OK, first off, and forgive me if you’re tired or hungover but
ADAM FLIPPING ANT IS PLAYING WITH US ON SATURDAY AT THE GARAGE! ADAM FLIPPING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT! SERIOUS YOU GUYS! I AM GONNA BE PLAYING WITH ADAM FLIPPING AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT!
Adam Flipping Ant.
I could go on at length about how he was my favourire thing in the world when I was TWO, how the first record I remember touching was Kings Of The Wold Frontier, how there’s a photo of me dressed up as him as a toddler, but you should know that from listening carefully to my songs anyway. I shall save it for after the gig, and I haven’t been able to locate the photo yet anyway and you need to see that because it is some next level shit.
…Mac at 8:30 in the morning, in fact. And I didn’t open the box until 4:30 in the afternoon. How’s that for restraint?! Ye gods! But I am dedicated. So I did my work, had a meeting with super-gangster Andrew Kendall about some futuristic A Bomb shit, came back, did more work, and ONLY WHEN MY ALLOTED TASKS WERE COMPLETE, did I prepare my desk with extreme cleanliness, and Open My Macbook Pro.
Yes, ladies, and Gs, I have gone to the dark side. After spending three grand, the last of my BMG money, on that ridonculous tower PC in March 2009, only for it to be causing me serious grief by March 2010. I’ve reinstalled it 5 times in the past 12 months, to little avail. By this point it’s making ear-bleeding banshee noises and crashing every seven and a half minutes. So I finally decided to listen to my music making friends who told me so many times about how their Macs had never failed them, how solid and sturdy they are, how rarely they crash, how they never get diseases, how they’ve been running the same machine with virtually no problems for four years, etcetera etcetera.
Despite never having used one, despite my political reservations, despite my aversion to the scientology-esque Cult Of Apple, I have decided to try it. New machine, new operating system, new software, new everything. As I said in The Donnish Inquisition, I have gotten very comfortable in my way of working… perhaps too comfortable… so it is blatantly time to make things hard for myself. Or at least different…
I am excited to see what I come up with.
And oh boy, was I excited to open those boxes.
Shit was like Christmas.
See that? Christmas face. And damn, were those some pretty boxes. And damn, were those some pretty boxes within boxes. And damn, is that some beautiful design work. I have no idea why PC designers insist on making ugly shit that looks like it came straight out of a budget dystopian movie filmed in 1989, but they do. Ths Mac shit, I hate to say it, is fucking beautiful.
However that, of course, is but surface. And you know me. I am about feeling. So I’ll let you know how I get on. In the meanwhile if any of you out there have any tips you’d like to impart, software suggestions, things I should watch out for and so on, please let me know in the comments. I have no idea what I am doing.
To the future!
Edit: On Andrew’s advice I analysed both systems with Geekbench. Behold the shocking truth:
So, my awesome song about how much I miss Rockstar’s modern classic Red Dead Redemption was featured in The Guardian today, which reminded me that I’d wanted to make some kind of visual for it, if only so that it could have a life on Youtube, where most people seem to go to listen to their music these days, so I balanced my phone on my tripod (the phone hasn’t got a screw-in thing like a proper camera would) and filmed myself singing the song whilst playing the game, which was particularly tricky during the shot in which the game is being projected onto me… I had to play whilst looking in a mirror, which only reflected a tiny sliver of the wall, and anyway, have you ever tried playing a computer game in a mirror whist rapping? That shit is harder than trying to unicycle drunk on a plank of wood, and I should know cos I’ve tried…
Oh yeah, I got the game fixed. Did I mention that? Turns out you can take a scratched disc to one of those GAME shops, and they’ll fix your scratched disc for £2. Amazing.
ANYWAY! As mentioned, I filmed myself on my phone, then I chopped it up with some of my favorite footage from the game, and I rendered that shit, and uploaded it, and voila! You can now enjoy Lord I Miss Red Dead Redemption on them there Youtubes for all time. You’re welcome! And you can look forward to a proper music video made by some proffesionals in the next week or so. Hooray!
(Speaking of videos, Lizacrunch Crunch just let it be known on Facebook that I’m Youtube’s #87 most viewed musician this week! PARTAAAAAAAY!)
Now, Keith Stuart, who wrote the Guardian article actually asked me a whole load of questions reagrding the song, and the game, but as is the way with such things only used one of the answers, so I figured I might as well share the whole thing with you, since you’re intered enough to have come here in the first place on this glorious day. So here you go:
1. Can you tell me how the track came about – and how the game influenced you?
Well, the song is an entirely true story, like all my songs. I was literally finding myself looking up in the sky, seeing a bird, and subsequently having a deep impulse to take out a winchester rifle and shoot that bird… I’d be right back in Red Dead Redemption world in an instant. I found I really missed it, as if it were a real place, and that it had forever altered my personal filter of what I take to be reality.
I also found myself singing “lord I miss Red Dead Redemption” to myself over and over in the shower, which is how a lot of my songs start. So I got out of the shower, sat down at my desk, and went to the Red Dead Redemption website, where the first thing I saw was their music video for Jose Gonzales’ Far Away, which was used to such emotive effect in the game. I press play, and within four bars I found that the “lord I miss red dead redemption” refrain I’d been singing to myself fit over it perfectly, so I sampled it, looped it, played some drums over it, took a load of music from the game itself, changed the pitch of that so it fit with the song, and put the whole thing on loop for half an hour, at the end of which I had written completed song and dropped a tear because it was such a fucking incredible journey, and I went through it all again when I wrote the song.
2. What do you think it is about Red Dead that has caught people’s attention in this way – a lot of gamers I know have had a really emotional reaction to it.
It’s a lot of things… The story is deeply engaging, the characters are genuine and excellently acted, and just awesomely realized. But outside of all that, you can just roam off into the sunset on your horse, your horse which feels so real, so lifelike. The game itself is just fucking beautiful, and almost limitless. You can roam, helping people along the way, which you’re happy to do because you’re playing John Martsen, the greatest computer game character of all time, who’s deep goodness cannot help but infect the player, so strong and pure it is… I found I didn’t want to do bad things, because that’s not what John Marsten would do. Like I say in the song, I could have cried when I accidentally killed my horse for the first time. It made me nauseous. So I helped all the people I could, and tried to live my life within the game in as exemplaray a manner as I could, out of respect for John Marsten.
3. What have been the responses to the track? We often see artists who namecheck games, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a song reacting to a game in this way – almost like a love song, I guess?
Yeah, it’s a love a song. I fucking loved that game. Like I said, all my songs are true. They’re either the truth of something that happened to me, or the truth of how I feel about something. But it’s not often I can tell how effective my translation of that truth has been, because its mine alone. In this instance I was describing something that thousands of other people experienced, and that so many of them have been letting me know that my song perfectly described their own emotional experience has been incredible, because it means I am actually achieving what I set out to with this music, and it means I’m connecting with people on a raw level, which is a fucking swagged out and beautiful thing.
4. Have you heard from Rockstar about the track?
Yeah, they actually cosigned it. They put it on their blog and Tweeted about. I was full of joy. Hopefully they keep me in mind when choosing music for GTA5. That’s one of my biggest ambitions, having a song on a GTA game. The idea of taking out a police helicopter or something whilst listening to my own music makes make grin till my cheeks are sore to just think of it.
5. And have you been influenced by other games?
I think we’re influenced by everything we experience on some level, including computer games, but the effects of some are more pronounced. GTA, for example, taught me to drive. When I had my first driving lesson with my girl she was amazed at how well I steered, and that was all GTA. The game also to this day has built into me an urge to steal motorbikes, but I never actually do, obviously, because I can tell the difference between the computer game reality, and the human experience reality. I just wonder about the level of reality outside of that more nowadays, and I have computer games to thank for giving me the context within which to envisage such a concept.
As mentioned yesterday, the world is considerably more awesome this week, because the greatest Marvel UK comics character of all time, the one I did that awesome comic strip about, the one and only DEATH’S FRICKIN HEAD is BACK, in his O.G. glory, in the pages of the Panini-published kids’ comic Marvel Heroes. It’s written by Death’s Head creator Simon Furman, and drawn (the Marvel way) by the excellent Simon Williams. I picked my copy up in my local Turkish newsagent, which was in itself an amazing experience, so you should have no problem finding a copy. Unless you don’t live in the UK anywhere near a newsagent. Damn, sucks to be you right now.
Anyway, the strip is SWAGGED OUT and RIGHTEOUS, and I recorded a 6 minute long diatribe about it for this week’s MOMBcast, whihc sounds enough like DONCAST that I felt comfortable enough to speak freely about the Death’s Head experiences.
You can listen to that right here. My bit’s about 56 minutes in, if that’s all you care about, but if you’re into comics at all the whole thing is likely worth your while, and even if you’re NOT, fuck it, you could learn something new. Like WHY BATMAN INC. IS AMAZING.
Yes, the return of Death’s Head is a wonderful thing, and everyone involved did an amazing job (apart from the colourist who decided to paint intricate teeth on the Hulk entirely unnecessarily in one distracting instance but we’ll forgive them for the beautiful job they did on Death’s Head’s shoulder pad things). And to top it off, the comic not only comes with a free POSTER (!!!), but it also comes with a frickin’ VORTEX BLASTER.
Here’s me with my Vortex Blaster.
I am never going to take it off.
Right, I am going to get back to Video Work. Keep your eyes peeled in the general direction of The Guardian today, as I shall be making an appearance, and don’t forget to pick up your tickets for the #ILOVEJAPAN show I’m playing at The Garage in London on April 2nd (and your plane tickets if you need to travel), and to preorder Living In The Future, which is going to be one of the best things you ever do, frankly. YOUR NAME’S GONNA BE IN THE CD! Well, it is if you helped choose the songs. Thank you for that! You did a brilliant job!
EDIT: Special Guest Adam Ant has just been confirmed! OMFGASM!
I am proud to confirm that I am indeed playing the We Love Japan earthquake appeal show at London’s Relentless Garage in Highbury, along with the legendary DJ Jack Nimble. This is evidently a very magical show, as I decided a few weeks ago that it was my aim to play that very venue this Summer, and a week later I got a phone-call asking if I want to do it, on the very same day I was trying to think of a way I could raise some money for Japan. Mental, huh?
We have an exciting line-up of new and established acts with a very Japanese edge. Most of our bands originate from Japan originally and are now based in London including iMMa, No Cars and Kuaigora. We also have a set from Akira The Don and DJ sets from Japan Underground and the fabulous Mr Iain Lee of Absolute Radio and the 11 O’Clock Show.
In addition to the live performance we will also be running a Karoake Club thanks to Onboard Karaoke, please Cosplay Portrait have a booth and there will be a raffle with several high value prize packs on offer. Our aim is to fill the venue and raise over £6,000 for the appeal on the night. Every ticket sale helps us get closer to that figure. With your support we can make it.
Every penny from the show will go to the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund to help rebuild Japan after the events of 11 March.
Doors open at 7pm. Strictly over 14s, under 16s with an adult / Photo ID required
Get that? Good. I am really excited about doing this, and I want you all to come and party with us. And let me know in the comments what songs you wanna hear! I am in a requestful mood.
AKIRA THE DON WILL RELEASE HIS INCREDIBLE COMPILATION ALBUM, LIVING IN THE FUTURE, ON APRIL 18th! YES!
So, last year I asked you what your favourite post WWWY songs were, for the following reason:
“…to those that don’t frequent this wonderful, groundbreaking, epoch defining website, I might as well have died in 2006. So we need to edumacate their asses, before we hit them upside the head with The Life Equation, and change the course of history for ever and ever. What I want to do is this – to put together an EP (extended play) of my finest works, following the release of When We Were Young up until now, the eve of The Life Equation. I will take these recordings, polish them up, treat them with respect and love, give them the mastering I was never able to before, and release them into the world, where anybody can find them.”
Well, I took your advice, I made a list of a hundred odd songs, I whittled that list down to my favourites, I whittled that down to my favourites that didn’t have great big fuck off unclearable samples in them, then I worked out which out of those worked best together and told a story as a whole sequence, then I made the whole lot work together melodically and thematically and shit, then I added Jamie to the mix, which was a song me and Stephen Hague did that we loved but didn’t fit in The Life Equation, then I wrote The Way Back Home to finish that story, and lead into the next. I’d been wanting to write about my American adventure for a long time. It was emotional. The Way Back Home is now one of my favourite songs ever, and it makes me cry.
The songs have all been remixed, and reworked, in some cases with whole new beats and lyrics. Finally, I got the whole lot professionally mastered, and sent it off to my distributor. It is already lying in wait on Amazon, and will soon be on iTunes, and all that stuff.
So! Living In The Future! A compilation of recordings made by me, Akira The Don between the release of my first album, When We Were Young, and my second, The Life Equation! With production from me, Akira The Don, Joey2tits and Stephen Hague! Release date is April 18th! It will be availible as a digital download AND, because you asked me nicely many times, CD! And T-shirt! And poster!
All CD orders get a complimentary digital download delivered on the first second of April 18th. Design to announced shortly. YOU KNOW IT WILL BE FRESH….
You can preorder now at a SPECIAL LOW PRICE! (You can choose your T size as well, cheers Normannumeric for pointing that issue out!)