Song, by Toad

Posts tagged radiators

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Friday is Like a Rabbit in Headlights

Bloody hell.  Holidays are awesome things, but getting back from them to the terrifying number of neglected tasks which pile up in your absence is quite intimidating.

So far the best I have managed has been to stare in a startled way at my desk and adopt a facial expression which looks dangerously like Ctrl-Alt-Delete is called for.  I think I might wait for lunch and just go an lie in the sun in Inverleith Park instead, and accept the meltdown rather than fight it.

Anyhow, that clip at the top is from the BBC’s SXSW documentary, due to go out on BBC2 Scotland on Tuesday 5th July at 9pm. I mention this for several reasons.  Firstly, I was there this year, and seeing that all documented from someone else’s perspective is both very cool and a little strange.  Secondly, there is a significant amount in the programme about bands I (and presumably you too) happen to love, such as Withered Hand and Kid Canaveral.  This is a good thing.

And thirdly, really quite surprisingly, there is quite a lot of me in it as well, which is also both odd and splendid at the same time.  The Beeb have used a lot of the footage they shot of Vic, Peej, Stuart and myself recording our SXSW hangover podcast, and it may only be the last ten minutes or so, but given I am not a band that is pretty incredible really.

Anyhow, while I am scrabbling to get the post sorted out, in order to prevent outraged shoppers battering down our door due to the lateness of their orders, here are five stupid questions to which it would be nice to receive five stupid answers, and god knows whatever other bollocks is on your mind at the moment.

And I promise that after the disruption of the last couple of weeks, normal service, whatever that is, will be resumed henceforth. Phew!

1. What chore are you currently the furthest behind with?
2. Do you like tennis (in general) or Wimbledon (in particular).
3. Are you fond of strawberries?
4. Have you watched pals of yours on the telly before?
5. Anyone going to any gigs on the weekend?  I seem to have completely lost track of what the fuck is going on at the moment!

The Radiators – Television Screen

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Doc & Merle Watson – Bonaparte’s Retreat

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Marcy Playground – Sunday Mail

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George Pringle – Carte Postale

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Orange Juice – Holiday Hymn (Peel Session)

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Friday Fought the Law and the Law Won

I had a teeny-tiny but nevertheless intriguing brush with the law last night.  I have had slight entanglements (no, not that sort) with police officers and prison cells before but that’s another story for another Friday.  “Had a fight with the wife did we sir?”

Anyway, last night a couple of coppers came to the door asking about the previous owner of the house ‘in relation to a police investigation’.  I was even asked to show some ID to show that I was not him, and suggested that our very recently ex-next-door-neighbour might be able to help them a little better.

We still get post for the fellow actually, and Mrs. Toad rather impudently opened something once, a while ago and it happened to be a bank statement from one of the most exclusive banks in Edinburgh showing a fairly considerable debt.  Consequently my bet for the nature of this little ‘police investigation’ is fraud, but I have really got no idea.  Funny, though.

This actually reminds me of the time my little brother was getting married (a year before his actual wedding, but don’t tell our parents) and getting his US visa sorted out it turned out that there was more than one Benjamin Young on the books at the Department of Hating Brown People or whatever it is the US calls their immigration service.

So, for several months my little brother had to jump through all sorts of hoops to prove to the US government that he was just Plain Old Sound Engineer Ben Young, rather than the much more elusive and interesting-sounding International Criminal Mastermind Ben Young.  This wasn’t helped by the fact that we have dual nationality, two passports each and a rather nomadic background, but apparently he managed it eventually. Either that or they figured that with all the lies they were telling about Iraq at the time, a career criminal might have excellent job prospects within the administration.

So, before you get dragged off to chokey, take the opportunity to delurk and say hello and chip in with your Friday Five.  This thread is intended entirely for wasting time on a Friday when most people are basically trying to skive off work in anticipation of a heavy weekend.  So feel free to take advantage, fill in your five, and then talk pish to your heart’s content.

1. Favourite fictional policeman.
2. Favourite fictional criminal.
3. Do you prefer the orange jumpsuit, or mime costume as a prison uniform?  Or a different one altogether.
4. If you scored control of the prison gramophone (as in Shawshank) what would you play?
5. Name a sentence which would be more suitable for a particular crime than prison.

The Clash – Know Your Rights

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Fog – Check Fraud

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Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – There’s No Night Out in the Jail

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The Veils – State Trooper
(Bruce Springsteen Cover)

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The Radiators – Prison Bars

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Toadcast #96 – The Excast

Lorca post The Excast is so named because I am playing a lot of people’s former bands.  There’s Shane MacGowan’s Nipple Erectors, Phil Chevron’s Radiators, Shilpa Ray’s Beat the Devil and Billy Bragg’s Riff Raff.

I concentrate so much on new music these days that I often decide whether or not I like a band on the basis of a handful of demos, maybe a single, sometimes a debut EP, stuff like that.  And of course, bands don’t stumble into the world fully-formed, it takes some of them ages to become brilliant, and a lot of the time the initial forms of a band can be really strange, presumably because the people in question were still casting around a bit for their sound.

So there’s a bit of that here, but it’s not all that rigid a theme, and the playlist is a bit messy but, erm, well never mind.  There are some great songs, so enjoy!

Toadcast #96 – The Excast

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01. Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers – Beating St. Louis (04.07)
02. Beat the Devil – Plea Bargain (11.09)
03. Bright Eyes – Neely O’Hara (19.56)
04. Richard Hawley – Naked in Pitsmoor (26.16)
05. The Young Republic – The Alchemist (33.20)
06. Construction & Destruction – The Signal (41.24)
07. The Nipple Erectors – Nervous Wreck (48.34)
08. The Radiators – Walking Home Alone Again (50.39)
09. The Pogues – Lorca’s Novena (56.37)
10. Riff Raff – You Shaped House (63.33)

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Toadcast #80 – The Jailcast

Jailcast

When we were out in Italy on our holidays Mrs. Toad and I had very few CDs with us but one of them was an Uncut compilation of prison blues and murder ballads which, amazingly, given the very promising subject matter, really wasn’t very good.  In fact, it was rotten, so I’ve made a podcast based on the self same concept, but with what I personally think are vastly better songs.

Most  obviously, to my mind, there were very few contemporary songs in there, and I thought that was a little weird.  Now, I actually think that the level of political commentary in popular music is just a little weak at the moment, but there are nevertheless some amazingly good prison and criminal justice-related songs to be had, and certainly some exceptional murder ballads, although I must confess that the most recent bit of genuine social commentary here pre-dates the 1990s by a couple of years.  There was probably more recent material I could have used, it just didn’t spring to mind at the time I’m afraid.

So here we have the Jailcast, complete with some largely incoherent ranting about politics and my own stupid fucking jail story which Mr.s Toad takes such delight in sniggering about at every available opportunity, the bitch.  It’s not that exciting, really it isn’t.

Toadcast #80 – The Jailcast

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01. Tom Waits – Jockey Full of Bourbon (02.05)
02. Willard Grant Conspiracy – Drunkard’s Prayer (08.37)
03. Pulp – Down by the River (16.14)
04. Bob Dylan & the Rolling Thunder Revue – The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll (Live, 1975) (19.42)
05. The Pogues – Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six (31.36)
06. Bruce Springsteen – Vigilante Man (Woody Guthrie Cover) (39.33)
07. The Radiators – Prison Bars (43.34)
08. Enfant Bastard – Compilation Tapes (50.10)
09. Nightjar – The Hanging Tree (55.30)
10. Pete Wylie – Stay Free (Clash Cover) (60.49)

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Future of Digital Media

Test Pattern

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be tackling anything quite so ambitious in the space of a mere handful of paragraphs, so don’t worry. You can read on without fear of impending pomposity.

Basically, I was reading this little piece in the Guardian about the future of digital media, and it got me to thinking about music on television and stuff like that. Basically, there isn’t any decent music on television, is there? Jools is okay, I guess, although I find him personally annoying and don’t like many of the bands he features. There’s the kiddie ones on weekend mornings too, I think – T4 or something like that must have one. There’s also some Jo Whiley thing or other, but I can never sit through more than a few minutes of that without feeling compelled to swear at the screen and throw crisps around the place. MTV and VH1 are music-based, but don’t seem to be actually about music, so to speak, as far as I am aware.

So there are things out there, but I find myself thinking about something genuinely ‘about’ music. Something with a bit of actual content beyond music videos and trying to reflect the whims of Teh Kidz(TM). Something, I suppose, like a blog – a vlog, I think they’re rather clumsily called. Something with some chatter, some new stuff, some old stuff, a bit of news, some thinking – stuff like that. Something, I suppose I am rather self-indulgently saying, that I would want to watch. Something for actual music fans, which is where a lot of the current stuff seems to be missing the mark just slightly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five Friday Favourites

Avarice

I am still so boiling with a combination of rage and digust after yesterday that I can barely think of anything fun at the moment. You know when you’re in the kind of mood where you get really irritated because your bus was on time and you might have missed it because the bastard thing has been so late so consistently for the last two months that you never for a second thought it would actually appear when it was actuall timetabled to appear. Fucking bastard bus.

I am out of money, too. The reason? Banking crisis? Credit crunch? Unusually expensive month? No, I’ve been out on the sauce too much and I’ve spent it all. And now I am angry at the world because of it.

On the plus side, Sam Amidon will be playing Edinburgh on the 10th November, which is amazingly exciting. I am trying to talk a couple of mates of mine into supporting him, but we will see. There’s also a secret show at a party next week, taking place in a gorgeous old Edinburgh venue that is being brought back to life by a couple of lovely girls. One of them, Ruth, comments on this site from time to time. The official launch party is going to be in early November, but this will be an amazing warm-up, and the chance to have a look around the place as a work in progress. So any curious Edinburgh types should email me (address on the contact page) and we should be able to get you in, provided there aren’t loads and loads of you.

Now for the fun bit: de-lurk and say hello, people! This is the time of the week where no wit, no specialist knowledge and no old in-jokes matter: everyone is encouraged to chip in. Respond to the question with five words or five paragrahs, it’s up to you, but please do feel free to respond and end the week with something trivial, silly and enjoyable. Oh, and anyone who wants to suggest next Friday’s five should email me at the usual address – it’s harder than you’d think.

1. What single item would you like to shove up the collective arse of Columbia Records?
2. Cover Columbia Records in jam and throw them to the…
3. Suggest something relaxing to help me get over my Columbia Rage.
4. How many units of alcohol tonight, and which sort?
5. Name something banal you’re going to do this weekend.

Deer Tick – Ashamed
Lincoln – Great Wall of China
Just for Tart, we have three rough old bastards:
Riff-Raff – I Wanna Be a Cosmonaut Billy Bragg before he was Billy Bragg.
The Nipple Erectors – So Pissed Off Shane MacGowan before he was in the Pogues.[
The Radiators – Television Screen Phil Chevron before he became the Pogues’ rhythm guitarist.

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Toadcast #10 – The Pink Podcast

Toad FM

The tenth Toadcast is a Pink Podcast, celebrating all things gay in indie music, but trying to steer well clear of any sort of annoying Graham Norton stereotypes. So, in avoiding anything that might have seen this lapse into the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert podcast I enlisted the help of my friend James, who was Mrs. Toad’s best man at our wedding.

As well as being gay, James is a real indie fan so I though he’d be perfect to consult with on the playlist and most of these songs are his choices.It’s surprising actually, just how indie this ended up being.I left off quite a few things I really wanted to play and it’s still the longest ever Toadcast.

Ultimately, I’ve tried to explore the relationship between the gay community and indie music, but needless to say there are times where it descends into slightly angry ranting. Hopefully not too much to allow you to enjoy the music though. It’s also not really ended up being as much of a discussion of gay culture as I’d hoped and that is almost entirely down to my own ignorance. I should probably have got James round to help actually present, but that would have been a right pain the arse logistically, as well as technically in terms of capturing both voices on one shitty little webcam microphone.

On a technical point, there is a bit of an echo on the vocal recording. This is because we have moved out of our house for a couple of months while builders tear it to pieces and I am having to rather make do in terms of recording location. I’ll try and sort this out by next week. And I at one point describe the Book of Ruth as being in the New Testament, which is also wrong. What a muppet.

Toadcast #10 – The Pink Podcast

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01. Pet Shop Boys – It’s a Sin (01.20)
02. The Mamas & the Papas – Dream a Little Dream of Me (08.35)
03. Bloc Party – This Modern Love (13.55)
04. Rufus Wainwright – The Rebel Prince (18.08)
05. The Radiators – Under Clery’s Clock (24.34)
06. The Magnetic Fields – When My Boy Walks Down the Street (29.15)
07. Donna Summer – I Feel Love (35.28)
08. Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf (41.36)
09. The Ballet – I Hate the War (47.52)
10. Madonna – Ray of Light (51.02)
11. Blur – Girls & Boys (60.00)
12. M.J. Hibbett & the Validators – The Gay Train (67.25)
13. David Bowie – China Girl (71.50)
14. Morrissey – November Spawned a Monster (80.40)
15. R.E.M. – First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin (90.27)
16. Scissor Sisters – Return to Oz (103.20)
17. Elton John – Ballad of a Well-Known Gun (112.12)