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Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jeff's Holiday Collection

Hi folks!

As many of you may have noticed, I have become heavily into podcasting! it's a lot of fun and allows me to play my favourite music, explore new music and to make something that sounds cool without the need for an engineering degree or years of thankless internships at radio stations. It's that whole punk rock DIY ethic: use whatever is available to you and, in the words of the great Laurie Anderson, "let your tools show you what they can do".

I am also a fanatical Christmas nut: so much so that I've done several holiday-themed shows this year. Here, in one handy compendium, are the links to all of those shows for you to binge-listen to, like an audio equivalent to a box set on Sky.

Into The Unknown's Christmas Cavalcade of Crapola

...in which I pick some of the worst Christmas records available to me, and play them at you.

Into The Unknown - The Festive 28

...in which I play some classics and some new favourites.

Into The Unknown's Christmas Schmaltz-O-Rama

...in which I get comfy in my high backed leather armchair next to a roaring fire, with a large festive drink in my hand, turn on the stereogram and play a selection of my favourite Xmas tunes, guaranteed to make you feel all misty and wistful and warm and contented. Pull up a La-Z-Boy and chill with Jeff.

Into The Unknown 36 - Christmas Is A Few Sleeps Away

...in which I play more merry ho ho ho and jingle jangle sleigh bell type things.

My Live Xmas Eve Mixlr Broadcast

...in which I play an hour-long mix of holiday treats and nutcrackers.

The Podcast of Jeff! Xmas Pod

...from 2014, a mix of music and holiday readings.

Into The Unknown 37 - The Christmas Leftovers

...in which we play some Christmassy bits, some regular bits, and a couple of New Year's numbers. Happy New Year everyone!

I'd like to invite everyone to listen to these while there's still time, and please, follow me on Podomatic, Mixcloud and Mixlr, and while you're at it, head over to my Podcast Of Jeff pages on Facebook and Twitter!

https://www.facebook.com/thepodcastofjeff/

https://twitter.com/PodcastOfJeff

If you are dead impressed with what you hear and can class yourself as a bona fide fan, then why not buy the (dead cheap) T-shirt?

https://teechip.com/unknown

Only 13 bucks! Cheap!! I'm robbing myself!
Thanks for reading, thanks for listening, and stay tuned - there are more great things to come in the New Year.

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Daesh Diet


Must be a 'slow news' day.


So, both The Daily Snail and The Scum newspapers this morning are screaming banner headlines about how the risk of death due to obesity and the risk of death due to terrorism are about equal. (Oh, how they like scaremongering. Gee, thanks, Mr. Murdoch, you enormous tool.)

Er, bullshit?

Even a simple Google search blows that theory out of the water. Last year the amount of terrorism-related fatalities was not quite 38,000. GLOBALLY.

And last year, the amount of obesity-related deaths was 300,000 IN THE U.S. ALONE.

So, yeah. Baloney.


But the question that naturally arises from this, of course, is what is the correlation between the two? When did you last see a fat terrorist?

Has this scenario ever cropped up in the mountain hideouts and crummy apartments where (we are led to believe) all terrorists spring from?

"It's no good, Mick.* I can't get my suicide jacket to zip up."

"Well, you keep eating those takeaways and cooking those massive fried breakfasts, you fat bastard. It's no wonder!"

So, next year's alternative diet. Eat like a terrorist and watch those pounds melt away. I can see it now on QVC...

"So, forage for a handful of nuts and berries to make a delicious complement to your daily ration of rice, and watch those pounds melt away! Of course, you will eventually be required to firebomb a branch of Spud-U-Like or strap on a belt fashioned elegantly from plastic explosive and duct tape, and walk into a busy shopping centre and detonate yourself, but that near-feral lifestyle and hipster beard you'll grow mean you are guaranteed to look great and feel fit while doing it!"


*The usage of the name "Mick" in the above scenario is purely coincidental and is not intended to imply that all terrorists are Irish, or indeed male. The name chosen could just as easily have been Barney, Fred, Wilma or even Muammar. We apologise if there are any people out there named Mick who found this article offensive. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

WhatTheHellTube

My daughter Rosie has recently turned three years old, and she is one smart cookie. Anything technological represents no obstacle to Rosie, and on many an occasion we have remarked with wonderment and amazement at her ability to elicit unusual results from the TV or Sky remote simply by touching or throwing it. She'll pick up the remote or even just move it to one side and suddenly we're watching something on the Nigerian channel. She has also mastered Mum's phone upon which she regularly plays with My Talking Angela, a more recent sequel to the games My Talking Ben and My Talking Tom. Not familiar with these games? Look them up, download them, install them on your phone and become hopelessly addicted to feeding, petting washing and putting to bed an animated anthropomorphic cat. You can't do that with Ben, but he's my favourite because of what he does when you ring his phone for him.




However, Rosie has graduated from such things and is now more interested in using Mum's tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.

Initially, she was able to play some kid-friendly games and she was happy with that. Recently, however, she has become au fait with the vagaries of YouTube, and has discovered some truly bizarro channels in which grown adults will play with kids' toys on a regular basis while talking in a chirpy annoying Midwestern accent.

What's that ya say? Surely they cannot all be weird? Oh, believe me, once you see them, you will have some headscratching moments of gobsmackedness to come.
Give you an example or two? How did I know you were going to ask that?

Let's start you off gently. Here's an example from the Epic Toy Channel...




Then there's the Engineering Family, who apparently have 500,000 subscribers and over 500m monthly views. And tell me I'm wrong but Mr. Engineer (the dad) sounds a bit like Seth Rogen to me. Like Seth Rogen if he was a strange childcare provider.




The Engineering Family also do quite a lot of videos in which they open Kinder Surprise eggs and find out what toys are in them (impending sarcasm warning!!). And yes, that IS as fascinating as it sounds. However, they are not the only ones that do this.







To me, these things are like watching those awful 'unboxing' videos...




*stifles yawn*

Then Rosie seems to have stumbled upon another weird YouTube phenomenon, the proliferation of "Finger Family" videos. You remember the song from preschool, "Peter Pointer, Peter Pointer, where are you?", which is a knockoff in itself of the old nursery rhyme "Where is Thumbkin?".

Well, these people seem to have taken the concept and made it into Finger Family. Mummy Finger, Daddy Finger, Brother Finger etc. and so on and so forth. There are a bunch of those out there, which is odd, since most kids know where their fingers are and don't need to be told a bunch of times. But some have taken it a step further by adding little finger puppets and/or animations into the videos and turning it into something else entirely. For example, I saw one that was a 'superhero' themed video, so there was Hulk Finger alongside Wolverine Finger and Batman Finger. Here is an example, but proceed with caution - what has been seen cannot be unseen.




She's also become a fan of Teletubbies through YouTube, but seems to enjoy watching foreign versions of it.




Indonesian...



and Polish.

Then there is the utterly strange Booya channel. These videos are in a league of their own. They take kids' nursery rhymes and create Halloween-related versions of them.

Yep.




The problem is, especially in the case above, the rhymes are not there. What I mean by that is that Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed works because 'bed' rhymes with 'bumped his head'. Seriously, does five little zombies jumping on the grave work for you? Because I have a major problem with this sort of thing. America, I am sad to say, does that a lot. There used to be a phenomenon in the 90s when I was working in childcare called Piggyback Songs, where in order to teach the concept you were trying to teach, you'd turn it into a song by writing new lyrics to an older song such as Wheels On The Bus or Old MacDonald and using the theory that kids learn better to music to hope that it works. Trouble is, if a kid hears a tune he is familiar with, he only knows the old words, so putting new words to old tunes does not work.

Sometimes these videos blend together...





..this is all kinds of messed up.

However, with my help, Rosie has become a fan of Veggie Tales. Not the story parts, just Silly Songs With Larry. Here's her favourite...





Larry Rules, OK?

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Spicy Rant

I just want to take a moment to address all those British folks that like chorizo. You know, the spicy Spanish sausage. Now that we are multiculturally aware and have seen a few episodes of Jamie Oliver and  other top TV chefs at work we feel we are well versed in diverse culinary delights. Well versed enough to actually pronounce the word "chorizo". Well, I'm here to tell you, British people, you can't. Oh, you think you can, don't you? You confidently attempt it, savouring the syllables as they roll off your Anglo-Saxon tongue. "CHO-RITZ-O", you say, trying to appear worldly and cosmopolitan. You actually are looking like a bit of a prat.
 


It's not CHO-RITZ-O. Not by a long shot. Sorry to have to burst your bubble and all, but I think you need to know. If you don't stop saying it that way, I might go out of my mind. Some folks think I am already at that point, but I don't actually care about anyone else's opinion.

The correct pronunciation? Well, in Spanish, the letter Z is pronounced as an S. Even more so in Mexico, where it is practically hissed. CHO-REESS-O.

Only in Italian does a Z do that 'there's an invisible T in there somewhere' thing, and only if there's two of them. Think PIZZA, PIAZZA, MEZZOFORTE, etc.

So are we clear now? Chorizo is pronounced CHO-REESS-O. Not CHO-RITZ-O. Got it?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Charly Says...

Last time on the Puzzler I asked you all what The Prodigy's first big hit was, in 1991. Well, so as not to keep you all in suspenders any longer...




Of course it was Charly!

Peaking at number three after entering the UK chart at number 9, Charly re-entered the chart again in 1996 (after Firestarter became a hit), and then again in 2004 (when the song was made available for digital download).

Next question...


One of the samples contained within Charly is part of the intro from James Brown's 1988 effort "Godfather Runnin' The Joint".




One of the most frequently sampled rhythmic breaks is from a James Brown tune from 1970. The drum break is performed by Clyde Stubblefield on the track. Can you name the track?

Into The Unknown, 23

Into The Unknown, 23



EPISODE DESCRIPTION
Another healthy dose of rock'n'roll from around and about, here, there and everywhere, with Jeff, your effusive host.
1. Simon John Parkin - His Library
http://simonjohnparkin.co.uk/
7. Headphone - Gold
11. TONGA CONTROL - Tonga - Resiste
https://soundcloud.com/tongacontrol
Mario Zavaroni
Mendoza, Argentina
12. Nellie Bell - Only The Lonely
from EP - Black and White
Nellie Bell
Windsor
https://twitter.com/nelliebellmusic
https://www.facebook.com/nelliebellmusic
http://www.songkick.com/artists/6617834-nellie-bell TOUR DATES!
13. Sargent>>> - Pied Pipers
https://soundcloud.com/mu_isa
14. F***ed up generation - Everyone Thinks I Am Someone Else..
http://fuckedupgeneration.bandcamp.com/
Drop us a line at jeff@tenterden.co.uk or find us on Twitter: @PodcastOfJeff

Friday, August 7, 2015

Make My Day

I am absolutely mindblown.

Here is the latest product from The Podcast Of Jeff - Episode 1 of a series I call Whatever Happened To...? The band I chose for the premier outing was INTAFERON.


http://jeffhickmott.podomatic.com/entry/2015-08-06T10_32_00-07_00



Simon Gillham (L) and Simon Fellowes (R) aka Intaferon.

You may or may not remember them - it really doesn't matter (although if you don't remember them, you missed out big time). What does matter is that I did some extensive research (or so I thought) and put together a show in which I talked about the band's output and what became of them after they broke up in 1985. All of which you can hear about if you listen to the show (link above - hint, hint).

Simon Fellowes is now a novelist and has published two books which are available via his publisher's website at http://www.stratabooks.co.uk/store/ 

It turns out, through reading about Simon F on the Strata Books website, that last year he recorded a new album called Live It All Again. The website included links to the album at https://soundcloud.com/strataentertainment/sets/simon-f-live-it-all-again.

When I went there and listened, I clicked 'like' on one track, which then pinged to my Twitter feed. Strata Books noticed it and sent me a tweet saying had I read a short true story by Simon entitled Woodwork & Psychos on the website about the making of the album? http://www.stratabooks.co.uk/read/woodwork-and-psychos-by-simon-fellowes/

I tweeted back and said yes, I had, and sent them a link to the podcast.

Well.

Simon Fellowes then gets wind of it, and messages Simon Gillham, who as far as I knew had retired from the music world and was now teaching philosophy. 

Simon Gillham then sent me an email. When I saw the name Simon Gillham in my inbox, I was giddy with delight. One half of Intaferon was writing to me!
If you'll indulge me, here are some highlights.

"Simon F told me about your podcast. Nice to hear it. You may be interested to know that I've started making music again too, under the name used to. You can see the video for the latest single Festival of Disappointment at this link. Interestingly, the second verse tells the Intaferon story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcaftXXss7o

It's out in a couple of weeks but available on Spotify now. There was also a single earlier in the year called We Can Deal With The Detail Later. 
Most of the first used to album is finished and when we get round to mixing it we'll put it out. There's a fairly rubbish website at www.usedto.co.uk. 
 And yes, I still teach philosophy at Colchester.

Nice to know there are some actual Intaferon fans out there. I'm still one myself.

Cheers, Simon

PS, if you can post links on your site I'd be grateful."

Well Simon, consider the links posted. I wrote back to gush say how amazing it was to have him write to me, and I am still, several hours later, in awe. How amazing is that?






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