Friday, 19 October 2018

The United Kingdom of Song #7: Inverness

You join us today at the mouth of the river Ness in the Highlands of Scotland, birthplace of Karen Gilan from Doctor Who & Guardians of the Galaxy; one of my favourite contemporary writers, Ali Smith; Runrig guitarist Malcolm Jones; and the Loch Ness Monster.

We're steering clear of Nessie today though and sticking to the city itself, which you'll find mentioned in Mike Scott's Long Way To The Light...

I spent the night in Glasgow
Flew to Inverness
I found the Place and at the first
I was not impressed
Nobody said hello
The faces left me cold
Back then how was I to know
All that would unfold?

Tough crowd there, Mike?

You'll also find Inverness mentioned in the sequel to Hank Snow's I've Been Everywhere... gloriously titled I Ain't Been Anywhere...

I ain't been anywhere Joe, ain't been anywhere Joe
I didn't want to go so I guess I'll never know Joe
An old stick in the mud Bud
I ain't been anywhere.

Kumquat, Limerick, Inverness, Loch Ness
Swansea, Cuanda, Colombia, Gold Coast
Edinburgh, Singapore, Galveston, Okinawa
Blarney, Killarney, Karachi, Pyongyang
Warsaw, Tarancon, Down, Libya
Goose Bay, Labrador, Outer Space, no place.

However, surely the greatest lyrical mention of Inverness comes in another song that gets about a bit... even visiting the small Norfolk village where I went on holiday last year. (And now I'm kicking myself for using this track for Inverness... what chance do I have of ever finding another song about Cley-next-the-Sea?)

Land's End at dusk
A day of churches
Her getting her hair cut
A windswept walk to Dunnet Head
Boarding a north-bound train at Inverness
A rainy Cley-next-the-Sea
Her swinging on a tyre
Me taking her picture
A station frozen in time
March stars in a Norfolk sky

407 miles down the country next week, back to my home county, but a little bit further south... it ain't New York City, that's for sure!

Thursday, 18 October 2018

My Top Ten < 40 Second Songs

Time has gotten away from me again this week, so here's another ten short songs as a follow up to My Top Ten < 30 Second Songs... this time, all of them lasting somewhere between 30 and 40 seconds in duration.

10. Dee-Lite - Mind Melt

If my mind ever melts, and it sounds like this, I won't be too worried.

9. The White Stripes - Passive Manipulation 

And this is why Meg left the singing to Jack. Still, good message...

Women, listen to your mothers
Don't just succumb to the wishes of your brothers
Take a step back, take a look at one another
You need to know the difference...
Between a father and a lover

8. The Legend! - Boredom (Is)

Not the first time Creation oddity The Legend! has featured here, but this seems like a pretty good definition of boredom... Dave Lee Travis is involved!

7. Frank Turner & John Snodgrass - Styx: The Man, The Band

They met a bloke who had the same name as the Babe band. No, really.

6. The Pastels - Over My Shoulder

I guess they'll never learn.

5. The Streets - Who Dares Wins

Not the Clint Eastwood movie.

4. Willie Nelson - My Love For The Rose

A song. A prayer. A regret.

3. Da Vinci's Notebook - Face Like Billy Joel

I love Billy Joel. You know that. But I bet even he has a laugh at this one.

2. Spearmint - My Birthday Present To Myself

A complete indie anthem in 40 seconds. Take that Noel!

1. Half Man Half Biscuit - Vatican Broadside

Suggested by Jim in Dubai last time we did this, and the only reason I didn't include it last time is that according to my music player, it clocks in at 31 seconds.

Ever wondered what happened when the singer out of Slipknot went to Rome to meet the Pope? The answer lies within...

Your suggestions of songs between 30 and 40 seconds in length will be gratefully received. Usual rules apply.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #33: Yesterday, When I Was Young

I had one of those moments yesterday. One of the moments when you realise something about your life.

Yesterday, when I was young
The taste of life was sweet as rain upon my tongue
I teased at life as if it were a foolish game
The way the evening breeze may tease a candle flame
The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned
I always built to last on weak and shifting sand
I lived by night and shunned the naked light of the day
And only now I see how the years ran away

I have been a part of the working world now for 30 years. I started my first job (as detailed here in my early Radio Song posts) when I was 16. I've been working for 30 years, and I've probably got another 20 to go.

Yesterday, when I was young
So many happy songs were waiting to be sung
So many wild pleasures lay in store for me
And so much pain my dazzled eyes refused to see
I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out
I never stopped to think what life was all about
And every conversation I can now recall
Concerned itself with me and nothing else at all

This all coincided with hearing a song on the radio that I hadn't heard in years. The song has been recorded by many people, and has kept cropping up in my record collection over the years. Here are just a few of the versions out there...

It was, of course, originally written by Charles Aznavour, under the French title Hier Encore (Yesterday Again). The lyrics were translated into English by Herbert Kretzmer (the man who wrote the lyrics to Les Miserables) and the song was re-recorded by Aznavour... who also apparently recorded versions in Italian, Danish, Spanish, Japanese and Finnish. Or so says iffypedia, and who am I to doubt? The reason I heard it played on the radio was obviously as a tribute to the man Terry Wogan always used to affectionately call "Charles Az-no-voice", but hearing it again yesterday, I might as well have been hearing it for the first time.

Yesterday the moon was blue
And every crazy day brought something new to do
I used my magic age as if it were a wand
And never saw the waste and emptiness beyond
The game of love I played with arrogance and pride
And every flame I lit too quickly, quickly died
The friends I made all seemed somehow to drift away
And only I am left on stage to end the play

30 years in the world of work, another 20 to go. The thing is, I'm terrified of the prospect of another 20 years as a teacher. I've only been in the job seven or eight years, but it gets harder and more pressured every year. I'm aware that in another 20 years I'll look back and wish I was 46 again rather than 66... just as I wish I was 26 again, knowing what I know now. And 46 may well actually be the best years of my life, because I'm getting to watch Sam grow up and nothing else in my life has even come close to that. I'm trying to cling onto that, to appreciate every moment of it, because I know how fast it will go and the loneliness that will follow... I just wish everything else was easier so I could appreciate it more.

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday, when I was young

Still, we'll always have Charles. RIP, sir. Thanks for the song...

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Hot 100 #62

An unsigned band from Edinburgh give us our opening image this week. Check them out on Soundcloud.

But what about songs with 62 in them? Let's jump straight into your suggestions...

C started us off with a song we already had 4 weeks back...

Route 66 - whose ever version you like best!

"get your kicks on Route 66 and I'll meet you on Route 62"

...but sadly no double-week-winners on this series.

Next up was The Swede...

"The last goal he ever scored won the Leafs, the cup, 
They didn't win another till 1962, 
The year he was discovered..."

It's a marvellous song telling a fascinating story.

Can't really argue with that.

Next up was Martin, who offered this gem...

"Just like that murder in '73 
Just like that robbery in '62 
With all there things that have happened to me 
I kept it all in"

Certainly wins video of the week... and any other week would probably clinch the title.

But Martin wasn't done there...

"Well, it musta been about '62
I heard you on record, you were brand new"

(Really, I love this song.)

And how could he not? As Loudon admits, Bob was "hipper than Mitch Miller... and Johnny Mathis put together!"

Then Lynchie popped up with a heartbreaking slice of classic country...

And Alyson kept it country, knowing my love for Brad Paisley...

Except that's not really a song, just a snip of JFK's famous moon speech set to music... a lengthy intro to this song, which is rather timely since the new Neil Armstrong movie starring Ryan Gosling appears to have left the American flag back home, much to the chagrin of a certain Mr. Trump. Still, I never really took Brad's song as jingoistic, far more hopeful... plus I'm a sucker for songs featuring 5 year olds talking to their dads. 

(Actually, what I find most interesting about listening to that JFK speech is how much he sounds like the great Pete Postlethwaite in Brassed Off. Without the swearing. Just me?)

Rigid Digit, meanwhile, came to kick out the jams...

What a racket. (In a good way.)

But this week's winner was...

...well, I know what you're all thinking.

You're all thinking this week's winner will be this, as originally suggested by The Swede and then seconded by Martin and Brian...

Sir leads the troops
Jealous of youth
Same old suit since nineteen sixty two

And certainly, it is one of my favourites from the early days of The Smiths. However, I'm going to throw a curveball this week and go with Jim from Dubai's suggestion... some classic 90s powerpop all the way from Sweden. A big favourite of mine back in the day...

Next week... 61. Any ideas?

Monday, 15 October 2018

Radio Songs #45: The Love Zone

The other type of show I drove for extra cash back in the early 90s wasn't on tape at all. Or not all of it, anyway.

Nowadays, radio presenters can record all the links for an entire 3 or 4 hour radio show in under an hour and get a computer to play them in over the songs along with all the ads, jingles and promos so there doesn't even have to be anyone in the studio... or in the station at all. Many of the late night or early morning shows you hear on local (and even national) radio will be recorded like this. Guy Garvey makes no secret of the fact that he records the links for his 6Music show wherever he is and his producer knits them all together for broadcast on Sunday afternoon. Often though, shows such as his go out "as live" with the presenter pretending to actually be there when really they're tucked up at home in bed... or out on the lash.

20+ years ago, such technology was not available, so if presenters did want to pre-record their show, they either had to put the whole thing on reel-to-reel (like the Rick Dees show I talked about last week) or put just the links on tape. Either way, there'd be some lackey like me sat in the studio threading them all together and doing their best to make it all sound live.

The Love Zone was one such show. Every Saturday night from 10 till 2 (the only night the phone-in took a break), our station ran a late night love show. The presenter was a lady from Bermuda was a smooth transatlantic drawl, perfectly suited for such late night Barry White-athons. After a while though she became a little jaded with sitting alone in a radio studio on the most exciting night of the week and decided to go out and live her life instead... while still picking up the paycheck.

Here's where I came in. She would pre-record a set of (mostly generic) links on either tape or cart, and leave me pretty much free rein to put them together with whatever love songs I saw fit. In the early days she gave me a playlist, but that soon became too much hassle, so then it'd just be a stack of Classic Love compilations. Lots of 80s soul, mostly, but once I realised she wasn't even listening to the show (and neither was anyone from management), I started to vary the playlist a little more and throw in a few of my own favourite love songs... particularly after 1am. Sadly, I can't remember what any of my own choices were, and it'd be hard to even guess now since my tastes were not quite as eclectic back then, but I wouldn't be surprised if the odd Springsteen, Costello or Queen ballad crept in there among the Atlantic Starr, Teddy Pendergrass and Peabo Bryson... perhaps even the odd new discovery from the chuck-out box, like some early Aimee Mann. The links were rarely track specific... that kind of planning would have eaten into the presenter's weekend.

So this was how I largely spent my Saturday nights in my early 20s. Alone in a radio station till 2am... while everyone else I knew was out getting drunk, having sex and doing things I couldn't even imagine... playing songs that sounded a lot like this.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Saturday Snapshots #54 - The Answers

This Is Love that makes you come back to play Saturday Snapshots, I know it is. Whether you're Man-Size or a 50 Ft Queenie, you know This Mess We're In can only be solved by working out the answers... and you never let me down. Early bird prize goes to No-Lie-Ins Lynchie, with Alyson & Walter both sharing a respectable two and a quarter in joint second place. Although if I was being really mean, I might knock a smidgen of Alyson's mark off for not getting the full title of our Number One (including parenthesis). Charity Chic and Rigid Digit mopped up the rest this week.

Thanks for playing, as always.

10. Untie 6-E = foundations x 2.

Untie untie 6 and take away the e and eventually you might end up with...

Unit 4 + 2 - Concrete & Clay

Video of the week!

9. Tough stereos are invincible.

A tough stereo would be a hard-fi.

Someone invincible is hard to beat.

Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat

8. Get beaten up riding up to the top of the mountain.

You ride to the top of a mountain on a chairlift.

Getting beaten up leaves you with bruises.

Chairlift - Bruises

Yes, Lynchie, there is a band called Chairlift.

7. Sad stoat greets early Wham! song.

Sad stoat = blue mink.

The Wham! song is Freedom.

An early greeting would be Good Morning.

Blue Mink - Good Morning Freedom

6. How do I feel about an open, honest pickett?

Open & honest is frank.

Pickett is Wilson.

Frank Wilson - Do I Love You? 

5. No chance of parole in a French prison when Chamberlain left Take That.

If you've no chance of parole, it's life. What's that in French?

Robbie left Take That.

Chamberlain was Neville.

Robbie Nevil - C'est La Vie

4. Noel and Liam stay up late thinking deeply about miserable faces.

Mull over dour faces.

Maria Muldaur - Midnight At The Oasis

3. Hunky monks go jogging alone.

All-man brothers. Geddit?

The song was a little harder.

The Allman Brothers - No One To Run With

2. Adolescent admirers meet a philosopher with a heart of gold.

Teenage Fanclub, obviously.

Neil Jung, obviously.

Teenage Fanclub - Neil Jung

1. Definite & indefinite TV girls try to remember a tragic heroine.

The definite article is The.

The indefinite article is A.

The Gilmore Girls was an American TV show.

Juliet was the tragic heroine.

(Try to remember = Keep That In Mind.)

Saturday Snapshots will return next week. You can't get Rid Of Me that easily.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Saturday Snapshots #54

Welcome, Old Men and Cinammon Girls, to the latest edition of Saturday Snapshots.

Identify ten artists and ten top tunes from the clues below, please - I'm expecting you to fly!

10. Untie 6-E = foundations x 2.

9. Tough stereos are invincible.

8. Get beaten up riding up to the top of the mountain.

7. Sad stoat greets early Wham! song.

6. How do I feel about an open, honest pickett?

5. No chance of parole in a French prison when Chamberlain left Take That.

4. Noel and Liam stay up late thinking deeply about miserable faces.

3. Hunky monks go jogging alone.

2. Adolescent admirers meet a philosopher with a heart of gold.

1. Definite & indefinite TV girls try to remember a tragic heroine.

Answers tomorrow... After The Gold Rush.

Friday, 12 October 2018

The United Kingdom of Song #6: Camber Sands

I've never been to Camber Sands, but from the looks of all the gloriously airbrushed pictures of it on t'internet, it is a little slice of paradise.

Being a tiny village with a huge beach, it's hard to find anyone famous who comes from this idyllic locale... but it does crop up in a few songs. Fatboy Slim even named an EP after it. (Hardly Norman's most exciting 6 minutes, to be fair.)

Other contenders then...

Suede - Europe Is Our Playground (that'll be pre-Brexit Brett)

Run with me baby let's make a stand 
From peepshows to disco from Spain to Camber Sands

Feeder - Oh My

The TV's on but there's no sound
Her confidence was shot down
She felt the water at her feet
Dreaming there's an ocean all around
Childhood memories at Camber Sands

Oh, and all hail... our first destination to find its way into a Half Man Half Biscuit song (I do check every week). Amazing that it took us six weeks to hear from "Mansfield's very own Steve Malkmus"...

Half Man Half Biscuit - Lark Descending

Yeah that was me, down at Camber Sands
Signing in to my chalet as
J Buckley
J Buckley
J Buckley

And here's our very close second place this week... had I not featured it on this blog just a few weeks back...

Reverend & The Makers - Heavyweight Champion of the World

At school he used to dream about
Being Bruce Lee
But the need for chops in the Manor top
Ain't all that great you see
And so he gave up
On his black belt and first Dan
As near as he got to China
Was a week in Camber sands

However, I'm sure most of you guessed this week's winning song as soon as you saw our destination in the post title. Yes, it's this joyful little slice of seaside smut from the Squeeze siblings...

They do it in Waikiki too, you know.

640 miles north next week, to the Highlands... and a song that's bound to meet the approval of certain members of our Scottish contingent.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Grumpy Old Men Top Ten: "Things Ain't What They Used To Be" Songs

I've got so many series on the go at the moment, I can't keep up with them all. So here's a Top Ten of Grumpy Old Men songs (aided and abetted by a few grumpy old women) based around the idea that things were much better when I was a lad. Y'know: strikes, power-cuts, the three day week, Margaret Thatcher, the Yorkshire Ripper, Kajagoogoo... I'm talking the good old days now!

(Nothing personal against Kajagoogoo. They just have a funny name.)

When I did a google image search on "things ain't what they used to be", the above image popped up and I felt it somehow appropriate.

10. Stanley Brinks & The Wave Pictures - Things Ain't What They Used To Be

One of those songs you pick up on an old Uncut or Mojo CD, burn to your record library, then never actually listen to until 20 years later when you come up with a random post idea and... not bad, actually.

9. The Black Keys - Things Ain't Like They Used To Be

The perfect accompaniment to a general miserablist malaise.

8. Neil Young - Days That Used To Be

Amazing that this is the first time Neil Young has featured in my Grumpy Old Men series...

Talk to me, my long lost friend, tell me how you are
Are you happy with your circumstance, are you driving a new car?
Does it get you where you want to go, with a seven year warranty?
Or just another hundred thousand miles away
From the days that used to be

7. Duke Ellington - Things Ain't What They Used To Be

Now that's what I call jazz. Hope The Swede approves.

For a version with lyrics, you can't go wrong with a bit of Ella Fitzgerald...

No use bein' a doubtin' Thomas,
No ignorin' that rosy promise;
Now I know there's a happy story yet to come.
It's the dawn of a day of glory: millennium
I tell you things ain't what they used to be.

Perhaps a little too optimistic there, Ella, considering where we ended up...

6. Will Hoge - They Don't Make Em Like They Used To

Can we ever live up to what our parents' generation went through. Probably not...

Whoah-oh, story after story
Of all your faded glory
Is all I ever hope to live up to
Whoah-oh, know as I get older
I'm standing on your shoulders
Trying to be just like you
But they don't make 'em like they used to

5. John Wesley Harding - There's a Starbucks (Where the Starbucks Used to Be)

Most things change, but some things stay the same...

There's a freeway where we played football in the fields
Apartments on the pitch at Highbury
There's a shed called Deer Creek
Of which my one critique
Is there's no creek now and it's all deer-free

There's a Walgreens where there was no wall, just greenery
There's a theme park in a palace in Tennessee
That tree there is a pylon
But some things you can rely on
There's a Starbucks where the Starbucks used to be

Video of the week!

4. Pandora's Box - The Future Ain't What It Used To Be


No holds barred.

Pure, unadulterated melodramatic insanity never sounded so pompously extravagant.

3. Larry Jon Wilson - Things Ain't What They Used to Be (And Probably Never Was)

If you've never heard Larry Jon Wilson before, can I suggest you prepare your ears for a treat?

They tell me one day I'll look back and laugh at what I'm goin' through.
The way I feel, I think they're telling lies.
My songs all die in empty talk like buds that dry upon the stalk
And ill winds come to blow them to the sky...
Blow them to the sky

Man, that voice. Not sure about the grammar though.

2. Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me

Considering Marvin wrote this heartfelt plea for the ecology back in 1971, you can imagine him turning in his grave every time Donald The Trump opens his mouth.

I have a special fondness for the version recorded by Batley Bob in the 1990s too.

1. Max Bygraves - Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be

They put a parking lot on a piece of land
Where the supermarket used to stand
Before that they put up a bowling alley
On the site that used to be the local pally
That's where the big bands used to come and play
My sister went there on a Saturday
Come dancing

Wait, you say. Those aren't the lyrics to a Max Bygraves song! They're the lyrics to The Kinks' 1983 comeback single, Come Dancing. True enough, but I bet Ray was thinking of Max's big hit from 23 years earlier when he penned those lines... if you don't believe me, just listen to the opening lines of Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be.

Here's a proper grumpy old man song for you! Go on, Max!

We used to have stars...
Singers who sung
A Dixie melody

They're buying guitars, plinkety plonk
Backing themselves with three chords only

Once we'd dance from 12 to 3
I've got news for Elvis P
Things ain't what they used to beeeee!!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Radio Songs #44: Reel To Reel

Radio Songs took a break for a few weeks. Those of you who read the last post will probably understand why. I haven't wanted to go trotting down that particularly memory lane for a while now. But time wounds all heels, and there's lots more of this story to tell...

Early 90s then, and I'm back at uni during the daytime, while working in the record library and answering phones for the phone in Sunday night and Wednesday thru Friday (Monday and Tuesday were my busy uni days so another guy did the phones then). There were a couple of other things I did to pile up my hours during this time, and one of them was driving shows on tape.

There was a variety of syndicated radio shows that did the rounds of local radio back in the day, but when I think back now, the only one I can really remember (though I know I drove more than just this) was Rick Dees' Weekly Top 40 Countdown. It was the American chart, a week late, interspersed with classic US oldies, and chat from Mr. Disco Duck himself, Rigdon Osmond Dees III. (Yep, that is apparently his real name.) A quick glance at iffypedia tells me that The Weekly Top 40 Countdown began in 1983 - so it'd been going a decade already by the time I started threading the tape on it - and apparently it's still going today.

The show would come in huge cardboard reel to reel boxes, each reel containing one hour of the show... or about 45 minutes of airtime in three or four chunks of audio. My job would be to start the tape rolling after the hourly news bulletin and a few local station jingles, play the first segment, then stop the tape and play an ad break. And so on. Dees would supply a couple of station specific IDs as part of the syndication deal which I'd play in from time to time so it actually sounded like he was broadcasting from West Yorkshire... and not the other side of the Atlantic. And all this had to be timed perfectly so I could hit the next hourly news bulletin without crashing it...

All of which leads me to a recurring anxiety dream I still have to this day... I might get to that in the next radio post, or possibly the one after. But it's weird how it still wakes me in the small hours with a pounding heart, probably 20 years or so since I last sat behind a live, on-air radio desk...

I thought about playing On Tape by The Pooh Sticks to accompany this post. Or maybe Real By Reel by XTC. Maybe even Reel Around The Fountain. But honestly, there was only one serious contender...

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Hot 100 #63

Album cover above by The 63 Crayons, a band I know nothing about, but they have a cool name. Google them if you have time, I've got just 15 minutes to write this post before my next class...

Cut & paste with your suggestions this week because of the above-mentioned time constraints. Thanks for all your contributions.

The Swede kicks us off (as is often the case) "Tanglewood 63 by Michael Gibbs springs immediately to mind, a tune quickly covered in a Jazz-Rock vein by Colosseum and several more times since."


A lyrical offering from Charity Chic next... which could very well have been this week's winner, because it's an awesome tune...

In Winter 1963
It felt like like the world would freeze
With John F Kennedy and the Beatles

Life in a Northern Town - The Dream Academy

Lynchie & Swiss Adam both went for New Order - 1963. Now, time prevents me from telling the full story, but suffice it to say there a deep scars from my teenage years involving New Order - I basically feel out and didn't speak to one of my best friends for 6 months, and New Order were indirectly responsible for that. They remain one of the two big 80s bands that I have never been able to find a moment's time for (the other being U2). I know the high esteem that many of my blogging peers hold them in... but they're highly unlikely to ever feature here until I can afford therapy.

Martin, extremely helpfully, even provided links with his suggestions this week... let's see how well they survive the Copy & Paste...

White Flag, by Shonen Knife, for the earth-shattering lyric:

"He's a gummer. He's over 63."

Hands Up To The Ceiling, by Tracey Thorn, for better lyrics:

"Here is the street and here is the door
Same as it was before
And up the stairs and on the wall
Is, Kiss and Terry Hall
And Siouxsie Sioux and Edwin too
And Bobby Dee in '63."

And best of all, Bell Boy by The Who, with the line:

"I don't suppose you would remember me, but I used to follow you back in '63."
Rigid Digit offered two fine suggestions...
"Mini skirts were in style, when she waltzed down the aisle back in 63"

"I shot John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 63"

But it's Walter who takes this week's prize - as seconded by CC. Alyson even adds that "I seem to remember it was the soundtrack to my first kiss down the local youth club!" Which makes it a double-winner, surely? We can't beat this...

Anyway, got to go now, there's a queue of students outside the room, waiting to be educated...



Just in case the boss is reading this.

62 next week. Any ideas?

Monday, 8 October 2018

2018 Contenders: I Can't Keep Checking My Phone

Look - it's a young person. I can't tell you how young Holiday Oscar is, since he's so young he doesn't even seem to have his own iffypedia page. Which means he's probably from the post-iffypedia generation, that's how young he is. He says he's 25 in the lyrics to the song below, and who am I to disbelieve someone from the post-iffypedia generation? If he's post-iffypedia, he probably only ever speaks the truth. Everything goes in cycles.

Grumpy middle-aged men like me who like to listen to lots of music made by grumpy middle-aged (and somewhat older) men (and women) don't listen to a lot of music made by 25 year olds, because the majority of it appears (to grumpy, middle aged ears) to have been "quantized, pitch corrected, and overly inspected" (or so says Henry Rollins) and doesn't feature a lot of real instruments... certainly not guitars, which, as has been discussed here previously, appear to be on the endangered species list these days.

Anyway, Holiday Oscar. I don't know much about him, and I'm not going to trawl the internet searching, but he appears to be young, from London, and likes to use guitars. Not in a heavy, indie-landfill, angry-young-man way either. No, in a really quite old-fashioned way. A little bit country, a little bit reggae. Timeless. That might be a better word than old-fashioned.

His lyrics though, are bang up to date. Refreshingly so, and with a sly wit that appeals to these grumpy old ears very much. He seems to be taking the piss out of his own generation. So obviously, I approve. If you like the tune below, I heartily recommend the EP of the same name...

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Saturday Snapshots #53 - The Answers

The screen door slams... and the answers to Saturday Snapshots arrive. Were these Tougher Than The Rest? Not for you lot...

This week's Early Bird was Lynchie... I'm stopping calling it "winner" as first up gets the pick of the crop. Congrats, anyway, Lynchie. And welcome along to first-time player, Walter. About time you guys got a bit of competition.

10. If you think this is The Man In Black, you probably need new spectacles.

The Man In Black was Johnny Cash. You can work out the rest yourself.

Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now

9. Evergreen girl loses 50 Romans on a very short visit. (I'll be impressed if anyone gets this.)

Pine is an evergreen.

50 in Roman numerals is L. Take that away from girl and you get gir.

A very short visit would be...

Piney Gir - Greetings, Salutations, Goodbye

(Well done, Martin. Bonus point for that - especially as you'd never heard of her.)

8. Bubbly seaman.

Sailor - Glass of Champagne

7. How other people see us, for a very short time, on the up.

How other people see us is our public image.

Short time = limited.

Public Image Ltd. - Rise

(John Lydon videos are always good value, even if you don't like the song.)

6. Juvenile offenders up before the judge... arrive late.

Teenagers in court?

The Courteeners - What Took You So Long?

5. Spicy C needs a locksmith.

Mel C was the best Spice Girl.

Melanie - Brand New Key

4. Abraham & Stewart get warm with missing astronauts and their fishy boss.

Abraham Lincoln & Rod Stewart get hot.

Missing astronauts would be Lost Planet Airmen.

Their fishy boss would be Commander Cody.

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen - Hot Rod Lincoln

3. Aggressive women burn on hot days.

Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun

2. A 2 cm wok fights passionately.

A cm wok is an anagram for Womack. The 2's in there because there are two of them.

Womack & Womack - Love Wars

1. Aussie adolescent waits for summer and won't give up.


Spring's - teen.

Will never surrender.

Can you believe it's taken me 53 weeks to get to him?

Alyson worked out the who, but it took non-Boss-fan C to work out the song, even though the lyrics are in the header of this very blog...

It's a town full of losers, but you're all pulling out of here to win.

More Saturday Snapshots For You next week...

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Saturday Snapshots #53

Welcome, Old Kings and Brand New Friends!

If you're having a Lost Weekend, allow me to play Mr. Malcontent and deliver No More Love Songs... just ten Saturday Snapshot clues to decipher: artist and title, please...

10. If you think this is The Man In Black, you probably need new spectacles.

9. Evergreen girl loses 50 Romans on a very short visit. (I'll be impressed if anyone gets this.)

8. Bubbly seaman.

7. How other people see us, for a very short time, on the up.

6. Juvenile offenders up before the judge... arrive late.

5. Spicy C needs a locksmith.

4. Abraham & Stewart get warm with missing astronauts and their fishy boss.

3. Aggressive women burn on hot days.

2. A 2 cm wok fights passionately.

1. Aussie adolescent waits for summer and won't give up.

Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?

This is the last ever Saturday Snapshots!

Only kidding.

Answers tomorrow.

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