Tuesday 30 June 2020

Hot 100 #3

Yes, the Fun Boy Three had to be the band who represented 3 on our countdown.

Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum

Although we could also have gone with...

Alabama 3 - Too Sick To Pray

Juliana Hatfield Three - Spin The Bottle

Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again

The Dirty Three - The Restless Waves

Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me Not To Come

Spacemen 3 - Lord Can You Hear Me?

Mojave 3 - Love Songs On The Radio

3 Colours Red - Beautiful Day

Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3 - Adventure Rocketship

Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3 - Amphetamine

3 Doors Down - Kryptonite

The Three O'Clock - Jet Fighter

The Three Johns - Death of the European

Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life

Unique Three - The Theme

The Len Price 3 - Swing Like A Monkey

And probably a load more. I've reached the stage where I've accepted defeat when it comes to making these lists exhaustive.

Onto the songs, and Charity Chic opens the bidding this week...

The Commodores - Three Times a Lady

Going once, going twice...

Patsy Cline - Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray 

Eddie Cochran - Three Steps to Heaven or Showaddywaddy

I think we'll stick with Eddie, thanks.

Next up is Martin, who I had to edit for reasons that will become apparent below, though he did offer the following...

Ian Dury and The Blockheads - Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part 3

The Wedding Present - Three

And I even got artist and song title round the cut'n'paste-able way :)

Always appreciated. Thank you, Martin. Although I didn't expect you to miss this...

Martin Rossiter - Three Points On A Compass

Next up is C...

I'd go for...

The Selecter - Three Minute Hero

Also, if you'll let it count, how about a song that's very evocative for those of us of a certain age:

Pentangle - Nightflight (Theme to Take Three Girls)

"TV theme from the late 60s series about three 'swinging chicks' sharing a groovy pad in London."

I'm too young to remember that, but I bet it was groovy.

OK, deep breath everybody... here comes The Swede!

(I should add that I have edited The Swede's list this week, but only to remove the Christmas songs, because we're about as far away from Christmas as it is possible to get.)

Thin White Rope - The Three Song

Juniper Tar - Three Words

Trinity - Three Piece Suit and Thing

Double points for that one.

The (fake) Clash - Three Card Trick

I should probably ask why they're fake... I'm sure there's a story there.

The Faces - Three Button Hand Me Down

Okkervil River - Stand Ins, Three

More of an instrumental break, really, but I do love the album this comes from. I am not going to allow you The Stand Ins, Two & One over the next two weeks though.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Three Changes

The Ink Spots - We Three (My Echo, My Shadow & Me)

That's lovely.

Joanna Newsom - Three Little Babes

Sunset Rubdown - Three Colours

Sounds like a knocking shop, as my mum wouldn't say.

Possible Selves - Three Birds

Snailhouse - Three Nights

Simplicity People - KG's at Halfway Three

McCoy Tyner - Lee Plus Three

Emily Portman - Three Gold Hairs

Rachel Newton - Three Days

One Eleven Heavy - Three Poisons

Fire on Fire - Three Or More

Jake Xerxes Fussell - Three Ravens

White Hills - Three Quarters

Nick Drake - Three Hours

At last! One I actually own!

Wire - Three Girl Rumba

Followed by one that Elastica clearly own.

Amon Duul II - Three Eyed Overdrive

Followed by one I'm betting only The Swede owns.

Gary US Bonds - Quarter to Three

Dillinger - Three Piece Suit and Thing

Wonder if it was khaki?

Bill Anderson - Three AM

Grizzly Bear - Three Rings

Bob Marley - Three Little Birds

That was a serious contender. Can't believe nobody else suggested it.

Walter Bishop Jr - Three Loves

Bert Jansch - Three Dreamers

Orange Juice - Three Cheers For Our Side

Hip hip hooray!

Herbie Hancock - Three Wishes

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full

Tangerine Dream - Sunrise in the Third System

Two weeks in a row for Tangerine Dream.

BeBop Deluxe - Third Floor Heaven

Khruangbin - Evan Finds the Third Room

I could have done without watching that video.

Marc Bolan - The Third Degree

Terry - Third War

I put that into youtube and this is what came up.

Brian Eno - Third Uncle

No Age - Third Grade Rave

Michael Gibbs - And on the Third Day

Roj - Attaining the Third State

Wow. You really outdid yourself this week, Swede. Although I was surprised you missed this...

Bob Dylan - Three Angels

What do you say, Swiss Adam?

Fucking hell, Swede!

Well, there's no need to swear.

(But, quite.)

You might not expect it of me, but I always loved the KLF. While most other dance music in the late 80s / early 90s made me want to put my head in the oven, Bill Drummond always made me smile.

Over to John Medd...

I'll go for anything off Squeeze's Packet of 3 EP, though 'Cat on a Wall' would be my lead track. Doesn't count, you say? Breaking some sort of code violation? Can't you invoke a Mornington Crescent style override? Go on, you know you want to!

With only two weeks (three if I can be bothered with a zero postscript - the jury's still out) left, I'm feeling charitable.

Squeeze - Cat On A Wall

Over to Rigid Digit for some fine suggestions...

Manic Street Preachers - 3 Ways To See Despair

Lightning Seeds / Baddiel & Skinner - Three Lions

(I might as well throw this in as a response: Los Campesinos! - Every Defeat A Divorce (Three Lions))

Van Halen - Sucker In A 3 Piece

From the gloriously named OU812.

Pink Floyd - Pigs (3 Different Ones)

This is the point at which Pink Floyd floats off into space as far as I'm concerned.

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Gimme Three Steps

Emerson Lake and Palmer - The Three Fates

I bet that one will go down well with certain correspondents.

Lily Allen - Three

The White Stripes - The Big Three Killed My Baby

and a special one to finish off with:

Dawn - Knock Three Times

That would definitely have been in my Top Ten.

By the way, if anyone wants to know what my hair looks like in Week 732 of Lockdown, I suggest you take a look at Tony Orlando in that video. I keep my chest hair under wraps though.

I also think that video was shot in Greenhead Park in Huddersfield.

Time for Jim in Dubai to step up to the mic...

Belle & Sebastian - The Power of 3

Jamie Wednesday - We Three Kings of Orient Aren't (Pre Carter USM)

The Royal We - Three is a Crowd

The Look - Three Steps Away

They Might Be Giants - Number 3

Always loved that one.

The Lambrettas - Another Day Another Girl (Page 3)

That's a historical artefact.

Ten Pole Tudor - 3 Bells in a Row

Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3

All of which brings us to Douglas, who's still smarting that I compared one of his suggestions last time to his less than distinguished countrymen, Nickelback...

I will start by facetiously suggesting for your consideration a trinity of provocative suggestions that are designed to get revenge for your Nickelback allusion of last week, which on behalf of all Canadians I express offence taken at (but you knew that was coming because you were already ducking):

U2 - The Three Sunrises (who of course also have an album entitled "Three", don't they? Sure to get them extra points...)

Looked all over for that one, but couldn't find a link anywhere. It wasn't in my garbage disposal unit or the u-bend on my toilet, which seemed the most obvious places to look.

Sting - Three Steps To Heaven (or what of his critically acclaimed performance in the Threepenny Opera?)

That, on the other hand, I had to look for, just to confirm my worst fears. On the positive side, the clip I found was less than a minute long and sing sang for almost half that time.

(I should clarify at this point that I don't hate Sting in the same way as I hate Bonio and The Hedge. I liked many Police songs and even the occasional sing solo tune - I featured my favourite in this week's Saturday Snapshots. Despite that, he's too easy a target for mockery.)

Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's another clip that's less than a minute long...

Sting in The Threepenny Opera

Phil Collins - Three Brothers (from Disney's Brother Bear soundtrack, no less, though sadly Phil does not actually sing on this one)

I'm sure many people will take issue with your use of the word 'sadly' there, Douglas... but anyway, onto your proper suggestions. Now you've had your revenge...

Now that I have got that off my chest,with greater seriousness, I would offer you a few better selections from what my hard drive pulled up in the following:

Real Estate - Three Blocks

Fleet Foxes - Third of May/Odaigahara

Last leaves - Third Thoughts

For those who do not know this last band, but may be fans of the late Lucksmiths, check them out. They are three of the four original band in Marty Donald, Mark Monnone and Louis Richter but with Noah Symons newly added on the drums. They have a more lo-fi chaotic sound than the polished harmonies of the Lucksmiths, but much of the same sophisticated and wry lyrics. Interesting.

You all realise at this point that I need to invite Douglas to contribute a Guest Post Thursday sometime soon, don't you? (Not just to stop him adding to my workload on the Hot 100, because, let's face it, there's only a couple of weeks of that remaining.)

Then, of course, the Canadian in me, still smarting from the mention of Chad Kroeger, would like to represent our country a lot more palatably with the consideration of:

The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols

(And while I'm cross-promoting, you should have been here a couple of Saturdays ago, Douglas, when it took everyone a bloody long time to guess The Tragically Hip on Saturday Snapshots... even with my hilarious 'dem bones; clue.)

The Great Lake Swimmers - Three Days at Sea (Three Lost Years) (Bonus points again, surely?)

Absolutely. Anything else?

And if you insist on the labelling Canada with the alt-rock/alt-metal brush, we have a band called Three Days Grace you should check out. Perhaps the following, which has garnered 264 million views on Youtube, would adequately express your thoughts on the genre:

Three Days Grace - I Hate Everything About You

You know what, I quite liked that. Although a little bit of research revealed that their current lead singer was in another band previously who were discovered and signed by Chad Kroeger. Small world, eh?

Still, I preferred the Ugly Kid Joe song.

Oh, wait, Douglas ain't done yet...

...And just to let you know that you are doing a good service to promote great music, a couple of weeks ago, Brian suggested the song "7 Compton Street" by a group I confess to never having heard of before, Me and Dean Martin. Your comment that they sounded a lot like the Smiths intrigued me and I gave the link a listen, and rather liked the track a goodly bit, leading me to check out whatever other selections were on Youtube, and eventually ordering a copy of the album "Let's Romanticise Our Youth". The shiny piece of vinyl arrived in the mail today, and it is turning on the table as I write. Very enjoyable. So in honour of the service you are doing, I propose that the band gets a second chance at stardom, from the same LP:

Me And Dean Martin - Life And Death Issues In Three Minutes

And they still sound like The Smiths. But thanks again to Brian. Speaking of whom...

Thanks for taking the time to type that, Douglas. This makes my day. Some stellar threes on this list. I especially wish I had been the first to suggest Wire, Orange Juice, Ian Dury and the Selecter. My winner, as suggested by Adam, would be Television Personalities with Three Wishes. Here are a few more I like...

The June Brides - Three Days

(That's actually a solo effort by frontman Phil Wilson. The June Brides have performed it though.)

fIREHOSE - Disciples of the 3-Way

Very nice, but they lose points for their sins against typography.

The Elvis Brothers - Count to Three

Ooh! a contender for Elvis Fridays!

(Maybe it occurred to me that as this series will be over soon, I should signpost people to a few of the other series on this blog.)

The Very Most - Dodged Ev'ry Bullet Pt. 3

Very nice, but they lose points for their sins against grammar. You can't intensify a superlative.

The Servants - Faithful to 3 Lovers

Nice bit of Lloyd Cole guitar on that.

The Decemberists - Crane Wife 3

A strong contender.

Friends Again - Moon 3

Northern Picture Library - Untitled No. 3

Paul and Linda McCartney - 3 Legs

Heavenly - Three Star Compartment

Dolly Mixture - Three O'Clock Rhapsody

Nope, couldn't find that one anywhere.

Are ordinal numbers a rule breaker? (If they were, a third of the songs on this list would be gone.) If not, Ramones should take this thing with 53rd and 3rd.

Sadly though, that does fall foul of The Tom Robinson Rule, which we've done pretty well to avoid breaking this far this week.

OK, that's almost it for your suggestions this week. Here's a selection from my own hard-drive not mentioned above. We'll start with a very strong contender...

The Browns - The Three Bells

And then there was this...

Frank Sinatra - Three Coins In The Fountain

Or, if you prefer the British version...

Alan Klein - Three Coins In The Sewer


Here's a load more...

Carly Simon - Three Days

The Charlatans - Opportunity Three

Drive-By Truckers - The Three Great Alabama Icons

Worth a listen if you want to find out more about why Lynyrd Skynrd wrote Sweet Home Alabama, and what Neil Young thought of it.

Fats Domino - Three Nights A Week

Patti Smith - We Three

Jimmy Buffet - Door Number 3

Magnolia Electric Company - The Last 3 Human Words

Miaow - Three Quarters of the Way To Paradise

Red House Painters - Three Legged Cat

The Cure - Three Imaginary Boys

High Llamas - Three Point Scrabble

The Wallflowers - Three Marlenas

Craig Finn - Three Drinks

Eric Church - Three Year Old

(That one will choke up any dads reading this.)

JJ72 - Half Three

Richmond Fontaine - Three Brothers Roll Into Town

Rilo Kiley - Three Hopeful Thoughts

Sinead O'Connor - Three Babies

Chumbawamba - Morality Play in 3 Acts

Interpol - No I In Threesome

Jack White - Three Women

Jenny Lewis - Aloha & the Three Johns

Lucinda Williams - Those Three Days

The Courteeners - Three Months

The Divine Comedy - Threesome

The Divine Comedy - Three Sisters

The Faces - Three Button Hand Me Down

The Lemonheads - Rule of Three

The Proclaimers - Three More Days

The Superman Revenge Squad Band - Paulie in Rocky Three

William Bell - The Three Of Me

Jesse Malin - The Three Martini Lunch

The Breeders - Only In 3s

Eels - 3 Speed

Finally, I'd just like to point of that the Tom Robinson Rule has prevented this from taking the trophy both this week and next. Damn that Tom Robinson Rule!

Meat Loaf - Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad

Which brings us to this week's winner.

Or winners.

And for that, we have to go back to Martin, who began his suggestions this week thus:

I like how you teased De La Soul in your closing line, Rol, but that's just called "The Magic Number", isn't it, so I can't pitch that one.

What Martin appears to have forgotten, however, is this...

Which is a more direct cover of the original song (that De La Soul adapted), by Bob Dorough (also suggested by The Swede), which was originally written for an educational TV show called Schoolhouse Rock...

And so this week, we have not one winner... but three. Which seems rather appropriate.

Will there be two winners next week?

You tell me...

Monday 29 June 2020

2020 Contenders: Options Open

At last: something good to come out of lockdown!

It's getting on for a decade since Kathleen Edwards packed in music and opened up a coffee shop in Ottawa to escape the strains of the music industry and her life imploding.

When I first heard her new single, from an album to be released in August, I did wonder if being forced to close up shop for lockdown had inspired her to pick up her guitar and start writing songs again. That'd make a great story, wouldn't it? As it turns out though, the album was mostly written and recorded pre-coronavirus.

Still, it's good to have Kathleen back. She's long been a favourite of mine, and she's sounding as good as ever...

(Sound philosophy too. We all need to keep our options open at the moment.)

Sunday 28 June 2020

Saturday Snapshots #142 - The Answers

Get off your horse and drink your milk - it's time for this week's answers...

10. Taxi for Mr. Innes! We will both need a flashlight.

Neil Innes was in the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band.

They recorded a song called Death Cab For Cutie.

Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark

9. Number 7 arrives at Capitol Records, finds himself in Xanadu.

Number 7 is... see below. (Yes, I know they were named after a different Frank. But he's not usually a Frankie, whereas this one is.)

The Capitol Records Building is in Hollywood.

"In Xanadu did Kubla Khan. A stately pleasure-dome decree..." (Coleridge)

Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome

8. Thrilled gun dog nuns.

Pointers are gun dogs. Nuns are sisters. Although these sisters were no nuns. (If you don't believe me - watch the video.)

The Pointer Sisters - I'm So Excited

7. Arthurian sunset for second rock.

King Arthur spent a fair bit of time on Avalon.

Van Morrison sang of an Avalon Sunset.

The second rock from the sun is Venus.

Frankie Avalon - Venus

6. Joyful butter con.

A con is a sting.

Sting - Spread A Little Happiness

I've always thought that was the best thing Sting did as a solo artist. It's a cover version, originally featured in the soundtrack to the movie Brimstone & Treacle, and for many years was very difficult to track down as it never appeared on any Greatest Hits collections (despite being a #16 hit in 1982, long before The Police split). The version I had came from an 8 track cartridge at the radio station where I used to work, recorded onto a CD-R. The lengths we used to have to go to to find music!

5. Nazi brothels like Russ Abbott.

Joy Division were named after a nazi brothel in the novel House of Dolls.

Dreadful 80s comedian Russ Abbott had a hit with a song called Atmosphere. It wasn't this song... but (thanks to Jez, who I think initially made me aware of it) the two were scarily amalgamated in the video below...

Once seen, never forgotten. Here's the original, without the frightening visuals...

Joy Division - Atmosphere

4. Hulk's finery in Toyota tipple tragedy.

"Hulk's finery" is an anagram.

If you had a tipple before driving your Toyota, it may lead to tragedy.

Ferlin Husky - The Drunken Driver

Try to listen to that without sobbing... although they may be tears of laughter.

3. Probably why she's contemplating going out somewhere. Sooner or later...

Ruby was contemplating going out somewhere... to get romantic.

Ruby & The Romantics - Our Day Will Come

2. Choppers get down to the low notes. What goes around, comes around.

Choppers (helicopters) have propellers on top. 

The low notes are bass(y).

1. Peter Cookie: useful in Five's kitchen. 

Peter Cookie is half man, half biscuit.

What could be better in Joy Division's kitchen than...?

The Searchers will find more Snapshots next Saturday. True Grit may be required.

Saturday 27 June 2020

Saturday Snapshots #142

You could spend your Saturday morning taking a stroll down Mulholland Drive or running away from King Kong... but these days, you're probably safer staying home and playing Saturday Snapshots.

Identify ten performers and the songs they performed from the clues below, please. Hopefully you won't find any The Impossible.

10. Taxi for Mr. Innes! We will both need a flashlight.

9. Number 7 arrives at Capitol Records, finds himself in Xanadu.

8. Thrilled gun dog nuns.

7. Arthurian sunset for second rock.

6. Joyful butter con.

5. Nazi brothels like Russ Abbott.

4. Hulk's finery in Toyota tipple tragedy.

3. Probably why she's contemplating going out somewhere. Sooner or later...

2. Choppers get down to the low notes. What goes around, comes around.

1. Peter Cookie: useful in Five's kitchen. 

Watt's the answer? 

Find out tomorrow...

Friday 26 June 2020

Elvis Fridays #2: Salad, Chips & Cookies

I had to start this week's Elvis Friday with the Sesame Street version of the Elvis Costello song I posted last week. Thanks very much to Rigid Digit for bringing this to my attention. It was too good to stay languishing in a comment box though...

The purpose of Elvis Fridays is to cheer me (and maybe you too) up after another long hard week of lockdown working. And that certainly did the trick.

Which other Elvis might I call upon to put a smile on my face this morning?

How about this one...?

And what about the King himself? What has he got that can compete with Kirsty and the Cookie Monster?

How about this rare live recording of Elvis singing Tony Joe White's classic Polk Salad Annie in his Vegas years. People make fun of the Vegas years, but I watch a performance like this, and damn it, what I wouldn't give to have been in that audience. From a 2020 perspective, 1970 looks like the place to be...

Thursday 25 June 2020

Guest Post Thursday #4: Lynchie's brief affair with Jerry Hall...

Guest Post Thursday continues! With just a little persuasion, Lynchie is back with the long promised Jerry Hall story. I think it's fair to say he's led a more interesting life than I have...

My brief affair with Jerry Hall...

Sometime in the Summer of 1982, I was driving home to Aberdeen after a holiday in Ireland with my then girlfriend. As we approached the city, she flipped the radio to the local pop channel, Northsound, and we heard someone raving about a huge queue at the city's Capitol Theatre - a former cinema also used for large pop/rock gigs.

The queue was for tickets to see the very first gig of the "Tattoo You" tour by the Rolling Stones.

Why Aberdeen? It turned out the very first gig had been due to be staged somewhere in Switzerland but the bloke in charge of ticket sales had disappeared to somewhere in South America with all the money.

So, the story was that Mick told the tour management to pick some place in Britain where they hadn't played in years and Aberdeen was chosen with the Capitol as the venue.

Your hero was gutted as the gig sold out within the hour. I'd been too young (13) to see The Stones play Aberdeen in May 1964 and now I'd miss them again, unless I could somehow wangle a ticket.
At this point I should add I was working as a reporter for Aberdeen's morning newspaper "The Press & Journal", but despite all my contacts, I couldn't get a ticket for the Stones show.

Late afternoon of May 26th, 1982, I was working on some news story, bemoaning the fact that I wasn't going to see the Stones when Eric Stephenson, the P&J News Editor, stood over my desk and said "Fancy some overtime, Graeme?" 

I presumed this meant I would be sent out to some godforsaken part of N-East Scotland to cover a poorly attended Community Council meeting or some such horror and grudgingly said: "Yeah, OK". when - with a flourish - Eric produced a large black strip of black felt emblazoned with a red tongue and the words "access all areas" or some such nonsense. It was a backstage pass for the Stones gig!

My heart soared! Finally, I was going to get to see one of my fave bands - for free.

Later that evening, it was agreed by the big boys of British meeja (mostly tabloid reporters from the Sun, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror and the rest all turned up for the first Stones gig of this tour) that I should be "pool reporter". This meant that I would be the only reporter to get backstage before the show to interview the band, as long as I shared the story with all the rest of the newspaper/radio/TV journalists in attendance.

(I'd love to know how you pulled that one off, Lynchie! - Rol.)

So it was that I ended up chatting with Mick and Keith and the occasional word from Charlie Watts about playing the Capitol for the 2nd time in almost 18 years and what should happen to the evil bastard who'd stolen the Swiss ticket money.

As we chatted, this tall blonde (in a full length silver sequinned dress slit to the thigh on one side to expose an extremely long leg) sidled up and said something to Mick. I was gobsmacked as I realised it was Jerry Hall. 

You have to remember this is Mrs Lynch's wee boy, already in awe at interviewing his rock'n roll heroes and now he's in the presence of one of the world's top models and occasional girlfriend of Bryan (Brylcreem Bri) Ferry and Michael Philip Jagger.

The next part of my story is a bit hazy, but basically it transpired that Jerry Hall wanted to sit down and me being the gallant gentleman I was, I grabbed a chair next to me and said "Here's a chair" or some such nonsense and offered it to Ms Hall. 

Just as she was in the act of simultaneously thanking me and starting to sit on said chair, I noticed there was a mess of crumbs on the seat and hastily brushed them away. I was doing a great job until Jerry Hall's bum connected with my hand.

It is at this point I should stress that what Jerry Hall's bum connected with was the BACK of my hand as I brushed away the crumbs I mentioned earlier.

Anyways, luckily for me, Jerry (we're on first name terms now, notice?!?!?) laughed it off saying I was a true gentleman, looking pointedly at Mick'n Keef and the rest while I stood there, red-faced and reduced to a gibbering mess. End of interview with what I'm sure was a knowing smile from Mr Jagger and a polite handshake and sweet smile from Jerry Hall. 

And that's the story of me and Jerry Hall's bum.

Oh yeah - the show was a blast. 

Thanks again, Lynchie. Got any more brushes with showbiz legends to tell? (It doesn't have to be their bottoms.) You're always welcome here!

I couldn't resist putting that particular video up to illustrate Lynchie's story. It was the biggest hit the Stones had around the time of Lynchie's story and it is my favourite Stones video. I may have said this before, but if you watch Mick in that video, you'll see where Joe Wicks got his best moves.

You'll be glad to know that we have one more guest contributor set to make his debut next Thursday... but I'll keep his identity secret till then. After that... remember: the door is always open.

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Positive Kittens For Negative Times

We welcomed the newest edition to our household last Thursday - Cosmo The Kitten.

You may remember how we lost our old boy Murphy back at the beginning of May. Too soon to replace him? I am but a leaf in a hurricane.

I still miss Murphy, but Cosmo is a welcome addition to the family. He's one of the friendliest kittens I've ever known, completely fearless and already a great friend for Sam to play with.

The only one who doesn't seem happy to have him around is our other cat, 2 year old Millie, who has taken to fleeing the room whenever Cosmo appears and hiding on top of the kitchen cupboards shaking in terror at the prospect that this tiny ball of fluff will come anywhere near her. (We're hoping for a thaw in their relationship sometime soon.)

In case you're wondering, I had nothing to do with giving Cosmo his name. I wanted to call him Ron, after Ron Swanson. However, it does give me the opportunity to play one of my favourite songs from the multi-talented Cosmo Jarvis. This other Cosmo has been a little quiet on the music scene lately, having turned his hand to acting with prominent roles in Peaky Blinders, Lady Macbeth and recent indie hit Calm With Horses. Rumours persist that he hasn't completely given up on music though. I do hope we hear more from him soon...

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Pause In Transmission

I'm going to have to play another joker this week and pass on Number 3 on the Hot 100 until next Tuesday.

Apologies for that - it's less the weight of suggestions, more the weight of (real job) work in a week full of deadlines.

Here's a 3 Song to tide you over. Can't remember who suggested it (full credit will be given next week) but it's long been one that brings a smile to my face. And boy do I need that right now...

Monday 22 June 2020

Mid-Life Crisis Songs #52: Father's Day

Yesterday was Father's Day, and this is the card Sam got me, along with the new Jason Isbell CD (which I asked for) and a KitKat made into a superhero (with a cape and face stuck on) which meant the most.

I don't know how I feel about Father's Day, but then I don't know how I feel about anything these days. Sam and I spent some nice time together, went on a long walk, played some games, watched a dreadful film that we ended up switching off because everyone thought it was pants (Artemis Fowl - don't bother, even if you have young children who enjoyed the books).

But... I worry. I worry that I'm not actually there the way I should be at the moment. I'm so tired all the time, so stressed, and I feel like I'm watching the world through a murky filter. I hope, Sam, if and when you read this back in many years to come, you don't remember your old dad like Frank Turner remembers his...

You always told me Father’s Day was just another way
Of selling Hallmark greeting cards
Twenty Years of waking sleep, of lying through your teeth,
Meant every Father’s Day spent wondering who the hell you are.

Sunday 21 June 2020

Saturday Snapshots #141: The Answers

Was there one overall winner of yesterday's Saturday Snapshots, or is it the case that a few of you Drew?

It's getting harder and harder to pun myself into these answers...

10. Have I Got Newsman gets his coat... but could do with a car.

Paul Merton in a Parka. (Apologies to non-British viewers who won't have got that reference.)

The Merton Parkas - You Need Wheels

9. Corderoy for smaller sibling.

Corderoy (sic) is an anagram.

Ry Cooder - Little Sister

8. You've gotta see her use a Scottish door opener to get a good look at the afterlife.

Maria, you've got to see her, sang Blondie.

A Scottish door opener would be a Mc-Key.

Maria McKee - Show Me Heaven

For years I thought she sang "And make me breakfast" rather than "And leave me breathless".

Like Ron Swanson, I'd always rather have a good breakfast.

7. Multiple RIPs for Croce & King.

Jim Croce & Carole King...

The Jim Carroll Band - People Who Died

6. Lancashire goat audibly exhales over Ora prior to resurrection.

A Lancashire goat would be Billy from Preston.

Sigh, Rita.

Billy Preston & Syreeta - With You I'm Born Again

Forgotten how good that was.

5. Hairdresser of the century stays for the duration of Saturday Snapshots.

Former member of Haircut 100, Nick Heyward. Have I mentioned how I've met him? Have I? And what a nice man he was? Really?

Nick Heyward - Over The Weekend

Should've been a Number One. How could it fail with that video?

Oh, I would also have accepted...

Nick Heyward - On Sunday

4. Citizen Bronte splashes raw graffiti all over.

Citizen Kane meets Emily Bronte with the French "raw art" movement that finds beauty in graffiti.

Art Brut - Emily Kane 

3. This isn't the end, doofus... it's the bottom squeeze man!

The Squeeze man would be Chris Difford.

The bottom would be your rear.

Chris Rea - Fool (If You Think It's Over)

2. Frog joy, then... where it all kicks off.

"Frog joy, then" was an anagram.

It all kicks off in the centre of a playing field.

John Fogerty - Centrefield

1. Informal invitation to paradise.

Paradise is nirvana.

The informal invitation?

(Barry)more Saturday Snapshots next week...

Saturday 20 June 2020

Saturday Snapshots #141

I've told you my Ethan Hawke story, right? I must have told you my Ethan Hawke story.

Still, you probably forgot it by now.

A couple of years back, I was having a discussion about horror films with a class of 16 year olds, and one of them was telling me about this horror film he'd seen where this rich old man had locked himself up in his high tech house and society had fallen apart outside and all these young thugs were trying to break in and kill him.

In the end, the film turned out to be The Purge, and the "old man" in question was Ethan Hawke, who is 18 months older than I am and was a good few years younger than I am now when he made that movie back in 2013.

Anyway, here's this week's Saturday Snapshots...

10. Have I Got Newsman gets his coat... but could do with a car.

9. Corderoy for smaller sibling.

8. You've gotta see her use a Scottish door opener to get a good look at the afterlife.

7. Multiple RIPs for Croce & King.

6. Lancashire goat audibly exhales over Ora prior to resurrection.

5. Hairdresser of the century stays for the duration of Saturday Snapshots.

4. Citizen Bronte splashes raw graffiti all over.

3. This isn't the end, doofus... it's the bottom squeeze man!

2. Frog joy, then... where it all kicks off.

1. Informal invitation to paradise.

I hope you get all the answers Before Sunrise. If you don't I'll be here soon after tomorrow morning to reveal them.

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