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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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Diarist’s dozen…

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Yes it’s day twelve, the penultimate trip down the tangent trail towards today’s tenuous target.
We start off by sampling a slice of psychedelic space rock, then our journey continues via some gloriously jangly pop and an inside look at one of the year’s nastiest new TV characters, to finish off with a wealth of audio amusement.

On our last outing we ended by paying tribute to the great scientific minds that helped us to find and identify that pesky little particle, the Higgs boson. So I thought I’d start this first leg of the home straight with an album by one of my all-time favourite bands;

Hawkwind named their 1977 album after some more subatomic particles and you can get your very own dose of cosmic radiation by listening to the whole thing right now – Quark, Strangeness and Charm
And where to go from there but to This Charming Man by The Smiths, fronted by Morrissey.
English actor David Morrissey has had great success in the States this year, playing new character The Governor in zombie thriller series The Walking Dead
…which stars another Englishman abroad, Andrew Lincoln, who had his first walk-on part in up-to-the-minute satirical newsroom sit-com Drop the Dead Donkey..
…which was co-written by Andy Hamilton, creator of Hell-based radio comedy series Old Harry’s Game and presenter of an irreverent documentary on the history and myths surrounding his lead character, The Search for Satan.
Hamilton is also a regular guest on BBC Radio 4’s “antidote to panel games”, the fabulous I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue, now presented by Jack Dee.
But here’s the classic line up, with late, great jazz trumpeter and national treasure Humphrey “Humph” Lyttelton in the chair, recording the show in front of a live audience.

And I’m keeping to the radio comedy theme for my second-to-last choice of 2013 best bits, mainly because I love it and partly because not enough people listen to comedy on the radio nowadays, despite the fact that many of our most popular TV sketch and panel shows started off on the airwaves before making the move to the small screen.

This show is presided over by a man who is no stranger to TV himself, David Mitchell, who has graced this list once already.
Ladies and gentleman, I give you The Unbelievable Truth.

Enjoy, and I’ll return with the final episode of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Humour, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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TENuous out of ten for effort…

We’re in sight of the finish line now. Only three more posts to go after today before I call time on my day-to-day data daisy chain and normal(ish) service can be resumed.

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So yesterday I finally managed to shoehorn in a David Lynch link, in reference to his latest musical output (which I hope you enjoyed) and whadaya know but the starting point in today’s multimedia maze is a little town in Washington state, near the Canadian border…

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In hindsight, of the many past and future stars to appear in Twin Peaks, Lynch’s soap-noir masterpiece, one of the most amusing turns is given by soon-to-be heartthrob David Duchovny as transvestite DEA agent, Denis/Denise Bryson.
Duchovny later made his name as conspiracy fixated FBI super nerd Fox Mulder in The X-files, opposite sceptical sexpot doctor, Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson
…who starred in this year’s riveting psychological thriller, The Fall, playing a detective hunting a serial killer in Northern Ireland.
The Fall is also the name of gnarled, incoherently shouting, alternative national treasure, Mark E Smith’s continually evolving, legendary Manchester band.
Legends of the Fall is a film starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins
…both of whom star in Meet Joe Black, in which Pitt plays death, finding out about the living…

…as opposed to my next movie highlight, World War Z, in which he tries to find a way to bring the undead back to life.

Don’t go away, I’ll be back tomorrow with the pen-penultimate episode…

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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N-n-n-n-nine Tina…

Okay, so I couldn’t think of a 9-based name for my ninth instalment of interactive inanities, there only being so many number related puns to go round.
Anyway it gives me the chance to crowbar in an electro classic before we get started.

Now let’s get back to the business at hand, following on from the Stephen King double header yesterday which included The Shining..

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…the film version of which was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Kubrick also directed A Clockwork Orange..
…taken from the novel by Anthony Burgess.
Tim Burgess is the leader of The Charlatans..
Tim Booth is the leader of James.
…and along with US composer Angelo Badalamenti, he records as Booth and the Bad Angel.

Badalamenti works extensively with David Lynch (well obviously I was going to get him in here somehow) and I have great pleasure to share with you his entire second album, The Big Dream.

And because they’re my rules and I’m the one making them up as I go along, here’s two bonus films.
The first is an in-depth documentary on the making of Lynch’s extraordinary and disturbing Eraserhead and the second a rare look at Rabbits, another strange glimpse into the Lynchian psyche.

Sweet dreams.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Music, Tenuous Lynx

 

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And on the eighth day…

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Entering the second week in the company of Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of Love, I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever again have a thought which I don’t automatically try to connect to another by way of a tortuous route through cultural references trawled from my memory banks.

That being said, I’ve found some excellent stuff that I would not usually have come across in the normal course of writing a blog post, so I’m not complaining.

And today’s collection of multimedia nuggets are no exception; the full first episode of yet another of my TV highlights from 2013; the original ’80s pilot of one of my absolute, no competition, hands down, top TV shows of all time (no, not Twin Peaks this time); a hit single by the star of that same show AND two complete audio books by one of my favourite authors.

Don’t say I never do anything for you.

If I remember rightly, we ended yesterday on Boss, the drama in which Kelsey Grammer chews up the scenery as the mayor of Chicago.
So today;

A real life mayor who has been in the news of late and possibly the year’s most honest and frank politician, Toronto mayor Rob Ford admitted to smoking crack, although he did point out that he only did so whilst in an “alcoholic stupor”.
Well that’s okay then.
He was interviewed on television by Conrad Black, who was born in Canada but has a British peerage (he is officially Baron Black of Crossharbour)
Orphan Black was a top new science fiction series from this year and it was filmed in Canada but made by the very British BBC..
…and co-stars Matt Frewer, possibly best known as the man behind the glitching rubber mask of neurotic sci-fi cyber-clown Max Headroom and his real world alter-ego, Edison Carter.
Max Headroom provided the vocals for The Art of Noise’s hit single Paranomia and I think that’s the cue for a song.
Take it away Max…

Paranomia is a song about not being able to get to sleep, or insomnia, as the condition is known. Insomnia is also the title of a novel by Stephen King and you can listen to the whole audio book right here.

Bringing me to a much anticipated literary event, the launch of Dr Sleep, King’s long-awaited sequel to The Shining.

So at Christmas, when the turkey has been stripped to the bone and you can’t move from eating too many mince pies, settle into your favourite chair, plug in your headphones, close your eyes and listen to Will Patton read the latest chilling masterpiece from one of the world’s greatest writers.

You’re welcome.

Wow, there was some good stuff in there!
Make sure you check out the Max Headroom link to discover the origin of a cult TV comedy legend and I’ll see you tomorrow for more exhaustively researched randomness.

 

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Week Lynx…

So, a week into the contrived connection continuum and still going strong. Today’s offering is an altogether more visual affair, constructed as it is from links culled from TV and film.
There are clips, a top tune, a feature length making-of documentary and two whole classic comedy episodes on the way to my next pop culture highlight of 2013, so let’s close the curtains, open the popcorn and dim the lights, the show is about to begin.

Aaaaannd,… ACTION!

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Yesterday’s finishing point, Cloud Atlas, was made by The Wachowskis, who were also responsible for giving protesters worldwide an image makeover by introducing the V for Vendetta-inspired Guy Fawkes mask to the masses.
The Wachowskis also made The Matrix, which stars Laurence Fishburne. (And you can see how they made it HERE)
Fishburne went on to take the lead role in high-tech, CGI gore-porn murder marathon, CSI – Crime Scene Investigation as super cool hero-with-a-past, Dr Ray Langston.

As the music of The Who is synonymous with the CSI franchise, I think this would be the ideal time to take a half time musical break.

Following the departure of Langston a new character, DB Russell, took over the Vegas crime lab. Russell is played by Ted Danson, who also appeared as larger-than-life corporate villain Arthur Frobisher in award winning Glenn Close vehicle, twistier-than-Echer’s-corkscrew non-linear legal thriller, Damages.
He had already scored an early success in his TV career, winning a slew of awards for playing Sam Malone in much-loved, long running barroom sit-com, Cheers.
Another regular who joined Sam to prop up the Boston bar was pompous psychiatrist Dr Frasier Crane, played by Kelsey Grammer, who went on to star in the hugely successful Frasier.

All of which contorted confabulations brings me to another TV pick of the year, again with Kelsey Grammer, this time playing completely against type.
Boss is the story of Tom Cane, corrupt and sleazy mayor of Chicago who, unbeknownst to almost everyone, is suffering the onset of a degenerative neurological disorder.
The series follows his increasingly desperate attempts to cover up his declining health and the effects it has on his ability to hang onto power.

There are two clips here, the second of which demonstrates the sort of powerful performance Grammer is capable of, Cane being one of the most understatedly monstrous characters brought to the small screen for years.
(For those of a delicate disposition, it does contain some fairly ripe language)

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Humour, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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The Sixth (non)Sense…

Nearly halfway through my serendipitously synchronized sequence of specialist subjects now, and today is particularly musical in tone, with a splash of comedy and an aptly convoluted movie to finish off.

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The mighty Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa brought yesterday’s torrid trail to the end of its tether, so that is where we shall set off from today.

All aboard?
Right, let’s ramble.

Alan Partridge – Alpha Papa uses words from the phonetic alphabet in it’s title, as does Wilco’s 2002 album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (apparently a reference to a recording of a secret spy network transmission).
Wilco Johnson was a member of legendary ’70s pub rock/punk/blues band, Dr Feelgood.
Dr Feelgood had a hit with Milk and Alcohol, co-written by Nick Lowe. The song is about Lowe overdoing it on Kahlúa milkshakes at a ’70s gig by blues legend John Lee Hooker.
Nick Lowe was in Rockpile, who had a hit with Crawling From The Wreckage.
This Wreckage was a hit for Gary Numan, whose real name is Gary Webb.
Robert Webb is in comedy duo Mitchell and Webb with David Mitchell.

But it’s a completely different David Mitchell who is responsible for today’s movie highlight.
Taken from Mitchell’s novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas is easily the most extraordinary looking film I’ve seen this year, if not the most coherent or comprehensible.

Tune in tomorrow for more links from the Lynx.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Arts, Films, Humour, Music, Tenuous Lynx, TV

 

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