Live! From…er…well, Bicester

So far:

Joan Rivers is a very scary person.

Just remembered the best part of watching the Oscars from the UK: when America goes to a break, it cuts back to the British studio and everybody makes scathing comments, in a nice British way…

No, I'm convinced that Joan Rivers is part cyborg, and spends every night in a hermetically sealed Tupperware box.

It's over an hour before the awards start. Maybe I've peaked too early.

Forty minutes to go! And Robin Williams has been doing a test of the five-second delay…

The BBC presenter and Joan Rivers are about to have a fist-fight over who gets to interview Nicole Kidman. And she doesn't seem to want to talk to either of them. Oh the fun.

Okay, having second thoughts about the BBC links now. I hope they swap out the guests like they did two years go, or this is going to get annoying very quickly.

And I forgot that they tack on another half-hour of red-carpet footage before they start. Silly me.

Here we go!

Billy! Billy! Billy!

I had forgotten about the singing…

Oh, it's been so long…and we got proof that Michael Moore has a sense of humour at least 8-)

And Best Supporting Actor is Tim Robbins. Annnnnd an advert break.

Art Direction: Lord of The Rings notches up its first award of the night. Bonnie is happy that it beat M&C.

Okay, it's puerile, but I find Robin William's five-second delay very amusing…Finding Nemo wins best animated feature film. And a sweet acceptance speech.

Best Costume! LOTR again. There are giggles coming from the other side of the room. Tonight's speech theme is childhood confessions, it seems.

Best supporting actress: Renée Zellweger, as expected,

Why does Alistair MacGowan hate Johnny Depp so much?

Ben and Owen! Best Film Short: Two Soliders. Best Animated Short:Harvey Krumpet, thus avoiding the potentially fun sight of Roy Disney being given a podium on ABC to slate Disney. Oh well.

Liv Tyler goes emo!

Sting is playing some strange wooden instrument that looks like a cross between a jack-in-the-box and a violin. And even he looks bored, which is saying something…

Are we getting all the songs out of the way now? Seems a little early…Oh okay, just three.

The BBC links are poor. Where's Alan Cumming when you need him?

Best Special Effects: LOTR again. Going very well so far. (BIlly Crystal's mind-reading gag wasn't as funny as last time, unfortunately)

Look! It's the awards with all the techies! Who aren't invited to join the beautiful people 8-).

There's no getting around it. Jim Carrey looks like a Vulcan. Blake Edwards showreel for the Lifetime achievement Oscar, which means we should have a clip of Breakfast At Tiffany's right about…now. Funny wheelchair antics ensue.

Bill Murray is funny just leaning.

Best Make-up: LOTR yet again!

Sound: LOTR

Sound Editing: Master & Commander

(John Travolta and Sandra Bullock - it is to cringe)

I must get around to watching Bringing Uo Baby…

Why Oprah? Isn't half the cast of Mystic River sitting in the front rows?

John! Cusack! Best documentary (short): Chernobyl Heart. Best documentary (long): The Fog of War.

Two years in a row for anti-war statements in documentary acceptance speeches. Ho ho.

And now for some scenes from To Kill A Mockingbird. I never knew Peck was a producer as well.

Sting! Phil Collins! On stage togther! One well placed rocket! Think of what we could achieve!

Best Score: LOTR.

Best Editing: LOTR.

Annnnd...back to the songs…although it's from A Mighty Wind, so it'll be funny.

This second selection of songs is more exciting than the first - Belleville Rendez-vous features a man on hoover.

Okay, more musical fun from Jack Black and Will Ferell, livening things up somewhat…Best original song: LOTR. Looking more and more like a clean sweep, but the big awards are just around the corner.

Best Foreign Language film: The Barbarian Invasions. From the far-off land of Canada.

Best Cinematography: Master and Commander

The Coppolas are coming! The Coppolas are coming!

Best Adapted Screenplay: LOTR! That's a surprise. And I may have to scrape Bonnie from the ceiling…

Best Screenplay: Sofia Coppola

Actually, has a film with >8 nominations ever won all the categories it was up for?

Best director: Peter Jackson. And there's bouncing. Lots of bouncing.

Best actress:Charlize Theron. Blah. This is a little boring; everybody predicted to win has. Only two more awards to go…

There hasn't been any overlong dance routines celebrating cinema this year, which I suppose we should be grateful for.

Johnny Depp! Johnny Depp! Go Go Go! Or Bill Murray!

Best Actor: Sean Penn. Grr. Bonnie: "He's married to Princess Buttercup? That's so cool!"

Best Film: LOTR. There is dancing. And they're all going up to the stage. So it equals Titanic and Ben-Hur. And everybody's crying.

Right, I'm off to bed. It'll be dawn soon…

currently playing: The Oscars!

Is That Mos Def?

One of those fun remixes that manages to completely change how a song feels, transforming it from a wintery ballad to a summer smash. Unfortunately, it loses the piano part, but it makes up for that with a big airhorn. Oh yes.

Starts off like the beginning of a 1980s news programme, and then turns into a lush (ha-ha!) Saint Etienne-type piece. Quite nice. The album I've taken this from The Joy of Sing-Sing, was liberated from the second-hand department of CDAlley in Chapel Hill, for the measly price of $8. Plus, the man on the counter was very nice and friendly; we had a discussion about The Flaming Lips and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

This song ended up becoming Madonna's "Don't Tell Me", but here it is in its original version, a slow and haunting tango. Definitely worth a listen, and thanks again to Laura for bringing it to my attention. Oh, and his website even includes recipes

currently playing: Edwin McCain — I’ll Be

Dude. Sweet!


currently playing: Jimmy Buffett — Why Don’t We Get Drunk?

The Righteous Fury of KOFI ANNAN!

I'm calling you out, Blair! You and Me! Three downs and the Truth!

currently playing: The Smiths — William, It Was Really Nothing

Miracles and Marvels!

From Todd McFarlane’s rejected appeal of Gaiman v. McFarlane:

To make him credibly medieval, Gaiman in his script has Olden Days Spawn say to a damsel in apparent distress, “Good day, sweet maiden.” The “damsel” is none other than Angela, a “maiden” only in the sense of making her maiden appearance in Spawn No. 9. Angela is in fact a “warrior angel and villain” who, scantily clad in a dominatrix outfit, quickly dispatches the unsuspecting Olden Days Spawn with her lance.
Is it just me, or can you hear the sarcasm dripping from the judge here? I must admit that I haven’t read Spawn #9 (but I have read #10, which gets me essential indie-cred points due to it being the Dave Sim issue, but I lose more points for admitting I’ve read a Spawn comic, I suppose), so the judge could be simplifying for comic (ha-ha!) effect.
The contents of a comic book are typically the joint work of four artists—the writer, the penciler who creates the art work (McFarlane), the inker (also McFarlane, in the case of Spawn No. 9, but it would often be a different person from the penciler) who makes a black and white plate of the art work, and the colorist who colors it.
The Letterers Union #151 will have something to say about that, of course. Unless you really like silent issues.
Medieval Spawn may seem to present a closer case than Cogliostro so far as copyrightability is concerned, because he has no name in Spawn No. 9. In fact he has never been named—“Medieval Spawn” is a description, not a proper name. But the Lone Ranger doesn’t have a proper name either (at least not one known to most of his audience—actually he does have a proper name, John Reid), so that can’t be critical. A more telling objection to copyrightability is that the identifier, “Medieval Spawn,” was added by McFarlane in subsequent issues of Spawn to which Gaiman did not contribute. Only his costume and manner of speech, together with the medieval background, distinguish him in Spawn No. 9 from other Hellspawn.
You see? Fun legal reading, plus you get to find out just who the Lone Ranger was. What more could you ask for? New TPBs of Miracleman, reprinting a classic comic series that has been tragically out of print for almost two decades now? Thank you, Todd. Now, if we could just get Grant Morrison to sort out a deal with Rebellion and release the thousands of Zenith trades currently stuck in a warehouse in Milton Keynes…

currently playing: Sister Hazel — Champagne High


Not good news, is it? But don’t worry about that, America. Without a constitutional amendment, homosexuals will be able to marry each other! That’s more important! PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE ECONOMY BEHIND THE CURTAIN!

currently playing: Jack Johnson — Times Like These


currently playing: The Verve Pipe — Freshman

Monday's No Fun

Ice Pops in Hell! Pat Buchanan says something that doesn’t seem a whole barrel of crazy (thanks, Stacie for the link).

The ongoing death of the magazine cover.

Adventures in Tech Support! (Or: Why you should never phone a tech support hotline unless you're prepared for a special delivery of pain).

Bwahahahaha. This is a great idea. The Pentagon can stick the Neocons on Earth-2, and let them play out all their little fantasies, thus making the world a safer, saner place.

Third-party Candidates everywhere!

Truly Outrageous!

currently playing: Bruce Springsteen — Secret Garden

Activist Judges Are Killing The Music Industry

This week, we’re going back to the late 1980s, and The Field Mice. Jangly guitars forever! Or something.

(yes, I prefer the Saint Etienne version as well. But does it have jangly guitars? NO! And that's the mood I'm in today. Hush, or I'll stick a Prefab Sprout or Aztec Camera track up as well…)

For those of you who remember the God-like Genius that is Empire Records (there can be no bad words said about this film. Okay, you could, but you'd be Mad and Wrong), you might recall a post-punk version of Money (That's What I Want) that gets played in the background of a few scenes. This is not that song. But it is a cover by the same band, so it almost fits. I just wanted an excuse to mention Empire Records…

currently playing: Radiohead - A Wolf at the Door

"Stop…Carry on?"

It’s not entirely unexpected, but still rather sad to hear that Mark and Lard, mainstays of Radio 1 for the past ten years, are splitting up and moving to Radio 2 and 6 respectively. What will we do without High Tea and Tosspots? Who will ask us if we “Fancy A Brew”? What will happen to Lard’s “Waaarp” sanctuary? Will Frogging become a pay-per-view sport only available to Freeview viewers who press red now?

Here's the liner notes for "Reverse Midas Touch", a compilation of their greatest Records of The Week (complete with chart placings so they could see just how much an effect they had on the chart; it wasn't pretty), that I sent to them a few years ago.

Reverse Midas Touch

Mark and Lard began their afternoon show on October 13th 1997, having help to ease the burden on Radio 1's overworked transmitters by chopping off two million listeners from the Breakfast Show's audience.

The hapless duo stated their intention to perform as well in the afternoon as they did at breakfast, hoping to reduce the next RAJAR audience survey to double figures. They brought all-new (and some well-worn_ quality items to the show; who could forget the blazing originality of the Cheesily Cheerful Chart Challenge, or the staggering genius of "Flick or Trick"?

Who could resist Lard's sultry "Waaarrps", or Mark's slavish devotion to the Radio 1 playlist? Or the spectacular collaboration between Fat Harry White and the London Philharmonic Orchestra? This, and many more radio gems, are not included on this CD.

For this is a CD celebrating the Record of The Week. For anybody in Radio 1's target audience, that's all those bits of noise that the play before 911 comes on, or the latest number one by a Chancer With A Drum Machine Washing On The Right-Hand Side. For everybody else, seeing what the duo had picked for this week's record was worth sitting through the endless Steps/Lolly/insert playlisted song here.

They all had something in common. They sold six copies each.

So, without too much ado, we present "The Hit Parade of an alternate universe." A universe where the Lighthouse Family are indeed locked up in a lighthouse, and Michael Bolton is a failed hairdresser, and where the word "playlist" is verboten.

currently playing: Len — It’s Down To This