Take it Away – The Complete Paul McCartney Archive Podcast Review

We’ve been enjoying this podcast series by Ryan Brady & Chris Mercer. Each Episode picks apart a McCartney solo or Wings album, track by track, in chronological order.

For McCartney fans, this podcast promises “no more lonely nights” (yesss!) & car journeys from heaven. Ryan & Chris’ love for McCartney is palpable & they have clearly done their homework in prep for each episode. They have a good handle on the history of each track & comprehensive knowledge regarding the technical side of the recordings.

As well as the history, the recording details & the general Macca chit chat, they play generous snippets of each track they discuss. Which is always nice when people are discussing the details of a song. Whether it’s talking about music, a scene from a film or whatever, it’s helpful to have that instant reference. The show always begins with a nice cheesy, Macca friendly synth version of “Martha My Dear”, which is sure to kick off each episode for you with a smile.

I was surprised at which of the tracks they deemed as mediocre or disliked. You’re always gonna get that on a series like this though. It makes for a good back & fourth between you & the podcast. Throughout the series I would occasionally find myself responding to them in disbelief.. “what?? “That Would be Something?? I LOVE THAT!” or.. “the medley on Red Rose Speedway?? C’mon! Surely?”. I was particularly surprised at their kind of lukewarm summary of McCartney, Maccas 1970 debut solo album, one of my all time favourite albums.

The analysis is deep & well thought through & they have some interesting theories on where some of the lyrics may have come from & what they might mean. Personally I’m not usually too bothered about dissecting lyrics or finding meanings in them etc. Gobbledegook or not I just love the hooks Macca creates by piecing words together. It is interesting how opinions differ between fellow music enthusiasts though, we all look for different things in it of course.

I must say, the fact that they don’t hold back on their opinions adds to what makes this such an interesting listen. Much in the same way you would debate or disagree with your mates on these topics down the pub. Actually, that is what this series is like, like being with your mates, discussing every single Macca solo track in order. Singing the parts you like to each other, laughing, disagreeing. Not a bad idea that.. must text the lads.

In summary Take it Away is bloody great. Every Macca fan will enjoy it. Two thumbs up!

Listen to the series here…..

Game of Thrones Producers Unsure about the Future of the TV Series

Over at EW.com, executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff gave a post-finale interview, offering up some of their concerns about moving forward with the series while author George R. R. Martin is still working on finishing the final two books, as well as their plans for adapting the very tricky, audience-unfriendly fourth and fifth books.
As far as Season 4 of the HBO series is concerned, fans need not worry. It will cover the rest of the third book, A Storm of Swords, and it’s all been mostly mapped out. For A Feast For Crows and A Dance with Dragons however… things will get complicated; what with the two books containing overlapping timelines, and Crows specifically missing several key, fan-favorite characters. Add to that a long list of new characters and it could make for a mess. “The series has already reached a point where there are so many characters, particularly in Season 3 we’re introducing so many new ones, we run the risk of bursting at the seams as we try to cram every single subplot and all the various characters and it becomes impossible on a budgetary level and it becomes impossible on an episode-basis to jump around every few minutes to 30 different characters and locations,” Benioff told EW, regarding the possibility of cutting future storylines. “We don’t want to do that, and recognize that as a real risk and we will take steps not to fall into that trap.” Weiss then added: “Time for negative population growth.”
The other issue here is Martin’s books. If a new one isn’t done in the next, say, three years the show will have run out of material to adapt. And while it’s probably a good bet that Martin will get the next novel, Winds of Winter, out by then, he still has the final book to work on afterward. As a failsafe, Martin did tell Weiss and Benioff his overall plan for the story, but has also expressed that he’d be displeased if the show went on ahead of the books. “I don’t think I’d be happy with that,” Martin told EW. But for Weiss and Benioff, there are other things to consider.
“We can’t wait too long because of the kids,” Benioff said. “Issac’s [Hempsted Wright] voice is changing. Everyone is getting bigger. We have this wonderful cast, but we don’t have an infinite amount of time … We don’t want to become a show that outstays its welcome and tries to turn each book into three seasons. Part of what we love about these books and the show is this sense of momentum and building toward something. If we tried to turn this into a 10-season show we’d strangle the golden goose.”
“How do?”
Add to this the problems of future salary negotiations for the cast, whose initial contracts would have been completed, and even some cast members possibly wanting to move on to other projects potentially causing the recasting of pivotal characters, and you can see why Wiess and Benioff don’t want to have the show go on for too long – and possibly can’t afford to wait for Martin to finish his story in book form. Martin, citing the Spartacus prequel series Gods of the Arena, thinks that HBO can stall with prequel seasons of Game of Thrones or an adaptation of his Hedge Knight books, which take place in Westeros.
Even HBO programming president Michael Lombardo finally understands why GoT fans had concerns years back. ““I finally understand fans’ fear — which I didn’t a couple years ago: What if the storytelling catches up to the books?” he said. “Let’s all hope and pray that’s not going to be a problem”
So, as you can see, within a year or two, there’s going to be a little bit of push and pull between the producers and Martin; with the producers wanting to keep the show, and the actors, on an affordable and set schedule and Martin thinking the series, and his other Westerosian content, can sprawl out for years and years. “We still have our fingers crossed that George will get there,” Weiss told EW. “That’s what’s best for us, it’s what’s best for the fans. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.”

And then there’s Martin, who still only predicting that the story will be over and done with by the seventh book. Mean, he could write an eighth. “I have a story to tell; the number of books is almost irrelevant,” he explained to EW. “I’ll do that in as many books as required. I’m still projecting it as seven.”
matt fowler

Electric Eden – Unearthing Britains Visionary Music (Rob Young) – Our Review

Just finished reading the Kindle edition of this captivating book by Rob Young.
Electric Eden tells the historical story of British Folk music, a mystical, magical journey through time introducing us to, apart from the music, some fascinating, eccentrically colourful characters, some deep thinking, troubled souls & primitive ideas & Religion. Taking us along a dirt track out of the City & into the wild, painting a sepia tinted picture in your mind of the British countryside & all that evokes it.
It tells the story from the beginning, a similar tale to the beginnings of the US folk music scene. It took a handful of dedicated, obsessive personalities to unearth the songs of the people, the country folk & the working classes. These people scoured the length & breadth of the country, out to the sticks, collecting songs, poems & folklore tales from the few people that had them handed down to them.
The story then shifts from these dusty narratives to explain how these original unaccompanied songs then became the folk music we know so well from the early 1960s. Music by artists such as Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, The Watersons.
We are then turned onto how the genre developed through that decade & beyond, to incorporate psychedelia, the Occult & the fuse of other musical genres, such as Jazz & US country music & how this in turn inspired the mainstream to contrive some of the classics of our time. Sgt pepper, Piper at the Gates of Dawn et al.

The book gives us in depth write ups of recommended albums, a track by track guide by picking out the instruments used, the conflicts between band members, and the significant lyrics & what they could have meant to it’s authors. All presented in a very welcome, finicky fashion.

Author Rob Young. has written for Uncut & The Wire

It tells of the inspiration behind a lot of these albums & of the places where the songs were conceived & recorded. Throwing you right into the Studios & country retreats alongside the artists, or in the case of 1970s band Heron (shown on the cover above) out in the fields & plonked on a log by their makeshift open-air recording studio.
The book is a hefty companion & a recommended read, even for those who don’t particularly like some of the artists or albums featured within. The stories are all educational & interesting none the less. Not too sure why the book swings dramatically towards the end to include in depth chapters on Kate Bush, Talk Talk, David Sylvian. You can’t help but feel that the author was looking for an excuse to force in a few personal favourite bands of his generation. Despite having little to do with Folk music as we know it & wandering off & away from the general feel of the book, these pages still make for interesting reading.
If you can’t afford a Holiday this year, then just stay home & read this. You’ll be transported away from work & the stresses of everyday life & into the carefree countryside as often as you like. And all for the price of a book.
Review by fuZZdandy

Available from Amazon

Adidas Gazelle – London 2012 Team GB LTD Edition…

We like to go shopping for shoes & trainers to take the pics of our jeans with. The latest of these are the Adidas Gazelle indoor, Team Great Britain sneakers. Bloody comfortable pods these.. with the trademark Adidas soft leather & surprisingly toasty warm too. Their very streamline, retro look remind us of a pair of original vintage French trainers we once found in a charity shop. We had to have them.

Mad Men – Pete Campbell’s Giraffe Wall Art…

The Etsy replica

Max Papart? The piece in Campbells office.

We have always liked the Giraffe wall art shown in Pete Campbell’s Manhattan apartment in TV series Mad Men. The original is supposedly by Witco, and a quick Google search will show many similar things but not this particular piece. Anyway, there is a fantastic replica going on Etsy.  It’s a great alternative cos you may be searching for the original piece for a long, long time. The other piece in Petes office is also rather nice too, which is possibly by Papart.