Monday, 31 January 2011

Monday Moments part 43/52 - Mary's Prayer

Monday moments this week comes from one of the most perfect pop songs going. From the production where there isn't a note or chord out of place to the fact that like all good pop songs the sweetness of the surface is built on a darker centre. It bounces along but at its heart has a darker theme of regret and the realisation that the moment will never be recaptured.

Interestingly my media player says it was a co write by Gary Clark of the band and Jonanthan Richman which isn't the credit on the lp I have which means either an error or suggests it suffered from a complaint of plagiarism. It was released a number of times before it was eventually a hit and despite being all over the radio each time it was released it had the quality of no matter how many times I heard the song I never tired of it.

The Monday Moment comes the first time the killer chorus and that joyous "Save me " hits you

Mary's Prayer - Danny Wilson

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile is a great bit of timeless English pop music from Julian Cope's debut lp. As ever "bah bah bahs" feature prominently.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

A Year in Book 2011 - The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman has written one of those books that I guess publishers dream of...... a children's book that adults will be happy to read on the tube. The book start with a family being butchered by a darkly dressed assassin. Only one of the children, a toddler, survives. Taken in by the ghosts of a local graveyard and protected by his new guardian Silas who is neither one of the dead or one of the living, the boy is named Nobody or Bod for short.

The book follows Bod as he grows up with the early chapters acting as short stories as Bod meets the various inhabitants of the graveyard and eventually ventures outside its boundaries.

The final chapter sees Bod reach his teenage years an pulls together the various threads of the previous chapters as Bod eventually faces the men behind his first families murder.

It's one of those great children's books that doesnt treat the reader like an idiot , thus the appeal (along with Gaiman's track record in fantasy) that makes it a good read for adults. The array of ghostly characters are well drawn. The structure works in that the seemingly disconnected early adventures all have apart to play in the final showdown. The ending is neat , packs an emotional punch but in hinting at a world beyond both the graveyard of ghosts and the towns of the living it lets imagination run and leaves you wanting to find out more.

It is also worth mentioning the wonderful illustrations that start every chapter, they have just the right level of the mysterious, strangely comforting with a hint of menace

If you have an 8 or 9 year old , buy it for bed time reading and use them as an excuse to meet Bod and his ghostly family

You can buy the Graveyard book here

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Places to Visit

Still in January so can get away with it still being the start of the year and I thought this is as good a time as any to talk about some of the more recent blogs I've been visiting.

I'm not sure how well my a year in books go down (my attempt to review every book I read - meant to stick to 100 words but gave this up on about book number 3!), traffic seems to drop every time I post one, but hey I like doing them and they have started to make me think about what I read next which is interesting in itself. Anyway , I am right at the populist end of the scale in terms of the books I read and my thoughts are pretty inarticulate, limited to to the usual , it made me laugh .... it moved me ... type comments.

If you want to read a much better reviewer who hasn't got his head up his arse or obsessed with his own agenda like most broadsheet book reviewers are then visit the Asylum Blog. John Self writes thoughtful intelligent reviews on books that normally I wouldn't think of buying, but visits have resulted in a number of new discoveries

Linked to the above Greer at A Sweet Unrest posts some great thoughts on poetry as well as some great music

If you like 80s then 80s Vinyl Gems does what is says on the tin and has posted some great 12" mixes. Whilst Fade To Grey does the same but with emphasis on the more obscure and the ones that got away.

Burning Flame Blog does a great job of keeping me up to date with new bands that have a bit of an 80s feel as well as reissues , reformations and resurgences

For a more indie feel then Spools Paradise has searched youtube for some fantastic clips whilst One Step Brighter offers no thoughts, no views just loads of great tracks and is a fantastic place to discover long lost b sides and This is Indie is a treasure trove of hard to find stuff

Finally, I've mentioned it before but Boo Hewerdine's blog is worth a visit, not much to do with music but often makes me laugh. If you've seen him in concert you'll know the ind of self depreciating humour to expect

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Strange Covers - All the Young Dudes

Yesterday's post had me listening to all the songs I've got by World Party and I'd forgotten about this. Recorded I think for some hollyowod film soundtrack, it isn't Karl Wallinger's best moment. A pretty faithful interpretation of not one of david Bowie's finest songwriting moments either

I guess more of a straight forward cover rather than a strange cover

Monday, 24 January 2011

Monday Moments - World Party

Ever since Karl Wallinger left the Waterboys there have been various mutterings at to who was exactly responsible for what in the Waterboys , especially concerning Whole of the Moon. I guess it was a case of just too many cooks which for a couple of lps produced some fantastic big music but it was probably always going to end in tears.

Having left the Waterboys after the release of This is the Sea Karl Wallinger retreated to his home studio and came up with the "Private Revolution" lp under the World Party banner. The overriding theme of abuse of the planet is one that he would keep returning to again and again. The music was a bit of bolt from the blue in that it seemed to mix in bits of everyone from Prince to at times ELO!. Overall the whole thing felt like it had been recorded in a time machine with a 70s fm mood but with bang up to date production.

My monday moment comes from the World Party track and especially the "bah bah bahs" that could have come straight from Fleetwood Mac.

World Party - World Party

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Spoken Word part 6 - The accent

There was a time when everyone sang in a mid altlantic accent and the only time you would hear their accent would be in any spoken bits. However recently more and more singers are singing in their own accent. Both of these singers stick to their own accent but they are posted today because of their spoken word tracks

Goodbye John came form Martin Stephenson and the Daintees second lp Gladsome Humour and Blue. About the same time Martin Stephenson produced a pamphlet of poetry called "Something to Carry With You" and the spoken word nature of the verses in this track give it a poetic air. The slide guitar adds to a feeling of an oppressive summers day and contrasts with the sweetness in Stephenson's voice. I'm not sure what it is all about but it feels driven from personal experience and the whole thing generates a strong mood.

Goodbye John - Martin Stephenson and the Daintees

When My Latest Novel's first lp Wolves came out it didn't really sound like anything else around, full of quirky intelligent songs that seemed the delight in taking a round about route and surprising you with sudden U turns.

This track is anther great example of taking a lyric and overlaying both a spoken and sung vocal

The Job Mr. Kurtz Done - My Latest Novel

Saturday, 22 January 2011

The Spoken Word part 5 - The Personal

I don't really know why I like this one. If you listen to the lyrics .. well it is a bit cringe worthy (all that Evening Standard stuff). However, something about Bob Geldof's speaking voice and the acoustic guitar on the rootsy backing track track fit as if made for each other. I guess I also like the fact that the lyrics cover the mundane and it is in the mundane that the wonder of life exists (although I think I'm reading way to much into this). I also like the way it suddenly switches from what you think of as private musings to being addressed to someone specific. I think this is one of those spoken word songs that either the words or music wouldn't work on their own but together they kind of pull you in.

Having said all of that I'm fully expecting a number of you to not like this at all!

I've had a removal order for a previous Bob Geldof song so removed this link as well as can assume the same would apply

Friday, 21 January 2011

The Spoken Word part 4 - the abstract

One band that made spoken word the rule rather than the exception was Bristol's the Blue Aeroplanes. Featuring a large ever changing line up that featured an on stage dancer way before Bez was twisting any melons. They produced complex melodies that backed what can best be described as the even more complex beat poetry of lead "singer" Gerard Langley.

I've know idea what most of the songs are about but there is something hypnotic about Langley's voice and it is individual phrases and an overall mood that tends to stick in the mind long after the final guitar chord has faded.

It wasn't until the 5th lp Swagger that I got into them and the song I've posted is a short quieter track from that lp

I bought this and 2 other lps (Beatsongs and Life Model) but then kind of drifted away after that although listening to these lps again it has made me want to give some of the other 12 or so compilations and lps a go.

Best place to start is the compilation lp Huh which you can buy here

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Spoken word part 3 - the mystical

After the novel comes the mystical poem. Mike Scott has or is about to perform a whole evening of W B Yeat's poetry set to music. Fisherman's Blues contains his first stab with The Stolen Child. The spoken part by traditional Irish vocalist Tomás Mac Eoin gives just the right balance of the beguiling mysticism with a hint of menace.

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand.
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed -
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest
For he comes the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand

The Stolen Child - The Waterboys

From Yeats to the Men in Black! I wouldn't dare to compare the quality of the lyrics of this to a Yeat's poem, but there is something slightly hypnotic about the music and Hugh Cornwell's deadpan vocal. Also a good example of the spoken word with the lyrics sung over the top as a harmony which i always like and adds to dream like quality.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Spoken Word - part 2 The Novel

After the short stories of the previous post we now move on to the full novel or at least the prologue. Spearmint often have spoken word tracks and this one sets the scene for the concept lp Paris in a Bottle

This opening track tells the story of two hitch - hiking buskers and the two girls they meet in Paris. They write their future life dreams on 4 different playing cards and the swap them. The rest of the lp picks up with the 4 characters years later as we see how their future's pan out compared to their drunken wishes. It is a great example where the spoken pieces are driven along by a great vocal melody

"Keep making first time music"

First Time Music - Spearmint

You can buy Paris in a Bottle here

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Spoken Word - part 1 short stories

Part one of this week's mini theme of spoken word songs and for day 1 I've gone for the short story approach

Billy Bragg hasn't got the easiest speaking voice to listen to but somehow it fits perfectly this story of a doomed relationship. It was about this time that Billy Bragg was in rich vein of form in the love gone wrong song stakes and this is chock full of great lines.

"and then one day it happened , she cut her hair and I stopped loving her"

Walk Away Renee (version) - Billy Bragg

The second example comes form Grant McLennan of the Gobetweens and Steve Kilbey of the Church and their side project Jack Frost. Memories from childhood

"It is funny how someone you've never met manages to stay with you"

Trapeze Boy - Jack Frost

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday Moments - Driving Away From Home

Monday moments this week comes from a band that are cruelly known as a one hit wonder. It's Immaterial produced a number of quirky singles before this breakthrough song about the joys of driving in the UK. It has that great combination of a spoken verse combined with catchy chorus and a backing track that keeps you guessing as to what instruments are being played. Unfortunately the follow up singles Ed's Funky Diner and Rope didn't get the chart placing they deserved and when a more subtle follow up lp also didn't sell the band were dropped with rumours of an unreleased 3rd lp persisting to the present day. What was a bit galling was their backing singers n the lp and former band member went on the sell shed loads of their debut lp as the Christians.

My monday moment is torn either with the "hey" at the start of the song, the strange cackle in the middle or at the end where the spirit of wagon train and the great west is ignited with a "move em up move em out!"

This track and the fact that one of my favourite lps of the year (Keepers by Jones) has a number fo great spoken tracks means that Monday moments this week is going to kick start a mini theme where for the rest of the week I'm going to post a few spoken word songs, it is a eclectic mix, but they are ones I like. The rules will be it can be a combination of spoken and singing but just a spoken phrase (such as as in ABC's Look of Love) doesn't count. Anyway I'm off to trawl my cds to see what I can find

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Lazy Sunday - Josh Rouse

Lazy sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is the title track from Josh Rouse's concept lp about the break up of a 1950's marriage.

What I like about it, well I like the fact that it sounds American and yet strangely European as well

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Strange Covers - Man With The Child in Her Eyes

Hue and Cry seem to be one of those marmite bands, people either love them or hate them with a passion. I saw one of the Kane brothers on the Review programme on bbc tv once and he came across as one patronising tosser, reminding me of people I knew at college who would turn every pub conversation into lecture on the history of the oppression of the working man

However, as a pop band they can produce a mellow old tune, as shown by this cover of a Kate Bush song she no doubt wrote when she was 4 or something. It comes from a best of which for some strange reason was the first cd I ever bought (I resisted until relatively late in the day)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Year in Books 2011 - Screen Burn

One of the interesting thing about visiting friends is when you need the bathroom check out their toilet reading.. well okay it is not that interesting but it is how I ended up reading Charlie Brooker's Screen Burn.

It was on the bog that I picked up a copy of Screen Burn and found myself in the embarrassing situation of staying in the bathroom much too long and laughing too loudly.

At the time I didn't know too much about Charlie Brooker , I'd not seen the tv go home website (reigniting the old not the 9 o'clock news trick of setting up fake tv schedules in the style of the radio times ... although a lot ruder) and as I didn't read the Guardian I'd missed his tv review column.

Since then I've caught a few of his tv version of the review column and strangely he is now better known as turning Davina McCall into a zombie for the high concept zombies in the big brother house "Dead Set" and getting married to Konnie Huq whose presence on Blue Peter did a lot to increase the audience figures for dads watching with their kids.

The book Screen Burn is a selection of Brooker's Guardian Column from 2000 - 2003. Charlie Brooker's writing literally boils with rage at some of the tripe that is served up on our tv screens in the name of popular entertainment. He is merciless in his vitriol as he goes after both the popular (Davina McCall gets it repeatedly) and the obscure (unlike other reviewers he seems to take pleasure in trawling the outer reaches of satellite tv). However what stops it being just a raging rant is that he is also very funny, and with all good comedy, it really is just an extreme of what we are all thinking.

A pattern soon emerges, a description of the programme, an exasperated rant on why oh why it was ever made, ending with Brooker wishing some cartoon violence on either those involved or himself just to end the suffering. It is the one criticism that this pattern may work over a weekly /daily column , but in a book there at times does become a bit predictable.

It isn't all bile , some programmes provide him with an oasis of enjoyment, and the really interesting thing is reading his reaction to programmes that go on to be massive , 24 , Big Brother etc. and also the endless programmes that never got past the first series and are now lost to obscurity.

You can buy Screen Burn here , the perfect toilet book

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

I wouldn't normally do this sort of things but....

When I did a bigger than the Beatles post about the Painted Word here I got a request to post the whole of the Universal lp. I don't normally post whole lps as partly the blog is all about trying to get people to go and buy the stuff they like .. but this one is a bit different. As I mentioned in the original post the lp came and went in the blink of an eye. So quickly that not only is it impossible to find without having to pay silly money on ebay (I even struggled to get a decent image), not many know it even exists.

So for a short period of time here in its full glory ....

Monday, 10 January 2011

Monday Moments - Obscurity Knocks

I remember a conversation in 1990 about wanting to discover another band that I felt as strongly abut as Lloyd Cole and the Commotions , Aztec Camera and Prefab Sprout , something that jangled along and had lyrics that I could pour over with tunes that were made for singing along to

and then as if by magic , this came out ....

It is a rush of jangling guitars with some of the smartest rhyming couplets going.

always at the foot of the photograph - that’s me there
snug as a thug in a mugshot pose, a foul-mouthed rogue
owner of this corner and not much more
still these days i’m better placed to get my just rewards
i’ll pound out a tune and very soon
i’ll have too much to say and a dead stupid name

though i ought to be learning i feel like a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
calendars crumble i’m knee deep in numbers
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again

rubbing shoulders with the sheets till two
looking at my watch and i’m half-past caring
in the lap of luxury it comes to mind
is this headboard hard? am i a lap behind?
but to face doom in a sock-stenched room all by myself
is the kind of fate i never contemplate
lots of people would cry though none spring to mind

though i ought to be learning i feel like a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
calendars crumble i’m knee deep in numbers
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again

know what it’s like
to sigh at the sight of the first quarter of life?
ever stopped to think and found out nothing was there?

they laugh to see such fun
i’m playing blind man’s bluff all by myself
and they’re chanting a line from a nursery rhyme
“ba ba bleary eyes - have you any idea?”

years of learning i must be a veteran
of “oh i like your poetry but I hate your poems”
and the calendar’s cluttered with days that are numbered
i’ve turned 21, i’ve twist, i’m bust and wrong again
ought to be learning
twist, i’m bust and wrong again
feel like a veteran
twist, i’m bust and wrong again
calendar’s cluttered
with days that are numbered
and i know what it’s like
to sigh at the sight
of the first quarter of life

My monday moment comes in two places the initial jangle that really made me sit up and listen and the glorious soaring chorus

The lp didn't disappoint either (I could do a month of posts on my favourite lyrics from the debut onwards) and 20+ years later they just get better and better. You can buy the latest releases from the band's website here

Also worth a visit for one of the best fansites going for any band Five Hungry Joes

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Lazy Sunday - Stars

Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is from Canadian band Stars. I've posted a few track sby them and described them as a corss between Prefab , Sprout , The Smiths and St Etienne, which for me sums them up nicely. I like this as for the line "we were drunk as shit"

Saturday, 8 January 2011

RIP Mick Karn

It was with real sadness that I found out this week that Mick Karn had lost his battle with cancer. As part of Japan he made bass playing seem unbelievably cool.

I've posted a bit of selection , a one off single he did with Midge Ure, a track from Dalis Car (Mick and Peter Murphy, something from Japan and the Rain Tree Crow (Japan in all but name) as well as his gorgeous solo single

After A Fashion (12" mix) - Midge Ure and Mick Karn

The Judgement is the Mirror - Dalis Car

Cantonese Boy - Japan

Pocket Full of Change - Rain Tree Crow

Sensitive - Mick Karn

A talented artist as well as musician his web site can be found here

Friday, 7 January 2011

Former Lead Singer

It is difficult to listen to Bob Geldof without thinking of all the stuff that goes with him , the whole Live Aid, media business side meant that the music career almost seems like a hobby. The first solo lp came out in a rush after Live Ad and was awful, devoid of Geldof's biggest selling point ... his personality it seemed more of a Police/ Dire straits , Midge Ure hybrid .. a real Frankenstein's monster.

I was bitterly disappointed especially as roughly at the same time he also released what is still one of the best music autobiographies going in Is That it

Through these pages you got some idea of the pure force of his charisma.

However, 4 years passed and a new single came out with a Van Morrison , Waterboys flavour , the Great song of Indifference thankfully sounded nothing like what had come before and was mercifully free of the stodge of the first lp. I bought the lp it came from "The Vegetarians of Love" and loved it . It had a folky feel and was full of songs that reminded me that he was responsible for 3 of my favourite ever singles - Rat Trap, Mondays and Diamond Smiles"

Another lp followed with a similar theme although the songs on Happy Club aren't as strong. Then nothing for 9 years during which time he made millions and saw his private life played out in lurid detail in the red tops.

In 1993 a new lp came out which he described as a cathartic release. Sex, Age and Death feels like it was made for one person only and that is Bob Geldof. However the indifference to commercial success meant an lp of painfully dark personal songs combined with wonderfully experimental backing. It doesn't always work but it triumphs in the attempt

Album opener starts the lp as it means to go on with a lot of the words aimed Michael Hutchence or in this case Paul Yates.

You`re a lotta laughs ain`t you babe
You cracked me up, I laughed so much I nearly died
It`s so funny I was weeping
Cried so hard, I nearly split my side
I watched you laughing on the TV
I don`t get it said the kindly host
But there are many here among us
Who feel the sight is but a joke
Your imagination`s running riot
Sometimes I swear you believe what you say
No-one seems to notice it`s the same joke
It`s just told in a thousand different ways
And I can`t wait to read the new ones
Yeah the comedy just gets better every day
You`re a lotta laughs ain`t you babe
It`s funny how it all turned out that way
Ooh, you should have known better
You should have known better, a-ha-ha
It`s not for you, this one`s for me
It`s not for you, this one`s for me
I saw a picture of you grinning
Yeah that smirk covered your entire face
It almost split your head in two
I hear you sold it to OK
Sell a photo of you laughing
The more you hoot the more they pay
You don`t even need to get your clothes off anymore
You`re a bit too old for that stuff anyway
Somebody saw you at the party
You did the one where you`re falling flat on your face
You had the whole place cracking up in stitches
Apparently you fall with such good grace
And the teenage clothes and see-through sizes
The mutton dishes up on the Sunday plate
Is now the lamb in ghostly guises
It`s all done in the best of taste
Ooh, you should have known better
You should have known better, a-ha-ha
It`s not for you, this one`s for me
It`s not for you, this one`s for me

I've posted the rawest song, a frustrated rant at a dead Michael Hutchence. This is only representative of the the lp in terms of tone , not sound as every track is different, from acoustic Cohen like ballads to more electronic trancey songs.

"Why put a noose around your neck?

What the fuck is going on inside your head?"

He is about to release a new lp ( the great titled "How to Compose Popular Songs That Will Sell" which you can pre-order here) and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next as no matter what the title says he doesn't need to sell records to make money and I think his records are a lot better for it

You can buy Sex , Age and Death here

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Life of Live - The Men They Couldn't Hang

The Men They Couldn't Hang started so well. Early singles topped the independent charts at a time when that meant something as well as earning record of the week slots in the music press. They got signed to a major label who didn't really know what to do with them and they couldn't translate their indie sales into mainstream chart success. In the meantime The Pogues following a similar path started to steal all the plaudits. I picked up on the band late, three lps had already come and gone by the time I saw them live, but when I did I was hooked and as they toured pretty consistently it wasn't long before I had the chance to do so again.

The tour was to promote the Waiting for Bonaparte lp which was the labels big push for chart success, especially with lead off single The Colours (the dictionary definition of rousing sing a long). I remember talking after the gig with a friend and we were trying to figure out why at a time of wedding present guitars , Lloyd Cole catchiness and Prefab Sprout cleverness we would enthuse so much about a band that sang of sailors and smugglers. I guess it all came down to seeing them live - it was pure energy and they also (like a lot of great bands) boasted 2 songwriters which kept the quality and variety high.

Anyway here is a rousing rebel song

Monday, 3 January 2011

Monday Moments 39/52 - Babies

Just before Pulp finally hit the top 40 with Do You Remember the First Time, they released a couple of fantastic singles that paved the way for the later hits in Babies and Razzmatazz. These and their b sides, along with another single OU were gathered together under one mini lp imaginatively titled Intro. For me it is still the best thing they have done as at the time it genuinely didn't sound like anything else around and even now it can only be by one band

My monday moment comes from Babies which set the template fro nearly all future Pulp songs. Cheesy Synths , a guitar line that hooks you in , seedy play for the day lyrics , breathless vocals and somewhere along the way an over the top climax. It is this point that my monday moment arrives when Jarvis overcome with the memory of how his voyeurism leads to something more lets the spirit of David Byrne take over......"My God!"

Well it happened years ago,
when you lived on Stanhope Road.
We listened to your sister,
when she came home from school,
cos she was two years older,
and she had boys in her room.
We listened outside and heard her.
Well that was alright for a while,
but soon I wanted more.
I want to see as well as hear,
and so I hid inside her wardrobe.
And she came round four,
and she was with some kid called David,
from the garage up the road.
I listened outside I heard her.

Oh I want to take you home.
I want to give you children.
You might be my girlfriend, yeah.

When I saw you next day,
I really couldn't tell,
cos you might go and tell your mother.
And so you went with Neve,
and Neve was coming on,
and I thought I heard you laughing,
when his Mum and Dad were gone.
I listened outside, I heard you.

Oh I want to take you home.
I want to give you children.
You might be my girlfriend, yeah.

Well I guess it couldn't last too long.
I came home one day,
and all her things were gone,
I fell asleep inside.
I never heard her come.
And then she opened up her wardrobe,
and I had to get it on.
Oh, listen
we were on the bed when you came home,
I heard you stop outside the door.
I know you won't believe it's true,
I only went with her 'cos she looks like you.
Oh I want to take you home.
I want to give you children.
You might be my girlfriend, yeah

Babies - Pulp

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Lazy Sunday - Divine Comedy

Lazy Sunday and top of the shuffle pile this week is a song named after "Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious World" a programme all about conspiracies and the unexplained especially if it involved a crystal skull. For some reason the opening always made me laugh and despite it being close to 30 years old is still burned on my brain
"Arthur C Clarke author of 2001, inventor of the communications satellite and now in retirement on the beaches of Sri Lanka". For some reason this became some kind of catch phrase at school for anything slightly unexplained (you can guess I went to an all boy school!)
Anyway as ever a catchy tune with playful lyrics

Saturday, 1 January 2011

A Year in Books 2010 - Top 10

This time it is the books turn. A bit pointless really as I only read paperbacks and have a constant 20 or so unread on my shelf at any one time so the chances of reading a book published this year are pretty slim! So not top 10 of the year but "top 10 books I've enjoyed the most this year..." snappy title or what

10 The Privileges - Jonathan Dee

American golden family and the complex morals of climbing the wealth ladder - worth it for the opening "wedding" segment alone

9 Juliet Naked - Nick Hornby

Some say a return to form , for me he has never been off form. A look at relationships and artistic ambition and why every now and then we just need to escape

8 - Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

A comic tale set in an Irish boarding school that sometimes trips over its own ambition but still stays compelling to the surprisingly downbeat ending

Better known by his recording name of Eels, this is an autobiography with a difference. More tragedy than any one life should have to cope with, it turns out to be an amazingly uplifting read

I'm a sucker for big American family sagas and this sneaks in on the back of the shear awfulness of the main character Audrey who gets all the best lines

David Mitchell writes beautifully. He makes this tale of culture clash in 18th century Japan completely of that time and place but also with sense of the now. The one book in the list that in years to come will be held up to be a classic

An end of days novel of close to a 800 pages which is the first part of a trilogy ... and it has got vampires. No come back.... this is really good

The quirkiest book I think I've ever read, which if it doesn't leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end ..well you have no soul

Like a Scandinavian John Irving but without the bears and farting dogs

Unashamedly populist, the story of two people on the same date told over 25 years. At times it felt like Nicholls was telling my story as there were so many parallels (me and anyone else who went to uni in the late 80s) That is one of his skills. The other is to create 2 characters both flawed , one not particularly likable but who you come to care for deeply.

Finally happy new year and thanks to all of you who have wandered over and a big thanks to those who stayed to leave comments