Posts from 28th August 2002

Aug 02

BREAKFAST OF BANALITY 10: TOAST – Streetband f/ Paul Young

I Hate Music11 comments • 4,851 views

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

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 730 views

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.



Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 329 views

Sarah (sort your permalinks out!) suggests that I think Bar Billiards is rubbish, and prefer the Quizzer as a pub game. In fact I like Bar Billiards a great deal, a marvellous game which could only have involved in a pub. In fact if in some post-Neutron Bomb future the pubs have crumbled but a BB table survives, anthropologists will be able to deduce the very existence of pubs from this marvellous device. After all, only in an environment where idleness and flights of fancy are encouraged would people have come up with a crossbreed of billiards, bagatelle, and reverse ten-pin-bowling.

But the Quizzer is still better. Technology marches on and those who cling to the old pub pursuits are left in its wake. To prove the Quizzer’s superiority we must return to first pub principles. What is the point of being in a pub? Booze and conversation. The Quizzer not only allows the drinker to test their wits (which unlike reflexes are enhanced by booze) against a computerised brain, it also provides ample stimulus for conversation by suggesting all sorts of topics and disputes. And you can win money at it and get more booze which you can’t do on Bar Billiards unless you’re some kind of ‘hustler’.

She is right about sprouts, though.