Thursday, November 29, 2012

Live Music Time

It's that time of year again.  Later this morning we'll be joining a few thousand other rockers and making our way to Hafan Y Mor in Wales for HardRockHell VI, 4 nights of too much booze, too much volume and too little sleep.

I don't think that this year's line-up is as strong as some previous editions of the festival, but with the likes of Sebastian Bach, Ugly Kid Joe, The Idol Dead, Tigertailz, Dogs D'Amour, Quireboys, Dan Baird, Blackfoot, Electric Mary, Testament, Electric Boys, Jettblack, Primal Fear, Breed 77, The Union and Buckcherry, plus around 50 other bands, it should be a good and loud weekend.

I'll see you next week - if my liver and I survive.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Music Business

English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair I...
English: Hunter S. Thompson, Miami Book Fair International, 1988 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." - Hunter S. Thompson.
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We'll Strike Manana

There was a general strike in Lanzarote last week, which was a great shame as it put a temporary halt to some of Spain's great building projects.  Here in the UK we like to build things, as of course many other countries do, roads, flyovers, sports stadiums and the like.  In Spain though, perhaps reflecting on the great influence that Dali, Gaudi and Picasso have have on world art, in Spain they like to do things a little differently.

One of Spain's most intriguing architectural accomplishments is the free standing column.  Placed by the side of a road, with a tangle of rusting cables poking from its top like a bad experiment with dreadlocks these columns sporadically decorate the Spanish countryside.  What are they ? Were they meant to support a bridge that the Spanish then decided they did not want to cross, was it a gateway perhaps and now nobody wishes to go there, or was it a tiny part of some far grander construction project ? Alas, now we shall never know.  Perhaps, as the spray paint spattered concrete lump recedes in your rear view mirror you might think that the Spanish government has decided to install some open air blank canvasses for aspiring graffiti artists to practise upon.

Another great favourite of the Spanish building industry is to dig a huge hole in the ground, throw a couple of unwanted cement mixers down it, run some flimsy red tape around to prevent dogs,  toddlers and drunk English tourists from falling in, and then leave it well alone. For ever.

My personal favourite though exists next to the main road outside Puerto del Carmen on Lanzarote.  Here Spanish road builders have made a fifty metre long section of road which begins suddenly in the midst of the rocky desert landscape, and then ends equally suddenly in a length not even Usain Bolt could get interested about.  This quasi road is a self contained bit of pointlessness in the central reservation.  Looking at the landscape around it you struggle to see how the builders even managed to get a tarmacadam laying machine to begin, and then suddenly quit, their project.  The Spanish have built some really great roads; the switchbacks, tunnels and the possibility at all times of a swift terror filled plunge to rocky doom as the road rises up the mountains to Ronda are an exhilarating experience, the road to nowhere on Lanzarote though is as decidedly quirky as some of its great art.  It is the Soft Construction with Boiled Beans of the road laying genre.

Friday, November 23, 2012

2012 120 Book Challenge - Done

English: George R. R. Martin at the 2011 Time ...
English: George R. R. Martin at the 2011 Time 100 gala. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
George R R Martin's weighty A Clash Of Kings became the 120th book I have read this year, so that's the Goodreads challenge completed for this year and I don't have to read another book until 2013.

As if that's going to happen, it isn't an addiction I want cured, onwards and onwards and turn another page.
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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Fresh Squid



I mean really fresh, to be honest I think a couple more minutes on the grill would suit me better.

Elite Reborn

David Braben has announced that he will produce a sequel to the classic space trading and combat game Elite...


Elite: Dangerous in development

Braben is seeking to gain funding for the project by crowdsourcing via Kickstarter...

Elite funding on Kickstarter


Shudder


Come on, seriously, you're not mental enough to do this are you ?