Friday, March 16, 2007

Alice Highet Jewellery

Alice Highet Jewellery website screenshotIn the last couple of weeks, I have spent some of my spare time reworking my siter-in-law's website. She has her own successful jewellery business and her website, Alice Highet Jewellery, has been through many incarnations.

The latest version features a clean XHTML and CSS design meaning it is W3C compliant and cross-browser compatible. It features a gallery of products, each with roll-over images and descriptions.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Forgotten Albums #5: Steve McQueen

Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueenIn 1985, I toyed with the idea of buying Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen album on cassette in the HMV shop in Middlesbrough. It was released on Newcastle's Kitchenware records and produced by Thomas Dolby, who's Flat Earth LP was one of my favourites. Wendy Smith, the band's backing singer, went to Nunthorpe School, although not in my year.

I bought it as a risk and it has been in my music collection ever since. I bought it again later on CD and still think it has one of the best "side 1"s you can get. While doing research for this post, I notice that Steve McQueen is being re-released with a bonus CD of acoustic versions of the songs, so I suppose I'll have to buy it again.

I came across Kitchenware records more recently when they signed Editors, a band whose album The Back Room, is never far from my turntable.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Charline Wiyana - the Au pair story

Charline Wiyana - Poppy Seed in the sand
Last September, I recounted the story of how a French au pair I stumbled upon, ended up amongst the stylish nudity of Suicide Girls. Well, the music that was recorded in those two domestic sessions has been released as a CD with a proper booklet and everything.

The music has a sparse quality because Charline, the au pair, was completely unable to keep time to a "click track", as we say in the trade. This made it almost impossible to add any rhythmic instrumentation at a later date because of the wild variations in speed.

Anyway, here is one of the tracks from the album in a more oppulent production than appears on the album "Poppy Seed in the Sand".

Track: Rue d'Italie
Written by: Charline Wiyana
Produced and additional instruments by: Glynn Bird

©Charline Wiyana 2007


Charlotte Hatherley - The Deep Blue

Charlotte Hatherley Press shotJust listening to Charlotte Hatherley's new album The Deep Blue. I blogged previously about her single Behave which is very good, and her album continues with a mixture of spikey melodies and dreamy soundscapes.

It also features a collaboration with Andy Partridge of XTC, who I have also mentioned in dispatches. I like it when your music collection links together in unexpected ways, like Hatherley to Partridge and Partridge producing the Lilac Time.


Ugo Ehiogu overhead kick

Former Middlesbrough defender Ugo Ehiogu, scored a wonder goal for Rangers yesterday. See the video below:

Walter Smith can't believe it!


Sunday, March 11, 2007

Me:Moir finished

I whipped through Me:Moir, the first volumen of Vic Reeves' autobiography. It was an easy and enjoyable read set in the environs of Darlington and feature all sorts of 1970s growing up nonsense.

Next on thre reading list is Arthur & George by Julian Barnes.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Reading material

After taking three months to wade through Vanity Fair, I followed it up with "Doctored Evidence" by Donna Leon, a better-than-average detective thriller set in Venice. Compared with Thackeray's epic, it zipped along at a cracking pace. It was recommended on Radio 4's A Good Read which I use to pick out modern works of fiction.

Next is Jim Moir's autobiography, "Me:Moir". My copy is autographed by the great man with a personal comment: "Fear not art". Wise words indeed.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Life is hard

I don't really like "Thought for the Day" on Radio 4's Today programme but today's caught my attention. The speaker, Rhidian Brook, was [Real Audio version] talking about education when he listed five things that should be taught. They were:
  • life is hard
  • you are going to die
  • you are not that important
  • you are not in control
  • life is not just about you

I think I'll get them printed onto a sandwich board and walk up and down the queue of aspiring singers auditioning for X-Factor or some such talent show. That'll cheer them up.