2 years until we get out…
This is a bit of a disappointment if I’m honest. I was sold on this girl as soon as I read the ‘Gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ tag last year, her image and what she’s trying to create makes Amy Whinehouse look like a parody. All the Old Hollywood stuff and a bottle of Jim Beam made her very, very cool. The self made videos were part of the charm.
Like so many, the more exposure this lassie gets the further her creditability slides. It’s the curse of the studio album. If she put the publicists, modeling assignments and chats shows to one side, this girl would be so damn mysterious she’d be the most famous singer on the planet.
Older songs have been ‘revamped’, new stuff has appeared, and better stuff has been excluded. ‘Million Dollar Man’ my highlight but a couple of missing songs I picked up from YouTube last year ‘Kinda Outta Luck’ and ‘Queen of the Gas Station’ are better than a lot of the new stuff. As I said this album is not bad its just a bit dull and over polished. Still a better shout than anything by Adele.
Just came across this on YouTube, I know it’s probably part of an advertising campaign or something, but there’s always hope…
This week London has tried to dictate to Scotland how and when to hold a referendum on our own future. Not only does the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition have no mandate in Scotland they have no moral authority to tell us what to do anyway.
Especially when there guaranteed referendum not only comes with strings attached (e.g. date, body to run it, and voting age) but they use it (as usual) as a chance to slag us off. The more every one in Scotland hears the same old Unionist arguments about why Scotland can’t be independent it amounts to nothing more than “too wee, too poor and too thick”. This is an insult to everyone in Scottish and just watch as this tactic backfires in to given us nationalists our overall goal of independence. They offer no positive reason why remaining in the UK is good for us, it’s all negative propaganda. The scaremongering will continue until the autumn of 2014 when we will get our say whether to go it alone or stay part of the dying days of a dying Empire.
Now I know there’s a lot of hostility in England to the fact we ‘Jocks’ somehow live in a Utopia where we don’t pay for anything. Firstly Scotland voted for a government that believes in freezing the council tax. That believes in free and open higher education for all. That believes free health care also include no prescription charges etc. If England want these things, there’s nothing to stop them voting for a government that believes in these things also. At the end of the day we are spending what little money we are allowed in a way we see fit, looking after our population and not treating them as a cash cow for the privileged few.
Scotland has the greatest resource any country could ever want in the form of oil. If Scotland was independent we would be one of the richest countries in Europe on oil capital alone, and with a modest population of 5 million people the possibilities are endless. We’re all quick to point and laugh at the “nut job” Arab Sheiks who would sooner waste there vast fortunes on personal sky scrapers and super yachts but is Scotland really that much better? We’ve let the government based in another country walk in and take those profits off us. Aberdeen where the oil industry has been waiting on a city by-pass for decades but one of the first major infrastructure project undertaken with oil profits was London’s M25.
“The Squalid truth is that Britain is, and always has been, a state run by England for the benefit of England. Scottish Labour sided with England rather than Scotland over oil, which was a betrayal by the Scottish quisling Labour party” – Gordon Wilson, 2005.
One of the other arguments to emerge this week is based around Joan McAlpine’s argument that the Unionist parties are “Anti-Scottish”. So after a week of Unionist parties rolling out their old “too wee, too poor, too thick” arguments they seem to be offended at being called “Anti-Scottish”. Well I hate to tell you, running down your fellow countrymen as poverty stricken layabout dunces is Anti-Scottish. Get over your self and start taken account for the lies you’ve been telling the Scottish people for decades.
“The enemies of Scotland are not the English. It is the traitors within the gate. The unionist parties, whist claiming to be Scottish don’t wish for their own country the normal freedoms that every world citizen expects from their country” – Winnie Ewing, 2003.
For Labour, the Conservatives or Lib Dems to accuse Alec Salmond of rigging a result is laughable. We have to first remember that when Labour designed the Scottish parliament, they did it in such a way to always result in a Labour/Lib Dem coalition, it was never even thought any party let alone the SNP could ever have a majority. People in Scotland are not stupid it might have taken a decade but we finally elected a government who is accountable solely to the Scottish electorate and not there party bosses in London.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Milliband (or who ever is running the Labour party?) need to keep their patronising and condescending opinions out of Scotland. Why not get back to concentrating on illegal wars still being fought, bankers still getting obscene bonuses at the tax payer’s expense and what will no doubt be a heavy rise in fuel duty before the month is over. We the Scottish people overwhelmingly voted for a government that pledged a referendum on our future in the second half of this parliament, and that’s what we will have. One that is run in Scotland, for Scotland.
2011 hasn’t really been anything special in terms of music. The mainstream continues its decline with more boy bands, ghastly rap/r’nb numbers and ongoing story of a transvestite Madonna impersonator. Whinehouse’s death was without a doubt the biggest music story but dint really trouble me either way. Good music never truly goes away, it just getting harder to find, here’s my picks from the past 12 months.
No 1. Tom Waits - Bad As Me
Easily the most anticipated album of the year for me, it came like a bolt from the blue with a fantastic lunch back in August. It croons and snarls, it terrifying at points and reserved at others. There was nae chance of this album being anything other than epic.
No 2. The Black Lips - Arabia Mountain
Back on form after a poor follow up to 2008’s “Good Bad Not Evil”, Arabia Mountain is a real gem for fans of bluesy, countrified garage rock.
No 3. Throwing Muses - Anthology
Ok I know this strictly isn’t a proper album but we do get a bonus B-Sides/Rarities disc with it too which still beats most album releases this year by a mile. It also came in a pretty smart presentation book as well.
No 4. Screaming Trees - Last Words: The Final Recordings
This was probably the surprise of the year. Screaming Trees recorded an album in 1998 that was never released, the major wonder is why considering the quality of it. I don’t know if it ever got an official release outside of the US but the non the less its good.
No 5. 50 Foot Wave - With Love From the Men’s Room
This technically isn’t an album (its an EP) but it still deserves a mention not only because of the class songs but the because it was released free over a number of months via the bands websites.
No 6. Wild Flag - Wild Flag
Not quite the glory days of Sleater-Kinney but its not a bad effort.
No 7. Twilight Singers - Dynamite Steps
Greg Dulli returned this year with another solid effort. Whisky, cigarettes, and damnation cannot be beat in my book.
No 8. Lykke Li - Wounded Rythmes
Very original sounding album that mixes electronic, rock and tribal style music with ballads, good stuff.
No 9. J Mascis - Several Shades of Why
The Dinosaur Jr. front man released a solo acoustic effort that was also a pleasant surprise, couldn’t keep it acoustic also the way through, trade mark solos do make an appearance on a couple of numbers.
No 10. Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks - Mirror Traffic
After the money spinning Pavement reunion its back to work for Malkmus with this effort which could have been released by said band. A solid Pavement rip-off by the main man is not bad thing from where I’m sitting though.
Overrated Album of Year
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
This album has won a lot of awards and toped a lot of critics polls this year but I just don’t get it. I like PJ Harvey, she’s definitely a class act but this just leaves me cold and bemused.
Shocker of the Year
Sons and Daughters - Mirror Mirror
A once great Scottish band came out with this horrible totally pointless album. Sounds to me anyway that they’ve been listening to allot of Ultravox and someone told them that was a good sound, complete rubbish.
When a new Tom Waits album comes around it rarely fails to disappoint. For nearly 25 years now these releases tend to fall into two categories the stand alone and the sound track. The ‘stand alones’ tend to be the real gems and just as the case with 2004’s Real Gone, 1999’s Mule Varaitions and 1994’s Bone Machine, Bad As Me is no exception.
Bad as Me croons, it terrifies at points, its reserved at moments, it’s a full bag of tricks. The knack with Waits is he manages to sound completely unique to anyone else on the planet, the only comparison is with himself which is forever changing anyway.
‘Hell Broke Luce’ is a terrifying cross between a limerick and a rap. For the closer ‘New Years Eve’ we get another interpretation of Auld Lang Syne in ballad mode. You get a take on the Rolling Stones (including name checks for Jagger and Richards) in the bluesy ‘Satisfied’.
The originality in every thing Waits does is unique to him, nobody else sounds like this, nobody else writes songs like this. The physical release comes in a book format, even the quirky album launch video is a classic.
Ok I admit I’m a massive Waits fans, but there was nae chance of this album being anything other than epic.
Here’s some more proof that most folke are idiots. STV’s “Scotland Greatest Album” set out to pick the three best songs from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s and compile them into what they say would be Scotland’s greatest album. The 12 nominations for each decade would be chosen by a panel of ‘experts’ and the public would have the final say on the three songs to be selected for the final compilation.
Needless to say Scotland has produced a lot of rank rotten music over the years with most of it being represented here. Whether it’s the stale radio friendly guitar ‘rock’ of the 90’s (Travis and Texas), the smug and pompous art pop of the 80’s (Simple Minds and the Eurthymics) or just the plain naff that even your gran likes (The Proclaimers, Rod Stewart).
Here’s my picks………
The Average White Band - Pick Up the Pieces
The Skids – The Saints are Coming
The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Gamblin’ Bar Room Blues
The Vaselines – Son of a Gun
Jesus and Mary Chain – Head On
The Pastels – Nothing to Be Done
Edwyn Collins – Girl Like You
The Delgados – Pull the Wires From the Wall
Belle and Sebastian – Lazy Line Painter Jane
Sons and Daughters – Johnny Cash
Franz Ferdinand – This Fire
Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell – Rambling Man
I have restated the temptation to include Talking Heads even though dubious Scottish connections didn’t seem to bother the panel of ‘experts’.