Posts from 7th March 2001

Mar 01

Charlotte Raven vs Pop

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Charlotte Raven vs Pop: British pop music is rubbish right now, says Charlotte. Hard to disagree with, in many ways. Therefore the British charts are rubbish. Easy to disagree with, that, since American hip-hop, pop and R&B is at a commercial/creative peak and is, even better, selling in Britain. You’d think the press would have the decency to suspend “pop is dead” articles while “Ms.Jackson” is in the charts.

The rest of Raven’s article touches oh-so-briefly on an interesting point. Are today’s young pop consumers listening to the music in the same way intense way ‘we’ used to? Here again it’s easy to believe she’s onto something. But who is this ‘we’? Charlotte Raven may well have listened to pop obsessively and intensely – I did, too, sometimes – but Charlotte Raven ended up becoming a writer specialising in cultural commentary. I don’t really think she can speak for most listeners.

The Seven Stars, Carey Street

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The Seven Stars, Carey Street The clientele of this pub is probably enough to put anybody off: pretty much wall-to-wall members of the beknighted legal profession, as one might expect from a pub which is tucked just behind the Royal Courts of Justice. But what a fabulous pub! There’s no jukebox, which I’m afraid I’ll have to classify as a good thing given the jukebox crimes which have recently been committed in the name of the Publog. It has almost no seating, meaning judge and judgee alike stand and sup in the time honoured manner. It has fine beer, wonderfully friendly (and occasionally rather fruity) barstaff and little else. It feels like it has been unchanged for around eighty years, and is not crammed from wall to ceiling with unnecessary tat. There are a few pictures and virtually no ornaments. A blessed relief.

The pub is wide but very shallow (rather like me), to the point that you sometimes feel you’re in a shambling lean-to. The stairs are unbelivably steep and rickety, and hazardous to the unwary drinker. Given the local preponderence of lawyers it’s probably a good thing that there’s a sign clearly stating that the stairs are used at your own risk, but placing that sign at the top of the stairs seems to me an error. Upstairs, though, is the Seven Stars’s truly unique feature. The men’s lavatory, whose window will not shut as a result of a rather poetic ivy encroachment, is a standard domestic toliet, and next to it stands a fully-functioning shower unit. I have never before in my life seen a fully functioning shower unit in the gents toilets in a public house.

It has that annoying City habit of shutting at half nine or so, which I could do without. It is likely to fill with cigar smoke from time to time. But it is a classic London pub and I’m surprised it’s not much better known.

Is Pitchfork Mail losing its touch?

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Is Pitchfork Mail losing its touch?: a highlight of the reading day reduced to pretending to be Limp Bizkit fans in order to provoke indie kids? The mailbag must be running low! Come on readers – help Pitchfork out! Write a letter! Demand more coverage of, I don’t know, Miami Bass or something!

JiffySquid on Sigur Ros

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JiffySquid on Sigur Ros: “Is it a powerful experience because the entire package, from the glowing embryonic figure on the cover to the cryptic lyrics, dictates that it must be powerful?”