Posts from August 2002

28
Aug 02

Sarah

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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.

27
Aug 02

Boogie Oogie Oogie

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Boogie Oogie Oogie: Yes, I bought the latest issue (last month’s, that is) of Muzik Magazine because of the free CD featuring selections chosen by the vivacious and vituperative Miss Kittin (“electroclash” clearly shorthand for “dance music indie snobs in denial can enjoy guilt-free”; gimme light sticks and pacifiers that match my Tsunami shirt NOW!). (Here’s info on the issue and the CD.)

Yes, I know duck-all about jungle & drum & bass & other forms of the dance music, and I’m undoubtedly subceptible to some review touting a house remix of “The Hokey Pokey” as the best thing since stop signs. It seems like a fair enough read if you’re curious about this sort of wide-ranging, ever-changing musical thing (and fond of rave pics showing girls invading each other’s personal dancing spaces, hubba hubba). However, is it de rigeur for the picture captions in this mag to be so unforgivably awful? Christ, they talk about ironing on some poor guy’s chin, and actually use “URRRRRRRRRGH” (or some synonym – “ARRRRRRRRGH” or “UUUUUUUNGH”) in one instance. And a POT joke about MORCHEEBA – wooo boy. I own 6th grade yearbooks with more decorum & good sense.

Current best blog in the world

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Current best blog in the world spizzazzz is navigating the clashing list rocks with its ‘Forty Spizzest Singles Of The Nineties’: best of luck. I was going to talk about Spizzazzz favourite Daniel Bedroomeyes here but I’m going to make supper instead: suffice to say “James Dean” is the best thing in a high-quality Top 40 and you should all hear it. (It also sounds like Nik Kershaw!).

26
Aug 02

My Downloader’s Dilemma

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My Downloader’s Dilemma: Being a good soulseek citizen I sometimes actually turn my file-sharing on and let people grab stuff off me. For the last hour and a half somebody has been downloading La Monte Young’s “Excerpt From Map of 49’s…” etc etc (the full title is enormous; it’s the one on the OHM compilation). This MP3 is, in essence, a single six minute electronic tone. Would it have been good form to warn my downloadee about this?

Tom’s Top Ten

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Tom’s Top Ten: In a break from tradition I’m actually writing something about them.

MS DYNAMITE – “Dy-Na-Mi-Tee”
Heard this first on kids’ TV and didn’t quite believe it – too snakey, too sultry, too self-absorbed for a Sunday morning and Vernon bloody Kay. So where should I have heard it? A cafe in some magic other London, late on a Summer night, a melody reaching you through the murmur and smoke, a woman singing to herself in the back room. She knows you’re there; she never catches your eye. Single of every evening from now until October.

CARTER USM – “The Only Living Boy In New Cross”
DEXYS MIDNIGHT RUNNERS – “Plan B”/”I’ll Show You”

Taking sides: “the greboes, the crusties, and the freaks / the good the bad the average and unique” versus “alcoholics, child molesters, nervous wrecks and prima donnas / jilted lovers, office clerks, petty thieves, hard drug pursuers”. A-ha, trick question! The point is you don’t ‘take sides’. Dexy’s songs are oceans better, and braver too, but inclusivity is too rarely celebrated in pop to kick Carter aside. And besides I love how folksy and rudimentary Carter were – nobody else has ever sounded quite like them.

LADY STUSH – “Dollar Sign”
Probably the most delirious high-register duelling since Janet Kaye took on her own larynx in “Silly Game”. Irresistible patois bubble’n’squeak.

GENERAL LEVY – “Taliban Slam”
Unfortunately not a state-of-the-world comment like Elephant Man’s “The Bombing” (summary: 9/11 bad news for weed smugglers) though Levy does get to pronounce Bin Laden “Bin Lya-dun” and makes a hearty meal of it. The riddim is tough, but springy and melodic too – hot weather music with a nihilist tang.

THE BEATLES – “For No One”
So, I finally bought a Beatles album. “For No One” is the best track on the patchy Revolver, McCartney’s singing on it a measured miracle (I could lose a day in those vowels). Why did everyone rip off Lennon’s throaty yowlings and ignore McCartney’s proud, stiff-backed regionalism?

ABBA – “Should I Laugh Or Cry”
Super Trouper era B-Side which I’d not paid much attention to until the other week when I suddenly realised how cruel it is: a woman’s mind’s-eye picture of her pompous, useless lover and the pathetic life he’s locked her into. The tune is also excellent, obviously.

WOLFTOWN COMMITTEE – “Big Batty”
Rump-appreciation pop of the finest vintage from this UK crew. Understated, lip-smacking arse adoration. (If Robert Crumb was a British hip-hop artist…)

FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD – “Two Tribes (Carnage)”
Somewhere in my memory banks (or in my imagination) drifts an ultimate mix of “Two Tribes”, with all the best samples, the best builds, the blackest jokes – and of course the disco-pocalyptic nugget of the ‘song’ itself. It may exist- it should exist – but this will do.

MORRISSEY – “Late Night, Maudlin Street”
Inspired by a Pinefox thread on ILM, an attempt I assume to give this long, reflective song some of its due. I wasn’t very impressed by it in 1988, but now I think I might have been silly. Stuffed with good lines and good jokes, and even if it wasn’t Vini Reilly’s piano would net it a place on this list.

25
Aug 02

Nonstop Pop

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Nonstop Pop: good and friendly indie-oriented site – i.e. the “pop” is of the Go-Betweens and Interpol variety.

Mochi Manifesto

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Mochi Manifesto: embarassingly I was sure this was already on my sidebar and it turns out it’s not. Alex Honda talks about good modern music.

nightclub jitters

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nightclub jitters: another very nice looking website (does anyone want to redesign NYLPM??) covering Beck, jazz, Flaming Lips – this week, at least.

The Mix Project

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The Mix Project: now this is the business. Interesting choices, interesting words. You’ll want to hear all these songs, which is still sometimes the point.

NEW ARTILLERY

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NEW ARTILLERY is another indie-oriented thing, from Sebastian Stirling who used to publish Signal Drench, which – and I apologise if my memory of interweb rockcrit is rusty here – went under when it mentalistically decided to try and emulate Pitchfork’s four-reviews-a-day schedule. I like this more – it’s more relaxed and intimate (and very nicely designed too).