My boss went to see Ryan Adams last night. This made me jealous, so he made me feel better by linking me to these two videos. Incredible.
The record falls again.
We're had twenty children shot at their school, nine people shot in church over the colour of their skin, fourteen people killed at an office party in San Bernardino and now 49 LGBT victims lie dead on the floor of a club in Orlando.
And the record has changed again: 49. It's 49 now.
This is the new normal.
The new level against which we'll set our attention spans. 40 killed by a madman? 36 children dead? At least it wasn't as bad as Orlando.
49 people died at two o'clock in the morning on a Friday. 49 people who went to dance, drink, meet people and hang with friends. 49 people died, terrified and hiding from horror in the bathrooms, the coatroom, behind the bar, breathing heavily, trying to be silent, to hold back sobs and screams. 49 people who texted their loved ones, and begged for help, begged for anyone to save them.
And the inevitable will now happen. The news cycle will spin us all into a tizzy.
The shooter was a Muslim. That'll matter.
The shooter pledged allegiance to Isis. That makes it an act of terrorism.
The victims were in a gay bar, listening to a drag queen perform. That makes it a hate crime.
It doesn't matter. It never matters.
The worst bit is the radio. The people who say 'If only the victims had been armed.' The people who say that gun control 'only takes guns from the good guys.' As if it's a narrative. A story. A fiction where there are bad guys and good guys.
Because arming people who are drinking and bumping into each other in a noisy, dark, crowded bar is always the way to lower gun violence.
A man who hated those different to him bought a military designed assault rifle, and mowed down those he hated. Simple.
We're in LA. It's gay pride weekend. And they just arrested a man with grenades, and two assault rifles, heading to the parade. Was he motivated by this attack? Or did we only catch him because we suddenly needed more protection at gay pride events?
It doesn't matter.
This is the new normal. Once again.
Something stupid and awesome for your Friday.
Unsurprisingly, Radiohead's new album is shaping up to be incredible. This new track is curious, creepy and hauntingly beautiful. And the video, by Paul Thomas Anderson, captures it perfectly: that feeling in a dream when things are strange without being scary, odd but not yet alarming, like being late for something you can't remember.
Rarely do novelty concepts also have incredible songs. This is that rare exception. Hilarious.
Rory Reid was recently announced as one of the SEVEN new hosts of Top Gear (which I am legit excited about). I had never heard of him, but a little research revealed him to be a YouTube reviewer, and kind of a legend. Check out this incredibly well made rap review of the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Pure genius.
Wow. The song, the voice, the way it's shot. Just wow.
I loved the Boston Accent before I moved to New York. Now, not only do I work with a bunch of dudes from Bawston, I sometimes get to go there! Sidebah, Seth Meyers is killing it at the moment.
Follow your dreams, guys.
When I worked in China, I was lucky enough to create and design an Originals show in Qingdao. Needless to say, it wasn't anything like this, because this is extraordinary.
You may know Ross Marquand from The Walking Dead. Turns out he's the best celebrity impressionist I've ever seen. WOWSER.
I think I posted this on my old blog, but it's worth reposting. Geoff Lemon is (in Scrambler's humble opinion) one of the best writers in Australia today: on top of the following poem, make sure you read his on point analysis of the current crop of Channel 9 cricket commentators, who are taking a long, hot shit all over the once proud reputation of Richie Benaud et al.
That night tasted like grapefruit; we were
hallway silhouettes. Some hours earlier, drops
had started pocking Victoria’s state-wide parch
softening the cracked lips of reservoirs.
It was summer’s last convulsion. The heavy energy of heat
curled round us and over, even as the rains came in.
There’d been a crash in the Burnley Tunnel: explosions,
calamity. With power to the whole northern grid failing
we sat in darkness – streetlights doused, houses
thinking themselves over at the edge of vision –
watching four blind lanes of Royal Parade
snakehiss with traffic, water sheeting the roadway,
tyres unable to decide if they were planes or scythes.
Our shoebox veranda made a diorama,
a comfort to those out in the world.
With the familiarity born of shared disaster
passers-by stopped to tell us of chaos in the city:
traffic lights out, cars dismantling each other,
man undone by invention one more time.
How long has it been out up here? they’d ask.
At twelve I said I’d walk home when the rain stopped.
Cars thinned out but never ceased
though at least no more cyclist lights
scrived their laser scrimshaw in our skulls.
Veranda edges circumscribed the sky, the iron lacework
boxed it up like Chinese takeaway.
Beyond the swoop of the Parade was space
and space and space. That dirty couch was a canoe,
the road a roiling mud monsoonal river, mile-wide.
We rode the current, waiting for a break in rain
that never came; let it ride the way things ride
on nights that taste like grapefruit.
Morning was a nudge in the ribs: the clouds’ campaign
from black to ash to oyster-shell.
Water still hissed through our streets
arced from branches…turned orange?
Yes. In the ultimate redundancy
the streetlights came back on.
Kissing you was like rain the night before:
while anyone could see that it was coming
it was hard to predict when the first drop would fall.
But it always falls. With a whole night to lean on
the first kiss came as easily.
And with that rain now in its twelfth hour
and your eyes so close to mine
it was hard to dodge metaphors of droughts breaking.
Inside, the terrace dusk of your room was dark grey felt.
My hands found your hands.
The rain stopped. The earth breathed,
and as we broke the crisp of brand new sheets
it seemed that everything else
had become new.
Members of The National and Beirut (two of my favourite bands) have come together to release an album under the name 'LNZNDRF'. And so far, so good; I really dig 'Beneath the Black Sea'. They're playing a smattering of gigs in Europe and the U.S. (annoyingly I'll miss their NYC dates), but check them out if you are around. Here's some gear, and said dates.
There were a million tributes to Bowie, but this one hit me the hardest. 'Thank you for the good times, Brian. They will never rot.' Beautiful words from an unrivalled creative mind.
Some genius has taken Trump soundbites and inserted them into Star Wars scenes as Darth. It's incredible.
If you LOVE Bawston accents as much as me, this will make your year. Fucking Incredible.
UPDATE: It gets better! Someone edited this brilliant audio into the trailer for the new Moby Dick movie, Ron Howard's Into the Heart of the Sea. E V E N B E T T E R.
This is INCREDIBLE. Star Wars orchestral tracks mixed with Biggie rhymes. Just so brilliant.
What a spectacular mixture of humour, reverence and honesty. I particularly liked the section about the Polynesian saying: It's better to walk into a room, sit at the back and be asked to go to the front than to go into the room, sit in the front and be told to go to the back. Vale, Jonah.