THE £20 CHALLENGE (Week Eight)


JC writes…..

With apologies for the non-appearance last Friday of this deservedly popular feature. It was down to ‘technical difficulties’.  Over now to Tim……………

It was quite late when SWC turned up at my house to give me this weeks CD. He had been to the gym first – he is in training for a half marathon in October – the last time he run one he pulled a ligament in his groin and couldn’t walk for six days (seriously he couldn’t even lift his leg to pull up his trousers) – saying that he still finished it in less than one and a half hours – which is about thirty minutes quicker than I could run it without a knackered groin. Anyway, he was popping by to drop off the CD and some files I needed for work the next day. He looked a bit flustered.

“What’s Up?” I asked him.

“Well” he said, “after I’d finished at the gym, I went and got showered and all that – and as I was getting out of the shower, I saw a man”.

Now there is nothing unusual in this, it’s a gym, its full of men. Then he continued, I realised he was just sipping his cuppa, he was probably just using what writers call ‘dramatic effect’. “He was naked – and stood in front of the mirror”. Another sip of tea. More ‘dramatic effect’.

“Then I realised he was hairdrying his balls”.

Ok the dramatic effect was worthwhile.

“Its unsettled me slightly, I mean why would you do that – he was proper going for it as well – leg on the little block thing, tackle out, full power, I didn’t know what to do, whether to look, laugh or cringe, so I kind of did all three”. Another bigger sip of tea.

“I wouldn’t mind, but it’s the second bit of strange behaviour I’ve seen from a naked man today”. Another sip.

“Go on” I say, feeling a bit like Sigmund Freud.

“Well at lunchtime, I went out for a walk to get a sandwich and I wandered down to the river to sit and eat it – and there was a guy swimming naked in the river – he just turned up, on a bike, stripped off and jumped in. There was a party of hikers wandering around too.”

“Well naked swimming is pretty popular in the countryside” I offer as consolation. Also this is true, if you are ever in Dartington, South Devon pop down to Dartington Estate and go down to the river around 2pm you will find its full of naked old guys swimming. You’ve be warned.

“Yes, but when he’d finished, he wandered over and asked me if I knew the way to bus station. Bold as Brass. Stark Bollock Naked – I mean usually I don’t give directions to naked people. I mean why he couldn’t put some pants on first, I have no idea. Got any biscuits?

Luckily SWC was fully clothed when he asked me this. I tend not to share my biscuits with naked people. Well naked men at the very least.

I changed the subject and talked about the memory stick full of music that he gave me last week. Which as usual contained a load of music by a load of bands that I have never heard of.

In the last six weeks I have received music from bands such as Demob Happy, Hippo Campus, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Wall, Whitney, The Goon Sax and Arbor Labor Union. All of which are brilliant, and are bands I would have never had listened to unless he had not offered them up to me. Suffice to say they all come highly recommended. Particularly the last two.

mp3 : Arbor Labor Union – Mr Birdsong.

mp3 : The Goon Sax –Sometimes Accidentally

These two bands have quietly released two of the finest records of the year – and I would have missed them. The first is according to SWC ‘Playful, psychedelic, joyful, slightly bonkers rock and roll’. The second – ‘the best thing to come out of Australia since Kylie”. He is right, of course about both.

Oh incidentally, The Goon Sax feature on vocals, the son of one of the Go Betweens (Robert Forster) and let’s just say the song writing gene is very strong.

SWC gave me this weeks CD – and it was ‘Late Registration’ by your friend and mine Kanye West.

Sometime earlier in the year, SWC wrote an ICA for this blog under a pseudonym on Kanye West and in doing so he completely changed my opinion on Kanye West. Not only was the music on it incredible but it was way in which he convinced me that he is worth a second, third and fourth listen. For what its worth those who claim Kanye’s antics hinder his work are missing the point. His self-importance is obvious, the arrogance is pre –prepared and that is what makes him the most interesting hip hop figure in recent year. That’s the reason why its him heading Glastonbury and not Nelly or 50 Cent (remember him?). Its soul, not sales.

I’ve come late to the Kanye party – this is officially the only Kanye album I now own – but what an album. I couldn’t tell you a thing about hip hop and as 48 and a half year old, white middle class man I have no intention of even trying, but you should own this album regardless of well anything.

‘Late Registration’ was his second album and it is a bleeding masterpiece. Seriously. Incredible. Its buoyant, enthusiastic, visionary, expansive and everything that a hip hop album (probably) should be.

“I got it from the Animals In Distress Charity Shop in Dawlish for 50p”. He said. “Better than a pair of hairdried bollocks that”.

Quite.  Here’s some tunes

Touch The Sky

Gold Digger

Diamonds From Sierra Leone

Crack Music

The Skinny

Bought From Animals In Distress – Dawlish

Price – 50p

Money Left £6.50

Weeks Left – 2

And because we have £6.50 left we have raised the price of the last CD to £3.