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: (Cartman)
Every time I post to this now I seem to begin with a note to excuse my absence due to the paucity of updates. What can I say, less than auspicious days recently. In the meanwhile however a standing engagement in Edinburgh took me across the sea once more and, as ever, I shall betell the events.

Lay on, MacDuff )
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
I am nothing if not a procrastinator and yet I appear to have been rather on the ball this year (well, all ten days of it) when it comes to my holidays. As such I find myself with the annual London and the Twelfth thing already booked, not to mention a run out to Edinburgh towards the end of April. The latter, itself becoming something of an annual tradition (albeit a movable feast), was prompted by the return visit of Shonen Knife and the sudden desire to see them once again. Happily a ticket for said event has already been secured and I can look forward to seeing them - or indeed any live band - for the first time in six years. The way the football is falling may also mean a return to Dunfermline but we'll worry about nearer for the time and instead concentrate on Shonen Knife = yay.

So yeah, that's the lot. I must return to the darts final as I appear to be winning at a canter (well, Scott Waites is but we've already established he is my doppelgänger) and I don't want to miss my triumph.
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 )
keresaspa: (Henrietta emo)
I know how much you all await this so without further ado allow me to present:

Keresaspa's Top 10 Albums of 2014 )
keresaspa: (Türkan Şoray)
Music questions, possibly already answered years ago )
keresaspa: (Albert Gladstone Trotter)
2013, eh? What a year! All this new stuff happened, a bunch of old stuff stopped happening and a load of other stuff continued happening. Crazy! There'll never be another year the same, although every year will probably be a bit like it in that there'll be earthquakes and chaffinches and carbon dioxide and outbreaks of drizzle and quarks and all that other stuff that every year is packed with. You know, fifty years from now if somebody comes up to me and says "remember 2013?" I'll say, well nothing as I'll be in the cold, cold ground by then. Mind you, were my corpse able to talk I'm sure it would say "piss off. What's the meaning of coming to my grave just to ask about indiscriminate years? Bloody nuisance!"

Still, New Year's Eve! Just think, this time a year ago the earth had completed one less transit of the sun but, now as if by magic, it is back in the same arbitrary place in space as it was then, give or take the bit we have to make up with leap years. Momentous isn't the word for it. It's been a whole 2,014 years since somebody started a new calendar based on a miscalculation about the birth of our Jesus so obviously the only answer is to go mad, drink your own bodyweight in alcohol and join hands with strangers in an unusual manner whilst singing a Robert Burns poem whose lyrics you don't quite know. Those who had a bad time in 2013 can look forward to 365 days of unmitigated bliss in the coming year, because as we all know that's how life works, plus we get to make new year's resolutions as January 1 is officially the only day you can decide to stop eating so many biccy-wicks. My resolution is to be the first man to climb Mount Everest. I'm sure I'll manage it before those pesky Norwegians get there first.

So a guid new year to ae and aw. It's been probably the single most important year in history containing the numbers 2, 0, 1 and 3 (in that order) and we'll never ever forget it, barring the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

And now, because I demanded it, I will keep up my annual tradition by recording for posterity the 100 musical artists whose works I listened to most in this twelvemonth. Read it and weep. Though leave the weeping to the end as it will interfere badly with your vision.

Here it is )
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
So, like in the good old days, a meme is doing the rounds and it has fallen on me. Apparently this originates on the wild hinterlands of Facebook but, knowing nothing about such diabolical malevolence, I am indebted to [ profile] caddyman for initiating me into the inner circle of this particular one. Essentially the remit is to talk at some length about a specific band of the choosing of the originator and in may case I have been called upon to discuss the fair Shonen Knife and their opera. Splendid. So without further ado.

Time was the immediate answer to the question "who's your favourite band?" would for me be Jethro Tull, but that all began to change in early 2007 when I made the decision to investigate Shonen Knife. I still love the Tull, of course, but, having really enjoyed a bit of the's that I stumbled upon by accident, I was in the mood for Japanese girl rock and Shonen Knife fitted the bill better than any of their competitors. Others, like Lolita No. 18 and Lulu's Marble, have subsequently come along and vied strongly for my affections but for the depth of canon none of them can touch the Knife.

Although they've always been a three piece there can be no doubt that some animals have been more equal than others and the only permanent member, singer/guitarist/producer/songwriter/occasional keyboardist Naoko Yamano, has bestrode the band like a colossus since their inception and continues to do so to this day. More than anybody it is Naoko, a lady of 49 summers, believe it or not, when I took this picture, who has been responsible for the unmistakable cutesy but still hard garage-flavoured pop-punk sound that has defined the band throughout their career.

That's not to say that there hasn't been changes down the years. Formed by Naoko, her sister Atsuko and their friend Michie Nakatani in 1981, they ignored the anodyne j-pop that was emerging at the time, to instead take their lead from western punk bands. After a very limited release of Minna Tanoshiku in 1982 (a total rarity that I admit to never having heard) their first major indie release, Burning Farm came out the following year. This was part of an early naive period for the band, which was showcased even more strongly on follow-up Yama-no Attchan, where they experimented with some mid-80s styled synthesisers and production techniques, to generally disappointing results.

It would be 1986's Pretty Little Baka Guy where they really started to come into their own, returning to their punky roots but adding in a strong layer of garage rock to finally settle on the sound that would become their stock in trade. 712 followed five years later and, despite opening with a very ill-advised rap, this was where Shonen Knife came of age as the band we now know and love. By this time they had come to be feted by Kurt Cobain and others in the grunge movement, who admired the deceptive simplicity of their songs and the wonderfully silly innocence of their lyrics. A crossover into something approaching the mainstream in the Anglosphere was guaranteed but for once that was to be a good thing.

On the face of it 1993's Let's Knife (the first album I ever heard by the band incidentally) seemed like a bit of a naff cash-in, taking as it did a number of songs from their earlier albums, re-recording them with slicker production and translating the lyrics into something approximating English. Far from it however, as it remains for me their crowning achievement, a wonderful slice of daft enthusiasm that contains seven of their all-time top ten songs. Opening track "Riding on the Rocket" is probably my favourite of all their songs and almost certainly the best opening track to an album in the history of rock music. It didn't quite turn them into the global megastars that it should have but nevertheless it did increase their exposure in the west markedly. It was promptly followed by Rock Animals which kept the quality quotient high (if not being quite in the same league), then Brand New Knife, which, whilst still good, revealed a calmer and more introspective side to the band which, whilst not without its charms, didn't necessarily suit them that well.

Then the rot started to set in. Four decent but rather formulaic albums were churned out at regular intervals before the nadir was reached in 2006 with Genki Shock. It's not that it was terrible it's just that it had all become far too predictable and it looked remarkably like they weren't trying any more. By that point they had been recording in English for thirteen years but the lyrics had got worse and what had once been cute now just seemed like a lack of effort. When I tell you that one of the songs was about the fact that a lot of people wear jeans you know they're phoning it in! It clearly told as follow-up Fun! Fun! Fun! initially was released in Japan only but fortunately it proved a step up, as the band returned to a slightly punkier sound. 2008's Super Group cranked up the punk vibe a little further and was all the better for it, making it their best work since Rock Animals. It was when they were touring this album that I finally got to see the band live in May 2010 in the Scala in King's Cross. I was at the height of my haemochromatosis but still pulled myself out of my sick bed to make the pilgrimage and finally see them in the flesh. A fine time was had by all and I even got to meet Naoko and current drummer Emi Morimoto, although I must admit finally meeting the great woman did overwhelm me a little rendering me unable to say anything of any profundity to the lady. Nevertheless it was a transcendental experience to be in the presence of a goddess, despite my lack of loquacity.

It's something of a shame that their subsequent output has tailed off again somewhat. Free Time was the definition of a curate's egg, with some good ideas generally ruined by the songs being too long and repetitive (the soul of early punk is surely brevity, not length) whilst the double header of Pop Tune and Osaka Ramones suffered because of how indebted they were to the Ramones. The latter was an album of Ramones covers, most of which were played note for note and so ended up sounding like a Japanese woman singing a bunch of karaoke songs whilst it's Pop Tune follow-up mostly sounded like a collection of Ramones rip-offs, barring the track "Psychedelic Life" which, in something of a full circle for yours truly, had a nice bit of flute very reminiscent of Jethro Tull. Perhaps if I rated the Ramones more highly the albums would have appealed to me more (and the covers album was generally received positively despite my reservations) but I've never really cared for them so listening to albums on which they were the sole influence, rather than one of a number of influences, was always going to be a trying experience.

These days you can generally set your watch by Shonen Knife, so I anticipate a new album should appear sometime around mid to late 2014. My hope is that the Ramones stuff will be out of their system and they will return to their own sound which, whilst undoubtedly influenced by the shaggy New Yorkers, had a lot more to it than just that. Naoko will be 53 next month so there is unlikely to be too much more left in the tank but I remain convinced that she has one blinding album left in her. Hell, who knows in late middle age she might go all crazy and come 2018 churn out some strange Yoko Ono/Jarboe/Diamanda Galas effort a million miles away from what we're expecting. Or not. Either way though Shonen Knife still have a great legacy in their wake and I remain committed to description of Naifu as my favourite band.

And if anybody wants this just ask and I'll give you one of your bands.

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: (Stan Ogden)
Bloody rain! Too much rain leads to waterlogged pitches which in turn leads to the football card being wiped out and in turns leads to me kicking my heels trying to fill up a boring Saturday. How the hell did I used to survive this day before I went back to the football? Strictly speaking I might have went anyway as there is one game on due to Seaview having a plastic pitch but Crusaders-Linfield was ruled out because (a) it's too loyalist, (b) I hate both teams and (c) it might well have been all-ticket anyway.

Still, if nothing else it gives me time to clear up two of my annual traditions in one go so read on or hit the road, whichever suits you.

Top 10 albums of the year )

2012 thing )
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
Day 11 )
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
Oh look, it's a return for the snow. All very jolly although not so jolly when you get caught in the blasted stuff whilst walking home wearing a pair of old, hole-filled boots to make said walking more comfortable. Bad.

Still returns seem to be the thing of today and so, after a break last year for the decade list, I am proud (ish) to welcome back Keresaspa's top 10 albums of the year (now with added waffling):

10) Monster Magnet - Mastermind: Monster Magnet stumbled into life again this year and released the same album they usually release. Except that is for "The Titan Who Cried Like a Baby" and "Time Machine", a pair of psychedelic tours de force that made this otherwise slightly ropey album worth the admission fee alone (and, for the eagle-eyed amongst you, caused me to drop Love Psychedelico's OK but unspectacular effort Abbot Kinney from 10th place).

9) Kivimetsän Druidi - Betrayal, Justice, Revenge: I've revisited my old metal days quite a bit this year and even developed a new appreciation of death metal, a genre I was always lukewarm towards. However folk metal has been floating my boat in a big way too and these (inevitably) Finnish funsters served a nice piping hot bowl of the stuff here whilst also roping in welcome symphonic metal elements and a top quality singer in Leeni-Maria Hovila. They're not quite as good as Korpiklaani or Turisas but they're still great stuff.

8) The Pretty Reckless - Light Me Up: Of course this band would not be making music were it not for the presence of Taylor Momsen, a young lady whom I'm reliably informed is very famous for something or other. Still the album that such a melange produced was actually a good piece of hard rocking stuff, bolstered by a surprisingly good vocal turn from the aforementioned Ms. Momsen. About as original as American Dad but still a slice of fairly superficial fun.

7) Stereopony - Over the Border: They're Japanese, they have a female singer and they have a largely pop-punk sound. Amazing that I would be interested in them, isn't it?! Still it's a debut album and credit must be given to these three young ladies on a good start. Like a rockier version of Puffy AmiYumi they provide perfectly delightful gibberish in handy three and half minute packages.

6) Ke$ha - Animal: A rare example of my good self getting caught up in hype in a year when it actually happened twice (the other being Nicki Minaj although to be fair her album proved to be rather terrible really). Throwaway, brain-dead trash of the worst kind it was but for some reason I rather enjoyed this slice of sickly, gooey muck. Yes, I know.

5) Marina & The Diamonds - The Family Jewels: There was a time I might have baulked at such popular music but that would be my loss as this piece of poppy indie beauty would have been lost on me. A fine voice has young Marina and her songs are just on the right side of cerebral in the popular stakes. A shame that she didn't seem to take off as much as she might have hoped but she won me over which is the main thing. Or not as the case might be.

4) Shakalabbits - Phasemeter Trippin' Bug Shake: Japanese female vocals over mid-tempo garage-influenced punk rock is always a winner so it is a case of nice work by Shakalabbits. At times they almost sound like a more second wave ska-influenced version of Lolita No. 18, which is high praise indeed, even if covering a classic like "Pressure Drop" is not advised. In all a high class offering after 11 years of rocking.

3) Tarja Turunen - What Lies Beneath: It didn't match the heights of My Winter Storm but there again what did? The former Miss Nightwish has a voice I adore and those pipes were in full force here. Virtually straight opera in parts, although mostly still in the grand symphonic metal traditions, I love this crazy broad and everything she does and this was a welcome return from Finland's finest.

2) Shonen Knife - Super Group: Apparently it has been out in Asia for a few years but it only came out here this year and even then proved a bugger to get hold of. It was worth the trek though as it was a real return to form by my ladies and I especially enjoyed their wacky cover of "Jet" by WIngs, an otherwise rotten song that they definitely made their own. The fact that my copy is signed and drawn on by the girls themselves just makes me love it more of course.

1) Tsushimamire - Sex on the Beach: At the risk of repeating an already well-worn formula this is not up to the standard of Pregnant Fantasy but then again what is? Still, it's a bloody belter anyway with the lassies still churning out the eclectic hard rockers at an incomparable rate. "Momo Daro" stands out as a classic in the crazy sing-along chorus traditions of "Tea Time Ska" whilst the cutesy Engrish lyrics and heavier than thou guitars of "Nezumi Sensation" add it to the canon as well. In truth though I couldn't name a weak song on this album and these three never really put a foot wrong. Top of the world, ma.
keresaspa: (Tinker's rucksack)
I've been watching the whole Peter Mandelson debacle (a tautology if ever there was one) from a distance, mostly at a level of no more than casual interest. I haven't actually read any of the extracts for the two reasons that I have no desire to line Rupert Murdoch's pockets by wasting bad money on a Tory snoozefest like The Times and that if I wanted to read fantasy I would reach for my Lewis Carroll but nevertheless I have watched the non-drama unfold with the sort of resigned contempt that only the good Lord Mandelson can inspire. I am sure there are people somewhere who actually admire this repulsive creature, no doubt "self-made men" like Siralan, Duncan Bannatyne and the other pieces of human effluence that clung to the New Labour juggernaut. For them, I would imagine, Mandy is the very definition of grand ambition and as such surely a role model for those "entrepreneurs" (read overpaid parasites) who would have admired Niccolò Machiavelli were he not so darned nice. For the rest of us however Mandelson is a hideous embodiment of all that was wrong with the bourgeois liberal-conservatism that made New Labour so distasteful, a paradox to physics in that he represents both spin and inertia at the same time. Of course in his own mind he is the king of all he surveys but to everybody outside of Hartlepool (and let's face it they vote for a man dressed up as a monkey so it's little surprise that they voted for the ultimate monkey in Petey boy) he is a repressed bad memory and one people are glad not to revisit. As such his latest pronouncement that his crappy little book will help Labour carries the hallmarks of ridiculousness so typical of the man. I may be misjudging the reading habits of the Labour Party electorate but I have a sneaking suspicion that the vast majority of them will never even glance at a copy of The Third Man much less read the thing. To presume that it will give a huge boost, or even a killer blow, to Labour's prospects is so ludicrous that it could only have come from the mind of Peter Mandelson, the sort of man who probably believes that birds only sing because he wills them to. When you actually find yourself starting to agree with a hypocritical old bastard like Lord Kinnock about an issue then you know something must be wrong!

Elsewhere I see that the City of Culture circus has stopped off in Derry. Interesting choice there. I've been wracking my brains trying to think of what contributions Derry has made to culture down the years and the only two I can think of are the piss-poor Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Undertones. It goes without saying that John Peel has earned respect, be it for helping to break Shonen Knife in the UK or for championing spiffing music as varied as Medicine Head, The Incredible String Band, the Angelic Upstarts and Camera Obscura, but with the clichéd power-pop powdered-poop of the Undertones he really had a blind side. The less said about Feargal Sharkey's just bloody awful solo oeuvre the better methinks. I'm sure Derry will also claim Seamus Heaney at some point but I reckon every part of Northern Ireland claims him and I also reckon him to be pretty rubbish too. Those with designs on being accepted into the ranks of the middle classes in this dump must feign a fondness for him but I doubt there is anybody that really truly rates a hack like Heaney. No doubt Eamonn McCann will be wheeled out every fart's end but, whilst I respect McCann as a man of principle, his only good writing has been his journalism and it's a hell of stretch to suggest journalism is culture and, for all his good points, he is certainly no Hunter S. Thompson. Good luck to them, of course, as people from Derry already have enough problems thanks to living in Derry (in fact I've only been there once but that was more than enough to visit a place that seems to exist only for rioting) but really they must be scraping the bottom of the barrel with this award. And in case Gerry Anderson (or any other irate Derryman) passes here and feels aggrieved at my criticism bear in mind that had my hometown of Belfast been given the award I would be writing largely the same things as Northern Ireland as a whole is more or less a cultural wasteland. Still, why does the river Foyle run through Derry? Because it would get mugged if it walked through. I'll get me coat!
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 [ 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: (Karl Marx laughing)
Well my annual London pilgrimage has come to an end and I'm still feeling a tad worn-out. However between seeing one of my favourite bands, visiting the resting place of my leader, catching up with some good friends and adding to the collections it was well worth the effort. Permit me to elaborate.

The third way )

On hiatus

May. 23rd, 2010 09:40 pm
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
So, that just about wraps things up here for the next week. This time tomorrow I should be enjoying Fruit Loop Dreams, with side orders of Strawberry Cream Puff, Brown Mushrooms and Fish Eyes. Jolly good stuff, I'm sure you'll agree. I'll pause for a final prayer that Iceland can hold its wrath in check until I reach Heathrow then say farewell until I return. TTFN.
keresaspa: (Default)
Well, these coming two weeks will be quite busy for yours truly. A midweek jaunt to Dublin is scheduled for next week whilst the following week I shall be doing my annual London spell, assuming that the angry dwarves that live under the mountains of Iceland have stopped their smelting by then. Originally intended to be a basic five night stay (which obviously it still will be) serendipity has conspired to ensure that on the first night I should be busy seeing Shonen Knife live in concert. Jolly good or what! Ordinarily, of course, this would have happened later in the year but a World Cup ensures plans have to be altered, as well as some nuisance medical stuff in July.

Still enough about me. I notice that today is the second National Famine Commemoration Day on this island. I'm not going to get bogged down in angry talk about genocide but rather just wanted to mention this in passing as the TV seems to have all but ignored it. Besides, it is to the constant shame of this revolting, unequal world that this sort of thing still goes on to this day even though Britain alone still manages to chuck away nearly 7 million tonnes of food per year.

Meanwhile, yesterday was FA Cup final day and, for those who have been on a weekend trip to Mars, Chelsea won inevitably. Overall it wasn't too bad a spectacle for a 1-0, even if it will be remembered most of all for the general cackiness of the penalty takers as anything else. Obviously a Portsmouth win would have been preferable but a double for Chelsea just might knock the smiles off a few faces at Old Trafford so fair enough. Oh, and of course well done to Oxford on an overdue return to the Football League. Amazing to think it is only 21 years since Chelsea and Oxford met in the old Second Division, but no matter as I told you your lot would do it [ profile] fluffmitten.
keresaspa: (Shonen Knife)
I has Shonen Knife ticket!!!!

That is all.
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: (Default)

July 2017

1617 1819202122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 05:49 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios