Thursday, 30 October 2014
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
Whatever - the important thing here is that this flimsy #37 pretext gives me the ideal opportunity to share some guilty pleasures from my pop past. And let's face it, we all loved cheesy chart music at some point in our journey from there to here, right? Anyone who protests that they went straight from nursery rhymes to Einstürzende Neubauten is having a laugh, basically.
To kick things off here's a song that was #37 on this week in 1983 - in what turned out to be its one and only week in the top 40; Level 42's Micro Kid, in which the titular character invents the internet or something, probably.
It's easy to bemoan the fact that technology is the preserve of the young and that us old 'uns have a hard time keeping up with every new development. But I can safely say that, as a kid at the time of this song's release, I was as clueless about all things computer-related as I am now. No Microkid, in other words!
Full disclosure: although this isn't their greatest song, I was - and remain - a Level 42 fan, slapped bass and all. Something About You, Lessons In Love and The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) are great pop songs. Mark King was on Pointless Celebrities a while back, and seemed like a lovely, humble bloke (in contrast to some of the other celebrities who've appeared on that show) so good luck to him. They're still touring in 2014, too (Level 42, rather than the pointless celebrities).
Monday, 27 October 2014
Saturday, 25 October 2014
a) Spanish football coach Enrique Tikkitavi, who developed a style of play pioneered by Barcelona and the Spanish national team characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, maintaining possession and boring your opponents into submission.
b) The punjabi word for "hopscotch". Donovan and his guru the Maharishi Yogi would relax with some hard-fought games of rikki tikki tavi between bouts of Transcendental Meditation and ping-pong at the singer's mountain retreat in north Wales.
c) A short story by Rudyard Kipling in The Jungle Book about a snake-murdering mongoose.
Stand your computer on its head for the correct answer. Or have a listen to this.
Thursday, 23 October 2014
This video was clearly filmed on a lovely sunny day in Blighty, and features various frolicking dogs and some baffled children clearly too young to have the faintest idea who this strange miming man is. At least he wasn't wearing a leather glove and trying to help them cross the road I s'pose.
*Casey Kasem eat your heart out.
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact Alvin's real name wasn't Shane Fenton, as many believe, but Bernard William Jewry. Take that, Peppy Castro!
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Ah well, there's always the digitally remastered 35th Anniversary edition of One Step Beyond to sustain me - complete with two songs that have never been released before and a bonus Fab Toones CD of recently unearthed 1979 rehearsal footage. If you click on this link and enter your email address in the box within you'll receive two free songs that didn't fit on the Fab Toones CD, too. Can't be bad.
While you wait for the album to turn up, here's some classical music to tide you over.
Monday, 20 October 2014
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Friday, 17 October 2014
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: Balance were fronted by one Peppy Castro. If that's not the best name in rock, it's got to be in the top three.
Thursday, 16 October 2014
The standout track for me on first listen is The Crawler, which chronicles the joys and sorrows of using a community swimming pool - the titular character being a selfish git who spoils the harmony and orderliness of the twenty regular swimmers by jumping in the middle lane, flailing his arms about - literally and metaphorically making waves - and generally ruining the experience for everyone else. In the end his exasperated co-swimmers encircle him, hold his face under the water and "wait for the waves to slow down". How could you not love a song like this?
It took a little while to find anywhere that was selling the album, but in the end iTunes came up trumps and I downloaded it from there. Best £7.99 I've spent all month.