Posts from February 2013

Feb 13

The Mincer: An Experiment In Gamification

FT/12 comments • 1,795 views

1. Take a large number of individual tracks.
2. Put the first 64 into a playlist.
3. Shuffle.
4. Play (no skipping allowed).
5. After two tracks, decide – as quickly as you can – which of the two you want to hear again.
6. Delete the other.
7. Repeat until playlist is over. You will have 32 tracks left.
8. Shuffle again.
9. Play (no skipping allowed).
10. Using the process outlined in 5-7, go through the playlist until you have 16 tracks.
11. Add another 48 tracks to the playlist.
12. Repeat steps from 3.

This is – mostly – how I’ve been listening to music for the last month or so.


Feb 13

WHIGFIELD – “Saturday Night”

Popular78 comments • 9,935 views

#710, 17th September 1994

209390716;encoding=jpg;size=300;fallback=defaultImage DEE DEE NANANA!

“Saturday Night” has two big things going for it. The main thing is that it’s one of those iconically simple pop hits, like a “Louie Louie” for the Thomas Cook set. How can you tell when something is iconically simple and not just, er, simple? I’d say when it never actually ends up irritating you. Obviously that’s entirely subjective and I expect to be swamped with annoyed Whigophobes in the comments, but for me this record has lucked onto something sweet and primal. Not, though, irresistible – I’ve generally been pleased to hear “Saturday Night” and am content that it has made the world a happier place in some small fashion, but I wouldn’t own it, or put it on for fun, or even learn the dance. If anything, I like this most for its influence – the enduring post-Whigfield school of plinky-plonk smilecore Eurodance which produced feelgood gems (Ang Lee’s “2 Times”, ATC’s “Around The World”) through the rest of the decade.


Feb 13

Journey Into Fear

FT/12 comments • 772 views

peterwolf I asked a question on Twitter last night – what songs have actually scared you? – and it got a whole bunch of interesting replies.

So here they are. I haven’t gone through hunting YouTube/Spotify links because I was too lazy terrified.


Feb 13

Kraftwerk, Tate Modern Turbine Hall, 13.2.2013

FT6 comments • 1,398 views

3DglassesIt’s 22 years since I last saw Kraftwerk, in Brixton in 1991. I was glad I went but I think I was disappointed, though I probably didn’t say so at the time. I saw them again last week — well, Ralf and his hireling mannequins, and their three-dimensional spectacle — at Tate Modern, an Xmas gift from my sister, and this time I loved the show. Not least because I suddenly grasped something I’d missed before (also: the sound was amazing). The shows they played this time were each based round one of their longer-player releases: the one I attended was The Mix, which came out that same year; their long-awaited response to a pop world catching up with them. Am I wrong in feeling that the widespread anticipation in 1991 was a little dashed at the time: The Mix was greeted as a kind of remixed Greatest Hits, in other words a recap of the near past, rather the next bold step into our shared machine-shaped future?


Feb 13

WET WET WET – “Love Is All Around”

Popular87 comments • 10,082 views

#709, 4th June 1994

I have as you might have noticed a kind of default setting for cover versions, amounting to “you can’t keep a good tune down”. Certain approaches are almost guaranteed to ruin tracks – think “advert pianos” – but in general pop songs are resilient little bastards, able to withstand much greed and deformation. So hearing The Troggs’ “Love Is All Around” for the first time, after years of weathering this other version, was a bit of a shock. Here was a song – a very lovely, surprisingly artless song – that it seemed really had been ruined by the pawings of commerce. Not that Reg Presley saw it that way, and why should he? If memory serves he objected loudly and publically to the eventual decision to withdraw this “Love Is All Around” lest it be number one for ever.


Feb 13

The Matter Of Britain

Popular//41 comments • 3,655 views

The death that shocked me most that Spring wasn’t Kurt Cobain, or even Ayrton Senna. It was the passing of an owlish man in his 50s who people assumed – and hoped, in many cases – would be running the country before too long. Later on, John Smith’s heart attack became a locus for all sorts of counterfactual speculation – after the landslide of ’97 you heard people saying, well, tragic of course, you understand, but as things turned out not all for the bad…? And later – as the golden era of the Great Empathiser sank into a miasma of gossip, inertia and war – the wondering and what ifs turned sad and angry.

At the time – and since, really – what hit me was a sense of unfairness, based mainly on how hard Smith and his colleagues had worked. Also – and this didn’t last, at least not in this form – an irrational gloom, the feeling that things would never change, and that somehow the moribund, comical Tories would pull through again.

But then everything did seem to change, and quickly, with the facts of politics shifting last of all.


Feb 13

Welcome To Violence: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Do You See + FT/4 comments • 17,974 views

Recently Al Ewing and Sarah Peploe came into possession of a box set containing 18 uplifting classics (end quote) from the cinematic oeuvre of Russ Meyer. Heedless of the consequences, they have taken it upon themselves to watch and review each of these in turn on a highly irregular basis. This is part seven.





Feb 13

Lost Property Office 2-4: Choose Life

Lost Property PodcastPost a comment • 334 views

lost property office 2-4Welcome back to the Lost Property Office which is reaching a critical phase in a standard University term. The duvet is still there, but the influx of lost jackets, jumpers and notes, oh so many notes, is threatening THE BIG CLEAR-OUT. Well before that happens, we had a fine discussion on Ewan McGregor, Polish music, and rummaging through bins to find lost wedding rings. Oh and this is bay far the sweariest Lost Property office we have ever had (don’t worry, all swears bleeped out unless you consider PISH to be a swear).

This weeks Lost Properteer is Meg Hewitt, and has proper found MP3 music on it. No idea what it is, as ever please let us know what you think it might be. We also see a welcome return to “Though The Pencil-case” to wonder who lives in a pencil case like this? And see how fast I can find a piece of music if I need too – we truly are living in the future. As ever you can download here, or iTunes and enjoy!

Lost Property 2-4: Choose Life

Feb 13

Come as you are (or not)

TMFDPost a comment • 652 views

Ryan Lochte is never one to shy away from a good publicity stunt. He may have 11 Olympic swimming medals of various colours, but as you can see below his main talent is for getting people to look at him (this shot was taken for ESPN magazine).


HOWEVER I feel that Ryan has missed a key detail of this well-known tableau! I’m sure this will be rectified by the magazine’s photoshop department later…

Feb 13

guess my theory: none more gracile dept

FT3 comments • 279 views