Posts from 27th July 2004

Jul 04

Fantastic stuff

Proven By Science1 comment • 1,864 views

Fantastic stuff
“… according to a 1997 U.S. News and World Report study on who Americans believe are most likely to go to heaven, 52 percent said Bill Clinton, 60 percent thought Princess Diana, 65 percent chose Michael Jordan and 79 percent selected Mother Teresa. Fully 87 percent decided that the person most likely to see paradise was the survey taker! “

Into The Valley Of Tat

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 271 views

Into The Valley Of Tat

Continuing NYLPM’s warts-and-all look at the sordid easy-come easy-go life of that modern pariah, The Downloader.

ALCAZAR – “Dancefloor Docusoap”: In Europe Alcazar are treated as living gods and no wonder if they can come up with titles like this. The problem with having called your song “Dancefloor Docusoap” is that your lyrics are likely to demand attention, which in turn may well detract from the actual ‘dancefloor’ bit. I think they’re actually talking about “Dancefloor Reality TV” anyway. The best part of this song is the guy whispering “You’ve been Alcazarized!”.

TRANCE DANCE – “Jungleland”: Yes of course I picked this because I hoped it was a cover of Springsteen’s “Jungleland” (and how great is that song? The man who could make it work as disco could have his pick of worlds). Anyway it isn’t, it’s 80s Europop with some faintly regrettable ‘funky licks’ on the guitar and a voice which I can’t quite place but isn’t too far off “Pop Muzik” by M. The chorus is a minor classic of chest-beating period nonsense. Jungle noises enliven the second half.

BUSTED – “Thunderbirds Are Go”: Busted’s new single was announced as “3AM” with this movie song on the B-Side but a quick glance at the airplay figures has pushed the two sides onto more even footing. Busted embody the pop battleground in a single band – some of their singles are pacy hooksome froth loved by all mankind; some of them are semi-skimmed lovelorn grunge, doubtless sincere and totally awful. This release pairs the crassest and realest sides of the ‘Sted and surprise, crassness wins even if the boys sound a bit embarrassed to be singing “You’d just be a fool to be a bad guy”. This has grown on me enormously and people buying me drinks on Thursday night should make sure the CD is well hidden first.

ALCAZAR – “Tears Of A Clone”: Actually this is an even better title than “Dancefloor Docusoap” and a much better song too, a Patrick Cowley-styled electro-disco lament for a world in which science and nightclubs have GONE MAD. Alcazar: they can do ballads too. (I think this song may be rather subtle and clever but I can’t be bothered teasing the meaning out, it’s good though!)

SOMEONE WHO ISN’T JANE WIEDLIN – “Rush Hour”: Rare is the happy hardcore cover version that can’t bring at least a brief smile to my face. In the instant-gratification world of the downloader such chuckles are only a click away. This is a distinctly superior example (“RUSH Hour” do you see!!) though its euphoric non-cover bit is ah melodically basic even by hardcore standards. The hook stands up well and they actually bother to chipmunk the verses too (always a bonus). Fades into version of “Together In Electric Dreams” which sounds equally marvellous.

DR ALBAN – “U And Mi”: The first few seconds sound like Mercury Rev! Then some rentasinger does a bit – which sounds made up on the spot – about being together as one like a family. Then the song decides not to get going after all and goes into a wub-wub-wub thing a la “Doomsnight” (except not as bassy). THEN Dr Alban starts his usual kindly-Uncle-finger-wagging thing and all is right with the world. Except it isn’t or he wouldn’t need to sing about it. “Arab man and Jewish man get mix up”, advises Dr A before discussing his round the world DJ tour with Denniz Pop. “We eat and chat, rub-a-dub together.”

ABBA – “Happy Hawaii”: ABBA in their less dark moods share with Dr.Alban a charming easy-going mundanity: here they’re off to Hawaii. “Alice has been there, she said it was fun”. The tune is the same as one I can’t remember off Arrival but this is better, a Beach Boys tribute with some fabulously shimmering 70s soft rock guitar. Even here there is shadow – “After what I’ve been through I’m making no plans”. There is something to enjoy about almost every ABBA song. Wave noises. Marvellous.

SOME CONMAN – “The Legend Of Zelda (Happy Hardcore Mix)”: Give it a rest. Not even hardcore, may not even be Zelda. What a gyp. May try and get Sarah to identify this.

RUSLANA – “Wild Dances”: due to being at a pub on Eurovision night I’m very late to this. It reminds me of Andrew WK! A worthy winner. An email has been going round offices showing Ruslana performing at Eurovision with no knickers.

Next Episode: More from The Grid, bit of equal-opportunities Soca, much hardcore bollox, boy love, etc.

Franz Ferdinand’s Car

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 482 views

Franz Ferdinand’s Car

The material remains of my childhood library rest in a dank loft in my parents’ garage. Whenever I visit, I rummage. My favourite book (as a kid) was a Pan paperback called Stranger than Science. Last month I found it, bottom of a mouldy pile. “Frightening stories of real life horror” reads the blurb. In a blood-dripping text effect. Most were nonsense, even my pre-teenage mind knew that. But one story lingered into adulthood, the legend of Franz Ferdinand’s car.

Basically, the car was cursed, that was the story. A succession of owners met with grisly deaths, most following this formula: car breaks down, baffled driver peers under chassis, car reverses over baffled driver. Sitting in the back or even crossing the road when the ‘demonic motor’ hit the streets was unwise. After several ‘horror filled’ adventures the car fell into the hands of the Hapsburg Court and in 1914, claimed its most famous victim, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The story adds a fleeting reference to Serbian terrorists, but suggests the car was the evil mastermind. It emerged unscathed and carried on the maiming and killing after the war.

By 1997 I’d lost interest in this sort of thing. I was in Vienna, on holiday, trying to fill a drizzly Sunday. I sat down with a guidebook, flicking through museum write-ups looking for a diversion from the Austrian weather. And there it was; Franz Ferdinand’s car! In a museum.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from a cursed car. It certainly appeared innocuous. In fact it looked in better shape than several cars I’d owned. There was no mention of the ‘curse’. I asked at reception. They thought me a fool.

Strangely, that very night Princess Diana died. Of all the stupid conspiracy theories that followed, no-one suggested the car was cursed.

On the Buses

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 346 views

On the Buses

I went to the 50th Birthday Bash for the Routemaster at Finsbury Park on Sunday. I say ‘went’, but for the record, I popped in on my way to Tescos rather than planned my day around a visit to see the buses.

I like routemasters – I think they’re superb pieces of engineering and the idea of the Routemaster (syntagm for London blah blah) is interesting. But the buses themselves? How many times you can see a bus that looks like another bus before being, well, bored?*

As I have no memories of using these buses when a wee slip of a lad, I couldn’t get misty-eyed about particualr buses that served certain routes and had thus been travelled on. As I’m not a Londoner by upbringing, I don’t feel that sense of the passing of an era in quite the same personal way. In fact, I was being an experience tourist – I was there so I could say I was there, not for any real pleasure being derived at the time.

So far, so bugger all to do with publog. Until I saw the RCL 2240…

It was a pub! In a Routemaster Bus! It had a Bar! And seats. And tables. It was Stan and Jack’s Dream Bus, and mine too. Forgive me Lord, but I doth covet my neighbours ass (using ass as a symbolic placeholder for property) How cool is that!**

They weren’t open for business sadly, but the bar has a cask on it, and fridges for beer. It’s actually a PR stunt but as stunts go, this one gets a thumbs up from me.

* – 6
** – Way Cool


Do You SeePost a comment • 186 views


Without wishing to get all religious on y’all, the Great Scottish Caption Cock-up Scandal of 2004 takes on a theological bent. Apparently the folks being captioned ‘had a great week of celebrations and now the Southern Reporter has destroyed everything. Whoever wrote these words must be at least in league with the devil.”

Satanic possession wouldn’t be the first place I’d look when searching for answers. Anyone for whom it is deserves to be pilloried. Good work, Mr Mack.

“These people need to get out more for the sake of their health and sanity”

TMFDPost a comment • 211 views

“These people need to get out more for the sake of their health and sanity”

(No, this isn’t D&D-related.)

bcz the Julia Lennon Theory also applies to sport

TMFDPost a comment • 316 views

bcz the Julia Lennon Theory also applies to sport

(= there is no such thing as “backstage”)

(=not the same thing yet as “commentators now know how to integrate this bedroom dimension into their analysis”)


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 146 views


A very brief trip to Belgium at the weekend saw members of the Publog drinking. Quelle-surprise as they say in certain parts of said country. However there does need to be some form of selection process to what you drink, and when presented with a beer menu as long as Andrew Marr’s arms, some kind of rule needs to be put in place. When we started thinking of rules we could opnly think of the king of semi-organised fun, FreakyTrigger founder Tom Ewing.

We should have picked beers that spelt out his name. It would have been easier, and quicker. But instead we decided to honour this entire website. And hence we tried to drink FreakyTrigger.

Let me just say that despite the extensive menus in the many places we visited it was not possible. Perhaps because Y was not in evidence all that much. And F also seemed impossible to source. So we went for a slightly more phonetic version (phonetic in the standards of four in the morning after about ten of them).

So from memory this is how close we got:
V – Vieux Temps
R – Rodenbach (lots of Rodenbach if I remember)
E – Ecaussine
A – Arabier
C – Chimay Blanc
K – Kastel
J – Juliper

t’ – Trippel Rochfort
D – Deugniet
R – Rodenbach Grand Cru
O – Orval
G – Gulden Drak
G – Gueze DeNeve
A – Achel Brun


Proven By SciencePost a comment • 241 views


What is noice about this story is that the sturdily British Beagle Mars vehicle has to now admit that when it comes to space there is no room for parochialism. This time using some sort of skycrane they hope to drop the thing down a bit more scientifically than dropping the poor bugger from orbit. But will Blur be wrtiting a song for it this time (what many people saw as the founding flaw of the previous attempt).

Just a note on names by the way. The Mars Rover versus Beagle. I always thought Rover was a quintessentially British name for a dog (not to mention a collection of Christmas biscuits). On the other hand easily the most famous Beagle int he world is Snoopy – an American. GET JINGOISM RIGHT!

Amazing that with all the signs 

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 365 views

Amazing that with all the signs  I have seen that say NYC airports are “getting better”,     and being allocated thousands of dollars over the years for improvements, JFK and LaGuardia airports have parts that look like skeletons with the “skin” (prolly tarp material) flapping in the breeze. Walking out of LaG the other day, there were mounds of uncovered dirt around active terminal areas. The only barriers were thin pieces of CAUTION tape.

Viva bureaucracy. Technology + city politics = Progress freeze