Bethesda reveal Dawnguard in new trailer

Some people have said the new location looks a little Morrowind-y, though it’s pretty hard to tell from this clip. The new Skyrim DLC is set to hit the Xbox Marketplace this summer (presumably other platforms follow a month or so later). We can see vampires and crossbows, plus the mounted combat that appeared in a recent patch. Rumours abound of the return of the Snow Prince, as well as theories on whether the Dawnguard are related to Oblivion‘s Mythic Dawn. It looks as though you can choose whether to become a vampire or a vampire hunter, and the vamps look wonderfully feral as a pleasant change from the standard pallid goths. While trailers rarely indicate the actual game experience, the animations look fabulous, and at least the Skyrim trailer was entirely composed from in-game footage so it’s fair to hope this really is what it will look like. Continue reading

P.K.14

I realise that I haven’t explored the Australasian “DIY specialist” label tenzenmen as much as I should have, but there’s just so much of it that I just feel daunted. I do recall making a list of my favourites among the tracks I’d heard, and I’ve covered Guai Li and Snapline, at least. Now it’s time to pay some heed to China’s trailblazers, P.K.14.  Continue reading

Top 100 singles of all time: 73 – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds

I just like it, that’s all. It’s got that whole Massive Attack vibe – unsurprising since co-writer Jonny Dollar worked on Blue Lines. I love how the vocals work together on this.

7 Seconds was number one for 16 consecutive weeks in France, and in the top three in the UK, Germany, Italy, Australia, Russia and Poland. The language that N’Dour sings in is Wolof, the Senegalese language, in addition to the more recogniseable English and French.

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#musicmonday : Kimbra – Cameo Lover

Say what you will about Kimbra (and I’m sure you will), but this is good. Very good. As good as pop ever reasonably gets.

Kudos to Scott Creney for his intriguing review over at Collapse Board – though I’m still not sure to what extent he’s taking the piss. Not so much over-egging the pudding as slapping a cherry on top of an omelette. Even so, he got me wanting to hear the song.  Continue reading

By Princess Stomper Posted in Music Tagged

6 films to tape off the telly

I try to make it a rule here to only write about films that I can in all good conscience recommend, but there are a lot of films that are quite enjoyable, but just not so much that I suggest going out of your way to get them.

You know the drill: it’s Saturday night and there’s nowhere to go, so you figure you’ll stay in and watch a movie. You have a bag of Doritos, a can or two of beer, and you fancy a no-brainer slab of hassle-free entertainment to numb the senses for a couple of hours. You glance at the DVD rack – Iron Man? Spider-Man? Taken? You’ve seen them all too recently to sit through them again. So, you leaf through the TV guide (or have a browse on Netflix) and the following catch your eye. I say, go for it! These lightweight popcorners do the job pretty well without really meriting recommendations in their own right.

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1. Pandorum

This German-British sci-fi thriller, produced by Paul WS Anderson, comes very close to being genuinely good. Perhaps with a higher budget, it would have eclipsed the still-faintly-unsatisfying Sunshine and Event Horizon, but it’s still a fairly entertaining B-movie with a couple of unexpected twists. Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster are survivors of an accident in space, waking up from extended hypersleep with amnesia. Trying to piece together what has happened to the rest of the crew, they explore the ship – only to (predictably) find that there are strange and terrifying creatures on board.

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Top 100 singles of all time: 74 – Human League – The Lebanon

I’m going to keep this brief, since I’ve previously mentioned this as a guilty pleasure a few times. The Lebanon, released by The Human League in 1984, is Phil Oakey’s synthpop crew at their most ill-advised and wonderful. Jointly written by Oakey and keyboard player Jo Callis, it was created under the intense pressure from Virgin to follow up the success of their previous album, Dare. Continue reading

Big Huge Games no more

I’ve been procrastinating on buying Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, mostly because since giving birth I just don’t really have the time to pour hundreds of hours into video games any more. I’m only halfway through Mass Effect 3, and the 200-odd hours I’ve spent with Skyrim mostly consist of the game on pause while I change another nappy. Still, I did (and still do) plan to play it through at some point, which makes me very sad to hear about the reported closure of studio Big Huge Games.  Continue reading

The Interesting Alternative Show

Funny how these random tweets keep panning out. This one was via The Quietus to Knifeworld‘s twitter, in which Kavus Torabi urged us all to tune into The Interesting Alternative Show on Phoenix 98 FM. It’s actually an Essex-based community radio show, but it streams here and every Monday plays some pretty spellbinding stuff. This is this week’s playlist:  Continue reading

There’s a great feature on Levitation over at The Quietus

It’s about 19 years since Meanwhile Gardens was recorded, which means it’s about 19 years since I started writing about music. I still remember Tom leaning over the back of the classroom chair, his eyes shining with mischievous glee: “Levitation have split up. Are you going to cry?”

I grabbed the issue of Melody Maker out of his extended hand. Terry Bickers had quit live on stage, leaving the crowd – and the band – stunned by his departure. I didn’t cry, of course, but I was bewildered enough to want to find out more. Once home, I grabbed my copy of Even When Your Eyes Are Open, flipped the sleeve over to get the details and called directory enquiries. I was quickly put through to Dave Francolini, who had fortuitously dropped into the office that day. After we’d been talking for a few moments, I said, “Do you mind if I write all this down?”  Continue reading

The REAL reason I mention Foetus so often

JG Thirlwell's Manorexia at Roadburn April 2012

(This post was inspired by my latest piece at Collapse Board – a bit about favourite albums – in which, yet again, I mentioned Foetus.)

I give up at 59 … too many distractions. I am trying to count how many records JG Thirlwell has made. I think I’m proving my own point about being obsessive-compulsive. “Tenacious” is the word I usually use; “like a dog with a bone” is the way other people put it, but if you ever needed someone to count the grains of sand in an eggtimer, you’d pick me. Still, I know a lost cause when I see one (does Null/Void count as one album or two EPs?), which is the wafer-thin line between me and the crazy people. So I let go of that particular strand before it becomes another brainworm. You know, like an earworm? An idée fixe, monomania of the day, Moby Dick‘s whale, et cetera. I mean, all Foetus fans are a certain level of bats*** insane – it’s the antithesis of one of those high-frequency garden cat repellers: the music scares off sane people and is catnip to us weirdos.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you might have noticed that I mention JG Thirlwell a lot. Not every post – it’s obvious I have a wide range of tastes and interests – but enough for you to notice. There’s a very good reason for this, and it’s not just because I’m the sort of person who has an in-game coin collection in Morrowind. Nope, it’s for this very, very simple little reason.  Continue reading