Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sound Tracks 30/1/11

Today was a really strong show and felt great to present. For that reason I'm going to have two tracks of the week because I cannot put a hair betwixt them.

Also Sprach Zarathustra - 2001: A Space Odyssey
Somewhere That's Green - Little Shop of Horrors
Woo Hoo - Kill Bil1 Volume 1
Tu Mira - Kill Bill Volume 2
The Alamo - The Alamo
Blaze of Glory - Young Guns II
A Silhouette of Doom - Navajo Joe
Paper Planes - Slumdog Millionaire
I Wanna Be Like You - The Jungle Book
Chup Chup Khade Ho - Badi Behen
Run On - He Died With A Falafel in his Hand
Windmills of Your Mind - The Thomas Crown Affair
The Shoot Out - The Claim
Prelude - Psycho

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Mr India

Who doesn't love a 1980s Hindi Sci-Fi Superhero film?

With the holy trinity of Anil Kapoor, Sridevi and Amrish Puri creating marvellous characters whilst delivering incredible dance routines to the most memorable music and lyrics, it was always going to be a super 3 hour smash hit.

It also has one of the most the most famous quotes within the history of Bollywood:
"Mogambo khush hua" (Mogambo is pleased)

Puri as Mogambo is better than the world's best Bond baddie with his underground lair full of redundant flashing lights, a red lava pit full with skin stripping properties and some wild finger adornments complete with 2 hand painted globes to drum them on.

Mr India in a nutshell:
Anil's character takes in a dozen orphans, falls behind on his rent and lets a room to a beautiful journalist. However, the evil Mogambo wants his land, a fight ensues, an old professor tells Anil of a mystical contraption invented by his father (a watch that makes you invisible), Mogambo threatens to blow up India with missiles, Anil turns invisible, saves the day, Mogambo dies and Mr India and his identity remains hidden forever.

The song Hawa Hawaii (sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy) performed by Sridevi is the absolute highlight of the film and at nearly ten minutes long with 4 costume changes - it has to be seen and heard to be believed.

A true Bollywood masterpiece and should be seen by everyone.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Retro Review

Mickey Mouse
Game Boy

In the days when men were men and mice were mice, this, uber simple but incredibly addictive, puzzle platformer sees valiant St. Mickey traverse 80 levels on the original portable 8 bit super handheld to rescue his beau Minnie.

Released in 1989, when there were a speight of female mice kidnappings by evil warlocks, it is your task to gather miniature keys across each of the levels to enable progression.
Avoid enemies, in the least fearsome dungeons you’ve ever seen (think Castle Grayskull designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), by popping up and down Mario pipes or laying the smack down with the limited weapons and ammo you find as the game develops. There are plenty of hair ‘em scare ‘em moments though as you think you’re not going to make it to the stairs in time before sneakily passing them on the way up.

The soundtrack suits the mood of the dungeon and oh the beauty of passwords. You can come back to the last level you completed, as long as you wrote down the correct password. It’s part of the Crazy Castle series which saw almost identical games but instead of St. Mickey, you had St. Bugs of Bunny rescuing carrots and maidens across dungeonville.

Hey Mickey, you’re so fine; you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Sound Tracks 23/1/11

Welcome to another episode of Sound Tracks. It has to be the incredible Yann Tiersen for my track of the week, the entire score and soundtrack to Amelie is consistently strong, but never mind Amelie here's a striking pink neon sign framing Mr Cruise, a design classic.

Also Sprach Zarathustra - 2001: A Space Odyssey
You Can't Stop The Beat - Hairspray
Bird List - The Falls
Addams Family Groove - The Addams Family
Staccato's Theme - Johnny Staccato
A Quai - Amelie
Non Nobis Domine - Henry V
The Mission - The Mission
Don't Worry Be Happy - Cocktail
Fantino - Lost in Translation
Saajan Saajan Teri Dulhan - Aarzoo
Trek to the Cave - Ravenous

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

More excitement coming this Spring!!

After months of hyper speculation, rumours and wishful thinking, today Nintendo revealed that the new 3DS will be released in the EU on 25th March (we're already booking that day off work)!

Leading the way once again, Nintendo have designed a very clever piece of kit that we can't wait to get our hands on. Available in Cosmos Black or Aqua Blue, you don't need glasses to see the amazing 3D graphics. There are 3 cameras - one points at the user, while the other two point outward and take photos in 3D. There's a new circle pad to allow you to have 360 degrees freedom in games, a built in motion-sensor that you can use in certain games or as a pedometer - perfect for long walks along the beach. Also, when in sleep mode, you can use StreetPass which allows your 3DS to talk to other 3DS consoles it senses in the area - you can exchange game data and swap pictures of your Mii's - yet another new feature! You can listen to MP3's and of course play loads of great new games.

We're looking forward to Resident Evil: Mercenaries (come on H.U.N.K) and of course seeing the classic Zelda: Ocarina of Time in glorious three-dimensional technicolour!

Having sold more than 3.5 Billion (yup we're talking 9 zero's) games worldwide, the bank of Nintendo will be swelling come March but can't think of anything else we'd rather spend money on! Will retire the old DS and add it to the growing Console Collection :-)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sound Tracks - 16/1/11

The show this week has seen some absolute epic tracks, with a very hard choice for track of the week but in the end it's my final song, courtesy of Mr Ewan McGregor*.

Also Sprach Zarathustra - 2001: A Space Odyssey
I Want It All - High School Musical 3
Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu - Chhalia
Tic Ti, Tic Ta - Big Night
The Poltergeist Theme - The Poltergeist
In The Musicals - Dancer in the Dark
My Name is Nobody - My Name is Nobody
Mighty Wings - Top Gun
Time Machine - Wayne's World
Rooster Cogburn/A Warm Wrap-Up - True Grit
Overture/The Statue - City Lights
El Tango De Roxanne* - Moulin Rouge!

Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Wonderful World of Postcrossing

Today has seen postal cards arriving from afar as well as some little beauties I've sent out arriving on international door steps around the world. The beauty of postcrossing.

The goal of postcrossing is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world! If you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world. The element of the unknown, of receiving postcards from different people and places around the world turns my mailbox into a box of surprises. You edit a small profile saying whatever you want, what type of cards you like etc.

I've decided I want the worst cards ever. The most boring, the ones that will never get sent and my doormat has had some peaches in the past. I received one today from Eugenie. In a massive act of generosity she offered to send me a 100 "duds" as she called them because she used to send 50 duds every birthday to a friend, but has since lost touch with that person. Her Trash = My Treasure. I can't wait to see what they are!

I decided to send her one back which has her favourite things on them, trains, a very special one I picked up recently which should make her mailbox light up.

Postal exchanges

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


Today we can happily brag that Orange and Cyan Arts are going to be hitting Japan this Springtime! A Mecca for computer game lovers and Manga fans alike, we have booked ourselves a mega time in this diverse island nation!

We kick off our tour in Tokyo, followed by a couple of days in Hakone - a town famous for it's onsens (hot natural springs) plus we'll be using trains and funiculars to ride up Mt Fuji. We're then heading on to Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital with around 2000 magnificent temples, shrines, palaces, museums and Zen gardens. It's also the home of the International Manga Museum - hurrah! After Kyoto, we're continuing by train to Hiroshima, a peace promoting city following the explosion of the atomic bomb there in 1945 and will spend time in the Peace Museum.

We are also planning a trip to Miyajima Island to take in the views, especially the the floating Torii Gate which glows at sunset.
From there on to Koyo-San and more mountain railway journeys. This time it's to Mt Koya, a religious centre founded in 816 by the Buddhist monk Kobo Daishi. staying in temple lodgings run by monks (shukubo) we will eat Shojin-ryori (tasty veggie meals) and have the chance to be up at dawn to observe the monks praying. Next we're off to the culinary capital of Japan - Osaka where Ian will no doubt be consuming octopus balls whilst Tracey goes electronics shopping in Den-Den.

After that, we'll be heading back to Tokyo for a further 6 days
to enjoy Hanami (Cherry Blossom viewing parties) in Ueno-koen where there are over 1000 flowering trees.

We'll also be hitting Origami Kaikan for demonstrations on the art of paper folding, The Sumo Museum which is a huge store of records, relics and pictures of past yokozuna (grandmasters of Sumo) and is also a venue for matches, followed of course by a visit to Fujita Vente and the Sony Centre where we'll be testing out the latest electronic gadgets, gizmos and video games.

We're taking empty bags to fill with goodies and souvenirs from the cos-play streets of Harajuku and 'Electric Town' Akiharbara.

Phew! So there we have it - trip of a lifetime here we come!
Sayounara, O&C

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Great Book Amnesty

Inspired by our recent addition to the web archiving programme at the British Library, we wanted to share some our accumulated knowledge with others who hadn't encountered these works via our great book amnesty.

We sought out over 150 titles which we have loved and read but thought that others deserve exposure to them now.

The topics were wide and many from oversized art/print books, early twentieth century plays, non fiction about the history of social lighting as well the odd snippet of world fiction. Failure is generally a lot more interesting than success... this book was only a modest success in America; it deserves to be a huge one here, since we have a better natural empathy with the sweet misery of not being quite good enough at things.

This one is a particular favourite of mine:
In this remarkably wide-ranging book Professor Lowenthal analyses the ever-changing role of the past in shaping our lives. A heritage at once nurturing and burdensome, the past allows us to make sense of the present whilst imposing powerful constraints upon the way that present develops.
It's the idea of sharing this knowledge which makes it really powerful.

The first participants/recipients of the book amnesty were voracious in their hunger and nearly broke their arms taking nearly 100 of the titles, but it's heartening to see these books being given a new lease of life and being absorbed and appreciated by others in the future. Maybe one day, they'll do the same.


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sound Tracks - 9/1/11

It's back to the regular Sound Tracks format this week after the three holiday specials. My track of the week* is a Bollywood masterpiece!

Also Sprach Zarathustra - 2001: A Space Odyssey
Flying Theme - E.T.
Concerto in A Minor for Four Harpsichords - Dangerous Liaisons
Joote Dedo, Praise Lelo - Hum Aapke Hain Koun*
Tron Legacy (End Titles) - Tron Legacy
Cockeye's Theme - Once Upon a Time in America
Concrete and Clay - Rushmore
Main Title - North by Northwest
Mad World - Donnie Darko
Chariots of Fire Theme - Chariots of Fire
Superfly - Superfly
The Last Race - Death Proof

Tune in next Sunday at 9am on Forest FM for more Sound Tracks.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

The British Library

We're chuffed to bits to announce that our website has been invited to take part in the British Library Web Archiving Programme. Woop Woop!

The British Library say:
"We select and archive sites to represent aspects of UK documentary heritage and as a result, they will remain available to researchers in the future."

In essence, O&C and all its contents are going to be around for people to wonder and gaze at long after we're gone because the British Library will be around for hundreds of years to come.
It's the worlds biggest library holding over 150 million items!

The British Library will:
"Develop preservation mechanisms to keep your publication permanently accessible as hardware and software changes over time."

It's similar to what we're doing with The Console Collection - preserving things we think are important for future generations.

Here for eternity

Friday, 7 January 2011

Retro Review

Streets of Rage
Sega Mega Drive

Welcome to the 90s side and welcome to the finest side scrolling beat em the world has ever seen. Step up Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding and Adam Hunter who want to rid their crime riddled streets of and badly dressed knife carriers.

Ripping off the late 80s pioneer Double Dragon, Streets of Rage wears its bibliography proudly on its sleeve and takes the best of lots of games like Golden Axe and Final Fight but makes them better.

I like my characters designed from the leftfield. Enter Ayano Koshiro, sister of composer Yuzo Koshiro (who gave us some of the finest trance cuts ever heard on a video game), who presents us with giant American wrestlers, obese fire breathers and failed Freddy Krueger impressionists all wanting a piece of you.This is all before you get to the imaginatively titled Mr X, take him down and then it provides you with an option to have a good or bad end – who says Rockstar invented player choice?

The 2 player co-op mode is great and makes everything way more enjoyable and enables you to attack enemies with special moves that you can’t pull off on your own. Tracey & I were tearing up the streets with our rage, stealing drainpipes, eating chickens and dishing out cans of gangsta to those knife wielding thugs. It paved the way for Streets of Rage 2 and 3 before the end of 1994 which were as good, if not better. What a trilogy!

All in all we owned in the streets in a little over 90 minutes, were engaged throughout and made us feel that little bit street!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The Console Collection

We've been working furiously for the past two weeks on a brand new micro museum which has had many significant donations from our good friend Mr Sol Cartman to add to our own collection.

It is with great pleasure, we present to you: The Console Collection. A series of vintage video game consoles and hand held gaming systems from the 1970's right up to the modern day which are all playable and in working order.

The collection is now so big, the list would be too long if we mentioned every system and game included but we'd like to draw your attention to several of the collections highlights and our personal favourites:

On the Nintendo shelf we have a NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube and Wii. A Gameboy with Gameboy Camera and Printer, Gameboy Golour, Gameboy Advance, DS and 3DS. Check out the golden Zelda cartridge.

Up on the Sega shelf we have a Master System 2, Mega Drive 1&2, Game Gear and joysticks plus a Game Genie that came with a code book to cheat at hundreds of Sega classics - extra lives on Alex Kidd in Shinobi World anyone?

On the Atari shelf we have a beautiful, wooden panelled Atari 2600 and it's offspring the 2600 Junior plus an Atari Lynx Mark 1 and Mark 2, Atari ST along with original Atari monitor and mouse.

Taking up most of the bottom shelf, we have a ZX Spectrum +1, +2 and +3 with Magnum Lightphaser and Commodore 64. There wasn't room to display the Commodore Amiga 500 with it's iconic white box with red and blue stripes.

The games titles are many and varied as you can see from the images, but whilst putting the collection on show, we've been indulging in a spot of Streets of Rage on the Mega Drive and Dr Mario on the Gameboy which has inspired us to plan some Retro Reviews. These will be coming soon to our blog and will showcase some of our favourite titles from days gone by.

If you'd like to view The Console Collection and enjoy some tea, biscuits and retro chit chat, we warmly welcome you to make an appointment - get in touch!

Very best retro wishes

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Darts Darts Darts

It's the time of year when kings are made.

The inhabitants of working mens clubs across the country come together at 2 holy venues for the apex in their chosen sport, Lakeside at Frimley Green and the Alexandra Palace.
It gets my elbow quivvering with excitement and I've already broken out my dart board for the new year.

Check out Gary Robson finishing on a 170 - just incredible during the 2011 BDO.

But this tops it all, Adrian Lewis in the PDC World Championship Final hits a 9 dart finish, the runaway contender for BBC Sports Personality of the year without doubt. I reckon it's the end Phil 'The Power' Taylor, 15 times winner, there's a new kid in town.

For those of you who want to know more about the sport of kings, have a look here for a low down on the PDC and here for the BDO. Thanks to Getty for the picture.

I love January, because after the Darts, it's time for Snooker!!!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Operation Sandcastle

It was 1/1/11, 9 forces came together to do battle over the the great sandy tundra of Bournemouth betwixt groynes 23 and 24.

A 2m x 2m square was given and the challenge was to create a something, a spectacular sandy something to bewitch and bemuse the good folk of Bournemouth upon this very first day of 2011.

Here's T's entry, an awesome replica of the O2 Arena complete with Take That tour bus.

Our competitors were:
Tracey Mc, ITA, Dr Bird, Nursey Bang Bang, The Twins, Miss Cream Tease and 2 Swedish Snowcastling experts Svenson and Ninason.

Here's my effort, a selection of diseased internal organs from Bill the Duck including lungs at the bottom and a heart and kidney composite (Hidney) at the top

It was tense, there was much public and canine interest throughout the 3 hour competition as well as beach combing for the correct shaped stone, shell or Brazilian pubic wigs.

Here's Dr Bird with his monster rock machine complete with miniature amp

A hearty time was had by all and the judging public deemed Miss Cream Tease with her Turtle the winner. The Twins were robbed with their new civilisations and beached fish efforts.

Take a look at the short sand documentary to see all the efforts and some excellent bubbling action.

Images and video courtesy of the inimitable Nursey Bang Bang.
We'll be back next year with more sand and more creations!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Playlists - don't you just love 'em?

For all the Sound Tracks listeners out there, I'll be posting each new track listing after the show has aired so you can seek out tracks that you loved or were just a trifle curious about.

I'll also be highlighting my Track of the Week here on the blog with a link to listen to that one again.

Holidays MGM Musical Special
Jet Song - West Side Story
The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top
Over The Rainbow - The Wizard of Oz
My Mammy - The Jazz Singer
Getting To Know You - The King & I
Wunderbar - Kiss Me Kate
The Trolley Song - Meet Me In St Louis
Top Hap, White Tie and Tails - Top Hat
Flying Down To Rio - Flying Down To Rio
Triplets - The Band Wagon (Track of the Week)
If You Knew Susie - Anchors Aweigh
Bless Your Beautiful Hide - Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
Secret Love - Calamity Jane
One For My Baby - Young At Heart
Wonderful Copenhagen - Hans Christian Anderson
Tonight - West Side Story

Thanks for listening, we're in for a cracking 2011