m posted in General moans on October 13th, 2005
A number of things have brought me unexpected pleasure this week. As it’s such a rare occurrence, I shall document them below;
The Daily Show - More4
So far, this has been very funny indeed. More4 seems to be a channel aimed at those who like the idea of BBC3 and BBC4, but who don’t really like much of the stuff that’s on those channels. BBC3 did their best, by commissioning two series of 15 Storeys High, but it was a half-arsed effort that became completely arseless once they got Little Britain. BBC4 gave us the brilliant The thick of it (new series on Thursday), but spend most of their time airing programmes judged too drab for broadcast on Radio 4.
So, More4 promises to provide thirtysomethings with some reasonably intelligent, informative and amusing programming. They’ve promised us more Curb your enthusiasm, feature documentaries such as The Corporation and Supersize Me, along with more of the usual American imports that I don’t watch i.e. the Sopranos and West Wing.
But of most interest in the short term is the Daily Show. Unsurprisingly, it’s a daily satirical show, which seems to spend almost all of its time mocking George W. Bush. The guest segment sees a drop-off in laughter, but the segments provided by their small team of reporters have so far been pretty funny. It’s been going for a long time in the U.S. so I’m hopeful that they can maintain the standard they’ve set.
|The Spinto Band - Nice and nicely done
Hearing about this band was a happy accident. I was listening to Lamacq on Radio 1 (which is fairly rare), and I caught the end of “Mountains”. Being in front of the PC, I looked the band up on the web and downloaded some songs. The first I heard was “Japan is an island”, which almost instantly won me over due to its summery bounce and a lyrical reference to Cornelius.
Anyway, the album turns out to be superb, in a powerpoppy way. They’ve borrowed things from all over the place (Pavement, Flaming Lips, New Order, to name three), as well as adding their own well-executed ideas. There aren’t many pop albums that include a kazoo orchestra at the beginning of a song, and I doubt there are many bands who could make it sound good. Also, it seems that the Spinto Band have taken what the Bravery were trying to do, and done it a hundred times better. Try this - “Crack the whip”, by the Spinto Band. It’s not my favourite, but it’s very, er… 2005.
|Nada Surf - The weight is a gift
Before the Spinto Band took over every music device in the house, I had moved on to my usual Stage Two of Nada Surf album-listening. Having started to howl along to the songs in the car, I began to listen to the lyrics. And “Do it again”, which I’d previously quite liked due to its inclusion of the album title in the lyrics (I don’t know why, but I’m a sucker for that), came to life.
OK, there could be a fair argument that most of the lyrics are trite and unimaginative; but there’s a handful of lyrics buried under the closing crescendo that I find quite uplifting. Or maybe I just identify with the misery that’s being hinted at.
No, I know it doesn’t scan. But it sounds great in the song. You can try it here - Nada Surf - Do it again.
Now that Autumn’s here, those previously annoying automatic headlamps and wipers are working as they should, and allowing me to concentrate on shouting lyrics along to songs, rather than worrying about such taxing activities as switching on lights or adjusting wiper speeds. But as I’ve been driving around with headlamps glaring in the mirror, there was something playing on my mind. “Doesn’t this car have an automatically dimming mirror?” Well yes, it does. And on a pathetic level, now I’ve switched it on, I find it so fascinating that it could easily lead to a car crash.
Having never previously looked for it, I eventually got round to finding the dimming button, which tells the mirror that you’re up for some dimming action. Having pressed it, I kept an eye on the mirror for a while. Yes! A car slowly comes up behind me, and everything in the mirror goes a shade of green. The glare is reduced, and I am now able to return my eyes to the road. Or to the speedometer, which now shows that I’m doing about 45 on the M5, due to over-concentration on the performing mirror. He can flash all he likes, but I won’t notice.
Unfortunately, there is now a new in-car game, which involves guessing when the mirror is going to go green. Ideally, I need one that shows what’s happening ahead of me, so when I’m transfixed by the mirror game, I’ll still see a red traffic light - even if, thanks to the artificial hue, it looks yellow.