Tim Minchin

I saw Tim Minchin yesterday. I tried to tweet about his show afterwards and couldn’t find the right word – 7hrs sleep over 48 will do that to you – but someone else came up with the perfect expression: he was phenomenal. Here’s his most well-known piece, Storm:

Proper superstar, that guy. The rest of his act is piano-based, and he closed with his Christmas song, which had me, and half the audience, in tears. He totally deserved the standing ovation.

The Fear

I have a soft spot for Lily Allen1. Not entirely sure why, since I get the impression she’s not really my kind of person, but I think it started when I heard she’d named her backing singers ‘The Lillets’. Here’s her ridiculously catchy new single, which I think is charming in her usual sounds-beautiful-until-you-start-listening-to-the-lyrics way (nsfw language):

She just has such a lovely voice. I want to pay her to read me bedtime stories.

  1. you know, this is a bloody weird phrase []

Now 69 and the OTOCE

Sometimes the universe gives you no choice. A mild example occurred in February, when I heard of somebody claiming it was the Chinese Year of the Salmon, and I was compelled to remark that this must be due to the leap year. There was no option: these circumstances were never going to arise again, and it’s a moral duty to take advantage of such existential confluences, regardless of company or surroundings. Professional ballroom champion Darren Bennett, on the news that Strictly Come Dancing partner Emma Bunton had become pregnant a month into their training, said “I thought she was getting heavier.”. He knows what I’m talking about. This kind of thing can get you in big trouble. I call it the OTOCE – the one-time-only-comedic-event.

Apropos of nothing, I remember realising in my teens that the much advertised “Now” compilation CDs would one day reach number 69. And that would be a funny day. As a 24 year old I can look back on my teenage self and observe the unsophisticated nature of this humour. Adolescent and immature, the slightest hint of sexual innuendo seemed incredibly amusing. I’m now older, and wiser. Here’s the thing, though: the Now 69 adverts are on tv at the moment and they’re really funny.

I’m not proud of this. But what can do you. Here are the rumoured hidden tracks:

  • Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Right Round
  • Men At Work – Down Under
  • The Hollies – The Air That I Breathe

Sorry.

Join With Us

I picked up The Feeling‘s new album ‘Join with Us’ a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been looping pretty much ever since. I adored their first album1, and its final track “Blue Piccadilly” is my 2nd all-time-most-played song, according to iTunes. I’m happy to say I like their second just as much – it’s happy, fun and eminently sing-along-able. iTunes says my most played track is “Don’t Make Me Sad“, although the endearingly bonkers “Turn It Up” is close behind. Highly recommended by me.

There’s one caveat: I have heard complaints over the compressed nature of the sound. I’m not particularly sensitive to that kind of thing, but can pick up on it at times. My computer and car speakers aren’t all that great to begin with, so it’s not too annoying, but it could be a problem on a better system – just thought I’d mention it.

  1. currently £5.49 on iTunes []

Roy Rogers

For years I’ve very occasionally heard Elton John’s ‘Roy Rogers’ on the radio and thought what a lovely song it was. It’s one of those tracks I only remember when it’s playing, and I’ve never put any effort into locating it. Happily, Elton John’s entire back catalogue was released onto iTunes this morning, so I now own the song. I somehow thought it was a rare one, but apparently it’s from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, so wouldn’t have been tricky to find. Still, nice to have it finally.

Stay the night from ghosts

Radio 2’s record of the week is ‘Stay the night from ghosts’. I thought this was a pleasing phrase and a great title, then later found out it’s actually ‘Stay the night’ from ‘Ghosts’, which isn’t anything like so poetic. Still, I can now steal it without feeling guilty.

Maybe he needed it for alimony

BBC News says:

The bassist from Bob Marley’s band The Wailers has lost his court battle for £60m in unpaid royalties.

The bassist’s name is Aston Barrett, but he’s known as ‘Familyman’. You know why? Because he’s fathered over 50 children. Other nicknames spring to mind.

Mood-changing music

I was in a foul mood earlier this evening. No particular cause, really, just a combination of minor annoyances. I snapped at my parents a couple of times, then drove home feeling pissed off, until a song called C’est la fucking vie yanked me right out of it. On the surface it doesn’t seem the most cheerful song, but the lyrics are wry and reminded me that it’s easier to laugh at crap. And I felt better. You can hear the whole song here, buy it here and visit the artist’s website here.

Podcasting Harmony

Just listened to Daily Source Code #290, and it really demonstrated the good and bad sides of the internet community.

On the one hand, you’ve got the fantastic “Podsafe for Peace” christmas song, for which 96(!) different artists sent in contributions. I really like the end result – it’s a great festive song imho. It’s entirely ‘podsafe’, which means that anybody can play it on a podcast without paying royalties. It’ll be available to purchase very soon, hopefully on iTunes amongst other places. All proceeds are going to UNICEF.

I thought that was great. People have put a huge amount of work into something created almost entirely to increase other people’s happiness. It’ll also help publicise podcasting and independent music in general. The song just premiered on DSC last night, and I’ll post a link once it’s online and listenable. EDIT: It’s now up on the Podsafe Music Network.

Then, though, there’s the massive debacle over DSC presenter Adam Curry and Wikipedia. On Wednesday’s show Adam said that the Wikipedia podcasting entry wasn’t entirely correct in that he and Dave Winer were barely mentioned. Later that day the entry changed and a couple of paragraphs disappeared. Somebody traced the changes back to Adam’s IP, and all hell broke loose. Digg and countless blogs have viciously attacked him, claiming that he’s “anonymously editing the podcasting entry on Wikipedia to remove credit from other people and inflate his role in its creation”. I came across this independently, and there’s some pretty nasty stuff out there.

On today’s show Adam admits that “after about 20 minutes of trying to figure out the interface of the editing system I became exasperated and gave up.” So I just looked at the differences, and it seems to come down to the re-working of one sentence1. You could interpret the sentence as inflating his own role, but it’s rather a stretch. There’s far more he could have changed if he wanted to do that! Reading between the lines of the show, I think he wanted to clarify the description much more, but the wiki syntax caused problems and he stopped. There’s no evidence of malicious intent here, it’s all assumed.

Did anybody ask him what had happened? Or did they just assume, then watch as people jumped onto the bandwagon? His celebrity status made him an easy target, and people got in line to hurl insults at anything they could think of2. The ip database unfortunately put his mobile phone number online for all to see, so I bet he’s had a few calls too. It quickly descended into personal attacks, and is all pretty pathetic. The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory springs to mind. It seems that if you’re passionate about anything, you need to develop a thick skin. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, there’ll be plenty of people out there willing to tear you down.

So on the one hand we’ve got people who altrustically got together to create a song, and on the other a bunch of sarcastic losers. They may be fewer in number, but at least one group can say they were part of something decent, and useful.

  1. he explained that the other paragraph simply isn’t true []
  2. often his hair, because he dares not to be like everybody else – how awful! []