Thursday, December 27, 2007


Okay, this is a music post, which means that most of you will say "bah, all I'm interested in at the moment is the unmitigated triumph of my six year old's performance as The Guiding Star in the school nativity play. Can't you at least talk about the best way to use up the rest of the turkey?" Well to you I say: clear orff. There are other blogs where you can read about all that stuff.

This is the annual Best Of The Music I Liked That Nobody Else Liked This Year post. As I've grown older, rather than putting aside foolish things and listening to *serious* music which is more becoming of my age, my tastes have become more banal and childish. I suppose I should really be enthusing about The Hold Steady (the new Broooce Springsteen! Swoon!) or Feist (the sort of music they play at a polite volume in vegan restaurants. Yeuch).

Instead, here are some mindless dance tracks and one or two relatively famous bands. Nothing that's needlessly obscure: that's one thing I've grown out of at least. Click on the links to see some YouTube performances (like, anyone is going to do THAT).

Acceptable In The Eighties - Calvin Harris. I think it was *acceptable* to like Calvin Harris for about a fortnight in March, but I can't quite remember. He seems to be hated by indie twats, which is usually a good thing.

NYC Beat - Armand Van Helden. Nobody cares about Armand Van Helden any more, which means he can go away to make esoteric and excellent albums (of which Ghettoblaster is the most recent, and sounds like a tribute to Todd Terry. It's alright, I can get away with writing this incomprehensible crap because no bugger is reading anymore. Heh heh). Some nice footwear in this video.

With Every Heartbeat - Robyn. Just a brilliant, maudlin pop song which got to number one. Did Belgian priests wear shoes like that in the fourteenth century?

There Is No I In Threesome - Interpol. From the wonderful album Our Love To Admire. I like my rock music the way I like my men and my tea - dark, brooding, deliciously doomy and with a dash of soya milk. Eh?

I Found You - Axwell. Another house *anthem* for you to avoid. I'm sure that somebody else, somewhere, must like this.

Golden Skans - The Klaxons. As the other half said while watching the Glastonbury highlights on telly "they just piss all over Arcade Bloody Fire, don't they?" Too true.

Someone Great - LCD Soundsystem. From Sound Of Silver, the album of the year by General Consensus. For once, I'm in agreement with General Consensus, whoever he is. Probably trying to sort out the mess in Afghanistan.

Let Me Think About It - Ida Corr Vs. Fedde Le Grand. Fedde Le Grand has had three great and ridiculous top five records and no one knows who he is, apart from Mrs Le Grand, perhaps. This is probably the greatest and most ridiculous of all. The ridiculousness of the bloke who turns up in the middle of this video verges on the ridiculous.

On Call - The Kings Of Leon. Well, of course I was going to put something by The Kings Of Lemon in here, just to prove that I like some guitar music and am not just a 1981 synthesiser fop.

D.A.N.C.E. - Justice. One-two-sree-four-fifes!

I am Somebody - DJ Mehdi feat. Chromeo. Actually, it was out at the tail end of last year but I probably listened to it more than any other single this year. Two beautiful men dancing in a rather camp manner in the video as well. What's not to like? Oh, and is the Chromeo album worth getting with my HMV vouchers?

Glamorous - Fergie feat. Ludacris and someone else, I can't remember. HONESTLY. DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THIS?

Righty ho, I'm going to take my broke ass home now.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007


Christmas is a time to think of those less fortunate than yourself, i.e., ME. So here's an update on my heartrending wrist fracture saga.

The cast came off last week. The consultant didn't seem too happy about my lack of ability to do one or two of the flexibility tests, so I now do a selection of exercises several times a day, and it seems to be taking forever to improve.

It feels as though someone has injected quick drying cement into my wrist and it looks all thick and disgusting. It feels as though I have two left arms. So it looks as if I have a bleak future with an unsightly, gammy arm. Boo hoo.

Even better, my arm was cruddy and covered in skin scales when the cast was removed. The skin scales have been depositing themselves everywhere ever since. There may not be snow in Bexleyheath this Christmas, but there is a two inch layer of dead skin wherever I walk.

So, spare a thought for me as you tuck into your Christmas dinner, and let that thought be tinged with pathos.


Still, upwards and onwards. Here is an old chestnut, a Christmas tune by a mate of the late lamented Princess Of Hearts. Judging by the amount of face pulling and general effervescence, I would hazard a guess that our Reginald has been tooting at the Christmas bugle a lot.

... "We can watch the snow for ever and ever." Yeah ... riiight.

Happy haaahlidays, you lot.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007


Most annoying Christmas advertising campaign so far? Boots for their "Here Come The Gurlls" one, which seems to be a rip off of the videos for the Rachel Stevens song Some Girls or, ahem, Vindaloo by Fat Les, but with what advertising executive dimwits would call "funky music that will appeal to the young funky career woman demographic".

Basically, it shows a load of hot young gurlls preparing for an office party. Fair enough, there are a couple of barely glimpsed older *ladies* among the fifteen year olds from the model agency, but the plain, frumpy, overweight or tired middle aged women who would normally make up about ninety nine per cent of the workforce of this seemingly huge company have been elbowed out of the ad. What a dream for the creepy married blokes who work there, eh? They must really be looking forward to the Christmas do.

Oh, and the use of that word, "gurlls" ... it's what cheeky market traders have always done to flatter older women. "C''mon gurlls, greengages daahn to a florin a paahnd!" they've said through the centuries. Those market traders, and the twats who've dreamed up the Boots campaign, are patronising bastards. Show me a woman beyond her mid twenties who likes to be called a "gurll" and I'll show you a sadly deluded fool.

Even worse, you have to hear the (otherwise quite nice) "Here Come The Gurlls" music whenever you go into Boots to buy your jam rags or Umberto Gianni scrunching mousette gellee complex, accompanied by the dulcet tones of the woman who always does voiceovers on Boots special offers. She combines being "sexily husky" with sounding as if she is wearing horse dentures ... presumably so that she will appeal to the "young funky career woman demographic" such as the likes of me. Har har.

She is probably a BAFTA winning actress who I have never heard of, mind.

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Friday, December 14, 2007


As Christmas approaches, an unprecedented number of celebrities have put their names to perfumes and aftershaves in the rush to make a quick buck.

David "Spread 'em, Darlin'" Beckham's Intimately Beckham range is in the shops. "Does it smell of his golden balls then?" I have been heard to remark, with the usual levels of sophistication and understatement.

When I saw Cliff Richard on television promoting his fragrance, which apparently includes frangipani and tuberose, I realised that we have reached some kind of celebrity endorsed perfume critical mass.

I mean, look at the number of unlikely has-beens, never-weres and Z-list celebs who have got fragrances on the market for a man, a woman, a cat, a dog or possibly all four!


Look, it's ridiculous! Think of all the rare flowers and spices that have been lost to the world just so this sorry list of apologies for human beings can line their pockets (er, in their dreams!)

There's a whiff of something awful about it all, even if it does have a top note of ylang ylang ...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Today's guest post comes courtesy of recent Coronation Street returnee Jim McDonald, who the vast majority of readers won't know because they don't own a television set. Still, you can't cater for all tastes, can you?

Take it away, Jim.

"What about ye? I'm just back out of the Big House, so I am. Let me tell ye, I'm a changed man, so I am.

When I went in the Big House, I'd been acting buck crazy, so I had. I'd never really grown out of the army way of thinking, and it used to cause ructions with My Elizabeth, so it did. She had had enough of me acting the Big I am, so she had, and fair play.

Still, being in the Big House allows you to take stock, so it does. I think I've changed.
I tell ye, getting out of the Big House has been a surprise, so it has. Yer man Steve has offered me a job, so he has, valeting cars. I'm working for my own son! Jeez ... "catch yerself on!" I thought, "it only seems like yesterday that yer man was a wee boy along with our Andy, running rings around me and Elizabeth and acting buck stupid. Now Steve has a wee girl of his own.

I think I've calmed down. My Elizabeth has taken up with another man since I went into the Big House, so she has, and by all accounts yer man is a complete idjeet, buck stupid, so he is. Now, a few years ago, I would've gone steaming in there and beaten him to a pulp. These days though, I've knocked the booze on the head and I'm a lot calmer and more focused. I'm going to bide my time and see how My Elizabeth feels in a few months, so I am.

I owe it to myself to make a go of living and stay out of the Big House. What's more, I owe it to My Elizabeth, Steve, and that wee girl of his.

Fair play."


Thursday, December 06, 2007


Gosh, crumbs, I'm publishing two posts in a row that have a strong visual element! What bad form! No wonder I don't have one of those acclaimed blogs!

Anyways, in the comments box on the previous post, Tom suggested ways to attract more feedback from readers.

Frankly, my comments level has been going down a bit in the last few weeks, and I'm desperate enough to do anything to attract attention, so I'll abide by his rules on this one.

(a) not too long a post

Indeed, so without further ado ...

(b) don't get serious about anything ever

I try my best not to.

(c) take a satirical stance (legs apart and one slightly forward of the other)

Hmm, difficult to visualise "a satirical stance". I don't really like Monty Python, but needs must ...

(d) always leave a hook in there for the girls who like to flirt and dream of romance (obviously, that's guys in your case)

So, a hook for all the male readers. Look out for my new up to the moment football results service, coming soon!

(e) regular posts about sex

the male organ

(... well, male organists)

and breasts

There you go. If I don't get at least a hundred comments and a job writing for the TV Quick after this post, then I will be suing Tom.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Rock 'n' roll/Scouse infidel lookalikes: the first in a series.

... Aleister Crowley fan Jimmy Page ...

.. and primary school teacher and former Portishead frontwoman Gillian Gibbons ...

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Sunday, December 02, 2007


In a state of complete indifference, I can announce that plans are in the pipeline to sell off the Register Office that I got married in. I don't have any sentimental reasons to object to it being sold off, and merely think that it's a sign of the capitalist times. These things happen nowadays.

You may well ask why someone who still admits to having unfashionable feminist beliefs would get married at all. Er, you may well ask.

Hmm ... I was certainly not a prime candidate for sitting around believing that a knight in shining armour would sweep me off my feet. I've always hated weddings, brides, hats, crying mothers, plans for weddings, having to socialise with relatives and *friends* that I haven't seen for twenty years, engagement rings and all that crap.

Even from an early age I didn't believe that would make me happy. What's the point of thinking your life is only valid if a mayy-ernn gets down on one knee and proposes, you have a big tacky wedding, and the only things you have to look forward to in life are squeezing out babies, baking, pretending you have a mental age of 8 and, eventually, babysitting your grandchildren. Yeuch!

Still, I got married after living in sin (which still sounds sooo much more appealing) for four years.

The decision came about NOT because of a tacky romantic proposal over a tacky romantic meal involving a couple of starry eyed twentysomethings who would no doubt be going through a long and painful divorce a decade later. It was a mutual decision made by a clapped out, been around the block couple in their mid thirties who wanted to put their financial matters in order.

The year before, my dad had died. Despite his telling me at regular intervals that YOU HAVE TO MAKE A WILL AND GET EVERYTHING SORTED OUT FOR THOSE YOU LEAVE BEHIND, in the last months of his life he went a bit loop-de-loop and mislaid the will in his house. When he died, it was nowhere to be found. Months of stressful dealings with solicitors later, we managed to find the will by chance, nowhere near where it was originally supposed to have been.

Nope, I didn't care about getting my hands on his money (well, aside from paying for funeral expenses and the other gubbins that gets tied up with someone's death). It's just that, at the point when all I wanted to do was mourn someone, I was having to deal with all that hassle, which could've been avoided with a few simple procedures beforehand.

I swore after that that I'd make my own will, keep it at a solicitor's office and for things to be very cut and dried. Getting married made things easier.

So married we were, on a Monday morning, with four guests, no rings and the most basic ceremony on offer. My dress cost a fiver from a second hand shop (all part of my principle to go completely against the idea of a silly over the top wedding). We only had a handful of pictures taken, and there was no official photographer.

Rather predictably, A LOT OF PEOPLE DIDN'T APPROVE. Disappointingly, this included some people who I thought would have been more, shall we say, enlightened.

Surely this was a lot less bother than forcing people to attend a long, drawn out boring ceremony and reception, pay out for a present, have to travel long distances and take time out of their annual leave? What did anyone have to grumble about exactly?

I'm still married, I still don't have a wedding ring, and I still use my maiden name. I rather hoped that I wouldn't have to explain why this is the case in the year 2007, but I still frequently do.

Still, when I get all those Christmas cards addressed to Mr and Mrs (Contains Mild Peril) in a week or two, I'll just shrug my shoulders. It's all you can do.

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