Tag Archives: culture

wherein I sing a Scottish song


freedom, etc.

I’ve been listening to Meursault a lot recently. They are excellent, recognisably Scottish and feature my old Edinburgh associate Fraser. They’re on iTunes and Amazon and everything.

Here is me funneling their noise through my bodily systems and into my iPhone. On the widget below you can listen, download it, comment it, all that stuff. This is off the latest album All Creatures Will Make Merry.

The other great thing about blasting out Meursault tunes is that I can sing in my own accent without it sounding weird! Bonus (happy now Dad?). This one is dedicated to Brian and Emily who kept poking me to post more stuff.

Technical stuff: got it on the third take. It’s DADGAD tuning with capo on 3rd; check out the videos online to figure it out. The iPhone 4 seems to have put a few clicks in there that Garageband can’t get rid of (low-tech, hell yes). I’d think about adding some overdub to the ahhhs at the end but I’m keeping these recordings as unfucked-with as possible.

films from far lands 2010

I posted about the NYAFF this time last year, and that entry is still on the front page! Oh facebook and twitter, how you have robbed personal blogs of material.

Here’s the festival trailer for 2010 (best enjoyed full-screen, right-click and Watch on YouTube):


This year I’m committed to:

Come join me in the madness!

eine kleine musik

a hat

A hat, yesterday

In 2009 my then-GF got me into The Veils, a kiwi band featuring hat-wearer extraordinaire Finn Andrews.

Now and again I mess around recording stuff with Voice Memos on the iPhone. Since I managed to get through three minutes of a Veils tune without any major fluffs, here it is in all its low-fi glory. You should be able to play using the widget here. If the play button doesn’t appear below, you probably need to view this post on TF as intended, or just get the mp3. Listen out for the plectrum-hitting-table noise at the end, it’s a highlight.

To hear the proper unmangled version, get Sun Gangs. Old suedefaced Bernard Butler worked on this one, the opening track.

Also this is probably a good opportunity to plug Stu’s band Kontakte, who employ more advanced recording techniques : )

the medium is the message

the lost art

the lost art

Exactly three years ago I woke up at Caitlin’s place in Bushwick – it was the would I like to live in New York? trip – and scribbled down an idea. I finally finished it up now. That is a pretty shocking work rate.

It’s on the joy of damage and it’s called dear sis. On Firefox it’s pretty clear what to do; with IE (ugh) or Safari or Chrome you have to be more curious.

I do think there’s a metric ton you can do with words on screen that’s impossible on paper. For the most part it’s unexploited.

films from far lands

Rejoice! The NY Asian Film Festival comes around again. A quick history so far:

  • 2006 (while visiting Caitlin) had the life-changing Funky Forest, the solid Linda! x 3 and the supremely-titled Oh! My Zombie Mermaid.
  • 2007 I was in London, so getting to the venues was problematic.
  • 2008 was memorable for the devastating sweetness of the Tokyo… films (where I won the signed poster), and Tarantino mucking about in Sukiyaki Western Django (where I won the water pistol, later to be fuelled with bourbon).

After hacking through the schedule superlatives I’ve booked tickets for these shows, so feel free to ping me if you’d like to come along:

Phew. Then after that it’s the Revisiting Tarkosvky series at the Lincoln Center. A good time for cinema.


Who’s been to Japan? Recommend me some unmissable things to do or places to go. I’m going there tomorrow for 2 weeks, will be going to all the big cities.

little bit of fiction

Controversially I didn’t reflexively log into LotRO this morning and instead did something vaguely creative. Over on the joy of damage I posted an actual short story that I done wrote. One caveat: I put it together it a long time ago*. I won’t say too much other than that – I think (hope) it’s still pretty readable.

Notice it’s a couple of thousand words so I’d get a cup of tea first. It’s called The Doll’s House.

* like, in the 90s. I know!


George Carlin is dead. Not just the guy who played Rufus in Bill & Ted’s, but the guy chopping out social commentary on human nature and free speech for over four decades.

George said a lot about organised religion. He was probably the world’s only Pescitarian. I liked his idea of Frisbeetarianism though: the belief that when a person dies their soul gets flung onto a roof, and just stays there.

A quick quote, then it’s off to read the wikipedia entry.

The very existence of flame throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, “You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”

the con, for comics, in new york

Friday, the first blazing day of summer. The ComiCon, New York’s biggest geekfest kicks off.

I duck out of work to make the 6pm start of Neil Gaiman’s reading and Q&A. After the highlights of Sandman, American Gods, Miracleman and Beowulf it’s a must-see. I’m going with my colleague Andre, but his ticket says 5pm. An hour difference, what the-?

Turns out Andre has mistakenly been given the extra-special Willy Wonka VIP golden ticket of legend, worth $500. So I go for a hotdog with the plebs while he goes for an hour-long hangout with the man himself in some kind of suitably gothic green room. He emerges afterward with Ye Autographed Death sketch and a taut swag-sack full of enough exclusive gear to make four figures on eBay from delirious uber-fans.

The boy Gaiman is an excellent speaker and fires through narrative like a decorated Jackanory veteran (or Storyteller, depending on your era). He pings off a clutch of well-formed short stories, wrestles a small pile of enthusiastic fan-questions and finishes us off with a chapter from the unreleased Graveyard Book. The latter is fine but not so enjoyable for adults as, say, the actually-creepy Coraline.

Many, many people crowd and mill around a vast space of stands, banners, screens. Books, posters, artwork, obscurely referencing geegaws. Cameras flash. There is cosplay. The Star Wars and Batman cast feature heavily. Here and there wander Ghostbusters, Henry Jones’s and a vast array of anime characters far beyond my understanding.

Kids wandering laden with branded plastic bags full of stuff. Everyone, including myself has an uncontrollable grin. I notice Amanda Palmer from The Dresden Dolls scurrying about, beaming. “Here no one makes fun of you,” points out Sam (my new friend and evident con-veteran) tellingly.

It’s exciting and frankly overwhelming. I thoroughly recommend having at least one beer before diving into the madness. I didn’t try too hard to make the most of it: there was a ton of missed stuff from Orson Scott Card, Grant Morrison, Scott McCloud. I did try to get into the session for Kevin Smith’s new film but we were brusquely told to fuck off by security as it was overcrowded to a potentially-fatal degree.

No good photos from me, but flickr is your friend. Comic conventions are great.