Here is my latest video offering. It is a sequence of films and stills shot around Norton, where I live, supported with a soundtrack from an unknown source. The song featured appears on a 90 minute mixtape which was given to Mrs Gnomepants V1.0 by a university friend in the nineties. I have no idea what the song is called and I have no idea who it is by. Googlefu has failed me.
Oh my pants. This song is so cringe-worthy I can’t believe that people still play it.
Nobody walks in an atypical winter wonderland per this songs lyrics. When was the last time you walked in snow? It’s not so much a walk, its either a trudge (deep snow) or a bit of a flail (that icy bollocks shallow snow) as you try to maintain your balance.
Nobody walks in snow. Sure when it first falls it’s nice and crisp and glisteny. Yes its fun to chuck lumps of it at passing people. It’s fun to build androgynous phallus shapes out of the stuff. Fun also to try and pass the effigy off as a snowman by dressing it up in an old hat and sticking a carrot in the bit that passes off as a head.
But calling it Parson Brown? Is that a euphemism? Then you’re asking it to marry you?? My pants, this is turning into some weird snow based death cult isn’t it? This is where you clonk me on the head, bury me in the icy slush and try to pass off my corpse as a snowman. Isn’t it? Sort of a snowy version of the Wicker Man.
So some creepy old guy with a beard and a beer belly is stalking your kids. He watches them when they sleep and knows when they’re awake. Worse, he has compiled a list containing your children’s behavioural difficulties which he checks frequently. And yet you still don’t report his suspicious activities to the police!
No. You give him alcohol and cake and dress your houses up with icons devoted to his form.
This song is the only song people will remember Wizzard for. It’s been in the charts at least 9 times since its release in 1973. Most importantly though I chuffin’ hate this song. The day I never hear this song ever again will be the best day ever. Really. I mean who really wishes it could be Christmas everyday? You? If so, seek help. Can you imagine? Christmas everyday?
For a start the only shops that would be open would be the 24 hour garage and the corner shop. None of which have a great deal of stock so you’d soon run out of turkey and don’t be thinking one of those crap windmills they sell or a pack of playing cards will pass off as a good present for long.
You’d soon get sick of those relatives that only show their faces at Christmas too. Imagine seeing them every day. Coming round pretending not to be on the sniff for a Christmas dinner or a begrudged gift.
Then theres the economy. Sure no trains or buses will run and most businesses are closed but who will pay for the power generation? Where will the money for the taxes come from?
If it was Christmas everyday, the world would grind to a halt, murders would increase and within 12 months the global economy would collapse resulting in devastation, disease and death everywhere.
And there’s only a very slim chance it’ll snow too….
It’s Cliched to be Cynical (at Christmas) – Half Man Half Biscuit
Ah Christmas! That time of year when the shops force you to buy stuff you don’t need to give to people who aren’t necessarily thankful. That time of year when it gets a bit nippy and the nights get darker. That time of year when, no matter where you go, you are forced to listen to bloody awful music on repeat. Over and over and over and over and over.
Last year I went on a cruise. It was a lovely cruise. I saw lots of the Caribbean. I saw my brother, his wife and my niece. I was nice and warm. Tropical you might say. But there is something weird about going to a hot part of the world when you are from a cooler part of the world. Especially at Christmas. It feels like August. It looks like August. But there’s Christmas trees and Christmas music blaring out wherever you go on the ship. Which makes it feel like you’ve sailed into some weird Twilight Zone.
As you can imagine I was subjected to all of the Christmas songs from the past 40 years or so. For 14 days. All day. If it wasn’t for the company, the scenery and the endless food and drink, I probably would have picked up one of the sun loungers, fashioned a crude weapon and systematically started bumping off the entire ship.
Sadly, the one song that didn’t play was today’s entry. Last year in the Composts I moaned a fair bit about Christmas. I feel that sometimes it takes someone or something to remind us not to be such a misery guts. This song does that so, if you ever feel ever so cynical about the season, you should listen to this. It’s my second most favourite Christmas song. I think is quite apt.
Christmas eh? That period of enforced shopping and spending.
There was a time when Christmas meant nipping down to the local church, doing a few carols with a mug of warm mulled wine before giving up and having a sing a long in the local pub round the old Joanna.
These days Christmas is heralded by gaudily dressed shops in November and incessant repetition of God awful Christmas pop from the previous 40 years.
Long term readers will recall that I wrote about Christmas music last year (and even then before that!) during the Bah Humbug series. But Christmas music needs a whole series to itself. For the next 24 days, I will be selecting and discussing a Christmas song from across the decades. Some you will be familiar with, others probably not. So, in the interests of tradition, I give you:
The Existential Compost/Compostual Existentialist Christmas Advent Series 2014
Sometimes I wonder if anyone is still actually reading these entries as I persevere to listen to my album collection in alphabetical order. But do you know? Part of me like to think that long forgotten LJ flisters might still be reading or random people might be coming across these posts many years into the future on WordPress. I also like to think that this is kind of a historical record and in a far off distant future scores of academics and philosophers are debating not only what I meant by vampiresses with comedy inflatable breasts but also why did I have such a massive cock collection of music and were people actually interested in this and if so why?
Anyway, as I plunge on through the “A”s missing out only a couple of two track EPs as they don’t really count as full albums (If you’re really interested they are “Abandoner” by some bloke out of Porcupine Tree and “Absence and Plenum” by Lux Interna who none of you will have heard of anyway. I was also wearing my khaki short sleeved shirt and there are 7 cards in the card holder on the mantelpiece) we arrive at an unusual choice.
I’d never heard of Santana until they appeared on a soundtrack for a film I liked. So as I liked one of their tracks I did my usual thing of downloading their entire back catalogue. Yes. It was getting a bit silly doing that. Anyway, Abraxas contains Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va which always makes me feel like I should be in some seedy Spanish restaurant in the 1980s. Surrounded by bullet ridden corpses having just survived a Spanish Mafia attack by hiding behind the fake plastic plant in the corner.
A Thousand Roads is a film by Chris Eyre released in 2005. This is the soundtrack for it.
I’m very fond of soundtracks and there are many in my collection. Mostly they are of films that I have seen but this is one of 2 film soundtracks of films I’ve not seen.
I’m also very fond of Lisa Gerrard’s music including Dead Can Dance (but more about them in a later post).
So there’s two things: Lisa Gerrard and Soundtracks. What more could I want? Well there is a third thing. World music. I first got into World Music as a teenager when I was taken on a school trip to see the Gamelan at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. Initially I was resistant but an hour into the performance I began to recognise repetitions, subtleties and changes in rhythm which none of my classmates seemed to appreciate. On the back of that experience I embraced World Music and, over the years, have collected some interesting music (again, more of that in a later post).
A Thousand Roads is a lovely mix of etherical wailing, tribal chants and haunting synths. A rare treat for travellers and explorers of the musical soundscape.