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.

... )
It's been a fab day today. I got the lawn mowed, and did some pond tidying up. Also planted some stuff that will hopefully be tasty eventually. Then I retired to the iPlayer, and watched some programmes about Top Of The Pops in 1977 and 1978, and terrified myself by remembering all of it. I was two in 1977, for goodness sakes! Why do I remember every twist and turn of the UK's pop music scene back then, including still being able to sing along with most of the songs?! If I could remember a few useful things as well, I wouldn't mind so much. Blimey, things were scary back then though. Wall to wall Boney M! Also Brotherhood Of Man, in pink nylon, singing a spectacularly cheesy song called Angelo, in which two young lovers commit suicide. Sung complete with synchronised "waving goodbye" dance moves. I don't think it was meant to be funny.

Boney M, though. Forty years on, I still haven't quite figured out what that was all about. Ra-Ra-Rasputin indeed. I went to YouTube, with the intention of posting an illustrative video on the horrors of the likes of Rivers Of Babylon or Brown Girl in The Ring. I wound up getting distracted by the "Recommended for you" thingy at the side of the page though, and hit on this, so you got lucky:

... )
It's the song Style, from the 1964 film Robin And The 7 Hoods, performed by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The film isn't perfect, but it's good fun, and this song always makes me smile.

And here, have some bottled spring:

... )
The first is tulips, the second is my mother's Magnolia stellata. I bought it for her several years ago, as she's magnolia mad, and doesn't have space for a tree. It was tiny, and this year it flowered for the first time. Also, my first ducks of the year!

Now that I've spoken of sunshine and flowers, it'll hail tomorrow. Ah well.
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swordznsorcery: (littlejoe)
( May. 28th, 2016 20:45)
A book meme ganked off [personal profile] liadtbunny, and general rambling about life, the universe and everything stuff.

... )
swordznsorcery: (methos)
( Mar. 17th, 2016 20:12)
Memed from [personal profile] liadtbunny. I actually did this several days ago, and then forgot to make the post public, and now obviously several of the answers have changed! So I'll add the new ones in brackets.

... )
swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( Mar. 13th, 2016 14:07)
This just popped up in my YouTube subscriptions, and it made me smile, so I'm inflicting it on you. Beneath the cut, on The Dean Martin Show (I'd say about 1968 from the look of it), Dino tackles Blue Moon. It's two minutes, and he manages to do nearly one of them sensibly.

... )

It's pretty quiet. Needs the volume whacking up.
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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: (ratpack)
( Jan. 31st, 2016 00:07)
[community profile] festivids went live! And lo there was much vidding, and music and wonderment. And I spent a lot of time, as is now custom when almost anything happens in Fanland, wondering quite when I got so out of touch, and what on earth all these fandoms actually are. For I am old and decrepit. But then! Then I found this, and my little cup didst overflow with joy and merriment. And yes, okay, so it's two years old, but the important thing is that I found it. I'm not good at up to date. Look at it! Look look! With the bouncing and the falling and the giggling, and the more giggling. I'm impressed at the complete lack of snogging, actually (although there is licking). I'm not selling this too well, am I. Never mind me, I'm just grinning like an idiot over here in my seventy-year-old fandom.

Oh, and I found this too, which actually is from this year. Modernity, I has it! Well no I don't, technically, because although it's a this year vid, it's for Flash Gordon, which came out in 1980. But that's a little bit modern. Maybe? Oh, who cares anyway. Being up to date is so passé. *cough*

Seventy years. Blimey.
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: (e street)
( Dec. 19th, 2015 21:00)
*flop* I have been putting up my mother's Christmas decorations, delivering my mother's Christmas cards, and madly trying to get most of her wrapping up done, as there's a family get together tomorrow, and it's all got to be done by then. And, predictably, hadn't been started before today. That's enough Christmassing now for me. Can it be the New Year please?!

Oh, 2002. Still old peopling. Getting used to looking after my grandfather, who was actually very little work in actual fact. I never really knew any of my grandparents growing up, as they lived on the other side of the country, and visiting was an issue. I got to know him very well when we lived together though. He knew a hell of a lot. Could have done without getting the same three Naval tales over and over again though! It became something of a family joke after a while.

Excuse me, distracted. Dean Martin is singing. Not actually, obviously. Just on the computer. Why do I remember more of what happened in the 90s than I do in the 00s? I seem to have spent the last fifteen years bored out of my skull, and paying no attention to the world. Except the bits that are shaped like Doctor Who and the E Street Band. Oh! Queen's Jubilee! (The actual queen, not the musical kind). There was the Party In The Park, and Queen played (the musical kind, not the actual one), with the cast of their West End musical We Will Rock You. That was actually pretty fab. Most of the other acts were famous-for-five-minutes types, and I don't remember them, but Queen and co were excellent. And Brian and Roger played God Save The Queen on the roof of Buckingham Palace, because they're Queen, and they do things like that. Springsteen put out his The Rising album, and went out on the road with the E Street Band again. Was YouTube a thing then? I don't think so. I was still on sloooooow dial-up, but I have since caught up with masses of lovely footage. I love the music, obviously, but few things make me as happy as watching Mighty Max play the drums. :)

The Queen Mother died. That was sad. Royalist or Republican, I'd challenge you to think ill of her. Although admittedly it was hardly unexpected, as she was 101 and hadn't been well for some time. Dudley Moore also died, and that really was sad. He'd had some sort of brain condition, poor sod, and hadn't been able to play the piano for several years. He was an amazing pianist. People tend to remember him for the comedy, and fair enough, but he put out some excellent jazz albums too, with his Dudley Moore Trio. John Entwhistle, bass player of the Who, also died. And yes, drink-and-drug related, but what the hell, he was in the Who.

... )
swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( Dec. 12th, 2015 17:58)
A weird sort of coincidence comes with today's post. Today in real time (12th December 2015) is Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday. Happy birthday, Frankie! But today in 40 Years Of Nonsense time is 1995, which is the year that Dean Martin left the stage. On Christmas Day, no less - well, he always did hate parties! Naturally this requires marking in suitable fashion, but I shall leave that until later.

Otherwise, 1995 was basically fun. This was the year that I moved into cyberspace more or less full time. The Net was very much still growing, but there was already a lot going on, certainly in the world of fandom. Lovely early (very simple, largely text based) sites on cult movies and TV shows, many of the kind that the "real" (sadly non-geek-based) world had largely forgotten. Blake's 7 fandom! Actual, real fans, with little pictures lovingly kept from old editions of Radio Times. Fans of Jon-Erik Hexum. As much dinosaur information as I could want, kept up to date, and not written for six year olds, the way that so many of the available books are. And, in modern (for 1995!) Tellyland, lots of people to obsessively discuss Babylon 5 with, on the newly started Channel 4 internet forum. That place was my first internet home, and I loved it. It closed down in 2006, and I've never quite found another place to match it.

It was also the year of Made In Heaven of course: the final Queen studio album to feature Freddie. It made use of the last few songs that he had recorded, as well as some earlier ones that were 'Queenified' - some solo stuff, a song he'd recorded with Roger in the 80s, etc. I was a bit dubious as to how it would all turn out, but in the event it was excellent, and one of the songs on the album wound up being one of my all time favourite Queen tracks. That was a single in 1996 though, so will have to wait until tomorrow!

Lots else in the music world this year. Best of all, the E Street Band got back together! Oasis followed up last year's debut with a mega smash hit second album. The Human League came back after a hiatus of some years. Edwyn Collins was another vintage star with a major league hit this year, so maybe there was something in the water. Pulp had their biggest hit yet with the Different Class album, that really made their name. Supergrass were everywhere, if briefly. Ash made a huge debut with 1977, and Coolio was #1 forever with Gangsta's Paradise, the theme from the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds.

And James Bond came back! With the head I'd been wanting him to have for years. No disrespect meant to Timothy Dalton, who was great, but for me, James Bond is Pierce Brosnan. And GoldenEye was amazing. Fab theme song sung by Tina Turner as well, with some of the most brilliantly appropriate lyrics ever. "You'll never know how I've watched you from the shadows as a child/You'll never know how it feels to get so close and be denied." Still, as it turned out it was for the best that Brosnan did "get so close and be denied" back in 1987.

On the small screen meanwhile, the BBC premiered Due South, and that version of Pride & Prejudice. Darcy-fever, everywhere. A bad year for comedy though. We lost Peter Cook and Paul Eddington this year. Kenny Everett as well, more's the pity. And it was the year when Christopher Reeve had his fall whilst horse-riding. The news came in on the day of my final exam, iirc. A sad start to the summer.

... )
I appear to be under siege by gay terrorists. Every few minutes there's a profusion of pink and orange explosions just outside the window. I suppose they're quite pretty in their own way, but I'd much prefer blue.

Just in case you were wondering (I don't imagine that you were), I have absolutely nothing to say, but as usual I don't seem to have posted in forever, so I thought I should, in case I forget how. Life is much the same as always (if greyer and more wet). I am being stared at by a cat, which presumably means I'm supposed to be doing something that I'm not. I have Dean Martin playing in the background, which means I'm apt to get distracted and forget what I actually am doing. And the roof may be about to be blown off by over-enthusiastic neighbours. If they're going to explodify me, they could at least do it actually on Fireworks Night. Being blown up two days early seems like cheating.

Elsewhere, I appear to be stuck in the 1980s. I don't know why, but I don't seem to have left since I had that Remington Steele rewatch earlier in the year. Currently I'm rewatching Simon & Simon, a show so gloriously 1980s that it practically has a parade of eights tattooed across it. Sorry, that was a very weird metaphor. It's a fab series, though. It really is. I love it to bits. It ran from 1981-1989, (just to prove that occasionally I do manage to fall in love with successful things), which is effectively an entire decade. I know - I'm impressed too. Usually things that I like last for thirteen episodes, then crash and burn and are never seen again. Mind you, that was thirty years ago. Despite great popularity at the time, I now inevitably find myself in a fandom of one, yet again, and grumbling about the lack of extant fans. Come on, world! Discover Simon & Simon! It's utterly wonderful in every way. And look look look! Theme music. Just try to listen to this and not fall in love:

Cutty thing )
Things that have happened recently.

1. I bought a camera. It's nothing special, but it's fun for knocking about the countryside with. The focus has a macro setting, for extreme close-ups of things, and I have become ridiculously fond of it already. I will do my best not to bore everybody rigid with stupid pictures of things that I find lying about the Cotswolds. Promise. Well, maybe.

2. The BBC finally got around to making an announcement about their long promised documentary series Shark. It's going to be bloody awesome. But it's also the first major marine documentary since the death in 2012 of Mike deGruy, so it's going to be weird watching it. Most of you won't have heard of Mike, although you've probably seen his work - he's the one who got the famous footage of the orcas snatching sea lions off the beach in Trials Of Life. He's been a hero of mine since way back, and his film Sharks On Their Best Behaviour is one of the best things I've ever seen. And he should have still been here to work on this, damn it.

3. I turned forty.

4. I have begun to raid eBay for films with Pierce Brosnan in, preferably as a thief. I blame Remington Steele, as television has largely ceased to make sense if it doesn't have Pierce Brosnan in it (preferably as a thief). Fortunately for me, he's had quite a prolific career, featuring a remarkable degree of thievery. Even when he's not actually being a thief, he seems to go in for an inordinate amount of lock-picking and safe-cracking. I might find this suspicious, but I'm too busy being entertained.

5. Any minute now, I'm going to go and feed the ice cream van man his music machine. It's been playing the first few bars of The Entertainer over and over again for the last half hour as he circles the area, and seriously, he's begging for violence. I may consider beating him to death with a wafer sandwich.

(Technically this last one hasn't happened yet, but it may very well have done before you read this).

6. I have been going through my YouTube "Likes" list, in order to remove dead links (NBC is cruel, and loves to deprive me of Max Weinberg). Whilst doing this, I found a whole bunch of videos that I forgot existed, and if you've been a member of YT for any length of time, I strongly suggest that you do likewise. Old likes are such fun! I found shedloads of a very giggly Dean Martin, a whole bunch of Fry & Laurie, about thirty different live versions of Queen's '39 (including a rather wonderful collection of leotards a la Freddie, and an inordinate amount of John Black vs Stefano DiMera on Days Of Our Lives. I miss them. :( Every so often Drake Hogestyn declares his undying love for Joe Mascolo on Twitter, but it's just not the same.

7. William Hartnell and Peter Lorre made a film together. Actually they made it in 1950, but it was on TV the other night. I don't want to say too much, because I don't know if [personal profile] liadtbunny has got around to seeing it yet, but suffice to say that they probably shouldn't have bothered. I can quite understand why they would have wanted to try - who wouldn't want to make a film with Peter Lorre?! I'm sure we'd all like to, given the chance. Or, at least, we would back when he was a bit less dead. (Although he died in 1964, which puts him out of the reach of most of us, but you know what I mean. Probably). Anyway, I appreciate the effort. It's just a shame that it didn't turn out a bit better. Maybe if it had had Pierce Brosnan in it, stealing things? A pre-natal Pierce Brosnan, obviously. Sort of like Outlaw Pete, but even younger? No? Everyone's a critic...

Now if you'll excuse me, my mother wants some pictures of the cats. If past experience is anything to go by, this will mean pictures of ears, paws, and fleeing tails, but I have to try. One of them is actually looking quite cute right now, which is either a good sign or a trap. Still, James Bond never lets certain defeat put him off, does he. Think smart - think Bond.

I may be some time.
Thanks go to [personal profile] liadtbunny this time!



In 2015, swordznsorcery resolves to...
Go to the fossils every month.
Drink four glasses of music every day.
Overcome my secret fear of Kronos.
Find a new Manimal.
Take evening classes in solitude.
Give up Westerns.






Get your own New Year's Resolutions:


I definitely promise to drink four glasses of music a day. I wasn't aware that I actually was afraid of Kronos; that's how big of a secret it is. But I shall nonetheless boldly overcome it. The fact that that irritating do-gooder Duncan MacLeod beheaded the poor warmongering maniac will probably help there. Kronos, how I do miss thee.

Find a new Manimal. :( Yeah. Have to, I suppose. I wonder if the big screen remake will ever come about? It would make a good film, in the right hands. But there is no replacing Simon Mac.

Evening classes in solitude not needed thanks. Got that one off to a fine art! And I am not giving up Westerns! Dean Martin would never forgive me; let alone Joe Cartwright, Jess Harper and Manolito Montoya. They live in my head. It would be rude.
[profile] alec_towser did this one a few days ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It's such a great question. A bit of a nonsensical one, admittedly, as in the age of digitised music there's no need to limit yourself to twenty albums. You could take your entire music collection in one pocket. Still, music and space travel - what's not to love?

... )
TV meme, shamelessly nicked from several people on my f-list. Behind a cut, because it's me, and I can't not waffle.

... )
swordznsorcery: (whitecollar)
( Feb. 10th, 2011 02:20)
Some random observations.

1. Every episode of Hawaii Five-O should feature Daniel Dae Kim in the jungle. It conjures up happy memories of Lost back when it was still good. Also, wherever possible, he should make his escape on a motorbike, having suddenly become inexplicably bullet-proof.

2. White Collar is awesome. I think I may have mentioned that previously. However it's approximately 2000% more awesome whenever an episode features lots of Diahann Carroll. It's like she breathes gold dust or something. And she sang! Briefly, but she sang.

3. Hawaii Five-O should feature more random visits from vampires. We've had Spike twice, and this week Lorena. For some reason, vampires in daylight in Hawaii just seems to work. Maybe they should try the same trick in reverse, and have somebody from H5O in True Blood? I vote Daniel Dae Kim. He could play zombie!Gavin again! Okay, so zombie!Gavin got beheaded, but this is True Blood. That really shouldn't be an issue.

4. Jazz music and a lead who wears a hat automatically makes a show better. Yes, that was just another way of saying that White Collar is awesome. But it really, really was this week. And it had lots of Diahann Carroll in it.

She worked with Dean Martin, you know. See, everything good comes back to Dean Martin in the end. Probably.

5. Hawaii Five-O is completely mental, and I hope that it stays that way for as long as possible. Although I do wish that somebody would give Scott Caan acting lessons. Maybe his father could help.

6. Did I mention the bit about White Collar being really quite good?

7. I've just heard that there's going to be pirates in the next series of Doctor Who. What are the chances of having some pirate Daleks?

Come to that, I wonder what the chances are of getting pirates in White Collar.

8. White Collar also had Billy Dee Williams in it this week. Lando! Just like it's always good to be reminded of when Lost was good, it's even better to be reminded that Star Wars was as well. And still is, if you concentrate just on the original bits.

I guess Lando pretty much qualifies as a pirate, doesn't he. And Caffrey did that awesome antique-dagger-and-a-curtain Errol Flynn thing a few episodes back. So we have had pirates in White Collar after all! Cool.

9. I wonder what the chances are of getting pirates in Hawaii Five-O?

10. Or Daleks.
So, only a year late...

About a year ago (in December 2009), I admitted to having bought season one of Baywatch, and said that I would probably be watching it in the new year. And here we are in the new year. Not the intended one, granted, but a new year nonetheless. Last year was complicated and confusing, and mostly involved watching cowboys and Dean Martin. And, wherever possible, Dean Martin being a cowboy. But now here we go with Baywatch, season one. The only watchable season.

Being the one with Parker Stevenson, and not Pamela Anderson. )
swordznsorcery: (ratpack)
( May. 27th, 2010 19:27)
At times you have to love the authorities. ... )
swordznsorcery: (queen)
( Apr. 10th, 2010 15:33)
I've recently been bitten by the Dean Martin bug again. It happens every so often, generally without any warning, and leaves me endlessly looking up clips on YouTube, and putting his records on a loop. Well, we all have our afflictions. Anyway, this time it's caused something of a revelation; and given the contents of a post that I made almost exactly three years ago, it seemed only fair to post again on the same subject now. It's sort of a Jerry Lewis issue, see. Three years ago, I suggested that he was about as funny as a smack on the head. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I don't think I was quite that complimentary. It's the films that they made. He really is genuinely annoying in most of them, and I never did quite understand why he has so many fans - or what Dino was doing hanging out with the guy in the first place. I am now, however, extremely happy to have been proved wrong; and it's all down to the Colgate Comedy Hour - a half-scripted, half-adlibbed, half-musical, half-shambolic free-for-all that the boys used to do on NBC. Oh he still annoys me at times, and nobody will ever convince me that he was the true comic half of that duo, but he is good. I guess the live environment of the Colgate show is a more natural one for him, but whatever the reason, he genuinely is good in it. They both are. The adlibs, the fun, the energy and the chaos - it all has such appeal. I always did have a thing for the black and white era, and time is doing nothing to cure me of that. Not that I want it to.

Anyway, my apologies to Jerry Lewis for ever having doubted him (he does of course read this all the time). Beneath the cut, for those who care, not to mention for those who don't, is a selection of Dean Martin being the coolest man alive; and also one of the silliest. Trust me, you haven't lived until you've seen John Wayne flirting with Dino, whilst lip-synching to Frank Sinatra. It's well-nigh perfect viewing, even if it isn't in black and white.

TV always seems to have been much so more fun then. Everybody seemed to guest on each other's shows all the time, and enjoy themselves so much in the process. Also, there was Dean Martin - and that's got to be worth building a time machine for.

Songs and misbehaviour beneath the cut... )
Been watching Martin & Lewis movies again, this time Scared Stiff from 1953. I know I've seen much the same film, but starring Bob Hope in the Dino role. It's based on a play, though, so there's probably been several adaptations. Lovely scene at the end, when the boys, thinking that they've seen all that the haunted house has to offer, see one last terrifying thing behind a secret panel - skeletons with the heads of Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. What a lovely conceit. That sort of thing used to happen a lot more often in those days; and of course Dino and Jerry cropped up in one of the Road movies, too. Bali, was it? It's a shame that actors don't pop up in each other's films nowadays. It gave these things such a nice family atmosphere somehow.

Further... )
.

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