Posts from 4th October 2000

Oct 00

A classic of the “list” genre

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A classic of the “list” genre: Thee Headcoats’ “We Hate The Fuckin NME”. Over two chords, Billy Childish intones the reasons he doesn’t like the NME: “Elvis Costello in the NME… David Bowie in the NME… Morrissey in the NME… NME owned by IPC/Melody Maker owned by IPC… We hate the NME/We hate the fuckin NME!” Fantastic.

Chipping in as well with the indie novelty single

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Chipping in as well with the indie novelty single, the excellently racist Welsh Bands Suck gave me pause to smile at least five times in 1996. And it would appear that Helen Love (one of those Welsh bands that actually did suck) have made an entire non-career out of novelty hits which tend to namecheck the Ramones, or threaten death upon Kula Shaker.

To continue Maura’s list records though – its impossible to ignore A House’s magnificently misguided “Endless Art”. As a namecheck of some artists, date of birth and date of death over what sounds like a clapped out hurdy gurdy the track is bad enough, but to then repeat the exercise because you left out women raises this to a champion level of foolishness. “More Endless Art” (the female version of Endless Art, handily on the re-released versions B-Side) was not only tokenistic, but knocked out in such a half-hearted manner that a good twenty percent of the great female artists namechecked on the single were movie stars. Or nurses. Not to belittle the contributions made by Florence Nightingale or Marilyn Monroe, but if the band had spent more than ten minutes thinking of lyrics I reckon they could have strengthened their team. None of this is in any way an excuse for them missing out women in the first place – certainly if you are drifting around nineteenth century literature some female authors spring to mind.

It also is not an excuse for myself and John (who’s nuptuals are iminent and taking up most of Tom’s time) playing both versions of the song back to back at the early nineties Indie Night. Apologies to anyone who had to sit through it.

And a warm NYLPM welcome

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And a warm NYLPM welcome to Maura, our newest team member. Proof of her rockin’ musical credentials, if proof be needed, can be found with this L.A. Guns review. L.A. Guns, dude.

Don’t forget the “list” subset of the indie novelty single

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Mary Lou Lord’s “His Indie World” and Tullycraft’s “Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid To Know About” both come to mind right away. Come to think of it, these two songs provide a nice little “proof of your cool” point-counterpoint; Lord’s song is a “he’s too hip for me, all he talks about are these bands over and over again and I just want to put on some Nick Drake” lament, while the Tullycraft song persuades (or tries to, anyway) a girl to ditch her current boyfriend for Sean Tollefson and his infinitely superior record collection. (We’ll leave the obvious gender/music consumption correlations aside for now.)

W is for…”Where On Earth Is Kevin Shields”

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W is for…”Where On Earth Is Kevin Shields” by PS I Love You. A long and little-spoken-of tradition is here continued: the indie novelty single. Always on 7″, always a one-day-wonder in the press, always but always about another band. Did the Television Personalities kick it off, I wonder, with “I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives”? It doesn’t matter. The stable door gaped and this particular scrofulous nag was free. The roll of ignominy: “The Day I Lost My Pastels Badge”; “I Know Someone Who Knows Someone Who Knows Alan McGee Quite Well”; “Morrissey Rides A Cockhorse”; “Kylie’s Got A Crush On Us”; “I Want To Be Grant McLennan”.

Now joined by this, a ditty whose 1998 topicality has been thwarted by Kevin Shields’ reappearance pedal-pushing for the Primals. How inconsiderate! Not, I’m sure, that PS I Love You had any illusions about their place in posterity, being awful and all. The singer can’t carry a tune, which is just as well, since he can’t write one either. The music is a rough sketch of a song, enslaved to its comedy chorus. Still, it does its job and makes its jokes, and as all the bonus you could ask boasts one snidey couplet: “The Gallagher brothers masqueradin’ around town as geniuses / Like Beatlemania with tiny penises”.

Rock’n’Roll middle School

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Rock’n’Roll middle School is a piece on Meltzer and Marcus and rockcrit in general which starts well and then just seems to tail off halfway, its story only started and its questions unanswered. It points out, quite reasonably, that all the recent press re. Meltzer has left unanswered the man’s central contention that rock criticism is a whore, dead dog, &c. It then promises to answer that contention. It then doesn’t, or at least hedges its bets prettily enough to win several topiary awards. I was directed to this by the music weblog at vitaminic, which I’d like even if it wasn’t so flattering to me.

It linked to me vis-a-vis yesterday’s piece on the Radiohead thing, which has generated some really interesting correspondence (I’m not going to have time to answer anything but the most trivial e-mails until Sunday, I’m warning now!) and raised a lot of spin-off issues too (see the forum for more) I think I agree with Stevie that I went too far in yesterday’s screed, but I’m still undecided.

Indie Kids

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Indie Kids in Canada and Britain: a cross-cultural clothing comparison, of sorts.

Two Musical Moments

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Two Musical Moments a.k.a. listening to music in the MP3 age, again.

1) Walking home by the millpond, listening to ISAN’s “Betty’s Lament” on my Rio. Slow, simple, pretty electronica with a kid naming the planets: on the left he can see Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto. On the left I can see two swans and a silver band on the water.
2) Nurse With Wound’s “Homotopy To Marie” reaching an ominous climax, the first time I’ve heard it, through headphones at work. A doomy drone rises to a peak, and then – – straight into “Like A Movie Star”, live and acoustic by Stephin Merritt. I’ve left my Real Jukebox on shuffle by mistake. He’s never sounded sweeter, or more human.