Thursday, 30 April 2009

Search Us VI

Former TV-Am cook Rustie Lee; swine flu; Terry Christian; gurkhas being allowed to settle in the UK; Gary Wilmot's Copy Cats; the video for Debbie Gibson's Only In My Dreams; Tory Shadow Cabinet member Andrew Lansley arriving an hour late for this week's recording of Question Time; Colleen Nolan's Discoburn DVD; the actor Finetime Fontayne; erstwhile Blackburn Rovers winger Stuart Ripley. These are just some of the things that we've never received a single search for on this blog (but probably will now).

Here, conversely, are some things that we most definitely have received searches for (along with my usual helpful responses). All in the past three months in fact!

how much of an apple pie is water? (98.4%)

pie cricket the game (it's got me stumped)

what does it mean when you pie too much (oh you can never pie too much)

apple pie interesting (Google search stupid)

catchy pie throwing contest phrases (Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a pastry-based projectile flinging competition)

is apple pie bad for you? (dunno)

apple pie is bad for you (hang on - yes! Yes it is!)

I had too much apple pie (oh you're for it now!)

what happened to geno washington? (he done a tour)

spike and mike I'm a banana (thanks for letting us know)

sold my body (don't you miss it?)

smiths offer toblerone newspaper (it's crazy but it might just work!)

when wincey willis died (I think you'll find it's actually spelt d-y-e-d)

dorby nordby age (what a time to be alive!)

nudes in posing pouches (aren't actually nude, dimbo)

ungracious barstards (it's a fair cop)

I got fresh kippers on sunday 2 days ago will they be OK (only if you left them on the radiator)

what happens to the apple pie in the apple pie factory? (bad things)

pie killing 1970s
death from apple pie (oh the humanity!)

words associated with classic apple pies (Hmm...let's have a think: classic, apple and pies)

apple pie,water (peach flan,milk)

too much apple pie what does it mean? (what doesn't it mean?)

new internet site that is sweeping the nation (really, you're far too kind)

how much are pies (12p)

bull terrier apple pie (no, what you've got there is a bull terrier pie. And a prosecution from the R.S.P.C.A.)

I want to buy the Try To Think Less EP (Good luck!)

due to contractual reasons we are unable to offer the interactive scorecard service for the west indies test series (not you as well!)

gail trimbles tits (I'll see your tits and raise you a gail trimble nude)

gail trimble wears glasses (indeed she does)

gail trimble dull (she speaks very highly of you)

corpus christi trimble download (we had a few days when 'Gail Trimble' was our most searched-for subject, after she almost single-handedly won University Challenge for her college - who were later disqualified on a technicality - and become an overnight celebrity. The above are just a small selection of the Trimble searches we received at the time. I don't think we've had so much as a single search for her since that week, though.)

looping and whooping dance

to put somebody on the sleigh

(I couldn't think of any smartarse rejoinders for those two but they made me laugh so they're in)

common people song pull young (you can get arrested for that you know)

bargain hunt demographic (housewives, the elderly, the infirm and the shiftless. I never miss it.)

think fast father ted record dj plays (this one)

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Three of a Kind #85

Hands up everyone who remembers Astrid (the band, rather than the solo singer Williamson)? They were dead good, anyway - a sort of turn-of-the-millennium, similarly Scottish, junior version of Teenage Fanclub. Singer Willie Campbell went on to perform with the Reindeer Section and The Just Joans; Gareth Russell now plays bass with Idlewild; while drummer Neil Payne is currently in Texas (the radio-friendly pop-rock band rather than the vast U.S. state).

Astrid released three studio albums but, true to form, I lost track of them after the first, 1999's Strange Weather Lately. It was produced by Edwyn Collins and is, well, really rather good. Here're a few tracks to illustrate the point!

Astrid - High In The Morning mp3

Astrid - Redground mp3

Astrid - Boy Or Girl mp3

Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: Redground reached #167 in the UK charts, while High In The Morning hit the dizzy heights of #156, proving (as if any proof were needed) that eventual chart position and quality of song go together like a fish and earmuffs.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Blimey, is that the time already?

Hello, campers. Been busy tarting up my new house this week so not really had the time or the inclination (or the internet connection now I think about it) to do any blogging. And for some reason I can't get this song out of my head at the mo.

The Freshies - House Beautiful mp3 (right click - here we go again, Davy!)

Also, apropos of absolutely nothing, here's my favourite Kate Rusby song, Our Town, which I've never got round to putting up here before but which is absolutely gorgeous. If you ever get the chance to see Kate and her band in concert you really should as her songs sound even better in a live context. Her between-song banter is great, also. You'll hear all about the antics of her Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Doris, for example. And I know you wouldn't want to miss that.

I dunno - talented, good-looking and a natural raconteur. Make you sick, some people!

Kate Rusby - Our Town mp3 (left click)

Mildly Interesting Folkie Fact: Our Town was written and originally recorded by brilliantly-named American singer-songwriter Iris Dement. Here's a clip of her performing it with the less-brilliantly-named-but-not-bad-nevertheless Emmylou Harris.

Buy Kate Rusby stuff

Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Sweptaways & Jens Lekman - Happiness Will Be My Revenge

The Sweptaways Show is out now! Download it here for a piffling £8.00. Or, if you're a bit strapped for cash, you can always download Happiness Will Be My Revenge on its own for 80p. Really, though, I'd get the whole album if I were you. It is bloomin' ace.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Three of a Kind #84

I got a great compilation CD-R from that Spike the other week. It features oodles of great tunes I'd not heard before - of which here are but three!

Elizabeth Darling (of The Darlings/Allo, Darlin' fame) is a bit miffed - and with good reason. Her ex has been hassling her by email, Facebook and MySpace, and he just won't take no for an answer. Even when she blocks him he still finds ways of reaching her. What a pain in the arse. And besides, he caused his own downfall in the first place by chasing after other girls behind her back; and he only wants to know her now because she's making a name for herself as a singer. Must have got a hell of a shock when he heard this!

Elizabeth Darling - Oh No! Another Email From You! mp3 (right click)

Juni Järvi wasn't someone I'd come across before but I was instantly taken with the Jens Lekman-esque pop stylings of Looking At You Is Like Looking At The Sun. Hmm... does that mean he has to wear dark glasses every time he squints wistfully into his loved one's mince pies, I wonder? My god, did we learn nothing from Peters & Lee?!

Juni Järvi - Looking At You Is Like Looking At The Sun mp3* (left click)

(*this song originally featured on the Eardrums compilation A Good Crop)

To round things off, here's erstwhile Veruca Salt vocalist Nina Gordon with a lovely, mellow acoustic cover of, umm, Straight Outta Compton by NWA! Makes me laugh.

Nina Gordon - Straight Outta Compton mp3 (left click)

Allo, Darlin's website /

Friday, 17 April 2009

Long Time No See See Rider

It's amazing what you can find on the internet sometimes. Having just ripped a brilliant if largely forgotten 1991 indie single, Stolen Heart by See See Rider, from vinyl in preparation for a blog entry (this one, surprisingly), I did a quick Google search to see if there were 'owt to be found about the band on the net - and what do you know, there's a website right here that's more comprehensive than a box set of Grange Hill!

That site was dead handy for background information, anyway, because about the only fact I could remember off the top of my head about See See Rider was that Phil King from Lush was their bassist. But here I learnt, among other things, that the band's originators hailed from East Kilbride; that Stolen Heart was one of only two singles they ever released; and that the plug was pulled on their unfinished album Dust Rocks and Flakes when their label, Lazy Records (also the former home of The Primitives and My Bloody Valentine), went belly up.

Thankfully, though, the bad news ends there as, rather thrillingly, the site has every track See See Rider ever recorded - unreleased demos of the album and all - available for free download! How exciting is that?!

Here's that 7" track that inspired this entry in the first place, anyway. Not only is Stolen Heart dead good, it's also produced by one of my favourite producers from days of yore: Zeus B. Held. (He had to put the 'B' in there so no one confused him with Zeus A. Held or Zeus Y. Held. Just thank your lucky stars you haven't got such a common name. Unless you have - in which case, erm, curse your unlucky stars.)

See See Rider - Stolen Heart mp3

Get yourself over to for much more of the same.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

See You, See Me

Daryll-Ann - Blind mp3

Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: Daryll-Ann took their name from Andy Renko's wife in Hill Street Blues. The Hill St homages didn't end there, though: the above track is from their first album, which they called... Renko! (Quite right, too. HSB was always my favourite cop show as well, and Renko a brilliant character.)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

News bullet-in

The new Apple iGun:

Loads more Newstopia over here.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Three of a Kind #83

Three videos from 1984's Now That's What I Call Music 3 VHS today - all of which are ace, and none of which made it on to the actual record! This was a curious quirk of the early Now releases - presumably because of rights issues, or the expense, or whatever, a lot of the songs from the bigger artists that appeared on the albums never actually made it on to the accompanying videos, and were instead replaced by contemporaneous songs from less famous (i.e. cheaper) acts. (The fact that these replacement tracks were often superior to the ones they were standing in for was, well, just a lovely bonus, really.)

Anyway, let's compare and contrast the track listings for Now 3 the album and Now 3 the video, shall we? Why not. All hail the god of copy and paste!


Side One

Duran Duran : "The Reflex"
Nik Kershaw : "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"
Sister Sledge : "Thinking of You"
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark : "Locomotion"
Ultravox : "Dancing with Tears in My Eyes"
Howard Jones : "Pearl in the Shell"
Blancmange : "Don't Tell Me"
Phil Collins : "Against All Odds"

Side Two

Frankie Goes to Hollywood : "Two Tribes"
Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel : "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)"
The Special A.K.A : "Nelson Mandela"
Womack & Womack : "Love Wars"
The Style Council : "You're The Best Thing"
Bob Marley & The Wailers : "One Love"
Bronski Beat : "Smalltown Boy"

Side Three

Queen : "I Want to Break Free"
Cyndi Lauper : "Time After Time"
Alison Moyet : "Love Resurrection"
The Bluebells : "Young at Heart"
Bananarama : "Robert DeNiro's Waiting"
Propaganda : "Dr. Mabuse"
Tina Turner : "What's Love Got to Do with It"
The Flying Pickets : "When You're Young and in Love"

Side Four

Wham! : "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"
The Thompson Twins : "You Take Me Up"
The Weather Girls : "It's Raining Men"
Gary Glitter : "Dance Me Up"
The Art Company : "Suzanna"
Madness : "One Better Day"
David Sylvian : "Red Guitar"


1. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - Locomotion
2. Simple Minds - Up On The Catwalk
3. Thompson Twins - You Take Me Up
4. Madness - One Better Day
5. Farmers Boys - In The Country
6. Helen Terry - Love Lies Lost
7. Loose Ends - Emergency (Dial 999)
8. Working Week - Venceremos
9. Tina Turner - What's Love Got To Do With It
10. Phil Collins - Take A Look At Me Now (Against All Odds)
11. Talk Talk - Dum Dum Girl
12. Kajagoogoo - Turn Your Back On Me
13. Gary Glitter - Dance Me Up
14. The Mighty Wah! - Come Back
15. i-Level - Our Song
16. Limahl - Too Much Trouble
17. Flying Pickets - When You're Young And In Love
18. Thomas Dolby - I Scare Myself
19. Blue Nile - Tinseltown In The Rain
20. David Sylvian - Red Guitar

Oh, and have a squiz at this, the original TV advert promoting the album - with a voiceover from that renowned fan of eighties pop Brian Glover!

But back to the respective track listings. Quite a bit of difference there, to say the least, with a whopping 12 of the 20 tracks on the video failing to make the actual record(s). Cripes, though, what an especially strong line-up the vinyl version of Now 3 had. It's hard to pick any weak links really (although I must admit I've always had a strong dislike for It's Raining Men despite the fact that it's essentially just a bit of harmless disco fluff; oh, and the less said about Gareth Glitter nowadays the better!).

But yes, a mostly fantastic double album and one of the finest in the entire series, for me. And, although vastly different, the video definitely has its moments as well. The ones I've chosen today are all good (at least I think so), but my absolute favourite just has to be the Talk Talk one, sung live, and featuring a rather addled/stoned spoken-word preamble from singer Mark Hollis, in which he comes across not unlike ex-Portsmouth F.C. manager Tony Adams at a post-match press conference!

Talk Talk - Dum Dum Girl (Trousers)

For more 80s video-based nostalgia visit the excellent Tracklister blog, where Mick has been busy uploading and posting some rarely-seen music video gems.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Strange Ways Here We Come

Meet The Family Way. That's them in the picture above. Handsome bunch, aren't they? They are (left to right): Shelley Way, Father Way, Scarlet Way and Sister Rae (whose record shop in Berwick Street I sometimes used to frequent).

What I most admire about The Family Way is that they never let the fact that they were a nineteenth century frontier family get in the way of their releasing a slightly weird but wonderful 7" single in about 1998, which I quite possibly heard John Peel play and then most definitely went out and bought. I know and remember literally nothing else about this band; if anyone can furnish me with any other info - spurious or otherwise - about them I'll be eternally grateful. (Well, I will be for an hour or so anyway, until I inevitably forget all about it.)

Anyway - here it is, just for you. I've done 'ripped' it and scanned the sleeve and everything. All for you!

The Family Way - Strange Ways mp3

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Quiz of the Weak

A fun game for all the family today, devised by Spike and compiled by moi. Below is a list of twenty-five feature films, some starring Jean-Claude van Damme and some starring his Hollywood beefcake rival/nemesis Steven Seagal (but never both - as if these two acting colossi would ever share the same screen!). The object of the game is simple: to guess which ridiculously-titled movies starred van Damme and which had Seagal as the protagonist.

Spike scored an impressive 21 out of 25 when tested on these, which I think proves beyond any shadow of a doubt her rubbish-actor-to-rubbish-film-matching abilities. So, like a licensed premises on the top floor of a skyscraper, the bar has been set ridiculously high here.

How about you: Are you man enough to try and distinguish the work of the Muscles from Brussels from that of the, erm, Alliterative American? Only one way to find out, in the game that quite literally I am calling...


(scroll down for the answers)


























Answers: 1) SS 2) SS 3) VD 4) VD 5) VD 6) SS 7) SS 8) VD 9) SS 10) VD 11) VD 12) SS 13) VD 14) SS 15) SS 16) VD 17) SS 18) VD 19) VD 20) VD 21) SS 22) SS 23) VD 24) SS 25) SS

So how did you do? Let me know in the guestbook (assuming anyone actually goes to the trouble of completing this, which I have my doubts about!).

Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain mp3

Sunday, 5 April 2009

What would Barry do?

A multiple choice quiz for you today, based on the following hypothetical scenario:

You're the 31-year-old captain of Glasgow Rangers and the Scottish national football team (that's Scottish national, rather than Scottish Nationalist; you don't have to be a chum of Alex Salmond's to play in it or anything). Your team have just been beaten 3-0 in a vital World Cup qualifier in the Netherlands. Do you:

a) Take the defeat on the chin. You have been beaten by one of the world's most famous footballing nations in their own back yard, after all.

b) Give your team-mates a dressing-down in the dressing room after the game. After all, you've just been roundly beaten in a vital World Cup qualifier. "Come on lads, we can do better than that!"

c) Stay up boozing all night with the reserve goalkeeper in the team's hotel bar in full view of all the other guests and stay right there, hard at it, until lunchtime the following day. After all, as team captain it's your responsibility to break the curfew, disrespect the management and drink yourself into oblivion for at least fifteen hours after the day you've had.

If you answered a) or b) to the above question, you're clearly some kind of lily-livered pinko communist, and I wouldn't trust you to captain my football team for all the Buckfast in Bellshill. You're a disgrace, frankly, and I hope you're feeling thoroughly ashamed of yourself. Now go away and read some poetry or press some wild flowers, or something.

If, however, you answered c), then please proceed to the next question.

For some reason your boozing antics in the hotel bar after the Netherlands game didn't go down too well with your management, your national football association or the country in general; and, after originally being sent home in disgrace in advance of the team's next game, you're given a late reprieve and reinstated (along with your goalkeeping drinking buddy) to the substitutes' bench. But no sooner have you sat down on said bench than the bloody paparazzi start photographing you left, right and centre. How do you respond?

a) Keep your head down. You're in enough trouble as it is so you're just going to have to try and ride this one out. The fuss is bound to die down sooner or later anyway.

b) Start to look a bit fed up, but quickly adopt a stoical expression. However annoying and intrusive these photographers may be, you did bring this whole sorry mess on yourself. And it would be foolish to exacerbate the situation unnecessarily by giving them a reaction. How very dare they, though!

c) Agree with your goalkeeping/drinking buddy beforehand to adopt a policy of surreptitiously 'flicking the Vs' in an extremely juvenile and actually quite blatant fashion every so often under the pretence of resting your digits on your face (and thereby literally sticking two fingers up at the Scottish nation), whenever you're feeling particularly hard done by and sorry for yourselves during the course of your enforced exile on the bench. That'll learn 'em!

If you answered c) once again - congratulations! You are now the Scotland captain. Please feel free to be banned from the national team for life, stripped of your club's captaincy, suspended and sent home for a fortnight to think about what you've done, and to apparently seriously contemplate premature retirement from the game in the summer. Still, though, you showed them, eh?

Club 8 - Football Kids mp3

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Sweeping The Nation

With the release of their new album just a couple of weeks away, The Sweptaways have unleashed another single on an unsuspecting world. It's a cover of girly-haired ex-boxing G.I. Terence Trent D'Arby's 1988 hit Sign Your Name, it features guest vocals from someone called Nina Ramsby and the mp3 can be downloaded absolutely gratis here. Coo!

Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: Terence Trent D'Arby changed his name to Sananda Maitreya in 2001, following a series of dreams. He proclaimed in an interview that "Terence Trent D'Arby was dead...he watched his suffering as he died a noble death... After intense pain I meditated for a new spirit, a new will, a new identity."

Terence Trent D'Arby, there. What a pretentious wazzock.

Pre-order The Sweptaways Show here. Here's what you'll be getting for your krona:

1. Democracy – The Sweptaways and Sir Eric Beyond
2. Sign Your Name – The Sweptaways and Nina Ramsby
3. They Don’t Know – The Sweptaways and Anders Wendin
4. Electric – The Sweptaways
5. Time of The Season – The Sweptaways and Pelle Almqvist
6. Happiness Will Be My Revenge – The Sweptaways and Jens Lekman
7. I’ve Got Your Man – The Sweptaways and Robyn
8. With Every Heartbeat – The Sweptaways and Simone Rubi
9. Vintersaga – The Sweptaways and Uje Brandelius
10. The World’s Greatest – The Sweptaways
11. Something Special – The Sweptaways and Asha Ali

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Three of a Kind #82

A triumvirate of tracks from largely forgotten but nonetheless ace north American girl-led indie rock bands from the mid nineties today: Magnapop, Fuzzy and Jale. Correctly identify which one of these combos is still going strong in 2009 and win a speedboat!*

Magnapop - Slowly, Slowly mp3

Fuzzy - Glad Again mp3

Jale - Promise mp3

*Offer excludes readers in or outside the UK and all other countries, dominions and territories of the world. Terms and conditions apply. Your speedboat is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on loans secured on it, or any of its constituent parts. Only one entrant per household. Do not pass go; do not collect two hundred pounds. You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Not a thing. Or maybe just whistle. You do know how to whistle don't you, Steve? Entry at the management's discretion. If your name's not on the list, you're not coming in.