06 January 2010

Beautiful no show

Update re Beautiful People - ABC Television ISN'T going straight onto series two on Wednesday nights. They have now shown series one twice, with no sign of series two coming.

DVDs are already on their way from Amazon UK!

02 January 2010

Simon Doonan - after growing up in Reading he now lives among the Beautiful People

The BBC sitcom Beautiful People brings to life the memoirs of famous Barneys of New York creative director Simon Doonan.

The series tracks the "slightly fey window dresser" through his early teenage years in Reading, England and introduces to us his stranger than fiction family: his wacky but glamorous mother Betty, father Terry who made homemade wine out of parsnips and potato skins, blind aunt Phyllis and his schizophenic grandmother "Narg", which is "Gran" backwards.

The TV show is based on Simon's written account of his younger life called Beautiful People, and is produced by Jon Plowman, the man behind Ab Fab and Little Britain.

Real life Simon, now 58, was chosen to decorate the White House for Christmas 2009. His work got the political and religious right frothing at the mouth a little, but was generally applauded as being very creative.

Since 1999, Simon has written a rather fun column for the New York Observer, which is worth keeping an eye on.

01 January 2010

Bring on the Decadents

What do you follow the Noughties with? Why the Decadents of course!

I asked my Facebook friends the question: With 10 years of the noughties about to end, what next? The nices?

To which my friend Sandy replied: Well surely with 10's relationship to "deca" it will be the decadents!!!

Impeccable logic I thought.

Beautiful People - patiently waiting for series two

Having had its original run in Australia on ABC2 last year, ABC1 is replaying the six episodes of series one of Beautiful People on Wednesday nights.

With two more eps to go, I am hoping like hell that they go straight onto series two, which recently finished screening on BBC2.

The BBC is preventing us Assies from seeing series two on its iPlayer and on YouTube. But I did find some teasing little glimpses on the BBC's Beautiful People Facebook page.

Reactions from fans are very positive and the glimpses look promising. Here's hoping the ABC doesn't make us wait too long.

08 August 2009

Buy Phillip Adams a case of Shiraz and lock him in a studio for five hours a day

In Crikey, Thursday 6 Aug, Helen Razer writes:

Who said radio is irrelevant?"

Joan Warner, Chief Executive Officer of radio's peak body, Commercial Radio Australia, wants to know. Speaking this morning from the embers of digital radio's flashy Sydney launch, Warner would conscience no new media piffle about the ruin of her industry.

The large attendance at today's Radio United Event, she said, is evidence of the nation's enduring passion for the terrestrial. It was suggested to me via Tweet that "2000+ish" punters witnessed the historical moment unfold in Sydney's Martin Place. 2000+ish doesn't seem like a lot of passion from a city of 4 million.

Informal datasets by means of Twitter aside, Warner launched an erudite defence for radio's future.

At the suggestion that consumers will eventually shun music radio in favour of portable on-demand media players, Warner let forth a salvo of numbers.

Advertising revenues, she says, are stable and robust in this sector.

While no figures are yet available for sales of DAB+ digital radio receivers, these will be monitored and released in the long term by GfK Retail and Technology.

Significantly, a "platform of listening" box will be checked in the Nielsen media surveys. This means that digital will soon be included in radio ratings books.

Warner supposes that we will start to see trending toward digital listening by 09's final survey. She predicts that commercial digital radio licensees will show profit from their new, and more expensive, means of transmission within five years.

"Ha!" says my shadowy contact in commercial radio.

For a start, he says, uptake of hardware that costs upward of $150 and destroys, despite its docking functionality, the look of your iPod is likely to be very, very sluggish.

According to Mr Shadow, commercial radio never wanted this pricey millstone.

"Their participation in it is nothing more than an attempt to protect market share. They're there solely to keep competitors out."

Under the current arrangement, there are no competitors to traditional providers of radio on the digital multiplexes. It does seem odd that with enlarged bandwidth there are no current opportunities for niche broadcasters.

Expect, he says, no profits and, "automated crap like Novanation". A current view in commercial radio is that "alternative" talk is the medium's only future.

"That is, talk for emerging audience, not your established listener of 2GB," says Shadow. The migration to digital by traditional talk stations will hardly attract new audience. Who, after all, really needs to hear Alan Jones in stereo?

America's Sirius-XM satellite radio company is holding firm in its conviction that talk, largely in the form of Howard Stern, is the way of the future.

It's a shame, then, that the ABC is yet to offer anything more than music options. Won't someone tell the new head of ABC Radio to buy Phillip Adams a case of Shiraz and lock him in a studio for five hours a day?

"I'd listen to that," says Shadow.

So would I! Start shipping the Shiraz to Ultimo.

02 May 2009

Gathering Storm with fake lightning

Back HERE was Mark Morford's column in response to an ad on American TV slamming "gay Marriage".

If you missed the column, check it out, then view the ad he is talking about, just below. On my post featuring Mark's column you'll see a comment by Andrew about a brilliant parody of the TV ad, which you can see further below. You might recognise a few of the faces in it.

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Trek Week

This is STAR TREK week, with the new movie out on Thursday. So, in celebration, here's some Klingon opera from Worf...

And this is VERY clever ... when Star Trek meets Monty Python...

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21 April 2009

Adam Lambert

Man this guy can sing. He has an incredible voice, wonderful charisma and a popular personal following... a perfect potential American Idol winner!

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18 April 2009

Skins season 3

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You spin me right round like a record baby

It's Record Store Day around the world today and here in Australia many of our major artists are out visiting stores to meet the fans.

Even visiting international acts are taking part, like Cheech and Chong who are performing in Melbourne tonight. They'll be at JB Hi-Fi in Elizabeth Street. And Ronan Keating will be at Mall Music in the Sydney suburb of Brookvale.

Record Store Day is all about celebrating the place where we have traditionally been buying our music for many decades. It's an on-line download generation these days, but the good old record store is still far from dead, with so many of us still buying the good old CD.

And even more interesting is the vinyl revival that seems to be happening. More artists are releasing albums on vinyl, just like in the good old days.

Downloads may be here to stay but it's funny how fads go around, just like a 12 inch round piece of vinyl on a turntable.

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14 April 2009

Jake's ukulele gently weeps

Now you know from back at these previous posts that my all-time favourite song is George Harrison's amazing While My Guitar Gently Weeps. I can't ever imagine anything bettering that.

I'm not all that crazy about the ukulele ... except when Jake Shimabukuro plays it. And when he does so accompanied by Tommy Emmanuel, doing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, it's a little extra fun.

It was an earlier clip of Jake playing this tune on YouTube that helped his star to rise. And it is a piece his audiences still require him to play everywhere he goes.

Here are Jake and Tommy together on Australia's Today show...

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12 April 2009

John Safran gets crucified on a cross

I love John Safran, but what he did on Good Friday I think was stupid. Nevertheless, when it is shown on his new TV series, I won't be able to help but watch.

The silly bugger nailed himself to a cross with a bunch of other silly buggers in the Philippines. He was said to "moan loudly" as the nails were driven into his palms. His wooden cross was hoisted up for 5 minutes then he was reportedly taken down and given medical attention.

Did I say he was a silly bugger? But I guess it will make good TV footage.

Safran has had two series on SBS looking at the practices of different religions. John Safran vs God in 2004 and Speaking in Tongues in 2005. He also presents Sunday Night Safran on Triple J with the un-priestish priest Father Bob.

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11 April 2009

Countdown to launch

Justin was one of the lucky people to go along to the premiere event for Star Trek in Sydney.
To top off a great night, the movie was fantastic to say the least and will appeal to all audiences - Trekkie or not so. The cast were a perfect fit and the cameo by Leonard Nimoy was met with applause. Actually the audience were very receptive throughout the movie - lots of claps when we first saw the Enterprise
That's good. Justin thinks it will appeal to all audiences. This movie is set to be a great shot in the arm for the Star Trek franchise, which is what the folks at Paramount want. They have a LOT riding on this.

Zachary Quinto (Spock) and JJ Abrams (director) Star Trek

Just a few weeks to go until we mere mortals get to see it; mark 7 May on your calendars to boldly go to your nearest cinema.

> Mark Fennell's review

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