'All she can do is dial and yell...'




Hey, remember mashups? Bootlegs? Bastard pop etc.? I'm sure you do, however vaguely. They were the 'future of music' there a couple of years ago - back in the heady summer of 2001, when Napster seemed like the greatest thing since twin-pot yoghurt and the first Shrek movie ruled the box office, teaching us the importance of 'being yourself' (and how monstrously ugly people deserve monstrously ugly partners). Anyway, bootlegs were 'all the rage' back then, even 'burning up' the 'pop charts' (courtesy of the Sugababes, back when they gave a shit). Like everything though, mashups fell out of favour, got boring, stale, predictable etc. I don't want to blame it all on 9/11, but that certainly didn't help. They didn't really go away though - on the contrary, there are arguably more mashups being produced today than there were five years ago. Most suck mightily, but every now and then one comes along that restores your faith in the D.I.Y. digital music 'revolution'/life itself. This is Marvin Gaye singing over Massive Attack. Download it here. You can thank me in goals.




See what I did there? I'm feeling a bit bo(red) at the moment. Hence the spot of redecoration. It's not completely finished yet: the byline is centred for some reason, when I actually want it on the left - also, there's not a lot of space between the byline and subsequent blog item titles. Which is unfortunate. Oh well. What the hell am I talking about? I don't know. Look at this. Fun-nee. But also quite racist. Kind of like the video I posted below. Which wasn't particularly funny at all. I thought maybe I could draw some kind of connection between Richards' hateful rantings and someone like Borat introducing a black politician as a 'chocolate face'. I couldn't really. Essentially what I was doing was constructing what's known as a 'false analogy', wherein the two things compared are actually more different than they are alike. Talking out of my arse basically, and just an excuse to have a cheap shot at Gervais et al. And I actually quite enjoyed Borat. Well, bits of it. As with Ali G, some of the sketches worked, and some of them fell a bit flat. Enjoyable then, but hardly the comedy of the year. That title, I believe, goes to Little Miss Sunshine, a film I was fully prepared to hate (honestly, I was certain I was going to loathe this movie, expecting it to be yet another dysfunctional family roadtrip dramedy - an indie version of RV, a film that still gives me vivid, horrifying nightmares) but actually ended up loving, perhaps even insanely so. Definitely up there with Brick and The Departed as one of the best films I've seen this year.
Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yeah. Today I decided to engage in that most indulgent of 'common man's' pleasures: 'pulling' a 'sickie' from work. Sure, my absence - even for one day - from my massively important job may result in some of the most vulnerable members of our society going uncared for - unfed maybe, unwashed, possibly not even receiving their life-sustaining medication etc. but I'm choosing not to focus on that right now (Twenty-Something Bloke In Shirking Responsibilities Shocker!). In fairness, I am actually quite sick. Though not as sick as I made out on the phone - pretending I was deaf in one ear and could see people behind the wallpaper. Certainly not as sick as my new housemate: she eats out of the bin. Yes, she does. Eats food. Out of the bin. I'll pause now to let you savour that image. A girl eating out of a bin. Get a good mental picture there. An otherwise well-educated and respectable young woman crouched over a filthy bin, her chin dripping with that mysterious liquid known only as 'garbage water', hastily shovelling handfuls of rancid vegetable peelings down her eager gullet. Because that's what she does. Oh, yes. She's a bin-eater. A trashmuncher. A refuse bag gastronomer. OK, so that isn't exactly true. More accurately, what she does (or what I observed her doing today at least) is take food that was in the bin out of the bin, clean it off and then eat it. Basically, I threw out a bag of oranges yesterday because I thought they looked a bit 'off' (and I'm sure that they were. I don't just go around throwing out food, you know. Though there is a certain giddy thrill to be had from tossing a load of perfectly good food into the bin, I'll admit. It makes me feel, I dunno, like I'm the one in charge. Like I don't need food really. I can eat it if I want, or maybe I'll just fuck it in the bin: 'food is not my master' and so on. Like a bulimic but without having to clean the loo afterwards). Still, it was an eye-opener. Eye-wateringly so. Evidently one man's waste is another man's table-for-one at the bin-side bistro. The swing-top cafeteria. The... well, you get the picture.
Seriously though, what the hell am I talking about? This has to have been the most pointless entry ever. I'll stop writing now and go listen to the new Hanne Hukkelberg album. Anyone else heard of her? I forget where she's from, somewhere foreign, and she sounds a bit like Stina Nordenstam in some ways but not in others. She does a really good cover of 'Break My Body' by The Pixies, which, like most (if not all) Pixies songs, is a pretty hard song to cover and to cover well. You can download it here. That's all for this evening. Peace out.




Watch this:

I suppose this is the natural, albeit thoroughly unpleasant, conclusion to 'ironic' racism: actual racist racism. Is this Michael Richards' pathetic idea of 'pushing the envelope' - calling a black man a 'nigger' to his face? Or is he just a bigoted fuckhead? What if this had been filmed as part of an episode of Extras or Curb Your Enthusiasm, and included the obligatory 'squirmy' reaction shots - would that make it acceptable? Comedy 'genius' maybe? Maybe Richards was attempting, however cack-handedly, some kind of 'social satire' on the insidious nature of racism and how we're all a bit racist really and how he's just articulating what we're all secretly thinking. Is he, like Borat, using racist language in order to make a point about racism itself? But does the fact that he's a washed-up sitcom refugee make one less inclined to embrace his 'comedy' (if, indeed, that's what it is) than if it had come from someone 'edgier' like Gervais or Baron-Cohen? Do any of these questions matter? What do you think?




And other questions.
That is all.




So, my first post in, like, ages. I’ve been busy. Out, about. Doing things, going places, meeting people - ‘let me buy you a drink’ here, ‘ooh, I love this song’ there, ‘help, I can’t feel my face’ sort of thing. Who has the time to blog these days? TV’s Zach Braff does, and he‘s a famous actor/unlikely sex symbol and stuff. Apparently I look a bit like Zach Braff. Someone told me so. Last night someone (random stranger) told me that I looked like Matthew Fox, the doctor from Lost. This is interesting, mainly because Zach Braff and Matthew Fox look absolutely nothing alike. And that I look nothing like either of them. Then again, according to this website I look like Andie MacDowell. Which is depressing on a level I never knew existed. Admittedly, the girl who compared me favourably with Matthew Fox was, at the time, merrily in the ‘Don’t See A Great Night Wasted’ stage of intoxication. She also tried to steal my glasses. And insisted that I was the tallest man in Ireland. I’m not, as it happens. I checked and it’s this guy - a man that's so tall his legs can’t support his frame and he has to use a wheelchair. Which brings him down to normal size. Which, in turn, calls in to question his standing - so to speak - as Ireland’s tallest man. I think I still win on a technicality. Also, in that picture he appears to be wearing some sort of joke shop-bought disguise - no doubt to avoid the inevitable groupies, grope-ies and 'how's-the-weather-up-there' merchants. I feel his pain - though obviously I can, y'know, walk and stuff.
But back to Braff. How sucky does his new movie look? Answer (in case you were wondering): ‘very’. I quite liked Garden State. It wasn’t perfect but as actor-turned-director vanity projects about twenty-something’s in existential crisis go it was refreshingly not-shit: well scripted and well acted by all involved, Peter Sarsgaard in particular. (The soundtrack, on the other hand - though loved by many - was beyond awful. Yes. Yes, it was. Moving on...). That’s why The Last Kiss looks so disappointing. Fametracker recently ran a feature speculating on what Braff’s future projects might have in store and it makes for hilarious yet depressingly convincing reading. I like him on Scrubs, and his blog is always enjoyable but he does push the whole ‘I’m not J.D. in real life: I introduced your girlfriend to The Shins’ thing a little too hard at times. There’s a picture of Braff there with moustachioed man of the moment (no, not that one, the other one): Borat. It’s a cute picture and one which is probably enough to cause indie chicks the world over to collectively cream their polka-dot panties. Speaking of the polka-dot bedecked, horn rimmed specs sporting brigade, they were out in force at The Pipettes gig last month. I like The Pipettes a lot and I think their album is one of the best I’ve heard this year but - for reasons outlined here - I do question their ‘artistic credibility’ somewhat (as appalling 'rockist' and 'post-post-modern' as that might sound). At worst, the band and their songs are just a cynical marketing exercise reinforcing the phallocentric male-dominated blah blah First Year Sociology blah. At best, they're neo-feminist icons of empowerment blah blah something Barbara Ellen wrote in The Observer mag blah. The way I see it, The Pipettes are what would step out of the door, bathed in dry ice, if the Sugababes went on Stars In Their Eyes as The Ronettes. (That's a good thing, by the way).

Anyway, is it raineen? I hadden’t nodissed. (My Andie MacDowell impression there... sheesh, tough crowd). No, it hasn’t been raining (much) but it has, I have noticed, been extremely fucking cold here. I was in France last week (and briefly, Barcelona) enjoying 20+ degree temperatures only to return to the frozen dogshit dildo I call home and contract flu symptoms literally within minutes of stepping off the plane. Fucking weather. And the Lemsip's no use, whatever way you cut it (halfway down the page for instructions). It’s possible though that my cold has more to do with the fact that, in the previous week, I consumed (probably) twice my own body weight in dairy produce, a food group to which I am, apparently, severely allergic - at least according to my doctor, a shady practitioner of the junk science we call 'Western medicine'. You know that hospitals kill more people than they save, right? And that AIDS was something invented by a Polish doctor in 1957? It's amazing what you can learn off the Internets. Like this thing, which identified the author of nearly all my recent blog entries as female. That might help to explain why this is the second mammary-themed item title in a row: some hopelessly misguided attempt to ‘butch up’ my blog. The colour scheme has to go anyway - pink's been my least favourite so far. Also I'm now living with two women (the sitcom possibilities of this are inescapable. One guy: two girls - one of whom is German! East German! This thing writes itself!).

Finally, here's some new(ish) albums we should buy. First, Food And Liquor by Lupe Fiasco. Leaving all the 'conscious MC', ‘intelligent hip-hop’ foofarah aside, Fiasco’s made a quality album with some suitably ‘tight’ rhymes and indubitably ‘sick’ beats. Even the 'rap's-just-people-talking'-crowd will find something to love here (note: 'crossover appeal'). Squarepusher has a new album out too: I downloaded it months ago when it leaked but only got around to listening to it recently. Musically there's no surprises here - it's your typical 'pusher - but what is surprising is the general level of consistency on display. Pretty much every track here's a keeper - the obvious standouts being 'Hello Meow' and the utterly demented 'The Modern Bass Guitar', the epitome of Music Your Parents Just Wouldn't Understand. Check out Fujiya And Miyagi as well, a bunch of Krautrock revivalists from Brighton with a Japanese name and a bizarre fixation with Asian culture. Trust me, they’re a lot better than that pissweak description makes them sound.
Finally finally, speaking as the tallest (and therefore) greatest man in Ireland I feel it behoves me to engage in some flagrant self-promotion. I finally got around to properly updating the BETAMAXNOMATES MySpace Abomination with words and colours and links and stuff. And today I finished a new mix - Betamax Bootymix #2 - which you can download here. Tracklisting follows ‘after the jump’. Peace out.

Susanna And The Magical Orchestra - Enjoy The Silence
Dead Disco - The Treatment (Metronomy Remix)
Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence (Richard X Remix)
Paula Abdul - Straight Up
Zombie Nation - Black Toys
Luke Vibert - Ce Porte (Remix)
Lo-Fi-FNK - Change Channel (Jitset Remix)
Beyonce - Ring The Alarm (Acapella)
Teki Latex - Disco Dance With You (Spank Rock Remix) feat. Amanda Blank
Teki Latex - Disco Dance With You (Para One Remix)
Les Rhythms Digitales - Disco To Disco
Simian Mobile Disco - Tits And Acid
Rob Base And DJ EZ Rock - It Takes Two
Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together
MSTRKRFT - Work On You
Nelly Furtado - No Hay Igual (Acapella)
Soulwax - Another Excuse (DFA Remix)
Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation (Extended Dance Mix)
Ascii Disco - Dirty! Filthy!
Duran Duran - All She Wants Is
The Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight (Ben Liebrand DMC Remix)
Para One - Dundun-dun (MSTRKRFT Remix)
Nelly Furtado - Promiscious Girl (Acapella) feat. Timbaland
Shampoo - Trouble
CSS - Superafim
Coldplay - Trouble
Metronomy - Trick Or Treatz (South Central Remix)
ZZ Top - Sharp Dressed Man
Christina Aguilera - Ain't No Other Man (Acapella)
We Are Wolves - Vosotros, Monstruos
Shinobu - T-T-T-Trepanning


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