Archive for the ‘Chris O’Dowd’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: THE SULTANS OF PING FC-“Wheres Me Jumper?” (1992).

The Sultans of Ping were, of course, named after the Dire Straits song.  They were named when “it was sacrilege to say anything whatsoever funny or nasty about Dire Straits.”

This song (or 30 seconds of it) was used as the opening  to the TV show Moone Boy.

The song was an unexpected, presumably novelty, hit in 1992.  It’s stupidly catchy and amusingly nonsensical and your appreciation for it is pretty much entirely dependent on your appreciation for Niall O’Flaherty’s voice which is comical and rather shrill in this song.  The other songs on the record are somewhat less so, but are still delivered in his speak-singing style.

I get a sense of them being like Ireland’s answer to The Dead Milkmen with a sprinkle of John Lydon on vocals–a fun punk band that flaunted a silly side.  Of course, I wasn’t in Ireland at the time, so perhaps they’re more akin to the Ramones in punk legacy.

The Sultans of Ping (later named The Sultans) were (a subconscious at least) predecessor to bands like Fontaines D.C.

But whereas Fontaines D.C. tackles existential life in Dublin, this song tackles a more urgent and pressing concern:

Dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper
Wait a minute:
“Where’s me jumper?

It’s all right to say things can only get better
If you haven’t just lost your brand new sweater
I know I had it on when I had my tea
And I’m sure I had it on in the lavatory
Dancing in the disco, go go go
Dancing in the disco, oh no, oh no
Dancing in the disco, bumper to bumper
Wait a minute:
Where’s me jumper?…

[READ: Summer 2019] Moone Boy

Chris O’Dowd is an Irish actor (we love him from the IT Crowd, and he has since been all over the place).  In 2012, he created Moone Boy as a sitcom based on his own childhood growing up in Boyle, County Roscommon, Ireland.

The show was a hit and they made three six-episode seasons.  This book came out around the time of the second season.

The story focuses on Martin Moone, a 12 year-old boy growing up in Boyle.  His friend Pádraic has an imaginary friend and Pádraic encourages him to get an imaginary friend (IF) of his own.  The rest of the book follows the exploits of Martin and his first (and second) imaginary friend.

But the book begins with some absurdist comedy.  Turns out he book is written from the point of view of the imaginary friend (we don’t really learn that until later) and he starts off with this:

Before we begin, I need to carry out a quick survey,

Are you reading this book because:

A. You have a scientific interest in the moon.
B. You have a scientific interest in the misspelling of the word “moon.”
C. You want to find out how quick and easy it is to obtain an imaginary friend that you’ll cherish for life.
D. You’ll read anything  You’re just like that.

If your answer is A or B, then I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed.  There’s very little moon action in this story, apart from the brief appearance of a wrestler’s wrinkly bum.

If your answer is C, then you’ll be equally disappointed.  I suggest you pick up a copy of Imaginary Friends – The Quick and Easy Guide to Forever Friendship by a former colleague of mine, Customer Service Representative 263748.

If your answer is D, the good for you!  You’re my kind of reader.  I’m glad we got rid of that other bunch of idiots who picked A, B and C.


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doubleSOUNDTRACK: KIM JUNG MI-“The Sun” (1973).

kjmsunThis song, along with a few other unexpected tracks accompany the score for The Double which was composed by Andrew Hewitt.  Kim Jung Mi is a South Korean singer (singing in Korean) and this track is hers from the 1970s.

Interestingly, the melody is conventionally Western (played on acoustic guitars), but as I said the vocals are all in Korean.  The song has a 70s folk (with orchestra) feel, and while there are a lot of Westernisms about the song, it still sounds “foreign.”

The song is pretty and eventually builds to adding some strings.  However at nearly 7 minutes without a lot of change (lots of La La Las, maybe like “Hey Jude”?), it’s a bit (well, a lot) too long.

[READ: June 13, 2014] The Double

I saw this book at work and immediately grabbed it because I love Richard Ayoade (Moss on The IT Crowd).  I didn’t even know what this was, I just had to see it.  Then I saw that it was that it a play and I was intrigued, especially when I saw that Chris O’Dowd (also from The IT Crowd) was in it.

Then I read the introductions by Korine and Ayoade and learned that this is actually a film.  When I looked online I saw that it opened in limited release last week.  Holy cow!  The film stars Jessee Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska and also features Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor and J Mascis (as a janitor).

The story is based on Dostoevsky’s short story “The Double” (so you know it’s not especially cheery).  And, although I assumed it would still be funny (given Ayoade’s credentials), it is not as funny (at least in print) as one might expect.  The other weird thing was that I kept picturing Moss as the lead character (some lines seem very Moss-like), so should I ever see this it will be weird to hear the lines coming from Eisenberg. (more…)

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