Posts from 20th October 2004

20
Oct 04

aaargh bah grrrr sigh!!!

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aaargh bah grrrr sigh!!!

after nearly a decade of grabbing strangers in the street and yelling at them that adam curtis (= The Century of the Self (2002); The Mayfair Set (1999), The Living Dead (1996) and Pandora’s Box (1992)) is the BEST THING IN THE HISTORY OF THE POLITICAL TV DOCUMENTARY, i of course FORGOT TO WATCH “the power of nightmares

PLUR: hidden agenda revealed

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PLUR: hidden agenda revealed

to me till now, US warblogger glenn reynolds wz merely the mind behind instapundit – a one-stop shop for tireless partisan humbug. So here he rather unexpectedly is reflecting on a. how money and politics have changed blogging (so far sohohum); and b. on himself long ago: “One of my hobbies is making electronic music, and it seems to me that the changes in the blogosphere over the past three years or so resemble the changes in the rave/electronic music scene in the early 1990s. When it started, we were all dancing in abandoned warehouses, under the radar of the authorities…”

Meanwhile two of the most lucid dead-centre (yes yes US-version centre obv) warhawks-turned-bushdoubters – matt yglesias and spencer ackerman – are unrepentently voluble Clash fans. OK Eschaton’s Duncan Black is a Buffy fan: but that makes sense (atrios = lonely warrior against a World of Wrong): the others all seem to read politics right across the grain of their music fandom and (v.unfashionable word alert) praxis…

Reports on Band Aid III

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Reports on Band Aid III are neglecting to ask the one crucial question about the new record – viz. who gets to sing THAT LINE? After high-level FT editorial discussion we’re of the opinion that there is only one man with the pipes for it.


“Well, tonight, thank God it’s them – instead of youuuuuuuuuuuuu!”

FORTY FILMS

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FORTY FILMS

A List Of Films from 2003 How to write about what I thought were the best forty films of last year. No, scratch that, why am I writing about the forty best films of last year? The simplest answer of course would be that I did it last year and am a completist. But of course this merely delays the question. Why did I do it last year? A best of list is personal, self-indulgent and almost … [more]

(Link to the New Freaky Trigger Essays section, for those slightly longer pieces which would dazzle your eyes here.)

CURT WEARS RED SOX

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CURT WEARS RED SOX

i just this minute underwent the MOST EXCITING SPORTS RECAP i ever heard = Mr TR4CER H4ND explaining me the redsox hoohah by mobile, as they last night in the face of the legendary 86-year-old curse beat back the yankeeZoRz from 3-0 to 3-3, each time from the uttermost brinkly brink across the yawning maw of record-breakingly long games, their star pitcher yesterday playing w.a super-dodgy ankle “cured” pro tem more by witchcraft than science, w. (sed Mr Hand) “blood visibly oozing through the white cotton”….

tonight = the DECIDER

MIKE SARNE WITH WENDY RICHARD – “Come Outside”

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#137, 30th June 1962

As horrifying as the goriest death ballad or country tragedy, no amount of listens can change the awful outcome – our Wendy* leaves the club with Mockney lech Mike Sarne, stepping out for a promised “slap and tickle”. The delight in Sarne’s voice as his constant pestering wins him a fumble rather than a harrassment suit is one of pop’s more unpleasant sounds. The bad ending aside this is jaunty and catchy – though obnoxious – and Richard is good fun. But if ever a song was begging for an answer record to right its wrong, this is the one.

*yes, that Wendy Richard.

ELVIS PRESLEY – “Good Luck Charm”

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#136, 26th May 1962

Continuing Elvis: The Autopilot Years. This is confidence pressed into the service of competence; no ‘luck’ required.

When ‘Mexican’ means atmosphere more than food

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When ‘Mexican’ means atmosphere more than food — the thing about the seventy-year-old-plus El Coyote Cafe in Los Angeles is not that the food’s great. It isn’t. Not necessarily HORRIBLE, mind you, but you are not going there for the food, in that it’s LA and the amount of uncountable and thoroughly fantastic great Mexican places, in all their variety and regional differences, can’t be imagined. Instead it’s generic food, the kind of step up from the unfortunate Taco Belling of the nation’s tastes which means you look down rather than up at the menu you are ordering from and there’s full waiter or waitress service and all that, but still, it’s mostly grease with lard elements. On a rainy night like last night, that was actually very lovely, but otherwise it all just tends to sit in your stomach poorly.

So why go? Those of us in LA ILX world and related parts like it for a couple of reasons, and it wasn’t just convenience to the New Beverly Cinema last night that we suggested it for the visiting Lady Ms. Lurex, from New Zealand and here on a two month or so vacation. First is the fact that the margaritas are really pretty damned good, in a number of varieties but all in all very tasty. Ms. Lurex had never had one before so it was a fine introduction to that most joyous of drinks, and she approved heartily. I was one of the few people who asked for salt with mine, maybe no-salt is the new trend, I never pay attention to these things.

But frankly it just also looks good. Somewhere between affection and camp and vague knowledge of what ‘Mexico’ is like. That’s why the inside looks like this:

It’s a very LA thing, I think, to interpret the experience this way, and though I’ve seen similar restaurants try for it many other (non-Spanish-speaking) places, El Coyote is top of the line. The photos actually don’t get the best measure of the place, in that the flashes are too bright — take the lights lower, turn up those smaller light strands a bit, have everything not too dark but not too bright either, the seats are comfortable and the fresh chips keep coming along with your margaritas. It’s a pity we only had a little bit of time there that night, since the movie schedule demanded an early departure, but it’s a great place to socialize, and that’s often all that matters.

Sick man of Europe

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Sick man of Europe So a record 1.8 digiviewers tuned into Little Britain last night? A show incorporating:

I’m Alan Partridge-style excessive taped laughter,
– Tired-sounding old catchphrases and unmemorable new ones,
– Vomiting, breastfeeding, spitting, fat suits, more vomiting, filling the gaps where the jokes should have been,
– And Ruth Madoc and Vanessa Feltz!

After weeks BBC cross-media plugging – Jo Whiley a major culprit here – how could this be anything but a disappointment? The only successful outcome of last night’s show was making the subsequent My Life In Film and its feeble Top Gun homage seem half tolerable.

Xanadu

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Xanadu redux — about a month and a half back I reported on rewatching said Olivia Newton John film for the first time in a long while and complaining about it. I still complain but last night catching it at a revival theater with a slew of friends, tied in with the visit of Lady Ms. Lurex from ILX to LA climes, made it a hell of a lot more entertaining. There were quite a few people who joined in with the calling of random lines and references and other such mockery, but the winner had to be the guy who said, in response to a conversation continued via jumpcut from an outdoor setting to an indoor one and ONJ saying something about ‘where I’m from’ or the like: “We’re in another room.” Context and timing was all but it got a well-deserved round of applause.