Sunday, September 19, 2010

Unfunny observational comedy

A friend texted me last night. "Michael McIntyre, completely unfunny. How is he so popular?" I must admit to having hardly seen him on the telly despite his being so ubiquitous. So I flicked through the channels and found him. With hundreds of channels to choose from, it's a virtual certainty that he's on somewhere. He was doing a riff about hoovering. Apparently some people follow the hoover around the room and others stand in one place and move it backwards and forwards. This is funny?

I blame Peter Kay for making this kind of unfunny observational comedy popular. He's a great writer and Phoenix Nights is brilliant but when it comes to stand up (or sit down as it was on Paul O'Grady's new chat show on Friday night) I think he's lost it. Merely reciting the names of sweets and toys from the 70's is not comedy. If it was everybody could be a successful stand up comedian.

What about Top Trumps and Aztec bars, eh!

Now where's my Perrier award?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

From A to Z

I've been making great progress spending more time with my music collection and less time with BBC 6 Music. I'm now down to just listening to the breakfast show and so largely avoid the repetitious hell of the playlist. This has been made a little easier with Lauren Laverne going off on maternity leave (good luck Auntie La La) though that situation may change when Huey Morgan from Fun Lovin' Criminals steps into the fray as her temporary replacement.

It's not as simple as it seems though. My music collection is fairly large despite being culled somewhat in the past couple of months, so the problem is what to listen to next. I can listen to all my favourite albums (and I have) but that doesn't do justice to all the other stuff that's there. Just because an album isn't on my ever-changing virtual all-time favourites list, doesn't mean it isn't worth listening to. There are some absolute gems in there that just never seem to fight their way into my attention. So how to go about picking what to put on the turntable or slide into the CD player?

Last week I worked my way through my vinyl albums using the alphabet as a method of selection, trying to pick things that I hadn't listened to for a while. All went well until I got to 'Q'. No Queen, Queens Of The Stone Age, Quintessence, Q-Tips or Quicksilver Messenger Service. So in the end it came down to a choice between an old dance single by DJ Quicksilver or searching out something by ? And The Mysterians, which I'm sure to have somewhere on a CD compilation. I went with the former as it was easy to find and it's on vinyl like everything else in the A to Z. See below for a list of the selections.

So, what next? After having a day or two of general browsing, I'm currently picking my way through eponymous albums on CD, for no better reason than there seem to be quite a few and I rather like the word 'eponymous'.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It started about 4 years ago with Volver. We don’t go to the pictures that much but something about the film tempted us to walk to the end of the street, literally, to go and see it, despite it having subtitles. We loved it; the story, the performances, the comedy and probably most of all, the whole visual spectacle.
I needed more. As christmas approached, I spotted Pedro Almodovar Collection going cheap in HMV, so bought it as a ‘present’ for my lovely lady. We worked our way through those 5 films and then I spotted another collection I could buy as a ‘present’. In the meantime we’d also been to see Samuel Adamson’s wonderful stage version of All About My Mother at the Old Vic.

With 4 more great films watched the next collection was out in time for another ‘present’ buying opportunity. And then, eventually came another feature film, Broken Embraces. So that was 15 Almodovar films seen and though some of the early ones can be a bit rough and ready they’d all been worth watching and I certainly wasn’t tiring of his style. In fact the more I saw the more I loved them.

Were there any more?

A quick google and it transpired that there were only 2 more and as luck would have it another birthday was on the horizon so I ordered High Heels. With that watched, only Labyrinth Of Passion remained and it was on Amazon so I ordered it last week and it arrived today. I’ve no doubt it’ll get watched this weekend sometime. Or maybe as there’s no Corrie on Friday it will serve as a suitable alternative to some, probably, dire football.
So that’s it, after this weekend it will all be over until The Skin I Live In is released next year. I guess I’m going to have to watch them all again. In fact it’s probably worth watching them all again twice. As I don’t speak Spanish the one annoyance with watching Almodovar films is that I miss some of the visual feast as my eyes keep flicking to the bottom of the screen to read the subtitles. As to the other question that’s left hanging, anybody got any good present ideas?