure; will it have the intended result of a plantinum album? Unlikely...

Hustle: The Movie

No reason whatsoever for me to post this when I got the info from Rob, whom you all read, except that I'm pretty excited. I've always been a big Hustle fan, and with the creator and writer on board - and as long as they keep it as light and frothy and visually exciting as the tv series - there's no reason this shouldn't work.

(That's 200 posts, by the way, thanks for reading and commenting!!)

"Life is a Cabaret for Eddie Izzard!"

I don't know why I decided to do a weird Sun-type headline. Anyhoo, this from

Eddie Izzard is being tipped to star in the West End production of Cabaret.The comic is reportedly in talks to take the lead role of the outrageous Sally Bowles, the role that made Liza Minnelli a star in the 1972 film. One unnamed insider told today’s Daily Mirror: ‘Who would be better to play the lively, raunchy, kitsch part than Izzard?’

However, others in the frame are said to include Billie Piper, Denise Van Outen and Martine McCutcheon.

Cabaret, produced by legendary impresario Bill Kenwright, opens at the Lyric Theatre on October 10, with previews from September 23.

Izzard, 44, last appeared in the West End in 2002, in A Day In The Death Of Joe Egg. He later went on to win a Tony nomination for the same role on Broadway.

Tickets for Cabaret are already on sale (here)

Hmm, an insider told The Mirror... don't put your house on it, then, but we can dream. And please, not Denise Van Outen. I'm sure she's very good but she doesn't (or at least, shouldn't) have the monopoly on West End female roles.

Chortle very kindly showed us what Eddie would look like in the role...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Nobody's Watching

Well *that's* not an ironic title for a sitcom that hasn't got picked up by a television company! Rob's blogged how this has been put on YouTube, presumably to try and build up some public pressure, but the fact is 1) it's not funny and 2) it's just wierd. Two sitcom lovers are given the chance to create a sitcom of their own, but they're being played, because the production company actually want a reality show, so they're being filmed while doing it. Are you following me? There's more. Sometimes when the two guys are working out their show, they do it on a sitcom set with a live audience. There seems to be no reason for this.
We're watching a show, about people trying to make a show, who are filmed while making that show. And this strange premise is only made worse by the fact that none of the characters have any presence or charm. It's pretty bad.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Top of the Pops Axed...

It's 'breaking news' on FiveLive, though I can't find the story online.. but apparently t'is true. I'll do a reaction post in due course, no doubt :)

EDIT: Ok, let's just do it here. As Scott has mentioned in the comments, TOTP has improved of late. There was a time from the late nineties until about 2003/4 when they had dance track after dance track on there, which completely failed to reflect the NME/Strokes-led 'resurrocktion', as I believe Zane Lowe clumsily dubbed it. I, unlike a lot of people, had no problem with it moving to Friday, (ah those days of non-stop good Friday night tv from 7.30 TOTP to 10.00 Fraiser...), but it did gradually decline into half an hour of dancing girls in air hostess outfits, mainly.
Moving it to a Sunday was the kiss of both life and death. Away from its primetime slot, they could be, and eventually were, a lot more adventurous with their line-ups (Foo Fighters, Franz at their height and the Arcade Fire all on one show, anyone?) but 7pm on a Sunday is still 7pm on a Sunday, and it could never last.
Unfortunately, I don't see what's going to take its place. CD:UK got a lot of flack by people who didn't watch it, but if they'd taken the trouble they'd have seen, in those dark turn-of-the-century days, the show TOTP should have been. An eclectic mix of chart acts, and a sparky presenter in Cat Deeley. But that's gone. Later... is not a chart show, and gets progressively worse every season anyway, and Transmission, the new show on Channel 4 in the Later... slot has yet to prove itself to be anything special. Something will inevitably try and fill the hole, and it'd be nice if they kept just a little of that Sunday night spirit.

Monday, June 19, 2006

From our good friends at

Rob has been charting the Sun's obsession with who'll replace Billie (once can I certainly understand; they'd better not screw this up...), and this is what has to say...

The above photo shows the Doctor with the girl who is rumoured to replace assistant Rose Tyler as his TARDIS companion.
Adeola, played by actress Freema Agyeman, will appear in the last two episodes of the current series, Army Of Ghosts and Doomsday.
She is rumoured to work for Torchwood and she will help the Doctor battle the Cybermen as Rose bows out of her time travelling adventures.
There has been no official word on who will be the new assistant. But reports in today's News Of The World state that Captain Jack, played by John Barrowman, will rejoin the Doctor as he struggles to come to terms with Rose's departure.
Filming of the new series starts later this summer.

Yay for Captain Jack's return! Freema, by the way, has appeared in The Bill, Casualty and Silent Witness, but then so has everyone...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Love And Monsters

Hehehehehe. Love And Monsters +15 hours and I'm still smiling. True, an unashamed love of ELO may have enhanced my enjoyment, but I see that as the just reward for having good taste.

Marc Warren makes you beam before he's even opened his mouth, and there really aren't that many actors that make you feel so safe in their presence, or, for that matter, who can make you forget about a certain Mr. Tennant. You instantly cared about Elton, and by 35 minutes in, I was filling up as he asked Ursula out for chinese. Not bad going. Then you've got Peter Kay, who was equally brilliant with and without Bolton accent - grotesquely funny and scary in equal measure, he was a real triumph. And Jackie! I think my fellow pro-Jacki...ans and I have been vindicated at last. When Billie leaves, so, presumably, will Camille Coduri, and that'll be agreat shame.

Oh, and the writing. Such writing. This episode was going to be called I *Heart* The Doctor, and Russell T. Davies, I *heart* you. It was up there with Christmas Invasion and The Girl In The Fireplace in terms of laughs per minute, and had such a sweet heart at the same time. And I haven't even mentioned yet the fact that this was surely one of the strangest episodes of Doctor Who ever. I mean I'm guessing, obviously, but surely. Virtually no Doctor, but a whole other agenda. It was an arms-outstretched hug for Whovians, and more than that, fans of pretty much anything. This being a subject close to my geeky heart, I was particularly pleased that it showed that friendships based on a common love for a single something, can, and often will, turn into something completely real.

Can you tell I liked it? I stand by my first reaction as the credits rolled. 'Well, it doesn't get much better than that'.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Culture Show

8.10 on a Saturday? Yes, perfect timing, well done. That's why I've not watched a single show this series. Honestly, who's bright idea was that?

The Play's The Thing

A nice idea, not a great programme. Watching people discuss plays - that are at this stage not even finished and which we haven't read - is not the best way to fill an hour, but god bless 'em for trying.

Victory for the Comic Muse

The Divine Comedy's new album of the above name doesn't come out until next Monday, but I've had a listen on the website (you have to join the 'Inner Circle' to do so), and it sounds really promising. Definitely not as dark as the wonderful 'Absent Friends' - although 'The Plough' could fit in there - instead, the similarity of the album's name to that of their first ('Fanfare for the Comic Muse') is definitely mirrored in a similarity of feel in the music. It'll be my next purchase.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Satan Pit

Well that was a bit good,wasn't it boys and girls? I watched it completely alone, so my reaction wasn't swayed by the people around me, and I was grinning like a fool one moment (when Rose was taking charge) and crying like a little child the next (too many times to mention actually...!). Billie's adventure story in the ventilation shafts was my favourite part, probably, and I guess I'd rather that that had been properly balanced with some real scary mind-messing stuff from the Devil, but I'm nit picking. My emotions were all over the place, and when a show has an actual effect on you, then it's gotta be applauded. And next week looks great - we're back on track :)

EDIT: I've just skimmed a few blogs which slam the ending, because finding the Tardis was, like, *so* obvious. Were they not whooping with joy that once again the little blue box had come to the rescue? Honestly, there's no pleasing some people.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Boosh vs. Spaced

Can they be compared? Should they just be loved for what they are? Or is just clear that Boosh/Spaced [delete as appropriate] is definitely better? Paul has started the argument while simultaneously summing up everything that's wonderful about the Boosh.

Ooooh, this gives me an opportunity for one of the best Boosh photos I've found...

Monday, June 05, 2006


Sorry for the complete lack of posts and comments on all your lovely blogs, believe me, I am reading, just a tad busy at the moment as I'm going to be stage managing a play at the end of the week - 'Flourless', written by Nick Payne - a York student renowned for being the funniest person anyone has ever met.

So, by this time next week I should be back in full blogging mode - up for commenting on the Doctor Who two parter (started well...!) and boring you all with my usual topics of Benny Folds and Boosh. You love it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006