SONG WARS 2 AND FLU NEWS!
DR BUCKLES -- ILLIN’
To run a successful blog that people keep coming back to you should post frequently and resist the temptation to post too much. The same could be said of most creative endeavours. So, is my refusal to follow that advice some kind of strategy? Yes, that’s exactly what it is. A strategy. I like long pauses followed by a torrent of content when the levee breaks. I should have posted a few weeks back when Adam & Joe’s Song Wars Volume 2 was released but I was in the middle of things with my Ken Korda project (thanks to those of you who helped out BTW). Now I’m in bed, dosed up to the tits with ill pills, necking cough syrup like L’il Wayne and generally cashing in my ill chips.
Yesterday was grim. I was shaking, groaning and coughing til I expected to see blood spraying the duvet (that’s a nice festive image isn’t it?) but there are also periods of fluey remission when it’s quite fun to be just tooling about in bed and not having to do any other chores. Last night with feverish focus I watched Francois Truffaut’s 1959 film The 400 Blows for the first time. It was either that or The Last Airbender.
400 Blows is good! It’s about a Parisian boy rebelling against crappy parents and teachers. There are many memorable moments but the one that really got its hooks in was a scene in the second half where dozens of children aged between about 4 and 7 are watching a puppet show. Every shot is filled with these little rapt faces all concentrating on the show, each one so expressive and filled with personality they could star in a film themselves. It was a little like watching my boys watching Harry Hill’s TV Burp. They can’t possibly understand all the jokes but they roll about, literally holding their sides with joy.
After my edifying dose of Truffaut I finished listening to Frank Skinner’s account of returning to stand up after his TV years. Like many comedians he’s a mix of self effacing, conceited and solipsistic but unlike many comedians he gets the balance pretty much exactly right throughout, even in a bizarre and pornographic recollection of a banana based casual sex encounter. I even found myself laughing at a joke about football. Speaking to Frank about his Roman Catholic faith David Baddiel asks if it bothers him that most other religious people seem to be stupid or mad or both. Skinner asks him if he feels that way at Chelsea matches. Now I’m downloading Alexei Sayle’s autobiography. Then I’ll watch The Last Airbender. Incidentally I’d like to take this opportunity to say I’ve finally got the point of the I-Pad. My wife got me one for my birthday last year and if you’re ill, or otherwise at leisure, it’s your best friend.
It was the fun aspect of non life threatening illness that inspired my Flu Song.
It’s one of the ones I did for Song Wars when Joe was away for Glastonbury 2009 and Garth Jennings sat in. Garth beat me with a song about Hay Fever which I accept sounds superficially more appealing, but my flu song deserves serious analysis nevertheless. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this review on line:
Buxton’s clever and tuneful journey through the highs and lows of a bout of flu is an unfairly overlooked gem. The plummy, nasal vocal recalls Syd Barrett and perfectly compliments the woozy psychedelic feel of the guitar part, which drenched in a pleasing tremolo was played by Buxton himself and suggests a considerable talent that begs further exploration. Lyrically The Flu Song is certainly one of his strongest. The nod to You’re The One That I Want’s “I’ve got chills” is just one of many inspired moments like the observation that, for a heterosexual man of limited intelligence, an attractive woman with flu seems somehow less contagious than anyone else. There’s useful information too in the section about chewing vitamin C tablets only to find ones bowels distressingly loosened thereafter. All in all it’s hard to understand why this wasn’t included on the recent Song Wars Volume 2 album. Next time you have flu make sure this is the song playing in a fevered loop in your mind!
OK. I wrote that. But it’s all true. The reason it wasn’t included on the album was that we thought we should stick to competition entries between Joe and myself though my brilliant Bob Dylan’s DVD Box Set song appears as does Joe’s unaccountably popular Retro Text The Nation jingle. So, the album…
ADAM & JOE’S SONG WARS VOLUME 2
SONG WARS FACTONS
• The release came about thanks to Dreamboat records. They pointed out to us that very little of Adam & Joe exists in the physical world and it would be nice to create a treasurable CD/vinyl object with which to dignify our musical efforts as much as possible.
• In that spirit I lavished both time and care on the artwork which features an inner montage packed with details to pore over and fathom for years. I was a little disappointed to see someone’s already ripped the cover off though.
• For a while we were considering a different design. How exciting for you to see it here!
• We didn’t go ahead with it because some ponces ripped that one off too.
• We decided not include every song we’d done since Song Wars Volume 1 for reasons of space and decency. Instead we chose our favourites.
• On the whole the critics have been fulsome in their praise and many consider Song Wars Volume 2 one of the best albums of this or any other year. However there have been one or two troubling comments that I’d like to address.
Some people seem think I thrashed out songs like Bob Dylan’s DVD Box Set and Bums & Binge Drinking (Kate Nash Song) in ‘a giggling 10-minute rush of post liquid lunching’ implying a kind of dissolute, freewheeling disregard for songcraft that I for one refuse to accept. Can’t speak for Cornballs but as far as I know he’s not much of a lunchtime drinker. Bums & Binge Drinking was carefully constructed from pure scratch and was a considerable investment of both time and emotional energy. DVD Box Set didn’t take quite so long, created as it was over a pre existing backing track, but now a whole year after that momentous recording session, I sing that song to myself quite often and find it to be excellent. To see someone saying that my Zimmerman ‘bears absolutely no resemblance to Bob Dylan’ is hurtful and maddening. The impression is of the Bob Dylan who sings on last year’s Christmas album and it is both accurate and moving, as Bob himself would readily attest if he were given the opportunity. But no, certain so called journalists just don’t want to go the extra distance do they?
• The album is divided into an A side (with my songs on) and a J side (with Joe’s songs on). This is great on the vinyl but a bit weird on the CD. I guess no one listens to CDs in order any more though, do they?
• When I play the album I like to add more treble and turn up the volume. No disrespect to Ali Chant who mastered the thing, that’s the just the way my ears groove.
• The album has parental guidance stickers and the word EXPLICIT all over it because of the word ‘shit’ that I left unbleeped in Nutty Room. I honestly didn’t think ‘shit’ was considered explicit any more. I guess I wouldn’t say it on the radio or in front of my children. I might say it in front of your children though.
• Song Wars Volume 2 was number 1 in the i-tunes comedy charts for a while. I’m well aware that this mainly serves to highlight the craziness of the i-tunes chart system, but I’m still very happy to enjoy my formal status as a number 1 artist (or to put it another way an artist adept at doing number 1s. A piss artist?)
That’s it for now.
The question people keep asking is of course, ‘when are you both back on the radio?’ We’ve done a pre-recorded Christmas day show, which will go out from 10am to 1pm on the big day and that was fun but both of us were well aware that it’s not the same. The regular live show is the important thing and we both want to do more, it’s just a question of when we can find a few months to have another decent run.
Until then, time and 6 Music permitting, I may well do some more Big Mix Tape shows or perhaps something live again, either on my own or with someone else. I’ll let you know if and when things materialise on any of these fronts.
I did an I-TUNES PLAYLIST recently that features a lot of the songs I played on Big Mix Tape shows as well as few more recent purchases. For a while my photo sat next to the members of Take That and gratifyingly, it seemed as though we’d been at the same photo session.
Do leave a comment and the same goes for the Song Wars album too, whether you’re on Amazon or wherever, it’s always nice to see lively debate raging below if not blanket praise!
I’ll try to post in a few days with details of the on-line version of BUG we recently put together but for the time being…