I have made a mix tape for you all to enjoy in the middle of summer. It has two sides, like the actor Hugh Jackman. There's about 45 mins on each side like a good old fashioned mixtape, and one side is all up and the other all kinda down and chill.
Download Side 1 - Summer Jamz Side 1
Download Side 2 - Summer Jamz Side 2
Side one features people such as this:
And of course these:
Side two on the other hand has some of this sort of thing:
And some of that sort of thing:
Let me know what you think (about this and nothing else).
Tracklist under the cut
( Tracklist under the cutCollapse )
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
A melancholic reflection on where life ends up after a while, even for winners. And where the frontier spirit of America ends up when the inevitable ebb of imperial wealth occurs.
A man on the cusp of going bust fiscally, and failing with his family goes to Saudi to try and sell a mirage in the desert. The edges of the illusion blur ever more throughout the book as the wait for redemption from an absent king gets further away.
Eggers' language in the book is beautifully placid, dry and clear, with a delicate balance between judgement and empathy. It reminded me of Magnus Mills The Restraint Of Beasts, the rhythm of both books letting you know from the off that this is a slow road to nowhere. AHFTK has a lot more room for redemption and forgiveness, if not a third act victory.
Friday, February 14th, 2014
Did a mix of downers with a bit of up in for if you wanted to listen to that sort of combo.
Mixcloud link to stream Down And Out Stream
Link to download Down And Out MP3
It features people like these people below
Hope you enjoy! In a sad but happy way!
Monday, January 6th, 2014
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
I did something I'd never been/Became a Dad in oh-thirteen/
You kiss a lady in a hut/The baby then pops out her butt
2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I knocked fags on the head in Jan/I do not like it, Sam I Am
I did it so I could be a man/and run with Elly, is the plan
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
About a foot away at most/angelv the straining host.
A long odd day in orange sneaks/I held him as he cried and squeaked
4. Did anyone close to you die?
The one good thing about the distance/I am away from Auntie's sister
Is that I don't know older folk/Who on the whole do tend to croak
5. Which countries did you visit?
Madrid was my sole flown excursion/And went nowhere with men with turbans
Or exotic skin although/I spent a day in old Hounslow
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A year with minimal inj'ry/would do the trick I think for me
And also a chance to make some things/That people don't just note and fling
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Oh Four Eleven Two Thirteen/Played out like a fervent dream/
Five Eleven hours later/It sinks in that I'm now a pater
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Uh, I've done my best to be/The thing that I intend to be/
A bro, a dude, a man, a Dad/Not the greatest, not too bad
9. What was your biggest failure?
I would have liked to squash some beef/That ossified like coral reef/
But beef don't just come right out of nowhere/The heifer had to go and go there
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was a pretty lucky boy all told/Had an ankle twist and fold/
But on a micro-bio level/Did not succumb to little devils
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Shelled out dough on Molly when/My last stall'yon went to men
Who chopped her, screwed me, but fuck/Molly's dope, so no bad luck
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My volunteer bros paid my wages/By being bros to dudes whose ages/
Meant that they could do with help/To not end up a douche or whelp
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Lordly Tories puking bile/And people who kept shit all tribal/
I.e. they don't care who gets reamed/Provided they're on other teams
14. Where did most of your money go?
Shit my bro, my dough, I know/Not on shit for me no mo'/
The cash in hand is hardly fly/I spent that shit on D.I.Y.
15. What were you really, really, really excited about?
Wasn't r r e re little E/Until I held bro close to me/
Other than that I lived in the moment/Because my head kept me in torment
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
It's that Comedy Bang Bang/For someone to bro-hang/
Brand new friends like the Chock-taw/My anxiety pill, my comedy Doctor
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder?
Bad time to ask this really/Jan always feels so sad and dreary/
So sadder no, but man, I told ya/I sure do feel a fair bit older
b) Bigger or smaller?
Running, biking, made me smile/As I logged my kloms and miles/
But though I'm sitting here mud-mired/Still can't outrun that darn spare tyre
c) Richer or poorer?
Little more dough in the pot/Seeing as I don't buy no shots/
Or smoke none, sniff none, see no evil/That shit costs more than lil' squeezeball
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Smoked some? Sniffed some? Done more evil?/Or spent more time seeing some mo' people?/
Guess that assumes those days are over/But just last week had brews with bro-zers
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying about shit that isn't real at all/Cast on my mind a most heinous pall/
But it has since I was a tiny little guy/As I conjure up thoughts that make me want to die
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Cooking a meal fit for a Queen/Who's happy with sarnies and Krispy Kreme
And opening gifts on behalf of a dude/Who don't want much more than a suck on a boob
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
With Elly and his Mum, again/The new her is the same but then/
Every year she's been brand new/But also to her self she's true
22. What was your favourite TV programme?
The UCB and SNL/Kept me laughing dawn to knell/
Madge Medge, B Bad, B-walk, damn/Best TV show ever, man
23. What was the best book you read?
Loved me that quadruple aitch/Atwood made me truly gaisp/
AM Homes, that Prince book, Daym/And shit I loved that Rose Tremain
24. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Miles, A$AP, but none on earth/ as much as Ken Lamar Duckworth
Vamps and Monkeys, ah, you know/I put them on my radio show
25. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Master was as dope as shit/But man, you know the best bit is/
Whether the film is good or blah/The bros you go with make the 'ma
26. What did you do on your birthday?
Woah, it was a bro-fest yo/Saw like fifty dudes to go/
Get some SE Turkish Scran/Was good to see you, broad and man
27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
T-shirt, Jumper, Jeans and Sneaks/Made by ASICS, mainly, peeps/
I don't really fit in fashion/So I keep from styles or clashin'
28. What kept you sane?
A vicious, rigid, iron will/To make my brain behave until/
I can knock it on the head/Which will be when I get to dead
29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Abby Elliot popped my bone/Yet from 'NL she been and gone/
Who else made me crack one out?/Kelly Brook's still worth a shout
30. Who did you miss?
Andy, always, it comes home/Whenever Dr Who is on/
He never got past Ecclestone/They both turned 50, A's still gone
31. Who was the best new person you met?
He's tied around my waist this min't/Wailing 'til I got the hint/
And microwaved his dummies, fair/They're tastier than Daddy's hair
Sunday, January 5th, 2014
What good does it do you if you're right about the apocalypse? Where are you going to go when the Waterless Flood comes? How do you fit God into Truth and Truth into God? What's happening to normal people when abnormal people are playing God? What effect are all our mistakes having? Do we care? How do you cope with love? How do you cope with rage? How do you answer these questions while still pulling the reader along with a tremendous and exciting story? How do you make it its own story while still progressing a whole fascinating world established in a great and beloved prior work?
You ask Margaret Atwood, innit.
(It took me a little time to get into this, which might have been Christmas/New Baby torpor, and might have been getting my head around the massive slew of new characters Atwood includes. But as soon as I put my head into it I got pulled along like a ball through a vacuum tube.)
A man tends to the offspring of a bio-pocalypse. His past reveals that he's something of a second rater. He lives a limited life among the wreckage, eating scavenged food and offerings from acolytes. How did this happen, how did he get here, and what was his genius best friend doing throughout?
I don't dwell on environmental collapse, the love life of monomaniacs, the near future, corporate power, where the girls in nasty porn come from and go to, What They Put In Burgers, or the best hopes of my generation or the next. I'm not an activist, a journalist or a novelist. Margaret Atwood is the third, and such a good one that I breathed this in in a few days and those were pretty much all the things I dwelt on throughout.
What works is how you can see Atwood present her ideas straightforwardly, not clunking it in front of you exactly, but showing her hand, not pulling her card from behind your ear. But the story, the slow journey over an already-fallen-off precipice, is so compelling and pacey that the exploration of themes never seem clunky or forced.
Thursday, November 28th, 2013
About a man who briefly forgets to accept his solution to his failing, aged body - retreating into the country, into work, into isolation - and returns to New York. There he gets the scent of the hunger and combat that drove him in his youth, and is battered by the agonies of renewed desire and fantasy in the face of the biological fact of decay.
Roth's distinct, solid lyrical gravity takes a little time to get used to, but once accepted seems the only way to tell his story. The pull and repel of youth for people past their own; the utter hunger for mutual love, attraction, flirtation and oedipal recognition; the modern (?) desire to reframe great artists according to their lives, not their work, to own their legacy and hold them to a standard they never tried to match in life. Great themes explored and part resolved, drawing exhaustedly sad conclusions from each. Death looms for us all. Even when it does, sex and love and competition will still be pulling at us, even as our heroes and peers clatter into the graves just ahead of us.
Carpe diem because tempus fugit and tempus fugit. And even when it's flown you'll still want to fly on its wings when you remember what the wind feels like.
Monday, October 21st, 2013
Hello! Here is my 7th Barricade Show which was broadcast last night. You can download the whole thing and put it on your MP3 player or whatever by clicking here -
Moleintheground Barricade Show 7
Or you can stream it real easily here - http://www.mixcloud.com/edwardwhatley/edmole-barricade-sunday-show-7-201013/
You can experience the works of -
Download! Listen! Enjoy!
Let me know what you think.
edit Here is the tracklisting dudes!
Sesame Street - Pinball Numbers
Pusha T - Numbers On The Boards
Todd Terje - Inspector Norse
Todd Rundgren - Saving Grace
Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
Arctic Monkeys - Cornerstone
Hannibal Buress - Jacking Off
D'Angelo - How Does It Feel
Stevie Wonder - Happier Than The Morning Sun
Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss - Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby
Bill Callahan - Winter Road
Unknown Mortal Orchestra - From The Sun
John Wizards - Lusaka By Night
Anamanaguchi - Jetpack Blues, Sunset Hues
Aziz Ansari - Enjoy The Show/Jizz Everywhere
Pusha T/Kendrick Lamar - Nosetalgia
Earl Sweatshirt - Burgundy
Earl Sweatshirt ft Frank Ocean - Sunday
Digable Planets - The Art Of Easing
Bill Withers - Stories
TV On The Radio - DMZ
Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion
Melt Yourself Down - Tuna
Danny Brown - Kush Coma
Prefab Sprout - Appetite
Prefab Sprout - Greatest Jewel Thief In The World
Deltron 3030 ft TLI - Back In The Day
David Bowie - Love Is Lost DFA Remix
Sunday, October 20th, 2013
A writer tells a story of Czech heroes' attempt to assassinate a Nazi leader in their occupied country. Throughout he grips us with the story but also the story of his own attempt to tell it, his internal discussion to tell it honestly, tell it completely, tell it in a way fitting to these incredible men, but true to himself. The deftness with which he avoids pretension, while still drawing you to the power of the climax and the greatness of the men and the story is tremendous. In illustrating the life and the self and doubt he puts into telling the story, he puts more life and self and doubt into the telling, taking it away from being a dry historical document or a horror story, despite having components of both. You can never stop being stunned at how evil the Nazis were, and what they did to the humanity of the people whose lives they've touched. Among all the literary flicks and tricks and pauses, moments in this book still brought tears or dumbfounded me.
Sunday, October 13th, 2013
I was wondering the other day whether I could make a list of my Ten Favourite Albums Of All Time as easily as ten or twenty years ago, and whether I've been as passionate about more recent stuff as I lapse into my sour and confused dotage. I asked my brain and it started telling me 'Bro, the recent shit is JUST as exciting. Why don't you make a big list, try and pare it down, and if not, fuck it. Then make a playlist or a mix of it. Even if no one gives a fuck - and Ed? No one gives a fuck - you'll enjoy listening to it. So do it. And make sure you eat loads of oily fish and get plenty of sleep. Love you babe.' I wish my brain was always that nice to me.
To stop myself writing too much waffle as to why I love each one I've kept it to a Haiku. No Best Ofs and no Beatles as they are best overall for me but no particular record have I loved as much as the below. (But if I had to choose one it would be Revolver.) Same goes for those Steely Dan bros. (Aja. Because it's got Peg on it.) In the order they occurred to me. Missing things I forgot.
Here's a Spotify Playlist with a cut from each (except Bill and Billy, they're not on there)
Click the link for the playlist on Spotify.
Jay-Z - Blueprint (Headphone delivered/Bulletproof mind armour rhymes/Jigga pinnacle)
Kanye West - College Dropout (Joyous Obnoxious/Just like I was at the time/I miss those two guys)
Spiritualized Electric Mainline - Pure Phase (Sublime Heroine/Just enough to make you sick/Let it flow JS)
Shabazz Palaces - Black Up (Living Poetry/Grimm tales spit with blue fire/Fascinating world)
Radiohead - The King Of Limbs (When they're this good, well/The last thing is the best thing/This is the best thing)
Bill Callahan - Apocalypse (Seven songs all in/A story told throughout and/I hang on each word)
Jim O'Rourke - Eureka (Ghost ships in a storm/Immaculate drollery/Darkness visible)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Master and Everyone (Whether it's an act/It acts on my soul the same/A hushed world of pain)
Stevie Wonder - Talking Book (Oh my sweet sweet Lord/Every song is so so fine/The absolute peak)
The Lonely Island - Turtleneck & Chain (The funniest bros/Jokes don't wear thin because the/Songs are so damn good)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Real Emotional Trash (Wherein our hero/Takes everything he's learnt and/Makes his masterpiece)
Bob Dylan - Blood On The Tracks (What's left to say, when/You can say this much, this hard/Still cuts your heart open)
Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther (How does Autumn feel/And how to make it real/A falling red leaf)
Wild Beasts - Two Dancers (Such wonderful boys/Make a perfect awful world/And call us all in)
Judee Sill - Judee Sill (Equal to all else/Who ever wrote down a song/Except for herself)
Talking Heads - Fear Of Music (Dark in the daytime/Tense in the evening and/All points inbetween)
Wire - Chairs Missing (The pendulum swings/Above the abyss and we/hear it as we fall)
Ghostface Killah - Supreme Clientele (Madness poetry/Floor moves beneath your feet in/this place Ghost's Ghost World)
Field Music - Measure (Bros compose these flows/Uncanny precision tooled/For measure, pleasure)
Brian Eno - Another Green World (In the blue, each tune/Makes the world seem clean and new/Brian's strategy)
Paul Simon - Hearts and Bones (Deep breath in and out/As Paul tells more stories for/All his drifting kids)
Dirty Projectors - Rise Above (Sometimes the sublime/Stops you in your tracks and time/Is just torn away)
Kate Bush - Aerial (A Mother's Love sung/And on these lines are slung the/Drying clothes of souls)
David Bowie - Aladdin Sane (The Brixton God King/Brings Jazz into proceedings/Paris maybe hell)
The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (The beach is empty/And all that's left are laments/As the sea recedes)
The Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (Impossible luck/That this ish came together/Non stop toybox drops)
Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me (My fave of all time/Endless cornucopia/Genius weaving)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
This book shows the dark side of Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hours rule. If your Dad's the sort of bear who builds a dragon to fire tennis balls at his sons in the Nevada desert, he might well also build a champion. But not a happy one.
This is a great autobiog, tells a bumpy story but reads real smooth. Some of the characters, including Agassi himself, might come across as ridiculous in less skillful hands. But this book convinces you of the graft and angst of ultra achievement so well that you are more forgiving than you might be about how tough it is to be judged for wearing denim shorts for tennis, or really struggling in your relationships with stunning actresses.
If you like tennis, or those books where a kid is trapped in a cellar by their parents, or bald guys with gentle eyes, or incredible comebacks, or crystal meth, or classy puns in titles, or people with alliterative names, this is the book for you.
Went to see The World's End with angelv at Brixton Ritzy on the weekend. I had organised a big outing to see it on the weekend it came out with lots of friends. It was a meta-event, in that I tried to get a load of old mates together whose lives have moved on from when we all just hung out and had a few pints to have a few pints and watch a film about a load of old mates whose lives have moved on from when they all hung out and the protagonist tries to get them all together to have a few pints. But angelv missed it because she didn't feel well, which ruined it, as I wanted to watch it with her as the Pegg/Wright/Frost/(Stevenson) gang have been a big part of our time together. So we have been trying to find time inbetween mega-DIY, baby prep, life-biz, fam and general fatigue to go see it.
About two minutes into the film this douchey young guy comes in, talking loudly to his girlfriend. They sit in the back and talk at pub talking volume for about three minutes. The Primal Scream song starts, he sings along badly, and I turn around. Him and his girlfriend are dancing and singing along and generally making as much noise and fuss as possible. The song ends. He keeps talking. I turn around and say "SHUT UP. SHUT UP. FUCKING PRICK." He keeps on. Someone nearer them leaves to speak to the staff, and leans down to thank me (quietly) on the way back in. The douche, sensing his chick is not going to enjoy two hours of him taking on the squares, gets up, loudly, and shouts as he leaves "It's a comedy, yeah? Why aren't you laughing?" then turns around and swaggers out, having spent £23 to ruin 100 people's afternoons but only having got five minutes fun out of it. When I was waiting outside for Em to have her nachkinopissenslasher a couple of people came up and thanked me, which was a relief as when that sort of thing happens you feel so on edge and upset and like 'is it just me who is bothered by this cunt?', you know?
So now both times I have been to see the World's End it has been fittingly meta, first time with my bro diaspora as above, 2nd time with a film about a prick who thinks being swaggeringly obnoxious is a moral end in itself and ruining everyone's time was almost ruined for everyone by a guy who thinks it's a moral end in itself to be swaggeringly obnoxious.
The film is great, of course. I feel so lucky that my generation has had the P/W/F/(S) crew's work to accompany us through early adulthood into middle age. Each of their films is brilliant at being both critical and understanding of the challenges of being at junctures. Spaced being about retaining your passions and interests as you adapt to being an adult on your own, and your first relationships outside of school, then Shaun on similar themes, but with more on being responsible for yourself and the people around you. Then Hot Fuzz, on balancing dedication and work with still allowing time to get drunk on a sofa watching Point Break at four in the morning. TWE is really brave in having an extremely hard to like lead, and also in being pretty vicious about being stuck in your late teens/early twenties, about what that says about your life and your mental state. Because this is a message that the Spaced generation doesn't hear very much, in the miasma of ultranostalgia that has enveloped the alt/indie scene, with 6music being owned and operated (in the daytime) as an indie disco mausoleum, and with so much culture banally fixated on their not too distant youth - that maybe there's something wrong with not moving on. Saying that an apocalypse will be visited on you if you play The Soup Dragons one more time is maybe a little bit strong, but it is a punishment I can get behind.
There's so much else that's brilliant in it, the comment on Starbucksification (and the horrifyingly true feel of THAT being the alternative to the inertia miasma), the new iteration of zombies, the use of a clockwork universe to illustrate an attempt to produce, you know... And what's most importantly, Nick Frost getting pissed up and turning into the greatest fighting whirlwind in cinema history. Love you so much Nick. Pegg is very brave to be such a sad character, to be so aggravating and yet still produce empathy for Gary. I do hope they make more films together, but if not, we'll make do with Ant Man, ITV4 and a deep and profound gratitude for giving us the greatest hugs, shoulder pats and stern words
our older brothers a group of artists could ever give.
edit - Good interview here - http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-08-14/film/the-worlds-end-interview/full/
Wright is more than happy to spread that sense of "where did the time go?" to his audience. Having co-written the screenplay with Pegg, the director explains that he made the characters long for 1990 "to make people feel old. That was 23 years ago, guys!"
Well aware of the culture's creeping '90s nostalgia, Wright laughs, "We wanted to get in early and kill it."
"We're looking to do the '00s nostalgia now," says Pegg. "People will say, ‘Remember the first iPod? It was white and chunky, and it was hilarious.'"
A short, knocked off, intermittently hilarious mock biog of a mock man mocking biogs. I have given it five stars, because this book commemorates The Larry Sanders Show, and as such is little short of a religious artifact. You can't give an artifact anything other than five stars, really. "This shroud has an imprint of the face of our Lord!" "Oh yeah... ah, it's not all that."
Love you Garry.
My bro posts me this book from To, C A /Unwrapped it, thought, uh, okay
?uestlove wrote an auto, dude seems thoughtful, and it's only short essays/
Now I never had much truck with the music group The Roots/
From which the author grows out most his leaves and shoots/
They always seemed like worthy rap/A palliative for people that/
Didn't like it when the rappers/The rappers, yeah, who seemed so dapper/
Rapped about distasteful shit/And spoke of bitches, gangsters; skits/
Which centered on their dangly bits/But I liked all that so suck my dick/
I didn't want to hear a lecture/From a dude up on a lectern/
Only heard by white guys nodding/All up in arms in weed T's sobbing/
About the disappointment that they felt/about the way that race done telt/
Their stories, which were theirs to tell/And for me to ignore, the hell/
Was I to point a finger at/Some young men acting quite the twat/
I also felt them somehow ersatz/Or too aware of hist'rys progress/
I liked the shock of the new/Not the endless recognition/
Of echoes of a past that's passed/That does not flame my own cognition
Anyway, the book addresses/All those feelings, angsts and stresses/
Of where the Roots were, what they meant/Were they for whites or young black men/
And how can you get that shit right/When what it means changes by night/
You wake up one day in the centre/Making art that's fundamental/
All at once it's two thousand four/The carpets pulled up from the floor/
You're preaching not just to converted/But all white faces, all so fervent/
To see you be the thing they think/But does that mean you're in the clink/
Trapped to be this thing forever/But let it float off like a feather/
And just do what you can to be/As you as you in oh thirteen
Elsewhere the book tells hella stories/And oddly things that used to bore me/
Like worthy jazzy soulful rap/in context don't sound half as crap/
I revisit D'Angelo, try new angles, oh, hold on, stop - does this mean that I'll like Jill Scott?/
Do I have to check out Common/Before he got that Kanye' Fresh?/Or give some more time/To Mos Def?
That's the great thing about rock bios, right/Is context paints things in new light/
The story of a world makes sense/it's not like you were being dense/
It's that these milieu multiply/As you live through a different eye/
But finding through a brand new iris/Means that you don't stumble eyeless/
And you get lent fresh new ears/To listen to a different era/
What's funny is, when worlds converge/To modern day, Fallon, verge/
Of wealth and fame and winning it/Starts to lose its way a bit/
I love to hear a band do it/In the age 'fore internet/
When there was more random chance/Not just hits and clicks and dance/
By some wacky guy named Psy/More like 'what the hell and why'/
'Does one thing crash and one thing fly?'/
If I could answer that, I guess/I'd be a mogul, more or less/
So ?uestlove has done me a solid, yo/And so has Tim, my brother, bro/
To find another stream I like/A tributary to the lake/
More music and another guy/Whose life I liked to live aside/
From the fact that he met Prince/And I won't ever, face, I rinse/
In a sink in which reflection/Is my pink and pale complexion
This is a verbal history of Saturday Night Live made of a tapestry of insiders talking. The only major figure from SNL history they couldn't get to talk was Eddie Murphy, but everyone else is here. Ten thoughts on the book:
1) Writing about music may be like dancing about architecture but talking about comedy is, for me, really, really interesting. Even if you're only getting one more studied pose from comedians and writers, stuff like this and Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee are almost more fun than the comedy itself. I think I just love spending time with funny people, and if I can do that for free without having to leave the house or spend time with actual humans, all the better.
2) Also, writing about music is not like dancing about architecture. We are humans, and we use written language to distill and understand our feelings about things. It is perfectly valid to write about music. It is also perfectly valid to dance about architecture, but I will not be joining you. Unless you're dancing to something off More Songs About Buildings And Food. Or just... oh go on then, let me get my tutu.
3) The weight of the 'classic' first five years cast hangs over everything SNL does since, but the show has always been a mixed bag, slow, shit sketches punctuated by amazing/awful bands, by bits that flop and bits that soar. That's what's great about it.
4) It also makes sense now why the 'best of' comps never really came across well when I used to watch them, having loved various cast members in films. The show works in its format, at the time it's on, after the week that's been. It's a lot more enjoyable when they are sending up things or people in culture that are happening at the time and make sense. So the idea that one cast is 'timeless' or dominant is more to do with how the viewer related to them at the time, and their age, and so on. The love for one cast is Baby Boomer/Rolling Stone/Things Were Better In My Day bullshit.
5) That said, it's interesting that a show that works by being current is also so steeped in nostalgia, with recurrent hosts, old stars dropping in and getting the biggest cheers, and people still coughing up <a href=">$26 for a t-shirt of a silly sketch where Will Ferrell hits a cowbell</a>. Having got in the habit of watching it now, I'd said it's because it brilliantly creates the illusion of funny friends/family, with the added piquancy of the darwinist 'who's going to make it in this cast'/'who's going to make it afterwards' subplot. Which this book is, of course, magnificently obsessed with.
6) No matter how great your job is (say, writing comedy for good money in a great city, or being silly on live TV), you'll find a way to moan about it if you're that way inclined. There are some deep ass grudges in this book. Thinking about it, I would probably be exactly the same way.
7) The two people who come across best in this book are Jane Curtin, for being brilliant while so above the fray, the drugs, the ego. And Will Ferrell, for just being so unabashedly fucking funny that all other concerns parted like a petty red sea.
8) The 90s was a hard/weird time to do comedy. The ultra-ironic requirements of a post-Nirvanabomb cultural landscape led to the snidey Sandlers and the unengaged, enraged Garofalos. It's a lot easier in comedy nowadays to Just Be Funny, I think. The self-aware irony has kind of settled like dust into the overall grooves of jokes, but it doesn't have to plug them up.
8) The show got it's mojo back in the 2000s by first hiring lots of brilliant women, having Tina Fey as head writer, and thereby being more balanced and smart, not just lots of honking and aggression. (Not that Amy et al can't do honking aggression.)
9) The show stayed good in the 2010s due to having talented but also nice, professional and hard working cast members. Maybe it's 'cause I'm older, or because of my conception of how society would have to be composed for a socialist society to work in practice, but a group of funny, hard-working decent sorts is so much more compelling than selfish, cokey, 'intense' iconoclasts who step on other people's lines.
10) I now feel in a position to decide my top ten SNLers of all time. This is an important milestone for me, and I hope you all appreciate what it's taken for me to get to this point.
Also, hah! This is a very good alternative title.
New radio show! I broadcast this on a Monday afternoon so not many people got to hear it, so download it and give it a go. I've switched the hosting to Google Drive so I can upload the whole thing in one part now.
There's loads and loads of great songs this time, on a similar tip to the last show. Get it dahn yer!
Download link - Edmole Barricade Show 6
We have the likes of -
The flights of -
And the heights of -
(I played Don't Stop Believin' and Porpoise Song as I had just finished watching The Sopranos for the 2nd time and because Mad Men S6 had just finished an episode with that, and then after I recorded it James Gandolfini died. So upsetting.)
Tracklist under the cut in the next post, if you want to save yourself some surprises. Enjoy! Tell me what you liked on it.
Michael Chabon writes about the various parallel lives I want to have lived, if not to live, rolls and pounds them into the most delicious dough and bakes them into shape as the lightest, freshest, most delicious words for me to eat up. He writes about the things we care about - books, records, comics, genre fic, fandom, families, fucking, fuckin' life, falling in love, falling apart - and it's all so tender and true you can't believe he's not some magical super-powered fantasy version of you-the-writer.
So, here I am on the road to being a Dad, and here comes a Chabon book about being on the road to being a Dad, putting aside childish things, healing or not healing your own parental wounds, racial identity, parental identity, the big black zeppelin of fading prosperity hanging over everyone's heads nowadays and every day.
To do so he hooks into the three cultures whose language I love to read and revel in - white hip american, black hip american and nebb-ish mensch-ish jewish american - and tells a great story about how those three languages speak to each other, without a second where you think he might not have too much claim on any one of them, while letting you know why you might think he might not. He does all this while telling an actual story where you want to get to the end and find out who does the right thing, and why, and why that is the right thing, maybe, if things can be right, which they can, right?
Unable to be critical of this because I love it, and I guess hopefully that means I love myself a little bit. Please keep writing books for another twenty or thirty years Michael.
Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Because FUCK YOU that's why.
I bought this book as I thought it was a guide for new fathers to how to raise children in the future, which is when it will be by the time my baby comes out. It wasn't, it was about these guys who have totally worked out how to be happy for everyone. This is the recipe: make babies without having to do it, doing it all the time for fun instead with everyone you want to, keeping the classes apart, giving everyone a job they're good at and they like, and letting them have loads of drugs to sort them out whenever they're not happy. Perfect. Then these dudes come along like whiny little idiots and are all "I want free will! I want variation!". They are idiots and should shut up.
Also, they get to have helicopters. Grow up, individuals, you are dumb as hell if you don't want sex, drugs and helicopters.