Monthly Archives: May 2009

I’m so pro-life, so extremely in favour of life, that I have to kill someone

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Trek vs. Wars

With the new Star Trek film out to rave reviews (I’m not talking about it, but it’s an improvement at least) and Star Wars nicely rounding off a decade of totally fucking itself, it does seem that one side of the world’s most insular war has finally triumphed. But if you’re still in doubt, you can’t do better at assessing the possibilities than these guys. I mean, they’ve really thought this through.

Personally I agree with everything they say, but I draw different conclusions from the same data. I believe they underestimate the ‘thinkers, not warriors’ point and put undue weight on the possibilities of a planetside confrontation.

Thanks to Pete for the link!

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Remember the ABBA Confusion? Well, this is probably going to be my last post about it – there seem to be a lot of ‘last posts’ at the moment, what with this and Campfire Songs. Okay, two. That’s still more than usual!

Maybe I should get a trumpet and play ‘the last post’! HA!

No? Nothing? Okay.

The ABBA Confusion got together again a while back in early march and in just twelve hours we recorded five of the tunes we’d written together in New York. These are very speedy recordings, made mostly so we have something to listen to in years to come rather than to kick us into world fame.

They have, however, been mastered a little, so they’re not entirely hard on the ears. And the whole record is under ten minutes long, so if you’re even only a partial fan you should probably have a listen!

It’s all up over at the ABBA Confusion myspace page, from which you can also download the mp3s for free if you want them!

The record is called ‘The Inevitable Anticlimax’, and it goes like this:
1) Small Lamp
2) Not Subway Material
3) (Alone) New York (In)
4) The Times Square Shuffle
5) The 7th of November (feat. Ruari Kerr)

The songwriting is much more Oliver’s than mine so I don’t feel I should put in too much retrospective on this record – I just want to say that I think there is genuine merit to all of these tunes, somewhere, and though the project was a humiliating failure in every possible respect I’m not entirely ashamed of them.

Also it was great to work with Ruari Kerr again. He totally redefined the record and it would just have been impossible without him.


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It’s a big day:


iTunes users, click here!

(PS. If you already bought Campfire Songs but have an iTunes account, please take a moment to rate it– it’s a really simple way of providing some actually quite meaningful support! Thankyooou)

(PPS. It turns out I’m on Amazon as well!)

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Forgiving the Undead: Twilight

Parkes is spearheading a new blog called five hundred. The rules are simple – any subject, 500 words or fewer. I’m gonna repost any contributions I make here, too, but you should check out the site as well cos hopefully it’s going to have some hot stuff on it!

I suppose the forgiving of the undead is really to do with the death of God. Bram Stoker kicked off Vampires in 1897 (Dracula was far from the first one, but Stoker’s book and the films it inspired are the reason you’ve heard of them), when the concept of Hell still carried enough cultural currency to make the idea of undeath pretty much the most abhorrent one imaginable. Harker and chums aren’t destroying a monster, they’re saving a soul: “I shall be glad as long as I live that even in that moment of final dissolution there was in the face a look of peace”.

But Hell and the implications of undeath aren’t that scary any more – fewer people believe in them, and for the last 110 years popular culture has been busily turning them into clich

Digital Kids Yo

FaceOmeter now has a FaceBook page, so everything is altogether overburdened with repetitions of the word ‘Face’. Anyway, apparently you can ‘become a fan’ or something if you have a FaceBook account, which basically means… well, I don’t know what it means. I suppose you get gig updates or something. But candidly if you’re routinely reading this thing I don’t really see the point.

Except that it will make me feel good about myself! Yes!

So go and do that, then.

Another reason to do it is that I can exert digital pressure on you all to come to the big london album launch gig in July with the click of a single button! mmmMMExcellent

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We’re here in Canada re-watching Band of Brothers, which has prompted the twin realisations that (a) HBO are amazing, like, seriously, and (b) Americans really hate British people. During the post-d-day antics of the 101st Airborne (the only body of troops involved in the invasion of Europe), you see like three Brits. Here’s the first one:

Upottery, England
American: I SEEK A LUGER
Tommy: Awright guv well I’m dressed as a German, innit? Pukka that is

And the second:

Operation Market Garden, Holland
British Tank Commander: I’m afraid I don’t believe you old bean! I was educated at Eton
British Tank Commander: I’ll just go forwards then, cos I’m stupid, and British
He dies

And the third:

Back in Upottery again!
British Laundry Wench: Oh, uh, goodness, golly, cripes, gosh, yes
British Laundry Wench: Crumbs! I wish you weren’t going, what? You yanks are so, oh gosh, golly

I’m barely exaggerating, and it’s not that I’m pretending that the British ultra-discipline thing DIDN’T occasionally cost a few tank battalions (!), but there are literally no positively represented Brits in the entire series. (And as this goes for dramatisations of D-Day generally I’d also like to mention, given where I am, that you really have to feel the pain of the Canadians, who did a whole beach by themselves and never get mentioned even.)

But Americans! Bad news! Damien Lewis, the ultimate American hero in Band of Brothers? HE’S BRITISH. And so is Simon Pegg, who mysteriously plays an American with like three lines in one episode for no reason? The medic guy in that later episode? British. That’s right – if you can’t love us for who we are, we’ll simply DISGUISE OURSELVES AS YOU AND JOIN THE HEROIC RANKS OF AMERICA’S CHOSEN PEOPLE AHAHAHAHA

In fact, good American TV is crawling with Brits who do really good accents right now. Hugh Laurie is the obvious example, but Idris Elba and Dominic West spring inevitably to mind, and I’m certain there are more. Any offers?

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It’s nice to come back from a trip and not have to do the editing on its commemorative video for once, so it is with profound relief that I announce my cameo role in The MC Lars podcast episode 27, reproduced here:

If you ask me, this footage grossly understates my key role as the moral and logistical lynchpin of the entire trip, but maybe one day my side of the story will be heard… for now let me just say what a fantabulous time I had as part of the Failsafe/MC Lars/DJ ‘crew’ – truly the high point of 2009 so far, not that it’s going up against a lot of competition!

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The where I am

The latest lack of update frenzy is due to the fact that for strictly personal reasons, I am in British Columbia. As I’m sure you already know, this western province of Canada is an exact recreation of what it would be like if Britain and Columbia became one country.

As a result, I have been hanging out with bears.

More later.

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