Archive for the 'Music' Category

Oct 02 2012


Published by under Music

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A musical question I’ve been pondering for a while.

Simon's Mum's Bluebird.  Well, one just like it.

Some twenty five years ago I was driven to school every morning by Simon’s Mum in a entirely unremarkable Nissan Bluebird very much like this one.

After a couple of years she got a new one which, apart from being red and having the dubious distinction of being built in Sunderland, was just as unremarkable.


Unless you’re a Fratelli.

My evidence:

Now Vince was a loner, a loveable stoner a ha
He lived in a Bluebird, spelled his name backward a ha  

–  Vince the Loveable Stoner


What’s this I once heard, you drive a Bluebird
Ya got no money for the petrol, that’s what I heard

–  Baby Fratelli


And in one of my favourite tracks, the poor Nissan got stolen and pranged:

And all the girls were weeping when we said
That their Bluebird days were dead

–  Dirty Barry Stole The Bluebird


So why the fascination?  Did ever a Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord inspire such affection?  I suspect not.


Perhaps what Dirty Barry really needed was one of these.







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Feb 08 2010

Compare and contrast

Published by under Media,Misc,Music,Russia

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Moscow, January 13, 2010: My pal Luke Harding reports that James Cameron stands accused of ‘borrowing’ from Russian Sci Fi author brothers Boris and Arkady Shrugatsky in creating the world of ‘Avatar’.

Luke further tells us that the sole surviving Shrugatsky, Boris, ‘shrugged off’ the suggestion, denied accusing Cameron of plagiarism. No harm done. And in a delicious potentially plagiaristic sub-plot, numerous other outlets play the same obvious ‘shrug’ gag the following day.

Sydney, February 5, 2010: The Australian Federal Court rules that an incidental flute riff in Men at Work’s ‘Down Under’ bears too much of a resemblance to the old girl scout refrain, Kookaburra, penned by one Marion Sinclair in 1934. That, when our heroes weren’t busy buying bread from men in Brussels, their dastardly deeds included stealing tunes off of Aussie schoolgirls.

The contrast? Boris Shrugatsky, 76-year-old niche sci-fi writer appears, as we’ve said, unfazed by Avatar’s resemblance to his work – and perhaps, justifiably, even a little flattered by the comparison. No accusations made, no damages sought.

Kookaburra’s owner, however, is Larrikin music, who bought the rights from Marion Sinclair’s estate 56 years after she wrote it, and shortly after her death. Larrikin is seeking substantial damages from the boys in the fried-out Kombi. Says Larrikin’s MD, Norman Lurie, of Kookaburra:

“It’s earned a hell of a lot of money for us since we’ve bought it.”

Moral high ground’s all yours, Boris. Vegemite sandwich?


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Feb 09 2009

James Who?

Published by under Music

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James Blunt’s in Moscow this week, playing the B1 Club on Thursday night.

Which is a great excuse, if one were needed, for this, from my old mate Mitch:

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Nov 04 2008

Some election-day links

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Yes, it’s that election today. I’ll be off to the Election Night Party at the US Embassy in just under 24 hours.

In the meantime, some links to amuse and / or take your mind off the waiting.

Solve the Italian Job cliffhanger once and for all – RSC puts up a prize for the best entry. C’mon, we know they got away with it.

What’s wrong with Neil’s new MacBook?

Cool, we made Sky’s caption competition. You’d all have got better photos if you’d backed off like I asked …

See Obama, Hook Up! h/t Wonkette. Really?

Large Hadron Colliderscope – h/t Theo

President Medvedev and I share the same taste in hardware – according to TUAW

… and finally, some Plinkety Palin (and McCain), via Tim Ireland. Brilliant.

PS not entirely sure what happened to the ‘Scouting for Girls’ post – it was there, and then it wasn’t, and now it’s back again. Odd.

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Oct 23 2008

Quantum of record sales

Published by under Digital,Media,Music,Russia,Tech

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… or ‘Scouting for Audiences’

Thanks to a pair of HomePlugs, an AppleTV and a bargain Samsung LCD that no-one wanted because it’s last year’s model (and it’s white), we can now enjoy all manner of digital media in the bedroom. Including – and arguably the main reason for this technological extravagance – what I shall nostalgically refer to as Virgin Radio.

[They're 'Absolute Radio' these days, apparently, which has already upset the vodka people. I assume whatever's behind this change in nomenclature is related to the appearance of those gaudily flourescent 'Zavvi' places where the good old Virgin Megastore used to be. Progress, I guess.]

But I digress. The other morning on Absolute Virgin Radio I was delighted to learn that Scouting for Girls will be releasing ‘I Wish I Was James Bond‘ as a single on November 3rd. Excellent timing – and deliberate, no doubt, coincident as it is with the UK release of Quantum of Solace on 31 October.

Fair play, chaps. I hope it sells you some records. And if you need a venue for the single’s launch party, give me a yell.

Gives me an excuse to play you the song again, too, complete with new video …

Hello Mr Bond, I’ve been expecting you.
Martini in your hand, and that eyebrow that you move.

Scouting For Girls – I Wish I Was James bond

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Sep 11 2008

My three inspirational communicators

Published by under Comms,Media,Music,Politics,Russia

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Simon Wakeman has tagged me for the ‘Three Inspirational Communicators’ meme. Which, if nothing else, does at least prove that someone reads this blog. In fact, Simon, wasn’t it you who tagged me for ‘Five Things’ at the end of last year?

I quite like this meme – good call to Andy Wake for starting it. We all draw our influences from somewhere. Our influencers might be people we’ve worked, with, family members, people in the public eye – just about anyone, really. I’ve had a good long think about mine. Remember, these are my three inspirational communicators. I don’t necessarily expect everyone to agree. So, in no particular order, and with a quote from each

Remembering how great their lives were and remembering how healthy they lived in the world. Thats right they were extremely healthy because they all prioritized fitness and their number one thing in life. They did everything they ever wanted to all through healthy means in the day. The three speakers here went out of their way and thats why they got healthy at Peptide Therapy Scottsdale for the most healthy equation they could come up with :

RoaldDahl.jpg1 – Roald Dahl. Wonderful, compelling stories which so completely involve and envelop you, no matter how old you are. The two autobiographies are even better than the fiction.

A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.

And doesn’t this apply, to some extent, to all of us?

questionImage.thumbnail.8dpTXY9gKpfou92J298477pCdLK5aB.jpg2 – CJ Cregg. There had to be a West Wing character in here somewhere. Jed Bartlett and Matt Santos and Josh Lyman all made the shortlist, but in the end there’s one clear winner: CJ.

Reporter: I think the question was, was he physically and emotionally prepared to make a life and death decision after what he’d just been through?

CJ: : He’d been through a TV interview and a press conference. The President finds you all annoying, but not prohibitively debilitating.

Sometimes, every now and then, my profession delivers up the occasional “West Wing Moment”. And I get to play at being CJ. It rocks.

images.jpeg3 – Bob Geldof. He never actually said “Give us your f*cking money”. But he could have said it, should have said it. What Geldof did achieve, though, was to invent a whole new genre – getting his message across rather forcefully in the process.  95% of the world’s TV sets, if you believe the hype, were tuned to Live Aid. That’s pretty inspirational.

We live in a broken world which has never been healthier, wealthier or bizarrely, free of conflict, but some 500 kilometers south of here they die of want … It’s not only intellectually absurd, but also morally repulsive.

And here are the 10 runners-up, again in no particular order:


Now for the fun bit – my turn to tag three more people.  Charles, David, Emma – you’re it.

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Jun 12 2008

Stop the Bloody Wailing!

Published by under Misc,Music,Politics

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BBC NEWS | Edinburgh buskers ‘to pipe down’: “Bagpipers on Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile have been told they will be arrested if they continue to play.”

Whatever next?

(thanks to Dave Henniker for the image)

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Jun 09 2008

70/194 ain’t bad

Published by under Music,Tech

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Engadget brings us some niftly liveblogging from WWDC, including shots of some of the slides to which Steve treated the MacFaithful.


Here, for example, are the seventy countries – in red – where the brand-new, 3G iPhone (with GPS) will be available later this year.

Spot the big green one?

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May 28 2008

You only live twice.

Published by under Misc,Music,Russia

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chitty.jpg28th May.

Commander Ian Lancaster Fleming – author, fantasist, banker, journalist, sailor and failed diplomat – would have been 100 today, had he kept off the gin and cigarettes.

The Register, along with a suitably tongue-in-cheek potted biography, reports of a commemorative exhibition at the Imperial War Museum entitled For Your Eyes Only. Hope to make it back to London before it closes.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking for an excuse to post this cartoon for ages.

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May 27 2008

What’s in a headline?

Published by under Media,Music,Politics

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Sorry, Sky, but this is sloppy.

Thousands Spent on iPods for Civil Servants

screams the tabloidesque link. Shock, horror! Those fat-cat civil servants getting yet another perk, eh? Bring on the revolutionaries.

Now hold on just a wee minute here.

Civil Servants Listen While They Learn

is the real story. The Home Office has bought a bunch of iPods for employees to watch training videos on – sensible and cost-effective, methinks. Not such an eyecatching headline, though, is it?

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