advent2011

A VERY MERRY HO HO HO TO ONE AND ALL!

http://youtu.be/8aWHbMch1xc May all your dreams come true!

I woke up yesterday and projectile vomited THREE TIMES, then spent the whole day in bed feeling RUB, but today I feel much better thanks. We're about to hop in our Tallymobile and drive to the midlands to see family. What are you doing?

Remember, I made your Christmas soundtrack this year with my Xmas LP Saturnalia Superman, so make sure that's cranked at all those appropriate Christmassy moments of joy an wonder. It's out now on iTunes too! Wow!

And while I was running a bit late with my ADVENT bonanza, I DID manage to make 21 entries out of 25, which is pretty good going. CLick here to enjoy them all, starting with the most recent, Big Narstie's Christmas eve freestyle.

PAX ON EARTH!

 

ADVENT 21: Big Narstie's Big Christmas Freestyle!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZkJzH4D7x0&feature=colike Ho ho ho e'rbody! It's that Late night stoned-ass off the dome Christmas feestying from N Dot!

Recorded the other night when Narst popped round to give me my Christmas pressent. Can you guess what it was?

@akirathedon @bignarstie

Music: Bleak Midwinter and Jimmy Savile Swag from the ATD XMAS LP: Saturnalia Supermanhttp://akirathedon.com/music/albums/saturnaliasuperman/

 

 

ADVENT 20: Jimmy Savile Swag Instrumental Of Joy And Wonder

Merry happy everybody! Christmas sure is looming hard. My bank account looks like the inside of a black hole. Whatever that looks like. And my studio looks like a ransacked toy factory. I have posted out about 100 festive swag parcels this week. I have just cut up 100-odd cards for friends and family which may or may not make the post in the morning. And I just rendered and borkmastered you an instrumental (I say bork-mastred because that basically mans putting a limiter and a bit of compression on the track, as opposed to the fine artistry employed by proper mastering engineers like Gaz who does all my stuff).

An instrumenal, you ask (having conceniently failed to read the post's title)? Why yes! Because of this:

Merry Christmas Stuart! And Merry Christmas everybody else. Play this on repeat and before you know it, you, and everyone in the vicinity, will be infected with JIMMY SAVILE SWAG. Click the arrow on the right for your free download.

Mighty Tom Coles, who shot that beautiful A Very Merry Ho Ho Ho video is coming round tomorrow to do another Christmas video, by the way. I think we all know whihc song from Saturnalia Superman's getting the treatment too.

*whispers:

swag

Remember I said I was going to do a letters page? Notice how I never did? Despite getting tons of letter? Laying out a letters page just takes too much damn time, annoyingly. So I am going to start blogging more regularly, and including your letters, interesting, questioning, relevant, funny, or inspirational, like this one:

Thank you Lucas. You're right, I never consider what impact my music has. I just make it, but sometimes a letter like your gives me cause to reflect, and i am awed. So thank you, for listening. I have been doing this for seven years now, and I still feel like I;m just getting started. Saturnali Superman was a production breakthrough for me on a number of levels, and I am very excited to get into my third album proper in the new year...

That's my UPLOADING AND DOING METADATA face, by the way. Sometime it seems half of my life's work is uploading and metadata.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0Pyie_M4Y8&feature=colike

This was sent in via Twitter, thusly:

That is, indeed, nice. I was amazed by the likeness. Shit looks just like I do when I walk into the Post Office.

Speaking of which, today was the last day for post if you wanted your stuff to arrive for Christmas (and that was cutting it fine and living dangerously), not that that's any reason not to buy cool stuff from my shop - digital stuff comes instantly as well (insert That's What She Said Joke here __________ ). And there is but ONE Saturnalia Superman CD left.

There's an ace review of Saturnalia Superman here, by the way, from transylvanilla.com, who say (amongst other things):

"In a sense, all of Saturnalia Superman follows this model: simultaneously celebrating the holiday season (and life!) while offering thoughtful reminders of its reality – murder, drugs, rampant commercialism and Akira’s trademark resolution to carry on all make appearances here."

Amen, and thank you.

I have been answering questions on social networking sites, but that sin't fair on those of you that understandably choose to stay away from such places, so I shall start bring that stuff back in here too. Kody, for example, asked me about my favourite websites on Facebook. I wrote the first things that popped into my head:

Hey, remember I was saying the other day that I lost all my and Envy's early tunes in a horrible hard drive incident?

Amazing. Thank you Daniel. I shall add that to the discography pronto so we all call enjoy it.

Now then. It is getting late, and I have christmas cards to write. So how's about you go watch the prometheus trailer, which has me so gassed you could light a match in my vicinity and blow up half of the 2012 Olympic grounds, and I'll be back with more advent fun tomorrow. Shamoooooon!

Photobucket

ADVENT 19: Akira The Don - A Very Merry Ho Ho Ho (Official Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aWHbMch1xc&feature=colike HO HO HO GANG!

Me and Mighty Tom Coles done made you a super special CHRISTMAS POP VIDEO! It's for my Saturnalin JOY ANTHEM A Very Merry Ho Ho Ho, from my acclaimed Christmas LP Saturnalia Superman, and it is about the Christmassiest thing you will see this side of an elf birth in a toy factory deced out as a manger.

We shot it in London last week and visited a few of my favourite Christmas spots, including ridonculous toy shop HAMLEYS, where I found a load of sweet Thundercats toys to play with, and The Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, where we met a talking tree, and loads of safe Christmas revelers who were only too happy to party with us.

Thanks to everyone who appears in the video! And thanks of course to my supremely talented DIrector of Photography, Mighty Tom Coles. Follow him on Twitter here and be nice to him, he's new in that particular town.

Right, I'm off to cook up more HO HO HO. I also intend to make one more Christmas video. But what song should it be for?

ADVENT 18: Akira The Don's Festive Guide To London

Just Jack asked me to list my five favourite places in London, so I decided, what with it being Saturnalia Superman time and all, I'd make it a festive special. And it went a lil something like this:

MY LONDON by AKIRA THE DON

I have lived in London now for 12 years, which is plenty of time to get to an awareness for the highlights and intricacies of a city, although it would take a life time to truly know them. London is like cities in Terry Pratchet novels, in that it never seems to stay still – shops pop up and disappear as if by magic, and whole roads seem to move and morph, as if sculpted by the ever changing will and mood of the populace. Never is this so true as at Christmas time, or Saturnalia, or WInterval, or whatever you wish to call it. Now time – when the snow threatens to fall and fairy lights adorn the rooftops and poor people swarm the town’s twin Westfields to spend fake money auto-generated by loan forms and little rectangular plastic cards on useless tat they’ll be filling Chinese landfills with by this time next year. And so, without further ado, let me list for you my five favourite festive places in London.

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park: If there is one thing guaranteed to put me in the correct frame of mind for this time of year, to fill me with the requisite Christmas Spirit, it is a visit to the traveling German Winter Carnival that posts up at Hyde Park for the December month every year, bringing with it a myriad of rides, stalls, giant snowmen, and a cubic acre of fine beers. Ride a roller coaster with a jug of ale in your be-gloved paw! Take hilarious photos with giant Santa statues! Dance frenziedly to German Euro Techno as DJed by pot bellied 47 year old bald men! Wet your drawers with mirth at the giant joke-telling tree! Last year a squirrel jumped on my lap while I was sat down having a drink. If that ain’t Christmassy I don’t know what is.

The ice skating rink, The National History Museum: The National History Museum is awesome all year round, but add the glorious wintery wonder of an ICE SKATING RINK and you have yourself a bonafide saturnalian city essential.

Southern Hospitality Boxing Day special, The Westbury: What could be more festive than going apeshit with a room full of the dopest and happiest humans on earth to contempi-rap anthems like AKA Frank’s My Dick Aint Racist and MGK and Waka FLoka’s Wild Boy? Nothing, that’s what. The Southern Hospitality crew consistently host the most glorious and crunk rap parties in the world, and the Christmas one looks set to cap a year of mighty and AWK-esque Hard Partying in a truly bacchanalian fashion.

Stratford Picture House, Stratford: I am a massive fan of the Picture House as an institution, and became a member this year, one of my better decisions. For under £50 you get a fistful of tickets, which pays for the price in itself, and then for the rest of the year your cinema tickets cost £4 and under AND you get money off your popcorn and soft drinks and whiskey. Add to that the friendly and educated staff, the great selection of movies, that you can happily swig back all the booze you like from the comfort of your seat in front of their five big old screens, AND the free mulled wine they give to members at Christmas and you have yourself the ultimate cinema, all year round, but especially at Christmas.

Victoria Park, Hackney Wick: One of the Christmassiest and cost effective things a person can do these in these so-called days of austerity is post up in one of London’s vast and beauteous parks with another sexy human and a bag of mushrooms. This is how me and my woman plan to spend New Years Eve, anyway, and we will be choosing Victoria Park, as it is vast and multifaceted and has a great big fuck off slide in the middle, is surrounded by the emerging Olympic Stadia/alien landing sites for next year’s planned fake-alien invasion , and is also handily right by our house, so we can flee indoors and watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the projector if it gets too gnarly/cold.

Go see the fine folks at Just Jack here.

http://youtu.be/U15aMSxnrWA

ADVENT 16: Alexander Velky's Begging Letters (Christmas Poem 2011)

"Oh we're letting the africans know that we're dreaming of seasonal snow that we're  missing sales tagets at foux-farmer's markets and now It's beginning to show"

A fucking brilliant and specially created Christmas poem especially for you, the discerning akirathedon.com visitor, from my little brother, the mighty Alexander Velky.

Seriously, this is amazing. I am rather jealous. It covers all sorts of ground I wish I'd gone in to on the ATD XMAS LP. I've covered a little of it, but this is fucking dictionary definition EPIC.

HO HO HOs ALL ROUND!

http://youtu.be/9yRFD-j8dww

And here, for the blind,the deaf, and those that like to READ, is that epic and beautiful and historically correct POEM in all its TEXTUAL GLORY.

Begging Letters

Dear Nicholas,

How are you? It's a long time since I wrote. You see, I've wanted for nothing since you last received my note. I'd like to think I've been good in the interim, although, it's harder to be sensitive when insensible of an incentive, and while I know that if I find myself drowning I might want to learn how to swim, when I know I'm already on land I could never persuade myself to row.

So, I have not murdered, or lied, or coveted anyone else's wives, or taken any more than I was willing to give, or knowingly suffered one whom I suspected of being a witch to live,

but I have asked questions, and I haven't always liked the replies. You wouldn't like them either, Nicholas; you wouldn't believe your eyes if I showed you, for instance, that your red coat used to be green before some puckish person’s penmanship on the cover of a magazine delivered you to Atlanta to a soft-drinks manufacturer, forevermore to be seen on the side of a lorry, with a bottle in hand, and a somehow-unhealthy sheen.

Or if I showed you of yestercentury, when your job was done by another: a sky god like he who you now represent but married to our old earth mother; did you crawl from the ashes of the Yule Goat, or sail here in a steamer from Spain? Did you fall from the heavens in the wildest hunt or walk over the Great European Plain?

And are you still the patron of prostitutes? So many questions, forgive me, dear Nick; it’s just that I hear all these conflicting messages and wonder at the length of your wick.

Would you believe me if I told you that the whole concept of sainthood began only to serve the multifaceted needs of polytheistic man? What would Jesus make of it all, do you think? Do you mind that I ask you that? How would he feel, do you suppose, that the empire he fought to the death against became the empire he begat, which took his death and fetishized it in execution-chic giftshop tat?

Zion's still waiting, sore bear at the bee hive, for something holy to arrive, for something holy to arrive for the first time.

Oh, Nicholas, I never believed in you. At least not in the sense that you needed me to. Perhaps you'd have seemed more plausible if we'd imported Krampus too and been threatened with more than empty stockings if we didn't do what we were told – let blood and bones and entrails replace our frankincense, myrrh and gold – but the disneyfication of our mythology extends to the bible and beyond, including folk tales and legends; It's a Wonderful Life followed on from A Christmas Carol, and the suicide rate rockets annually as you roll out the barrel.

Oh, we're letting the Africans know that we're dreaming of seasonal snow; that we're missing sales targets at faux farmers' markets; and now, it's beginning to show.

With tear-glazed eyes we expect something holy, something holy; we, our lives the size of insects, inspect every text that survives for words long, long ago prophecised and await, like the spiders the flies, that something holy, which must arrive; something holy must arrive, soon, sometime.

Dear Nicholas,

They say it all came from Hydrogen and I'm stuck for a contrasting explanation. I feel sick as they insist that nothing holy can exist; well, how can that be true if I am writing to you? I'm told you're not real and asked if I feel okay. And I did, until I lost the brief belief I entertained as a kid that the gist if not the grist of every Christmas list had a hope of being met by you and the hired help you enlist; weren't you some kind of superman like Moses or Mohammed who could see the potential in all of us: the collateral in the damage?

If there’s no hell for Christopher Hitchens, will your elves carve a coffin he’ll fit in? If there’s no heaven for Mother Teresa, must I dig up her bones now to meet her?

You seemed a reasonable compromise, that promised a measure of clarity; that wove a satisfactory mystery between the history of barbarity and the barbarity of history.

But to me you just weren't compatible; where were you at the nativity? You're a marketing power tool that got out of hand, something serious come of levity; an accidental brand.

Like Saint Valentine before, you have a lot to answer for. You're an icon of berries and stuffing to the joy of getting something for nothing, and the hope perhaps that if we play our roles in a pantomime riddled with plot-holes we'll be rewarded as we strive

and something holy will arrive, something holy will arrive in the half-time; to legitimize our lives that something holy will arrive for the first time.

This is my plea, then, Nicholas; at this cue, which I now give to you, please would you give me a clue;

what should I tell my daughter, dear Nicholas? What should I tell her about you? We don't keep a working chimney, you know, and we never saw reindeer that flew.

What should I tell my daughter, dear Nicholas? What should I tell her if she asks? Should I let a story get in the way of the truth, though it's uglier than that which is masks?

What should I tell little Sybil, dear Nicholas? What should I tell her about you? What if she inquires as to your ethnicity? Are you German, Turk, American, Saami or Jew?

Shall I tell her on Christmas eve, dear Nicholas, as we put out your milk and mince pies, to keep an eye on the sky – half-blind with lightyears of lies – and to wait for something holy to arrive?

Shall I tell her come yuletide you’ll ride overhead, like Odin before, and leave coins in the shoes or the socks that she’ll place at the end of her bed?

Or shall I tell her not to listen, not to fill her head with the silly stories of the other stupid children who mention you, by any name?

Shall I tell her the history and cut out the mystery; throw Zwarte Piet and Rudolph out with our dead Christmas tree? Wouldn’t that be quite a shame?

Could you advise me, dear Nicholas? I need someone to blame. Could you help me?

Yours faithfully,

A. S. H. Velky

ADVENT 15: The Creation Of The Saturnalia Superman Sleeve!

http://youtu.be/gJG__Hk4OTg As the world continues to gasp in astonishment at the glory of the Akira The Don Christmas album's beautiful artwork, Akira The Don does the opposite of what magicians are supposed to, and reveals the creation process in a beautiful speed-drawing video, that also features part of one of his Christmas songs. THANK YOU AKIRA THE DON! YOU ARE A GREAT MAN, AND AN INSPIRATION!

You're welcome Akira The Don Talking In The Third Person. I had fun. And right now I am uploading files and filling in metadata, ready to unleash the festive music on your asses. Ho! and Indeed, Ho twice mo'!

Lots of people have been asking me a stupid question related to the album's art, and luckily, Wonchop posted the following brilliant comic on his Tumblr which saves me the bother of having to answer:

See?

I AM AKIRA THE DON.

And that is why.

RIP Christopher Hitchens. He was a brilliant and enviably eloquent human, with whom I shared many opinions, and with whom I disagreed violently, on equal measure. Letters to a Young Contrarian is one of the best, and funnest books I've read. Here he is talking about death and the afterlife, with some a very fetching beard on his head.

http://youtu.be/hJ0eOUVnyFA

I play this record now, in his honour:

http://youtu.be/-x5nNmdNseE

And as we fare feeling somewhat reflective, let us cast our gaze upon some mighty art works from the Blob Blog, in case you didn't look in the Blob Blog today. You should, always, but anyway. There is the following, by Virgil Finlay:



I saw it on Comics Alliance. The second my eyes took it in, they welled with tears, and a knot formed in my belly. I really don't know why. I mean, there is some mighty stippling in there. I always loved stippling, and you don't see it much these days. Ir reminds me of the pulpy sxi fi books I used to read when I was little, and my longing for the future they promised. I guess it's a kind of hiraeth.

This also inspired nostalgic feelings in me, the masterful Boulet's response to Frank Miller’s crazy rant the other week:

You can watch a speed drawing video of him creating the thing over here. It's pretty amazing. No pencils. Straight on the paper with a single pen, then painting with watercolours. I think they're water colours. They look watery. Anyway. It's a beautiful peice, and says so much more than the average article on the subject.

Me and Mighty Tom Coles visited the Occupy spot at St Paul's in London on Friday. It's not a huge thing. Some tents. Some banners. A little soundsystem played ketmine trance, around which a little group of people danced and chattered, whilst sucking on cans of beer and damp joints. Hell on earth if certain parties are to be believed, right on the steps of God's house... yet within the same proximity to the cathedral we happened up on a glass walled bar, hosting a private party for what appeared to be a hundred or so banking types, chucking back cocktails and wiping their noses frenziedly, who glared at me through the glass while the DJ played nineties R n B loud enough to drown out the Occupy soundsytem with little effort.

I was reminded, as I so often am these days, of the quote from the head of Police in London, who said that shutting down the myriad bars around St Paul's that openly sell cocaine to bankers was not a priority because "they aren't affecting society... they can afford their drugs."

Oh, how I laughed when I first read that, in an Evening Standard interview on the tube last month. The architects of our distraction, the thieves of our wellbeing, blowing their loot on coke and hookers in the shadow of St. Pauls are "not affecting society..." whilst those that protest them are "naive hippies... an eyesore..." and a "public menace."

We filmed me dancing merrily in front of the glass windows a bit, then got on a train. We stayed up till 3 or so going through the footage. It looked brilliant.

When I got up I named the songs, finalised the order, wrote the metatdata, and sent the album off to my manufacturer and my distributor.

SATURNALIA SUPERMAN, AKIRA THE DON SALUTES THE MAJESTY OF CHRISTMAS comes out Monday. Mere hours away from now.

PREORDER THAT FESTIVE SHIT BUBBA!

 

ADVENT 14: The Saturnalia Superman Sleeve & Tracklisting!

Behold, brothers and sisters, the sleeve for my christmas album,

Saturnalia Superman: Akira The Don Salutes The Majesty of Christmas!

Isn't it pretty? I did the whole thing myself, and it took exactly two hours and eleven minutes, which I know because I recorded the whole process. I will post that next. But now, I will also reveal to you, my beloved friend and readerlistener, the TRACKLISTING of said Christmassy Long Player, via a magical screen cap of the back of radio promo CD!

Did yousee that tracklisting? Did you see those song titles? Did you see those special guests?

DEAR LORD ALMIGHT SURFING ON A UNICORN HORN HOVERBOADR THIS IS GOING TO BE A FESTIVE ALBUM LIKE NO OTHER.

Get your preorders in now! And I will be spending pretty much all of Monday packaging and posting bags of swag in time for Christmas, so get your joy bringing swag/cd/t-shirt/dondoodle orders in while you still can!

Saturnalia Superman drops on MONDAY! Whoop! Excitement! Are you excitemented? Which song are you looking forward to hearing most? Which songs do you think I've made videos for? Which song do you WANT me to make videos for, based on the titles? And can you guess what word I am singing in this photo?

 

ADVENT 12: The Xmas Caption Contest Winner Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQGKEum8hqM Yeah, lookit that! Dilyan Cata Freeland's caption contest winning entry amused me so much I made little video to celebrate it.

HIDE YOUR KIDS!

HIDE YOUR WIFE!

All in the spirit of amusement, naturally, Don does not condone breaking and entering via chimneys or otherwise. Don brings the cheer and the festive. Don brings the tripple ho smackdown. IN YOUR SOCK!

Speaking of which, I spiced my first brisket today, although my wife was quick to point out that the meat was in fact top side, and £25 worth, so never mind. I was all excited because last week I didn't know what a brisket was, and was only promted to investigate the phenomenon when someone on one of my social networks suggested it as a good rhyme for biscuit.

That there is the spice, anyway, The spice was a labortious affair, as I had to smash up many pepper corns and many juniper berries. I did this with a hammer, as I am Akira The Don, and Thoir-blood runs through my veins.

And there we have the prize-winning birsket, nay, top side.

"Please watch Forks Over Knives because that brisket is going to give you coronary disease bruv :(," said my friend Di when I posted that picture on Twitter earlier. She makes a good point. I shall have to become a vegan soon enough, as I can't be arsed to get cancer, so I suppose i better enjoy all this illicit awful while I still can. Which is why i just ate a pacjet of doritos and a packet of skittles while I painted my Xmas LP sleeve. Life is as kind as you let it be, but only for as long as you let it be.

 

ADVENT 11: Wham! - Last Christmas (Chopped And Screwed by Akira The Don)

I might have mentioned this before and I might not, but Last Christmas by Wham! is definitely my favourite Christmas song. I have never, in all my years of being alive and hearing it 100 times a year gotten sick of it. How weird is that? Anyway, sometimes I sing it to myself all slow in my head, in a chopped and screwed fashion, and I heard it actually chopped and screwed in a dream the other night, so I decided that I was going to have to do it myself, in order ot make the dream a reality, which is what life is all about after all.

I find that slowing the record down and chopping at it, as is so often the case, brings out certain qualities in the song, amplifying the pathos and dragging the listener down with it.

Enjoy!

http://youtu.be/DMu43Wr_rJM

ADVENT 10: Bruges Willis - Decapite Recalcitrant

It's!

ADVENT DAY TEN ON AKIRATHEDON DOT COM!

And today it is my very distinct pleasure to present to you, written especially for advent on akirathedon dot com, DECAPITATE RECALCITRANT, by BRUGES WILLIS!

This is the first time you lucky public get to sample Bruge's sexy sonics, as his debut LP drops early next year. Bruge has asked me to keep his secret identity a secret, as he fears supervillianous attacks on his nearest and dearest from jealous haters desperate for the secret of those aforementioned sexy sonics, so my lips are sealed, in the manner of a nun.

HO TIMES FOUR!

[wpaudio url="http://www.akirathedon.com/mp3/Bruges Willis - Decapite Recalcitrant .mp3" text="Bruges Willis - Decapite Recalcitrant"]

DOWNLOAD: Bruges Willis - Decapite Recalcitrant

ADVENT 8: Akira The Don ft. Envy - Nothing Lasts Forever (Official Video)

http://youtu.be/tXaiMwuIuO4 It's back!

After a week of insanity, Nothing Lasts Forever, the greatest live action video I have done, is back, and even better. The synch issues are sorted, there are TV style censor beeps over Envy's foul mouth, and the music at the end is different, and more appropriate. If only you knew, dear reader, the trials and tribulations we went through to get you this work of art. The rage. The anguish. The trip to Essex. The hours on the phone. The days in Premiere Pro. The 23 separate upload tests to my Youtube account.

But it's up there now, and it's beautiful. So please share it far and wide and let us know what you think in the comments, as that is today's currency and radio people will be looking at it next week, and apparently they only hitch their wagons to popular posts right now. AND THIS THING SOUNDS LIKE A CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE TO ME GODDAMNIT!

Amen.

Details:

iTunes: http://bit.ly/tfyitm CD: http://bit.ly/te64TX FLAC: http://bit.ly/sQqrAQ MP3: http://bit.ly/u5AL6M

FREE DOWNLOAD of the RADIO EDIT: http://bit.ly/vctZXZ

AKIRA THE DON

OFFICIAL: http://www.akirathedon.com SHOP: http://www.akirathedon.com/shop TWITTER; http://www.twitter.com/akirathedon FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/akirathedon

Nothing Lasts Forever was performed by @akirathedon & @envysays. Taken from the album of the year, THE LFIE EQUATION: http://bit.ly/kojy8O

Produced by Stephen Hague & Akira The Don

The video was directed by @aaronshrimpton

VIDEO CREDITS:

Produced by Aaron Shrimpton & Akira The Don Directed by Aaron Shrimpton DOP - Thomas Coles B - Camera - Jonny Ruff 1st AD. - Thomas Hooke Make-Up - Ellie Burrows Playback - Benson Burrows Location Manager - Debbie Mcgrant Graphics, sound and additional science - Akira The Don Catering - Akira The Don

Starring: - Akira The Don as Akira The Don - Envy as Envy - Aaron Shrimpton as Aaron Shrimpton - Thomas Coles as Daddy C D.O.P - Jonny Ruff as Jonny "hoodied camera dude" Ruff - Thomas Hooke as Fake Sound recordist & Big Narstie Henchman replacement - Charlotte Don as Interviewer - Jeres as bohemian agent - Mr Lacey as Mr Lacey Henchman

Big thanks to the to the awesome crumbling flats in the background (RIP) and of course Ben & Debbie for the wonderful flat.

ADVENT 7: Don Doodles, And My Granddad

http://youtu.be/XZABPu0WOKo HAI ALL! Advent is running a bit late as video rendering has been making big mess of my schedule. Specifically Nothing Lasts Forever video rendering. And editing. And making be in synch. And rendering again. Anyway, you'll be glad to know that after making 23 seperate upload attempts yestreday, the perfect result was finally acheived, and it's uploading now, all 2 gig of it, so it will be with us...

Then! Amen!

Meanwhile, I spent some time last night drawing people's Don Doodles, and took the opportunity to film the process. Up there you can see me speed-drawing three Don Doodles, which can be bought for a limited time in my Xmas shop for a mere £5 ($7.8225). I drew the pictures to their purchasers' exact specifications with Sharpies  and Dr pens on a fine thick sketch pad I got from WH Smiths. Drawing is always fun, but drawing on the spot to a deadline (15 minutes) with no preparation and no pencils is fun AND exciting, so thanks for the opportunity.

Speaking of art, me and Eddie Argos' Axl Rose comic is part of an art exhibition that opened in Belgium last night. This is very exciting for me as I have never been exhibited before, and it makes me feel like a proper artist, like the ones in that bit in ferris Bueller where they play the Dream academy's version of Please Please Please let Me Get What I Want and Cameron falls into his existential wormhole. I like the thought of Belgians falling into existential wormholes gazing at the glory of my Axl Rose comic.

The exhibition is called  Guns 'N Fucking Roses, and its curator, Jan Van Woensel, descibes it thusly:

Guns ’N Fucking Roses is the first exhibition that brings homage to one of the greatest hard rock bands of all times: Guns ‘N Roses. Guns 'N Fucking Roses is not just another exhibition that illustrates the obvious relationship between art and music. Instead, this project keeps the middle between an art exhibition and a gloomy teenager’s bedroom. Within this setting, Guns 'N Fucking Roses exposes both the worldwide success and the tragic breakdown of the band and displays a selection of Guns ‘N Roses inspired contemporary artworks amidst an audiovisual chaos of videos and music.

Curated by Jan Van Woensel, an international curator widely known for his itinerant group exhibition Bad Moon Rising (San Francisco, CA; New York City, NY; Saint Louis, MO; Brussels, Belgium; Oslo, Norway; London, UK) and numerous projects in collaboration with artist, musician, writer, poet and publisher Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Guns 'N Fucking Roses is a project in preparation of the curator’s upcoming, ambitious Axl Rose exhibition (TBA).

You can read more about it here.

In other good news, I got played by Jo Wiley on Radio 2! As far as I know this is the first time I have been played on Radio 2 (which  I believe is the UK's most listened to music station), and this is especially exciting as it was the station my granddad used to listen to, and I have been dreaming about him again lately. He visits me, and gives me advice. Back when I was little I used to go and stay with my Granddad in his bungalow in Redditch, and he would make me ham sandwiches with a Mr Kipling cake on the side, and we would watch westerns and Neighbours then I would sit on the carpet and draw while he watched Horse Racing results on teletext and we both listened to Radio 2, which at the time played a lot of classical music and show tunes.

Now it plays ME, and my Granddad is riding horses across the cosmos with John Wayne and Bouncer. One of the last times I remember seing my Granddad I was 16 and he was very angry with me, and accosted me on the steps outside Our Price where me and my degenerate speed-addled teenage friends were hanging out, and shook my by the shoulders and told me what a disgrace I was and how much better my mother had raised me. I cried when he'd left, because he was right, and I resolved to leave Redditch and to mend my ways.

I stopped selling speed and moved to Birmingham, where I working in a record shop and a bar and started a fanzine. My Granddad died a few months later and I was late to his funeral. At the wake his Brummy Budgie, that sounded just like him, escaped from its cage and tore frenziedly around my Uncle and Auntie's front room, feathers flying everywhere. I tried to catch it, in my typically clumsy manner, and my uncle and cousin flew into a rage and hurled accusations of degeneracy in my mournful direction. The wake then descended into a near brawl when my Dad shocked me by storming to my defence. The last time I could remember him sticking up for me quite so violently and proudly was when I got teased and beaten up for apparently having AIDS at school after I picked up  from the playground floor what I thought was a balloon and was in fact a condom. My Dad rolled up his shirt sleeves and stormed off down to the school in search of the ringleader of my tormentors, a prematurely hairy gorilla of a child who was 11 and looked thirty, and his father, who looked about the same and had just gotten out of prison for armed robbery of a local Spar, or at least that was the rumour.

I can't remember what happend with my Dad and the gorillas, but I do remember now that I think of it that it was the same Gorilla that broke my arm when I was 7 by hanging me from the goalposts on the playing fields, pulling me back, and letting me go. I went flying into the ground like a little speccy rocket and landed with an almighty crack, and spent the next month in a plastercast that I still have, adorned with good-wishes and Garfield sketches, in my Box Of Life. My Granddad was looking after us that week, as my parents were away somewhere, and he was fraught with worry and nausea that such a thing had happened while I was in his care.

My Granddad was called Enoch Smallman, and he fought in a war and worked in a mine. He was a good man and a massive influence on me, and more often than not when I think of him my eyes fill with tears, as they do now, because he died before I could make him proud of me.

So thank you Jo Wiley for playing my song on Radio 2, and thank you BigJimCambo, who requested the song. And thank you Granddad, for raising my Mum on your own and for shaking the shit out of me outside Our Price that day and saving my life.

ADVENT 6: Nothing Lasts Forever Radio Edit & Acapella Free Downloads!

The merry keeps coming! Today, Dons and Donettes, I am giving away the swear-free radio edit of Nothing Lasts Forever, AND the acapella! WOW!

Of course, its not a totally selfless move on my part. In doing this, I hope that RAJO DEEJAYS will play the song on the RAJO, and that mums and dads will play the song to their CHILDREN and that Nans who HATE SWEARING will play the song instead of WATCHING JEREMY KYLE.

This is my wish. And it is the time for wishing. Wishmass, in fact.

So have at ye!

FREE DOWNLOAD: Akira The Don ft. Envy – Nothing Lasts Forever (Radio Edit) – to play on your radio or TO YOUR NAN! FREE DOWNLOAD: Akira The Don ft. Envy – Nothing Lasts Forever (Acapella) - 96.051 BPM! to make a remix with!

And if you want the sweary version, with the B-sides on MP3 or CD or FLAC, then get ye hence to the Don Shop!

Meanwhile, I just got back from Barking, where Dr Aaron Shrimpton and I were going through the Nothing Lasts Forever video with the proverbial fine toothcomb, making sure it's as perfect as it can be. WE ARE PROFFESIONALS AND WE WILL STOP AT NOTHING TO BRING YOU THE GREATEST ART WE CAN!

So hold tight, Dons and Donettes, that beautiful vidoe witl be with you very soon.

Amen.

 

ADVENT 5: Nothing Lasts Forever - The Single

FREE DOWNLOAD: Akira The Don ft. Envy - Nothing Lasts Forever (Radio Edit) - to play on your radio or TO YOUR NAN! FREE DOWNLOAD: Akira The Don ft. Envy - Nothing Lasts Forever (Acapella) - 96.051 BPM! to make a remix with!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXaiMwuIuO4

Christmas number one! Christmas number ooooooone! Ring your local radio station and tell them the good news! It's Advent Day 5 on akirathedon,com, and today marks the release of the epic and tragic Nothing Lasts Forever as a single!

The follow up to Babydoll is pretty much the opposite of Babydoll, and thus right next to it on the album from whence it came, the modern classic The Life Equation. Envy put in a typically incredible performance. We wrote the song together at Don Studios III, and recorded it together at Castle Hague, and both experiences were suitably intense.

Track two on the single package is the full length, sleigh-bell infused mastered version of In The Morning, which exists in a fragmented state on The Life Equation. Also thrown in are the glorious and accmplished instrumental versions, along with a Houston-inspired radio edit.

You can buy single bundle on iTunes, in the Don Shop on MP3 and FLAC, and you can also get a very limited edition radio promo CD. Enjoy this fine release from Living In The Future!

And watch out for the video! That shit should be back tonight, bigger and better than ever(ything).

See you tomorrow for ADVENT 6! What on earth could it be?

 

ADVENT DAY 4: A Christmas Don Doodle Directed By You!

So I had a lovely of day hanging out with sharks and manta rays and OD-ing on ice cream in central London with my wife and sisterinlaw and five year old niece, then I returned home in the early evening (to a very warm house, as we'd accidentally left the heating on, for which I was briefly very thankful) with no time to edit a whole video, as planned for today's Advent Gift, so, instead, I took to the internets and asked my good good people to suggest something Christmassy to draw specially. And so, the work of art you see above was boen, from this Facebook message by Alexander Shakles:

I followed the instructions pretty much to the letter, apart from the winking, which I forgot about until too late. I painted the whole thing with my Wacom DTF 510 in Photoshop, using the 12th brush on a variety of opacity and flow settings. I would have used Manga Studio, but my copy has stopped working correctly with the tablet for some reason, and I am glad, as I was forced to paint and I wouldn't have bothered otherwise.

Click here for a massive version that you can use as a beautiful screensaver on whichever sort of screen you wish, even if you have as rodonculously massive a monitor as me.

And remember! For a limited time, you can purchase your very own hand drawn Don Doodle, drawn by me and my hand, in the ATD Xmas shop for a mere £5! Jollity abounds!

Tune in tomorrow, when we will bear witness to the mighty rebirth of the Nothing Lasts Forever video, and the first-birth of its accompanying digital single bundle release...

PAX!

ADVENT 3: Akira The Don - LONDON (NY version, 2005) ft. Lois Winstone

After spending yesterday drinking outrageous quantities of Sailor Jerry and Jagermeister at the Artrocker Awards, today's advent post comes a little late in the day, with a slightly sore head, but it is a beautiful thing regardless. Brothers and sisters! For the first time, it is my very distinct pleasure to present to you the legendary New York version of my celebrated song London!

This was the first version of London we recorded for my debut album When We Were Young, at The Shed in New York in 2005. This was co produced by myself and James Brown. Another, grander version, with Danny Saber, ended making the final cut of the album. This version is harsh and dark and ugly and rather industrial - James Brown had been working with Nine Inch Nails prior to When We Were Young, so the violent sonics are unsurprising.

London was either the second or the third song I wrote when I started writing whole songs by myself (music, words, everything) in 2003. It was composed around a loop of the drums from Gary Glitter's Rock N Roll Part II. I looked up the chords for that song on the internet, and played the notes on a little midi keyobard I got for £30 from Denmark Street. As I didn't understand the difference between a chord and single note at the time it came out sounding - to my frsytration at the time - not much like Rock N Roll Part II at all, which worked out pretty well in hindsight.

People often ask me if London is a true story and they are often surprised to find out that it is. I still feel bad about taking that TV as well.

Click the arrow on the Soundcloud to get your free download of this slice of history, and make sure you're back here tomorrow for ADVENT DAY 4!

HO HO HO!

PS - don't forget to check out a myriad of Swag Bags and Special offers in the ATD XMAS SHOP!

PPS - that photo was taken by Brother Saam Gabbay in LA in 2005.