Posts from September 2011

Sep 11

Men Without Women

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Detective Comics #1 (2011) (DC Comics)

When superhero comics artists decide to become superhero comics writers it can go one of three ways. One is that they’re good at it. The second is that they decide to be “writerly” and you get flowery stuff like the old Todd McFarlane Spider-Man comics. The third is that they write impatiently, wanting the words to get out of fun’s way.

I have never minded this. If a superhero comic feels like the crude overheated frenzy of kids playing with action figures it’s surely doing something right or at least seems well-pitched to appeal to said kids. I got that feeling from Detective Comics #1, written and drawn by Tony Daniel. The dialogue is all foreshortened, bare minimum stuff – even his Joker is tersely mad, never witty. If you’re a 10-year old boy playing Batman you don’t fuck around with “plot” or “set-up”, you have Batman fight The Joker and then after that you have Batman fight The Joker.

Sep 11

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #16 THE CURSE OF FENRIC

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or “it’s warm — BLOOD warm!

… 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 crossposted at FT.

Right, 1989’s near-eve of cancellation, in which Eeevil McRe-Incarnate Fenric plays games with the bloodlines of all (local amateur) history until a rematch with the Doctor goes AWRY, but at WHAT COST to TRUST? A hyper-timely-wimely ketchup this, given actual current Nu-Who (apparently: I’m writing this up before I watch last week’s) (and after I watched this week’s). And also anyway an epochal, prescient, witty and fascinatingly and unexpectedly complex and emotionally provocative ep, say some (others: “it’s incomprehensible c0ck”). On hand PLOOS it has Vikings, vampires, vicars (well, Nicholas Parsons as a vicar), cosmic chess, companionly fambly biz, WW2-era computers, code-busting Bletchley Park rehoused near legendary Gothavore bathing spot Whitby, un CURSE LOCALE and AMAZING SOVIET LOVE INTEREST < ---- :o :o :o :o On side (so-called) MEEEN00S = Ms Dorothy Gale "Ace" McShane; SIR SYLVESTRE McGURNSALOT; fx budget of 15 and one quarter pee. And so, since the plot claims to untangle itself by working backwards, backwardsly let us trip and troll through these claims

Sep 11

Who Has Had The Most “Returns To Form”?

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Applied to pop, this question – discussed at some length in the pub last night – proves surprisingly complex. “Dylan” was everybody’s obvious answer* but the more we thought about it the less sure we were about this. So I throw it open to the Freaky Trigger readership and wish them joy with it.

Sep 11

THE SHAMEN – “Ebeneezer Goode”

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#680, 19th September 1992

Has an album ever spawned a weirder set of singles than Boss Drum? You got hands-in-the-air club confectionery (“LSI”), moody tribalism (“Boss Drum”), a twenty-minute spoken word piece by Terence McKenna – honestly, “Re:Evolution” alone would make it a contender. And then there’s this career-defining novelty, a cheeky but woeful pun stretched to song length, inventing Dickensian rave (and possibly more) along the way.

chaos rudis indigestaque MOLES

FT19 comments • 1,659 views

Being a more or less unedited ilx liveblog of the BOOK in anticipation of the new screen version of John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: published in 1974, on the BBC in seven parts in 1979. Includes a couple of ilxor thread-responses, for clarity — but go read the whole thread when you have a moment, it’s full of ilx-y goodness (and badness hurrah). In the thread, I was being careful about revealing stuff: the only real change I’ve made here is to remove the veil of anti-spoilerdom. THIS THREAD NOW CONTAINS TOTAL END-AWAY-GIVING SPOILERS, SO STOP RIGHT NOW IF YOU WISH TO REMAIN OUT OF THE KNOW!!! Also do not read if you hate raw text-splurge, I have not re-edited for grammar, punctuation, coherence, grown-upness…

Sep 11

SNAP – “Rhythm Is A Dancer”

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#679, 8th August 1992

If you were to make a Eurodance drinking game, “Rhythm Is A Dancer” would have you under the table in one track. There’s Turbo B making a ninny of himself, of course, but also the wordless chanting, the house piano break, the echoed disco drums, the garbled english on the chorus, the vague mysticism, and most of all the general stateliness and spaciousness of it. Some dance music – the following Number One, for instance – sounded congested, like a party you’re having to shoulder your way through. But Eurodance always carried a sense of enormous vaulting spaces, the club as cathedral. That was the case in the Italo era – where the sparsity and echo in the track were often the source of cosmic or sci-fi metaphors – and it carried over into the lusher likes of Robert Miles. House music was just another ripple in that continuum of kitschy vastness.

Sep 11

The FT Top 100 Songs of All Time #8: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – There, There, My Dear

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Dexys-Midnight-Runners-There-There-My-De-102557It feels a bit wrong, me being the one to write about Dexy’s. I have friends who are much much bigger fans, I have already written about the other Dexy’s track on this list – Come On Eileen. And for a very long time, until I picked up a cheap reissue CD of Searching For The Young Soul Rebels in 2002, Come On Eileen was one of the three things I knew about Dexy’s. The other two being Jocky Wilson Said and the Theme From Brush Strokes. Which for any band would be enough for at least a page in any half decent history of pop.

You see Robin, I’m just searching for the young soul rebels, and I cant find them anywhere. Where have you hidden them?

Sep 11

Chillian nationalism

FT19 comments • 1,239 views

Ironically, this produce is actually trying to leave the EU

Naturally, this image had to be alligned to the right.

As Freakytrigger’s vegetable correspondent I find myself often forced into action that seems… well, hippie-ish. This goes against my warlike critical nature and leads to apoplexy about salad packaging but nevertheless, I find myself deeply impassioned about Food Miles.

I don’t really want my lettuce to have more frequent flier miles than me* and I’m not going to endorse slave labour on Spanish tomato farms. I think apples don’t necessarily need the Andean climate to develop and I don’t want them picked unripe and shipped from Peru. I don’t want mange tout cash crops in famine-stricken regions of Africa and I’m ok with paying a little bit more to not have the creeping feeling that my stir fry has already killed several people and may strike again. I don’t want my leeks to have a carbon footprint greater than Ceredigion’s, is what I’m saying.

I’m not the only one and like any idea with enough worried middle class people getting in on it (gluten, organic milk, effective tampons) supermarkets have identified a sales opportunity. Yes, along with the satsumas for kids (‘it has comic sans on this tag! They’ll love that’) and Finest Chilean Walnut Oil (thanks, Gordon Ramsey) there is now British Produce in supermarkets.

I approve of this- we have fields, we have farms, we shouldn’t be importing food from abroad when we could get it from Kent for crying out loud. And yet (and here is the nub of it) even saying that makes me feel a little.. UKIP.