Dear Santa. Please please please get me this amazing Akira jacket. I've been so good this year! ATD25, The Life Equation, that tour, the Babydoll video... and there's still more to come before December 25th! So much more! Go on Santa, be nice. Swear down I deserve it. It's only $900. How many elves is that? Can't be many elves at all.
Serious, I was only saying to my lady the other day how bad I want red leather bikey jacket, and how I always have, since I was ten, then Glenn sends me this shit. IT MUST BE A SIGN!
Elsewhere, time is running out for Manga Music. I've gotta get the finished mixes into mastering by the end of Friday. JUST TWO DAYS! ARGH!
The end of Friday is also the deadline for Swag Bag orders. That's right, the Swag Bag (which was, remember, only supposed to last a month) finishes its run at the end of this Friday. So order now and forever be full of WOAH, or don't order now and forever be full of WOE!
Oh, and the other thing you might wanna do is get your Manga Music preorders in quick, as I'm picking up the hoodies this weekend and it would be lame to not have enough in your size, whatever that is.
So, I just got off the phone with Babydoll director and international man of mystery Dr Aaron Shrimpton, who is finalising the treatment(s) for this incredible TRILOGY we're filming at the end of the month. Boy oh boy am I excited! If you thought Babydoll was good, well, you're right, it was. And is. But this shit is gonna make Babydoll look like a pilot. AND THIS IS THE MOVIE! MOOOOVIE! YESSSSSSSSS!
OK, back to mixing. Have a wonderful day, wherever you may be. FRIENDS FOREVER!
Hi gang! Well, I still have a few important event blogs to write (the last day of the tour, the party, LA Noire), and I aim to get those done this week.... but the first half of the week has suddenly been taken over by a Great and Mighty Task.... one I have been hinting at furiously on my Facebook page this weekend. One you should all have been able to guess straight away. One which I feel I have been working towards unconsciously since I was 10 years old...
As some of you know, this coming Thursday I have been honored with an invite to play at Manga Entertainment's 20th anniversary party in London. Yes, it is 20 whole years since they released Akira in this country, changing many lives forever, mine, pretty obviously, included. I remember seeing that first advert in the back of Vox Magazine as if it was, um, twenty years ago. I cut it out and stick it on my wall. Already an American comics obsessive, I hunted down the manga. I pored over it in my room, marveling at goliath scale of the thing, the expressive linework, the use of tones. Soon enough, I tracked down a VHS of the movie itself. I watched it twice in a row. It was incredible.
And now, 20 years later, little Adam is Akira The Don, and not only has he been asked to play the Manga Entertainment launch party, he's been asked to make them a mixtape.
Short notice, yes.
Less time than one would think, as it is to be pressed on CD in time for the party and mastered also, yes.
A challenge, yes.
A challenge worth undertaking? Hell yes!
As is the righteous path with these undertakings, I welcome your input. If you have any favorite bits of music or dialogue from anime released by Manga Entertainment you think I should include in some fashion, let me know in the comments. What are your favourite Manga Entertainment releases anyway? For the record, aside from Akira, mine are Battle Angel Alita and Ninja Scroll. Although the first season of Guyver was incredible. As was Fist of The North star. And Golgo 13. Crap! So much awesome!
Anyway, so, yeah, like I said, that will be occupying me for the first half of the week. That and wedding planning. Les than five weeks to go! Argh! We finally got the invites done last night, and started work on a wedding list. I had totally forgotten one has to do a wedding list. People demand it. So we spent a good two hours last night setting on up on Amazon. I wanted to put comics on, obviously, but Charlotte said that wasn't allowed. "It has to be stuff for us," she reasoned. "For the future! For the family!" A cabbage pot later and Charlotte was insisting on a sewing machine, "so I can make clothes for the children!"
It was then that my new reason for doing everything dawned on me. "We must have Batman And Robin: Batman Must Die in hardback," I exclaimed, righteously. "FOR THE CHILDREN!"
Fifteen minutes later we were both screaming with glee at the 80s DVD boxset section. "Bananaman! FOR THE CHILDREN! Complete Transformers Boxset! FOR THE CHILDREN! Duckula! FOR THE CHILDREN!"
And so on. It is important that our children know their heritage. Although the interners isn't making it easy enough, cotdurnit. Stupid Amazon doesn't even have Enchanted Forrest (a legendary and awesome board game)! Although it does do six packs of Nandos peri peri Garlic sauce. Yum.
Oh yeah, before I go, I did promise Karl on Facebook that I'd reveal the Life Equation T Shirt Design. As I have mentioned (although you might have missed it, and who could blame you if you had), when I got back off tour and took rceipt of the Life Equation CDs, the booklet was borked. I have since made a new booklet with a collage in the middle that features, amongst other things, over fifty of YOUR lovely faces. That is in production right now, and should be done by the end of the week, along with the mighty Life Equation T shirt, that looks a lil' something this:
Preorder yours here if you haven't already! all preorders come with BONUS GIFTS!
Rah though. I better stop typing and get on with this mixtape. Remember to let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments! PAX!
So, my first attempt at fashioning and presenting a round for a pub quiz was an unequivocal success, thanks for asking. Not one person in the room knew the answer to the first question, "Name the artist and the song from these amazing opening lines: I Went home with the waitress/the way I always do", which was pretty shocking, but they got into the rest with admirable enthusiasm. Ufck it then, I'll post the rest of the questions here, and you can answer them in the comments. Remeber, if you use Google, you are only cheating yourself.
Oh, and the round was called Akira The Don's Jail And Destitution for You Andrew Crossley round. Get in!
NAME THIS TUNE AND THE ARTIST FROM THESE AMAZING OPENING WORDS: "I Went Home With The Waitress The Way i Always Do"
1 POINT EACH!
(Play the start of I Fought The Law as performed by The Clash) WHO WROTE IT? 1 POINT!
Scooter's Jumping All Over the World is one of the songs ACS Law were monitoring for... Where are Scooter from? a: Germany? b: Denmark? c: Austria?
Work out the band and song title from these two things. WIRELESS BLOW JOB MY NAME IS EARL STING 2 POINTS!
Alestorm are an awesome pirate metal band. They sound like this: (play a song) Which of these is not a song by Pirate Metal band Alestrom? a: Nancy the Tavern Wench b: Black Pig c: P is for Pirate d: Wenches & Mead 1 POINT!
(Play Their Law By The Prodigy and PWEI) One member of a band behind this is now a famous soundtrack composer WHAT IS HIS NAME? WHAT WAS HIS FIRST MOVIE SCORE? 2 POINTS!
PLAY: I've Changed My Plea To Guilty by Morrissey What three words were aously used by a judge to describe Morrissey? 3 POINTS!
If you ever get one of those speculative letters accusing you of downloading porn or music, there is one rock solid defence open to you, a defence made famous in 2001 single, by a former marine:
NAME THE ARTIST!
AND NAME THE SONG!
2 POINTS EACH.
There you go. How did you do? Well I hope. You are reading this, after all, I expect a ceratin degree of musical sophistication.
Anyway, have at ye a warning: As work on AkiraTheDon.com Version 5.0 draws to its earth shattering conclusion, you can expect some downtime over the weekend. OK?
Thank you, and good day.
Akira! I heard the horrible news about the ATD shoes! Only 4 pairs left?!
I'm trying my best to come up with the money as quick as possible but I was wondering is this the end of your shoes like the end of your thanks for all the aids shirts? Will there be any other way to like exclusively order them at a higher price when they get sold out?
I do hope I can get my hands (Feet in this case) on them sooner or later.
Anyway, Best regards!
Cheers for that Chris! In answer to your question, this is indeed the end of these particular shoes - but rest assured there will be brand new Don Shoes coming soon... they will be a different shoe, different printing technique, different colour, etc. They're being designed right now, and the process is very exciting. Not only that, but we've got a whole new range of Don Gear coming, to accompany the new site, the new company, etc. So all that stuff in the shop now, that stuff is going going gone for November. So if you want it you better get it sharpish!
OK? Oh, and if you've got any requests for stuff I should be stocking in the new shop, please leave them in the comments.
Meanwhile, I recorded three songs yesterday, and all three sound like singles. They're for ATD25... and Joey is mixing the first of them right now, whilst he holidays in Le France. Actually, he's not, he juts G-chatted me, he forgot to take the parts with him. OH WELL! More for him to do when he gets back then. That's gonna be a dope-ass week. The other third of The Spirit Of Adventure's gonna document that ish on his machine though, so we're good. It's All Content, after all.
I wonder how long my hair will be by then. And my beard. That thing is bigger than it's been since 2002, when I filmed a video with Matt and Cormac in State 51 for this electronic act whose name I can't for the life of me remember. The concept was, I go into Trocadero, and play this weird dance game, with a robot, that was Cormac in a gross paper mâché costume with big gross paper mâché cans, suspended from the ceiling by bungee rope. I sort of had to spin him around and and swing him back and forth and ride him like a wild boar, giving the impression that it was the robot giving me a hard time... poor Cormac, he was sweating like Soulja Boy waiting on Kat Stacks' next move. I'd love to see that vidoe again, but like I said, I can't remember who did it... and anyway, this was like, 3 years before Youtube. I asked Cormac, but he can't rmeber either. I wonder what Matt's up to...
Oh, crap, my Mum's here! Later gang!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gEqbZsPszs Remember the other week I said Chilly was coming round to play a game of chess? Well, here's the proof. Now, Dear Darling Joey neglected to put any of my really ILL moves in the video, but you should know that first blood was MINE, as was second, third, fourth, etc, and shit was looking pretty good for me for the whole first hour of the game. My defence soon crumbled after that, mind, and that Canadian swine toyed with me, as a cat might a mouse, for the last 15 minutes. At which point I had the brilliant idea of challenging him to a game of Street Fighter. Tragically my second controller ran out of battery, so the true whupping could not be administered... but you just wait. I went out and bought one of those controller chargers for £6.99 (you got £5 off it you bought an England Football team plastic figure for 5p), and next time that great big hairy Jewlord is in the building I am gonna clean his clock.
Shout out The Quietus!
Anyway. Today is kind of funky. I am doing more metadata. As you know, I recently got my entire back catalogue back, so its been taken down from the whole of the internet, and re-upped via my new label and distributor. I am also upping every single song I have ever done individually into my shop, and onto Soundcloud. Shit is REAL out here bubba. This afternoon I'm mixing ish for that compilation I asked you all about, and ATD25. It is not too late to sound of about stuff you might like in ANY OF these things. Website, compilation, whatever. I am, as always, your humble servant, after all.
And THREE PAIRS OF PLIMSOLS.
And 5 iANDY SHIRTS.
AND SO ON!
Speaking of which, Zef got a handle on the new shop section for AkiraTheDon.com 5.0 last night, and it is looking SMART. We are gonna win some awards for this one, I am telling you. Oh, and shout out Soundcloud, who have been being very nice and helpful and have also been bumping When We Were Young this morning.
OK, back to work. You should go look at the cute old couple in the Blob Blog.
When I'm putting together packages to send to the fine customers of Akira The Don's Little Shop of Awesome, oftentimes I'll rummage in the middle drawer of my scrappy little old Ikea chest of drawers and see if there's something extra I can put in, like a doodle or a setlist or a lyric sheet. Famous Los Angelino JJ Fabulous ended up with the lyric sheet for Sky, spilling misstakes and all, and she writes:
I framed my beautiful lyrics sheet! We're breakin' it in by using it as a surface to break on weed before I hang it. Yeah! It's awsome! Here's a picture.
Which is nice. Reminds me of a great picture of Raekwon I saw once.
Good ole Rae.
So, I was stood on my doorstep earlier, not stinking out the house, and it struck me: where the fuck is Gremlins 3? I mean, it just doesn't make any sense. The original Gremlins was genuinely scary black comedy classic, and the hilarious Gremlins 2 - The New Batch opened the thing wide for unlimited sequel and merchandising opportunities.
That's from the Gameboy game, for example. Anyway. 1990's aforementioned Gremlins 2 was awesome and hugely popular, yet since then there has been nothing. Well, nothing except for this BT advert:
The internets says Gremlins 3 is happening - in 3D, natch... but series director Joe Dante isn't having anything to do with it. “They did that once, they won’t do it again,” Dante told Bloody Disgusting, laughing. “They made that mistake once. Its a moot point, they won’t be coming to me. I can tell you that for a fact.“
When asked to elaborate, Dante only grinned, saying, “I don’t have to. See Looney Tunes: Back in Action and I think that will explain it. That was not a pleasant experience.“
Still, Dante believes GREMLINS 3 will happen one of these days, whether he’s involved or not. “I find it hard to believe that they won’t make a GREMLINS 3 because they’re remaking ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING. I mean, they’re gonna remake everything."
Not that that need necessarily be a bad thing. Pacino's Scarface was a remake, after all. Even Bill Murray's been talking about doing Ghostbusters 3. "I was down in Austin at South by Southwest," he told GQ. "I got into it one night with a bunch of younger people who were like, Oh, I love Peter Venkman! I grew up with Peter Venkman! We got to talking, and the more we talked about it, the more I thought, Oh Christ, I should just do this thing."
Praise Jah, huh? One of the iller ideas as to how to approach the movie involves Venkman being dead, and thus a ghost.
"Well, I hadn't wanted to do the movie," Murray told GQ. "They kept asking, and I kept saying no. So once upon a time I said, just joking: "If you kill me off in the first reel, then fine, I'll do it." And then supposedly they came up with an idea where they kill me off and I was a ghost in the movie. Kinda clever, really."
See, Ghostbusters wasn't just two great movies, it was a brilliant animated series and accompanying Ladybird book line. The first magazine I remember making was a Real Ghostbusters how to guide, in which I showed the reader how to make action figures out of OXO Cube boxes and glue. It had staples in it and everything, when I was 7 or something, as it goes. I've still got that somewhere, I should dig it out.
Ah, here it is!
The Real Ghostbusters Book Of Things To Make Out Of Bits And Pieces
Back in the day, if you wanted an expanse of black in a picture, you had to use a whole felt pen up scribbling. Man, if you'd told me back then they were gonna invent Photoshop I might have combusted or something. You can click on that and read the whole thing if you like. It plays you a song when you make it fullscreen. I like it. What do you think of that magazine player anyway? I'm thinking of doing a fanzine with it.
While I was looking for that, I also found this picture I did of some GREMLINS when I was 9. I think I did most of it on a train. Notice the similarity to my Street Fighter sleeve.
Meanwhile back in 2010, I am recording ATD25. LITF!
Happy Tuesday! It's 00:40 am here in hot-ass Londinium, and I have just finished drawing a MIND MAP, which was an interesting, if initially deeply frustrating exercise. I was pretty much banging my big ole Polish Heed against the proverbial brick wall for the first few hours, but in the last few I fell into my groove, a thing of beauty was born. I am afraid you cannot see it as it was for a corporate client. And no I am not telling you who either. I need my mystique!
Rest assured, however, they paid me, and that money will be going toward The Budget for The Life Equation. We're shooting the first video in three weeks. It was supposed to be this weekend but our D.O.P. got a job in L.A. or something, and its raining. So I guess I'll be in town for Hackney Wicked. Either that or we'll avoid it again and go to Wales. There's gonna be 50,000 people in my hood for a flipping art festival all weekend, and art festival goers are noisy fuckers.
I am also a little hurt that no one has asked me to play or anything, to be honest. Fuck these ingrates! A legend lives in their midsts, and do they pay tribute? Do they fuck! Perhaps they snub me because I smile at them all on my way to the Post Office/Gym/shop to buy gas. Some of these skinny-trousered fuckers visiby wince at smiles. Trendy fucktards. Fie on them and their garotted ballsacks! I don't need them anyway. I have you dear reader, and that is plenty for me.
How are you anyway? It feels as if I haven't asked that for a while. Please tell me, I am genuinely interested. Have you listened to that Teflon Don yet? I swear to you dear brother, dear sister, it is a fucking masterpiece. I have listened to it at least three times every day since last Wednesday. It's only 11 tracks long, so I let it play on loop. It is especially good music to cycle to. I bomb through the End Of East en route to one of the two gyms me and Jeres frequent, singing and rapping along at the top of my lungs and scaring the living shit out the tight trousered brigade. They must think I think I'm Big Meech by now, but I don't.
I think I'm Adam Alpha.
Yes indeed brothers and sisters! And it is a brave new day. I just got complete control and ownership of my back catalogue, so you can say bye bye to that shitty re-released version of When We Were Young, and you can say HELLO to a swathe of new shit, super soon. And that will be global, oh my brothers and sisters. I only found out last week my label hadn't bothered to release my shit globally. I just assumed they had. What spoons! And what a spoon was I, for not checking. No wonder I keep getting emails like this:
from: Chris Masey
to: Akira The Don subject: Question about iTunes in U.S?
I've been trying to get my hands on your albums for the longest time,
Sad news I saw that we only got I am not dead (Yeah!), (Which I did buy, Listen to, And overplay it.)
I kinda feel left high and dry here in US, You think you could pull some albums down here?
I'd do anything for that shit to happen mate.
Daaaaaamn, huh? Naturally, I sent Chris in the direction of THE SHOP. And lo, he did proceed to fill his basket to the brim, and for that I must applaud him. I applaud you Chris! You are wise and righteous, and your name will live forever, right here, on akirathedon.com, the Home Of Heroes.
Speaking of heroes, Jeres, Jim, Joey and me are gonna be rehearsing for THE FESTIVAL on Wednesday, If you're lucky they might jusy hang around for The Doncast and we'll serenade your fine ass. You think I've just been sat around playing with my complimentary X-Box for the past week, dontcha? Ha! How wrong you are! I've only done, like, 5 missions in The Ballad Of Gay Tony, dammnit! I haven't even gone online with the thing yet! I have been doing MANY RIGHTEOUS THINGS, like sussing out setlists with my peoples! HELL YEAH! We have a provisional setlist that reads like an A to Z of THE GREATEST SONGS EVER MADE!
(By me. Obviously. I didn't write all the great songs. I just dreamed I did.)
Speaking of which, you know I saw Inception last weekend, and the place was rammed with loud rude assholes, and ants crawled all over me, and the manager lady gave us complimentary tickets to the Odeon of our choice? Well, we went to the GREAT BIG IMAX ONE in Greenwich on the weekend and watched Toy Story 3. We sat in a nicely air conditioned massive-ass room FULL OF CHILDREN, and it was a pleasure to be in their company. They laughed in the RIGHT PLACES (ie, the funny ones, not the tender moments), and they didn't laugh too loud either, and they didn't over-rustle, and they didn't throw popcorn around the place or make nasty smells, or summon a plague of ants. They were good as gold, actually, and as I so often do, I remembered Our Lord And Saviour Jesus H Christ's wise words about being like children, and copying them. Obviously this does not extend to shitting your pants or anything, let us not be too literal here. What ol Jeezy meant was school/society is some rotten bullshit that ruins perfectly good humans and turns them into jabbering assholes, and we should all check ourselves on the regular 'cos we've probably started acting like one of them, and not like dear little Timmy who sees joy and wonder wherever he looks. And shits his pants. Obviously.
Oh yeah, and the other thing is, you know all that stuff they're saying about Inception being this amazing, awe inspiring, existential modern masterpiece? That's bollocks. It isn't.
But Toy Story 3 is.
Anyway. Here's a question, gentle reader. And it is an important one... What words and phrases do you think of when you think of Akira The Don? Enquiring Minds, need to know. I realise that my vocabulary shifts - or rather, lurches - off on a slight new tangent every fortnight or so, and has done as long as I can remember, so I would be interested to know what has stuck. I know I used to say "RAH!" a lot. Less so now, but still a little. BROCKWILE! That was years ago. I am considering making a Lexicon of Don. Answers in the comments please. A fabulous PRIZE will go to a random entrant, and I shall read it all out and announce it on Ye Mighty Doncast, tomorrow.
Man, I am amazed. As mentioned in the previous Main Blog post (not Blob Blog, the last thing mentioned there was MF Borat), I spent the weekend in a great big rented house in Wales with my Mother's side of the family and all my brothers and a bloody ton of wine... and no one got stabbed or anything! Not one argument did I witness! Not one harsh word! I didn't even see a dirty look! IT WAS FLIPPING MENTAL!
I also spent the time looking way cooler than I usually do, in part thanks to this totally awesome hat my cousin Gail bought me, and a Japanese Sunburst bandanna that came free withThe Dandy. Sorry, not The Dandy - they've re-branded it "Dandy EXTREME", no word of a lie. The Beano is now called "Beano MAX!"
Our culture is so far past parody at this point Chris Morris may as well throw himself off the Severn Bridge like Richey Manic. No wonder Peter Kay is so popular.
Actually, Richey Manic threw himself off that bridge in Newport, didn't he? The one with the angel's from the Stone Roses LP on it. YOU KNOW THE ONE!
Also, I really liked Phoenix Nights.
Yes. So, awesome weekend was had by all. Unfortunately I am now behind on my Great Works again, so this post must remain regrettably brief. But there are treasures in that there Blob Blog, so go have a party over there, while I get the rent and my sexy new gym membership paid. YES I JOINED A GYM AGAIN. I have my induction at 5. Wish me luck! Last time I had one of those I injured myself on the Jesus Machine. Actually, did I ever tell you about when I was living in New York and I had a personal trainer for a fortnight? After my first session with the bastard - a former emcee and friend of Biggie's, for the record - I staggered out of the place (Fresh in the Lower East Side) and VOMITED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.
Composed and arranged by upcoming hip-hop artist Akira the Don, the mixtape is a joyous celebration of the music and SFX samples that have formed the soundtrack for the series over the last 17 years.The wash of nostalgia as recognisible themes kick in is indelible, but it’s a terrific slice of inventive, experimental music in its own right. I can’t lay claim to know a great deal about the genre, but its ethereal sampling, curious mix of 8-bit music and energetic vocals are mesmerising. Ok, so it doesn’t go anywhere near the absurdly cheesy (but no less catchy) pop of the ‘Indestructible’ theme from Street Fighter IV, but you can’t have everything. Well worth a listen, for Street Fighter and hip-hop fans alike.
That is full of Whiskey and Coke. I have two of those mugs now. Amazing.
So what it was was, it got to Friday afternoon just gone (my birthday was on Sunday, right) and I hadn't sorted anything out at all. The previous night my Mum had come down to London and took me to a most delicious burger joint in Old Street, and I was very happy about that. Plus my girl had promised to take me to see Iron Man 2 on the Saturday. I'd been looking forward to that for ages. But serious, I'd been so deep in all that Street Fighter business (The Guardian just dropped something on the subject, actually... they called me a "UK hop hop artist". AMAZING!) that I just hadn't got round to sorting any kind of social action around my cotdanged 30th.
So late on Friday afternoon I cobbled together a little Facebook event, which kept going wrong - I had to click everyone I was inviting individually twice cos it crashed, and then I accidentally made it public anyway. Massive fail. By Saturday morning 4 people said they were coming to my hastily arranged afternoon in a pub, and one of them was me. Another was my girl who, true to her word, took me to see Iron Man 2. I enjoyed it thoroughly and felt very lucky to be eating mixed popcorn with chocolate and crisps in it with my beautiful girl in Leicester Square.
Afterwards we were supposed to be meeting BJ and Mika in Dalston, but they rang saying they were having trouble with their kid, and would we mind meeting them in the Hackney Pearl later? I was mildly miffed, and set about ringing people to see if they were going to come on Sunday. My Dad answered from some noisy-ass place, saying he was watching the football and telling me to bugger off. I out the phone down and was going to ring my brother Marek, until my girl told me to stop hassling my family and leave everybody alone. I had a little sulk.
As we approached the Pearl, I saw BJ's blonde mane through the window. "He's early!" I exclaimed, merrily. As we got closer, I saw another face I recognised on the other side of the bar. It was one of Charlotte's friends. "What a coincidence!" I thought, idiotically. Amazingly, I did not twig what was going on until I got right up to the window.
THE PLACE WAS RAMMED WITH MY FRIENDS!
My London friends! School friends I hadn't seen since I was at school! My old Crack Village buddies! My bandmates from over the ages! My old manager and record label boss and their families! My old man and my brothers! All manner of awesome people I love from all over the cotdang shop who'd never been in a room together! Even Stephen Hague and Dana came down from bloody Hastings! I was amazed and full of awe and tears!
And, of course, not long after I was full of booze, and making a big rambly speech and going, "wah! no one's ever done anything like this for me! Wah!"
Ben Offish checks his watch during my awesome and rambling speech
How lucky! Lucky lucky lucky mud! How happy was I! Just over a decade ago I was living in a squat and sleeping on a filthy old mattress! Now look at me! How sweet life is! I well up thinking about it. What wonderful friends I have. What great fortune. And I got the best girl in the whole wide world. You could run me over tomorrow and I could die happy cos I already lived an amazing life.
Yes. Anyway, the night was glorifull. Many of us ended up back at our little flat, which was pretty funny. It got covered in broken glass and Black Grape, which is a bugger to get off of one's keyboard, but it was worth it, obvs.
So, you'd have thought that was enough awesome for one birthday, right? Yes you would. And you'd have been right. But I didn't just get the best party, courtesy of the best girl, and the best friends... I got the BEST CAKE EVER:
Illest Cake Of All Time.
Lookit that thing. My MUM made that! BEST CAKE EVER!
And the dope don't stop. The Street Fighter Mixtape continues to take over the world. It's done over 21,000 streams on Sound Cloud, over 5000 downloads on Usershare, and its embedded on around 100 websites, that I am aware of. The reaction has been beyond my humble expectations and I am overjoyed.
On Thursday my girl's Mum is flying us out to Malta. We're gonna get SUNSHINE. We might find a boat and film a Rick Ross-styled pop video. Or we might just hang out and have FUN for 4 days.
Speaking of which, last night me and Littles went down the Legion in Old Street to listen to Examples album. And eat free Nandos. Well, I ate free Nandos, Littles isn't feeling their chicken. You gotta worry about chickens whose wings have that much meat on. Those things look like Big Narstie's fists. Normal chickens don't have wings like that.
I wasn't feeling all the chicken bones on the floor in The Legion either, to be honest, but Example's album? That thing is a flipping straight up singles compilation, I cannot front for a second, on some Now That's What I Call Music Summer 2010 ish. Everything on it sounds big. The production is overboard. And I gotta say, my favourite stuff on there is the most pop, where Ex dispenses with rapping altogether and croons his big ole spiky head off.
Two years ago Example told me he was going to do this. Exactly, to the word. And he has. Dude envisaged, and created the whole thing. When The Beats collapsed he didn't sit around crying about how his label let him down, he didn't sit around waiting for someone to come along and do it for him. He made it happen. That's a beautiful thing, and, oh man, wait for it... an example to us all...
But it is true!
Dream it, and you can do it. Book them and they will come. Decide that you want to make music and draw comics and find true love, and that's yours, bubba.
Yes indeed. So again, thank you all, each and every one of you reading this. I'm the luckest mud in town. My life right now is exactly what I dreamed up all those years ago, when I was the angsty lil speckster in the middle of this:
Three decades of Don
And on that BOMBSHELL, lets play out this drop with the best audio moment of Saturday Night, and contender for the song of the YEAR...
Photos courtesy of James Harrison, Victoria Keeble and My Mum.
Envy & Akira The Don, backstage at her LP launch party at Cargo earlier this year
I think this song is appropriate for today.
Yesterday, I dropped my new mixtape. Today it has had over 15,000 streams on Sound Cloud alone. Ridonculously massive gaming site Kotaku.com called it "The Best Gaming Mixtape You'll Ever Hear". Kiss My Geek, brilliantly, exclaimed, "Ca donne une SUPA DUPA HOT SHIIIIT!" My Twitter feed exploded, and continues to explode, with appreciative folks from all over the world. My website crashed, and took down a whole gang of other websites with it.
A pretty awesome early birthday present, basically. Thank you all! You rule!
As for Winners (big up Southern Hospitality for the drop!), that was the FIRST beat I made for the mixtape. I made the song with my ole buddy Envy last week. She was streaming the process via her laptop, futuristically enough, so her inspirationally dedicated #EnvyArmy got to see the process. A week later they all got to hear it, gratis. Awesome.
I got the following email this morning:
never heard anything of ur productions before, but kotaku´s mr crescente got me hooked up with it in article ... so i just got one question as an fellow producer i need 2 know the sample of that "winners" track ... by far the most superb ... very good puttin such a beat on it .. gives the sample such a drive u digg ? well u should u produced it ^^ and that girl, while i really dont get along well with oxford english (even if i´m half jamaican), really put some vibe to it ... at first u think yeah rite girl ... but as i heard the song the second time ? i was blown ^_°
Well, first off, thank you for the email, and for appreciating my drums! My drums have gotten way better since I started banging them out on my MPD, its been a major breakthrough for me...
Second, Envy's English is not Oxford, it's Manchester! Which is in the North of this weird-ass island. And that's one of the reason's her flow is so ill. The other is that she is pretty much a genius. As for the sample? It's Street Fighter II Victory - Hadouken Theme Song, an absolutely brilliant piece of music. So here you go, my new friend, and all my other friends, new, old, forgotten, remembered:
Awesome, non? I am looking forward to breaking down more of this Street Fighter ish over the next week. Some of the sampling is pretty straight, like here... and some is really not at all. Like The Title. That joint was SO FUN TO MAKE! Oh my LORD!
But! What joints do YOU want to see zoomed in on? and what do you want to know? Lemme know, I make it happen.
Right. I better get off and do lots of work. My Mum's coming to see me today, to celebrate my birthday and say things like "you'll always be my little boy! It seems like only yesterday that you were this big!" And so on. I can't wait!
If you listened to this week's most excellent and righteous DONCAST you'll be up on this already, but if not, there's been an interesting discovery round these parts this week. A Michael Fitzgerald wrote me the following email:
I was just curious as to the association between your song off When We Were Young and the song "Him" from Lily Allen's newest album. I noticed there is an uncanny resemblance between the melody of these two songs and was wondering if they are simply based on the same sample or if you worked with her on the production of that particular song?
By the way, this about my favorite song off that album...always gets a positive reaction even here in Moscow, Idaho. Unfortunately, its a little hard to get a hold of your albums here in Idaho...
Cheers Mike! Well, as you can hear in the clip above, I was entirely unaware of this - as was my special guest Joey2tits... so we had a listen to the songs to see if there really was any resemblance. In case your life has been tragically bereft so far, and you've never heard it, here's my '05 sunshine masterpiece , Oh What A Glorious Thing:
Amazing. And here's Lily Allen's Him, from 2009's It's Not Me, It's You
That was my initial reaction, anyway. Lily's song is evidently built around a replay of the same guitar loop my song is - the first few bars of Nico's gorgeous and lugubrious These Days. Now, its not unusual for people to sample similar things, no matter how obscure. What makes this ultra-suspect is the context - UK pop-rap, and the fact that the beat drops in exactly the same fashion, as does the bass. I played with Ms Allen when she was promoting her first album also. Oh yeah! AND! A couple of years ago my manager at the time had some meetings with Greg Kurstin who, having listened to my debut LP, was keen to work with me on my second. Scheduling conflicts stopped this from happening, however, as Kurstin was about to go into the studio with - yep - Lily Allen!
The big difference, of course, is that Oh! What A Glorious Thing has an amazing chorus, and Him has a horrible chorus.
What do you think?
OK, never mind that bollocks I was on earlier. Actually, never mind that bollocks I said one sentence ago. One should never pour scorn on sadness! Sadness is as real as anything else! And deserves accordant respect! Yes!
So, big up that bollocks I was on earlier. Big up my sadness. Big up YOUR sadness. Hells yeahs we get it sometimes, especially when we've been trying to put out our second LP for 3 years and stuff keeps on going DODGE. Rah, I take it so lightly, but deep down I understand that I am dealing with cotdang deep-ass super-emotional ultra-real multi-concious-affecting ART right here, and that ish touches you deep down where no light can reach just hearing it... so imagine what it does to the person making it! Oh GOD, why didn't anyone WARN me?! Why have I only just realised this?
And big up my old pal Mothboy! He's just dropped his third LP. Naturally, I am on it. I have been on all three of Mothboy's albums. There's some beautiful symmetry. The first was a joint called All The Wrong Places from his debut, The Fears. I wrote that sat on a fire hydrant outside the American Apparel store in the Lower East Side of New York one night, then recorded that shit in Rat Boy's studio, two days before I flew to LA to meet Jimmy Iovine. The second was called I Can See Cities, and that was on his, doh, second LP, Deviance. I wrote that sat outside the Special Cafe in Clissold Park in London. It was a beautiful day. Anow now, 2010, comes...
Inspired in part by a comic book sent me at Christmas by the good Dr Raydome, I wrote it SAT ON MY SWIVEL CHAIR IN MY STUDIO, and it features on the last Mothboy album...
"'Bunny' will be the last album by me as Mothboy," writes Moth. "For the past 10 years I've been using the name and have decided to use it no longer as am no longer a boy ha!! So essentially want to end on a high... Album mixture of beats , pop , jazz , funk and bass and some surprises (same as always). Guests to see me out are yerself Adam , Martin Carr , Ted Parsons, Robert Conroy , Gustave Savy, Sezrah Sylvan, David Madden , Paul Gannaway and Suzi C, album artwork by Martin Cornish [the art is BANGING - ATD], mastered by David Dando-Moore, will be released on Ad Noiseam oooh new year-ish. I will promote it , shows etc then stop the project altogether... pastures new from then on (no I am not going "Dubstep"!)... concentrating on live instrument stuff like my Gator Bait Ten band , a punk band or two and then will work on some 4/4 minimal house stuff under my Esjayes moniker. Been fun though but think its reached the end of its natural lifespan."
Behold, poster number 1 for that Superhero Music, coming atcha at the speed of AWESOME this month.
You can watch me drawing it here.
Now, don't get it twisted - that's not the cover. That's just the first advert. A big ass version of that will going out to preorderers tomorrow. Preorderers can also expect their first exclusive video content early next week. Music will start leaking soon too.
An audiovisual event of Galactean proportions from Akira The Don! March 29th 2010!
So, Kidproskate sent me an email just now. He (or mayhap she) writes:
I just want to say that you inspired me to make music and I wanted to know what software did you use when you first started out?
Well, firstly, I thank you for a your email, succinct and sweet as it is! And thank you for your question. It is an excellent one, that I can't believe I haven't answered properly before....
I started producing my own songs back in
2004 2003. I messed around with Fruity Loops, which my old pal Kool Kid Fresh from Crack Village had shown me, using the keyboard I type with instead of a proper one, and my girlfriend at the time Liz's copy of Acid, all on a super-crappy oatmeal grey PC. I think it was Acid 4. I chopped drum sounds out of old vinyl in Soundforge.
Soon after that Fruity Loops turned into FL Studio - because the previous name was putting sexually insecure rap producers off using it (true story!) - and I started getting into VSTs and software synthesisters like Absynth. I had a cheap ass microphone I got from Dixons. Around that time also another important thing happened - my friend Mothboy introduced me to compression. This was all I needed to make tunes that sounded so great that Interscope gave me a record deal, and I spent a whole gang of their money on getting a souped up PC, an excellent audio interface and microphone and proper, legal copies of all the software I used. I also invested in some brilliant, if pricey softsynths, like Spectrasonics' Atmosphere and Trilogy. I also got a Roland Juno-D Synthesizer which is ace for writing songs on even if the PC's switched off. I use for its internal sounds and as a midi device.
Nowadays I still use ACID Pro (which is up to version 7) and Sound Forge, both of which have been bought by Sony since I started using them, but I don't use FL Studio anymore. I use Fxpansion's Guru (another suggestion of Mothboy's!) running through Acid for banging out beats with my Akai MPD 16, which is basically the pads from an MPC connected via midi to the computer. My favourite synths are still Spectrasonics' as well. Atmosphere has upgraded to Spectrasonics Omnisphere, which is an a amazing, hugely powerful synthesiser cable of almost anything I could wish for from a synth, and Trilogy just turned into Trilian, a shockingly versatile bass module. I still chop drum sounds off of old vinyl.
I should probably do a video about all this, huh? Back in the day me and Birddog were talking about doing an instructional series teaching people who to sample and make tunes in Fruity and Acid. I should get back on that. Each one teach one, right? Spread wisdom!
Right. Speaking of which, Matt Hall, AKA normannumneric emailed me the following:
This has mysteriously appeared in my local Norwich underpass. Gives me a smile on my way to work in morning!
Lady Charlotte Whewell took some photos of me out in Victoria Park last weekend. I just had to send some over to the good people at Sun On The Sand, and I was uploading them to my Flickr, when the one you can see up there struck me as being a thing of great wonder, that was in desperate need of a fitting caption.
So, have at ye: Caption Contest! Leave your caption in the comments. The best one will be decided by a crack team of experts, including ME, Blonde Jeremy, and Charlotte Whewell.
Winner gets a homemade copy of ATD20 on CD. Made at home! With a printer! And some glue! And some pens! Whoo!
We'll be deciding the name of the cartoon strip on Wednesday, by the way, during the All New Weekly Doncast, from 5pm GMT.
Have you in the Blob Blog watching Bill O'Reilley and Jon Stewart, by the way? Get in there! And if your appetite for Yank Politic Sensationalism has been whetted, they got a decent photo of Sarah Palin's crib notes on her palm. I did that at the Gonzales gig, you know. That's why I didn't wear the white Gloves he gave me. Truefax. I ain't ashamed.