With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Couple billion in the whole wide world find another one ’cause she belongs to me” Blog Advent Calendar Day 15 December 15, 2014


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Well today is December 15th and therefore Day 15 in this years advent calendar blog posts. The fifteenth letter of the alphabet is very obviously ‘O’ and today I will being doing something which might surprise many regular readers. Todays entry in the ABC of British bands is One Direction, although I still like to refer to them as Wand Erection.

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The band members are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They came to prominence via the X-Factor in 2010 when they finished third in the contest. They all entered the contest as solo artists but didn’t make the cut until Simon Cowell saw the benefit of bringing them together. Matt Cardle won the contest that year while Rebecca Ferguson was in second place.

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1D have smashed chart records across the world, notably in the USA where they are the first band ever to have their first four albums reach number one on the Billboard chart. The record of the first three albums hitting the top of the US album chart was held by…… yes you guessed it, One Direction. Surprisingly for a boy band they have had more success in the albums chart than in the singles chart. They have had only three UK number one singles and none in the USA. They have had number one singles in Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and Ireland.

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They are certainly a manufactured boy band but perhaps not as controlled as the likes of Westlife. There isn’t much in the way of choreographed dance routines and insipid covers of old ballads. Having a watched a bit of footage in preparation for this post they seem to be pretty good live performers (Fuck! Did I really say that?). I thought that their performance of “Steal My Girl” at the BBC Music Awards 2014 was among the better showings on the night.

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Did you know that Liam has a strange fear of spoons? Or that Niall is not a big reader and that he once said that the only book that he had ever read was To Kill A Mockingbird? Harry Styles apparently wanted to be a lawyer before the bands X-Factor success. Rather fittingly for these advent calendar posts Louis was born on Christmas Eve. Zayn has a tattoo in arabic on his collar bone, the English translation is ‘be true to who you are’ OK that’s enough from me now feel free to enjoy a selection of Wand Erection’s finest.

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“Take me away from this big bad world and agree to marry me” January 4, 2014


ArticleImage-51385Blur, who have been a little inactive on the new music front recently launched some new merchandise which you can buy on-line. Is it branded trainers, hoodies, t-shirts, baseball caps and the like? No, it’s a tea set, beer mats and flat caps. Better hurry up if you want a Blur tea set though, apparently only 300 were made. Click here to get yours. Blimey next they’ll be selling whippets named after the band members and maybe branded pipes and slippers. What other random merchandising can we expect? Cup cakes from Ozzy Osbourne, BingoWings.com on-line bingo from Madonna, X-Factor ear plugs made from Matt Cardle’s ear wax, Robbie Williams and One Direction toilet paper, Olly Murs manure? All your suggestions would be very gratefully received.

 

“All the words are gonna bleed from me and I will sing no more” May 22, 2012


Matt gets in the posh grub to celebrate the sales of his album. A Fray Bentos each for everyone who bought the album

Matt Cardle has been dropped by Columbia Records and Marcus Collins may follow very soon. In terms of sales they have been the least successful winner and loser respectively. Am I surprised? Not in the slightest. Am I pleased? Only if this is a portent for the death of the X Factor and shows like it.

Columbia drop him and all his 'friends' disappear too. I wonder if he has eaten all those Fray Bentos pies yet?

Of course those conspiracy lovers may say Matt Cardle (or Matt Curdle as I like to call him) was dropped after his comments suggesting that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’. I can’t see that myself, however my theory about Marcus Collins is that if he does get dropped it will be for his awful cover version of the White Stripes classic, “Seven Nation Army“. So as a means of redressing the balance here are Jack and Meg with the original of the song. Enjoy!

The only thing keeping Marcus from being dragged from Columbia records are all the members of his fan club

 

“With your bonuses and expenses you shovelled down your throat. Now you bit the hand that fed you Dear God I hope you choke” January 3, 2012


I’d like to thank my friend Stuart O’Hara for suggesting the theme of this post. Edwyn Collins once said ‘too many protest singers, not enough protest songs’. Strangely that was a lyric from his 90s hit “A Girl Like You” which doesn’t seem to be a protest song itself. That dear reader is the thrust of this blog post; where are all the protest singers and protest songs? The world economy is collapsing, riot and revolution is rife, wars and indiscriminate bombings are commonplace and UK politics is at best inept and the USA is trillions of dollars in debt and dancing with the idea of electing an idiotic republican candidate far more stupid than even Dubya was. So where are all the protests from the music world?

Aside from the fact that a legitimate protest song would probably not get played on mainstream radio and would need to ‘go viral’ on-line, where the hell are they? Where are this generation’s Woody Guthries, Pete Seegers, Bob Dylans and Billy Braggs? OK I know there have been a few good attempts since the Specials summed up Britain in song in 1981 with “Ghost Town”. Notably “Killing In The Name Of” from Rage Against The Machine and perhaps “American Idiot” from Green Day. But what happened to the establishment/ ‘the man’ being scared of rock music? It’s all become too corporate and bland.

U2 and Coldplay have tried to use their muscle to protest against various wrongs in the world, but frankly are their hearts really in it? Radiohead have supported the free Tibet campaign amongst others, but could they do more? Dylan is getting too old, Bragg doesn’t have the fanbase size required (but is still flying the flag), Springsteen and Weller have been quiet of late on the protest front and Marvin Gaye, Marley, Lennon and Strummer are sadly no longer with us.

The environment must be right for a new movement to shake up the old order just like punk did in the 70s and rave and grunge did in the 80s and 90s. The charts are stuffed full of manipulated, impresario created pop muppets; Little Mix, Matt Cardle, Olly Murs etc. It is time to stand up and be counted good people of the blogosphere. We need some strong protest songs to unite all those fighting for freedom and change. Let’s shake up that complacent bunch of career politicians in Westminster and political ivory towers across the world. Frank Turner, Show Of Hands, Neil Young you can do this we need you now! Will somebody please step forward?

In the meantime here are some classic protest songs. I would love to hear your opinions of protest songs and singers;

 

“You’re worth more, you’re worth more than this, you can take a leap without the risk” December 23, 2011


Now that the wind had changed direction Matt's face would remain like that

It’s that time of year when we reflect as individuals on the highs and lows of our year and more importantly we decided what the best album and song of the year was. Many publications take part in this annual festivity and my newspaper of choice, the Guardian, is no exception. I expected to see the top 2o albums and songs of 2011 as voted by Guardian readers (including me) to show a similar profile to the lists of other publications and possibly of the critics employed by the newspaper.

Matt sold all his clothes to buy votes in the Guardian poll

However thanks to what I would call (rather begrudgingly) and excellently executed piece of guerilla voting by all of Matt Cardle‘s fans which must number in the high hundreds (ok that was wishful thinking on my part). They have managed to succeed in voting him into first place in both lists. Regular readers of this blog will know the general disdain I show the X factor and all it spawns and for me Matt Cardle is no exception. I find him insipid, limp, lacking charisma and at best an ok karaoke singer. Before the devout fans get on their high horses let me say that I have listened to his album before forming this opinion. I am not like the Christian Fundamentalists in the USA who burned Harry Potter books without having the good grace and common sense to read them first.

Being beaten by Matt Cardle had hurt Polly very deeply

Fair play to the Matt Cardle fans, but in my humblest of opinions his stuff shouldn’t even be close to the top twenty for the year or even the top 50 for the year, unless of course we are talking about the turkey awards. The number two slot in the albums list was taken by Polly Harvey‘s ‘Let England Shake’ and for the songs it was the sublime “Video Games” from Lana Del Ray. Click here to read the Guardian report on what I will refer to as Cardlegate.

The full lists are shown below. I have 11 of the albums and 12 of the songs if you’d like to begin to understand my own eclectic tastes. My own favourite song for the year is “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People, which is in the list and my favourite album is ’50 Words For Snow’ from Kate Bush. The latter sadly isn’t in the list;

Guardian Readers’ albums of 2011

20 Destroyer – Kaputt

19 Adele – 21

18 Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi

17 Björk – Biophilia

16 St Vincent – Strange Mercy

15 King Creosote & John Hopkins – Diamond Mine

14 The Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See

13 Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here

12 Josh T Pearson – Last of the Country Gentlemen

11 Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire to the Mountain

10 Metronomy – The English Riviera

9 Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

8 Katy B – On A Mission

7 The Horrors – Skying

6 Tom Waits – Bad as Me

5 James Blake – James Blake

4 Wild Beasts – Smother

3 Bon Iver – Bon Iver

2 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

1 Matt Cardle – Letters

Guardian Readers’ songs of 2011

20 St Vincent – Cruel

19 Nicola Roberts – Beat of My Drum

18 Azealia Banks – 212

17 Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

16 Summer Camp – Better Off Without You

15 Wild Beasts – Bed Of Nails

14 Bombay Bicycle Club – Shuffle

13 Lady Gaga – Born This Way

12 Bon Iver – Holocene

11 Joe Goddard – Gabriel

10 SBTRKT – Hold On

9 Laura Marling – Sophia

8 Metronomy – The Look

7 Radiohead – Lotus Flower

6 PJ Harvey – The Words That Maketh Murder

5 Adele – Someone Like You

4 M83 – Midnight City

3 The Horrors – Still Life

2 Lana Del Rey – Video Games

1 Matt Cardle – Starlight

Here are a few related videos, starting with one of my least favourite songs of the year “Run For Your Life” from Matt Cardle

 

“You had a dream of a promised land” October 19, 2011

Filed under: News,Rants — justwilliam1959 @ 8:48 pm
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News broke earlier this week that four members of UB40 have been declared bankrupt. That is bankrupt as in debt related rather than artistic bankruptcy I presume. Personally I loved their first album, but after that I thought they became the reggae equivalent of Status Quo and Ronseal. They did exactly what it said on the tin with as few original notes or original compositions as possible.

Their version of Neil Diamond’s song “Red Red Wine” is probably one of my least favourite songs and is nothing more than a poor carbon copy of the earlier reggae version by Tony Tribe. I recognise that the band were in a sense paying homage to their reggae heroes, but frankly how many times can you roll out the ‘Labour Of Love’ identikit covers concept before it becomes stale? In their favour they are clearly more talented than any X Factor contestant, but then I am also more talented than many of those.

Read the story of UB40s money woes here on the BBC, sadly it came about just a week after they had a Music Heritage plaque mounted in their honour at the Kings Heath, Birmingham pub that they performed at in 1979; The Hare and Hounds. I know it’s cruel, but I have a couple of questions;

Will they now have to complete one of their namesake forms; Unemployment Benefit form 40 a.k.a UB40?

How soon before they are joined in bankruptcy by any number of X Factor ‘success’; Matt Cardle, Joe McElderry et al?

In the meantime enjoy a couple of songs from the bands excellent first album;

 

“Is this just a silly game, that forces you to act this way” October 2, 2011


Regular readers of this blog know that I am not particularly fond of X Factor and all the crap that produces. I have taken a conscious decision to not watch it again. I saw 20 minutes of one episode of the new series and frankly it looks like the same old stuff yet again; a bunch of, at best, moderately talented individuals who might have a chance of a 12 month career in the music industry before being dropped. If you are a true music fan you probably never watch the show anyway. But for those of you who aren’t sure; The X Factor is NOT the future of rock ‘n’ roll. The X Factor DOES NOT produce or nurture great talent. The X Factor WOULD HAVE turned down the likes of Kate Bush or David Bowie. Olly Murs IS NOT rock ‘n’ roll (an appearance on Saturday Kitchen and on the bill at V Festival on the same day! A great reason to boycott the V Festival and go to Reading or Leeds instead) The X Factor IS JUST a light entertainment programme. I really mean all those kind of shows when I say X Factor; American Idol, Britain’s Got Talent etc.)

Probably more talented than most recent winners and finalists of the X Factor

In addition have you heard the new Matt Cardle single? It sounds like a song that Coldplay or Snow Patrol have rejected. Yes I know it was written by Gary Barlow off of Take That; but it is a bit of a dirge isn’t it. As for the stranglehold the show has on the Christmas number one we really need to create another Rage Against The Machine moment to prevent this years Joe Cardle or Matt McElderry (yes I know the names are juxtaposed!) or whatever identikit pop muppet wins. I propose something like the first Public Image Limited single “Public Image”, “White Riot” by the Clash or perhaps the Ramones with “I Wanna Be Sedated” I would love to hear your thoughts on that one. Check out the videos for those songs below.

Simon Cowell; So talented he can make the shape of his signature with his arms

I know many of you will, if you can be bothered, comment with a list of all the major successes these shows have produced. But it really would be a short list wouldn’t it? Personally I would only include Will Young on that list. Also how can a show overhaul its judging panel so extensively and still leave Louis Walsh in place? He’s about as useful as a teapot made of dog turds.

Louis looking remarkably like a dog turd teapot in my opinion

And finally spending four hours or whatever the hell it is each weekend watching such mindless drivel as the X Factor is a whole stack of hours that I will never get back. So why don’t we all do something different, something real. Go to a music venue, even if it’s just live music at a pub. just don’t sit in and allow yourself to become addicted such crap. Let’s start hoisting the flag for real music not puerile, manufactured shite that the X Factor drip feeds you with.

OK hit me with your comments good people! I thought for little while about what song to finish with. It had to be X Factor related yet not X Factor related at the same time. So it had to be Lauryn Hill with “Ex Factor”

 

 
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