Thursday, 29 January 2009

Tissue Poem.

Today at college we were looking at Found Poems. Although it's not the same thing, it did remind me of a poem I once found on a pack of tissues a while ago that I was going to write on here because I think you'll all agree that it is, ahem, absolutely beautiful. Luckily I still have it, so here it is. It doesn't have a title, but the tissues are called 'Citylife':

"When the night falls,
Moon and stars,
Cars and Bars,
Beer, water, vapor,
Just like lovely smelling flowers."

Wow. Just wow. There were other colour packs (this was on a blue pack) and I wanted to see if the different colours had different poems on them. However I can't remember where I got them from and have not seen another shop that sells them. Maybe this was a message from a deity or higher being. Am I being told something? Should I give up writing altogether due to the fact I will never write anything as profoundly beautiful as this? Or am I being given the benchmark to aspire to? Or am I being told that yes, there are the Angela Carter's, the Ian McEwan's and the Salman Rushdie's in the world, writers so intimidatingly good it does kind of make me want to give up, but don't forget that utter dross also has a place in the world, so somewhere there will be a place for my writing too in the world, whether I turn out to be good or bad?

I think I'll take that latter option. Now I have to try and write a found poem of my own. If I like it, I may even put it on here for you to see.

P.S. This photo is my new favourite thing EVER!!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

It's Been A While, But I've Come Up With A New Million Pound Idea...

...and I reckon this one would DEFINITELY make millions.

What's the biggest complaint everyone makes about Easter? That's right. The fact that Cadbury's don't make easter egg sized Creme Egg's. Think about it though, that much sugary filling on it's own would make you pretty vomitous after a while. I have come up with the solution.

What makes soft-boiled eggs so much fun? Dipping soldiers in the egg. Therefore Cadbury should make Easter egg sized Creme Eggs, and sell them with soldiers, but soldiers made of CHOCOLATE!!! Think about it. How awesome would it be to dip a stick of chocolate into a massive Creme Egg and eat it like a soft-boiled egg? It would be AMAZING and you know it. Imagine having them at a party like a pudding fondue!! For people like me who love Twirls, Cadbury's could also make ones that have Twirl fingers as the soldiers.

I'm telling you, if Cadbury did this they would make shitloads of money.

Additional: My mate Leo made the point that Cadbuy's Fingers would be perfect as soldiers. Dunno why I didn't think of that myself.

Mylene Klass Does Daft Punk?!?!

Mylene Klass is a very attractive woman.
Mylene Klass can actually play piano very well.
Mylene Klass looks good and plays piano in the new advert for Pantene.
But something is bothering Axl as he watches this advert for the first time.
What is that song?
He knows he's heard it somewhere before but he can't quite...
Oh my God, it's Daft Punk.
It's 'Aerodynamic' by Daft Punk.
It's been transcribed for piano and strings.
It sounds pretty awful.

Now, you probably think what with Daft Punk holding absolute hero status in my head that I'm going to go on a massive rant about how this should never have come to pass, but I'm not. See, when it comes to music and cover versions/sampling, I don't really have much belief in the sacred cow way of thinking. People whine too much about bad cover versions in my opinion. If someone is willing to let their music be covered and/or sampled, then why wouldn't people do it if they want to? Someone doing a bad version of a song is hardly going to have any impact on the original, is it? In fact if anything, having a bad version of a song out there gives you a chance to reappraise the good version, and makes what you like about it more predominant.
Q magazine (like anyone takes them seriously anymore anyway) have this month published another one of their beloved lists. It's called something like '15 Cover Versions That Should Never Have Been Allowed To Happen' or something ridiculous like that. In it, they slate, gripe and generally slag off the 15 cover versions they feel should have never been allowed to see the light of day. Factual errors aside (they have a pop at Will Young for his cover version of The Doors' 'Light My Fire', slating the way that he has turned it into some sort of lounge pop hideousness, but completely fail to mention that his version is in fact a cover of the arrangement of the song that was re-written for Shirley Bassey years ago, so Q's dismay is actually directed at the wrong person.), this is just a stupid list. Yes, we all know that Take That's cover of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was dreadful and that Brittney Spears doing 'Satisfaction' was awful, but you know what? There are some damn fine covers out there too. Whatever your opinion of Jeff Buckley is, his version of 'Hallelujah', yes it's pretty dreary, but it really tapped into the essence of what the song was about and reflected it really well. Pretty much the only good thing Gypsy Kings ever did was take that dreadful old dirge "Hotel California" and turn it into something fun. When I saw Stars Of The Lid live at ATP this year, they performed a version of Arvo Part's 'Fratres', which I thought was just breathtakingly beautiful.

So let My Chemical Romance cover Bob Dylan's 'Desolation Row' and let Bill Bailey have his moment covering 'Creep' at the end of his last dvd (and make no mistake, it is a truly fucking terrible cover version). Let Alien Ant Farm cover 'Smooth Criminal'. By all means let's complain about them and say that they are shit because they are, but when people start saying they are sacrilegious, shouldn't have been allowed and stuff like that, I just find it a bit ridiculous. At the end of the day, people doing bad cover versions are only embarrassing themselves, and you can still listen to the good versions yourselves.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Axl's Albums Of 2008

Right. It's a bit late, I know, and it's also a bit of a copout, but here is the list of my favourite albums of 2008. The reason it took so long was that I sorted out my favourite 40 albums of last year and was trying to put them in order. The reason it's a copout is that I have completely failed to do that and have resorted instead to just listing them in alphabetical order. Apart from numbers 1 and 2, because no matter how many times and different ways I did the list, they have always been numbers 1 and 2, whereas it's gotten to the stage where I just cannot choose between the rest of them. There are still a couple of albums I would really like to hear from last year that I haven't, andf innevitably it will turn out that I've forgotten to include at least one or two that I wish I had, but sod it. I'll change it later on if I feel the need to. I feel I can do this, as I bet no-one has even read this far anyway. So without further ado, the list:

1. Fleet Foxes - 'Fleet Foxes'

2. Lindstrøm - 'Where You Go I Go Too'

The Rest:

Argy - 'Focus On Argy'
Autechre - 'Quaristice'
Beans - 'Thorns'
Benga - 'Diary Of An Afro Warrior'
Bon Iver - 'For Emma, Forever Ago'
Boris - 'Smile'
Peter Broderick - 'Float'
Peter Broderick - 'Home'
Cadence Weapon - 'Afterparty Babies'
Daedelus - 'Love To Make Music To'
Deadmau5 - 'Random Album Title'
Disco Drive - 'Things To Do Today'
Elbow - 'The Seldom Seen Kid'
Flight Of The Conchords - 'Flight Of The Conchords'
Flying Lotus - 'Los Angeles'
Foals - 'Antidotes'
Foot Village - 'Friendship Nation'
Friendly Fires - 'Friendly Fires'
Fuck Buttons - 'Street Horrrsing'
Hercules & Love Affair - 'Hercules & Love Affair'
Hot Chip - 'Made In The Dark'
Jóhann Jóhannsson - 'Fordlandia'
Kasai Allstars - 'In The 7th Moon, The Chief Turned Into A Swimming Fish And Ate The Head Of His Enemy By Magic'
Large Professor - 'Main Source'
The Mars Volta - 'The Bedlam In Goliath'
Rod Modell - 'Incense & Black Light'
Mogwai - 'The Hawk Is Howling'
Neon Neon - 'Stainless Style'
Portishead - 'Third'
Max Richter - '24 Postcards In Full Colour'
The Roots - 'Rising Down'
Sasha - 'Invol2ver'
Shed - 'Shedding The Past'
Shit & Shine - 'Cherry'
Sigur Ros - '
Með Suð í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust'
Sun Kil Moon - 'April'
Youthmovies - 'Good Nature'
Zomby - 'Where Were You In '92'

Right. I'm gonna try and get back to sleep now. I've been pretty ill today. Some kind of head murky hell thing. It's led to some odd sleep on/off weirdness, and I don't get regular sleep at the best of times, so irregular irregular sleep is just the worst. Also I got my results back for last terms modules and I am not happy with them, which is making me feel worse. Basically I'm a big ball of illness and self-pity at the moment. Boo hoo hoo. God I need some medicine and a kicking.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Sestina.

My friend Emma's friend Hannah
said I should write a sestina, however
I didn't know what one was, so I looked it up on Wikipedia. It
turns out that a sestina has six stanzas, each with six lines,
followed by a seventh stanza with three lines at the end.
Easy enough, Yes?

Ah but it's not that simple, see? Yes,
that would be too easy so there's a quirk an' a
twist to complicate things and send
you on an adventure, because however
long you make your lines,
the sestina has an odd rule to it.

The six stanzas have to end with the same words, but it
has to be in a different order each time. Yes,
some crafty bugger in the twelfth century declined
other forms of poetry an' came up with his own. Hannah
told me about this form in the Jericho Tavern one night, however
coz I was a bit drunk an' it was a bit loud, by the end

of the day I'd forgotten the details. I was gonna pretend
I remembered them and write something completely wrong, but it
dawned on me I should probably try and do it right. However
I'm not really confident in my abilities as a poet. Yes,
poetry is not really my forte. Hannah
said this probably isn't true. She's probably being nice an' trying to get me to write lines

an' lines
of the stuff to find my voice or style or whatever. Poets defened
their art to the end, an' a
poet will wish that more people would try it,
give it a chance, an yes
it would be nice if people were more open minded about poetry. However,

at the same time I wonder, however,
whether they really would like being aligned
with every tom, dick an' harry who put pen to paper. Yes,
a cultural revolution it may be, but in the end
the fact that more people don't write or like poetry makes it
something more intellectual and exclusive Hannah,

and I think, at least some, poets like that Hannah. However,
it may be I'm wrong in this perception, and these final lines
are wide of the mark. In the end, who am I really to say, yes?

Lead Balloon.

At work the tv series "Lead Balloon" keeps cropping up on the x-box in the staff room. If you haven't seen it, it's a comedy series starring Jack Dee as a character pretty much like himself, only less successful. He has a wife, an agent that he regularly meets up with and a cleaner he has problems with. It's about his life and attempts at just getting on with things (professional engagements, general life itself, etc). Now, I've seen a few episodes and it's pretty bland and inoffensive on the face of it, but still there was always something that bothered me about it that I couldn't quite put my finger on, that made me really not like it. The other day I finally managed to work it out.

"Lead Balloon" is a complete, total and utter rip off of "Curb Your Enthusiasm".

The realisation dawned on me during an episode in which Jack Dee is going to be doing some fundraising appearance at a library, which he also has an overdue book from. He tries to argue that he should be let off the fine because he is going to be making them a lot more money than the £6 he owes. The librarian doesn't waive the fine. They have a bit of a face off before Jack Dee eventually gives up and walks away still with the book having not paid the fine. At home he tells his wife who says "Why didn't you just pay the fine?" to which Jack Dee says "It's about the principal.". Later or the next day he goes for lunch with his agent and they get a waiter who is rude to them. Turns out this is because the canteen they're in is in the same building as the library and the waiter is pissed off with Jack coz he upset the librarian, who said he was very aggressive even tho he wasn't really aggressive at all. Larry, sorry Jack, then finds out that he's not appearing at the library benefit anymore OH MY GOD HOW CURB IS IT?! Everyone involved in this program has basically just gone "Hey, you know that amazing 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' programme? Well, relatively very few people in the UK know about it. Let's do a budget UK version and no-one will realise we're just completely ripping them off!"

So yeah. Don't watch "Lead Balloon". Watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" instead. "Lead Balloon" is a cheap rip-off piece of crap.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Don't Believe The Hype.

At the moment, anyone involved in the UK mainstream music press/industry seems to be bored and have decided to try to force Florence & The Machine into our ears and eyes. Apparently they are going to be 2009's hip & fresh & exciting new big thing.

Make no mistake. Florence & The Machine is/are not doing anything new and exciting, of even interesting. So can everyone stop saying that this act is exciting please? Her voice is not distinctive and original. The songs are boring and annoying. Need convincing? Someone on Radio 2 described her as "Kooky". I don't think I need to say anymore really, do I?

You know what? You want a female act who's doing something interesting? Check out Fever Ray, the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson from excellent band The Knife. Her new song "If I Had A Heart" is ace. A slow burning throb of a pop song. Far more textured and interesting than anything I have heard by Florence & The Machine. But of course, they/she are/is the ones/one (jesus/god this is getting/becoming dull/boring) who will win over in the end, because the powers that be have deemed it so.

Depressing. Please please please check out Fever Ray instead. I've even re-posted this blog with a proper link to the video on it! Go! Check it out! Go now!

If I Had A Heart | Video

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Tuesday, 6 January 2009


I fucking love this:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

This too. This is AMAZING!!!

Tat once again finding 'possibly the greatest thing on YouTube'. I swear she's found 'possibly the greatest thing on YouTube' about seven times now.

Oh, and I found the Chippendales' "Room Service" video again, so that's back on the "Things I H ave Seen Today" post. If you haven't seen it before, you reeeeeally should. Tat has possibly outdone me with this find. I can't decide.

You Know What?

I just can't be bothered to do anything special for the 250th post.