I got tagged by blackbeltjones with the 4×4 meme. So I rolled over and became a part of it. Plus it gives me a chance for some totally self-absorbed and pointless blogging.
It looks like this meme has mutated a bit over time, but I’m going to continue on the branch handed to me by Mr Jones…
So here’s my 4 answers to each of 4 questions:
4 Jobs I’ve had
Work Experience – Some random solicitors firm in Burton on Trent. At the time I really wanted to be a lawyer. I also wanted to drive a Porsche and go skiing. Basically that was my teenage rebellion. It’s what happens when your parents come from the hippy side of the fence. I’m sure they’d have been fine catching me with a cheeky spliff – but a filofax. I knew that’d horrify them.
Boots, Sound and Vision – Burton-on-Trent – When I was 17-18 I worked in Boots. They had a rather natty Sound and Vision department that sold tapes, records, computer games (on cassette), compact film cameras and midi-hifi systems (sad to think that of all those things that only really records exist any more). I was good at selling that stuff.
Principles for Men – Edinburgh. While I was a student I used to do a couple of weekday shifts and a weekend in the basement of the store on Princes Street. During the week the most regular customers were smackhead shoplifters. Their target was generally reversible blouson jackets – they’d realised that they’re great for avoiding detection. If security guards are looking for guys in lemon yellow jackets, they can flip them and be just an innocent guy in a baby blue one.
WWAV Rapp Collins – Edinburgh. My first proper job (after freelancing doing web stuff for the Edinburgh Science Festival) was at a DM agency. The creatives were on a separate floor and used to go and drink shedloads at lunchtime. I was friends with some of them and tried to keep up a few times, it was not good. For the job interview they warned candidates they were going to be asked to demonstrate their Excel skills. So I got the Excel manual and went straight to the back. I learned some bonkers, useless macro skills. They’d never seen anything like it before and I got the job. I never used those skills again. After a few months I went to the MD and suggested that we should look at the Internet as a thing for doing marketing stuff – it was suggested that this was not a good idea. I left soon after.
Four TV Shows I DVR (or shows I would record on DVR if I had a DVR)
(When trying to write this I realised just how little ‘serious’ TV I watch).
Weeds – if you’ve not seen it you should. It’s incredibly dark and incredibly funny. A suburban housewife starts growing weed in order to keep her dysfunctional family together. I still chuckle when I think about the young son’s gangster rap, and any show that makes gags about the Prius being the perfect drive-by car shows a certain degree of skill. Oh and there’s a very odd cameo by Snoop Dogg in series 3. And they have a thing where someone different sings the theme song every episode – and they’re all really cool Weeds is cool.
South Park – I should have grown out of it years ago. But it’s still the satire I enjoy the most. Who else could so eloquently illustrate democracy as making the choice between a douchebag and a shit sandwich and claim that that’s how it’s been throughout history.
Peep Show – nothing makes me laugh like Peep Show. It takes the classic sit-com format and bends it into a dark, painful and twisted voyage inside the brain of modern man.
Heroes – it’s a little cheesy. But it’s really really good. Sophie and I have only just managed to get rid of our sofa-sores after our marathon 23 episode feast over a rainy bank-holiday weekend last year. We’ve not started on Season 3 yet…
Four places I’ve been:
Hamm, Germany. My grandparents used to live there. I remember going there on the coach on my own when I was 13/14. I stayed with my pen pal Aldrik (arranged by my grandma). It was all very pen-pally. On the return trip Aldrik brought me a 12″ maxi single of the Pet Shop Boys. Which was nice.
Koh Pang Ngan, Thailand – I’ve been there a couple of times. I’ve never actually been to one of the legendary full moon parties (probably a good thing). I have however been to an odd detox resort which involved daily enemas and drinking vegetable water. Which was nice.
Northern Italy, Near Merano – An odd bit of Italy where most people speak German. We went there for a summer holiday and it was great. The cable cars take you up the hills and you can walk down. Only downside is being woken up in the morning by the clack-clack-clack of geriatric walkers with their ski-pole-like walking sticks. But they make lovely wine, the air is the freshest I’ve ever breathed and the scenery is stunning. Which was nice.
Las Vegas – I only mention Las Vegas because I think it’s ruined my perceptions of going to lots of places in the world. I noticed it when I was in India. Bits of India didn’t feel quite right to me, and I realised that the reason was that I’d been there already. Well I’d been to the Vegas facsimilie anyway. And the Vegas version was bigger and brighter. So very very wrong.
Four music artists I’m listening to now:
Basic Channel – awesome minimal tech-space-dub. Most of their catalogue was realeased in 1993-1995 and only ever on vinyl – but it’s all just had it’s first digital release through Beatport. I bought the lot. And I can’t stop listening to them. Their releases as Rhythm & Sound are a bit more Reggae influenced but equally storming.
Pole – Resident Advisor Podcast. Kind of part of the same scene as Basic Channel. This podcast just popped up as I felt ready to go deeper into the dub vortex. The mix fuses reggae, dubstep and minimal sounds into something rather wonderful. The RA podcast is one of the most consistently excellent podcasts I’ve come across (if you like electronic-y stuff). His albums 1, 2, 3, R and Steingarten are all worth a listen.
Justus Kohncke – This chap has been releasing awesome tracks on the awesome Kompakt records for a while now. Pick up hisnew album Safe and Sound to get a good opener. It’s kind of techno-pop-disco. But it’s very light on cheese. I’m jealous that Boomkat managed to end their review of the album with: Justus is served.
Aidan John Moffat – he used to be part of Arab Strap with Malcolm Middleton whose recent albums I like too. But his most recent album I Can Hear Your Heart is a bunch of spoken word poems over the top of audio soundscapes with bits and pieces of music woven through it. His poems are really filthy and most of them involve some kind of sexual encounter. This review explains how I feel about it:
His words, no matter how filthy, are delivered in such a manner that can’t but touch the seedier parts of your heart, and often make you smile. Maybe that’s just my sense of humour, but tales of city life, honesty, misguided love, cheating and general ‘wrongness’ have never been so comforting.
Stories of urban oddness make for a a really strange soundtrack to a commute :-)
Having completed that monster post I am now the meme-master. I tag:
Faris – because I miss the little fellah with the big hair. Russell – because he was moaning about not getting meme’d anymore (you’ll wish you’d never said that). Adam – because I’m working with him at the moment and I feel I should know more about him. My Mum – because she’s got blogs (plural) and I don’t think she’s been meme’d before and it’s about time she posted some new things ;-)
I’ve got lots of thoughts about FaceBook, some positive some negative. And I was trying to come up with a way to encapsulate it all. I sort of think I have, but there might be some holes in my analogy…
For me, this is FaceBook:
It’s like one of those ‘integrated midi systems’. Basically it’s an all-in-one music system. Lots of features and easy to use straight out of the box. The sound quality might be a bit rubbish and if it goes wrong you have to bin the whole lot. Plus options to extend it or customise it are limited (there’s no way to open the box, but you could put stickers on it or use input jacks on the back).
Doing something similar to facebook by glueing together lots of Web 2.0 type apps. E.g. a WordPress Blog with Last.fm, Flickr, Twitter, del.icio.us, etc. Is much more like putting together a hi-fi separates system.
Is much harder to get up and running. It takes much longer to plan your system. Sometimes it’ll work great, other times it won’t. And you might need to get help from a geek / expert to get the most out of it. But when it works it’ll be fantastic, and you can swap bits in and out to make sure its future-proof. And you can tinker with it to your heart’s content.
But separates are more geeky. And people do get obsessive. And in hi-fi land, just like web land, some people enjoy the putting together of the system almost more than they enjoy playing it.
Comparing FaceBook to a midi hi-fi is not intended as a slur. It is like a very good midi hi-fi. And just as midi systems are a good way for people to start enjoying music perhaps FaceBook has a similar role…