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Saturday, 21 July 2007

Music I love and you should too

Meet Ben Folds. Hello Ben Folds. To steal a statement from one of my favourite blogs: He is quite realistically the best contemporary pop songwriter in the world right now. Bold statement, I know.

During an early 2005 Australian tour, Folds teamed up with WASO, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Their performances were documented for a live DVD, and the resulting concerts are some of the most glorious, lush symphonic pop I've ever heard, save a Flaming Lips album or two. New arrangements of songs from his "Rockin' the Suburbs" LP take glorious advantage of WASO's full string and woodwind sections. "Zak and Sara" & "Not the Same" are personal favorites and each well mixed track drips sweet like audio honey. It's a move Folds has since used again in re-recording and mixing EP tracks of his for last year's Supersunnyspeedgraphic LP, and the disk offers a refreshing balance to the bare piano of 2002's Ben Folds Live.

Download Links:
-Ben Folds & the West Australian Symphony Orchestra: Live in Perth (full bootleg album RAR). Buy the DVD here.
-Ben Folds: "In Between Days" (The Cure Cover)
-Ben Folds: "Bitches Ain't Shit" (Dr. Dre & Snoop Doggy Dogg Cover)

Youtube clip links:

-Not The Same (Conducting an orchestra and the audience on my favourite song)
-Army (My second favourite in a proper music video featuring his old band, Ben Folds Five. Click here for more. Oh, favourite number three: Underground)
-Tiny Dancer (Best Elton John cover ever. Much better than the RHCP version.)
-Bitches Ain't Shit (Myspace Gig- featuring guitar orchestra and... suicide attempt)
-Rock This Bitch (Improvised Song- Does an improvised "Bitch" one at every gig: Orchestral, synth stylee and many more)
-Rockin' The Suburbs (Ben plays with himself)

If you like him you'll like these artists or vice versa: Ben Kweller, Beck, Bright Eyes, Coldplay, Guster, Death Cab For Cutie, The Divine Comedy, Eels, Elliott Smith, The Flaming Lips, Rufus Wainwright, The Shins, Sufjan Stevens and Weezer.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Harry Potter Will Die...

...when he sees how fabulous this clip is. See it for yourself:

According to it's details section on Youtube, more than 1,500 inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines were just practicing in the video above for the final routine and that this is a teaser of things to come. What excites me is the fact that it's only a teaser. What other musicals are they going to do? Paint Your Wagon? Grease? How about The Rocky Horror Picture Show? The possibilities are endless.

I'm kidding about the Harry Potter thing by the way. I haven't found out his fate yet. It could turn out that it was all a dream. Ron might wake up and sees Patrick Duffy walk out of the shower. I don't know. All I do know is that the chick in above video is HAWT.

Update: I was mentioned in Rick O'Shea's blog last night because of my previous post with all the cool Youtube Movie Moment clips. He said: "This is one of my favourite blog posts anywhere recently". Which is nice. He was also cool enough to link me as a "Blog Worth Reading". I'm getting "Monscooch" up on the map. Just don't ask me what it means...

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Youtube's Maddest Movie Moments

Total Film's new issue is out today. They picked out the finest film-riffing virals from Tarantino's pre-Dogs debut to when De Niro met Elmo... I've only sampled a few of these clips but all of them were amazingly good. Here's the complete list:

1. Star Wars holiday special
2. Danny the drunk
3. Nick Frost flushes a cake
4. Suits you, Mr Depp
Cruiser Out Of Control:
5. Jumping The Couch
6. Cruiser denouncing psychiatry
7. Water Cruise
Shameful Japanese Ads:
8. Coffee with Brad
9. Star whores
10. Fast food Arnie
11. Han so-low
12. DiCaprio Orico OK?
Random clips:
13. Gatecrashing Gilliam
14. Borat on Cohen
15. Stand-up Smith
16. Haim on high
17. Marty gets a gong
18. Jackie Chan Mulan
19. Kevin Spacey: Impressionist
20. ‘Your Studio and You’
21. Dissenting like a Fox
22. Woody at the Oscars
23. Mean Sesame Streets
Interviews & Intimate Views:
24. David Lynch opens up
25. The real Billy Hayes on Midnight Express
26. Robert Downey Jnr interviews Val Kilmer
28. Spielberg on Kubrick
Shorts & Originals:
29. Bottle Rocket
30. My Best Friend’s Birthday
31. Building No. 7
32. A chat with Debbie Doebereiner
33. Ballchewer
Stars Behaving Badly:
34. Baldwin’s voicemail vitriol
35. Raging O Russell
36. Demon Damon
37. Hassling the Hoff
38. Burt Reynolds vs CBS
More random clips:
39. Lindsay loses it
40. Christopher Walken’s bedtime story
41. Bruce hangs loose
42. Michael Moore hijacks Oscar night
43. Spinal Tap reform
44. Orson not very well
45. Pirate Jack Black
46. Razzie Berry
47. Robin runs wild
48. Pennis crushes Steve
49. Sonny De Niro
50. Slap-happy Sean
Great Lego Re-enactments:
51. Zoolander Dance Off
52. Fist breaking your teeth, that's the accident
53. Afternoon Delight
54. Burly Brawl
55. Who? Who are you?

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

How Kids TV Today Sucks (Part 1)

Why is it that there's nothing on TV suitable for the under 12 kids these days that's anywhere near as cool as what I had growing up. I grew up watching... (wait, deep breath)... Animaniacs, Batman: The Animated Series, Tiny Toons Adventures, Round The Twist, Fragglerock, Sesame Street, Mighty Max, Captain Planet, ReBoot, Spider-Man, Earthworm Jim, X-Men, Eerie Indiana, Goosebumps, Family Ties, Early Edition, Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, Lois And Clark, Doug, and maybe even Biker Mice From Mars. What's there now? The flipping Wiggles? The only good thing they've ever done is unofficially hook up with Young Joc. And in style.

To remind people how great TV used to be, I'll profile some of my favourite early 90's TV shows and provide some highlight clips with downloadable theme tunes and whatnot. To start off, I'll start off with something obsure I loved that everyone else needs to learn about:

Bruce Timm, best known as a major principal of the DC animated universe (BATMAN!), originally intended it to be a straightforward superhero action-adventure cartoon with comic overtones, but executive producer Steven Spielberg asked series producer/writer Tom Ruegger and the Animaniacs team to turn Freakazoid! into a flat-out comedy.

Freakazoid! made frequent use of stock footage which was often gratuitous and nonsensical, including the peaceful scene of a field of flowers ("Relax-O-Vision"), numerous people screaming ("Scream-O-Vision"), traditionally dressed Bavarians dancing and slapping each other, a man being shot in the belly with a cannonball and a man wrestling a bear. And any show that could pull that off for two seasons before being cancelled is okay in my book.

Here are some samples of the show's brilliance:
-Quantum Leap parody
-Now for a special report
-Watch the lip sync
Musical Interlude
-Freakazoid Intro
-The most random 2 minutes of animation ever
-Download the theme song.

The show doesn't have a DVD release lined up for the future yet. Apparently, it's under evaluation by Warners. Click here to visit the TVlinks section. It's highly illegal so we'll keep it between me and you. It's only as bad as what happens on youtube everyday so here's a good profile for more bitesized Freakazoid clips.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

What witchcraft be this?

In this clip my hero, Derren Brown takes on nine expert chess players at once. Some of them are Grandmasters of chess. Some of them seem so into the "sport", they probably make love to the pieces in ways I can't imagine. A friend of mine, let's call him "Mr. Ned" for discreteness purposes, has a soft spot for the rook....

Anywho, there's not a lot I can say without ruining the clip so I'd advise you to just watch it. The results he gets are truly amazing. He even reveals his methods in the end. If you like this clip you should read his book. It's got pictures. I like pictures... It's probably better than the new Harry Potter book. It leaked onto all of the internets today. I'm not going to post links to the book since they'll die very quicky/ it's all highly illegal/ I can't be arsed. All the juicy bits are here anyways. That's if you're into that kinda thing.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Citizen Wayne?

Fact: Orson Welles was a genius. The man was responsible for the greatest media prank of all time. He made what critics call the best movie ever made (Take that, Shawshank Redemption). He also had an impressive and useful beard. What I didn't know until recently was that he had planned the ultimate Batman movie. As much I love Christopher Nolan's current Bat-universe with it's lack of saucer sized Bat-Nipples, I was shocked to learn today of just how awesome Orson Welles' unmaterialized plans for his own Batman movie were. Click here to read the full story written by Mark Millar.

To the right is an early design for the proposed Welles production. Possibly the greatest genius of the project was it's confirmed casting: I'm all for Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent, but how about George Raft as Two-Face? Then there was James Cagney as The Riddler, Basil Rathbone as The Joker, Marlene Dietrich as Catwoman and... wait for it... Gregory Peck as Bruce Wayne/ Batman? This was a film that deserved to be made. Dammit, I don't see why it still can't be done.

Update: I've just read that most of the confirmed cast were hit by a small case of death. That's a shame. It would've been perfect with a Prince soundtrack too.

In honor of Charles Foster Kane and the Batman movie that never was, I present to you two Mercury Theatre radio plays: "Dracula", because of the bat thing, and "War of the Worlds" because it's an Orson Welles post. More MP3s and streams can be found at Mercury Theatre on the Air. Links:

Mercury Theatre "Dracula" (mp3)

Mercury Theatre "The War of the Worlds" (mp3)

"Nana nana nana nana Leader! I mean Batman!"

(credit to for discovering this apparently old news.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

My favourite song of the week

Cherry Ghost - "People Help The People"

It's a lazy post today but I want to spend Sundays not thinking about what to post on the blog. Expect a short post (probably a regular "Song Of The Week" feature) every Sunday from now on. My favourite song of last week was "Heavyweight Champion Of The World" by Reverend And The Makers. It's one of my favourites of all year to be honest. That, and T-Pain, of course. He's a lyrical poet, just in case you didn't know it. Click here for a transcript of an interview with him. Read by Chris in the way only Chris can.