Top 5

Here’s what I’ve been listening to this month…

1) 2012 (You Must Be Upgraded) – The Flaming Lips Featuring Ke$ha

Love the new Flaming Lips album, Heady Fwends, I think it’s actually better that Embryonic. This is one of the best tracks from a good bunch.

2) Kevin Carter – Manic Street Preachers

Apropos of nothing I had a real desire to listen to Everything Must Go this month. This is sounding as good today as ever.

3) What’ll It Take – Graham Coxon

I’ve only just got the new Graham Coxon album and I’m enjoying it even though it’s a harder listen than some of his previous efforts such as Happiness In Magazines and Love Travels At Illegal Speeds

4) Under The Westway – Blur

More Graham Coxon! This is the first CD single I’ve bought in years. Good to have Blur back, if only temporarily.

5) The Death Of You And Me – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Elmo and I are going to see the “Angry Birds” next month so Elmo has been getting up to speed by listening to the album constantly. This is definitely my favourite song on there.

Father Father #2

Turns out Elmo is nearly as bad as me

Elmo went to see her dad tonight. Fortunately, I’d manged to avoid the evening as I was out with work. However, having just spoken to her on the phone, I wish I’d been there as her dad has left her in tears over our wedding. He always said that he was going to speak with my dad and Elmo’s mum about financing the wedding, which is fair enough. However, he hasn’t done this yet but he has gone and booked a marquee and caterers. Tonight he told Elmo how much he thought that would cost and he also said that he wouldn’t be paying for a majority of it. Again, he re-iterated the fact he was going to speak to my dad and Elmo’s mum to talk about finances.

So, now he wants the kudos for having the event at his house, he wants to choose the marquee and caterers that he wants and then, essentially, he wants to present a bill for it to my dad and Elmo’s mum. Now, I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded contributing but I’m pretty sure that they would have liked some kind of input. Now, in my opinion, the fact that the guy is rich and the tradition is for the father of the bride to pay for the wedding, is somewhat irrelevant. However, the fact that he has put on three big events at his house quite recently (his own 2nd wedding, his 60th birthday party and his 2nd wifre’s 50th birthday party) implies that he doesn’t think that the wedding of his only daughter is as important as those events.

My initial advice to Elmo was to tell him to cancel the marquee and the caterers and we’d sort smething cheaper out. I can’t help but think that even if we go ahead with the original plan to have a marquee at his house that we’ll end up resenting it to an extent after this. The other thing is that Elmo has already been having second thoughts about having a big wedding after what happened the other week. Maybe we should just grab Anthony and Anelli, drive to Gretna and get it sorted.

Oh, and just to prove that we’re right for each other, in a similar way to me, Elmo probably won’t be telling her dad about how upset he made her either.

Live on Mars?

I’m not a big fan of William from the Black Eyed Peas (yes, that is his name, no-one has punctuation in their names. Apart from umlauts and accents and stuff but he’s not European so that doesn’t count) His music isn’t very good, his lyrics are atrocious (eg I’mma work hard, that’s my thesis / This beat is the shit, faeces), he claims to have punctuation in his name (not even I’m that pretentious) and he got Mick Jagger singing on a new song when everyone knows that there should be a law preventing him from singing any song released after 1981. Oh, and don’t get me started on his fashion sense.

Anyway, it turns out that they’re going to be broadcasting his new single, Reach for the Stars, from the Curiousity Rover on Mars. Wait a minute, he’s done a cover of the S Club 7 song? Surely there are much better options for NASA to beam back to Earth:

or the obvious one…

Anyway, we hope that it goes better than the last time this was tried. Blur recorded a brand new song to be transmitted back from Beagle 2 and it was so unpopular that the martians destroyed the thing and it was never heard from again!

Fook

Elmo was working nights last night and Friday so I took the opportunity to catch up on some film watching. I picked up District 9 from Fopp for a fiver ages ago ao I stuck that in on Friday. Then, apropos of nothing, I watched Trainspotting on Saturday afternoon (which became part of a Kelly MacDonald marathon as I watched No Country For Old Men at night) Absolutely loved District 9 and I’d almost forgotten how good Trainspotting was (have to keep an eye out for that Danny Boyle fellow, who knows how big he could become) Anyway, one thing that really jumped out is the fact that the f-word sounds almost identical in the Scottish and Afrikaans accent…

On a Brighter Note

In your three-piece suit, you think it’s funny, turning rebellion into money

After all the excitement last week, some things that happened at the wedding rather fell by the wayside (NB none of these things are, in an way, as interesting as a fight at a wedding)

Firstly, as you can see from the picture above, I’ve got a new suit! Elmo decided that it was time that I got a new one so we headed off to Topman. I do like it actually even though it yet again proves that it’s impossible for me to get anything off the shelf that fits perfectly – if it fits on the chest, the arms aren’t long enough and if it fits on the waist, the legs aren’t long enough. My fault for being tall and skinny I guess.

The Dude abidesh

After a few beers at the wedding, I decided it was time to move on to the White Russians. One of the bar staff told me that they didn’t do cocktails. Fortunately, the other one asked me what was in it. Vodka, Kaluha and top it up with milk – the first one was pretty good. However, the picture above is of the second one, which they appear to have made with only a shot of milk. Now, I don’t mind strong drinks but that was a bit over the top.

I also met some really interesting people at the wedding. There was Nick, a guy so similar to me that I’m slightly worried about some clandestine cloning program going on. There was a girl who worked for Oxo who explained that chicken Oxo cubes don’t crumble as well as beef ones because they have to be denser in order to deliver the same level of flavour. Then there was the girl who looked like Florence who got me into trouble with Elmo. After a day of drinking and a night of excitement, the two of us started describing everything as “totes amazeballs” which we found incredibly funny in a childish way (erm, I mean in a post-modern ironic way) Unfortunately, Elmo who was trying to be serious and look after her best friend, didn’t take too kindly to this and accused me of flirting with this other girl. So, basically, I got it in the neck for being slightly drunk and laughing at the absurdity of the situation that I found myself in. That’s not totes amazeballs.

Teddy Boy

Went to see Ted last night. Let’s just say that it’s a good job it was Orange Wednesday because it was probably provided about £4 worth of entertainment. I do quite like Seth McFarlene; Family Guy and American Dad are on our TV most nights. However, Ted seems to suffer from exactly the same problem that they do – a few very funny moments, a few bits that thought they were funny but weren’t, a plot that had a tacked on third act and some references and flashbacks to other films/TV shows. In fact these represented the best bits of the film – a scene of Sam Jones (Flash from Flash Gorden) getting drunk at a party and a flashback that was a direct lift from Airplane (the Saturday Night Live sequence) Not a great choice to compare itself to, as that is an almost perfect comedy. Ted, on the other hand, is a rom-com, with not much rom, not much com and too much misogyny.

Was there then

What does it all mean?

Wow, 15 years ago today, Oasis released their 3rd album, Be Here Now. At the time they were the biggest band in the country and I was excited enough about it to head down to Pendulum Records in Melton Mowbray to buy a copy on release day. I remember it being a really sunny day (the sort you only seem to get in nostalgic flashbacks) and I went down to the park with my dad’s portable CD player (which was a cheap Discman knock-off that he’s bought abroad somewhere. It was lucky if it got through a full album on a set of batteries) It was GCSE results day and the park was quite busy (these were the days when you could still buy alcohol easily if you were underage) However, I found a place to sit, put on the headphones and put it the disc and I remember thinking it was awesome. The thing is, everyone thought the same, the album received a string of 4- and 5-star reviews. In retrospect, it’s easy to hear the vast swathes of coke that inform the album – the songs are all too long, there are too many guitar solos, they got Johnny Depp to play on one track, they even released in on a Thursday because they were so sure that they could sell enough copies in three days to top the charts (to be fair, they were right with the last one)

However, I have to admit that this album had a huge impact on me personally. Listening to album over and over again, I came to find some of the lyrics pretty trite. However, a lot of them also seemed pretty personal (In The Bible, John discovers that all art is self-referential). I began to think that I could write lyrics that were at least as good as these. I was also completely infatuated with a girl who I’d asked out about three weeks earlier only to be rebuffed. The obvious upshot of this is that I thought I could win her over by writing some songs about her (and I was pretty confident that I could write something better than The Girl In The Dirty Shirt)

Of course it turned out that I couldn’t write any lyrics better than Noel.

I think that Be Here Now will always be one of those albums that I like but not for the music that’s on it. Rather for that nostalgic glow. It was an event album and one that all of my friends seemed to buy into. Oasis were everywhere that summer (even at 10 Downing Street celebrating Tony Blair’s victory) and they sound-tracked what felt like a long, hot season where anything seemed possible. Of course it couldn’t last. This album killed Britpop (although the final full-stop was arguably Pulp’s excellent This Is Hardcore that came out about 6 months later), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I think in the end everyone wanted to love this album but once you drew back the curtain, you saw that it just wasn’t very good (or you could say that the emperor was naked, if you wished to mix your metaphors) And that cover? Proof, if any were needed, that cocaine can make you pretentious…

A Punchup at a Wedding

Yesterday was the wedding day of Elmo’s best friend and her now-husband and let’s just say that it was a day that neither of them will ever forget. After a nice ceremony and an amazing lunch, the evening festivities started. Later on, when all of the guests who weren’t staying at the venue had left, it kicked off between the groom and his brother, who’d had a little too much to drink. The groom took a punch to the face before they had their hands around each other’s throats. We managed to separate them and there then followed an Eastenders-esque tirade:

“You’re dead to me!”

“I spit on your gravestone”

In retrospect, I just wish that I said, “Leave it aht! He’s not worf it!” By this point, the hotel had had enough and called the police. By the time the six(!) of them had arrived, the bride’s brother was outside calming down the groom’s brother. The groom gave a statement to the police and they took his brother away (not before having some wedding cake though)

In the end, Elmo, the bride, one of the bride and groom’s friends (who looked like Florence from Florence + The Machine) and I got a bottle of wine, a couple of bottles of beer and retired to the bridal suite. While the groom tried to calm his mother down, I spent his wedding night watching two girls help his wife out of her wedding dress.

By this morning, everyone seemed a lot happier, although I’m not sure what hotel the police took the brother to and what became of him. I think that Elmo is slightly worried about what might happen at our wedding but I’m sure we’ll be fine.