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Music

Jewish Comedy Timing

INTERIOR. KITCHEN. JEWISH MEDIA FRIEND L IS PREPARING DINNER FOR POOTERGEEK. POOTERGEEK: Like I said to [JEWISH WRITER FRIEND C] and [JEWISH WRITER FRIEND J] about [UNFUNNY JEWISH WRITER], being a Jewish writer who isn’t funny is like being black and having no sense of rhythm. JEWISH MEDIA FRIEND L: Were they offended? POOTERGEEK: Why should they be? [PAUSE] JEWISH […]

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Do It For Money

While I’m on subject of recommendations I thought my parents had made to me but they hadn’t, this year I watched The Conversation for the first time. I thought mum and dad had been telling me for years that I should check it out, but, when I was round theirs a few weeks back and […]

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I LOVE THE BLACK MUSIC

Recently, I was listening to a Marvin Gaye track via last.fm—is it just me or has their sound quality improved lately?—and I noticed this at the top of its user comments: white person wearing chinos on cruise ship LOVES THE BLACK MUSIC Which immediately made me think of Stuff White People Like, a blog that’s […]

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The Trials Of Being A Covers Band

Masters of the live hip-hop mash-up, The Roots, displayed their usual relaxed attitude when asked to comment on events at their first headlining show at Glastonbury this week. Early on in their performance, a member of the audience managed to get up on stage and gained control of a working microphone, through which he continued […]

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The Anti-Johansson Sings

She doesn’t get the fancy sound, lighting, backing band, and monitoring mixer; but then Sara Bareilles is a musician not a filmstar. Even if this amateurish video was planted on YouTube as some kind of cunning lo-fi viral marketing trick, there’s no denying the woman’s talent. Her performance starts well and gets better and better […]

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How Entertainment Industry Feuds Begin

In the space of a few days, My Scarlett Johansson post has become the subject of a round of Bloggese Whispers. First, Clive Davis linked to my “review” on his Spectator blog. One of God’s little jokes is that Clive Davis, London Times music critic, shares his name with Clive Davis, US record producer, executive, […]

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Falling Down

There is an upside to my not being a drop-dead gorgeous superstar: whenever I’m working with a bunch of stubbly musicians and my singing’s not up to scratch, they tell me, bluntly. I got my first paid residency after helping a pianist move a piano to a restaurant. He asked me to take over from […]

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Busy Tone

I’m so tired with work I’m starting to have hallucinations. I’d swear Richard Dawkins starts rapping 1 minute and 6 seconds into this YouTube video. (Christopher Hitchens throws shapes from 1:49 or thereabouts.) Go here for the torrent. [via]

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Ten Thousand Rolls In Blackpool Lancashire

Another storm, another surrealist beach installation: Ferry sheds thousands of biscuits Thousands of packets of chocolate biscuits have washed up on the Lancashire shore from a stricken ferry. The McVitie’s biscuits were being carried on lorries aboard the Riverdance, which ran aground off north shore near Blackpool on Thursday night.

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Aesthetics On Wheels

A couple of days ago, I was driving along the front at Worthing and saw for the first time the amazing spectacle of the drifts of wooden planks washed up in the recent shipwreck. This was days into the operation to clear the spill and long after sunset, yet the timber loomed unignorably two storeys […]

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Tennis/Racket

I was so uncool at university that I only made it to the periphery of a gang of sad scientists. One full member of the group could play immaculate air drums. I think he might have owned a small drum kit at some point, but he wasn’t a drummer. He’d sit on a chair in […]

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Brilliant Physics Lesson

The beardy-weirdy teacher in this Metacafe video is probably a cinder now, having expired when his garage exploded during his attempt to stage a one-fiftieth-scale re-enactment of the Hindenburg disaster, but I do recommend that you visit the film on the end of that link. It has to have been one of his finest moments, […]

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Art Prog

I’ve taken my time getting around to this because the original email I was sent read like “benign spam” (which, in a way, it was) so it went to the bottom of my in-tray. [Sorry, Paul.] The legendary Paul Wixon is promoting a Japanese band called “Sollers” with a view to getting them some gigs […]

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More Happy Stuff

It’s one in the morning. About fifteen minutes ago, I got back from working hard at a delightful wedding. Thanks to Jason Hare, I’ve just read this piece by Stephen King about the joys of junk culture and listened to Petra Haden’s uplifting and progressively sillier cover of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. I’m grinning like […]

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MUSIC WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON

Sorry to link to my Anastacia post again, but further to its attack on the current oppressive fashion of using limiters and compressors to increase the loudness of pop and rock recordings and my sideswipe here, Slashdot links to an(other) article about the “loudness war“. [If you are a newcomer to Slashdot you should take […]

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The Sounds That Taste Forgot

Last week I discovered JasonHare.com, a blog full of trivia about the sort of music that only kids in high street electrical shops will admit to liking. Hare is obsessed with 80s cheese and soft rock. There are eleven mulleted musos visible on the current front page alone. It’s brilliant.

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Ball Lighting

A couple of weeks back I attended one of the two “reasonably smart” evening occasions that PooterGeekers kindly invited me to in response to my appeal so that I could test out some wacky lighting techniques. This was photographing various Latin American performers at a Cambridge college ball. I’m sure you’ll agree such a setting […]

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Flying The Vee For Israel

The Israel Ministry of Tourism would have you believe that the tiny Mediterranean state is a hip young place full of sunkissed, lean ‘n’ lovely twenty- and thirtysomethings, alternately running high-tech start-ups and hanging out on the beach playing frisbee with their gay friends. But the country has a dark underbelly. If you want to see it […]

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Passenger Ships

Also at that party the other day, one of the Young People told me that Passenger, featuring Richard Brincklow on keyboards, are high up on BBC Radio 2’s playlist. The next day, one of my spies inside the Passenger camp also passed on to me a delicious factoid. Whenever Richard and I write or perform any music […]

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Dave The Rave

I listened to Gordon Brown’s first Prime Minister’s Questions as actual Prime Minister yesterday. If you put the substance of the “debate” aside (as the laws of contemporary British journalism require all commentators to do) then David Cameron made Gordon Brown sound a bit rickety. The good thing for our democracy is that, before most […]

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Bismillah!

Did anyone else hear that BBC news soundbite from a representative of the emergency services reviewing the effects of the sub-tropical storms that hit parts of the UK this week? Amongst other things, he described them as “very, very frightening”. If so, did you manage to resist singing, “Thunderbolt and lightning / Galileo! / Galileo!”? […]

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Geek Rock

Last week, Steve Wright interviewed Paul McCartney on BBC Radio 2. At one point, Wright asked him about his latest single. The track is exactly what you would expect of Lord Macca of Loch Kodak: completely insubstantial and terminally catchy. It’s called Dance Tonight. It’s about how everybody is going to dance tonight—and have a good time, […]

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Prolific

Thanks a commenter at Maximum Bob, I discovered that yesterday was Talk Like Bob Dylan Day and, thanks to a video on the Talk Like Bob Dylan Day site, I discovered that Bob Dylan wrote every single popular song of the last forty years.

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