The Power of Dubious Taste

Regular readers will know that I struggle with Monday mornings, and as a result have started posting upbeat songs to get us all (i.e. me, and anyone else who feels the same) moving on that most cursed at day of the week.

This week, I posted “Something Good” by Utah Saints, and as I wrote the post I decided against writing the words “I hope something good happens to you today”, dismissing it as being just a bit too Smashy and Nicey…

Nevertheless, two good somethings happened on Monday, depending on your perspective.

First, and you may have missed this, it got very little coverage in the press and mass media, Prince Harry announced his engagement. We’ll revisit this at a later date, I think.

And then this:

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Apparently ‘mutual consent; is a polite way of saying ‘fired’ now.

And then, shortly afterwards, somebody realised that her online presence might hinder her future job prospects:

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Like anybody who takes her on as an employee wouldn’t know exactly what they were getting.

So that left the Mail Online one columnist short, and it didn’t take too long for one particular candidate to toss his hat into the ring. Yes, if you’re going to write for the Mail Online, then you need to be able to spout and respout xenophobic, anti-Muslim, crap, and there’s no finer way to do that than to retweet already discredited footage shot by ultra-right wing knobheads Britain First. Step forward, President of the United States and model for “Wotsits: The Movie!” Donald Trump, who when chastised on Twitter by our Prime Minister for having done just that, responded thus (note the condescending, passive/aggressive use of her first name):

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…but sent it to the wrong Theresa May.

The man is such a fucking idiot, he can’t even hit a button marked “Reply” properly.

Anyway, since Monday’s post brought such something good(ish) news, I thought I’d just leave this here. Karma, do with it what you will:

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Drugstore (feat. Thom Yorke) – El President

More soon.

How To Do a Cover Version

Oh go on then. Since I mentioned it, here’s the covers of all the songs which featured in the last post, lifted from that wonderful tribute album, “If I Were A Carpenter”.

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Redd Kross – Yesterday Once More

I played this next one as the first record at a friend’s wedding a couple of years ago. Nobody thought I was even half as clever as I did.

Grant Lee Buffalo – We’ve Only Just Begun

Sonic Youth – Superstar

American Music Club – Goodbye to Love

They’re all great, of course, but as great or better than the originals? Hmm. Not sure. Damned close.

More soon.

Replenishing the Vinyl

Back in 1994 I got my first credit card.

Armed with it, I ventured into Cardiff, determined to purchase some music.

My girlfriend at the time feared the outcome, thoroughly expecting I would blow the whole of my credit limit in one go.

Obstinate bugger that I am, I returned home with just one CD, one of those tribute albums, where current cool bands cover songs by one particular artiste.

This particular one was called “If I Were A Carpenter”, a tribute to – you guessed it – The Carpenters, featuring acts like American Music Club, Sonic Youth, Grant Lee Buffalo, Sheryl Crow, Redd Kross and, as they say on irritating adverts, many, many more.

The Carpenters are, I think, one of those bands that people consider sickly sweet, a bit naff, a guilty pleasure, but as you know, we don’t like that phrase round these parts.

No, as the sticker on the front of the CD proclaimed “The Carpenters are cool!”, and these bands and this album gave those who secretly liked their records permission to out themselves as fans.

When I worked in a motorway café as a teenager, often after work we would go back to someone’s house, have a few drinks, play a few records and have a bit of a sing-song. And The Carpenters, without fail, were always played, because everyone knew they were great, and everyone knew all of the words.

Curiously, though, I’d never owned anything by them.

Until recently, when I stumbled over a double Greatest Hits album of theirs, on sale second hand. Ker-ching!

The story of The Carpenters is, of course, tragic. Karen never wanted to be the front woman; she was a drummer by trade, and as fame found her she yearned for nothing more than to be allowed to get back behind the skins, sticks in hand.

Conversely, brother Richard did want the stardom, but the public, and, more importantly, the record label, wanted Karen out front. As a result (probably) of her unwanted place in the spotlight, Karen developed anorexia nervosa, and died from heart failure caused by complications from her illness at the tragically young age of 32. Too young, far too young.

Here’s some of their finest moments which I now proudly own, sugar sweet, glorious and catchy as hell:

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The Carpenters – Yesterday Once More

The Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun

The Carpenters – Superstar

And, featuring one of the greatest rock guitar solos ever committed to record:

The Carpenters – Goodbye To Love

More soon.