alexsarll: (default)
Went to the eerie free-standing church tower in Crouch End last night for an evening of music and ghost stories. They had it done up wonderfully, at once properly uncanny and not too terrifying for such kids as were brought along...and then blew it completely. The first teller seemed to be reading his tale for the first time, and it wasn't like the material was going to save him when it had Mayor Richard Whittington in the 17th century (or, at one point, the 19th) and gargoyles falling where no gargoyle had been. Site-specificity is not a cheap way to add heft, it needs work. We left still disagreeing over whether the subsequent cellist's faux-rap was outright racist, or just really shit. A missed opportunity.

Last weekend, though - that was the first big weekend of the summer. You could even measure it from Wednesday (because normally Thursday is the new Friday, and I had Friday off) when, in a happier use of a normally disregarded space, the funny little community hall on Whittington Park hosted Philip Jeays' comeback show. At first a little uncertain after 18 months away, by the end he looked ten years younger and reminded what a gift he has. The support included two acts who were good if they were character comedy and alarming if they were not, plus - most unusually - a quite good poet, Sophia Blackwell. Don't think I've seen that happen since Murray Lachlan Young.

Then into the long weekend proper, celebrating lovely [livejournal.com profile] xandratheblue's birthday. First comedy; Josie Long (whom I'd never seen do a full set before) and Thom Tuck. Thom's show this year didn't make me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, unlike his last one (and unlike John-Luke Roberts, who with Nat Metcalfe had done the first Edinburgh preview show I caught this year - yay local comedy mafia). But it's lingering with me like few comedy shows I've seen. I'd like him to get famous, at least cultishly Kitson-style (because I somehow can't see him doing arenas). Then on Friday, to East London and its already famous (though oddly, not to other cult East London businesses) cat cafe. Which does indeed have a lot of cats, even if only two of them seemed particularly keen to talk to us. I suppose if you wanted guaranteed friendliness, you'd have a dog cafe instead. Up to the Geffrye Museum, one of the dwindling band of London museums I'd never visited (it has good chairs), and pubwards for the evening. Saturday, picnic; no pinata this year, but my first ever go on Cards Against Humanity, which is every bit as excellent as the Daily Mail's hatred of it suggests. Plus, someone brought a dog! See above re: friendliness thereof.

On Sunday, because it was if anything an even lovelier sunny day, I went to sit in a municipal building to listen to a grumpy man. But it was Jonathan Meades, one of our finest grumpy men, so that's OK. The Stoke Newington Literary Festival is somehow even more North London than I'd expected; you even get given a free atheist periodical on the way in.
alexsarll: (bill)
Free with today's Sunday Times - a ten track punk compilation CD. Who's spinning faster in their graves, the team from the 1976 Sunday Times or the 1976 punks?

Last night's Doctor Who managed the remarkable feat of making me nostalgic for 'Evolution of the Daleks'. What utter, utter rubbish.
- A spaceship seemingly designed by the same shipwrights as in Galaxy Quest, to maximise dramatic peril without any regard to plausibility. Oh, and it's also the universe's one piece of sonic screwdriver-resistant tech, because otherwise we'd have no plot - so instead the doors are operated by a pub quiz machine. And one requiring answers from the early 21st century, at that. And when Martha needs to check the answers to this inexplicable system, she doesn't ring a mate, or her sis - no, she rings her mum, the one person guaranteed to give her grief.
- Riffing off old episodes? Fair enough if you're talking old series, but don't rip off one from last year, especially not when that was a classic and all you're going to do is detract.
- Cyclops from the X-Men minus his personality does not make a good antagonist.
- If you're going to do real-time, do it properly, and if you're calling the episode '42' at least make some kind of effort at a 24 pastiche rather than just leaving it hanging.
- The big reveal was slightly less atrocious than what had come before, but "you should have run tests"? Seriously, Doctor, what kind of lifescan would pick up on something like a sentient star? And as regards the old sentient-star-doesn't-like-being-used-for-fuel bit - I wasn't expecting Star Maker but even Venus on the Half-Shell did it better, and that was the fairly talentless Philip Jose Farmer doing an extended and inexplicable Kurt Vonnegut in-joke.
Inexcusably bad.

[livejournal.com profile] pippaalice has cats. Cats who peer. The manner of the peering suggests that they are either plotting, silently judging humanity, or attempting to physically alter the world with their mighty feline brains. They alarm me.

For the particular attention of [livejournal.com profile] augstone - http://www.funnyordie.com, a site with loads of toot but also exclusive online Will Ferrell goodness.

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