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17 Jul 13 | Re: Modernistic chart quirk | Link-U-Post
Of all the chart lists you can make – and I know interest in chart for chart’s sake isn’t what it was, but it is to me – one hit wonders are the most appealingly pure. One number one hit and nothing else, ever. Each entry is the start of a mystery: why did these people never chart again? Were they not interested? Did they try and fail? Did they chart under another name? Was the initial success simply a bizarre fluke?
(All those can and do apply: see Mash, Ricky Valance, the Timelords and Althea and Donna respectively, for example.)
But in today’s utopian wonderland of unprecedented generosity and cooperation between artistes, where everyone loves to collaborate with everyone else, you can go even better than a one-hit wonder. Having a whole number one hit is a bit large-scale, after all; how about having just a co-credit on a number one, and nothing else ever?
How about that, eh?
There are actually quite a few of these half-hit wonders around. As far back as the early 90s you have the KLF featuring the Children of the Revolution, although since the Children of the Revolution were pretty much made up I’m not sure that quite counts. But more recently, we have (half-hit wonders in bold):
...and I’m sure the list goes on. In the best of these cases, it’s not even clear what the co-credited act’s contribution to the track was. DJ Mental Theo must be doing something on that Basshunter tune, though it’s hard to believe it would be worse without him. Goonrock I find most beguiling of all: I like to imagine he’s the guy who says “Every day I’m shufflin’,” in which case I’m rather disappointed by the non-emergence of solo material. Imagine a solo album consisting entirely of iconic little interludes like that. What a thing it would be.
But I ought to admit that what’s got me thinking about these wonders is the number one from two weeks ago, I Love It by Icona Pop feat Charli XCX. Our newest half-hit wonder, Charli XCX, seems to be credited on that mainly as a thankyou for writing the song – you can sort of hear her voice but it’s down in the mix backing up the two lead singers, and she doesn’t get any lines to herself. The thing is, Charli is massively deserving of a number one single in her own right, just not with this track. I Love It is pretty OK, but it’s nothing compared to anything on her own album, True Romance (which I got before this single came out, by the way). That album is a masterpiece of woozy, fearless pop, effortlessly modern but comfortably timeless, which I can’t believe hasn’t been a smash.
And I know it’s a bit teenage and I’m 31. I don’t care – I love it.
Posted by MANOLIS at 21:14
9 May 13 | Re: Massive political gloat | Link-U-Post
Let’s take a moment to gloat at the Tories, shall we?
These pole-greasing careerists really showed what they were all about during the Alternative Vote referendum. AV does two things: it gives new parties and independents more of a fair chance, and it stops voters who quite like more than one party from having to play a silly guessing game about which is the one to back. Well, phooey to that, said the Tories. We’re one of the established parties, so let’s keep that hegemony going. We know that the right stays united while the left’s been splitting inveterately since first century Judea, so let’s not open the dangerous door to discussion or change. No to AV!
Following that line of reasoning, they made up a bunch of wrong claims and red herrings, the answer to all of which was simply “Er, no”. Sadly the Yes campaign couldn’t deal with their chutzpah and the evil plot was hatched, democracy denied and endless cushy sinecures assured for suits in safe seats. On both sides of the House, yes, but it was only the Tories who had the nerve to make non-democracy the party line.
And what a betrayal it was of their coalition partners. Yes, they only promised a referendum on AV, not their support for it, but it had to be implied that the campaign would be clean. Instead, they and their mates in the media splattered the country with misinformation, correctly counting on the Lib Dems’ weak position to ensure that there was no comeback for their nefarious acts.
That’s why it’s delicious to see the decision coming back to bite them. For once, the new party making waves is on the right! Even in the wake of Thatcher’s death, with tributes providing a perfect rallying point for Tory support and Labour trapped in Akon’s Dilemma (trying to find the words to describe Mrs T without being disrespectful), UKIP got nearly as many council votes as their elder cousins. On votes per seat, they must have pulverised them. And that’s despite all the disadvantages that the first past the post system gives to a new party.
If UKIP keep their momentum, right-wingers at the next election will be in a comparable situation to lefties in 1983. You will see them in polling stations, furrowing their brows over the ballot paper as they try to guess which right-wing party is the vote that won’t be wasted. Even if only a bit, the vote will be split. Seats that should have been Tory will go to Labour. Seats that should have been UKIP will go to Labour. Seats that should definitely have been Tory or UKIP will go to Labour (or maybe the Lib Dems).
Now, that won’t be an expression of the popular will. Every case where a split vote lets in the lefties will be just as much of a travesty as all the Labour/SDP splits that let in the Tories in the 80s. As hard as it is to have sympathy for UKIP/Tory voters, the kind of people who like to say “You couldn’t make it up” about things that mainly are made up, who read news stories only reported for their absurdity and think they represent the way things usually work, I don’t support it. But as it’s a travesty the Tories wanted, because they are people who spend their lives benefiting from travesty after travesty, I do find it fitting that this particular travesty is working against them for once. It has to be worth a quick gloat.
Ha ha ha the Tories. Gloat gloat gloat. Let’s hope this sinks them, but even if it doesn’t, it’s fun to see the terror in their eyes.
Posted by GUILLERMINA PACHECO at 21:52
15 Apr 13 | Re: An impish politics | Link-U-Post
“And something often forgotten, Mr Speaker, she was the first political leader in any major country to warn of the dangers of climate change. Long before anyone thought of hugging a husky.”
--Ed Miliband, House of Commons Thatcher Tribute Special
Was Ed Miliband being a bit impish here? I don’t mean his mild husky-hug dig at Dave Cameron. I mean, if a Labour man must praise Thatcher, what better to praise her for than the climate issue? Many of those keenest to seal the gloss on her reputation are frothily opposed to the green lobby, firmly convinced that climate action is not needed, and like nothing more than to bellow in the faces of those who disagree.
Yes, it was impishness. A consolation goal scored on a difficult day. If supporters take all the praise rendered, they have to accept what they will see as a little flaw, a little scratch on her record.
And how much more of this impishness is passing under the Tory-Thatcherite radar? John Bercow was chosen as speaker mainly to annoy his fellow Tories, and we know that he was taken aback by the PM’s insistence on bringing back Parliament early to trowel it on. So is his latest move, to silence Big Ben for the funeral, meant with impish intent? When dissent is disallowed, the only protest is to assent past the point of absurdity. So. Stop the clocks. Put her next to Churchill. Invite all the dignitaries. Bring the army. Fritter the millions away. Honour her so highly and thoroughly that only her most fervent and oblivious supporters can agree. The rest of the country, one by one, will reach the point where they can no longer swallow such a spectacle. They will say, “Hang on, is this a bit much?”
The fruits of honour carry the seeds of doubt. Smart move, Mr Bercow.
Posted by JUAN PABLO RUBIN at 22:07
... hapless Buttons-type character ... fictional Radiohead-appreciator ... The last proper one must be Edward I ... a fortress built out of the blood of thousands of slaughtered bulls ... drummers shivering in vests ... Back to the drawing board, chart-watchers!
... messing up the next edition of the Guinness Book of Hit Singles ... a carboard signpost pointing the way down Plot Street ... eat old peanuts out of the sofa ... the Funky Giraffe baby product range ... All objections are cant ... jacket-wearing nonsense ... just enough mud sticking ... the arch-users of that particular fiddle ... slack-jawed cogitation ... a full-body frown that exerts every single muscle ... far too much of the intricate robot gubbins.
... characteristically nasal delivery ... too much democracy ... all-killer-no-filler dancefloor bangers ... a grimly eccentric minority ... West End-style camped up non-rock ... a ripping winner’s single ... a lovely lullaby.
Galahad Roger Potter ... to her surprise Aslan appears ... a pink smartphone on a Saturday night ... a thousand eloquent turns of phrase ... someone will invent a great big battery ... the land of tooth obsession ... the virtue of knaves ... an ideal snack for a train journey ... a vaguely arty, continental bloke?
... waxy-surfaced nick-nack ... tip-top, AV-elected representatives folky bits ... Garbage (if you count them) ... poor, poor Lib Dems ... that same train-window feel ... crud scraping ... world wig-out shortage ... brainless fawning over royalistic trivia ... twice as hard next time ... good material for sit-com sex.
A great new approach to dinner drinking ... scratchy breakdown bit ... beacon of oratorial skill ... Why, John Power? Why? ... little clumps of fact ... musical alchemists ... a little patch of bad skin on one hand ... feedback squealing vaguely ... the most rational human alive ... you may be exactly the same as me.
... Pshaaaaw! to all of that ... fascinating mechanical clock ... digestives in the shape of a loaf of bread ... endless popgun barrage of short-sentence trivia ... What do we all think about that, eh?
Michael Parkinson ... A train of thought that started with tea ... carrots ... the most generous funny man in double act history ... joining in the great haiku-writing tradition ... long, orange vegetable ... Jay-Z agrees ... unanimous nominee ... distinctive brand of slow service.
York and Lancaster ... spoiling the line of my trousers ... doughty journeyman ... bop about in one of his fine jackets ... almost worth watching ... Joan of Arc’s canonisation ... recommending expensive food and clothes ... What a silly magazine Q is.
But a radical sees a little further ... cute little pickaxe ... a meter not normally assigned to any word in the English language ... an ingenious way to reward superfans ... Not Echobelly ... the company directors probably kept most of the saving ... the smallest Mr Man ... a Lepidus fan who just wants to talk Lepidus.
... distinctly pedestrian raps ... Look on my works and despair! ... Stevland “Stevie” Wonder ... flim-flam and dross ... cooing, benevolent soft-soaper ... metaphor, onomatopoeia, synecdoche, hypallage ... inexplicable pop-up rapper ... cherish loveliness ... named after a moon goddess or whatever ... a birthday on the 39th ... like a heart-shaped coffee spoon ... Victoria Hesketh ... three poorly-dressed blokes ... the Roman geezer ... Maddening cereal design ... a bit of low-level recognition ... the elusive sharp end of Lawro’s wit ... exactly what Marvel Comics need.
... special occasions are going to involve speeches ... “just a fan in a suit” ... commentary box hate figure ... magisterial preface ... the notoriously rigorous UEFA coaching badge ... whoever else she is ... match the style of the master ... another milestone in gender equality ... football-haters, block-heads and innumerates ... fount of bons mots ... exposure to Nick Grimshaw ... good old David James ... slightly surprised ... reasons for messing everything up ... he’s making it up as he goes along.
Prancing about like a nincompoop in the town centre ... music on a razor’s edge ... sausage-fingered musical regressionists ... still preoccupied with 1985 ... jolly, benign busybodies ... my zero followers ... Looks pretty though.
Hardly Hard-Fi territory, I think you’ll agree ... kazoo-and-saucepan bands ... mooching buddy ... Mrs Tolkien put her foot down ... only ever really existed on Planet Bushell ... actually quite a nice sign ... cavorting more than a sportsman strictly ought ... made the mistake of copying Shed Seven instead.
... going from door to door trying all the handles ... ignominious foundering collapse ... There is a lot of religion in it ... answer to that: play better ... He also says that he is dapper ... tour de force of restrained longing ... the word ‘ghastly’ might be involved at some point.
... an idealised dancefloor where the stars have aligned ... unfussy, mathematically minded nation ... the triumph of wide-eyed teenage promise ... fail ... my most up-to-date thoughts ... A-list wigsbies ... a picturesque fragility ... doesn’t always show the expected level of respect ... no sooner buy a CD single than a penny-farthing ... pure dance gold ... instead of onions I substituted eggs ... better without the sides ... I wonder if the Bahranians are watching.
... it just stretches out and fades away ... you don’t actually write all the questions out ... pictures of gurning old women ... a twinkling miscellany of other incidentalia ... especially the boiling cauldron bit ... stripily garish woollen socks ... Santa-suited disco dancers ... in aching anticipation ... the admirable Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ... come on, audio people ... rather takes the edge off the feminist intent ... Britain has never won it ... despotic or bonkers or charismatic ... nostalgia, only for another place ... brain-exerciser ... shovelling junk mail into landfill sites ... got the idea from the prog band ASIA ... that woman out of Madison Avenue ... this panegyric isn’t post-gig euphoria.
I believe the G usually stands for God ... Wrestling fans should have had no problem ... the ‘have mercy’ element can get missed ... a sign made of a grimy blue tarpaulin ... an air of real gravitas ... a nice new dodgy flat in Bristol ... warm and welcoming ... Oirish no-hopers ... lucky country ... as stretched-out as Peter Crouch ... question rate ... the millions of Mills’s minions ... You have to admire the guy.
... What does it mean for God to rest? ... bling bling baby ... gunged up with big hits ... 0.1% of the prize money ... draw back the cloak of invisibility ... oily megalopolis ... zenarchistic pop pragmatists ... legalise at least some drugs ... urchin and Becker fans.
... you STILL get equal boys and girls ... Score one for the Chinese government I suppose ... moan about something that is bound to happen ... Lando is the right answer ... shake their fists at the monitor ... a strange land of mountains, horsemen and tour cyclists ... goats on tightropes ... in the style of Digitiser ... plenty of water in the southern hemisphere, sure ... create your own ... an accordion player called Corn Mo ... a point for drummer ... Sweden and everywhere else ... a bit like the wooden spoon ... O-trivia Newton John ... it would one day be misused by the chief executive of the Independent Schools Council ... out of the bank.
... may not actually have a surname at all ... crew of gangster midgets ... the heirs of the mighty conqueror ... woolly turtleneck ... directional trend-setting demigods ... seven in almost 1000 years ... run-of-the-mill internet raving ... must be time for a second ... pleasantly rounded, like a genial uncle ... only writing LOL if you actually laugh out loud ... replace hat, arrange hair, check hat, take towel ... a facsimile of knowledge ... impossibly dramatic and thrilling ... cool eh? ... you know, for fun ... doesn’t actually answer or even appear to understand even one of the questions ... First post done.