Thursday, 31 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Nineteen

A song from your favourite album.

I find it hard to come down on the side of one all time favourite album, but I think on balance it's probably 100 Broken Windows by Idlewild. Having said that, mere moments ago I had a whole post typed out about why it was Hope is Important, but then I looked at the track listings again and changed my mind.

This probably isn't a static arrangement.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Eighteen

A song you wish you heard on the radio.

I think the world would be a better place if everyone in the world heard the following on the radio EVERY DAY:

LAWL, not really. But seriously, I actually do think that. I spend most nights lying awake in bed wishing the lost art form of the disco odyssey would hurry up and make a triumphant comeback already.

Alternatively, it'd be pretty sweet to have a bit of Cancel the Astronauts on the airwaves.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Seventeen

A song you always hear on the radio.

I only really listen to comedy on the radio, and occasionally 6 music on weekends when pottering about in the kitchen.

*puts on radio*

They're playing Rope, from the forthcoming new Foo Fighters album. It's alright, but no Everlong. Or Learn To Fly. Or Big Me. I think the trouble is they've stopped making silly videos, to be honest.

Monday, 28 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Sixteen

A song you used to love but now hate.

This is more difficult than it has any right to be, I think because of my self-sabotaging definition of the word 'hate'. It's too strong an emotion to apply to songs I merely don't like anymore...

So here's one of the many pop songs that I bought the single of, but would never actively choose to listen to again. I'm not sure if I ever loved it, to be honest, but CD singles used to be 99p in those days. And actually I did start to hate it - not long after buying it as a matter of fact. I remember I set the CD on fire to see what would happen during a pyromania phase at about 14, which is noteworthy because I NEVER get rid of tapes or CDs, however embarrassing they might be.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Fifteen

I must confess to being a little bit disappointed in the lack of interest in the possibility of me doing a vlog where I demonstrate the process of 'horn voice'. A week ago I posted to say that I knew all the words to Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, and that if I got ten comments on said post, I would make a vlog - that's a video blog - showcasing my very best impression of the horn-like timbre of Mozza's voice. Thus far I've only had four, which means that according to internet law, I almost certainly won't be able to do it.

*Le sigh.*

Nevermind though eh. Life goes on, and today in the 30 Day Song Challenge I am required to post a song that describes me.

There are several songs out there that are named after me, but I'm not sure any of them fit the brief. Elvis Costello's version of me says I have a husband and that this world is killing me, which is a little melodramatic. Whitmore claim they want to talk to me, but they never call or write. And the Slowdive one says "Alison I'll drink your wine, I'll wear your clothes when we're both high" which is inappropriate chat given they're total strangers.

So instead I chose Tom Lehrer, and Poisoning Pigeons in the Park. We'll murder them all amid laughter and merriment, indeed.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Fourteen

A song that nobody would expect you to like.

Surely this ought to be posed to the general public, rather than me? I don't really know what people would expect me to like or dislike. My nu-metal past has been well documented, as have my punk, ska and indie leanings. Yesterday I posted a cheeky pop song and a couple of days before that admitted that I can't even find it in me to hate happy hardcore with the same vitriol of my teens. Last week I went to see Sonata Arctica, who are a power metal band. I honestly try to be open to anything.

With that in mind, I guess I'll have to show some love for 13 year old Rebecca Black, youtube sensation and songwriter extraordinaire. I actually wrote about her earlier in the week, here.

Friday, 25 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Thirteen

A song that is a guilty pleasure, you say?

Presumably this is meant to be something you are embarrassed to like, but I like quite a lot of crap and don't have a huge amount of shame about the matter.

Still, I'm pretty sure this qualifies:

Thursday, 24 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Twelve

A song from a band you hate.

This is quite hard. Theoretically I hate U2 because Bono... is Bono. But I don't actually hate their music, particularly. I dislike Pearl Jam, but I don't hate them. I have oft discussed my aversion to the despicable Mull of Kintyre but I'm not sure if I know anything else by Wings. And whilst I don't see the point of Jedward or The Cheeky Girls, they're not doing anyone any harm.

I did used to find it pretty hard to cope with Bonkers compilations, but I think they make a lot more sense now that I am old enough to understand the context they're designed for - a soundtrack to drag races around the tesco car park between spotty teenage boys.

So yeah, the following is a song from a CD franchise I used to hate, but now tend to ignore. Life is too short to spend scrubbing the bile off the back of one's tongue.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Eleven

A song from your favourite band.

That would be The Clash, and Career Opportunities seems a pretty pertinent track to choose, given the current economic climate and all this Big Society baws.

They offered me the office / offered me the shop / said I'd better take anything they got / Do you wanna make tea at the BBC? / Do you wanna be / do you really wanna be a cop? / Career opportunities, the ones that never knock / every job they offer you's to keep you out the dock / career opportunities, the ones that never knock.

I'm posting the version from Sandinista, where they got a bunch of kids to sing it. I think this is fantastic because it gives an extra dimension to an already political and angry song. Well done that band.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Ten

Today friendface decrees I must share a song that makes me fall asleep.

In my head this sort of implies that for most people, there's a song out there so mind numbingly tedious they nod off on hearing the first few chords.

If that's the case, I've yet to find my one. But I did used to float down the river to bedfordshire with a bit of post rock playing softly in the background and my funky purple star shaped lights glowing away above me. I'm not allowed to do that anymore though, because Captain Tact thinks it perverse to listen to post rock quietly. It is a pretty different experience, to be fair.

Anyway, I could've picked anything on Yndi Halda's Enjoy Eternal Bliss album really. If you want to relax, stick this on and have a lie down with candles or fairy lights (or the manly equivalent, which is of course a roaring fire which you've made yourself from bits of old stuff).

Monday, 21 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Nine

A song that you can dance to.

WELL. What type of dancing are we really honing in on, here? Technically you can dance to anything, but the world of highland doesn't really appreciate my sweet moves, even though I often incorporate a mean pas de basques*. FYI, by 'often' I mean 'rarely'.

Anyhoo, my style of dancing - sort of semi pogo not really sure what I'm doing so I'd better have another gin and get on with it - is suited to the following.

*apparently it's not spelt paddy bah - who knew?!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Eight

A song you know all the words to.

Damn, I've already done Bat Out Of Hell... Oh, I know. The Smiths - Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now! Best sung in horn voice. If you don't know what that is, tell me and I'll give you a demonstration. Maybe.

In fact, if I get 10 comments on this post requesting a horn voice vlog, I'll make one for you. How's that for a bargain?

Saturday, 19 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Seven

A song that reminds you of a certain event.

The hardest part of this was thinking of an event, oddly. My first instinct was last Hogmanay and the song would be Justboy by Biffy Clyro, but it's already been done over on friendface. I also considered Yes by McAlmont and Butler, which reminds me of APRIL THE EIGHTEENTH - a night out that has gone down in history amongst my friends for being one of the funnest things ever to happen to us.

But I think I will choose the Orbital version of the Doctor Who theme, which reminds me of the first time the alternative music society at uni DJ'd the main venue in the students's union, and got a crapload of people dancing to it. Which was awesome.

Friday, 18 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Six

A song that reminds you of somewhere.

Rollin' by Limp Bizkit reminds me of being in my living room during exam leave with a load of mates watching Kerrang TV instead of doing any revision. WE USED TO DO THE DANCE.

As King Creosote would say (although almost definitely not about this set of circumstances), I'm not one bit ashamed. Those were good times, and enormous jeans.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Five

Day five is a song that reminds you of someone.

This didn't involve too much thought, to be honest - I chose Bat Out Of Hell, by Meat Loaf. It reminds me of the stars of this video.

Alternative picks includes Since You've Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson, Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel, and Drunken Driver by Ferlin Husky. I think the people involved all know who they are.

It's interesting how certain songs can bring to mind particular memories of particular people, even years later. Well, I say interesting - it's one of those things that makes you go 'hm' and then forget all about it.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Four

Today I am asked for a song that makes me feel sad.

In the same way that some women cry over a pair of beautiful shoes* I have been known to get a bit emotional over Billy, Don't Be A Hero. And REM's Everybody Hurts, although I feel that was cheapened by the Haiti fundraiser, when Simon Cowell apparently didn't understand the lyrics of the song and essentially suggested they should all buck up. One, by Metallica, tugs at the heartstrings for a couple of different reasons; and Knocking on Heaven's Door can be pretty traumatic if you're feeling tired and emotional.

But whilst all of those are devastating in their own way, there's nothing quite like Bonnie Tyler wailing IT'S A HEARTACHE! NOTHING BUT A HEARTACHE! LOVE HIM TILL YOUR ARMS BREAK! THEN HE LET'S YOU DOWN! And you know she means it, too.

*The same but entirely different. Who doesn't get teary over shoes from time to time?

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Three

Day three is a song that makes you happy.

There are lots of songs which fit that description, but one of my more recent favourites is Every Goliath Has Its David by The Boy Least Likely To. Yes it's twee, but I don't care.

Monday, 14 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day Two

Today I'm required to post my least favourite song.

This is probably Mull of Kintyre by Wings, to be honest, but I blogged about that for Let's Get Lyrical not very long ago at all and it would be overkill to do it again.

I looked at some other people's hated tracks for inspiration, but they left me cold. One of my bezzies hates the nation's sweetheart, Cheryl Kerl - how could I possibly condone that?! Meanwhile a Google search for 'terrible songs' was shockingly unhelpful.

Then all of a sudden, I remembered the existence of Simply Red! I was a little bit sick in my mouth of course, but on recovering all I had to do was decide which of their songs was the worst. Which only took about 0.1 seconds in all honesty - for me, Fairground was the runaway winner. Of all the things that might inspire fear / hatred of Mick Hucknall, this video is the one that does it for me.

I hated it when it was released in 1995, when I was ten years old and its 4 weeks at number 1 seemed interminable (I listened to the radio a lot at that age, particularly the Top 40); and I don't like it any better now. Eurgh.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

The Facebook users amongst you are probably already aware of the 30 Day Song Challenge .

Essentially you post a song a day according to a set of rules set by - three monkeys, if the community profile picture is to be believed. Loads of my friends and acquaintances are doing it, and some were discussing it in the pub the other night. Apparently it's surprisingly difficult.

Anyhoo, I thought I might do it here, because it means I can set up posts in advance, which might come in handy as I struggle to juggle all my many blogs and projects.

Day One is meant to be your favourite song, which is Train in Vain by The Clash.

I'm fairly sure I first got into The Clash at the age of 15. I remember sitting on the floor in the kitchen of my parents' house, with the patio door open and the sun shining in, as I listened to my mum's copy of The Clash: The Singles for the first time. I think it was after an exam, but I'm not sure which one... anyway, from then on it was love.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

My Day

Today I have mostly been trying to persuade people to 'like' 12 Books in 12 Months on Facebook.

I don't really know why, to be honest. I get weekly emails from King Zuckerberg in his gold plated tree house sniping away about the fact that the page use is down and nobody likes me and I'd be as well giving up because I'm never going to go back and finish these books anyway... but I don't really pay much attention to those.

However, the slightly obsessive stat freak within would quite like the number of 'likers' to increase.

In case you don't know what I'm talking about, if you click the button to 'like' a page on Facebook, whenever a link or something is posted on that page it then appears in your stalkerfeed. (Or FB homepage, if you will.) I only update the 12 Books in 12 Months page a couple of times a week, because I don't want to be the annoying spammer who everyone hates. But I think perhaps I ought to up the ante a little bit because apparently there are still quite a few people I am ostensibly friends with who remain completely oblivious to the project.

Obviously the fact that someone 'likes' the page doesn't mean they are planning to interact with it any further than that, say by making suggestions. Still, they might mention it to other people who will, and at least that way word may spread. Which would be quite good.

So, the aim is to get to 100 'likes' by 10pm, and I will plug any pages or projects that these new likers would like me to do. It's now 8.50pm and there are 8 'likes' to go before I hit the target.

Can it be done?

Ask me again in an hour and ten minutes.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


It was a point of immutable fact that Steve Squirrel was a total blether.

“You’re a total blether, Steve Squirrel,” his mother used to tell him, as if just saying it out loud was all the proof needed.

“I know, mum,” he would reply, eyes downcast in a vague approximation of contrition. “I’m sorry.”

He wasn’t really sorry, though. Steve was utterly convinced that talking to people was the only way he would ever get to have an adventure, and adventure was what he craved more than anything.

Steve Squirrel talked to trees, plants, ducks, geese, owls, insects, rabbits, pigeons, seagulls, and sometimes even rocks. If ever you visit Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Gardens, and a squirrel scampers up to you, chittering away nineteen to the dozen, it’s almost certainly Steve.

His mother said he should avoid speaking to human beings, because sometimes they turn nasty and poke you with sticks. But Steve had no intention of being such a scardey tail. After all, nasty humans were the ones most likely to bring with them a promise of adventure. Any day now, one might turn out to be a burglar, or someone who drives more than 20mph in school zones, or a heavy metal fan. Then perhaps Steve would be able to foil one of their dastardly plots, and he would be a hero.

The type of human being that he really longed to meet, however, was a pirate.

Not the nasty kind you see in the news these days, always kidnapping Scandinavian tourists and demanding impossible ransoms. An old fashioned pirate, with a hook for a hand and an in-depth knowledge of rum, and pistols, and buried treasure. Pirates, Steve knew, were always having adventures. Oh, what he wouldn’t give to put out to sea in a ship full of bloodthirsty buccaneers!

One day he was daydreaming of how this would all go down, when a group of four year old boys dressed in bandanas and eye patches descended on the gardens for a birthday picnic.

Steve didn’t notice they were there at first – although how he managed to daydream his way through all that sugar fuelled whooping and shrieking is a mystery – and in fact his first interaction with the crew came when the leader poked him in the bum with a plastic cutlass.

“Aaaaarrrrrrr,” the pirate shrieked impressively, before collapsing into giggles.

“Parrot?” he asked Steve, hopefully.

“No,” Steve said sourly, rubbing his posterior, “I’m not a –”

He stopped.

Maybe this was his opportunity for adventure!

“I mean... squawk! Squawk! Pieces of 8!”

The pirate captain picked his nose distractedly.

Quick as a flash, Steve ran up the side of his leg and perched on the boy’s shoulder.

“Parrot!” the boy’s face split into an enormous grin. “Your name will be... Swishy!”

Steve frowned.

“But my name is Steve,” he said.

“Come on Swishy,” the pirate captain ordered, “let’s play pasta passel!”

He ran back over to the rest of his crew, who were sitting in a circle as various of their mothers laid out a picnic for them.

“There you are,” said one of the human mothers. Steve assumed she must be responsible for the pirate captain.

“Swishy wants to play pasta passel,” the captain announced.

“We already played pass the parcel this morning,” his mother reminded him, “don’t you remember? We played it four times, two of which didn’t even have a parcel, but we had to keep going because you cried when I said it was time for musical chairs.”

“They’re too small for musical chairs anyway,” one of the other mums interjected, emptying a packet of crisps into a plastic bowl.

“Let’s not get into that now,” the pirate’s mum said, through gritted teeth, “not in front of the children.”

“Swishy wasn’t there before,” the pirate said. “We have to play again.”

“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Steve said, “I don’t even like pasta all that much to be honest.”

“Who is Swishy?” the pirate’s mum enquired, looking at her son properly for the first time.

“Oh. My.”

“Oh my goodness that’s adorable!” Cooed one of the other mums, “Hold still Josh, and let me take a photo!”

She produced a disposable camera and started snapping away.

“Get that thing off you,” Captain Josh’s mum said in a voice barely more than a whisper, “now.”

“No,” Josh replied, “he’s my parrot.”

“He’s probably riddled with disease,” she groaned, handing a plate of cocktail sausages to the nearest child, who took it as a sign to dig in.

Within moments, all the pirates were scrabbling for food, two of the mums were screaming – one with laughter, the other in an attempt to restore order – and Steve had had enough of being a parrot.

“Happy Birthday, Captain,” he whispered to Josh.

Then he leapt off his shoulder and ran as fast as he could back to his mum.

“Have you been blethering to humans, Steve?” she eyed him suspiciously. “You’ve got that look about you.”

“Yes, mum,” he admitted. “But I don’t think I’ll do it again.”

She nodded in satisfaction.

“Not for a while, at least,” he added under his breath.

After all, the next group of pirates to visit might be an entirely different story.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


What a night that must have been.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Breakfast At Tiffany's

It's been a while since I posted a graffiti spot.

There are a lot of these spray painted around where I live at the moment. They're not all Audrey - there's a bird house, frinstance, and these bits and pieces.

I think they're quite nice.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Animal Cruelty

You may have been aware last week that there were a few Daily Record headlines about animals mauling children. There was one where a girl got kicked to death by a horse* and another where a seven year old boy was savaged by a dog.

I think we can fairly safely say that innocent children being mauled by dogs is a BAD THING. And I would like to stress that in this particular case, all the child did was go to pet the dog, which then went for him, and it was awful.

However, the headline did briefly put me in mind of that awful advert for oreos. You know, the one where the small boy tortures his dog by showing it how to eat a biscuit in the most patronising manner imaginable (since when did dogs not know how to eat stuff?) and then going "but mum says dogs aren't sposed to eat biscuits, so I'll have to eat yours too."

Then the dog whimpers unhappily, and a voiceover man says in a laughing voice, "Only Oreo!"

Only Oreo what? Condones the psychological torture of household pets?! That's not something to be proud of, guys.

In the spirit of speculation, if I was that dog, I'd certainly consider mauling the kid. Maybe I'd play the long game, and wait for him to get chronically obese through excessive biscuit consumption first, so he couldn't run away. But I definitely wouldn't take that kind of teasing lying down. Would you think it acceptable to munch on an Easter egg in front of a hungry diabetic? Or chow down on a tub of Ben and Jerry's in front of someone trying to come to terms with lactose intolerance? No. So why is it OK to wave a biscuit in front of a well behaved dog and then go "ha-HA, no treats for you, Chummy!" As if naming something 'Chummy' hasn't compromised your suitability to care for an animal enough!

Anyway, long story short, if that ad starred a snarling pitbull instead of an infinitely patient fox terrier, the dog would have definitely gotten those oreos and the child would be lacking a face. Only in this scenario, for once you'd be hard pressed to blame the dog.

*The headline used made it sound like a deliberate attack, which it wasn't - there aren't rogue gangs of horses targeting defenseless kids with an evil glint in their eyes.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Stuff To Do

I have agreed to dedicate a couple of hours a week to doing regular blog posts and other admin type stuff for Ten Tracks, which is a music site where you can download lots of shiny local music for low low prices. And having just gone back to work 4 days a week, the slightly ad hoc approach to writing that I adopted over the last couple of months is not going to cut the mustard. So I made a list of the minimum amount of stuff I want to be doing on a monthly basis, at least until I finish the temp job in July. At which point I might take on more...

3 posts a week here on Daddy Long Legs
3 posts a week on 12 Books in 12 Months
1 proper article a week on Jobless Graduate
1 post a week for Ten Tracks
1 post a fortnight for Mslexia
Minimum 1 article a fortnight (the opposite fortnight!) for The Edinburgh Reporter
Minimum 1 article a month for IWeTwoThree
1 article a month for Broughton Spurtle (Oot)
1/2 a month for the Guardian / STV local

All of which is in addition to a daily 2000 words or so of my 12 Books in 12 Months. And hopefully the odd pitch for paid writing work. And I'm the marketing person for Dandy Highwaymen, which is a traveling theatre company being set up by my very talented sister over the next few months.

At what point does the adage 'spreading yourself too thin' apply?!

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

One Man's Battle For Heart And Mind

If you were battling for heart and mind, would you do it in a phone box? In Broughton?

Course you would.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


Check it out - a wall mitten! You don't see many of those anymore. Unlike in bygone days when they were two a penny. Allegedly.

An elderly couple eyed me suspiciously for taking a picture of this. Maybe they thought I had dispatched the mitten's original owner in order to decorate the wall?

They can't prove nuffink.