Tuesday, March 20, 2007

KLF 2K Fuck The Millennium (Barbican Centre)

KLF-What time is LOVE? (UK)

What time is LOVE? So asked monumental art terrorists, crop circle faking, talking car owning, Illuminati enlightened art terrorists the KLF... AKA The Timelords... AKA The J.A.M.M.s ...AKA The Justified Ancients Of MU MU.

These guys kicked out the jams during the late eighties and early nineties when life for me was one big hedonistic rave! Top times! *FK wipes a nostalgic tear from his eye...*

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Three Of My Favourite Retro Items...

Of all the blogs I write on, this is the most personal. It's also the least viewed and commented on. The two things are very obviously connected! However, that's OK because on this one I can write about anything I like, and tonight I get to put up a post about three of my favourite retro items. Mine, all mine.

At the time each one was thought of as cutting edge technology, a glimpse of the future if you will. Now they look a little clumsy, a little dated, a little naieve. To me they look beautiful.

One of these has been unearthed from a forgotten cupboard in my parent's house this very evening. At the time of it's purchase and presentation to myself, my elder brother and sister, it was a thing of wonder.

Friends from our street came round just to look at it in action. If they were lucky we'd let them have a go (against on of us of course.)

And here it is... A mid 1970's first generation home video game. The "Videomaster Colourscore", made by the good folks at Videomaster Ltd. 36-44 Tabernacle St. London.
Featuring "football, tennis and squash, for one or two players. 3 bat sizes. Automatic acceleration. Pause facility. Realistic hit sounds. On screen scoring."

Superb really. Still in it's box (although a little battered.) Still with it's instructions (never read).
Still in perfect working order (though never used.) The ancestor of The Saturn, The Dreamcast, the Wii. Wow!

The next is this from the early 1980s. It's the Casio VL Tone. A mini synthesiser requiring four AA batteries. it's claim to fame is it's two signiature tunes. Two bands utilised it's charms. Trio used it's rhythm settings for their Euro-smash "Da, Da, Da". Something of a novelty record at the time, I heard it recently and it sounded really good. Funny how time and nostalgia can enhance something's qualities.

The second (and frankly excellent) tune that utilised the VL-Tone (the Flute option) was the wonderful "Open Your Heart" by The Human League. Their LP "Dare" from which the single came, was overdubbed, twisted and mashed up to become "The League Unlimited Orchestra".

It remains one of the most quintessential sounds of the eighties, a big influence on the retro flavoured "Exceeder" by Mason. Genius. Buy it as soon as you can.

Lastly comes the Nokia 7650. The first camera phone from Nokia. It looks like a brick these days, but in the early days of this new Millenium it was the dog's bollocks. Iwas tickled pink that it could take photos. Then a technologically gifted friend of mine hooked it up to a computer via elecktrickery and "Shazam!" It was a VIDEOPHONE!!! No shit!

It's claim to fame is that it was touted as a piece of spyware in the Tombraider movies. And it is my phone of choice to this day. So there you go people. Three pieces of treasure, and mine all mine!

Peace to y'all!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mason Exceeder Vs Princess Super Star Perfect Superstar

Having already flagged up my love of synthesised music, it's great to see Eighties influenced dance music making a big impression in clubland.

When you combine it with large chested lycra clad aerobic ladies instead of pretentious young men from Sheffield,(see below) you're onto a winner...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Just Say Yes?

If there are two things that bug me, it's stupid 'scare tactics' and computer "pop ups". Whilst browsing the wonderful IGN I came across an American commercial warning against DRUGS *shudder*. Check it out here ... See what you think...

Sure it's fine for the UK and US governments to make billions of ££££s and $$$$$ from alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs such as Vicodin, but God forbid you should use a natural herb or fungus to expand your mind and get high. Here are my own opinions about the world of drugs...

Irresponsible, reckless and uninformed abuse of any drug is bad for you full stop. But drugs can be great fun too, if used responsibly. And some are going to do you less harm than others... Nicknames tend to be a decent guideline. "Smack" for example pretty much sums up the effects of Heroin... Definitely not reccomended!!!

"Ecstasy" however pretty much hits the nail on the head when describing MDMA. Warm, exciting, affection inducing, crystal sunshine.Why do you think raving and dance music have remained a stalwart recreational pass time twenty years since some bright spark put the two things together?

"Magic mushrooms" pretty much sums up the potential of psylocibin. The effects of these naturally occurring fungi can really reveal some mystical experiences or just cause the most hilarious of afternoons, when ingested in the right company and setting.

"Pot, weed, hash, dope, reefer, Mary Jane, tea, ganja, kali, rocky, soap bar, sensi"...and so on.

these are the various names attributed to cannabis, cannabis resin or marijuana. If eaten in the form of cookies, cakes or brownies then a funny and pleasant high is the most likely outcome.

If smoked then the outcome is likely to be the same, BUT they are going to harm your lungs.

Lungs are designed to take in air, NOTHING ELSE. Hash in particular has all kinds of crap mixed in with it, to bulk it out.

"Skunk" super strong genetically modified marijuana is deceptive. Due to the "un-natural levels of THC contained within it, it is highly psychotropic. This has acted as a trigger to those susceptible to mental illness. (This can be true of all narcotics... the danger is you will never know until you try... Something of a "Russian Roulette" potential... however, for the vast majority of people, sensible use of drugs will not harm them.)

It's a shame that drug use cannot be considered rationally and sensibly. Mis-information and scare tactics cause more problems than presenting an informed choice. The "Talk To Frank" commercials and campaign in the UK seem to be getting it right. Check it out here.

I guess my opinion as I approach my 40th year is that a natural, stimulant free, healthy life style is THE BEST way to live. Meditation, sensory deprivation, prayer and reflection can reveal the mystic side of our humanity and spirituality. Exercise can pump our bodies full of "feel good" endorphins. But if you feel the urge to experiment... Stay away from "crack", "smack", (YUCK!) and anything else that is addictive. Whatever you do keep well, play lots of videogames and stay happy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

the human league - being boiled live granada tv 1978

Ever since I can remember I've loved squelchy synthesisers, 303s, 808s, Korgs and Casio VL Tones!
Put them in the hands of bleak blokes from Sheffield with pretensions above their station and your onto a winner. As usual, enjoy! Oh and if by any chance you do visit, leave a comment, so I know someones out there... Cheers!

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Three Stooges

I love Youtube. I think it's simply fabulous that there is so much stuff out there that you can just lift and post!

I'm a sucker for old black and white comedies... Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers and these guys... The Three Stooges! Larry, Curly and Mo! (Me and Curly have a looky-likey thing going on...) Enjoy this bit of silliness! Nyuck, nyuck nyuck!