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Ex-Tabula Rasa

I shall try to define myself in a sentence with a pithy comment at the end:
I'm just an English bloke who lives in Canada after marrying a Canadian lady he met while living in Japan. Yeah, that old cliché.

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Posts tagged music

Dec 11 '13

2013: The Year in Music

2013 has been a massive year for music. The most earth-shattering music events of the year included:

  • In February, metal bands Dogthief and Wonky Headboard agreed on a drummer exchange, with the former citing “a need to lower our wage bill to within the salary cap and avoid future fines from the league”
  • London dubstep merchant Ian Pistols headbutted a swan in April
  • Phil Collins was seen exposing himself from a motorway overpass in late September, evading capture by police for more than three hours. It’s estimated that more than six thousand drivers saw the former Genesis singer’s manbits before he was eventually tasered and covered up
  • Twerk riots sparked across several European cities in November. Damage is estimated to be in the squillions
  • The best selling record of the year was the soundtrack album Music Inspired by the TV Show What Would Ryan Lochte Do?
  • Big awards winners of the year include Seminal Handshake (Grammy for Ethnically Diverse Funk-Inspired Rock Album by a Group or Township); Gavin Strapford (Gavin Awards for Gavin of the Year); and Bonnie Tyler (Discount Bookstores Association Award for Best-Selling Calendar Sold at a Reduced Cost in the First Months of the Year to Which the Calendar Refers)

Predictions for 2014:

  • Thousands of new dance music genres crossing over to the mainstream, including: Fudgestep; Unnecessary Trance; Bongo-Soul; Barely Legal 8-Bit Belgian Xylophone
  • Miley Cyrus’s tongue splitting from the rest of her, citing ‘musical differences’
  • The key of C will be huge
  • Invisible saxaphone solos
Mar 4 '13

There’s a Britpop music pub quiz near me on Wednesday and they’ve called it “Sorted for Teas and Quiz.” I want to go just to shake the hand of whoever came up with that name.

Feb 22 '13

Weekend Clubbing News

  • Tonight at the Bowl of Soup Club in Dinsmore: Glockenspiel House from DJ Wretched Mess and MC Offputting, with DJ General Electric playing uptempo Dubcrunk in the Lady Viola Hapsburg Memorial Chill-out Suite.
  • The monthly Happy Hardcore night at the Thongsnap has been cancelled as all the DJs watched The Notebook on Thursday. They’ll be playing six hours of Maudlin Hardcore instead, so bring a handkerchief and/or some tissues.
  • Saturday’s inaugural Dubsteptravaganza at the Rotten Neckbeard in Scabbard will feature a guest performance from Morten Harket of Aha, but God alone knows why.
  • Entrance to the Funky Bugger's Trance-Folk all-nighter is free to the first person to donate a kettle, or anyone dressed as a boy scout. DJ Placid Boatride will be supplying the beats and possibly melody.
  • Finally, management at the Club Pom-Pom in Swartch have announced that anyone caught not dancing during DJ Killer Beef's set will be shot.
Feb 7 '13

From This Day Forth

I will not be able to hear bagpipe music without imagining that it is being played by a lovestruck Scotsman to an indifferent penguin in a barren snowy landscape.

The penguin, Margot (because that’s a great name for a penguin), will be mortified. “This is precisely the reason we cannot be together,” she is saying. “For crying out loud, Gregor” - (because that’s a great name for a Scotsman) - “I’ve told you it will never work between us. You’re a kilt-wearing sporran-breeder who likes to make a noise that sounds like several emotionally-naive elephants with nasal problems mourning the loss of their hearing. I’m a penguin.”

Gregor, who keeps playing his squeaky pipewail despite Margot’s ire, closes his eyes and pictures the two of them back in his homeland, walking hand-in-wing along Hadrian’s Wall on a beautiful grey summer’s day. He moves his mouth away from the bagpipe wind entry nozzle, breathes in, makes that hilarious big-cheeked constipatory push face, and blares another massive drone of pseudomusic in the ever-diminishing hope that his beloved avian will be wooed by his prowess.

A single tear falls down Gregor’s cheek. It freezes.

Dec 15 '12

2012 in Review: Reunions and Reformations

If 2012 was the year of anything, then it was the year of the reunion. More so than in previous years, it seems that in an entertainment sense, people were getting back together, putting old differences aside and taking huge bags of paper money to their local bank while cackling and cackling and cackling.


Only last week the remaining living members of The Beatles reformed for a one-off charity concert, with all surviving members performing with the exception of Ringo Starr, who had lost his keys. Starr was replaced by the demon from that Tenacious D video, and Krist Novoselic of rock band Sweet 75.

In February, talk-of-the-town indie band Catamaran Tragedy split up days after releasing their debut album, Where Did I Put My Spiders. Citing creative differences, all eight members immediately embarked upon solo projects. Sixteen minutes later, they reformed and announced a world tour in which they’d play…Spiders in its entirety. The tour sold out within two hours and earned the band one trillion dollars.

One of the most hyped reunions of the year was the Trapped Chilean Miners who got back together in the summer and toured deep holes in four continents. The one exception, Mario Ticona, was absent due to a disagreement about shoes.


To celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Princess Bride, the cast of the film reunited and robbed a bakery.

In May, after more than six years apart, Leonard Cohen reformed. “I was always confident I could put my differences behind me,” he told a nearby goat, “I’m glad I was right.” Cohen was reluctant to give the reason for the initial split, but insiders insist it has nothing to do with them.

Jun 20 '12

Gumbert’s Concerto

First performed in February 2012, Gumbert’s  Concerto for Strings, French Horn and Incidental Cellphone  was initially hailed as a triumph by both critics and the music-loving public alike.

Working from the observation that every single public art performance - classical music, theatre, opera, etc - was at some point interrupted by an audiencemember’s cellphone, Gumbert began writing the piece in 2010. Utilising the inevitability of telephonic interruption as something advantageous, rather than an incumbrance, the inclusion of a noisy ring tone in the work adds an element of humanity and unexpectedness to the performance.

The piece begins quietly, almost mournfully. It sulks through variations on a four-bar melody, shifting in tone slightly but remaining at a low volume throughout. As soon as the conductor hears a cellphone ringing in the audience, he immediately stops the music for a second, then encourages the orchestra to replicate the sound of the ringtone. This abrupt change in the music lasts for ten minutes, or until another phone is heard, at which point the orchestra tries to replicate it instead.

On its debut, a middle-aged man’s phone started ringing after five minutes. Tuts from the other spectators were silenced when the instruments stopped and then began trying to make the three-note tune. The violins were the first to replicate it accurately, and other instruments fell in before long.

On the fifth performance, no cell phones interrupted the concerto. The conductor apologised to the audience at the end of the performance and all tickets were refunded.

Within two months of shows, audience members had started arriving with their cells set to full volume, having instructed their friends to call them within seconds of the music starting. Such performances became harder and harder for the orchestra to play, and many players were hospitalised. The final performance was last week.

Gumbert himself, having witnessed the last few shows in person, has since announced that he is currently working on a Concerto for Cellphone and Incidental French Horn.

Apr 26 '12


  • Work Friend: You're an asshole.
  • Me: I know, but why this time?
  • WF: That song you recommended that I play at my wedding reception...
  • Me: 212 by Azealia Banks? Yes? What about it? Did you listen to it? It's great, isn't it?
  • WF: Every other word is the c word.
  • Me: Yeah, but still, it's a great song.
  • WF: What would have happened if I'd have played it at my wedding without listening to it first?
  • Me: If you played a song at your wedding reception based on a recommendation from me without listening to it, then you'd get everything you deserved.
  • WF: You're an asshole.
  • Me: If I thought you were going to play a song at the reception based solely on a recommendation from me without listening to it first then I'd have recommended some Anal Cunt.
Apr 22 '12

Men in Black

  • Man in Impeccable Black Suit wearing sunglasses #1: Mister Mayer.
  • John Mayer: What? Who are you? How did you get on my yacht?
  • Man in Black #2: Mister Mayer, our records indicate that you have never recorded a cover version of Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah.
  • John Mayer: Get off my yacht! How did you get here? We're in the middle of the sea!
  • Man in Black #1: Mister Mayer, don't make this difficult. Please acknowledge whether my colleague's assertion is true.
  • John Mayer: No, I've never recorded Hallelujah. It's been done to death. Everyone's covered it. Why would I do my own version? No.
  • Man in Black #2: This is a very nice yacht, Mister Mayer.
  • Man in Black #1: A very nice yacht indeed, Mister Mayer. It would be a shame if something happened to it.
  • Man in Black #2: ...While you were sailing on it.
  • Man in Black #1: Accidents happen, Mister Mayer.
  • Man in Black #2: Perhaps you should rethink your attitude to covering Leonard Cohen's graceful and serene song Hallelujah, Mister Mayer.
  • Man in Black #1: You never know what might happen otherwise, Mister Mayer.
  • John Mayer: I...I...but...
  • Man in Black #1: We'll let ourselves out.
  • John Mayer: But...we're in the middle of the sea...
  • Man in Black #2: [to MIB #1] Who is next on the list?
  • Man in Black #1: [to MIB #2] Billy Ocean.
  • Man in Black #2: Excellent.
Mar 28 '12

Okay then, does this work?

Bloody Americans, it’s always “that video doesn’t work in our country” and “we want our independence” and “that’s an excellent model of a nationalised public healthcare system, mind if we use it as a template to replace our own flawed service?”

(Andreas Johnson - Glorious. Like I said, you WILL NOT HEAR A BETTER SONG TODAY)

Mar 28 '12

3:28 for 3/28 - Andreas Johnson - Glorious

If this isn’t the best fucking song you hear today, you’re a fucking liar.