Friday, 26 June 2009

Code Red

I have been wittering about La Roux for a while and now - finally - the eponymous album is released. OK, it's not actually out until Monday but there's this thing called the Internet...

So, having seen the savaging that the Little Boots LP took a few weeks ago, it might have been whispered that the kooky 80s lady synth pop revival championed by Radio 1 et al at the end of 2008 might be over before it has really begun. However, there is a lot here to shout about, not least Elly's soaring (others might say strident but I disagree) voice and the apparent return of the well-crafted song. The arrangements are deliberately simplistic (think 1981/82 Depeche Mode) but none the worse for that; a whole host of remixers have pounced on the space left around the vocals and created some amazing club tracks which have clearly helped to keep La Roux from the 'sharks' for the moment.

Apart from the singles 'Quicksand', 'In For The Kill' and out-now 'Bulletproof', the stand out track (and if it were me, obvious next single) is 'Tigerlily', even with the hammy vampiric spoken-word middle eight (from Elly's dad, apparently). But the rest is not filler; 'Fascination' has a fantastic earworm chorus hook and if we don't see 'Armour Love' given the South London dubstep treatment in the next six months I'll eat my blog. Definitely worth investigating.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Coining It In

I have a new project.

I am trying to collect a full set* of the new-style UK coins which I think Freyja would really like.

She's very into her numbers, loves completing jigsaws and is also (judging by the disappearing loose change on my bedside table and the colossal weight of her piggy bank) rather fond of money:

So far, the 20p, 10p, 2p and 1p were easy to find but there don't seem to have been as many sightings of the 50p and 5p and the £1 is positively elusive - all donations gratefully received :)

UPDATE 1: I now have the £1 coin - thanks, Solveig!
UPDATE 2: I now have the 50p - thanks, Alex!
UPDATE 3: I now have the 5p - thanks, Christine!

So that's the set collected, via the power of the internet. Photo of them in situ to follow...

* yes, I know you can buy a set from the Royal Mint, but that's no fun now, is it?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Overheard #84

Yes, it was as weird as it sounds:
"No, it's too reflective; I'm going to have to move your grapes."

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

It's A Fix(ture)

This is a fascinating insight into the vagaries of the football fixtures calendar.

Essentially, it's a massive Zebra Puzzle (incorporating the railways, the police, the FSF, bank holidays and horseracing amongst other things) and takes months to complete. For example:
"West Ham are paired with Dagenham and Redbridge. But for reasons of revenue, Southend request they do not play at home on the same day as the Hammers as they believe it impacts upon their attendance."
"Southend are in Essex, as are Colchester, so they cannot play together on the same weekend. Colchester share stewards with Ipswich so those two clubs also request they do not play home games on the same weekend. Transport links dictate Ipswich and Norwich do not play together on the same weekend either. In other words, when West Ham play at home can have an impact on when a club as far away as Norwich (108 miles) play their home fixtures."
As I say, fascinating. Geek out.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Breaking The Seal

There are some things in life to which you want to be first.

I'm not talking about the North Pole, the finish line of the New York marathon or the handbag department of Selfridges on Boxing Day.

No, what I find the most satisfying of all is being the first person to plunge a knife into a brand new pot of Marmite. Penetrating the slight oily sheen and carving down into the murky depths of its rich, black goodness, leaving an almost perfectly hemispherical scar in the otherwise pristine surface.

Clearly, this is not limited to Marmite; many other spreads lend themselves to this phenomena. Peanut butter (smooth more than crunchy) is good, as is Nutella.

However, although you'd think they might, pots of jam & marmalade really don't give that same exhilarating feeling of being the one to break virgin territory. And honey is rubbish as it 'self-heals'.

So what do you like to be first to?

First person to say '...point out that you have ended your sentence with a preposition' owes me a bag of Twiglets.

Overheard #83

The epitomy of restraint:
"I don't really like Krispy Kreme donuts. Apart from the plain ones. With the icing"

Friday, 5 June 2009

Overheard #82

Some workplace frustration being exhibited here, methinks:
"If they don't know the difference between "the same" and "different" then I'm afraid I can't help them"

Oh Brother, Why Art Thou?

So Big Brother 10 is here. Having glanced at the 'incarceration show' last night, it would appear that the usual fatuous characters have been selected, perhaps with a more international flavour, but ticking all the same boxes. As Meg Pickard succintly puts it:
Why would I want to watch the tedious antics of a bunch of people of limited intelligence and entertainment value who I neither know nor care about? I can do that every day on the bus.
Still, whilst they used to make a fortune out of charging people to gawp at the lunatics in Bedlam, Channel 4 must know the cash cow is on its last legs. I still think the best idea is to allow in anyone who desperately wants to be in the house, then switch the cameras and microphones off and leave quietly by the back exit. See how long they last; I'd pay to watch that.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

This Is Ian

Just an average Thursday, chez Antonia:

From the ever-wonderful 'Wondermark' by David Malki.