Flip Flop Flying

Archive for December, 2012

Oscar Niemeyer, 1907-2012

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Oscar Niemeyer died today in Rio de Janeiro, aged 104.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen a lot of his buildings.
His work in Brasilia is mind-blowing. Truly amazing stuff.
Here’s some photos I took of his buildings in 2008 in Brasília, São Paulo, Niterói, and Curitiba.

Written by Craig

December 5th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Waking up

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True story. See it full-size here: http://www.flipflopflyin.com/wakingup/index.html

Written by Craig

December 5th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Ringkøbing Zoo

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New thing! About a zoo! Possibly of interest to children! (I have no children, so I don’t really know what they like, aside from sweets and jokes about poo.) Anyway, it’s called Ringkøbing Zoo, mostly I like town names with the Scandinavian slashy-O thing.

That’s the first frame of the story above, the rest can be seen here.

Written by Craig

December 5th, 2012 at 10:36 am

Posted in Artwork,Silly

Swiraffe

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

December 4th, 2012 at 10:24 am

Mountain

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

December 4th, 2012 at 10:24 am

Efszdiogvnlxkjnvc

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

December 4th, 2012 at 10:23 am

Joy Division/New Order

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Quick, simple chart looking at the timeline of Joy Division and New Order, their albums, compilations, and singles. Full-size version here: http://www.flipflopflyin.com/jdno/index.html

Written by Craig

December 3rd, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Infographics,Music

Reluctant Father Christmas

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More finger painting here.

Written by Craig

December 3rd, 2012 at 10:57 am

Last Christmas

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We need to talk about George Michael. Specifically about “Last Christmas.”

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

First off, let’s assume when George Michael uses the word “Christmas” he means Christmas Day. If he was referring to the holiday season in general, it’s unlikely he’d mention “the very next day.” Unless, of course, he’s referring to the 6th of January, the day after the Twelve Days of Christmas.

It must’ve been a terrible Christmas for both George and the women in question. I suppose they might have been casually dating up until that point, then George—not unreasonably—decides to tell her he loves her on Christmas Day.

Now, if she is planning on getting together with someone else the very next day, she must’ve been on the verge of splitting up with George. I guess she might not have wanted to ruin the day, which is somewhat understandable. It’s a difficult situation to be in, especially if she was planning on getting together with someone who is in the same band as George. Awkward.

The lyrics don’t really say that, though. They say that she gave George’s heart away the very next day. I’m not sure how this is possible. Who did she give it to? A friend? Someone on the street? A charity shop?

Also, ladies: I’d be wary of a man who, one year after giving his heart to a woman on Christmas Day, is planning on giving his heart to someone else in a similar fashion this Christmas. To save himself from tears, apparently. This seems like worrisome behaviour, frankly. It’s clearly taken him a long time to get over the woman from last Christmas—and I wonder if he actually is over her, considering he’s written a song telling her this—and now with the festive season here, he’s looking for “someone special” to give his heart to again. George, man: you can’t rush things along just so that you can tell them you love them on the 25th of December.

Once bitten and twice shy
I keep my distance

Right here, I’d like to know why you’re lying, George. We’ve all seen the video: you’re in a chalet in Switzerland having a Christmas holiday with your friends, and she’s there with Andrew. That’s not distance.

But you still catch my eye

Not surprising, really. Even if you’re behaving yourself, you’ve gotta be polite. She’s your band-mate’s girlfriend. And nobody wants you to ruin the Christmas vacation.

Tell me baby
Do you recognise me?

Well, yes, I’d imagine she does: you’re the singer in her boyfriend’s band, and on Christmas Day last year, YOU GAVE HER YOUR HEART. You don’t look that different, either. Your hair’s a bit longer and it’s blonder than it was, but you still look like the same guy.

Well if it’s been a year
It doesn’t surprise me

If it’s been a year”? C’mon, George, you’ve already shown you know when you gave her your heart and that it’s Christmas again now. And the “it doesn’t surprise me” stuff comes across as self-pity, and a little passive-aggressive.

“Merry Christmas”
I wrapped it up and sent it
With a note saying “I love you”
I meant it
Now I know what a fool I’ve been
But if you kissed me now
I know you’d fool me again

You said you’d keep your distance. Don’t go raking over it all again. You clearly aren’t over her, you want her to kiss you again, but you’re scared that if she did, you’d be hurt again. I can understand that. But look across the room, man: she’s with Andrew now. To be perfectly honest, George, it doesn’t seem like that good an idea, you coming on this holiday. You should’ve visited your family.

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Oooooh
Oh oh baby

George, for you own good, you’ve gotta stop thinking of her as your “baby.” And once again, this indicates that you shouldn’t be searching for somebody to give your heart to this Christmas. Plus, you’re in this chalet with a group of friends, and you’re looking for someone new now? Here? Yet you’ve spent a not-insignificant amount of time mooning at last year’s woman. It just doesn’t add up, man.

Crowded room
Friends with tired eyes
I’m hiding from you
And your soul of ice

I think you might have had enough to drink, George. Insulting her isn’t going to do you any favours. Plus, I imagine this is all quite awkward for Andrew, too, and if you keep on insulting his girlfriend, he’s gonna be pissed off with you.

My god I thought you were someone to rely on
Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on

Stop it, George. Stop it now. You’re sounding like an irrational dick. It’s not attractive.

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart
A man under cover but you tore me apart

Gibberish. Stop drinking.

Ooh ooh
Now I’ve found a real love you’ll never fool me again

Woah! What? You’ve found a real love? Who is this person? You’ve spent three minutes telling us that a) you are over her, b) that you’re not actually over her, c) you are looking for someone new, and now d) that you’ve already found a real love.

But, I guess I could have been wrong. When you said “This year to save me from tears, I’ll give it to someone special” I assumed you meant you were looking for someone. Maybe you already have someone who you are seeing. Still doesn’t explain why you’re spending so much time looking across the room at your ex and Andrew. Does this real love know about what happened last Christmas? I hope you’ve told her. Because if not, someone in this room will have told her about it, and she’s probably not gonna be best pleased about you keeping it from her.

Incidentally, in the video, there’s a flashback moment, when we see you giving her a sparkly, flower-shaped brooch. Let’s leave aside the fact that you both look exactly the same as you do in the present, and we know from the “Club Tropicana” video that you had different hair last year. That aside, why are you going back to the same place where such an awkward moment happened for both of you? You keep saying that you want to be saved from tears this year. Going back to a chalet where you were dumped on Boxing Day seems somewhat masochistic.

But I’m starting to wonder about this woman, too. I can understand that if you’re not over her, you’re gonna be glancing across the room, but she seems to be doing it back. Maybe she wants you to still like her. And that doesn’t sound good for you or Andrew. Which brings us back to the brooch. You gave it to her last Christmas, presumably with a note saying “I love you” attached to it. And now in this chalet, Andrew is wearing it on his jacket!? What the hell is going on with you people? I hope Andrew doesn’t realise the significance of that brooch, because if he does, your band is in trouble.

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Last Christmas
I gave you my heart
But the very next day you gave it away
This year
To save me from tears
I’ll give it to someone special

Special

A face on a lover with a fire in his heart (Gave you my heart)
A man under cover but you tore me apart
Next year I’ll give it to someone
I’ll give it to someone special

Special

You keep saying “special.” It just seems bitchy. You’re telling this woman, Andrew’s girlfriend, your ex, that she’s not special. But maybe you’re right, though, George. I don’t know what to believe. You both seem a bit messed up in the head about your relationship.

Someone someone
I’ll give it to someone, I’ll give it to someone special
Who’ll give something in return
I’ll give it to someone
Hold my heart and watch it burn

Really? Obviously, you are not literally expecting anyone to hold your heart in their hands and watch it burn. That would be ridiculous. And it’s against the law. Plus, the person holding a burning heart would likely suffer severe burns to their hands.

I’ll give me to someone, I’ll give it to someone special
I’ve got you here to stay
I can love you for a day

A day!? That’s what this is all about? You just wanna love someone for one day? Christmas Day? I realise that, rightly or wrongly, it’s illegal in a lot of places, but it seems to me that a pop star like you could just go to a high class escort agency and find someone to spend Christmas Day with.

I thought you were someone special
Gave you my heart
I’ll give it to someone, I’ll give it to someone
Last christmas I gave you my heart
You gave it away
I’ll give it to someone, I’ll give it to someone

Well, thankfully, that’s over. I like you, George. You seem like a decent chap, and you’ve written some splendid pop songs. I hope you can get over this woman. It doesn’t seem healthy obsessing about her. But, heartbreak is always good material for songs, isn’t it? So at least there’s that.

Written by Craig

December 2nd, 2012 at 11:49 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

Yesterday’s music, No.10

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Rather than type about the four albums I listened to yesterday (and there will come a day when I type way too much about how fantastic Dare is), let’s talk about the place I visited in the evening. I went with a friend of a friend’s wedding party. At a place called Salón Los Ángeles which, from the outside, doesn’t look overly impressive.

Image source: Google Street View

At the door (and in a couple of places inside) there’s a coat of arms kinda thing that says Quien no conoce Los Ángeles, no conoce México. If you don’t know Los Angeles, you don’t know Mexico. This room has a bit of an ego, it would seem. So, anyway, it’s a salon de fiestas. An enormous room with a large stage at the far end, a shiny wooden dancefloor, and some splendid neon. It’s been open since 1935.

Image source: Chilango.com

There was live music all night, some Cuban band, I think, and a cumbia band. Among the guests were several people who were really dressed for the occasion. Not sure if they were actually guests or just came with the room. Zoot suits. Amazing zoot suits. One guy’s was orange with a teal shirt and teal feather in his fedora. Another guy’s was white with red, another with a suit that had pinstripes like a fancier version of a Yankees uniform, and the snazziest of all wore black with a bright yellow sequin-covered jacket.

As I have mentioned before, I live above a salon de fiesta. So I know what a Mexican wedding party sounds like through the floor and stairwell. It was kind of fun to hear the same thing properly. I recognised lots of the songs just from hearing it from below. It was interesting to hear and see the cheering that I’ve heard. In between the bands, they played some Glenn Miller. I enjoyed that. It was nice to hear his music in the type of room that it was probably played in at the time.

When it came to dancing, though, I make a wonderful drinker. I see all the footwork and moves going on, how the men and women know exactly what to do and when, and it makes me feel like I really should learn how to dance to at least one type of Mexican music. If I don’t, I will forever be sat at a table, watching people dance.

At one point in the night, the band announced something about a rodeo. The dancefloor filled up, like it was gonna be something special. Then the band started playing “Achy Breaky Heart.” Lyrics in Spanish, and dancers all line dancing. Line dancing! And they all knew the moves. It was both wonderful and horrifying. For some reason, seeing such a thing interrupted the enjoyment of all the Latin music and dancing, the floaty way the brain can enjoy an evening; the free booze had begun to take its toll. My friends and I had a quick “are you drunk?” chat, we all were, so we bowed out, and got a taxi home.

Yesterday’s albums. Left to right, top to bottom:
Dare – The Human League
Coastal Grooves – Blood Orange
Introspective – Pet Shop Boys
Decks, EFX & 909 – Richie Hawtin

Written by Craig

December 2nd, 2012 at 10:46 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

Yesterday’s music, No.9

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Of the albums I listened to yesterday, the two I enjoyed the most were those I listened to on headphones, going to and from a night out with friends. Ssss, this year’s album by Vince Clarke and Martin Gore, is really good. I hesitate to add “if you like techno” at the end of that last sentence, mostly because my interest in techno isn’t what it used to be, so I don’t really know where techno is at these days. For me, though, it’s incredibly enjoyable. I really like that two members of a band that last worked together 30 years ago got together and made an album of music of the type which a) you can hear they both love, and b) won’t hardly sell any copies. It sounds to me like Richie Hawtin and late period Kraftwerk. And it’s a good thing to listen to on the subway and walking to a friend’s house, ready for a night’s boozing.

After we’d boozed, it was gone midnight, and rather than get a taxi, I decided to walk home. It was only about a 40-minute walk, so nothing major. I think, though, I’m the only person I know who will choose to walk home. As far as I can tell, the danger of walking around in Mexico City at night is exaggerated. As is the danger here overall. Don’t do anything stupid and touristy, and you’ll be fine. Or you’ll be unlucky. So far, I’ve been fine and not unlucky. And I really enjoy walking around. I enjoy walking around at night, too. I was a bit drunk, and listened to Power, Corruption & Lies all the way home. For a long time Technique was my favourite New Order record because it was the first one I really loved. And before we go on, New Order are way more important to me than Joy Division. I don’t dislike Joy Division, but I enjoy New Order’s music a heck of a lot more. Maybe it’s because I’m not really a lyrics kind of person. I really don’t pay attention to what is being sung about very often, which, sometimes with New Order, is a good thing.

Power, Corruption & Lies feels to me like the first New Order album. I never really got into Movement as much as their other albums from the Eighties. It sounds like they’re still Joy Division, but with a different singer. Power, Corruption & Lies still has elements that can be traced back there, but it’s also got the seeds and shoots of what New Order were to become. Humour and a lightness that wasn’t present before. As I walked home, alcohol tilting my brain in a certain direction, I became convinced that Power, Corruption & Lies was the best album ever made. I was utterly convinced by it. I typed stuff into my pocket device regarding this. Waking up this morning, though, it’s not really true. That was the booze pushing it up the charts in my head. It is, though, one of my favourite albums. Definitely in the top ten. But, when I think of my favourite bands, there’s always three that come out straight away: The Beach Boys, Kraftwerk, and New Order. I wasn’t alive when the Beach Boys did their best work; I was too young when Kraftwerk did their best work; but New Order did their best work when I was in my teens. But I wasn’t really paying attention back then. I remember hating “Blue Monday” when I first heard it, when they were on Top of the Pops.

I was into a lot poppier stuff (Human League, Duran Duran, Wham!) than what these four bored-looking people in normal clothes were doing. It’s a crappy performance that does nothing to show how great that song is. I got more into them, but only in a passing way over the next few years. It wasn’t until I saw them live at the Reading Festival in 1989 that it all clicked. “Blue Monday” sounded amazing. I clearly remember having a feeling like, this is why this song is so popular! I get it now! Maybe there’s something about not being there for any of my favourite bands’ high points, maybe that’s why they are my favourites. I try to think of bands that are in my favourites that I’ve been actively aware of and enjoying contemporaneously, and I can’t really think of any. Maybe that’s it, though: not being there allows me to look at those bands differently, to view them how I want to view them, not how they are presented to me. Whatever it is, there’s something beautiful about walking home in Mexico City, alcohol in your blood stream, feet hurting a bit, and listening to “Your Silent Face.”

Yesterday’s albums. Left to right, top to bottom:
Entroducing….. – DJ Shadow
De La Soul is Dead – De La Soul
World Clique – Deee-Lite
The Singles 81>85 – Depeche Mode
The Singles 86>98 – Depeche Mode
Ssss – VCMG
Power, Corruption & Lies – New Order

Written by Craig

December 1st, 2012 at 11:28 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music