Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

I started a project this morning sorting through my digital Sweet collection. Yeah, reading that back it looks kinda weird. What he saying? I mean the British rock band The Sweet, who had big glam hits in the seventies like Ballroom Blitz, Fox on the Run, Blockbuster, Action and Love Is Like Oxygen. I’ve written about them elsewhere. I’ve collected a bunch of their songs exclusively on compilation albums, which feature not only the hits, but the b-sides, some album tracks, some post-Brian Connelly songs and other assorted ephemera they thought should go on a compilation album. Thought it was time to tidy them up and put them into some coherent structure. Thus, I’ve got some labelled as ‘early hits’, including things like Wig Wam Bam, Little Willy and Funny Funny. This was their bubblegum era of the early Seventies. Then there’s ‘the hits’, including the aforementioned hits above and some others. There’s about ten in all that could be called hits here in Australia, including my favourite Sweet song, The Sixteens. Then there’s a bunch of album tracks all sorted into their appropriate albums, such as Sweet F.A., On the Level and Desolation Boulevard. Then there’s the ‘post-Brian’ tracks, featuring songs they did after their lead singer, Brian Connelly, left the band. There’s some great stuff here, including New York Groove (cleverly includes a bit of Alicia Keys’ Empire State) and Do It All Over Again. They were such a good band. Now they’re nice and sorted and in their appropriate categories, and the world is a better place, and I’m happy. I know this is all pretty anal and trainspottery, but hey, I’m a library worker. I live for this kind of catalogueing thing!

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My girls Kpop band Twice have been in the Philippines shilling for The Man. That is to say, they’re there to do some fan meet/promotional peformance thing called OishiSnacktacularFanmeet courtesy of a snack company called Oishi they’ve been dragged into by their company, JYPE, to promote. There’s nothing unusual about this in the Kpop world where commerce and art go hand in hand, and commerce often wins out. The recent music video for NewJeansHow Sweet is actually a Coke ad, for example. It and the song are so good that it’s really art transcending commerce, but it grates when we know what a scumbag company Coke is. As for Twice, it’s still a little embarrassing and depressing to see your favourite band performing like silly marionettes because their company has committed them to it. I take solace in the fact that the girls have gamely taken on the task with their usual winning enthusiasm, professionalism and sense of fun. As long as they’re all together it’s alright. I’ve been watching some of the highlight footage some fans have filmed of the events and it does look like a good time – at least for the audience. It’s not unlike a live, chaotic, real-time version of Time To Twice. They’re wearing silly costumes, participating in silly games, singing a little bit here, dancing a little bit there, interacting with each other and the audience in various cute ways. It does look like they’re having fun, but I wonder how much of it is show and they’re really just gritting their teeth through it all. Damn!

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I watched my Passengers rebuild in aid of some research for a blog piece I’m doing. It’s a film that came out in 2016 starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence and has them stranded on a star ship headed for a new settlement planet. There’s a moral dilemma or betrayal at the heart of it that I won’t go into here, but going by some reviews I’ve read, it’s really got the hate because of it. Most people seem to object the fact the betrayal is forgiven in the end, some calling it more ‘male white privilege’ (yes, it’s Pratt’s character that does the betraying). They want the film to go into some darker area (they seem to be out for blood), but they forget, this is a Hollywood film, and Hollywood values rule. I say look at the wider context surrounding the betrayal (it’s a unique situation) and show some forgiveness; or if you must hate, hate the character, not the film. At the very least, it looks stunning.

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