Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Switchblade Romance

So at night when she’s sound asleep
I head out in the rain to meet
All the things she never gave
To me when I was down
All the things I had to find
With strangers in strange towns

- The Raveonettes, "Little Animal"

Thursday saw me at the Guild of Students again, this time to see Denmark’s premier exponents of neo-50s pulp-noir rock ‘n’ roll, The Raveonettes. It’s become my tradition to mock the support acts, so here we go. First up were The Boxer Rebellion, who blotted their copybook with me by not taking to the stage dressed as Kansu Tigermen. This failing was compounded by the fact that they were rubbish. Marginally better were The Dogs, who filled their slot by copying The Jam. If I wanted to hear that, I would’ve stayed at home and listened to The Jam. Decent version of "A-Bomb On Wardour Street", mind.

The Raveonettes provide an interesting counterpoint to The Dogs. It’s the difference between copying someone and remixing your influences: Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo somehow manage to channel the spirits of Buddy Holly, Marlon Brando, Phil Spector, and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, turning them into something unique.

The Raveonettes have successfully identified what was always great about 1950s rock, and have revived it. It’s filled with the joy of being young and rich, 50s teenagers being the first generatrion to enjoy that. At the same time, it recognises the hollowness underneath it all. You can cruise down California’s sun-baked highways all you like, but we all know that eventually you’ll reach the sea, and then there’s nowhere else to go.

What I’m trying to say is this: you should like The Raveonettes, and if you don’t there’s something wrong with you.

It’s as simple as that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Airwaves Dream

Watching TV advertising does teach you a lot about the world. Here are just a few things that I didn't know at the start of the week:

  1. Some women like to gather in groups, eat crisps, and make pseudo-risque comments about the crisps as they do so. They appear to be unaware that this makes them ther most boring people on Earth.

  2. Men should not have facial expressions, and I can now buy a cosmetic product with "anti-expression" ingredients. Blank Generation indeed.

  3. Women are allowed to use tampons as currency. The exact value of a tampon is not stated, but they seem to be quite valuable.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Lovely Day Tomorrow

When you torture somebody to death...everybody would acknowledge that’s torture. But placing a sterilized needle under somebody’s fingernails for fifteen minutes, causing excruciating pain but no permanent physical damage — is that torture?
- Alan Dershowitz, Professor of Criminal Law at Harvard Law School

Sunday, March 13, 2005

"We Should Be In The Cellar, Goddamit!"

You made it. Barely.
Congratulations! You scored 53!
Whether it was the fact that you could run faster, or were just plain lucky, you made it out alive. Even you aren't sure why. But you're sure as hell not going back, or risking your ass for anyone else from now on.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 11% on survivalpoints
Link: The Zombie Scenario Survivor Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Front Page

This morning I attended a preview screening of the film Constantine, free of charge (no, it's nothing to do with the first Christian emperor of Rome). It was free because I'm reviewing it for Liverpool University's "ICON Radio". I'll put up a link to the review when they've got it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Last Man Standing

Today Susanne, the last of my German housemates, goes home. In about a month, though, I get a brand-new housemate. Exciting!

Given that I'm about to spend 3 weeks living on my own in a big flat, it may have been a mistake to watch The Evil Dead last night. It was, however, interesting. I'm a confirmed fan of Evil Dead II, which is really a remake of the first film, so seeing the differences between them was fascinating. The main difference is humour: The Evil Dead is a horror film. Evil Dead II is a comedy with some horror in it. I'm sure that there are people who don't find a man shouting "Who's laughing now?" while cutting off his own demonically-posessed hand with a chainsaw to be funny, but they're wrong.

On the other hand, I could certainly have lived without The Evil Dead's infamous "raped by a tree" scene, and it is interesting that that wasn't featured in Evil Dead II. There's another difference between the two films, here. The Evil Dead is pretty misogynistic. That's not unusual for a horror film, but the overt way in which it's featured is: it's as if it's a conscious theme. This was something else that seems to have been toned down for the second film.

So like I say, all very interesting.