Posts from May 2002
The Ring lives! I haven’t yet been in, but it’s still called The Ring and it still seems to be a pub, notwithstanding the repacement of the threadbare carpet with what appears to be hardwood flooring. The boxing pictures remain also. More news when I have the time to drop in for a swift half. This appears to be a rare piece of good news on a par with the re-opening of the Wheatsheaf by Borough Market.
The Green Man by Bethnal Green tube station (latterly an extremely run-down but very friendly pub) appears to be lost to us, my friends. Maybe it will re-open as the classic boozer it certainly could be. Fingers crossed.
10 things of recent vintage that i’ve been listening to:
conway – “lisa’s got hives” (from here)
rap-rock that won’t appeal to rap-rock fans — too much estrogen, too much, well, fun. it seems to me that the best mash-ups are those that wouldn’t appeal to the constituencies of either (or any) of the bootlegged artists.
dj shatterglass – without m (from here)
here’s an exception. if eminem fans could swallow the discoid original, i couldn’t see them having problem with, gasp, “pop muzik.” m fans are far less forgiving. if eminem didn’t already have enough worries with the bootlegging, his “without me” is quickly becoming one of the most mashed-up tunes ever. this one is damn fine, though it could use more bass in the mix.
nelly – “hot in here” (single, from nellyville lp)
standard issue neptunes track, perhaps a bit more steely dan than recent work. saved from being as mediocre as nsync’s “girlfriend” — a song that not even nelly could salvage on the remix — by virtue of nelly being nelly, and not, say, joey fatone. the force of his personality and his inexhaustible array of hooks are what ultimately make this a great single, suggesting that, like education, the neptunes productions are only as good as what one puts into it.
outkast – “land of a million drums” (single, from, i shit you not, scooby-doo ost lp)
just about the most peculiar artist/film tie-in since hammer and the addams family. bypass the references to the mystery machine and scooby snacks and you have another left-field outkast track, a song that lives up to its title as much as “bombs over baghdad,” “so fresh so clean,” or “southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.”
the jamie starr scenario, “welcome to thee lite” (12″ single)
jamie starr, for those unaware, was the alias under which prince wrote and produced for the time. the name seems to be an acknowledgement of his influence more than anything else as this song sounds little like prince (or the time, for that matter), except that the scenario seem to own the same equipment he was using in 1982. instead, it falls somewhere between daft punk’s discovery and the nu-electro of artists like felix da housecat and miss kittin and the hackers. nothing but a synth riff repeating over a sequencer and synth drums, but, baby, does it sparkle.
primal scream, “miss lucifer” (single, from evil heat or whatever they’ve decided to call it)
rest easy, kids. stop confounding your friends and family with your speech because, by the looks of things, vowels are okay again. bobby g. has seemingly taken all of his hostility towards the inherent fascism of the latin alphabet and funneled it into this booty-shaking single. futuristic garage rock, but it’s not garage and it’s not rock — the archtype for the new album appears to be their cover of the third bardo’s “i’m five years ahead of my time.” though i imagine there are more infuriating tactics to come with the album and its marketing, for now i have difficulty hating a single with a chorus of “shake it baby,” sung in a mick jagger falsetto shriek. a return to the simplicity of give out but don’t give up is surely welcome at this juncture.
tom waits, “i’m still here” (from alice lp)
“you haven’t looked at me that way in years,” rasps ol’ tom on this is a lovely ballad of weary, ragged devotion from, imo, his best lp since the black rider. the voice is getting worse, but if anything, he’s becoming a better actor as the years go by, putting over nearly everything he applies that pneumatic wheeze to.
the rapture, “the house of jealous lovers” (12″ single)
sort of like a more disco gang of four, without the politics. ooh! even better! like wildbunch and jack white’s “danger! high voltage”, but not quite as good.
the vines, “mary jane” (from highly evolved lp)
highly-touted aussie youngsters the vines are noted for their rocking-out, but it’s the slowies that make the album a keeper as far as i’m concerned. they all share this air of pastoral contentment: they’re swaying lullabies for hot summer nights — soporific, if only that word held positive connotations. epic rock ballads, but not in the course of nature/chad kroeger & josey scott sense — i guess it’s a bit like radiohead ca. the bends but warmer with lush, elton-john style backing vox. like most young boys who are scared to show their sensitive side, they rocked out on the ending at their new york debut, a show that brought out the rock press big-shots (and nikolai stroke!)
bryan ferry, “i thought” (from frantic lp)
it’s been, what, 30 years since the last ferry/eno composition? it’s been time well spent by both: on the first two roxy albums, it was the contrast between the two egos and the conflict between their styles that forged the vitality of those records; now, they seem to be on the same page and the results could hardly be more engaging. the gathering storm of keyboards and effects amounts to nothing but a delicate spring rain over ferry’s eternal croon, ending the record on a high and with the hope that the two won’t be strangers in the future.
The return of a popular feature! (No, not DUEL! That’s back tomorrow). I’ve found some more CDs I want to see the back of. They’ll be posted up on Alan’s Music Swap Shop tomorrow.
DAVID SYLVIAN – Dead Bees On A Cake: comeback album by mannered art-popster. Inspired by oriental philosophies as if you couldn’t guess.
BILLY BRAGG – Back To Basics: I have another Billy Bragg album which is worse than this but it also has his best songs on. This is warm beer in plastic cups and a stale ham sandwich.
SAIAN SUPA CREW – S/T: “The French hip-hop equivalent of Jurassic 5”, it actually says on the sleeve and still I bought it.
SKULL KONTROL – Deviate Beyond All Means Of Capture: rowdy US post-hardcore something. Not awful but I never listen to it and I hate the cover now.
THE WEDDING PRESENT – Mini: one Wedding Present record too far, even for me.
JA RULE – Rule 3:36: just really atrocious.
The RIAA can just…no, no…we won’t get into that again. So, in a completely unsurprising move (perhaps only mildly shocking in just how long it took), The RIAA have finally sued Audio Galaxy, the peoples choice in the post-Napster file sharing game. I won’t bother with the legal or technological details (the sites themselves go into them excruciatingly), but I will say that if you want any free & easy mp3s, now’s the time to get them: AG will probably be gone, perhaps 6 months from now, perhaps a week. (Yes, yes, another service will pop up in it’s place two-six months later, but hey, I’m a now now now kinda guy.)
It’s Mike Oldfields CHILLOUT ALBUM!!!!!!!!!!!! *hides in corner*
The terrorists have won. This was apparently GESTATED in the midst of a prolonged stay in Ibiza which is surely the final nail in the tacky holiday resorts coffin!!! The chillout phenomena is hideously repulsive enough as it is b-b-b-but MIKE OLDFIELD? Death warrant NOW! Oh and speaking of horror, have you seen the INDIE BOY ‘chillout’ equivalent? I talk not only of ‘Quiet Revolution’ feat Badly Dressed Twat et al, I speak of Cigarettes and Alcohol: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning – or something along those lines. Saturday Night features the aforereferenced Oasis track, Cum On Feel the Noize ect ect whilst Sunday Morning features the dulcet tones of Coldplay to recover to after your night out on the BIRDS BOOZE AND FAGS. This must END. When you’re that hungover the only thing you should be listening to is HOLLYOAKS anyway never mind this ‘music’ rubfest – you should have had enough of that down the club/pub jukebox/singsong on the way home. MUNTERS!
Suprisingly enough, I wasn’t a big fan of Jason when it came to ‘Especially For You’. It took a few years and a drunken singalong walking back along steep deserted tree lined lake district roads for that one to mature like a FINE WINE. ‘Too Many Broken Hearts in the World’, now theres ya talking. Still, he will always be known for ‘Jason and the Technicolour Dreamcoat’ as far as I’m concerned. Good to see he’s playing more gigs and you can all ‘check him out’ as they say, playing with someone (god knows who) called ‘So Solid Crews’ at Skegness Butlins. What type of a name is So Solid Crew anyway? So Solid POO more like. JASON ROOLZ and u all s uck crbp cock u weiners!
OK, now this is just really pathetic…
MICHEL’LE – “No More Lies”
I was flipping channels this morning while getting ready for work and stumbled across this 80s gem on MTV Jams. Suddenly, I was 16 years old again, dancing in the family room with dad’s stereo turned all the way up with my friends. I’d never actually seen Michel’le before; all I knew of her was that her singing voice was lower than her speaking voice (think Miss Stush on helium). Man, she was FOINE! Baby ought to thank her mama for a butt like that. (wait, that’s a different song…)
Top Ranking – the genius of Soul Jazz, by me, leading off the first proper Freaky Trigger update in a while (moving house had got me out of the swing of things, sorry). There’s also Anthony Easton’s analysis of the country music video charts, a C90Go! from Village Voice writer Michaelangelo Matos, and a Pop-Eye special by me about the unlovely Ronan Keating.
Said the XFM-presenter: ‘If Alec Empire were to remix this, the world’I don’t want to make September 11th thingies but’it would end.’. Riiiight. Now, what was the exact kind of fucking monkeys you have sitting behind the mic over there in the UK? I make the angry fist, but it’s because of Her and She’s the one who swings in the end. And murder him She does. The build-up, the precision, the change-ups, the climax and that hiss. That eeevilllll hiss. I mean, I can’t play this too often for it might make me want to do stuff (Oops! It’s on repeat’;-). At the very least She’ll scare you right off the floor, it’s that offensive.
Then it’s over to The Prodigy’s “Baby’s Got A Temper” and with that I may have already found my worst single of the year. Jesus, what a dirge! The clownesque synthloop fits Keiff for all the wrong reasons and besides that novelty their choon hasn’t changed a goddamned bit. Rohypnol, my ass. Coming soon to a schooldisco near you. Makes me want to finish the bottle before it hits rotation of any kind.