Posts from November 2000

Nov 00

IAN CRAUSE – Elemental

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Like Life Without Buildings, this is on Tugboat Records, who make their CDs lovely, with fold-over waxy cardboard sleeves. There’s a strict two-tracker policy going on, so I’d guess the aesthetic is to get CD singles as beautiful and contained as old 7″ singles were, which is an admirable longshot given that the 7″ musical format is the most perfect ever devised. This is not nostalgia talking: great as the music we now enjoy is, it would be greater yet if the discipline, simplicity and balance of the A-Side/B-Side format were maintained. Now, for example, a band like Blur can record up to six B-Sides for each ‘A’, which is bad for them and bad for us. But back then the 7″ form was the pivot between a pop payoff and experimentation, or stupidity or fraud or arbitrary beauty: whatever the artist desired and could muster.


BRYAN FERRY – From Roxy Music to Poxy Music

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BRYAN FERRY – From Roxy Music to Poxy Music

It’s a conundrum. The organisers of Miss World 2000, looking through their post-ironic lenses, have to choose a venue, a host and a musical star for their event. Of course, this year’s Miss World could only be held in the multi-million quid double-D cup that is the Millennium Dome. The host – well, Jerry Springer is cheap and cheesy and will no doubt go down well with the dumb fucks who one-handedly watch this crap.

But who would be suitable to open the show? What musician would possibly accept the ignominy of opening this parody of a mockery of a caricature?

No problem! Send for that laughing stock, Bryan Ferry. Surely he is available; since it’s still November, panto season won’t have started and he will be at a loose end.

Flicking between Eastenders and two lemurs rodding each other on the telly tonight, I caught Ferry performing “Let’s Stick Together”, surrounded by T&A from the USA and the rest of the (Miss) world. He’s lost the pencil moustache but the lank hair and tuxedo remain. As does his godawful howling voice.

The longevity of Ferry’s dismal career is remarkable. The one saving grace in his solo work is its consistency – all his songs were equally shit. “The In Crowd” was toss, “Let’s Stick Together” is murder and the less said about “Slave to Love” the b.

But, Tanya, these three songs all emerged before 1985. Surely Ferry is a spent force now? Well yes, but that hasn’t stopped him from producing a stream of musakal slurry since then. Album after album, each released just in time for them to be bought for Dad’s Christmas Present and for Ferry’s slappable face to hit the cover of some hapless men’s magazine. I had the misfortune to hear him talking about his latest project on Radio 4 last month. Ho hum, the wankmeister has produced an album of covers. Please stop it Bryan – leave the shite tribute records to UB40.

Bryan Ferry. No shame then, no shame now.

Sorry Pete

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 382 views

Sorry Pete you are indeed a world renowned expert on all things beery. I should never have implied otherwise.

My foray into the ladies toilets of London’s pubs continues to take me into fairly rough territory. The Crown and Two Chairmen features relatively plush surroundings and four whole cubicles but – and there’s always a but where lavs are involved – I tried three and not one had a door that locked! Why? Maybe its seedy Soho location means it attracts the sort who passes out in toilets so locks on the doors would prevent access to these degenerates. Maybe it is so the Vice Squad can burst in more easily on Soho media cokeheads. Maybe they couldn’t be arsed to mend the locks when they broke.

Anyway. fear not ladies as if you are 5’5” or over with normal length legs and chunky trainers you will find that you are able to keep the door shut with your foot.


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Good packaging is so important, and Life Without Buildings records look supercool, really hard post-punk fonts at angles, light green and off-white on stark black background, minimal information but not making a point of it. They look like they could have come out in 1978. And they sound like it, too: they’ve got this dense post-punk noise going on, all angles and clatter. On top there’s Sue Tompkins – a really ’78 name, too, like the band’s name, which is obviously pure Talking Heads – and she snarls and sighs and you think yeah, Patti Smith and Liliput and the Slits. Except when you start thinking like that you notice there’s not quite as much going on underneath as you thought, it’s good driving indie rock but nothing to really catch you, and then you focus back on Sue and you suddenly realise that all this broken-up chatter she’s throwing out just makes Life Without Buildings into Campag Velocet with a girl singing. And then you put the CD back in the box. But really, beautiful packaging.

Nov 00

going back to spin

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going back to spin, i’d say that, yes, it is a publicity stunt, but it’s also the truth. the timing couldn’t have been any better, what with the napster explosion combined with a dearth of great albums released this year. going over the albums i bought this year, i could only come up with about five that i thought were really good: if the music i have on my hard drive were put to disc, yes, it would be a better album than anything i heard this year. and like i said yesterday, it certainly beats making kid a album of the year, as it almost certainly would have been.

Nov 00

This was published in the old version of NYLPM, which was never archived. But I liked it so I resurrected it.

New York London Paris Munich1 comment • 216 views

This was published in the old version of NYLPM, which was never archived. But I liked it so I resurrected it.

AFGHAN WHIGS – Lost In The Supermarket

Now let me say first of all that I don’t know The Clash at all, not being one of those public schoolboys who liked playing at being public schoolboys playing at being punks. (I wanted to be black or Morrissey or both, but that’s another story). I do know the Afghan Whigs, though, and their broadly excellent 1965 album, which was touted as being happy-and-horny whereas it was really just less crassly fucked-up-and-horny than their earlier stuff. This reading of Lost… takes the occasional outbreaks of voluptuousness you got there and runs with them, the Whigs’ limber shuffle-beat supporting garlands of cooing and sighing, and Greg Dulli singing “I’m lost” as “Mmm luhhhsst”, as well he might given supermarkets’ totemic status as shag-temples in our Bridget Jonesian times. The rest of the pro-situ lyric (well done as these things go) he bevels into another of his bliss-struck lover’s pledges, finally dropping all pretence at ‘social comment’ and singing Stand By Me over the coda instead: glorious.

Spin have named

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Spin have named “your hard drive” as Album Of The Year. This is going to be taken as either the simple truth or a publicity stunt: clearly, it’s both. What do you think?

wolf 359. . . young, gifted, and blacklisted

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wolf 359. . . young, gifted, and blacklisted…have we linked to Wolf 359 yet? I don’t think so….anyway it’s an indie rock weblog but don’t hold that against it, ho ho. I like it.

Tim, after looking at the Bedtime Stories liner notes…

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Tim, after looking at the Bedtime Stories liner notes, I have to pull a Philadelphia lawyer move and say that if the immediately post-Sex Madonna shafted Shep for anyone, it was for Nellee Hooper. Babyface produced just one track on that album – Madonna’s Evita audition number – er, I mean, “Take a Bow”, while Nellee’s work on “Survival”, “Inside of Me”, “Forbidden Love”, “Sanctuary” and the title track largely shaped the overall sound of the album. Now I’m going to go bed holding my head high with pride that my first NYLPM post was about Madonna. Oy.

Nov 00

So much to tell you

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So much to tell you: there’s a Godspeed You Black Emperor! review up; there’s a Mazarin review which touches on pretty much everything else under the sun; and A Loafer’s Discourse is talking about jukeboxes. And that’s just the start of it! Ah, bliss!