Jun 30, 2012

Thirteen things I should have blogged about in June but didn't

The Stone Roses reunion and how I was convinced it would never happen.

Pendulum have split. Skrillex has been riffing on Miles Davis with The Doors. Is Justin Biebpipe now the future of dirty-bass dubstep?

How best to avoid tax if you're a pop star - without having to pay those stiff-shirted accountants. Mattresses are go!

Are Muse still alive? Yes, the news says they are: look, there they are competing with Usain Bolt in the Olympics. But are they really, or are they zombies as we all suspected?

Now they are no more, how to make your own Swedish House Mafia track using the contents of your dishwasher and a hammer.

The latest Squarepusher (pictured) album.

Radio 1 playing hip hop in Hackney. Whatever next? Radio 4 having some actual comedy? Humus not having all that extra crap like peppers in? JEEZ.

Maroon 5 finally get a UK number one single after eight years of trying. Why *this* is the day that music died.

Pop is dead. CDs are dead. Rock is dead. Noise is dead. Dead is dead. This sentence is dead.

Does 'bon' really mean 'good'? Really? I ask Bon Jovi, Bon Iver, Simon Le Bon, Bono and Boney M. And when I say "ask", I mean "leave rambling, drunken messages on the answerphones of".

The latest Clark (not pictured) album.

Why I should have gone to see NKOTBSB and how I think they should have got together with PSB and LMFAO and played YMCA.

A review of the UK number one singles so far this year a.k.a. me weeping into the tortured carcass of a buffalo looking for meaning in a once-great culture and only finding deflating stomach gas.

Jun 22, 2012

A whirlwind of collaboration: the 3hundredand65 story tweets

I've been turned into art. I am Damien Hirst's pickled shark. I am Damien Hirst's bling skull. I am Damien Hirst's Last Supper (he may not have done that one).

There's a thing called 3Hundredand65 where an illustrated story is told in a year's worth of tweets. We all get to do a day: in my case, I tweeted fifty days in where I stripped the protagonist of his clothes and covered him in tea. No doubt the 364 other authors may take the story in a different direction.

And what authors. My comrades-in-365dom include Chris Addison, Ian Rankin, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Ross, Neil Gaiman, Tim Burgess, Clint Boon, and many many more. Oh and plenty of unknowns like me too.

I found it a strange experience because I'm very picky about my writing and who I work with. So for example, in my tweet I killed off a whirlwind that was annoying me only to have a whirlwind return in today's tweet. And you find yourself compromising with other people's writing styles... well, not compromising... collaborating.

Having your tweet turned into an illustration by the immensely talented Dave Kirkwood (an abstract of which is included in the above picture) is another level of powerlessness you get with true collaboration. Sometimes that leads to tweeters trying to lead the illustrator on with their tweets - as I did. 'I'd like this, this and this in my illustration, please!'. This whole project is fun, liberating and surprising.

If all that wasn't enough, you can now find me on 'Collaborate', a limited edition print featuring all the authors from the first three months of the project. My name is listed, and if you're wondering which is my speech bubble, it's the good looking one. There'll be a meet-up in a Manchester pub next weekend too, where no doubt the print will be on sale. (Edit: here's the poster about that.)

3hundredand65 is raising money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, who provide specialist services to young people diagnosed with cancer. The project is all about raising a profile, so if you're vaguely in the orbit of the planet "celebrity" and you haven't signed up yet, get in contact with 3hundredand65 and become one of the tweeters.

And yes, that includes celebrity modern artists and their chopped-up fishes.

Further Fats: We Were Spending Precious Time