Posts from 27th August 2004

27
Aug 04

Glad It’s All Over

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Glad It’s All Over: Where have I been? Off for one last – well, maybe – fling with ILM, having fun on the Top 100 Albums of the 00s thread (plus the tracks one which you should find quite easily). I knew the results three weeks ago after a drunken indiscretion by Stevem but I kept a straight bat on the thread and have had a great time. Big shout out to Jess, Alba, Blount, Dan, Matt, all the people I don’t know and of course Steve. Being away from ILM for a few months, and then contributing again this week reminded me that i) despite everything, I love the place and ii) it’s horribly addictive, draining and bad for me. So hopefully – and I know how difficult it is to give these things up – I’ll be stopping for rather longer this time. I am trying to get programmer assistance in this, the equivalent of those stomach implants George Best keeps ignoring. Keep your fingers crossed for me, if for no other reason than I would quite like my last ever ILM words to be “I will never like the La’s.”

Hands up

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Hands up who thinks the world’s pubs need more bland, dodgy beer.

(counts) One two, skip a few, ninety-nine, one hundred.

I make that just about everyone, which should mean this comes as good news:

Interbrew/Ambev merge to form world’s biggest brewer (CNN.com)

Mine’s a pint of something obscure.

Chin-chin!

My own tale of Notting Hill hipness beyond description

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My own tale of Notting Hill hipness beyond description — by chance, back in 2000 I was invited to attend the opening night of Alan McGee’s club he started a few months after Creation pissed away the last bits of champagne. What was it called, Radio 4 or Radio 5? It was in Notting Hill and I remember looking about the area as we arrived and thinking…well, not all that much I suppose. What American real estate agents would call ‘a funky neighborhood,’ without giving away whether that was supposed to be a positive or a negative.

Whereever the club was exactly, it was down a narrow staircase into a lower basement area where a band was supposed to play later (Montgolfier Brothers or Gnac, I assume the former though). We ended up leaving before that (another opportunity to see a band in close quarters in London missed!) but I remember thinking the beer of choice was nice but I failed to see what the special attention paid to it was all about (it was Finnish, I recall that much). It was all fairly cramped and hot and tiring and there were few places to sit and those that were sitting there seems distinctly disinclined to move from those locations.

I guess I was surrounded by some sort of semi-professional will-always-turn-up-at-openings crowd. For all I know I now know a number of the people who were there. But at the time I was just sorta thinking that it was a million miles away from the extended blissfloat that McGee’s money helped fund a decade beforehand, probably. Then again Dave Cavanagh’s book hadn’t come out quite yet.

Notting Hell

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Notting Hell

This weekend is the Notting Hill Carnival. Luckily I’m going to Scotland and will be shielded from dancing policemen, incessant steel drumming and ear-killing whistles. Warm cans of Red Stripe are available at inflated prices from ‘street sellers’. When you’ve drunk a couple, join the trend and piss in a corner.

There is talk of moving the carnival out of London. That’s good talk. Even the film is better.

If you’ve never been, I envy you.

Cut your fringe!

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Cut your fringe!

You can amuse yourselves here with 1-star reviews of the worst of the Edinburgh Fringe. It’s possible some of these comments are funnier than the shows themselves. Of course, the secret to the Fringe is that everything is bloody awful, but because you’ve paid fifteen pounds for fifty five minutes with some twat you’ve seen on the TV, you’re not going to complain. From the reviewers’ point of view, bad reviews of name acts are ruled out by the threat of free tickets drying up, which is why all the big venues run their own press office. It’s only the little shows, to whom anyone and his dog can get a free ticket with a Fringe press pass, that critics can piss on. Now will everyone please sod off home and let us get on with our lives in peace?

Marvellous article from G. Strachan in the Guardian…

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Marvellous article from G. Strachan in the Guardian, about the dread spectre of ‘player unrest’, about which we hear a great deal these days.

Gordon, typically forthright, says it doesn’t exist, that it’s made up by malign shadowy forces with axes to grind. I think he’s probably right.

While we’re here, another bizarro tale from professional football’s less fashionable reaches. This time: York City. Bless them, fan-owned club, working hard to move on from disastrousness, a beacon of goodness in the murk. More or less. Anyway, at the end of a piece talking about the shaky position of their manager after a bad run of results, is a mention of employment law. It involves Terry Dolan, who I best recall being hated on by the disgruntled fans of Hull City, a club he expertly guided to two relegations. He was fired by York, but the article seems to suggest that he has successfully sued the club for win bonus payments relating to the period following his dismissal! After a quick search around the interweb, I couldn’t find another mention of this. Can it be true?

Law of Averages

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Law of Averages

Reviewing new album Showtime in the Guardian today, Dorian Lynskey comments that ‘ Too often [Dizzee Rascal] dwells on internecine squabbles of which the average listener knows, and cares, little’. Which raises some fascinating questions. Who is an average listener? Are you? And what would music made for the average listener sound like? Surely not much like Dizzee Rascal. In which case why should his lyrical concerns be pitched into some mediocre beyond? Ok, it may be too easy to equate average with bland, but isn’t this the same problem British politics has run into: everyone playing to some mythical centre, by which they understand those people who (they assume) believe what they read in the Daily Mail? And look what a good idea that has turned out to be. (Well, I suppose it has been a good idea for those who think politics should begin and end with populist bigotry). Are people listening to Dizzee Rascal because he speaks to them, or is the musical voyeurism of tuning into the most visible corner of an underground scene not matched by an equally detached curiosity regarding the subject matter of the songs? Or what if the songs are an occasion for wordplay and nothing more: does it matter if we don’t care? (Or is the implied assumption that we just ought to?) Claiming to speak on behalf of the ‘average’ is always journalism at its most slimey.

FT Top 100 Films 39: THE BREAKFAST CLUB

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FT Top 100 Films
39: THE BREAKFAST CLUB

HEY! HEY! HEY! HEY!

The thing about The Breakfast Club is that it’s the only one of the bratpack movies that’s really about school. In (most of) the others, school is there (apart from the couple that are about post-school), but only really as somewhere to run down the corridors punching the lockers to show your FRUSTRATION with life, rather than the main place that people spend their time. I think it’s possibly the only one with a proper geek in as well (Duckie is *not* a geek, although Cameron might be, but he’s hanging with Ferris, so I doubt it), and what do you know, he doesn’t get to get off with anyone, just write the smartass essay. Admittedly there are some dreadful bits in the film (the smoking dope bit and the making-over ally sheedy bit, as if you needed telling), but they kind of add to the charm of it for me, as do the characters’ reasons for being in detention (and the fact that the hard kid is called “bender” of course, teehee). Of course, due to the industrial action during the 80s in the UK, it was hard enough getting a teacher in the classroom Monday to Friday, so the idea that one would come in on a Saturday (or that the kids would, for that matter), was a strange and alien one to 15 year old me, watching it relatively late at night on the portable in my bedroom (did anyone actually see these films in the cinema?), with all the swearing cut out.

The best bit is at the end though, where they realise that no matter what they’ve learnt about each other, they don’t think it’ll make a damn bit of difference once they get back to the “real world” of school, whatever they say now, because they are so tied up in their different social groups, only those with no status already would be happy to talk to the rest…

OK, OK, OK, the best bit is molly ringwald putting her lipstick on without using her hands, who am I kidding…

Pete Baran is on holiday

Minor Public Service Announcement

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Minor Public Service Announcement

Freaky Trigger favourites Big & Rich’s Horse Of A Different Color album gets its official UK release on the 6th of September.