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Category Archives: Tina awards

Tenuous Tina and her Lynx of love…

Those of you who have been reading this nonsense for long enough may remember that I did my 2012 end of year review in the form of The Internet Nobody Awards, or TINA’s as I like to call them, which I bestowed upon my favourite stuff from last year.
TV, film, music, gigs, and blogs were all put through my rigorous rating system (all the rules of which are a closely guarded secret, to prevent me having to make them up them falling into the hands of unscrupulous bookmakers) and a lucky few received a custom made virtual Tina statuette.

Well this year, despite failing miserably to convince a single one of my nominees to attempt a daisy-chain sequence akin to my Tenuous Lynx Award from a few weeks ago, and because I enjoyed doing it, I’ve decided to combine the two.
As I write this I’m still working on the details, but as I’m not really one for following rules, (even my own) I’ll probably just make it up as I go along.

For a start, it isn’t going to be a review of stuff that necessarily has anything to do with 2013 per se, more a list of things that I’ve found and loved in the last twelve months, irrespective of when they’re from.

Make sense?
Well, we’ll see won’t we?

So, without further ado allow me to introduce; (fanfare please)

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As we are coming to the end of 2013, I think it only right that I should pick 13 things that I think deserve this deeply contrived and random accolade.
Of course each one should once again be connected to the next by 7º of separation and all the links should be stuff that I like.
With any luck, when the predictably dreadful festive TV kicks in, this list will give you a pre-loaded store of entertainment to fall back on between the few decent films and acceptable one-off Christmas specials that might just sneak in when the schedulers aren’t looking. (I have a feeling this may take more than one post)

But where to start?

I think it’s only fair that Tina herself finally gets some credit. Tina Weymouth that is, for it is her head that adorns the gleaming statuette I created last year.

So;
Tina Weymouth played bass in Talking Heads, who made the greatest film document of a concert of all time, Stop Making Sense, and you can watch the whole movie right here.
David Byrne from Talking Heads made My Life in a Bush of Ghosts with producer-boffin extraordinaire, Brian Eno.
Eno has worked on albums by artists as diverse as U2, Coldplay, David Bowie and James.
James and the Giant Peach is a children’s book by Roald Dahl, who also created and introduced Tales of the Unexpected which scared the crap out of us every week when we were kids.
One thing that’s always unexpected is The Spanish Inquisition
…which is a Daft sketch by Monty Python, who were famous in the era of Punk.

Which brings us to the first arbitrary highlight of my year, Daft Punk’s album Random Access Memories.

So there you have it, the start of a rather unconventional look back at some of the cool things from my year.

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Hope you approve of at least some of my recommendations.
I shall endeavour to provide you with more cultural gems each day in the lead-up to the holidays.
A virtual advent calendar of audio visual delights will be my present to you, lovely readers.

So stay tuned for more from Tenuous Tina and friends, or yule be sorry…

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Arts, Blogging, Films, Humour, Music, Tina awards, TV

 

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The Tina prize (part three)…

So, a final rundown of a few more things that I have decided deserve the recognition of The Internet Nobody Award.

I don’t go to see nearly as many new movies as I used to, and it’s not just the cost of going to the cinema that’s responsible either.
There just aren’t that many films that I would make the effort to go and see, let alone invent an award for, that I could then tenuously hang a blog post on.
At least with a DVD, if it’s crap, you can turn it off, and the whole thing has cost you two quid. If I pay for two of us to go to see a film, which is a £15 night out straight away, then I’m going to sit through the whole film, no matter how atrocious, just to get my money’s worth.

What this boils down to, is that I’d rather watch a film that I’ve really looked forward to, at home on DVD, in peace, with a drink and a smoke, and put up with the six month period of putting my fingers in my ears and going “la la la la la” to avoid hearing crucial plot details, after friends see it at the cinema.

This year’s ear-fingering wait was instigated by Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, the much-vaunted possible prequel to his 1979 Sci-fI masterpiece Alien.

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I have always been a massive fan of the original film, and especially of the look of the whole thing. This is down, of course, to the genius of artist HR Giger, and the fact that his work was not to be used on the new film made me apprehensive that it would be too stylistically different.
However, due to the clever separation of storylines from any previous timeline, Scott was able to give very obvious nods to Giger’s style, whilst still providing us with a new, rebooted vision of the future.

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The same vast sense of scale, so memorable from the original, pervades the whole film, dwarfing the human players into insignificance against the backdrop of hostile space, and the effects, CGI or not, are spectacular to say the least.

And no, the creatures do not disappoint.

I deplore spoilers, so I won’t say anything about the plot that you can’t gain from the trailer links above, except to say that if you’ve heard it’s a prequel to Alien, then you’re right…and  you’re wrong.

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Any album of the year that I pick as my favourite is unlikely to have featured in The Brits, and is also likely to be the sort of thing that would draw cries of “Turn that shit off!” from my workmates.
However, I am still willing to bet that some of you have some taste, so I would like to present for your consideration, in no particular order;

The epic new album, (III), from Canadian electronica duo Crystal Castles is a distortion drenched delight.

Nebula Dance from dubstep producer Ital Tek, takes the form into more melodic new territory.

An old favourite of mine for many years, Rush released Clockwork Angels, once again proving that, for a band that weren’t broke, they knew not to fix it…

…and a new band making an old noise, Golden Void take the Hawkwind love of Sci-fi lyrics – and their name from one of the space hippies’ old songs – whilst channelling the sound of Ozzy-era Black Sabbath.

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And finally, a quick mention for my favourite blogs.

I’d like to nominate myself, but that probably is taking bias a little too far, so I’ll just say that I have enjoyed posts from all of these;

Daina’s book

Zeebra Designs and Destinations

Cristian MihaI

Gman’s Galaxy

Brian Pigeon

and of course the ever reliable and always excellent Bohemian blog.

Which about wraps it up for my little end of year prize giving.

Hope you find something of interest amongst my recommendations, normal (i.e. who knows what’s next) service will be resumed shortly.

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Blogging, Films, Music, Tina awards

 

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The Tina prize (part two)…

The second category that gets a Tina is my favourite TV show of the year.
Which is quite a tough one for me to set myself, now I come to think about it.

There’s so much of it to choose from, apart from anything else.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a couch potato, I won’t just sit and stare at the TV for the sake of it.
I don’t watch soaps, sport, quiz shows, embarrassing bodies/smells/hygiene problems/neighbours-shows, talent shows, or ITV.

I do watch a lot of documentaries, drama, Sci-fi, comedy, panel shows (HIGNFY, QI, and the like), oh, and of course, cop shows, lots of cop shows.

So which, if any, of the scholarly English country house murder mysteries, or the glossy, jump cut, lens flare packed, mega-budget US police drama series would I bestow my shiny new award on?

Actually, none of the above.

My favourite crime series of this year (well, it concluded this year) is a dark, brooding, mildly depressing, subtitled Scandinavian psychological drama, featuring a miserable and disobedient female detective with a liking for chunky knitwear.

No, come back! It’s really good, honest.

I am talking, of course, of the surprise BBC4 hit of the last couple of years, the atmospheric and brilliant The Killing, (not to be confused with the woeful US remake of the same name) or Forbrydelsen to give it it’s original, Danish title.

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The first series (shown two years ago) follows the police investigation into the murder of a young girl, and the show is structured in such a  way that each of the twenty, hour long episodes covers one day in the investigation.
The lead character – played, with extraordinary intensity, by Sofie Gråbøl – is the aloof, distant, and emotionally inept detective Sara Lund, and she is a big part of what makes the show so compelling.

The plot, which starts off as what appears to be a straightforward, if intriguing, whodunnit, quickly expands to take in politics, family feuds, and Lund’s ongoing attempts to complete her job in Copenhagen and start a new life in Sweden with her boyfriend.
It keeps you guessing with some nice twists, but never becomes convoluted, and the tension is palpable throughout.

Series two, which was screened here last year, was only ten episodes but kept the same one episode to one day format.
This time we’ve moved on two years, and this case involves soldiers that served in the Afghan conflict. This results in Sara being sent to Afghanistan as part of the investigation, which does change the feel of the series slightly, as the moody and atmospheric Danish locations are part of the show’s appeal, but nevertheless, it stays absorbing, right up to the thrilling finale.

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Sara Lund – So successful, for series 3 she got a new jumper.

This year’s third and final series was a darker affair altogether, and given the previous storylines, that was saying something.
A kidnapping is the starting point to this concluding part of what was always intended to be a trilogy of stories with the enigmatic and increasingly unpredictable Lund as it’s focus.

To say any more about the plot would be a crime in itself, but I would strongly recommend that you seek it out.

And for those of you who are already devotees, you’ll be glad to know that two other exceedingly fine Scandinavian shows that BBC4 introduced us to are to return. Both the political drama Borgen, and pretender to The Killing’s crown, Swedish/Danish hybrid, The Bridge will return in the new year.

Stay tuned for further nominees…

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Tina awards, TV

 

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The Tina prize…

Everybody likes winning prizes don’t they?
I mean, I expect they do, I’m one of those people who never seem to win anything.
Up until this year that is, when I was honoured to be chosen to receive the Liebster award for bloggers.

It was a very pleasant feeling indeed.

So I have decided that, what with it being the end of the year and everything, the time has come to bestow some awards on my favourite stuff from the last twelve months.

So, welcome to The Internet Nobody Awards, or “TINAs” for short.

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There will not be a pretentious judging panel of arty industry types, talking bollocks over glasses of brandy late into the night, trying to make a case for their nominees.

There will be me.

Unbiased and all-inclusive. Exhaustively researched, comprehensive, and well thought out…these are all phrases that have no place here, so we shall move on.

Tonight’s first Tina goes to the winner of the best gig category, and quite a recent event too.
Recent, but retro.

Way, way back, when my summer holiday used to be Reading Festival, I saw one particular band many times, not only at Reading, but at Rock against Racism gigs,and smaller local festivals.

Dreadzone always were a great  band, fusing their own brand of dub, rock, pop, and electronic dance music to exceedingly danceable effect, whilst still retaining a reggae edge.
Founders, ex-members of the fabulous Big Audio Dynamite, used cutting-edge electronics to enhance the bouncy, rhythmic sound, and this has always helped keep them sounding fresh.

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Dreadzone – “Say cheese”    Ah.

When we arrived at the venue – the local college – Elaine said, “We’re going to feel really old, all those young college kids jumping around”

She needn’t have worried.

The first genial punter that I encountered when I got to the bar was a gentleman with a white beard and two walking sticks. And he wasn’t the only one either.
Well, he was the only one I saw with two sticks, but a great many of the audience could have used their bus passes to get to the gig.

I’m told that they’d only played Barnstaple once before, and the old guard had turned out to welcome them back.

To be fair, there was a good mix of ages in the crowd, and the support act was a fairly slick young DJ with a turntable/laptop set-up, playing some classic reggae tunes.

When Dreadzone finally took the stage, they lived up to all my rose (or possibly weed) tinted memories, playing all the favourites from back in the day, as I believe the youth vernacular would have it. Aside from one or two slightly bland newer tracks, they played an absolutely blinding set that was impossible not to dance to.
And dance we all did, young and old alike.

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Hands up who was there in ’93!

Other than a small problem with MC Spee’s monitor early in the set, the sound, and general atmosphere in The Factory was excellent, and I’d gladly go to other gigs there.

As they neared the end of the set, the crowd was bouncing as one, the temperature was rising, and I had worked up quite a sweat, but still had the energy to go wild for the triumphant Little Britain encore, (stomping on Elaine’s foot in the process – Sorry babe) and a bloody good time was had by all.

So let’s hear it for Dreadzone, recipients of the very first Tina.

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Honourable mentions too for Chagstock – rapidly becoming my favourite festival, but not eligible for individual gig status – and the gig on last new year’s eve (come on, it’s technically this year) by local rock legends Roughnecks, who will soon return to do it again this/next year.

Coming up…Part two – TV.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2012 in Music, Personal anecdote, Tina awards

 

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