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By tafkass | February 5, 2013 - 10:43 am - Posted in General, or uncategorized due to sloppy editing

Well, it’s 2013 now, and pretty much 18 months have passed without me lifting a blogging finger in anger. In the meantime, all of the world’s problems have been completely sorted out - thanks largely to the irresistible intellectual force of bloggers everywhere, who have ensured EVERYONE online makes a REAL effort to think about issues, and works in harmony to SOLVE problems rather than just hurling insults at each other constantly. (Oh - no, hang on; in fact, the planet’s mired nipple-deep in stinky crapola, blogging is now utterly irrelevant thanks to Twatter and Faecebook, and people hate each other more than ever.)

In this strange modern world, I, like so many other rapidly-ageing ultra-conservatives, long for a return to simpler times, when the environment didn’t exist, when all Muslims were loveable bit-part movie sidekicks played by Art Malik or the fat one in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, and when the liberal media’s agenda wasn’t being run by shape-shifting illuminati space-lizards from the planet Xooberon. But, unlike most rapidly-ageing ultra-conservatives, I’m in a position to do something about it (well, something other than crapping on endlessly about immigrants, the BBC, marxists and “greenies” on the Telegraph’s comment pages, that is.)

We live in the worst recession for a century; the poor are going to shit, so I thought I’d join them… and so with very little fanfare and no further ado, I would like to announce the imminent relaunch of Shit Sandwich. Please make your way over there - you’ll not find loads of new features, plenty of intellectually and sexually-stimulating content, as well as all the old favourite contributors. Hurrah!!!

www.shitsandwich.co.uk

By tafkass | October 13, 2011 - 4:05 pm - Posted in Uncategorized

Find of the century last week at a local boot fair: a 7″ of “Rockin’ All Over the World” RECORDED IN LATIN! AND the guy only wanted £1!

You could say it was a quid pro Quo…

By tafkass | September 26, 2011 - 10:43 pm - Posted in Ha flipping ha.

Finally completed a very long, drawn-out and exhausting house purchase today, and am celebrating with a bottle of Chateau La Croix de Marbuzet. It’s a lovely tipple; and (as I might say in my cheesiest Scottish accent) at £20 a pop, I should bloody well hope that it’s “ma booze”, eh?

By tafkass | September 23, 2011 - 2:25 pm - Posted in Music, Taf's Tune of the Day, Uncategorized

A fond farewell, then, to R.E.M., one of the most eminent bands of the last 30 years, whose work I always admired - but, to be honest, struggled to love. I’ve got most of their albums, but with a few exceptions, never really listened to them more than once or twice; it’s all a little bit too cerebral and civilised, and in need of a few more “volume up to 11″ moments (such as “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth”). TM puts it very well (via God’s great gift of irony) when describing their break-up:

“I knew it was too good to be true … all that ‘caring about the world’ and ‘eating tofu’ has finally got the better of them and they’ve broken down in a bilious display of acrimonious nastiness. Here’s some classic band break-up nastiness from Stipe: “I hope our fans realise this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way,” Stipe said as he announced the split. It’s like the Sex Pistols or Pixies all over again…”

R.E.M.’s “vegan break-up” was indeed emblematic of my struggles to really love them - and in order to completely contradict myself for no good reason, the tribute song I’ve chosen as TTOTDOWOHOHCBATCI is one of their most sensitive and tragic; even bordering on mawkish. It’s “The Wrong Child”, last track on side 1 of their breakthrough album “Green”, and it’s a fairly self-explanatory tale told from the point of view of a child struggling to gain acceptance from his peers. The lyrics are reasonably obvious (although they do a great job); the real genius is in the arrangement. The slightly off-key mandolin, the canon-style backing vocal and the stripped-down production make it a haunting, emotionally-piercing experience which is difficult to forget. (Some considerably more intelligent analysis of the song can be found here.)

(Apologies for temporary inability to upload song. I’m sure it’s all TM’s fault - the fact that I haven’t done any routine maintenance to the relevant software on my machine for MONTHS can have nothing whatsoever to do with it.)

Your latest monthly round-up of global science’s efforts to find the very cutting edge in new humour, you lucky people*…

Q - Which postprandial entertainment at the UN General Assembly was so bad that it had delegates walking out en masse?
A - After-dinner-jazz

Q - If Simon Cowell commissioned a Japanese director to make a horror film based on the grisly demise of the host of “Tiswas” and “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”, what would it be called?
A - “Britons Garotte Tarrant”.

Q - Which share index is favoured by incredibly stale, old-fashioned people?
A - The Fusty 100

(* - actually, at least one of these is a variation on another very similar joke, and another is rephrased slightly, if not downright copied. The shittest one is all my own work, though.)

By tafkass | September 8, 2011 - 12:56 pm - Posted in Ha flipping ha.

Q - Which celebrity marsupial is most clued up when it comes to internet telephony?
A - Skype the Bush Kangaroo

By tafkass | August 25, 2011 - 2:48 pm - Posted in Ha flipping ha., Irritating Things

Q - Did you hear about the comedian who completed his unfunny set very hastily?
A - It went without a LOL in proceedings.

By tafkass | August 24, 2011 - 11:12 pm - Posted in Ha flipping ha., Irritating Things, Music

Every dashing young desperado with even a passing interest in music dreams, at one stage or another, of forming a band with his / her mates - and many have ended up doing so, especially since the technology has become affordable to all, and since punk rendered obsolete the boring old necessity of having a modicum of musical ability. I suspect, however, that many down the years have fallen by the wayside at the difficult first stage - finding a band name.

There are endless naming paths open to fashionable young chaps in this year’s trousers; you can go wacky (”Manic Street Preachers”, “Ned’s Atomic Dustbin”, “Electric Light Orchestra”), you could go for “(X) and the (X)” - (e.g. Cliff Richard and the Shadows, or Simple Minds’ first incarnation “Johnny and the Self-Abusers”); or maybe try “Definite Article + Something” (The Fall, Cult, Move, Kinks etc), or even just a one-syllable effort, as was particularly vogueish during the ’90s (e.g. Blur, Jizz, Ride, Cast, Guff, Cud, Wang, Pulp, Belch or Flob.*)

Whether they’re looking for something punchy, zany, clever or witty, some bands do well, others far less so. For every “Rolling Stones” there’s a “Kajagoogoo”, and for every “Bill Haley and the Comets” there’s a “Fast Breeder and the Radio Actors” (an early tantric manifestation by Sting). But some names are simply appalling - here are my top 5 offenders. With all the words available in the English language, you’d think that 3/4+ intelligent people together would be able to come up with SOMETHING better than this crap:

5) The The  - must have seemed very piquant to head honcho Matt Johnson at the time, but the novelty wears off after about 10 seconds. A clear case of “no, I write the songs, so I’m choosing a witty name and I’m blummin’ well sticking to it!” A shame, because the Johnson’s dystopian visions, driving melodies and scathing rants are otherwise largely brilliant. (Incidentally, a by-product of the band’s name is that it renders selling “The The” rarities on eBay extremely challenging. Cheers, Matt.)

4) Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts- Really? If you say so.

3) Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Fuck off.

2)  30 Odd Foot Of Grunts- if this was Russell Crowe’s “vanity project”, then with a name like that, he must have a fairly low opinion of himself.

And finally 1) It Bites - a particularly tragic case, because the band concerned (a great personal favourite of mine) should, fuelled by astonishing amounts of talent plus large wodges of Richard Branson’s dough, have heralded a new dawn for progressive rock in the mid ’80s. Sadly, they split after only 3 albums, stymied a) by being best known for a “novelty” song (”Calling All The Heroes”), and b) by having the WORST SODDING BAND NAME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, EVER. (Seriously - HOW did they get to the point of signing a record contract without someone - or rather many, many people - taking them to one side and saying “Lads - you were great tonight, but joking apart, “It Bites” is a shit name. Change it. Change it NOW.”)

PS - dishonourable mention also to “The Beatles”, which is a pretty poor effort - although in their case, the music was so good that it has detoxified the craptacularly cheesy pun.

(* - Some of these may or may not be figments of my fading, low-grade-indie-addled, powers of recall…)

By tafkass | August 22, 2011 - 8:07 am - Posted in Uncategorized

Q - Which star of the film “Cabaret” is actually 1,000 years old?
A - Liza Minnellium

By tafkass | August 18, 2011 - 10:48 pm - Posted in Ha flipping ha.

Normally exclusively for my Facebook friends - but in the absence of a proper post for a while, you lucky, lucky people* will get to hear them too!

Q -  Which Chelsea midfielder wears the itchiest clothing?
A - Michael Hessian

Q - Which pasta sauce is the best at reporting on economics for the BBC?
A - Robert Pesto

Q - Which dessert is best at directing bleak Westerns?
A - Sam Pecan-Pie

(* - “people” may be an optimistic numerical estimate.)