Posts from November 2013

21
Nov 13

Manage A Team In The Pop World Cup 2014!

FT//44 comments • 3,782 views

fulecoSo here we are. The 32 qualifiers for the football World Cup have been decided, which means it’s time, once again, to get ready for the POP WORLD CUP.

The point of this post is very simple. If you want to be a manager in the Pop World Cup, put your name in the comments and pick a specific team (first come first served) or choose a random one.

More clarification? But of course!

GINA G – “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”

Popular82 comments • 5,269 views

#739, 25th May 1996

gina The passing of an era – this is the last (to date) directly Eurovision-related Number One, 29 years after the first. And honestly, even Gina is an outlier: the Eurovision Song Contest had intersected with mainstream UK pop less and less often since its 70s and early 80s heyday. Glam, bubblegum, AOR balladry and soft rock had been good fits for it – hip-hop and house distinctly less so.

Freed from any hope that it might reflect or divert the currents of modern pop, Eurovision could settle fully into the role in British pop it had half-played for years. It presented a comfortable image of what European pop was: gaudy, kitschy, ironic and out-of-date. Marketers, then waking to the idea of the pink pound as an untapped resource, seized on the show’s popularity with gay audiences (and students) and promoted it to the UK mainstream as an unabashed festival of camp. At the same time, though, the definition of Europe itself was expanding. It seemed post-communist countries wanted to use Eurovision the way Western Europe once had: as a symbol of European belonging and a fillip to national pride. The tension between these two trends made for fascinating contests, and Eurovision in the 00s was the competition at its best – after it had ceased to ‘matter’ in UK chart terms.

6
Nov 13

Pop Science

FT36 comments • 1,812 views

popscience

This data – on every UK Top 10 hit, taken at 10-year intervals – comes from a study on alcohol references in music, published in Psychology Of Music last month. The study is less interesting to me than this one fascinating table, which puts a bit of concrete data around trends in pop over the last 30 years. They even significance tested it! I’ll add my analysis under the cut.

The Inch – Pilot (Tom Ewing Guest)

FT8 comments • 468 views

inchTen years, or considerably more, ago Friday nights were easy. Some of us involved in FreakyTrigger would go to the pub. We would have a suitable amount of beer, and then often as not retire to my house, where a few more beers were drunk and maybe some records were played. But how to choose those records? Well luckily, when we weren’t playing Genius/GZA’s Liquid Swords (which was actually quite a lot), we would pick some seven inches to play. I had a lot of seven inch records, and we discovered that about an inch of them was exactly the right amount to take us to the time we had to sleep. And my seven inch records were in no particular order (though they did contain much godawful 90’s indie to my now jaundiced eyes).

Of course life has moved on now, and it has been a while since we have subjected ourselves to an inch. But in taking stock of items at work (and anyone who listened to the Lost Property Podcast will know, this is where I get my best ideas), I realised we still have a vinyl jukebox, and we also have about 3000 jukebox records. In no particular order. SO I wondered whether it was worth resurrecting the old game (for game it was, with very arbitrary rules) and see what an inch of these records were like.

So when Tom came in to do his Lost Property Office, I also grabbed an inch of records and we had a go. The result is a little rough and ready, it turns out there is genuine skill in talking whilst cueing a record absent when you are doing it with CD’s or mp3s. There is some serious music chat, some guff and some guessing. I’d be very interested to know if you liked it, if you wanted to hear more and how you think it sounds. In the meantime, here is an Inch.

3
Nov 13

GEORGE MICHAEL – “Fastlove”

Popular70 comments • 5,786 views

#738, 4th May 1996

fastlove “All that bullshit conversation, baby can’t you read the signs?”. This is a curious record: there’s little in pop like the way “Fastlove” marries seductive form – the discreet grind of its mid-to-uptempo groove – with an impatient candour that undermines it. Other seduction jams enjoy their playfulness, however frank they are about its endgame. “Fastlove” is wary of allowing itself that generosity.