Monday, January 08, 2007

Spot the difference

Let's see if this works. By the power of YouTube(tm), I command the following videos to appear! [Much smoke and bright lights. Keyboard is ruined. Scroll down for explanatory notes]

Unfinished Sympathy by Massive Attack

Bitter Sweet Symphony of Life by The Verve

Vindaloo by Fat Les

F.E.A.R by Ian Brown

By way of explanation, I reached this point after a very soggy weekend. In the end, everything is down to the climate, and now is no exception. Although it's comparatively warm (up to 11 degrees) at the moment, it's also comparatively wet. The wind is expected to get stronger this week, too.

That meant that my ride on Saturday had to be curtailed to a mere 70 km, on account of it raining the whole bloody time. No matter how much gear you wear, once you're wet through, you get cold very quickly. I'll have to try my trick of wearing disposable gloves underneath my winter gloves. It's the only way.

When I went into town afterwards, it was still raining. This was compounded by the billion or so tourists that visit Bath on the weekends, meaning you have to barge your way through the crowds (in the wet) in the manner of Rick Deckard from Blade Runner. It was raining the whole bloody time in that movie too, which is why I like it.

Fast forward (or just press play) to Sunday, when I did my Mendips ride to Wells and back, going the opposite way than I did before Christmas, and not getting quite as muddy. It didn't rain so much, but the roads were sodden, which meant I was as well. 1500m of climbing in 100 km. I'm lucky to average over 27 km/h these days.

When I got back, I had a look at where I'd gone on Memory Map, then scrolled across a bit until I found Portishead, which is on the west coast just south of Bristol. I'll go there soon enough, but I was interested because the band of the same name hails from around that area. That took me to Wikipedia and before I knew it, I had 10 articles open on the Bristol music scene.

One of these was Massive Attack, whose Unfinished Sympathy often appears on greatest songs of all time lists. I know the song, but don't remember the video, so that took me to YouTube where I found the first of the clips above.

According to Wikipedia, The Verve's Bitter Sweet Symphony of Life was a bit of a tribute to the Massive Attack video and song, i.e. one person walking down the street rather heedlessly, symphony/sympathy in the title, and strings in the song. I'd never made the connection before. It's obvious when you see it, of course.

Furthermore, The Verve's clip also reminded me a bit of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner, except that it wasn't raining and Richard Ashcroft wasn't trying to retire replicants. But he was running into people.

Furthermore and furthermore, the song samples a bit of The Last Time by the Rolling Stones. That led to a copyright dispute, which ended up with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger being credited for the song (even though they didn't write a word of it) and ABKCO (which owns the rights to the Rolling Stones '60s stuff) for the rest. No wonder The Verve split up. OK, I just threw that in for good measure.

Then there was Fat Les's takeoff of The Verve, with Vindaloo, which was played as an English anthem during the 1998 football world cup. So I found that on YouTube as well.

Scrolling sideways, I realised that Ian Brown's F.E.A.R video and song was related to the first two as well. Except he's on a lowrider, going backwards through Soho, in a similar manner to Lucy a year and a half ago, except she was going forwards. And F.E.A.R also uses strings.

It's cool what you can do with so much time on your hands! OK, maybe not...

But never fear, I did get out and writ another 2000 words of my door wedge. And had a stupidly hot curry that I made myself. It was only because I emptied a whole container of hot curry powder into the wok that it turned out searing hot. I did that about 15 years ago with a whole jar of green curry paste and forced myself to eat it all, drinking a litre of milk to cut the burn.


pete said...

And that's why I think the internet was invented purely for people who are bored!
The next timewaster I've discovered after YouTube is Flickr... Allow me to suggest you start at

Jeff Jones said...

It was invented for that very purpose, I believe.

I have since found out that JK Rowling, of book fame, hails from Yate, which is near Bristol, about 20km west of here.