keresaspa: (Homer rage)
You'll forgive me if I pass on the end of year survey thing this time out as, for more reasons than I care to remember, I'll have little desire to recall 2016 in the future. But nonetheless I'll draw a veil on this most egregious of twelvemonths in my own time-honoured fashion:

Top 100 Artists of the Year )
keresaspa: (Diggory)
The short version of this is that London was rather good apart from the going and the coming, which were hell on earth. On the off-chance that anybody is still reading this (and I note in my extended absence that I am now down to one person submitting regular updates on my friends list) I shall expand at some length about what took place.

The Austrian stork nurtures the kites )
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Nothing quite like this time of year to bring the vermin out is there, be it the drunken scum littering the streets from the early afternoon or the filthy politicians rewarding their cronies with their plastic "honours". Pah, they can stuff this particular arbitrary date in the calendar where the sun doesn't shine as far as I'm concerned. But I've established my own tradition for this specific date and I must keep it going regardless so:

Keresaspa's top 100 artists of the year )
keresaspa: (Foster and Allen)
Apparently they've only gone and made Esther Rantzen a Dame. So is that for service to cover-ups, services to rank hypocrisy or services to the cosmetic dentistry sector? God, I know those awards are a load of pap but are they seriously reduced to giving damehoods to the likes of Rancid these days? Like she's not bloody insufferable enough as it is.

Still, who cares, it's the final day of the year and so, to the interest of nobody whatsoever, I must do this.

Top 100 artists listened to this year )

Cor blimey

Jul. 17th, 2013 10:13 pm
keresaspa: (Albert Gladstone Trotter)
Hello you. Yes it was London time again recently but I got back too late last night to record my exploits. Never fear, I'm here now to "entertain" the reading some with every minor detail. "Enjoy".

Hit it )

It's over

Dec. 31st, 2012 08:54 pm
keresaspa: (Fletch)
Another random date in a calendar, therefore another apparent occasion. Had I been born a Jew, a Muslim, a Hindu, an Iranian or a Chinese man today would have little significance. When you think about it doesn't have any particular significance even in the Christian calendar as 2012 and 2013 are two fairly unimportant run of the mill years. 2012 had its up and downs but I'll sure as hell be glad not to hear the word Titanic or the phrases "our time, our place", "Diamond Jubilee" or "London Olympics" ever again. Still, I suppose tradition dictates that I must wish a happy new year to my millions and millions of fans out there in internetland.

And now in a further tradition that I started last year (and purely for my own amusement so you can slip out now) I shall record the top 100 musical artists that I listened to this year.

Fun, if you like that sort of thing! )
keresaspa: (Jimmy Edwards)
I bemoaned yesterday how much I have become a slave to the internet to keep me amused but on the other hand one of the benefits of having internet on tap is that it allows me to keep a close eye on certain patterns of my own behaviour. My insistence of allowing all music to which I listen to pass through last.fm means that I can see which particular artists have dominated my listening this year. For my own interests I believe I will list them here.

Little amuses the innocent and far less the fool )

Of course all of the above unadulterated self-indulgent waffle was inspired by the fact that the year 2011 is about to end apparently and were we Germans it would be ordered by law that we should watch this slice of hilarity.



I'm sure Grimsby must be proud of Freddie Frinton for that little slice of mirth which in no way went on about eight minutes longer than it should have. Well, I suppose the Germans would find a lot of what we laugh at somewhat dull too (although clearly Jimmy James' drunk act was a million miles better). Einen guten Rutsch as they say down Bergisch Gladbach way.
keresaspa: (All cops are not nice)
Well, surprise surprise, a black man has died during a police raid. Of course Smiley Culture should not have been involving himself in cocaine but isn't it funny how when cops are about black guys always seem to die? And isn't equally funny how a guy who made a song about police treatment of black people died at the hands of police? All a coincidence of course. As always.

And because it's post midnight here's
Day 16 )
keresaspa: (Julius Nyerere)
Rare to hear good news these days but nice to see a long overdue breakthrough against racism in Eastern Europe with the election of a black mayor in Slovenia. As a country Slovenia has a poor record so it is good to see them taking a small step in the right direction and one that many of their neighbours could do with following. Looks a lot like Roger Milla too, doesn't he?

Meanwhile I see we have the final groundation for Gregory Isaacs. Sorry to see the Cool Ruler go, especially as he will be remembered for the rather turgid "Night Nurse" rather than his better earlier stuff. "The Village" was probably his best, showing the old rocker sound that characterised reggae's early days. Good stuff and a sad loss.

That's my lot - too cold to think of any more!
keresaspa: (Max Miller)
Being pedantic is always fun but it really has been like shooting fish in barrel where Jonathan Pearce has been concerned this last week. Jonny opened his commentary on the Serbia-Germany match by telling us that we have to go back to 1938 for the last time Germany didn't make the last eight. Well Pearcey, leaving aside the fact that no team representing Germany as a whole appeared after the war until 1994, I reckon you'll find that the 1950 World Cup featured no German team at any stage as apparently they were persona non grata for some reason. As for this match, both teams started OK, with the Serbs at least better than their dismal showing in the first match. However it very quickly became clear that the referee fancied being the centre of attention, even if for Mick McCarthy a defender who commits murder probably wouldn't deserve a booking. To be fair to McCarthy he is a droll kind of guy and, although I'm not a big fan of the Americanised concept of a "color [sic] commentator", he is one of the better ones to fill that role for the Beeb. He is not at the level of Martin Keown who, despite being an evil gorilla as a player, is a measured, intelligent man of few, but important, words in this role but he is certainly a mile better than Mark Lawrenson, who is the absolute pits as co-commentator. Still, right he was about the ref who ballsed the game up good and proper with the sending-off of Klose and a tendency to wave cards about for fun. The goal was not the sort that a German side would ever concede and it is surely a weakness in Jogi's team that they reacted so badly to the red card. Once again the Serbs gave away a daft handball penalty but luckily for them the resulting kick was a stinker. It boggles the mind that Nemanja Vidic, a player even an ABU like me will admit is pure class, can make such a rookie mistake but luckily for him Lukas Podolski has the first touch of a Shunosaurus. Indeed were The Topper to come back to life and then introduce a strip about Podolski the most used phrase would probably be "erkle". Well, it could happen! A shock then, but one dictated too much by a Hollywood ref and one that I found myself struggling to become too interested in, perhaps because both mobs are hard to warm to.

For the next game the American boys took to the field wearing a fetching little shirt that incorporated a sash design (right). Not sure what it reminded me of! Another game that I wasn't expecting an awful lot from but I should have known that a good show was in the offing when Clint Dempsey threw an elbow and floored a guy in the first minute. One thing is for sure, what with this and a few other nasty ones later on, Dempsey would have been sent off PDQ by the previous referee. The Slovenians showed a lot more in the early goings than they had in the whole of their earlier win and Birsa's goal was a bit of magic and well deserved. The second goal came from nowhere, a few seconds after the Americans had almost equalised, and Onyewu had a bit of a mare here. Certainly this particular Gooch would not have bossed Arnold Jackson around in Diff'rent Strokes. Good to see Rangers own Maurice Edu make an appearance at half time - I wonder if he asked his team-mate DaMarcus Beasley to drive him to the match? His appearance also reminded me of Freddy Adu, who not so many years ago was being built up as the new Pele but is now apparently not even good enough for this limited squad. The new Nii Lamptey perhaps? Still back to the match and Landycakes goal was an absolute peach whilst soon it was Slovenia’s turn to get lucky as Suler could easily have been sent off too. Route one equaliser from the boss's son (no DNA test needed for those doppelgangers) and by that time the match was genuinely end to end at times. Good old Edu was unfortunate to have his goal disallowed although to be fair the ref blew before he struck and it may have caused the Slovenian defence to stand still. In the end neither team seemed willing to muster the necessary oomph to grab a winner but a draw was probably the fairest result. Really neither team looked that good but their limitations helped to make this a hell of a spectacle and either one of them could make the next round with a bit of luck.

Then the big one as mighty England strode majestically to the field, the boy Rooney imperious in his skills and Capello, like the grand master tactician that he is, making nought but the right moves. With the hopes of a nation on their shoulders and God on their side the brave Three Lions overcame the insurmountable odds placed before them and held Algeria to a 0-0 draw. But to be serious, for all the bile heaped on Steve McClaren and all the talk of how great Don Fabio is that performance was every bit as insipid as anything the so-called Wally with the Brolly served up. My only hope is that the drum-beaters will allow a bit of realism to enter in and realise that Rooney has looked ordinary at best, that England have no goalkeepers and a central defence held together by masking tape (in part cause by said Don Fabio opting to call up a player in Ledley King who has been playing injured for the last few years), that their two best midfielders can't be in the same country let alone the same team and that any team forced to rely on the likes of Emile Heskey can never consider itself serious contenders for a World Cup. That's the hope anyway but I know the reality will be different when they squeeze past Slovenia and suddenly the last two games are written off as a dress rehearsal. Credit to Algeria who gave as good as they got but from where I was sitting it just looked like two decidedly ordinary teams playing out a bore draw. If they're world-beaters then it must be a pretty lame world.

Finally in a complete change of pace from recent rubbish here's a little meme donated by [livejournal.com profile] burkesworks that works thus:

1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload, if you feel like it) 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

I've been given "F" by old Mr. Dirtymind but if you want uploads you can whistle as the ins and outs of illegal downloads are a total mystery to me. And by heck but f is a hard letter to find good songs for!

1) Flor de Azalea - Jorge Negrete Puro ranchero I believe they call it. I'm no expert on Mexican music (conjuntos are another matter but strictly speaking those are Mexican emigrant bands) but I know what i like and this brassy lament sounds good to me, even if it is little more than a Mexican equivalent of the sort of nonsense Gene Kelly and his ilk used to belt out on cheesy extravaganzas.

2) Fine Girl - Frank Zappa One of Zappa's finest pieces of work from the 80s, this disco parody sits well amongst his finer works. As always it's a joy to hear his trademark deeper than the abyss "Yeah" whilst the total collapse of the tune into Pompey chimes style choral nonsense at the end is hilarious.

3) Free Jah Jah Children - Sugar Minott Sugar ran the gamut in reggae stakes, including some ill-advised diversions into lovers rock, but his roots period produced some high quality work, including this bit of Studio One Rasta lark. A pity that he got caught up in the whole dancehall nonsense but we'll always have this.

4) Flying Jelly Attack - Shonen Knife Have to include my girls, don't I? A song recorded by them a few times but the definitive version appeared on Let's Knife and the gibberish lyrics are so adorable it's untrue. In fact here's a decent live version for you all to enjoy, even if they did play it better when I saw them :)

5) Fu*k the USA - The Exploited Perhaps unfair of me to include this song after their performance today but it is a classic. Wattie and the boys attempt to take on the uncertainties of the late Cold War period and come up with a strong rebuke to the excesses of Reaganomics. Actually it's just a bunch of indecipherable shouting and a sing-along sweary chorus but you have to love it. It's to my life-long disappointment that Hillary Clinton didn't take my advice and use it as her campaign theme tune. Who knows where she would be if she had (the poor house most likely).

Took it out of me did that. I'm ready for bed!
keresaspa: (L7)
"Music was my first love" opined John Miles in a song that everybody thinks is ghastly but I personally believe to be a fine piece of work and on a day that Big Cards says is about love rather than the martyrdom of an early Christian what better topic than the one Miles crooned about? Of course we all have our own opinions of what constitutes good music but it is interesting to think of why we ended up with the opinions we hold on that score. Thinking about it I believe that in my time I have encountered a few albums that have proven seminal in the development of my taste. Whilst these might or might not be my favourites they are still pivotal for the impact they had on my taste. I've managed to isolate eight that I think have had a big impact on my taste and they are:

Bad Manners - Height of Bad Manners The first album I bought and as such an important part of framing my future taste. I was about seven when I bought this gate fold vinyl best of from Woolies and it marked the beginning of me caring about music at any level beyond taping the charts off the radio. I still have it to this day and it was from there that I first became interested in music.

Small Faces - The Complete Collection I lost interest for a while in my early teens (even though that's supposed to be the age you go gaga over pop music) until I started to get the notion of listening to music again. Then one day at about 14 I wandered into the recently opened HMV and picked up a copy of a cheap no-name compilation of Small Faces hits, despite the fact that I was still a few years away from owning my own CD player. Either way it meant I was a music fan once again.

V/A - Progressions This prog compilation was doing the rounds in our house for a while before I took an interest in it. To say that it sparked what has become a lifelong enjoyment of progressive rock would probably be true as once I heard "Living in the Past" I was hooked.

Bal-Sagoth - Battle Magic I had dabbled slightly in metal but it was not until I was about 18 that my passion for that wonderfully ludicrous genre really kicked in when a slightly odd little chap I went to school with taped me a copy of the Bal-Sagoth classic. The extreme metal kick that dominated my early 20s and that is still a part of my musical taste began there and then.

Frank Zappa - Son of Cheap Thrills One of those days of undergraduate poverty where you were hanging about Virgin Megastore determined to buy some sounds but unable to afford nearly everything in the days when "2 for £20" was considered good value. I spotted a copy of this Zappa sampler lingering for around a fiver and decided to take a chance, having only previously encountered Uncle Frank as a name on TV. Again hooked from the word go and "We're Only in it for the Money", which remains my favourite album, was bought soon afterwards on the strength of this purchase.

L7 - The Beauty Process Similar scenario to above, only this time I had sank a few pints earlier in the day and, as I recall, it was nearing six o'clock closing time in the self-same Virgin Megastore. They had a bit of a sale on and I noticed a copy of this album and felt that I had to buy it. Given that I was none too sober at the time I suspect that cover image may have appealed to me as dark-haired women with a feg on were my thing at the time! Whatever the reason it was a decision well made and the genesis of my love of all things riot grrrl.

Fats Waller - The Centenary Collection I had flirted with jazz as a youth but left it aside early on. Then another big sale at Virgin Megastore saw me touch for a three CD set of Fats at the knockdown price of three of your quid. Suddenly I realised that jazz wasn't just for old farts (or perhaps that I was becoming an old fart) and I widened my mind not only to it but also to blues, country and other things that I had hitherto considered music for the elderly.

Shonen Knife - Let's Knife A couple of years ago this one and in fact I covered it here at the time but given how much Japanese nonsense I listen to now this was definitely a seminal purchase.

So what of the rest of you? I don't for a minute imagine that you all woke up as proggers or goths one morning by chance and indeed you all must have certain albums that helped to mould your various tastes. Do tell.

Anyway just to ensure that the usual quotient of misery is met here I will move on to that meme that is doing the rounds where you describe five things that everybody else loves and you don't and say why. I've tried to think of something a bit different here as I have riffed on a lot of popular stuff that I hate in this dusty, unloved corner of the web before. As such:

1) Coffee - All you hear from people is how they can't function without their coffee. I don't know how many times I have drunk the fetid stuff in my life but I can tell you this - it has bugger all effect. Not only that but no matter which version it is they all taste like crap. Americanisation at its worst if you ask me. Give me a cup of tea any day.

2) Mixed Martial Arts - I follow professional wrestling from time to time but I can't for the life of me fathom what the appeal is of two men hugging each other on the floor with the odd rabbit punch being thrown. Well, perhaps I can but I know for a fact that the audiences for this rubbish aren't ALL frustrated women and gay men. At least pro wrestling can be a bit exciting even if it fake whereas MMA is as dull and tedious as amateur wrestling. For me MMA is no better than dog fighting and I look forward to that craze falling by the wayside.

3) Science fiction - I can't really justify my dislike of this on any level other than "it's crap because I say so" but really the appeal of the genre, be it TV, film, books or comics, has always been lost on me. It's just greasy kids stuff trying to pretend that it is intellectual and worthy as far as I'm concerned. No, actually it is just a case of it being crap because I say so!

4) Cannabis - I might like me reggae but I don't care for collie at all. Why people rave so much about not being able to walk properly (the only impact I ever experience) is beyond me and, just like coffee's mythical properties, I found it no more relaxing than building a house of cards in a hurricane with Lizzie from the Football League Show yammering in my ear.

5) The Rolling Stones - Sad old tramps making pedestrian blues rock. Please just lie down. I may have defended listening to old man music above but an exception is made for these useless granddads.

Happy Communist Martyrs Day people!
keresaspa: (Mr. Grainger)
Well, it has been a long time, hasn't it, my dears? Bank holiday onslaught has left me well behind on everything so now the battle must begin anew. I actually hardly noticed the break as I was boozed up on Friday and Monday and I managed to take the sting out of Friday's early closing hours by hanging about the street and drinking the odd lick of a (non-lj using) pal's Goldschlager like a 13 year old. Normally, of course, your Ayatollah avoids the dreaded cinnamon like a plague of locusts but needs must and one had need of being poleaxed. Fortunately Monday was back to normal and I (along with [livejournal.com profile] vulcanlolita) ended up at something akin to a reggae night which provided a humorous diversion. Again, much imbibage (the three amigos of Smithwicks, whiskey and Buckfast doing the work) followed so yesterday was spent nursing a malefaction of a hangover, whilst a long lie-in meant that last night was almost completely sleepless. Upshot is I'm too jiggered today to do anything resembling work so time wasting looks like the order of the day. The fact that Phoenix natural gas are ripping up the road just outside the window here means that work would be a bridge too far no matter what state I was in. Such is life. E-bay messes to be cleared up, with people possibly thinkinh I've abandoned them. Onwards and upwards.

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