Posts from 11th March 2004

11
Mar 04

MEME OF THE MONTH

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 437 views

MEME OF THE MONTH: it could replace “Use Other Words Please”!!

(you have to read right to the last line – worth it I promise)

(well, unless you already came across it, it is a meme after all)

I’ve spent a very pleasant evening

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 252 views

I’ve spent a very pleasant evening writing entries for Popular, which you might have noticed became rather neglected. I’ve now got a backlog for the first time in ages, and will keep adding too it this weekend, so that – fingers crossed – one or two entries each day becomes the norm again.

THE PLATTERS – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Popular8 comments • 1,816 views

#82, 20th March 1959

The combination here of opulent arrangement and howling vocal is effectively uncomfortable ‘ like a magnificent old gin palace full of ragged, embittered drunks. The lead singer sticks to a polite, precise croon and then suddenly lunges at you, deliberately and aggressively – it’s nasty. We’ve all tried to play good listener to someone who’s grieving and had them suddenly crack and turn on us. The only thing you can do is squirm and take it, and that’s what ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ makes you do too: I find it quite a cold, gruelling song to listen to. A marvellous and original reading, to be sure, digging something out of the song that a host of band singers hadn’t spotted. But they were team players, and loneliness this stark needs something more selfish.

KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 262 views

KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES

Or this:

will fall on yr head and you will see these:

(haha that wacky astromechanics jargon: “it will wind up in a tumbling state”)

I Crave Salad.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 374 views

I Crave Salad.

Not a publog regular shout but I’ll let you know how it went tomorrow. Will it be Caesar, Waldorf, tomato? Will it be lime juice and coriander, will there be meat, fish, potato salad or croutons? I can guarantee however, there will definately be cucumber.

Infernal Affairs starts with a quote from the Buddha

Do You SeePost a comment • 3,515 views

Infernal Affairs starts with a quote from the Buddha regarding the nature of continuous hell being like hell, but goes on forever. This quote potentially exists merely to justify the otherwise relatively tortuous title. The title, like the film, is almost too clever for its own good. Luckily the title is also a little bit stupid, and when Infernal Affairs gets stupid it does it almost for the complete benefit of the viewer.

The logical extension of films like Donnie Brasco and Deep Cover, Infernal Affairs posits the effects of a mole in the police and an undercover cop would have on each others careers. There is much psychological grist in this mill, much of which the film lets us work out for ourselves. The films distrust of too much psychology is emphasized by the shrink whose office is merely used to sleep in. Instead we have two hours of will they, won’t they unmask each other, and have they turned good/bad/indifferent. I won’t spoil it for you, just suffice to say it plays the whole thing with a straight bat, straight face and has absolutely no idea how to treat its very minor female characters.

1) Girlfriend of cop (who is really a criminal but she doesn’t know that). Spends most of her time wafting around the film talking about the book she is writing about a bloke with multiple personalities (DYS).
2) The shrink. Exists to be dreamed about and be cut away from when they migt have sex.
3) The woman from the undercover cops life. The best non sequitur I have seen in years occurs halfway through Infernal Affairs, when the undercover cop bumps into an old flame. They chat briefly, but he is aware that she could blow his cover. He briefly looks wistful that she comes from a life he has sacrificed. He could have this wife, family, daughter. He walks off and the girl goes “Mummy, I’m six”, rather than the just turned five and therefore not your kid line that her mother had spun. Apropos to absoultely nothing….Great stuff.

LLOYD – I MEAN LOWELL – GEORGE

I Hate Music5 comments • 807 views

LLOYD – I MEAN LOWELL – GEORGE

Like some sort of curmudgeonly pop star who only plays his new album that no-one knows in his new concerts, I don’t really do requests. Except, it struck me, that if I ever ended up being like a curmudgeonly pop star I would slash my wrists. So flicking through my copious mail sack for alimony cheques for the various Rolling Stones children I have pretended to sire (like they they remember who they have shagged) I came across a slightly left field request. Lowell George.

Imagine if you will a world where the most respected British statesman of the twentieth century was not Lloyd George, but rather Little Feat pharmacologist Lowell George. There would never have been a depression at the end of the 1920’s for one. We would all have been far too whacked out of our bonces to care. Luckily though the inevitable upshot of this policy, namely the death of an entire culture, was averted by his birth in America in 1949. A generation is saved, at some say the relatively small price of Mr George being involved in some of the worst records (and album covers) of all time.

If one were to collect all of the worst musicians togethe rin a room together, what method would you use? Best ask Frank Zappa, because he did it with the Mothers Of Invention. Zappa deserves a whole week of slagging, so I’ll leave him alone here, but rest assured that a job of employment by the father of Moon Unit is a sure sign of being lousy. It is unclear whether George left the Mothers or they kicked him out(!) but forming Little Feat was no great improvement in his skills. Except it put him front and centre, maybe him band heroin buyer and idiot with responsible for getting those fucking shoe ducks drawn on the album covers.

Like a poor mans Steely Dan, Little Feat were feted for having anodyne full productions and supposedly sharp songwriters. George was but this time a so called master of the slide guitar, something which came about because his pudgy fingers were far to fat to make proper chords any more. Their most representative, for which read lazy, song was probably their only hit Rag Mama Rag, a song about menstrual fluid. It was in this period that George also grew the scankiest beard in rock, which he kept until his premature yet deserved death in 1979.

He had left Little Feat by then due to musical differences, the rest of the band never being sure if he was capable to stand up or not. His only solo album Thanks I’ll Eat It Here, summed up his entire philosophy – his heart attack being caused in more than some part by him being fatter than Mr Creosote. Many people say that the track Twenty million things, on said album, is made awfully poingnant by his death. I disagree. In it he suggests he has twenty million things to do. If even 1% of those were making more music, his heart did us all a favour.

Round & Round We Go

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 2,161 views

Round & Round We Go: I received an e-mail tonight asking for the lyrics to the FOXWOODS CASINO THEME SONG, which is definitely one step above being G00gled for “how to build a car” or “sweater meat” or (ugh) “jeter swallows”. Of course, the e-mail was the result someone discovering an ILM thread (perhaps this one), not something from my own site. Conveniently enough, that thread I linked to features the lyrics, so, ROCKY7, if you’re reading, there you go! (It begs the question why someone that found a reference to the FOXWOODS CASINO THEME SONG on wee li’l ILX can’t find the lyrics on G00gle, but I’m too proud to beg.)

The song in question, of course, is “The Wonder Of It All”. Folks in the Northeaster corner of the US (and perhaps points beyond) have heard this quaint / annoying little jingle, or seen the commercial associated with it. It’s not his song – it’s the work of jinglesmith Joey Levine (“the man who invented a genre“, according to a WFMU zine interview), and Pizzarelli, known more for his traditional jazz-guitar stylings and the occasional Late Night with Conan O’Brien appearance, got the chance to sing the jingle, and, lo and behold, he and the song are inseperable. And this is 3 years after the fact, too – while big ol’ multinational conglomerates shuffle through songs like spastic card dealers (hello Volkswagen!), Foxwoods dances with what brung ’em. I guess it’s a testament to the intoxicating allure of Pizarelli’s music, as this press release describes it. The release features a quote from New York Times movie critic Stephen Holden – I’m not sure if Holden on music is equivalent to the travesties of critical thinking Matos discretely commented on at his blog recently, but it’s not too surprising to learn that Holden’s a fan of Mr. P.:

[Pizzarelli’s] music portrays the kind of joy that sneaks up on you at odd moments when you’re just walking around feeling good…

I took some liberties with the quotation, though – I’m not sure it’d be truthful to praise Pizarelli’s music, post-Foxwoods, as a music that’s “[f]ar from evoking the hedonistic highs of sex, drugs, sports and gourmet food.”

(I tried like heck to find a sex-related Foxwoods link, but Las Vegas Ledyard is not.)

The Birds, The Bees, and…?

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 986 views

The Birds, The Bees, and…?: “When prairie voles have sex, two hormones called oxytocin and vasopressin are released. If the release of these hormones is blocked, prairie-voles’ sex becomes a fleeting affair, like that normally enjoyed by their rakish montane cousins. Conversely, if prairie voles are given an injection of the hormones, but prevented from having sex, they will still form a preference for their chosen partner. In other words, researchers can make prairie voles fall in love – or whatever the vole equivalent of this is – with an injection.” And, from that, scientists are seeking to suck all the poetry and mystery out of this thing called love. Some phrases to look out for: “chemical addiction”, “job application”, “love map”, and “work on rats”. (Link via AndrewSullivan.com)

More interesting stuff from Woebot on file-sharing ethics

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 283 views

More interesting stuff from Woebot on file-sharing ethics. I’ve commented in the archives on what Matt’s saying, but I thought I’d point to it here because it crystallised an uneasiness I’ve had about PopNose’s rapid success. Much though I enjoy all the attention it was never meant to be a big part of the site, and since it looks like getting even bigger very quickly it may be time to call a halt, partly because of nervousness over the legal position but also because our poor host’s bandwidth is precarious at the best of times and a surge of publicity could land him in hot water.

That said I do enjoy doing it, and I’ve been thinking about ways in which I could continue doing something similar with a little less stress, keeping the very welcome readers who comment and vote and losing the more locust-like bandwidth devourers. Watch this space, I suppose.

UPDATE: After sleeping on it I decided to suspend the Nose for now. I have a definite idea of what to do with it so it won’t be gone for good, and there’s also the possibility of putting the odd particularly crucial track on here, anyway.