Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Dio has rocked us for a long, long time

...but now it's time to pass the torch.

Farewell Lil Ron. I shall endeavour to comedically review 'Long Live Rock'n'Roll' presently - it shall be a fitting reminder.

(insert maudlin stuff about rainbows and angels here)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Book Review!

Anne Applebaum - Gulag

Took me a while, and at the end of it, I wished I'd spent my time on something less perversely, pointlessly and counter-productively skewed/biased - like a weakipedia article.

The Sound of Music has a curious effect on me - it gets me cheering for the Nazis. It's the only thing in existence to do this, and Anne's book is the equivalent in terms of Stalinism. Didn't take long before I was cheering for little, deformed Jozef and wanting to print my own "Go Solovestsky!" t-shirts. All on account of her stupidly twisted portrayal. Any normal person would have presented the horrors of the Gulag and taken a step back from the horror in disgust. I know I would. But no, not Anne.

Let's spend more time trying to link the Gulag to Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism, even the British Fucking Labour Party than we will spend trying to point out the pointless, brutal corruption that was Stalinism. Hell, whilst we're at it, let's chuck in an obtuse defence of McCarthy. Stupid, stupid woman. All those resources at her disposal, all that horror to expose, and she spends a welter of her time on a ridiculous politicial polemic. She doesn't deserve the archival access she attained. But then, she doesn't deserve the eyes that evolution/god/reagan gave her, either.

A waste of resources, time, effort, brainpower and clever font. Anne? Fuck off.

Cheers, ta, bye.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Rainbows Rising All Over The Blimmin' Place

I'm so prolific, it's unebelievable! LESS than 4 months after my last blog, here I am again, babbling away and hoping against hope to complete a blog about lil' Ron and his master, Ritchie Blackcape, and their second foray into the music making and stuff.

1976 - Rainbow Rising

This is where it all started for me and lil' Ron. Clearly, it wasn't the beginning beginning, as we've already covered the beginning beginning in the last post. Well, the Rainbow beginning at any rate. And to be honest, when I say this is where it all started, it wasn't actually in 1976. No. That was when the album was made, yes. But I didn't hear it in all seriousness until possibly 1983 when my metal mania was just beginning to take hold. But it was one of the first, mainly due to the fact that my Dad had a copy on tape and so, with the other tiny metal pockets in his record collection (Black Sabbath Volume 4, Led Zeppelin 2 (AET)) became my real introduction to the Land Of The Riff. And in this case, the land of the Rainbows!!!
By the way, my Dad made his own tiny metal pockets, it was the kind of things Dads did in those days. Dads today just don't have the know-how nor the craftmanship. I should know, I am one, and I can't make a bloody thing. Except omelettes. Good at omelettes.

Anyway back to Lil' Ron and his taskmaster. What did they cook up for us this time I hear you ask. Well actually, on paper, not much. Just a measly 6 tracks! And Side 2 only had 2 of those on it (my Dad initially had this on vinyl with the labels on the wrong side, but for some reason swapped it for something else - probably worth a bazillion quid now, Dad! Could have made for a bionic hip that!)

Anyway, 6 tracks. And that side 2 duo? Possibly my favourite 2 tracks of my teenage years!!!! Let's take a look inside shall we?

1. Tarot Woman
In which Lil' Ron has a bad experience at the fair. No, honestly, I think he does. He's enticed in by said Tarot Woman of the title. "She can take you there, the entrance to the fair". And she does to. Not sure if this is a contemporary tale or one from Lil' Ron's Lil'er youth (perhaps it was contemporary and the scary Tarot lady just mistook him for a small (but clearly ugly) child), but regardless, it obviously blighted his tiny little mind for a while. He didn't want to go ("no, no, no") but he does because of some lines in the sand. I'm thinking it was probably Southport Funland (which isn't in the south, at a port, any fun or, well ok, it was on land, but 1 out of 4 is quite poor, I think you'll agree). Anyhoo, there's plenty of sand there and am sure there are lines on it that point to the fair. He was there, I'm sure.

Then he sees someone with a bright shiny face and that scares him because the next thing you know, he's never going back. I'm thinking sunburnt scousers are a distinct possibility here. Anyway, he still finds time to ride the carousel which leaves him under the delusion that he can fly (again! Always with the bloody flying Ron, why can't you leave it man? If God had've meant you to fly he'd have...er, well if evolution had intended you to fly, you'd have...well, look, it isn't meant to be, ok? Give it a rest.) Turns out she isn't even a very good Tarot Woman. "I'll never return. How do you know? Tarot Woman? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know." Fiver down the drain there Ron, fiver down the drain.

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 3 (not so much a battle as a misrepresentation under the trades description act, but there's blackness there, to be sure)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 0 (c'mon, Southport beach?)
Average Writing Age: 5 ("her love is like a knife, she'll carve away your life"!!!!)
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 5

2. Run With The Wolf
See, already you know you're onto better things. There's a wolf in the title, that gets you all mystical and wondery already, doesn't it? Go on, you think you're in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant now, don't you? In mystical forests and stuff. You do, you know you do.

Anyway, this wolf falls through a hole in the sky on the sound of the wind, fulfilling tales the "old ones" used to tell. Spooky, eh? AND there's unholy light in this one. Can't fail. You also can't beat the way Lil' Ron snaps out the title, like he's a Lil' Wolfman himself. Great stuff!!!

Rainbow Rating: 0 (you're starting to think he never sings about Rainbows that much now aren't you? It'll come, trust me)
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 8 (sure, there's no actual bloodshed, but the wolf 'bites and snaps' and is a bit spooky and the unholy light indicates somebody from the dark side clearly had a vested interest in the performance of the wolf on this particular day when he fell through the hole in the sky - indeed "something evil's passing by" at the time, but I suppose that might be coincidence, I'll have to ask)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Unholy Light Rating: 7 (I like it when things are lit by things unholy - actually, unholy doesn't have to be bad does it? I'm unholy and I'm quite nice most of the time - it's a light that isn't a pious preachy "look at me, I'm a light, you should be a light like me" kind of light, so it's actually probably quite an alright light now I think about it. I may have to review the rating for this one.)
Average Writing Age: 15 (possibly one of his best efforts to date, it's rarely embarrassing)
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 8

3. Starstruck
We're advancing all the time now. We have stars in the title and that always indicates the Lil' Ron has upped his game a little bit. But it isn't as mystery-laden as you might hope. No, this is Ron telling us he has groupies who follow him around everywhere. Or at least pretending he has. It kind of smacks of desperation a little bit. You can imagine Ritchie and Cozy Powell trading groupie tales and Lil' Ron trying to join in: "yeah, I had a girl look at me once, and not even in a malicious way. And she followed me. Yes, she definitely followed me and up the stairs and everything." Ritchie: "Did you shag her Lil' Ron?". "Er, no. She was bad luck."

And so a song was born. Lil' Ron claiming he gets the girls but clearly any he did get were mingers (evidenced by line "she wants a photograph, and everybody laughs"). Poor Ron.

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 4 (this is Lil' Ron railing against those letchy bandmates of his)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 1 (for the opening 'high on a hill' line which promises much but fails to deliver)
Average Writing Age: 11 (possibly higher given Ron's seemingly stunted emotional development)
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 9 (man, belt this one out!)

4. Do You Close Your Eyes
Lil' Ron, ridiculed in the last song, goes a step further, no doubt goaded by Ritchie Blackmask: "bet you've never even slept with a woman, have you Ron?". Ron: "I have too." Ritchie: "What was it like then." Ron: "I, er, well, I don't know. I, er, had me eyes closed. Yes, closed my eyes I did. Doesn't everyone?"

And another song was born.

Mystery to Ron, is something he can't see. That's invisible to most people, Ron, in-vis-ib-le. He actually says "making sweet love" as well. Funny.

And he's clearly not versed in the way of the woman by this stage: "Open your arms 'cause I'm coming." Wrong appendages, Ron! I hope Big Ritchie gave you some advice.

Rainbow Rating: 0 (c'mon Ron, you could have made sweet love under a rainbow at least!)
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 1 (there are no battles here, Ron is devoid of fight at this point, crippled by the masculinity of the rest of the band, the poor little tyke)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 0 (it's about sweet, sweet lovemaking, there's no Holy Goddamn Mountains or nothing)
Average Writing Age: 12 (no older and no younger, this is definitely a 12 year olds song)
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 4

5. Stargazer
We're here at last. A bona fide classic. 8+ minutes of fantasy-inspired nonsense that really takes you to another place. And not Southport this time, either. It opens like this:
"High noon, oh I'd sell my soul for water
Nine years worth of breakin' my back
There's no sun in the shadow of the wizard
See how he glides, why he's lighter than air?
Oh I see his face!
Where is your star?
Is it far, is it far, is it far?
When do we leave?
I believe, yes, I believe"

And Ron sings it with such passion and belief you think it must actually have happened to him and perhaps that's why he's so small - its curvature of the spine after doing hard labour for the local wizard!

"In the heat and the rain
With whips and chains
To see him fly
So many die
We build a tower of stone
With our flesh and bone
Just to see him fly
But don't know why
Now where do we go?"

So he gets a job as a labourer, the work dries up, and there's nowhere for them to go. The bloody wizard lays them all off, no redundancy money, no guarantee of a job in the future, he's got his tower (at some cost to the workers, it has to be said) and that's that, off you go little curvy-spined people, do not darken my door again.

He gets his comeuppance though, falls down he does (a bit too much like Saruman methinks), off of his tower. And Lil' Ron and his hobbity mates are free!

To be honest, this is awesome, it builds and builds and Ron is just off on one for the last 3 minutes, going home then not going home, his ears bleeding and all sorts. It's fantastic - it was my favourite song for a very long time, and even now I like to warble along to it from time to time. The legend of Ron was born here.

Rainbow Rating: 7 (there's one rising here, look - on the horizon!)
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 10 (how much more good vs evil can you get - it has a very bad wizard in it, it's a fantastical allegory for socialist struggle against capitalist wizard pigs)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 10 (towers a-plenty here)
Average Writing Age: 15 (he never gets past 15, trust me, so this is the pinnacle)
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 10

6. A Light In The Black
Another 8+ minutes of fantastical nonsense, this is quite literally, a sequel to Stargazer, and almost as bloody good, too! This is just Ron mesmerised by his own brilliance in the last song really. He's pondering the look on the wizard's face a lot (which is really him pondering how well he wrote about the bloody wizard in the last song). It doesn't quite scale the heights of Stargazer but the two together work wonderfully well - he's still coming home on this one, getting over that crazy dream the wizard dude had about building towers out of flesh and bone and the light in the black is what's calling him home. That and the thought of a decent meal and not having to sleep in orc shit.

Rainbow Rating: 1 (it gets a point because its the sequel to previously mentioned rainbows)
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 10 (its still the same battle, albeit just the soft mushy aftermath)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 10 (we're still talking towers as well, aren't we, and lights in the gloom)
Average Writing Age: 13
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 10

So there you have it - Lil' Ron doing great things. Long Live Rock'n'Roll, eh? (That's next, folks!)

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

We Aren't For Passing The Torch Just Yet

Hello Mutant Brainers. I am the second coming. He of which shoelace foretold in the dim and distant past (Monday, I think it was). Anyway, I’m here now, so let’s rattle along shall we?

Bit difficult knowing where to start given that shoelace (can't I just call you Dave, Dave?) has already covered most topics known to man, but one area where I do hold the upper hand is with ‘The Rock’. So let’s start with the oldest little exponent of ‘The Rock’, the man who dreams of rainbows in the dark and other spangly stuff: Mr Ronald James Dio.

I’m not sure but I think I’m probably alone in selecting the track ‘Dio’ as my highlight of Tenacious D, the debut album from Jack Black’s comedy metal vehicle of the same name. When I say alone, I guess I mean alone in the UK as Dio (the man and the band) is a bigger fish in the States than he ever was here and I’m sure there are lots of other people like Black who hold him in equally high regard. Mind you, I’ve never met any of them, so maybe I am on my own. But I had my reasons…

You see, Dio was the man you listened to whilst you read The Lord Of The Rings. He was the man you turned to when you’d outgrown Grange Hill. He was there throughout my teenage years, leaving an indelible mark in my psyche, forever in thrall to rainbows and gypsies and hearts and souls and mysteries.

Looking back, it all seems a bit odd. You love The Lord Of The Rings mainly because of when you read it, when you were fresh and young and desperate to absorb something new and stimulating. Dio worked in the same way. And so this is a blast through my past as well as little Ronnie’s, an affectionate yet slightly embarrassing trawl through the records he made and I loved like only a teenage boy could. Actually, most of them are still rather grand today.

To be honest, I’m going to skip a whole chunk of Ronnie’s career (a poor start, I know, but he had a poor start too, so I think we’re evens). There’s a whole 60s back-catalogue we could wrestle with for starters, but it isn’t very interesting. Or very well known about. Particularly by me. I’m not even going to touch on the self-deprecatingly named Rainbow pre-cursor, Elf. Mainly because I don’t know much about that either other than Ritchie Blackmore decided to steal the whole band when they supported Deep Purple and then sacked them all except Ronnie within months of making the first album.

Where we will start though is with Ronnie’s first mainstream adventures fronting Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. Now I always wonder what came first here – I mean, did Ronnie’s obsession with rainbows lead to the band being named just that, or did he take inspiration from Blackmore’s name for the band and simply run with it. For the rest of his career.

I like to think that he already had the obsession and that the pair had an almighty falling out simply trying to name the band. This doesn’t seem unreasonable as both egos were apparently as big as Ronnie’s voice around that time.

Ronnie: “I want my band to be called Rainbow.”
Ritchie: “But it’s my band, and I want it named Ritchie Blackmore’s…Band.”
Ronnie: “Well I ain’t gonna sing in no vehicle for some schmuck guitarist.” (Ronnie really talks like that, honest!)
Ritchie: “Pray tell, Ronald, who was the most famous, was it Elf or was it Deep Purple? We shall use my name, it will sell The Records.”
Ronnie: “But it has no mystique.”
Ritchie: “That is my name of which you speak.”
Ronnie: “It has no colour, no symbolism.”
Ritchie: “I should punch you in the face, where it not for your diminuitive stature. I shall make do with hammering on the top of your head.”
Ronnie: “It’s f*cking boring, man.”
Ritchie thumps Ronnie on top of his head.
Ronnie: “Alright big guy. How about we compromise?”
Ritchie: “Might I suggest, then, Ritchie Blackmore’s Band?”
Ronnie: “You can suggest it now for all I care, but how is it a compromise?”
Ritchie: “I’m acknowledging your part in the ‘band’. Oh, and that of these other four losers here who I’ll be sacking just as soon as we’ve settled on a name.”
Ronnie: “I need a rainbow.”
Ritchie: “Well, it would have to be my rainbow, because it’s my band.”
Ronnie: “Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow?”
Ritchie: “Hmm, I like the sound of that.”
Ronnie: “But it’s my rainbow. I caught it. It’s mine.”
Ritchie: “Shall I fire you, too, Ronald?”
Ronnie: “No.”
Ritchie: “That’s that settled then, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow it is. What shall we call the album?”
Ronnie: “Ronnie James Dio’s Rainbow?”
Ritchie: “Don’t be silly, Ronnie. Oh did I mention that I’m sacking the rest of the band?”
Ronnie: “But they’re my Elf buddies…”
Ritchie: “This is Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – you will do as I say…”

And thus was Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow born, although we all know that really it was lil’ Ronnie Dio’s rainbow. A point he would make repeatedly, to breaking point in fact, over the next 20 years.

Artist: Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (later, just Rainbow)
Album: Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow (later, still Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, nobody changes album titles retrospectively, you nutjob)

So the madrigal guitar player and his fantasy obsessed sidekick singer set off into the world playing merry little tunes, some of which DO NOT contain the word rainbow! However, the cover has a glorious rainbow on it, plus a castle (although Ritchie obviously insisted that it be a castle MADE FROM A GUITAR). The clash between the two titans was obvious, right from the album artwork…

1. Man On The Silver Mountain
Ronnie is the man on the mountain. The man on the silver mountain. We never find out where the mountain is, but we do know it is silver. Whether that’s a natural phenomena or whether someone has covered it in something silver isn’t made clear either. What we do know is that Ronnie is a wheel that can roll (useful) and feel (er, different) and that he claims we can’t stop him turning. His reasoning behind this is apparently because he’s also the sun and he can move and run and we’ll never stop him burning. Which is just what I would have said if you’d have asked me to explain why you couldn’t stop me turning.

It’s true to say that the template for every Dio lyric ever written was set in stone right there and then with that opening salvo. Preposterously non-sensical and with a rhyming scheme the average 7 year old would be embarrassed by, it’s a pattern that rarely changes but which somehow, you OVERLOOK, because, well, because Ronnie sings it so darned fantastically. He’s that good.

Notable also for the first mention of the word Holy in a Dio lyric and the common theme of good vs evil and black vs white. Things to watch for later.

Rainbow Rating: 0 (not a solitary mention)
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 9
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Rating: 10
Average Writing Age: 4
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 10

2. Self Portrait
Less gung-ho than the opener, this is more low key musically and lyrically. Again, there are no rainbows, but the day/night, dark/light theme is clearly apparent again and once more Ronnie is going on about how he feels (although he isn’t saying he’s a wheel anymore).

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 7
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Rating: 2
Average Writing Age: 9
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 6

3. Black Sheep Of The Family
A cover version and thus not likely to score very well. Quite how Ritchie forced Ronnie to sing about teacups is a mystery (as is the line, “I’ve got a pocket full of dust and eating is a must”!!!). The only saving grace is that it has the word ‘shadow’ in it and one can only assume that Ronnie liked that, and that it was enough.

Rainbow Rating: -2
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 1
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Rating: 0
Average Writing Age: 4
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 1
Shadow bonus point: 1

4. Catch The Rainbow
Now this is more like it. A ballad, but a fine sweeping and gentle one that gleefully avoids all the pitfalls that later rock ballads would always fall into. Ronnie croons like a good ‘un and gets to say ‘rainbow’. Lots.

Also, life isn’t a wheel (we know, that’s you Ronnie, you’re a wheel) and chains make their first outing. More of them later.

Rainbow Rating: 10
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 2
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Rating: 8
Average Writing Age: 12
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 5 (but Croonability bonus points: 5)
Bonus Chains Made Of Steel point: 1

5. Snake Charmer
This is a crap song with crap lyrics that don’t even go near anything mystical. He mentions the word mystery a couple of times, but really, his heart isn’t in it. Move on.

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 0
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Rating: 0
Average Writing Age: 3½
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 0
Bonus Shadows point: 1

6. The Temple Of The King
Now we really are cooking on Ronnie Gas! Temples, Kings, The Year of The Fox (savour just how well Ronnie snaps at the word ‘fox’), a young man and tolling bells. It’s all there and it thunders along on a whip-cracking Ritchie riff to transport you to another world. The world of Ronnie, where the shine in a man’s eyes reveals all you need to know about the world.

I’m off to the Temple meself now. I’ll catch you later.

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 6
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple Rating: 10
Average Writing Age: 13
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 10
Bonus Year of The Fox poinst: 4

7. If You Don’t Like Rock’n’Roll
An odd song if you ever take the time to look at the lyrics. Basically there are a bunch of people wandering around with signs (with black letters on them!) that say what you should do if you don’t like rock’n’roll. One is a ‘usual lady’. Not sure why there’s a need to make that distinction. Perhaps Ronnie was just concerned that we didn’t think he tried to pull unusual ladies. Ladymen ladies perhaps? With their sexy lady bits and their sexy men bits too? Who knows. It’s a jaunty little number but best forgotten about really.

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 0
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple Rating: 0
Average Writing Age: 12
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 2

8. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
Towers! Mad men! Green sleeves! Fire Spire Higher rhyming schemes! Crossbows! Flames! Drawbridges! Bright Light Night rhyming schemes! Truly, a lyrical genius was born at this very point in time (1975, I mean, not the 16th century). A totally mad song, but fun nonetheless. Let yourself go, you were happily sauntering up a silver mountain earlier, what have you got to lose?

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 10
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 10
Average Writing Age: 14
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 10
Bonus Pyre/Fire avoidance point: 1

9. Still I’m Sad
Another cover version, this time of a Yardbirds track and so immune from any lyrical Ronnie-isms, although there are stars and tears and you’d guess that this was Ronnie’s pick this time. And maybe it was but guess what. Ritchie turns it into an instrumental, rendering Ronnie toothless in the battle for power.

And it definitely sounds like The Lion Sleeps Tonight! [I told him that, cementheads. Yes, I'm intruding already]

Rainbow Rating: 0
Good vs Evil/Black vs White Rating: 3 (for the Ritchie/Ronnie battle)
Holy Goddamn Sailing Mountain Temple in the Tower Rating: 0
Average Writing Age: 7
Lung-busting Rock God Singalongability: 0

[TBC. At least, I bloody well hope so. Yes, it's me again]

Monday, 23 March 2009

Is he a Yankee? No I'm a Londoner.

I'm not really, I'm as Mancunian as rain. Still 100% Street Tuff, though.

So yeah, how are you all? Really? Sorry to hear it. Still, we all have our problems, yours aren't mine, so fuck off. I'll start again.

So yeah, hi and that. Two reasons for this post - the first is to use the title. I have more titles than reasons for posting, that one was too good to be forgotten. Hmmn, there's a song in there somewhere. A shit song, but a song all the same. Sorry, I've started swearing again. I'll go out and come back in and start anew.

So yeah, The Mutant Brain is changing. Well, not right now it isn't. Although it is, because I'm typing words into it that weren't there before, so it is kind of changing. But that isn't the change to which I refer. The change to which I refer is a different change, one that hasn't happened yet, namely a rationalisation, overhaul and general lick of heavy duty lead-based paint. Some bits will go (not the sPazAmps, there'd be nothing left for me to read back to myself and chuckle knowingly) - probably Superbean, he deserves a place of his own, somewhere where his full, incredible, largely made-up story can be told in full. Things will generally be trimmed down, and other bits will be tarted up. There will also be a new contributor, notionally to balance out my random, spiky bile-fuelled literary effluent. He's far more whimsical than I, and generally of a far sunnier disposition by nature than I can manage to pretend to be. Don't worry though, I shall carefully vet any contributions to ensure that the tone isn't lightened too far and, if necessary, stick some random swearing in. I'm a tyrant! A despot! A liar!

So be nice, and read them with dutiful care.


Friday, 27 February 2009

IT DOESN'T MATTER if you just bought a fresh Bentley.

A pocket full of cheese to the first to guess the song. Note: no actual cheese will be gifted or in anyway transferred.

So, hello! Oof, that was a bit cheery, sorry. So, yeah. Hi. That's better, much better. Few things I want to get through, but I'll probably do one and then get distracted by something shiny - I'm incredibly shallow like that. In fact, Shallow could be my middle name, if it wasn't already Tiberius. It's not that, either, to be honest. Either way, it's not Shallow. But it could be. Christ what a load of old waffle. I, David Tito L. apologise.

So, just in case I don't bother finishing before being distracted, here are the top topics tickling my titanium cranium this Friday evening. Twitter, Dr. Hook, Inadvertantly Threatening Songs, Something Else That I've Already Forgotten.

So, here goes. I promise I won't be starting every paragraph with "so". It isn't a theme or anything.

Shitter, more like. Haha. Not really, I just couldn't resist typing it. I had a sudden urge to sound like a right twat, the sort most commonly encountered down the pub expounding on Football. "Arshavin? ARSEshaving more like! Huurrrrr hurrrr huuurrr ARSEshaving hurrr yeah? Hurrr hurrr ARSE yeah? Yeah? Hurrr hurrr hurrr" [unnecessarily forceful elbow nudge] "hurrr hurrr yeah? ARSE hurrr hurrrr". They will be drinking Stella.

Anyway. Twitter. I use it, obviously. It's a means of directing my tedious waffle at an uncaring internets, so of course I use it. But it's so utterly irritating and infuriating too. How am I meant to limit myself to 140 characters? I yawn longer than that (usually when other people talk to me). But that's not the real irritant though, oh no (obviously I manage to find a use for it at times), not by a long chalk. It's the "celebrities" - and more particularly, the clods who reply to their tweets, like they're really good friends and that. BIGFATCHRISMOYLES "I ated nineteen pies today" RANDOM INTERNET SPOD "Oh LOL Chris! I luv piez 2! We cud b twinz!" Fuckers. And that's the other thing - txt spk n shit in tweets. The only really vaguely intriguing element is trying to fit something other than an update on your feeding habits into the character limit "Had breakfast. Was nice. Yum". Usin da txt spk n shit just makes a mockery of the whole challenge "Had brek 2day cocopops is gr8 they make da milk ded brwn n shit LOL RIP in piece brekfust I 8ed u so gud HAHAHA xx tb xx". I have no idea if that example is of sufficient length or not, nor do I have any inclination to check with my counting finger. Still, fuckers, the lot of them. Also, I've accumulated a random follower who already follows nearly a thousand others. Haven't a clue who she is, daft bint.

Dr. Hook
Short one, this. Hopefully. I revealed to the world, via the medium of Twitter, that I listened to two separate Dr. Hook songs today. I've listened to lots more since I got home, but that's not the point. One of the songs that the spazPod injected into my earspace on the tram home today was "You Ain't Got the Right". Meant to be sad, with wry humour. The wry humour is there, but unfortunately the sad is negated entirely by the inadvertant humour (they'll reappear in the Inadvertantly Threatening Songs section, but more on that later). See, Denis Locorriere - he's the main singer, the one without the eyepatch but with the bobbly head and stupid hair on the video for the really shit famous song of theirs that isn't Sylvia's mother, you know the one, it's always on TOTP2 and VH1 - he tries to inject some real, genuine, gritty emotion in his sings. Sometimes, he overdoes it. Give it a listen, go on. Starts well enough, proper singing, little bit wistful, little bit country, little bit good. Then Denis starts on the verse. By the time he gets to "all her pretty clothes were gone" around 50s in, the catch sneaks into his quavering voice, and the seeds of musical destruction are sown (might be exaggerating a little there, but you know what I mean. At least you do if you've been listening along), and by the time it hits Denis croaking "oh no no" melodramatically behind the following chorus, the giggles have started. He interrupts each and every chorus thereafter in a similar, and increasingly desperate fashion. It's awesome. Awesomely amusing. And just generally awesome. Oh no, no NO NOOOO NOOO *sob*

I'm listening to it right now.

What was the other thing? *scrolls up* Oh yeah, Inadvertantly Threatening Songs.

Inadvertantly Threatening Songs
This is prompted today by Dr. Hook, but is something that I've touched upon before (ooer). It all began with Tom Jones. Doesn't everything? Truly, he is the creosoted creator of all greatness. Incidentally, if you haven't already done so, I reckon you should acquaint yourselves with the Tom Jones Redemption Memorial sPazAmp (Hnngh!), which can be found here. Yes, yes, I know. You all have it bookmarked and read it daily, understanding that it constitutes the very pinnacle of my whimsically amusing output (just edging out my Colossal Cave Adventure sPazAmp of Doom. Quite depressing reading them back, I was so much funnier back then.) Where was I? I wandered re-reading my own awesomeness and listening to The Tom (looks like you got LOVE-ITIS!). Oh yes, that.

See, it began with "She's a Lady" and "I (Who Have Nothing)". Go listen to them thoroughly, then come back and carry on reading. Back? You did good, your ears will thank you (if they actually do thank you, seek specialist help, that isn't normal). First, She's a Lady. In Tom's world, to qualify to be a "lady" is to not ask for much, don't get in the way, say some nice things, and - if you're really lucky - he might not punch you. Oh, and be good at doing sex at him. But he'll likely as not punch you anyway, so you better have a strong chin (she can take what I dish out, and that's not easy. Cock-based boast, or thumping-based observation? You decide). It all means well, but those are some hugely sinister and orange undertones. Like Fergal Sharkey wearing a cape in a tanning salon. Still a might fine song. As is "I (Who Have Nothing)", which widdles all over the leathery lunged Shirley Bassey version (no, I'm not gay, it just sounds that way sometimes). It's all covered in the other post, but it bears repeating.

All very dramatic and heartfelt, enough to stir the most unstirrable of cold, slimy, walnutty hearts (like mine). But then - "he can take you anyplace he wants, to fancy clubs and rest-o-ronts, and I can only watch you with my nose pressed up against the window pane". So there you are, having dinner, possibly with a swoonsome, foxy tycoon type. He treats you right, buys things (like diamonds, bright sparkling diamonds), and feeds you food in rest-o-ronts. You couldn't be happier. You're being swept off your feet, seduced by talk of the Riviera and Venice. You're very likely moistening. And then, oh, and then. You look up. There's a pair of starey eyes, a mop of unruly hair and an oversized circle of condensation with an orange leathery Welshness splodged against the window pane behind it. It'd put you off your nosh at the very least, and possibly lead to a restraining order.

And then there's Dr. Hook. Short and snappy, it's all in the song "A Little Bit More". When your body's had enough of me, and I'm laying flat out on the floor. When you think I've loved you all I can, I'm going to love a little bit more. In fact, I'm going to wait until you're asleep with aching thighs, then I'm going to slip it in when you least expect it. I'm a sex pest! I sleep on the floor! Surprise sex! My friend Ray has an eyepatch! Sordid.

No, I can't remember the other thing. Still, I reckon that's enough - if nothing else, it contains links to the twin peaks of musical witterings, with pictures.


Friday, 30 January 2009

Weh mir, oh weh

That's German, that. You can have that nugget of linguistic marvel for FREE, motherfucker. A little bit of polyglot self-pity, just for you, and you, and yooooo-hoooo-ooooo. Sorry, turned into Jim'll Fix It, there. Hopefully your head is as full of jewelry-bedecked old duffers in tracksuits bouncing nippers on their knees and leering at them as mine is. It would only be fair.

See, that's why I could never call this blogging. It's also why I could never write anything of any actual note. A cheap quip waves cheekily at me from across the textual way, I go steaming right in. I can't resist. Thomas Hardy's Return of the Native would have been a HELL of a lot funnier if I've written it. It would also have never have been published.

Anyway, I realised I hadn't stained the internet with any of my brain juice this year (well, I have, just not here), so I thought I should rectify it. And now I have.

Weh mir, oh weh indeed.