Yep, I am hopping into Bette tonight and tootling on down to London once more, to peddle my wares to the clamouring masses. This year’s event looks like being absolutely huge, compared to previous ones I’ve attended – it looks like we’ll actually be taking over pretty much the whole market, as opposed to the 50% or so which has been the case previously.
Part of this is down to what looks like a rather dramatic increase in label participation, but also the inclusion of the London Brewers’ Market, whose presence is a clear response to the global success of our Beer vs. Records concept – the last few bottles of which I will have with me tomorrow.
Actually, I am trying to think of a good way to be able to combine manning the stall with drinking copious amounts of beer, but the obligation to drive my stuff away at the end of the night makes that something of a challenge. It’s not like there are that many cheap hotels near Spitalfields with parking, either. Don’t worry though, I’m a resourceful lad, and I’ll come up with something.
Here we are at the penultimate podcast of the year, and the one immediately preceding Christmas. I really don’t like 99% of Christmas music so there’s pretty close to none of it at all on here, although I have made a couple of exceptions as a lazy sort of nod to the season. Let’s face it, if the druids can be arsed dancing about like idiots around Stonehenge and people can fall out over half-defrosted turkeys then I can probably make the effort to shove a couple of token musical nods onto a single podcast, can’t I.
I actually take a lot of this podcast from my recently-published albums of the year list, and from my as-yet-unpublished Festive Fifty, so it’s a bit of a yearly roundup as well.
And in fact, seeing as Christmas is a Sunday, I won’t actually be posting until Boxing Day now, so this will be the last post before Christmas so umm, in the off-chance I don’t bump into you on Facebook, Twitter or down the pub, I better wish you Happy Christmas now, hadn’t I.
01. Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol (00.23)
02. The Black Tambourines – Bad Days (05.09)
03. The Low Anthem – Boeing 737 (10.42)
04. Timber Timbre – Woman (13.31)
05. Sons of Joy – Pig (20.25)
06. The Japanese War Effort – Our Land Could be Your Life (24.51)
07. Jonnie Common – Hand-Hand (31.37)
08. Earth Girl Helen Brown – Girls of My Dreams (35.39)
09. Weird Era – Garage Honeymoon (41.37)
10. The War on Drugs – Your Love is Calling My Name (47.46)
11. Sons of Joy – In the Bleak Midwinter (58.07)
12. Sons of Joy – Coventry Carol (60.00)
Morning. Fucking brilliantly awesome get tae fuck good fucking morning to you all. Grrrmpf. You know those days which start out fucking shite from the very get go and before you answer a single email or deal with a single individual you’re already within a whisker of just telling everyone to piss off because you just can’t be fucking arsed with them? Yep, one of those I’m afraid. Hopefully El and Brian will cheer me up on Fresh Air this afternoon.
This is the last show on Fresh Air this entire term, I think, so we’ll be playing a combination of Christmas tat and end-of-year favourites, I believe. And after that I shall be scuttling off for a much-deserved pint.
In the meantime, after the hugely successful song of the year vote, we are at that time of year, where I ask you to tell us all which albums you have loved the most this year. I’ll add them up as we go along and on Monday I will announce the winner.
This is of course the perfect opportunity to de-lurk and say hello. It’s always nice to hear from people I had no idea were reading, and of course our readership is orders of magnitude larger than our commentership* so I am forever wondering who these shadowy thousands are who read the site regularly but hang about in the shadows saying nothing. Make today the day!
So, simply, just list your five favourite albums, in no particular order, preferably in the format band – album so I can tally them easier, and we’ll see who everyone’s been enjoying the most in 2011. And the tracklisting for the radio show will appear live below as we go along, once the show starts at half three.
1. Ian Humberstone – The House on the Hill
2. Seth Faergolzia – Weird Old Toad
3. The Leg – Witch on the Speakers
4. Jesus H. Foxx – So Much Water
5. Louis Barabbas & the Bedlam Six – Away in a Manger
6. Meursault – Christmas in Kirkcaldy
7. Warpaint – Billie Holiday
8. Tom Lehrer – A Christmas Carol
9. Yusuf Azak – Swim
10. Plastic Animals – Post-Rapture Blues
11. Trapped Mice – Just Like Christmas (Low cover)
12. Waiters – Tomorrowland
13. Battles – Ice Cream
14. Easter – Damp Patch
15. Hookworms – Teen Dreams
16. Dead Rabbits – All You Need
17. Sons of Joy – Go Tell it on the Mountain
There will be a bit of a change to the format of the Friday Fives for the next few weeks, as I combine it with my radio show on Fresh Air, which is the student radio station here in Edinburgh.
I will be joined by Brian Pokora, who plays guitar for The Last Battle, Loch Awe and Trapped Mice (and probably three or four others), and was selected for this role by virtue of having been stood next to me in the pub when I decided that Friday afternoons would be the best time for the show.
To reduce the middle-class white boy/tedious blokey pub banter factor just a little we are looking for someone else to join the team. Specifically, someone who is not a nice, polite middle-class white boy. You’d need to be available from 3-5pm on Fridays, and have a rough, but please not exact, agreement with the kind of music we are likely to play. Get in touch if you’re interested.
As for the rest of the Friday Fives, well they will hopefully proceed very much as per usual I would think. Five stupid questions, an afternoon to waste by answering them and then talking pish with everyone afterwards, and only one rule: fives first, pish-talking after.
So, for starters, this week’s Friday Five:
1. Which muppet best represents you (Fraggles and Sesame Street ones count too – Yoda does not).
2. What one thing best represents the really early days of the internet to you?
3. Technology you could happily do without.
4. Do you cross the road at the lights or absolutely wherever the fuck it occurs to you?
5. Say you were in a coffee shop trying to get some work done. Say a sprawling infestations of yummy mummies and copious living evidence of their inability to keep their legs clamped shut came spilling into the place and proceeded to turn the whole fucking cafe into a writhing, squealing, cavorting cacophony of horror. How many of the little fuckers do you think you could cheerfully batter to death with a fucking cricket bat before it stopped being fun?
Sneaky bonus research question: did Song, by Toad or Fresh Air bring you to these parts?
The playlist will appear live below from 3:30pm:
1. Bon Iver – Bloodbank
2. Rob St. John – Sargasso Sea
3. Tom Lehrer – Bright College Days
4. Randolph’s Leap – Cassie O’Tone (Fresh Air Session)
5. Cub Scouts – Evie
6. eagleowl – Sleep the Winter
7. Bob Seger System – 2+2=?
8. PAWS – Winners Don’t Bleed (Toad Session)
9. The Ukrainians – Polityka
10. The Moth & the Mirror – Fire
11. Evan Dando – $1000 Wedding (Gram Parsons Cover)
12. Yoofs – Sidewalk
13. We Were Promised Jetpacks – Medicine
The reason this is called the Nukecast is because I am pretty irritated by the exaggeration of just how horrible it is to be alive in 2011. 2011 is a total piece of piss. It’s easy, unthreatening and perfectly comfortable, and the idea that the modern world is in any way topsy-turvy is just plain silly.
I am not all that old, but even the eighties, when I was a kid, were far rougher than this. There was actual genuine menace, the world might just have been about to end in a nuclear fireball, and no-one had anything you could honestly call a proper job.
So I complain about this for about an hour, while Mrs. Toad calls me an idiot. Welcome to the drunken Toadcasts. Again.
01. Tom Lehrer – Who’s Next (00.08)
02. Billy Bragg – Think Again (10.34)
03. Milk Maid – Girl (21.07)
04. Odonis Odonis – Mr. Smith (24.06)
05. Sonny & the Sunsets – I Wanna Do It (31.09)
06. Phil Ochs – Talking Cuban Crisis (41.19)
07. Crystal Swells – Dead Awake (47.43)
08. Male Bonding – Bones (52.07)
09. M.J. Hibbett & the Validators – The Fight for History (63.10)
10. Tom Lehrer – So Long, Mom (72.33)
I happened across that fascinating little video this week sometime, and it’s a really odd mixture of hypnotic, fascinating and really quite unsettling.
The video is simply a plot of nuclear explosions over time, and despite being ten minutes in length, is nevertheless really difficult to turn away from. What’s particularly disturbing is watching how a flurry of test detonations in any one country seems to trigger a retaliatory fit of posturing in another.
It’s also kind of chilling to watch the increases in activity triggered by events like the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s easy to think now that they’d never have really done it, but human beings are not particularly good at measuring self-interest when they decide that someone needs to be taught a lesson. In fact being willing to inflict harm on yourself just to punish someone else with sufficient force is a notable quirk of how collective morality is maintained by social animals. So umm… yes, it was probably closer than we allow ourselves to think from the safe distance of 2011.
Human beings seem to have particularly laughable memories when it comes to this sort of thing actually. I was spectacularly annoyed by all the financial analysts proclaiming the worst recession since the Great Depression, when the housing and credit markets collapsed a few years back. Fuck, were none of these cunts alive during the eighties?
And even as a kid I remember the threat of nuclear annihilation feeling very, very real. All this chat about the world not being a safe place now because of the ever-present terrorist threat is total bollocks. The IRA were extremely active during the eighties, and they’ve killed more people than fucking Al Qaeda (thanks America, sucks when people harbour terrorists, doesn’t it), but beyond that we all lived with that constant feeling of low-level dread that at some point the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. might actual just melt humanity clean off the face of the fucking planet.
So umm, how about some fun, after that little rant then.
1. Can you think of a decent song about nuclear armageddon?
2. Name someone nowadays you would least trust with the Big Red Button.
3. Was there anything good about the Cold War?
4. Where were you when the Wall came down?
5. Who seems most likely to go fucking mental and nuke someone in the current political landscape?
Despite the title (and the first song) there is very little ranting about the fucking Pope on this podcast, I promise. He may be a vicious, decaying old scorpion in charge of one of the most corrupt and evil institutions on Earth, but after a little bit of gentle joshing at the beginning I promise I do let it drop and carry on with the music.
We have a fair bit of new stuff this week, such as Belle & Sebastian, Broken Records, Li’l Daggers and various other bits, and then a brief detour into Mrs. Toad and my drunken late night vinyl escapades last night.
01. Tom Lehrer – The Vatican Rag (00.17)
02. Li’l Daggers – King Corpse (06.26)
03. Bastardgeist – Flee to the Hills (11.26)
04. Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love (20.23)
05. Broken Records – Ailene (23.10)
06. The Walkmen – Blue as Your Blood (31.31)
07. Common Grackle – At the Grindcore Show (36.07)
08. The Meteors – Out of Time (40.42)
09. The Housemartins – Five Get Over Excited (43.46)
10. The Delfields – Claire (50.03)
[Sorry, permissions appear to be a little broken – go here to view in the meantime]
I confidently sat down to write my Friday Fives this week and to introduce the Candy Claws‘ virtual tour video only to realise that I have managed to fuck things up. I am a week late. For some reason I had it absolutely fixed in my head that it was supposed to be this Friday, so all I can do is apologise profusely to the band and to Kev from Indiecater Records and hope that playing it this week will serve the purpose at least reasonably well. Honestly lads, for some reason I was convinced it was supposed to be this week, I’m really sorry.
Your job, as readers, is to may up for my idiocy by taking extra time out of your day to listen to Candy Claws’ music and hence try and make my apologies for me. And buy the album too, while you’re at it – the whole thing can be previewed here and it really is very good.
In other news did anyone see pictures of the Queen getting on a train this morning? Christ she looks like a fucking bag lady. I alternate between tolerance of and annoyance with the royal family. They can be hugely entertaining, and of course they bring money into the country, but we pay for the cunts and frankly I think it’s time we started demanding a little more for our money.
Shortage of teachers or nurses? Send in a minor royal for a few months to cover. Traffic lights out in London town, get Phil the Greek to pop round and do the hand signals thing for a while. Let’s face it, apart from buggering the servant and beating up foreigners he’s not going to be doing anything else with his time.
We could even save the NHS money by insisting that Charles follow his own guidance on alternative medicine. Deny the stupid old fucker actual medical care and see if his sugar pills and anticlockwise kidney massages cure him of fucking cancer. No? Good, now we can stop wasting money on them and he’ll be dead so we won’t have to keep repairing him in his dotage like we did the Queen Mum. Actually, with her belligerence and monumental gin habit, she and Phil the Insulter are the only two I have any real affection for.
So, this is the last Friday Five before Christmas. I promise to put one up on Boxing Day too, just for those of us who will need the internet to escape the gluttony. Honestly, how many sherries with boring Uncle Brian can you really handle anyway – you know you’ll need your Five Fix!
1. What use could the Royals be best put to?
2. Favourite Royal (from any nation, past or present).
3. How much of your Christmas shopping remains to be done.
4. At what point does the self-loathing of gluttony kick in for you around Christmas time.
5. Fuck it, link to a silly picture on the internet just for shits and giggles (just paste the URL into your comment – WordPress will do the rest).
Here is my one and only concession to the world of Christmas. I tend to avoid Christmas songs, except for Phil Ochs (miserable) and Tom Lehrer (caustic) but for the last Friday Five before the day itself I thought fuck it, why not. So happy fucking Christmas you fuckers, that’s all you’re getting.
Today I am angry at Capitalism. Partly, funnily enough, I am angry at Capitalism because in many ways I myself am a Capitalist. The problem I have with Capitalism is not really the theory, but the practise. So many people and companies who chant the free market mantra simply are not free marketeers. They want isolationism and protectionism as much as the most paranoid Marxist when it will protect their interests, but they won’t for a second entertain the economic theory behind that sort of behaviour – gosh no!
So there is plenty of paranoid ranting in this week’s podcast, railing against people who talk all Capitalist whilst not actually being Capitalist, people who are moral and honorable in their personal lives but who turn into voracious whores as soon as they put on a suit and, erm, well generally there’s lots of pish to be talked, sorry.
Still, at least it’s marginally better than last week.
01. Pet Shop Boys – Opportunities (03.27)
02. Billy Bragg – NPWA (16.27)
03. Eric Bachmann – Liars & Thieves (21.30)
04. The Zincs – Moguls’ Wives (28.04)
05. Tom Lehrer – Selling Out (34.24)
06. Depeche Mode – Everything Counts (39.16)
07. The Clash – Bankrobber (45.07)
08. Tom Waits – God’s Away on Business (54.07)
09. Billy Bragg – To Have and to Have Not (65.56)
Brilliant. In today’s fucking inevitable shitfest of the fucking week, it seems that I am coming down with a nasty flu just in time to go on holiday. My malingering mistress Mrs. Toad has had the indulgence of missing an entire week of work, only to return to health just in time for two weeks off, the bloody chancer. I, on the other hand, find myself brewing her particularly virulent brand of flu just in time to ruin my two week break. Minge.
We’ve neglected to really do any Christmas shopping as yet, but we actually have a tree for the first time since we’ve been together and trees sort of demand presents, so despite the fact that we generally don’t bother we may actually make an exception this year, if just to avoid being stared down by a stupid fucking fir tree draped in tat.
On the subject of presents, actually, a friend of mine asked a question once that rather amused me. You know those Americans who insist on pronouncing presentation as if it were written preesentation? Well what do they give each other at Christmas, preesents?
And, just to be even more crap, I have a festive joke for you as well, and what a special one it is:
Q: How did Luke Skywalker know what his dad was getting him for Christmas?
A: He felt his presents!
And oh how we laughed. So welcome to Friday Fives again, and please do take the opportunity to delurk and save us from ourselves. And anyone who wants to suggest next week’s five, email me at the address on the contact page. Enjoy, and happy Christmas.
1. Favourite comment of the year on Song, by Toad.
2. At what time do you hit the pub today?
3. What’s the state of your Christmas shopping?
4. What will be the defining sin of your Christmas, sloth, gluttony, covetousness, or something else?
5. What percentage of your Christmas holiday will actually be your own, to do with as you please?