I was given the opportunity by those lovely people at subba-cultcha to review the upcoming Pete Doherty solo album. I think the album is……… well you’ll have to click here to read my review to find out what I think won’t you?
I was given the opportunity by those lovely people at subba-cultcha to review the upcoming Pete Doherty solo album. I think the album is……… well you’ll have to click here to read my review to find out what I think won’t you?
OK people after last year you know exactly how to stop the X Factor winner making it to the UK number one spot over Christmas this year. Last time around pop muppet Joe McElderry was beaten to the Christmas number one by the brilliant “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine. This year there is another opportunity to prevent the X Factor lording over the charts once again.
This time it is going to be ” 4’33” ” a recreation of John Cage’s most famous avant-garde work. Well ok Emperor’s New Clothes time here, it is in fact 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence. This may sound somewhat mental, however by downloading the piece you will be helping a number of charities including, Calm, a service for young men at risk of suicide, the British Tinnitus Association, Youth Music, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy and Sound & Music, a charity promoting challenging new music and sound art. On top of that you will dent the next X Factor Muppets progress.
Many artists have participated by errr….. recording their silence. Those include; Fyfe Dangerfield off of the Guillemots, Unkle’s James Lavelle, Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, some Kooks, Heaven 17, Matty off of the Infadels, Suggs off of Madness, Orbital, Pendulum and Billy Bragg. Pete Doherty apparently failed to turn up. Read the story here on the BBC News site. Join the Facebook campaign here and let’s make Cage Against The Machine the Christmas Number One this year!
By the way, I realise there is no real title to this post, but what did you expect?
This is a post for those regular readers that prefer looking at pictures! 🙂
Before she was famous the one time Ms Germanotta appeared in a public service film about sexual harassment. Clearly in those days she had no hype nor outrageous dress sense and indeed no “Paparazzi” either!
And here she is now in the Alejandro video
She is not the only star that has an old film in their closet. Check out this one from David Bowie, where as David Jones he represents the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men in an interview with Cliff Michelmore.
To accompany that here is a little compilation of Bowie’s hairstyles from the 60s through to 1990.
So then these two videos got me thinking that I ought to add a few pictures of music stars as young people or kids. Can you guess who these ones are? What do you think of them?
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.
Acqua Bar and Steakhouse – Good food, especially the fillet steak
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.
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”
Day 2 is here and my feet are blistered from wearing new and very heavy (steel toe capped) wellies, I wore them again today, but the forecast looks good for better shoes on day 3. The first band we saw was Soul Circus on the BBC Introducing stage. They were on when we arrived so we didn’t see their whole set, but they were very good, the vocalist in particular was excellent. We stayed at the Introducing stage for the next band, they were Penguin from Wakefield. I think it’s fair to say that they rock!
After that we paid our first visit of the weekend to the Alternative stage aka the Comedy tent, we were hoping to see Kevin Bridges but his flight back from Edinburgh (he had been there for the festival) was late. He was replaced by an American comedian and I use that word reluctantly, he calls himself Neil Hamburger but his real name is Greg Turkington. He got off on the wrong foot and went further down that same road throughout his act. Firstly he told all the folks that were there expecting Kevin Bridges that they could “fuck off” and then called those of us who remained “pieces of human shit”. The audience was to barrack him for his whole act with chants of “off, off, off” and “you’re shit and you know you are”. There was a fair array of missiles sent stage wards too. The only way he could have redeemed himself would have been if his jokes were funny, they weren’t! The funniest thing he said was “I guess I’ll do my encore now” as the compere opened the backstage curtains. But for us it was entertaining for us anyway!
Over to the Main Stage next for the fabulous Gaslight Anthem from New Jersey and they were an amazing live band. I know they are close to Bruce Springsteen and I reckon they could turn on a lot of the younger generation to Bruce. I would definitely pay to see these boys. A trek back to the Introducing Stage was next on the agenda for the mystery special guest slot. It was Everything Everything with a couple of acoustic songs and an interview for Radio 1’s Live Lounge. They finished with a Shakira cover and given what was going on in the crowd I’m amazed that they didn’t get a fit of the giggles. There was a guy on someone’s shoulders in the crowd and he was wearing a leather fetish mask in the shape of a dog’s head. If that wasn’t funny enough he then produced a large black strap on dildo which he fellated, much to our own and the rest of the audience’s amusement. If you re that person then get in touch, I’d be happy to give you a mention on the blog!
The Festival Republic stage was our next destination for I Blame Coco. It would be fair to say that Coco does pop and does it very well. (Feel free to insert your own Coco Pops joke here). We returned to the Comedy Tent after that in order to redress the Neil Hamburger experience. JJ Whitehead, a Canadian, was the performer and he is a very good comedian. Much of his act is really well thought out observational comedy and he works the audience really well. I loved the story about pretending to be retarded at Disney in Florida. The next band we saw, albeit briefly was Chapel Club. I liked the sound of them and will be checking them out on line, some good tunes. Then it was My Forever at the Introducing stage (we really have been there a lot!) This was jangly indie pop with an edge and done really well.
I don’t how I have managed to miss Frank Turner on all my many visits to this festival, but I didn’t miss him this time. He was abso-fucking-lutely brilliant. He has passion, power, excitement and an audience that love him. I also see him as a Billy Bragg for this generation and I will definitely be buying some of his material when I get home. I hope he’s back next year too. We stayed for the first part of Serge Tankian’s (off of System Of A Down) set. He had and orchestral ensemble and introduced the rest of his band as ‘The Flying ****s Of Chaos’ (word starred out for the more easily offended of you dear readers, well actually I’d prefer that my Mum didn’t see that I had used ‘that C word’, those of you who are not easily offended can click on the stars to see the missing word on Wikipedia). He was good but not as good as when I saw him before a couple of years back. We joined Nick’s son Jake, who was with his girlfriend Suzie in the Festival Republic tent to see Villagers. The lead singer Conor came out on his own for the first song, cue my joke about it being a small village which did amuse one Villagers fan standing next to me. This is a very good band and I would say genre defying too. I reckon that if the original Wicker Man movie had a house band this would be them. I can almost picture Britt Ekland’s body double dancing to them!
So now for the Libertines, their entrance was preceded by Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again”. This was all very sentimentally Albion, but guys cut the schmaltz, you did this for the money! I have seen them here twice before and as always they were very good, but for me they will never be a truly great band. I may take some stick for that comment, but folks it is just my opinion ok? The crowd loved them though and it seemed that over exuberance in the crowd caused a short break in their set in which Pete and Carl were escorted from the stage. Arcade Fire were today’s headliners and any reservations I had about them filling that were quickly blown away. They were bloody amazing and even managed a little dig at the previous night’s headliner’s Guns N Roses by saying how punctual they were. The vibrancy, energy and power they display is phenomenal. The stage set including the film projection was at times weird and disturbing, but added to an overall brilliant experience. Obviously as they have performed with David Bowie before I was hoping for an appearance by the great man, but despite seeing some helicopter traffic during their set it never happened. I guess I should have crossed my toes as well as the fingers!
So in summary, Day 2 was another excellent Reading day. We’re knackered but still looking forward with excitement to Day 3!
Hello once again dearest readers, this post is something of a news and catch up style post. Largely because apart from my Reading reports last weekend I haven’t posted much of late. So let’s start by clearing out my mail box folder that is titled ‘Blog Stuff’. So just be warned that you may have seen some of this stuff already, but I reckon it’s worth at least a second view anyway!
First up was the news from two weeks ago that Mr Robert Zimmerman (aka Bob Dylan) is to release a Christmas album this year. A number of commentators have suggested that this may damage his credibility. Somehow I don’t think so, many supposedly credible artists have recorded Christmas songs with no damage to their credibility. I mean how about the Dame’s (that’ll be Mr Bowie to the non regular readers) duet with Bing Crosby back in 1977 on “Peace On Earth/ Little Drummer Boy” Anyway the ‘DYLAN TO RELEASE CHRISTMAS ALBUM’ headline prompted the Independent newspaper in the UK to put together a top ten worst rock n roll career moves. It includes things like marrying your 13 year old cousin (Jerry Lee Lewis), showing your potential Nazi leanings (Clapton, Bowie et al), getting your non musical spouse/ girlfriend involved in your music a la John & Yoko, Paul & Linda, Pete & Kate, Pete & Jordan, er well ok the last one probably helped Peter Andre’s career really and that one isn’t in the article anyway, but I thought it was worth a mention. Anyway now you get the drift read the whole thing by clicking here. Incidentally Bowie’s supposed Nazi salute at Victoria Station on his return to London by train in 1976 was in my opinion just a wave, that looked just like a Nazi salute when captured in still photograph form. Why do I believe this you may ask? Well largely because I was there. I’m not usually the sad kind of fan who does things like that, but I only worked 5 minutes walk from Victoria at the time so I thought it was worth going, well that and the fact that I am a massive Bowie fan too!
Just about a week ago Living TV ran a report on the most expensive wedding singers, I have reprinted the top 12 and their prices below (the original source was in fact the New Zealand Herald);
1. The Rolling Stones – up to £5 million
2. Sir Elton John – up to £2 million
– Kylie Minogue – up to £2 million
4. Christina Aguilera – up to £1.5 million
5. George Michael – £1.3 million
6. Amy Winehouse – £1 million
– Sir Paul McCartney – £1 million
– Leona Lewis – £1 million
– Jennifer Lopez – £1 million
10. Barry Manilow – £750,000
11. Rod Stewart – £600,000
12. Duran Duran – £500,000
You could book me and my mobile disco for much less than any of those! I reckon that Gareth Gates and Leon Jackson would be up for paying you to appear at your nuptials celebration, what do you think? Why no Billy Idol? He could make some money by turning up at half a dozen weddings each weekend just to sing “White Wedding” at each one. Incidentally I found a wedding songs site, click here to check it out. Interestingly enough none of the above top 12 seem to feature much on any of the song lists, maybe that’s why they have stooped to playing weddings themselves methinks!
Many of you will have seen the many different subtitled versions of the clip taken from a film about Hitlers last days in his bunker in Berlin. The first one I saw was Adolf talking about the Chelsea versus Manchester United Champions League Final in 2008. Now that was very good, but one which I think is even better is as usual the same clip of film, but this time Hitler learns that Michael Jackson has died and will be unable to perform at the Fuhrer’s birthday celebrations. Click here to see it and let me know what you think of it as well.
If you have read any of my posts from the Reading Festival will know from the anguished comments added by my good friend Nick H that we managed to miss the appearance of Them Crooked Vultures a band (although back in the day the moniker would have been supergroup) that has John Paul Jones off of Led Zeppelin, Dave Grohl off of the Foo Fighters and Josh Homme off of Queens Of The Stone Age amongst it’s membership! So for all the rest of you that may also have missed them here is a video from their appearance at the Brixton Academy just before the Reading and Leeds festivals. Click here to see it and take comfort in the knowledge that they will be touring in the UK later this year.
And finally for today let’s end with some sad news, it has been reported today that Charlie Watts has left the Rolling Stones, just three years before their 50th Anniversary. 68 year old Charlie took a massive amount of persuading largely from KeithRichards to take part in the last Stones Tour and it seems that with the possibility mooted by Mick Jagger of more Stones activity next year the oldest member of the band has decided to quit. Now that is BIG news, let’s face it though Noel leaving Oasis doesn’t even begin to compare does it?
So until the next time dear readers, ain’t it a shame that Charlie Watts won’t be appearing at a wedding near you soon! 😉
Is it that time again already? Wow here we are on 12th March just a few days away from those nasty old Ides Of March. More of the Ides in a later post….. if I can be bothered, but either way just beware of them ok? Before we get down to business the regular readers among you may recall that the last time this blog included a fart clip the viewing figures went sky high, so here’s another one! This is a fart that disrupts a Council Meeting in the US. Click here to see it and I dare you, no I double dare you not to laugh!
So onto todays delights of which there are six; three birthdays and three ‘onthisdays’
Today would have been the 92nd birthday of Leonard Chess the founder of Chess Records. The label was home to some fantastic artists including John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Jimmy Reed. Mr Chess checked out of this mortal coil of a heart attack aged just 52 in 1969. Strangely enough I won a set of eight Chess compilation albums (these were those big 12 inch plastic things we called LPs back in the day) in around 1975. I think the series was called ‘Chess Golden Decades’ or something like that. It was from a competition in the late great (hey the l’s & g’s get an outing for a publication and not a person!) Record Mirror. The winner was the person who came up with the longest list of song titles that featured colours (“Little Red Rooster”, “Tie A Yellow Ribbon” you get the idea. Remember this was way before the internet was even a twinkle in a geeks eye. My winning list comprised of more than 400 titles which was more than double the person in second place. Now that just goes to prove that I have always been a sad anorak doesn’t it? OK not exactly a Chess classic but I couldn’t resist including Chuck Berry’s only UK number one, from 1972 it’s “My Ding A Ling”
Anyway back to Mr Chess, he was born in a part of Poland that is now in fact in Belarus. He was originally called Lejzor Czyz and his family changed his name when they arrived in the US in 1928. I guess that’s a good thing really, I mean do you really think Czyz Records would have had the same impact? The label was based in Chicago and many non Chess acts also recorded at their studios, including the Rolling Stones. The Stones immortalised the Chess address with an instrumental track called “2120 South Michigan” in the mid 60’s. Maurice White who was once a session drummer at Chess Studios eventually went on to form the magnificent Earth Wind And Fire. A band I saw live at Wembley in 1979 😉 So to make up for the earlier inclusion of “My Ding A Ling” here is John Lee Hooker with “Boom Boom”
Today is also the 40th birthday of one of my all time favourite guitarists, Mr Graham Coxon who will be treading the boards as part of a reformed Blur this year. Coxon played on all of Blur’s albums up to and including 1999’s ’13’. He also designed the cover for ’13’. He only featured on one track for the following album ‘Think Tank’ after a big fall out with the rest of the band, although clearly they seem pretty much reconciled now after he appeared at this years Brits to sing a version of “This Is A Low” with Damon Albarn. Graham has also been quite a prolific solo artist having released 6 albums under his own name, three of those while still with Blur. I have seen Blur twice once with Coxon and once without I definitely think they are much better with Graham in the fold. Here is Mr Coxon with the excellent “Freakin’ Out”
Finally on the birthdays front today is the 30th birthday of someone once famously described as a ‘rock n roll fuckwit’ by Pete Townshend. Who? Why it’s Mr Pete Doherty of course. He of Libertines, Babyshambles and now solo musical fame and a fair amount of infamy too. As in ‘infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it infamy’ So many tabloid inches have been covered with celebrity prattle about Pete so I won’t dwell on that. But in my opinion he is a great songwriter, I loved the Libertines and also Babyshambles too. I am definitely looking forward to his solo album. To return to something that was covered in a previous post, that something being Janie Jones. Pete featured on a charity cover of the Clash song “Janie Jones” in 2006. Other contributors were Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, Kooks and the Holloways. The song was recorded to raised funds for ‘Strummerville’ which is a foundation for new music set up shortly after Joe Strummer’s untimely death. here is Pete with Babyshambles doing the excellent “Albion” on the BBCs ‘Later With Jools Holland’
On this day in 1981 in another monumental piece of hype from Talcy Malcy himself (that’ll be Malcolm McLaren then) Bow Wow Wow were forced to cancel the first dates of a UK tour. The reason for the cancellation was that singer Annabella Lwin aged just 15 would have been guilty of truancy according to the Greater London Council. Incidentally McLaren was the bands manager. Bow Wow Wow were formed after Malcolm began to manage the original Adam And The Ants. He sacked Mr Ant and then brought in Annabella Lwin as the singer. Adam was quite adamant (and Adam Ant) that it did him no harm in the long run though. Lwin’s birth name was Myint Myint Aye, which apparently means High High Cool in Burmese, personally I would have used that as my stage name! here they are with a live rendition of “C30, C60, C90, Go“. Note the Adams & the Ants style Burundi drum beat.
On this day in 1988 the phenomenally talented (according to some, but not me) Rick Astley was number one in the US singles chart with “Never Gonna Give You Up” . The song was also a UK number one. Following something of an internet phenomenon last year with what became known as ‘RickRolling’ he found himself voted the ‘Best Act Ever’ at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Well I suppose even that is better than a win for Robbie W (give me a break I haven’t had a dig at for ages have I?) Anyway ‘Rickrolling’ was a means of sending someone the link to a Rick video by stealth. This led to around 30 million views of Rick videos and presumably 30 million people needing therapy have been a victim of ‘Rickrolling’ The song also gave writers and producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman their fourth UK number one when it topped the UK charts in 1987. They had previously hit the top slot with Dead Or Alive, Mel & Kim and Ferry Aid. OK prepare to be Rickrolled and I promise I’ll be gentle, here is Rick with “Never Gonna Give You Up”
And finally on this day in 2001 Judy Garland’s “Over The Rainbow” was voted the ‘Song Of The Century’ in a poll published in the US. The poll was produced by the R.I.A.A and was compiled from input by musicians, critics and fans. The highest placed UK act was the Rolling Stones with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. The Beatles reached number 28 with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The top ten was;
1. “Over the Rainbow,” Judy Garland
2. “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby
3. “This Land Is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie
4. “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
5. “American Pie,” Don McLean
6. “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” Andrews Sisters
7. “West Side Story” (album), original Broadway cast
8. “Take Me out to the Ball Game,” Billy Murray
9. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” Righteous Brothers
10. “The Entertainer,” Scott Joplin
I must say I’m somewhat surprised that the West Side Story soundtrack album made it into the top ten songs of the century, I mean it’s a whole bloody album! If you want to see the whole list just click here.
As many of you know tonight saw the music fraternity out once again for an annual awards/ lovefest. This time the NME Shockwaves Awards, mostly seen as a good alternative to the Brits and indeed often called the Brats. It has been argued by some that the NME awards have become too commercial these days. never as commercial as the Brits though, surely?
Anyway the results for tonight are
Godlike Genius Award goes to the Cure, but then we all knew that didn’t we? seeing as how it was announced weeks ago. There is a great free CD of Cure covers with this weeks NME
Outstanding Contribution to Music goes to Mercury Award and Brit winners, the fabulous Elbow. Oasis won Best British Band, no real surprise there, but to me they sound a little old and tired these days, especially on the new single “Falling Down” what do you think?
Noel Gallagher also won best blog, hey I’m going for that next year 😉
The magnificent Muse won Best Live Band and also Best Album Artwork for their excellent live album “HAARP” Have you heard it? On top of those two awards Matt Bellamy also won the sexiest man award. I love the band but Matt doesn’t really do it for me in that way, but then again I’m straight. Ladies (and gay men) was Matt Bellamy a good choice for sexiest man?
MGMT won two awards; Best New Band and Best Track for “Time To Pretend” I saw them supporting Radiohead last summer and they were bloody good
Alex Turner was the recipient of two awards; Best DVD for the “Arctic Monkeys Live At The Apollo” and Best Video for The Last Shadow Puppets “My Mistakes Were Made For You” However he did lose out in the Best Dressed award to his girlfriend Alexa Chung
Even those nice boys the Jonas Brothers won two awards, mind you those were Worst Album (“A Little Bit Longer”) and Worst Band
Barack Obama rather unsurprisingly won Hero Of The Year, now that is one I certainly agree with.
His predecessor in the White House George W Bush also won a well deserved award, for the 6th year in a row too, the Villain Of The Year. I wonder who it will go to next year now that Dubya won’t be around?
The Killers deservedly won Best International Band with fellow countrymen the Kings Of Leon getting the Best Album gong for the superb “Only By The Night”
Hayley Williams from Paramore won the Sexiest Woman prize and yes I can agree with that. Another woman, Amy Winehouse won the Worst Dressed award. Was she really that bad?
One of Amy’s buddies, Mr Pete Doherty won Best Solo Artist, well do forgive me but has he done that much from a solo point of view yet?
Best Dancefloor Filler was the rather good “Dance Wiv Me” by Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris
The rest of the awards were; Best Live Event – Glastonbury, Best TV Show – The Mighty Boosh, Best Website – youtube.com (well at least that proves the vote wasn’t rigged otherwise it would have gone to nme.com!)
, Best Venue – London Astoria and lastly the Philip Hall Radar Award – The Big Pink
Check out the pictures and post awards party news at the NME