Tag Archives: BBC Radio 6

Terrible Name But Great Band!…………What I Think Of Night Beds!

……….. I jest not! They really are called ‘Nightbeds!’. There was an article in NME a couple of weeks ago about terrible band names – many of whom are on my shelves – take the bow of name shame ‘Toad and the Wet Sprocket’, ‘Hootie and the Blowfish’ and ‘Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong!’ among many others.

Night beds didn’t get a listing on the NME roll call of awful names – but they could easily have done! And yet, like some sort of Einsteinian law there’s clearly a relationship between bad band names and the music! ( In Joe Lean’s case the music was a sign of the bad music to come! ). The scientific law for Night beds must be that the sheer naff ness of the band name is in direct inverse proportion to the wonderfulness of their music – for it’s great!

I first heard of them only a few days ago. My partner casually mentioned them. ‘Have you heard of a band called Nightbeds? I heard a song of there’s on the radio and I think you’d like it!’. After a predictable exchange along the lines of “Nightbeds?” “Nightbeds” “Nightbeds?!!!!!!!!” “Yes-Nightbeds!” “Night – beds????????!!!!!!!!” “YES! NIGHT-BLOODY-BEDS!”, I loaded up Spotify and sure as fate up they came! I feel instantly in love with their stuff and I’ve been playing it non- stop ever since!

I have to hand it to my girl – she knows what I like. While i love indie and my favourite station is BBC Radio 6, I listen to old fart radio in the car on the way to and from the station ( mostly Today on Radio 4 but occasionally I live it up a little with Radio 3!). My girl is much more likely to be listening to Absolute, or XfM ( she listens a lot to Heart and Smooth as well but we’ll gloss over that aberration quickly!) – she’s put me in to several great bands – but I think Night beds might be the crowning glory of her music tips!!!!!

The guy behind Nightbeds is Winston Yellens a young bloke from Nashville. Their album is due out here in the UK on Feb 5th though there are EPs out that will give you a flavour of their exquisite floating melodies and his great voice! And if you want a comparison then I’ll go back to my partner – she’s not only got a great ear for my taste but she can link them up. She commented that she thought I’d like it because it sounds like Bon Iver! And I love Bon Iver. And she’s right. And if you want further proof that she’s write in her tip and in her Bon Iver comparison, have a look at these reviews from BBC Music and The Guardian!

17 Days Of My Life Wasted Listening To Bohemian Rhapsody………….

……….This is apparently the amount of one’s lifetime that the average person will spend listing to, and for me, singing along falsetto to, “I see a little silhouetto of a man! Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango!”  – or at least that’s how long I’ll spend on Bohemian Rhapsody singalongs according to Stuart Maconie on BBC Radio 6 (and if it’s reported by the BBC then it must be true!).

I mention it because I’m conscious of the fact that I don’t seem to have time to read at the same speed as everybody else. Last night I listened to “The Readers” podcast which included, between the giggling, the dates for their Summer Book Club, which I posted about previously. Now ordinarly 8 books in 8 weeks (the dates are on their website!) wouldn’t have phased me one bit – in fact until recently I’d have laughed scornfully in the face of such a mealy-mouthed reading challenge – a book a week now though terrifies me!

My anxiety about my reading speed is heightened by the fact that every bloody reading blog I suscribe to seems to indicate that everybody else is reading one book a day – at least! I love reading the different blogs I subscribe to, but the speed at which say the bloggers at Book Snob or Random Jottings go through books makes me feel I should have stuck to Janet and John!!!!

(and as an aside if you remember the travails and misery of being taught to read through Janet and John, you might like this take on it – Wendy Cope’s poem Reading Scheme!)

At the moment I’m reading Guernica by Dave Boling. The book is good, I’m enjoying it and everything is as it should be – except for the fact that I started it on Monday night and I’ve only reached page 124! If I’m to enjoy blogging about books, but find the time to have any books read to actually blog about I need to save time! So for a start I’m ditching Bohemian Rhapsody!

However a quick trawl of the Internet showed me that in addition to frittering away my life screeching about a bloke who’s telling his mother he’s just killed someone and that they are coming to get him (a plot straight out of Midsomer Murders I think!) I found out that I am:-

1. Wasting 46 days of my life just getting ready! (Mind you could be worse – if I was a woman apparently my time wastage on getting dressed would go up to 136days!)

2. Wasting 13 weeks of my life lying on a beach trying to get a tan (and I’m a Glaswegian for god’s sake! We only do two colours – milk bottle white or pillar box red!)

3. Wasting 4 years (yes 4 bloody years!!!!!) on the phone at work – no wonder so little gets done each week!

4. Wasting 138 weeks of my life washing clothes (and it is a waste – all that time and I still always manage to look like I’ve slept in them!)

5. Wasting 125 days of my life having a shave ( Ryan Giggs doesn’t bother with this and having perma-stubble hasn’t held Ryan back!!)

6. Wasting 27 days of my life getting romantic (who’d have thought buying petrol station flowers every year on Feb 14th would take so long…………..!) and then wasting a further 2 weeks kissing!

When I think about all that time wasted, it’s no wonder I don’t have enough time to read! So from here on, to get back that time, I’m ditching washing and getting dressed, I’m abandoning shaving, and if I’m not getting dressed then I need waste no more time washing clothes, and I’m giving up work and I’m accepting finally that my skin will NEVER go brown! Then I’m going to take most of the time I’ve saved and devote it to reading so I should start to get through Guernica and other books much quicker. But I won’t put all that time into reading – I’ll save a bit of it for the romantic stuff because I don’t know about you, but that didn’t seem enough to me!!!!

Songs that make your head go “mosh” at 50!

As I was reading other book blogs on the internet with BBC Radio 6 on in the background, my concentration couldn’t resist the chimes of The Ramones singing “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”  – my head immediately started to pulse back and forwards! I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager – and that’s a long, long, long time ago! I love the idea of songs which worm their way into your consciousness and even sub-conscious and stay embedded there – and then any time you hear them you have an almost Pavlovian reaction as soon as the first bars sound out!!!!

Personally I think you need hair for that metronomic pulsing of the head if you are to “mosh” properly – luckily I still have plenty though it’s predominantly grey and white these days! (There’s a different debate to be had perhaps about the dignity of a 50 year old man moshing – but I don’t care really!)

About 10 years ago I was at the V Festival when the much younger brother of a friend invited us to join them in the mosh pit, commenting that I had the perfect hair for it! It was a great moment – firstly acceptance of a sort by a younger generation for us more at the “dad rock” end of the age spectrum and secondly at last all this hippy like hair I’d carried around for 20 years or more was finally “perfect” for something – I accepted the offer and had a great time in the mosh pit for a set by Placebo – mind you at the end of it I realised that the thing that had come in most useful in moshing with these kids wasn’t my hair but how I’d learned to make effective use of my elbows in a defensive capacity from years of playing football! Even then I was black and blue next day – but happy! Anyway I digress – back to songs that make you want to go……mosh.

Several of mine are from my early days as a half-hearted punk (half – hearted in so far as while I loved the music and the clothes I still wanted to keep my long hair and my fear of needles meant the only earrings I ever had in were clip-ons!) So from back then, to this day, songs that still make my head and neck pulse instantly include “Pretty Vacant” and also “Anarchy In The UK” by the Sex Pistols, The Ramones doing “Blitzkrieg Bop” in addition to the aforementioned “Sheena is A Punk Rocker!”, and “Kick Out The Jams” by MC5. Today my tastes are a bit different – some might say they have become mellower – I like to think of them more as having grown-up! However there are still so many songs that instantly make my head rock – I can’t remember what most of them even are but there are some I am aware of. It always happens when I hear the Arctic Monkeys “Fake Tales of San Francisco”, “Hey Scenesters” by The Cribs, “Take Me Out!” by Franz Ferdinand and the wonderful “New York City Cops” by The Strokes!

One of the things which other men of my age may be aware of is the plethora of hair products out there for us men to hang onto our hair for as long as possible – I use some ridiculously named and ridiculously expensive serum and shampoo stuff  – and while there are lots of reasons for doing it (actually there may be only one reason – vanity – but I give it lots of different names!) – one of the reasons is definitely so I still have enough hair to get that instant surprise and pleasure and joy from suddenly realising that my head is off and moving to some song or other. Time for me to get a fix of The Strokes I think!