Posts from 21st March 2001

21
Mar 01

DESTINY’S CHILD – “SURVIVOR”

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DESTINY’S CHILD – “SURVIVOR”
after selling millions of albums, landing number one singles, gracing magazine covers the world over, winning every award imaginable, and, very likely, earning a healthy living in the process, destiny’s child are back with a new single, letting us know that, despite all this that they’ve been through, they’re going to be okay, they are survivors.

sounds a bit ludicrous, doesn’t it? destiny’s child have veered towards self-parody, not narrowly averting it, no: knocking it off
the fucking road. and it is all the better for that. my initial listen left me remarkably underwhelmed: the production of their tunes have placed them safely in the pop vanguard, and the rather pedestrian construction of “survivor” led me to, yes, dis them on the internet. my momma didn’t know well enough to teach me better than that; no, she never told me that i should give consideration to the songwriting, to the cast-iron, inescapable chorus. because ultimately that’s what makes “survivor” one of their finest singles, perhaps the apotheosis of their raison d’etre.

the lyrics to “survivor” are fabulous. the three that stand out most to me:
– “you know i’m not going to dis you on the internet, cos my momma taught me better than that.”
– “i’m not going to compromise my christianity.”
– “thought i wouldn’t sell without you, sold nine million.”

it’s hard not to read two meanings into the lyrics, and i’m rather certain that that was the point. you can look at this as an “i will survive” type song, a classic conceit in the dc canon (personally, i’m waiting for a single entitled “heartbreaker” that will feature the chorus, “you may’ve broke my heart, but you’ll never break me” b/w “i’m severely put-upon”); but at the same time, it also serves as a kiss-off to all of the former members, and their numbers are legion, of the group, cf. spice girls, “goodbye.” and while beyonce et. al. wish the girls the best, just like the spicies did with geri, “survivor” doesn’t attempt to put a smiley-face on the whole ordeal unlike “goodbye.” the latter’s sincerity is strained at best; the former, while wishing no harm to the old girls, puts forth a middle finger to all who would dare stand in their way, an immense “FUCK OFF” to the world. in a world of friendly, smiling pop stars, it’s reassuring to know that there are still groups out there who don’t take their success lightly, which is why i think destiny’s child will be around for a long time — or at least until beyonce decides it’s time to go solo — and why they’ll keep on surviving.

Decidedly eccentric

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Decidedly eccentric guide to London pubs from a site for travelling tennis lovers. Goodness knows how the Island Queen made it onto this list, let alone its barely-audible jukebox. Great to hear that ‘the main pub drink is “bitters”, a warm lager (beer)…’. What’s more, the thought of Charles II and Ernest Hemingway settling down for a few jars of Bass down the Dove is a pleasing one for me.

Pop Eye

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Pop Eye: my turn this week, with Hear’Say, Beenie Man, Chocolate Puma and Muse coming up for judgement.

An anemic remix, a squirtgun that isn’t regulation chartreuse, three fast cars, two bad puns, and some incoherent edits:

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An anemic remix, a squirtgun that isn’t regulation chartreuse, three fast cars, two bad puns, and some incoherent edits: The relevant details gleaned from last night’s viewing of the so-called controversial Madonna video lensed by Guy Ritchie. The slightly hysterical intro by a tongue-tripping Kurt Loder proved more compelling than the video itself, which wasn’t nearly as car-chase disturbing as, say, “Thelma and Louise” or even “Bye, Bye, Bye.” (An AOL-enabled friend tells me that the whole thing’s available for viewing at keyword: Madonna, but you don’t think that this could be – heaven forbid! – a huge synergy-inspired publicity stunt, could it?)

History of UK Hip-Hop

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History of UK Hip-Hop: inspired by my purchase of Skitz’ fine Countryman album, a few UK Hip Hop links can be expected over the next day or two. Here’s a page which takes the story from 1986 to the early 90s and the rise of jungle, which the author confidently claims has absorbed and enhanced Britain’s Hip Hop aspirations. Makes for interesting reading through not taking the “it’s all rubbish” route – even Derek B gets a fair shake.

(Meanwhile in the world of US Hip Hop, yes Pete, that Missy Elliot track – “Get Your Freak On” is a winner. It’s all over the radio too so hopefully will chart nice and big.)

Hip-Hop Bus Review.

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Hip-Hop Bus Review. Let’s call this a new mini featurette where I come to work late, get stuck in the Kings Cross one way system and get treated to new playings of hip-hop records on the radio. And on this bus journey it was all about the production. Now I expect Missy Elliot to have slick, swish production but her new Indian themed thang is spectacular. Tabla’s a-go-go, faded in and out with her usual vocal skill and some nagging string riff which is played a bit too high to be on a sitar (is it a baby sitar?). Even if on the singing bits she sounds too much like Mel B it still rocks hard.

From a completely different angle but equally well produced in a bargain basement sort of way is M.O.P’s “Cold As Ice”. Yes that is a Hall and Oates sample, and yes it is speeded up to sound like Dolly Parton. Not since Puff Daddy did “I’ll Be Missing You” has such an entire song been ripped off wholesale, but Puffy could never do anything this funny. Admittedly the sample is the funniest thing on it – the rapping is all Busta Rhymes big breathing shouty stomp. But the insertion of that sample, and so much of it, made me smirk all the way until I realised the police had closed the stretch outside St Pancras station and I would have to walk the rest of the distance to work.

Just Say No, S Club!

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Just Say No, S Club!: it’ll make your records rubbish! (Hmmm….)

Pitchfork Review

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Pitchfork Review Discovery: one of the tracks could have fitted on a Trans Am album, kids! There can be little higher praise! Good old Pitchfork. Actually it’s an OK review, once you get past dance review cliche #1 (“Maybe I haven’t taken enough Ecstasy….” sigh.) But can I really be the only person on the Internet who thinks that “One More Time” is a transcendental single?