Posts from 22nd August 2005

22
Aug 05

Poptimism 4 Mix CD – THE TRUTH

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If you were lucky enough to get a copy of the Poptimism 4 Mix CD, here is what you’ve been putting off listening to:

1. Atomic Kitten – “I Want Your Love” (The first and best Kitten single, with proper Kerry action and western samples)
2. Baby D – “I Need Your Loving” (Post-rave Korgis-lifting mainstream move, so pretty, at least until you get to the rap)
3. End – “You Only Live Once” (Chosen by Pete B, widescreen drum’n’bass)
4. Barry Adamson – “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Pelvis” (Jarvis Cocker collaboration, a long-ago a.m.a. favourite, thanks Ally for introducing me to it!)
5. Robyn – “Konichiwa Bitches” (Fannypack style pop-hop from ‘this year’s Annie’)
6. Chaka Demus and Pliers – “Boom” (Early 90s dancehall, superbly confident minimalism – “I came I saw and I conquer”)
7. Christina Milian – “I Can Be That Woman” (Should have been a single! Christina imagines the Daft Punk/Britney collaboration into stellar existence)
8. The Knife – “Heartbeats (Rex The Dog Remix)” (The two people who DIDN’T already have it will have a treat in store)
9. D.A.F. – “Kebab Traume” (Spindly NDW which I knew for ages from a scratchy live version on C81, included here on a last minute whim)
10. Leila K – “Ca Plane Pour Moi” (Queen of Swedish Reggae and Dr Alban collaborator in raucous dance-pop cover of new wave classic – she is the queen of the divan.)
11. “New Wave Jacket” (Apologies to Pete, who chose it, but I’ve forgotten who these noisy Japanese are!)
12. “I Like You” (Pete leads us out with a sweet 1950s Hawaiian love song)

MANFRED MANN – “Pretty Flamingo”

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#214, 7th May 1966

The girl in the song – a flash of colour in everyday guy-land – maps onto the flamingo metaphor itself, that odd flutter of inspiration in a heavy-handed song. The image of the flamingo-girl gives the song a hook and title but not a center: she’s untouchable, and the singer can only even imagine her as ‘his’ in the context of other guys’ envy. That gives the track a little bit of pathos which the lumbering arrangement does its best to waste – the woodwind in particular sounds forced and clumsy, and you can imagine the flamingo strutting disdainfully on by.

Grown Up A Cow

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C.O. – “Life On Mars”

I saw this in somebody’s Eurodance folder on a P2P. Hmmm, I thought, could it be…? It was! And better than I could have imagined – the singer really goes for the song, erasing David Bowie’s fey, considered efforts in an avalanche of Eurobeat mania. No quarter given for accent (marvellously thick) or lyrics (somewhat broadly interpreted), and the actual tune – one of Bowie’s best – can blare out as the stomper it always was. Special extra bonus points for the terrace rhythm break near the end, too. Altogether now – “From Ibiza to the Norfolk Bloaurgh!”

There Are No Scots In Glasgow

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Unleashed, starring Jet Li is set in Glasgow. I don’t just know this because I recognised parts of Glasgow in the background. The characters actually say it. One is studying at the School of Music (though seems vastly under qualified to do so, being on Grade 3 piano as far as I can work out). But you would never know that Glasgow was in Scotland from the characters.

I know we are living in multi-cultural Britain. And it is quite possible for a leading gangster to be a cockney. And it could be quite possible for his henchmen to all be English too. It starts becoming less plausible that everyone he extorts is English as well. Equally I have no problem with an American being at the School of Music and living with her American step-father (though the fees on a blind piano tuners pay must be crippling). And an orphaned Chinese boy could easily be left behind. However all these characters seem to exist in a vacuum of Glaswegians.

EVEN THE WOMAN WHO WORKS IN THE SPAR IS NOT SCOTTISH!

This, of course, adds to the films fun value. As do the absolutely terrific Jet Li fights (especially the one in the toilet). Bob Hoskins chews the scenery magnificently as the bad guy and the very generic plot manages via the leads acting (especially Li’s) to be both convincing and affecting. It is, be warned, a very strangely paced film. It is a U rated tender film about a man raised as a dog, sandwiched by a brutal martial arts film. It works because both bits of this sandwich are acted and filmed with complete conviction.

They should have stuck with the original title though. Danny The Dog is a great name for a film.

Lambert’s

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Went to Lambert’s on Sunday for lunch. I’d been meaning to check it out for a while, passing it on the way home from work quite often, and Al’s visit seemed a good opportunity. I’m keen on there being a good “modern British” restaurant near our gaff, partly because it’s tasty, and partly because a lot of my relatives are quite “un-modern British” of palate and the multiply amazing curry houses of Tooting are not for them.

Does Lambert’s fit the bill? At first I felt a little intimidated – it has a very plain front, and you can’t actually see whether anyone’s inside, so it always looks like it might be shut. Then when you get in it’s all very smart – cream and brown decor, local modern art, staff in fashionable black togs. But the staff are very friendly and crucially they love talking about the food, their enthusiasm becomes infectious and you get the feeling you’re definitely in good hands.

Any lingering doubts vanished when I started tucking in. I had a foie gras parfait on lovely hot toast – the gras was particularly light and melty and still rich. Then delicious tender roast beef with roasted vegetables – by this point I was so keen on Lambert’s that I ate a courgette for the first time in about ten years (the answer is still no, though). The service was quick and I got the feeling we could have lingered without being bothered, instead I had a pub to go to so didn’t try a dessert.

All in all, a definite and solid hit, and Isabel and I are pencilling in another visit soon.