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February 5, 2008
[comics] A Wonderful Alan Moore Song — from MJ Hibbett who also did another favourite of mine Hey Hey 16K‘Well the entire shop went silent as everybody realised… a generations hero had caught us all buying shite.’ [via Blah Blah Flowers]
November 12, 2007
[music] The Hidden Message in Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust — a demonstration that you can hear “It’s fun to smoke Marijuana” if you play Queen’s song Another One Bites the Dust backwards. [via linkbunnies.org]
June 25, 2007
[music] ‘Oh good, it’s raining again’ — Charlie Brooker does Glastonbury … ‘Once you’re in, the sheer scale of it is initially overwhelming. Imagine forcing the cast of Emmerdale to hurriedly construct Las Vegas at gunpoint in the rain. Then do it again. And once more for luck. That’s Glastonbury: a cross between a medieval refugee camp and a recently detonated circus. Roads of sloppy mud and drunken civilians shivering in tents; this is what London would look like if I’d been in charge for 100 years. Not because I’m some kind of laid-back dreamer, but because I couldn’t organise a piss-up in a pissery. It’d take me six decades to assemble the most rudimentary infrastructure. There’d be no museums in my London. Maybe a bin or two, at a push.’
April 16, 2007
[music] Coming soon: the Ian Curtis happy meal?‘Sportswear company New Balance has commissioned two pairs of trainers inspired by [Joy Division]. One features the cover artwork and the catalogue number of their 1979 debut album Unknown Pleasures, while another displays the Factory records logo and the cryptic slogan One of One Made in Macclesfield. They are the work of Dylan Adair, perhaps the only man in history to listen to Joy Division and think of sports-casual footwear…’
March 25, 2007
[music] Elton John @ 60 — Diamond Geezer visits Elton John’s childhood home … ‘See how the current owners hide their car beneath an all-enveloping tarpaulin, in much the same way that middle-aged Elton used to cover himself with a series of unconvincing wigs. The local council, in their infinite wisdom, appear to have marked this most auspicious musical heritage site not with a blue plaque but with a bright green litter bin. And there’s also a bus stop immediately outside the front door…’
March 3, 2007
[comics] This Vicious Cabaret — Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s This Vicious Cabaret set to David J’s music … ‘They say that there’s a broken light for every heart on Broadway. They say that life’s a game, then they take the board away. They give you masks and costumes and an outline of the story.Then leave you all to improvise their vicious cabaret…’
July 12, 2006
[music] Javis Cocker’s MySpace‘Welcome friends, to my humble little corner of the Internet. As you can see from the photo over there I have been computing to my heart’s content for some time & now I want to share the experience with you.’
April 22, 2006
[comics] This Vicious Cabaret — an MP3 of David J. performing a song taken from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. (from Hidden City)
February 27, 2006
[music] MC Hammer Blog — and it looks authentic! … ‘My professional Hip Hop journey began in 1986….’ [thanks Greg]
February 19, 2006
[music] Snapshot: Grace Jones — a look at how the image on the cover to Grace Jones’ Island Life was put together … ‘Goude’s photographs were to launch Jones as an icon. Then he let his imagination run free, creating images of her with an imaginary male twin and multiplying her into an army of clones. “Initially, she was flattered by all of my attention,” says Goude on his former muse and lover. “And she’s no dope – Grace is an opportunist and she knew my vision was good for her career. Initially, she let herself be taken over, but then she suspected that I had only fallen in love with her image.” Was that true? “Of course it was!” ‘
November 20, 2005
[music] 99 Luftballons, Side by Side Comparison — a comparison of the German and English Translations of Nena’s 99 Red Balloons‘If you have some time for me… Then I’ll sing a song for you… ‘ vs. ‘You and I in a little toy shop… buy a bag of balloons with the money we’ve got…’
October 17, 2005
[music] I’m A Genius, Too! The Murry Wilson Tapes — listen to the jealous, drunken father of three of the Beach Boys wreck a recording session from 1965 … ‘Brian, I’m a Genius, Too.’ [via Waxy’s Links]
September 7, 2005
[music] A Lost Pop Symphony — long overview of the history of Brian Wilson’s Smile Album … ‘A contract signed with Warner Brothers in 1970 following the group’s departure from Capitol even included a clause that promised a finished Smile by 1973. When it failed to appear, the group was fined $50,000. Wilson had by then renounced the work as “inappropriate music” and derailed any attempt to revive it.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
July 11, 2005
[moore] Old Gangsters Never Die — another song from Alan Moore produced around the same time as the The March of the Sinister Ducks.
July 4, 2005
[live8] The Music’s Over, the Message Lingers On — nice summary of the Live 8 concert in London … ‘At midday the approach to the park was a familiar pre-rock concert landscape of men weeing under trees, jocular police and a revivalist with a megaphone: “I used to be a sinner like you, now I’m a winner.”‘
June 24, 2005
[music] When Noel Gallagher met David Walliams … On Liam and Peter Kay: ‘Liam hasn’t got a sense of humour, fucking full stop. Like with Peter Kay. If you’re a northern guy about our age, all the reference points are spot on – you can’t not like him. We were on the tour bus one night and somebody put a Peter Kay DVD on and I thought: “This is going to be a fucking disaster.” There’s a few Mancs in our crew and everyone was laughing their heads off. And Liam’s just sat there going: “He’s a fucking fat cunt, fucking shit, fucking fat idiot.” So he gets up to go to the bog and someone goes: “Why doesn’t he like Peter Kay?” Because he’d been to the NME Awards when Liam won a trophy for being hero of the year – and Liam wouldn’t go up and fucking collect it. He had on this big white fur coat. So Peter Kay brought his trophy over to him and went “Ere you are lad”. And as he walks off, he goes: “Me mam’s been looking for that coat.” Fucking uproar! I was laughing like fuck.’
May 24, 2005
[comics] Jamie Hewlett’s Common People Comic — Pulp’s song converted into a comic … ‘I think all pop hits should have comic adaptations; in an ideal world I would have a copy of Rob Liefeld’s Shake Ya Tailfeather: The Graphic Novel in a frame on my wall.’
May 19, 2005
[directions] The Way To Amarillo‘Catch flight from London Heathrow to Dallas Fort Worth Airport. Hire car at Dallas Fort Worth Airport.’
April 24, 2005
[advert] Singing in the Rain Remix — MP3 remix using the music from the VW advert.
March 24, 2005
[funny] Cillit Bang Remix‘Limescale. Rust. Ground-in Dirt.’ [Related: Another Remix]
February 6, 2005
[comics] The Sinister Ducks — a flash animation of the song by Alan Moore … ‘What are they doing at night in the park? Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack! Think of them waddling about in the dark. Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack! Sneering and whispering and stealing your cars, Reading pornography, smoking cigars. Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack!’ [Previously: March of the Sinister Ducks – MP3 Download]
February 1, 2005
[advert] Blingin’ in the Rain — the Guardian covers Volkswagen’s remix of Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain … ‘The 60-second advert was filmed on the same set at Shepperton Studios where the 60s musical Oliver was filmed and recreates the early part of the sequence showing Kelly singing and dancing in the rain but then breaks into the 21st century with a club mix of the song. The dancers wore prosthetic face masks and wigs and were filmed many times to replicate as closely as possible the moves that Kelly made and his face has been digitally added to the film.’ [Previously: Singing in the Rain – the Original Updated]
December 17, 2004
[xmas] The Beatles Christmas Records — MP3’s of recordings the Beatles made for their official fan-club between 1963 and 1969. From a description of the 1969 recording: ‘Yoko makes an appearance as John’s interviewer, and the two sing a duet reminiscent of the “All in the Family” theme before finally predicting the 70s will be “peaceful,” and full of people “flying around.” McCartney sings a pleasant ditty.’
September 24, 2004
[music] Review of Smile — Brian Wilson’s long-lost Beach Boys Album finally released … ‘The news that Wilson and his backing band (based around American 1960s revivalists the Wondermints) were going to completely re-record and release Smile, after touring a completed version of it, was enough to cause an outbreak of mild hysteria. One Sunday supplement urgently sought the government’s opinion. Even they may have been surprised to get an answer not from the arts minister, but from defence secretary Geoff Hoon. Luckily, the past 18 months have been exceptionally quiet for the British armed forces, giving Hoon plenty of time to ponder the influence of the Beach Boys’ mid-1960s work on current alt-rock. He certainly seems well informed – “It’s such a good time for its re-release,” he told the Observer; “the indie bands my son listens to are building on Wilson’s ideas” – which will doubtless come as some comfort to the 8,900 British troops stationed in Iraq.’
July 20, 2004
[comics] The Fink Brothers – Mutants in Mega City One — a MP3 curiosity from the 80’s – Suggs and Carl from Madness perform a song about Judge Dredd and Mega City One as “The Fink Brothers”. Probably of interest to aging fans of 2000AD only … ‘From Justice Hall to Zappa Block, We patrol the streets around the clock! Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge, Judge Dredd! My God, my brain’s exploding!’
June 12, 2004
[mp3] We’re Stuck with MP3 — why the standard music compression format isn’t going to be replaced anytime soon… ‘The newer audio formats, including Ogg Vorbis, seem to have at least two things going for them compared with MP3: smaller files and less expense. But because any change would require conversion of billions of files – a royal pain in the butt – it just won’t happen.’ [via 2lmc]
March 13, 2004
[music] They Shoot, He Scores — great interview with film composer Ennio Morricone. On Creativity: ‘I simply want to carry on expressing my ideas. Other people see the moment of creativity as magical, but it is not. That’s just a romantic notion. For me, it’s simply, “I have to get from A to B. How am I going to achieve this?” You have to be like the painter who knows his brush strokes. In the end it comes down to technique and experience. Sometimes a small idea will come without warning, but after that, I insist once more upon craft. If you know how to do your job, you will get a result. It’s very simple.’
February 13, 2004
[music] One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately‘The Police – Synchronicity — That this album is considered a classic is quite a feat for a collection of songs that Keith Richards deemed suitable for a dentist’s waiting room. Certainly, no album dealing with topics such as stalking, psychological abuse, betrayal and silent desperation has ever sounded so homogenized or made less thought-provoking pronouncements. To enjoy Synchronicity is to consider one’s self to be socially enlightened without having to dredge up any real empathy.’
January 21, 2004
[comics] Sinister Ducks – March of the Sinister Ducks (MP3 File Download) — a song by Alan Moore and his band The Sinister Ducks from 1983 … ‘What are they doing at night in the park? Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack! Think of them waddling about in the dark. Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack! Sneering and whispering and stealing your cars, Reading pornography, smoking cigars. Ducks, Ducks! Quack, Quack! Quack, Quack!’ [via Scaryduck and Neil Gaiman]
January 18, 2004
[mp3] UK song-swappers ‘could be sued’‘Speaking at a London conference about music and technology, Mr Yeates said any legal crackdown would be “proportional”. Talks were taking place with internet service providers across Europe to streamline a process for identifying those who distribute the most songs, he said. The move comes despite healthy album sales for the UK industry. Album sales in the UK rose by 7.6% in 2003 to a record high, fuelled by falling CD prices.’
May 28, 2003
[gm] Grant Morrison wonders if Justin Timberlake is a Mutant: ‘Definitely a pure mutation – and he’s trying to push his powers in a more evil direction. I think they inject all of those Disney kids, like Britney, with something when they’re young. One minute, they’re singing about mice, and the next, they’re riding motorcycles and fisting each other.’
February 10, 2003
[music] Bjork Video Gallery — all of Bjork’s videos in Quicktime … [via Metafilter]

big time sensuality -- bjork in nyc on a flatbed truck
‘I don’t know my future after this weekend and I don’t want to.’

January 28, 2003
[mp3] Hating Hilary — profile of Hilary Rosen the frontwoman for the RIAA

‘Commercially speaking, it’s hard to argue that peer-to-peer music-sharing doesn’t have the same effect as walking out of Virgin Megastore with the latest Coldplay CD under your jacket. But by moralizing the issue – here and in a series of ads featuring artists like Stevie Wonder and Britney Spears – Rosen and her colleagues have failed to grasp the fact that they’ve already lost. File-sharing has become part of pop culture; witness the Intel ad that shows a scruffy guy happily burning tunes onto a CD-R. To some extent, at least, the record companies have themselves to blame. Whereas blank CDs sell for pennies at the nearest CVS, the price of new releases continues to creep up in most stores, to the point where movies can be cheaper to own. Rosen, 44, seems to have planted herself squarely in the path of inevitable technological change.’

December 7, 2002
[music] Drunken, disorderly and now a Toothless Rock Star — profile of Liam Gallagher … ‘Since the group’s first public manoeuvres in 1993, Liam has made a habit of suddenly bailing out of his band’s commitments, picking sufficiently serious fights with his elder brother to threaten their always-rickety alliance, and managing to offend even the most untouchable invitees at awards ceremonies and fashion shows. Liam is, let us not forget, the man who marked Oasis’s 1996 receipt of Q magazine’s “Best Act In The World Today” trophy by threatening to smash up a Park Lane ballroom and flicking his cigarette ash on Mick Jagger’s head.’
November 26, 2002
[distraction] Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire in Flash … [Related: The History Behind Billy Joel’s Song]

‘Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, Television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe, Rosenbergs, H Bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom, Brando, The King And I, and The Catcher In The Rye, Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen, Maciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye, Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev, Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc, Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dancron, Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock, Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team, Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland, Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev, Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez, Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac, Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, Bridge On The River Kwai, Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball, Starkwether, Homicide, Children of Thalidomide, Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, Space Monkey, Mafia, Hula Hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go, U2, Syngman Rhee, payola and Kennedy, Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo, Hemingway, Eichman, Stranger in a Strange Land, Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion, Lawrence of Arabia, British Beatlemania, Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson, Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British Politician sex, J.F.K. blown away, Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again, Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock, Begin, Reagan, Palestine, Terror on the airline, Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan, Wheel of Fortune, Sally Ride, heavy metal, suicide, Foreign debts, homeless Vets, AIDS, Crack, Bernie Goetz, Hypodermics on the shores, China’s under martial law, Rock and Roller cola wars…’

[music] ‘We’ve had it large’ — New Order discuss their career and the new box-set they are bringing out for Christmas … ‘Sumner’s eyes light up. “What do you collect?” “Cars,” says Hooky. “Model cars.” Sumner arches an eyebrow. “Oh.” “Well, I like collecting,” continues Hooky, furiously scratching his stubble. “I collect everything.” “Then we’re different,” notes Sumner. “I like to get a skip and throw everything away. A clean slate, that’s what I like.” In the future, when looking to remake The Last of the Summer Wine, the BBC should consider New Order as ripping new cast members.’
November 3, 2002
[books] Why He Died Before He Got Old — Pete Townshend reviews Kurt Cobain’s Journals … ‘The entries are not uninteresting. It is simply that they are devastatingly hard to contemplate. They actually hurt. These are the scribblings of a once beautiful, angry, petulant, spoiled, drug-addled middle-class white boy from a divorced family who just happened, with the help of two of his slightly more stable peers, to make an album hailed as one of the best rock records ever. I sometimes get letters from people who write and draw like Cobain. I put them in a file marked ‘Loonies’, just in case they try to sue me in the future for stealing their ideas.’
October 19, 2002
[music] A troubled hero for our times? — profile of Kurt Cobain. ‘… his formative tastes took in soft-rock bands such as Journey and Foreigner …’
October 6, 2002
[sunday] Weekend Reading …
  • You Shone Like the Sun — backgrounder and brief interview with Syd Barrett‘Then, a sound in the hall. Has he come in from the back garden? Perhaps it needs mowing, like the front lawn – although, judging by the mound of weeds by the path, he’s been tidying the beds today. I knock again, and hear three heavy steps. The door flies open and he’s standing there. He’s stark naked except for a small, tight pair of bright-blue Y-fronts; bouncing, like the books say he always did, on the balls of his feet. He bars the doorway with one hand on the jamb, the other on the catch. His resemblance to Aleister Crowley in his Cefalu period is uncanny; his stare about as welcoming…’ [Related: Metafilter Thread]
  • Hoax! [Part 1 | Part 2] — Jon Ronson meets America’s Anthrax Hoaxers … ‘Terry first realised that he was in very big trouble when no less a figure than the US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, made a speech about him in a press conference to the world on October 18. Ashcroft announced that the FBI had “arrested Terry Olson for committing a serious crime in connection with terrorist hoaxes”. “What did they charge you with?” I asked him. “Weapons of mass destruction,” he said. “Life imprisonment.” “You must have said to them that Nesquik and sugar aren’t weapons of mass destruction,” I said.’

September 16, 2002
[distraction] Well worth the download: Eminem vs. The Smiths. [via peterjakehall.com]
August 31, 2002
[underworld] Look Deeper … ‘It was just silly crap but it hit the spot.’
August 26, 2002
[music] Hit Charade — the problem with the music industry … ‘Since 1980, the mainstream music industry has only consolidated: Five companies control CD sales, MTV owns a multi-channel music-TV franchise, and a single company, Clear Channel, dominates both the concert business and Top 40 and rock radio. Ironically, if unsurprisingly, the biz has suffered from its near-monopolistic control. Short-sighted labels and tightly programmed radio have bolstered the success of certain styles and performers but prevented anything fresh from breaking through.’ [via Sore Eyes]
August 11, 2002
[food] Grease is the Word — Nigel Slater makes Elvis Presley’s Fried-Peanut-Butter-and-Banana Sandwich … ‘I have known about this sandwich for years but felt that, along with deep-fried Mars bars, monkey brains and fugu fish, this was territory that I did not wish to explore. The fact that the peanut butter was sometimes mixed with strawberry jam, and that the whole heart-stopping snack was then fried in butter, put the seal on it. Still, what the hell. It can’t kill me. So here I am, standing in the kitchen, debating whether this legendary recipe really is the crack cocaine of the sandwich world, and whether I am going to get out of this alive. I so want to just say no, but I like bananas, have a sneaky fondness for white sliced bread, and absolutely adore peanut butter.’
July 24, 2002
[comics] Interesting selection of MP3’s from musical collaborations between Alan Moore and Tim Perkins … [via Bugpowder]
June 30, 2002
[current playlist] What I was listening to late last night, courtesy of BlogAmp [via not.so.soft]

Beastie Boys – Sure Shot, Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out, Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye, Prodigy – Out Of Space, Depeche Mode – Never Let Me Down Again, General Public – Tenderness, The Verve – Lucky Man, Samantha Mumba – Body 2 Body, Nelly Furtado – Turn off the Lights, A.O.S. – History (Repeats Itself), Oasis – Stop Crying Your Heart Out, Sophie Ellis Bextor – Murder On The Dancefloor, Oasis – My Big Mouth, Serge Gainsbourg – Bonnie and Clyde, Bryan Ferry – Crazy Love, New Order – True Faith, Ride – Taste, Mint Royale – From Rusholme With Love, The House Of Love – Crush Me, All Saints – Black Coffee, The Monkees – Porpoise Song, Oasis – Whatever.

June 29, 2002
[tech] Microsoft Palladium — Start Here:

  • The Big Secret — Steven Levy takes a look behind the scenes at the Palladium Project … ‘Palladium is being offered to the studios and record labels as a way to distribute music and film with “digital rights management” (DRM). This could allow users to exercise “fair use” (like making personal copies of a CD) and publishers could at least start releasing works that cut a compromise between free and locked-down. But a more interesting possibility is that Palladium could help introduce DRM to business and just plain people. “It’s a funny thing,” says Bill Gates. “We came at this thinking about music, but then we realized that e-mail and documents were far more interesting domains.” For instance, Palladium might allow you to send out e-mail so that no one (or only certain people) can copy it or forward it to others. Or you could create Word documents that could be read only in the next week. In all cases, it would be the user, not Microsoft, who sets these policies.’
  • I Told You So — Bob Cringely on Palladium … ‘It may actually make the Internet somewhat safer. But the real purpose of this stuff, I fear, is to take technology owned by nobody (TCP/IP) and replace it with technology owned by Redmond. That’s taking the Internet and turning it into MSN. Oh, and we’ll all have to buy new computers. This is diabolical. If Microsoft is successful, Palladium will give Bill Gates a piece of every transaction of any type while at the same time marginalizing the work of any competitor who doesn’t choose to be Palladium-compliant. So much for Linux and Open Source, but it goes even further than that. So much for Apple and the Macintosh. It’s a militarized network architecture only Dick Cheney could love. ‘
  • Palladium Frequently Asked Questions … On MP3’s: ‘With existing MP3s, you may be all right for some time. But in future, TCPA / Palladium will make it easier to sell music, movies, books and other content packaged so that people can play them on their PCs but not copy them. You might be allowed to lend your copy of some digital music to a friend, but then your own backup copy won’t be playable until your friend gives you the main copy back. Quite possibly you will not be able to lend music at all. (It looks likely that the music publisher will be able to make the rules – and to change them at will by remote control.)’

June 17, 2002
[music] Mad For It — interview with Liam Gallagher …

‘…’I’d like to be in a big house in the south of France,’ he decides, staring wistfully up at the stairs that lead towards the pub’s exit, ‘with a deckchair. And the deckchair is outside and I’m in the deckchair just chilling right out. Forever.’ He says he’s looking forward to being 60 in that deckchair in the south of France. Age is not a fear for him. If he’s in that chair outside that house, he says, he won’t even mind going bald. ‘I’ll moan about it, but I won’t be getting a wig. I will not be getting an Elton John. I’ll just get a skinhead and have it large with a goatee, get meself a part in EastEnders where I can shag the barmaid.”

[Related: Vaughan likes Stop Crying Your Heart Out]
May 27, 2002
[film] Biggie and Tupac — review of Nick Broomfield’s new Documentary … ‘If James Ellroy wrote a novel about gangster rap, it would be a lot like Biggie and Tupac, teeming with chancers and casualties and underpinned by the threat of death. “You knocking like you scared,” chuckles the bodyguard who opens his door to let Broomfield in. And yet his timid knocking pays dividends.’
May 26, 2002
[blogs] Pat Kane.com — the Scottish journalist and musician has a weblog … ‘pop, politics, technoculture…& scotland’
February 15, 2002
[music] Looking for a new England — interview with Billy Bragg … ‘…you say Orwell came up with a list of things he thought were English. What would your list be? “Well, it’s dictated by my cultural background. So Bobby Moore winning the World Cup. It doesn’t mean the same to everyone, I’m aware of that. Chalk horses made in the Bronze Age; Marmite. It’s personal. Englishness is like a mantelpiece that you put things on. We all have that mantelpiece, it’s what you put on that mantelpiece in your soul.”‘