Monday, February 27, 2006

'gwai as a kite

The Download time again - this fortnight on those Glasgee tykes Mogwai. Hope you like the felt tips metaphor: I think it had originally said 'a pack of dessicated felt tips', but I'll 'low that. People already have too much patience for my laboured extended metaphors.

PS - pleeeease, someone tell me they have 'got' the Jackson Pollock joke.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

More heroes crumble

It would be fair to say that I'm only truly happy when I feel like I'm in tune with, and noticing the same trends as, Private Eye. Well this is one of those times.

Like a helluva lot of people, I've been enjoying the Ricky Gervais, Steve Merchant, and Karl Pilkington podcasts hosted on the Guardian website. They're very funny, quite simply, and I'm pleased that they've somehow become a global phenomenon. Without wanting to draw for my 'I saw him first' card - and yet still managing to do so anyway - I've been a fan of Gervais on t'radio since he started out as a guest on Clare Sturgess' XFM show many, many years ago; he is an instinctively funny guy. He and Merchant also created The Office, the single greatest TV programme since sliced sun-dried tomato foccacia. And now they've broken the 'World Record' for podcast downloads (a somewhat disingenuous notion, given that podcasts are pretty new entities), as pictured. So what's the problem?

(1) The problem with the Gervais podcast is, firstly, that out of nowhere they started running in-show adverts a few weeks ago - a horrendous disruption of an otherwise seamless half an hour of comedy - and from this point forward the shows will no longer be free to download. That'll be £4.50 a month to you sucker Sir. Does it cost a lot of money to host such an insanely popular podcast? Yes. Is the fee only going to be used to cover costs? Yes. But I'm afraid that's still not good enough. At the very least they should commit to abandoning the in-show advertising (is that money just covering costs as well?). I'd also like to know how much money Gervais and Merchant have made from indirect sales of Extras and The Office dvds, or indeed from direct sales - they shamelessly plug their wares most weeks.

(2) The problem is also with the podcasts' hosts and sponsors, The Guardian, which is where Private Eye comes in. The latter's superb 'Hackwatch' column this fortnight (the Valentine's TB-GB issue) covers The Guardian's dizzy descent from clarion-calling liberal paper of record to shallow, marketing-obsessed occupier of the centre-ground. P.E. highlights eleven different examples of unambiguous plugs for the Gervais podcast and the Guardian website masquerading as news items in the paper; there are probably more. The apex of this came on 7 February with a large front-page photo of Gervais and a page 3 article detailing the aforementioned 'World Record' 'ceremony'. As always P.E. hits the nail right on the head, recounting that Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, was, in pre-Berliner days,

fond of invoking a line from (Guardian founder) CP Scott: "The editor and the business manager should march hand in hand..." He didn't mention the rest of the quote: "...the first , it should be well understood, just an inch or so in advance." Or, as it now appears, the other way round.
If you see my faith in all things good and decent lying about, hang onto it for me will you?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Just another Bok-Bok Monday

Alex's fortnightly radio show has been brought forward to tonight at the perfectly sociable time of 10pm-12am (GMT, obv, in case any of my stateside cousins are about). You can listen to his big bag of new tunes here, as well as watch Mr DJ in the studio, send in ludicrous quasi-fictional shouts and texts, and generally make better use of your time than watching Mission Impossible 2: This Time it Really is Rather Impossible on ITV3 or whatever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Troooo love

Feeling dejected this Valentine's Day? Annoyed by the presence of smug florists and hectoring charity workers bearing red roses? Then download Dj Bok-Bok's helium mix, packed with sweet hyperspeed female vox. It will melt your soul...

Hidden (aka Caché)

If anyone can help us with what it says on the car at the end of Hidden, pleeeease will you tell me. You needn't post it if you don't want to spoil it for anyone else, just e-mail me or post a link or something. Because it is tearing us up inside not knowing.

Brilliant film though, the kind only our French brethren could make. Tense yet meditative, shocking yet all too real. Go see!

Friday, February 10, 2006

2006 tips and some customary bitching

A rather aimless, wandering Download column this week; a lot like a classic road movie it seems to go nowhere, but manages to reference Rinse FM at the end and in doing so redeem itself. Or something.

Further departing from the road movie metaphor, this fortnight's column has also suffered some appalling sub-editing. I dunno why the NS insist that bands are singular entities like the fucking Yanks do, it sounds terrible. Cf:

'Blur are shite'
'Blur is shite'

Quite obvious which one sounds right innit? Also, I'd run a marathon backwards before using the phrase 'As for my own hot tip...'. What am I, a goddamn 3am Girl? Jeeeez...

Bop your head to the beat

"i think my calendar just wet itself!" - manara

Thurs 16 Feb - FWD>> with N-Type, Hatcha, and Geenius
Fri 17 Feb - Essentials at Whitechapel Art Gallery of all places, followed by Straight Outta Bethnal at 333
Wed 1 Mar - Dub Pressure in Brighton
Thu 2 Mar - FWD>> Dubstep Allstars 3 Launch Party
Sat 4 Mar - DMZ All-Nighter 1st Birthday Bash in Brikkie

So don't tell me there's nothing worth doing in our fair city.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Bunny good show

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Boxing clever

Bringin' the ol' folks at the New Statesman up to speed with this here inter-net (that Lynsey Hanley character described Myspace as a weblog last week, jeeez...), specifically Pandora and

Big chunky shouts to Tom for, well, giving me the whole idea for the piece, and to Alex for talking himself right into the posish of being a quotable authority. Brrrrapple.

A lotta hate in this room

There's a lot of hate doing the rounds today it seems. Jake O'Leary blogs the Mohammed Cartoon Madness, and that BNP fuck Mark Collett has just been cleared of four of the charges against him for inciting racial hatred. Apparently describing asylum seekers as "cockroaches" to a pub back room of retarded neanderthal lumps of racist flesh doesn't count as incitement. Oh I'm sorry, I'm sorry, what is it then? A compliment? A limerick? A pack of Dairylea Lunchables?

Let's hope the BNP's Adolf-in-Chief Nick Griffin gets what's coming to him.