Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Some records I enjoyed in 2012

My spare time is becoming increasingly rare. My record playing time is getting eaten up by work, education and gigs. I haven't even had time to post a single entry on this blog. As such, my list for this year is somewhat unfair - some of these albums have been played more than others and had more chance to make an impact. Often then have kept me sane while I work, others have only had a few spins on the turntable. Live performances have also changed a few judgements. Some albums I bought this year are still sealed in cellophane. Then there's all the ones I never got round to buying! If I had the time to listen to each record released during the year for the same length of time, my judgement would be a lot less skewed, I'm sure. However I would probably have died of malnutrition. Anyway, here's my rough end of year list for 2012.

1. Swans - The Seer
2. Memory Drawings - Music For Another Loss
3. Clark - Iradelphic
4. JK Flesh - Posthuman
5. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Don't Bend Ascend
6. A Forest of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays
7. Necro Deathmort - The Colonial Script
8. Conan - Monnos
9. Wodensthrone - Curse
10. Fieldhead - A Correction

11. Unsane - Wreck
12. A-Sun Amissa - Desperate In Her Heavy Sleep
13. Razmataz Lorry Excitement - If It Takes Me All Night Long
14. Hesper Payne / Sabazius - Under The Alum Shale
15. White Hills - Frying On This Rock
16. Trippy Wicked & The Cosmic Children of the Knight - Going Home
17. Chelsea Wolfe - Unknown Rooms
18. Ghosting Season - The Very Last of The Saints
19. Earth - Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II
20. Stinking Lizaveta - 7th Direction

21. Nope - Revision
22. Mugstar - Axis
23. Latitudes - Individuation
24. Northerner - I Am On Your Side
25. Pye Corner Audio - Sleep Games
26. The Cosmic Dead - The Cosmic Dead
27. Glissando - The World Without Us
28. Neurosis - Honor Found In Decay
29. Pallbearer - Sorrow and Extinction
30. Tree of Sores - A Cry of Despair

Monday, 2 January 2012

Some records I enjoyed in 2011

Much like many other people, I'm posting an end of year list on a neglected blog. I've compiled a rough list of what I've been listening to in 2011, in a vague order of preference. It hasn't been easy as I've listened to some things a lot whilst walking about, and other ones I've only played a few times on the record deck. But you get the idea. If I tried to sort out a proper system of picking the best, it would still take me weeks to listen to all of these again. A lot of the lower ones have barely skimmed past my ears. All the links lead to audio or video on other sites so you know what I'm on about.

1. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - A Winged Victory For The Sullen
2. Necro Deathmort - Music of Bleak Origin
3. Vessels - Helioscope
4. Astrohenge - II
5. Battles - Gloss Drop
6. Lafaro - Easy Meat
7. That Fucking Tank - TFT
8. Cloudkicker - Let Yourself Be Huge
9. Reigns - The Widow Blades
10. Machinefabriek - Sol Sketches

11. Down I Go - Gods
12. Three Trapped Tigers - Route One Or Die
15. Alright The Captain - Snib
16. Khuda - Iecava
17. Milieu - Eufloria
18. White Hills - H-p1
19. 65daysofstatic - Silent Running
20. Amon Tobin - ISAM

22. Altar of Plagues - Mammal
24. And So I Watch You From Afar - Gangs
25. Wolves In The Throne Room - Celestial Lineage
26. d_rradio - Forecast
27. Grouper - A I A : Dream Loss
28. Devin Townsend Project - Ghost
29. Kid Koala - Space Cadet
30. Umber - Morning's Pass

31. Radius System - Architects of Yesterday
32. Primus - Green Naugahyde
33. Spindrift - Classic Soundtracks
34. The Field - Looping State of Mind
35. Dressed In Wires - Golden The Ship Was - Oh! Oh! Oh!
36. Ulver - Wars of The Roses
38. ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead - Tao of the Dead
39. The Pattern Theory - The Pattern Theory
40. Amplifier - The Octopus

41. Absu - Abzu
42. Gnod - Ingnodwetrust
43. Misty's Big Adventure - The Family Amusement Centre
44. Juffage - Semicircle
45. Half Man Half Biscuit - 90 Bisodol (Crimond)
46. This Will Destroy You - Tunnel Blanket
49. Trumpets of Death - Teeth + Teeth = Teeths
50. William D. Drake - The Rising Of The Lights

Next year I am looking forward to new releases by the likes of Wodensthrone, Dextro, Manatees, Northerner, Neurosis, Latitudes and countless others...

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Argos Challenge

Here's a fun game for 2 or more players when visiting an Argos store.

Without looking at a catalogue, each contestant must randomly enter numbers into the stock checking console until a real item is found. Whoever gets a result first is the winner. This isn't as easy as it sounds. As an optional extra, the winner gets to own whatever item they found at the expense of the other contestants.

The Ikea Challenge

Here's a fun game for 2 or more players when visiting an Ikea store.

The idea is to collect as many pencils as you can physically hide about your person before you reach the checkouts. Once outside, you each count up your pencils and the one with the most is the winner. As a reward, they get to claim all the pencils from every contestant in the game.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Golden The Ship Was - Oh! Oh! Oh!

I haven't posted here in a while. Not because I'm too lazy (well, that was one factor) but because I've been too busy! I'm going to try and post a bit more often to show what I've been doing. Here is one such thing.

This landmark occasion marks my first album cover. Better than that, it's an album cover for a noisemaker who I listen to regularly, and I really enjoy this particular collection of his tunes. The drawing used here started life as a messy red scribble representing some blood to be placed under a hammer-shaped logo for a fictional metal band. However that didn't look very good and I scrapped it, but mucked about with the splatter in some basic photo editing software (I normally just do stuff with pens) until I came up with the black and white outline shape.

Initially, it looked like an awesome beard. I uploaded it to a popular social networking site and Dressed In Wires himself contacted me to ask if he could use a piece of my artwork for an album cover. I think I suggested the scribble in question as I had no other use for it but I still like it, and it seems to suit his sounds quite well. After I pointed out it's beard-like visage, he sensibly decided to invert it for the album cover. The packaging is hand made by him, with my art on stickers applied to the cardboard case. This is it:

When mucking about with it, I also put two together making a sort of explosion effect. This got used in some teaser trailers for the album which you can see on THIS PAGE where you can also order the album. Get a move on though, there's only 25 of them in total!

Monday, 9 May 2011

There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shrew


I seem to have folded into the stereotypical view that a blog is a miserable pile of secrets and taken up poetry.

This stems from waking up at 7am one Friday morning with a misquoted children's rhyme in my head, and found it stupendously easy to add new lines to it. It is currently Monday, so this is how far I've got after a weekend of thinking about this madness.

Essentially this piece is a combination of "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In A Shoe" and "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" ...with a bit of a twist. It's very much a work in progress and potentially could go on for a very long time. Let me know what you reckon!

So then, here we go:

There was an old woman who lived in a shrew
How she got in there, nobody knew

The creature was bulbous, his eyes fit to burst
His quality of life was really the worst

As for the woman, she ran out of space
Her objects and trinkets came out of his face

At this point she considered buying a house
But opted instead to move into a mouse

This wasn’t much better and the mouse also died
There simply was not enough room inside

Down by the river, she entered a vole
A little more spacious, but out of control

The poor thing went mental and jumped in a lake
Hitting the bottom, his legs they did break

Still in the water, she discovered a frog
And loaded her possessions into his gob

She struggled a lot to get everything in
Her stuff tore a hole in the animal’s skin

Afloat on the surface, she encountered a duck
At first this seemed like a stroke of good luck

But the duck was soon uncomfortably overloaded
When she was done moving in, the poor thing exploded

To be continued...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The Gentleman Ghost

Recently I was reminded of a small press comic that I have really enjoyed reading several times, entitled The Gentleman Ghost. It is probably my favourite work (so far) of a chap called Jack Fallows, who also runs the small press bit of my local comic shop. His site tells you all you need to know.

Rather than attempt to explain what is so good about the comic, here are some samples taken from his site (click the images to make them bigger):

I particularly enjoy his blow-dried moustache.

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of what the comic is like, and what sort of stuff Jack does. You can buy his stuff here at reasonable prices.

His comic "The Big Bang" is also very good indeed, but the two episodes published so far don't give too much away just yet... I'm sure it will be a masterpiece when it all comes together though!