Posts from April 2009

24
Apr 09

Five “Popular” Posts That Don’t Have Comments Yet

FTPost a comment • 248 views

Just sayin’ like

“Rock N Roll Waltz”
“A Woman In Love”
“Just Walkin’ In The Rain”
“Jailhouse Rock” (!!)
“It’s Only Make Believe”

Oh – and also, if you missed it, you can see the developing “FT Readers Top 100” Number Ones list on the Populist page.

23
Apr 09

LEWIS!

Do You See + FT18 comments • 338 views

* I contend that there has been a vampire film released every year since 1919, and whilst I contend this with no proof, I contend it with the same certainty that I could run a marathon. Its plain to me that vampires are an all pervading myth and one particularly suitable to cinematic representation. The special powers are pretty easy to represent (a bit of gas, a flip cut to a bat), and since the main power is charisma, its the monster vain stars most like to play. Look at Tom Cruise!

So with such a commonly represented fiend as the vampire clogging up our screens at least annually if not more, the challenge comes to make them interesting. Its a challenge often dropped, looking at endless rehashes of Dracula. And post Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s comprehensive deconstruction of all that is vampire, where is there to go? Well perhaps back to the well, back to the source. And I don’t mean Dracula, but rather folk tales about the others who move in and are a bit weird. Which brings us to Let The Right One In, a Swedish vampire film which is both thoroughly traditional and yet novel enough to be revitalising for the genre*. Because what has been lost in the gradual but absolute monsterfication of the vampire is that at its heart a vampire is seductive BECAUSE we want to be one. It is the great paradox at the heart of Buffy as soon as any the vampires were given any personality or agency. If vampires can choose to be evil, then they can choose to be good, and therefore a vampire is just a superpowered human with a dodgy diet.

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22
Apr 09

MUSICAL YOUTH – “Pass The Dutchie”

FT + Popular64 comments • 5,568 views

#508, 2nd October 1982

I swear I never even knew what drugs were…UNTIL I HEARD MUSICAL YOUTH. The rumour swept round school sometime after their Blue Peter appearance: the song isn’t about a “cooking pot” at all, it’s about… the other kind of pot. Did this fill us with new-found respect for Musical Youth and their song? Absolutely not, we all hated it. So instead what we believed was that while we, posh white boys from Surrey, knew about the “real meaning” of “Pass The Dutchie”, Musical Youth themselves were such chumps that they’d recorded the song in all innocence.

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20
Apr 09

A Luxurient Bubble Bath Of – er – Shit

Do You See + FT1 comment • 267 views

If the four previous films I saw over the Easter weekend made up a long, but definite shower of shit, it is difficult to categorise Crank 2: High Voltage. Because, yes, on many levels it too is shit. But it knows that going in, and therefore has no excuses about that. Whilst it spends nearly every minute of its running time being nihilistically violent, offensive, sexist, racist, homophobic and eyeachingly difficult to watch, it embraces all of these things with such gusto that it is hard to actually be offended. Jason Statham’s Chev Chelios is a force of nature, like a hurricane, and whilst none of his actions are in anyway justifiable there is an inexorable charm to his gonzo adventures (and the fact that the villains are even more cartoonishly evil). Indeed Chev is not evil, you just get the feeling he wants to be left alone.

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SURVIVOR – “Eye Of The Tiger”

FT + Popular75 comments • 4,276 views

#507, 4th September 1982

Before I talk about Survivor I’m going to talk about me a little. Skip down a few paragraphs if you don’t care.

There. Now, I was lucky enough to have a happy childhood. And from mid ’82 to late ’84 it was at its happiest. Not dramatically joyful or anything, not eventful even – just the simple, hassle- and hormone-free happiness of the boy of 9 or 10 who knows what he enjoys and has the space and security to get on with it. Simple, nerdy stuff. Books. The BBC Micro. Camping trips. School projects. Youth theatre groups. Doctor Who. Dungeons & Dragons. The radio.

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19
Apr 09

The Shower Of Shit Begins: 4: Dragonballs

Do You See + FT2 comments • 355 views

I have a theory about Dragonball: Evolution. I believe it was completely funded for by the Christian Right Wing in the US. OK, so it seems to espouse a theology which runs counter to that in the Bible, but kids that already like the Dragonball manga and anime so you can’t stop it straight away. What you can do however is
a) spoil their memory and experience of the Dragonball series by making a hopelessly hamfisted movie
b) confuse the kiddies about Evolution by appending this wholly unsuitable word to the title.

The main reason I went to see this film, despite being forewarned by ever sign that it would be terrible, was to be old. Namely, the whole Dragonball phenomenon is one which has completely passed me by. Just as well, you might say, you are thirty five and this is for kids. Nevertheless I remember going to the see the recent X-Men films, or even Transformers and knowing enough about their respective origins that the interest was in how they were going to make the complex backstories work. Could a new, complex, kid aimed franchise with multiple characters with multiple backstories and multiple powers make sense and also be a good movie.

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18
Apr 09

Freaky Trigger and the Lollards of Pop – Series 3, Week 7

Lollards Podcast63 comments • 1,081 views

“The Trouble With Pop” – a conversation between Tom Ewing, Hazel Robinson, Alex Macpherson and Pete Baran. Featuring Bat for Lashes, Mastodon, Lady Sovereign, Blackout Crew, Gucci Mane and Girls Aloud.

Vote Early Vote Often

FT + Popular15 comments • 889 views

Thanks to Alan for introducing a HOTT NEW FEATURE to Popular. You can now give a mark out of 10 to each individual track*, thus CROWDSOURCING the overall opinion of the Popular massive and making the whole thing more interactive etc etc.

I think this is fab! You have to be logged in to do it though. What better reason to register? (We won’t give your email to The Man, or do anything with it at all in fact.)

*Currently this is only enabled for the last n tracks, where n is a number that Alan knows and I don’t. But if it doesn’t screw up our back-end we’ll extend this to all of ’em.

hauntoMAGOGraphy: interim offcuts

FT//////Post a comment • 851 views

solomonie two books by james that aren’t ghost stories, and another book that isn’t by james

i: Old Testament Legends:being stories out of some of the less-known apochryphal books of the old testament, by montague rhodes james, which i bought a facsimile copy of about six weeks ago and now it has rather sinisterly VANISHED oo er — illustrations by the great h.j.ford (see left, “solomon summons a demon”)
ii: the new testament vol.1, edited by m. j. james, assisted by delia lyttelton, engravings by eric gill, which i just gathered in from the room-full of books my aunt c is about to give to charity
iii: a copy (from same source) of w.h.ainsworth’s “old st pauls: a tale of the plague and the fire“, a 19th-century novel about treasurehunting and urban conflagration in the 17th century, very briefly mentioned in “canon alberic

more on these when i find where i put i and have time to read ii and iii

17
Apr 09

The Secret Of Abba – SQUEEZ BACON

FT + Pumpkin Publog/1 comment • 524 views

As deliberate foodologists we cannot wait for the arrival of SQUEEZ BACON in the UK. The difficulty of proper bacon, however well cured, is its intractability when it comes to being spreadable, and the difficulty in writing your name with it. As we all know bacon is a malleable and portable substance ideal for squirtyisation, so it amazes us that no-one has realised the paradigm shift in a jar.

No artificial additives or preservatives and a shelf life of twelve years (though I reckon I’d get through a jar a week) it really is the pasty gift that keeps on giving. As the creator Vilhelm Lillefläsk says “Aldrig kommer att ge dig upp!” Which we believe translates as “Never gonna give you up”. On assumes SQUEEZ BACON is also unlikely to let you down, run around or desert you. Though you can put it on your dessert.

Nevertheless the jar does make excessive claims about its powers, including :”it’s rumoured ABBA met while eating Squeez Bacon® sandwiches?”. Now I don’t want to pour dairylea on their squeezy bacony parade but everyone knows the members of ABBA met after getting their respective bumper cars entangled at a funfair in Stockholm.

Though perhaps I could offer the suggestion of aerosolising it is as well. BACON WHIZZ…