Assorted on Tuesday


- Put on a conference about Music Law and gig this past weekend. Both were very well attended and went down very well. Don't believe me? Read this, cynic!
- Had to leave that early to go to a wedding, where I got into a fight with a dude much bigger than me. (I didn't really)
- After THAT, back for the Annual Oscars party: My predictions were terrible, I'm the 'Revolutionary Road' of the gathering. Great initial performance, ended up empty handed and terribly depressing. Happy with most of the wins - especially Danny Boy(le) and Rahman. And whatever you think of Slumdog, there's no way this isn't adorable. 
- I'm going to miss Conan on Late Night. Really hope he can still get away with stuff like this on the Tonight Show. 
- Been enjoying the two eps each so far of Delocated and Eastbound and Down. Only one featured a Ska-Mitvah, though.
- So you know how I'm always talking about the Best Show on WFMU? Now it's easier than ever to get into, and I hope that at least four of you will do so. There's a new podcast, Best Show Gems, which'll send you one bit every other Monday. Perfect! Also, Matt from Fluxblog has posted a few of their greatest hits. Listen to it, then I'll leave you alone. 
- If THAT wasn't incentive enough... tonight is going to be a big show: General Patton, the Wizard of Oswalt in-studio! And Robert Popper and Pete Serafinowicz from Look Around You on the phone? Unmissable. What more do you want? Blood?
- I guess I should include some music? New Rakes!

RIP Kirk Lawrence

In the last few days, I've been thinking a lot of the Grandaddy song 'Jed the Humanoid', mostly because of its no-bullshit opening lyric: "Last night something pretty bad happened, we lost a friend..." Admittedly, last week we lost a close friend and not a robot that found the booze and fizzled out, but those that knew Kirk Lawrence will appreciate the parallels. 

Kirk was the nucleus of the first group of friends I made here in the U.S. It was in his living room that I first saw Desperado, Battle Royale, Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai and Hero, at least a year before it came out in this country. Also, I have vivid memories of watching a cam-rip of Shaun of the Dead on his computer, the weekend it came out in the UK, again before anyone had heard of it here. He was a Spaced fan when there were very few Spaced fans - and we'd recite lines from it all the time. My musical tastes were also strongly moulded by Kirk's influence - especially in the hip hop field. Dude burned 'Phrenology' for me, among many others. 

Also, here's one of Kirk's many hilarious poems, which is appropriate for this week. 

I Love The Oscars!
What's everybody wearing this year? 
What's in the gift bag? What's gonna happen? I'm so excited!
The only reason I haven't tried to destroy Joan Rivers 
Is because I know that she can't be killed by conventional weapons. 
We have to destroy her spawn, and that will make her vulnerable. Let the blood flow redder than the carpet!
Did I say I Love the Oscars?
Fuck the Oscars. 
That's like, the same thing, right? 

He was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in the summer of 2005. Those of us in Tallahassee were at the hospital just about every day. He fought through. He defied doctors' expectations for three and a half more years. Last Thursday morning, we lost him. There are plans for a Kirk Day soon - where everyone converges to Atlanta for milkshakes, kung-fu flicks and rock and roll. Kirk wouldn't want everyone sitting around being sad. He once made an mp3 of 'God Gave Rock N' Roll To You' from the end of 'Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey', with a guitar solo from Steve Vai. You can grab that below, and play it repeatedly. 


I posted in here a while back about Scotland's How to Swim, a ten-piece whose rollocking 'Genesis P and Me' continues to make me smile, dance and scratch my head in plain ol' confusion. Well, it turns out that members of HTS, as well as personnel from many, many other Scottish bands like Dananananaykroyd and Q without U, also form The Second Hand Marching Band. Fittingly for an outfit whose numbers are on the north side of twenty, their sound is massive and rich. Their press notes say that they practice in car parks or in fields, so if you’re ever in Glasgow, keep an eye and two ears out for them. Chaffinch Records just put out their EP 'A Dance to Half Death', and here's a couple of songs for you to enjoy from same. One day I'll post something in here that doesn't - directly or indirectly - concern Glasgow, but don't hold your breath.

[download The Second Hand Marching Band - A Dance to Half Death]

[The Second Hand Marching Band official / myspace /]

Look to the sun

It's a new year, new administration, new challenges, and here's some new music from old pals Animate Objects. For the price of your email address, you can get their new EP 'Dubs, Grunts and Things' for zero money. This most credit-crunch-friendly of mini-albums features five new tracks, all of which continue AO's brand of laid-back hip hop with lyrics that matter. Check out '4Love' to see why they do all this ish. And below, get yo' hands on the most upbeat track from the EP.

The whole thing is available here. What are you waiting for? 

Grammys and miscellany

I'm writing this while watching the Grammys, so it'll be even more disjointed than the list format already provides. Sorry, people! Also, I've been using twitter a lot more than this blog lately, because most of my thoughts very conveniently occupy less-than-or-equal-to 140 characters. Follow me on there if you so choose. 

So here are a few things that I've meaning to write about for a while, cleaned up and given bullet points. 
  • I began and then finished 'More Information than you Require' by John Hodgman - or should that be @hodgman? - and rather enjoyed it. 
  • Saw 'Vicky Christina Barcelona' and thought it was pretty and sweet, but couldn't get over the first act being set in Oviedo, since it also happens to be the city in which my girlfriend lives. Not the same one, sadly. 
  • Mentioned my love for Blizzy B previously on here, and so it's no surprise that the next collab between T-Pain and Andy Samberg is also ace. 'Incredibad' drops this week, and I've got high hopes. 
  • Bloc Party covered Girls Aloud. Listen here. They didn't do 'Sexy No No No' for some reason. 
  • Robert Plant just won a Grammy. What year is this again? 
  • Charlie Brooker doesn't like Twitter, but I still like Charlie Brooker. 
  • Like the last two posts here, gotta mention Aidan Moffat - the board game is now live. Play it, with his dulcet tones guiding you the whole way, and get a free download at the end. 
  • Went to the local indie club for my birthday a few days ago, and gotta admit: when 'Kids' came on, it slaaaaayed. 
  • Have you heard the band brokeNCYDE? Happy birthday, everyone
  • Valentine's day next week - here's where I'll be. 

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