Tag Archives: Music

Tpot Freedom Sessions and The Stand: It’s been a busy week…

Hello humans.

It’s been a while. Sit down, let’s catch up. Tea? Coffee? How do you take that? There you go. Some biscuits on that plate too if you want. Just help yourself. No not those ones. They are for me.

So let’s begin. Its been a busy week. Thesis continues apace as the October deadline looms. Hopefully when I start editing it down-because its way, way, too long right now- the academic excess fat can be put up here on the blog. I believe the theory is that they should be turned into journal articles to further my academic standing. Or something. But information wants to be free! And besides, the blog affords more opportunities for digression and humour.  Because obviously I pepper my academic writing with knob gags.

Its standard academic practice! Everyone does it!

My actual point being that I have nothing to report from the realm of research for a while. But when I do, you will be first to know. I know you have an unquenchable thirst for writing that considers the evolution of the superhero through the lens of posthumanist theories. Considering the evolution of the superhero through the lens of posthumanist theories is very fashionable right now. It’s all those hipster kids down at the discotheque ever talk about on their blackphones and i-berries.

For now though: Comedy News!

ITEM! Started the week with my first ever open spot at The Stand‘s Red Raw night. The Stand, for those who don’t know is a comedy club in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. I was on in Edinburgh, which is an amazing place and where I have seen two of my comedy pantheon-Stewart Lee and Simon Munnery– performing. So being in the same Green Room as those two, and many more besides, was very exciting. basically the Stand’s ethos is that they take  comedy seriously, paradoxical as that sounds.

So yes, it was an open spot night, but it was an open spot night at proper comedy club The Stand. So I was more nervous than I’ve been in a long time and desperate to make a good impressions. A nice tight five minutes with no lulls. And while I don’t know if I necessarily managed that it was great fun and with a proper audience, a roomful rather than a handful. Not that performing to a handful isn’t fun and instructive itself of course.

It seems to have gone down well though. I’ve been offered a few more open spots anyway, (dates can be found at the bottom of the post) including a ten minute spot at the end of July. So I’ve gone up by 5 minutes! Sort of. For that one spot anyway. It is, of course, entirely possible that a full ten minutes at a Stand Red Raw night might be the dizziest height my stand up career ever reaches. This is fine. two years ago it never would have occurred to me that i would be anything but an audience member in there anyway. So I guess there’s a lesson in there about following you dreams and you will one day shit rainbows or some such. Got a thing you love to do? Or have always suspected you would love to do? Go out, dear reader, do it now! For life is short, and one day you will be nought but dust.

(This is  why I failed as a motivational speaker)

ITEM! Wednesday night I spent an enjoyable hour and a half talking to Peter Wood for his new series of podcasts. You can keep up with Pete on his blog or follow him on twitter and see where he’s playing next. If you can bear to listen to it an hour and a half of me talking about comedy-lord knows I couldn’t -then that’s here. He also interviewed the excellent Robin Valo (who blogs and tweets too- my, aren’t we all modern?) which you can listen to here.

ITEM! Friday was the filming for the inaugural Tpot Freedom Sessions show/website/multimedia juggernaut. Our tagline is: Teapot Freedom Sessions: Smashing you repeatedly in the face with a fist made of entertainment. At least that’s what it’s going to be on this blog. More news when it’s all cut together but the Facebook page is up here and I will post more details when the website goes online early next month. The short version: to film a show that can be broadcast with an accompanying website where viewers can find what would effectively be DVD extras: interviews with the performers, extra live footage. A mixture of music and comedy filmed up at Tpot Music Studios out in the middle of deepest darkest Perthshire, the day was a roaring success. But as the things not edited yat and this post is about stand-up I’m only going to talk about that aspect of it here. Except to briefly plug the bands who were on and urge you to like their Facebook pages, but their albums, go see them live, and write them inappropriately suggestive fan mail. So thanks to The Boston Tea Party, The Creeping Ivies, Homesick Aldo and the enigmatic Family of Ghosts who have no internet presence whatsoever which means we can safely call them an underground band. They would like that.

Anyway, we made up a room in the house to be the comedy club for the evening by shoving in a higgledy=piggledy mix of chairs and sofas and bean bags. An intimate venue is the polite way to put it. Then we shoved it full of Perthshire reprobates. Who were, let us say, a lively crowd. it made for a fun gig. Four of Scotland’s up and coming comedy talents were good enough to come through. So I’d like to say a big thanks once again to Dave Nelder, Ray Fordyce, Genevieve Cytko, James McIntosh and Les Sinclair for their time and their jokes. Everyone did amazingly. And thank you too to the audience, who were supportive, quite drunk and occasionally a bit mental. But in the best possible way. It certainly made for a good show and I cant wait to see the footage. More details on that as and when. In the meantime click on all those comedian’s names, see what they are doing, go and see them live, become their friends, but them drinks, write them letters that go way past inappropriately suggestive into the realms of Sadean pornography. They will love you for it. Trust me.

For my part, aside from being presenter for the day, which was interesting, fun but a bit weird, I was compeer for the comedy section which was a whole new experience for me and an eye-opener. mostly because my comedy is, if not slow exactly, then I guess ‘considered’ whereas comepering for this to an audience well on their way from ‘merry’ to ‘fucked’ on the Inebriatometer I felt I had to go full tilt. A lot of jumping around was involved, a lot more shouting and, for some reason, a lot more swearing than usual. I enjoyed it anyway, and I’m looking forward to the next one. So keep an eye out for that and come visit the countryside!

Don’t forget to like the Facebook page and keep up with what’s going on.

FINAL ITEM! The mystery that is Davey Mitchell has a venue booked for this years fringe. Last year he was based at The Blind Poet, where I spent several happy afternoons, drinking, doing a five-minute spot and then watching and chatting with an insane variety of different acts, at various levels of experience, and it was always an enjoyable gig. Even when there was only three people to play to, there was a kind of benignly anarchic egalitarian atmosphere. All comers were welcome. No news yet on the time but when I know I will tell you all and you can get down there and support the show. All of the comedians mentioned above will no doubt be there ar some point so again, follow their blogs, tweets, face droppings and all that.

Support live comedy people! It’s good for the soul.

Anyway, this is my blog, so fuck those guys! I will be around leaving my comedy smearings on walls at the dates below. And during August I will be tweeting my random whereabouts at the festival. So if you like this blog or you like my comedy come along. if you like this blog but you don’t like my comedy, come along anyway. You can tell me I’m not funny and that we can discuss the philosophical implications of the posthuman instead. Although both is preferable.

Over and out.

Upcoming dates!

JUNE

Monday, 11th-  Comedy Variety Show@City Cafe, Edinburgh

Monday 18th- Red Raw@The Stand, Edinburgh

Tuesday 19th- Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

Tuesday, 26th-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

JULY

Tuesday 31st-Red Raw@The Stand, Glasgow

AUGUST

I will be running around the Edinburgh Festival. Follow me on Twitter to find out when and where!

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The Jon Brion Diversion

Of course, I should be doing some proper work. But I started thinking about Jon Brion. Brion  (born December 11, 1963) is “an American rock and pop multi-instrumentalist,singer, songwriter, composer and record producer” (much like the splenetic and rumbustious musical savant Craig Jeffery). I’m not massively au fait with his solo work but I am familiar with his soundtrack work as it forms part of several of what I  consider (often loudly and at length) some of the best films ever made. So this is really just an excuse to post some videos of highlights from those Jon Brion soundtracks.

I might get round to writing longer pieces on these films in the future but in the meantime its worth saying that although we each have our own reality-filters so the merits or otherwise of these films lies in the eyes of the beholder, while I understand that, if you don’t like these films then it would be remiss of me not to seriously consider either snubbing you forever or smothering you with a pillow to put you out of your tasteless idiotic misery. If you haven’t seen these films then go now and find them. Stop conversing with friends and loved ones, or whatever it is you do, and find these movies. It’ll be worth it. Continue reading


Keeping the Cosmic Trigger Happy: thoughts on Robert Anton Wilson

Last week was  raw week  over at  Boing Boing. .Marking the fifth anniversary of Robert Anton Wilson’s transition to a different pattern of energy and information and who’s 4-dimensional form existed in space time January 18, 1932 – January 11, 2007.

I’d originally intended to write a post about Wilson’s influence on comic books but instead I ended up writing this. Will hopefully get to that other one next week.  So this is just some thoughts on Wilson, whose work had a profound impact on my philosophical and psycho-spiritual development and who still sometimes (not sure if I should mention this so I will) appears to me as as a kind of gigantic and benign floating head whenever my more unusual states of consciousness seem like they might get too much. Which, by the way, is awesome and I don’t care if its not really him; everyone gets the Robert Anton Wilson they deserve. So, an intellectual influence then and, in some strange way that only writers who you love but have never met can be, a friend. Continue reading


Help make this christmas number one…

Searching for any excuse, as always, not to do any proper work, I found myself toying with windows movie maker. here is the result. The song is one I did with my brother, the mysterious musical savant Craig Jeffery. That’s him singing and playing, the talented swine.  I only wrote the words, lacking as I do any musical aptitude. Although one day I do still plan to learn the theremin.

The enigmatic musical savant Craig Jeffery will no doubt fly into an artistic rage that such an unformed, unpolished version of his work has made it out of the paddock of his fevered, creative mind and into the memeosphere and no doubt my amatuerish attempts at crafting a music video merely add insult to injury. But screw him. I like it and the musical savant Craig Jeffery is too afraid of the internet to prevent me posting it. he once told me of computers, “they make such terrible, beautiful music, like the sound of sentient planets devouring one another”. he then wet himself and cried into his bowl of apple sauce.

If there is anyone out there however who wants to do a proper video for it once we have a more polished version of the song “in the can” (yeah, that’s right, i said it) please get in touch.

Anyway, here it is. A song about superheroes and the heavy burden of being superpowered. or something.