Thursday 22 February 2024

I wasn't really sure what was going on

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

Mother of god, this blog is nineteen years old today. Cue an obvious song. The impact of this, and the accompanying video, on the teenage me is hard to overstate - when this came out, it looked and sounded so completely new and fresh. I even taped the video off the TV (probably Top of the Pops), so I could watch and rewatch it on grainy VHS. It was just so different. Ironic, then, that I post it to celebrate the birthday of something that is basically the same, week in, week out. Whatever. Paul Hardcastle's 19 might have dated a bit, but the video remains powerful.

Unlike this blog, 19 was a global smash, as shown by Wikipedia below. It even did well in the US, despite the subject matter. Or maybe because of.

Global chart positions for '19' by Paul Hardcastle

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Tuesday 20 February 2024

Not so little now

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

Like I need an excuse for a spot of Gene...

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Wednesday 14 February 2024

Waving flags. Probably a white one.

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

Sea Power are playing quite near to me, tonight. They're touring to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the album Do You Like Rock Music? which, you might recall, I like so much it's on the Every Home Should Have One masterlist. So naturally I'm going to the gig, right?

Well, I might be, I might not. Because February 14th is not a great date for telling your significant other that you're off out to a gig on your own. "Don't wait up, see you in the morning," all of that ...

So in case I don't make it, this is Waving Flags from that album I boringly drone on about so very often. Put your arm around someone you love and enjoy.

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Monday 12 February 2024

First, last

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

I wrote once before (twelve years ago, somehow) about my love of Pulp's album His'n'Hers. It may be an unfashionable view but I prefer it to Different Class, good though that also is. With His'n'Hers, Pulp were getting there but still not massive; they still felt like they belonged to "us" rather than "them". Take the song below, Do You Remember The First Time?, extracted from the album as a single and released in March 1994, whereupon it peaked at number 33 in the chart. A career best for the band, to that point, but hardly setting the world alight, which seems crazy in retrospect: were there really 32 better songs being bought at the time? I'll save you a click, Doop by Doop was #1 that week, which tells you all you need to know (sorry but I'm not linking to that on principle).

Pulp even had a cracking video, though it seems slightly odd now to see Jarvis without glasses.

Fun fact, that (the song, not the video) was produced by Ed Buller, perhaps most famous, at that point, for his knob-twiddling activities with Suede. Anyway, fourteen months after the magnificence of the above, Britpop anthem (© every lazy music journalist, 90s club-night promoter and compilation compiler, ever since) Common People soared to #2 in the charts, and something changed (see what I did there?) But I still remember the first time...

Tip the authorP.S. Another fun fact: Pulp, like The Who, never had a number one single: Common People was held off the top spot by that anodyne cover of Unchained Melody by Robson & Jerome, for crying out loud; almost as hard to believe, double A-side Sorted For E'z and Wizz/Mis-shapes entered the chart at #2 but was held off by Simply Red's Fairground. Chart injustices to rival Joe Dolce...)

Friday 9 February 2024

Blue Friday: Fuel to Fire

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

As I write this, way back in the comparative safety of December '23, series two of the equal parts gripping and annoying drama Vigil is being heavily trailed on BBC1. All of which reminds me of this track, Fuel to Fire, by Agnes Obel, which was used in series one. I don't know anything about Agnes that can't be gleaned from her Wikipedia entry. However, I do know that this track is atmospheric, borderline haunting, and sticks in the mind, especially the simple piano motif throughout the verses. Good video too.

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Wednesday 7 February 2024

It's too bad we gotta get old

Sadly, but inevitably, I guess, I'm breaking my own sabbatical for another (somewhat belated) RIP post. He might have been in Predator and, for Amusements Minor's generation, The Mandalorian but for me Carl Weathers will always be Apollo Creed. As such, he fills an important part in my personal film-watching history (Rocky was on ITV4 again last night, for the n-hundredth time, so I watched it, for the n-hundredth time). He also provided me with much quotable dialogue, particularly useful in banter with my good friend Tim, for whom the Rocky films are also important.

Here's the closing scene from Rocky III. Yes, it's in a toss-up with V for the worst film in the franchise, but it does have this nice scene, at least. You want to ring the bell, Carl? "Ding, ding..."

Only one of these men looked like a credible heavyweight boxer...Only one of these men looked like a credible heavyweight boxer

Here's a proper obit for Carl. Just keep punching, Apollo.Tip the author

Monday 5 February 2024

Mariachi Brown

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

This has been languishing in my YouTube Watch Later list for at least seven years, if not more. It's not going to do either of us any good, is it, just sitting there, so I'd better post it and we can all move on. Here's Mariachi Mexteca (now known as The Mariachis) featuring Hugh Cornwell in their cover of my favourite Stranglers song.

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Wednesday 31 January 2024

Happy birthday, Debi...

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

I'm sort of permanently enamoured of Minnie Driver, whose 54th birthday it is today. "Debi" was her character in Grosse Pointe Blank, as you will know if you'd read my post about when I met Minnie at CarFest '22.

No songs today (although Minnie has had a recording career too), just posting this so I can watch and listen to Minnie talk films. Sigh...

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Thursday 25 January 2024

How we used to live

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

A mid-programme selection of television adverts from ITV and the long hot summer of 1976.

Lots to enjoy here: the deadpan pay-off from the Birds Eye voiceover; the Smash robots; Bernard Cribbins voicing a prototype Busby for BT; Lorraine Chase on a Campari ad ("Nice 'ere, innit?"); the Bilko-esque Corona fizzical; an of-its-time slice of 70s machismo for Yorkie; and a hot-off-the press ad for cold Guinness, reacting to the (then) unprecedented heatwave.

Tip the authorA simpler time, and better for it, I think.

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Yes It Is

Disclaimer: this post was written in December 2023, and scheduled for future posting. Its contents may no longer be accurate or appropriate.

In 1976, EMI re-released all The Beatles UK singles. They had matching green front covers, and release-appropriate photographs on the back, much like these:

Ticket To Ride 1976 re-relase - backTicket To Ride 1976 re-relase - front

I can't remember the who, when or how but at some point somebody bought me two of these. They quickly became especially important to me, in part because I had very few records of my own back then. I had I Want To Hold Your Hand b/w This Boy and Ticket To Ride b/w Yes It Is (above). I'm not going to write about the A-sides, because there can't be many people in the known universe who aren't already familiar with them. But I hope this explains why This Boy and Yes It Is are, for me, every bit as familiar, engrained, and beloved.

So why am I posting about a sexagenarian song now, in 2024, rather than at any other point in this blog's longish and undistinguished history? Well, brace yourselves for a tenuous link, because today is Susanna Hoff's 65th (?!) birthday, giving me all the excuse I need to post a live radio rendition of Yes It Is by The Bangles, itself now twelve years old.

Happy birthday, Susanna (obligatory sigh, etc...)Tip the author