Get Crazy with the Cheese-Whizz

Last night, I went to see Beck play at the Brixton Academy.

I had bought my ticket on a whim, on the day that Prince died, when I decided I needed cheering up. Last night’s gig was, therefore, perfectly timed.

Beck had played Glastonbury over the weekend, and I had vowed not watch his set, because whilst I knew he was renowned for rarely playing two sets the same, I wanted to ensure I experienced the real thrill you get at a gig of not knowing what will be next, rather than the expectancy of waiting for that one special song you love and know has been played live recently. Although with Beck there is no one special song, there’s a whole raft of them.

I had a checklist- not an actual, physical list, you understand, that would be way to nerdy even for me (it was more of a cerebral I-Spy book) – of songs I hoped he’d play, and while there was also an awful lot that was unfamiliar to me (as I sat on the Vicky Line tube home I found myself vowing to revisit each of his albums, cursing myself for not having done so more fervently before the gig), I managed to check pretty much all of them off.

Chief among them was today’s song, delivered three songs in, the song that started it for me and I suspect for many others, and one that I once included on a mix-tape I had compiled for a couple of friends of mine, Daints and Louise, as a thank you for being kind enough to allow me to sofa-surf at their flat when I first moved back to Cardiff, circa 1993.

I stayed there for a couple of weeks (I think, maybe more, maybe less), and those were two really fun weeks that I didn’t want to end, evenings spent alternating between going to the pub, sitting up playing Smiths records and eating Stilton cheese, or on Friday night going to the indie disco at GWs, where we would get drunk and I would do my very poor Morrissey impression.

This song cropped up, if memory serves, as side one track one of the mix-tape which I’d entitled “Getting Crazy with the Cheese-Whizz!”, and last night, when I returned home and wrote my latest/last EU/Football rant, the words sprung to mind again, as I realised how many times I seem to have backed the wrong horse recently:


Beck – Loser

More soon.

P.S. In case I’ve not made it clear, Beck was fricking awesome.

Late Night Stargazing

Very happy to report my ticket to go see Beck at the Brixton Academy next month has arrived. I’ve never seen him perform before, but every one I know who has tells me he puts on an incredible show.

Here’s one of his quieter songs, lifted from his achingly beautiful Sea Change album, perfect for some late night introspection:


Beck – Lost Cause

More soon.

How To Do A Cover Version

Over the weekend, I’ve been binging on the second series (note: not season) of Fargo, the TV spin-off from the classic Coen Brothers movie.

I’d loved the first series, but had wondered if this was in no small part due to the wonderful acting of Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton. As the second series features neither of them, I feared it may not measure up.

Rest assured, it’s shaping up to be every bit as good as the first, and the performances are top notch again, not least those of Ted Danson and Kirsten Dunst.

Watching it made me think of my favourite movie which Dunst had been in. It occurred to me this also just happened to be my favourite movie with Kate Winslet in too. And Jim Carrey. And Tom Wilkinson. And Mark Ruffalo. And Elijah Woods (I’ve never watched, nor will I ever watch, any of the Lord of the Rings movies. Nothing against them, just not my bag.) 

That’s not a bad cast, is it?

In fact, one of my favourite movies ever.

I speak of course, of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”.

If you’ve never seen it, then here’s the IMDb synopsis: “When their relationship turns sour, a couple undergoes a procedure to have each other erased from their memories. But it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.” and here‘s the trailer.

When I first moved into my flat a couple of years ago, I decided I was going to make Sundays a day for watching movies, a past-time which seems to have fallen by the wayside somewhat recently, so I figured I’d watch it again for the first time in a couple of years.

I loved it just as much as I did the first time. Which means I had a tear in my eye by the end of it. But I categorically was not blubbing, ok?

It remains just as visually stunning as the other movies in director Michel Gondry (“The Science of Sleep”) and co-writer Charlie Kaufman’s (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”) respective canons.

Anyway, the movie is over ten years old now, so I imagine you’ve seen it, but if you haven’t (or even if you have), it’s on Netflix so spend one of the coming cold winter evenings checking it out, not least because it contains this:

Eternal_sunshine_CD_cover Beck – Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes

and here’s the not too dissimilar (apart from the spelling) original:

the-korgis-everybodys-got-to-learn-sometime-1980-5 The Korgis – Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometimes

Right, time for a more manly film. Something butcher, even.

More soon.