Monday, 31 August 2009

You swear it well

One of the great things about watching Countdown (and there are many) is when, on the occasional occasion, a rude word (or the possibility thereof) comes up. One such instance of this occured on the show last week, when both contestants (and me - aren't I clever?!) managed to come up with the eight-letter word BASTARDS during one of the letters games. (BREASTS would also have been there for a seven, funnily enough, if you'd have used the ninth of the letters in this round, which was an E.)

The thing that made me laugh about these bastards though (aside from the obvious), was the fact that, obviously wary of broadcasting an expletive at 3.45 in the afternoon, the producers bleeped it out when the contestant said the word bastards; they even put a little "CENSORED" animation over his mouth as he said it, so you wouldn't have been able to lip-read what he was saying. They didn't spell it out on the board afterwards either. Basically, unless you came up with the word too you'd have been none the wiser as to what exactly this eight-letter word could have been (although I dare say you could have worked it out for yourself soon enough - if you could remember what the letters had been).

But anyway, surely "bastards" isn't even that strong an expletive to be broadcasting on a daytime quiz show in the first place - especially one largely based on the bastard dictionary - is it?

I know that whoever's responsible for these things has been altering the title of the latest Quentin Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds to merely Inglorious during the recent advertising campaign promoting said film on TV, but as far as I'm concerned that one deserves censoring on the grounds of its awful syntax and spelling alone, rather than any concerns about it being an offensive word in its own right; the Countdown example is a different kettle of consonants and vowels* entirely.

But hey, enough o' my yakking. Whaddaya say? Let's boogie!

Ian Dury & The Blockheads - There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards mp3

*Put the kettle of consonants and vowels on, mother! I fancy a nice T!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Sky Definition

Walking through one of those increasingly prevalent indoor shopping centres a few afternoons ago (I was on an errand of mercy to seek out some Pick 'n' Mix) I espied one of those stands companies set up in these places to try and get people to sign up for their wares. In this case it was Sky TV who, as you'll doubtless be aware if you live in the UK, have been pulling out all the stops in order to flog their latest emperor's new clothes-style subscription option, High Definition TV (which costs an extra tenner per month on top of a normal Sky sub, plus an initial £49 for the HD box, which may possibly explain why they're so keen on everybody having it).

Anyway, in order to show us SD (Standard Definition) luddites exactly what we've been missing by not "upgrading" to Sky HD, Sky set up a couple of biggish High Def TV screens on their stand in the aforementioned shopping centre (I refuse to use the word "mall"... doh!). And I have to say I was mightily impressed with the crystal clear picture quality you get in High Definition... or at least I might have been had their two operatives not chosen to leave the TVs switched on to the History Channel, which at the time was showing the grainiest black & white footage imaginable of some old World War II battle! How I laughed.

Sky's other big selling point, of course, is football; and with another season upon us they've wheeled out one of their old advertising slogans in order to promote their coverage. So basically, any time you look at a billboard, newspaper or TV advert at the moment there's a fair chance you'll be greeted by the following legend:

"Sky: Football. We know how you feel about it because we feel the same"

Yes, yes, very pithy I'm sure. I can't help feeling, though, that a more honest statement would have had the following wording:

"Sky. Football. We know how you feel about it because we feel the same about taking your money"

Just a thought.

Tribeca - The Sun Always Shines On TV mp3

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Les Paul 1915-2009

Captain America (Eugenius) - God Bless Les Paul mp3

Perfect pop

A spot of sparkling new indiepop for you today, courtesy of London-based four-piece Perfect People. I can't get enough of this at the moment.

Perfect People - They Don't Make 'Em Like You Anymore mp3

If you like what you hear (and why wouldn't you, frankly?), check out Perfect People's MySpace page for more music, tour dates and the chance to sign up for a free EP. Smashing.

Also, before I go, and with just 48 hours to go before the new English Premier League season kicks off, now might be a good time to remind you about our fantasy football league for 2009/10, the Group of Death (now in its fourth - or possibly fifth - great year!). 26 people have signed up so far; care to make it 27?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Sally Shapiro's Guilty Pleasure

If Swedish twee synth-pop is your bag (daddio) then the forthcoming album from Sally Shapiro could be just what you're looking for. My Guilty Pleasure comes out on August 25th in all the usual formats (plus a strictly limited 20-copy cassette release!) and features eleven tracks including new single Love In July, which is accompanied by this rather sweet promo video, gripping narrative and all:

Ahh, I love a happy ending.

Sally Shapiro - Love In July mp3

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Search Us VII

It's that time again. Just in case you're new to this blog, these Search Us posts are basically a semi-regular round-up of all - or at least some - of the more witless and/or entertaining Google searches that have found their way to this blog, together with some smartarse rejoinders from yours truly in brackets afterwards. It's one of our more popular features - which basically means that about three people like it. All clear? Righto. Eyes down, everyone!

Katie Derham smoking (Quick! Someone put her out!)

What happened to Pontinental? (It got sectioned under the Pontinental Health Act)

stop buying your albums (Allright, but only if you'll buy my albums for me)

Wincey Willis football fan (No, weatherman!)

Wincey Willis 1989 Bank Holiday (I wonder why they scrapped that one?)

Whitstable bird custard (This may well be the best euphemism I've ever heard for seagull shit, even though the searcher here would actually have been looking for this article.)

apple pie background info (it's a pie, it has apples in it, it's got a brother called pork, it has a pathological dislike of mangoes...)

Remember this Flying Pickets text (The one that went "OMG we r wel @#1 in da chartz wiv Only U even tho its 1983 and txtin aint bin invntd yet and wont b 4 abt anuva 15 yrs WTF?!? LOLZ")

dipping rude boys (That'll learn 'em!)

did apple pie come from sweden (The one with the Swedish accent did)

how did apple pie come to the u.s. (It chartered a plane at Stockholm)

eat too much apple (Or you'll what?)

Why don't you add water to apple pie? (I just don't feel like it right now. Now get off my back.)

Kippers laces sing together (As do the voices in my head)

nude woman pies herself (Well, you know what it's like when you're busting for a pie)

Where is Wincey Willis? (at home sulking about the loss of her Bank Holiday, I shouldn't wonder)

I don't like pie that much (thanks for sharing)

bugger me gently Lizzie Birdsworth (Are you trying to get her put away again?)

Katie Derham smokes (so I've heard)

have got a sing a song for to day (Nutjob!)

is wincey willis dead (No, but her public holiday's a goner)

Kippers Netherlands buy fish (What, now?! Can't I buy some at Morrison's instead? It's only round the corner)

tell me a little background on a singer named polly brown (ask me nicely and I'll think about it)

How much apple is too much in one day (a plethora)

kiss girl at bikerkissing (Umm...)

pie haiku (I really like pies / They're tasty and filling too / Although quite fatty)

Frente! - Somethin' Stupid mp3

Monday, 3 August 2009

Three of a Kind #94

Hello you! My, I've really let this place go to pot lately, eh? That's easily enough fixed, though. Let's ease our way back in to the swing of things again with a bit of a light salad, shall we? Why not!

Listen out for the following rhyming couplet in first track Kent, by the way:

Why don't you live in a house in Kent / Spend all your money in Brent

I can't make up my mind if that's one of the worst lines in pop history, or one of the best. Definitely memorable either way.

Salad - Kent mp3

Salad - Diminished Clothes mp3

Salad - On A Leash mp3

Those were the first three singles in the career of what a churl might describe as the Britpop also-rans Salad. I always like them, though, and much preferred them to a lot of the more prominent bands on the scene. Drink The Elixir was my absolute favourite track of theirs, but I've only got that on vinyl and can't really be arsed to upload it just now. Well worth seeking out though if you've not heard it.