Posts from 9th February 2006

Feb 06

Around The World in 80 Lousy Tunes, Day 60: Slow Boat To China

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 420 views

I had had enough of Japan. Of its horrendous karaoke. Of its bigging up of minor UK indie acts as the kind of thing teenage girls should scream at (and yes, teenage girls should scream at lousy britpop bands, BUT THEN RUN AWAY). Of the tinitus caused by the never ending J-Pop – where the J stands for Driving Me Out Of My Mind (in Japanese).

I had to Go West – and not in a Pet Shop Boys way. Or a Village People way. A nice cruise would do the job, I though, and so I said sayonara to Japan and the horror of its terribly well maintained hi-fi systems. I had considered trying to bring the might of Sony down, that stopping people from having anything to play this terrible music on. But getting anywhere near Sony Towers would end up drenching me in more music.

Instead I got on a small Junk (I assiuously dodged the one named after Motown) set sail for the 24 hour trip to China, a slowish journey by anybody’s reckonings.

Jimmy Buffett – SLOW BOAT TO CHINA

Its a cheap shot to say Jimmy Buffett has a stupid moustache. But lord, does he have a stupid moustache. Its the kind of ‘tache that would get Lord Kitchener pointing accusingly saying “Why Did You Not Die In The War?” But Buffett did not go to war. He avoid Vietnam on some sort of lousy songwriting disability. They instead sent him to Nashville, where even his record label thought he was so crap they lost his second album.

Buffett was a dedicated songwriter, of the stupid name for tracks cuntry music school. So why pick a cover version of his to illustrate his lousiness? Why do it in a jokey fashion like a forties lounge singer? Why? Because Jimmy Buffett is a twat, that’s why. Think about his only really big hit: Margaritaville. A slightly jokey song about being lazy and unemployed and rubbish. Well think of that but then attach it to a terrible lounge song. Buffett is like his name sake: there is too much of him but none of it is any good.

Mystery Foodstuff ID Parade

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 380 views

Okay, so I was in Morocco last week. Nice place, and I’ll come back to some of the culinary joys soon (not to mention finally finding the wife to Budweiser’s King Of Beers). But one of the joys of being in a foreign country can be having mystery foodstuff put infront of you and lacking the ability to define what it is you make an educated guess.

The breakfasts in Morocco are a sweet affair on the whole. Pancakes, cornbread and pastries to be smeared with jams, with dates and figs on the side. The fig jam was a nice topping, but was surpassed in flavouring by what I initially identified as some kind of local honey. It was very dark in colour and lacked the normal clarity of honey however. But I initially put this down to some local plant, much like lavender honey has a particular hint to it.

My companion was right in pointing out though that rather than tasting of honey with a hint of something else, it actually did taste of something else. Something quite familiar. But not in a breakfast spread situation. (It worked particularly well with cream cheese cutting through the sweetness).

After demolishing a tub of this stuff over three days, we finally asked the waiter, who in fairness did speak good English and French. What was it?

Sweet Potato Confiture. (Here is a Sweet Potato Jam recipe which looks a bit spicier but in the right ball park.)

“Dodgy metaphors “plague” “science”

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 490 views

“Scientists” have discovered a “lost world” in the jungles of “Indonesia” – according to the “BBC Website”.

“It’s as close to the “Garden of Eden” as you’re going to find on Earth,” said Bruce Beehler, co-leader of the group.

Bruce Beehler was referring to “The Garden Of Eden”, a “mythical” garden which all of mankind was supposed to have sprung from from Judeo-Christian mythology. The “story” of “the Garden Of Eden” appears in the “book” THE BIBLE, which scientist have not proven to be true as yet. “The Lost World” was a book by Arthur “Conan” Doyle, in which “scientists” discovered a plateau full of undiscovered creatures. Unlike this “Lost World” however the “sceintists” who have discovered this new “lost world” do not appear to be troubled by deadly dinosauruses.

“The Lost World” was also the sequel to Jurassic Park – the true story of how Dickie Attenbrough wanted to beat his brother at being a better naturist. It is the worst of the Jurassic Park documentaries.

“Scientists” also seemed determined to maintain levels of funding by refering to “sexy birds”:

“I spent 20 years working on birds of paradise; they’re pretty darn sexy beasts,” Dr Beehler enthused.

Love Is A Burning Thing, And It Makes A Powerful Sting

Do You See2 comments • 2,123 views

Is it Johnny Cash’s fault that his life fulfills all the rock star cliches? He helped write half the cliches, so no. (I mean clearly it is his fault for taking the drugs and being on the whole a bit of a bastard for so long, but that is not the conclusion of Walk The Line). Instead Walk The Line blames squarely the following for Johnny’s demons
-Death of “Better” brother
-Drunken Dad, (who in the scale of abusive parents is actually quite nice and just had it a bit hard really cos they were poor)
-Wife not completely with the rockstar program
-Being infatuated with an unobtainable woman.

So let’s go apillpoppin’. Luckily in its last quarter the film does do a slight volte face and go all “poor me” on Cash (which also ties up the father reconciliation nicely). So Joaquim Phoenix therefore has two jobs to do. A servicable Johnny Cash impression (whom he plays pretty but well), and a total loser buffetted by the tides of teeny, tiny knockbacks. He convinces: but without Witherspoon’s June Carter the film would be just a petulant kid throwing his toys out of the pram. Witherspoon’s Carter impression is rubbish, but she gets the spirit just right, and she is clearly the moral centre of the film (it is her who makes all the real decisions).

The bottom line though, this is a film which relishes being a musical, and the music is good. You are convinced by Phoenix’s Cash when he is singing (even if his voice isn’t quite gravelly enough), and Witherspoon comes along just when you get a bit bored of the chugging. This is a performance film, and worth the turgid life bits for the concert pieces.

Oh, and also worth it to watch Cash writing Fulsom Prison Blues, scrubbing out rubbish lyrics. And Carter’s original lyrics for Ring Of Fire – hoo boy. You though the gestation of Can’t Fight The Moonlight in Coyote Ugly was funny? This is better.