Unconnected Miscellany

(With a title stolen from Jonathan)

- Travel is Dangerous as Mogwai once wrote, and it’s something I normally do only within the security of my car these days, though having been a student and a commuter for years, I can sympathise with anyone who has tales of terrible afflictions from travelling on them. When in Newcastle recently (for the second time in a year) we used the expansive Metro system to get around. It was quick, cheap, clean, and seemed to be actually quite well designed, and a good size for the city, apart from the mystifying lack of ticket barriers. In contrast, the Glasgow underground is one track, two directions, and has ticket gates akin to that of the sprawling New York Subway.

- Christopher Brookmyre’s latest novel, Pandaemonium, is a riot. It stars two story arcs that are about to smash into each other. The first is taken straight out the leafs of a Doom fan fiction or Half Life post-resonance cascade plot line. Scientists are exploring particle accelerators when the happen upon a portal that from which demon-like beings exit. They are heralded as the coming of an army from a gateway to hell, and the Vatican prove it by burning Holy Water on the beats’ skin. Less than 40 miles away, a group of school kids (catholic, none the less) are being taken to a weekend away at a Castle Toward like activity centre to help them deal with the double grief of a ned being stabbed by a bigger ned, and then the bigger ned committing suicide days later.

The resulting talk of science versus religion was fun, as Brookmyre writes it well enough, and it is also something that I really enjoy to talk and read about anyway. The lines drawn by the school kids are perfectly pitched, and the blood and gore ramps up to a level unseen before in his books. It’s a good novel, but not his best. That’s for another blog post though.

- The Twilight Sad – Forget the Night Ahead is my album of the year so far, so I recommend that you listen to it. You can listen to it here on their Label’s Website. It’s not on Spotify yet, but all other Fat Cat releases are so it’ll appear at some point.

- Staying with music, the new Muse album has came out. What. The. Fuck. What happened? I mean… one minute they are rocking my face off with Dead Star and Hyper Music, and now… well… this? R&B funk? Good god. Luckily the album has this on it, so that’s okay… one track that’s good though? Deary me.

- I am offshore this week, so I’ll be posting a lot more if I get the chance. Maybe that post about The Beatles that has been kicking around will appear.