Monthly Archives: July 2012
And now for something completely different!
It may all seem like ancient history now, but last weekend was Tramlines Festival 2012, a rather awesome free festival. Don’t worry, I’m not going to write a post describing its virtues and its failings – that’s next year. But while I was there, listening to some good music I’d not heard before, I started thinking about what I could say, to you, about what I’m hearing.
So I’ve interrupted your scheduled reading with this: my review of the free music availible at Tramlines. And some free download/stream links as well.
To start us off, here’s the promotional trailer for tramlines itself, featuring “Call The Regulator” by The Hot Soles, availible on Soundcloud here.
Christ, I feel guilty for not commenting on this before. But I feel even guiltier that this has even ever fucking happened. My gender, and my culture of choice – geekery.
[Triggers for hate speech and threats of assorted kinds if you click on a couple of these links. But not right here, ‘cos I’m nice.]
I’m gonna open with this tweet from Caitlin Moran; reviewer, author, feminist icon and hilarious person. She is, in many ways, what I aspire to be.
Now on with the show! I have often talked to you about Feminist Frequency; and I have often talked to you about games. About a month ago, though, the two collided, and we’re only just now starting to get to see the full fallout.
Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian, vlogger, writer, gamer and all round pop-culture nerd and awesome person, decided to make a kickstarter for a project that she’s working on – “Tropes vs Women in Video Games”. (Yes, she’s a troper too – is there anything she can’t do?)
Well guess who didn’t like that she was going to be talking about games? The underbelly of the internet; that’s who! That’s right, the same place that brought us MRAs brought us even more hate speech. Directed at Anita. What a joy. Read the rest of this entry
…I’ve just seen Amanda Palmer naked…
I mean “I’ve just watched the video for her newest song with her new band I did not know that she had a new band They sound really good I like this song It has a lot of cool wordplay and stuff You should totally watch that video above unless you do not like nudity.”
*runs off to have a cold shower*
… Now that I’m back, I also want to point out that her and her husband are literally the coolest people on the planet. And that I need to listen to EVEN MORE of her music and read EVEN MORE of his books.
Because. Just because.
Do they have an album (Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra, not Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman)? Yes. Yes they do.
Don’t know if this is legit, but it’s hilarious anyway. I don’t really want to be giving more publicity to an idiot/parody, but this just gave me some genuine laughs. And even if the author is an idiot, that doesn’t stop them from being witty.
This is “Checkmate, Pro Choicers” [not linking; find it yourselves!], an awful tumblr run by an awful person with awful ideas. They’ve taken the traditional “ask” format, and used it as a forum for their own stupidity.
That said, some of her responses are just damn funny! And not even in the “oh god, she actually believes that!” sense, but in the sense that sometimes I was actually laughing with her.
So it’s come to this. I’m kind of appalled by how blatant the pleading here is having to be – I mean, Johnny Foreigner are actually asking you to tell people you want to see them play in your city – assuming you live across the pond.* They shouldn’t have to be telling people, but whatever.
And if you don’t know who Johnny Foreigner are, they’re a trio of Birmingham based musicians who are so hipster, they make scott pilgrim look mainstream. They are also brilliant. I remember seeing these guys a few years ago, playing in Taylor John’s House in Coventry; essentially a hollowed out coal bunker with great bands on (go there if you’re ever in Cov).
And now they’re trying to plan an American tour limited only by your imagination and their terribly, terribly low funds. How far we’ve come since then!
So help Johnny Foreigner live up to their name – take them to the US and Canada!
And if you want to know what you’re getting yourself into, watch this; “Eyes Wide Terrified”, a single from their excellent second album “Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light”.
Also this, my favourite song of theirs, called “Salt Pepa and Spinderella”.
* As my stat checker informs me many of you do.
Except not. I’m gonna put a TRIGGER WARNING up here, because I’m gonna use the four letter R word – yes, we’re discussing rape – and because all the cool people use trigger warnings for that.
But really, all I’m going to do is link you to an article about rape jokes, and whether they can be funny. Yeah, those feminazis are annoyed about something again. As we all know, rape-survivors hate free speech.
My position when I started reading this article: “Yeah, rape jokes can be funny, but obviously only the funny ones. You need to be careful”how” you are funny when talking about that.”
My position after reading this article: “**scribbles in notebook** dot the I, carry the one… **folds it away** So that’s how I can make rape jokes. I’m glad someone told me. Also, I was right. I KNEW IT!”
As if you didn’t think I was going to side with the femistasi* on this. Of course jokes that just say “rape” and don’t give it any meaningful context won’t be funny. My favourite part of the article has to be this [brackets mine, FYI]:
“I actually agree with Daniel Tosh’s [the comedian who started this] sentiment in his shitty back-pedaling tweet (“The point I was making before I was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them #deadbabies”). The world is full of terrible things, including rape, and it is okay to joke about them. But the best comics use their art to call bullshit on those terrible parts of life and make them better, not worse.”
It isn’t a serious how-to guide, despite the name “How To Make A Rape Joke”, but it does cover the basics, mainly:
- Don’t blame the victim.
- Be funny.
In terms of the actual controversy about comedians being ground down by the high heeled jackboot of fascism… I’ve read the rape-joke-response he made to a female heckler: seriously, fuck that guy.
* New words and everything: real original!
Wow, the start of a new year.
I always think it’s good start as you mean to continue. So, two days late already, then…
Well, if that’s the case I’ll push on. Kaiser Chiefs, people; “The Future is Medieval”.
While I am writing this week’s review – and while drunk, thanks to my boss’s “wine and book-club” club – I thought I would share with you some of the awesome things I have enjoyed today. I have been feeling of a particularly narrative bent, and so there seems to be a theme.
For example, after watching this week’s and last week’s Extra Credits, I was reminded of an old friend of mine. Well, less of an old friend, more like that guy you met at a party once, and really got on with, only to bump into him again at a particularly good pub a year later and properly bond.
It’s Film Crit Hulk, and this time they’re talking about “The Hero’s Journey”. And my do they* lay into it. And when I get a chance, I’ll be reading their similar treatment of the three act structure. Because why not?
On a similar note, I failed to comment when my friend and frequent commenter Rhiannon aka Feminist Fiction got reblogged around the place. I’m sorry, FF. But the main reason for that’s because the subject was my least favourite ASOIAF character, Sansa Stark. (Less unfavourited now, though.)
But an article about Brienne of Tarth’s knightly-ness? Hells yeah, I’m in! So yeah, read them both: but mainly the one about Brienne, though, because I’m announcing my biases.
Hey, both of those two people I linked are on WordPress – we’re like the WordPress crew! Unlike dan le sac, who’s recently left us in favour of an actual website and a solo album. Screw you, man, screw you! Also, buy dan le sac’s new album!
… Sorry, I don’t know what came over me…
* I’ve found it’s safer to not assume gender on the internet, and for good reason. (Especially tumblr, for the record.) If Film Crit Hulk offended by this, then smash you too!
So Here We Are. I’ve officially been doing this for a year. I’m stunned. Everything after this is a bonus, I’m sure.
Well. How to end a year? With yet another tredecimal review. You know, those ones where I do something weird?
How does reviewing two copies of the same album sound to you?
Long story short, in ’74, the Sweet released Desolation Boulevard in the UK. In ’75, the Sweet released the same album in the US, with an entirely different tracklisting. “Why?” Short story long, here’s where I find out why.
Many of you may not know who the Sweet are – and for those of you who don’t, and those of you who sort of do, I give you “Ballroom Blitz”, single numero uno off the US version. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing about it. (I don’t think I’ve ever said that more sincerely before now.)