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Showing posts from May 13, 2007

Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #5 - Ian Dury

IAN DURY AND THE BLOCKHEADS - I WANT TO BE STRAIGHT

CHEESE FACTOR*: 0/10


"And I'm Ian. And guess what? Oi! I wanna be straight!"

What's left to say about Ian Dury? Not much, especially if you've read the excellent biography by Richard Balls. The man wasn't a song writer, he was a poet of the highest order, creating unique rhymes within the framework of music. He should have been made the Poet Laureate or given a knighthood for his services to poetry while the chance was there, such was his talent.

I have several Dury songs on the MP3 player and all are classics. Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick. Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll. The totally un-singable Reasons To Be Cheerful, Part III (and if you think I'm joking then just try to sing it, it's probably one of the best songs ever of it's type and flows with with rhyming slang that borders on tongue twisting of the highest order). There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards. Sweet Gene Vincent. The list…

Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #4 - Lene Lovich

LENE LOVICH - LUCKY NUMBER

CHEESE FACTOR: 9/10



Oh dear. Oh Lord, save us all!! Yet another Stiff on show. Originally a B-Side to the mail-order only single I Think We're Alone Now (just imagine Debbie Gibson looking like that!!), this song was recorded in a variety of languages with a Japanese version being just mind blowing. The video for this used to give me nightmares, but at least Lene wasn't as freakish as say Nina Hagen, whose appearance would be enough to turn a man, if you get my drift.

In her defence, and in defence of the song...it's a quirky little number, highly infectious (much like say Ebola), boppy and easy to dance to. The high pitched squeals get me every time and more than once I've burst a blood vessel in my throat trying to do them right. God love Lene, she had to contend with the likes of Hazell O'Conner (Eight Day was a stunner and a future Hidden Gems, but let's face it, she was a one hit wonder) and Toyah, who also had a freakish appe…

Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #3 - Jona Lewie

JONA LEWIE - LOUISE

CHEESE FACTOR: 10/10



Just for the heck of it, because I like it, here's the huge non-hit, Louise, just to remind some of you what it sounded like back then, complete with syndrums and over produced keyboards. This video is a hoot - roller skating, dodgy New Wave big haircuts, synth solos and as a dancer Jona makes Bruce Springsteen look like Fred Astaire. All I need now is to post Stop The Cavalry and you'd have Jona Lewie's greatest hits, although this only reached number two here in Australia and amazingly enough it did top the charts in South Africa. No word on if Jona toured there though.

Why do we like it? Because it's Jona. This single was also released as a 10" single (I still have my original copy somewhere, I think) and the remix wasn't too bad, but the album it came from, Heart Skips A Beat, looked as suspect as they come with it's cover showing an overly happy Jona on the front cover (mind you he looks like he'd taken a lar…

Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #2 - Jona Lewie

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JONA LEWIE: YOU'LL ALWAYS FIND ME IN THE KITCHEN AT PARTIES

CHEESE FACTOR: 8/10



There's not much you can say about Jona Lewie that hasn't already been forgotten. Yet another artist from the Stiff stable, Jona exploded into my life back in the late '70s/early '80s (along with the rest of the Stiffs) and has remained there ever since. Truth be known it's hard for me to pick the one tune that properly sums up Jona (who's name was really John Lewie, much to my disgust), but then it really only comes down to three songs. Stop The Calvary was the big one, you've all heard it, and the royalties that it still brings in has enabled Jona to live a life of relative comfort by funding the purchase of various rental properties (sad isn't it? You imagine that these people would never do anything so mundane). And then there's the criminally overlooked Louise. But Kitchen At Parties has always been on my playlist, along with the other two songs, and it probably a…

Hidden 'Gems' On My MP3 Player: #1 - Rachel Sweet

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First in a series. Trust me on this. Every so often I'll try and dig out a video of a song that exists on my MP3 player. I'll list the song, the details, why I have it and a cheese factor if required. It might be fun, plus I always like writing about music...

RACHEL SWEET/REX SMITH: EVERLASTING LOVE

CHEESE FACTOR = 10/10



Released in 1981 I loved this from the moment I saw it. Rachel Sweet always moved me as a wee lad, possibly because she wasn't that much older than I was in 1981, in fact she was all of 18 at the time (she was 15 when her first album was released in 1978). She also released a great version of 'And Then He Kissed Me' which I'll freely admit I played until my mother broke the single over my head.

What's not to like about this video? You get Rachel in wedding gear, a wet dream really for a young lad of my age at the time. it's hard to imagine that this was very sexy in this day and age where the young girl singers show off their enhanced breas…

Gentleman Jim Mooney

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FINALLY!! I'm more than happy to announce the following...

The upcoming book GENTLEMAN JIM MOONEY tells the story of the life and career of one of America’s most prolific comic book artists, Jim Mooney. Told in his own words through rare archival interviews and new, exclusive commentary, GENTLEMAN JIM MOONEY documents Mooney’s life from his early days as the son of a millionaire, through the lean years of the Great Depression, to his days in Hollywood as the brother of a starlet, and ultimately to his career as a comic book artist.

Jim Mooney drew his first pages in 1940, a mere 18 months after the first appearance of Superman, and he’s still going strong today, a career that spans seven decades. In that time, his art has graced virtually every major character in the comic book world, from Batman, Supergirl, the Legion of Superheroes, and Dial H For Hero at DC Comics to Spider-Man, Man Thing, Captain America, the Avengers, and more at Marvel Comics.

GENTLEMAN JIM MOONEY draws primari…

"In Defense of Quite a DECENT Inker"

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"In Defense of Quite a DECENT Inker," said the header for one of the emails that I received this week, complete with images. Two pages, one penciller, two inkers. You decide which one is the better.

Since I posted what's now become one of the most talked about transcripts of the year, if not the entire freaking decade, there's been a lot of discussion about Vinnie Colletta's merits as an inker. Over on his blog Eddie Campbell has put forward a case as to why he feels Colletta wasn't as bad as people say he was (artist wise mind you) and Mark Evanier has waded straight in with why he feels Colletta was downright horrid and uses a now famous pencil panel from a Jack Kirby Fantastic Four where Colletta erased Mr Fantastic as an example of Colletta's ineptitude.

Eddie's thoughts are along the lines of Colletta being his favourite inker of the 1960s, Marks are along the lines of Colletta ruining more than he ever fixed. So where does the truth lie? I suspect…

Tightlip Entertainment: Lessons Learnt The Hard Way

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This email came across my desk only yesterday. Jimmy T, a damn good friend of mine, sent it to a mailing list that I frequent and then kindly gave me permission to post it here. It's what I consider to be essential reading for anyone who wants to break into the field of comic books. Beware, sharks troll those waters.

Before we start understand this - Jimmy is one of the all-time good guys. He's done some work for me in the past and I've always offered to pay him, and he's always refused. I don't expect that to continue and I'd be more than happy to pay him for anything he's done - but, as I said, he's a good guy and someone I'm happy to call my friend. Add to that he's an exceptionally talented artist in his own right (the art in this post was all inked by Jimmy). I've seen him grow into the artist he is over the past few years and it's been a thrill to see someone just starting out slowly but surely establish himself as a professional in…