• more Mr. Miller

    16 apr 2011, 02:44 av RubyHarvest

    "Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself."

    -Henry Miller
  • [My Gang] Martha Wainwright – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year : Reco of the Week…

    28 dec 2010, 17:18 av Babs_05

    Track: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year [ Hype Machine ]
    Artist: Martha Wainwright
    Album: The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (Nonesuch Nov 2005) [We7 | Spotify]
    Tags: , , ,
    Video: No video this week, instead, here is a lovely picture...

    We lost Kate at the start of this year, so I would like to end it with something from their annual Christmas concerts, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, performed by her daughter, Martha Wainwright.

    As sentimental as I am, there are really only a handful of new year songs that I like. Auld Lang Syne, of course, which is guaranteed to leave me shedding a tear or two, and ABBA's Happy New Year. I am sure everyone will be hearing these this week anyway, so something different and pretty won't go amiss.

    Typical of Wainwright songs, there are references to family members and friends, cheeky little digs and sibling sniping. The music is folk-rock with a slight americana flavour. About half way through is the really gorgeous bit, where everything quietens a notch, drums soften and notes are longer. Martha Wainwright sings as she always does, plainly and simply, allowing the beauty of her voice to shine without contrivance. These three elements combine to make this track a special one.

    This new year's eve, we can reflect on not only the year that has gone by, but also the decade, the first of this century. We can think about where we were in the year 2000, what we were doing, who with, and what has happened since. We can think about what we would like for ourselves for the next ten years and start thinking about how we might get there.

    Those of you who wish to know what the stars have in store for the year ahead, here is a PDF from Shelley von Strunckel, astrologer to the Sunday Times and Vogue amongst many others: http://www.shelleyvonstrunckel.com/Year_of_Initiative.pdf

    For me, 2010 was a year of ups and downs and the unexpected, much as it was for everyone else, I imagine. But there was some weird stuff going on this year, more so than usual. Politically, Gordon Brown left Downing Street in a stroppy huff just after 7 o'clock in the evening on a Tuesday. Humanitarian story of the year has to be the Chilean miners. The whole of the UK was snowed in in this, the hottest year on record. But here we all are, muddling along and still standing, getting by with a little help from our friends. (Another couple of good songs for the year end.)

    What will the new year bring? There are albums I am looking forward to and I really do want to read that stash of books I have piled up in the corner. I am hoping for a quiet year of transition between the tumultuous 00s and the start of the teens. A quiet year would be just the ticket. A nice, boring winter, a pretty spring followed by a long, lazy summer full of friends and picnics, then a bumper autumn of ice cream and berries, a birthday, then winter again. No dramas, no hoo-haas or upsets. Calm, peace and tranquility is my wish for one and all. May 2011 be boring and pass by in warm, fuzzy blur.

    Happy New Year !!


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 6,480
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 9,503
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 255
    Position in Last 6 Months: 68 / 178

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 6,563
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 9,645
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 255
    Position in Last 6 Months: 64 / 205

    73 Unique Visitors
    92 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views

  • [My Gang] Animal Collective - Bluish : Reco of the Week 05 Oct 2010

    5 okt 2010, 17:52 av Babs_05

    Track: Bluish
    Artist: Animal Collective
    Album: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino, Jan 2009)
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, official video

    Animal Collective's Avey Tare is due to release his debut album, Down There, towards the end of this month. You can hear and download the lead single, Lucky 1, from Pitchfork now, released yesterday.

    (Source: Pitchfork)

    Also out now is the new video for a track from last year's Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective for the track Bluish. It's blue! It features sparkles and stars and bellydance bras and girls who disappear in bubbles of smoke.

    I'm getting lost in your curls
    I'm getting crushed out on the things that only I should see

    The boys of the band play Casper under lit sheets whilst swirling ribbons and scarves mesmerise in reverse. The bellydancer is ninja, the lights are black and everyone's a star.

    The credits for the video are: (from YouTube)
    Director: Jason Oliver Goodman
    Assistant Director: Marymichael D'Onofrio
    Producer: Andy Carlson
    DP: Doug Emmett
    Editor: Joe Kriksciun
    Compositing and coloring: Alex Arce
    Stylist: Keeva Halferty
    Dancer: Taryn Look
    Art Department: Amy Henry and Gail Stoicheff
    Bubble Artist: ChelseaTran of Gazillion Bubble Show
    Gaffer: TJ Alston
    Key Grip: Chad Battinelli
    AC: Johnny Sousa

    I have recommended from this album before. I haven't played it yet this year. Revisiting now, it's like relaxing with an old friend.


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines

    (Source: Stereogum)

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 156,073
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 1,101,293
    Position in Last 7 Days: 4 / 4,250
    Position in Last 6 Months: 5 / 52,449

    Date Added: September 20, 2010
    Views: 39,813, Ratings: 268, Comments: 70, Favourites: 477, Likes: 288

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 156,966
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 1,110,309
    Position in Last 7 Days: 5 / 4,046
    Position in Last 6 Months: 5 / 52,449

    Views: 45,969, Ratings: 293, Comments: 80, Favourites: 428, Likes: 264

    101 Unique Visitors
    115 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views

  • [My Gang] The Besnard Lakes – Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1+2 : Reco of…

    7 sep 2010, 14:46 av Babs_05

    Track: Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 1: The Ocean (1:39)
    and Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent Pt. 2: The Innocent (7:15)
    Artist: The Besnard Lakes
    Album: The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night
    Tags: , , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    When I first heard The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night back in March, I posted excited tweets in Twitter, quoting from some of the lyrics. Then I didn't spend any more time with it. There are so many music sites streaming brand new albums in full, I find myself racing to keep up every week. Sounds brilliant, but I'm starting to miss my old habit of nursing an album till I know every note.

    Something I've always done is follow my nose. I have cravings for music like other people do for chocolate. This year, time and again, I found myself craving this album and in particular, these two opening tracks. They're droney and quite loud but at the same time, almost unbearably beautiful and uplifting.

    Part 1 is instrumental, barely audible to begin with, slowly rising to swirling echoes of strange sounds and guitars and distant voices, a wall of sound climbing at a grand, measured pace. There is no break and the track moves straight to Part 2.

    The second part is where the song is and where the crunchy guitars take over. It's epic in scale with layers touching on every level, from dark and light, calm and high drama, heavy drones and blissful heights. All the while, the same measured pace, trudging and grounded, providing further contrast to the lush harmonies and high vocals.

    Different reviewers pick different tracks from this album to highlight. Allmusic has chosen the next two, lead single Albatross, Chicago Train and the last one, The Lonely Moan.

    The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night is their third album and, for me, their strongest. It dazzles with points of light that blaze through the dark, whereas the previous two focus more on darkness.

    I have to post this fluffy bit of Adrian Mole from YouTube:
    The Besnard Lakes, the Montreal collective fronted by husband-and-wife duo Olga Goreas and Jace Lasek, has returned, crafting a majestic, sprawling vision of guitar bombast and captivating pop experiments.
    On March 9th of 2010 (March 8th in the UK), Jagjaguwar will release The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night, a twisting chronicle of spies, double agents, novelists and aspiring rock gods turned violent. Loyalty, dishonor, love, and hatred are all seen through the eyes of two spies, communicating through short wave in code and fighting a war that may or may not be real.

    The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night was recorded at Laseks Breakglass Studios with a vintage 1968 Neve germanium mixing console used to record portions of Led Zeppelins Physical Graffiti. The Besnard Lakes Are The Roaring Night is a dark bliss-out that folds the eerie guitar epics of the bands breakthrough, The Besnard Lakes Are the Dark Horse, into a wall of affected drones and atmospherics. The toughened immediacy and grit that gives the form a much-needed shove over the cliffs makes for a haunting, provocative swan dive into the crushing tide.

    The husband and wife team each take a different approach to songwriting. His songs are about the retired spy who is now a musician. Hers are based on personal experience. In delivery, his voice is high-pitched, recalling artists such as Supertramp, whose music also seems to inform this album. Hers reminds me a lot of Isobel Cambell. But where Cambell's voice is the fairy tale next to Mark Lanegan's whisky-soaked growl, Goreas's voice acts as a ballast to the even higher voice of her husband.

    This album is one of the contenders for my end of year top ten. There's only one criterion and that is: do I wake up craving it.

    Further reading:
    Wikipedia - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night (with links to reviews)
    Metacritic score: 80/100
    The Quietus review


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Part 1:
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 13,847
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 37,755
    Position in Last 7 Days: 3 / 569
    Position in Last 6 Months: 3 / 10,907

    Part 2:
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 12,294
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 38,652
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 571
    Position in Last 6 Months: 9 / 7,941

    Date Added: January 13, 2010
    Views: 20,297, Ratings: 82 Likes, Comments: 29, Favourites: n/a

    Stats after 7 days:

    Part 1:
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 14,010
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 38,212
    Position in Last 7 Days: 3 / 552
    Position in Last 6 Months: 3 / 10,907

    Part 2:
    Last.fm listeners of this track - 12,507
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 39,384
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 557
    Position in Last 6 Months: 9 / 7,941

    Views: 20,599, Ratings: 84 Likes, Comments: 29, Favourites: n/a

    186 Unique Visitors
    244 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Unique Visitors

  • [My Gang] Shamantis – J. Biebz - U Smile 800% Slower : Reco of the Week 17 Aug 2010

    17 aug 2010, 18:58 av Babs_05

    Track: U Smile Ambient [ Stream/download Soundcloud ]
    Artist: Shamantis
    Album: To be released later this year
    Tags: , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    This is the sound of 2010. Justin Bieber made not just palatable but downright beautiful. I haven't seen a single comment from anybody saying they didn't like it, and it's all over the internet today, even being picked up by MTV and NPR. A quick Google search for "bieber 800%" brings me over 800,000 results. The track was only 'released' last night.

    The video, at just under ten minutes, is merely an excerpt. The whole piece comes in at around thirty five minutes.

    The track is Justin Bieber's U Smile put through a piece of free opensource software called Paulstretch. Hand on heart, I haven't heard the original, not being a fan, so I can't compare, but this version brings to mind Sigur Rós, This Mortal Coil, Cocteau Twins, Brian Eno and Robin Guthrie. The waves are the percussive sounds, digital snares and cymbals, stretched so they crash and roll.

    Sonic State stretched a picture of Justin Bieber by 800%, giving a visual idea of what's happening with the sound:

    I'm not sure how everyone will tag this track or how it will appear in the charts next week. When you download it, it comes up as "U Smile Ambient", which is what I've gone with. Attribute it to the artist Shamantis.

    Shamantis is 20 year old Nick Pittsinger of Tampa, Florida. From his MySpace: "[He] is an avid musician, composer/songwriter, and producer. He has had intensive jazz music theory training, and continues to push the envelope of sound by incorprating [sic] genres from traditional hindustani music to new and experimental forms of goa and down-tempo."

    His track is so good, some very naughty people stole it and put it on their Bandcamp page, claiming it as their own. Fortunately, it looks like that little drama is resolved now. All this in less than 24 hours. Things happen fast on the internet.

    2010 is the year of Justin Bieber bashing, with everyone from the bad boys and girls of 4chan onwards getting in on the act. Bashing him is as much a meme as it is a reaction against manufactured teeny pop. Both YouTube and Last.fm suffered Bieber attacks on 4th July, with links and images replaced with porn. Around the same time, cheeky 4chan raced to get Bieber to perform in North Korea, after there was a poll asking fans where they would like him to appear.

    In Twitter, he is invariably in the top ten trending topics on a daily basis. Yesterday, Mashable reported that Bieber tweeted his phone number on Saturday. He received 26,000 texts.

    Inexplicably, there is also this website: Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Whilst this bashing is going on, there are thousands upon thousands of genuine Bieber fans the world over, mostly children (I presume). One can only wonder at the impact global abuse towards their idol must be having on them. Nobody did this to earlier child stars such as Millie, Little Jimmy Osmond, the young Michael Jackson, Hanson or Britney Spears, for example, at least not to this extent.

    Bieber bashing is a unique phenomenon of 2010 and the age of social networking, widely available broadband internet, and the disparity between what the media promotes and what the public wants. It wasn't so long ago that something was advertised and we were conditioned to want it because they said so. With various blockers for the internet and time-shift television, we need not view an advertisement if we don't want to. We are left to make our own decisions and word of mouth counts as much as, if not more than, paid promotion.

    It would also be fair to say that this is one of the symptoms of the demise of the music industry and its desperate attempts to rake in money by creating 'paint by numbers' pop bands. There are more bands around today, and more music to listen to, than there ever has been since charts began in the 1950s. This includes everyone from bedroom artists and independents to those signed to major labels.

    To my mind, it makes perfect sense that people react strongly when someone, reduced to a 'product', is over-promoted to the point there is no escape. In the past, when mass media amounted to a few channels on television, the press and public radio, if you didn't like something, you turned over or turned the page. Today's mass media tries harder, and the harder it tries, the less we pay attention. I see Bieber bashing as the public's response to the barrage attack from the music industry and his fans alike, who dominate every platform.

    Not that I condone bashing anyone, just that I understand it isn't personal to Bieber or any of his fans. It's a reaction against the machine.


    - My Gang
    - Central Point: where artists and listeners meet

    Reco of the Week archives
    My Gang Reco of The Week

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - n/a
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - n/a
    Position in Last 7 Days: n/a
    Position in Last 6 Months: n/a

    Date Added: August 16, 2010
    Views: 21,670, Ratings: 888, Comments: 568, Favourited: 915 times

    Stats after 7 days:

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views

  • [Deejay Stix] 16 July 2010 @ Son of Antichrist (Hobgoblin, nee The Dev', London) -…

    20 jul 2010, 16:34 av IanAR

    16 July 2010: Son of Antichrist w/ DJs Stix, Luna X & Cavey Nik @ Hobgoblin (London)
    On Friday night, I had the pleasure of seeing Deejay Stix (of Electric Dreams) DJ, at the latest Club AntiChrist event. Here's what he played - with added YouTubes (where I found a good one).

    1. Scraping Foetus off the Wheel's Anything (Viva!) Anything (Viva!)
    2. Leæther Strip's Baby Doll
    3. Killing Joke's Exorcism (live in King's Chamber Cairo August 1995 mix) (edit) Exorcism
    4. Front 242's Tragedy For You
    5. NITZER EBB's Fun to Be Had
    6. COVENANT's Dead Stars Dead Stars (version)
    7. Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus
    8. The Cure's A Forest
    9. FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM's Preacher Man
    10. The Sisters of Mercy's Dominion
    11. JOY DIVISION's She's Lost Control
    12. Siouxsie and the Banshees's Arabian Knights
    13. BAUHAUS's Dark Entries
    14. IGGY POP's Night Clubbing Night Clubbing (live concert 1977)
    15. Public Image Ltd.'s Public Image
    16. THE DAMNED's Love Song
    17. DEAD KENNEDYS's Holiday in Cambodia
    18. GARY NUMAN's Down in the Park Down In The Park (20th Century Version)
    19. VISAGE's Fade to Grey
    20. DEPECHE MODE's Enjoy the Silence
    21. FRONT 242's Headhunter
    22. Nine Inch Nails's Terrible Lie Terrible Lie (Live)
    23. Rammstein's Das Model
    24. Marilyn Manson's Sweet Dreams Sweet Dreams(are made of this)
    25. ORGY's Blue Monday
    26. MINISTRY's N.W.O.
    27. The Sisters of Mercy's This Corrosion
    28. THE CURE's Fascination Street
    29. Killing Joke's Love Like Blood
    30. NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS's Red Right Hand
    32. Echo & The Bunnymen's The Killing Moon
    33. Rosetta Stone's Adrenaline
    34. NINE INCH NAILS's Wish
    35. AND ONE's Deutschmaschine
    36. THE CREATURES's 2nd Floor
    37. Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft's Der Mussolini
    38. P.A.L.'s Gelöbnis
    Any suggestions for improvements or additions are welcome - pls, comment below.
  • [My Gang] Scissor Sisters : Invisible Light : Reco of the Week 29 June 2010

    29 jun 2010, 17:12 av Babs_05

    Track: Invisible Light
    Artist: Scissor Sisters
    Album: Night Work
    Tags: , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube amateur video

    This week's reco comes from my album of the week, the third release from the Scissor Sisters, Night Work. Final track Invisible Light closes the album with over 6 minutes of euphoria, sealing it with a smacker of a mwah, making you want to play the whole thing again.

    The whole is a party circa sometime in the late 70s and early 80s in New York city. Scattered throughout are little touches and references that bring to mind any number of artists of that era. So far, I've heard Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, Madonna, the Bee Gees, Sparks, Kraftwerk, Gary Numan, ABBA when they updated their sound, Prince, Bronski Beat...

    (Photo by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1980, ballet dancer Peter Reed)

    Produced by Stuart Price, Night Work draws a line under the less successful Ta-Dah and brings us back to the phenomenon that was their debut, Scissor Sisters. Darker in sound, Night Work may not be as dazzling but it complements it nicely. Lyrics are lusty and salacious, aimed solely at adults and clubbing. Guests include Helen Terry on Whole New Way, Kylie Minogue on Any Which Way, and Santigold on Running Out.

    Ana Matronic might describe Invisible Light as "a magical song" but user comments here in Last.fm cut to the chase and state the obvious - that it's like a gay 'Thriller', and indeed it is, with the 'Thriller'-style dialogue from Sir Ian McKellen (aka Gandalf).

    (Sexual gladiators! Image source: The Guardian)

    The track begins all quiet Pink Floyd guitar, quickly shifting to Giorgio Moroder and Donna Summer. A false calm before the storm via Madonna Ray of Light before introducing Sir Ian McKellen to scare the kiddies with his scary voice. We are commanded to "Come to the light! Into the light. The invisible light". From the relative calm of the spoken word, the music starts to build and build until all hell breaks loose as the the track and album race to the finishing line, trailing wigs, glitter and platforms in their wake. Fabulous.

    I was delighted to find someone has put together a great video for the track featuring clips from Michael Jackson's Thriller video along with "some cool nature shots and other random stuff." (above)

    Fitting too because it was the one year anniversary of Jackson's passing last Friday. The world remembered and tributes were paid at Glastonbury.

    Scissor Sisters were one of the highlights at this year's Glastonbury festival, held over the weekend. Kylie joined them for Any Which Way. Watch it here. UK viewers can watch some of the set on the BBC iPlayer.

    Kylie in thigh-high disco mirrored boots, a 'cheeky' album cover, sexy dirty naughty lyrics and cheesy dance moves, the album picks us up on Friday night after work to take us to a never-ending party that started in 1977 and nothing bad ever happened ever after. The end.


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

    (Source: Reuters)

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 6,400
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 41,233
    Position in Last 7 Days: 5 / 2,569
    Position in Last 6 Months: 35 / 1,470

    Date Added: April 29, 2010
    Views: 932, Comments: 3, Favourited: 7 times, Ratings: 5

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 9,133
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 52,525
    Position in Last 7 Days: 7 / 4,755
    Position in Last 6 Months: 29 / 2,966

    Views: 1,227, Comments: 4, Favourited: 7 times, Ratings: 9

    547 Unique Visitors
    622 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views

  • [My Gang] Duran Duran - Planet Earth : Reco of the Week 18 May 2010

    18 maj 2010, 19:43 av Babs_05

    Track: Planet Earth
    Artist: Duran Duran
    Album: Duran Duran (1981, reissued 2010)
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...


    Our beloved Ashes To Ashes draws to a close this week with the final episode airing on Friday. What will life be like without the Gene Genie? There have been a few clangers in this series, from the script (no one said "end of") to props (Wispa chocolate bars weren't out for another year), but the wardrobe has been pretty accurate, save the odd exception.

    I'm sure it helped that early 80s fashion is back in the shops. Suddenly, videos like this one for Duran Duran's Planet Earth, shot in the Rum Runner nightclub in Birmingham and full of New Romantics, don't look so weird anymore. It's not a video, it's a shopping list.

    Duran Duran, 1981

    I keep thinking I've written about Duran Duran before but it looks like I haven't. Can't believe I've never reco'd The Chauffeur, New Moon On Monday or one of my secret top favourites, Too Late Marlene. Maybe now is the right time given how Duranie the new Keane album, Night Train, sounds.

    Planet Earth was the first single from the debut album which got Duran Duran noticed. It appeared on the same episode of Top of The Pops as Spandau Ballet with To Cut a Long Story Short. It was a busy day at school the next day. The charts, forever interesting at the time, just got more so.

    Source: BBC

    So how will Ashes To Ashes end? What happened to Sam Tyler? Why are Ray and Shaz seeing stars? Why is Chris hearing things? Who is Jim Keats? Will Alex remember she has a daughter? Answers and more in just a few days' time.


    - Ashes To Ashes
    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 77,449
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 251,130
    Position in Last 7 Days: 10 / 1,074
    Position in Last 6 Months: 10 / 15,831

    Date Added: January 07, 2007
    Views: 162,944, Comments: 295, Favourited: 1,202 times, Ratings: 339

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 77,966
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 252,988
    Position in Last 7 Days: 10 / 1,052
    Position in Last 6 Months: 10 / 15,831

    Views: 164,785, Comments: 298, Favourited: 1,218 times, Ratings: 343

    204 Unique Visitors
    245 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views
  • [My Gang] The Specials and Fun Boy Three – The Lunatics : Reco of the Week 11 May…

    11 maj 2010, 21:24 av Babs_05

    Track: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) [ Full stream: We7 ]
    Artist: The Specials and Fun Boy Three
    Album: The Very Best of the Specials and Fun Boy Three
    Tags: , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube audio upload

    I don't even know where to begin.

    How do I summarise the surprising twists and turns in UK politics in the last seven days? I can say this much: the country is anxious.

    In the thick of it, it's hard to step back and get an overview. After the 18 hours it took for votes to be counted and for a hung parliament to be announced, the three parties closed the doors for talks. There was much speculation over what deals would be made and between whom.

    The assumption was naturally lefty Liberal Democrats would come to some arrangement with Labour, leaving the Conservatives without a hope. But as they say, you should never assume, because you make an ass of u and me. Gordon Brown made asses of all us with yet another bad decision made (in my opinion) rashly and petulantly. With three minutes notice to David Cameron, leader of the Conservatives, Gordon Brown announced his resignation this evening, around 7pm.

    Some people watching and listening live to Gordon Brown's resignation speech were moved to tears. I wasn't. I wanted to smack him. How could he be so irresponsible? So much for caring for the country. In many people's opinions, he was the worst Prime Minister the UK ever had. He is known for his bad decisions. What a great parting shot, giving us the Tories.

    I saw no grace in Gordon Brown's departure. I saw vindictiveness and spite. He hinted he wanted to step down during his speech when his constituency votes came in and I got the impression he wanted to go sometime soon. Whenever he spoke, he said he was planning to step down in coming months, maybe later this year. But out of the blue just after 7pm on a Tuesday evening, just like that?! Why?

    Clearly he wasn't getting his way. He is as unpopular in government as he is with the people. I knew he would be pilloried by the press and he was. But this is just the beginning, there's more to come. Ted Heath was villified for years (in the 1970s after his hung parliament), so much so it was hard not to feel sorry for him even if you didn't like him.

    The difference is, Harold Wilson, who took over from Ted Heath, was a likeable and charismatic character. Today, right now, we have precisely nobody. We have no adequate leader capable of taking the world stage. Forget embarrassing, it's terrifying.

    What we have are two posh boys, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, two former public school pupils who were both coached and mentored through the system to get to where they are today. Silver spoons and privilege. They have no concept of ordinary people, ordinary problems or minority issues. They don't know what normal is, they've never seen it. We're looking at an elitist government.

    So Gordon Brown resigned and invited David Cameron to take over. The Conservatives had to sit down and work out a deal with the Liberal Democrats in one evening, something they had not been able to manage in four full days.

    There was no outpouring of joy in Twitter all evening as we followed events. Not from anybody. Everyone was stunned. The hashtag of the evening was #ConDemNation. People who vote Tory are worried about how much they will be forced to compromise away under the new deal with the Liberal Democrats. And vice versa with people who voted for the Liberal Democrats.

    Talks were concluded by midnight with mostly unanimous votes. A deal was made for a new coalition. Full details will be disclosed over the next few days but so far, Nick Clegg has stated we are looking at a new kind of government. He used words such as diverse and plural and kept repeating the word fair. The MPs who had attended the meeting appeared happy, euphoric even, which was astonishing in itself. What are the Lib Dems doing being happy after talks with the Tories?

    It shouldn't be like this. It's all upside down and inside out.

    And thus endeth my fair assessment of the last seven days.

    The song: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) was originally written when The Specials were still together but wasn't released as a single till 1981, after they had split and the Fun Boy Three had formed.

    The lyrics are political: the cowboy is Ronald Reagan, European food mountains had just become news, which sat uncomfortably alongside growing reports of starvation around the world. "Take away my right to choose / Take away my point of view", it didn't feel like anyone had a voice under Margaret Thatcher's Tory government. Nothing anybody said seemed to make the slightest difference.

    The music is pared back and skeletal, minimal and on a monotone, as if catatonic. There is little energy or enthusiasm from the band, little expression or emotion. The version I have chosen is one with The Specials, not the one by Fun Boy Three which is even more lifeless and almost trip-hop which you can listen to at Hype Machine here: The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum - hypem stream.

    Have we gone back 30 years? Is this an 80s revival proper? Are we right to feel anxious, nervous, scared to go to sleep? Exciting times, interesting, fascinating and frightening all at once.

    Further reading:
    David Cameron - Statement in Downing Street
    The Guardian: Tory-Lib Dem coalition threatened by secret hardline memo on Europe
    The Guardian: David Cameron and Nick Clegg lead coalition into power (comments are worth a look)
    The Guardian: David Cameron sacrifices inheritance tax policy to win Liberal Democrat deal
    The Independent: Cameron begins to work out the colour of a two-tone Cabinet
    UK Press Association: Clegg vows 'new kind of government'


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 260
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 487
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 5
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 107

    Date Added: November 10, 2009
    Views: 824, Comments: 4, Ratings: 4, Favourited: 10 times

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 264
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 493
    Position in Last 7 Days: 2 / 6
    Position in Last 6 Months: 1 / 107

    Views: 914, Comments: 4, Ratings: 6, Favourited: 11 times

    249 Unique Visitors
    312 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views

  • [My Gang] Lord Beginner - General Election : Reco of the Week 04 May 2010

    4 maj 2010, 17:50 av Babs_05

    Track: General Election
    Artist: Lord Beginner
    Album: London Is The Place For Me (Part 2)
    Tags: , , , ,
    Video: Click the pic...

    YouTube, audio upload

    It's election week in Great Britain with only days to go till we find out if we have a new leader or not.

    I was going to pick Radiohead - Electioneering at first, then I thought maybe I should go for ABBA - The Winner Takes It All, but with tactical voting threatening the status quo causing some to call for a reformation of the entire voting process, it didn't look like there would even be a clear winner, just leaders making deals with each other. So that wouldn't do.

    A little hunting in Last.fm unearthed this little treasure. It was written in 1950 after Clement Atlee’s victory in the first general election ever after a full term of a Labour government. (wikipedia)

    About Lord Beginner from Last.fm:
    Lord Beginner (born Egbert Moore) was a popular exponent of the Caribbean musical form Calypso, helping to spark a renaissance of the genre in the 1940s and ’50s. Hailing from Port of Spain in Trinidad, Beginner recorded and toured in New York with other leading members of Trinidad’s “Old Brigade” of calypsonians, before emigrating to England with fellow calypsonian Lord Kitchener in 1948. The pair arrived near London on the Empire Windrush, the first of many voyages conveying West Indians wishing to start a new life in Britain. Beginner began playing clubs throughout London and was a success, recording for the Parlophone label in 1950.

    The track is classic Trinidadian calypso with the twist of the lyrics set in London describing the atmosphere, sights and sounds of the general election. It's sounds like sunshine trying to break through on a black & white rainy day.

    The electioneering we're having right now is almost as sensational as that of 1950. Until three weeks ago, we only had the usual two parties to consider, Labour and the Conservatives. Then something changed. Seemingly out of nowhere came the Liberal Democrats with their leader, Nick Clegg. At first, we thought we'd seen this before: an also-ran snapping at the ankles of the big boys. The big boys had locked horns, it didn't look like there was any room for a third. But whilst the two main leaders are busy swiping at each other, descending to personal insults as election day approaches, Nick Clegg the also-ran is starting to look really good. Really good. So good, the staunchly Labour newspaper The Guardian are enamoured, going all unnecessary and even mentioning the "Obama effect".

    It has been an interesting journey. We've gone from being desperate for a change and looking to the Conservatives, to Labour's Gordon Brown delivering his dazzling speech to Citizens UK in the fourth TV leadership debate, described by critics as one of the best speeches they have seen by a politician.

    The race is so close, we might possibly be looking at a hung parliament where no party has an overall majority, which would mean we could be looking at another general election. Since 1945, this has only happened once, in February 1974.

    Despite great interest in the upcoming election by the general public, a deciding factor of whether people will vote or not is, very simply, the weather. If it's raining, fewer people vote. The weather forecast for Thursday 6 May is cloudy with some light showers during the day over much of the country clearing by evening, except for East Anglia and the South East which will be dry and sunny. This is promising; we should be looking at a good turnout.

    This will be the first time people follow the vote counts as they come in in Twitter. So along with the house parties with everyone watching state-of-the-art graphics on television, the party will also be online. It will no doubt be amazing, but a part of me will miss the old style homemade rickety swingometers that they had to move manually and didn't stay put.


    - My Gang

    Reco of the Week archives

    Disclaimer: Mines

    Admin: Stats as of today:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 738
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 2,002
    Position in Last 7 Days: 5 / 6
    Position in Last 6 Months: 6 / 140

    Date Added: June 21, 2009
    Views: 1,268, Comments: 7, Ratings: 12, Favourited: 12 times

    Stats after 7 days:

    Last.fm listeners of this track - 743
    No. of plays scrobbled in Last.fm - 2,016
    Position in Last 7 Days: 6 / 7
    Position in Last 6 Months: 6 / 140

    Views: 1,465, Comments: 7, Ratings: 13, Favourited: 14 times

    203 Unique Visitors
    250 Page Views

    Unique Visitors
    Page Views