When the previews for Young Avengers #4 came out, there was quite a lot of hand-wringing from the Tumblr zone about Noh-Varr’s line in this panel.
I guess there was probably a lot of hand-wringing about his butt. But I probably glazed over during anything that followed the phrase ‘Noh-Varr’s butt.’ Just to get this out of the way: Jamie McKelvie is doing an extremely fine job of supplying some slightly-older-than-young-and-thus-ok-for-your-correspondent-to-goggle-at totty, here. Who knew the whole part-cockroach thing was attractive?
The question that appears to be being raised by the young people is: is Young Avengers cool enough? And indeed, if it is cool enough, is it also geeky enough? Are Billy and Teddy’s hairstyles preventing them being colossal dorks?
I don’t even want to get into the last question of that (although no, no of course they are not; they’re just vaguely dealing with being super greasy teenage boys for goodness’ sakes) but whether Young Avengers is too cool is a good question.
Y’see, Noh-Varr looks pretty cool. He’s a silver-haired alien boy for ladies in their twenties to mentally high-five Kate Bishop over. He’s got a spaceship and nega-bands and he’s been in the grown up Avengers and he’s totally done it, probably several times. more »
There are some brands which are bulletproof. No matter how many failed and dumb brand extensions there are, the core brand remains unassailable. As long as you don’t mess with actual Coke*, you can make as many Vanilla’s, Cherry’s and Coke Zero’s specifically for Nigel you like. And with this fiveway explosion of Heinz Baked Beans there is a “throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks**” insouciance bred from the knowledge that British people will still buy Baked Beans even if you did an Arsenic Flavour.
Still lets look at these five new flavours:
Ok, so some of these have been around before, just branded differently. Th old Curried Beans had raisins in it, I’m guessing this is no longer the case. Barbecue beans and even probably even beans with fiery chilli have been around before (though probably will not come close to a liberal hand with the Tabasco). No the two interesting ones are the “Garlic & Herb” variant and the “Cheddar Cheese” one. more »
Finally, the moment of ABSOLUTE POP TRUTH is upon us! And my goodness, what a nail-biter of a contest this has been. Halfway through the voting, two decades broke decisively ahead of the pack, establishing a lead that proved impossible to catch up with. Although one of them looked to have the edge, its rival chased it hard, making up crucial lost ground in the closing stages and ensuring a RIVETING PHOTO-FINISH. Oh yes.
Meanwhile, the bottom four decades enjoyed a right old ding-dong, jostling each other furiously and never bowing out of the fight. The gap between the lower four was every bit as close as the gap between the upper two, making this year’s “Which Decade” our CLOSEST! CONTEST! EVER!
Shall we proceed? Yes, perhaps we should. Lord knows, you’ve waited long enough.
NOTE: For extra at-a-glance clarity, I have designated the 20 top scoring records as HITS, the middle 20 as MAYBES, and the 20 lowest as MISSES.
Sixth place: The Seventies.
Cumulative average score: 32.31 points.
Share of the vote: 15.39%
Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky. 4.84 points, first place.
Christie – Yellow River. 4.12 points, 2nd place.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Travellin’ Band. 3.68 points, 3rd place.
The Moody Blues – Question. 3.41 points, joint 3rd place.
Dana – All Kinds Of Everything. 2.92 points, joint last place.
The Hollies – I Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top. 2.90 points, 4th place.
Frijid Pink – House Of The Rising Sun. 2.80 points, 4th place.
The Move – Brontosaurus. 2.73 points, 5th place.
Tom Jones – Daughter Of Darkness. 2.70 points, last place.
England World Cup Squad – Back Home. 2.21 points, last place. more »
In search of Squirrel – Part two (warning, contains graphic images)
Some of you may remember this article I wrote some time ago about my “failure” as a vegetarian and my quest for the different. Well, I’ve done it. Squirrel had become a bit of an obsession, I’d chased up all sorts of alleys (Julian Barnes never replied to my e-mail either) and I’d become somewhat resigned to not getting squirrel unless I paid a Kings ranson for it. I had been offered squirrels at 15 pounds a pop by a butcher on Borough market, but thought that was rather an exorbitant price to pay for what was essentially vermin.
A couple of months ago mother-in-law, who of course had heard about my quest, phoned me up to tell me about an article she’d heard on the radio, about a butchers in Ludlow that sold squirrel. Unfortunately I forgot the name of the butchers almost as soon as I’d got off the phone, and nothing more came of it.
Go forward two months though, and i got an email from The Wife – ‘squirrel obtained!!!’ more »
Everybody remembers Band Aid. And – despite everything – most people remember Band Aid 2. And now we have Band Aid 20. Which rather begs the question – why does nobody ever talk about Band Aids 3 to 19? Take a trip down memory lane as NYLPM reminds you of the charity singles we all forgot.
Band Aid 3: Recorded in a secret corner of the Hacienda, “Baggy Aid” in 1990 melded social conscience with a wah-wah break and found Shaun Ryder offering to feed the starving his melons. That Line was sung by Bobby Gillespie, but nobody heard his reedy mewlings and the single flopped.
Band Aid 4: Top One Nice One! Altern8, Shaft, The Prodigy and many more superstars got together to give the classic tune a new boshing 90s sound – though it was B-Side “E For Ethiopia” that found favour with the DJ community. But a secret orbital party for famine relief was busted and the marketing juggernaut found itself turned back at a police roadblock. more »
Last week saw the release of not one, but two films about previous films. And I don’t mean Batman Begins (which should be retitled Batman Starts for Essex). Inside Deep Throat, a documentary about the making of and the effect of notorious porn film Deep Throat. And Baadasssss!, Mario Van Peebles film about the making of his Dad Melvin Van Peebles’ Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. The films have one key thing in common as well as being films about notorious 1970′s flicks. More people will probably see these films in the cinema in the UK than ever saw the films they are based on in the UK cinema. more »
My first encounter with the exotic was on the Magic Mill at Thorpe Park, a South-East England theme park which from appearances had originally been based around a cramped zoo or city-farm set-up. At some point in the late 70s it had seemingly panicked, though, and parked itself up in order to survive. With its born-delapidated aluminium-heavy decor and threadbare bunny mascot, the park ended up an icon of crappiness for my friends and I, but at age eight or nine you don’t think in those knowing terms. Even then, though, Thorpe Park was noticeably lacking in actual rides, preferring to emphasise hearty activities like karting or pedalo boats, leisure options which left bookish little me forlornly stranded in the model village. more »
So we get a winner, down on Brewer Street in Soho, the Glasshouse Stores was voted the number one pub of the noughties by those of us who voted. A nice pub sure, but so much better than the others? To find out why it scored so highly I thought I would canvas a number of opinions – feel free to add your own at the bottom.
My memory may be cheating me but I think the first time we ended up in the Glasshouse Stores it was due to a power cut a pub or two along. Marvellous serendipity if so, and appropriate: an accidental pub becoming a shrine to the unintended social consequences of setting up an online community. This is the top pub of the 00s and is tied firmly to the 00s: I can quite imagine never visiting it again, which isn’t something I can say about several others. The regular ILX meet-ups we held there are mostly a thing of the past, for the happy reason that participants basically stopped being “message board posters” and started being simply ‘friends’. What that misses out is the random element, of course – the sense on entering a get-together that you never quite knew who would turn up. Sometimes new faces, occasionally unwelcome ones – the internet meet-up pitches itself halfway between the cosy drink with mates and the party. more »
Freaky Trigger is copyrite 1999-2001 Ned ‘Robert’ Raggett. If you want to send us review Cure material, buy us snakebite, invite us to Cure shows or offer us vast amounts of money to buy more Cure records, then either e-mail or read this.
“[John Thelwall] also had the misfortune to be a mediocre poet — a crime which, although it is committed around us every day — historians and critics cannot forgive.” —E.P.Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class*
It was called The Battle of Waterloo, and it was one of the plays offered by J. K. Green’s Juvenile Drama: in other words as sheets of figures to cut out, colour and deploy, on little slides, in a miniature proscenium theatre you’d built yourself, from paper or card on a wooden frame.
A miniature proscenium theatre like this features as a prop in the classic 70s version of The Railway Children — one of them is bedridden, the others put on a show for her, and the show is Waterloo.** It also features in Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous 1884 essay ‘A Penny Plain and Twopence Coloured’ more »
What is “Panic” about? Dismissed and attacked since its release as small-minded, or snobbish, or even borderline racist, The Smiths’ anti-disco broadside continues to intrigue. On this thread, The Pinefox calls it a “yoking of two ideas” – a revolutionary fantasia and an attack on dance music – and claims that it’s the second of the two that’s made the press running ever since. What he doesn’t ask is how these ideas might fit together.
The origin of the record, also as described on ILM, is Morrissey’s hearing a Radio 1 DJ playing a bit of pop fluff (Wham, apparently) after initial reports of the Chernobyl disaster. This horrified him, and I’ve always heard the song’s verses literally – a vision of England not in revolution but in catastrophe, and a vision tinted with disgust at the ghastly gulf between the potential severity of, well, everything and the shiny escapism of pop. A pop The Smiths were and are tangled in – “Panic” still gets played in discos itself, week-in week-out. more »
And add another one to the “why on Earth didn’t I read this stuff before?” pile – Mike Mignola’s excellent and well-praised Hellboy. I skimmed the first ever miniseries half-heartedly on release, thought “Nazis, monsters, pfft” and that seemed to be that. But the steady drip of praise, and the sheer tenacity of the enterprise, kept nagging at me, and in the end I succumbed.
Glad I did, of course. I’ve not yet got to the parts where Mignola hands over the illustrative jobs, so the stories I’ve been reading are purely him, and while I knew he was a marvellous artist I didn’t appreciate the ways in which he’s marvellous. Among them this: he gives good Cthulhu. more »
To say at the start, I did eventually enjoy my Saturday afternoon at London’s Brewing and I have definitely been to events more badly organised (Glastonbury 2007 springs immediately to mind), but to my mind some of the criticism has been a bit rabid, I’m not sure what place Trading Standards have in this discussion? I’m not sure why people were expecting to be able to swan up to the bar at a sold out event, and one that they’ve probably only paid £4 to get into (£15 ticket minus 3 pints at £3.80-£4.00) at that.
All that said, the first two hours were a shambles, here’s why: more »
Apropos >Mark’s earlier post, I must confess to having imbibed some lager and been in proximity to both paper and pens during Europoptimism, which partly resulted in a sign for the door and partly resulted in this.
I don’t really know who east sky/taktophoto is (or are)*: but his/her/their tumblr republishes sets of images gathered from all over the place (always linked to, generally captioned as per the original, never commented on). The images can be hypercoloured, intricate, abstract, surreal, sexy, ridiculous — sometimes strange wtf artworks, sometimes simply startling photos from nature, hard as this very often is to believe at first glance.
And we are back, season two of the Lost Property Office limps stridently forward having survived a complete clearout, reorganisation and a system put in place. Which is better for the students, strike rate of returning keys and small electronic equipment has soared by over 100%, but less good for the show. But creative constraints can cause creative epiphanies, and who better to discuss creative epiphanies with than novelist and comics writer Al Ewing.
Actually we almost totally avoid talking about creative epiphanies, to instead discuss lost comic panels, skinny men getting stuck in holes, posh breast cancer ribbons, A BOOK THAT SHOULD NOT BE OPENED (we open it) and pop music which for the first time on Lost Property Office we recognised from the opening notes. And for pretty much all of the running time Al forgot (until pushed) to pimp his new novel The Fictional Man, which is a pulp rollercoaster ride through a metafictional universe eerily similar to ours (which at least as many Sherlock Holmes’s). I’ve read it, its great! At least as good as he is on this show.
This week Avengers Assemble #15AU came out, by Al Ewing (yes relation) and Butch Guice. The comic is, as Hazel has pointed out, the most British thing ever published (at least by Marvel) and it is absolutely rammed with references – some obvious, some rather more obscure. Because Al is a pro, I reckon the comic is comprehensible without understanding all this stuff, but it’s safe to say there are parts of it many US readers won’t really get. There’s also parts of it which tap a knowledge of recent Marvel continuity, and we’ll explain that too.
So here’s an annotations post, which in the way of annotations posts will be updated with new information as you uncover it in the comments boxes. (And will also be updated with links and images!)
Contains, obviously, HEAVY SPOILERS for Avengers Assemble #15AU more »
As a kid I only read British comics (Beano, Dandy, Topper, Beezer, Sparky et al), and never graduated to — or really understood — Marvel or DC. They were too vast in conception to catch up with, I felt: too big a universe, filled with too much backstory. As a consequence I only recall two ministories, a Spiderman vs Doctor Octopus which ended on a cliffhanger as the latter hefted one of those water-coolers that sit on top of New York buildings at the former OH NOES, and a Silver Surfer spread where this gentleman floated unconscious in space while a squamous and bubbling mucous-beast crawled though a mirror from an eldritch dimension into an empty (excuse alliteration) marbled mansion OOOOH NOOOOOES. So anyway, I didn’t get much of a bead on what Superheroes were like as people. Lately I have embarked on a study of same — for other purposes eventually to be revealed (possibly) — and have drawn up a table, based on Iron Man1&3, The Hulk (second half only), Capt America, Thor, and Avengers Assemble. more »
A few years ago I returned from a trip to Spain with a somewhat disreputable CD – Rice And Curry, by Dr Bombay, AKA Swedish Eurodance chameleon Jonny Jakobsen. Browned-up for this project, and singing songs like “SOS (The Tiger Took My Family)”, Dr Bombay is the most eyebrow-raising example of how older traditions of ethnic and cultural comedy took root in Eurodance – Jakobsen has gone on to perform as Scottish stereotype Dr.Macdoo (LP title: Under The Kilt) and ‘comedy’ Mexican Carlito. And Rednex are in very much the same game.
It’s a feature of eurodance that comes out of European disco – just as anything could be discofied, from film themes to classical music to rock, so anything is fair game for novelty Eurodance treatment, and if it made people laugh too, so much the better. The genre existed in the same amoral, self-serving zone stand-up comedy sometimes claims for itself: the effect on the audience (partying, laughter) is all that matters, and anything goes to get there.
I’m not saying this because I’m personally offended by Rednex’ appropriation of hillbilly culture, it’s just a fascinating and overlooked part of Eurodance aesthetics. I doubt any rock band in 1995 could have got away with the rat-eating, drooling hick-play of the “Cotton Eye Joe” video, but if nobody’s taking the music seriously anyhow, it’s never going to get that level of scrutiny. Or to put it less kindly, there were plenty of other reasons to hate Rednex in 1995. more »