The Sun Will Give You Cancer (And Charge You For The Pleasure)

advanced Today is bleak, but I shall have to refrain from screaming, as it is unbefiting of a man of my stature (such as it is). I lost the computer I use for drawing on Sunday to a virus, of all things. Who knew they still happened? Something that looks like AVG and calls itself, hilariously, Advanced Virus Removal somehow snaked its way into my systen while I was in the middle of drawing some shampoo bottles, and swiftly decimated the whole system, to the point where I can't even reinstall Windows by booting from the CD, as the thing seems to have merked my CD drive. Fuck.

So, after a day or so of useless fiddling, I set about transferring my art setup to my battered, gasping, five year old laptop - after running a thorough AVG anti-viral scan, of course. Open up Flash to start drawing, and bang - in comes the same fucking virus. All attempts to debug have failed, and the CD drive clicks and clunks despairingly. The laptop is now as ruined as the desktop, and I am deflated.

Shame on me yet further, I spent about thirty two seconds of my ever dwindling lifespan just now reading the fucking Sun (no link, I refuse), and I feel as infected as my machines. They really have got it in for ole Gordon, who, with his one eye and his old person's scrawl deigned to hand-write a letter to to the mother of a dead solder. Surely they'd all be moaning just as much if he'd had his secretary type something up and sent that?  And what's with the capitalisation of "Our Boys"? Are they a football team? A religious organisation? What the fuck are "Our Boys" doing in fucking Afghanistan anyway? Does the outraged mother even know? It is sad but true that the only winners here are Rupert Murdoch's merry pornographers, who can see the lay of the land, and intend to keep their reputations as Kingmakers, by whatever means possible. Pathetic, and indicative of a deep rooted absence of sense in our society. Bob Dylan might have been shit at riding a motorbike, but he was right about some things. You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Yes, it is gloomy over here today, with a baleful and treacherous Labour Government on their way out and a vampiric Tory Government looming. The skies are a filthy smear, and the window panes rattle with a cold, dank wind. The coffers are empty, and the rent is, as ever, Due Soon. Debt collectors swarm like flies, shit eating grins carved into their fat grey faces, dripping like infected wounds.

Ho ho ho, brothers and sisters! I think I need a drink.

No time for that though. I'll settle for a cranberry juice, and see how I can go about salvaging this day. In slightly better news, the excellent sunonthesand.net gave my I Am Not Dead (Yeah!) EP a very nice review. They also made our wee zombie flick their video of the week, so I am in their debt, even if they did insist on calling me "the self-described rap Morrissey". That's not me. That's the youg guy, he died a while back. I am the pop John Hughes, the New King Of Awesome.  I am The Omega Man.

Akira The Don – I Am Not Dead (Yeah!) EP October 31st, 2009 Self-Released Score: 7.4

Akira The Don is not your usual hip-hop artist. Raised in Wales and now residing in London, he has as much love for pop music as he does for the rap genre while he also uses samples from some unexpected sources. The combination of these loves often leads to some very catchy output and I’m fairly sure that no hip-hop artist has ever sampled an Irish folk musician before (Akira does that here on the track ‘It Could Never Happen Here’). On the surface, the title track is a nonsensical Shaun Of The Dead-inspired zombie-killing romp but if you take away the blood and silliness of the song’s accompanying video, you can see that it’s more a piece of social commentary. Taking aim at the doom merchant saddos with lines such as “Blessed in the West you’re on top of the heap/You get to mess about like half of the week/So why you empathise with a song like ‘Creep’, huh?”, he also takes on the controlling governments of the West before Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals intervenes with an anthemic drunken football chant of a chorus. Incidentally, the production on the track comes from Stephen Hague most famous for his work with New Order and Pet Shop Boys and is his first venture into hip-hop. The aforementioned ‘It Could Never Happen’ with picked folk guitar and Celtic atmospherics is a very subdued reflective tune with themes of forced conformity (”PhotoCopied out shout/Next shift does the same/Punch the clock at eight again/Round and round the bend again/To bend the brain into the same”). It’s hard to describe the song as rap due to its folkier aspirations; I guess it’s quite unlike anything you may have heard. ‘Aim For The Brain’ is slightly more conventional in style with some scatterbrain drum beats and swirling synths along with more tales of zombie-brain-smashing. A remix of ‘I Am Not Dead (Yeah!)’ with new verses completes the EP following on from the harrowing epic nature of ‘The Day The ODB Died’. The song explores mortality and premature death behind some space-rock instrumentation that soon transforms itself into some fast-paced big beat. Inventive as ever, Akira The Don is showing no signs of letting up and if this same quality is spread across his forthcoming sophomore full length album The Life Equation, then we will be in for a treat. As fun as it is clever, I Am Not Dead (Yeah!) is a welcome return from the self-described rap Morrissey.

Matthew James

Get that? Good. Well get it. It grayte.