Announcement after the tennis, apparently.
I think Peter Capadi regenerating to Michelle Gomez would be very, very good. Otherwise, Rhys Darby.
Any educated guesses out there?
Announcement after the tennis, apparently.
I think Peter Capadi regenerating to Michelle Gomez would be very, very good. Otherwise, Rhys Darby.
Any educated guesses out there?
Do you want to know what I did this week? Well…a while ago I had an idea that it would really good, right, if..instead of expensive gyms where there’s shouting and people seem to judge you – that there could be a dark place that played pop music quite loud. In that dark place, you could dance for half an hour and get your cardiovascular something or other sorted out by doing that.
In a local community page on Facebook I outlined the idea and I was deluged with comments and messages of support and hundreds of likes. Out there, on the streets, the mother of one of my kids friends also took me to one side and really encouraged me to set it up. So I did – last week.
A second Facebook post, publicising the forthcoming sessions got a similar frantic and positive reaction from the community.
On Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, I set up a loud speaker in a community hall and blasted pop music directly from Spotify playlists I constructed from 6am to 7am. A gold coin donation to NZ Kids charidee that my wife works for was the only requirement. It’s midwinter » Continue Reading.
*It’s harder than you think to come up with a blog title – but it’s the best I can do.
I was listening to Janet Jackson the other day – yeah? So what!? – anyway, this song came up “Someday is tonight” and it joined my occasional list of songs that sound like they should have been written by someone else. In this case, Green Gartside. There’s a lot of heavy breathing and rumpo-related sauciness but get to the chorus and I can imagine very clearly a Scritti Politti song. Can you?
Other contenders Peter Skellern You’re a Lady (c/b Pet Shop Boys) and Walking on the Milky Way (c/b Oasis).
Looks like there are going to be several of these, but none featuring Teresa May. And if she’s not turning up, Jeremy Corbyn says he won’t turn up either!
I think this is a big mistake – he should be volunteering to appear with the other leaders and be happy to face an empty lectern from the Conservative Party.
Corbyn could make this a theatrical spectacle to physically demonstrate what (I assume) he thinks this election is – a coup by right-wing Conservatives. If he plays it well, and with humour, it could even “go viral” and make lightbulbs go off in heads.
(John Motson voice)
He’s in front of an open goal! The ball is at his feet! Corbyn must score! … …oh. He’s wandered off!
I was surprised to see this get coverage in the UK. Three years ago, during the General Election, NZ’s ruling National Party used a piece of music in an ad called “Eminem-esque” which, as the title suggests, is very similar to an Eminem song – namely, Lose Yourself. And ithe music is basically the same. When you hear it, you immediately think of Lose Yourself.
There’s a three week High Court case going on about this issue. The NZ judicial system is similar to the UK.
When there are far more serious cases waiting their turn, why does a case like this take so long in the courts? For both sides of the dispute, money is not really a problem. The cynic in me makes me think that if you can afford it, do you get to bicker about trivial things for as long as you like?
For the record (ha!) I am fully in the Marshall Mathers camp in terms of what has happened. These oily little weasels can’t just nick stuff and make out that it isn’t reallly stolen. The current ruling party has been in place for 9 years and any party in power for » Continue Reading.
We are a self-deprecating bunch I think – but when did that behaviour get us anywhere, eh? It’s time to part the fronds of the canopy and let in the rays of sunlight onto the forest floor. Rise up – bathe in the light and share your talent.
Me? Thanks for asking! Scrabble. Yesterday I got the much envied and long-hoped for combination of letters that allowed me to put down CAZIQUE – delivering a tumescent 170 points. Apart from when I play Mrs BC (who is better than me), I think I am very hard to beat.
There’s more where that came from. I can do an uncanny impression of a NZ broadcaster called John Campbell. I say his name “John Campbell” in his voice and this always gets a double-take and a laugh. It’s that good. In the same vein, I can also do “David Baddiel”. When he is mentioned I like to say “What? Dayy-vid Baddiel?” in his exact, sarcasm-flecked tone of voice.
So let’s see what you’ve got. My act does have its limitations I admit so it may need padding out with other people’s material.
I am sure this will be a nice, calm 6 weeks while the country quietly rallies behind our PM to give her the majority she needs to deliver a fantastic Brexit deal. Or…?
Well…Depeche Mode having an amusing conversation with Ricky Gervais about David Bowie is up there for me. Here it is for your enjoyment – the Life on Mars? anecdote is very funny.
And the klaxon I refer to is not the intro to A Pain that I am Used To* – but the news that there’s a whole evening of Depecheness on BBC 4 (sic) on Friday – featuring a special concert “At the BBC” – I am thinking that this might be the one hour set they did recently to headline the 6 Music festival at Glasgow Barrowlands. A show that online reviewers universally have deemed to be ruddy brilliant. A real grower of a new album and a long tour coming up too – exciting times!
*fans will love that joke, honestly.
Well it seems the rumours are true. Just “dropped” by Kanye on Tidal is ” Boo!ska” a 10 minute track recorded by him and the blessed Kate. It’s widely known that he’s been a fan since childhood. This has been painstakingly worked on since the two finally met after one of her Before the Dawn shows.
What does sound it like? It’s really hard to describe. It starts as a deceptively simple ska number (Kate singing in Jamaican patois? Oh yes) but there’s a simmering backdrop of industrial noise with Kanye growling and snuffling (Hounds of Love reference?) that builds into an angry and noisy crescendo.
Kanye howls Boo! and Kate sings “Babooshka!” in a call-and-response way. They get worked up to a point where you really feel like you shouldn’t be listening to it, it sounds so emotional and intense. There’s a sequence near the end lasting over a minute where they are both screaming at the top of their voices. If you thought Yoko was a hard listen, wait til you hear this. But it somehow works
I listened to it with disbelief to begin with but on about listen 10 I am convinced that there is genius » Continue Reading.
Did you see their headline today? Next to a photo of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Teresa May is the headline “Never mind Brexit…Who won Legs-it!”.
I can imagine the wheezing guffaws from Paul Dacre’s office…and I don’t mind a shit joke in a headline – but it doesn’t make sense. What is “Legs-it”? How could you “win” “Legs-it”?
I know we can see both women’s legs in the picture – but the play on words relies totally on “legs-it” almost rhyming with Brexit. If we had Aiex Salmond next to David Cameron, seated in an alpha male knees-apart position, would it have been “Never mind Scotland – more like Scrot-Land! “
I doubt it. But even that, weak as iit is, is a joke that makes more sense than today’s effort.
My theory is that Paul Dacre came up with the joke and everyone laughed, And they had to go through with it. Hell’s teeth.
Most pop songs are about the generic concept of love. But some songs go one step further, highlighting aspects of a particular person – usually in code to keep things discreet.
You’re So Vain is apparently about bewildered envelope-fumbler-to-the-stars, Warren Beatty. Paul Simon in his song Graceland has a verse about Carrie Fisher. And I found out this week that Spandau Ballet’s True was written about Altered Images warbler-in-chief, Clare Grogan.
The last fact seems to have passed me by. Are there any others I should know about?
In 1983 Talking Heads released Speaking in Tongues. To say that this was hotly anticipated is an understatement. I’d fallen for the ‘heads hook line and sinker by then and I was ready for their next one, thinking that this was a band that was about to go stellar. Speaking in Tongues did not disappoint – an excellent album with an extremely strong first single, Burning Down the House.
However, their time in the sun didn’t actually come properly until later in the 80s. Burning Down the House didn’t chart and was not played on the radio. This perplexed me at the time but maybe the time just wasn’t right for them. The subsequent version by Tom Jones and the Cardigans made the song a hit – vindicating my view that it deserved more attention than it initially received in 1983. I would say now that it is one of Talking Heads’ best known songs.
As I suck on my pipe by the fireplace and wistfully recall my time this earth, I have to conclude that a song that ends up as a “classic” does not necessarily get the attention it deserves at the time of release. Several well » Continue Reading.
In the spirit of Dougie’s Whole of the Moon post, here is another wonderful pop song.
I saw Danny Wilson live and very entertaining they were too. This is their Streets of London so the show is built up towards the inevitable roof-raising moment when he sings “everything is wonderful”.
It’s an occasional memory – but a grim one. I once tuned to Radio 1 and heard the unmistakable lilt of the repetitive but beautiful melody of Black’s Wonderful Life. It hadn’t been a hit yet, but I had bought it a while earlier.
“Oh good”, I thought – and then “this is one of my favourite songs”
At this point I stopped thinking and listened…the couple of minutes that followed should have been a blissful swim in Colin Vearncombe’s perfect, sunshiney aural world. Here comes those feelings of serenity and inner peace that will kick in when I hear that song. Yay!
But instead, Col sings #No need to run and hide…it’s Ga-ry Davies on Radio wuuun…#. And then the song itself properly starts.
By now though, everything is spoiled. It’s slightly-off milk, it’s the cup of tea that’s been allowed to cool for a bit too long so it’s got a skin on top. It’s just not right is it?
And then I thought of another one of my favourite songs – “Atmospherics” by Tom Robinson. Similar thing happened there. The chorus “Listen to the radio…woo-oo…Listen to the radio” was changed to “Mike Read on » Continue Reading.
Yesterday while driving around, I listened to a news talk type show with people phoning in with their opinions about the day’s events.
An old-sounding bloke phoned in and started talking at some length about his son’s doctor appointment and all the logistics around that. In a croaky but upbeat voice, he took a very long time to get to the point of his call. The point being that he wanted to share a joke in a cartoon that he had read in a magazine while he was waiting for his son.
He said that the cartoon was of a delivery suite and of a doctor saying to a newborn baby “welcome to the rat race!”. Old bloke roars with laughter to polite cod-chuckling from the far-too-polite but bored rigid presenter.
FFS. Is that it? Reader, it took about 5 minutes of blathering to get there. Also the lengthy murmurings while he tried to recall the names of people that didn’t matter to the story.
But do you know what made it worse? The presenter asked his age and he said he was in his mid-50s!
In my time, countless solitary old men in pubs have talked to » Continue Reading.
I know that the default setting for Corbyn is that everyone is out to get him, but I think the main problem is his judgement during this Brexit process. I honestly think the Conservatives are there for the taking – a shambles. A blundering, out of his depth PM resigning as a result of a referendum he only agreed to in order to keep his own party from imploding.
Labour were weak during that period. Instead of being the Opposition, they remained largely silent. When the results came in, they were just as broken as the Tories and allowed the resignations of numerous shadow cabinet ministers to dominate the news just as much as the chaos from the PM and his pals.
Teresa May couldn’t believe her luck as she came in as the voice of calm reason, and steadied things – battening down hatches to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of dissention and ridicule from the Opposition. Except it hasn’t come. Teresa May’s charmed life as PM continues when the Opposition seem to be just as battered and bruised and are giving off an air of grim, defiant survival rather than doing their job.
It reminded me » Continue Reading.
A throwaway comment by 2017’s go-to bell end neo nazi Richard Spencer that Depeche Mode are the “official band of the alt-right”, has caused a wee bit of a stir.
People are asking how in the name of Arse did a white supremacist ever get the notion that Depeche Mode were in any way sympathetic to his cause? It’d be like Kate Hopkins following Billy Bragg on tour. However, I think I might know. He says that Music for the Masses is their best album. On that album is a track that is largely instrumental track called PIMPF. It starts with a simple piano melody that is repeated, a head of steam gathers as more instrumentation comes in – yes, just like the Intro and the Outro by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Apparently PIMPF was a sort of slang word for the younger boys in the Hitler Youth. Look at this cover of one of the magazines from the time.
So, yes, I can imagine a politically charged young boy getting attached to this album and applying any meaning he likes to it. Who among us didn’t think *we* were the Chosen Few when cutting a rug to » Continue Reading.
I have noticed that threads about films tend to go apeshit nutzoid curayzee. I can be very opinionated and emotional/irrational about music, no problems there. But with films I tend to enjoy them no matter what. I just like the whole cinema experience. The only time I have left a film is when I was sitting as part of a big group who had gone to see Sex and the City – the first one. I was sat next to a friend of mine and after about an hour (it’s about 3 hours) we decided to go for a pint.
I am sure that in the pre-VCR days, we tended to enjoy films rather more than we do now. A knockabout comedy that had ’em rolling in the aisles in the Odeon in Swanage on that magical Friday night, when you finally touched Verity Grimthorpe’s knee, somehow loses all of its magic when viewed years later on a tablet on the bus on the way to work.
Aside from all that, I don’t think I have enough knowledge of the film making process to offer withering dismissals of Hitchcock’s directorial foibles or how Tarantino chooses locations and organises lighting. » Continue Reading.
As is the tradition here at the Aspidistra and Hatstand, when someone asks the question “who is the least Afterword friendly artist?” – a little while later, when the momentum of that question loses pace – the opposite question is worth raising. But here’s the twist – we can all suggest, say, David Bowie – and very little argument will be forthcoming – but to distill things into one song – what one *song* is the most AW-friendly, it is hard to argue against “(We ain’t gonna play) Sun City”. Steve Van Zandt is not at all my cup of tea – but he has always struck me as a good sort – and many years ago he penned the song and roped in Brooce to help out. Before you know it, we have a bona fide protest song featuring seemingly dozens of performers that would attract mass Afterword nods of approval. In there is Run DMC, Jackson Browne, George Clinton, Grandmaster Flash, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Bono, Ringo, the Ramones, Carlos Santana, Hall and Oates and many many more. There’s even an Aussie in there in the gigantic form of Peter Garrett to appease the Southern Hemisphere contingent.
Did you know that when JFK was shot, everyone’s favourite pretend mandolin player, John Peel, was also in Dallas at the time? He didn’t witness the shooting (he was on the lavatory) but he did witness the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, with Jack Ruby close by.
Me? Thanks for asking. My story is nearly as astonishing. While looking through You Tube for lectures on Philosophy for my thesis, I chanced upon this clip of Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog. I’d seen it before (years ago) – but still thoroughly enjoyed it. I then realised that the other guest in the clip was Twiggy – and then it dawned on me that I actually attended that very recording of Aspel and Company in 1985. That’s me you can hear (among others) laughing at Spit doing press-ups!
It’s the only TV show recording I have been to. Cliff was also performing – swaying and miming to one of his songs. As such, it’s a neat little time capsule of the kind of nonsense that passed for entertainment in those days.
So that’s my story. What amazing things have you witnessed with your own peepers?
This linked post has been doing the rounds recently and there seems to be near-unanimous acceptance of its central message. Clever use of Big Data got Trump into the White House.
While the article is a bit scary and it does make you want to unplug yourself from the Internet grid, I think a bit of healthy scepticism is called for. In whose interest is it to claim that Big Data can be utilised to control any outcome at all? It’s a growing industry and the phrase Big Data currently makes ears prick up at Board Rooms across the world. There’s money to be made – and the way to do it is terrifyingly simple.
If you are in any data mining organisation at all – no matter what level you operate – you can truthfully bask in the glow of acclaimed Big Data success stories. In other industries you have to prove what *you* personally do or have done is tremendous enough to get business. However, Big Data is an industry which people barely understand and if you get the ear of a corporate decision maker, you can make claims that sound amazing – even if you had nothing » Continue Reading.
So there is going to be an Act of Parliament to trigger Article 50.
Now that’s all sorted out, why don’t we make absolutely sure that this is what we want to do by having a Second referendum? It’s important – we need to be sure. If the Leave vote prevails again, then fair enough, I promise to shut up forever on the subject.
It’s just that th 52:48 doesn’t seem like enough of a mandate to me. People voted without really knowing what was going to happen next. We do have some idea now – so let the people do it again. This time the vote can be within parliamentary constituencies so that when the MPs vote on it, they know exactly what their constituents want. If the people vote to leave, then the PM can get on with her negotiations with confidence.
We are making this up as we go along – no one will lose face. This was done so that David Cameron could keep control of his party. He failed. Now that this is water under the bridge – let’s just do it again.
As we hurtle speedily towards our death, it is common to list locations to visit before the final bucket is kicked by the croaking Grim Reaper while you shuffle off to the Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange to offload your This Mortal Coil records.
And so a “bucket list” can be made and ticked off as and when you stand atop Sugar Loaf Mountain with a carrot up your bum, swim with the buffalo, make love at the Dolphins or goad the tiny, incontinent Penguins of Rapa Nui. But I’m not interested in that kind of thing.
My bucket list is a little more prosaic. I’ve never been to Manchester or Hull. I’m 50 and the opportunity to go has not yet presented itself. I want to walk by the canal tork loyk Jeyums Nusbitt, or visit the Salford Lads Club and pose for a photo with cut outs of Rourke, Marr and Joyce. In Hull I want to make a call from a cream coloured telephone box and gaze in awestruck wonder at the Humber Bridge, while pretending to be Paul Heaton.
So, to me, these places seem exotic and flecked in tingling, exquisite mystery.
Reading through the posts about NYE I noticed people talking about collective listening to things like “we decided to have a night in listening to Shaky’s latest and downing a carafe of Dubonnet”. Now I love my wife dearly but I would never put her through the tortture of putting a record on and getting her to listen to it with me. As a young teenager, this is fine – but even then I was never happy with the social pressure of immediately having to react to music.
I was once asked around to a workmate’s flat just so he could show me his Bang & Olufsen turntable – which was indeed very nice. But then he produced a freshly-bought copy of an REM LP and put it on – telling me to sit in a certain part of the couch to get the full benefit of the sound, After about 30 seconds, when I thought I was done, he made it very clear that – no – I had to stay to the end of the side. All the while, he studied my face for appreciative noises/nods. Of course, I had to stay for side 2 as » Continue Reading.
I have long thought, particularly since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), that we need a revolution in the UK and most other western countries to reset our priorities. The GFC is a clinical sounding rebrand for the world banking system gambling away money and having their debts forgiven by Governments, so that they can continue trading. We bailed them out.
Except it didn’t quite go like that. This wasn’t lovely Jimmy Stewart holding up the $1 note in Its A Wonderful Life – so that his bank could continue to trade solvently. They took the money and carried on regardless – in fact the usury and sophistry escalated. And with a straight face, Governments – held to ransom by the very banks they saved – look to the people to make sacrifices. We’re in this together, after all. Meanwhile, the largest companies in the world and the President Elect thoroughly endorse tax avoidance under the guise of financial acumen, or as Trump puts it “it makes me smart”. They now realise, with barely concealed glee, that you can actually rob people in broad daylight and they don’t mind. You don’t need smoke and mirrors anymore.
I find this injustice so » Continue Reading.