Music meme

13 October 2008

I’ve decided to revive this blog as a receptacle for stuff that doesn’t fit at (comics, Irish mythology, and comics based on Irish mythology) or The Disillusioned Liberal (political thoughts).  Which means I’ve now got three blogs.  What of it?

So here’s a meme I got from Rol Hirst:

1. Put your music player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must put down the song name no matter what.

What would best describe your personality?

“Tragically Optimistic Freedom Fighters”, Kula Shaker

What do you like in a guy/girl?

“Missed the Boat”, Modest Mouse

And how tragically true that is.

How do you feel today?

“On Yer Own”, Dan Donelly and Sonovagun

Now this is taking the piss.

What is your life’s purpose?

“Ya Ya Ya”, The Detroit Cobras


What is your motto?

“Turkish Revelry”, Loudon Wainwright III

What do your friends think of you?

“2000 Light Years From Home”, Rachel Yamagata

Now that’s not true. My friends moved away, I stayed here.

What do you think of your parents?

“Let It All Go”, Mark Knopfler

What do you think about very often?

“Cheer Up (You Miserable Fuck)”, David Ford

I think most people who know me will recognise that one.

What do you think of your best friend?

“A Great Grey Grasshopper”, Ivor Cutler


What do you think of your crush?

“Higher Ground”, Stevie Wonder

What is your life story?

“Honey Don’t”, Carl Perkins

Yeah, that really is the story of my life…

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“Some Surprise”, Gary Lightbody, Lisa Hannigan and the Cake Sale

Yeah, I like that.

What do you think when you see your crush?

“We’re an Army”, Francois and the Atlas Mountains

What do your parents think of you?

“She’s Not There”, Santana

Yeah, probably true…

What do strangers think of you?

“Ancient Drums”, Iain Archer

How’s your love life?

“Virginia”, The Jeevas

Apt. No, not like you think. “Oh sweet Virginia, yeah she is a witch…”

What will they play at your funeral?

“Bright Side of the Road”, Van Morrison

That’s a funeral song all right…

What will you dance to at your wedding?

“Whoopin’ the Blues”, Sonny Terry and Brownie Magee

What is your hobby/interest?

“Seven Swans”, Sufjan Stevens

Oh yeah, I love me some swans…

What’s your biggest secret?

“The Pink Panther Theme”, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

What do you think of your friends?

“Beachcombing”, Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler

Well, we do like to get together and go to the seaside once in a while.

What song do you listen to when you are sad?

“First of May”, Jonathan Coulton

(Outdoor fucking starts today…”)

In love?

“(Straight to Your Heart) Like a Cannonball”, Van Morrison

(What is all that with) bits of song titles in brackets anyway?

What song do you air guitar to?

The Beatles, “Ticket to Ride”

What should be your signature karaoke song?

“It Must Be Love”, Madness

Actually, I do a mean “Try a Little Tenderness”.  Or I did once, in a student bar in Brussells full of Belgians doing Evanescence and Metallica.

What is your greatest desire?

“Disconnect the Dots”, Of Montreal

What does next year have in store for you?

“The Things That I Used To Do”, Guitar Slim

Now that’s depressing.

What’s your outlook on life?

“Parklife”, Blur

How will you die?

“I Feel it All”, Feist

Sounds like one of those “becoming one with the universe” ends.  Cool.

Do people secretly lust after you?

“Where Do You Think You’re Going”, Dire Straits

(If they do, they’re keeping it bloody secret)

The best advice you will ever get?

“Hard Headed Woman”, Wanda Jackson

“A hard headed woman is a thorn in the side of a man”.  That’s pretty good advice.

Off saving the world…

13 October 2008

You might not be aware of it, but there’s an Irish-based international development charity called GOAL who do lots of good work. My brother Simon worked for them in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a while and has nothing but good to say about them, unlike certain of the other NGOs he’s spent time with.

Turns out fellow Irish cartoonist Cliodhna Lyons’ dad Conor also worked for them, in Sri Lanka. He died last year, and Cliodhna’s tribute to him is the handsome anthology “Sorry I can’t take your call right now but I’m off saving the world”.  It’s got contributions from loads of names, many of whom I don’t know, but the ones I do include Sarah McIntyre, creator of “Vern and Lettuce” in The DFC, Liam Geraghty and Philip Barrett of Gazebo fame, top animator Tomm Moore of the Cartoon Saloon, Patrick Lynch, creator of Last Bus.  In this blog post Cliodhna explains how she created the beautiful screen-printed cover.

You can buy it online using Paypal – check out the Goal Anthology website for details.  All proceeds, of course, go to GOAL.  I’ve ordered my copy. Do yourself a favour and do likewise.

Watercress on iTunes!

5 October 2008

Back in the early aughts there was a fantastic band in Belfast called Watercress. They were an accoustic four-piece that included mandolin, string bass and disgeridoo as well as the traditional guitars and drums, they sang in their own Belfast accents, their lyrics and melodies were imaginative, odd and funny, and they played with a jazzman’s sense of comic timing.

They recorded a bunch of EPs, and an album, Bummer. They were really, really good. And of course they never made any money and broke up.

Last I heard Dan Donnelly, the mandolin/didgeridooist, was performing and recording in a more conventional singer-songwriterly idiom in America with his band Sonovagun. What became of Brian Acton, the guitarist, or the drummer and bass player whose names I can’t immediately remember I have no idea.

When my copy of Bummer wore out I had to source a second hand copy over the internet. But good news! You can now get Bummer on iTunes!

I can’t recommend it highly enough.  I can hardly give you a sample of the music, but for those of you who like lyrics, here’s my favourite song on the album, “Skyrocket”:

I’m hopelessly chasing a skyrocket
I’m hoping to put it in my pocket
But I know if ever I got it
It would burn me and hurt me with ease

I once thought that maybe I could get it
But in order to keep it I would wet it
So maybe it’s better I should let it
Burn brightly and leave me behind

I can’t help but try and catch it
There’s no other beauty can match it
I know that I’ll burn, but I’ll never learn
To just sit back quietly and watch it.

With a bit of luck they’ll put the EPs on next, and the glory that was Watercress will be reborn!

Have we learned nothing?

3 October 2008

Listening to the radio this evening about the banking crisis and the big government bailouts. The presenter asks the expert guest if this means that house prices will start to “recover”. After all that’s happened, the universal assumption that hyperinflation in the housing market is good for the economy remains unchallenged.

I’m no economist, but it seems to be that all economists do, in the media at least, is mislead people about the nature of money.  The fact is, economic growth that isn’t fuelled by increased production is a mirage and will always be wiped out by inflation.  That’s what a recession is – the economy borrowed from the future, and now it’s left with the debt.  And if you raise the price of a commodity so high that nobody can afford to buy it, nobody will buy it until you drop the price.  Basic supply and demand.  House prices need to fall, or everybody but a handful of very rich people will be priced out of the market.

A house’s increase in value is nothing more than the increased willingness of buyers to spend money on it – a house that’s gone up in value by 50% is not a 50% better house – it’s exactly the same house it was before.  It’s imaginary value.  A mirage.  House price hyperinflation will always lead to economic recession.  The only people to benefit from house price hyperinflation are people who own multiple houses, and the rest of us suffer the consequences.  It needs to stop.