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February 2008
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April 2008

The Pogues

The picture that NOBODY asked for: Shane MacGowan in the 1984 video for 'Streams Of Whiskey'I'm not singing for the future
I'm not dreaming of the past
I'm not talking of the first time
I never think about the last

- A Rainy Night In Soho

The first time? It was in a park in South London back in the summer of 1985. The last? Probably just before last Christmas, in a former railway shed in Manchester. But in between those two dates, the Pogues were the most fun that anyone could have with a collection of musical instruments and a dancefloor.

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British Animation Awards 2008

Fujiya Miyagi. 'Like pixellated scraps of jazzmags in your headlights,' it says here.I did this for the first time back in 2006, and I see no reason not to do it again. To recap: the British Animation Awards are held once every two years, celebrating the best work in the artform across the gamut of films, music videos and commercials. And as part of that celebration, they hold a Public Choice award: screening fifty or sixty of the best short works in cinemas across the country, and getting the audience to vote on their favourites.

I believe that this is the only place which will attempt to review all 57 of the films on the Public Choice shortlist, even if some of those reviews are insultingly brief. Plus, thanks to some heavy work on Google, I've been able to get links for pretty much every film on that shortlist, allowing you to make up your own mind. Some of these are links to the whole film, others to clips, others to sites related to the animators: in only one case have I had to fall back on the irritating alternative of a corporate site featuring pictures of incontinent robots. (You'll know it when you see it.)

They'll have announced the winner of the Public Choice by the time I get around to publishing this, but I'm not going to let that stop me.

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REPOST: "Monkey" Dundee

Sydney Opera House, 18/04/2003. And some dick in a hat.Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 08/06/2003.

Being a somewhat outdated description of what we did when we visited Melbourne and Sydney in Spring 2003 - or, as they amusingly call it, "Autumn". This piece should be read in conjunction with the report on the Melbourne Comedy Festival 2003.

I don't regret calling Heath Ledger "six foot of fuck all in a beard", by the way. It was true back then: the tragedy is, at the time of his death he was becoming a very interesting actor indeed. So it goes.

Machine Gun Fellatio are similarly defunct: have a video of their best song as compensation.

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REPOST: Melbourne Comedy Festival 2003

Richard Herring. This photo has been cropped, in case you were wondering. Originally posted on The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey 01/05/2003.

The Melbourne Comedy Festival 2008 will take place between  March 19th and April 13th. Here's what it looked like five years ago. This piece should be read in conjunction with "Monkey" Dundee, a description of the non-comedy things we did during our visit to Australia.

Raw Comedy winner Nelly Thomas is still going strong, and has an official site featuring pull quotes from a variety of dubious media sources. I think it's a shame she didn't go with "a bit like a less pre-menstrual Jo Brand", but that's just me.

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Simian Substitute Site for March 2008: Monkey Mondays

Monkey MondaysTo get one of the obvious outstanding bits of business out of the way first: yesterday (February 29th) was the closing date for the competition to win a copy of my 2007 compilation CD, Some People Are Just Nice. The response wasn't helped by my email forwarding provider changing the way things work so that entries were blocked for the first couple of weeks, but that all got fixed eventually. See the comments on the Some People page to find out the winner.

Apart from that, this will be a fairly brief update: The Belated Birthday Girl has just bought a new PC, and we've been spending most of today discovering just how shite Windows Vista is (we've had one Blue Screen Of Death already, and the thing's only been running for two hours). The sooner I get this piece finished, the sooner we can carry on shouting at software.

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