Live and unplugged: Scott Alan & Pentatonix

I hope you’ll enjoy this beautiful a cappella track as much as I do:

I really, really like Scott Alan’s music. I believe I may have mentioned this once or twice. There’s something about his complete lack of reserve that makes his songs pack the sort of emotional punch that many British musical theatre composers struggle with.

That same intensity means a whole evening of his songs in concert form can be overpowering. It takes a deft hand to programme his songs in such a way that the introspective, even mournful, qualities of his most searing numbers are counterbalanced by the joy – and occasional frippery – that he also does well.

To see (or rather, hear) how it’s done, you can really look no further than Scott Alan Live, a double CD of Alan’s songs, recorded at New York’s Birdland club.

Continue reading Live and unplugged: Scott Alan & Pentatonix

Perfect Curve’s digital strategy

The world of digital media, and digital PR in particular, is changing all the time. Siobhan Sharpe of Perfect Curve, the agency which has been handling the brand for the London 2012 Olympic Delivery Committee, explains how their digital strategy for the Games is structured:

(If you haven’t seen fly-on-the-wall Olympics documentary series Twenty Twelve yet, there are still a couple of episodes left before the Games start…)

Which witch hunt?

I’m not a great fan of Channel 4’s 10 O’Clock Live, which all too often aims low (last night’s sketch of ‘Abu Qatada’s Cribs’ was typically weak). Conversely, though, when it hits the right note, it really gets it right.

Also last night, newspaper columnist and TV presenter Charlie Brooker gave a poetic rant about all the various groups which The Sun has railed about, and now which make associate editor Trevor Kavanagh’s claims that its journalists are now being subject to a ‘witch hunt’ all the more hypocritical.

Copies popped up on YouTube instantly, only to be taken straight down again by Channel 4 claiming copyright on the clip. And quite right, too.

The clip in question is available on Channel 4’s own site, and they’ve made it available to embed in other people’s websites:

It’s a genius piece of writing. If Brooker was the author as well as the performer, then all credit to him: if not, though, whoever did write the piece deserves their place in the spotlight.

Steve Jobs: “Death is Life’s best invention”

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and Pixar, in his Stanford University commencement address in June 2005:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Him & Her – series 2 preview

I enjoyed the first series of BBC3 sitcom Him & Her, written by Stefan Golaszewski and starring Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani as a couple of young slackers who are adjusting to living together.

A second series is on its way, and the BBC3 website has released a short preview video.

You can also hear my interview (recorded prior to series 1’s transmission) with stars Russell Tovey and Sarah Solemani via The Stage website.