Tom wrote about this on Popular here: so here is a project ending couple of thoughts.
“Life is a mystery”. But Madonna doesn’t mean a mystery like the kind Sherlock solves three times a year, or even the kind they solve using CSI in Las Vegas, New York or Miami (with or without sunglasses). What Madonna means here is that “Life is a mystery” sounds, in itself, mysterious. Smart. Sexy. A bit deep. Like a good lyric.
Compare that opening to the main couplet in the chorus: “When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer”. Now this sounds self-aggrandizing, perhaps a little big headed, a typical silly lyric – but of course is factually correct. If you call her name: “Madonna”, it is indeed like a little prayer, it is a little prayer to the Virgin. All of which lies at the heart of this terrific song. It earns its religiosity, by being factually religious and reassuringly secular at the same time.
Ten 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.
Action! Drama! Excitement! All what you have come to expect from the Lost Property Office Podcast. But why not add to that real live drama in the form of sirens and the potential for death of the lead characters. In this weeks Lost Property Office, I and my intrepid lost properteer are interrupted mid-flow, or at least mid-Steely Dan noodley work out, and have to evacuate the studio. Did we make it (Yes!) Where did we go (The Pub). Was it alright in the end? Well you be the judge of that dear listener.
In the meantime thrill not just to tales of fire, but of the correct pronunciation of Aja, the slowest bit of archery ever done by man, turning right instead of left, Pedigree Bitter vs Pedigree Chum, losing your memory and a cute yet slightly creepy toy monkey. We also toy with invading someone’s privacy (again, but decide against it. Even after the impromptu mid-show pint. My intrepid loser this week is Francis O’Shaughnessy, Walthamstowite and general good egg.
This week in the Lost Property Office you finally, the interview you have all been waiting for. The Nabob himself of this scene, Tom Ewing, a man who tells a good story, and – thankfully for this podcast – has been known to lose the odd item or two. Picking up the final few guests before the podcast disappears up its own concept, lost in the mists of losing stuff, Tom gets to talk about catching them all, then losing them all, yes Jigglypuff I am talking about you. Do you dare consifer the morality of Pokemon?
Elsewhere on this trip through the reliability of memory lane, we discuss bands that NEVER split up, one band that did and an ex members constant attack on its memory. Man-bags, Tropicana Orange Juice, Zico Coconut Water and the reliability of signed items. All of which done to a motley selection of TV themes, cover version and the dread/awesome sound of OPPENHEIMER. And don’t forget the large bronze cock… All of this and what the P in Genesis P.Orridge really stood for.
Are you sitting comfortably? Because this weeks guest wants to take you on a journey. A journey that involves bitter rivalry, tradition, softball and a macabre trophy which was liberated, transported and then lost. And the response of the Grand Elders of the Tennessee / Kentucky / Carolina Left Wing Softball Tourney to that loss. It is a tale that takes us right into the heart of darkness. And that heart, as ever, lies in the lost property office.
This weeks guest is more comfortable on the other side of the mic, hosting the terrific Slug Of Time science fiction podcasts from a few years back on FreakyTrigger. Now thoroughly ensconced within the BBC, he gets to tell us of one of the most bizarre lost items we’ve ever heard of, being physcially more lost than anyone we’ve ever had on, and bringing up the largest item of lost property we’ve ever had in the office. Truly they do everything bigger in the US – and it was great fun to welcome up Elisha Sessions to get lost with us. Beware of the grand elders…
There are some brands which are bulletproof. No matter how many failed and dumb brand extensions there are, the core brand remains unassailable. As long as you don’t mess with actual Coke*, you can make as many Vanilla’s, Cherry’s and Coke Zero’s specifically for Nigel you like. And with this fiveway explosion of Heinz Baked Beans there is a “throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-if-it-sticks**” insouciance bred from the knowledge that British people will still buy Baked Beans even if you did an Arsenic Flavour.
Ok, so some of these have been around before, just branded differently. Th old Curried Beans had raisins in it, I’m guessing this is no longer the case. Barbecue beans and even probably even beans with fiery chilli have been around before (though probably will not come close to a liberal hand with the Tabasco). No the two interesting ones are the “Garlic & Herb” variant and the “Cheddar Cheese” one.
And 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.
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.
The Guardian, aware that we are living in a country down to its last thruppence ha’penny, is thinking about the finances of the poor gig going kid. Look, they have a video and everything to tell you how to save money:
As you can see the secret of cutting the cost of gig tickets is to go to gigs that took place nineteen years ago. If you fancy seeing the Manic’s in Hull in 1994, or Mansun at the Kilburn National, well – you’ll be quids in. I am sure this is excellent advice, otherwise why would you advertise the piece which such out of date tickets. Of course back then I too had my own methods of getting into gigs for free, which I can shamefully reveal now…
I saw Theatre Of Blood for the first time tonight, at a BFI Screen Epiphanies showing (you will be unsurprised to discover it was a favourite of one of the League Of Gentlemen, Reese Sheersmith). I know this is far too late in life to watch such a delightfully well made black comedy, but I enjoyed it thoroughly with the additional frisson of having the directors family sitting behind me. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, Theatre Of Blood is a wickedly dark horror comedy where Vincent Price plays Edward Lionheart, a classical actor/manager who specialises exclusively in Shakespeare who runs foul of the 1970 London Critic Circle. Thought dead from suicide, he returns to bump each of the critics off in a suitably Shakespearian fashion. Hammy, gory and with a wonderful 70′s Who’s Who cast, it is a treat – with a delightful central premise. In particular it overcomes the biggest problem in black comedies, how to balance sympathy for the central murderer without being voyeuristically complicit. Here all we meed to know is in the opening line with Michael Hordern’s critic, a pompous ass bemoaning that his best crack against an actress had been cut from his review. These are critics, and self-satisfied ones at that, who the audience have no difficulty in agreeing deserve their fates. Price is so delicious as the lead, given an extra dimension by Diana Rigg’s devoted daughter, and the critics are so grotesque, that you worry some may escape. So you get gore, imaginative deaths, and Vincent Price delivering ten of Shakespeare’s finest roles (also a bout of fencing on trampolines!*). By the end of which you appreciate the bitter irony that you still root for Lionheart even though through these performances you know the critics were actually right. He is pretty terrible.
Being of my unoriginal, gadfly, generation, and enjoying the film thoroughly, my first thought on exiting the cinema was of a remake. If you were to do a remake, who would star?