Posts from 2nd June 2005

Jun 05

A Struggle on Two Fronts

Do You SeePost a comment • 514 views

‘No one in France had been taking film seriously. Then people were saying you had to […] that was the the thing we had to do first: force it on people that there was “work,” even if you have to tell them now that they’ve got to go a little bit further in their thinking. In the same way, I’ll say too that there is no such thing as an “author”. But to get people to understand in what sense you can say that, you have to tell them over and over again, first, that there’s such a thing as an “author.” Because their reasons for thinking there weren’t weren’t the right ones. It’s a question of tactics…’
Jean-Luc Godard, 1967

stravinxsie and the banshees

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 188 views

long ago i planned to gussy up something abt how everything twadorno sez abt igor s in this book actually better applies to the banshees but IN A GOOD WAY however art is long and life is short and i am v.easily distracted and in the meantime here is a young man who dyes his hair puce on a similar topic except actually done and finished and stuff

Poptimism Preview (Caution Spoilers)

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 373 views

It’s Poptimism #3 this time next week, Downstairs @ The Polar Bear in SoHo, from 7 till 1. What can you expect? Guest DJ this month is Kate, former Lolly and current Shimura Curve, who will be playing bubblegum and seeking pop at the heart of the drone. The rest of us will be playing the usual – which is? Can’t speak for Steve or Alan but here’s what I’m thinking.

Bubblegum’s pretty high up my list too after spending an afternoon looting the archives of Bubblegum Machine. Particular picks are The Shocking Blue’s “Venus”, Vitamin C’s “Vacation” (first Pokemon soundtrack, major blueprint for the Girls Aloud sound) and Luv’s stupendous footwear anthem “Shoes Off (Boots On)”. And, of course, the Pipkins.

In the rock canon corner I was staggered not to see The Slits’ “Heard It Through The Grapevine” in ILM’s 70s poll, and remember dancing hard to it at Club Seal, so that might get a go. I downloaded a Led Zeppelin track – and liked it – so who knows what will come of that? And my intuition tells me that “Neighbourhood #3 (Power Out)” by The Arcade Fire is both good pop and highly danceable, not sure it will fit at Poptimism though.

Current tracks? “So Good” will get a spin to see if it works better in a club, I will totally be playing “Deja Vu” by TOK and Shaggy because it’s the best song of the Summer, and if I get a copy of “Prove Me Wrong” by Kute from their promoter – fingers crossed – that too. Still love “718” by Fannypack, more since the sun’s out.

Also, Cowboy Troy’s “I Played Chicken With The Train” is going to be played at every Poptimism until you all like it, so give in now.

And a few things from pop’s vast cupboard: playing Erasure was my high point last time and I want to do it again. I decided when doing the politics CDs last month that “The Lebanon” by the Human League is in fact a wonderful song and not – or as well as – a laughing stock, and then didn’t play it. The passage of a year has revealed “Hip To Hip” by V as the best boyband single for two decades. And doing a tape for my mother-in-law reminded me how much I like early Beach Boys.

Of course I may not play any of this stuff, but there you have a snapshot of where my summer head is at. Hope you come to Poptimism, and hope you enjoy it.

it is an allegory!! an very lame allegory!!

Do You SeePost a comment • 200 views

like you i have been revolted bored sickened and soporifically aghast at the varied dullardoid attempts made to interpret “revenge of the sith” as a fable about bush

actually though i *like* this mode of examination a lot but the basic requirement is that the examiner has not just arrived at the popcult item in question a few minutes ago (if he has he will certainly resemble the “trendy vicar” of ancient legend) (abu aadvark – blog expert on middle east affairs – is by contrast named after cerebus the earthpig born)

obsessive nerdy popcult knowledge doesn’t make you hip, it makes you odd: odd is by no means a bad place to be coming at political analysis from, but it works best if you know this and not only acknowledge it but make a virtue of it

Oh to be in Clitheroe

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 618 views

…now that spring is here. Or any other season for that matter, as Clitheroe is home to my favourite wine seller, the legendary Byrne’s. Now, I would happily have arsed about with HTML and used their name as a link then, but Byrne’s is too retro for that.

That’s right, no website, no till, precious little in the way of light; just case after case of wine stretching back underground for three separate chambers as an adjunct to the towering shelves of the front (dominated by an ancient wooden ladder leaning at a breathtakingly steep angle). Step into the chambers and your mobile signal dies, we’ll have none of your modern faff here, boy.

They missed a trick though, the first room is dedicated to France, and would be more than a little intimidating to most buyers, including me. I suspect I’d struggle to tell a fifteen quid meursault from a forty quid one, though even to my untutored eye the chamber was particularly strong on the Alsace (and was it their little joke that tucked away in the corner was a small stand of English wines? No matter, there’s a bottle of Bacchus Reserve tucked in my fridge for later, 2002 was a good year for English wine and if no-one else wants to drink it then all the more for me). Rhone was also well represented, but my wallet wasn’t really up for much more punishment there (this isn’t to imply that Byrne’s is expensive, there’s plenty of sub five and sub ten bottles – just that the French section is dominated by top end, though there is a range of cheaper vin de pays out the front, of which the Grenache I tried was a pleasant example).

Get through the impenetrability of the french into the smaller rooms right at the back (and the temptation to lay a trail of breadcrumbs behind me was almost irresistible) and there’s all sorts of fun to be had. Though nowhere near as comprehensive as the dedication to france (indeed south america was downright disappointing) there’s all sorts of fun stuff to be had, and it was cheering to see a large amount of space reserved for portugal, which is often criminally underlooked, as well as case upon case of that gorgeous lebanese rocket-fuel, Chateau Musar.

Without wishing to burble on too much about the wines themselves (which, given half a chance I’d happily bore everyone to tears by doing) it was just so pleasant to be able to wander, to browse, without a helpful sales assistant popping up every five fucking minutes to steer me in the direction of heavily discounted crap (cheers Oddbins, you used to be good). The Byrne’s assistants limit themselves to the occasional handwritten sign, and tasting notes for varietals you may not have tried before. I think they spend most of their time hiding at the top of their huge ladder, myself.

So there you go. Byrne’s, it’s reasonably priced, it’s pretty comprehensive, there’s not a bottle of Lindemans in sight and you get to feel like you’re in a Harry Potter film when you’re wandering around it. What more could you ask for?