Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hit and misc

I'd recommend Nick Kent's retrospective profile of Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson to anyone with ears to hear. In its 60-odd pages, it doesn't try to attract attention using clever metaphors or florid prose, but seems to arrive at a special kind of truth through – and ack, how dull this sounds! – thoroughness and a penetrating acuity. I read it on the train to the West Midlands earlier in the year and was surprised to find the tales of abuse, insanity, greed and waste that surround Brian Wilson and his family do not mar the music one bit. That it was created in spite of these things make the songs more beautiful - even more so in the case of Wilson's 2004 rerecording of his original unfinished classic, Smile. The fresh knowledge of it all made me misty-eyed as I listened to 'Heroes and Villains', standing in the cold outside Tame Bridge station.

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The genius of the Xbox 360 – apart from the obvious stuff, natch – is those damn achievement points. Available in all games, they're usually awarded upon completing a stage or mission – but to win them all, players need to master more arcane skills and explore more obscure crannies, whether that means defeating someone at pool in GTA IV, beating a time challenge in The Simpsons Game, or killing a billion enemies in four seconds in the stupidly difficult Ninja Gaiden II. It's an extremely cunning way of getting gamers to squeeze every drop out of value of their purchases, but, because they're universal and added to each individuals' grand Xbox total, they're also an incentive to get hold of as many different games as possible. How sweet life would be if we were all awarded achievement points for our daily accomplishments! Only yesterday I was smiling with happiness at having worked the phrase "proves his acting chops" into a preview of a television programme, and reflected that I should certainly have been awarded some life achievement points for doing so.

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A gig that begins at 3am sounds like a tricky proposition, but time your adventures carefully and it's a cinch. A couple of Saturdays back, I attended a house party during which which my attorney found himself being straddled by a bulky man in drag and being smothered rigorously in outlandish make-up. Shortly afterwards, the party was curtailed as enormous chunks of plaster fell from the ceiling of the room below, as if we had angered the Gods. But we made it to the gig with minutes to spare and had a jolly old time.

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Hahahahaha, always finish with a joke. Here's my favourite; it's Bob Monkhouse, of course. "When I said I was going to become a comedian, they all laughed. Well, they're not laughing now."

2 comments:

Curly said...

A make a point of trying to get all teh achievement points on the xbox, just for something to do really. It saves just 'fucking about' once you've completed a game.

Do you have an xbox? If you play online, my gamertag is my last name on facebook.

Man I'm geeky.

Will said...

ha, me too, and only slightly ashamed of it...