Fishy Tales

03 January 2006

Happy Beginnings

A couple of things that, for me, made 2006 start out very pleasantly, and which I'm happy to plug to death:
  1. Joss Whedon's Firefly. Yep, I know this aired on UK television well over two years ago, but that was only on subscription services. It took until now for me to buy the complete series on DVD (cheapskates note, well over 12 hours entertainment for just £15.99 at CD-WOW !) as an Xmas present for my wife. Honestly didn't expect to be so impressed myself. I did enjoy Serenity, the movie that arose from and significantly rounded off the series, but the series is much much better, because you get the chance to know and love the characters and settings and really appreciate how fantastically well-crafted everything is. A gloriously successful mix of science-fiction, western, adventure, morality tale, comedy, romance, sexuality, space opera and more, but all uniquely character-driven by some very unique, plausible and well-defined characters. Clearly a labour of love for all concerned, and such a shame that Whedon never had the chance to develop the story of the movie over several TV series. However, DVD sales of the Complete Series and the movie may just make it so that we do see more of this universe in some shape or form. I sincerely hope so.
  2. Kate Bush's new album Aerial. A present to me from my wife, which was on my Xmas list more as a curiosity than a must-have. So my expectations happily confounded again, because this is a blindingly good (double CD) album, which I've played time and again all the way through without yet finding tracks that I'm happy to skip. You can check out the reviews out there, but I think it's really something you just have to hear, and its appeal is certainly not limited to Kate Bush fans. I've not really gone crazy over Kate Bush myself since the Ninth Wave (Hounds of Love B-side), which was over 20 years ago. But Aerial really does it for me - more of an orchestrated, classical work or immersive soundscape than a mere collection of (very good) songs by a (very accomplished) female artist. But the real beauty is that you can have it both ways, depending upon how you listen.
Oh, I also decided over the last couple of months that Hail to the Thief is at least as good as OK Computer, and may be better. But that's another story.

What, me? A lover of progressive music? Never!

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