Tag Archive: comedy

::::bring thee noise::and thee comedy::::


I am a little hung over. No, please, don’t waste your sympathy on me. I know you care, and it fills my heart with joy, but I’m not looking for your pity. Your pity makes me sick. No, wait. That’s the hangover…

Last night I was at Comedy in the Basement – a weekly night of free mirth put on by the marvellous Marta Adamowicz. Yes, I know that’s a weak ass adjective, and there is alliteration, but like I said – I’m hung over. What do you want? a delicious metaphor wrapped in a golden fucking bow? I’m doing my best here.

The basement is a great venue; small and intimate, perfect for a cozy night of comedy. And it’s weekly, so easy to remember that it’s happening. If you’re available, enjoy laughing at people and like not spending money to get into places so you have more mullah for booze you should totally come check it out. I won’t be there next week cuz I’m in Cardiff catching up with family and friends but I’ll be there the week after. Probably. No, wait, think I’m at a writers group. Look, I promise the time will come when you get to buy me a pint, you just have to be patient.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, A night of noise was unfolding in another basement – that of the 13th Note. I wasn’t there, but I do like noise. I have it on good authority (I was talking to some guy outside the venue one time, having a cigarette, and he told me) that Glasgow once had a glorious noise scene, and that it is once again on the ascension. Stay tuned for further details.

Playing were…

Young Philidelphia

American Television





Like I said, I wasn’t there, but do enjoy the links. Some of them point to places other than Facebook.

Here’s kabobo’s set. It was their first gig. Nice, huh?


So, I know this guy called Graham Dunning. He’s an avant-garde/electronic/experimental/noise type musician and I totally rate his work. He also hosts a show on NTS radio called Fractal Meat on a Spongy Bone, which I think would make an awesome t-shirt, where he plays similar weird awesomeness. This month, the 11th of January in the year of our lobe 2013, between the hours of 8pm and 10pm, his special guest is the sintastically & satirically sardonic standup Stewart Lee. Turns out Mr Lee is fond of a lil free-improv and will be on the show selecting some of his favourite experimental records for your listening pleasure. Tune in live if you have the chance or catch the podcast in the Fractal Meat archive.

:::Stalking for Dummies:::

Once upon a time I used to make films. I’ve been a little lapse in that regard the past few years, focusing on writing and what not, but I’m sure I’ll get back to it eventually. This short is an interesting example. It was left unfinished at a youth project in Cardiff and I was asked if I’d like to finish it off. I added a few touches of my own to make the protagonist more interesting. It was a great exercise in what can be done with something in post-production.

This started off life as an orphan project. A rough edit had been completed and a draft of a voice-over script. I completed the editing and, starting from scratch, wrote a script that added new depth to the original idea, further developed the protagonist’s character and took it in a somewhat different direction. Referencing an old victorian etiquette manual found on the Gutenberg Project I re-imagined our hero as having a somewhat schizoid personality.

Here it is on vimeo:

And if your device cannot handle vimeo, here it is on youtube:

quote of the day

I like to visit my blog when I get up to check on the quote and the word of the day, maybe look at the pretty picture – all that changing stuff that rolls in off rss feeds i have plugged in to either/or/bored. Today’s quote i found emminently amusing…

“I don’t have an English accent because this is what English sounds like when spoken properly.” – James Carr

I so desperately wanted to know who James Carr was, because judging from the quote he’s the kinda person I should know of, so i followed the quote back to its page, found it’s source (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno) and did a lil googling.

And then felt a little stupid.

Of course, James Carr is Jimmy Carr – an extremely dry and somewhat dark british standup with a thing for one liners who is like totally famous over here. I mean, I can actually hear him delivering this line. I really should of figured it out without the aid of google.

Anyway, here’s some of his stand up.

I don’t watch Newswipe. This is a tragedy of epic proportions. Well, maybe not epic. I mean, in the scheme of things it barely even registers on any kind of scale. Really, I should say it’s a personal tragedy but even then it’s not like my cat being run over by an SUV whilst i’m watching from the pavement as I’m being beaten into a temporary coma by a gang of viscious 6 year olds, which is probably more personally tragic then not watching a tv show. Let’s just say i was going for a bit of dynamic hyperbole and leave it at that, shall we?

Anyway, I should be watching this show. I should be watching everything Charlie Brooker does. Everybody should. Maybe then there’s a chance we can save ourselves from drowning in our own stinking mediocrity. Although probably not.

Doug Stanhope does a spot on newswipe. He’s like this really cynical, twisted and bitter comic from the states and therefore deserves your respect. I first heard of Doug Stanhope through media-underground, where head dissident Mortimer is a big fan. Plus, i think he got drunk with him a whole bunch of times. I checked him out and being suitably impressed told all my friends. They nodded their heads and were like “cool” but then proceeded to ignore me. Now they’re trying to tell me about how great Doug Stanhope is. Well, fuck you. I told you first!

( actually, it didn’t exactly go like that, but I’m trying to cultivate a vibe here – i am aware that I am coming across as some despicable hipster douche but it’s all for fun, promise. )

Doug has his own channel over on youtube, which includes his spots on newswipe, so, like, go and check it out.

Here’s some tasters:

oh yeah, inspired by stumbling across this

hours of post-modern fun! An automatic comunique generator, creating calls to arms (or uncalls to disarm) at every click of the refresh button! Release your inner derevolutionary!


In the construction of communes, we negate those who would have us give up the radical ecstasy of zones of indistinction which need no justification for the catastrophe of mobilization. What’s needed is not impotentiality, and even far less representation, but a putting-into-practice of singular rupture, a rejection in all forms of the logic of normalization. Confronted with those who refuse to recognize themselves in our orgies of negation, we offer neither criticism nor sympathy but only our contempt. This is a call to indifference, not an insistence on humanism.

The pathetic totality proposed to us is like a bad joke, and instead of laughter we respond with social war. Every c-clamped pushbar is a refusal to organize, a blow against the being of liberalism, a recognition of the inoperative structure inherent in the articulation of zones of offensive capacity. We must destroy all absence—in secret. It is necessary to commence absolutely; not to dream of new ways to negotiate, but to make manifest the subterranean multiplicities in the heart of each smashed window.

via utopia or bust

mmmm…. meta humour….

via britanick

Charlie Brooker: A man of the times

Charlie Brooker has been providing scathing and satirical insights into the twisted machinations (oh, how I love that word) of the media since, well, whenever he started doing it. Below, see him lay into television news with, um, scathing and satirical insight.

( via 23narchy in the uk. )

Several dozen moons ago my friend Matt would often clue me into the latest of Mr Brooker’s brilliant Guardian column Screenburn, in which he takes a rusty hacksaw to the banality of television and dismembers it’s corpse with disturbing glee. You can find an archive of the column here.

Below, an excerpt from his latest piece where he goes to town on vapid and soul-destroying ITV dating show ‘Take Me Out’, something which I was planning to do myself, offering a poor facisimile of his writing style, after accidently catching the opening credits and first 30 seconds. Thank fuck I don’t have to now, because it would of actually involved having to watch it.

Anticipation is everything. If someone tells you to close your eyes and open your mouth while they feed you a slice of the most delicious chocolate gateau you’ll ever encounter, only to spoon a pawful of dead mashed mouldering cat on to your tongue, chances are you’ll vomit. You’d vomit anyway, of course, but the contrast between what you were expecting and what you actually got would make you spew hard enough to bring up your own kidneys.

This also works in reverse. Over the past few weeks, several people have emailed imploring me to watch Take Me Out (Sat, 8pm, ITV1), ITV’s new Saturday night dating show. They described it using the sort of damning language usually reserved for war crime tribunals at the Hague. I rubbed my hands together, like a sadist approaching a car crash, settled in to my sofa and watched an episode. And you know what? It’s not bad.

Okay, it is bad, obviously, but only if you compare it to something worthy or suave or less shrieky. On its own terms, as a raucous chunk of meaningless idiocy, it succeeds.

( read the rest of that column here )

But Brooker is no mere columnist, oh no, for surely that would be a waste of his talents. He created the brilliant zombie/big brother parody/horror/drama (the reality show, not the orwellian concept of surveillance society) Dead Set, which was screened over 5 consequitive nights on E4 in the UK. I actually tuned in eagerly for every single part, which is a rare occurance indeed. He only wrote the first episode though.

He’s also worked quite extensively with another british satirical genius Chris Morris, co-writing the absolutely hilarious satire of London media-type assholes, Nathan Barley. The show featured alot of the Mighty Boosh/IT crowd bunch and was no only insanely quotable, piss-yourself funny and largely ignored, It also managed to ring disturbingly true, as if this was what these people are like in their vapid cocoon of popular-culture and fad fed idiocracy. For weeks after seeing it on DVD I had nightmares that I would become one of these people. I still fear that I will wake up one day and, finding this to be true, ride my miniscooter screaming under a double-decker bus.

A click from episode 5 of deadset:

And the only two clips from nathan barley that I could find that hadn’t had embedding disabled by request. It’s worth a trip to youtube to check out the other stuff though. There are whole episodes to be seen in bite sized parts.

Insomnia and Eddie Izzard

As I lay in bed last night, supposedly on my way to sleep, things kept pushing their way my thoughts. This happens quite often.  It’s all the lying down and doing nothing. My brain demands amusement. It demands thoughts to amuse itself with. It doesn’t really care what the thoughts are as long as they are plenty. I can do some really great thinking when I’m trying to get to sleep. Ideas for blogposts, stories, bits of novel; they pop up like virilant plukes throbbing red and demanding to be harassed.  Unfortunately, thinking is not conducive to sleep.  Sometimes, to counteract the thinking I recite a mantra in my head over and over, trying to focus on that instead of everything else. It can be a quite useful technique for calming the brain down but it demands a certain dedication i.e. You gotta keep repeating that thing and not let your mind wander.

One of the things that was plaguing me last night was me imagining myself doing stand up comedy. I’ve done this before, quite literaly coming up with a routine in my head whilst i’m trying to sleep. Last night I came up with a quite ingenious way for dealing with a heckler wherein you make out that you’ve seen him (or her) before at your previous shows, creeping about outside your bedroom window, going through your rubbish bins etc., and that the heckler in question is in fact stalking you. I thought it would be quite amusing if delivered right.  I might not ever have a go at stand up but I doubt that fact would stop my brain from turning to it from time to time.

The reason I had stand up on my mind was because I’d just seen the new Eddie Izzard dvd.

Eddie Izzard is probably one of my favourite comics. His free-wheeling, surreal and erudite performance style that veers on the random but is obviously quite carefully thought out just really hits my spot. He has so many routines that just pop up in my head and make me smile. Like this one, and this one, and this one. Truely he is an amusing genius.

Eddie has been out of the standup game for a while now, It’s been 6 years since the release of Sexie, due quite probably to the awful lot of film & tv work he’s been doing. I had some inkling that he was touring this year, that a dvd would follow, and here it is;  Live from Wembly. Oh the joy!

It isn’t his best. I mean, you go back and watch dressed to kill or glorious and you think to yourself  “who is this hilarious maniac in a dress?” for Izzard is a transvestite.  In live from wembly he is wearing jeans. My guess is that with all the film work he has a certain duty now towards a more mainstream audience that might freak the fuck out if they saw a guy in a dress  so he has gently pushed his persona away from the fringes.  There are other difference from his earlier material too that can be hard to put your finger on.

6 years is a long time not to do something. If you stopped driving for 6 years the chances are you might be a bit rusty and this is something that comes across. All the ingredients are there but his timing seems slightly off. Where before he could veer from subject to subject with surreal ease things seem a little forced here. There are several points where he references gags from his previous shows which the audience laps up eagerly like crack puppies at their mothers teat. Two of the jokes seem like they’ve been lifted from Billy Connolly shows (the opera bit and the gazelle bit, although it’s giraffes here) and there is a point in the show where Eddie jokingly tells the audience “These shows are just for me, you know” and maybe this is the case. tv and film probably pay better than standup and it could be that he went on tour again because he missed doing what he used to do.

Even if it is it doesn’t really matter. He’s still really fucking funny. I probably would of found the show even funnier if I wasn’t such a fan and noticed all these things. My only hope is that he goes on tour again in 2010 and releases another dvd, to further re-sharpen the blade of his wit, so that I may worship with abandon at the altar of his very excellent comedy.

If you’ve never seen Eddie Izzard in action I recommend starting with his earlier shows. Or maybe start here and work backwards. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you just don’t like him in which case to each his own. Innit.

update: I just spend a age of monkeys looking for decent videos on youtube for the new dvd and they’re all handheld shakily audience deals with bad audio. Sorry.

Cat Hepburn

scriptwriter | spoken word artist | educator


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