Canon M5 First Test Shots

Sugracubes

Sooo… I went to town for a wander and came home with an M5…

Yeah, I know. Like I need YET ANOTHER CAMERA.

But, in my defence, it’s very tiny and basically an 80D crammed into a minuscule chassis.

I am going to test the shit out it this week at the anti-Trump protest and at HDIF on Saturday night when I’m DJing.

24 And 27 Club

This popped up on Facebook and for a moment I wondered if Curtis was in the 27 Club. But, no, he isn’t.
Ian Curtis would be 60 now, he died at 24 so not a 27 Club member.
 
Of the actual 27 Club members ~ Kurt Cobain would be 50. Jimi Hendrix, 75. Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, 74. Amy Winehouse only 34.

For A Free Scotland!

Yes, run from Tory England as FAST AS YOU CAN, Scotland! And then, when there’s an INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND that is also still part of the EU, watch companies and personnel drain north of the border.

Face it, if you were a bank, where would you rather have an HQ ~ xenophobic, Brexit England or Free Scotland?

If Scotland goes indie, I’m gonna be very tempted to move my studio up there. I want to live in a European country, not Farage’s festering armpit.

The Forgotten Cohort

If you fall into either of those camps, you’ll doubtless have strong opinions. If you don’t, then come and join me on the sidelines as the two sides limber up for the mother of all battles. I’ve got popcorn, it’ll be fun. And who are we, if we’re not boomers or millennials? Why, we’re Generation X of course. And when the slapping and fighting is all done and dusted, we’re going to save the world.

(Source: The Independent)

Okay, so it’s a silly article and as a Gen Xer I think loads of it is wrong. For example, Xers were the first slacker generation. A lot of us fucked off our 20s in a way that Millennials just can’t now. So much for industrious.

What I would agree on is the music stuff: punk, reggae, goth, hip hop, indie, rave, house, jungle, metal and all the various sub-genres, that was us. I’m waiting for a new genre, for a 21st century genre powered by Millennials. Played on knitting needles or something.

I wonder how we’ll do when we’re finally in charge and the Boomers are all dead?

Netflixitis

So, I’m currently trying to watch the pilot episode of Legion, a new TV show based on the Marvel character.

But… I’ve already lost interest.

Because, even though this is being shown on Fox, the show has been infected with the new scourge of TV: NETFLIXITIS.

The infection was first spotted in a very benign form in the series Sense8. This charming series, about people scattered around the world sharing a psychic link, had very pacey stories. Every ep, we’d get fights and chases and hot threesomes. But every now and then, there’d be meaningless, pointless shots. These would be mostly slo-mo travelogue stuff: the kind of footage you want to see only when you’re evaluating whether a new DSLR has bad rolling shutter. They didn’t advance the story, they didn’t help flesh out the characters. They did nothing but look vaguely pretty.

In and of themselves, these little langours did little to harm Sense8. They were way offset by the actual meat of the programme.

BUT THE INFECTION SPREAD! IT GREW WILD AND WOOLLY!

Cue The OA, a series deliberately made to be unwatchable, to challenge you with its endless hours of faux-profound shots of… well… nothing much happening. And then there are the openly risible sequences set in heaven / multiverse hub / a hippy’s bedroom with that spooky lady and the floating galaxies and the ‘OH WOW! PATHS TO DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS!’ and… well, you get my point. The final payoff of The OA, that violent vogueing can save the day is really, really, REALLY not worth the hours of my life wasted on this pseudy piffle. It’s the televisual equivalent of taking a children’s book and then simply adding word after word until it’s the length of War And Peace. There is zero added *meaning,* the only similarity is length.

Netflixitis is directors padding out what would make perhaps 90 minutes of riveting TV into a whole season. They have the Netflix dosh, the pitch was a killer and now… and now they have to deliver an actual series. But they haven’t really got enough content for that many eps!? WHAT TO DO?? Easy, just pad every ep with pointless scenes, intercut it with un-related footage of bees or a factory or starlings flocking to make it seem, like, y’know, DEEP and then, hey presto, you’ve got your required number of eps.

The first ep of Legion just finished. I typed all this while I was watching, knowing I could be inattentive because, y’know, FUCK ALL WAS HAPPENING. The entire hour could have been boiled down to fifteen minutes. All the ‘IS THIS REAL?’ ‘IS ANYTHING REAL?’ bullshit was so laboured, so overdone that I am done and over, this series. Gonna cancel the series link, buh bye.

My life is simply not long enough to be wasted by Netflixitis. 

I’m quite willing to put effort in. I actually stayed in the cinema when other people walked out on ‘Tree Of Life.’ I understand that some art takes longer. But The OA is not Derek Jarman’s ‘Blue.’ The padding in these series is not the product of artistic decisions, it’s a product of having time to fill, money to fill it and a heinous lack of editing.

Art thrives on limits. In some alternate universe, Netflix has a vicious in-house executive editor pruning these sprawling, bloated messes into great telly.

In this one… not so much…

Derby Anti-Trump Demo, 30/1/17

Today I found out that there was an anti-Trump demo on in Derby so I scrambled to get ready and made it into town.

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It was a good turnout for such sort notice and we all chanted and listened to the speakers.

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I was most moved by the guy talking about his family’s history of persecution in Nazi Germany and how he would fight to never have that happen again.

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One of the more liberal protestors shushed a kid next to me cos he was making up his own chants about punching Nazis. His pithy reply was, “I’m Jewish, of course I’m gonna stomp them!”

Onwards and upwards with the resistance to international fascism.

PUNCH A NAZI TODAY.

Michael Nesmith, Country Rock & (The) Eagles

I just watched the long doc on the Eagles which was fascinating, in the way that all rock docs are.

You have the origin story, some kids sparking off each other, loving the music. Then they get success and become addled by the drugs and the sex and then, inevitably, along comes Mr. Creative Differences. Which, in the Eagles’ case includes hilarious recordings of them about to have a punch up on stage, in the middle of a bloody gig!

I’m glad they had Linda Ronstadt in there and gave her due credit. Too often, female artists get whitewashed out of rock history or relegated to the role of muse. I wonder if the Eagles would even had formed if Frey and Henley hadn’t toured in her band?

What made me a little sad is zero mention of Michael Nesmith. I hate the way that no-one talks about Nez as one of the originators of country rock. Ronstadt covered Nez’ ‘Different Drum’ way back in ‘67, with the Stone Poneys. If the doc could mention Gram Parsons, it really should have mentioned how important Nesmith was on that early scene. ‘Sweetheart Of The Rodeo’ was released in 1968, Nesmith wrote ‘Different Drum’ in 1965! There’s no way Henley and Frey were unaware of Nez’ post-Monkee solo country albums.

Otherwsie, how could you have ‘Midnight Flyer’ which is basically the Eagles ripping-off Nez’ ‘Nevada Fighter’ three years after it was released?

Reminds me of ‘Moi Lolita’ by Alizee and a certain ‘90s one-hit wonder…

Channing Tatum

(This is from a Tumblr thread where people were defending Tatum. Well, I had to add something, didn’t I?)

He IS brilliant in Hail Caesar, not least because he’s also having sly fun with popular notions about him as an actor. Takes a brave actor to do that and keep on point.

May I also add:

Channing in Step Up

Channing in Haywire

Channing in The Eagle.

You see, I, too, used to be a Channing-hater. Not, like, hugely or anything. But I’d go along with mates when they’d make fun of him or snort if I read film reviews slagging him off.

This was until I actually engaged my own critical faculties honestly. 

I started realising… ‘oh wow, that bloke in Step Up… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

‘That bloke in Haywire… that’s CHANNING TATUM?!?’

etcetera…

And then I realised that what we have in Mr. Tatum is a young actor who can dance, do romantic smouldering, light comedy, horrible secret agent villains and brooding soldiers haunted by loss of honour.

Tatum is a superbly flexible, adventurous and fearless actor. Where other actors find the ONE NOTE and then grind on that fucker for decades, hoping an Oscar will pop out, Tatum will have covered a myriad worlds, creating characters that have zero in common apart from his obviously gorgeous physicality.

I mean, he could just coast by on his looks, couldn’t he? He doesn’t really need to take risks but look at the man’s IMDB: he consistently does.

At the minute, Tatum is PRIME BEEF. He is beautiful and that will limit the roles he gets offered, as it does beautiful actresses (though to a lesser extent, of course, since Hollywood hates women). But Tatum’s work ethic and career arc reminds me of someone…

Here’s young Michael Caine. Pretty, isn’t he? He could have coasted on those looks but if you look at his IMDB, you’ll see an actor who got stuck in. He just acted and acted and acted, which is why we still know and love him now, decades after his equally-attractive comrades are forgotten. Yeah, Caine also did a lot of dodgy films but that’s my point ~ you HAVE TO. You don’t get to be in the Hail Caesars unless you’re also in the Jupiter Ascendings (and that’s no disrespect to JA, I love that slab of dog-gene, royalist bee crazy but I’m in the minority, I know).

We have yet to see the best from Tatum. Think of how great he’ll be when he’s a wrinkly, gnarly, hairy-eared old geezer! Think of the decades of experience of playing a huge gamut of characters he’ll be able to draw from. He’ll be too old for the 20-something romcom lead or the action hero, he will get characters with more layers, more complexity…