Sunday, 22 July 2018

Saturday Snapshots #42 - The Answers

Let Me Entertain You with the answers to this week's Saturday Snapshots. No Regrets if you got any wrong. You're all Angels for taking part...

Charity Chic was this week's winner with a last minute goal (lots of football references this week - perhaps The World Cup had more effect on me than I realised).

10. Aussie lady is loyal to honey in orbit with Roger, initially.

Australian ladies are known as Sheilas.

If you're loyal to honey, you might have bee-devotion.

If you're in orbit, you could be in Space, with the initial letter of Roger...

Sheila & B. Devotion - Spacer

9. Does Morse's sidekick have enough to buy dinner for Hicks, Murray and Clinton?

Well done to Chris for piecing these clues together - Morse would be proud.

Inspector Morse's sidekick was Lewis.

Hicks, Murray and Clinton are all BIlls.

We buy dinner with lunch money... don't get me started on that dinner at tea time nonsense!

LunchMoney Lewis - Bills

8. An old Stone has wood for Morrissey - making it as good as it was in the beginning.

An old Stone related to Wood would be Ron.

Having wood is a euphemism for sexual attraction. Morrissey was in The Smiths (no, really, he was).

Making something as good as it was in the beginning would be to return it to its former flory.

Ron Sexsmith - Former Glory

7. Atkinson gets up early to win the Cup.

Ron Atkinson was a football-type, meaning he was part of the Football Association and would be interested in winning the F.A. Cup. FA + Ron = blimey.

Early would be 4 in the morning.

Some debate over whether this was actually a photo of the singer in question - Martin committed the heinous crime of google image searching and google mistakenly informed him that the above photo was of "of long-dead minor character actor Louis Jean Heydt". Which just goes to show that you can't trust google image search to help you with this quiz because THIS is "long-dead minor character actor Louis Jean Heydt"...

However, if Martin's image search had revealed the answer to be Don Draper, I might have been hard-pressed to dispute that suggestion...

Perhaps this would have been easier if I'd used the photo I originally selected for this week's competition...

...but luckily I spotted the rather large clue in that image before I clicked 'post'.

In the end, I had to offer an extra clue to help you solve this one... Prefab Sprout! Every little sentiment's an antique. Charity Chic finally worked it all out, helping him clinch this week's title.

Saturday Snapshots: I don't just throw it together, you know!

Faron Young - Four In The Morning

6. And call the location of a small stream.

A small stream is a beck.

Beck and call.

Location = where it's at.

Beck - Where It's At

Still my favourite Beck song.

5. Scott's bride fails to find herself.

Scott (Jason Donovan) married Charlene (Kyle Minogue).

Charlene - I've Never Been To Me

I'm not sure if this will make you feel any better, Alyson, but I knew you'd be the one to get that.

4. Sprint back to the Holy Island.

The Holy Island is Lindisfarne.

Lindisfarne - Run For Home

3. Young Beckham crosses the East River - that's as bad as it gets!

Beckham's son is called Brooklyn. (To be fair, until I researched this clue, I thought Brooklyn Beckham was a girl. Shows what I know.) The Brooklyn Bridge crosses the East River. C claims this quiz gets harder every week, but she still solved this week's hardest clue.

Brooklyn Bridge - The Worst That Could Happen

2. Tell Gabriel to take a seat in Italian and celebrate the splendour of amore.

Oy! Peter (Gabriel). Sit-era!

Who says puns are dead?

The photo is of Peter Cetera today. If you want to see what he looked like at the time of Karate Kid II...

Peter Cetera - The Glory of Love

Rigid Digit turned up relatively late this week, and this is all I had for him!

1. Hen sees VD and Lucifer in my loafers.

Anagram of the week. Hen sees VD unscrambles as... The band Oasis always dreamed of being.

Phew. Need to go lie down in a dark room after that. Saturday Snapshots will return next Millennium... or next week, if I'm recovered.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Saturday Snapshots #42

I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor... but I bet you look even better if you've won Saturday Snapshots.

Ten clues below to ten artists and ten popular songs. Do Me Favour and get them all. Don't be a Mardy Bum if you only get Four Out Of Five.

10. Aussie lady is loyal to honey in orbit with Roger, initially.

9. Does Morse's sidekick have enough to buy dinner for Hicks, Murray and Clinton?

8. An old Stone has wood for Morrissey - making it as good as it was in the beginning.

7. Atkinson gets up early to win the Cup.

6. And call the location of a small stream.

5. Scott's bride fails to find herself.

4. Sprint back to the Holy Island.

3. Young Beckham crosses the East River - that's as bad as it gets!

2. Tell Gabriel to take a seat in Italian and celebrate the splendour of amore.

1. Hen sees VD and Lucifer in my loafers.

When The Sun Goes Down... and then comes up again (i.e. tomorrow morning), I'll reveal the answers...

Friday, 20 July 2018

Radio Songs #41: The Phantom Phone-Box

My last radio post, about suicidal callers ringing up the phone-in from telephone boxes reminded me of a much happier use we found for the humble phone-box during my early days of radio: The Phantom Phone-box.

This was a quiz we used to play on the Saturday morning show. We'd drive round the area during the week and find a phone-box that wasn't too vandalised and didn't smell too much of wee, and we'd write down its phone number. Then we'd give cryptic clues out to its location early on in the show (Cryptic clues on a Saturday morning? That'll never catch on!). Sometime near the end of the show, we'd call the phone-box up live on air and if you answered it and said "the phrase that pays", we'd send you a prize.

Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Sometimes nobody would answer it. Sometimes a completely random passerby would answer it and not have a clue who we were. Sometimes a bunch of kids would answer it and scream obscenities until they were swiftly cut off. It was hardly revolutionary, but it seemed to go down pretty well.

Thinking back on that now... well, you wouldn't be able to play that game on the radio anymore, would you? Where did all the phone boxes go? They were on every street corner in our youth. Sam's generation won't even know what they were.

41. Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand

Here's a song I discovered during my early days trawling the music blogosphere, and promptly fell in love with it. I've never really investigated this band in the way I should, although I did manage to track down a copy of the album this came from, 1996's Rocket. 1996... that'd be about the time we were doing The Phantom Phone Box (or maybe a little before that). 22 years ago, folks... back when phone boxes were still a thing.

Apparently, Primitive Radio Gods are still in the go though, even if phone boxes aren't. According to iffypedia, they released their 6th album in 2016. 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

My Top Ten Mondegreens

Mondegreens. Misheard lyrics. You'll find them all over the internet, but here are ten GENUINE ones from my past. I honestly thought these were the actual lyrics... until finally, often many years later, I discovered the truth.

10. Kim Wilde - Chequered Love

What do you want for tea, Kim?

"Chicken, love."

Possibly the earliest mondegreen I ever encountered... or at least, the earliest one I can remember. She just can't get enough chicken, love. I still hear that today...

Chequered Love!

9. Madonna - La Isla Bonita

"Young girl, with eyes like potatoes"

This is one of the ones you'll see a lot on websites that discuss mondegreens. Most of the other examples they quote sound preposterous to me, apart from Bohemain Rhapsody's famous "Beelzebub had a devil for a sideboard". But this... this was exactly what I thought Madonna was singing in 1986. Apparently, a lot of people also thought the opening line to this song was the racially offensive, "Last night I dreamt of some dago". Poor old Madonna. Enunciate, luv.

Young girl with eyes like the desert

I'm having a hard time accepting Madonna will be 60 this year. Bad enough that Kylie just turned 50.

8. Tori Amos - Professional Widow

Honey, bring me a toaster pie
Honey, bring me toast to my lips, yeah

Must be what they call Pop Tarts in America, I thought at the time. A Toaster Pie. That made perfect sense to me.

Honey bring it close to my 
Honey bring it close to my lips, yeah

Not far off, actually. And I still think she's singing about a Toaster Pie.

7. Erasure - A Little Respect

"What will you do to make me
Call Martin Scorcese's number?"

I've been planning this particular Top Ten for a while now and whenever I heard a song from my youth with a lyric I just couldn't explain, I had to go and check out the real thing. I swear I always thought Andy Bell was asking for Martin Scorcese's number in this song. I have no idea why.

What religion or reason
Could drive a man to forsake his lover

Now I've read the real lyric, I can't even hear the Martin Scorcese bit anymore. It's gone.

6. Bob Marley - Is This Love?

"We'd be together
With a roof rack over our head"

What a nice romantic image that is, Bob. Somewhere to store your tandem bike when you're on the road, presumably.

We'll be together
With a roof right over our heads

Oh. One word can change your whole interpretation of a song.

5. Michael Jackson - Don't Stop Till You Get Enough

"Keep on - to the Post Office
Don't stop till you get enough"

Enough what, Michael? Stamps? Airmail stickers? Postal Orders? (Do they even have Postal Orders anymore? Probably not. Another archaic item from our past.)

What did Michael want from the Post Office?

Keep on
With the force don't stop
Don't stop till you get enough

Really? What is that, a Star Wars reference?

You know, I think I prefer my version.

4. Boston - More Than A Feeling

"I see my derriere walking away..."

For many, many years it always baffled me how The Bloke Out Of Boston (do you know his name?) could possibly see his own backside if he was walking away. Was he looking over his shoulder into a mirror? Wasn't he looking where he was going? Accident waiting to happen, right there...

I see my Marianne walkin' away

3. Eurythmics - There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)

"No one on earth could be like me
I'm running, overgrown with fleas..."

Somebody get Annie a flea collar - stat!

No one on earth could feel like this
I'm thrown and overflown with bliss

2. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell

"I'm gonna hit the highway like a battering ram,
I'm a Cilla Black fan, am I!"

You might wonder why Meat was such a big fan of Our Cilla... I certainly did. Then again, BOOH was written by Jim Steinman, who is officially BARKING MAD, so why shouldn't he throw in a reference to Cilla? Maybe he was after a blind date...

I'm gonna hit the highway like a battering ram,
On a Silver Black Phantom Bike

When I found out the real lyrics, I was just as confused? Is that a Black Phantom bike that's painted silver? Or is it Silver-Black? What the hell is Silver-Black, Jim? Is that even a colour?

1. Elvis Costello - The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes

These may not be as amusing as some of the ones above, but they speak to how I spent a large part of my late teens and early twenties: headphones on, sat beside the stereo, listening to Elvis Costello albums and trying to write down the lyrics. There were never any lyric sheets in Elvis's records and the way he spat and twisted and punned his way through the language was endlessly fascinating... but also a little frustrating when I just couldn't work out what he was singing. Even now, almost 30 years later, I can still remember the time I spent puzzling over this one song in particular...

"Our love got fractured into echo and suede"

Our love got fractured in the echo and sway

"But since you got in my pumps, you just suspend my sentence"

Ever since you got me punctured this has been my sentence

Fortunately, the greatest lyrical couplet this song has to offer was clear as a bell...

Oh, I said, "I'm so happy I could die"
She said, "Drop dead" then left with another guy...

Your turn! There must be a misheard lyric or two in your back catalogue. Do share.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Radio Songs #40: Suicide is Painful

One thing I quickly learnt when I was working as a "producer" (answering phones) on the late night phone in was that people love to commit suicide live on air. I suppose there's a couple of basic reasons for this...

1) It's a cry for help. You want someone to stop you and help you but the only way you can think of getting that help is to do it on as public a platform as possible. I suppose the modern day equivalent would be writing a facebook post to tell everyone you've just taken an overdose... but of course, we didn't have facebook back then.

2) It's a cry for attention. You don't want anyone to stop you but you do want people to know what you've done. And maybe give a big old F-U to the world in the process. Like those people who throw themselves off motorway bridges, regardless of the consequences to others.

From the point of view of a phone-in show, suicides are a pain in the arse... but they also make riveting radio. Nobody's turning off the go to bed while that call's on.

I think it's fair to say that neither of the presenters I worked with during my time on the phone-in wanted to exploit someone in their darkest hour; they always genuinely wanted to help. We wouldn't automatically put someone on air if they called up claiming to have taken an overdose. The first thing I had to do was try to get them to take help. Work out where they were, if it was a genuine threat or just a wind-up, get a number we could pass on to the police, that sort of thing. If they wouldn't give that information to me, I would try to get them to call Samaritans. There were all kinds of rules: moral, ethical, legal. But ultimately, every situation was different. And a lot of people wouldn't call up and say they wanted to kill themselves, they'd only reveal that fact when they'd got on air. It was a minefield.

On many occasions, we did get people help. I lost count of the times I had to call 999 (the quickest way of getting through to the police back then... we never had a direct line, despite the frequency of this occurrence) and go through the motions of passing on someone's number, often while the presenter kept them talking. Or the times an on-air conversation would end when the police came knocking at the caller's front door... or pulled up outside their phone box.

Suicides always made the switchboards go wild. After we'd had one on, you could guarantee callers for the rest of the show. A lot would be offering help, advice and support. Telling their own stories of times that they'd felt a similar way and how they'd managed to turn their lives around. But we'd also get a few... less sympathetic... reactions too. At the time (budding writer that I was), I kept a notebook and I dug it out and found my Top 3 reactions to such a call. They're virtually word-for-word the things people said to me at the time...

1. "I'd like to complain. People do not want to hear this sort of thing on the radio. They want gardening tips, stuff like that. Cut this bloke off now or I'm writing to Offcom."

2. "This bloke you've got on now... he doesn't know anything. I lost a leg in the war. He's got it easy! Tell him to stop moaning. He doesn't know how good he's got it."

3. "Give him my number. One good night with me and he'd forget all his problems..."

Heartless bastards, right? Then again... after a while, I became rather inured to these kinds of callers myself. They stopped being stressful, they became just another niggle of the job. You develop a morbid sense of humour, like ambulance drivers or A&E doctors, I guess. It's a way of coping. At the time, I was really into Julian Cope, and so it didn't take long before I gave these callers a nickname. They were Peggies. "Another bloody Peggy on line 2 - I'll call the police." It wasn't that I didn't have sympathy for their situations, but at the end of the day, if things are really that bad... seek professional help. Don't call a bloody radio phone-in. You don't call a plumber if you've got an ingrowing toenail, do you?

40. Indeep - Last Night A DJ Saved My Life

A song that has been claimed and repurposed by dance culture over the last couple of decades, but I still have a certain fondness for the original, particularly the clunky rap towards the end...

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Hot 100 #75

We all know what Dave Grohl did after the sad death of Kurt Cobain and the end of Nirvana. Bassist Krist Novoselic was slightly less successful in maintaining a career in the music industry. His own post-Nirvana band Sweet 75 lasted one album, but it does give us an image to open this week's entry in the Hot 100...

Onto your suggestions for #75, the most popular of which was this...

The Connells - 74/75

A fine tune, but is it a 74 song or a 75 song? What a dilemma. It's definitely a year song. I'm not saying I won't use it next week if I get desperate... but it's not my obvious winner this week.

As well as suggesting this, Martin also offered the following. I'm not sure if any of them are in his record collection, or whether he's just resorting to google. If he does own them all, well...much respect.

Joe Nichols - Sunny & 75 (Martin told me not to youtube it. I did. I think I liked it more than he does. But then, I love cheese. Joe Nichols does seem a bit smug in the video though... but I guess I would too if I was him.)

Aaron Lewis - 75 ("Better", says Martin, "if you like that kind of thing". Aaron Lewis is the lead singer of metal band Staind, but this track is acoustic country if anything. Whisper it, but I think I enjoyed Joe Nichols more.)

Brian Jonestown Massacre - Miss June 75 (Not bad, but I think I'd still rather have Joe Nichols, smug or not.)

Any of those could have been a contender... if they were in my collection. But they're not, so let's move on.

Best lyrical suggestion of the week came from Rigid Digit and Alyson...

Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

Brenda and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of '75...

...and to be honest, this would have been in serious contention most other weeks. But lyrics will always be trumped by titles, if the title song is good enough. That's not to say this week's winner is better than Scenes From An Italian Restaurant, since clearly few songs are. But the selection process is very complex in this feature. I can't even begin to explain the hierarchy of it all.

Sticking with lyrics, The Swede had another T-Rex suggestion this week (Mr. Bolan is doing very well out of this feature)…

T-Rex - Funky London Childhood

The gilded cage we call '75, some is fabulous, some is jive...

Grammatically suspect, but as we've discussed before, Marc Bolan gets a pass when it comes to his use of the English language.

The Swede also offered anything from Neu's album 75 or anything by 75 Dollar Bill. Break all the rules, but worthy of mention.

Meanwhile, Jim returned from Dubai to offer the following this week, which he describes as "a bit 60's girlyish, great little tune".

Lushy - French 75

I concur.

From my own collection then... apart from the Connells, there were just two other options. Firstly this...

Stereolab - Melochord 75

If I'm honest though, I'm not sure I get Stereolab. They're one of those bands I own music by because people in the know keep telling me I should dig them.

This, on the other hand, I love. One of the bands that rode the coat-tails of the Arctic Monkeys (they were both from Sheffield) but failed to make it out of their shadow. I still have great affection for the music they recorded before they packed it all in though.

So then... do I award week 74 to The Connells? Or do you (or I) have a better suggestion? Answers on the back of a stuck-down envelope, please...

Monday, 16 July 2018

Talky Songs #6: Hard Luck Boy

6. Tom Brosseau - Hard Luck Boy

Busy weekend, so a very quick post for you today. Listen to today's talky song because it's a great little story from an artist I've only featured once here before and who doesn't get a lot of exposure (beyond Cerys on 6Music, who seems to be a fan). It's the story of a boy whose mother takes him on a journey to a department store in another town and... well, I won't spoil the ending, but the title gives you a hint. If you like it, I'd recommend checking out the album it came from (Perfect Abandon), although this is the only talky song on there... or its follow-up, North Dakota Impressions, which features another cool talky song that I have featured here before.

Call me cruel, but part of me wants to believe this is a true story. It makes Brosseau a fascinating individual if it is...

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Saturday Snapshots #41 - The Answers

Not that I'm a big Oasis fan, but I couldn't give Liam a header without then giving one to his big brother. You know how they squabble.

Don't Look Back In Anger if you didn't get any of these right. Just Roll With It... it was basically a three horse race yesterday, with Lynchie clinching it by a nose (1/2 a point for #3). Well done to C for getting #10 though.

10. Me. Or my brother. Dumping prison coffee.

I am the Son Of My Father. So is my brother.

Prison coffee is made from chicory. A dump is a tip.

Chicory Tip - Son Of My Father

9. Come on, sleepy! Have a flat white.

Matt paint is rather flat. Bianco is white.

Matt Bianco - Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed 

8. Don't let your small part get you down.

A small part is a cameo. (Larry Blackmon never had to worry about that.)

If you're not down, you're up.

Cameo - Word Up!

7. Elsie Jerkin CEO Charles V.

Anagram time, folks! Elsie Jerkin CEO is Rickie Lee Jones.

Charles V would be Chuck E because E is the 5th letter of the alphabet.

Rickie Lee Jones - Chuck E.'s In Love

6. Fraudulent freaks.

Frauds = charlatans.

Freaks = weirdoes.

(Took me ages to find a photo in which Tim Burgess's hair wasn't a giveaway.)

The Charlatans - Weirdo

5. Devout tripping.

Work this one out yourself.

Journey - Don't Stop Believing

4. Encourage humanity to score in sneakers.

Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

3. Catch the medal for the best Yorkshire harp at the station.

A rosette is a kind of medal.

The Yorkshire harp would be T'harp.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - This Train

2. Lids A or B or C. Could also be scarlet.

Lids are what go on top of boxes.

A, B and C are letters. So was The Scarlet Letter.

The Box Tops - The Letter

1. A male composer and a painter get into high gear - and that's just the beginning!

Bach was a composer. A man is male. Turner was a painter. High gear is overdrive.

Let's ROCK!

Don't Go Away. Saturday Snapshots will be back next week. Try to keep off the Cigarettes and Alcohol until then...

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Saturday Snapshots #41

Some Might Say Saturday Snapshots is getting a little past its prime. To that, I say: Whatever!

Saturday Snapshots will Live Forever! (Or at least until I get bored of it.)

You know the drill. Identify ten artists and songs from the clues below, please. I promise you'll find it easier than Liam finds working that camera...

10. Me. Or my brother. Dumping prison coffee.

9. Come on, sleepy! Have a flat white.

8. Don't let your small part get you down.

7. Elsie Jerkin CEO Charles V.

6. Fraudulent freaks.

5. Devout tripping.

4. Encourage humanity to score in sneakers.

3. Catch the medal for the best Yorkshire harp at the station.

2. Lids A or B or C. Could also be scarlet.

1. A male composer and a painter get into high gear - and that's just the beginning!

Stop Crying Your Heart Out. The answers will be here tomorrow morning.

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