People They Don’t Understand



Watching the Reading festival on the tv on Saturday night I realised that the headliners line-up was exactly the same as several years ago. Back in the early/mid 00s Mrs Swiss and I got into the Saturday night of the Leeds leg of the festival at around tea time. Some old friends of Mrs Swiss ran a baked potato stall and we got in as baked potato sellers, not that we stuck around to sell many spuds. We saw the last part of Janes’ Addiction, then Pulp and then The Strokes. Janes were noisy, playing a set of new stuff. Pulp were excellent. The Strokes were hampered by Julian Casablancas having his leg in plaster and by the rain. Most of the crowd seemed to be there to see them though and they were pretty good, if strangely uncharismatic. Since then they’ve lost their way- duff follow up albums, interband strife, people and scenes moving on- but they single handedly popularised skinny jeans for men (cheers Strokes) and got guitar bands going again (not entirely a good thing, but we can’t hold them personally responsible for some of the chaff that came in their wake). Despite it all, this song, from their 2001 debut Is This It, remains a cracking tune.

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Top Gear

Cars don’t going to feature here at Bagging Area very often but today’s post is car inspired if not a full discussion and comparison of motors that would keep Clarkson happy.

We have two cars. One is an increasingly shabby Volkswagen Polo that trundles between home and my workplace, rapidly approaching the eighty thousand miles mark. It’s pleasingly basic- steering wheel, three foot pedals, hand break, gear stick, cassette player, working electric window on the driver’s side, broken electric window on the passenger side. It’s full of old compilation cassettes, fag ash, wrappers and packets, pebbles and grit, and the mp3 adaptor thing that means the cassettes are only there for mp3 player battery dying moments. The other car, the ‘family car’, I only really get to drive at weekends. I suppose it’s our son’s car really, seeing as part of I.T.’s disability benefit pays for it and he qualifies for it through the Motorbility scheme. It’s got electric everything, and a sensor that beeps to warn you when you’re reversing too near a wall. Not that this stopped me reversing into a wall a few weeks back. It’s got a cd player, which was the most exciting thing about it for me, and it’s various storage compartments are bursting with homemade compilation cds, mainly filled up with tracks from blogs better and older than this one.

To cut a long winded post short that isn’t really about cars at all, I reached in one of the storage areas yesterday and pulled out a cd cleverly titled Easter 08, stuck it in the player and this came on- Freelance Hellraiser’s mash up of Christina Aguilera and The Strokes, A Stroke Of Genius. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis reckoned this was the song of the last decade. It’s one of those songs the whole family can sing along too, including the instrumental parts. Ace. When I last posted a mash up, a reader at the back-up, WordPress version of Bagging Area left a comment saying ‘But who listens to mash up’s anymore?’. Well, when they’re this good I do.

a stroke of genius.mp3