Music from the Thomas Cook advert

Wow, starting as I mean to go on, eh? This is my hundredth blog post so far this year… or at least it feels like it. anyway, this is a very quick update, mainly for my own benefit, but the music on the current Thomas Cook advert, with its wispy guitars, is “The Sea”, by Morcheeba.

I know it from something else, or at least I know that guitar riff. I probably have it on CD somewhere, I’ve bought a load of chillout albums over the years.

The music of 2010… was terrible.

Well, it’s usually around this time of year and take a look through my extensive music collection, and see if I can find any music from this year which I’ve actually enjoyed. You may remember 2009 was a pretty slim year for me, with me only managing to blather about 2 songs. Unfortunately, this year, I’m probably going to struggle to get two.

It’s personally been an appalling year for music. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Mine is that it was dreadful.

One song I did like was “Famous” by Scouting For Girls…

(VIDEO REMOVED)

Unfortunately, I can’t embed official video link. I first heard this song somewhere in the Great Ayton area, after winning an ebay auction for many 80s LPs.

Thankfully, I have jst remembered another song from this year that I liked, namely “Choices” by The Hoosiers. It’s another horrible video rip-off I’m afraid…

The official videos don’t like being embedded, unfortunately.

Overall, there’s one piece of music that’s had an impact on me this year more than any other, and although it was released in 2009, it deserves a place in this posting. I posted about this in April, so instead of duplicating it, I’m just going to link to the post…

The Golden Age of Video

A stunning piece of work.

It’s time now, for my “guilty pleasures” – the songs I’d never actually buy, but wouldn’t reach for the dial if they suddenly came on the radio. The first is ‘Alejandro’ by Lady Gaga. Yes, I know, I feel like scraping out my own eardrums for this, but I’d heard the song at least 20 times before I knew who sung it. I’d actually convinced byself that Ace of Base had reformed. For those of you who know the Lady Gaga song, take a listen to this and tell me they’re not the same song…

(VIDEO REMOVED)

My other guilty pleasure is “Raise Your Glass” by Pink. I probably shouldn’t like it, but I do. Sorry.

So, that’s it. My music purchases this year have been many and varied. Very little of it has been from this year.

The humble art of the mixtape…

I’m sure that calling it a “mixtape” is some type of American colloquialism, therefore I feel slightly dirty using it on my blog, but sod it, that’s what I’m going to call it. Those of you around my age will remember these, and the joy they used to bring you.

You give a friend a C90, it returns several days later, filled with questionable music. It was like the Napster of the Nineties. Or the eMule of the Eighties. And possibly the WinMX of the Sev… wait, that one doesn’t really work.

Andy the Iridium Fan is someone who still embraces the analogue era, and likes nothing more than to slap on his walkman, and ride around the streets of Hartlepool listening to his compilations of C120s, entitled “Music for the Weekend”.

You may know that I’m currently borrowing it a tape recorder of his, in the vain hope of getting the majority of my decaying tapes onto some type of digital media. This is a job not for the faint hearted. In payback for the loan of the tape deck, he thrust a C120 tape into my hand and DEMANDED I fill it with shit. OK, a little bit of artistic license there, I just had to fill it. Now, for obvious reasons, such as I don’t particularly want to be sued, I can’t divulge the contents of the afore-mentioned tape (Dear Lawyers, for all you know, it’s actually 120 minutes of me gargling in the bath), but choosing the tracks to go on there was extremely difficult.

I started the tape about 6 weeks ago, and only finished it two days ago. What was odd, is the complicated procedure that some of the songs…. no, sorry, sounds of me gargling in the bath, went through… it would have started life on record, recorded via USB turntable, compressed to MP3, written to CDR, played on CD player, recorded onto tape…. in fact, this tape…

It did drive one thing home, how much I missed the whole “mixtape” idea. With archives of entire music catalogues at our disposal at the click of a mouse, it seems that a once fine art is dying out, replaced with faceless playlists, on third-party websites. I still have tapes recorded for me by Chad, and I’m sure I’ve blogged about them in the past. As much as I hate to say it, these were my greatest influence when it comes to music I listen to 20 years later. In 2nd place, are the tapes Daddykins used to get from the petrol station. In fact, I’m listening to “No Regrets” by The Walker Brothers, which I first heard on one of those tapes.

And, for those of you of a nosey disposition, here’s a little behind-the-scenes look of me taking the above photo, courtesy of ATIF…

Resting my camera on a mug half-full of tea. Quinticenstally British. For those who have been following, I named my tape “Music For the Weak End 1”. I have no idea if there’ll be a followup.

Because it’s late… or early…

I’ve started typing this entry at 05:46 in the morning, so you’ll have to decide where it’s early or late. For me, it’s late, but that doesn’t really matter. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything reasonable. In fact, the last post was regarding the Tall ships, which have come and gone. In something that’s becoming a bit of a tradition, here’s a partial post I wrote…

The residents of the quaint little fishing village of Hartlepool can breathe a sigh of releif, as the town slowly returns back to normal following the Tall Ships “festival”. Regular viewers will notice the lack of updates regarding this particular event, that’s because, as I mentioned, I was in Employment Palace 3 of the 4 days, meaning I was only able to pick up one of the 4 main days. No fireworks for me!

Still, plans had been made to attend the last day of the tall ships with some work colleagues. Dick Brown, webmaster of the World Wide Wankstain dick-brown.com instantly announced his disgust at attending such event, or rather, announced his disgust at attending an event with work colleagues instead of friends. I was a bit gutted, as I thought we were friends. Clearly not. Never mind, eh?

Four of us agreed to go, and meet up at Jamie S’s house. The other two I shall name as Craig and Gary. After all, that’s their names. Everyone except for Jamie S happened to finish at a silly time in the morning, meaning he could have a sleep in, and we would wander (or drive), bleary eyed towards his house. Gary had to drive from Beiruit Port Clarence, and the plan was for him to park outside of Jamie S’s house.

I went to bed at about 9. At approximately 11, I got a text from Jamie S saying he was dropping out. It could have been predicted, but it meant that Gary had nowhere to park. Bugger.

I was going to go anyway, and had originally planned to get a good vantage point at the Headland. On my way there, I found that part of the fence had been removed, which meant the full dock site was open. I never expected that! For the first time I can remember, you could walk from Northgate to the marina, through the private land of the docks.

Predictably, it was not possible to have four dry days in Hartlepool, and the clouds threatened to spoil the going-away parade…

At approximately 14:35, it began to hoy down. Luckily, some of the tents / stalls had became vacant, meaning that I was just in the right place to take shelter.

It absolutely shat down.

It stopped raining for approximately 10 minutes, before the clouds rolled in again. Thankfully, I made my way out, but then back to the shelter of “my” tent before it started again. Unfortunately, these didn’t…

It’s not really visible, but the t-shirt stand next to where I was stood also sold umbrellas. I’ve got video (which I’m sure I’ll upload somewhere) of this rain shower of the afore mentioned umbrella seller…. “Umbrellas, three pound….. (rain gets heavier)…. Umbrellas, five pound now…” I found it funny anyway. So did quite a few people who had also joined me in the tent.

Eventually the rain stopped, and Gary rang me, asking where I was. I gave him my location, and we met up. He brought one of his dogs along, whose first job to lick me to death. Lucklily, I was able to move out of the way of the muddy paw hug, meaning my white t-shirt was safe.

Obviously, we went to see some of the ships leave. The first was the Christian Radich…

The weather actually began to change. the gloomy skies were, for the first time, being replaced with bright sunshine. Of course, this didn’t last long, and before we knew it, we were once again running for the shelter of the vacant tents. It was at this point I noticed Craig had texted me

…. and, that’s where I left it, suspension fans! You’ll never find what the text contained, or whether Craig made it. Actually, he didn’t. I’ll cut to the end of the day, as it was weeks ago now, but after most of the ships had sailed out of the port, me and Gary headed up to Crimdon for a view up there…

A unique view that will probably never be repeated again.

Right, that’s the end of my Tall Ships coverage. Well, OK, not quite. I’ve got possession of Andy The Iridium Fan’s “Tall Ships” archive. He was lucky enough to be down there all four days, and also get hold of a photography pass, meaning there’s 3,768 photos for me to go through… watch this space.

Photo opportinities have been few and far between, thanks to a few reasons. My complete laziness, “Just Cause 2”, and the weather. I’ve not even been out to get any sunsets recently, though I did attempt a bit of sunset photography with ATIF the other week. Unfortunately, the sunset was an abortion, so we just hung around until it got dark, and tried a bit of long exposure in a field… wait, that sounds wrong… we sat in a field and took photos of each others equipment…. hang on, that sounds worse… look, this is what I mean…

Actually, the rest of the set turned out quite good too, you can have a look here

20th August saw me obtain a few plastic crates from work, in the vain hope of being able to sort something out of my record, CD and tape collection This is something that is ongoing (i.e. not started yet). though one of the crates has already been filled with old videotapes.

The 22nd August saw the end of an era. Yes, it was the last ever gig of “Accidents By Design”. I wouldn’t say I was their only fan, but I’ve been to as many gigs as I could possibly attend, fighting my way through rain, hail and snow. Here’s some video of their last ever gig.

Part 1
Part 2
Part3
Part 4

Parts 1+4 have feedback noise on them, unfortunately, thanks to a dodgy guitar pedal left by a previous band. Had a great day overall, and the sunburn I thought I’d end up getting wasn’t as bad as I’d feared.

Two sets of photos on this one, firstly, mine hosted on flickr, and ATIF’s which are hosted (removed). Despite the lure of cheap beer, with some of the money going to charity, I didn’t touch a drop.

EDIT: Ooooh, seems I missed a couple of things out of this post. Just had a comment from Jamie S, as I failed to mention he actually turned up for Pitch Invasion. I mentioned he didn’t turn up for the Tall Ships, but he broke his 100% record for not turning up to stuff, by er… actually turning up.

The first time he didn’t turn up for something was when we were going to Middlesbrough to see Wheatus. Which, in some type of weird juxtaposition of the present and the past, I received this email from someone who you may remember as “Poolieboydave”…

Alright

Hope your well. Just got back from Leeds festival and finally saw weezer after nine yeas of waiting. Anyway bizarrely they did a cover of wheatus’ teenage dirtbag, which made me think of the poolieboydave drunken msn rant!

Odd how these things crop up! I still check the blog weekly!

Bloody hell, three readers!

Does anyone know this song?

I don’t do this often, but I have another “unknown” song I’d like someone to name. This one’s different as I have the ENTIRE song, but have no idea what it’s called, or who it’s by.

Unknown song

I really don’t know much about this song, though I did actually buy it, or at least the magazine it was given away on. It came part of a free tape on the front of a music magazine from around 1989, possibly 1990. I can tell you I bought it from King Oswy shops, the original tape was black, and came in a slipcase. It may have featured “Inner City Mama” by Nenah Cherry on the tape too.

Not that it helps much.

Unfortunately, the original tape came from a manufacturer who made tapes that didn’t agree with my tape deck, and it probably got chewed up and binned. I certainly don’t have it anymore.

With the borrowment of Andrew’s cassette deck, I’ve been able to source one of my old C90s which had a copy of this song on it. Unfortunately, it was copied in high-speed mode, meaning the above track sounds tinny as hell. Just for old times sake, I’d like to know who it is and who by. Don’t bother googling the “lyrics”. “Blip Blipiddy Blop Bleep” doesn’t bring up any usefull results.

Feel free to comment / email. If it sounds familar, that’s great, but unless you’ve got a *really* good idea of who it is, then don’t! Also ,comments about my questionable taste in music, then, you know that already.

The flea market? On a Thursday?

For the long-time followers, you may remember that I used to enjoy my regular Wednesday trips to the Hartlepool Flea Market. I’m afraid to say that they will never happen again.

This is now a view that will probably never reoccur, for you see, the fleam market and the regular market have been combined to form one large market. A “supermarket”, possibly? Well, with some of the tat on offer, I’ll not use that phrase.

Today was my first visit to the afore-mentioned “merged” market. The whole day started off extremely un-promising. Thursday is our bin day, so imagine my disappointment when I go and collect the bin, only to feel the depressing feel of cold rain on my balding head. It looked that I’d be missing out on another week of erm.. new market activities. Thankfully, the rain disappeared instantly, and after a shit, shave and shower (only one of those is true), I donned my replacement phone headset, and headed off in the general direction of the town. It’s the first time I’d been out early enough on a Thursday morning to see everyone’s bottle/can recycling boxes full. It would appear that quite a lot of people on this estate have a lot of parties or alcohol problems.

By the time I’d reached the town on foot, the sun was beginning to break through. I had the misfortune of watching a seagull devour a pigeon to within an inch of its life, in the middle of one of the busiest roads in the town. This thing was going hell for leather on this poor pigeon. Traffic eventually forced the seagull to fly off, leaving a mangled, barely alive columbiform in the dead centre of the road. It was one of those “Wish I had my camera” moments. I’ve never seen anything like it before, and I’m assuming, neither had that bloody pigeon.

Shaken up by this whole ordeal (not really), I yoinked some money out of the cash point, and headed in the general direction of the market. I wouldn’t say I’m overly impressed with the whole layout. There seems to still be a great divide between the “flea” and “standard” markets, yet the flea market feels horribly crowded. I can’t be the only one who thought this. While I was exploring the new CDs on Erics’s stall, Andy the Iridium Fan (ATIF) stood right alongside me (plus bike), and didn’t even recognise me until I uttered “Not talking to me, then?”. I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not that I’m not instantly recognisable from a distance…

Anyway. I got some “classics” from Erics stall, including Mike Oldfield’s “Music of The Spheres” for £1. I’ve been after that album for a while ever since I “heard” an “advanced” “copy”. It’s not my favourite of his, but it has its moments. I remember almost paying £14 for it in the now defunct Zavvi store in Middlesbrough, but I thought “I’ll come back later”. I never went back.

In all, I spent £10 on Eric’s stall. I got some absolute garbage which only I remember, such as “Sacred Spirit / Chants and Dances of The Native Americans”. I remember it for its classics such as Ly-o-Lay Ale Loya, and Yeha-Noha. Honestly, I’m not shitting you. I know these tracks. Imagine my shock when ATIF knew them also, as his dad had it on LP. After purchasing the CDs and departing with ATIF, I headed into the town centre. I decided to miss out on my usual pastie, and instead headed to Iceland to see if they had started stocking the “Birds Eye Essentials” chicken curry again. The answer was negative, and left the store empty handed. I turned my attention to Heron, where I picked up 4 rasperry Ribenas for £1, and two Ross chicken curries for £1. The latter curry is, if I’m honest, diabolical. Small, hardly any rice, full of peas, complicated instructions which suggest the use of the “Defrost” section of the microwave, and they almost always come out drier than a nun’s (Don’t go there -Ed). The Ribena, however, was awesome, despite the fact I drank three of them, and then realised I’d hit my recommended sugar level for the day. No, seriously.

A 288Ml serving of Rasperry Ribena contains 30 grams of sugar. A 500ml can of Carling contains 11 grams. You’ll forgive me for sticking with Carling, then.

Home Bargains was my next stop, where I stocked up on Wispas, cherry coke and rice. Oh, and handwash.

I decided that I couldn’t take the town anymore, and grabbed the next bus back to Mercuryvapour Towers. It arrived in only a few minutes. Unfortunatelty, a phone malfunction meant that I couldn’t listen to music on the way home. Instead, I was left listening, and unfortunately, taking in the conversation from the two old biddies in front of he… “Eeeh, well you shouldn’t let her upset you…. that’ll be what she wants…”. I clearly never got the full conversation. I didn’t particularly care. Hopefully, typing it in here will help me forget.

Daddykins was out when I got home. I ate my curries, and spent the rest of the afternoon in a vegetative state. One thing I was looking forward to was Wimbledon. I never thought I’d say that on here, but I was hooked on what was the most historic day of tennis ever.. I was more interested in the fact that the day before, I’d noticed that the scoreboard had crashed at 47-all. It was something that should never have happened. It did. History was made. It was the first time a flip-dot display had made the news since… well, Chad liked my last post, I can’t have that happening twice.

Scoreboard glitches were rectified, and eventually, the match ended with Isner winning. The final score was something stupid.

This doesn’t need explanation.

Just click play.

It’s called ‘The Golden Age of Video’ by Ricardo Autobahn. It’s a copyright minefield, so I’m surprised it’s not been deleted yet. I’m so glad it hasn’t.

I got out of bed at 5:50 just to play it because I woke up with it going around my head. Anything that has Short Circuit, Rainbow, The Fast Show, Anchorman, Naked Gun, South Park, and Family Guy in the same video, with a recurring chorus featuring Ghostbusters and Freaks MUST be good… and this is brilliant.