Benny Davis Ears



Portrait of Benny Davis by Alex E. Clark



"This Guy Blows"

When not making with the funny business and sweet, sweet music with Axis of Awesome, or otherwise being a musical genius, Benny Davis is a Human Jukebox. Benny the Jukebox, in fact. Send him a request; if he's heard the song, he can play it. With harmonies, chords etc.

Barry Humphries once declared the guitar 'that most loathesome of instruments'; a session musician banjo player with a pager is said to be the very definition of optimistic; being able to hurl a piano accordion into a skip without hitting the sides is the true meaning of 'perfect pitch'; and the melodica isn't the most ridiculous instrument, only because the keytar and the stylophone both still exist. But for most, it's still an ill wind that blows no good. Benny doesn't just make you not want to snap the melodica over the head of the guy playing it for a change - he actually gives it respectability.

And he has his own YouTube channel for his clips. Because the age of the TV advertised J&B album is over.

Enjoy a recent YouTube clip of his. Dig Dick Dale's 'Misirlou' at 5:50!

Shit Comedians Say

If you've got any comedian friends, you'll frequently wish you could actually stop them if you've heard any of these ones. Because you will have. Ad infinitem.

Daniel Townes has strung them together brilliantly as his hilarious contribution to the 'shit people say' meme. It's good stuff.

He has a DVD out soon, too.



Alleged Copy, Ma Non Troppo, Fest

Thanks to the ever observant James Brechney for pointing this out. You should subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Here is ‘Animal Beatbox’, the 2011 winning film of TropFest, the biggest short film festival in the world.

It is written and directed by Damon Gameau.Or perhaps it should be Damon Gateau. Cos it kinda takes the cake.

Because ‘Animal Beatbox’ looks a lot like the clip ‘Dog Cat’ that Eustus made and uploaded to YouTube in September last year, featuring an audio track produced by adam and ‘jag kiranmay’.

To be fair, Damon’s flukily similar short film has a lot more going on, and took a lot more work. But gosh they’re similar. I’m just saying, is all.

Chances are it’s just a massive coincidence. Ten years ago, before YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and blogging being all the rage, it wouldn’t have mattered. Both films could have existed side-by-side with few, or anyone being the wiser. Except, perhaps, for some geek who would dedicate a chapter to it in the book based on the film studies thesis written before graduating from somewhere. Now nerds like me ensure everyone knows about it almost immediately.

Havin’ A Schitzo On The Train

What’s the point of lying? I’m not going to lie. This is my favourite meme-in-the-making. And I think I’m in love.

This Superwoman puts the Chk-Chk-BOOM! chick to shame.

I just can’t wait until someone with autotune turns ‘Bogan Woman On A Train’ into a song on iTunes, or at least converts all of the choice quotes into t-shirt slogans.

It shouldn’t be too long before Channel 9 beats the rest of Australia’s media to the punch, hiring her as an entertainment reporter for A Current Affair, or at the very least, have her list her best reality TV moment on an episode of 20 to 1.

Be warned. Australian spoken English. And lots of swearing.


Garage-er than life…

A couple of months back, when Nikki Lynn Katt and Sam Tripoli were headlining at The Laugh Garage, I was invited to stay back and watch Darren Sanders, Paul Warnes, Garry Who, Ally Pinnock, Danny Grozdich, Sam and Nikki partake in a pilot for The Garage. It’s a sitcom set in a comedy club, with comedians playing themselves. Their live performances consist of actual live performances. Heck, they even let me have a cameo (as an annoying comedy nerd. Not much of a stretch there!) I hope there are plenty more eps soon.

These are not my twisted words


It’s been on-line for a few days and, as all memes do, has reproduced itself all over the place: a new Radiohead song, apparently. Leaked. On YouTube. Not a film clip – just a still accompanying the music. But there are a multitude of stills accompanying the same soundfile, entitled ‘These Are My Twisted Words’, all over the internet now.

I’ve chosen to share the one posted by ‘Jonnyswhore’ because I quite like the still [s]he’s provided. I’d like to think it’s from the sessions for ‘Harry Patch (In Memory Of)’ – Radiohead’s most recent official release, in honour of the last known surviving British soldier to have fought in World War I.

I don’t quite know what to make of this newest, leaked song. The first few seconds sound like a different song entirely – different drum beat, different music – until a disco beat – not unlike John Paul Young’s ‘Love Is In The Air’ – barges in over the top. (Okay, what’s happening is the drummer is ‘counting the band in’ just after the tape’s started rolling, guitars already strummed – maybe with a bit of whammy bar action; that’s what it sounds like. The [programmed?] disco beat was probably added later.)

The opening lead guitar motif sounds reminiscent of The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn-era Floyd; the falling melody as well as the tone of the guitar suggest ‘Astronomy Domine’ to me.

At about 2 minutes 13 seconds in, the bass line is suddenly Frank Zappa’s ‘Ya Hozna’ from Them Or Us. About midway through the track, just when you want to start singing ‘National Anthem’ from Kid A over the top, the lyrics kick in. By this time, the drums don’t sound so obtrusive.

‘These Are My Twisted Words’ apparently first appeared as an MP3 file, embedded with the following info (courtesy of ateaseweb – I’m not sure if that’s ‘at ease web’ or ‘a tease web’ – via stereogum):

iiiiiiiiii iiiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiii radiohead - these are my twisted words iiiiiii
iiiiiii iiiiiii
iiii artist.......radiohead iiii
iiii title........these are my twisted words iiii
iiii label........?????????? iiii
iiii iiii
iiii style........'dificult' iiii
iiii nr of tracks.1 iiii
iiii total length..5.32 iiii
iiii audio source.CD Advance iiii
iiii encoder......LAME 3.93 iiii
iiii quality......320kbps/44.1kHz/Joint Stereo iiii
iiii size.........12,70 MB iiii
iiii[GG]er iiii
iiii iiii
iiii i just wanted to reassure readers iiii
iiii that following representations iiii
iiii seeking confirmation iiii
iiii that before your very eyes iiii
iiii behind the wall of ice iiii
iiii that the box is not under threat iiii
iiii however they are set to remove iiii
iiii other boxes iiii
iiii in fact i have the list in front of me iiii
iiii i went to a briefing on their plans iiii
iiii and challenged them to tell me iiii
iiiii exactly what the cost would be iiiiiii
iiiiii iiiiiiii
iiiiiii they spoke in broad terms iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiiii we're looking for: talented puppeteers iiiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiiiii worms, disgruntled executives, sacked flies iiiiiiiiii
iiiiiiii genres: doomcore, folktronica, ukf iiiiiiii

I hope it leads to a new album. I also hope this is a work-in-progress, that the finished version is different to this, making this one special. That’s if it’s authentic. I think it is: despite all the things the different bits remind me of, together they make a song that sounds like bona fide Radiohead to me. Judge for yourself.

Thanks to John Brannan and Kip Williams

Before he was one of the country’s greatest stand-up comics…

One of my favourite videos is Coatsie’s home recording of The D-Generations’s Country Homestead. It’s funny for so many reasons. It’s one of a series of four D-Generation specials that was made after the D-Gen moved from the ABC to Channel 7. They did a series of four one-off specials, and a certain Michael Molloy had joined the team since their final ABC series. But part of the joy of watching that special are the ads, since it was taped off the telly without the pedantic anal retention required to pause the video during the commercial breaks. What we should be doing is scanning it intently for hilariously dated thirty-second masterpieces, to upload to YouTube. Well, someone ought to, for without such activity being undertaken, how would we ever discover the early work of some of our greatest talents?

Don’t know what I’m talking about? Check these out:




And see him in context:

Note: this ad wasn’t broadcast during D-Generation’s Country Homestead; it came a few years later. Thanks to ryttu3k for sharing it on Live Journal.