With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“Here I am a million miles away from home” August 11, 2017


How many Trekkies are there among my readers? How many of you are music lovers?. If you are a Trekkie and you love music you probably know this already, but a number of pop and rock stars have made appearances on Star Trek at some time. If you know of any that I have missed from this post please let me know. Iggy Pop played the Vorta overseer working for the Dominion in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode The Magnificent Ferengi.

Iggy Pop contemplates the Captain’s Log

Tom Morello off of Rage Against The Machine played  Son’a Officer / Crewman Mitchell in the 1998 movie Insurrection, and later in the Voyager episode Good Shepherd respectively.

Tom Morello – Trekking In The Name Of

Jane Wiedlin off of 80s girl band the Go-Go’s, played Trillya in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.

One time Miss America and later very successful singer and actress Vanessa Williams played Arandis in the 1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode Let He Who Is Without Sin…

Vanessa Williams – looks a bit alien for a Miss America

David Soul played Makora in the Original Series episode The Apple in 1967, which was only his third television role and before his big break in Starsky and Hutch.

David Soul – looking for his Silver Lady (btw that is him on the left)

Fleetwood Mac’s drummer and huge Star Trek fan, appeared as the Antedian Dignitary in the The New Generation episode Manhunt. You could be forgiven for not recognising him in it though!

The Rumours are true, Mick Fleetwood is an alien

 

“I hate to turn up out of the blue, uninvited” April 14, 2013


adele-has-it-all

A few days ago the one billionth song was downloaded in the UK only ten years after the legal download was first launched. Now that is quite a phenomenal performance isn’t it? The top 10 most downloaded songs in the UK are;

1. Adele – Someone Like You

2. Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger

3. Gotye ft Kimbra – Somebody I Used To Know

4. Black Eyed PeasI Gotta Feeling

5. Rihanna ft Calvin Harris – We Found Love

6. Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire

7. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe

8. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem

9. Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are (Amazing)

10. Jessie J – Price Tag

No real surprises there really, all artists of the modern age. Of course there have been the campaigns to get old songs in the chart via downloads. Some of these have been successful and many haven’t. We now have the annual let’s stop X Factor getting to the top at Christmas. That probably peaked with the success of Rage Against The Machine‘s “Killing In The Name”. There have also been the slightly more ridiculous campaigns which probably culminated in the arrival of Judy Garland’s “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” from the Wizard Of Oz at number two in the charts this week aimed at ‘celebrating’ the death of Margaret Thatcher. I was in two minds about this plan, but frankly right now I don’t think it feels right. The whole idea of celebrating anyones death is odd. Why not just get out on the streets to protest against what the current government is doing to the country. That makes more sense doesn’t it?

9gag-adele-funny-haha-lol-Favim.com-247593

 

“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;

 

“Fist in the air in the land of hypocrisy” November 2, 2011


One of the subscribers to the blog has reminded me of the plight of  Babar Ahmad, currently in prison for 7 years without charge or evidence. He needed 100,000 signatures on this petition site to trigger a debate in the Commons, and that might free him, or at last restart the justice system for him. I am pleased to say that I just signed and the total now stands at 100,106 (in the time it has taken me to compose this post it has risen to 101,126. But let’s try and push the total even further. The following text is lifted direct from Ben’s e mail. Please read it and more importantly please sign the petition. However you arrived at this site, if you’re a UK citizen please take the time to sign the petition.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885

Babar Ahmad’s story, widely covered in the Guardian and elsewhere, is a horrifying account of what the ‘war on terror’ has meant in particular for British Muslims.

Baba Ahmad has been in prison for seven years, pending extradition to the US on charges of terrorism for which no evidence has been given. If this petition gains enough signatures there will be a debate on his case in the House of Commons, which could increase his chances of going on trial prior to extradition. A trial would compel the evidence against him — if there is any — to be produced. Whether convicted or cleared, he would at least have had justice.

Babar Ahmad was originally arrested in 2003, assaulted at midnight in his home by several officers from the ‘territorial support group’ (the riot police), and then immediately released. A year later — 5 August 2004 — he was rearrested on an extradition warrant from the US and has been in prison since.

In 2007, the European Court of Human Rights suspended his extradition pending presentation of evidence. Under the Extradition Act 2003, the US does not have to provide evidence when seeking extradition from the UK, including for British citizens (which Ahmad is); there are stirrings of dissatisfaction about this within the current parliament.

In 2009 the Metropolitan Police admitted liability for assault during Ahmad’s first arrest and paid him £60,000 damages. This year, in a separate trial, the officers were found not guilty of assault. Evidence of the officers’ histories of racist assaults was not shared with the jury (see BBC story here, including CCTV footage of Ahmad being brought, injured, into police custody; see also this Guardian account, and this Guardian story; be warned that the accounts of the behaviour of police officers Roderick James-Bowen, Mark Jones, Nigel Cowley, and John Donohue are unpleasant).

Maybe you won’t will take much persuading about this, but anyway I urge you to sign the petition, and to circulate it to anyone who might also support it. The deal with the Number 10 ‘e-petitions’ site is that any petition that gets over 100,000 signatures must be debated in the Commons. The petition currently has 50,000 signatures, and the deadline is 10th November.

If extradited to the US, Baba Ahmad faces life in solitary confinement. He is not the only UK citizen still held in the UK without trial or evidence; he is just the longest-serving.

This is not just about justice for Baba Ahmad; it concerns the moral character of the entire UK legal and political system, and so concerns each of us personally: if it can happen to him, it can happen to me and you.

As I have said many times before, this is a music blog, so here are some appropriate(ish) songs;

 

“Everyone knows one and one makes two, I’m the one and the other one’s you” December 21, 2010


Sir Cliff laughs in the face of the recent cold snap by keeping his shirt open

After a mammoth Beatles Advent Calendar post yesterday, today, December 21st, brings you another person who has so far had three UK Christmas Number Ones. So let’s open that little cardboard flap and see who it is. You’ll firstly be taken back to Christmas 1960 when I was fast approaching the milestone of two years old. It was the first of Cliff Richard’s UK Christmas Number Ones and on this one he was backed by the Shadows, it is called “I Love You”. Cliff is the only act to have achieved UK Christmas Number ones in three separate decades. The other two were “Mistletoe And Wine” in 1988 and “Saviours Day” in 1990. Thankfully the awful, in my opinion anyway, Cliff’s “Millennium Prayer” didn’t make it to the top at Christmas 1999, however it did get to number one for two weeks and was deposed by Westlife, with “I Have A Dream/ Seasons In The Sun“. Of the two I’m really not sure which was the worst, but a 2004 VH1 poll registered “Millennium Prayer” as the worst number one ever. I presume that makes it officially a pile of number twos!

Sir Cliff prepares to celebrate his first UK Christmas Number One

After Hank and the boys moved on Cliff struggled to play his guitar parts on air guitar

Anyway onto the three songs that made it to that coveted UK Christmas Number One spot for Cliff. Firstly with “I Love You” backed by the Shadows in 1960. The song was written by Bruce Welch off of the Shadows and stayed at the top for just two weeks. John Lennon once said that ‘before Cliff and the Shadows there was nothing worth listening to in British Music’ Whilst Cliff went on to massive success without the Shadows, they too were a very successful band. Cliff has had a total of 14 UK number ones, sadly that record is now equalled by Westlife, which puts him and them just behind the Beatles on 17 and Elvis on 21. The Shadows had three number ones in their own right, including the fabulous “Apache” from 1960, and a further seven backing Cliff.

Sir Cliff's cunning plan to disguise himself as Santa wasn't a great success

Cliff waited 28 years for his next UK Christmas Number One which arrived in 1988, it was called “Mistletoe And Wine”, certainly not one of my favourites, but then, to each their own as they say! The song comes from a 1976 musical adaptation of Han’s Christian Andersen’s ‘The Little Match Girl‘. It was Cliff’s 99th UK single, which whether you like him or not is an astonishing record (no pun intended!) It was also his 12th UK number one and the biggest selling single of 1998, it spent 4 weeks at number one. Like many Christmas themed songs it often returns to the UK charts in December.

And there was me thinking that only Freddie Mercury could get away with clothes like that!

The third and so far final UK Christmas UK Number One from Cliff was “Saviours Day” in 1990. The video for the song was filmed in Dorset. It is one of only three UK Christmas Number Ones to remain at the top for just one week. An honour it shares with “Goodbye” from the Spice Girls in 1998 and “Killing In The Name” from Rage Against The Machine in 2009. At the time of writing Matt Cardle’s “When We Collide” has been at the chart summit for less than a week, but I expect that it will remain for a bit longer yet. I find it pretty sad that once again the X Factor gets the Christmas Number One slot. We must do better next year people, let’s make sure it doesn’t happen. We need another Rage Against The Machine moment, let’s start a Facebook campaign now!

Madonna, Amy Winehouse and Sir Cliff Richard in Lego..... a strange trio if you ask me!

 

“And now you do what they told ya, now you’re under control” December 16, 2010


Zack was now beginning to regret that pre gig curry

On December 16th you need to be a little careful when opening the cardboard door on my UK Christmas Number Ones Advent Calendar, this one may get a little loud! So let me take you way, way, way back through the sands of time to Christmas 2009. OK so I lied about the way, way, way back thing! Well we did it last year didn’t we? We stopped X Factor Muppet Joe McElderry from getting the Christmas number one. Thank you to everyone who bought Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” last year. I’d like to think we can do the same this year, but at the moment it doesn’t look like it, Matt Cardle’s cover of a Biffy Clyro number is sadly way ahead of the competition on the midweek sales chart.

Rage get their tackle out to tackle the PMRC

The Biffy song Simon Cowell chose for the winner was “Many Of Horror” but presumably that title was a little too surreal for X Factor fans so they changed it to “When We Collide”. Anyway back to last year, thanks to an amazing Facebook campaign from Jon and Tracy Morter “Killing In The Name” reigned supreme at Christmas. It might have only stayed there for one week, but people we did it! Now all we need is another campaign to get rid of those useless tossers also know as the coalition government!

This is exactly how they started their set at Reading when I saw them a couple of yeasr back

When “Killing In The Name” was originally released back in 1993 it only manged to make it to number 25 in the UK. But last Christmas it was the first UK Christmas number one to make it on downloads alone. The uncensored version of the song contains the Anglo Saxon expletive ‘fuck’ 17 times. This has managed to get a few people into trouble at various times. In 1993 Radio 1 DJ Bruno Brookes played the uncensored version on the weekly chart countdown show. Then in 2008 the song was inadvertently played over the speakers at an Asda supermarket in Preston, obviously many people complained. For the record, I would not have complained!

In August 2008 in a strange twist the aforementioned Biffy Clyro performed an acoustic version of the song for Jo Whiley‘s Live Lounge live from the Reading Festival. The band obeyed the strict instructions not to use the word fuck as it was a live broadcast. However the crowd didn’t follow that request and could be heard filling the supposedly offensive lyrics in themselves. Poor Jo was forced to apologise to her listeners. I was there that year but sadly I missed that performance.

 

” “ December 6, 2010


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.

If only he'd been clearer about his wish. He hadn't really wished for a 12 inch pianist had he?

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?

 

 
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