philmophlegm: (Lego Rock Band)
Some songs claim to be cheesy, but they're no more cheesy than those weird orange rubber things that Americans put on cheeseburgers. Pretty much all of Journey's output is proper cheese. And this is a particularly mature unpasteurised cheddar with quite a bit of blueing. It's easily their most famous song, and to be honest it's their only really memorable one.



The sort of song that is best appreciated on a long solo car journey with a car stereo good enough that you can turn it up loud enough to conceal the fact that you can't hit the high notes like the actual singer can...
philmophlegm: (How did it come to this?)
I got into Blind Guardian because I spotted on Amazon once that there was this heavy metal concept album ('Nightfall in Middle-Earth') based on Tolkien's 'The Silmarillion', and seriously, who wouldn't want a German heavy metal Silmarillion concept album in their life? This is one of the songs from that album. It's Turgon thinking to himself following his conversation with Ulmo (the one where Ulmo shows him Gondolin and persuades him to move his people there in secret). Ulmo has told Turgon that there is hope for the Noldor, but that it "lies beyond the coast" and that one day "the winds will change" - Ulmo tells Turgon to leave a suit of armour behind in Nevrast, which will be found by Tuor, who will come to Gondolin and ultimately father Earendil who will sail west to the Undying Lands and gain the help of the Valar against Morgoth.

Great song though.

philmophlegm: (Bush Tucker Man)
A slight change of pace from Song 45. I was a late convert to AC/DC. This is one of their better songs. I wonder how many heavy metal fans have been (consciously or subconsciously) more attracted to fat girls than they otherwise would have been because of this song. AC/DC - clearly a feminist band.



Actually, if you prefer your AC/DC with a more Australian singer and a younger, more mental Angus on lead, then check out this much earlier rendition from 1977:
philmophlegm: (Dawn over the Tamar)
The random number generator known as Bunn has selected this song from my longish shortlist. It's a song she refers to as 'The Combine Harvester Song' for reasons which will become obvious when you listen to it. It's nothing like the Wurzels' combine harvester song though. Who would have guessed that there could be two wholly different songs concerning combine harvesters? You might remember Henley's song 'The Boys of Summer', which was a big hit (number 1 in the US and won a Grammy). Well, this was the B-side.



Sorry about the poor video and sound quality. Like I said, this is an obscure B-side - it wasn't even on the original LP, only on the cassette and CD versions. Really good album though, 'Building the Perfect Beast', with half of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers as his backing band plus guests like Lindsey Buckingham and Belinda Carlisle.
philmophlegm: (Concentrated power)

"We can all put aside our partisan differences for a moment and agree that this Trump-Clinton “Dirty Dancing” duet is the best thing to come out of the debate."

Don't trust "factcheckers". Maybe it’s just my innate cynicism and a background as a professional sceptic that always makes me doubt someone who claims to be “unbiased” when giving you “the facts”.

Why Truman fired MacArthur. Fascinating account.

Weaker Sterling is (on balance) somewhere between good and very good for the UK economy.

...and another article making a similar argument.

Tolkien might not have been too impressed by the current trend to concentrate on the ethnicity of science fiction and fantasy authors rather than the quality of their work.

There is no such thing as trickle-down economics.

This is the best explanation of why so many people will vote for Donald Trump that I've seen.

Ched Evans is Not Guilty. Here's ten myths about the case that need to be busted.

Who is winning in Labour and the Liberal Democrats' race to be the most anti-semitic party?

Dennis Byrd didn't deserve to die in a car crash.

Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' slowed down is amazingly good. (Thanks beckyc)

18 Game of Thrones moments improved by quotes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Given the dearth of available options, who should American conservatives vote for in the presidential election?

Are we seeing the beginning of a political realignment in the UK? Interesting lecture.

Here's a particularly unsubtle example of simple corruption from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth.

Political map of Europe, year-by-year from 3650BC to 2016AD.

70-year-olds play D&D for the first time.

The third most likely person to become the next President of the United States, and how he would do it. OK, it’s beyond unlikely, but not impossible…

philmophlegm: (Ben Folds)
'The Louisiana Gator Boys' being...

B. B. King, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, Gary U.S. Bonds, Eric Clapton, Clarence Clemons, Jack DeJohnette, Bo Diddley, Jon Faddis, Isaac Hayes, Dr. John, Tommy "Pipes" McDonnell, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Preston, Lou Rawls, Joshua Redman, Paul Shaffer, Koko Taylor, Travis Tritt, Jimmie Vaughan, Grover Washington Jr., Willie Weeks, Steve Winwood...

and a few more.


Blues Brothers 2000 (sequel to the original film) is a largely terrible film almost saved by a great soundtrack. This is the best song.




And if you'd prefer the clip from the film that includes the song, you can watch this video. I warn you though, it's not a good film. (Of course the original is a classic. The best musical of all time, in my opinion.)

philmophlegm: (Flag)
This is a fun song from this band's first album. Like many bands, their first album seemed great and full of good stuff (this is the best song), but their second was much duller and I've never bothered with the third or fourth. Apparently they're now on indefinite hiatus. Shame. They had potential.

philmophlegm: (Wrexham club shield)

The latest target of the PC police - Gilbert & Sullivan.

"Controversy as Chester Zoo opens 'Wrexham Scally Enclosure'". (I should point out that Homo Wrexhamius Scalliensis Chavus is pretty much confined to the southern part of Wrexham, not the nice bit where I’m from…)

Why Gandhi is such an asshole in Civilisation.

The Curious Case of the (Medieval) Weapon that Didn't Exist

Why you can't just have more quantitative easing to get rid of the national debt.

This is not a 512gb microSD card.

The worst football kits of all time. They’re all bad, but Colorado, seriously…?

This month's best headline is from an astronomy website.

"A lousy, stupid, no good, bad, law is being proposed."

Star Wars Episode IV in a single image. (OK, it’s a very big image, but still…)

Minimalist, anonymous rooms are probably not a good place to do teamwork.

"We all owe a significant debt to Richard Murphy." No, really.

I'm an only child, so I can't really relate to this. Nevertheless I thought it was a sweet film about growing up being “Player Two”.

Woman accidentally joins search party looking for herself.

Today's most widely misinterpreted piece of economics, from the IMF. There are two arguments put forward in the paper. The first is that there are risks associated with capital account liberalisation (allowing money into and out of the country with less regulation). The second is that although high public debt is bad for growth and welfare, for countries with excellent records of debt repayment, like the US, the UK and Germany, a “credible medium-term fiscal consolidation” makes more sense than a “fiscal noose today”. In other words, slowly bringing down debt as a percentage of GDP, not slashing everything to balance the budget as soon as possible. Now that’s pretty much what the UK’s current fiscal policy is. Still I suppose “IMF economists broadly agree with George Osborne” isn’t quite as good a headline as “You’re witnessing the death of neoliberalism – from within”. Seriously, this is a paper that says “There is much to cheer in the neoliberal agenda. The expansion of global trade has rescued millions from abject poverty. Foreign direct investment has often been a way to transfer technology and know-how to developing economies. Privatization of state-owned enterprises has in many instances led to more efficient provision of services and lowered the fiscal burden on governments”… and Facebook (and one of our less reputable newspapers) is full of idiots claiming that “we are witnessing the death of neoliberalism”.­

philmophlegm: (Fleetwood Mac)
The random number generator (bunn) seems to be turning up a lot of Stevie Nicks at the moment. This fabulous song is actually from former Fleetwood Mac lead guitarist Rick Vito's 1992 solo album. Vito was one of Lindsey Buckingham's replacements in the late 80s. He's a chronically underrated blues guitarist. And since the song is a duet with Stevie Nicks, it's almost like uncovering a lost track from Fleetwood Mac's Behind the Mask album (which I like a lot even if nobody else does). It's obscure enough that I can't find a proper video, so you'll have to make do with this.

philmophlegm: (Fleetwood Mac)
My usual random number generator is still out walking the dogs, so tonight's random numbers are brought to you by the person previously known on LJ as amychaffinch. And this is the song she randomly selected:



Not especially representative of Miss Nicks's solo work and also something that sounds nothing at all like a Fleetwood Mac song. If anything I think it sounds a bit like a Cynid Lauper song. Proper 80s fashions. And is it me or does one of the male dancers look a bit like Richard E. Grant?

Probably not that famous over here (the single peaked at 54 in the UK). On the other hand, if you think it's strangely familiar, it might be because you recognise it from one of the adverts for Grand Theft Auto V:
philmophlegm: (Fleetwood Mac)
This next song was one of the two bonus tracks on the green Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits album that you still see at motorway service stations. It was also my first Fleetwood Mac album. This is Mac immediately after guitarist/singer/songwriter/producer Lindsey Buckingham had quit. He was replaced by blues guitarist Rick Vito (who is one of my favourite guitarists in his own right) and country/rockabilly guitarist and singer Billy Burnette.

This got a single release and so has a nice video for MTV and such, but you rarely hear it nowadays, and it's not a song that the band plays in concert any more. Shame, because I think it's nice. One of Christine McVie's best songs, in my opinion.

philmophlegm: (911)
This is from the album 'Traveller'. A heavy metal concept album inspired by my favourite science fiction roleplaying game. How can you not like that?

I apologise for the sound quality in this video clip. But I love the fact that just before they start the first song, the lead singer is discussing vector-based movement in RPG starship combat. He asks the crowd at a metal gig "How many of you are familiar with vectors?" to which the only possible answer from the audience was "I'M FAMILIAR WITH METAL!!!"




This version has rather better sound:
philmophlegm: (How did it come to this?)
Blind Guardian is a German power metal band that decided that being a German power metal band was still too cool, so decided to make most of their songs about fantasy literature. That's seriously nerdy. They even have an entire concept album based on The Silmarillion ('Nightfall in Middle-Earth', which is ace). This song is not from that album, but is obviously based on a work of fantasy literature. And I think it's great.

philmophlegm: (B7)
Odd David Bowie fact. According to his biographer, the name of the character 'Major Tom' in Space Oddity and Ashes to Ashes was inspired by a poster for a local entertainer that David Bowie saw when a boy - Tom Major. That same Tom Major was the father of the former Prime Minister John Major.
philmophlegm: (Kasumi)
I'm just about old enough to remember when Bryan Adams was cool, something that I imagine anyone not well into their forties would struggle to believe was ever the case. But there was a Bryan Adams before that awful Robin Hood song that spent seemingly most of 1991 at number 1 in the charts. (I'm also old enough to remember when singles charts weren't just random dance acts and boy bands.)

And this was a damned good song. I really like the Bowling for Soup cover version too, but I've decided to present the original to you. Here's the video:



You may recognise the girl in the video as Lysette Anthony. She was quite the British starlet at the time. There was a sitcom with the bloke out of Boon and the woman who played Marjorie in To The Manor Born (the name of the sitcom escapes me) and she was also in a few historical dramas featuring young ladies in tight corsets breathing in and out a lot. The photographer David Bailey called her "The Face of the Eighties". Her career seems to have dried up since then and she's apparently been living on benefits in a grotty part of London.

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