Friday, June 13, 2008

20/20 Vision

Cricket is an acquired taste. Luckily, it is one I acquired many years ago. Having recently girded my ethical loins and passed over 30 pieces of silver to Rupert Murdoch for Sky TV, I have been able to once again watch cricket on my telly box

There is, of course, a new fangled form of God's Own Game known as Twenty20. In recent days it has been hailed as the saviour of world cricket in the media. This is mainly because it can take as little as 2-3 hours to play a match instead of 5 days, you can put cheerleaders in the breaks and it doesn't tax the attention span of today's discerning sport fan.

Now I like cheerleaders as much as the next man (or woman - 9/10ths full of penguins is an open-minded blog), however, I have got a bit of a problem with the branding of Twenty20. Its pitched as this high tempo excitement-fest of action with a side helping of power-hitting. I have seen a number of Twenty20 games of the last couple of years and aside from one or two notable exceptions they have been hugely dull affairs.

Take for example the recent game between Kent Spitfires and the Sussex Something or Others, who played out an entirely forgettable match. The problem is that the batting side need to accumulate large amounts of runs very quickly, while the bowling side needs to curtail those runs. This should lead to scintillating strokeplay and aggressive bowling. However, captains will often bowl average spinners and seamers chucking down medium pace dibbly-dobblers because slower bowling is harder to hit to the boundaries. This means that for much of the time you are watching boring medium pacers being hit for 4 or 5 singles every over.

Hmmmmm. Not thrilling in any way. But at least there are cheerleaders.......

Maybe there is something to this Twenty20 lark after all.....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Theatre of Noise 2008 A-Z Part the Second

Phew. Back now. I do apologise for the delay in bringing you the second part of The Theatre of Noise 2008 A-Z. Here is a link to the first. The first Theatre of Noise podcasts from 2008's Refresh FM Manchester are now available. Find them here, they're full of crunchy goodness and entertaining silliness.

Here is J-Z. If you click on the name of the band it will whisk you to their website (if they have one) and if you click on the song name it should take you to a video of said ditty.

J. SufJan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy Jnr
A slice of customary odd gorgeousness.
K. Nine BlacK Alps - Unsatisfied
I know its a few years old now, but I don't mind hearing from this great Manchester band again
L. The Prayer Chain - Bendy Line
Sadly, a band that effectively ceased to exist in the mid 90s. I was unable to find a video of the magnificent Bendy Line which we played quite a lot, so have a performance of Sky High instead
M. Monarch - Perform
One of my favourite songs of the broadcast - very very sad though...
N. Number One Gun - Wake Me Up
From their new album the North Pole Project.
O. BecOming the Archetype - Epigone
A song intro so loopy, we nabbed a bit of it for the Theatre of Noise jingle.
P. Project 86 - Evil (Chorus of Resistance)
"Eeeeeeeeevvvvviiiiiiiiiiiilllllllllll" Fantastic! Plus the video is hilarious.
R. Beat Rabbi & Deepspace 5 - Deepspace Soul
Yo Yo Yo - and that....
S. Soulsavers - Revival
The video for this wonderful song is well worth a look.
T. Dashboard Confessional - Thick as Thieves
A song so annoyingly catchy that even Jeremy Clarkson would fall for it.
U. FebrUary Remaining - Samson
The lead singer of February Remaining dropped in to see us on the Theatre of Noise. And a jolly nice chap he is.
W. Does it Offend You Yeah? - We Are Rockstars
I first heard this while listening to Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 (don't let that put you off though, its quite good. Really)
X. Secret & Whisper - XOXOXO
A man with either a unnaturally high voice or tight trousers. You decide which...
Z. Neon Horse - Speed KillZ
I couldn't find a video for Speed Killz, so enjoy the equally marvellous Cuckoo.

The Lives of Others *****
Iron Man ***
In the Name of the King *
Mission to Mars **
Payback ***
Stargate Ark of Truth **
Dragon Wars ****
Indiana Jones: Crystal Skull...
Before last 20 mins ****
Last 20 mins *