Posts from 15th July 2004

15
Jul 04

Mobb Deep ‘Got It Twisted’ (Jive)

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Mobb Deep ‘Got It Twisted’ (Jive)

It shouldn’t still happen should it? Taking hits from the 80s hasn’t sounded so crazy for a while, even as that trend has reached it’s fulcrum in the post-millennial fallout. This time the hook from Thomas Dolby’s ‘She Blinded Me With Science’ is stretched and skewered and bound with a crystalline perfunktory beat perfect for Prodigy and Havoc’s blahzay (if not particularly inspiring here) posturing. For me, as is often the case with my enjoyment of US hip-hop) all that really matters about this track is that hook and it’s deployment. The subverting of context, so simply, so craftily and in this case so elegantly. The question of whether the beat came before the sample intrigues. But less imaginative as it may seem compared to the recent wave of crunked up hits that tend to shun obvious (tho perhaps you wouldn’t expect Dolby’s work to be drafted in this genre) samples in favour of original hooks generated by digital synths – itself something in common with early 80s pop production. Either way new wave influences and references (fresh or old) in hip-hop (and other genres – cf Richard X) production remain welcome in this corner.

(Forgot to mention that the duo were quoted in interviews as claiming the Dolby track and others like it WERE popular in circles such as theirs growing up – so not a complete surprise to see it used in this way after all. But then maybe the surprise is it’s taken this long).

The new Natasha Bedingfield single

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The new Natasha Bedingfield single (“These Words”) greys along in an unconvincing Dido-with-beats fashion until right at the end she coos “I love you, is that OK?” and the sun bursts through the clouds. It’s winsome but very charming. Is it worth hearing the rest for? No – but it’s something to listen out for on the radio.

Its a Brown Wedge piece about a television show. So it gets a link here too!

Do You SeePost a comment • 160 views

Its a Brown Wedge piece about a television show. So it gets a link here too!

The FT Appeal: THE GRECIAN EARN

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The FT Appeal: THE GRECIAN EARN*

Regular readers of the Trigger will have noticed a certain bias in favour of Exeter City Football Club on here. Two of our regulars are badge-wearing, card-carrying Grecians, and several more have come along to City games over the past few years.

One of the Wedge’s issues is the involvement of supporters in the running of their football clubs. City, following a crisis a year or so back, have been taken over by our Supporters’ Trust. The club is owned and run by its fans. We think this is a good thing. It’s a good thing because it puts the lifeblood of the club, those who care about it most, in charge of how the club moves forward. It’s a good thing because the illusion (in most cases) of running a football club for profit is removed and instead the club can concentrate on running itself as well as it can for the long term. It’s a good thing because (in practice) fan-controlled clubs become more of a resource for their communities rather than fiefdoms or status symbols.

Exeter City are, as has been the case for more or less as long as I can remember, in financial trouble. We’ve been on the verge of folding for a while, and we’ve entered into a Voluntary Arrangement to control and reduce our debt burden (one of the things which being a City fan in the last year has meant is gaining a working understanding of the Companies Act (1994)). This is good for the long-term future of the club but it means that we have to raise ’750000 in the next sixteen months or so. That’s fine, except that the club is not generating anything like that kind of surplus. In fact, while things are being pulled around financially, the club is not generating a surplus at all.

So there’s an appeal, catchily named Red Or Dead. The Trust are asking for 1500 pledges to raise ’500 to save the club.

One of those pledges will be coming from Freaky Trigger. The Trig has had a lot of mileage from City in the past and hopes to do so in the future. We think they’re worth our support. We’re not sure how we’re going to reach the target just yet, but rest assured we will be incorporating money-raising bits in our regular FT activities. All cash-generating ideas welcome, of course, including donations if you feel so moved. We need to generate about thirty five quid a month. How hard can that be? We know we’ve taken the first step though: we have a totaliser to keep you in touch with progress.

*Mild apologies for the namecheese.

Strangest football story of the week

TMFDPost a comment • 377 views

Strangest football story of the week.

Battle Of The Books

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Battle Of The Books

I’d not seen this BBC4 show before I stumbled across it last night, and missing the first few minutes I was interested to see what happened to the book that lost. The format, not a million miles from the old Freakytrigger feature Duel, is for two relatively arbitrary books to be championed with the audience saying which is the best on merely this evidence. Or rather which the audience would rather read. Since this was a BBC4 audience the appeals were not necessary to simplicity, though one wonders how far claims about how ENJOYABLE and READABLE a book was swayed them.

Last night it was Trainspotting vs Lanark. Because they are both Scottish. And, er, that is about it. Mariella Frostrup (botoxed bonce my flatmate suggested) was all for Trainspotting, cos it was real and gritty. Kevin Day, proletarian comedian, preferred Lanark because, well probably because Mariella had already dibbed Trainspotting. You got the feeling that the whole thing was rigged from the start since Trainspotting had a film which the punters might have already seen and liked. And as soon as Frostrup accused Lanark of being partially science fiction the game was up. Day could moan about linguistic barriers and patronizing prose until the cows come home. There was a nice big picture of Ewan Macgregor on the wall and the punters voted for the pretty boy Ready, Steady Cook style with their blue/yellow cards (though unlike RSC we didn’t actually see the vote so it really could have been fixed).

I like arbitrary match ups like this. The idea is so stupid that it works in both books favours. That said I did kind of want to see them burn, or blow up the losing book at the end in some symbolic gesture. Instead John Seargent, the host, just smiled winsomely and said “I hope this makes you want to go out and read both books”. When it had already been proven to me by an audience who had not read it that Trainspotting was better than Lanark. In partial response to Tom’s question below, you don’t even need to have read the book. You can read the reviews of the film, and be on a TV show for half an hour and say you have read it.

I have just given You Whores a cursory glance for the first time

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I have just given You Whores a cursory glance for the first time and I was amused soon enough. The idea’s seeming unoriginality quickly dissolves once you recognise the quality of craft and content (simple but stylish and effective design, very funny submissions from the interweb’s finest assortment of mostly anonymous menkos – awarded a ‘black star’ for a proposal deemed creative enough by the site’s maker.

Another hit for Bill Drummond then, who made an appearance at St Luke’s church in Old Street last night as part of the Clerkenwell Literary Festival’s bill to promote his latest online venture. This was my first encounter with the great man in the flesh. I did not know what to expect and did not care too much frankly. I had heard about the site but not had the chance to check it out before. After brief performances by Giro Playboy (spoken word recitals over non-descript ambient tones – some nice bits but an overall meh) and Adam Buxton in his playful if somewhat hackneyed Pavel the angry Latvian poet guise, Drummond bounded on stage and set about his task in a very business-like manner.

Explaining the origin and reison d’etre of You Whores via smirk-worthy anecdotes (it was partly inspired by a Tracey Emin piece who it seems clear Drummond is quite a fan of) and logical reasoning Drummond established the appeal of the project quickly and successfully. However, there was something a little unsatisfying about this casual demystified approach for me, and the blatantness of the way Drummond touted his wares – well composed but totally ordinary posters detailing the site’s purpose and very little else. And some T-shirts, ’10 to you mate. Hmmmm. When he asked what should be done with the bottle of unopened champagne he’d brought along for some reason I resisted the temptation to suggest burning it. Charmingly, if unspectacularly, it was given to the first person in the audience who asked if they could have it. This seemed to go against the general theme of ‘whoring’ but I will forgive him for this, and the site, which can only grow in size and popularity in the coming months.

It seems clear to me that the animal and fantasy characters

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It seems clear to me that the animal and fantasy characters in the Shrek films are much more emotive than the human ones. It seems odd that this was not clear to the film-makers, especially as the crux of Shrek 2 turn Shrek himself into a human for a small period. The design for the humans seem overly stiff, unable to express much more than the lines their celeb voices are reading. Wheras Donkey and Puss In Boots show the full range via body language as well as a more gung ho physicality. The upshot of this is that the voices match the bodies, whilst you are acutely aware of the celeb voices hanging above the human characters, so much so that the John Cleese seems rammed poorly into his shortish king character and is only unleash at the denoument.

The lack of care between voices and casting seems to hover over Princess Fiona in particular. We only just get used to her mooning and moping in ogre form, and then she gets put back in her old body where she pretty much continues to frown. Mike Myers on the other hand manages to just about pull of the neutered Shrek by making the oft mistaken (but not here) link between acting and doing a voice.

Shrek 2 is plenty of fun in places, but holds together less than the original as a story (ie its the same story in reverse with a different baddie). It is a pity that the scriptwriters, in finding genuinely clever fairy tale ways to vanquish the bad guys did not apply the same intelligence to the overall product. With the status quo at the end of the offensive original, Shrek 2 could have happily been filled with no human characters at all.

Crunchy Pig Goodness

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Crunchy Pig Goodness

Pete’s post reminded me that I ate some great porky bits last night. They were proper Pig Back, not crunchy corn snack with pig flavour sprayed on them. Nice and crunchy, with good fatty greasy bits. No gnarled bits that I usually end up tossing away.

The bag in the picture is about three-quarters of the size of the normal packet of crisps, and the one pictured was by no means an odd one out. They’re HUGE!

Available from The Betsey Trotwood

‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ left me outraged.

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‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ left me outraged. Through some convoluted process I can’t myself divine, Michael Moore was able in mid-2004 to release — as in show in multiplexes worldwide — a film criticizing the entire course of US foreign and domestic policy since 09/01 (or indeed 11/00). And he blew it. He fucked it up. Initially, the completely illogical, contradictory mode of the film had me reaching for the penultimate post here: any sentient viewer would recognize the contradictions and try to think them through, even if MM obviously hadn’t. But as the film span out of control, exploiting the grief of parents of dead soldiers (as if there were no cause worth losing 500-odd soldiers for: this is Somalia-think) to little effect, I began to revise my earlier stance. All that Saudis-are-running-us stuff was lumpen and crazy (and these intricate paper trails are perhaps not well suited to movies). The lone soldier on the coast of Oregon — are we to expect an al-Quaeda seaborne invasion? If the film had stuck to showing clips of Cheney and Bush looking stupid, with inserts from the terrifying world of US news broadcasts and enlistment ads, I’d have been happy. Bring the funny, you know. As is, the film has left me agreeing with Christopher Hitchens for Christ’s sake:

I have already said that Moore’s film has the staunch courage to mock Bush for his verbal infelicity. Yet it’s much, much braver than that. From Fahrenheit 9/11 you can glean even more astounding and hidden disclosures, such as the capitalist nature of American society, the existence of Eisenhower’s “military-industrial complex,” and the use of “spin” in the presentation of our politicians. It’s high time someone had the nerve to point this out.

The Southgate penalty of political film-making.