Mixed Media, Sunday 12 March 2017

Musically, I’ve been mostly obsessed with Thundercat’s new album Drunk. It’s full of short, punchy, strange tracks. One of which features Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald, and is probably the smoothest thing you’ll hear all year.

Dutch Uncles have a new album out, Big Balloon. Listening to it now.


  • Luther season 4: I find it a bit rich to call a two episode special a season, but at least they were good episodes.
  • Marcella season 1: intense police detective drama. Perpetuates the stereotype that most police detectives are deeply fucked up.
  • Hip-Hop Evolution: great netflix documentary about the history of hip-hop from the seventies to the early nineties. This view of the roots of hip-hop makes me understand lot more about why hip-hop concerts are the way they are. I think I’m making my peace with that. Although I love listening to Mos Def’s recordings, I chose not to get a ticket to see him on his farewell tour.
  • Sneakerheads: entertaining documentary about sneaker collectors and sneaker culture.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 3: still enjoying this show a lot, but it has lost a bit of its sharpness and speed as it has got more polished. (I like Andy Samberg, but he’s not everyone’s cup of tea.)
  • Chef’s Table season 3: the show looks at some very different types of chef this season. Jeong Kwan and Ivan Orkin are not trying to break into the list of the world’s top 50 restaurants, but they do have fascinating stories to tell about their lives and their craft.


  • The Mechanic: I wanted a Jason Statham action movie, and I got a Jason Statham action movie.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie: Good. I thought they tried to cram too much into it. I found some scenes (especially at the beginning) hard to follow because there were too many moving parts, and it was hard to know what to pay attention to.
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping As I mentioned, I like Andy Samberg, and I liked this film. Some of the songs, which are obviously meant to be terrible, but terrible in a particular way, missed their mark. The final number with Michael Bolton deserved to be better and more memorable.
  • Logan: Wow. Intense. Left the audience kinda stunned and silent when the credits rolled.

Books & comics:

  • Ms Marvel vol6: Civil War II: Marvel’s massive crossover events leave me a bit cold, but Kamala’s story here was relatively self-contained, and focused very much on her personal story rather than the bigger picture.
  • Karnak: The Flaw In All Things: Warren Ellis needs a hug.
  • The Sheriff of Babylon vol2: Pow Pow Pow concludes the story, but don’t expect a happy ending. Harrowing and gripping.
  • The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken MacLeod. I made a strategic mistake here, because I thought that the third volume in the trilogy was out sooner than it actually is. (It hits the streets in September.) It’s good. Around a distant star, a bunch of exploratory robots accidentally become self-aware, and re-invent warfare from first principles. It’s a fine blend of the themes of clashing economic systems and nature of consciousness that MacLeod deals with so well. However, once I started picturing the small frames that the human fighters inhabit as Sackboys from LittleBigPlanet (with big silly grins on their faces and a lolloping gait), I couldn’t take them quite so seriously any more.

Update 13 March: I completely forgot about Destiny. I picked it up in February (with all the current expansions), loved it, and played it a ton during the school break. But then I hit level 40, and stopped kinda dead. Even without a social group to play with, the single-player experience up to level 40 is fantastic, and I have regrets about the time I did put into it. Great environments, and a fluid first-person combat experience. However, although there are still missions left for me to play, progress from this point onwards feels hollow: what am I doing it for? I enjoy the story missions, I like playing PvE, and I like playing co-op, but I don’t feel like putting in dozens of hours to get good enough not to be an embarrassment to a group of strangers on a raid. If I had a group of friends that also played, it would be a different matter.