With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“In the year of the scavenger, the season of the bitch” November 13, 2012


According to the Mail OnLine (so let’s treat the information cautiously) dogs prefer classical music to heavy metal and they don’t seem to like those cheap relaxing music for your canine friend CDs either. I wonder if that has anything to do with the location of their sub woofer? Click here to read the full article.

Anyway I thought that I’d like to try a little experiment about how true this is. So here are a few dog related songs that I would like you to play to your mutt and tell me what reaction you get. Unfortunately I can’t do that as I only have cats.

 

“See the life I’ve had can make a good man bad” November 15, 2011


How often do you watch or listen to a TV or radio advert and cringe at the fact they’ve chosen some of your favourite music to soundtrack a terrible advert or a horrible product or a combination of both?

The new John Lewis Christmas ads, primarily there to promote a new range of Smiths pillow cases perhaps?

I suppose we shouldn’t get too precious about these kinds of things, after all the writers might need the money. If I’d written a piece of music that someone wanted to use on an advert and they were willing to pay me would I allow it? Of course I would, just as long as it wasn’t used to promote the likes of the BNP, the Daily Mail, Cheese on Toast or the Tory Party.

Morrissey refuses to get catty about the use of Smiths songs in adverts

I was pointed in the direction of the new John Lewis television advert by my good friend Nick Horslen. It is soundtracked by a cover version of the Smiths song “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by Slow Moving Millie. Personally I don’t think it’s a particularly bad cover, perhaps just a bit bland. Some songs just pass me by on adverts I think, but others are particularly annoying. It’s hardly a song, but I generally change channels if the Go Compare advert comes on, I can’t stand that obnoxious faux opera. However, whilst I am not a big opera fan I do love the music that British Airways have used on many of their ad campaigns; “The Flower Duet” from the opera Lakme composed by Leo Delibes.

For the record Morrissey refuse to wear clothes made from animal skins, which clearly means that his wardrobe is quite small!

As for songs that I love that have been used in disappointing ads, I have to say I was gutted (yes I too am very precious sometimes) when Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” was used to advertise pizzas on TV a couple of years back. But equally Levi’s used some classic music in their brilliant series of TV adverts, including “I Heard It Through The Grapevine“. That same series made hits of many songs that hadn’t been around for years. My particular favourites were “Stand By Me” by Ben E King and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” from my favourite band of all time, The Clash. But for every one of those there are plenty of awful selections; for example the new Christmas ad for Marks & Spencer uses a version of “When You Wish Upon A Star” by the 2011 X Factor finalists!

If you're ever invited to go for a walk with Morrissey please read this first

Which of your favourite songs have been used in adverts and what did you feel about it?

 

“Come, Mister tally man, tally me banana” November 6, 2011


Those of you that are regular readers of this blog will know that I really don’t like UK tabloid newspapers and I hold a particular disdain for The Daily Mail and the Mail On Sunday. However I was watching a review of the papers on TV this morning and a wonderful Mail On Sunday story was referred to.

It concerns the senior German NATO official who had a bit of a fling with Russian spy Katia Zatuliveter. The paper has been banned from revealing his name. All they are able to print is that he is a 56-year-old grandfather and a picture of him dressed as a banana.

Zatuliveter is also alleged to have had an affair with a Liberal Democrat MP; Mike Hancock. Is this not a brilliant story? A German NATO official gets it on with a young blonde Russian spy and he wears a Banana costume. Who would have Geest it! Could it be more fruity? read the Mail coverage by clicking here. As usual let me get back to music, here are three banana related songs to honour this hapless German bloke!

 

“You don’t have to take this crap, you don’t have to sit back and relax” November 12, 2010


Is this country finally waking up? Are the downtrodden finally kicking back? Are those that consider themselves middle class no longer ignoring the obvious? Are our students finally in control of their rebellious gene? Let’s hope so! This week saw more than 50,000 people on the streets of London to protest at the raising of student fees. This follows protests about the schools building programme cuts in July, another anti cuts rally in Sheffield last month and the occupation of an RBS bank last week. OK I know the Daily Mail readers out there will be getting all sanctimonious about the violence and to a large extent I agree. (Yep me agreeing with a Daily Mail opinion, fucking hell am I getting old?) I do not condone violence of any kind and I truly believe that this was caused by just a small minority as is often the case.

With Nick Laurel and Dave Hardy at the wheel we can't go wrong....... can we?

Bear in mind that these protests have all taken place before the coalition cuts have begun to bite, so I think things will get much worse before they get better. Just look at the housing benefit plans, sure a great way of saving money in the short-term, but with private rents rising far quicker than the government are predicting a recipe for disaster. If it goes to plan it will lead to an exodus of people from London as they can no longer afford to live there. Where will that exodus take them? Why probably into all the areas in the country where there will be no jobs! Now that really makes sense doesn’t it? I do not disagree that cuts are needed in expenditure but there are far better ways of doing it. Over a longer period, with more considered plans etc.

Cameron prepares to throw the baby out with the bathwater

As for those of you that aspire to be or consider yourselves to be middle class, get over it! There are two classes in this country; the filthy rich and the rest of us! Just remember that the current cabinet contains 18 millionaires among its members. These are the people who believe they are leading the country, a mistake which many politicians make (Thatcher, Blair and more). They do not lead us, they serve us and it would be wise of them to remember this.

Clearly this picture proves that Nick Clegg has been David Cameron's ventriloquist dummy all along

I do not believe that this government will see out its full term and therefore we will have the opportunity to voice our opinions through the ballot box again. When the time comes do not bow to apathy, get off your arse and vote. Let’s show the politicians whose country this really is. Anyway, rant over and let me get back to the music. Obviously I have chosen some appropriate stuff for you!

White Riot” – The Clash. The song is not about race war as many pundits suggested at the time. According to Joe Strummer it is in fact a call to arms of the white youth of Britain to riot against things that were oppressing them in the same way that black youth in the 70s did.

Let’s Start A Riot” – Three Days Grace. These guys are an Alternative Canadian band who released their 3rd album, ‘Life Starts Here’ last year.

“Panic” – The Smiths This Morrissey/ Marr composition is not really about social unrest, it’s actually about the poor state of pop music at the time. But frankly it still fits on both levels. It was the first Smiths single to feature new member Craig Gannon.

“Walls Come Tumbling Down” – Style Council This is a superb attack on those that govern and I love it. Weller often gets criticised for the Style Council, but I think they were far better than the press thought they were. This song reached number 7 in the UK charts.

Another Brick In The Wall” – Roger Waters The Wall album is seen by many as close to being Roger Waters solo album. This video is from his current tour playing The Wall in its entirety.

“Going Underground” – The Jam. This song did not feature on any of the bands studio albums although it has been on most Jam compilations. I almost took the title for this post from the song. The couplet, “their lies let you down and their promises rust” would have worked well. This went straight into the UK charts at number 1.

I Predict A Riot” – Kaiser Chiefs Formed in Leeds in 1997 the band took their name from a South African football team; the Kaizer Chiefs. The band are Leeds United supporters and former Leeds player Lucas Radebe used to play for the Kaizer Chiefs.

Fight The Power” – Isley Brothers. Written by Ernie Isley this is a really funky protest song. Public Enemy were inspired by it a few years later.

“You Haven’t Done Nothing” – Stevie Wonder This clip appears to be taken from the Andy Williams show. It’s an excellent piece of protest from Mr Wonder. Did you know that the backing vocals on the original studio version were recorded by Motown stablemates at the time, the Jackson 5.

I do worry sometimes that Jedward may be a little more intelligent than Nivid or Dick

 

“I’m waiting here like I promised to, I’m waiting here, but where are you” June 2, 2010


This post has a very loose transport theme based on a few news stories that I have read over the last couple of weeks. They all relate to a slightly different form of transport too. There are cars (well a lack of them actually), Tube Trains, Buses, a ship and balloons! is that last one just me being full of hot air? Well read on to find out is what I would suggest.

Parker chauffers Lady Penelope and in breach of parliamentary rules presumably her box as well!

Firstly in a very admirable move David Cameron has banned the use of chauffeur driven cars by MPs, ministers have been told that they must use second class rail travel. Well at least they will learn how bad the rail services actually are, like us normal people who use trains almost every day. However it has become it a bit of a farce as instructions are that for security reasons MPs red boxes must travel in a separate car. When some MPs asked if they were allowed to travel with their boxes they were denied. Perhaps Dangerous Dave should get his bag carrier Naughty Nick to carry the boxes. Read all about it in this article from the Guardian

Cars” – Gary Numan (He could have just as easily fitted into an aeroplane story too)

Nelson looks down on his ship as it takes to the bottle

Next up we have a ship, not just any ship but actually a model of Admiral Nelson’s HMS Victory. But not just any model either, it’s actually in a bottle. But not just any bottle, it’s actually a giant bottle. It’s not on any old mantlepiece either, it’s actually on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square. Not just any Trafalgar Square though, well actually it is just the old Trafalgar Square. It is a piece of art by artist Yinka Shonibare. It is a scale model of HMS Victory which uses African fabric for its sails. Read all about it here in another article from the Guardian.

Ships In The Night” – Be Bop Deluxe (a band led by the appropriately named Bill Nelson)

The new Routemaster, partly designed by Aston Martin. So more James Bond than Reg Varney then!

Thirdly there is the rather excellent news that those bloody awful bendy buses are being phased out in London. They’re being replaced by a new version of the classic Routemaster bus which for me was always a true London symbol. It has been designed by architect Sir Norman Foster and Aston Martin, what a superb combination that is! Does this prove that Boris Johnson actually has some redeeming features? Probably not and definitely not if you’re a Liverpudlian. Read all about it here in an article in the Guardi……….. ok in the interests of impartiality read about it in this article in the Mail OnLine, the newspaper that is more right wing than the BNP. (Well just because I’m trying to be impartial doesn’t mean I have to like it.

“(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop” – Fatback Band (It has to be 30 years since I last heard this, what a top tune!)

Jonathan Trappe had said to his wife that he was just popping out

Finally Jonathan Trappe crossed the English Channel in a chair carried by masses of balloons. Apparently this is called cluster ballooning. He flew from Kent and eventually landed in a cabbage patch in France. The whole thing is very reminiscent of the wonderful Disney Pixar movie ‘Up’. Well I suppose it beat’s beardy Branson and all his hot air and balloon escapades. But it made me wonder, what about all the dudes who sell helium balloons in shopping precincts at weekends and in school holidays, do they wear divers boots or something? Read all about it here in an article from the Times (see I’m still doing the impartial stuff)

My Beautiful Balloon” – Nancy Sinatra (Just how camp are the dancers in this video?)

And let’s end with a song that sums all this up, it’s Sandie Shaw with Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Trains And Boats And Planes”

 

“Out of self respect I’m out of bread, I’m under loved I’m under fed” April 9, 2009


We took a day out to Whitby in North Yorkshire yesterday which is only about an hours drive from where I live in York. Many of you may know that Whitby is where much of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is set and much of the fabulously imposing structure of Whitby Abbey still remains. I think I will have to read the book again soon. Catwoman tells me that Whitby is supposed to be Goth Central, well apart from a couple of pre-teen girls with My Chemical Romance hoodies there was nothing even remotely close, maybe they just come out at night. By the way I know that MCR would not be considered goth, but really that is the closest thing I saw. But if the Daily Mail is to be believed, and I really don’t think it is, then these two kids were off to do some self harm and plan for suicide!

Whitby Abbey, it'll look good when it's finished won't it?

Whitby Abbey, it'll look good when it's finished won't it?

I did find a small independent music store though, as usual! I bought a copy of the supremely talented Julian Cope’s album ‘Black Sheep’ I got into Cope quite late really but I love his stuff now, especially his solo albums, I’m not so keen on the Teardrop Explodes. Incidentally did you know that the band got their name from issue 77 of Marvel Comics Daredevil from 1971 (which also featured Spiderman and Prince Namor)? Well they did and did you know that whilst I like Daredevil and Spidey the Silver Surfer is probably my favourite Marvel character? Well he is, but is followed in a very close second place by the Fantastic Four!

The page of the comic from which the Teardrop Explodes got their name

The page of the comic from which the Teardrop Explodes got their name

Whilst in Whitby we simply had to visit it’s most famous Fish and Chip restaurant, The Magpie and trust me it was well worth it! Click on the name to check it out. Speaking of fish,have any of you seen the new TV advert for Birds Eye Salmon Fish Fingers? I’m not sure if it is being shown outside the UK yet. Either way and just in case click here to see it. I think it is bloody hilarious and the best TV ad I’ve seen for ages.

I’ll cover just one birthday today 9th April. It’s the 29th birthday of Albert Hammond Jr off of the Strokes who has also produced a couple of solo albums in recent years too. He is the son of US singer songwriter Albert Hammond, I could make a joke here about his parents lacking creativity by giving him the same name as his Dad, but I won’t because that’s exactly what my parents did. no they didn’t name me Albert Hammond, he wasn’t my Dad ok, that’s just a “Big Stripey Lie” (you like the secret Kate reference Mickelodeon?). No my Dad, and therefore me too, were and are William Adamson, although no one ever calls me William anymore. Nowadays it’s Bill, Will, baldbloke or git. Anyway back to Mr Hammond Jr, I bought the Strokes’ first album ‘Is This It’ while I was on holiday in Canada in late August 2001. My copy contains the track “New York City Cops” which was removed from the US and some other territories releases after the terrible events of September 11th 2001. It was deemed disrespectful to the many public servants who risked and in many cases lost their lives on that day. I do understand that, but clearly it was written and recorded some time before those horrific murders so maybe now is a good time to reclaim it! Click here to see the band performing it live. Albert met Julian Casablancas, also off of the Strokes whilst at Boarding School in Switzerland. Albert’s dad had a massive hit in the early 70s with what I suppose would be termed one of my guilty pleasures these days, “It Never Rains In Southern California“. well maybe it does but surely it rains much, much less there than it does here in the UK.

Once again the Strokes fail to win at Giant Scrabble, spelling c;early wasn't their strong point!

Once again the Strokes fail to win at Giant Scrabble, spelling clearly wasn't their strong point!

It has been pointed out to me that Queen have not yet featured in my blog so far, well it’s nothing personal I do like them quite a lot. So here they are! On this day in 1973 Queen played a showcase gig for their new record label, EMI, at the Marquee Club in London. The late great (those l’s & g’s are getting very regular now, it must be all the Bran Flakes!) Freddie Mercury came up with the band’s name and claims he never even thought of it’s gay connotations, here is what he said about it; “I thought up the name Queen. It’s just a name, but it’s very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid, It’s a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.” For me Queen was more than just Freddie, it was a combination of him, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. That is why I really don’t get stuff like the newish Paul Rodgers and Queen album. I think Paul Rodgers has one of the great rock voices but he’s not a part of Queen is he? I’m sure that some of you will disagree but that’s my opinion. Anyway let’s end this Queen piece on a fun note with another excellent Freddie quote. Queen and the Sex Pistols were recording in the same London studio complex in 1977 when Sid Vicious went into the wrong room and saw Freddie Mercury sitting at the piano alone. Sid allegedly said something like “Freddie Mercury, still bringing ballet to the masses are you?” Freddie’s excellent reply was allegedly something similar to “Oh yes Mr Ferocious dear, we are doing our best” Here are the mighty Queen with my favourite of all their songs “Seven Seas Of Rhye

Freddie loved to lord it over all those who were shorter than he was, which was basically..........everybody!

Freddie loved to lord it over all those who were shorter than he was, which was basically..........everybody!

And finally this day in 1991 saw the death of record producer Martin Hannett. He was born in Manchester and had produced many Manchester bands including; the Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays and Magazine. He also worked with U2 and the Psychedelic Furs. He was credited as Martin zero for his first production job which was the “Spiral Scratch EP” by the Buzzcocks. He died of heart failure in 1991 after years of heavy drinking and drug addiction, which included heroin. Many people have a real misconception of the nature of addiction, myself included until recently. I have learned a lot from an Australian blog which now features on my BlogRoll, it’s called ‘The Australian Heroin Diaries‘ and you really should check it out. As far as Martin goes I had to finish with Joy Division’ fantastic “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Martin was constantly being followed by two small UFOs that no one else could see

Martin was constantly being followed by two small UFOs that no one else could see

 

 
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