Sunday, January 07, 2007

Randomiser #7: 7 January 2007

Today's song: Baby Bird, "In the Morning"

Baby Bird - or Stephen Jones, to his mum - is best known for his unlikely 1996 hit "You're Gorgeous", which achieved international success despite a video set in a junkyard, because nobody listens to verse lyrics, and so nobody figured out that it was about a photographer exploiting a glamour model (and sung from the woman's perspective, for added oddity). Strictly speaking, that's actually a record by his band, Babybird. The precise spelling of the name apparently makes a difference somehow.

This, however, is from "The Happiest Man Alive", one of several albums of lo-fi demos that he put out at the start of his career. They contain a mixture of slightly twisted pop songs, outright novelties, and fragile little ditties like this one. It's very nice, and much more representative of his work than "You're Gorgeous" was.


- This week's X-Axis is up, with reviews of X-23: Target X #2, Civil War: Front Line #10 (with you-know-what), and Scalped #1 (it's a new Vertigo book, and yes, the pre-publicity passed me by too).

- My Sky+ box seems to have packed in. It's out of warranty, but fortunately, I have insurance, so in theory they ought to get it fixed or replaced before the replay of New Year's Revolution - a show I was actually going to watch. If they don't get it done in time then that would be a terrible shame, as I would be unable to see the show without, for example, downloading one of the files that invariably gets posted to one of those filehosting websites in the hours after the show. And if someone were to send me the details of that, why, I'd sternly disapprove. (Before somebody asks: no, I don't have filesharing software on this machine, and what with it being a laptop that I use for my work as well, and full of client-confidential information, there's no way on earth I'd ever even consider it, quite aside from moral and legal considerations.)

- Ken Russell has also quit Celebrity Big Brother. Cue usual selection of "Is show doomed" stories which always circulate at this stage; anyone who hasn't left by now probably won't. Mind you, general consensus seems to be that the production team is increasingly missing the point of the show. If they really want to create chaos one year, just tell the contestants that they're allowed to discuss nominations. The Americans have been doing it that way for years.

- There's an advert for Take a Break magazine running at the moment which features a dinner lady being serenaded about the merits of Take a Break magazine to the tune of YMCA by the Village People. Except, in tiny text at the bottom the screen, there's a disclaimer: "Not the real Village People." That's the best disclaimer ever. Last I heard, the real Village People had changed line-up so many times that they weren't the real Village People either. And I can't even imagine the sort of viewer who might be thinking to themselves, "Ooh, I'll pick up a copy of Take a Break magazine if it has the endorsement of the Village People... oh, hold on, they're just impersonators, I shan't bother." I especially can't imagine any such viewer seeing the advert, as I did, halfway through a documentary about Tom Watkins building a modernist house on the English coast.

- Pan's Labyrinth: as good as everyone says, although I'm amazed that it got a 15 certficate with all the knife stuff. But it's one of those rare films that you see in the cinema and you know it's a bona fide classic. That's how to do a fantasy film, and kudos for sticking to the roots of the fairy tale genre instead of watering it down for the kiddies.

- Ugly Betty: Oh, I see, it's a less subtle version of The Devil Wears Prada. I can't honestly say I ever want to see it again, but it's very well done for what it is, and America Ferrara is excellent. How the heck did Ashley Jensen, of all people, end up in this show...?