Posts from 7th October 2009

Oct 09

H TWO O – “What’s It Gonna Be?”

FT5 comments • 642 views

Obviously when bassline house poked its way into the 2007 charts what I hoped – and I wasn’t alone – is that this heralded UK Garage 2.0, one of those convergences of dance music trends, pop, and sales that lights up the Top 40 for a year or so. Didn’t happen, and there are a lot of reasons why that even a barely informed observer like me could pick up on: the scene is a regional one and lacked really committed metropolitan support, the follow-up singles weren’t always up to much, and importantly the bassline scene didn’t need chart success, whether as sales indicator or ‘validation’. As The Lex pointed out when the subject came up on Poptimists, there was no failure here.



Do You See + FT8 comments • 471 views

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is a terrific movie. Perhaps a touch smug with how clever it is in places, but its a solid narrative which confounds clichés at most turns whilst stuffing the slyest of sidegags and slapstick moments to keep every audience happy. It doesn’t try to be the kind of complete package that most Pixar films head for, it knows its a silly little kids movie, but it also knows that that is every reason to have as much fun as possible. And if that fun involves snowball fights with ice cream, hordes of attacking roast chickens or the bizarre sight of a whole island evacuating on rafts made of toast, so be it. It uses its computer animation as a tool to make its own cartoony world more dynamic. It would probably be not all that annoying in 3D (as ever these days, 2D did it for me). Indeed it is almost the perfect package.

Except. The whole film is predicated on the terrible problem that faces the small island of Swallow Falls. Their only major export was canned sardines, and thus when the company went bust, it left a massive backlog of sardines on the island.



FT + Popular74 comments • 8,342 views

#556, 7th September 1985, video

One of the questions I asked myself as I got halfway through Popular is: have the charts got worse? The answer to that question remains “let’s wait and see” but one reason people who grew into pop before 1984 might think they have is that the nature of the charts seems to have changed. I’d guess that for most of those people the ideal of the charts is as a mirror to all of pop music: if something exciting is happening in pop, it should be reflected in the Top 40. If that doesn’t happen, either the charts are broken, or the thing wasn’t so exciting after all.

But there’s another way the charts work, which is as a mirror to anything in mass culture: cinema, TV, the news, gameshows, sport.


Spot The Difference: Racism Special

Do You See + FT10 comments • 1,270 views

One assumes that with the London Evening Standard going free next week, the days of its lighter (liter) sibling the London Lite are numbered. Which means the days of the toughest puzzle in London are numbered. That’s right, we’ll be losing the Spot The Difference.

(For reference the five differences are always: Hemline, extra strap on shoe, bigger bag, alteration to a pattern and a missing piece of jewellery*.)

Anyway for big fans of this feature I have one for you for the up coming film Couples Retreat. Here is the US Poster.

And here is the UK poster.