With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there” February 7, 2012


It would seem that Madonna’s performance in the US Superbowl half time slot was both spectacular and controversial. Her set at the not particularly exotically named Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis included many of her biggest hits; “Vogue”, “Music”, “Open Your Heart“, “Express Yourself“, “Like a Prayer” and as expected her new single “Give Me all Your Luvin”. She arrived on stage in a chariot preceded by a whole legion of Roman Gladiators. To be fair Kylie has already done the chariot thing in concert.

Madge was joined at various times by Cee Lo Green, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj and of course MIA. That is where the apparent controversy has arisen. There was no Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction but simply a glimpse of MIA’s middle finger. Yes MIA flipped the bird on live TV. The reaction of the US press, who seemed to take great delight in pointing out that MIA, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, is British, would suggest that it was an international incident on a warlike scale. NBC apologised for her inappropriate and spontaneous behaviour.

oh dear, the shock, the horror!

In my opinion this is a great deal of fuss over nothing much a real storm in an espresso cup. It’s interesting (and thanks to Nick Horslen for reminding me of this) that whilst the broadcaster NBC didn’t like MIA’s middle finger they were quite happy to let Madonna perform a song with a not so hidden reference to fellatio; “Like A Prayer”. Patrick Leonard co-wrote the song with her Madgeness, claimed that at first he didn’t appreciate that the opening lines; ‘When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer, I’m down on my knees, I wanna take you there’ were effectively about oral sex. He asked Madonna to change the words but she refused. I wonder if she said ‘come on Patrick, let’s at least suck it and see!’ That quote from Leonard was included in J. Randy Taraborrelli‘s book  Madonna: An Intimate Biography.

Incidentally did you know that the middle finger insult was first recorded nearly 2,500 years ago. According to the BBC a public intellectual, expressing his contempt for a gas-bag politician, reaches for a familiar gesture. He extends his middle finger and declares: “This is the great demagogue”.This allegedly took place in Fourth Century BC Athens, when the philosopher Diogenes told a group of visitors exactly what he thought about the orator Demosthenes. Read the full BBC explanation by clicking here. Apparently it is a very phallic gesture with the middle finger representing the penis and the curled fingers on each side the testicles. So it was mostly just bollocks then.

Anyway the thing has had the desired effect. Madge has oodles of free publicity for a show which she took no fee for. Her album sales will rocket and she has just announced a world tour to support the release of her new album in March. If you arrived here looking for something about the sport and not the spectacle of the Super Bowl I can tell you that the 2012 game was won 21 – 17 by the New York Giants who beat the New England Patriots.

And finally Madonna acts out the offending lines from “Like A Prayer”

 

“When you know your heart is light, electric is the love” May 29, 2010


So here we are on another UK Public Holiday weekend and guess what? It’s raining. Someone once said to me that there is an easy way to tell when it’s summer in the UK. Do you know how? Well it’s quite simple really, the rain is warm! So here I am stuck indoors so I thought I’d put together a slightly random post that captures a lot of the stuff I have been meaning to blog about for a while, so here goes.

Steal The Smile contemplate doing a cover of Blinded By The Light

Firstly way back on the 13th May I finally got to see my son Luke play a gig with his band Steal The Smile. They were the second band on that night in the FaceBar at Reading. The band on before them were, and I’m being nice here, in need of an awful lot more practice. Apologies to the bands that followed, but we left for some scoff at TGI Fridays! Steal The Smile played a great six song set which included some of their older and newer stuff along with the obligatory Blink 182 cover. I can tell you that all the boys in the band are looking forward to seeing Blink at the Reading Festival in August. It was a real pity that Steal The Smile were once again badly let down by a promoter in that they had to hang around for three hours for a sound check that never actually materialised and by the time they played there were nowhere near as many people as there could have been. The band wasn’t paid for this gig, but I bet the promoter was! What is it with promoters, and I use the term loosely here, who simply book a venue and some bands and do bugger all else? Is it a stupid assumption that promoters ought to promote? I think not! So if there are any good promoters out there (i.e those with brain cells that at least run into double figures) then get in touch with the boys and book them! You can find them on Facebook and MySpace. Keep visiting too, as there is a revamp being lined up and possibly a lot of new stuff!

Steal The Smile live at the FaceBar in Reading May 13th 2010

There were a couple of quite amusing moments during their set. Firstly the sound guy was trying to speak to them over the sound of the music and clearly couldn’t make himself heard. It did make me wonder how much he actually knew about sound! So finally Luke just gave the instruction “Articulate” like a rock n roll Dalek, needless to say there was still no response from Mr Sound. The other part was just before the final song when Luke said “This is the point in the show where I usually tell the audience how beautiful they are. But with a large part of the audience being my Dad it seemed a bit strange” Johnny then made a point of telling me that he thought I was beautiful, hmmmmm I worry about the drummer! Finally on Steal The Smile for now, it’s not too late to get hold of an exclusive free song from them, just click here for  a previous post of mine to get your mitts on it!

Next up Glastonbury has lost U2 this year thanks to Mr Hewson’s back problems, which were apparently quite serious. Anyway there is a little silver lining in that their replacement will be the Gorillaz. In their current incarnation the Gorillaz contain not one, but two, former members of the best band ever; the Clash! yes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are both in the touring band and bizarrely wearing sailors hats as part of the new album Plastic Beach’s nautical theme. I think I may have to get a hold of some tickets for their tour later this year. Read the BBC article on the revised Glasto line up here. Below you can watch the video for the first single from Plastic Beach, it’s called “Stylo” and features Damon Albarn, Mos Def and Bobby Womack

On May 24th there was the news of the tragic death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray aged just 38. I have taken some stick from many Slipknot fans in the past for using an incorrect picture of them without masks, but whilst that has been a bit of fun and banter I am sure all fans of the band are pretty upset and hurt by his death. To lose a music hero is not pleasant, I know how I felt on hearing about the death of John Lennon, Bob Marley and Joe Strummer. So my sympathies go to Paul Gray’s friends and family and to all Slipknot fans around the world. In his memory here are the band with the video for “Psychosocial”

Yesterday saw the sad news that Gary Coleman the diminutive star of the US sitcom ‘Diffr’nt Strokes has died. He had kidney problems all his life which meant he never grew above 4 feet 8 inches. His most famous catch phrase from the show was “What you talking about Willis?” Willis being his older brother in the show. Hed was clearly popular in the music fraternity too as the testimonials on the NME report of his death show. Kind words from Blink 182, Janet Jackson and Katy Perry

And finally for this post, have you seen the new Miike Snow video, for his song ‘The Rabbit’? It’s really strange. It has a bearded kid and a re-enactment of a 2 Live Crew album cover. Click here to see it. Let me know what you think of it

 

“Well guess what I am dead, dead to you as can be” April 21, 2010


On the way home from work today I was listening to my iPod in shuffle mode and by strange coincidence the only two songs on there that are about storage spaces cropped up one after the other. Firstly Eminem’s “Cleaning Out My Closet” and then “I Know What I Like) In Your Wardrobe” from Genesis. I then got to thinking that there really aren’t that many songs about storage spaces are there? But of course I expect my regular readers to prove me wrong on that point, so come on folks do your worst. Another that I thought of, but I really am not a fan, is “Shelf” from the Jonas Brothers.

So do you think it's true? Did Mr Mathers really get into Miss Carey's errrrr ...........closet?

Here is Eminem with “Cleaning Out My Closet” Possibly one of his most venomous songs and I love it

Here are Peter Gabriel era Genesis with probably my favourite Genesis song, “I Know What I Like” (In Your Wardrobe)”

And finally here is a very famous wardrobe malfunction from a few years back

 

Brits Special “I’m On The Right Track, Yeah I’m On To A Winner” February 17, 2010


It’s February 2010 (the 16th to be precise) and ‘With just A Hint Of Mayhem’ is coming to you live from the Brit Awards 2010. Well ok almost live and actually not really there but just in front of the telly! Just like last year really, if you want to relive my post from last years Brits click here

This years awards were hosted by the rather spiffingly talented Mr Peter Kay (Garlic Bread?) Interestingly the ad breaks featured a Master Card advert which was the story of last years Outstanding Achievement award winners the Pet Shop Boys doing a concert at someone’s house! Who would you choose to do a gig at your house? I would opt for David Bowie or Kate Bush!

First up to perform was the delectable Lily Allen. She sang “The Fear” with quite a strange cast of dancers; Pram Pushers, Men in Bowler Hats, Suits with no trousers and Union Jack Boxer Shorts and also some Umbrella Parachutists (is that a word?) dressed in pink camouflage gear. truly spectacular indeed! Lily was wearing a black hot pants type outfit, which I rather liked but Catwoman definitely didn’t! Hmmmmmmm I wonder why?

The first award was presented by Page 3 and ‘I’m A Celebrity’ veteran Sam Fox. She was introduced by Peter Kay as Sam Fleetwood, Mick Fox, Sam Fox in reference to the debacle that was the Brits presented by Sam and Mick Fleetwood off of Fleetwood Mac in the late 1980s. She presented the Brits Memorable Performance of the last 30 years. It seemed we were expecting a list of nominees, but there didn’t appear to be one. The award was given to the Spice Girls and was collected by Scary and Ginger or Mel B and Geri Halliwell as they prefer to be known these days

The next award was for Best British Male Artist and was presented by Andy Serkis who played Gollum in Lord Of The Rings and most recently played Ian Dury. The award went to the hugely entertaining Dizzee Rascal, thank god it wasn’t Robbie Williams! After this we endured JLS performing “Beat Again” they arrived on stage on strings, which confirmed my suspicions that these pop muppets are indeed puppets!

Mel B returned to the stage to present the next award to Jay Z or Jason Zed as Peter Kay called him. He won Best International Male Solo Artist. He spoke of his Glastonbury appearance and mentioned (tongue in cheek methinks) how he was influenced by the Spice Girls.

Noddy Holder off of Slade presented the best album of 30 years of the Brits award to Liam Gallagher for the Oasis album What’s The Story Morning Glory. Obviously Liam swore because the sound disappeared and the ‘audio has been muted’ appeared in the corner of the screen. As he left the stage he threw the microphone into the crowd and allegedly also threw the award into the crowd as well. Peter Kay referred to him, rightly so, as a knobhead when he did leave the stage.

Kasabian then played live and for me they were somewhat lacklustre, what did you think. I thought the flames at the front of the stage were more exciting.

The next award, the Breakthrough Act, was presented by Geri Halliwell (was this a Spice Girls take over?). Geri had to apologise for her earlier failure with Mel B to thank the other Spice Girls! It went to, shamefully in my opinion JLS. Pixie Lott, La Roux and Friendly Fires were all also nominated and missed out to the aforementioned muppets!

Courtney Love presented the Critics Choice Award to the delightful Ellie Goulding, I think I may have to download her album very soon.

Next to perform was the fantastic Lady Ga Ga. In my opinion she is a true star and a real mold breaker. She wore a kind of lace mask, fright wig and a body stocking that seemed to reveal more than it covered. A great performance and someone I would love to see in concert. She also dedicated her first song to the late, great and sadly departed Alexander McQueen.

Idris Elba off of London’s Burning (who he?) presented the Best British Group Award to Kasabian. Personally I felt it should have gone to Muse. Incidentally up to this point I had guessed every winner correctly!

Cat Deeley presented the first of Lady GaGa’s awards for International Breakthrough Artist. This was followed by a fantastic and inspired duet from Dizzee Rascal and Florence off of Florence and the Machine. It was the classic and one of my all time favourite songs; “You Got The Love” which was originally by the Source featuring Candi Staton.

There followed a short film clip of Prince Harry extolling the virtues and wonderful charitable work of the Brits Trust. He came across as quite amusing and very human and showed that one is down wiv da kidz! Which coming from someone like me who is very anti royal is big praise indeed.

über Knobhead Jonathan Ross presented the Best International Female award to (no surprises here) Lady GaGa. her second of the night so far!

Dame Shirley Bassey presented the Solo British Female award, one which she herself actually won in 1977. It went to one of my current favourite singers, Lily Allen. Lily wore a red wig, which she claimed was to make it hard for the cameras to pick her out for that ‘disappointed’ shot had she not won. Incidentally she clearly seemed surprised and very giggly!

Jay Z and Alicia Keys then duetted on a storming “New York State Of Mind”. Mr Z is my second favourite rapper after Eminem and Alicia possess one of the finest soul voices of her generation.

Mika presented the Best International Album Award to Lady GaGa, her third and final Brit of the night. I believe the new Queen Of The Brits deserved every one of them!

Cheryl Cole then performed “Fight For Your Love” amidst a cast of a thousand dancers. For me the dark glasses and dance moves suggested our Cheryl is something af a Janet Jackson wannabe. I didn’t spot Cashley in the crowd though, perhaps he texted her earlier!

Alan Carr had the honour of giving the Best British Single Award to JLS, well that one was voted for by Sun readers so what do you expect?

Tom Ford (is he a fashion designer?) presented the Best British Album Brit to Florence and the Machine for the brilliant album ‘Lungs’. Florence gave a very gracious acceptance speech. ‘Lungs’ is one of my favourite albums of recent years I also loved her set at last years Reading Festival

Finally the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award who also had the honour of closing the show was Robbie Bloody Williams. He performed a medley of hits, including a song which I really do not like, “Angels” As regular readers might have guessed the appearance of Robbie was definitely not a highlight for me.

So in summary 3 Brits to Lady GaGa and sadly 2 to JLS and in my opinion that is 2 too many!

 To finish here are a few Brit News links for you;

Sky News

The Guardian

 

“I could be the ticket man at Fulham Broadway Station” March 27, 2009


You folks may be surprised to find that the usual format has returned for this post, it’s had a few days rest and is now ready to appear again, but dam you should see the rider it requested! I didn’t know it was possible to buy baby oil and lard in those kind of quantities! Talking of riders, is everyone aware of what a rider is? Yes I know it’s someone who sits on a horse Jes! But thanks for the input anyway. But that’s not what it is in this context. According to Wiki, which to be fair isn’t always 100% correct the ‘hospitality rider’ is a list of requests for the comfort of the artist on the day of the show. Sometimes this document is provided along with the technical rider; other times, it is provided much closer to the performance date. Thanks to those wonderful people at the ‘Smoking Gun’ website you can now view the recent riders of more than 270 acts, there is some interesting reading there, trust me! Click here to see it. Apparently one of David Bowie’s requirements is that each room must have at least two fans, I presume he means air coolers and not groupies! Hey did you see how I just sneaked in another DB reference?

I also feel bad that I didn’t post this earlier, but many of you will be aware of the death of British TV icon Wendy Richard. Wendy is perhaps best known for her roles as Miss Brahms in 70s sitcom ‘Are You Being Served’ and as Pauline Fowler in Eastenders. But wait I thought this was a music blog I hear you cry………. louder please! well yes you’re right it is a music blog and it is absolutely right to feature Wendy Richard in it too. She was the uncredited voice on Mike Sarne’s 1962 UK number one “Come Outside“. Wendy was paid just £15 for that session and the song went on to sell around a half a million copies. In 1964 she also made a cameo appearance in the Beatles movie film ‘Help!’ but her contribution sadly ended up on the cutting room floor.

presumably Wendy and Molly were discussing Mrs Slocombe's pussy ;-)

presumably Wendy and Molly were discussing Mrs Slocombe's pussy 😉

There are two birthdays today, Friday 27th March, well ok there are loads more, but just two on this post! Starting with Mr Tony Banks off of Genesis who is 59 today. He was a founding member of Genesis and along with Mike Rutherford one of the only two original members to have remained with the band for the whole of it’s existence, since 1967 in fact. In the early sixties Banks attended Charterhouse School in Sussex in the UK where he met Rutherford and also Peter Gabriel. Although Tony Banks has provided occasional vocals for Genesis and some on his solo work he has also employed an eclectic group of vocalists for his solo projects. These include Nik Kershaw, Toyah Willcox, Fish and Jim Diamond. Here is Tony with Genesis playing “Mama

Tony was very proud of his keyboard style kitchen work tops, but where the hell was the bloody sink?

Tony was very proud of his keyboard style kitchen work tops, but where the hell was the bloody sink?

Second and final birthday for today is that of Mariah Carey, she reaches the ripe old age of 39 today. Did you know that Mariah’s folks named her after the song “They Call The Wind Mariah” from the musical “Paint Your Wagon”. They called the wind Mariah eh? I can feel a fart joke coming on but I’ll resist! Wow that’s a first maybe I’m reaching maturity, bloody hell I hope not! Mariah is often referred to as the ‘Queen Of Pop’ (oops there’s another fart gag there surely?). Although it’s hardly an exclusive title as at various times the following divas have also been given that accolade; Celine Dion, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Madonna. Here comes Mariah with “Hero

That's Mariah on the left............. I think!

That's Mariah on the left............. I think!

On this day in1973 the late great (well the l’s & g’s have been resting too) Jerry Garcia off of the Grateful Dead was arrested for speeding in New Jersey. The Police discovered cocaine and LSD in his car. But strangely they discovered no speed, hmmmmm…… is that grounds for wrongful arrest? Jerry’s full name was Jerome John Garcia and he was named after the composer Jerome Kern. In 1987 Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream produced the Cherry Garcia flavour, the first ice cream ever named after a rock musician. For a month after Jerry’s death in 1995 the ice cream was produced using black cherries rather than the usual red as a form of mourning for Garcia. For all you Deadheads out there here is Jerry with the Dead and “Ripples

Could this be a deady bears picnic?

Could this be a deady bears picnic?

And finally on this day in 2000 the late great (well they did have a very, very good rest those ‘ole l’s & g’s) Ian Dury died after a long battle with cancer. When Ian first confirmed that he had cancer he was said to have told family and friends, “I haven’t got cancer, but cancer’s got me and it’s going to have to bloody deal with me!” That has to be th epitome of positive thinking, what a great man. Also the UK tabloids had been sniffing around and offering silly money for their ‘IAN DURY IN CANCER SHOCK’ headlines, but he beat them on that too. Ian went to the Guardian newspaper and gave them a UK press exclusive on his condition in exchange for a donation to a cancer charity. I’ll say it again, what a great man! Apparently the Blockheads are writing and recording again, this time with Dave The Draw, Dury’s friend and minder on vocals. It would have been all to easy to show a clip of “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, so I won’t, here’s “What A Waste” instead, with a great intro from Mr Peter Cook too, from the TV show Revolver!

Ian was never happy when he was in the papers, unless of course he was sleeping

Ian was never happy when he was in the papers, unless of course he was sleeping

 

 
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