Michael Clayton

You would be forgiven for getting a bit lost for the first few minutes of watching Michael Clayton. It shifts back and forth in time and there’s not much in the way of exposition, and the directorial style is of that very dry, understated variety that tends to be confusing unless things are explained very clearly, which they’re not.

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#musicmonday : The Supremes – Baby Love

Apologies for my extended absence – I was off having a baby! (She’s so adorable she was making the midwives feel broody!)

Anyway, here’s a song with “baby” in the title.

Baby Love was a 1964 Holland-Dozier-Holland hit for The Supremes. Its last day at number one in the US Billboard chart was 21 November, the date on which I went into labour.

#musicmonday : Bettina Köster – Ocean Drive

This is something Last.fm just randomly played me, and Last.fm tells me that Julz at Popshifter likes it so it’s on “good authority”. There’s something very Bowie-ish about it, and as regular readers will know here, that can only be a good thing.

It’s a sort of jazzy noise-rock groove thing. I don’t know anything about Bettina Köster so I’m just reading the Popshifter review here and apparently she was in some band in the 80s called Malaria! (not that that rings any bells with me).

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Near Dark

Before The Hurt Locker and her Oscar win, Kathryn Bigelow made a little-known cult thriller about vampires that was about as far removed from Twilight as you’re reasonably going to get. These vampires are dark and dangerous creatures who take pleasure in killing. Life is cheap to these bloody, brutal beings: even their own. They’re not the type to sparkle in sunlight or wallow in angst.

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Top 100 singles of all time: 100 – Tricky – Black Steel

A little over a year ago, I posted my top 100 singles of all time, but without the context of an introduction to each song, the general wonderfulness of each track will have been lost. So I’m going to repost the list – one by one – explaining exactly why I think each song is so excellent.

We’ll start with number 100: Black Steel by Tricky.
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5 Real Things I Learned From Video Games

So there’s this huge debate going on at Collapse Board about Lana Del Rey, who has a single out called Video Games. To my mind, it’s an inferior version of Lisa Germano’s Puppet, all about how her no-good boyfriend takes her completely for granted and ignores her and plays video games. (Am I the only one who thinks it sounds like Coldplay?) I made the suggestion that instead of whining about it, she should “woman up” and play the games herself. After all, these are some of the very useful things I’ve learnt from playing games.

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30 day song challenge: day 26 – a song that you can play on an instrument

My form tutor in school taught me how to play this one – Is There Anybody Out There? by Pink Floyd. I had only been practising guitar for a few months – if that – so this was something of a challenge for me. I remember practising it over and over until I was crying from the frustration, my fingers blistered and swollen, and the sheer exhilaration I felt when I finally nailed it. It’s always the first thing I play if I pick up a guitar, which is something I’ve not done in many years.
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Skyrim: constructive criticism at its best

According to vgchartz, over 3.4 million copies of Skyrim have sold in just two days, and that excludes digital. Steam reported recently that nearly 250,000 of its members were playing the game on the day of release. Skyrim, which has now shipped 7 million copies, is selling faster than Battlefield 3 and eclipsed only by Modern Warfare 3. The game is huge – and deservedly so. While I’m not going to give away too many thoughts about it before completing the main quest, the game is pretty much perfect.

But it isn’t flawless.

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