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Free Music

25 Dec 08 | 12:09am |

I quite liked Zavvi; I saw Alphabeat and Vampire Weekend there for free in their excellent little venue underneath Manchester's Arndale branch. But even though Zavvi is where I bought my Wii, this year I spent ten times more at Amazon than Zavvi. It's a shame Australia's JB Hi-Fi don't seem to be interested in a UK expansion; their format would be great for both Zavvi and Woolworths (UK) stores. I await the Zavvi sale, even if all they have left is complete Friends boxsets.

Anyway. Official point of this post is to highlight free legit music over Christmas:

On Dec25 and Dec26, Amazon offer £3 off MP3 downloads (so you can get about 5 tracks of your own choosing for free) - enter code FREEMP3S at the checkout.

And from Dec26, the Guardian offer a different iTunes download each day starting with some sort of Ting Tings thing at http://www.guardian.co.uk/itunes (link won't work yet).

So with that done, and everything wrapped, I'm off to bed. Merry Christmas.

ETA: Oh, and I appear to have recovered from the lurgy but I don't want to actually say that in case I awake and it's returned. Thanks for all well wishes.

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NatWest cancel Christmas...

04 Dec 08 | 03:48pm |

...or rather Streamline reclaim punters' money from the bank account of "Lapland Not In Lapland, And Suspiciously Like A Crappy Fair" following complaints, and leave the owners little choice but to close up shop.

The story does provide my favourite quote of the day:
"We have every intent on contacting our all of our customers directly, but we must wait until we have as much evidence as is possible to accurately inform you of what really did/did not happen at our sincere, honest and otherwise hugely successful children's event enterprise. Please be patient for this communication and remain open-minded individuals."

There's open-minded and there's believing in Santa.

(news, official website). Apparently their site is hosted by a machine with "very unusual technical problems"....

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24 Nov 08 | 01:26pm |

Arrgh. Mayo's already read out a message from someone asking if Argos prices will go down 2.5%. Not even happened yet and people are expecting retailers to pass on a greater saving than is actually made. If it is passed on, it'd be a 117.5% to 115% change rather than 100% to 97.5% change.

PS. Exterminate; resistance is useless.

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Your Name Hear

08 Oct 08 | 12:48am |

R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe does not sing "I know you Paul" in Star 69; the lyric is "I know you called" - which makes sense because *69 is the US equivalent of 1471. But it does sound a bit like "I know you Paul". Similarly, Bjork does not sing "Paul is full of love". Not on record, anyway.

However, what if I wanted my name in a song? And what if I wasn't bothered about it being by one of my favourite artists of all time? And what if my name conveniently happened to be in an erratically compiled list containing Adam, Alex, Amy, Andy, Becky, Ben, Billy, Charlotte, Cheryl, Chris, Claire, Danny, Dave*, Emily, Emma, Gary, Hannah, Helen, Ian, James, Jay, Jessica, Joe, John, Julie, Karen, Katie, Kevin, Laura, Lauren, Lee, Lisa, Louise, Lucy, Mark, Martin, Matthew, Michelle, Mike, Natalie, Neil, Nicola, Paul, Peter, Rachel, Richie, Robert, Sam, Sarah, Simon, Sophie, Stevie, Ted, Tom and Wendy?

Well, I'd probably have got an email from a record label, or at least I'd have read an LJ post from a friend who doesn't really talk about himself often enough. So I'd be hot-trotting it over to yournameinasong.com to hear an Attic Lights *does "no, me neither" look to camera 2* song with my name in it! Of course if my name was Wendy then I wouldn't really need a cash-in variant "remix" of the original Wendy, but still. It's something, and it got me talking about them.

Actually the snippet's stuck in my head now. I tried to think of another song, but I ended up thinking of a near-identical variant name version instead.

Anyway. To bed before I'm tempted to stay up for McCain v Obama II.

* Watch, GOLD, Alibi and +1 variants presumably in studio now.

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Change We Can Be Making A Pretty Picture With

01 Oct 08 | 03:46pm |

Hey, you know those new coins that have bits of the crest on the back, so you can put them together whenever you're bored and happen to have one of each coin on you?

I've seen lots of 1ps and only one 2p - has anyone seen the others yet?

On a related note, I have taken to getting rid of coins by using them in Tesco scan-it-yourself machines, as it appears to be the quickest and best-value way of getting rid of them. So if you get stuck in a queue behind me, I apologise in advance.

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29 Sep 08 | 11:47am |

I had an excellent weekend, but I'm going to wibble about TV instead in a list that spiralled out of a reply:

I have now seen all four parts of Lost in Austen. As I expected, the fourth part was the best (tho' still not enough screentime for Mother Of The Empty Child) but I did think they'd at least attempt to answer the unasked mad/coma/back-in-time question. Still twice as long as it needed to be, but Hugh Bonneville rescued it.

Coming up? In addition to continuing series links for Glamorised Monologue Of A Whore, Camelot: Merlin The Early Years*, and (to revert to actual names) No Heroics, Jon Stewart, Colbert, Atlantis etc... here are the shows that I would colour yellow, orange or green**:

BBC Parliament, sometime today: Terry Pratchett speaks of his battle with Alzheimer's to Tory conference (at a guess, in the 14:30–16:15 NHS or 16:30–17:30 aging population sessions).

BBC1/CBBC today: One ex-companion, a bunch of kids... The alien super-computer with a ridiculous boot sequence makes that Sarah-Jane o'clock. Yay! This time I'll watch eps as they air (although probably fortnightly) rather than neglect them for years.

BBC2/BBC3/BBC HD, Wednesday: Heroes. Y'all know that.

Sky1, Sunday: Fringe. Basically X-Files from the Alias/Lost guys, which should mean that the first season at least will be amazing before it gets stuck up it's own arse.

R4 Thursday 11pm: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul. Actually I've not got round to listening to the first series yet, despite having the expanded CD version in my office.

Sometime After It Is Filmed On 9th October, So Presumably Saturdays from 11th, ITV1: Harry Hill's TV Burp. A bit hit and miss but I adore this show.

BBC1 Monday 13th 1.45pm: Doctors. Sylvester McCoy plays an actor who once played a time traveller on children's television in a show called The Amazing Lollipop Man. This has to be seen.

Also imminent, to be highlighted in "green for worth a peek but don't get your hopes up":
Britannia High, ITV1's High School Musical rip-off. The makers say it's not like HSM, because BH is set at some sort of performing arts academy and so it's apparently perfectly natural that everyone bursts into three plot-propelling songs each episode, which are then available on iTunes and Bebo. Songs by Gary Barlow, which sadly is the reason I'm interested.

If there's anything I'm missing do let me know.

* Advance warning: if Guinevere opens a coffee shop I will unleash the Rex Uther pun.
** Anyone who gets the reference gets dinner.

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public post - say hi

05 Sep 08 | 10:02am |

Hi. This blog is friends only, so if you've randomly added me this is the only chance you get to tell me why and persuade me to add you back.

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