Posts from 9th May 2002

9
May 02

POP-EYE 5/5/02

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POP-EYE 5/5/02

Well, in retrospect the earth didn’t quake, civilization did not fall and the Sugababes were only number one for a week. Now I know this all seems terribly unfair when G-G-Gareth Gates and Will Young can sew the charts up for around about eight weeks but then who ever said life was fair. And there is nothing which accurately reflects life better that the UK Top Forty Charts. (And anyway, while they were number one the Sugababes were on TV a lot — and however good the single is, the insipid attempt at a post-modern dance routine, the obvious hatred for the new ‘Babe and that bloke pretending he was playing Are Friends Electric was too much for anyone to take).

Still if we cannot have the best single of the year (go on, Focus Group coming up) we can at least have a solid replacement. Holly Valance has decided to follow the Natalie Imbruglia path to fame. From Neighbours, via a judicious cover version of an unknown foreign hit. Kiss Kiss is a great pop single — despite Valances way down in the mix weak singing. The original Turkish number is infectious and does not require an intelligible chorus to work. Equally the production buffs the whole thing up — right down to that awesome staccato middle eight. Its not rocket science, but it is the second best number one of 2002 so far. Pity poor Valance who will never have it so good again.

Next big new entry is Tweet’s Oops. Oh my, what to say that hasn’t already been said. Well how about this — its actually pretty rubbish. I had heard all these great things about it and frankly I think it’s dead bland. Not what I expected from a Missy Elliot protégé. But then I’m in a bit of a minority on that one. And feel free to have a go at my terrible preparation because I’ve not even heard the single by Shakedown — and for a change I’m not even going to offer up an uninformed and prejudiced review. Though it is probably rubbish.

Probably rubbish is what I would have said of Mary J.Blige’s new single if it had come out a year ago and I hadn’t heard it. After here last really good singles though, I was rather looking forward to the title track of her album. And No More Drama is certainly well titled, it contains none of the drama of Dance For Me or Family Affair. It’s a slice of well made but thoroughly unremarkable R’n’B — which also has halted my eagerness to sample the album.

Which brings us to Moby’s ‘We Are Made Of Stars’ — which surprisingly sags in at number eleven. Is it surprising because his last album did so well, or surprising because it’s the first Moby track in years that I have actually liked. There is something about its androgynous and almost soporific lyrics which bring Air’s ‘Sexy Boy’ to mind, as well as the more obvious eighties associations. Who know, maybe it wioll be re-released in a years time and go to number one (and I don’t think it is that good) but to show what a contrary sod I am this week, I like it.

There isn’t much else in the new releases batch which would even distract me, except maybe Tiga and Zyntherius’ ode to tossers ‘Sunglasses At Night’. Beyond that can anyone tell me why ‘In The City’ by the Jam is at 34 — and if it is anything to do with 6 Music?

What I’ve been doing today

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What I’ve been doing today: downloading tracks for the sixth Freaky Trigger Focus Group. A slimmed-down affair this time, with only 29 songs, but still the usual struggles to find half the tracks – and then to find the correct mixes of half of those. The horrors witnessed include:

– A ‘dance mix’ of Enrique Inglesias’ “Hero” (actually much better than the original)
– A ‘TV Mix’ of Shakira with acoustic guitar and really really mixed-high pan-pipes.
– A huge long mix of “Gotta Get Through This” with some kind of whale noise.
– The original mix of ‘Ain’t It Funny’ which sounds like the Cranberries and nothing like the Ja Rule version (I eventually gave up on finding that one at all and put Mystikal in instead.)
– A ‘hero mix’ of Enrique Inglesias which mixes a weepy performance of the song with 9/11 heroic firefighter news bulletins. This is the worst thing I have ever in my life endured.

Queen classic named all-time favourite single

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Queen classic named all-time favourite single – yeah yeah whatever, but look what’s at No.8! What curious persistence!

Pubs aren’t the natural home for innovation.

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Pubs aren’t the natural home for innovation. They are by their very nature traditional, even new chains and so called female friendly pub bars are loathe to break with the basic nuts and bolts facade of a pub. You go in, you buy your drink, you drink it. Table service – as mentioned before – is not natural in a pub. It is almost a compact with the bar staff – I’ll do half the work, in this case the fetching and carrying, and you do the pouring. Perhaps this is one of the secrets of a decent pub atmosphere, there isn’t a master/servant relationship between staff and customer. As we know from restaurants much of the time of the waiting staff is spent trying to be superior to the customer. These tensions arrive a lot less often in a pub.

So any break in tradition should be viewed with at least a degree of healthy suspicion. Self service beer taps – as tried in Yo Below for instance – they are a nice novelty but since they come with the idea of paying at the end of the night they return us to the bill paying culture. The idea of beer bottle vending machines have been mooted, would reduce queues at the bar and the chilling would always be perfect. However they may be prone to breaking, not to mention the head when the bottle was (auto opened) by the machine.

Equally hexagonal picnic tables in pub gardens. These near circular affairs manage to happily seat six to nine punters, but firmly belong in natural trust nature reserves, not in pub gardens. There is only one kind of table suitable for a pub garden, and that is the classic tiered picnic table. Slatting available for beer spilling accidents later, hole in the middle for largely needless and ineffectual parasol. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feeling.

IHM CRIMINAL LYRIC WATCH

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IHM CRIMINAL LYRIC WATCH

Def Leppard Animal
And I want, and I need, and I love Animals

Now Im no lawyer but surely this should have tipped the wink to the Sheffield Police as to who had been buggering all those badgers on the outside of Rotherham in 1987. It couldnt be more explicit if Joe Elliot said I suppose a little Brocks out of the question.