Friday, 15 April 2016

Things and Stuff #22

Things and Stuff is a grab-bag of things that've been on my mind this week. In this edition: comics, Wembley, Eden, pods, eyeballs

This is going to be a fairly quick one.

Thing 1: Rat Planet

I finally read two awesome comics I've been meaning to get to for ages - Rat Queens and Bitch Planet. They are both great. Rat Queens is funny, filthy, bloody fantasy about a gang of rowdy adventurers battling trolls and trying to find out who framed them. Bitch Planet is a sci-fi dystopia about the prison planet where women are sent when they commit 'crimes' that are non-compliant with the ruling patriarchy. Both of them are NSFW and feminist and diverse. Bitch Planet particularly made me fall off my chair with horrified glee. It's not subtle, but that's kind of its charm. It takes real world sexism that we're all deeply familiar with, dials it up to 100 and throws a giant lampshade on it.

One of the more SFW bits (c) Image Comics and Kelly Sue DeConnick
It is the horrifying patriarchal dystopia of my heart. If you only read one horrifying patriarchal dystopia this year, make it this one.

Thing 2: Hello Wembley, goodbye Birmingham
I've done my Hans Zimmer gigs. They were freaking amazing.

Until they take the videos down (and they seem to be far more tolerant this time than last time actually), you can see quite a bit of it by plugging 'Hans Zimmer Live' into Youtube or Instagram. I particularly recommend Interstellar and the Lion King! I didn't know the Interstellar music at all before we started rehearsing for this and now wow, that ending, I, wow.

Anyway, here is our sort of signature moment, a Crimson Tide medley that turns into the fiendishly hard and a+ perfectly named 160 BPM from Angels and Demons.

Sadly, my last Zimmer Live gig was the one in Birmingham on Tuesday. Happily, I'm going to have plenty more fun weird choir stuff for these posts in the next few months.

Speaking of which...

Thing 3: Rowing in Eden
The next actual CEFC concert with the full 100-strong choir which we've been working up to for months and months is finally here! It's on Monday the 18th in the Barbican Centre at 7:30pm.

Also, bloody hell, look at this stunning thing, I kind of want this image framed to hang on my wall (c) CEFC

If you are in London, you should come. We're doing Poulenc's Gloria, which is fun and weirdly cheeky for a piece of classical music (one movement was inspired by monks playing football...), Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music which is gorgeous, and John Adams' Harmonium which is utterly amazing and strange and knocks 160 BPM into next week in terms of heart-pounding difficulty.

Thing 4: Bangity Bang, Hello to Jason Isaacs, Shut Up Phone, It's Just Us Here, What's Next?
I love the Cornell Collective.

Actually, I love podcasts in general. I have a real podcast problem: when I subscribe to a new podcast I like to listen to all of it. When it's something like the Nerdist, which seems to put out an episode every day and stretches back into the depths of history (like, 2010) this is a real problem. I've been working my way through the back-catalogue of the Pharos Project (Doctor Who and dirty jokes), What's The T with Ru Paul (drag, life and dirty jokes) and The Indoor Kids (video games and... wow lots of these podcasts are really filthy). Plus I'm obviously keeping up to date with the vital ones, your Wittertainments and Empire Movie Podcasts and Adam Buxtons and Answer Me Thises and West Wing Weeklys (Josh Malina and Hrishikesh Hirway rewatch and review the West Wing one episode at a time. No massively dirty jokes yet, but they're only on episode four, there's still time.)

The only drawback to my massive podcast habit is a) that there are so many more I will probably never get to (Song Exploder, The Black Tapes, even Serial, they're on the list, I just haven't had the chance), and b) that if I hear another advert for Squarespace I think I might rip my own ears off and feed them to the nearest podcaster. (Not that I am not very grateful to all the advertisers for providing me with more free quality entertainment than I could ever possibly cram into my brain, but... seriously.)

ANYWAY - this was meant to be a fairly simple rec entry, so let's just say one of the good things about the Cornell Collective, Paul Cornell's wonderful geeky creator podcast is that it's monthly and has been going for less than a year so it's possible to catch up. Also, it's wonderful! And geeky! And stars creators from the worlds of TV, film and comics, talking about geeky things and usually some Doctor Who! If you like these things, you should listen to it.

Here you go:

Thing 5: [Eyeball squick warning]

Jessie tore her cornea last weekend. It was awful. She's much better now, and I know where my local A+E is and how to get there, so that's a tiny silver lining. Just a word of advice, for anyone who is thinking of getting hit in the face with a tree branch and tearing their cornea: don't.

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