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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 23:08   #521
leyla
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Default Re: Decent Telly

Wow, how good was tonight's episode of the Seven Ages of Rock? It focused on two US bands - REM and Nirvana, following them both from their modest aspirations to provide alternatives to the blandness of the hard rock of the early-mid '80s, to success and superstardom. It was fantastic to see the ascent of both bands mapped out, and interesting to see again that the path taken by rock and indie in the US seemed to parallel that taken in the UK except with a 6-10 year time lag: Black Flag was seen as a blast of refreshing anarchy in the US in the mid '80s, a time when punk had grown up and swapped safety pins and stridency for sophistication in the UK. I didn't rate Black Flag - they did nothing that The Clash, Pistols and Buzzcocks hadn't already done years before, imo. But
Nirvana and REM were - are - really wonderful, timeless bands that evolved from that rebellion and disillusionment into complex, talented artists. Seeing a curly-haired Michael Stipe trying to hide behind his hair in the early days was very touching - he explained that he had been very shy and self conscious because of his acne at the time, and that had led to his iconic image and elusive reputation. And it was amazing to see and hear the conventional electric guitar thrashing in REM gradually replaced by string-picking strumming on not only guitar but also, on Losing My Religion, mandolin.
Brilliant too to hear that Cobain's aim in Niravana was to combine the hardness of metal with the melody of The Beatles, an aim he more than surpassed. The scene where Nirvana record the Unplugged live LP was almost tear-inducingly touching - surrounded by funereal lilies and withdrawing from heroin, Cobain gave a stunning performance, and was allegedly euphoric afterwards. He would try and kill himself in Rome 4 months later and then succeed in killing himself shortly after that. Stipe, a friend of Cobain's and godfather to Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter, had tried to involve Cobain in a musical coalition in Georgia to distract him from his spiralling depression, but didn't succeed. An REM CD was found in the dead Cobain's CD player, with a scrawled note quoting Neil Young : 'It's better to burn out than to fade away'. Tragic. Like fellow rock genius and suicide victim Ian Curtis of Joy Division, Cobain seemed unable to cope with the expectations and attention that fame brought.

I hadn't realised the massive influence the wonderful Pixies had on Nirvana, and the programme showed how the Pixies' trademark alternate loud-soft touch in the same song (eg in Gouge Away) led to Nirvana using the same technique on Smells Like Teen Spirit. It was also fascinating to find out that Teen Spirit was a women's deodorant, and Cobain came up with the song title after a female friend playfully graffitied his bedroom with 'Kurt smells like Teen Spirit' (meaning 'Kurt smells like a girl'.)

So, the rest of the weekend will be spent playing REM, Nirvana and Pixies CDs. How I love bands like them who combine power and passion with harmony. Brilliant documentary - I'd recommend watching it if it runs again.

Edit: Woo hoo, 1500 posts! Fitting to hit that mark with a eulogy.
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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 23:38   #522
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Default Re: Decent Telly

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Edit: Woo hoo, 1500 posts! Fitting to hit that mark with a eulogy.
Cor, as a Palimper I'm almost exactly a year 'older' than you, and yet I see I'm lagging behind by several hundred posts! Hefty posting and good work, Leyla!
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Old 27th Jun 2007, 8:10   #523
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Default Re: Decent Telly

Bit disappointed by the programme about Paris last night - it was supposed to be about the hidden Paris, the Paris which tourists wouldn't know, but I'm not sure that the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and Galleries Lafayette really fall into that category.

However it was a nice touch to be able to press the red button and have the whole thing in French with no pesky subtitles.
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Old 27th Jun 2007, 8:32   #524
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Default Re: Decent Telly

I enjoyed it, but I've only been to Paris once (for a few days, earlier this year) so it's pretty much all hidden to me. The presenter was lovely, completely obsessed with sex, and I didn't brave the lack of subtitles (or even know about the option).
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Old 27th Jun 2007, 13:19   #525
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Default Re: Decent Telly

I quite liked it but was twitching all the way through at the thought of missing Gordon Ramsay (and even Tycoon on ITV). There comes a point where it's not worth videoing programmes because there are so many vids waiting to be watched, all unlabelled. The Paris presenter was very charming, I thought she looked a bit like how BB's Davina might have looked if she'd been born French - the same interest in sex and gossip but conveyed in a much more seductive way.
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Old 27th Jun 2007, 14:14   #526
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Default Re: Decent Telly

After 530 posts, Davina gets a mention. Could it have taken this long because we are discussing Decent Telly!
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Old 29th Jun 2007, 19:38   #527
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Default Re: Decent Telly

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This is the potential that Heroes has, the question is will it be able to fullfill that potential.
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You can watch the epsidodes here. (There's also loads of other telly there for watching too - such as classic Doctor Who.
Thanks to Stewart and his wonder-link I am able to catch up on what I've been missing, and on the whole I'm loving Heroes (and I'm very sorry you didn't like it Jim - give it another go!). It occasionally lapses into Soapiness, but not for long, and while the threat of imminent death hasn't dropped with both feet onto any of the principle characters so far it isn't afraid to mess around with them pretty roughly. It is also throwing in surprisingly tasty cameos, none of which I will reveal, although one of them is SO tempting...

Or maybe you all know about them already, I'm not much for keeping up with popular news, current affairs, etc. even when I'm in the right country.

EDIT: I just finished series one. My conclusion, pretty good. The final episode sets the scene for series two as much as it resolves the original story, and I did come away with a slight feeling of anti-climax, but it still wiped the floor with Lost if you ask my 'umble self. Yummy.

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Old 4th Jul 2007, 9:53   #528
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Default Re: Decent Telly

I thought the Paris programme was much better last night - interesting historical facts, continuing loveliness of the presenter, continuing obsession with the darker side of a beautiful city, and terrific photography. But why did they have that damn four piece band in every other scene?
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Old 4th Jul 2007, 10:03   #529
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Default Re: Decent Telly

Taped it, will probably watch tonight.
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Old 4th Jul 2007, 10:20   #530
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Default Re: Decent Telly

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But why did they have that damn four piece band in every other scene?
I got the impression they were mates with the presenter. But yes, very entertaining edition yesterday. Chocolate - murderous footpads - revolution - what's not to like?
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