Posts from 22nd January 2004

Jan 04

Somebody wrote in

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 292 views

Somebody wrote in reminding me to name the Tooting curry house we liked so much (see below), so here we go…

Shahnaz Indian Cuisine, 102 High Street Tooting

“To avoid disappointment please reserve a table” it says here but Pumpkin Publog is hardly Time Out Food And Drink Guide so I doubt there’ll be too much bother.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 399 views


Everybody’s going on about this song at the moment, and they’re quite right. Something I like about it: one-note choruses aren’t uncommon in pop but the way Chasez grates his voice for the hook brazenly emphasises it here. Normally his singing is quite sweet but here’s he’s putting on a cyberman act and it’s addictive. The delivery:content match-up (pulsing monotone chorus = throbbing insatiable desire) is fairly obvious but no less effective for that.

Something I like less about it: the big long breakdown before the chorus comes back in. Just now I was playing it, got distracted and forgot what it was before the hook returned. That’s not a bad thing in itself, in fact it was quite a pleasant surprise, but maybe it will be a problem on continued listens.

I swear I had no idea

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 250 views

I swear I had no idea that Marcello had laid into 1985 when I put Red Box in my Top 12 just now. He really has a go at that particular single, as well. Maybe I’m the only person who likes it: I’ll admit I gulp slightly at its bug-eyed positivity when I play it but I’m also a big fan of positivity too (“Lean On Me” slots nicely into my life next to “You Get What You Give” by the New Radicals, a favourite of Marcello’s if I remember rightly). I even downloaded “For America” too which is perhaps less defensible and “Chenko” where even I must draw some kind of line.

Speaking of positivity I suspect I’m one of those “Poptimists” Marcello (and apparently Simon R.) has a tiny go at. I can only plead guilty, though I slightly resent the hints that we’re just making it all up, forcing ourselves to enjoy the music: that’s not the case at all. I get the opposite impression sometimes from other critics, though – that their severe insistence that now is an awful, dark time for pop music becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Taking Sides: Eeyore vs Tigger? Away from the big picture the everyday business of finding enjoyable music and writing about it is much the same for all of us, I’m guessing.

Level Playing Field

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 268 views

Level Playing Field: I’ve rearranged the blogs section so that there’s no more ‘ten favourites’ stuff going on – apologies if your hits drop as a result of this but it seemed a bit self-important.

On the other hand comments are back on NYLPM (and every other FT blog).

Menko New Nintendo DS Console Annoucement!!

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,171 views

Menko New Nintendo DS Console Annoucement!!: It’s NEW CONSOLE TIME, which will herald ”an unprecedented approach to video game play. Holding two separate game screens in the palm of your hand hits the scene later this year when Nintendo introduces a new portable game system, code-named Nintendo DS.’

Nintendo say this will be demonstrated at E3 in May. I assume Do You See will fund a fledgling correspondent the meagre plane fare?

I’m not sure what I think about this myself. Nothing has been mentioned about controls, link-ups with GBA/GC or indeed MULTIMEDIA INTERNET CONNECTION SHARING BAND 2 PEER NETWORKS so there’s potentially a lot of stuff still to come. Indeed, considering the PSP is supposedly being launched as “a portable PS2 with video and audio playbacks” you gotta wonder what the DS can come up with to compete. The majority of chatter surrounding the DS seems to rank it in the N64 generation, which frankly seems baffling when PS1 games have been launched on mobile phone devices to mixed reception.

Although if it IS essentially a portable N64, I reckon you could place good money on spotting whichever unlucky sod is stuck on Ocarina of Time in the Water Temple.

Black And White is a lot more engrossing than its cookie cutter equal rights presentation would suggest

Do You SeePost a comment • 315 views

Black And White is a lot more engrossing than its cookie cutter equal rights presentation would suggest. Yes, the film is just a dramatisation of the courtroom battle that abolished capital punishment in Southern Australia, but the story has a slight problem. Max, the black fella (to use movie the movies wince-inducingly accurate parlance) still served fourteen years for the crime he was accused of. Much of the film concerns itself on the thorny problem of if he did or did not rape and murder a nine year old girl. The law in Australia still says he did.

Most of the film is painted in the black and white the title suggests. Max is innocent and hasb been fitted up by the police and Charles Dance’s nasty prosecutor. And then, about twenty minutes before the final appeal there is an extraordinary scene where Dance explains to party guests what he believes happened. Not unlike Kenneth Branagh in Rabbit Proof Fence, Dance plays a man of principled, strongly held believes about the law. And the film dramatises his version of events to maybe cast a small degree of doubt in our eyes. No-one would be convinced by this version, the other innocent one has already been drummed into us, but in trying to understand its villain, the film actively engages with its own states of grey.

Rabbit Proof Fence is the most obvious touchstone to this film, right down to the final reel digital documentary footage of Max as he is now. In the end though Max is a minor character in a film about his life. It is important that historically these cases are looked at and seen as an important part of Australian history. But the heroes are all white, the story is all about granting white justice to the native. And if Max did not do it, there is as he suggests ‘one lucky bugger out there’ who got away with murder.

CONNIE FRANCIS – “Who’s Sorry Now?”

Popular6 comments • 2,152 views

#71, 16th May 1958

At first I thought it ran out of steam early – 90 seconds in, she’d made her point, why did she have to reprise it in high-kicking swing-vamp style? I was completely wrong of course – the last 45 seconds of “Who’s Sorry Now?” are vital because that’s when Connie really, coldly, rubs her ex’s misery in his face. As in – not only are you unhappy, not only did I tell you you’d be unhappy, not only am I happy that you’re unhappy, but I’m going to say so all over again while the band plays STRIPPER MUSIC.

The first bit is pretty great too – I love the country arrangement and Connie’s measured unsympathy, and the “just like a friend” line drowns me in crocodile tears, but the end is where it really gets going. The guitarist in particular seems to be having a gloating good time – maybe he’s her new beau?

(Link: The Connie Francis Fan Club)