Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Save Invasion!

Go on, sign. Do it for me :)

Big Brother

I've caught a couple of shows now, but I'm just not getting hooked. Scott tells me that yet another housemate has left, making that four in one and a half weeks, with just one actual eviction. I watched on Monday to see who they'd put in to replace Shabaz and Dawn and, guess what, it was a dim girl and a woman who used to be a man. Novel. Basically, the casting this year has been woeful - the females are pretty much all dull and self-absorbed and the males are generally quite ignorant and arrogant. Two years ago was the best when you had a real range of people, from mad Nadia, to bunny boiler Michelle to thoughtful Stewart.

Presumably with George gone, they'll have to replace him. BB - we need a hero.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Invasion RIP

Was Larkin changed into a hybrid? Does that mean the baby's gone? Will anyone ever give Dave credit for working this all out? Will anyone ever give Kira a good slap?

Unfortuantely, we will never know. It was deathly slow, but hey, I enjoyed it.

This is the nation's Number 2

Sandi Thom - 'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair
In '77 and '69 revolution was in the air
I was born too late into a world that doesn't care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

When the head of state didn't play guitar
Not everybody drove a car
When music really mattered and when radio was king
When accountants didn't have control
And the media couldn't buy your soul
And computers were still scary and we didn't know everything

[chorus]

When pop stars still remained a myth
And ignorance could still be bliss
And when God saved the Queen she turned a whiter shade of pale
My mom and dad were in their teens
And anarchy was still a dream
And the only way to stay in touch was a letter in the mail

[chorus]

When record shops were still on top
And vinyl was all that they stocked
And the super info highway was still drifting out in space
Kids were wearing hand me downs
And playing games meant kick arounds
And footballers still had long hair and dirt across their face

[chorus]

I was born too late into a world that doesn't care
Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair

Quick, pass the bucket. I'm sorry (in fact I'm not), but is this not the most infuriating set of lyrics you have ever seen? I'm up for a bit of nostalgia as much as the next guy, but this is just hideous.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Idiot's Lantern

Lisa thought "that Maureen Lipman played The Wire wonderfully well last night. Archly camp and terrifying", and I completely agree. Most other things about the episode were, though, a bit rubbish. Not the funniest, not the scariest, completely incomprehensible villain... It wasn't terrible - I liked the fact that the Doctor got to do a lot and shout and stuff, and it was a necessary bridging episode between two big two-parters - but it wasn't great. Roll on next week.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Facebook

As I mentioned in a previous post, it's now compulsory that all students join Facebook. Well, it feels like it anyway. It's like Myspace, but sectioned off into universities, so there's no chance of finding anyone new, really, only people you already know... Basically it sucks.

BUT, there is one redeeming feature, and that is the Groups. A group is essentially like an online society, but because anyone can set one up, and being a member requires no effort other than to go 'ha, I like/hate that too', there's a a group for pretty much everything. And I've got to admit, many have raised a smile. Alas, you have to be registered to actually see any of them, but here's a guide to the sort of thing you get sucked into...

1) The TV/Film/Music Appreciation Groups
Pretty standard and does exactly what it says on the tin. You just discuss how amazing it is, and maybe you'll bump into a fellow fan on campus - say goodbye to awkward smalltalk!
eg. The Mighty Boosh Society - which has the cool idea of everyone getting a secondary name from the show; I'm Fickle Bobby :)
'We All Had An Obsession With The Goblin King Once' (Once?)

2) The Personalities Groups
Again pretty standard, but some are quite funny
eg. The 'Blackadder for God' Group
The 'I Hate Bono 'Society

3) The Local Groups
Because the site is split into unis, the groups can be very specific. These are some of the more interesting ones...
eg. The 'I Hate The New Bus' Society (in York we're trialling a bus with a machine that dispenses your ticket.. but no change. And you can't use a card. And the drivers are called Pilots. Idiots.)
The 'Goodricke D Block 2004/5' Group (where I lived last year)
Ziggy's sober is like torturing children - It's just not right (Ziggyis is a horrible club in York)

4) The Plain Weird Ones
eg. 'Why Everyone Should Love Pirates'

I don't know, but this gives me faith in students. Just as random as we've ever been.

Sheffield Theatres Autumn Season

No real details, but this from the Sheffield Theatres newsletter -

"The Sheffield Theatres 2006-07 season opens in spectacular style with a brand new production of Nobel prizewinner Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, starring Nigel Harman (Dennis Rickman in EastEnders) and David Bradley (Filch in the Harry Potter films). The season also includes Caryl Churchill's breathtaking A Number, featuring father and son Timothy West and Samuel West sharing the stage for the first time in Sheffield. Christmastime sees family favourite Fiddler on the Roof in the Crucible, in a new production of the much-loved musical with Henry Goodman, packed with all the classic songs including If I Were a Rich Man and Matchmaker, Matchmaker."

Good stuff :)

Happy Birthday Bob

Something pretty special happened last night, under a cinema in York.

This event was held, and my goodness it was good. Basically, York's got a hell of a lots of musical talent at the moment, and what's so great is that the element of competition has been replaced with a healthy, very often beery camaradery which makes nights like this so wonderful. The above mentioned Cardboard Radio and Bo$$Caine can often be seen jamming at each others gigs, and last night they again came together to say a big happy birthday to their shared leader, Mr. Bob Dylan. Along with them were David Ward Mclean - think Billy Connelly with a guitar - Chris Helme - he who fronted John Squire's band The Seahorses and now is the force behind The Yards - Hayley Hutchinson - who's making a massive name for herself on the folk scene - and Shonet - a girl with one of the most beautiful voices I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. As you can tell, girls played as big a part in this evening as guys which was a delight to see, and when three of them got together for a haunting version of 'I Shall Be Released', they provided a gorgeous highlight. Another 'I was there moment' came from Chord (bass player with Cardboard Radio) who, armed with his Casio keyboard (aka The Chordisound), had the house crying laughter at his bossanova Mighty Quinns and salsa Hard Rains. Providing the inter-band tunes was our very own Paul Fuzz (that's a link to his Myspace rather than blog, by the way, where great examples of his writing can be found) and the evening was rounding off withe Boss Caine and the Cardies going electric (Judas!) and very loud.

The night was, I think, an unqualified success, and the organisers - Andy and Paul Fuzz and Boss Caine - should be very proud.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I...

I am AnnaWaits on the net, Anna Lowman in "real life". They're quite similar, but AW is probably a tad funnier. BUT I'm learning to live my life as if it were a sitcom. It's so much fun! You think you take all the opportunites you get to be funny, but you don't! Do so, and there's a lot more smiles in your day.
I want to make the people around me always feel comfortable and happy, if possible.
I wish I were a regular extra on the Boosh. I mean how cool would that be? You'd be constantly entertained, there'd be no pressure on you, you could go on the road, have your own little cult following. Brilliant.
I love genuine people, beautiful music, stunning theatre and kickass tv.
I fear rising water...
I hear Ben Folds on a regular basis...?!
I wonder why they stopped making Vice Versas.
I regret the fact that they stopped making Vice Versas.
I dance very infrequently now, used to be a daily occurrance.
I cry when I watch the episode of Friends where Pheobe gives birth to triplets. It's beautiful tv.
I confuse people who think I would surround myself with Indie Kids. But they're not all that.
I tag Paul, Dean and Mouldy.

I've been tagged...

By Rosby, and while I have to rush off now, I'm posting this so you can all get on my back if I don't do it soon!

TV Choice Awards

Go and show your love for Doctor Who,


The Boosh,


My Name Is Earl


et al :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chelsea Flower Show, Big Brother and the French Open

These three things just scream 'SUMMER' to me. If you keep your curtains shut, you can almost believe it's on its way...

On the subject of Big Brother, I'm not watching it. Not because I'm boycotting it, not because I don't like it, not because I've been press ganged into joining Facebook and now have no free time... well it's partly that, but mostly I don't rightly know sir. I watched the launch and hated all the contestants, but I hate them every year and still watch. I honestly don't know what's happened. What this does mean, however, is that I can get into Celebrity X Factor which will be on at the same time. And you just know that it's going to be gold...

TV Today Blog

Scott promised us something special and he has duly delivered with the reintroduction of The Stage's old TV Today paper (not supplement!) in brand spanking new blog form. It says:
TV Today is the blog you need if your life revolves around television — on either side of the camera, or from the comfort of your sofa.

Well I wouldn't say revolves around but.... :)

Edit - Man, a link'd be good, wouldn't it?! TV Today

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another one to add to the list...

Andrew Collins (him of NME and Radio 1 etc) has a wonderful blog, so that's another five minutes off my day :) Here he's written brilliantly about the Boosh -
This - as I'm kind of guessing you all know - is a comedy half-hour like no other. In the chemistry between Howard and Vince (Barratt and Fielding), TV has stumbled upon something money cannot buy, but years on the circuit can. In their off-the-cuff badinage, redolent of a lot of "naturalistic" comedy of today, they manage to be offbeat and low-key and minor-chord without ever appearing self-indulgent or smug ..... It's drugs television that works if you're not on drugs. It's young-person's television that works if you're not young (although I do find myself arguing with myself about who's the best out of Julian and Noel). It's gone-wrong television that works if you've gone right. It's stupid television that works if you're clever (because of course it's not stupid at all). It is my favourite comedy programme. Imagine that!

Never a truer word(s) said, in my opinion.

Monday, May 22, 2006

From a true Electro Girl...

Ladies and gentlemen, Paul Fuzz, Becstar. and myself have been bitten by the Boosh Bug. (As my many references might have hinted at...) I asked Becstar. if she'd guest blog about the Jazz Maverick and King of the Mods. Here's what she said...

Mod Wolves and Techno Mice.

mod wolves…techno mice…shrines to jagger…cowboy boots…yeti calls…jazz trances…mating pandas…shamans who shop at dixons…training sequences (with music)…baileys…eggs of mantubi…silver horseshoes…stabbing everybody up…juicy danglers/crispy tubes…icy tundras…dead swans…leg faced men…slopes of cream…cornish guilt…songs about looking for the new sound…lady fortune…doors of cuckundoo…apes of death…sea anemones…santana tracksuits…cheese graters…tutus…hubba bubba nightmares…songs called particle…wesley snipes…ponchos and sombreros…slush puppies at ice rinks…miracle wax…glam folk/jazz funk…pictures of kittens…cheekbones and ninjas…mirror worlds…electro boys/electro girls…lonely moons…pop stars with pilot licenses (imagine that)…coconuts…communist hairy russian carpet men…

I know that if The Mighty Boosh is a party, I’ve arrived late, when everybody is crashed out on the living room floor. But you best believe that I’m helping myself to the left over dip and warm lager…of fun.

Also, Noel Fielding is my boyfriend.

Keep on Booshin’ Boosh fans…

Becstar (Noel Fielding’s girlfriend)

xxx

And she invites you to add to the list.
Crystal moccasins/bionic jeans...being greedy for the verse...Uncle Walt's felt pens...little sleepies...things that have gone wrong...shamans that like to travel...
Man I could do this all day :) The Boosh just makes me smile. The Fuzz texted me saying 'The Boosh rules. Definitive sit-com of its time. The Monty Python of the Libertines era. That good? Discuss.'
Please feel free to do so.

P.S. I'm more of a Julian Barratt fan myself...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Age of Steel

Marie found it disappointing but as I've already informed her, she's just plain wrong. :) I thought it was great! Really fast paced (to make up for last week's rather plodding affair, that Byker Grove kid did brilliantly - playing exactly the same character he played in Byker Grove - and I have to admit to a few tears. Mickey the hero, whod'a thunk. I agree with Marie that the Cybermen didn't totally work, but I was so engrossed in Mickey's story that I wasn't all that bothered.

Also like Marie, I am a little too excited about next week's episode. Motorbikes? Aviator shades? Maureen Lipman? A quiff??
Yes please.

I'm back...

Yay! You can all sleep easier tonight, I'm sure :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

What a fantastic idea

I've briefly taken over my home PC just to mention this wonderful blog set up by Miss. Dumican (known to us as Becstar. but shhh....!). With weeks of revision leave to fill, students can keep in contact with their teacher with any questions, and to get revision tips to keep themselves interested. That, surely, is the definition of 'beyond the call of duty'. Such a nice thing to see - never had revision blogs in my day. ;)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Poor little thing....

Just to let you know, my laptop has a fever, so I'm gonna keep it tucked up in bed for a while. I'll see you when, unlike all beautiful and pure Victorian herorines, it has managed to recover from it's illness. :)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

3rd series of the Mighty Boosh confirmed.... or is it really confirmed?


Apparently. Yes, it would seem that a 15 year old from Australia is actually a reliable source, even the moderator thinks so. If it's true though, it's great news.

The proper Boosh post is yet to come, by the way....

Fuzz of a Paul-less nature...

This from the wonderful Spaced website...

" Caught by the Fuzz - Hot Fuzz is go

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wrights new film 'Hot Fuzz' is all set to go, with principal photography starting later on in March and with a planed release date of February 2007.

The film, a comedy about a London cop who is seconded to deepest, darkest Somerset, Police constable, Nicholas Angel is good at his job, so good in fact, he makes everyone else look bad. As a result, his superiors at the Met have decided to sweep him under the carpet. So it is that London's top cop finds himself in the sleepy West Country village of Sandford. With garden fetes and neighbourhood watch meetings replacing the action of the city, Angel struggles to adapt to his situation and finds himself partnered with Danny Butterman (Frost), an oafish but well meaning young Constable, who dreams of being Mel Gibson. Just as all seems lost, a series of grisly accidents motivates Angel into action. Convinced of foul play, Angel realises that Sandford may not be as idyllic as it seems.

The film is from an original screenplay by Wright and Pegg. Hot Fuzz will be produced by Nira Park (Spaced and Shaun of the Dead), Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and the executive producer is Natascha Wharton and will feature a stellar British cast including Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge), Timothy Dalton (The Living Daylights), Steve Coogan (A Cock and Bull Story) and Martin Freeman (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy)."

Wait, - So it is that London's top cop finds himself in the sleepy West Country village of Sandford. With garden fetes and neighbourhood watch meetings replacing the action of the city, Angel struggles to adapt to his situation.

Does this not sound like an ITV sunday night comedy drama series, possibly starring Martin Clunes, or Alan Davies....?

Mickey's story the highlight of an episode?

Big kudos to Tom MacCrae for managing that!

The greatest thing ever...


Wow. Mellie Bean is the proud owner of this fine specimen, but it's currently a little unwell, (as she blogs here) and as it's just too glorious to stay that way, I'm joining her rallying call to all handy men/women out there.

But more I just wanted to have the picture on my blog :)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Note and/or Query answered...

Over on the Guardian's Notes and Queries page, I asked 'What's harder - brain surgery or rocket science?' I thought this was mildly funny, and was hoping for someone to be on the same wavelength and answer 'Come on, Anna, it's not brain.. rocket... never mind.' I didn't get that answer. I got proper answers. Ah well.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Oooh it's that nasty NME again...

... being, well, different. Yup, both me and Mr. Fuzz have noticed something a little different about this week's edition. For the Fuzz, it was the lambasting of the readers' collective decision to put Pete Doherty at Number Two in their 'Heroes' list - "Is he really still your hero?" they ask. Though as Paul points out, they apparently have no problem with the No. 1, Kurt Cobain. He's dead so better be nice.

Paul goes into further detail with this one, but what I noticed was something weird going on in the reviews pages. The Raconteurs - that band they've been bigging up for weeks, telling us that this is what Jack's been waiting for, and what we can all enjoy now he's got rid of that girl - well Rob Fitzpatrick gave those same Raconteurs a 6/10 review. A SIX OUT OF TEN REVIEW. Nothing that's been hyped gets 6. You may remember my eloquent reaction to the Arctic Monkeys' 10/10, which I now wish I'd put my house on (though then would I have only got my house back...? anyway). They, maybe, can be excused for this one. NME were relatively late backing the Monkeys (just making sure they backed the right horse this time after the whole Bloc Party debacle) and so probably wanted to make up for lost time. But you'd expect any hyped album to get a nine if it lives up to expectations, and an eight, and very possibly a seven if it doesn't. But six?! That's one above what they've given 'Feeder: The Singles' for goodness sake. This is pretty impressive, brave reviewing, and Mr. Fitzpatrick is getting a congratulatory letter outta me. It's not that I want the album to suck, quite the opposite to be honest, but for an NME reviewer to think it does, and moreover to say so, is almost unheard of, recently.

There is a problem, in that Fitzpatrick seems to have a chip on his shoulder about 'side-projects' generally, but we'll forgive for ending with these lines: "You'll buy it, put it on your iTunes and most likely never listen to it again. Meanwhile, Jack will return to Meg and something properly startling will (undoubtedly) occur."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Celebrity Apprentice...

... is going to be aired for Comic Relief next year, so the Guardian tells me. Which all well and good, but means, presumably, no Celebrity Fame Academy which has always been stupidly entertaining due to some very canny casting.
That'd be Ade Edmondson, there.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From those diligent d-t.commers...

Who Does Who Think He Is?!05/05/2006, 16:47pm BST

The BBC have confirmed that David Tennant will be tracing his family tree and going back to his roots for a new series of the BBC show Who Do You Think You Are?
David has already been back to Paisley to film segments for the show which will be shown on BBC One in the Autumn.


Yay! A lot of actors often seem quite reticent or shy when it comes to just 'being themselves' on tv. Our Dave is not one of them... There must be something in the highland water, because, just like Ewan McGregor, he's always engaging and funny, so I think this'll be great.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cats The Musical

It gets a bad rep, doesn't it? Among regular theatre goers you find two opinions -that it's Evil Webber taken to its most hideous 8Os excesses; or it's just, you know, Cats. That really famous musical called Cats. You know, the one about cats with all the cats in. I was in the second camp, I guess, and really wasn't expecting a whole lot when I went to see it last night at the Sheffield Lyceum. But my goodness it's great! I realise that expressing this opinion is probably a shooting offence according to the Taste Police but I really don't care. I think coming from a dance background helps, because acting being a cat can only be achieved through movement, and it's so very well done. The young cast look like they're having the time of their lives, putting their all into every move, and relishing the chance to come into the audience every now and then to ruffle some six year old kid's hair. And that's another thing that endeared me towards it - it was just so nice to not be the youngest person in the audience, but to see row upon row of smiling faces.

(Oh and yeah, while we're on the subject, this is for the lady in Row T, Seat 23: when the young girl behind you is enjoying the show, and maybe laughing and pointing out a funny bit of stage action a single decibel louder than you find appropriate, please don't put her off ever coming again by turning round and glaring at the poor thing.)

Anyway, the whole experience is, of course, just so fantastically slick. The lights coordinate inventively with the music, the set is brilliant, and every cast member plays his or her part by always staying in character. As for the songs, (Memory aside, which a crime against the production, mainly, not to mention T.S. Elliott) they're just incredibly vibrant and hum-able, which, sometimes, is exactly what you want. Honestly, next time it rolls into town, leave any preconceptions at the door and just enjoy.

Creeping anti-Megism

I'm tired of it, I tell you. I have nothing but good wishes for The Raconteurs - Steady As She Goes is a great song, and Jack n' Brendan are both very talented - so I'm glad that the music industry are taking them seriously as a band. But music journalists seem so intent on showing that they're taking them seriously as a band, that they're starting to be down on the White Stripes. Yes, that band which is one of the most magical and interesting bands on the planet, that band which, up until a couple of months ago, those same journos had nothing but praise for. So what's the problem now? Well, they're not being open in their hostility, but the word 'restricted' is being used in pretty much every piece - that the two-instrument, three-colour palette he chose for the Stripes means we're not getting all he can give. By extension, the pieces hint that only being able to work with Meg is holding him back. Just below the surface, you can hear what's really going on: Bless her, she's pretty, but she can't exactly drum, can she? What's he doing playing with her? Man, the White Stripes would be better off with a proper drummer. It's not restricted to journalists either, anti-Megism is rife in indie kid circles. Everyone seems to love the Stripes but dislike Meg. But that's half! Literally they wouldn't be half the band they are without her! How can you possibly like a band where half the sound is abhorrent to you?!

I spend a lot of my life defending Meg, but it's a battle worth fighting so I don't mind carrying on here. Meg, of course, is not the most technically proficient drummer in the world - she couldn't play in Led Zeppelin say, but hey, guess what, she's not in Led Zeppelin! She's in the White Stripes! And she is so great in the White Stripes. She makes a wonderfully huge, dirty sound that matches Jack's scuzzy guitars and bashing of the ivories. If you don't like Meg, you're wrong, and I believe the case to be now closed.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Guardian Arts podcast

I read in the Guardian at some point last week that an arts podcast would debut yesterday. Now I can find neither the podcast, nor the promise of one... I'm probably just cracking up.

The Matrix Trilogy

So ITV showed the Matrix trilogy three nights in a row. I'm not saying anything controversial in suggesting that the first one is wonderful, and that the other two suck - if I were trying to be cool, I'd try and find redeeming features in the sequels - but let's face it, it's true. Well actually, I didn't watch the third one. Or the second half of the second one. But I think that helps make my point.... hmmm.

Anyway, somehow the producers, directors, writers, pretty much everybody (including many fans) completely failed to understand what was good about the first film. What's good is most definitely not it's cleverness. The matrix as an idea is wonderful, I'll give it that, but apart from that, what's great about this film is it's very dumb-ness. People in cool shades, big guns, bullet time, not whether there's a bloody spoon or not. It's an action movie, a big, dumb, but brilliantly-done action movie.

And I wanna make it clear that I'm not taking anything away from it - it's massively influential, more so than pretty much any other film of the last ten years that I can think of, I'm just trying to point out what makes it good. The second one (yes, what I saw of it..!) is obsessed with the sci-fi and the mythology, but the writers can't handle it, and a lot of the dialogue simply doesn't make sense. They're giving me these huge speeches that essentially mean jack, when all I want's fifteen more minutes of the agent fight sequence. The guys behind the trilogy utterly failed to realise where the first film's strengths were, and that's a real shame.

David Blaine...

...was great at street magic, wasn't he? Should've stuck to that, cos he can't out-weird the Anti-Christ. I love how he's going to hold his breath for, like, days or something and no-one cares. How fickle we are.

Matt_c has a much more interesting post on this, by the way.