Yearly Archives: 2008

Sunset Crane

Sunset Crane

It’s about time that I brought Listen To Musak back to life. So, I have decided to do some work around here and see what stays and what goes. It could be a lot of fun going back through all the posts that I have had here over the years. I probably won’t delete anything but I am going to review everything and see what it’s all about.

On this day…

2004: Aliens Eat London Commuters
2003: Shifted Media

Eurovision Is Not A Serious Song Contest

Semifinal 1 EUROVISION 2008
Originally uploaded by proteusbcn

Dear Sir Terry

This weekend was the Eurovision Song Contest; the annual spectacle of music, strange traditional consumes & dubious musical interpretation of songs (and, as you might say, that’s just the interval acts). It was as it has ever been: a pile of unconnected international pop pap presented as a serious content. The most important thing, you must agree, is to remember your sense of humour. Over the years, you have urged us not to take it too seriously.

I wasn’t around for the 60s Brit-winners such as Sandy Shaw or Lulu. I don’t really remember the song contests of the mid-70s when classics from Abba and the Brotherhood of Man were born. I do remember Johnny Logan, Bucks Fizz and Bobbysocks in all their 1980s glory. When Ireland went on a winning streak in the mid-90s we were holding Eurovision parties in our University flats. It was fun and an excuse – if one was really needed – to get very drunk and laugh at rubbish songs. Which we did with an international feel.

So, what happened this year? Why are you so frustrated? Why are we suddenly upset about the bias? Simply because we did not do well? That’s a little childish, isn’t it?

The Scandinavians always voted for each other (as they did this year). For goodness sake, we always expect Ireland to vote for the UK and vice versa (and we hope Malta does too) while we know the French won’t. Call it political, call it similar musical tastes but that’s how it’s always been. It’s not going to change. But that doesn’t stop it being wonderfully silly entertainment in the best sense.

The last 10 contests have been won by Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Turkey, Ukraine, Greece, Finland, Serbia and Russia. If we take the 90s as the point when Eastern Europe started to enter the content then that makes it five wins to the new countries (Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, Serbia & Russia) and 5 wins to the older entrants (Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Greece & Finland).

Seems pretty fair to me. So, why have you started to loose your sense of humour?


Update on the voting from popbitch: “If only traditional Western European countries had voted this year the UK would have been third from bottom, rather than one of three with the lowest points”.

On this day…

No other posts on this day.

Not Looking Rubbish

Mitch Hewer

The phrase ‘free hair extensions’ is, apparently, a very popular way to find this site via a well-known search engine. Don’t ask me why as I have no hair on which to hang the extensions, free or otherwise. I can’t work it out but, suffice to say, I don’t know where you can get free hair extensions and, really, they look rubbish so why would you want to?

Which brings us neatly onto the act of ‘looking rubbish’. This is something I am currently excelling at. In fact, I really should take out a keyword campaign on a popular search engine but I am struggling to find a way to charge for a service for which the main goal would be to ‘make you look as bad as we can’ ™.

You may recall that, a few years ago, you were my gym buddy. I know you’ve eaten a lot of toast and jam since then but it was a time when we bonded and I discovered what a treadmill was. I quite liked it and enjoyed being fitter and having more energy. However, somewhere along the road I let you lead me back to the kebab house and things went downhill from there. Thanks very much.

And so, we’re going to resurrect our gym trips. Yes, you and me. We’re going to start again, this time, we’re not going to stop. We’re going to end up with a body like Mitch (that’s the picture). You’d better be there tomorrow evening – and no excuses. And as a result, hopefully, ‘looking rubbish’ will be what other people do and not something I specialise in. And those people searching for ‘semi naked men’ (yes, people really do use that to get here) may get a picture of me one day!

However, if I were to ever end up looking like Mitch then I would most definitely need some of those hair extensions. So, extension lady, how many do you have?

On this day…

2003: Small Screens Look Good

Is Echo Beach In The Right Place?


ITV’s Friday night soap, Echo Beach, is not doing too well, according to The Guardian. This is a shame really as I don’t think it’s the worst programme on television by far and, given some time, could be a ratings winner. It does suffer from two problems: it’s in the wrong slot and the behind-the-scenes ‘Moving Wallpaper’ doesn’t do it any favours.

The Guardian reckons ITV Viewers want something different on Friday nights, “They like cars and explosions, and shows they know. With Echo Beach they got Hollyoaks by the sea. You can’t replace dark, edgy dramas with surfer teens and expect the audience not to flinch.” This maybe true but I think the Moving Wallpaper factor is just as relevant.

Moving Wallpaper (MW) is the comedy-drama of the behind-the-scenes shenanigans that airs immediately before the soap. Yet the soap is supposed to be able to stand alone. If, however, you watch an episode of MW then you can’t help but look for the references: the skimpy bikini, the surf board, the picture in the shop – whatever it is – and that devalues the soap itself. It’s a great idea and MW is funny and, as it stands, MW is the better programme because of the way it is viewed. Separate them and they might both work with different audiences; after all, a drama about hot young things by the sea (where the need to remove clothes) is usually a ratings hit!

On this day…

2003: Book of the Year

When Will I See The Ghosts Again

ghost whisperer is a cbs tv show

You could be mistaken from yesterday’s post but television isn’t really that important. It does make for something to write about which doesn’t relate to the cold outside. Still, the wonders of the web never cease and it appears that DigiGuide – if you pay an account – might be able to do something close to my TV alert system that I hoped for. In this multi channel world, with increasing competition, channel controllers will find it harder to make their shows stand out and need to get the word out about a new series via more mediums than a promotion on their – or a sister – channel.

I have another example. Ghost Whisperer is, according to Wikipedia, “one of several fantasy television programs about young women with gifts for supernatural communication”. I think that makes it sound less ridiculous than it is but it’s immensely enjoyable. In the last episode of Series 2, “Melinda has a terrifying experience that reveals some information about her family” which is all well and good but does leave us wanting the next series. Now, who knows when that will air? If you find out, let me know.

On this day…

2003: In Need of Exposure? Visit A Salon!

Boston Legal Series 4 Starts Thursday (but you wouldn’t know it)


2008. Go on say it, 2008. How did we get here? Not only 2008 but, basically, February 2008. I really want to go and shout it from the rooftops: February 2008. If you expressed each year as a percentage of your life to date then each one is worth less than the the one before. Back in 2000, each year represented about 3.3% of my life; this year that number will be 2.6% of my life. So, I guess, each year appears to pass quicker because it represents less of the time you have spent wandering the earth.

That reads a little gloomily really. I didn’t intend that, it’s just such a while since I was here yet it feels like such a short time.

January is the time of nostalgia where we review the highs and lows of the previous years. I discovered this year that there were only thirteen episodes of Mr Benn. Honestly, only thirteen yet it seemed like a thousand. See, I can count my life in trivial TV facts. Can it really be 18 (or maybe 19) years since Michael Cashman played Colin in EastEnders? Is it really six years since Gary Lucy last appeared in Hollyoaks? The actor who used to play Adric in Doctor Who now lives in Connecticut. Yes, these are the great televisual questions than we grapple with through the years.

We all love television programmes in some way. So, why then, in this multi channel age is it almost impossible to know when a new series of your favourite television show is on. Boston Legal, one of the best TV shows on today, starts a brand new fourth series on Thursday on Living TV. But you wouldn’t know because it’s not been promoted well. They have been showing ‘coming soon’ promotions for a few weeks but I’ve only just seen the date. I could easily have missed it. Pop along to the living TV web site and it’s mentioned but I am not checking every day. Perhaps I should, ‘Extreme Skinny Celeb Mums’ must be post in itself .

Where is the TV episode alert system? Somebody should do it. Get a simple email notifying you when the next series of your favourite shows start. Prison Break back on Sky One? Just a little note to let you know.

I don’t want to know when every episode is aired. I can find that out once I know the series is starting but I can’t watch all the channels all the time and would like a little reminder.

And a reminder when Phil is back on TV never hurt anybody. The calendar for 2008 is Phil Olivier.

On this day…

2006: Free Hair Extensions
2004: Integrity in Public Life
2004: Favourite Photography