Posts from 2012
1: I saw this last night (2D/24fps) and here are my notes
2: which is to say SPOILERS and DO NOT READ IF YOU HATE MORE FvCKING ELVES and ABANDON DIGNITY ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE and — above all — BEWARE THE CAVE TROLL IN THE ROOM
3: bcz, in the sense that at the end I very much wanted straight away to be watching the next ep I clearly liked this one, despite there being plenty wrong with it also
4: anyway I am largely going to write a DEFENCE of the plot-changes (and reserve the main critique for stuff PJ also got wrong in the LotR trilogy?)
5: And it is very rough and note-form bcz Silmarillion
Its that time of year again where Christ has been massed, and New Years Eve has yet to dawn (before it eves). Which means it is the 29th December and the FT between Christmas & New Year Pub Crawl again. And this year its in Clerkenwell. Which was up and coming years ago, but has now up and come and then settled down into being a little bit pretentious, but on the whole rather nice. We will be skirting Clerkenwell Green, nipping past Mount Pleasant and going to a number of lovely pubs, many of which will be closed.
They are all architecturally interesting and serve a decent pint (or whatever you are drinking). Its between Christmas and New Year, it’ll be quiet and you’ll have escaped your families so come out for some fun.
The order is
3pm: Craft Beer Co.
4pm Betsy Trotwood
4.45pm The Horseshoe
5:30pm: The Three Crowns – I mean Kings
6.15pm: The Sekforde Arms
7:15pm: Exmouth Arms
8pm The Wilmington Arms
9pm The Pakenham Arms
All timings are approximate and of course, at least one of the pubs will be shut anyway…
See you there
When Was The X-Factor’s Imperial Phase?
I got bored with the recent series of the X-Factor, and I was not alone: the ratings this year have crashed by a few million. The post-mortems are beginning: the editor of the Radio Times wasted no time in crediting the Olympics and its awakening of a public desire for real heroes who train and sweat and ACHIEVE and BELIEVE. Stage school is no picnic, honey, you might reply – but the claim debunks itself anyway. The ratings crash this year is no one-off – it’s now a trend, after an even more dramatic tumble in 2011, a year with no whiff of gold.
“Hi! I’m global megastar Rihanna. While I’m not achieving world domination I like to flick through old copies of Melody Maker and think about how I lucky I am not to have to compete with the likes of the Milltown Brothers and Haysi Fantayzee in the year-end polls of old. Of course, these days the only poll that truly matters is the Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll, so I’m delighted to be giving you this year’s voting details!
Just email your top 20 tracks of 2012 to email@example.com by 23.59 31st December 2012. Simple!
– You can vote for fewer than 20 tracks
– 2012 remixes of 2011 songs etc are fine
– Your #1 track will be allocated more points than your #20 track so put them in order if that is important to you.
At the weekend I finished reading The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to my kids – audience L (almost 6) and D (3 1/2) liked it, or maybe they like the ritual of bedtime stories and found it tolerable content to fill said ritual, I dunno. My Dad thoughts follow.
This was never my favourite Narnia book as a kid – some of which was budding contrarianism and some of which was that it’s all over the place in terms of pace, plot, mood, you name it. Lewis has three stories here: the one he wants to tell, the one he insists on telling, and the one he fakes the reader out into thinking he’s telling.
It’s been 60 years since Al Martino was the UK’s first #1 record*!
To celebrate this sensational sexagenary, DJ Chlorine and The Barnet Ape will be playing only #1s all night** – all the boshingest chart-toppers from Aqua to Zager & Evans.
Assisting them in this noble endeavour will be our very own Popular maestro Tom Ewing and Popular superfan Bob Stanley.
WHERE: Downstairs @ Ryan’s Bar, 181 Stoke Newington Church St
WHEN: Friday 30th November 2012, 8pm-1am
FREE ENTRY also we know where the air conditioning button is now
So come along, to (probably) the only club night where you will hear both Coolio AND Doris Day!
*YES YES WE KNOW
***EXCEPT THAT ONE
I remember Hellblazer being announced, way back whenever it was, and feeling underwhelmed and disappointed: a silly name, and not even written by Alan Moore. And the truth is I never warmed to the comic – now axed by DC after a 300-long run. Sometimes because I was too callow for it, sometimes because I felt I could see through it, and occasionally just because it bored me.
But also always with the sense that John Constantine simply shouldn’t have his own comic in the first place. I was firmly in the camp who had loved the character and wanted to see him slip quietly away from DC Comics as unpretentiously and oddly as he’d arrived. False hope: that kind of thing didn’t happen then and certainly doesn’t now – if you have a breakout hit, you milk it.
One of the divisive things about disco was the apparent will to discofy anything and everything: no style, era, film theme or rock classic was safe. To haters it was proof of disco’s stultifying lack of creativity – why make something new when you could slap strings and a beat under the old? But there’s something a little utopian about it too – a sense that disco was the philosopher’s stone of pop, the perfect unifying sound that could turn anything into dancefloor gold.
Something of that survived in commercial dance music. While club music continued mutating and innovating at bewildering pace, its leaps forward took it into the charts less often. The gap was often filled by novelties – raved-up TV themes, videogame music, cover versions, and finally stand-ins for whole genres with a 4/4 thump grafted on. Hence “Doop”, some Europeans building their money-making vehicle from a xerox of a memory of a decade that had happened somewhere else, souping its engines up and letting it loose.
This is just a coda to Tom’s brilliant (but spoiler-y! Very spoiler-y!) piece on Journey into Mystery. This is less spoiler-y and much more ramble-y and nothing like as in-depth but Tom asked me to write it, so you have him to blame.
I am not a Western comics reader. I have read some and indeed, enjoyed them a lot but in a hobbyist way that didn’t make me feel like a fan, per se. Even for someone much enthused by enormous run of things, the unassailably enormous back history of Marvel or DC characters always felt like too much work in comparison to the apparent safety of manga, where I had done the groundwork to know where my incestuous reincarnated celestial beings were at. Or more accurately to the present day, CSI, in front of which I had found my adult self lounging and wondering if anything in the geek culture that raised me would ever interest me again.
‘So far so nylons and lipsticks,’ you might think; however, this doesn’t explain why I ended up in the pub last Friday, cursing at the Marvel app for its dysfunctional purchase downloading and burbling ‘Kid Loki is THE BEST why did no one TELL me that comics were GREAT?’ Tom enthused about how heartening it was that young people were reading Marvel again- ‘I’m twenty five!’ I protested, ‘that’s REALLY OLD’ and then proceeded to have some kind of showdown altercation with a table. Or maybe a door. Or a fellow patron. A grown up showdown, no doubt.
I was and still am absolutely livid that no one told me how great Journey into Mystery is before- my emotional core has been utterly destroyed by it but I want to curl around it and clutch it to myself as though it were my child. Finally, I totally get why people care so much about Marvel and superheroes- I’m reading the whole of Thor, as though this can somehow provide attrition for my years of ignorance but honestly, it’s the gateway drug that’s the masterwork.