steampunk rockers in the rain

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This was the scene at the Download Festival yesterday, just before Megadeth took the stage. I can’t say they did much for me …

As I anticipated in yesterday’s post, Turbowolf went down a storm on one of the smaller stages, generating a great atmosphere as the band tore through their back catalogue and played a couple of new songs, one for the first time in public.

I love these marquee spaces at festivals. They are as close as such events get to recreating the atmosphere of smaller gigs, and this is where you really want to be …

 

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One other highlight of the day for me was the set by a band called The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. Taking their name from graffiti said to have been left by Jack the Ripper, this group of self-declared Steampunk Rockers had the distinction of being sued by the ever-humourless EMI for naming their first (2010) album “Now That’s What I Call Steampunk, Volume 1”.

The band promptly renamed the album, The Steampunk Album That Cannot Be Named for Legal Reasons – and bless them for that. They clearly have a way with album titles, naming their second (2012) album This May Be The Reason Why The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing Cannot Be Killed By Conventional Weapons, and their third (2015) Not Your Typical Victorians.

I’d love to say that their music is as good as their sense of humour, but on a day of this …

 

mud at download

 

… the humour was just about enough.

Next stop for me is Glastonbury, which starts in the middle of next week. That’s when around 175,000 of us descend on a set of fields in Somerset roughly the size of a small town. This is much – much – more than a music event. If you have time, and don’t know much about the festival, this potted history is rather good.

Glastonbury’s main Pyramid stage is a thing of great beauty, especially at night …

 

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… or at sunset …

 

glasto sunset

 

… and has seen some legendary performances over the years.

Here is last year’s headline set from the wonderful Florence and the Machine. That was another rainy day, we were soaked and freezing cold, but by the time she came on the setting sun was out and life was beautiful again.

 

‘Live From A Moon Shaped Pool’

Radiohead have announced an ‘event’ called Live From A Moon Shaped Pool, which will take place on 17 June – the day their new album gets released as a CD, and (incidentally) on Spotify. You’ll need to be at one of the participating record stores – see the list here – in order to catch an ‘exclusive day long audio stream’, get hold of ‘instructional artworks’ and take part in various competitions.

Radiohead watchers will know very well that the band are in Iceland that day at the Secret Solstice festival. The Reddit community is rife with speculation as to what exactly will take place in the record stores, what the band will be streaming, and from where.

Meanwhile, in other news, I’m off to catch Black Sabbath at Download today. It looks like being the end of the road for this band next year, so I may as well see them. As usual, before the headliners take the stage I’ll be mooching around the minor stages looking for gems. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Turbowolf again. I saw them once last year and loved them. Their lead singer, a deliciously camp, lanky guy with memorable facial hair and bizarre vocals called Chris Georgiadis, has a great stage diving technique, as you can see here …

 

 

Now how many other blog posts have you read that go from Radiohead through Black Sabbath to Turbowolf in three short paragraphs …

Rabbit In Your Headlights

Now playing in the video room at Furillen …

This awesome song was a collaboration between UNKLE and Thom Yorke. It appeared on the Psyence Fiction album, which was produced by DJ Shadow and released in 1998.

Here is the official video. Watch it to the end, it’s insanely good …

 

 

And here is a rather lovely version, filmed during a rehearsal with Thom and Atoms for Peace ahead of their 2013 tour …

 

 

I’m a rabbit in your headlights
Scared of the spotlight
You don’t come to visit
I’m stuck in this bed

Thin rubber gloves
She laughs when she’s crying
She cries when she’s laughing
Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away

I’m a rabbit in your headlights
Christian suburbanite
Washed down the toilet
Money to burn
Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away

White worms on the underground
Caught between stations
Butter fingers
I’m losing my patience

I’m a rabbit in your headlights
Christian suburbanite
You got money to burn
Fat bloody fingers are sucking your soul away

Away

Hail To The Thief – happy birthday

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Released on 9 June 2003.

Here is Track 6, “Where I End and You Begin” (The Sky is Falling in) …

 

 

 

There’s a gap in between
There’s a gap where we meet
Where I end and you begin
And I’m sorry for us
The dinosaurs roam the earth
The sky turns green
Where I end and you begin
I am up in the clouds
I am up in the clouds
And I can’t and I can’t come down
I can watch and cant take part
Where I end and where you start
Where you, you left me alone
You left me alone
X’ll mark the place
Like the parting of the waves
Like a house falling in the sea
In the sea
I will eat you alive [x4]
There’ll be no more lies [x4]
I will eat you alive [x4]
There’ll be no more lies [x4]
I will eat you alive [x4]
There are no more lies [x4]
I will eat you alive [x3]

Meeting People Is Easy

Meeting People is Easy is surely one of the best music documentaries ever made. It covers Radiohead’s 104 gig tour following the release of OK Computer in 1997. The filming style matches the content – a bewildering montage of images, usually in roving, fly-on-the-wall mode, following the band around an endless series of promo shoots and media interviews, travelling, band meetings, rehearsals and gigs.

This was the year during which the band really broke through from being a promising bunch of spunky prog rockers who were a refreshing alternative to Britpop (i.e. the loathsome Oasis et. al.), to a group who were widely recognised as genuinely original, challenging and terrifyingly relevant.

OK Computer is often viewed as an anti-technology concept album. I hear it more as being about the fear and ecstasy of not just losing sight of but also transforming our humanity in the face of the incredibly complex and potentially alienating technologies and media that were exploding around us – and them – at that time. Consider Airbag, a song written to express Thom Yorke’s feelings about automotive transportation following a near fatal car crash in which his life was saved by – you got it – an airbag. When he sings …

In an interstellar burst
I am back to save the universe

In a deep deep sleep of the innocent
I am born again

… I really don’t think that Luddite sums it up. If anything, those lines now make me think of Daydreaming.

This isn’t a concept album because there is not – cannot be – a single concept that unifies the myriad range of contemporary experiences that these songs express. To me, this movie both captures and reflects the inherent and brilliant looseness of the album itself. The other really notable aspect of the album is its soundscape, which was strongly influenced by Miles Davis’s epic, Bitches Brew.

There is some fascinating (and historic) footage of gigs in this movie, as well as of the band members suffering silently through a punishing schedule of mind-numbingly similar interviews. When one interviewer asks the band – “what’s the worst question you ever got asked in an interview” – you just yearn for them to spit back, “that’s it, right there”. That they don’t says much about their stamina and patience.

When, during a particularly low moment on the Japanese leg of the tour, Thom refers to the astonishing success of an album they fully expected to bomb as “total bullshit” – urging his fellow band members just to give it all up and begin again – you feel both heartbroken for the man and his friends … and incredibly excited about the massive creative meltdown that was about to happen to the band, leading painfully to the release of the (even better?) Kid A in 2000.

I absolutely adore this movie, parts of it are moving beyond words.

So here it is …

 

 

 

Égoïste

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Furillen’s new gallery space is now showing an exhibition of Laura’s real life photography.

I have known Laura since 2008 and long admired the pictures she takes in Second Life: her sense of colour, and the angles she uses, are very distinctive. But I have also admired her real life photography, and wanted her to put some of these pictures on show at a sim which, after all, makes a big deal of its real world connections.

The exhibition will run for a few weeks. After that, I hope to feature more real life art and photography made by visitors to the sim. But as ever, we will see.

Do visit this building – and exhibition – if you can. The building itself is a fascinating space to show pictures in, wonderfully moody and atmospheric.

 

Strictly for Potterheads

I was in the audience at the world premiere of the new Harry Potter play in London this evening. I won’t give anything away, other than to say that it’s rather awesome. This is going to be huge.

The play is in two parts, so I’ll be back there on Thursday to see how it ends.

Everything in the show was a surprise because there have been no leaks at all about the story, and I have no intention of giving any spoilers here. There was a tremendous atmosphere – there were many hardcore Potterheads in the audience who responded to every detailed twist and turn with gasps of horror, joy or laughter.

And yes, I am a bit of a Potterhead myself, although nowhere near as hardcore as my kids.

Anyway, this was the scene outside the theatre afterwards as the media gathered …

Abba reunion

Furillenites who enjoyed the Abba party at the sim back in February might like to know that the awesome four sang together again – for the first time in thirty years! – at a private gala in Stockholm at the weekend.

There is no ‘live’ footage as yet, but here is a wonderfully emotional picture from the event …

 

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They sang Me and I, which goes like this …

 

 

The question on all of your lips – why that song? – may never be answered. But I can’t resist reproducing the lyrics here, because lines such as …

“Sometimes I have toyed / With ideas that I got from good old Dr Freud”

… are beyond priceless.

Bless them all.

Sometimes when I’m mad
There’s a part of me that seems to be a little sad
Sometimes when I scream
There’s a voice in me that says, “You shouldn’t be so mean”
Oh no, oh no
Part of me is acting while the other stands beside
Yes, I am to myself what Jekyll must have been to Hyde

We’re like sun and rainy weather
Sometimes we’re a hit together
Me and I
Gloomy moods and inspiration
We’re a funny combination
Me and I
I don’t think I’m different or in any way unique
Think about yourself for a minute
And you’ll find the answer in it
Everyone’s a freak

Sometimes I have toyed
With ideas that I got from good old Dr. Freud
Nothing new of course
It may seem to you I try to break through open doors
Oh no, oh no
I just wanna say a lot of that applies to me
‘Cause it’s an explanation to my split identity

We’re like sun and rainy weather
Sometimes we’re a hit together
Me and I
Gloomy moods and inspiration
We’re a funny combination
Me and I
I don’t think I’m different or in any way unique
Think about yourself for a minute
And you’ll find the answer in it
Everyone’s a freak

Me and I…

We’re like sun and rainy weather
Sometimes we’re a hit together
Me and I
Gloomy moods and inspiration
We’re a funny combination
Me and I
I don’t think I’m different or in any way unique
Think about yourself for a minute
And you’ll find the answer in it
Everyone’s a freak

We’re like sun and rainy weather
Sometimes we’re a hit together
Me and I
Gloomy moods and inspiration
We’re a funny combination
Me and I…

Windlight: Furillen fog

I’ve been playing with the regional windlight settings at Furillen.

This one is foggy – and bleak.

 

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