The Beeb ponders open source . . .

An e-Mail from the depths of Novell, the world’s second largest open source company, wings its way to me on the day Microsoft Windows Vista is released; the author has written to a bunch of folks in his department . . . Read more

One Two Three Four

One Two Three Four are yet more offspring of the superfecund Hamburg scene. Their fans like to compare them to the Libertines which is reasonably accurate but I’d say this bunch are mired a bit further in the past than them — the Kinks is a more accurate comparison.

It’s hard to get excited about this band. They sound like they’ve just plugged the guitars straight into a stack of 12 Marshalls with no gimmicks in between. This is no bad thing of course, check out the early Aerosmith sound, but One Two Three Four, for all their unencumbered sound and greasy organs lack the swagger of fellow rockers Boozed.

1234 - whos . . .2 starsWho’s goin’ down

(0% native)

60’s style Garage rock but lacking the lightness of touch. Standout tracks: ‘You’re Ugly’, ‘Your Money’

Song themes concern escaping bad love, falling foul of the law. Singer Jan Ueber’s vocals are pretty well suited to this kind of gritty storytelling, he’s got the style of the Kinks’ Ray Davies but I think the falsetto on ‘Mary’s Crying’ is a mistake.

Interview with Carole Tongue

Carole Tongue was an MEP for 15 years spending time between her constituency, Brussels and Strasbourg. For two of those years she was also deputy leader of the UK Labour Party in the European Parliament. She is an advocate of Charter 88 who campaign for a written constitution for the United Kingdon by 2010, has helped draft much EU legislation (including the Television Without Frontiers Directive which has ensured that certain large sporting events such as the 2006 World Cup will be viewable by most people in the UK on free-to-air channels) and is a recognised authority on the functions and structures of European politics.

There is little Carole doesn’t know about Europe and the sometimes fickle British attitude towards it. Read more

Interview with Des Brownlee

Uncle Pauly spoke with Derek Brownlee, MSP for South of Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party and, at the time, the youngest MP in Holyrood. The interview was conducted just a month after the July ’05 London bombings. Read more

Toten Hosen

In compiling my Kraut Pop guide I wanted to introduce any English-speaking music fans to a narrow slice of German popular music. Keeping each section succint and to the point was my aim but the thing about the Hosen is that they’ve been there and done it all – two paragraphs ain’t gonna do them justice. Read more