Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's customary for me to produce a list of my favourite singles at this point of the year, which will at least guarantee that some people comment about the fact that they haven't heard any of them and couldn't fucking care less.

As I now don't listen to the radio, buy music papers or magazines and won't have anything to do with Last FM, I really haven't got a clue about what the right music to listen to is.  If anyone can recommend something (note: NOT the TV On The Radio album, which is overrated bollocks) then I'm all ears.

Sorry if this list is a bit too MOR.  I think I am turning into Edith "Grooove Armada are amaaazing" Bowman :(

Electric Feel - MGMT
From my favourite album of the year, because I love psyche-pop.  Aren't they supposed to be a really terrible live band and their success is all down to the record's producer?  Who cares?  

Blind - Hercules And Love Affair
I had a "eureka!" moment after hearing this for about the tenth time.  The album was bloody good too.  Warning for anyone about to watch the video: Jaime Winstone is in it.  Ugh.

Dancing In The Dark - The Proxy
As mentioned on a previous post ... which I can't find.

Black And Gold - Sam Sparro
Brilliant.  The album was a clunker.

I Lust U - Neon Neon
I luff you if the price is right!

Can't Stop Moving - Sonny J
I know this was out in 2007 and failed to be a hit TWICE.  I have the feeling that it is the sort of song that Radio One played so much that it ended up annoying people who would have otherwise bought it.  Still, it reminds me of my beloved Avalanches, who disappeared so long ago and are destined ne'er to return.  Boo hoo.

Gonna Be Mine - T2 feat. Addictive
The flop follow up to that song from last year which was accompanied by a video in which Anton Ferdinand made a brief appearance.  One of the singers worked on a fruit and veg stall.  I presume she's still working there, judging by the lack of chart success.  Life is unfair.

The Age Of The Understatement - Last Shadow Puppets
The NME's "Sexiest Man In Pop" (splutter) and his slightly taller Wirral clone.  The album seemed to be a battleground between their pigeon toed indie instincts and Scott Walker circa 1967, but I liked it.

Hearts On Fire - Cut Copy
Stylish song from stylish album.

Jumping All Over The World - Scooter
Few things gave me more pleasure this year than the tremendous video for this wonderful song.  I love the bit when the woman glares at the bloke dancing in Piccadilly Circus, presumably because she's on her lunch break and has had to queue up in Pret A Manger for bloody half an hour ... and the bit where Scooter are dancing at the end ... and the bit where the MC mentions England, Ireland and Scotland, but not Wales.  IF YOU ONLY WATCH ONE OF THESE YOUTUBE CLIPS, MAKE IT THIS ONE.  PLEEEEEASE.

Carry on screaming.  See you next year <3

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Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'd say that my "favourite" (in other words, least bad) posts of 2008 were the Billy Joel post and the Bill Cotton post. Perhaps I should just write about blokes called Bill in future?

I wasn't aware of a Billy Joel documentary being shown over Christmas, but BBC2 gave over an evening to acknowledge the passing of Sir Bill Cotton.

We watched the documentary The Man Who Made Eric & Ernie.

As is usually the case nowadays, talking heads were drifted in to spout platitudes about Sir Bill.

In fact, there weren't any words from Bill Cotton himself. No old footage of him talking about his contribution to what's regarded as a golden age of TV, or indeed, his run ins with egotistical celebs (as mentioned in my post, hem hem).  

Lining up to lavish praise on him were the likes of Michael Parkinson, Jimmy Perry and David Croft, Michael Grade, Eddie Braben and Ronnie Corbett (wearing a jacket with the sort of gilt buttons that only someone with Variety Club Of Great Britain and Water Rat connections could get away with).

Eddie Braben described Bill's "... wonderful smile ... his face was built for a smile.  He'd got lovely chubby cheeks".  I'm sure that all of the viewers shed a tear.

Bill's non-appearance gave him the aura of a friendly, avuncular ghost, presumably looking down from Heaven, remaining  within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails ...

... or smiling with those lovely chubby cheeks.

We saw some TV clips that we'd seen a million times before.  They were the right clips, but they weren't necessarily in the right order.

At least I was able to see Bob Swipe's point, made in a recent podcast, about the uncanny resemblance between Melvyn Hayes and Iggy Pop, which your correspondent has demonstrated here by the medium of crap photography and Sky Plus.

Holy pause button, Batman!  I should apologise to any Windsor Davies fans for obscuring the great man's face.

Jimmy Perry and David Croft are starting to look very old indeed.

Ronnie Corbett's voice is getting deeper and deeper ...

... but not as deep as that of narrator Frances De La Tour, whose voice is now as  woody, resonant and dark as an empty port barrel.

Michael Grade wasn't wearing any braces.

Soon, there will be nobody left from the Golden Age Of Television, and Simon Cowell will control all of our lives, whether we like it or not.

Blankety Blank.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Oh, Dana, I love you, you anti-abortionist beeeyatch you.

Here is Dana droning on and on about the fact that it will be a cold, cold, cold, cold Christmas. She is going to miss you in *oh so many ways*, but don't worry about it too much as she has got a vari-speed vibrator.

"Yesterday I saw your mum and dad/We bought our cards together". Aren't those the greatest lines ever written in the history of recorded song? Yes dear, thank you for making us feel really envious of your glamorous, jet set rock star lifestyle.

I wonder how many hours it took the TOTP crew to assemble the chrome piping on this unique set?

As far as this Christmas goes in my world, it looks like being a Bette Davis-esque bumpy night, for various reasons. Yikes! I'm sure I'll come out of it at the other side feeling stronger, and will be able to laugh about it in a few years' time.

A merry Christmas to one and all who read/comment/tolerate/slag off this blog. I wish I could give you all a deep, lingering kiss and that I could playfully bite the inside of your upper lips - or do I mean your inner thighs?


By the way, anyone who can explain the significance of the title of the post will win a "BETTY HEARTS DISCO" t-shirt with seasonal festive trim (only currently available in 28 inch chest size, but it's a freebie, yeah?)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008


It seems that, as I scan a weary, Christmas-fatigued eye over the *blogosphere* everyone is posting YouTube clips because it's the season to be jolly/informal/not make much of an effort/walk around with a permanent hangover.

... and I have been posting really long, reflective, soul searching, worthy, but tedious posts AND I bother to do a spellcheck after I've typed them! I'm really out of the loop. Where's my sense of fun?

Look, I attempted to do a short, suitably festive post involving a YouTube clip - and my efforts were thwarted!

I was trying to demonstrate in a pictorial/YouTube clip fashion a "celebrity lookalike". I wanted to show how much Brandon Flowers of The Killers looks like Captain Alberto Bertorelli from 'Allo, 'Allo.

It would have been hilarious. Trust me on this.

... but could I find a picture of either Brandon Flowers wearing his military-style feathered jacket or Captain Alberto Bertorelli from 'Allo 'Allo wearing his actual military feathered jacket? In fact, it's virtually impossible to find a picture of ANYONE wearing a military-style feathered jacket on Google Images!

All I can say is ... I TRIED. My endeavours came to nothing.

However, I promise to come up with some bumper fun seasonal posts which are the equivalent of those pictures you see on the front of festive crossword books - y'know, a photo of a wholesome blonde woman with nice tidy hair and a red lipsticked smile wearing a Santa hat.

In the mean time, here's perky Anthea Turner. She'll certainly cheer you up. Carry on having fun.

Carry on having fun.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


We're eating at an Italian restaurant which caters for what the London Metro would no doubt sneeringly describe as the "Alan and Debbie from Accounts" crowd.  Yeah, I mean, writing about Kelly Osbourne's brat tantrums in a provincial rag is a really enviable career choice, after all ...

At this eaterie the age limit seems to be about thirty, which is depressing.  Surely people of our age go out some of the time?  It's not as if we're embarrassing ourselves at an underground East End club for godsakes.

"Is it because all of the people of our age are permanently stuck indoors with their children?" I ask Geoff.

"Well, if they're our age their kids are teenagers," he suggests.

"... which means that they should be able to look after themselves at home, or they're out partying or clubbing anyway," I interject.

Geoff:  "No, the parents have to stay in so that they can pick up the phone when their kids ring up at three in the morning asking for a lift home.  Parents are an unpaid chauffeuring service these days."

Me: "Yeah, then the kids vomit in the back of the car and they have to carry them indoors, ha ha."

Geoff:  "Being a parent just gets better and better."

Me:  "Well, maybe we should start seeing those people who we lost touch with when they became parents.  Now their kids are older at least we could spend a couple of hours around at theirs and have a few drinks and listen to them moan about how their sprogs have really *changed* in the last couple of years and it's awful because all they do now is have moods and sulk off to their rooms or stay out 'til all hours."

Geoff:  "There's nothing like being a parent for forgetting how you were yourself as a teenager."

Me:  "Then they'll start on the bullshit about how they really envy us for not having children because we're free to do what we want, and if they had the chance they wouldn't have had kids but would have gone on loads of holidays and bought a bigger house, etc., etc.  Except that when they see their *real* friends - y'know, the ones with kids - they'll say how *sorry* they feel for us because even though we have this freedom and can get up late in the morning and don't have to do school runs or spend piles of money on our kids and their bloody education, we're lacking a family, and that's the main thing in life, that's where happiness lies, yeah?  If they could do it all again, they wouldn't change a thing!  Except when their kids leave home they'll start to get empty nest syndrome and they'll have to get other interests or even start getting to know all their childless friends again so they have someone to go out with and ...



... ooh, look, outside, there are some old people, are they going to come in here?"

Geoff:  "No.  They've just come out of the bingo hall a couple of doors down."

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Demis Roussos sang with Nana Mouskouri on the show that was on BBC4.  Mercifully, the bloody King's Singers were kept at bay for a couple of minutes.  

Nana told Demis that he was piling on the pounds, which was a bit tactless.  Gok Wan would not have approved.  "You shouldn't be hiding your voluptuousness behind that shapeless kaftan, Demis!" he would have exclaimed.  "Get a corset on and get yer bangers out!"

Demis was the subject of a discussion during a family gathering in my parents' house in the 1970's. Present were my gran, my auntie and my mum.  

He was caterwauling his way through When Forever Has Gone on TOTP.

My gran - a woman who made it her life's work to balance at least five illnesses at once, informed us that this was a beautiful song.

"HAH!" my auntie retorted.  "It's complete rubbish and he can't sing!"

My auntie was the nearest thing to a modern woman in my mum's huge family.  She actually had opinions and stuff, a job outside the home, was quite young looking and hadn't just "given up" on life when she reached thirty.   

You know the way that some people always stick with the look they had when they were in their late teens?  Well, that's the way my auntie looked - as if it was 1960.  She used to be rake thin, have short bouffant mousy hair, bad skin and a wardrobe compiled of car coats, cropped trousers and turtle neck jumpers.  A lot of Crimplene and pastel colours were involved.  She looked like a Smiths cover star, in other words.

Actually, her husband used to complement her in this respect.  Those bum freezer jackets and boots with the elastic in the side, and a big ash blond quiff.  Wide screen features and very pale blue eyes ... ahem ... is it a bit off to say that your uncle was quite fanciable really?  He used to manage a car showroom in Walsall.  Very glamorous.

Theirs was an aspirational family (by 1976 standards) and they were the envy of all my other relatives because they had an oil lamp, a bricked up chimney style fireplace and one of those long, snaking sofa/chair things with the units in between!  The upholstery was chocolate coloured velour!

My mother said nothing (as was usually the case in any social gatherings, unless she'd laid into the Cherry B).

My gran got very emotional.

"It's a lovely song.  It makes me want to cry."

"HAH!" my auntie once again retorted.  "He's making IDIOTS out of people like you, all he's doing is raking in the cash from people who don't know any better like YOU".  She made some theatrical gestures of an EVIL person (presumably Demis) counting cash in their EVIL castle, grinning fiendishly and rubbing their hands together in an EVIL way.

"I don't care, people of your age don't understand.  One day you will.  I like this and I like Slim Whitman" my gran whined.  It's one of the few times I ever heard her express an opinion on anything, or, indeed, talk about anything apart from her illnesses.

I was hoping that this would, for once, lead to a huge family feud, or at least a heated debate.  It didn't.  Nothing ever did in my family.  People used to talk about each other behind their backs though.  This is part of the reason that I think families are shit.

My auntie, who was young and healthy and lively, died of a stroke at forty four.  Yikes!  I've outlived her!

My gran, who was always claiming that she would be dead soon, lived to the ripe old age of eighty nine.

Anyway, this has rambled off into a blind alley, and is completely pointless, which is the way I like it. There's nothing worse than a well written blog post, is there?

Um, Demis.  Here's Demis with the awesome Aphrodite's Child.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008


Haven't got around to reading all of those best music/end of the year lists in the papers or on the internet, but I bet this song and this band crop up in most of them:

Yes, it's Girlfriend In An Oxford Coma (I Know, I Know) It's Serious by The Vampire Weekends.

Problem is, whenever I hear that song I imagine it being performed by the King's Singers.

As you can see, the King's Singers are major LOLZ merchants for the sort of people who fall into fits of hysterical laughter whenever they hear that thing where "cats" sing opera, and they don't own a TV set because television is "evil" but they MUST confess to enjoying Radio Four's comedy output and they ADOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE Steven Fry.

I can't get the Vampire Weekend/King's Singers business out of my head.  

I need to be transported back to 1977 so that the King's Singers can appear on a Nana Mouskouri Christmas Special performing Oxford Comma, with the bald cove singing the "take the chapstick/put it on your lips" lines in his deep bassy voice to *hilarious effect*.

Then, and only then, will I be able to get on with the rest of my life.


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Wednesday, December 03, 2008


I don't watch all of the modern TV programmes that allegedly unite the entire nation around the box these days.  No Strictly Ballroom, no Celebrity Strictness In The Dressing Room or I'm A Celebrity - Get Me Out Of This Kitchen And Out Of The Vicinity Of Gordon Ramsay, The Philandering Bounder!

The only time that I see the sort of shows that everyone else watches is at about eight o'clock on a weekday, when the other half is looking at West Ham forums on the *internet*, and I am watching telly with the sound turned off.

So ... last night I was watching How To Look Good Naked - with the sound turned off.

Can anyone tell me what the point of How To Look Good Naked is?

It is a programme that seems to have been influenced by the Dove adverts that featured *rill* *women*, as opposed to young, thin, good looking women.  Rill women are supposed to like other rill women in adverts, even though they don't like other rill women in rill life, and will bitch about their physical imperfections behind their backs.

For some reason that I can't fathom, Gok Wan wants to encourage rill women to take off their clothes in front of a camera and celebrate their natural beauty, vom, vom.  There's all sorts of wobbling and sagging flesh on display here and, sorry to offend any wet feminist workshop types reading, but it's not very pleasant to look at.  Why are women up for this sort of ritual humiliation?  

Any woman who has an ounce of self awareness realises that her physical attributes are on the slide after the age of thirty.  Really, I'm being kind here - most men would suggest that the age of around twenty five is nearer the mark.  

Actually, there comes a point in every woman's life when, after a night's carousing, she gets up in the morning feeling like death.  She looks into the mirror and sees Edward G. Robinson staring back at her.

Frightening.  Still, you start to laugh at all the effects of gravity, decay and those thick BLACK bristles that crop up on your chin overnight if you've got a sense of humour or more than half a brain cell to rub together.  What else can you do?

Well, a lot of the women here seem to be hung up about the fact that they don't look as good as they did when they were twenty.  No, really!  You don't say!

Do women who obsess about their sagging mammaries or cellulite have nothing better to occupy their time?  Virtually anything is a better way to occupy your time, actually.  Why waste huge amounts of money on *firming* creams when you could be drinking a fucking big glass of wine or eating that Moser Roth chocolate with the cranberry bits in it, mmmmm?  

I watched a few minutes of this show with the sound turned up because I wanted to get the gist of what was going on and maybe, ho ho, blog about it.  

Gok Wan seems to want women to "celebrate" their assets, i.e., they are on the big side and therefore have big tits.  This therefore means that they should wang them out there at every available opportunity, and shouldn't hide them behind baggy tops.  Duh!  Take it from, ahem, one who knows, the big *racked* woman's best asset is the underwired bra.  Oh, and she should avoid polo neck jumpers or anything baggy (Every woman should avoid baggy tops.  They are dull, dull, dull).  That's all you need to know dear - now, try thinking about something more interesting or amusing.

Still, there's no end to The Rise Of Gok Wan.  I was looking at some costume jewellery in Dorothy Perkins (nice outsized purple cocktail rings and, er, bright yellow button earrings.  You can tell I don't "do" "understatement" or "good quality investment pieces", eh?  Thank god you don't know me).  Anyway, Gok's voice was being piped into the store and his picture was everywhere, and he kept uttering variations of "helloooo gorgeous!!!"

Fuck off you patronising Kent.  I'm not gorgeous, I'm a haggard middle aged bag, and proud of the fact.  If I ever see you, I will remove your chi chi designer glasses and grind them under my haggard middle aged foot.


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