Posts from April 2008

Apr 08

Pac-Man vs The Asteroids

FT2 comments • 851 views

In these days of Grand Theft Auto IV and WiiFit (who knew you could wee and get fit) its good to know there are plucky game designers out there doing it all for nothing. Perhaps as a showcase for half finished ideas, perhaps as a way of trying out ideas. Or just to show off. Anyway in flicking through a couple of these at Indie Games* I came across ROM CHECK FAIL! which is a acid fuelled nostalgia fest which has been a fun little diversion for the last couple of days.


Apr 08

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou – Episode 5

FT + Slug of Time Podcast + The Brown Wedge5 comments • 1,620 views

Dave Queen joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about the outrageous 1927 short story “The Red Brain”, written by Donald Wandrei when he was supposedly 16 years old. Elisha reads the story at the front of the programme and music comes courtesy of Budgie, Rush and Bad Brains.

Produced by Elisha Sessions

Next – “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury

P-1? P-2. P-3.

Do You See + FT/7 comments • 579 views

Do you know of anything artistic knocking around at the moment called P1? Maybe a novel, or a collection of poetry. A play, preferably a good one, or maybe one of the English National Opera’s experimental jobs at the Young Vic? Why? Well I kind of want, in a male collectorish manner – to collect a full set of P1, P2, P3. And all I’m missing is P1.

Where P-2 is a dodgy two handed horror thriller film coming out this weekend. Staring Rachel Nichols (who I quite liked in Alias), it is a mash-up of a survival horror flick and Die Hard Inna – where the Inna is a parking garage. Level P2 no less hence the name of the film. Whilst I doubt it will be much good, I fancy a slightly brutal horror where the female lead uses her brains to get out of the situation. (And you can’t begrudge a film with such an awesomely stupid tagline: “The only thing more terrifying than being alone, is discovering you’re not.”

And P3 is the new Portishead album.


BROTHERHOOD OF MAN – “Save Your Kisses For Me”

FT + Popular87 comments • 6,924 views

#387, 27th March 1976

I’ve argued before that there are no good songs about how lovely small children are: some counter-examples were raised in the comments box, but not many, and this surely wasn’t one of them. “Save Your Kisses For Me” is the kind of chirpy material that used to give Eurovision a bad name before the smirkers got hold of it: catchy, but too winsome to really enjoy. I’d point to it as a classic example of cynical Britain fobbing off any old rubbish on the song contest, except Brotherhood of Man actually won the thing. Especially heinous elements: the root-i-toot toy trumpet riff, the persistent triangle accompaniment, the “awwww” final chords after the twist. THE TWIST. Path to redemption: the opening irresistibly reminds me of “Mother’s Little Helper”.

because nothing says cosmic horror like a kitty in a flower

FT + The Brown Wedge/Post a comment • 318 views

omg – best book cover ever designed??

Red Brain by Dashiell Hammett

i mean, aside from the fact that dashiell hammett never wrote a story called “the red brain”. a little misleading, that! anyhow, tonight’s episode of slugs and stars features the 1927 title story – which was already WELL retro by the time this book came out (1965)

via this excellent, high quality collection of old paperback covers:

Apr 08

Europop 2008: Group C – France 2 Holland 2

FT11 comments • 755 views

Group C gets back underway with France playing Holland – both sides need a win, Holland in particular after their first-round defeat. Listen to the tracks, vote, and look below the cut for managerial comment, analysis, match reports and previews.

How To Vote: Just tick the track you like best! This poll closes on the 5th May, at lunchtime or thereabouts.

France vs Holland: Which of these tracks do you prefer?

  • France: Yelle 52%
  • Holland: Anouk 48%

Total Voters: 21

Poll closes: 6 May 2008 @ 14:00

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Not Brand Sex

Do You See + FT1 comment • 662 views

Russell Brand isn’t the best thing about Forgetting Sarah Marshall*, but he is very good in it. And interestingly what is so good about Brand in thsi film is that he is so gosh darned nice. Which has made me think about the Brand brand over here if you will, and how he has turned from a likeable TV host into a very divisive celebrity in two years. And perhaps the secret of his success in Marshall (and lack of success in St Trinians and most of his other projects between this and Big Brothers Big Mouth) all boils down to the difference between what he is and what we want him to be.

Brand’s schtick is being the erudite dandy. The juxtaposition between his look, his language and the way he uses his language creates a comic persona. Which was absolutely perfect on a strange phone in show like Big Brothers Big Mouth, a show where people ring up about the minutiae of a pretty unimportant reality TV show and this conversation is spun out into half an hour. A DAY.


Apr 08

TINA CHARLES – “I Love To Love”

FT + Popular79 comments • 7,007 views

#386, 6th March 1976

I get the strong impression that whoever wrote this came up with the line “I love to love but my baby just wants to dance” and then wrote a lyric around it – which is fine, it’s a great line, but it leaves Tina Charles in the position of having to sell a song around the idea of a boyfriend who never wants sex because he’s always out disco dancing. Maybe there are deeper issues, Tina. Just saying, like.


Apr 08

The Days Before We Came

FT11 comments • 761 views

“Five Lost Worlds” is my latest Pitchfork column – probably my most ambitious, possibly too ambitious. It’s about trying to understand the mid-70s from the perspective of not having consciously lived through them, and (more obviously) about the idea of “lost worlds” – the irrecoverability of past experience. Anyway, this is a cheat sheet for the piece: a bunch of links to stuff either mentioned in it or lurking behind it.


Apr 08

FOUR SEASONS – “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)”

FT + Popular108 comments • 8,811 views

#385, 21st February 1976

Another one tainted slightly by personal memories: on the jukebox at University, this was a chosen singalong track of the rugby lads. I did not like the rugby lads; they did not like me – ergo I did not like the song. In fact when I first acquired it for Popular, I had avoided it studiously since 1995 and firmly expected to hate it.

I don’t hate it.