Friday, 29 September 2006

Caroline laughs and it's raining all day...

Another new Dresden Dolls track? Oh yes indeedy! My cup is overflowing.

The delightful duo have recorded the Psychedelic Furs 'Pretty In Pink' for an odd album called 'High School Reunion: a Tribute to Those Great 80's Films' and it works very well with Amanda's dismissive, world-weary phrasing.

Mind you, I'm also enjoying Amanda's evangelising in 'Satan Is Real' from their Lollapalooza gig. Give me a hallelujah!

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Revenge Shopping

To allay my severe distress and trauma on Monday I invested in some revenge shopping on Amazon and I got it today. Pride of place belongs to 'The Definitive Story of CBGB - the home of US Punk', a new double CD compilation of bands that played at CBGBs in New York and some fab stuff is on there.

I already have most of the tracks that make this a great selection but it's nice to have them all on one record, playing one after another - generates a good musical vibe, maaan. It's interesting to shift back in time a few decades and hear old songs I haven't even dreamed of in years and loving them again, like:

Destroy All Monsters : Bored [how did I ever forget this gem?]
The B52s : Planet Claire
MC5 : Kick Out The Jams
Devo : Jocko Homo
Dead Boys : Sonic Reducer

... and loads of others!

There's some kack as well but all can be forgiven for the sheer energy ripping out of the speakers. There's enough here to keep anyone who was a teenager in the '70s happy!

Sunday, 24 September 2006

Such a bore...

Well, when the most exciting thing I've done in months is experiment with adding a slice of lime to my glass of sugar-free Pepsi Max then what else can I say?

I've had a deeply boring summer. A painful one, a stressful one and a life-changing one, but boring. Not an exciting one at all. It occurred to me yesterday that I haven't even been shopping in about four months, hardly even online. I must have yet another, as yet undiagnosed, ailment causing this, of course. The lack of shopping hasn't helped my credit card balances because they're simply off-set with buying tickets for things later in the year. Now that I can get about a lot better I must start doing things again.

I need to conquer my food crisis. I was wandering around late on Thursday lunchtime getting stressed out trying to find something to eat and ended up having a sort of black-eyed bean filled pitta bread thing from the health food shop in the absence of anything else. I then had meetings which meant I couldn't eat more than a few mouthfuls and when I got back to my desk after meeting the minister from the Caiman Islands (I even wore shoes for the first time in months) it was nicely dry and tasteless. I put it in the bin. Then worried about eating something before seeing 'Wicked', gave up and got a cheese salad sarnie at Victoria station.

If I was only diabetic ("only"), that would be one thing, but cutting out cheese, low-fat, low-salt, low-cholesterol, low everything plus being vegetarian is what causes the problems. I actually cooked yesterday. Yes, cooked, not just heated something up. It took ages and it was lovely - and was excellent from a diabetic point of view (my blood was only 8.7 which is possibly the best ever). But it was terribly bad from a salt and fat perspective. Aruna would be both pleased and saddened.

I washed it down with Guinness. I am so bad. But also good, since that's the only alcohol I've had all week. I've stopped drinking during the week (and comparatively negligible at weekends). Sobriety is helping my fitness regime (as is the absence of cheese) but it limits one's options. In fact, I've had so little booze over the last month or so that I'm quite possibly the most sober person I know - even Christopher turns up half cut having swigged free wine when he goes to meet his film star friends.

I think I'm in the 'mourning' phase now. The second doctor I saw about the diabetes back in June said I was taking the news remarkably well and that a lot of people stressed out on being diagnosed. Way back then I was worried about my back, not all this new stuff happening to my body. I think it's possibly just really hit me over the last month. I've had time to get used to the idea now and what it means for me and am starting to manage it - unsuccessfully so far, but I'm trying. I even got a book about it so I can try to understand it better and manage it better. It just takes time. I've also sort of developed a split personality - I'm not diabetic, my body is.

But, in any case, I'm off shopping tomorrow. I will go to the HMV store on Oxford Street after work, waggle my credit card around a bit and buy things. I want, nay need, 'The SLADE Box'. I will then browse, check whether there are any new Buffy's about (I always check cos, well, you never know...) hunt for the new Indigo Girls record and generally do the picking up and putting down thing - except I will retain some in my hand. I will look in Borders for vegetarian cook books. Time permitting, I may pop along to John Lewis and Debenhams to look at suits (my new, soon-to-be svelte body will require new clobber shortly, or at least that's the plan).

I need to re-acquaint myself with people I haven't seen in months as well (yes, this possibly means you, so watch out). I also want to see the Kandinsky exhibition before it closes next weekend - some art will be good for my soul but I doubt the crowds will be.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Biscuit Tin

First Christmas Tree of the Year?

I saw my first Christmas tree of the year yesterday. It was all lit up and gracing one of the windows of the Army & Navy Store on Victoria Street. Now, I love Christmas, but I prefer it to be once a year and it doesn't really start in mid-September.

Last 10 iPod

The last 10 tracks played on my iPod are:

You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties - Jona Lewie
Warsaw is Khelm - Golem ft Amanda Palmer
Cuz I Can - Pink
I'm Me, I'm Now And That's Orl - SLADE
The Coast Is Always Changing - Maximo Park
Yankee Wheels - Jane Aire and the Belvederes
Defying Gravity - Wicked Cast Recording
Metal Guru - T.Rex
Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turn - The Dresden Dolls
Escapade - Janet Jackson

Just outside the Top 10 (at No 12) is my new delight - 'Delighted To See You' by The N'Betweens from 1967, a song I've never heard until this week and it is an aurally joyous festival for the noize buds. Because, of course, as all right-thinking people know, by 1967 The N'Betweens were the fledgling SLADE, the Lords of Noize in vitrio.

I'm having a good week musically - two glorious new Amanda tracks and one new SLADE!


SLADE Day is getting closer...
Defying Gravity

Thursday, 21 September 2006

Defying Gravity Indeed

A wonderfully fun time at 'Wicked' this evening - saw this in New York and I'm so pleased it's finally over here. I suspect it's one of those shows that you either love or hate and me? Well, I love it!

There are some slight changes from the Broadway version but nothing significant and it was great to walk into the theatre and see Tim the Dragon hovering malevolently over the stage again. I knew I was in for a treat.

Idina Menzel is over from America to reprise her role as Elpheba, aka the Wicked Witch of the West, and Helen Dallimore plays Glinda the Good. It's a double-header show that only works if these two make it work and they did, especially in the great set pieces. Miriam Margolyse and Nigel Planer were also in the cast and, from the looks of her, Miriam was thoroughly enjoying it. And so did I. I have little critical faculty at the best of times but I've lost it entirely with this show - it speaks to me in words of magic and I'm entranced.

Of course, Elpheba isn't a wicked witch, she's a freedom fighter and animal rights activist. She just happens to get around on a broomstick. And Glinda leads a peaceful coup against the Wizard and she has her personal bubble as transport. And, in the end ... well, you'll just have to see for yourself, won't you?

Luckily, the show is at Victoria so I can pop in any time. I might have to adopt a little green monkey...

So if you care to find me
Look to the western sky
As someone told me lately
"Everyone deserves the chance to fly"
And if I'm flying solo
At least I'm flying free
To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I
Am defying gravity
I'm flying high
I'm defying gravity
And soon I'll match them in renown
And nobody in all of Oz
No Wizard that there is or was
Is ever gonna bring me down!

Go for it Elpheba!

Wednesday, 20 September 2006


The new Dresden Dolls single is now available to download from iTunes: 'Backstabber' and 'Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turn'. Both can be heard on the Dolls' Myspace site. It's odd to hear 'Backstabber' without the naughty words but I'm delighted with 'Lonesome Organist'.

An additional joy can also be heard on the Myspace site of Golem, an East European 'folk-punk' band. Amanda duets on 'Warsaw is Khelm', a little gem that can be heard on Golem's Myspace site and can be downloaded from iTunes. There's also a great photo of them on stage together copied below with Amanda in a fab frock and thankfully still wearing her trademark stockings.

I am now officially happy (makes a change, I know) with the additions to my Amanda collection.

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

I just don't understand...

Now, this diabeatnik stuff is starting to get downright annoying. I've been testing my blood glucose levels before and after meals to try to identify patterns that might help me control it better.

After having a large lunch I'm not hungry this evening but I ought to eat anyway, if only to take my various pills (I'm now on five different pills each night). So, I eat four Weetabix with skimmed milk (ie white water), one banana, a cup of tea with skimmed milk and a glass of Pepsi Max. Let's face facts - there's so little nutritional value in that 'meal' that eating cardboard would be healthier.

As a rule of thumb, blood glucose should be around 4-6 units before a meal and under 10 after a meal (reducing back down to 4-6 as you work off the glucose).

So why has my glucose level increased from 7.2 before I ate to 11.4 afterwards? An increase of 4.2 due to Weetabix? Or maybe it was a very sweet banana?

O fiddle-di-di

OK, what I mean to say is, 'O feckity feck feck!'

I'm in the last few hours of international Talk Like A Pirate Day and I've just found out! All those missed opportunities to let people think I'm even wierder than usual by hunting out my best pirate vocabulary, stringing it round me like a recently liberated pearl necklace and then slashing 'em with some ascerbic pirate wit ...

I could've been a-swashbuckling all day (carefully, of course), cursing and insulting land-lubbers (and southerners).

I have high hopes for a pirate in the family on me Dad's side and I've missed such a great opportunity to make him proud of me - if indeed he was a pirate (whoever he might've been - doing a family tree to find out who he is/was is too much effort, I'll continue with the fantasy, thank you).

Now to hunt out my 'Pirate Jenny' CD and celebrate properly!

Ooo ar, blogger me lad!

Sunday, 17 September 2006

A New Quest: Be Stiff!

I saw some of the Stiff programmes last night on BBC4 and that reminded me of Jane Aire & The Belvederes. I had two of her singles way back when ('Yankee Wheels' on Stiff and 'Call Me Every Night' on Virgin) and two tracks by her on the Akron compilation issued by Stiff (with the scratch and sniff cover). I never got her one and only album. Of course, none of her music is available online (or none that I've found so far) but one track, 'Yankee Wheels', is on a Stiff compilation so I need to get hold of that. I need more and so the quest begins.

Other joys glimpsed in the programmes included Rachel Sweet in all her youthful loveliness. She was a mere 16 when she had her first hit with B-A-B-Y and it was great to see her being interviewed and on Top of the Pops. Her records have survived into the CD age with some killer tracks (some are on my iPod for regular listening). And more of her music is becoming available, such as two '80s albums discovered by Chris a while back (and they are very '80s sounding indeed!).

It was also great to see Kirsty MacColl doing backing singer stuff for Jona Lewie on Top of the Pops including some twisty dance moves - I bet she would've laughed her socks off at that. And, of course, the delightfully odd Lene Lovich who was a hero of mine when I was at college. She produced some excellent stuff and a new 'best of' has just been issued by Union Square.

I saw the Be Stiff! tour with Rachel, Lene, Wreckless Eric and Jona Lewie but I never saw Jane Aire. Stiff had it's up and downs but it produced some great music.

Saturday, 16 September 2006

The snoozes

How can you tell I've seen medical people? I fall asleep afterwards! Most odd. What is it about medical stuff that drains me and makes me tired?

Finally had my eyeballs photographed this afternoon and what lovely eyeballs I have (modest as ever). The knobbly veins are just so... so... um, veiny in a sort of classic way. Nodules and other bits all in perfect proportion. Basically, I have good eyes, at least as far as lack of nerve damage is concerned.

Mind you, the stuff they put in your eyes to dilate the pupils is not on my nice list. It stings when it goes in and makes the world fuzzy around the edges (a nice way to look at Tooting, really). What I didn't expect was my eyes to become so sensitive to light. I could hardly keep my eyes open as soon as I went outside, and it wasn't really that sunny. Walking to get the bus with my eyes covered by one hand, squinting through my fingers to see where I was going. Next time I'll take shades!

And my next time is 21 September 2007.

Now I can get my eyes tested by an optician and get some new glasses at last!

Thursday, 14 September 2006

'The shy and retiring Dave Hill' my arse!

I couldn't help but exclaim aloud those words when I saw a photo in my new SLADE book with that caption. It made me chuckle.

Yes, I've read the glorious book from cover to cover, including inspecting the detailed and very full discography. How happy am I? Some wonderful photos, some familiar and some never seen before; lovely memories evoked by text and piccies of the Lords of Noize and chums, especially Suzi Q. The format is 'annual sized' so we're treated to big glossy photos to drool over and the dust jacket is a bit fun with the title in shiny silver letters.

The book focuses on the glory glam years (as you'd expect) and then trips over the late '70s and '80s speedily by short commentaries on the albums and the few hit singles following the Reading reincarnation in 1980. This is fully understandable and it's what every fan wants, but it would be nice to record what happened to the band in a bit more detail after the glory years, if only for posterity and to get a full picture of their contribution to modern culture. Even Noddy's autobiog skips lightly over the '80s.

There's not really any new information or insights in the book but that doesn't really matter. It seems like the book's been rushed out to coincide with re-issuing the albums and it would have benefited from another proof read (the middle of the book in particular is littered with typos and duplicate words in badly constructed sentences) but again, that doesn't really matter.

All that matters is that the Lords of Noize are once again big, bold, brash and very colourful.

Go out and buy this book and live the dream again.

Now to wait for announcements of the Christmas tour and see if SLADE plan to play anywhere near London in December ...

Incidentally, I saw a poster for sale on eBay for the SLADE/Sensational Alex Harvey Band tour of 1973 - that's when I first saw them live and I can now pin-point my baptism of noize to 2 June 1973. What a long time ago that was.

Monday, 11 September 2006

The Rabbit in the Moon

Looking out of my windows over the past few nights I've seen a large white moon in the clear sky and whenever I see a moon round about full I look for the rabbit.

There are various tales about a rabbit in or on the moon but I prefer the tale I was told in Sri Lanka over a decade ago by a stick-thin old man in the grounds of the ancient, ruined temples opposite the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. It goes something like this:

A hunter was searching in the forests for food for his family but he failed to catch anything. Time and again he tried, but he failed. Close to starvation and death, the hunter built a fire, thinking that he would at least die warm. The rabbit saw all this and took pity on the hunter and leapt into the fire so that the hunter would be able to eat his cooked body and live to hunt again. The gods saw this supreme act of compassion and lifted up the rabbit and placed him in the moon as a symbol to mankind. The rabbit was an early incarnation of Lord Buddha on his journey through his lives on the road to enlightenment.

I like this story and I always think of it when I see a full moon. The old man in his white robe speaking to me in his broken English and me piecing the story together. It's re-told in Buddhist books (especially story books for the young) in different versions but this is my version, the version given to me by a kind old man welcoming a stranger one hot morning on my first trip to Sri Lanka. The day before I'd taken a train to Colombo and changed trains for a very crowded train up to Kandy in the hills, finding a creaking, old colonial hotel beside the lake and then going to the Temple of the Tooth to experience puja. It's a little treasure in my soul.

Can you see the rabbit?

Madonna Confessions Tour - Music

And look what I've found! Such an exciting sequence to see going on in front of you...

Burn that mutha!

Pardon me, dear readers, but I seem to find myself in a bit of a timewarp at the moment as I re-discover the joy that was disco!

I'm not sure where this latest fetish has come from, but I suspect that Madonna's 'Music Inferno' is somewhere in the mix. Trammps 'Disco Inferno' popped up on my iPod on Friday and that was the immediate catalyst. I even looked at a Bee Gees 'best of' over the weekend just for their disco hits.

I've hunted out my disco compilations and I'm working my way through them, revelling in the glory of some and the disaster of others. 'Knock on Wood' by Amii Stewart has just appeared on the speakers - where's my white suit when I need it?

Fat Middle Aged Man

I've had another 'medical' day today, off to see the back doctor again up in Fulham. After my severe relapse three weeks ago I'm back to normal decrepitude again and, consequently, have no real significant ailments to diagnose. Ho hum. But we talked about different types and sources of pain, which was interesting and helps me understand what's going on within the ruins of my temple. I go back again at the end of October.

In the course of our weighty medical discussions I mentioned my liver doctor saying that the pills I was taking for my back could be bad for me - the words just slipped out, 'my liver doctor'... how many doctors can a poor boy have? Which reminds me, my liver doctor has diagnosed me as having "non-alcoholic fatty-liver disease". I would take offense (I'm sure my liver is as nice as that of any other fat man) but the first part of that phrase is a relief. He's also written to my GP pratice to say I should be prescribed some more pills to off-set the side effects of my back pills... Pick me up and shake me - I rattle.

Of course, it would be a lot simpler to diagnose me as having 'fat middle aged man' disease. That's what it is, after all, when you lump all the different things together.

A light shines in the gloom of all this medical mayhem around me. And that light is Aruna, my dietician and newest guru. Isn't it wonderful what you can get on the NHS? I saw Aruna on Friday to discuss my diet and how food can help manage diabetese and all my other internal ailments and failings. We came to the conclusion that I have a pretty good diet as it is (being a veggie and all) but that my demons were cheese and booze. I eat far too much of the solid fat stuff and use it as a staple so I now need to re-explore my tastebuds and culinary skills. It's a long time since I actually cooked anything (as opposed to warmed it up) so I need a nice veggie cookbook. I see her again in December to swap recipes. I include news of Aruna so that if you hear me saying (as I discovered I was wont to do over the weekend), "well, Aruna says ..." then you know where I'm coming from.

My 'medical' days always make me feel odd and tired. When I got back from Fulham late this afternoon I felt incredibly tired so had a lie down 'for a few minutes'. Three hours later I wake up. I'm making a bit of a meal with all this medical stuff because it's still new to me and there's always that frisson of tension about whether they'll find something else wrong with me every time I go to see a doctor, as happened on virtually every trip to a doctor in June and July. I'll no doubt get used to it.

I have more medical stuff this week, culminating in a trip to the diabetic clinic on Friday to have the back of my eyes photographed to check for nerve damage. How thrilling. I've waited for this appointment since June and my sight has steadily worsened - I really need new glasses. Which I knew I needed anyway.

Om mane padme hum.

Sunday, 10 September 2006


The glorious, old tree opposite my house is being devastated. The chainsaws started yesterday and they're continuing today, a nice sunny Sunday afternoon shredded by the buzzing as the lovely tree has bits lopped off. Where will it end? Is it being trimmed or is coming down? Only time will tell.

It's a lovely old tree as well, maybe around 150 years old (the trees in my garden are over 100 years old, as is the house, and that tree is much bigger) and is huge (the fence in front, at the bottom of the photo, is over 6' high). Squirrels scamper around in that tree as well.

The owners of the property opposite have been trying to get planning permission to extend the house and build another 8 flats in the extension (mainly in the back garden where the tree is) but permission has been denied at least once specifically due to that tree. I can only assume the battle has been lost.

Lopping off branches older than me is one thing (see the photo below) but it'll be deeply sad if the whole tree is being cut down. Watch this space.

Happy Birthday Don!

Happy birthday to Don Powell, drummer with SLADE for forty years, who is sixty today (and looking good on it too).

He's been through the highs and lows of a career in music but always comes across as a nice bloke. Drummers are always the 'quiet ones' in a band (with one or two exceptions) and Don fits that bill for SLADE, pounding away in the background while the others put on a show up front. It was nice to see him on telly last Christmas on the C4 show about recording a Christmas No 1 but, typically, he didn't get to say anything! Still he drummed on it and Dave played guitar and I bought the download.

He wrote some of the early songs with Jim - they're quite different to the songs Nod and Jim wrote, a different sound and feel, but I like them. And apparently he's writing again.

There don't seem to be many photos of Don on his own floating around the interweb but here are a couple of 'then and now' photos (the 'now' photo taken a few weeks ago by Lise and posted in her SLADEblog). Here's hoping for more photos in the new SLADE book. And a photo of Don and the lads doing what they did best!

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Cum on... big SLADE book!

My SLADE-dar is failing me. This wonderful new book, Cum On Feel The Noize - The Story Of SLADE, has been published for a week and I only found out about it yesterday.

Naturally, I ordered it from Amazon straight away... which is a shame because they have it in Borders and I could have popped into town and bought it today. O well.

It is doubly fabulous because the introduction is written by the Lady-in-Leather herself, Suzi Quatro. Suzi did her first UK tour supporting SLADE in 1972 but I wasn't able to see that tour (I was only a wee nipper at the time).

The four-CD box set of SLADE goodies and re-mastered 'Crackers' are out later this month as well. I still haven't found out what's in the box set but, rest assured, I'll post here as soon as I have any news.

Friday, 8 September 2006

"Junk Shop Glam"

I've been sent a rather odd record by an online chum called 'Velvet Tinmine'. It's a collection of glamrock songs that didn't quite make it - 'junk shop glam' as it's been christened by Record Collector. And what an odd collection it is.

An AOL site tells us that:

Junk Shop Glam is a relatively new phenomenon, which came to public notice via a feature in the Jan. 2002 issue of Record Collector magazine, and was followed up by an article in the Guardian newspaper. This deals with those glam rock groups who did not achieve any chart success, and who's names have largely been lost in the annals of pop music history.

It's quite difficult to describe this musical melange of... well, I'm not sure what it is. Put it this way, I can understand why the songs weren't hits. I'm not saying they're plain awful. No, no I'm not saying that. They're interesting. Yes, that's what I'm saying. Interesting in a, well, strange way.

They'd actually make a great game, a sort of 'guess who influenced this song?' kind of way. Rip off, is probably too strong a term (no matter how accurate) but it's quite fun listening to the songs and thinking

... that's an early Sweet Andy Scott riff ...
.... that chorus is from SLADE ...
... that guitar is Marc ...
... that stomping is definitely early Glitter ...

I can even hear shades of Geordie in there too and, let's face it, Geordie weren't exactly huge.

Some of the bands later had some success and we're treated to early songs by Arrow and Hello and I recall Fancy's version of 'Wild Thing'. There's a group called The Damned but I don't think it's the same as the more famous band of that name a few years later. There's even a group called Flame, presumably influenced by the SLADE film.

Iron Virgin sound like an early 'B' side version of the Sweet when they were allowed to play their own harder songs. Their contribution is 'Rebel Rule' and I quite like it. And here's a photo of them.

'Kick Your Boots Off' by Sister sounds like a SLADE rip off; 'Slippery Rock 70s' by Stavely Makepeace is a piano-influenced version of 'Rock n Roll (Part 2)'; 'Kick Out The Jams' by Tubthumper is full of 'hey hey hey's a la T.Rex's 'Solid Gold Easy Action'.

What an interesting listen that's been!

Feed me 'nanas!

adopt your own virtual pet!

Thursday, 7 September 2006

Live At Carnegie Hall

I am in a state of shock. It seems that I have just procured through the interweb a lost Buffy CD, a CD that was issued in 2004 and then withdrawn almost immediately for some reason - Live At Carnegie Hall.

I received an email through the Buffy mailing list saying there were two copies for sale on but by the time I logged on there was only one and then my fingers did the walking double-time to snap it up pronto. There are now no copies available on

How excited am I? A new Buffy CD! I might have to faint any minute ...

But I'll wait till I have it in my hot, sweaty hands before I get too excited - I recall all the trials and tribulations I faced when trying to get the 'Many A Mile' CD and the number of times I was let down through online sources...

A new Buffy CD! Ooooooo!


Computers for Pupils

At the moment I'm enjoying Computers for Pupils (a boring name, I know, but it says what it is on the can, so to speak). As the blurb tells us, it's:

A £60 million, 2-year programme aimed at helping some of the most disadvantaged secondary children improve their education and life skills by putting a computer into the home. Local Authorities identified as having eligible schools and pupils in their area have been given funding to buy equipment, as well as help and advice covering all aspects of the scheme.

Of course, I'm not personally putting a computer into 100,000 homes, oh no. My role is to facilitate it, make it happen, supply the money and the incentives, that sort of thing.

We're sort of 'launching' it on 9 October with a seminar event at the Hilton Metropole on Edgware Road (and no, you can't come, it's by invitation only). So, of course, we need some branding, some artwork to jazz up the event a bit, and this is what the designers have come up with. They did 20-odd designs but I've gone for these two, one for signage and the other for letter-head. I think they're quite fun!

I'll be getting more versions later to decide which colour(s) to use and other exciting decisions. Sometimes I like my job!

Feckity feck feck

I can feel my osteophytes. O yes I can. I can feel them grinding and gnashing.

Osteophytes are boney growths on the vertebrae and when a disc degenerates they start rubbing together. It feels most odd. I could feel mine rubbing on the way home tonight and I can still feel them (I need to take magick pills).

I think it might result from how I've been sitting today. I've had three meetings in the same room today (one of the few in my building with a fully functioning whiteboard) and the seats in that room are odd and too big. Apparently the table we sit around is the meeting table from Michael Portillo's old private office when he was Secretary of State for Employment way back in the day. I probably spent about four hours in those seats (with short breaks inbetween). I think that's what's done it. Or, at least, I can't think of any other reason for feeling like this.

I need pills and then bed. And sleep would be nice.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

OK Go - On The Treadmills

Ahem. This is what's it's *really* like when you go to the gym for a tough workout. Believe me.

Suzi Quatro - Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame

Now, the Sex Pistols see it as a piss stain but Suzi wouldn't say no to being inducted into the Hall of Fame and good on her.

I had a Suzi Quatro morning this morning, selecting her to listen to on the way to work and it was great to hear 'Back to the Drive' again (the title track from her latest album - I love it when she says, 'I'm back!'). That made me log onto her website to see if there's any news about a tour, but there isn't (do I detect sighs of relief from Enfield?).

Instead there was a link to a site with the sole purpose of getting Suzi inducted into the Hall of Fame. I'm all for that! Suzi was such an influence and one of the great unsung heroes of rock that she deserves it. But, apparently, the Hall of Fame doesn't accept emails... eh? Which century are we living in?

The site says:

We need everyone’s help and support: Please send an entry by printing and filling in the form letter below, or feel free to compose your own letter telling the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame what Suzi’s music means to you and why you think she deserves to be inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame. (Please note that original letters have more influence on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Committee). Please mail all letters to the below address, as the Rock Hall of Fame does not accept emails.

Go for it Suzi!

Now... where did I put that postcard of a young Suzi in leathers from the National Portrait Gallery ....
The Dresden Dolls - Backstabber

The new single (available 11 September) with a spikey version of 'Modern Moonlight' at the end. This video is from the Jimmy Kimmel show in April 2006.

More News of Dresden

The Dresden Dolls played at the Reading Festival last weekend and I've just been pointed to the review of the festival in the Independent online which states:

If you haven't caught on to The Dresden Dolls yet there's probably no hope for you, but despite an unsuitable daylight timeslot and unusually dressed-down stagewear ("Death To The Pixies" T-shirt, faces cleansed of pierrot make-up), the Bostonian cabaret-noir duo of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione, both with their own material and covers of Brel's "Amsterdam" and Sabbath's "War Pigs" are the most compelling, thrilling thing of the whole weekend.

And, luckily, the BBC website about the festival includes a photo of Amanda in that very t-shirt!

Even better - new Dresdens music will be available on Monday 11 September. 'Backstabbers' (from 'Yes, Virginia') is being released as a digital single with the 'b' side being, 'Lonesome Organist Rapes Page Turner', a track only heard so far on their MySpace site. It will, naturally enough, be heard in Streatham from Monday, quite possibly rather loudly.

And where did I gather all this information from? I had an email alerting me that The Dresden Dolls UK Forum has been launched so I automatically logged on. As you do.

Monday, 4 September 2006

O Woe ...

I avidy read Amanda's latest blog this evening (a particular treat for me) and my face gradually fell. Isn't it almost illegal for the red-tops (no names, no pack-drill, no libel suit) to report accurately?

A few months ago, after the Dresden Dolls were on 'Later... with Jools Holland' the red-top gossip page reported a "romance" between Amanda and Ricky (thing) from the Kaiser Chiefs. Naturally, I dismissed it. Amanda is art and Ricky is, well, white-boy pop (to paraphrase).

But it seems to be true...

I (obviously) wish Amanda well but would welcome a full statement as to what he's got over me?

I will listen to the lyrics of future Dolls songs with interest.

I've put the soundtrack of 'Avenue Q' on the CD player to cheer me up.


Saturday, 2 September 2006

Esther & Abi Ofarim - Cinderella Rockefalla

A classic of yesteryear!

Friday, 1 September 2006

Mary Tyler Moore Theme

The intro section for the first series...

More SLADE? O yes...

I spent some enjoyable time reading Lise Lyng Falkenberg's SLADEblog today. There are some great photos of Don on the blog - here's one I nicked of Don with the new CDs. He's looking good.

I was fascinated, nostalgic and surprised in equal parts. There's a great interview with Don reproduced in the blog and it was nice to read his reminiscences of making the records in the first place.

I was very surprised that the band haven't been approached to do any promotional work for the new CDs, although Don thought that maybe Noddy will be doing something (Nod is often the spokesperson as was always the way). This seems very strange and such a missed opportunity to try to get the four band members together again... O well.

The interview also comments on Don's songwriting - he co-wrote some of the songs on 'Play It Loud' (which has always been one of my favourites) and the early 'B' sides. More wordy and serious than Nod's lyrics, but that just adds variety to the catalogue. I hope he gets lots of royalties from the re-issues.