Posts from October 2007

Oct 07

RAY STEVENS – “The Streak”

FT + Popular78 comments • 8,321 views

#350, 15th June 1974

Ray Stevens - The Streak“The Streak” isn’t awful as comedy records go, in fact musically it slips down very easily, a perky country number with a few good rhymes for “streak” as its highlight. But not only does Stevens succumb to the blight of the comedy song and shove a laugh track on his record, he also insists on using it for his least funny gag, the laboured hick voice he puts on for the streak-witnesser. Goodwill in shortish supply here.

But anyway, streaking. I was nine years old when Erica Roe streaked and…. actually, I don’t remember it at all. Sorry! But I do remember streaking being a “thing”, though somehow I assumed it was specifically British – there’s something a bit Donald McGill about it, especially as it seems to happen a lot at cricket matches. A little Wikipedia research reveals that not only was I completely wrong but that Ray Stevens was highly topical – Time Magazine had only brought the word to light the year before and by ’74 the craze was full-blown. Wikipedia also confirms that streaking is with us still though these days the streakers tend to have the names of insurance websites painted on their backs. Poor show – in the metaphorical sense.

Pop Open Week 13

FTPost a comment • 469 views

This week’s theme is the nineties – as ever, no revealing in the comments box kthx!

Oct 07

THE RUBETTES – “Sugar Baby Love”

FT + Popular61 comments • 9,359 views

#349, 18th May 1974

“Sugar Baby Love” has been ruined for me – actually, no, I don’t know if ruined is the right word – it’s been colonised by The Auteurs’ 1999 single “The Rubettes”, which hollows it out from the inside like some evil necrotising virus, reducing the original to a malicious husk.


my eyes! my eyes!

Proven By Science4 comments • 579 views

left eyeright eye
these are, in fact, my eyes! DO YOU SEE? (click to enlarge)

healthy yay! — the whitish crescents on the optic nerves are a sign of short sight, as are the “dark matter” tesselations patching the red areas

Oct 07

ABBA – “Waterloo”

FT + Popular109 comments • 9,154 views

#348, 4th May 1974

One of the odd things about ABBA is that they didn’t really change pop. They are still widely loved and more widely bought, but nobody now sounds much like them, or tries to. They are the giant pandas of pop, world-famous symbols viewed with immense affection, but incredibly bad at actually breeding.

ABBA’s lack of impact beyond themselves is no reflection on their quality, or even their craftsmanship – we don’t build pyramids much these days either, but Cheops is still a wonder.


never off

Do You See/10 comments • 881 views

tremors3.jpgwhat film is most often shown on UK TV? i vote tremors — and i know bcz i watch it EVERY TIME (and so does my dad)

He’s Not A Kid, And Its Worse Than Heartbreaking

Do You See + FT1 comment • 688 views

mpw-4964.jpgThe problem with The Heartbreak Kid is the problem of nearly all US black comedies over the last twenty years. US mainstream film-makers genuinely seem unable to construct dislikable leads. Not necessarily anti-heroes, but charismatic yet despicable characters. Bearing in mind that in The Heartbreak Kid Ben Stiller plays a character who dumps his own wife on honeymoon within two days you would think this should not be hard. But rather than consider him a churl, it tries to explain this by listing the following faults for the newlywed
*She USED TO BE a cocaine user (and has now got a deviated septum)
*Her job does not pay, she is a volunteer
*She enjoys raucously violent sex
*She sings along to pop songs. Quite well.
*She gets sunburned!
*Her mother is fat.


Shall We Get It Wrong

Do You See + FT2 comments • 497 views

Jeremy Paxman looked awfully smug last night. Not that he never doesn’t look smug, smug is his metier, but there was a combination of factors. Firstly he’d had a good Newsnight, with a few zingers and the odd “come-off it”. Secondly all the senior news journalists have the privilege of spouting off outrageously about the BBC cuts knowing full well that their own jobs are safe, and even if they aren’t the market will happily look after them. But the cap was the ending of that nights Newsnight, not just with a rustle of the paper and the stock market results. They had a tiny film clip to comemorate the life of Deborah Kerr, British movie star who sadly died yesterday. He always likes a little bit of arts relish on his news salad.

Well wipe that smugness of you mug Paxo. Kerr was indeed a terrific actress and presence. But I suggest to you and my namesake Peter Barron, that one does not best celebrate someone’s career by showing a clip where said actress is dubbed. OK, it was probably her dancing* with Yul Brunner in the clip of the King And I, but she didn’t do the singing herself – and thus it seemed a bit odd to show a clip of Kerr dancing but Marni Nixon singing. Black Narcissus would have fitted the mood better!

*Though obviously with the period dresses and the extended cast, there were also possibly twenty Thai midgets under the dress propelling her around.

TERRY JACKS – “Seasons In The Sun”

FT + Popular69 comments • 8,254 views

#347, 6th April 1974

“Seasons In The Sun” is one of those records that was never not going to be enormous. The weird dolour of its intro chords, Terry Jacks’ tear-choked vocals, Brel’s terrace-ready chorus and the sheer oddness of the song….even if you think it’s awful or kitsch you can’t be surprised at its success. Sometimes I do think those things, but the elements mockers tend to point to are also keys to “Seasons”‘ effectiveness. Those final chord shifts, for example – outrageous manipulation yes, but also the desperate last grabs at life by the dying singer.


Poptimism – Lesson Forty Six

Poptimism Podcast6 comments • 548 views

Careless Whisper – The Gossip

I Got It From My Mama – Will.I.Am

Headstrong – Ashley Tisdale

Call The Shots – Girls Aloud

Dead Drummers – The Rogue Element

The World Is Outside (Stellasound Remix) – Ghosts

Amigo Vulnerable – Enrique Iglesias

I Like Mike – Jay Spears

Shoppers’ Paradise – Carter USM