Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Got my ticket for the Attic Lights gig next Saturday. They're playing as part of the Shoeshine Showcase at the ABC in Glasgow, along with Norman Blake/Euro Childs (ex-Gorky's) and the BMX Bandits, who I've seen nine times in various line-ups. John, who I got to know through our mutual love of Superstar is going too so he's taking on the driving duties. I think my driving home from The Orchids/Recovery Club/Ally Kerr traumatised him!

Time to update my mp3 player and tonight I loaded up exactly 100 songs featuring The Wedding Present's "El Rey" album, Fleet Foxes eponymous debut (I figured as it was most music paper's Record of the Year I should see what all the fuss was about), a mixture of New Pornographers tracks and The Big Dipper 3 CD "greatest hits" compilation "Supercluster". I'm already looking forward to the journey to and from work and my lunchtime walk so I can get 'lost in music'. I always find that the less familiar music is the more enjoyable it is because you tend to concentrate more on what you're hearing instead of letting the familiar wash over you.

Today we won our first competition of the year. It's from the Community Channel website and I've to confirm my details with them tomorrow. I've done so many competitions since the turn of the year that the prize could be anything. A win is a win is a win.

I've made my first game show application of the year. I won't reveal the title because I don't want production companies to think that I'm sort of quiz 'face'. Yes, I've made close to twenty TV and radio quiz appearances but I'm no Egghead. I do them because I enjoy them and any win is a bonus. One of these days, maybe when I retire from this business we call show, I'll list what I've been on and what I've won. The most I've won in cash is £2000, which hardly makes me a Pat Gibson or a Kevin Ashman.

One show I was disappointed not to get on was the current lottery show "In It To Win It", hosted by Dale Tangoman Winton. I made a point at the audition of getting at least 3 of the 25 general knowledge questions wrong (my mate Mark "threw" a lot more) and yet despite playing the run through of the game with gusto and being very "up" and amusing during the 'piece-to-camera' I didn't make the cut. Neither did Mark. Like most regulars game show contestants we can be a bit selective with information about what we've been on on the application form but that doesn't make me a "pro". People lie on their forms because they know that honesty doesn't pay with television productions, which is ironic consider they wrote the book on the subject.

"In It To Win It", in my humble opinion, is a perfect example of the dumbing down on TV quizzes. They don't want people who are going to win a lot of money yet there are contestants who are clearly "hustling" the programme makers. You can see them a mile off on the show as they hum and haw over the most basic of questions. What annoys me the most however is when Tangoman asks them how much they'd like to win and what would they do with the money. If one more bingo-winged 45 years+ plus woman says they want £20,000 for liposuction I'll put my foot straight through the telly. WHY DON'T YOU GET OFF YOUR FAT LARDY ARSES AND DO SOME EXERCISE YOU FUCKIN' MORONS? Still...mustn't grumble.

I've had a productive couple of days as far as writing is concerned. As well as the Quo piece, I've written a couple of Top 5s for The Scotsman's Recommends section, one of which will be in tomorrow's paper. I won't spoil the surprise just now but I'll link to them when they're published.

Here's a random personal Top 5 just for you all in the Blogosphere:

My Top 5 Magazines

1. Mojo - I love MOJO. It takes it music seriously without being snobby about it and there's a free CD every month. Also, the crossword is a good challenge and has great prizes (I've won at least twice).
2. Web User - This is where I go to find out what's happening in the computer world. There's always a few tips in each issue worth following and their website Forums are a great place to get advice on your PC problems.
3. Vanity Fair - It's actually my wife's subscription but I tend to snaffle it first. Plenty of reading in it.
4. Men's Health - Sure, every issue appears to be the same but it's a great mag for a long journey or while lazing on holiday.
5. Record Collector - A mag I bought regularly in my youth, which I still buy from time to time.

RIP Ron Asheton of The Stooges, who passed away over the new year. That truly is No Fun.

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