Posts from 24th September 2003

Sep 03

Cool Britannia’s star has fallen,

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 291 views

Cool Britannia’s star has fallen, The Pharmacy had to go.

It always seemed out of its element ‘ it would have been much more comfortable in Dean Street. The only time I ate there it was full of mismatched couples and media types not touching their food ‘ at our table were the only people I could see who were there for conventional reasons, or what whould have been conventional reasons in any other restaurant.

That its select custom dried up is no surprise. What that location can really support is repeat and casual business; after all, it is ‘ was ‘ across the road from Ask Pizza and Caf’ Uno. There’s room for an enduring and interesting restaurant there, but the Pharmacy was an art installation, and an easily swallowed one at that ‘ at its most basic, it was pop, with all the swiftly dating transience that implies. Cool Britannia was a trick with inevitable, if not actually planned, obsolescence, and it took the Pharmacy with it.

I quite liked the food, though.

T-Mobile are now advertising their wanky service

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,273 views

T-Mobile are now advertising their wanky service (you didn’t hear it hear first) with a strange almost CHAMBER BE-STRING’D rearrangement of MOTORCYCLE EMPTINESS by the Manics! It even includes someone standing under a “neon loneliness” and I think there was a canal with someone holding a paper on their head! A canal sucking down words? Perhaps?

What next?! Vodafone using the Mock Tu OH HOLD ON…

What this advert scheduling says about the proposed viewing market of TEACHERS I ph34r to think. Apparently they will also like a new Dexys best-of and not to smell by application of deodorant. Darned bourgeoisie innit.

Depressing food moments #heaven_knows

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 252 views

Depressing food moments #heaven_knows:

Contents of Sarah’s cupboards.
Coriander (ground and seeds)
Fenugreek (ground and seeds)
Cardamom pods (green)
Nutmeg pods (brown)
Cayenne Pepper
Hot chilli powder
Garam Masala
Mustard seeds

And some “southern fried chicken flavour” Super Noodles. And these surely weren’t meant to be eaten.

I do hope, dear readers… that you are not witnessing the first starvation of a noble publog contributor (har har fat [literally] chance as anyone who knows my voluptuous figger cd tell).

Land Of A Thousand Dances

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Land Of A Thousand Dances is doing the even vaster American equivalent of the already brobdignagian Popular – reviews of every No.1 hit single, in this case starting in 1950. Even if you’re not interested in 1950s No.1 hits (and what kind of doofus are you, if so?) it’s worth a click to remind yourself of one of the most attractive music weblog designs on the net.

B-b-but Tim what about the Black Eyed Peas

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B-b-but Tim what about the Black Eyed Peas? Was sad upon actually seeing local video for local street children by Black Eyed Peas that they were a rather earnest “killings be bad” (and that’s a good thing [har har]) collective rather than a modern day take on the Poddington Peas but there you go.

I am attempting to form a new theory of MEANING IT in p!o!p!. Here is my sliding scale:

1. The Busted/Miss McKenzie axis – it’s for the kids! See also 16 Again by the Buzzcocks (a song which my neighbours DON’T wake me up with every morning unlike sodding Busted dear residents of xx $east_london_road, please GET YOUR DAUGHTER to the slaughter a new cd).

2. The Kevin Rowland in a dress theorem – he means it so much he wears a DRESS (see also Nicky Wire actually you may not if you’ve just eaten). Symptoms of this theorem may also include perplexing wearing of dungarees and attempting to dance to Northern Soul. Like a twat.

3. The ELOIIIIIISE! axiom. This hinges on massive over emoting. Mostly mentioned due to ridiculous tracklisting on Hits Ov 1986. What’s the logical choice to follow gaybo anthem SO MACHO by that Sinita? Obviously it is ELOISE by the DAMMED. Other references include Kate Bush hurrah and the Darkness.

4. Last Dance by Disco Inferno. Apparently they are a band from the old days who lots of people consider underated. I think they’re a bunch of willfully noisy fuxx who one day were bitten by the Song Snake and created something which makes me stop! in the middle of what I’m doing and makes me want to lie down in front of the speaker. I wonder if they’ve ever considered playing it to tame wild TIGERS?

5. If you’ve got to 5 I don’t think you mean it enough. Now go make a record or something!

NB to all future band members it is best to contain a little from each tenet. Ho ho. Send embarassing attempts to the usual address. Although I’m not sure if you should trust anyone who recently discovered yesterday that they LOVE Breakfast of Champions by uber-wannabe-emo-but-they-are-british-heigh-ho brats ECONOLINE. Even their name screams indie rubbidge. But at least it is real indie YAY! How do people get away with such poor recordings these days? I’m all for it of course – there’s less chance of you actually hearing their indie whinging over the fuzz. Marvellous.

DON CORNELL – “Hold My Hand”

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#23, 10th October 1954

Cornell’s problem is that he sounds far far too pleased with his allotted lines – rhymes like “this is / bliss is / kisses”, which aren’t that witty and which come attached to an unremarkable slow-dance tune. Even so a different singer might have made them sound spontaneous: Don just coats them with grease and deep fries them. “So this is the Garden of Eden” – and no girls allowed, just Don and a mirror and a finely adjusted bow tie.

Musty Bunches

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 184 views

Musty Bunches: “the beverage business blog”. Winningly irreverent inside track on drinks industry chatter, launches, flops, etc. Good stuff (and one place above us in Google for a certain Irish cream alcopop set to become a boozer’s laughing-stock this Winter) – looks a little short of updates though.

Bread and Booze

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 387 views

This time it’s challah! (But on a Thursday?) I have three different recipes but which one to use? Not the one requiring six eggs, thanks. (I only have four in the house.) I combine the Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything) and the most recent edition of Joy of Cooking, using Bittman’s recipe and Joy’s rising times. So. I combine part of the water and yeast, and then eggs, sugar, salt and flour and start thinking ‘uggh, why is this so dry? Please don’t let this turn into the hamantashen disaster of 2003’ but then a-ha, oh right, I forgot the rest of the water. I knead and cover and wait, then beat the now puffy dough down and stick it in the fridge for three or four hours.

By now I am SO BEAT, it is time to try a Girl Drink Drunk cocktail recipe, taken from the the Fog City Diner Cookbook. It’s the Pterodactyl! Oh shit, I forgot to buy limes. Maybe I’ll just add more pineapple juice. I fiddle with the proportion of the juice, the simple syrup, and the Stolichnaya Limonnaya (ok, fine, it’s Smirnoff Citrus Twist, ’cause I’m cheap.) Shake in my $2 cocktail shaker, and well. It’s sticky and strong. Maybe it does need lime juice.

Back to the bread! Knead, rest, roll into three pieces, (WAIT, I have no rolling pin!) braid. Cover and rest and then brush with a pastry brush. (Surprisingly, I actually do have one of those. Thanks Williams-Sonoma store!) BAKE.

It’s yummy. The crust is crunchier than I remember it being on store bought loaves, and maybe next time I will add more eggs to the dough to get a lovely yellow look. It’s nice with butter. And maybe another Pterodactyl.

I’ve read that the original story in early editions of The Sun

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I’ve read that the original story in early editions of The Sun said (allegedly, natch…) ‘Bonkers Bruno locked up’ but after complaints from mental health support groups changed it to ‘Sad Bruno in mental home’. The caption under the picture was said to say ‘Bruno – Nut’ but this was changed to ‘Bruno – National hero’. I have no idea whether this is true but I merely add it as a postscript to the earlier post on this this subject.

THE EXTREMISTS – Shine On (Titan Sounds)

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I have the impression that hip hop with a positive message is frowned on in this region of the blogosphere. I can’t easily point to any examples, so maybe that’s a straw man. Relentless positivity can be very dull, certainly, acting as a closing-off of possibilities, a righteous self-righteous blankness, a three-line whip on self-expression.

Anyway, this record has positivity. It has loads of it, slathered all over the lyric. Every cliché you can imagine: stay strong, stay focussed, you’ll get there in the end, be determined. And so on and on.

Still there’s something about this lyric. It might be a matter of excess, that there’s so much ‘we can make it if we try’ that a sense of underlying desperation is unavoidable. I guess I’m also not very used to hearing this kind of message in such an English way. This is a classic example of rapping in a totally English accent with English slang and speech patterns, something that UK hip hop is managing more often and with greater and greater confidence these days.

It does no harm that this is over a subtle and subtly brilliant Skitz beat, a little guitar figure and vocal motif over a simple bumping bassline. It probably helps that the Extremists manage to sound like genuine mates, from the ‘You in?’ / ‘I’m in’ in the first verse to their mutual reassurance and encouragement in the last. This is an enormously affecting record, maybe more so for the fact that the feeling seems to emerge from around the back of all that positivity.