Posts from 25th October 2000

25
Oct 00

Well, I think “Holler” is rather good!

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 197 views

Well, I think “Holler” is rather good! Alright, no I don’t. Since, though, NYLPM team members are actually publishing a lot of stuff, I thought I’d take the opportunity to update the Team list and links you see on your right. Visit all their pages, every day, I plead.

You know you want it – Holler Part 3!:

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 391 views

You know you want it – Holler Part 3!: First off, I hate burdening you, the reader, with more about the absolute nothingness that is “Holler”. It’s not worth a full-fledged review, but it’ll doubtlessly get millions of them. I’ll just put forth that naming your album Forever is never a smart move; it seems the public is very reactionary. “Forever! My arse forever, you’ll take what we give you, soddy slappers.”

“Holler” is the sort of song that Rodney Jerkins has been doing for about 5 years now, with increasingly lower levels of success. It’s the kind of thing that just exists – you never overly notice it, unless forced to, and will quickly slip away after the initial, name-driven hit. Sort of like Kid A. The song is blandly inoffensive until Melanie C comes in. Whoever convinced this girl that she can sing and that screeching amounts to singing deserves a slap or two, because they’ve wrought some horrible stuff upon us. When she starts shrieking over the song at the end, I just have to wonder, “These girls, the ones that hammered Geri Halliwell until she was in tears (supposedly, etc), refuse to tell Melanie C to shut up? She’s not even muscular anymore”. I just don’t get why she gets all the flash parts of their songs. She’s not even as good a singer as Emma – Emma for god’s sake – and quite frankly I think her singles make that Posh Spice single look good. She was just this side of bearable when they first started and they insisted they all had to share the songs equally, even with the ones who couldn’t sing a note, but now she seems to have convinced everyone involved that she’s the stuff of this operation and should be allowed full scale racket over all that is done. U. G. H. Didn’t the producers actually hear that terrible Ibiza-style song that she did? You’d think that’d convince them otherwise, but of course not. We’re talking the same producer who thinks Jennifer Lopez is a hot talent.

Actually, I take that all back. The worst part of the song is when he starts doing that blathery shout out to the Spice Girls. “Spice Girls in the house, huh huh” or whatever he does actually say – when did the Spice Girls become bad asses? Next they’ll have inexplicable Snoop Dogg cameos in their videos, where he sits and watches them wash his car in a tarty fashion.

My only curiousity is what the Spice Girls themselves were thinking. I can’t imagine they all think this is a good song – for that matter, I can’t imagine anyone thinking this is a good song. Did they honestly think this would get them adult recognition? It’s a somewhat worrisome idea – I’d hate to think of Britney Spears doing some rubbish like this to get respect. Respect is such an overblown, overrated concept, especially if you believe you have to do clutter like this to get it.

A quick swipe

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 186 views

A quick swipe from Pearlslego album covers. I was particularly impressed by the Prodigy one.

Several days later

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 153 views

Several days later – although in the grip of Armadillo Fever you lose all track of time – and I can move my hands and eyes well enough to type out my long-promised entry on Jeremy Beadle. Long-promised I say, not long-awaited. Anyway, apparently inhuman beardy prankster, televisual tightarse and general waxer of human misery J.Beadle has the respect of his fellow comedians because he is the trivia boss at a certain quiz night they all go to.

This confirms my suspicions that some secret law of pub quizzes obtains whereby they are only won by fuckers. (Let the record show I’ve been in noble second-place teams on many occasions, how British of me)*. Usually said fuckers are girthsome mates of the publican, who rigs the questions to their known specialist subjects. How else could they have got so much – for instance – travel knowledge when they can barely leave their stool, let alone the pub? Grr-rrr-rrr. A subtle ageism also pervades when it comes to the ‘pop music round’, which is in fact the Shadows Round, for that is who all the questions are about.

Anyway, I propose a Pumpkin Posse to go out and buck this natural law at a local quiz, not that any quizzes are going to be local to me soon as I go into exile in Zone Seven. But it’s a good idea anyhow.

*Actually, wait a minute, the last quiz I was in I won. But it was a work quiz, not a real pub quiz, and we only won by guessing the quiz compere’s bra size in a tie-breaker. Not a memory I hold with pride, that.

Several days later

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 208 views

Several days later – although in the grip of Armadillo Fever you lose all track of time – and I can move my hands and eyes well enough to type out my long-promised entry on Jeremy Beadle. Long-promised I say, not long-awaited. Anyway, apparently inhuman beardy prankster, televisual tightarse and general waxer of human misery J.Beadle has the respect of his fellow comedians because he is the trivia boss at a certain quiz night they all go to.

This confirms my suspicions that some secret law of pub quizzes obtains whereby they are only won by fuckers. (Let the record show I’ve been in noble second-place teams on many occasions, how British of me)*. Usually said fuckers are girthsome mates of the publican, who rigs the questions to their known specialist subjects. How else could they have got so much – for instance – travel knowledge when they can barely leave their stool, let alone the pub? Grr-rrr-rrr. A subtle ageism also pervades when it comes to the ‘pop music round’, which is in fact the Shadows Round, for that is who all the questions are about.

Anyway, I propose a Pumpkin Posse to go out and buck this natural law at a local quiz, not that any quizzes are going to be local to me soon as I go into exile in Zone Seven. But it’s a good idea anyhow.

*Actually, wait a minute, the last quiz I was in I won. But it was a work quiz, not a real pub quiz, and we only won by guessing the quiz compere’s bra size in a tie-breaker. Not a memory I hold with pride, that.

More Holler superficiality

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 395 views

More Holler superficiality – but if you cannot be superficial about pop music then what can you be? I find it most interesting that while ver Spices are back together at the moment, that Melanie’s B & C’s solo careers still seem to be chugging along at medium speed. C starts a brief solo tour next week. B just released her lacklustre album.

However what interests me most is the obvious imagery used in the video for Holler. Our Spice Girls, noticing that they are now four, have decided to theme themselves after another famous quadrapartite system – earth, air, fire and water. Personally I think they would have been better picking the four humours, or vapours – but then there would have been the obvious problem of assigning black bile (though I think Posh is a shoe in for phlegm). Problem is with this scheme is that the pairings are too obvious. Scary = fire :because fire is scary, and she’s fiesty and hot tempered. Sporty = earth: to be kind its because she is a salt of the earth type. To be unkind its because she’s a bit grubby and northern. Baby = water: because she is frankly wet – and undergoing eye widening surgery to look like a Powerpuff Girl. Which unfortunately leaves Posh = air, or wind as the video would have it – perhaps because given a half decent gust she would be blown away.

Holler, and its AA-side which is actually a B-side (or backside), is pretty much the worst thing the Spice Girls have released. It is not even bad enough to be memorable – at least Mama had this distinction. Still, it will be number one, and it will be in the top fifty percent of number ones in the UK this year. This however is not too hard considering the Westlife dominance.

A few sort of superficial observations

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 375 views

A few sort of superficial observations on the new-look Spice Girls, formulated after one watching of “Holler” or “Hotter” or “Higher” or whatever it’s called:

  • The song really is not very good. Not at all. Bland, boring, no hook to even think of speaking about. It’s no “Spice Up Your Life”; it’s not even a “The Lady Is A Vamp.” Was Geri Haliwell the George Michael of the Spice Girls? Is every remaining Spice an Andrew Ridgeley waiting to happen?
  • Okay, I take that back about Melanie C, who is going to refashion herself into a punk goddess before the decade is over.
  • Doesn’t Emma look kind of … squished? I read about controversy over the Melanie C appearance status (although she doesn’t look like she’s gained too much weight, she’s just lost tone here and there; this in no way diminishes her status as Hot Spice), but Emma definitely looks the strangest, in both publicity photos and the new, also very boring video. Perhaps it is a result of her lack of bangs.
  • You don’t vocode Melanie C. Corollary: You don’t vocode anything around Melanie C. That single with Bryan Adams—Bryan freaking Adams!—should have taught the producers this. But they were probably too busy laying eleventy bazillion tracks on every inch of music to think of anything else.
  • This overproduction does, however, make Victoria’s voice sound somewhat … in key. Presentable, even.
  • But Melanie C! Oh to listen to her voice, unhindered! I now want to hear her record more Joan Jett songs! With Joan Jett, a la the “Rebel Girl” single!
  • The Melanie whose last initial isn’t C—what is her last initial, again? Oh, that’s right. NO ONE CARES. That’s what happens when you name your baby after a borough.
  • The Spice Girls are not Destiny’s Older Sisters. Can someone please write this down on a Post-It and stick it somewhere?

I am very disappointed. (NOTE: this is coming from someone who really, really enjoyed one of the first post-Geri departure shows; I don’t have standards all that high to begin with)

Maybe I’ve been nostalgically primed:

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 327 views

Maybe I’ve been nostalgically primed: I’m home for the holidays (well, the World Series days, anyway) and the only person up this late, just like I was that night that I first heard the riff segue out of “Son of Mustang Ford”‘s end, or because it’s late October, right when it’s starting to get dark, right where the season was eight years back (was it that long ago?) when I was waiting to get picked up from work and my eyes first flicked over the MTV playlist reprint that namedropped Nirvana, or maybe it’s because the block of time on MuchMusic playing in the background is peppered by more ads for Enuff Z’Nuff and White Lion-laden compilations than any ad block during the Headbanger’s Ball era, but hearing the opening ten notes of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” out of any sort of blue still, after all this time, gives me chills; even though I’m expecting the huge explosion ten seconds into the song (and cognizant of the implosions that followed after the song had blown up again and again), the song still has that air of unhinged promise about it, a rare quality in so much of the music I hear today—as far as this year goes, there are parts of the Le Tigre record that I think almost grab onto it and squeeze tightly, and other albums since ’92 have had their moments here and there (“Now You Know” from the Afghan Whigs is the one that springs to mind right away, and there’s one part on that Guns N’ Roses track from last year (!) that also inspires that same internal tug), but “Smells Like Teen Spirit” remains at the top of this particular heap—and not only that, it hasn’t become stale to these ears at all, even with its constant generational incantations and the whole unfortunate episode of “alternative” and the post-suicide Morrisonization of K. Cobain.

Frankie Crocker

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,306 views

Frankie Crocker died over the weekend, and I can’t find a decent linkable obit for the coolest DJ ever to grace this vale of tears. Pathetic.