Posts from May 2001

24
May 01

Happy Birthday Bob

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Happy Birthday Bob: Tanya has a special tribute.

BOB DYLAN LYRIC WATCH – “Sara”

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BOB DYLAN LYRIC WATCH – “Sara”
Now the beach is deserted
Except for some kelp
And a piece of an old ship
That lies on the shore
You always responded
When I needed your help

Hold on! Can you spot, O readers, where the Greatest Pop Poet Of The Twentieth Century gets a tiny bit desperate for a rhyme? Better than Keats? Not even up to Ronan bleedin’ Keating on this evidence!

Pubs and the sun.

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Pubs and the sun. After all, this is England, we don’t get the sun very often, so when we do we like to – in the words of the immortal Sunkist advert (which obviously did not work since you cannot buy said drink any more on these isle) “Drink in The Sun”. The pub is one of the few properties where it is a positive advantage to be North facing – estate agents beware. No point getting bundles of sun in the morning when you are shut. Instead get your trestle tables out for the last few hours of sun and watch your lager and lime swilling customers go pink.

Central London is not overly graced with pubs which work in the summertime. There aren’t an awful lot of pub gardens in WC1, and those that exist (say The Lamb on Lambs Conduit Street) put the word “garden” into sharp relief. Instead we get the on street seating, picnic tables and the leaning on the outside with a pint. This is the British version of cafe society, and much more uncomfortable and edgy it is too.

That said, last night I enjoyed one of the best outdoor drinking pubs in the centre – and one of the stupidest. The Queen’s Larder on Cosmo Place is next to the beautifully in bloom Queen’s Square and whilst south facing it gets a good amount of afternoon sun. The summer is their best time for the Larder as by putting eight picnic tables out they increase their capacity by 400% – tis a little pub. A few beers later, and a Cider Lolly (which if I was allowed a sherry shot would have been the first Armadillo lolly) we wandered down to Lambs Conduit Street to what used to be Finnegans Wake. A lousy Irish conversion of an equally lousy pub beforehand (The Sun in times past). Now it has made another transformation into the Perseverance – a sort of chain answer to a Gastropub. They have Strawberry Soup on the menu – what more do you need to know.

So why Finnegans Wake/Perseverance. Well I knew that it was north facing and would be nicely taking in the rays about fiveish. So we rock up, and yes the pub does indeed have a number of tables outside. However through some foolishness they have placed all their tables in the shade. Finnegans Wake was a rubbish pub, The Perseverance – on this effort – does not appear to have made any improvements.

On Anon

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I must have done something really bad in a past life (or maybe in this life) as tonight I have to go to On Anon. As is always the case with having to go to dire places, it’s a work do. I have been there once before, on a family do. The bouncer almost refused me entry on the grounds that I was wearing trainers, but I managed to convince him they were in fact mules (bouncers know very little about ladies’ footwear, it would appear).

I lived to regret my powers of persuasion once inside. It is truly horrid. And its horridness is magnified by its size, all 8 ‘bar areas’ of it. I am amazed they even manage to fill one bar area but London fools and their money are soon parted. The only good thing I can think of to say about the place is that the toilets have minimum-wage attendants with lollies, perfume etc. which is nice when you are throwing up.

I am currently compiling a range of polite reasons why I have to leave early. Suggestions gratefully received.

WEEZER – “Hash Pipe”

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WEEZER – “Hash Pipe”

You want geeky? OK then. At one point in Alan Moore and Ian Gibson’s The Ballad Of Halo Jones, the protagonist is exhausted. Her life is going nowhere, she’s fighting in a space war (this being, after all, a comic book), and her best friend’s just been killed. So she cuts her hair off, fast and badly, and when asked why she says “I felt like doing something stupid and ugly”. The line stuck with me, and now I’m reaching for it because I want to know why I’m listening to Weezer’s “Hash Pipe”, and the answer is that I feel like hearing something stupid and ugly.

“Hash Pipe” is an unevolved lump of a song – a riff and a hook and a harmony: one each, all textbook desultory and dumb. This isn’t magnificent Bangsian fuzz-primitivism, though, this is just the bare blocky minimum of effort, power-pop with all the wires cut. Listening to it is like kissing a housebrick. Stupid and ugly. I like it. This is as near, I think, as repressed English old me is going to come to the beer-chugging, bird-flipping release of frat rock, and with a thirteen-hour sleep debt I could do with a bit of release, thankyou.

I know very litle about the whole Weezer thing. I know their last album was meant to be emotional and brilliant, and this one is meant to be a stunted sell-out. Well, I heard some of those emotional songs, and they were OK you know but I just don’t have the energy to empathise any more: I’ve had enough of emotion for today, cheers. The granite comtempt of “Hash Pipe” asks for nothing and gives nothing back, and that’s how I like it. You’ve got your problems: I’ve got my web site.

BOB DYLAN – Anagram Corner

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BOB DYLAN – Anagram Corner

Bob Dylan = Bland Boy.

BOB DYLAN – The Never Ending Tour

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BOB DYLAN – The Never Ending Tour

Happy Birthday Bob. No, really. I mean it. Whatever you say, sixty is a milestone that a lot of musicians don’t make. Look at Lennon. People think he is more of a genius than you. Why? Because he’s dead. Whereas you just trundle along like some insane breeding experiment between a man and a squeezebox on your never ending tour.

The idea of a never ending tour may – to the average music fan (ie simpleton) be a jolly good one. After all Bob gets to wheel out his atonal prose poems to all of his tone deaf monkey-like fans. But when you look into it there is something much more sinister going on. What would drive a man who is to all intents and purposes even grumpier than Van Morrison to keep moving on? Surely not love of his fans. So what can it be?

Perhaps it is a gypsy curse. That said even the most uinluckiest of Romany baiters in the world surely could not be cursed three times in their life. (Curses one and two being that voice, and that voice again). It is quite possible that he has been inhabited by the Wandering Jew of legend – which is kind of scuppered when you consider Bob was born again a couple of years ago – but maybe the Wandering Jew of legend felt that his curse was linked too directly to his religion. And its got to be said the Wandering Born Again Christian of Legend certainly does not have the same ring. Perhaps Bob is merely trying to break a Guinness world record for the longest tour, the most venues played, the most peoples ears destroy by his catawaulling. All these are possible.

However I think I have it. It is well known that both the CIA and the FBI held detailed files on Dylan from his arrival on the scene. The CIA in particular were very interested in the military applications of such a bad singing voice. Nevertheless it is clear that the relationship soured some time in the late eighties (when Bob was really into painting his own album covers). Therefore a number of deserved charges were laid upon Mr Dylan, mostly for breach of the peace but one at least for stretching a metaphor too far (Lily, Rosemary and The Jack Of Hearts). So the Never-Ending Tour is merely Dylan on the run from the Feds. For a crime he quite obviously did commit.

At least at sixty he gets a free bus pass – which will make his slow trundling evasion of the pop branch of the FBI easier.

23
May 01

We’re whoring for BBC Online today

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We’re whoring for BBC Online today – as the proof finally comes in that Napster and mp3’s are destroying the music industy. Oh, but the proof is that record sales have gone up. Ooops. Whilst record sales have been down for a while this reversal of a trend must mean something. I think it might mean we have had better pop music this year – though I’ll take the notion that if the increases come from the dull, slow-moving Tripod that is Eva Cassidy, Dido and David Grey then all might not be well with the world.

As another note on the Radiohead vs DJ Pied Piper battle – man that DJ Pied Piper single is a lazy piece of half-arsed garage. Which is why it sounds so damn good in the sun. “Do you really like it, is it really wicked….” I thought nobody used the word wicked any more. Which makes using it in itself thorough wicked.

You’ll be seeing this link in a few places

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You’ll be seeing this link in a few places: Pitchfork sluts for hits and gets Brent DiCrezcenzo to review Tool’s record. I’m linking to it because I think it’s funny (ha ha). My current despair at the very notion of ever writing a useful record review should possibly be taken into account.

Radiohead on for biggest chart hit

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Radiohead on for biggest chart hit: i.e. No.2, behind DJ Pied Piper whose single is called, perhaps aptly, “Do You Really Like It?” Good old BBC Online and their nose for a crucial entertainment story.