Listening mix this last week

Iradio Chicago comedy channel – runs a lot of full-length standup shows and, thankfully, doesn’t censor them like some other web comedy stations.

King FM Seattle – very cool classical station from Seattle (well, duh). Especially nice since it is run not by a commerical company but an arts grouping, including Seattle Symphony. The time difference between Edinburgh and the Paficic Northwest does make for some light amusement as the presenters announce it is very nearly 7am as I’m thinking about a mid-afternoon cuppa. Great station to have on while working.

Selected Johnny Cash. Listening to his cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt I had a sudden urge to listen to some more of the Man in Black (and how cool is his cover of Personal Jesus?). Don’t generally like country music but Johnny is one of those performers who transcends genres really. Kind of intrigued to see the film biopic of him coming up with Joaquin Phoenix.

Diana Krall – especially Autumn Leaves; very timely.

Watching

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Totally top fun from Aardman and utterly loaded with references to other movies, especially 1930s Universal monster movies, from the obvious (Lon Chaney in the Wolfman, right down to the ‘time lapse’ montage for the transformation) to the subtle (the village bobby with his moustache is a dead ringer for the village copper from the Claude Rains version of the Invisible Man). Large-scale yuks all round and good to see Hollywood hasn’t ruined our fine Northern Lads (the cheese over in the States probably doesn’t appeal to them).

Nightwatch. The very cool Russian movie that took more in Russia than Return of the King last year when it came out and has been storming across Europe faster than avian flu. To be honest there is hardly an original part to it – it is loaded with references and lifts from a wide variety of other movies and film-makers (notably Buffy, the Matrix and a lot of tracking shots that are very Jean-Pierre Jeunet) – but the way they are put together is excellent (especially considering it was made for under £4 million). It also shares a moral ambiguity with the excellent series Ultraviolet, leaving you pondering if the Dark Others are actually evil and the Light Others truly good. Can’t wait to see the next two in the trilogy. Good to see it getting some screenings in multiplexes as well as arthouse cinemas. Just a shame I keep thinking on a totally unrelated Terry Pratchett novel of the same name every time I hear the title.