Archive for February, 2010

As I sit here carefully deliberating the exhaustive list of words available to me on this topic, I contemplate whether there was actually a time when it was possible to open a newpaper or go past a news stand without being visually assaulted by Katie Price’s silicone tumplins.

Today, the top heavy chav adorns the news pages after marrying Alex cross-dressing-cage-fighter Reid (his real name apparently). They had a ‘private, simple’ matrimonial ceremony and ‘their reason for getting married is purely down to their love for each other’ gushed their spokesman in front of the ITV2 cameras.

To be fair I’m sure she can’t believe her good luck. Her entire multimillion pound empire was founded on her ability to stretch or remove fabric. Since then, much like the scientific experiments with other witless creatures who learn to peck in certain places to get rewards, she has similarly learnt that her level of tasteless sensationalism is directly proportional to generating personal wealth. The more vulgar the revelation the greater the revenue stream.

Of course defenders of the Brighton born hunchfront will cite her mega-fortune as evidence of her shrewd business savvy. I say, never underestimate the power of a pair of oversized Charlies and a car crash lifestyle for generating cash from the media.

Anyway I seem to have strayed off topic. So, after much deliberation I’m going to go with ‘grotesque’ and ‘repugnant’.

Originally Posted @ 21:32:06 on 03 February 2010 on

101 Great Album Covers – No. 63

Posted: February 23, 2010 in Uncategorized


The Reason

Posted: February 20, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

By Big Boot Dance

From If You Can’t Fight Wear A Big Hat

As reported following the death of Stephen Gately:

Tributes poured in for the singer, ranging from fans to Elton John.

Now I’ve heard of the Beaufort scale which measures wind speed and ranges from calm to hurricane force but I never actually knew that there was a graded spectrum of dead celebrity tributers let alone that Elton John is positioned at the apex. Good to know though.

Ex-Westlife singer Brian McFadden used Twitter, posting: ‘heartbroken! R.I.P the beautiful stephen gately. Life is so unfair. We loved you and you’ll be in our hearts forever’.

Dannii Minogue tweeted: ‘My thoughts go out to Andrew Cowles, and the boys Ronan, Keith, Shane and Mikey. Much love to Louis xXx.’

Let’s get one thing straight. I am not poking fun at the death of Stephen Gately. The sudden and unexpected death of anyone is a tremendous shock to those who knows or are acquainted with them. The level of shock spreads, much like an earthquake, with the least intensity experienced by those totally unconnected to them and the most devestation caused to the closest family and friends.

For some people the shock can be soothed somewhat by the notion that there is an omnipotent super being that not only managed to created somewhere between 5 and 100 million different species on earth alone (not to mention the incomprehendable magnitude of the contents of space) but somehow manages to house them and arrange joyful after-life reunion parties for them all after they cark it. For the non-believer no such level of comfort exists and the shock level remains at maximum.

But it is the effect of shock on the D-List celebrity that is the most curious. The chemicals in their cerebral cortex become highly unstable causing synapses to mix up brain commands. Instead of being instructed to send a simple personal message of condolence in keeping with the solemnity of the situation they are tricked into seeing it as a great opportunity to exploit. Grief stricken they head, at pace, for their netbooks with an irresistable urge to Tweet. 20 seconds later they post a 140 characters or less, adolescent and undignified testimonial to their fallen commrade. Well it’s either that or they know full well that every lazy tabloid hack is monitoring all D-list celebrity Twitter output for a third rate story. You’ve got to give them the benefit of the doubt haven’t you?

If you think this is harsh, ask yourself why exactly they choose to make a public announcement in this way? Really think about why. Who is it actually intended for? Do they think that Andrew Cowles, Ronan, Keith, Shane, Mikey and Louis will be logging into their netbooks to read or be comforted by this vacuous tripe? No, they’ve got grieving to do. Do they care? No, because as long as it gains column inches and amplifies their celebrity profile that’s all that matters. Why not make an effort to go to the shops, select an appropriate card, write in it a thoughtful personal message, attach it to a bunch of flowers and send it to those affected by grief? Because a traditional personal message of condolence in keeping with the occasion just wouldn’t cut the mustard, because, crucially, the general populous would not hear about it. The announcement is not a message to the bereaved, it is a message to the public, made as an attempt to look caring and compassionate. However, it is, in fact, nothing but a selfish, self serving spurious show of sympathy.

Originally posted @ 14:18:06 on 12 October 2009 on

Dame Vera Lynn became the oldest living artist in the world to have a No. 1 album after she pipped The Beatles to the top spot. Her album outsold The Beatles’ remastered editions although the Fab Four did occupy 11 places in the top 40 with their reissue records

It’s an encouraging tale for all musicians worldwide. In a music industry currently dominated by pretty young things, with the ‘music’ they produce being largely insignificant in comparison to their visual image and hypeability, it’s comforting to know that acts can still be popular despite being a wrinkly nonagenarian coffin dodger or having two dead band members – infirmities which one might normally assume would be an impediment to success.

Current acts with songwriting talent but without supermodel credentials must surely see this as a breakthrough and there may be some hope on the horizon for pug ugly bands and minger songwriters.

Is music finally making a comeback?

Comeback my arse. It is yet more marketing spin from a bone idle record company in its continued attempt to dupe the public into purchasing regurgitated music.

A crew of engineers at London’s Abbey Road studios have spent 4 years working on the Beatles remasters in an effort to preserve the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings and ensure the highest fidelity the catlog has seen since its original release“. For traditionalists, a box set of mono recordings will also be available – with each disc styled as a vinyl LP.

Why stop there? Why not go the whole hog and recreate the experience of the record buying public in the 60’s? Yes we spent 15 years exacting the sound of a 1960’s multi-play vinyl record player. Each CD recording allows you to hear the vinyl plop down onto the turntable, the mechanical noise of the arm movement as it swings across and then the unmistakeable crunch of the stylus hitting the record surface searching out the nearest groove then being treated to a few crackles before being underwhelmed by a tinny sound.

Demand for Beatles remasters has steadily increased since 1987 when the Beatles were first released on CD with what many audiophile fans deemed substandard sound quality compare to the original vinyl.

Yesterday in particular is a revelation. Free of the reverb that blights the 1987 CD version, McCartney’s voice radiates a damp, autumnal proximity that foregrounds the brittle bitterness of loss.

Give me strength.

You can really tell the difference’ says Beatles expert Kevin Howlett. ‘It’s an extraordinary thing to sit there and hear LPs that you know so well and hear little nuances that you hadn’t noticed before’

The music industry has gone down the toilet and is approaching the end of the u-bend at breakneck speed and what EMI thinks we need are little nuances. Outstanding. So as to present a objective view I tested this out on my £50,000 CD player. I had to play it a few times but I’m sure I heard Ringo let rip with a little squeaker at the start of ‘A Day In The Life’. Well worth £170 and a 22 year wait.

On the bright side, Howlett remarked (and remember he’s a Beatles expert) ‘they sound louder than the previous CD reissues’.

Bugger me. That’s great news for all of us with high fidelity equipment that has an absence of a volume control.

Allan Rouse, the chief engineer for the project said ‘I’ve been working on The Beatles for about 18 years now and I don’t think anything has been a scam, the remasters are certainly not a scam,’ he laughed. ‘I mean, if you call that a scam, then all the bands that have been remastered two or three times already….what’s that then?’

Well it’s the same scam isn’t it Allan? Another marketing strategy pumped out by record companies in their route down the path of least resistance when making decisions to relieve the general public of their cash. Why make any effort to find and fund new music when you can pay a mastering engineer relative peanuts to re-work previously recorded material?

This may be seen as just some more Beatles bashing but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a rant against the current state of the mainstream music industry using the Beatles remasters as and example of the type of thing we have to put up with these days. Without doubt the lines of influence stemming from the scouse mop tops will remain with us for generations. What they achieved and their lasting influence on music and society is unlikely to ever be repeated by any other act. But until the incumbent musical mindset is challenged with the hideous musical output from monstrosities such as X-Factor and Pop Idol being drowned at birth and the controllers of music like Cowell and his ilk being universally looked upon as as greedy, manipulative, vain, egotistic, obnoxious, self-centred bullies whose sole ambition is to amass personal wealth regardless of the integrity of its source, we will continue to experience a pandemic of dumbed down music on a global scale.

‘Yesterday’ was yesterday. What about tomorrow?

Originally posted @ 14:50:54 on 30 September 2009 on

The Greatest Gig Photo Ever

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

It’s thrown an entire nation into quandary – whether to watch Strictly Come Dancing or The X Factor. The shows will overlap for at least an hour when Strictly returns, 25 minutes before its rival starts, forcing millions of viewers to make the choice

It really is quite a dilemma isn’t it? Right up with there with whether to ‘go large’ in Mickey D’s.

The manufacturers of tape, DVD and HD based TV programme recording equipment really should ramp up their advertising to explain exactly what their products do. I’m no expert but they could probably be used to circumvent this monolithic head scratcher.

Archie’s personal recommendation is to turn your Tellybox off completely. Not just on standby. Completely off. Trace the power cable from the TV to the wall and pull the plug out of the socket. Seal the socket. Do the same for any other electrical equipment that receives TV signals. Take the aerial off the roof. Sever the electricity supply coming into your house. Take no chances to avoid, at all costs, the possibility of any of this visual sewage entering your home.

Originally posted @ 14:36:18 on 12 September 2009 on

Just A Band

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

Thou shalt not put musicians and recording artists on ridiculous pedestals no matter how great they are or were

The Beatles…were just a band.
Led Zeppelin…just a band.
The Beach Boys…just a band
Sex Pistols…just a band.
The Clash…just a band.
Crass…just a band
Minor Threat…just a band.
The Cure were just a band.
The Smiths…just a band.
Nirvana…just a band.
The Pixies…just a band
Oasis…just a band
Radiohead…just a band.
Bloc Party…just a band.
Arctic Monkeys…just a band.

The next big thing…just a band.

Thou Shalt Always Kill – Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip

X Factor returns on Saturday and judges Cheryl Cole and Dannii Minogue have given us a hint of the kooks we’ll see. Minogue says: ‘We had one act who is just so bad – do not miss her!’

If you are planning to watch X Factor on Saturday, as you peer out from behind your fingers during the preliminary rounds, constantly remind yourself of the unsurpassed description of the show in Gervais and Merchant’s Extras Special – ‘We wheel out the bewildered to be sniggered at by multimillionaires’. You might just see it for what it actually is.

Originally posted @ 22:00:20 on 19 August 2009 on

Please note: Link to video is not working. Will try to re-post soon.

From the DVD ‘Lee Mack Live’

Avalon Television Ltd