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Jul 14

The Pop World Cup 2014 Final: England v Nigeria

Pop World Cup 201418 comments • 548 views

worldcup At last! The anthems are sung, the teams are on the pitch, and the Macarena Stadium in Los Del Rio is about to play host to the greatest event in global pop, the Pop World Cup Final. Joining us are.. YOU, in the comment(ary) box and the voting poll – below the cut – and our finalists, England – managed by Ronald, and Nigeria – managed by Cis. Nigeria are the defending champions, England the sleeping giants who may finally have awoken. Only you can decide the outcome.

Below the cut are our two songs and managerial comments, as well as the all-important poll. The match will end on Sunday evening, exactly as that other World Cup final kicks off. Well done both sides for getting here, and may the best team win.

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Jul 14

Popular Crystal Ball: 2014 – The Story So Far

FT9 comments • 772 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

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Jul 14

Guess My Theory Part Workout

FTPost a comment • 38 views

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Jul 14

ROBBIE WILLIAMS – “Millennium”

Popular49 comments • 2,780 views

#801, 19th September 1998

millenn Expansive of theme, expensive of sample, “Millennium” is a self-conscious event single, carrying itself as if Number One was never in doubt. But while Robbie Williams was the biggest star in Britain, he’d fluffed getting to the top with several iconic songs. Robbie’s most famous track of all, career ignition ballad “Angels”, had missed by several places. He was taking no more chances. Sweeping into the charts wearing a borrowed John Barry tuxedo, “Millennium” is as brazen a Number One as I’ve ever covered, but as needy a one too.

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Jul 14

PWC14 Third-Place Match: Chile v Iran

Pop World Cup 201410 comments • 281 views

alex daniel Welcome back, my friends, to the competition that is about to end. Rather behind schedule – not quite a month! – but when the football world cup has been this entertaining who can blame us? There are two matches to go. On Monday we’ll put up the POP WORLD CUP FINAL – England v Nigeria – which will then be set to end at the time the actual World Cup final kicks off (it’s almost as if we planned it). But before, this traditional appetiser, the third place match between our losing semi-finalists, lartsaegis’ Chile and Wichita Lineman’s Iran.

Both teams have given us some real highlights at this Pop World Cup. Chile got off to a slow (or maybe just long) start, gathering steam through the group stage before taking down the much-fancied Cameroon and Japan teams in the group stage. They’ve had a magnificent run, as have Iran, who have mostly stuck to an unusual and beguiling electro-tactic that neither the Swiss nor the Koreans could find a way past. In the end it was Foals who ended their winning run.

So now these sides take the pop stage one final time, and fight it out for third place. Iran have been here before, in 2006, Chile are new to this level. Tracks and poll below the cut – good luck both managers!

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Jul 14

Guess My Theory: Part BELGIUM

TMFD1 comment • 60 views

Marouane Fellaini

29
Jun 14

ALL SAINTS – “Bootie Call”

Popular20 comments • 1,482 views

#800, 12th September 1998

bootie All Saints’ pitch to be the classier girl group option rested on several things: their fashion sense, their songwriting, their metropolitan sophistication. But also their comfort with R&B – British cool, not for the first time, was being underwritten by familiarity with the music of black America. So “Bootie Call” is All Saints’ tilt at a straightforward, state-of-the-art, late 90s R&B single. It almost works.

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Jun 14

narnian origins: imagined islands in the great green sea of gloom

FT6 comments • 997 views

zenoSometimes you’re reading a book for purely aimless diversion and it strikes you that someone — some book-burrowing Arne Saknussemm — was there before you. I can’t really claim that C.S. Lewis ever read Donald S.Johnson’s Phantom Islands of the Atlantic: the Legends of Seven Lands that Never Were (since he died some three decades before its 1994 publication), but I am morally certain he had visited some of Johnson’s sources, long before Johnson.

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Jun 14

THE MANIC STREET PREACHERS – “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”

Popular117 comments • 4,346 views

#799, 5th September 1998

tolerate “You can interpret the lyrics,” huffed a Nazi goon caught nicking this song for the BNP’s website, “any way you want.” The specific double meaning of “if I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists” eludes me, but it’s true enough that the Manic Street Preachers’ lyricists had a taste for the oblique. Simple polemic was rarely their style: on their early records they favoured harsh, dense word-blocks, crushed by the transition to song into something barely singable, their uneasy imagery delivered by James Dean Bradfield as a compressed bark. But for all their rough treatment, the words mattered – for The Holy Bible the band took out double-page ads printing the record’s scorched, self-lacerating lyrics in full. They made records About Things, things number ones only occasionally break bread with: self-harm, depression, the decline of class consciousness. And here, apparently, the Spanish Civil War.

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Jun 14

Game of Thrones S04E10: The Children

FT4 comments • 189 views

Well, friends – here we are at the end of the series. Most of the loose ends have been tied  up, and  I take back last week’s grumble regarding frustrating cliff-hangers. For the most part, I’ve been vastly impressed by the showrunners’ interpretation of A Song Of Ice And Fire, particularly their ability to condense hundreds of pages, axe dozens of characters, change fairly significant details and still remain totally loyal to the best parts of the plot. I still find this show highly problematic and wish some things had been done differently, but I don’t think it’s necessary or wise to flog a dead Dothraki horse. The Children provided resolution to the major story arcs, sent nearly everyone across their own personal Rubicons, and looked frigging impressive while doing so.