Sunday, 1 March 2009


2x02 Burn It, Shred It, I Don't Care
Things pick up a little, but not a lot. It has the feel of a "difficult second album" so far: a long way from being bad, but not a patch on season one.


The Ode Less Travelled by Stephen Fry
How to Read this Book

Mr Fry's guide to writing poetry, very much from a beginner's perspective. Or, rather, aimed at beginners, though also apparently useful to this who are more (or think they are more) experienced. Hoping it'll be of serious use to my MA!


While I was listening to these two for the first time last night, I shared my thoughts track-by-track on twitter. Here are the highlights (I use that word loosely).

Watchmen: Music From the Motion Picture
  • My Chemical Romance - Desolation Row: Never listened to MCR, so no idea if this is typical of them.
  • Nat King Cole - Unforgettable: "Varied" is too light a word for this soundtrack.
  • Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin': Can't wait to see this sequence -- even those who hated the film have been praising it.
  • Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence: Always loved this song. It's like an old friend among unfamiliar tracks.
  • K.C. & the Sunshine Band - I'm Your Boogie Man: Will the Watchmen go disco dancing? I fear we can but dream.
  • Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower: Will be intrigued to see how well this works in the film.
  • Budapest Symphony Orchestra - Ride of the Valkyries: Mmm, Wagner. Watchmen will have to go some way to beat Apocalypse Now's use of this.
  • Nina Simone - Pirate Jenny: Not actually from Watchmen; from Tales of the Black Freighter. Which will be part of Watchmen eventually. Seems very apt -- kinda odd, creepy. This song is brilliant. Wins the Best Track I'd Not Heard Before Award for this soundtrack, I think.

  • Watchmen: Original Motion Picture Score by Tyler Bates
  • 1) Rescue Mission: I'm guessing this OST is out of order, which sucks -- I hate it when soundtracks do that. Actiony opener.
  • 3) Tonight the Comedian Died: Now THIS is the beginning. Creepy, throbbing -- a Rorschach-based cue then!
  • 6) You Quit!: The shortest track on the CD. More memorable -- kinda Blade Runner-y, very '80s feel. Shame it's so short.
  • 8) The American Dream: Slow, remorseful -- nice bit of irony in the title then.
  • 11) Prison Fight: Clearly the showpiece track, as was B-side on single of Desolation Row. VERY VERY like Bates' 300 score.
  • 12) Just Look Around You: Can guess where it's from & wager works beautifully. Nice contrast to tr11.
  • 13) Dan's Apocalyptic Dream: Clue's in the title. Typically nightmare-ish, doesn't really deliver on its own build up
  • 17) Countdown: In bursts, a great 'time is running out' track -- and, of course, time does run out. Suitably apocalyptic close.
  • 19) All That is Good: Uncertain exactly what we'll see during this, but it may be a perfect marriage
  • Not sure of stand-out tracks on Bates' score, but mostly quite good I thought. Can't tell 'til see in context.

  • As I said, full comments on every track from both CDs is available on my twitter -- you'll just have to dive into the archive to find them.


    Indie Edge February 2009: Alan Moore
    (from Previews)
    Long rambling interview/conversation with Alan Moore, which doesn't even mention Watchmen (unlike all the other interviews going round with him right now). Instead, it covers the forthcoming third volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen plus Moore's other interesting projects in the works.

    Poem of the Week: Night Drive

    by Seamus Heaney

    A 48 hour delay for this week's poem because, quite simply, I forgot. More on this piece at the other end...

    The smells of ordinariness
    Were new on the night drive through France:
    Rain and hay and woods on the air
    Made warm draughts in the open car.

    Signposts whitened relentlessly.
    Montreuil, Abbéville, Beauvais
    Were promised, promised, came and went,
    Each place granting its name's fulfilment.

    A combine groaning its way late
    Bled seeds across its work-light.
    A forest fire smouldered out.
    One by one small cafés shut.

    I thought of you continuously
    A thousand miles south where Italy
    Laid its loin to France on the darkened sphere.
    Your ordinariness was renewed there.

    So, Heaney is one of our nation's most beloved poets. And by "beloved" I mean "bought" -- apparently sales of his books account for two-thirds of all poetry sales in the UK. And yet I've never really read him 'til now.

    And, to be honest, I still haven't -- only a slight dabbling. I should read more. Anyway, this is the one I most liked from my dabbles.

    It can be found in New Selected Poems 1966-1987, but is originally from Door into the Dark, first published in 1969. I suspect it's also in Opened Ground: Poems 1966-1996, a newer selection designed to replace New Selected Poems -- so why our course directors still have us buying the older collection I don't know.