Christmas traditions are funny things – some of the most fixed turn out to have relatively recent roots, and new ones are manufactured all the time. Witness much hand-wringing this year about the import into the UK of Black Friday, a notoriously busy shopping day that makes sense after Thanksgiving in the USA (people have the day off) but far less over here. Still, it worked, and having successfully taken culturally will surely stick around.
Part of the British Christmas has been a canon of Christmas pop songs – Slade, Wizzard, Shakey, Jona Lewie, Greg Lake, Kirsty and the Pogues, Wham! Et al. The Christmas Canon has been a part of Christmas since I was a kid in the 80s, it feels as firmly set a tradition as you might find. But I suspect that’s an illusion: it’s changing, and the canon as we know it is on the way out.
On Facebook I mentioned that we’d know a generation had fallen from cultural influence when Jona Lewie got booted off the Christmas Canon. This was met with much sadness and shaking of heads from fans of “Stop The Cavalry”, but the point wasn’t that I dislike the song. I was 7 in 1980, disliking the song would be like disliking Christmas itself. It was put on the office playlist last week, though, and it struck me how odd it must seem to somebody who hadn’t been around then – this lugubrious, kinda-sorta new-wavey thing that bobs along all about “nuclear fallout zones” and cavalry. It’s like that one ugly bauble you always hang on the tree because you bought it as a kid: the time will come when you aren’t decorating the tree any more, and the bauble might be quietly pushed to the back, then forgotten entirely.
The 15th Annual Freaky Trigger Between Christmas And New Year Pub Crawl : The Kentish Town Ducks Arse
Yes, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, it’s FTBCANYPC time!
This year for our 15th crawl we will be having a little saunter around Kentish Town. or at least down the hill from Gospel Oak to Kentish Town West, taking in Vines, pineapples and Tapping An Admiral or two…
Every year, on the 29th (except when it wasn’t) we go an a merry trail around a list of pubs, many of which may be closed, to appreciate the architecture, and, you know, maybe drink. This year’s route takes us from the foot of Parliament Hill to the heart of Kentish Town in our bid to never actually do a crawl in Camden.
The Route is as follows:
3pm Bull and Last (why not get a scotch egg?)
4pm The Southampton Arms
4.45pm The Vine
5.30pm The Pineapple
6.30pm The Oxford
7.30pm The Grafton
8.30pm Tapping The Admiral
There is a Handy Google Map here:
Look forward to seeing you!
‘Hi everyone! I’m long-haired Canadian warbler Alanis Morisette, and I’m here to remind you that you “oughta know” that submissions for the Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2014 are now OPEN! I thought I’d been uninvited to last year’s poll but it turns out there wasn’t one! How ironic*. Now all I really want – is to know your favourite songs of 2014!’
Thanks Alanis. The rules are very simple:
- Send your top 20 tracks to firstname.lastname@example.org by 11.59pm GMT on 31st December 2014.
- As with previous years, we will be lenient on release dates. If you think it was released this year, it probably counts. If something on your list is egregiously out of place we’ll let you know and you can choose something else.
- The order of your top 20 is important! Your #1 will be allocated more points than #20.
- If you can’t think of 20 songs then 10 or 14 or 2 is just fine.
*In the true spirit of Alanis, this term has been used incorrectly.
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.
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.
so 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.