HELLO and good day.
You lucky (maybe) readers have the pleasure of getting stuck into a guest blog-post today: I, Zac, will be stepping into the role usually held by either one of Messrs Paddy or Laurie, and doing my best impression of a shambolic human being. I am, in fact, quite a coherent and organised individual, but I will try my hardest to fit the Podshambles billing. You could even say I am quite literally a ‘sham’ Shambler.
I’m going to come at this from a slightly different angle to the manner in which Paddy and Laurie invade your Internet. All the songs put forth by the Podshambles blog (Shamblog? Podblog? Blambles?) thus far have been brilliant, and I am a fan, but I shall veer away from the Indie/Rock/Niche vibes which have dominated until now and have a think about someone far more mainstream – hear me out, OK?
It being Wednesday – in my opinion the worst day of the week – I thought people could use a pick-me-up. Sitting slap-bang in the middle of the week, Wednesday’s far enough away from the previous weekend that anything fun you got up to begins to fade into a fuzzy memory and so far away from the coming weekend that freedom is nothing more than a distant dream. Goddamit Wednesday.
To pick you up out of the spiralling whirlpool of misery that is the middle of the working week, I thought I’d propose a song to help you all get your funk back. Your Uptown Funk that is…and seamlessly we segue into today’s topic. (See what I did there? Or did I ruin it by telling you exactly what I did?)
I’ve never been totally sure of Mark Ronson: not in the sense I mistrust him as a person – I am sure he is lovely – but rather I can never make up my mind as to whether he is a talented musical producer or some sort of musical dilettante.
On the surface, he seems able to throw his hand to any genre of music and turn it into a popular hit. He was able to (in my opinion) better an already great song in The Zutons’ Valerie, improve a rather rubbish song tenfold with Oh My God, create a unbelievably catchy hit in The Bike song and all the while doing so using the input of rather irritating musicians. Generally, I am not one to sing the praises of Lilly Allen, Amy Winehouse or the front man from the annoying band who sing about having the same jeans on for more than one day, but throw mark Ronson into the mix and I find myself bobbing my head along nonetheless.
That’s not to say Ronson has never missed the mark: his interpretation of Radiohead’s Just is a jazzy but ultimately soulless facsimile – but then Just is a fantastic song to begin with, so he was perhaps biting off more than he could chew with that one.
In addition, Ronson is almost always his own worst enemy. His songs are catchy and ultimately great pop songs, getting people to bop along happily but then thanks to his prowess at writing such melodies or reformulating existing hits these songs are played incessantly by unimaginative radio DJs. His hits then become omnipresent, played on every station and in every shop, seemingly appearing everywhere. Inevitably we (or, at least, I) begin to hate these songs, and in turn blame poor Mark for ever subjecting us to his music.
Mark is, of course, not to blame for this, but the people who think because a song is great we need to hear it every second, of every day, ever, definitely are.
But, I digress. Enough of rambling on about Mark Ronson, and to my original point: helping you all get your mid-week funk on.
Fortunately for me, I came to the Uptown Funk party late, and by the time I even realised it was a thing the song’s buzz was already beginning to fade, so I haven’t heard it a million-and-one times. It’s reminiscent of the great tunes that powered the 70s soul train, helped keep afros perfectly spherical and made flares cool despite all evidence to the contrary. Uptown Funk has of course been updated for the 21st century but stays true to the pillars of 70s funk: a great bass-line beat, an optimistic guitar riff and a charismatic front-man. Throw in some saxophone fun and you end up with something it’s impossible not to bob your head along to and imagine yourself donning a pink blazer about town (just me?)
Well, anyway, I hope this tune does act as a pill to fight the midweek blues. If you have already heard this and you’re sick of the sight of Bruno Mars – completely understandable – then I apologise and can assure you you’ll be back reading the wit and whimsy of either Paddy or Laurie tomorrow.
I hope that stream of consciousness was shambolic enough for you all; if not, check this wonderful mess of a scenario out.
Have a groovy day,