Posts from January 2010

Jan 10

BIS WEEK: I Love This But I Don’t Know Why

FT1 comment • 283 views

For those of you who bristle at the prospect of Bis week, let’s break you in gently with a band that isn’t Bis at all (but is in the blessed business of Bis). data Panik formed from the sherbet ashes of Bis in 2005, only releasing two singles before rematerialising phoenix-style into two-dimensional animated versions of their original sugary selves. Short and sweet!


Similarities between the Internet and a dentist’s waiting room: II

FT4 comments • 208 views

And just what did the Internet look like when Bis’ major label debut Tell It To the Kids came out? In this post I present to you another piece of unearthed arcana, now that the BBC’s never-lamented “Gateway to the Stars” is no more.


It’s the BBC’s Politics ’97!

Screenshot of the BBC Politics 97 web site

Complete with Diana tribute! Poise yourself carefully between an outpouring of national grief and the latest in animated gif technology! Imagine a Labour Party that hadn’t lied about Iraq! See if any links aren’t broken!

Yall ready for Bis?

Jan 10


FT//7 comments • 1,347 views

Here at Freaky Trigger we have realised that January has been a bit slow with output. A new year can put new strains upon our writers and what with Tom’s Guardian column and me embarking on a year without cinema, pickings have been slim. What was needed was something that would galvanise all the writers, a shared passion, a subject with suitable artistic depth that that everyone young or old could contribute to. When framed in those terms there was really only one possible subject that in 2010 needed the kind of re-evaluation and celebration that only FT could provide.


Manda Rin, Sci-Fi Steve and John Disco’s manifesto for a Teen-C Revolution may now be generally forgotten in the merry-go-round of the British charts, but after BIS WEEK you will have no more illusions of the vital importance of this small Scottish band at the turn of the millennium. Ground breaking, historic and influential in fields that may surprise you, BIS WEEK will demonstrate the tendrils of Fake DIY which have infiltrated nearly every facet of the arts. From film, to books, to reality TV, to even the British food revolution of the 00’s, Bis can be seen to be the secret architects of so much that makes current life so interesting. (Hell, I believe one of us may even suggest that Bis basically invented the internet).


Jan 10

The Most Important Game Ever Made #23: Druuuuuuuuugs

FT + TMFD1 comment • 440 views

Been away for a while and will probably be away for a while longer, but I have a brief window to advance this now-glacial series a little further. So then, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds:

William Shatner’s version, given a little extra ‘treatment’ for the YouTube generation by videoist Paul Heriot. I remember Lee and Herring describing this as Shatner believing that he had to be on LSD in order to sing the song, and Heriot certainly seems to be running with that ball (and also the Star Elephant that will forever be in any room Shatner inhabits). Personally, I love Shatner’s vocals and I think this might be the perfect song for his somewhat unique stylings… but this is a series about Beatles Rock Band and not Shatner Session Band so we’ll move on.


Jan 10

The FT Top 25 Pubs of the 00s No 10: The Pakenham Arms, Mount Pleasant

Pumpkin Publog/8 comments • 940 views

There are two words that according to modern usage I pronounce wrong. I will hold my hand up to “Colander” – which I pronounce “cullander” to rhyme with Wallander* as a throwback to believing it etymology being tied to the cauliflower I often saw being drained in one. The other word I annoy everyone with pronounce differently (correctly) is the name of this pub. I give it the long A – to me it is the PAY KEN HAM. Everyone else says PACK EN HAM. But PACK EN HAM sounds a bit too harsh to me, a bit too much like Pack It IN! Which is part of the point of the Pakenham, it doesn’t ask you to pack it in at all. Indeed it is quite happy to let you drink well past midnight.

The Pakenham is a posties pub, backing on to the wasteland at the back of Mount Pleasant Sorting Office, and fifty percent of the drinkers there are usually postal workers. As such you would not be surprised to find big projected sports screens, a dartboard and plenty of rushed pint vertical drinking space. But its horseshoe bar also keeps its beers very well (I think of it as the spiritual home of Doom Bar in London), and the excellent bar staff know how to work their crowd.


Jan 10

Widmer Four Year Aged Cheddar – Cheesy Lover INTERCONTINENTAL #2

FT + Pumpkin Publog2 comments • 361 views

An annatto-coloured cheddar from Wisconsin

My second US cheese is a four year old cheddar. FOUR? That’s very old for a cheddar, I think. I’m expecting something dense and dry and crumbly, and thick with crunchy lactic crystals. But this cheese is moist and soft. It’s also been coloured with annatto, and is a vivid orange colour. I grew up in Ireland, where cheese (and lemonade) come in red and white varieties, so this doesn’t bother me a jot. My cheese-eating chum, brought up on wholesome, un-frivolously-coloured English cheddar, is somewhat perturbed by the bright block we’re about to sample.

It’s not as intense as I expect it to be. It’s very sharp, tart and bitter – it reminds me of lemon pith – but there’s not much more to the taste than that. I’m spoiled, these days, and used to intense farmhouse cheddars, with pockets of different flavours – a new cheese in every bite! – and enough character that you can tell what the cow ate for breakfast that day. And, yes, a good whomph of manure. This cheese is uniform, and bland beneath the lemony sharpness. I think it’s spent its four years in some cold sealed sterile place.

Jan 10

BERLIN – “Take My Breath Away”

FT + Popular61 comments • 8,800 views

#579, 8th November 1986, video

“Take My Breath Away” is hardly the first soundtrack ballad to get to #1. But even so it feels like the start of something, a harbinger of the soon-come glory age of the film tie-in, when balladosaurus rex bestrode the charts, roaring and beating its chest and weeping for week upon emotional week. Of course the evolution of this sonic megafauna was gradual. Play “Take My Breath Away” next to something later, and functionally similar, like “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing”, and “Breath” seems thoughtful, almost delicate.


Cheap Food We Love: Frozen Peas

FT + Pumpkin Publog8 comments • 902 views

Somehow we ended up discussing this in the pub last night and so I have been spurred into an uncharacteristically coherent posting.

Frozen peas are one of the most important foods of the modern age. No, listen, right; they’re technically a pulse so they contain protein and also they are green so they contain vitamins, maybe even some fibre. They’re good to eat AND good to put on your ankle after hilarious sports-related injuries at school. They are, in many ways, the ultimate super food and most importantly, they’re about 74p a bag.


Jan 10

What happens when there’s no Grand Designs on

FT2 comments • 256 views

Readers, I have spent today in the proverbial bin. Even a very large quantity of fry up could not prevent this and it is with some trepidation that I keep remembering I am going to have to put my hair under running water for awhile at some point. However, Mark’s also gone out and so rather than being able to mope around complaining that I’m dying, I’ve had to attempt to distract myself with television, the internet’s rigour having been deemed too challenging right now. Somehow, this seems to have turned into “watching the entire of Wartime Kitchen and Garden” on whatever channel 19 of Freeview is. In an effort to pretend that this was in some way important research and not just me secretly quite enjoying it, I feel there are a few points I should bring up regarding this, in case anyone else too ruined to roll over and switch off the telly until the channel actually went dead for the night has also been pondering these serious issues.


Jan 10

The FT Top 25 Pubs of the 00s No 11: Trinity Arms, Brixton

FT + Pumpkin Publog///5 comments • 1,068 views / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Trinity is the only pub outside Zone 1* on this list. That’s not to say that we are a bunch of central London fanatics, but it is where we pretty much all work and, therefore, where we’ve spent most evenings in the pub. I’d left the Exmouth by the time this stage in proceedings had been reached so I’m a little short on the main thrust of the arguments that got the Trinity this far up the list, but I can tell you about what I like about it:

It’s the nicest pub in Brixton

And when you’re faced with a three hour gap between the end of work and halfway through the second support at the Academy that’s all you can ask for really. Because it is the location of the Trinity, only a ten minute walk from the Brixton Academy that led it to being visited, never mind nominated. The only time I’ve been here and not gone on to a gig was when The Specials cancelled at half 5. But this is damning with faint praise, they do a cracking pint of Ordinary, the service is good, they serve big portions of decent food and have a nice beer garden out the back if you are some sort of beast of the field. Much like the Pineapple in Kentish Town it does seem to have become the haunt of A Certain Type Of Gig Goer, but then that’s maybe because I’m only going to Certain Types Of Gigs (and I freely admit to fitting the profile of the Certain Type)…

There was one night, just after the smoking ban came in (I’m thinking the night of the Carter gig?), when I arrived quite early (what? I was EXCITED!) to find that they’d replaced the carpet right through the pub and all you could smell was NEW CARPET, it was the weirdest thing, like drinking in Allied…

Beer In The Evening
Randomness Guide to London

*sorry non-Londoners, but this includes you too. Although apart from the Three Goats Heads and the Turf in Oxford, the Windmill in Stansted Airport and the Brothers Bar at Glastonbury I can’t think of many non-London bouzers where a gang of FT contributors have been there at the same time. Oh, I suppose DBA in New York and the Small Bar in Chicago should get honourable mentions…