Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Totty of the Day















"'Handsome' means many things to many people. If people consider me handsome, I feel flattered - and have my parents to thank for it. Realistically, it doesn't hurt to be good-looking, especially in this business."

"When I grew up, being gay, being a sissy or anything like that was verboten. I disliked myself intensely and feared this part of myself intensely and had to hide it and became "Perfect Richard, All-American Boy" as a place to hide."

"Over a long period of time, living as if you were someone else is no fun."


Richard Chamberlain (born 31st March 1934)

Freedom?



As those eternally-vigilant campaigners at AllOut launch their latest campaign, to overturn another piece of Redneck/Bible Belt homophobic legislation in "The Land of the Free" - the recently-passed Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, that allows companies to deny service to gay and lesbian people under the guise of “religious freedom" - so I am reminded of this song by Mr R. Dean Taylor...



"Out there, the law is coming, I've been so tired of running
Indiana wants me. Lord, I can't go back there..."


Indeed.

Please sign (if you haven't already): support the “Fairness for All Hoosiers Act”

[Footnote: Allegedly the term "Hoosiers", used to describe people from Indiana, is from the English dialect phrase hoozer used in Cumbria, meaning anything unusually large, and derived from the Old English hoo (as at Sutton Hoo), meaning "high" and "hill".]

Monday, 30 March 2015

Corazón contento



OK, so I am on holiday (gloat, gloat).

However, here at Dolores Delargo Towers, a dollop of cheesy showbizziness remain a standard part of our repertoire to to start the week.

So, on this Tacky Music Monday, how about a medley of "hits" from the Spanish wannabee-"ye-ye" girl Marisol, complete with a slew of bored-looking safety gays and dolly-bird dancers?

I think we should...



Have a good week, peeps!

Marisol (aka Pepa Flores, born Josefa Flores González, 4th February 1948)

Sunday, 29 March 2015

D'ya know you made a living all these years, just going "za-zee-za-za"?



It seems to be a bit of a "diva weekend" here at Dolores Delargo Towers (but, then again, when isn't it?)...

Yesterday we celebrated the genius that was "Sassy" Sarah Vaughan, today it's the turn of the irrepressible, the wonderful Miss Pearl Bailey! - here giving Bing Crosby the runaround on their joyful rendition of Gone Fishin':



Pearl Mae Bailey (29th March 1918 – 17th August 1990)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Sassy with a Gunn



It's a grey old start to the day, but I am off to meet up with John-John to (finally) get to see a showing of the film Pride at the BFI - as part of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, nowadays clumsily known as "BFI Flare" - so that should be fun.

It was also Sassy's birthday yesterday - and what could be more sassy than her vocal version of the theme from the ultra-noir series Peter Gunn? [With a fab remix by Max Sedgley, of course.]



Sarah Vaughan (27th March 1924 – 3rd April 1990)

Friday, 27 March 2015

Ding-a-ling-a-ling it!



It's my last day in the benighted office for TEN DAYS, dear reader - and I am ecstatic!

To suit the impending party mood that will envelop me around 4.30 this afternoon, here - clad, as I am, entirely in silver lamé - is the lovely Miss Anita Ward and Ring My Bell...



Thank Disco It's Friday!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Pure mellifluousness



On Tuesday Madam Arcati and I were thrilled to get tickets for a very special event indeed – an intimate evening of jazz and standards titled It Might As Well Be Spring, courtesy of two of the top performers in their genre, Miss Claire Martin OBE and Mr Joe Stilgoe (son of the legendary Sir Richard, telly favourite in the 1970s and co-writer of Phantom of the Opera with Lord Lloyd-Webber) – in the luxuriant surroundings of the fantabulosa “Crazy Coqs” cocktail lounge at Brasserie Zedel
The syncopated excellence of Claire Martin and Joe Stilgoe has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. Martin, one of our finest jazz divas, defines insouciance as she controls her perfect timbre, her voice swooping like a seabird from the most glorious moment of an occasional mezzo trills, down to a luxuriously resonant contralto. Her pitch is perfect and her timing pinpoint - there is truly nothing more a cabaret singer could offer.

And then there's Stilgoe. With a reverential impertinence that reminds one of Peter Shaffer’s young Amadeus, eschewing sheet music and much like a Transformer straight out of the recent movie franchise, he becomes one with his piano. Stilgoe really is that good.
- Jonathan Baz
I have always adored Miss Martin’s talents – we have on CD When Lights Are Low, a collection of excellent tunes from her lengthy musical partnership with the late, great Sir Richard Rodney Bennett – and she is highly regarded on the “jazz scene”, presenting as she does BBC Radio 3’s flagship Jazz Line-Up show.

Her voice was described on the Musical Theatre Review site thus: ”[Claire] is able to glide effortlessly from swinging a number to caressing it and, at times, she drops from a tone of pure mellifluousness to a timbre that is evocative of a gin and cigarettes habitué.” As we were to discover, she is simply a breath-taking vocal stylist - tackling a range of standards, from Judy Garland (Arlen’s Get Happy) to Lena Horne (on Michel Legrand’s Watch What Happens), with a little bit of everything else in between...

...including this wonderfully sassy (and, we thought, somewhat "Caro Emerald-esque") song, written (surprisingly) by Donald Fagen of Steely Dan fame - one of my favourite numbers of the whole evening, Do Wrong Shoes. [Unfortunately her interpretation is not online anywhere, so this is a version by Jackie Allen]:



Mr Joe Stilgoe is someone of whose music, much to my chagrin, I had heard little before. After this performance, I shall certainly be making amends on that score! He is incredibly talented, and an often very funny entertainer – even reinterpreting the lyrics of such “untouchables” as They All Laughed or Wonderful World.

Not merely a miraculous jazz pianist (the things he can do with that keyboard!) but guitarist too - and he "plays" the mute trumpet, just by “tooting” with his mouth – he has a vocal style reminiscent of Harry Connick or even Bobby Darin (and definitely better than Jamie Cullum!), and could effortlessly switch between swing, “interpretive jazz” and smooth “lounge” sounds, as accompanist to Miss Martin and on his own numbers.



They complimented each other beautifully.

So much of “our kind of music” was here. So many classics by our staple diet of songwriters – Noel Coward, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Yip Harburg, Irving Berlin. In the hands of these two consummate professionals, we were absolutely in our element.

A perfect evening!

Claire Martin website

Joe Stilgoe website

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Another day, another dollar



I love my office...

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

I hear what you say, I see what you do


"Now, who had hold of my showerproof? It’s irreplaceable, you know, being in tangerine poplin, which apparently there’s no call for."

Timeslip moment again - and today the wormhole has dropped us back 19 years to 1996...

Nudging around the middle reaches of the charts this week (on its second outing, incidentally - it was first released almost a year earlier) was the fabulously boppy sound of La Bouche (one of Mr Frank Farian's side-projects, post-Boney M and definitely post-Milli Vannilli) and Be My Lover:


Oh, I can just smell the dry ice...

La Bouche

Monday, 23 March 2015

Totty of the Day











Mr Aidan Turner, currently winning the "battle of the britches" in his star turn in the remake of Poldark.

Just call me Demelza...

A little bit of heatness



Oh bloody hell! It's Monday again, and after a lovely weekend pottering in the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, the very last thing I want to do is go back to work.

Never mind, dear Joan Crawford's birthday is today, and that's something that cannot be ignored. Thus, on this Tacky Music Monday, here is the immortal lady herself - blacked-up like some early RuPaul, and in a wig-tearing strop - with Two-Faced Woman (from the intensely tacky 1953 movie Torch Song, and, to add insult to injury, dubbed by India Adams):



It's no wonder we queens all love her so!

Have a good week, people.

Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur, 23rd March 1904 (some sources list 1905, 1906 or 1908) – 10th May 1977)

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Love, this is my song





And so, farewell Miss Jackie Trent - prolific songwriter, singer, and long-time wife and creative partner of the inimitable Tony Hatch.



Between them, they created much of the sound of the "Swinging Sixties", including songs for Scott Walker, The Montanas, Anita Harris and Connie Francis. Miss Trent collaborated in particular on many of Petula Clark's greatest hits, including I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, Colour My World, Don’t Sleep In The Subway, The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener and This is my Song (Serenade Of Love):



Jackie and Tony also went on to create several theme songs for television, including Mr and Mrs, Budgie and of course, the title song for Aussie soap-opera Neighbours.



Miss Trent did have a fearsome reputation, however:
Sandie Shaw claimed on a radio show that Miss Trent was so jealous of her relationship with their mutual manager Eve Taylor (the self-styled "Queen Bee of Showbusiness") that she pushed her into a swimming pool at a get-together.

“Sandie, Sandie, you accuse me of trying to drown you,” she retorted. “Yes darling, and I have witnesses,” said Sandie.

Trent’s parting shot was unequivocal: “And you should have been drowned at that particular time!”
Nice...

Here she is singing her biggest hit Where Are You Now, My Love?:



RIP Jackie Trent (born Yvonne Burgess, 6 September 1940 – 21 March 2015)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Song of the Day



I often have the same problem after a few sherries...

Friday, 20 March 2015

Once upon a time there was light in my life



The last (almost) total solar eclipse until 2090 is due over London at 9.30 this morning.

Of course, London will be under its usual blanket of grey cloud, so we'll hardly notice...

Never mind, eh? It's almost the weekend, and there's an obvious choice to help us celebrate - Miss Nicki French and her dance cover of Bonnie Tyler's over-emoting classic!



Total Eclipse of the Heart? I doubt it.

Thank Disco It's Friday? Definitely!!

Have a great weekend, one and all.

And here's some very useful advice on watching the eclipse, courtesy of... The Clangers!


[Ah, memories of childhood, and Oliver Postgate's Smallfilms]

For the more serious-minded: What you need to know about the eclipse, courtesy of The Guardian.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Don't tell...



As the news breaks that Liza's in rehab again...

...let's have a Slice O'Minnelli - on Men, Marriage and Mama!



Rick Skye is a genius - we've been to see him four times on stage (see here, here, here and here)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Begorrah



Sounds about right.
Britain is marking St Hangover’s Day with shivering bouts of vomiting.

The holiday takes place after St Patrick’s Day and was first observed in 1517 when Mary Tudor was convinced the hogshead of mead she got for her 21st birthday was tainted with plague.

When she rallied the following afternoon she declared it St Hangover’s Day, suggesting that people use the time for quiet reflection and convincing themselves they are having a heart attack.

Theologian Roy Hobbs said: “St Hangover was a French priest and friend of Joan Of Arc, who he once went on a three-day sesh with to celebrate her 18th.

“He was known for his quick temper, crippling headaches and piercing, bloodshot eyes.”


Jane Thompson, who prays to St Hangover while holding two large paracetamol, said: “Blessed Saint, I beseech you make these precious tablets do their goodly works before my fucking head explodes.”
The Daily Mash

Of course.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch


Giants?

Timeslip time again... and our knackered old TARDIS has landed in this week thirty-five years ago - a week when a strong leader was dominating the politics of Russia, a Westerner was executed in Iraq and there was a corrupt president newly elected in Brazil [sound familiar?]...

But, what of the music we may have "forgotten" from that time? Hovering round the charts in March 1990, here's Birdhouse In Your Soul by They Might be Giants:



I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I have a secret to tell
From my electrical well
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
So the room must listen to me
Filibuster vigilantly
My name is blue canary one note* spelled l-i-t-e
My story's infinite
Like the Longines Symphonette it doesn't rest

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But I'm a little glowing friend
But really I'm not actually your friend
But I am

There's a picture opposite me
Of my primitive ancestry
Which stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck free
Though I respect that a lot
I'd be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts
Bluebird of friendliness
Like guardian angels its always near

Blue canary in the outlet by the light switch
Who watches over you
Make a little birdhouse in your soul
Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul

(and while you're at it
Keep the nightlight on inside the
Birdhouse in your soul)

Not to put too fine a point on it
Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet
Make a little birdhouse in your soul


No drugs involved there, then.

Apparently the band is still together, and this year revived an old idea of theirs from the 90s - "Dial-A-Song", whereby anyone can "call a number" (or these days, download a podcast) and hear their newest music. They have promised to release one new song every week for the entire year.

I doubt I'll bother.

Try the They Might Be Giants website for more.

Monday, 16 March 2015

En Stjärna



Groan... It's the start of another working week, and still no Lottery win in sight.

Hey ho, yesterday would have been the birthday of the lovely Zarah Leander, so let's cheer ourselves up on this Tacky Music Monday with an utterly marvellous duet between two Swedish greats - Miss Leander, and the equally sadly missed operatic sensation Birgit Nilsson, with Vill ni se en Stjärna (which, appropriately enough, translates as Would you like to see a Star?). How camp is this?



Speaking of camp... Just because I can't get enough of dear Zarah, here she is in full "Madame Armfeldt" garb, serenading her horde of elegant safety gays with a medley of her hits:



Have a good week, folks.

Zarah Leander (15th March 1907 – 23rd June 1981)

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Bangs, burlesque and the downright bizarre



On Thursday, Madam Arcati and I were pleased to get tickets for an event at one of our favourite cabaret venues, the Matcham Room at London's glittering Hippodrome - High Lights, billed as "an old style variety show", and hosted by none other than our old fave Dexter Clark, Mayfair’s foremost celebrity hairdresser!

The creation of the simply faboo Roger Lloyd-Thompson, Dexter was (like so many others) someone with whom I first made contact many years ago courtesy of MySpace, and we have followed his career as he emerged from that now-diminished site, via YouTube (unfortunately most of his classic video moments have now gone from there), to his storming live shows (see here and here). Having heard nothing of him for years, it was indeed good to have him back - and just as dismissive as ever of his celebrity clients (Kate Moss (“chemical streak”), Rebecca Brooks (“tawdry mane”), Katie Price (“thick up top”), Kerry Katona (“council house bangs”) and Britney Spears (“Mississippi muddy blonde”) among them).



His role on this occasion was not just to regale us with tales of his magnificent life, but also to introduce a swathe of other acts - or "interruptions" as he preferred to call them - to the Matcham Room stage.

So we were entertained (to varying degrees, admittedly) by the talented burlesque artiste Miss Giddy Heights (who opened the show with a rather fun piss-take of Kate Middleton, complete with willing helper from the audience as Wills, and closed it as a smutty Marie Antoinette), and by the bizarre Johnny MacCaulay (who performed as "Elvis - The Burger King of Rock and Roll", and in the second half, as a clown illusionist).





The internationally-renowned Romany, Diva of Magic (she's performed for Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Mick Jagger and HM The Queen, though possibly not at the same time) grabbed Tony up onto the stage as her stooge, which was quite bewildering, but fun...



Miss Velma von Bon Bon was fab both as a sharp-shooting cowgirl riding a large pink-feathered "terror-bird" and a "drunken" burlesque aerialist, prat-falling from some rather alarming heights. Funniest of all, however, was the oddball duo Raymond & Mr Timkins (described by The Guardian as "a mad, anarchic triumph of stupidity over style; not to be missed"), whose madcap high-speed medley of songs based around a series of visual props was a joy to behold, and had us rocking in our seats.

This was a great night out, and lived up to its description. We thoroughly enjoyed it (as did fellow Polari-ites Bryanne and Simon). We look forward to more from dear Dexter, now he's out of rehab back in business!

Of course, the last word goes to Mr Clark himself, in this exposé:


More about Dexter Clark

Saturday, 14 March 2015

La Primavera?



The sun is shining on the extensive gardens here at Dolores Delargo Towers, and we're off to spend some time with Mother (it's Mothering Sunday tomorrow) with a visit to the Imperial War Museum's Fashion on the Ration exhibition...

Time, methinks for a suitably laid-back musical interlude; and a highly appropriate one - here's Club des Belugas featuring Anna Luca and It's A Beautiful Day:



Spring's almost here, dears!

Friday, 13 March 2015

Very superstitious, writing's on the wall



Another Friday 13th ("unlucky for some"? - hooey!) being upon us, I thought I would share some of the weirdest superstitions around the world, courtesy of The Stylist magazine:
Stay forever young by carrying an acorn
Forget anti-ageing creams - in Ancient Britain, women carried acorns in their pockets to stay looking young. According to Richard Webster in The Encyclopaedia of Superstitions the oak tree was believed to provide longevity and to ward off illness due to its long life.

Don't eat lettuce if you want to have children
In the 19th century, English men avoided salads if they wanted to start a family. In The Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions, a book on 'Plant Lore' suggests that lettuce was detrimental to child-bearing because it was a 'sterile' plant, and "as plants exhibited peculiarities in their actions, so were they supposed to operate on man".

Don't chew gum at night
Fancy freshening up before a night out? Stick to mouthwash in Turkey. Harry Oliver, author of Black Cats and Four Leaf Clovers, says that the Turkish believe that "if you're chewing gum at night in Turkey, you're actually chewing the flesh of the dead".

Never give gloves as a present...

...well, you can, but you must also receive something in return, or you'll both have bad luck.
Gloves are attached to a whole host of superstitions , dating back to Medieval times and the days of chivalry, when Knights wore a lady's glove in their helmets. It's also bad luck to drop a glove, and then pick it up yourself - derived from the custom of a lady dropping a glove in the hope a prospective lover picks it up.

Off to an important meeting? Look out for a goat.
The goat has been associated with debauchery, lust and the Devil for thousands of years - and is also believed to absorb any evil or harm that may cross your path. That's why it was once considered good luck to encounter a goat when travelling to an important meeting.

If your skirt turns up, you'll receive a new dress
Ever get an annoying fold in your skirt when you've sat on it strangely? According to old folklore, a new outfit might be coming your way.
The Oxford Dictionary of Superstitions cites that in 1914, it was "a common belief that if the lower edge of a woman’s skirt has become turned up so as to form a kind of pocket, some good fortune, such as a present of a new dress, will come to the owner."

An awkward silence means an Angel is passing over
This rather whimsical explanation for a lull in conversation is attributed to Dylan Thomas' Portrait of the Artist - it features the line "A host of angels must be passing by … What a silence there is!".

Eat grapes at midnight for good luck
On New Year's Eve in Spain, not everyone kisses as the clock strikes twelve. The superstitious eat twelve grapes at midnight for 12 months of good luck.

Go to hospital on a Wednesday

According to The Encyclopedia of Superstitions, an old wives tale says the best day to go to hospital is a Wednesday. Monday is the best day to leave and Saturday is the worst - as it means you'll soon be back.

Pass a newborn baby through a rind of cheese
In Medieval England, expectant mothers made a 'Groaning Cheese' - a large wheel of cheese that matured for nine months as the baby grew. When the 'groaning time' or birth came, the cheese would be shared out amongst the family - and when nothing but the outer rind was left, the baby would be passed through the wheel of cheese on Christening day to be blessed with a long and prosperous life.

Tuck your thumbs in if you pass a graveyard
In Japan, if a hearse passes you by, or you walk by a graveyard, you must tuck your thumbs in to protect your parents. This is because the Japanese word for thumb literally translates as "parent-finger" and so by hiding it you are protecting your parents from death.

If a bird poos on your house, you'll be rich

In Russia, if a bird defecates on you, your car or your property it's good luck, and may bring you riches. The more birds involved, the richer you'll be!

Keep a hot cross bun for a year

Much like the tradition of keeping a slice of wedding cake after the ceremony, this slightly grim superstition is supposed to bring luck. Hot cross buns were originally eaten at ancient pagan festivals - but without the cross. Christians added this in later to ward off evil spirits, and once baked on Good Friday morning, one was hung in the house for a year to bring good luck.
And, don't forget...

Clap after sneezing to avoid killing a fairy!

Apparently.

Hurting me through and through



It's the end of another week, thank heavens.

And it was the fantabulosa (daaahlings) Liza Minnelli's birthday yesterday - so it's time to clear the decks! Quiet please, there's a lady on stage...

Thank Disco It's Friday!



Love Pains? Only at first...

Have a good weekend, one and all!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Diverse Pleasures



It has been an absolute age since I got my arse into gear and did a trawl through some of the newer music that has caught my ear. I am just so un-enamoured of the World of Pop these days - I tend to spend more time wallowing in the nostalgia-fest that is BBC Radio 2 (on weekends in particular), or else classical stations such as Radio 3 or Classic FM are my preferred aural backdrop.

That aside, let us clear the decks once again for a mini-showcase of recent choons by some eternal favourites, some welcome surprises, a few classy numbers, and inevitably some cheese...

Two great musical icons joined forces at the turn of the year, the legendary Giorgio Moroder (one of the more surprising comebacks of recent years) and Our Princess of Pop Kylie Minogue. The result was rather fab - Right Here, Right Now:



Speaking of comebacks, around the Festering Season (yes, it has been that long since my last round-up) a particularly welcome gift was the return of a long-lost fave band of mine, The Beautiful South! Well, not entirely. Only two of them, in fact - lead singers Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott. However, their song Real Hope (an excoriating critique of "reality TV" talent contest/karaoke shows such as X-Factor, The Voice et al) is a true return to glory, and I love it:



Nothing else in music (or indeed music news) is ever quite as big as Madonna releasing/promoting a new album. Of course, the whole universe knows by now that the pop-tastic Living For Love is the first single from Queen Madge's Rebel Heart. However, there is a huge cavalcade of remixes of the track out there to choose from, as well. I've waded through them to the best of my ability (so you don't have to) and, in my opinion, the utterly marvellous Offer Nissim has probably done the best job with his Living For Drama Remix:



Our houseboys (and one-time Madge collaborators) from Kazaky are (also) completely unstoppable. Despite being apparently now reduced to a threesome - oo-er - they seem to release a new single and video every few months! Their latest brilliant production is the (as ever) sex-fantastic What You Gonna Do:



Taking a break from dance numbers, here's a sweet one - a good song with a powerful message about tolerance, it's Kadie Elder and the faboo First Time He Kissed a Boy:



I have said it before, and I will say it again... Marc Almond is a God. He has a brand new album out this week, The Velvet Trail, and from it here is the sublime (song and video) Life In My Own Way. I adore this:



One I missed completely from last year - and many thanks again to the lovely Henry at Barbarella's Galaxy for digging it out recently - is the mysterious Kovacs and My Love. Her voice is a thing of beauty...



As ever, we go from the sublime to the ridiculous. With a song for everyone who's sick of mobile phones, here's a combo of fierce drag queens from the "Crucible of Civilisation" Italy and the "Land of Tackiness" that is Spain, RIIING! by Lacroix & La Prohibida. Muy bien!



With it's hilarious "home-made" video and analogue synths, the new one from Eurotix takes me right back to the end of the 70s/early 80s. This kind of thing was de rigeur on TV back then. It's rather an excellent effort for all that - it's When You Are In My Dreams:



Quite possibly the only video any of us have seen lately that features naked dancing "Princess Leias" over a sumptuous ethereal soundtrack, here's Tropea by Kaleida. It is gorgeous:



Oh, and by the way: "I'm the kinda person you don't wanna fuck with!" Not necessarily my words - they are those of the charmingly-named Death Team [theirs is a genuinely inspired piss-take of a website, by the way!]) and their choon Fucking Bitches in the Hood - however I think I will be singing this in my head whenever I head to the office from now on...



And finally, in case that was a "fuck" too far, here - by complete contrast - is a jolly little divertissement that most definitely is not "new" (it was recorded almost four years ago), but new to me - and "right up our street"... I take constant delight at discovering musical oddities from the four corners of the earth, but this one really made me sit up and take notice. Dave Brubeck as you never heard him before - it's the Sachal Jazz Ensemble and their sitar-heavy version of Take Five!



As always, dear reader, enjoy - and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Sorry you what a shameful situation



“You pig-ugly homophobic twat" were the words George Michael used to describe the casual racist and inexpicably-popular-with-stupid-people Jeremy Clarkson, host of the hideously laddish Top Gear, after several insults against him by the presenter, and numerous uses of the word "gay" to describe cars he didn't like on his show. Since then, Clarkson has been caught out using the word "nigger" and the word "slope" (to refer to Asians), and was repeatedly forced to apologise. Yet he kept his job at the BBC on all occasions...

Now, at last, this pompous, bigoted, pseudo-"man-of-the-people", with his nasty attitudes and his even nastier brand of "male grooming" (naff shirt tucked into naffer jeans, a paunch combined with a 1970s footballer perm) has finally - we hope - gone from the BBC, after he allegedly punched a producer at the station.

Good riddance.

No doubt, unfortunately, some equally nasty, bigoted pseudo-"broadcaster" like Sky or Fox News will probably snap him up. Either that or he will rightfully be imprisoned. The latter is unlikely.

Here's an appropriate number from Erasure. All together, now...



I Love To Hate You.

Indeed.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Thought for the day



French childcare.

[from MattAdoresIt]

Monday, 9 March 2015

Amore, more, more



Weekends (especially sunny ones) just fly by.

On this Tacky Music Monday, we are not just in desperate need of cheering up as we head back to work...

...we also have the birthday of another camp-as-tits diva-wannabee-of-exotic-lands to celebrate! Many happy returns to Miss Barbro Margareta Svensson - better known as 60s Swedish superstar Lill Babs, who celebrated 60 years in the music industry last year.

To celebrate here is the lady herself, way back when beehives were essential - with the sexy-in-his-day German "answer to Elvis" Peter Kraus - and Amore . Mr Kraus appears to be trying desperately to pretend he has any interest whatsoever in those dancing girls...



Have a good week, peeps!

Facts about Lill-Babs:
  • Many of her original songs were written and composed by Stig Anderson, who went on to produce ABBA, and members of the soon-to-be-supergroup even sang as her backing singers on some early recordings.
  • She represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961 with April, April, and appeared in the Melodifestivalen many times afterwards.
  • The Beatles apparently asked for her autograph when they all appeared on the same Swedish TV show in 1963.
  • She still occasionally sings live, and is a frequent guest star on Swedish television to this day.
Lill-Babs (born 9th March 1938).

More Miss Babs here and here.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sinning with Dickie



News that the utterly marvellous Richard E Grant is to present a new series about the Seven Deadly Sins (starting with "Wrath") has piqued my interest to such a degree, that I just had to dig out an appropriate song...

Here's the late, dearly lamented Susan Hayward and Sing, You Sinners!



Richard E Grant’s Seven Deadly Sins begins on the Discovery Channel on Friday 13th March at 9pm.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Surprise! It's 1923...



OK. This was a bit of a surprise, I must admit...

The UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 has been announced, and... It's a Charleston!

How bizarre.

Still, it is quite jolly - and could have been soooooo much worse.

Let me know what you think.

Here's Electro Velvet and Still In Love With You:



Eurovision official website

A bongo bongo bongo





Today, we celebrate the 65th birthday of a performer of such - ahem - impressive talents that she is not just adored but revered in her native Puerto Rico (as well as here at Dolores Delargo Towers), the magnificent Iris Chacon!

Inevitably most at home on one of our regular "Tacky Music Mondays", nevertheless here she is shaking that impressive booty (and almost "booty-ing" those poor safety gays off the stage!) on Cumbanchero:



¡Ay, caramba!

More Iris here, here and here.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Who wears satin tights, anyway?



This weekend sees a series of events at London's glittering Southbank and across the country (and the world) to mark International Women's Day.

Not to be left out, and in celebration of the fact it's the end of the week - and party time! - here's (what else) the ineffably corny theme for that 70s fave Wonder Woman... Thank Disco It's Friday!



I spent a lot of wasted time in 1975 spinning around, but never got those satin tights (fighting for our rights).

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

But wine is all I have



Timeslip moment again, as we leap into that DeLorean and skid to a halt in this week thirty years ago, with an eye on the UK Charts...

It's Elaine Paige's birthday, and she was at Number 2 (with I Know Him So Well), but I'm not featuring her. One of my all time favourite songs You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive was at Number 1, but I'm not doing that either.

No! For this happy little wallow into the forgotten hits of yesteryear, here's the highest entry in the Top 5 this week in 1985, the lovely Stephen "TinTin" Duffy and Kiss Me...



In my young life I have received
Callers though they were Christmas Eve
I'm disappointed and I don't know why
She gave me laughter and hope
And a sock in the eye.

In my young life I know something now.
I've never tried to create a wow
Wows are few frustration more common
Now I can feel it in my soul
That's why I gave the come on.

Kiss me with your mouth
Your love is better than wine
But wine is all I have
Will your love ever be mine?

Faces fall before my feet
Like blood onto a clean white sheet
When I grow old I won't forget
To innocence my only debt

Wow I feel so fresh today
Barefoot in the snow to make love in the hay
The stars are bright in the abyss
Now I can feel you in my arms
I explode inside your kiss.

Kiss me with your mouth
Your love is better than wine
But wine is all I have
Will your love ever be mine?


Kiss him?

Yes.

I would.

Facts:
  • Mr Duffy was one of the original founding members of Duran Duran, before they were famous.
  • Kiss Me was the last song played on the medium wave service of Radio 1 before it became an FM-only station, on 1st July 1994.
  • Since his all-too-brief chart success, Mr Duffy has turned to songwriting and production, working with (among others) Alex James of Blur, the Barenaked Ladies and Robbie Williams.
Stephen Duffy (and The Lilac Time) website