July 2016

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dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Thursday, July 21st, 2016 09:32 pm
The six-person crew of a long-tour medical/rescue ship receive a distress signal from a distant mining operation. So, responding to such things being their raison-d'etre, they respond. Needless to say, in the interest of drama, it doesn't go entirely smoothly. (For more details, watch the film.)

For a ship with a crew of six, they did pretty well on the high-Charisma-rolls bell curve - James Spader, Angela Bassett, Lou Diamond Philips, and Robin Tunney are all aboard ...

And the ship itself, Nightingale 229, is an interesting design - it appears logically modular, with a spinning section in the middle, presumably to provide artificial gravity, but the non-spinning bridge does not appear to be in zero-gravity. The shuttle, meanwhile, has an odd steampunk look to it. And I did find myself wishing that they'd just turn some proper white lights on, rather than relying on LED blue for the bulk of the interior lighting - surely, on a medical vessel, that would make finding a vein a challenge ...

Overall, a pretty good SF horror (not as horrific as Event Horizon, but few are ...) with a small crew facing a greater-than-expected challenge.
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dancefloorlandmine: Me hiding behind camera (CameraEOS)
Thursday, June 30th, 2016 06:15 pm
Friday night at Whitby Goth Weekend April 2016, featuring Hands Off Gretel, Lene Lovich, The Red Paintings, and Therapy?.

Hands Off Gretel are reminiscent of L7, Hole, Daisy Chainsaw, and the other early 90s acts of that ilk. Lene Lovich is a stalwart of the post-punk genre, with a few hits under her belt, and definite enthusiasm on stage. The Red Paintings were re-visiting Whitby, and were fundraising to complete their next album. Therapy? are a hard-playing three-piece with several alternative club hits to their name.

Samples behind cut )

Gallery Links

Hands Off Gretel

Lene Lovich

The Red Paintings

Therapy?


(As usual, feel free to share these images with the bands, and they're welcome to use any of them (with credit given).)
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dancefloorlandmine: Me hiding behind camera (CameraEOS)
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 07:01 pm
As per the previous entry, last week I ended up DJing for the Midsummer Masquerade at the Royal Victoria Hotel (Holiday Inn) in Sheffield, to entertain the guests after a three course meal accompanied by performances of burlesque (Pansy Cheung and Nenedhel Absynthium), dance (Hype Dance), and sideshow (Preacher Muad'dib), followed by a performance by The Memepunks. I also took my camera along to get some photos, in addition to those that would be captured by the professional 'togs for the event - there will, in time, be a full gallery available on the event website, but, in the meantime, I've put mine up. Many impressive masks and dramatic masks were on display in the fine wood-panelled ballroom of the hotel ...

Photos under cut )

Full gallery of photos
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dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
Sunday, June 26th, 2016 06:08 pm
Last week, at reasonably short notice, I ended up DJing for the Midsummer Masquerade at the Royal Victoria Hotel (Holiday Inn) in Sheffield, to entertain the guests after a three course meal accompanied by performances of burlesque (Pansy Cheung and Nenedhel Absynthium), dance (Hype Dance), and sideshow (Preacher Muad'dib), followed by a performance by The Memepunks.

Music before and in between the acts was mostly chosen from Ed Alleyne-Johnson's violin pieces. Once The Memepunks had got everyone on their feet, I followed on for the rest of the night with the requested mix of eighties tunes ...

Setlist )
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dancefloorlandmine: (Food)
Thursday, June 16th, 2016 10:48 pm
When [personal profile] cookwitch suggested that we pay a visit to a newly opening restaurant which combined Eastern Mediterranean recipes with free-range turkey as the choice of poultry, it sounded worth a visit. It was, it really, really, was. We visited on Wednesday, during their 'soft launch' this week. I'd hate to think what a hard launch would have been like, as pretty much every seat was full throughout the evening.

Their turkey is marinated for 24 hours, and then slow-cooked with a herb-and-spice mix before being used in a variety of dishes based on home-cooking recipes. Which are delicious.

We had the green Sicilian olives and the butter beans with cumin as initial nibbles while trying to decide what to order from the actual menu. For starters we decided on a fresh-tasting salad of watermelon chunks, crumbled feta, kalamata olives, mint, and roasted pumpkin seeds, while I had grilled sourdough with aubergine, soft-boiled egg, silk-smooth tahini, sprinkled with sumac, inspired by the Israeli sabikh sandwich. Both choices were excellent, and we're considering going back to go through the rest of the starters in instalments.

For our main dishes, [personal profile] cookwitch had the slow-roast turkey thigh on a bed of caramelised red onions and sweet potatoes, scattered with dried red barberries, served with a small jug of gravy. I had the hand-pulled turkey shawarma, which was served on a bed of freekeh (roasted and rubbed green durum wheat) with dates and pine nuts, and topped with a dollop of labneh (strained yoghurt).

We were initially considering steering clear of desserts, but having seen the dessert menu, and heard about the exclusive sorbets and gelato, we decided that we had space after all. [personal profile] cookwitch had a milk pudding topped with a delicious raspberry and rosewater treacle and a scattering of pistachios, while I tried a couple of the exclusive flavours - a toasted pistachio and orange-blossom gelato (in which you could taste both flavours independently) and a lime-and-mint sorbet (which was like a frozen, non-alcoholic, mojito).

Photos under here )


You'll very likely need to book, but I would recommend that you do so - so go to Strut & Cluck.

Full gallery of photos
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dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Tuesday, June 7th, 2016 12:22 am
A rather fine Aardman Animations film. Which will probably need watching more than once to catch all of the details.

Heroic pirates! A monkey butler! (OK, he's a chimpanzee butler, but anyway, you get the idea.) Charles Darwin! Less heroic pirates! Queen Victoria being the villain! Exclamation marks! And BRIAN BLESSED (or at least his voice)! (He provides his own exclamation marks.)

If you like Aardman Animations, and/or you like pirate films, then you'll probably enjoy this.
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dancefloorlandmine: (Gigs)
Monday, June 6th, 2016 06:26 pm
The Queer Alternative managed to organise a fundraiser for PRIDE on what was one of the hottest days of the year so far. Despite which, we still managed to pull in a pretty fine turnout - probably as a result of putting on three decent bands - CTRL ALT DEL, Last July, and Die Kur. In addition to playing some tracks between the bands (along with DJ Wanderlust), I took my camera along with me, and got some photos of the acts, too.

Which are here ...

Photos behind cut )

Full gallery here
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dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
Sunday, June 5th, 2016 05:33 pm
Last night there was a fundraising concert for The Queer Alternative at Electrowerkz, raising money for our PRIDE attendance.

With doors opening at 8pm, we had three bands, and DJ Wanderlust and myself behind the decks, providing tunes in the intervals (also known as "while people were at the bar"). Opening band were CTRL ALT DEL, then Last July, with Die Kur closing. Before the doors opened, we were asked whether we would like to run on into the night, with the floor becoming the goth floor. (Previous events I've been part of on the top floor have had the floor closed down when the event was over, rather than continuing under the main Slimelight brand.) So, when Die Kur left the stage at midnight, Wanderlust and I continued as Slimelight DJs - as a result, I can now tick off the "DJ'd at Slimelight" box on my DJing CV. One punter did come up as I was heading off, saying that I should do it more often - although I had had to remember how to DJ to goth clubs, after a few years of Club Shenanigans' wider musical remit ...

Anyway, in case anyone is interested, here's what I played ...

Interval set )

Slimelight 0000-0030 )

Slimelight 0200-0300 )
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dancefloorlandmine: (Gigs)
Sunday, May 29th, 2016 02:17 pm
I was the fortuitous recipient of a bonus ticket in April, due to a gig clash, which gave me the opportunity to see Barry Adamson playing solo at Rough Trade East. It wasn't clear whether the gig was originally intended to be solo, or whether there had been some form of disagreement with his band, but once the sound was sorted to his satisfaction, he set up on stage, playing guitar and accompanied by a backing track (and, on one track, playing a keyboard app on the iPad clamped to the mic stand).

As befits an album-support gig, he played quite a few tracks from his newly-released album, shuffled in with some old favourites, including "The Jazz Devil" (with the addition of the melody from "Nightclubbing") and closing the set on "Still I Rise".

I took my camera along, too ...

Photos )

Full gallery here
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dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Sunday, May 29th, 2016 12:20 pm
Last night I watched Sabotage (the 2014 Schwarzenegger film, rather than the 90s Mark Dacascos one).

This one is a gory tale of betrayal, conspiracy, and revenge, with Arnie's character, John 'Breacher' Wharton, the near-legendary leader of a DEA special ops team (like SWAT on steroids). In the opening sequence, they breach a drug cartel's compound, and, while there, put into a operation a cunning plan to disappear a sizeable sum of the cartel's money. And, from there, it goes downhill for the team fairly rapidly, with internal investigations and Wharton stuck behind a desk while the rest are benched. And then things get worse.

The viewer gets to uncover twists and motivations as the film goes on, with the film being a lot more character-driven than Arnie's 80s oeuvre, and the FBI's investigators, outside the close-knit team, serve as the secondary protagonists (and viewpoints). While the main chronology follows Wharton and the investigators, there is a good use of retrospective scenes that are intercut as clues to events are uncovered.

(I should note that I meant it about the gory - this movie pulls no punches when it comes to depictions of messy death, with a direct matter-of-factness and anatomical realism.)

Also, be warned, the story summary on IMDB gives away details that are much better discovered, as intended, by watching the film.
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dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
Friday, May 20th, 2016 02:58 pm
Back in the Wellington again this time around, following a late venue change. Because there were a number of nights on that Sunday, we weren't sure what the turnout would be like, but Whitby did us proud again, and the windows were steamed up within about half an hour. Despite some concerns as to the size of the venue, there was enough space on the floor for the skipping, and the conga headed out through the door and back again. There are apparently plans for refurbishment at some point in the future, which may open the venue up further. This night was also grounds for celebration, as Real Gothic had managed to hold Stokomotiv to a draw that afternoon, which meant that, as the visitors, they won the trophy on points ...

Due to the events of the early part of the year, we broke the usual "one song per artist" limit for David Bowie and Prince.

Setlist )
dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 11:58 am
Last night I watched part of the handful of DVDs I picked up in one of the charity shops in Whitby. Someone had obviously ditched a fairly reasonable collection of classic martial arts films - or, at least, a collection that duplicated quite a few of mine. But I spotted a couple of names that I recognised that I didn't already have, and grabbed those.

Zu: Warriors From Magic Mountain is a classic. It has often been cited by John Carpenter as one of the influences on Big Trouble In Little China, and is regarded as the first film that attempted to combine classic wuxia with Hollywood special effects - including flying an effects team out from Los Angeles to do them, headed by Robert Blalock, who had worked on Star Wars: A New Hope, Airplane!, Carl Sagan's Cosmos, and Cat People - and went on to work on Jaws 3-D and Robocop.

The list of names involved reads features a few major figures in the HK action genre - several of whom have gone on to revolutionise action sequences for Hollywood movies as well. Hark Tsui directed with Golden Harvest, obviously, as the production company. The cast includes Biao Yuen and Sammo Hung (in two roles), with the action choreographed by Biao Yuen and Corey Yuen.

The film opens with a warrior for one of China's geographical regional factions (colour-coded for convenience - the Blue Army in this case) who is accused of treachery due to a disagreement between the two generals. Rather sensibly, he runs for it, and then meets up with a member of the Red Army. After a discussion about the state of China, and an interesting approach for surviving a battle with two more factions, they get separated, and our hero enters a mountainous region - which is where the magical elements kick in, as he encounters a scholar-swordsman and then a Buddhist warrior-monk and his apprentice. And after that, it's pretty much non-stop choreography, with exuberantly acrobatic fight sequences, sizzling bursts of magic, a sage who uses his eyebrows to fight, and ... well, lets just say that it's full-bore wuxia throughout, closing with an epic battle with a demon and the potential destruction of this universe. Nothing like a low-stakes fight ...

The effects are much as you'd expect from the very early 80s (i.e. somewhat dated, and on a par with fantasy films of the period), but it works well with the bright and colourful concept of the rest of the film. The plot and character motivations may at times be hard to follow, but that doesn't really matter, or stop the film being very enjoyable.

(The DVD also includes the abysmal bracketing sequences that were added for the International Dubbed version as extras - these converted the original film into a traditional 'it was all a dream' coma hallucination, presumably on the basis that would be more acceptable to international audiences than a magical epic set in the warring states period. In order to fit these in, several of the fight scenes were apparently shortened considerably, and it does undercut the epic finale somewhat. My recommendation - watch the original, subtitled. It still won't make a huge amount of sense, but the action sequences are what you want.)
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dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Sunday, May 15th, 2016 09:24 pm
Ah, the joy of watching a really bad fantasy film, a latecomer to the late 2000s resurgence of sword-and-sorcery.

It's ticking all of the 'really poor film' boxes at the moment - really bad monster make-up (budget orc-alikes, vaguely reminiscent of Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles), an inexplicable number of decent swords owned by poor farmers, bloodless death scenes, a lead character named for his profession, and a glorious cast of misplaced actors, some of whom used to have respectable careers.

And the winner is ... )

I was, actually, enjoying it (closing music aside), but it should be noted that I have rather a high tolerance for really poor fantasy films (at least ones I've not seen before).
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dancefloorlandmine: (London)
Friday, April 1st, 2016 12:38 pm
Here's an interesting one from The Londonist ... a version of the classic Tube Map featuring places that no longer exist. Possibly one for fans of Neverwhere, the Ben Aaronovitch books, or others. Nice to see a stop for Astoria. Also, alight at Old St Pauls for Londinium ...

Lost London Tube Map
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dancefloorlandmine: Me hiding behind camera (CameraEOS)
Monday, March 28th, 2016 11:41 am
Saturday night at Whitby Goth Weekend October 2015, featuring In Isolation, Vince Ripper and The Rodent Show, The Last Cry, and Spear of Destiny.

WGW stalwarts In Isolation and The Last Cry were joined by Vince Ripper and The Rodent Show and headlining legends Spear of Destiny. For the unfamiliar, Vince Ripper et al are stylistically reminiscent of Alien Sex Fiend and The Cramps (including some covers).

Samples behind cut )

Gallery Links

In Isolation

Vince Ripper and The Rodent Show

The Last Cry

Spear of Destiny


(As usual, feel free to share these images with the bands, and they're welcome to use any of them (with credit given).)
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dancefloorlandmine: (Constantine)
Thursday, March 17th, 2016 11:57 pm
And this evening's choice of DVD-viewing - 1985's Jackie Chan classic, Police Story (which spawned a bus-load of sequels). I've seen it several times before, but this was the first watching of this particular copy (picked up for under £2 in a charity shop).

This film is justifiably renowned - bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase "catching a bus", while the final sequence in the shopping centre brings a whole world of wincing impacts along with some fine demonstrations of the reason why Jackie Chan is so well known for his use of props. Along with a stunning demonstration of parking. It makes a fine introduction to the Jackie Chan oeuvre, for the unfamiliar.
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dancefloorlandmine: Me hiding behind camera (CameraEOS)
Thursday, March 17th, 2016 03:59 pm
Friday night at Whitby Goth Weekend October 2015, featuring Chasing Dragons, Bad Pollyanna, Fearless Vampire Killers, and Altered Images.

Of the acts new to WGW, Chasing Dragons provided an excellent female-fronted heavy rock/metal start to the night, while Altered Images' new line-up provided a bouncy, perky closer. Fearless Vampire Killers, meanwhile, opted for what appeared to be dressing as a Jim Carey tribute act ...

Samples behind cut )

Gallery Links

Chasing Dragons

Bad Pollyanna

Fearless Vampire Killers

Altered Images


(As usual, feel free to share these images with the bands, and they're welcome to use any of them (with credit given).)
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dancefloorlandmine: (Food)
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 09:40 pm
On 21st November, Bruno of Bruno's Bakes & Coffee hosted one of their intermittent "Donut Days", featuring a range of novel fried goods (and some of Bruno's excellent cakes, as well as Rick's very good coffee). The menu of 'donuts' was extensive and inventive, including breakfast donuts (maple glazed ones with bacon and other fillings - which had all gone by the time we arrived), sweet-filled donuts, and a savoury donut (filled with duck and pork rillette), some fritters and assorted sundries (again, the "three deep-fried Oreo cookie dough balls on a stick" had also all sold out before we got there). Next time a "Donut Day" is announced, we'll need to make sure that we get there even earlier.

Samples behind cut )


Full gallery
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dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
Monday, August 31st, 2015 03:26 pm
"Hits and Myths", the penultimate Shenanigans. A mix of '80s and '90s, a dash of industrial/EBM and a couple of mashups - and that's how to put together one of my Shenanigans sets...

Setlist )

(From my point of view as a DJ, I appreciate it when someone comes to ask what song I'm playing - it's how I picked up quite a bit of music myself over the years.)

And, don't forget, the last Shenanigans club night is Saturday 24th October ...
dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
Sunday, August 23rd, 2015 05:13 pm
Just a reminder, in case you missed it - the last DJ Landmine (that's me!) set for Club Shenanigans will be next weekend ...

Shenanigans: Hits and Myths
Saturday 29th August 2015
8pm-2am
Canal 125, 125 Caledonian Road, N1 9RG
£5 (£4 NUS/NHS)

8pm-9pm: Casputin
9pm-10pm: Arachne
10pm-11pm: DJ Landmine
11pm-12am: Hamst0r
12am-1am: Gintrade
1am-2am: DJ Spunky Lobster

And that's also going to be the penultimate regular Shenanigans night ... after that ... the silence.