Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ignore this Posting

What with it nearly being the middle of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, and what with me managing to bend the Space/Time Continuum (hint: coffee) in order to see not only every show physically possible but also some with clashing timetables, some separated by vast distances and even some not technically in existence yet, it only makes sense that I'd use this important and user-friendly Web 2.0 online outlet for critical expression and link pasting to offer you, the reader, my hints and tips and dire finger-waggling warnings regarding shows to see for fun and profit. I picture you as a querulous circle of young Dickensian chimney sweeps, eyes and ears eagerly (if metaphorically) upturned in the faint hope of a morsel of comedic recommendation which may be dropped your way. For this reason, I will not offer such recommendations here, for it will only encourage you. Get a job.

I will write some reviews some time soon though, once I manage to be both awake, coherent and not actually in a comedy show.

For now though the Comedy Fest seems the perfect time to write about something totally different: modern art.

With nary a shadow of foreshadowing, David Shrigley is coming to town for an exhibition. Shrigley is one of my favourite artists, especially his hand-drawn doodles or text-based scribblings. He's very very funny, and very very original. Faux-naive drawing is pretty popular these days, but it takes a sharp mind to make the stuff memorable. I think his stuff is memorable. He also does film, painting, photography, spoken word and more.

Go see him at Kings ARI Gallery (1/171 King St, Melbourne) from Saturday.

In New York recently, street art has been the target of a vandal/artist being dubbed The Splasher. This is a great story: well-known, highly praised graffiti is being defaced, and people are debating whether vandalising what are essentially works of vandalism (though aesthetically accomplished ones) can itself be aesthetically defensible. It's fascinating.

See some examples of Splasher's work here and here, and read more about the case here.

Also: Kurt Vonnegut died this morning. Good writer.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"Oh Boy! Look at that Baby with the Schoolgirl Complexion!"

Every year around this time I have to gird my nethers with thick absorbent towelling in case I have an accident. Just thinking about what tomorrow brings is enough to cause me to soil myself so I'm forced to distract myself focusing intently on other distraction, which I've decided to share with you, imaginary friends. Scouring the internet for attention-grabbing oddities, at least, is enough to prevent me from thinking about that wonderful several weeks that kicks off tomorrow, The Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Urrgh, there I go!

Everyone who counts knows that I love the Eurovision Song Contest, more for what it represents than anything else. This year's hot contender is the totally awful DJ Bobo, whose Vampires Are Alive is drawing controversy and not just from people who have watched the video with the same expression you have when you realise what's been festering under the plastic bag in the kitchen bin.

In his homeland of Switzerland, Bobo has been criticised for promoting "satanism and the occult" with the imagery and lyrics of the video. 50,000 people signed a petition to that effect, though it's unclear how many were just using it to get the guy off-air. Would you want him representing your country? It's obvious Bobo is just trying to ride the coat-tails of last year's winners LORDI from Finland. But would it blow your mind if I mentioned that Bobo is closer to "Lordi" than you realise? That he is actually the Artist Formerly Known as Jordy?

He's not. But he's certainly proof that evil walks amongst us (when we're walking around Switzerland, at least).

Here's a fantastic and completely inexplicable video I blatantly stole from Monkeys for Helping.

I really don't know what to add except that it might well be the best thing ever put on YouTube except for everything else that's rad.

What really gets me isn't the bizarre framing narrative, the "it was all a queer dream" ending or the incredibly great 70s camp of the slow-mo retro robo dance-man's fringed cowboy pants.

It's that as I was watching this in stunned awe, I couldn't help but be taken back to yesterday, when I watched someone dressed almost identically belt out a late 70s pop tune on an old TV show. It would be worth posting on its own, but the fact that it's TV's McGuyver in those high white pants and sailor-style red chesty tee makes it all the better.

Tell me he doesn't open the clip with an expression of sudden realisation as to what he's wearing. Tell me it doesn't get better when we actually get to see what he's wearing. Tell me the last second's revelation of an awesome white wristband doesn't seal the deal. And then tell me I haven't based my hairstyle on some half-remembered infantile viewing of this clip which permanently imprinted on my brain.

And finally, to wash all of this down, a film starring dogs dressed as people. If the bit where they're assessing the sweet looks of the leading ladies doesn't have you laughing like an old cur, there's something wrong wit' ya. Oh, and the leading lady they do choose sure is a real swell dame, too.

Now I'm off to see everything in the Festival and maybe occasionally writing about it.