Game of Thrones sucks

MILD SPOILERS: I’ve not gone into detail but there are a couple of notes on the most recent episode. Nothing that reveals any major storyplots though, but proceed with caution. It’s official (I use the term very loosely of course), but Game of Thrones now sucks. Despite how popular it remains, it’s fast becoming a bore. I get why it’s very watchable, the scale of it is impressive, the CGI is good (but these days, so what) , the myriad of converging stories and the hints of the mythology, coupled with some very modern language to keep it familiar, and it’s ticking all the pop culture boxes. I don’t think it’s particularly shocking even though I know some people do …

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Why I love films

I recently saw the movie Arrival at the cinema. I was sitting about four rows from the front, dead centre, and was soon immersed in the story that was playing out. From the opening scene, that long fade from dark to light, the framing of the shot out across the lake, to the first hint at the doorways the main character will need to navigate (figuratively and literally) I was hooked. I’ve always been drawn to beautiful cinematography, to the point where movies like Road to Perdition stick in my mind more for that long shot of the car driving through the rain with the fields beyond disappearing over a low clouded horizon, than it does for the story itself. …

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Engaged in Long Form

Throughout last year I tried to be a little more choosy with my content consumption and as a result, whilst I am definitely consuming more, it feels like what I am consuming better, more higher quality fare. Looking back at 2015, whilst the goals were laudable, I’ve gotten more from the process of deliberately making conscious choices than the I necessarily did from the actual content itself (leaving aside the discussion of how art feeds the soul); actively and consciously deciding how to spend my time rather than giving in and going for the cheap and easy option (not that cheap and easy are bad per se, sometimes we all need a day on the sofa, sitting in our dressing …

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Spoilers

This post contains no spoilers I am guilty of posting spoilers. TV show plot twists, sporting results, movie endings, I’ve done them all. But I’ve learned, by being on the receiving end one too many times, to think before I post. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” says some book or other – note to self: write-up your thoughts on the Bible some day, you know, cos there aren’t enough religious nuts in your life – and truth be told it’s not a bad way to live your life. Presuming you are a decent human being and not a complete and utter dickhead to being with, but I digress, back to spoilers. It took me …

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Over not Down

It’s been over a year since I last mentioned my podcast listening habits, since then I’ve changed what app I use and the list of my subscriptions has changed too. Over not Down When I started using Downcast it was largely because it was available as both iOS and OSX apps, and sync’d well between my devices. It’s a good app but I soon realised that I rarely, if ever, listen to podcasts when I’m sitting at my computer, they are something to listen to when I’m on the go (and if I really want to listen to them at home I can use AirPlay). These days I use Overcast because it’s the nicest one to use. It has clever …

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My Sad Captains

I’m a huge fan of Elbow. Partly for the melodies they weave and the sounds they create, but mostly because of the lyrics which are in turn funny, acidic, bold, soaring, and achingly beautiful. Guy Garvey is my favourite poet. Their songs, whether of sorrow, elated joy, or poignant recognition often strike a chord and I find myself moved far more strongly than I am with other bands. I don’t know if it’s because I’m of a similar age as the band and so the timely reflections on family and friends seem to ring truer than others, I don’t know if it’s a combination of the music and the moment, but at every single gig I’ve been at (seven and …

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Podcasts

I’m way way behind the curve on podcasts and I’m laying the blame firmly on my parents and their use of radio. I grew up in a house where music was the backdrop to most activities – my first hearing of Appetite for Destruction? My Dad loaned the cassette from the library and I walked in as Welcome to the Jungle kicked off, epic! – so I never really had much of a view of things like the Shipping Forecast, radio plays and so on. I’m sure my parents did listen to ‘talk radio’ on occasion just not when I was around so I’ve always associated radio with music. I won’t bore you with tales of recording the Top 10 …

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Spotify Benefits – Shared Playlists

I’m in the midst of writing up my thoughts on Spotify, or rather my own experiences moving from ‘ownership’ to ‘streaming’ but until I finish that, there is one thing that Spotify makes very easy, sharing playlists. Yes, I like to give my playlists silly names. I’ve been compiling a little playlist of songs that make me smile and feel happy, the tracks share no musical genre, anything goes really, just as long as it brings a smile to my face and lifts my mood. To get some other ideas I took to Twitter and got lots more great tracks and ideas. Twitter to Spotify success! And I did! Not all of the tracks were to my tastes, obviously, and …

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How do you do yours?

It has taken me a while to get the Spotify bug but as I can’t seem to escape it I’ve done my usual and leapt in at the deep end leaving my iTunes library mid-rebuild to explore Spotify and see how it fits with my needs. It’s good! I like a lot of things about it and I will happily admit it’s a much nicer place to be than iTunes which has meant that (as most of music listening is background stuff so I prefer things I’m familiar with) I’ve been going a bit playlist happy. There are a mixture of things that are driving my behaviour, but the ‘availability’ of a large set of music than I have in …

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A day at the Fringe

Last Saturday we headed to Edinburgh for some Fringe frolics, with only a vague plan but no real expectations of what we might see, so as we walked towards the Gilded Balloon we accepted a few flyers and made some quick decisions! First up was a musical comedian from Boston, Katie Goodman. She got things off to a great start with some lovely little songs and raps. Funny, crude and provocative, she certainly doesn’t mince her words; She thinks that some men are probably Gay, there are some things she doesn’t remember, she didn’t fuck it up and is a big advocate of Unfuck It Up. Next up, and the highlight of the day for me, the Wellington International Ukelele …

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