OK, since the e-mails are piling up…

…I’m fine; just having a short rest from all of this, as I was starting to feel a bit burnt out.

I originally intended to post an announcement to this effect over the weekend, but realised that if I did, then my natural contrariness would kick in and I would end up making loads of long posts, just to confound expectations. (I have a troubled relationship with expectations; the best way of getting me to do something is to set up an expectation of the opposite.)

By the way, I owe loads of people e-mails. When they start to stack up, then I tend to revert to ostrich mode and ignore the whole lot of them. Particularly if they contain a request for something. So apologies if you’ve been feeling slighted.

Anyway, since I’m here (uh-oh, slippery slope)… here are some things which I might have blogged about if I hadn’t been “resting”.

1. Mish‘s Royal Wedding party last Friday night, hastily re-conceptualised as a stag/hen do following the one-day postponement of the ceremony. It won’t surprise you to learn that I made a thematic mix CD for the event, with a selection of tunes designed to appeal to Royalists and Republicans alike. With inspiration partially coming from this thread on I Love Music, tracks included “Chapel Of Love” (The Chiffons), “Starting Together” (Su Pollard), “I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do” (Abba), “Year Of Decision” (Three Degrees), “White Wedding” (Billy Idol – “it’s a nice day to start again”), “Tired Of Waiting For You” (The Kinks), “You Can’t Hurry Love” (The Supremes), “I’m Getting Married In The Morning” (from My Fair Lady), “Some Day My Prince Will Come” (from Sleeping Beauty), “Killer Queen” (Queen), “My Lovely Horse” (Divine Comedy), “Galloping Home (Theme From Black Beauty)” (London String Chorale), “Queen Bitch” (David Bowie), “It’s A Sin” (Pet Shop Boys), “Sir Duke” (Stevie Wonder), “Duchess” (Mish’s favourite band: The Stranglers) and “Perfect Moment” (Martine McCutcheon). I decided against “Dirty Diana” (Michael Jackson) and “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” (Klaus Nomi) on grounds of taste.

2. The Shocking Scandal which took place at said party, news of which continued to bounce around from PC to PC and mobile to mobile for most of Saturday. (“She didn’t? He didn’t? They didn’t? But she’s a… and he’s a… did they get so drunk that they forgot?”) As I commented to Mish at the time: a proper lady has no business unveiling her lady garden in another lady’s garden.

3. The Awful News concerning Former Guest Blogger Alan. Having just moved back to Nottingham, and having just installed himself in a truly delightful furnished apartment on our collective spiritual home of Broad Street, next door to the late lamented Georges Bar, Alan was then informed that his project was being “mothballed” and that his contract would be coming to an end in just four weeks’ time. Too cruel! Too, too cruel!

4. K’s I’m The Media Whore Round Here! counter-offensive. Cover story in last week’s Business Post (already blogged). A self-penned “My Week” diary column in next week’s Business Post. Not one but two interviews on BBC Radio Nottingham, if you please. The distinct possibility of a TV appearance next week; I was particularly tickled by the way they politely asked him not agree to any other TV appearances in the meantime. As if! An invitation to meet Michael Howard yesterday, on his “secret” visit to Nottingham. (Don’t worry; he declined. Better things to do.) Okay okay, you’re the star – now enough!

5. The unseemly collapse of my Linkrack. Now, I just get one e-mail a day from my failed Crontab job, bearing the cryptic message /usr/libexec/ld-elf.so.1: Shared object “libintl.so.4” not found. But I didn’t even touch anything! Honest I didn’t! So, yeah, there’s no linklog for now. Apologies for that.

6. The Pope’s funeral; Ken and Deirdre’s wedding; Charles and Camilla’s wedding; the General Election. Too much excitement! (I might return to the last of those four tomorrow, in Another Place.)

7. Saturday’s Boys Night Out Bender To End All Benders, with Alan, Chig, Buni and a supporting cast of thousands. Only the most fractured of memories rise to the surface. Misreading a text message and sending a WILDLY inappropriate reply in the, um, heat of the moment. Picking up illicit cans of Stella from a speakeasy at the back of a chip shop at three in the morning. Doing Eastern European comedy voiceovers to an “adult” DVD with the sound turned down, at stupid o’clock in the morning. Oh, and… nope, not telling you that bit. Anyway, it was all a welcome contrast to falling asleep in front of the telly and then getting up early to do the mulching – and as such, it served its purpose admirably.

8. Getting an e-mail from a long-time reader who works in the music biz, to tell me that MARIZA THE GODDESS OF FADO HAS READ MY BLOG!!! Specifically my review of her Birmingham concert from late 2003. Apparently, she pronounced herself “flattered”.

Can I say it again please? Can I? Can I?

Troubled Diva – the blog that the STARS read!

9. The Blue Witch Party Election Manifesto: an ongoing series which ranges from the brilliant to the bonkers and back again, but which is never anything less than challenging/thought-provoking/carefully conceived. (Start here for the serious stuff, then work up.) Thanks also to BW for pointing me to this site, and its somewhat alarming conclusions. (I absolutely DENY being more favourably disposed to UKIP than Labour.)

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome: Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -22
Conservative -33
Liberal Democrat 52
UK Independence Party 7
Green 9

You should vote: Liberal Democrat

The LibDems take a strong stand against tax cuts and a strong one in favour of public services: they would make long-term residential care for the elderly free across the UK, and scrap university tuition fees as their main offer in compromise lawyer tactic. They are in favour of a ban on smoking in public places, but would relax laws on cannabis. They propose to change vehicle taxation to be based on usage rather than ownership.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

10. The exciting new Top 40 singles chart, to be unveiled next Sunday with the addition of sales figures for official downloads. I am in two minds about the impact that this will have.

On the plus side, it will extend the singles-buying demographic to a wider age group. On the minus side, this age group will mostly consist of trendy dads buying nice polite guitar bands like The Stereophonics.

On the plus side, “proper” hits will hang around the charts for a bit longer, whilst flash-in-the-pan marketing exercises will have less of an impact. On the minus side, we might end up with a stagnant chart which is clogged up with two-month-old hits from nice polite guitar bands like The Stereophonics.

On the plus side, we might once again see “climbers” in the charts, as singles are allowed to build a natural “buzz” and increase sales accordingly. On the minus side, a truly idiotic rule is being implemented whereby downloads only qualify for inclusion if the same track is also available in the shops as a CD single. This automatically disqualifies hits in the current download-only chart from Snoop Dogg/Justin Timberlake, The Caesars and Ciara/Missy Elliott.

The impact of the new chart will also be diluted by the newly shifted Top Of The Pops, which has been moved from Friday evenings to Sunday afternoons, just before the new chart is announced. As the show will presumably still be driven by the previous week’s chart, this is therefore the worst of all possible screening times.

I therefore recommend that everyone switch their allegiances forthwith to the Troubled Diva Parallel Universe Top 40, now in its fifth week, and based on a much fairer principle: my personal whim.

After last night’s astonishing live show (of which more later), the very least I could do was send the brilliant Rufus Wainwright all the way to the top slot; there’s also a new entry for his support act, Joan As Policewoman. Melodic soft-rockin’ pop is the order of the day, with Maroon 5 as the biggest climber and strong new entries from the likes of Nathalie Nordnes, Robyn, Weird War, 33hz, Tahiti 80 and The Magic Numbers. Meanwhile, it’s time to say goodbye to Elton John, Daft Punk, Secret Machines, Brand New Heavies, Roots Manuva, Handsome Boy Modelling School, Lady Sovereign, Terri Walker, Studio B, Nas and Katherine Williams.

1 (8) The One You Love – Rufus Wainwright
2 (3) Avalon – Juliet
3 (10) My Friend Dario – Vitalic
4 (11) Believe – Chemical Brothers ft Kele Okereke
5 (-) Join Me In The Park – Nathalie Nordnes
6 (5) 1-2 Step – Ciara ft Missy Elliott
7 (1) Giving You Up – Kylie Minogue
8 (-) Signs – Snoop Dogg ft Justin Timberlake
9 (9) So Much Love To Give – Freeloaders ft The Real Thing
10 (-) Be Mine – Robyn
11 (2) Chicken Payback – The Bees
12 (6) It’s Like That – Mariah Carey ft Fatman Scoop & Jermaine Dupri
13 (4) Negotiate With Love – Rachel Stevens
14 (7) Fistful Of Love – Antony & The Johnsons
15 (29) Must Get Out – Maroon 5
16 (-) Jerk It Out – The Caesars
17 (-) See About Me – Weird War
18 (-) Crazy All The Time – 33hz

19 (14) 10 Dollar/Pull Up The People – M.I.A.
20 (-) Changes – Tahiti 80
21 (33) First Day Of My Life – Bright Eyes
22 (24) Oh My Gosh – Basement Jaxx
23 (-) Itch U Can’t Scratch – Junior Senior
24 (16) No Sleep Tonight – The Faders
25 (20) Get Ready For Love – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
26 (-) My Gurl – Joan As Policewoman
27 (-) Anima Sola – The Magic Numbers

28 (18) Brown Eyes – Kano
29 (27) It Ended On An Oily Stage – British Sea Power
30 (25) Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – The Arcade Fire
31 (23) Somewhere Else – Razorlight
32 (26) Stay With You – Lemon Jelly
33 (17) Get Right – Jennifer Lopez (featuring Fabolous)
34 (21) They – Jem
35 (15) Why Do You Love Me – Garbage
36 (22) Across Yer Ocean – Mercury Rev
37 (13) In Public – Kelis featuring Nas
38 (36) Finding Out True Love Is Blind – Louis XIV
39 (35) No One Takes Your Freedom – DJ Earworm
40 (-) Tied Up Too Tight – Hard-Fi

As for this week’s stance on The Magic Numbers: having heard over a dozen of their songs, I’m rapidly coming round to them. In a fragile state of mind, they can be remarkably soothing.

Thanks also to Dead Kenny for pointing out that one of my Hot New Band plugs was misspelt: The Long Blondes are the band you should be watching out for.

11. The wonderful stage adaptation of the classic 1960s radio comedy series Round The Horne, which is playing at the Theatre Royal all this week. This takes the form of a simulated live recording of the radio show, with the cast of regulars stepping up to their microphones as needed, and assuming the voices of their large array of characters: Gruntfuttock, Rambling Syd Rumpo, Charles and Fiona, and, best of all, Julian and Sandy. It was a particular pleasure to hear Julian and Sandy’s Bona Law sketch in full: “We’ve got a criminal practice that takes up most of our time.” But really, who knew it was all so RUDE? Not by current standards maybe, but for a Sunday lunchtime in the 1960s, I am amazed that the scriptwriters got away with so much for so long. Needless to say, my mucky-minded media whore of a boyfriend was in stitches throughout. You might find a subtle reference to all of this next week in his diary column.

12. Last night’s amazing Rufus Wainwright concert, which deserves a seperate entry of its own. Soon come, no doubt. Oh, but then I’ll be setting an expectation, won’t I? Well, we shall see.

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