Posts from 22nd December 2004

Dec 04

2004 Hurrah!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 273 views

2004 Hurrah!

aka The NYLPM New Year Quiz

Doing my ‘tracks of the year’ presented me with a dilemma. I’ve heard little and paid attention to less, attempting a ’round-up’ would just be pompous (so go and read Jess’ instead). But I do have favourites and the atavistic desire to list them cannot be denied.

So here are my top 31 tracks, in reverse order – or rather here is a lyric from each of them, which you can use to identify said Top 31 in the comments box. No write-ups, sorry, but if there’s anything you feel is particularly indefensible you can request some sort of justification from me. No prizes for that matter, well probably not. But if you’re sitting out the last days before

31. “South Philly muthafucka kill at will”
30. “Darkroom Danny can’t see with the lights turned out”
29. “Call the police there’s a mad girl in town”
28. “Ouch…ouch…”
27. “I found a fox, chased by dogs”
26. “Seen your eyes go left right, left right, left right, left right”
25. “Highlights and a pitbull, you’re looking fierce girl”
24. “The joker’s always smiling, in every hand that’s dealt”
23. “I took a sip from my devil cup”
22. “Made an album, over 100,000 people bought it – thank you”
21. “I must confess I’ve been a very bad boy”
20. “It representin the struggle, man”
19. “Is that a new boy stuck on your shoe?”
18. “Life is moving faster now”
17. “You gotta hang around in limbo for as long as I take”
16. “Weapons underground mean the planet’s safe and sound”
15. “Well he’s my boy of gold and he’s not very old”
14. “Is it just the margaritas or are you talking to me?”
13. “You’ve never had it all – all in one woman before”
12. “What if they say that you’re a climber?”
11. “2! 4! 6! 8! 10! 2! 4! 6! 8! 10!”
10. “No further questions, you have passed my test”
9. “Got no worries in my diary”
8. “I was gonna be late, so I picked up my pace to run”
7. “We all went down to the party Friday night and had a drink or two”
6. “Rock me shock me any way you know, but I guess I kind of like the status quo”
5. “Should’ve fluttered my mascara like a butterfly”
4. “My style is the bomb di di bomb di dang di dang diggy diggy”
3. “Like a circle made of flames, no telling where it started burning”
2. “I walk into the room passing out hundred dollar bills”
1. “Such a strange way of having fun”

(There may well be spoilers in the comments box)

Thankyou Santa

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 436 views

Thankyou Santa

This kind of thing is why Grant Morrison is my favourite comics writer:

“The Fortress appears in issue #2, stuffed with a ton of new toys and gets haunted by the bandaged ghost of the Unknown Superman of 4500 AD. The Kandorians finally get out of that bottle. Superman gets a new power. Clark Kent winds up sharing a prison cell with Lex Luthor in issue #5. The Bizarro Cube Earth invades our world in an epic 2-part adventure (no ‘decompression’ here!) and we’re recasting the Bizarros as a frightening, unstoppable zombie-plague style menace. Bizarro Jor-El and the Bizarro JLA turn up in the second part of that story too. What else? We meet Earth’s replacement Superman and Clark Kent takes on a new superhero identity…Ten of the 12 issues are complete short stories in 22 pages, so lots of stuff happens. And it all links together as a maxi-arc or whatever they call them these days, entitled ‘The 12 Labors of Superman’.

Superman’s Rogues Gallery is pretty weak, so I’ve tried to add some characters I think might enhance the mix. Solaris, the Tyrant Sun from the DC 1 Million series gets a makeover and a return visit, and I figured Superman could use a ‘Subhuman’ counterpart, so I’ve created Krull, an evolved dinosaur dictator who rules a monstrous civilization at the center of the earth. He’s only in the story for a few pages but the concept is strong and feels like one that could be used again. Then there’s the Abominable Snowman, a tragic scientist who’s a bit like a refrigerated Incredible Hulk and turns up for a couple of pages. Superman needs some good tough monsters to fight, so I’ve tried to think along those lines.”

Yes, it’s nonsense. I know it’s nonsense. But my god it looks like entertaining nonsense.

2004 Begone!

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2004 Begone!

In 2004 I disliked more music than ever before. In 2004 I started listening to the radio everyday at work. These things are not unrelated. These were the records I hated most, based on far, far too many listens (thanks XFM!). And yes, some of these are obvious picks and some are cheap shots and it’s all very predictable but I want to take whatever tiny, petty vengeance I can on these fuckers for making my year that little bit worse.

20. Eminem – Just Lose It (for the disappointment, and then the tedium; it really doesn’t get any funnier)
19. McFly – Room On The Third Floor (if I was a McFly fan, I would be stoutly defending them on the grounds that they’re pretty much indistinguishable from Razorlight.)
18. Dido – Sand In My Shoes (just for the gall of her trying to colonise people’s summer holiday memories so blatantly)
17. Michelle – All This Time (the kiss of death for Reality Pop, you’d have thought.)
16. The Killers – All These Things I’ve Done (an average sort of record until the towering inanity of “I got soul but I’m not a soldier” is repeated again, and again, and again until foaming madness beckons)
15. Busted – Who’s David (or any of the other ‘grungey’ ones that are the band’s mile-wide Achilles arse)
14. Badly Drawn Boy – Year Of The Rat (the abyss of the mid-tempo songwriter strum gapes before us)
13. Morrissey – I Have Forgiven Jesus (even the stronger performances on his album have a touch of the automatic about them, but where the tunes desert him the result is embarrassing)
12. Maroon 5 – She Will Be Loved (agonisingly constipated)
11. Jamie Cullum – Frontin’ (only this low because i) it didn’t get much airplay and ii) I hate Cullum less since realising that the tastefully shot clouds behind him on the wretched new album cover look very much like a sulpherous jet issuing from his arse)
10. Franz Ferdinand – Matinee (yes, alright, Take Me Out is terrific. But if there’s ever been a smugger moment than the ‘Terry Wogan’ chunk on this I’ve not heard it. “Michael” is dreadful too, they have a knack of writing choruses which are niggling but somehow clumsy too.)
9. NERD – Maybe (actually, who needs Jamie Cullum?)
8. Band Aid 20 – Do They Know It’s Christmas? (it’s drab but not awful until the shocking last minute or so. Fran Healy: Woo!)
7. Wolfman – For Lovers (god almighty THAT VOICE! I’m no fan of the professionalisation of singing but this is going way too far.)
6. Joss Stone – Fell In Love With A Boy (not that a ‘great voice’ is any guarantee of quality if you’re just going to use it for bad Jamiroquai impressions)
5. REM – Leaving New York (so portentious, so empty – how do they carry on?)
4. The Dears – Lost In The Plot (makes Pete Doherty sound like Al Green. Genuinely painful singing.)
3. Brian McFadden – Real To Me (laughable and desperate)
2. Jet – Look What You’ve Done? (even Oasis stopped short of actually nicking the Beatles’ lyrics on one of their ‘homages’. Jet are the worst band in the universe ever.)

and my least favourite single of 2004?

1. Razorlight – Golden Touch (again, just strong enough a song to get into your head without you ever getting a gram of benefit from its being there. The final straws came when after saturation airplay I heard it on a loop in WH Smiths every morning AND my boss decided to use it on a ‘motivational’ presentation. Ocean Colour Scene live again – well done all concerned.)

SPECIAL HATE UPDATE: Two astonishing omissions! “Whatever Happened To Corey Haim” by The Thrills and “Cannonball” by Damien Rice, both forgotten because their repulsive shuffling passivity makes such a non-impression unless the blighted things are actually playing. Insert both between #s 1 and 2 please.