diamond geezer

 Monday, January 31, 2005

The best of January

TV programme of the month: Hmm, a difficult choice. I've been enjoying Dragon's Den [BBC2] (where incompetent entrepreneurs pitch pet projects to a panel of smug venture capitalists, generally with little success). I quite liked Desperate Housewives [C4] (although I missed the latest episode and realised I could live without it). I thought the 28th series of Grange Hill [BBC1] was back to its old school charms (yes I know I'm the only adult in the country who still watches this). And I enjoyed Celebrity Big Brother 3 [C4] rather more than I ought to have done (mainly for the constant ingenuity of the producers in coming up with something original for the inmates to do every day). But I think I have to award my monthly laurel wreath to the third series of Monkey Dust [BBC3], the shadowy black comedy that continues to speak the unspeakable but gets away with it because everyone's a cartoon character.
10:30pm update: Just 90 minutes of the month left and a late entrant stakes a convincing claim for January's top TV trophy. The second series of Look Around You has taken early 80s Tomorrow's World as its role model and delivered a magnificent spoof science show full of beige jackets, Letraset subtitles and misplaced enthusiasm. A true broadcasting gem.

Book of the month: It's still a bit early in the year for new books to be flooding out onto the market. There have been a few, like that recycled website published by the anonymous whore-blogger, but most bookshops are still trying to clear out all the Christmas stocking fillers we failed to buy last month. Which is how I stumbled upon the hardback edition The Vesuvius Club by Mark Gatiss for half price. It's a sort of Victorian James Bond novel under a mock antique cover, the sort of adventure novel you might expect if Stephen Fry's Oscar Wilde had written Sherlock Holmes. Very inventive, quite witty, rather treacly, slightly repetitive, and probably worth waiting for the paperback.

Album of the month: LCD Soundsystem by LCD Soundsystem. It's very rare that I pick up an album and buy it without having heard a single track, but that's what I did here. The front cover design (and the name of the opening track - daft punk is playing at my house) suggested some kind of alternative dance record, and so it proved to be. This is an eclectic disco-punk mix - quite a lot of guitar, plenty of synth and several blatant influences - and no tracks are in any way the same. There's even a bonus CD of singles and b sides, making this an absolute bargain for under a tenner, and I fully expect to see this album making several of the trendier end-of-year best-of listings.
n.b. With 17 hours of the month still remaining, it is still possible that LCD Soundsystem will be ousted from my January pedestal by the latest Lemon Jelly album which is released today. Watch this space.
8pm update: Yes (as I suspected) the new Lemon Jelly album is very fine indeed and, after just one play, instantly appealing. '64-'95 is a collection of unrecognisable cover versions showcasing the duo's usual inventiveness in a fresh and unusual way, and you can expect to hear every single track as TV backing music over the next 12 months.

Single/Film/DVD/Gig/Magazine of the month: category not awarded.

London walk of the month: If you fancy a two hour walk around the capital, I can heartily recommend the guided strolls organised by London Walks. For just £5.50 you get to choose from a comprehensive list of daily tours, following a knowledgeable escort round some of the city's more intriguing backwaters. Yesterday I joined the Gangs of East London tour (which only runs twice a year), ably led by historian Ed Glinert (author of the essential London Compendium). Our bracing stroll from Shoreditch to Whitechapel was a fine excuse to revel in the nefarious activities of the Kray twins in the very streets they once ruled and terrorised. For one brief stretch, walking through the crowds of market thugs wheeling and dealing at the western end of Dunbridge Street, it was easy to believe that nothing at all had changed in the last 40 years. Recommended.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream