SWC writes…..

Badger was sort of right last week, I do have this habit of winding people up. Most of the stuff I say is completely true though. I am sucker for inane little facts, snippets of information and nuggets of knowledge that make your socks roll up and down your legs and shout ‘Golly’. So you can imagine how happy I was when I found out earlier today that the red waxy stuff that adorns Edam cheese was invented by the grandfather of Huey Lewis from Huey Lewis and the News fame. Almost as happens as I was when I found out that the Afrikaans word for an ‘elephants trunk’ is ‘slurp’ and that octopuses have beaks. That’s how happy.

I was less happy when I found out that Mrs Badger was to pick this week’s charity shop CD. This is not because she has bad taste in music, as shown by our own recent experiment with our wives iPods over at our own blog (both better and miles more eclectic than ours). Rather it is because she is bound to make it difficult for me. So it was with some fear when Mrs SWC and I turned up at Badger Towers last Sunday for lunch, the CD was going to be presented to me after the trifle (actually it was a very nice trifle). Also just to set the record straight, The Badgers and the SWCs often have lunch together, it’s a fairly regular thing, we don’t just get together to give each other CDs bought from various branches of Scope.

After the trifle, whilst the tea is being made and the dishwasher loaded by Badger – who is looking resplendent in his favourite frilly pinny – Mrs Badger pops a bag containing the CD on the sofa beside me and immediately starts talking to my wife and our daughter about things like ‘pretty dresses’. It is a very clever move. She told me earlier that Badger has no idea what it is, because he ‘was bound to tell me, after one or two glasses of wine’ (true he would).

I leave the CD where it is, my hand twitching slightly, the CD appears to be sinking into the sofa, seemingly burning a hole in the bag. I’m rubbish at poker. I grab the bag and peek inside.

It is ‘Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits’ it cost £2 from the Whipton branch of Scope in Exeter.

Now it is about now that I should confess a few things. Firstly, ‘The Graduate’ starring Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman is one of my favourite films, and its soundtrack is a musical masterpiece. It’s largely because Anne Bancroft looks wonderful in every scene in that film and that bit where Hoffman goes ‘Mrs Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?’ is one of cinemas finest minutes.

‘Sound of Silence’ is one of the finest records ever recorded and despite being nearly 50 years old it has aged excellently (and if you disagree then the door is over there). These two famous tracks come from the soundtrack and are also featured on the Greatest Hits CD.

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – Sound of Silence
mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – Mrs Robinson

Let’s talk cover versions for a second if I may, I’ll come back to the confessions later

Now despite ‘Sound of Silence’ being nearly half a century old, it has rarely been covered but a few months back the unintentionally hilarious act Disturbed decided that the world needed a nu metal version of it. I haven’t got it but I played it on You Tube just a moment ago and a massive piece of sick arrived in the back of my mouth. It is as awful as it sounds.

‘Mrs Robinson’ has been covered as we know, by the Lemonheads, which isn’t bad to be honest.

mp3 :  The Lemonheads – Mrs Robinson

Another track on the CD ‘Cecilia’ has been butchered by well-known arsehole and Chelsea Fan Suggs. He took an already awful song and made it fucking awful.

Here’s the original if you want it. It sucks massively though

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia

Second confession. I rarely buy Greatest Hits CDs largely because they often are just record companies flogging a long dead horse. There are four exceptions to this rule, Buffalo Tom’s ‘A Sides’ (which The Robster will agree with), Super Furry Animals ‘Songbook Vol. 1’ (which everyone should agree with). ’21 Singles’ by the Jesus and Mary Chain’ and ‘Straw Donkeys’ by Carter USM (ditto). Every other Greatest Hits compilation is a rip off. I may add ‘Melting Pot’ the Charlatans one to that good list in the near future.

Now despite only costing £2, this Greatest Hits CD is a rip off, it contains a number of live tracks that are ruined by polite applause included ‘Homeward Bound’ one of S&G’s better tracks. Seriously if you want to listen to Simon and Garfunkel go and buy the ‘Sounds of Silence’, ‘The Graduate’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ albums. All three are excellent; don’t waste your cash on one of the several million compilations.

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – Homeward Bound (with added clearly piped in ‘polite applause’)

Third Confession – Paul Simon, despite nowadays being a domestic violence sympathiser, was at the time – one natty mofo. On the cover of this CD he has a zapatista moustache (kind of) and a white beret. Only a real rock star could wear a white beret on an album cover. Would you see Thom Yorke or Morrissey or Kanye West wearing a white beret on an album sleeve – no you would not, because they are just shallow fawns toking on fashions crack pipe (possibly). Simon also appears to be holding a golden acorn which is probably symbolic of something.

Fourth Confession – The song ‘The Boxer’ is utterly wonderful. No, no, Stay with me. I listened to this CD in full on my way to work on Monday morning – I had an hour’s drive so bunged it on. Now maybe it was a combination of Devon’s rolling hills and the beautiful sunshine but the bit where the thunderclaps drums kick in just after the vocals go ‘Lie la lie’ for the first time sent shivers down my spine and despite it being an obvious Dylan rip off – it’s a beautiful thing.

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – The Boxer

Bringing it back to facts and inane pieces of information. There is a bridge in Bickleigh, Devon which goes over the fast flowing River Exe that legend has it was the inspiration for S&G’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. They stayed in the nearby cottage and spied the fast flowing river and the rest is POP HISTORY. Another lesser known fact is that I once saw a yellow Mark II Ford Capri stuck in a tree near the same bridge. At least one fact in this paragraph is not actually true. All three in the opening one are.

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water

Here is the skinny

Bought from Scope, Whipton

you can google Scope to find out more about their ongoing brilliant work in providing disabled people with the same opportunities as the rest of us.

Price £2.

Money Left £11

Weeks Left 5

Oh, before I go and just because here is an ode to the lovely Anne.

mp3 : Mega City Four – Anne Bancroft




Nope….I’m not being rude.

S-WC used the word ‘Yawn’ in the title of his e-mail.  Here’s the rest of his whimsical words:-

Jet lag. Wonderful thing. Its about three am, I am in a place called Dayton in the United States of America, which for those of you who don’t know, is in Ohio. I have been here for five hours, and have had about twenty minutes sleep. The whole place is unsurprisingly quiet. I’m really hungry as well which is not helping my mood. There is an all night shop down the road, but it looks quite ‘edgy’ so I’ve raided the mini bar. I say mini bar, it had some peanuts, a small warm bottle of water, some ‘chips’ and a shoe horn in it. The shoe horn was a bit rubbery but strangely tasty. For some reason still unknown to me, the Americans don’t do kettles or tea bags. Christ there is not even a gym. There is a bar, but its shut.

So then I looked at the info they leave in the room so you can get your bearings, saying that I appear to be on the 11th floor in the biggest hotel in the area, I might just be able to find my way around. However, Dayton appears to have lots of museums, a University Campus and that’s about it. Down the road, is a suburb called Kettering. My fingers are crossed that it is more lively as the UK equivalent. Apparently the Steve Miller Band played there once, so there is hope. Once when on an overnight stop in the UK version of Kettering I went to the town centre to find something to do in the evening, I managed to pick up a ‘What’s On in Kettering’ leaflet and it just said ‘Fuck All’.

So as I sit there wide awake in the sixth biggest city in Ohio, ‘the Gem City’ (named after a racehorse and not, you know, jewels) I reached for my ipod. I was trying not to as I listened to it much of the way over on the flight, but if needs must.

The weird thing about music is that is somehow, in the strangest or simplest of situations, it can lift a mood. By the end of the first track I was feeling slightly better, and I was smiling by the end of track two and track three made me do a little jig around the small box room I was in.

I now think that, you know, this place ain’t so bad, I arrived safely, the family are well back home, my luggage wasn’t lost. As I type now, I feel calm – the sun is being to rise across the skyline and this being America I can look forward to a heck of a breakfast, consisting of waffles, blueberries and maple syrup. I’ve also spied a Krusty Kreme Doughnut shop from the window, about a five minute walk in the other direction from the dodgy all night shop. Bonus. Also I get to go to Chicago on Sunday, so I should probably cut my whinging.

So here are the first three songs on the iPod this morning. I thank them for lifting me out of a rubbish mood. Its also a little odd how iPods have this habit of picking songs that suit the situation.

mp3 : Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence
mp3 : Dracula Legs – Heartburn Destination
mp3 : The Orwells – Blood Bubbles