Friday 17th February 2006

It felt like I was waiting for a lifetime for it to finally be Friday. More precisely Friday evening, so I could get around to updating my blog. So many thoughts running around my head and so little time to get it onto the page. We will see how it goes. On Thursday as I drove out of the car park from the office, my stereo started playing a new track. Yes, it is still that same MP3 CD from last week. It was the instantly recognisable drum intro to Kaiser Chiefs, “I Predict A Riot” and my mind instantly flashed to the Brit Awards that would be screened that evening on ITV1. This is perhaps, the one time in the year when my Dad took an active interest in contemporary music. Although I don’t think he was watching this year. For years, it would be half term and my sisters and I, together with my parents would sit down and watch the show from start to finish. Funny how even the most rigid of routines eventually fades. I recall watching the 2004 event at my student house and my house mate Paul slating Duran Duran (who won the Lifetime Achievement Award) with me arguing that some of the songs at their musical peak were truly amazing and original. So what did the 2006 event at Earls Court have in store? Plenty apparently.

The strange thing is unlike the Grammy’s, Oscars and even BAFTA’s (sponsored by some obscurely coloured mobile telecoms company) the show is not broadcast live. Instead it is shown twenty four hours later, in a condensed edited version. Our blogging god, Diamond Geezer goes to great length to explain the biggest flaw in the PR fueled frenzy. By the time the show is screened, we already know who won Best Male, which performances shocked, what the celebrities (and odd musician) wore, which idiot from the audience decided to say hello to his Mum on national television. I was listening to Five Live on the night of the ceremony and enjoyed a candid interview with KT Tunstall, winner of the Best Female award. I have only recently got into her music and perhaps not fully listened to her album (as I should have done by now) but I really like her sound and vocal talent. She is amazing and can only get better. It was actually Chris at work that passed on her CD to me, when I was constantly listening to Other Side Of The World in my car. The other winners were somewhat predictable and while James Blunt won and contratulations to him, I hope he considers a new direction on his next album. Some happy summery songs wouldn’t go amiss James.

I recorded only the better performances onto my computer, when perhaps I should have recorded the whole show. I watched it on television while constantly consulting the Guardian’s Culture Vulture blog, which had a run down of the best bits in the form of a blog entry. After KT Tunstall’s fantastic performance of Suddenly I See, which converted the entire stage into a representation of the line, ‘She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white’. She even played the drums at the end of her set and was surprisingly very good. I also only discovered today that her biological mother was Chinese, which explains those beautiful piercing eyes! The other highlight was Morten (lead singer with a-ha presented the Best British Single award to Coldplay for Speed of Sound. Ironic, in a way because, Chris Martin has been clear to state a-ha as one of his biggest influences and peformed Hunting High & Low on tour. Apparently, according to the Daily Mail, Morten looked so lonely backstage that he started texting friends for company.

Now we come to the star billing, or how do they say it in Francais? The pisté de résistance – the main man, hip hop producer and now international acclaimed rapper in his own right Kanye West! I didn’t really take any notice of his debut album. It was not until the release of the single Gold Digger, when I finally started to pay attention. Anyway, that is in the past. The performance this evening (I mean Wednesday evening) was breathtaking, amazing, unique, cool, smooth, daring and stylish (all at the same time!). The talking point was the seventy seven (yes, someone was paying enough close attention to count and not be distracted) gold painted females who appeared when the first song of the three song set faded, (Diamonds Are Forever) and the heavy bass cranked up to ‘insane’ for Gold Digger. There must be a factory somewhere that produces these females for awards shows. How come you never see them down the road, waiting to catch a bus or in the car next to you at the traffic lights. A quick search on Technorati, brings up only one quote that perhaps summaries the entire show (if not full ninety minutes) ‘tonight’s Kanye West line up of gold painted, bikini clad dancers was a work of genius‘. It was cheorographed with German engineering precision, each dancer paused at each break in the music, beautifully perfect. I was going to take some screencaptures from the footage I taped but it completely unnecessary. There is always someone out there with more time (and money) to devote to such a good cause, and surely enough, you can go and feast your eyes over at Just Jared or from the red carpet Honeymist’s Celebs. Man Of The Year? No, this guy should be Man Of The Decade, no question. Few people can go from criticising Bush, to three months later raising the roof (literally) in London, England. Rumour has it, he is working on the soundtrack for Mission: Impossible III at the personal invitation of Tom. There is no one else on this planet that could get away with wearing an old Adam Ant jacket and 1970s white 3D specs and still look so suave and sophisticated. I am so jealous that a colleague from work is going to see him live next week! 🙁

Have you seen the Nissan television commercial for their new vehicle, the Note. Now that is just not the name you give to a car, even by Japanese standards. The television advert, which has only started screening within the last week or so, ends with the line, ‘Because there is no bigger adventure than having kids…’ While I perhaps am not qualified to answer this question, with no first hand experience, I feel it is unfair to class having a family one of the most challenging task (if you can call it that) of a lifetime. There are far bigger (and perhaps more noteworthy) which got me thinking. What is the greatest challenge for the average person? Well that perhaps is the first paradox. In facing your greatest challenge you kiss goodbye to your normality and become someone, rather than a nobody. Are you still with me on this? The greatest challenge is not predetermined by someone else. Eventually I think we all find something that is our biggest obstacle then fight extremely hard to over come it. Perhaps that is a bit too deep for Friday evening, when we are all winding down for the weekend.

My weekend plans are quite simple, after the excursion to the Midlands last weekend. I was hoping to go see Aeon Flux (which is listed to open this weekend, tonight in fact) but is not screening at any cinema in my neck of the woods. Therefore I’m heading over to Oxford to go for a meal with a friend and then watch Munich. I saw the trailer when I was last at the flicks and was intrigued. I rarely go to watch documentary type movies, particularly on a Saturday night (there is a time and place for a history lesson) but given the untouchable credibility of the director, I’m going to give it a go. Of course, the actual events happened long before my time, but it will be interested to find out how far from the truth the movie falls. You never know, I might actually learn something. The whole Palenstine and Israeli conflict is so interesting, even if it is marked with so much death, destruction and denial. Do not fret, however, I will make time for the female action hero, next weekend.

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