Daily Archives: Sunday, 24th Jan 2010

Fyfe Dangerfield – Fly Yellow Moon

Fyfe Dangerfield is, of course, the lead singer of that excellent band  Guillemots, who I’ve mentioned once or twice before. It’s been a while since we last heard from the band, but as I’ve been distracted by other things, I hadn’t actually thought about that.

Anyway, not that long ago, I heard a seriously catchy song on the radio. The voice had that kind of familiarity to it, but at that time of the morning I couldn’t quite place it until the DJ kindly told me that it was the new solo single from Fyfe Dangerfield. After hearing it a few more times, it got nicely into my head in much the same way as such Guillemot songs as Trains to Brazil and Made-up Love Song #34.

So, I just had to get the album, and I did indeed get it on download[1] as soon as it was available. And you know what? It’s pretty damn good. There are some insanely catchy songs like When You Walk in the Room and Faster than the Setting Sun, but perhaps the best thing on the album is that first track I heard, She Needs Me. Catchier than a very catchy thing at its most contagious and gloriously joyful. Check out the album if you like good songs well performed.

Oh, and if you’re at all worried, apparently there will be a third Guillemots album – they have apparently been working on it.

And, here’s that single:

I’ll skip the usual “here until someone objects” disclaimer, as the video is on Fyfe’s own YouTube account, which presumably means it’s official.

[1] I only get the shiny round things if there’s something in the package to make it more attractive than digital files.

Star Trek – The Next Generation Movie Collection

Well, having mentioned the first movie set, it’s only fair to mention the equivalent Next Generation set. The full price of this smaller set was a not too extortionate £30, which would be a good deal if you didn’t already own the DVDs, but I left it until Amazon offered it to me for a much more reasonable £12.38. I see that it’s gone back up to a not quite as reasonable £17.97 since I bought it, but that’s still not too bad.

As with the other set, this collects the full set of movies with new commentaries and special features and an extra disc containing a collection of additional special items, including the evolution of the Enterprise, star charts and, as they say, more.

So, what about the movies?

Generations

A sort of handover movie, which thanks to some time-bending, manages to get Kirk and Picard together to combat a suitably mad scientist. It’s good fun, and may well involve some heroic sacrifice. (You get a lot of that in these movies)

First Contact

Lots of trouble with those pesky Borg in this one, with Picard and his crew having to travel back to the 21st century to make sure things still happen the way they remember them happening.

Insurrection

This one is perhaps the most like an episode of ST:TNG, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Ordered to do something he doesn’t approve of, Picard has to decide whether to risk his career and do what he thinks is right, or to, oh well, what do you think he’s going to do?

Nemesis

It seems that the Romulans have a new leader, who wants to have a nice friendly chat with the Federation. Only it turns out that he’s (a) a clone of Picard and (b) a bit of a loony who wants to take over the galaxy, kill lots of people (especially Picard) and all the other stuff traditional villains like to do. Yet more heroic sacrifice may be involved.

And that was it. The end of Star Trek in the movies for quite a while…

While these movies don’t feel as essential as the ones with Kirk and his crew, they’re still worth watching, and if by some chance you don’t have them already, this set is a good way of getting them.

There is also a set which combines the content of this set and the other one, but at the time of writing, it’s cheaper to get the two separate sets.

Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection 1-6

Now you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning a set of DVDs that every geek with an interest in Star Trek has already got in one form or another. Or even several forms, if you happen to have bought them on VHS, then DVD. Well, I’ll tell you. This set contains digitally fiddled with versions[1] of the first six Star Trek movies in the versions that were shown in cinemas, rather than the director’s cuts/special extended versions that were on previous DVDs, with new commentaries, new special features, and an allegedly exclusive extra disc featuring a round table discussion with William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Whoopi Goldberg. All very nice, but if you’ve already got the movies, probably not worth the full original price of £50. However, when I ordered it, Amazon were offering it at the bargain price of £14.98, which was enough to persuade me. At the time of writing, it’s still at that price, but that could change at any time…

For the uninitiated, the movies in this set are:

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

After ten years, Star Trek returned, uniting the original cast with a refurbished Enterprise in an adventure that recycled elements from at least one classic series episode, and which is often criticised for being slow and plodding. Personally, I think that over 30 years on[2], it’s still nicely watchable. And without this, there’d have been no Next Generation, no DS9, no Voyager and certainly no Enterprise.

The Wrath of Khan

The one that originated the idea that the even numbered movies were the good ones. Bringing back an adversary from the classic series, and including some rather excellent for the time space battle scenes, it’s probably most fondly remembered for Bill Shatner’s cry of Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. Good stuff, with some nicely entertaining Klingons. (What the photon? How did I imagine Klingons in this one?) Oh, and a bit of heroic self-sacrifice, which leads us on to:

The Search for Spock

Bit of a silly title, as he was exactly where they left him. Perhaps a bit messy, but with a bit more heroic sacrifice, nearly everyone gets to live happily ever after. Oh, and there’s some even more entertaining Klingons.

The Voyage Home

After the relatively heavy third movie, the fourth is played with a much lighter touch. The Enterprise crew have to travel back in time to 20th century Earth to collect some whales. Their reactions to the primitive society they find themselves in are nicely silly. Lots of fun, though there is, of course, a menacing alien probe thingy to deal with.

The Final Frontier

Oh. Dear. This fifth movie has to be the one that really established that even-good, odd-bad idea. In a story which makes very little sense, and in which a trip to the centre of the galaxy can be done in much the same time as going to the shops rather than the years that previous (and indeed subsequent) stories would suggest, an emotional Vulcan causes all manner of trouble, and quite remarkably, it’s Kirk who’s the only one whose brain appears to be working…

The Undiscovered Country

Now this one (another even numbered one, you see) is actually rather good. Peace is in danger of breaking out between the Federation and the Klingons, and Kirk and Co are assigned to a diplomatic mission which goes a bit wrong. Loads of fun, including a Shakespeare-quoting Klingon, and a fiendish conspiracy.

Lots of fun to be had, and six movies for £15 can’t be bad. Well, if they were bad movies, it would be, but these are the classic Star Trek cast having loads of fun, and should be in every geek’s collection.

[1] Not fully remastered, but cleaned up to look better on high def TVs and the like
[2] Yup. That’s a lot of years…

Weight and Stuff Report – 24 January 2010

Up again today, which isn’t too unusual for a Sunday, but a bit annoying after yesterday’s epic rise. Ah well, back to walking tomorrow. That should sort it out. Or not.

Today’s picture is one from that trip to Carlisle I made in August last year. At the time, I posted one picture, then somehow didn’t get round to dealing with any more. Bad Les! Anyway, this curious person is to be found over the entrance to the Guildhall Museum, which is a good place to learn about Carlisle’s history if you happen to be there.

Looking a bit pale

Looking a bit pale

Strange figure over the door of Carlisle's Guildhall Museum

More pictures to come!