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Archive for January 10th, 2008


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BBC4’s How Pop Songs Work was part strange music lesson, part normal tv show. Charles Hazlewood clunked his piano keys through melody, lyrics, structure and arrangement, singing along to his favourites, ABBA, Amy Winehouse, Joni Mitchell, in a suprisingly out of tune manner.

Charles has a habit of hunching his neck to look straight into the camera, down the line of piano keys, which makes you feel like you’re sitting on the floor somehow. Halfway through the show the director obviously picked up on this and starts filming him in profile, talking to another camera, which was a relief.

I hate to harp on, but when he finishes re-enacting songs on the piano he reminds us of where we are in the song breakdown “Remember! Anywhere the wind blows” “Remember! Black”. This insistent remembering was just plain annoying.

The normal part of the show consisted of Martin Fry and John Harris waxing lyrical, sorry, about their favourite songs and what makes a success. John Harris got animated about Dire Strait’s Romeo & Juliet, Charles went crazy about Wyclef Jean (doing some strange shoulder shrug dancing to show how into it he is – again the teacher’s trying to be cool) and Phil bloody Jupitus yakked on about Lily Allen.

Adding to the shows akwardness, the editing was wonderful, “most pop singers have a tiny range” cue Madonna the first of many put downs and weird commentary, “that’s a dirty note”, “that’s a leading chord if ever I’ve heard one”. BBC4 is made for music TV, but not this strange celebrity chef recipe of pop – they should just stick to high brow and leave the 100 best choruses to Channel 4 or E!

The finale of Hugh Fearnley Whittingstone’s Chicken Run aired last night – I actually managed to watch the chickens being slaughtered – it did look humane. 60% of whole chickens sold that week in Axminster were free range so I suppose the series was a success of sorts but in Hugh’s interview with Waitrose’s Buying managers, who already stock 50% free range poultry, they admitted that until the consumer demand for free range was there – nothing would change. So it’s up to you.

Written by Victoria

January 10, 2008 at 5:24 pm

Posted in TV