Under The Makeup

With their new (and allegedly last) album out next week, a-ha have finally got around to releasing the video for Under The Makeup: the first single off Cast In Steel. I’ll be honest, aside from the soaring James Bond-esque strings, it’s not one of my favourites by them and that was a bit worrying. Thankfully, the next offering, called The Wake sounds much more like my kind of thing, replete, as it is, with OMD-style ding-y keyboards and an 80’s synthpop feel, but more of that sometime soon.

So – here it is, starring Sofie Gråbøl and Frida “no accents in my surname” Farrell:

Sadly, given all the teasers and the generated suspense, they messed up a bit with the upload to YouTube, meaning that lots of Europe, Africa and apparently all of North and South America couldn’t watch due to “international content restrictions”. Thus, the video above is uploaded from the ridiculously named “WeWantA-HAandMortenHarket InTheFrenchMedia”. They might have a looney name and a niche agenda, but they can at least put 200 seconds of (ahem – pirated) video on the internet better than Universal music.
So… y’know… good for them.

As for the video… ja. I’ve watched it several times now, and I’m still not 100% sure of what’s going on, aside from the unfortunate demise of our protagonist. Are those… are those… Yurts? Do Pal and Magne escape? Whose side are they on anyway? What’s in the briefcase and why is that woman preparing a butternut in the middle of the Scandinavian wilderness?

Are you as lost as I am?

All in all, it’s not a great start to the whole Cast In Steel saga. There was never going to be massive commercial appeal for this anyway, but please – it should at least leave the fans happy. This, awkwardly… hasn’t… doesn’t.

Oh dear.

Fairly epic disaster video

Hmm. Cranes and bridges. I know who’ll like this one…

But it’s not a happy crane and bridge video. It’s a bit of a disaster…

Look, because of the title of this post and the title of the video, you know that things aren’t going to end well. But it’s the way things happen almost in slow motion and the lack of any sort of discernible panic that makes this so entertaining.

And we can be entertained, because happily (and perhaps incredibly), as this news article with its sub-headings like:

Veel schade (lots of damage),
Puinhopen (heaps of rubble)*, and
Enorme schade (enormous damage)

…also tells us:

Burgemeester: geen slachtoffers ongeval Alphen

Although running it through Google translate, it does appear that he was only talking about humans:

It is believed one man wounded by two cranes and a bridge part topple Monday afternoon and attacked a number of houses and shops in the Main Street. The man was removed from the rubble and had problems with his hip. Also, a dog did not survive the blow.

Oh dear. Damn those attacking cranes.


* Puinhopen is totally going to be the name of my next metal band.


“I love it when a plan comes together,” said Hannibal, although for me, something better than a plan coming together is a series of other things which aren’t plans coming together and making a blog post.
Like this sort of confluence, for example:

A visit to Sheffield. (I just did this.)
A shot I took in a pub toilet on Sunday. (Careful now.)
And a pocketed article on the demise of Working Men’s Clubs in Sheffield, featuring this line:

We did have a young band called Drenge who filmed a video here recently, but other than that we don’t have much interest from students and the like.

Two mentions in a week of a (local to) Sheffield band that I didn’t know about?
About time I knew about them, I think. And wikipedia will assist:

Drenge are an English two-piece alternative rock band, from Castleton, Derbyshire, based in Sheffield. The band is made up of Eoin Loveless, on guitar and vocals, and his younger brother Rory, on drums. They take their name from the Danish word for “boys”, although it is pronounced differently.

And the Drenge video shot in the Sheffield Lane WMC was for We Can Do What We Want – an anarchic, punk-rock effort with rather too much gratuitous Clockwork Orange-style ultraviolence for my liking.

Not that this video is ever so much better, although at least the main victim is a W-reg Citroen Saxo rather than a bingo crowd. Starting with some teens drinking in bus shelter in Bamford (I was there on Tuesday), continuing with some joy-riding in the Hope Valley, and finishing with a jealous girlfriend and her mate beating up a lad and chucking his body onto a moorland fire (actually, it’s not better at all), this is Backwaters:

It’s pretty good music though, with hints of Arctic Monkeys, Joy Division, The Wildhearts and even The Smiths, as well as the more obvious comparisons with that heavy, grungy punk backdrop. Maybe something for walking along the beaches of the Southern Cape in wintertime.

And so I will, as the pub toilet ad suggested, give the album a go and I will report back.

Beagles love carrots

Of course they do. Anything with big ears loves carrots: rabbits (infamously), elephants, other… stuff with big ears.

Here’s a video of a beagle pup “mesmerized by flying carrots”:

That “mesmerized by flying carrots” quote comes from this Mashable page which features the video, and also gives us this fantastic line:

Carrots dangling from the sky (or, in this case, the ceiling fan) is more than most of us can even dream of.

Personally, I’m capable of dreaming of far more than dangling carrots, but if that’s absolutely as far as your imagination can run, Tricia Gilbride, then I’m sure Freud would have some fairly concise explanation for you.

That said, at around 24 seconds in, it does appear that for Maymo the beagle (for it is he), all his Christmases have come both early and simultaneously. LOOK AT THAT JOY! JUST LOOK AT IT!

This is just one of the plethora of beagle-related videos, cartoons and photographs which I have been sent since I mentioned that we were getting a beagle. I’m so grateful for every single one. Really, I am. Thank you. In fact, yesterday’s “nice” seal video was actually another – along with the description:

This seal looks a bit like a sea beagle. Hang on – that’s, like, the best contraction ever!
SEA beagLe = SEAL!

LOL indeed. Copiously.