A week or so back, [personal profile] arnie1967 asked about favourite songs, and how they make us feel. It was an interesting question, but I didn't get around to answering it at the time. Kept thinking about it though, and with my usual inability to come to a decision about favourite songs, I shovelled a bunch of them into a folder, and then wrote down the first ten titles that resulted from a random play. This is the result, and it's a playlist that I'm very happy with. As to how they make me feel... Well, they're good songs, so I suppose the obvious answer is "good", but there is a bit more to that, at least occasionally.

... )
swordznsorcery: (e street)
( Mar. 4th, 2016 20:04)
Memed from [livejournal.com profile] meathiel - spell your username in song titles. I restricted myself to songs on my hard drive to make it a bit more interesting (although I do have a lot of music on my hard drive, so I wasn't exactly restricting my choices by much!)

S - Somebody To Love, Queen
W - Wonderwall, Oasis
O - Obviously, McFly
R - Radio Nowhere, Bruce Springsteen
D - Don't Turn Around, Aswad
Z - Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie
N - Nothing Is Keeping You Here, a-ha
S - Suicide Is Painless, Manic Street Preachers
O - On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Dean Martin
R - Run To You, Bryan Adams
C - Carrie, Cliff Richard
E - Eee-O-Eleven, Sammy Davis, Jr
R - Rock This Joint, The Max Weinberg 7
Y - You Really Got Me, The Kinks

If I'd had the foresight to call myself Sswworddznssorcceery, I'd also have included the following:

Start Me Up, The Rolling Stones
What's The Frequency, Kenneth?, REM
Don't Be Cruel, Elvis Presley
Sunday Girl, Blondie
Come Dance With Me, Frank Sinatra
Electric Avenue, Eddy Grant

And my grateful thanks to David Bowie. If it hadn't been for Ziggy Stardust, I don't know what I would have done! Twenty years ago when I signed up for Geocities, that Z looked like a good idea. It does occasionally have its downside though...
swordznsorcery: (xenon)
( Dec. 31st, 2015 20:12)
2014. Guess what?! Yep, still drawing a blank. British politicians being horrible, although admittedly that doesn't narrow it down much. Fabulous summer, if you like hot weather (I do). I spent most of it renovating my mother's garden, digging flowerbeds and unearthing very old dead things, back from when round here was still a sea. I rather wish it still was. Not that I'm entirely advocating life in the Jurassic, as I'm pretty sure the music was rubbish, and internet speeds seriously sucked; but on the plus side I'd be living in an ocean paradise. Also, no electricity bill. Although there's probably a good reason for that.

Yes, I am blatantly avoiding the topic of 2014. It was a pretty good year for television. How To Get Away With Murder started. The first season was very watchable, and so far the second season has been pretty much unmissable. I think it's away until February, dagnabbit. Wretched mis-season hiatuses! (Hiati? No, that sounds more like a country). I only started watching because of Baby Ian Chesterton, but it's so much more than that. He's great, incidentally. Deserves to go far.

Also starting this year was Constantine, which I loved, and Forever, which I adored. Neither made it to a second season, and I am still in mourning. Television is a cruel mistress. Or something.

Good year musically. I discovered a new band, although I can't remember how off hand. Probably mucking about on YouTube. Very good debut album, but it remains to be seen if they'll be worth following further. Queen dug an old song out of the archives, which was nice; and the E Street Band continued to galavant about the globe, and wilfully distract me with YouTubery (Kitty's Back! Stayin' Alive! Hurrah)!

A bad year for fandom, though. Alexandra Bastedo, who played Sharron in The Champions, died this year. Those three were always so close, and as the extras on the DVD release showed, they'd remained so, which somehow made it all the sadder (and turned out she'd opened an animal sanctuary after she quit acting, so she was clearly Nice People). James Garner died too. Not so unexpected, that one, but he was Old Hollywood, and we're running out of them. And of course Mike Smith. And there's nothing else I can say about that.

... )
*collapses in a heap* If I ever decide to embark on something as long and involved as this again, somebody please hit me. Still, I made it! Not doing 2015, because this is 2015, even if it won't still be tomorrow. I can hardly say "Rememeber when...?" when we're still here. So instead I shall just say Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (three hundred exclamation marks), and leave you with two songs from a pair of bands who came back unexpectedly in 2015.

... )
Have a good 2016!
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Dec. 27th, 2015 19:32)
Oh, 2010. That was a year and a half. I always knew, when my grandfather and I started living together, that it was only going to end one way. Obviously. I always assumed I'd take him his cup of tea one afternoon, and find that he'd slipped away in his armchair though. That or that he'd just not come down to breakfast one morning. I didn't expect him to have to take to his bed and slip away by degrees. I imagine that neither did he! The cruel irony of old age is that, if you're strong enough to still enjoy life, you're too strong for your body to give in easily - and just a few weeks before he fell ill, he was still getting up the stairs faster than all three of his sons. I suppose it was stupid of me to expect him to go quickly. The NHS were amazing, though. District nurses are a wonderful thing. (Even if it is always a slight disappointment that they don't ride bicycles nowadays).

As to the rest of it, I think it was a quiet sort of a year. I wasn't paying attention for the first few months, admittedly, but I'm sure I'd have noticed if pirates had raided the Houses of Parliament, or Prince Charles and Prince Andrew had duelled over the succession. Or even something major that didn't involve swords. It was the year when Nip/Tuck ended, my beloved show that was now a shadow of its former self thanks to bad management. It was the year when Lost ended, and 99% of the fandom boggled at the screen in bewilderment, and wondered why we'd bothered. It was also the year when several million childhoods heaved a collective sigh, when both Corey Haim and Gary Coleman died - and Stephen J Cannell, come to that.

On the international stage, there was some brief hilarity when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano became the bane of every newsreader's existence, by spitting out lots of smoke and debris, and buggering up the airlines for a good few weeks. It was also the year when America raided the BBC's store cupboard, and nicked the superb TV miniseries Edge Of Darkness for a Hollywood remake. It seems to have vanished without trace, so clearly sometimes the the gods of the screen are just and true. Not often, I'll grant you, but sometimes. The BBC also raided their own store cupboard, and came up with a sequel to Upstairs Downstairs, annoying pretty much all the fans of the original. I enjoyed it, but admittedly I never got around to bothering with the second series, whenever that was.

And of course this was the year when a-ha called it a day, the year after their final album, Foot Of The Mountain. They released a final single, and then went their separate ways. Until this year, of course! Sometimes you do get a happy ending - albeit a temporary one. Naturally.

... )
swordznsorcery: (Default)
( Dec. 26th, 2015 19:39)
2009 was the year that bit back. It seemed as though just about everybody in my family got diagnosed with something horrible this year. Happily, for the most part it went okay, but blimey, 2009. What did we ever to do you?!

Elsewhere, it was the year of Children Of Earth, the Torchwood mini series that broke the fandom. Some loved it, some hated it, some were baffled at how completely it reimagined everything. I think it's great, but it's so far removed from the first two series that I have trouble seeing it as the same show. It was also the year when White Collar started, hurrah! I do love that show. I probably didn't see it until early 2010 though. I know I had several episodes to catch up on anyway.

FlashForward also happened this year. And then stopped abruptly. It was one of those shows with a lot of promise, but a production staff who clearly didn't know what to do with a twenty-two episode season. Nothing happened for weeks, half the audience stopped watching, it picked up, but too late. A shame, as I should dearly have loved to see where it was all going! Another one to add to the list of sci-fi shows that got bashed over the head by the networks. It wasn't alone. This was also the year when the BBC aired Paradox, a wonderful show starring Emun Elliott and Tamzin Outhwaite as a scientist and a detective investigating weirdness from outer space. Outer Space!! I rewatched it only recently, and it turned out to be even better than I remembered, annoyingly. Why can't they let me choose which shows to axe and which to save?!

Talking of ending, this year also saw the final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien, the chat show/Pythonesque comedy series that had been a hit for NBC since 1993. I only watched it for Max Weinberg, but it was a lot of fun over the years. I still rather miss it. Still, sixteen years is a good run for any show.

Some good films at the cinema this year. None of which I saw this year, or in the cinema, but whatever. The Hangover, which I love (and didn't see until around 2012), Sherlock Holmes (the RDJ/Jude Law version), which I think I also saw in around 2012, and The Brothers Bloom, which nobody saw in 2009. Which is a shame as it's extremely good, and I recommend it highly. So yes. Not so much "cinema in 2009", as "on DVD just the other day", but never mind.

Oh, and politics, world events, things that make me look brainy, etc, etc. Yeah.

... )
swordznsorcery: (steele/laura)
( Dec. 3rd, 2015 19:14)
This one has taken ages to write, because I hated 1986 at the time, and I still hate it now. So I'm just going to skip all that and bluster about the good bits. Or semi-good bits, since this is the year my jammy-dodger brother got to go and see Queen live (at Knebworth) (hiss, boo, grumble, sulk, etc). I wasn't allowed to go, because I was eleven, and that wasn't old enough. Also, to be perfectly fair, he probably wouldn't have wanted me tagging along anyway! But it turned out to be their last concert. I should have hidden in the back of the car, damn it!

Important to me, though I suspect for very few other people - this was the year when Mike Smith took over the Radio 1 Breakfast Show. Not the weekend one; that was still Peter Powell, with his Aswad fixation and his insanely jolly jingle. The weekday one. 07:00 - 09:30, which meant that I had to miss half of it due to school. I did get very good at sticking around for as long as mortally possible though, in order to hear as much of it as I could. I needed that damn show. I genuinely don't know how I'd have made it through those first few years of secondary school without it.

Big year for news. Reagan and Gorbachev trying to agree on how they shouldn't blow each other up (you wouldn't think that would take weeks of negotiation, really, would you. But it did). The Challenger disaster. Keenan and McCarthy, vanishing into the depths of Beirut, to surface again in 1990 (Keenan), and 1991 (McCarthy). I don't know why their story fixated me so, but it did. The other Western hostages in Beirut were American, and older, and looked like CIA agents. They were all over the news to begin with, but it was far harder to empathise with them. Keenan was just an English teacher trying to help people though, and McCarthy was a kid in comparison; this journalist still in his twenties, trying to make sense of the place. And the government handled it appallingly badly, and I've rarely hated Margaret Thatcher and her cronies more.

Good year for music, though. I used to have a double cassette called Now That's What I Call 1986, and it was about two hours of solid bouncing. Oh, and Chris de Bleurgh, with his confounded Lady In Red. What she saw in him, I can't imagine. Presumably she was tone deaf, as well as sartorially challenged. Some jeans advert (I think) led to a re-release of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World, which was nice. Much appreciated, whichever jeans brand you were. I'm guessing Levi, mostly because it's the only one I can think of just now. The kids from Grange Hill did their Just Say No campaign, with a terrible song, and a video that's actually quite nice now, though only because thirty years have passed it by. They're all so little. The Spitting Image lot put out The Chicken Song, and it's quite possible that I still have it stuck in my head, even after all these years. Still, it's not the stupidest thing that I've caught myself singing. Not quite. Oh, and Jim Diamond had a hit with Hi Ho Silver, the theme song from Boon, thereby confusing half the country, who had thought that he was a woman. And Five Star were everywhere. Why and how, heaven only knows, but somebody was buying their records. If it was you, I'm glaring. Very fiercely indeed.

Read more... )
swordznsorcery: (manolito)
( Dec. 2nd, 2015 20:17)
1985 was a bit of a tangle of ups and downs. I got a nephew, and got bitten by a pair of Alsatian dogs, in the space of about a week. Most eventful March ever! Not sure that I recommend it, but it did lend a bit of variety to proceedings. I was told by the nice doctor that I shouldn't do PE at school for a few weeks (this was a Saturday), only to arrive at school on Monday, and be told "Don't be so silly, you're fine," by the teacher. I was fine, to be perfectly fair, but I was rather looking forward to escaping yet another Rounders match! And country dancing. Does every school do country dancing, or were we particularly 'lucky' to be blessed with it? Once a week, tables to the side of the room, find a partner, and do-si-do. And if you don't know what do-si-do-ing is, you don't know how lucky you are. *grumble*

Otherwise, it was one of those years where everything seemed to be going on. Live Aid happened, although I wasn't allowed to watch it, because pop music. Mikhail Gorbachev took over in Russia, and the world was going to blow up again, until everybody realised that he was actually quite nice. Most of the Middle East actually did blow up, but we were only supposed to notice when they were kidnapping Westerners. I think this may have been the year when I started properly noticing current affairs - probably not coincidentally also the year that I was given a radio for my birthday, and instead of it being background noise, it became a huge chunk of my life, regular news bulletins and all. Radio 1. 1063 - 1089 MW. And yes, I can still sing Peter Powell's weekend breakfast show jingles. I won't though. I have no desire to risk traumatising the neighbours.

What else happened in 1985? Phillip Schofield and Galloping Galaxies! (one of those is remembered fondly by much of the country, the other is remembered only by about three people. I won't tell you which is which). The truly great Edge Of Darkness debuted that year, but I wasn't allowed to watch that either. Not because of pop music though. (We didn't do drama, because Dad didn't like it. Any of it). Seriously, if you have not seen Edge Of Darkness (and I'm not talking about the Mel Gibson movie, obviously), then seek it out by fair means or foul, and watch it. Immediately. Even sooner than that if possible.

But otherwise, it was the year of a-ha. They'd been trying for a fair old while with Take On Me, but it took that video to give them the kick start they needed. And then they were off. First time I've ever followed a band from the beginning, and they're just as great now. I like a-ha.

No prizes for guessing whose is the first song under here )
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