With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

“Like a puppet thing, when I pull the string, you’re the dancer” May 31, 2010

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Jimmy Helms possibly RIP

I have been buying Mojo Magazine for many issues now, in fact since issue number one and I am so middle-aged that I now subscribe. The writing is excellent and challenges many preconceptions you may have about some artists or music. Anyway enough of that, I was reading the new issue (edited by Tom Waits no less) when I chanced upon a brief obituary for the great Jimmy Helms. If that is correct then it completely passed me by. I have also Googled him only to find no information about his demise. Wikipedia certainly has no mention of it, but then that doesn’t really mean much. So if anyone out there knows whether or not this is true then please let me know. If it is then I for one will be quite sad for a number of reasons. Jimmy had (or hopefully still has) a great voice and also if he is no longer with us why was that not in the news anywhere apart from Mojo? Clearly I’m not the only one who is perplexed, click here for more.

He was born in Florida in 1944 but had his biggest early successes in the UK. His first big break came with the UK top ten single “Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse” in 1973. He had a significant resurgence in the late 80s and 90s as part of Londonbeat even reaching the top of the US charts with “I’ve Been Thinking About You” in 1990. Jimmy if you are gone you will be sadly missed and either way Mojo or Q or someone should publish a piece on you very soon. In the meantime enjoy a few more of Jimmy’s highlights.

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2010 May 30, 2010


The UK entry in this years contest was a song written by Mike Stock and Pete Waterman off of Stock Aitken Waterman. It was performed by 19-year-old Josh Dubovie and it is called “That Sounds Good To Me“. But clearly it didn’t sound good to the rest of Europe as for the third time in eight years we came last. OK I know all the conspiracies about neighbourly voting with the Balkan States voting for each other just like the Scandinavians. But really how good was our song? In my opinion it was ok and Josh’s performance was very good. But as the Catwoman said to me during the show “you could almost imagine Kylie singing that a few years ago” It is that which is probably the crux of another UK failure, the song was 80s cheesy disco and very dated.

Still at least it was better than the atrocious and out of tune nul points performance of Jemini back in 2003. The sad thing is that wherever we finish we will always be in the next years contest in the final. Germany, Spain and France will be too. Simply because it is those four countries that fund the whole shebang. Read about the whole thing on the beeb by clicking here

My personal favourites last night were Iceland and Turkey. Kind of Euro Dance and slightly rockier respectively. When Lena sang the German winning entry, “Satellite” I did say somewhat prophetically (or more like a lucky bloody guess) that this one is the winner. It was probably helped by the fact that it has been heard all over Europe already, but it’s not a bad song. Although I do find some of her English enunciation a little strange. But then coming from someone like me who speaks just one language (unless bollocks, bullshit and double dutch count) that’s a bit rich. So congratulations to Lena for achieving Germany’s second win. The first was with Nicole’s “A Little Peace” back in 1982.

Can we learn from Germany? They won in 1982 with Nicole and this year with Lena. So next year perhaps the UK's entry should be sung by Doris, Ethel or Chardonnay!

There were some rather strange moments last night. The Spanish performance was interrupted by a random guy in a stupid hat jumping on the stage and dancing. Personally I didn’t think he looked out-of-place among the toy-like dancers providing a backdrop to a dreadful song. Sung by someone who looked like a reincarnated Leo Sayer. Then there was Armenia who sang a song about apricot stones, what was that all about then? Well apricot stones obviously, but I mean why? Apparently the apricot is their national fruit. Then there was the Belarus entry “Butterflies”. Graham Norton had said before their appearance that the dresses they were wearing would be hotly desired by every little girl in Europe aged under 10. I didn’t understand why until partway through the song when they transformed into dresses with added butterfly wings. They also nearly managed to finish below us but picked up some massive votes towards the end.

wtf?

So let us now ponder on what the UK will do next? Personally I think we should ask Muse and Radiohead to combine for next years entry. It might not win but it would be credible and blow everyone else away! How else will we add to that illustrious list of previous UK winners Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Brotherhood Of Man, Bucks Fizz and Katrina & The Waves? Let us also hope that this has no similarity with the result of the impending World Cup in South Africa!

You can find the official Eurovision site here

And you can find the Wikipedia take on Eurovision here

 

Steve Harley at the Grand Opera House in York 28th May 2010 May 29, 2010


Last night I went to see Steve Harley off of Cockney Rebel at the Grand Opera House in York. I saw him there four or five years ago as well. He was excellent then and he was superb last night as well. He played some new stuff and classic oldies, not just the big hits. Stuff like “Sebastian”, “Judy Teen” and “Tumbling Down” both of which I love.

The band were excellent and include Stuart Elliott the original drummer from Cockney Rebel who formed the band with Steve in 1972. According to Wikipedia Steve is now 59, that makes me feel old, but also it seems at 51 I’m not far behind. The backing vocals were provided by the Lartey Sisters, they were also his support act. Well worth turning up on time for, unlike quite a number of people who stayed in the bar. Check them out on MySpace here. Every member of the band was on top form, a supremely skilled bunch. I thought the guitarist looked a little like Stephen King, which is fine with me as I am a massive King fan

He played two cover versions. “Here Comes The Sun” which he had a hit with in the 70s and also a Daniel Johnston song, which he handled really well

Steve Harley has a brilliant rapport with his audience and showed that with some of the between song banter and he also told a great story about busking in the early 70s. The song I was most pleased to hear again, because I haven’t heard it in ages was “Mr Raffles (Man It Was Mean)” Overall he was on stage for around two hours and as you might have guessed he climaxed with “(Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile” He did mention how most local radio DJs and much of the press seem to assume that song is pretty much all he has done. But added some good words for Johnnie Walker and Steve Wright, both of whom in his opinion really ‘get it’ I’m not surprised either, I have always admired the brilliant Johnnie Walker.

So overall it was an excellent night, just like the last time and probably the next time as well! Well done and thanks to you Mr Harley!

Check out Steve’s official website here

You can purchase Steve’s new album by clicking here

 

“When you know your heart is light, electric is the love”


So here we are on another UK Public Holiday weekend and guess what? It’s raining. Someone once said to me that there is an easy way to tell when it’s summer in the UK. Do you know how? Well it’s quite simple really, the rain is warm! So here I am stuck indoors so I thought I’d put together a slightly random post that captures a lot of the stuff I have been meaning to blog about for a while, so here goes.

Steal The Smile contemplate doing a cover of Blinded By The Light

Firstly way back on the 13th May I finally got to see my son Luke play a gig with his band Steal The Smile. They were the second band on that night in the FaceBar at Reading. The band on before them were, and I’m being nice here, in need of an awful lot more practice. Apologies to the bands that followed, but we left for some scoff at TGI Fridays! Steal The Smile played a great six song set which included some of their older and newer stuff along with the obligatory Blink 182 cover. I can tell you that all the boys in the band are looking forward to seeing Blink at the Reading Festival in August. It was a real pity that Steal The Smile were once again badly let down by a promoter in that they had to hang around for three hours for a sound check that never actually materialised and by the time they played there were nowhere near as many people as there could have been. The band wasn’t paid for this gig, but I bet the promoter was! What is it with promoters, and I use the term loosely here, who simply book a venue and some bands and do bugger all else? Is it a stupid assumption that promoters ought to promote? I think not! So if there are any good promoters out there (i.e those with brain cells that at least run into double figures) then get in touch with the boys and book them! You can find them on Facebook and MySpace. Keep visiting too, as there is a revamp being lined up and possibly a lot of new stuff!

Steal The Smile live at the FaceBar in Reading May 13th 2010

There were a couple of quite amusing moments during their set. Firstly the sound guy was trying to speak to them over the sound of the music and clearly couldn’t make himself heard. It did make me wonder how much he actually knew about sound! So finally Luke just gave the instruction “Articulate” like a rock n roll Dalek, needless to say there was still no response from Mr Sound. The other part was just before the final song when Luke said “This is the point in the show where I usually tell the audience how beautiful they are. But with a large part of the audience being my Dad it seemed a bit strange” Johnny then made a point of telling me that he thought I was beautiful, hmmmmm I worry about the drummer! Finally on Steal The Smile for now, it’s not too late to get hold of an exclusive free song from them, just click here for  a previous post of mine to get your mitts on it!

Next up Glastonbury has lost U2 this year thanks to Mr Hewson’s back problems, which were apparently quite serious. Anyway there is a little silver lining in that their replacement will be the Gorillaz. In their current incarnation the Gorillaz contain not one, but two, former members of the best band ever; the Clash! yes Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are both in the touring band and bizarrely wearing sailors hats as part of the new album Plastic Beach’s nautical theme. I think I may have to get a hold of some tickets for their tour later this year. Read the BBC article on the revised Glasto line up here. Below you can watch the video for the first single from Plastic Beach, it’s called “Stylo” and features Damon Albarn, Mos Def and Bobby Womack

On May 24th there was the news of the tragic death of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray aged just 38. I have taken some stick from many Slipknot fans in the past for using an incorrect picture of them without masks, but whilst that has been a bit of fun and banter I am sure all fans of the band are pretty upset and hurt by his death. To lose a music hero is not pleasant, I know how I felt on hearing about the death of John Lennon, Bob Marley and Joe Strummer. So my sympathies go to Paul Gray’s friends and family and to all Slipknot fans around the world. In his memory here are the band with the video for “Psychosocial”

Yesterday saw the sad news that Gary Coleman the diminutive star of the US sitcom ‘Diffr’nt Strokes has died. He had kidney problems all his life which meant he never grew above 4 feet 8 inches. His most famous catch phrase from the show was “What you talking about Willis?” Willis being his older brother in the show. Hed was clearly popular in the music fraternity too as the testimonials on the NME report of his death show. Kind words from Blink 182, Janet Jackson and Katy Perry

And finally for this post, have you seen the new Miike Snow video, for his song ‘The Rabbit’? It’s really strange. It has a bearded kid and a re-enactment of a 2 Live Crew album cover. Click here to see it. Let me know what you think of it

 

“Don’t need a gun to blow your mind oh no, oh no” May 23, 2010


I had the pleasure of seeing a terrific new play this weekend at York Theatre Royal. It was called ‘Catcher – Before Chapman Shot Lennon‘. As many of you know, Mark David Chapman, the man who murdered John Lennon was obsessed with J D Salinger’s ‘Catcher In The Rye’ The book was in his possession when he shot Lennon, in fact it is said that after he fired those fatal shots he sat down to read the book until the police came. I think he was obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the book’s principal character as well as with fame itself. Before he killed John Lennon he had previously been photographed with Stephen King and Bob Dylan amongst others. Click here to read a really strange and frankly highly unbelievable conspiracy theory that it was Stephen King that shot John Lennon. Personally I think this is complete and utter tosh!

Anyway, back to the play. It is believed that Chapman hired a prostitute and had her come to his hotel on the night before the killing. This woman has never been found and has never made herself known. The play is based on the conversations that Chapman my have had with his hooker in his room. There are just two actors in the whole play which lasts 75 minutes. Mitzi Jones plays the prostitute, both as her older self narrating past events and as her younger self in the room with Chapman. The way she portrays both characters is phenomenal, with just a few simple changes to her clothes and hair, which for me proves how talented an actress she is. Ronan Summers plays Chapman and he, like Mitzi, is brilliant. Very intense and he really seems to capture the potential madness and imbalance in Chapman’s personality.

Obviously as a music fan I was keen to see this play and I would like to thank Rachel V for booking it for us (Rachel, Catwoman and me). If you get the chance to see it you really should, I am sure you won’t be disappointed. You can read a couple of reviews of the play here; One in the York Press and the other from The Stage

In a bizarre coincidence I finished Nick Kent’s (a former NME scribe) 70s memoir ‘Apathy For The Devil’ the day after I saw the play and he mentions Lennon’s murder. He said that he had read a book which gave details of every Beatles session, quite a weighty tome I believe! He read it a few years after the murder and spotted a strange thing. Apparently in the early versions of “Come Together” Lennon opened his vocal with the phrase ‘Shoot Me’ George Martin changed this to ‘Shoo’ as allegedly he felt this would be more acceptable to the record buying public.

OK as this is very much a John Lennon related post here are three of my favourite Lennon songs

“Instant Karma” – Without doubt my most favourite Lennon song ever

Whatever Gets You Through The Night” – Perhaps not his most popular song, but I loved it from when I first got the ‘Walls And Bridges’ album on cassette back in the mid 70s. Elton John also plays piano, organ and provides backing vocals on the track. This is a live version recorded at an Elton gig from Madison Square Garden in 1974

“Woman Is The Nigger Of The World” – This is taken from the underrated ‘Sometime In New York City’ album. The song is based on a phrase first coined by Yoko Ono in the late 60s to describe the oppression of women, which is indeed what the song is all about. The use of the word nigger had the song banned from many US radio stations. This clip has Lennon explaining the song to Dick Cavett

 

“To keep in silence I resigned, my friends would think I was a nut” May 20, 2010


No one was prepared to argue with Lily's new security guards Ethel and Doris

Todays post may be a bit random, I haven’t posted for a while so I just fancied getting back in the saddle as they say. Incidentally do you, like me, ever wonder who ‘they’ are? I should also warn you that this post makes a brief return to the Lily Allen Naked experiment.

Lily suggested that her next album might be a bit more soulful

So first up is the news from the 55th Ivor Novello awards that the wonderfully talented and entertaining Lily Allen won three awards; Best Song Musically & Lyrically for “The Fear” PRS Most Performed Song also for “The Fear” and Songwriter Of The Year along with Greg Kurstin. You can read all about it here on the BBC website. A few of my other favourite artists also won awards; Paul Weller, Johnny Marr and Bat For Lashes. The Ivor Novello Awards started in 1955 and are awarded largely for songwriting and are named after Welsh performer Ivor Novello (I bet that you never guessed that did you?) Learn more about the award that is nicknamed the Ivor here at Wikipedia

Catching falling stars appeared easy after winning three Ivors

An artist who has previously won an Ivor Lifetime Achievement award is Peter Gabriel, that was back in 2007. Today he is in the news for a slightly different reason. He is back in the UK to support a campaign to stop the development of the Woolley Valley near Bath. The valley is threatened with significant farming developments which it is claimed will ruin its picturesque appearance. So why is Gabriel interested in the Woolley Valley I hear you ask? Well it just so happens that he lived there for quite a while and more importantly, for me anyway, it is overlooked by Solsbury Hill. That hill is the subject of what I feel is far and away Mr Gabriel’s finest song, click here to listen to it and read the Guardian article about the campaign here. There is a well organised campaign to save Woolley Valley. You can show your support by visiting their site and signing the petition or even donating to the cause, click here to show your solidarity! And now that you have done something for the environment, make yourself feel even better by listening to one of the most inspiring songs that I know, “Solsbury Hill

Or hear it again in the video below, this time with the appropriately named Happy Tree Friends

 

“Many, many years ago he started something with his first ‘hello, hello'” May 13, 2010


Nick - "Dave, will this coalition hurt?" Dave - "Not really, but you may feel a little prick!"

 Is the UK’s new coalition government the brave new world that some of the media are suggesting? It is the first for many years and indeed it is the first time The Party Formerly Known As The Liberal Party (TPFKATLP) has been represented on the cabinet. But in essence the country is being run once again by a significant number of toffs. Some 72% of the cabinet were schooled at Westminster, Eton and other exclusive schools and most of those are also Oxbridge Graduates. Personally I feel cheated, for the first time in quite a while I voted Lib Dem rather than Labour as I felt that Nick Clegg’s party ideals were closest to Labours. But then he goes and does a deal with Dangerous Dave. Sure he sided with the party that got most votes, but bear in mind that nobody really won this election. The Tories got 36% of the vote, but that equates to just 23% of those eligible to vote. To make matters worse if it all goes wrong I can’t wear my ‘Don’t Blame Me I Voted Labour’ badge, because I didn’t.  

Will this government move us closer to proportional representation? I honestly doubt it, because the Tories and Labour have most to lose from it so they will angle any referendum questions their way I suspect. Am I being overly cynical? Maybe. But here’s another one, the Lib Dems said that they would not proceed with a replacement for Trident, but now that Dave and Nick are all cosied up the Lib Dems will concede on that. Hold on a cotton pickin’ minute here, why has no-one stated the bloody obvious. This government will bring in austerity measures to achieve public spending cuts saving £6 billion. Now according to reports of Trident costs that I have read Trident’s replacement will cost anywhere from £76 billion to £130 billion. So why not scrap Trident and take the £6 billion from there and then pay all the rest of us (except bankers) obscene bonuses with the remaining money. But that won’t happen either as banking reform will be handcuffed as it will be led by George Osborne rather than Vince Cable.  

Anyway rant over, because frankly what the hell can I do about it now? Bugger all that’s what! Also this is ostensibly a music blog so let’s get on with that element shall we? Taking the theme, appropriately from another new government story. Dangerous Dave Cameron has apparently banned people from using their mobiles and Blackberrys in meetings and I commend him for that. (Read about it here) Where I work I wish someone would take that extra step and ban bloody meetings though, it’s no wonder that nothing get’s done in most organisations when most of us are sat on our arses in meetings all day!  

So back to the point, the banning of phones in government meetings, here are a somewhat eclectic six telephone related songs, (one for each Lib Dem member of the Liberative Cabinet, feel free to suggest your own  

and you thought the first mobile phones were big!

 “Telephone Line” – ELO. This is probably one of my favourite ELO songs, I always preferred their slower numbers. I went off them when Jeff Lynne just seemed to want to be the Beatles, even before Oasis did. But in their time they did record some classic songs though  

“Hanging On The Telephone” – Blondie. This was a cover version the original was by the Nerves (click here to listen). I reckon that quite a few people didn’t know that. I suppose I could have chosen “Call Me” as well. I saw Blondie in the 90’s when “Maria” went to number one in the UK. It was at the Reading Rivermead with my very good friend Jes (Jeremy Hyde to his folks). Anyway the band had played a couple of songs from the new album and we were standing a little way from the stage, then they launched into “Hanging On The Telephone” and I remained were I was whilst Jes was dragged forward by the crowd surge. The next thing I could see was Jes right near the front of the stage pogoing his heart out. He has always had a bit of a thing for Debbie Harry though, in fact he once confided in me that our boss Jane reminded him of Ms Harry. But more of that another day perhaps!  

“Vibrate” – Rufus Wainwright. This is taken from Rufus’ excellent album ‘Want One’ which was the first of his that I bought. I love the guys voice, which sometimes reminds me of the late, great Jeff Buckley. he is the son of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainwright III. Loudon once wrote a song called “Rufus Is A Tit Man” which turned out to be completely wrong as Rufus is gay. If my son Luke was around when I put a Rufus Wainwright CD on he always referred to him as Rufus the Doofus, I thought you might want to know that  

“Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)” – Four Tops. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love Levi Stubbs’ voice, for me it’s an immaculate soul voice. Whilst most of the Four Tops biggest hits were written by the classic teaming of Holland Dozier Holland this one wasn’t. It was co written by Pam Sawyer and Gloria Jones. That’s the very same Gloria Jones that wrote and originally recorded, “Tainted Love” which became Soft Cell’s biggest hit. She also went on to become Marc Bolan’s girlfriend and was driving the car in which he died in September 1977  

“Alexander Graham Bell” – Sweet. Mr Bell is credited with inventing the telephone and allegedly he wouldn’t have one in his study as he felt it was an intrusion, that seems a little strange to me. Also his mother and his wife were profoundly deaf, so his invention was never going to benefit them was it?  

“Telephone Man” – Meri Wilson. Meri specialised in double entendre type songs of which this, her biggest hit (oooooooh Matron!) is a good example. Sadly she died in a car crash aged just 53 in 2002

 

 
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साहित्य संगालो २०१३

विभिन्न साहित्यीक सर्जकहरु द्वारा लेखिएको सामाग्रीहरुको भण्डार हो साहित्य संगालो २०१३ साथै ख्याती प्राप्त कलाकार द्वारा रचित बिभिन्न विधाका गीतहरु पनि समावेस गरिएको छ साहित्य संगालो २०१३ मा । यस साहित्य संगालो २०१३ मा विभिन्न अनलाईन मिडियाबाट साभार गरिएका सामाग्रीहरु प्रस्तुत गरिएको छ।

a1000mistakes

Well, I'm dyslexic so writing about something I love: Music, might help but it's most likely just full of mistakes. That title is also lyrics from The Drones song called I Don't Want To Change. Oh, my name is William and thanks for having a look.

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