Thursday, December 31, 2009

Retiring For 2009

With the impending end of 2009, I give you The Prodigy and World's On Fire.

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You - The Monkees

Everyone has at least one guilty pleasure right?

Written by Neil Diamond as a follow up to I'm A Believer.


Somewhere along the line Donny Osmond got his teeth all over it. *Shiver*

Lyrics...

Walk out,
Girl don't you walk out
We've got things to say
Talked out, let's have it talked out
Things will be okay

Girl
I don't want to fight
That I'm a little bit wrong
And you're a little bit right
I said girl
You know that it's true
It's a little bit me, (a little bit me)
And it's a little bit you... too

Don't know... just what I said wrong
But girl I apologize
Don't go... here's where you belong
So wipe the tears from your eyes

Girl
I don't want to find
That I'm a little bit wrong
And you're a little bit right
I said girl
You know that it's true
It's a little bit me
And it's a little bit you... too

Instrumental

Oh girl
I don't want to fight
I'm a little bit wrong
And you're a little bit right
I said girl
You know that it's true
It's a little bit me
And it's a little bit you... to

It's a little bit me
It's a little bit you
Girl don't go
No no no no no
Girl don't go
No no no no no
Hey girl

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fumes

So there we were, sitting on the kestrel for the sixth time since pogey when all of a sudden "Marmalade!". Olaf rocked up, swigging from the noggin, placed Harry on the goldfish and flew two Tuesdays over last month.

Spurious I thought. I mean, it's not been Tuesday for about the entire width of my neighbour. And she's flatter than a pair of squirrels. Back in the day of Cross Dressing Dave, Olaf would've had a back hander and had his noggin put firmly in his doo-waa, make no shortbread biscuits about it.

Every single day is the same as what's the weather with a pint of milk. Make no mistake. It's like having your toe stuck in a jam sandwich. Sticky like fudge with a dash of claustrophobic wand waving in pants 2 sizes too small.

"Aces", said Vince.

Friday, December 4, 2009

World Cup 2010 - South Africa


And England will play....

The USA...
Algeria...
Slovenia!

That'll do nicely, cheers.

I am beyond excited, I absolutely love the World Cup. My country is the home of football and during the big tournaments there is no better place to be than right here. Unless you've got a ticket to the actual game of course.

C'mon England!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

And Inhale...

Standing on the tube the other day, coming home from work, when a young lady gets on at one of the stops. She leans against the inside of the train, shuffling from one foot to the other. She's not unattractive but there is something odd about the way she's behaving. I can't quite put my finger on it. So a curious extra glance is needed...

She pulls on her collar, moves her head towards her shoulder and takes a breath in through her nose. I instantly recognise the manoeuvre. It's the "Is is me that smells a little funny?" check that we've probably all done at some point. There's nothing worse than ponging in public.

My sympathy goes out to her as she double checks. I think, if it is her then I hope she hasn't got far to go and that she isn't meeting anyone important. If it's not her, then it's probably just the normal day to day squalid stench of London's Underground network.

But my sympathies turn to confusion. Her hand disappears inside her top, her digits having a good rummage around her pit. I try not to stare, but the Curiosity Creature has a firm hold on my eyeballs. I hope my efforts at nonchalance don't attract her attention because I really want to know where this is going. Confusion turns to mild shock as she withdraws her hand and places it under her nose...and there's the inhale. She drops her hand by her side.

Did she just sniff her fingers, I think to myself? Surely not?

My confusion and mild shock are replaced with a gargantuan effort to stifle the biggest laugh known to man when she double, then treble checks her pinkies for any evidence of pong with ever increasing lungfuls of air.

I exit at the next stop, grateful that she didn't have an itchy butt crack.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bohemian Rhapsody - The Muppets

Genius.

The line for me is "I see a silhouetteo of a clam..."



Another very delayed new Song of the Week. This time round it's Missing Andy and Subway. Saw them last week with Ted at the Dublin Castle in Camden. They provided the nights highlight with a great performance. Please double click the video to see their Youtube channel. I'd hyperlink it but it doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Listen Up

This song is peaches and cream and kicks off my weekend. The weekend where I work both Saturday and Sunday. Which is breasticles.


And here are the lyrics...

Listen up
What's the time said today
I'm gonna speak my mind
Take me up to the top of the world
I wanna see my crime

Day by day
There's a man in a suit
Who's gonna make you pay
For the thoughts that you think and the words
They won't let you say

One fine day
I'm gonna leave you all behind
It wouldn't be so bad
If I had more time

But I've been sailing down this river alone
And I'm still trying to find my way back home
But I don't believe in magic
Life is automatic
But I don't mind being on my own
Said that I don't mind being on my own

Listen up
What's the time said today
I'm gonna speak my mind
Take me up to the top of the world
I wanna see my crime

Day by day
There's a man in a suit
Who's gonna make you pay
For the thoughts that you think and the words
They won't let you say

One fine day
We're gonna leave it all behind
It wouldn't be so bad
If we had more time

I've been sailing down this river alone
But I'm still trying to find my way back home
And I don't believe in magic
Life is automatic
But I don't mind being on my own
Said that I don't mind being on my own
No, I don't mind being on my own
I said I don't mind being on my own

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Chance To Remember


Today I went to Whitehall, along with several thousand others, to pay tribute to those servicemen that have given their lives in wars past and present. Wreaths of Poppy's are placed at the foot of the Cenotaph by the Royal Family and other prominent figures to honour "The Glorious Dead".

I went with CF, passing through metal detectors and searches, guarded by Armed Police, and watched over by black clad figures on the roof tops with guns. A sign of our times and an irony, considering the event, that wasn't lost on me. We joined the masses of people that had taken just a few hours out of their day to remember. To remember those that had made the ultimate sacrifice. War is never good, or glorious in my eyes, but men and women of all ages, colours and creeds gave up more than most of us will ever do to protect the ones they loved. And to save all of those that they would never meet or know. They fought and died for our freedom and deserve our respect and remembrance.

Wednesday will be the 11th of November, don't forget to pay your respects at 11am.

Never forget to Remember.

Oooh,,,

Yeah, new presents for me.


I've been trying to find some white Adidas Country trainers, navy stripes & gum sole in a UK size 12 for ages without any success whatsoever. If anyone out there knows where I can get some feel free to drop me a line. Ta.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here Comes The Weekend

About fucking time. Seriously out of sorts this week, heads not where it should be and I'm suffering from major Grump. Must be getting close to that end of year bollocks. Hair cut tomorrow, along with new clobber (work stuff unfortunately), but it's a Start!


If we tell you that you've got two days to live
Then don't complain, 'cos that's one more than you'd get in Zaire -
So don't hang around and be foolish
Do something constructive with your weekend -
From Monday morning I work for Friday nights
Collect my wages, then try to paint on the smell of soap -
'Cause tonight I get ready early
Score what I need and go pick a girl up
It seems like ages since we had some fun -
Here comes the weekend - I get to see the girls
Long live the weekend, the weekend is here
(the weekend starts here)
Everything feels right now
I know why I'm alive now
Everything else is a lie now
Now I know why I'm here
Here comes the weekend - I'm gonna do my head
Long live the weekend, the weekend is dead

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autobiographical?

Way out on top of my recently listened to tracks list is Led Zeppelin's Over The Hills And Far Away. This song is on their Houses Of The Holy album and is quite brilliant. Mind you, so is the album. In fact, if you haven't got it then go buy it. Immediately. I'll even put a link HERE so you can click it right now and use the wonder that is One-Click Purchasing....ooooh yum. I've posted up a video from Youtube below that has a bit of a dodgy recording of the studio version. I'll confess that I wasn't overly impressed by the live versions that I saw. I think maybe a case of too much sex and drugs and not enough rock 'n' roll.



Hey, lady, you got the love I need,
Maybe more than enough.
Oh, Darlin', Darlin', Darlin', walk a while with me,
Oh, you got so much, so much, so much.

Many have I loved, and many times been bitten,
many times I've gazed along the open road.

Many times I've lied and many times I've listened,
many times I've wondered how much there is to know.

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and a pocketful of gold.

Mellow is the man who knows what he's been missin',
many many men can't see the open road.

Many is a word that only leaves you guessin',
Guessin' 'bout a thing you really ought to know.

You really ought to know.
I really ought to know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

D.I.Y. In Pictures Part III

Yeah I know, I've been slacking in the writing department for...well...most of this year really. However, over the last couple of months it's mainly because I've been so damn busy. One of my own personal projects has included our living room. In a nutshell, it was a shit hole. There was debris on the ceiling from a party several years ago (no, not that, but that silly string stuff, luminous freakin' yellow too). The carpet was old and black (yes, the previous owner did have a thing for decking out the whole place with black carpet. Idiot). The wallpaper was twisted and bubbled, we had no real storage, and the 3 sofa's took up way too much room. So when I had some spare time (jobless) I decided it was time for a change...

Jokes about a cup of tea being on the floor prior to any evidence of work having been done will be ignored...it was my Thinking Time.



Yet another bay window suffering from moisture. Sigh.

The walls were heavily sanded to try and get shot of some of the texture on the wallpaper. Ideally I'd like to have had the whole place replastered, but it would've cost way more than I could spend at the moment. Instead, bubbles and twists were cut out, prepped and filled then sanded.

The light switch that was hanging off was definitely on my list of things to fix...

Then the mess arrived. By the bucket load. Brilliant. Love a bit of mess sometimes.



I started off with making some storage. Really showed up how different the alcoves were in width. I think our house was built by guess work. Nothing is level or square anywhere. I ripped out the carpet, built a bay window seat, sanded, filled, painted, swept, hoovered, sang a bit, drank a box and a half of tea, got to know people that also live on my street, ordered carpet, argued with Carpet Right (Right? My Arse), got curtains and throws, and had the odd smug grin. And here are the photos of the end-ish result.







A new TV (reconditioned jobby off of the Great God Amazon) is on its way. And at some point some pictures will go up (I'd like a Weller picture up there...don't think the others are all that keen unfortunately). A rug of some description will probably go down and the bay window seat, that has storage space inside via a handy lid, will have a cushion made for it. I dare say that I'll put something inside the now vacant fireplace, if only to please my brother. He pestered me to put a bowl of stones or something in it. I'm thinking a Goblin. That'd be pretty cool to have in the fireplace. Or a Smurf band. Ones that could play whatever you wanted. I'd have them play the new Song of the Week, Give It Up by Datarock which features on their newest album, Red. I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fistful Of Wool*

Taking a full load of socks and boxers to the washing machine is quite possibly one of the most complicated tasks known to man. Pun? Quite probably.

Separating colours from whites? No problem at all. Picking up all the socks and boxers in one go? Not a chance in hell. It's like trying to hold sand. The more I pick up from the floor, the more I drop. After several minutes of pick-up-sockerobics, everything is finely balanced and going well right up until that movement thing. Even turning on the spot is a challenge. I can see the pile shifting as I rotate slowly, resisting the urge to use my chin as a third hand (c'mon, old socks on my face? Yeah, right). The sense of inevitability oozes through me like treacle through a sieve. I'm going to lose another item...

...yep, there it goes...

Now I'm facing the right way, I'm left with an agonising decision to make. Do I attempt to pick up the fallen laundry and risk another dose of socksercise? Or go for the sock-foot-flick manoeuvre all the way down the stairs, through the hall and into the kitchen? This obviously carries more risk than the first option, but the sense of achievement following success is infinitely higher.

Opting for the pick up, I manage to hold on to everything. Although I do have to succumb to chinsock otherwise I'd have been there all afternoon. Even the walk to the kitchen isn't a...erm...walk in the park *ahem*. It's got to be done backwards. The walk that is. Otherwise you run the risk of missing a dropped sock after the machine is on. And I really hate having to wash just one sock so that I've got the pair.

I suppose this could all be changed by simply taking the wash basket, full of clothes, to the machine. Which would've saved me time. And made this a really short post. And quite staggeringly boring.

Mind you, I have just written about carrying socks.

Yeah, time to get out.

*Rage Against The Machine...get it?? That's bleedin' clever that is!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

D.I.Y. In Pictures Part II

I'm not really sure it should be called D.I.Y. because it's my actual job, but I'm sure you get the idea. Here are a couple of examples of what I've been up to recently. If you wish to see Part I then click Here.

The first set of photos belong to the house a couple of doors down from me. The previous occupant moved out and it was in dire need of some work. Broken curtains, shitty furniture, damp and 15 year old carpet with no underlay were just some of the obstacles that needed to be overcome.



This is a prime example of how disgusting some people can be. The grey line on top of everything is actually dust. Proper thick dust. I know the carpet is old, but seriously, ever heard of a hoover??

The small crack in the wallpaper turned out to be damp that covered the entire bay window wall. Removal of everything and replastering was the order of the day.

And so...after getting shot of the carpet, fixing the floorboards, replastering, filling, sanding, stain blocking, PVA-ing, caulking, priming, undercoating, more painting and a new carpet and furniture...the room now looks like this...





Next up is a job I've just finished elsewhere. For 2 quite lovely ladies. The task was to remove the quite delectable wallpaper from the walls, build some cupboards and put up some shelves, then paint. But with so many jobs, there were small hiccups.


Removing the wallpaper exposed walls that had seen better decades. There was little choice but to call in the plasterers and have the whole room skimmed. So here's the second stage.



Next up was to start the painting before the chippy arrived to put the cabinets together. After much furious sanding, painting, filling, more sanding, more painting and yours truly putting the shelves up (which are VERY level I'll have you know) the end product looks a little like this...




I love getting jobs that involve a bit more than just putting paint on walls. There's much more of a sense of achievement afterwards, which is a rare feeling having done this type of work for so long.

A much delayed update to Song of the Week, but I think you may agree that it's worth waiting for. I watched Jools Holland again the other night and Muse were on. So click the top right video to watch their performance of Uprising. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Moons @ The 100 Club, Oxford Street

All Mod Cons went to the 100 Club again the other night to check out The Moons. With front man Andy Crofts and the rest of the band on absolutely fine form it was definitely a night to remember. Please feel free to check out their MySpace page (above) and their blog (HERE), which is currently showing footage of them supporting Ocean Colour Scene in Crewe.

Turning up to the venue early to get tickets saw unexpected benefits, with AMC stumbling in on The Moons going through their sound check. Normally you don't get to see any of this so out came the camera to record the moment.




After they'd finished Andy came over to say hello (and probably make sure we weren't up to no good). Not only is he an excellent musician but he's incredibly approachable and was more than happy to have his photo taken with yours truly. He even put me and CF on the guest list. Mr Crofts, you're a gent.


With the support act, Operator 6, warming the crowd up nicely The Moons took to the stage and let fly with 8 fantastic tracks. Expect to hear big noises from this band coming your way soon. For those of you fortunate enough to be living in the UK look out for details of them supporting The Rifles and more OCS gigs. If my luck holds out I'll be heading up to Camden next Wednesday to see them with The Rifles at the Narrow Minded Social Club.





The evening was filled with fantastic music and even more excellent people. Outside I saw legend that is Eddie Piller again (top bloke that he is) and the outstanding Stefan who was there proving once again that he is a ludicrously good photographer. Below are some more snaps of some of the bods that I was with.

New Housemate T

T's other half...V (Not Hugo Weaving's character...obviously).

The lovely CF

And Czech Boy showing how the Europeans end their nights...

All in, a brilliant evening. Special shouts to Andy, Ed, Stefan, P, K, Debs, Darren, and everyone else.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ground Chalk On The Walk Home

Yeah ok, serious lack of any postings recently. Have been stupidly busy. Not complaining though, plenty of people out of work at the moment and I'm very happy to not be one of them.

Something I have noticed in the last 2 weeks is that everyone standing in line at the supermarket till looks like they are about to commit a religious fanatic style mass suicide. Death by fatal grapefruit stabbing. Straight in the ear.

I also saw a guy buy a bar of chocolate, 2 multi-packs of crisps (after he saw them on offer in the queue so it was a definite after thought), and 8 2.5 litre bottles of Pepsi Max. Yes, that's 20 litres of caffeine and sugar. This was also done because he saw them on offer whilst waiting to pay for his chocolate. It was £1 a bottle. It would have to come down to around 1p a bottle for me to buy it. Bloody horrible stuff. Just as well Tampax weren't on offer really. Anyway, moving swiftly on...

Song of the Week is To Be Someone by The Jam. Haven't had a Jam song in a while, but I'm showing this tune loads of love at the moment, especially the live versions. Not going to bother to post the lyrics this time, they're pretty easy to understand. This song has been featured on this blog before, but it was the cover version by Noel Gallagher, and was originally on the 1979 album...All Mod Cons (Robyn, check out the version on your copy...).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Whole Country Is Full Of Lies

To round off this week we have not just a new Song of the Week, but an album recommendation too. Better Than Heavy by Mongrel.

I was introduced to this album by a guy I met on Last.fm, and whilst it's not normally the sort of music I tend to indulge in, I've found myself listening to it more and more over the last few months.

Mongrel, formed in Sheffield last year, consist of a mix of musicians from the groups Reverend and the Makers, Babyshambles, Poisonous Poets and The Arctic Monkeys and have a distinct political tone to their lyrics. With their hip-hop indie rock sound, strong melodies and imposing messages about the good and the bad of the land we live in, they're definitely a concoction to look out for.

Probably my own personal favorite is the second song from the album, entitled Lies. Which makes its appearance as Song of the Week (No video I'm afraid, but please give it a listen to). Given the political manure that this country has spewed out from its stale stuffy innards recently, I find the lyrics incredibly apt...

"...I don't trust you anymore, or what you're saying".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poll

The other day I was literally inundated by 2 people asking why I deleted my last post. It had a poll on it and was an attempt to inject a little interactivity. I still think this is a good idea...so, here's a post with a poll that's here to stay. Well, for a bit anyway.

Song of the Week (although this should be renamed "Song of the Whenever AMC Gets Around To Changing It") has been going for some time. I've asked before if anyone listens to it and was met by a deafening wall of utter silence. My thinking is that as a poll only requires people to click one button and means you can remain totally anonymous, then maybe I'll get a little feedback on it.

The question being, should it stay or should it go? There's no real pattern to the songs I choose, they just happen to be ones that I've heard and want to share. Even if they're really old, or popular, or maybe even a song that I haven't come across before. Do you listen to them? Do they remind you of days gone by? Do you think it's a complete waste of time? Do you have any suggestions for a song to listen to?

Obviously all of these other questions are totally optional. If you want to answer them, please feel free to do so in the comments section. Failing that, move your mouse pointer over to the right and click on one of the options. You'll feel better for it. Honestly.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Battant - Kevin [1989]

Check this out. I got given their promo CD and happen to think it's pretty damn good.


And the lead singer is choice too. Which is always a bonus.

Their Myspace page can be found HERE.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

That's Not Cricket, It's Jousting A Bunger

There's a lot of talk about this thing called The Ashes that's going on at the moment. It's a cricket tournament. Thing.

Cricket is not a sport that I've ever really had much exposure to, at any stage of my life. Certainly not at school. Give a bat to most of the pupils there and they would've legged it straight to the nearest car to have away with the stereo via a brand new hole in the glass. We played football. On a concrete playground. With a cannonball. Whilst wearing shoes crafted from stolen ties of the lower years.

This year I've taken it upon myself to try and learn a little about the sport that, apparently, every Englishman should know and love. Every now and again I check the BBC's live text coverage via my mobile and have a little read in the hope of gleaning some wise words And maybe the odd rule or two so I can piece together the jigsaw.

Here's a small example of what I'm faced with....

Groans of disbelief from the rammed Edgbaston stands as Anderson does Clarke all ends up with a beautiful snaker - hands on heads round the slips. Matt Prior standing behind the timbers with jaw hanging slack. Swanny popping off the field - is this a pre-lunch joust for Stuart Broad?

Or how about this...

That's too full from Swanny - driven away with wristy delight by Watson to go to 49. another full bunger - four more, driven through cover, and that's Watson's second half-century of the match. Good knock. Australia lead by 19, and that's drinks.

So, Swanny popped off for some pre-lunch jousting with Stuart, no doubt followed by Watson delivering some wristy delight, all with a full bunger no less. And after a good knocking, the Aussies go and get pissed. Sounds absolutely nothing like what I've ever seen of cricket. However, part of the BBC service allows people to text in with their thoughts and opinions and some of them are getting really enthusiastic about it all...

From Aidan, TMS inbox: "The excess adrenalin caused by such an important first session is causing my legs to bounce incessantly, this has the unfortunate effect of making my desk shake slightly causing the admittedly very pretty girls that sit around me at work to look at me in a very suspicious manner. Also I may throw up at any point . So all in all making a very good impression on afore mentioned young ladies."

So I'm guessing Aiden appreciates a good bit of wristy delight. Top lad. I wonder what he'd be like watching the Brazilian Women's Beach Volleyball Team? I think he might burst into flames and explode in a brilliant blue flash, leaving only his half empty bunger behind.

This game also lasts 5 days. As in, 5 whole days! And there are 5 in the series. That's an entire month of cricket. You've got to wonder how many people suffer a R.S.I. afterwards.

Anyway, this weeks Song Of The Week is Elbow and Grounds For Divorce. The video in the top right includes the BBC Concert Orchestra. However, the Official Release is HERE and the lyrics are HERE (should you wish to see a copy of them...apologies for the small advert on that site). I happen to think it's a bloody good tune.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Presents For Me!

In the last post I mentioned that I'm not a great fan of birthdays. However, like pretty much everyone, I am a fan of presents. Both giving and receiving. Actually, I think I enjoy giving more. I'm also a fan of giving myself presents. More commonly known as shopping.



Well on my birthday I took possession of a most lovely present indeed from The Viking. 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. When I opened it we both sat there for about 20 minutes leafing through the glossy pages muttering "Got it, got it, heard it, that's shit, oooh, got it, want it...". Many tales came out of memories we had of listening to albums for the first time, all the way back through school. The different bands and styles of music we were into. He being a heavy metal fan and me loving the proper dance music days of the early 90's. How things change.

This book doesn't say that you've got to own all the albums, just have listened to them. To a certain extent that's true. I wouldn't want to own Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics or Kanye West's The College Dropout. However, there are a significant amount of albums in there that I don't own although I may have particular artists songs on compilation CD's or Best Of's. Anyway, I thought it would be a nice present to myself if I opened up the book at random and purchased whatever was on the 2 pages in front of me. Because of the book layout, I'd either have to buy 1, 2 or 4 albums a week. Thanks be to the God Amazon. For he shall come to my rescue.

So today, because I'm ill and because it's Friday, I clicked "Add to Basket" on the following random albums out of the book:

The Genius Of Ray Charles by Ray Charles
Here's Little Richard by Little Richard
Very Best Of The Monkees by The Monkees (sheesh, original album titles eh!?)
Here Are The Sonics by The Sonics (ok, enough already!)
Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, Vol 1 & 2 by Ray Charles

All in for about £30, which isn't bad in my book. Next time I think I'm going to go for some Elvis. I figure that I need to build up my collection of 50's and 60's music too, broaden my horizons and all that jazz. I'm going to have to start leaving music off my Touch as it'll be full. Which is kind of working now...this being the 3rd one in about 2 1/2 months. After numerous telephone calls, several of which were over an hour long, the last one coming in at a whopping 2 hours and 45 minutes we are almost at and end of the sorry saga. That's going to make for a very interesting blog post. Apple are this close --><-- to either being really great, or really cack.

Anyway, do you know this book? Have you got it? Are there any albums you think are missing or ones that would stand out in your own 1001? Leave some words below!

(Oh, and if you do have it, check out the picture of Weller on page 403 for the All Mod Cons album by The Jam. Fecking bloody awesome. I REALLY want this on a BIG canvass!! If anyone has this image in a really decent resolution I'd love a copy!)



Currently listening to One More Time by Death In Vegas. Give it a listen, great tune.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Crisp Sandwiches For Breakfast

So last weekend was my birthday*. Yet another year to add to the numerous that have already fallen by the wayside. Birthdays have never really interested me, even at a young age and I think it may have something to do with cake, but I can't be certain.

Spending so much time on my own during the day, with nowt but my trusty paintbrush to keep me company, I tend to find my mind wandering and I started mulling over how my life has changed. Mostly without me even realising it.

When I was really little the majority of my life was spent pooing, eating and sleeping. I have a funny feeling that I'll be returning to this pattern of existence, although I'm hoping not for another 50 or so years. Forward a bit and I'd progressed. I started to realise that life contained priorities, challenges and responsibilities (although these words had yet to manifest themselves into my vocabulary, which at the time consisted of mainly "Why?" and "No"). The discovery that dirt mixed with water made mud had a profound impact on me and I soon set about the challenge of making the perfect Mud Pie. Countless seconds were spent mixing until I finally had a decent looking slop. Obviously I knew that I couldn't cook it (oven is "ouch") so I figured that raw tasting was the way forward. I shortly decided that I wasn't going to make it as a chef.

Then came Lego. The most ingenious invention ever to have graced the planet. Armed with my Imagination I proceeded to construct the largest Lego tower I had ever seen. Being around 4 years old, large Lego towers were few and far between, so it didn't take too long. But why stop at a tower? Expansion was the key. Garages, guns, moon bases, small odd looking animals, faces, plates, and even a Lego massager (my Mum had a sore back and I thought it would help) were all on the list of things to build. I was a God, there was nothing I couldn't make. Even if the end result did look a little angular. But that was a triviality I didn't have time to address (until I got some sloped shaped bricks for Christmas, and then everything had sloped edges, even things that were supposed to be straight).

By the time I reached 5 I had discovered money. My Great Nan saved her copper coins (1/2 pennies, 1's and 2's) and gave them to me when I went to visit her. Although they were only the really shiny ones. Sometimes I would have about 20 of them waiting for me and I would spend hours counting them, making shapes out of them on the carpet. I also knew you could give them to people and you would get stuff in return. Important stuff. Like sweets. I used to visit the little Indian lady that owned the sweet shop below where we lived and give her some of the coins in exchange for Cola Bottles. This arrangement worked really well and I liked her for it. One day I heard her talking to her husband in a language I'd never heard before. Nothing she said made any sense. I thought I'd write her a thank you note for providing me with sweets in exchange for metal discs. I wrote down a whole bunch of stuff that looked like she sounded (squiggly lines in essence) and gave it to her proudly stating that it was a thank you note in her language. It was only in later life that I realised why she looked so miffed. But she was lovely and just smiled and said thanks. My career as a serial spender was off to a flying start.

Adult conversations often confused me. They were faster than my own and rarely contained words that I understood, like Toys or Presents. One day I tried and Adult conversation with my Action Man. Mostly I came up with "Hmmm, yeah", a nod of my head and a noise akin to "Rar rar rar". This seemed to satisfy Action Man, so much so that he then set about waging war with the Transformers. I've since realised that Adult conversations are overrated, mostly full of rubbish and still contain a lot of words I don't understand. They are also rarely about Toys or Presents.

Now that I'm older I no longer build fishes out of plastic bricks, or try to hide a complete head of broccoli under my fork. I worry about having enough work to pay the bills and think that cheese is too expensive. I notice that the city I live in is incredibly dirty and am puzzled as to what my Council Tax is spent on. It concerns me that I think society is becoming more decadent and am fed up trying to remember that rubbish day is a Thursday. I'm bored of having to do the washing and I loathe having to shave for fear of being mistaken for a homeless guy. I understand that there is a great gulf between the rich and the poor of even my fair country and it saddens me. No longer can I get away with cutting up some plain paper and drawing a rather poor Queen's head on one side, then passing it off as real cash. And have people accept it with a "Aww, isn't that sweet".

Now I'm older I've come to realise that being a kid was very good fun indeed. Talking to yourself, imagining that you were 6 types of robot, was perfectly acceptable social behaviour. Sitting in a cardboard box that you had drawn spaceship controls in, with a borrowed black mascara, for 2 days straight was considered a fine display of creative intelligence. And having odd socks and shoes on, an inside out jumper and backwards trousers was never frowned upon, purely because you had actually managed to dress yourself without help or supervision.

*Insert slightly premature old man's voice here* "Cor, I remember when I was a kid...."

-------

*Well, it was last week when I started writing this, now it's 2 weeks. I'm such a slacker.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Belleruche - How Honey Would Sound If It Could Sing


Occasionally I come across a tune that I instantly fall in love with. Normally in cases like that I'll see if there's an album attached to the relevant artist and take steps to give my money to the sweet God of Amazon.

This case was no different. Although the album took a little longer than usual to arrive, our postal service decided to go the way of Toronto's trashmen and went on strike (less smelly, but still inconvenient). Today I came home to the neatly packaged Turntable Soul Music by Belleruche. So, was it worth the wait?


In a word, yes. It's rare that I listen to an album all the way through straight off the bat, but I've had this playing constantly for the last couple of hours. It's that good. The 3 piece group, comprising of Kathrin deBoer, Ricky Fabulous and DJ Modest, turn out a wonderful mix of soul, funk and jazz with a few other flavours and a definite sprinkle of their own magic. Within seconds of putting the album on the kitchen stereo, all of the occupants were nodding their heads and shaking their booties. You just can't help it. Kathin deBoer's voice is out of this world and to be frank, because he knows best, it makes me want to do inappropriate things to my speakers. And it's not often I say that!

If you don't own this album then get out your plastic and order yourself a copy pronto. I promise it'll be one of the best purchases you've made.

Such high praise, inevitably, means that a Belleruche song makes it to Song Of The Week. With so many to choose from it makes it a hard decision. Alice, Minor Swing and The Itch are some of All Mod Cons favorites...but I think it's only fair that Northern Girls goes up as it was the track that I first heard.

Below are the lyrics for your singalong pleasure...

Keep on telling you
Keep trying to get through
That big old head
Seems to be wasted breath

What more can I say
I'm not in love with you
Let it go let it go
And I'll be kind to you

I tried the simple things
Didn't return your calls
I was busy every day
Never any time at all

But you needed a bigger clue
I got town 'cause I didn't want to hurt you
But you keep pushing, keep pushing me away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

Tried to be a friend
Wasn't out to offend
Well I love being with you
Suppose that why you got confused

I thought that we made it clear
I was never to change my mind
You've become so precious dear
But you've got to leave this behind

One day I hope you find
Someone who loves you too
So you'll let me be
And you'll forget you've ever had

A bruised and broken heart
That can't forgive and can't forget
Driving us both spare and mad
Well you're driving me away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

Keep trying to get closer
Keep trying to get a hold of
Keep on trying, you're driving me away
Keep trying to get closer
Keep trying to get a hold of
Keep on trying, you're driving me away
Oh you're driving me away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

You keep on hounding me
Keep on finding me
You keep on trying me
I can't get away

Keep trying to get closer
Keep trying to get a hold of
Keep on trying
You're driving me away

Keep trying to get closer
Keep trying to get a hold of
Keep on trying
You're driving me away
Oh, you're driving me away


(I really can't leave it at that...here's the link to Alice. No video, just a still image, but PLEASE give it a listen!!)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Week Has Been...

Argh.

At one point I stood in my garden, hands firmly wedged in my pockets and looked up at the silently rumbling clouds passing overhead. Intermittent raindrops fell out of the sky ruining an impossibly good hair day. I had hoped that the splashing water might clear the confuggle that was rattling around inside what was left of my brain. Nothing else had worked. It's amazing how complicated things can turn out when all you're trying to do is help people.

I know that what I'm going to do tomorrow won't make much sense to those around me, and my close friends may say I'm even stranger than they thought I was. But it's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. And it'll make me feel better. Whilst helping several people out at the same time. And I'll remain the better person for doing so.

Bob Marley probably said it best...Let's get together and feel alright. One Love is this weeks Song Of The Week.

Peace people.

-----------------------------------

One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One love)
Hear the children crying (One heart)
Sayin', "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
Sayin', "Let's get together and feel all right."
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa

Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One love)
There is one question I'd really love to ask (One heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me

One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One love)
So shall it be in the end (One heart)
Alright, "Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
"Let's get together and feel all right."
One more thing

Let's get together to fight this Holy Armageddon (One love)
So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom (One song)
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
There ain't no hiding place from the Father of Creation

Sayin', "One love, one heart
Let's get together and feel all right."
I'm pleading to mankind (One love)
Oh, Lord (One heart) Whoa.

"Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right."
Let's get together and feel all right.
(Repeat)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Technologicus Deadicus

My love affair with technology is a love hate one. I love it, but it hates me. With a fury more ferocious than a bag full of bees being used as a football. Every single piece of gadgetry that I have owned has either gone wrong or been utterly destroyed within weeks of me getting my grubby little mitts on it.

Every mobile phone I have received has had to be returned within a week, each upgrade has gone back. Twice. My new laptop has had Vista reinstalled. Three times. My first ever iPod ended up 3mm thick and comprised of several little bits of shiny silveriness after just 2 weeks when a van hit it. Whilst attached to my waist (fortunately I didn't end up in little bits of pinkness, just 1 bit of blueblackgreenyellowredness). The only piece of technology that I'd managed to sustain a healthy working relationship with was my replacement iPod, a meaty 30gb video jobby. I even took extra methods to protect it with a full aluminium case which saved the day on numerous occasions.

I recently came to posses the current numero uno in iPod ownership, the 32gb iPod Touch. My hopes, unbelievably, were high when I held the sleek iconic body in my hands. The marvellous screen flickered into life like a billion Ants waving Zippo lighters at Caterpillar bongo gig. I spent ages getting all the artwork for every album just because I wanted to see the whizzy round covers thing in all its glory. Transferring all my music wasn't a chore, never has watching a little grey line move from left to right on my screen created such tension in me (I don't get out much). I whooped in glee like a Girl Guide baking her first batch of cookies to sell at the local Church Fete as music filtered into my ears. The smooth feel to the touch screen was incredible, as was the speed of everything happening, flipping between screens was a joy to behold. And then the music stopped. Just like that. The little arrow said it was playing, but the time said it wasn't. One of them was lying. And the time never lies. I had to give it a manual push to get it going again. Several songs later it stopped again. Typical.

Several calls to Apple later, including a call centre in Greece, some unknown country, somewhere in the UK and finally the US. It wasn't until I spoke to the woman in America that I finally got a solution. I explained what was happening and she immediately arranged for the iPod to be picked up and a replacement to be delivered. And it happened. Within 3 days. God bless America and her customer service.

With the new one in hand, everything was starting to look all sexy and bosh again. Then Apple in its divine wisdom *coughbollockscough* said that it was going to release a new iPhone and new software. This new software was supposed to be even faster, slicker, and have a whole bunch of new bits that I'll probably never use. And unlike iPhone users who got it for free, I would have to fork out £6 on it. Why? I've no idea. To scam us and make more money probably. My new iPod was working fairly ok, so I didn't need the new software. But that little sign saying "New Software Available" just screamed at me. But I'm like a 5 year old with Goldfish Memory Syndrome hooked up to an electric chair with a Big Red Button and a sign saying Do Not Push. I just can't resist buttons, and it seems I'll never learn that I always get some sort of shock.

£6 has got me a beautiful looking piece of equipment controlled by a million Gremlins all out on a day trip to Wet 'n' Wild, with Starbucks on tap. I love rating my songs, I like things to be organised, playlists fill my day with wondrous treats aplenty. It used to be a case of "Rate, Flip Screen, Swoosh the time slider wotsit, Flip Screen, Rate (repeat)". That fast to rate songs. Lovely nerdy bliss! Now is a different story. It's more like:

  • Rate
  • Push Screen & Pause For 3 seconds
  • Screen Flips & Music Plays
  • Wait 6 seconds & Play Music For 2 Seconds & Pause For 2 Seconds
  • Screen Now Active
  • Swoosh time slider wotsit
  • New Track Plays But Screen Stays On Previous Song
  • Wait 6 Seconds Before New Song Appears
  • Pause Whilst Time Stays Still For 3 Seconds
  • Push Button & Rate
  • Repeat If You've Got No Will To Live
This process is even more mind numbing to do than read or write. I promise you. The battery icon also seems to be having a personality crisis and can't make up its mind whether to be Mr Full Juice or Mr I'Mdoingbuggeralljustchargeme. Needless to say I'm not allowed to put the old software back on. there's no option for that. There's also no email feedback option on the Apple website that I can find. And none of this appears on their FAQ's either. I just want to be able to explain to someone what's happening, for them to give me and answer. Which preferably includes the words "I'm really sorry, here's the old software and your £6 back". I've also used up my only phone call to Apple. 1 phone help, unless you pay more. Tossers.

What's really disappointing is that it's made me realise that my iPod isn't what it seems. When I first opened the box I saw something incredible, something glorious that was conceived by Elves under the guidance of a Jedi Master using stardust from the distant galaxy of Alpha iPodi. Fused together and hammered into shape by bars of every song ever written. What I've actually got would test the patience of the God Walkman himself and feels like it's been made by dyslexic goats.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Song Of The Week is Fools Gold by The Stone Roses.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Post 100.1

I have severe brain strain going on. So much so that I think the internal workings of my bonce now resemble what appeared on my plate at the local greasy spoons cafe last week. It wasn't pretty. Or particularly edible.

This is my 100th post (on this blog) and for some reason I've felt that I should be writing something rather splendid in order to celebrate this milestone. I didn't want to go the route of Here's a summary of the last 99 posts. I wanted to do something the stood out from the rest, maybe a unique story or something that people might read and say "Wow, that's really well written". A post with purpose. I think insightful is a good adjective.

Everything I saw, spoke about, heard or read was given the analytical treatment. Nothing quite seemed to match up to what I thought would achieve any of my desires. Everything appeared inadequate. Or more boring than watching paint dry. And I've done more than my fair share of that. Trust me, interesting it ain't.

Which got me thinking (whilst watching yet another coat of paint dry) why do we put so much emphasis onto things like this? Why does the fact that I've written 100 posts even need to be mentioned? I don't think there's anything special in this one. I happen to think post 96 was much better.

So, theories on a postcard please. And if you read here on a regular basis, please feel to leave 100th post comments. Especially those that haven't commented before!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Death By Stereo


Over the past couple of years, everything that's cool with the kids has been retro. If it's steeped in 80's karma then it's no longer plastic and crap but alive with sort of cola bottle fizz that used to turn your face inside out.

If big hair, glam rock, and vampires are your thing then you only need to look back as far as 1987 to find one of the greatest flicks the world has ever known. Before Joel Schumacher killed the Batman franchise stone dead with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin he directed The Lost Boys and gave the world what it needed. A dirty, sexy vampire teen movie laced with laughs and more cheese than a 18 inch Pizza Hut stuffed crust.

The Lost Boys effectively launched Kiefer Sutherland into, well, some sort of popularity, proved that Corey Feldman really couldn't act and primed Alex Winter for his staring role as Bill S. Preston in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. But none of this matters because it all works. Throw in a soundtrack that any 80's film would've been happy to have and you've got a masterpiece that will last longer than any of the vampires in Santa Carla. If you ever hear Cry Little Sister, you automatically know it's from this film. And how can a film that contains songs written by Elton John, Michael Hutchence and The Doors, performed by INXS, Roger Daltry and Echo & The Bunnymen be anything other than utterly bighaired-tastic?

Ignoring the naff Gothic emo images, here's Cry Little Sister for your listening pleasure...


I'd also recommend giving People Are Strange a listen to. The Doors version is, obviously, quite brilliant although the Echo & The Bunnymen one won't turn you into the undead either.

If you haven't seen this film, I suggest you get onto Amazon and buy yourself a copy. The 80's are back people. Watch this movie and fill your heads with high collars, leather jackets, Nike trainers with Velcro and enough hairspray to stick a greased glam rocker to an MTV set.

"So what's the rush? You're chasing that girl aren't you? Come on, admit it. I'm at the mercy of your sex glands bud."

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Jam Live 1981

I've been wearing this song out for the last week. Not bad considering it's an mp3 file. This is one of my favorite Jam songs and I would've loved to have seen them perform it live. Instead, I'll just have to make do with a YouTube video instead. Please feel free to leave a comment...especially those that lurk! Go on, you know you want to say something...



Lyrics for The Jam & Pretty Green:

I've got a pocket full of pretty green -
I'm gonna put it in the fruit machine -
I'm gonna put it in the juke box -
It's gonna play all the records in the hit parade -

I've got a pocket full of pretty green -
I'm gonna give it to the man behind the counter -
He's gonna give me food and water -
I'm gonna eat that and look for more -

This is the pretty green - this is society -
You can't do nothing - unless it's
in the pocket - oh no -

I've got a pocket full of pretty green -
I'm gonna put it in the fruit machine -
I'm gonna put it in the juke box -
It's gonna play all the records in the hit parade -

This is the pretty green - this is society -
You can't do nothing - unless it's
in the pocket - oh no -

And they didn't teach me that in school -
It's something that I learnt on my own -
That power is measured by the pound or the fist -
It's as clear as this oh -

I've got a pocket full of pretty green -
I'm gonna put it in the fruit machine -
I'm gonna put it in the juke box -
It's gonna play all the records in the hit parade -

I've got a pocket full of pretty green -
I'm gonna give it to the man behind the counter -
He's gonna give me food and water -
I'm gonna eat that and look for more -

This is the pretty green - this is society -
You can't do nothing - unless it's
in the pocket - oh no -

I've got a pocket full of Pretty Green!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bloody Bloody Bloody Bloody Bleedin Bloody



This was pointed out to me by The Viking. The Apprentice is not a show that I've ever really watched, I'm not into the whole reality TV crap that's infested our culture over the last few years (although I will watch anything with Gordon Ramsey in, gotta luv him really). This edit was done by Cassetteboy on Youtube, check his channel out as he's done quite a few other bits, and is most amusing. For those of you that aren't in this country and haven't seen Alan Sugar before, he's a twat. I think that just about covers it.