Posts from September 2009
It’s ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, guest-starring the Uptight BBC Voiceover Man:
Don’t criticise what you can’t understand, square-o.
Pop’s flight to quality continues apace – Stevie Wonder’s harmonica solo on this song is his fourth appearance on a UK No.1 within a year. The mid-80s were a time for safe musical investments, and vintage black pop became the safest of all – who could go wrong with soul? On the Eurythmics’ parent album Aretha Franklin herself took a turn. She and Wonder lent an air of borrowed distinction to the band’s more classicist proceedings – a risky effect, casting pop stars as social climbers on the ladder of taste.
One of the really glorious bits of early-decade fusion pop: a Neptunes beat, a dancehall star, a supersweet pop-R&B chorus from Mya, everything bubbling and blending in the summer heat.
But that beat! The Neptunes could be frustrating, especially when the whole NERD thing got going, but their best stuff just seemed miles beyond anyone else. As in, even as someone who’s never tried to put a beat together, the Neptunes stuff was baffling, so ramshackle and thin it ought not to work and yet…
And we’re back.
The Beatlebots continue to rock the Ed Sullivan show with ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, which the actual Beatles never played on the show, at any time, ever. Beatles, Cheatles more like etc etc etc… actually, at this point, I’m beyond caring about the deceit and the fakery and the lies upon lies. Let the myth-making commence.
Cheese stats: Raw cow’s milk, semi-hard cheese from Switzerland, bought from KäseSwiss
This cheese has a dark, crumbly, dusty grey rind, and contrasting pale creamy yellow interior.
The inside of this cheese is BEEFY – a huge blast of umami dominates the taste initially; lots of bovrilly, marmiteish intenseness – it reminds me of beef broth. This fades into a creamy yoghurtyness as the cheese melts. (It melts surprisingly easily for a semi-hard cheese.) There’s a fruitiness skirting the edges of the beef; cheese-eating chum is reminded of sour green apples, and I am tasting a hint of pineapple and a smidge of grass. The impressively pitted rind tastes musty; undergrowth, compost bins and leaf mould. I really like it, but this might be an acquired taste. It comes partially wrapped in cloth (which I do not eat, not being a goat), so maybe this rind isn’t really meant for eating.
Conclusion: Really meaty! This is a pretty tasty cheese. It feels like a winter cheese; intense and hearty. I’d like to try melting it on top of French onion soup, or making it into warming cheese toast
As I mentioned when we talked about “I’m Still Waiting”, most pop songs about lost childhood loves take them far too seriously – the magnifying power of pop turns some tweenage crush into a life’s great lost opportunity. An adult listener is more likely to feel pity than sympathy.
I had “Frankie” in mind in that discussion – I’d disliked it more than any other record of the time, and not revisited it since: I remembered it as pleading and cloying at the same time. I was quite unfair: if anything this is pop’s most accurate recollection of a lost early sweetheart – rose-tinted memories tumbling back with surprise, slight regret but no great pain.
The Dictionary of Drink has the noble aim of being ‘a guide to every type of beverage’ and is the kind of thing one can happily browse for hours during a lazy session in the pub. We found a copy in the very fine King Charles I off Cally Road and signs were initially good as all the seasonal variations of Hooch were accounted for. However, it quickly became apparent that the authors’ research had been somewhat slapdash.
Dreams: a funny old business. I have particularly vivid and bonkers ones and always have, with lurid M C Esher-gets-drunk-with-Dali vertigo ones a speciality. I had always attributed these to my generally going to bed slightly the worse for wear, once I hit adulthood but since have recently cut this down I’ve realised my subconscious must just not have a very imaginative grasp of metaphor at 4am.*
Band Aid and USA For Africa had established one form of the charity single: a stellar alignment. The biggest names available, coming together on a solemn and unique occasion, performing a specially-composed song that spoke to the magnitude of the situation. This was all fine but it couldn’t scale down. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” set out a more typical working model – a shock troop of names, a just cause, a song everyone knew.
19 Buddy Acts Whose Names Were Deemed Interesting Enough To Be The Title Of The Show Despite Not Actually Being Notable At All
HARDCASTLE AND McCORMICK Remember them? Early eighties Stephen J.Cannell buddy show. The sit being Hardcastle was a retired judge, McCormick his last case, and together they chased down criminals who had slipped through the legal system to catch them in the act. Law & Order second chance division. The show had gimmicks galore, a nice sportscar, and a gruff relationship between the leads .but it got me thinking, what is there about its name that would make you watch it. HARDCASTLE AND McCORMICK!!!! How long were they spitballing that title around to make people watch it? Was there a suggestion in the name that this would be a HARD show, spiky long names in lieu of characterisation.
Instead look at The Scarecrow And Mrs King. That is an intriguing title from the get go. Why would Mrs King (ordinary name) be hanging out with someone/thing called The Scarecrow? And are you willing to give the show ten minutes of your time to find out? Maybe Little And Large, Cannon and Ball or even Smith and Jones were not your cup of tea, but the names describe aspects of their acts. (Smith and Jones really were that dull.)
In the understanding that nothing is done randomly in TV, or indeed any artform, here are another 18 double acts with unremarkable names. And a few theories behind the naming.