Tacky TV programme of the month: Tough competition between Crossroads and Footballers' Wives, but the neanderthal team members of Earls Park Football Club and their dysfunctional spouses get to run the lap of honour. Kidnapping, murder, adultery, cocaine, more adultery, designer suits, christenings and not a football match in sight. Just a suspiciously high number of shower scenes. Unmissable.
Football result of the month: Farnborough 1, Arsenal 5. It may have been a walkover, but better that than to be walked over. And the FA Cup, the double and the treble are still in sight.
Film of the month: 1st place to Lord of the Rings - the Two Towers. OK, so the film may just one big battle with a lot of wandering around beforehand, but brilliantly done, especially Sméagol. However, that audience...
2nd place to Star Trek - Nemesis. The cast are getting on a bit, so probably just as well there wasn't too much running around to do. Moral paradoxes tend to be anaerobic like that, I find.
3rd place to Chicago. Expertly done, the rest of audience adored it, and I bet it wins awards and sells millions on DVD, but I could live without ever seeing it again.
Book of the month: Flood by Richard Doyle. As reviewed here earlier in the month. You'll be glad to know that the story has a happy ending, with only several thousand Londoners drowning horribly in the rising floodwaters as a surge tide invades the capital. At least it's only fiction, for which it seems we've been extremely lucky for the last fifty years. Exactly fifty years ago today, as it happens.
Singles of the week:
w/b January 6th: "Electric Six: Danger, High Voltage" (number 2) - A leftfield smash, weird but utterly brilliant, playing live in London tonight, and have you seen that video?
w/b January 13th: "Layo & Bushwacka: Love Story" (number 8) - Some dance tracks work and some don't. This one does. Third time it's been released, and third time lucky.
w/b January 20th: "Lemon Jelly: Nice weather for ducks" (number 16) - The standout track from the Lost Horizons album. I can imagine this being the theme to a school's radio programme back in the 1970s. Would have made country dancing more bearable anyway.
w/b January 27th: "t.A.T.u: All the things she said" (number 1?) - Lesbian teenage sisters? It's probably just (very successful) hype, but Trevor Horn has worked his epic magic again and this is great.
Album of the month: This category is still suspended until at least February. Because.
Gig of the month: Only been to the one this month, so The Cling it is. Their best live performance yet, and I hope the record company A&R men in the audience finally did the decent thing and signed them up. One day, boys, one day...
Musical discovery of the month: Playgirl by Ladytron. If you've ever been to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco you'll know that it's a hellhole tourist tackfest of souvenir shops and rip-off restaurants. However, whilst down there buying a souvenir mug in the 'After The Quake' tourist shop I heard this great unknown track over the loudspeakers, and I knew I had to download the mp3 as soon as I got home. An important message to record companies - if you don't want us to track down your best tunes and download free music over the internet, don't allow your artists to sing the song title 28 times in four minutes. However, in this case I'm delighted that's exactly what Ladytron did. Sadly the mug cracked the minute I got it home and poured hot water into it. Perfect souvenir of an earthquake-prone city.