Posts from 6th August 2004

Aug 04

Rick James RIP

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 452 views

Rick James RIP — yeah, yeah, cocaine, Chappelle, what did the hand say etc. etc. etc.

What matters for me at least:

Me at 10: “What the…’coming home intoxicated?’…what a weird line. I like this song.”

Me at 11: *hears ‘Super Freak’ on the radio and it is just so great that it’s indescribable*

Me at 19: “Well cripes, every time I sing the song now I have MC Hammer in my head.”

Me in later years: “Oh, that was “*Temptations* sing” at the end of the song, and those were the Temptations. That’s cool. This double-disc collection is great, how come I didn’t get any of his stuff earlier?”

Me now: “Damn, man. RIP.”

And I’ll leave it at that.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 209 views


I’m still scratching my head over this one, how the first album from 1986 by arguably the longest running US band dedicated to a love of That Early Eighties Post-Punk Gloom-Tinged Sound awaited being reissued for all these years (but thank you to Words on Music for doing just that!). Just about everything else is still readily available, but the point is, this is back, and it’s manna from heaven for folks like myself. For Against I always sorta knew of as this Midwest band who apparently really liked Joy Division and the Cure (oh, TWIST my arm), but it wasn’t until I heard their late eighties album December that I appreciated just how great they were — while their sound was clearly a synthesis and refining of their record collection, it was of a top notch sort, while singer Jeffrey Runnings’ voice in particular (light, high, not in a Jeff Buckley style, able to catch senses of desperation without ever once showboating or completely disappearing into the mix) being the key for For Against not simply being copyists. They’re still at it, bless ’em, and maybe the reappearance of this first bow is partially because that post-Interpol people are remembering that they weren’t the first Americans to crank up the digital delay pedals. Now can somebody like LTM do a definite overview of the Abcedarians, please?

Human traffic

Blog 7Post a comment • 200 views

Human traffic — I was a deluded young man. I was in England, in London, it was 1992. I waited to cross a London street. “All will be politeness and serenity here, no jaywalking or rude drivers or anything like that.” I didn’t think it quite like that, but I’m sure I vaguely suggested something in my brain along those lines.

Well, lies. Lights in London are acknowledged but not universally approved of or considered. Red lights for pedestrians are, indeed, signals to cross now, to avoid getting squashed when the green lights appear instead. Or so I believe, based on what I was able to figure out.

London embraces car and pedestrian traffic so much because, I think, it is incredibly unsuited for the former and wishes to distress and amuse the latter. The last time I was there made me realize when I returned how huge and wide American streets are, or at least can be. That’s an LA suburb for you. In London Old Hatmonger Lane has been laid down in tradition and mud since the Great Cat Disaster of 1658 (Pepys in his diary: “Observed 6 Toms and their Mates being Trodden On by Followers of Cromwell, due to the Vicious Animals having stated in Dremes that They would Steal the breath of Honest Citizens in the name of the Accurs’d Charles the Younger“) — it could be torn up or revamped or laid out again in a different way, but even when the damn place burned down in the Great Fire they all wanted their warrens back, so they could die of plagues.

Thus, sweet little old ladies climbing over vehicles apparently stalled in the middle of roads, and cheery expressions of good faith and friendliness shouted at loud volume as cars test their braking capabilities while bodies only slightly fly through nearby windows. Perhaps I exaggerate the last part. As for me, I have learned to be adept with my stepping when I really need to cross that street to catch the one train.

FT Top 100 Films 47: GOLDFINGER

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,120 views

FT Top 100 Films

Best James Bond film ever! This may well be contentious but when you think of all the scenes in it, you have to admit it has it all:

The jet-pack!
Pussy Galore
The attack on Fort Knox
The fight on the Cable Car with Jaws
That great ski-fight at the begining with the Union Jack parachute
Bonds remote control car
Those two gypsy women fighting around teh camp fire
That creapy Tarantala on Sean Connery’s chest
Oddjob and his murderous bowler hat
Three nipples – urgh!!!
A submarine eating submarine
James Bond flirting with Moneypenny
The henchman who gets hit be the compressed air dart and explodes
The Aston Martin, fully equipped with ejector seat*
That scary Baron Samedi with his voodoo juju
The helicopter vs motorbike fight
Shirley Eaton painted gold (skin suffocates you know)!
Ursula Andress coming out of the tide in that bikini
Halle Berry ditto
Jumping the car across the river and spinning it at the same time
Bond’s face when he gets locked in the steam cabinet
Grace Jones beating the shit out of James
Xenia Onatopp’s deadly thighs
“No Mr Bond – I expect you to die”

Yep, Goldfinger is the best James Bond film EVER!

*So that the tiny model of James Bond will be hidden under your sofa

Layla Curtis

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 1,260 views

On the back wall of Rhodes & Mann there’s something which looks like a family tree. On closer inspection, it seems to be some kind of typology, lists of related things. A little list of love-related things, a little list of war-related things, some sex-related, some work-related, you get the idea. And some of the things could be placenames. All of them could be place names…

On the other walls are maps, real-looking but unfamiliar, maps of places I don’t know. Looking closer, each map is a cut-up of untold other maps, assembled on the organising principle of the related place-names as set out in the family tree. Here’s the rudest one

I liked these a lot: these dream landscapes set my imagination racing far harder than any amount of goblin-infested nonsense. I started thinking about the relationships between a place’s culture and its name, and I allowed myself a cheap titter at the thought of what posessed people to give certain names to their homes.

A bit of a dream and a dirty laugh: it hardly seems reasonable to ask for more.

No more decisive moments

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 298 views

No more decisive moments :(

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)

Digital Spy’s BB Forum is an unpleasant place to spend any time, but this large post on

Do You SeePost a comment • 625 views

Digital Spy’s BB Forum is an unpleasant place to spend any time, but this large post on Jason – Grand Architect of BB5 was worth a read, if only because everyone I know is stunned that he managed to get this far. There’s even a chance he’ll come second this year despite the grumpiest “fucking”-riddled performance ever by a BB contestant, including last year’s also 2nd-placed nut-job Ray. And let’s not forget all those other great BB second-placers! Johnny the Fireman! Anna! and erm… Allison Hammond, no wait she wasn’t even in the last 4. Oh forget it.

What a relief that BB is over for another year. Love it though I do, TEN WEEKS seems too long. Maybe I’m getting old.

Thanks to DOM on ILE for the link.

The Wall: The Musical

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 463 views

The Wall: The Musical – “now I can write in some jokes” says Roger Waters. The mind boggles.


Blog 7Post a comment • 466 views

THE CLASH – “London Calling”: For the Mojo crowd this is the last chest-beating hurrah of a mythic London, the storied city of Oz and Westbourne Grove and the Kings’ Road, the last time the Last Gang had a Town to call their own. If you don’t remember that or don’t buy into it “London Calling”s apocalypse can sound empty, The Day After Tomorrow with riffs and better trousers. A few great lines though – “London calling at the top of the dial”, and Springsteen would have loved “you know what they said – well some of it was true”. I quite like it, I think.

ACCEPT – “London Leatherboys”: “Boys in leather and girls in lace”, these boys are wild-hearted metal fans, and rockin’ Germans Accept are the men to hymn their crazy life, seemingly completely unaware that “London leatherboys” might have any other implications. At the end one of the leatherboys dies in the arms of his friend after easy ridin’ too fast (not totally sure of the details here mind). Minimal insight into city life here but plenty of cheap entertainment.

THIRD EYE BLIND – “London”: 3EB guy is moving to London to be with his girl but when he gets there he sees her with someone else – fights, grief, move cancelled. “I don’t want to go to London” he pouts, rockishly. This is also today’s “rain” song. Not very good.

“Clutt’ moi, phter Werune!”

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 372 views

“Clutt’ moi, phter Werune!”

Say something in Proto-Indo-European!