Posts from 11th May 2004

May 04

Sunday Afternoon. Four thirty.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 456 views

Sunday Afternoon. Four thirty. I know it is the end of the football season, and pretty much everything is decided, but how many people do you think might be in a Battersea bar watching, on a very generous big screen, the Arsenal Fulham game? If we leave out the bar staff. One.

Well three when we enter Raven 144 for a swift pint. Why we left the nice pubs (The Woodman and The Castle on Battersea Square) I have no idea. But entering this spruced up ex-pub it was quite clear that the area did not have any time for it. The barmaid was sitting on the punters side of the bar sipping a desultory half of lager. The other occupant sat in a leather sofa slowly nursing a third of a pint of Guinness Extra Cold*. He did this all the time we sat there.

The place was probably a pretty rubbish pub before its refurb. I am using the law of averages for this, since the two nearest pubs on Battersea Square, the Woodman and The Castle are both really rather nice. Both the Castle and the Woodman have decent beer, very friendly atmosphere and a strange kind of cobbled together jumble sale of furniture which felt welcoming. The Castle is a Young’s pub, the Woodman operating from the Bitburger/Badger axis recently identified round here. Raven 144 on the other hand operates on Stella and Guinness on tap and bottled beers.

Raven’s last hope rests on the current refurb of The Woodman. I was horrified to find that this lovely little pub was being refurbed, though apparently it is a long awaited sprucing up, the landlord is remaining the same. I cannot imagine its punters going to Raven instead of The Castle, but maybe these neighbourly pubs have an emnity which seperates its custom. I shall report back.

*You could tell it was Extra Cold because they did not do regular Guinness.

The sound went ker-fluiieee when I went to see Van Helsing on Sunday.

Do You SeePost a comment • 216 views

The sound went ker-fluiieee when I went to see Van Helsing on Sunday. (Yes I know, I too fear that I am becoming a jinx). So my experience of the film is tempered by
a) Missing a bit in the middle while I went out to notify/complain to the management
b) Not hearing any dialogue, only sound effects for a good half of the film
c) Being generally pissed off.

Up to this point I had been rather enjoying the whole mess, though it was becoming increasingly clear that the film was not going to let up for one second. Also Kate Beckinsale had only been in it for about twenty minutes and her usual rubbishness was still being tempered by the really silly accent she was using. When I could no longer hear her accent, she really started to annoy.

Point is we missed most of the plot, not being able to hear the exposition. It seemed quite clear that the entire sporadic dialogue existed only to explain what seemed to be a really rather convoluted reason for Dracula, his brides employing the Wolfman to catch Frankenstein to help him give birth to the aliens from Aliens. I am not sure I would have enjoyed any of the reasons, but that was not my choice.

Do I want to go back and watch it again? I am not sure if I could take it. I have seen all the stunts and yes they did evoke a kind of wild eyed childish glee, but I do not really need to see them again. The plot I fear would really annoy me. And in the end I am not sure if the film could get better then the moment in the final battle where the sound gave up completely and the crowd started supplying their own dialogue and sound effects.

TANYA’S ROUND OF RUBBISH Gin Soaked Boy – The Divine Comedy

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 829 views

Gin Soaked Boy – The Divine Comedy

This sacrilige on my favoured tipple makes me physically sick, unlike the lovely drink it is based on. The Divine Comedy of course was Dante’s recolections of his travels through hell. A more apt name for Neil Hannon’s band could not be thought of: like travelling through a hell thought up by Hitler, The Son Of Sam and Bill Hailey could not be any worse. Dandyfied pop fop, with arch lyrics, sub Lightning Seeds tunes and a truly punchable twat fronting them. How dare the Divine Comedy sing about Gin. If I ever get my hands on him, it will not be Gin he will be soaked with. Petrol Soaked Boy more like, and then we will see the Pop Singers Fear Of A Matchstick.

THE FOUR TUNES – “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”

FT + New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 536 views

THE FOUR TUNES – “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (aka PopNose 11) – bluesy doo-wop from 1953, the Four Tunes’ last RCA release according to this site. I love this record – it’s drenched in resigned sorrow but so warm and relaxing too: listening to it I feel sorry for the singer, putting a brave face on grief but transparently failing. It was one of the first MP3s I ever downloaded, from the Usenet 1950s group (the source of loads of great doo-wop). I didn’t realise it was a Duke Ellington song and I’ve still not heard any other versions. As far as I can tell there’s nothing by the band in print, and this recording isn’t even listed on the All Music guide, so if you find anything else out about it let me know!

Why Superman is rubbish

The Brown Wedge6 comments • 1,949 views

Why Superman is rubbish. Or to be more precise, a Time article on why Superman is rubbish at the moment. If one bypasses obvious small reasons like Chuck Austen writing one of them, the article misses out the real reason. Superman is, with one exception, always going to be rubbish.

There is really only one Superman story that actually works dramatically. And that is pretty much the origin. Not the infant rocketed from Krypton bit, as writers of even more ill-considered archetypal rip-offs have found (step up Supreme and Mr Majestic). Rather the appearance of an all powerful superhuman who can do anything. The realisation that this demi-god walks among us is the the novelty in the story, the seeming limitless bounds of his powers. Any other story is merely an addendum, Superman can beat up anyone effortlessly.

The answers to this problem effectively destroy the essence of the character. Depowering him makes him “considerably less that Superman”. Creating villians who are as powerful or more so remove his uniqueness. Creating new weaknesses again makes him less Super. Putting him in a world of other superheroes does not really help, they will always be contrasted against him. The hook of the all-powerful Superman is also what makes him impossible to write. Especially for seventy years.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 458 views


Nick Southall’s review of The Streets is one of the more sensible ones.

Speaking of The Streets, comparisons pour in. The Specials, Serge Gainsbourg (duh!), Chas N Dave, Dexys, J.Pac, and Posey Simmons’ Gemma Bovary! Ive also seen The Office referenced in a few print reviews, which seems fair. John Sutherland in his Streets=Keats piece a while ago mentioned the Pet Shop Boys (hmmmm), the Kinks (not really) and the Chemical Brothers (!?!?!?!?) (“I believe they make ‘electronica’ m’lud”).

Ronan Vs Fun: as you might guess I’m much keener on eclectic funarama mixes than journey-taking stuff but that’s a function of my age and dancing and stimulant preferences – I wouldn’t want to see it drive out or abolish ‘serious dance music’. So I’m really glad Ronan’s writing this stuff.

Answer records from the useful-as-always Everyhit, inspired by that Frankee record. Which I have decided is rubbish, for anyone counting.

Coming to Club Popular?

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,065 views

Coming to Club Popular? Stuck for suggestions…?. The contest (scroll down) is still open…

Chants laureate appointed

TMFDPost a comment • 210 views

Chants laureate appointed: If you thought the entire scheme to appoint a chants laureate was a misguided notion fated to produce ‘chants’ that are over-elaborate and not very funny… then you were probably right.

Major Sidebar Revamp!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 452 views

Major Sidebar Revamp! Since downloads of our lovely PopNose files have declined rather I’m putting them on the sidebar (including new PopNose 14) – I’ll still put an entry here for the increasingly scarce comments and of course the reveals will be here too. I’ve also added a BUNCH OF NEW LINKS – if you think we should be linking to you and we’re not then let me know. And Tom’s Top 12 of three months ago has finally been replaced, with 9 songs I like and one I loathe smuggled in (tho somewhat easily guessable).