Posts from 3rd March 2005

Mar 05

Onwards, Indie Amnesty!

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Onwards, Indie Amnesty!

The following CDs on eBay are part of the Indie Amnesty, i.e. the proceeds go to our Exeter City ‘Grecian Earn’ appeal.

Nothing painted who??!?
I think this was a Ned recommendation!
You should probably try and get this.
And this while you’re at it.
Ah, 1997, how long ago it all seems…
Probably the most actually valuable Amnesty item.

More stuff – and less saleable stuff – to go up tomorrow, I think. Also if you go here you’ll see a much wider range of items including other ones that I am selling for my own personal gain.

Now I can read ILM in the office again

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Now I can read ILM in the office again it means I can rubberneck threads like this, which takes over 100 posts humming and hawing over innovation before James Blount brings up the elephant in the room, viz. nu-metal, which was clearly – in mainstream terms – modern, original, innovative rock music and was equally clearly hated and dismissed* by most of the broad alt. community which has embraced Franz Ferdinand. Having been one myself I get the sense that the people going on about ‘innovation’ are terribly sure about their own natural abilities to a) notice it and b) appreciate it if and when it finally appears. Also: being a critic (not to mention fan!) is surely about noticing the telling 1% differences as much as the huge 100% paradigm shifts. In my own experience writing stuff off as ‘retro’ was a sign of oncoming cynicism and a lack of sharpness.

*Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was pretty rubbish too.

hataz rejoice

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hataz rejoice!!

non-fans of my bladdy diet will be delighted to hear that after the swimmer FAP – 1 pint london price, 1 pint jack frost, 1 vodka&tonic – it was SO WINDY AND WET AND COLD ON THE JOURNEY BACK that i needed three packets of crisps and a large bar of cadbury’s whole nut to revive me

actual realpublog point: the swimmer is not much less draughty than my flat >:(

The FT Top 25 Animals – 24. Pig

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The pig is one of the most versatile animals in the kitchen (pork, sausage, bacon, scratchings, ears, trotters, rilettes, belly, all manner of fat-based goodness) and for this alone we love it. But its uses in rhetoric are almost as broad.

Greed is the root metaphor for pigs. The heroine in Spirited Away sees her parents transformed into hogs after they over-indulge – Odysseus’ crew meet a similar fate. Pigsy’s greed in Monkey expands to include other animal lusts. The symbolic pig is lazy, fat, ugly, greedy, a net consumer – the lusty elements we find in Pigsy also have echoes in the sobriquet “male chauvinist pig”. The identification of police and pigs is surely one of last century’s most effective insult-memes, dehumanising the figure of the cop and identifying him with odious greed instead of frightening authority.

No surprise then that positive pig portrayals have fought back. The bulky, slow-moving adult porker inspires some revulsion – it is the ultimate domesticated farm animal after all, meat-eating at its least decorative, a waddling bag of food-to-be with no purpose beyond eating, breeding and being et. But the young piglet is undeniably sprightly and cute, and this cuteness has formed the basis for most pro-pig fiction. Babe is the Peter Pan of pigdom – saved from the knife, yes, but with his less athletic future studiously ignored.

Defenders of the pig though can at least always fall back on the three core PIG FACTS.

1. They are very clever animals. (I have never seen proof of this.)
2. They are actually very clean. (I have never seen proof of this either.)
3. They have a corkscrew-shaped dick. (Thankyou, Channel 5 and R.Loos)

Jamie’s School Dinners

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Jamie’s School Dinners

Now whilst I applaud his efforts to improve the diets of school children and am finding the programme very interesting (apart from the family bits, why does he do this? Jools clearly doesn’t enjoy it) there is one thing he was wrong about. OF COURSE THOSE KIDS DIDN’T RECOGNISE ASPARAGUS, THEY LIVE IN PETERLEE FOR FLIPS SAKE! As someone who grew up in the north-east on a relatively balanced diet with a grandfather who grew most of his own vegetables, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have had a clue what asparagus was when I was 6 either, although I would have got leeks and rhubarb unlike several of the kids on the programme. Echoing the mam on the show who said she’d never bought avocados in her life, I recently found out that my mother has never bought aubergines as “she doesn’t know what to do with them.” Seriously, it’s a different world…

THE FT TOP 100 SONGS 86. Janet Kay – “Silly Games”

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86. Janet Kay – “Silly Games”

What Humans Hear:
Ah, that’s a nice and gentle little bit of reggae. Oh and what a sweet voice. A bit high but – oh – she’s not happy. What a wistful way with words she has. Who is this? I quite like it. Steel drums, I remember them from Blue Peter. What a great song about how crap men are, really. Shows that she is determined, unbeatable and not going mess about –

Fuck me that’s high.

Fuck me, that’s even higher.

Silly Games is one of those remarkable songs which is wonderful on three levels. Firstly it really is a genuinely sweet piece of music. The almost lazy skank behind Janet sucks you in, as does her voice. Sure its all a bit high but that is nice. Put it on the jukebox in any pub and nobody (except maybe the pub dog) will complain. But listen to the words and it is clear that the second level is as a leading contender in the genre of “for fuck sake ask me out” songs. Perhaps it is not feminist enough to do the right thing and go and ask him out herself, but Janet has no more time for stupid flirting. And she makes it very clear that she has no time by being so very, very high.

Silly Games is also a novelty single. The astronomical pitch Janet reaches cannot help but make it so. Again, take that pub jukebox (the place I hear Silly Games the most, and mainly because I put it on). No-one is going to complain about Silly Games coming on the jukebox, but they sure as hell are going to notice it. A number of things that can “build” in songs: volume, tempo, number of distinguishable instruments. Pitch clearly can, and classical music often does chase up the octaves for effect, but in pop it is rarely used. The key change is a simple example of how dramatic a shift in pitch can be, but only Janet Kay, Jimmy Somerville and perhaps ELO have ever struck me as using pitch for emphasis. And you do not get more emphatic that Janet Kay. Cartoon wine glasses burst whenever I hear it.

What Dogs Hear:
All the secrets of the universe being shouted at them by the doggie version of Lemmy from Motorhead.

Entertaining sandwich blog

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Entertaining sandwich blog via Jess. For the sake of our national pride I hope these people never eat a British sandwich.

rappers write like THIS

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rappers write like THIS:

the indefatigable emails to say “NAS WORKING ON NOVELS: Rap vet Nas has decided to pen his own novels.”” Probably the only surprising aspect of this really is that it’s taken rap so long to establish itself in this territory* – i can remember back in old-skool daze when harry allen and stanley crouch were snarling at each other in the v.voice abt definitions of “literate” (allen: “rappers are BY DEFN literate”/crouch (paraphrase): “not if they are unversed in henry james” etc etc) (i’m with allen of course) – but i still love the blithe boldness of the plural here: “pen his own NOVELS”! = Nas is establishing HIS OWN ENTIRE COUNTER-WESTERN CANON! h.bloom headz up plz

*i assume nas is not the FIRST into this realm, but i am v.ill-skooled in hiphop’s byways

So, what’s Toyah been up to?

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So, what’s Toyah been up to?


Rock’n Retail are parallel worlds in many ways according to singer and actress Toyah Willcox.

Toyah, who rounded off the key note speeches at retail property organisation BCSC’s Shopping Centre Management Conference taking place in Birmingham from 1-2 March, said that the comparisons between the two were considerable. She also emphasised the important role that she believes shopping centres play in their respective communities.

“I believe there are seven principles that bridge rock/pop music and retail management,” she told the audience of shopping centre and asset managers from across the UK. They include: Lifestyle, glamour, the ability to transform people’s lives, Affordability and Availability, the willingness to meet and make friends, Something For All ages, and the ability to change. No matter whether you want to be a rock or retail star these are the assets you need in place to successfully deliver your product. And, finally, don’t forget to listen to your inner rebel.”

Toyah recounted stories about her music career highs – including meeting the Queen Mother – and her lows – including a rubber dress with a mind of its own that “parted company” with her during a live performance. She also sang some of her favourite hits.

“I think the key is to expect the unexpected,” she said before inviting members of the BCSC audience to join her on stage for an air band session to close proceedings.

stick with the beasts we got plz #1

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stick with the beasts we got plz #1: the CENTAUR

centaurs are classically portrayed as noble and amazing (if occasionally super-horny): but i have always found em ANNOYING!!
i. look at them they are top-heavy at the front = when they gallop they will fall on their faces
ii. they have TOO MANY LIMBS = they are insects

conclusion: i for one do NOT welcome our old insect underlords