Posts from 4th July 2005

4
Jul 05

THE FT TOP 100 SONGS No.83

FT + New York London Paris Munich/2 comments • 2,960 views

Orange Juice – “Rip It Up”

Edwyn Collins and company fake the funk. What’s so appealing about Orange Juice (and Dexy’s, and ABC) is the “let’s pretend” element – they know they’re not a ‘proper’ disco outfit, but they want to play the disco music anyway…or not any way, their way. And they know it’s ridiculous, but here’s the important thing: they want us to believe it anyway, they don’t want us to ever feel ridiculous for liking it.

(That’s where The Darkness, who aren’t a hundred miles away from ABC when you think about it, falter slightly. Though I don’t believe they mean to. A game of let’s pretend is spoiled by other people standing around saying, you’re pretending: this is one curse of modern pop.)

Amongst the gaucheness and good humour, and so many wonderful lines, there is one outrageous and special moment in “Rip It Up”. It goes like this – “And my favourite song’s entitled ‘Boredom'”, so far so sweet, so clever, so Orange Juice, and then naturally the guitarist plays the two-note solo from “Boredom”, and THEN the solo suddenly turns into an aching, yearning sliver of cocktail sax, punk grub into new pop butterfly if you like.

(Listen to it here.)

ED Dec 2007
No, here:

Connections (aka guess my theory I s’pose)

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“The difference between Schoenberg and traditional music might be demonstrated with the help of a bon mot of Schumann’s that one can tell whether a person is musical by his ability to continue performing a piece more or less correctly when someone forgets to turn a page. This, precisely, is not possible with Schoenberg.” TW Adorno, in Essays on Music.

“I’m looking for lines you don’t expect coming at you. I’m driving along in my car sometimes, listening to the radio, and I can predict what the next line and the next line of a song will be — I can tell you what the writer’s going to say before he gets there. And I’m right. And if can predict it, anybody can predict it, and that’s mediocre writing.” Harlan Howard, Nashville songwriter, quoted by Nicolas Dawidoff, In the Country of Country.

PUB 8: 2. The Prince Of Wales

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 280 views

Still apparently walking away from Ladbroke Grove, we were urged to swing around The Prince Of Wales. And that was much more like it. Oh the pub itself still had delusions, but made up for it by actually having some grandeur as well. Very friendly bar staff, very well presented and good selection of interesting beers. And a little TV at a good volume allowed us to see the first of our experience of Live 8. This turned out to be poor interviews by Jo “Withered Hand” Wiley, and a poorly timed round the world round up, including, live from Moscow: Moral Code!!! (This soon turned into the days number one in-joke, you had to be there, etc etc).

The pub had a nice looking garden which was about to close on us, and the project was almost scuppered by the pubs niceness. Put it like this, if the BBC had not have cruelly cut off Fat-Duran-Duran’s Ordinary World and replaced it with Razorlight, Pub 8 may have become Pub 2.

PUB 8 RATING: 9/10. (Good beer, comfy and they did not bat an eyelid when we finished off Ordinary World over Razorshite-more-like.)

PUB 8. 1. The Castle

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 227 views

If you recall, Pub 8 initially started as a Ladbroke Grove pub crawl. The Castle, just by Holland Park tube, is not on Ladbroke Grove. Well rules are meant to be broken. And break our other (not yet formulated at this point) rule The Castle did. It was the only one of the Pub 8 which did not have a Tv for viewing Live 8 on. So while we missed probably Coldplay, we also wrestled with the pub not having any real ales on. A frankly obscene number of international lagers replaced the handpumps, and I managed to have a pint of Staropramen Granat (the amber version). This was probably an error from a drunkenness perspective, but hey I survived.

Spirits were relatively low in the first pub, possibly because we felt we should in some way be watching Live 8. Instead the pub offered us a copy of the Daily Star instead, which is no replacement.

PUB 8 RATING: 3/10. No tv, no ale. Posh fish finger sandwiches are no replacement.

Jack-a-boring

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 669 views

So Jackanory is to return. Excellent commissioning work from Alison Sharman, new Children’s BBC controller, ignoring advice and putting something on BECAUSE SHE LIKED IT WHEN SHE WAS A CHILD. We should hope for revivals of Andy Pandy and the Woodentops forthwith (actually she is not THAT old. Think more Xtreme Mary, Mungo & Midge). This commissioning nouse also brought back her favourite Ask The Family, her hunches are not always cast iron.

Jackanory is surely a fantastically cheap programme to make. You need
a) A sleb who can read
b) A book for them to read

Whilst a) might be difficult if Fran Cosgrave is the only level of celebrity you can get, there is still plenty of give in the format. The take is in the fact that actually most kids books only appeal to a smallish subsection of the audience. Therefore a terrific Agerton Sax reading would be followed, when I was small, by some godawful girlie book, or even worse: something about horses (My My Friend Flicka Hell).

None of this explains why it was cancelled in the first place. From a public service point-of-view Jackanory delivers everything but audience. It is interesting the way this is tied to a resurgence in children reading. The reason for this is Harry Potter of course. Ironically, the month Bloomsbury bought Harry Potter was the month of the last Jackanory.

A word of caution though to the BBC. It is ALL about the readers. A good book helps, but there is a reason by Bernard Cribbins did it so often. Oh and Media Guardian: the “I’ll Tell You A Story…” theme tune was dropped in the mid-seventies.

Kung Fu Hustle

Do You See1 comment • 389 views

As I was trying to explain to my mother-in-law: “If you saw Airplane, and you had never seen a disaster movie, and in fact you had no idea that there was such a thing as a disaster movie, it would seem a very strange film.” And so Kung Fu Hustle seemed a very strange, though very fine, film to me, because the cliches and situations and styles it pastiches are lost to all but watchers of Eastern Cinema. The result is a fascinating bumpiness of tone: the film begins with an over-the-top, but straight, scene of violence and threat and occasionally lurches back into that register (the moments with the musician assassins, for instance). For all I know the seriousness in these sections might be sarcastic, the creepiness hysterical if you’re in the know. But as it was I got a lot of pleasure from how unexpected it all was.

And as I also tried to explain, it’s a very violent film. “Oh, I wouldn’t like that” said mother-in-law. “But it’s good violence” I said. What I meant was that it’s cartoon violence, real cartoon violence with heads being knocked round by a single blow, bashed into the ground, people running in mid air, bashing walls and leaving fist or palm shaped holes – everything that you’d expect from a Tex Avery short performed on human flesh and bone by the miracle of CGI. Sounds terribly irresponsible, doesn’t it?

PUB 8 – Overview

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 245 views

Feelings were mixed in this camp about Live 8. Cynicism rules, and irritation with Bob Geldof was running high. On the other hand it was a big cultural event and we should watch it, even if it was sniping from afar. And luckily, Alan came to the rescue: the weekend before he was bemoaning that all the time he lived in Ladbroke Grove he had meant to do a Ladbroke Grove pub crawl, and was sad he had failed. I pointed out he had one weekend left, and a bit of maths conspired to bring together some of the publog great and good for our answer to Live 8.

Pub 8.

So named because there were 8 pubs. Actually we noticed this near the end, when we were drunk and made sure there were eight pubs for this purpose. We did it to raise awareness, mainly alcohol awareness admittedly. However it was interesting to see how the various pubs were dealing with Dave Gandalf’s big spectacle, and how the very different punters reacted. From gentrified bouzers to rough-as-arseholes locals, they were all watching this historic day (well, with one notable exception). As we got drunker our own reactions changed too. So over the next few days I’ll be running through some of these pubs and how we felt that we were in our own way being as revolutionary as all the artists at Live 8 (ie, potentially not at all).

a short ambivalent history of the non event [UPDATE]

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 199 views

hmph my final para is very nearly as tricksily coded as the code it aims to decode, so to further murkify i shall just add this…
A. cf marcello’s post abt Pink Floyd below; and
B. where i think Dissensian Disdain for the Pro-Pop Massive (maybe ESPECIALLY in such hugely compromised contexts like this) is at its weakest, is that by gathering so many, they really do enable a huge amount of unscripted off-radar interaction (haha and intra-action) among and betweern the Mini-Tribes of the Gathered. ie DDPPM (cf also B.Watson on S.Reynolds maybe) inkorrektly assumes that the alienation and stultification (genuinely) felt by its OWN Hyper-Atomised Kommunist Mikro-Kollectiv is i. generally felt, and ii. even if general, as Kripplingly experienced outside that Kollectiv as within it

to cite sting adorno playschool’s Big Ted, the problem w.the message in a bottle (aka sulking in yr tent, homer fans) is that when it arrives, everyone it’s addressed to is dead and succeeding generations have solved most of the urgent problems some other, unexpected way


big ted sez: “culture is possible even after auschwitz kids!!”

New York London Paris Ulan Bator–Pop Music

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 364 views

Here you can download a Tuvan throat singing duo covering Love Can Tear Us Apart, and its amazing, hard, low, moaning–and as sad as anything, at first its a novelty, but throat singing always seems to be better at tragic then comic, and the barritone of Ian Curtis sounds remarkably like these fellows.