“Do Not Touch Willie.”

Before I proceed, I want to make entirely clear that the following is not a collective statement from everyone involved with Seen Your Video. I’m speaking entirely as myself, not on behalf of Graham or Josh. I know we’ve steered clear of any posts even remotely like this in the past, and I don’t plan on it being the first of a series or anything, but it is, strictly speaking, related to the kind of cultural analysis we strive for, and besides, I don’t have anywhere else to post it, except Facebook, which eugh.

do not touch willie Continue reading

Iain Banks, 1954-2013

The Bridge


      ‘You know,’ he said, ‘if I had my way I wouldn’t let anybody who believed in star signs or the Bible or faith healing or anything like that use electric power, or ride in cars and buses and trains and aircraft, or use anything made of plastic. They want to believe the universe works according to their crazy little rules? OK, let them live that way, but why should they be allowed to use the fruits of sheer fucking human genius and hard work, things produced only because people better than them once had the sense and the hope to – will you stop laughing at me?’ He glared at her. She was shaking with silent laughter, her pinkly quivering tongue poised to lick another paper. She turned to him, eyes glistening, and held out a hand.

      ‘You’re just so funny, sometimes,’ she said.

– Iain Banks, The Bridge Continue reading

Troy’s back from the gutter, and he’s brought someone with him!


I’m aware at this point that it feels like there have been more apologies for neglecting the podcast than episodes of the podcast itself, but what can I say, life keeps getting in the way. This time – i.e. in the six months or so since the last podcast – it’s been because of the process of buying, then moving into, a flat, which has somewhat precluded much activity on this front.

Anyway, I’ve taken the time to give some consideration as to how best to approach the podcast, and I thought an overhaul was in order. So I’m delighted to say that, as of next week, the Seen Your Video podcast is relaunching as a twice-monthly show – one episode on film, one on music – wherein I’ll be joined by either Josh Slater-Williams or Graham Fulton, who’ll act as co-hosts, Josh for film, Graham for music. Their presence doesn’t rule out continuing to bring in guests, but it does mean there’s less of a sense of me just rambling into the ether.

Josh you may remember from the last episode that went up, wherein we talked about all those ‘death of film culture’ articles that were floating about last autumn and subsequently earned the ire of some woman on Twitter who refused to watch films in a multiplex, so that was fun. He also writes for The Skinny, Sound on Sight and his own blog, Read Write Hand.

Graham hasn’t been on the podcast before, having spent much of the last two years in Australia, but any poor souls who ever listened to Left of the Dial, my show on Subcity Radio that somehow ran for three years, may remember him from the last year-end best-of episode we did, or indeed from Screen Shrapnel, the film show he hosted on the station with Nick Green and prior podcast guest Jamie Dunn, or from Modern Highlife, his own solo music show.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled that both Josh and Graham have agreed to do this. Hopefully it’ll make for better listening all round and – he says, once again tempting fate – a regular format for the podcast that I can finally stick to and make work. The first episode – a film show with Josh – should hopefully be available for download some time this week.


Lost in the Supermarket

As I mentioned previously, I wrote a few short bits and pieces again for City A.M. Bespoke, the London magazine whose second issue has just appeared online and is embedded after the jump. Some thoughts on the popularity of Philip Glass are on page 9, a commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death is on page 12 and a reminder of how big a deal Life of Pi was for UK publishing in 2002 is on page 13. As before, please bear in mind the target audience is substantially different from anyone likely to be reading this, and know that I recognise the irony of an elegy to Joe Strummer appearing alongside ads for Porsches and luxury watches. Continue reading

13: Don’t Move Or He’ll Maul Your Face


This week: a killer monkey! How Mia Farrow won Twitter! A theory that the Illuminati killed Tupac! Noomi Rapace’s squid by C-section! Movie reviews! Album reviews! A half-arsed cover of “Flashing Lights”! And more!


We See Things That You Need Not See: Men in Black 3

'Oh no, don't try pinning this one on some San Francisco cocksucker, Wu.'

While I was down in London this past week seeing Jay-Z and Kanye West play “Niggas In Paris” six times in a row (quoth Kanye: ‘AGAIN!’), my friend Steve got me to review Men in Black 3 for his paper, City A.M. (well, the paper he writes for. He’s not quite William Randolph Hearst. Yet, anyway.)

The version that ended up in the paper today was edited slightly from what I submitted (with mild wiseassery and rampant pop cultural nerdery toned down a touch), so I thought I’d post the original here, since I figure mine is the kind of crowd that’ll care exactly which Stones song Sonnenfeld uses to let you know you’re in the 60s.

Also, my review turned out to be quite similar – as in, uses many of the same words, phrases and sentiments – to Nathan Rabin’s for The A.V. Club, which came out yesterday, so I want to make clear that I submitted mine on Tuesday and have the e-mail to prove it. I’m not suggesting The A.V. Club is monitoring my e-mail or anything, but frankly it doesn’t seem that out of the question that Rabin and I have some sort of shinning going on.

Anyway, yes, original version of my Men in Black 3 review after the jump, the version that made it into the paper (along with Steve’s review of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom) here: http://www.cityam.com/lifestyle/reviews/the-good-the-bad-and-the-average-the-best-and-worst-films-keep-you-out-the-sun-wee Continue reading

12.5: Absolute Middle-Class Suburban Geeky Guy


Also this week: a second new episode ratchets us up towards WTF with Marc Maron levels of productivity, with the concluding part of Chris’s chat with Malcolm McConnell finding them mourning Adam Yauch and waxing nostalgic over memories of the Beastie Boys. As before, Malcolm’s dog Zoe is fairly audible at times, though panting contentedly this time rather than mewling away pathetically.


12: Geek Aaron Sorkin


This week: the first of a two-part episode finds Chris joined by Malcolm McConnell to talk over The Avengers, in forms both assembled and otherwise, as well as comic book movies and the work of Joss Whedon more generally. WARNING: believe it or not, this hour long, in-depth discussion of one film contains some spoilers. Part two, on the Beastie Boys and MCA, to follow later this week.


11: The Boss Would Like a Word


This week: Guess who’s back? Back again? If you guessed ‘a ten years out of date reference to Eminem’, you’d be right, but also missing the point, because the podcast’s back after a two month hiatus. No guests, so hear Chris ramble for most of an hour about Bruce Springsteen, Blu-Ray and some of the film and music highlights from the start of 2012.

N.B.: Dud e-mail address given at the end of this week’s pod – all enquiries/comments/abuse can be sent to chris@seenyourvideopod.com