FT

25
Mar 20

Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Wife Got Presumed Coronavirus

FT8 comments • 7,176 views

For the last 12 days I’ve been nursing my wife Isabel through presumed COVID-19. She’s starting to feel better now, or I wouldn’t be writing this. 

22
Mar 20

Omargeddon #11: Arañas en la Sombra

FTPost a comment • 80 views

I’ve been categorising Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s solo recordings into three distinct, non-equal eras. Early ORL spans from 2004-2009, mostly consisting of experimental jams that were often reappropriated as Mars Volta songs. The middle period from 2010-2013 has an overall focus on up-front vocals and synths. Finally, the Ipecac Recordings series released in 2016-2017 represents the late era, including a mix of reworked material with a smattering of indie, pop and classical.

But this isn’t strictly true, since he has a tendency to work on records simultaneously, at least two or three at the same time”, meaning records can be released years after they’ve been completed. This is certainly the case with Arañas en la Sombra (“Spiders in the Shadow”), an album featuring the very first Mars Volta line-up and thought by many to be the long-lost Mars Volta album The Somnambulists. This suggests that it was recorded in the early 2000s, and I’m guessing that vocals were added sometime around 2012 due to the presence of Teri Gender Bender, although it wasn’t released until 2016, making it cut across all three eras.

It was instantly familiar to me, and not just because I’d heard several of the tracks in demo form on the Ramrod Tapes. When this tranche of material was leaked in 2013, it felt like the final goodbye from the Mars Volta, and I listened to the shit out of it. It also feels familiar in a brain-itchy way – I’m sure I’ve heard some version of the lyrics to “El Vacio” on another song but can’t identify what it is (and may be totally wrong). But it also feels familiar because it reminds me of De-Loused in the Comatorium, the first Mars Volta album, albeit one recorded down a different pant leg of the Trousers of Time.

24
Feb 20

Unheard / Unread: January 2020

FT2 comments • 483 views

Starting in 2017, I’ve had the aim of listening to a new (to me) album every day. This has been – for the most part – one of my best ever ideas. That said, in 2018 and 2019 I didn’t actually manage to finish – in fact I only got about 100 days in each time. The error was in trying to write it all up as well as doing it.

Still though, it’s good to have some way of recommending these things! So this year, the plan is more modest – a monthly round up of my favourites from the new (to me) records I played. Oh, and this year I’m combining it with the Unread Comics Project too, an attempt to do right by half a decade’s worth of Comixology sale buys. 

Here are my picks for January. more »

19
Feb 20

King William’s College Kwizz 2019. FT Round 18

FT7 comments • 117 views

During 2019:
 1 who needed just 7.69 seconds at WD18?
 2 which myopic nightwatchman fell just eight short?
 3 which Servant, having acted the part, was elected in reality?
 4 where did a spiral slide add fun to the Holy and Undivided Trinity?
 5 whose famous embrace in Times Square has been remembered 73 years later?

18
Feb 20

King William’s College Kwizz 2019. FT Round 17

FT3 comments • 97 views

 1 where did Colonel Ross and the Inspector await the travellers?
 2 where did the duo alight when following up Cubitt’s conundrum?
 3 which little “halt-on-demand station” was used by the would-be anglers?
 4 from where in the Peak District had the prep school Principal obtained a return ticket?
 5 from where did they plan to take the 11:10 to investigate the death of the colonel of the Royal Munsters?

13
Feb 20

King William’s College Kwizz 2019. FT Round 16

FT12 comments • 163 views

 1 what included the Bill as part of the Rape?
 2 what is long in Britain but short across the pond?
 3 whence the destination of Commons members on resignation?
 4 what was the location of an old world strigine residence of great charm?
 5 in what did conflict between Maharashtrian refugees and the weeping willow lead to arson?

12
Feb 20

The Freaky Trigger Movie Poll 2019: #10 – #1

Do You See + FT6 comments • 354 views

Oscars Schmoscars, this is the list about five people have been waiting for. And while there is a lot here in common with the Best Picture lists from this year (and last), the conclusion is somewhat different – albeit partially due to UK release dates. So below we have Queen’s, writers, gangsters and some women who don’t seem significantly littler than the average.

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10
Feb 20

BLU CANTRELL ft SEAN PAUL – “Breathe”

FT + Popular10 comments • 1,275 views

#958, 9th August 2003

Dancehall stars have found many routes into the UK mainstream – cover versions and ads; tie-ups with hot producers; hardcore or controversial lyrics; or just basic novelty. Sean Paul found yet another way to make it. His thing was to strip down modern Jamaican music to its hookiest elements and present himself as a readymade star, his bearish baritone presence dominating this and most other tracks he turned up on.


Sean Paul’s sudden stardom came as dancehall itself was having a critical and pop-cultural moment. One of many – UK and US interest in Jamaican music has always gone in waves. In this case, R&B’s promotion of superstar producers – some of whom, like the Neptunes, were open about their debt to Jamaica – meant a new focus on riddims, the island’s own contribution to producer culture, and the way different acts would jostle to land the best voicings of the latest popular beat. “Get Busy”, Paul’s breakthrough hit, rode the perpetual-motion shudder of the ubiquitous Diwali Riddim.

There’s talk of Bob Marley whenever a Jamaican star breaks really big – but Sean Paul’s music fit the comparison better than most. Not, of course, because of any political or spiritual side – Paul, like most 00s pop stars, presented himself as someone for whom entertainment was mission enough. But like Marley he specialised in taking his homeland’s innovations and projecting them into music that was big and powerful and clear in its appeal. Sean Paul was a very easy star to ‘get’. more »

9
Feb 20

King William’s College Kwizz 2019. FT Round 15

FT3 comments • 79 views

Which dual enterprise:
1 could work wonders?
2 took over from West and Wyatt?
3 gives one a shot at Double Dutch?
4 exploited the unique qualities of Siberian Weasels’ hair?
5 created 33 complications in a limited edition of just four devices?

6
Feb 20

King William’s College Kwizz 2019. FT Round 14

FT8 comments • 123 views

Round and round and round:
 what slope is now chronometric?
 2 where is a duck bill followed by a dive?
 3 where might there be help from the north-westerly?
 4 what recalls the twin child nurtured by a lupine wet nurse?
 5 what would be recognised in Japan as a breed of dog or a battleship?