Mersey Breakbeat

February 25, 2008

It’s been around for a while now, but when I first listened to the Grey Album I thought it was one of the most exciting things I’d heard in ages.  This weekend I discovered Let it Beast – The Beastles, which is basically the same idea except with the Beastie Boys instead of Jay-Z.  Let it Beast has some great moments especially ‘Buildin’ my Life’.
In a previous incarnation Airstrip One, performed a live mash-up of the Beastie’s ‘Alive’/Gomez ‘Get myself arrested’. Needless to say our efforts pale in comparison to the Beatles-related tracks. Give it up for Jigga Lennon, MC Artney, Ghostface Harrison and Notorious R.I.N.G.O.

Like most sane people I think the copyright restrictions prohibiting the distribution of these works is totally ludicrous. Musicians have been doing this sort of thing for decades albeit with different media. Think about how impoverished we’d be if Rodgers and Hammerstein went up to John Coltrane and said “‘You can’t do that to ‘My Favourite Things.’



February 15, 2008

avid-garrett-130208_16052t1.jpgIt seems things have taken a turn for the worse for young David Garrett aka the David Beckham of classical violin. He recently tripped at a concert and landed on his violin, a three-hundred year old Stradivarius 1772 Guadagnini. 
Every musician I’ve ever met has had at least one horrendous experience where they’ve irreparably  damaged their own equipment. At this time it feels like the world has ended, but with hindsight you learn to see the funny side. Interestingly, there seems to be no limit to the number of ridiculous ways you can accidentally break your music equipment.                                                                            

 rockwood1_250.jpgTake my own personal calamity involving a Hohner Rockwood strat (just like the one pictured – not quite a Stradavarius, I know) and a Sega Megadrive.The day before a music exam  I was really getting into a game of EA Hockey when my unbridled enthusiasm got the better of me.  In an over-zealous effort to control my joypad my elbows flailed wildly and collided with the strat that was leaning against the couch beside me.  In slow motion, it fell like a giant Redwood chopped down by fate’s lumberjack. Not only did the neck of the guitar split just behind the tuning heads, but the USSR scored in the last minute while I was frozen in shock.
Take heart Dave Garret; we’ve all been there.
Have you carelessly destroyed one of your favourite instruments? If so, why not share the heartache so we can all have a good laugh?

The article in the Idependent notes some other particulalry funny close calls involving Sradavarii.

The nearest another musician has come to suffering a similar disaster was when Peter Stumpf, a performer from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, came home tired one evening in 2004 and absent-mindedly left his 1684 Stradivarius cello on his front doorstep. Video security footage showed a youth stealing it and struggling to escape on a bicycle, crashing into dustbins on his way.

It was found three days later by a nurse, who gave it to her boyfriend, a carpenter, who offered to turn it into a CD rack. It was returned only slightly damaged.

In 1999 the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma left his £1.25m 1733 Stradivarius cello in the boot of a New York taxi. A huge crowd gathered outside his hotel the next day to see it returned in a black police sedan.

Here’s Yo-Yo playing some Morricone on the cello and messing about with the muppets:


80s Cartoon Intro Overload

February 10, 2008

Once again, it’s Monday morning.  Once again, you people are suffering a bit of the start of the week blues.  And once more, I come to your aid with something to cheer you up.

Frankly if this doesn’t put a massive smile all over your Chevy Chase, I don’t know what will…

The outstanding highlights for me are…well, they’re all just marvellous really.  I especially like the sheer volume of drum rolls in these intros, and also the fact that they explain what the programme is about unlike many of the cartoons that that the youth of today are plied with.

Tunng – Bullets

February 2, 2008

Cold weather makes pleasant videos and catchy sunny tunes an important part of the weekend.

So, here you go.  Lots of na, na, na-ing and other nice little hooks in this…

In other ASO related news, James and I have actually managed to write some new music…which can be found at our myspace page.