Category Archives: news

Satan's Garageband

I’m just reblogging this, found on Graham Linehan’s wonderful site. It is a commercial for Microsoft’s Songsmith, their new music making software. I’ve not tried it myself. I’m in no position to judge how well-made and effective it is as a piece of software. However the likelihood of me ever trying it is vastly reduced in a mere four minutes.

Now in the title I referred to Garageband, but I think there is also an element of Wii Music in it. That is a simple music game/program for all the family to use. It was promoted beautifully in American by the Reverend Run. Now watch this, to see how to market your product to the insane.

What is this?! Why aren’t you just FIXING VISTA?! « Why, That’s Delightful!

Graham points out that this might be intended to be White People do Trapped in the Closet. In which case, it shouldn’t have been a full application, it should just be a small embeddable add-on to a website. Widget, Widget, Widget.

Bill Drummond Says, Bill Drummond Says

I’m a bit of a fanboy for Bill Drummond, former member of the KLF, former manager of The Teardrop Explodes, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Big in Japan. More for his chaotic good side and his appreciation of the effectiveness of a good bold font really though, although he absolutely has been involved in some wonderful music.

Anyway, a message reached me this evening through somewhere in my google reader account (I’d honestly say if I could remember) that he was recorded giving a lecture in Liverpool last year, and that it had recently been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (not a usual haunt for me, I must confess). It was part of their Free Thinking festival in Liverpool, and there is a recording of it available on iPlayer now: Bill Drummond on Night Waves.

It’s about 50 minutes long, and well worth a listen soon (I think it will be taken down on the 15th January 2009, and then it may be elsewhere on the BBC site, or nowhere at all unfortunately, so go and listen now). There is a wonderful little exchange which sums up for me why I like him so:

“You know how it is, you get an idea, you book some advertising space in a major newspaper, you announce that art is dead, and then you wake up the next morning and think “Why did I just do that?”

“So can I ask, with this latest project, which you’re telling us is the future of music, why should we trust you?”

“Whilst I’m passionate and truly believe in this project, I would warn that it is no more mature or thought through than anything else I’ve done”

Also in digging around afterwards, I found a 7 minute video of him recorded just before the same festival, talking about music: Bill Drummond: How to be a musician.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a link to my own fanboyish writing about him, which was written in a notebook on a train either to or from Wolverhampton: Bill Drummonds Dead Bill Drummonds Dead. The more ardent Julian Cope fans will note my repeated theft of his song titles.

Incidentally, Chaotic Good is how I once read Doctor Who described as in a book about Dungeons and Dragons in the early 80s.

Rip Torn pleads not guilty to drink-driving charge

Rather sad bit of news this, the magnificent Rip Torn is up on a charge of drink driving in Connecticut. The police report sounds pretty damning, and seeing as he doesn’t appear to have a driver’s licence now due to a previous conviction, it looks like he could be in a lot of trouble if he is found guilty.

Rip Torn is something of a hero, as to my mind he responsible for one of the most spectacular characters in all of sitcom history, Artie from The Larry Sanders Show. I was angry that Alec Baldwin seemed to be doing an impression of Artie on 30 Rock, so I’m slightly sated by the news that Torn is now playing his boss on the show. As a fan, I’m just a bit sad that he’s got himself in trouble again.

30 Rocker Rolled by DUI – E! Online

Goodbye Carling Academy/The Zodiac/The Venue, welcome the O2 Academy

Yes, it’s been nearly a year since the Zodiac on the Cowley Road became the Carling Academy, so Oxford’s main music venue was clearly long overdue another name change. It will now be the O2 Academy. Apparently as an iPhone user on O2, I’ll get priority booking for tickets (I only ever remember to buy tickets for gigs weeks after they’ve been announced, so this will be of little benefit). I am hoping however they will have powerful free wi-fi for me to use when I’m waiting for a bus nearby. Oh, and that they’ll get rid of the Carling only policy for lager on tap.

Now it’s the O2 Academy (From The Oxford Times)

Last chance to see (for almost a year)

The last phase of the Ashmolean museum refurbishment is about to start, and sadly it means a fine Oxford museum is going to be shut from 23rd December 2008 until November 2009. I for one am heading there this weekend to take some pictures of how it is now, to tide me over until then.

It’s well worth a look if you haven’t been before, great mix of ancient artifacts and art from more recent centuries. Will be interesting to see how the work turns out, the rooftop cafe should be particularly interesting, there should be a great view of Oxford from there.

BBC NEWS | England | Oxfordshire | Oldest museum to close for year