Posts from 20th August 2007

Aug 07

PETERS AND LEE – “Welcome Home”

FT + Popular124 comments • 13,473 views

#334, 21st July 1973

Suppose one wanted to give “Welcome Home” a low mark – what actual grounds would one have for saying it’s a bad record? It’s a catchy, memorable, uptempo song, delivered in a friendly and honest way. It’s sentimental, but a level of sentimentality is almost inevitable when you’re trying to communicate big emotions in a small song. Certainly its sense of calm and relief doesn’t transmit as phoney.

But I don’t want to listen to it again, either – I can make myself empathise with it but that doesn’t come naturally. It’s not an exciting record. It doesn’t want to be, so this is another unfair criticism, but one which gets closer to the contentedly huge gap between what “Welcome Home” offers and what I want. Pop music needs to agitate me somehow, contain questions or conflicts, provoke reactions (physical ones are fine!), build imaginative worlds – but “Welcome Home” is all resolution, a happy ending without a story to lead me to it. In the end I can’t respond to it, not because it’s bad, or poorly crafted, but because it feels too complete. Maybe later.

IHM Health & Safety watch: THE WATERBOYS “The Whole Of The Moon”

FT + I Hate Music3 comments • 1,030 views

Mike Scott was not a clever man. For instance, he seems unaware that all he has to do to see the whole of the moon, rather than a crescent, is wait a couple of weeks.

However, the object of his affections in this song is perhaps even more stupid than him. The lyrics – while couched in the visionary allegory one might expect from a man who has “heard the big music” and so “will never be the same” – paint a pretty shocking picture.


It Were All Nerds Round Here When I Was A Lad

FT + The Brown Wedge8 comments • 582 views

Via I Love Comics comes this link to a remarkable collection of pictures from a 1982 comics convention. It’s a parade of earnest men – mostly men – in polyester suits, from a time when even respectability was an aspirational dream for the industry, let alone cool. Which doesn’t stop a politics of cool emerging from the pictures – several men from the emergent indie comix scene are (gasp!) tie-less, and there’s a picture of indie publisher Gary Groth smirkily enjoying being a hep fish in a hopeless pond. (The radical firebrands of early 70s comics, like Steve Engelhart and Steve Gerber, look awkward and morose in their suitiness, but suited they are).


FTPost a comment • 151 views

Midway Still“Because Midway Still Aren’t Coming Back.” Well, they did, but they shouldn’t.

The Unstoppable Power Of The Penguin

Do You See + FTPost a comment • 1,909 views

I saw two films on Saturday afternoon. One was the terrific, ruthlessly efficient machine that was The Bourne Ultimatum. There is little to say about it except THE 43 BUS DOES NOT GO PAST WATERLOO STATION. Except for that two second wrench out of an otherwise almost perfectly choreographed movie it does exactly what you expect it to do and leaves you gasping. Well done to my lookilikee Matt Damon and Greengrass off of Heartbeat.
The other film was JUST AS GOOD. In a very different way. I saw a trailer for Surf’s Up about six months ago, maybe even before Happy Feet (the singing penguin movie). I must admit to rolling my eyes and wondering openly if the world needed another CGI animated penguin movie. Especially one about surfing penguins. And having seen it, and enjoyed it thoroughly I am still not sure if NEED is the right word. But the perversity of the project is what makes it great. You see Surf’s Up is an CGI animated surfing penguin movie in the form of a mockumentary.