Posts from 21st January 2004

Jan 04

Frances McDormand is so at home in Laurel Canyon

Do You SeePost a comment • 264 views

Frances McDormand is so at home in Laurel Canyon, you could imagine this is what she is like in real life. Laid back record producer, drinking, shagging, smoking joints and generally having a whale of a time. It is an interesting piece of acting to compare with Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale. They are supposed to be wound up, stressed and up-tight and possibly this shows because that is how they are acting. The fact that it seems like they are acting compared to McDormand’s beautifully naturally performance may be part of the act. Actually, it is unclear if Beckinsale is acting at all – but she still looks uncomfortable as a PhD Biochemist.

The most fun in what is a pretty low-key film comes when the band McDormand is recording slowly ‘write’ Sparklehorse’s ‘Someday I Will Treat You Good’. Which is later rejected as not being a killer single. Harsh.

The Walrus Was Bleek

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 404 views

The Walrus Was Bleek

For those like poor David who are sick of A. The Neptunes (understandable), B. Jay-Z (madness), C. the dearth of novelty records in this post-Dr. Demento/Boom Selection world (err…), plz direct the p2p of yr choice to DJ Dangermouse’s Gray Album. Yes, it’s a mash-up album. Yes, it’s the White Album vs. The Black Album. Yes, the irony of this guy being from Athens, GA is not lost on me. But…it’s actually pretty good! It’s probably only so good (when it is) because of how goddamn disappointing the proper Black Album was, but compared to the Paint-By-Neptunes of the original “Change Clothes”, hearing it with the harpsichord from “Piggies” looped underneath transcends novelty (almost) until it sounds like a particularly jaunty/wacky Prince Paul production circa 3 Feet High… At worst it sounds like middling backpacker glitch-hop/hip-hop with some rather obvious samples. At its best (the Prefuse-styled [or maybe Todd Edwards if he was suddenly violently possessed of the spirit of DJ Premier] juggle of “Justify My Thug” and “The Ballad of Rocky Racoon”) it does two things I never though possible: it makes me want to hear the original Black Album and White Album again.

(According to Pitchfork today there are three different bootleg albums remaking the Black Album which has to be some sort of record, either referencing Jay’s standing in his field or, more likely, how crappy the album turned out to be.)


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 427 views

PopNose: it’s part of FT but it won’t be linked from the front page, so you might want to make a note of it if you like the idea. (UPDATE: no PopNose yet readers as we have bandwidth issues. When we’ve worked out how much we can use then we’ll restart it. Sorry!)

You’d think with the dentistry degree

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 207 views

You’d think with the dentistry degree, the Coke Dr Alban would be more interested in banning would be Coca-Cola, evil tooth rotting multinational corporation. Brown Fizzy Drinks, Don’t Don’t Do It!

Ignore the waffling on about agas

Pumpkin Publog3 comments • 337 views

Ignore the waffling on about agas and scroll down to the recipe for sausage and black pudding with baked parsnips which i made for our teas last night.

Nigel, i think i love you (although i think next time i do it, i’ll brown the sausages first, before starting on the onions and parsnips).


I Hate Music1 comment • 1,383 views


Haha, Midge Ure sounds a bit like Manure, do you see etc etc etc.
I often had a feeling that Midge, short for Intellectual Midget, got away with an awful lot because the only insult anyone ever laid at his door was that his name sounded a bit like a type of shit. This seemingly simple piece of wordplay apparently distracted people from that fact that Midge Ure was ACTUALLY shit. And this I can prove with a graph, a pointer and the record If I Was.

If I Was is an eighties synthpop version of the ‘If I was Not On PlaySchool Now’ song, which would have Brian Cant and Johnny Ball imagining they were easily mimed things like firemen and backstreet abortionists. Midge’s was obviously less literal and had him ‘carrying the weight of popular demand’ on his back, at least he would if he was a strong man. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a circus, but Strong Men tend to carry big weights. The weight of popular demand when it comes to Midge was obviously very heavy, the demand being that he make no more bloody records.

Here is a list of all the things Midge suggests he could be in If I Was: A better man, a stronger man, a soldier, a sailor, a wiser man, a kinder man, a painter, her leader, a poet and her lover. Let us look at all of these suggestions in full:

If I Was A Better Man
Midge asks would fellow men take me to their hearts? (NO!)
Tanya says: If you were a better man you wouldn’t write toss like this

If I was a stronger man
Midge says he could carry the weight of popular demand
Tanya says you could work in the circus as some poorly moustachioed freak/strongman.

If I was a soldier
Midge says he would lay captive arms before her.
Tanya suggests he might be the kind of cannon fodder generals send out first for being annoying.

If I was a sailor
Midge says the seven oceans he would sail to get to her.
Tanya says, get yourself a map, go the straight line method Jonah.

If I was a wiser man
Midge wonders if other men reach out and touch him
Tanya would reach out, grasp and then knee him in the bollocks. How wise would he feel then?

If he was a kinder man
Midge would dish up love for a hungry world (obv forgetting that love has absolutely no nutritional value)
Tanya would dish up a whole bowl of pain and hurtin’. If he was kinder he should stop making music.

If I was a painter
Midge would paint a world that couldn’t taint her.
Tanya suggests that if you’re a painter, that forth bridge needs a lick or two.

I was her leader
Midge says on food of love from above he would feed her. (Suggests he had a job lot of love food on cheap).
Tanya worries that if you are her leader then some sort of dodgy slavery gig was going on. Call the cops.

If I was a painter
Midge says that all his love in burning words he would show her.
Tanya thinks if poetry was your muse you would think of a better rhyme for feed her than leader.

If I was her lover
Midge says her eyes in kisses he would cover.
Tanya says, clever Midge, your not likely to pull anyone who can see you.

This is such a poor song that it is next to impossible to describe. Slow plodding synth-pop with a sound akin to a very low powered vacuum cleaner. Midge had very few hits after this one, his brand of lack of whimsy and lack of musical talent seemed to go out of fashion. Alternatively, what with all this ‘If I was-ing’ going on, it is possible that the Midlands Serious Crime squad wonder if he was responsible for the Birmingham pub bombings and slapped him in jail for thirty years. About now he should be wondering, if I was on parole’

DR. ALBAN — ‘No Coke’

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 573 views

I know what you’re thinking — rapping dentist from Sweden makes anti-drugs record, time for a chuckle. And certainly the odds are against Dr Alban — his delivery is comically serious and his chorus runs ‘Cocaine will blow your brain and ecstasy will mash — your life!’. But there’s a twist! The digital groove of ‘No Coke’ is undeniable (as is that chorus to be honest). It’s rigid but totally propulsive, android pop-rave skank with a little keyboard squiggle-riff for a power-pack. Once you’re into it you stop registering the lyrics as ‘stupid’ — in fact the verse about Denniz Pop is rather affecting. I would love to see this kind of wide-eyed party sound make a comeback, to be honest.

The stir-fry

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 737 views

The stir-fry. It is not a thing in itself, it is a method of cooking. And yet it gets referred to as an end product not a process; where in the seventies Wednesday night might have been Spag Bol night, these days it may well be stir fry night. Its easy to do after all. Ten minute chopping, five minutes cooking, and a few minute drenching the resultant mixture of charred, undercooked and too greasy veg and noodles in something to make it palatable (soy sauce in my book, though a sachet of black bean gloop may appeal to the less frugal). As I sizzled away on my wok I wondered if what I was cooking had anything at all in common with what might be being cooked in China?

Of course it does. Stir fry now equals cheap’n’easy. And if food around the world doesn’t sometimes come down to Wednesday night = cheap’n’easy then people really do have too much time on their hands. That said, I always look a bit wary when it suggests on the back of a Matteson’s Smoked Garlic Sausage that it is ideal for stir-frys. That may be taking quick and easy a little bit too far for my liking.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 441 views

Mmmm…nice – “daily adventures in Jazz” – do you know I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dedicated Jazz blog before, though of course lots of people (Josh in particular springs to mind) have written quite a lot about aspects of jazz.

Anatomy of a Meme

Do You SeePost a comment • 345 views

Anatomy of a Meme: things described as “TARDIS-like” (thanks Google)

– analysers on a Mars probe
– a shed
– a Police Box (hmm)
– the Dust Bar on Clerkenwell Road
– a dice on Kids TV progamme Maths In A Box
– a room on Concorde
– a cupboard
– the space under a Lexus’ armrest
– the Honda Jazz
– the Old Market in Brussels
– the UriLift (no connection to Geller I think)
Topsham Museum
– an “infra-red pod” in a Center Parcs
–’s “Handbag Of The Week” for 13th January
– Richard Wilson’s 20-50