This piece, which I’ve had planned in my mind for some time now, has proven intensely difficult to begin. In many ways, it signals a door closing. Perhaps that’s why I get a general sense of foreboding in its writing. On the other hand, while we’re certainly turning our backs on the past, it’s also indicative of a potential corridor of new doors opening up for us. Leaving the metaphors aside for one moment, Secret Cave is changing. To put it another way, we’re evolving.
In actuality, we’ve been evolving since our inception just under a year ago. At first, we were nothing more than a listless domain name; the site on which you read these words was a mere clotheshorse for the abject literary whims of its co-founders.… [continue reading]
When I spoke to Doug Lussenhop last month, we got into a surreal internet standoff. It all started innocently, with a conversation about the addiction we all have to our phones. It’s true that all too much of our time is spent scrolling through infinite news feeds. Personally, I could be far more productive than I am by simply turning off my phone. We’re all guilty of it in certain respects, with Lussenhop combating it by spending dedicated time, in the sticks, away from social media. For me, as someone who needs to learn lessons in a similar fashion to a hamster, more direct incentive is necessary.… [continue reading]
As Benjamin and I scurry away at work for our upcoming print zine, this Office Chart nearly never happened. It’s more difficult to compile something as coherent as it is eclectic, on a regular basis, than I thought. So, I was somewhat lucky with this one. Many of the tracks fell into place with barely a nudge, making an end product that might be one of the more intriguing charts yet. Unfortunately, it may also be the final Office Chart that I make in this way. With Secret Cave moving in a different direction, I’m not sure what place they’ll have in the future.… [continue reading]
The following is published as-is from an interview we conducted with Taylor Shechet. Taylor is a sound designer involved with Soul Harvest, a local-multiplayer strategy game which is currently available through Steam Early Access. He is also part of GRYPT, an experimental trio of musicians based in Los Angeles.
How did you get into sound design?
I got into sound design in the way I think most people do, which is through music. The route is a little roundabout but music and games have always been intertwined for me.
I always enjoyed music a lot (There’s family footage of me as a toddler running around singing Disney songs with a ukulele) but before I really consciously got into music my parents signed me up for piano lessons.… [continue reading]
Laugh tracks started out as something unavoidable in the world of comedy. Pantomimes (the historical equivalent of sitcoms), plays, and early TV shows with studio audiences would have natural laugh tracks because there would be a real, laughing audience. Somewhere along the way, audiences got so used to being prompted when it’s time to enjoy a joke that laugh tracks went from being a side-effect of comedy to something that now needed to be inserted.
Television executives of the 50s and 60s had such a low opinion of the general viewership that they believed a comedy would get a bad reception if it didn’t have a laugh track.… [continue reading]
Alex Lowe is one of the most recognisable faces on British television. His credits have ranged from early outings in Grange Hill to memorable turns in comedies like Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights and House of Fools. As a huge fan of British comedy and television, I can’t count the number of times that he’s made appearances in influential favourites of mine. For Lowe, credits don’t end with his ubiquitous televisual roles either. In many ways, they’re merely a beginning.
Lowe is an eclectic talent, who seems able to turn his skills to a wide variety of mediums. He’s written for the stage and screen on numerous occasions, whilst also bolstering his theatre work by performing in such plays as Fatal Attraction.… [continue reading]
Publishing this two days after the event aired, I can’t help but question if there’s any point. Then I realised, one of the reasons that I cover WWE PPVs here is to track their progress and development over time. Missing one, in a year that will have fourteen by its end, may not seem a big deal. However, I feel that not reporting this one PPV would be unfair on certain talents within. For example, Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal have been running a questionable and tiresome feud for some time now. It would be the height of injustice not to comment on their Punjabi Prison match at this year’s Battleground; it made me quite like Mahal for the first time, which is always worthy of discussion.… [continue reading]
For our latest SCP Mini (compressed editions of our regular podcasts), we’ve used our interview with Dan Renton Skinner as a source. As someone with a wealth of experience within British comedy, he had much to say on the subject. I took particular interest, when speaking to him, in the anarchic nature of certain comedies of the early 90’s. Thanks to his widespread work with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, it’s something he clearly understands. In more modern times, some of the punk has disappeared from our national humorists. As Skinner himself notes, they simply don’t allow that aesthetic on syndicated television anymore.… [continue reading]
What’s the difference between a tweet written by a human and a tweet generated by a machine?
In a lot of cases, it’s difficult to tell. Twitter bot developers are allowed unbridled creativity, and Twitter’s open API makes it a place where a bot can do pretty much anything. For example, Nathan Bernard (a developer we interviewed in season 2 of our podcast) tweets both manually and automatically. The automatic side of his account runs a script designed to get the first reply to any Donald Trump tweet. It’s even engineered to match its reply to the original tweet, making it harder to discern whether or not a bot is at work behind the scenes.… [continue reading]
Today – in 2017 – we barely have a grip on what exactly the internet is. Its applications are only just truly coming to light, while the majority of us spend hours on social media trying to make sense of it. Sure, the internet has definitions, and we’re all quick to leap on YouTube and the exchange of free information as explanations for its use. Still, it’s a technology that was created ignorantly and has only evolved with incredible alacrity since. You can’t blame humankind for being somewhat perplexed by its implications.… [continue reading]