Friday, March 27

The Top 10 Funniest Sitcom-Types Ever

This was hard. Way harder to adjudge than my Top 10 Funniest Comedy-Types Ever anyway. Because there's funny in real life and there's funny in TV. Both of which are patently unalike notions. It takes a fine, fine actor to lift words off from a script page and transform them into something televisually momentous. All these do/did that very well. Some better than others though, of course...

10. Niles Crane - For such a sophisticated sitcom, 'Frasier' wasn't half silly. Niles's ruthless relationship with brother Frasier turned hilarious when one or the other had something the other didn't. And no matter how many times the writers ran that competitiveness, it never got old. Not to mention that David Hyde Pierce played the awkward, neurotic sibling exquisitely.

9. Michael Scott - Steve Carell may well be one of H'wood's most sought after right now, but he does The Office boss Michael like Cleese did Fawlty. BIG statement, I know. But one does truly feel for Michael Scott. Tragedy beckoned when he showed his employees' kids that TV show he was on, revealing his only dream was to have a large family. Funny emerges when he's on a mission with Dwight. Scott's kinda like the sad clown. Only funnier.

8. Del Boy - He who dares and all that. David Jason's Derek Trotter had the kind of cheeky personality to light up rooms, light up dolls, and even light up empty coaches. His naive, dreamy nature was admirable at the least, and side-splitting at best. Never forget that moment after Rodney married Casandra, and Del was left to the soft tones of Simply Red. There was real substance to his undeniable charm.

6. Robert Barone - There's a lot of 'best part's to Everybody Loves Raymond, and the hapless Robert Barone was most certainly one of em. Brad Garrett's portrayal as Ray's cursed elder brother was splendid.
Only he could get do the 'Crazy Chin'. Only he could be gored by a bull. And only he could be awarded by the NYPD for never missing a day's work. He's the kind of character every sitcom wishes for.

5. Johnny Drama - One of the more recent roles to make this list, Entourage's Johnny Drama has the foundering freakishness to become an absolute classic. Kevin Dillon, real life dud (pre-Drama) older brother of Matt, is outstanding as the dud older half-brother of star Vince. And like pretty much all the characters here, you feel sympathy for his many deficiencies, but glee when things go right. Victoryyyyyyyy!

4. Ali G/Borat/Bruno - Barring that unfortunate Will Ferrell (unfunniest funny-man alive?) movie he did, Sacha Baron Cohen is somewhat of a genius. He gets more out of politicians and celebs than the average journo, simply by playing the dumb card. Oh, and it's funny-as-fuck and all.

3. David Brent - The greatest British character post-Del Boy? Sure, why not. They're really isn't much to say about The Office chief that hasn't already been said. Milligan, Cleese, Everett, Gervais? Yep, that's about right.

2. Ari Gold - You know you're witnessing a great character when they can just light up a whole scene simply by their presence. That, I believe, is the case with Entourage's Ari Gold. Constant witticism after the other, Jeremy Piven's best role, well, ever, is so darn believable you wonder how Hollywood can exist without him. Thank you, fine writers of Entourage. Thank you, Mr Piven. And thank you, My Gold.

1. George Costanza - Without question, Seinfeld's George Costanza is the greatest TV sitcom character ever. Essentially, he's just a short, stocky version of Larry David. Vandelay Industries. Taking an eclair out of a dustbin. Changing your girlfriend's answer-phone tape. Killing your wife by buying cheap invitations. Independent George. The Summer of George. "Can't-stand-ya". Architecture. Marine Biology. Buck Naked. Twitchy, anxious and bald, George Costanza, Shout And Twist loves you.

Tuesday, March 24

Chunk Of Change

I like that they've completely changed their image. I like that they've complete changed their sound. I'm just not sure how much I dig this new image and sound. So, at the moment I'm more into the idea of it than the actual product, but that could change. Time will tell my users. Time will tell.

Monday, March 23

Meet Me In The Bat Room

Just got hold of a copy of Bat For Lashes' new spinner. Actually pretty, really, very good. If the tone of such a statement doles out a sense of surprise, that's because I am. That last one she did, the one that was nominated for a Mercury, was substantially overvalued. This though, well this should be nominated for a Mercury or something.

The album's out June 6. BUY IT!

Tuesday, March 17


It doesn't matter how deep one's affection is to one's dearest, dearest songs, it's perfectly human to get a bit, well, fed up with them now and again. Leafing through my iTunes Most Played list, it took 99 hits of Coldplay's 'Violet Hill' for me to get sick of it. 87 for Death Cab's 'Tiny Vessels'. And 59 for The Strokes 'You Only Live Once'. Every tune has its trying-point.

Every but one, that is. See, I've heard this particular track well over a hundred times. Radio-play, video-play, my own original obsession when the album came out, Kings Of Leon's 'Use Somebody' has placed itself all over the map. Yet I'm still not sick of it. 'Sex On Fire' left me cold after about 30-odd listens, but I'm yet to freeze up with 'Use Somebody'. I really don't know what it is, maybe that hulking rapture of seemingly subtle, blockbuster guitars. Maybe Caleb's silvery vocals. I'm pretty sure it's the only song that has had this kind of effect on me. I just love it.

And just as I expected all my users to own that Dylan song I wrote of yesterday, I demand the same with Kings Of Leon's 'Only By The Night'. Who doesn't have that record? So, in an extremely isolated incident earlier today I actually watched a YouTube users' acoustic cover of the song. And it aint even half-bad. I've put it up for you to download below, and in case you're a little suspicious, check the video first...

Some YouTube User 'Use Sombody (acoustic cover)'

Monday, March 16

Ramble, Ramble, Mackerel

It feels like ages since I last posted anything. And there's so much good stuff I've been head-deep into these last few days. Is 'head-deep' even in a phrase outside of adult video stores? Aren't they now 'adult-DVD stores' anyway? I guess in a few years time they'll be 'adult Blu-ray stores'. Hmm. Oh, where was I?

I was half-tempted to post up Dylan's 'The Times They Are A-Changin'' after watching the brilliant Watchmen the other day, of which it features at the very beginning. I know nothing about comics or Watchmen or anything like that, but I loved the movie. Though I figure anyone with a worthy pulse will have that track anyway.

They may not have this though. It's from my No. 5 Next Big Thing For 09, Liverpool's House That Jack Built. They're playing this week in the city with Married To The Sea, which I really wanna get down to, but don't think I'll be able to make it. You should though. The song is called 'Pipeage' (and mentions mackerels), and is just yet another fine slice of fun indie-pop. And yes, I am fully aware how cliche that mini-review sounded. I'm tired, okay!

House That Jack Built 'Pipeage''

Sunday, March 8

The Belfast Cowboy

Is it bad that I never knew Van Morrison was born in Belfast? I think it may be. All those years riding front seat in my dad's car, forced to listen to such boring, old trollop only to one day totally appreciate it all as rock and roll superstardom, and I still didn't know he was from Belfast until researching this post. Not good.

In 1974 he released an album called 'Veedon Fleece', after a broken marriage and with a new fiancee, he wrote it on holiday in Ireland in less than three weeks. When it came out, Wikipedia says it was underrated and underplayed, maybe because five of its ten songs have ever been played live. But there's one song on there called 'Linden Arden Stole The Highlights', and I just can't put it down. DL it below and you'll see what I mean...

Van Morrison 'Linden Arden Stole The Highlights'

Monday, March 2

Back From The Dead

Larry David: "You know who wears sunglasses inside? Blind people and assholes."

Calvin Harris is about the most unlikely exception yet. Hit up the DL below to find out why...

Calvin Harris 'I'm Not Alone (Radio Rip)'

Sunday, March 1

Album Of Last Month

Emmy The Great ‘First Love’ (Absolute)

I’m not even that into this album. It’s good and all, but February has been a pretty dry release month. Empire Of The Sun may be swiftly reaping MGMT-type-a-hype, but there’s just as much fluff on their debut as there is gold. Same goes for the new ones from Lily, Morrissey, and The Joy Formidable. So, the nearest thing we have to a dependably solid album comes by way of ‘First Love’, Emmy The Great’s first endeavour out into the charming realm of alt.folk. She details the use of substituting loneliness with the missions of Jack Bauer in ‘24’, the confusion over the right way to enunciate MIA’s (or M.I.A.’s) name in ‘MIA’, and there’re real actual proper momentous lines like “Here in the world there is nothing more than your absence”. Her hotchpotch of witty allusions to pop culture and deep poetry that spins your head comes off as it should, but lacks Marling’s class and at points could do with the captivating melodies of Noah & the Whale to boot. I could put it down to young naivety, and say the second one will no doubt be more mature, hopefully better. But that’d be too obvious.

Best Song – Yeah, erm, here's the thing, my computer with all my music on it is in the hospital being repaired, so this month's AOLM has no mp3 to DL. Apologies!
Emmy The Great MySpace