Friday, November 27, 2009

Woking Class

Out in the pastures we call society
You can't see further than the bottom of your glass

Here's a band you might know x

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ping Pong

It's alright 'cos the historical pattern has shown
How the economical cycle tends to revolve
In a round of decades, three stages stand out in a loop
A slump and war then peel back to square one and back for more
Bigger slump and bigger wars and a smaller recovery
Huger slump and greater wars and a shallower recovery
You see the recovery always comes 'round again
There's nothing to worry for, things will look after themselves
It's alright, recovery always comes 'round again
There's nothing to worry for if things can only get better
There's only millions that lose their jobs and homes and sometimes accents
There's only millions that die in their bloody wars, it's alright
It's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin that they are losing
It's only their lives and the lives of their next of kin that they are losing
Don't worry, shut up, sit down, go with it and be happy.

Stereolab - 'Ping Pong' (1994)

Monday, November 23, 2009

King Me

As if I needed another PC-based distraction, I seem to have developed an addiction to internet checkers (or draughts, as we used to call them).

I'm playing it late at night and early in the morning, with a cup of tea at lunchtime and whenever I should be doing something 'important' but am bored.

It's not as if I've played the physical version obsessively over the years - there's been the occasional sortie on holiday with the girls or Mrs H, and my grandad used to visit slaughter upon me with it when I was a kid (lawdy didn't that generation know their board games, their cards, their billiards?). But this infernal computery versh has got me hooked.

It's taught me a few things about myself, mind you, viz -

- I can't think very far ahead (hence rubbish at chess)
- I'm impatient when things aren't moving quickly - so act in haste and make mistakes
- I'm not very good at taking risks
- I play defensively
- I can play well when the chips are down

I've tried to work on all this, and have started to win more.

Yesterday I finished a game with a satisfying flourish by taking the last three of my opponent's pieces on the board (all kings) in a single move.

Because I bided my time.

It all reminds me of those lessons the Master used to give Grasshopper in Kung Fu.

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - 'Everybody's Jumpin' (1959)

If you're running one of the older versions of Windows, the pesky game is lurking in your Start menu right now waiting to lure you - be warned!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yeah Baby

Our occasional series of extended disco classics builds into a magnificent collection your whole family will enjoy.

This week - a solid gold classic in rarely-heard twelve inch form.

From that stash of vinyl we've been discussing.

It's big and it's bassy and the breakdown's to die for.

Jocelyn Brown - 'Somebody Else's Guy' (12") (1984)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

In Their Tender Grasp

When one of the Dads at the girlies' school told me he was moving house and planned to chuck all his vinyl out (!) I was round there like a shot for a rummage; he'd very sportingly granted me first refusal on the 'stock' before he hefted it up to the charity shop.

He's a bit of a disco bunny, as it turns out - so I picked up some late Marvin and an Imagination LP (*sings* - "Music and lights! I'll sing and dance with you all night!") a couple of nice twelve inches I'm sure will crop up here some Friday or other and - a tad anomalously given the general spangled thrust of his collection - this.

Which he was kind enough to let me have for nothing, even though I said I thought it'd fetch a few quid 'out there' (I was right - crazy prices for even the CD!).

We popped it on chez H last night and oh, what loveliness we found it to contain.

Sorry, poor work-rate I know, but I'm only part-way through computerising it I'm afraid; still, I wanted to share a little of it with you.

This old music is lighting up my dark, dark November, and perhaps it will yours, too.

The Lotus Eaters - 'German Girl' (1984)

The Lotus Eaters - 'Out On Your Own' (1984)

Monday, November 16, 2009


*sigh* Evidently I have been 'tagged' by the Drewster.

I don't usually approve of this sort of thing, but he's a companero and it would seem churlish not to comply.

The rules of the game are

1 To post a song that makes you happy
2 To tag as many people as you want
3 To say one thing about the blog(s) that you tag that will make them smile.

I tag Mick because it was his birthday yesterday, I like him 'Simpsonized' and this might encourage him to post twice in the same month.

The world's a brighter place in my beautiful balloon.

The 5th Dimension - 'Up, Up And Away' (1967)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wo Wo Wo, It's Magic

Shoot me down in flames but I most wickedly and indulgently took a lunchtime-afternoon off on Monday to meet my old funk-buddy Wayne 'up West' for pints and a pub tuna-melt & chips.

There was much quaffing and blethering on about nonsense.

At one point Wayne asked me if I'd heard a certain song by Bobby Womack, and when I said I hadn't, he played it for me down his iPod. We agreed it was a smoker, the acoustic guitar (Bobby's) high up in the mix a special delight, and I said 'I've gotta find that, it'd make a tip-top Friday post'.

Just an hour or so later as we flicked through the racks at Revival Records in Berwick St, looking for nothing in particular, we found a 'near mint' copy of the original album with the song on for just £2.


The great and beneficent gods of vinyl be praised, it was another of those moments when you know they are smiling down upon you.

How could I not buy it? It had been waiting there for me. And it turns out to have lots of lovely things on it, mostly ballads, with Mister Mack in fine vocal form.

So I get to post what I wanted...

Bobby Womack - 'When The Weekend Comes' (1986)

and a bonus for your late nites too...

Bobby Womack - 'I Can't Stay Mad' (1986)

Both songs - Bobby Womack/Harold Payne.

Yeah baby and Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Winter Garden

If you came to my garden right now you'd see a shambolic layer of soggy, fallen leaves on what passes for the lawn and a couple of old bicycles rusting in the rain.

Minnie's sounds better.

Minnie Riperton - 'Come To My Garden' (1970)

[Stepney if you've heard this one before]

Friday, November 06, 2009

Back To Bass Licks

Our occasional series of extended disco classics builds into a magnificent collection your whole family will enjoy.

This week, the extraordinary bass playing of Mr Bernard Edwards (R.I.P).

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing, hot damn.

Chic - 'Everybody Dance' (12") (1977)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Goodbye To All That

- hotdogs & soup, wrapping up in scarves and gloves, standing by the bonfire with my friends, going 'Oooh!' and 'Aaah!' and writing my name with sparklers in the air.

Don't miss - teenage boys chucking bangers in the streets frightening cats, old ladies, little kids and me; horrible injuries caused by fireworks in the hands of the incompetent, small or malicious; the roots of the festival in the worst kind of anti-Catholicism and the nasty prejudices it perpetuated.

XTC - 'Sacrificial Bonfire' (1986)

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Synth You Mention It

I did love their doomy, glacial stuff.

Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - 'Almost' (1980)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bonjour Finesse

I am grateful to my good friend Dr Al for bringing these ladies to my attention on a mix CD he pressed upon me in early summer; I rather like this, and it will surely serve us well as a Monday (and new month) heartstarter.

Au Revoir Simone - 'Shadows' (2009)