Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Ten: My Ten Favourite Drummers

1. Ginger Baker (Cream)
2. Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters & Queens of the Stone Age)
3. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin)
4. Ringo Starr (The Beatles)
5. Mitch Mitchell (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)
6. Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys)
7. Bill Ward (Black Sabbath)
8. Reni (The Stone Roses)
9. Jon Harper (The Cooper Temple Clause)
10. Keith Moon (The Who)

Tearing Off Tights With My Teeth

I returned to the office yesterday after a self-imposed two-day quarantine.
In truth, I think that the burning throat and thumping head to which I awoke on Tuesday morning were as much products of exhaustion as they were of anything contagious. Two days spent recuperating on the couch at Dungroanin', rather than inflicting myself upon my colleagues, has done me the power of good and I'm back to something approaching full strength.
But sleeping through the day on Tuesday meant that I struggled to drift off on Tuesday night, lying awake as the clock continued its steady progress beyond the early hours of the morning. Insomnia seems to be a self-feeding monster - the more you try to fall asleep, the harder it becomes. As I was lying in the dark, my brain was rattling through all the big issues - life and death, love and hate, Ren and Stimpy.
Unable to force myself to sleep, I wandered around Dungroanin' in an effort to avoid keeping Mrs Wife awake. The stillness that smothers the house during the witching hours is different to that which exists during the day. Having spent the afternoon alone in the house, I had become aware of how silent modern houses outwith town centres can be. The double glazing excludes all external sounds, the rabbits spend most of the afternoon dozing silently and I was in no mood for music or television.
But at night, though Dungroanin' is to all intents and purposes silent, the darkness seems to make even the smallest sound more easily identifiable. After a hard day's work of providing shelter, the house seems to creak for no good reason, arching its spine to iron out the kinks and stretching its extremities as it contracts in the clear, frosty night. Those electrical appliances that remain plugged in overnight emit a low hum that seemed inaudible during the day, to the beat of the kitchen clock.
Insomnia - the best mind-altering drug in the world.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One Two, One Two, This Is Just A Test

I'm currently testing Blogger's remote posting wangdoodle to see whether I have the ability to submit my text-based tripe to the worldwide interweb from anywhere on Earth.
I've been a bad blogger recently (well, I've been a bad blogger since I started blogging, but I mean bad as in frequency as well as in quality), so hopefully this new step on my path to sustained mediocrity will be a smooth one.
I may return....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sweat Shop

You know how it is - it's wearing towards 10pm at the start of the Canadian winter, there's nothing on TV, so you decide to have a look on the internet for something worthwhile to get your juices flowing.

So you sit down, Google up and type in "old used jock cup sniff sweaty".

We've all been there, right?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Load Of Bull

101 Reasons Why 500lb Bulls Don't Make Good Football Mascots: Reason 47.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Beauty and The Beast

As I write this, Mrs Wife and I are watching Desperate Housewives on Sky+.

At 44, Terri Hatcher looks almost as good as she did at 30. Which must be nice for her.

Unfortunately, many of Hollywood's leading ladies can't say the same.

I'd imagine that for the first four years of his marriage, Guy Ritchie woke up each morning thinking: "Holy shit, that's Madonna".

But towards the end of the eight-year relationship, I'd imagine it was more like: "Holy shit, that's Skeletor".

OK, Terri Hatcher has a six-year advantage over Mrs Ritchie, but still, there's no question as to which would be the better catch, even with Madge's millions.

Desperate Housewives all the way.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Arrivals

It's always interesting to see what brings the strange denizens of the Blogosphere to this far-flung outpost of the worldwide interweb.
The selection above from the past day makes for enlightening reading. Two people looking for pictures of John Lennon's beard; someone searching for the world's best name; another looking for the world's scariest name.
But my favourite is the person looking for "Disney midget" - they must be in the market for one of the seven dwarves.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Ginger Twat

I saw this when I was in Groucho's second hand record shop in Dundee the other day, and I had to share it with you.

The picture is a little out of focus, but the hand-written tag adorning this limited edition vinyl picture disc version of Simply Red's Picture Book album reads: "Free abuse from shop staff on purchase. £4.99".

Friday Ten: Ten Bands Whose Second Album Was Better Than Their Debut

1. Radiohead (Pablo Honey & The Bends)

2. The Bluetones (Expecting To Fly & Return To The Last Chance Saloon)

3. The Prodigy (The Prodigy Experience & Music For The Jilted Generation)

4. The Verve (A Storm In Heaven & A Northern Soul)

5. Super Furry Animals (Fuzzy Logic & Radiator)

6. Gomez (Bring It On & Liquid Skin)

7. Happy Mondays (Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out) & Bummed)

8. Coldplay (Parachutes & A Rush Of Blood To The Head)

9. Nirvana (Bleach & Nevermind)

10. Queens Of The Stone Age (Queens Of The Stone Age & Rated R)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bis repetita placent

I saw this site courtesy of Rachel Lucas, and I found it most amusing - Latin mottos and phrases, many of them lifted from modern society, including songs and movies.

Examples include:

Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur
Those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and the plaid jacket

Braccae tuae aperiuntur
Your fly is open

Capillamentum? Haudquaquam conieci esse!
A wig? I never would have guessed!

Certe, toto, sentio nos in kansate non iam adesse
You know, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Time For A Change

Well, one chapter has ended and another has begun.

Finally, the longest, most expensive election campaign this planet has ever seen has come to an end, and Barack Obama can begin counting down the days to becoming the most powerful man on Earth.

Whether or not America has made the right decision, only time will tell. And I'm not about to start sticking my neb in - people's political beliefs are their own affair, and I rarely think less of someone for theirs.

But what I will say is that this election has captured my interest like no other from outwith the British Isles. And it seems as if politics just got interesting, one way or another.

Lets just hope that the new president is allowed to get on with the job without fearing for his life - especially from his fellow countrymen.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Up In The Sky

I'm a tad weary today, as last night saw me turn back the years by visiting the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to watch Oasis.

Oasis at the AECC was the first concert I attended (discounting festivals) back in 1997, shortly after the release of Be Here Now.

Since then, I've seen the band a further three or four times (unlike my friend Billy, who accompanied me last night, who has seen them 20 times). Since the last time I saw them, they've released two albums and seen the emergence of Liam Gallagher as a songwriting force to match his brother in quantity if not quality.

There's an atmosphere surrounding Oasis gigs that's unlike any other. For a start, it seems more Neds come out to watch the Gallagher touring circus than attend other gigs - it's not always entirely pleasant, but it's unique.

Furthermore, the number of people considerably younger than me who attended was quite surprising - we spotted countless youngsters who weren't even born when Definitely Maybe was released - and that's not an entirely pleasant thought either, given that it soundtracked my teenage years.

We opted against watching the support act, arriving in the concrete and steel shell of the AECC around fifteen minutes before the lights dipped to signal the imminent arrival of the band on stage. The taped intro of Fuckin' In The Bushes blasted out of the speakers and Billy and I launched ourselves into the crowd in a manner not befitting our combined 55 years walking the Earth.

The setlist was a curious one - Live Forever and Acquiesce, both of which would be regarded as amongst Oasis' best work, were omitted, while The Meaning of Soul and Slide Away were both given rare run-outs. The Masterplan and an acoustic guitar version of Don't Look Back In Anger were highlights, as were the furious blasts through Supersonic and Morning Glory.

The Shock of The Lightning suffered from a false start, the band stopping halfway through in an attempt to stop people being crushed against the barrier at the front of the arena (Noel: "Hey, hey, hey, hey, don't start booing. Everyone take one step back. We can't have the people down the front dying before they've bought a t-shirt.")

Champagne Supernova, as always, was a highlight, before the encore closed with the now-traditional cover of The Beatles' I Am The Walrus.

There was little banter between the band and the crowd, and at times it looked as though they were going through the motions - but how easy can it be to motivate yourself for a gig on a cold Sunday night in Aberdeen?

Nonetheless, Oasis and their singalong anthems are still a big part of British life. They won't be going anywhere anytime soon.

(I may post video footage if I can work out whether it's possible to rotate videos recorded on my phone.)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Season 2008/2009: Match 12: Montrose v Stenhousemuir

Last week, I wrote that a week is a long time in football. Today, that proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Last week, Montrose, under the guidance of new caretaker-player-manager David Hannah, defeated Huntly by two goals to march onwards in the Scottish Cup (sorry, Homecoming Scottish Cup).

But today, they were ripped apart by league leaders Stenhousemuir, who took the lead after only three minutes thanks to a mistake from the new gaffer.

Montrose were turgid and lacking in ideas throughout, their ineptitude matched only by that of referee Garry Hilland. His greatest error was allowing Stenny's second goal, scored almost on the stroke of half time time, to stand, despite a blatant foul on Montrose goalkeeper Greg Kelly.

The visitors killed the tie off in the second half, Kelly himself at fault when he failed to hold a long ball into the box.

Montrose seemed unsuited to Hannah's 3-5-2 formation, especially with Jamie Buchan pushed into a holding midfield role, leaving Hannah himself at centre back. He no longer has the pace to match the pacey young strikers he faces week in, week out in Division Three, and was regularly found lacking when challenged one-on-one.

Hopefully this week's result was a minor blip, and Montrose can resurrect their promotion push in Annan next week.