Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day






Oh dear, the Christmas arguments have already started, and we haven’t even stuffed the turkey yet. You see, my wife wants me to remove Slade and Wizzard from my Christmas compilation CD, which is a bit like asking me to remove all the Lennon-McCartney songs from my Beatles albums. Well, as my mate Meat would say, “No way…  I would do anything for love… Oh, I would do anything for love… Oh, I would do anything for love… But I won’t do that… No, I won’t do that.” (He goes on a bit, but he makes a good point.)

As I write these lines, I’m listening to The Three Tenors’ Christmas Album, which I’ve just downloaded from Amazon, my universal supplier, seller and all-round lifesaver. This was my first experience of downloading mp3s from Amazon and, as expected, was a complete nightmare. The most useful thing Dad ever taught us kids was, “Always expect a disaster. That way, any non-disaster will be a plus”. So true, and advice that I remember every morning when I get into what’s left of my car and ‘drive’ to work.


Anyway, this was one of those “disaster as expected” moments. Having taken my money, Amazon proceeded to force me to install their user-unfriendly Amazon mp3 Downloader, and then told me that they had my goods on hold in their Amazon Cloud, or whatever they call it, and would I like to download the legally purchased merchandise to my computer? “Er, yes please”, I replied, on which they invited me to install their superb Downloader a second time, and would I like to open their wonderful Cloud Player again just for the hell of it? “No, just give me my sodding songs, please”, I replied. After about 40 minutes, they observed, “It looks like you need help”, to which I replied, “What I need is—“ No, it’s probably best if I don’t tell you what I replied. Anyway, I eventually beat the system – simply keep clicking manically until something does the trick is my advice to you if you’re ever fool enough to download mp3s from Amazon.

Yes, but what about the album? Awful. The music is great – no bum notes yet –, but it’s really weird listening to two Spaniards and an Italian singing in English with a German accent. So, I’ve gone back to Meat Loaf. I’m currently listening to Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire. Bliss! And if I ever feel the urge to download mp3s again, I think I’ll go back to Spotify.


 “Never mind Amazon! What about Christmas?” I can hear you asking. Well, a week or so ago, I bought Now That’s What I Call Christmas – from Amazon Spain, naturally – having first read the glowing reviews of hundreds of satisfied customers over on Amazon UK. And, yes, it’s fine,  containing as it does all those classic Christmas songs that I remember from the 70s, not least Merry Christmas Everybody and I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day. Plus, of course, my all-time Christmas favourite, When A Child Is Born, which had me playing my favourite game, namely "Name That Year!"...

I could clearly remember my wonderful friend and schoolmate Wayne impersonating Johnny Mathis while the rest of us supplied the “Hm, hm, hm, hm” backing chorus, together with meaningful looks. That meant it had to be either 4C (1976) or 5C (1977). Yes, but which? In the end, I plumped for 5C. “December, nineteen seventy-seven!” I declared triumphantly, and then ran over to Wikipedia to discover that it was 1976. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

So, what’s Wayne up to these days? No idea, unfortunately, but I’d like to think he’s happily married, separated, divorced or whatever, and has taught his kids a few Christmas songs along the way. Either way, I’m pretty sure he’d be appalled if I removed Wizzard, Slade or Johnny from my magnificent Amazon-sponsored Christmas carol and sing-along selection.

Merry Christmas Everybody!


PS. Did you spot the face in the mountain?

----------------------------------------------------------

Yes, Colin was beginning to see clearly now. Just like Johnny Cash . . . or Nash. Or was that Johnny Mathis? Colin was always getting his Johnnies in a muddle.

(dayrealing ch.10, “Don’t Give Up”)

-----------------------------------------------------------

How he loved this song! If you were serious about your music, you were supposed to despise stuff like this – even more so when killjoys pointed out that the Rubettes weren’t even singing the falsetto parts –, but Colin had never had much time for the music snobs, the so-called experts who always proclaimed, “Of course, their first album was the best”, even when anyone with ears could tell you it was a stinker. Well, whatever, it was thanks to hundreds of three-minute gems like this that Colin was able to reconstruct his entire childhood; the hundred happiest months of his life. Now that wasn’t bad, was it?

(dayrealing ch.47, “Sugar Baby Love”)


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wasted Time

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvt-Fc6uQjc




I'm an expert time-waster. When I'm not working, shopping, cleaning, cooking, sleeping, driving or moving furniture, I'm usually to be found collapsed in my armchair, laptop on top of my lap, [come to think of it, it should really be called a “kneetop”], and thinking how best to waste the next couple of hours. Occasionally I write something worthwhile, but those occasions are few and far between. More often than not, I’ll end up reading the “Recent Deaths” pages on Wikipedia; strolling around towns I’ve never heard of in Google Earth’s “streetview”; re-reorganising for the umpteenth time my 100% legal “no pirates here, thank you” mp3 collection; or checking to see if the poor chap from Oldham who bought my silly Spanish phrasebook seven months ago has got round to posting a two-star review on amazon yet to say how useless he found his 79p purchase, and how he could make neither head nor tail of the plot. Yes, it’s an exciting life. Oh, and when all else fails, I always have my “Murraygrams” to play with…

Making anagrams in itself is surely a huge waste of brain cells, but to limit one’s efforts to making anagrams of songs by one of the world’s least known singer-songwriters is surely the most absurd undertaking ever, er, undertaken. So, without further ado, I present you with the following options:

·         Leave this blog before it’s too late and assuming you haven’t done so already
·         Listen to Say It Ain’t So, Joe, the greatest song ever written; original version, naturally
·         Read more about Ray Rumhead, the most criminally underrated singer-songwriter ever sungen
·         Read a completely useless list of 100 anagrams just for the hell of it

It’s your choice, but I know what I’d do. OK, here goes, but don't say I didn't warn you...


And now for something completely useless: 100 ‘Murraygrams’

Affair Across A Crowded Room
--->
Coward Corridor Safe As Foam
African Tourists
--->
Unfair To Racists
Alberta
--->
Late Bar
All Eyes Are On The West
--->
Lonely Sweetheart Sea
All The Way
--->
Hate Wally!
All We Can Do Is Hold On
--->
Sad Hill - Canoodle Now
Beds Are Burning
--->
Absurd Beginner
Can't You Hear Me Knocking
--->
Make Out On Angry Chicken
Caprice
--->
Cap Eric!
Catching Eddie At It
--->
Nit, Git, Acidhead, Etc.
C'est Fou
--->
UFO Sect
Chanteur de Jazz
--->
Jez Had Nut Craze
Cocaine Blues
--->
Ace Club Noise
Cocktail Molotov
--->
A Vomit Clock Tool
Corporation Corridors
--->
Porno Riot Or Acid Corrs?
Countryman
--->
My Acorn Nut
Crystal Heart
--->
Ratty Charles
Damned For All Time / Blood Money
--->
Lobotomy Made Me Fine Landlord
Darling 1944 (Un Été d'Orages)
--->
Gerald United 9441 Oranges!
Dearest Anne
--->
Tense Andrea
Diminishing Perspective
--->
The Indecisive Pimp Grins
Do I Love Her?
--->
Idle Hoover
Don't Forget Him Now
--->
Moron Ted Won Fight
Don't Have To
--->
Do That Oven!
Don't Sing No Sad Songs For Me
--->
Daft Moron Signs Ogden's Son
Douce France
--->
Cured Of Acne!
Dragonfly
--->
Flog Randy!
Dust In The Wind
--->
Did The Nuts Win?
Elle l'Attendra
--->
A Tell-Tale Nerd
Endgame
--->
Mad Gene
Envoie-Moi Vers Les Étoiles
--->
I Vote Senile, Servile Moose
Everything's Alright
--->
Harry Gives It Length
Fear And Ambition
--->
Mortified Banana
Frères de Sang
--->
Serf Grenades
Gimme Some Lovin'
--->
O Lemming Movies!
Hesitation Blues
--->
This Obtuse Alien
I Don't Care
--->
Dance Riot
I Don't Know Why I Love You
--->
Low View On Hooky Nudity
In The Heart Of You
--->
Hot Feather In You
Innocence
--->
Nicene Con?
Is That All There Is
--->
Last Irish Athlete
It's A Dream
--->
Mad Satire
It's So Hard Singing The Blues
--->
Lesbian Thugs Hid Son's Tiger
Joey's On Fire
--->
O Joy! Free Sin!
Judas' Death
--->
Adjust Head!
Just Enough
--->
June's Tough
La Cabane du Pêcheur
--->
Replace A Bad Eunuch
La Route à L'Envers
--->
Unreal Elevators
Lady I Could Serve You Well
--->
A Ludicrously Lovely Weed
Lana Turner
--->
Unreal Rant
Last Days Of An Empire
--->
Tone-Deaf Liars Zap Me
Latitudes Pour Lassitude
--->
Ultra-Stupid Lotus Disease
Le Temps Passe
--->
Pete's Samples
Le Temps S'en Fout
--->
Teflon Upsets Me
Little Bit Of Loving
--->
Bottle Vigil In Loft
Little One
--->
Toilet Len
Loin Demain
--->
I Nail Demon
Los Angeles
--->
Legs On Sale
Losing You
--->
Guys In Loo
Lost My Baby Tonight
--->
Tangibly Shy Bottom
Mademoiselle
--->
Male Melodies
Merano
--->
Moaner
Modern Boy
--->
Don Embryo
My Back Pages
--->
Packs May Beg
No Mystery
--->
Stormy Yen
Now And Forever
--->
Frown Over Dean
Ocean
--->
Canoe
Old Soho
--->
Loo Dosh
On Your Own Again
--->
A Young Raw Onion
One, Two, Three
--->
Wore No Teeth
One-Sided Love
--->
Even Dodos Lie
Pacing On The Station
--->
Cheating Saint On Pot
Peril In Venice
--->
Vile Recipe Inn
Picking Up The Pieces [Radio Edit]
--->
I Peep Up Git's Chicken [Dear Idiot]
Pity The Poor Consumer
--->
Hypocrites Mourn Poet
Prison Wall Blues
--->
Blair Sells Up Now
Quand Tu T'en Iras
--->
Quarantine Stud
Rainsong
--->
Sin Organ
River Deep, Mountain High
--->
Providing Healthier Menu
Rubbernecker
--->
Bruckner Beer
Secondhand Monday
--->
Noddy, Men And Chaos
Sedentary Nomad
--->
Dr Needs Anatomy
Seras-Tu Là ?
--->
Lust Areas
Shades Of The Prison House
--->
Hash, Heroin & Soft Dope - Uses
She Was Perfection
--->
Cheap Wine Forests
Silence Is A Strong Reply
--->
Priceless Learning Toys
Someday Soon
--->
Moody Season
Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat
--->
I'm A Crooked Bogey-Man's Monster
Sorry, I Love You
--->
Your Rosy Olive
Strange Thing Mystifying
--->
Thirty Gangs In Finest Gym
T'es Mon Secret
--->
Cement Stores
The Last Supper
--->
The Paper Sluts
Tournent Les Vents
--->
Nutter Sent Novels
What Am I To Be
--->
Obama The Wit
When I'm Yours
--->
Show My Urine?!
When They Found Eldorado
--->
Fly Due North, Woodenhead!
White Flag
--->
Gift Whale
Who Loves You
--->
Oh You Wolves!
With A Passion
--->
Who's A Pianist?
You Gotta Be
--->
Guy Ate Boot


By the way, if you can think of an even greater time-waster, I’d love to hear from you.