Author Archive

#RIP: Steve Reid

Steve Reid: 29th January 1944 – 13th April 2010

with sadness we note the death of one of percussion’s true geniuses

anima eius et animae omnium fidelium
defunctorum per dei misericordiam
requiescant in pace

during a long and distinguished career, Reid played with the likes of James Brown, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, and Miles Davis. starting out, he had spells drumming for the Apollo Theatre House Band and as a session player for Motown, and then went on to lead the Legendary Master Brotherhood. from 1969-71, he was imprisoned in Lewisberg Federal Penitentiary for refusing to register for the Vietnam draft.

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Lions of Juda by Steve Reid

#electionearings: who will win election? vote here

feeling discombobulated by all the spin and celebrity endorsements?

well here at RQT we’re giving you the chance to decide on who you’d like to win this year’s uk general election. you must be over 18 and a uk citizen to vote – votes from people under 18 and interlopers will not be counted but may still be charged. please check with the person who pays your council tax.

the results of the vote will be announced on the 7th may – thereafter you’ll have to lie in whatever bed you’ve made. all day.

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#showertune: ‘chicago’ by frank sinatra

today’s #showertune is Chicago by Frank Sinatra

it’s little known that the notorious philanderer vegas-hanger-on roaring soak and world famous blue-eyed friend of the american mafia was also a very passable singer and this is one of his most upbeat and swinging ditties.

i also once also saw a man dance with his wife. small world.

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factoid: sinatra’s ‘home town’ was actually hoboken new jersey. i’ve been to new jersey and i’d have said chicago too.

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#tirednewsflash: cameron delighted at gay ancestry

CAMERON EMBRACES HOMO BIRTHLINE

David Cameron has answered criticism following his disastrous interview with Gay Times magazine last month by revealing that an exploration of his family tree – apparently undertaken for an upcoming familial celebration – has shown that several of his direct ancestors were gay. “we didn’t go looking for this”, Cameron told Newsnight’s Andi Peters, “i am surprised but delighted to have discovered that we have gays in the family.”

Paul Tall, a spokesperson for the internet company that the conservative führer enlisted to do the research, described how several ‘gay pockets’ made plotting the tree ‘fiendishly complex’. “we usually rely quite a bit on gender to help with the structure of a tree but dave turned out to have such a diverse and interesting heritage that many of the usual assumptions simply had to be thrown out. it took us weeks of work for example to discover that Henry Cameron (1747-1791) and William John Fabio d’Aintry (1777-1811) were in fact lovers and not just ‘uncommone man-freynds’ as they were described in a hertford newspaper in 1789.

what was even more challenging” Tall revealed “was arriving at the conclusion (now verified) that Francis Joshua Portmanteau Cameron (1788-1840) and Charles Ray Pele Mears Darwin Cameron (1790-1804) [Dave’s great great great grandfather and great great great great uncle respectfully] were their natural sons. and that sort of thing happened in a few places.”

“it’s thoroughly appropriate” smugged Cameron “that the next leader of modern britain should have such modern ancestry. i think it’s going to be far harder for people like that sordid magazine to try to make out that i’m against the gays now that it appears that i am in essence one myself. i wonder what Brown’s family tree looks like” he quipped to gathered journalists “straights all the way down i’ll wager. you be the judge.”

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TiredNews™ bringing you the tiredest news around

“we’re tired so you don’t have to be”

#showertune: ‘since i left you’ by the avalanches

the #showertune on this sunny monday is Since I Left You by The Avalanches

released in 2000 as the tautologous title track from the identically titled album of the same name (2000’s ‘Since I Left You’) this soulful wonder is – following the pattern of the whole album –  a maelstrom of samples gleaned from various dusty slabs of soul and hammond-moog-easy-listening lounge-jazz folk-spanish-guitar.

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samples (see link above) include:

Rose Royce – Daddy Rich
Tony Mottola – Anema E Core

The Duprees – The Sky’s The Limit
Lamont Dozier – Take Off Your Make Up
Tony Mottola – By The Time I Get To Phoenix
The Main Attraction – Everyday
Klaus Wunderlich – Let’s Do The Latin Hustle

#gastrognome: festival of south west food & drink

the #gastrognome has been in his element for the last few days what with it being as it was the 2010 Exeter Festival of South West Food & Drink.

packed with workshops and demonstrations by world famous chefs like that rotund australian ming-the-merciless-alike that won masterchef last year the scatty woman who always used to be annoyingly chirpy on ready steady cook and exeter’s own one-armed wonder-chef michael caines (i for one continue to be at an utter loss as to why he hasn’t yet ‘tricked out’ his prosthetic arm with a motorised wrist-mech with interchangeable utensil attachments like a giant whisk a dough hook and a pizza-wheel style roto-slicer. opportunity missed).

no of course it’s not really about the nobody chefs that everyone’s pretending to have heard of, what it’s really about is samples. the core of the festival is the giant white tents pitched down the spine of exeter’s northernhay gardens chocked to the gunnels with the cream of the south west’s food and drink crop. some stalls refuse to put out any free tasters of their goods – these stalls are rightly shunned. at those that do it’s all about making sure you recoup your entrance fee (£10 for a weekend ticket) in samples as soon as possible.

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highlights included:

• Sharp’s ‘Orchard’ Cornish Cider: i know several of sharp’s beers very well – not least the near-matchless Doom Bar – but this delicious cider was new to me. it’s crisp well balanced and properly fruity but not over-sweet (unlike so many of the over-priced fashion-ciders) but best of all sharp’s had brought a proper refrigeration system so it was also ice-cold. ahhhh.

Quickes Cheddar: lots of the producers are peddling their latest sun-dried tomato and honey blossom ciabattas or green tea and fennel seed fudge (“you wouldn’t think it works, would you?” – no and it doesn’t). what i like about quickes is that they come every year with two products: their cheddar cheese and their smoked cheddar cheese. both are delicious.

Manna from Devon Double Chocolate Brownies: basically a big slab of yum. no room for flour just things that make them exceptionally rich sticky and good.

Pieminister: hearty pies with various tasty filling served with minted peas and gravy. A true beard moistening treat.

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it’s not all that good though – far from it. there is always far too much loitering in front of stalls whilst beard stroking and fake conversation making and thus blocking people from getting samples. also a sizeable percentage of the attendees are the sort of people to whom it never occurs that walking around in a very crowded place continually staring off into the middle distance and using their faculties solely for the purpose of seeking out their son ‘hugo’/hen-pecked husband/aga information stall of choice or walking in a direction opposed to that in which they are loudly talking is perhaps not that considerate or useful a thing to do.

sunday (denoted ‘family day’) once again proved to be a veritable assault-course of high-end pushchairs (how much bigger can these contraptions get?) and unbelievably slow-walking posh children. all around annoying parents could be heard exclaiming “oh look oliver organic water” and “no lotty you’ve already had a pomegranate and venison pasty and some fair-trade spinach hummous and remember you’ll need some pocket money left for bologna”.

all in all however the festival proved once again to be three days of tasty tr(eats).

#showertune: ‘el pito’ by joe cuba sextet

some latin flavour creeps into the world of #showertune today in the form of El Pito by Joe Cuba Sextet. i first heard this song as part of the awesome soundtrack to the brilliant 1996 Girl Skateboards video Mouse (intro here) directed by Spike Jonze.

if you’ve never seen it and have half an hour to spare you really should peep it – even if you’re not into skateboarding (here it is in its entirety). i probably watched it over a hundred times between 1996 and 1999. it taught me around 72% of what i know about life.

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#getyourgeekon: touch up

time to #getyourgeekon with my tried-and-testedly favourite ipod touch apps…

Stanza: it’s free it’s superb to use and if you’re strapped there are tons of free ebooks around to read with it (peep Project Gutenberg)

★ WeBe: turn your touch into a remote mouse over a network or by bluetooth. best of all if you’re not near a network it can create a remote one. well worth a splash

★ SoundHound: want to know what that song on the tv or radio is? it costs £3 but it is simply brilliant at recognising music – even a hum or whistle will usually work. (obviously owners of older models will need to get a mic for this app but there are plenty of good cheap options out there – i have this for SH and dictation and this for skype)

(nb. i do not condone the use of apple stock ‘phones yes it sucks that you pay a ton of cash for an ipod and get such crap to listen to it with but if you’re using the white wonders you need to man-up and splash for working-ears’ sake. try these these these or these)

Sleep Cycle: 59p for this probably equates to one of the top five bargains of my lifetime. it has little short of revolutionised my sleeping. you put your ipod/iphone in your bed and it uses the accelerometer to monitor your movement and chart the cycles of your sleep. it will then wake you up whenever you enter a light phase of sleep up to half an hour before a predetermined time. i feel about a billion times more rested when i wake this way. simply genius

OffMaps: offmaps is great for touch owners since the native maps app isn’t that useful unless you’ve got a MiFi or are in manhattan or some other widely wifi-ed place. the idea is that you download the maps of where you’re going before you head off (you can choose various levels of  detail). once downloaded they’re there for good and just a little forethought can leave you better off than smug iPhone/MiFi owners who might find themselves stuck if they can’t get a signal

Encyclopedia: another winner for touch users. it’s a dump of wikipedia which can be accessed offline, anywhere. it does cost £5 and it does swallow 2gb of space and it can take a while to download the dump (although it is set up so that downloads can be interrupted and resumed at will) but then it is access-anywhere wikipedia – which totally rules

#showertune: ‘hip hop?’ by hocus pocus

beep da da beep beep, incoming #showertune….

….it’s Hip Hop? by Hocus Pocus feat. The Procussions
 

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Hip hop? Les diamants énormes sur les lobes?
Hip hop? Les taspés qu’ont oublié leurs robes?
Hip hop? Les baskets et les casquettes?
Hip hop, j’crois qu’ça se passe plutôt dans la tête…
Hip hop? Les sapes extra extra larges?
(J’ai dit extra extra larges)
Hip hop? Les dollars comme seul objectif?
Hip hop, c’est juste un esprit positif…

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#tirednewsflash: vatican radio exclusive

‘JOKE IN LYRICS OF SONG’ EXCLAIMS EXASPERATED BLOGGER

Vatican radio confirms most frequently played song in March was Run (I’m A Natural Disaster by Gnarls Barkley

“see, we’re doing our bit” the most senior priest at holyseeFM told Wes Craven’s Newsround

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TiredNews™ bringing you the tiredest news around

“we’re tired so you don’t have to be”

#showertune: ‘showdown’ by elo

so now we’re
introducing what we hope will be a longstanding RQT feature.

it’s called #showertune and you can read all about it by following that link ← back there

anyway, without further ado, today’s, innaugural, #showertune is Showdown by ELO

as a general rule i dislike ELO. this exception however proves that rule severly.

i first heard it at the end of Kingpin (which i watched again recently (see ‘eight films…’ below)) but it was welded to my consciousness by means of its place on the soundtrack of Skate 2 – truly a giant among video games (see my review of it here).

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#piecesofeight: eight songs i’ve listened to in the past eight hours

(click the links to hear the tracks)

Love Addict by Honey & The Bees

On The Sly by The Bamboos feat. Kylie Auldist (↓↓heavy↓↓)

Why Can’t There Be Love? by Dee Edwards (snoop & becks dig it)

Dr Baker by The Beta Band (‘his wife was dead and his dog was dead…’)

The Only One by Dangermouse & Gemini (if you ring me i hear this)

The End of the World by Skeeter Davis (loving mad men right now)

Brooklyn Is Burning by Head Automatica (automator on the fader)

I’m In The Mood For Ska by Lord Tanamo & The Skatalites

#piecesofeight: eight underused words

prandial: adj. of or pertaining to a meal especially dinner

iatrogenic: adj. caused by the words or actions of a physician

mellifluous: adj. (lit.) flowing like honey; sweet or smooth

garrulous: adj. excessively or tiresomely talkative; excessively wordy or long

phlegmatic: adj. not easily excited; calm; sluggish; (arc.) abounding in phlegm; watery

corpulent: adj. fat (ob.) bodily; material

heft: n. weight v. the process by which an animal becomes accustomed to a piece of land

gambrinous: adj. full of beer; drunk

#piecesofeight: eight free mac background apps/addons

★ StartupSound.prefPane: A preference pane which allows you to change the volume of or mute the annoying sound that Macs chirp when you turn them on.

★ Perian: A must-have open-source QuickTime component that fixes the lack of support for various video formats.

★ HotBox: A great background app that allows you to drag a box around anything and make it fullscreen (a useful companion to the native ctrl+scroll screen zoom).

★ Cursorcerer: A super simple background app that allows you to set a hotkey to hide the cursor until the mouse/trackpad is next touched.

★ CapSee: A tiny background app which displays a native style screen notification when the caps lock key is pressed.

★ Caffeine: A background app that sits on the menu bar and, when activated, stops your Mac from going to sleep, dimming the screen or activating the screensaver (particularly useful for MacBook battery calibration).

★ Jumpcut: A useful clipboard buffering app that sits on the menu bar and gives you easy access to the clipboard’s history.

★ DropBox: A genius online backup and file-sharing app.

#piecesofeight – eight films with eight word reviews

here are eight films i’ve watched lately, each with an eight word review:

Kingpin (1996) [DVD]: the second best bowling based comedy i own

Green Zone (2010) [cinema]: bourne meets newsnight. sadly falls between two stalls

A Single Man (2010) [cinema]: stylish, sensitive and searching. tom ford done good

The Hurt Locker (2009) [DVD]: only insurgents do killing. propaganda in oscar tux

Pulp Fiction (1994) [DVD]: about 30th watch, i ‘dig it the most’

Marnie (1964) [DVD]: a sharp freudian thriller with interesting sexual politics

Be Kind Rewind (2008) [DVD]: funny, sincere and makes me cry every time

Un prophète (2009) [cinema]: smart, cool but baffling french grit prison pic

#piecesofeight: intro

not only does today herald the 888th minute in the life of this blog the 8th day of april and 8 years since the start of the second UN world assembly on ageing it is also 88 months to the day since katy harris dumped martin platt on coronation street. what better way to mark this auspicious date than with a series of posts consisting of lists arranged in 8s?

#getyourgeekon – props where props is due

some shouts out to the various utensils that i’ve used to bake this blog. in no particular order:

MacBook Pro (computing)

Cyberduck (FTP)

fingers (typing)

WordPress (blog hosting)

x10hosting (web hosting)

Seamonkey Composer (HTML)

#welcome

this blog is box-fresh. right now there’s not a lot here and the sides are a bit stiff but there’s plenty of room in the toe. the smell of newness is intoxicating. you can look at it and try it on but please don’t scuff it up; at least until it’s not so shiny.

( nb. when i write stuff you are implicitly invited to share your thoughts in the form of comments. please don’t wait to be asked to contribute.)

in the real world i have these shoes ◄ for my real feet. they’re emerica og1s a recent reissue of the classic marc johnson pro shoe.