Monday, 29 January 2018

He didn't "live forever"



Halfway between former abode and the new one, I have sneaked into the seriously troubling, and distinctly unhygienic, surroundings of our local library's "Computer Centre" in order to check up on things around here. I am absolutely knackered after the weekend's humping (oo-er), but have spent the day travelling up and down the road between the two places by bus, recovering stuff we forgot in the frenzy of the move, cleaning and sorting the detritus we left behind, and buying stuff for Dolores Delargo Towers #4 - which currently looks a bit like the closing "warehouse scene" of Raiders of the Lost Ark (or in our case, the "lost" coffee filter papers, the "lost" shirt, the "lost" dressing-gown, etc.).

Hey ho, it would have been dear old Sacha Distel's 85th birthday today, so let's hand things over to him on this Tacky Music Monday, shall we?


Zut Alors!

Have a good week, dear reader...

Alexandre Sacha Distel (29th January 1933 – 22nd July 2004)

Saturday, 27 January 2018

No, not those. Those are my time travel trousers!


Jacob Rees-Mogg is to take over Britain at the head of a Steampunk army.

The rebel MP, who is now in charge of government via a Byzantine system of patronage, has ordered Theresa May to leave Downing Street or be blasted with an ornate bazooka.

Meanwhile, Rees-Mogg has outlined plans for a post-Brexit Britain of brass automatons, clockwork cars and steam-powered internet.

He said: “With myself at the helm, we will forge a brave new nation of valves and pumps, of smoked-glass goggles and Tesla coils, of transatlantic tunnels and invincible British airships darkening European skies.

“Somewhere around 1900, our birthright as a nation was snatched from us. I propose to reset the calendar and do the last hundred years or so properly, with parliament returned to its advisory role and the monarch in absolute power.

“Don’t you want your sons to be the first to wear top hats on Mars? Your daughters waited on by a house-robot named Stevens who contains a fully-functioning pipe organ capable of playing eight different hymns?”


Political commentator Eleanor Shaw said: “This is easily the most coherent vision of post-Brexit Britain we’ve heard so far.”
Huzzah!

The Daily Mash

Of course.

And here, to cheer the revolution along, is house favourite Professor Elemental:


Fab. Right, onward and upward with this bally house-move - now, where are those boxwallahs?!

Friday, 26 January 2018

Getting our skates on



...it's the last day before we move home, and when I leave the office this afternoon I will not be back there for three whole weeks! Unfortunately it looks like we won't have internet access at home for an entire week (gulp!) so, between sorting out the new place and spending a lot of time at the old one - cleaning indoors and levelling and clearing beds in the garden - I will be mixing with the hoi-polloi in the local library in order to check emails and perhaps keep in touch here, dear reader.

Never mind, eh? Let's get this particular "party" started, in the estimable company of the Erotic Drum Band and Mr Patrick Swayze - and Thank Disco It's Friday!


Wish us luck...

Thursday, 25 January 2018

There is nothing for you to do; but keep me making love to you



Sharing a birthday as she would have with an eclectic bunch including Jools Holland [who is 60 years old!], the notorious Roman Empress Messalina, Raymond Baxter, Somerset Maugham, Alicia Keys, Virginia Woolf, Stig Anderson, Peter Tatchell, John Cooper Clarke, Diana Hyland, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Dean Jones and Dame Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies, the fantabulosa Etta James would have celebrated her 80th today...

A perfect excuse to inject some class into these proceedings, methinks.



- and, of course, my favourite:


Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins, 25th January 1938 – 20th January 2012)

Ms James also shares her birthday with another cultural icon - Scotland's "other Patron Saint", Mr Robbie Burns. Never let it be said I don't give you anything, dear reader - here! Have some haggis...



Happy Burns Night!

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Choices, choices...

Boxes...



...or baskets?



I know what I would rather to be spending my time on at the moment!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Nah pop no style, I strictly roots


"Somewhere there's heaven; how high the... waist?"

Timeslip moment again, dear reader - our first of the year...

...and John Beck's Time Machine has deposited us in the wilderness of January 1978, the year of the shakiest PM ever Jim Callaghan, of Evita, Brian Clough, the first "test-tube baby", Grease, "The Hillside Strangler", Wuthering Heights, "post-Punk" and the three Popes; the year that Ben Cohen, Zoe Saldana, Nelly Furtado, Space Invaders and - ahem - Katie Price (aka Jordan) were born, and Charles Boyer, Louis Prima and Keith Moon died.

Making the headlines this month forty years ago: dramatic storms destroyed the historic piers at Herne Bay, Margate, Hunstanton and Skegness; the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet cemented his rule after a referendum on the country's constitution; the Yorkshire Ripper's reign of terror continued, with the discovery of victim #8; in the ascendant were The Holy Crown of Hungary (returned to its home country after three decades in the USA), Bülent Ecevit (re-elected as President of Turkey) and Harvey Milk (the first openly gay person elected to public office in California), but an Air India jumbo jet crashed near Bombay, killing 213 people. In our cinemas in the UK: Star Wars, Julia and The Deep . On telly: An Audience With Jasper Carrott, Blake's 7 and All Creatures Great and Small.

In our charts this week in '78? The seemingly unstoppable Mull Of Kintyre by Wings was in its eighth week (out of nine) at Number 1 [NB quite likely this was the record that spawned the Human League classic "The Black Hit Of Space, lyrics: "As the song climbed the charts, the others disappeared, 'til there was nothing but it left to buy; It got to number one, then into minus figures, though nobody could understand why"...]. Also in the mêlée of contenders were some big hitters including Donna Summer, Bonnie Tyler, the Bee Gees, David Soul, Odyssey, Chic, Crystal Gayle and, errr, The Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band.

But it was the estimable talents of a completely unknown duo of Jamaican teenagers, performing their one and only hit - and what an unforgettable one! - that was destined to kick Mr McCartney and his mournful dirge off the top slot. Thank heavens for "one-hit-wonders" Althea Rose Forrest and Donna Marie Reid [and whatever happened to them?!] I say!


Watch how we chuck it an' ting
Inna we khaki suit an' ting
Love is all I bring
Inna me khaki suit and ting


Indeed.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Witchcraft*



Having somewhat overdone the digging on the weekend, racing at this time of year against the lack of daylight, I am paying the consequences - everything aches, even my hair. And I just know I am going to find it difficult to stay awake in the office...

Hey ho, never mind. On this Tacky Music Monday, our thoughts once again turn to Spain - and what better source of "cheer-up music" could there be but that country's unfailingly ridiculous entries for the Eurovision Song Contest? Take it away, mis chicas!


That woke me up!

Have a good week, dear reader.

[*Brujeria = Witchcraft in Spanish]

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Fuchsias and Flamenco, RIP


MUD! He offered to help, but then he discovered the booze stash.

It's been pissing with rain all weekend, yet, this being the last weekend before our move, we were out there all day yesterday and I will be out there again today - digging out the (swamp-like) extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, potting-up the plants we are going to take and throwing out those we are not. The entire Fuchsia collection is binned already [sniff, sniff]; however just about every one of our specimens was eventually ravaged by the dreaded gall mite and would likely still be carrying the bugs, so we decided that replacing them all would be a better option. Our favourite specialist nursery has thousands of cuttings at only about 80p each, and most of them came from there originally so it will be easy to re-stock (and Fuchsias are remarkably quick-growing, so we should be swathed in blooms by August)...

The garden at Dolores Delargo Towers #4 is mainly paved, so container gardening is once again our future. Hence the reason why we cannot accommodate much of our current stock of herbaceous plants, and many (such as Red-Hot Pokers, Delphiniums, Knautia, the poppy, some Dahlias, Centaurea, Fennel, some Montbretia and Geums) are either going to the boys in Essex or straight into bin bags. Sad, but the only practical solution.



However, through the gloom, the mud, the aching muscles - and the continued process of bagging, boxing and cleaning indoors too - we have the prospect of our regular week in the sunshine of Andalusia to look forward to. And it would have been the 95th birthday today of the magnificent "La Faraona" Lola Flores, which is a perfect pretext to play one of her melodramatic Flamenco numbers to cheer ourselves up (as if we ever needed an excuse)!


We fully intend to go out of an evening dressed like that when we're there.


Stop Press: [12.30pm] Now, to add insult to injury, it is SNOWING! I've had to stop digging because it's getting too slippery, and take a tea break...

Saturday, 20 January 2018

I don’t ever wanna stop, I’m gonna give it all I've got



Our Princess Kylie and singing stud-muffin Jake Shears - two of our all-time faves here at Dolores Delargo Towers...

Miss Minogue is all over the news at the moment with a round of interviews to promote her new album Golden, and from it, here is the Dolly Parton-esque new single Dancing!


By contrast, released last autumn - accompanied a rather fab personal message for his fans - darling Jake's new choon Creep City never got the limelight he so richly deserves. Coincidentally, Mr Shears recently found out he is related to Dolly....




In this life, all roads inevitably lead to Miss Parton, it seems.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Como si fuera esta noche la última vez



Another weekend looms - and it's just one week to go before we wave bye-bye to this place and "hello" to Dolores Delargo Towers #4...

Gulp.

To ease ourselves into "le weekend" - and to the prospect of spending it dismantling our extensive gardens, as well as continuing the perpetual task of clearing, boxing and generally sorting out our worldly goods - who better to lift our spirits than our beloved Gallic Patron Saint Mlle Dalida [who would have celebrated her 85th birthday on Thursday this week!] - and her inimitable disco update of Bésame Mucho..?


Merci Disco C'est Vendredi!

Dalida (born Iolanda Cristina Gigliotti, 17th January 1933 – 3rd May 1987)

Thursday, 18 January 2018

What it don't get I can't use



I've been at a long meeting today - in the glorious surroundings of The Bank of England, no less!

Didn't see any of the fabled "pink penguins", however; more's the pity...



All day, as we sat above vaults containing more than £100 billion worth of gold, a certain number was playing in my head. Take it away, Miss Evans-Stickland!


That's what I want.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

It's Betty White Day!









Gawd bless ya, Ma'am!

Betty Marion White Ludden (born 17th January 1922)

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Public Information Notice

When using strong chemicals to do the cleaning, always ensure you wear stout gloves.



Thus endeth the lesson for today.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Another of my namesakes is gone







Very sad news - and quite a shock! One of the most distinctive - and one of my fave - vocalists of the modern pop era, Miss Dolores O'Riordan of The Cranberries is dead, aged just 46.


And oh, my dreams,
It's never quite as it seems,
'Cause you're a dream to me,
Dream to me.


RIP, Dolores. We'll miss ya.

Down boy



Groan. I am aching in places where I didn't even realise I had places - after a busy weekend of scrubbing, sorting, boxing-up, and making a start on clearing out the excess stuff in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers.

Now, as we awake in the darkness, it is pissing with rain, which makes getting up for work just that little bit more joyful. Sigh.

Never mind, eh? - on this Tacky Music ("Blue") Monday, let's cheer ourselves up with dear Betty Grable, living out every gay boy's fantasies (dressing outrageously, behaving even more so), as she dreams of "A dozen husbands":


Note to self: must get my hair done like that for our housewarming party.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Spawn and Spain



The Demon Spawn have not stopped this weekend. Not for a second. From 7am to midnight.

Just two full weeks to go before we'll be rid of them, thank goodness!

Let's have little Spanish moment, methinks - just to remind us that after the dust settles on this arduous move, we have a week in Spain to look forward to in just under three weeks' time...

Here's a gorgeous little number by today's birthday girl Signorina Valente [still with us, thankfully!], accompanied in this clip by the shimmying talents of Signorinas Lollobrigida and Loren and Miss Gardner:


Many happy returns, Caterina Valente (born 14th January 1931)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Blunderwoman blunders off



“Russ said he was looking for a fat woman who could keep a straight face. That was fine by me.”

And so, farewell to the eternal "straight woman" in some of the UK's most popular prime-time comedy shows, including those of Benny Hill, Les Dennis, Dick Emery and Lily Savage. But is for her hysterical roles alongside Russ Abbot in his Madhouse that she is best remembered - including her most famous character "Blunderwoman".



Despite regularly attracting viewing figures in the multi-millions, their style of slapstick comedy was destined to be somewhat sidelined by the time the "cool" 1980s drew to a close, in favour of a more "knowing" brand of humour as espoused by the likes of Ben Elton, French & Saunders and Victoria Wood. But simple pleasures like this sketch still raise a chuckle today this day...


RIP Bella Emberg (born Sybil Dyke, 16th September 1937 – 12th January 2018)

Friday, 12 January 2018

Baby let me be your lovin' teddy bear







Lordy. The suave, sophisticated, and damned sexy Mr Anthony Andrews is seventy years old today!

In his five-decade career, Mr Andrews had starring roles in Danger UXB, Ivanhoe, The Scarlet Pimpernel and, latterly, The King's Speech, as well as numerous stage appearances.

However, it is for his masterful portrayal of the damaged and decadent Lord Sebastian Flyte in my all-time favourite television series Brideshead Revisited for which he will be eternally remembered.

A character that the book's author Evelyn Waugh fancifully based on aristocratic eccentrics such as (his former lover) Alastair Hugh Graham and the notorious Stephen Tennant, Sebastian famously spent his entire life wafting about in a perpetual drunken stupor, accompanied by his faithful teddy bear Aloysius...

...and in a link that is tenuous, to say the least, here's a "bear-related" number to get our hips moving this weekend!


Thank Disco It's Friday - "hoo-hah, hoo-hah"!

...and many happy returns, Anthony Colin Gerald Andrews (born 12th January 1948)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving



I am heartily sick of the sight of Sellotape and boxes. It's not until one starts packing stuff up (for our impending move) that it becomes obvious what hoarders we actually are.

Time, methinks, for a moment of calm - and, as it's the birthday of Mary J Bilge [pun intended] today, I think this one - probably the only song I can actually tolerate of hers (purely because the late, dearly departed George Michael is on it) - fits the bill very nicely...


Now, if only the Demon Spawn upstairs would shut the fuck up (still crashing around and screaming at almost eleven o'clock!}, I would be completely de-stressed...

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A psychopathic, Pacific Islander Elvis Presley



Oh no! The fabulously witty (and rather cute) "kitchen gadget guy" Rhik Samadder has written his last column - but it's a good one! In today's Guardian, he tackles the peculiar concept of "personalised face lollipops"...
...Here’s how it works: you email a picture of yourself to the company, specifying your distinguishing features, and their Oompah Loompahs will spin, knead and sculpt your candy clone. I ordered one of me, one of Boris Johnson... On unwrapping, the first impression is of weight. They’re heavy, as skulls should be. I take a look at the sugar likeness of me. It’s flattering how unlike me it is, more of a psychopathic, Pacific Islander Elvis Presley.

Meanwhile, it feels freaky to have Boris Johnson’s head on a stick, a cascading omelette of blond drowning his blue peepers. A bit Lord of the Flies. I’m not super into the idea of licking it, as I suspect real-life Boris would love it, but I do. The hair tastes of tutti-frutti. Upsettingly nice. Things get weirder over the next few weeks: the skin of my face blisters, beginning to look grey under electric lighting. Boris, however, endures, plump-skinned, tasty, pink in all lights. I’m no Dorian Gray, yet at least he got a portrait.

I don’t want either of these infernal totems, but who can I offload them to? A child? What if someone saw? That would be a messed-up transaction. So now I’m stuck with myself and Sugar Ray Johnson; one mouldering to a symbolic grave, the other hellish and immortal. If auto-cannibalism or licking celebrities appeals, and you’ve got the lolly, here is the perfect gift to yourself. Given the mix of sugar and narcissism, though, it’s hardly the healthy option. They say two heads are better than one – on this evidence, that’s crap...
Farewell, Rhik - we'll miss you.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

The struggle for equality


Women should have the right to over exaggerate minor colds and be mocked for it just the same as men, campaigners have claimed.

Whilst men take it for granted that they can play up symptoms of illness to solicit extra sympathy, then have the piss ripped out of them by anyone who is in proximity of their childish whining, women are fighting hard for the right to be equally as lame.

Campaigner Donna Sheridan said: “The struggle for equality doesn’t stop at pay or parenting, it needs to reach every part of our lives. This includes the right to lie about snivelling into tissues and watching Narcos whilst feeling excessively sorry for ourselves.

“And, of course, we don’t expect any special dispensation as women so we also want to be ridiculed and accused of being liars and malingerers.

“If we display symptoms any less serious than bleeding from an artery or not having a pulse, we will expect to be absolutely slated.”


Professor Henry Brubaker from the Institute for Studies said: “As if being ill wasn’t unpleasant enough, people like to add to the misery by making each other feel guilty if they take one day off from their miserable, soul-sapping jobs.

“Human beings really are the most tedious idiots.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Heureuse si tu peux



After rather an eventful weekend - not just preparing to move house, but interrupted by a party for our friend Jim's birthday as well - we have the sad news that one of the quirkiest of the famed French "yé-yé" girls and Eurovision-winner (and a fave here at Dolores Delargo Towers) Mlle France Gall is dead.

As we struggle to wake ourselves in this darkness to get back to work, on this Tacky Music Monday, one can't help but smile at the combination of a typically cheap and garish Scopitone video and the eternal jollity of France Gall...


Have a good week, dear reader.

RIP, France Gall (born Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall, 9th October 1947 – 7th January 2018)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Tranquillité


How our house-warming party will no doubt look

As the whirlwind of thoughts and plans for our forthcoming potential move begin to become a reality, so we are in need of a little calm for our jangling nerves.

What better way than with a little light musical interlude - and another chance to wallow in the lives of impossibly glamorous people in exotic locations? I think a Soft Tempo Lounge tribute to the late, great and uber-cool Jeanne Moreau fits the bill perfectly...


[Music: Luna Sorgente by Angelo Brigada]

Saturday, 6 January 2018

New Year, new start...



...we've put down a holding deposit on a new home!

Dolores Delargo Towers #4, here we come...

Friday, 5 January 2018

Ah, un poquito más



What a blessed relief. That most difficult of weeks - the first back in the office after the lengthy break for "The Festering Season" - is almost over...

Our plans to move out and away from those "Demon Spawn" upstairs has begun in earnest, with two flat viewings tomorrow. However, there's still time for a party!

So welcome to the stand, dear reader, tomorrow's birthday boy the late, great Van McCoy - in the company of some rather frenetic "tropical" dancers in this vid - and let's all do the Soul Cha Cha, and Thank Disco It's Friday!


Van Allen Clinton McCoy (6th January 1940 – 6th July 1979)

[Two Cha-Cha tracks in one week - where will this lead..?]

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Songs of the Year 2017



I gave up my regular "new music round-up" blogs many moons ago - too much like hard work, for diminishing returns (I would often find myself looking forlornly as no-one read, let alone commented on, them after hours of research). However, just occasionally I am tempted to revive the concept...

There were actually, after all, a few songs [no rappers, no Ed Sheeran, no Bieber, no Coldplay and no Miss Swift, obviously!] that were released in 2017 which piqued my interest - such as this absolutely brilliant one by Beck [a particular fave of the fantabulosa Ana Matronic; as she admitted when she played it while sitting in for Jo Wiley on her show on Radio 2 last night]:


Speaking of "faves", this track by the-latest-"weirdo"-on-the-block Lorde has topped many a "sensible" music critic's list - and, even I have to admit, (with its defiant, angsty style reminiscent of Robyn Dancing On My Own) it is rather contagious:


This was inescapable all through the summer of '17:

[The pre-Bieber version]

Speaking of inescapable - this one also dominated the year, and is likely destined to be a staple of every daytime radio station, advert and trendy boutique "mood music" playlist for ever more - unsurprising, really, since it is basically a bastard child of ABBA and Simple Minds...


But, then there's this! It became a huge "earworm" here at Dolores Delargo Towers when I first encountered it back in November [despite the fact it was already two years old at the time], and is likely to remain there for a good while yet. My "fave choon of the year", by a long chalk:


So what were your songs of the year 2017, dear reader?

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Catches light, catches sympathy



Britain's been battered by Storm Eleanor. We're all desperately trying to stay awake at work, while secretly wondering if it is OK to start drinking gin and tonic at our desks at 10am. Post-Xmas detritus is everywhere: dead trees still with bits of Angel Hair tinsel fluttering; bins overflowing with bottles and discarded broken toys; the charity shops are overwhelmed with donated unwanted tat...

...and a glitter-related injury has hit the news:
Doctors spotted a lesion on the patient’s cornea and initially suspected it to be caused by a herpes simplex infection, according to a case study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). But when the lesion was examined under a powerful microscope, a shiny surface was spotted inside.
Told you Xmas was best avoided!

Here's a pertinent number, courtesy of Moby:


Thick black soul
Moving slow, moving close to you
This life I don't know
It seems kinda sick to me
Hold each other tight
Walking through to our destiny
This glitter in my eye
Catches light, catches sympathy
This glitter in my eye
Catches light, catches sympathy.


Indeed.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

I'm gonna get up, I'm gonna get out...



Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

It's still dark, I am still half asleep - and it's time to go back to work...

I think Juliet Prowse sums up the mood:


Sigh.

Monday, 1 January 2018

New Year, new Cha-Cha-Cha


Cheers!

Happy New Hangover, peeps!

We hosted a marvellous party to usher in 2018, (hopefully) blasted the upstairs neighbours into submission until the wee small hours, and, having had a good lie-in (thank heavens for earplugs as the Demon Spawn were crashing around early again), we're having a hearty breakfast of gin...

Start as you mean to go on, I say.

Speaking of which - it may be New Year's Day, but it also happens to be a Tacky Music Monday. It's also mambo maestro Xavier Cugat's birthday, so what better to wake us up than with a faboo Latin medley featuring his sassy ex-wife Abbe Lane..?


A good note on which to enter 2018, methinks!