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: (xenon)
( Dec. 9th, 2015 20:09)
Argh, 1992. What do I know about 1992?! I do know that Peter's Friends was released. I went to see it, but the projector broke down part way through, so I had to go back the same time next week to see the rest. Fortunately it was worthwhile! I wound up buying the soundtrack (which I recommend). Windows 3.1 came out, although I don't think I got anywhere near it until probably around '94, by which point it was about to be superceded by 95. I didn't start using 95 until about 2000 though, by which time... I sense a pattern. :)

Oh, what else happened in '92? Um. It was a leap year. (Counts, hurriedly). Yes. Definitely a leap year. Bush and Yeltsin spent ages having talks to decide that they weren't going to try blowing each other up anymore, which was quite nice of them I suppose. Clinton got elected. I like Bill Clinton. He plays the saxophone, and likes fish and chips. Does it show that I'm struggling with this year? I really don't remember a bloody thing, except school sucking.

There was the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert of course, but I wasn't able to watch that. A rock concert in tribute to a member of Queen was not going to happen with my father present. Happily he was out when it got repeated. Whether that was Christmas '92 or '93, I don't recall, but it was one of the two. Springsteen put out a pair of (E Street Band-less) albums, but I was still cross with him for sacking them, so I don't think I paid much attention. Being (mildly) less ridiculous nowadays, I've got over all of that, but I still think those two albums are rubbish (sorry Bruce). Except for Human Touch and Better Days. Least said about 57 Channels (And Nothing On), the better. What were you thinking, Bruce?! About the same as the British public were thinking, when they elected the Conservatives again this year. 1992! If they'd waited one more year, I could have voted. And I'm not trying to make out that this would have made any difference to the outcome, especially given Britain's rubbish first-past-the-post electoral system, but at least I'd have felt like I could have helped. I still don't know who I would have voted for though. No Greens then, at least locally. Never could quite believe in Neil Kinnock, and Paddy Ashdown irritated me. Safe Tory seat here, so it's irrelevant anyway, but dreams are nice.

What was I watching in 1992? That's usually a safe subject. It was the year that Between The Lines started. I love that show. Still good. That first series is a humdinger, although I do still prefer series two. And there was The Good Guys (which I alone seem to remember, with Nigel Havers and Keith Barron swashbuckling their way about. With swords! There were definitely swords in one episode at least). And there was Sam Saturday, which I'm definitely alone in remembering, about a policeman. (It was a nickname - he was Jewish, so they called him Saturday. Because...? Saturday could just as easily be for Catholics. Anyway, I liked it at the time). And the BBC caused national panic airing Ghostwatch, in which Mike Smith and Sarah Greene, with Michael Parkinson just to make it all look extra believable, pretended to discover ghosts in the suburbs. It was brilliant. They were banned from showing it again. Some people have no sense of humour...

Music! That's something that I do know something about. )

1993 is far less of a struggle. Though that's not necessarily a good thing.
swordznsorcery: (face)
( Dec. 5th, 2015 19:26)
Writing these things every day is bloody hard. Whose stupid idea was this anyhow?!

Oh, 1988. Peter Powell and Mike Smith both left me in 1988. To be perfectly fair, Smithy didn't go away - he just left the radio and went back to the television - but Radio 1 replaced him with Simon bloody Mayo, and how's that supposed to get me up and ready to face school?! And then he went and crashed his helicopter. That was a scary couple of days. Presumably a lot more so for him and Sarah Greene, but even so.

By this stage, me and music had pretty much agreed to take a trial separation, and start seeing other people anyway. 1988 was the year when Stock, Aitken & Waterman's stranglehold on the charts began (think Simon Cowell, but with '80s bounce). Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, and bland pop for the pre-teen. And on top of that there was Bananarama every way you turned, and Bros on the rise. I got pretty heavily into '50s and '60s stuff at this stage in my life. There'd been a fair bit of it on offer anyway thanks to my parents' record collection, and since there was only me and my younger sister left at home by now, there was plenty of opportunity to investigate all that. It did wonders to help me fit in at school. :D We lost Roy Orbison of course this year, so his music was all over the place, and there were a few reissues of old songs due to adverts. I know that the Hollies' He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother came out again around about now, but I can't remember what advert that was from. My brain says beer?

It was around now that Monty Python's Flying Circus got a partial repeat as well. Had to wait for the twentieth anniversary the following year for the early stuff, but what I saw was enough to get me heavily addicted. It was also the year of A Fish Called Wanda, so there was certainly plenty of Python to go around. Speaking of anniversaries, it did seem to me as though the Beeb was a bit lacklustre in celebrating the Doctor's. There was a special episode of course, but that was about it. (Nice trailer here, courtesy of YT - Ian and Vicki! (this was also the year that William Russell became a father again, when little Alfie Enoch was born)).

And then of course the year ended with Lockerbie. Crazy days.

... )
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... )
Given some of the utter tosh that I've watched over the years, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me to discover that I've also taped a lot of utter tosh. Mind you, even knowing that, it's weird what colonises the ends of video tapes, lurking in forgotten nooks and crannies, from back in the days when I used to use the things regularly. Some things are reasonable enough, if long forgotten. Others are just downright bizarre.

... )
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