Friday, June 29, 2007

Something For The Weekend 22

Well Dave… it’s been a busy, busy week. Just yesterday, for example, I had to work until 10:00am before packing up and heading off to this gorgeous place for a bit of Corporate ‘stroking’ plus all-you-could-eat bacon rolls. It was tiring, I can tell you, but then I drove back to Edinburgh to play football in the pissing rain and in the first minute of the game, I scored a goal against Hammy when he was in goals, the first time I’ve managed such a feat in twenty odd years. Happy days.

Of course while you’re off at your sister’s graduation tomorrow wearing your wide-brimmed, pink Fedora, all the boys will be having their annual gathering and making fun of you in your absence. All the shenanigans will be captured on the greatest website in the world and it’s still not too late for any other readers to indulge in some last minute, on-line betting… which is banned in the States I think?

As for culture stuff, here’s three things to ponder.

1. I purchased and downloaded an entire album from iTunes the other day – Wilco’s excellent ‘Sky Blue Sky’ - but although the whole process was very efficient, it was all a bit lifeless and clinical. I found myself missing the cd case and the sleeve notes where I like to read about things like where the album was made – “Oooh, recorded in L.A. but mixed in New York? I wonder why that was?” – and other stuff like lyrics, special guest artists, types of cymbals used etc. Do you ever feel that way? No? Just me then…

2. To compensate, I paid a visit to old-fashioned, record retailer Virgin Music during the week and bought the new Ryan Adams album ‘Easy Tiger’. As a lazy musical journalist might say, it’s a refreshing return to form after his disturbing, record-and-release-any-old-pish era over the past few years. It doesn’t quite hit the heights of ‘Gold’ and ‘Heartbreaker’ (both of which, incidentally, came out top in a recent survey I conducted in my head about favourite albums to listen to on my wee iPod Shuffle) but it’s a step in the right direction.

3. You know how you’re always saying we don’t do things as a couple anymore? Well, untwist your knickers and scrub up pretty because this week I won free tickets to see the new Harry Potter film when it opens on July 13th and you’re very welcome to take up my spare ticket and join me if you like? If so, you know what to do… If not, I’m gonna have to find a girl to go with because no way am I taking Bruce with his nacho breath and his incessant questions… “Who’s Voldemort? Are those REAL broomsticks? Can I go pee pee again?

Right, I’m off to Belfast in 8 hours so I’d better get some sleep.

Cheers, Edge

Monday, June 25, 2007

Something For The Week... Ahead

If you currently reside anywhere but Scotland, you’re probably outdoors a lot at the moment enjoying the summer weather and all that that affords by way of barbeques, visits to garden centres, sitting in traffic jams on the way to the beach, licking ice creams and saying things like “phew, what a scorcher!”

For the rest of you who are currently enjoying the greatest seasonal rainfall ever experienced since… well… 2006, you’ll probably be looking for something to raise your dampened (ho, ho!) spirits as you gaze out your rain-streaked home or office windows.

What could be better then than taking a wee trip down the interweb to…

… where you’ll find some classic tunes to get you in a frenzied mood about the big reunion gig at the end of next month. And better still, apparently you can “download” the classic tunes and then burn them on to a big black vinyl disc so they can be played on a record player at end-of-term proms and dinner dances and the like. How cool is THAT?

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Signals Are Back... DEFINITELY!

The rumblings started back in April 2005 during this hastily arranged press conference and a month later came rumours of sporadic sightings in the UFO capital of Scotland. But now, barring any unforeseen scheduling clashes with PTA meetings or Sudoku Club, the rock ‘n roll event of the decade is about to take place.

The Signals, central Scotland’s finest exponents of classic 80s pub rock (“I got my first real six-string…”) are about to take the stage again for their first live public performance in four… eh… no, hang on… it’s more like si… holy sh.. almost EIGHT years. The details are:

Friday July 27th
The Glen Village Social Club, Falkirk (southern outskirts)
Tickets: £3.00

The whole event is being organised by Lena (she’s already mentioned it here and here) and is a charity gig for the CLIC Sargent Kids With Cancer Appeal. Lena’s son’s band, The Valentines, plus a few others, are also playing at the event so our lawyers are currently negotiating with Lena’s lawyers as to who gets top billing. I’m sure the negotiations will go smoothly although if I don’t get blue Smarties in my dressing room there’s gonna be trouble.

Rehearsals begin for The Signals next Wednesday where we’ll attempt to re-learn half a dozen songs and, if time allows, we may even try and find someone who can teach us the fabled B7 chord. I’ll be pretty busy the rest of the week, so I’m going to leave this entry at the top of the blog for a week to give you all plenty of time to cancel any plans you might have for July 27th and let me know how many tickets you’d like. Email me if you like. Capacity at the venue is an intimate 200 or so and tickets are expected to sell fast so book early to avoid disappointment. C’mon… you know you want to… and it’s for the kids.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Should I Stay Or Should I Not Stay?

Is anybody out there “watching” any of this Big Blogger stuff or are you just not bothering two hoots… whatever the hell that means? I have to admit, despite what you might have reasonably expected from throwing fifteen perfect strangers together in a claustrophobic atmosphere and subjecting them to intense, round-the-clock public scrutiny, it hasn’t quite been the highbrow, cultural exchange of ideas and opinions I’d hoped for… “You like Keane? F#ck off and get a life!

I’m starting to think that with all the sunshine and coffee-drinkin’ and golfing and guitar playing*(!!!) to be enjoyed, I’d be better off making a break for it (like two other housemates have already done) and getting the hell out of there now before I punch somebody. They’ve given me another “task” to complete by Friday night – something to do with relaying a story about the most selfish thing I’ve ever done – but to be brutally frank, I just don’t see what’s in it for ME... honestly! So let me know what you think if you can be bothered two hoots. Should I stay or should I go?

*Anyway, more importantly than all that nonsense, come back here on Friday when I’ll have news of a forthcoming musical event, so unexpected and astonishing, that it’ll quite literally rock your f#cking socks off!!! (Dave – that means your regular slot has been shelved for this week. Sorry mate.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I'll Take That TO GO!

People often say to me, “You know Neil… with your cheery disposition, selfless and tireless work for others and totally reasonable attitude when competing in the white heat of the sporting arena, you must have had some truly great days in your life… but what was the best day ever?”

Before replying, I’ll usually go through the motions of stroking my beard and casting my eyes upwards to give the impression that I’m sifting through a mental database of literally hundreds of possible answers, before spouting something understated and modest like, “I suppose getting Mandella free was a bit of a coup,” or “when Gillian Anderson and I were both in Glasgow on the same day.”

But from now on when I’m asked that question, my eyes will light up in a crazed-like manner and I will, without hesitation, reply “Tuesday June 12th 2007… ‘cause that was the day when Starbucks opened a new branch IN MY FRICKIN’ OFFICE BUILDING!!!”

Talk about the mountain coming to Muhammed Ali… talk about the dealers hanging round the school playground… talk about anything you like for the next 72 hours because I will be wide awake throughout, floating high on a deadly cocktail of caffeine, nicotine and creamy, caramely coffee goodness. So what if it’s a fiendish conspiracy between two large corporations to ensure workers stay alert for longer… I, for one, will not mind working the occasional longer day until 3.30 if it means the Candyman keeps bringing me all that good stuff.

Anyway, lots to do, plenty of energy to do it and a special screening of my new Finding Nemo DVD to look forward to later on… “just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Friday, June 08, 2007

Something For The Weekend 21

Hey Dave… this week I have mostly been in a lovely, quaint place called Yorkshire which has lovely, quaint people who called me “love” all the time (“Yes love.” No love.” Pint love?” “Get yer hands off me whippet love.”) and who gave me many fine cultural recommendations, three of which I now pass on to you with great enthusiasm.

In the world of art, keep your eyes peeled for some racy new “enfant terrible” (from the French “enfant” meaning “child” and “terrible” meaning “hoodie-wearin’ graffiti-scrawlin'”) called Lowry who’s apparently doing things with matchstick men that you and I can only dream about. The Huddersfield Courier predicts he’ll sweep over the Pennines to unveil his controversial exhibition at the City Halls sometime in the autumn.

The Yorkshirers are also getting into a bit of a frenzy about an exciting new pop duo called Wham who, they informed me, have just released a catchy number entitled ‘Club Tropicana’ which is tipped to be this summer’s smash hit on the dancefloor at Jumpin’ Jaks, top-rated Leeds nightclub.

Think your neat, short-cropped, Brad Pitt hairstyle is still gonna cut it in 2008 Dave? Think again, because if, come Christmas, you’re not growing it long down the back like the fine fellows of Halifax, then it’s back to the social scrapheap for you ma boy.

So get thee down t’Dales with all possible haste young man… it’s an entirely different kind of culture altogether…

All: “…it’s an entirely different kind of culture.” ©Airplane 1980

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Not Punched Anyone... Yet!

More Big Blogger stuff somewhere around here. I think my days could be numbered…

Monday, June 04, 2007

All Work And No Play...

If you’re interested, I made a contribution to the Big Blogger zoo today and you can find it somewhere around here. I’m not one who normally converts ill-informed snap judgements into gratuitious violence but if another one of those freakin’ weirdos asks me what I wear under my "skirt" there’s gonna be trouble. Unfortunately all the girls all seem a bit shy and reserved but I’m sure one or two will be totally up for it before long. Oh, and they've started the voting... *wink*...

Anyway, now I have to go t’ Yorkshire for a few days. See thee later.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Something For The Weekend 20

Dear Dave,

Culture-wise, it’s been a bit of a lean week. I know we’ve already had a long debate by email (during our lunch break and definitely not on the company’s time) on just how rubbish ‘Pirates 3’ was. Seriously, I was in that cinema so long, I expected to find flying cars and lightsabers had been invented by the time I came out. Well I compounded that movie-going fiasco on Tuesday when I went, with Bruce, to see ‘Zodiac’, which was an interesting story but also very, very, very, very, long. It contained way more information than could reasonably be absorbed on a school night so as you can imagine, Bruce was all “Who’s that guy again?” and “What’s he got to do with it?” and “Me need to go pee-pee again” throughout. Nightmare.

Elsewhere, I’ve been enjoying John Mayer’s new album, ‘Continuum’ and I’ve started reading a book on stand-up comedian Bill Hicks. He’s a bit before your time – ask Blousie – but very funny and thought provoking. As you may have noticed, I’ve written hee-haw here because I’ve been too busy shooting low scores on the golf course and wondering what the hell is going on in ‘Lost’. I was also supposed to have written a Players Form Guide for The Greatest Website In The World but don’t tell Blousie because he probably won’t receive it from me now until Sunday. Maybe.

This lack of writing activity may well continue here throughout June because I’m due to be down south a lot (in England, that is; not Penicuik) and, through no real fault of my own, I also seem to have got myself mixed up with a rough crowd of weirdos and gratuitous attention-seekers. Which is so not me of course.

You know how sometimes you can be out shopping – for, say, scented candles; or cabbage; or anything really – and you stumble across people queuing for something and you join in hoping that free laptops or pizza might be handed out, but in fact you end up joining The Moonies and getting carted off to the Orient in the dank hold of rusty freighter? It’s annoying, isn’t it? I was seriously pissed off when that happened to me. Both times.

Well the other evening, while I was avoiding Blousie’s relentless pestering texts and emails to “get my effin’ finger out”, I was cruising around the internet – in a similar manner, I guess, to the “cruising” you do on a Saturday night – and before I knew it I had been selected as a contestant for Big Blogger 2007. Mind you, I wasn’t one of the original selectees, but a couple of people dropped out so as 2nd Reserve-In-Waiting, I was bundled into the back of a dark, windowless van and ended up in a virtual house where, potentially, I might spend the next seven weeks. Which, by my reckoning, makes me Ginga! Remember her?

Anyway, I don’t really understand what it’s all about but I believe I’ll have to undertake a series of writing tasks so you can find all the details – together with anything I can conjure up – here at the Big Blogger 2007 website. There are also a number of rules I have to follow to avoid automatic eviction but I’ve only read the first 250, so until someone tells me otherwise, I’ll be smoking at the dinner table, farting in the jacuzzi and making sure all the other housemates keep the canned goods stored in strict alphabetical order.

One rule I do remember however is that I’m not allowed to shamelessly pimp for popularity votes on my own blog so whatever you do Dave, don’t tell everyone you know to go to the Big Blogger 2007 site and vote off any of the other housemates. ‘Cause that would just be plain wrong. Obviously.

Have a great weekend and I’ll hopefully see your chubby wee face in the crowd whenever I get evicted for making prejudicial slurs about whichever annoying f#ckwit steals my moisturiser… um… I mean yogurt... eh no, I mean condoms. Obviously.

Cheers, Edge