Posts from May 2008

May 08

Comics: A Beginner’s Guide: Hernandez Brothers

The Brown Wedge4 comments • 1,181 views

I routinely review what I read on my LJ blog. After a recent comic review, one friend asked for a dummies’ guide to comics. It’s not the first time I’ve come across someone interested who doesn’t really know where to start. I thought I might write a sequence of short pieces suggesting where to look for great material in various areas (styles, genres, eras). Bear in mind that libraries often have good selections of comic collections these days, and you can generally order things for very low charges from other local libraries. I’ll also try to indicate when there are cheap editions available. Anyway, I thought I’d start with what has long been by stanard answer if an intelligent, literate person is interested in knowing what might be worth reading…


May 08

FTPost a comment • 123 views

Scooter JumpstyleScooter ‘Jumping All Over The World’
Kim Wilde, Limahl, Quo, OMD, Sisters ov Mercies, and er Sailor. All jumped up and fabulous style.

May 08

Europop 2008: Group C Finale

FT14 comments • 543 views

Qualification from Group C is on a knife-edge with all four sides still in with a shout. Listen to the songs, vote on which you prefer, and click below the cut for managerial comment, analysis, and previews.

How to vote: Simply vote for the track you like best in each match. If you download, please try and vote! (You will need to press the “vote” button separately in each game.) And remember, Group B is also still active until Monday!

France v Italy: Which of these tracks do you prefer?

  • France: Melissa Mars 64%
  • Italy: FPI Project 36%

Total Voters: 28

Poll closes: 29 May 2008 @ 12:00

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Holland v Romania: Which of these tracks do you prefer?

  • Holland: Johan 57%
  • Romania: Simplu 43%

Total Voters: 23

Poll closes: 29 May 2008 @ 12:00

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Take in your copy of the Ultimate Future Shock

FT + The Brown Wedge/1 comment • 392 views

al-booksigning.JPGFoistered on an unsuspecting public like an epidemic of ebola, an occasional writer of this parish has hit the BIG TIME. Al Ewing has written a book which has been considered to be so awesome that the UK’s Flagship Sc-Fi, Fantasy, Comics and bizarre Vinyl Statue store* Forbidden Planet is having him in to sign it. The book is called “I, Zombie” – which one assumes is a taboo busting piece of erotic fiction doing for the 21st Century what Lady Chatterley’s Lover did for the 20th (ie upset a lot of people). Clearly having your name emblazoned in the window and on a sandwich board outside such a store is the definition of having MADE IT!

The novel is described thusly: “A pulse-pounding mix of horror, private-eye story and science-fiction adventure.


May 08

Popular ’76

FT + Popular//552 comments • 17,624 views

I give marks out of 10 to every song – based on whatever criteria you like, here’s your opportunity to say what you’d have given more than 6 to from 1976. Tick as many as you like.

Number One Hits Of 1976: Which Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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And use the comments to discuss the year as a whole, if you like.

Manga Review #3: Gyo

FT + The Brown Wedge5 comments • 681 views

On a recommendation from Martin Skidmore, last night I read all of Junji Ito’s horror manga Gyo: The Death Stench, which is out in English now. It was very impressive and entertaining. I’ll try to keep spoilers in this review to a minimum, but some are inevitable:

I’m not usually a big fan of horror in any medium, because I don’t much like being frightened: but Gyo isn’t so much frightening as creepy and thrilling and unsettling in its consistently perverse imagination. The first half of the story mixes thrill-powered chase action, weird body horror and onrushing global disaster and is shot through with a sense of the ridiculous.


JOHNNY MATHIS – “When A Child Is Born (Soleado)”

FT + Popular48 comments • 4,820 views

#398, 25th December 1976

Thought of as a Christmas single, because of when it charted, this of course is actually a rare Number One hit that takes as its theme the Second Coming, which will be marked, according to Mathis, by everyone feeling quite nice for a little bit. Reducing the eschatalogical theology of the Christian faith to “Superbaby is coming to save us” lessens the record’s evangelical power but probably makes it more bearable: this is inoffensive schlock which glides by easily without ever threatening to win me over. That’s the fault of the material, not Mathis, who puts in a creamy, kindly performance: a bad record, but a good advert for its singer.

May 08

A Bite of Stars, a Slug of Time, and Thou – Episode 8

FT + Slug of Time Podcast + The Brown Wedge//////13 comments • 1,437 views

Kat Stevens joins Mark Sinker and Elisha Sessions to talk about Choose Your Own Adventure books, speaking with animals, and “Build Up Logically”, an unclassifiable short story written in 1950 by Howard Schoenfeld. It’s about two men who can summon the entire universe from thin air but spend most of their time at parties. Elisha reads the story in case you haven’t.

Produced by Elisha Sessions

Just out of interest

FT73 comments • 1,694 views

I wonder where people stand on this rock-historical issue:

Do you think the Sex Pistols' "God Save The Queen" actually sold enough to get to No.1 but was prevented from doing so by some means or other?

  • Yes 64%
  • No 36%

Total Voters: 87

Poll closes: 23 May 2008 @ 16:00

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Note that this isn’t the same as “Should it be covered on Popular?” I’ll make that decision when the time comes (or may have already made it!).

May 08

SHOWADDYWADDY – “Under The Moon Of Love”

FT + Popular147 comments • 8,709 views

#397, 4th December 1976

A recurring theme on recent Popular comments threads has been the idea that one track or another represents “why punk had to happen”: a feeling – easy, perhaps too easy, to identify in hindsight – that pop and rock had stagnated or slipped into irrelevance. The phrase is slightly weaselly – it suggests that bad or dull records somehow caused punk, whereas more likely they provided the background conditions for it to be embraced. Anyway, here’s another candidate, at Number One when the Sex Pistols were first nosing into the charts and when John Peel was publically embracing the new music.