Posts from April 2010
I’ll tell you what pop’s missing at the moment and that’s rivalries. Not feuds, we have plenty of feuds, there’s a feud a day on Twitter I think. Feuds are great but the emphasis is on the stars themselves and what they think or feel. Rivalries are different. They’re about the fans, about what stars mean on a social level.
The great necessary thing about rivalries is that if you’re an outsider they should baffle you a bit. Take That and East 17 – seriously? What’s the difference? They’re both boy bands right, both manufactured, you shouldn’t be listening to either of them, you should be listening to oh, I don’t know, Consolidated or something. And isn’t the rivalry all a hype thing anyway? I had those conversations a few times in 1993.
A washed rind cow’s cheese from Co Cork, Ireland, bought from Neal’s Yard Dairy.
We have a wedge of this – an old favourite of mine – for lunch. The crumbly rind is a pale peachy, biscuity orange, and the paste inside’s gloriously liquid and drippy, oozing out and making puddles on the paper.
The cheese is wonderfully smooth and silky, and it tastes salty, nutty, and caramel-ish sweet. There’s a hint of rancid butter, smidges of yeast and mushroom, and a bit of chewy pungent meatiness. But there’s a more delicate flavour underlying the typical hearty washed rind – a mysterious and delicate taste that reminds me of roses, and my cheese-eating chum of tangerines. The rind’s got a grittiness that makes me think of cheesecake base and digestive biscuit crumbs – and it’s in the rind that those mysterious floral notes come to the fore. It tastes of turkish delight and buttercups, kumquat rind and wild strawberries. These are fragile flavours. I’m impressed that they manage to stand out against the mighty, meaty pungency of Brevibacterium linens‘s washed rind sockish whiff, and I’m delighted with the unexpected – and delicious – contrast.
Among the millions of ways to convince people to buy things, two strategies have really taken off in the last several years. The first is when a product promises to be so great that it will make you literally insane. We’ll get to that one in a bit. For now let’s talk about the other one – when a product promises to play the role of a sex worker in your life.
Sometimes in the middle of a long tournament you pause for breath, you think about the time you’re spending on all these games, look at the sun shining outside, consider all the other stuff you could be doing and you think to yourself “man alive I’m enjoying this tournament!”
We’re halfway through the round of sixteen now, the challenges are crunching and the pop football is being played as it should be played. Onwards to victory! And defeat, obviously.
This match closes at midnight on Thursday 6th May
We’re back to live action this week as senior pop analyst and USA manager Peter Baran joins Roger Bozack for the kickoff of the Round of 16. With every match a decider, the managers are pulling out all the stops, breaking out the big guns, i.e. playing really good songs. This week our hosts take in all the action from France vs Nigeria, USA vs Germany, South Korea vs South Africa, and Ghana vs Slovenia. (As broadcast on Resonance FM 104.4 in London.)
Produced by Elisha Sessions.
Pressure. Seasoned PWC-watchers love to see the way the pressure begins to play on the managers as the tournament progresses. Most of the time, the standard of the music doesn’t suffer, but the managers suffer plenty, spending time second guessing their opponents’ formations and the crowd’s preferences. It seems to be telling on Pete Baran (USA) and Andrew Hickey (Germany) in their various ways, they’re cutting conflicting figures at the press conference, one rather manic, the other apparently dejected…
This match closes at midnight on Wednesday 5th May
The Official Charts Company have launched their new portal, which (if you dig about a bit), offers week-by-week archived charts going back to 1960 with links to buy where such a thing is possible.
The centrepiece of the portal though is of course the charts themselves. All thirty-three of them. Yes, THIRTY-THREE. The OCC do an awful lot of work it seems and I suspect go mostly unthanked for it. So when you’re asked “Who’s at Number One?” you could happily answer any of the following:
Mark and Eli very kindly helped me with this entry in my It Took Seconds MP3 blogging project, a performance (and something of a bastardisation!) of John Cage’s most famous piece.
Isabel’s South Africa team stormed through Group A, only dropping points once they’d qualified, and even then to the pop might of France. Chris R steered Korea Republic, to second place in Group B despite being early favourites. It’s often said that when teams start strongly they run out of steam, while teams who build their form through the tournament are at their best in the later stages.Who’ll grab the momentum with a quarter-final place on offer?
This match closes at midnight on Monday 3rd May
Now the massive popglut of the final group stages is over, we return to a more sedate pace, though the pressure is by no means off the managers. Big beasts are everywhere. There are no easy games at this level, and there are no second chances. This is particularly true given that 50.01% is a winning score from now on (the procedure for precise 50-50 finishes is to be published later).
In our first game of the Round of 16 (swapped into being the first for administrative reasons, sorry for any confusion), we see a mighty clash between to much-fancied competitors: The Lex’s France against Matt DC’s Nigeria.
Fifteen more games. Thirty more songs. The excitement is growing.
This match closes at midnight on Sunday 2nd May