Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Modern World Continues to Disappoint

I generally try to resist urges to re-live my childhood. Or early teenage years, I mean. There isn't anything from my childhood I'd actually want to re-live.

However. No longer having a record deck, I have records I haven't heard for many years. One of these being Hawkwind's Space Ritual, their live magnum opus from the 70s. As a young teenager, I spent a lot of time in my bedroom listening to this, nodding my head to the endless repetitive riffs, and marvelling at the mighty record sleeve. This folded out into six sheets, full of entertaining words and images. Well, they were entertaining if you were a teenage boy and sort of imagined it would be fun to fly around the universe in a space ship with Hawkwind. (I didn't have a lot of girlfriends in those days. OK I had no girlfriends.)

After considering buying this for some years I was finally overwhelmed with nostalgia, so I bought the CD. I knew it wouldn't be the same but I wanted it anyway.

It wasn't till this CD arrived that I realised what a tremendous disappointment the packaging would be. Gone is the mighty album sleeve which folded out into such a huge item, replaced by a puny little booklet, which isn't the same at all. The whole thing is a great disappointment.

Here's a picture of me holding the original sleeve, and the modern equivalent. You can see why I'm not happy.

The World Fantasy Award, which I received for Thraxas, has been on loan for some time, but has now returned to my house.

Here's a good review of the re-issue of Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, in the New York Times. It's taken 20 years to get there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Tomb Raider, and Snow

London has recovered from last week's snowfall. It wasn't that much snow, really, but it did seem to cause a lot of travel chaos. Hah. In Scotland, I used to walk a long way to school, in worse snow than that. My school never closed for the snow. Children would struggle in, drenched and frozen, and lay their coats over the radiators to dry them out, before struggling home through the snow again. That was common in winter.

Am deeply involved in new Tomb Raider game, Tomb Raider Underworld. I'm enjoying this, though it's a little buggy, but that might be my aging PS2. But I have a nagging feeling my PS2 version isn't as good as the PS3 version. It's probably simplified. Oh well, I'm enjoying it anyway. Lara rides a motorbike into Valhalla, and you can't ask for more than that.

I was sad about the death of Lux Interior, lead singer of the Cramps. I really loved the Cramps. I saw them several times in London, last time at the Brixton Academy. They were great live, and Lux was a terrific frontman.