Posts from August 2010

Aug 10

The Friday Last FM Quiz – THE RESULTS!

FT8 comments • 378 views

A couple of Fridays ago I set a simple quiz for FT readers – name the most-played Last.FM tracks of these 20 acts. 13 people replied, and here are the answers!

MGMT: The answer is “Kids”. 9 out of 13 people got this, the rest said “Time To Pretend” (#2). Not a bad start!

Lady Gaga: The answer is “Poker Face”. 6 people got this. Other choices were “Bad Romance” (which HAS now topped it but at the time of the update was #2), “Alejandro” (#4), “Just Dance” (#6) and “Telephone” (down at #20, an obvious victim of the ‘featuring’ curse)


Aug 10

I rather regret putting that in my mouth (cheesy lover special WRONG FOOD edition)

FT + Pumpkin Publog/9 comments • 625 views

Asda’s summer stilton might be the pinnacle of cheese-with-stuff-in wrongness. It’s white stilton with – can I remember this? can I ever forget it? – white chocolate, vanilla, orange peel, and peach. I needed to try it.

And while I was there, I noticed that Asda also sold something billed as the Ultimate Chocolate Cheese – Wensleydale with Belgian milk chocolate liberally scattered through it. So I sorta, umm, ended up buying that too.


JASON DONOVAN – “Too Many Broken Hearts”

Popular73 comments • 6,555 views

#624, 11th March 1989

As a pop star, Jason Donovan had two big problems. The first was his singing, which we’ll get to, but the second was that Stock Aitken And Waterman didn’t seem to have much idea what to do with him. Kylie couldn’t sing terribly well either, but she immediately turned out to be a missing piece in the PWL puzzle: a girl who could be ordinary without being boring. It helped that she’d had a few years experience as an actress doing exactly that, too.


Aug 10

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #3 THE INVISIBLE ENEMY

FTPost a comment • 222 views

or “i KNOW what noetic means!

… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community and from now on also crossposted at FT.

it appears that LOVE(<–so-called)film are MESSING WITH MINE HEAD, since of the 30-odd whos I ordered, the first three have been 4s, and this one is the DAWNING OF THE SATANIC REIGN OF K9, aka The Invisible Enemy >:(however i shall buckle down like a good sponge


Aug 10

SIMPLE MINDS – “Belfast Child”

Popular136 comments • 11,736 views

#623, 25th February 1989

The facts: “Belfast Child” is a song written by Jim Kerr in grief and anger after the atrocity of the 1987 Enniskillen bombing, built on a traditional Irish folk tune. “I’m not saying I have any pearls of wisdom,” he’s quoted on Wikipedia as saying, “But I have a few questions to ask.”

Noble intentions rarely translate into effective outcomes. There are an awful lot of cynical and rude things one could say about “Belfast Child”. They might involve words like “stupefying”, “leaden”, and “is that the time”. Or indeed, “desperate”, “wannabe” and “Bono”.


Aug 10

guess my theory: guess that tune

FT9 comments • 309 views

Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Is all my brain and body need
Sex and drugs and rock and roll
Are very good indeed

(Ian Dury and the Blockheads)


You’ve got to fight for what you want
For all that you believe
It’s right to fight for what we want
To live the way we please

As long as we have done our best
Then no one can do more
And life and love and happiness
Are well worth fighting for

(themetune to The Flashing Blade)

(I googled about a bit, without success, to see if this was a well-known spot: in the movie, the fellow playing chaz jankel says “you stole that from somewhere!” to the fellow playing gollum dury, with a big grin… )

Lightning review of film: the visual direction is so sophisticatedly smart and witty — full of jokes about the relationship of punk design to pop art, barney bubbles to peter blake, the videos jankel’s sister annabel would shortly direct — that it’s a bit of a let-down the script is so VERY much a classic and conventional biopic, in which BIG TRAUMATIC EVENTS from childhood SHAPE EVERYTHING, from songs on out…

Aug 10

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #2 THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT

FTPost a comment • 177 views

or “the invasion of the stiperstones

… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community and from now on also crossposted at FT.

in a strange symmetry, the second story i got was THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT: last time the Ruton Earth invasion was foiled from a lonely and isolated spot, with only a handful of somewhat dispensible earth onlookers to “help” and be “helped” — well turn and turn about, bcz now it’s the eternal Ruton foe, the Sontarans (and it’s Earth in the far future rather than the recent past, when all London is become a be-heathered hilly outcrop) (also: THIS is apparently the ep that drew mary whitehouse’s fierce ire!)


Aug 10

Guardian Columns Archive

FT4 comments • 280 views

Since January I’ve been doing a column in the Guardian every fortnight. These are written for a slightly different audience than my loveable pop-crazy readers here, and it’s also the first time I’ve written regularly for print (web to print is a much bigger shift than unedited to edited, by the way). Even so I thought it might be nice for FT readers who like my stuff to get access to all of them – and frankly it’s useful for me having links in one place too.

The remit of the column is that I’m meant to be jumping off from something that’s happening now – sometimes this is more central to the piece than others.

1. Cheap music and the ‘event single’ (Singles overtake album sales)
2. Indie rock and indirectness. (Spoon’s Transference)
3. The randomness of virality (OK Go griping at their label).
4. What critics get wrong and why (Fall Out Boy split)
5. What does ‘new music’ mean anyway? (6 Music brouhaha)
6. Three types of revivalism (Alphabeat and Goldfrapp LPs)
7. Fans as industry stakeholders (UK Music report on UK industry)
8. Why we want politicians to suck at pop (UK election campaign)
9. Global pop v world music (The Ayobaness! compilation)
10. Pop as a coalition (UK election aftermath)
11. The car-crash that is the UK’s Eurovision strategy (er, Eurovision)
12. Different kinds of populism. (Dizzee’s football single.)
13. Summer jams and the longing for ubiquity. (Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”)
14. Lo-fi as a post-industry survival strategy. (Wavves, Sleigh Bells)
15. The aesthetics of glut (Wiley’s 200 track giveaway)
16. Grown-up-ness in pop (Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs)

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #1 THE HORROR OF FANG ROCK

FT2 comments • 430 views

or “leela i have made a terrible mistake

being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community and from now on also crossposted at FT.

In a bid to recoup many unused months of lovefilm subs, i have back-ordered a squillion random old DW eps — the first to arrive being THE HORROR OF FANG ROCK, in which a LONELY VICTORIAN LIGHTHOUSE is menaced by an HUNDRED YEAR OLD EGG which can CLIMB WALLS but is POOR ON STAIRS

Initial disclaimer: as is known I am not really a fan of 4, so this is watched through that lens — of reassessing my massive teenage prejudice (i was 17 when this first aired; i certainly watched the eps where leela first became a companion, but cannot recall if i ever saw this before)


Aug 10

MARC ALMOND WITH GENE PITNEY – “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”

Popular89 comments • 9,579 views

#622, 28th January 1989

Reaction amongst friends at the time was a sort of bemused approval: it was a Good Thing for this kind of record to get to number one, but nobody really seemed to love it, and the Pitney/Almond team up was faintly baffling. Of course, that was the odd-couple appeal of it: a gentleman from some ancient past allied to a leathered perv from a more recent one. And even though I remembered “Tainted Love”, in the bright world of Kylie and Jason both pasts seemed equally lost, both sides of this revenant alliance surprising.