Posts from December 2015
I must glumly report that my relationship with contemporary music seems to be broken. Not because I dislike it. The distillate of year-end lists I’ve been playing this week is full of wonders. But the part of me that knew where and how to find those things for myself has vanished. My desire to gatekeep went years before. And often once I do find new music, it’s like parts of a jigsaw where I’ve lost the box and half the pieces. What consequences this will ultimately have for Popular are uncertain. Still, the hits keep coming and they don’t stop coming, and some of them are better than others. Here are the records that reached Number 1 in the second half of 2015, arranged in order, from best to worst.
Some time during my father’s last summer, I sat with him in his garden. It was late afternoon: the sun, bright and warm but no longer overhead, was hitting the tree-tops at an angle which etched every leaf sharply against its own shadow. You felt if you gazed clear-mindedly you could see and even remember every one of the thousands of leaves visible. I asked him how old the trees were — the copper beech, the oak across the road, the tall fir near my sister’s old bedroom which we always feared would topple in the wrong big wind and smash into the house.
“Angel” looks like a momentum hit – a song carried along in its predecessor’s slipstream. It’s the weakest Shaggy song we meet, with none of the chutzpah or fun you’d expect from him. But three weeks at the top here and a Billboard #1 suggest this more reflective, romantic Shaggy won an audience in its own right. “Angel”, after all, is kit-built for wide appeal. It has the bassline from Steve Miller’s “The Joker”, the melody line from a much-recorded country standard, and Shaggy’s gruff toasting deployed – as on “It Wasn’t Me” – in brief, newcomer-friendly, patois-free bursts.
“Jump, don’t ever stop”. One fascinating and melancholy thing lately has been watching dance music grow old. Not just as a genre, coming to terms with itself as something that has a history outside the annihilating 3AM now of the club. That work has proceeded as you might expect (lots of homages). But also as a public, a group of people who invested their youth in its sound and momentum, and now have boxes of records, decks in the shed and over-30s raves on a Saturday. Pride, and bittersweet fondness, no more or less than most of us take away from music.
The 16th Annual Freaky Trigger Between Christmas and New Year Pub Crawl: The Kennington Catapult Arm
Pub crawl time once more and it is about time we went South (or actually East) of the river, and to celebrate the Crawl being able to join the army we are heading to Kennington for a gentle wander from the river to Kennington Station. As ever its on the 29th December, and starts at 3pm (er – apologies for forgetting this key info, but its always on the 29th apart from when it wasn’t).
So your route for the day is as follows:
Which country makes the best cheddar? This question has plagued us for millennia (possibly). But no longer, thanks to the brave and fearless scientists who gathered on a rainy afternoon to undertake some difficult and dedicated Cheese Science.
- the West Country with Montgomery’s cheddar
- Wales with Hafod
- Scotland with Isle of Mull cheddar
- Ireland with Hegarty’s cheddar
- France with Cantal
- England with Lincolnshire Poacher
(For the purposes of this competition, we’re granting independence to the West Country) (I know there are other countries beyond this little patch but I couldn’t think of one that make a decent cheddar-ish cheese that I could get my paws on at all easily SORRY THE WORLD!)
The Testing Panel
Humans: Jenn, Kat, Katie, Mark, Pete #1, Pete #2, Tim
Felines: Roswell, Atari Teenage Kitten. Feline cheese tasters don’t get a vote.
This is about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You should not read it if you plan to see the film, care about spoilers, and haven’t yet. I haven’t spelt out what happens but you’ll work it out.
“Hi I am Kevin Costner, star of Waterworld and The Postman, but in this instance from the poorly German Dubbed Version of Swing Vote, here to sell to you the concept of the FreakyTrigger Movie Poll 2015. I have been drafted in (though Draft Day is a different movie) because everything I do is insanely popular: they still do the Waterworld Stunt Show at Universal Studios Tour. And there is a suggestion that this new intiative may not be popular at all. Well Swing Vote was all about voting and elections and so is this nonsense so it made sense a few minutes ago.
Can I go now, my gills are getting itchy.”
Thanks Kevin, and nice hat.
For the first time ever, in a democratisating way, we are running a FILMS POLL. We’ve never done one before because the sense was that generally the FT readership gave less than a stuff about movies, but what kind of reason is that? We should put this to the test with a real actual call for submissions. More importantly if we are only going to get five or six entries, your vote will really really count. Thumbs up or thumbs down, but pull your finger out.
As last year, we are running a COMICS POLL. This was an intimate occasion in 2014 with a small but magnificent body of voters, so if you want to vote in a poll where your opinion really will count* then face front, true believer, this is the poll for you!
The rules are the same as last year. Vote for UP TO 20 titles IN ORDER and send your vote to freakytrigger AT gmail DOT com. These can be ongoing monthlies, original graphic novels, one-shots, web comics, individual strips within anthologies, anthologies themselves, or really anything except that I’ll fold single-issue votes up into the overall title, and it should have come out in 2015! (OR have seen its first English edition come out in 2015)
I think it has been a smashing year for comics and – if you read them – I hope you think that too. I have a shitload of stuff I haven’t even got to yet, but I do also plan to write some kind of personal best of list and by all means use the COMMENTS to remind people of worthy titles as by god there are a lot of comics out there.
*as long as at least one of your choices is voted for by somebody else somewhere, blah blah.
Our spam filter is being weird — it is basically holding EVERYTHING “pending moderation” (which I think means we have to go through it manually). I’ve just gone back over this evening and rescued everything I spotted (that’s about an hour’s work), but I’m afraid it’s easy to miss stuff in the torrent of weird garbage (tellytubbies p0rn, bots that ask you to write their essays from them, golfing spam and so on) so apologies if I missed yours.
Plus it only seems to holding the last 7,000 attempted comments, which (to give you an idea) only takes us back to 27 November, i.e. five days ago. So I imagine anything posted before then that didn’t display is lost forever (or anyway needs to be reposted).
Normal service will be resumed when we work out why the spam filter is misbehaving.