Last week someone stuck in front of me an article about a proposed eco-village in Hanham, on the outskirts of Bristol. Interesting as it was, all I could focus on was the graphic designer's hidden joke. Note the child on the tricycle approaching the cross roads from the right. Notice the slightly faster moving but further off runner heading towards the same junction. Then notice the clearly distracted cyclist, his head on sidewise, some distance away but bearing down at great speed from the left. This scene is about to get very messy.
This prompted me to look up what's currently going on with the Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory redevelopment not so far away. (See some of Lisa Furness's photos of the closed down building here.) It seems the inspiration for the new development has been taken from a Brothers Grim story illustrated by MC Escher about a hunted shed. Not one I'm familiar with I'll admit.
The Battleground Bristol gig is tomorrow night at Motion Skate Park. Remarc, Bizzy B, Parasite, Shitmat, Ladyscraper and may others on the line up. New DJ mixes from Demon Cabbage, Ebola and Parasite are now streaming from the website.
sadra hemati says: "heyhey! here's my latest release, some proper lofi experimental chiptune breakcore beats. I have added the front and back cover. Thanks for everything & cheers from holland!" Heres the link
From the Physics Web mailing list: "I have just heard what has to be the longest string of physics jokes ever uttered on the radio. I was listening to the BBC Radio 4 programme “Old Harry’s Game”, in which the comedian Andy Hamilton plays Satan and is set in hell. Early in the episode we learn that Einstein is detained at Old Harry’s pleasure — indeed all deceased scientists are there it seems. What follows is a string of gags on everything from Schroedinger’s Cat to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle — and a joke of dubious taste about Stephen Hawking’s ability to play table tennis. CULTURAL WARNING: Like most early-evening broadcasts on Radio 4 this programme could be a bit too “jolly-hockeysticks” for the non-British listener." Listen on the BBC iPLayer
From Bottle Imp "I don't have any exciting news this week, but I want to share a cool interview with BLÆRG by The Headphone Commute, a music blog all of you should check out anyway. They turn me onto all kinds of good, new music." ( Read The Whole Interview )
Also, remember, these albums are still available, and still entirely free:
Click Point, "EXP 1" - Industrial / Ambient from Detroit
After reading this review in the Guardian yesterday I went looking for some Franklyn Ajaye material.
This is the best example I found...
...although I couldn't find the I'm a Comedian album. Does anyone know where I could hear that?
I admire Lee's understanding and analysis of the history of stand-up. His routine about it should be interesting.
I also found this article, Lost in translation, about German humour, which I've learnt to appreciate thanks to my brother-in-law moving there and having spent more time there over the last few years. Suddenly it seems obvious that he'd pick the German Comedy Ambassador as his support on his most recent tour.
I was just skipping through the archives here looking for an old gig review when I stumbled across this one I wrote for a Richard Herring stand-up show in the back room on the Richmond Spring pub in Clifton in January 2005. Nothing unusual about that, until I noticed what I wrote about the support act.
"Russell Brand, who was pretty good, and whose observation that giving money to homeless people can be seen as using a scabby vending machine for karma was the highlight of the set. Very good. Slightly annoying voice."
Shit. I had no recollection of that until I reread it. I think Brand was pretty much unknown then. (He was already doing Big Brother's Big Mouth on E4 but I've never seen it so can't comment). Regardless, this was before his annoying voice became part of the public consciousness and before he found that he could pull in ridiculously large audiences of teenage girls by dreaming up ever more twee pet names for his genitalia.
I also liked him when I saw him at The Secret Policeman's Ball. Here most of his set revolved around dissecting the letters page from The Sun. It was well put together and flushed my preconceptions (or intermediate-perceptions?) about him. Although that is based on the assumption that it was a recent copy of The Sun, hopefully that day's, and not one he'd constructed out of months worth of clippings.
With that said, I have to confess to thinking he's a good stand-up, even if it makes me feel like I'm dumbing down to admit it. So why does he maintain his gossip magazine friendly, over-stylised façade and how does he think this will stand him as his audience grows up? It probably isn't something he need worry about quite yet but I'd like to think he will find a way of making the move from teen heartthrob to thinking person's political comedian ala Robert Newman rather than sink into self-parody ala Eddie Izzard. Time will tell.
I saw Stewart Lee's "41st Greatest Stand-Up Ever" show at the Comedy Box in Bristol last night. I was also pleased to be able to buy a copy of his '90s Comedian DVD (show reviewed here, DVD available here) from 2005.
It struck me during the show what sets Lee apart from many of his contemporaries. It's something best described in musical terms: Dynamics. His performances have dynamics. The same way classical music does and pop music doesn't. He works through a whole range of emotions, from irritation and anger to loving care and sympathy. He whispers, he shouts, he smashes the mic against the mic stand, he throws the mic down and wanders into the audience to perform un-aided (I've seen Ian Cognito do this too but he only has anger mode), he appears close to tears at one point, he looks angry about the response some material gets, he laughs and seems to be enjoying himself, and he sits and chats to fans as they leave. I can't think of any other comedians who can work through that sort of repertoire every night and that's what I think makes him worth seeing. It's honest. It hasn't had all of the personality compressed out of it to appease the masses.
The Roots Music Listening Room "If you are looking for traditional folk musics, then see the link above. It has tons and tons of free downloads of really diverse traditional music. I love this sight, and the songs download right quick." [thanks Dai]
I was recently looking for Aaron Spectre VS. Nine Inch Nails - Ruiner (Wreckstep Remix) and found it in the old No More Destruction mix on the Mash It site. I've linked there plenty of times but it's worth check for anything you don't have on there now and again.
Go Faster Stripe sale DVDs of stand-up shows. Hopefully they'll be adding a lot more too. If you do nothing else, get a copy of Stewart Lee's 90s Comedian DVD. The live show was reviewed here and remians one of the best shows I've ever seen.
The reviews say it all:
"Undeniable masterclass in comedy craftsmanship" London Evening Standard
"Stand-up that should win the Booker prize" Time Out
"Illjudged and gratuitously offensive" Daily Telegraph
Richard Herring says:
"Just to let you know that "Someone Likes Yoghurt" is now available to buy from the good people at Go Faster Stripe. Just go to http://www.gofasterstripe.com/ and click on my face!"