Tag Archives: Music

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 97. On Repetition.

You go to a pub on Saturday night. The music is crap, the singers are atrocious (it’s Karaoke – what did you expect?), the beer is overpriced and the staff are cranky. So much for your night out, yes?

Next Saturday you resolve to do something different – but you don’t. You do the same thing as you did the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that.

Insanity is defined by psychologists and psychiatrists as repeating the same actions over and over again and expecting different results each time. But will you change your habits? Can you?

 

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100 Words, 100 Days: Day 75. On Life’s Soundtrack.

I like to think that somewhere in the world of music, there exists a composition that is us. I also believe that as our lives change, so does the soundtrack that follows us around. When I was in my teens, my theme tune of Paul McCartney and Wings’ Live And Let Die. To a certain extent, my reasons for having this song ‘sing’ for me haven’t changed. But now that I think about it, I find myself going back to Steely Dan.

So, for the time being and until my circumstances change one more, my Life Song is Do It Again.

100 Words, 100 Days: Day 41. On Expectations, Great or Otherwise.

The Great Mr Dickens

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s to not expect anything from the people around me. I don’t mean this to sound callous. It’s a fact of life for me. Nothing in this world is guaranteed, except our inevitable death and some form of taxation.

As a writer I expect to write. I don’t expect others to read what I write, nor do I expect other writers to write what I want to read. I feel that if I can at least match my own expectations, then I’m on the right (write?) road.

Here’s another Great Expectations:

If It’s Too Good To Be True…

…it usually is.

We’ve all heard this aphorism, haven’t we? Someone or something (usually a network or energy provider) promises you the sun, moon and stars if you sign on the dotted line. But all you find at the end is you’ve sold your soul for a white elephant and nothing much has changed.

Consider air fares. Ireland’s national airline, Aer Lingus, is advertising cheap flights across its European network. I can, if I wish, travel to Paris one-way for €29.99. Great! But how much is it going to cost me to come back?  And how much extra will I have to pay?

The latest information from their website tells me that a weekend break in Paris will cost to the tune of €140 and rising. This is mainly down to what they don’t and won’t tell you – until it’s too late.

Fascinating Aida is a British comedy and music act, a trio of very talented ladies whose brand of humour has won them many fans and awards. I recently came across a video recording of exactly how they feel about this air-fare rip-0ff. It’s amazing how much truth there is in comedy.

On This Day…30 September

Thursday, 30 September

Say goodbye to September, people. It takes its annual holiday from today and won’t be with us again for another 11 months.

Get prepared for October, back from its own 11 month sabbatical. I’d love a break like that. I need one.

Anyway, on with the show – and today we start with events on this day in…

1399 – Henry IV is proclaimed King of England. Nice one, Hal. It’s a nice job if you can keep hold of it.

1791 – The Magic Flute, the last opera composed by Mozart, receives its premiere performance at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria.

1888 – Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes.

Hubert Cecil Booth, the inventor of the vacuum cleaner1901 – Hubert Cecil Booth patents the vacuum cleaner. Hoover wasn’t happy that Booth got there before he did.

1935 – The Hoover (oh, a connection at last) Dam, astride the border between the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada, is dedicated.

1947 – The World Series, featuring the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, is televised for the first time.

1955 – Film icon James Dean dies in a road accident aged 24.

That's a lot of calamari.

1967 – BBC Radio 1 is launched and Tony Blackburn presents its first show; the BBC’s other national radio stations also adopt numeric names.

1982 – Cyanide-laced Tylenol kills six people in the Chicago area. Seven are killed in all.

2004 – The first images of a live giant squid in its natural habitat are taken 600 miles south of Tokyo.

Birthday greetings to:

When A Child is Born singer Johnny Mathis is 75.

Ray Burke, disgraced Irish minister and convicted tax cheat, is 67. The rest of the criminals in the Dail should have gone in with him.

Ex-minister Ray Burke. Boo! Hiss!

On another Irish political note, ex-minister for finance, Charlie McCreevy is 62.

Fran Drescher, American actress and the owner of one of the most annoying voices in entertainment, is 53.

Martina Hingis, Swiss tennis player and former World No. 1, is 30.

Cecelia Ahern, author of PS: I Love You, is 29.

In honour of James Dean, who died today in 1955 (as mentioned above), here’s a scene from his celebrated role in Rebel Without A Cause.

On This Day…19 September

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Today is the biggest day of the Irish sporting calender: All-Ireland Senior Football Final day in Croke Park. The Rebels of Cork take on the Mourne Men of Down in what should be a cracker of a match at GAA headquarters. Grannies will be sold for a ticket!

My head says Cork will win; my heart says Down will shade it. We’ll see who’s right tomorrow. I shall report then.

But for now, on this day in…

1870 – Having invaded the Papal States a week earlier, the Italian Army lays siege to Rome, entering the city the next day, after which the Pope described himself as a Prisoner in the Vatican. He only recently escaped and was last seen in Birmingham.

Image c/o knowledgerush.com

1881 – President James A. Garfield dies of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting. He hung around for while, didn’t he?

1900 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid commit their first robbery together, while raindrops kept falling on their heads.

1945 – Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) is sentenced to death in London. I bet he wasn’t laughing then.

1970 – The first Glastonbury Festival is held at Michael Eavis’s farm in Glastonbury, United Kingdom.

1985 – Tipper Gore and other political wives form the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testify at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

Happy birthday to:

Oscar-winner and Irish resident, Jeremy Irons (image: smh.com.au)

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor and star of The Man from UNCLE, Sapphire and Steel, and N.C.I.S., 77.

1948 – Jeremy Irons, English actor and Oscar-winner for Reversal of Fortune, 62.

1963 – Jarvis Cocker, English musician and singer with British band Pulp, 47.

The Tuesday Tune: “Cloudbusting”, by Kate Bush


Kate Bush is an enigma. To many, she will always be the precocious 19-year-old who topped the UK charts for four weeks  in 1978 with her debut single “Wuthering Heights,” a sensuous reimagining of Emily Bronte’s classic novel. Kate became the first woman to have a UK number-one with a self-written song and was the most photographed woman in the United Kingdom that year. I hated it when I first heard it.

But oh how the young lady grew up!

Kate could hardly be described as a prolific artist. Since her debut appearance she has released just 8 studio albums and two compilations. Her last album, Aerial, came in 2005.

A notoriously private woman, Kate toured only the once – in 1979. But the lady knew how to make some of the most remarkable music videos. I’ve chosen “Cloudbusting” because it’s my favourite. It’s a story of a scientist  (Donald Sutherland) who invents a device that can control the weather. Kate plays his daughter. When a sinister agency sends its goons out to capture her father, Kate turns the machine against them – to great effect.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the wonderful Ms. Kate Bush.