Posts from 6th November 2000

6
Nov 00

CARTER USM – “Falling On A Bruise”

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CARTER USM – “Falling On A Bruise”

Oh yeah, I’m the boy who doesn’t do ‘guilty pleasures’, that’s right. All the nostalgia stuff, I despise it: you either like a song or you don’t, damn it, and the songs you like you come right out about, you don’t sit in a bedroom sipping beer and dragging the cursor back on the PC Player three, four times, feeling stupid, remembering being eighteen and singing at the top of your lungs in the empty old schoolroom. Good is good and bad is bad, yes? You don’t hear those old songs and blush when you realise you still know all the words.

Carter were an awful band, though, weren’t they? Addicted to puns, crass and visceral and mouthy, which we never like: cheap too, with that fucking drum-machine rap-rap-rapping away under every song. Actually no, really, they were a bad band – they hectored you about things you already knew and they were sentimental as shit. In fact they were the living spirit of 10:45 in the pub, talking rubbish with your arm around a mate you hardly know. When I was a kid and didn’t go to the pub often, that state seemed rather blessed to me, and so I listened to Carter a lot. Ten years on I wonder if I wasn’t right, at least about the pub. However dreadful they were, “Falling On A Bruise” is still “November Rain” on snakebite and black, and when Carter riff on “Born To Run” at the end, you’ve got to grudgingly admit they’ve earned it.

POP-EYE 5/11/00

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POP-EYE 5/11/00 (in collaboration with I HATE MUSIC)

“Tanya?”

“Yes, Tom?”

“I’m moving house on Monday, and I’d like you to fill in for me on NYLPM.”

…..

“Tanya?”

“Now, Tom. Haven’t you overlooked something? What does NYLPM take as its topic? Music. What am I best known for? Hating music. Do you sense a conflict of interests, perhaps?”

“Ah, yes. But what I want you to do is Pop-Eye. You know, the weekly section where I take a look at the UK charts and – ”

“Hell’s Bells! It gets worse! The British charts are poxier than ever this week! Westlife are squatting atop the chart like a chubby-cheeked ten-legged tumour, are they not, crowing about having equalled some ghastly Beatles record or other? I’m sure self-styled chart expert Paul Gambaccini is starching his sheets over it as we speak, but I hardly want to be dragged down to that level!”

“No, that’s just it. The charts this week are the worst for a long, long time, Tanya! Your specialist perspective is exactly what’s needed. Have a look at this list.”

“I have better – God’s Hairy Arse! The Tweenies?? Aren’t they those grotesque purple and orange things that look like a sold-from-a-suitcase version of the Muppets? What earthly business do they have with the singles charts?”

“The strange thing about their single is how very similar it sounds to all the other bouncy pop singles lately – Martine McCutcheon‘s effort, for example. It just goes to show that we can’t do pop an eighth as well as the Americans these days.”

“Sheer hairsplitting. The Septics are just as awful. What kind of fool calls themselves Nelly, for pity’s sake? Admittedly he sounds as if he’s just said goodbye to the fucking circus. And his record’s a nasty, hobbling thing, to boot.”

“But just look a bit lower down…”

“Godammit, Ewing, you owe me several gins for this. “Beautiful Inside” by Louise? Let me guess – it’s saying that looks don’t matter as long as you’re beautiful inside. And who is singing this exactly? The kids are stupid, but they’re surely not that stupid. And Limp Bizkit, with another record that sounds like it was recorded by a terrier in a fucking dishwasher, cunningly named after an old Who track I see in an attempt to pull in passing sixties relics.”

“And The Corrs are back! With a song called “Irresistible”!”

“Sorry, Tom. Some targets are just too easy.”

THE TOP FIVE
Waived this week.

POP-EYE U.S. – 11/02/00

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POP-EYE U.S. – 11/02/00

finally, some movement in the top five on billboard’s hot 100 charts. it seems music fans countrywide have come to their senses as christina aguilera’s “come on over baby” falls from its perch, replaced by…um…creed’s “with arms wide open.” (this is progress?) the song took twenty-seven weeks to hit number one and it did so because it was released as a commercial single with some of the proceeds going to a charity created by lead singer scott sapp. which is a good thing. but the charity is called the “make ‘with arms wide open’ number one” foundation. which is a bad thing. (ed. – and it’s also not true. the charity, “with arms wide open,” helps kids and i’ll thank you not to make light of it.)

madonna, God love her, hangs in at number two with “music” and 3 doors down stay at number 3 with “kryptonite.” aguilera tumbles to number four and destiny’s child’s “independent women” moves into the number five spot presaging its parent film charlie’s angels’ monstrous success at the box office this weekend. help. there was also some movement within the top, but nothing moved in or out.

the backstreet boys’ “shape of my heart” moves up to number 12, getting closer to the top as we near the release of their new album. and, hey, doesn’t that video of theirs just screamwe are adults. ‘nsync, you are welcome to the pre-teens, but we shall cater to those looking for more than splashy videos and toytown production.” this week also sees hits by sisqo, ruff endz, and matchbox 2-, er, twenty (excuse me, i’ve forgotten that they’ve matured and numbers, like trix, are for kids. i’m personally waiting for blink-one-hundred-and-eighty-two)move back into the top 20, marking a strange trend of singles moving up in the charts after they’ve fallen from the top ten.

that concludes this week’s edition of pop-eye u.s. next week, though, will destiny’s child bestride the charts much like the film that spawned their hit? will christina aguilera continue to freefall? will the backstreet boys finally hit the top ten, as i’ve asked the last couple of weeks? will creed’s “higher” rise from the bowels of the charts to overtake their own “with arms wide open”? come back thursday for all of those answers and more…um, i’m being told that you shouldn’t wait until thursday to return, that you should regularly check back at nylpm for all of the best that the web has to offer. yes.

What I listened to five years ago.

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What I listened to five years ago. This soundtrack of a day thing is very dangerous, read me, very dangerous. In the process of doing one of my very tedious jobs that I bounced around in five years ago I did much the same thing. However, as it was a job which required me to be in a room, alone for two hour stetches I also included the songs which – almost unprompted – came into my head.

But what counts as unprompted? This was a list which was purely personal, though in the back of my mind I knew that somewhere along the line I was going to show the list to someone. So whilst the songs were generally unprompted, the type of song wasn’t. Indie hits of the day jostled with a ubiquitous annoying pop song (for proof of annoyance value), plus a smattering of the esoteric – for which read the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. I soon realised that I was not being honest with myself, missing out bland, brief tracks because I already had too much Blur, or forgot I was doing this whole program. Oddly its these last songs which I think count more.

Mark me, doing this kind of thing is akin to quantum mechanics. As soon as you look at it the waveform breaks down. Of course it does not make these lists any less interesting, but I don’t think they are what you think they are. But Sundar, the tracks you heard in the pub that you did not recognise – these are what I want to hear you criticize. We all know that Siamese Dream is anthemic, some of us might argue about exciting and dramatic – and I for one laugh at the word poignant. But then I own every Dodgy record.

THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE

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THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE

This site is not called I Hate Science. I think, in general, that science is a rather good thing, especially in the field of medical advances. I am not even anti-cloning – since the music industry succeeded in this field a long time ago and clones seem no more dangerous than the originals. Given the choice of getting stuck in a lift with Radiohead or Coldplay, I think I would pick ver ‘Play every time. Musical clones are the same as the originals – just with a smaller canon. Probably easier to beat up too (as an aside readers, do you know where I can buy a Brickbat? They sound like fabulous things. Baseball bats made of brick. Smokey Robinson wouldn’t be crying tears of a clown after a quick go with that).

During my enforced vacation from hating music for the last few weeks, into hating Internet Service Providers, I have been doing some scientific research. And so I hope to show the effect of science on music. We will be taking a trip through Moog’s (rubbish scientific instument), via the use of science in songs and of course, everyones favourite, science fiction songs. Hold on to your astro hats, because this is going to be nasty. To start off with, the nastiest of sci-fi songs: courtesy of our old favourite Elton John.

ELTON JOHN – Rocket Man

Of course that is not the full title to the song. Oh no. Full title is “Rocket Man (I Think Its Going To Be A Long Long Time)”. Well it certainly seems longer than it is, in the way that good things seem to fly by. From the appallingly titled Honky Chateau album, this was Elton’s go at ripping off Space Oddity. Now whilst Bowie is a cock-eyed fool, and this has been much discussed round here, he is at least a cock-eyed fool with a modicum of sense. Whereas Elton – lyrically – is the stream of consciousness, never rub out a lyric kind of guy. Take these for starters:

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell”

A charitable woman might say that Elton is using clever symbolism here, in as much as Mars is red – like the stereotypical depiction of hell, and yet it is cold as hell (though said stereotypical depiction paints hell as being hot). I am not a charitable woman. This line is thoroughly uncalled for. Previously John has been mentioning how lonely it is in space, and then – out of the red if you will – he considers starting a family on Mars. Whilst the coldness might be a good reason to not set up creche facilities, Reg finds a much better reason:

“And there’s no one there to raise them if you did”

Grammar watch alert. There is no-one there to raise your kids, if you were to raise your kids there. Well obviously there would be. You would be there. Duh! Admittedly you would be cold as hell, but…. Anyway, Elton realises his general stupidity in this and other aspects of the song and finally admits that

“All this science, I don’t understand“. This certainly proven by the fact that he believes rockets reach orbit when they get as high as a kite. Its quite clear that the space race was all about who got to the massive rock of cocaine that was the moon first. It was one small step for man, one giant line for mankind.

Elton – if you don’t understand science (or for that matter Grammar), don’t write a song about it. Frankly there is nothing I would like to see more than you be sent into orbit with half a dozen whizz-bangs shoved up you diamante arse, but if we can’t have that, then at least shut your trap.