Posts from January 2013

7
Jan 13

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2012: #30-#21

FT7 comments • 497 views

henryjoos-sm“Good morrow! I’m Henry VIII, who you might recognise from such bangers as ‘Pasttime With Good Company’ and a goth-metal remix of ‘Greensleeves’ that appeared on Now That’s What I Call Antidisestablishmentarianism vol. 6!. However unlike young Mr Skrillex the only EDM I’m interested is Edward de Mortimer, who led a rebellion against my great-great-uncle-once-removed in 1403. It’s a good thing Wikipedia won’t be invented for another half a millennium so you can’t fact check that!”

Indeed, Henry! But one thing you can check out without reference to online encylopedias is the next part of our top 40 countdown!

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5
Jan 13

Bedtime Story Watch II: Beorn Again

FT/4 comments • 435 views

Reading The Hobbit to Lytton (just turned 6) – Beorn has just sent the party Mirkwood-bound and re-ponied, and this (plus recent Hobbit-discussion on here) seems a good place to take stock.

The Hobbit is a degree tougher going for kids than anything I’ve read aloud so far – there’s notionally 19 chapters but many are very long and the whole thing might well take three times as many nights to finish. I read it absurdly young – yes, I was precocious, but I must have done an outrageous amount of skimming. I’ve read it since – including aloud, to my wife – but as ever reading to kids, with their infinite potential for not listening, really forces you into an awareness of the pace of a book: all the bits I’ve etched into my head happened, but quite a lot happens (or doesn’t really) around them or in between too.

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4
Jan 13

The Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2012: #40-#31

FT8 comments • 653 views

Skrillex “Greetings, my name’s Skrillex! You might recognise me from the Young Person’s Music, where my asymmetric hairdo and NHS Specs are getting plenty of ‘wub’! Anyway, the charming lot behind Freaky Trigger have asked me to introduce the first part of this year’s Readers’ Poll – these tracks have certainly made a splash with you all, or a ‘drop’, as we call it here in Dubstep Land. Do check them out!”

Thanks Skrillex. I was going to have a Top 40 list but there were two tracks with equal scores at #40 so technically we have 41. Onwards!

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3
Jan 13

TONY DI BART – “The Real Thing”

Popular62 comments • 4,991 views

#706, 7th May 1994

Before reality TV commodified the rags-to-brief-riches pop story, the charts threw out an organic example or two. Here’s one: a bathroom salesman from Buckinghamshire with a bedroom studio, his song riding a remix to fleeting glory. Within a few months of hitting number one, Tony Di Bart was shorthand for facelessness – as the stars fell into eclipse, would pop be taken over by herds of such worthy, ordinary try-hards?

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Online Dating Tips From The Forties

Do You See3 comments • 383 views

Online Dating is a minefield. Once you have identified a potential date, or received a message from an interested suitor, how do you contact them? What do you say, how formal should you be? Picking the tone is very difficult, let alone knowing what kind of conversational gambit to employ. Well luckily help is at hand from the forties, and in particular a correspondence relationship between Carole Lombard and Charles Laughton in They Knew What They Wanted. Here is the response from Lombard’s character Amy to the initial message from Laughton’s astonishing Italian caricature*

lombardletter

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2
Jan 13

THE ARTIST FORMERLY KNOWN AS PRINCE – “The Most Beautiful Girl In The World”

Popular56 comments • 9,815 views

#705, 23rd April 1994

bootiful Sometimes U have to state the obvious: this should not have been Prince’s only UK number one under his own name (or glyph). But a check of the stats shows he rarely came that close – he was an undisputed star, archetype, household name, whose most remarkable and famous singles settled in the middle of the Top 10, or at its outskirts. This is the charts’ fault, not his: so much of the spice of 80s pop, its distinctive decadence, seems to loop back to Prince. He should have a chain of entries here.

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F-Off To Take A Screen Shot

Do You See2 comments • 449 views

carole-lombard-e-john-barrymore-twentieth-centuryThere has been an increase in debate about the brightness of cinema screens recently, raised by Peter Jackson filming The Hobbit in 48 frames per second. Its an attempt to counter the dramatic light loss you get when for some reason you have to wear dark glasses in the cinema. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to wear plastic glasses in the cinema, but as mentioned elsewhere the 3D world doesn’t work for me so there is no point getting 3D in the cinema. Anyway the reactions to 48 fps have not been altogether favourable, though Peter Jackson suggesting its like when CD’s took over from vinyl certainly isn’t helping (its not). I have an interest in a bright, well projected image, all cinema-goers do. But I bring it up because it obscures the true bright screen menace in the modern cinemas.

Yesterday I went to the BFI to see a couple of films in their January Screwball series. (With two balls in my pocket for every screening obviously). The first was Twentieth Century*, a Hawks comedy where John Barrymore hams it up to an extraordinary level, but the plot never quite matches the tempo of its leads (I also thought Carole Lombard was underused). It was the first time I had seen it, and like many a screwball comedy it requires a degree of concentration to follow the rat-a-tat dialogue. Concentration which was broken by the woman in the seat next to me whipping out her iPhone and taking a photo of the screen. And then doing it again. She then observed my micro-tuts and disapproving posture and put it away. Later in the film, someone in the seat infront of me did the same. ANd then my neighbour did it one more time.

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1
Jan 13

TAKE THAT – “Everything Changes”

Popular44 comments • 3,242 views

#704, 9th April 1994

The fifth (of six!) single from Everything Changes, and yes, it shows. Breezy, disco-inspired, but this is the fussy, low-fat studio hack’s version of disco which dotted pop albums through the 90s and beyond. A sax solo fills in time and helps to cement the impression that this is a sketch of a song, bulked out as required by passing sessionmen.

What can be said about it? The B-Side was a medley of Beatles songs – as with the Lulu team-up, this feels a bit of a “we belong” move, though the band is asserting a continuity of boyband frenzy and light entertainment domination rather than any kind of songwriting chops. More importantly for Take That’s immediate future, this is the first number one with lead vocals from Robbie Williams. Cheeky in front of the cameras, chafing (by his later account) behind them, Robbie does nothing at all here: with hindsight you might take his perfunctory devotion as a sign of boredom, but it’s just as likely he simply wasn’t ready to own a performance yet. “I love you”, he mutters at the end: the words have rarely sounded less convincing.