Posts from September 2010

Sep 10


Popular67 comments • 6,603 views

#628, 20th May 1989

I wrote before that The Crowd’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone” became “a tiny part of a disaster’s wider story, and left no mark on pop’s”. The same holds for “Ferry Cross The Mersey”, but a thousand times more so. Most tragedies drop out of public memory even if the pain of those directly affected never quite scabs over. In this case the bereaved families have tirelessly and publically campaigned for further inquiries into the disaster, but even without that the story of Hillsborough has grown and spread, the tragedy and its aftermath changing other stories. Liverpool FC; recent British football history; The Sun newspaper; Scouse self-identity and the rest of Britain’s attitude to Merseyside – if you wanted to think about any of these you would end up having to think about Hillsborough. And not just as a distant event, bundled up safely inside a word: to tell those stories you’d need to dig into what happened and how it was reported.


We will make everything metal

FT9 comments • 290 views

Get off, dad, we're just having fun!

A traditional financial pit

I’ve long-yearned to write a terrible essay about how the embarassment of Nu Metal changed the face of society. The ways in which the collective falling for Limp Bizkit and Staind by the “credible” areas of music criticism only to rear their heads from the druqs-buckets long enough to be blown apart by the revelation that these baseball-cap-wearing clowns were perhaps not bringing about a revolution filled credibility with a sense of timidity and desire for lineage that ultimately and risibly resulted in a recession that allowed any idiot with a copy of ‘The Three Chord Song Book: Jam Edition’ being allowed 15 minutes of hit records.

Then I think that I should perhaps put the gin down and go to bed. Good news this week, then, when The Financial Times published this quote with regards to the current financial situation:

The situation is akin to the mosh pit at a rock concert, warns regulatory consultant Barbara Matthews. “Everyone shares the same goal amid a frenzy, but any co-ordination that occurs is coincidental, and along the way people can get hurt,” she says. “Folks in a mosh pit have fun until they get hurt. Regulators have fun using their muscle … until something comes back to bite them.”

Sep 10

Again for the First Time

FT8 comments • 293 views

Well, dear reader, what can we say?

The new series of the Lollards of Pop got pushed back to this week, a huge stroke of luck for all of us dreading having to play – and/or listen to – the controversial winner of our Most Dangerous Album poll. Our new series will start at 7pm BST (2pm EST) this Thursday, on Resonance FM 104.4 in London (streaming available). And that’ll be our slot for awhile.

In place of the DANGEROUS poll, we have a brand new poll to dread the results of. Voting and Youtubes after the jump…


Sep 10

Two Blood Splattered, Mono-wardrobed Heroines – fight

Do You See2 comments • 288 views

I saw two films on Sunday. They were quite different but oddly they both featured strong female characters whose basically wear the same outfit throughout the entire film. As both films take place of a considerable period of time, it perhaps brings up an odd suggestion that perhaps strong women think less about their wardrobes than the average put-up second fiddle love interest. Fashion is for flibberty-gibbets perhaps? Though perhaps a closer look at both films would feed us a decent reason for them wearing just the one ensemble. And yes, closer examination may suggest that these women, whose single item of clothes coincidentally also get covered in blood at various stages in their respective films, do have some excuse to be wearing just the one item. One is a older woman, in a cold town who is wearing her most respectable outfit as she goes about clearing her sons name. And the other is a genetically altered superheroine dragging her franchise into its unbelievable fourth film. These twin movies? Boon-Jung Ho’s Mother and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil: Afterlife of course.


Sep 10

The Levellers

TMFD14 comments • 542 views

I wrote a post before. in the “I Was A Goblin” series, about how the Dungeons & Dragons concept of player “levels” and “levelling up” was an innovation which became hardwired into pretty much every game since. That was back in 2006 or so. Now we’re seeing a lot of talk about how the priciples and mechanics of gaming can be transferred into everyday life – see this blog post on the “Decade of Gaming” for an excitable* example.

I have another blog where I can dig into the details and issues around that, but I thought it would be interesting on Freaky Trigger to delve a little into the history of the “levels” idea. So this is a bundling of sources – comments from anyone who can fill in more or have other ideas would be extremely welcome.

A brief recap of what we’re talking about – “level” is used in multiple senses in games: to talk about player rank, specific game areas, and the ambient level of challenge in the game universe. We’re interested here in personal ranking. The idea is that a player (or avatar) earns points through successfully carrying out actions or tasks: get enough points and you go up a level, which generally involves an increase in your in-game abilities or access to new ones. So where does that come from?



FT3 comments • 229 views

Urban Cookie Collective hold both the Key and the Secret to tonight’s festivities:

Join UCC and their showbiz chums at the Horse Bar tonight from 7pm!
124 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7RW.
Nearest tube Lambeth North, or a short walk from Waterloo.

Sep 10

KYLIE MINOGUE – “Hand On Your Heart”

Popular61 comments • 5,062 views

#627, 13th May 1989

“Hand On Your Heart” lands in similar emotional territory to “Too Many Broken Hearts” – this is it, do you love me or not? But while musically it’s just as cheap the Kylie track has ten times the Jason song’s presence. “Too Many Broken Hearts” verges on the triumphant, with “Hand On Your Heart” you know someone’s cornered but the lyrics and the delivery keep switching sides as to who: this is an ultimatum, but it’s also a final move. “Look me in the eye”, “put your hand on your heart” – from the emotional grammar of soap we know very well that winners in love don’t have to say these kinds of things, they’re the kind of demands you make as a way of hastening the inevitable, for all Kylie’s obvious desperation to avoid it.


Sep 10

Time Reconsidered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Who Eps: #8b THE INVASION (pt 2)

FTPost a comment • 220 views

or “this is going to be a LONG 12 minutes!

… being a show-by-show TARDIS-esque (ie in effect random) exploration of Doctor Who Soup to Nuts, begun at LJ’s diggerdydum community and from now on also crossposted at FT.

Part two of 1968 eight-parter THE INVASION (CHobo, Jamie and Zoe). (Part one here.) No more animation: and the villain is revealed! (But I shan’t, till under the spoilers: save to say that the invasion-clock is now ticking; and various successive waves of danger, local, international, and planetary, must variously be met. Metaphors in constant play: human versus machine; humane versus insane; emotion versus logic; soft versus hard; silliness versus self-seriousness; peace versus war; allied forces versus murderous ruthlessness, and, er, strategy versus GURLS … now read on!


Sep 10

Eternal Fame

Popular2 comments • 1,223 views

Just a quick note this to let you know that away from his life as Popular comment box raconteur Waldo (aka Jimmy The Swede, among others) has written a novel!

It’s called Pick Your Own Strawberries, and it’s about a man who founds an unconventional funeral parlour, “totally contrary to that of accepted tradition, with popular music as a theme and complete lack of deference to the remains of the departed as the central doctrine”. You can buy it at Amazon. Good luck with it Waldo, and well done!

Sep 10

BANGLES – “Eternal Flame”

Popular84 comments • 7,593 views

#626, 15th April 1989

“Eternal Flame” is absurdly top-heavy, all the treble in the strings and Susanna Hoffs’ voice teetering like a gyroscope on a single looping point of rhythm. As someone on Twitter said, the triangle on this track is something you can never un-hear once you notice it.