Posts from 16th July 2008

16
Jul 08

Stuff Written By Me You Can’t Read Yet

FTPost a comment • 131 views

1. My contribution to Da Capo Best Music Writing 2008 (actually you can read this, since it’s one of my Pitchfork Poptimist columns from last year. But to maintain a figleaf of commercial appeal I am not saying which!).

2. My dozen contributions to The Pitchfork 500, the 500 greatest tracks of the last 30 years. I am excited about reading the rest of this too! I am pretty sure I am not allowed to say which tracks I wrote about, but they include 2 from 1980, 1 from 1982, 1 from 1986, 4 from 1990, 1 from 1993, 1 from 1995, 1 from 1999 and 1 from 2001.

3. My next Popular entry – sorry everyone. But in an eerie coincidence ALL THREE of these upcoming things are… linked!

That’s enough hype!

Kung Fu Panda Hustle

FT2 comments • 603 views

Before I get to the meat and potatoes (noodles and dumplings) of this article, I want to point out something truly amazing about Kung Fu Panda. It is a kids film, with a fat, over-eating hero, forced often into bizarre and contortionist body positions. It is a film where said over-eating is latterly claimed as a positive part of the pandas Kung Fu style. And yet at no point does this film ever deploy either a sing burp or fart in its comedy ARSEnal. Indeed it is frightening the degree of scatological humour there is in cinema that I was shocked by its absence. Kung Fu Panda is a sweet, clean piece of goodness which manages to also be hyper-violent and beautiful to look at.

I don’t mind a bit of fart humour really, but it is everywhere like a bad smell. And frankly casting Jack Black, a man who is never backwards in pushing himself for the baser laugh, seemed like a bad sign. But, with perhaps the exception of the overuse of the word “awesome” Black manages to completely vanish into the role of Po the gentle, kung-fu fanboy panda. It helps obviously that he is just doing the voice and a CGI panda has been employed for the job.

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Who Aggregates the Aggregator Aggregators?

Do You See + FT + Proven By Science/4 comments • 222 views

And perhaps more importantly – who cares? If the impending closure of the obnoxiously “Web 2.0” BBC Sound Index this Friday is any guide, the answer is pretty clear.

Oh sure, the site boasts more than 22 million “comments, posts, plays and views”, but those comments and posts are all from OTHER sites like YouTube, last.fm, iTunes, myspace, and the like. Sound Index sent automated “robot” scripts to these sites looking for the names of bands, fed what it found into some kind of magic algorithm, and produced a constantly updated list of the 1000 buzziest bands on the planet. Or well, the English-speaking planet. Probably. Slap some shiny, gumdrop-like buttons on the results, organise things with a direct rip-off of the iTunes “Coverflow” feature and hey presto.. well, what exactly?

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