Archive for the 'Music' Category

May 15 2008

Help me, I think I like a Kid Rock song!

Published by under Music

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aka The Terrifying Revenge of the Three-Chord Wonders

I didn’t mean to like this song, honest. But I heard it in New York last week and it’s in my head now.

The radio station called it ‘Kid Rock’s tribute to Sweet Home Alabama‘. But doesn’t Warren Zevon get a nod for that piano riff?

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May 09 2008

Worst Song … Evah!

Published by under Music

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I feel the need to test WordPress’s ‘Blog by Email’ feature. And what better way than to comment on the utter awfulness that is the Delta International Lounge at JFK?

Sure, bits of Heathrow are just as architecturally grim. And the security here’s pretty much par for the course.

No, it’s the music in the Starbucksy bit which it truly awful.

Perhaps whoever was responsible for choosing today’s tunes has just gone through a particularly traumatic breakup, in which case they have my sympathy. But do we honestly need track after track of 80′s angst-ridden chick rock?

A couple of songs ago we had ‘Live to Tell’ – hardly Madonna’s finest hour, for a ‘Lucky Star’ kid such as myself.

But now we’re being assaulted – yes, assaulted – by ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. Which, I’ve just concluded, has to be a pretty strong contender for the honour of  Worst Song … Evah.

Your nominations?

Sent from my iPhone

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Apr 15 2008

All-rounders with time on our hands?

Published by under Media,Music

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So according to the BBC’s Justin Webb:

Truly the British foreign service is staffed with all-rounders with time on their hands…

I hate to conform to Justin’s stereotype, but I, too, knew that Thunderbirds was British. I suspect a quick straw-poll of ‘us’ would turn up a fair few more – dare I say a significant majority?

But I’m cheating. Firstly, I have a six year old son. So the words Thunderbirds are Go have been in the household vocabulary for a good while. The nine-year-old daughter who’s into Busted (who, by the way, are also British) probably has something to do with it too. And secondly, they filmed part of the remake at my old school (but perhaps I shouldn’t admit to that for fear of reinforcing another, altogether different stereotype).

But hang on. What’s this about time on their hands? Great, that’s OK then – I don’t fit the stereotype after all ;-)

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Apr 02 2008

Lost your bags in Terminal Five?

Published by under Comms,Media,Music

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Perhaps this’ll cheer you up.

Just brilliant – almost makes me wish I’d decided to work in advertising after all.

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Mar 02 2008

99 Decision Street

Published by under Music,Politics,Russia

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red balloon.gif24.

Perhaps it’s coincidence, but I seem to have met a disproportionate number of people over the past week who are 24. Born in 1984, ten years after me.

One of my favourite songs is also 24. 24 years ago this week, 99 Red Balloons was just finishing a week as the UK’s Number One. I have vague recollections of my sister and I listening to its fall from grace on the Capital Radio Chart Show, courtesy of David ‘Kid’ Jensen. Nena, lead singer of the eponymous German rock group, was 24 at the time.

If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I gave the song a blast this afternoon to see what my daughter, now the same age I was in 1984, made of it. Lately she’s been asking a lot about recent history so I even had a go at explaining the dated-sounding Cold War lyrics. I spared her the video, though, with its ’80s fashion and bad hairstyles.

Incidentally, whilst looking up the links for this post, I came across the original German lyrics to Neunundneunzig Luftballons. Rather more protest going on there than in the almost comedic English translation, and perhaps more contemporary relevance too.

Neunundneunzig Kriegsminister
Streichholz und Benzinkanister
Hielten sich für schlaue Leute
Witterten schon fette Beute
Riefen “Krieg!” und wollten Macht
Mann, wer hätte das gedacht
Daß es einmal so weit kommt

Oh, and for anyone who’s expecting a ‘Russia election’ post, this is as close as you’re going to get.

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Feb 17 2008

Heather Mills, according to Hugo Rifkind

Published by under Media,Music

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My Week: Heather Mills – according to Hugo Rifkind.

From The Times, 16 February:

I’ve had enough! I’m going to sack Paul and divorce myself. I’m only thinking of my daughter. Ninety per cent of global warming comes from cows! I left home before I was born. You people make me sick.

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Read the rest.

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Jan 30 2008

Quantum of What?

Published by under Media,Music

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“And I wish I was James Bond, just for the day.
Kissing all the girls, blow the bad guys away.”

I’m very into Scouting for Girls at the moment (the band, not the activity).

Given their admiration for all things Bond, I hope they’d agree with me when I suggest that Quantum of Solace is a silly title.

Roger and Shaun and Timmy and George and Daniel and Pierce and maybe one day me

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Jan 19 2008

Welcome back.

Published by under Music

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Tell me baby, do you recognise me?
Well, it’s been a year, it doesn’t surprise me.

What better way to start a new blog than with a Wham! lyric? My last blog post was exactly one year ago today – it’s high time I got myself back into things.

But I share George Michael‘s concern over being recognised. Over the coming weeks I’m going to have to work pretty hard to try to regain some of the regular readership I had built up over at the old blog.

More of that later. In the meantime, thanks for dropping by.

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Jan 04 2007

Blogging will eat itself. Maybe.

Published by under Digital,Music,Tech

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Year of the Blog, blah blah, You – Person of the Year 2006 yadda yadda User-Generated Content mumble mumble Blogging and Social Media mutter mutter Web2.0 blah technoratiyoutubeflikrdiggmyspacesecondlife zzzzzzzzzzzzzz ……..

NME suggested, in the mid-1980s, that Pop would eat itself. That hype and hyperbole ultimately crowds out originality, the hype implodes, resulting in a mainstream music culture that simply recycles the best existing ideas. My friend Mitch Benn puts forward much the same hypothesis, arguing variously that modern chart music either steals its sounds from the 1980s, or simply that everything sounds like Coldplay now.

And the connection with blogging, social media, web2.0 and all the other buzzwords?

Simply that I’m wondering if, and perhaps when, the blogging bubble will burst – or if in fact it already has. Apparently there are upwards of 25 million abandoned blogs out there – depending who you believe, anything up to 200 milion. How many of them started – and ended – in 2006?

Will blogging really eat itself in 2007? Gartner certainly seem to think so. But I’m not so sure. I think perhaps Richard’s heading in the right direction by suggesting that we’re ‘out of the early adopter phase and into the early majority’.

The BBC quotes Gartner’s David Plummer, at the end of 2006, thus: ‘most people who would ever start a web log have already done so’.

In 1899 Charles H Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, stated: ‘Everything that can be invented has been invented’.

Spot the similarity?

Social media, web2.0, call it what you will, it’s maturing and evolving so fast we can barely keep up. It’s only natural for blogging, the relatively primitive concept of a chronologically-ordered collection of articles, comments and opinions, to mature and evolve too.

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Dec 15 2006

Everybody’s makin’ it big but me

Published by under Digital,Music

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Well I paint my face with glitter just like Bowie does
And I wear the same mascara that Mick Jagger does
And I even put some lipstick on,
But that just hurt my dad and mom
Everybody’s makin’ it big but me

There’s nothing like a Dr Hook lyric to kick off a blog post. But what am I on about?

Kate posted at the end of October about getting to the top spot on Google. Looking quickly down my Blogroll, Owen, Simon, Simon, Ian, Alex, Lydia, Chloe – not to mention pretty much all the H&K Collective Conversation bloggers – each and every one of them, when you type their name into Google, has their blog as the top search result.

Today I’m just thrilled about being at number five. It’s the highest I’ve been and, given that I’m about to take some time off for Christmas, I doubt I’ll get much higher any time soon.

I’m not bitter either. It’s not my fault I have the same name as a Broadway actor and a one-time Governor of Virginia. Number five’s good enough for me.

Not sure when I’ll be back – I’m out of the office, bar the odd fleeting visit, between now and January 4th. I suspect I’ll sneak the odd post in between now and then, though.

Happy holidays.

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