With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Artist Chart – October 2021 (August and September 2021) October 12, 2021



Thanks to a site called Obscurify. It claims to tell you how obscure your listening on Spotify is. Compared to the rest of the UK I am now supposedly 98% more obscure than other users in the UK, that has increased from 90% in July! It also lists my most obscure artists, which currently are

Woke Up Dead

Promethium

Hats Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate

Kid Acne

Barry Gray

Woke Up Dead, Promethium and Hat’s Off Gentlemen It’s Adequate stay in the top 5 and there are new entries for the talented British artist Kid Acne and TV Theme legend Barry Gray!

So who were the top artists for August (24th), September (15th) and October 7th? Check the full lists below, but I can reveal that Sparks were chart toppers in August, Elvis Costello and the Attractions in September and Millie Jackson in October Surprisingly David Bowie was close but no cigar, finishing 17th, 3rd and 2nd respectively. There are a few new artists in there, notably Dexter, Cowgirl, Thirst and The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost. I was pleased to see Delilah Bon and the Tuts making an appearance too. Also plenty of the usual classic acts, including Rolling Stones, Elton John, Marvin Gaye and the Sex Pistols. Regular readers know that as I share this Spotify account with my wonderful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) a few artists finished much higher than they might have done if they were only my choices 🙂 Notably Gregory Porter and Billy Joel . Give Obscurify a spin and let me know what your chart looks like and how obscure your tastes are 🙂

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (October 7th 2021)

Millie Jackson
David Bowie
Sex Pistols
Elton John
Specials
Billy Joel
Scala and Kolacny Brothers
Emmylou Harris
T Rex
Skinner Brothers
Kid Acne
Paul Young
Stevie Wonder
Marianne Faithfull
Counting Crows
Steven Wilson
Wildhearts
Be Bop Deluxe
Kacy Musgraves
Brian Eno

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (September 15th 2021)

Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Thirst
David Bowie
Cowgirl
Billy Joel
The Police
Rolling Stones
Captain Ska
Sting
The Helicopter Of The Holy Ghost
Uriah Heep
Nick Lowe
Tom Robinson Band
The Tuts
Bad Manners
Faintest Idea
The Skints
Gentleman’s Dub Club
Catfish & The Bottlemen
MK

Mayhem’s Top 20 Artists on Spotify (August 24th 2021)

Sparks
Velvet Insane
Thin Lizzy
Gregory Porter
Marvin Gaye
Dexter
Nazareth
Billie Eilish
Genesis
Gil Scott-Heron
O’Jays
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Johnny Nash
Delilah Bon
Bob Marley & The Wailers
The Clash
David Bowie
Tin Machine
Avalanches
Kate Bush

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The Sparks Brothers – Film August 13, 2021

Filed under: Film,Review — justwilliam1959 @ 7:06 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Allegedly John Lennon once said that avant-garde was French for shit. Well maybe in some cases that might be true, although not in a Gallic linguistic way of course. I know of many exceptions, notably Sparks, I remember speaking to my cousin about them many years ago and she said they are a bit avant-garde, but she meant in the true sense of the phrase. Avant-garde describes “experimental or innovative art or design, or the group of people who make them and push the envelope in their field” and for me that sums up what Sparks are and have always been, true avant-garde and definitely not shit! Sparks, for me, are the kind of musicians that kind of disappear for a while and then when they make a return it is always worth checking out what they are doing. It is now 47 years since their first major hit, “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. Since their first in 1971 they have released 26 albums, and apart from, perhaps, 1997’s ‘Plagiarism’ there have been no duds and some absolute crackers. “Kimono My House’ (1974), ‘No. 1 in Heaven’ (1979) and ‘Lil’ Beethoven’ (2002) are my favourites, what are yours.

An act who have been around as long as Ron and Russell Mael deserve further exploration and investigation and Director Edgar Wright’s wonderful new documentary film does exactly that. I saw it at the cinema recently and I was totally captivated for the full 140 minutes. Along with some great historical TV and live concert footage what I really love about it is the ongoing interviewing and narration from the brothers Mael. On top of that there are great insights from fans from Steve Jones to Franz Ferdinand via Duran Duran and many more. I will go so far as to say this is one of the best music documentaries I have ever seen and I think most music fans will enjoy even if they don’t consider themselves Sparks fans. It is a really refreshingly honest film, at times brutally so which shows Ron and Russell as outstanding human beings and obviously magnificent and massive musical talents. Of all the “out there” and envelope pushing duos such as Soft Cell and the Pet Shop Boys, let’s be honest without Sparks they probably wouldn’t have happened in such a huge way! Get yourself to your local cinema and check this film out, you will not be disappointed!

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“I’m high on the chart, I’m a tip for the top” March 24, 2015


images

Back in the olden days a.k.a when I was somewhat younger than I am now the UK chart rundown show was on a Sunday. This is where it has remained for years. However now that there will be a unified release date for all music (presumably from all the major labels at least) the UK Chart Show on BBC Radio 1 will shortly be moving to the Friday drive time slot; 4pm to 6pm.

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That’s progress I suppose and that also raises the chance that I might listen to it again. I have fond memories of chart shows in the distant past. Sitting next to the radio taping your favourite songs and hoping that the first generation Smashie and Nicey characters didn’t talk over the intro or the fadeout. But one of my favourite things was the official announcement of the new chart on Radio 1 when it was on a Tuesday lunchtime. I always made sure that I had my transistor radio with me so that me and my mates at Bishopshalt School in Hillingdon could find out whether David Cassidy and the Osmonds were still clogging up the UK charts (they were), whether Slade had gone straight in at the top (they had) or whether Bowie would get his first number one single (yes but not until 1975 with a reissue of “Space Oddity“). Johnnie Walker was the bloke who usually read out the new chart on Tuesdays and he has always been one of my favourite broadcasters. He spoke over a chart music bed of the excellent “Time Is Tight” from Booker T and the MGs. Enjoy that tune now along with my favourite song about the charts; Pete Wingfield‘s superb “Eighteen With A Bullet” and a favourite of mine by the magnificent Mael Brothers a.k.a Sparks.

 

“When you turn pro you know she’ll let you know” April 1, 2014

Filed under: Trivia — justwilliam1959 @ 10:43 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

queenImagine how different music history might have been if Brian May had left Queen in 1974 just a short while before things really began to take off for them. It might have happened, during 1974 Queen were supporting Sparks in London and Ron Mael took the opportunity to ask Brian to become guitarist for Sparks. I wonder what direction each band would have taken had Mr May said yes? What do you think?

 

sparks

 

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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa film review August 8, 2013


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If you’re an Alan Partridge fan you will love the first big screen outing from Steve Coogan‘s classic comedy character. Alan is clearly the most talented British DJ since Smashie and Nicey. Coogan as usual plays the part of this inept, arrogant and troubled character to perfection. I loved the film and enjoyed a few laugh out loud moments.

Alan Partridge in the studio

Would Norwich be as well-known without the Partridge? Somehow I suspect not. The film plot centres around a takeover of Radio Norwich, a sacking and a hostage situation. All the usual supporting cast are here; Michael the Geordie bloke and Felicity Montagu, who plays the part of Alan’s long-suffering personal assistant Lynn, is magnificent. While you may think you won’t enjoy the film if you’ve not seen much of Alan Partridge I believe that you will. I’d love to hear what my regular readers think of the film so feel free to add your comments. I will close this post with three songs that feature in the film including a stone cold classic from Sparks and Giorgio Moroder which is played over the closing credits.

Alan Partridge Alpha Papa poster

 

 

“It shakes all over like a jelly fish, I kinda like it” July 24, 2009


Hello dear readers I’m back with another post and firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone who has read any of my blog posts. The total number of views reached 100,000 yesterday. Now that gives no clue as to how many ‘regulars’ there are out there so if you are a regular reader I would love to hear from you. (Mickey G you’re welcome to respond to this, but I know you’re a regular!)

Anyway as the number of views has hit six digits for the first time I thought I’d include a few statistics, wow how exciting does that sound……..NOT! But I’m going to do it anyway. Firstly the artists that most people have searched for and found there way to my blog are;

kate is in fact top of the class and definitely not a dunce. She is just borrowing Robbie Williams' hat :-)

Kate is in fact top of the class and definitely not a dunce. She is just borrowing Robbie Williams' hat 🙂

1 Kate Bush, 2 Pink Floyd, 3 Lily Allen, 4 Jackson Five, 5 Slipknot, 6 Iggy Pop, 7 Beatles, 8 Catwoman, 9 Michael Jackson and 10 Green Day This ranges from more than 10,000 hits for Kate and the Floyd and 1,400 for Green Day

Lily uses her new eco friendly banana microphone

Lily uses her new eco friendly banana microphone

Of course some of you may be familiar with the ‘Lily Allen Naked’ experiment we undertook here (if you’re not then check out the tags). The principle was not to lower the tone far enough to show any tabloid style naked pictures of the wonderfully talented Miss Allen, but simply to see how many people arrived here by using Lily Allen Naked as a search term. I can confirm that 220 people have done that. In a couple of strangely related incidents though 253 have searched for Ronan Keating Naked and a further 205 people for Eminem naked. There were also a handful of searches for Kate Bush naked and perhaps I shouldn’t mention the 4 people who searched for Meatloaf naked! (But for those who did search for Meatloaf Naked check the picture below, it’s just for you 😉

Meatloaf Naked, well there's no gravy on it is there?

Meatloaf Naked, well there's no gravy on it is there?

And finally for the stats the most viewed links from the blog have been Steal The Smile (my son’s excellent band – click their name to check them out!), Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” video and Wyclef’s “Stripper Song” video with 34, 26 and 19 views respectively. Catwoman asked me to point out that she loves statistics or maybe she said that she didn’t 😉

OK I’ve bored you enough withnumbers so let’s move on to some hopefully more interesting stuff. Firstly an item from yesterdays newspapers in the UK. A 46 year old Alice Cooper fan was fined £250 and also received a suspended jail term and a 3 month curfew order. He apparently removed his prosthetic leg and waved it around at Alice’s gig in the Southampton Guildhall. One member of the audience tried to stop him and was beaten up. To me this almost sounds like it could have been part of the one time Vincent Furnier’s act. Here is the link to the story in the Daily Telegraph. Let me know what you think of it.

Alice warns the unruly fan that if he hit's anyone esle with his false leg he'll cut the other one off too!

Alice warns the unruly fan that if he hits anyone else with his false leg he'll cut the other one off too!

Also in the news yesterday was the legendary (in my opinion) Mick Jones off of the Clash. He has opened a library/ exhibition of a stacks of his Clash memorabilia, clothing  and various other personal items. He calls it ‘one big living artwork’ Read about it here on Spinner.com. I would love to visit but I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it

Either Mick now runs a newspaper stand or this is some of his collection

Either Mick now runs a newspaper stand or this is some of his collection

Morrissey played at the Brixton Academy a few days ago and this is the film and music he played before he came on stage, bloody brilliant in my opinion! Did you guess the music? It’s “Lighten Up Morrissey” by Sparks! And for the hell of it here are the excellent Flaming Lips with a wonderful cover version of Madonna’s “Borderline” I would like to thank those wonderful folks at Mojo Magazine for pointing me to those two

Here’s a great blog for you, I know it’s not music related but I thought it was bloody funny it’s called Kemp Folds and features pictures of Ross Kemp off of Eastenders (aka Grant Mitchell) that have been folded. OK I know that sounds stupid but check it out by clicking here

Let’s finish today July 24th with a few ‘onthisdays’. firstly on this very day in 1967 all four of the Beatles and their then manager the late great (l’s & g’s are back ra ra ra) Brian Epstein signed a petition printed in The Times newspaper which called for the legalisation of cannabis. Well it seems like no one listened doesn’t it? Where can you use marijuana legally now apart from Amsterdam Coffee Shops?

On this day in 1997 Liam Gallagher off of Oasis was given a caution by police after admitting he had caused criminal damage following an altercation with a cyclist in Camden, London. Liam was travelling in a chauffeur-driven car (it’s a tough life being a rock star isn’t it?) when he grabbed the cyclist through the car window and broke his Ray Bans. Do you remember when Ray Bans were THE fashion item? There not as big these days are they? Anyway sticking with Oasis, when Noel Gallagher was the guitar tech for the Inspiral Carpets. The Carpets used to call him “Cot Death” because he slept so much.

I thought this was quite amusing. Thank you to Snipes.com

I thought this was quite amusing. Thank you to Snipes.com

And finally for the ‘onthisdays’ today we go back to 2002. A garden centre was sued by the late great (l & g’sback with a vengeance) Freddie Mercury’s former partner Mary Austin. the law suit accused Clifton Nurseries of killing a collection of Freddie’s prized Koi Fish. Austin had inherited the collection on his death. The claim was that 84 fish died when a the electricity which supplied power to the fishes environment (a temporary pond apparently) was accidentally turned off by a worker at the Garden Centre in Maida Vale, London. Apparently by the time he died Freddie had built up one of the biggest Koi collections in the UK. These are not the sort of fish you’d find in your local fish and chip shop, one Koi can be worth as much as £250,000.

Imagine that Battered Koi, Large Chips and Mushy Peas ...... mmmmmmmm :-)

Imagine that Battered Koi, Large Chips and Mushy Peas ...... mmmmmmmm 🙂

To finish let me say thank you once again to everyone who has stopped at this blog occasionally, visited regularly, read it, commented, clicked on the links or simply looked at the pictures! And as this has been a statistics lead numbers post here is a link to the wonderful “Living By Numbers” from New Musik

 

“You just took for granted that I want to skinny dip” March 17, 2009


Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

 

 
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