It seems Rick Astley is playing some gigs composed entirely of Smiths’ songs…
A lot of people love to give advice. It certainly isn’t always welcome, but it can be beneficial. At other times, however, it can be downright funny…or strange.
Some of the tips I’ve heard over the years:
“Never lend money to an actor.” “Don’t eat bacon on a Tuesday.” “Don’t wash your hair in washing up liquid – if you go outside and it rains, your head with froth up.” “Park under a tree? You’ll be cleaning ‘til three.”
What’s the best, worst or oddest advice you’ve received?
Yes, it’s easy to mock, point and giggle with mirth – we all know it’s easier shouting the answers from our armchairs. That said, one of the contestants on this morning’s Popmaster was truly awful. The signs were there early on, when this exchange took place:
Ken: Ok, bonus rounds. You can have ‘Debut Hits’ or ‘the Hollies’.
Contestant: Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrmmmmm. I’ll go for ‘the Hollies’.
Ken: ‘The Hollies’ it is then.
Contestant: I hope it’s not about the music group the Hollies – I don’t know much about them.
Ken: (completely stumped but trying to be polite) Well, I, erm, it might not be…
It’s a music quiz with a round on the Hollies. What was she expecting? Questions on Christmas-related paraphernalia, or the tree family Aquifoliaceae? She eventually limped to six points (which is two right answers), demonstrating virtually no knowledge on what was a pretty easy and broad set of questions.
So, I ask: do any terrible quizzers or quiz answers come to mind? My personal favourite is the guy who, when asked to name a famous bridge, went for The Bridge Over Troubled Waters.
With the sad death of Florian Schneider, I was reminded today that he left Kraftwerk over an argument about a bicycle pump.
I seem to recall that Mickey Rourke turned down a role in a major 80’s film because he didn’t like the director’s jacket.
So, what’s the best/worst/most amusing reason someone has left a band…or turned down a project?
With a bit (ok, loads) of time on my grubby mittens, I have been clearing out the hundreds of CDs in my collection, and I’ve been attempting to marry the many lost CDs with their cases.
In doing so, I came across What’s the Story (Morning Glory) by Oasis. I haven’t listened to it all the way through since the week I bought it; if memory serves, you had to queue to buy it. I’ve given it a spin, and what a bloody average-to-poor album it is. Having done a bit of digging, I see that many reviews at the time called it out as being disappointing.
I’m no hater of Noelly G: he’s written some belters, but this?…A Gary Glitter sample? Two songs that last less than a minute to pad out the album? A song that blatantly lifts from the You and Me theme tune? Please: this album sold 22 million copies, and it was voted the best album since 1980 at the 2012 Brits.
Over to you. Am I being harsh? What other albums got a critical kicking but were loved by the public?
I see Johnnie Walker is starting a new Rock Show on Radio 2.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Johnnie, mainly from his time on the Radio 2 Drive time show. He’s the antithesis of the drivel-talking, fired-up local DJ: he clearly loves music, and he isn’t overly concerned with what’s popular or current. I wouldn’t say he’s changed my life, but he’s been a very welcome audio passenger in my car for many years.
On the other hand, I firmly believe that Chris Evans is a whoopee cushion in human form, and I have to change station whenever he’s on.
Which DJs do you like/remember fondly, and who makes you want to smash your wireless?
I voted Remain. I know a lot of people who voted Leave. A lot of them are, on the whole, nice people. I’m sure there are posters on here who voted Leave who are the same.
So…if Brexit never happens (and it may well not) and we never actually leave, what do you think will happen? I still think it makes sense to stay in, as the EU can be problematic, but the solution to the problem is worse than the problem.
Ok, we never leave. What happens… -politically in the UK? -in the EU? -to UK democracy in future? -to the far right? The left? -to already disillusioned voters? -to mainstream parties?
Let’s keep this civil!
I’ve just heard the new Beyoncé song, Spirit, which is from the new Lion King film. It truly is spectacularly awful.
Now, I have nothing particularly for or against Beyoncé, but you have to hear it: it’s a cigarette paper-thin idea polished within an inch of its life. They’ve thrown in what sounds like about eight choirs, let alone one. At various times, the anorexic melody threatens to turn into The Voice by John Farnham (who should probably ask his lawyers to have a quick listen).
What other examples of overblown, awful, we-know-it’s-crap-but-we’re-doing-our-best-with-it songs are there?
I’m not talking about the best songs put out under the ‘Beatles’ name that are, essentially, one person’s work, so no Let it Be, Across the Universe or, God forbid, Old Brown Shoe.
I’m not even really talking about the early Lennon/McCartney collaborations; I’m talking about the songs where three, if not all four, made a decent contribution to a great song (so none of the crappy instrumentals credited to all four).
Over to you…
John Bishop lives in house worth £6.8 million, despite having no visible hint of talent.
Just how much cash are comedians making?
There are certain songs that are just worn out. They may have been great at the time; they may have been dreadful. However, there are some songs that seem to reappear every few years like a drunken uncle double-dipping his his way through a Christmas buffet, and I, for one, have had enough:
Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow! – I beg you: no more of this twee rubbish. It’s not only been karaokeed to death, but every Xmas variety show features some twerp hamming it up whilst singing this.
All You Need is Love – I love the Beatles, but this hippy drivel is one of their worst moments. It seems to get covered (most recently by Noel Gallagher at the SPOTY) on a minute-by-minute basis, usually with the cynical intention of manufacturing a merciless sing-along. Who actually wants to hear this again?
Cry me a River – The sort of song only Michael Buble and hardcore karaoke buffs take seriously. Look everyone! I can REALLY sing! Appears on every album ever recorded where the cover features a man in a tuxedo with an undone bowtie.
What other songs never need to » Continue Reading.
We all know about the continual misuse of ‘literally’. Usually employed in a verbal volley by the likes of Jamie Redknapp, the word has shifted meaning; indeed, young Jamie may well end up being responsible for the death of the word ‘figuratively’ (I’m with Frasier Crane on this one).
What other words are changing their meaning? My nominations are ‘allude’ and ‘obsessed’.
‘Allude’ is traditionally defined as ‘suggest or call attention to indirectly; hint at’. Not any more. Again, it’s sportsmen doing the damage. A typical podcast will often flow along these lines:
FLINTOFF: “England football team were rubbish at the last tournament. Rubbish. They couldn’t pass, shoot or tackle. Pathetic.”
SAVAGE: “Yeah, as Fred’s just alluded to…”
No, Robbie. He wasn’t alluding – he was explicitly mentioning.
My second choice, ‘obsessed’, is traditionally defined as ‘preoccupy or fill the mind of (someone) continually and to a troubling extent’. I’m not sure it’s used in this way now. Here are some uses I’ve heard recently:
“I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones!” “I’m literally obsessed with Christmas films.”
I know both of the people who are responsible for the quotes above. They actually mean, » Continue Reading.
“You’ll meet someone when you least expect it.” This, frankly bizarre, nugget of wisdom gets thrown at all single people. If you’re taking a shower alone at midnight in a locked bathroom, surely this might qualify as a ‘least expect it’ moment? Did my future bride bob up from the U-bend and declare her amorous intent? Sadly not.
“He’s hit it with his favoured left foot.” how many left feet does he have?
What are your favourite clichés?
I heard Mary’s Prayer by Danny Wilson on the radio the other day. There’s a part of the lyrics where he says, “I used to be so careless/As if I couldn’t care less”… Hang on a minute, Danny boy, that’s what careless means, doesn’t it? What the devil are you on about?
What other slightly baffling lyrics are out there?
I recently saw – and enjoyed – T2: Trainspotting. As I’m sure most people have done, I re-watched the original, which had been a huge film when I was in my teens. The scene where Renton is detoxing was genuinely unsettling at the time, and the film as a whole has parts that certainly made you wince.
As I left the cinema, I began to wonder about the last cultural thing that genuinely shocked me. The internet allows a plethora of death, decay and nudity into all our lives – to the point where desensitisation occurs. It’s very difficult for films, bands and artists to shock; any actions designed to elicit shock seem somehow contrived and cheap.
So, my question is simple: what do you find shocking these days? And to what extent has ‘shock’ been sublimated into the everyday?
Pandora’s box is open, and it sure ain’t closing any time soon. The Internet has been a vehicle that’s brought us many wonderful things, but it’s also facilitated many nefarious endeavours.
So, my question is simple: what do you miss most about the pre-Internet era?
Ok folks, you get to banish your pet hates into Room 101, based on the following categories:
People: who winds you up? Modern Life: what is it about living today that makes you angry? Wild card: your chance to lob in any random pet hate.
For me, it’s the following:
People: Fiona Bruce. Arrrggggh! She just winds me up. Jolly hockey sticks and Oxbridge effortlessness. Modern Life: people who are more interested in their phones than engaging with human beings. Wildcard: grown men who play computer games. Stop it! Computers ended with Sonic the Hedgehog!
Over to you…
I like 5 songs by The Jam. I like 4 songs by Queen. I wouldn’t class myself as a fan of either group.
So what qualifies someone as ‘a fan’? Do you have to own an album? Have paid to see then live? Conversely, I know two people for whom Queen are their favourite band; they only own Queen’s Greatest Hits 1.
Over to you…when do you become a fan?
I’ve started to rediscover – and love – the songs of quiet reflection. You know the ones: songs that are the musical equivalent of a lonely walk to the pub, moving through the sighs of an autumn afternoon…just thinking about your life.
Song for the Asking – Simon and Garfunkel Most of the Time – Bob Dylan Falling in Love Again – Bryan Ferry
What are your favourite songs of quiet reflection?