Thursday, 23 July 2009

Robert Anton Wilson auction

Just a quick post for any admirers of Robert Anton Wilson who may have wandered over following the Maybe Day article on the Guardian website (and just how punchable do I look in that photograph?)

Firstly, hello! And second, did you know that RAWs daughter is currently putting lots of his posessions on eBay? Some very interesting stuff has been and gone already. His official Discordian Pope card and Thoth deck of tarot cards both went for several hundred dollars. Who knows what else will be auctioned next? Go and look.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Happy 40th Birthday, Neil and Buzz's Lunar Footprints.

It was forty years ago today. It was the greatest thing that as ever happened. It was - symbolically - mankinds' finest hour.

Here it is with the correct level of swearing.

(via NASA, The Onion and David Quantick)

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Top 5 Cover Versions of Black's 'Wonderful Life' By European Metal Bands.

Ah, Wonderful Life by Black - now there's a song, as bittersweet as they come and as depressing as it is uplifting.

It captures that strange liminal state after something has died, but before its replacement becomes visible. Many a song details the loneliness or the grief of such a period, when a relationship or stage of life has ended, but I know of no other song that also captures the dizzying, magical and almost intoxicating sense of potential and wonder of such times.

No doubt you have heard that song and wondered, what are the top five cover versions by European metal bands?

Well I'll tell you.

At Number 5 we have Hyperchild, who I suspect may be from Germany, and who clearly have a bit of record company money behind them judging by this video. And look - a metal vocalist who wears red! Is that allowed? Part if me is deeply offended by this, although I have difficulty explaining why.


This is Liquid Sun, who may be from Spain. Or possibly Portugal. Somewhere nice, anyway. Frankly, both myself and wikipedia are pretty clueless about Liquid Sun.


Here we have Carrion, from Poland. There's quite a few live versions of them performing this on YouTube, from half-empty shit clubs to this large, cold, festival performance in front of some impressive building or other. No-one should ever dispute Carrion's work ethic or their commitment to this song.


Here we have Portugese Goths Secrecy. Marvellously, someone has put their cover over the original video, so that Colin appears to be singing in a half-dead, Euro-accented Andrew Eldritch voice. Only the distinctly non-goth tinkly keyboard at the start prevents this marvel from taking the number one spot.


Now this is more like it: proper Doom Metal vocals, from Hungary's Nevergreen. Euro Metallers - hear this and understand, this is definitive version. There is no need to cover it anymore. You have nothing more to add. The song is done. Begone!

Away from the European Metal darklands, the song has been subjected to all sorts of unforgiveable techno versions, mawkish ballardering and, er, Italian Ska. Fortunately we have Colin Vearncombe, aka Black, who is still going strong and showing how the song should be treated (and also giving away his latest album for free, incidentally). Let us end with a recent live version, and use it to clean our musical palettes after the spice above: