A mixed bag of a post for you today, drawn from a few recent news stories. Firstly I would like to wish a posthumous 70th birthday to John Lennon. I find it incredible that it is now almost 30 years since he was cruelly gunned down in New York. Has that time gone quickly for you too? He is also in the news for something other than his birthday as well. The FBI have seized a set of Lennon’s fingerprints that he gave to New York police in 1976 as part of his green card application. The card was part of a memorabilia auction, but the FBI claim it is official government property and have taken it away. haven’t they got a big enough file on Lennon already? Frankly though, why go they need it, I mean he is unlikely to commit any crime is he? Read the story on the Beeb by clicking here.
Now for another very sad Beatles related story. The cast of Glee have now beaten the Beatles record of the most appearances on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart by a non solo act. They have a total of 75 compared to 71 for the Fab Four, they have also surpassed Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin who have 74 and 73 respectively. The only acts ahead of them right now are James Brown with 91 and Elvis Presley with 108. Click here to see the report.
It has been reported that soulful chanteuse Toni Braxton is filing for bankruptcy for the second time. She went bankrupt for the first time just 12 years ago. This time a heart condition caused her to cancel a number of Vegas shows. So I would like to wish her well in the sale of her assets and hope that she can soon ‘unbreak the bank’ and will soon be able to “Breathe Again“. I must confess that earlier this year I burnt the original and a few remixes of “Unbreak My Heart” for my good friends Glen and Jill. So now we know of Toni’s financial predicament I ought to as k them to buy the songs. Come on guys help the poor girl out!
Kurt Kobain’s letter in which he appears to rail against MTV is to be auctioned. He referred to the TV Channel as Empty TV and signed the letter as Kurdt Kobaineee. read about it at the NME by clicking here.
Finally for today it is now 25 years since A-ha released “Take On Me” accompanied by that wonderfully arty video featuring Morten Harket from the band along with Bunty Bailey off of Hot Gossip. Enjoy the video below and read all about it by clicking here.
Hello good people of the blogosphere. The regular readers amongst you may have noticed that I have been posting for a couple of weeks, that is largely because I have been on holiday in Spain. A rather lovely place nestled about halfway between Alicante and Valencia. It is called Javea and is also spelt as Xabia in Spanish, the strange thing is though that it is pronounced with an ‘H’ as in Havea. one of the reasons that I loved the place is that it is not over developed and there are hardly any English Pubs. Is there anyone out there who actually likes the idea of English pubs when abroad? Most of the UK Travel Guides give barely a mention of Javea, possibly because it is quite a popular resort with the Spanish, so maybe it is wise to keep it a secret. Catwoman and I stayed in a villa that we rented at ‘mates rates’ from friends, from there we could walk into town within 25 minutes and the drive took 5 to 10 minutes. It was great to be sitting by the pool or on the beach with the temperature in the 90s whilst the UK was very cold and wet. It was really wet when we arrived back at Leeds/ Bradford airport last night anyway.
I won’t bore you with all the details of the holiday but I will give a special mention to a couple of bars we visited;
Siesta – appropriately named as they let you hire large sun beds with canopies, you almost feel like you’re staying in one of Gaddafi’s tents. Great cocktails, great staff and some excellent chilled sounds.
Jalousie Cocktail Bar – we never sampled their proper cocktails, but the non-alcoholic ones were delicious as were their milkshakes.
Atalaya – probably one of the most chilled bars in town, you can relax in comfy sofas and look out over the sea and the beach while you drink and eat. The staff were great here too.
Obviously I need to bring this back around to music so here are a few things that happened in the music world while I was away. I haven’t done much research on these, they were in the UK newspapers that I bought or I picked them up from an occasional visit to the BBC site or just spotting other people’s newspaper headlines. I must say though that most of the news revolved around the Pope’s visit, so I’m damned glad I was out of the country.
I wonder what Morrissey thought of it?
Lady Gaga – the lady did wonders for my viewing figures while I was away, just over 30,000 in two weeks including a one day record of more than 6,000. She won 8 of her 13 nominations at the MTV awards and to celebrate she wore a meat dress. I guess she was putting her ‘steak’ in the ground or maybe she was bringing home the ‘bacon’ or giving the ‘cold shoulder’ or simply just ‘hamming it up’. Anyway it appears to have provoked a lot of debate about what meant, frankly though who gives a toss about its meaning? She is a wonderfully talented fruitloop and therefore fully qualified to grab attention in such a way and long may she continue! The BBC report includes a number of interpretations which are quite amusing in their seriousness, click here to read it.
George Michael jailed (and transferred) for driving under the influence (of dope in this case). He started off in Pentonville and was then transferred to a ‘softer’ prison. Pete Doherty and Boy George have both previously spent time in Pentonville. I have so far received many George Michael jokes as I suspect has everyone, but I won’t print those here. However the picture below is a superbly intelligent piece of graffiti. It shows the shop front of the Snappy Snaps shop that George hit with his car.
Apparently Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus were booked to sing for the Pope, although apparently he was already on his way out of the building when Susan was singing. That’s bloody rude isn’t it? Still at least he has now left the shores of our little third world country. Presumably he’s back in the Vatican now drafting a letter telling all those kiddy fiddler priests that they have been jolly naughty and not to do it again or they will be grounded for a week!
Alphonsus Cassell aka Arrow of “Hot Hot Hot” fame has died from brain cancer at his home in Montserrat. Now I reckon a Facebook campaign to get the song to number one should be kicked off, what do you think? Here he is singing the song at a benefit for Haiti in April this year.
Sacha Baron Cohen is chosen to play Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic. The film will apparently focus on the years leading up to what many see as the pinnacle of Queen’s career, their appearance at Live Aid in 1985. Personally I think that is a great choice, I reckon Mr Cohen will really do the role justice, what do you folks think? Here are Queen at Live Aid with, appropriately for this post, “Radio Ga Ga”
I want to finish with the stupendous new song from Cee Lo Green off of Gnarls Barkley, it’s called “Fuck You” and I love it. there will be a more radio friendly version available soon, called “Forget You”
A few trinkets of music news for you today. Firstly Wyclef Jean off of the Fugees seems likely to run for the presidency of Haiti in November. He has until 7th August to register. Although he now lives in Brooklyn he has always been fiercely proud of his Haitian roots. He was very prominent in supporting his fellow countrymen following the devastating earthquake in January. Personally I hope that he runs and wins the election, I suspect that he will be a breath of fresh air to politics. Read the story on the BBC by clicking here
The dress code in the Haitian Parliament was clearly far more relaxed than in Britain
It got me thinking about who we’d like to see enter politics from the music world. Clearly Bono would like to be considered, but whilst I am a U2 fan, Bono can be bloody annoying at times. I can think of a number of dead stars who might have made an interesting career in politics; John Lennon, Bob Marley and obviously Screaming Lord Sutch, who did partake very regularly in UK elections. He was also the longest-serving party leader in British politics I believe. He created and led the Monster Raving Looney Party for many years. Alice Cooper famously stood against Nixon as an independent candidate in the 1972 US elections. I think of living stars Paul Weller, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young and Jackson Browne would be good. What do you think?
In other news Lady GaGa has been nominated for a record 13 MTV Video Music Awards, next in line Eminem has just 8 nominations. GaGa is never short of a good quote and she didn’t let us down here either, having said that she was pleased that her number of nominations was an unlucky 13 she went on to say “God put me on Earth for three reasons – to make loud music, gay videos and make a damn ruckus!” I love that one! Read the story here on the BBC site, the awards themselves take place on 12th September in LA.
Sometimes GaGa just couldn’t be bothered with all the fancy dresses or maybe she was covering the Cranberries song “Linger(ie)”
In a separate story Lady GaGa has admitted to Vanity Fair magazine that she is an occasional user of cocaine. She also pointed out that she did not want her fans to take the drug. Maybe I’m a bit simple here, but if you don’t want the more gullible of your fans to do the drugs you do, then maybe not telling them might help! The BBC has the lowdown on that story, click here
Lady GaGa was so rich she could now afford to employ her own commode-bearer
Squeezing into that little box was easy, but Gordo, Dave and Nicky realised it was going to be bloody difficult to get out!
As I have said many times before this is ostensibly a music blog and therefore pretty much everything I write about gets taken in that direction. This post is no exception. Thursday 6th May sees another General Election in the UK, the 8th one that I have been eligible to vote at, having reached official voting age before the 1979 election.
If only it were true 🙂
I have never failed to cast my vote and I urge you to do the same. It is the apathetic voters that allow the extremists into power, we cannot let that happen with evil and deluded parties like the BNP. But this week those of us in the UK should also vote for change. I know that voting for change is somewhat of a cliché, however I believe that our first past the post system has now had its day. A system that would allow the party with fewer votes to win more seats in parliament is not right, is it?
Most of the fake posters for this election have been better than the real ones don't you think?
In many ways I don’t care who you vote for, but I do care that people actually get off their arse and use theirs. So don’t let the country down, let’s mobilise for a massive turnout!
While you consider who you vote for here are some alleged trivial facts about the leaders of the three main parties; Nick Clegg once set fire to a very rare cactus. Gordon Brown apparently eats nine bananas a day and David Cameron is a direct descendent of King William IV
As I said at the start this is not a vehicle to voice my political opinions, (well perhaps apart from my dislike of the BNP) it’s a music blog. So here are twenty political type songs for you to enjoy while watching the remaining election coverage this week. Enjoy! You can follow the election on the BBC or the Guardian(I will be). Oh and there is also a hidden track somewhere in this post, have you found it? The usual crap prize, subject to postage awaits the first person to tell me what it is and where it is!
Ball Of Confusion – Temptations. This song reminds me so much of my youth and for me is one of the greatest songs Norman Whitfield produced for the Temptations. There was also a pretty good cover produced for Tina Turner by Glenn Gregory and Martyn Ware off of the British Electric Foundation (BEF), also off of Heaven 17 and also once off of the Human League! Click here to listen to Tina’s version.
Elected – Alice Cooper. Probably one of my favourite Alice Cooper songs. Did you know he actually ran for the US Presidency in 1972? With a hook line of “They’re changing guards at President Palace, out goes Nixon and in comes Alice” Why I remember that line I don’t know, but it has been stuck in my head now for nearly 40 years! There was a cover of this song a few years ago in aid of Comic Relief which I believe was credited to Mr Bean and Bruce Dickinson off of Iron Maiden. Click here for that one!
Electioneering – Radiohead. Taken from the classic ‘OK Computer’ album and seen by many as one of the greatest political songs. It also takes a nice dig at the IMF too
Election Day – Arcadia. The Duran Duran offshoot that wasn’t the Power Station, well that’s my view. I would always prefer a band with Robert Palmer as vocalist rather than Simon Le Bon. Which one did you prefer?
The Politics Of Dancing – Re-Flex. In this list purely for the title! You know how low my opinion of most 80s stuff is! ‘Nuff said!
You Haven’t Done Nothing – Stevie Wonder. Now this is a superb song and so true of today’s politicians. If you listen carefully you can hear Stevie bringing the backing vocalists in when he says “Jackson Five come sing along” Yes, it was the Jackson clan providing the ‘doo do wops’ on this song
Abraham, Martin And John – Marvin Gaye. Motown really started to get politics in the late 60’s and early 70’s didn’t it, this was in advance of Marvin’s classic ‘What’s Going On’ album, more of which later. I believe that Dion off of Dion and the Belmonts also had a hit with this
Stand Down Margaret – The Beat. In the event her own party stood her down. Whilst I was really pleased that it happened it was pretty disloyal wasn’t it?
A Design For Life – Manic Street Preachers. For me the opening line says everything about when the working class really moved forward. “Libraries gave us power”
Police And Thieves – Clash. I will never tire of hearing this excellent cover of Junior Murvin’s brilliant song, oh and did I tell you that I consider the Clash to be the best band there has ever been? I did? I thought so
So Much Trouble In The World – Bob Marley And The Wailers. No political song list would be complete without Mr Marley in my opinion and there are so many good ones to choose from.
The President Wore Pearls – Lisa Simpson. What can I say about this? Lisa is trying to get elected but doesn’t think she will be cool enough
Anarchy For The UK – Sex Pistols. Well we may not have anarchy by Friday but we will probably have a hung parliament as opposed to some parliamentarians who should be hung. Duck islands and moats indeed!
Rocking In The Free World – Neil Young and Pearl Jam. Great combination which gives Mr Young extra added rock power, also a bloody good song too
Vote Baby Vote – Lady Kier off of Deee Lite. This was put together for an MTV special ‘Rock The Vote’ show, so it’s perhaps more a jingle than a song, but the message is very clear
I Wanna Grow Up To Be A Politician – Roger McGuinn off of the Byrds. I wonder if this is when politics became a career? I don’t know about you but the term career politician seems to be an oxymoron, with the emphasis on the moron bit for many of them!
Wake Up The Nation – Paul Weller. Is there no stopping this bloke? His last album ’22 Dreams’ was fantastic and the new one ‘Wake Up the Nation’ is even better in my opinion. Nice to hear him getting a tad angry too. How weird is it that Old Etonian David Cameron claims ‘Eton Rifles’ by the Jam as one of his favourite songs? Surely he can’t have listened to the lyrics can he?
Ghost Town – Specials. Reached number one at the height of Thatcher’s early years and amidst all the inner city rioting across the UK. It really summed up the nation at the time I think. It was the night the band performed this on Top Of The Pops that Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple told Jerry Dammers that they were leaving the band to form the Fun Boy Three. Whose first hit was, and still is, appropriate for politicians; “The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum”
What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye. Taken from one of my favourite albums of all time and the lyrics and message are still sadly relevant today, nearly 40 years after it’s release
Arrogance, Ignorance And Greed – Show Of Hands. One of Catwoman’s favourite bands and she has got me into them too. The message on this one fits pretty well all modern politicians and perhaps bankers too. Most of them are arrogant, ignorant greedy bastards aren’t they?
Hello once again good people of blogworld. I felt that it was about time I posted again as it’s been nearly a month, my excuse if you’re interested is that I started a new job just about a month ago and I have been just a little busy. But enough of that and on with the post!
Have you read in the press about the celebrations accompanying the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall? I can’t believe that it was 20 years ago, can you? Anyway part of the celebrations involved a concert near the site of the old east-west barrier which included a twenty minute set from U2. The whole shebang was promoted and I believe set up by MTV. I assume that they have some highly paid and highly skilled PR people working for them. Highly paid maybe but highly skilled I doubt very much. Why do I draw this conclusion? Well largely because in their infinite wisdom MTV decided to ensure that the 10,000 ticket holders were going to be the only people that would see the stage. How did they do this? Well they built a wall of course! Did no one see the irony in this? Many German Radio Stations with tickets to give away in competitions sent them back in protest and I must say that I don’t blame them. You can read about it here
Even the combined weight of the giant members of U2 couldn't crush MTV's Berlin Wall
It’s been a while since I last posted any criticism of the banking industry, but now those poor impoverished bankers (apologies I should have started that with a W rather than a B shouldn’t I?) are getting close to their bonus levels of old the time is surely ripe. What I will never understand is how a bunch of people who came close to destroying the whole industry and have caused serious damage to the world economy should be paid any form of bonus? What the f*ck is that all about. Anyway if that wasn’t bad enough it has been brought to my attention that Wall Street Banks Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have bullied their way to the front of the queue for the swine flu vaccine H1N1. At the same time many health care workers, pregnant women and people at risk are still waiting. Click here to read the story. It used to be said that in the event of a nuclear catastrophe in the world the creatures that would survive and thrive in post apocalyptic times would be rats and cockroaches. I believe that is still essentially true, however I think that bankers should also be added to that list although perhaps they are just rats and cockroaches already! What do you think? OK as I have said many times before that this is essentially a music blog so let me bring so music into it, something relevant to the story of course.
“Rat In Mi Kitchen” – UB40. The band bought their first instruments with £4,000 compensation that former lead singer Ali Campbell received from injuries he received in a bar fight as a 17-year-old. Compensation people, not a bonus ok!
Another story in yesterdays newspaper was about yet another failure in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Cerne. It has just been returned to service after nearly a year out of action and £23 million of repairs following a serious electrical fault in September 2008. The LHC in simple terms is trying to recreate conditions that existed just before the Big Bang that created the universe billions of years ago. The search for the elusive ‘god particle’ was stopped this time by another power cut. How was this caused? Well when an LHC support worker found the source of the outage he found a piece of bread being eaten by a bird! I wonder if the bread was the remains of an LHC workers lunch or was it manna from heaven? I thought I’d include the last comment to placate any creationists that might be reading this, you’re wrong but at least I placated you! You can read the Guardian’s article on this incident by clicking here. I must add that this is also one of the headlines of the year too! Big Bang Goes Phut As Bird Drops Baguette Into Cern Machinery!
This time those boffins at the large hadron collider in Cern had made sure that their plans for a big bang would not be upset by some bird brained idea. Crustice had to be seen to be done
“Danger High Voltage” – Electric Six. A rather excellent song and listen out for the counter point vocal from none other than Jack White off of the White Stripes, Raconteurs and Dead Weather
And finally I simply have to mention ITV’s X Factor, sadly I have been hooked beyond the point where all the no hopers have gone (well except for john and Edward, although more about them later). Finally this week John and Edward (or Jedward as the tabloids have christened them) made it into the bottom two this weekend. I would have expected Simon Cowell to use his casting vote to cast them out, but he chose to put it to the public vote which meant that Lucie Jones leaves the show. I never have had any respect for Louis Walsh but I used to maintain a degree of respect for Mr Cowell. However that has completely gone now. Given the opportunity to rid us of Jedward he copped out, or did he simply want to get rid of the act most likely to beat one of the acts he is mentoring. At this point I really hope that Jedward win the competition, not because I think that they have any talent or deserve to win, but simply because that would mean Mr Cowell would have to give these two walking toilet brushes a £1 million recording contract. Perhaps that would finally kill off awful TV shows like X Factor. Big Brother is dead now let’s kill the X Factor!