Tom Ewing

28
May 14

PWC14 Quarter-Final: Iran v South Korea

Pop World Cup 201419 comments • 457 views

big bang Chile, Nigeria and – as of this afternoon – England are through to the Pop World Cup semi-finals. One more team will join them – Wichita Lineman’s Iran, who thumped Switzerland in the second round, or Iain Mew’s South Korea, who dispatched the USA. There are no underdogs at this level of Pop Football, with Iran a previous semi-finalist and South Korea widely tipped to go all the way. We expect a tight battle between these two sides.

QF4: Iran v South Korea - which do you pick?

  • IRAN: The Waterfront 58%
  • SOUTH KOREA: Big Bang 42%

Total Voters: 55

Poll closes: 2 Jun 2014 @ 15:00

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This match ends on Monday – go below the cut for songs, and a farewell to Ghana.

27
May 14

ANOTHER LEVEL – “Freak Me”

Popular43 comments • 1,787 views

#795, 18th July 1998

alevel It’s no “Boom Boom Boom”, but “Freak Me” is the frankest boyband track on Popular so far – a cover of Silk’s 1993 R&B hit, which gives Dane Bowers and company the opportunity to sound (and look) intensely earnest and moody while pitching to go down on you. (For some value of “you”). It goes as far as it can without needing a radio edit – and at the old school pre-Matthew Bannister Radio 1, “Freak Me” might still have picked up a ban. But behind the corny growling about whipped cream, this is a celebratory sex jam with consent and respect at its centre. “Let me lick you up and down, til you say stop… Let me do all the things you want me to do.”

23
May 14

PWC14 Quarter-Final: Croatia v England

Pop World Cup 201410 comments • 461 views

pipschips Our third quarter-final – and the last two European teams left in the competition. Croatia (managed by intothefireuk) are a team with momentum on their side, sneaking through Group A at the last second and then seeing off the Netherlands in the second round. England (managed by Ronald) find themselves at the treacherous Quarter-Final stage after a solid win over Cote D’Ivoire. The winner here faces either Iran or South Korea in the semis.

QF3: Croatia v England - which do you pick?

  • ENGLAND: Years & Years 74%
  • CROATIA: Pips Chips And Videoclips 26%

Total Voters: 65

Poll closes: 28 May 2014 @ 15:00

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This match runs until Wednesday – songs below the cut, and a farewell to the loser of our first quarter-final…

BILLIE – “Because We Want To”

Popular55 comments • 3,023 views

#794, 11th July 1998

billie because Pop Between Realities, Home In Time For TOTP

I’ve talked about Dr Phil Sandifer’s TARDIS Eruditorum blog before on Tumblr, but I’ve held off mentioning it here until this post, for hopefully obvious reasons. TARDIS Eruditorum is a critical Doctor Who blog which has been running since 2011 and will end this year. Its format – which Sandifer calls psychochronography – should be familiar to Popular readers: take a cultural object with a long history, and write about it in chronological order. Naturally, writing about the thing ends up meaning writing around the thing. My brother gave me the first three volumes of the book edition of Eruditorum for Christmas, and it was the kick in the arse I needed to really get moving on Popular again.

21
May 14

Popular ’60

Popular16 comments • 594 views

The next entry is turning out to be quite a big one, so I’m pushing it back a day or two and putting up the last of our 60s polls. It’ll find its way to its proper place in the blog in time.

I give a mark out of 10 to every song on Popular. In these polls, you tick any you would have given 6 or more to. 1960 was a slim year for Number Ones – only 16. My personal high point was “Shaking All Over” (8), and my low was Lonnie’s “Dustman” (1).

Which Of The Number One Hits Of 1960 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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Over to you! And discuss the year in general in the comments too.

PWC14 Quarter-Final: Ghana v Nigeria

Pop World Cup 201411 comments • 373 views

guru The last two African teams remaining in the tournament clash in our second quarter-final. Ghana (managed by Jonathan Bogart) made it here by beating Algeria, while defending champions Nigeria (managed by Cis) saw off France. The winner faces either Japan or Chile for a place in the final.

QF1: Ghana v Nigeria - which do you pick?

  • NIGERIA: Seyi Shay 58%
  • GHANA: Guru 42%

Total Voters: 52

Poll closes: 26 May 2014 @ 15:00

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This match runs till Monday. Below the cut you’ll find the songs, the team talks, and a (slightly late) farewell to the USA…

19
May 14

BADDIEL, SKINNER AND THE LIGHTNING SEEDS – “Three Lions ’98″

Popular56 comments • 2,495 views

#793, 20th June 1998

lions98 The opening of “Three Lions ‘98” is a spot of justified bragging – the hopeful murmurs of the original replaced by a stadium in full cry: “It’s coming home, it’s coming home…”. In musical terms, Baddiel, Skinner and Broudie really had won the cup – a football song that had been taken up by fans as a genuine chant. It made a sequel – or rather, an update – understandably tempting.

PWC14 Quarter-Final: Chile v Japan

Pop World Cup 201421 comments • 506 views

javiera Welcome back to the Pop World Cup, and to the first of our four quarter finals. Chile (managed by lartsaegis) reached here via what turned out to be the narrowest Round of 16 win, against Cameroon. Japan (gaffer: Patrick St Michel) saw off Uruguay more convincingly. The winner of this game faces Nigeria or Ghana in the semis.

QF1: Chile v Japan - which do you pick?

  • CHILE: Javiera Mena 53%
  • JAPAN: Perfume 48%

Total Voters: 80

Poll closes: 23 May 2014 @ 15:00

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This match runs until Friday! Both teams’ songs are below the cut, along with a belated farewell to Switzerland…

18
May 14

PWC14: Quarter-Finals Draw

Pop World Cup 20141 comment • 108 views

The Quarter-Finals of the Pop World Cup are now all decided.

Chile v Japan
Croatia v England
Nigeria v Ghana
Iran v South Korea

Well done all the managers – that’s a pretty wide selection of global pop there, and some very intriguing clashes. We’ll have the first of those up tomorrow.

16
May 14

B*WITCHED – “C’Est La Vie”

Popular41 comments • 2,149 views

#792, 6th June 1998

vie B*Witched have reformed, like most bands, and gave an interview last year where they “revealed” that “C’Est La Vie” was “about sex”. “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” is, apparently, some kind of secret sexual code. Shocked, aren’t you?

Tabloid coverage is the killing ground of ambiguity. In the red-top world meaning in songs is either in-your-face obvious or smothered in apparently impenetrable code, to be copped to years later as an ‘exclusive’. And so it’s a news story that a phrase everyone knows is a bit naughty might indeed be a bit naughty. Except “C’Est La Vie” isn’t really ‘about sex’, even in this coy way. You can say, perhaps, that it’s imitating a sexual world, in the same way a game of kiss-chase is. But this isn’t “Barbie Girl”, let alone “2 Become 1”. It’s a pop record for kids – B*Witched played their first ever gig in a primary school – and so it plays at being about what pop records are about, like a game of house or doctors and nurses.