Posts from 30th March 2000

30
Mar 00

Trout CD Reviews

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Trout CD Reviews: what a beautiful and clever way of presenting a music review site. Sadly the music in question is the kind that I’m 95% bored of, but a lot of you might dig it hugely.

SISQO – “The Thong Song”

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“The thing here, is letting girls know what guys talk about”. Oh really? Well, as long as it’s educational, who’s to complain? But exactly what topics would you expect a song dedicated to thongs to cover off, I wonder: which thongular material chafes the least, perhaps? Or harsh words on the sweatshop manufacture of thongs? Or would you perhaps anticipate that the entire song is about arses? Ah, third time lucky!

Luke Skyywalker this is thankfully not, though – Sisqo may be playing the horny goof, but he’s not overdoing things and from his pant-laden rhyming to the infectious “Thong-th-thong-thong-thong!” chorus he keeps “The Thong Song” smutty without letting it get uncomfortable. That said the number one reason to hear the track is its production, drunken strings reeling towards a histrionic, hip-hoperatic chorus which lusty or not is one of the most gleefully soulful things I’ve heard in ’00.

THE ALUMINUM GROUP – “Impress Me”

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THE ALUMINUM GROUP – “Impress Me” (MP3)
So it’s quarter past seven, I’m sick as a dog and everybody else has gone home. I’m left with striplit walls and copier hum and a spreadsheet full of data on the Canadian power tools industry. The Aluminum Group fit the situation from their super-functional name on in: this is cubicle music. Morose, buttoned-down, economical tech-pop from their recent Pedals album, “Impress Me” is a massive shift forward from the breezier pop on Plano, their previous record. Roughly speaking, they used to be good and now they’re interesting. According to the group’s label website, producer Jim O’Rourke’s been encouraging them to stretch out without losing sight of the hooks, and that desire to experiment a little comes through. Four minutes of quiet, single-minded guitar pulses, sighing synth drones and Jim Navin’s throatily bleak vocals, “Impress Me” is finally and thankfully still pop, but pop unusual enough that I’ve got to go right back to 80s one-hit-intellectuals Furniture for a comparison. Song ends. Click to play again. Back to work.

Billie! No! Don’t do it! Worrying news c/o the NME:

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Billie! No! Don’t do it! Worrying news c/o the NME: Billie goes indierock! The inevitable career path, really.

This kind of reciprocal linking appears to be weblog ettiquette

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This kind of reciprocal linking appears to be weblog ettiquette, but that’s fine, since the people at log.nu seem nice anyway.

Memories of Ian Dury

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Memories of Ian Dury, courtesy of the BBC site.

I have no recollection at all of why I wanted to hear something by

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I have no recollection at all of why I wanted to hear something by Seely, and now Pitchfork have banged on so much about the Cure I’m not sure I still do. And yet…if anyone knows about the band, they could always set me straight.

Bigheads need not apply

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Bigheads need not apply: it’s related to pop, tangentially – it’s just a shame (if not surprising) that people with this kind of understanding of the music aren’t working in the business directly.

Napster — friend or foe?

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Napster — friend or foe?: the debate continues in Salon. I agree mostly with what the piece says, though I think the reason rock fans kvetch about the music industry was as much because it’s a cheap means of looking rebellious and independent – they didn’t want to admit that it’s The Man who’s giving them access to the music, so they took an easy ‘stand’ against him. Which isn’t to say they weren’t right. Anyway, all change now. It also needs pointing out that some artists – the mediocre or played-out ones, for example (and all the artists quoted in the initial Salon article on the subject would fall into that category for me) – have more to fear from a generalised try-before-you-buy culture than others…

I know it’s more than slightly cheesy to blog your own site, but Mike’s piece on synths,

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I know it’s more than slightly cheesy to blog your own site, but Mike’s piece on synths, The Rock Machine Turns You On!, is by far the best-researched thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to publish and I’d urge anyone reading this who’s not bothered looking at it to go back and enjoy a really fascinating – and not remotely dry – history lesson.