Sunday 29 November 2020

Saturday Snapshots #165 - The Answers

Hey - how YOU doing?

Here's this week's answers, my Friends...

10. Squashed pals may reach nirvana.

The Flatmates - I Could Be In Heaven

9. Sidekick is a bit of a knob, but is he a man of his word?

Batman's sidekick was Robin.

Cock Robin - The Promise You Made

You may not realise that you remember that.

8. Afternoon scones with lots of strawberry, raspberry or blueberry turns me into a dead man walking.

That sounds like a jammy tea.

Jamie T - Zombie

Great video.

7. Wild Bill Hicoke, Butch Hash-heady & Annie Tokely meet Mardi Dawn.

They must be the Cowboy Junkies!

Mardi is Tuesday.

Cowboy Junkies - Sun Comes Up, It's Tuesday Morning

6. Tardis, beseeching.

The Tardis is a timebox.

Timebox - Beggin'

5. Kerb crawler and his envious pick-up are confident they know the way back to their house.

A John is slang for a man who uses prostitutes. (Apologies to all the Johns I know, particularly John Medd.)

A green-eyed pick up would be a jealous van... or a van jealous.

Jon & Vangelis - I'll Find My Way Home

I love Jon Anderson's voice.

4. Mrs. Jackie joins the X-Men, perhaps?

Mrs. Jackie is an anagram.

The X-Men were super freaks.

Rick James - Super Freak

You can't touch that!

3. Hymn for other people.

Gloria is a hymn. Other people are them.

Them - Gloria

That bloke in the middle isn't wearing a mask.

2. Animal whistler & chavs.

Animal Whistler is an anagram.

Support here is given by Ben Folds on the left and Joe Jackson on the right. The bloke in the middle though is...

William Shatner - Common People

Not as good as the original, but not far off. Although Bill clearly has no idea what "chip stain grease" is.

1. Terrible pinkie, regardless.

I'll be there for you again next Saturday...

Saturday 28 November 2020

Saturday Snapshots #165


Why do we always com here? 

I guess we'll never know.

It's like a kind of torture

When we can't work out the answer to Saturday Snapshots... ho ho.

Here's ten clues for this week. Do your best.

10. Squashed pals may reach nirvana.

9. Sidekick is a bit of a knob, but is he a man of his word?

8. Afternoon scones with lots of strawberry, raspberry or blueberry turns me into a dead man walking.

7. Wild Bill Hicoke, Butch Hash-heady & Annie Tokely meet Mardi Dawn.

6. Tardis, beseeching.

5. Kerb crawler and his envious pick-up are confident they know the way back to their house.

4. Mrs. Jackie joins the X-Men, perhaps?

3. Hymn for other people.

2. Animal whistler & chavs.

1. Terrible pinkie, regardless.

I'll Kermit to revealing the answers tomorrow morning.

Tuesday 24 November 2020

Name That Tune: Freda Hiatus


Due to our imminent (fingers still crossed) move, I've been packing boxes and unscrewing shelves all weekend, so no time to collate the mammoth Fred entry to Name That Tune, or do your many suggestions justice. So here's a couple of Freda songs to tide you over, starting with the lady above...

...who also gets name-dropped in this...

Adam & The Ants - Friends

I'm a friend of Arthur Askey
I'm a friend of Freda Payne
I'm a friend of Danny Angel
I'm a friend of big John Wayne

There were a few other minor lyrical nods, but I could only find two songs that had Freda in the title. The first was this...

The Band of Holy Joy - Freda Cunningham

The second was this...

Name That Tune will return in a couple of weeks. Hopefully. Bear with me during the transition... 

Sunday 22 November 2020

Saturday Snapshots #164 - The Answers


So, you think Saturday Snapshots is funny, do ya?

Funny how?

Funny like a clown?

See how funny you find these answers, smart guy...

10. Stringed testament - I'll be fine on my own.

A stringed testament might be a viola will.

Viola Wills - Gonna Get Along Without You Now

9. Ow, baby - it's only a small flight.

The Five Stairsteps - O-o-h Child

8. The cost of a sunbeam that gets out after dark. 

The cost of a sunbeam would be the ray price.

Ray Price - Nightlife

Wonderful late night tune.

7. Crossing the river of glue.

Ferry 'Cross The Mersey?

Bryan Ferry - Let's Stick Together

6. Stan joins the Distinguished Competition! I never thought I'd...

If Stan Lee ever went to join his Distinguished Competition, he would have become DC Lee. (One for the comic fans there. Well, me.)

I never thought I'd see the day...

Dee C. Lee - See The Day 

5. Ratty & Mole's pal keeps his chain moving even though he trips.

Ratty & Mole were friends with Mr. Toad. A sprocket keeps a chain moving.

Toad The Wet Sprocket - Fall Down

4. Dual transformations.

Dual would be a two pack.

Tupac - Changes

With a little help from Bruce Hornsby & The Range, obviously.

3. Lawn display during Cuban Missile Crisis.

A lawn display would be a Grass Show.

The Cuban Missile Crisis happened in 1962.

Grass Show - 1962

Lost classic!

2. Kardashian meets An Ideal Husband for an irregular romance.

Kim Kardashian meets Oscar Wilde for a spot of chequered love...

Kim Wilde - Chequered Love

Steady on, gentlemen of a certain age.

1. Angry insect, brewers, menacing dog & child all live together - it's like madness!

An angry insect would be a cross bee.

Stills are used to brew things.

Dennis The Menace's dog is Gnasher.

A child is young.

Madness sang about living together in Our House.

Don't stay Home Alone next Saturday. Snapshots will always be here to keep you company!

Saturday 21 November 2020

Saturday Snapshots #164


If you normally Dolittle on a Saturday morning, except maybe a spot of Ironing, man... can I tempt you with an Endgame?

Identify ten top tunes from the clues below, before they go kiss kiss, bang bang.

10. Stringed testament - I'll be fine on my own.

9. Ow, baby - it's only a small flight.

8. The cost of a sunbeam that gets out after dark. 

7. Crossing the river of glue.

6. Stan joins the Distinguished Competition! I never thought I'd...

5. Ratty & Mole's pal keeps his chain moving even though he trips.

4. Dual transformations.

3. Lawn display during Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. Kardashian meets An Ideal Husband for an irregular romance.

1. Angry insect, brewers, menacing dog & child all live together - it's like madness!

Hopefully you didn't need to be Sherlock Holmes to solve those... but tune in tomorrow for the answers, anyway.

Thursday 19 November 2020

Positive Songs For Negative Times #35: Moving (?)


Quieter than usual round here, apart from the regular features, which may skip a week or so if everything goes to plan.

We're supposed to be moving house a week today. But it's still not confirmed. We've signed but still not exchanged. And there's always the chance that someone in the chain might come down with the big 2020C-word, in which case the whole thing is delayed. So we're packing... but don't want to pack too much until it's confirmed, in case we have to start unpacking again. Eating up the dregs in the freezer, ready to defrost it. Redirecting post that might need cancelling and redirecting again. While everything else goes on as (non-)normal. 

Here's a song of wishful thinking. Although it might not sound that way, it is. 

Cross your fingers for us...

Moving, just keep moving,
Till I don't know what's sane,
I've been moving so long,
The days all feel the same,

Moving, keep on moving,
Where I feel I'm home again,
And when it's over,
I'll see you again,

Got a low, low feeling around me,
And a stone cold feeling inside,
And I just can't stop messing my mind up,
Or wasting my time,

There's a low, low feeling around me,
And a stone cold feeling inside,
I've got to find somebody to help me,
I keep you in mind.

Tuesday 17 November 2020

Name That Tune: Our Top Ten Emma Songs


Emma Pollock or Emma's Imagination for the picture please, said Charity Chic, who's doing pretty well at picking our pictured artist lately, even if he can't supply any relevant tunes.

Ms. Pollock was always the Emma at the forefront of my mind for this post. I've been a fan since the early days of The Delgados.

Emma Pollock - Paper & Glue

I have to admit to being unfamiliar with Emma's Imagination, but this is nice enough...

Emma's Imagination - This Day

The only other singing Emma in my collection is the actress Emma Caulfield, here duetting with Nicholas Brendon from the Buffy musical episode. I'm sure Alyson will appreciate this if nobody else.

Emma Caulfield & Nicholas Brendon - I'll Never Tell

Speaking of Alyson...

As for artists called Emma, why not go down the pure pop route and offer up Emma Bunton? Baby Spice!

Anyone but Victoria.

Emma Bunton - What Took You So Long?

There was a queue at the post office, Baby.

Onto the songs then... although this week had less entries than usual. When I began this feature, I figured the girl's names would trounce the boy's names in song suggestions, but that hasn't been the case for the past few weeks. Anyway, here's what you had for me, beyond those that made the Top Ten...

Martin kicks us off with these...

Imagine Dragons - Emma

Frank Zappa - Big Leg Emma (with (unintentionally?) comedic lyrics)

There's a big dilemma
About my Big Leg Emma
She was my steady date
Until she put on weight

He'd be done for body-shaming these days.

Dirty Vegas - Emma

Then Brian offered these...

Brendan Benson - Emma J

The Field Mice - Emma's House

(Both were in serious contention.)

Rigid Digit provided this...

Saxon - Song For Emma

...which was a bit too modern-Saxon. An older Saxon tune might have stood a chance.

Finally, you'll be pleased to know that my millennial hipster politico friend, Ben, was far too busy doing important things this week to devote much effort to the search, although he did offer the following, which he says reminds him of being 12...

Alkaline Trio - Emma

I was 31 when that record came out. It reminds him of being 12. Grrr...

(Actually, I think he's a year or two older than your Maths will reveal... but I ignore him whenever he tells me his exact age because it makes me ill.)

Meanwhile, scraped from my own hard-drive, but still worthy of consideration...

Little River Band - Emma

Sebadoh - Emma Get Wild

Freya - Airmail For Miss Emma

The Walkmen - Emma, Get Me A Lemon

Woodpigeon - Emma et Hampus

Dylan LeBlanc - Emma Hartley

And, from 1971, this curious tale of an Emma who...

...comes to see me
About 8 o'clock each night
And she throws her arms around me
And off we go in flight
Like an airplane
Moving up and down

Which, however sweetly sung, is a pretty terrible euphemism. 

However, one night Emma is late... and Jonathan has his tea at 8.30, so frankly, don't mess me about love. I'm not sure this song is meant to make me laugh so much.

Jonathan Edwards - Emma

Finally, a couple of choice lyrical cuts...

Father John Misty - Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)

Emma eats bread and butter
Like a queen would have ostrich and cobra wine
We’ll have Satanic Christmas Eve
And play piano in the Chateau lobby

Arab Strap - Trippy (Caution: Foul Language Ahead... but then, it is Arab Strap.)

Emma phoned me at work at about half four
It was funny I didn't speak to her anyway
She's a fucking cow better than everybody
Kinda speaking to her mates anyway like that
Anyway we got into the time and she phones me up asked me what I'm doing tonight
I was only gonna sit in and watch the telly as usual wonder where everyone else was
So she says come round to Rab's house and that we got some trips in...

Charming as always.

From Rigid Digit...

Van Morrison - Caravan

Yeah the caravan is on its way
I can hear the merry gypsies play
Mama mama look at Emma Rose
She's playin with the radio
La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la

If he'd worn a mask, I might have let him in the Top Ten.

And from Walter...

The Jam - Private Hell

Think of Emma wonder what she's doing
Her husband terry and your grandchildren
Think of Edward who's still at college
You send him letters which he doesn't acknowledge
cause he don't care
They don't care cause they're all going through their own private hell

Second week in a row for that one! But Mr. Weller does all right round these parts most of the time.

Kirsty MacCall - Walking Down Madison

Within every city and town there's a madison
Frozen lives for whom nothing's happening
Hungry children is a mother's dilemma
Dumpster diving to feed her baby Emma

That's a classic, though probably not enough of a lyrical nod compared to some of the ones that did make the final ten.

Cowboy Junkies - Hunted

Emma's in a part of town
Where she doesn't recognize the streets
Named for famous native sons
And out of every crevice comes creeping
A threat in her direction
Lucy's outside her home
Heading towards her corner store
She stays on well-traveled paths
And is always making sure
That she doesn't develop patterns

And finally, from me, this week's Half Man Half Biscuit tune...

Half Man Half Biscuit - Improv Workshop Mimeshow Gobshite

Big cheese down at the Tourist Information
Come forth with your queries
And I’ll wade out for miles
Never trust a crown green bowler under thirty
The future’s so dull I’ve gotta sing torch songs
Dropkick the improv workshop mimeshow gobshite
Facepaint Left Bank Kenneth Emma R-A-D-A Rainer Werner
Cokeheads cokeheads cokeheads

Which brings us nicely to the winners...

10. Dishwalla - Miss Emma Peel

A new one to me, suggested by Martin, but in the year that we said goodbye to Guy Garvey's mother-in-law, this seems an appropriate tribute.

9. Chumbawumba - When Alexander Met Emma

From Rigid Digit and Walter. Lovelier than you'd expect from Chumbawamba, plus it's from an album called A Singsong And A Scrap. What else do you need? 

8. Buffy Sainte Marie - Emma Lee

Women's ways 
You never know how they gonna do it, 
Women's ways 
There's really nothing to it 

7. Bon Iver - For Emma

Can I add one more, said Martin, because it's excellent. For Emma, forever ago.

Also, For Emma by Bon Iver, Alyson seconded, I only discovered them and the album of the same name when I started writing about the pesky virus in March. They had a song called Blindsided on that album which fitted the bill perfectly at the time.

Jury's still out here at Top Ten Towers on the whole Bon "I recorded this album in a cabin in the woods to get back to the roots" Iver experience, I'm afraid. Still, this was popular enough (on a quiet week) to make the chart.

6. Jens Lekman - Two Young Lovers

The botanical gardens are full of newlyweds
Emma pretends to vomit but Casper looks up and says
"I wouldn't mind if one day that was you and me"
Emma kisses his mouth and says, "Over my dead body"

Nobody writes 'em like Jens.

5. Hard Meat - The Ballad Of Marmalade Emma And Teddy Grimes

Thanks to Emma, says C, I can recycle my comment from last week with the disallowed Teddy!

"...There's a sweet song: 'The Ballad of Marmalade Emma and Teddy Grimes' by Hard Meat, and I can give you a little background to the story too..."

The rather ambiguous-sounding name Hard Meat suggests all sorts – perhaps the title of an Andy Warhol film or a Scandinavian porn mag, maybe even the name of a militant anti-vegetarian group…so you may be relieved to know that the Hard Meat I’m referring to here is a 60s/70s band from Birmingham.  Even then one might expect them to be Black Sabbath soundalikes, complete with controversial lyrics and dubious imagery - however, they had a far softer and more psychedelic/folk/acid rock sound and one does wonder why they chose such a name.

Their first single was a cover of the Beatles’ Rain’ (b/w ‘Burning Up Years’ which was covered by NZ band Human Instinct - many thanks to the reader who corrected the info stated on here earlier) released in 1969 on Island, and they went on to make two albums for Warner Brothers, ‘Hard Meat’ and ‘Through A Window’.

It is the last track on ‘Through A Window’ entitled ‘The Ballad of Marmalade Emma and Teddy Grimes’ (also released as a single in 1970), which has been on continuous play in my mind this week.  I just love its uplifting feel, and an overall sound reminiscent of Traffic and early Faces.  I was also intrigued by its subject matter because Marmalade Emma and Teddy Grimes were real characters who, through the late 1800s/early 1900s, resided in the historic town of Colchester, which is just a few miles from where I live.

It’s assumed that Hard Meat were spending some time in the Essex countryside when they heard talk of these legendary local characters in a pub and were so struck by the stories that they decided to write a song about them. 

Marmalade Emma and Teddy Grimes, pictured below in 1910, lived as eccentric tramps and roamed the streets of Colchester begging and blagging all that they needed to live on, drinking beer slops from the local pubs, sleeping in ditches and hedges, and probably managing to get by very adequately on very little.  The local community tolerated them in spite of some controversy and brushes with the law – on the 1891 Census Emma registered her occupation as ‘prostitute’, the only one on the list, and was also sent to prison briefly for swearing at a policeman.  Story has it that on her return from the clink some local lads asked her where she’d been, to which she replied, “to college”.

Read the rest, and see Marmalade Emma and Teddy Grimes for yourself, here.

Thanks, C!

4. Kate Bush - Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake

Top work, Martin.

Emma's come down.
She's stopped the light
Shining out of her eyes.

Emma's been run out on.
She's breaking down
In so many places,
Stuck in low gear
Because of her fears

3. Belle & Sebastian - This Is Just A Modern Rock Song

Emma tried to run away,
I followed her across the city,
She went out to the Easter house,
Because she liked the sound of it.

She didn't have a single penny,
She stuck a finger in the air,
She tried to flag down an airplane,
I suppose she needs a holiday.

I put my arm around her waist,
She put me on the ground with Judo,
She didn't recognize my face,
She wasn't even looking.

2. Beulah - Emma Blowgun's Last Stand

Blimey, it's a long time since I heard the name Beulah, Brian. Didn't know this one, but it wins the prize for Best New Song You Guys Have Introduced Me To This Week. Especially when the trumpet kicks in at the 2 1/2 minute mark.

You flirt, you drink, you can't stop your winking at the boys at the bar
All you need is a gun and a car
A country song if you don't have a heart

1. Hot Chocolate - Emma

Back when pop/soul (what they'd call r 'n' b these days) had proper guitar solos in it!

Suggested by Martin, Lynchie and Alyson, who adds...

They were so consistent over a period of about 15 years yet I never hear of them much nowadays - anyway, a beautiful yet really sad song.

Thank you also to Martin for reminding me of the Sisters of Mercy cover...

The Sisters of Mercy - Emma

And here, thanks to Rigid Digit, is the Urge Overkill version...

Urge Overkill - Emmaline

Anyway, Alyson's right. Errol's band deserve a little more recognition. They made some great tunes, and this is one of their best...


Monday 16 November 2020

Positive Songs For Negative Times #34: Golden Brown


First there was this...

Then there was this...

And somewhere along the way was this...

I'm a bit confused now. Not quite sure of the exact order they came in... 

If you're unsure too, you could ask this guy.

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