Saturday, 29 March 2014

Jipsy Magic debut album release, and some blessed Truth

Hello friends,

Tonight there is something in the water, Jipsy Magic are releasing their debut album with a live gigging extravaganza at The Haunt in Brighton. Everyone is expected to have their disco shoes on to be prepared to keep on dancing as and when instructed. It will be epic and toes will be hurting. Strange venue name though, but the band didn't pick the venues name, that would have probably been done by the current owner, who might be a ghost expert, or perhaps an ectoplasm enthusiast, who knows, I don't.

Here are the Jipsy Magic boys in action, in a picture.
The album is called 'Something in the Water', so I might not drink any of the free punch that's on offer tonight. I love the guys and their music, but I don't need anything extra in my water. I do want the album though, so I shall be snatching myself up a copy right quick I'll tell ya for nothing.

You too can buy their debut album from places on the internet I would imagine. In fact, I not only imagine it, it is most probably a bonafide fact that you can buy it on the internet. I don't have the exact link because that would involve doing some searching around, and I'm lazy, so you can do that yourself. Can you smell that?

Google probably knows, that thing knows just about everything, smug search engine, always knowing what I mean even when I don't. Here's the Google link here , that's all you get from me on the matter.

I will blog about the album once I've actually listened to it properly and got something to say, since Jipsy Magic are some of my closest friends I feel comfortable giving a proper review.

Also, Truth keeps releasing Black Friday tunes, and they keep getting better and better. So you should check them out as well if you haven't already. Truth has put them all up on his soundcloud for free, so have a listen and support with a download, a comment and a smile.

So how bout all that hey! Awesome beans, some of the finest beans I have ever seens, all available to everyone on the awesome interweb of dreams. I should probably put out some stuff as well, but I don't have anything shareable right now, so you'll have to wait for any new Mr Jackson action.

I do have a head full of ideas though, a whole head full, so many that they are spilling out into my everyday activities. This is not always a good thing, as some ideas that have not been processed and just spill out over the top can be somewhat on the raw side, and have been known to harbour some pretty nasty critters. Lets not dwell on such matters of the filthy mind, it only leads to depravity, and we don't need any of that at this moment.

Peace be with you beautiful reader, now download all this awesome music that is available, do it, do it, do it and do it again.

Peace and infinite love

Mr Jackson (Andy)

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Still winds before coming storms

Hello fiends,

I write this blog as I rock in a chair sat by my epic new view, the still weekend winds have forced the seagulls to bob at the same height as my viewing tower. Okay, it's not really a tower, more like a block of flats, but it is rather fortunately situated as to provide the aforementioned epic views. My beautiful and I moved a few weeks ago, it was a somewhat bumpy journey, as these things are meant to be (or so I'm told). It's not really a tale of great hardships so it shall not be told here.

That's the view, well part of it anyway. I get to feel like an evil genius plotting the destruction of the world from my tower of power. Look at them puny ducks swimming around, ha hah hahhahaha, I will destroy you all with my weapons of the imagination. And you cars, you will bow down before my mighty powers of imagination, you will come to a complete stop at the red lights of doom, and you shall be ushered into my imaginary destruction machine by the green lights of wonder, where you will meet your end (well, I can't see you anymore, so you probably met your end).

To the left side of the flat, there is the sea.  It's pretty big, the sea. It stretches as far as the eye can see, the sea does, my eyes can't even see where the sea ends, it's amazing! I've heard rumours that on the other side of the sea there is this land, called France, but I can't see it, so who knows if it's true.
The Sea, you've probably heard of it, it's pretty famous.

The French probably know, they know loads don't they, clever people.
I'll have to ask them if I see them.

Lots of boats on the sea these days, guess they're pretty much the only thing I get to see out there on the sea. No dolphins doing backflips or killer whales shooting water out of their air holes, not even a sharkfin! Just boats and seagulls, and sometimes windsurfers. None of them today though, it's not windy enough, bringing me round to the title of this here very blog. In all the time I have lived here, it's been windier then an OAP bus on the way home after a visit to the baked bean factory where they had consumed a three course meal in which every course contained a full can of beans. The windows in our flat have been whistling the tunes of the wind, and it can carry a tune, that wind can. Since this is a new place for us though, it has been a little worrying, watching the world get blown away outside the window. This weekend however, has been calm. The wind has gone, maybe to France! (I hope it brings me back some cheap booze).

The still winds can only mean one thing, storms are coming. I base this on no scientific evidence or knowledge, just a feeling, a totally unreliable flaky feeling in my tiny insignificant brain. It's all I've got, so I've got to go with it.

Metaphorically speaking though, for a moment, I am preparing for some big releases, some musical storm all up in your faces, new video's and all that fun loving fun that you love. I am also feeling rather inspired by this new supervillians lair I find myself in, so the creative gloves are back on and things will be getting intentionally messy, metaphorically speaking of course, I'm not a big fan of cleaning so let's try not to make it actually messy.
The ducks are plotting, you can see it in their eyes.

Glad I cleared all that up, time to return to plotting, I know those ducks are up to something...

Peace and infinite love

Andy Jackson

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Animals on Drugs - first bloggins of the year

Hello friends,

Pinch, punch, first of the month, and no returns!

We have reached the end of the no-blog-a-day-a-thon that I had been doing the whole of January. I did a better job of it then last years blog-a-day-a-thon, as every single day the lack of a blog was a complete success and at no point did I feel rushed to complete them.

It's a good thing I took the time to not blog, as 2014 has come flying out the gate like a pigmy racehorse that's been sampling the pony amphetamine sugarcubes. No sooner had the "unlucky for some" 2013 been placed neatly in the memory box before the catnip was out of the bag.

Alright! Get a room!
I am a week away from moving home, so that's been a big focus for the last few weeks, gotta box up stuff, sort out stuff, eat some lunch, sort out more stuff, think about things we might need, listen to my Beauty tell me about things we might need, colour schemes, dining themes, gasolines and shaving creams (the main shaving cream discussion was rather short, since I am bearded and not a customer of the foamy razor assistant). The move will be over soon, and the next phase can begin, kind of like a gerbil returning to society after extensive rehab to get over it's crippling addiction to industrial floor cleaning products.

I also had some holiday action, a lovely visit to Amsterdam to celebrate Mr Donny Stax's birthings. It was great to return to my spiritual home, I miss it so. I can't really tell you anything about the trip, as I was sworn to secrecy by the Monkey Kings of Old. I don't know if you've heard of the Monkey Kings of Old (probably not), but they were originally a justice league of super Monkeys that had accidentally been bred in a lab while testing out the effects of Rubbing morphine (a product that never really took off). The leader of the MKofO was Roger the Gibbon, due to his extra large brain he was capable of going on munchie missions for the other monkeys, this quickly made him the most popular and therefor best suited to lead the league. For years they protected the planet with their super Monkey powers, even being offered the chance to star in a Hollywood film about their exploits, but alas it all went wrong, in the great Banana shortage. Without their main source of fuel, the super Monkeys quickly reverted to their original monkey selfs. Only a handful survived with any of their superness in tact. Roger lead the surviving super Monkeys to the promised land of Amsterdam, where they built a secret science lab under a canal. I pinky swore with Roger that I would never tell another soul about my meeting him or where he hides out, and I will take that information with me to the grave.

I fear that Roger may have poisoned me though, as on our return from the promised land I fell sick. It was time to change up the drugs, I needed the strong human drugs, painkillers, tissues and warm lemony drinks. The period of illness was followed by a period of hard working at work type stuff, Horray!

Well I made it, the first month of the year is done, eventful and enjoyable if a little sicky. I was just wondering, when they test for drugs at horse races, do they test the horse and the jockey with the same equipment? Is it the same doctor that makes sure the horse isn't buzzing it's tits off as the jockey doctor? Is it a doctor at all? Do they use drug experts who can spot signs of use? Sort of like sniffer dogs but using eyes, like seeing dogs? Oh god, so many questions, I need answers!

Expect big things to happen in the next few months, I sure as hell will be bringing some big guns to the table (I found them in the attic while preparing to move), big musical guns, full of cake.

Oh yeah, and don't buy drugs from shifty looking cows in bushes, bad idea people, bad idea.

Peace and infinite love
Andy Jackson

P.S - 'Otherwise' video has over 17,000 views, thanks for all the support you lovely lovely people :)

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Hello friends,

We made it through the first year of the after-end. In 2012 the world ended, wasn't as bad as everyone had thought it might be, in fact, don't think I really noticed any difference before or after the ended of the world, things were pretty much the same, big difference being of course that we no longer needed to worry about the end of the world. Well, one year is done, and the glorious unknown continues to stare us in the collective face.
Watch it all flow away...

So let's do the obligatory summary of year one. I didn't become a megastar as predicted, which most probably comes down to the fact I didn't try very hard to become a megastar. I did have many exciting musical adventures though, including the fabulous One World festival, being featured on Donny Stax first solo album 'Wasted', recording secret things for next year with the amazing Ashley Carter, laughing and universal theorising with the sublime Truth (whose record BKS Reloaded needed to be downloaded and loved right now - itunes link here), got heaps of Jipsy Magic based loving (their album due early next year, YEA!) and released my painstakingly long in the making animated music video 'Otherwise', a track which was featured on the How Bout That Records Collective Mixtape (download for free here).

Here is that video, the one that took me, my beautiful girlfriend and her sister, over 3 months to make.
Creative things have been done, not as many as I would have liked, but still, stuff got done. The 9-5 working nature of work has proved itself to be a commendable time and energy sponge, soaking up much of my pazzazz as if I were a human battery. We find ways to struggle ever on, it's what we do.

There have been several major things happen this year, but I'm not going to write about them, because other people will, plus, I would only copy and paste some cookie cutter information about the biggest scandals and sexist sandals which is all readily available on the interweb of dreams. The grass, from my current perspective, is getting greener. Let's just put this year down to experience and get stuck into the next one, I'm sure it will be full of more crazy chaos and interesting thing-a-ma-jigs for us all.

This is the final day of my self imposed Blog-a-day-a-thon, I won't be forcing myself to think of something to write about everyday again, it's been fun and I hope that you have enjoyed reading my desperate attempts at page filling. It's time to slip back into the shadows for a while, and build up my next attack plan.

So Goodbye 2013

Hello 2014

Happy New Year everyone

Peace and infinite love
Andy Jackson
Sound advice, thinking in a box is harder coz
you are always just thinking 'why am I in a box?'

Monday, 30 December 2013

A moment before disaster strikes

Hello friends,

We are but a nats wing away from the final moments of 2013, you can smell the new year in the air, it is eager to get here and embrace us with it's many kilos of pure crazy. I'm excited about it, don't know about you, but it will be a good feeling to have completed this year. Tomorrow there will be a year exam, today is the penultimate day so we need to do something more penultimatey and fun.

Sometimes pictures get taken at the exact right moment, just before something disastrous happens, here are a few of these pictures (all found on the almighty Google)
The cameraman clearly distracted this poor victim so her calm face could be caught
blissfully unaware of the watery experience it was about to engage in. Good times.


It was a warm day, I'm sure these people were about to really enjoy their soaking.

The ultimate belly-flop

I don't even know how this happened.

"Jerry, you are sure you put the explosives on the right bits yeah?"

More watery fun

"Hi, do you have some sugar I could borrow?"
There you have it, some picture based lazy blogging fun. This is the 30th day of my blog-a-day-a-thon and tomorrow will be the last, I am returning to regular sporadic blogging as and when I feel like it, rather then this ridiculous once a day malarky I have been engaged in through December. See you tomorrow :)

Peace and infinite love
Mr Jackson (Andy Jackson, [adj])

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Pixilated adventures of 2013 (A sum up on the gaming front)

So friends,

I love to game, I really love it. Ever since I was a youngling scourging for colourful information to enrich my tiny world I have been fascinated with the medium of the interactive game. I guess I'm the right age for it, as I have been lucky enough to see the rise of the home computer, the console wars (a war that can never be won!) and countless nuggets of gaming genius and utter failure. I'm also a little behind the times, as I never play a new game when it first comes out (mainly for fund reasons - it's much cheaper to get a game later) so my opinion is never used to sway anyone else's opinion of a new product.
As Death I rode up skull staircases on my blue flame horse, it was alright.

I have played some amazing games this year though (some of them are from last years game roster, and years before that too) and these awesome adventures in pixel land have swallowed many an hour of my days. When I was a kid, games didn't last very long. You might get a few hours play out of them, but after that you were done, except for the odd puzzle game like Tetris that held the player for longer. Now-er-days tho, games are massive environments that span several levels and play styles seamlessly, sometimes with the same icons as games of old, like Mario. In fact, Mario and his gang grace the cover of probably half of nintendo products, they really do love that Movember plumber, so much so in fact that they often prefix his name with 'Super'. Maybe it's not super at all, maybe it's just 'soup' with that terrible stereotyped Italian 'ahh' at the end. Maybe, Mario is actually just a waiter in a cafe who dreams of going on all these crazy adventures to save a princess from a giant lizard in a shell, who knows.
Oh grandma, that's some weird skin you have.

Enough with the Mario nonsense, let's get down to gaming business. This year I played me 5 games fully. I did play some other games too, but not fully, which is why they didn't make the list. Only games I completed the single player portions of made the list, and here they are in order of play.

1. Darksiders II  -  Read my review
2. Saints Row III  - Read this one too
3. Dragon Age: Origins  -  Read this one if you feel like it
4. Dark Souls  -  Read this one for sure, it's funny
5. The Last of Us  -  And this one, ghees, it's the best review I ever did do!

Of the 5, the only masterpiece was The Last Of Us. Dark Souls came a close second, but it's difficulty levels did sometimes make it hard to want to continue, something that TLOU didn't suffer from at all. I guess it's pretty clear from my list of completed games this year that I like fantasy, not much reality going on here. Demons, Dragons, Space Gangsters and Mushroom Zombies...what does that say about me as a person? I don't know. I've never really been into war simulation, and first person shooters spin my brain out a bit, the only one of them I've enjoyed in the last few years was Bioshock, and I am planning to play Bioshock Infinite when I get the chance. I like story, and games have been getting better (in some sense) and having more involving stories.
The Last of Us was brutal, but real, while obviously being fiction.

The Last Of Us has all the markings of a great piece of art, but it can only be told through the platform of gaming, so as to make it an experience and not just another story about a post pandemic world. The character relationships and depth of feeling made the two central protagonists so relatable, and it was easy to care about them and their plight thanks to some excellent writing and proper pacing. It's all too easy to get bombarded by stuff in the world of games, flashing lights and crazy colour patterns drive these experiences forward, it takes masters like the people over at Naughty Dog studios to produce a game that stands as a work of art, that transcends it's chosen medium of video games and becomes a cultural peg on which to hang all kind of opinion.
A touching moment in an intense game, touching a Giraffe

I have gone on and on about computer games here, but this year has had lots of stuff happening in that world. The Oculus Rift is just round the corner, we will soon all be wearing headsets and plunging into gaming realms that will shift our perspective on the very notion of interactive media. This excited me, and I can't wait for it. I'm going to strap two screen shots from The Last Of Us to my eyes and walk around pretending I am fighting Mushroom Zombies. It's my right as a human being to do it, and as an idiot it is my duty to do it. So I will do it.

Happy gaming everyone

Peace and infinite ammo
Mr Jackson (Andy Jackson, [adj])

P.S - this is day 29 of my blog-a-day-a-thon, just two more and it will stop, I promise.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Ended up as the last of us

So friends,
"Hello, I'm a Cordyceps infected human, I've been
addicted to eating man-flesh for three weeks now"

It all got freaky and very real. The Cordyceps fungus had mutated and started infecting humans, lots of humans. It was just like in those zombie films that we once watched, back when there was television of course. People went crazy, the whole world became one giant insane asylum and everyone became a permanent resident of the horror ward. In this kind of chaos one can do only one thing, panic, panic like you've never panicked before, panic like panicking had just that second been invented for you to use as a device to express how panicked you were feeling. We all panicked and it very quickly went out of fashion.
Exciting things probably happened here, but we were elsewhere

It's been 20 years since the outbreak, and the world is a very different place, very beautifully rendered and detailed, but bleak and desolate as well. The quarantine zones are the only safe places, but they are rife with corruption and danger, people keep trying to smuggle themselves in and out, and street vendors sell barbecued rats to drooling onlookers.
"We gotta cross this town on foot, public transport
here is terrible"

I have a job, a strange one, but a job none the less. I must escort this young woman across the infected country to some research base run by the resistance, in the hope that a cure can be found for this twisted zombie making disease. It's not an easy task, because I've set it on hard, but after a little 'getting to know you' with the controls, it was do-able. Ellie was her name, dear sweet Ellie. She is a pixilated stroke of genius, and it didn't take long for me to warm to her charm and obvious strengths. For a game character she is something quite different from the usual boobs, and she tugged on my heart strings several times throughout the adventure.
Punching mushroom zombies in the face is my job
I am the rugged Joel, hardened by years of living in this post pandemic world, I have seen and done things that are not for the faint of heart. I like punching the fungus heads, you have to smack 'em about a few times before they die, and usually it's best to find a hard object to smash their heads into, that stops them trying to eat you. The first rule of survival is not to let anyone eat you, but should you eventually become zombie chow, it is wise to keep some salt and pepper on your neck so as to be a culinary feast for the mushroom undead.
Go on Ellie, stab this prick in the back with your trusty knife

Ellie is pretty nimble too, she likes to stab things in the back with her trusty penknife. There have been a few occasions where I needed a little assistance stopping a mushroom from chewing on my face, and Ellie steps up nicely. We make a good team, I don't think I would have got through it without her.

The other humans in this mushroom zombie world are more dangerous then the zombies themselves. Other humans are sneaky, and they sneak around laying traps and other sneaky things that can go boom in your face and force you to use up one of your precious medical kits that you fashioned out of some rubbing alcohol and a small hand flannel. To survive, you have to be clever, or at least able to learn and adapt to whatever may be thrown at you. Also, you have to pick up everything that might be useful. I have a backpack full of broken scissors and alcohol and sugar and electrical tape, as well as some notes left by people around the environment, all the things I need to survive.
Hey mushroom face, eat some rock!
I hear the clicking sound in my sleep. Those god forsaken mushroom zombies are scary, real scary. I think the main reason they are scary is that if they manage to get up behind you, they can rip out your throat in a moment.

They look repulsive too, real repulsive. I don't think there is a surgeon in the land that could help one of these poor suckers to look any better. I mean, I've tried to help them. I've bashed them repeatedly into walls, hit them with pipes, cracked them with wooden planks, shot them repeatedly with a shotgun, but they still look ugly. Perhaps my extreme makeover techniques are a little too extreme for the modern mushroom zombie, a lighter touch may be required, but I don't have time for that, I've got to get Ellie to this place far away.
From beautiful woman, to beautiful mushroom face

Ellie and I encountered many other people on our journey. Some became friends, others were clearly enemies from the moment we laid eyes on each other. My heart pounded with each step, each glorious set piece worked so perfectly because of the attention to detail and time spent building up relationships between the characters.

The Last of Us for the PS3 is a masterpiece.
"Please don't eat my face, I only just washed it"

I don't know how else to sum it up. I know lots of people have already written about it and reviewed it, gushing with praise for this modern creative work, but really you need to play it yourself to know if it will work for you or not. It worked for me, it was what I wanted to experience in a game. I've seen it criticised for it's linear plot and lack of choices, but I think the limiting of these things made for an engrossing experience, one in which I had emotional reactions, strong ones, to pixilated characters.  Games don't usually do that, so for a game to come along and do it so expertly it deserves to be applauded. So that's what I'm doing, Of all the games I have played in 2013, The Last of Us was the most engaging, deepest experience and transcendent of both game and storytelling in general, and for that it gets the perfect 10 out of 10.

Peace and infinite love
Mr Jackson
Hey big boy, wanna come play with my shotgun?