Friday, October 23, 2009

Where do you store WWII ships in case you need them?

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After the end of World War II, the U.S. Maritime Commission anchored thousands of cargo ships, tankers and battleships at sites around the United States where they could be preserved until needed for further military or civilian operations. Above you can see where they have parked some of the fleet in Suisun Bay for the last 50 years. Finally they are going to scrap some of the most polluting ships.

Flowered Up

Liam Maher, the frontman of Flowered Up, has died. Flowered Up seemed to appear out of nowhere, hyped onto the cover of the NME in 1990. OK, they weren't actually the best band in the world. But this song (Weekender) and its accompanying video short film capture something of the time. It's a pity they never made a longer version of this, it could have been a Tommy for the baggy generation.

If viewing on facebook you have to click on View Original Post (below) to see the videos.

BNP protest on front page of TheTimes

Monday, October 19, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

How to build a Cathedral, part 14

It has been more than a year since I took any photos of Christ the Light Cathedral. I was lucky that while I was at work in Oakland Walt pointed out to me that the new organ was finally being delivered. I rushed out and was lucky to be able to see it arrive:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

There was applause from the watchers as the organ was displayed.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

Inside the cathedral scaffolding has been built to the platforms where the organ pipes will be installed:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

The body of the cathedral is filled with the many organ pipes waiting to be installed. The wood is similar to the fir used for the main wooden structures of the cathedral.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

There are many, many mysterious pieces of wood. It will take four months to put it all together.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

The guts of the organ were slid to this side room:

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

Already in the side room was this cover which I am guessing fits over the top of the main box.

Installing the organ at Christ the Light Cathedral, Oakland, California

For more details on the new organ see this article.

Friday, October 09, 2009

The Horrors @ The Independent, San Francisco, 3-October-2009

Horrors at The Independent

If it is true that talent imitates, genius steals, then The Horrors are pretty clever. The good thing about them is that they have good taste in who they copy: Joy Division, Stone Roses, My Bloody Valentine. I liked their latest CD and was hoping that their quality ingredients would be blended more smoothly when played live.

I was impressed to see that they have spent a chunk of their record company money on new clothes. I particularly liked the guitarist's jacket which you can see above, though I was not convinced by the bassist's attempt to introduce the double breasted jacket into rock.

OK, so they have OK songs, a tasty if unoriginal sound and they look great. How was the concert? Alas I was unconvinced. The vocals are hard to hear, the guitar seems aimless. it just did not blend for me. For another view I refer you to Hard Rock Chick.

Age of Chance: Kisspower


Age of Chance were a late 80's band. They did several things right:

  • they did a fantastic cover version of Prince's Kiss
The Guardian had a nice article about them yesterday. It mentioned a remix of Kiss called Kisspower which was never officially released as it contained samples of Bruce Springsteen and Prince. If you want this you can go here to download an mp3: click on the little down arrow in the soundcloud control.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Little Boots / Music Go Music @ The Independent, San Francisco, 19 September 2009

Music Go Music (5)

I was tired and not looking forward to seeing support bands. So it took me a while to realise I really liked Music Go Music. At first I was distracted becasue their singer Meredith Metcalf was so enthusiastic, throwing a few ballet poses, playing air violin while standing one one leg, shrieking with delight when a song went well. Then I tuned into the Mark King style bass which is the heart of their sound and I got it. The combination of 80's Britfunk and Abba seems strangely fresh. Here is a video of Music Go Music on some sort of pretend TV show:

The audience seemed to be a gay/straight mix of disco fans. I get stuck by one attractive couple who were really into the DJ and I had to watch them bounce around happily. I shrunk into my (metaphorical) long overcoat.

You can tell from Little Boots' name that she is a trooper. I was half hoping the power would fail as I am sure that she would be able to entertain the crowd with a flashlight and a singalong. She wears posh frocks, writes her own twitter feed and posts bedroom YouTube videos of songs played on wacky electronic instruments.

She is, in short, the perfect modern pop star.

little boots

For this tour she has a tasteful drummer and another keyboardist. I felt she missed the backing singers that she sometimes uses to add to her slightly thin voice.

Little Boots @ The Independent (15)

She played the songs off her CD. I would have liked to see her being a bit more relaxed and trying some different things in the way that she does in her YouTube videos. But the show gained momentum as it went along, climaxing with modern classic Remedy, which included a singalong.