Friday, June 20, 2008

In response to "Heaven knows we’re miserable now" by Tom Harris MP

First read this British Government Minister's blog and the BBC's coverage

You're right, we are a miserable bunch. We've lost our joie de vivre.

I moved to Seattle from Manchester two years ago and I must say that the locals here are a lot happier generally. In fact, I've married a local girl and have taken her to visit the UK a couple of times now - she enjoys it, but has noticed that everyone seems miserable.

I must admit that she first mentioned it when we were in a service station off the M6, so probably not the most enjoyable place to be, but it's definitely noticeable wherever you go.

I can't put it down to consumerism, the US has got to be more consumeristic. Not only that, but also the gap between the rich and the poor is undoubtedly greater here. I can't put it down to Iraq or politics in general, Seattle is definitely as unhappy about the policies of President Bush as the UK, probably more-so, as we've got to put up with his domestic policies too.

People do seem to be stuck in a rut. There is a sense of hopelessness, that there's nothing you as an individual can do to make things better. I used to work with people who'd complain about their jobs every day, but would never look for a new job. I'm pretty sure the job market wasn't that bad at the time.

I also think that the British malaise is catching - if you work or live with people who are miserable, then you're likely to become miserable yourself. On the plus side, if you work or live with happy people, you're much more likely to be happy, so it can be overcome.

I don't really have an answer for "why? though. Looking at the comments, the miserable people complaining don't even have much to complain about in the grand scheme of things. Over 40 million people in the US don't have health insurance, for example. Petrol in the US may be cheaper than the UK, but it has increased in cost at a much quicker rate than in the UK. Also, you have to remember that the US is a big place - the average commute is more than double the UK's average commute and there's not a lot of public transport to use instead.

So, perhaps the British people have lost their sense of perspective. Everybody is doing okay, there's no "well, at least we've better than those people". I suggest you compulsory send the entire population of the UK to various different countries around the world to live for a year, to see if they want to come back. I bet nearly all will, with a renewed sense of optimism. Just don't send them to Seattle, I left to avoid that bunch of miserable whiners!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Weddings Playlist

Hello - at the wedding of the year, the music was supplied by iPod - no chatting DJs for us!
Here's what was played:

As the wedding party walked in: Like a star - Corrine Baily Rae
As Jenni walked in: Canon in D
As we walked off as a married couple: Just Like Heaven - the Cure
First dance: No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
Scroll down for the whole list...

As the wedding party walked in:
Like a starCorrine Baily Rae?
As Jenni walked in:
Canon in DVarious ArtistsEthereal: Classics For A New Age
As we walked off as a married couple:
Just Like HeavenThe CureGalore (The Singles 1987-1997)
During Dinner, you heard:
Crazy Love Van Morrison Moondance
Sowing the Seeds of Love Tears for Fears The Seeds of Love (Bonus Tracks)
Stand By Me Ben E. King Ultimate Soul
(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay Otis Redding Ultimate Soul
When A Man Loves A Woman Percy Sledge Ultimate Soul
Aquarius /Let The Sunshine In The 5th Dimension Alternative 60's
Tonight Tonight Smashing Pumpkins Rotten Apples: Greatest Hits
Close To Me [Closet Remix] The Cure Galore (The Singles 1987-1997)
Tainted Love Soft Cell Biggest 80's Hits...
Romeo and Juliet Dire Straits Making Movies
When Doves Cry Prince Purple Rain (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
In the Waiting Line Zero 7 Simple Things

Nothing Compares 2 U Prince Ultimate (The Very Best of Prince)
I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) Meat Loaf Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell (Deluxe Edition)
Drops of Jupiter Train Drops of Jupiter
Glory Box Portishead Dummy
Moondance Van Morrison Moondance
Crooked Teeth Death Cab For Cutie Live At KEXP Volume 2
Lazy Eye Silversun Pickups Carnavas
Fidelity Regina Spektor Begin To Hope
Lovesong The Cure Galore (The Singles 1987-1997)
Pictures Of You The Cure Galore (The Singles 1987-1997)
In My Place Coldplay A Rush Of Blood To The Head
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away Eddie Vedder I Am Sam
Blackbird Sarah McLachlan I Am Sam
The First dance was:
No One's Gonna Love You Band of HorsesCease to Begin
And then the party songs were:
For Once in My Life Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection
Don't Stop Believin' Journey Journey: Greatest Hits
Waterloo (English Version) ABBA ABBA - Gold - Greatest Hits
Billie Jean (Single Version) Michael Jackson Now That's What I Call the 80s
We Built This City Starship Now That's What I Call the 80s
Le Freak Chic The Very Best of Chic
Brown Eyed Girl (Single Version) Van Morrison Bang Masters
Blame It On the Boogie The Jacksons Essential Michael Jackson
Let's Stay Together Al Green Let's Stay Together
Take On Me a-Ha I Love 80's (Disc 2)
Baby Got Back Sir Mix A Lot Mack Daddy
Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry Wild Cherry
Nobody Does It Better Carly Simon Reflections
Dancing Queen ABBA ABBA - Gold - Greatest Hits
Ice Ice Baby Vanilla Ice Platinum Underground (Clean Version)
Bust a Move Young M.C. Stone Cold Rhymin'
Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson Essential Michael Jackson
Too Much Time On My Hands Styx Styx: Greatest Hits
Macarena Los Del Rio Fiesta Macarena
The Way You Make Me Feel (Single Version) Michael Jackson Essential Michael Jackson
Uptight (Everything's Alright) Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection
I'm a slave 4 u Britney Spears Greatest Hits
My Girl The Temptations My Girl: The Very Best of the Temptations
Soul Man Sam & Dave Ultimate Soul
What'd I Say, Pt. 1 Ray Charles The Best of Ray Charles - The Atlantic Years
Let's Get It On Marvin Gaye The Very Best of Marvin Gaye
Logical Song Supertramp Breakfast In America
Love of My Life (Feat. Carter Beauford & Dave Matthews) Santana Supernatural
R-E-S-P-E-C-T Aretha Franklin Ultimate Soul
And the rest is songs that we were going to play and may have missed...
Let Go Frou Frou Details
The Underdog Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Bonus Track Version)
Young Americans David Bowie The Best Of David Bowie 1974-1979
Don't Stop Me Now Queen Greatest Hits I
Romeo and Juliet Dire Straits Making Movies
Ramble On Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin II
Good Vibrations Loleatta Holloway & Marky Mark And The Funky Bunch Radio Waves of the '90s: Pop Hits
I Melt With You Modern English After the Snow
Try Again Aaliyah Romeo Must Die (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)
Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley I Love 80's (Disc 2)
Days Like This Van Morrison Van Morrison - The Movie Hits
Stronger Kanye West Graduation
Any Way You Want It Journey Journey: Greatest Hits
White Wedding Billy Idol New Wave Classics (Disc 2)
Ayo Technology 50 Cent / Justin Timberlake / Timbaland Curtis
Domino Van Morrison His Band and the Street Choir
Don't Lie Black Eyed Peas Monkey Business (Special Edition)
Harder to Breathe Maroon 5 Songs About Jane
Y.M.C.A. (Single Version) Village People Disco Gold
The Way You Do the Things You Do The Temptations #1's
Ain't Too Proud to Beg The Temptations Anthology Series: The Best of the Temptations
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) Styx Styx: Greatest Hits
Renegade Styx Styx: Greatest Hits
I Was Made to Love Her Stevie Wonder Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection
Stuck in the Middle with You Stealers Wheel Pure 70's
I Wish [A Capella] / My Gigolo / Cannonball Skee Lo / Fulton, Maurice & Stress / Breeders As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 2
Hold On I'm Coming Sam & Dave Ultimate Soul
Paint It Black The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971
Under My Thumb The Rolling Stones Aftermath (UK Version) [Remastered]
Do You Remember the First Time? Pulp The Best... In the World... Ever! Volume 1 (disc 1)
Sexual Healing Marvin Gaye Midnight Love & the Sexual Healing Sessions
Summer In The City Lovin' Spoonful Alternative 60's
Celebration Kool & The Gang Funk Essentials: Celebration - The Best of Kool & the Gang 1979-1987
Cheap and Cheerful The Kills Midnight Boom (Bonus Track Version)
Faithfully Journey Frontiers
Smiley Faces Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
Gone Daddy Gone Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) [Stereo] Four Tops The Four Tops: Greatest Hits
Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley The Essential Elvis Presley
Girls On Film Duran Duran I Love 80's (Disc 1)
I Believe in a Thing Called Love The Darkness Permission to Land
Let's Get It Started (Spike Mix) [Bonus Track] Black Eyed Peas Elephunk
All That She Wants Ace of Base Singles of the 90s
Friday I'm In Love The Cure Galore (The Singles 1987-1997)
You Really Got a Hold of Me The Beatles Beatles
Toxic Britney Spears Greatest Hits
She Moves In Her Own Way The Kooks Ferny's Faves
Naive The Kooks Ferny's Faves
Heaven Is A Place On Earth Belinda Carlisle I Love 80's (Disc 2)
19-2000 (Soulchild Remix) Gorillaz Gorillaz [UK]
Enola Gay Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark I Love 80's (Disc 1)
Good Weekend Art Brut Bang Bang Rock & Roll
You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC Back In Black
Mardy Bum Arctic Monkeys Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not
Denis Blondie The Best Of Blondie
La Pastie de la Bourgeoisie Belle & Sebastian 3.. 6.. 9.. Seconds of Light
I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown 20 All Time Greatest Hits!
Boys Don't Cry The Cure The Cure: Greatest Hits
Love To Love You Baby Donna Summer The Very Best Of Donna Summer
Build Me Up Buttercup The Foundations The Very Best of the Foundations
Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival Bad Moon Rising - The Best Of
I Would Die 4 U Prince The Very Best Of Prince
Take Your Mama Scissor Sisters Scissor Sisters

Friday, December 15, 2006

The saddest, funniest, most tragic and uplifting thing I've ever read

Well, not the uplifting part. That's a quote from Chris Morris' Blue Jam, by the way. I've spent my evening watching the Ashes cricket, reading the Guardian's over-by-over, getting more and more depressed, and eating pizza.

That's right - eating pizza. I had a blood test for coeliac sprue, but it came back negative, so I've gone to a full gluten-filled diet before I have an endoscopy in mid-January. Fun, fun, fun.

In other news, I appear to have been listening to a lot of Lily Allen, The Trucks, and Lady Sovereign recently. Apparently being a male musician is a bit too passe these days for my liking.

Finally, gig news... I went to "107.7 The End's" Deck the Hall ball. Basically a mini-festival in the evening in the Key Arena. The atmosphere was awful - I think most of the 15 year old majority either only wanted to see one of the bands, or had never been to a gig before. What I can tell you is that Angels and Airwaves are awful and their lead singer has a potty mouth. Oh, and the Shins are a bit dull, but Snow Patrol are good. They played Run, so I'm happy. Gnarls Berkley was quite entertaining, dressed up as characters from Austin Powers. The show was a dry one, because it was an all-ages show and America is crazy with it's alcohol laws, so we escaped to the pub and missed a few of the other acts.

In better gigging news, I saw Death Cab for Cutie's end of tour gig a few days later. Two thumbs up, although I feel that they suffer as a live band because their albums sound so good and are so well produced, you're kinda better off with an expensive hi-fi in your living room. I was high up in the nose-bleed seats of the Key Arena, so perhaps I'd have had better acoustics on the floor.

Anyway, back to being depressed about the cricket. I fly back home for a few days on the 20th, landing on the 21st.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Important news!

Me and Jenni
Originally uploaded by Nick Denny.
The news is that me and Jenni are engaged! We're currently aiming for a wedding on March 21st 2008, so there's a bit of time to sort things out, encourage people to buy flights over here, etc etc.

Just what the internet was missing

My sister has got herself a blog. Currently, it's dedicated to her cat.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Gig gig gigs

I've been to a few gigs recently:

Ghostland Observatory
Seeing them for the second time this year. The Croc was packed and they were great. Full of energy, even though this was their second gig of that evening... they're the hardest working guys in electro-rock/pop (or whatever category they are)! Now I want to be in a band and wear a big cape. Of course the band I'd be in would sound like:

Art Brut / We are Scientists
An awesome gig at Neumo's. Art Brut makes me wanna rock out. Possibly my favourite gig ever. Only way to improve it would be to have the crowd crammed in like at the Croc with Ghostland Observatory. Disappointingly, We are Scientists didn't arrive with kittens.

Biggest venue (the Paramount) for the biggest band. Lots of twiddling on guitars, as you would expect. Great lighting. I was most amused when playing the chorus of Knights of Sedonia, featuring huge karaoke-come-Orwellian style words behind them, them very clearly singing "going to" when the words behind them said "gonna".

Friday, October 27, 2006

Doodle on Monkeys For Money

In discussion about the adverts that appear in gmail:

John said:


Did you see that sponsored link
"write on cats for cash"
what's next:

Megan said:

ok so i actually tried those two links before i realsied they weren't real!

Darren said:

Someone has to buy Nick?

Errr. So, yeah, welcome to the home of