Thursday, April 03, 2008

Exciting News For All Readers Inside

We were going to write a lengthy introduction to this statement, but as we're so dispirited by our failed quest to find a picture advertising the merger of one IPC comic with another, we can't really bring ourselves to type a lot here. Really, you'd think Flickr would be awash with scans of the least unpopular characters from School Fun wandering across a schoolyard to meet the main characters of Whizzer and Chips, but it isn't. Bah. There's not even a record of which became ones became Chip-ites and which joined the Whizz-kid camp. Did Young Arfur make the cut? We don't know! You've failed us, science. We've had to improvise, quite badly, as the hastily assembled jpeg just up there will attest.

Anyway, seeing as how BrokenTV's sister blogs, BrokenFM and Booked (Dissent) are currently seeing less action than, oh we don't know, Peter Crouch or something, we're going to include any musings we might have on football or music on BrokenTV. It'll save the hardy crew of our most loyal reader (no typo, there) having to click on different bookmarks, if nothing else.

So, erm, consider this a 'BLOG CLOSED' notice for BrokenFM and Booked (Dissent), and expect slightly more regular updates to BrokenTV in the near future. But it's not all bad news! As everyone knows, the first post-merger edition of a comic has to include a SUPER FREE GIFT FOR ALL BOYS AND GIRLS, and we're no different. Click below to recieve (i.e. visit) your FREE! BrokenTV mixtape ( mix), lovingly compiled (illegally uploaded) by BrokenTV's Mark X (erm, or not him, if you're the BPI).

If your free tape is missing, contact your newsagent


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Something Written For Somewhere Else, Then Plonked Here

As we're stuck inside waiting for our new iPod Touch to be delivered (which is looking less likely by the second. If they meant next *working* day delivery, why did they say 'next day delivery', stupid bloody... no, it's not about that), here are some quick music recommendations. Click the pictures for the YouTubely goodness.

Robots In Disguise: We're In The Music Biz


'The most unsuccessful duo the UK has never known'

A super album, a true step up from their enjoyable but slightly patchy eponymous debut. Like a compilation of the very best bits from Chicks On Speed, Peaches and Electrocute, reworked to ramp the catchiness up an extra couple of notches, and to pack in nicely self-effacing dumb pop lyrics. ("Look at us dead drunk Brits deep in the shit/Kicked out of a cab miles from the hotel/My purse empty no money in it/Can we cadge a lift on your beat up moped?"). Pop gold, right there.


(YouTube video for The Sex Has Made Me Stupid)

Vive La Fete: Jour De Chance


The best noise to come out of Belgium since Front 242 hung up their wires. Fantastic electro, with the occasional peppering of guitars, as might be expected from a band co-founded by Danny Mommens, formerly of Deus. Marvellously catchy at their best, largely down to the gorgeous voice of other half of Vive La Fete, Els Pynoo, even if all the lyrics are in French, which we can't actually speak. It's even more proof of our pet theory that French is by far the official language of Good Music.


('Aventures Fictives', which there isn't actually a video for, but it's worth a listen anyway.)

April March and Steve Hanft: April March and Steve Hanft

At last. After what seems an age, during which her music has been used to provide the best bit Tarantino's disappointing Death Proof, April March is back. Her new album, created with Steve Hanft, is more of a return to 60s-style French pop than her last album, and all the more welcome for it. Slightly annoyingly, it isn't available in any physical format yet (as far as we can tell), but it is available through their MySpace page. And best of all, thanks to the current crisis in the American economy that will see us all eating out of bins by the end of 2008, it's less than £4.50 in our money. A Pyrrhic victory for music lovers everywhere!


('Attention Cherie')

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Smash Your Radio: Part One

Mainstay of the office radio 6Music recently announced their plans to increase the proportion of women listening to their radio station. Their research has shown (somehow) that one thing that really annoys women who listen to the radio, is when they play that modern pop music. They'd much rather hear inane deejay banter. Look, the research consultants probably have a pie chart proving this. And pie charts were invented by Florence Nightingale, who was basically the best woman ever, which possibly counts for something.

So, how best to arrest this lady-ear deficiency? Well, there are several ways, but probably the worst possible approach would be to shove Gideon Coe (amenable presenter who knew that the tunes should always take priority of inane banter) onto a graveyard show, and give his slot to a self satisfied alpha-male who thinks playing annoying samples of children's TV programmes from the 1980s every three minutes is preferable to being any good, and who comes with a braying 'posse' of hangers on, including the token woman who everyone else talks down to when she gets something about football wrong. So, step forward George Lamb.

Three solid hours of reading out texts from sycophantic listeners requesting they be played one of the show's three annoying soundbites (the battle cry of early 1990s homosceptic Shabba Ranks, an Irish stereotype shouting, and something from Thundercats), sneering at those horrid working classes (generally by snorting "haw haw! That is straight estate!" at mention of a tattooed woman shopping for lager at Netto), year-old internet memes (Chuck Norris facts, anyone? No?), and if there's time, a song or two. But quite often the songs are interrupted by sampled soundbites from The sodding Goonies or Wayne's World.

Quite excrutiating.

All the more so when you consider that 6Music is meant to be a radio station predominantly based around - as you might expect - music. Not tedious alpha-male posturing.

For once, it's not just us piddling into a maelstrom of indifference. An online petition has been started, with a website to match. At the time of typing this, Get Lamb Out is nudging 2000 votes, just ahead of a similar petition to keep him in (sitting on around 1900 vote). All the more notable considering the latter petition receives a number of rallying calls on a nationwide radio station, while the former have thrived solely on electronic word of mouth.

Holy Moly referred to him as
[a] gibbering, self obsessed, coke addled, sniggering twat of the highest order has single handedly fucked BBC6 up the arse and reduced what was a great morning show under Gideon Coe down to the equivalent of a Timmy Mallett name dropping wank session in which he says 'ladies and gentlemen' over and over again

A poster on feminism website The F-Word opined:
Try listening to Lamb and try not to be offended. He persistently objectifies women, especially "boss-eyed birds". He treats talented female musicians with contempt, eg Cat Power, who he persistently asked had she been "tonguing" an actor. He spent his whole interview with Duffy amusingly confusing her with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. See what he did there?

The Lipster's Rebecca Nicholson had her tongue in what we're almost tempted to claim is her pretty little cheek (luckily we're above that sort of thing) when she said:
It’s all for you, ladyfolk! He’s a dreamboat! Maybe, if he talks even slower and drops in a few references to Heat magazine, Loose Women and chocolate, we might start to understand this “music” lark properly.
There's a Facebook group dedicated to having the Lamb put down, and even The New Statesman are getting in on the act, with Lynsey Hanley writing:

In appointing Lamb, Douglas has alienated not only many female listeners, but also an awful lot of men who can't stand his boorish arrogance and transparent lack of interest in the station's remit.
All of this led to BBC Radio's Lesley Douglas defending Lamb in an interview with The Guardian, basically claiming that we're all wrong, and everyone does like him especially women. Given that a lot of the dissenting voices (including the three we've just quoted above) are coming from women, we suspect she's wrong. If nothing else, it's caused BrokenFM's Mark X to stop listening to 6Music at work between 10am and 1pm, meaning their female audience has gone down by at least the two women he works with. Look, he paid for the radio, so he gets veto, and there's nothing sexist about that.

LADIES! Want to make the point that George Lamb actually isn't the dreamboat likely to make you tune in breathlessly every morning at ten? Print out the image below, cut it out, iron it onto a T-Shirt (not that we're associating women with ironing, heck no), and wear it outside Western House.

But. much like it's sister blog BrokenFM, if there's one thing BrokenFM is about (it clearly isn't writing about music very often), it's about bringing in the love. So, here's something positive about George Lamb: he really does put all the other daytime jocks into perspective. Let's take a look at some examples.

Shaun Keaveny


Another in the long line of infuriating Boltonian DJs, proving that it takes more than the right regional accent to be the new Mark Radcliffe. Forever spurting insipid whimsy when the listening dozens would rather be listening to another White Stripes record. If only Phill Jupitus had never left.


Affable northerner who politely eschews the tired zoo-radio format to offer up quickfire uncontroversial observations on the matters of the day. Plays lots of good records, and while his delivery often fails to bring the best out of his material, it's certainly preferable to the following few hours of aural anguish.

Chris Moyles


Boorish, loud-mouthed, self-satisfied, annoying, keeps talking about how great his is with his paid hangers on instead of playing records. And keeps going on about things from the 1980s, even though that's pretty much a reference point the target demographic for the station won't give a toss about.


A driven, confident personality, who constantly displays a genuine affection for the world of radio. Not as bad as everyone says he is, and at least the 1980s references are likely to be of the more interesting variety, such as Wizbit or The Paul Squire Show.

Jo Whiley


The mainstream-friendly face of alternative music, who'll try her utmost to appear credible despite being able to promote the latest release from Westlife with whatever the audio equivalent of a straight face is. And then say it was 'fantastic' straight afterwards, without even the merest hint of irony.


Still preferable to George Lamb.



Perennial Radio One up-with-the-Partridge slot jockey cum emergency fill-in DJ, promoted out of her depth into a 'proper' daytime show.


Actually, she's really rather good. She doesn't spend to long yapping away about What Celebrities Have Been Up To, keeps interaction with the listening public to a pleasant minimum, and plays an enjoyable and eclectic selection of records (such as Miss Kitten, Minnie Ripperton, The Fall, or Mgmt), which is after all what the station is about. Pretty much what we're looking for in a daytime radio DJ, really. When is she on air? Just after George Lamb. Boh.

Hey, maybe Lesley Douglas should spend more of her time trying to attract an increased female audience to 6Music by bigging up Nemone's contribution to the station, eh?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

BrokenFM's Album of the Year 2007: Round One

It's that time of year, where music blogs like to list their favourite albums of the year. BrokenFM is no exception to this, even if we are an exception to the principle of updating regularly. However, because we're so achingly different we're going to treat it slightly differently. And not just because we're a bit annoyed upon discovering the albums we've possibly listened to the most over 2007 - by Silversun Pickups and The Hold Steady - were actually released in 2006, preventing us from doing a normal Top Twenty. Bah.

How it works: We select the sixteen best albums of 2007. We 'draw' the first round, with each album 'seeded' by the number of plays of the most popular track has in our iTunes playlist. The respective merits of the most-played song from each album are compared, with the winner going through to the next 'round'. However, after being used in battle, that song must 'sit out' the rest of the tournament. Still with us?

The seeding format favours the albums we've liked since the beginning of the year, but the lower seeds are likely to be freshest in our memory, and we really do get bored with things quite easily. As Booked(Dissent) will attest. We realise this means an album only needs to contain four great songs to stand a chance of winning the tournament, but it's very rare we'll really, really like more than three songs on the same album. We're very picky.

The first round.

After whittling our list of albums down to sixteen (which took a while, we hadn't realised there was this much music we really liked this year), we've arrived at the following list. In order of seeding.

Apples In Stereo - New Magnetic Wonder
They Might Be Giants - The Else
Kylie Minogue - X
M.I.A. - Kala
Justice - Cross
Dinosaur Jr - Beyond
Girls Aloud - Tangled Up
Blonde Redhead - 23
Go! Team - Proof of Youth
Pepe Deluxe - Spare Time Machine
Malcolm Middleton - A Brighter Beat
Vive La Fete - Jour De Chance
Abdominal - Escape From The Pigeon Hole
The High Water Marks - Polar
Stereo Total - Paris <> Berlin
Polysics - Polysics Or Die!!! Vista

After painting the numbers one to sixteen onto some ping-pong balls and flinging them into BrokenFM's Mum's tumble dryer, we arrive at a set of fixtures. And here they are.


Apples In Stereo - Sunndal Song vs Polysics - I My Me Mine

You could make a case for Polysics being 'cup tied' for this tournament, what with their debut on MySpace Records essentially being a 'best of', but we don't care because they're ace. Not that it matters too much, because the Japanese art-electro-punk-popsters are blown away by the majesty of the Apples' uplifting Sunndal Song. With vocals from the departing Hilarie Sydney (off to become player-manager of The High Water Marks), this track is so wonderful it could lift the spirits of Morrissey, on the same day a massive family of foreigners move in next door to him. And that's the sort of thing he'd really dislike, of course, the overrated curmudgeon. A resounding victory to the Apples In Stereo, then.

Oh, and we're going to be using a lot of FA Cup references in this update, just so you know.

They Might Be Giants - I'm Impressed vs Stereo Total - Miss Rebellion Des Hormones

The top two bands in BrokenFM's Official LastFM Profile Page in a massive Liverpool versus Chelsea-esque clash. Will it be the John's catchily sarcastic critique of The War On Terror, or Les Total's catchily song about something that's in French that will prevail? It's not as much of a titanic battle as you might expect, with the new Stereo Total album being a little bit of a let down, to be honest. You could come up with a tortuous analogy about Françoise and Brezel employing a rotation system when it came to selecting the songs for their new album if you like, but it's certainly They Might Be Giants who'll be in the next round.

Kylie Minogue - Sensitized vs The High Water Marks - Song For Emigrants

Kylie's back, and she's in no mood to dick around. X (or Kylie X, if you're being formal) is a real return to form, not least on this Gainsbourg-sampling slice of pop gold. We can't even bring ourselves to scoff "MC Solaar did it first", as it's the best thing she's released since Come Into My World. Brilliant stuff. In stark comparison to the media frenzy that accompanied Kylie's comeback, it seems that the first announcement of the release date for The High Water Marks' second album was when someone from the band replied to BrokenFM's Mark X on the band's MySpace page, with a message along the lines of "Oh crikey, it's out tomorrow, we'd forgot about that". Song For Emigrants sees Hilarie Sidney offering up an especially syrupy vocal performance, with the sort of track we could listen to all day. It's a tricky call, but it's Kylie who sneaks through after a replay.

M.I.A. - Paper Planes vs Abdominal - Radio Friendly

The BrokenFM Album Of The Year equivalent of Manchester United vs Aston Villa. Abdominal's first solo effort is really rather enjoyable, but not quite up there with his material performed alongside DJ Format. Pick of the album is Radio Friendly, which is about swearing and the stuff that makes Abdominal swear a lot. However, this all comes to naught when Ab comes up against the M.I.A. juggernaut, especially considering Paper Planes is the best song released in 2007, without a doubt.

Justice - D.A.N.C.E. vs Vive La Fete - Aventures Fictives

Ooh, cripes. The album that we spent the entire summer listening to pretty much non-stop, versus that latest offering from the band we've just fallen head over heels in love with. It's like having to choose between your mum and your girlfriend. Not in a sordid way. This must be how the gushing proto-celebrities on Big Brother Hijack must be feeling when coming up with nominations of the people they've just met and aren't annoyed by yet. Taking the two songs on their own individual merits, we're going to have to plump for Justice, on the basis that D.A.N.C.E. is one of the best pop songs of the last five years.

Dinosaur Jr - Almost Ready vs Malcolm Middleton - We're All Going To Die

Another all-Premiership clash as far as the BrokenFM Awards are concerned, with Dinosaur Jr's first album in ten years showing they're as good as ever. It's not often a band we like can take such a hiatus and come back so strongly, unless you're the Go-Gos (shut up, we're right about their comeback album). Almost Ready is only a whisper away from being as superb as 'Freak Scene', and it's certainly superior to 'Feel The Pain'. Despite being tarnished slightly after being championed by Radio One's Scott Mills (in that annoyingly "I'm being ironic, me" fashion that he employs so annoyingly), We're All Going To Die is the best noise we've heard coming out of our radio in many a December. It's a very close call, but considering Malcolm Middleton has come up with the best album cover of the year, it is he who wins on penalties.

Girls Aloud - Sexy No No No vs Pepe Deluxe - Pussy Cat Rock

Having had the misfortune to be party to plenty of sexual no-nos in it's prime, BrokenFM was only to pleased to hear that the experience has been a much more uplifting one for the Aloud Girls. This track is a thunderously enjoyable companion to Something Kinda Ooh in the GA canon. It's not easy to match that, and while Pepe Deluxe give a good go of it in their great feline-themed tribute to glam rock, they're no match for Girls Aloud's 2-3-5 attacking formation.

Blonde Redhead - 23 vs Go! Team - Doing It Right

The title track from the American trio's seventh album is a delightfully dreamy affair. All over MTV2's 120 Minutes like some sort of lovely hypnotic rash, this is the sort of track that would have got into shoegazing as a moody teenager if it had been released in 1990. And we hadn't been too busy listening to the Pet Shop Boys. Meanwhile, the Go! Team (pop fact! Over 2% of Brighton's population are now members of The Go! Team) had us leaping across the BrokenFM radio in glee every time the track was played on the office radio. Tough call, but The Go! Team take it.

Next Update: The Second Round.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We're Back. Again.

Here's an ace thing. Not us finally posting an update to BrokenFM, but rather something mentioned on the BBC's RadioLabs Blog. LastFM profiles have been set up to capture every track played by Radios One, Two, 1xtra and 6music.

This makes it very easy to nab all sorts of data about each station. For example, who are the artists played most often since the LastFM accounts were set up? We shall see.


1. Arctic Monkeys (359 Plays)
2. Kaiser Chiefs (331)
3. The Killers (325)
4. The Enemy (312)
5. Fall Out Boy (304)
6. Justin Timberlake (302)
7. Klaxons (293)
8. Mika (285)
9. The Pigeon Detectives (278)
10. My Chemical Romance (275)
11. Hard-Fi (258)
12. Kanye West (254)
13. Razorlight (251)
14. The Fratellis (244)
15. Rihanna (243)
16. The White Stripes (234)
17. Foo Fighters (231)
18. Jack Penate (228)
19. Linkin Park (226)
20. Gym Class Heroes (225)


1. KT Tunstall (196 plays)
2. Mika (164)
3. Amy Winehouse( 162)
4. Take That (152)
5. Amy Macdonald (147)
6. Maroon 5 (146)
6. Bruce Springsteen (146)
8. James Blunt (142)
9. Kaiser Chiefs (134)
10. David Bowie (133)
11. Elvis Presley (128)
12. Stevie Wonder (123)
13. Kylie Minogue (121)
13. The Beatles (121)
15. Eagles (120)
16. The Rolling Stones (112)
16. Ben's Brother (112)
16. Madonna (112)
19. Travis (107)
20. U2 (103)
20. Michael Bublé (103)


1. Bloc Party (293)
2. Editors (282)
3. Manic Street Preachers (258)
4. Kate Nash (254)
5. Arctic Monkeys (245)
6. Kaiser Chiefs (244)
7. Interpol (243)
7. Pigeon Detectives (243)
9. Super Furry Animals (240)
10. Maximo Park (236)
11. Klaxons (232)
12. Amy Winehouse (222)
13. The Go! Team (213)
14. Calvin Harris (210)
14. The White Stripes (210)
16. Reverend and The Makers (209)
17. Kings of Leon (206)
18. Siouxsie Sioux (203)
19. Coral (199)
19. The Cribs (199)


1. Dizzee Rascal (280)
2. Kanye West (258)
3. Ne-Yo (209)
4. Amerie (189)
5. Charlean Dance / Gappy Ranks (169)
6. Beyoncé (168)
7. Collie Buddz (164)
8. Jay-Z (162)
9. Mr. Vegas (155)
10. Lloyd (152)
10. Ny (152)
12. Kano / Craig David (151)
13. Roll Deep (145)
14. Timbaland / Keri Hilson / D.O.E (143)
15. Justin Timberlake (139)
16. Akon (134)
17. T2 / Jodie Aysha (133)
18. Nas (122)
19. Taio Cruz (119)
19. T2 (119)

Using Anthony Liekens' LastFM compatibility script, we're able judge precisely how suitable each station is for our delicate ears. Slightly surprisingly, it's Radio One that comes out on top, even though we only really like one band from their top twenty (we like a total of five from the 6music list):

Radio One - 79.94%
6Music - 73.42%
Radio Two - 51.25%
IXtra - 25.01%

We're assuming the matches between Radio One and ourselves are the records played at night. Which we don't listen to because they've got Zane Lowe and Colin Murray in between them.

All this doesn't really go anywhere, so in lieu of a conclusion, here's a picture of France Gall, and if we've worked out how to do it right, the chance to listen to our Tune Of The Week - the wonderful Dady Da Da. So jolly it could even cheer up the residents of Albert Square.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Shut Up, WFMU. Shut up to heck.

Your blog may be one of the best ones on the internet, but you're quite wrong about Finding Tatu. It's almost 20 years since It Couldn't Happen Here was released, so what better time to bring out another underrated film about a pop group that no-one else likes apart from us? We'll certainly be going out and buying the DVD. When it reaches £3.99 in an HMV sale. As it surely will, about two months after release.

Although there was this rather odd (not to mention glacially slow) remix of Tatu's How Soon Is Now on the same page as their story, so some redemption there.