Monday, 29 September 2008

Natalie Walker review up on PopMatters

My review of Natalie Walker's second solo album, With You, has been published at PopMatters.

"The clever, glitchy beats and graceful string arrangements from Urban Angel are no more, replaced instead by weak drum machines and monotonous circular rhythms. Much of With You wanders aimlessly along a path of mediocrity, with even Walker’s gorgeous voice not able to drag “By and By”, “Only Love”, and “Monarch” out of the bland wilderness they each inhabit."


Saturday, 27 September 2008

Paul Newman dies at 83

Paul Newman, star of what is probably my favourite film of all time, The Hudsucker Proxy, has died.

Not only did he star as Sidney J Mussburger in Hudsucker, he also starred in The Long Hot Summer, The Hustler, Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kids and The Towering Inferno. I'm not sure how many other actors can claim to have been in so many iconic films.

There's no point making a comparison, Paul Newman was incomparable.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Swedish twins go mad on the M6

This is one of the strangest things I've seen for a while.

Two Swedish girls (twins, it would later turn out) are seen walking down the central reservation on the M6 before deciding to try and cross the road. What happens next is un-fucking-fathomable.

(ignore the cunty racist comment the uploader of the video has added at the end of the clip)


Middlesbizzle vs. Da West Coast Baggiez

"I ain’t even know what happened last Saturday but I done heard that my main nigga DJ diggity-diggity-Downing been bustin’ wild shots lately. Young’un been kickin’ dat shit as high as a nigga can. Damn, boy, you need to calm yo’ nerves with a little of that Cali chronic. Breathe, relax and tuck dat shit in nice and slow, just like Tha Doggfather does to tha fly ass hoes wit’ his big fat dick."


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Too Human review published on Planet Notion

My review of Too Human has been published over at Planet Notion.

"The chief problem is that Silicon Knights, for reasons known only to them, have decided to force the player to use the right analogue stick to attack. You flick it in different directions and Baldur skips across the screen whacking the mundane foes. It lacks any kind of depth and becomes, after the first couple of dungeons, quite boring."


Howling Hex review up now on PopMatters

My review of the new Howling Hex album, Earth Junk, is up now over at PopMatters.

"Circular guitar riffs have always been something of a Hagerty trademark and “Annie Get Redzy” is certainly loopy in both senses of the word, but only on instrumental “Sundays Are Ruined Again” does Hagerty truly offer anything like the weird, catchy repetitive riffs and rhythms of You Can’t Beat Tomorrow. No, unlike its predecessors, the spine of Earth Junk comes not from mangled, indistinct guitars but from a circus organ."


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Setanta Sports News phone in

I'll be talking to Steve Claridge on Setanta Sports News tonight at around 7:15pm about yesterday's horrendously demoralising defeat to Sunderland.

If you want to hear me whinging about Michael Chopra's double, Setanta Sports News is the best place to do it.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Vintage Marlboro adverts

As it turns out, Marlboro's were originally marketed as a girl's fag.

I love the kid on the left telling his mum to smoke before she beats him. Poor fucker.

RIP Norman Whitfield

Songwriter, producer and main man of Motown Records throughout the 1960s and 70s Norman Whitfield has died in Los Angeles. He was 67.

Whitfield wrote and produced several of the label's greatest hits, including I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Papa Was A Rollin' Stone and War. On top of this, Whitfield is also credited with helping to transform the label's sound from the smooth early days into the Sly & The Family Stone psychedelic era.

He was, in short, a musical visionary.


Tuesday, 16 September 2008

On the rag with Disney

Monday, 15 September 2008

Mermaid & Monster at the Comtemporary Art Society

Contemporary art agency Mermaid & Monster are putting on a showcase at, fittingly enough, the Contemporary Art Society.

Work from Michael Cousin, David Cushway, Lloyd Durling and Miranda Whall will be on display, as well as several others.

It runs until January and you'd be well advised to catch it.


Ukulele cover of Still Alive

Still Alive is the genius closing theme from Portal. This kid, wearing a Cyberdog t-shirt that I've got somewhere in the back of my wardrobe, plays it on a ukulele.

Kid's got skills.

Friday, 12 September 2008

Pompizzle vs. Middlesbizzle

"You know who’s back up in this motherfucker. Always on a mission, wishin’ ‘pon a star, Snoop Doggy Dogg wit’ the flyest ass car."


McCain gets Rickrolled

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Abe Vigoda review up on PopMatters

My review for the new album by Abe Vigoda is up now at PopMatters.

"It’s quickly apparent that this is a crisper, more confident band than they were on last year’s Animal Ghosts EP. In fact, perhaps as proof of their development, the band revisit the title track from that EP. It’s a far tighter, harder, and louder version, one that improves hugely on its predecessor. There’s still post-hardcore brutishness to be had on “The Garden” or “Hyacinth Grrls”, but this is a much less abrasive band than we heard on Kid City."


More cowbell! More Walken!

Upload any .mp3 to and it'll magically add cowbell and Christopher Walken samples. 

It'll improve even the shittest songs.


The Simpsons intro done in Lego

Monday, 8 September 2008

Album covers made with Japanese food

The Jacket Lunch Box blog belongs to a fella who recreates album covers with food.

Here's Weezer's Green Album made from cabbage, seaweed, ham, fish cakes, paprika, and rice.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Rage go acapella at Republican National Party protest

Genuinely hair on the back of your arm raising footage of Rage Against The Machine performing acapella at a protest outside the Target Center in Minneapolis.

1980s homophobic comic

Ethan Persoff has scanned this ridiculously funny homophobic comic book from 1986 called Homosexuality: Legitimate, Alternative, Deathstyle.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008


I've just started playing around with Google's new browser, Chrome.

It's very, very quick. But it needs a speed dial and an ad-blocker post haste.

And it's a great way for Larry and Serge to learn more about our search history, isn't it? Hmmm.


Game Review: The Incredible Hulk

For a superhero game, 2005's The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction was actually very good. Developers Radical Entertainment perfectly captured what a Hulk videogame should be about: destruction, destruction and more destruction.

Since then, Sega have picked up the franchise, which means an ultra-destructive character is now in the hands of the world's premier publisher of fast and furious arcade games. A winning combination, surely?

Well, no.

This game is an absolute mess, a shoddy imitation of the three-year-old Ultimate Destruction.
It looks a shambles. Saying that it looks like a first-generation Xbox game would be a compliment; at times it looks like a PSOne game. The draw-distance is appalling, from the top of any tower, you stare across not across New York's iconic skyline but a murky sea of brown. The partial texture loading is utterly jarring. So bad is it that it's difficult to tell whether the texture isn't fully loaded or if it was just poorly drawn to begin with. The game is also plagued by frame-rate issues that bizarrely seem to occur most often when Hulk is standing around doing nothing.

The Havoc physics engine has never looked dodgier. This, let's not forget, is the engine that powers Halo 3, Super Smash Bros Braw and Bioshock. Here, enemies, cars and other detritus bounce around the screen as if the New York was made of rubber.
The storyline bears little in common with that of the film, which is a shame since the movie, unlike this disgraceful videogame, was actually quite good. The artists, though, clearly struggled to recreate the cast of the film and the models are actually embarrassing. Not wanting to be shown up, the actors have put in just as much effort and Ed Norton's voiceover ranks among the worst in the history of the medium.

The game itself has you stomp around New York City, trying to battle the dodgy camera as much as the Special Ops teams trying to hunt you down. You bolt around the city from point A to B and back again, defeating enemies or defusing bombs and that's basically it. Oh, and there's a series of building escort missions. Yes, really.

As you pelt around the city, you'll quickly realise that The Hulk has no real weight to him. He is halted by cars, can jump nothing like the distance the character should be able to and doesn't even break the concrete when he lands. Compared to the heroes in Crackdown, he's a bit of a pussy.

If the thought of destroying the Empire State Building or Stark Tower appeals, think again. The buildings all collapse in a completely straight line and all the rubble looks the same. There are plenty of baddies to beat up but there's no fun to be had there either. You can punch the enemies with one button or punch them slightly harder using a different button.

There are a few rage moves like the ground smash and thunder clap, which can be used by charging the Fury gauge – by taking damage or being involved in combat – but since few of the enemies actually cause you any bother, it's hardly worth the effort.

Considering how much Ultimate Destruction got right, it's absolutely unfathomable that Sega's development team Edge Of Reality have got this game so very wrong. In doing so, they have actually achieved something quite remarkable: made a game that involves hurtling a huge irradiated green monster around New York dull.

Monday, 1 September 2008

New anti-terrorism posters

Cory Doctorow snapped this piece of Metropolitan Police fuckwittery at the Tesco in Islington.

It says....

"Terrorism: If you suspect it, report it

Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?

If you work in vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?

Meetings, training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they are going?

Do you know someone who visits terrorism-related websites?

Anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical. Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobiles? Has it made you suspicious?"

I take photos in London. I drive. I'm sometimes vague about where I'm travelling to. I use a computer. Shit, if it wasn't for the fact I had a mobile phone contract, I'd be pretty fucking worried about being locked up for 42 days right now.