52% intelligent. 9% modest. More monkey than bear.

Friday, February 29, 2008

the resolution of all the fruitless searches...

Evening all. One of the joys of getting guests to do the earworm slot is that reading and listening to their choices is like a breath of fresh air into this miserable, guitar-music infested blog. The contrast this week is particularly stark as instead of the damp, cold, grey and rain influenced selections we get from Europe at this time of year, we're getting some choices from that wide brown land down under [cue earworm]. More specifically, all the way from sunny Brisbane.

Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is my great pleasure to present for your earworming pleasure......

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #78 - Briskate

Thanks ST for allowing me to guest earworm on your blog. In order to do this honestly and not just make it up at the end of the week, I’ve been keeping a draft post in my inbox and added the song each day that was going around in my head. And then I added another couple at the end which were more songs of the week than songs of the day :)

1. Saturday – Automobile by The Fumes

I went to the Brisbane Blues Festival on Saturday and I played this song to Tash and Chris (my fellow festivalers) when we were having lunch before the festival started. There wasn’t much of a break between bands, but I was still humming this as I left. Also, I can really recommend this song – it’s dirty, dirty blues of the best kind and is available for download on their myspace page for free.

2. Sunday – Songbird by Fleetwood Mac

I watched a show on ABC2 on Sunday morning on the making of the Rumours album and it got me all nostalgic and listening to this album, and Songbird stuck in my head for the rest of the day – just the one line “and the songbirds are singing like they know the score”.

3. Monday - Do you really want to hurt me? by Culture Club

Problems with the printer got this song (and my resounding answer of YES!) stuck in my head.

4. Tuesday – Tenterfield Saddler by Peter Allen

Many, many moons ago, I won an original lyric sheet by Tim Freedman (or “a scrappy bit of paper in a really nice frame” as my Mum called it) by guessing that he would perform this song for some Australian event (I can’t remember which). It’s still up on the wall in its really nice frame – in my spare bedroom which my flatmate Megan is currently occupying. For some reason, this has meant that I think about it more, so I’ve been earworming the song that got it for me. Also, whatever you may think of Peter Allen, this is a beautiful song: “There's no where for George and his library or the son with his gun, To belong except in this song”.

5. Wednesday – Nowhere with You by The Joel Plaskett Emergency

A song which always lifts my spirits. I love pretty much everything Joel Plaskett does, but I particularly love this song. I used to have the CD on my CD alarm clock so that I was woken up each morning with the words “Hey good looking”.  Anyway, this morning one of my work colleagues was talking to one of her kids on the phone and mentioned “turn that smile upside down”, which made me think of this song. Three hours later, I was still humming it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: I’d go nowhere with Joel any day! :p

6. Thursday - Break My Stride by Ace Of Base [I can't find this on YouTube so the original -brilliant- version by Matthew Wilder here]

“last night I had the strangest dream…” and last night I did have the strangest dream! I didn’t sail away to China on a little row boat to find ya, but it was about a boat. Or more precisely about a painting of a boat. And the weirdest thing is that this isn’t the first time I’ve had this dream – I had almost the exact same dream last week! I ended up drawing a bit of a sketch to remind me of the picture in my dream and I’ve been sketching portions of the dream painting ever since. How weird is that? And of course, every time I think “last night I had the strangest dream”, I end up earworming this song – why I can’t earworm the less embarrassing Simon and Garfunkel song I don’t know. :)

7. Friday – Evolve or Decay by FourPlay String Quartet [I can't find this either, so here's them doing "Sabotage"]

I got into this band through their covers of songs like the Beastie Boys’ Sabotage and Metallica’s Enter Sandman – and it’s probably their covers that they’re still most well known for. And out of their originals, it’s probably Trust that’s my favourite. But this is the song that’s been going through my head today whenever I talk about going to see FourPlay tomorrow night. It is such a beautiful song and Lara has an amazing voice that just pierces your soul: “I hold no judgement in my heart, But I'm not safe in your arms”. I’m sighing and smiling just thinking of it.

Songs that stuck all week:

8. A Sunday Smile by Beirut

I’m going to see this band next week so their CD has been on high rotation on my MP3 player lately. This song seems to be the one which has stuck in my head – probably because it was the only one I knew before I bought the CD. Somehow this song just reminds me of a rollicking sea ditty though, despite the fact that there’s no mention of the sea or boats and it’s really quite a sad song: “A Sunday smile you wore it for a while, A Sunday mile we paused and sang.”

9. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

I’ve been addicted to this song since I first saw the movie 'Say Anything'. I just think it’s the most beautiful song – full of longing and a sense of belonging to another person: “when I want to run away, I drive off in my car, but whichever way I go, I come back to the place you are”. And then I did one of those applications on Facebook, and apparently, this is my sex song :) Go figure. Anyway, as a result, I’ve been earworming it almost continuously and any mention of “in your eyes” (the name of a book, a medical condition… *g*) brings me back to it again. There’s also a really beautiful version of it with an elderly (compared to the music video) Peter Gabriel performing this song with Youssou N’Dour [watch that here].

10. Voodoo Child by Rogue Traders

My flatmate is just a bit addicted to the Australian “So you think you can dance” which has Natalie Brassingthwaite as the host. She was asking where they had got the host from and, since she’s been in Japan and England for the last 3 years, was none the wiser when I said that she’s the lead singer for Rogue Traders. So I tried singing this song to her. I don’t think it helped, but it did make me earworm the song for the rest of the week! Especially the bit that was on the promo for the last episode of the last season of Dr Who to air over here: “Here come the drums, here come the drums”.


Oh Christ! It was all going so well until that last one came in and instantly took up residence inside my head. Argggh! Still, it's a bit hard to complain about having a weapons grade earworm in a list of earworms, eh? Thanks for playing, Kate... another interesting list and quite a mix. I love having other people doing this slot. It's so much more interesting to hear someone else's taste in music for a change. If it was down to me this week, the list would be full of Manic Street Preachers, the new We Are Scientists single, a bit of Billy Ocean (Get Out of My Dreams, Get into my Car, if you're interested) and now Rogue Traders. It's got to be better we had Kate than that rubbish, eh?

Mind you, having said that.... you've got me next week. Well, it is my birthday and all. Get ready for the usual nonsense, although all attempts to influence my choices - by fair means or foul - are most welcome.

Thanks for playing Kate! Have a good weekend y'all!

Coming up: me (7/3 - my birthday!), Craig Cliff (14/3), fiery little sod (21/3), Cody Bones (28/3), the lovely J (4/4), then you? Drop me an email and it could be you up here with your name in lights. Or something.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold, bedshaped, I have ordinary addictions, TheCatGirlSpeaks, Lord B rides again, Tina, Charlie II, Cody Bones, Poll Star, Jenni II, Martin, Del II, The Eye in the Sky, RussL, Lizzy's Hoax, Ben II, Earworms of the Year 2006, Sarah, Flash II, Erika, Hen, Pynchon, Troubled Diva, Graham II, Cat II, Statue John II, Sweeping the Nation, Aravis II, Olympian II, C, Planet-Me, Mike, Michael II, Eye in the Sky II, Charlie III, The Great Grape Ape, asta, Ben III, Earworms of the Year 2007, Cat III, JamieS & Wombat, Pynchon II]


Thursday, February 28, 2008

just the same old rules for the same old game....

C is in Paris this evening.

Much though I love the odd evening to myself - a curry, a couple of beers, a rant about some stupid band, watching Johnny Marr perform "Panic" with the Cribs and Billy Bragg perform "New England" (with Kate Nash, of all people) on the telly, some cuddles from my (other) poesia.... well, I miss her.

So there it is.

It's not big and it's not especially clever, but there it is.


talking like a moron....

I know it's ridiculous that I should even be listening to rubbish like this, never mind rising to the bait... but I've just been listening to Radio 1's coverage of the NME Awards this evening. Only whilst I was driving home from the supermarket, for sure, but I was listening to it nonetheless. I don't really like the NME, and I don't really see the point of these awards, but it was quite nice to hear Nicky Wire talking about Manic Street Preachers winning the "Godlike Genius" award, followed by "Motorcycle Emptiness". Now that's a record that should be played on the radio a lot more often. I was just arriving home and not really paying any attention to the radio when Annie Mack mentioned that there hadn't really been any controversy... until Faris Rotter arrived on the stage.

In case you are lucky enough to be ignorant of who this talentless twat is, let me tell you that he is the singer with The Horrors (pictured above). They are a band who somehow managed to get themselves attention in the music press (yes, that would be you, NME....) in spite of the fact that they have absolutely no musical ability and absolutely nothing to say. They have released one 30 minute long album with precisely no redeeming features whatsoever, and yet somehow this naked emperor is still being giving the oxygen of publicity at events like this. As if there wasn't enough reason to dislike the man and his band, he also happens to have attended my old school. Yes, he's a public school wanker with a monied background playing at being a rockstar. Oh look at their amusing band names! (Spider Webb? Oh for fuck's sake. Is that the best you could come up with? It's hardly Rat Scabies is it? Faris Rotter? Like a 6 foot 7 streak of silver spooned piss like you has anything in common with Johnny Rotten...your father is a neurosurgeon for God's sake.)

Anyway. Our friend Faris was onstage to hand out the award for Best New Band. The award was won by The Enemy, whose album "We'll Live and Die in These Towns" is absolutely brilliant. As he handed over the award, Faris - the little tinker - decided to suggest that The Enemy were:

"True icons of british music. They're young, they're beautiful and they laugh in the face of natural selection".

The Enemy took it in pretty good spirit, but way to hand out an award, idiot. When asked about his comments, he suggested that he didn't think the Enemy had been offended (which they didn't look) because they wouldn't have understood the insult.


I realise it's pointless being annoyed by this, but The Enemy have achieved far more with one album than I think the Horrors ever will, but he still thinks it's somehow okay to slag them off as they collect their award, neatly ruining their moment and making it somehow about him.

Let's compare and contrast:

The Enemy - Away From Here, Had Enough, Aggro

The Horrors - Sheena is a Parasite (see what they did with the title there?), She is the New Thing, Count in Fives

I rest my case: they're shit and he's a twat. It's about a whole lot more than wearing tight jeans and having big hair and a big mouth isn't it? Isn't it? No? Well it bloody should be.



Whitesnake and Def Leppard are touring together
? Really? The dream ticket, together at last?

Is anyone else excited by that?

Ah..... Just me then.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

but mostly you just make me mad....

>>>>> ST's ALPHABETICON - V <<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, singles, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U

So, our weekly trawl through some of the dustier shelves in my back room. You know, someone was actually asleep in the toilets at work this afternoon. In trap four. Proper snoring asleep. Rob came over and told us all about it and everyone thought it was dead funny... although I did mention that perhaps the poor bugger had a problem: medication, narcolepsy... something like that. Maybe someone should check? How would you like to wake up in the toilets in your office at 2am? I went down there, and sure enough, snoring. I slammed the door of the trap next door, loudly blew my nose, pulled the flush and slammed the door again. Someone emerged, blinking from the cubicle, washed their hands and splashed the water sleepily onto his face and left. Well, at least he's alright, eh? What a place to fall asleep. It's wrong on so many levels...


Where were we?

Ah yes, "V".

489. The Verve – Urban Hymns

"The Drugs Don't Work" was the number one in the UK singles chart on the day I moved to Nottingham; the day that Diana died / was killed [insert the absurd, ill-thought out conspiracy theory of your choice here]. I quite like the Verve, and this album has got a few fantastic songs on it, but it's never entirely floated my boat and I'm not sure why. I saw them at Glastonbury back in 1993, in the days before they attached the definite article, and in a festival that included Suede, Van Morrison, The Kinks, the Velvet Underground, the Lemonheads and umpteen other fantastic bands, they were probably the best thing I saw all weekend. Richard Ashcroft clearly has a touch of whatever Johnny Borrell has too.... a desperately over-inflated sense of how talented they really are. Still, he is talented though: 'Bittersweet Symphony" sounds as great today as it did back in 1997.

490. The Vines – Highly Evolved

Worth the price of admission just for "Get Free", but otherwise an album that doesn't entirely satisfy.

491. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
492. The Velvet Underground – Loaded
493. The Velvet Underground – White Light / White Heat
494. The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
495. Lou Reed – Transformer
496. Lou Reed – Berlin
497. Lou Reed – New York
498. Nico – Chelsea Girl
499. John Cale – Fragments of a Rainy Season
500. John Cale – Close Watch: an introduction to John Cale

Ah. Now we're talking. This is a proper band.... although for reasons best known to myself, that night they headlined the Pyramid Stage, I chose to go and watch Suede on the Other Stage instead. I caught a bit of them (playing "Venus in Furs") when I was walking back up the hill to my tent. Ah well, I'm older and wiser now, even if it's sadly far too late to get another chance to watch the VU in action properly. What a band though, eh? It famously took "The Velvet Underground and Nico" (the banana album) some 25 years to go gold, and David Bowie apparently took to standing on a New York street corner handing out copies of the album to passers-by and trying to tell them how good it was. It's a bloody brilliant album. All of their albums are brilliant. "Pale Blue Eyes" and "Jesus" are two of the best songs ever recorded, and "Sweet Jane" contains the greatest "Just watch me now!" ever committed to record. Lou Reed's solo work is also fantastic. "Walk on the Wild Side" makes "Transformer" his best known solo album, but "Berlin" is probably the more satisfying listen, and the much more recent "New York" is worth a go too. Having said that, his concert at the Albert Hall was one of the most tedious gigs I have ever been too in my life. In fact, it was the most tedious bar Bob Dylan. He looked like he was having a great time, but I reckon he must have been the only one. Ah well, legend. John Cale's work is probably less immediate and is a lot more stylised, although it's not all screechy viola solos... songs like "Paris 1919" and "Child's Christmas in Wales" stand up to almost anything. Superb. And as for "Chelsea Girl", well, she was working with people like Jackson Browne, Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed, John Cale and Bob Dylan. How could it be shit? Her voice is perhaps an acquired taste, but I love it. There's some of my favourite albums in this lot, that's for sure.

501. Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing

Come on, it's got "Tom's Diner" and (especially) "Luka" on it. What more do you need?

502. Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes

I was introduced to this band very late - only a couple of years ago actually, thanks to Cat's inclusion of "Add it Up" on her shuffleathon CD for me. I knew "Blister in the Sun", of course, but their brand of very distinctive folk punk is exhilirating. I love the way the drums play such a prominent role in their sound.

503. The View – Hats off to the Buskers

Meh. It's alright, I suppose, but I'm a bit bored of "Same Jeans" and I'm not really sure that they've got much else to offer. And anyway, hands up who washes their jeans after less then three days wear? Really? Think of the environment!

504. Verbal Warning – A Kick in the Verbals

A friend of mine's punk band. I'm not sure that they're ever really going to go anywhere, being as they're all in their 40s now... but on the other hand, they spend most weekends playing pubs, clubs and festivals for beer money, sometimes supporting their idols like the Stiff Little Fingers. I don't think you can argue with a hobby like that, eh? And you know what? they're actually pretty good too! More power to them, I say.

Lost in iTunes: Van Halen, Viva Voce, Von Bondies, Voxtrot

Next time... Scott Walker, obviously.

Labels: ,

talk in everlasting words....

Apparently momentum is gathering behind the idea that Barack Obama is a fantastic and inspirational orator, perhaps even better than the great John F. Kennedy himself (and what Democrat candidate wouldn't kill for that kind of an accolade?). William Rees-Mogg, a venerable former editor of the Times, and presumably not a man susceptible to excitement or hyperbole of any kind, was even moved to gush:

"It is hard to see who can stop Senator Barack Obama becoming the next President of the United States. He has built up an excitement such as no candidate has created since President Kennedy in 1960. He is, in my view, a better speaker than Kennedy. Like Kennedy, he combines personal magnetism with a strong appeal to American idealism."

With this ridiculous, hyperventiliating overstatement in mind, I was very amused to read a column by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times. He's watched Obama, and he just doesn't get it. He's not feeling it:

"All this leaves me baffled. I have watched Mr Obama speak live; I have watched him speak on television; I have even watched his speeches set to music on a video made by celebrity supporters (www.dipdive.com). But I find myself strangely unmoved – and this is disconcerting. It feels like admitting to falling asleep during Winston Churchill’s “fight them on the beaches” speech.... his most famous phrases are vacuous. The “audacity of hope”? It would be genuinely audacious to run for the White House on a platform of despair. Promising hope is simply good sense. “The fierce urgency of now”? It is hard to see what Mr Obama means when he says this – other than that some inner voice has told him to run for president.

"And then there is “Yes we can” – the phrase that was so inspirational that it inspired Will.i.am of hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas to make his infamous video, backed up by film stars and musicians such as Scarlett Johansson and Herbie Hancock.

"The strumming of guitars and crooning drowns out Mr Obama on the musical version. So I had to consult the text to find out what exactly it is that we can do. “Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this world. Yes we can.”

"This sounds to me like a man doing an impression of what he thinks a great speech might be like. It is the kind of empty exhortation that usually gives politicians a bad name. Peter Sellers, a British comedian of the 1960s, caught the genre nicely in a parody speech: “Let us assume a bold thrust and go forward together. Let us carry the fight against ignorance to the four corners of the earth, because it is a fight that concerns us all.” Mr Obama might easily give a speech like that – although he would probably strip out some of the detail."

Ouch. That Peter Sellers quote is frighteningly near to the mark. Perhaps someone should set that to music and put it up in YouTube.

Where's Lloyd Bentsen when you need him? "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy"


Mind you, it's also abundantly clear that neither is Hillary Clinton.... and if Hillary had anything at all to do with this, then she has absolutely lost my completely theoretical and not-counting-in-any-way vote.

...Or is it all a double-bluff by someone on Obama's side designed to make Hillary look vicious and desperate and thus to lose her yet more support?


Who knows? Is the US Presidency really worth stooping to that kind of level? Would the US want a president who was prepared to stoop to those kinds of levels? Well, I suppose they wouldn't be the first.....


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

push it real good....

I went to the gym this evening.

I suppose this isn't really all that remarkable an event in that I go to the gym at least two or three times every week, but this was different: I didn't just go for a swim, oh no. I went to the gym and I got changed into some lycra and I went upstairs and I actually used some of the scary machines.

I used to do this all the time, and in fact I have been member at this gym for something like seven or eight years. I've never been particularly into weights (as witnessed by the punyness of my arms), but for at least the first five years of that time, I could regularly be found in what I believe is called "The Cardio Theatre", thrashing my heart and lungs and generally dripping sweat onto some of the expensive machinery. A couple of years ago though, I started making a real effort to go running outside (an activity that had previously been confined to Saturday mornings). As the climate in this beautiful country usually means that it is either dark or pissing with rain or both when I leave the office, I took to getting away from my desk in my lunch-hour and running alongside the river Trent. As I was now getting my exercise outdoors, I only needed to go to the gym for a swim....and the pool is nice enough that I still consider the membership fee well worth paying. The cardio theatre kind of went by the wayside and wasn't really missed at all.

On the whole, I much prefer running outdoors. It's much less boring, for starters, and it somehow feels as though it's doing me more good actually running properly and not pretending to run on one of those spongey machines. I now go whatever the weather, and although it's sometimes a bit of a struggle, I love the righteous feeling I get for having done it and I relish the chance to get away from my desk to blow all the cobwebs away.

For one reason or another though, I found myself back in the main section of the gym this evening........ Oh my goodness, how things have changed. I felt a bit as though I had been taken out of cryogenic freezing and brought back to life at some point in the distant future. The machines have all changed. I just about recognised the bikes, but even then the controls had changed to an extent that I sat there for a good 2 minutes trying to look like I knew what I was doing before I actually started to pedal. The running machine and the elliptical training thing were basically the same I suppose, but the steppers now have people moving their knees at really weird, wonky looking angles that make them look like they're mincing (well, they are on a stepper, for heaven's sake....). As for that odd stepping/walking thing that looks a bit like it has a mini treadmill for each foot that moves independently of the other.... well, I was curious enought to try that one out. It seemed simple enough, but as I confidently upped the speed, I nearly went flying off the back and had to press the emergency stop button. Hmmm. I decided that discretion was the better part of valour at this point and beat a hasty but (I trust) dignified tactical retreat.

Some things never change at the gym though, and as I headed down to the changing rooms and a well earned sauna, I was very pleased to see those tubby looking blokes with moobs and fingerless gloves still desperately trying to lift weights that are clearly far too heavy for them.... yeah, best have a rest for a moment and a sip of that protein shake as you've clearly not had enough calories already today, and that curry is still an hour away in the future.


I think I'll go to the gym again tomorrow, actually..... but I reckon I'll just slink off back to the pool this time.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 25, 2008

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien....

Well, how would you feel if you woke up on a Monday morning to discover that your arch rival from drama school, a terrible, talentless cow with a nasty cocaine habit (in those days, at least), had just won an Oscar?

C's not in the best of moods today. What with France losing in the rugby and then this slap in the face, I think it's fair to say that this hasn't been C's favourite weekend in the world ever.

Whatever their quarrels in the past, nothing settles an argument quite like an Academy Award though, eh? Whilst it might be true that the Oscars are not quite what they used to be, they're still considered to be pretty much the gold standard when it comes to judging an actor's worth. Game, set and match to Cotillard, surely? It would take someone pretty special to come back from that kind of a set back.....although if I was Cotillard, I wouldn't write C. off just yet.

To be fair, I probably didn't do too much to improve her mood when I pointed out that Cotillard had looked fantastic on the red carpet too....

Yes, she's got an Oscar.... but is she happy?



Labels: ,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

sing like you want this....

One Night Only @ Rescue Rooms, 23rd February 2008

I have to say that when I heard their album, I rather feared the worst. There's nothing terribly wrong with it, I suppose, but neither did I find anything much about it that I could get excited about. One Night Only (another awful name) seemed to be another of those bands where the best thing you could say about them was that they were inoffensive and the worst was probably that they were insipid and deeply uninspiring. The album opens with their big hit single, "Just For Tonight", which is nice enough, but for me it was then downhill all the way. I note from their homepage that the band have a twitter page. It doesn't seem to be terribly incisive (are any twitter pages?). It's perhaps early days , with only 11 updates and 6 followers, but already I can tell that their hearts aren't in it. Perhaps as far as web 2.0 goes, they're all Myspaced and facebooked out? Hmmm. Given that the gig clashed with France vs England in the Six Nations, I wasn't exactly jumping for joy at the prospect of seeing them live. Still, a night out at a gig is never entirely a night wasted, so when I set off for the Rescue Rooms with LB later that evening, there was still everything to play for.

The first thing to say about the band is that they are children. Seriously, I know I'm getting on a bit in gig-going terms, but this lot have clearly never owned a razor between them. Not a single member of the band has yet reached 20, and I reckon that most of them are still not old enough to drink (in fact, through the whole night, the only member of the band I saw drinking something any stronger than bottled water was the drummer taking a surreptitious sip from a can of lager). Perhaps not surprisingly, they seemed to have attracted a pretty young crowd too. The tickets proclaimed that it was a 14+ show, and I would say that the average age was about 19 or 20, with more than the usual amount of squealing teenage girls. Nothing wrong with that, of course, except that it does make me feel like the oldest person in the world - a feeling that is subsequently usually exacerbated when I fail to "get" the music that is sending the kids wild with joy.

Actually, tonight the crowd seem to be almost more interested in chatting to each other than they are in listening to the band. They get an enthusiastic welcome when they take to the stage, and there's a pocket of hardcore devotees near the front, but otherwise people seem only to be passingly interested. It's a shame: One Night Only are quite a lot more muscular onstage than they are on record. Their sound is quite keyboard driven, it's true, but the guitars are a lot more prominent here, and to my ears they sound all the better for it. The songs aren't brilliant, I don't reckon, and some of the lyrics are bit from the cat / hat / mat school of rhyming, but the band play with gusto right enough, and they're only kids, so I'm patronisingly going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they just about get away with it. The crowd continue to baffle though. The students right in front of us are chatting away, but they're quite sweet really as they hand cans of Red Stripe up to their friends in the balcony. They're here as part of their Saturday night out, and they're clearly going to be staying here for the club night afterwards. The band are only of passing interest to them, but good luck to them. Far worse are the slightly older guys who seem to get an awful lot of pleasure from spraying the crowd in front of them with water. On the one hand, this makes a welcome change from the lager that is often chucked about at Rock City, but it's still irritatingly juvenile. I'm out of range, but it's distracting and my attention wanders from the band.

The band are on for about an hour in all, but for almost the entirety of the last half of the set, it's all about an increasingly restless crowd waiting for the big single. They distract us with a joyous cover of the Sugababes "About You Now", but we just want to hear the hit now. I think wisely, they save it up until last, but then they let us have "Just For Tonight" in all its glory. It reached as high as number nine in the UK singles chart, is used in the theme music for the show "Nearly Famous" and was the theme chosen by Sky Sports for the Euro 2008 qualifiers. It's by far and away the most famous thing the band have done, and is greeted with predictable rapture and a lot of destructive moshing by the water chuckers.

What can I say? It's a decent enough tune. I wouldn't say it's the greatest song ever written, but it's the greatest song One Night Only have ever written, that's for sure. The kids love it, and perhaps that's enough. It's a start for them, anyway.

And that's it - it's a Saturday night, so there's a 10pm curfew on the set. After their hit, the band are off and we push our way out through the queues waiting to get into the Rescue Rooms club night, dash home, run to get some fish & chips before the shop shuts and then settle down to watch the mighty, mighty England on Sky+. Not a bad night, by any means... although in an ideal world I could have done without the bassist telling the crowd the result of the rugby, but thankfully not the final score. Does he not realise the lengths you have to go to in order to avoid hearing that kind of thing? It's bad enough that the BBC read out the football scores before Match of the Day, never mind having the teenaged member of some band trying to ruin your enjoyment of a game... It's a beginner's mistake for sure, and the boy should look at people like Bono, Michael Stipe and Morrissey. I bet they'd never do something like that...

Ah, they're young. They'll learn.

Verdict. 6 / 10


Friday, February 22, 2008

we are the custard pie appreciation consortium...

Due to the oncoming end of the holiday year and a surplus of days to take, today has been one of those days off that I have simply spent at home. It's been brilliant. I've slept in a bit, read my book, popped to the shops for a haircut and to get my shoes re-heeled. I've gone to the gym nice and early for a swim, and in a bit I'm going to go out to a nice fish restaurant for a spot of dinner. Just what the doctor ordered, I reckon.

One important piece of business first..... earworms. This week's Guest Editor is a blogger of good standing around these parts, and he's always a welcome visitor here. I'll shut up and let him get on with then, eh?

Ladies and Gentleworms, without further ado, it is my great pleasure to present for your earworming pleasure....

Earworms of the Week - Guest Editor #77 - Pynchon

Earworm time again, and lest I forget, thanks to Swiss Toni for letting me contribute one more time.

I have approached this grave responsibility differently this time. The rules that Swiss Toni outlined a couple of weeks ago have been taken very seriously. (Too seriously?) I have purchased a moleskin notebook ("The legendary notebook of Hemingway, Picasso, Chatwin.", fact fans!), and when a tune popped into my head and wouldn't let go, I noted it down. Good, bad or indifferent tunes. Didn't matter.

Ready? Here we go.

"Good Girls Don't" by the Knack.

I have no idea where this came from. I must have been listening to the radio, the Knack's most famous song "My Sharona" must have come on, and I must have started thinking about the equally good follow up single. "Good Girls Don't" is never played on the radio. On the album version, especially, "Good Girls Don't" errs spectacularly on the side of misogynism, but it also has a chorus fallen from pop heaven itself and I challenge anybody to not be singing it for days after hearing it just once.

"Come As You Are" by Nirvana.

As featured in the scene in the romcom "Definitely, Maybe" when kooky free spirit Isla Fisher bemoans the fact that her boyfriend wants to be "the next Kurt Cobain" and buttoned up political worker Ryan Reynolds asks the question, "Who's Kurt Cobain?". (The scene is set in 1991.) I had tickets for Nirvana's show at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre in 1994. Sadly the show did not happen. (No, I did not get a refund and No, you cannot touch the tickets and No, they are not for sale.) I really liked Nirvana. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to them if Cobain had lived. Cobain had stated that he wanted to see Nirvana progressing past rock and becoming more like R.E.M., circa the period of "Automatic For The People". Maybe the "Unplugged In New York" album was a glimpse of that potential future? I don't know. All lost, anyway.

And talking of R.E.M...

"Near Wild Heaven" by R.E.M.

Popped up on my MP3 player one night. God bless him, Mike Mills is hardly the best vocalist in the world, but "Near Wild Heaven" is a slice of sunny, Californian, harmony driven, Byrdsian pop and is a wonderful song. In fact it is one of my favourite R.E.M. singles. In defence of Mr. Mills, you could claim that it is impossible to imagine Michael Stipe singing lead on this, as it would not have suited him and somebody had to have a go. You can hear Stipe on the harmonies and the chorus. Sadly, R.E.M. were never as good once Bill Berry had left, but I do like their new single.

"Us Against The World" by Westlife.

Damn you Terry Wogan, morning DJ on BBC Radio 2. Many people believe so, but I do not think that Westlife are the source of all evil. I think they have made at least two great singles, ("My Love" and "Flying Without Wings"), but this is... Er... shit. Sorry, but it is. Westlife are Daniel O'Donnell for teenagers and bewildered housebound housewife's. One of my Sister's (38 this year and old enough to know better) would strongly disagree with me. She would run off with Nicky, Shane or Kian tomorrow. Not Mark, though. He likes boys.

"Falling" by Nitin Sawhney (featuring Aqualung).

I must have heard this song hundreds of times. It is on the CD that my local cinema plays before the lights go down and the adverts and trailers start. I made an effort to find out what it was and here we are. It is a beautiful, downbeat, atmospheric piece of music that builds and grows. I do not know how else to describe it. Piano, strings, trancey drums. Maybe it is chill out music? Brilliant vocal from Matt Hales.

"I'll Never Fall In Love Again" by Bobbie Gentry.

I bought a Top Of The Pops compilation, featuring tracks from 1969, and this song was track 22. Ms. Gentry is probably best known for the magnificent atmospheric and eerie single "Ode To Billy Joe" that was a worldwide hit for her in 1967. "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" was strangely never released as a single in the States, but was a UK number 1 in August 1969. It is a brilliant version of one of Bacharach-David's finest songs. I love the wicked rhyme of "pneumonia" with "never phone ya". It needs to be pointed out that Bobbie Gentry's version pisses all over Deacon Blue's soulless dirge. Ms. Gentry sings with such pain in her voice. Only a woman who has been messed around by love could sing like that.

"Run To Me" by the Bee Gees.

A number of the performers who failed to win Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Any Dream Will Do" reality show have formed a boy band called the Josephs. They have, or are about to, release an album of cover versions. I heard their version of the Bee Gees "Run To Me" on the radio. It is very nice, but the original is still the best. The Bee Gees were cool! Then they weren't. Then they were cool again! Then they weren't. Then they were cool again! Then they weren't. Then... Well, since Maurice Gibb's sad death there no longer is a Bee Gees. Barry and Robin Gibb have announced that the name will be consigned to pop history. Probably right. God knows, I am no musicologist, but there is a chord change in this song, just before the chorus, that always puts a lump in my throat. I took my Mom to see the Bee Gees live in 1988 and they were magnificent. They sang "Run To Me" that night and big, hard Pynchon had to wipe his eyes. I don't think that my Mom saw me doing it.

"Kiss Me (1985)" by Stephen Duffy.

Circa 1985/1986 I absolutely adored Stephen Duffy's music. I was happy to discover recently that his two albums of that period ("The Ups And Downs Of Stephen 'Tintin' Duffy" and "Because We Love You") were available to buy on download. So, I did that, and was re-introduced to the genius of "Kiss Me (1985)". It kind of makes a nonsense of my much stated comment (when drunk) that the 80's pop scene was just awful, being nothing but a combination of bad hair, bad makeup and a bad drum sound. "Kiss Me (1985)" is very much an 80's record, as it was partially produced by J. J. Jeczalik of the Art Of Noise fame. It's still a great track. Really nothing else to be said. I never got into any other Stephen Duffy music after 1986, but I am glad that he has had success in recent years as Robbie Williams' co-writer on the latter's later albums.

"Please Read The Letter" by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.

Another track, courtesy of that man Wogan. Weeks before I had also heard a really interesting interview that Robert Plant did with Johnny Walker about the genesis of this particular project. I would be hard pressed to comment intelligently on any of Robert Plant's solo work. I just do not know much about any of it, ditto Alison Krauss. But I do like this track an awful lot. It sounds nothing like how you would expect Robert Plant to sound if you only know him through the heavy side of Led Zeppelin. I have read enough about Robert Plant, admittedly without much of an inclination to buy his music, to totally admire his complete refusal to live off the legacy of Led Zeppelin. He does not appear to have stood still. He has pushed into new areas of music. I really should take the plunge and buy some of his recent music, shouldn't I?

"The Village Green Preservation Society" by Kate Rusby.

That man Wogan, again. This song was recorded for the Jennifer Saunders TV series "Jam & Jerusalem". I have never seen that TV series. Other than the first couple of series of "Absolutely Fabulous" I have never found Jennifer Saunders (or Dawn French, come to that) remotely funny. I would rather have a stick poked in my eye than waste a second in watching French and Saunders. That aside, "The Village Green Preservation Society" is a great version of the Kinks classic, sung in Kate Rusby's broad Barnsley accent. It really works. A clarion call to protect the traditions of an England that, maybe, never existed. Village fetes, tea and crumpets, strawberry jam, Sherlock Holmes, Moriarty and ... Dracula??? Also, was Donald Duck British? We should be told.

All done. Cheers Swiss! Roll on next time.


Thanks JP, as interesting and as eclectic a list as you are likely to find. I wouldn't say that I have rules as such... I prefer to think of them as guidelines... but there's certainly nothing wrong with keeping a list as you go along. Far better than trying to make them all up at the end of the week, eh? You can't go far wrong with a Moleskine either: I use one at work. It's the A5 squared version, and although I've been using them for years and am on about book 8, for some reason people find it endlessly fascinating that I work in this way. No, I've no idea either. They seem to get especially excited when I write with a fountain pen. Yes, perhaps they are all remedial.

Anyway. Thanks for playing mate, and look forward to having you here again soon.

Coming up: Briskate (29/2), me (7/3 - my birthday!), Craig Cliff (14/3), fiery little sod (21/3), Cody Bones (28/3 TBC), the lovely J (4/4), then you? Drop me an email and it could be you up here with your name in lights. Or something.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

[Previous Guest Editors: Flash, The Urban Fox, Lord Bargain, Retro-Boy, Statue John, Ben, OLS, Ka, Jenni, Aravis, Yoko, Bee, Charlie, Tom, Di, Spin, The Ultimate Olympian, Damo, Mike, RedOne, The NumNum, Leah, Le Moine Perdu, clm, Michael, Hyde, Adem, Alecya, bytheseashore, adamant, Earworms of the Year 2005, Delrico Bandito, Graham, Lithaborn, Phil, Mark II, Stef, Kaptain Kobold, bedshaped, I have ordinary addictions, TheCatGirlSpeaks, Lord B rides again, Tina, Charlie II, Cody Bones, Poll Star, Jenni II, Martin, Del II, The Eye in the Sky, RussL, Lizzy's Hoax, Ben II, Earworms of the Year 2006, Sarah, Flash II, Erika, Hen, Pynchon, Troubled Diva, Graham II, Cat II, Statue John II, Sweeping the Nation, Aravis II, Olympian II, C, Planet-Me, Mike, Michael II, Eye in the Sky II, Charlie III, The Great Grape Ape, asta, Ben III, Earworms of the Year 2007, Cat III, JamieS & Wombat]


A quick piece of pimping before I go. Last year, Shaggy Blog Stories, Mike T-D's brainchild, raised over £2000 for Comic Relief with a compilation of stories by various bloggers. This year, Peach has picked up the baton and (with a couple of other bloggers) has come up with an idea to raise some more money for a very good cause: Warchild.

They need your help:

We would like you to submit (to us at bloggersforcharity@yahoo.co.uk) a written piece about something you've been through from any aspect of your life that you want to share. It can literally be about anything: your relationships, your past, a road not taken, being a parent, an illness or your regrets etc. We've called it "You're Not The Only One" to reflect the camaraderie of blogging.

Full details are here. The deadline for submissions is Friday 29th February, so you've still got a week to have a trawl through your archives for something that you could submit.

I know there was some excitement about how the pieces got selected for Shaggy Blog Stories, so please try to remember that the objective of this is to raise money for charity.... I've popped something in for consideration, but even if that doesn't get put into the book, I'll still be buying a copy.

OK. End of pimp.

Have a good weekend y'all.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

we only want to get drunk....

The cold that I've been enduring for the last week or two has had one slightly unexpected side-effect: I've stopped drinking. It's not that I don't want to drink, it's just that when I'm busy coughing and spluttering, a nice cup of tea is much more soothing than a pint of beer or a glass of wine.

I’m not a massive drinker by any stretch of the imagination, but I do like to have a drink and NOT drinking has made me realise quite how much it is embedded into my routine. It’s absolutely normal for me to have a glass of beer or wine – perhaps two – almost every night of the week. It’s just something that I do when I have my dinner. I generally won’t have more than one or two beers, and I’m not one of those people who finds it impossible to leave an open bottle of wine overnight, but I do like to drink and having an alcoholic drink with my dinner seems like the most natural thing in the world. I’m not really the binge drinker that I was in my youth either, but come a Friday or Saturday night, I think nothing of going out with friends and catching up with them over a drink. It’s always over a drink though, and I think the drinking I do with my friends is actually an integral part of the catching up. We go out and we drink steadily and talk nonsense until we go home. It’s now pretty rare – the odd night out on the cider excepted -- that I will get completely bladdered, but on nights like that, it’s probably not unusual that I will drink my weeks allowance of alcohol on a single night. This (mild) abuse of alcohol is an important part of my life.

I mention this as there has been some talk here recently about how alcohol consumption has been steadily rising thanks (apparently) to a combination of cheap and readily available booze and the extended licensing laws. Alcohol consumption has been rising steadily for the past 15 years, with figures suggesting a third of men and a fifth of women drink more than the recommended levels each week. Naturally, this is leading to all sorts of problems, ranging from an increase in the number of alcohol-related deaths (which have doubled since 1991), all the way though to drunken kids happy-slapping their way around our no-go area city centres, pissing on the streets and generally making a nuisance of themselves. Now clearly, I’ve not happy slapped anyone in my life and I don’t drink alcopops, but in some ways I don’t think that my attitude to alcohol is really a million miles away from those kids. I don’t call myself a heavy drinker by any means, but can I honestly say, hand on heart, that I give alcohol the respect it deserves? Do I consume in moderation and with caution? Do I think about the effect it has on my body and the effect my intoxication might have on other people? Not all the time. My hangovers seem to be getting worse as I get older, but they’re still an awfully long way from putting me off drinking for a great deal more than the time it takes my stomach and head to settle. It’s one of life’s little pleasures, and I’m not giving it up easily. Drink driving is something that is ingrained into my generation as being something that you just don’t do, but how many times have you woken up on a work day feeling a bit wonky and still driven to work? Serious alcohol abuse is clearly no laughing matter, nor is drink driving, but what is it about the British that allows us to take alcohol so lightly? In most other countries in Europe, people are apparently able to go out and socialise with their friends without feeling the need to have more than a couple of glasses of wine, or perhaps nothing at all. Do that in Britain and you are generally considered to be committing something of a social faux-pas. Here, it’s pretty much drink on drink on drink. We buy drinks in rounds, for heaven’s sake. That’s pretty much a commitment to have as many drinks as there are people in your party, and it also means that drinks will keep coming without you needing to even leave your seat. That’s a pragmatic way of making sure you get as much booze down your throat in as quick and efficient a way as possible.

Is this drinking culture all Tesco’s fault for selling cheap booze? I doubt it. I imagine it was here long before Tescos. Has putting the price of tobacco up made many people stop smoking? Nope. The simple answer is that alcohol is a drug and as a nation we seem to get an awful lot of pleasure from abusing it.

My own personal abuse preferences? Well, I generally like to have a nice pint or two of proper English beer: a Broadside or a Tanglefoot or something like that. On a hot day, I like a nice, cold glass of lager. A proper brewed continental lager by preference (Leffe, for example), but anything will do at a pinch. On a drinking session? Well, all sorts probably, but in the main I’ll settle on lager as it’s cold, relatively consistent in quality and pretty easy to drink. Over a meal? A nice glass of heavy red wine is best, but I am increasingly developing a taste for the zingy Sancerre or Sauvignon-Blanc type whites. I’m not a huge spirits drinker, but I do like a good malt – a peaty Islay malt ideally, but anything with a bit of bite. I’ve also discovered bourbons and I am a hearty advocate of Elijah Craig.

One for the road? Go on then, why not? What harm can it do? I’ll have a double.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

as bullets rip the sky....

>>>>> ST's ALPHABETICON - U <<<<<

Previously in the Alphabeticon: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, singles, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T

As we wind our way down towards the arse end of the alphabet, I have a feeling that these posts are (mercifully) going to be getting shorter and shorter. I've got a few Vs and Ws, but I have a feeling that Xs, Ys and Zs are going to tumble by in a flash... just as the Us are likely to do.

As always, a word or two of caution: this isn't a definitive list of my entire music collection, and in fact to interpret it as such would be to seriously misjudge my current tastes, I think. This is something of a trip down memory lane, as encased on one particular set of shelves in one particular room in my house.... the cave: home to my desk, my beer fridge, my old stereo system, lots of CDs and the posters C. doesn't really want anywhere else in the house (A Manet print of Venice, Ali v Liston, Abbey Road, a signed picture of Andrew Flintoff, Morrissey and Marr, Han Solo.... that kind of thing).

Anyway. On we go.

484. U2 – Achtung Baby
485. U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind
486. U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
487. U2 – Best 1980-1990
488. U2 – Best 1990-2000

Hm. I'm not at all sure about U2. For much of my life, I have hated them with a passion. In the early days, I'm not even really sure where this loathing came from. It wasn't that I had a problem with their earnestness or their mullets or anything like that. I didn't even really listen to their music. I just didn't like them. I actually bought "Rattle and Hum" on cassette during this period, but it never really did anything for me and merely served to entrench me in my position of detached dislike. This abstract disliking for them came to a head when I was a student and ended up sharing a house with (amongst other people) a red-headed Brummie called Tina. Tina was a lovely girl in many respects, but for all her virtues, she absolutely adored U2. In fact, she barely listened to anything else. This was around about the time that "Zooropa" came out, and I began to shift from a position of passive hatred, to a more vocal hatred of them. All that crap about getting Salman Rushdie onstage and ringing up the pope. It was all so ghastly. U2 were trying too hard and it annoyed the hell out of me. I fought over U2 with Tina on many, many occasions... something that once had the distressing effect of driving her to listen to M People at high volume and more often than not saw her laying into The Smiths just to piss me off. It seemed that me and U2 were never going to see eye to eye. I think I must have mellowed. A love of "One" (possibly as a result of hearing Johnny Cash's cover, but more likely because I actually gave it a chance and realised what a great song it is) saw me revisiting "Achtung Baby" and discovering that underneath my annoyance at the number of singles from it that used to infest the radio, there was the beating heart of a pretty decent album. I didn't bother with much of their other stuff, but the run of great singles ("Beautiful Day" and all that jazz) saw me buying "All That You Can't Leave Behind", and there I was, suddenly owning a couple of U2 records and actually thinking it would be kind of cool to see them live. Another U2 album saw "Vertigo" become the first song that I paid to download, and then I did go and see them live. At Twickenham they played "Vertigo" twice, which is a cardinal sin, but otherwise they were very good. Somewhere along the line, I shortcut the need to buy any of their back catalogue by lazily cherry picking the two Greatest Hits albums and thus remaining resolutely "Joshua Tree" free (although C. has it somewhere, I think). I still think that Bono is a burk, but I think that so too does most of the rest of the world. The funny thing is that I'm still not really sure if I like them all that much. They might well be the biggest band in the world, but they're not the best.... but they are reasonably good, I suppose..... although their albums always have more filler on than I would like, and although he peaks are very high, but I'm not sure about their quality control....and the less said about Bono's laughable lyrical cliches - bullets ripping desert skies and all that - the better.

Tina's still wrong about The Smiths though, and M People are unpardonable. End of story.

489. Ungdomskulen – Cry Baby

I think this is the first (and so far only) CD that I have ever bought at a gig. That Ungdomskulen were actually the support band (to the Young Knives at the Rescue Rooms) probably makes it even more remarkable. They must have been good, right? I don't usually make it to the venue until the headline act are practically walking onto the stage, nevermind watching the bands further down the bill (in my defence, this is not a policy of mine and happens mainly due to a lack of time and organisation rather than a lack of desire to watch support bands.... ) Still, that night I got to the venue early and was lucky enough to see this lot. They were brilliant. They're a threepiece from Norway and, as I said at the time, "come across as a kind of scruffy Hives mixed with a touch of prog, a hint of Pavement and perhaps a dash of Sonic Youth". They have a brilliant drummer and they are well worth checking out if you get a chance. If they're on the bill at a gig you're going to.... get there early.

...erm, and that's it for the Us.

Next week: V..... featuring Lou Reed (solo) and John Cale (solo). My filing system, my rules.

Lost somewhere in iTunes: Underworld, The Undertones, The Um Bongo Theme, Urge Overkill....

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

sick-a-sick'n'tired of being sick and tired

I'm almost never ill. Well, I say that, but what I actually mean is that I am very rarely struck down by any of those vicious little bugs that sweep their way across the country every few months. Oh sure, from time to time I'll wake up with a slightly sore throat or perhaps a bit of a runny nose, but they never seem to last all that long and in the main I seem to get away with it. A touch smugly, I like to put this down to a happy combination of the vast quantities of fruit and vegetables that I eat every day and all of the exercise that I get. I fondly imagine that this lifestyle gives me some kind of immunity to the types of passing nasty that lesser immune systems are unable to fend of.

Well, maybe there's some truth in that, but I'm certainly not feeling the usual sense of smug self-satisfaction this year. There's a cold going round, you see, but this time I've caught it. Worse still - not only have I finally succombed, but it has knocked me for six. Other people seem to have had this cold and recovered in a couple of days, but I've had it now for something like ten days and at the moment it's showing little sign of shifting any time soon.

I'm not a great believer in the phenomenon of "Man Flu", where the version of a cold suffered by the male of the species seems to be so much more severe than the one suffered by the females. Oh no, this is definitely only a cold, and I know full well that a cold is nothing much to grumble about in the grand scheme of things. After all, I don't really feel all that dreadful and I have been dragging myself into work as usual every day and being just as (un)productive as I always am.

It grinds you down though, doesn't it? All those slightly wishy-washy symptoms are nothing much on their own, but together they gang up with each other and make it their business to make you feel decidedly iffy. Not ill. Ill is serious. Just iffy.

First it's the slightly sore throat. Then the blocked nose that becomes a neverending river of mucous. Then it descends into the lungs, becoming a nasty, rattly cough that somehow never quite rattles anything loose. Then the voice goes hoarse. Then the nose goes all red and sore because those balsam soaked tissues are surprisingly coarse. The congestion makes sleep difficult, and napping whilst propped up on several pillows is no real subsitute for proper rest. Breathing through the mouth irritates the throat and sleep is further chased away by incessant coughing and blowing. All that stupid, ineffective cough linctus and those all those lozenges fur the tongue and loosen the gums. Prolonged coughing sooner or later ruptures something important on the inside that makes coughing even more of a trial than it was before. The Doctor says there's no infection, that all those remedies are of no real use and that it will work its way out in its own time.... but when? when?

Still, mustn't grumble, eh? It's only a cold and far Worse things happen at sea.

Patience and fortitude, that's what's required. Patience and fortitude.

Actually, patience and fortitude haven't really worked for me thus far, and although it's still only a cold, I fear I may be in danger of losing my sense of perspective. So tonight, instead of patience and fortitude (and a certain amount of grumpiness), I think I might try alcohol instead and I'm off to the pub.

Can't hurt, eh?