Top 10 Posts 2010

These aren’t necessarily the ones with the most hits (since 30 March 2010) – though most are.

1 10 Sexiest Nerds

Blimey, you’re a shallow bunch! I wrote this as a bit of light-hearted fluff and it’s had about as many views as every other post put together! Still, if there’s one thing we love here, it’s sexy nerds. Of course, it was controversial when I first put it up: everyone complained that their favourite game developer had been omitted!

2 Fallout New Vegas: The First Hour

Everyone wants to know about Benny. It’s a good game and I’m still enjoying it, but I haven’t blogged about it lately because it would just read “number of radscorpions killed: 15. v good. Paralysed by choice: still not picked a side.”

3 JG Thirlwell: Hide & Seek

It seems you guys love Foetus just as much as I do! Foetus-related posts account for four of the top ten most read posts on this blog. This one actually had far fewer hits than its sister-piece, my 1996 interview, but I think this merits greater attention.

I’ve considered pulling the old interview many times, because it doesn’t reflect particularly well on either of us, but I think there’s a “public interest” reason for keeping it out there (though I’d pull it in an instant if asked) – to let anyone who’s seen him back then and how he is now know that they haven’t gone entirely mad. Luckily he let me have a crack at “the real person”, and I of course felt obliged in view of his obvious shyness to like whatever I found there. I found someone who hates being called “Jim”, even though “JG” is a tongue-twister in spite of its brevity: he’ll make you work just to say his name. Much as he’ll hate me for saying it (and pretty much everybody says this), it doesn’t matter what face he presents to the world, the first and lasting impression is that he’s really sweet, and somehow I doubt the music would sound the same if he wasn’t.

4 Fan Art: TheMinttu

These delightful, humorous and beautifully-drawn character studies from the Elder Scrolls video games are some of the most searched-for items on this blog. They probably don’t mean much to those unfamiliar with the games, but to those who do, they’re extraordinary.

5 Cardiacs Mix Tape

Two years after Tim Smith fell dangerously ill, the wheels are gathering momentum to do something properly to help him out. A tribute album is released this month to raise funds for Tim’s rehabilitation, benefit gigs have been arranged, and messages are being delivered to the legendary songwriter from his many well-wishers. A good, kind, sweet person often  regarded as a genius, it’s little wonder that people rush to offer their support. It’s unlikely that the Facebook group to get The Duck and Roger The Horse to number one in the UK for Christmas will actually get their way, but you should head on over to iTunes anyway and stock up on Cardiacs goodies: they’re just great records that you need to own.

6 Letters to Jerry: Writing About Music

Although we didn’t know each other particularly well, Everett True is one of the very few people from my teenage years that I’m still in contact with. Most of our correspondence is via Twitter, or on the excellent blog he writes for, Collapse Board. From 1993 onwards, I looked to him for inspiration, and sometimes he would offer valuable advice, which I took very seriously. Things haven’t really changed in that respect. We often disagree, though he’s still the first person I look to in order to find good music.

7 First Impressions: Foetus – HIDE

I cheated a little bit with this one, because I had already written chunks of text to go in before I’d even heard a note. Of course, had I not enjoyed it then I would have not printed it, and had it turned out wildly different to the way I imagined it, I’d have been forced to rewrite it. It helped that JG Thirlwell had uploaded a few clips to Foetus.org by the time the album was released, and they sounded pretty much exactly as I had anticipated. I just had to wait for the album to arrive, listen to it twice to make sure, pop in a few individual track descriptions and then press “publish”. It was the first review of HIDE, as far as I know. I’ve had the album on near-constant repeat ever since, and my opinions haven’t changed, though Here Comes The Rain has grown on me somewhat.

8 10 Great Pop Songs From the Noughties

As I search further afield for great music, it’s easy to forget the stuff on our own doorstep, musically speaking. While alternative music was rather weak in the past decade – at least as far as I can tell – pop music flourished. Quite often, the songs at the top of the charts were deliciously complex with lush arrangements and a fair amount of innovation. Sometimes the reason something is popular is just because it’s good.

9 Whatever Happened To …?

Just a throwaway post as I got curious about some of my idols from my teens. I do agree with a recent remark someone made, though: all these bands that have reformed recently need to be doing it because they have some compelling tale to tell rather than just for its own sake. I think most or all of the ones on this list have retained their dignity, though for the most part I haven’t heard from them in years, hence curiosity. I guess from the site stats that you felt the same way.

10 Memory Lane: Raymond Watts

One of my favourite interviews is one of the most read posts on this blog. I can’t believe how naive I was in my youth: I suspect now that when Raymond Watts eagerly accepted Giles’s Coke offer, he was perhaps disappointed with the can of soda he received. Raymond’s revamping his site (TheSwining.com) and selling off old vinyl to fund some new recordings. I’m curious to hear what he’ll do next. I’m hoping he’ll stop trying to sound like Pig and go back to “marrying genres that people didn’t know were dating”, which is what made Pig special to start with. I still believe he can.

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