Tag Archives: Music

Complex problems and solutions

She's... It's... Now wait a minute...

It’s time for three complex conundrums and three handy solutions.

Question One: You’re playing in the golf club championship tournament finals and the match is even at the end of 17 holes. You tee off first and hit your ball a modest 250 yards to the middle of the fairway, leaving a simple six iron to the pin.

Your opponent then hits his ball, lofting it deep into the woods to the right of the fairway. Being the golfing lady or gentleman that you are, you help your opponent look for his ball. Just before the permitted five minute search period ends, your opponent says, “Go ahead and hit your second shot and if I don’t find it in time, I’ll concede the match.”

You hit your ball, landing it on the green, stopping about ten feet from the pin. About the time your ball comes to rest, you hear your opponent exclaim from deep in the woods: “I found it!”

The second sound you hear is the sound of a club striking a ball. The ball comes sailing out of the woods and lands on the green, stopping no more than six inches from the hole.

You put your hand in your pocket, where you have your opponent’s ball. Now what?

Question Two:  Why do they lock gas station bathrooms? Are they afraid someone will clean them? (Doesn’t apply in European petrol stations which are always pristine. Aren’t they?)

Question Three:   Are you a male of a female?

Not sure?

Have a look further down to find out…

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. Continue reading

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Scorn not his simplicity

But first, your starter for ten: Who was the only non-US citizen to write a hit for Elvis? (Have a think and a read on and a listen, before checking the answer at the bottom.)

In the meantime – with the Loose Bloggers Consortium theme set as simplicity – this song sprang to mind. Derry man Phil Coulter wrote it about his experiences with his son with Down’s Syndrome. Luke Kelly from the Dubliners felt it was a song suitable only for special occasions and not every performance. 

That was back in the days when you could arrive late to the performance with a pint, a fag and a flute. Or if you’d prefer, you can have Sinead O’Connor’s version Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, Music

Let’s make a movie together! (Guess what? It’s a musical. No zombies.)

You, me and Harvey Weinstein. We can be film producers. It’ll be great.

We’ll leave the boring old blockbusters to Harve. You and me – we’ll concentrate on something smaller and perfectly formed like this emerging jewel called God Help The Girl.

It’s the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. (Some of you may remember the children’s TV programme of almost the same name. The band got a kicking from Jack Black in High Fidelity, but then again, he was going mad for Katrina and the Waves.) 

So Stuart has got together with a proper Hollywood producer called Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids, etc) to make a film of a summer of music and love in Glasgow based round an album of songs.  The hero is a girl being treated for annorexia, who discovers a talent for writing songs and teams up with a brother and sister she meets while on the bunk from her treatment centre.

The video gives a look behind the scenes – and the singers. Aaah…

They’ve got songs, locations, a plot, a script and actors (I think). All they need is a wee bit of backing. US$100,000 to be precise.

Which is where we come in. The producers. Also known as – the funders. Or as I like to think of it – executive producers.

The film is being funded through a crowdsourcing website. It works like this: You describe your creative project on the site – in this case, www.kickstarter.com and set a cash target. Thousands of people donate a wee bit of money. If you reach your target, you get the cash to spend on the project. If you don’t make it, the money is returned to the donors.

But why would any sane person donate?

  1. Loveliness.
  2. Taste.
  3. A desire to see the film made.
  4. To maintain the image of an eccentric billionaire.
  5. Incentives. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere… (after  this song)

The beautiful voices belong to Continue reading

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Filed under Film, Music

Back handed compliments

When the glittering showbiz bus rolls in to our wee town, it’s easy to get carried away with the attention and take it for granted that all publicity is good publicity.

But is it sometimes wiser to say no – or should you forget any qualms and just think of the kerching!?

When Gillies MacKinnon made his good, funny and gritty 1996 film about sectarianism, gangs and family in Glasgow, it was released under the title Small Faces – which was a good name. (Review here.) It was originally going to be called Easterhouse – after the intimidating scheme (or high rise complex) of the same name. But local representatives complained that it could blight the area – whether or not the portrayal was accurate – and successfully lobbied for the name change.

Small Faces: "You are now entering Tong Land."

So when Rihanna brought the global entertainment spotlight to bear on Northern Ireland, it was funny. I’m thinking of her topless run-in with a County Down (as in Down with this sort of thing) DUP councillor and farmer. But it was also unfortunate in another way.

Sure – what a compliment that she chose the New Lodge in north Belfast in which to film her We Found Love video. Fun. Excitement.

But what was that chorus again? We found love in a hopeless place…

Ah right. The hopeless place being Belfast Continue reading

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Thank you Culture Northern Ireland

Thank you Culture Northern Ireland for giving me a £100 Amazon voucher (for winning a writing competition completing a survey). And thank you Gerry Anderson and politician Gregory Campbell for helping me spend it. Well, to be more precise – they had a row. But Continue reading

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Frankie says…

…relax. But when?

In between this job, touting for the next one, feeding people, cleaning, shopping, transporting and tonight’s looming night shift.

Meanwhile the sound track is (allegedly too – but not for me) loud electric guitar and drumming coming from the next room as I type.

Aah. Now that creates a relaxing atmosphere. Top son has clearly not given up on the guitar after all. Which makes me happy. And more relaxed – even amidst the music.

I could give you a sample of his Sweet Child of Mine or American Idiot, but it might not create the same soothing mood for you. So instead, here’s Van Morrison with One Irish Rover (not the original, but it’s what I could find)….

You may have detected that I’m in a wee bit of a Continue reading

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Something beautiful – Lianne La Havas

Time for something just beautiful. (I need it after the brilliantly horrible Roadkill yesterday.) Lianne La Havas writes and sings beautiful songs.

According a possibly unreliable source, she’s in her early 20s, is English, with Greek and Jamaican roots.

Here she is with Age – on why she is happy to go out with an older man – as long as he does what he’s told. (From Later With Jools Holland.)

And wandering through Paris Continue reading

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Colonel Gaddafi v Daniel O’Donnell (for the Loose Bloggers Consortium)

Gaddafi's last words: "I'll top myself if you let Daniel sing..."

Warning: Not to be let near a microphone

Has your day been disrupted? Your carefully laid plans ripped up and thrown away? Hours of preparation gone to waste? Mine was. So why am I smiling? Not at all crotchety (which is today’s theme for the Loose Bloggers Consortium)? It’s all thanks to Colonel Gaddafi.

Sure, he may have made life misery for Libyans, presided over a despotic regime of fear and sudden death, invaded neighbouring states, encouraged assassination and mass murder overseas, bombed planes, supplied semtex and weapons to the IRA, protected the killer of police officer Yvonne Fletcher and inflicted repeated noxious gas attacks on journalist visitors to his tent through constant and noisy farting.

But he wasn’t all bad.

In his last act I think he went some small way towards making up for his many and various crimes, especially those against Ireland. And I am personally grateful.

Here’s how. The other day I was due to encounter a man both much loved and much loathed. He’s variously known as “the Pride of Kincasslagh”, “wee Daniel” and the nemesis of all that is pure and decent in music. He’s one of the world’s leading pushing of that pernicious aural drug – Country and Irish music. (Worse – far worse – than the worst Country ‘n’ Western.)

His name’s Daniel O’Donnell Continue reading

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Katy Perry the new Hitler?

Not with that moustache Katy. You've got the uniform down though.

Is Katy Perry the new Hitler?

Maybe I should rephrase that. As you may know, we got famously the last time we met, nose to nose, popstrel to kangaroo. What I should have asked is this: Is Katy Perry’s Hot n Cold the new Downfall? Continue reading

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Filed under Music, politics

Sodcasting

Sodcasters... But they look so lovely. They're probably listening to Price Tag by Jessie J or Ave Maria.

Are you a sodcaster? Or have you been the victim of sodcasting? (Or even the beneficiary?)

Whaddaya mean – What is sodcasting? You’ll almost certainly have experienced it. Unless perhaps you’re American. Because it’s a public transport phenomenon. (So this post particularly goes out to the newly resurrected Exile Imaging, who works in city transit for Austin, Texas.)

So what is it? Sodcasting is the playing of tinny tuneless repetitive beats on your phone loud speaker, or more likely that the sound leaks from your earbuds – thus giving other passengers on the bus or train the joy of sharing your musical tastes.

The music will be bad. Because it has to compete with the rumble of the vehicle. It’ll be distorted because it’s turned up so loud. And it’ll probably be rubbish, because it has been specially made to suit the medium – lots of treble, little or no bass.

I have to admit, though I’m familiar with the phenomenon, I hadn’t heard the term until this week. It is derived from podcasting – combined with a “Sod You” attitude.

And this is the important thing. I heard it on a wonderful radio programme on BBC Radio 4 which Continue reading

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