Friday Night Music Club

I was beginning to think this mix was jinxed.

I’ll explain, with some back story.

Firstly, I wanted to do a mix unlike the Not Christmas one, which I thought strayed a bit too far into the territories of cheese or chart music. Whilst it served a purpose, it wasn’t really indicative of the sort of tunes which usually feature here.

This one, though is a corker, even if I do say so myself.

Regular readers may recall that way back in the late 1980s, I started DJ’ing at college because I was fed up with being able to guess what song the indie DJs would play next. So imagine my annoyance when my own brother told me that on a previous mix he’d been able to predict my next choice a couple of times. Grrr.

But this mix has proved to be such a pain to complete; when I came to do it today, it tells me that some of the tunes have been played 22 times, which gives you an idea of how many times I’ve tried to get this one right. Pretty much once a week, since Christmas.

What’s gone wrong all those times? Well, on more than one occasion professional pride kicked in: I’ve messed up a mix between tunes, so have elected to start again.

On more than one occasion, preoccupied with playing Solitaire or Candy Crush just to have something to do whilst recording the mix, there’s a sudden, irretrievable silence where the next record should be. Oops!

Once I forgot to stop recording until an hour later, and, triumphant at how the mixes had worked out, I couldn’t understand why the mix lasted over 5 hours, until I listened to it.

The other problem is booze. More than once, I’ve taken drink to such an extent that I’ve forgotten I was doing a mix until the silence after one record has finished hits home and startled me awake.

Last weekend, I got to the third record from the end, and suddenly woke up to silence and realised I’d messed up again. That’s not an indictment of the standard of the mix, by the way, more an example of how drunk I’d gotten.

Even last night, when I finally nailed it, it was my second attempt of the night, having got through most of the mix when I had a drink-spillage event, which I thought I’d sorted, until, four records from the end, suddenly the sound cut out whilst the tunes kept playing and I had no idea if it was still recording the sound or the sound of silence.

Anyway, we’ve got here, and this has been a real pain, so if you could take a listen, that would be great.

I will confess that I have broken the golden rule of not featuring the same act more than once in this mix; this wasn’t intentional, but as the various run-throughs progressed, I simply forgot said acts already appeared as “featuring” acts. One is deliberate. Sue me (Please don’t).

Time for the usual disclaimer: any glitches, skips or jumps are down to the software or the uploading/downloading process, and nothing to do with my limited mixing skills.

Oh, and the usual “effing and jeffing” warning applies; it seems I’m incapable of doing a mix which doesn’t include more than the occasional swear.

I’m not posting a link to download here, other than the one to Soundcloud, where you can either download or stream it.

I couldn’t be bothered with the last ones, but I’ve done it this time: you’ll see a list of all the acts featured in this mix at the bottom of the page, so you can check whether this one’s likely to be your cup of tea before going to the hassle of actually listening to it. If you’re particularly short of things to do, you can try to guess which song I’ve picked by which artist. There’s fun.

But by way of a description: pretty much all life is here, from indie rock to 60s California hippy-shtick, some Old Skool dance classics, some hip-hop and some soul classics via some Northern Soul belters via some TV show theme tunes (sort of); there’s some hoary old rock and some psychobilly, and a couple of tracks which should have featured in a New post by now, but the bands in question played the 6Music festival last weekend so you’ll probably know them intimately by now. And, of course, there’s The Fall.

Easy on the cheese this time, there’s even some poetry so we can all pretend we’re intellectual. You’ll have chance to dance, sit and recover for a few moments, before getting back on it again.

Available for a limited time (i.e. until I do the next one), you can download or stream this on Soundcloud here:

Friday Night Music Club (Volume 4)

I hope you have as much fun listening to this as much as I had putting it together. And I found it utterly frustrating, so you’d better.

Oh, and it ain’t over ’til the fat bloke sings.

More soon.

You Can Count On Me

It occurred to me the other day, after gloating about having a Bank Holiday Monday off work, that that’s public holidays in England done until Christmas.

Our friends north of the border, of course, have one more to go on November 30th, and so I fully expect, and deserve, any ribbing they may wish to give me in return.

Which means the shops are doubtless already counting down the days until they can start putting the Christmas stock out; in fact I’ve seen a few people posting on Twitter that some have already started. In sodding September.

So, whilst I’m not counting down the days until Christmas as such, I am counting down the days until I can have a day off without it eating into my precious annual leave allowance.

Which gave me an idea for a new series: songs which involve counting, or numbers.

And where better to start than this, which could easily crop up on my Monday morning pick-me-up series:

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Sammy Davis, Jr. – You Can Count On Me

More soon.

The Election Section V2.2

So the plan was this: every week, I’d post a round-up of the events from the week  on the campaign trail, coupled with a scathing yet entirely impartial *ahem* review, and an appropriate song or two.

There are two flaws in that plan. Firstly, I was away last weekend, so I now have two weeks to catch up on.

Secondly, Twitter.

I love Twitter, and some of you know and follow me on there, but there is a danger with that social media platform: because of the very nature of the beast, I find I’ve reacted to something or retweeted it there, long before I’ve written anything here.

So when it comes to time to write here, I’m frankly a little worried I may be accidentally using a joke or a point I’ve already read, and probably retweeted, on Twitter.

In other words, forgive me if I accidentally repeat something which I don’t credit to the original source. (In other words, I’m saying that all you are about to read is my take on the General Election, and if it anyway chimes with something on Twitter that I may or may not have read, that’s entirely coincidental.)

Where shall we start? Here: sometime in the last couple of weeks, Theresa May announced she would not take part in televised debates with the leaders of her opponents parties. The BBC and ITV announced that they would “empty chair” her, which means they’d have a chair for her to sit in, and when any question was asked, they would cut to the empty chair and the answer it wasn’t giving.

And they say the BBC is biased….

At this, many of us pricked up our ears, and rubbed our hands together.

Surely this is an open goal for Jeremy Corbyn, one even he can’t mess up? An opportunity to put his views and his vision out to the electorate, pretty much unchallenged.

And then he announced that if Theresa May wasn’t going to participate in the live TV debates, then neither was he.

Nice one, Jeremy. For why would you want to monopolise on such an opportunity? It’s almost like he doesn’t want to win…

Safe to say that, as it stands:

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Gil Scott-Heron -The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

And apart from that, nothing has happened in the past couple of weeks.

Ah yes. There was the Diane Abbott incident.

I quite like Diane. Of course, she ticks a lot of PC boxes.

Black? Tick.

Woman? Tick.

Managed to regularly sit on a couch with Michael Portillo without punching him in the balls? Tick.

Absolute Liability with a microphone anywhere near her? Sadly, tick, tick, tick.

I’m not going to post the link here, as I’m sure you’ve already seen/heard it, but she did an utterly excruciating telephone interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, where she discussed Labour’s plans to increase funding for the police. It’s fair to say, she made a right hash of the figures: the sound of her frantically flicking through her notes was more evident than any coherent message from Abbott.

Her explanation later was that the interview was her sixth of the day and she was tired.

That’s not really good enough, is it? For a start, if I’d done essentially the same interview, being asked the same questions, five times previously, I’d like to think that a) I’d have learnt the details before the first interview, and b) that having trotted the figures out five times already, they might have sunk in a bit by the time of the sixth interview.

So Diane, this is for you:

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Los Campesinos! – Don’t Tell Me to Do the Math(s)

Surprisingly (perhaps) that was the only real fuck-up by Labour this week. Quite a major one, but as far as I’m aware, the only one.

But then there’s Theresa “Strong and Stable” May.

I think 99.9% of the population had already gotten wise to soundbites by the time this happened, and if not, they did very shortly afterwards:

For sure, “Strong and Stable” is the May-mantra, the chant she believes if said enough times will come true.

A bit like Candyman:

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Sammy Davis Jr. – The Candy Man

The idea, of course, is to portray a picture of someone who is determined, resolute, and doesn’t waiver or change their mind.

So let’s not forget that this election is happening as a result of May changing her mind, and backtracking on previous pledges:

But then, she has a history of this, doesn’t she?

So, irrespective of whether you voted to remain or leave the EU last year, bear in mind that, if the Tories win the forthcoming election, then the negotiations will be led by someone who doesn’t believe we should be leaving at all.

And just think for a moment who she appointed into her cabinet. Foreign Secretary: Boris Johnson. I don’t have time to list all of the countries that Johnson has managed to offend, before or after the EU vote, but there are lots. And that’s before we even start on the amount of cities in the UK that he’s managed to piss off with his bumbling Eton toff routine.

But it’s okay, for David Davis is the minister charged with negotiating the Brexit deal, and he’s already admitted that there is no plan in place should the UK not get a deal which is favourable to leaving, so we all know how competent he is.

But, what he can do is get t-shirts printed with an exruciatingly bad joke emblazoned on them, and then persuade “curvaceous lovelies” to wear them:

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But okay, fine. If you’re happy with Benny Hill negotiating the biggest and most important trade deal in the last 50 fifty years, then fill your boots:

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The Coasters – Yakety Yak

Now. You know how we all scoffed at Donald Trump’s baseless, unfounded allegations that his presidential campaign had been wire-tapped by the Obama administration? The rantings of a deranged, parnoid loon (with something to cover up), right?

So this week, Theresa May went into full-on Trump mode.

Following a dinner with senior EU negotiating bods, May made a staement that there had been “European threats against Britain, deliberately timed to affect the election”

Whoa. Wait a minute, wait a minute. You mean, those people that we’ve told to fuck off have taken it badly, and want us to honour the agreement we previously signed off on?

And, unless I’m very much mistaken Mrs May, you called the election, not them.

And – hang on, I must be missing something here – since you didn’t want to Leave in the first place and clearly have all of the negotiating prowess of a potato in a sock with a face drawn on it, why would they want you to be replaced?

Oh wait – unless this was a deliberate ploy to make sure that all who voted to Leave last year turned out again for you in June? But that kind of scaremongering has no place in modern politics, does it?

Strongandstablestrongandstablestrongandstablestrongandstablestrongandstablestrongandstable

It’s not strong and stable, it’s fucking deranged. She can’t even eat chips without looking like she’s from another realm. Seriously, it comes to something when Ed Miliband is able to call you out on how to eat in public:

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And don’t even get me started on May’s response to a perfectly reasonable question about the NHS, about nurses, and their increased dependency on food banks:

That’s right, Theresa. There are many complex reasons why nurses might be going to food banks. I’ll list them for you:

  1. They’re underpaid
  2. They’re hungry

That appears to be it.

But it’s okay, there’s always the European health workers (who you refuse to guarantee the safety of, post Brexit) to step in and take over.

Oh, and then there’s the small issue of the proposed increase in tax and National Insurance contributions which they tried to bring in under the last budget, before ditching it when (finally, after trying to defend and justify it for a few days, claiming it was our fault for misunderstanding everything, because we’re all THAT stupid) they had to accept it was in direct contradiction of their last manifesto pledge, and which May now refuses to confirm won’t happen should they be re-elected.

Look, I know there’s an obesity probem in the UK, I’m living proof of it, but surely the way to address that isn’t by making sure that the working (and a large chunk of the middle) classes can’t afford to eat?

So, anyway, let me just leave this here for you to think about:

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The Bluetones – Carn’t Be Trusted

And then there were the local elections on Thursday. I can’t pretend these went well for a cardigan-wearing leftie like me. There were Conservative gains, of course, many in traditionally Labour heartland. This cannot be considered to be encouraging. Areas of Wales, Scotland, and Birmingham, all went to the Tories.

Wales: I love you but you should hang your heads in shame that you’ve voted for the party that decimated the economic output of your community.

The only thing I can cling to here is the massive losses suffered by UKIP, who ended up with just one seat.

And why did UKIP only manage to secure one seat? From the results, it certainly isn’t the case that UKIP voters switched to Labour, is it?

So ask yourself this: if you’ve never voted UKIP before, because you recognise them as the racist fuckwits we know they are, then why would you vote for a political party which has – as Real Ale and fags raconteur, the man with a face you’d never get tired of punching, Nigel Farage acknowledged this week – absorbed their policies?

If you continue, or are considering, voting Tory in the forthcoming election, but think that UKIP are a bunch of whackos, then you need to take a fucking long look in the mirror, for you are now just UKIP under a different name.

So, yeah, this:

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Depeche Mode – Where’s The Revolution?

That’ll do for now.

Don’t forget, of course, that to have a say in the forthcoming election, you need to be able to vote in it. Go here to make sure your voice is heard.

More soon.