Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Xmas Compilation CD: MP3s

I've had a request. Apparently, they're so backwards on the other side of the globe that CDs haven't caught on yet. If, due to your being in Australia, you would prefer your Xmas compilation in one of the three following alternative formats, please drop me a line (jabber (at) theangriestman (dot) com) and I'll do my best to oblige:

  • Special edition heavyweight vinyl remastered by blind audiophile experts in a soundproofed former nuclear bunker

  • MP3s

  • Sheet music (arranged for trombone or zither)
Hope that keeps you all happy enough to have a happy new year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's the 2008 Annual Christmas Compilation CD Sleevenotes! Whoop!

Yep, it's Christmas; yep, it's compilation time. 2008 is the year that I Right some Wrongs, and deal with Death and Dylan Covers. They'll be in the post over the next few days probably. Here's what's what:

1. Emiliana Torrini - Big Jumps

Can't beat a bit of life-affirming pop sung by someone who sounds like a five-year-old, can you? She wrote Slow for Kylie, if you can remember back that far. Yes, Kylie Minogue; she's the sister of Danni who wears make-up on X-Factor.

2. Feist - My Moon, My Man

Inexplicably left off 2007's compilation, perhaps because she'd got herself on the ipod advert with '1, 2, 3, 4' and I'd had the misfortune to be stood in a PC shop where that was playing a 5-second snatch of the song, looped for eternity. Yes, that was probably why I left her off. Anyway, this is still great after a year, even though I'd like to ask her that although her man, like the moon, is changeable, is her man also changeable in a predictable 28-day pattern whilst affecting the tides of the sea?

3. Monkey Swallows the Universe - Bloodline

Well, a year ago I'd just started to get infatuated with this band, and hadn't got their second album 'The Casket Letters' yet. Well, I got it, and then went and saw their lastish gig, and bugger me if they aren't still brilliant and deserving of a place on the Xmas CD.

4. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Down By The Riverside

Well, you can probably guess this isn't from 2008. Oh, and apologies for the shitty quality audio - I've had to rip this version off youtube, because it's a better version of the song than the one I've got. Someone recommended her, and fairly quickly I remembered her from the sequence in 'Amelie' where she has a little snippet of a performance on a video she gives to her neighbour. It was either that or it was in 'Ghost World'. Anyway, man, that's a good solo. Made me want to stop studying war.

5. Estelle ft Kanye West - American Boy

Survives the moment where Kanye says the word 'bloke', which is testament to its quality. Does include the single incidence of the word 'ribena' cropping up on a record, though. I also like that it shoehorns in trivia - I now know that Kanye West is 5'7".

6. Colin Meloy - Pregnant for the Last Time

In which I Right a Wrong: I was only alerted to the 'Colin Meloy Sings...' series of EPs because he'd got a new record out in 2008. However, sod all that, I'm putting this on, from the '... Sings Morrissey' album, where he does impassioned acoustic covers of Moz (including some pretty obscure b-sides, like this).

7. Belle & Sebastian - This is Just a Modern Rock Song

In which I Right another Wrong: a pretty good compilation of the BBC sessions of B&S has just come out, but for some completely unfuckingfathomable reason, they chose to put on just about everything they did except for this song. Apologies for the poor quality, but it's taped off a radio, then copied as extra tracks on the bootleg version of Tigermilk that I was so super-happy to find at a record fair, in the distant past before they got round to releasing the album properly. Not only am I Righting a Wrong, but I'm also getting to wallow in some nostalgia. Lovely.

8. Iron & Wine - Lovesong of the Buzzard

It was a fight between this and a song of his from the 'I'm Not There' Dylan coverfest soundtrack album. This won out, but only because I've got too many Dylan covers coming up. The lovely woozy sound of this song shouldn't disguise the fact that it's about punching kittens in the face - what a bastard. What a hairy bastard.

9. Joan as Police Woman - To Be Lonely

Somewhat against all my natural inclinations, I've included a slowy from the new JaPW album. I literally had to chew my own right hand off to prevent it from putting 'To America' which ticks many of my boxes: a great big build up of a song (tick!) with Rufus Wainwright cameo (tick!) and then they go and throw a horn section at it (tick!) as it explodes in the final half.

I'm much slower typing one-handed, I hope you realise.

10. School of Language - If There Is Something

[I'm going to do something pretty clever with this compilation soon. Just watch out for it, ok?] School of Language were great at the Green Man festival, all angular clever-rock in the rain, like Tortoise with some songs. However, I've slapped them squarely in the face, cos this isn't one of theirs from their excellent album 'Sea From Shore', but a cover of a Roxy Music song off their first album. It's not massively far off the original, but bollocks to that - I like it. It's just nice to hear someone else sing 'growing potatoes by the score' in a desperately impassioned way.

11. Bryan Ferry - A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall

Ferry, the twat, released an album of Dylan covers this year, but he should just have released a forty-track double-album where every track was this one. Trust me, it would have been better. This song is probably top of my charts when it comes to being put on repeat and listened to several times.

12. The Black Keys - The Wicked Messenger

Which brings me round to another Dylan cover off the 'I'm Not There' soundtrack. I'd ideally liked to have had Bob Dylan covering a School of Language song in the style of Bryan Ferry so that I could disappear up my own arse in a puff of smoke and self-satisfaction, but I'll settle for the Black Keys bringing out the monotone dirge off 'John Wesley Harding'.

13. Sons & Daughters - Darling

Where the ghost of Iggy Pop thrashes around in a ball pool, while the White Stripes take notes from the sidelines.

14. Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley

Included because Bo Diddley died this year. You have to respect a man who refers to himself in the third person in song.

15. Harry Nillson - Coconut

Included for no good reason other than I enjoyed this in 2008. Known to me from the Muppet Show, where Froggy bought a coconut, and needed his flipper ache relieving. I don't know of any medical trials to determine if putting de lime in the de coconut is the cure for the symptoms brought on by putting de lime in de coconut, but I'm prepared to take Harry on trust here. Curiously, this is not the maddest thing on the album 'Nilsson Schmilsson' - there's a 7-minute bass-heavy wig-out that wins that crown, although that isn't perhaps as raciaially insensitive as Nillson's 'black' voice on 'Coconut'.

16. Scout Nibblet - Dinosaur Egg

I went to see her again this year, and she looked like an angry librarian. I had to fight down the urge to put on one of the two duets with Bonnie "Prince" Billy, both of which are excellent. I just had to include this because of her pissed-off voice and the 'million people coming over on Friday'. April, you can skip this track if you like, eh?

17. The Cave Singers - Helen

These were brilliant when I saw them live - lots of nice interlocking intricate guitars. I think they were also all sat down, which was probably nice and relaxing for them. I can't remember properly, but I'm assuming they all had beards.

18. Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs' Tears

Tangental Double Death Song - Levi Stubbs, lead singer of the Four Tops, died this year, as did Norman Whitfield, Motown songwriter. I've done a quick check, and everyone else mentioned in the song is alive, which is lucky for them. For the chorus of this song, Bragg somehow manages to make reading the production info off a record heartbreakingly bittersweet. He stopped short of reading out the copyright notice at the end - that's the sign of a classy songwriter.

19. Micky & Sylvia - Love is Strange

Those of you with a sharp ear for such things will probably guess that this wasn't recorded in 2008. I heard it on a documentary about Joe Meek, and it took me ages to track it down. Then, when I had tracked it down, I heard it on the soundtrack to 'Badlands', which would have made it considerably easier to find. Grr.

And that's it: 2008 ends with annoyance. Happy Merrymas everybody!

Previous Christmas CD compilations in this series include:
Christmas 2007 pt 1
Christmas 2007 pt 2
Christmas 2006
Christmas 2005
Christmas 2004

Friday, November 14, 2008


[Yeah, alright, so I've not posted for a while. By way of apology, I offer this pifflingly short post.]

I've just overheard someone say 'fucking heck', which seems like the most brilliantly pointless piece of daintiness I've ever heard.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

No Parkiniging

I shouldn't offer too much in the way of commentary for these photos either. Taken after inadvertently venturing into an industrial estate in Bow instead of getting back on the River Lee.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Confirm This Person as Your Friend?

I offer you this, from my Facebook friends request page, without further comment.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Emmanuel Add A Byelaw and CROWS!

At the gym yesterday, I was watching the Arsenal v Reading game. My gym is actually within spitting distance of the new Arsenal ground (not that I'd recommend testing this out on a match day), but there I was, watching it on a tv with the sound turned down and the subtitles on. I love live subtitles, mainly for the excellent spelling mistakes. Highlights were 'Adebayor' appearing on-screen a couple of times as 'Add a byelaw', which is just poetry, and the surprising revelation that the commentator had, in his time, seen Robin Van Persie 'explode three kids into the back of the net'.

As you probably know, I'm crowphobic*. My therapist, the reassuringly expensive Dr West Coast-Mainline, suggested that to overcome my fears, I had first to confront them. So I did: the bastard crow knocked me to the floor and pecked me in the face. Well, at least I tried that before I confronted my fear of aggressive drunk rugby fans and my fear of drinking bleach.

*I just looked on the internet, and there doesn't seem to be a technical term for 'fear of crows'. I can only assume that this is because fear of crows is such a rational and universal state that it's taken as read.

[photo from Tommy Martin's Flickr page]

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Glastonbury Tickets Simulator

Upset that Glastonbury tickets have probably sold out? Disappointed that you won't be able to waste a whole morning trying to buy tickets? A fan of instant nostalgia? Desperate to click on anything you can find, such is your clicking frenzy?

Then you'll be glad that I've set up the Unofficial Glastonbury Tickets Pain In The Arse Simulator. Have fun. Remember, you'd have to be pretty fucking stupid to think that this will get you tickets.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Above are photos of the snowman my brother (aged 26) made at the weekend. So terrifying, I've lost my fear of the scary, scary crows.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crows - the Facts

Walking through my local park, I've noticed that every time I go, there are more and more crows. Sinister, evil crows. In honour of this, here are some...

...Crow Facts:

  • Crows are the only species to have been inducted en masse into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, back in 1993, along with ZZ Top and The Pretenders.
  • Crows are forbidden to stand for election under the Representation of the People Act (Crows in Parliament, Never Again Amendment) 1864 although they are permitted to operate as election agents.
  • The old nursery rhyme goes as follows: "One for sorrow/Two for joy/Three for a girl/Four for a boy/Five for a - Christ, I'm being attacked by fuckin' crows, help me, Jesus help me, they're pecking at my eyes, mercy, the pain".
  • Crows are incapable of feeling pity, shame or the simple joy of tickling a baby under the chin and hearing it gurgle.
  • Lily Allen invested the profits from her single, "LDN", in a crow farm near Haverstock. For what dark purpose, we can but speculate wildly long into the night.
  • Crows be whack.
  • Following research by Glasgow University in the late 1970s, crows were found to be intolerant to eight of the major active ingredients in Kia-Ora, leading to disclaimers to be added to all advertising materials for the soft drink.
  • Crows are disdainful of Mozart's later work, except for 'The Magic Flute', which they really quite like.
  • Crows, if left to their own devices, will eat upwards of 600 blue tits in a sitting.
  • Legend has it that if the crows ever leave the Tower of London, it will give the ravens a bit of bloody peace, what with all their caw! caw! noises and that.
  • Crows mate for life, but still advertise in the personals columns of newspapers as they are all bastards.
  • Crows only received two stars out of a possible six when reviewed by Time Out London recently, prompting furious debate on the letters page. An apology from the editor was printed after it was pointed out that crows weren't in fact a new French restaurant in Hampstead whose entrees left the reviewer and his dining partner wondering whether the chef could even locate France on a globe.
  • Shakespeare incorporated at least eight rude puns about crows in his plays.
[Crow photo by Cukimuki]

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tom the Dancing Bug

Jim here. Just a quick recommendation - check out Tom The Dancing Bug (a comic). It's always good. As it's on Salon, you might have to watch an advert first, but it's well worth sitting through any any amount of eyefuckery to look at good comics, eh? And if you agree with me, subscribe to this feed which I've set up with just this comic on, so you'll always know when a new edition is available. Jim out.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Alan Shearer: a Joke

Here's a joke I made up about Alan Shearer. Well, I say joke; it's more a thinly veiled outpouring of hatred. With a punchline.

Alan Shearer was tragically killed in a freak punditry accident on Match of the Day (Alan Hansen escaped with minor burn-marks to his v-neck jumper). On his way up to heaven, he meets St. Peter at the pearly gates. St Peter says, 'Alan, we've been watching your good work and sharp shooting here from heaven, and God would very much like you to sit at his right hand. What do you say?'. Shearer, though, refused to say anything, but friends of Alan Shearer later made it known that Alan would not consider being anyone's number two, and that after he'd completed his deity coaching badges, he would be in the running for the top job.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Human Rights, Human Wrongs

At work, I've been sent a copy of the Ministry of Justice's new publication, Making Sense of Human Rights. Unsolicited. Anonymously. I've got to worry about my reputation at work if someone thinks that I'm likely to break any of the following articles: right to life, prohibition of torture, prohibition of slavery, right to marry, etc. Oh well. Probably time to disband the forced-labour factory I've got going on in the basement, producing humorous parody books based on popular bestselling books. The nation will now sadly not be receiving such satirical thought-free gifts for its birthday as My Autobiogwaffy by Russell Braahnd or the significantly less harrowing A Child Called Twit by Dave Bestselzer. It's political correctness gorn maaad.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Where's Wally, Monkey gigs and International Year of the...

Hey hey. I went to undoubtedly my best gig of the year (so far) on Friday: Monkey Swallows the Universe at Bush Hall. They were very good. They had balloons and glockenspiels and jangle and dresses and waistcoats. At the end of the gig, Nat from the band took a photo from the stage. You can see the balloons I mentioned earlier. Your real task, though, is to spot me in the above photo (click it for bigness). I'm standing next to Chris if it helps. Think of it as Where's Wally come to life, except he's taken to visiting indie gigs rather than Middle Eastern bazaars. Possibly less of an international publishing sensation too.

The answer is here, people.
Oh, and happy new year, 2008 of course being the UN International Year of the Potato.