FT

21
Nov 14

Going Back To My Routes: Hoenn

FT3 comments • 229 views

pkmnruby This is part of a series of critical essays on the Pokémon games. This one is about Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the third “main games” in the series, and unavoidably contains LOTS of spoilers for the remakes of those games released this month.

A BREAKING POINT

Pokémon games are consciously built by developers Game Freak around very high-level themes – single words that are meant to capture the spirit of each game and the region it’s set in. With X and Y the theme was “beauty” – for Black and White it was “cool”. In discussing the imminent remakes of Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, and their home region of Hoenn, a spokesman suggested the idea behind the games had always been “abundance”. And you can see their point. Hoenn is a region bursting with life and incident. It offers a lush range of new environments and new ideas, a rethinking of the series’ established use of rivals and villains, and a sudden expansion of the franchise’s gameplay in terms of breadth (a whole parallel career path in the form of Contests) and depth (the introduction of Natures, Abilities and Double Battles). Not everything comes off – in fact the crowding-in of ideas means few of them completely work – but the bright ambition of Ruby and Sapphire is delightful.

12
Nov 14

The UPDATED Secret History Of Band Aid

FT + New York London Paris Munich/12 comments • 8,168 views

The Secret History Of Band Aid

Everybody remembers Band Aid. And – despite everything – most people remember Band Aid 2. And now we have Band Aid 20 30. Which rather begs the question – why does nobody ever talk about Band Aids 3 to 29? Take a trip down memory lane as we remind you of the charity singles we all forgot.

Band Aid 3: Recorded in a secret corner of the Hacienda, “Baggy Aid” in 1990 melded social conscience with a wah-wah break and found Shaun Ryder offering to feed the starving his melons. That Line was sung by Bobby Gillespie, but nobody heard his reedy mewlings and the single flopped.

Band Aid 4: Top One Nice One! Altern8, Shaft, The Prodigy and many more superstars got together to give the classic tune a new boshing 90s sound – though it was B-Side “E For Ethiopia” that found favour with the DJ community. But a secret orbital party for famine relief was busted and the marketing juggernaut found itself turned back at a police roadblock.

21
Sep 14

KITAN on the KEYS: a bad pianist’s practice diary #4

FT2 comments • 111 views

toypianoso yesterday i had my first piano lesson in 37 years (ie my teacher wasn’t born when i had my last one): i went in VERY butterfly-stomachy — and came out combination buzzed&psyched, bcz it was AWESOME. Here’s why:

i: i like the teacher very much (he also teaches my niece, aged 6).
ii: we concentrated on basically two phrases — less than two lines — of one piece:

9
Aug 14

Going Back To My Routes: Johto

FT6 comments • 528 views

packshot This is the second in a series of critical essays on the Pokémon games, one for each generation.

Where Pokémon Blue delighted in technology, Pokémon Silver sinks into history. After being given your starter Pokémon, your Pokedex and your mission, you walk into the deep woods of Johto and encounter in quick succession a tower built around an ancient, giant Pokémon; 1500-year old ruins filled with strange carvings and an entire race of enigmatic beings, and a well whose significance to its local village dates back four centuries. In that village lives Kurt, master of the art of Apricorn carving, a skill that predates the Poke Balls you use. Like the great trunk of Sprout Tower, the Pokémon world is putting down roots.

6
Aug 14

Normal Service Will Resume Shortly (UPDATE Has Resumed!)

FT4 comments • 154 views

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We’re just trying to shake out some gremlins on the FT server. The beautiful FT appearance will be restored as soon as possible

UPDATE  10:20pm: The FT appearance will be back very shortly, though the usual login problems persist I’m afraid

UPDATE 7th August 7:20pm: IT LIVES! We have comment forms and polls and other stuff back.

21
Jul 14

Freaky Trigger Logins And Comments Trouble

FT1 comment • 201 views

We know there have been some serious issues recently with the login and comment system. The main ones being:

- Logins not working (or not appearing to work)
- Comments not showing up

Both of these are down to caching issues, and we’re working to resolve them with our current hosts or find a different solution. In the meantime, our apologies.

If you can’t get your login to work, try clicking on another post – it sometimes shows up after that. If it still doesn’t work, you should also be able to post comments unlogged.

If your comments don’t immediately show up, this is likely a result of the caching issues. Wait 10 minutes before reposting.

Sorry once again for the hassle – the comments are really important and we are hoping we can get everything sorted out again before too long.

17
Jul 14

“There’s No Drama Like Wrestling”

FT//2 comments • 269 views

On the 18th June 2014, I took to the stage (a very small stage, but a stage nonetheless) as part of Geek Show Off to publicly declare my love for all things wrestling.  I could have talked for nine minutes on so many aspects of grappling but focussed my attention on another passion of mine: Andy Kaufman. So, here’s what I had to say before a sold out London crowd: 28th July 1982 changed professional wrestling forever. That was the day that the undisputed Intergender Wrestling Champion, Andy Kaufman, laid in to the undisputed babyface of the Memphis territory, Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, on nationwide American television. ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’ was drawing 10-15 million viewers in its early years so this was the biggest single event to happen in the world of professional wrestling since 1976 when Muhammed Ali fought Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki in Tokyo – but that’s a whole other story.   However, it seems we’ve joined this tale mid-way.  Let’s go back to the beginning.

11
Jul 14

The FT Top 100 Songs of All Time #3: Shaggy – Boombastic

FT1 comment • 178 views

Its usage in the pinnacle of BBC light entertainment aside – what a record this is! The drum intro is played on the side of a rusty water tank. The noisy brass squawks like Pingu angrily trying to shoo geese off his lawn. The piano is straight out of a Chas’n’Dave pub knees-up, and the end of each chorus line is punctuated by Cher Lloyd’s grandma (subs check this) going ‘Ugh!’ All Shaggy himself needs to do is drawl along for the ride: sleazy, cheesy – easy peasy!

Damsel-rescue FAIL

Damsel-rescue FAIL

The Levi’s advert that propelled this to #1 has stuck in the memory for many: our hero takes on Pingu’s claymation form, effortlessly pulling motorbike stunts to save the damsel in distress from a burning building. The animated city itself has a similar feel to the spoof-robot-noir of Dick Spanner, as does our greaser’s chiseled chin.

She say I'm Mr Rrrrro...

She say I’m Mr Rrrrro…

Even the visual jokes are there: the roast pigeons coming back to roost on the telegraph line are exactly as subtle than the giant illuminated “SAVE ELECTRICITY” sign in Spanner’s metropolis. The advert is only a minute long, but still manages to cram in a number of other gags that would have been edited out of Police Squad for being too obvious – a firehose full of holes, a firefighter toasting a sausage on the flames, an oblivious nose-picking kid as one of the bystanders (which incldes someone wearing a Santa outfit for some reason?) and of course, finishing on a toilet joke.

The official video unfortunately contains none of these elements. Hence this can only be the third best song of all time! I wonder what could be at top spot?

7
Jul 14

Popular Crystal Ball: 2014 – The Story So Far

FT9 comments • 913 views

timburr SPOILERS AHEAD! A glimpse now into Popular’s gleaming but dystopian future, i.e. the first half of 2014′s number ones, ranked from best to worst based on how much I liked them when I played them just now. No marks, obviously, but consider this a hostage to future fortune. Assuming I get that far. But how could I not with so many bittersweet deep house tracks to write about?

1. DUKE DUMONT – “I Got U (Radio Edit)”: My favourite iteration of the year’s signature sound – wonderful poise in the vocal (#Justice4KelliLeigh!) and the backing is gorgeous. Why isn’t all pop like this right now OH WAIT HOLD ON

5
Jul 14

Guess My Theory Part Workout

FTPost a comment • 63 views