November brings five more personal highlights that have got me smiling like Simon Cowell’s bank manager and five low points that are making me as glum as Rafa Benitez when he’s filling out his team sheet.
1. Jedward Every...single...fibre...of my being says I should hate X-Factor for its dumbing down of the creative process, the lack of credibility, the sheer shittyness of the whole thing. It’s a cancerous growth on the arse of the music industry but one that refuses to be nullified by the chemotherapy of good taste. But Jedward, the very antithesis of everything I hold dear, are just so fucking watchable. Enjoying their bumbling village idiot shtick makes you feel as guilty as Pete Townsend doing online “research” and should probably result in social exile but just like Craig Charles after a drug bust you forgive them because of that cheeky charisma.
2. Season 6 of Lost Rumours, gossip and mis-directions litter the web as the countdown begins towards the finale of one of the most innovative, exciting and downright odd shows on TV. What is the smoke monster? Will Claire return? Is the Island actually the Garden of Eden? And how the fuck does Alan Dale get a part in every single US drama series that needs a nefarious patriarch...when he’s from New Zealand? All will be revealed....I’m so excited I would happily listen to every single Robbie Williams album in all their mediocre, smug twat glory...twice over... just to get the series moved forward a month.
3. Flight Of The Conchords Album number two has been keeping a permanent smirk on my face for the last couple of weeks with classic lyrics like: ”Make sure you know before you go/The dance floor bro-hoe ratio/Five to one is a brodeo” and “Chillin' in my store, doing my thing/When in walks a guy with his dick in a sling/I'm like, "holy shit, what happened to you?"/He said, "how much will you give me for the family jewels?"/I said, "ten bucks"/He said, "no way"/"Ten bucks and frisbee?"/He said, "okay"/And I took his sugalumps and put them up in a display/And sold them as hacky sacks later that day”. Whether they can sustain it for album/series number 3 remains to be seen (unless, of course, they put a whole lot more Murray in) but until then, sit back, relax and let those New Zealand minstrels keep you warm this winter with tales of cross-eyed girls, epileptic dogs and hurting the feelings of rappers.
4. The Thick Of It The only show so beautifully obscene they hire a swearing consultant returns after the big screen shenanigans of ‘In The Loop’. Political satire has never been so deliciously nasty and in Malcolm Tucker they have the most perfectly formed anti-hero in the history of television. “I'd use the carrot and stick approach. Take the carrot and shove it up his ass, followed by the stick, followed by a nobblier carrot...” – poetry. But where the fuck is his untethered Rottweiler Jamie (“SHUT IT, Love Actually! You want me to hole-punch your face”)? The angriest man this side of The Hulk after he’s had his balls removed, covered in wire wool and stuffed inside his own foreskin. Seethy....
5. End Of Year Polls I love this time of year, not because of the Xmas cheer that is cautiously entering the public consciousness or the chilly winter evenings that demand the cosy decadence of log fires and steaming mugs of hot chocolate. Not even the magnificently hilarious sight of people slipping over on icy streets. No, I just love the publication of ream after ream of end of year lists. Favourite albums, movies, TV moments whatever the list I’m hooked in. Until, that is, I realise that Kasabian have topped everyone’s album lists and I have to leave the country in disgust.
1. Spotify I recently received an email from Spotify letting me know that the new Robbie Williams album was available on their service. Now, I’m not normally one to complain about unwanted emails as a) I have the use of all my fingers b) I have a workable delete button and c) I have a fucking life. But shit – I don’t even have a Spotify account (the whole concept just doesn’t do it for me) and I really fucking hate Robbie Williams. So all this experience has done has consolidated my loathing for one of the most overrated “entertainers” in Britain and ensured that I’ll never use Spotify in my life (although if they last another 6 months I’ll be surprised anyway).
2. Giving up the booze I spent the last month on the wagon after a particularly heavy night (details are sketchy and not for family consumption) and was subjected to so much abuse from those close to me (ranging from “what next? meat?” to “I’m not speaking to you again until you have a beer” ) that I felt like a plague victim in the 14th Century ringing a bell and shouting “sober, sober stay away from the bloke who can string a sentence together and walk in a straight line”. Despite saving so much cash I felt like Steve Jobs wiping his arse with fifty dollar bills and feeling healthier than I have since I was 10 I only lasted a month because peer pressure, even in your 30s, it’s still a powerful thing and, to be honest, drinking is bloody ace.
3. DJing with iTunes if you’re going to show off that you have a better taste in tunes than anyone else then at least have the decency to do it with proper records (or at least CDs – they’re easier to carry). Djing with your Mac is like driving a Smart Car – it gets the job done but you look like a cunt.
4. Famous People at Gigs I was lucky enough to watch Biffy Clyro last month at the Kentish Town Forum (a great little venue apart from all the corporate HMV bollocks plastered everywhere) and whilst visiting the loo (complete with HMV logo) noticed three rather miniscule but instantly recognisable characters at the bar oblivious to the fact a gig was going on the other side of the doors. Now, they must have got in for free and have therefore taken up valuable space that could have been allocated to proper paying fans but the most galling thing was the lack of respect they were giving the band by completely ignoring their set. These three “stars” – Matthew Horne, Dave Berry and the Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones – should be ashamed of themselves.
5. Andy Parsons the Mock the Week panellist has been getting on my tits for a couple of years now but my loathing of this man has now reached a point where even looking at his face makes me want to grab him by his ridiculous little beard and force feed his head up his own arse. The stupid comedy walk, the inability to tell jokes that haven’t already been done better by the rest of the guests and the way he starts every sentence with “well, yes, the thing is you see” etc just make him the most loathsome television “personality” since Peter Andre returned to our screens....whilst I’m here Gina Yashere can fuck off too
Until next time