Thursday, 5 June 2008

You Want Clapping - well here's The Ting Tings' Clappy Quiz...

Yep-sir-ee-bobs-yer uncle Jim has fixed it for you... (and you and you)

and the clappiest pop song of them all...

and the clappiest classical piece...

Sunday, 1 June 2008

23 Best Clapping songs

The question is, can you have a sad song that has clapping in it? Well David Bowie’s Space Oddity I suppose, or is that just odd? On the whole though, clapping is an invite to the party, it’s turning the music up, dancing, laughing, and knocking back another tequila. I LOVE clapping in songs. And before you get started, I concede that sometimes there is a fine line between clapping and you know, drumming. But if it’s drumming pretending to be clapping I’ve included it. Because I can. And what about real clapping versus electronic clapping noises? Well if it sets my internal clapometer vibrating, It's in.

23 Simon and Garkunkel Cecilia
Kicking off with a solid riot of clapping.

22 Meatloaf On a hot summer night (You took the words right out of my mouth)
Look, it’s a countdown. They get better. At least I spared you Radio GaGa

21 J Geils Band Centerfold
The clapping makes this song 26% less naff.

20 Tony Basil Mickey
Not to include it would have been churlish.

19 Blonde Redhead Silently
Ok not much of a clap, but a good excuse to listen to Blonde Redhead again.

18 Michael Jackson Thriller
Is it drumming or clapping? It's clapping. The Zombies tell me so.

17 Gary Glitter Rock n Roll
I know it’s not cool to like Gary Glitter, but what a song!

16 The Bird and the Bee Again and Again
Barely there clapping. Enough to bring out the smiles though.

15 Outkast Hey Ya!
I defy you to listen to this song and not feel happy.

14 Ol Dirty Bastard feat. Kelis Baby I got your money
The first of the very effective and oft used ‘duo clap’

13 David Bowie Space Oddity
That clapping comes out of NOWHERE!

12 Queens of the Stone Age Everybody be Happy
We are, we are!!

11 George Michael Faith.
This video is really gay. And I don't mean it's bad.

10 The Cure Close to me
Wardrobe clapping

9 The Proclaimers Throw the R away
The Proclaimers like Ol’ Dirty bastard know that the careful placing of 2 lone claps often maketh the song

8 M.I.A Sunshowers
A prime case of drumming pretending to be clapping. I could have included the whole of Arular really. It sets my clapometer vibrating like a washing machine.

7 Josh Pyke Middle of the Hill
Josh Pyke is Australian. That’s why you haven’t heard of him. I would describe this as a dusky early evening clap.

6 Gomez Las Vegas Dealer
Gomez are so underrated! Good use of the flamenco style clap

5 Louis XIV Illegal Tender/Hey Teacher
Louis XIV love clapping; I love Louis XIV. No link. Boo.

4 Broken Social Scene Stars and Sons
Well behaved clapping turning fully mental.

3 The Dandy Warhols We used to be friends
This wins second prize for the perfectly place duo clap. I was working behind the bar in Baroque when this came out and I played it incessantly. I miss playing music god in bars, smiting people with my toons.

2 Kings of Leon King of the Rodeo
First prize

1 Stealers Wheel Stuck in the middle with you
You have to admit this is just a great clapping song. It makes you want to get into a car, roll the top down, and drive to Mexico. A worthy winner, a shocking video

Saturday, 31 May 2008

Speed Racer Vs Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay

Speed Racer is the new one from the Wachowski brothers (Matrix). I'd read very indifferent reviews for this so I was pleasantly surprised by the real thing. It is definitely a family film and really comes across as a live action cartoon. The visuals are awesome and the narrative reminiscent of old Herbie films, or anything infact, with Dean Jones in it from the 60s and 70s. Muchos fun and ground breaking again from Andy and Larry, though I did often throughout catch myself wondering how much of it was made with the Video Game spin-off in mind. (6.123)
Harold & Kumar is the pits - I knew it would be and yet I went to see it and so I only have myself to blame for wasting 2 hours of precious time. I can't even bring myself to talk about it. It was CARP to the max. Sh*t piled within many more layers of even more sh*t. Not different kinds of sh*t however- oh no - just the same repetetive kinda sh*t. Don't bother ever watching it - it's not even bad-funny it's just SH*T (1.5) (And that's only for the maths poem).
And the winner is .... "on your marks" Speed Racer - Yay Go Speed

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Write da feem toon, Sing da feem toon - My Top 27 Tv Theme Tunes

Controversial - No MASH, Cheers, Scooby-Doo or Van Der Valk...

The Adams Family - spookylishously clicky

The Flashing Blade - highlite of anyone's week - I totally loved this

Dr Who - timeless - though I prefare the Pertwee era tune

The Water Margin - before cgi came Lin Chung and the Liang-Shan-Po massive. The ancient sages said, "do not despise the snake for having no horns, for who is to say it will not become a dragon" Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire ;)

Jonathan Creek - magical and macabre

The Avengers - with Emma Peel of course

Angel - 1st of a Josh Weedon trilogy and with fab strings

Mission Impossible - you only have 5 seconds to enjoy this before it self-destructs

Robinson Crusoe - best on Fridays and so evocative of a place in time (front room on Saturdays)

Batman - Oi Batman come in - your dina-dina-dina dinner's ready

Firefly - Josh's version is even more hilarious. Always leaves me feeling a sense of serenity...

Hawaii Five-O - book em (for children's parties, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings...)

RawHide - keep moovin-moovin-moovin ... Clint's first big break on the little screen

White Horses - cheesier than even Black Beauty

The Littlest Hobo - brings a tear every time (bless)

Champion The Wonder Horse - like a thingy of lightening - very very frightening

The Wombles - Orinoco flow

Stingray and what about Aqua Marina

The Banana Splits La-La laaa Lala La-Laa ad infinitum

Buffy - The later versions got quite speedy n'est pas?

The Monkees - here they come...

Robin of Sherwood ahh haa - the hooded man. Used to love this mystical nonsense

The Persuaders - by the man behind the Bond musical classics

Captain Scarlet indestructuctable and untoucable theme tune (no place for Joe 90 and his magic glasses though)

Minder so good for you... (apparently has been known to write a theme toon and sing a theme toon, in his time).

Are You Being Served - going up (as sampled by Coil). Have you seen Mrs Slocombe's cat ?

Fireball XL5 - Another Gerry Anderson series, this time staring Steve Zodiac. He would go on to find fame later, in hit US series Veronica Mars...

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Cassandra's Dream Vs Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Cassandra's Dream is utter carp. A really dreadful film starring my actor of the year (so far) Colin Farrell, the brilliant Sally Hawkins, the reliable Ewan Mcgregor and the genius that is Tom Wilkinson. It is written and directed by Woody Allen and it is awful - ooh especially Farrell's and Mcgregor's Cockney/mockney (Australian?) accents. Truely AWFUL. (4.5)

Indi's finally back then, to buckle and swash and whip-crack-away against cold-war villainaries and the usual and not-so-usual baddies. He's older, wiser ... definitely older. Harrison is great in Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull (can't believe J.K. Rowling let that one get away) and the film is deffo unmakeable/uncarry-onable without him. Assisted by a supporting cast of who-cares-could-be-anyones, the film is pure escapism and makes no apologies to believability. It rattles by at pace from one escapade to another, from one plot twist to the next and from one gag to.... Very enjoyable and I'm sure by its success there'll be at least one more outing to come for Indi. (7.1)
And the winner is: Indiana Jones by a clear head ( see what I did there ).

If You Liked.... Then You'll Love ....

Well who'd of thought anyone could get themselves a musical career by ripping off Gary Numan and Tubeway Army - well I'll tell you who - Late Of The Pier (klaxons wannabees) that's who!!!

This Week I Have Mostly Been Listening To - The Whip and Trash

I love this bassline - reminds me of The Sisters. A really infectious tune that gets better with each listen. So OK the lyrics ain't gonna win no literary awards - but who's really listening to the words when there's a bassline as cool as this anyhoo.... "I wanna" hmm "Trash" hmm "Trigger"

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Made Of Honour VS Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Made Of Honour stars Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy) and Michelle Monaghan as best mates who really (though they don't know it yet) love each other in a marriage-kinda-way. It's OK and has hilarious Scottish accents in it - even from Kevin Mckidd. It's all been done before and better, though if you haven't seen any of those flicks it is nearly OK-ish (5).

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is that new post - post - post modern comedy from those Knocked up 40 year old virgin producers/masters of post post post modern comedy. You know the one with Russell Brand and some Americans. Russell seems to be playing himself - so he's nae bad for a comedian. Jason Segel (Knocked up) is good as is Kristen Bell (Heroes) but Jonah Hill (also Knocked Up and Superbad) stole the funny honours for me. It's a bit better than OK, so if there's nowt on telly - give it a go. (5.32)

And the winner is: Forgetting Sarah Marshall by a small internal belly chuckle....

Laura Marling Too cool for school.

I can't believe she's only 18. Check this out too

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Zuton love shock

I can't explain it. I just love the Zutons. Perhaps it's a scouse thing. I'm glad they must now be rolling in it because of the Amy Winehouse cover of Valerie (I'd be happy to never actually hear that again mind). Their brill new single Always right behind you

Bon Iver and Iron and Wine The Glasgow ABC

It’s a well known fact that Glasgow is more stylish than Edinburgh. In Edinburgh anything more flamboyant than a jeans/t-shirt combo in muted beige screams raving queen to the forward thinking Auld Reekie style police. Now Glasgow is a different animal altogether- embracing all things au courant, from skinny jeans to curly perms. And that’s just the lads. No surprises then that Glasgow outdid herself when the nouveau folk style gauntlet was thrown down by Monday’s much anticipated Iron and Wine/Bon Iver gig. The Glasgow ABC was awash with a fine array of magnificent beards. By the looks of things some definitely started when tickets went on sale 2 months ago, but even the style lightweights were sporting a tributary couple of days growth. The question is, did our visiting folksters deserve their fuzzy homage? The answer is, yes and no.

The Bon Iver album For Emma, forever ago was released here last Monday, but if you’ve been anywhere near the internet since its US release you will have undoubtedly already heard it. The album is like a quiet spooky cry in the darkness, so it was weird that the first thing that struck me on Monday was how loud it was- you know, more of a big loud wail in the darkness. The audience seemed kind of stunned at being allowed to see something so, well, soul baring. By the time Skinny love ended we were all in love. When we were asked to sing the refrain of ‘what might have been lost’ on Wolves, I tell you, I felt like one on those hippies in the John Mills Quatermass mini series, having a semi hysterical mass religious experience. The only downside is that after promising us 2 more songs the gig suddenly ended, and before my favourite song Re-Stacks. Short as it was though, it was going to be a pretty hard act to follow. Still, Iron and Wine started off pretty well with some nice acoustic numbers, they even played my favourite leaving Japan song ‘Passing afternoon’ which definitely brought a ‘that was then but this is now’ tear to my eye. Sadly my favourite song also heralded the arrival of the band which turned out to be their undoing. It put me in mind of when me and V.23 went to see Michelle Shocked in Preston after the Campfire tapes came out and the whole thing was smothered by a thick layer of crap band- plodding drums, boring arrangements, 70s electric piano, you know the kind of thing. I guess the moral of the story is that if you get yourself a pub band to play with you, you will sound like, well you know, a pub band. Let the Phoenix Nights version of the Proclaimer’s Letter from America be a lesson to us all. Suffice it to say, Iron and Wine’s band took away more than they gave, drowning all that delicate prettiness in a sea of bland. To make it worse, they were given more and more noodling time as the night wore on, which left the audience scratching their beards and wondering (as Justin Vernon might) about what might have been lost, and wishing we could get him back for the songs we had missed.

Friday, 16 May 2008

This Week I Have Mostly Been Listening To - Pendulum and "Propane Nightmares"

Saw Pendulum on the Radio One Festival thing last week playing this live and they were awesome - jaw droppingly good actually. I do prefare the live version and that rarely happens - but here's the proper Vid - Anthemically toe-tappingly, head-bangerly and sing-a-long-er-ily-songy. This is the follow up to the equally catchy "Granite". It's less dancey/drummy/basey though. Think Muse vs Linkin Park - Enjoy.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Battling Movies

A veritable melee of filmic tustles - nee battles to report on this week:

In the Heavy weight Division In Bruges takes on Happy Go Lucky. In the Middle Weight Division Doomsday takes on Iron Man and in the Featherweight Division Nim's Island is up against What Happens In Vegas.

In Bruges sees the first full length release from oscar winner (Six Shooter), writer/director Martin Mcdonagh. Colin Farrell is the cute, loveable pain-in-the-ass, murdering hitman (Ray), around which the story revolve(r)s. Brendan Gleeson is his partner Ken, the straight man of the double act, who gives a wonderfully subtle, solid and sardonic performance. This is by far the best thing Farrell has ever done. His comic timing is spot on and the twinkle in his eyes bling-itious. I also loved In Bruges' weird and unexpected homage to Nicolas Roeg's masterpiece of Euro-suspence Don't Look Now. Like tourists we are lead through Bruges' Gothic architecture, the winding cobbled crooks and crannies, the archways leading to romantic canals. Throughout we are witness to the child-like tantrumy contempt, disgust and hatred, that Farrell's bored out of his head character, has for it all. The two protagonists must hole up in Bruges after a hit goes tragically wrong (for all concerned) and wait to be contacted by big cheese Ralph Fiennes. Of course holed-up they don't remain - with comedic outings a-plenty. Fiennes gives a memmorable performance as a cock-er-ney gangster, (reminiscent of Ben Kingsley in Sexy Beast) with a succinct way of putting across his point of view. I read there was a brilliant line edited from the movie but which will pick itself up from off the cutting room floor in time for the DVD release. It goes something like this: Fiennes answers a business man making small talk on a train with, "if I wanted to talk to a c**t - I'd've gone to a talk to a c**t shop" Classic! In Bruges is a dark, witty and inappropriately funny film - you won't see better this year (or last year). (9.1)

Happy Go Lucky sees the return of the Marmite embodying Mike Leigh. This is a quirky tale of the litterally happy-go-lucky Poppy (the gifted Sally Hawkins) and her rose-tinted eyeballs. Poppy is a ray of sunshine in a sh***y world. An often really infuriating and annoying ray of sunshine at that, but you would forgive her anything, as there's not a bad bone in her bod . All Poppy wants, is to make everyone happy and she blummin tries her best to achieve this. Even in her meetings with scarey Scott (Eddie Marsan), who steals the acting honours with his portrail of a racist, hate-ist, violent and really really weird driving instructor. Loved his word-association driving methods though. Again a really good film that achieves everything it sets out to do and makes you smile along the way. (7.65)

Doomsday is Neil Marshall's latest (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) British offering beginning with the letter "D". An homage to 80s movies like Escape From New York, Alien, and Mad Max. Doomsday is not unsuprisingly (though a suprise to me) just a remake of Escape From New York and Mad Max and no more. Only the accents have changed (mostly Scottish) and with a very 80s British and specific soundtrack. It is a soundtrack that never really gels for me and it came as somewhat of a relief when some Kasabian came on at the end. Dog Eat Dog (Ants), Spellbound (Siouxsie) Two Tribes (Frankie) Good Thing (F Y Cannibals) - it was all a bit naff for me but I am tainted from actually being old enough to remember these songs the first time around. That joke isn't funny anymore. So anyway Doomsday stars Rhona Mitra (who is basically an affordable Kate Beckinsale) Bob Hoskins and Malcolm Mcdowell. Hoskins and Mcdowell bring a fine tradition of ground breaking cult movie-ism to this film and so obviously, it can't be really bad.... and isn't. It's just not great. Other usual appearances are from Sean (I'm Neil Marshall's muse) Pertwee (the son of who?) playing a sh*t hot scientist who meats a deliciously unsavoury end. No need to tell you the plot as it is amalgamted from afore mentioned cinematic classics .... (6.0)
Iron Man directed by actor John Favreau (Made, Swingers, Friends) is an impressive new addition to the Super-Genre of Marvelesque movies. Arms dealing, armoured suit wearing, funny guy turns new leaf and uses his technological genius for good. Iron Man works cos Robert Downey Jr brings so much real humour and human-ness to the roll. Apparently he was allowed to re-work the script as he went along. Gwyneth Paltrow is adequate as Pepper Pots (brilliant name) his assistant come nearly love interest. Jeff Bridges also turns up looking old, fat and bald and sporting a huge beard - now that's acting. Jeff Bridges however, for me, will always be Lightfoot, from my favourite bank-caper movie the brill Thunderbolt and Lightfoot. Any hoo go watch Iron Man its alreet. (6.4)

Nim's Island is without doubt - my current worst film of the year, narrowly edging out The Accidental Husband. Nim's Island stars the fab child who can act Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) and the fabber Jodie Foster (I used to be a child who could act star) how can it fail? Well on all aspects really .... Plot, over-acting, annoying and plot again. Ok so it probably is aimed at 10 year olds but even Nancy Drew was better. So bad you must try and watch some of it. (2.0)
What Happens In Vegas stars Oscar winning Ashton Kutcher (just messing wid-cha) and Cameron Diaz. Ok two unlikely-to-get-wed folk go to Vegas to escape their troubles and guessed it - Get wed. Unlikely to get wed in the sense that these guys have nothing in common (not their age difference which I won't bring up). So they get wed when drunk, then win loads of cash on't bandits and then have to live with each other for 6 months and have councelling in order for either of them to get a share of the money - so says a judge. Cameron's smile is still as mighty as ever and Ashton is growing on me a little as he matures and turns 19. Nae bad (5.4)

And the overall winner is "Den-DenDerrrrrr" - In Bruges (inspirational)

Ken: We shall strike a balance between culture and fun. Ray: Somehow, Ken, I believe that the balance shall tip in the favor of culture, like a big fat f****ing retard...on a see-saw.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

No brainer

I love puppets.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

The Sunday Round-up

I’ve been like a pig in shit this week, with music coming out of my ears. Literally. I started with the new Gnarls Barkley album The Odd couple, interspersed with Portishead’s new release Third. The effect was like having a manic episode. Now I can hardly listen to one without the other without becoming dangerously unbalanced. The Gnarls Barklay is this high energy pop soul explosion, with shades of Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and I can even hear R Dean Taylor. It makes me feel warm, and oddly energetic. Oh, and there’s clapping. Lots of it. So you know, that always tips me over the edge. I would call it the future feel good soundtrack of the summer, if that wasn’t such a cliché. No guaranteeing the summer part either. Sigh. It’s been 11 years since Portishead brought out a studio album, and in the meantime, we have all finally managed to admit that absolutely no one ever knew what trip hop was. It didn’t sound like hip hop, or tripping (that sounds like squirrels). Not only was said sound confined to Bristol, it turned out on closer inspection it was a sound confined to, well , Portishead and Tricky. It wins the award for the most fatuous of the made up music genre words, although Emo comes pretty close. Anyhoo. It was a good word wasn’t it? Personally I think Portishead are Goths, and this album is a goth dream. It will take you to a cold dark place and let you look into the belly of the beast and the bleakness of your own soul. The weird thing is, you will enjoy it- Even the Machine Gun one, and that weird accordion one. Trust me. And talking of weird, I’ve also been listening to Lykke li. She is a Swedish chick with big Scandinavian hair. I like the ambiguity her name, you know, is it pronounced Licky Lee? Or Likey lie? I have started calling her Lookie Likie in honour of the French and Saunders sketch. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind. She seems a bit odd. And her album’s a bit odd too- Kind of goofy, but sweet . It’s not perfect, but there’s enough on it to keep you smiling. And there’s more clapping- it really has been a good week!

And ending on a high note (literally) it’s the wonderful Crystal Castles. Imagine if all the old Atari games consoles, Pac man and Space Invaders machines from the 80s were buried under a spooky house, and an ill advised kitchen extension caused their bones to be disturbed, and they came back to life as evil spirits hell bent on wreaking their revenge, then you would have something approximating the sound of Crystal Castles. Now I’ve got to admit that I do prefer the ones that have something approaching a tune, but I am getting on, so fair play. They are awesome, in a greek tragedy , not Bill and Ted type of way.