From the monthly archives:

April 2014

#889: 1996, Garbage, Stupid Girl

April 30, 2014

My posting of Brody Dalle’s Meet the Foetus/ Oh the Joy, featuring Shirley Manson, reminded me that we had yet to post anything by the Edinburgh singer here at Songs to Learn and Sing. I’ve always had a bit of time for her sticking-two-fingers-up-at-the-world-when-I-can-be-arsed attitude. So, here’s a track from eighteen years ago, sampling the […]

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Patrick Mercer: Asking Questions Like It’s 1994

April 30, 2014

Cash for questions?  Really?  Are MPs incapable of learning anything from the recent past.    Are they really that venal and moronic?   In the case of Patrick Mercer it would seem so.  This is normally time to dig out that old quote from Marx about history repeating itself first as tragedy and then as farce.  But […]

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Farage bottles Newark – but what does that tell us about UKIP?

April 30, 2014

The resignation of the disgraced Tory MP Patrick Mercer will see a by-election in Newark sometime this spring – I’ll leave the psephological analysis and overview to the wonderful Jackie South. But the first interesting bit of political intrigue was the decision of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, not to stand. Now, if we know anything […]

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Week 17: Prat – UKIP

April 29, 2014

Last Week’s Prat of the Week Award goes to UKIP for proving at every turn that they are exactly as stupid, nuts and dishonest as we always suspected Firstly apologies for this post being a little late, as a result of the small (but perfect) matter of a major life changing event intervening. Now on […]

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#888: 1969, Neil Young, Cinnamon Girl

April 28, 2014

Here’s some good news – Allthatsleft warrior George East and Mrs East have had a happy event! So to commemorate said happy event, here is a song from the year of George’s birth, by one of his favourite artists (and indeed one of mine as well). It is also the second song that we’ve posted […]

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Week 17: Villain – Tony Blair

April 28, 2014

This week’s villainous villain is the former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bloody hell, it’s now come to a stage where the very presence of Tony Blair makes my blood boil. I only have to hear his supremely confident tones and I feel my hand itching for a non-existent revolver. Last week he decided to make […]

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Week 17: Hero – Samereh Alinejad

April 28, 2014

This week, our regular hero award goes to Iranian Samereh Alinejad, for sparing the life of her son’s killer The photographs in the paper were in turn first sickening and then heart-warming. The first image was of Balal, a young Iranian man, blindfolded with a noose around his neck. It appeared that a man and […]

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Just when you thought the Lib-Dems couldn’t get any stupider…..

April 26, 2014

….. up pops Danny Alexander wearing a high visibility vest to declare that Lib-Dems wouldn’t support a ‘minority government’ after the next election. What does that mean? Why have they said it? And why is it stupid. Well, it means that, if after the next general election no single party can form a government, then […]

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#887: 1966, The Byrds, Eight Miles High

April 23, 2014

In my last Song To Learn and Sing, The Three Johns’ Death of the European, I wrote about the importance of the independent record shop in my musical education in my teen years in the mid to late 1980s, as places where I was able to pick up the records that John Peel was playing […]

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2016 US Presidential Runners and Riders – Part 2: the Republicans

April 23, 2014

Earlier this year, I posted on the potential Democrat candidates for the 2016 US presidential elections. Clearly, that race currently looks as it is odds on for Hillary Clinton, but it is worth looking at the options in case health prevents her running. That is as true now as when I wrote the piece back […]

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#886: 1990, ACDC, Thunderstruck

April 22, 2014

Malcolm Young guitar hero at the helm of ACDC is, apparently too ill with dementia to perform live again, and as such ACDC have retired. I think that’s a tragedy. Alright, they may not have changed the face of rock and roll in the way that other bands who we eulogise on these pages have; […]

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Football, Man United and David Moyes

April 22, 2014

I went to two pubs yesterday – I know, two pubs on a school night, what kind of crazy alcoholic rock and roller I must be, and, in both of the pubs, the conversation around the bar was about Man United and the (then) impending departure of David Moyes. It seemed as though everyone had […]

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‘Jimmy Saville Claims’ – giving lawyers an even worse name.

April 22, 2014

Lawyers are not the most revered people in society – most people think that we’re either horrible heartless bastards who go around defending the worst people of the most unthinkable crimes, or else, we’re money grabbing parasites who earn from people’s misfortune. I’ve spent a lot of time on these pages trying to point out […]

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#885: 1975, Bob Dylan, Hurricane

April 21, 2014

Yesterday, former middleweight boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter died. He fought, but lost, the world title in 1964. But he is better known for what happened three years later, when he was convicted, along with his friend John Artis, for the double homicide committed in a bar in Peterson, New Jersey. He served eighteen years in […]

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Week 16: Prat – John Kerry

April 21, 2014

This week, our award for the greatest prat of the last seven days goes to US Secretary of State, John Kerry This is an award given in sadness rather than glee. I quite like John Kerry, and even knocked on Pennsylvanian doors for him in his doomed presidential run ten years ago. Yet it is […]

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Week 16: Hero – Caroline Lucas MP

April 20, 2014

This week’s hero of the week is the Green MP Caroline Lucas. You can become a hero in the eyes of the Allthatsleft team for the most obscure and wide-ranging acts – in the past people have been awarded the accolade for great sporting feats, great acts of moral courage or just for doing something […]

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Week 16: Villain – Andrea Leadsom

April 20, 2014

This Week’s Villain of the Week is the new Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Andrea Leadsom for her ‘creative’ tax arrangements for her property empire With the resignation of Maria Miller, the government underwent a minor reshuffle.  The main news story that emerged from this was the right wing press wetting its knickers in excitement […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #44: 1979, The Life of Brian (Terry Jones)

April 20, 2014

Roman centurion: ‘Crucifixion?  Very good. One cross each. First queue on the right’. So it’s the Easter weekend and as such the Cine-East Film Club is going to postpone its next tribute post until next week (after films dedicated to Philip Seymour Hoffman, Vera Chytilova and Maximillian Schell, we’ve still got tributes to Alain Resnais […]

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#884: 1985, The Three Johns, Death of The European

April 20, 2014

Yesterday was Record Store Day – a global celebration of the independent record shop, that vital life blood for new music.   Although the record shop like vinyl seemed to be inexorable decline over the last couple of decades, recent years have seen something of a revival.   As vinyl sales have reached their highest in a […]

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Why aren’t we all voting Green?

April 19, 2014

It doesn’t make any sense really. Think about it. A recent survey showed that 97% of meteorological and astro-physics academics said that global warming was real, massively significant and predominately the fault of human beings using fossil fuels. There have also been recent papers outlining the effect of global warming on the ice-caps, the increasing […]

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#883: 2014, Brody Dalle ft Shirley Manson, Meet the Foetus/ Oh The Joy

April 17, 2014

I’ve not had as much time as I would like to listen to much new stuff of late, meaning that the list of new albums I need to buy is steadily growing. It will be getting longer still at the end of the month, when Body Dalle’s first solo album, Diploid Love, comes out. I’ve […]

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The Long Shadow cast over Ukraine…

April 17, 2014

You can never understand a nation’s crisis without understanding its history. 6.8 million Ukrainians were killed in World War II: 16.3 percent of its population at the time, a proportion only exceeded in neighbouring Belarus (25.3%) and Poland (16.4%). Russia lost far more (almost 14 million) but was a smaller proportion of the population overall […]

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Pay finally outpacing inflation? Read the small print…

April 17, 2014

There has been lots of rightwing gloating about the Office for National Statistics (ONS) report yesterday that wage increases in March have exceeded inflation for the first time since 2008. The annnualised pay increase was 1.7%, compared to inflation (using the consumer price index) of 1.6%. That’s it! Recession over! Not quite. That annualised 0.1% […]

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In His Desperation Cameron Turns To God

April 17, 2014

I wrote yesterday about the signs of panic in the Toryverse about the stubborn polling of UKIP and the refusal of the British public to accept the heavily pushed conservative narrative (swallowed by 90% of the Westminster Village), that it is Labour who is in trouble and that the Tories are on a glide path […]

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#882: 1963, Gerry and the Pacemakers, You’ll Never Walk Alone

April 16, 2014

I was going to keep this song to one side, on the off chance that Liverpool won the title, but then I heard Gerry Marsden singing it at Anfield on the 25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy and I thought that it was more pertinent to celebrate that event with this song. People forget that […]

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Mr East Goes To The Movies 2014: Only Lovers Left Alive

April 16, 2014

Jim Jarmusch was one of the first American independent directors I really got into.   With his distinctive white quiff and his tendency to cast rock icons in his films like Tom Waits in Down By Law and Joe Strummer and Screaming Jay Hawkins in Mystery Train, there was an effortless cool about him and his […]

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UKIP and The Decline of The Times

April 16, 2014

I am not old enough to remember the apparent halcyon days of the Times before Rupert Murdoch got his grubby hands on the paper.  For me it has pretty much always been the weakest of the broadsheets.  With The Financial Times someway in the lead as the newspaper to be most relied upon for its […]

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#881: 1982, The Associates, Party Fears Two

April 14, 2014

I remarked in my recent Songs to Learn and Sing post on the Wild Beasts’Wanderlust that Hayden Thorpe’s affected vocal style reminded me of the Associates’ great front man, Billy Mackenzie.  It then occurred to me that we hadn’t had any Associates yet on Songs To Learn and Sing, which can’t be right. Party Fears […]

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Should the CPS pay Nigel Evans’ Legal Costs?

April 14, 2014

Nigel Evans has been acquitted of everything he was accused of. Ok. Fair enough. Good luck to the man, I hope he now goes on to live a very nice and productive life. As George East said, rightly, on these pages last week, the charges were bought by the CPS because they had taken an […]

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Week 15: Villain – Benjamin Netanyahu

April 14, 2014

This Week’s villain is the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. Bibi Netanyahu is no stranger to this award – and the reason for that s because he is a regressive, war mongering bully who appears hell-bent on keeping the Middle East in a state of perpetual and violent civil unrest. You hope that one […]

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