Monthly Archives: May 2008


It’s 79 degrees in my apartment. Hot. The ball of my foot is aching and blistered inside my cons chucks. Back from skating at Chelsea Park, where the sun shears down relentless. I’m sleepy, I can’t concentrate. Directly outside there are workmen. They have devices pinned to their ears. They are knocking chunks out of the basement below me, making the floor shake gently. They are hefting concrete debris into a dumpster. There are sirens. In the news another crane has collapsed uptown and killed somebody and injured some other people. Some website tells me about shootings in my neighbourhood. It’s 79 degrees in my apartment. Hot. Harvey Korman is dead, dead, gone. Known less for the Star Wars Holiday Special and more for the ever-loved Blazing Saddles. Danieru identified me as a spurmo, which sounds like something unpleasant from Futurama. I take my camera out onto 23rd to try and capture Manhattanhenge amid the Friday night screechers. The sundown is covered with clouds. Sun is gone. 79 degrees, debris, dead, gone. Hot.

reverse movie alchemy 2

It is happening, again. The cruel recycling of brilliant concepts, despoilment of franchises, milking cash out of fans, etc. Step right up one of my favouritest films, Donnie Darko.

The latest hand-wringing opportunity comes with the news that a ‘sequel’ began shooting this month with ‘director’ Chris F- oh you’ve never heard of him? Interesting. Richard Kelly is nowhere involved – he has no control over the original material.

Fisher has said, “I am a great admirer of Richard Kelly’s film and hope to create a similar world of blurred fantasy and reality. Donnie’s not in [the new film] but there are meteorites and rabbits.”

Even the synopsis makes abundantly clear that the delicately wrought mythology of Darko is being shat on. For me it’s that mythology that makes films like this successful; the internal consistency. From the allusions and hints, reconstructing what the writer has in mind for their wee pocket universe.

In the same way that Lost was – initially – a shallow exercise in bafflement, this will be a shallow exercise in rabbit-oriented randomness, with only cursory attention paid to what it was actually about.

Anyway you can recreate that 80s Darko feeling with all-new music by bagging the latest M83. Set your Molly Ringwalds to stun.

eine kleine geekmusik

I’m working from home today. Normally this means an excuse to go out skating when I get bored but today, rain relentlessly pishes onto the trees in the street and Chelsea air flows warm and wet into the apartment.

Trawling the iMixes on iTunes is a good way to turn up new band recommendations. By searching for ‘Talk Talk’ – my current consuming obsession – I bought a chunk of post-rock stuff. Calla and My Majestic Star both sound good so far. Portishead’s Third was an interesting one.

My attention was profoundly grabbed at the end of the percussion-wail single Machine Gun, where with 4:01 on the clock it goes all 8-bit, synth noise sweeping in epic and wistful and ominous all at the same time. That’s the effect on me anyway. Is this a product of listening to hours of Commodore music or is it a universal brain-twitch?

Anyway it reminded me of other game/music crossovers. The one that tickles me particularly is The Nextmen sampling the buggery out of Xevious – you can download it free from the mix over at Palms Out.

Alternatively for something a bit more camp but infinitely more amazing, try the full rock opera composed by Man Factory, telling the story of Street Fighter 2. Honestly, it’s not rubbish. Unstoppable track naming #1: Good Grief, Zangief!

survey: furtle

Quick question. Have you ever heard or used the word ‘furtle’?

I read Iain Banks’s latest novel, Matter. Apart having my pedantic brain jarred by the weird, bastard mixture of US and British English words I was delighted when one of the characters was described as retrieving something from the shadowy depths of a bag by “furtling around inside”.

furtle, v. – To fumble and grope for something, often in a furtive manner.

I think this is an old Scottish slang term; I’m sure I’ve heard my Gran using it in the past. The fact that Banks is from the homeland reinforces the suspicion. It’s more likely he was gleefully injecting a bit of local culture into his sci-fi Culture.

Urbandictionary nears the mark with ‘move something around’, but it’s not the meaning I know. Google has – surprisingly – very little to say on the subject.

n.b. The bear icon is that of furtive, the mascot from b3ta. Ah, when the web was young.