Posts from July 2008

Jul 08

instant nutritious summer salad for when it’s too muggy to even think

FT + Pumpkin Publog///////2 comments • 384 views

sistrah doctrah becky taught me this when i left home: maybe she invented it!! i’ll have to ask…

Young spinach leaves
Pine nuts
Tomatos (optional)
Peppers (optional)
Crispy prefried bacon slices (optional)***


BONEY M – “Rivers Of Babylon”

FT + Popular115 comments • 6,561 views

#423, 13th May 1978

I didn’t know about genre in 1978 but that didn’t mean I couldn’t recognise it, and this fitted into a very particular and not wholly liked one: music you might sing in school assembly. I didn’t need to have read a single Psalm to know that somehow this fitted next to “When I Needed A Neighbour” and “Kum-By-Ya” and “The Ink Is Black” – i.e. “earnest singalong” not “fun singalong” like the soon-to-be-A-side “Brown Girl In The Ring” (which I did like).


My Exciting Life In ROCK!

FT + The Brown Wedge///Post a comment • 233 views

Yes, yes, I know, why not just change the name of the website to New Morrissey Express Freaky Hibbett and be done with it, but just one more, then I’ll shut up for a bit.

In actually two hours time I set off for EDINBURGH where myself and Mr Hibbett will be showing, for your delectation and delight, My Exciting Life In ROCK!


think that just about covers everything, Medina is here, right off Bristo Square (it’s the downstairs bit). If you’re in Edinburgh please come along, mention the “Freaky Trigger Special Offer” to get two for one all week, cos I’m generous like that.

Jul 08

THE BEE GEES – “Night Fever”

FT + Popular227 comments • 11,165 views

#422, 29th April 1978

Never having read Wuthering Heights may be philistinism, but never having seen Saturday Night Fever comes close to dereliction of duty. Of course, I’ve heard the soundtrack plenty of times, and SNF has become such a cultural cornerstone, so open to reference and pastiche, that I feel like I’ve seen it. But honestly I haven’t. Luckily, the Nik Cohn essay it was based on was completely made up anyway, so in that pioneering spirit I can safely say that “Night Fever” encapsulates the film’s vision of disco and dancing: anonymous glide punctuated by breathtaking, desperate release.


lunatic food trumps

FT + Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 154 views

so i was in chinatown with T and she was stocking up in the lisle street mini-supermarket and i was really just tagging along, low on cash — and i felt, as i always do in that particular supermarket, that it was incumbent on me to buy something i never et before, because what is life if we merely troll along in our own safe space all of it eh, i mean, EH? (obv this is where i sarcastically link to an ENEMY’S BLOG to underscore what a feeb he is compared to mighty me)

er ANYWAY yes, what i bought was FRIED DACE WITH SALTED BLACK BEANS, and i just et em cold and they were nice, in a salty-ish way — the fish was crunchy brown in its friedness, and about sardine sized, and the black beans were er er as you’d expect if you’ve had em… ie i’m not going to attempt a description, so boo to you if you wanted one

bonus translation komedy: on the tin, which is labelled in chinese (cantonese i imagine), dutch and english, it says “DO NOT CONTAIN THE ANTISEPTIC” and “BEWARE OF CAN OPENING”

Jul 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Modern Humour Strips

The Brown Wedge1 comment • 560 views

The second half of the 20th Century was far less rich in great humour strips than the first half. Having said that, there were a couple that rank with the best ever.

The only place to start is with what was by far the dominant humour strip of that era, Peanuts. Charles Schulz throughly earned his place in the hearts of millions around the world, with one of the great casts of characters and some wonderfully subtle comedy writing. Some great humour writers would take pride in a strip being taken as against both sides of an argument; Schulz felt that way about one strip that was taken as in favour by both sides, the issue being prayer in school – I guess this is the difference between a satirist and someone with as much human warmth in his work as Schulz. Perhaps his artistic limitations would have been more exposed in earlier decades, when comic strips were a lot bigger, but he found a style that worked very well for him. Peanuts was a magnificent strip, particularly so soon after he’d found his stride, in the ’60s especially. In Charlie, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and Peppermint Patty in particular he created some of the best known and most loved comic characters ever.


Jul 08

You Best Believe I’m In Luv’ L-U-V-Apostrophe

FT3 comments • 413 views

Mentioned on the Brotherhood of Man Popular thread were Luv’ (the apostrophe is part of the name, yes) – manufactured Dutch late 70s pop designed to fill the gap in the market left when ABBA got all serious and technical and stopped doing songs about King Kong. Unlike the Brotherhood, their stuff – what I’ve heard, anyhow – is generally high-quality light pop without a hint of cynicism. Their songwriters lacked Benny and Bjorn’s sophistication or way with an English phrase but shared their multiple-hooks-for-your-money aesthetic: all these songs have plenty to enjoy.

First up we have perennial favourite “Shoes Off (Boots On)”, a brass-led anthem to going out on the town. Then “Trojan Horse”, an epic of disappointed love with bagpipes, and finally a ‘rocker’ in the form of “Don’t Let Me Down”, with lots of lovely little hooklets along the way.

Jul 08

BRIAN AND MICHAEL – “Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs”

FT + Popular81 comments • 11,030 views

#421, 8th April 1978

If Don McLean’s “Vincent” presents the romantic case against critical neglect, “Matchstalk Men” is its populist inverse. Instead of the complacent mass refusing to see genius through Van Gogh’s pain, here we have the snooty establishment admitting – too late! – that the Northern folk who adored L.S.Lowry were onto something. Brian and Michael score the win on solid pop grounds – their tune is better and their production is hotter. Well, Colliery Brass Bands are always hot in my world.


Jul 08

“I am sorry if this looks petty…”

FT14 comments • 660 views

Giles Coren, the UK’s Most Important Restaurant Critic, using a thousand words (some of them rude) to hurl his toys right in the faces of Times subs for their ruthless and thoughtless butchering of his precious, precious copy. WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE UNSTRESSED SYLLABLES.

KATE BUSH – “Wuthering Heights”

FT + Popular126 comments • 14,963 views

#420, 11th March 1978

I’ve never read Wuthering Heights, though I like to imagine its heroine does a pushy-arm dance at some point. Looking it up on Wikipedia, however, I was shocked to realise that Kate Bush is singing this song as a ghost, but really that’s just another oddness on a teetering pile of them: in a really excellent article on Bush for the late Stylus magazine, Marcello Carlin (hi dere!) points out that she is “the last musician to be allowed to do what she likes, as and when she likes”, and the precocious, precious “Wuthering Heights” is both evidence and justification for this indulgence.