Posts from January 2019

Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 18

FT7 comments • 83 views

(Well done, we made it to the end…)

During 2018:

1 Which NCO is 2nd class?

2 Whence the theft of items of the Vasa regalia?

3 Which circumnavigator has been inspired by Verne?

4 Which unique avian species has been released on Loch Fad?


Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 17

FT5 comments • 75 views

Which pupil:

1 Was originally regarded as strictly luetic?

2 Smashed open Paton’s desk and burned the contents?

3 Copied off Raddleston and wrongly translated “nobody” into “nullus corpus”?

4 When writing home, reported a 9-0 defeat by porridge court and requested a “bakterial gun”?


The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2018: #20-#11

FT6 comments • 254 views

“Howdy! It’s me, Pizza Rat! You may remember me as the heartwarming if somewhat unhygienic meme from 2015, back in the days before… some stuff happened. Don’t ask me what though, the average lifespan for a rat is about 2 years so given my high cholesterol diet I’m likely to be dead now! But as I’m such an inspiring motivational figure I will throw out a prediction for you all: I bet those great pictures of Pluto, taken on the edge of our solar system in a feat of technical endeavour, will have inspired humanity to look outwards to the stars rather than squabbling amongst yourselves, and world peace will be well on its way! Plus I hear that David Bowie has been making an album on the hush-hush? That’s sure to be good!”

Another cheerful intro message, thanks Pizza Rat. Let’s see how #20-#11 turned out:


Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 16

FT12 comments • 103 views

Which island or island group:

1 Gained psittacine relief?

2 Was discovered on New Year’s Day?

3 Had an Imperial association with an eminent MHK?

4 Take their name from a mainland feature 450km distant?


Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 15

FT7 comments • 80 views

1 Which entomologist was lost in the Grimpen Mire?

2 Who drowned, aged 29, when his schooner, Don Juan, sank?

3 Who succumbed to the whirlpools of the Seine on June 7 1832?

4 Who fell fatally into a weeping brook from a broken willow branch?


The Freaky Trigger Movie Poll 2018: #20 – #11

Do You See7 comments • 217 views

Into the top-twenty-verse, as all the cool kids would say. A lot of good films here (a few I cared for less too but hey, opinions are like arseholes right?) THis is where the films I were worried wouldn’t make it, made it – the years best Hollywood comedy, the Netflix Oscar bait, a bit of European political activism and the odd idea idea that Meryl Streep looked like Lily James in the seventies (even though we know what Meryl Streep looked like in the seventies). And possibly the signature visual moment of the year (if you don’t count cleaning up dogshit in Roma).


Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 14

FT5 comments • 76 views

Which seat of learning is named after:

1 A canonised bishop?

2 A Glaswegian fur-trader?

3 A slave trader and corrupt Indian administrator?

4 An excommunicated Friend and telegraph pioneer?


Album A Day 2019 #1: What Big Teeth

New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 128 views

This is a document of my album-a-day listening project. Each entry originally comes out as a tinyletter and subscribers to that get intros and miscellanea as well as the LP reviews. When a new letter goes out, the previous letter goes up here. A fine arrangement!

Days 1-5:

#1 Kelly Moran – Ultraviolet
#2 Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
#3 Antoine Kogut – Sphere Of Existence
#4 Stefflon Don – SECURE
#5 Cab Calloway – Hi De Ho Man: Classic Cab Calloway

Starting when the year starts means – inevitably – actually new releases are thin on the ground. I fell off the promo email lists of all but the most GDPR-defiant PR people a long time ago and there’s no virtual pile of envelopes on the doormat to get me started.


Jan 19

Wiki-illiams Quizz 2018. Round 13

FT4 comments • 86 views

Which hospital:

1 Was a beneficiary of the South Sea Bubble?

2 Recalls an alternative title of Princess Diana?

3 Was built as a memorial to a solicitor’s wife at Moor Edge?

4 Was renamed after a Welsh surgeon and a pioneering English nurse?


Omargeddon #6: Corazones

FTPost a comment • 50 views

There’s The Mars Volta and there’s The Mars Volta Group, and it’s important to understand the difference between the two. The Mars Volta is the partnership of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and The Mars Volta Group is the evolving lineup of musicians who support them in the studio and on tour. Granted, some of these musicians appear with such frequency as to be considered full-time band members, like bassist Juan Alderete, saxophonist Adrian Terrazas-Gonzalez, and percussionist/brother Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez. However, keyboardist Ikey Owens was probably the closest thing TMVG had to a truly permanent member.

He joined the very first iteration via De Facto and remained through 2011, when he left on amicable terms. Even for this constantly changing group – and knowing TMV’s history of restructuring the group by asking musicians to leave or by outright sacking them – Ikey’s departure felt slightly out of the blue. So when he joined Jack White’s touring band, I instantly thought: worlds are colliding, but in a good way! I couldn’t quite believe it wasn’t actually a figment of my fevered imagination. He initially joined The Buzzards, the all-male backing band supporting the Blunderbuss tour, and remained on keyboards for the Lazaretto tour three years later. In October 2014, he died of a heart attack, aged only 39.

Jack White/The Mars Volta worlds collide further on Corazones (“Hearts”). The usual instrumental foundation of guitar/bass/drum/keyboards is present as expected, but I think I can say with some degree of certainty that here is the first time I’ve ever heard harmonica or ukulele on any ORL release. His music has always defied genre via a giant sack o’influences, but here they feel compacted, resulting in an umami-like Jack White flavour sprinkled throughout. It’s very folky, like alt-country that’s sunned itself in the warmth of pop. All of these elements have been evident across his other work, but scattered over larger soundscapes.

It’s also a record haunted by bereavement – Omar has said that the main inspiration for the record was his mother, who was dying of a terminal illness. Knowing this, it makes me associate Corazones with Ikey even more. However it’s not so much an exercise in anguish as it is a celebration of love.