Friday, July 22, 2022

Oversharing Friday

Anyone fancy another Friday Grab Bag? Good, because that's what we're having. Mostly because I happened to see two or three things and I felt like sharing I don't have any particular points to make. I just see stuff and want to share it and this is the best place I have.

As I was suggesting in yesterday's boost for Blaugust (Wish I'd thought of that at the time - it would have made a better title.) the blogosphere has become something close to my personal version of a social network. Leaning into Redbeard's fears as expressed in his comment to that same post, it feels a deal safer sharing stuff here than, say, on Twitter or YouTube.

The obvious disadvantage is that almost any other platform at least stands a chance of a) getting more traffic and b) reaching an audience that's actually interested in the topics in their own right. Posting here, it's more like putting up a poster in the convenience store on the corner of the street to say you're having a sale of your home-made pottery in your back yard. 

There's a chance some craft-loving stranger from out of town, stopping off for a Dr. Pepper and some Flamin' Hot Cheetos to see them through the next fifty miles, might spot the notice and drop by but it's not much of a chance. More likely it'll just be a few of your neighbors turning up for a chat as they handle the merchandise without really looking at it, before putting it back down and heading off home.

Once again I should probably save this sort of thing for Blaugust itself, although now I come to study the schedule I see we're not actually doing a How To Blog week this time. Did we ever or did I just imagine it? Maybe that was for the Newbie Blogger Initiative. Is that still rolled up into Blaugust?


I saw the above in a news item from NME last night. Surprisingly, it hasn't yet cropped up in any of my other feeds. I thought everyone would be all over it but maybe its old news and I'm late to the party. Unfashionably late, that is. (I never really got that whole "fashionably late" thing. I had to learn by hard experience that "Eight for eight-thirty" really means "Don't even think of showing up before ten".)

This will be the second Dungeons and Dragons movie, I believe. Not that I know much about D&D. I only played it for about five years, roughly from 1981, just after I graduated college until maybe 1986, by which point everyone in the group had pretty much lost interest and/or were no longer speaking to each other.

As far as I recall, that first movie was both a critical and commercial disaster. I saw it on TV, I think, although I have virtually no recollection of anything about it. I do seem to remember it being so bad that it set the entire hobby back a decade, not that D&D had all that much in the way of progress towards mainstream recognition to lose.

Times change. Science fiction, fantasy and superheroes are all so mainstream now the actual mainstream is starting to feel like a genre. Stranger Things, currently weirdly hot for a show that's apparently airing on a dying network, can take a lot of the credit for making D&D, specifically, feel culturally relevant right now, which I guess makes it a good time to drop the first trailer for the movie, even though the film itself isn't due until next year.

I clicked through to watch it not expecting much, but I came away, two minutes later, quite impressed. The effects look good, which is crucial for a project of this kind, even though some people don't always seem to think it matters that much, but perhaps even more importantly, the dialog wasn't terrible, the acting was suprisingly understated and the set-up for the plot made sense. 

By the time we got to the coda at the end, which made me laugh, I was of the general impression that it might be something I'd like to watch, which I guess is the whole point of a trailer. Also, Whole Lotta Love weirdly works, which I didn't think it would...

A long way further up my street than either big fantasy movies based on game franchises or Led Zeppelin, come bands I like doing covers of songs I like. When I saw the item on Wet Leg covering the Chats' "Smoko" for Like A Version, I got one of those brief, physical reactions, where the hair on the back of your neck stands up.

Wet Leg are everywhere this year. Everyone knows who they are, not least because megastars like Harry Styles and Elton John keep name-checking them, covering their songs and hiring them as tour support. 

I'd like to think that in this corner of the blogosphere you all heard about them from me first, well before all these Johnny-come-Lately superstars got into the act. I, in turn, discovered them by way of a blog that's now sadly gone silent, Everett True's How Not To Write About Music

Everett last posted almost a year ago, when he gave us the thirty-first entry in his series Sixty for 60, in which he was planning on commemorating his sixtieth birthday by sharing sixty songs from 2021, as nominated by people he knew on Facebook, thereby adding yet another level of metatextuality to the referal process. There has, as yet, been no thirty-second entry. 

This, of course, makes Everett True a perfect candidate for Blaugust, other than the fact he's never heard of it and would almost certainly want nothing whatever to do with it. I would love to imagine him doing a vanity search on Google some time in the next week, catching all these references to his name, coming here to see who's been talking about him and ending up rebooting his blog for Blaugust. 

Yeah, not gonna happen.

That Elton John item I linked above deserves drawing out, by the way, in case you didn't click through. The gist is, he thinks "girls" are making the musical running these days and the "boys" need to catch up. I very much agree, although I think you have to be Sir Elton to get away with phrasing it quite like that.

Elton runs through a short list of examples, including several of my own personal favorites from recent times: Wet Leg (Of course...), Let's Eat Grandma and the Linda Lindas. He also mentions the Nova Twins, who are great but not in a style that does it for me, and Haim, who I've never really got. 

I've mentioned before how it was Boy George who introduced me to Let's Eat Grandma. It's very encouraging to see the old guard looking forward instead of back. And let's face it, it's a better look than this. I mean, would you want to be that guy? 

There is a real problem that I'm sure Roger Waters, who has "no idea what or who the Weeknd is, because I don’t listen to much music", is equally unaware of, namely that interest in new music is declining. The fear is that it's being suppressed, even pushed out, by the dead weight of all those classics. Not Pink Floyd specifically, although I'm sure The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon play their part. 

I'm all for rediscovering, sharing and celebrating the past but not at the expense of the present and the future, which is why I focus a lot more on what's new and great than what's old and great here on the blog. Well, that and wanting to look cool, of course, although cool to whom or for what end are questions I don't want to think about right now. Or ever.


Sometimes, of course, you can have your cake and eat it as with Starcrawler's latest. As I write, it's been on YouTube for all of eight hours but like most of their stuff it sounds like it could have been recorded in the South of France in 1972. Comments in the YT thread pick out notes from Britpop to Grunge, proving, as we all knew, that pop has very definitely eaten itself.

This has turned out to be more of a music post than anything, which wasn't exactly what I had planned, but what the hell... Since we're on the theme, I'll reveal I've been collecting tunes for another "New Stuff I Like" post. I'm thinking of making it into a series. Let's have something from that and then we're done for today.

I Want An Authentic Tail - Police and Pea - Isn't that magical? Or maybe I mean maniacal. It turned up in some Songs of the Week list I saw. I'd never heard of them but who could resist a title like that? There were no links in the piece so I went to YouTube because everything ever is on YouTube, right?

Well, this isn't. Or not under that name it's not. The only thing I could find was this:

That one's called Pineal Gland, it's nine minutes long, it's in Chinese (Cantonese, presumably, since the band's from Hong Kong...) and it's positively hypnotic. It also has the name of the band in ideograms and that's how I finally tracked down the tune I was looking for. 

As far as I can make out, Police and Pea is some offshoot of the excellent My Little Airport, several of whose songs I have in my files. I'm guessing, really, but a lot of their tracks turned up in the suggestions every time I picked another P&P track so it seems likely, although MLA are very much still going.

In the unlikely event anyone's been moved enough by Police and Pea to want to own some, here's the Bandcamp link,. Unlike everything else I've covered today, I don't imagine you're going to find it on Amazon or even Spotify. Other than that, I think we're done.


  1. I was suprised by how good the trailer actually looked. Compared to the 2000 movie (and the tv "sequels"), this actually looks like they've got some actors with real chops to them. If the script is as witty as the last exchange, then there's some hope.

    1. I was pleasantly surprised, although it always helps to have low expectations, going in.


Wider Two Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide