Pizza ready for some football... for free

I had a lovely Memorial Day weekend, seeing lots of relatives after a long time, spending some time in NYC, and going to a funny comedy show at the UCB Theater. On the plane back to Florida, I caught the second half of the Champions League final - it sure was nice seeing Thierry Henry with a winner's medal, and Christiano Ronaldo crying. All in all, a great little getaway.

Had to come back down to earth somehow, though, and that happened when I got back to my house here in Gainesville, to find that we'd been burgled over the long weekend, and my laptop and external hard drive were both stolen. The computer was literally the only thing of value that I owned. Cue calls to the cops, my immigration lawyer - it had scans of important legal documents on there - the bank, etc. At the moment, I'm using my roommate's laptop, while I wait for my newly ordered Lenovo IdeaPad to arrive. 

The one good thing that happened upon my return home was the arrival of Team Submarine's new CD, Correctamundo! It's hilarious and has really lifted my spirits this week. Steve (or is it Gareth LC! ?) and Nate are based in NYC, and have a great set which you ought to check out post haste. References to Nazis, Jay Leno, Garfield - the cat, not the slain President - and the film 'Failure to Launch' abound. They have a great chemistry and play off each other very well. See them share embarrassing stories about each other, make prank calls, prepare for a college tour, and address weightier topics like abortion. 

The album is a mere $7 from their website, and as the clip below will illustrate, you should drop that money at once. Highly recommended!

"You just opened up a whole bucket of owls, now you've gotta let them fly."

How can we continue with better things behind you?

According to my download stats, you guys don't like the song 'Witness' by the delgados as much as all their others. What's up with that? Still, it's interesting to see how many downloads each individual song from the live vault has been getting.

(click to enlarge)

Something bigger than the heartache

I know, I know. It's been at least nine days since I last wrote about a Scottish band, so I'm addressing that imbalance right now. Got the new De Rosa album 'Prevention' in the post the other day (thanks, Stewart!) and not shockingly, it's really good. Martin Henry's voice, and the folksy arrangements here remind me of King Creosote, but there's a more sinister undercurrent to 'Prevention'. One song, 'It Helps to See You Hurt', sets the tone - really bitter lyrics but over incredibly lush backing. 'A Love Economy', which opens the album, is particularly ace, so listen to it below. 'Flight Recorder', an album highlight, builds and builds to a beautifully tense finale. 

The band recently played some dates supporting Doves, and you can see a musical similarity for sure. Bringing in drum loops and a load of extra orchestration definitely helps the album. On a day like this, when it's pissing down with rain all over Florida, 'Prevention' is the perfect accompaniment. I'd say it's better than the Cure, but that would be a horrific joke, so probably best to avoid that. 

[download Chemikal Underground - Podsketch #5] Contains two De Rosa songs, including a Kate Bush cover.

[De Rosa official / myspace]
[buy 'Prevention' UK / US]

We are being gathered in, at gloaming

All I really knew about Of Time And The City is that it was Mark Kermode's favourite film of last year, and that in theory it sounded very dull. Various images of Liverpool, mostly in black and white, compiled like a slideshow, with some voiceover commentary from writer/director Terence Davies. No explosions, spacecrafts or Adamantium? No thanks!

But I gave it a shot, because the Good Doctor went to the same school as me, and I generally agree with his opinions. The film is definitely not for everyone, and that one sentence description above is not too far from the truth. And yet, there's a lot to admire in there, but you have to be okay with very slow pacing and long stretches of silence or Davies' beloved classical music. Also, you really have to hear the man's voice, it's majestic - like a more world-weary and rugged David Attenborough. He speaks so wistfully of times gone by, of an age when football wasn't venal - his word, not mine - and when hometown heroes the Beatles ruined popular music and fashion. "John, Paul, George and Ringo: they sounded like a firm of suburban solicitors". 

One sequence was particularly moving - a montage of images from the Korean War, interspersed with footage of the Queen's coronation in 1952, set to 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother'. Beautiful stuff. The insight into Davies' own life and youth is interesting too, but I was more keen on his broader opinions about the community and the way it isn't what it used to be. 

Like I said, Of Time and the City is not an easy film to enjoy, but if you seek it out, you'll get a warm fuzzy feeling from it, I hope. 

Studios use search engines too

People often come to this site after Googling "Gene Hackman - Gay?" or some variety thereof, and I imagine they always end up disappointed when they get to my review of 'Borat'. But last week, someone came here using the same search string... from Fox Studios. Oh boy. 

(Click picture to enlarge)

Live vault: the delgados

I'm back at my parents' place for a few days, and so that means I could play around on my old computer, and thereupon found this ace live set to share with you. Don't remember where I got it from, or why 'No Danger' isn't part of it, but it's great quality, and features the best songs from arguably the band's two best albums. And, I'm in a good mood - graduating law school on Friday - so here it is!

Speaking of, listen to the newest Chemikal podsketch where I get a shout out.

Files are no longer up - sorry if you missed out.

[01 - Knowing When to Run]
[02 - Everything Goes Around the Water]
[03 - Accused of Stealing]
[04 - The Actress]
[05 - Reasons for Silence]
[06 - Aye Today]
[07 - Don't Stop]
[08 - 13 Gliding Principles]
[09 - Witness]
[10 - Pull the Wires From the Wall]
[11 - Blackpool]
[12 - American Trilogy]
[13 - The Past that Suits You Best]

Shut it, Love Actually

It's hot and muggy here, so a good time for some shorts: 

- Nick Cave wrote a script for Gladiator 2, which shockingly enough, was not utilised. But it sounds mental and amazing
- Last couple of weeks of The Best Show have been suitably superlative. Guest spots from Todd Barry and Martin Short; great calls from Sticks, and last night the truly amazing: an interview with "Hate Pit" mainstay Kevin Smith. Jaws dropped. Why aren't you listening yet?
- Today is my last ever day as a law student. How should I celebrate? (Not accepted: breaking the law)
- Hope of the States are dead. Long live The Northwestern, featuring Sam and Simon from HOTS. Two songs are on the myspage, and suggest that they're keeping the 'Left' sound, with three guitarists and nobody providing the "orchestral armageddon" that I so loved. But these new songs are definitely promising - eager to see what comes of them. Go here for a free download (in WMA format?!)
- Yes, I'm aware that the season is over. I don't want to talk about it
- When oh when oh when will 'In The Loop' be here so I can watch it? (Clip has some language that might be unsuitable for puritans or people at work)

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