A return this week to the occasional series – Choons by bands I can’t stand. To be precise, it’s Michael Jackson I can’t stand, rather then The Jacksons. I’ve never been a fan, even before controversys started to surround him in so many ways. And I realise that as a person he had major issues and problems caused by the chidhood he never had, an overbearing and overexpecting father etc etc but I am talking about his music. Vacuous average pop with an overinflated sense of its own importance. Hated it.
But back in the day, The Jackson Five were making choon after choon. ABC, Blame It On The Boogie, even Rockin Robin. But this for me is the best. I think it’s the combination of a fine bass line and good use of backing vocals (always two things that cathc my attention) that really make this a
Hello Relayers and readers. You may have noticed there has been a teeny lull in the FR story. Yesterday I received this email from KC:
“Umm, so, yeah. I have now completely scrapped my last attempt, which -completely- refused to gel in any possible form, short -or- long, in favor of a brainstorm I had…last night. >.< This one is it, I didn’t have to scrabble and scratch, it’s just working…however…at this stage, timeline and such is important, especially with all the nifty revelations and secrets coming to light, so I’m having to go back, chapter by chapter, and make notes of all the previous nuggets of info that may or may not have to be included…or refuted. If that makes sense. So, ummm…can I have a teeny-tiny extension? Just a few days? Please huh?”
I am not one to nag people on the week-by-week guideline as you know – it takes as long as it takes, and particularly as we approach the end it gets harder to match all the past events, draw them together, ensure continuity, bring in new themes, revisit old themes etc etc. So there will be a further slight pause before we resume but it will be worth the wait. KC is a great writer – she gave us everyone’s favourite character Blue after all.
My usual thanks to Rochelle for curating the wonderful institution that is FriFic. This week’s prompt pic comes from fellow Fiction Relayer Ted Strutz:
The word-gatherers in my head were sent forth in search and have brought me back 100 carefully plucked offerings. I lay them before you here in the same way they were presented to me:
To loud cheers and excited applause, the mayor waves as he climbs into the back seat of his official car. The driver pulls slowly away and, followed by press, dignitaries and enthusiastic locals, the ceremonial first crossing of the bridge begins.
Twenty yards downstream, sixty feet lower, one man sits alone in the retired ferry. Empty, silent, still. He received a generous severance package, but it felt like just that – severance. Tearing him from his job of thirty years, from the work he loved and the passengers he saw as friends.
Above him, champagne pours. Below him, his river flows.
Author’s Note: This story is dedicated to the long-serving operators of the Woolston Ferry – aka The Floating Bridge – who carried the good people of Southampton across the river for 140 years until 1977 when the Itchen Bridge – aka The New Bridge- was opened.
I don’t know whether there has been much hype in your household over this particular 50th Anniversary – there are other events that happened 50 years ago this week which have had more coverage and more worldwide aftereffects – but Saturday was a celebration of Dr Who’s birthday. Not the Doctor himself, but the TV show. This show has been part of the British national consciousness for generations, and although I know of at least one oversees viewer (hi Joanne!), I don’t know if it has reached your TV screen or not. I’m not going to try to precis half a century (in our time at least) of television, so if Dr Who has passed you by thus far, and you weren’t in the cinema watching the anniversary special in 3D on Saturday, well I’ll just say you’ve missed out and have got a lot of catching up to do.
But I will offer you Delia Derbyshire’s legendary theme tune for this week’s choon. This may leave you cold if the words TARDIS and Gallifrey mean nothing to you, but to millions of Britons it means Saturday teatime, terror, excitement, laughs, action and one of the greatest and most innovative programmes ever shown. Delia deserves to be remembered for so much more, she was an electronic music pioneer, and yes she was a woman in an utterly-male-dominated industry. But just the diddlydum diddlydum intro brings out the goosebumps for me.
And if you still can’t see what the fuss is about, just consider she wrote this fifty years ago. That alone makes this a
As a special treat, here are Orbital at Glasto. Take the Dr Who theme, make the bass heavier, lay an Amen break loop under it and… bingo! Instant Choon! Oh and at the end of the clip you get a sneaky intro to Chime for free – I am so spoiling you
I don’t know what the word is, but I know there is one for that bizarre recognition-awareness that comes when you start seeing themes around you that you never saw before. When you buy a new car, suddenly it seems that every third car on the road is that same make. When your horoscope tells you that the number 14 will be important, from that moment on you realise you catch the number 14 bus, there are 14 posts in the fence you pass every day, your brother lives at number 14… it’ s everywhere but you had never made the connection.
Whatever the word is, it’s taking over my life. A couple of weeks ago I booked tickets to go to Iceland on my holiday next year. I mentioned this to GAW the next day because I was so excited. “Oh yeah, my friend lives in Reykjavik” she said. Last week, Iceland were playing in a qualifier for the World Cup and I overheared a conversation between two colleagues, one of whom had been to Iceland. I quizzed him about it at the printer later that day, and he mentioned another person in our building who went out with a girl from Iceland. And the latest example of this phenomenon, the moment I realised that Iceland is cropping up everywhere now, was this evening. I went to a preview screening of the new Walter Mitty film starring Ben Stiller, and there was a whole section of the film based in… yep, that’s right… Iceland. I spent all of that time admiring the landscape, the mountainous and bizarrely treeless terrain, and thinking “I’ll be there next year.”
It made me more excited than ever about the holiday that is a genuine Bucket List trip, but it also made me incredibly frustrated that I don’t know what the word is. Do you know and can you tell me?
Friday is here again, and thanks to Rochelle, so is FriFic. Here is this week’s prompt pic:
Fiction flowed from my fingers thusly:
Eight months after locking its doors for the last time, Clare felt strong enough to visit the boutique, her first boutique, again.
The dismembered mannequin on the step was the sole reminder that the graffiti-covered walls concealed the store she had brought to life, had spent five blissfully busy years nurturing, had lost one marriage and countless thousands of pounds trying to save.
She had been too ambitious, she realised now. Expanding to an extra branch was her dream but it was impossible to split herself in two, to run them both. Her divided time caused her mini-empire to fall.
Okay, a musical appearance by an animated kids TV character may not be what many of you expected for a ChooChoos post, but I make no apologies. I will explain though:
This week, this Thursday to be precise, is the start of the winter Ashes tour to Australia. I’ve talked briefly about cricket before so I won’t bore you with it again, but to commemorate the beginning of our defence of the urn, I offer you a related tune. The classic theme to TV cricket was always Soul Limbo when it was on BBC, but since it moved the introductory honours were taken over by Lou Benga with his version of Mambo no 5. Personally I think the BTB version is far superior though – the animation, the dancing tractors and diggers, the brilliant lyrics in the chorus all fit together to make this a Choosdayworthy