Tag Archives: soundcloud

Breach On Three…

For those of you of a funk / soul persuasion, I’ve written the theme tune to a fictional 70’s cop show. Listen to it here on Soundcloud (along with other folk and jazz concoctions):

BREACH ON THREE!

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Life is Hyperbole

Many years ago when I first moved to Reading I lived in a shared house with three other twenty-something males. Three of us had relocated for work purposes. The fourth who, for reasons of anonymity we’ll call Dan (although coincidentally that also happens to be his real name) told us that he didn’t need to work on account of his parents’ acrimonious divorce and their subsequent attempts to out-spoil him. He sat at home most days drinking Stella, eating bucket loads of chicken wings that he bought from ‘Mr. Cod’ (virtually next door) and howling obscenities at the television.

One day we returned home to find him in a state of mortification. The gig was up. His parents were onto him. No further funds would be forthcoming. He was to do the unspeakable and find a job. After several failed attempts he got himself paid work as a security guard at the local shopping centre.

Less than a week after he started the job I discovered my two other housemates in the lounge laughing uncontrollably. Unable to speak one of them handed me a piece of paper. It appeared that Dan had not enjoyed his time as a security guard, but too ashamed to admit he couldn’t hack the work, had decided that his departure would be more palatable if the reason was a little more elaborate. As such he’d written a letter to the head of security posing as his sister and stated that he could no longer come to work as he’d been involved in a car crash and had, had one of his arms amputated.

My housemates’ mirth was not caused by the excuse, but rather the reply he’d received from the head of security – one of the finest works of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Amongst it’s many well-crafted stanzas two sentences stand out: “We were even more concerned when he contacted your next of kin and discovered they were unaware of your accident. If you could get someone else to hold the phone against your ears perhaps you could call them (presuming you skill have ears)?” And “As your uniform was found in the locker we can only presume you were planning to leave anyway before this most tragic of events.”

I remember he was very angry that they hadn’t paid him, but could think of no legitimate way to complain.

Engaged in the black art of self-promotion as I am, I am constantly bewildered by the sheer volume of exaggeration and out an out lying that takes place in everyday life. I’m not talking about the adulterous / of-course-I-didn’t-burry-her-in-the-woods type exaggeration (i.e. things worth lying about). I’m talking about the little things, like describing a cappuccino as ‘awesome’ or any use of the term ‘LOL’ (surely a killable offence (if that’s not hypocrisy?)).

The latest bee in my bonnet (hyperbole: I don’t own a bonnet) is the emergence of companies that charge to generate fake comments / likes / views / re-tweets etc online. I’ll admit, when I first started promoting my music (Martin’s music) I did try one of them – paid the princely sum of £8, and 48-hours later one of my songs had been listened to 5000 times, but no one had liked it (I hadn’t paid for that) and none of the people were real. Their avatars had been lifted from other users and they had not really listened to my work. They were simply bots clicking on a link. Having decided that it wasn’t a virtuous thing to have done I deleted the song, re-uploaded it and by the end of that day it had been listed to 30 times and liked 8. I felt satisfied. This was an honest picture of the world. I had connected with 30 individuals and properly connected with 8 – Hardly setting the music industry alight, but a true reflection of reality.

I read an online article about a rapper who had over 100K Twitter / Sound cloud followers, all of whom were fake. It posed the question: How does he feel when he reads computer-generated comments that declare ‘You are a rock God’ and ‘Dope’? Or beholds the giant list of fans, none of whom have ever listened to a single note of the tunes he has so lovingly sampled from proper musicians (!) but who have cost him an arm and a leg to acquire?

It’s as if he has taken the Turing artificial intelligence test and the computer has failed him! And he isn’t even an isolated example. The practice is becoming widespread. Now, whenever I see a Facebook link with 20K likes I think: There’s a good chance that’s not real.

I went for lunch last week at a bar I hadn’t frequented in over a year. The place had been renovated. I struck up a conversation with the owner about the changes. Turns out that the previous owner woke up one morning ten months ago, rang the brewery and said ‘So, it’s like this – I’ve had enough – the keys are on the bar’ (click), and off he went, owing in access of fifty grand. No one had seen him since. That’s excited and not made-up.

Another thing that really happened was that I was sitting at a beachside café with an old school friend last weekend. I mentioned that one of my greatest regrets in life was my failure to corral a bunch of co-workers into getting drunk, attending a matinee show by Britain’s premium children’s entertainers ‘The Chuckle Brothers’ and heckling them. My friend replied:

‘Oh I met them once. Tried to get them to go drinking with me, but they declined – gave me a signed photo of the two of them sitting in a cockpit. I did however get annihilated (hyperbole) with a Tommy Cooper impersonator – Guy was phenomenal – Never broke character once!’

Rant over. Mother Teresa put it better than me: ‘Life’s a dream, realise it.’

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Damn you gentile upbringing…

I’ve been feeling pretty chipper of late, so thought it was high-time I balanced things out with a healthy dose of crushing literary rejection. With the trusty writers & artists year book in hand I suppressed my flat-vowelled midland vernacular with the received-pronunciation of a BBC newsreader and set about calling agents to enquire as to whether or not they were taking on any new protégés…
‘I’m sorry,’ came the (first) exceedingly plummy response, ‘not for 7 years now.’
Stifling a bemused chuckle I apologised to the woman in question for wasting her time, wished her a good day and rang off. Almost immediately she rang back.
‘I don’t normally do this, but you sounded so forlorn I thought I’d take a punt. What’s the book about?’ Cursory details were exchanged, at which point she added, ‘Don’t send me a synopsis or a covering letter. I’m 65 – Haven’t got time for any of that ole shit – the first 3 chapters should suffice. Don’t expect a response before the end of the week. I’m reviewing Rodriguez’s new book on imperialism. I’m sure you have some appreciation of how tetchy he can get…’ Evidently I was expected to know who she was talking about, so took a stab at empathising ‘…Having said that, his last few offerings have been more than a little slap-dash. If he thinks I won’t fire him he’s living in a dream world…anyway ta-ta.’
A little over a week later she phoned back to say that the first 3 chapters had aroused her interest and that the full manuscript would now be appreciated. I duly obliged. A further week passed whereupon I received another phone call. Without introduction she proceeded thus:
‘No, no, no. Your antagonist arrives far too late, your main character should be Jewish and…’ barking noises halt her assault ‘Roy…ROY! I’m sorry – I have 3 dogs and am married to the politician Roy Hatterley – ROY! Get the dogs out…and I’m going to have to pass I’m afraid…ROY! May I suggest Bogdanivich as a surname…as in the film director…keep up the good work. Thank you good bye.’
Though technically a knock-back I was strangely buoyed by the conversation as it marked the furthest I had yet reached in pursuing a literary career.
The agent’s cryptic comments reminded me of a long-ago work debacle where, in discussion with a Jewish 3rd party contingent, an overenthusiastic colleague had described his three-pronged business strategy as ‘Blitzkrieg.’ Whilst the Nazi’s no doubt considered simultaneous air, land and sea attack to be an impressive feat, the comparison was less than appreciated by the suppliers whom we were destined never to see again.
Later that evening I was still pondering the bizarrely one-sided exchange when there was a knock at the door. As I drew near I heard my elderly neighbour utter the immortal words, ‘I know that @!#$er’s in there. I saw him go in,’ to which her husband replied ‘This is the final straw. I may do something I’ll regret.’
The list of inane and petty matters this harmless but deeply annoying pair have complained about over the years includes rogue ivy, the length of my lawn and not liking the colour of the house (to which my subsequent attempt at humour (calling them racists) had bombed spectacularly). Without even the remotest interest in finding out what tedious crap they’d come to rant about I stood motionlessly until I was sure they’d buggered off…
…None of which explains why my lead character should be Jewish!
In an entirely different vein I’ve added a new page ‘Music’ with links to some of the songs I’ve recently released:
I thank you…

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…So long and thanks for all the mammaries

My usual dentist was away on maternity leave and had been replaced by a woman so voluptuous that it was almost suspicious, (the gratuitous drawing of attention to her figure is an essential detail!) Having talked me through the process of removing a broken tooth and replacing it with a temporary crown she leaned over, whereupon one of her pendulous breasts slapped firmly against my face; engulfing my right eye and settling against my cheek.

She seemed not to have noticed and diligently went about her work. With my one good eye I tried to signal to her assistant (‘Is this normal?’) She too appeared ambivalent, (either that or she didn’t speak eye-mind).

For 40 minutes (seemed longer) I lay under the warm weight of her heaving bosom – a strangely emasculating experience if truth be told. I hadn’t needed any anaesthetic as there was no root to offend, but by the end of the procedure my face was completely numb.

Afterwards the dentist (surely we should’ve been on first-name terms by this point) asked me if I’d like to keep the mould they’d made of my jaw. I couldn’t see any practical use for it, but it was going in the bin otherwise, so I said yes and took receipt of a macabre looking little plastic bag – Exhibit A:IMG_0822

‘How soon before I can eat anything?’ I asked.

‘Oh, straight away,’ she replied.

Having failed to ask for her phone number I left the surgery and went to a local supermarket in search of lunch. At the check out, whilst trying to retrieve my wallet, I succeeded in fumbled the aforementioned item out onto the conveyer belt.

Even I had to admit that it looked like something you’d find in Jeffrey Dahmer’s fridge. It would be an exaggeration to say that the cashier screamed, but she did press the help (panic) button, prompting the appearance of an equally bemused looking colleague.

‘I haven’t murdered anyone if that’s what you were thinking.’

Evidently they were…

On an entirely unrelated topic I’ve just started uploading some of my songs to:

https://soundcloud.com/martincororan

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