Monday, 17 December 2018

Diamond Horseshoes a-go-go

Bloody Mondays. Hate them - and even more so when one's journey to work is impeded by a combination of mad people going shopping in rush hour, children and broken-down buses (wrong kind of fog, or something, I expect).

Let's get something jolly on, and forget all about it for a moment...

...on this Tacky Music Monday, how about a bizarre number by tomorrow's birthday girl Miss Betty Grable?!

That'll do nicely.

Have a good week, dear reader!

Sunday, 16 December 2018

I only wanted to one time to see you laughing

As predicted, Our Sal's birthday party was quite an event. I didn't get to bed till 6am, and, understandably, today was rather curtailed by a long lie in (I didn't surface till 2 this afternoon!).

Hey ho - a perfect excuse (if any were needed) for another outing for our resident orchestra, Mr Scott Bradlee and his Postmodern Jukebox.

I think the late, great Prince would approve of this one:

..and, by way of a little celebration for today's birthday boy Benny Andersson from Abba, this:

Oh, that's better.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

Is this the party?

We're off to celebrate Our Sal's birthday this evening. Should be another - ahem - sober and sedate evening, I predict...

...or something.

Friday, 14 December 2018

Where are they?

Darlings! We missed Miss Connie Francis's birthday on Wednesday...

Let's make up for this heinous oversight, and get ourselves into the party spirit with the lady herself, her greatest (and campest) hit - and a disco remix version to boot. Thank Disco It's Friday!

Where the boys are, someone waits for me
A smilin' face, a warm embrace, two arms to hold me tenderly

Where the boys are, my true love will be
He's walkin' down some street in town and I know he's lookin' there for me

Well, who knows what may happen this weekend, if we're lucky!

Have a good one, peeps.

Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, 12th December 1937)

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Earworm of the day...

...can it REALLY be ten years since this one was in our charts?!

As earworms go, at least it's better than all the Xmas shit that saturates our airwaves at the moment.

Bah Humbug.

Does he wash up?
He never wash up
Does he clean up?
No, he never cleans up
Does he brush up?
He never brushed up
He does nothing
The boy does nothing
Work it out now
Work it, Work it out now
Do the mambo
Shake it all around now

If you insist, dear...

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Traditional gripes

The ‘deep divisions’ in British society are mainly just people enjoying getting angry about things, experts have found.

The Institute for Studies discovered many of the grievances were simply traditional gripes such as other people doing better than you or sausages going up in price.

Professor Henry Brubaker said: “I expected Britons to be demanding a fairer society, but it was more things like hating people in the next town for having a slightly better bus service.

“Many of the economic and geographic divides turned out to be weird made-up bollocks, like thinking employers immediately put your job application in the bin if you’re from the North.

“I sympathise with the woman from Croydon who can’t find a vet her chihuahua ‘gets on with’, but I’m not sure how voting Brexit will have helped.”

Marketing manager Nikki Hollis said: “Britain is totally divided. My sister lives near a Waitrose and we’ve only got a Tesco. Why isn’t anyone helping people like me who’ve been ‘left behind’?

“Also it was pissing with rain this morning. I bet that wasn’t happening in posh places like Oxford. They’ve probably got a dome.”

Builder Roy Hobbs agreed: “I’m furious about Toblerones getting smaller, even though they’ve changed them back.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

El Zorzal - The King of Tango

An "international man of mystery", Carlos Gardel was born on this date in 1890 in Toulouse, France (or 1887 in Tacuarembó, Uruguay - if one were to believe the myths the man himself created around his nationality and age). Who? I hear you say...

Señor Gardel, after settling with his mother first in Uruguay then in Buenos Aires, became well-known as a cabaret/folk singer on the circuit of payadores that were all the rage in South America in the early 20th century, before turning his hand to an even newer (and even more popular) style known as Tango.

Being in the centre of such a "craze" he soon gained international fame, both for his inventiveness in creating vocal versions of popular Uruguayan and Argentine instrumentals and for his matinee idol looks, and especially for his own compositions - such as this one [which was my "new fave thing" back in April]; here with a rather stylish scene from a film I have never seen, Easy Virtue starring Jessica Biel, Colin Firth and Kristen Scott-Thomas:

El Zorzal ("The Song Thrush"), as he was nicknamed, mysterious to the end (he hid his domestic relationships from the public for fear it might affect his adulation amongst his female fans), was on a whirlwind tour of North and South America when, sadly, he and his band died in a plane crash in Medellín, Colombia. He was only on his 40s - and the hysteria was immense.

His funeral was spectacular; his body was taken on a posthumous tour that included New York, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Buenos Aires, where he was interred in a grand tomb, complete with statue, that is adorned with flowers by mourners to this day.

Carlos Gardel (born Charles Romuald Gardès, 11th December 1890 – 24th June 1935)

Monday, 10 December 2018

You are too too too too too divine

Oh, bugger. Back to work time. Again.

Maybe we need some exercise - why not let tomorrow's birthday girl (aka our Patron Saint Googie Gomez) Miss Rita Moreno show us how?


I'd rather join her for pizza instead...

Better yet, on this Tacky Music Monday let's just enjoy her in her element - singing Carmen Miranda songs while dancing with The Muppets!

Of course.

Have a good week, folks.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Strictly Ballroom

[Photo: Gavin Conlan]

John-John and I (and a little crowd of chums) were treading in the footsteps of the stars last night, as we bravely traversed the badlands of South London for Piers's 50th birthday bash at the fantabulosa Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley.

With its perfectly preserved arched ceiling, maroon velvet and gilded walls, chandeliers and banquettes, not only has this legendary vintage 1950s ballroom (one of very few still in existence across the UK, and probably the most intact) played host (on and off the stage) not only to such luminaries as Kylie Minogue, Meatloaf, Oasis, Florence & the Machine, Kings of Leon, Damon Albarn, Rumer, the White Stripes, Jimmy Page, Rihanna, and Chris Evans and the cast of the WW2 flashback scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but also...

...Dame Elton:

...that "professional weirdo" Miss Del Ray:

...The Beautiful South:

...and none other than Mama Tina!

Fabled company, indeed.

It was a great evening!

Rivoli Ballroom on Wikipedia

Rivoli Ballroom official website

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Totty of the Day

Jim Morrison would have been 75 years old today...

You know that it would be untrue
You know that I would be a liar
If I was to say to you
Girl, we couldn't get much higher

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire, yeah

Hot, indeed.

James Douglas "Jim" Morrison (8th December 1943 – 3rd July 1971)

Friday, 7 December 2018

This is the moment I've been waiting for

This is NOT the look I'll be going for this weekend.

And so another week crawls tediously to its close... The weather has been up and down like a whore's drawers again (pissing down this morning, clear blue skies and sunshine as lunchtime approached, then more chilly rain, and so on), and it shows no signs of settling into any kind of pattern other than miserable.

However, I do have a party to look forward to tomorrow - the 50th birthday of our friend Piers, at the luxurious Rivoli Ballroom in Sarf London, no less! What better way to get the festivities started than in the company of the effervescent Mr Dan Hartman (whose birthday it would have been tomorrow; RIP)?

This is it, this is the moment I've been waiting for
Hold me even tighter, I need your loving more
You're the one I adore, you more than satisfy, oh oh oh

This is it, this is the time and the place for love
Ooh we got this fast to a heaven above?
Ooh leave your troubles behind - love is yours and mine

This is my destiny, that you're so right for me
And then I give to you a feeling so true, when you're here next to me
Ooh, I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you, I, ooh I do
And you know all the while, it's making me smile
Before you returned, I know why I yearned

This is it, this is the top of the world for me
Oh, we get to act out our fantasy
Make it reality – and fly it to the Moon
And love will play the tune

Ah, this is it, this is it, this is love, love, love
Ah, this is it, this is it, this is love, love, love
Oh, this is it, this is it, this is love, love, love

Love, love, love that song!

Have a great weekend, dear reader...

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Don't jump before you look

Timeslip moment again...

This time, the good ship Spaceball One has beamed us down to an alien world - the world of thirty years ago in fact - 1988...

...the year of "Eddie The Eagle", Section 28, perestroika, the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 422, drought in the USA, Home and Away, the Piper Alpha disaster, the "Deaths on the Rock", Oliver North, Wimbledon's victory over Liverpool to win the FA Cup, the UK house price boom, Beetlejuice, the beating and murder of two Army corporals by the IRA, an attempted coup in the Maldives, the end of the Iran–Iraq War, the unearthing of a Roman amphitheatre under the Guildhall in the City of London, and the first internet worm; the births of Adele, Rihanna, Jessie J and Comic Relief; and the deaths of Roy Kinnear, Frederick Ashton, the Liberal Party (merged with the SDP to become the Lib Dems), Kenneth Williams, Andy Gibb, Nico and the £1 note (replaced by the coin).

In the headlines in December 1988: the "salmonella in eggs" controversy and the resignation of Health Minister Edwina Currie, the Clapham Junction rail crash, a devastating cyclone in Bangladesh, the very first World AIDS Day, the birth of a new royal baby Princess Beatrice, and the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie; in the ascendant were Benazir Bhutto (Pakistan's first ever woman Prime Minister), and the Estonian language (restored as the soon-to-be-independent state's official language), but we waved a sad farewell to the legendary Roy Orbison. In our cinemas: Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Willow and Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. On telly: An Audience with Victoria Wood, London's Burning, and the 25th anniversary of Top of the Pops.

And in our charts this week three decades ago? It was a fairly icky Top Ten, with Cliff-bloody-Richard at the top slot, and the dreadful Phil Collins and Chris De Burgh also lurking around. Thanks to the success of the Aussie import TV soap Neighbours, Our Princess Kylie and Jason Donovan's eternal "classic" Especially For You had crashed into the #2 slot (but they had to wait till the New Year to get their own chance at the top), and the theme from their wedding episode (by Angry Anderson) completed the triptych. Also in attendance were heartthrobs Bros, plus Robin Beck and her version of a Coke advertising jingle, dear little Rick Astley, Michael Jackson and Pet Shop Boys. But also just arrived - and soon to be a big threat to all of 'em (although it never quite managed to get to #1) - was this one, from our fave queeny musical funsters Erasure!

We'll be together again
I've been waiting for a long time
We're gonna be, we're gonna be
Together again
I've been connected to the right line
We'll be together and nobody ain't never
Gonna disconnect us or ever separate us
Or say to us you've got to

Stand there where you are
Before you go too far
Before you make a fool out of love
Don't jump before you look
Get hung upon a hook
Before you make a fool out of love

We'll be together again
I've been waiting for a long time
We're gonna be we're gonna be
Together again
I've been connected to the right line
We'll be together and nobody ain't never
Gonna disconnect us or ever separate us
Or say to us you've got to

Stand there where you are
Before you go too far
Before you make a fool out of love
Don't jump before you look
Get hung upon a hook
Before you make a fool out of love

We'll be together and nobody ain't never
Gonna disconnect us or ever separate us
Or say to us you've got to

Stand there where you are
Before you go too far
Before you make a fool out of love
Don't jump before you look
Get hung upon a hook
Before you make a fool out of love

Three decades? Heavens.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Consenting adults?

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

- Pastor Martin Niemoller

The spectre of censorship has raised its ugly head again in the blogosphere, with the announcement that on 17th December Tumblr - that fast-moving, almost 100% visual mini-blogging site that is the inheritor of some of Blogger's more esoteric contributors such as the venerable Thombeau - is going to ban "adult content" from its site, which it defines in bizarre terms as “images, videos, or GIFs that show real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples.” [Some wag out there in the interwebs made a suggestion about the latter that he expects to see all nipples in future sporting a suitably "male-presenting" moustache, and possibly a monocle.] Users have for years been begging them to close neo-Nazi posts, but instead Tumblr drew the line at nipples.

From the Independent yesterday:
...the blogging platform admitted that it “won’t always get [it] right”, but that its adult content ban was being imposed this week “out of love and hope” for its community. That seems like an odd thing to say, given the fact that Tumblr’s so-called “community” is largely made up of marginalised groups who first flocked to Tumblr precisely because of its relaxed approach to nudity and sex.

In fact, anti-censorship was generally understood to be one of Tumblr’s core principles, especially given its founder and former CEO David Karp’s outspokenness about the importance of net neutrality prior to technology giant Verizon’s purchase of the company in 2017, after its acquisition of Yahoo (which bought Tumblr in 2013)...

...What exactly motivated Tumblr’s decision isn’t clear at this stage – but given Verizon’s censor-happy history, it’s not hard to guess. This is a company that, in a 2012 legal brief to the US Court of Appeals over the Federal Communications Commission’s Open Internet Order, argued it should be able to “decide which content to publish and where”, as well as featuring “some content over others”. In 2007, it blocked an abortion rights group from using its services for a text message programme.

Tumblr’s “not safe for work” rule is simply a further extension of increasing controls on what we’re allowed to consume on the internet, especially when it comes to sexual expression. And it doesn’t seem likely to stop soon.

For all its claims of safety, especially for children, forming the basis of its decision, the fact that a company has the power to force an eclipse on what it deems to be unsavoury is a huge problem. It just reinforces the social restrictions most of Tumblr’s users sought to escape in the first place.

Considering the reduction in the amount of new users signing up to the platform and a failure to keep up with its existing ones, this could well be the final nail in the coffin for Tumblr. It only has itself to blame.
We at Blogger have been here before, of course - but a campaign by plucky bloggers against such censorship persuaded the mighty Google to reverse its ban (not before some of our own favourites had deserted here for pastures new, unfortunately).

As for the Tumblr censorship programme, warnings have already begun to be flagged by its robots and, and there are already huge rumblings of a mix of astonishment and anger. As the Guardian succinctly points out:
Ballet dancers, superheroes and a picture of Christ have all fallen foul of Tumblr’s new pornography ban, after the images were flagged up as explicit content by the blogging site’s artificial intelligence (AI) tools.
Indeed, my all-time favourite Tumblr user MattAdore is highlighting, in a stream of posts, some very bizarre and absurd anomalies turning up, such as...

It's a sad old world when yet another (c.f. MySpace, Photobucket) so-called "social" media site decides to commit such a public suicide. Let's hope our own "masters" at Google/Blogger hold their ground.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Twelve days of hic!-mas

An office worker with a gin advent calendar is knocking back the contents at 9am every day, colleagues have confirmed.

HR manager Susan Traherne surprised workmates by opening the calendar, remarking that she had never tried pineapple gin before, unscrewing the cap and downing the entire bottle in one.

She said: “What? It’s an advent calendar. That’s how it works.

“I don’t see anyone complaining about Martin having his Lindor every morning, or Angie having her Celebrations. This is no different.

“I’m hardly getting smashed off two units. Just takes the edge off and gets me in the festive spirit, you know? For example, when I found out who I’d got for Secret Santa, said ‘fuck off, no way’ and everyone laughed? That was the gin.

“They’re all different flavours in nice little bottles. It’s not like I’m having a nip from a bottle of Gordon’s under the desk. Now that would be concerning. This is just counting down to Christmas.”

Colleague Tom Booker said: “She’s leaving it here at weekends, so next Monday morning she’s downing three in a row. I wish I’d thought of it.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Speaking of gin - here's another fab track by a lady who was named after it:

Cheers, dears, and here's to queers!

Related news: Nine out of ten people have at least one unhealthy trait. We are in good company, dear reader...

Monday, 3 December 2018

Pretty bubbles in the air

Bleurrrgh. Rainy, dark, dank and miserable or not, it's time to drag ourselves back to work...

There is always a light on the horizon however, dear reader, when any film features the name "Ziegfeld" - even a 1978 made-for-American-telly movie biopic starring Samantha Eggar, Barbara Parkins and Valerie Perrine.

And, from that very movie - on this Tacky Music Monday, have some bubbles..!

Now, that's how to make an entrance!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

I make the goddam rules

"When music fails to agree to the ear, to soothe the ear and the heart and the senses, then it has missed the point."

"You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks. The artist is always there."

"I would not kill my enemies, but I will make them get down on their knees. I will, I can, I must."

"Don't talk to me about rules, dear. Wherever I stay I make the goddam rules."

It's been a very laid-back Sunday here at Dolores Delargo Towers (as it should be) - with so little daylight, it is difficult to really get a huge amount done.

So instead, let us put our feet up and wallow in the musical splendour of "La Divina" herself, Maria Callas, whose 95th birthday it would have been today...

Utter perfection. Sigh.

Maria Callas (2nd December 1923 – 16th September 1977)

More Maria Callas here and here.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Popping a boner

Today is the thirtieth World Aids Day, and, of course, my thoughts and memories abound on such a significant date.

However, amongst the remembrance, there is always an excuse to return to one of my fave (and definitely one of the strangest!) films arising out of that benighted era of our history - the pioneering "AIDS Musical" Zero Patience.

I have - needless to say - featured this classic in depth on previous occasions, notably here. However, there is always room for a few clips from this highly-recommended extravaganza, for your delectation...

It is indeed a most unusual musical...

Zero Patience on IMDB.