Posts from 5th June 2000

5
Jun 00

DUEL!

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 90 views

DUEL!: it’s back. Embrace vs Ian Brown – go for it.

BADLY DRAWN BOY – Another Pearl

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 226 views

BADLY DRAWN BOY – Another Pearl (CD Single)
Good Heavens, this is poor! I thought BDB was supposed to be some sort of back-bedroom indie original, not this back-pub-room plodrocker. His being signed to XL should have been the tip-off: the only people who’ll go for BDB are ex-indie fans who long since “got into dance” and now buy one record every year when Dazed And Confused says so. Because they’re groovy and individual types themselves, you understand, they’ll want a musician to reflect that and be kind of quirky too. But nothing you couldn’t smoke to, obviously.

Indie acts seized on by dance labels and fans are always terrible (cf: Orton), and BDB does not buck this trend. His single sounds like a Sunday afternoon band trying to remember “There But For The Grace Of God Go I” except with a couple of ‘modernist’ producer noises. Second track a ballad, third track a long one with more noises to keep the heads happy, business as usual, bish bosh, farewell one pound ninety nine your loss was not in vain, I shall not listen to a Badly Drawn Boy disc again. For heaven’s sake, 69 Love Songs is out in the UK this week: leave this nonsense to the 29p bin where it most assuredly belongs.

TINDERSTICKS

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 290 views

TINDERSTICKS

Mumbly, mildew-voiced men scratching their warty groins in ill-lit pubs, leering at women and sobbing into their drinks. Another useless cabaret entry in the Great British Parade of liver-failure chic and lowlife tourism: move on, nothing to see here. Nothing new, certainly, especially after four suspiciously similar albums. You get the measure of Tindersticks by their covers: listen to Pavement’s “Here” filtered through Stuart Staples’ ironic croon: it’s a fucking novelty record, without even the benefit of being funny. At least it’s got a hook, which is more than you could say for their original material.

But they’d read a few books, and the records had strings on. So that was all right.

MASSIVE ATTACK – Protection

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 325 views

MASSIVE ATTACK – Protection

I take Massive Attack to stand for just about everything that was wrong with the nineties, and not just musically. I take Protection to stand for the whole of their recorded output, as a mid point between the dull but worthy previous album, Blue Lines, and the most recent, and simply crap, Mezzanine. Protection is the sound of contemporary Britain at its most complacent, smug and reactionary. It’s the record to which the rave generation loosened their belts as they got steady jobs and the cash started to roll in for their spurious, parasitic existences in the media and fashion, while the corporate clubs got fat on selling a little slice of rebellion to the country’s pampered post-teens and pre-mid-lifers. It’s also the record through which the rest of the country “got” dance music,its more libidinal and excessive urges curbed with the fashionable melancholy of the loft-liver and the apartment-dweller.

It absolutely epitomises the crass complacency which characterises the entire media reaction to the supposed Bristol sound, as a celebration of multi-cultural cross-genre hybridisation. If this was the future of Britain, why was vast swathes of the country still stuck in the past – mashing it up to the hardcore sound in central Scotland, wigging out the same old indie guitar slog in Glasgow and Manchester, or banging away to the post-grunge metal monster across the Midlands? Bristol was always a couple of years behind London’s scene, and characterised most by a wilful retreat into the pastoral and the personal; from Portishead to Movietone. But most of all this is the sound of at least two generations losing their will, not necessarily to rebel, but to _differ_, to disagree, maybe even to destroy when necessary. This was a fucking green light to apathy, a nod to just getting on with your own life, an open door to the end of critique. Politically, Protection mirrors the triumph of Middle England and Blairite political thought. Mortgage, two kids, empty life -but somehow with that Massive Attack record playing, the banal sheen of comtemporary urban experience can be yours, just as the feel-good soundbites of the New Labour machine told us to vote for Tony and every lil thing gonna be all right.

If Massive Attack’s Protection signals the end of dissent and the colonisation of the media and of politics by a middlebrow, middle-of-the-road consensus, so musically its dumbed-up dubbed-down vibes sabotaged our taste. No longer were the sampler and the studio the enemies of musical virtuosity and contemporary musical mores, but they could safely be hooked up to the jargon of authenticity, soul and intelligence. In so doing Protection paves the way for almost all the later monstrosities of the decade; rambling, pretentious and righteously dull records by Goldie, Orbital, Radiohead and the Verve to name but a few.

Link not from Guardian shocker!

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 525 views

Link not from Guardian shocker! PopJustice is back with the Slipknot Calculator! Bonus points for their mention of 2 In A Tent vs 2 In A Room, a pop puzzler which has kept us occupied in the pub for what seems like 7 out of the last 8 visits.

Free lunch with the net bandits

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 479 views

Free lunch with the net bandits “The American book trade (which has since gobbled up ours) is founded on a century of napsterising” – another day, another MP3 musing.

Metallica’s New Album is Napster-Proof

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 428 views

Metallica’s New Album is Napster-Proof: rockin’! My index and little fingers are twitching already. With lyrics of the caliber of “T3 lines they are my bane / Evil Napster I wish you never came.” (has Slorta Vileblade joined the band?), Metallica can’t lose with this one. (link via jejune).

Six Music Sites You Have To Visit

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 242 views

Six Music Sites You Have To Visit – or in fact my new links page.

Tom was, quite literally, amazed, on reading my last posting …

New York London Paris Munich8 comments • 3,007 views

Please be aware that, while I genuinely like some Tull stuff, I certainly don’t rate them particularly highly in the great scheme of things (their version of “The Dambusters March” is literally unlistenable). I’m well aware that they’re the least fashionable band in the world and will probably remain so forever (I don’t think they’d benefit even from a major Prog revival should it happen, so erratic and wilful is Ian Anderson’s exaggerated troubadour shtick that was critically despised even then). But I do feel that the influence of punk so as to exclude virtually everything in the preceding few years has become overt, and it was partially a genuine expression of historical interest and partially an act of sheer, wilful subversion. At a time when Freaky Trigger is giving ample space to destructions of contemporary sacred cows, I thought I’d turn it round, to praise a band whose awfulness is now pretty much taken as read, to question the orthodoxy.

And I think it’s worked as such.