New house, Duke of York membership and a bluegrass festival

I have just moved house, to a lovely flat with a sea view and a splendid new flatmate Juan. He runs an excellent small start up, Fatdrop which provides lovely web software to record labels small and large, so they can release, and track the success of, promos via the web.

I not only inherited the room in this flat from a friend, but was gifted with his Duke of York Picturehouse membership. Since then I have seen the excellent Hellboy 2. Luke Goss is (again) a convincing, pale, whispering bad guy with shaolin moves. (an aside, look at the horror of Luke Goss post-Bros’ bad, bad long hair here and here!) Also saw dark, Icelandic thriller Jar City, a good if depressing drama about a genetic database unraveling family secrets from the past.

At home, I’ve enjoyed Heartworn Highways a 1981 documentary about the “Outlaw” country music scene in it’s fledgling years. The documentary is unusual as it’s mostly a relatively un-edited sequence of scenes with different artists talking and then performing in informal environments. A very intimate snapshot of a time and place. It includes priceless footage of a young Steve Earl (see the previous blog post for video of Steve Earl) and also Townes Van Zandt. More in detail at

Away from home I enjoyed Didmarton Bluegrass festival in Gloucestershire, picking up new music such as the Growling Old Men, The Slowdown Boys, Gypsy Fire and Monroe’s Revenge.

Reading Fairyland by Paul McAuley a near-future sci-fi novel about cloning, GM/Nanotech (lite). Although it had a promising all-action start, it became confused and muddy after the first part of the three act novel.

I bought this one as it’s in a series of Modern Classics by Gollancz Future Classics series which had included the unmissable Hyperion
by Dan Simmons and Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds.

They also have awesome covers without a teardrop space ship in sight!

“Using high tech printing processing including glow-in-the-dark, reflective and ‘furry’ textures, these are truly out of this world covers.”

Fairyland was too sprawling and ill paced to be what I’d call a Future Classic. For the dedicated only.

Finally, here is Mr Van Zandt from Heartworn Highways performing the first song he wrote “Waitin’ Around To Die”.

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