Posts from 12th May 2004

May 04

The Smash Hits Charts, Saturday 8th May.

Do You SeePost a comment • 1,041 views

The Smash Hits Charts, Saturday 8th May. TheFit But You Know It video is on. In pretty much every scene Mike Skinner or associated crowd are drinking. But what are they drinking. Well its quite hard to say because all the cans and bottles are blurred out. The show goes out at 10am and perhaps they are trying to protect the kiddies from the demon drink – and indeed the Stella’s which turn up later in the song are also blanked out. Is needless censorship, responsible underage drinking policy or the good people at Smash Hits attempting to steal all the alcohol from the clip so they can drink it themselves?

TANYA’S ROUND OF RUBBISH Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 675 views

Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve

It is ironic that the drink spoiled (spilled, what with Ashcroft bumping into people so often) in this song is bitter. If I was to associate any kind of drink with the anally retro obsessed Verve it would be Real Ale, with its beardy advocates mumbling on the difference between Bishop Prick and Abbot’s Cunt-welcher. In the scheme of things The Verve are the Cunt-welcher and Ashcroft on his own is the Bishop’s Prick. A brown flat drink with bits floating in in, with nothing of the so called verve that a sharp Gin and Tonic has in it.

Bitter Sweet Symphony is worse than this metaphor would suggest, as it is not even a pure drink. Instead it is a slop tray full of Andrew Loog-Oldham’s strings and Ashcroft’s mumbled vocals. Only for the grizzled old geezer who sits at the end of the bar muttering how in his day he could take on all of yers.

364,417 words

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 253 views

364,417 words: That’s the sum total of my blogging output, a genuinely disturbing (for me) number. It’s more than the guy who co-founded Blogger. (And that’s not counting stuff done under pseudonyms, ahem.)

That has nothing to do with music at all. You can find out your total by doing ‘view profile’ on the front of Blogger. (UPDATE: Troubled Diva has ‘done’ over 500k so I feel a bit less prolix now.)

More Retro Bar Quiz

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 435 views

I did the Retro Bar Quiz last night and got the worst score I have ever managed there. It was a Eurovision special (I seem to recall going to the one last year too) and for the first time ever it was a 2-sheet answer form because every question (20 of em) had a “Eurovision connection”. So out of a maximum 40 points we reckon we got about 131/2. So so very poor that (again) for the first time I didn’t bother handing in our answers. Instead I filled in a lot of spurious, and possibly offensive, euro connections. Most of them about tATu being big lezzers.

There was a James Bond set of questions. We had to identify the themes for From Russia With Love, The Living Daylights and The Man with The Golden Gun. Another more enjoyable set of questions, in that we got nearly perfect answers, was the “featured artists” round. We had to identify Smiths w/ Sandi Shaw (vv easy), Sisters of Mercy w/ (poor tragic) Ofra Haza (v easy), ELO w/ Oliva Newton-John (vvv easy), Freddie Mercury w Montserrat Caball’ (vvvv easy) and Jimmy Sommerville w/ June Miles-Kingston (hard).

I’ll leave it to comments for you work out the Eurovision connection of the above answers. That’s if you want to.

So annoyed was I with my poor Eurovision knowledge that I found myself thinking, none too charitably, that though Retro bar regulars are largely miles away from the gay stereotype perpetuated in TV shows like Queer Eye and certain sitcoms, (as much so as any regulars in any 20-something bar), that this obsession with eurovision was just that step too gay. Even for me. Then I remembered the fuss caused by certain publoggers holding their wedding anniversary party (in a pub, obv) at the same time as the Eurovision. And that others had even suggested taping the whole thing – with concommitant “Likely Lads” style shenanigans to avoid finding out the results til watched.

Old “blogged” reports of going to the Retro quiz I found on the internet, like

Pleasant surprise of the day!

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 189 views

Pleasant surprise of the day! The gentle and effective flute part on Morrissey’s “I’m Not Sorry”. The rest of the record is a bit weak – it works fairly well as an executive summary of the Morrissey Brand, I suppose. There are lots of ponderous monologue tracks, some pretty good hooks, a handful of absolute stinkers, and the usual nod to rough totty. His voice is in fine form, but he swears a lot more than he used to.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 896 views


You have some sweets, let us say skittles. Do you:

a. Eat them at random?

b. Eat one of each colour at a time, letting colours run out?

c. Sort them and eat selectively to get an identical number of sweets of each colour, then eat one of each colour at a time?

d. Sort them and eat all specimens of a single colour, then move on to the next?

e. Sort them, eating the colours you don’t like and then eating one colour at a time on the rest?

As a side question, when you get down to the last few do you

i. Eat them one at a time?

ii. Put them all in your mouth at once?

Championing a film that everyone else thinks is rubbish

Do You SeePost a comment • 173 views

Championing a film that everyone else thinks is rubbish is about as much fun as can be had talking about film. Problem is you often go from liking a film a bit, to wide eyed evangelicism in a matter of days. I have noticed myself talking about The Company in this vein. I thought it was a rather nice ballet film, refreshing in its anti-narrative stance and revealing in its backstage normalcy. I have since found myself in pubs banging tables calling it the best film of the year. Check back in December I guess.

Here is a summary of what most critics seem to dislike about The Company:
a) The ballet is not all that good
b) There is no plot, no narrative and hence no real resolution
c) The backstage antics reduce to everyday people going about an often quite tedious job
d) Malcolm McDowell stands out like a sore thumb in his over acting campness
e) The whole film is a vanity project for Neve Campbell.

With the exception of point e) I agree with all the above, but crucially, these are the reasons why I really liked it. I also disagree that the film is a vanity project for Campbell. Her dancer may be slightly priviliged in the set-uo, but really we never see her as anything else but part of this company. Sure she produced and came up with the film. In which case, for a vanity project you would expect her to have some form of triumphant arc, not end up looking a bit stupid at the end.

What also seems to annoy the critics is Robert Altman using his interest in ensemble work to do not much else but portray the ensemble. The film is not really interested in a world outside it dance studios. Where is the biting satire of Nashville or The Player to eviscerate the ballet scene as middle class pretension. That Altman presents them as glamarously as bunch of brickies is much more subversive than pretending it is a puffed up world of poshos. There is not much money in ballet, with the possible exception of its afficionados, and the way Altman presents it there is not even all that much love for the art. What there is however is applicable to almost any work scenario, a sort of second hand camaraderie which is not unlike any office where people are working together to achieve a goal. The Company as a title is apt, Altman is not just talking about ballet here – he is talking about work. And it worked for me.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 462 views

FOODS EATEN IN CHILDREN’S BOOKS #1: Seed Cake – a perennial it seems to me in early 20th century children’s lit; the Wouldbegoods and Treasure Seekers were surely always noshing it. Not just children’s lit – it turns up in Ulysses too – but that is what I remember it from. This much older recipe makes it sound quite nice – when I read about it I always assumed it was rather chewy and tasted good-for-you.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 966 views


This was so popular last week that the great and the good of Freaky Triggers editorial panel thought it would be a good idea to do it every day, alternating blogs – you know to whip up some Proven By Science fervour. As is usually the case, the road to Freaky Trigger blogging is paved with good intentions.

Nevertheless myself and Carsmile Steve were at the Harringay Arms quiz last night, which is both well judged and blimmin’ hard. And the following question arose.

In which sport would you see a Sagwagon?


I Hate Music1 comment • 466 views


I briefly interrupt the Round Of Rubbish to discuss a major security threat. The Farm, foes of car radios everywhere (and not because they’re Scousers – have you heard their records?), have come out of retirement to record England’s Euro 2004 football anthem, a version of “All Together Now”. Of course I am against this, there are too many songs in football as it is. In fact I wrote to various football luminaries a while ago suggesting that fans should unnerve their opponents by maintaining total silence but received no response save an encouraging letter from that nice Mr.Wenger.

But as I splashed gin on my cornflakes this morning I suddenly realised that this was no ordinary football song. It was a TERRIBLE WARNING. For the song was originally written about a game played in the middle of a war and all the players ended up DEAD. And we too are in the middle of a war, well sort of, so I deduce that The Farm are all Al Qaida operatives and this is their thinly weiled threat to explode the whole of Euro 2004. Intern them now! And if the British Army want to torture someone without getting into trouble, well I don’t think anyone would mind seeing Peter Hooton with a pair of electrodes strapped to his gonads.