timscience: (SHOTP)
Yesterday was pretty exciting for a variety or reasons. Pissing down, technical issues (we think caused by voltage fluctuations from the generator) but we still managed to pull it off....just.

Next Saturday we play Modern Art Oxford which is very in keeping with the whole band theme thing and most importantly indoors.
timscience: (toys_robotank-z)
"Have any plans tonight?"
"Not really. Maybe we could get a Saturday night in. Is there anything on in the cinema?"
...pause..
"Oh look, 'The Raid' has opened. There's a late night showing that shouldn't be too crowded."
"The Raid?"
"Ultraviolent chopsocky action film. Fancy it?"
"God yes".
......
Later at the cinema
"2 for the raid please"
"OK. You do know it's in French don't you?"
"French?"
"Yes, all the showings are in French. I don't know why. The trailers have been in English. It's subtitled."
"Ok we can handle subtitles"

The Raid, it turns out, is in (most likely) Indonesian which is fair enough as it was made in Jakarta. "French" is shorthand for "foreign" in Vue-till-operator speak. But in fact it speaks the universal language of kung fu. Fantastic.

Punt

19/5/12 22:22
timscience: (croppedsausage)
I don't seem to be posting much here any more. I check it every day but that's mainly because I'm using it as a blog aggregator for English Russia, Idiot Toys and a bunch of friends' Tumblrs, plus one or two friends (and of course [personal profile] cleanskies) who still seem to be using it. Poor old LJ. I remember when etc etc.

Anyway, the Punt. Is it me or has there been a renaissance in quality over the past couple of years in Oxford? I'm not talking about Blessing Force (lovely though Hugo and co are) but a whole load of other bands. Many of who I saw on Wednesday.

I was genuinely torn between staying in the Cellar to see a bunch of bands I knew to be good and listening to some new stuff. In the end I managed a bit of both.

Highlights:
- Secret Rivals. I just really like them.
- Cellar Family - a bunch of new material, they have tipped over the line from "Mclusky stylee scabrous punk with slightly juvenile lyrics" to "genuinely unsettling". This is a compliment. Stop-start rhythms played thunderously loudly by their excellent drummer.
- Deer Chicago - not seen them before, pleasantly surprised. Indie showgaze. Shindie? Anyway, excellent glockenspeil action.
- Tiger Mendoza - full band out plus a bunch of guest vocalists. Top stuff. Hip hop beats, NIN guitar, bosh.
- Dallas Don't - again, not seen them before, really liked their set, Scottish punk with basically some very good songs. Never underestimate the importance of writing good songs.

I have to say the Duke's Cut is a bit of a strange venue (vox over pub PA so they seem to be coming from behind you at times, bands playing on the patio in essentially a pit full of reverb, number 5 to Blackbird Leys going past in the background) but the sound worked well as long as you were reasonably close to the band. Props to whoever was on the mixer.

Band of the night: Cellar Family. No, Tiger Mendoza. No, Cellar Family. Oh fuck it, can’t decide.
timscience: (Mr Spaceman)
It appears that Space goose lives.


I'm not sure how I feel about our video concepts coming true - I mean suppose we did one which had the end of the world or something? Or a dystopian sci-fi in which Britain was run by a cruel and privileged elite. Oh wait.

Wychwood

29/2/12 23:02
timscience: (SHOTP)
So BBC Oxford introducing have put us up for Wychwood on I guess a shortlist. If you could go over to the facebook page and vote for us I'd be grateful.

We're in the Oxford row. You can tell it's us because we're wearing gold spacesuits.
timscience: (WWLD?)
.





Also available as a Venn diagram:
timscience: (catlol)








Harlequin loooooves Teasel. Teasel isn't so sure.

Games

25/1/12 19:43
timscience: (SHOTP)
We had an email a week or so from a company called First Touch Games asking to use our music.

They're a local indie games company specialising in IoS games, their biggest hit so far is a football game. Apparently they like to use local music, which they get basically for free in return for some exposure and publicity. We had a bit of a think - I'm aware of the whole argument that if you're doing something for "exposure" all that means is someone else is making money out of your stuff - but frankly we could do with a bit it so we decided to go ahead.

We asked for a couple of tweaks of the contract (for example a look at the definition of "the video game" revealed it meant all video games released by that company for ever, which we have very definitely had changed as we may wish to renegotiate if, for example, we or they suddenly get huge; we wanted to specify the specific recordings as per that date not any future rerecordings of the same songs with the same names we might do; we asked for an extra copy of the game for Lizz since she played on all the older songs). But, anyway, the amended contracts have been sent off, a token quid has been exchanged, and I await the arrival of Fresh Tracks snowboarding with some interest, assuming someone will be prepared to download it to their iPhone or iPad for me to have a go. My Phone is Android so it's no use to me.......
timscience: (dino_rider)
Readers of my G+ may remember me posting about A Room For London, the little boat shaped construction on top of the South Bank that you can book for a night.

It looks like this:


I was going to try and get a night but the January to June bookings had already gone and sold out in about 5 minutes.

Well the July-December bookings were open this lunchtime and I HAVE BOOKED US IN.

For our wedding anniversary.

Sweet.
timscience: (Mr Spaceman)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] english_russia at Underground Museum Of Astronautics In Moscow
The Memorial Museum of Astronautics opened in Moscow in 1981. Why underground? Because it is located within the base of the soaring Monument to the Conquerors of Space in the northeast of the city. Though the space monument’s tower was … Read more...

Check out the monument to the conquerors of space!

Sherlock

8/1/12 22:04
timscience: (centipede)
Well, I liked it but spent a lot of thinking time on the red herring of minor spoilerz )
timscience: (croppedsausage)
This year’s personal top ten. By and large 2011 was not quite as inspiring as 2010 – there was no “Hidden” or “Tearist” to surprise and enthral me, but on the plus side the sheer amount of good stuff is high – I had to shuffle the top ten around a few times as I kept thinking of new stuff. Contains, now I think of it, a surprising amount of drone-based music. Noise is the new melody, I guess.
Oh, and the PJ Harvey album might well be amazing but I wouldn't know as I have not heard it.

Before we kick off:
On everyone else’s top ten but didn’t do it for me 1) – Skying by The Horrors. Not sure why, loved “Primary Colours”. Just something missing.
On everyone else’s top ten but didn’t do it for me 2) – Gloss Drop by Battles. Too many notes, my dear Mozart.

Could have been a contender prize – Happiness by Hurts. Is prevented from topping the list by the fact that it actually came out in 2010, it’s just I was a bit late getting to it. Never mind, eh? Likewise Body Talk by Robyn.

Disappointment of the year – Living (2009 – present) by Tearist. Some points I guess for reintroducing the concept of the rubbish live album. Some excellent songs including relative newies "Break Bone", "Civilisation" and "Wiped Out", but unfortunaltely it appears to have been recorded with a single cheapo mic out in the audience, rendering it almost unlistenable and certainly getting nowhere close to capturing the awesomeness that is Tearist live. There’s a difference between “raw” and “shit”, people.

Special mentions:
Work Work Work by HTRK. I only discovered HTRK this year but I love’em. Would have got on but the best HTRK album is “Marry Me Tonight” which is ineligible as it’s a few years old.

Tidal Rave by Unicorn Kid. Doesn’t get on because it’s only a 4 track EP. Does however contain the amazing “True Love Fantasy”.

Conatus by Zola Jesus. Although I love Zola Jesus, this album doesn’t get on because it’s exactly the same as “Stridulum”. No, honestly, it’s identical.

New Harmony by Gyratory System. Sounds like an off kilter electro album. Is in fact made almost entirely of treated brass instruments. Contains a guy in his 60s playing the tiniest trumpet in the world.
I thought more people in Oxford would have heard of them, given the excellent reviews in the Guardian and the NME, and their presence on the super trendy Angular label, but when we put them on in the cellar, about 4 people turned up. Oxford’s loss, frankly.

So to the top ten:

10) Polinski – Labyrinths.
65daysofstatic keyboard player moonlighting on solo project. Soaring electro with proper tunes and everything. Specified Bison Grass vodka on his rider (subsequently drunk by Jo). All round nice guy.

9) Cut Copy - Zonoscope.
Pretty much the same as “In Ghost Colours”, got a bit of a kicking for that. Don’t know why. “In Ghost Colours” was ace, and so is this.

8) Future of the Left – Polymers are Forever.
New e.p. from FOTL released rather quietly a month or so ago. The band has had some personnel changes and expanded to a 4 piece and struck out in a (slightly) different direction with a dash of post-punk mixed into the usual acerbic shouting.
I love FOTL. They’re so angry about everything.

7) Mirrors – Lights and Offerings
Let me tell you I was a bit surprised when I looked and found this came out n 2011. I assumed it was a couple of years old, so rapidly have Mirrors dropped off the critical radar since. It seems a little unfair – if it had come out about six months earlier the 80s revival crew would have been all over this. Give it a chance, it’s lovely.

6) Korallreven – An Album by Korallreven.
I actually have NO IDEA why I like this, as it has great dollops of 90s ambient cheese, reverb-y acoustic guitar and cod-reggae stabs. It should be the worst thing in the world ever. But somehow it’s actually rather fine.

5) Blanck Mass - Blanck Mass.
This is one of Fuck Buttons solo project. I assume it’s not the guy who does the beats, because it sounds pretty much like Fuck Buttons without the beats – an hour of uncompromising drones and distortion. Nonetheless, surprisingly tuneful. Sort of.

4) WU LYF – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain.
Ah, Wu Lyf. It doesn't seem like proper Wu Lyf unless you have trawled through a thousand misspelt internet forums looking for shitty 128kbps MP3s. Has the magic gone now we know who they are and have seen their faces and everything?
Answer: No. Although the vocals still sound like the Vic Reeves club singer doing Rod Stewart. TRUFAX.

3) Necro Deathmort – Music of Bleak Origin.
If you saw them at Audioscope you’ll understand. DOOM + techno – how can it be wrong?

2) Metronomy – The English Riviera.
A weird feeling as a band I always felt was MY SPECIAL SEKRIT went overground big time with this. It is slightly annoying that people who I was banging on to about Metronomy five years ago, to general lack of interest, are now telling me how great they are as if I didn’t know already, but you can't hold a grudge against all these latecoming fair weather fans. Not after you've weighted their bodies and dropped them in the Thames.
Anyway, this is a brilliant record, accessible yet still full of the off-kilter strangeness that make Metronomy so compelling.

Which brings me to a surprise number one –

1) Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club – Bag of Meat.
An enormous bass riff. A song about a card trick WITH A CHIMP. Shouting. Other shouting in harmony. Some tunes! (thankyou, I thought you’d forgotten how to do them after “Love On An Oil Rig”). Frenzied drumming. Some more, bigger, tunes. VEGC return to form and come good with their best album so far.

Wobs

26/12/11 21:18
timscience: (candroid)
I have been eating a lot. For those who missed it on Arsebook, that Christmas Fondue:
You make normal fondue (with Gruyere, Emmenthal, white wine and kirsch) then you add STILTON and PORT to it then you dip in little cubes of roast potato and parsnip and stuffing balls and tiny sausages and maybe sprouts roasted with chilli. It is a dish of Christmas genius. And that was just Christmas eve. Recipe by me but fondue made by the lovely [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies who has mad fondue makin skillz (it's all in the muscle memory as far as judging cheese/wine consistency goes, see). Ratio of cheeses that worked best was Gruyere-Emmenthal-Stilton in a ratio of 3:3:2 - any more Stilton makes it stinky without noticeably improving the flavour..

Christmas day itself we went over to [livejournal.com profile] tinyjo's where we ate the biggest goose in the world (in our defence, there were other guests so we didn't eat all of it) and trimmings and christmas pudding and chocolate log and tiny mince pies and now I have type 2 diabetes probably.

For Christmas I got some books and a CD and a tiny synthesiser* and a tea towel that shows how to carve a triceratops. And a tin of unicorn meat. And an excellent Lego model of Fallingwater as detailed here that [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies and I spent the afternoon building. And OTHER THINGS thankyou everybody.

Tomorrow we go down to my mum (her birthday is on 28th) to drop off late pressies with her and my sister and nephew, but now we are going to watch Machete and maybe a couple of episodes of Samurai Jack then go to sleep.

*Geek fact - the tiny synthesiser packs an epic punch as it has the same filter as the legendary Korg MS-20. Route it through a proper speaker and it sounds amazing. It also has an aux in so I can route other sounds through that filter. Muahahahahaha.
timscience: (redarmygaysup)
So we went down to London Tues and yesterday to do some Christmas shopping and drop in on J's sister and family. We also visited "Building the Revolution" at the RA, which BTW we totally recommend. Apart from the exhibition of avant-garde Soviet architecture, there is also a 1/40 scale replica of Tatlin's tower.

The Dramatic Silhouette Shot done by my camera having an issue with the lighting conditions:


What it actually looks like


Human figures show scale of planned tower i.e. fucking huge.


Bonus pic! Yuri Gagarin statue on the Mall behind the Admiralty Arch.


We also saw this:


It is called "A Room for London", it's on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the south bank, and you can stay there overnight. J and I are totally going to go for it when the bookings open.
timscience: (Default)
To Specsavers today to pick up the NEW GLASSES which I shall describe as the Architect Glasses (frameless) and the Geeky Glasses (frame). It feels odd - I have not had glasses before and the prescription is quite strong so it takes a bit of geting used to. My distance vision is now AMAZING but my depth perception is out - evidently I had been using "amount of blurriness" as an indicator for distance.





They are no use at all for reading which is what I expected - I am short sighted not long sighted. There are also some weird edge effects, more noticeable on the frameless ones because they are smaller and, well, frameless, but on the whole it seems a huge improvement and I am pretty happy.

J has also got reading glasses which come in Arty and Severe, both of which are pretty dam sexy.

In other news on the way home I had an idea for the BEST CHRISTMAS RECIPE EVAR Which is Christmas Fondue. The Fondue will have Stilton and port in it (although as J pointed out not JUST stilton and port which might smell a bit strong) and to dip we will have cubes of roast parsnip and potato, tiny sausages and quite likely roasted sprouts (after last year's revelation that sprouts can be made to taste nice by taking the leaves off and steaming them and throwing away the stalk I'm intrigued to see if there are other ways) and possibly little stuffing balls. If I say so myself it is FUCKING GENIUS.

WTF

5/12/11 20:47
timscience: (Default)

Architect Barbie. Why was I not told of this earlier?
timscience: (WWLD?)
I see that the strike has been a damp squib which nonetheless has put the entire economy at risk. I assume this is the same kind of thinking as cutting unemployment by making it easier to fire people, and increasing the supply of social housing by selling off the remaining council stock.

Tory logic. I shit it.
timscience: (spacehero)

This is the video for our track Kosmoceratops, featuring the heroic Space Goose. Art and animation by [livejournal.com profile] motodraconis, concept art and script by [livejournal.com profile] cleanskies.

New version of the track featuring nicely recorded acoustic double bass. This mix of the track also on Soundcloud (where it sounds a little nicer as YouTube is definitely NOT optimised for sound).