Posts from April 2010

Apr 10

Pop World Cup Update & Ro16 Preview

FT6 comments • 338 views

So after nearly three months of managerial mind games and exciting encounters the group stage is finally complete. Sixteen sides have been eliminated and sixteen sides remain. To confirm, the draw for the second round is as follows:

1. South Africa vs Korea Republic
2. Nigeria vs France
3. USA vs Germany
4. Ghana vs Slovenia
5. Netherlands vs Paraguay
6. New Zealand vs Cameroon
7. Portugal vs Honduras
8. Spain vs Cote d’Ivoire

Ecstasy: Honduran pop fans party on the streets, Ghana's glee at winning streak

We’ve had a few shocks in the tournament so far – much fancied teams like England, Brazil, Japan and Italy crashing out while relative minnows Slovenia and Honduras have endured, and not just because the fans love an underdog or surprise package. As unlucky as some sides were not to progress, those that have did so on merit. Of course the draw, both on paper and in practice, has been more favourable to some than others but that’s all in the game.

Agony: European champs Switzerland aghast at flopping, sadfaces all round in the Argentina camp

The imminent Round of 16 sees no all-European clashes, with only five out of thirteen European sides remaining. In general the lack of intercontinental ties at this stage demonstrates how Pop is the true global game. As far as continental integrity and fan favour goes, Africa lead with five out of six sides still in the contest. Each one can be considered a strong contender to go all the way. Ghana’s 100% record (being the only team to win all three of their group matches) in particular is not to be sniffed at but other teams are only just starting to hit form and we could see even better performances from those who saved their best just for if or when they really needed it. That time is now, as a draw is no longer enough and a higher share of the vote is a WIN no matter how narrow.

Follow the results on the Pop World Cup site, keep listening and voting in the matches as they appear on Freaky Trigger and we welcome feedback from all spectators.

Pop World Cup – Weekend Update – Goodbye to Groups

Pop World Cup Podcast1 comment • 247 views

With the winning teams resting and limbering up for the trials ahead, Roger Bozack takes time out from the putting green to share some of his favourite efforts from those nations who found themselves left out in the cold when all the votes were counted. Some truly admirable and inventive play here and in most cases you have to say these countries left it all out on the field. I think I can speak for Roger when I say thanks, dudes, for some brain-bending tracks.

Produced by Elisha Sessions.

Apr 10

Eating fromage in Paris (part 1)

FT + Pumpkin Publog2 comments • 325 views

Paris is fantastic for the cheese-obsessed. It’s littered with cheese shops vending a huge variety of French cheeses (and a tiny smattering of imported ones).

Bleu d’Causses

This is a cow’s milk cousin of Roquefort, and it looks the part; a moist damp slab of cheese riddled with big greeny-grey pockets of mould. It might be a tad yellower than a Roquefort, but that’s the biggest difference in appearance.

It tastes spicy and salty and intense, numbing my mouth and ruining my tastebuds for the next cheese. The texture’s buttery and smooth. The rind tastes less fiercely blue, and is slightly pungent with unexpected peachy flavours.

FT’s very own Pete declares that it ‘tastes like Big Mac special sauce – in a good way’. (I, of course, have never tasted Big Mac special sauce.)


Apr 10

Pop World Cup – Weekend Update 2 – The Votening

FT4 comments • 419 views

Here’s another chance to catch up on the busiest part of the Pop World Cup, with all the voting for Groups E F G and H in one handy place…


Pop World Cup – Weekend Update – E F G and H

Pop World Cup Podcast1 comment • 414 views

Sixteen songs in thirty minutes! It’s like lunch in a pill. Roger Bozack and Peter Baran race through this week’s jam-packed schedule to bring you foreshortened highlights of some matches and extended musing on others. This week the Federacion de Football de Pop Eff Ayyy (I think I’ve got that right) has sent its administrative adjutant, Tim Hopkins, along to share with us his juicy behind the scenes secrets. We cover Denmark v Japan, Cameroon v Netherlands, Slovakia v Italy, Paraguay v New Zealand (though Paraguay’s effort is hampered by bitrate injuries), Portugal v Brazil, Korea DPR v Cote d’Ivoire, Chile v Spain and Switzerland v Honduras all get a look in. Whew! You can vote on them all in this handy post. Next week is a clip show.

Produced by Elisha Sessions.

Apr 10

T’PAU – “China In Your Hand”

Popular67 comments • 6,457 views

#600, 14th November 1987, video

When I was small we had one of those boxy Minis with a wood-framed chassis. It was a fine car I’m sure – my Aunt took it from us in the late 70s and gave it a good run before it finally died. But there was always something ungainly about it, and looking back it’s odd to remember these machines which mixed metal and timber in a way that seems now quite un-car-like.

And “China In Your Hand” gives me the same feeling. This is a power ballad which hasn’t come out sleek and thunderous, it’s come out lumpy and awkward and lashed together with incongruous bits of wood.


Pop World Cup 2010: Group H – Switzerland 0 Honduras 2

FT/13 comments • 636 views

It’s tight down here at the very end of the group stages but nothing’s decided yet. Switzerland, managed by Greg F have just one point but a win here could see them through (assuming other results go their way). Honduras (Carsmile Steve’s babies) have three points right now, and a win sees them through, while a draw will leave them biting their nails and looking at the Chile score.

This match closes at midnight on Wednesday 21st April


Pop World Cup 2010: Group H – Chile 0 Spain 0

FT/12 comments • 763 views

Group H is here, and today’s games mark the end of the popglut which has been this last set of games in the last qualifying round. This game features Alberto’s Spain side, six points out of six and qualification in the bag, against JEL’s Chile side with one point so far – Chile can progress, but they need a win and they need a favourable result in the Honduras game.

This match closes at midnight on Wednesday 21st April


Apr 10

Nick Clegg Rages Impotently From Within The Machine

FT9 comments • 476 views

That is the hidden truth that this Facebook group is trying to dodge. Instead they want you to make a link between Rage Against The Machine and Liberal Democrats. And I cannot help but think this is both the most brilliant piece of Lib Dem campaigning I have seen yet, and the most terrible. The parallel between voting Lib Dem and buying that Rage Against The Machine record are not as wild as one might think. Even on a glib level there is a sheer parallel between trying to topple the done deal of X Factor Christmas number ones and the done deal of a Labour/Tory victory. OK, we aren’t going to see Nick Clegg saying fuck five time on Radio 5 Live, but if Nicky Campbell can reveal his own true name on the radio anything can happen.

If anything characterised the Rage Against The Machine campaign it was its genuine goodnaturedness from the central organisers. Sure it attracted a lot of anti-pop rhetoric and personal insults slung at Simon Cowell, who was big enough and high waisted enough to take them. But there was a central charity motive, the dudes in charge were sheepishly enthused and there was a sense of testing the people power aspects of trying out this social networking thing. But also at the heart of the matter IT DIDN’T MATTER. Sure to a few people, ITV and whatever his name was wot won it might have been a bit annoying, but the nation was just titillated by an interesting news story. On the Facebook page there is a stab at emulating this good natured bonhomie, but also a sense that the whole thing underestimates the very importance of an election.

“Also, the group wasn’t set up by lib dems, it was set up by Ben Stockman. He sent Jon Morter (creator of the RATM group) an email asking if he would mention the group. Jon Morter liked the idea… and that’s how it took off!! “


Pop World Cup 2010: Group G – Portugal 2 Brazil 1

FT/20 comments • 801 views

Portugal and Brazil share a language and a complex colonial and post-colonial history. Today, however, they share a pop-football pitch, and both sides are still hoping to qualify  for the next round. Job de Wit’s Portugal need a win to be sure to progress (though a draw might do); Brazil and Chris A need a win, PLUS the other result in the group going their way. Everything is still to play for here.

This match closes at midnight on Tuesday 20th April