Posts from 27th March 2001

Mar 01

Am I Cool Or Not?

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Am I Cool Or Not?: an AICON first. Nipples.

I was too overwhelmed

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I was too overwhelmed by tiredness and gratitude last night to comment on the birthday stuff so I will do so here. What excites me about it is the diversity of approaches – travelogues, anecdotes, analyses, hilarious rantings, confessions – that the contributors took to writing about something as simple and enormous as an ‘underrated pop song’. What also excites me is that so many of the contributors mixed up musical comment with personal memories – lots of the covering letters I got said stuff like, oh, I’m sorry if this is too personal. No, that’s the point. You don’t listen in a vacuum. You don’t listen with perfect blank ears. Who you are and where you are and what you’re thinking is important.

So what really excites me is that I’ve managed to find 26 sites which have started off in the last 12 months alone – and there must be tons more – who mostly seem to instinctively know this. Music writing shouldn’t be something which gets cut off from the rest of life. It shouldn’t be thought of as more or less real than writing about love or sex or the washing-up, particularly since music writing often is about love or sex or the washing up.

Twenty-six sites aren’t enough. Let’s have more! Anyone who’s ever kept a diary can write about pop music. Anyone who’s ever kept a diary and listens to pop music probably is writing about it. Somewhere along the line a ‘rock journalist’ turned from somebody who sold us the pop facts to somebody who sold us the pop opinions. Maybe Jann Wenner did it, or Richard Meltzer or that bloke who did Crawdaddy. Who cares? I don’t. We don’t need to buy any more opinions: we just need to listen to each others.

Here’s one tag: <body>

Here’s two more: <a href> <p>

Go and make a site.


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Already been around for a while this one, but finally a proper release: i.e. on the singles racks at a Well-Known Record Store. (hah! no free plugs for Mr Branson. Oops…) You should already know this. It’s the tasty two-step t-for-terrific track which is a re-working of ‘Tainted Love.’ Yes, that ‘Tainted Love.’ The one that EVERYONE love’s, and no-one would dare fuck with… until now. I can’t describe the track itself. But it is an AWESOME thing. As Special MC puts it ‘2-step beats and wickedest bass.’ It sounds to me pretty much like jungle used to (back when it was any good), but the emphasis is on an enormous bassline which apes the Tainted Love synth riff (also present and correct) rather than on the beats. So we’re somewhere in the jump-up manor.

‘Tainted Love’ itself always skipped along that fine line between loss and hedonism, as its reincarnation as 80s nite good time classic proved. ‘Joy’ pushes this ambiguity further. The MC’s shout ‘You bring me love and you bring me joy’ opens up the tune along its main faultline. Is it the ‘bad boy selector’ who’s bringing joy? In which case the joy is in the dance, and the concomitant possibility that ‘all the ravers, left, right, and centre’ can ‘grab a girl, grab a boy.’ But the insistent two note synth refrain from the original tune reminds us that this is only tainted love and restores the ambivalence: ‘we get you freaky.’ Dialectics in pop — these propositions cannot be reconciled, they can only be re-wound.

Happy Birthday NYLPM

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Happy Birthday NYLPM: this weblog is one today, and its parent site is two years old. Here’s what we’ve done to celebrate.