Posts from May 2013

May 13

Lost Property Office 2-6: Monster Fun Annual

Lost Property PodcastPost a comment • 230 views

lost property office 2-6And we are back, season two of the Lost Property Office limps stridently forward having survived a complete clearout, reorganisation and a system put in place. Which is better for the students, strike rate of returning keys and small electronic equipment has soared by over 100%, but less good for the show. But creative constraints can cause creative epiphanies, and who better to discuss creative epiphanies with than novelist and comics writer Al Ewing.

Actually we almost totally avoid talking about creative epiphanies, to instead discuss lost comic panels, skinny men getting stuck in holes, posh breast cancer ribbons, A BOOK THAT SHOULD NOT BE OPENED (we open it) and pop music which for the first time on Lost Property Office we recognised from the opening notes. And for pretty much all of the running time Al forgot (until pushed) to pimp his new novel The Fictional Man, which is a pulp rollercoaster ride through a metafictional universe eerily similar to ours (which at least as many Sherlock Holmes’s). I’ve read it, its great! At least as good as he is on this show.

May 13

Blimey Guv’nor It’s The Avengers Assemble #15AU Annotations Post

FT + The Brown Wedge//19 comments • 2,099 views

Avengers_Assemble_Vol_2_15AU This week Avengers Assemble #15AU came out, by Al Ewing (yes relation) and Butch Guice. The comic is, as Hazel has pointed out, the most British thing ever published (at least by Marvel) and it is absolutely rammed with references – some obvious, some rather more obscure. Because Al is a pro, I reckon the comic is comprehensible without understanding all this stuff, but it’s safe to say there are parts of it many US readers won’t really get. There’s also parts of it which tap a knowledge of recent Marvel continuity, and we’ll explain that too.

So here’s an annotations post, which in the way of annotations posts will be updated with new information as you uncover it in the comments boxes. (And will also be updated with links and images!)

Contains, obviously, HEAVY SPOILERS for Avengers Assemble #15AU


May 13

marvel: a character guide

FT23 comments • 1,067 views


As a kid I only read British comics (Beano, Dandy, Topper, Beezer, Sparky et al), and never graduated to — or really understood — Marvel or DC. They were too vast in conception to catch up with, I felt: too big a universe, filled with too much backstory. As a consequence I only recall two ministories, a Spiderman vs Doctor Octopus which ended on a cliffhanger as the latter hefted one of those water-coolers that sit on top of New York buildings at the former OH NOES, and a Silver Surfer spread where this gentleman floated unconscious in space while a squamous and bubbling mucous-beast crawled though a mirror from an eldritch dimension into an empty (excuse alliteration) marbled mansion OOOOH NOOOOOES. So anyway, I didn’t get much of a bead on what Superheroes were like as people. Lately I have embarked on a study of same — for other purposes eventually to be revealed (possibly) — and have drawn up a table, based on Iron Man1&3, The Hulk (second half only), Capt America, Thor, and Avengers Assemble.


May 13

REDNEX – “Cotton Eye Joe”

Popular60 comments • 6,945 views

#715, 14th January 1995

A few years ago I returned from a trip to Spain with a somewhat disreputable CD – Rice And Curry, by Dr Bombay, AKA Swedish Eurodance chameleon Jonny Jakobsen. Browned-up for this project, and singing songs like “SOS (The Tiger Took My Family)”, Dr Bombay is the most eyebrow-raising example of how older traditions of ethnic and cultural comedy took root in Eurodance – Jakobsen has gone on to perform as Scottish stereotype Dr.Macdoo (LP title: Under The Kilt) and ‘comedy’ Mexican Carlito. And Rednex are in very much the same game.

It’s a feature of eurodance that comes out of European disco – just as anything could be discofied, from film themes to classical music to rock, so anything is fair game for novelty Eurodance treatment, and if it made people laugh too, so much the better. The genre existed in the same amoral, self-serving zone stand-up comedy sometimes claims for itself: the effect on the audience (partying, laughter) is all that matters, and anything goes to get there.

I’m not saying this because I’m personally offended by Rednex’ appropriation of hillbilly culture, it’s just a fascinating and overlooked part of Eurodance aesthetics. I doubt any rock band in 1995 could have got away with the rat-eating, drooling hick-play of the “Cotton Eye Joe” video, but if nobody’s taking the music seriously anyhow, it’s never going to get that level of scrutiny. Or to put it less kindly, there were plenty of other reasons to hate Rednex in 1995.


Start As You Mean To Go On… Eurovision nation intros

FTPost a comment • 411 views

So on Saturday we ran a fun little club night called Europoptimism, which was partially to celebrate the fact that Eurovision is coming up. And all the Eurovision songs are available now so we wanted to try to pre-empt the competition, but we didn’t want to spend two hours playing 39 tracks. So we decided to try to judge the intros instead, as without a good intro, what song can really soar. 30 seconds of each of the intros were played, and then voted on Eurovision style. It was so much fun, we thought we might like to give you the option to play along here.


May 13

all the europop we can draw*

FTPost a comment • 231 views

2013-05-04 22.11.07


May 13

Club Action Presents… EUROPOPTIMISM

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 355 views


Club Action returns THIS SATURDAY!

Join DJ Chlorine & The Barnet Ape for a celebration of the best of German technobosh, Italo-disco, Russian girlpop, Swiss post-punk, Irish jigs, Serbian turbo-folk, Spanish holiday hits, Scandinavian hair metal, French house and of course UK Garage (and everything else that could possibly score douze points).

Special guest DJ duties fall to DJ MAXIMATOR who owns at least 7 different versions of Ça Plane Pour Moi and may well play them all at once.

WHEN: This Saturday! 4th May 2013, 8pm-1am

WHERE: New venue! Downstairs at The Hideaway Bar, 114 Junction Road, Archway (nearest tubes Archway/Tufnell Park, 390 & 134 buses both run all night)

WHO: 2 Unlimited, ABBA, Ace of Base, A-Ha, Alcazar, Alizée, Annie, Boney M, Björk, Black Box, Bucks Fizz, Cascada, Daft Punk, Europe, Falco, Giorgio Moroder, Girls Aloud, Infernal, Justice, Kraftwerk, Katy B, Lindstrøm, Lordi, Lulu, Margaret Berger, O-Zone, Plastic Bertrand, Praga Khan, Propaganda, Roxette, Röyksopp, Ruslana, Scooter, So Solid Crew, Stardust, tAtU, Teddybears STHLM, Todd Terje, Tomcraft and of course Yello.

PLUS: Early arrivals can expect a small amount of ORGAFUN (er, mp3s permitting…)

Popular ’94

Popular60 comments • 2,822 views

I’m glad to see the back of this year. As usual, I give songs a mark out of 10, you can too, and here’s where it all gets added up. What gets 6 or more from you?

Which Of These 1994 Number Ones Would You Give 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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My bottom scorers this year were a brace of 2s for Man U and Wet Wet Wet, and my top scorer was Baby D, which got an 8. This is now the 4th year in a row where I’ve not given a 9 or 10. (Every year from 1971 to 1990 had at least one 9+.)

May 13

EAST 17 – “Stay Another Day”

FT + Popular51 comments • 6,017 views

#714, 10th December 1994

Does every Beatles need a Stones? East 17’s manager Tom Watkins may have come to think so. His group poked their noses into the charts before Take That, but found themselves defined against Gary and the boys, and showed every sign of revelling in it. Take That looked back to disco; East 17 knew their way around a rave. Take That were a five-pack of flavours; East 17 moved as a crew. Take That flexed for your gaze but stayed at arms length; Tony Mortimer wrote songs about eating you out. North v south, cheeky v lairy, smooth v rough – playbook stuff, just the way the pop press like it. One effect of the division is that Take That moved onto ballad territory long before their rivals – East 17 always had a place for mid-paced bump’n’grind, but avoided the real weepies.

Until now. This is East 17 doing a slowie, and really going for it, piling on the trimmings of balladry until the song creaks. To this day it shows up on Christmas compilation albums because it’s got Christmas bells on – the clanging chimes of emotional doom. But it’s got everything else on too (except drums). Something about its shameless blowout ambition suits the season, though: all the overdriven heartbreak of a Christmas Day soap packed into five wailing minutes. By its final choruses “Stay Another Day” is piling the bells and strings and multitracked pleading chorales on like marzipan and icing, finding a space partway between Cliff Richard and Jim Steinman.