Bill Hicks: Angry Young Man of Stand-Up Comedy

Born in Georgia in 1961, Bill Hicks worked his way around the U.S. stand-up comedy circuit in the late 70s and throughout the 80s after first beginning his career at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas, at the age of 17, when he was still a high-school student by day. By the early 90s, he had hit the big time.

Mostly known for his particular brand of anti-war, pro-smoking, corporate-bashing stand-up — Hicks was, and remains, the “angry young man” of stand-up comedy. Perhaps best remembered for his attitude to smoking – Hicks revelled in being a chain smoker and baiting the “prissy non-smokers” who urged him to quit.

But his career, and life, were cut short; he died from pancreatic cancer on 26 February 1994, at the age of 32.

Slacker Uprising

Michael Moore’s latest film, Slacker Uprising is now available as a free download — US and Canada only unfortunately, although it’s reported to be available as a torrent at a certain pirate bay on the intertubes. The film is described as “a road trip documentary based on the 2004 film election about Michael Moore trying to inspire the youth of the nation.” Here’s the trailer:

… and a 10 minute chunk of the movie on YouTube.

Today’s Brainfart: SanDisk Introduces SlotMusic

Proof that the music industry will never get it: in the latest attempt to shore up sales of music on physical media, SanDisk Corp. and the four major music companies plan to announce Monday a new format called slotMusic.

Each unit is to contain an album, plus extras, on a compact memory card that can be played on mobile phones, PCs and some portable MP3 players. The cards are inserted into vacant slots on phones and other devices.

Indeed: why on earth would I buy music from iTunes right out of my home while sipping a nice chilled Grimbergen, when instead I can:

  • Go to Wal-Mart
  • Buy said memory card
  • Drive back home
  • Plug the card into my computer
  • Search for 15 minutes to find the drive’s icon
  • Copy the mp3’s to my hard disk
  • Import in iTunes
  • Hit play

This is going to be huge, oh yes!

Fialka Interviews Bickford

Philip Marion writes:

A wonderful cultural archivist, metaphysical snake-oil salesman, antiquarian ne’er-do-well, and star of the end of the VHS version of “Baby Snakes” Gerry Fialka interviewed Bruce Bickford recently after the showing of FZ’s Bickford film at the silent movie theatre in LA.

Part one:

Parts two, three, four, five. Thanks, Phil!

Road Plays Lone Ranger Theme

Ian Stonehouse writes:

How about this – a road in the USA – in Lancaster, California no less (FZ’s old stomping ground!) that plays the theme from the Lone Ranger as car tyres pass over the road surface…

Crazy stuff indeed:

The sound is made by specially cut grooves in the asphalt that emit different sounds as the tyres pass over them, similar to a stylus on a record player gliding across a vinyl LP.

Monday Mix: Mothers of the Blues

All right, Summer is officially gone, and Fall is now into full swing. It’s Monday, and there’s probably not very much to celebrate. So, what better time to post another KUR Mixtape to start your week off with a bang, Monday Mix: Mothers of the Blues. I dove into my extensive collection of Mothers music over the weekend and picked out thirty tracks which I thought best exemplified their talent performing the blues (since the Mothers were basically a blues band when they they first formed). My choices weren’t limited to just the early Mothers, either, but also included tracks from solo work by various Mothers alumni, too. So, sit back, relax, and for goodness sakes, “Cheer up, things can’t be that bad…we’ve still got the music…and music is the best!”

Click here to listen to the mixtape.

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