Grr...

It is rather annoying, that if it wasn’t for somebody demanding a photograph, the IRA would have probably disarmed last year…

(and it’s not just the IRA who are still involved in paramilitary violence in Ulster)

currently playing: Rachel Kiel — Lights On

A Game of Links

The Case of The Mysterious Shoes!

I want one!

M.I.A. striking a Neneh Cherry pose.

Another love letter to the iPod.

Google talks! (When it becomes sentient and starts designing killer robots, then we’ll all be sorry!)

currently playing: matt pond PA – Winter One

Asking The Important Questions

Q&A!

currently playing: Gwen Stefani – The Real Thing

*sigh* Here we go again…

(If nothing else, George Lucas knows how to make a trailer that punches all of the geek buttons)

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me – If You Ask

Hurm.

I seem to have a job. How did that happen?

currently playing: Propaganda — Jewel

TONY BLAIR, WHERE ARE YOU?

He’s in the House. He’s voting. But he won’t enter the chamber. Which seems a little gutless, to be frank.

currently playing: BBC Parliament

It's You're Wrong Night!

Wow. This is an impressive article indeed. It starts off badly (‘The 80s comeback is upon us! Oh, it’s been around since 1998’ bit in paragraphs two and three is particularly spectacular), and heads downhill fast as DeRogatis lists his Top Eight reasons why the 1980s sucked. Perhaps, in the spirit of things, we’ll take things in order:

  1. Over-production

    It’d be wrong to say that there weren’t over-produced songs in the 1980s. But of course, you could say the same about any period in pop music; Paul McCartney famously hated Phil Spector’s lavish work on Let It Be, and Britney Spears’ Hit Me Baby One More Time is Production Gone Wild. It’s definitely not exclusive to the 1980s. If you’re looking for subtle production from twenty years ago, then how about Trevor Horn’s production on ABC’s All of My Heart, or New Order’s The Perfect Kiss, or anything from Dexy’s Don’t Stand Me Down album?

    And besides, Born In The U.S.A. is fantastic, and the production sound is a big part of why it’s great.
  2. Bombast

    Er, okay. Not entirely sure what he’s getting at here, but to be honest, I prefer reach-for-the-skies vocals as opposed to Current Indie Band Attempts To Copy Jeff Buckley’s Vocals (Badly)…
  3. The dearth of social conscience

    Oh, come on. Even granting that the writer is American, and so can be possibly forgiven for not knowing about things like Red Wedge, the campaigns against Clause 28 (reason number 2353 of why I will not vote Conservative), Heaven 17’s Fascist Groove Thang, Simple Mind’s Belfast Child, the Free Nelson Mandela concert, or the gender politics of the New Romantic movement, two words completely destroy DeRogatis’ argument: Live Aid.
  4. Sexism

    Because, of course, there was no sexism in the 1960s or 1970s. Oh no. And we’ve complete purged ourselves of it now. Ho ho.
  5. The advent of digital synthesizers
  6. The dominance of early drum machines

    New Order. The Art of Noise. Pet Shop Boys. Frankie Goes To Hollywood. I don’t need to say much more, except that these are four acts that couldn’t exist without 1980s technology, and all four changed pop for the better.
  7. The fashions

    I have been known to wear mascara, so I recuse myself from this entry (except to say: Adam Ant! Kevin Rowland! Haircut 100! Okay, strike that last one).
  8. MTV

    Yeah. Yeah. Image-over-substance. But at least they played videos back in the 1980s. Also, given that America has never had a unifed radio network like Britain, it was the first time that all of America’s youth could experience something similar to Radio 1; a shared playground that spread British bands and hip-hop all over the nation. And for that, MTV can be forgiven for many sins.

There is good in all decades of pop music; a blanket dismissal of ten years simply because you didn’t like a few songs is silly.

currently playing: Altered Images – Happy Birthday

Tick-Tock-Tick-Tock

They may be a undemocratic, anachronistic sort, but sometimes, you just can’t help having fuzzy feelings towards the House of Lords.

currently playing: Annie — Me Plus One

Presenting…The Most Disturbing Picture On The Internet!

currently playing: Longpigs — On and On

It Wasn't Always Like Links

Part of my pessimism about the chart last week stemmed from Radio 1’s constant tinkering with the Top 40 Chart Show. You would have thought that it would be quite easy: you start the show at 40, and the play all the songs until you get to 1. That’s not good enough for Radio 1, it seems, as they want it to be an all-round entertainment show. Gah. The latest version of this debuted yesterday, with new DJs JK and Joel (imagine Chris Moyles, but even less appealing. I know, I didn’t think it was possible either). I didn’t have the heart to subject myself to the show, but one William Swygart did, and he reports back in Stylus magazine. The short version: it was so bad, he’s terminating his two-year-old Top 40 column with immediate effect.

(by the way: Stereophonics at #1, Annie at #50. RAGE.)

Lots of cute icons!

Notepad Invaders!

A blog that points to good free fonts on the web.

DIY Lazer Tag. The Internet is a glorious thing sometimes.

currently playing: Kylie Minogue – Made Of Glass