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August 2006

The Beachles

A while ago I spent some time ruminating on the best course of action for the Who and the Beatles, seeing as the former band have lost their original drummer and bass player, while the latter are down to their drummer and bass player. Make way, then for the Whotles: Roger Daltry, Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. In the same little blog entry, I suggested that it were far more likely that the pushy, bass playing, mutual back-slapping, musical genii of the Beach Boys and the Beatles would join together first: Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney of the Beachles.

Well, it seems someone else has liked that idea.

Make way for Sgt Petsounds, by the Beachles!

Sgtpetsoundstemporary


If I were brutally honest, I’d be forced to admit that these mash-ups are quite heavy-handed compared to, say, The Grey Album by Danger Mouse (the mash-up of The Beatles’ so-called ‘White Album’ and Jay-Z’s Black Album). Sgt Petsounds is still a worthy undertaking nonetheless.

Thanks to Michael Larson for pointing its existence out to me!


ADDENDUM

Clayton Counts, the artist behind the Beachles’ Sgt Petsounds project, writes


…Your honesty is appreciated, but I'd like to point something out to you. I am friends with a good number of producers and DJs, and like me a great number of them feel as if the Grey Album is sub-standard. I could give you examples, and even show you just how little work went into the construction of those tracks. Many of them are one or two loops set to a simple beat, and there's hardly any Beatles material on the record. You even get the impression at times that Dangermouse doesn't much like the Beatles.

Don't get me wrong... I do like Dangermouse's solo work, but this project of mine is a different sort of mashup record. I don't think of it as heavy handed, or a mashup record at all, in the sense that it is intended as an abstract reinterpretation, in the vein of Negativland, Emergency Broadcast Network, the Residents, and the like. Certainly some people have felt the way you do, though I dare say that it is really because we have grown to accept and even expect that which is most easily digested. This record is a challenge to make, especially since it's being done almost exclusively track for track, and it should be equally challenging to listen to. And anyway, it would be a disservice to the people who enjoy my original music if I were to lay a simple beat under all of it. Feel free to check that stuff out, but it's not for everyone.

And of course I'm not complaining... it’s probably best if people get a warning before they dive in. It's avant garde / noise music, but I can assure you that a lot of hard work has gone into this. It doesn't take patience to make a beat-driven record... it only takes a beat. (I do make a ton of dance music, and when I play out people dance to it, but it's far less satisfying to me artistically.)

Okay... sorry for rambling. Very funny that we would cross paths! Take care.

And so I’d like to add that I agree, Dangermouse’s Grey Album is simplistic in it’s approach, is beat driven, does resort to loops… and I realise that’s why I like it more than Sgt Petsounds — which I love in concept, much as I also like the Residents, but listen to their gorgeous, glorious noise quite infrequently.

I do like my mashups easily accessible and beat-driven rather than avanguarde and harder to ingest, and Clayton clearly knows what he’s talking about here because, on the same site, he features a Paul McCartney & Wings Vs Ne-Yo mash-up that does tick all the traditional, on-the-beat, easily digestible boxes!


Radio Ha Ha Episode 35

What a joy Episode 35 was to do!

Judith Lucy agreed to come in and co-host. Now, Judith is someone I've been familiar with since her days on The Late Show on the ABC, one of the later members of the D-Generation, but one that didn't quite make it to The Panel. She always seemed to be part of a sub-unit with Mick Molloy and Tony Martin, so it's no surprise that she wound up as leading lady in their first films, Crackerjack and Bad Eggs, respectively (playing leading lady opposite Mick Molloy).

If you're a fan, you'll know that Judith Lucy is always a joy to watch - that each stand-up show is always better than the last, but that each show seems to grow out of great personal misfortune. In the past, her shows have involved: discovery of her own adoption, well into adulthood, at a family Christmas; the time she paid for the services of a male prostitute; how she dealt with her mother's death. This time round, she deals with a horrible year trying to succeed in commercial radio in Sydney; unfortunately, the breakfast shift she co-hosted with Kaz Cooke and Peter Helliar didn't rate sufficiently. Lucy and Helliar were moved to drivetime. Eventually, Lucy was sacked. And so her show is called I Failed!

This episode features an excerpt from I Failed! - as featured in Judith's set at the 2006 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Gala. (And, as previously played on Episode 32 of Radio Ha Ha – when we were showcasing the nominees for the 2006 Helpmann Award for Comedy, of whom Judith Lucy is one.) Judith discusses the process of preparing a set for the Gala, some of what may or may not go on backstage, and some of the issues surround I Failed!, the show, and the hell year that inspired it.

In addition to Judith Lucy, this episode also features a great interview with Wil Anderson who, between appearing at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, spent five days doing ten sold out performances of his current show Wil Communication at the Newtown RSL. Like Judith Lucy, Wil Anderson has stopped doing breakfast radio and begun concentrating more seriously on his comedy. We discusses the effect of that on his work, as well as talking about his 'youth' audience and his Today Tonight-publicised spat with Shannon Knoll.

And to kick off proceedings, more of the stand-up of Mat Kenneally is featured at the beginning of the show. If you'll recall, some of Mat's material got a run last week. Then he was talking about terrorism and public transport. This time, he's talking about drinking.

Once again, there is a transcript of the episode available for perusal.

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Radio Ha Ha Episode 34

Episode 34 was a tough one to do — it was the first one without co-host and co-founder of the show Tammy Tantschev, who has accepted work overseas. She's not left the country yet, but she has left the show — for all of a week — and I already miss her!

Anyway, this is the first episode to feature a 'guest co-host', as it were — stand-up comic Dave Jory.

The first time I met Dave — in fact the first time I met all the comedians in this episode, and Tammy for that matter, was during a heat of Raw Comedy, that competition to locate fresh talent run by the Melbourne International Comedy Festival every year.

As we discuss in the episode, my first impression of Dave — in his black suit, with his bald head, doing dark and shocking material that wasn't necessarily funny — was that he was scary enough to be one of those crims in a Guy Ritchie crime flick.

In addition to playing a bit of Dave’s stand-up, and discussing his development as a comic, we also feature an excellent piece from Sam Bowring. Sam's got an interesting story — having started doing comedy at age 17 at the now-legendary (and sadly defunct) Harold Park Hotel, formerly in Glebe. Since he was under-age, his father had to accompany him to the venue, as legal guardian. But his father wasn't allowed to see him perform — potentially, too embarrassing for Sam!

Not so now — I saw all of the Bowring family at a recent performance, where I got to record Sam. The routine involves him spitting venom at the proprietor of a pie company responsible for the worst pie he‘s ever ingested, and it was recorded — as was all the comedy apart from a little snippet of Dave’s stuff featured early on —live at the Mic In Hand; that’s the Thursday night gig at the Friend In Hand Hotel, Glebe, run by Sam Bowring and fellow stand-up comic Kent Valentine. (The other Dave Jory snippet was recorded at the Comedy Store, at Moore Park).

Actually, now that I think of it, Sam insists we met long before he tried out in Raw Comedy. When he was a 17 year-old open mic comic at the Harold Park Hotel, I was an earnest wannabe publisher, of a comedy zine called Stand & Deliver!. I don't remember encountering him there, but he certainly remembers me and my little zine — which still almost kind of exists, as my blog, also entitled Stand & Deliver!. Before I move on, I think I'd be withholding important information if I didn't add — for the less familiar — the fact that Sam Bowring was shortlisted for 'best newcomer' at this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival. And Kent Valentine enjoyed a sell-out season (much to my embarrassment, virtually the only Sydney act I didn't see down there — only because every time I set aside an evening to see him, he was, of course, sold out!)

The other comedian whose work gets a run in Episode 34 is Mat Kenneally, another comic from the ranks of the legal fraternity (that gave us the likes of John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, James O'Loghlin and many others I should be able to name but can't off the top of my head right now). I got to know Mat this year because he was one of four comics appearing in The Comedy Zone — the show the Melbourne International Comedy Festival puts together by selecting a bunch of up-and-comers from a series of auditions. Of course, Mat insists that I saw him in a Raw final (he would have been a law student in Canberra then; I would have seen him in a NSW State final) and that I commended him on a particular routine for being politically aware and still very funny. I don't actually remember the conversation or the bit of material, but I can still commend Mat for producing that sort of comedy. In fact, it was a joy to see him MC at the Mic In Hand a couple of weeks ago; he was the MC at The Comedy Zone, and was great, but he's already come a long way since then!

If any of this interests you, you may read the transcript of the episode here;

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