• Omargeddon #44: Azul, Mis Dientes
    You would expect an artist often designated (or perhaps saddled) with the ‘progressive’ label to continually evolve and reinvent themselves, and in this respect Omar Rodríguez-López has not disappointed. Over his decades-long career he’s upen[…]
  • A Big Thing Or A Small
    I. PANDEMIC The People’s Pop Polls end this weekend after four years, three months, and something like 47 tournaments of almost 12,000 pop songs. They started in March 2020, a way of solving a very acute problem which turned into a way of so[…]
  • Why, Claudius? – My scavenger quilt will only hide the truth
    Shortly after this project began, I was lucky enough to watch Richard Ayoade and Black Francis perform “Hey” during Adam Buxton’s live podcast. It was an evening packed with hilarious AI-generated art, charming anecdotes and general ramblechat,[…]
  • Why, Claudius? – Old King Log
    Skip to the end: Old Clavdivs is now Current Clavdivs. He lies motionless, watched over by a haughty woman and her heavily rouged and lipsticked son – his fourth wife, Agrippinilla and his stepson, the Nero. Upon confirming that he is dead, nei[…]
  • Why, Claudius? – A God in Colchester
    This week’s flash-forward is just a few frames of Clavdivs, continuing to write into the night. The scene dissolves into a view of Messawina and her lover, the Greek actor Mnester, rolling around in a post-coital glow. She assesses the damage her v[…]
  • Why, Claudius? – Fool’s Luck
    This week’s flash-forward is ultra short: just a few frames of Old Clavdivs in his study late at night, scowling at his crown of gold-plated laurel leaves. The previous episode’s concluding cheer long live the Emperor increases in volume as the s[…]
  1. Tom, I loved loved loved these polls and participated obsessively, until one day (it was March 2023) I just stopped…

  • McFLY – “All About You”/”You’ve Got A Friend”
    McFly’s biggest hit, crossing the 500k sales barrier partly because it was the official Comic Relief single. The Carole King cover is doing most of the hard work on that front, with a video involving the lads helping out in Uganda, and the song sto[…]
  • STEREOPHONICS – “Dakota”
    “Dakota” has a curious reputation. A lot of music fans I know see it as Stereophonics’ best song. That in itself is hardly unusual. But many of those people also see it as the band’s only good song. Which is odder – these guys have eigh[…]
  • NELLY ft TIM McGRAW – “Over And Over”
    There are meetings between genres where creative sparks fly and new hybrid forms can be glimpsed, like undreamed-of particles in a supercollider. There are also meetings between genres which feel more like high level EU summits – whatever happe[…]
  • JENNIFER LOPEZ – “Get Right”
    There is a 2005 single, a huge hit, and many will tell you it’s producer Rich Harrison’s masterpiece. On that record, cut-ups of funk breaks are rearranged at oblique angles in a 21st century update of James Brown’s rhythmic modernism, buil[…]
  • U2 – “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”
    While I’ve been writing about 2004 and 2005’s pop music I’ve also been helping my wife sort out her mother’s memorial service, so a song about a parent dying is – unfortunately – Relevant To My Interests right now. Not that I real[…]
  • EMINEM – “Like Toy Soldiers”
    I’m not sure how rap grudges and running battles came to be called beef but I love it as a word for them – juicy, red meat with inescapable macho connotations. The actual minutiae of rap beefs are strictly fans-only in most cases, playing out[…]

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