Posts from April 2014

21
Apr 14

Game of Thrones S04E02: The Lion and the Rose

FT + The Brown Wedge1 comment • 1,042 views

Well, that escalated quickly.

One of the huge benefits of watching the HBO series over reading the books is that the story cuts to the chase much, much faster. The Purple Wedding seemed to take a geological epoch to actually happen in the book – onscreen we don’t get the pages and pages (and pages) of detailing the seventy-seven courses, the seven hundred and seventy-seven guests, blah blah blah.

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USHER – “You Make Me Wanna…”

Popular37 comments • 4,746 views

#782, 31st January 1998

usherwanna Another piece of the present slots into place: if you leave out charity records, this is the first artist we’ve met to also have a Number One in the 2010s. Usher fits a model for pop stardom we’ll see more frequently as we get closer to now: a teenage prodigy with material good enough to stay the distance. He’s also – again, typically for his generation of stars – a highly adaptable performer. Every now and then he’ll put out something really startling, like 2012’s “Climax”, but it seems to me that more often an Usher record is smoothly and confidently on-trend.

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18
Apr 14

…Down Paradise Row

FT + Pumpkin Publog//5 comments • 1,985 views

Mother Kelly's, Bethnal Green

We went to Mother Kelly’s in Bethnal Green for the first time last night (it’s only been open a couple of weeks) and it’s LOVELY! Twenty-odd taps of well-kept keg (including seven last night from De Molen), six fridges of well selected bottles and red, white and fizzy wine on tap too!

The space (why yes, it *is* in a railway arch) is bright and airy, the tables well spread out (I suspect this may change as it becomes more popular, there’s certainly room for more) and on a spring evening it feels just right.

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16
Apr 14

OASIS – “All Around The World”

Popular132 comments • 12,561 views

#781, 24th January 1998

When “All Around The World” came out, it wasn’t yet quite clear that Oasis had peaked. Yes, the album was a folly, but they were still colossal, with no sign they wouldn’t come back stronger next time. This record felt belligerent: the pointless length, the Pepperland video – a band being deliberately, grandly lazy. Think what you like about us, it said, we’re going nowhere.

Which turned out to be true. And with hindsight, I can hear a different, far less triumphant record hidden in this one’s rolls and folds of overdubbed flab. To get to it, though, I have to ask: how on Earth did this thing get so big, anyway? What were they feeding it?

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15
Apr 14

PWC14: Group G Finale (USA, Portugal, Ghana, Germany)

Pop World Cup 201411 comments • 1,226 views

brandy Welcome to the final Group G game! Let’s see how things stand.

USA (managed by The Lex), Portugal (managed by Weej) and Ghana (managed by Jonathan Bogart) all have 4 points, and the barest whisker of percentile difference between them. So it’s a straight knockout – the two sides doing best from those three go through.

Germany (managed by Tak), meanwhile, fell victim to the Group of Death and are on 0 points. They’ll be playing for pride only.

Poll and songs below the cut, and an ADMIN UPDATE for fans of those.

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14
Apr 14

fighting crime/trying to save the world/here they come just in time

FT8 comments • 1,532 views

FPKK“Alice opened the door and found that it led into a small passage, not much larger than a rat-hole: she knelt down and looked along the passage into the loveliest garden you ever saw. How she longed to get out of that dark hall, and wander about among those beds of bright flowers and those cool fountains…”
—Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1865.

“‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and party every day.’ That’s an old Kiss song. But back when the song was new and my wife Leslie was 12 years old (this was before we married), she heard it as, ‘I just want to rock and roll all night, and part of every day.’ OK. Again, a necessary mistake, to make the dream accessible — imaginable — to a 12-year-old.”
—Frank Kogan, ‘Let MTV Ring’, Village Voice, 5 June 1990

In the mid-90s I was working as a sub-editor at the film journal Sight and Sound, a job I enjoyed a lot: the people I worked with were smart and friendly and entertaining; the magazine’s subject matter was detailed and interesting, and a lot of it was new to me; during work hours focusing on and absorbing the history of cinema, in my own time researching earlier histories of music and technology, I was able to push to the back of my conscious mind how exhausted and burnt-out I was on paying mind to present-day music; how dispirited and heartbroken I was at losing my job at The Wire, though this wasn’t the cheerful story I told myself. A brief season as chief explorer of an amazing secret path under the pop entire battlefield! And now an exile; or double exile, really…

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13
Apr 14

PWC14: Group F Finale (Nigeria, Iran, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Pop World Cup 201410 comments • 1,841 views

dubioza Welcome to the final Group F game. Let’s see how things stand.

Pretty straightforwardly, as it happens, since both the earlier results in this group ran exactly the same way. Nigeria (managed by Cis) are through on 6 points, Bosnia-Herzegovina (managed by Scott) are eliminated with zero. Which leaves Iran (Wichita Lineman) in a strong position for the second qualifying place with 4 points, and Argentina (Chris) needing a win here on 2.

Songs and poll below the cut!

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ALL SAINTS – “Never Ever”

Popular112 comments • 10,274 views

#780, 17th January 1998

NeverEver You’re in the car with the radio on and no expectations, and suddenly you hear it: a song that stops everything around it, breaking through the playlist and announcing itself as a hit. More than a hit, a classic, a song you’ll be hearing for the rest of your life. And the feeling when it happens is a kind of classic itself, one of the iconic freeze-frame moments of loving music. As a self-conscious pop fan it’s something I knew was meant to happen, and every time I was listening to the radio a part of me was willing it to.

So when it did happen – when, for instance, I was in my girlfriend’s car at the end of 1997 and I heard a song start with the chords from “Amazing Grace” and a hesitant woman tiptoeing across them, talking out of the radio, asking for help turning fragments back into a life that might make some kind of sense – how much could I believe my reaction? I’d spent the back half of the year getting my own head together, and the glue I’d used was 60s pop and soul. I’d listened – a lot – to Motown, Philly, Spector, girl groups. I was ready for “Never Ever”. I needed it. Right then, I loved it.

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10
Apr 14

Game of Thrones S04E01: Two Swords

FT + The Brown Wedge2 comments • 1,263 views

It’s back at last! The highly anticipated Game of Thrones has returned to our televisions and computers, promising boobs, dodgy accents, great costumes, boobs, murder, betrayal, heartache, boobs, UNHOLY ACTING TALENT, dragons, and boobs. For the next ten weeks (or longer, if HBO schedules any breaks) I’ll be recapping and hyper-analysing each episode. NOTHING BUT SPOILERS AHOY, so be warned from…now!

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Popular ’97

Popular66 comments • 4,359 views

I give every entry a mark out of 10. Here’s your opportunity to tick the ones you’d have given 6 or more to.

My highest score of 1997 turns out to have been a solitary 8, for Hanson’s “MMMBop”. U2 and Elton both got 2s. Use the comments box to talk about the year in general!

Which Of The Number One Hits Of 1997 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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