July 01, 2007
The tune presently known as the Nokia theme...
...is, in fact, a composition by the Spanish composer Francisco Tarrega (1852 -1909). According to Wikipedia:
He is also the composer of what has been claimed to be "probably the world's most heard tune": the Nokia ringtone Nokia tune or simply Nokia, also used in their advertising spots, is based on Tárrega's Gran Vals.
Who'd a thunk it?
(Learnt this from the 'new' BBC4 panelshow, Face the Music 2007 which also featured Rory Bremner's version of 'I am very model of a modern Major General' as sung by our new Prime Minister.)
May 12, 2005
Richard E. Grant reads Dracula remixed with tech piano. Wierd? Yes, but it works
Link: Penguin Remixed - .
October 27, 2004
The obligatory Peel post
Some observations on the death of John Peel:
a) Mark E Smith of The Fall was on Newsnight last night to comment. Whoever dreamt up that interview was in mischevious mood: Smith slumped in his chair, his delinquent-pixie face resting on the foot of the screen while Michael Bradley of The Undertones reminisced fondly about the man who made his career. Gavin Esler then starts to interview Smith who is having none of it - well very little. Newsnight shows previous episodes online for 24 hours so do hurry over for a look: Newsnight.ram.
b) Andy Kershaw on Channel 4 News was also willing to challenge the Peel-fest at the Beeb - he revealed that Peel was increasingly annoyed at the ever-later Radio1 slot and said it was 'killing him'. Ouch.
d) Some good blog tributes: Apostate Windbag, Suw Charman ('he never let a thing like language get in the way of playing a good song') and Stefan Magdalinksi ('John Peel, one night, after school, plays the record that changes my life. Right there, "Stakker Humanoid", by Humanoid, more or less destroys my interest in all the records I own already, at a stroke. What was *that*?').
e) And finally, how many people at 65 would have so many recent photos that make them look as cool as Peel's - the UK's national papers are justifiably plastered with them. In fact he looked cooler of late than he ever did in the 70s and 80s. Other than Terence Stamp, of who else in their 60s could you say that for?
September 13, 2004
The ethical guide to online music
Should I rip this? is a flow-diagram designed for those whose conscience gets palpatations when they visit Kazaa. How thoughtful of the London News Review to provide it.
July 23, 2004
William Shatner has recorded a version of Pulp's Common People. I kid you not. Seriously. Honestly. Tragically, this is true. The evidence is here
It is perhaps the song above all others that stands out from my university years. I didn't do Es and Whiz and never spent any time in country houses or musing on Park Life.
Picture the scene: early on a Saturday morning (2am probably) in the upstairs room in a student house in Oxford. Beer cans litter every available surface. The everyday 100w pearl white lightbulbs have been swapped for dim, almost menacing red and green lights. The air is thick with smoke, sweat and the vigorous movement of thirty students almost entirely all from the best-known (and most expensive) public (hence, for non-British readers, private) schools in the country. And all are belting out that they 'want to be like common people, common people like you'. Of course, they are generally now barristers, management consultants, film-makers, solicitors and budding politicians. But it was a nice thought, wasn't it? (And Jarvis Cocker went and married the decidedly uncommon sounding Camille Bidault-Waddington)
Still, I can't help but feel now that someone has Shatnered all over my fond memories.
(Thanks to Suw for the alert)
May 14, 2004
The Broken High
And now I am feeling a teeny bit guilty, so to make amends I will hope to go to see The Broken High, live on Tuesday at the Dublin Castle. Apparently lots of muso press there [but then, don't they always say that?]. Nice website site and logo, though.
May 02, 2004
You too can 'iPod the Met'
I programmed my iPod to select randomly from its 1,710 songs, representing most musical genres. (Leaving it on random meant, of course, that it could play every track from Duke Ellington: Live At Newport in sequential order, but the risk was low.) I paid my way into the museum and pressed play. During the first song, I wandered aimlessly, with no strategy for where to go. When the song stopped, I did too, and then spent the span of whatever song the iPod chose next enjoying whatever piece of art was closest. Next song started and I wandered off again, stopping when the fourth song began. And so on.
So, thinks I in London this Sunday afternoon, why can't I try? Off I went to The Met's online collection (modern art) and set iTunes to random. I got:
(all images open in new window)
1. The Mountain, Balthus, 1937 and You've been flirting by Bjork
2. South of Scanton, Peter Blume, 1931 and All Alone (on Eilean Shona) by 1 Giant Leap
3. Red, White and Blue, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1931 and A Whisper by Coldplay
4. Bohemia Lies by the Sea, Anselm Kiefer, 1996 and The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen Count by The Divine Comedy (probably the most perfect combination of image and music!)
5. Temple Gardens, Paul Klee, 1920 and Wooden Heart by Elvis
What would you get?