All entries for Wednesday 05 November 2008

November 05, 2008

Musical musings

I don’t write about music much on my blog. There is a good reason for this, which the following, rare, entry will demonstrate. I don’t know that much about it. I like to think I do, but deep down I know I don’t.

So here goes. Don’t hate me.

  • With one notable exception this has been a great year for music. Look at the songs that have got to number one. Ting Tings, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Basshunter (okay, not so much).
  • Perhaps the best track of the year (and probably the best video too) might come from left-field though. Yeah, Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon runs it close, but this is superb. Having – until recently – worked in radio, I heard this quite a while back, and my colleague knew it’d be huge straight away. See if you can spot the film star in the video – everything about it is subtle, except the product placement.
  • If 2007 was the year of The Feeling pastiches, then was 2008 the year of rip-offs of Arcade Fire? Both MGMT and Red Light Company seem to be following a similar (albeit brilliant) thread.
  • Viewing figures for The X Factor are through the roof, right? But are the viewers taking the music seriously? I’m not just asking this because they keep saving Daniel, but because I’m not convinced many of the 13m viewers are likely to pay a penny for the records that the potential winners bring out. Christmas Number One excluded, though.

That is all.


God Bless America

Barack Obama and family

I went to bed at about 2.15am last night (9.15pm ET), confident that John McCain was out of it.

He was.

Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio were all being pushed towards Obama wins. Just one of them was probably enough.

The Obama that spoke in Chicago a few hours ago was an older, wiser and certainly more tired one than was thrust onto the political stage back in 2004. That date – and its closeness to the present day – is just one of the amazing things about this election.

In few races could a junior senator from a Northern state with relatively left-wing values beat an experienced war hero like John McCain.

Throw in his race – but more importantly his full name, Barack Hussein Obama – and the result of the 2008 election could have been written by Hollywood.

  • Dizzy makes a good point that this wasn’t the landslide that the electoral college would suggest. As I write, McCain received 47% of the popular vote. If this wasn’t an election, that’d be rounded up to ‘half’. The United States is still a divided country, even if state boundaries have conspired to suggest otherwise.
  • I stumbled across this website yesterday which is very cute. It’s the online equivalent of “are we nearly there yet”. Until a few hours ago, it said “almost”.
  • The TV coverage on both sides of the Atlantic was interesting. David Dimbleby on the BBC was useless, and must surely be approaching retirement. He had to ask his studio guests to help him identify Joe Lieberman, kept barking at the control room while still on-screen, and didn’t give the impression he knew much about U.S. politics.
  • Sky did better, but the constant ad-breaks made me give up. It’s a bit like watching Formula 1 on ITV – you know something’s going to happen while you’re learning about washing powder.
  • Stateside, MSNBC was a bit dry, Fox News was a bit depressed and CNN brought Star Wars to the Presidential Election – their correspondents appeared in the studio by hologram. I loved it.

Later I’ll probably write something about what all of this means for the UK.


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