In, out , in , out , you take the pitch apart…

Travels as a footie fan take you here, there & everywhere as Lenin & McArthy said, up and down the length and breadth of this land supporting yer team, as well as overseas and as HMHB will tesify, the pull is magical – “All I want for Xmas is a Dukla Prague away Kit”- whilst we all marvel and admire the Snadfrods as they set off in their wonderful (German) vehicle , spare a thought for the lost souls who marvel at stadia and the wonders of technology all over the world…here the gremlinfc is at one of the few stadia in the world where the pitch can be taken out on rollers but it normally stays outside so it can get sun, rain etc – moving it in or out takes about 4 +half hours…Vorsprung Durch Technik…

Regrets Of A Reluctant Traveller

Oh, where do I start??

I’ve been co-incidentally on the road almost all day today – to and from a funeral in Cumbria – and so have loads to catch up on. As DarceysSis is fast asleep next to me I daren’t even play Shane’s movie, let alone open up any of the other posts from the last 30hrs or so.

Travelling : both a regular topic for many of my favourite bands, and a subject with much resonance to me & mine.

We’re out again tomorrow – Chester Zoo, I think – and won’t be travelling home from DarceysGran’s until late on Sunday, so Lord only knows when I will get round to my post for this, but I’ll promise you it IS coming and it is going to be boringly long!


So get your neck pillows ready; charge the in-car discplayers; check the fluid levels; pack the car hamper and fill the flask . . . oh, and make sure the kids have been to the toilet!

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

Ghoulies and ghosties and long leggety beasties.. FP’s Halloween Quiz

I won’t be in tomorrow night – out for a Halloween meal… I have rather a nice list of 20 songs or so – all linked to Halloween-type themes and so if you’re having a spooky evening in or indeed a Halloween party, you could do worse than put this on in the background. It all fits.

I am still fighting the good fight to convince my European colleagues that Halloween is not an American invention (although you could see why they might think that) but a very old feast day of Celtic origin and one which I grew up with.

Hope you have a Happy Halloween!

Go on then – couldn’t resist. Shoey’s was so great. I’ve made it into a quiz by blacking out the text. I’ll end up with massive egg on my face if the title displays at the top when you play it. But, hey, I’ll take the risk…..

Up-date: Forgot to include Javis’s finest Halloween hour – so I’ve added it at the beginning. Move breakable objects out of your reach if you listen to this as you will strike glam rock poses around the living room….

A-Z List Indexed With Topics

In last week’s RR blog, jforbes lamented the fact that the A-Z list did not indicate what topics the songs were for. So I volunteered to put together a website doing just that, as long as The Guardian didn’t take issue with it for copyright reasons.

Well, I have made a start to the project and you can see it at I am being quite ambitious here and not only have I broken the artist list up into individual A-Z pages, I will be listing the topics in an A-Z list and the topics by date published as well. Additionally, every topic will link to another page with the ten songs listed as well as links to the blog and column for that topic.

Right now only some of the links are active and I have added topics for only the Punctuation Marks and Numerals artists in the A-Z. I’ve also added pages for the two most recent topics.

So when you follow the link above, click on the A-Z by Artist link and then click on the topics to see how the layout works. You can click on any of the alphabet links in the A-Z by artists for the existing list, as yet not annotated with topics. You can click on the Topic by Date link for the ten topic pages I have done so far. For topic pages from this year I have added the B Lists as well but that is very time consuming and I am not sure I will continue to do so.

Originally I was going to call the site Themed Songs or Topical Songs but decided Readers Recommend: The Complete Index made more sense. I have yet to register an url but will do so if Maddy says the copyright issues are in order. I have put a copyright announcement at the bottom of each page. At this time I am not placing ads on the site but if The Guardian has no problem with my doing so, I may add some Google ads along the ledft side and bottom of the page as well as an link to Dorian’s book…but only if there are no issues with that.

I don’t know how long the blog and column have been running, but at least since 2005. That makes at least 200 topics covered so far. At fivw to ten topic pages a week, it would take me 20-40 weeks to compile the complete up to date index. If spillers are willing to pitch in, I will create templates that volunteers can use to put together pages and email them back to me. This might speed things up a bit.

I’d like your feedback…what do you think of such an index? Are there any additions you would make? Anything you think should be left out?

The link again is until I register an url and give it a permanent home.

Mac + Boxstr + Zipped playlist = 0kb

Can someone help me over this technological wall? I’ve tried to zip a load of mp3s on my trusty Mac and unstuff them on Boxstr, because it says it wants zip files, not sitx or owt like that. It uploads them, unstuffs them… and gives me a mass of 0kb files. Has anyone else had the same problem, and could you get around it? I was using the “Create archive of x items” feature under the File menu.

gallo + rza + booze = sexy results

genius film maker and singer vincent gallo has teamed up with genius song maker and actor RZA for a song for belverdere vodka  -  and it’s damn good! the song that is, i haven’t tried the vodka. i have plum vodka brewing in my larder which should be ready for christmas. !!! anyways…
it’s also  ten years since mondogenius “buffalo 66″ came out, so here’s a clip

Radio Shoe (Halloween Edition)

Radio Shoe and Drunk Pumpkin Productions present the Halloween edition. For all important ‘Spill points, redeemable at fine outlets nowhere, am looking for Song Title and Artiste for each. Tried to go with some less obvious choices for tricks, but hope you find a few treats too.
Freak Time – Keith LeBlanc
Ricky’s Hand – Fad Gadget
Witches Multiplication Table – Holger Czukay
Irate Caterpillar – Hugh Cornwell & Robert Williams
Stalker Fever – Eric Alexandrakis
Demon Seed – Nine Inch Nails
Sonny’s Burning – The Birthday Party
Kundalini – 23 Skidoo
In The Nursery- Psychic TV
The Shankhill Butchers – Decemberists
Werewolf – Cat Power
Halloween – Chris Garneau

Let’s Change The World With Music

The Return of the Sprout
Apologies to all those to whom this means nothing or less (and, yes, I know that’s most of you) but I wanted all my fellow Prefab Sprout fans to share in my joy at discovering that there’s a new Sprout album due out in February 2009 – their first since 2001. The working title is Let’s Change The World With Music – The Blueprint. I have to confess, I’m all a-tremble.

To celebrate, here’s a selection of five of my favourite Prefab Sprout tracks. Enjoy…

Where the jemaa el fna is this?

This was a very pleasurable afternoon spent by the gremlin and his little gremlin-ite while mrs. gremlin did “more cultural” things (can’t reveal what or it’ll give away the location). This footie venue is so vast you can easily wile away a complete afternoon just looking at the trophy Rooms and Museum. Don’t forget you Snadfrods – take a good camera with you for piccies!
We’re off on us jaunts again tomorrow so won’t be back for at least 4 days , sniff, sniff. This teaser is especially for Toffeeboy and Sonicwebcrumb.

"If you go down in the woods today" – an afternoon picking mushrooms in the Alsace

Needless to say, we didn’t touch this baby, which indeed corresponds to TracyK’s pithy description in my last post and will do nothing to allay her or Darce’s prejudices against mushrooms. I can almost see you two sitting on a sofa and saying “Mushrooms? The dirty bastards..” Much love to you two and this is for you..

It’s mushroom season in the Alsace and, like many other city-dwellers, we headed out to the woods yesterday to enjoy some country air and the last of the incredible sunshine which is still bathing the area in spite of the fact that Christmas is only nine weeks away (aaarrrrgghhh!)

You have to be very careful, though. Even touching something like the monster in the photo can cause serious problems. There are so many different kinds of fungus which proliferate under the dark ferns of the forest, shyly peeping out from under the dead leaves, or indeed standing tall and in your face like this one. And even putting a bad mushroom in the basket with the others means that you have to to throw the whole lot away. We went with a friend who is a part-time wild man of the woods and can read the forest and all its signs. He can look at a vague pock mark in the mud and say “Hum, a wild boar was eating chestnut kernels here”. “How on earth can you tell that?” I asked him on several occasions. But he could always give a plausible explanation for his deductions. I couldn’t contradict him anyway…

Yesterdays’ mission was finding, in descending order, girolles (the queen of mushrooms) and cêpes (which I hate to use when cooking as they are slimy and glutinous but brilliant when dried). Our friend strode on ahead, poking through the dried leaves and very unselfishly rooting out the small, light beige heads of the pieds de mouton mushrooms which, sadly, were the only kind of edible fungus we came up with yesterday. After four hours’ walk we came home with enough to make sauce for two lamb chops. Not such a good haul. But it was a magnificent day in the forest.

Thankfully, we didn’t come across these two colourful creatures. Instead of doing an ‘afternoon’ list (I put all my suggestions on the Mother Ship anyway…), I thought I’d share my current musical obsession with you all. The album’s called The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake. It was, again, a ‘turn right at the traffic lights and go once more round the block’ moment when I heard the first track – Roscoe - on FIP radio. I can only describe them as “Fleetwood Mac-meets-The-Alan-Parsons-Project-meets-Radiohead”, although they describe their influences as being Jethro Tull (gulp). Wikipedia tells me they were formed in 1999 in Denton, Texas. This album was released in 2006 and it seems there’ll be a new one this year “tentatively entitled” The Courage of Others. Here’s their website.

No particular question this week, but do let me know what you think of Midlake. The first track, Roscoe, blew me away and is representative of the whole album. Enjoy….

Découvrez Midlake!

The Very Temple of Delight

Starland Vocal Band
Well, someone had to do it – I was rather expecting it to be fp but it seems that it’s been left to me to bring some special joy to The ‘Spill in the shape of the awesome Starland Vocal Band (not Starlight as some idiots seem to think). Yes, it’s Afternoon Delight for your personal delectation.

Next up is the first of two contributions from Jonathan Richman to the afternoon theme: Sunday Afternoon from the recent album Not So Much To Love As To Be Loved. Very short, very instrumental, very beautiful, very Jojo.

Most of us probably know the Crash Test Dummies from their 1993 hit, the wonderfully-titled Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm. Afternoons & Coffee Spoons was the UK follow-up and although it wasn’t such a big hit over here, I remember liking it at the time and I think it’s aged well. I particularly love the lines:

Someday I’ll have a disappearing hairline,
Someday I’ll wear pyjamas in the daytime.

We’re all heading that way, boys…

Two more tracks to finish with. First of all, it’s The Cardigans with In The Afternoon and finally I present to you this week’s second Jonathan Richman track. It’s simply called Afternoon and it’s taken from one of my favourite albums – Rock ‘n’ Roll with The Modern Lovers. This was recorded at a time when Jonathan was evidently keen to distance himself from the early Modern Lovers’ sound – it’s about as far away from She Cracked, Pablo Picasso and Roadrunner as you can get. The good news is that you’re allowed to like both sounds – and I do…

Edit: I have a question for you all. Although I love the Crash Test Dummies track, I have to admit to feeling just a tad irritated by the guy’s voice – there’s something ever so slightly annoying about his vocal style – and I can guarantee that there are some singers that grate on your nerves every time you hear them. So my question is, which singers sound to you like finger nails on a blackboard? I’ll start things off with the obvious (to me anyway) Bob Dylan, and follow that up with one that I know some of you will find an odd choice; namely, Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays. Over to you…

Mrs Malaprop on the lyrics sites

I just went to a lyrics site to check my quote from the Who’s ‘Love Ain’t For Keeping’ for RR, and found the first line rendered as

Layin’ on my back in the nude and on the grass

Now, this may very well be the case later on in the song, but for the first line it’s really the ‘newly-mown’ grass to which they are referring.

Anyone found any more malapropisms on lyrics sites?

Here’s Raining in Port Arthur by the Gourds – someone’s having a horrible afternoon.

Raining in Port Arthur

One for the road…

Not for the first time today lost the thread of the many spills being spilt on the spill but gathered that somewhere along the way there was talk of Benjamin Bluemchen and other great German characters. None of them can top this bit of kiddies nonsense from a couple of years back. so, for the Snads and others about to embark on a long journey, put the arm across and let it play…”Schi, Schnah, Schnappi, Schnappi, Schnappi, Schnappi…” , come on , do it for the Snadfrods and give them a great send off…”Ich bin Schnappi, das kleine krokodil…”