28 Jul 2008


Oh man! Had some fun last night. While rummaging about the net I came across some freeky bizzare trainers inspired by Barack Obama and which had been made by their owner...or some small scale artisan dude. So I had a search to see how one might go about taking a plain pair of trainers and making them my own.

What I didn't find was an easy DIY guide. What I did find was a couple of interesting diversions. Both Puma and Nike offer fans the ability to design their own trainers, within defined but fairly wide limits.

Was mucking about w'both sites and gotta say, especially Puma, I made some pretty interesting trainers. Since then I have a great couple of ideas about what I may do with these. Will most probably go down a Puma given my distrust of the Nike product. It aint a No Logo thang, but a result of some poorly made product in previous years.

So check it out and join me in a day of strutting to Booker T & The MGs.

Puma's Mongolian Shoe

Nike ID

Booker T & The MGs - Tight Is Tight

21 Jul 2008

Band Of Bastards

HBO is one of the world's great television producers with a roll call that includes The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Entourage, Sex and the City, Flight Of the Conchords and Deadwood.

Its latest big production is Generation Kill. Following a platoon of marines as the invasion of Iraq begins in 2003 the story is based on the book of the same name by Rolling Stone writer, Evan Wright, who was embedded with the platoon at the time the attack on Iraq began.

The first episode set things up pretty well. Not a lot happened but like most good dramas that is sign of quality. The viewer is bombarded with full frontal depiction of the marine corps. Foul mouthed, sociopathic grunts who represent the bizarre cocktail of blue collar, frat boy, trailor trash killers created by a machine who sends them into war prepared to kill, even if they are not prepared with the right equipment. They are the bastard offspring of Band of Brothers.

I find the military mindset both at the top and bottom of the spectrum really abhorrent. The military is an extension of the worst male orientated fantasies created by our agnry white male civilisation. The Sopranos are equally horrific men but the lines between fiction and reality is clearer than with Generation Kill. An unsettling first episode, it still was well acted, looked great and offered much more.

Check it out and tell me what you think. To mark its start I've picked a couple of Saul Williams tracks from his Not In My Name e.p. of 2003. They remind me of the spirit of that time. A time when millions of us challenged the lies of Bush and Blair and gave a generation the empowering knowledge that we could say no to war.

Saul Williams - The Pledge Of Resistance

Saul Williams - Bloodletting

16 Jul 2008

Look Who's Back

It's the charlie big banana of my audio world. My Iriver.

I got it in 2005 and immediately it helped further develop how I listened to and enjoyed my music. I got the same time my band wenty broad and I was able to trawl the internet on lonely, and even nights when there was company, to see what sort of delights there were out there. Especially in blog land.

Even when snide ipod owners mocked its size and weight thet could not compete with its drag and drop tickles and mutli codec compatability. If there was an unknown audio file type that crawled out the jungles of Southern Albania my iriver just picked them up, laid them out and danced on the competition.

But eventually its time seemed to come to an end. my old bones just could not lug it up the slopes of Glasgow and its hard drive began to click and crackle like a dying ember (aaww love it!). It fought off an impulse iaudio purchase in 2007 but eventually surrendered to the D2 Cowon which although a member of my family is becoming a close friend.

So the iriver was on the shelf. A storage unit for music and whatever else I felt like adding. Would never have sold it but really saw no future for it. Until...

...this Philips portable speaker gave me a wink in Tesco on Sunday. "What? I simply plug this into any MP3 player and I have music?"

I had a tape/radio player in the kitchen but to be honest I listened mostly to Radio Five Live or Radio Scotland MW (medium wave to younger readers). The only music I listened on this 'system' was Bryan Burnett's Get It On.

So now, resurrected, my iriver has taken up residence in the Ministry Of Food and has given me a sonic experience to match my culinary creations. And let's not forget that A-B function.

Here's a couple of my iriver classics:

PJ Pooterhoots - I Can't Go For That

Mystic Moods - Astral Trip

10 Jul 2008

Not New But Not Old

Mmmmm yeah. Sweet soul with a hip bop twist from the lady siren, Erykah Badu. New Amerykah Part One (4th World War) came out in February of this year. Better than Jill Scott, funkier than Mary J, a soulful spoonful.

As I am not on the grapevine of music anymore this was stumbled across rather than waited for. While not as good as my favourite Badu effort, Mama's Gun, it's still so superior to the majority of the r'n'b type nonsense pouring across the atlantic. Not that I am saying she is r'n'b but you get the point.

Anyway as usual I have added a couple of tracks from the album. Enjoy and here is a thought...

Manufacturing nuclei in the island of stability may be very difficult, because the nuclei available would not deliver the necessary sum of neutrons. So for the synthesis of isotope 298 of element 114 by using plutonium and calcium, one would require an isotope of plutonium and one of calcium, which have together a sum of at least 298 nucleons (more is better, because at the nuclei reaction some neutrons are emitted). This would require for example in the case of synthesis of element 114 the usage of calcium-50 and plutonium-248. However these isotopes (and heavier calcium and plutonium isotopes) are not available in weighable quantities. This is also the fact for other target/projectile-combinations.

Erykah Badu - Amerykahn Promise

Erykah Badu- Me

7 Jul 2008

Gabba Goo

Have you heard of this program called The Sopranos. Of course you have. I love it I really do. I finished the series last year with the help of the internet but m'lady is still catching up.

At the moment we are three episodes into series 6. So we have not yet reached the point when it becomes Sopranos Vs The Village People but I love the dream sequences and the coma journey was intriguing, especially the fact that Tony's voice in the coma is more thrill than normal and reflects his hated happy wanderer. But anyhoo, it still remains one of TV's greatest ever creations.

I downloaded a torrent the other day which has lots of the tracks which are not on the official soundtracks and while it was fun to listen to them I gotta say that like many scores and soundtracks, if you take the sounds out of their context then they are either ordinary or just shit.

The two tracks I had offering up today are a little from column A and one from column B. First up is the Chi Lites. From season 4 and the episode where Zillerman tells Tony that he is seeing his old ladyfriend, the russian one. Tony says its coll and then when a little drunk and driving, this track comes on the radio and in an emotional slide, he heads to Zillerman's to wip him repeatedly with his belt. Ouch!

Next up is the track that ended it all. The track that played as meadow reverse parked. The track that saw strangers drift into the cafe while Tony sat with his family. The track that played while a man went to the restroom to pee or maybe load his gun. In a truly great TV moment a billion Soprano fans nearly died through the tension. On its own its a pap 80s ballad but close your eyes and you see the Soprano family waiting...waiting...

Chi-Lites - Oh Girl

Journey - Don't Stop Believing