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Play Station 3

Dug out my old “fat” PS3 console from the loft today. The plan was to see if Disney Infinity still worked so my youngest son could play using the NFC figures (the piece that triggers the game was missing so we couldn’t do that). I also brought down the PS3...

40K Painting

Finished my first-ever Warhammer 40K miniatures. They were part of the 40K starter set my son wasn’t interested in painting (he was more interested in the alien-like Tyranids). If I’m honest, I found painting the miniatures difficult and stressful – but glad I tried it. My only other experience of...

Brink Book 6, 2000AD prog 2379

Very pleased to see the return of Brink by Dan Abnett and INJ Culbard to 2000AD. I hadn’t read last week’s prog and, when I saw Culbard’s unmistakable cover for prog 2379, I had to dash out to WH Smiths and pick it up. Unbelievably, it’s Book Six. Brink is...

Ed Piskor

Incredibly saddened to hear of the death of Ed Piskor, comic book artist and co-host of Cartoonist Kayfabe. I’ve been reading Ed’s comics since Hip Hop Family Tree came to my attention a decade ago and have followed his work through Grand Design and Red Room. His heartfelt celebration of...

Three, Four Tet

“It’s got enough heart that we won’t accuse it of going through the motions, yet if that was all you ever asked from Four Tet, this is surely a dream come true,” says the reviewer on Sputnikmusic of Four Tet’s new album, Four, in a rather passive-aggressive review that calls...

Bands as Saturday Morning Cartoons

This is an enjoyable site: stuffbymark.co.uk, where Mark Reynolds presents imaginary retro cartoons, movie posters and the like based on songs and bands. I loved the bands-as-Saturday-Morning-Cartoons especially – but Reynolds’ great at this.

FURTHER DOWN THE STREAM...

Philip Glass Solo

There’s already a great deal of Philip Glass in my music collection but I couldn’t resist listening to this latest album, Philip Glass Solo – though it was Luis Alverez Roure’s striking portrait of Glass that caught my attention. I first listened to Glass in the 1980s when I bought...

Make Children Happier

As part of a series arguing for revitalising policies a future Labour government should adopt, Polly Toynbee proposes three key educational reforms: “Bring back those 1,416 Sure Start centres that have closed” “Schools need just one target: make children happier and education a pleasure” “kickstart FE, with the resources and...

Ending(s), Night Country

LA Times interview with Night Country writer, Issa López reveals something about her thoughts regarding the ambiguity of the final episode’s end (and, to be honest, much of the season). In the interview, López stresses that she was deliberate in creating a story and setting where there can be both...

Future Days, Can

The latest episode of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking arts programme features a showcase of Can’s third album, Future Days. The programme is an enjoyable (and informative), presenting Can’s album in the context of post-Sixties Germany and of the original line-up of the band. I’m not sure why the programme...

Laird Barron’s Night Country review

Laird Barron is enthusiastic about the fourth season of True Detective, arguing that the writer/showrunner, Issa Lopez conjures an “ethereal undercurrent of magical realism”. He sees many of the artistic (and philosophical) decisions made reflect the lonely, estranged Alaskan setting. He also discusses the show as being within the tradition...

Curations, artuk.org

Curations are a wonderful means of self-organising British art using the Art.org web site.  I use an installation of Pinry – essentially a self-hosted version of Pinterest – to generally keep and manage images and graphics I want to keep. The Art.org  curations makes keeping hold of images of British...

Dreamfear/Boy Sent From Above, Burial

“caustic rave maximalism… comes across like a forlorn mini cassette mix from the 90s vaults” according to The Quietus. Some sort of teleological excavation of a lost techno compilation from Ninties compressed into 25+ minutes of realtime aural actualisation. Of the two tracks, I find Boy Sent from Above...

Volta, Loula Yorke

Quietus review says that “Yorke’s new release Volta is deeply cyclical” and reflect a period of focused composition rather than Yorke’s previous improvised recordings. Makes comparisons with Hannah Peel’s Fir Wave. All seven tracks are great – though I’m especially taken with An Example of Periodic Time. Have listened to...

Haddit with Reddit

After 12 years using Reddit, I’ve deleted my data*. I’ll give it a few days to check that my comments and posts have been completely wiped and then I’ll permanently delete my account. Like many other long-term user of Reddit, this is in response to the greed of Reddit’s management and...

The Best-Kept Secret

Being an easy pushover for a good UFO book (something I’ve not shaken since my childhood), I’ve just read Jacques Vallée’s and Paola Harris’ Trinity: The Best-Kept Secret. It’s an account of a hitherto unknown UFO crash in San Antonio in 1945 very close to Ground Zero where the Manhattan...

UK Grim

But what’s gone on, what can I see? You’re all getting mugged by the aristocracy But what’s gone on, what can I see? You’re all getting mugged by the right wing beast. I had a long car journey today which gave me the chance to listen to UK Grim, Sleaford...

Gone!

After nearly 15 years on Twitter, I’m gone. I’ve never used it that much anyway and was always more of a lurker than active antagonist on the platform. I followed a small number of people, mostly from education, writing and comics. I didn’t post very much. When I added something...

Gillen’s A.X.E.

Find myself agreeing with Chad Nevitt’s fierce admiration for Kieron Gillen’s coordination of Marvel’s A.X.E. event: “I was stunned by the complexity of the narrative he is telling. It is absolutely stunning to see the various threads weave in and out of different comics, pulling together all of these characters....

60 Years Ago Today: Love Me Do by The Beatles

Someone to love. Somebody new. Someone to love. Someone like you. Time plays odd tricks. It’s 60 years ago that The Beatles released Love Me Do on 5th October 1962. The opening harmonica hook remains haunting and evokes the grainy black and white early Sixties. Melancholic images of fog on...

October comes with rain whipping around the ankles / In waves of white at night

Autumn is definitely here. Not the lingering, warm Autumn of early September, but the damp, wet Autumn that points with trembling finger towards Hallowe’en and the first chill winds of Winter. For me, September has been one of reading tales by Algernon Blackwood that seem to anticipate this change of...

Indicators of an Effective Teacher?

Digging through one of my boxes of stuff, I found this copy of Elizabeth Perrott’s 1982 Effective Teaching, a book I’d bought and intended to read but had put away for the future. It’s a weirdly prescient book: outling many of the approaches to teaching that are currently being promoted...

Fantastic Four No.1 Panel by Panel

Comparing Panel by Panel with Maximum FF suggests the change in the way that the November 1961 first issue of Fantastic Four seems to be viewed (at least by Marvel). In 2005, Walter Mosley’s presentation of the issue is as an art object: something that “crystallized an art form that...

Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh

Very glad I found this in W.H. Smiths. Written by Alec Worley with art by Dani, Black Beth is the revival by Rebellion of an obscure British comic originally created in the 1970s (but unused at the time) with one published story appearing in the Scream! Holiday Special in 1988....

Maintaining a #digitalgarden

Since the mid-1990s, I’ve maintained a personal web site of some sort. Originally my sites were constructed using Frontpage and Dreamweaver, then I used Blogger for a period until around 2010 when I moved over to keeping self-hosted WordPress sites. There was a period when I used it as a...

Robert Aickman’s Introduction to The 5th Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories (1969)

Aickman’s fifth introduction is brief. He summarises his previous views: that ghost stories are separate from both horror and SF and that its “true affinity” is with poetry as it is “a projection and symbolisation of thoughts and feelings” that are excluded from usual written discourse. Ghost stories, he believes,...