Tuesday, 11 December 2007

The Digital Sickbag Virtual Gig-O-Matic

Last Sunday my sister, her husband and I went along to a Manic Street Preachers gig at the BIC (which is short for Bournemouth International Centre, and does not mean we went along to watch the band play in a giant biro).

Good times were had by all - good times that YOU can recreate in your very home RIGHT NOW thanks to the Digital Sickbag Virtual Gig-O-Matic, bought to you using the very latest in sophisticated computer technology.

To begin this simulation, make sure you are dressed in something with a leopard-print design, or failing that just wear a lot of black, and maybe some eyeliner.

Now, turn off all the lights in your house. If its daytime, then draw your curtains, or just squint at the screen.

Ready? Good. Here comes...the support act, Cherry Ghost:

At this point, you should begin to get restless, because you didn't really want to see these guys. Start talking loudly, or go to the shops and buy yourself some beer. Remember to pay two or three times the price for your booze, to fully capture the gigging experience.

Right, you're back, and just in time, too. Here they are...the MANIC STREET PREACHERS! (Start cheering and whooping like a madman).

The band are opening with one of their older songs, from their first album. Show how hardcore a fan you are by mouthing along to all the lyrics!

You Love Us

Cheer, whoop and applause. And so to the next track - another oldie! Scream at the top of your lungs, people!

Motown Junk

Time for a quick toilet break now. Go and stand outside your toilet for a full twenty minutes before going in. To further add to the atmosphere, you may wish to piss all over the floor, and maybe try and have a crafty cigarette while your there.

Okay, now the band are playing That Song, the one that made them famous. As a hardened fan you should roll your eyes at this point, and maybe shake your head sadly to demonstrate your displeasure.

As the song is popular, the room erupts and people are dancing like crazy. To recreate this experience, jab yourself in the ribs repeatedly with your elbow, and spill some beer down your front.

Design For Life

At this juncture, you might like to start yelling out obtuse comments at your monitor. Stuff like 'WE LOVE YOU NICKY!', or 'SHOW US YOUR LEGS' or something. Alternatively, holler out requests for obscure B-sides and long-forgotten tracks, to further demonstrate your hardcore credentials. Then sigh when the band fails to adhere to your demands, and instead play another chart-topping hit.

Nonetheless, you still love the band, so start jumping up and down, and hurling yourself about like you have been possessed by a spirit. The SPIRIT of ROCK.

Masses Against the Classes

Applaud loudly. At this point, you may like to pretend that the band have said goodnight and walked off stage. Start shouting 'MANICS, MANICS, MANICS!' loudly at the screen. Lo and behold - they're coming back on for one more song! Hooray! Cheer and whistle happily, then erupt into almost orgiastic delight when they start playing one of their older tracks- JUST FOR YOU.

Motorcycle Emptiness

And that's it. It's over. You should be all sweaty and tired now, but happy. Go and stand outside your toilet again for anther twenty minutes, then go outside. Recreate the experience of being harassed by a shifty-looking vendor, selling knock-off band t-shirts, by throwing a twenty pound note down a drain.

Phew! Quite a night, eh? Don't forget to round things off nicely by being sick in your bed. Good times, good times.


For further Manic Street Preacher fun, visit their official website, and download their Christmas song, Ghost of Christmas. It's brilliant, a shamelessly glam-rock inspired Xmas stomper with hints of Slade and Wizzard at their most festive. A far more palatable Christmas offering than you'll find in the charts this year, and better still its FREE.

Thank you. You've been a wonderful audience.


- Fanton.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

The Dork Knight

Surely I should be past getting ridiculously excited by the prospect of seeing a movie about a man dressing up like a giant bat and flapping across a city, fighting gaily-coloured hoodlums?

Surely, as I near thirty years old, my inner child should have grown up, shined his shoes, got a job and settled down?

But no. My inner child resolutely refuses to mature, and continues to bounce around with undiminished glee whenever a new superhero movie is on the horizon, an act which plays havoc with my kidneys, let me tell you.

And so, I brace myself for another internal jamboree as the first official poster is unleashed for next year's The Dark Knight, the sequel to 2005's rather excellent Batman Begins. This time around, the vermin-inspired vigilante (Christian Bale) does battle with his most notorious nemesis, The Joker, played by Heath Ledger.

I really enjoyed Batman Begins, which did an excellent job of salvaging the franchise after Joel Schumacher tried to torpedo it to gaudy smithereens with the neon-clad campfest that was Batman and Robin. From what we've been allowed to see of Begins' follow up, it seems director Christopher Nolan and his team are determined to keep the quality high, with the Joker looking especially excellent, and suitably psychotic. With the unveiling of the first poster for the film, my excitement levels have reached a ludicrous and almost embarrassing high, proving that I still have some way to go before I can be classed as an adult in any way, shape or form.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go. My inner child wants ice cream.

- Fanton.

Monday, 3 December 2007

What's in a name?

Naming a new blog is almost as important a decision as naming your newborn child. In fact, I'd go so far as to say it's far more important than that.

Sure, you could wind up bestowing a stupid name like 'Zowie' or 'Moon Unit' or 'Gregory' upon your child, but then chances are that whatever you call your offspring they'll eventually wind up despising their name, and start developing new, far cooler sounding nicknames like 'D-Stroy' or 'Jazza' or 'XBox 360' anyway. It's all pretty irrelevant, really.

Your blog, however, cannot change its own name. Whatever you choose is what it is lumbered with for the rest of its life - which could well be FOREVER.

It is with this weighty consideration upon my mind that I set about naming this very blog. I wanted to give my new baby a snappy name, something vaguely cool-sounding. Something that wouldn't get it picked on by the bigger blogs in the virtual schoolyard.

But what? I did not have one single idea in my entire brain. It's a tricky process, but luckily there are a few clear options open to you when you are naming a blog, which I've carefully researched and present to you now:

The self-titled blog. Simply name your blog after yourself! Not only does it require zero creativity, but it also means that you don't have to try and remember a whole new name. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy.

However, the self-titled blog does carry with it a certain air of arrogance, as if the writer considers him or herself so important and famous that people should either already know their name, or learn it fast. This is fine if you are actually important and/or famous, but makes you look like a right cocky bastard if you aren't.

It should be noted that I used to own a self-titled blog.

The Writing-Based Pun: Blogs are all about writing, so why not make your blog's title an awfully witty pun based upon that very fact? Write In it! Write On! Write Now! Write Where I Belong! Write Now I Am Stabbing Myself In The Eye With A Fork To Spare Me The Agony Of Your Awful Punnery!

It should be noted that I used to own a writing-based pun blog.

The Cock Tease: If you want to get a ridiculously high volume of traffic to your blog, then titling it something vaguely dirty and provocative like Dirty Tramp or Wild Ejaculations or Fuck My Tits will guarantee you a continued torrent of sweaty-palmed surfers who googled 'minge' and who then accidentally found themselves on your page. They won't stay long (unless there are actually tits on your site) but your stats will certainly look impressive. You whore.

Self-Deprecation: We all know that by publishing our thoughts and opinions openly on the Internet we are leaving ourselves open to abuse, so why not get the first blow in right away - on yourself! By naming your blog in such a self-mocking manner it looks like you already think you are rubbish, and are thus immune from any further barbs or critiques.

However, although titles like Wittering On, Boring Guff, Dreary Nothings, Turgid Nonsense and Pile of Shit may make you think you are being all witty and self-deprecating, people might actually take the title literally and leave without reading past that header. Either that, or you call your blog Useless Toss and it actually turns out to be a bunch of useless toss. Or, worst still, your enemies and detractors may feel like they have to try harder to rile you, and go beyond spamming your comments section and straight onto kidnapping you and setting fire to your loved one's hair. Use with caution.

The Surrealistic Juxtaposition: If you want to make yourself look a bit wacky and (shudder) zany, then this could be the choice for you. All you need to do is combine two disparate words or items to get your new, ker-azy blog name. Things like: Anaemic Hippo, Revolving Hatstand, Nuclear Bungalow, Retarded Sparrow, Smoking Omelette, Vibrating Pope, Smarmy Trilby etc.

WARNING: if carried out poorly, the surrealistic juxtaposition can wind up making you look like a really unfunny prick, who probably spends all day quoting Family Guy or Monty Python.

So, I present to you now: Digital Sickbag.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

- Andy Fanton.