Coffee n’ Shrapnel

Omar at Iraq the Model wakes up one morning, brews himself a cuppa and calmly watches as a hissing, still-hot sliver of crud lands in his garden from an IED explosion. All in a day’s work . . .


A while back I got one of Tele’s earlier hits – Es Kommt ein Schiff – off a magazine’s free CD giveaway and described it as a Westlife-type ballad with cheesy horns. I still stand by this although with the Freiburger’s new album, the horns Tele love so much have grown on me a bit more. I still think they overdo it a tad but when they get the mix right it really works – check out the playful big band on Rio De Janeiro.

b000mra4ny01_ss500_sclzzzzzzz_v46855572_.jpg3 starsWir Brauchen Nichts

(Don’t Need a Thing, 100% native)

Quality production, smooth eighties-type melodies and great lyrics. Standout tracks: ‘Rio de Janeiro’, ‘Mario’, ‘Wir Brauchen Nichts’.

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Alan Johnston

johnston203_gaza_bbc.jpgBBC journalist Alan Johnston is still missing 16 days after being abducted in Gaza. A tragedy for the BBC and for Alan’s family (he’s from near Dollar in Scotland — just a few miles from my own home town). Yet again however, we see that the Palestinian people’s own worst enemy is themselves . . . Read more

Croc Bomber!

A chilling new development in suicide belt technology from those crafty Palestinians . . . Read more

Fanta Vier in London

A rare UK appearance by Germany’s top hip-hop band, Die Fantastischen Vier. They’re coming to London on the 25th May. I’ll be there . . . .

Bring back the minstrels….

“This is not a story. The media are making this a story.” Click. Bhuuuuuuuuuu . . . .
This curt response from a senior executive from the folks organising Madonna’s ’06 Confessions tour was as far as I got into persuading one of ‘her people’ to come on BBC radio. At £160 ($310) for the best seats quite a few commentators on both sides of the Atlantic had raised an eyebrow at the ticket pricing and I thought it might be worth a few minutes air time hearing someone justify the cost . . .
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Worst Job in the World?

There are crap jobs and then there is being Uday Hussein’s body double. Latif Yahia was press-ganged into the job years ago and apparently even had to undergo plastic surgery to make him a more convincing double. He is now seeking a life in Ireland.

What I particularly like about the way the SKY News reporter penned the above article is the casual almost throwaway style of this para in the middle:

“Yahia went on to spend four and a half years living a bizarre life of luxury, interspersed with assassination attempts by Shiite militia and occasional beatings from Uday.”

Still, silver linings and all that . . . since US forces carried some special plastic surgery of their own on Uday in 2003 at least Yasif can now safely claim the resemblance no longer applies.