I’m on the Children in Need call centre again tonight, on the 10pm to 2am shift, so come on, let’s get this done for another week. As always, please don’t blame me for any damage caused by the possible cross-infection of some of the nonsense that’s been floating around my head. I accept no responsibility or liability. OK?
Good. Let’s do this.
Earworms of the Week
“You Only Live Twice” – Nancy Sinatra
GJ was talking to me the other day about how he wishes he read more “good” books, but he just can’t seem to get started. Always keen to encourage someone to get reading, I immediately started wracking my brains for accessible, classic novels. I’ve been distracting myself from Dickens with some Michael Crichton, of course, but there are loads of easy read classics out there to get him started. The key, of course, is to understand that if you find the right book then you definitely find the time. I had a quick look around my bookshelves and brought a few books into the office for him to borrow. He likes history books, so I lent him “Undaunted Courage”, the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition up to the source of the Missouri river and over the other side towards the Pacific; GJ used to be in the army and has an interest in military type books, so as well as recommending that he read “Matterhorn” by Carl Marlantes, I picked up Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse 5”… it’s funny and bizarre and features a time-traveller, but at it’s heart, this is the classic anti-war novel and features some chilling descriptions of what Dresden was like after the fire-bombing; finally, I picked up some Ian Fleming. I chose the ones I enjoyed the most: the short stories, Goldfinger and especially Moonraker. Easy reading but also excellent and quite different to the films. Hopefully he’ll get something out of at least one of those. On reflection, I was probably lucky to get away with only one Bond theme in me head, eh? Lovely orchestration on this one, with a nice - and appropriate for the film - oriental twang.
“You Win Again” – The Bee Gees
I remember this being the number one single in my first term at a new school when I was 13. At the time, I probably had no idea how massive the Bee Gees had been, and certainly had no idea about Stayin’ Alive or any of that shizz. I didn’t especially like this record, but in my foolishness, I thought it a distinct improvement on Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” as the nation’s number one single.
“Return of the Mack” – Mark Morrison.
South central Leicester. Hahahahaha. Idiot.
Yes you are!
“America, Fuck Yeah!” – Team America OST
Ah, an enduring classic. That bit at the end where they list off the things that make America great still cracks me up.
McDonalds, FUCK YEAH!
Wal-Mart, FUCK YEAH!
The Gap, FUCK YEAH!
Baseball, FUCK YEAH!
NFL, FUCK, YEAH!
Rock and roll, FUCK YEAH!
The Internet, FUCK YEAH!
Slavery, FUCK YEAH!
Starbucks, FUCK YEAH!
Disney world, FUCK YEAH!
Porno, FUCK YEAH!
Valium, FUCK YEAH!
Reeboks, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Tits, FUCK YEAH!
Sushi, FUCK YEAH!
Taco Bell, FUCK YEAH!
Rodeos, FUCK YEAH!
Bed bath and beyond (Fuck yeah, Fuck yeah)
Liberty, FUCK YEAH!
White Slips, FUCK YEAH!
The Alamo, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Las Vegas, FUCK YEAH!
Christmas, FUCK YEAH!
Immigrants, FUCK YEAH!
Popeye, FUCK YEAH!
Democrats, FUCK YEAH!
(fuck yeah, fuck yeah)
By the way, have a look at some of those comments on YouTube. Guess a few people have splendidly missed the point, eh? ("slavery? but that's bad, no?")
“Big Louise” – Scott Walker
Ah, we had this the other week, but my brain keeps spooling back. I absolutely love the lyrics to this song, and the vibrato in Scott Walker’s beautiful voice as he croons his way through this story of a ruined life. Beautiful.
“Atlantic” – Keane
I dug up Keane’s second album this week, and was pleased to see that time has been kind and that, to my ears, it sounds better now than it did at the time. There are lots of good songs on here, but I love the mystery and widescreen scope of this one. Totally different from something like “Somewhere Only We Know”, this is Keane at their most musically interesting (for me, anyway). I actually read a section of this at LB and Hen’s wedding. Love the video too. Irvine Welsh directed it, if memory serves me correctly.
“Bicycle Race” – Queen
I don’t like Queen. I realise this puts me in the minority, but I can’t be bothered with all that bombast and don’t really understand the appeal. Each to their own. That said, they do have a number of songs with the insidious tendency to latch onto your brain and refuse to let go. This week: this one. Apparently the bikes in the video were loaned from Halfords and went back on sale the next day. Imagine that. Some people would pay more for that, wouldn’t they?
“Slash and Burn” – Manic Street Preachers
The Manics first got together in 1986. Twenty-five years. So much for splitting up after their first record, eh? Love this record, even if it’s not quite as enduring as the legendary “Natwest, Barclays, Midland, Lloyds” from the same record. I was listening to The Holy Bible the other day and reflecting on what an incredible record it still sounds today. In a world of the X-Factor, there aren’t enough bands like Manic Street Preachers. One offs and we’re lucky to have had them. How young they look in this video. Nice six-pack, JDB.
Theme tune to “The League of Gentlemen”
I spent several hours this week, whilst reading “Congo” in front of a dying fire, ripping British comedy DVDs onto my iPad. It’s an absurdly lengthy process, but now that it’s done I have Spaced 1 & 2, Mighty Boosh 2 & 3 and The League of Gentlemen 2 & 3 all cued up and ready to go at a moment’s notice (I would have done series 1 too, but I only own that on VHS!). My colleague at work thinks that they peaked in series one, but for my money, it’s the Papa Lazarou episode at the beginning of the second series that’s the real jewel in the crown. Is there any other sitcom character as creepy as that? You’re my wife now, Dave.
“I Will Kill Again” – Jarvis
Love this album, and every time I listen to it, a different song seems to stand out. Last time around, it was “Fat Children”, but this time it has definitely been this song. I love the way the song starts with an innocent, soothing enough build before it hits the line in the chorus “I will kill again…” and the listener is forced to do a double-take at what they’re hearing and reassess everything that they’ve just heard. Cracking stuff from the Jarv. “Running the World”, of course, sounds great anywhere. Indeed, the last time I heard it was in the pub, where it was playing entirely uncensored and sounded BRILLIANT. They don’t make them much like Jarvis Cocker anymore either.
Right, and that’s your lot. If you want to have a chance of speaking to me tonight, then you need to call 0345 733 2233, and maybe…just maybe… the person you speak to as you make your donation could be me. You could always keep trying if you don’t get me first time.
Have a good weekend, y’all.