Song, by Toad

Archive for the Five for Friday category

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Five For Friday – 14th June 2013

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Hello everybody. We are getting ready for the Rob St. John house gig tonight, but I thought I would stop by the internet and had out some gems to get you through the rest of the afternoon. Not quite making the list of five awesome things this week is that fact that it is World Gin Day tomorrow because, well, I don’t think we need mention what is likely to happen there.

Also, before we kick off, Andrew Dubber wrote a nice piece about the Digital Music Grand Canyon recently, about bands who suffered from the panic and reduced investment brought on by the internet, but never got to really benefit from the advantages, because a lot of the new platforms just weren’t there yet. Myself, I would be interested to know of all the great undiscovered bands who never quite made it, but who will lose all record of their fleeting existence when MySpace is finally turned off once and for all.

1. Speaking Fees of the Marginally Rich and Famous

Want Stephen Baldwin to talk at your daughter’s fifth birthday party? Or Jeb Bush? It’s not as expensive as you would think. Click on the image at the top of the page to browse through the speaking fees of various B and C-listers. Or you can me for the price of a bottle of gin and some crisps, your choice.

2. Song of the Week – Pure and Apart by Tyrannosaurus Dead

I am sure Tyrannosaurus Dead don’t want me to be referring to them as ‘that lass from the Hundredth Anniversary’s other band’, but it is through the latter that I found the former, regardless of whether or not either is anyone’s ‘other’ band. They make awesome, fuzzy guitar pop with lovely male/female harmonies, and that is pretty much a perfect recipe as far as I am concerned. They have an EP coming out on the excellent Oddbox Records, which you can pre-order here.

3. Sparrow and the Workshop session with Glasgow Podcart

This really good interview and live session with Sparrow and the Workshop went up on the Podcart Soundcloud page recently, and it’s really good. They play nice acoustic versions of a couple of their songs, talk about side project and DO REALLY BAD IMPRESSIONS OF ME! Total bastards. Bloody fucking fuck.

4. The Art of Animation

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You know I am an absolute sucker for drawing, don’t you? It’s my main reason for loving comics (or graphic novels if you’re desperately trying to get grown-ups to take them seriously). I just love the pages and pages and pages of amazing drawings, and The Art of Animation is just that: post after post after post of incredible illustration and comic art. Toadgasm.

5. Grass Outrage

This story is absolutely amazing, in every sense. The actual, genuinely-printed-in-the-newspaper headline is this:

“Couple return from holiday to find grass by their street cut to different lengths”

That someone is outraged at the trimming of their grass verges in the first place. That their outrage made it into a fucking newspaper! And then that the comments on that article found a way to blame it on asylum seekers and illegal immigrants! WHEN WILL THE MADNESS STOP! Time to bomb Nottingham back into the dark ag… oh, hold on, it’s clearly already in the dark ages. Ah well, at least they have Gringo Records.

 

 

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Five For Friday – 3rd May 2013

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Today is dreich – one of those great Scottish words I will never truly be able to use properly because of my accent. I can write it down though, and you can all imagine I said it right, if you wouldn’t mind. It’s really hard not to pick up the slang when you’ve lived somewhere as long as I have, even if you know you’ll never really be able to pronounce it correctly.

Anyhow, it’s the usual Friday drill: I link to five weird or interesting things I found on the internet this week, and you either contribute your own, or just take the piss out of my choices. It’s up to you. But no drinking before 3:30pm please, that would be decadent.  Actually, I have some Blackwoods in the fridge, now that I come to think of it… and some Caorunn. Actually, fuck this, fuck you all, I’ll see you on Monday with a rotten, rotten headache.

1. Who Let the Dogs Out by Matt Mulholland

I don’t really need to add anything to this, do I? You can subscribe to this fine fellow’s YouTube channel here. This one is particularly worth it – awful, excruciating brilliance!

2. Bye bye Cloud Sounds

Cloud Sounds wasn’t ‘THE’ inspiration behind Song, by Toad. I started years before I first discovered Ted’s sarcastic, curmudgeonly podcast, but when you do something like Song, by Toad for as long as I have one initial spark of inspiration isn’t really enough. You may not need it all the time, but every once in a while, when the ‘what the fuck is the point’ blues are starting to set in you need to be inspired afresh, and that is what Cloud Sounds did for me a few years ago when I first started listening. The music was great, and despite the cynicism it was somehow a hugely enjoyable podcast and it will be sorely, sorely missed in these parts anyway.  We will hopefully be giving it a vinyl-based swan-song however, so watch this space…

3. Song of the week: Corduroy by Pearl Jam

Like a lot of people, Pearl Jam sort of drifted off my radar after their early-nineties highs of Ten and Vs. It was Ten, more than Nevermind, taught me to love loud guitar music and Vs. was played amongst my immediate peer group more than almost any other album during my first year of university. Vitalogy, which followed these two commercial behemoths, didn’t quite catch with me however. The band were struggling hugely with the fame their previous success had brought them, and the recording process was a bit fractious, by all accounts. Anyhow, the album itself may not have been my favourite, but there are some brilliant tunes on it, and this is one of them.

4. Six-inch Human Remains Found

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This is just weird. That skeleton above is apparently, despite its rather exaggeratedly alien appearance, entirely human. It is the remains of a person who was six inches tall, and who lived to the age of about eight years old. There are more images to be found on LiveScience here, but let’s go back to that last point again: eight years fucking old! I find it barely conceivable that a six-inch tall human being could possibly have lived that long. There is really is no shit we can possibly make up which nature can’t do bigger, bolder or weirder, is there.

5. Eyewitness Testimony About Drone Strikes

This is pretty grim listening, I have to confess, but it is important. Having a faceless, non-human controlled device flying about the place which might just fucking annihilate you if its operator so decides must be one of the most terrifying and enraging things which could happen to a community. I can see the attraction of drones, but they are evil, inhuman things – killing another human being is a serious business, and if we decide we have to do it then I still think we need the natural brake on the process of doing it face to face. Yes, it will traumatise the person given the task, but killing people shouldn’t be easy. Make it as remote as drones make it, and it becomes far, far too easy, and I don’t think it should be allowed. In all-out war, maybe, but not in something as delicate as the War on Terror.

5.5 One Last Funny, to Cheer You Up Again

THIS is how to complain!

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Five For Friday – 26th April 2013

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Hello folks, and welcome back to the Friday Fives. This week I am preparing myself for the Meursault gig up at the Liquid Rooms this evening by clearing my inbox out a bit, getting a haircut and generally taking things a little easy. I will be a world of postal pain as of Sunday, so a clear evening with no obligations is hugely welcome. And to enhance that relaxed sense of comfort even more, here is some random shit I found on the internet this week. Please do add your random shit in the comments, because random shit is what Friday afternoon on the internet is for.

1. Don’t Forget: Lifeboats Tomorrow

Sorry, I know this only applies to Edinburgh people, but please do remember to come down to Stockbridge to help us collect for the Lifeboats tomorrow. All it takes is the gumption to shake a tin for an hour or so out and around Stockbridge, and then we will ply you with wine and roast lamb in the evening by way of thanks.  Mrs. Toad has even promised to bake, so don’t say we aren’t doing our best to make it worth your while. If you’re coming down, anytime between about 10am and 5pm would be splendid, so just get in touch and let us know what you reckon you can do.

2. Song of the Week: Dutch by Still Caves

The above song is released by Still Caves on a new Glasgow label called Electric Co. They have all sorts to stream on their Bandcamp page, and are already working with the very-much-Toad-approved New Fabian Society. The whole label looks really interesting, they are into some great stuff, and are very much worth an exploration.  Latest release Dream & Machine by SunDogs is also excellent, if totally different from NFS and the tune above. Good stuff, nice to see someone else releasing the kind of stuff I’m really into.

3. Fifty Years of Mental Genius From Lambourghini

See that ludicrous picture at the top of the page? Yep, for young men of a certain age that 80s Countach rendering was an image so imprinted on our minds that even now, in all its ludicrous glory, it still brings back warm feelings of nostaligia. I may never have had stonewash jeans or Bon Jovi hair, but that car was the only thing which ever made me slightly envious of some of those who did – the type who could drive around in one of those patently ridiculous and yet utterly brilliant road beasts. I’m not much of a petrol-head, but as a kid I was fascinated by cars, and still am, to a small extent. I was also always on the side of Lambourghini in the 80s Lambourghini vs. Ferrari debate, mostly because the Countach beat seven shades of shit out of the Testarossa – its Ferrari counterpart.

Anyhow, the third link this week is to a slideshow of fifty years of Lambourghini, and for all they have some truly awe-inspiring machines in their past (and present), Jesus fucking Christ they have some godawful ones as well!

4. Happy End series, by Dietmar Eckell

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For someone who is rather afraid of flying, I don’t know if I should find these photos reassuring or disturbing. They’re an amazing series though, from a photographer called Dietmar Eckell, and they are all of aeroplane crashes from which everyone walked away safely. If you are of the paranoid persuasion you will notice very few modern jetliners in the series, which presumably hit the ground to hard and too fast to make survival all that feasible, but nevertheless, some of these landings are in hugely improbable places. The one in the picture above, for example – how the fuck did the trees and rocks not utterly fucking obliterate that poor fucker?

5. How to Be Happy, the Harvard Way

Well, not exactly, but a team at Harvard have spent the last 75 years (yes, seriously, 75) studying what makes people happy, “measuring an astonishing range of psychological, anthropological, and physical traits—from personality type to IQ to drinking habits to family relationships to “hanging length of his scrotum”—in an effort to determine what factors contribute most strongly to human flourishing.” Yes, hanging length of the scrotum. Lucky, lucky researchers! Anyhow, the whole article is massively interesting to read, and includes such tidbits as “Ageing liberals have more sex” (Yay!) and “Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old”, which sounds like a paraphrasing of ‘your mum will drive you round the fucking bend’, to me.

You can read the article linked above for a rough outline of the findings – neatly summarised as “The seventy-five years and twenty million dollars expended on the Grant Study points … to a straightforward five-word conclusion: ‘Happiness is love. Full stop.’ ” - or buy the book from Amazon, and I think I might do the latter. It sounds fascinating. Apart from the bit about drinking too much being bad for you, which I personally resent.

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Five for Friday – 19th April 2013

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Well boys and girls, we have some awesome stuff for the Friday Fives this week, and I won’t even mention Record Store Day because, honestly, that need a whole other post, which I will have to write this afternoon. In the meantime we have some things which you may find interesting, culturally satisfying and ridiculously hilarious in no particular order so, as per usual, sit down and enjoy, and add your own contributions in the comments.

1. The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense – by The Reason Stick

I know I harp on about irrational bollocks a fair bit, and also about our baffling desperation to believe in magic.  Well, maybe not baffling, I can kind of understand the little panicky feeling people get when they feel out of control, and I suppose gods and goblins and homeopathy are some sort of attempt to imagine that this stuff isn’t as out of our reach as it seems. Nevertheless, there is a pretty startling amount of utter nonsense still floating around what should by this point be a fairly rational and mature society, and the diagram above is a pretty nice summary of it.

2. Song of the Week: Swam by Le Thug

These chaps will be playing at our Beer vs. Records launch tomorrow, and for all this video might be a tad premature, it’s such a good song I figured you should all hear it anyway. The vocals in particular in this one are absolutely incredible.

3. This Woman is Clearly Fucking Insane

If you want to read the entire, CAPS-riddled rant of the sorority sister who wrote the following sentence, then please click the link above. I promise you, it’s worth it.

“I will fucking cunt punt the next person I hear about doing something like that, and I don’t give a fuck if you SOR me, I WILL FUCKING ASSAULT YOU.”

4. Awesome Gay Marriage Speech in New Zealand’s Parliament

New Zealand recently legalised gay marriage, which makes them fucking awesome, and as well as a spontaneous sing-song breaking out in parliament (check this out) some bloke delivered the above speech, which is absolutely brilliant, and reminds me of the graphic I posted on MiniToad a few months ago.

5. People on the Tube Hate Sitting Close Together

I know that’s a pretty obvious statement, but transit planners in New York have found that people will do just about anything to avoid sitting in the middle seat in a row of three. I am not sure how that translates to places like London, where there are two long rows of seats facing each other, but it does remind me of my commuter rail trips when I lived there, when the seats were arranged in rows of three. Now if only they could find a way to stop dickheads on the bus sitting on the outside seat, putting their piles of shit on the window seat, and then acting like you’ve hurt their feelings when you tell them to fucking shift it.

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Five For Friday – 12th April 2013

So, the Wicked Witch is dead, eh? Super. About time. Fuck her, she was a cunt, and it is basically impossible that she suffered enough. You don’t get to cause that much harm to that many people, especially when you do it with such glee and hatred, and then lecture me about etiquette or compassion when your frail, dusty old cadaver finally quits twitching for good, its remaining years fuelled not so much by anything resembling life-force as by the simmering neutron star of weapons grade bile at the core of your viperous soul spitefully refusing to be extinguished once and for all.

Well she’s gone now. Good. Fuck her. Bring me the head of David fucking Cameron next.

1. Song of the Week: The Fight For History, by M.J. Hibbett and the Validators

The song in the video at the top of the page comes from this absolutely excellent album by M.J. Hibbett and the Validators, and I am not sure a political song has resonated quite so strongly with me, well… pretty much ever, really. It’s an oldie, of course, and I heard it many years before Thatcher’s death, but I knew immediately at the time that he had absolutely nailed something with this tune.

We’ve already seen this with the revisionist accounts of Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the U.S., and of course one of the main reasons the political right in this country are jumping up and down in outrage at those celebrating Thatcher’s death is of course because they don’t want any challenge to their view of her legacy. They want to control the narrative, to paint her as a strong, principled leader. And of course she was, but then so was Emperor fucking Palpatine.

If we want the world to remember the way she destroyed industry after industry in this country, whilst simultaneously dismantling all the safety nets she was ensuring people suddenly needed, and then setting the police on them when they complained as if they were her own private army, then we have to make sure that story is told often and well. The same goes for her support for murderous dictators around the world, and encouragement of Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. And for her privatisation and deregulation fetish, which pretty much handed the keys to the generation of wealth in this country to the very richest amongst us, in order that they could lock everyone else out.

She was a cunt. She is dead. Good.

2. The Ginstitute

Yes, seriously, the Ginstitute. You can go there, learn how to make your own gin, and then do batches, order more later and stuff like that. I don’t mean to sound either shallow or like too much of an alcoholic (I am both, I just don’t want to sound like it) but this shit has my name written all over it!

3. Fora Do Eixo & Off-Axis

As you know, I was at Wide Days yesterday (see Newsnight feature here), schmoozing with industry types (or just catching up with some pals, depending on what way you want to look at it).  This one is bloody amazing. The Unconvention guys in Manchester are trying to build a British equivalent of Fora Do Eixo in Brazil. That network allows artists to play sold out shows across the whole country, even in cities they have never visited before. It is free to use and now involves 3,000 artists from across 200 cities, generating $44million for the independent music sector, but it basically started with bands from three different towns wanting to set up gig swaps to allow them to tour outside the main Sao Paolo-Rio axis in Brazil. Instead of conventional gig swaps, however, where you end up tied to certain bands, here when you put on a gig or host a band you earn credits in a virtual currency (now so widespread in Brazil it is underwritten by the government) which you can then spend in the system however you please. It’s hard to explain properly, but if you’re a band looking to tour the UK and reckon you can bring an audience of at least 70 people to a hometown gig, then it’s worth having a look at.

4. Siobhan Wilson, Garden of Elks and Saint Max & the Fanatics

In the evening at Wide Days there were three showcases, and these are my three favourite bands from the ones we saw. Firstly, Siobhan Wilson’s set was fucking lovely. Oddly, at times it feels like you might be in a musical, and then at others the songs had just a bit too much of a nasty undercurrent, such as this little peach from her latest EP.

Saint Max and the Fanatics were awesome too, if a little odd. I can’t really think of anyone else making music like theirs at the moment, not that I don’t think is shit anyway. I’m not entirely sure what it is they’ve got, but it’s definitely something. And finally, Garden of Elks made a massive, gleeful racket of shouty guitar music. Awesome.

5. Olaf Furniss is a Pretty Cool Guy

I don’t take to these pages to directly praise my pals very often, but this one deserves a little mention. As we walked between showcases yesterday evening, Olaf directed us off into one of the little lanes off the Cowgate. I thought he was taking people to somewhere the delegates could get some food, and I impatiently suggested heading off to Sneaky Pete’s with the others, because I had already eaten and wanted a pint instead.

Without really going into details he said that I should just come along, which I figured I might as well do, and bloody good that I did, too.  In one of the alleys Olaf had stashed a van full of tasty food from Henderson’s, and as we were mid scoff, he opened the back of the van and out popped Stanley Odd to do an impromptu, two-song acoustic set. I am not exactly Mr. Hip-hop, but their first tune – about the independence for Scotland debate – was great, and in fact the whole thing was just brilliant – a sort of vegetarian deli, hip-hop ambush. Even the locals who complained (like a couple of whinging pricks) were pretty funny. So well played, Olaf, very well played indeed.

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Five For Friday – 5th April

Welcome back to the Friday Fives, where I add some random shit from the internet to another page on the internet, and you get to chip in in the comments section with yet more random shit. Welcome to Friday’s Random Shit-O-Rama.

Tomorrow is BAD FUN, remember, with Magic Eye, Fur Hood and Peter playing at Henry’s Cellar Bar. We’ve just uploaded a new Magic Eye video, actually, from the Beer vs. Records/Split 12″ sessions. It’s only a fiver in and doors are at half seven, so please go along and keep Ian company, as he’s running this gig for us.

1. Test Your Poo

That charming little ditty above was masterminded by Young Ian, otherwise known around these parts as The Tadpole. It has a very serious message about regular screening for bowel cancer, particularly in the over-fifties, but there is a darker side to the song which I may or may not be allowed to go into: the fact that it was recorded with the help of a good deal of Song, by Toad Records’ recording equipment, and that the man who got his hands dirty (YESSS! Pun very much fucking intended!) was an unnamed label mega-celeb. NOW WASH YOUR HANDS!

2. It May or May Not Be Okay to Say Vagina When Discussing Vaginas in Science Class

Apparently parents in Idaho have been complaining about a science teacher using the term ‘vagina’ when discussing, erm, actual vaginas in science class. A class which their children already have permission not to attend if they think learning about human sexual reproduction is going to scar their delicate souls for life.  The best bit about this ridiculous story is the response from the school board. Instead of saying ‘we laughed our asses off and threw the letters of complaint in the bin’, they came out with this: “It is highly unlikely it would end with his dismissal… Maybe a letter of reprimand from the school board.” Reprimanded? For using the word vagina? In sexual education class? What the fuck word was he supposed to use, then? Sin funnel?

3. Song of the week: No Christmas While I’m Talking by The Walkmen

I happened to find a copy of Bows + Arrows by The Walkmen on vinyl while we were in Austin, and I am honestly delighted. I love this album. I didn’t realise it at the time necessarily – there were lots of albums I loved knocking around at the time – but this is probably the one album from 2000-2010 that I go back to the most. And it may be known for wild, raging songs like The Rat, but there’s a lot of brooding, menacing slow burners on this album too. Sigh. Ah, what a record!

4. Ugly Belgian Houses

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Yes, you know I’m really into my architecture blogs at the moment, but for all the wonderful things out there, there are some utter abominations as well. A lot of them seem to be in Holland and Belgium, where stunning old buildings seem to go hand in hand with thousands of truly horrific modern ones. This collection of ugly Belgian houses is, if I am allowed to combine these two terms, spectacularly underwhelming.

5. Yes, More Tedious Politics

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There are so many things I could rant about in politics today, from George Osbourne’s disabled parking space bollocks, to the bedroom tax, to the Mail and the fucking British government exploiting the actions of a psychopath to push their anti-welfare agenda… but in the end Jon Stewart wins, as generally he should. As far as I am concerned, living in a country that looks after the weakest and most vulnerable of its citizens, and where there is relatively balanced income equality IS fucking ‘freedom and civilisation’.

And I know it seems I am always hammering at Americans when I come out with this kind of thing, but it is only because I read a lot of American news sources and I don’t actually have the equivalent UK quotes or articles a lot of the time. But I am under no illusion that this is an American problem and not a British one. We are in exactly the same boat over here, but with a fucking Tory government in power, to make things worse.

And in case you aren’t pissed off enough already, now I’ve brought this up, here is what some people have to say to Iain Duncan Smith’s risible claim that he could live off £53 per week.

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Five For Friday – 29th March 2013

Scary-Terrifying-Easter-Bunny-2 Happy Chocolate Jesus Bunny Eggs Day everyone! I’ve always kind of liked Easter, actually. Mostly because I was a chocolate fiend as a kid, I suppose, and in fact to a large extent I still am one. My parents were always pretty sparing with chocolate (and fizzy drinks, and sugary breakfast cereals) so it was left, as it so often it, to my grandparents to fill with stuff which was bad for us, and which we absolutely fucking loved.

I suppose my parents always took the attitude that a/ living in Austria and then Singapore we didn’t see them that often so it didn’t really matter and b/ that having a row with their own parents about the raising of children just wasn’t worth it.

Anyhow, this is a little late, due to the inebriated antics of a certain Mrs. Toad meaning that I didn’t really get to sleep until 8am, but nevertheless the drill is the same. Enjoy the five interesting and/or silly things I have found on the internet and linked below, and then if you have something awesome to add yourself, do so in the comments section. That’s assuming most of you aren’t out getting smashed already, which I think is shaky.

1. Creepy Easter Bunny Pictures

Yes, a collection of forty of the best (and by that I mean the very worst) Easter Bunny pictures to be found around the internet. As if the whole Zombie Jesus narrative wasn’t creepy enough already.

2. Musicians With Really Odd Post-Fame Careers

I told you you should read Cracked all the time didn’t I? Well this is one more reason why.  Did you know that Terminator X, the DJ for Public Enemy, Became an Ostrich Farmer?  Or that Dan Spitz, the Guitarist from Anthrax, Is a Master Watchmaker? Or what Vanilla Ice is doing for a (rather lucrative) living these days? Or David Lee Roth?

3. Song of the Week: Chocolate Jesus by Tom Waits

Well it would have to be something like this, wouldn’t it – this is Tom Waits performing Chocolate Jesus live on Letterman, from… well, fucking years ago I would imagine. When did Mule Variations come out – 1998 or 1999 or something like that, wasn’t it?

4. Bill Hicks on Easter

I don’t post a lot of Bill Hicks stuff on this blog, but I bloody love the man. I think he, David Cross and Eddie Izzard are probably my three favourite stand-up comedians of all time, although I suppose Doug Stanhope deserves a place in there too.  I’m hardly knowledgeable about comedy though, so I suppose that might be a rather superficial list. Still, if you ever secretly wondered if religions might just be society trolling people with the ability to think straight, then this sketch pretty much confirms it. “I’ve read the Bible; I can’t can’t find the word bunny or chocolate anywhere in that fucking book.”

5. Bob Potts’ Kinetic Sculptures

Alright, there’s been lots of trivial nonsense so far (Although actually, this is the internet, what the fuck else do I think you’re here for, serious debate? Bollocks!) so time for some artistic shock and awe. I always wonder about things like this, though. Are they are? They are absolutely stunning examples of craftsmanship, and I suppose as they have no inherent utility then they must be art, but umm… well, paintings and landscapes and so on, you know. I don’t know why as humans we are fascinated my locomotion and movement in this way, either, but it seems to be a recurring theme.

I found these on the excellent blog This is Colossal, along with a few more animated gifs. And, in case you’re really lazy, here’s a link to a YouTube search for more videos too. Happy Friday everyone!

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Five For Friday – 22nd March 2013

Yawwwwwwn, streeetch… ahhh, the residual jetlag still hasn’t quite evaporated yet, but Mrs. Toad and I are basically back in the swing of things by now. I still got that 7pm MUST SLEEP crash last night just before football training, which was unfortunate, and woke up rather too early this morning, but this is just the tail end.

Anyhow, there will be a little more self-promotion than usual on this week’s Fives, simply because we have quite a few things on the immediate horizon and, frankly, shit is getting exciting!

So have a browse through this little lot, and if you’ve happened across anything interesting on the internet recently then pop down into the comments section and share it with the rest of the class.

1. Sparrow and the Workshop – Shock Shock video

The video at the top of the page is of course the new video for their latest single Shock Shock by Sparrow and the Workshop. As per usual, they make all these daft videos themselves, which is one of many reasons we love them here at Song, by Toad Records. The vinyl of their new album arrived yesterday as well, and it looks bloody lovely (pic below). You can pre-order the album here and get tickets for their Edinburgh and Glasgow launch nights here – £2 cheaper in advance than they will be on the door.

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2. Song of the Day: Spider Lilly by Lil Daggers

From this free compilation by Pure Honey, a free magazine from Miami, where the band are also from. Lil Daggers are developing a really nice, dirty sound and I am really looking forward to their new recordings if this is anything to go by.

3. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse artwork

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As you probably know, we are releasing Adam Stafford’s second album Imaginary Walls Collapse in July, and we have just finished laying out the artwork. The album is now mastered, and we are just awaiting test pressings and the finalising of a launch show in Glasgow in late June.

And in case you want a taster, here is a song which was actually cut from the vinyl version of the album, but will be available as part of the download. If you’re wondering, that gorgeous female vocal is Siobhan Wilson, who I am pretty sure will also be playing at the launch night.

4. I wrote an article for the Scotsman about SXSW.

I know a lot of you know about this already, but yesterday I wrote a big ol’ article for The Scotsman about SXSW, what I was doing there, and what Scottish bands hope to achieve. It’s not too bad, I think, although it could have easily been twice as long.

5. Pizarnik, by Plastic Animals & Beer vs. Records.

As you know, we are releasing a new Split 12″ on Record Store Day this year, but what you may not know is that this Split 12″ is facing off against a limited run of 250 special 4-packs of craft beer from Barney’s in Edinburgh, complete with a download card for eight more songs from the same recording sessions, of which Pizarnik by Plastic Animals is the first single. What will sell out first, the beer or the records? WE’LL FIND OUT!

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Five for Friday – 8th March 2013

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Morning all, how are you doing this drizzly Scottish morning. Unless you’re not in Scotland. Bloody internet. Anyway.

I am the Jimmy Five-Bellies of meetings today. 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and then off to Henry’s for BAD FUN at six or seven, depending on when I can make it. It’s almost like having a proper job again. Ah well, at least I won’t be exchanging business cards or eating slightly dried out triangular sandwiches.

So, contrary to my usual habit of wasting most of Friday buggering about on the internet, I might actually be doing something productive today. Assuming you can call meetings productive, which might be a bit of a stretch.

Anyhow, here are five things I found interesting on the internet this week. Feel free to enjoy or otherwise, and please do chip in with your own bits and bobs in the comments section.

1. Adam Stafford – Imaginary Walls Collapse

The image at the top of the page is the artwork for the forthcoming Adam Stafford album Imaginary Walls Collapse, which will be out on Song, by Toad Records in early July. The illustration is by the exceptional Paul Ryding, and the song above is actually an off-cut from the record. You’ll have to wait until May to hear tunes from the actual album, but for now I am pretty excited about this. Also, as a first for Song, by Toad Records, we’ll actually be co-releasing this with another label – the splendid Kingfisher Bluez in Vancouver.

2. Museum of Endangered Sounds

A bit like the bing-bong-babong-fizzz-shrrrkle of early modems, there are certain sounds which just seem utterly integral to life for ages and yet we rarely ever notice them quietly vanish. This site is charming and nostalgic and a little bit sad. And if the guy who started it keeps it up for a while, and expands and maintains it, it could end up being a really rather fascinating archive of noises we never thought would go away, but then did.

3. Song of the Week: Secret Life by Mike Higbee

This rather natty tune is from Mike Higbee’s new album of the same name, which you can buy from his Bandcamp page here. It’s a rather stylised delivery, but nevertheless a song I have found to be increasingly infectious ever since I first heard it. A fine album too.

4. The WWF Sail Close to the Breeze

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I guess this is possibly rather old news for the Americans out there, but I only just found and umm… gulp. The point is extremely simple, that for all the horror of the 11th of September attacks in New York, just existing on planet Earth is a pretty dangerous business. As they say, our planet is powerful.

What interests me about this is that I was never too sentimental about 9/11. The IRA have killed more in ‘The West’ than Al Qaeda, and yet they are celebrated in large parts of North Western USA in particular, and of course, people die in their thousands for all sorts of reasons all the time, although usually from natural disasters.   100 times more people were killed in the 2005 tsunami, for example, than the 9/11 attacks, yet it doesn’t seem to have quite the same resonance in the popular imagination.

Yet even for someone like myself, someone who is pretty unsentimental, someone with no connection to New York, and someone with family caught up in the tsunami… still, fuck me even the image above is pretty shocking, never mind the video version below.

5. We Are Not Independent Thinkers. None of Us.

Mrs. Toad sent me this last week, and I think it’s rather interesting. I’ve always been fascinated by group-think, and how we all end up in these little consensus bubbles. I’ve even virtually fallen out with my folks by saying that they are completely wrong to condemn Germans as a nation for what happened under Hitler because we are pack animals, hugely capable of persuading our own brains of more or less anything, and that we have absolutely no way of knowing how we ourselves would react when faced with that kind of situation. No matter how self-confident we might be, I bet we would be horrified at how susceptible we would be to pretty much anything.  Because, as the link above shows, we are hugely influenced by the opinions of the people around us.  What a cheery thought for Friday. I might end with something funny, just as a sort of apology.

5 and a half. United Breaks Guitars

Is it cool to admit that I was introduced to this by our new accountant?

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Five For Friday – 1st March – wait, March? – 2013

Hubba hubba, welcome back to another sunny day in Edinburgh. Here I am once more with five excuses for doing fuck all this afternoon, and the encouragement to bring your own bits and bobs to the comments section to further prevent the doing of productive work.  Because really, who can be fucked with that stuff anyway, eh?

So yes, five random things from the internet, and the, while you lot get to have fun sharing your own links, I will be in the office catching up on the accounts.  Which is brilliant. Running a record label: 98% pure rock ‘n’ roll.

1. The Doug Anthony fucking All Stars!

I don’t really know what you’re going to make of this lot – that’s them in that charming little video up the top there. They can be a little bit, er, tasteless at times. And Mrs. Toad doesn’t like them, which is unusual, because tasteless, vulgar humour is usually right up her street.  But anyhow, I think they’re amazing. They were a musical comedy three-piece from Australia who developed something of a cult following back in the nineties, and whilst they made their name with songs like I Fuck Dogs and Necrophilia, they proved every once in a while that they could actually really rather amazing music totally straight, with tunes like this fantastic performance of Throw Your Arms Around Me. You may not like ‘em, but if you do, I think I just killed your afternoon with YouTube.

2. Song of the Day: Tomorrowland by Waiters

I know this is a bit of an old one, but a pal and I were drunkenly playing vinyl the other day and I had to go and play this. It’s such a great tune, with that hypnotic thrum, and the slight, intentional-or-otherwise tempo change two thirds of the way through. Waiters are hardly the most career-minded band I don’t think, and everyone seems to have half a dozen other projects on, but their songs on our Split 12″ from last year are absolutely brilliant and this is just about my favourite tune from all of last year. And if I have managed to convince you, then you can buy it on 7″ here.

3. Who Do They Love on Twitter?

I should really have posted this around Valentine’s Day, but well, whatever, I’m sure you’ll live. It basically calculates who you lurrve on Twitter based on who you follow, favourite and interact with most. For me, it turns out it is Joe from A New Band a Day, which is the second time I’ve had to mention his poxy blog on Song, by Toad in one week. Mind you, it could be worse. If you look up Mrs. Toad it appears she loves that arse clown Rampant Chutney Consumerism.

4. Have the Tories Been Watching Too Much ‘In the Thick of It’?

Seriously, having “finished third in a two-horse race” Tory MP Maria Hutchings simply smiles in silence in the face of questions from the press.  It’s possibly even more ridiculous than the things they write into TV satire.  No wonder they had to cancel Spitting Image – it simply couldn’t compete with reality anymore.

5. Do NOT Shave a Bear

There’s a song called Don’t Bite a Dog on the new Leg album, but even more than not biting dogs, under no circumstances should ever even consider shaving their far larger and more fearsome ursine counterparts. It’s a not a piece of advice I would imagine most of you will need on a regular basis, but I thought it wise to impart it anyway because HOLY FUCK LOOK WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO:

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