From the monthly archives:

August 2013

#740: 1980, Orange Juice, Falling and Laughing

August 16, 2013

As of yesterday and Jackie’s posting of the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Sidewalking we appear to have entered the Scottish part of Scottish week.  Scotland has made an extraordinary contribution to popular music, and we could comfortably do a Scottish Month without repeating an artist, so there was never really any need to appropriate New […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies 2013: Foxfire (Laurent Cantet)

August 15, 2013

Well,  now I’ve got the Cine-East Film Club back up and running, with 3 consecutive posts in 3 weekends, I can also re-launch my review slot for new films on release.   By my calculation there are about  20 new releases I have seen this year that I haven’t reviewed – I will, if I can […]

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Back of the Net Special: Ray North’s Pre-Season Predictions 2013-14 (part 2, the Tail End Charlies)

August 15, 2013

After my predictions for glory were roundly slated by all and sundry (I note with interest Geoff Elliott’s derogatory comments about my football knowledge, made just before he appeared to agree with everything I said!), I move on to the teams I expect to struggle this season. Sadly, it’s not that difficult to predict – […]

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#739: 1988, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sidewalking

August 15, 2013

There has been some debate of how Scottish our first two picks for our Songs To Learn and Sing Scottish week have been. For my money, early Waterboys (initially formed in Edinburgh) definitely count, Talking Heads (formed in New York by three friends who had met at university in Rhode Island, having grown up in […]

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Identity in the U.K.?

August 14, 2013

A quick quiz… I’ve been in two different towns in the same county today. See if you can work out which one has the left-wing MP, and which has the rabidly right-wing one. Town A is a charming old town of stone buildings laid over seven hills, two of which are topped by cathedrals, another […]

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#738: 1984, The Waterboys, Somebody Might Wave Back

August 14, 2013

It’s day 2 of the latest music theme week which has caused a bit of controversy amongst the gang with Charlie and George arguing like a couple of toddlers in a sack as to whether Talking Heads are a proper Scottish band. It strikes me that, as is often the case when we argue, both […]

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Back of the Net Special: Ray North’s Pre-Season Predictions 2013-14 (part 1, the Contenders)

August 14, 2013

Yes, it’s that time again – the pre-season training is complete, the summer signings have blended in with some high jinks on the pre-season tour to flog kits in the Far East and the new manager has learnt enough English to tell the media that he respects Manchester United and he intends to play a […]

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The Allthatsleft Book Club #6 – Howard Jacobson, Kalooki Nights

August 13, 2013

Of all cultures, perhaps the Jewish culture is better at taking the piss out of itself than any other, with the result often great comedy and comedians, one only has to think of Woody Allen, Mel Brookes,Larry David, George Burns etc etc. Of course, the Jewish comedians have a fair bit to play with – […]

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#737: 1979, Talking Heads, I Zimbra

August 13, 2013

by Charlie East-West Welcome to Scotland. I am currently galavanting around The Scottish Highlands, so I will have to keep this short and sweet before the wifi signal disappears off into a glen somewhere. As Scotland has produced some of the finest slabs of music in the history of absolutely everything – welcome to the […]

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Songs To Learn and Sing Golden Years #9: 1981

August 12, 2013

With my posting of Washington DC hardcore band, Minor Threat’s 46 second piece of punk genius, Straight Edge, 1981 became the ninth year to have had 20 songs posted on Songs To Learn and Sing (following in order of reaching that milestone: 1967, 1969, 1980, 1977, 2011, 1979, 2012 and 1978).  It now means that […]

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The Labour Party Leadership Goes To Sleep

August 12, 2013

What on earth is going on?  The Tories have their peckers up and scent victory.   The Tory press appears to be in full election mode, talking up ‘booming Britain’ (yes, really) and Cameron’s ‘glide path to victory’.  And what has been the push back against this, from Her Majesty’s Opposition?  Doodly squat. The Labour Party […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #18: 1970, Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson)

August 11, 2013

Palm Apodaca: Hey, follow that truck. They know the best places to stop. Rayette: That’s an old maid’s tale. Palm Apodaca: Bullshit! Truck drivers are the only ones that know the best places to stop on the road. Rayette: Salesmen and cops are the ones. If you’d ever waitressed, honey, you’d know that. Thursday saw […]

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Week 32: Hero – Mark Carney

August 11, 2013

This Week’s Hero of the Week Award goes to the new Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney From some of the press he has got, you would think that the new Canadian Governor of the Bank of England was a combination of James Bond and the Second Coming.   He is neither of these […]

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Week 32: Villain – Traditional Britain Group

August 11, 2013

This week, the Conservative faction the Traditional Britain Group have earned our regular award for villainous behaviour The Conservative Party has long had its loony right fringe: the Monday Club, the Freedom Association, the Conservative Democratic Alliance and now the Traditional Britain Group. This week, it was revealed (initially by Liberal Conspiracy) quite how obnoxious […]

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#736: 1978, Joy Division, Digital

August 10, 2013

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the sad premature death of Tony Wilson of cancer at the age of 57.  Wilson was, of course, head honcho of Factory Records and all round music business legend, with the emphasis firmly on the ‘music’, given his hopelessness as a businessman (which in the end would be the […]

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Week 32: Prat – Godfrey Bloom

August 9, 2013

This week’s prat award goes to Godfrey Bloom UKIP MEP for saying that it is“treason” to send overseas aid to “bongo bongo land.” Godfrey Bloom should be the type of man who is sitting in a pub, slowly getting off his head on warm beer. He then begins to get a glazed and swivel eyed […]

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Something for the Weekend: #2: Friday Night Lights

August 9, 2013

Something for the weekend? Buy the boxed set of Friday Night Lights immediately. When I first heard about the launch of the acclaimed, award winning US drama, Friday Night Lights on Sky Atlantic, I wasn’t convinced. A drama about a high school football team in small town Texas might not sound like the most appetising […]

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#735: 1965, Them, Here Comes The Night

August 8, 2013

Here I am on holidays: not the jungles of Costa Rica or the beaches of Turkey for me (nor indeed my last year’s jaunt around the US South) – I’m in Belfast for a fortnight travelling around the South family ancestral homeland. It’s a little wet this evening, but not quite in the same league […]

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Debunking Godfrey Bloom

August 8, 2013

UKIP clown politician Godfrey Bloom MEP yesterday declared that sending aid to Africa was ‘treason’ and said he had no idea why he can’t refer to the continent as ‘Bongo Bongo land’. Apart from his ignorant and racist opinions, he is claiming that he has raised awareness on the important issue of overseas aid. He […]

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UKIP targets #4: Sittingbourne and Sheppey

August 7, 2013

For the fourth constituency in our series looking at constituencies notionally won by UKIP in this year’s county council elections, we cross the Thames Estuary to Sittingbourne and Sheppey There is an explosion that could hit the town of Sheerness soon. No, this isn’t a clichéd political metaphor. A mile off the coast from the […]

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Sportsnight #17: 1989, Jocky Wilson v Eric Bristow

August 7, 2013

Good evening and welcome to Sportsnight. Tonight’s action comes from The Lakeside, and the 1989 World Darts Championships Final between Jocky Wilson and the “Crafty Cockney” Eric Bristow. By 1989, darts was beginning to decline in popularity. The game’s image had begun to spiral downwards leaving the Word Championships as the only televised tournament during […]

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#734: 2000, Day One, Love on the Dole

August 7, 2013

We have around 2.5 million people who are unemployed, an estimated 1 million people on zero hours contracts, 2 million people in part time jobs, around 400,000 new self employed workers since 2008, and a staggering 8 million people working less than 25 hours a week. It is bloody tough out there. Green shoots? My […]

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George Osborne’s Misplaced Economic Alchemy

August 7, 2013

The genius of cartoonist Chris Riddell was once again on display in the Observer on 28th July. This quite brilliant cartoon completely encapsulates all the elements that are currently being thrown in the economic cauldron by George Osborne. The cartoon highlights everything that is currently wrong with Osborne and this government. Unlike Osborne, this cartoon […]

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#733: 1931, Skip James, Devil Got My Woman

August 6, 2013

As is my tradition, amongst all of the reading I did while I was away on my recent holiday, I read one music book.   This time it was Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music by Ted Giola.    It is a fabulous read and one that gets away […]

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George Osborne: The Wet Nurse Chancellor

August 6, 2013

I am feeling particularly belligerent today. This is because of two things:- 1. Labour, and in particular, Ed Miliband passively standing back and letting the Tories shape the political debate. Repeatedly, Labour are ending up on the wrong side of the debate. Recent case studies include – trade union funding and also austerity. Labour should […]

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#732: 1941, Fats Waller, All That Meat and No Potatoes

August 5, 2013

Today we had the news that the first ever synthetically grown beefburger has been eaten. A snip at only £250k to produce: no doubt George Osborne will be tucking into one before his next speech to the House. A quarter-of-a-million pounder? So, a topical song from an artist we’ve yet to play here at Songs […]

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Week 31: Villain – Jim Messina

August 4, 2013

This week, Democrat political strategist Jim Messina gets our Villain of the Week award Everyone hates a turncoat and traitor, particularly if its your side they are abandoning. ‘Montanan’ Jim Messina (he’s actually a bit less Montanan than my Doncaster-born cousins are Californian) was Obama’s campaign manager in last year’s presidential elections. He is the […]

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Week 31: Hero – Stella Creasy

August 4, 2013

This Week’s unanimous choice for  our Hero of the Week Award is Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy for taking on the Twitter trolls Caroline Criado-Perez had been behind the successful campaign for Jane Austen to replace Charles Darwin on the new ten pound note.   The reaction amongst a small but deeply fucked up minority […]

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Week 31: Prat – Lord Howell

August 4, 2013

The winner (by a country mile) of this week’s prat award goes to former Energy Minister, and George Osborne’s father in law, Lord Howell for his howler of a gaffe on fracking within the North East of England. Lord Howell suggested that fracking should be carried out in the North East of England because it […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #17: 2001, The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke)

August 4, 2013

Austrian, Michael Haneke, is one of the greatest artists currently working in cinema.  He is a director beside whom the work of someone like Quentin Tarantino comes across as the shallow adolescent fare it largely is. Haneke has achieved the extraordinary feat of having both of his last two films win the Palm D’Or at […]

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