With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdinck, or the Rare Earth” May 28, 2011


News broke earlier today that the immensely talented Gil Scott-Heron passed away yesterday in New York aged just 62. He fell ill after returning from a European trip. He was perhaps more poet than anything else, but was also seen as a pioneer of rap and hip hop with his mainly spoken word recordings. In fact his first album came about after his first book of poetry was published and he suggested to his publisher that it would be a good idea to record a backing for his readings of his words.

He also had a great talent for intelligent and clever protest in his lyrics. Classics of that genre would be songs like “The Revolution Will Not be Televised” which is still quite pertinent today. The first time I ever heard anything by him was when I heard “Johannesburg” on the radio in 1976. That was probably my first experience of what apartheid was all about as well and added to my political views, which were very much shaped by the music I listened to in my formative years; Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Bob Marley, The Clash and John Lennon among others.

He worked regularly with Brian Jackson who helped provide the fusion of soul and jazz that backed a lot of Scott-Heron’s work. After a couple of spells in prison for cocaine possession and alleged parole violation he returned with an excellent new album early last year. The album was ironically titled ‘I’m New Here‘ and received widespread acclaim. A remix of the album retitled ‘We’re New Here’ was done in collaboration with Jamie Smith aka Jamie xx of the band the xx.

He has been described as the Godfather of Rap and the black Bob Dylan. His influence runs very wide and he will be sorely missed. My condolences go to his family, friends and all his fans around the world. Gil Scott-Heron RIP. I would like you to celebrate his life with some of his greatest songs, well my ten favourites at least. Let me know what you thought of Gil’s work.

 

“You don’t need no baggage You just get on board” May 22, 2011


This post just contains some random bits of news of the good, bad and ugly variety. Starting with someone I haven’t posted about for a while Ms. Lily Allen. Lily recently had her traditional pre-nuptial event, the Hen Night on May 20th. Maybe that was to make sure she had a great night before the end of the world. But wait a minute it was supposed to end yesterday and clearly it hasn’t! Anyway she had a very special guest at her Hen Do, none other than Gordon ‘F-Word’ Ramsay. Who gave her and her friends some cookery lessons. I know someone else who would probably love that; Catwoman. Regular readers may know that Catwoman and I will be getting all matrimonial in September and our respective Hen and Stag nights will be in August at top-secret locations so there will be no tabloid interference!

Geri we can see that there's a big white space in your life, but do you have to fill it with a bloody album?

Now for some rather terrible news. Geri Halliwell is back in the studio recording a new album. Now I’ve thought about this quite seriously for a moment and maybe, just maybe, the portent for the end of the world wasn’t earthquakes but a new Geri Halliwell album. What do you think? Anyway the album will apparently be called ‘Putting On The Bling’ and will feature a cover of the old standard “Putting On The Ritz”. Oh boy I can hardly wait I am so overcome with disinterest.

ooooh two middle fingers how very shocking and offensive......NOT!

Corey Taylor off of Slipknot has been invited to speak at Oxford University. Now for me that is either an inspired choice or a big mistake, but I’m looking forward to it. Corey says that he expects to swear and sweat a lot. So perhaps you wouldn’t want to be sitting at the front! I wonder if he’ll do it in full stage mask or not?

Paul McCartney has announced that he will be releasing a covers album consisting of pre-rock songs that were admired by his Dad. He said that he has wanted to do it for ages but decided to wait after ‘Rod Stewart went mad on covers’ with his American Songbook series. McCartney has also said that the new Foo Fighters album has inspired him to record a heavy rock album, of original songs not covers! Rod Stewart is also recording a new album with Jeff Beck which along with some covers will also have some new material.

WARNING! Please do not look at this picture immediately after eating. It may cause vomiting!

 

“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane” May 21, 2011


I will try to make this a relatively short post, mostly because it may be the last one I ever do (shades of Bowie’s 1973 Ziggy retirement there don’t you think?). Why might this be my last post? Well today is rapture day of course. A day when 200 million Christian believers will be swept up to heaven, while the rest of us remain down here suffering a hell on earth, which will apparently end on October 21st. An 89 year-old US preacher, Harold Camping, has predicted that Jesus will return to earth at 11pm UK time today. He will apparently be accompanied by earthquakes that roll around the world. Click here to read about the atheist rapture parties in the US.

Try as hard as you like Ermintrude but you won’t be raptured or looked after!

Personally I think this is complete crap, even more so given that Camping actually predicted the end of the world 17 years ago. But he says he wasn’t wrong and that his 1994 prediction was in fact a precursor to the main event. So rather than dwelling on delusional folks like him I thought I’d focus on what I think is a wonderfully amusing aspect of the whole story. it is said that only humans will be drawn up in the rapture, which means that all their pets will be left behind. But don’t fret pet lovers, there is a company called Eternal Earth-Bound Pets who will take care of your pets after you’ve caught the 11pm express service to heaven.

So clearly he cares for animals, just not your pets!

They operate in more than half the states in the US and will take care of your cats, dogs, small birds and small caged mammals for a bargain price of just $135 and an another $20 each for any additional pets that you have. Up to 250 people have already signed up even in the knowledge that no refunds are available. In four states they also offer the service for some larger animals such as horses. perhaps the best thing about this great deal is that it has a ten-year guarantee! So if Mr Camping is wrong again you still have ten years for him to get it right! How do they guarantee that post apocalyptic pet care? Well they guarantee that all their care teams are committed atheists, pet lovers and have no criminal record. Click here to check their website.

As I have said before this is a music blog so please enjoy the following songs before the end of the world. If my internet connection gets washed away with the rapture tonight I may not be able to post again, but I can promise you I will definitely still be on earth tomorrow 🙂

 

Roger Waters – The Wall Live – O2 Arena London 18th May 2011 May 18, 2011


So if I were to say to you that earlier tonight I went to see a 68-year-old pensioner perform a thirty odd year old album it wouldn’t sound particularly exciting would it? But if I said that I’d been to see Roger Waters (off of Pink Floyd) perform the classic Floyd double albumThe Wall‘ in it’s entirety backed by a superb band, amazing light show, pyrotechnics, massive marionettes, incredible film and animation and a flying pig you might think otherwise right? (But then you’ve probably already read the title of this post anyway!)

Firstly let me thank my friend and work colleague Grant who gave me a ticket for the show. He had already attended last week on the night that remaining Floyd members David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined Mr Waters on stage. So whilst I may have missed the mini Floyd reunion I did see the show and it was something else. Regular readers know that I have been going to gigs now for nearly 40 years and this show is probably straight into my top 5.

Roger Waters performance was commanding and immaculate. The projections on the wall and the other special effects made it more than just another rock show. This was a rock spectacle, a truly spectacular show. I have been listening to the album again these past few days and seeing it performed live makes you realise what a stupendous album it really is. It contains my second favourite Floyd song ever in “Comfortably Numb” My favourite is actually “Wish You Were Here” But ‘The Wall’ is an album I can still listen to end to end. All I needed tonight was a good spliff and it would have been perfect. Snowy White‘s guitar playing was stupendous, especially the solo on “Comfortably Numb”

Many people see the Who as a band who are Rock Opera experts and with ‘Tommy’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ they clearly are damned good. However in the annals of rock opera ‘The Wall’ stands with the best and for an album released nearly 32 years ago really stands the test of time. essentially it’s Waters’ first solo album that just happened to be recorded with Pink Floyd. It is very much about his life and the experiences that shaped him as a man. He is clearly more comfortable in his own skin now than he was all those years ago, but he still tells the story well.

If you get a chance to see this show do whatever it takes; sell your granny, pimp out your budgie or send your kids out to sweep chimneys, anything but make sure you don’t miss the opportunity!

Please note that none of the videos or pictures are from the show I saw, just in case you wondered. Mainly because my camera skills are pretty crap!

 

“Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused” May 17, 2011


A revolution is taking place in Matehuala in the north-west of Mexico. This is not a violent or political revolution, it’s a footwear revolution. It’s not women’s shoes we’re talking about, it’s mens boots! A few dance troupes in the area have taken to wearing heavily customised and very, very pointy boots. But they’re not simply pointy-toed, many of them are immaculately decorated with lights and sequins.

It appears that they are also creeping into the southern US States as well. Indeed it is also said that they make the wearer look a little sexy! Really? more like a little twat in my opinion. They could put clown shoes out of business.Let’s just hope that they don’t take off over here in the UK. Although to be fair you could probably sail across the Atlantic in one of them. So let me know what you think of them. Are they shoeperb or just a load of cobblers?

Anyway as I have said on many occasions this is a music blog, so here are a few shoe related songs for your entertainment (yes I do know that the second one is a Christmas song, but who cares?). Feel free to let me know what your favourite footwear related songs are (Mickey I’ve left an obvious Kate song open for you!);

 

“I’ve walked for miles, my feet are hurting” May 16, 2011


Yet more Gaga news for you today, she certainly knows how to create a media stir for herself doesn’t she. I guess I’m as guilty as the rest too as she does appear here quite a bit. She has become the first celebrity to reach ten million Twitter followers. She tweeted this message to her followers; “10 Million Monsters! I’m speechless, we did it! It’s an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling”. She was the first to reach nine million in March having overtaken Britney Spears last year. She has 24 million ‘likes’ on Facebook although in terms of celebrities Eminem is ahead of her as is Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.

She also appeared at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Carlisle this weekend. She dedicated a song to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Wills and Kate) and played a couple of jazz numbers. In her continuing quest to make an entrance unlike any other star she arrived on stage in a coffin. She was dressed in black and apparently wearing a prosthetic pregnancy. Unless of course it was real! Before Gaga’s super injunction takes effect I would like to state categorically that I am not the father! I would like to thank my good friend Nick Horslen for sending me the clip of her stage entrance. Incidentally Nick also categorically denies that he is the father.  Nick also came up with a pun to describe the Gaga entrance that is up there with my worst puns. It went something like this ‘Lady Gaga had a bit of a coffin fit I hear…’ keep taking the tablets Nick!

Now for some non Gaga news. Last week Roger Waters played a few shows at the O2 Arena in London as part of The Wall tour. I would have loved to have gone but I never got around to booking early enough. But a work friend of mine was there and not only was it a great show, but also for the first time since Live 8 in 2005 the remaining members of Pink Floyd (David Gilmour and Nick Mason) joined Waters on stage. To say that I was envious of my friend Grant would be an understatement, being there for that particular performance is one to tell your grandchildren isn’t it? Click here to check it out on the BBC

And finally time for more mondegreens aka misheard lyrics. These were posted in the Rock Of Ages Yahoo Group and there are some real doozies there!

“I bless the rains down in Africa.” (Toto – Africa)
People sing: “I left my brains down in Africa.”

“Might as well face it, You’re addicted to love” (Robert Palmer – Addicted to love)
“Might as well face it, you’re a dick with a glove.” (some people have suggested that they thought this was about Michael Jackson!

“Body’s aching all the time.” (Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody)
“but he’s naked all the time.”

“And as we wind on down the road.” (Led Zeppelin – Stairway to heaven)
“There’s a wino down the road.”

“And kept her apart from the things that she loved.” (The Beatles – Getting Better)
“And kicked her apartment of things that’s Sheila.”

“Excuse me while I kiss the sky.” (Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze)
“Excuse me while I kiss this guy.”

“See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the dancing queen” (Abba – Dancing Queen)
” See that girl, watch her scream, kicking the dancing queen.”

“Like a virgin, touched for the very first time” (madonna – Like a Virgin)
“Like a virgin, touched for the thirty-first time”

“We built this city on rock and roll.” (Starship – We built this city)
“We built this city on log and coal.”

“I’ll never be your beast of burden.” (Rolling Stones – Beast of Burden)
“I’ll never leave your pizza burnin’.”

“Here we are now, entertain us.” (Nirvana – Smells like teen spirit)
“Here we are now, in containers.”

“The answer, my friend,
is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.” (Bob Dylan – Blowin’ in the wind)
“The ants are my friends,
they’re blowin’ in the wind
The ants are a-blowin’ in the wind.”

“Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road.” (Green day – Time of your life)
“Another turnip boy, the Ford stuck in the road.”

“Got my mind set on you.” (George Harrison – Got my mind set on you)
“Thought my mom sat on you.”

“There’s a bad moon on the rise.” (Creedence Clearwater Revival – Bad Moon Rising)
“There’s a bathroom on the right.”

Just because I love the song and it doesn’t get played too much here is “Beast Of Burden” by the Stones.

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2011 May 14, 2011


So here we are again at the most important annual event on the European Music Calendar, the Eurovision Song Contest. OK I was only joking right! I intend to give you a brief opinion on each country’s performance, if I can be bothered to watch the whole thing of course! I am also typing this real-time in case you wondered. Germany won last year, so who will it be this year? Blue? Jedward? I bloody hope not! Check out the official Eurovision 2011 site by clicking here. You can also check out my post on last years contest by clicking here.

Finland – Blander than James Blunt

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Dull and it looked like Catweazle was in the band. What was Harry Enfield‘s Kevin doing dancing around the stage with a trumpet? ‘It’s just SO UNFAIR!’

Denmark – looked like rockers, but clearly they couldn’t rock their way out of a paper record sleeve

Lithuania – Typical Eurovision ballad. Why was she signing for the deaf? Would being deaf be an advantage when watching this show? Anyway the song is the opposite of a Chinese Takeaway meal, you certainly won’t want more of this dirge after half an hour.

Hungary – aaah some Eurodisco at last! But why didn’t her dressmaker finish the dress? Some of the dancers appeared to be wearing illuminated hoodies, so does that mean you could get an electronic ASBO? Either way they certainly wouldn’t be allowed to visit my local corner shop.

Ireland – It’s bloody Jedward, are we in a parallel universe? Surprisingly good graphics and shoulder pads borrowed from Dynasty. It pains me to say it of these two talented twats but I think this damned shite could win. It has everything but talent.

Sweden – well it’s hardly Abba is it? But it has a hook and an 80s disco beat. If you name your song ‘Popular’ though is that going to be a help or a hindrance? Personally I can see the irony in a song with that title finishing last with nul points.

Estonia – well it has to be said that for a fashion student, that is an awful dress. The dancers are like the people who failed the Zombie auditions for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. As for her song I think it has created a new music genre; Dull Disco!

Greece – at the risk of sounding xenophobic what was that guy doing between the singers parts? Kebab Rap? Catwoman says the set looks like they’re about to be beamed up.

Russia – by far the best of the night so far on both the singing and dancing fronts. Apart from the spelling of the singer’s name on the back of their leather jackets.

France – apparently this is the favourite. The singer is supposedly the youngest professional tenor in the world at just 21. Not my favourite style of music but he is damned good. This really would be an interesting winner. As left field as Finland’s Lordi a few years ago.

Italy – If Jamie Cullum were Italian he’d be this bloke, only slightly better. Another left field option though, jazziest song of the night so far. Top marks to Italy and France for daring to be different.

Switzerland – a bit of a light almost reggae style beat going on with this one. Apparently she was discovered busking. Not a bad song overall apart from being a little heavy on the na na na na na’s but she certainly has the looks to be a star.

United Kingdom – this is it, it’s Blue. A pretty good performance, although a long way from being a great song. But it does sound like something that would go down well all over Europe. Did Simon Webbe forget to pack his shirt?

Blue had bet their shirts on winning Eurovision

Moldova – possibly the worst of the night so far. A poor Beastie Boys tribute band with added brass, unicycles, monocles and the worst hats ever seen in Eurovision. How did this get through the semi finals?

Germany – It’s Lena back to defend her title. She won with “Satellite” last year. I can’t see her being back next year personally. She has a distinctive voice but a really undistinctive (is that a word, probably not?) song.

Romania – the lead singer of this band is actually English. A pretty good song to boot as well.

Austria -well this one really is crap from a Celine Dion wannabe

Azerbaijan – the best thing I could say about this one is that it’s harmless, inoffensive and forgettable.

Slovenia – nice looking girl, not sure about the leather fingerless mitts though or the dress. In my opinion this is very much a mid table song; not a big winner and not a big loser.

Iceland – reminiscent of songs that won in the 70s. Is it me or does it have a whiff of Brotherhood Of Man’s “Save Your Kisses For Me”. Catwoman likes it though.

Spain – they say that the winner more often comes from the last five performances. If that’s the case this year this might be the one. Poppy, good beat, easy on the ear and very good Eurovision song. It looks like they’ll do better than the UK in Eurovision as well as the football world cup.

Ukraine – accompanied by a sand painter who won Ukraine’s Got Talent. He is good though, but what does he add to the song? As for the singer, why was she wearing dead chicken epaulettes. The artist was better!

Serbia – It’s like Eastern Europes version of Ready Steady Go, where is Cathy McGowan when you need her. But one of the best songs of the night, a really cool 60s vibe to it. Sign them up for the next Austin Powers movie!

Georgia – the rockiest song of the night, just not really a very good song the singer has a great voice though. But crap rap and the outfits looked like cast offs from the Tron movie.

As I said earlier I am typing this real time, so before all the scoring starts here is my prediction for the top 3. I would be very surprised if I am even close to being correct, but here goes anyway 1 – Spain, 2 – Russia, 3 – Serbia. Check the real results below.

And the winner is……….. <drum roll> ………………… Azerbaijan, definitely not one of my favourites. Italy were second and Sweden third. So none of my predictions were correct as I suspected. The UK finished in the top half of the table picking up a few votes from most countries. We were however just behind Ireland’s Jedward. Switzerland came last!

Take a look below at the video for the winning song “Running Scared” from Ell & Nikki

 

 
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