A little every day

You may have noticed I’ve started this up again.  I’m trying to do one post a day again – I reckon it’s either that or kill it altogether and accept that all I’m actually good for is tweets about snow.

Anyhoo, today’s post is actually on the Isotoma blog.  It’s about old versions of python. Well, I’m not going to write two in a day, am I?

We got the love

Florence and the Machine’s cover of You Got The Love is really starting to get on my tits.  If I hear one more gushing “ooh, what a great version” or, worse, one more person telling me what a great track it is, completely unaware of the original, I shall be moved to violence.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, is John Truelove‘s original version – melding Candi Staton’s acapella vocal with Frankie Knuckles Your Love in the one true version. Re-released, remixed, re-recorded many many times this is, for me at least, the one we should all remember.

And please, if we’re going to get gooey about modern cover versions, sod Florence and The Machine and Joss Stone.  Try The XX version instead.

Ten rules…

…for writing fiction.  Parts 1 and 2. Some great names giving their advice to would be writers – Elmore Leonard, Diana Athill, Margaret Atwood, Roddy Doyle, Helen Dunmore, Geoff Dyer, Anne Enright, Richard Ford, Jonathan Franzen, Esther Freud, Neil Gaiman, David Hare, PD James, AL Kennedy, Hilary Mantel, Michael Moorcock, Michael Morpurgo, Andrew Motion, Joyce Carol Oates, Annie Proulx, Philip Pullman, Ian Rankin, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Zadie Smith, Colm Tóibín, Rose Tremain, Sarah Waters, Jeanette Winterson.

“It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction.”

Semi private twittering

Sometimes I want my tweets to be directed at a subset of my followers; a useful/interesting Python link for colleagues, an Echo Bazaar comment for other players, that kind of thing.

The way @replies are handled has created the possibility of filtered communication. I can direct messages at a particular user knowing that only those who follow it will see the message – by creating specific ‘group’ accounts and directing messages at that user I can semi-privately communicate with that user’s followers. I can’t say anything that I don’t want the curious to see (my tweets are still there on the public timeline), but if I want to shield my broader range of followers from something I know they won’t be interested in this is a useful approach.

An example is the @isotoma user. This user is pretty much exclusively followed by Isotoma staff – if I direct a message to that user only Isotoma staff will see it, allowing me to tweet Python links to my heart’s content, knowing the intended recipients will get them without putting off those who wonder what the hell I’m talking about.

One out of three ain’t bad. Actually. It is pretty bad

Three albums I’ve been really looking forward to all got released in the last two weeks….

The Courage Of Others by MidlakeMidlake’s The Courage of Others. If it had been on vinyl I would have worn out my copy of their last album (The Trials of Van Occupanther). While the last one was influenced by the likes of Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, and early Fleetwood Mac (music I have to admit to loving) this latest one is influenced by Pentangle, Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span (music I have a real aversion to). Because of my love of the last album I’ve given this new one more listens than I normally would, but have come to the sad conclusion that it’s just a dreary derivative folk album. Fairport Convention lite at best. One down, two to go

One Life Stand by Hot ChipHot Chip’s One Life Stand. Some of the tracks from Made in the Dark and The Warning are stone cold classics. Live even more so. Again I really wanted to like the latest album. Initially I liked the more direct approach – the dance tracks are more straight down the line, ballads (for want of a better description) are more ballady. By the fifth listen, though, I’ve come to realise that what I thought was deliberately more direct is actually knowingly poppy. This is their attempt to break through. I really wouldn’t be surprised if every track ended up on an advert. And those lyrics about the XBox really can fuck off. Two down, one to go.

Odd Blood by YeasayerYeasayer’s Odd Blood. Hah! This one really is awesome. A genuine move forward from the equally fantastic All Hour Cymbals. Right now I can’t imagine liking another album more this year. At least one purchase was worthwhile.