speckled wood

Stuff, nonsense and a quickie recipe.

...Slow week. No work, and very little jewellery going on; after the recent pair of debacles I temporarily lost the taste.

...Actually, this isn't true; it hasn't been a slow week or so at all, I've just really, really lost the habit of writing about stuff. So, let's see:

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Anyhow, with everything neatly summarised and tucked away, here's a really cute little recipe for smoked salmon pate. The great advantage of this one is that you can make it with cheap smoked salmon trimmings and it won't make any great difference to the flavour. It can also be whipped up in more or less the time it takes to make a couple of slices of toast. As ever, all quantities are approximate.

100g smoked salmon. Do yourself a favour and use the cheapest you can find - save the nice stuff for eating on its own.
100g soft cheese, i.e. Philadelphia. Use the low-fat option if you really must.
A few generous squeezes of lemon juice.
Pinch of dried dill.
Freshly ground black pepper.

Place ingredients into a blender, and blend until mostly smooth.

Sit back in satisfaction at a job well done. Or, alternatively, just eat the stuff. That's usually my preferred option. Did I mention that even smoked salmon trimmings can get pricy if you buy them often enough?
speckled wood

Perfect Day - Lou Reed

Taking a well-earned break from the jewellery to maintain this thing, and perhaps to also allow myself a moment of public introspection.

First, however, the music: hardly an unknown quantity, this one. Still, it bears repeat listenings. There's not a single wasted note here; even when the chorus kicks in and the strings start to swell, the vocals keep it all in check with a mixture of self-loathing and yearning that breaks my heart every single time I listen.

...Of course, I only ever listen to this one when I'm in a mood of unalloyed self-loathing, so my interpretation might be as off-whack as the rest of my current grip on reality. I hate these patches, but more than anything else I hate it when people I care about catch on the jagged edges of them.

There's a few of you out there, and some of you may wonder what I'm talking about. Nevertheless, I'm sorry.

speckled wood

Tainted Love

Back, after an, ahem, exhausting three-day working week.

As I've mentioned previously, not got much time to spare for blogging right now - too busy making shiny stuff for the craft fair being held on November 15th and 16th at Coventry Transport Museum, where discerning individuals will be able to buy all manner of wonderful handcrafted items. Heck, who knows, maybe they'll even buy some from me.

...Where was I?

Cover versions, as promised. Or not, for that matter. Ever since I was introduced to the wonderful world of GTA: San Andreas it's irked me bitterly that people are generally only aware of the Soft Cell cover of Tainted Love when Gloria Jones' original rocks so much harder.

This is me, therefore, trying to write the wrong. And tying bits of stone and glass to bits of ribbon, too.

speckled wood

David Byrne - I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Still up to my ears in glass beads and little bits of ribbon, so I thought I'd spend a few days showing you some of my all-time favourite cover versions.

There's an art to covering classic pop, I think, and it's rather an arcane one. Stray too far from the source material and you'll go unrecognised, but remain too faithful and frankly, what's the point? That said, a good cover version can take a song you thought you'd known and reveal whole new shades of meaning.

Alternatively, it can simply rock much, much harder than the original.

Here's the ever-wonderful David Byrne, performing Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Playful and tender as always, he manages to infuse a particularly soulless piece of 80's nonsense with genuine hope and longing.

Happy days.

speckled wood

In Which Sarah Is Horribly Lazy.

...And in which the rest of you presumably ask what else is new. Seriously, before I get on to the good stuff I'd like to thank you for the responses - good to know people enjoy what I put up.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure you'll all have seen this one before - chances are you might even know it by heart. On the other hand, maybe it's just me but there's very little that can make me grin quite so readily as Still Alive, the end credits song from Portal.

Everybody sing along, m'kay? And in two weeks I'll have done my craft fair and I'll be able to write decent entries for you again.

speckled wood

(no subject)

...Here's the deal. Barring the odd school disco, I've never really done the whole Hallowe'en thing. Blame it on my parents (they were paranoid long before it became fashionable to be so) or blame it on me being a screaming wuss. Heck, blame both.

Still, Hallowe'en. Ghosties, ghoulies, things that go bump in the night. Yeah.

If you've got any sense, these will scare you good. Click play... if you dare.

speckled wood

Pop Quiz for the Cool Kids...

I know you're out there. I know some of you even read this, or you would if I ever posted.

Seriously, though, are there ever any circumstances whatsoever under which it could possibly be deemed socially acceptable to like Mika?

It's worrying me, really it is. Sure, he fills the Robbie Williams-shaped hole in my life, but even if I was given to regular blogging about my personal orifices* that probably isn't one I'd be inclined to admit to possessing. Sure he's pretty**, too. On the other hand, so's James Blunt and you don't catch me watching his videos on Youtube because cyberinsekt would divorce me.

It's just that, dammit, I rather like that song. You know the one, even if you don't know it by name - it was featured on the excellent Dead Set on Monday. It's a big camp slice of stompy piano-pop and it sounds like the Darkness would sound if they really did sound like Queen like everybody says.

Ah, but is it credible? You the jury, etc.

*They're there, they do their job and are an occasional source of great pleasure. What's to talk about?
**Kind of like the bastard offspring of Alex Kapranos and Derek Zoolander.***
***This is my new favourite mental image ever.
speckled wood

Stand By for Transmission...

In just a few short days, this is going to go back to being a proper blog with content and everything. Rumour runs that there may even be a cohesive theme.

In the meantime, here's something fun while I find my feet. Those of you in the UK will know it from the Peugeot advert; film buffs will know it from the closing credits of Tarantino and Rodriguez' masterpiece* Grindhouse, a sadly** underappreciated*** piece of work.

Formerly an artist on Ren and Stimpy, April March found huge fame in France with her faithful covers of Serge Gainsbourg's inimitable pedo-pop. Chick Habit is a free translation of Laisse Tomber Les Filles, released by France Galle in 1964 to mixed reviews.

It's reprehensible stuff, of course, but that doesn't alter the basic facts: This. Rocks. Bells. Bet you anything you find yourselves trying to memorise the lyrics. I know I bloody did.

*Because Tarantino was involved.
**Word used strictly in context of stock phrase.
***Because it was unmitigated drivel.