Posts from September 2007
Fashion brands come and go but for the non-fashion-literate the world of clothing can be a baffling and intimidating one. As a marketing professional I could probably outline the distinctive brand values of Top Man, Gap or Uniqlo – as a prospective purchaser the difference is elusive and strangely frightening. Surely there must be a brand for a consumer like me – not fashionable, low-budget, easily intimidated by even a helpful salesforce.
And lo, there WAS such a brand – The Officers Club! Except I never thought a lot of its clothes were any good, but hey, this is branding we’re talking about.
The Savage Critic is a group comics weblog which is well worth reading if you’re into the things (of course if you’re into the things you already know about it). Douglas Wolk, of occasional ILX and music writing note, writes for it occasionally, but the site has a really broad set of voices – readers, retailers, fans, thinkers – and styles. In fact it reminds me a bit of NYLPM, or what I hoped NYLPM would become, except it’s not about pop music obviously.
What do I think of when I think of “Think Of You”?
Sadly, the answer is “Saturday Night”. You can’t talk about Whigfield without talking about “Saturday Night”, and the problem with that is that in the end “Saturday Night” is probably all you end up talking about. If hard pushed to name another Whigfield song, the smart people may remember “Think of You”, but would be easily sidetracked into saying “Turn Back Time” by Aqua. Indeed Aqua seemed to be Whigfield fronting the B-52’s* such their equivalent lasting appeals and places in pop. So why Whigfield and Think of You?
The “holiday” song was not a new phenomenon by the time summer 1994 came around. Y Viva Espana was twenty years before. But “Saturday Night” was a holiday pop song which came from Ibiza, the ubiquitous pop club banger which everyone knew on their way home. By the time it was finally released in the UK it had a ready made audience. It also had the extreme good fortune to knock Wet Wet Wet’s “Love is All Around” off of the top of the charts engendering Whigfield with an indie cred that could not be derived from the song itself.
Superior metaphysical wetness from Cassidy – on “Daydreamer” his thin voice sounds utterly wrung-out, a flopping ineffectual adenoidal rag of a thing. It would be intolerable except that it suits the song so well. Effective touches abound – the switch from “ecstasy” to “make-believe”; the lovely flute at the end, piping lotus-eater David further into dreamland. On the flip we have the grotesque bonus of “The Puppy Song”, a whimsical ditty which Cassidy attacks with sneers, whines, and gurgles. The combination borders on disturbing – hard to think of a teenpop single where the singer sounds so honestly unhappy with the whole process. If this had been the start of a trajectory into existential art-pop a la Scott Walker, I wouldn’t have been in the least surprised (though given the limitations of Cassidy’s voice, perhaps we’re lucky it wasn’t).
The Shorter Oxford Dictionary has published its sixth edition, and as well as a lengthy revamp of the “pie” entry the new version boasts the usual compliment of moreish new words, some of which are detailed in this Time article. Why are we blogging this? Check out word #8.
Of course, only a….well, you know, one of those – would imagine that this inclusion confers some kind of validity on the word. (Plus they’ve got its meaning wrong, obv.) But bear it in mind for yr Scrabble games anyhow!
The Pop Open returns with four tracks on the theme “fifties and before”.
Please don’t reveal anything about the tracks in the comments box! If you want to play in the Pop Open, go here.
Online dating is a wonderful thing…
Sensitive young man into eating, singing like a girl and the outdoors would like to meet an ugly girl, any age, any race just NOT BEAUTIFUL.
Hi Seany, tell me more about yrself. I am in my early thirties and like relaxing, silent movies and the countryside (as long as there is not a bloody music festival going on). What do you like?
Hey Tanya. You sound lovely. But can you tell me if you are attractive? I have had a bad experience with a beautiful girl you see, and frankly it made me want to kill myself so I would appreciate a photo or maybe a description.
Sorry, I don’t send photos but it is funny that beautiful girls made you feel suicidal. There is a song in the charts CALLED Beautiful Girls which makes ME feel suicidal.
This is one of those posts where yr well aware that every single blogger in the country is going to be asking the same question and yet ask you must, viz:
Blue Peter changing the results of its online poll: so that a cat online readers wanted called “Cookie” was now called “Socks”. This is for whatever reason a very bad thing and a severe breach of trust (it has led to MOAR KITAN on BP though so all’s well), what I haven’t seen answered is the question WHY DID THEY DO IT? It’s not as if the online readers had voted to call the cat “Tony B Liar” or “Cockmonger” or had all written in that its religion was Jedi. Maybe the evil poll rigger involved was trying to please their own tiny infant, maybe they were drunk on powar (or just drunk). Also there has already been a famous cat called Socks so it was a useless name. RESIGN BBC, oh wait.
One of the great corny running jokes in the early days of gaming was the idea of a game in which people would play white-collar workers. The standard format of the gag would involve a bunch of dwarves or elves sitting round a gaming table making “saving throws against income tax” and suchlike.
The gag is a neat summary of assumptions about the gaming hobby. Firstly, it’s escapist, and enjoyable because of its escapism. But also, the people who play it are – or are going to become – accountants, computer programmers, admen, etc. There was very, very little counter-cultural about the early RPG hobby. It shared visual style and iconography with 70s head shops and underground comix but was a lot squarer, nervous (to say the least!) about the chemical and sexual pursuits the underground embraced, and it’s one of the few areas of late 70s/early 80s cultural activity where it’s extremely difficult to detect any kind of punk blowback.
Agatha Christie’s “Evil Under The Sun” and Georges Simenon’s “Maigret And The Old Lady” have a few things in common: seasides, murder, and a lady whose intelligence and good company charms the detective even though she might be a bad ‘un. I read the former on holiday in France and the latter the week after I got back. This was the right order. Christie’s seaside resort – an island off the Devon coast – is a flimsy concoction, nicely set up for a whodunnit but with no atmosphere, and “Evil Under The Sun” is an easy read even for smooth-rolling Agatha – just right for polishing off on an afternoon in the garden. Simenon’s setting is much better-drawn, a French fishing town as the tourist season winds down, which provokes plenty of brooding in Maigret, who is in the bad position of having Proustian flashbacks to holidays he took specifically to evoke images of other holidays he DIDN’T take as a child. It’s no wonder he spends most of the book necking Calvados.