Posts from 29th August 2003

Aug 03

More Zenda action

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 334 views

More Zenda action: the other thing that struck me reading it is how difficult the sexual codes now are to understand. Early on in the book the hero visits an inn and flirts with a lusty wench: there’s a bit of banter on the stairs and the hero says “so I gave her something of no value”. A kiss, thinks Tom. But then he and a friend return to the inn later and there’s much discussion of this girl’s charms and seductive abilities with the hero acting very knowing – perhaps it was more than just a kiss, hmm. One of the villains insults the hero by implying he’s shagged the Princess (who is pledged to his double!) and the hero flushes at a point well-scored, but then later the hero goes into paroxysms of thank-heaven-i-did-not-do-that-to-which-i-was-sore-tempted chestbeating. WHAT IS GOING ON!!! I’m assuming all this stuff would have been transparent to the Victorian reader but it’s baffling to me. At least with modern popular fiction you know that the wild mushroom risotto isn’t some kind of euphemism for bum sex.

Malic acid transforms candy from a snack into a form of commercially acceptable child masochism

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 306 views

Malic acid transforms candy from a snack into a form of commercially acceptable child masochism
Great sub-head from an old (1999) and longish Wired article about Extreme Sweets and ver kids that wuv them. Yesterday I saw a new device on my newsies counter that dispenses the usual sour liquid via a roller-ball – like deodorising your tongue. On acid. Kids – they’re great aren’t they?

Mike of Clap Clap Blog crushes my dreams like a tiny flower

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 311 views

Mike of Clap Clap Blog wrote in especially to crush my dreams like a tiny flower. My dreams of putting together compilations like Sk8mania 2003 Dudes or whatever it’s called. From his actually behind-the-desk perspective the job is a fucking nightmare of contractual wranglings and Pisas of paperwork, which in my heart of hearts I think I probably knew.

Clap Clap Blog is good! I hadn’t seen it before, I’m more out of touch than I pretend with the music blogoverse. Mike dives two-footed into the whole rockists/’popists’/Sasha Frere-Jones argument that was exercising so many of the Great and Good this week. I had a lot to say about it, but no sooner had I started to formulate my replies than the real world (o horrors) intervened and I was plunged into a two-day horror of laptop failure and work paranoia. Now over, thankfully.

The one thing I will take up is this pernicious idea that writing about pop has no impact, because pop has ‘already won’. Well yeah, lots of people buy it and hear it, but are they the people who are reading music writing? (I think on these utilitarian grounds there’s way less point in saying that the new Flaming Lips album is good than the new Timberlake single is, because the ‘music writing audience’ is already favourably inclined to the Lips). The main thing though is that it depends who your readership is. If you have these Napoleonic ideas that the whole world could be reading your stuff then yes by all means go hell for leather promoting obscurities and turn back the pop tide. But most of us on the Internet know who is reading, fairly precisely. NYLPM has about 100-150 daily readers and maybe another four or five hundred occasional readers – they are interested in reading things that will provoke them into downloading this pop single instead of that one. And I’m not even writing for them – I’m writing for the 25 or so I know personally or well on ILM.

Most bloggers are the same, I’d guess. When John Darnielle put together his R.Kelly “Ignition” opus (a highpoint of this year’s pop writing, no question), I’m sure he wasn’t thinking “Hey there’s this hot new R Kelly guy whose stuff you need to know about”. He was more probably thinking, “Well, I love this song and I want to say why, because I know the people reading me will be lukewarm or downright suspicious of it.” That’s why I write about pop, too.

can i tell you how much i love britney

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 253 views

can i tell you how much i love britney, first the deeply odd, voyueristic, slime green coloured images in W, that looked v. 60s, but the factory porno, marriane faithful on smack, riots and destruction rather then the lesile gore act she used to pull.

then there was this

britney in marriage white.
madonna in johnny guitar black.
kissing and gender bending like the elder is giving her soul and sex to her protege.

you know its a rip off of Xtina, but it goes further, it goes wider and its hotter.
deeply hot.

I am A Boy Band-Benny Ramsay Menerofsky

The Brown Wedge2 comments • 1,142 views

I am A Boy Band-Benny Ramsay Menerofsky
Single Channel DVD

The concept here is insanely simple, a man dressed as a boy band sings a 16th century English Madigral. A love song then is a love song, the melodramtic heart break, the “i sigh, i die” lyrics, the melodic compexity, and a sense of theatrics are common to the form, and exist as much now as they did then.

He plays all four members of the band, the romantic one, the hot one, the atheltic one and the thug, the same four that you could find in the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, that came down with the latest crop, NKOTB gave birth to N Sync and Backstreet Boys, but bands often break up and there is rarely a break through artist…having one member play all four solves that problem.

As well by embodying all 4 members of boy bands he engenders sympthathies–this music is mocked by those who go to galleries as sappy, banal, boring or beneath them, in this space with this audience, using this music there may be a reconsidering.

The work is subtitled making matrons understand what little girls have always known, that having yr heart broken is so painful that only hyberbole will do.