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K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge…

Today’s bank holiday edition of K’lee and Dale’s Cosmic Photo Challenge should be child’s play, because I chose the theme of; Toys.

I thought it was only fitting that I got input from the person who the toys belonged to, so Audrey provided Instagram shots of some of the ones she found most photogenic, whereas I…well, I did some strange things with dolls’ heads.

You have been warned.

First, Audrey’s artistic interpretations, from small (and not so small) stuffed animals, to a Scooby Doo monster and some sort of hopping rabbit/chick hybrid.

And now my contribution. I started off with some dolls like these…

…then, as if dolls’ heads weren’t weird enough, I did this to them:

I hope that wasn’t too traumatic for you, check out something less unnerving from K’lee HERE.
But now it’s time for you to come out to play.

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As an extra holiday bonus for you, here’s the excellent movie, The Magic Toyshop.

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To get involved with the challenge, post a photo to your blog on Monday, add a pingback to this post (or to K’lee’s) and don’t forget to tag your post #CosPhoChal.
Alternatively, add a link to your blog in the comments of either mine or K’lee’s post and we’ll come and check out your entry.

Any and all effects, editing, Photoshop, Instagram, morphing, collages or whatever other post production techniques you fancy are permitted, (in fact, they’re actively encouraged!) so get creative and turn your photos into artworks for the Cosmic Photo Challenge.

#CosPhoChal

 

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The last rock ‘n’ roller…

I’ve been a huge fan of music for 40 years and over that time I have discovered a great many bands and artists who have stayed with me, such was the impression they made on me when I first heard them.

And when one of those cornerstones of my personal music heritage passes away, it always seems right that I should pay my respects somehow, even when the subject of any such tribute would almost certainly scoff at it for being over-sentimental nostalgic bollocks.

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Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, 24/12/45 – 28/12/15.

My taste in music has always been eclectic, purely because (with the exception of embarrassing childhood purchases like The Bay City Rollers and Showaddywaddy) I have continued to listen to everything I have ever bought, so I’d never seen any contradiction in being a Pink Floyd fan who loved  Kraftwerk, or a Rush devotee who was also massively into New Order, although the tribal subdivisions of youth sometimes caused some friction, of the “you-can’t-be-a-headbanger-and-like-Gary Numan-too” variety.

All of which I ignored.

I didn’t want to be in their gang anyway. Or anyone else’s for that matter.

But then one band, one voice, one thunderous, gloriously over-the-top wall of noise arrived and for a while it was all that I listened to with my small group of junior metal-head school friends.

Even in an era where metal, punk and new wave were all still popular in the record shops and on the chart rundown every Sunday, this astonishing sonic assault was nothing like we had ever heard before and Motörhead soon became the very epitome of “heavy” rock.

And this particular blistering album by them was rarely off the turntables and tape decks of our teenage bedrooms at the time.

The band’s frontman, Lemmy, is credited with being everything from “the godfather of grunge” to “the hardest working man in rock” and was once described as having a voice “like a man who gargles with hot gravel”, but however the media portray him he has only ever described Motörhead as a rock ‘n’ roll band and has repeatedly corrected journalists who labelled them as “Heavy Metal”.

Lemmy did, after all, first find success in another of my all time favourite bands, Hawkwind, the stoner space rock collective who would eventually sack him for reliability issues brought on by his already herculean intake of amphetamines, resulting in his subsequent speed-related arrest on the Canadian border whilst on tour with them in the late ’70s.

Here he is playing with his trademark thundering bass style on perennial Hawks crowd pleaser, Silver Machine…

Undeterred, Lemmy formed Motörhead a few years later and has been fronting the rotating line-up ever since; their style never changing from the original frantic, bass strumming, drum galloping, speed soloing, throat shredding, grimy rock bulldozer that finally found them international fame with the archetypal Lemmy tune, Ace of Spades.

Seemingly indestructible for the last three decades or more, Lemmy Kilmister died today, only a short time after being diagnosed with cancer.

It’ll be a long time until someone who so perfectly embodies the term “rock ‘n’ roller” comes along again and the world will be a less entertaining place for his passing.

Killed By Death, indeed.

Like I said, he wouldn’t have given a toss about any fawning retrospectives on his contribution to music, so I’ll leave you with the best possible tribute to one of the world’s last real monsters of rock; the man in his own words.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Lemmy: The Movie, enjoy.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Arts, Music, Personal anecdote, Video

 

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A long, strange and tenuous trip…

At last, we are finally reaching the end of the road to nowhere, so to speak.
After nearly a fortnight of bending connections until they almost snap, digging out nostalgia-packed video clips, classic albums, movies and TV series, there’s just seven more degrees of separation between now and the finish line.

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Whether or not you’ve sampled the delights I have provided for your festive delectation thus far, (and don’t forget you can always come back at a later date – The Tenuous Lynx is the gift that keeps on giving) I for one have really enjoyed this link marathon.
Not only has it given my brain a daily workout, but I’ve found all sorts of stuff I’d forgotten about or haven’t thought about for years, and that alone has made it worthwhile.
Call it self-indulgent, call it contrived, but if I have introduced just one person to something new, interesting, funny or thought-provoking then frankly, my job is done.

So without further ado, let us start at the beginning of the end.

The previous leg finished at The Unbelievable Truth, David Mitchell’s Radio 4 panel show, so;

Mr Mitchell appears on Channel 4’s 10 O’clock Live alongside comedic ranter extraordinaire, Charlie Brooker.
Here he is, holding forth on the state of British politics in 2013.

Also on the show is ex-Kenickie singer Lauren Laverne, who provided guest vocals for oddball dance boffins Mint Royale on this joyous slice of quirky pop – Don’t Falter.
Mint Royale were also responsible for remixing the vintage Gene Kelly number, Singing in the rain, something much of the UK were almost certainly not doing this year due to the extreme weather conditions and flooding we experienced.
Flood (aka Mark Ellis) is a prolific producer, writer and sound mixer who has worked with bands as diverse as New Order, Sigur Ros and The Killers, as well as mixing this year’s new Depeche Mode album.
And here it is in all it’s dark glory – Delta Machine.
Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode famously died (after a drug overdose) and was revived, much like this candidate for happy ending of the year 2013 – The dead woman who woke up after giving birth.
They both came Back to Life and back to reality like Soul 2 Soul did in their funked-up hit of the same name in 1990.

And for our very last link in the tenuous chain, we end with a couple of cartoons.
Everyone loves a cartoon at Christmas, am I right?

Soul Eater is a series of Japanese Manga comics which has been turned into amine cartoons, screened on TV in the West for the first time this year.
Coming up is the first episode, and then for the finale of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love, it’s followed by a true classic of the manga oeuvre, the movie, Fist of the North Star.

All that remains is for me to say that I hope you’ve enjoyed tagging along on this oddity of odds and sods and to thank Ho once again for bringing the Tenuous Lynx to life with his exclusive artwork.

So after 13 posts and 177 links, I’m caging the Lynx and replacing Tina in her display case.

Until next time…

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Elevenses with Tina…

Welcome to the second to last but one post in this list of 13 pop culture and news highlights (in no particular order) of 2013(ish) brought to you each day via a tortuous route through seemingly unconnected reference points.
Tenuous lynx, if you will.

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Yes, you.

Today, the eleventh outing for Tina (formerly The Internet Nobody Awards, for any late arrivals) and her feline friend, takes us to something a little more cerebral, with some science facts instead of just science fiction.

But you’ll still get two nostalgic ’80s hit singles, one a Texan beardy rocker and the other a Brit synth-pop classic, and a full movie thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday we left poor old Brad Pitt battling zombies in World War Z, pronounced “zee”, as it’s an American film, so let’s start off with a song;

TV Dinners was a hit for impressively hirsute boogie-woogie good ol’ boys ZZ Top, accompanied by this early claymation video.

Whereas an example of the British pronunciation would be Peter Greenaway’s surreal black comedy, A Zed and Two Noughts.
Greenaway also directed a top British cast, including Joan Plowright and Bernard Hill, in another of his trademark darkly humorous tales, and you can watch “Drowning by numbers” in full right here.
By contrast, in 1980 techie geek UK synthesiser popsters New Musik made the charts with this catchy school disco favourite.

Living by Numbers is taken from New Musik’s album From A to B, possibly inspired by the quote;
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” 
Albert Einstein.
Arguably the twentieth century’s greatest scientific mind, Einstein proposed the Special Theory of Relativity, which was instrumental in our understanding of how the universe works.

All of which can only mean that my choice for scientific breakthrough of the year, and possibly the century so far, is one that increases that understanding, the discovery of the Higgs boson or “God particle” by British professor Peter Higgs and his French counterpart, François Englert.
So in tribute to their towering intellect and dogged perseverance – even Stephen Hawking bet against them finding it, and lost $100 – here’s a fascinating documentary about their search for that elusive building block of the cosmos.

See, educational too.
Until tomorrow…

 
 

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Part three. Tina’s Lynx with space…

Ok, I think you’re probably getting the idea now, although you might have been banging your head on the wall in response to some of the more tenuous tangents that I’ve managed to crowbar into the start of my massive link frenzy.
However, as this is only day three of thirteen, prepare for things to get a whole lot more tenuous as time goes on.

Having said that, I did notice a bit of a theme developing in today’s tedious tangle, and much of it is out of this world.

After leaving you with Star Trek Into Darkness at the end of yesterday’s list, we seem to be going back into space…

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We have lift off.
From Into Darkness, we go to The Darkness and their gloriously over-the-top camp metal album Permission to Land.
Someone who was given permission to land this year was superstar astronaut, Commander Chris Hadfield, who transmitted a video diary of his time on the International Space Station, including this superb clip of him performing Space Oddity.

Space Oddity was originally a hit for David Bowie who was nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize for his album The Next Day.
Bowie’s son, Duncan Jones, directed the film Moon, which is an orbiting body in our solar system.
An orbiting body that passed through our solar system in 2013 was the Comet ISON, but an asteroid over Russia earlier in the year actually fell to Earth.
There are worse things that could fall to Earth, for instance Critters (a film with special effects designed by someone I went to school with) or Gremlins which start out as cute little things called Mogwai

…and would you believe it, Scottish band, Mogwai provide the soundtrack to my third highlight of the year, French supernatural thriller TV series, The Returned.

We are currently awaiting season two and if you didn’t catch the start, I recommend you see it before you’re tempted to watch the almost certainly inferior US remake.

Right, off to tie my brain in knots for tomorrow’s exercise in eclecticism…

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Music, TV

 

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