Friday, November 30, 2007

Pikes at Bila Hora

I'm quite a fan of the pike - the weapon that is, and I've often looked on youtube to see if anyone has posted some good pike fighting clips but all there is is the inauthentic wigwams done so often in the UK until this clip from the reenactment of the Battle of White Mountain turned up that is. Bila Hora was fought outside Prague in 1618 kicking off the 30 Years War. This segment was very pleasing to this old pikeman - at last seeing it done properly. Notice the crab-like gait of the unit in the background. Excellent. More clips here here and here.

Bad Detectives on Frome FM

Managed to catch the BDs on Frome FM last night - it's the last night tonight if you want to tune in - amusing stuff with plenty of good sounds...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

World War One RTS?

I've been wondering if there are any WW1 real time strategies out there - after all the Great War was the ultimate war of attrition and I imagine it could be great managing your resources and come up with a know the sort of thing. First one I found is a new one called Aggression: Europe 1914 which goes from that date up to the 50s with the atomic bomb.
Trailer here
This was made by the same company who released Entente - a 1914-18 Rts - from 2003 so likely to be a little out of date but maybe worth a try.
Anyway I'll keep looking - anyone know of any more?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everett True reviews our gig in Brighton

Yes indeed - here you can read about Animals and Men's foray to Brighton in a write-up by the legendary Everett True.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Skip Jensen 'On My Trail'

This raw slice of garage is from Montreal one man band Skip Jensen. I love it. Give it a shot. One man bands can operate a great monotonous beat where drummers would get bored hence they can get a great minimalist groove going. The Myspace songs are well worth listening to - sort of raw and traditional but also modern - touring China at the moment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Crimean War photographs of Roger Fenton

Hank Mizell Jungle Rock

Pan's People dance to this classic side - it's one of the best songs ever combined with one of the naffest dance routines ever - that enough for you? This obscure record was a hit in the 70s when it was reissued by Charly - story here - I absolutely love it - bassline, percussion, the monotonous vocals, - I also remember it being on the Youth Wing jukebox and we used to bump it so replayed all night. Hank Mizell wiki

Campaigns of 1914

This clip from the acclaimed BBC 60s documentary series the Great War focusses on the French army of 1914 with its Victorian uniforms and outmoded dedication to the attack in an era when the firepower favoured the defensive. I have always had a bit of an obsession with 1914 - in a way a completely different war to the later trench phase with all sides fighting a war that was based on theory rather than fact. So much enthusiasm existed in all levels of society in all of the major European powers that was soon to dissipate as high casualties reduced their fine armies into shadows of their former selves as a war of attrition set in bleeding them of the flower of their youth. I love the insanity of it all. Only a long period of relative peace would make people so war hungry. Such forgetfulness. I could watch these old clips - mostly with the sound down, I admit, all day - watching history from almost 100 years ago as you see these scenes unfold is marvellous. Plan VII wiki

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Die Hölle von Verdun

If you are interested in the Great War you might find this German language documentary by ZDF on the battle from the German perspective worth watching. I didn't understand most of it but it is visually impressive. Quite a few parts - 9 I think ... reconstructions are good quality.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home-made pickled onions

These turned out to be pretty intense, our home-made p'onions that is. The first thing you notice is the sweat forming on your brow and top lip and then the chest palpitations start till your heart is pounding like a jackhammer. Really harsh, but strangely moreish... I am making some more and giving them out as gifts...

La forteresse assiégée

I am making some ICM 1/35 Franco-Prussian infantry at the moment so I thought I would look for something on Youtube to go with my current interest and found this little video of images shot during the making of the movie set in that era - quite colourful and worth a look - might track down the movie... La forteresse assiégée

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Subway Sect

I'm an early Subway Sect fan - I didn't really like the What's the Matter Boy album much - it seemed like power pop and a little ordinary so I lost interest. I always held fond memories of the scratchy early punk rawness of Nobody's Scared and the early tracks which appeared on comps so I was interested to hear that there is a release of a redone version of the 'Lost album' from 1978 - redone because a studio flood destroyed the masters. New musicians recreating the original feel, sort of thing. Pretty exciting - looking forward to buying it - and I also noticed they are playing the Thunderbolt Inn on Bath Road Bristol on Saturday December 8th. I shall definitely toddle along to that. Postman Punk article
Vic Godard Myspace

Monday, November 19, 2007

'Monk Chant' The Monks

Our gig in Brighton went well if you're wondering - anyway just noticed how similar this song by the great outsiders of the 60s the Monks is to the Adam and the Ants song 'Dog Eat Dog'. Probably just a coincidence.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sonny and Cher 'And the Beat Goes On'

We're getting excited about our gig in Brighton so apologies for all these music postings. This is 60s easy listening at its best I suppose - lyrics here. I remember them being on the light programme radio all the time - they did the original of 'Bang Bang' and I think them quite charming in about 19 per cent of their output. OK so they are Las Vegas hippies or even Fake-niks really but they do sort of fill a gap between some middle of the road folk rock and the Spector sound. I am sure many 60s suburban housewife's identified with Cher and wished their husband was like Sonny Bono. Baby Don't Go clip on youtube

Tomfoolery on the set of Sovereign's Servant

Watch behnd the scenes mucking about by the extras of this 18th century Russian epic here - and here - and here

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sam the Sham 'Monkey See Monkey Do'

'Woolly Bully' hitmakers in a segment from the film 'When the Boys Meet the Girls' from 1965. I think it is worth watching - might make you laugh. The film itself also has Herman's Hermits and Liberace as well as Louis Armstrong!

Letters from Iwo Jima

I don't usually like movies about World War 2 - in general I avoid them like the plague - everything has been done and been done badly - but this had a different approach to all the usual rubbish by showing the action on Iwo Jima through the eyes and letters of Japanese soldiers speaking their native tongue as they prepare to receive the American invasion of their island. Obviously still a Hollywood film it was nevertheless a giant leap in the depiction of historical events with subtitling pretty much throughout and very little focus on the Americans.

The Avengers 'We are the One'

Great simple clip of this great American punk band from 2006 performing the song that I first heard about thirty years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Somerset and Dorset railway

If you are interested in old railways you'll be glad to see someone has uploaded the documentary 'Return to Evercreech Junction'. Shot in 1985 it has at its centre impressive colour cine film shot by Ivo Peters going from Bath onwards with the rest of the documentary revisiting the sites seeing what was left. Part 2 and 3 also up. This railway used to run at the bottom of our garden in Radstock but I don't think our house is on it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Ghost In the Invisible Bikini (1966) trailer

This is one of the best trailers I have ever seen. If you wondered what Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone were doing in 1966 look no further. If you want to see the sequence with Nancy Sinatra doing Geronimo its here. It's basically a beach party movie set in a haunted house and is the last in the genre. It bombed. Wiki on it here

Go Faster blog

If you like 60s punk and garage obscurities pop on over the Go Faster Blog - it's full of amazingly obscure non hits of yesteryear to listen to. It's part of Go Faster Radio which is on streaming radio every thursday 8-10.
On the page they mention that there was something like 40,000 garage bands in the US in the mid sixties so pretty fertile ground for a radio station...

MGM's Peace on Earth (1939)

For my Armistice posting I thought I would put up this classic anti-war cartoon - the story is told of the human race's apocalyptic bent by a family of squirrels living in harmony long after the extinction of mankind after a series of terrible wars over relative trivia. There's some fine rotoscoped depictions of trench warfare worth waiting for - the sentiments are very laudable and the whole thing rings very true even today. Apparently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize this was the first cartoon to deal with a serious subject. Rotoscoping wiki

Friday, November 09, 2007

Minnie the Moocher Cab Calloway and Betty Boop

Many films have been vaunted as the first pop video but this must be the strongest contender - Cab Calloway rotoscoped into a walrus singing with a bunch of skeletons - if you haven't seen this Max Fleischer classic you're in for a treat - obviously an influence on Robert Crumb. Minnie the Moocher wiki

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Monkees 'Mary Mary'

"The Monkees are what the Beatles pretend to be." Pete Shotton. With the Beatles' Help! movie out on DVD we got to thinking about the Monkees and what great punk rock songs some of their output was - if only to stop our son playing Beatles records we dug the Monkees out - this one was written by Mike Nesmith and was eventually covered by Run DMC. If you haven't heard it give it a spin - it's a well crafted piece of trash rock and roll.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Yo La Tengo 'I Feel Like Going Home'

High quality music and visuals mark this clip out as an excellent introduction to the Hoboken 3 piece capturing them in all their melancholy beauty - the clip shows music in the making and is one of the best live clips I've seen for quite a while. It didn't go amazingly well when we met them but we're from very different worlds - us the gutter - them the stars. Official site


Maybe I should drop my hostility towards the fantasy genre when that fantasy is from 700 AD as is the case with this digital extravanganza from Zemeckis based on a Saxon text. I dunno though - I am suffering a bit from digital effects overload these days - I've seen enough flying monsters to keep my 'seeing flying monster desires' well satisfied, thank you. Official site

Channel Four on demand

To celebrate their 25th anniversary Channel 4 have uploaded some of their archives for free - now you can watch Adam and Joe, Black Books, Peep show and all manner of cutting edge comedy for free. Give it a try.

Canada: A People's History

This is for all the history fans - all three of us - the Battle of the Plains of Abraham 1759 from the Seven Years War is recreated in this well made episode - other episodes are also up - excellent stuff. Drums of War deals with the causes behind the SYW and Invasion the siege of Louisbourg. Quality reconstructions. Ideal length for youtube.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mary Weiss

The lead vocalist with the Shangri-Las is back! She's done an album with the Reigning Sound - check her webpage for details and information on this icon of the 60s. Her Myspace is here. Listening to the stuff on her Myspace - it sounds great - a little like the Detroit Cobras but that's a good thing right? Actually her and the Reigning Sound is one of those perfect team-ups - a marriage made in music heaven - shows she's still got good taste.
Clips of her playing with the Reigning Sound on her youtube channel. Go here for a documentary on the Sh-Las, George Shadow Morton, their producer/songwriter with some excellent old photos and clips.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Effie Briest 'Newly-Weds Song'

Our new favourite band! On tour at the moment. Susan read a review of them in the Guardian of all places and tracked them down - they're brilliant - absolutely amazing. Noticed Everett True gave them a good review in Plan B. They're from Brooklyn. There is a quality here that is missing from most bands - they have something unique and it works.
This song is a cover of Native American Jim Pepper's song based on a peyote chant which I haven't heard but the chanting made me look up, having a familiar ring to me having done more than my fair share of listening to Indian songs and chants. Check out the version on their Myspace it is spot-on. The A-side is great too. If their name is familiar it's a German classic novel and a Fassbinder movie starring Hannah Schygulla. Punkcast info on the performance Hear Jim Pepper original here

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Cops 'The Lowdown'

Susan's taken up the djing duties at our house - it's always been me but I am having a welcome break hearing different stuff for a change - anyway one of the albums that she cued up recently was Wire's debut Pink Flag album which is a great record and the best song on the album in my opinion is the Lowdown. Couldn't find a version by Wire but happened on this spirited rendition by Seattle's the Cops...very good indeed - give it a whirl - it finishes up sounding a little like the Oblivians but that's a good thing right?

First World War Blog!

'This blog is made up of transcripts of Harry Lamin's letters from the first World War. The letters will be posted exactly 90 years after they were written. To find out Harry's fate, follow the blog!' Wow...sounds really interesting....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Rolls Royce Armoured Car

Like this image of the Queen on the back of a Rolls-Royce armoured car or is it just me? Article on the vehicle below -

10mm World War One

I've been thinking of getting some 10mm wargames figures - maybe Pendraken's World War One - don't know - I'll have to buy some to see what they're like as there's no photos on the web. Vehicles would of course be micro in size.
Irregular Miniatures 10mm range
Noticed that Irregular have started a range in this scale. Early war Germans to start with - see pic.
There's a trench system available too from Mark Biddles. This small scale would be suitable maybe I'll actually buy something but it might be just another project I don't get round to.

Gang of Four 'To Hell With Poverty'

Great song. Great lyrics. Crap dancing.

Movie tanks

While on the subject of replica vehicles for film and so on, there's an interesting blog called Filmpanzer which has lots of behind the scenes info on how vehicles are backdated to look like old ww2 tanks for movies and reenactments. Lots of stuff on the site for world war one fans including information on the tank used in Indiana Jones and the replica seen recently in NZ. It seems like New Zealand has become a place for outstanding replicas as Peter Jackson's interest in the period and Weta Workshop's work for the Omaka Heritage centre means that there is plenty going on there of interest. This tank is built by Weta partly from wood and is based on a bulldozer. Article on NZ air display from where this photos from.

Rolls Royce Armoured Car

(Pic is of a replica recently sold by Bonhams)
If you like early military vehicles you might enjoy these clips of the classic Rolls Royce in action. Very much a symbol of imperial rule in the 20th century it was used in all sorts of places from the Middle East, to the General Strike of 1926 in the UK. If you go to the Tank Museum's article on their RRAC there is a hilarious picture of the Queen waving from one - worth a look honestly. Photo of replica at the Michael Collins centre. Film of one in New Zealand is at youtube.
If you want a model of one then for 1/72 scale the best place to start is the Reviresco range.
Wiki on Rolls Royce Armoured Car
Car of the month Armoured cars of Great Britain