Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Riddley Walker

I'm re-reading this again. It's a great book.

However, as it's set in Kent two thousand years after a nuclear war and written in a decayed phonetic English, it's a tricky read.

Trubba not, read the first few pages out loud in a West Country accent and everything gels together. Oh, and this website helps too.

Apparently, Russell Hoban found his ability to spell nose dived after he finished the book. TRUFAX!

Way Home

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

The soundtrack of your life

I was talking to Rish of Being Beta the other day about how it’s often the oddest music that defines the key moments in your life. His argument is nobody ever had an epiphany to Dylan.

And if they did, well, they’re a big ol’ liar then aren’t they.

It made me think about the defining moments of my life and the music I associate them with. Only one readily springs to mind and it involves the birth of my son.

It was the morning after and naturally my mind was all over the place. I found myself wandering around the hospital looking for a coffee machine with another new father. Twenty six and a raver, he was still in that euphoric ‘I’m a Dad me, well mental’ stage and wearing a Leftfield ‘Rhythm & Stealth’ t-shirt. ‘Isn’t birth amazing!? Isn’t it awesome when their head pops out the fanny!’, he bellowed, waving his hands in the air. But all l I could think was ‘No way is their second album as good as Leftism’.

In my defence I had not had any sleep for 14 hours.

This won the Yellow Pencil

D&AD: Viral

Good, it's aces. It also avoids the viral trap: people will only send videos of porn and or pain

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

More great audio: Robert Popper

Robert Popper: author of The Time Waster Letters (As Robin Cooper) and co-writer of Look Around You. Audio from the occassionally amazing but often so-so The Sound of Young America.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Stuff from the Decode days

Created by the lovely Rubberductions. Potatoes was also lovingly donated to feature on the first Decode Cd-Rom. Which I edited - the CD Rom that is not the magazine that was the lovely Gabriel Solomans. Here he is:

Monday, 15 September 2008

David Foster Wallace Dead

Still a bit odd to hear about DFW's death. And because it's a suicide, there's a whole load of extra intrigue as well. I suppose the one question (and one that will never be answered) is why?

He is a difficult read. But a rewarding one. At first glance, the long sentences and the footnotes make you think 'why is this man making it so hard?'. But you need to give it time. You need to be somewhere quiet. And you will need to reread bits.

For me, I loved his macro level of description - be it the operation of a cruise liner, the interactions of a focus group or what David Lynch is really like. For David Foster Wallace, difficult was worth doing.

I was reading on the Tube this morning the introduction to Riddley Walker by Will Self - another difficult book to read. He made a very interesting point: 'The idea that what I say to you will be immediately and lucidly comprehended is one of the most prosaic delusions of the neurotic age. Everyone wants to be understood as if the world were in a position to provide unconditional love. This is balls.'

Read something difficult today, it'll be worth your while. 'A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again', is a good start, or 'McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking About Hope'. But if you're feeling brave you can dive into 'Infinite Jest'.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I heart Speechification

This site has been doing the rounds, usually appearing in the 'my favourite website' columns and for good reason, it's a great idea, well executed. Speechification collects the best of English speech radio with an MP3 link, so you can download and listen when you want and where you want.

A lot of the content is from BBC Radio. In fact, the site describes itself as a blog of Radio 4. So why not download directly from the BBC Radio site? Well some content is available, but only for a limited period and some isn't - presumably in the case of music documentaries, because of licensing issues.

The breadth of shows and subjects covered is amazing. The documentary on the 1977 New York black out is really a study of what went wrong with the city in the seventies. The BBC 3 feature on RAND fuses the idealism of Beach Boys harmonies and Californian sunshine with the chilling subject of planning for the apocalypse. And where else are you going to find a show on cunning except public radio?

Sunday, 7 September 2008

I skated - badly

But when I did, I imagined I looked like the guys in the slow motion bits of this video. Until I hit a tiny pebble, which would pitch me on to my arse.

I like the comparisons to the Masai warriors

But for a real blast from the past, check out these old skate mags.