With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

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

“And we can build this dream together, standing strong forever” March 5, 2017


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I have always been somewhat against the use of classic rock in advertising, especially if the artist has been known for their rebelliousness or anti-establishment tendencies. However I believe that Grace Slick off of Jefferson Airplane/ Starship fame has hit on a brilliant idea to overcome that and I am amazed that no one has hit on this before, unless they have and I just never heard about it. The US fast food chain Chick-Fil-A approached Grace to ask for permission to use Starship’s 1987 smash hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” in an advertising campaign. Now Chick-Fil-A’s Georgia based owners have a Christian philanthropic foundation known as Winshape that is a big opponent of same-sex marriage. On top of that the company’s Chief Executive, the rather interestingly named, Dan T Cathy has been very critical of supporters of gay rights.

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So the very clever Grace Slick has chosen to take the money she receives for use of the song in the Chick-Fil-A campaign and give it to the organisation Lambda Legal. Lambda is a civil rights organisation that helps LGBTQ people and people living with HIV and Aids. They also plan to help any transgender kids impacted by the reversal of the federal policy on toilet usage that this vile so called administration has repealed. Slick is making a wonderful public example of such a bigoted corporate organisation. I would urge any artists who might naturally feel the urge to reject corporate offers like this to follow Grace Slick’s lead and fight back in this way. Sadly this has also brought out the crazy end of the Christian right-wing as a number of on-line trolls have issued death threats to Slick. I would love to hear what you think of all this. Have any of you protested by not eating at Chick-Fil-A?

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Billy Bragg & Joe Henry – Grand Opera House, York – Tuesday January 24th 2017 January 26, 2017


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Almost a year ago Billy Bragg and Joe Henry travelled from Chicago to Los Angeles, a journey of nearly 3,000 miles where they got deep into the largely American tradition of railroad songs. Their new album resulted from this trip as they stopped off at famous and yet dying stations en route to record. In America the aeroplane has effectively killed off long distance rail travel. As Billy and Joe informed us, it is no longer to get a passenger train to Nashville. They played two sets tonight. The first had both showcasing songs from the album and ended with a few solo songs from Joe Henry. The second started with some solo tunes from Billy Bragg and then finished with the two of them singing together.

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The show kicked off with “Railroad Bill” a chugging little traditional tune. My favourites from the joint part of the first set were “John Henry” a brilliant traditional song with a great story in the lyric. They did not confine themselves to old traditional tunes though, there was also a marvellous arrangement of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain”. I had never seen this as a railway song, but listening to it at the gig and later it clearly is. The stories that Joe and Billy told between the songs were at times as entertaining as the tunes themselves. Both of them share an encyclopaedic knowledge of and passion for music and that makes the whole performance so meaningful.

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry perform live at the 2016 Non-COMMvention in Philadelphia.

Billy Bragg and Joe Henry perform live at the 2016 Non-COMMvention in Philadelphia.

I must confess that I knew little about Joe Henry before tonight, but I am most definitely a fan now. His own songs are incredibly good, especially “Trampoline” and “After The War”. But what really blew myself and my beautiful wife Catherine (a.k.a. Catwoman) away was his stunning cover of Allen Toussaint‘s “Freedom For The Stallion”. Joe was a close friend of the late, great Mr Toussaint which made this even more poignant. Williambloke took the stage after a brief interval to open the second set and he was on his usual top form politically. To showcase that he opened with a recently written take on Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changin'”. He added “….back” to the end of the title and the new lyrics are a very clever and very effective dig at the new orange president in the USA. Billy covered and Anais Mitchell song called “Why We Build The Wall” and that is one of the most thought-provoking songs that I have heard in a long while. He also did some of his own songs; “Between The Wars” and “Accident Waiting To Happen”

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After that Billy and Joe came back together for some more railway tunes and stories. This included covers of Carter Family and Hank Williams songs “Railroading On The Great Divide” and “Lonesome Whistle”. There were also two Leadbelly covers, first with “Rock Island Line” which most people in the UK recall as a Lonnie Donegan song. The second of the Leadbelly songs was “Midnight Special” a song that I have heard many, many times but I never knew any of the history of it. Apparently it has its roots in the story of an US prison which was close to a point on the track where trains took a turn. If this happened at night the light of the train would scan across the prison and it was said that the prisoner who was bathed in that light would be the next one to be given parole. Now I don’t know whether that actually happened but it is a great story.

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Mr Bragg and Mr Henry left the stage briefly before returning for the obligatory encore. “Gentle On My Mind” a song made famous was first. This is yet another song that I never saw as a railroad song until tonight. Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” was nicely arranged and played. The show closed with a magnificent Woody Guthrie cover from his dust bowl years; “Ramblin’ Round”. This in many ways was more of a relaxing show than a rousing and loud one. But I bloody loved it and I urge you to go and see Billy and Joe if you get the chance, or at least get yourself a copy of their ‘Shine A Light’ album.

 

“I throw out any shit I want and no one trumps that card” November 8, 2016


A US ELECTION SPECIAL POST!

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Just in case we wake up to an orange bewigged world on Wednesday as Donald becomes US President I felt I had to run an appropriate post. America please vote sensibly tomorrow, please do not abstain. The fate of the world may rest on your vote, I hope that we can trust you to do the right thing. Look at it this way, it is not an election it is an IQ test. In case you need any help in passing that test let me tell you that the answer is NOT Donald Trump. The only good thing about Trump winning will be that it would make the UK referendum vote to leave Europe looking far less stupid, that is no good reason to vote for a lying, misogynist, racist, arrogant arsehole. Rant over!

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Here are a few songs which fit the bill, the mood and sum up my thoughts on the orange skinned idiot that is Trumpzilla!

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“Let my mouth go where it wants to” October 23, 2016

Filed under: News,Observation — justwilliam1959 @ 11:23 pm
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Is Madge getting a little desperate? I mean I’m pleased that she is not supporting Trump in the US elections, but offering a blow job to Hilary voters? Seriously? Also is that not a little ironic given what Bill got up to with Monica Lewinsky?

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Madonna made the offer while she was introducing a show by American comedian Amy Schumer. She apparently said; “If you vote for Hillary Clinton, I will give you a blow job, okay?. I swear to God – and I’m good. I’m good. I’m not a douche and I’m not a tool, I take my time, I have a lot of eye contact, and I do swallow.” Read the article on the Pink News site by clicking here.

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I am sure that there might be many takers, but perhaps not among her large gay fan base. Incidentally I reckon she should have set a limit though or maybe first come first served? (OK that last comment sucks the big pun!)

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“Welcome to the Pit and the Pendulum” November 5, 2012


This is a special message to all my American readers. On November 6th you will have the chance to vote once again in a Presidential election. I would like to offer some advice and some opinions. I recognise that some of you may not agree with me, but I can live with that!

Firstly whatever happens please use your vote. Do not assume that your guy will win whether you vote for them or not. This election could be as close to call as the Dubya versus Gore election in 2000. Secondly and here is where I’m sure I’ll lose some of you. Vote Obama! He has been a great president in some very hard times trying to manage an economy which was almost dead and buried when he inherited it. All of this in the midst of a global recession. He has also introduced an incredibly forward thinking health care plan.

He may not have achieved everything he set out to do, but then look back at the record of any previous US President or indeed British Prime Minister and see what their delivery to promise ratio was. I suspect most of them would have been low. As a Brit I believe Obama has done a great job but even I am disappointed with some aspects of his first term, notably a failure to close down th prison facility at Guantanamo Bay. But compared to his opponent Mitt Romney he is by far the better candidate. OK so let’s consider the crazies for a moment; Donald Trump and the so-called ‘birthers’ who think Barack doesn’t have the right to be President. Well he has made his birth certificate available to you and you still don’t believe him. You were never going to were you? In the same vein why is no one making a big fuss about a lack of tax records from Romney, especially as he had promised to publish them?

I am not religious in the slightest and I believe that it is wrong for a political leader to be overtly religious. Mitt is a Mormon a faith that is based on, let’s face it some rather strange concepts based on the visions of Joseph Smith in the 1800s. It wasn’t so long ago that the Mormon faith allowed and promoted polygamy. In addition to that some would say that it is at its roots a very sexist and racist religion. Although to be fair, Mitt’s father took a stand against some of those principles when he supported the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Mitt is definitely what some US hacks call a ‘flip flopper’. His views on abortion and gay marriage seem to have moved like a yoyo to suit his mood and his position. He said himself in an unguarded moment that he really doesn’t care about 47% of the population. So finally I believe that you should vote for Obama, I think you need to give him another four years. If you vote for Romney the only ones who will benefit in the long-term will be the rich. But like I said at the start, whatever you do use your vote!

Incidentally these are my opinions and I have and will offer advice to UK voters when the time arises. I believe that we voted the wrong way last time and now we’re stuck with a pathetic, corrupt and inept coalition government for the next couple of years at least. So let me step off my soapbox and give you some music. This is a music blog after all.

 

“Getting good at starting over every time that I return” February 14, 2012

Filed under: News — justwilliam1959 @ 10:37 pm
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I know I’m a little late but I would like to say immense congratulations to Tottenham’s finest, Adele on winning the Grab A Grammy night hands down in the US this weekend. She came away with six of the little beauties. Obviously the event had a large shadow cast over it by the sad death of Whitney Houston. But Adele’s achievement is to be applauded. The show was also in effect her come back after significant throat problems in recent months. Adele won every award for which she was nominated and now shares the most Grammys in one night by a female with Beyonce. The Foo Fighters came close to Adele in winning five Grammys.

Karl Lagerfeld has also had a few words to say about Adele recently too. he in effect called her fat and then had to go public again to ‘clarify’ his statement. He went on to say how talented and beautiful the singer is and how ’21’ is one of his favourite albums. What strikes me of this supposed fashion and style guru is why anyone would take him seriously these days. have you seen his hair? He makes Donald Trump look like Samson before he had his tresses lopped. He has either a poor syrup (that’s a wig or a rug to my US friends) or a really intricate and solid weave or comb over. I would rather take fashion advice from Steptoe and Son.

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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.

TASHA COLE

shine like the whole universe is yours

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