Sunday Afternoon Movie Club

Prompted by my earlier post about “The Rainbow Connection” I plucked from my DVD collection The Muppet Movie. No, not the recent reboot which featured Oscar-winning songs written by Flight of the Conchords’ Bret McKenzie. I mean The Muppet Movie that was released in 1979.

Here’s the plot: After a fateful meeting with a big-time talent agent, Kermit the Frog heads for Hollywood dreaming of showbiz. Along the way, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo, and the dazzling Miss Piggy join him in hopes of becoming film stars too. But all bets are off when Kermit falls into the clutches of Doc Hopper, a fast-food mogul seeking to promote his French-fried frogs-leg franchise.

It is, of course, like the more recent movie, littered with great songs too. Like this:

Kermit the Frog & Fozzie Bear – Movin’ Right Along

And this (which if you haven’t seen before, you’ll have immense fun trying to work out who each musician is based on):

Dr Teeth & The Electric Mayhem – Can You Picture That?

To role call the members of Electric Mayhem: that’s Dr Teeth on keyboard, Zoot on saxophone, Janice on lead guitar, Sgt. Floyd Pepper on bass guitar and, of course, Animal on drums.

And finally, my favourite (apart from “The Rainbow Connection”, of course):

Rowlf the Dog & Kermit the Frog – I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along

More soon.

The One and Only

People who know me will take what I am about to write as further proof of what an argumentative sod I am.

The truth is, I quite enjoy pressing people on opinions they hold, sometimes deliberately taking an opposing stance, even if I agree with them, to see if they have really thought through what they are saying.

Usually I will preface this by saying “Playing Devil’s Advocate for a moment…” so they know that’s what I’m doing, but often I won’t bother, as it’s much more fun to see if they really think I hold the extreme view I am about to propose. The most I’ll do is proffer is a knowing wink or smile to anyone else involved in the conversation, so they know I’m playing.

The downside of this is that often it’s misconstrued as me being a cantankerous old bastard.

A friend once said to me: “The trouble with you is that you think you’re always right.” My response: “What, and you don’t? Gosh that’s sad. Tell me, how does it feel to be so crippled with self-doubt that you enter into a debate thinking “I’m probably wrong about this”…?” I won that one, too. I think.

Anyway, for a while I was scrabbling around trying to think of songs that would fit into this thread.

For first timers here: to compliment my series about different songs with the same title, here I post a song where only one song exists which has a unique title. As far as I know. I’ve been proved wrong once before (See? I can admit it!!), and this is only the fourth post I’ve done in this series. So y’know, not a great strike record. S’all up for grabs.

But then I suddenly realised that the answer had been staring me in the face: my favourite band – the greatest band in the history of great bands (not, not Quo this time) – had a whole host of songs that fit very nicely here.

So expect to hear a lot more from this lot:


The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others

I had…not exactly an argument, more a heated discussion…with someone at a sort of house party once about this record. I say “sort of”, it was essentially the host, his girlfriend, and about 7 blokes and me sitting in their living room, drinking, chatting and playing records. “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others” came on.

The argument heated discussion was about whether this song was sexist or not; the person who started the argument heated discussion was of the opinion that it was, since it referred to women by their chest size. I was of the opinion that it wasn’t, rather it was social commentary on the media’s obsession with precisely the same topic.

To prove my point, I directed her to the live version of the song, included on the 12″and cass-single release of “I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish” which, recorded at The Smiths last ever gig (Brixton Academy, 12/12/86), includes an extra verse that explains all.

There wasn’t a copy of said release in the flat, so we both left grumpy that we hadn’t manage to victoriously put that argument heated discussion to bed. (It should be noted that this happened a) in the days when I would defend Morrissey for pretty much anything he did or said, a position which has waned somewhat over the years, and b) in the days before the internet when someone could have just, y’know, checked.)

Anyway, twenty years later, here it is:


The Smiths – Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (Live)

I win!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering where you know the phrase “Send me the pillow you dream on” from, it’s from here:


Hank Locklin – Send Me The Pillow You Dream On

You’re all fans of Hank Locklin, right? Right???

More soon.

Name That Tune

Corey Haim was a Canadian actor, known for a 1980s Hollywood career as a teen idol. He starred in a number of films, such as Lucas, Silver Bullet, Murphy’s Romance, License to Drive, Dream a Little Dream and Snowboard Academy (Nope, me neither. Not one.) His best-known role, though, was alongside Corey Feldman in The Lost Boys, which made Haim a household name.

The duo became 1980s icons and appeared together in seven movies, later starring in an American TV show wittily entitled “The Two Coreys”. Every week, Haim would sit in a darkened room and relate an anecdote to camera as a pre-amble to telling a joke that the show’s producer had told him earlier. Spoonerisms and word play were a big part of their schtick and the two would often perform impromptu skits and sketches, their favourite being one about a misunderstanding in a hardware store when a customer wanted to buy some fork handles but was given four candles instead. Hilarity ensued. (Are you sure you’re not getting a bit confused here? – The Editor)

In 1995, Haim dated Victoria Adams, who went on to become slightly better known as Victoria Beckham. Just think what we would have been spared if that relationship had worked out. “Out of Your Mind” by True Steppers & Dane Bowers featuring Victoria Beckham for a start. And if you’re unfamiliar with that song: yes, it’s every bit as awful as it sounds.

Haim’s early success led to money and fame, but he had difficulties breaking away from his experience as a teen star, and battled his addiction to drugs throughout his later life. He died of drug-induced pneumonia on March 10, 2010.

He was in no way related, as far as I can tell from the brief bit of research I’ve done for this, to the three sisters in the critically-acclaimed band Haim with whom he shares a surname.


The Thrills – Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?

Do try and pay attention, The Thrills, I just told you.

More to the point, whatever happened to The Thrills?

More soon.

Late Night Stargazing

The other night on BBC2 they had a bit of a Manchester love in; they showed the movie “Spike Island”, which I’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix for absolutely ages (and still haven’t got round to), followed by one of those shows where they play a load of clips of bands performing in the BBC studios with a linking theme, and this time it was, surprise surprise, bands from Manchester.

I love this kind of show, partly because I bloody love a theme linking a bunch of songs together, even if it is something as broad as “From Manchester” or “Songs with Swear Words In Them” (who’d be stupid enough to put together a load of songs like that, eh?), but also because I love a good wander down memory lane and to be reminded of the odd forgotten gem.

Anyway, this particular programme contained all of the usual suspects: Joy Dvision, Buzzcocks, The Smiths, etc. etc. etc.

And then there was this, by a band I had always assumed were from Philadelphia, or at the very least America. Nope, Mancs through and through:


Sweet Sensation – Sad Sweet Dreamer

Here’s the clip they used on the show too, which I include partly to show their dress sense and the dance steps were what informed my mistaken belief they were from Philly, but mostly so I can make a cheap joke about how the lead singer came up with the title following a conversation about how he wished someone would invent contact lenses so he didn’t have to wear those milk-bottles, as we used to call them when I was a kid, anymore.

More soon.