Posts from 10th February 2005

Feb 05

THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS – “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”

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#186, 6th February 1965

Size always matters: there are few surer-fire ways of creating a pop impact than by recording something which sounds bigger than whatever else is around. It might not win credibility (step forward, Meat Loaf) but it generally wins fans. But the moment passes and faced with former blockbusters you can find yourself scratching your head and saying, yes, but what’s it for?

The Wall of Sound isn’t entirely immune – a few of Spector’s riper productions sound a little bit ridiculous now, as blowsy as the operatic ballads of the pre-rock 50s. But on the whole his insight – that if your songs dramatise young love in crisis, you can never sound too big – served him well. The Righteous Brothers don’t sound young, though, in fact their deep, slow voices sound exhausted, crushed, bound for the tomb – if not already there.

Numbed and broken by their struggles in the quicksand of a dying love, the Brothers sound shocked, then angry, and then the dam breaks on their double-voiced grief and desperation. It’s in that call and response section – and in the granite determination of the final chorus – that Spector’s methods really justify themselves.

(The opening line of this song is fantastic, too – tiny, acute, heartbreaking, you immediately know that no matter how loud the record gets, this is a hopeless battle.)

Football Poetry

TMFDPost a comment • 841 views

Football Poetry

Not sure if this has been linked before. Some of them are absolute cock, but not all.

As Matt DC rightly points out via email

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 337 views

As Matt DC rightly points out via email, this is the greatest BBC Talking Point of all time.

War on pants!

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 167 views

War on pants!

“That’s why they’re called undergarments…they’re supposed to be worn under something else.”

Superman was unavailable for comment.

The Carlton Club

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 504 views

The Carlton Club

Formed in reaction to the Reform Act of 1832, the Club still has very strong links with the Conservative Party. I was there for a small conference and first we gathered at ‘Cads Corner’ where coffee was served. Lunch was very good indeed – the extremely rare beef with whole grain mustard and crystal salt base was absolutely gorgeous. We ate in the MacMillan room, gazed upon by lots of pictures of former Tory Prime Ministers.

I checked the noticeboard and saw William Hague is soon to speak about how Conservative ideas are taking the world by storm. I suspect he won’t mention the role the US Military have in this spreading of such ideas. There’s lots of minor positions for members, which honours an unwritten rule of boys’ clubs that it’s about the ritual, not the content, and so give everyone jobs, regardless of whether the job actually has any role to perform at all.

I looked in vain for the toilet but saw no sign indicating the gents. I was guided there by the porter and realised that the toilet didn’t have a sign indicating gents or ladies; it’s a gentlemen’s club so most toilets are for the chaps, so they don’t need ideograms. There’s only one ladies loo in the place and that’s in the basement, naturally.

I don’t think it’s my scene, but I suspect I’m not theirs.

Troy Lager

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 897 views

Troy Lager

I can’t believe this has never been reported on the publog before. Those of you who have been to the Notting Hill Arts Club for to see the nindie bands will have drank it, because it’s the cheap lager there. Those of you who haven’t been have almost certainly never drank it, as NHAC is, to the best of my knowledge, THE ONLY PLACE IN THE WORLD that sells it, which considering it is IMPORTED FROM TURKEY seems a little unlikely. Theories were proposed last night that they only brew 100 bottles a week and then sell it all to the club, or that in fact, they find it floating in the grand union canal… it’s not like the club gives off an [ahem] turkish vibe and also considering the number of grocers run by people of turkish extraction round my way, how come none of them sell it either??

Unlike these people (scroll down a fair bit) who say “there is an interesting softness and a refreshingly clean finish to this beer that makes it highly drinkable” i’d say “it’s cheap*, it tastes like washing-up liquid, how come i’m on my sixth one already?” (that link proves that it is available at at least one other bar, IN JAPAN!)

Finally, searching for “troy lager” on the interweb takes you to some mad polish music site, “glownie trance” is how i feel this morning as well…

*until 9 it’s ‘2 a bottle, which is pretty good, however it then goes up to ‘2.75 which is frankly taking the piss, especially as that still makes it the cheapest beer they have…

Fun Tonight!

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Fun Tonight!

Just a reminder that tonight we’re guest-DJing at Hit or Miss at Nambucca. “Soul, funk and surprises” – as of yet I don’t know whether I’ll be playing anything soulful, funky, or surprising, but the CD I whipped up last night has the Pipkins, Amerie, Wham!, M.I.A., Barry Manilow, All Saints, the Fu-Schnickens and Midi, Maxi and Efti on it, so that gives you some idea of where my ‘head’ is ‘at’. Whether any, all or none of these are actually played or not is a different matter. We’re on from 9, the night starts a bit earlier, thanks a lot to the people from Hit or Miss for asking us to play and we hope to see some of you there!


Blog 7Post a comment • 2,358 views

MAD LOVE. CRAZY LOVE. DOG LOVE. I talk of course, about the love between a girl and her dog. The Paris Hilton Collection. Inspired by her TINY DOG.

I love Paris Hilton.


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 156 views

GREAT EASTERN ADVENTURES aka Sarah Goes To Shoreditch.

The Strongroom is a) a bar and b) in Shoreditch. The Old Street/Shoreditch/Hoxton area is a part of London where my usual friendliness with the city declines. I’ve lived in London for years, and can count one the fingers of one hand the amount of times I’ve used Old Street tube station. I can’t tell you the location of any of the trendy young people’s bars round there, and when asked to name a pub in the area to meet in before going to the Strongroom last night, I had no idea. This is ME we’re talking about, I always have an idea! But last night, the Strongroom was host to the always marvellous Mind’s Construction album launch party. My feelings of trepidation had been soothed slightly by a trip to the outwardly horrid but inside nice Reliance, but on the walk to the Strongroom my nerviness increased. Will it be nine pounds for a gin and tonic? Will I be able to hear myself speak? Will I be grabbed at the door by a thirty stone bouncer and be forced into a MULLET and trousers that show off my PANTS?

HOW SURPRISING though! The venue has an initially unnerving two-and-a-half-levels structure, a seating area, stage and decks downstairs, a real actual Shoreditch looking bar upstairs, and the half-miniature-level of the toilets. The door to the ladies was wide open all night – I found this slightly disturbing, and so did a young chap who stumbled in – saw all the ladies “powdering their noses” and ran out in fear. Perhaps it was a feminist statement? It’s not a very good one, whatever happened to the good old days of Valerie Solanis? Kids these days. But I’m digressing.

At first, I let my bar fear get to me. I am quite a small person and as such find it HARD TO LOOK OVER TALL BARS, especially when they are crowded! I quickly try to scan the fridges for real actual BEER BOOZE, see none and play it safe with gin and lime. My next comrade-in-booze however finds the REAL reason why the Strongroom is fantastic: Anchor Steam Beer. Boy oh BOY this stuff is tasty! At first I am baffled by the fact that their lager selection is chosen from the USA (a colleague drank Brooklyn lager) and not Belgium (as I was previously informed), but I put aside my prejudices and I’m glad I did. A strong but not overpowering TIPPLE is the Anchor Steam, and I’ve discovered a nice folk tale behind it as well! It’s not cheap but considering general prices of non-cooking lager it’s not overly pricey either. I’d make another visit for the purposes of drinking Anchor Steam alone, but add to that a genuinely nice atmosphere and ambience and suddenly Shoreditch* seems like a treat.

A note to America – this is the GOOD STUFF. Can we kiss and make up, and pretend that Coors and Miller pish never happened? Please?

*NB I am so forming a band called “Suddenly Shoreditch”.

The Physics Detective Part Four — Lorimer the Louse

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 360 views

The Physics Detective Part Four — Lorimer the Louse

“But at least he finished his referee’s report before he died” … !!!

Pretty much a transition episode this week, since nobody’s buying Lorimer as a serious suspect. In a major new twist, Feng is suddenly being portrayed as a cheat. Perhaps he fabricated data, or airbrushed over his mistakes and lied to Jaeger about them? We’ll have to wait to hear his side of the story. But how credible is he now, having joined forces with Pruszczyncki, the seemingly evil inventor of Killer Negadex?

I hope we’ll hear from Wilfred de Bruijn next. He worked closely with Jaeger, had serious issues with him, knew the experiment very well, and should know the truth behind the AFFAIR WITH THE BLONDE RUSSIAN POSTDOC THAT WAS TOO HOT FOR SCIENCE.