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: (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 )

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 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: (Piggy Banks)
Holy one track batcomputer mind, Batman Jerry Robinson, the creator of Robin, has died I suppose the period at which one approaches Batman determines one's attitudes towards Robin but the run of comics that got me into the Caped Crusader was Detective Comics from just after "Blind Justice" to around the introduction of Tim Drake when Norm Breyfogle was doing the art and Denny O'Neill editing. As such I much preferred Batman as the borderline psychotic lone wolf whose ultra-violent response to crime was increasingly being treated as morally ambiguous, rather than the homoerotic bonhomie of the Dynamic Duo. Equally Robinson's other big creation, the Joker, never really appealed to me either. I know he is seen as Batman's seminal nemesis but for me Joker stories were a chore to wade through rather than a treat, a mere interlude between appearances by the Penguin or my lesser spotted villain of choice the Killer Croc. No for me Robinson's legacy is his role in the creation of Two Face, a ludicrous villain who eventually developed into probably the best as his mind being unbalanced by violent circumstances mirrored Batman so much and added depth far beyond the usual big crime plot-Bats finds out-kapow and zowie plots. Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns has always been overrated for me as I feel that the lack of comeuppance for the Mutant gang along with their co-option by the elderly Batman as his stooges pushed the moral ambiguities too far towards Batman himself being just a wrong un. However that criticism does not apply to the sub-plot involving Harvey Dent's plastic surgery which is a wonderful example of the complex Batman-Two Face relationship. Without Jerry Robinson we would not have had all that so ten bells for the man.

And just to show there is nothing to this cultural criticism lark (no really that's what all that old crap you just read was supposed to be) and given that it is December I will resurrect:

Keresaspa's Top 10 Albums of the Year )
keresaspa: (Mrs Mack)
As George Spicer didn't sing but should have "it's jolly good luck to Avram Grant, luck to the Portsmouth FC". I actually had a feeling in my water that that old rent-a-geezer Harry Redknapp was going to lead his gittish Tottenham side to the FA Cup this year but big congratulations to the bold Pompey on their win yesterday. OK, both their goals were a bit dicey and Spurs should have had a penalty but after a season in which they have been whipped lick a government mule Portsmouth were due a bit of luck and Redknapp's smugness has been insufferable this season. If there's any justice Portsmouth, a club I respect for the good grace of their supporters in joining in the celebrations during Bryan Robson's finest hour*, will go on and win the Cup but I fear that might not be the case as pretty much every final since 1995 has went to form and I reckon Chelsea will be doing the double this season anyway. Still, that's for a few weeks time and in the here and now it's well done Pompey and I hope you win.

Elsewhere, and despite my little tantrum about the election the other day, I see that the new manifesto for the Communist Party has been launched. Looks a winner full of sensible ideas (if a bit short on actual communism) but one that will no doubt be ignored by the lumpenproletariat in favour of a straight choice between the three posh boys and their bourgeois ideas. A pity too that the Commies are only standing in a handful of seats but I suppose if you can't win why be in. Not a lot to say on it overall, I just wanted to throw it out there as I doubt it will get much attention anywhere else and some weirdo might pass this way and be convinced to vote by my unpersuasive lack of argument.

Still, back to the shit tomorrow as Millie Jackson would so eloquently say as I'm due another blood-draining for the old haemochromatosis. Interesting that as I type should decide that I need to hear the Distillers doing "Drain the Blood", indicating that not only is Brode Dalle a very pretty face but that she is also able to foretell the future in song and as such should be burnt as a witch forthwith. Now if you'll excuse me I do believe that today's sunshine has scrambled my brain a bit so I'll leave you all to whatever it is you do. Bye-ee.

* Which had nothing to do with Southampton going down in Albion's stead. No honestly!
I'm sure were you to ask Jean Broke-Smith she would tell you that it is the sign of a true lady that she takes one shoe off when being photographed making a fudgie.
Which, of course, she is. No, don't be unkind, you at the back!
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: (Wil Cwac Cwac)
So, Christmas then. Too much food, as always, combined with a surfeit of absolutely abysmal television1, a bit of a cold and the unwarranted intervention of a Sunday into the proceedings2 has left me feeling more than a tad sluggish. A run out to Sainsburys yesterday to break the monotony did not help due to the rain and my footwear letting in water (as per usual). Still some nice presents to soften the blows, involving books of the Broons and Wil Cwac Cwac3 and music from the Lunachicks and the wonderfully named Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her courtesy of [ profile] queenmartina. A trip to what used to be the January sales may be in order tomorrow, assuming this bout of the dreadfuls doesn't lay me low, so as I can waste some money on a pile of tat I don't need. You can't beat the sales and their once in a lifetime chance to own stuff the shop doesn't want any more!

1. It says it all about the quality of television over the Christmas holidays when the best show on TV was a Morecambe and Wise special from nearly 40 bloody years ago. Far too many soaps, crap films and overhyped trout like Doctor Who and that Gavin & Stacey shite for my liking.

2. I mean fancy sneaking in a Sunday right after Saturday like that - talk about a dirty trick.

3. Well if you can't be a big child at this time of year and enjoy the antics of huge Scottish families and anthropomorphic Welsh ducks then when can you?!
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
You know what's going to be great? Watching the rest of Euro 2008 without everything being related to how it affects Cristiano Ronaldo. For officially the best player in the world ever, ever, ever, forever and ever he sure had a mediocre tournament. What will Clive Tyldesley do now, poor thing?

Anyroad, enough about that. It’s the return of that meme - ask nicely, you'll get a letter, find 5 songs you love beginning with that letter. [ profile] clytemenstra gave me 'R', so here are my five rather good songs of that letter:

Shonen Knife - "Riding on the Rocket" When it comes to zany, kawaii antics of middle-aged Japanese women who really should know better nobody does it quite like the Knife. A barnstorming, punk-infused stomp that kicks off their finest hour Let's Knife in fine fettle. Uka boo, uka boo!

Tomorrow - "Revolution" OK, so it was a bit of a hippy cliché to have a song called 'Revolution' but the psychedelic tour de force delivered by the criminally underrated outfit that brought us Keith West and Steve Howe remains a real classic.

Aphrodite's Child - "Rain and Tears" Still one of the tops after all these years as Demis nearly busts a gizzard with the vocal gymnastics.

Bikini Kill - "Rebel Girl" Nobody can do the tortured brat vocals quite like Kathleen Hanna as demonstrated on this belter. Sums up everything that was so wrong but nonetheless so right about Bikini Kill.

The Dubliners - "Rising of the Moon" If tobacco and whiskey ever came together to take on human form then it's a fair bet that it would be something like these lads. With voices so gravelly you could tarmac a road with them, the bais do a belting rendition of the old Fenian classic.
keresaspa: (Rasputin)
Hangover-a-mundo! Actually I'm surprisingly jake, considering the hard stuff I sloshed last night with [ profile] vulcanlolita. Added to this was an oddly sleepless night that followed punctuated by a couple of bouts of my recurring tooth loss dream, which has now replaced the car driving dream as my number one annoyance. I sat up a while after I got in listening to Caravan and Bikini Kill (eclectic or just a tosser? I'm going for the latter meself) as I wanted to be in a bit of state for when I saw the honcho today in order to give him a piece of my mind. Luckily I checked the e-mails before going round as it turned out he had a sick baby alert. I would have seemed like a right insensitive clod going in all guns blazing after that. In the end the form filling in thing was pretty painless although I found talking and thinking a bit of chore with a booze-addled head and an ashtray mouth. Ah well, at least it's done. So now it's off to the off-license then Sainsburys to pick up a bottle of Buckfast and 100 tabs. Thus the cycle goes on. Toodle pip.


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