With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And I Think Of All The Things, What You’re Doing, And In My Head I Paint A Picture” July 31, 2011


It was probably quite predictable really, but just like Elvis, John Lennon, Nirvana and Michael Jackson among others, Amy Winehouse’s albums and singles have sold phenomenally well since her sad death last weekend. ‘Back To Black‘ is this weeks UK number one album. It has also climbed to number 8 in the US Billboard album charts.Her first album ‘Frank’ is at number 5 in the UK. In fact with Adele at number 2 and 4 and Beyonce at number 3, the whole top 5 albums in the UK is ruled by women!

Amy also has 5 songs in the UK top 40 singles chart;

“Back To Black” – Number 8

Tears Dry On Their Own” – Number 27

“Rehab” – Number 29

Love Is A Losing Game” – Number 33

You Know I’m No Good” –  Number 37

Sadly it wasn’t enough to keep JLS from the top of the singles chart, but not every cloud has a silver lining. In the meantime let’s enjoy a couple of Amy’s recordings that didn’t make the top 40 this week, including a brilliant festival appearance with the Specials;

 

“I feel stupid and contagious. Here we are now, entertain us” July 30, 2011

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 8:01 pm
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Do you ever feel like Big Brother or simply the Nanny State is watching us or coming to get us even? Are there people and organisations out there that would like to control what we see, hear and read? I believe that there are. I guess the recent phone hacking debacle has gone some way to proving this. If scum tabloid newspapers can get away for years with listening to people voice messages (and who knows what else) then what the hell must the ‘powers that be’ get up to?

Spencer Elden recreates that classic album cover aged 17

So a small part of this kind of state is reflected in the recent action by Facebook. They removed a picture of the iconic cover of Nirvana’s classic album ‘Nevermind‘ from the album’s Facebook page. Presumably because it shows……..shock, horror…. a baby penis! They have apparently rectified what has been described as an administrative error, personally I see it as more of a cock-up. What do you think?

Spencer Elden in a TV appearance around the time he turned 20 earlier in 2011

Click here to read about it in the Guardian. Spencer Elden, now aged 20, was the baby in the picture. In 2008 he was quoted as saying “Quite a few people in the world have seen my penis, so that’s kinda cool.” He is the son of a friend of Nirvana’s photographer.

 

“So if you’re down on your luck and you can’t harmonize” July 26, 2011


A rolling stone apparently gathers no moss, but what about an aging stone? Mick Jagger is 68 today, bringing the total age of the Rolling Stones (including along with Sir Mick; Keef, Charlie and Ronnie) to 269 years. Mick is a keen cricket fan so no doubt will have been pleased by England’s excellent performance against India at Lords yesterday.

Will the Stones tour again? Who knows? But one of the alleged reasons for them not hitting the road soon was a remark in Keith Richards’ autobiography which disparaged the size of Mick’s todger. Mick, I wouldn’t be too upset if I were you, large or small it seems to work pretty
well given all the Jagger sproglets that are on the planet! Plus Keith did say you had big balls!

Anyway in recognition of Mick’s birthday here are a few Stones classics, including “Gimme Shelter” to reflect Mick’s options regarding
a move to sheltered accommodation;

And finally an opportunity for me to share the new Cher Lloyd single which I really love. Is there something wrong with me? I actually like something that has arisen from the X Factor that also takes the refrain from “Oh My Darling Clementine”. Anyway what’s it doing in a post about Mick Jagger? Well it’s a very tenuous link, but it’s called “Swagger Jagger”

 

“Eyes in the mirror, still expecting they’ll come, sensing too well when the journey is done” July 25, 2011


Just down the road from where I live there is a Community Hall and as far as I am aware it has never benefited from the appearance of any kind of Rock God. Although my good lady; Catwoman did appear as Principal Boy in an AmDram Panto 15 or 16 years ago, but sadly that doesn’t count! However I bet there are many of you who wished that you lived in or near Monmouth on 9th July this year. Robert Plant played a gig to around 200 invited guests. It was a gig to raise money for the Pick’s Disease Support Group. In simple terms Pick’s is a form of dementia that affects mostly younger people. Click here to check out their website.

The gig was in tribute to his friend Pat Moran who died of the disease earlier this year. Moran was Engineer on Plant’s first solo album and Co-Producer on his second. The band was quite something too, including such luminaries as; Verden Allen off of Mott The Hoople,Dave Edmunds and Martin Chambers off of the Pretenders amongst others. Plant played a few Led Zep songs as well as solo material. Now that gig surely was a truly priceless event! Click here to read about it on the BBC. Now enjoy one of my favourite Led Zep songs and my favourite solo song from Percy (unfortunately not from the Monmouth gig);

 

“And I would like to take you home with me tonight, in my hands, my trembling hands” July 24, 2011


The world has gone slightly mad don’t you think? Bankers still get paid (I refuse to use the word ‘earn’) billions in bonuses Greece needs another bail-out whilst Somalia has entered a serious famine situation. How about it bankers? You know it makes sense, but actually I doubt that you do given that most of you probably don’t possess a conscience. But let me give you another reason for helping others. You won’t be able to help yourself to a bottle of Australian 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove Shiraz wine, because a case valued at 1 million Australian dollars has just been destroyed in a forklift accident. It was apparently insured though. But the best quote on the story was “”When they opened up the container they said it was like a murder scene, but it smelled phenomenal” which was made by the wonderfully named winemaker Sparky Marquis. I sure wouldn’t have fancied being the Forklift driver who had to tell him! Click here to read the story on the BBC.

But this is a music blog so let’s take a listen to some wine related songs shall we? Feel free to contribute your own favourite wine songs.

“Little Old Wine Drinker Me” – Dean Martin. Perhaps Dean was playing up to his image as a hard-drinking member of the infamous Rat Pack? A great song nonetheless though. Also famously recorded in the late 60s by actor Robert Mitchum.

Red, Red Wine” – Neil Diamond. Actually written by Mr Diamond and then recorded as a reggae tune in the late 60s by Tony Tribe. It was Tribe’s arrangement that was taken to the top of the UK charts by UB40.

Lilac Wine” – Jeff Buckley. One of the first recordings of the song was by Nina Simone and the first big hit version was by Elkie Brooks. But for me the definitive version is from Jeff Buckley.

“Chardonnay” – Cerys Matthews. Written for the Welsh songbird by none other than Roger Cook and Hugh Cornwell.

 

Gary Numan – York Barbican – Friday 22nd July 2011 July 23, 2011


I mentioned another post earlier this month that I would soon be off to see Gary Numan at the Barbican in York, well it came around quite quickly and I was there for the show last night. It was a part of the weekend long DV8 festival across a number of York venues. It also seemed like there had been coachloads of Whitby Goths dropped in York for the weekend. It could easily have been a Bram Stoker convention. But really I jest because I love the fact that some people, mostly young, take the time to be a little different with their appearance. That indeed was one of the many things that I loved about my late, great cousin Deborah Schofield who died way too young quite a few years ago now. I reckon she would have enjoyed herself last night.

Catwoman did accompany me, against my best advice, I did tell her that she probably wouldn’t like the music. But she came anyway, to try to share my interest. That is one of the many things that I love her for. But she did leave halfway through Gary Numan’s set, I was pretty darned impressed that she made it that far actually!

So onto the show. Personally I thought the support band were dreadful and sit very easily in amongst the 5 worst bands that I have ever seen and I saw my first gig in 1973. Their musicianship was very good, the songs were mostly average and the lead vocalist, well I believe they need to get one! The bass player really looked the part though, he could have stepped right out of Johnny Thunder‘s Heartbreakers in the late 70s. But that is all just my opinion and they did seem to have quite a few fans. Of course it could be that they weren’t allowed anywhere near a sound check as often happens with support bands. Click here to check out their MySpace page and tell me what you think. I would like to stress that this is my opinion and I look forward to the inevitable backlash!

Luxury Stranger finished at 9.30 and then we waited nearly an hour for the main man Mr Numan to arrive on stage, but for me it was definitely worth the wait. I suppose tribal loyalty (I’m a Bowie fan) means I shouldn’t like Gary Numan, but frankly I find all that kind of stuff pathetic. Numan opened with a kind of dark electro fanfare which rolled neatly into the excellent “Down In The Park“. I must confess that I probably know more of his late 70s work, but the newer stuff is strong and powerful and he has a great stage presence. he sure as hell knows how to work his very passionate audience. I will almost certainly buy his new album ‘Dead Son Rising’ when it comes out in September.

He played the classic “Cars” shortly after Catwoman left the building. A shame really as this may have been the one song she would have recognised. He finished the pre encore part of the set with my favourite; “Are Friends Electric?” it still sounds fresh and futuristic. The main synth riff was replaced with a piano riff which works really well. He was only off stage briefly before finishing with two songs. The light show was bloody good as was the sound and the venue is great. I went away happy at midnight as I would imagine the rest of the audience did too. I would definitely go and see him again and I truly believe that his show would work well at the Reading Festival, probably late afternoon on the Main Stage. Are you listening for next year Reading organisers?

I don’t have any recordings from last nights show so here are a few excellent clips for your further listening and viewing pleasure.

And finally an excellent old interview with Graham Norton

 

“So we are history, your shadow covers me”


I’m sure you’ve heard the sad news of Amy Winehouse’s death aged just 27. As I type this the cause of death given by the police is ‘unexplained’ Unlike some interpretations I doubt there is anything sinister in this. Amy’s drug problems were much publicised and probably helped sell thousands of tabloids here in the UK. Whilst her passing is incredibly sad there is also an air of inevitability about it. At least now the tabloids are nicely chastened they will allow her friends, family and fans to grieve.

I believe that Amy was a truly talented and gifted individual. I remember buying her first album ‘Frank’ in 2003 after hearing some of it on the radio following it featuring as one of the nominees for the Mercury Music prize. It was (and still is) a good album and made me think that there was really something to this young lady. Clearly there was, her follow-up album ‘Back To Black’ remains one of my favourite albums and it’s such a shame there hasn’t been another since that in 2006.

She also recorded some great cover versions, pretty much making the Zutons “Valerie” her own. I really was rooting for her to come back with an amazing album a mega succesful tour and years of new music in front of her. I really wanted to see her in concert but I never got around to it. I’m sure it won’t be long before much of the talk is about the 27 club, which is derived from the age at which a number of talented musicians died; Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain to name a few. Indeed Amy is already included on the 27 Club Wikipedia page. Does that sound like a degree of obscene haste to you?

Billy Bragg mentioned this on Twitter earlier today and made the much more credible point that it wasn’t a specific age that killed any of these people, it was drug abuse. But enough of the salacious elements of Amy’s demise and let’s enjoy some of her wonderful music. My condolences go to her family, friends and fans.

RIP Amy Winehouse

 

 
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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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