Posts from 1st July 2004

Jul 04

THE SQUARE TABLE – What Is The Square Table?

FTPost a comment • 1,195 views

It’s a rotating panel of Interweb pop pundits – they get sent an MP3 by me (that is, Tom) about once every three days and they comment on each one, giving it a mark out of ten. The collated comments and overall mark then appear on NYLPM.

Does The Membership Change?
After 12 MP3s have been voted on a ’round’ of the Square Table is over and there’s a reshuffle – some people from the waiting list come onto the panel, some people from the panel go back on the waiting list. The four most popular files each ’round’ go through to the Square Table Live Showdown at Club Freaky Trigger, which happens once every three rounds (i.e. about three times a year).

How Do I Join?
You email us at freakytrigger at gmail dot com. The only requirements are i) not minding seeing your comments up on the site and ii) having an email account that can cope with regular 5MB file sends.

FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s the one that’s playing now
[*]I LIKE POP TO…perve, pretend, pout, pose, preen, ponce, posture, pastiche, parody, problematise, perform, profess and play.
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… pander, prescribe, predict or prefer.

Anthony Easton
my favourite song of the 00s is hit me baby one more time
[*]i like pop to astonish me, make me hard, make me want to fall in love, make me want to fall out of love, make me shake my money maker, make me roll down the windows and sing along in the middle of summer.
[*]i dont like pop to bore me or to really make me think.

FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: ask me in 2010
[*]I LIKE POP TO…scare the goth kids away every time it’s played in[*]Claire’s Accessories.
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO…wear green nail varnish.

FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: ‘nsync, ‘gone’
[*]I LIKE POP TO… bounce, blast, make you dance and sing under your[*]breath in embarrassing public.[*]
I DON’T LIKE POP TO… take itself too seriously, whinge, think it’s indie.

Daniel Reifferscheid
I Like Pop To: Grab every piece of hook and mentalism that it can gets its hands on, without feeling bloated. Also if it’s sung by aging philosophers then that’s a plus too.
I Don’t Like Pop To: sound like “Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group. Guys, I know it’s tempting, but NO.

David Raposa
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: “Bootylicious” – Destiny’s Child OR “Back To School” – Deftones
[*]I LIKE POP TO…make me breakfast
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO…burn my toast

Derek Walmsley
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s- Sean Paul- Get Busy
[*]I LIKE POP TO- seduce with the promise of alternative, parallel lives
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO- be uncritically British.

Diego Valladolid
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s “Libertine (Radio Edit)” by Kate Ryan
[*]I LIKE POP TO… introduce gross amounts of distortion to the speaker,[*]eventually destroying it.
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… be reproduced as accurately to the source as possible.

Fave Pops song of 00’s: B.O.B.? Toxic? Gossip People? Country[*]Grammar? I’m torn.
[*]ILIKEPOPTO: surprise me, popularize unlikely dark corners, blow up[*]th’ joint, shake up the status quo, remix/chop/screw, move my ass,[*]embarrass the hipsters and ruffle the squares, explore new niches.
[*]IDON”TLIKEPOPTO: make everybody go “not that song AGAIN”, get TOO[*]clever, recycle beat/concept/cliche X for the nth time, involve[*]Puffy, inspire drunken beatings, be sung offkey loudly on the subway[*]by people other than me and a select group of hangers[*]on/roustabouts/hallucinations.

George Kelly
Favorite pop song of ’00s: Daft Punk’s “Harder Better Faster Stronger”
[*]I like pop to: forget to remember to forget, and to fail interestingly[*]at its experiments.
[*]I don’t like pop to: forget how to pander to the Big, the Dumb, the Obvious.

Martin Skidmore
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s um, probably Crazy In Love
[*]I LIKE POP TO… bounce
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… whine

FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: * Avril Lavigne – Complicated * Christina Milian – Dip It Low * Evanescence – Bring Me To Life * Busted – Crashed the Wedding * Girls Aloud – Sound of the Underground * Kelly Osborne – Shut Up * Sum 41 – Fat Lip
[*]I LIKE POP TO… Be hummable
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… be anything other than pop

Michael Daddino
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: Does Archigram’s “Carnaval” count? If not, then “A Stroke of Genius.”
[*]I LIKE POP TO…: Involve matching suits, implicit consumerist critique, and songs about crippling anxiety.
[*][*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO…: Hey, I like Godard just as much as anybody, but I don’t like it when pop draws too much attention to the artifice involved. This isn’t a demand for realism so much as a demand the illusion that pop offers to be relatively seamless. When it’s not seamless – when I have to think about the overdone application of autotune or the star’s fucked-up “real life” – it’s a distraction that makes the pleasures of engaged listening impossible.

FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s Bring Me To Life – Evenessence
[*]I LIKE POP TO…Shake my arse
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… Wipe my arse

Sarah C
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00S: Bladdy hell this is hard. I cant think of anything. It’s Monday. I’ll get back to you.
[*]I LIKE POP TO…: snap and crackle
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO…: go soggy and or possibly encompass SNOW PATROL. SNOW PATROL! Did you see them on BBC3 last night? I mean, it’s not peonic TV and I only saw it cos I was round a posh mates house, and he made us watch it, I dunno, but he said Snow Patrol were better than the Strokes and I was like: here’s me: WA?! and then he said yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah they’re RUBBISH, aren’t they?

Steve M
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s: Freelance Hellraiser ‘A Stroke Of Genie-us’
[*]I LIKE POP TO…: grab my hand and say ‘come with me’ (‘Digital Love’) or ‘look at it this way’ (‘Overload’) or ‘let me tell you a story’ (‘Don’t You Want Me’) and leave no doubt it was the right choice
I DON’T LIKE POP TO…: lack ambition or belief, or indeed a good hook.

Stevie Nixed
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s Ushah’s “Yeah” I have supah dupah short memory[*]span
[*]I LIKE POP TO… Kidnap my hips
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… Unhook the left frontal lobes

William B Swygart
FAVOURITE POP SONG OF THE 00s The Delgados – Witness
[*]I LIKE POP TO… move me like it means it.
[*]I DON’T LIKE POP TO… ‘push the buttons’. Also, sneering.

Tracer Hand requested that I post this

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 418 views

Tracer Hand requested that I post this:

“It is very curious to see how science, that is, looking at and arranging the facts of a case with our own eyes and our own intelligence, without minding what somebody else has said, or how some old majority vote went in a pack of intriguing ecclesiastics,-I say it is very curious to see how science is catching up with one superstition after another.

There is a recognized branch of science familiar to all those who know anything of the studies relating to life, under the name of Teratology. It deals with all sorts of monstrosities which are to be met with in living beings, and more especially in animals. It is found that what used to be called lusus naturœ, or freaks of nature, are just as much subject to laws as the naturally developed forms of living creatures…

Thinking people are not going to be scared out of explaining or at least trying to explain things by the shrieks of persons whose beliefs are disturbed thereby…”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Poet at the Breakfast Table,” J.M. Dent & Co., London. 1872.

Somebody sent me an MP3 last week

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 415 views

Somebody sent me an MP3 last week – that somebody being compu-pop band Komatrohn whose excellent records I have been very nice to in the past. The new track appears in my list of good (& bad) records at the sidebar – thankfully it is not the bad apple, it’s a low-key and sweet synthpop song built on a deliciously melancholy 16-bit wobble.

This experience has persuaded be that getting tracks through the e-post is ace and now I want more – this is where to send me things you think I would like. If you are the copyright owner on a track and would like us to possibly host it for a bit and offer it for download, we can do that too – the marvellous M J HIBBETT and I came to ‘an arrangement’ over this and one of his tracks will be up on Freaky Trigger during the soon-come revamp. Hopefully this can be the first in a series of MP3s – who knows?

Kevin McCarra’s articles

TMFDPost a comment • 355 views

Kevin McCarra’s articles in The Guardian are normally good solid pieces of analysis, but he’s let himself down two paragraphs into this report where he says that Euro 2004 ‘is a tournament offering surprise and drama to compensate for the absence of a single great team.’

What does he mean by this? When was the last tournament illuminated by a great team performing at their best? Most teams who win tournaments play well, but that’s very different from having what I think McCarra’s getting at here – the look of a team who are playing like the eventual champions.

Which is odd, because as I write, the Czech Republic have won four out of four and are getting better each time. They stuttered against Latvia, but raised their game against the Dutch and saw off Germany with their reserves and were clinical in their finsihing against the Danes. They’ve done everything they have been asked to do thus far and still aren’t seen as the potential winners.

Why is it? They have pedigree as World Cup runners-up, European champions and runners-up. They’ve got good players who are playing well. But they’re just not Italy, England, France or Germany or Spain, and no matter how well they do – even if they win it – it will be written of afterwards as a good team prospering in a tournament in which the overall quality was poor. For which read ‘where one of the big teams just didn’t produce what we wanted’.

It was the same in the last World Cup, where the overall quality was deemed to be poor, even though it was exciting. Why? Well, the Koreans got to the semi-final, so it must have been a bit rubbish really, mustn’t it? It’s a form of big-clubbism – tournaments are really the province of the big-5 who, if they play to their strengths, should win it. But that’s football – whoever plays to their strengths and does well does win it. That’s something the big-five have no monopoly on, and aside from Germany and France, don’t actually do very well at all.

The moral – you can only beat the team you’re playing. History and snobbery are much more difficult to overcome.


Do You SeePost a comment • 962 views

FT Top 100 Films

Shiny. My abiding memory of Flight Of The Navigator was how shiny the spaceship was. How little I knew that in the decade coming, everything would be shiny. From Terminators to old spaceships in the Star Wars that time forgot. Indeed the stiletto dagger as flown by Anakin in The Phantom Menace is much more like the spaceship in Flight of The Navigator than any ship seen anywhere else int he Star Wars universe. If it is an homage then good, because Flight Of The Navigator is a much better kids film than The Phantom Menace.

The plot: David goes into the woods to find his missing younger brother, gets a bump on the head and wakes up seven years later barely aging a jot. Looked at from a pure story point of view, this is potentially the basis for a horror movie. Imagine his parents worry. Son vanishes. Then he returns. All good kids films have elements of horror in them and whilst this hides this in the background, the confusion, wonder and fear on the parents faces stand as a good reminder about what happens if we do run away. And imagine your horror when your little brother you used bully turns up three years older than you.

Despite Dave not having seen ET (it came out in 1982) he is well aware that scientific marvels like him exist to be prodded. So he escapes the scientists to stumble across the shiny, top comedy, Pee Wee Herman voiced spaceship Max which proceeds to explain what exactly happened to him. And also take him on another spin round the universe and essay a beginners guide to the theory of relativity while you are at it.

An intriguing blend of proper science and wish fulfillment, the film stay remarkably grounded by explain the human costs of both the science and that wish fulfillment. And it was the first with the shiny.

the color of television tuned to a dead channel

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 246 views

the color of television tuned to a dead channel

pictures of cassini-huygen’s mission to saturn and titan

Last night’s overused joke

TMFDPost a comment • 241 views

The second goal for Portugal was positively Manichean.

Club FT Dancefloor Test

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Club FT Dancefloor Test for the Rachel S and Girls A records saw the Girls emerge a clear winner – that synth intro rams you onto the floor whereas Richard X fannying about with his ‘scuzzed-up 80s’ preset is the perfect bargoing excuse, yes the chorus of “Some Girls” is marvellously creamy but this is not yet an end-of-night pop record. Meanwhile Alcazar needs a little bit more familiarity before it becomes the monster it so could be (according to Popjustice it is getting an August UK release – YES.).

I quite fancy buying a record. I think I would like a charming pop record: enter your suggestions in the comments box and I will order the most intriguing from Amazon. My only further guideline is “must not sound like the Aluminium Group”.

Lots of people seem to be sloughing off their old blogs and starting new ones. Good luck to them, I will update the links bar at some point.

Saw an advert on the tube today for a soca show on the 22nd featuring Maximus Dan (of “Gun Town”) and someone else I’d heard of and someone I hadn’t and here’s the kicker – introduced by Damon Albarn! So that’s what he’s been up to. I am not sure I want to hear a soca Blur single.

An in-depth, thoughtful, and ultimately wrong headed discussion on the lack of aging of characters in superhero comics

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 226 views

An in-depth, thoughtful, and ultimately wrong headed discussion on the lack of aging of characters in superhero comics. The article is based on the seeming paradox that Batman has been around for seventy odd years and yet has barely aged a jot.

Um. Its a character. Why does it have to age?

The rationale for this is that good old staple continuity yet again. A couple questions are thrown up by the ongoing serial adventures of these costumed caperers. Everything that happens to them must take a degree of time, and does not all occur at the same time. Therefore time must elapse in their lives, and the accumulated time should age them.

The same argument goes whenever the writers try and ground a story in the here and now. Spider-man swinging past a cinema showing a current film roots him in the now. But he was also going to college in the early sixties. Not to mention those heroes who were apparently active in World War II. How can we square this with them never aging.

The solution, not suggested by the writer David Yurkovitch, is who cares. Not avoidance of pop culture refences, not real time. Rather it is the nature of serial fiction for its heroes to be reinvented for the current age. And usually reinvented on the fly, if that is what serves the story. Hand wringing about how old exactly Batman is is not only futile but it is the act of a reader who misunderstands the nature of fiction. His superpower might be that he does not age, or more importantly that he is always contemporary.

Things I drunk at Glastonbury:

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 799 views

Things I drunk at Glastonbury:

Wherry Bitter
Brothers Bar Perry
Carslberg Lager
Red Wine from a Wine Box
Hot chocolate with whiskey in (cheers Anna)
Strongbow (a Tom misorder)
Burrow Hill Cider
Rum and Orange punch (cheers Emma and Alan)
Calamacho (red wine and diet pepsi)
Racist Calamacho (white wine and sprite)*
Sangria from the wine stall

I may not have drunk them all at the same time, but frankly by 2am Monday morning you would not have betted against it.

*It has been pointed out that this is merely a white wine spritzer, nevertheless I maintain there is something vaguely sophisticated about spritzers, and on Sunday night we were far from sophistication.