Jah Jah Dub

Monday, January 31, 2005

Oh, for fuck's sake.

More musicals please.


I’m Not Even Gay!

Is it any coincidence that the decline in the popular song coincided with the rise of artists writing their own material? Probably, but let’s see where we can go with this. Take my hand, trust me, we’ll wing it together. The chimera, “authenticity”, has stifled creativity and ruined our quality control. We demand that our singers write their own words, that they speak from experience, that this somehow means more. That P. Diddy is privately educated and middle-class is frequently held against him. What difference does it make? Would his plodding flow be any sprightlier if we found out that he was the son of a crack whore? So now the popular end of music is full of boring singer songwriters and bands with nothing to say, their reliance on their own words is debilitating.

Lyrics were more interesting and the topics covered more varied when they were put into the mouths of characters* – a narrative can acquire a universal significance through its particularity. Middle-aged men and women could hide their disgusting ugliness and send their creations into the world to be interpreted by great stylists. We have song-writing teams now, of course, the Neptunes, those Scandinavian cats who pen tunes for Rachel Stevens, but we are missing a major outlet for creativity – the Musical. Most standards were written for Broadway shows, although many have outlived their original homes. "Can’t We Be Friends" is beautiful, although few remember "The Little Show" (1929). The use of mouthpieces meant that a much broader range of experience could be covered than the usual teenage concerns – lust, boredom, anger. "Always True To You In My Fashion" from Kiss Me Kate is a song for grown ups - Be My Baby, much as I love it, is not. Another example? “Why Can’t Be a Woman Be More Like a Man”, from My Fair Lady. On the surface, comic, but it says more about male attitudes to women than any number of Usher albums. If you don’t like this reading of it, then it can just as easily be interpreted as a demonstration of how a lack of empathy leads to confusion and annoyance – why can’t *you* be more like *me*, then everything would be fine. I may add more, I may bother finishing this post with less of a whimper. We’ll see. Also: On the Street Where You Live is a *tune*.

* This can probably be extended to Ziggy Stardust and much hip hop.


Very good.


I believe in democracy. As ways of organising a society go, I can only justify democracy and anarchy. But I prefer democracy. Yesterday was a good day. No matter what you thought of the intervention, had it not occurred, there would not have been elections. Hussein would still be leader, and thousands of Iraqis would be dead from sanctions. To the apologists for theocratic slaughter and “Not in My Name” Pontius Pilates, that may be preferable; but I prefer it this way. Yesterday we had some good news. More people will die and the same problems are all still there; but watching the coverage, I am not ashamed to say that I welled up just a little.

And the kedgeree was just fine.


Friday, January 28, 2005

From the Guardian

Breakfast kedgeree: Serves 4-6

170g basmati rice

170g cooked fish

85g butter

Juice of 1 lemon

3 hardboiled eggs

Good bunch of parsley

Salt and pepper

Poach the fish in salted water until just cooked through. Lift out and leave to cool. Wash the rice. Bring the fish water to the boil and add the rice. Cook according to instructions. Drain. Beat in butter and lemon juice. Peel eggs and chop coarsely. Chop parsley finely. Mix all ingredients, making sure the bits of fish are of a fair size. Reheat as needed.

This weekend I plan to cook kedgeree for the first time. I'll let you know how it pans out.

If this was a typepad blog*, I could add tabs for different categories. One of the most popular, it seems, would be "Trouser Mishaps". That's at least the third time I've ripped my clothes online.

* I do actually have a typepad account that I pay for and don't use. Shh.

Abrupt change of tone

Today I have ripped my trousers (across the behind, if you're asking) and my shirt (elbow, whilst stretching).

Perhaps, like me, you haven't taken the time to work out what you think about Hugo Chavez. Saviour of the masses or populist demagogue? Brave spokesman for the oppressed or opportunist? For a hero, he certainly keeps strange company. Anyway, if you've sort of wondered about these questions without taking the time to try and answer them, this article may interest you.


You who live secure
In your warm houses
Who return at evening to find
Hot food and friendly faces:

Consider whether this is a man,
Who labours in the mud
Who knows no peace
Who fights for a crust of bread
Who dies at a yes or a no.
Consider whether this is a woman,
Without hair or name
With no more strength to remember
Eyes empty and womb cold
As a frog in winter.

Consider that this has been:
I commend these words to you.
Engrave them on your hearts
When you are in your house, when you walk on your way,
When you go to bed, when you rise.
Repeat them to your children.
Or may your house crumble,
Disease render you powerless,
Your offspring avert their faces from you.

Primo Levi

Birds you might see in your garden.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

Now you come to mention it, yes, I am trying to make this my most productive day of posting since I started this thing.

Things in my bedroom that I would have thought cool at seventeen but am now vaguely embarassed about:

1) Futon (folded)
2) Bullitt on video (unwatched)
3) Acoustic Guitar (five strings)
4) Naked Lunch (unfinished; twice started)
5) Framed Andi Peters Photo (signed)

Poem - Feel free to skip

The Skunk
by Seamus Heaney

Up, black, striped and damasked like the chasuble
At a funeral mass, the skunk's tail
Paraded the skunk. Night after night
I expected her like a visitor.

The refrigerator whinnied into silence.
My desk light softened beyond the verandah.
Small oranges loomed in the orange tree.
I began to be tense as a voyeur.

After eleven years I was composing
Love-letters again, broaching the word "wife"
Like a stored cask, as if its slender vowel
Had mutated into the night earth and air

Of California. The beautiful, useless
Tang of eucalyptus spelt your absence.
The aftermath of a mouthful of wine
Was like inhaling you off a cold pillow.

And there she was, the intent and glamorous,
Ordinary, mysterious skunk,
Mythologized, demythologized,
Snuffing the boards five feet beyond me.

It all came back to me last night, stirred
By the sootfall of your things at bedtime,
Your head-down, tail-up hunt in a bottom drawer
For the black plunge-line nightdress.

How extraordinary, both participants in the relationship were so mature, I was sure that this would last. The vultures are starting to circle again.

I had my seventeenth birthday in the middle of a one week trip around English universities. I did my A-levels on the Isle of Man, and my school organised visits to divers establishments so we could have an idea what we were applying to – campus, red brick, Higher Education college etc. This was 1995, before an HMV had even opened in Douglas, and the highpoint of each day was the few hours we were allowed to explore the great towns of the North West. It was on one of these trips that I decided to buy myself some birthday presents – I had already received something from home, a Stone Roses t-shirt – but the walkman had to be fed. So in Virgin Megastore in Manchester, I bought The White Album (understandable for a teenager with completist leanings), The Best of The Beach Boys (an attempt to recapture singalongs with my family on car journeys) and Neil Young’s Sleeps With Angels. I started when I remembered I had bought the last one. I don’t know what I could have been thinking, I had no other Neil Young albums to push me towards his later work. On the bus on the way back to our accommodation at Liverpool Hope University I even asked if we could put it on in the coach – those extraordinary lapses from stifling insecurity that happen at the oddest times when a teenager. I don’t remember what anyone thought of it.

I do remember something else. Rather, I remember a memory. One of the teachers accompanying us was always begging for acceptance from the cool kids. He swaggered down the aisle of the coach, mocking people in a self-conscious demonstration of his Scouse wit, and asked what I’d bought. He made a big show of the Beach Boys, thinking that comedy capital could be forged from this purchase, what teenager would want to listen to that? Of course everyone was delighted though, and demanded it be put on for all to hear. Whenever I’ve thought about it, and my friends and I used to reminisce a lot, when the tape rolled on to one of the choruses of “I Get Around”, myself and the four friends around me all spontaneously picked a different harmony part, and for a couple of bars achieved a balance we could never have hit with training. I realise now it could not have happened that way. We were recalling an idealised image; through our talk and desire we’d shaved off all edges to make something beautiful and precious out of nothing.

As you may guess, there’s not much going on at work today. Also, if you rephrased the above into one or two sentences, it’d be a bit like Proust. But without the beauty, skill or insight.

I think you know my feelings about Stephen Fry. Nevertheless, I am nothing if not fair. If you like Wodehouse then you could do far worse than checking out this article. If you care little for his writing... then you are an imbecile.

Jah Jah Dub - Hall of Fame

Derren Brown

For reasons I can’t fathom, this seems to be a controversial choice. His brilliance, I think, we can take for granted. If we accept that those on whom he weaves his spell are not stooges – and I do, I have seen him live and all “members of the public” were chosen at random – then rarely, if ever, have tricks been as impressive. But some find his manner grating; and perhaps he is a little smug, although I think he has earned the right to be. What elevates him into a division above David Blaine, David Copperfield and other talented entertainers is his insistence that what he does is a skill, that there is no magic. His one-off specials in particular deserve praise. Russian Roulette was the weakest of the three, and the most gimmicky. Perhaps it was for real, perhaps not; I don’t particularly care either way. The séance was better, and Messiah the best of all. These second two took aim square at the mysticism and spirituality camps that deceive and offer false assurances to the vulnerable. Showing how these illusions can be worked, even on the apparently cynical, is an essential and even heroic act. So hurrah for Derren: long may he expose snake oil-peddling charlatans and delight us with his card tricks and little beard.

Now I could be doing you a grave diservice, and I know it's old news, but you may be confused about where to stand on this story. Which position leaves one immune from charges of islamophobia and anti-semitism? Let me help you out. The Muslim Council of Britain has made a disgraceful decision. That is all.

There is nothing magical about the dodo. What we call “dodos” were carbon-based gene-replication machines. Once pigs and rats were introduced to Mauritius, the competition was too great and they could not reproduce quickly enough for those particular genes to survive. By 1681 at the latest, none remained. Any loss is not of those dodos that were alive in the seventeenth century, they would all be dead now anyway. We miss the potential dodos, those that would have lived. But we lose potential animals all the time, with every unfertilised ovum. Do not be sad for them; they had no species-consciousness, they did not know they were the last. We no longer have the pleasing curl of the dodo’s beak, and that's a bit sad for us. But we have other things, and really, we can live without this particular flightless bird. Anyway, that’s how I feel about the Aztecs.

Ahead a man is lying on the pavement. Your step slackens, you glance around you; there is no one else near. You approach and grudgingly ask him if he is alright. “Yeah. Fine,” he slurs. You continue, taking him at his word and absolving yourself of neighbourly responsibility for this casualty of the city. “You’re going to be snowed in tomorrow,” he says. You look up at the cloudless sky. “Maybe,” you say, “it’s very cold tonight.” “Very cold,” he says, “there’ll be snow tomorrow.” He’s gone by the morning. The streets are clear.


Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I fully expected all reports of this story to contain the phrase, "real life Saving Grace". Look out for it, it'll come.

Marsh sacked by Sky for tasteless remark

"The 60-year-old former Queens Park Rangers and Manchester City striker, a long-serving panellist for Sky, made what the station called "offensive and inexcusable" remarks on You're On Sky Sports on Monday night."

Who was offended? I find it hard to believe that anyone could be upset by Marsh's remarks. People just see (Tsunami) + (Joke) and force the (=) to make (Offence). This is a ridiculous decision. Sky are trying to make a point, and distance themselves from racist language. And that's great, but this is different from the Atkinson furore, as those who have eyes will see. It's a crass joke, and not very funny, but I'm more bothered by the lazy recourse to that hackneyed chestnut, (David Beckham's lack of intelligence) = (funny).


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Jah Jah Dub – Hall Of Fame

First Entrants:

Paul Morley
Paul Whitehouse
Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
Susannah Constantine
Mick Jagger

I joke, of course.

And then we got home and Marty and I watched a video of a Christopher Hitchens speech, available here. All one and a half hours of it. It’s worth a viewing if you have home internets. Combined with the earlier debate, it fired an enthusiasm for argument and politics which had been cooling of late. It also reminded me of my Hall of Fame. I’d avoided doing it, thinking that it was a bit obvious, a bit going through the motions, a bit, oh there’s someone that winds people up, there’s a comedian of medium-renown, there’s a historical figure, there’s an unexpected mediocrity, there’s Mick Jagger – but I think I’ll go with it, each entrant coming with a paragraph or two on why they deserve their place.

As we took the tube home a drunken man called to me to sit with him. My liberal sensibilities were thrown. On the one hand, here was a drunk bothering strangers on the underground. On the other, he was black. If I rejected his friendliness he would conclude that yes, he had been right all along, the white world cared nothing for him and he should have nothing to do with it. I should sit with him. We could talk and laugh, learn from each other, forge an understanding. Our different voices would combine and create a beautiful harmony. Here was an opportunity to create a new chord, one which is never heard enough. The chord of freedom! The chord of brotherhood!

And yet I walked on, pole-axed by his spontaneous choice of nickname for me.

Of course “Travis”.

I went to this last night. I know that the title is going to attract a certain crowd, but still… seems like I’m out of step. Most of the speakers were rubbish, of course.

Respect: I’d like to add a meaningless crowd-pleasing soundbite, if I may, but first I’ll obfuscate over what we actually do believe in and support. Oh, and Blair? B-liar, more like. B-liar!
Man from Spiked: I’m not voting at all. Why should I?

(Crowd silence.)

Liberal Democrat: Vote Liberal Democrat.
Johann Hari: Reasonable enough point, and although you might not agree with it, a falsifiable argument. Stuff about the war. Again.

The crowd was full of idiots too. Still, it was fun. It reminded me a lot of being at university and the student union meetings I used to go to. The standing, the drinking of a beer, the interminable speeches and complete poverty of intellectual rigour. Oh! To be young again! As usual, the "questions" were nothing of the sort, just an opportunity to take a Lefter-than-thou stance and impress chicks*.

Also, and I know this is tiresomely predictable, I find that my support for New Labour increases with each self-regarding nincompoop who jumps ship.

* Of course, as a right-thinking individual, I condemn sexism. Also, as luck would have it, I condemn homophobia and racism too. I think that they are bad things. It's ok, there's no need to congratulate me on my radicalism - with enough reading, you could get there too. So, I would never enforce patriarchy and sexualise and infantilise women by calling them "chicks". I am reclaiming the word and making it gender neutral. In this, and all future cases, "chicks" means "potential sexual (or not) partner of any gender or orientation". I know. I'm amazing.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Found whilst cleaning up the house: a piece of paper on which I have drunkenly scrawled, "Name for first born son: Magnificent Montague Johnston?"

Later I shall be drafting the first inductees to the Jah Jah Dub hall of fame.


Kelly Holmes is all very well, but for some reason, the true sports personality of this and most other years has been ignored yet again.

Salt 'n' Peppa - Whatta Man.

Whatta tune.

Who could resist dancing around their front room to Love City Groove? Not I.

I'm now cranking out Reef's Naked. This party's got it going on.


Introspection and a compulsion to fleet-footed unexpectness mean that I sometimes cannot trust my inclinations. Is this hat not magnificent?

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?

I have the day off today and nothing planned. I think I might dust off a fez, stretch out on some silk cushions and read poetry aloud to myself, in between bites of Turkish Delight.


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Oh, I'm out of the office for the next couple of days. If you usually communicate with me there, choose another method!

I've just had my hair cut by a man calling himself, "Cisqo". I fear that the result is a little too "Old Street" for me. I'm all a kafuffle about how to spend my evening; everything I can think of doing now seems like it would conform to the worst kind of hipster cliché. Whatever air of sincerity I possessed has evaporated and the performing of any activity would have a whiff of horrible, distanced knowingness.

Oh, you would be listening to "To Lefty From Willie". Well done. Not "Red Headed Stranger" like any normal person.

You're wearing a Paul Wolfowitz t-shirt?! Could you be any more obvious?

You'll be watching Celebrity Big Brother later, will you? Do you think this makes you special?

Oh, great. Calling your Grandma are you? Bravo. How unexpected. Wouldn't have thought that someone like you would be enquiring after the well-being of their elderly relatives. You prick.

An Injustice

From this article:

"In the early 1990s, there was a phrase describing facts suggesting that 'this will be big news for you, sunshine', but actually stating the obvious. It was called the Frank Beard Fact."

No! I made it up! In the mid-1990s. A quick search proves conclusive. If Google can't find it then it's not on the internet. And if it's not on the internet then it doesn't exist.


Monday, January 17, 2005

2) Don't worry, I'm not making an apology for not posting more, I know there's nothing more conceited. But... I'm getting more excited by things other than writing shit here at the moment. One of these things is not for everyone, not in the early stages anyway. The other will blow through here like a nuclear wind. Hold your hat in readiness.

OK, so two things for you:

1) Charles has only spoken to Harry six times since Boxing Day. That's six times in twenty days. I think I may have spoken to my Dad once, I'm not sure. Harry is an adult, remember? So he has spent three days with his father in six weeks? And? Is this bad? He's not 14. How much time have you spent with your parents recently, and more importantly, how much would be, you know, a bit weird? At twenty years old, was your behaviour your parents' responsibility or your own?


Friday, January 14, 2005

I was going to write a post about how personality politics is much bigger on the “Left” than on the “Right”. I really can’t trouble myself with it. Just imagine what I would have said, cut out the middle man.

Last night I dreamt that my Dad had a fist-fight with Michael Moore. It was a tough old scrap, but Pops took him in the end.

Ok, Media, cheers for the Harry picture. You're cheating us though, I demand a photo of his brother:

"William settled on a black leotard with a leopard-skin tail, leopard-skin paws and a leopard-skin pattern sewn into the coat..."


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Live in London? Get the bus to work? Cross Westminster Bridge in the early hours when most are asleep? If so, then you, me and Wordsworth have a lot in common. Here's a poem for you. No spin on this one, just the poem:

Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

I shall take the apparent complete disinterest in my list compiling as a sign that no reasonable person could disagree with my choices or that you are all dumbstruck with admiration.

I think this site may be entering a period of disorder once more.

Toilet rolls should always have their hanging edge closest to the user. If the wall is thought of as the left hand margin of a page, the paper should trace out a 9, thus:

:WALL: ¦


You need a comment on this?



"...Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool
Loving both of you
Is breaking all the rules..."

I'm with Julie, I think.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Anyone who has a website must know the fear that the wrong people will read it, be they family, discarded acquaintances or employers. This story is outrageous. His blog is here.

Another thing I've been getting morally indignant about is all this blasphemy stuff. I don't know if I'll ever bother to write about it; you know what the rights and wrongs of the Jerry Springer and Behzti affairs, the question is, does The Man?


Monday, January 10, 2005

Next on BBC4, Mark Steel makes some pointless jibes at New Labour and overuses the word, "nowadays", all with just enough content to make you overlook the constant sight gags.

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 1

Sunshine After the Rain - Berri

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 2

Where’s the Love - Hanson

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 3

1-2-3-4 (Sumpin’ New) – Coolio

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 4

Gangsta Trippin’ – Fat Boy Slim

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 5

Shake Your Bon Bon – Ricky Martin

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 6

Golden Eye – Tina Turner

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 7

I want You Back – Mel B. featuring Missy Elliot

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 8

Here Comes the Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 9

Renegade Master ’98 – Wildchild

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Number 10

Swamp Thing – The Grid


Sunday, January 09, 2005

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Numbers 20 to 11

20) On a Rope - Rocket From The Crypt
19) Ooh… Ahh, Just a Little Bit – Gina G
18) Love City Groove - Love City Groove
17) Don't Come Home Too Soon - Del Amitri
16) Gettin' Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith
15) The Shoop Shoop Song - Cher
14) Freedom ’90 – George Michael
13) Doop – Doop
12) Bomb Diggy - Another Level
11) No Diggity – Blackstreet

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Numbers 40 to 21

40) What’s Going On – 4 Non-Blondes
39) Black Steel - Tricky
38) Bug Powder Dust – Bomb the Bass
37) Gett Off - Prince
36) Saturday Night - Whigfield
35) No Fronts –Dog Eat Dog
34) Outside – George Michael
33) We Like To Party! – Vengaboys
32) What Is Love? – Haddaway
31) Say You’ll Be There – Spice Girls

30) Honey to the B. - Billie
29) Last Thing On My Mind – Steps
28) Your Woman – White Town
27) So What'cha Want - The Beastie Boys
26) Groove Is In The Heart – Deee-Lite
25) Everybody Get Up - 5ive
24) Ghetto Superstar - Pras feat. Mya and ODB
23) Things Can Only Get Better - D:Ream
22) House of Love – East 17
21) Mambo #5 - Lou Bega

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Numbers 60 to 41

60) Mama Said Knock You Out – LL Cool J
59) Dub Be Good To Me – Beats International
58) Stay – Shakespeare’s Sister
57) Remember Me? – The Blue Boy
56) Alright - Cast
55) Macarena – Los Del Rio
54) Mr. Vain - Culture Beat
53) No No No – Dawn Penn
52) My Lovin’ (You’re Never Going to Get It) – En Vogue
51) Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) [radio edit] – The Outhere Brothers

50) No Way No Way - Vanilla
49) Sexx Laws – Beck
48) Some Might Say – Oasis
47) My Name Is - Eminem
46) Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - The Backstreet Boys
45) No Good (Start the Dance) – The Prodigy
44) Confide in Me – Kylie Minogue
43) On a Ragga Tip - SL2
42) Hobo Humping Slobo Babe – Whale
41) Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me – U2

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Numbers 80 to 61

80) Boom Shake The Room! – Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
79) Enjoy Yourself - A+
78) I Wish - Skee Lo
77) Professional Widow – Tori Amos (Arnhold Van Helsing Remix)
76) Every Day Is A Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
75) Ain't No Doubt - Jimmy Nail
74) (Incredible) Jungle is Massive - General Levy
73) Joyride - Roxette
72) Encore Une Fois! - Sash
71) I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis

70) Boom Shackalak – Apache Indian
69) California Love - 2 Pac
68) Miami – Will Smith
67) How Bizarre - OMC
66) Baby’s Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
65) Deeply Dippy - Right Said Fred
64) Summertime - D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
63) Rhythm Is A Dancer - Snap
62) All That She Wants – Ace of Bass
61) One Week – Barenaked Ladies

The 100 Best Singles of the '90s - Numbers 100 to 81

100) Mr Boombastic - Shaggy
99) Great Things - Echobelly
98) Wild Wild West - Will Smith
97) Ready To Go - Republica
96) I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meat Loaf
95) Vindaloo - Fat Les
94) Sweets For My Sweet - C.J. Lewis
93) I Know Where It’s At - All Saints
92) The Key The Secret - Urban Cookie Collective
91) Shoop – Salt-N-Pepa

90) Shy Guy – Diana King
89) I Like To Move It - Reel 2 Real feat. the Mad Stuntman
88) Screamager – Therapy?
87) Steal My Sunshine – Len
86) That's Nice - Minty
85) Genie In A Bottle - Christina Aguilera
84) Miami – Will Smith
83) The Boy Is Mine - Brandy & Monica
82) You Get What You Give - New Radicals
81) Cannonball - Breeders

I have spent quite a ridiculous amount of time on this, but it's done: the top 100 singles of the '90s. I fully expect that this selection will become definitive. I don't care about innovative soundscapes or yearning lyrics. The main criterion: if I was at a wedding reception in five years, which selection would not let me leave the dancefloor? This got me thinking... Party? My house? This list in order? Guests wear clothes from the '90s? You never know, it could happen.

Due to carping from the pedants I have changed the number 1.

It'll arrive over the next 16 hours...


Friday, January 07, 2005

So there it is, the Top 50 songs of the '90s. Who would have thought that Will Smith would have done so well? Honourable mentions go to:

Utah Saints
Mr Bombastic - Shaggy
On a Ragga Tip - SL2
Miami - Will Smith
Mama Said Knock You Out - LL Cool J
Groove is in the Heart – Deee-Lite
Macarena - Los Del Rio
Saturday Night - Whigfield
Always - Bon Jovi
Size of a Cow - The Wonderstuff
Ebeneezer Goode - The Shamen
Feed My Frankenstein - Alice Cooper
One Week - Barenaked Ladies
Regulate - Warren G
Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters
Blaze of Glory - Bon Jovi
Everyday is a Winding Road – Sheryl Crow
No Fronts – Dog Eat Dog
My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) - En Vogue
Yes - McAlmont and Butler
I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis
Crush - Jennifer Paige
Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb
'74-'75 - Connells
How Bizarre - OMC
Some Might Say - Oasis
Boom, Shake the Room! - Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

If I have the time, and more importantly, the inclination, I might expand it to a Top 100.

Best single of the 1990s: Number 1

1) Pump Up The Jam - Technotronic

Best singles of the 1990s: Numbers 10-2

10) Lou Bega – Mambo #5
9) So What'cha Want - The Beastie Boys
8) No Diggity – Blackstreet
7) Don't Come Home Too Soon - Del Amitri
6) Swamp Thing – The Grid
5) Doop - Doop
4) Shake Your Bon Bon – Ricky Martin
3) Love is Strong – The Rolling Stones
2) Where’s the Love - Hanson

Best singles of the 1990s: Numbers 20-11

20) Gone ‘Til November – Wyclef Jean
19) Black Steel - Tricky
18) We Like To Party! – Vengaboys
17) Joyride - Roxette
16) Mr. Vain - Culture Beat
15) No no no – Dawn Penn
14) Bug Powder Dust – Bomb the Bass
13) Nothing Lasts Forever – Echo and the Bunnymen
12) Gett Off - Prince
11) Little Wonder – David Bowie

Best singles of the 1990s: Numbers 30-21

30) Professional Widow – Tori Amos (Arnhold Van Helsing Remix)
29) Are you Jimmy Ray? - Jimmy Ray
28) Red Alert - Basement Jaxx
27) Everything About You - Ugly Kid Joe
26) Freedom ’90 – George Michael
25) California Love - 2 Pac
24) Deeply Dippy - Right Said Fred
23) Summertime - D.J. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
22) Rhythm Is A Dancer - Snap
21) Gettin' Jiggy Wit It – Will Smith

Best singles of the 1990s: Numbers 40-31

40) Shy Guy – Diana King
39) Mona - Craig McLachlan & Check 1-2
38) Steal My Sunshine – Len
37) Lovefool - The Cardigans
36) Genie In A Bottle - Christina Aguilera
35) The Boy Is Mine - Brandy & Monica
34) You Get What You Give - New Radicals
33) Cannonball - Breeders
32) Hangin' Tough - New Kids on the Block
31) Enjoy Yourself - A+

Best singles of the 1990s: Numbers 50-41

50) Friday I'm in Love - The Cure
49) Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
48) Rocks - Primal Scream
47) Wild Wild West - Will Smith
46) Ordinary World - Duran Duran
45) I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meat Loaf
44) I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
43) All Saints – I Know Where It’s At.
42) The Key The Secret - Urban Cookie Collective
41) Shoop – Salt-N-Pepa

Worst Singles of the '90s:

1) Scooby Snacks - Fun Lovin' Criminals
2) Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
3) Common People - Pulp
4) Peaches - Presidents of the United States of America
5) Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega

Coming later today: The Top 50 Singles of the '90s!


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ok. Well hopefully the public will vote out the Blazin' Squad moron first. Optimistic yet realistic prediction for the final three: Greer, Bez and Edwards.

Brigette Nielson! Good, I guess. Straight from The Surreal Life.

Kenzie from Blazin' Squad? That's dreadful. This has shot its bolt pretty early. Stretching the definition of "Celebrity" a bit.

Jeremy Edwards. Boring.

Lisa I'Anson.


Suppose we need a couple of Deans to balance out the Brians.

Halfway through the introductions. So far? Incredible. Potential? Best programme ever. Where the hell is my video? My archives will be swelling over the next couple of weeks.



Ok, I guess.

Interesting mix so far.



Where's my video? This is easily going to be the best tv programme ever!

McCririck! Amazing! I couldn't have asked for more! Keep him in! Keep him in!

They're just about to introduce the contestants for Celebrity Big Brother... Ridiculously excited. First two: a feminist icon and a man who loves big breasts.

Please Germaine Greer and Peter Andre.

Only the worst curmudgeon could dislike this site. It may get a permanent link. Incidentally, I'm fishing around for more links, let me know if you want one.

Can't believe that one (/many) trick(s) pony Belle de Jour managed to parlay her blog up to a book. Introduction of a flimsy plot, knock three years off my age, some extensive rewriting and editing and I've got a Bildungsroman right here.

We used to be able to time-travel, of course, until one of the tourists went back too far and accidentally prevented the development of the necessary element.


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

School of Funk.


Monday, January 03, 2005

Sequel waiting to happen:

School of Rap.

Did you watch it? Did you see it? That abomination on Channel 4 the other night, the countdown of the greatest comedians ever? Of course these things are always wrong, that I didn't compile it myself ensures as much, but Peter Cook? Peter fucking Cook? We must be careful, there are trying times ahead. A sludgy consensus is congealing that this man was the best. The best ever. Yet more evidence that having a posh voice, some ability to throw a couple of incongruous images together and the nous to realise that your talent has been spread so marmite-thin that your only hope to achieve renown is to act like a flawed genius and allow a grovelling public with their misguided notions of the romantic to do the rest. Has he ever made you laugh? I mean actually laugh? Oh, he does that funny strangled voice of comedy-middle-Englander well enough, sure: the hilarious officious lower-middle class and their idiotic concerns. And Derek and Clive: saying "bum" in church. Well done, you genius, you. Let's hear no more about it; that the tapes were released after begging from Led Zepplin should be warning enough.

We went to the pub at lunchtime. The bar staff turned off the jukebox so that they could watch a Sister Act. Whether it was the original or Back in the Habit, I couldn't tell.

Chelsea's millions only a problem now they're a threat. It seems unfair when allied to professionalism. Last year when they were the same old exploding clown car, it was ok. Where are the glamourous luxury players? Carvalho?! Hardly Veron or Crespo.

Has too much silt been deposited on the "Jim Morrison and The Doors are rubbish" opinion? Time to nimbly skip to a new, more precarious toe-hold?

Second Person: band fronted by Julia, Boris Johnson's sister.

"Coming up next, classics from Ronan Keating and Sister Sledge..."

Sixth form University trip. Sleeps with Angels!

This one will probably be expanded.

"Every Day is a Winding Road" - Sheryl Crow. Tune! Unexpected!

Listening to pop music from twenty years before your birth. Like parents being really in to Glen Miller.

Best text on my phone:

Yeah, okay. Prince is amazing. You win.

(As Andre 3000 did say.)

"Cool" is not a universal. It is the arousing of envy and respect from others. There are as many types of "cool" as there are observers. Unfortunately in our culture we think that teenagers are the best judges. They are not, they are the worst. Who would want a sixteen year old to find them cool? Think how rubbish you were at 16 compared to now. I can only see a contined improving in myself - I know more with each passing year - it's obvious. So me in five years will sneer at me now, and fair play to him. The only people worth impressing are the elderly.

Anything less "cool" than writing "cool"? (As Andre 3000 didn't say.)


Of course my residual fondness for the Chelsea boot.

1) California Girls
2) Beast of Burden
3) Band Aid 20

Jane: Remember in the '80s when they always showed footage of buildings being destroyed backwards? You don't see that anymore.

Naks slippers - the best on the market.

It's strange being at work on a bank holiday. I feel cast adrift on this internet, with no fellow travellers for company. You're all eating cake, supping fortified wines and watching old films. Christ, is that the time? Really? The matinee won't even start for another three hours. Due to poverty and having to buy a bus pass to get to work, I arrived here even earlier than I needed to: 7.15 am.

I've finished my work too, more or less. Talk of being allowed out a bit early today - unfortunately, my idea of "early" is slightly more optimistic than everyone else's. I fear that in this case, "early" means "not late". What to do? What to do? I could start putting up those scattered notes I made over Christmas. In fact, that's what I'll do. I can't be bothered spinning them into stories, you can make your own up.


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