Saturday, 5 December 2009

What have you read/listened to/ watched or viewed over the last month?

I KNOW this is the kind of self regarding nonsense I try not to go in for but I think it is an interesting topic for anyone interested in popular culture. Can you catalogue everything that you have read, watched, listened to or have seen culturally in the last month?
I posted this last night on the blog of the esteemed magazine The Word. It is incredible how much you get through sometimes and especially with new technology which allows you to consume on the go.
I have a new Android phone and now listen to music and podcasts and blog and twitter whenever I get the chance - without having to be hooked to a computer. By God, may be I am jet packing into the cultural future.
As a blogger, by definition I have written about much I say below already, but I just want to know what you have consumed culturally in the last month.

Haven't bought anything but I really enjoyed finding Pomplamoose the other day on twitter before the Ireland SA rugby union international. I imagine it isn't to everyone's taste here. Hey, ho. Nataly Dawn's voice is great.

Cork hurler Donal Óg Cusack's autobiography 'Come What May' written with the Irish Times' Tom Humphries is the best sporting biog for a long time. (Humphries is the best sports writer in the two islands, and that is a fact.)
Billed as the book in which Cusack becomes the first male elite athlete to come out while playing, it's much more about player strikes, personal vendettas and a strong willed, cantankerous, competitive, succesful, obstinate fecker who will stand up for himself against anyone. He also hates Kilkenny with a passion. Strongly recommended.
For work: Again, 'Irish Freedom' by Richard English: brilliant dissection of the modern 'myths' of Irish republicans.

Generation Kill again, Andrew Marr's Making of Modern Britain was extraordinary and caught up on Andrew Graham Dixon on BBC 4 (see link in the side bar here). Now watching the end of Misfits on C4 which is very tightly written and very watchable for yoof oriented TV

In Our Time with Lord Bragg has been on fire recently particularly the Sparta show and Portrait of the Artist episode last week. Listened to it three times so far. Please download.
Also, Studs Terkel podcast tribute at the brilliant Democracy Now! website. Jesus, I love Studs, God rest him. See below.

Went the flicks TWICE.
- 'Men Who Stare at Goats', a wee bit lacking in plot and clunky as a result. Ewan McGregor in it simply for a long running Star Wars gag but George Clooney is incredibly watch-able. I think he is the actor of his generation in so many ways. (See below)
- 'Law Abiding Citizen' - just to see how bad it was. Total merde. Trailer (seen disbelievingly at TMWSAG screening)is enough. Absolute shyte. (See below)


  1. Music: Springsteen's Tunnel Of Love been getting hammered. The 80s production grates (synths, clavicals!)but it could be his best set of songs. Was given both Blondie and Eels best ofs recently and both great pop music. Old Rod The Mod too - I Was Only Joking is a great song. His early stuff deffo' had something. New? Loving Broken Records, a Caledonian Arcade Fire. Books: Re-read Complicated Shadows, Costello bio; finally got round to Peter Kay's first book (great bog reading, easy as it is)and start of the month sees me hammering the new music mags, so the books get a rest for a week. Although I'd recommend Mark Everett (Eels)bio. One of the best books out there. Film: Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemon on video; fantastic. Had a summer of Orwell, so 1984 has been dug out on dvd. Last time at the cinema was Gervais' Invention of Lying. One joke and a ridiculous cameo from Merchant and 'Barry'but funny in parts. Still think he's got a masterpiece in him. Over to you Ricky...TV: Jools Holland. Say what you want, it's still the best music show on the box. Well, until EC's Spectacle starts up again. Old episodes of Frasier on constant repeat too. The best sitcom ever. Radio: I'm a Radio 2 man these days. Think we'll leave it there ;-)

  2. Nice one, Al, although Tunnel... is controversial.
    And in between this, folks, he's been recording an album and rocking North Wales and Merseyside.

  3. Music: Back to listening to Fink. Great voice and astounding live:

    Team Fresh. Still maintain Sláine is one of the best song writters to come out of Ireland in a long time:

    Yppah. Ideal for essays and late nights:

    Books: Kate Adie - Kindness of Strangers. Really great collection of stories, especially about being a journalist in Belfast during the Troubles.

    TV: The Thick of It. Because it is the best thing to ever happen to anything ever.

  4. Music: Well my five for friday stuff is pretty much an indication of what I've been listening to plus a pop compilation album, lady gaga and take that (because thats all we play in work)
    Books: just finished reading Contagious by Scott Sigler, a scifi book about aliens invading human bodies so that they'll build a stargate for the invasion fleet and one of the former infected humans is the only one who can stop them. Also read Alan Alda's Things I Overheard Whilst Talking To Myself, its a collection of tales about speeches he has given in the past and some of the history behind them its autobiographical but doesn't follow the rules of the autobiography.
    TV: Flashforward is perhaps the only TV show I have watched recently, I think this show has learnt from other shows with that element of 'what the hecks going on?' and is answering questions as it goes along.