Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Sad Absence of Glitz

Oh how elusive a party outfit is proving to be. I have had several forays into the city in search of something suitable, I have tried on countless items of clothing but so far with no luck.

Now I know this is a very girly thing to talk about but the situation is getting serious. It' my big party and I don't want to wear the same old tired outfit that I always wear. It has to be sexy, it has to be cool (cool in the opposite of hot sense) as I intend to do some embaressing dancing, I would like a skirt or dress as I always wear trousers.

The trouble is that now the sales are coming to an end the shops are ridding themselves of all traces of glitz and it's still too early for them to have their summery colours yet. It's always hard to buy special occasion clothes in March and Febuary, I know this for a fact as I have often tried to get a new outfit for my birthday and a couple of years ago I had terrible trouble trying to buy an outfit for an April wedding.

Clothes shops seem to fill themselves up with dreary trousers and long sleeved tee shirts the minute the new year parties are over. Everything is casual rather than smart and the colours are dull. It's as if the clothes are trying to emulate the weather. Don't we deserve some cheerful clothes in the depths of winter? A bit of colour to brighten up a dull day. Don't shops realise that people still like to go out and party even in winter?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Life on Mars, how ordinary girls become celebrities and charities lose out

I am looking forward to watching the next episode of Life on Mars tonight (and not just because it is named after a David Bowie song!), a series where a detective has an accident and finds himself back in the 1970s. I have been really enjoying the series. It is fantastic seeing all the 1970s decor, streets and general stuff. what a sexist society though! Idon't know whether it was really as bad as that or whether they have exaggerated it to make good viewing - if not - then thank god things have changed. Society has a lot of faults right now but they portray the 1970s as being positively brutal.

I am not entirely enamored with society and popular culture at present. In fact I find the current culture of celebrity and obsession with appearences somewhat repulsive. More and more people are seeking fame just for fames sake and a quick fix for their problems.

It used to be that most people who became famous had a talent for something - either for telling a good story, musical ability, a great voice, artistic skill, talent as a dancer or athlete, skill as a mathmetician, scientist or inventor or performing some heroic deed. Sure there were people who were just famous, usually those who were rich and frivolous. But more and more people just seek fame for fames sake. I think it has a lot to do with mass media and the fashion industry. Models earn vast amounts of money just for looking good (or so it seems) and todays youngsters want a piece of that. Magazines like hello, Tatler, New Woman, Now and Hot all feed a starry eyed youth picture after picture of celebs like the Hiltons (famous for being rich - be honest who would be interested otherwise?), Nicole Ritchie (famous for having a rich, famous father), previous big brother contestents etc getting drunk, partying and generally setting us bad example.

All you need to get famous now is a driving desire to be in the limelight, make a wad of money and behave badly. Just to prove it - a talentless nobody won this years Celebrity Big Brother and is now £25, 000 better off. Lucky her you might think - but hang on a minute - had one of the real celebrities one it that money would have gone to charity! Isn't there something wrong there??? I thought the whole point of the show was that celebs made idiots of themselves ( & revive ailing careers) to raise money for charity. Yes I know they made 45 grand for charity on the phone lines but you can't deny that charties would have been 25 grand better off if it wasn't for Chantelle. Maybe Endemol should match that amount - I'm sure they can afford it, or maybe Davina should I'm sure the fact that she kept saying on air that wouldn't it be funny if a non celeb won it may have swung the votes somewhat.

In a way the whole charde that has been this year's cebrity BB has served us a timely reminder of how c**p, shallow and ridiculous reality tv really is. Why the f*** is it called reality tv anyway? There's nothing real about it. What's realistic about being locked in a house for weeks on a end with a bunch of people you have never met before and probably don't even like, with nothing to do but eat, sleep and argue. Even the shows that supposedly film stars everyday lives (like the Osbournes) can hardly be called "reality". There's nothing normal about having a full tv crew in your house, just the very act of them being there will change your behaviour, and of course the tapes are cut very carefully because they couldn't possibly show everything, there just isn't time. Of course how those said stars get along with the film crew and the director and producer will also influence what the end show will look like - so basically it's not real at all. It reminds me of those very virtuous dilemmas they have on Star Trek where they want to help prevent some catastrophe but can't because it will change the future of the universe.

On a lighter note I thoroughly enjoyed watching Top of the Pops last night, although I wasn't too impressed by Richard Ashcroft's new single (or his shiny black jacket). I did enjoy The Ordinary Boys though. The presenter likened them to Madness and although I can see what he means I thoiught that they were more like the Specials. Definitely shades of Ska in there. I also really liked the Magic Numbers, I will have to listen to some more of their stuff.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Stick the Knife in!

I am making an absolute point of not watching the final of Celebrity Big Brother tonight. I have never seen such a farce in my life. The only one that seems remotely interesting is Maggot. Pete Burns is obviously intelligent but is so two faced it's untrue. N finds him repulsive to look at because he is so surgically enhanced and I have to agree. There seems to be more and more a culture where people are encouraged to surgically alter their image and I find that trend disturbing. In the old days you would get a makeover, a diet/exercise programme and a counsellor to help you sort out your body issues - these days a makeover on tv more often than not entails going under the knife, with a bit of counselling to help you cope with the change.

Is this really the way we want to go? They don't usually mention that surgery is dangerous, can go wrong and that any deep seated psychological problems won't be cured overnight, either they don't go away at all or the effect is short lived - isn't that why so many people, especially celebrities (who can afford it) go back for more and more surgery. Often until they look like some grotesque parody of their former selves, which brings us back to Pete Burns. Now I like Pete in the 80s when he was a proper (well properish) bloke, as a bloke he was quite attractive! I saw that they have re-released Dead or Alives only hit "You Spin me Round" which is is actually quite a good track. But what a video - although whenever it comes on I do find it strangely fascinating to watch, it took me a while to work out that all the characters on the video are Pete!

Of course the other thing that they don't mention about cosmetic surgery is what will happen if you put on weight. I remember in the 1980s my friend visited a healer and met a woman in his waiting room who was suffering a lot of pain. She had had liposuction and a tummy tuck some years before and when she hit menopause and put on some weight her skin wasn't elastic enough to cope with it - ouch! And some of those celebs who have face lifts look really weird when they plump up a bit - they get the hamster cheeks, which looks really weird (renee Zellwigger and Mariah Carey!). Well I guess surgery is just not for me - however if someone comes up with a magic wand that can vanish flab and cellulite I might give that a go!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Enjoy the Silence

Sky tv must like Depeche Mode as they have several times used Depeche Mode tracks in their adverts for new drama series. Last year they used "I feel you" and now they are using "Waiting for the night", both excellent tracks. Over the years Depeche Mode have grown on me. I have to confess that I didn't like them at all when they first came out in the 1980s and I don't own any of their albums, however they have done some excellent tracks over the years.

My top 5 Depeche Mode tracks

1) Waiting for the Night
2) I Feel You
3) Enjoy the Silence
4) Policy of Truth
5) Personal Jesus

I think that all the suffering that Dave Gahan has gone through over the years has only enhanced their stature as a great band. I think there is a lot of truth in the saying about suffering creating works of genius.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

In a Rut - Gotta get out of it....

Yes it's true, I have once again been revisting my youth and have put some Ruts tracks on the MP3 player. i am thoroughly enjoying them too! I am not ashamed to revisit my roots (or dye my roots for that matter!).

Top 5 Ruts tracks

1) West One (Shine on Me)
2) In a Rut
3) Something that I Said
4) Staring at the Rude Boys
5) Babylon's Burning

Noticed that a few oldies are bringing out albums this year, was pleased to see Richard Ashcroft resurfacing (albeit with an ego the size of a small planet), not so bothered abou John Denver and Barry Manilow (as if!) but the new Belle and Sebastian album might be worth a listen.

The party plans are coming on well as is the party playlist (more on that later). Gotta go now as running late for my yoga class - yes back to yoga AND I went to the gym yesterday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Drawn Outside the Lines of Reason

Drawn Outside the Lines of Reason
Originally uploaded by pupski.

I am a page,
a blank page in a book,
waiting for life
to write its lesson on me,
I am anticipatory,
salivating like Pavlov's dog,
I watch and wait,
I am lined
but my lines are empty.

I have no margins,
I am ring-bound,
white, clean,
acid-free, recycled,
I yearn for the scratch of the nib,
the fertile ink of the writer,
I long to be impregnated by
the black gelatinous sperm of the pen,
to feel it’s nib moving across my skin.

I am a page,
an empty sheet of loveliness,
a virgin leaf,
a blank page in a book,
waiting for my tale to be written,
I am word-starved,
ravenous for the black crawl of words,
longing to be filled up.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Boring Blog, Boring Music

Been neglecting my blog of late - so here I am ready to make amends! I am also in desperate need of a new playlist on my MP3 player. I have had the same tracks on their for three weeks now and it is definitely time for something different. The weird thing is though that even though I have it set on shuffle it often seems to play the same few songs whilst others don't get played at all. Is it a design fault. a bug in the software or just coinicidence??

I also need to work on my party playlist. The party is all booked and I have 5 hours to fill! My main worry is that it might snow (it often does on my birthday) and then noone will come...or just that noone will come.....

I need to get a groovy, sexy party outfit as well!

Well this is turning into a very boring blog. I will have to come back later and rectify the situation!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I Predict a Riot

Got back from yoga last night to discover that Hunchermuncher had been kind enough to post disc one of the Live 8 concert through my door. I watched the first half and the highlights so far have been U2, Coldplay, and The Kaiser Chiefs.

At the time I remember thinking that The Kaiser Chiefs were an odd choice for Philidelphia, they are so quinessentially English (English not British). Everything about them is English: the clothes, the music and especially the lyrics. I don't think you could get more English lyrics (except maybe Pulp), and I did find myself wondering how many Americans would be able to understand or relate to the lyrics of "I predict a Riot".

Watching the people get lairy
Is not very pretty
I tell thee
Walking through town is quite scary
And not very sensible either
A friend of a friend he got beaten
He looked the wrong way at a policeman
Would never have happened to Smeaton
And old Leodiensian
La-ah-ah, la la lalala la
Ah-ah-ah, la la lalala la

I predict a riot, I predict a riot
I predict a riot, I predict a riot

I tried to get in my taxi
A man in a tracksuit attacked me
He said that he saw it before me
Wants to get things a bit gory
Girls run around with no clothes on
To borrow a pound for a condom
If it wasn't for chip fat, well they'd be frozen
They're not very sensible
La-ah-ah, la la lalala la
Ah-ah-ah, la la lalala la

I predict a riot, I predict a riot
I predict a riot, I predict a riot

And if there's anybody left in here
That doesn't want to be out there

Watching the people get lairy
Is not very pretty I tell thee
Walking through town is quite scary
And not very sensible
La-ah-ah, la la lalala la
Ah-ah-ah, la la lalala la

I predict a riot, I predict a riot
I predict a riot, I predict a riot

And if there's anybody left in here
That doesn't want to be out there

I predict a riot, I predict a riot
I predict a riot, I predict a riot

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Top 10 for January

Banish those winter blues with some tracks to make you feel happy...

1) Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills and Nash
2) Gayatri Mantra - Chloe Goodchild
3) Given to Fly - Pearl Jam
4) Superstition - Stevie Wonder
5) Corduroy - Pearl Jam
6) To be Someone (live) - The Jam
7) Matrix Theme - Crystal method
8) Mr Jones - Counting Crows
9) Valerie - Steve Winwood
10) Hurt - Johnny Cash

I hd been listening to the annoying but catchy Call on me by Eric Prydz, wondering why it sounded so familiar when I realised that the call on me chorus was a sample of Steve Winwood's Valerie. I hope Steve made some money from it too!

Ghost Town Mystery

Why, oh why? Can anyone tell me why Ghost Town, one of The Specials most famous tracks does not appear on any of their greatest hits albums? I am bemused.

Also why does David Bowie not mention The album Hours when he talks about his albums, as if it never existed - and I thought it was one of his better recent albums.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Little Wonder versus Firestarter

There I was trying to prove that bits of "Sexy Boy" by Air sound similar to a bit of a Bon Jovi track and an (as yet) unidentified David Bowie track, when I clicked on "Little Wonder" by David Bowie in my itunes folder. That sounds like "Firestarter" by the Prodigy says Hunchermuncher and whaddya know he's dead right! I downloaded said Prodigy track and if you listen past the intro to where the drumbeat starts it is very much like "Little Wonder". Firestarter was released in 1996 and Little Wonder was released in 1997. I couldn't find any mention of similarities anywhere, however DB does cite The Prodigy as one of his influences in making the album Earthling from whence said track came. Coinicidence or not? Naughty David!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Blasts From The Past

this year I decided that rather than letting my christmas money be absorbed into the general day to day expenditure, I would use some of it to buy something totally uneccessary. and that is exactly what I did!

I bought five Cds and they came to the princely sum of £23:

The Jam - All Mod Cons
The Jam - Setting Sons
Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense
Fugees - Greatest Hits
The Specials - Greatest Hits

I had been thinking a lot about The Jam recently. I used to have a tape of The Jam live in Concert that I recorded off of Radio 1 when I was a teenager, and I wanted to re-visit some of the brilliant tracks that they played in it. Songs like "Away from the Numbers", "girl on the Phone", "Thick as Thieves", "Smithers-Jones", "Mr Clean", "To be Someone". I looked them up on e-bay and was delighted to find that you can buy new Jam cds for as little as a fiver - and here I am listening to thenm now as I type this - and thoroughly enjoying singing along to "In the Crowd" - bliss.

I was slightly disappointed with the Specials cd though, how can you have a Special greatest hits without including "Ghost Town"?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Playlists and Paperbacks

I have had a miserable cold for the last two weeks and am just starting to feel better today. I must be feeling better because I started reading one of the boks that Santa brought me: "The Bob Dylan Chronicles" . So far it's quite readable but he doesn't give away much personal detail, nothing about his family or emotional stuff just all about music and his relationship to it. I had a few Christmas literary gems this year including:
Moonage Daydream - Mick Rock and David Bowie
David Bowie's Low 33 1/3 - Hugo Wilcken
The Rough Guide to Playlists
I-Pod Therefore I Am - Dylan Jones
and in a cold induced moment of madness I purchased a copy of Hippie in HMV in Ipswich last week.

I have to say though that the rough guide to playlists is ok but not alll that brilliant. I suppose playlists are very personal things. The most interesting bits are playlists by musicians themselves and alas there are too few of them. Would be interesting to have a book of famous musicians top 10 songs - now that would be worth reading. The trouble with Rough Guide is that there are too many bands (Pearl Jam, INXS, Sisters of Mercy, Lightning Seeds, Cat Stevens, James Taylor etc) who aren't in there at all. In the lists that are there I would disagree with some of the tracks (especially the dance anthems list - Insomnia - yes, but some of the others were apalling and not good to dance to). No Clash list, in my opinion is complete without "Stay Free" "Clash City Rockers", "Train in Vain", "bankrobber" and "Janie Jones".