Posts from 1st November 2005

Nov 05

Day 52: Echo Beach

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 301 views

You know how I was saying the day before how it was nice to be on a new continent. Well, Australia went down massively in my expectations the next day. From a land of bars, big drinks and big servings to some scrubby rubbish plants and sand and cold nights. Thoroughly unpleasant. Large mouselike creatures started bounding around too, which seemed to have secondary mouths in their bellies where they kept smaller versions of themselves. At least I got the Koala bears. Though I was disappointed to find out that you can’t eat them.

There was a point when my Walkabout was about as pleasant as going to a Walkabout bar. But it appears my drunken stumblings had not taken me too far inland and with a clever interpretation as to where the breeze was coming from I soon found myself stumbling towards the shoreline.

There I saw a strangely orange young man, standing next to a long bright red lozenge.
“Hmm,” I was being cagey.
“You here for the surfing?”
“You know, catch some surf.”
“You expect me, to stand on a board of fibre-glass, risking life and limbs out there in the waves, who are no less dangerous for not having Katrina with them.”
“Suit yourself. Echo Beach is grate for sunbathing too.”
Echo Beach. Well, as you can imagine I was out in the water as soon as possible, after quickly defecating on Martha and the Muffins only hit.

“My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk.”
I bet that line rings through the head of Martha Landly every morning when she wakes up. I bet it literally echoes through the heads of all of her muffins too. Y’see, as one hit wonders go, nobody touches Echo Beach. One of the few successes of a campaign I ran in the early nineties to destroy the careers of so called promising bands. All they promised to me was more hellish up beat pop, so I went right in to destroy them. I did this mainly by organising a tour with Roxy Music, which in 1980 would have dispirited anyone (Ferry was about 18 stone at this point and the embodiment of everything punk was not, except rubbish).

That said, I have never been able to obliterate Echo Beach which I am sure earns enough money for Martha amd some of her muffins to go on holiday every year, when they have to take time off from being Office Clerks. Though it unlikely it earns enough to get them over to Echo Beach, Australia. Not all the way from Canada. It is after all very “far away” – but in space. Success is now “far away in time”.
“My job is very boring, I’m an office clerk.”

Sorry Martha. Some of us were born for greatness. Some of us were born to write songs about boring jobs, and then end up doing them for the rest of our lives…

The first ever ironic cover version?

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 633 views

Julie London – “Mickey Mouse March” (it’s a YSI, sorry readers from the future).

This song is tucked away at the end of London’s Nice Girls Don’t Stay For Breakfast album, and is indeed a sultry version of the M-I-C-K-E-Y Mouse theme. It’s odd, and not necessarily good, but it seems quite an early example of i) a ‘classy’ performer reaching out for a ‘trash’ artefact and ii) a style or genre being self-conscious of itself as a style, and hence able to apply that style to ‘unlikely’ material.

(This is 1967 though, which is later than I originally thought, so quite possibly the novelty cover version was already popular as a move.)

Apparently you can now download telly…

Do You SeePost a comment • 371 views

Apple sold 1 million video downloads in 20 days . Though most of those downloads were music videos, the downloads of Lost also did well despite being $2 a shot. This guy commenting in slashdot has watched ALL of Lost (to date) from Apple’s iTunes store. Series 1 alone would have cost him $50, on a show retailing BRAND NEW at $30. And the image size of the downloads is just about regular telly, non-widescreen, quality.

The art of selling part-works, eh?

Undeniably, telly downloading has reached that combustion point/tipping point/take off/whatever, so well done to Apple for showing this can be done legally, and picking what looks like the right time to get it going.

And for all the brits and aussies (who do this more than the american’s apparently) wondering what the bloody hell is up with the 2-week break in the new series of Lost – apparently this is all down to Nielsen sweeps. Look! A gap between Oct 26th and November 3rd – better fill it with repeats, especially as in an important episode SOMEONE WILL DIE OMG!!!eleven (white ink spoiler).

Bagpuss Defies Science Again

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 496 views

Researchers have proven something that anyone who grew up watching Bagpuss could have told you years ago. Mice Sing. They also play a marvelous mechanical organ, and fix things, mend things and polish them up, up, up. Alas the report only has the love serenade part, but it is a step in the right direction.

Expect to find out why toads are boring old folkies and why wooden bookends are insufferably pompous. The tax advantages of naming a saggy old cloth cat as your shop manager are yet to be identified but apparently KPMG are on the case.

Female Oriented Light Easy Listening (London)

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 259 views

I think I will leave it to a less irritated night to talk about The Three Compasses – a recently refurbed boozer on Hornsey High Street. Suffice to say that whilst I was in a foul mood the good selection of beers and general conviviality of the place seemed to outweigh some obviously problems (anywhere that has three guest ales and the regular ale as Timothy Taylors Landlord and Deuchars IPA can’t be all bad). Certainly worth more than two fancyapint stars anyway.

It also had a jukebox, which is nice to see in this day and age. Of course it was one of those new fangled web jukeboxes which claims to have every song ever recorded on it, or at least two million songs whichever is greater*. We’ve discussed these jukers before, and that in providing too much choice, they provide no choice at all. I remember at a trade fair seeing it be demoed and just find the whole browsing aspect less than useful. This model also had a two tier payment scale: 50p Play It Now or 25p Put It In The Queue. Statistical modeling has not been able to see how this feature works in practice.

Last night I saw the landlord access the box after the pub quiz. He was setting the background music up, the tracks to be played if punters had not loaded the box. And up popped a screen with epithets like “Early Friday Warm up Music (House)”, “Midweek Chart Bubblers (Download)” and what was finally picked: “Female Oriented Light Easy Listening (London)”. Regional Demographics are killing jukeboxes!
(First three songs from this playlist were Independent Woman (Part I), Get The Party Started and Sweet Dreams My LA-X by the way).

*Could not find the Poor People Of Paris by Winifred Atwell, so it must try harder.

I blame Franz Ferdinand

Blog 7Post a comment • 355 views

I have no great distaste for the people of Glasgow, individually. And possibly even collectively, when they take time off from posing like boho-art-school-scenester-clones or squandering money on designer costumes to squash their oh-so-ample irn-bru and tunnocks tea-cake fueled curves into or smelling of drink and wee at 11 in the morning, that is. BUT why oh why oh why oh why is it that when descending on board their hornby 00 trainset of an underground railway they can’t be arsed to hold on to their tickets so litter them across the turnstyles, the station concourse floor, the steps down, the plaform, like an outrageous slug trailing a rancid secretion of flimsy cardboard. Is it because they are too cool for tickets so want to pretend they have not bought one and are breaking the law (rebels!)? Because the nasty nasty brown and orange colour scheme is not sufficiently retro (or the wrong retro?) for their razor-honed fashion sense? Is it just because they are lazy as fuck and putting a ticket in a pocket or a bin would deplete their valuable energy reserves?

(Also: mystery, why is their underground so sodding small? Because during the night it secretly doubles as transport for gnomes? Because the council ran out of money when digging it? Because the average height of a Glaswegian is several feet below the UK average due to poverty, poor housing and monstrous inbreeding?)

all the fun of being in a packed underground carriage PLUS TRAFFIC JAMS ALSO

Blog 7Post a comment • 222 views

i. it is of course irritatin when ppl wax moistly sentimental abt the just-vanished ROUTEMASTER…

ii. … but this pales into nothing when compared w.the MIND-FRYIN of HELL of goin home at rush hour on a bendy bus for the first time

A Cautionary Tale

Do You SeePost a comment • 325 views

Actually, a rubbish tale. Called Rag Tale. I actually saw this about three weeks ago but was wary to mention it due to
a) embarrassment
b) The mere mention of it – even if I were to say IT IS TERRIBLE – might make someone go and see it.

Not since Alien Vs Predator have I seen so many warnings about a film in reception. AVP was about strobe lighting. Rag Tale was about an idiosyncratic editing and shooting style. Basically Rag Tale is shot as if someone is, in a Norman Wisdom style, having trouble putting up the camera tripod and so is constantly falling over.

I would be the first to admit that a film which is set in basically two locations might be visually uninteresting. So you go the extra mile with your script, not with shonky, five cuts a second editing. I agree that looking on a static camera shot of John Sessions could be unpleasant: the secret is not to cast him in the first place.

And just to make sure you don’t see it, I shall spoilt he plot here, as it is so ludicrous as to make me feel stupid for even watching it. Newspaper editor is having an affair with his deputy editor who is also the proprietors wife (bad form). His boss finds out, editor ends it. Editor then worried than his ex, the bosses wife, is going to get his job (cos that’s the kind of thing you do to reward your wife for having an affair). The only way to avoid this is to concoct a killer sting news story which you can blackmail your boss with. And get your ex-wifes broadsheet to publish it. All seems a bit far fetched? You ain’t heard nothing yet.

The story is as follows: bosses wife bears a slight resemblance to bosses ex-wife. Therefore, without any research, why not suggest she is his daughter: that he married HIS OWN DAUGHTER. That will keep him at bay. Well not really, as this kind of thing is easy to disprove: OMG SHE WAS HIS DAUGHTER!!!!!! She tops herself. The End.

Just like a real paper.

Worst British film since Love, Honour & Obey.