Monday, October 31, 2011

National Treasures - The Complete Shambles Box Set - Forever Delayed?

hello there!

well, wasn't it inevitable that as soon as i said there would be no more posts for October that something really interesting would crop up? and so it has, with a pet subject of mine. that would, of course, be the (ahem) 'Complete Singles' box set of the Manic Street Preachers.

things were actually starting to look up for this expensive project. Sony, apparently keen to have themselves seen as not being of "total hatred" towards consumers, yielded a bit and changed it so the discs had some of the b-sides included, rather than the one-track-per-disc stupidity they first proposed.

they were still reluctant to give too much away of what one could expect for a great deal of money, but then that excellent site
Super Deluxe Edition got their hands on one. and, it has to be said, it looked damned impressive, if still somewhat expensive for an incomplete set!

these images are from the Super Deluxe Edition site. many, many thanks for sharing them, chaps - Sony themselves have flat refused to do any sort of promotion for this or even give a clue as to what one could expect.

one or two more people were tempted to part with money to buy this, seeing what was inside. that's fair enough, and it was due to be shipped today. you will note the use of the word "was" there.

many thanks to someone called stormstocome for sharing this somewhat disappointing email that they at least got as far in advance as....the day they were reasonably expecting to take delivery of the item :

Dear Manic Street Preachers Fan,

Due to an unforeseen production issue, your order for The Manic Street Preachers' 'National Treasures – The Complete Box Set' will ship a few days late and not as initially advertised on or before Monday, October 31. We apologize for the delay.

As soon as your order goes out we’ll email you a ship confirmation.

Please note that if you ordered with your credit card you will not be charged until your order ships.

Thank you for patience and for shopping at the MyPlay Direct Manic Street Preachers Store.

Best regards,

Your MyPlay Direct Team

up front, the bit in bold & red appears to be an outright lie. more than one person who has ordered this has indicated that they have indeed already been charged for it.

as for what on earth an "unforseen production issue" could be, i thank the one they call Dancing Kirby for sharing this link to a story that tells you all you need to know about Sony's view on expensive box sets. going on how Sony treat their own products, the musicians signed up to them and their utter, utter contempt for customers, i am amazed that they have even bothered with the music industry. they really should just **** off and make lawnmowers, or perhaps take over tax audits for governments worldwide. it would be something they would clearly enjoy more than their present attempts at functionality in the world.

where this gets even more "amusing", if i may call it such, is when you click on the link to the official site (which is the only place you can buy this box set). you now get presented with a tracklisting! here it is!

yeah, that's right, the tracklisting they are giving for the deluxe box set is the listing for the 2 CD version, i.e. the only one you really should be considering buying! if that's the "unforseen production issue" that's an impressive lack of vision!

it is shocking that this is going on with a band who have a reputation for being exceptionally friendly and involved with their fanbase. please, Manic Street Preachers, get out of the deal you have with Sony, as soon as you can.

the standard 2 CD version, along with a 2 CD and 1 DVD (the DVD being of poor quality, apparently and unsurprisingly), are out right now - rather purchase one of those, to be honest with you, and leave this thing well alone.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

replacing a stabbed cassette deck

hey there

well, believe it or not, in early October i was contemplating doing a post saying that i don't always know what will feature here during any given month, and that i was unsure as to how much i would have to write of in the month ahead. well, so much for that! i think this has been the busiest posting month of all time for me!

moving on to why there is yet another post this month and i bring you the simply delightful news that at least one car in the land of New Zealand has an armed, working and fully operational cassette deck installed in it!

here is the picture of the chap that Gillian employed to come over and install the cassette deck for her!

i have no idea what his name is, but he is obviously an ace, boss, class type of chap as he commented that JVC stereo equipment is of an excellent quality, and apparently liked the look of the deck i had sent over for her! i am then delighted to give a plug to his firm - if you are in New Zealand and require some sort of mobile assistance with the electronics or what have you in (or on) your car, then i suggest you get in touch with Alert Auto Electrical
as they are clearly excellent!

they also have no objection to being photographed going about their business, as you can see, and they also are delighted to have the younger members of society assist them so that they may learn the magic of installing a cassette deck in a car!

nice one Daniel, thank you for helping ensuring that the vibes return to the car!

in regards of the recent lack of vibes in Gillian's car, well, let us take a moment please to remember the old, now deceased cassette deck. here it is, apparently banished to the "naughty corner".

as you may well recall, this one broke, and Richard had a go at fixing it. by means of stabbing it. that didn't quite work out, but never mind that now, a new one is in place!

that said, i had no idea Gillian's former deck was a Blaupunkt!

i have always been of the impression that they are some of the best decks you can get in a car, going on how much fuss and noise Richard Dreyfuss' character in Down And Out In Beverly Hills made both about having one and having it stolen.

in regards of the latter point there, there is a security feature on this ace JVC deck that Gillian seems particularly taken with; which is that it has a "removable face". i would be pretty sure that the people of New Zealand are both honest enough and have an equal lack of need for a cassette deck to try and lift this or any other one, but there you go, the fact that it has such a feature makes Gillian smile!

another factor that presumably makes Gillian smile, and indeed left me feeling greatly relieved, was the fact that it works! i did not think or have the means to test the deck before shipping it off across the oceans, so it was something of a relief to get a message saying that it was both installed and up and running!

Gillian's quite taken with the fact that the deck says, or spells out, 'Hello' to you, and indeed 'See You' when you switch it off!

the best bit, for me at least, however is this message here -

that means that the deck is happily playing tapes, and i can carry on making them and sending them on! nice one!

as for what got the inagural play, well, i took the liberty of making a special new tape to send along with the deck. it features some of Gillian's favourites, some of my favourites and some universally loved songs too! here's a look at side one!

we are delighted that the deck is up and running, and certainly hope all of you over in New Zealand dig it too!

and that, ladies and gentlemen, could well turn out to be "that" for posts from me for the month of October! watch something crop up that sees me post something later, now that i have written that!

in the mean time, though,

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AHK-toong BAY-bi

hey everyone

well, this post is going to be as much of a celebration as it is a criticism, so consider yourselves well and truly warned!

Edition 305 of celebrated music magazine Q certainly sounded like it could be interesting. it was to feature a recreation of U2's much celebrated album Achtung Baby, with the album 'mostly' consisting of cover versions of each track. this was all in aid of "celebrating" (as in "the band boosting publicity for the re-release") the 20th anniversary of this particular album.

as a quick aside, i have the slightly-less deluxe than some versions 2 disc set of the Achtung Baby reissue "on order". a full review is entirely possible as and when it lands.

in the mean time, if the idea of a "covers version" of the album sounded mildly interesting, it became one hell of a lot more exciting and "must get hands on this one" when the full details became clear!

that, as you can see from the cover, is one hell of a set of artists they have got to cover U2! whereas free CDs with magazines tend to have a bit of a hit and miss trend to them, with one or two songs being something you really want if you are lucky, this one promised to be all good across the whole running time.

and, as i have (ahem) heard it, i can with great delight tell you that this is one excellent, must-have disc!

if i were to select a highlight, it would probably have to be Depeche Mode's insanely genius take on So Cruel. it's a song that never particularly stood out on the original version of the album for me if i am honest, but in the hands of 'The Mode' it becomes a clear and present masterpiece.

that said, there is not one bad cover on it. i thought it was usual Bono hyperbole when he said "some of these covers are better than our versions", but when you hear it you get where he's coming from.

starting with the album opener Zoo Station and Nine Inch Nails was a relatively straightforward choice; the track commencing with a quasi-industrial slice of music on the original. Reznor & Co however, do not overplay the insudtrial roots of the song - far from it, for if i am not mistaken that's a xylophone lurking around on the recording.

Patti Smith's take on Until The End Of The World does exactly what it says on the box, as indeed does Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses as performed by Garbage. Both are, then, if you didn't work it out, brilliant. My favourite on the album, and perhaps favourite U2 song of all time, The Fly, is tackled here by someone called Gavin Friday, who i have never heard of. no matter, as he does an absolutely sterling job.

all of these great tracks lead up to no less than Jack White - yep, the Jack White, closing proceedings with a dazzling take on Love Is Blindness.

there is a case to say that AHK-toong BAY-bi could easily be considered one of the best 10, if not best 5, albums of the year. the trick, of course, is the rather difficult way one has to try and get hold of it. that means the criticism is on its way.

now, if you are in the UK, you really should not have a problem getting this - off you to go WH Smiths or the like and buy a copy now, really. for those of us outside of the UK this would not normally be a problem. usually the magazines all turn up here some six weeks later, 99.9% of the time with the cover CD attached. this time, and i do not know if it is because Q have been taking anti-consumer lessons from Sony or similar, this is not to be. there are warnings and messages all over the official Q internet page site thing and similar that this disc will not be available to people outside the UK, whether they subscribe directly to the magazine or buy it off the shelf. i am sure whoever is behind this finds it very funny that the best free CD ever is not available anywhere else in the world.

on the upside, perhaps sensing a consumer backlash, Q and U2 have made a "limited number" of copies of the disc available to buy for people all around the world. the cost of the CD (no idea if it comes with the magazine or not, is $7.50 in United States terms, which i am led to believe is the magazine cover price. on the downside, however, a little bit of research on the site tells you that it will cost you $14.95 for them to ship it to you. which is very close to twice the price of the actual item. "con" and "unfair" are words that spring to mind.

the album, of course, is already freely available - with the emphasis on free - across the whole of the internet. which makes me think that this is one of the largest wasted opportunities ever.

considering they have the recording, and all artists have settled the rights and what have you, why not put this out for sale as an actual, worthwhile and big selling "charity" release for any of the noble causes that both U2 and the majority of artists involved with it would be delighted to give some support to? that would be better than it being limited to regular or casual buyers in the UK, those with enough funds to pay excessive and over the odds postage or, for the most part, bootleggers.

i cannot condone any "less than legal" way of obtaining this, but i will leave it at saying that AHK-toong BAY-bi is essential listening, and i advise you to get your hands on a copy by the most legitimate means available to you in your country.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Batman and Blackbeard

Hi Everyone

well, whilst Michele and I were enjoying John Cleese's excellent Alimony Tour show, James and William were busy keeping Grandma busy over at South Fork. it seems that they had just as good a time as we did!

i took the boys over on Saturday, and somewhat unwisely took James over to the shops whilst we were there. he did have some pocket money from Grandma, but surprise surprise Mummy and Daddy had to chip in a bit to get the things that he wanted!

no bad thing, really, as he found an ace Batman outfit for himself and, knowing how much William likes them due to the class film Scooby Doo - Pirates Ahoy!, a most excellent pirate outfit for his brother!

sorry, once again i only had the blueberry on me to take pictures with! i think Grandma took some too, so some better ones might come along eventually! in the mean time, i really love the angles and positions (and whatever the other terms are) for the one below!

William had absolutely no interest in removing his pirate hat, which is a bit of a shame as it would have allowed you to see his snazzy, excellent new haircut! oh well, i shall try and get pictures of that during the week - i suppose i have to save some stories to tell for November!

James also had a haircut - oddly on request from him, but at the least you can kind of see that sticking out from behind the Batman mask!

well, it seems and sounds that they had a good deal of fun with these outfits! they chased each other around for quite a while in them, eventually retiring to the north wing of South Fork to watch as many of the Star Wars films as they could before falling asleep!

quite a busy and exciting weekend all around, then! hope you all had a good one!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The John Cleese Alimony Tour

hey everyone

well, what an incredible way to spend an afternoon! we, with many thanks indeed to my Mum and Dad, had front row tickets for John Cleese's celebrated and perhaps, two years in, infamous Alimony Tour!

sorry, nothing but respect from me for the request/demand that people do not fiddle with phones and cameras during the actual performance. i did, however, take a quick picture of the stage from my seat before it all started. if it interests you, here it is!

for those of you unaware of exactly why Mr Cleese is out on tour around the world, well the name of the tour gives you a clue. a judge in Los Angeles, one that Mr Cleese is not particularly keen on might i add, decided that he had to pay his now ex-wife $20 millon (!) in alimony. he says that it is money he simply does not have, and thus he is out and about performing.

whereas the premise and purpose could lead one to suspect that this is an excercise in self-depreciation and prostration from this legend, the truth is over on the other end of the spectrum. this tour is all about celebration and self-affirmation.

and what a brilliant show it is too! i am not going to reveal any of the specific comments, jokes or memories he shared with us here (partially because of the language, mostly out of not wishing to spoil it for anyone), but they are all wonderful.

if you get the chance to see him perform this show, take the chance!

and i think you will have to see him live, as there is precious little chance of this ever getting a DVD release. i am no expert in the ways of the law, but i dare say some of the comments in his performance would attract a huge pack of libel lawyers if it was ever published. i am, then, rather glad to have heard it all!

just about every area of his professional, performing career is touched on (wonderfully even Yellowbeard, a film i love but one that is a touch obscure!), and he gives some wonderful, warm insights into the how and why he became who he is today.

and who he is today is certainly one of the most loved figures in British comedy, ever. but you don't really need me to tell you something you already know.

highlights for me without giving anything away? certainly discussing the late, great Graham Chapman, really. and a pretty pleasant, positive set of memories of all that he has worked with, be it his fellow Pythons or other, like the amazing Peter Cook.

it's kind of a great shame that financial concerns have brought this to us, really. but then again, i have to say i am then glad that this is the way the world has turned. he probably would not have bothered to go out and do this sort of thing were it not the pressing need to balance the bank account, and that would have been a great shame as it is truly two hours of wonder to listen to him.

i have no idea how much longer Mr Cleese is going to go around the world with this show, but as i said, if you get the chance to see him, please do all that you can to take the chance. not only will you help him win a battle with a bewildering legal system, but you'll be entertained like never before!

many thanks again to Mum & Dad for the class tickets!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and yes, go on then, one spoiler - he does do a variant of a certain walk........)

Grant's day of mixed emotions

hey everyone

well, Grant started off a usual, if not quite conventional, day in Auckland yesterday rather chipper.

and so he should, really - his team was in a major final, and he was under the impression they would win by means of formality.

i, however, begged to differ somewhat, as mentioned in my post yesterday when Grant showed off his class new Sharks plate.

who was right?

well, have a look at this picture

and, indeed, this one

those of you with a good eye for the finer details will have no doubt observed that the team celebrating and winning the trophy are wearing shirts that are different from the one Grant has on. there is also not a single shark in site, as such, but i can see a lion here and there.

Grant's rollercoaster ride of emotions, then, took something of a dip!

never mind Grant, there's always next year!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Grant and the Sharks plate

hey everyone

well, "my bad" is the phrase i believe the kids of today use when they have made a mistake or simply forgotten something. the latter option is certainly true here, for i had forgotten that, along with a spiffing new cassette deck, i had sent some Sharks plates on to the land of New Zealand.

when i say Sharks plates i do not mean plates made from sharks, which perhaps you worked out from the capital "S" anyway. i mean that they are plates with The Sharks on them, the celebrated rugby side likely to lose to the mighty Lions later today.

imminent defeat, however, does not stop Grant or anyone else supporting their side, as you can see with the look of unblemished pride he has in showing off his class new plate.

i am glad that Grant likes them! with some good fortune, perhaps over the years ahead we shall find him some nice cutlery, or even a glass or beaker, with his side emblazoned upon them to go with it!

i have quite a few pictures from New Zealand at the moment here, will try and do further updates soonest! i suspect, though, not this weekend!

have a good one!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Doors by Spiros

hey everyone

well, the month started with pictures of Traz from my chum Spiros, so what better way to mark the end (or thereabouts) of the month with a look at another club?

ladies and gents, this is how The Doors in downtown Johannesburg now looks!

the roof that they used to have on it was excellent, what a great shame that it seems to have now gone.

many thanks indeed for the picture, Spiros!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

the only working (hopefully) car cassette deck in New Zealand


the eagle, as it were, has landed!

well, not the eagle, the stonking, smart, bangin', woo woo what a tomato new JVC cassette deck for Gillian's car.

yes Gillian, it does look class in the box, but get it installed and send pictures!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jonny Guitar - Live and on Record

hey everyone

well, over the years i have been fortunate enough to know some people sat with an astonishing level of talent and ability. every now and then, i even get to see one or two of them find or develop the will to go out there into the universe and show off this talent. i am truly delighted that, after a while (shall we say) of sitting on and stockpiling some material, my old school friend Jonathan, known in realm of music as Jonny Guitar, has taken to performing live and releasing some of his songs to the public.

i haven't actually seen Jonathan since our heady Nunthorpe days, but have been absolutely delighted to be back in contact with him via the grand social network. it has been great, over the last year or so, to see him present some of his music across the net, and indeed hold one or two concerts online via the magnificent Stage It web thing. in regards of that, these images are from his most recent concert, held on this last Sunday.

so what's his music like? to tell the truth, i am battling to get a comparison that both gives you a clue and does not offend him, really. you could always, if i have this link right, find out for yourself by clicking here and trying out this ep, which features one of his greatest songs, Bernie Slaven.

the "safest" comparison i can think of at this stage is the solo career of the legendary Lindsey Buckingham, if in style not so much as sound. for those who do not know what that means exactly, well, Mr Buckingham is usually associated with Fleetwood Mac and has created some incredibly commercially viable and hugely popular songs with a hint of personal things in them, but as a solo artist he delivers what one could call more introverted songs that still carry with them a sense of great, if secondary, commercial and popular success. this is in no way a bad thing, and is meant as the best compliment i can pay.

to expand on that, there is of course the music. his song Bernie Slaven will strike an immediate chord with all from Teesside of course, but yet there remains a universal sense to the lyrics. it is well worth your time trying out this song, and then if you are unaware of the tale going and finding out exactly why Bernie did what he did. in the window of Binns, no less.

beyond that, there's a wide range of songs, covering every emotion (good and bad) that you can think of or would expect. whereas there has yet to be a song he's exposed me to that i have not liked, there are one or two that stand out from the rest. these would include Jo Whiley, A Bad Feeling and indeed, on the darker side of the emotions, The Bed You Burned. his lyrics are always clever, never contrived, and his skills with the guitar certainly leave me in awe.

it really is little or no surprise that, after a bit of exposure for his music, a record label moved in and quickly got him signed up, really. Jonathan is a genuine creative talent, and is very much for those of you who tire of hearing manufactured pop from various "talent" TV shows and rather dull, computer sampled "dance" music.

for the low costs of buying his ep, or even just the time to listen to the streaming samples, any true music lover has absolutely nothing to lose and a considerable amount to reap and gain from giving him a try. i really hope you do!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Stone Roses - "possible" tour dates

hey everyone

a 100% unofficial fan site for The Stone Roses is claiming to have a list of "strongly rumoured but unconfirmed" dates and venues for a tour by the band after their much anticipated Heaton Park residency.

here is the list of dates and venues as they are reporting it :

at present the NME are reporting it as "fake". then again, the idea that The Stone Roses were going to reform was dismissed as fake. however, some quick searches and the evidence at hand indicates that this list isn't quite right.

firstly, at the press conference to announce they were back together, Reni intimated that they would not be "slogging it" and would tour and perform at their own pace. this quickfire succession of dates does not quite tie in with that. then again, Reni did deny there was any reunion, didn't he?

secondly, the rumour last week was that they would be playing T In The Park on the weekend they are now supposedly playing the o2 arena.

further to this, a random google search on the dates and venues suggests that not many of them are booked out as such - strange if this is all planned?

well, if this turns out to be as legit as the reunion story, excellent, and good luck to those wanting to get tickets! i would suggest, though, waiting for any and all information to appear on the offical Stone Roses site before making plans!

in the meantime, the NME have a nice little feature on the band's reaction to the overwhelming support and demand for their comeback. John Squire's comments in particular are somewhat interesting.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

hi everyone

well, this feels as equally pointless to write about as much as it is some sort of obligation, really. Noel Gallagher's debut solo album has been officially on sale for some ten days now, and indeed available a good deal longer than that thanks to the usual strange "internet leak". not that the latter damaged the former, at all - it sold well over 100,000 copies in a week and went in at number one on the album chart. that's quite impressive.

is it, then, really worthwhile me writing any sort of comments or review of it? i kind of think so, for right now i am still trying to work out if it has sold so well because it's rather good or if it has because "it is Noel Gallagher". after 3 or 4 plays of it, i cannot make up my mind which is the case, quite frankly.

when it appeared i did write a piece on the debut single, The Death Of You And Me, suggesting it was not perhaps the masterpiece it could have been and hoped for. to be honest, and i know this does not make a great deal of sense, the whole of the album is more of the same, except slightly better.

the ten tracks run to a neat 42 minutes or so, and whilst you are never inclined to switch it off or skip any of the tracks, you're never really given anything that says to you "turn the volume up" or "play this song again". with little exception, the album is profoundly and astonishingly middle of the road, ideal for having on in the background or indeed in the car as you are more worried about concentrating on traffic than the vibes. there is the great danger, then, that Noel Gallagher has turned himself into a modern day version of Phil Collins, Dire Straits or a curious, somewhat peverse combination of the two - selling distinctly average records by the tonne to people who will listen to it and not be troubled enough to hear it properly. what a very strange fate for a chap who spearheaded the return of rock to the charts in the mid-90s onwards.

the thing is, though, this does not seem to be all that bad, really. whereas brother Liam wishes to carry rock to the masses until he departs the earth, Noel seems content to be praised for his (very much there) skill and talent, not keen to deviate away from an accepted sound that has made him, in a number of corners and within a great many circles, treasured and admired. Liam wants worship, adulation and praise; Noel wants respect, credit and admiration.

in regards of that last bit, there's a good deal of fuss by some about any comparisons which feature Liam, Noel or Oasis in any combination. we shall get to that in a little while.

there are two tracks which stand out a fair bit from this rather background album, although one of them i cannot remember which it is and i don't have the disc with me. the one i do remember is AKA..What A Life!, which i would have said should have been the first single, and subsequently a blueprint for the album. it's a great song. i think, oddly, the other song that struck me was the other to feature "AKA" as a title, AKA...Broken Arrow. apologies if it is the one after that, (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach, but it's whichever song that (ahem) 'cheekily' borrows the bassline from Goldfrapp's superb Strict Machine from ten or so years ago.

UPDATE : it is indeed (Stranded On) The Wrong Beach that "borrows" the bassline off Goldfrapp's Strict Machine, having listened to it again in the car this morning!

the other eight tracks, in all honesty, neither inspire nor offend the listener. they exist, it seems, to allow Noel to have an album out and tour it, which seems to be what he was after. and this is no bad thing, really, as that's what the fans wanted to, in particular as, unlike Liam, Noel made it clear that he would be playing Oasis songs.

which is probably why tickets for his solo shows sold out in record time, despite the price of them.

you are reading the above correct, a ticket for Noel Gallagher is exactly 35p cheaper than The Stone Roses. is one overpriced or one underpriced?

and, to digress a little but trust me, it will all tie in and make sense eventually, the mind boggles as to why so many rushed to pay so much to be at a Noel Gallagher gig when this seems to be what the majority do there.

what is the point of that, exactly? i gather this is all too frequent an event at gigs these days, but what's the bloody point of being at a gig if all you are going to do is film it with a phone? i don't care how fancy your "i" or "blueberry" phone is, the picture and sound are going to be wonky, with the image usually being so shaky that no one in their right mind would want to watch it. what on earth do these people do with this footage? why not just enjoy the gig, man? i live with some concern that this is what awaits at Heaton Park next year, really.

right, if the High Flying Birds album is little more than an excuse for Noel to be playing both these songs and Oasis numbers live, let's have a look at how this is working out, as well as the "Team Liam" and "Team Noel" fanatics who seem to think, strangely, that it is a crime or just plain wrong to compare what either or both are doing to the Oasis records.

for a start, Noel is trading in on his Oasis stock big time, with both the album (3 tracks at least, in particular Stop The Clocks, are known to have been intended for Oasis) and the subsequent promotion from Noel featuring unmissable Oasis references. in fact, if you search NME or any other music magazine or newspaper that has spoken to Noel in the last 6 or so weeks, you will note that the talk more or less centres on Oasis from Noel. and usually negative, too - he has, sadly and i am sure to the frustration of all fans of him and his music - all but dismissed everything Oasis did after the first two albums as "rubbish which should not have happened". he has back-tracked on that a little, but not much. he has also claimed that he "maybe should not have quit the band" after all, as it would have been "nice" to tour (What's The Story) Morning Glory for its 20th anniversary in 2015.

to that end, Liam, presumably struck down with universal love after the reunion of The Stone Roses, said he would readily reunite with Noel in 2015 to make such a thing happen, saying that both of them would have to "stand down" in their respective opinions of themselves and each other to make it happen for the fans and for the music. Noel has recently knocked back the idea.

in regards of Noel's knocking back of much of the Oasis material from album 3 onwards, well, have a look at the setlist from his debut tour :

Its Good To Be Free
Mucky Fingers
Everybodys On The Run
Dream On
If I Had A Gun
The Good Rebel
The Death Of You And Me
*New Song*
I Wanna Live In A Dream In My Record Machine
AKA What A Life
Talk Tonight
Soldier Boys And Jesus Freaks
AKA Broken Arrow
Half The World Away
Stranded On The Wrong Beach
Dont Look Back In Anger
The Importance Of Being Idle
Little By Little

i have highlighted the 9 out of 20 songs he did which were originally by Oasis, and by my reckoning 4 (four) of them are songs from the period that Noel declared to be "rubbish". i know that Noel has a perfectly good track record of in no way thinking before he speaks (wishing certain musicians "get AIDS and die" sound familiar?), but he really needs to make his mind up - yeah they are his compositions, but if they are "rubbish" then perhaps stop making money off them, chap? this of course will not happen, but with Liam declaring that Beady Eye shall be "one million times better than Oasis" and Noel not so much suggesting as demanding that his solo stuff be seen in the light of Oasis, i really don't get why certain fans insist one should pretend that the band never existed.

so, is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds an album worth getting? a bit of a moot point, perhaps. with over 100,000 copies sold there is a case to suggest that everyone who wants it now ha it, isn't there? i really, at this stage, suspect it shall be a case of "The Smiths syndrome", whereby everyone who wants it buys it on release, and then there is only a trickle of sales the week after. if it turns out to be another Morning Glory and keeps just selling and selling for him, good luck to him.

a second album, apparently more "psychedelic" and recorded with an outfit called Amorphous Androgynous (who i am relatively sure remixed one of the last Oasis singles), is planned for next year. i have a feeling that, whereas Liam announced that Beady Eye are to record a second album "whether people like it or not", anything that Noel chooses to release is going to sell rather well, whether people actually like it or not.

if any of these comments have been of use, outstanding!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

something called Diners international

hey everyone

well, i just got a call from a lovely bloke, whose name escapes me for the moment, from someone or something called Diners International. the number comes up as +27879401497 if that either helps or is of any use. despite my assurances to him that i had no idea what a "Diners International Card" was he was quite insistent on talking to me about getting me one.

to that end, without never once confirming my name for him, i was most insistent that he addressed me as Professor. which he did, really, which is jolly good. he then proceeded to tell me all sorts of things, you know, this that and the other in regards of benefits and that in having one of these cards (whatever the hell they are), and advised me that i could use it absolutely anywhere in the world. i would like to think that, in retrospect, he feels that this might possibly have been quite a mistake, because i enquired as if to one could use it quite freely in Bangkok. he advised that yes, indeed you could.

i suggested, then, that i quite liked the idea of being one of them "sex tourist" types, and asked if the cards were accepted without question in the interesting looking sex clubs they seem to have there, for as far as i can see on the television when they do documentaries it strikes me as being a strictly cash in hand, so to speak, business. he then proceeded to tell me that his mother went to Bangkok "frequently" and that you could use the card at an ATM in Bangkok to get cash.

i asked him if his mother was also a sex tourist, then (apparently not, no) and further what was the point of this card if i had to simply get cash with it anyway. he advised me that it would mean i could just leave my other cards at home.

we moved on slightly and got to the point where he assured me that this Diners lot would provide me with a "24/7 personal assistant". i was quite distressed at this, or at least i sounded it, as i asked him what he proposed exactly i would do with Claude, who i told the nice chap had been my personal assistant for something close to a decade now. i was then informed that the "personal assistant" would be available telephonically only. i asked, then, how the personal assistant would be able to open doors for me like Claude currently does. he said that they would not; i said that it was hardly a personal assistant, then. he agreed, apologized and suggested that they should be called "24/7 customer care".

that said, when i was told that this "24/7 customer care" would be able to get anything i wanted, anywhere in the world, i took the trouble to ask if they might be able to arrange sex for me wherever in the world i happened to be. with some pride the chap assured me that yes, they would be able to arrange this. that's an interesting approach for them to take, and i am rather glad that they informed me they keep a recording of the conversation.

as much fun as the conversation was - and indeed it was rather informative - i advised the nice chap on the other end of the phone that i had to leave now, as there was an assembly hall full of young people wishing to learn about Cartesian Duallism. well, the odds are pretty high that somewhere in the world that a lecture is happening right now on that subject, are they not? i had to, somewhat surprisingly, explain to the chap on the phone broady what exactly Cartesian Duallism was all about (brief answer would of course be the difference or if you will "split" between the physical body and the mind/spirit/soul) and then made my excuses. he asked if he could phone again, and i suggested that yes he certainly could - i mean, he has done it once already, why would he all of a sudden not be able to?

i shall be rather surprised to hear from him again.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Traveler's Japanese app

hey there

or if you prefer, これはスパムです。スパムは迷惑です, if you know what i mean!

can you believe it? i am not sure i can, really. blimey, where did a decade go that we have the 10th anniversary edition of the celebrated Carol's Sex Jeep by one of the most under-celebrated acts of all time, Traveler's Japanese app?

it really does not feel like ten years since i heard it, but there you go! i am indebted to all those who brought this to my attention, and indeed forwarded on the new artwork, which is pretty much the original artwork only just "less sepia", as it were.

was of course a great, great one, but at the risk of being called a trendy, a fashionista or a more commercialist than the rest, this one was always top of my list.

and then, of course, there was this one.....

erm, yeah. those of you who know what's going on with this one know that, as i try and keep the content here as family safe as possible, i cannot really discuss much about this one.

i would like to extend a big, warm welcome to all TJA fans who have found this site, whether you are the more casual fan or of the harder, more dedicated persuasion.

all that i can say is that i hope this has provided some useful information to all with an interest in TJA!

旅行者の日本語のアプリは - それがインターネット上にある場合はそれが真である必要があります

a sunny, not so lazy, Sunday afternoon

hi everyone

well, i don't know about all of you, but we've had a rather busy and indeed excellent weekend over here! Saturday and Sunday were days that were as full as one could make them. i do not, alas, have any pictures of Saturday, but i suspect you having read this far and seen the title of this particular post have, as it were, "clocked" that.

as it was a mostly lovely, warm weekend here, Grandma thought it might be an ace idea to take the boys along to a rather good garden centre, the name of which escapes me for the moment. calling it "just" a garden centre is a bit of an understatement, one that you will understand when you see what they have on offer there.

like, for instance, an excellent range of lizards, snakes and reptiles for sale!

William, as you can see above, was rather impressed with the one above! i think it might have been an iguana, but i shall accept any other name you care to give it.

he was not, it has to be said, all that bothered with the snakes, really.

well, in fairness all they do is sort of lay there and stick their tongue out a bit, not the sort of thing to impress William. James rather likes all the snakes, mind.

both of them were, however, rather taken with the large number of mice that they had on display!

i know you cannot see all that much in the above picture, but trust me there were dozens of mice running around in the thing they are looking at, and i think they boys were rather keen on trying to get one or two of them!

they were also rather taken with the chickens on display for some reason. again, you shall have to take my word for it that it is chickens they are looking at!

not content with the rare and potentially dangerous possible pets on display, the boys were a bit beside themselves with the 4 (four) excellent play areas they had to choose from. well, i say choose, needless to say they had a go on everything that the place had to offer!

i did not, sadly, take all that many pictures of them playing. rather a lot of the play areas were elevated jungle gyms, a little bit over my head, and of course they insisted on climbing as high as they could. i felt it somewhat better to keep an eye on them and be ready to catch, so to speak, than it was to try and take pictures!

not that i was the only one taking pictures, of course, James took a bit of a break from playing to grab the camera and took this rather splendid one of his Grandma

and indeed this excellent picture of his dear brother William stopping to have a drink!

William is a touch peculiar with that drink, by the way. when he has a sip of it he pulls a rather funny face which suggests that he does not enjoy it at all, but insists on having more and will not accept a replacement one. go figure!

anyway, after a photographic and refreshment break, it was soon back to the all important task of playing; something made quite class by the provided bikes and excellent track they had for them to ride around on!

and it was not just "conventional", traditional playgrounds that they had the choice of either. they had a range of those rides that look like vehicles and sort of shake about a bit in exchange for some financial consideration. William loved them at Sun City, so i was delighted to be able to let him loose on some once more!

it seems i have "forgotten" to bring in the pictures of them on most of the rides, but here is an absolutely priceless one of the two of them on the king of rides they had, an excellent helicopter that went up, down and around a bit!

i just love the expressions they are pulling there! James seems not to have a care in the world about the direction Airwolf is going, whereas William seems concerned that they are about to crash!

after a somewhat exhausting run around the whole of the garden centre, it was back off to South Fork. not for a rest, however, for the boys seem to have no need for that! the boys wanted to do some swimming, and so this is what we did! here they are sat with someone i won't name, but i can confirm that he does have tickets for The Stone Roses next year. there, see, i got a mention of them in.

now, if the boys do not look as happy as they could in the above it is mainly because James wanted to get on with learning how to swim properly and William was determined that he could indeed swim if we just let go of him and let him get on with it!

as far as William goes, we shall have to keep a good eye and firm grip on him around any sort of water that is more substantial than a cup, really. he has got the general idea of how one swims, but his skill does not quite match his confidence.

James, however, seems to have the hang of it, which is excellent! for the most part this would be down to the most outstanding swim outfits Grandma got for them which helps with floating, but i did a little bit to help him learn too, i would like to think!

we are really rather impressed and proud of how James has learnt how to swim and is getting on with it! we just wish that perhaps he did not shoot off to the deep end straight away until he has refined his skills to a bit more than a paddle!

well, that's an insight into how some of our weekend went! i trust and hope that yours was just as ace!

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!