Posts from January 2001
And speaking of bad reviews….Alan McGee has a go at David Cavanagh’s book before launching into a bizarre attack on Martin Carr of the Boo Radleys. McGee on this barely coherent showing is unlikely to pose much of a threat to Greil Marcus’ job, and he’s still swearing by ‘the kids’ as if they were an Old Bailey bible. Bit embarrassing, really: Cavanagh’s book is heavy and thorough but you get the feeling what McGee really dislikes about it is the way it traces the history of a time not a label, and the decline of a dream, not its fruition.
The Worst Reviews of 2000: we wuz robbed! Surely somewhere on Freaky Trigger there’s a review as bad as Brent D’s Sigur Ros one! Oh well. Hugely entertaining and bitchy in-joke poke at some bad reviews, though personally I’m glad Brent D is out there writing the way he is, even if occasionally he blows his top a bit.
Ask Dr Pop: NEW FEATURE! A fortnightly column wherein the mysterious Dr Pop answers your pop questions.
Some say this song was written as a response to fans who found the brackets in the song title of (She Was A) Hotel Detective annoying and difficult to sing. Such fans later had their mail traced by the FBI and have now been locked away in a high security prison for simpletons. Not only is the song title nerdy and foolish, it is also incorrect. The only thing in parentheses in this song is the word parentheses – which means the song could also be called just “This Song’s In”. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even if the hottest young stars of the day, in the hottest film were to be caught having fun whilst listening to this record – it would not be “In”. Especially since the track uses that most “In” of instruments, a plastic toy harmonica and an accordian. The only thing that should be in parentheses in this song is the mark out of ten. (0).
I hate to piss on the parade before it gets started but I regret to inform you that one of the other previously-alluded to PP goals is now officially dead. Under the influence of a few too many Smirnoff Ices, the blissful utopia of a pub owned and run by us seemed too good to be true. However the cold light of day has made me realise that barmaiding in a pub run by Pete should really not be the summit of any 25 year old’s ambitions. Horrific images of serving bowls of coco pops and pints of light and bitter spring to mind.
And the Coal Hole is indeed that. A hole. Well, the place is OK but most of the people in it were ****s. (See how polite I am! Well, my mum might read this).
As Pete points out, recent machinations in the crisp industry have impacted heavily on the UK pubgoing experience. The Brannigans Crisps brand has been brought under the umbrella of the McCoy’s brand (or, to give them their full pompous title, ‘The Real McCoy’s – Accept No Imitations’). One result of this corporate manoeuvring is that Brannigans, previously available in paper(ish) bags, are now offered in horrible shiny bags, thus robbing them of their former rustic appeal.
Comparing the brands, both of which were widely available in pubs, it seems a strange decision to merge the two. Brannigans, personified by boatered-and-aproned Mr Brannigan on the packet, was a very British product, sold in ‘meat and two veg’ flavours (Roast Chicken and Stuffing, Smoked Ham and Pickle, Roast Beef and Mustard, and, for vegetarians, Mature Cheddar and Onion).
McCoy’s on the other hand promotes itself as ‘The Big Chip from The Big Country’; the big country being Canada. The more melodramatic amongst us might consider the rebranding of Brannigans as nothing more than another example of Canadian cultural imperialism.
Both brands are owned by KP and the distinction between them is neatly drawn on their websites. Brannigans has a pubguide, for what it’s worth, and a virtual brewery tour, making the point that it is primarily a pub snack. McCoys has a risible Shockwave effort, which makes it clear that its consumers are a sad bunch indeed.
A final thought – you might wish to support the admirable work of the UK crisp guide. Check out the bag navigator.
Patti Smith! Patti Bleedin’ Smith! I thought it was a pop quiz, Godammit! Added to the list of Pumpkin Publog goals (drawn up last night in the Coal Hole) is winning the Retro Bar* pop quiz, which we came second in by half a point. A tip of the hat to the estimable Swish Cottage for alerting us to this marvellous event. (And there were only five of us!). Keep Bond British.
*called Bar but in fact as near as dammit to a pub.
With a chorus that’s a dead sonic ringer for “The Boy is Mine” and verse phrasing that’s a watered-down ripoff of Aaliyah’s far stronger “Try Again”, I damn well hope this song didn’t cost a thing to produce. Rarely is a supposedly new song such a blatant, half-assed retread of two other, better songs. Did she think we wouldn’t notice the leftover effect? She doesn’t even have a dope beat to step to!
Now I know Freaky Trigger is about to launch a oh so tiresome, ripped off of Q feature which answers all your queries about pop music. I know this because site owner Tom Ewing asked if I had any questions for this so called spurious Doctor of Pop. Apart from the obvious questions (how have you managed to live this long) one query has been nagging me for quite some time. Its a simple question, and one whose answer came to me in a trice.
Q. Who Let The Dogs Out?
A. Any fucker who had heard this abysmal excuse for a novelty summer pop-ragga crossover. Anyone who had heard the Baha Men’s previous no mark career in soft back peddling Reggae. And especially anyone who has had to suffer through even a second of their current excuse for a single “You All Dat” (being all DAT is something Phillips and Sony were keen to stamp out in the early nineties by the way). However the phrase we are looking for here is not strictly called letting the dogs out. I think what we are after here is “Releasing The Hounds”.
They’re Grrrrr-eat. Sorry, it has just been brought to my attention that Tony the Tiger’s secret formula for the frosting on Frosties is not all that secret at all. It is sugar. Sorry if I confused anyone there. I have also been told that Sugar Puffs do not actually have little zips in them – which has worried me for some time.
On a tangent, but related, cereals are obviously a food group generally neglected in pubs. Are there any kinds of foodstuff which should be raring to enter the pub market but have never been tried. I am generally anti-food in pubs which do not come in small cellophane packages, but we are always open to suggestion.
On this matter. The Bring Back Brannigan The Butcher (and his paper bags) campaign starts here.