Posts from 10th June 2001

10
Jun 01

JENNIFER LOPEZ — ‘Play’

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JENNIFER LOPEZ — ‘Play’

When Madonna asks the DJ to put a record on (so she can dance with her bay-bay), it’s a congenial request from a music fan to get this party started right. No pressure, no stress — just a girl looking at a boy, waiting for a good song. When J. Lo ‘asks’ for a request, though, it’s after sitting around all freakin’ day, waiting, waiting, anticipay-ay-ting. You know, when someone’s really insistent on something — say, a friend, or (better yet) a co-worker that thinks they’re your friend? They start pestering you again & again & again, wanting you to do them a favor yesterday? You get annoyed, right? Like, for instance, if a friend (or that damn co-worker) at a party you’re throwing REALLY wants to hear ‘Unbroken Chain’ by the Grateful Dead, but you know better than to do that. Stupid Deadheads. Well, eventually, when you’re not looking, or you’re relaxing, or you’re out getting some Taco Bell, that friend is going to put on ‘Unbroken Chain’. And they’re going to turn it up. And they’re going to make Phil Lesh sound like Mariah Carey, the way they’re moaning & groaning & mewling. And you had better hope you’re not home when this happens, unless you like this sort of pain.

I mean, it’s bad enough that the song J. Lo wants on as she dryhumps the bass amp seems to be a bloop-happy ‘Music’ knock-off with the guitar lick from Prince’s ‘Kiss’ thrown in for bad measure. But when J. Lo starts cussing at the DJ to play her motherf***in’ song, just so she can get her schwerve on with some non-Puff diddy, I hold out hope that the bouncers will grab Ms. Lopez and deposit her slimmed derierre back on the street so she can learn a lesson. For instance — if you make movies with a crap director and a crap script, you’ll end up with crap. Oddly enough, you end up at the same stinkhole if you make crap songs with crap producers (nice, stylish videos notwithstanding). I’ll give her some kudos for redeeming the Mecha-Christina superfro. Otherwise, I can’t say I’m too happy. She hasn’t been the same since Out of Sight. Damn it. (Where’s Steven Soderbergh when you need him?)

BELLE & SEBASTIAN – “JONATHAN DAVID”

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BELLE & SEBASTIAN – “JONATHAN DAVID”
i have a love/hate relationship with belle & sebastian, that is to say that i hate myself for loving them and i don’t know how much longer this particular arrangement can last. for the longest time, i hated belle & sebastian; for their image, mostly, and for the handful of songs i had heard. then, upon some advice, i downloaded “lazy line painter jane,” and the spark of love formed in my heart, a spark that would grow into a flame before being sussed out, and then it would begin again. i came to the conclusion (because i always have to justify things to myself) that if the smiths were scottish and not a rock band and if they spent more time staring at their navels than at their reflection in the mirror, they’d be belle & sebastian. the other night, i counted that there were exactly eleven belle & sebastian songs that i unequivocably love; the problem is that i think the remainder is mostly bilge. for every “the boy with the arab strap,” there’s a “family tree,” “belle & sebastian,” and “chickfactor.” any fan or non-fan will tell you that fold your hands was a piece of poo. i’m sorry it’s just the truth, even though “the model” is fantastic, they have something to prove with this new single.

there are two kinds of b&s songs: naively optimistic songs with acoustic guitars and naively optimistic songs with pianos. “jonathan david” falls into the latter category, sounding a bit like “seeing other people” in a minor key. when the vocals began, the true state of my condition was revealed: i learned that i have a very big problem: i discovered that i missed hearing stuart murdoch’s voice. i’ve churlishly commented that murdoch sings like his tongue is too big for his mouth and now, listening to stevie jackson (?), i find myself pining away for ol’ mushmouth who, to my great relief, provides harmony vocals. “i know you like her, well, i like her too, i know she likes you”: listening to the lyrics, it becomes clearly obvious why stuart isn’t on vocals: he’s not playing second fiddle to stevie fucking jackson (?). to fictional alistairs and ashleys, perhaps, but not to his own keyboardist. (of course, there’s always the possibility that jackson wrote it, but i like my reading better.)

it’s hard to say much more about it. it’s good belle & sebastian, you know what you’re in for and you know if it’s for you or not: 60s pop references, key changes, winding passages. what makes a b&s song special is that one part of the song you point to, the part that makes you say “ahhh” and comforts you like a warm spring evening. in “jonathan david,” it’s part of the chorus and the first time it appears is at fifty-nine seconds in, the chorus builds, the drums swell behind it and its set free with a key change. the word emphasized: “love.” as in “i love belle & sebastian.” “jonathan david” lifted the floodgates from my heart and once again my love runs wild like the river and, like the river, it shall never be tamed.

until their next shitty record.