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Everything posted by Skummy

  1. just because I love the JCC version;
  2. I love "Johnny Remember Me", it's such an odd song - it has a sense of "Ghost Riders In The Sky" style country to it, but distorted through the weirdness of Joe Meek's production and wacky electronics to give it that otherworldly feel, and then just getting increasingly bombastic. Brilliant, brilliant tune. I imagine we'll see Meek make the list again soon for "Telstar". It's been covered by, amongst others, John Cooper Clarke & Hugh Cornwell, The Meteors, and Dave Vanian of the Damned, all versions worth listening to.
  3. You would love them. Shakin' All Over has a really Link Wray-esque menace and swagger to it, which UK rock and roll just didn't have at the time. You can definitely hear why Lemmy was into them. They were also a major influence on Dr Feelgood, and Kidd's attention to the visual element, and the pirate gimmick, was really ahead of its time. The Pirates, sans Johnny Kidd, are still around, and while they're not exactly reinventing the wheel, they've got a couple of fun live albums out there. "September Song" is an interesting one, as it's another interpretation of a Kurt Weill song a la Mack the Knife, though this time without Bertolt Brecht, as it's from later in Weill's career when he had emigrated to America. It's from a satirical musical attacking FDR, and suggesting that government over-reach was the start of encroaching fascism in the US. At this point, Weill's music was still (along with a lot of songs from musicals) still being farmed for jazz standards and swing arrangements - September Song was covered by Sinatra and Crosby too - but within a couple of decades would come to be marked as a much more counter-cultural frame of reference, as the likes of Lou Reed, Tom Waits, William S. Burroughs, and David Bowie start mining the songbook in the early '80s. What we're starting to see as the list goes on is the slow emergence away from blues, jazz and gospel, and towards rock, pop, and soul. Spanish Harlem, the Shirelles and the Everly Brothers are all setting the tone for Phil Spector being primed to dominate the sound of pop music for a few years.
  4. Skummy

    Cover Songs

    I've only just discovered this, and I adore it;
  5. I loved the present day bits in Black Flag, just stupid hacking mini-games to find irrelevant, but exhaustive, lore about John Dee and the Voynich Manuscript. Yes please!
  6. "It Ain't Necessarily So" has one of my favourite rhyming couplets ever, with "he made his home in/that fish's abdomen". My Mum adored Billy Fury - the first time my parents went to Liverpool, she was insistent on getting a photo with the statue of him - but I've never really listened to him before. I like it!
  7. Blue Cheer's Summertime Blues is superb, but I don't think I know a bad version of it. Guitar Wolf's is extraordinary. I love Jacques Brel, and as I get older prefer his versions to the Scott Walker interpretations that made me aware of him. Walker is one of my all-time favourites, but the arrangements are all too bombastic for Brel, who should feel slightly seedy and paranoid. Nina Simone's version of this song is wonderful, though. Mack The Knife is a great tune, but the more I got into Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, and into The Threepenny Opera, the weirder I find it that it became a finger-clicking swing standard. The Tiger Lillies do a good version that feels closer in spirit to the original, while maintaining most of the established English lyrics.
  8. My girlfriend actually just sent me that yesterday! I'm still awful at it!
  9. I remember getting to one of the castle leaves, and you fight Rockhead for a second time. Beat him, happy days, then he throws his fucking head at you. I had no idea what to do, ran straight into his body and died. You have to punch the flying head three times, touching his body instantly kills you. Obviously. I just think I took the Rock, Paper, Scissors thing for granted as a kid, rather than it being an insane, needlessly harsh gameplay mechanic. It feels weirder for me if I play any of the later Alex Kidd games, which I never played as a kid, so it must just be that I'm used to it in Miracle World, and had basically memorised at least the first two or three, then relied on the mindreader doohickey for the others.
  10. My first gaming memories were on the Commodore 64 - I'm almost certain the first games I ever played were Rainbow Chaser, a fairly generic platformer in which you play a purple egg, and a game I knew as "Space Frogs", but a Google search just now has taught me was actually called "Frogs In Space"; an inexplicably space-themed Frogger rip-off. The reason I knew it as "Space Frogs" is because that's what was handwritten on the cassette sleeve - I'm not sure we had a single game for the C64 that wasn't on a bootleg cassette, with my brother writing whatever he thought it was called on the sleeve. That's made some of the games of my childhood impossible to track down, as it turns out that football game wasn't really called "Crap Footy". Beyond that, my older brother had a Master System. It lived in my brothers' room most of the time, and was only rarely brought into the living room - I wasn't allowed in that room, so rarely got a chance to play it at first. My first memory of it is a rare instance of my brother allowing me in, to play Altered Beast on a black and white TV. Main memory of the console is of Alex Kidd In Miracle World, though, which I still play to death. Somewhere around here I had experience of other old home computers - a BBC Micro at school, a friend's Acorn Electron, and at some point we briefly had a ZX81 Spectrum. I say briefly, it was honestly in the house only for a matter of days, and I think it was a "fell off the back of a lorry" deal with one of my Dad's mates. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy game, a Spider-Man text adventure, Dizzy, and a fantasy dungeon-crawler thing I was obsessed with getting the chance to play on the BBC at school but can't for the life of me remember the name of. My Mum was a youth worker when I was a kid, and the Youth Club was at the village hall, just round the corner from our house. They had a Mega Drive there, and after a couple of games were stolen, the Mega Drive started coming home with us - so de facto free Mega Drive for us. This is when most of my real memories of "properly" playing video games came in, starting to get Sega Power magazine every month, watching Gamesmaster, spending as much of my free time as possible playing games. Main games here were Sonic The Hedgehog and Sonic 3 (never owned Sonic 2!), the Mega Games pack of Super Hang-On, Columns & World Cup Italia '90, Urban Strike and of course Streets of Rage 2, which might be the game I've sunk the most hours into collectively over the course of my life. Two of my childhood best friends moved to the village I lived in around then, and were the first people I knew with a PC at home. From them over the years, I discovered Warcraft, Starcraft, Age Of Empires and The Secret Of Monkey Island. Add in Lemmings, Diablo, Worms and Theme Hospital once we got our own PC at home, and that sums up my PC gaming experience pretty well. Their Mum was American, and they would spend every Summer over there, meaning they had a few US-exclusive games for the Game Gear, and a bunch of Sega advertising stuff - I'd see the "Sega Genesis" mentioned, not realising it was the same console as the Mega Drive, and think it was some exotic new machine. I think I got into my head that it was a handheld version of the Mega Drive, so I don't know if I had it confused with the Nomad, or just completely made that up. Other PC games I played a lot, but don't think of as fitting in with my formative experience of gaming quite as much as everything else I've mentioned, were Blood, Duke Nukem 3D, Little Big Adventure 2 (which is probably the closest I came to an RPG at that time) and Jazz Jackrabbit, which was emblematic of the kind of shareware stuff we played hours of but is mostly forgotten these days. The PS1 I would consider my last "childhood" console. I remember being at school excitedly talking about Gran Turismo, and friends at secondary school getting me into Final Fantasy VII, which is probably the first game I properly obsessed over. Other games that stand out from that period are Metal Gear Solid, Abe's Oddysee and Rayman. Mostly I played demo discs, though! WWF SmackDown! was a transformative experience, though. An aside is arcade gaming - I didn't get to do it often, so it's amazing how much of it stands out as a significant childhood experience. We didn't really go on holiday when I was a kid, so would just have the odd day trip to Bridlington, Hornsea or Scarborough, and I would always just want to go to the arcades. The Simpsons and Asterix side-scrollers still stand out to this day.
  11. It's kind of telling that we've had two great songs covered by The Cramps in very short order, getting very much into that classic '50s aesthetic here. The Cramps' version is brilliant - they often play it quite safe with covers, but less so here. Serge Gainsbourg was a master, just doing things in the field of pop music that no one else would even consider for decades. I love that Sinatra track - "...Sings For Only The Lonely" is one of my all-time favourite albums, as it feels so much more intimate and personal than he normally does. It doesn't feel like a big glitzy Vegas production, or a swaggering big band, it feels very down and out, end of the bar crooner stuff, and better for it.
  12. I love "Just A Gigolo" - my favourite version is Alex Harvey's, which follows Louis Prima's lead of combining the two songs wonderfully. Lonnie Donegan was my grandad's favourite, and I regret that I only got into his music after my grandad died. It's so unlike anything else you'd have heard in the UK at the time, and while some of it hasn't aged well, some still sounds fresh and interesting now. Rock Island Line is great, but "Frankie & Johnny" is my favourite, and still holds up. As for Chuck Berry, in terms of importance, it has to be between Johnny B. Goode and Roll Over, Beethoven. Both are statements of intent as much as they're great rock and roll songs - in the fine tradition of early rock and roll songs being about rock and roll, but taking it a bit of a step further. Johnny B. Goode almost functioning as an origin story, and Roll Over, Beethoven being a black rock and roller effectively telling the white music canon to step aside because his time has come.
  13. The Federation not being a clear-cut utopia is hardly new - I tend to feel that TOS needed to be Utopian by design against the backdrop of the Cold War and the Civil Rights movement; showing a future where all the people of Earth work together in relative harmony was a significant message. All post-Cold War Trek has had to at least entertain the suggestion that Utopia isn't all it's cracked up to be, because it had to show that the concept of "The End of History" and Utopian thinking attached to that was potentially dangerous. I don't think it was handled well here, though -
  14. Johnny Cash bloody loves singing about trains. "I Put A Spell On You" is menacing and spooky and magnificent even now, and while there are some covers of it I adore, no one has matched Screamin' Jay.
  15. I imagine, following on from what Sousa said, that it's because it would need some quite significant rebuilding rather than just porting. A lot of the fun tricks and quirks were dependent on the hardware and OS of the Gamecube, and on the player recognising them as such. Getting the same effect on the Switch would require more than just a straight port.
  16. I watched the first episode of Avenue 5 last night and didn't laugh once. Don't get all the glowing five star reviews at all, it might be the worst thing I've seen Iannucci do.
  17. Yeah, the Pyramids is slightly more acceptable, and I can understand why the character of Picard might go to Dunkirk....but it still felt incredibly lazy. But also, there's been a solid two centuries or more of intergalactic conflict at this point, the idea that World War 2 would still be the go-to analogy for war-time bravery seems extremely unlikely, even for a history nerd.
  18. Skummy

    Doctor Who

    @GhostMachine Much better episode than what came before. I liked the first one, but the second half fell off a cliff faster than any two-parter since the RTD years. The Tesla episode I can barely remember, and just seemed of zero consequence - though not as actively awful as most Historical Romp episodes in New Who. This one was great, and set up a fun mystery. Thoughts;
  19. I mostly loved it. I'm not a big TNG guy - I've only seen a handful of episodes, and mostly know it through pop culture osmosis. I was actually chatting to someone a while back about doing a blog or podcast in which we watched and discussed every episode, with them being the "expert" and me the newbie, but it never got off the ground. So there'll be elements of this that aren't for me - I get the references, but they're not pulling on the heartstrings. Patrick Stewart was magnificent, and I hope this is the pace it stays at - from when it was announced, I loved the idea of Patrick Stewart getting his teeth into an extended character study of Picard in his dotage. I don't want to see it turn into big intergalactic adventures, because to me that misses the point of it being about reckoning with his legacy and age. While the show looks absolutely stunning, my main criticism was that the costuming and a lot of the set dressing doesn't feel like a Star Trek future. When it came to Starfleet uniforms, Roddenbury put so much thought into ideas of what clothing would look like in the future, yet apparently back on Earth in 2399 everyone's wearing American Apparel fleeces, and Picard's doing the tie knot from the Matrix. Similarly, there's a conversation where the two historical frames of reference brought up are the Pyramids and Dunkirk, which irked me. You mean to say that in the subsequent 400 years, and after centuries of space travel, intergalactic warfare and seismic shifts in our understanding of the universe, the historical reference points quickest to come to mind would conveniently be two readily understood by a viewing audience in the early 21st century? It's something that always takes me out of future-set sci-fi, and with the Dunkirk analogy in particular felt like the show didn't have faith in the audience to understand the stakes of what they were talking about without making a real world comparison. I enjoyed it, though, and will definitely keep watching.
  20. on Fireflies, it's actually because of a rights issue around the rights to the short story it's based on, but you may as well be correct. Shares a thematic world, in the same way that Ni No Kuni 1 and 2 do, I suppose. It's about three friends from "our" world crossing over into the other world, and exploring the Ni No Kuni idea of people being linked between worlds more than the games did, by the looks of it. I don't know how much of the content of either of the games has made it into the movie, but if I remember correctly I at least spotted a Ding Dong Dell Cat King statue in some of the art.
  21. The film adaptation of Ni No Kuni has been added to Netflix, for anyone looking for something Ghibli-adjacent before the real stuff drops - based on a game developed with Studio Ghibli, scored by long-time Ghibli musical collaborator Joe Hisaishi, directed by Ghibli animation lifer Yoshiyuki Momose, and written by Akihiro Hino, the writer behind the Ni No Kuni games, as well as Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch. The trailer looks fucking awful, but I'll give it a shot.
  22. it's fucking preposterous.
  23. never mind all that nonsense;
  24. it seems to be a rights issue - publishing rights belong to the publisher of the original short story. I already own it on DVD, so no great loss personally, but a shame it's not the full set.
  25. no Grave of the Fireflies for some reason.
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