rfbooth.com :: blog archives

Moments in time, preserved to embarrass me later.

17-11-2003 (archived)

It's fairly traditional to come back from guitar events like this weekend's national proclaiming that you're going to give up the instrument. I'm also tempted, not through feelings of inadequacy but just because I had so much fun fronting my parts of the “guitar karaoke” as utility rock singer. Radio mics and a stage big enough to sprint around like a madman brings out the spotlight boy in me good and proper...

Things I didn't know until this weekend:

I'm particularly proud of Cochise, which I barely knew (I was reading lyric sheets until near the end, at which point I threw 'em away and got my hair in the air) but which grooved like crazy, and Forever Young. Not only was this my good friend Ian Myatt's first time on stage, it was actually the first time he'd ever played with a band - no rehearsals, no soundcheck, nothing. Add that to a great band, a supportive crowd, and one of my all-time favourite songs, and I had some fun... I'm pretty sure that's the mic on the video camera we were using overloading on my vocals at the end, and not the actual PA. And yes, there will be video footage.

A possibly not complete list of the ones I fronted: Paradise City (Guns'n'Roses), Tobacco Road (David Lee Roth's version), Forever Young (Tyketto), Play that Funky Music (Wild Cherry, apparently; we decided on this about three hours before the event), Cochise (Audioslave), Over My Head (King's X), Word Up (Cameo, though our version was much closer to Gun's), Little Wing (Hendrix), and Livin' on a Prayer (Bon Jovi, decided while we were already well into the event, hence the vigorous and unmusical debate about whether or not to do the keychange and if so by how much...).

I love being a frontman. This guitar thing's just in the way ;).

19-11-2003 (archived)

This week, on an experimental bases, I've switched my brreakfast television allegiance from BBC Breakfast to Channel 4's RI:SE, which is a lot more manic and irritating, but features Iain Lee. Unlike many, I find him funny more often than annoying. Just.

Rumours that it might have anything to do with their newsreader, Zora Suleman, are obviously completely false. Her personal site is a Flash site, and sadly I do mean the web technology, not the poses.

21-11-2003 (archived)

This week's film review is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, remaking Tobe Hooper's much-beloved horror movie with decent production values.

I must admit to never having managed to sit through the original; this is a genre that, to me, needs some gloss and effects, and it's certainly got them now. Easily the most diverting special effect is Jessica Biel, who spends the entire movie in a tied-up halter top and tight jeans, mostly running, and the second half also soaked to the skin. Which'll do nicely.

The rest of it's pretty good, though, from the spectacular and funny (that's how this genre works, after all) first death through to the coming of the chainsaw man. Despite the lack of any actual nudity, or actual scariness, this is a superior gore-and-tit flick, full of action, humour, and jumps. Fun.

24-11-2003 (archived)

In the wake of the National, not only are there the mp3s and ruminations I posted a week ago, but also a steady and increasing trickle of video footage (eventually, there will be two DVDs). Here, then, courtesy of the amazing Mark McGuigan (who played as good a rendition of “For the Love of God” as I've heard from anybody not called Steve), is video evidence from Forever Young and Cochise. I'm the singist in the black shirt who moves a lot for his size :). File under “diet incentives”, I think.

26-11-2003 (archived)

“I have pissed on my cat. But it wasn't entirely my fault.”. I commend to you “Paris in the Toilet”, which to my surprise wasn't about Ms Hilton. It made me laugh until I began to worry about the oxygen supply to my brain. (Via Clive, on IRC.)

28-11-2003 (archived)

More of my IRC dividend, since I'm too tired to write anything: an interesting article about the low-carbohydrate movement and how it's affecting agriculture and the food industry. (The website reqires a registration, which takes literally ten seconds.) (Thanks, Fod!)

1-12-2003 (archived)

This week's first film review is “Love Actually”, the first film to be directed by the British film industry's most successful scriptwriter, Richard “Blackadder, Bean, Four Weddings” Curtis.

Let it be said without preamble that if you want a proper film, one that will make you think, inspire a full range of emotions, marvel at the brilliant script, or what have you, then this is completely the wrong film. Where, say, In the Cut was a tasting menu of offal, spices, and disconcerting seafood, The Italian Job was an expertly-made hamburger, and Pirates of the Caribbean a huge, delightful and varied banquet, this is a very sweet box of milk chocolates with soft centres. There's nothing wrong with that, of course, for an occasional treat (especially at Christmas), but one can't help feeling a little queasy when one eats too much at a sitting.

I would counsel you to arrive a couple of minutes late, to avoid the already-famous voiceover about how all the calls from the falling twin towers were to loved ones (proof that Curtis definitely still needs an assertive editor). I was prepared for it and I still almost vomited with enough force to splatter the screen, and the very mention of the event makes the later scene of people sprinting through restricted areas of a London airport being chased, but mysteriously never shot, by unpanicked-looking security guards look even more ridiculous than it already is.

The film itself is very enjoyable; there is Curtis's trademark inventive swearing, there are many sweet little plots wrapping around one another, and there are several very good performances; Bill Nighy is a film-stealer as an aging, mercenary rock star with a dreadful festive single to plug. For the grownups, there are Alan “genius” Rickman and Emma Thompson, demonstrating once again that she is the best actress of her nationality and generation, in one of the few plots that is not utterly saccharine. Hugh Grant makes a self-deprecating, occasionally and deliberately ridiculous exhibition of himself in the familiar, expert way. For the men, there is Joanna Page with her clothes off, Keira Knightly, Nina Sosanya, Martine McCutcheon (who, frankly, is not even slightly chubby, no matter what the script suggests) and more. For the women, there is an equally vibrant choice of men. Everyone plays their part well, and the laughs and cries generally work as planned.

Unlike Four Weddings, there is no dramatic mood change and no real depth; but, while empty, this is still a slick, enjoyable, tear-jerking, uplifting way to spend a couple of hours and change. If you can disengage your brain and float away on the stream of an England where everyone has a lucrative job that doesn't distract them with actual work and we're all beautiful, well-educated, witty, interesting and interested, then you probably should.

3-12-2003 (archived)

A long time ago, I put a piece from ARP's website into my “posts for a rainy, busy or uninspired day” place. Sadly, being as frequently and thoroughly inspired as I am, by the time I wanted it, he'd changed his website and linkrotted it away. Because I'm quite stupid, it's only just now occurred to me on this busy, rainy day that the Wayback Machine would have it.

Whilst masturbating to porn I often find that contemplation of the following things causes my erection to subside dramatically, and I become worried that I will think of them during orgasm, thus making my ejaculation rather anti-climactic. I eventually find it impossible to not think of them, which results in the process becoming purely a mechanical exercise and rather unsatisfying. Many of the following also apply during the act of excretion; the two processes are very similar.

So begins ten things that are not at all sexy. Of the newer, still-posted, stuff, I find not cat particularly wise.

As you were.

5-12-2003 (archived)

This week's second film review is “Spun”, a rather controversial move about speed (in the sense of meth) and speeding.

No doubt the jump-cut editing style is lifted wholesale from Aronofsky; frankly, I don't care. The direction and editing really do seem to give some idea of what being on speed is like, and the performances are excellent throughout; Brittany Murphy, in particular, shows again that she isn't just mystifyingly attractive, but can actually act rather well. The film has taken a great deal of abuse from the critics, who I can only assume have suffered a collective sense-of-humour failure. How can you argue with a cast of this quality and cameos from the likes of Eric Roberts, Rob Halford, Billy Corgan (who is also responsible for the soundtrack), Deborah Harry and Ron Jeremy? Yes, it's seedy, depressing, and often unpleasant; it's also beautifully done, affectionate, and very, very funny. Laugh-out-loud on the spot, and for days afterwards, funny.

I think my movie buddy put it rather well, in fact. This is one of my films of the year, and joins a very select few on my “will buy on DVD” list.

8-12-2003 (archived)

At the moment I seem to be on the edge of ill all the time; I think I'm just sufficiently tired for my immune system to start crapping out on me. It's no more than I deserve, really, for leaving too many things too late in the term.

On the upside, now I'm making an effort to breathe properly even while wearing a guitar I can sing better with a cold than I was before without one, which is some comfort.

As more comfort for the Harem Scarem fans, here's a recent interview with Harry. Enjoy.