Posts from 21st December 2000

Dec 00

But as I say

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But as I say, I have been re-reading the josh blog, which celebrates its first birthday next week, and I will be at home and not posting when it does. So I thought I’d say now that for one thing a year is a fucking long time to be writing about music, let alone with this kind of honesty and fairness, and massive respect to Josh for doing it.

The next thing I want to say is that it’s a bastard reading through weblog archives, and I apologise to anyone who’s tried to plough through mine.

And the main thing I want to say boils down to – Josh is ace. I don’t know a lot of the music he writes about – I can’t pretend that when he goes off on one about jazz that I don’t skim and skip bits of it, but what he has to say is generally very intelligent, and is also a really fascinating account of somebody’s music tastes and ideas developing. In terms of actually thinking through, or defending his ideas, Josh puts me to shame and he’s also been one of my most valuable critics while I’ve been doing FT. Happy Birthday to his Blog, and I hope he doesn’t stay away from it too long.

I have been reading through some

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I have been reading through some josh blog archives and I saw to my horror that Josh slipped the Divine Comedy’s milky “Generation Sex” past me at the end of a month. Now then, I came to NYLPM to praise Josh and not to diss him, but there is a lesson to be learned here and that is that if you do not listen to enough indie pop you will have no way of telling the good from the bad.

And “Generation Sex” is really very very bad – it’s a masterpiece compared to the rest of Fin De Siecle (“National Express”!!!!), but it still seems trite to me, an unimaginative take on a subject which is half-interesting (that whole ‘hypersexualised society’ thing) but half old-hat (and is he really suggesting that only poor people cared about Princess Di’s death? How metropolitan of him).

As for the music – to me it sounds like a weak retread of the band’s previous, more successful, records. The rhythmic string-driven Nyman-style stuff was done with more wit, sense of proportion, emotional resonance (not to mention better tunes) on Promenade (“Bath”, “Geronimo”, “Tonight We Fly”) – “Gen Sex” sounds, like most of Neil Hannon’s post-hit work, like a man cashing in on his schtick.


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A close runner-up to Jona Lewie in the pledging-things-that-are-not-strictly-neccessary-now-are-they stakes, this. Holly Johnson’s love, unlike his voice, is strong and to prove it he will protect you from the Hooded Claw. Now, while there is an obvious parallel to be drawn between the Ant Hill Mob (useless) and Frankie Goes To Hollywood (useless) , this is still not a promise likely to impress anyone save Penelope Pitstop. The Hooded Claw is a man in a cartoon: he cannot come out and harm you and even a four-year old would not think otherwise. So what Holly’s ‘protection’ would boil down to is him standing in front of your television (probably with Ped and ‘Nasher’ as back-up) and stopping you seeing it in case the unconvincing cowled villain came on.

Thankfully Holly’s skill set runs to more than just protecting you from animated threats. He will also keep the vampires from your door.

Which is easy, really, seeing as they don’t exist. Had he pledged to keep the Goths from my door, we could maybe have worked out a deal, or in fact if he’d just agreed never to darken my door again with his bombastic hi-NRG arse. But no, vampires it is. I’d tell you about the rest of the song, dear reader, but I’ve never made it past that opening growl.

(“Claw”/”Door” of course was only one in a string of piss-weak Frankie rhyme crimes. In fact, rubbish couplets were something of a trademark for the lovable Scouse provocateurs. “When two tribes go to war / A point is all that you can score.”, in Eurovision perhaps, or maybe they were talking about the somewhat trite political ‘point’ made by dressing up two fat has-been actors in tatty rubber masks. And as for “Relax”! “Don’t do it / When you want to suck and chew it”. Is ‘it’ by any chance an Opal Fruit?? Now, I cannot speak for Holly Johnson, but I hailed a passing gay man and and was told that were chewing on the cards he would indeed say “Don’t do it”, relaxed or otherwise. Also it doesn’t scan. Shakespeare always managed to scan, and he didn’t even have Paul Morley to help with the words, did he?)

A Loafer’s Discourse

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A Loafer’s Discourse is about Kirsty MacColl today. Sort of.

Napster Nazis Nobbled

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Napster Nazis Nobbled: Eurolaw vs the Internet, again. But what’s this? “Napster’s usage Ts&Cs prohibit the use of the service for the exchange of material likely to incite violence.” Now then, it seems that quite a lot of music – quite a lot of very good music, too – is likely, or at least designed, to incite violence against people, property, the state, your fellow fans, hippies etc. (Is the consensual violence of the moshpit still violent, though? Is Primal Scream’s “Kill All Hippies” inciting much more than a jaded yawn?)

You should go and read

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You should go and read wolf 359‘s neat memoir of his days on the pirate FTP underground. Like most world-changing scenes, then, the Napster Nation has cooler, more dangerous, precedents: I like this, it gives things a feeling of legitimacy. Roll on the scenester squabblings over who ran the first MP3 fserver – well, no, actually, let’s leave that to the historians.

Have I mentioned how much I like Napster? But I am very bad at finding new music on it, rather than things I should be ashamed of and shiny shiny pop. Can you please all suggest something for me to download – under 5 minutes preferably because of my slow modem speed.