Archive for April, 2011

April 30, 2011

The Prestige (Blu-Ray)

I picked up ‘The Prestige’ on Blu-Ray by the great Christopher Nolan in the same offer at HMV that I got ‘An American Werewolf In London’. I’d seen it before but a second viewing was even better for reasons that I shall reveal. Like his recent cerebral blockbuster ‘Inception’ (Such is Nolan’s genius that it’s probably the only film ever released where the words cerebral and blockbuster are both applicable) ‘The Prestige’ is an intricately convoluted puzzle within a locked box in a meandering maze (And that’s its charm). The cast is excellent with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale as the leads with Michael Caine, Scarlett Johanssen and even David Bowie in the supporting roles.

It’s a film about the bitter and often wantonly sadistic rivalry between two master Illusionists in Victorian London. The clever Nolan angle is that he deliberately constructs the film’s narrative as a magical illusion in itself. Showing you several things you take for face value, tricking you with Miss-direction, employing non-linear storytelling and finally good old grease paint and mirrors so the big reveal is astoundingly clever at the end. So of course my second viewing was about observing the little ways in which Nolan deceives you as a viewer while simultaneously putting all the facts there for you to solve the puzzle… if only you’ve got a Sherlock Holmes level intellect.

April 30, 2011

An American Werewolf In London (Blu-Ray)

John Landis’ 80’s classic ‘An American Werewolf In London’ was on offer at HMV so I couldn’t resist. I haven’t seen it since it was shown late night once on Channel 4 when I was about 16, and I’d forgotten quite how brilliant it was. It’s one of those films that imprints certain scenes indelibly in your brain. Such as when Jenny agutter is suddenly brutally knifed by a mutant-apealoid-zombie-nazi-stormtrooper from hell (I clearly remember jumping a clear 30ft in the air at that point). Sadly these shock tactics naturally don’t work when viewed a second time but you don’t need scares when a Horror flick has this much slyly observed humour.

The razor-sharp comedic observations of British culture could only have been made by an American genius like Landis. These moments are cleary based on Landis’ own bemused and frustrated experiences of living and working here while making the film.  Such as when the British Union Equity insisted that the whole cast and crew should be exclusively British, despite the title of the film!  After Landis threatened to rename the film ‘An American Werewolf In Paris’, they relented (That title would eventually go to a supposedly dreadful 90s sequel).  The Oscar-winning special effects by Rick Baker genuinely still look astounding today. The word chemistry cannot do justice to the sizzling romance between Agutter’s sexy English nurse and David Noughton’s wise cracking and charming American backpacker.

The hi-def transfer is lovely and sharp and the disc is groaning under a weight of extra content. This includes a commentary, all the usual bits and bobs and best of all, a feature-length documentary about the film itself.

I can here the children of the night calling, it’s so good I might just go and watch it all over again.

April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Day… all ye plebs rejoice!

April 27, 2011

Tron / Tron: Legacy (Blu-ray Boxset)

I just gave in to temptation and purchased the new Tron boxset.  I was really buying this for the chance to see the groundbreaking 1982 classic in stunningly restored high-definition but getting the new ‘Tron: Legacy’ film is a nice bonus. One of the reasons I love ‘Tron’ is that it features my own personal God, Bruce Boxleitner aka CAPTAIN JOHN SHERIDAN!!! from the great Scf-Fi series Babylon 5 (I honestly cried when John died, he meant that much to me). Here’s a clip from the powerful episode ‘Intersections In Real Time’ that explored the true horror of psychological torture:

I’m getting a bit off topic (But seriously I got goose bumps when I first heard Bruce’s voice in the ‘Tron: Legacy’ Trailer!). The transfer of ‘Tron’ is truly stunning, this film has never looked this good.  The dazzling use of colours, light and inspired art-direction rank it alongside Ridley Scott’s ‘Blade Runner’ (Also released in 1982).  The Blu-Ray extras give great insights into what a staggering feat it was to bring this film to the screen.

The sequel has it’s moments, like Daft Punk’s awesome score, which was like having shiny black Electro Treacle poured into my ears when I heard it in the cinema. The digital re-creation of Jeff Bridges circa-1982 is not perfect but by god is it impressive. It just suffers in comparison to the original visually.  In ‘Tron: Legacy’ the cast wear black rubber suits that actually have lights cunningly built-in to them. Unfortunately that is just what they look like, but in the original due to the painstaking optical composting affects the cast actually appear to be beings of light.  The luminescence and hue of the circuitry on their bodies was used by the animators to heighten their emotional state.  By the way, back in ’82 the Academy refused to nominate the special-effects team because they thought that the use of computers was cheating! Oh how times have changed.

Click here for a nice little page with behind the scenes screenshots.

The middle part of this clip gets across just how difficult the look of the original ‘Tron’ was to achieve:

…End Of Line

April 27, 2011

The Indelicates – I Am Koresh (Video)

Had to post the new suitably messianic video for The Indelicates’ ‘I Am Koresh’:

April 27, 2011

Poly Styrene 3 July 1957 – 25 April 2011

I’ve just noted the sad passing of Punk legend Poly Styrene aka Marianne Joan Elliott-Said. If you’ve not got a copy of 1978’s essential X-Ray Spex LP ‘Germfree Adolescents’, do yourself a favour and click here to get classics like ‘Art-I-Ficial’ and ‘Warrior In Woolworths’.  But she was still making fantastic music right up to the end, as evidenced by her recent Christmas single ‘Black Christmas’, surely one of the tracks of last year.

Here’s a nice little 0bit courtesy of Channel 4 News:

April 15, 2011

The Top 50 Songs Of All Time (Official)

I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a top 100/top 50 list of my most cherished songs for about a year now.  As my thirtieth birthday is weeks away I’ve decided nows the time to sit back and reflect on m musical life.  For a bit of “Fun” I analysed my Top 50 and found out my tastes are 22% Pop-Rock and 18% Folk and that 2005 was the best ever year for music (Who’d have guessed).  I’ve included a selection of the best video clips below but you can watch all the available videos on my youtube chanel by clicking here.  It was tough going whittling it down to only 50 tunes and even harder to put them in order.

1.Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland
Born To Run LP – 1975
“Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a dodge, drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain”
Nine and a half minutes of shear epic Rock grandeur. Most full novels don’t contain this much beauty and narrative power.  It also features Clarence Clemons delivering the greatest Sax-Solo in history building to an almost unbearably emotional climax across 2 minutes. I could listen to this every day for the rest of my life and never tire it out.

2. The Magnetic Fields – Papa Was A Rodeo
69 Love Songs LP – 1999
“Home was anywhere with diesel gas, love was a trucker’s hand, never stuck around long enough for a one night stand”
A story of lonesome one night stands and fleeting affairs. When the cathartic duet kicks in at my heart at 4.11 once breaks and yet rejoices. Over the years Stephen Merrit has written at least 50 of the greatest love songs ever written and this is his best.

3. The Indelicates – Savages
Songs For Swinging Lovers LP – 2010
“We are ash, we are books, coffee stained and overlooked, We are ornamental swords, forged for the peace after the war”
The lyrics to this song read like beautiful poetry.  It’s a searing celebration of the outsider spirit.  This says everything I ever wanted to say about great music.

4. Luxembourg – (I Need) A Little Bit More (Than You Give Me)
Best Kept Secret: Demos & Rarities 2001-2004 Compilation – 2004
“I guess that when i told you I would leave you if you cheated, you took it as a promise, not a threat”
It takes a man of David Shah’s calibre to write a lyric this funny and yet sing it with so much power it’s like he’s tearing out his soul for your listening pleasure.

5. Ed Harcourt – Apple Of My Eye
Here Be Monsters LP – 2001
“I drink a lot of wine when I am alone, I lose my track of time, my ideas turn to stone”
I can’t fully describe why I love this song so much. There is something hidden in the giddy mix of handclaps, Hip-Hop percussion, woozy Jazz orchestration and raw Soul vocals that enthrtrals me eveytime.

6. Richie Havens – Going Back To My Roots
Connections LP – 1980
“Not talkin’ ’bout the roots in the land, I’m talkin’ ’bout the roots in the man”
Roaring Soul vocals, Funk instrumentaion, proto House Pianos and Disco beats building to a level where you just have to move your body.

7. The Pogues – Rainy Night In Soho
Poguetry In Motion EP – 1986
“We watched our friends grow up together, and we saw them as they fell, some of them fell into Heaven, some of them fell into Hell”
Simply one of the most beautiful things ever created by the hand of man. Shane MacGowan was in his late twenties when he wrote it but it reads like a death bed revelation.

8. The Wallbangers – Kick The Drugs
Kick The Drugs EP – 2007
“If I smoke Weed I get neurotic, Alcohol turns me psychotic, Heroin’s just a narcotic, S-S-S-Speed makes me despotic, if you’re on Crack-Cocaine you’re goin’ outta your brain, you’ve gotta pull the plug, you’ve gotta kick the drugs!”
Nick Cave gets all the headlines but his brother in arms Mick Harvey beats him in the fire-breathing Punk savagery stakes with this song.  Guitar Riffs don’t get much better than this.

9. Bob Dylan – Desolation Row
Highway 61 Revisited LP – 1965
“Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew, come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do”
I could almost recite word-for-word the whole 11 minutes of this song’s apocalyptic lyric.  Dylan paints dizzying and terrifying images in your imagination with his words.

10. Kings Of Leon – Fans
Because Of The Times LP – 2007
“All of London sing, cause England swings and they sure love the tales I bring,
and those rainy days, they ain’t so bad when you’re the king”
I never tire of this song yet struggle to properly define why.  The word’s of KOL’s loveletter to their UK fans are almost incomprehensible but it’s about the passion he sings them with.

11. David Ford – State Of The Union
I Sincerely Apologise For All The Trouble I’ve Caused LP – 2005
“Sweet dreams all met with derision, this train, it was armed for collision”
A song featuring one mans despair at the world around him.  Every instrument layers together into a roaring political cacophony.

12. The White Stripes – Jack The Ripper (Live At The Forum, 2001)
Live At The Forum Bootleg – 2001
“I’m walking down the street, late at night, Jack the ripper, Jack the ripper”
Less than a minute and half is all Jack and Meg need to rip your ears to shreds.  How can just two people create this much energy and brutal Guitar magic.

13. Barry Bliss – All I Really Want
Antifolk Vol. 1 Compilation – 2002
“All I really want is to beat your fuckin’ ass, to be thrown in jail and rolled in broken glass, to be offered a kingdom by a crazy man and say I pass, to be beaten to death by British bobbies in mass”
This song is pure nihilistic hate for the world and everyone in it.  Yet it’s so damn beautiful and tuneful that you can’t truelly despair.

14. Coldcut – Stop This Crazy Thing (Feat. Junior Reid)
What’s That Noise? LP – 1988
“Children are cryin’, animals are dyin’, Governments who lie to you, don’t let them tell you what to do”
I can play along with all the vocal samples on this classic but no matter how many times I listen to it I can never predict when the drums come in! A record celebrating the calaeoscopic joys of sampling.

15. The Divine Comedy – If…
A Short Album About Love LP – 1997
“If you were attacked I would kill for you, if your name was Jack I’d change mine to Jill for you”
Another song that pulls off the trick of being darkly comic and heartbreakingly honest. This lush orchestral epic builds to literally maniiacal levels of intensity.

16. Etta James – I Just Want To Make Love To You
At Last! LP – 1961
“All I want you to do is make your bread, just to make sure you’re well-fed, I don’t want you sad and blue, and I just wanna make love to you”
Etta goes from roaring like a lion to purring like a kitten is the space of seconds.  It’s undoubtably the most powerful and sexiest female vocal ever layed down.  It sounds as if you are in the studio with the musicians (Complete with a couple of snatches of studio chatter).

17. Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris – Love Hurts
Grievous Angel LP – 1974
“I’ve really learned a lot, really learned a lot, love is like a stove, burns you when it’s hot”
This sublime cover of Boudleaux Bryant’s song is the all-time greatest duet. Gram and Emmy could reduce grown men who have been born without tear-ducts… to tears!

18. Billy Bragg – Sexuality
Don’t Try This At Home LP – 1991
“I’ve had relations with girls from many nations, I’ve made passes at women of all classes, and just because you’re gay I won’t turn you away, if you stick around I’m sure that we can find some common ground”
Billy has so many wonderful songs that are variously tragic, angry, passionate but it’s the shear liberating joy of ‘Sexuality’ that keeps me coming back. It’s not possible to be in a bad mood when listening to something like this.

19. The Who – Baba O’Riley
Who’s Next LP – 1971
“I don’t need to fight to prove I’m right, I don’t need to be forgiven”
If you’ve never played air-guitar along with Pete at 1.39, then you’ve never lived. For a time The Who were the greatest band alive and this was their finest achievement.

20. The Stooges – Down On The Street
Fun House LP – 1970
“Down on the street where the faces shine, floatin’ around I’m a real low mind”
I adore the brutal unrelenting groove the band have locked themselves in on this track.  Iggy’s squeeling, gurgling, barking vocals are totally exhilerating.

21. Pet Shop Boys – Suburbia (Video Mix)
Suburbia Single – 1986
“Stood by the bus stop with a felt pen in this suburban hell, and in the distance a police car to break the suburban spell”
The lyrical urban decay is matched by samples of sirens, barking dogs, helicopters, bombs, breaking glass, screaming children and machine guns.  Yet somehow it’s still one of the finest Pop songs ever to grace the UK charts.

22. Ty – The Scheme Of Things
Apples & Snake: Two Five Compilation – 2008
“I smile at the crackheads in my area, I remember when we used to play pat-ball as children in neat school uniforms, what went wrong?”
A meandering spoken-word track muesing on the trials of life.  The Jazz backing track brilliant mirror’s every nuance of TY’s vocal poetry.

23. Dan Sartain – P.C.B. 98
Dan Sartain Vs. The Serpientes LP – 2005
“I got my name crushed into a penny, we had a ball down in Panama City”
I love Dan’s dark world of Rock-a-billy and Punk.  Out of a legion of causticly brilliant songs this helter-skelter Blues-Punk gem is his finest so far.

24. Spiritualized® – Stop Your Crying
Let It Come Down LP – 2001
“Nothing hurts you like the pain of someone you care about, if I could take it on myself, you know I sure would without a doubt”
I remembering listening to the CD-single of this on a loop for a whole month on icy winter mornings. Possibly it fails in it’s lyrical objective since you’ll being crying tears of joy that something so catharically powerful exists.

25. Hedwig & The Angry Inch – The Origin Of Love
Hedwig & The Angry Inch: Original Cast Recording LP – 1999
“I could swear by your expression that the pain down in your soul was the same as the one down in mine”
The best song from the best ever musical containing unberable levels of passion.  John Cameron-Mitchell sings Stephen Trask’s poetic Greek-Myth inspired lyrics like his life depended on it.

26. The Dirtbombs – Cedar Point ’76
Hand Springs / Cedar Point ’76 Single – 2000
“Wanna play some pinball with this honey, but damn my luck, Mom won’t give me no money”
Fuzz-Guitar never sounded as good as on this cut.  The lyrics capture an 11 year old Mick as he remembers lusting after an older girl at his local arcade.

27. Laura Marling – New Romantic (Live On Later, 2007)
Live On Later With Jools Holland TV – 2007
“I made you leave her for me and now I’m feeling pretty mean, but my mind has fucked me over more times than any man could ever know”
Laura was only 17 when she wrote this profoundly beautiful Joni Mitchell-esque song. The world stops turning everytime I watch or listen to the intimate fragility of this performance.

28. Nick Drake – Northern Sky
Bryter layter LP – 1970
“I never felt magic crazy as this, I never saw moons knew the meaning of the sea, I never held emotion in the palm of my hand, or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree”
It’s difficult to imagine the soul that recorded a record as hopeful as this succumbing to despair a few years later.  The lush yet subtle orchestration is intoxicating.

29. Andrew W.K. – She Is Beautiful
I Get Wet LP – 2001
“You’re giving me moves that hit from all sides, and when you’re hitting like that you melt my eyes”
A sweet love song on Andrew’s terms which means him screaming at love at noise poluting levels.  Metal music rarely is as fun as this frenetic single.

30. Har Mar Superstar – EZ Pass
You Can Feel Me LP – 2003
“DJ, DJ, can you play some more Minogue, and keep up with the tracks that everybody knows, cut to some Har Mar then that Pharcide beat, how’s that shit go, she keeps passin’ me”
This contains some truelly outstanding rhymes detailing Sean’s “Mission to find the hypest party”.  After hundreds of listens I still love the Hip-Hop Drums and House Pianos.

31. The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
Ready To Die LP – 1994
“We used to fuss when the landlord dissed us, no heat, wonder why Christmas missed us”
It’s the way every line fom this cut feels like it’s straight from the heart speaking of poverty made good.  The Bass-Guitar heavy production is also total genius.

32. Jamie T – Pacemaker
Panic Prevention LP – 2007
“Body bags come back on planes from wartorn Iraq, it’s the stark naked truth, a dark aftermath”
A stream of conscienceness Rap taking in the Iraq war, drug abuse, illness and violence.  Jamie has so much to say he has no time for big choruses or even pausing for breath.

33. Adam Green – Emily
Gemstones LP – 2005
“Emily, sweet baby, won’t you be my wife, cutting me wide open with a kitchen knife”
It’s testament to the irresistable Pop-Blues beat of this cut that make Adam’s predictably bizarre lyrics are so catchy. What Sinatra would’ve sounded like if he’d taken as many Drugs as Elvis.

34. Rufus Wainwright – Oh What A World
Want One LP – 2003
“Wouldn’t it be a lovely headline, ‘Life is Beautiful’ on the New York Times”
A dizzying, whirling Orchestral-Pop cut that envelopes your ears in delight.

35. Bobby Conn & The Glass Gypsies – We’re Taking Over The World
The Homeland LP – 2004
“Don’t you wonder why the times are tough, why you never seem to get enough”
Written as an attack on George W. Bush and I’m still listening to it as the economies of the world collapse. An irresistable Disco-Rock classic.

36. David Gray – The One I Love
Life In Slow Motion One LP – 2005
“Perfect summers night, not a wind that breathes, just the bullets whispering gentle ‘mongst the new green leaves”
David gets alot of flack but he deserves a knight-hood on the evidence of this one poetic masterpiece.  The lyric tells of a soldier bleeding to death and dreaming of his love back home.

37. Coyote Shivers – Sugarhigh
Coyote Shivers LP – 1996
“Think again, sometimes reputations outlive their applications, and sometimes fires don’t go out, when you’re done playing with them”
This Pop-Punk cut is a totally exhilerating celebration of life.

38. Akala – Bullshit
It’s Not A Rumour LP – 2006
“They rob the third world of every cent, now that’s bullshit, now you got third world debt, now that’s bullshit”
Akala vents his spleen on everything that pisses him off.  One moment he’s Rapping about racism and one moment he’s annoyed by the British weather.

39. The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma
Strangeways, Here We Come LP – 1987
“Girlfriend in a coma, I know, I know, it’s serious”
This brings a smile to my face everytime.  Morrissey has a wicked wit and never more so on this glorious single.

40. Sufjan Stevens – Come On! Feel The Illinoise!
Come On Feel The Illinoise LP – 2005
“Cannot conversations cull United Nations, if you got the patience, celebrate the ancients, cannot all creation call it celebration”
With six and a half minutes it still feels like Sufjan is cramming in all his magical ideas. I wouldn’t be surprised if every instrument ever invented crops up at one point or another.

41. Jape – Phil Lynott
Ritual LP – 2008
“It was a luner eclipse, I was out drinkin’ with two of my oldest pals, one is called Glen, one is Al”
This very personnal Folktronic tribute song is so simple but so heart felt.

42. The Flamin’ Groovies – Headin’ For The Texas Border
Flamingo LP – 1970
“Headin’ for the Texas border, cos I’m tryin’ to avoid the law”
One of those songs that it’s dangerous to drive to and the band sound like a blazing Blues Hot-Rod with the pedal to the floor.

43. Okkervil River – The President’s Dead
The President’s Dead Single – 2006
“On a beautiful day, I was waking up and I was lying in bed with my girlfriend, And the eggs on the plate, and the bacon hissin’, And the coffee was great, there was spring on the wind”
The lyric celebrates life itself in the shadow of death.  Just wait for when the drumms kick in, fantastic!

44. The Durutti Column – In Memory Of Anthony
Love In The Time Of Recession LP – 2009
“The flames you set alight, they’re always gonna last”
Even if Anthony H. Wilson hadn’t founded the great Factory records he could’ve still rested easy in his grave knowing that he’d touched his friend so deeply that he would write a song this powerful about him.

45. Jonathan Richman – I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar
I, Jonathan LP – 1992
“Well in the first bar things were controlled, but in this bar things were Rock and Roll, in the first bar things were so controlled, in this bar things were way way bold”
Pop singles don’t get much more fun than this, you can’t help but sing along.

46. Hot Club De Paris – You Can Call Me Al
Clockwork Toy Single – 2007
“I need a photo-opportunity, I want a shot at redemption, don’t want to end up a cartoon, in a cartoon graveyard”
A Simple Indie-Rock Paul Simon cover causualy tucked on to a B-Side. But maybe it’s the carefree spirit with which they recorded it that keeps me listening. Just three friends having fun in a studio.

47. Patrick Wolf – Pumpkin Soup
The Patrick Wolf EP – 2002
“Autumn’s brown sturdy fingers are embedding bouquets up and down your spine, embrace the moment ‘cos everything changes and all this will too”
An intoxicating blend of personnal nostalgia and subtle Folk production.  The whole lyric is a towering poetic achievement.

48. The Viking Moses! – I Will Always Love You
Sandstorms Single – 2006
“Bittersweet memories, that is all I’m taking with me, so, goodbye, please, don’t cry, We both know I’m not what you need”
In stark contrast to Whitney’s bombastic version, Brendon crafts a Lo-Fi gem. At points I could swear you can hear his voice cracking and hear the very tears running down his face.

49. Orphan Boy – Billy’s England
Billy’s England Single – 2006
“This retail park is wank, this town’s a fuckin’ fish tank, I get my culture from a bookcase by the door”
The first single by a great British Punk band delivering a scathing rant at the nation.

50. Gifthorse – Childhood Gang Reunion
Childhood Gang Reunion EP – 2005
“You were a tough kid, never cried, went to the funfair, the day your mother died”
Youthful memories recounted with nostalgic lyrical magic.

April 7, 2011

The Killing / Forbrydelsen (TV)

After a recommendation from my brother, I’m halfway through series one of Danish Crime-Drama ‘The Killing’ (Forbrydelsen in Danish). The comparison that first hits you is The Wire.  It’s the way this show skillfully blends police procedural, political intrigue and family drama giving them equal weight.  But where as The Wire felt like a brilliant examination of the ills of a society through it’s failing institutions.  The Killing is much more grounded in everyday family life torn apart and social tensions.

Every episode ends with an excruciating cliffhanger that makes it nigh on impossible to watch just one episode at a time.  It can spend 2 or 3 episodes building a suspect’s guilt in your mind (And the minds of the police) to a point when even as a jaded crime viewer you cannot conceive of their innocence. Then a new witness says one sentence and you realise they are totally innocent! The performances are uniformly excellent but special note has to go to Sofie Gråbøl’s DCI Lund (One of the best ever female TV sleuths) and Bjarne Henriksen as the father of the victim Theis. Bjarne’s face is continually contorted with wild emotion suppressed within a gruff masculine shell (To bring back The Wire again, it reminded me of Chris Bauer’s turn as Frank Sobotka).

Be warned… if you have any important plans (Or just need your sleep) do not start watching The Killing! Okay, that’s enough blogging it’s an hour since I saw an episode… I’m getting withdrawal symptoms.

April 6, 2011

The Indelicates – David Koresh Superstar Out On 16th May (Rejoice!!!)

If you are somehow unaware of it, The Indelicates are one of the finest bands these isles have produced in the last few years.  I’ve been following them since I reviewed their first single on this blog back in 2006, declaring it “No less than an anthem for our times”. Their second album ‘Songs For Swinging Lovers’ was the album of last year and it’s best track ‘Savages’ was without doubt one the greatest songs ever written. So you can imagine how excited I am by the prospect of their third album ‘David Koresh Superstar’ coming out in a few weeks.

Two years ago I declared the original demo of ‘I Don’t Care If It’s True’ as one of my tracks of the year. I described it as “A gorgeous song from Simon’s possibly factious Musical ‘David Koresh Superstar’”.  Well it was clearly no joke as a studio version surfaced last year and The Indelicates have announced the full musical is being released on 16th May 2011.

As an april-fools prank they did a press release claiming they were tailoring their sounds to fit popular tastes and released a special Dubstep Mix of ‘I Am Koresh’. predictably it’s rather brilliant:

I’m counting down the days, hours and minutes till this album comes out!

Here’s the original demo of ‘I Don’t Care If It’s True’ mp3

As a final treat, here’s a vitriolic (If low-fi) rendition of ‘We Hate The Kids’ from SXSW:

April 4, 2011

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle (DVD)

I loved Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle when it aired back in march 2009. It stood in stark contrast to other stand-up program’s like Micheal MacIntyre Live At the Apollo. I only noticed it on Amazon the other week and snapped it up for a mere £6.

Each episode has great moments taking standup comedy down ridiculous alleyways. For example; Lee does a whole routine based on reading out the sleeve notes to a Franklin Ajaye LP, or he extrapolates a whole narrative from a found child’s ballet shoe, or he tells a comedy anecdote where it’s very subject begins to critique the standard of Lee’s own material.

If you’re the kind of person that likes siting down on a saturday night and watching Michael MacIntyre (Firstly take the time to reevaluate your whole life to find out how it went so terribly wrong) then get this DVD to feel the energy of something vital, intelligent and real.

The bonus material’s are generously stuffed across the 2 discs. The best bits are 6 ten minute interviews by fellow Comedy genius Armando Iannucci pretending to dissect each episode. They expertly satirize the kind of deadly-serious-in-depth-celebrity-interview that might usually be conducted by Pamela Connelly or Piers Morgan. The joy is watching the both of them just about manage to not corpse at the absurdity of Armando’s questions or the silliness of Stewart’s responses (This is worth the price alone). There are also six commentaries, and even the warm-up acts as an easter egg.

Here’s a clip featuring that Franklin Ayaye routine: