What’s going on here?

by Mark on 09/30/2011

The next post below will be from years ago – at the moment I currently rescuing my blog from the depths of time – first started in 2005 it disappeared in 2007/8 and thought lost in the ether, but thanks to the Wayback Machine I’m currently rebuilding it, with some editing of course.

Stay tuned for a custom theme and new content!

No Comments

Watching Buena Vista Social Club play live

by Mark on 03/22/2007

We visited Cuba in 1997 just after Buena Vista Social Club CD was released. So it was a great surprise to see ten years later these senior musicians still struting their stuff at the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall. There aren’t many of the original line up left, but Cachaito LopezGuajiro MirabelAguaje Ramos and Manuel Galban took top billing with some younger musicians filling the ranks. We had seats 10 rows back, having brought tickets at Christmas for this sell out show – and what a show! Fantastic sound, tightly arranged, with a mix of old and new tunes (including a brief cover of The Beatles ‘Yesterday’!) We took our daughter as it’s unlikely these guys will be around much longer – I hope I’m that active when I’m in my 70s!

No Comments

Looking forward Life of Pi film

by Mark on 02/21/2007

Just discovered (pretty crap considering it was a announced in October 2005!) (thanks Elly) that Jean-Pierre Jeunet (the fabulously talented director of AmélieThe City of Lost ChildrenDelicatessenA Very Long Engagement and Alien Resurrection) is making the Life of Pi into a film, due for release in 2009.

Turning the book, by Yann Martel, would be a tricky film to make for any director due to the fact that the majority of it is set in a boat (have a look at Tom Hanks’s film Cast Away to see how easy it is for single location films to go wrong). However if there was any director that could pull it off then Jeunet is that man – it fits in perfectly with his favourite theme of a story of an orphan fighting against a monster. All his films are full of beautiful visuals with so much attention to detail that you have to watch each film at least three times to spot them all.

I have all his film on DVD, my favourite being The City of Lost Children – it’s the only film I saw on the large screen (Manchester Corner House), it’s the film my partner and I saw on our first date – she was a fan of Delicatessen and also because Jeunet’s favourite actor Dominique Pinon plays seven identical brothers – excellent!

Check out the strange interactive promo of the book.

Good interview with Jeunet, talking about all of his films, including Life of Pi.

No Comments

Buying glasses

by Mark on 02/15/2007

Having tried on someone elses specs the other month I realised how poor my eyesight had become – so after a quick sight test it emerged I wasn’t that blind, I just need specs for distance vision – driving, the cinema etc. Having tried on numerous pairs I quickly worked out that I preferred frames that had a silver colour inside the frame as this effectively made the frame disappear – this left me with 2 choices – either make a statement and look like Peter Sellers – cool, but I’m not quite ready for that! Or a lighter frame – which I’ve gone for (bluck, bluck, bluuuck!).

No Comments

Buying iconic chairs

by Mark on 02/9/2007

Having moved from an Edwardian terrace to a 1970s dormer our ‘period’ furniture looks out of place – especially the dining room. If I had the money (and didn’t have cats) I’d buy original modern classics, (as an alternative to a pension), instead I’ve gone for copies – the chairs are Arne Jacobsen’s series 7 – the butterfly chair – made from a single peice of moulded plywood, first designed in 1955, originals cost around £300, ours (in brown leather) cost £40!

The chair is perhaps best known for the prop used to hide Christine Keeler’s nakedness in Lewis Morley’s iconic portrait of 1963. However this chair, like mine was a copy!

No Comments

Buying a Fedora

by Mark on 02/8/2007

I’m 40 next year, so I’m old (and eccentric) enough to wear a ‘proper’ hat – and there is none better than the Fedora. A trade mark of many a film noir character, not to mention Indiana Jones, the Fedora has a wider brim than the tribly. Mine is a classic black wool felt one.

No Comments

Inventing a new word

by Mark on 01/25/2007

I think the best way to listen to an iPod is using shuffle – mine is a 20gb model and stores 18 days worth of songs, so by using shuffle I get to listen to songs I’d forgotten I had, especially the odd single I downloaded, or the occasional track I like while browsing GarageBand.

Is there a word to describe that moment when you hear a track you haven’t heard for ages, but can’t remember who the artist is?

I made a quick Google search and came up with ‘acoustic unregonition’ and ‘archaic sound’ – not very catchy, so I’ve come up with my own word for it – combining anamnesis with sonic to get ‘sonoamnesis‘ – you heard it here first folks!

No Comments

Listening to Midlake

by Mark on 01/22/2007

Hailed on iTunes as a band ‘about to make it big in 2007′ Midlake are a refreshing change amoungst all the soundalikes and wannabes currently choking the charts (ooh I love alliteration!) I picked there latest album ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther off ebay – described by Amazon as ‘a relatively small indie band’ the opening track, ‘Roscoe’, sounds anything but, almost Fleetwood Mac or The Eagles in style, but with much better vocal harmonies – the sound borrows heavily from the 70s but sounding, day I say, more original?

No Comments

Discovering Peter Circuitt

by Mark on 12/20/2006

If anybody saw last years BBC short film of The Snow Queen you should have delighted in the unuusal backgrounds and flying sequences created by Peter Circuitt – his work is a joy and a talent to keep an eye for much bigger things…

No Comments

Watching Madeleine Peyroux Live

by Mark on 12/11/2006

Madeleine Peyroux is on a rare short tour of the UK, fortunately she was at The Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool tonight, and although I got late seats which meant we were right at the back of the hall, it was worth it.

Madeleine Peyroux is a shy performer – she looks quite awkward standing behind the mike, however after a few songs she seemed to relax and even make jokes! I haven’t heard her new CD so some of the songs I didn’t recognise, though her cover of Tom Waits’ “Looking For The Heart Of Saturday Night” was a delight. Highlights of the show were the ‘improv’ versions of songs off the ‘Careless Love’ album where the band were allowed to go off on long jazz solos – the keyboard player had some hammond style 60s organ which he had a real master of, and the double bass player was just cool (as most are!).

A great laid back gig in a lovely venue, just wish I was nearer the stage!

No Comments