Broaden your minds

12:35 am : Friday, 24 January 2014  |  , , ,

I do have a highly varied taste in music. Being a DJ, this can only be a good thing. You need to listen to literally anything and everything that has ever been made in the history of music. Musical snobbery should honestly have no place. Championing Radiohead while pouring bile on Gary Barlow is just pathetic. Music in all of its forms is made to be LISTENED TO, so it will do us good to open our mind and our ears, and consider the whole Universe of music, as opposed to just some of it!

Here follow three examples:

First up are a couple of tracks taken from one of those pop compilations that does not feature the the original artists. Here in the UK, we had a series of LP's entitled Top of the Pops, which gave us the then-current hits as performed by a bunch of faceless session musicians and singers. These approximations were usually very pale imitations of their respective originals. In Canada, a 3 LP set entitled Let The Good Times Rock was released. Quite why it warranted 3 LP's is another matter. All of the tracks contained were poorly-thought-out covers of familiar songs. Two songs seems to stand out - and not in a favourable way.

First is a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel folk staple Scarborough Fair, which features some rather cackhanded piano playing on the left channel. Things become more surreal however, when at 2:25, we are treated to the sound of children crying. If anything, it just makes Scarborough Fair sound like a very unhappy place to be!

Unknown Artist - Scarborough Fair

Second up, there is a cover of the Beatles classic Let It Be. Upon listening to it, you may well wonder why the musicians just could not take the song's own advice! This is clumsy beyond all description. Observe how the drums come in - not at 1:17 where they should do, but are belatedly faded in at 1:31.

Unknown Artist - Let It Be

Our third exhibit came to me courtesy of Channel 4's excellent video clip show Rude Tube. In 1979, A composer and arranger by the name of Adrian Munsey, released two sheep-based singles. You read that correctly - SHEEP-based singles. First was a single entitled C'est Sheep, which just so happened to be produced by those two guys from Sparks - Ron and Russell Mael. Then came a second single, entitled The Lost Sheep. Until I viewed this on Rude Tube, I had no knowledge of its existence. All I can do is urge you to watch and listen, and take in the spectacle of a man impersonating a sheep - with considerable fidelity - and seeking to convey a highly emotional message.

Adrian Munsey - The Lost Sheep (1979)

Like I said - when it comes to music, an open mind is required. Are you up to the task?

For further reading, see also my post of Monday, 9 June 2014, entitled Record rip-offs

The cleanup continues

9:35 pm : Thursday, 16 January 2014  | 

Day three, and the cleanup operation in the property opposite us goes on. So far, the men have managed to fill two cage-type trucks and three skips with furniture and other crud that this troublesome man has amassed during his (apparent) seven-year tenancy.

There is no getting around this - the man was a hoarder. Those poor contractors have had to remove SO MUCH JUNK from the place! The picture above shows us the state of the garden after three days of work. As for those lockers that remain, quite what he needed those for is unfathomable. It now turns out that they, along with that bench seat, were somehow taken from the changing rooms of the nearby prestigious Oundle School.

There will likely be a fourth skip showing up tomorrow, and the whole merry dance shall continue. I guess then they can get on with slapping on the obligatory coat of magnolia paint, and eventually get around to offering this place to someone a lot more deserving.

Not before time

6:34 pm : Tuesday, 14 January 2014  | 

It has taken way too long, but today is the day the housing association finally took control of that errant property on the other side of the road. The picture above was taken on 31 October 2013, the day the previous tenant - who we shall call Prick - effectively abandoned the property. Abandoned it by leaving a kitchen and bedroom light on, and a window unlocked.

In mid November, the housing association cottoned onto the matter, and posted a Notice of Abandonment on the door, and giving this Prick fellow 28 days to get in contact and offer a damn-decent explanation. Christmas came and went, with the promised change of locks not yet done.

Then came 8:30PM on the 27 December, when Prick decided to rear his stupid head and enter the property via the back door, and emerge eventually via the front. Talk about making a mockery of everyone. This morning, the housing association finally got themselves in gear and changed the locks, arranged for a gas man to block off the meter, and for another poor fellow to get on with the task of removing furniture. Mind you, they still have the back garden to contend with - a shambolic affair with a marquee set up in it, providing shelter for a motley pile of junk. This is going to be one hell of a cleanup! Any new tenant is going to have to wait for this place to be made good.

You are probably wondering why I am being so hard on this man Prick. Well, he and his machete-wielding gangsta son have been nothing but trouble for this quiet close. Need evidence? Then watch the following video. While doing so, take the opportunity to admire the fence and gate he so kindly provided - after his son demolished the previous lot.

Everybody needs good neighbours

It is now time for this property to go to someone who deserves it. All of the properties in this close are specifically for the benefit of people with health needs. In other words, someone needs this property now. It is just a shame that it has taken so long for things to get moving. Another thing I could not understand about Prick, who claimed to have epilepsy - Why did he operate a strobe light in the property? Talk about asking for trouble! The man was clearly not the whole shilling, yet many of us suffered as a result of his and his son's behaviours.