Posts from 11th June 2000

11
Jun 00

PopJustice

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PopJustice: Will I never tire of linking to PopJustice? Not until they go shit, and that’s not happened yet. Another week, another laugh.

This is my life, and this is how it reads…

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This is my life, and this is how it reads…: I have no idea whether April’s pita is always this music-centric but it seems to be at the moment. Music weblogs go! And yes, the Smiths are better than B & S, duh.

AR(I)SE, SIR CLIFFORD!

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AR(I)SE, SIR CLIFFORD!

Cliff Richard. An easy target, you say? Why yes! But in the Great War, when a plucky Tommy dragged himself across the hell of No-Man’s-Land to the German lines, and there saw a machine-gunner having a quick fag, do you think he said to himself, “Nah, not worth it, mate, easy target.”. No, he did not. And pop is JUST LIKE WAR, especially where Cliff is concerned.

Because if you ignore Cliff, if you chuckle and smile and say, “Hey, c’mon, the guy’s a national institution!”, then he’ll come up when you turn your back and release THE WORST RECORD OF ALL TIME. There is not a conceptual or indeed torture artist in the world who could have come up with something as execrable as “The Millennium Prayer”. Two thousand years for that? When Our Saviour was in the wilderness, the kingdoms of all the world were not enough to tempt him. If however the Horned One had said, “Well, it’s your choice, go off and redeem mankind, but actions have consequences, and oh, let me just play you this…..“, his job would have been a good deal easier.

But Sir Cliff is the Peter Pan of Pop! Bollocks he is, he has a face like a leathery boot. Oh yes, he looks, ooh, ten years younger than Keith Richards or Mick Jagger – though let us take into account that dreadful though their music is (another story entirely), Mick and Keith have sinned enough to sizzle seventy Sodoms, whereas Peter Pan copped a snog off a tennis player once, so as trade-offs go we must consider Sir Cliff to have made a poor one. Not that he would see it like that, of course, THE TROUPER, as he merrily leads another Wimbledon crowd of Middle England fuckards in a chorus of “Congratulations” as around them the heavens open. BASTARD!

Cliff is everything fetid and dead about good old-fashioned showbusiness: rock and roll as the Titanic band would have played it, doffing their caps as the ship sunk. His records range from the embarrassing to the unspeakable: like every other aging pop egoist, he put together a white label to ‘prove’ that he could make this ‘new-fangled’ music too, and then cackled smugly as the ‘clubs’ played it. You mean a DJ played a generically useless house record, Cliff? Hold the fucking front page! He’ll try his hand and our patience at anything, but he should just stick to what he’s good at: charity work and ribbon-cutting. As my friend Ms Morrissette would no doubt agree, it’s ironic that Cliff Richard is such a devout Christian, when you could happily take his six decades of pop success as final proof that there is no God.

Dancing About Architecture

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Dancing About Architecture is back with a modest proposal to bin rock star interviews once and for all (but why are they pickin’ on poor Britney, OUR FUTURE QUEEN? The cads.) They miss the main reason not to bother interviewing rock stars: the majority of them are painfully inarticulate. I’m all for interviews with some kind of intelligence bar in effect, but otherwise, either you’ll be taking the piss or they will be. Unless you’re Guitarist magazine, in which case you can ask about the only stuff the musicians actually want to talk about, and good for you.

What’s My Muthafuckin’ Name?

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What’s My Muthafuckin’ Name? “I once interviewed Mos Def, as enlightened as an MC as you could hope for, and the most excited he got was when he was talking about ultratrashy album covers used by Master P’s dire No Limits label. ‘Fuck Warhol, that’s real pop art man!'”Tangents on Snoop Dogg. Am I going to blog it? Of course I’m going to blog it. And the front-page weblog is (allegedly) being wound down, boo hiss, but believe me after the weekend I’ve just had I have a hundred million tons of sympathy for Alistair Fitchett’s teaching stresses, and am amazed and grateful he finds the time to run his zine as well as he does already.

In the heart of Middle England over the weekend, I killed time with my copy of

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In the heart of Middle England over the weekend, I killed time with my copy of Palatine, the mostly excellent and entirely out-of-print Factory Records compilation. That official site is in some kind of construction limbo, and this would appear to be a decent alternative resource, with a hell of a lot of content. It lists all of Factory’s famous foibles (Linder’s menstrual egg-timer, etc.) though whether the text can do justice to the bloodyminded Factory vision I’ve not lingered long enough yet to judge. The nay-sayers’ line on the label would be that without the Joy Division/New Order axis and latterly the Happy Mondays it would have been a complete white elephant, which is probably the case but seems somehow to miss the point.

Moby Sells Out

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Moby Sells Out (link via Catherine). Oh Lordy, it’s Ironminds again, the voice of musical common sense, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. This article overlooks the main reason why all 18 tracks of Moby’s Play have been licensed to adverts: because their bland beats, sad yet oh-so-soothing melodies and homilitic sampled sentiments are completely bloody ideal advert music. And another thing: if you don’t like hearing songs in adverts, don’t waste your time watching television in the first place.

Which reminds me – a little while ago I asked which tunes you couldn’t imagine ever seeing action in ads. Suggestions I got included Swans’ Public Castration Is A Good Idea (a definite possible, and indeed it’s tough to think what any early Swans could be used for) and Nick Cave’s “O Malley’s Bar”, which I reckon could easily be used, but obviously not over its fully monstrous fifteen-minute length. Thanks for the suggestions.

The Age: Popstars: more tactics than talent?

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The Age: Popstars: more tactics than talent? “Pop stars are the antithesis of work. Or they should be.”. Frothy but interesting article from Everett True. Yes, I can’t believe I’ve written that sentence either. His argument falls down, anyway, when you consider that pop stars should only appear to not work – if what’s being sold is artificial anyway, why should the grinning face of the fun-lovin’ star not conceal a day-to-day lifestyle of unspeakable toil? It’s only rock journalists like ET who get all offended when they discover that being a pop star isn’t really fun, because it’s only rock journalists who actually care about being pop stars, rather than laughing at or shagging them. Maybe.

Eek!

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Eek! You go home for one weekend and you find when you come back you find you’ve turned into a blog-meme. Or something very similar. Thanks to Prolific, my little Top 100 Albums list has rapidly become the most-hit thing on the site over the last day or so. Frightening, really, given how quickly it was done and how little, looking at it, I feel it represents what I actually like (the Top 100 Singles list is better for that). But that’s always the way with lists. Anyway, I think it’s really cool that somebody (Meg at Not So Soft) hasn’t got any of the records on the list, and I think that Caroline at Prolific really should get that Hal Willner album, particularly if she’s planning to have a dinner party any time this century, and I’d love to hear Tom Barbelith’s (or anyone’s!) suggestions for what I missed out, and thankyou everyone for looking.

Here, incidentally, are a couple of records I think I missed out:
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS – 69 Love Songs (which would be #1) and Holiday
BELLE AND SEBASTIAN – The Boy With The Arab Strap (lurking near the bottom of the table)
PIANO MAGIC – Low Birth Weight (mid-table)

…but the number of awesome 1990s singles I’ve heard since completing my list is absolutely vast.

SUPERMARKET – “Supermarket”

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SUPERMARKET – “Supermarket” (12″ Single)
A 1993 12″ on Bob Stanley’s Icerink label , a whispering campaign suggested that Supermarket where none other than Kraftwerk themselves, sneaking out of retirement and into anonymity. Of course Supermarket were nothing of the sort: but it was a good gag, and anyway if Kraftwerk had wanted to turn their attentions from manufacturing to distribution, this is very much what they’d have come up with. Clean-lined synth runs, plaintive robovox, and a weightless unreality in the song which catches exactly the spacious placelessness of the supermarket aisle. Of course, this is precisely why the track could never be played in an actual supermarket: that much artificiality could cause the more nervous consumer to doubt their own independent existence. Which would never do.