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Volume 287

All aboard the bus to Flavourtown. In this week’s coolsh*t, we bring you AI-generated bangers, ski-less skiing, and a naked Frenchman. It’s not one to be missed.


I included a story about a database of AI-written songs in coolsh*t a couple months ago, but now having seen this, I’d just like to apologise for having wasted everyone’s time. ‘Funk Turkey’ has managed to create a fake Nirvana song called ‘Smother’ using AI, and it actually sounds like a real song. Quite a good one too. Whereas last time the pick of the bunch from about a thousand songs was an indecipherable piece of nonsense which the ‘supercomputer’ had named ‘Hot Tub Christmas’ and that was supposedly sung in the style of Frank Sinatra, but seemingly after he had had far too many martinis and his voice box had been replaced with an artificial larynx. I did say at the time, ‘I can’t tell if this is really impressive or if it’s actually just a bit sh*t’. Turns out it was definitely the latter. So again, sorry for wasting your time and I hope you enjoy this slightly grungier robot a bit more.

*I also saw that Funk Turkey has produced a few other tracks in the styles of the aptly renamed ‘AI:DC’, ‘Red Bot Chili Peppers’ and ‘Nickelbot’. So I thought I’d have a go at renaming some artists myself, here’s what I’ve got so far:

Robo Williams, OAIsis, The Rolling Drones, CyBjörk, Fleetwood iMac, A Dell, Lil Beep, NWA (Now We’re Automatons), and Frank The Smart Car. (That last one was meant to be a play on Frank Sinatra but I think I may have forgotten what the game was by that point).

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Lady Gaga-eth.

Speaking of dodgy music that probably shouldn’t exist: I give you ‘Bardcore’. Millennials and Gen Z have developed somewhat of an unlikely obsession with the middle ages when it comes to meme culture. And yes I said meme culture, this is the point we’re at. Bardcore is taking this weird obsession and turning it into something useful by reworking current hits using lutes, fiddles and harps to create a whole new genre of music. And when I use the word ‘hits’, I’m doing so in the very loosest sense of the word, as this seems to mainly mean Lady Gaga tracks circa 2009-12. But overall, I honestly think it works a treat. As it turns out, to make a mediocre song great, all you have to do is mess around with a flute, throw in ‘thy’  ‘thou’ and ‘hath’ a few times, and put some old-timey looking text over a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry. The music industry will never be the same again. All I know is Drake has been awfully quiet since Hildegard von Blingin’ started dropping these bangers last week.

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Zut Alors!

It’s no secret that people have been looking for new and creative ways to spend their time during lockdown. Some productive, some less so (I’m looking at you banana breaders – I tried banana bread for the first recently and it’s not even nice, it tastes of bananas ffs). Well, this is kind of somewhere in between the two. Apparently when this bloke strips down to his pants and covers himself in cooking pots it counts as ‘art’, but if I do it then all of a sudden we need a ‘family meeting’ and I have to start seeing Dr. Andrews again. But anyway, enough about me. French photographer Hubert Crabières has kept himself busy in lockdown by creating this series of photographs of himself wearing costumes made from various objects, materials, clothing, fabrics and props from previous shoots. So take a look – but I should warn you, if you’re averse to seeing a slightly podgy Frenchman’s cock while he’s covered in sparklers, then this might not be for you. Although in that case I reckon you need to get over yourself anyway, you bloody puritan.

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Skiing without Skis.

When I typed that title I didn’t mean for it to come out as a sort of alpine Westlife remix, but I’ve committed to it now. If you’ve ever been skiing then you’ll know that the worst part is having to lug the poxy things around at the end of the day. If, like me, you have the upper body strength of a small orphan, then by the time you get back to your mug of cocoa you’ll be little more than a wheezing husk of shame. Plus I’m probably too old to get my mum to carry them for me now. Well, with these new ‘snowfeet’, I can spare my poor Mother the scoliosis, as there would be no skis to carry at all. Snowfeet are basically a compromise between skis and skates that you simply attach to any boot and you’re good to go. They look a bit odd at first – but should they? Now I’m starting to think that skiing is really stupid and these actually make more sense. The first person who tried to ski had to go through the thought process of ‘I’m going to attach myself to these long planks of wood and jump off the side of the mountain for a laugh’. So these are definitely no weirder than that. Personally, I’m sold.

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Welcome to Flavourtown.

The last week has seen a number of high-profile name changes, Uncle Ben’s and Aunt Jemima immediately spring to mind. This is off the back of a global re-evaluation of some of the symbols, images, and names that we have long co-existed with without ever really giving them too much thought. This has unsurprisingly divided opinion. Taking down statues of slavers was a bit of a no-brainer, but this is slightly more nuanced. But one thing I know for sure is that I’d love to live in a brave new world with a town named ‘Flavourtown’ after Guy Fieri. That is precisely what nearly 20,000 people have now signed a petition to change the name of Columbus, Ohio to in honour of the flame shirt-wearing Columbus native. This is following Mayor Andrew Ginther’s removal of the Christopher Columbus statue outside the city hall last week, and to be fair, changing the name does seem like the logical next step then. Not doing so would be kind of like throwing away an ex’s CD collection but keeping the tattoo of their name you got on your forehead. So watch this space, but hopefully people will be getting a one way ticket to Flavourtown in no time.

*Technically, it would actually be ‘Flavortown’, but I couldn’t bring myself to give in to our Transatlantic cousins and drop the ‘u’. But this did make me think of a decent line for their tourism board’s first new campaign – ‘Flavortown: the only thing missing is u’.

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Realsh*t: Life In Lockdown – Football Special.

It’s back! Did it ever go away? Did we all forget about the beautiful game for a bit, or did it remain on our radar because it is culturally omnipresent? Can we live without it? Can it live without fans?

In this week’s realsh*t, we asked our SELFHOOD network how important football is right now. If you missed it, check it out here.