The Null Device


Yes! Morrissey is playing a solo show at the Forum on October the 15th. The show will apparently feature songs from both his solo career and the Smiths back-catalogue.

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Could this be the most twee Flash game ever? A kid of indeterminate sex flying a kite from a bicycle, over a vaguely pastoral backdrop, while a plucked acoustic guitar loop plays. How much do you want to bet the programmer was listening to a lot of Belle & Sebastian at the time?

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As far as the question of giving ratings to records goes, IndiePages has an interesting alternative to the rating out of 5; they call it the Mix Tape Quotient.

So, here's the deal: every record is rated on its Mix Tape Quotient, or MTQ. This is the number of songs worthy of repeated listenings on that album. For example, a great 3-song 7" would get 3/3 or a hit-and-miss 12-song cd would get 7/12.

An interesting approach, though I'm not sure of how useful it is; some discs worth it for just a handful of brilliant tracks. (One example I could think of could be Slowdive's Pygmalion; as a totality it works splendidly, though there are only 3 or 4 at most tracks I'd choose on their own from it*). And one brilliant track could beat 7 passably good tracks.

And there's the question of what threshold you set for something being on a mix tape; does it have to really stand out, or just be good? Is it bad form to put more than N tracks by one artist on a mix tape (or CD)? (A number of years ago, I was in the habit of putting way too much Paradise Motel on my mix tapes; one or two I made contained about half of Some Deaths Take Forever, interleaved with other stuff. I try to avoid this sort of thing these days, though the last one I made did have several Field Mice-related tracks on it.)

* in case you're wondering, Rutti, Crazy For You, Blue Skied An' Clear and possibly J's Heaven; though the others do a good job of filling out the whole.

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Tonight I went to the cinema to see Insomnia. It was quite good; perhaps not as innovative as Memento, but still quite interesting. Robin Williams, in his calm, cheerful demeanour, makes a chillingly plausible psychopath, and the script kept things uncertain until the end. And the cinematography and scenery was beautiful; lots of blues, greens and greys, sweeping landscapes and water/frost effects. It reminded me perhaps a little of early X Files episodes, perhaps because it was also filmed in British Columbia.

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