Something for the Weakened

Archive for June, 2011

Answers & Results

June 22nd, 2011 by Alastair

About a week ago, I posted a music quiz and asked people to try and name the songs that I’d done horrible things to. Twice as many took part than the last time I put one up, which was quite gratifying. It was still only two people, but beggars, choosers and all that jazz. Here’s a list of the songs, in the order that they appear and what I did to them.

Minnie Ripperton – Lovin’ You (chorus played backwards)

Primal Scream – Rocks (chorus played backwards)

The Monkees – I’m A Believer (chorus played backwards)

Tom Jones – She’s A Lady (chorus played backwards)

Beck – Loser (chorus played backwards)

Martha & The Muffins – Echo Beach (tempo increased four times)

Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – Je Taime…Moi Non Plus (tempo increased four times)

David Bowie – Heroes (tempo increased five times)

Perry Como – Magic Moments (tempo increased five times)

The La’s – There She Goes (tempo increased five times)

Pink Floyd – Another Brick In The Wall (Part Two) (speed increased four times)

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (speed increased four times)

So, how did the participants do? Sporadic correspondent Markuss Can’trememberthefakesurnameimadeupforhim wrote -

On one listen, with no cheating:
01 Loving You (Minnie Riperton)
02 Get Your Rocks Off? Is it the Stones?
03 That’s got to be the Kinks. Oh, no – I’m A Believer (The Monkees)
04 Part of me wants to say The Ramones, but I can’t think of the song.
05 Tom Jones? No idea of the song.
06 That’s Loser by Beck.
07 Blondie? Not sure about the song.
08 That’s “Je T’Aime” by Serge Gainsbourg and what’sherface.
09 Bowie – Heroes?
10 Sounds like Sinatra or Crosby
11 There She Goes – The Las (I refuse to endorse their apostrophe crime)
12 Oh, it’s Pink Floyd – “Another Brick In The Wall”. For a minute I thought it was Visage’s “Fade To Grey”.
13 Okay, that’s stumped me. Unless it’s Kraftwerk or something? It made my cat run out of the room. Ah, hang on – the ending gave it away. Aphex Twin – Windowlicker. My cat is still unhappy.

It’s fun, this game!

It is fun, isn’t it? I make that 19 out of 26 (I’ll allow “Get Your Rocks Off”), which is pretty damned respectable. But how did long term chum of the site Paul do (look – he’s got a link to here) (albeit one that’s horribly out of date) (but it’s the thought that counts)? Let’s have a look.

1. Minnie Ripperton – “Loving You”
2. Primal Scream – “Rocks”
3. The Monkees – “I’m A Believer”
4. The Ramones – “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker”
5. Tom Jones – “She’s A Lady”
6. Beck – “Loser”
7. Blondie-style-band-whos-name-

I-can’t-remember – “Echo Beach”
8. Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – “J’Taime (Moi Non Plus)”
9. David Bowie – “”Heroes”"
10. Bing Crosby – “Magic Moments”
11. The Las – “There She Goes”
12. Fleetwood Mac – “Tusk”
13. Aphex Twin – “Windowlicker”

How did I do?

Rather well. Wait, what’s that?
Pretty sure I’ve got Bing Crosby wrong. It was a toss up between him and Perry Como. You’re going to tell me it’s neither of those now, aren’t you.
Very good work, but I’m afraid that I do have to take your first answer. But even without the Como bonus, I make that 22 out of 26, pushing Paul out into the lead. Very well done to you sir, you are the winner! Nothing at all will be winging its way to you in the post in literally no time at all! Congratulations to you both and shame on the rest of you for not participating. For shaaaaame.

Finger Stinger

June 20th, 2011 by Alastair

Why do I always find myself eating a satsuma shortly after I’ve cut my fingernails? You’d think I’d plan these things out, but no. Almost every time I find myself with no overhanging cuticles, within 24 hours I’ll be sitting down with some sort of orange, trying to force my way through the skin with my pudgy fingertips. After some lengthy period of prodding, I’ll eventually break through, but that just leads to citric acid getting forced into whatever cracks there are at the ends of my digits and leaving me with stinging fingers for up to an hour. I really ought to do something to stop this. Perhaps I’ll start carrying a knife with me wherever I go. That’ll show ‘em. By which I men oranges. I’m not planning to stab anyone this week. Though it is only Monday.

What I bin lookin’ at

June 19th, 2011 by Alastair

In lieu of any actual material, I thought I’d instead direct you all to the webcomics I find myself regularly perusing these days. People more talented than I, producing work more regularly than I ever really manage, who you ought to pay more attention to than me. I am worthless. Bathe in some of this glory, why don’t you.

At first I dismissed Jamie Smart as being a British Jhonen Vasquez knock off, but this has increasingly proven to be a down to my own stupidity rather than any limitations on Smart’s part. His earlier works that I have experienced, Bear and Ubu Bubu, are both very funny and well worth your perusal. What the Americans made of his skewed, UK cultural referencing, I am uncertain, but I certainly found them highly amusing. Haven’t seen his work as the current artist on Desperate Dan (I’m not nine any more), but hear good things about it. Corporate Skull is his current project for ‘grown ups’. I use the term loosely, as it is packed with puerile gags and references to knockers – things that I will always smirk at without fail. Smart’s also mentioned that as well as the gags, there is a larger, overarching plot to the endeavour, which is beginning to emerge 40 or so pages in, which is still less than 10% of the projected length of the whole project. Updated once or twice a week, it’s well worth bookmarking.

I’m sure I’ve banged on about Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield’s Freakangels before, but must mention it again. At time of writing, 138 six page episodes have gone up and there are only 6 left to go. I fear that I’m going to be losing an afternoon reading the whole thing in one sitting in a month and a half. Actually it’s no fear. I’m rather looking forward to it. You can buy hard copies too, but I am sadly poor. And or cheap. You decide.

Terry Laban started out firmly ensconced in the underground, but has slowly worked his way into mainstream territories. He first appeared on my radar when he was creating the comic Cud for Dark Horse, which was still fairly counter-cultural and led to my acquiring most of his work from Fantagraphics, under the same name (still some gaps there sadly – one day they will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine!). Moving further into the mainstream, I followed his writing for Vertigo before he dropped off my cultural radar. After a few years of wondering where he’d vanished to, I learnt that he had started a regular newspaper strip, a form of the art form I generally don’t follow, especially strips only serialised in American papers I have no real access to (interwhat? Nah, don’t use it mate). From what bits I’d seen, it also seemed to be fairly family oriented, so of limited appeal to one as puerile as myself (see above). It was with great joy that I recently discovered that Laban had revived one of his old characters for a webcomic. Muktuk Wolfsbreath, Hard Boiled Shaman first turned up in Cud (as far as I’m aware) and later had his own Vertigo mini series, but is now 40 odd pages into this new tale of his exploits. Apparently created by Laban as part of the Masters degree he sounds close to finishing, the series’ mixing of Chandleresque narration with the life of a shaman in the distant Tundra makes for compelling reading, especially when combined with Laban’s skillful cartooning. Updated two to three times a week.

I’ve certainly mentioned James Kochalaka’s American Elf on many occasions. It’s still going, still updated daily and now documents his daily life over the course of 12 years. Amusing, heart warming, tragic, it basically runs the gamut of all human experience, with Kochalaka’s frank and honest openness a fascinating joy to behold.

Roger Langridge has done so many great things over the years that I’m not even going to try listing them. Online he’s recently just finished serializing Mugwhump The Great, an incredible showcase for his impeccable cartooning skills and incredible ability to deliver a perfectly timed gag. Haven’t read it through in one go yet, but I might just have to. Other comics are available through the act-i-vate site, but I’ve not read any (except for the first Lily Mackenzie strip when it ran in the Megazine, which was alright). Some mighty fine creators there, so they’re almost certainly worth checking out. I might when I have a spare week or so.

Tony Millionaire is still producing Maakies on a weekly basis. It is still extremely funny. If you aren’t reading it, you are a poltroon.

Finally, having spent twice as long on this post than I’d planned, I give you Michael Kupperman’s Up All Night. Kupperman’s Tales Designed To Thrizzle is one of the funniest comics I have ever read and Up All Night continues in the same vein, showcasing Kupperman’s surreal flights of deadpannery and skewing of history. Not actually a webcomic, but, like Maakies, the online iteration of a regular American newspaper strip that I read on a weekly basis in direct contradiction to an earlier statement. The ’serial’ (again, in the loosest of terms) Moon 69 seems to be the main thing going on there, but the one offs are well worth anyone’s attention too. Especially Skull Groin.

That’s it for now. I’ve really spent too long banging on about those better than me already. Read their works. They are good. Any further recommendations would be gratefully accepted/ignored, depending on my mood.

Sundries

June 17th, 2011 by Alastair

Let us catch up on a few bits of admin before we move onto the new stuff shall we.

First up, everything that was hosted on the brightblackcreative pages has now been moved over to these here somethingfortheweakened ones. The brightblackcreative pages will be purged from the net in a couple of weeks or summat, so should you wish to read my bleatings, somethingfortheweakened is the only way to do so. If you wish to make comments that will be kept for posterity, make them here. There doesn’t seem to be any live interface ‘twixt the two sites, so any made from this point onwards are likely to be lost (unless they’re really good, in which case I might pinch them and pass them off as my own).

One comment that didn’t make it across the domain shift was made by one Michael Spicer about the third of our For Your Consideration series (here’s the old link with the actual comment, while it lasts). Michael said -

That “Someone on NOTBBC” was me! My name is Michael and I’m a writer/actor with an obsession for film & TV music. And comedy, obviously. Glad to have helped. @NeilDevon

Not entirely sure what the NeilDevon bit’s about or even if this might have been some unusually intelligent spam, but I’m choosing to believe it isn’t. Those of you who haven’t bothered checking the links might like to know that it was Michael who originally put up a link to Please Maestro by Thierry Durbet & L Thierry-Mieg (aka the closing theme to Paul Merton The Series), which I pinched for that particular post. Many, many thanks Michael. That link has provided me many hours of pleasure. Seriously it has, even as barely three minutes of music. Obsessive? Me? Yes. Regularly.

Next up, big thanks to regular correspondent and Buzz Aldrin enthusiast Dan Satanic Mills who responded to the impassioned plea I made a few posts ago with a missive that said -

possibly the shoddiest Photoshop job in the history of mankind, but anyway

This has made me very happy indeed, shoddy or not. Sterling work, young master Mills, sterling work.

If anyone else wishes to have a go at the music quiz in the previous post, please do have a go. If I don’t immediately approve your comments, please don’t be offended it’s only to stop other people cheating. There have already been twice as many responses as there were to the previous one, so that’s bumped up my self esteem if nothing else. I’ll sling the answers up on Wednesday and see if I can’t make it at least a three way competition of people battling it out for no reward. Unless I think of some dubious gift. Pray that I don’t for your sakes.

I could have sworn there was something else I was going to mention, but nothing springs to mind. I have a little bit more free time than usual for a couple of weeks, so it’s entirely possible that posting might become semi-regular. Or not. Wait ‘n’ see.

Quizzlestyx

June 16th, 2011 by Alastair

As a number of you will be aware, I recently co-wrote a pub quiz that went considerably better than the one I wrote solo back at new year. My co-writee, Soimon, has put up the questions here and the picture round here. In answer to question 1 of both general knowledge rounds, I lost. Which I suppose, just leaves the music round. Here it is -

Quiz 2

Well, sort of. This is the unedited, original attempt I made that features 13 snippets of music rather than the 10 used in the quiz itself. The first 6 extracts are the choruses of some popular tunes played backwards. The next two have had their tempos increased by 400% and the two after that by 500%. The last two have just been sped up by 400%, hence them sounding a little more chipmunk like. Have a listen, then why not have a guess at what the songs are in the comments. This generally just means you, Chunky, but it’d be nice if there was some sniff of competition going on. But there won’t be. So listen.

Two Minutes Fifty-Nine

June 16th, 2011 by Alastair

Go to that point in the video. Listen to just after the “whoop!” Listen carefully. Not to the singing, listen underneath. Do you hear it? Try hard now. Yes?

Redirects No More

June 16th, 2011 by Alastair

You’re unlikely to have noticed, but this very site is once again offered at http://www.somethingfortheweakened.co.uk, without any peculiar redirects. This is almost certainly of no interest to anyone but me, but I thought it deserved some sort of commemoration. A public ta muchly to those behind the scenes who have done all the work there. I will have your money soon. Ish.