Jump to content


The Donators
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by Skummy

  1. On 11/01/2020 at 19:22, GoGo Yubari said:

    Yeah, the "Rum and Coca-Cola" thing was pretty blatant theft. Morey Amsterdam (most famous for being on the Dick Van Dyke Show) took the melody and, like, word-for-word the exact chorus and then changed the verses from being about American soldiers being homewreckers to "boy, what a great time we're all having in Trinidad!" The big hit was by the Andrews Sisters and kind of embodies '40s American popular music's weird fixation on exoticism and "boy, these foreign people sure are quaint!" stuff.

    Despite having mentioned my recent interest in Trinidadian calypso earlier in this very thread, I actually had no idea about any of this, and only really knew the Andrews Sisters and subsequent versions! Utterly unsurprising on all fronts, though.

  2. 12 minutes ago, metalman said:

    Slight calypso lilt to it

    Bit of a tangent, but I was actually hoping we'd start to see some calypso pop up as move into the '50s. I'm getting really into London-based Trinidadian music from the '50s at the moment, and some of it is absolutely wonderful, as it tends to be rich in social commentary, an interesting insight into the time. It feels like, as a genre, it was largely overlooked after reggae became prominent in the subsequent decade and now, listening to it with 60-70 years' remove, that makes it still feel quite fresh and interesting, even though it's unmistakably of its time. 

  3. Yeah, the Ink Spots are another one that are really influential in terms of vocal styles, presaging a lot of major developments in popular music in the early '50s, and in bridging the gap between black and white audiences. I'm not sure why that song in particular was chosen, but it's as good a representation of their work as any. 

    My favourite song of theirs is "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire", which is used frequently in the Fallout series.

    Gloomy Sunday is an absolute stone-cold classic, and genuinely moving every time I hear it. There's an urban legend of it being something of a cursed song, that so many people who performed or recorded it ended up committing suicide. 

    • Like 1

  4. On 04/01/2020 at 11:01, Liam said:


    ‘Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?’, Bing Crosby (1932)

    A song that very much caught the tone of the time period, ‘Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?’ came during the time of the Great Depression and told a story of a man who suffered through this moment in history. Written for a musical (Americana), the lyrics cleverly use ideas around railroads and towers, these bastions of industrialisation and perceived development, to add to the sense of melancholy as the narrator speaks of his involvement in the building of these, only to now be begging for a dime. Crosby’s voice is melodious, yet urgent as things progress, finely building a sense of what the character was and what he had become.

    I love Cab Calloway and a lot of the blues stuff you've been posting, love the idea for the thread - I just wanted to comment specifically on Bing, as the importance of his vocal style is massively underappreciated, because it's completely taken for granted. But if you listen to the earlier songs on this list, the vocals tend to be big loud baritones, or call-and-response, or (like the early Cajun music) vocal styles that sound quite odd to modern ears, because the singers were used to singing in such a way as to be heard from the stage, or from the centre of a barn. For volume in public performance, basically.

    Crosby's real significance was in singing for a microphone, and for recording, before anyone else really did. It means he's able to add more inflection and, arguably, emotion to the vocals, to place emphasis on the lyrics a little more, and it feels more intimate and almost conversational for it. 


    Somewhere Over The Rainbow is a wonderful song, I'd make a case for it as one of the finest ever written. I know a drag act who used to begin the show as Wizard of Oz Dorothy performing it, then end the show as old, bitter Judy Garland performing the same song, to demonstrate how context can make it either hopeful or despairing. 


    • Like 2

  5. Spoiler

    I don't think there's any need to speculate about minute details of stories from years or decades ago. It's The Master. They've stopped bothering explaining how he can come back from the dead or regenerate again because, frankly, they don't have to. It's not important. He just does.

    That said, clearly the set-up here is alternate universes, which is interesting as that's largely been something of a taboo in Doctor Who. Whether they use that to explain why the Doctor never sensed there was another Time Lord nearby (unless she did, as she said she could sense the light-beings outside the compound - so may have been mistaken as to what she was sensing), or how The Master came back, I'm not sure, but I imagine it will end up treated as something of a reset button.

    "Everything you think you know is wrong" is an intriguing set-up, as could potentially give them carte blanche to write out whatever bits of New Who they don't want to have to deal with any more.

    Ultimately, it felt like an RTD episode in that it was a hell of a cliffhanger, but will entirely come down to whether or not they can stick the landing.


  6. I love Empire. I've often said that the best thing in Star Wars is the Cantina scene in A New Hope, for the suggestion of a wider universe with a hundred other stories going on other than the one you're watching, but Empire has that in spades too.

    Cloud City suggests worlds other than the mono-environments we see in every other Star Wars planet, the presence of Lobot offers up the suggestion of cyborgs - something we hadn't seen in Star Wars before (or since?), and that goes more or less unacknowledged and unexplained which, again, means that not everything needs to be significant and immediately tied into the plot, but can just hint at a larger universe. 

    Force Ghosts are introduced, while Luke and Han both get bits of backstory that are hugely significant but don't rely on fan-service. Nowhere does the film feel like it's giving you a nod back to the original, it has a confidence in its storytelling that's lacking in every subsequent movie. It doesn't need another Death Star, a background character cameo, or a reproduction of an earlier scene - it knows it has strong characters, a strong story, and a strong setting. The backstory we get fleshes out those characters and makes their lives seem bigger, rather than the prequels' approach of "Darth Vader built C3PO", which only conspires to make the entire universe feel unnecessarily smaller.

    All of it is simply a story told with confidence in everything that makes it work, without ever really feeling the need to hold the audience's hand, and certainly never to say, "hey, remember this from the first movie?!". For that, it stands head and shoulders above the rest.


    Really my only criticism of Empire is the shift in the portrayal of Darth Vader since A New Hope. In ANH, Vader clearly isn't a commanding officer, or right-hand man to the Emperor, nor is he really a significant figure in the chain of command. He's an "attack dog". He's the "dragon", not the leader. He answers to Tarkin, and other imperial officers feel sufficiently above him in the pecking order to make fun of him. Out of canon, it obviously makes sense now that they knew they had a series and an iconic villain on their hands, and in canon I suppose it could be  explained as an after-effect of the destruction of the Death Star meaning a lot of Imperial high command were killed.

    • Like 3

  7. Time Out review basically says it's dully formulaic, feels like a Marvel movie in how it's just a series of fetch quests, and that they clearly have no idea what to do with most of the characters, or any of the developments started in The Last Jedi.

    While I didn't particularly like The Last Jedi, I at least appreciated that it wasn't just another "REMEMBER THIS?!" nostalgia romp and tried some new ideas. I'm seeing summaries of this one that list "lots of fan-service" as a positive.

  8. Horizon Zero Dawn really got me as well. Picked it up cheap on a whim, had absolutely no idea what to expect, and was utterly hooked. Just a perfect combination of gameplay, story and world design. Utterly gorgeous, too.


    Yesterday I preordered Wattam, the new game from the guy behind Katamari Damacy. I watched the trailer and still have no idea what it was about. I read a description of the gameplay and it didn't help at all. I can't wait.

  9. 12 minutes ago, Benji said:

    Does it count if you heard a cover of it?

    No, covers and remixes are fine.


  10. I only started using Spotify in 2016, so it's not very useful in terms of decade-long stuff, but here's what I've got;

    Top Artists for 2019:
    Johnny Clegg
    David Bowie
    Nick Drake
    Tom Waits

    Top songs for 2019:
    "Happy Hour" - The Housemartins
    "Just Like Honey" - The Jesus & Mary Chain
    "Maggot Brain" - Funkadelic
    "Androgynous" - The Replacements
    "Satsuko & Seita (Main Theme, Grave Of The Fireflies)" - daigoro789
    "Im Garten der Gemeinschaft" - Popol Vuh
    "Ghost Of A Horse Under The Chandelier" - World's End Girlfriend
    "Song To The Siren" - This Mortal Coil
    "Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence" - Ryuichi Sakimoto
    "Rothko Chapel 5" - Morton Feldman

    That's really skewed though, as a number of those songs are on a playlist I use to fall asleep to during bouts of insomnia.


    In 2016, my top song  was "Human Fly" by The Cramps and top artist was Kate Bush.
    In 2017, top song was "The Guns Of Brixton" by The Clash, and top artist was Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - I can tell I wasn't using Spotify much yet, as I had to Google who they were.
    In 2018, top song was "The Campaign For Real Rock" by Edwyn Collins, top artist was Prince.

    Artist of the decade is Johnny Clegg, almost solely because of how much I've listened to him this year, as I don't think he would have got more than a few token plays before that.


    I've listened to artists from 40 countries. The examples they gave were Neil Young from Canada, Queen from the UK, Billie Eilish from the US, Sinead O'Connor from Ireland, and Crowded House from New Zealand. None of those are really the interesting ones I wanted to find out, country-wise!

    I was "genre-fluid", with my top genres being Dance Rock (?!), Singer-Songwriter, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Rock and Britpop.


  11. I briefly thought I'd fallen at the first hurdle, but got my dates wrong, as it was actually only 30th November when I heard it.

    That said, it's an absolute banger, so not even upset if/when I lose. 

    We don't have the radio on at work, my local pub tends to lean more towards '70s and earlier Christmas tracks on their playlist, and I've got most if not all of my Christmas shopping done already, so it basically comes down to if I happen to be in a supermarket without having my headphones in, or if it gets played while I'm stuck at an airport - which, given I have three flights booked between now and Christmas Eve, is not unlikely.


    Sidenote: "Last Christmas" is the answer to one of my favourite pub quiz questions, as the highest selling number two single of all time.

    • Like 1

  12. I saw Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in Guernsey on Saturday, and they were superb, though honestly two out of the three local support acts were at least as good as they were. The main support act was an old Guernsey band I love, reforming for this gig as a one-off, and they had the crowd in the palm of their hand, to the point that almost half the audience seemed to leave after they finished, rather than stick around for the headliner.

  13. I love Rifftrax, but there's a charm to MST3k that isn't there with Rifftrax - I think it's basically the Joel/Mike dichotomy made more obvious. Some of the jokes in Rifftrax are a bit too overwrought, whereas MST3k is snappier. 

    And without the sketches we'd never have got Clayton Forester, and I adore that character, or the "Every Country Has A Monster" song from the first Netflix season, which I still routinely get stuck in my head. I think I just like the broader context provided by MST3K.


    In terms of it being affordable, the biggest problem has always been rights issues, especially internationally. 

    • Like 1

  14. 1 minute ago, Hobo said:

    Netflix isn't renewing MST3K.

    Just came here to post the same thing.

    Joel is retiring from riffing following this tour, too. I hope somewhere else picks it up - no idea how the rights would work, but there's a ton of stuff on Amazon Prime that they've either already riffed or would be long overdue, so would be happy to see it end up there.

    I wonder if it just continues as a live show, though.

  15. watched the first episode of the BBC War of The Worlds.

    Not sure what to make of it. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, and spends much of the first episode being a slow-burning period drama, but with some of the most heavy-handed social and political allegory imaginable, including the actual line, "that's not very progressive". It wasn't bad, but wasn't particularly compelling either. Hopefully it will improve once the actual Martian War starts, so I'll give it another shot.

  16. 1 hour ago, Hobo said:

    Although, this movie is totally aimed at adults who grew up with Sonic who will then bring their kids to see the movie. Which happens. It's been a marketing strategy for films for at least 20 years or more. People sure weren't screaming for a Rocky and Bullwinkle movie the year 2000.

    I have a broader point around remakes here - remaking kids' entertainment properties goes back forever, but I don't think it always means "it's for the adults who grew up watching it". Usually, historically, it's because the adults who grew up watching it want to have a stab at making it. That's why you have The Jetsons, Flintstones and Scooby-Doo making a comeback in the '80s and early '90s, when the kids who watched in the '60s became animators and studio staff. 

    What's changed in recent times is that we're more likely to see those old series remade, not for a new generation of kids, but for the same generation as adults, like the last Power Rangers movie. I honestly believe this Sonic movie is far more aimed at kids, but they'll be banking on easy nostalgia too.

    47 minutes ago, Benjamin said:

    Also, there's a stark difference between a character redesign and wanting to appease assholes who only want straight white dudes in their entertainment. Movie studios know that listening to dipshits could cause them to lose support from other more diverse and more profitable demographics. 

    My worry is less about whether studios listen, and more about the license it gives the assholes. Assholes will now point to this movie as "they listened to us once, they'll do it again!" and use it to justify being louder and more obnoxious assholes than they already were.

    • Like 3

  17. It's twofold - the issue isn't solely that studios will start listening to the cranks, but that the cranks will start feeling more emboldened. All the Gamergate, Comicsgate, Star Wars whatevers and every other person making thinly veiled arguments to complain about women, gays and minorities in their entertainment, barely needs more license to think that they're the be-all and end-all of fandom, or to get louder and more aggressive, but I guarantee they'll claim this (especially the gamer types) as a success for them, and cite it as a reason why their complaining and harassment works.

    • Like 3

  18. 2 minutes ago, Benji said:

    I honestly don't see what people's problem is with changing it


    Most of the people who complain and petition for films to get changed aren't doing so because of a disagreement over character design, but for far more insidious reasons. But every single one of them is well aware of this decision, and that it's sending a signal that if you make enough fuss, the studio will listen to you. 

    • Like 2

  19. 41 minutes ago, =BK= said:

    I don't get that take. So much stuff would be better if the people behind these kinds of movies listened to the audience that they're for.  The people behind these things should know they can't just shovel out any ol shit and make a billion changes to source material and slap a Franchise name on it.

    and who do we decide "the audience that they're for"? Do Disney start listening to the fanboys crying about women ruining Star Wars?

    Who was complaining about the character design in the Sonic movie - the children it's aimed at, or adults making fun of a trailer?

    • Like 3
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy