Saturday, 29 January 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Dusty Springfield.


Music for your listening pleasure...

When I said I needed you
You said you would always stay
It wasn't me who changed but you
And now you've gone away

Don't you see
That now you've gone
And I'm left here on my own
That I have to follow you
And beg you to come home?

You don't have to say you love me
Just be close at hand
You don't have to stay forever
I will understand
Believe me, believe me
I can't help but love you
But believe me
I'll never tie you down

Left alone with just a memory
Life seems dead and so unreal
All that's left is loneliness
There's nothing left to feel

You don't have to say you love me
Just be close at hand
You don't have to stay forever
I will understand
Believe me, believe me...


Monday, 24 January 2011

The Point (Part 1).


Strapped for cash in the mid-1950s, Kurt Vonnegut took a job at Sports Illustrated, though he “didn’t care or know squat about sports.”
They asked him to write a piece about a racehorse that had jumped the fence at the local track.
He fed a page into his typewriter, stared at it for several hours, typed “The horse jumped over the fucking fence”, and promptly left.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Make Yourself A Drink, Baby.





Stuff you overhear....

"Of course you can come around on Sunday, my dear old thing! But please bear in mind that by the late afternoon I've usually had a couple of glasses of Champagne, so might well be merry or snoozy".

Elderly lady (to her friend), Coffee Shop, Twickenham.


One In One Out.

More magic from my good friend/associate:

One In One Out from Richard Gladman on Vimeo.

He's a clever boy.

Click here for his showreel.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Wild Thing.

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Lowgold.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Flying over to the U.V.A.
Easy rider, she could dream all day
Dream all day

She's heading all the way to the sun
Or far enough to get what she wants
Maybe she will, maybe she won't
It's easy to say, hard if you don't

But you've got to make the most of today
For beauty dies young
Beauty dies young


She's heading all the way to the sun
Or far enough to get what she wants
Maybe she will, maybe she won't
It's easy to say, hard if you don't

But you've got to make the most of today
For beauty dies young

Beauty dies young


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Police Cuts Hit Hard.

"Step out of the vehicle please, Madam.
Yes, I will 'up mine'...    Wait, hey!"

Gary Delaney.


This guy is very funny.

Follow him here...

  • There are fog patches on the M6. I can only presume it is trying to give up fog.
  • I've just stolen a chicken, and now I'm going to have to make a run for it.
  • Good news: I'm working from home today. Bad news: I'm a fireman.
  • As a child I was forced to exercise by my father, who in turn was forced to exercise by his father. I only hope that I can break the cycle.
  • The 300th rule of OCD Club is...
  • My friend Elspeth warned me 'Never ever shorten my name to Elsie'. 'Or what?', I said. 'Or Else', she said.
  • Having been accused of tagging the office whiteboard, I have vowed to clear my name.
  • I've always wanted to smoke tobacco through some sort of wooden tube - but I guess that's just a pipe dream.
  • Me and my girlfriend are watching every episode of Sex and the City back-to-back, hopefully I'll be the one facing away from the telly.
  • I'm appearing in a new play about a man walking his dog. They've given me the lead.
  • Listening to all the budget uproar in parliament makes me realise that Mr Speaker is the shittest of all the Mr Men.
  • Just thrown my brother out for creosoting things without asking me first - I told him to never darken my door again.
  • To a pearl the world is their oyster.
  • All work and no play makes Jack an inefficient playwright.
  • My Roger Moore look-a-like competition has certainly raised a few eyebrows.


Peter Edward Cook (4 of 6).

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Top 20...TV Competition Questions (Part 4).


MENSA candidates need not apply...

Go on, test yourselves, it's the final round...

5. Lady GaGa's breakthrough hit single told listeners to 'Just... ' what?:
a) Dance
b) Sit down and be quiet
c) Go away

4. Which animal defends itself with a coat of sharp spines or quills?:
a) Gnu
b) Great White Shark
c) Porcupine

3. What is the normal collective noun for a group of kittens?:
a) Swarm
b) Rubbish
c) Litter

2. Which year did Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet on the hit 'Islands In The Stream'?:
a) 1982
b) 1983
c) 1984

1. Which kind of animal did Samuel L. Jackson find on his plane?:
a) Snakes
b) Ham
c) Blue whales


Monday, 17 January 2011

Gentlemen Broncos {2009}.

Quote, Unquote (Part 18th).


Sharing the love, as ever...

"Cresswell's so vain, I bet he thinks this quote is about him."

"Cresswell is a peripheral visionary."

"It's just as well that water can't really get 'in' to one's ears, because swimming and diving would be extremely awkward if it could."

"This man is as bright as Alaska in December."

"I know the voices aren't real, but now and again they have some magnificent ideas."


I Taped It For You.


A newspaper reporter submitted a story about the theft of 2,025 pigs.
His editor, struck at the size of the theft, called the farmer to confirm.

“Is it true that you lost two thousand twenty-five pigs?” he asked.
“Yeth,” said the farmer.

The editor thanked him, hung up, and changed the phrase to “two sows and 25 pigs.”

Friday, 14 January 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Nicolai Dunger.


Music for your listening pleasure...

I'd rather die, than to have you around
May trouble come, may trouble go
Far across the sea - without you and me

But it's ok, if you want to hold my hand
When it gets dark, I'll leave a spark
Upon your weary sky for you to rest and find

Everlasting rest

For that's what you miss in our love
I know that's what you miss

I'd rather die than say goodbye
You will be strong, but not for long
Far across the sea, our hands are joined and free
In an everlasting prayer
For those who are lost and lonely
My love, that's what we are

Everlasting rest
Everlasting prayer - that's what we need.

A sort of Swedish Van Morrison, some might argue.

Seriously underrated, too.


Peter Edward Cook (3 of 6).

The Boatman's Call {1997}.


"There's hardly any instrumentation. Everyone in the band suppressed their ego for the greater good of the record. 
Apart from me, of course... my ego runs riot, as ever."
Nick Cave

1. Into My Arms
2. Lime Tree Arbour
3. People Ain't No Good
4. Brompton Oratory
5. There Is A Kingdom
6. (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?
7. Where Do We Go Now But Nowhere?
8. West Country Girl
9. Black Hair
10. Idiot Prayer
11. Far From Me
12. Green Eyes

His previous album Murder Ballads had brought Nick Cave's morbidity to near-parodic levels, which makes the disarmingly frank and introspective songs of The Boatman's Call all the more startling. A song cycle equally inspired by Cave's failed romantic affairs and religious doubts, this record captures him at his most honest and despairing -- while he retains a fascination for gothic, Biblical imagery, it has little of the grand theatricality and self-conscious poetics that made his albums emotionally distant in the past. 

This time, there's no posturing, either from Cave or the Bad Seeds. The music is direct, yet it has many textures, from blues to jazz, which offer a revealing and sympathetic bed for Cave's best, most affecting songs. There is a subdued grace and, at times, fragile beauty to these recordings that are filled with only the sparest accompaniment; often just piano, organ, light percussion or violin. 

It appears throughout that Cave is trying to poison his cake and eat it too - The Boatman's Call is one of his finest albums and arguably the soulful masterpiece he has been promising throughout his career.

It's hard to argue against the opener, 'Into My Arms', which in an appropriate environment could surely make even the most hardened of souls sniff or choke with emotion. You can find it in the Gifthorse section of 'Nothing Rhymes with Nothing'...

Here's the close runner-up, the very lovely "(Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?"...

Artist: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Album: The Boatman's Call
Released: 3rd March 1997
Recorded: June - August 1996, in London
Length: 52:07
Label: Mute/Reprise
Producer: Flood, with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds


Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Case Of The Missing Brain.


Dear *****,

Very nice to hear from you.

Life has been as tender and kind to me recently as a forceful wind is to a cheap umbrella, so your silly ramblings were gratefully received.

Letters are obviously a thing of the past, but I rarely receive any emails that suggest anything other than the person sending it is in an extreme rush. Then again, I suppose most people are busier than me. I should understand by now that emails are produced on a strict timescale, and are therefore more functional than emotional.

Plus, others talk on the phone more than I do. I hardly talk at all.

It's actually me with the unbalanced system, isn't it? I need to pull my socks up.

If only I could find my socks...

My New Year's resolutions (to be nicer to people, to be less judgmental, and to try and see things from their point of view) aren't turning out so good. I can't help it. I'm impulsive and impatient, and lots of other words that start with "im". Maybe I should manufacture some 'do-able' resolutions next year? Like 'I'm going to drink more coffee', or 'I'm going to take less exercise'.

Plus, they start with 'im' too.

Before I forget, I liked your joke about "not trusting Dannii Minogue, because her 'ii's' were too close together" - really good.

I came up with a joke this morning when I woke up.

What do you call a big cat that likes to dance on the ceiling?

- "Lion-el".

That is truly original. As you can tell because it's not very funny.

My god, I'm so self-absorbed that I completely forgot about your birthday! Feel free to trip me up next time we meet. It is clear that I may have lost my brain, although I'm not sure how the title of this email knew that before I did. I trust, however, that you were fed handsomely and enjoyed a few light ales. And that no one too awful decided to turn up and spoil everything.

Talking of awful people - how's *****?

Still being annoying?

If I were you, then I'd tell them to...   no, wait...   I would "listen to their opinion, be compassionate, and try and understand that there are two sides to every story." 

There, see - a new me. I can do it.

What a goofball though, seriously - Hove is nowhere near Torquay.

Nor does it sound similar. What were they thinking?

Still, I'm sure you've forgiven and forgotten.

Besides, your brother will probably marry again, anyway.

Listen, I'd better vamoosh, I've got to go and do some stuff (find some socks, make some coffee).

Ta-ta for now, and do give me your new address if you genuinely want me to send back your garden shears.

(Only joking, they're staying in the shed for now, I like them too much and have written my initials on them with a permanent marker - besides, I wouldn't want to be responsible for potentially injuring a member of our postal services).

*sticks thumb in ear whilst waving hand and blowing raspberry*

Very Best,


PS. Happy Birthday!


Shall We Cross Here?

"I say, what are you chaps up to...?"



Stuff you overhear...

Joseph Ouseph and myself were enjoying a quiet beverage, when:

"I'm sorry mate, I don't care what you say - you don't piss on your mate's leg."

An Australian gentleman to his friend, Covent Garden beerhouse, London.


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: The Spinto Band.


Music for your listening pleasure...

I got a gnome in the backyard 
I put him right on the X mark 
He’s supposed to show me where the money is 
Hey won't you show me where the money is 
I got it all on the back of my hand 
I want your answer so I won't forget 
Then show me right where your heart is 
Oh right now tell me where your heart is 

Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy 
Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy 
So Dreamy, Oh Mandy 
So Killing, Oh Mandy 

Sure I had trouble from the onset 
I tried to chase things I couldn't get 
Show me a rerun on the W 
Show me a rerun on the WB 
So what's it like to be in it 
And move away to the Midwest 
I gotta message for your auntie 
I gotta message for your auntie 

Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy 
Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy 
So Dreamy, Oh Mandy 
So Killing, Oh Mandy 
Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy 
Can read me, and has me 
Oh Mandy, Oh Mandy’s 
Completely out of reach 

And now I know I’m at the end of my wits 
Don't gotta tell me where this is going 
'Cause I know nothing ever falls apart 
Yeah I know nothing ever falls apart 
Remind me once more where this is going 
Before I fling it out into the ocean 
It’s kind of level but its wavy 
It's looking more blue than it is green 
It’s looking quiet as I jump in 

So I can finally hear you scream 

You got a gnome in the backyard 
You put him right on the X mark 
You’re eating brains out the back of my head 
Oh yeah, that's where the money is 

Oh Mandy


Gifthorse Brainstorming Session, Jan 2011.

Top 20...TV Competition Questions (Part 3).


These are all real questions, as featured on bad TV shows...

Go on, test yourselves...

10. Which beardie entrepreneur is the man behind the Virgin brand?:
a) Richard Branson
b) Monty Panesar
c) Tiger Woods

9. What is the surname of two Ukrainian boxing brothers?:
a) Neville
b) Kray
c) Klitschko

8. How do Pygmy goats differ from other breeds of goat?:
a) They eat croissants
b) They are more evil
c) They are smaller

7. According to the original back-story, where was Superman born?:
a) Radox
b) Krypton
c) Argos

6. Which pickled vegetable is used as the nickname for '30 St Mary Axe' in London?:
a) Trousers
b) Root beer
c) Gherkin

Tricky, huh?


This Is The BBC, 1959 (Part 2 of 7).

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Grizzly Bear.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Save up all the days
A routine malaise
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always
Maybe sometimes
Make it easy
Take your time

Think of all the ways
Momentary phase
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Every time you try
Quarter half the mile
Just like yesterday
I told you I would stay

Would you always
Maybe sometimes
Make it easy
Take your time 


Margot Tenenbaum.

Wolfe+585, Senior.

Hubert Blaine Wolfe schlegel stein hausen berger dorff, Sr. (Wolfe+585, Senior) is the short name of a Philadelphian typesetter who has the longest personal name ever used. 

"585" represents the number of additional letters in his full surname (total 590). 

His full 746-letter name is:
Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfe schlegelstein hausenberger dorffvoraltern waren­gewissenhaft schaferswessen schafewaren wohlgepflege und sorgfaltigkeit beschutzen von angreifen durch ihrraubgierigfeinde welche voraltern zwolftausend jahres vorandieerscheinen wander ersteer dem enschderraumschiff gebrauchlicht als sein ursprung­von kraftgestart sein lange fahrt hinzwischen sternartigraum auf der suchenach diestern welche gehabt bewohnbar planeten kreise drehen sich und wohin der neurasse von verstandigmen schlichkeit konnte fortplanzen und sicher freuen anlebens langlich freude und­ruhe mit nicht ein furcht vor angreifen von anderer intelligent geschopfs von hinzwischen sternartigraumen, Senior.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot {2002}.


"Complex and dangerously catchy, lyrically sophisticated and provocative, noisy and somehow serene, this album is simply a masterpiece."

1. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
2. Kamera
3. Radio Cure
4. War On War
5. Jesus Etc.
6. Ashes Of American Flags
7. Heavy Metal Drummer
8. I'm The Man Who Loves You
9. Pot Kettle Black
10. Poor Places
11. Reservations

The miraculous birth narrative of Wilco's fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, is already old hat: banished from straightedge AOL Time Warner imprint Reprise on the cosmically short-sighted judgment of label executives who deemed the album a "career-ender," Wilco streamed Yankee Hotel from its left-wing website to millions before signing with weirdo progressive AOL Time Warner imprint Nonesuch. 

But the unique circumstances of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot's long deliverance make for more than just pointless disc jockey chatter before spinning "Heavy Metal Drummer." The long delay and streaming audio conspired to ensure that everyone in the world has already heard Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in part, if not in its entirety. Vast digital pre-circulation, corporate controversy, and buzz like a beard of bees have rendered all reviews afterthoughts at best.
But myth is always an afterthought, and these days, the motif I like chewing on best is, without question, that of the Unlikely Hero. Who would have predicted an album of this magnitude from Wilco? As much I love the band, the fact remains that they were together for five years before they produced anything that could stand with Uncle Tupelo's March 16-20, 1992 or AnodyneAM is rather forgettable, while the expansive Being There, though frequently inspired, travels on paths blazed by Tom Petty on Damn the Torpedoes, if not The Flying Burrito Brothers.
1999's dolorous Summerteeth was exponentially more sophisticated than anything that came before it, though its heroin innuendos, shades of domestic abuse and nocturnal homicidal impulses sat somewhat ill at ease alongside the album's lush and infectious pop arrangements. Of course, Summerteeth was a strange and majestic, albeit dark, deviation from the alt-country genre Jeff Tweedy co-invented. But since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, it has retroactively become more of a harbinger of things to come. Upon being pressed by the Chicago Sun-Times about abandoning alt-country, Tweedy dismissively bequeathed the old Wilco sound to Ryan Adams. 
And you can never go home again.
So does Yankee Hotel Foxtrot justify the controversy, delay and buzz? Everyone, I think, already knows that the answer is yes; all I can offer is "me too" and reiterate. And after half a year living with a bootleg copy, the music remains revelatory. Complex and dangerously catchy, lyrically sophisticated and provocative, noisy and somehow serene, this album is simply a masterpiece; it is equally magnificent in headphones, cars and parties. No one is too good for this album; it is better than all of us.
But for all the talk of terminally hip influences-- Jim O'Rourke, krautrock, and The Conet Project-- Yankee Hotel Foxtrot still conjures a classic rock radio station on Fourth of July weekend. And this extends beyond the alternating Byrds/Stones/Beatles comparisons that pepper every Wilco review ever written;Yankee Hotel Foxtrot evokes Steely Dan, the Eagles, Wings, Derek & The Dominos and Traffic. The slightly disconnected, piano-led "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," is delicately laced with noise, whistles and percussive clutter, like some great grandson of "A Day in the Life." The muted, "Kamera" strums along darkly with acoustic and electric guitars; the twittering electronics in the background don't quite mitigate the tune's comparability to the clever and precise (though now largely neglected) jazz-inflected blues-rock of Dire Straits' stunning debut.
The cone-filtered and anthemic country psychedelia of "War on War" could have been jammed straight out of a hot "Bertha" at a 1973 Grateful Dead show. The violin and coked-up country lounge of "Jesus, etc." recalls some mythical seventies in true love and cigarettes. The sharp, stuttering guitar solo that rips open "I'm the Man Who Loves You" could have come directly out of Neil Young's hollow body electric circa Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere. For all its aural depth and layering,Yankee Hotel tends to come off as earnest as yesteryear's FM radio. Wilco gets the benefit of O'Rourke's gift for cutting straight to the guts of every style, without the burden of his trademark contempt for the subject matter at hand.
And Tweedy seems to be coming into his own as a lyricist. I still wince when I hear him sing, "I know you don't talk much but you're such a good talker," on Being There. The brooding introspection of Summerteeth made for a handful of elegant lyrics, most notably the skeletal beauty of "She's a Jar," where "she begs me not to miss her" returns as the stinging "she begs me not to hit her," transforming a wistful love song into something gently bruising. But on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Tweedy becomes what I think he always was: an optimist and a romantic.
His declaration of wanting to salute "the ashes of American flags," is less cynicism than, perhaps, the devoted liberal's nostalgia for an honest patriotism (check out the array of properly lefty links at if you don't believe me). "All my lies are always wishes," he sings, "I know I would die if I could come back new." 
In "Jesus, etc.," there's a cascading simplicity when he sings, "Tall buildings shake, voices escape, singing sad, sad songs to two chords/ Strung down your cheeks, bitter melodies turning your orbit around." Sad, celestial and lovely. The final declaration on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is one of abiding dedication: "I've got reservations 'bout so many things but not about you." 
There isn't a truer word to be had.
On Summerteeth, Tweedy yowled about "speakers speaking in code" and I thought of that refrain from "I Can't Stand It" when I first heard the words "yankee-hotel-foxtrot" uttered by the disembodied English woman on the sublimely creepy box-set of shortwave radio transmissions, The Conet Project, which is sampled sporadically throughout this record. And in a deeper, more deliberate world, perhaps we could trace that thread to unravel the secret wonder of Wilco's new album. But I don't think there's any secret; and I don't think there's any code. Beneath the great story of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, there are all the tropes and symbols and coincidences of a little mythology; but under that is a fantastic rock record. And why tell you? You all already knew this.
— Brent S. Sirota, Pitchfork, April 21, 2002.

"Jesus Etc." (Click here...)
Others might centre an entire song around one of the many beautiful, subtle, melodic tangents - It is as perfect a modern song as I could possibly imagine.

Every other track comes a close second. 

Here's one of the best 'runners up':

Artist:  Wilco
Album:  Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Released:  April 23, 2002
Recorded:  Autumn 2000 - Early 2001
Length:  51m:51s
Label:  Nonesuch
Producers:  Jim O'Rourke & Wilco