Posts from June 2008

Jun 08


FT + Popular78 comments • 6,314 views

#410, 20th August 1977

Without theft, there is no pop, but it’s still rather squirmsome to hear the more lumbering attempts. Brotherhood of Man’s – let’s be generous – tribute to ABBA fails partly because it doesn’t stick closely ENOUGH to its source material. ABBA records gain what emotional power they have from the force of the melody and performance letting you fill in what the lyrics miss out.


Best Ever Doctor Who Cliffhangers As Chosen By Me

Do You See + FT32 comments • 1,688 views

Whatever happens next Saturday, now is a time for rejoicing as “New Who” delivers its first bona fide, ZOMG, who saw that one coming REAL ACTUAL CLIFFHANGER. Not that the new series hasn’t been jam-packed with moments that would have made magnificent old school episode climaxes (just imagine Professor Yana’s pocketwatch, or the in-your-face Weeping Angel, or the empty TARDIS in “Father’s Day” with the eeeeowwwwwwwwwww end of episode noise…) But often the new series cliffhanger has been a clumsy beast, generally through trying to pack too much in: either having every character menaced at once, or having the monsters yell their playground-ready catchphrase a few times too often, or by simply diluting the shock with parallel threats. Take this season’s “Silence In The Library” – a good cliffhanger to be sure, but if they’d just stuck to the “Donna has been turned into a computer terminal” one, left the lumbering skellington suit out and cut down on the repetition it would have been several times more effective.

Anyway, they’ve finally got it right, so to celebrate here’s my own list of Who cliffhangers that stick in the brain. Some of these are, I believe, canonically accepted as awesome, others more obscure. The list draws heavily on ones I saw as a kid, the prime time to be shoXoRed by a Who ending… and yes, there will be spoilers!


dept of you gotta be wtfkn kiddin me YOU BIG HERBERT

The Brown Wedge///////Post a comment • 304 views

i: i am rereadin THE SANTAROGA BARRIER by frank herbert ftb i am co-host of A BITE OF STARS A SLUG OF TIME AND THOU, and we need to start our homework for SERIES TWO

ii: i have probbly not reread it since i was in my teens (= the 70s what were we thinkin) and largely recall it as bein about a secretive community rooted in hallucinogenic CHEESE hurrah

iii: the cheese is called JASPERS cheese

iv: the hero is called called gilbert DASEIN and his lovely g/f is called jenny SORGE

v: the hero is named in sentence ONE, by which time i had already said “yikes hang on!” to myself: “this is a bit of a massive clunky steer surely, nameswise — when did f.herbert go so bunyan on us?”

vi: anyway the steer (as i know know but back then didn’t) is towards THIS and THIS, and therefore HIM, and also (cheese-wise) HIM

(vii: sez wiki, “The novel was loosely based on Martin Heidegger’s ideas, noticeably on his book Sein und Zeit” — bearing in mind it is, in my memory, about HALLUCINOGENIC CHEESE , i am currently enjoyin how hard the word “loosely” seems required to work; i will update all interested sluggards when i have got past page 12)

Jun 08

DONNA SUMMER – “I Feel Love”

FT + Popular171 comments • 9,910 views

#409, 23rd July 1977

One of the remarkable things about “I Feel Love” is that it still sounds futuristic now. Not because the effects and techniques it uses remain way ahead of what pop’s capable of, but because it helped fix the idea of what “the future” would sound like: its specific mix of voice and electronics evoking gleaming hedonism, endless clockwork pleasure. “I Feel Love”, like robots and spaceships on sci-fi magazine covers, represents a fixed future we can’t ever quite get past.


Jun 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Bonus: Flash

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 542 views

(I thought it was worth adding this review of a recent release as a supplement to the recent piece on old DC superhero comics).

The second Flash volume is, for me, the best Showcase* collection yet. I love Carmine Infantino’s art on these old comics, the cleanness and liveliness and sharpness of everything he draws. I’m also fond of two odd stylistic tricks: the use of little hands pointing and gesturing in captions, and especially the bizarre way he depicts the city: almost everywhere Flash goes, from any angle, there is a huge paved plain, like the biggest city square in the world, with a modern city skyline in the distance, whatever is in the foreground.

The stories are sometimes very disposable: trivial and inconsequential, just another crook with a ridiculous gimmick (mirrors, tops, boomerangs…) captured by our hero. On the other hand, there is plenty of clever stuff, and some extraordinarily bizarre tales, often based on Infantino showing up with a cover idea he liked and John Broome writing something to fit. The one where he is correctly thinking “I’ve got the strangest feeling I’m being turned into a PUPPET!” is an old favourite. There’s a great splash page, also, where the Flash is running towards Grodd (an evil super-powered gorilla – Infantino always liked drawing apes), beaming adoringly, saying “Grodd, you… you’re WONDERFUL!” Sadly he doesn’t actually kiss him.


Jun 08

political correctness gone sensible

FT + Pumpkin Publog////Post a comment • 209 views


News reaches us from blackleg our intrepid reporter, MattDC, that scenes like the above are no longer permissable at Glastonbury as THE MAN has BANNED brothers from selling plastic 2 litre bottles of their yellow nectar. We are not yet sure if this is due to the plastic making a right old mess or the fact that each bottle contains approximately 14 units of alcohol.

If you have joined our Pilton Boycott this year (and thank you all 850,000 of you* that have) but are still hankering after peary goodness, brothers is now available quite widely. Use their excellent ciderfinder to find yr nearest stockist!

UPDATE: This just in “Theres a dude selling rockingdadchairs! ACTUAL ROCKING DADCHAIRS! Omg”

*based on reports in previous years of a million people trying to get tickets on the first day

Dirty Dirty Martini

FT2 comments • 775 views

I like a Martini. I said so here. So crimes against the Martini weigh heavily upon my soul. And I have had two spoiled recently by poor workmanship and baffling product packaging.

Let’s start with the basics. Hancock Tower, on the day of the nuptials of Tim of this parish. A lovely, wonderful day – blisteringly sunny. We all met up on the 106th floor of said tower for a view over Chicago and a bit of dutch courage. Which wasn’t dutch, but in this case was billed as a perfect Tanquerry Martini. Ingredients looked fine, and I asked for it with an olive. And it came back with an olive and the faintest patina of condensation on the outside of the glass. Well, I thought, the room was air-conditioned. Imagine how hot it would have been otherwise. It was 34 degrees on the ground, and we were a hundred storeys closer to the sun*.


Jun 08

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time No. 43. Stina Nordenstam – Little Star

FT/4 comments • 645 views

If you haven’t heard this song just go and listen to it. (You may recognise it — it was used in the sproutface DiCaprio Romeo and Juliet). That’s all I should say.

However, to make the your perhaps-momentous discovery more possible, you may need preparing.

If you have not heard Stina’s voice it’s because you’ve never seen an Ariston washing machine advert, and it’s her voice that could be the deal breaker. There are songs you cannot persuade people they will like, and often it’s because of the vocal. If a voice is like nails on a blackboard to you, you won’t get past that. Similarly if it’s like being repeatedly limply patted on the shoulder by a wet teddybear, you’re going to get fed up quite quickly. Still, I made an effort to like Neil Young and Morrisey, so you could have a go with winsome Stina, eh? She’s Swedish — you love Swedish pop right?

In a way this is the song to get past her twee etiolated voice. Like the little star, her voice might feel initially weak, but it’s got a hidden and precise power


Europop 2008: THE FINAL

FT15 comments • 503 views

Here we are at the 31st and last match of Europop 2008 – Switzerland v Italy. As ever, track details and analyses can be found below the cut!

How to vote: Just pick the track you like best. Please don’t download if you’re not intending to vote! This match will end at noon on TUESDAY 1st JULY.

Switzerland v Italy: Which track do you prefer?

  • Switzerland: CAMP 55%
  • Italy: Giorgia 45%

Total Voters: 44

Poll closes: 1 Jul 2008 @ 12:30

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Good Guy Actor Looking For Less Obvious Twist

FTPost a comment • 228 views

This Article Contains Spoilers To Two Films currently in the cinema. The particular spoiler however is surreptitiously contained also in the title to the article, and become obvious if I even mention the films names. However as twists they are both really quite obvious in their respective films so whilst you may curse me if you read on, you should also bear in mind that if the films wanted their twists to be more twisty, they would have made more effort in disguising them. The fact they don’t suggests that the fact that there is a twist is less important to the narrative structure than the impact on the characters the twist that THEY didn’t see coming has.