Posts from August 2002
Tom makes some good points below about the Quizzer and its role in pubs. I think my main problem with them is that the amount of aggro they cause is far more than the amount of aggro from a typical Bar Billiards game (unless you’re in the Glasshouse Stores and the table breaks and the staff refuse to even look at it, causing Tired and Emotional publog representatives to become SEVERELY emotional…).
First of all: bar billiards has a comfortable amount of people to play on it. You play or don’t play, and it’s far more fun to watch than jumping up and down behind a huge scrum of people at a quizzer and then getting hideously bored and sitting by yrself in the corner.
Second of all: I certainly have never won money on the quizzer despite my GINORMOUS HUMAN BRANE because drunks KNOW NOTHING curses curses. And the stimulus for conversation only tends to lean towards everyones unreservered hatred for Ann Robinson/Chris Tarrant as all non-shit telly tie-ins seem to have disappeared! Notable exception: TOTP quizzer, which although a telly tie-in is still grebt.
Third of all: Bar Billiards = my ripoff claim to playing any sports. YEEHAW! Far more enjoyable than watching some smug pub bore drive you to tears with his rubbish arcane knowldge. The Quizzer = the Pub Bore’s Heaven.
On another note, I am shoxx0red to find a pub in NO MANS LAND Millbank area which serves a selection of six different bitters. I am not at ALL shoxx0red when I find that only two of them are ever on at the same time. (Pub = Old Monk on Horseferry Road, as opposed to the Old Monk on Strutton Ground with it’s 394823857ft deep bar queues).
Last night at the VMA’s
Watching Michael Jackson receiving the ‘Artist Of The Millennium’ award felt like watching a public execution. Or maybe an ambush. “Here’s the award our intern won on open mic-night last week. Say your standard little speech and get the fuck out.” So he did. For the first time in my life I actually felt sorry for the guy.
The years have not been kind to Axl.
The Hives Vs The Vines: Shakira won that one.
Absolute highlight: Eminem and entourage telling Triumph to back off.
As expected, there was little to get excited about, you could really sense that people wanted the show to end quickly so they could get on with the boozing up. No wonder the post-show lasted only a few minutes. The production values reverted back to those of 1984, which was kinda nice to see.
Tot of the pops: also from the low-on-puns Guardian is this creepy article about dressing your sprogs in band t-shirts. ” “Usually, it’s someone who’s been a little bit cool in the past,” says Susan Haire of Baby Munchkins, “and they’ve decided to try to pass that on to their children.” “. BABY MUNCHKINS?? Hell’s Bells!
Blogging the Guardian’s pop pages used to be the easiest thing in the world, back when T.Cox was in charge. Modern music was unforgiveably awful and our only hopes were the Wondermints, Cox said every week before leaving to write a book about golf. Alexis Petridis though has developed the annoying habit of writing affable, reasonable pieces on quite interesting topics, like this week’s “Pop Of The Tots”, an examination of the changing demographics of the singles chart.
If Petridis has a problem as a commentator, though, it’s the classic broadsheet one: over-simplification in order to tell uncommitted readers a story. Much is made of Coldplay’s “In My Place” (this season’s big adult-oriented rock single) only hitting No.2 but S Club Juniors’ “Automatic High” could only manage #2 too – so isn’t that also a failure? And just like in his pop-after-Sept-11 overview of a few weeks back, Petridis doesn’t take hip-hop enough into account – sitting at #3 in the charts right now is Truth Hurts’ “Addictive”, a lot of people’s idea of the sort of great single Petridis ends his piece by celebrating and certainly aimed at a teenage-to-adult audience. ‘Tweenybop’ stars are the biggest slice of the pop cake right now, for sure, but it’s still a pretty huge cake.
How come Christina Aguilera can make herself uglier every time?!
It strikes me that the presence of the bust invites two conjectures, one or both of which may be correct.
1. Jeremy Bentham, renowned philosopher of utilitarianism, looked very like Tim Rice.
2. There is a benighted pub somewhere called The Tim Rice with a honking great wax bust of J.Bentham.
Dumb Or Bust? The dumbwaiter is a work of genius, but since we’re on the subject of the Jeremy Bentham, it should be noted that the (waxwork?) bust of JB in that selfsame upstairs bar bears an unnecessary resemblance to Tim Rice. This is surely a bad thing, unlike the bust of Tony Hancock in the otherwise unremarkable Wetherspoons house in Soho, The Moon and Sixpence. Any other notable boozer busts? (Yes yes, please leave your lewdness at the door).
FANTASTIC PUB INNOVATIONS: 1 (in a series of 1 probably)
The pub dumbwaiter in the Jeremy Bentham. Just how marvellous is this? The bar is downstairs, we are upstairs. Being such popular people there were too many of us to carry a round single handed, and being such lazy people we refused to help each other carry the round. Luckily for us the lovely staff kindly popped our drinks in the dumbwaiter, gave it a tug (or however these things work) and bish bash bosh, all the drinks delivered safely upstairs with not a drop spilt. This is surely an urgent and key development which must be installed immediately in all pubs with upstairs seating but no upstairs bar.
It’s 1978 and Paul Young is the Toast of the town; that is, he’s a square and his music is crumby. “Toast” is an unholy slice of inarticulate spoken nonsense, put to a sub-Stray Cats accompaniment. It describes the young Mr Young’s lifelong love of the foodstuff toast and, in trying to sound droll and surreal, simply sounds utterly banal.
Given this evidence, who could have known that Paul Young would go on to become Luton’s most successful recording artist? Not counting David Arnold, of course, and his soundalike soundtrack franchise (less “This Film’s Crap, Let’s Slash The Seats”, more “This LPs Shit, Let’s Slash That Arnold Twat”).
Anyway, apart from the sheer inanity of Toast, Paul Young will always be remembered for his:
– inexplicable string of early eighties top ten hits (cf: Shakin Stevens)
– singing/spoiling of the first line in “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
– remarkable haircut, as seen on the seven thousand unwanted copies of “No Parlez” in the basement of Notting Hill Record and Tape Exchange and in many barber shop windows.
Joy Division: An Ideal for Listening: an overview of Joy Division by Chris Ott, which as is the way of these things doesn’t amount to much more than a retelling of the story and assertions of quality. That’s not meant to be critical – when a band means a huge amount to you, you do feel the urge to simply restate the facts, to testify if you like. The existence of Ott’s essay – and its measured, solemn tone (a particular single is not ‘flawless’ but “without flaw”, for instance) – makes more of a point than its words do.