Autism test

February 18, 2009

Just did the Baron-Cohen inspired test which had me score 5 (the lower the less autistic) – lower than average and I’m male and enjoy using computers. How odd.


French music

February 9, 2009

There is a certain snobbery against French music but recent years have made it trendier than it used to be with the likes of Air and Daft Punk achieving some crossover appeal. Well one thing you can’t be obsessed with if you like French music is novelty – the output is not as vast as the anglo-saxon world so it’s no surprise that artists such as Brel, Brassens or Gainsbourg (all dead for half a century between them) still remain in most people’s cd collections. Here’s an early 1990s effort from Axel Bauer: lyrically it’s quite clever as tends to be the case with most French lyrics – music often being a pretext for the text – but I still enjoy playing the riff on my guitar years later. Can’t be all bad, can it? (ignore the dreadful velours t-shirt if you can)

Aspire One

February 2, 2009

Having recently purchased this small netbook at a very cheap £150, I have to say I’m really enjoying fiddling around with it. I think I’ve tried about 5 or so different versions of Linux on it and have settled for the time being for linux4one – an italian remix of Ubuntu. The main use so far has been watch the latest episodes of Lost, Flight of the Conchords and House while lying in bed. Here’s a video of what it looks like for the more curious:

Obama prediction

February 2, 2009

I was reminded by a friend that on the previous incarnation of coldequator, I had correctly predicted that the Democrats could only win the 2008 election by understanding people of faith which the stats show Obama appeared to do on a level that hasn’t really been matched since Carter. Well it’s nice being right for once – doubt it will last too long though.

Larry Norman 1947-2008

May 4, 2008

It’s quite strange that I’ve only just caught up on the news of his passing a month or so late but that just goes to prove how relatively obscure he always was to the mainstream. He still commanded an obituary in The Guardian and The Times this side of the Atlantic.

He described his output as having too much Jesus for the mainstream but too much rock for the church – something he seems to have suffered for throughout his career. The 70s were without doubt his heyday artistically with the trilogy of Only Visiting The Planet, So Long Ago The Garden and In Another Land (aka as Planet, Garden and Land to fans). These albums pushed back the limits as to what could be achieved within the relatively confined realms of Jesus rock – an area that Norman  pretty much scooped out himself. In later years, his output became a lot harder to track down but also became a lot less focused with occasional peaks of brilliance such as Stranded in Babylon.

It’s quite sad to see him pass away so young but by all accounts he was more than ready to go so farewell Larry and thanks for the great music, your passion, flair and inimitable delivery style.

You can take your diamonds and lock them in your vault,
And you will lose everything you save,
You can take your flowers and lay them on his tomb,
But I know he rose up from the grave.

(Diamonds, In Another Land, 1976)

Pedro the Lion

August 20, 2007

There’s no denying my love for Pedro The Lion (now disbanded to become just David Bazan) which has been further enhanced a cover he just did of Radiohead’s Let Down for a 10 year anniversary tribute (was it really a decade ago? I can actually remember heading off to Paris to buy the CD on the day of the release and finding that there was no flourish or fanfare for it. Just slung into the racks and abandoned there to fight for itself.)

Bazan himself is possibly my favourite lyricist at the minute. The obliqueness of his style makes the words strangely even more poignant. Moving from the emo-concept albums (is that a first?) that cemented his critical acclaim – such as Control which follows the disintegration of a relationship or Winner Never Quit chartering the rise and fall of a politician – his recent solo work has moved to a more acoustic feel but are still as brilliant.

The internet is full of freebies from him  – acoustic performances, youtube videos, etc – and his site is the best place to start.

Skype out

August 17, 2007

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to connect to Skype. It’s quite interesting how when skype goes down (and this time it was – and still is – every single customer), it means millions are without a common mean of communication. I’ve thankfully got the alternative of using gmail chat but it’s actually somewhat worrying that just one bug can bring down a whole house of cards. Another bug the Y2K prophets of doom never saw coming.