I always admired the writers at Ceefax for being able to fit any news headline into exactly 35 characters. For those who don’t remember Ceefax, it looked like this:
Okay, so they cheated sometimes and used 34. But the shortness makes them more memorable. Music reviews are never memorable, which is bad when you see an album in a shop which you’re certain you’ve read a review of, but can’t lifeyou remember if the reviewer liked.
So I have been collecting these uniform length music reviews. Ten characters for the artist, ten for the album, fifty-six for the review (exactly), and an extra one. The extra one is a simple 1=’Yes’ or O=’No’ verdict, for when you simply can’t carry 56 characters around with you.
Many of these are by man of words and man of music, Chris Fox, for which many thanks.
And if you have an old dot-matrix printer, they’ll fit nicely on the page in pica.
I wrote this after an excellent Drowned in Sound night featuring Fonda 500, McLusky, and some others. It originally had Y and N for the score, but unfortunately since the columns just sort alphabetically, this comes out with N first, and I wanted to be more positive. I tried 1 for yes and 0 for no, but that’s the same way round. (And yes, I did try it. Some reason I just didn’t bother thinking first.) Eventually I figured out that using 1 and O would sort things out, as you see.