Posts from 4th February 2002

4
Feb 02

Hear’Say accused of ‘beardism’

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Hear’Say accused of ‘beardism’: apparently in their search for a replacement for Kym Marsh Hear’Say have been turning away people with beards. They have now been accused of beardism by the Beard Liberation Front. To fans of the ‘return of rock’ I say only this: you don’t get this kind of story when the Cooper Temple Clause go looking for a new drummer.

Pub adverts

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Pub adverts. As an integral part of the pub experience is drinking, it follows on logically that so is GOING FOR A WEE. In your favourite pub, you get to know the toilet as well as you know your favourite table and old mang regular. For example, the toilets in The Rising Sun (actually this is now not a favourite due to tardy barstaff not tidying used glasses away from the bar for HOURS and also the repeated playing of some godawful grungeish album upon last visit) always have adverts for a free backrub HEM HEM somewhere in the Warren Street vicinity and ALSO an advert for a womangs sexual health clinic god knows where as I am perfectly acceptable in those areas…. anyway less of ‘bits’ and more of BOGS.

Other popular adverts include SCOOTERMANG. Of course I have now memorised the advert, analysed in depth in my own head their choice of typography – especially the vaguely ‘retro enough to be modern’ font but most often – annoy myself by debating the criterion of a pub which gets Scootermang advertising revenue. First of all, a) the clientele need to be rich enough to have a car and b) be stupid enough to drive it in central London. So implicitly, the presence of these adverts implies that the clientele must be loaded and dumb. NICE ONE you think in your drunken haze, I will pull myself a rich new husband! Off you stagger down the twisty stairs, passing the TOFFEE LIQEUR ADVERT WHICH I HAVE NEVAH SEEN IN A SHOP EVAH, and what do you see? Your bloody MATES hanging about talking about dinosaurs vs robots, or something. FOILED! The advert is not true to its demographic! SURELY THIS MEANS CLASS WAR.

However, I’m forgetting at this point that by this time in the evening (the semiology of bog adverts ahem) that I am as pissed as a fart, so off I go and start shouting that the robots could be killed a lot easier in a freak electrical storm ESPECIALLY the perils of WATER + ELECTRICKAL STORM and it’s so easy to short them out and dinosaurs are like.. organic… what? My round? Take some money and go to the bar, mine’s a toffee liquer. YAY FOR ADVERTS!

POP-EYE 3/2/02

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POP-EYE 3/2/02

Oh pity the poor Pop-eye writer in the first three months of the year. No chart stability, a deluge of faceless no-mark new entries slapping in the top ten making the column long (and certainly longer the new NYLPM enforced limit of 500 words). So it is with a weary air I take the chart baton from Ewing and over to the Radio One chart page.

Hold up. Surely that’s last week charts. That darn BBCi, supposedly the most looked at UK website has yet again shown what fools and monkeys the BBC employs (unless they want people to slag of David Bowie). Closer inspection reveals however that Pink is again at number two and Puretone at number five. Maybe this is chart is two weeks oldt. Off I fire a cheeky e-mail to the Radio One webmaster telling them of their very embarressing error. And I get this reply almost instantly.

[[Dear Mr Baran.
Your eyes do not deceive you and we have not made an error. If you look closely there is a new entry at Number 13. But alas, unlike the last four years (not including Christmas / New Year) there are none in the top ten. I suggest you complain to the record companies for allowing such a weak song as Enrique Iglesais’ Hero to remain at number one. By the way, that thing you also mentioned in your e-mail about Mark Goodier’s arse would get you in very serious trouble with the Net Crimes Squad if you ever repeat it in public. However it is true.]]

So Pink goes back up to number two – denied again. Puretone go back up to five. Britney even gets an extra point. What is going on? Well it would appear that record companies just did not have last week on their release schedules. Bit of a pity therefore that the highest new entry did not go in higher than thirteen. In the year of the flute, I would have expected Mary J.Blige to do better with Dance For Me. Indeed I would have thought using a piccolo would have made it go even higher (relative pitch of instrument joke – cheers). I have never really cared for Blige in the past, filing her under dull diva status. But this and Family Affair have both impressed me. If Peter Jackson had not decided on dodgy Irish fiddling for Bilbo’s party in Lord Of The Rings he could have done a lot worse than this track.

And then to twenty (twenty! – last time I did Pop-Eye I gave up at twenty) for the Cooper Temple Clause. And it is nice to see that it is not just Johnny America who can make noisy records. Its not so nice to see that Johnny England makes pretty lousy noisy records though. It uses British Indie single rule number one of “not being about traditional pop song subjects”, and is also a double A side. I’ve not heard the AA side (British Indie Single Rule 2 is the AA side) but on the strength of the Film Maker I cannot say I am holding my breath. Still maybe we are better off having homegrown to the excesses of Jimmy Eat World – yet more emo which is pushing its handcart in the UK and getting stuck in the Dave Matthews Creek. Of shit.

De Nada? Okay, I won’t mention it then.

Which remains some grubbing around the 40-30 range for anything else of note. There is an oddly anonymous cover of Alisson Willliams’ Sleep Talk bobbling around. It took me about fifteen minutes to recall the original – and that was after hearing the ATFC version. The Dutch Dub of What Ya Got 4 Me is equally merely interesting for being in the charts finally. I am never quite sure why it takes records like this two years to reach the shops. Certainly there may be the question if anyone wants to own it but DJ’s – and surely after two years ever DJ who would ever want to play it will have it.

Which finally brings us to Mull Historical Society (no – not that one) using British Indie Single Rule 1. Watching Xanadu unfortunately is not about Colin McIntyre watching the roller disco Olivia Newton-John movie of the same name. It is also operating under Scottish Indie Single Rule 1: be twee. Luckily it is not slow twee, but for all the goodwill it garners for being upbeat it loses with its stab at deep lyrics. Still they are at least lucky that they are being mentioned. Usually number 36 is well out of the running. Hopefully the entire record industry will come back from its ski-ing holiday and release some records next week. After all, we wouldn’t want to have to tell that story about Mark Goodier’s arse.

PAVEMENT — ‘We Dance’

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PAVEMENT — ‘We Dance’

My birthday was this past Saturday. I actually woke up around my official birthtime (7:34 AM EST) to the sound of my alarm clock bleating spitefully at me — ‘You moron, why’d you set your alarm clock for 7:30 on a SATURDAY?’ Hint duly noted, I smacked the power switch to the OFF position, fell back onto the bed with a squeaky thump, and threw the covers back over me. When I woke up later that morning (OK, afternoon), this song was in my head — I sang it as I got dressed, freshened up, prepared to trudge downstairs for some breakfast (OK, lunch).

‘Pick out some Brazilian nuts for your engagement,’ Mr. Malkmus suggests. ‘Check that expiration date, man; it’s later than you think.’ As with most random thoughts or phrases, significant meanings can be found if you look hard enough. Yeah, sing a song of praise for your elders — they’re in the back. Or they’re right here, getting older every waking moment, the days and months and years gaining ground, turning straight numbers crooked, pinching skin and nerves, slowly letting out the sand.

When you hear a song, you can try and figure out what the singer had in mind, or you can simply disregard the intended meaning and find your own space inside it. Here, I see a guy and a girl in a gym or an Elks Lodge (not unlike a dance I attended back in 8th grade, in 1990 — oh, crap). He’s wearing the powder-blue tuxedo with the ruffled shirt; she wears a cream-colored pleated dress, and a fake flower tied in her hair. They’re on opposite sides of the room, alone. They’re not conventionally pretty, but, then, who is? They see each other, in the darkness, eyes twinkling beneath the turning glass ball as couples idly sway in each other’s arms. They see each other, and think, ‘Maybe we can dance, maybe we can dance…’ But they don’t get up, they don’t wave or smile or say anything, and the distance between them grows, until they’re lost to each other in the dimmed lights, the circles of couples crossing in front of them, the langorous rotation of the ball sprinkling light on the floor. Together, together, together’