Top ten tracks from 2014

Try to see the Sun and the Moon everyday.

Try to see the Sun and the Moon everyday.

This is what I listened to most last year according to LastFM, to which I collect/pump/scrobble most of what I listen to on various platforms, except the CD player in the car. But I only had a CD player in the car for the last two months of last year and then I mostly listen to books anyway.

I use Soundcloud, Youtube, Google Play, Whyd and Spotify. Stuff I purchase goes on Google Play.

Some of these are surprising to me, some of them I probably wouldn’t bother telling anyone they should listen to. But this is what the numbers say so I’m going with that.

There’s an honourable mention at sime point for “Blood in Gutters” by Brody Dalle, which I did drove around the North Somerset countryside howling to a lot, especially during difficult times later on.

Here is a link to a Whyd playlist with all these in, and a Spotify one too.

10. John Grant – GMF

So beautiful, and captures a certain point in one’s life so very precisely.

“You think I hate myself, but it’s you I hate
Because you have the nerve to make me feel.”

9. Dungen – Skit I Allt

Not sure where this came from (apart from Sweden of course). Something uplifting to start the day with? Who knows. It apparently translates as “Screw it All”.

8. Honeyblood – Choker

I’ve written about this one before, it really grabs you by the throat. Building up a list of two pieces that do not sound like two pieces.

7. WhoMadeWho – Space for Rent

Like a mild QOTSA (who are notably absent this year). I think I heard this on a radio show hosted by Josh Homme, so there you are. It’s also nice because the bass (which I play) is prominent.

6. Royal Blood – Little Monster

Royal Blood gets played in the office quite a lot these days, so it’s understandable this would end up on here. Also on the two piece list.

5. John Wizards – Muizenburg

A South African band (not person) formed in 2010. Falls into the category of Falling Down The Stairs Music. Very pleasant.

4. Ninian Hawick – Scottish Temple Stomp

Just the kind of all encompassing madness I favour in the middle of the afternoon. Lo-fi power pop band from the nineties, from the four track EP Steep Steps.

3. John Grant – Blackbelt

More John Grant being amazing. This would be my room song if I ever did X-factor.

“You are at the height of your game, aren’t you?
Would you not say that you agree, baby?
You got your grift all fine tuned and sparkling.
Yeah, you got your bored look all worked out.”

Special Mention: Brody Dalle – Blood in Gutters

See above. It’s telling of the kind of the year I have had that the two top tunes are super calming, but then there’s this.

2. Mulatu Astatke – Tezeta

Brings peace to the soul. The father of Ethio-Jazz. Especially good for driving in the city at night to. I challenge you to listen to and remain angry/sad for very long.

1. The Breeders – Off You

A remarkable song form a remarkable lady. Again heavy on the bass. It doesn’t get much better than this.

“I am the autumn in the scarlet, I am the make-up on your eyes”

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War of Words: Soldier Poets of the Somme – Broadcast Scrapbook

I wanted to write some stuff about this programme sooner, but the events previously documented in this blog (which all began on the afternoon of broadcast) meant it’s taken me some time to take stock and collect all the things that happened as a result of the show going out.

As I have mentioned before, “War of Words: The Soldier Poets of the Somme” was a 90 minute BBC Arts documentary, directed by Sebastian Barfield that sought to reconnect the history and the landscape of the notorious 1916 Battle of the Somme with the extraordinary poetry and literature that it inspired. At BDH we created content graphics to help illustrate the history and also animations (which I was involved with) to accompany the poetry. We had a great team on the job, and working on it was a moving and wonderful experience.

This post is partly a scrapbook for my purposes to collect some of the information, posts and reactions that went out on social media, in a Storify style, so I might be updating it as and when I come across more of them. Also be warned, this post is mostly embeds from Twitter, so if you are reading this on anything else that the actual webpage they might format weirdly.

You can see a clip from the show via the BBC here, this part concerns the removal of lice eggs from clothing and Isaac Rosenberg’s Louse Hunting.

There was a preview screening of the programme at the Watershed on the 5th November. Afterwards Peter Barton, Jean Moorcroft Wilson, Sebastian Barfield, Jeremy Banning and Richard Van Emden discussed the programme, the poets and how they shaped the way people remember the Great War. That discussion is available to hear on Soundcloud here:(direct link).

Sebastien Barfield wrote some words on the BBC blog about the show.

This is a link to a discussion of the programme on Military History Online, quite fascinating in itself.

“The Somme In Seven Poems” was a short that BDH produced which anthologised just the poetry animations themselves. That went onto the iPlayer a week before the broadcast, and got some lovely responses from people, especially on Remembrance Day.

Here is a trailer BDH produced for the short.

Obviously in the modern age, people can watch the show at anytime once it goes on the iPlayer so these tweets are not really in chronological order. I just went through the hashtags and search options retrospectively and grabbed some of the most interesting ones.

The whole programme has been taken down from the iPlayer now but I have heard bits are on YouTube somewhere, you’ll have to search for that yourself, if you feel so inclined.

BDH have produce a VR app that contains the animation for The Kiss one of the poems featured on the show. This works on Google Cardboard and is available on Google Play and iTunes.




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Bits from Deep Winter.

Ah, January, with your sobriety and need for useful activity. I suppose we better do you.

I have a list of overlong posts to make, I got backed up a little with various things happening towards the end of the year, I’ll make it easy for myself by starting with a Round Up Of Things type post.

WolfandFox posted this clip from Judex. We got shown this film at art college and it had a profound effect on me. This sequence stood apart somewhat, it’s like film from another planet, doesn’t try to explain itself too much. I like that.

This clip from Paul Mason, an off the cuff rant on his frustration with another banking corruption story, from someone who follows world finance as closely as he does. It won’t stop happening, despite what they say.

I spent a bit of time in South Shields during November. It’s a lovely place.

South Shields

A photo posted by Paul Greer (@burningfp) on

South Shields harbour from last week. #latergram

A photo posted by Paul Greer (@burningfp) on

@tkoola is tweeting the entirety of Joyce’s Ulysses, they’re on their sixth go round:

Also interesting:

This quote from Rob Horning:

Social media offer a single profile for our singular identity, but our consciousness comprises multiple forms of identity simultaneously: We are at once a unique bundle of sense impressions and memories, and a social individual imbued with a collectively constructed sense of value and possibility. Things like Facebook give the impression that these different, contestable and often contradictory identities (and their different contexts) can be conveniently flattened out, with users suddenly having more control and autonomy in their piloting through everyday life. That is not only what for-profit companies like Facebook want, but it is also what will feel natural to subjects already accustomed to capitalist values of convenience, capitalist imperatives for efficiency, and so on.

The magnificent Billie Whitelaw past away, Samuel Becket’s Perfect Actress. How can you not watch this and be transported to another place. (#FilmFromAnotherPlanet)

via edgarwrighthere

via edgarwrighthere

Nice post on Brain Picker about Lynda Barry and her new book, Syllabus.

Bill Kartalopoulos wrote a great piece on why comics are more important now than ever, in which he refers to Professor Maryanne Wolf‘s idea of the bi-literate brain. It includes an interesting breakdown of this classic page by Windsor McCay.

via Huff Post

via Huff Post


Robert Frost famously described poetry as the thing that gets lost in translation. It’s not hard to imagine the story of Little Nemo’s galloping bed adapted into full blazing CGI, and certainly much would be added. Digital texture artists would show us what kind of wood Nemo’s bed is made from (oak? teak? cherry wood?); the wind would ruffle convincingly through Nemo’s hair as his face registered every gradation of delight and terror (the recent cgi Peanuts trailer suggests some possibilities). But what would be lost in this translation from one form to another would be the poetics of comics: the aesthetic experience of simultaneously experiencing a comic’s form and content so harmoniously that the contours of the comic’s theme can be read in its architectural blueprint.” (via)

Matt Fraction wrote this about why he is easing off Twitter. It’s a sobering read. Encourages me to want to post on here more.

I have been keeping a Winter 2014 playlist. It’s already quite long as I feel I have been catching up with autumn. (There’s a more comprehensive version on Whyd, but that doesn’t seem to embed here.)


Adam Curtis made this chilling short film for Charlie Brooker’s round up of last year. It definitely should’ve gone out instead of the Christmas speech.

Not sure how the embeds are coming across in different reading applications, but to be honest I don’t really have that many readers that it matters. If it does, and you’re missing stuff let me know.

Hope you enjoy your year.



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Season’s greetings!


Apologies if we have missed anyone on the Christmas card list. Things have been a tad up and down recently with the situation with Mum, poets going out, the funeral, the build going on and what not.
But Dad’s with us for Christmas now and the children are all in their new rooms, so it’s all systems go.
Hope all is well with you and yours and that everyone has a wonderful time over the holidays.
The Greers.

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Strange Altars: Food


Early Xmas present for me from the team at We Are Hermits, my contributor’s copy of issue one of Strange Altars!!

The theme for this issue is food.

It features beautiful work from Molly Broxton, Eliza Gauger, Erin Albrecht, Gant Powell and many others.

This print version is limited to 250 copies, but PDF is also currently available and digital, audio and boxed versions are forthcoming.

It’s been a real honour to be part of such a beautiful thing.

Go get yourself a treat.

Submissions are open for the next issue and the theme for that one is ☆☆magic☆☆.

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Somme Poetry on the iPlayer

You’ve got until Monday 12pm to catch “The Somme in Seven Poems” (12 mins), and 10 days from today to catch the full length documentary “War of Words: Soldier Poets of the Somme“.

I’ll write a more comprehensive post about this project and how it went down at a later date, but due to recent events this is about as much as I can manage at the moment.

Take care.

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27th November 2014


Hi. Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet. My Mum passed away yesterday. She had two massive heart attacks whilst visiting South Shields on the 15th and never regained consciousness. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks with my dad, looking after each other. We were by her side when she passed and she went peacefully.

We would like to thank the extraordinary staff at the ITU Ward South Tyneside District Hospital for their compassion and dedication and the people of the Little Haven Hotel for making a very difficult time as easy as possible.

The picture above is of South Shields harbour. I took it just before we went back to the hospital to say our last goodbyes.

Also thank to everyone for your messages of support and sympathy they are very much appreciated.

I’m on my way back to Bristol today (27th November). Speak soon.

Paul x


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“AEGP Plugin MayaImport: Error reading Maya file. ( 5027 :: 12 )”

One of the splendours of using After Effects and Maya together is being able to import cameras from one to the other.

I use this feature a lot and then the issue came with a scene I just working on. I tried many different things and eventually realised it was the scene that was triggering the problem. I wondered if it had picked up a glitch that AE didn’t like.

So my fix was, To make a new fresh scene, import the previously exported camera (the one AE refused) then to export it again from there. Then it worked.

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