Some quicky music reviews

January 6, 2008

I like music. I like it a lot. so here’s some short reviews of some of the things I’ve been listening to lately.

‘Hey Hey My My Yo Yo’ Junior Senior
Got on the recommendation of a friend and positive memories of that music video for Move Your Feet with all the pixel art. Anyway, the band is Danish the the album is full of pure hippyhoppy pop FLUFF that is far more infectious than it should be. Really, it’s silly and sugary and unashamedly cheesy and the result is a very fun record who’s opening track, ‘Hip Hop a Lula’ I can’t stop playing and I don’t know why. My version also came with the ep ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’ that is also pretty good with a standout opening tune. It’s all very happy and great stuff unless you want to take it too seriously.

‘In Rainbows’ Radiohead
At what should be at the other end of the spectrum, at bloody last the new Radiohead album is in the shops. Ignoring the very interesting hype from before with the pay-what-you-like download fun, I wanted a CD so I waited. Now, as one of those odd people who actually liked Kid A (but that’s because it was the last one I heard so I was ready for it) I don’t mind the weirder directions that Thom Yorke has been taking the band, but… I think In Rainbows has benefited hugely from Thom making his solo album before it. If Hail to the Theif was a little bit of a return to normal after the band had got Kid A/Amnesiac out of their system, In Rainbows is even more so. It’s a bit less tortured as well, but it’s not a complete step backwards either. The results of their experiments shine through all of it, but at the same time there are great tunes going on too. And guitars! Yay! Anyway, I like this one a lot, and absolutely adore the track ‘Jigsaw Falling Into Place.’ Good stuff. Now hopefully they won’t make us wait like 3 years for the next one.

‘Hey Venus!’ Super Furry Animals
I could be lazy here and go ‘It’s SFA, of course it’s good’. Because it is. It’s a little more normal guitar pop than Lovekraft but it still has the usual quirks and charm you’d expect from them. (Especially shown in the opening tracks, the first of which is about itself being a Gateway Song to the rest of the album, and the second opening with the spoken lines ‘This song is based on a true story. Which would be fine, if it wasn’t autobiographical’). I do have to admit that none of the songs have yet beaten my fave SFA tracks from other albums, but they are growing on me and some of them are catchy as hell. It doesn’t really push the envolope or anything but it doesn’t need to because it’s still good and gives you pretty much what you want in a Super Furry Animals album. Which would be slightly odd but catchy songs mixing pop and rock sounds and great harmonies with fun synthy twiddles and interesting production. Lovely.

Anyone else been listening to anything interesting?

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2008 Attacks! :O

January 2, 2008

So, the year has ticked over and it’s time for me to spend weeks second guessing myself when I write the date. Wheee!

But really, I’m glad to have a nice concrete ‘that’s enough of that’ drawn under last year. Not that it’s been horrific or anything, but it’s good to have the explicit reason to turn over a new leaf and sort yourself out and make things all together better. It’s time to put my foot down and find my own happiness, instead of panicking and worrying about the many changes in my life that are out of my hands. Insert air-punching and dramatic music here. (Also sunglasses, drills that will pierce the heavens and KICKING REASON TO THE CURB AND GOING BEYOND THE IMPOSSIBLE ROW ROW FIGHT DA POWA* etc for good measure.)

I graduate from my MA at the end of the month, drawing a nice line under my education for at least a couple of years, and after that, well, I’ll have to see what comes my way.

So, 2008 looks to be a year of… god, I don’t know actually. But it should be interesting finding out, right?

I have made some vague resolutions though, which includes updating this more often, which I WILL do. If possible, at least once a week. Those who know me, feel free to kick me if this does not occur.

Anyway guys, hope you had a great 2007, have now recovered from your respective hangovers, and will have a brilliant year ahead. Cheers.

* 2008 is also the year of Gurren Lagann on DVD. In the UK, please.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

December 25, 2007

Have a great one, guys.

For my part, I’m back at home with my parents. Have had some fantastic presents, some expected and planned (such as new very lovely camera) and some unexpected and also awesome (such as a pair of hardcore Sabatier kitchen knives :D).

Currently drinking a tequila sunrise (parents got an ice crusher recently, and a juicer. Win win win) amidst the bustle of cooking.

Anyway, enough interwebs for me. I hope you all have a lovely day, however you spend it. :)

Christmassy

December 21, 2007

So, due to horrible shift schedules and other issues, my housemate Mike and I failed to make a Christmas dinner together. However while we were buying some lazy food this evening it was decreed we should buy a cake and ice it ourselves. So we did.

There is a lot of RegalIce in a box, so we made SNOWMEN. I made the one with the scarf and eyebrows and Mike made his friend. (And did the fancy blue icing, go Mike go!)

And because there was a snowman for each of us, I made a little snow hamster for Mike’s pet hamster, Rex. Mike gave it a hat. It is totally a hamster. Shut up. It’s totally hamster like.

Mike did not realise it was a snow Rex (he is very ill so I forgive him) until after we’d cut the cake so it didn’t go on. However when he noticed, it was demanded there was a group picture. So there was. Yay!

So, there. That’s us being daft and festive for you, and it’s all silly but I thought I should share. Have a great Christmas, guys!

December Flurries

December 13, 2007

Okay, so as usual I’m not quite in the ‘OMFG YAY CHRISTMAS!!!’ phase yet, but I rarely am until a couple of days before the day itself. I dunno, I guess coming from a family where you’ve heard people practising Christmas carols in the next room IN JULY so they can get an album done leaves you with a bit less of of a hurry towards it. I’m last-minute as hell.

It’s also a time of me drawing pictures I have to be all secretive about so I don’t spoil people’s presents, and I never get as many done as I’d like. Still, I’m liking the paintings I’ve done so far.

Comic wise, I got my script done, though it needs a lot of work because it’s still pretty clunky, and I decided it’s better as a pilot issue for something than as a fully self contained thing and need to bring that out a little more. But I think I’m going to try and do the layouts first, it’ll give me a better idea of how much space I really have to play with. Also, I just found out I probably should change my protagonist’s name because, due to not checking first, I’ve accidentally given him the same name as DarkHawk’s alter ego (From various marvel stuff). While I don’t think anyone is going to confuse my unremarkable 20-something photographer guy for a teenage magic-amulet-powered superhero… DarkHawk has been in Runaways and I LIKE Runaways, so Chris is going to have to get a new surname.

Moral of this story, kids, is Wiki/Google your characters’ names BEFORE you get attached to them.

(I didn’t mind the real world people that the 2 main characters in the first issue shared names with. Because they’re not exactly uncommon names. But you’ve got to draw the line somewhere.)

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get the first issue done by Bristol, due to potential things with paid stuff I’m going to have to give priority to. I’m probably going to have it for Amecon in august though.

In the mean time, have some doodles I did while trying to get used to drawing the character. (Yes, I know you can’t hold a camera like that. Shhh. XD)

Chris Doodles

Okay, that’s enough babble for now. Laters.

Because I need some money

November 24, 2007

Job hunting is not going ever so well, and to get a little bit of extra money I’m doing some cheap commissions (alongside my usual ones).

£10 or $20 (via paypal) for a basic sketch along the lines of this or this. Add on an extra fiver or ten dollars and I’ll give it some basic colours. Oh, and this is just digital, I’m keeping the originals.

I reserve the right to refuse stuff that I don’t think is reasonable for the price or I just flat out don’t want to draw, and also, I’m not drawing you porn.

(Oh, and if anyone wants a normal commission, I’m still doing those too.)

So go on. Tenner for a sketch. You know you want to. :)

Doodling for 07/11/07

November 7, 2007

Slightly halfassed concept work for a comic idea I’m working on.

Frequency doodle

I’m not quite sure what the guy’s name is but I think it may be Chris something, and either way, he really shouldn’t be where he is right now.

Happy blow up parliament day.

November 5, 2007

I love the 5th of November, and its surrounding days. Yes, there’s the magpie attraction to shiny things aspect, but mostly there’s just something about this time of year. Christmas itself is great, but having trad musician parents has meant the run up has always been a bit associated with being alone (as soon as I was old enough. Before then it meant village halls and tiny sandwiches and more mince pies than anyone needs to eat.) November and December are cold and dark, but shot through with all these little sparks of warmth and interest, and one of the few times people aren’t afraid to hold to some traditions for a change. We don’t have many any more. I’m desperately glad today’s hair-trigger panic about terrorism hasn’t destroyed this one.

Bonfire night though, is the threshold to all that. But I’m typing this on my own in a dark flat. The real place to be right now is at a display, surrounded by friends and strangers, everyone a bit cold but dealing with it because coloured stars are going crazy up there, and besides, it’s just what you do. It’s a time for fairgrounds with dubiously safe rides, more candy than you’ll actually eat and more coloured bulbs than you can count. I would have gone to the one near here last night, but I didn’t want to be alone and people had excuses. I’m making up for it next weekend with Hel and Scott.

But anyway, the flat is dark partly because my flatmate is still at work, or at the gym or something, and partly because the moment I got home, I didn’t bother with the lights, I went to the balcony. I’ve never lived on the 4th floor before. And I’ve never lived in a city like this. And even though I’ve not made it to a huge public display this year, the landscape is amazing tonight. I only wish I was higher up. This is the one of biggest buildings in the area 13 stories high, and nothing would block my view up there. In every direction, there is something. The ones furthest away blur with the streetlamps and it looks like the night time city is developing waves like the sea. It’s still going on. And it’s impossible to see everything. There’s always the bang of something happening when you’re looking the other way.

Am I going anywhere with this? No, not really. But despite all the things on my mind, the slight ache around my eyes that says I’m too tired, and the cold November air, tonight is really beautiful and I wanted to say something.

So, now I’m going to see if I can get onto the roof.