Posts from 3rd April 2001

3
Apr 01

It’s not just Mr Rhodes

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It’s not just Mr Rhodes who likes the Sugababes – this rather good review of them is c/o The Horse. For me it’s the command-of-pop that grabs rather than the command-of-relationships (the lyrics are solid, good even, if you listen, but they’ve not yet crafted a scenario that leaps out at you like Destiny’s Child’s do), but One Touch is still an excellent record.

BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY – “Rich Wife Full Of Happiness”

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BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY – “Rich Wife Full Of Happiness”

Don’t believe what you’ve heard: faithful’s not a bad word. No matter how much rock, with its wanderlusts and night fears and beautiful heartbreak, would tell you otherwise. Everybody wants to be happy, nobody wants to be comfortable – or if they do they won’t admit it. Last year Will Oldham was writing songs about darkness which were streaked with happiness – now he’s writing songs about comfort which are shot through with doubt. Or maybe he’s writing the same kind of songs he always did.

But I don’t think so – it’s a long way and five years from the skeleton horrors of Arise Therefore to “Rich Wife…” with its jolly blurts of synth and rollicking chorus. The music on Oldham’s new album – country-rock, full but somehow sketchy, sometimes coasting sometimes pausing to deliver a knockout hook – reminds me of Dylan circa New Morning. Photographs of Dylan from around that time show him with babies in hand, a full belly and a full beard. It’s a look I like. Will Oldham turns thirty this year.

New Morning was scattered with roaring, happy songs, songs like the title track or “The Man In Me”, songs which let you know that finding a direction home and gathering moss wasn’t so awful after all. Reception was mixed, and reception of Oldham’s new music might be, too – there is, perversely, something recognisable and comfortable about the Caveian hauntings of “I See A Darkness” which is absent from Ease Down The Road. Writing songs as offhandedly home-loving and horny as these isn’t something indie songwriters tackle too often.

“Rich Wife…” lands on the right side of cosy and it’s the finest, firmest love song I’ve heard for a while. It isn’t blissful: “I woke up fat and almost unhappy” he sings at the end. Even the best loves aren’t perfect, but Oldham is writing songs where the “almost” beats out the “unhappy”, and that’s important.

“I woke up fat and almost unhappy
But bigger the laugh the bigger the belly
And I bellow out and the whole bed it shakes
And you smile at my laugh as it rocks you awake.”

I’ve been looking for a link to this lot

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I’ve been looking for a link to this lot for a while but I lost the bit of paper which Phil wrote the address on: Victory Gardens Records. Support your local purveyors of art-noise-fuzz. While we’re on the subject of Art, members of the Freaky Trigger Brigade will be at the ICA on Friday to get drunk and take the piss out of indie bands.

Would You Adnams And Eve It?

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Would You Adnams And Eve It?: mostly so I can use that awful pun but also to resuscitate a passed-out Publog, part one of a tour of brewery websites. This one uses a) Flash and b) local ale-drinking folk to c) boring effect. Mentions of word “real”: 4 at least. Desire for beer created in thirsty viewer: 25%. Humour: low. **.

Complimenting other men’s wives

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Complimenting other men’s wives can be a practise fraught with danger. However on this occasion I have little choice. Dan Perry – your wife rocks.

DESTINY’S CHILD – “Survivor”

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(Yes, again. You have a problem?)

(Word to contributors: I think Blogger’s great, as long as you dont mess with the window size and if you remember to CTRL-C a post before you publish it.)

What I noticed this morning: the very end of the song, where the beat falls away and Beyonce moves for a few seconds into an exhausted chorus chant punctuated by back-up commands of “Work! Work!”. It’s the only part of the song which offers any kind of – even a suggestion of – counterpoint to the positivity/strength stuff in the rest of it. You don’t for a second believe the girl will fail, but it’s an acknowledgement that it’s a hard slog. And the rhythm reminds you that she could be singing about her bandmates or her man but she could just as well be singing about aerobics, too.

Okay, never mind, I give up

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Okay, never mind, I give up — three attempts to try and edit and publish a simple announcement about how I’m proud to announce the debut of Otis Wheeler’s new column The Third Door have now failed and produced garbage. Blogger can jump off a cliff. I know when I make my similar announcement on ILM it’ll work without a hitch first time through! Gah! Reason number 343252 why I’ll never do a blog myself, for cripes’ sake…