Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Is Out Of Context

How, indeed?
I imagine that if someone challenged me to go defeat a cloud, I'd probably react like that, too. Wouldn't you?

The more I look at it, the more I think that there's something really interesting to look at, here. It's like a Lichtenstein, obviously, but it's not. (It's from here).
For all the cheese and camp that it evokes out of context, I think there's still a genuinely creepy and haunting edge to it. On the other hand, almost any image will become spooky or disturbing if you look at it for long enough...

This Friday Is Out Of Context Thoapsl Says: A cloud is not a picnic.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Latest Headlines

I often find myself weirdly fascinated by fashion. Clothes, I mean. Not by the way that fashion relates to my own clothes, so much (whether actual or potential); I suppose it's similar to the way I sometimes find high finance interesting, despite the fact that I don't actually possess huge amounts of money.

For instance...
It was a dark and stormy night on the television. While I waited for Lost to come on, a news bulletin was being broadcast. It looked like this:

Now, this is a perfectly reasonable look for a 2008 newsreader. But it's also a perfectly reasonable look for Farrah Fawcett.

Isn't that kind of interesting?
Seriously... the magenta, the frills, even the hairdo — it's not quite what you'd expect, right?

It could be 70s or even 80s, but either way it's unmistakably dated. A pastiche, even. Wear this out to a trendy bar and people will nod approvingly at your daring, ironical appropriation. And yet a fairly conservative, commercial, free-to-air television channel was willing to let their newsreader wear it on air. Did the producers think that this was a slightly daring fashion move, or a perfectly standard one? Or could they be so old-fashioned — ie, genuinely stuck-in-the-80s — that they didn't even notice how retro it looked?

I'd love to take this as a sign that the producers are actually letting newsreaders wear whatever they want, in the hope that journalism will naturally overshadow presentation. Wouldn't it be refreshing to see something really unusual — newsreaders in t-shirts, maybe? (Please don't mention stuff like this, that's not what I'm talking about). Is there any good reason for male newsreaders to always appear in formal suit & tie, for example?

Uh, now I'm actually thinking about it... yeah, maybe. People are so used to the standard conventions of newsreaderwear (shiny formal) that they don't even think about it, which allows people to (hopefully) think about the actual news instead. If newsreaders wear an outfit out of the ordinary, it can be a distraction: not an opportunity for journalism to overshadow presentation, but the opposite.

Aw, nuts! I thought she looked cool. You know what? To hell with potential distractions, I'd still rather see newsreaders wearing whatever they want.

--the Fashionical Thoapsl

Monday, May 19, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Last Month In Rage

I'm not going to bother with an extensive Roundup right now (hey, better never than late), but there are a few standout singles I wanted to mention. Briefly, I promise.

Costanza – Abbe May

Frankly, this kicks. It kicks superbly. It's a hard bluesy rock song that doesn't sound immediately derivative, the vocal performance is excellent, and the video is extremely clever. Simple but not shallow. Love it. Even if the song title is a fairly silly Seinfeld reference (just listen to the lyrics in the chorus...)

Wonderful pop song, with just enough dynamic wistfulness (which sounds like a contradiction, but Thoapsl says it isn't) to create some edge. I found the ultimate effect quite touching, to be honest; the song expresses a regret which you don't often hear in pop lyrics (ie: the title), but it's a sentiment which sure speaks to me at the moment. And probably to a lot of other people too, I'd guess. So it probably deserves to be a big hit, which probably means it probably won't be. Time'll tell...

Now, I find it hard to get excited about hip-hop. It's not that I actually dislike it as a musical genre, or anything; it's just that most of the hip-hop I hear inspires me to nothing more than "eh, that's pretty neat" or "meh, that's crap". I own only a handful of bona fide hip-hop albums, and hip-hop tracks make up only a small fraction of my iTunes; I can't even be bothered to finish this sentence. However, this track totally enthralled me. To begin with, the video is intriguing and cleverly-made: while it might at first seem to be pushing an ooh-lesbians! titillation angle, I think it's ultimately far less explicit or blatant (or genuinely exploitative) than any typical Top 40 imagery. More importantly, the music and the rapping on display here are just excellent. Listen to that slinky synth-bass riff... holy sweets! Who the heck are/is Atmosphere, anyway?

Okay, */recent-rage-highlights*. In other musical news, I bought the Crystal Castles album the other day. I'm still hugely confused as to why I like it so much – it's practically techno, and Thoapsl hates techno! Doesn't it..? – but for some reason garbled vocals and 8-bit-soundchip synths are a winning combination. The tunes are just so incredibly compelling... it sounds like Yoko Ono did the soundtrack to a Super Nintendo game, if Yoko Ono could write hooky pop melodies. Actually, it's great. Maybe a little grating at first glance, but it sure grows on you. Or on me, at least...

I may be trying to save money (trying, trying), but yesterday I read that Eddy Current Suppression Ring have just released their second album. I must have it. More on that anon.

–the Musical Thoapsl

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hey Look

Hey Look! New Colours!
This is what happens when I'm too busy for a month to do anything, and then I decide my colours are wrong. Though I don't know if I like these new colours too much, either. I mean: blue and grey? Really, the best choice was grey? What's wrong with bright green?

Anyway, more posts soon. Honest. A big drain on my time is about to come to an end.
And now, sleep