Monday, January 01, 2007

Randomiser #1: 1 January 2007

New Year's Resolution: I will have plenty of content on this blog this year.

My problem, you see, is that I tend to write essays, and those take time. So I need to get into the habit of writing something punchier. On the other hand, I can't get into the habit of just posting links and going "Isn't this nice?"

Thus: Randomiser, my (hopefully) daily feature in which, simply because it gives me some sort of hook, I stick my iPod on Shuffle and write something about the first track that comes up. (Songs I've already done will be skipped.) And then throw in some other asides that don't deserve an entry of their own.

Today's song: "Get it Together", The Beastie Boys.

Huh. I was hoping for something a bit less obvious, to be honest, but that's random selection for you. This is from Ill Communication, which was the obligatory rap album for indie kids to buy in 1994. Actually, it was also out as a single in the UK, but nobody played it, because it was a double A-side with Sabotage, which is a bona fide classic. And this... is an above average Beastie Boys track, in which they enthusiastically spout virtual gibberish over a backing track that's cleverer than I remember. It's just not as good as Sabotage, and putting them on the same single probably wasn't the best move. But listening to it again... you know, this is better than I thought.

There's a really dodgy live version on Youtube, but I don't think I'll inflict it on you.

Also in today's Randomiser:
- They cancelled the Edinburgh street party last night due to high winds. Typically, the organisers managed to get the worst of all possible worlds. While other cities cancelled earlier in the evening, Edinburgh waited until the last moment before conceding defeat - and of course, after they'd sent everyone home, the winds died down. Whoops. When Susi and I ventured out side at 10pm to go to our scheduled party, we were braced for driving, freezing rain. We got a light shower and virtually still air.

This is the second time in three years that they've cancelled the street party, which exists primarily as a tourist attraction. It's not a reputation the city will be happy about, but frankly, I'd be delighted if Edinburgh lost its reputation as a tourist destination for New Year, so we could go back to having a celebration that involves the people who actually live here.

- Incidentally, Susi, I was wrong. Starbucks does open on New Year's Day. Just them and the newsagents.

- The Sarah Jane Adventures is indeed better than Torchwood. It's an outright kids show, complete with kiddie protagonist (played by a surprisingly good child actress) and with Sarah Jane positioned as a mother figure. In order for that to work, they've had to divorce said kiddie protagonist's parents and portray the real mother as a feckless idiot, which is... er, unusual, but kind of works. If you tell writers that they're doing edgy adult drama, they seem to throw their "how to write" rulebook out of the window, and convince themselves that it's clever. If you tell them that they're doing a quality kids' show, in contrast, they go back to basics and make sure to get it right. You probably wouldn't want to watch it unless you were an exasperated parent or a really devoted Doctor Who fan, but on its own terms, it's far more successful than Torchwood could dream of.

- Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Phonogram #1 has been posted in full at Newsarama, so if you haven't read it and think that a comic about a indie-music-themed-sorceror might be for you, this is your opportunity.

- My Marvel sales column at The Beat went up a few days back, but if you haven't read it (or you don't follow the Beat and forgot it was up), here's the link.

- And the X-Axis Review of 2006 is also now up. It's huge, so I don't feel bad about it being one day late.

- They won't all be this long. That would defeat the point.