Posts from April 2001
Simon Reynolds’ Unfaves of 2000 – the link on his page doesn’t work, but this one does. TREMBLE! as Aaliyah gets a dissing. QUAKE! as progressive trance comes under the hammer. NOD! as Reynolds says some very sensible things about New York punk. GO! to the forum where we’ll kick off a thread on the piece.
Now I’m the last person to big up Travis (no – that isn’t true, everyone else on NYLPM are probably the last person – but that still puts me in the last thirteen). However listening to Sing by Travis it occurs to me that it is musically rather disturbing. What we have is a particularly sinister banjo line which recalls the bit just before Duelling Banjoes kicks in. So far so Deliverance. The rest of the band plod on, but in the background we have the sound of tolling bells phased and played backwards. The effect – with Frannie’s usual just about melodic singing is really rather unsettling. It has the subliminal noise feel of much good feedback rock, yet it is quite clearly bells and hidden well under a pretty bland piece of trad Travis.
Of course we have already noted – by use of science – that the lyrics are pants so no need to proclaim it as genius yet. However I would be interested to see if anyone else finds Sing musically quite as scary as I do.
FT vs the Cockfarmers: Update: The cockfarmers have won. Ha! OK, no, the situation re. the domain name is that we’ve not got it and that you should under no circumstances go to freakytrigger.com and give the people who do any money. As least if it had been porn it would have been something to look at.
As the front page of the old site indicates, Freaky Trigger is taking a break and will return, better than ever, in June, at a spangly new address. I’m actually relieved about the whole thing as it’s allowed me to take a step back and have a think about where the site is going and what it’s for.
NYLPM will be moving to that selfsame spangly new address when we re-launch: for now, this is it as far as pop content is concerned. Except that if you want more passionate pop writing you should really be investigating the forum (I Love Music) linked above. Thanks for the support and keep reading.
“The problem is,” my friend is saying, “That people see relationships as a zero-sum game.” And while I’m talking to her Aaliyah is saying “Who should be hurt? Who should be blamed?”, ’cause someone has to be, and while Aaliyah’s singing Timbaland is making clarinets sound like water running uphill, or like the blood in your temples when you’ve been arguing so long your words are starting to tie knots in one another.
Tell me your heart, what’s your problem, let’s resolve it, am I supposed to change, are you supposed to change, we need a resolution we need a resolution we have so much confusion: “WNAR” is sex-war black-comedy, with Aaliyah parrotting therapy-culture nostrums and getting cut off by Tim’s exhausted, insensitive rap (it’s her time of the month, apparently). But somebody replaced the laugh-track with scissor-beats and that taunting woodwind wooze. The song is claustrophobic and tangled and unsteady, like a quarrel: unlike a quarrel, it’s also very beautiful, but this is still pop music, after all. Still, it’s not the sonic guess-whats that make this my favourite record so far this year: it’s all the stuff that in the pit of my stomach I do recognise.
The Washington Post on Spin on punk: My. I thought the description of Unknown Pleasures sounded good. Via Us Against Them.
It seems that freakytrigger.com is no more.
The domain name was up for renewal. I wrote to my hosts – nothing. I wrote to my current ISP requesting a transfer – they said they couldnt without the host’s permission. Which of course they couldn’t get. The domain name expired, and now seems to be in the hands of bulkregister.com, who I assume snap up extinct domains. And as of today, with me looking helplessly on, it keeled over. I tried to re-register but am so far having no luck, and bulkregister.com are asking silly prices because they’re trying to ‘service’ businesses, not music fansites. I’m a bit of a web naif sometimes and maybe I have been here too: I don’t know. I feel gutted, frankly, and also very guilty – Ned’s editorship was just getting going and it’s a shame to have such a rude interruption.
But interruption is what it is. NYLPM and the forum sail on regardless. For now FT is back where it’s always been – here. A lot of the links on the front page don’t work – over the weekend I’ll be cobbling together a micro-site with some links to recent articles.
In the long term? A few options. I get the domain off bulkregister.com if I can – but probably not (it’s pricey). FT has a name change and resurfaces as something new and cool – maybe. Most likely is that we move to freakytrigger.co.uk – I’ve registered the name and I’m sorting out the details of the site. But I don’t quite know so don’t update your bookmarks yet.
It’s particularly annoying that this has happened just when the site seemed to be getting wider recognition, but life and the web are rarely fair. Apologies to all the Entertainment Weekly readers who won’t be reading this. And watch this space for more details – as well as the usual nonsense.
well, tom, as dan indicates over on his blog, i’d bet that it has something to do with the de rigeur condescending attitude towards pop expressed in the slighting of black box, but it also rankles further: it praises st. etienne, the pop group indie folks are supposed to like and, when combined with the opening dis of the ‘box, who incidentally made better dance records than st. et., it epitomizes the pitchfork approach, putting it in the worst possible light when laid bare so egregiously as in this case. beyond that, it’s one of those examples where you’re made to feel guilty or just plain wrong for liking a band, i.e. st. et., because of their fans. not many reviews accomplish both these tasks; is a congrats in order?
There is something really irritating about this Saint Etienne review that I can’t quite put my finger on. It’s by my least-favourite Pitchfork reviewer but it’s not quite the style and it’s not his specific opinions on the music either….readers can you help me with this, because I’m finding it as annoying as a fly stuck in the ear?
The Washington, Belsize Park
Despite being named after a place in that most septic of countries, the Washington dazzles you with its charms from the moment you enter. The moment I entered was delayed somewhat whilst giving some cheery young moppets a two pound coin in exchange for six pieces of silver (three fifties, two twenties and a ten). There is something about Belsize Park which suggests that they were not going to mug me the moment I got my wallet out.
That said The Washington is not your typical Belsize Park boozer. This is to suggest such a thing exists – and we are far to close to Swiss Cottage for there to be more than one pub per mile radius. This is a big old fashioned boozer, plenty of booths and a horseshoe shaped bar which allows for ample serving. The place was full and only a bit of ingenuity and down-right cheek got us a table (hint – if you are ugly sit on a table with Face readers, they will soon leave for fear of being seen with you). It was Quiz night, a solid thirty questioner where there is the same winning team every week and that team is called “The Team With No Name”. At least they were until last night when they were called “Smart Arses Who Can’t Think Of A Name”. Can’t imagine who marked their sheet.
Anyway the gist of this ramble is that the Washington is a very nice pub, which does average if over priced food and if you lived in the area it would almost certainly be your local (if you were an arse you would go to the Adelaide instead). However the place bigs itself up a touch by suggesting that it is the Best Pub In The World on its facade. And in all conscience I cannot agree. Its nice enough, even with the Maori behind the bar, but any pub which allows three unattractive and sardonic Australians to sully my evening is already fighting a losing battle.
Picture this, you have just won a small victory to claim a booth from two fashion victims. It is a two table booth which said Face readers were straddling. We rationalise to one table as our canteen style curries arrive. Followed by Aussies who proceed to remove outer garments, chat on mobile phone, scratch balls and get out laptop computer. Not for them the “one man goes to the bar” proceedure of getting drinks in. Instead they continue to sit there for nigh on twenty minutes without purchasing a beer. It is an outrage, and one which should not be allowed to continue.
We actually did quite well in the quiz coming a strong third – which the quiz master patronized us with. The Aussies – needless to say – did appallingly when they weren’t copying us. But maybe their halves of lager went to their heads. Whatever : I like the Washington, but it needs a door policy. Bonus question below from the quiz for avid punters of this type of thing:
What was the first TV Theme tune to go to number on in the UK?
A timely appraisal of this temperamental machine. Have you noticed the suspicious cartel of hand-dryer manufactures based either in Stanmore, Mx or Hemel Hempstead, Herts? Probably not, but I have, because I have paternal relatives in both of these unsalubrious neighbourhoods. I fully expect a legacy from the secret Griffiths Hand Dryer empire in due course.