Thursday, 6 April 2017

Because I'm Worthless

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and here are three more of them.

Everyone is justifiably annoyed at that idiotic Pepsi advert, when clearly the most effective way to advertise Pepsi would just be to say it's cheaper than Coke.

But when you live at the cinema like me, you see worse adverts than that every day. So here are three more shitverts - shampoo edition!


The first shampoo with a brain. More than can be said for whoever came up with that.


Shoulders carry the promise of late nights you'll never forget. Catchy. They'll all be yelling that one in the playground.


An advert supposedly championing inclusivity and difference that exclusively features conventionally attractive people. Facile slogans about self-confidence do not change the fact that as a cosmetics company you're in the business of telling people to look better.

On that angry note, I'll leave you with a Jane's Addiction song about showering.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Beware the Ides of March

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is the Grateful Dead.

Looking back on this day in history, 15 March is a significant date for a number of reasons. For starters, it's the Ides of March, which was the day in 44 BC when Julius Caesar was stabbed in the base of the Curia - ouch! More recently, it's also the birthday of two of my favourite people: Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh and genius filmmaker David Cronenberg. Long live the new Lesh! Plus, the movie The Godfather was first released on this day in 1972, directed by Deadhead Francis Ford Coppola - after seeing a Grateful Dead show in 1979, he was inspired by the rolling thunder effect of the two drummers, and enlisted them to play on the Apocalypse Now soundtrack. Which brings me to the point: on this day in Dead history, the band made one of their more bizarre appearances back in 1969.

Picture the scene: you're invited to The Black & White Ball at the San Francisco Hilton, a fundraiser for the San Francisco Symphony. A group of hippies shamble onto the stage, plug in their instruments and unleash a cacophony of baroque psychedelia and a song about trying to sleep with a 17-year-old girl. 

They were never invited back.

The complete setlist is uncertain, but what exists is this electrifying recording, taped by countercultural icon Owsley "Bear" Stanley - more on him another time. The tape begins with a fairly shambolic version of Otis Redding's Hard to Handle, which they'd never played live before, and by the sounds of it, never practised much either. Things pick up with Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, a perfectly acceptable subject to sing about in the '60s, before the boys launch into their typical 1969 run of Dark Star -> St. Stephen -> The Eleven -> Lovelight. And it's glorious - particularly The Eleven, a song I've written about before. Despite a cut in the recording at the start of the track, this is up there with the best they ever played it - an electric dose of colourful improvisation in 11/8 time. Just imagine going to a black tie event 28 years ago today, and being confronted with that.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

The Slogan

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and here are three more of them.

It's time for another month of awful adverts - terrible tagline edition!


Not only does this Coke advert feature the worst song ever recorded, it also includes one of the worst slogans: 'Taste The Feeling.' Gross. I think 'Tasty Feeling' would have made more sense.


Speaking of not making sense, Stella Artois appear to have adopted the nonsense tagline: 'Be Legacy.' Even worse is the way alcohol adverts are now obsessed with telling us their founder's backstory, as though anyone cares about booze beyond: "Will it get me drunk or not?"


This type of ironic voice-over does cause in me the kind of visceral reaction I associate with Subway, but I also think 'Keep Discovering' is a blatantly bad slogan for a sandwich shop. In fact it's probably the worst possible slogan for a sandwich shop, except maybe: 'Our sandwiches are full of blood.'

I'll leave you with Somewhere in the Between by Streetlight Manifesto, an album celebrating its 10th anniversary and still one of my favourites.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fried Neckbones

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and here are five more of them.

I'm talking about adverts again. But aren't there worse things to be worrying about? Yes.


I'm no advertising expert, but I have seen every episode of Mad Men, and I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea to keep repeating that there are chicken beaks in your food. What I take away from that advert isn't the actor pretending to be a 'food quality inspector', but the thought that there are definitely 100% guaranteed chicken feet in McNuggets.


Similarly, I'd avoid phrases like "We are thoughtless" or "We are cruel" when trying to make people trust me with their money. Just a thought.


I couldn't find the particularly awful Dove advert I was looking for, but this one suggesting that you can shower in 13 seconds is either very stupid or aimed solely at Quicksilver from the X-Men.


There's something not quite right about this one. I can't put my finger on it. Is it the eerie sci-fi music? The creepy whispered voice-over? Oh I know, it's because it's an advert about HEATING CHILDREN'S ARSES.


And the award for the world's most cynical advert goes to Amazon Prime! Congratulations Amazon, you win a trophy full of sick.

Here's Santana.