With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Good evening this is the Intergalactic Operator, can I help you?” April 27, 2011


I have always been a big fan of space exploration and I remain extremely disappointed that the Apollo programme was ended way to soon. The last time a man set foot on the moon was 38 years ago in 1973. Since the first moon landing in 1969 only 12 men have set foot on any piece of land which isn’t the Earth. The big programmes since Apollo have been the Space Shuttle, which is very close to retirement, the International Space Station, now largely supplied by the Russians and SETI. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence are the words that lend themselves to the SETI acronym.

For me the Shuttle was never a good replacement for the Apollo Programme and whilst it was and remains a brilliant act of international cooperation the International Space Station is hardly a mission to Mars is it? However the principles behind SETI have always meant a lot to me. An organisation and network set up with the aim of being there for any communication from alien civilisations is really exciting, isn’t it? If you’ve seen the Jodie Foster movie ‘Contact‘ then you’ll know how important and difficult it could be. do I believe that there are alien civilisations out there? Yes I do. How about you?

Anyway let me get back to the purpose of todays post; it appears that the SETI Institute has run out of money. Just how sad is that? Still as long as we leave an appropriate answer machine message we’ll be fine won’t we? I feel really let down that we have come to this. Can we not find a few billionaires with some spare cash to keep SETI in operation? read the report here in the Guardian.

So as I have said many times before this is a music blog so here are a few appropriate songs for this sad story, feel free to submit your own;

 

“Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves fell from the rayon trees “ April 26, 2011


It is with great sadness that I bring you the news of the death from cancer of Poly Styrene aged just 53. She remains a true punk icon and an inspirational figure. The music world has lost someone who was a true original. Poly, whose real name was Marianne Elliot-Said, came to prominence in the wave of UK punk bands that broke through in 1977. X Ray Spex was their name and they left some classic songs which crop up on my iPod shuffle quite often; “Oh Bondage Up Yours”, “Germ Free Adolescence” and my personal favourite, “The Day The World Turned Day=Glo”. You can see some of those in a short while. Her most recent solo album was released just last month. You can read the news on the BBC and the NME. My condolences go to her family, friends and fans.

 

“Now hold on a minute before we go much further, give me a dime so I can phone my mother” April 17, 2011


Dizzee enjoyed dressing as an 18th Century poet whilst promenading with a powerful female. Thatcher hasnt aged well has she?

Hello people, I have some assorted bits of music related news for you in todays post. Some old, some new and some strange. Beginning with Dizzee Rascal, who according to the UK tabloid press has an addiction. But not to drugs, drink, sex or gambling, but to 18th century poets. He is very much into his Wordsworth, Byron, Blake and Keats. Mr Rascal, formerly known as Dylan Mills, is hoping that classical English poetry will have an influence on his next album. Sounds interesting doesn’t it? Read about it here in the soaraway Sun and be careful your phone isn’t tapped!

Simon makes one last appearance on Page Three before he departs for the USA

Most of you probably know that Simon Cowell will be leaving the UK version of X Factor to launch and take part in the US version. It still seems most likely that he will take Cheryl Cole with him, providing the Americans can understand her one assumes. My only wish is that the opportunity is taken to get rid of Louis Walsh. What do you think and also who would your ideal fantasy X Factor judging panel consist of? My vote would be Lily Allen, Keith Richards, Jeremy Paxman and Nick Clegg. The latter choice is largely because there should always be one idiot on the panel and surely he will be out of a job soon won’t he?

Clearly Liam was buzzing about the new Beady Eye Bee Side

You’ve probably all heard of the post Oasis band Beady Eye, which is basically Oasis without Noel. I have listened to their album and it’s not bad, it’s hardly ‘Definitely Maybe’  or ‘Morning Glory’ but it’s ok. Anyway this isn’t a review but a rather strange piece of news about Liam Gallagher. According to a report in the NME (click here to read it) he likes to warm up before he goes on stage by listening to Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy”, let’s pray he doesn’t do a cover version of it! What song do you use to get pumped up before work? For me it’s often “Complete Control” by the Clash or “Do Anything You Wanna Do” by the Rods.

Billie Joe auditions for a part in the new version of Snow White

Tom Hanks is currently preparing to produce a film adaptation of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ album. The director is likely to be Michael Mayer who was the director for the ‘American Idiot’ Broadway musical. Could this be this generation’s ‘Tommy’? Only time will tell. Click here to read the NME report. What album would you like to see turned into a film? I would definitely vote for David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’

And finally how small do you think the world’s smallest working guitar actually is? Well you’re probably wrong. It is in fact no bigger than a human blood cell and obviously impossible to be played in a conventional way. It has to be played by having lasers directed at the strings. Read more about the Nano Guitar in the Guardian by clicking here.

 

“And the future is certain, give us time to work it out” April 12, 2011


OK I know i's not actually Friday today, but that's not really the point is it?

Just a few morsels of news for you with this post, ok for a couple of these ‘news’ might be stretching it and ‘olds’ might be a more apt description. Especially this first one. Many of you will have no doubt heard of Rebecca Black. She is the young lady who recently released what many consider to be one of the worst songs and worst videos ever. There has been an awful lot of nasty, vicious, vitriolic comment about her song. So other than saying I really don’t think the song or video are very good I will try not to add to what has already been said. The key thing that concerns me about this sad affair is that the poor girl recorded the song for a vanity music label; the Ark Music Factory. So now everyone can be a singer, just pay a few grand, or indeed get your parents to stump up the cash and you will get a song, a guest rapper, a vocoder and a naff video. sounds great doesn’t it? But surely you need talent as well? But in these days of X Factor and Idol that probably isn’t the case. Now that in my opinion is a really sad state of affairs. the one saving grace for Rebecca (apart from the millions of YouTube hits) is that the proceeds from any sales of her song “Friday” will go towards the earthquake relief in Japan. judge for yourself, if you haven’t already, by watching the video below. I would also love to hear your opinions on vanity record labels.

Talking Heads - Digging for Crist!

The BBC reported today that David Byrne off of the Talking Heads has settled his case against former Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist after the politician used the Talking Heads song “Road To Nowhere” to attack his opponent in the race for the senate. personally I am really pleased that Byrne took Crist on. What do you think? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.

Bono wonders whether he should have put his $558m in the hotel safe rather than trousered it in the pocket of his Speedos

It has now been confirmed that U2 have achieved the highest grossing tour ever with their 360° tour which began back in 2009. They still have 20 dates to go too, but they have already grossed $558 million. That even allows for missing a few dates, including Glasto last year, due to Mr Hewson’s back problems. Are they really worth it?

Dunc with Dad, Dame Dave

Richard Rich and Max Tannone have put together a brilliant free EP based on mixing hip hop sounds with the soundtrack to Duncan Jones (son of David Robert Jones) excellent movie ‘Moon’. Click here to download all the tracks. It’s called the Selene Project and has nothing to do with song strangler Celine Dion, it’s spelled very differently people!

Finally I was honoured to accompany the delectable Catwoman (aka Catherine Lee, my fiancée) to the studios of Radio York on Saturday where live on air she reviewed the newspapers. Once again she did an excellent job, you can still hear the show for three more days by clicking on Radio York’s Julia Booth’s page here. You can also check out the website for her excellent Virtual Assistant company, Kaleidoscope Business Services by clicking here and she would also love you to comment on her rather spiffing series of blogs.

 

Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite Les Folies Tour – MEN, Manchester Friday 1st April 2011 April 7, 2011


Last Friday it was my great pleasure to accompany Catwoman to the first of Kylie‘s Manchester shows. I had imagined that Kylie would really put on a show and she certainly did. It was one of the most amazing gigs I have ever seen, the staging, production and dancing were out of this world. There were influences from Hollywood, Busby Berkeley, Classic History and Super Clubs.

Kylie went through maybe six or seven costume changes and in my opinion looked pretty fabulous in all of them. Her initial entry on stage was via a hydraulic gold sea shell, she also arrived via Pegasus and a few other routes too. She also performed “Looking For An Angel” while being carried over the stage by an angel! It was like X Men Live!

I have never seen a show with so much water either. There were some amazing fountain displays and the people in the VIP area and those at the front of the extended stage and walkways were soaked. Many of them had paid extra for that privilege. She really seems to understand her audience. The male dancers would have been like a spectacular wet dream for the many gay men in the audience. There were a couple of banners asking Kylie to let them become her gay husband. All the recent hits were there for the long-term fans, although no “I Should be So Lucky“. She also took a request which someone gave her via a 7 inch single. For that she did 60 seconds or so a capella of “Got To Be Certain

She sang most of the new album; ‘Aphrodite’ and for me it made me appreciate it even more. “All The Lovers” was a really dazzlingly spectacular showpiece. My favourite Kylie song ever is “I Believe In You” and she sang that while being pulled around the stage in a chariot by some well toned blokes wearing not much Dolce and Gabbana.

I would definitely pay to go and see her again, but the UK gigs are pretty much done now. The tour moves to North America at the end of this month. She never really became a massive success in the US and frankly I don’t understand why? there is talk of her taking a residency in Las Vegas and on the evidence of this show she would go down extremely well. So let me finish by saying thank you to Kylie and the band, the dancers, production team, roadies and anyone else involved. It was a great night and Catwoman is still filled with excitement from it!

 

“Then preheat the oven to three fifty and give that spoon a lick” April 3, 2011


Well hello again dear readers it’s been 2 and a half weeks since my last post, that is probably the longest I have ever gone without posting, so hopefully I can make up for that in the next couple of weeks. As long as work doesn’t get in the way at least.

Thom auditions for the new series of Vision On

This post is a motley collection of the amusing and strange that I have picked up or seen and heard during that long lay off. Have you heard the new Radiohead album? You must have by now surely. I like it but I don’t think it’s as good as ‘In Rainbows‘. There have been many suggestions that as ‘King Of Limbs’ is quite a short album there will be a part 2 coming soon. I certainly hope so. Anyway if you are a fan you will no doubt have seen the video for “Lotus Flower” with Thom Yorke‘s crazy dance. This has spawned many versions of the video which put Thom together with completely different songs, many of which are rather amusing. Click here to see some of the best.

In a recent article in the Guardian’s Lost In Showbiz section it was revealed that Mark Feehilly off of Westlife is a big fan of artist Leigh Bowery. That really does seem weird to me that a member of one of the blandest boybands ever is into a performance artist who has been known to throw shit at his audience. But then again Westlife have been pushing shit songs at their audience for years now so maybe it’s not that weird. Click here to read the rather excellent piece.

The new Westlife tour has been sponsored by Ferrero Rocher and Leigh Bowery has designed the stage costumes........ oh ambassador you spoil us!

Have you ever wondered how well ambient music and cop radio go together? well wonder no more, this is a mash-up of recordings taken from the LA Cop radio frequency and some superb ambient style music. I really love this, what do you think of it? Click here to listen, you can also listen to similar sounds from different North American cities.

A scene from an Isaac Hayes concert, although the costumes were probably from a 70s porn movie!

And finally for this post, ever wonder about the genesis of the wah wah pedal? ever wondered what music would be like without the pedal? Well click here to see how the wah wah came to be and obviously there would have been no “Theme From Shaft” or indeed any 70’s porn soundtracks without it! Check out two very different Isaac Hayes classics below

 

 
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