Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Millenium Trilogy

Hi, everyone.

I don't know what the future holds for this blog. I wanted to write about how much i love the three films in the "Millenium" trilogy -- i have become quite obsessed with this series -- and have just started reading the books, AAMOF -- but that picture there, to my left.  It was very difficult for me to manipulate it in to the position i wanted it. Why?

I dunno! I think maybe blogspot has lost interest, wants us all to move up to Google+ or something? But writing the blog has become ... work, rather than the fun it once was.

Anyway, where was i? Oh, yes, obsessing over Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo.

I watched this, "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest," the other day and it's a brilliant end to a brilliant series.  There are two Lisbeths, of course: Rooney Mara in the American version (and that's her there above right) and Noomi Rapace in the Swedish films (below right). So far, i prefer Noomi, but it will be very interesting to see how Rooney copes with Amurrican version part 2, "The Girl Who Played With Fire," when that comes out this year.


Well, i haven't really been keeping it up but here's a bit of it:

Various Artists - Let's Move: A Heavy Blues Collection
Fairport Covention - Before The Moon, disc 1
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
Ofra Haza - BaytHam
Saga - 20/20
Terje Rypdal - Q.E.D.
Allan Holdsworth - None Too Soon

Friday, 11 January 2013

Just A Playlist, Folks....

Until i can get this problem with Mr Blogspot sorted out -- i can no longer embed videos and my last post was a real effort -- it took me ages to get the images into the positions i wanted them -- i don't seem to have much enthusiasm for this indulgence of mine.

Just to keep my oar in, though, here's a recent playlist:

Various Artists - Let's Move: A Heavy Blues Collection
Fairport Convention - Before The Moon, disc 1
Marillion - Sounds That Can't Be Made
Ofra Haza - BaytHam
Saga - 20/20
Terje Rypdal - Q.E.D.
Allan Holdsworth - None Too Soon

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Album Of the Year, 2012

Quotation Of The Day ~ William Shakespeare: If music be the food of love, play on.

This is the last installment in my year-end wrap-up, boys and girls.  Late, i know, as blogger boss doesn't seem to allow me to embed videos here easily anymore. I would have loved to include vids here, and i did discover a workaround, but it's a pain in the arse and tedious and all, so you're on your own there.  Search YouTube.

Anyway, here, in no particular order, is a list of all of the CDs i bought in 2012:

Jane Siberry – Meshach Dreams Back
Ian Anderson – Thick As A Brick 2
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
Big Wreck – Albatross
Roy Wood – Music Book
George Harrison – Early Takes, Vol.1
Joan Osborne – Bring It On Home
The Trews – Hope & Ruin
Peter Hammill – Consequences
Florence And The Machine – MTV Unplugged
Keane – Strangeland
Joe Bonamassa – Driving Toward The Daylight
Colin James – Fifteen
Van der Graaf Generator – Alt
Chantal Kreviazuk – In This Life
Billy Talent – Dead Silence
Matchbox Twenty – North
Dead Can Dance – Anastasis
Saga – 20/20
Van der Graaf Generator – Live In Concert At Metropolis Studios
Marillion – Sounds That Can't Be Made
Alanis Morissette – Havoc And Bright Lights
The Tragically Hip – Now For Plan A
Rory Gallagher – Blueprint
Rory Gallagher – Jinx
The Albion Christmas Band – A Sound In The Frosty Air
Bruce Guthro – Celtic Crossing
Roger McGuinn – CCD
The Albion Band – The Vice Of The People
Steeleye Span – Now We Are Six Again
Judy Collins – Bohemian
Calum & Rory MacDonald -- The Band From Rockall 
Green Day -- ¡Uno!

Not a lot, compared to my heyday when i would buy c. 100 CDs a year, but now, at my advanced age, i go for quality over quantity.

And it was really tough to choose a top three. There were some great albums. It was really painful for me to have to exclude Joan Osborne --it occurred to me recently that she is my favourite female vocalist of all time, ever, yes, even above dear Kate Bush.

And excluding Calum & Rory McDonald's album was a tough decision, too -- so much of it sounds like Runrig, and my devotion to Runrig is well-known,

So here, after much soul-searching, are the top three.  (Drum roll, please, Mr Percussionist.)


Bruce returns to form with a vengeance with this one, primarily on the strength of the song "We Take Care Of Our Own," but really, there isn't a duff track on the album.


Billy Talent's latest album almost made the top spot, with two superb singles ("Viking Death March" -- see previous post -- and "Surprise Surprise") and it was a very close call, but ultimately, the album i've played more than any other this year has been (ta-daaa):

Three great singles, and i wish i could embed the vids for all three but has been buggering me about on that issue.  They are, however, "Albatross," "Wolves" and "A Million Days." I'm afraid you'll have to look 'em up on YouTube until i sort this problem out.

Anyway, tough choices, i know, but proof positive (IMFFHO) that music isn't dead -- the music industry is in a sorry state but music itself is alive and well.

Oh, and before i migrate this mess of a blog to WordPress or somewhere, here's the playlist:

Green Day - ¡Uno!
Jane Siberry - Child (Music For The Christmas Season)
Waterson:Carthy - Fishes & Fine Yellow Sand
Steeleye Span - In Concert
Kate Bush - 50 Words For Snow
The Albion Christmas Band - A Sound In The Frosty Air
The Beatles - Happy New Year (1962 bootleg)
Sandy Denny - Like An Old Fashioned Waltz
Gong - The Best Of Gong
Nick Lowe - Basher: The Best Of Nick Lowe
Yes - Union
Madonna - American Life (no, really!)
Rod Stewart - Gasoline Alley
The Pretty Things - The EP Collection
Rod Stewart - A Spanner In The Works
Switchfoot - The Beautiful Letdown
Peter Hammill - The Silent Corner And The Empty Stage
Faces - The Best Of Faces: Good Boys ... When They're Asleep
Buddy Guy - Skin Deep

Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Song Of The Year 2012

Quotation Of The Day: Oscar Hammerstein II ~ "The hills are alive with the sound of music / The songs they have sung for a thousand years / The hills fill my heart with the sound of music / My heart wants to sing every song it hears"

Song of the year is the second most important category in my year-end wrap up. I had, actually, quite a few to choose from but ultimately there was no question here.  The best song i heard in 2012 was Billy Talent's "Viking Death March," from their album "Dead Silence."


I never tire of it.

Spriggs Awards 2012 -- Cinema (Or Should That Be DVD?)

Quotation Of The Day : Billy Wilder ~ An actor entering through the door, you've got nothing. But if he enters through the window, you've got a situation.

As i've said innumerable times, i'm a list freak, and here's the list of every film i watched (on DVD or on my computer) in 2012:

Year Of The Dragon
...And Justice For All
The Perfect Storm
Shadows And Fog
The Recruit
Kingdom Of Heaven
A Perfect Murder
Lethal Weapon 2
Lethal Weapon 3
Bullets Over Broadway
Robin Hood
Mad Max II: The Road Warrior
Get Shorty
Dog Day Afternoon
Someone To Watch Over Me
The Rapture
The Hurt Locker
The Year Of Living Dangerously
The Departed
The Devil's Advocate
Source Code
Glengarry Glen Ross
Up In The Air
The Professional
The Fellowship Of The Ring
Escape From New York
Righteous Kill
Black Hawk Down
Midnight In Paris
Scent Of A Woman
The Professional
The Fifth Element
A Prayer For The Dying
Down To The Bone
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Up In The Air
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)
Running Scared
The Ghost Writer
Quantum Of Solace
The Ninth Gate
Yellow Submarine
The Bourne Legacy

(Most of these i'd watched before, of course.)

Now, i know that you're all aching to know what  my favourite was of the ones i saw for the first time this year.  Well, ok, it's now last year.

I watched and loved both the Swedish (2009) and the American (2011) versions of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and they're both excellent, but it's the American one that gets the nod.

Runners-up would be the Swedish version, obviously, and then "Prometheus," "Down To The Bone" (brilliant performance by my sweetheart Vera Farmiga) and -- which may surprise anyone who knows me, "Milk" (because i have very little interest in politics, let alone gay politics, but Sean Penn's performance in this is nothing less than magnificent).