Posts from February 2010

Feb 10

Hauntography: A School Story

The Brown Wedge17 comments • 4,059 views

Here is a link to the story, which you might want to read instead of the first 900 words of this and here is a link to a word about our Hauntography project.

Firstly, mostly to get them out of the way, two boring anecdotes.

Semi-irrelevant anecdote #1:
Once when I was working in Waterstones in Oxford, I sold lovely David Mitchell a book of M R James’ ghost stories. The end.

Semi-irrelevant anecdote #2:
I went to a supposedly haunted school.


Feb 10

Pop World Cup – Radio Roundup 4

Pop World Cup PodcastPost a comment • 161 views

Group D sees our first taste of scandal as Peter Baran questions the ancestral authenticity of the German entry, Heinz, whose fuzzy guitar rock paces Australia’s Sneaky Sound System step for step. And drugs – they aren’t unknown on the Serbian electro circuit but it’s not clear if their influence will be effective for J.K., especially when matched against a fluent Ghanaian side represented by Ayigbe Edem (very much featuring Sarkodie). Kat Stevens once again joins Baran and Roger Bozack for all the highlights and results. Our outro is “On Thin Ice” by S.K. Invitational featuring Lylit.

Produced by Elisha Sessions.

Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – New Zealand 3 Slovakia 1

FT//24 comments • 1,007 views

The second group F game sees New Zealand and Slovakia go head to head – two Pop World Cup unknowns making their debut on the biggest stage. Both have gone for experienced managers, Steve Mannion in the Kiwis’ dugout while Julio de Souza slips on his sheepskin coat for the Slovaks.

This match will end at midnight on March 4th – for now, get voting.


I Barely Knew ‘im!

Do You See + FT3 comments • 527 views

Pandorum posterCam Gigandet (did I stutter?) started out as a young hunk on the Young and the Restless, moved on to playing a young hunk on the OC, kicked off his movie career as young hunk James in Twilight, and now turns up as a young hunk with blindingly white teeth in Pandorum, a pleasingly second-rate sci fi action horror flick set far in the future when Earth has finally groaned and broken under the weight of all its pesky human inhabitants and one last, colossal spaceship has taken off with the last of the human race.

Yes this is also how Wall-E starts. But where Wall-E gave us a good 30 dialogue-free minutes on the desolation of a post-human Earth, this movie starts deep in the bowels of the de rigeur giant spaceship where everyone except rotating teams of flight crew are deep in “hypersleep”, waiting to touch down on a pre-identified Earth-like planet that lies several thousand light years away.

A member of the flight crew awakens fitfully, his memory a fog. He peers around. No lights. He snaps a glow-stick. A thick layer of dust covers the room. Suffice to say, he doesn’t yet know about the evil alien clowns aboard who can run like greased lightning and who like nothing better than snacking on fresh human.


Feb 10

FERRY AID – “Let It Be”

FT + Popular62 comments • 7,244 views

#588, 4th April 1987, video

A newspaper is a version of the world, and a successful newspaper builds a world that not only reflects the real one, it infects it. In its 80s heyday The Sun was not only the highest circulation daily paper in Britain, it had a cultural weight that went well beyond that: it comforted its readers and haunted its enemies in the way the Mail does now. The Sun’s mix of tub-thumping, scandal, sex, games and coupons might have simply been a variation on a winning tabloid formula that stretched back to the Boer War, but editor Kelvin McKenzie pitched the paper exactly right for its brash, greedy times.

“Let It Be” is The Sun’s number one record, its logo proudly on the label and the sleeve. The disaster which sparked the single – a car ferry capsized due to crew negligence, killing 193 people – might not ordinarily have led to a charity record, but several of the dead were Sun readers, on board the Herald Of Free Enterprise because the paper had run a special offer on ferry tickets, away-day breaks to Europe being a reliable sales booster. So the Sun owned the event from start to finish, acting as chief mourner. After the disaster it hit on Stock Aitken and Waterman to produce the record and started working its, and their pop contacts book. Within a week this is what they’d come up with.


Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – Italy 0 Paraguay 0

FT//30 comments • 1,065 views

Group F’s opener sees Paraguay, managed by Talia, take on Marna’s Italy side. Both these teams came bottom of their groups at the last Pop World Cup – while it’s probably fair to say pop minnows Paraguay will be looking to enjoy the experience, surely Italy won’t be about to repeat their 2006 collapse?

Vote in the poll below the cut – you have until midnight on the 3rd March to pick your favourite.


Feb 10

Pop World Cup – Radio Roundup 3

Pop World Cup Podcast1 comment • 281 views

The Group of Death! Or is it? After an inconclusive start to the Group B battle, Peter Baran (doing double duty as manager of Team USA) and Roger Bozack are joined in the booth by the manager of the Slovenian side, Kat Stevens, as we take in all the action and results from the Group C matches between England and the USA and Algeria and Slovenia. Titans will clash, but which ones? We hear from Tinkara, Chaba Zahouania, Joe Cocker, and Yeasayer.

Produced by Elisha Sessions.

Feb 10

MEL AND KIM – “Respectable”

FT + Popular74 comments • 8,002 views

#587, 28th March 1987, video

The marvellous italo-house keyboard break in the middle of “Respectable” gives the game away: Stock Aitken and Waterman were Britain’s premier pop Europhiles. Their late-80s heyday is as near as UK pop has come to European Union – a joyful pan-continental pop sound with Mel, Kim, Rick et al. joining Taffy and Sinitta in vibrant, tinny one-ness.


Pop World Cup 2010: Group E – Cameroon 1 Japan 1

FT//27 comments • 1,083 views

It’s been a good tournament for the African sides so far: but Cameroon’s Weston Debevec has a very tough opening game against pop sleeping giant Japan, managed by Dasal Abayaratne.

You have until midnight on the 1st March to vote in this one.


Feb 10

and the hotly fought title of ‘most olive-y olive spread’ goes to

FT1 comment • 206 views

…Tesco’s Finest Greek Olive spread.

I hate Tesco for making terrible, flavourless food and being ten minutes closer to my work than Sainsburys, thus far more likely to be my despondent lunch venue of choice but this is basically like a great big greasy lump of olives on your toast. For the lactose intolerant, it’s bad enough trying to find something with flavour but the awesome fattiness of this is currently ensuring that, after two small slices’ coverage, I find my hair sticking to my forehead with the sheer grotesque quantities of axle lubricant. And by that I definitely don’t mean the repulsive congealed mayonnaise you get in M&S sandwiches, this is more of a serious, industrial undertaking to squash a million delicious olives into one tiny pot of pale paste. It’s like Vitalite FOR MEN.

Truly, my life is very empty. Here is a link to a thing about this delicious thing.