Category Archives: antics

A Link and a Promise

I have written but one article this week – a post for Ten Tracks outlining some of the best Scottish music blogs.

However, you will doubtless be thrilled to hear that there are Plans Afoot.  For one, myself and Andrew will be live blogging Eurovision on Saturday over on my personal blog, A Daddy Long Legs is Not A Father.  The idea behind this is to give me a bit more practice using Coverit Live, because the editor of The Edinburgh Reporter made an interesting 12 Books related suggestion that would entail using it.  But in an enigmatic sort of way, I’m not going to tell you any more than that just now.  More information is coming soon, though.

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Filed under 12booksin12months, antics, Community News, Edinburgh, edinburghreporter, limitlesspotential, music, noise, scotland, tentracks

Links

To celebrate my 101st post on this blog… have some links to things I’ve been writing elsewhere this week.

STV Local Interviews:

Musselburgh 7 piece band Delta Mainline
Producer John Durnan
The Steals, whose cheeky swear was edited out..

MslexiaSparkly Vampire Hunks LOL

Ten Tracks It’s Different For Girls?

A Daddy Long Legs Is Not A Fatherwhy do old people hate me?

12 Books In 12 MonthsFinding my voice

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Link – STV Interview with Scrap Brain

The title pretty much says it all… Here is another interview for STV Local with Scrap Brain, one of the bands involved in No Colour Too Strong to Paint, a charity CD raising funds for the Sick Kids Foundation.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #25 – A Song That Tells A Story

Today, Let’s Get Lyrical have been asking, what are your favourite lyrics that tell a story?

As it happens, I sort of collect songs like this.  Unfortunately, very few of them seem to be from the 70s, but I’d like to mention a few.

Frinstance, who could fail to love The Drunken Driver by Ferlin Husky?  It tells the tale of a man who RUNS OVER HIS OWN CHILDREN in a drunken episode, and it’s all Ferlin can do not to cry as he recounts the story.  Unfortunately, this was recorded all the way back in 1954.

I also love Our Last Summer by ABBA – or I did until I saw Mamma Mia, at any rate.  I found it hard to reconcile my crush on Colin Firth with his antics in that particular montage – he seemed to be doing his best to destroy the affection I’d had for the track since I was nine.  Anyway, I like it because it encapsulates a story of summer romance without getting either mawkish or bitter.  But I can’t write about that one, cause it came out in 1980.

In 1996, Peggy Scott-Adams released Bill, an anguished tale about a woman finding out that her husband is gay – “I was ready for Mary, Susan, Helen and Jane… When all the time it was Bill who was sleeping with my man.” It gets worse too – Bill is god uncle to their son!  It’s like an episode of Jerry Springer in song format.

The following year, a superhero ska band called the Aquabats wrote an altogether more lighthearted ditty, Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates.  This follows the adventures of young Jim, who goes to sea to fight the fierce Midget Pirates of Willygoat, who are heading towards the Sandwich Isles to pillage the giant Ham Farm.  “And unlike normal midgets, who are bright and clever and fun to be around, these Midget Pirates with their beady little eyes and sharp teeth bore down on us like fierce sharks in a feeding frenzy of blood!” Everything you could want from a pirate adventure and more.

Oh, and then there’s The Rake’s Song, by The Decemberists, which tells the story of a rake who marries too young and kills his children so he can get his life back.  A murder ballad for 2009 – I love it.  And don’t even get me started on Charlemagne: By The Sword and the Cross, a concept album released only last year in which Christopher Lee tells the entire history of Charlemagne in the form of a symphonic metal opera.  This includes immortal rhymes like “he has taken offense / and its too late to make amends!” and is entirely amazing.

But wait!  I know a seventies song that tells a story!  It’s not a particularly happy one, but even so…
“I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday…  Parking by the lake, and there was not another car in sight.  I never had a girl looking any better than you did, and all the kids at school were wishing they were me that night!

Our bodies were so close and tight – it never felt so good, it never felt so right.  We were glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife, and I felt like I had to hold on tight!”

“Though it’s cold and lonely in the deep dark night,” Patti said throatily.

“I can see paradise, by the dashboard light!” Marvin replied.

“Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed. ‘Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed,” Patti would tell her friends, years later.  “Ain’t no doubt about it, baby got to go and shout it!  Ain’t no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed.  ‘Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely dressed.”

Encouraged by this response, Marvin ventured, “baby doncha hear my heart?  You got it drowning out the radio!  I’ve been waiting so long for you to come along and have some fun.  And I gotta let you know, no you’re never gonna regret it – so open up your eyes, I got a big surprise, it’ll feel all right, I wanna make your motor run!”

“You got to do what you can,” Patti agreed, “let Mother Nature do the rest.  Ain’t no doubt about it we were doubly blessed.  ‘Cause we were barely seventeen and we were barely-“

“We’re gonna go all the way tonight,” he interrupted, “we’re gonna go all the way tonight, tonight!  We’re gonna go all the way tonight we’re gonna go all the way tonight’s the night…”

At this point they were interrupted by a radio broadcast, discussing an important baseball game.

“OK, here we go,” the announcer began.  “We got a real pressure cooker going here.  Two down, nobody on, no score, bottom of the ninth.  There’s the windup, and there it is, a line shot up the middle – look at him go!  This boy can really fly!

He’s rounding first and really turning it on now, he’s not letting up at all, he’s gonna try for second; the ball is bobbled out in center, and here comes the throw – and what a throw! He’s gonna slide in head first, here he comes, he’s out! No, wait, safe – safe at second base, this kid really makes things happen out there.

Batter steps up to the plate, here’s the pitch-he’s going, and what a jump he’s got, he’s trying for third, here’s the throw, it’s in the dirt-safe at third! Holy cow, stolen base! He’s taking a pretty big lead out there, almost daring him to try and pick him off. The pitcher glances over, winds up, and it’s bunted, bunted down the third base line, the suicide squeeze is on! Here he comes. squeeze play, it’s gonna be close! Here’s the throw… Here’s the play at the plate… Holy cow, I think he’s gonna make it!”

“Stop right there!” Patti squeaked all of a sudden, “I gotta know right now!  Before we go any further!  Do you love me?  Will you love me forever?  Do you need me?  Will you never leave me?  Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?  Will you take me away, will you make me your wife?”

When Marvin failed to respond, she said again, more urgently this time, “do you love me!?  Will you love me forever!?  Do you need me?  Will you never leave me?  Will you make me so happy for the rest of my life?  Will you take me away , will you make me your wife?!  I gotta know RIGHT NOW, before we go any further, do you love me?  Will you love me forever!?”

Marvin thought about it for a while, but was reluctant to answer.

“Let me sleep on it,” he suggested at last, “baby, baby let me sleep on it?  Let me sleep on it and, I’ll give you an answer in the morning.”

This was not enough, though.

“I gotta know right now,” Patti insisted, “do you love me?  Will you love me forever?”

Marvin remained reticent.

“What’s it gonna be boy?” she asked again.  “Come on!  I can wait all night.  What’s it gonna be boy?  Yes, or no?”

This hectoring was overwhelming, but she could see it working, so she continued, “what’s it gonna be boy? YES, OR, NO??”

“Let me sleep on it?” he tried again.

“Will you love me forever?”

“Let me sleep on it?”

“Will you love me forever?!”

And at that point, Marvin snapped.

“I couldn’t take it any longer,” he was to explain to his mates down the pub in years to come, “Lord I was crazed, and then the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave – I started swearing to my god and on my mother’s grave that I would love her to the end of time.  I swore that I would love her to the end of time!”

So now they’re praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive.

“‘Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you, I don’t think that I can really survive,” Patti has been heard to scream, as Marvin shouts,

“I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow, but God only knows what I can do right now!  I’m praying for the end of time, it’s all that I can do!  Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!”

This of course was long ago, and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today.  Still, at least they aren’t another divorce statistic…

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Let’s Get Lyrical #22 – Jon Jon Bon Bon

Now, I love Bon Jovi just as much as the next over-inebriated person at a grotty rock club in the Cowgate of an evening.  But you have to wonder how/why/whether they take themselves seriously.  I mean, Wanted Dead or Alive is a bit wanky, isn’t it?

It’s all the same, only the names will change

Ever heard of context, Jon?  I mean, whilst I appreciate it’s seen as good writing technique to jump straight into the story to pique the reader’s interest, in this scenario a little bit of context wouldn’t hurt.

Everyday it seems we’re wasting away

Sure, yeah, why not.  The entire world has chronic wasting disease.  Right on!  You tell it like it is!

Another place where the faces are so cold
I’d drive all night just to get back home

Touring Alaska’s stadium circuit can take a heavy toll, I’ve heard.
[Chorus:]
I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

Good metaphor there, Jon.  Did you think of that all by your onesie?

I’m wanted dead or alive

Mostly dead though, am I right?

Wanted dead or alive

Oh for goodness sake, no you aren’t.  Pretending to be a cowboy isn’t cool, either.  You might think you’re Clint Eastwood, but you are definitely Kevin Costner in that interminable version of Wyatt Earp.  The one that makes most people want to chew off their own face rather than watch.

Sometimes I sleep, sometimes it’s not for days

Well maybe you need to get yourself into a better routine.  Stop roaming around the countryside at random hoping a mean lookin’ cowboy will engage you in a stand off and I dunno, take up running.  Eat some vegetables.

And the people I meet always go their separate ways

Wow.  That’s profound.  Or, alternatively, that’s LIFE.

Sometimes you tell the day
By the bottle that you drink

Oh yeah, who doesn’t.  Tuesday is Malibu day, Wednesday it’s maybe a bottle of port, Thursday detox with some cherryade…

And times when you’re alone all you do is think

Yeah right.  Think about whether you have time to make another toastie before the next episode of Diagnosis Murder comes on TV.

[Chorus]

I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back

Ugh.  Shut up.

I play for keeps, ’cause I might not make it back

Might not make it back from WHAT?  A dangerous day of busking?  The most dangerous occupation in the West, apparently.

I been everywhere, and I’m standing tall

Dirty stop out.

I’ve seen a million faces and I’ve rocked them all

Excuse me while I blow my own trumpet, won’t you.

I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I’m wanted dead or alive

Saying it in a slightly modulated key doesn’t make it any more true.

I’m a cowboy, I got the night on my side

Sure, yes, because of course everybody knows that cowboys are NOCTURNAL.  Glad to see I’m not the only one who carries out the bulk of my research on wikipedia…

I’m wanted dead or alive
And I ride, dead or alive

That’s ridiculous.  If you’re dead, you can’t ride a motorbike.  Even the cast of Dirty Sanchez wouldn’t try that.  Probably.

I still drive, dead or alive
Dead or alive [x4]

Alright, alright, have it your way.  You’re a super cool, nocturnal cowboy who was apparently killed in a freak busking accident.  Probably decapitated with your own six string.  Now please, go away, and don’t come back til you’ve come up with another You Give Love A Bad Name.

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Jobless Students

Mr Jobless Graduate was texting me at my temp job earlier today to register his disgust at the way the press have covered the London student protests.  Prior to hearing from him, all I’d read was part of a statement from the head of the MET describing  the trouble makers as “a small but significant” minority, although the attack on the royals had filtered through my caffeine deprived senses to a certain extent.

“What are they saying,” I texted back, looking through old biology papers to see if the diagram I needed to do had been drawn before.  It had not.

“Mainly banging on about the desecration of war memorials and attacks on the royal family.  Nothing about the people stuck on the bridge.”

It transpired that one of Mr JG’s friends, currently studying in London, had gone along to the protest at 3pm but on seeing the violence he decided to leave.  He was prevented from doing so, detained on Westminster Bridge for over four hours without access to food, water, or the other accoutrements to which he has become accustomed.

read the rest of this post here.

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Adulthood

I wrote a thing about the dangers of going clubbing as someone over 17.  It appears  heavily edited here in Brikolage, alongside some other lovely words and pictures on the subject of adulthood.  Alternatively you can read my original version below.  Or do both.  I won’t judge.

Twenty-somethings!  Want to check how adult you are?  Why not try a trip to Antics?

For those of you not in the know, Antics is a club night held at The Hive in Edinburgh every Tuesday.  They play only ‘alternative anthems’, which translates as the Kerrang! TV playlist circa ten years back, with the odd rock classic or arbitrary Pendulum track chucked in.

Antics is frequented by a heady cocktail of kids who look like extras from a Harry Potter movie, and dodgy looking guys who are nearing middle age faster than they’d care to admit (I look after Mother and work in the local supermarket; it’s a big responsibility for a thirty-four year old!). Then there’s the middle tier of 22-25 year olds, and this is where the confusion starts to creep in.

At 25, you remember these ‘anthems’ from the first time round.  You were only doing standard grades, that was barely any time ago!  However, at 22, you probably just missed the nu-metal phase, and it’s possible that along with Cho Chang and the rest of these kids you genuinely think that ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’ is retro.

It isn’t.

Anyway, you’ve got to the Cowgate, you’ve shown ID and pointedly ignored the withering glances of the bouncers on entry.  Once there, make a beeline for the front of the dance floor, preferably wearing glo-sticks your much more inebriated mate produced on leaving the flat.  Then, wait to see if they instantly increase the volume of dry ice to mask your embarrassingly elderly face, before retreating to the bar to take advantage of the liver destroying drinks deals.

Stand around awkwardly for a while, watching the 17-year-old in the ‘Pop Punk Is Not Dead’ shirt strawpedo a pitcher of tennents whilst thinking ‘Oh, but it is mate. It is.’

Read Gropey McFeelyouup the riot act because you’re sober enough to work out which of the creepy old men it was who grabbed you from behind.  If you are not yet an adult, you’re more like to elbow the nearest person instead, who will probably be one of your friends, or failing that a total hottie.  Like, how embarrassing.

If you think that the best song of the night is ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ from The Blues Brothers, you might just be a proper grown up.  But now Blink 182 are on, and as the only adult present it’s up to you to teach these naive kids how to pogo.  Good luck.

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