28 February 2013

Altered Images - 3

Here's another of my Altered Images.

Playlist for 2013 - Part 2

In an earlier post I listed the first 31 tracks on my 2013 playlist. Here are numbers 32 to 59 – in other words, February’s five–star songs.

32    Rheostatics – Legal Age Life at the Variety Store
33    Special Needs – Francesca
34    Theatre of Hate – Do You Believe in the Westworld?
35    Quatermass – Black Sheep of the Family
36    Belle & Sebastian – The Boy with the Arab Strap
37    Ultravox – Vienna
38    Two Gallant – Las Cruces Jail
39    Hapshash and the Coloured Coat – The Wall
40    Python Lee Jackson – In a Broken Dream
41    Small Faces – Lazy Sunday
42    Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man

43    Saints – This Perfect Day
44    Tim Rose – Morning Dew
45    Neil Young – Like a Hurricane
46    Juicy Lucy – Who Do You Love?
47    Panama Ltd Jug Band – Round and Round
48    Groundhogs – Garden
49    Patti Smith – Because the Night
50    Janis Jopin – Cry Baby
51    Rolling Stones – Let it Bleed

52    Kevin Ayers – The Oyster and the Flying Fish
53    Adverts – Gary Gilmore's Eyes
54    Clint Eastwood & General Saint – I Can't Face Another World War
55    Strawbs – New World
56    TV on the Radio – Poppy
57    Johnny Cash – The Man Comes Around
58    Bob Dylan – Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
59    Remy Zero – Save Me

26 February 2013

Altered Images - 2

The original photo was taken at one of the Tolkien weekends, a few years ago. Edited to remove the background kids eating ice cream cones.

20 February 2013

Altered Images - 1

I've had another go at drawing, using charcoal pencils and oil pastels. Then I scanned them into Photoshop and had a little play with them.

Then I had a go at drawing a monster -- you'll probably guess the inspiration for this beast. I did the Photoshop jig on this picture, too. But I'm not sure it quite works.

10 February 2013

Easy Reads?

Did you know that DC Thompson & Co publishes a series of slim books under the Bridges & Knight imprint? Every month they publish four short novels, two crime and two romance, at £1.99 each. The one I bought was 140 pages – so that’s pretty good value for money. I came across the range quite by chance on the magazine rack in a local supermarket – and that should’ve been a clue. I bought Stolen Sister by Maria (or Marie) Maher from the Crime: Suspense line. Well, you have to give these things a go, don’t you. Here are the first few lines:

‘“No, no, you will not convince me, Adora!” said Mrs Fleetwood forcefully. “There is something not right with Angelika, I know it! […] I had such a horrid nightmare last night. Angelika was trapped in a tiny room just like a cell! […] Please, go down to Barcelona and look for her, or I won’t rest […] your sister is in trouble. I can feel it – here!”’

I won’t inflict further on you. All I’ll say is that the narrative doesn’t improve from there. Or at least it didn’t by the time I gave up reading it. I did glance at the last page and the final few lines made me groan – with relief that I didn’t persevere.  

DC Thompson missed a great trick. These slim volumes should’ve opened up the market for many for our more-talented friends and thus provide readers with well-written *suspense* stories. Instead, this particular one is weak and feels as if it was written by someone who predominantly writes romantic tales – and hence Stolen Sister didn’t engage with this reader. And – oh dear – I’ve just noticed that on an inside page these books are called “easy reads”: that says it all.

Maybe the line has ended: the DC Thompson website doesn’t seem to mention Bridges & Knight. It does remind me, though, that I forgot to buy the last ever print issue of The Dandy.

01 February 2013

Playlist for 2013 - Part 1

It seems that entertainment programs (such as Spotify, the last time I looked) and hardware (MP3 players) all include the facility to create playlists of your favourite music. Usually, I can’t be bothered; I just take pot luck at whatever turns up next. However, what if I had to form a favourites list … what would I include? So I’ve decided to create my own playlist for 2013, choosing one track per day, everyday. That means, by the end of the year I will have picked 365 songs. I am posting these daily on my Facebook page with links to YouTube videos. The tracks are in no particular order – just as the fancy takes me.

I decided to follow a few simple rules:

[a] All must be music I can listen to over and over again without becoming bored with it. In other words, all would be five-star tracks.

[b] I may pick only one track per band or performer. This ‘rule’ will be relatively easy to obey for the first few months. But if it becomes more difficult to select five-star songs I may relent and re-use favourite performers.

Anyway, for the record, here are the first 31 tracks, selected during January.

1          Fleetwood Mac – Oh Well
2          Black Sabbath – Paranoid
3          Capt Beefheart – Autumn's Child
4          Jethro Tull – A Song for Jeffrey
5          Inspiral Carpets – Beast Inside
6          Melanie – Leftover Wine
7          Animals – When I was Young
8          Finbar & Eddie Furey – Her Father Didn't Like Me, Anyway
9          Jefferson Airplane – Lather
10        Nirvana – Rainbow Chaser
11        Jake Bugg – Lightning Bolt
12        Velvet Underground – Venus in Furs
13        Lightning Hopkins – You're Gonna Miss Me...
14        Only Ones – Another Girl, Another Planet

15        Ronnie Lane – How Come
16        Psychedelic Furs – Flowers
17        Ed Banger – Kinnel Tommy
18        Snow Patrol – Run
19        Tom Lewis – Fairwinds
20        Gallon Drunk – In the Long Still Night
21        Wedding Present – Brassneck
22        Cerys Matthews – Oxygen
23        Manfred Mann – I Got My Mojo Working
24        Canned Heat – On the Road Again
25        Grant Lee Buffalo – Teardrop and Jupiter
26        Siouxsie & The Banshees – Helter Skelter
27        Ike & Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High
28        Sparklehorse – Beautiful Widow
29        Kristin Hersh – Listerine
30        Joe Cocker and the Grease Band – With a Little Help From my Friends
31        Richard & Linda Thompson – Shoot out the Lights