Posts from 13th May 2002

13
May 02

The Sixth Freaky Trigger Pop Music Focus Group

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The Sixth Freaky Trigger Pop Music Focus Group – here’s the ballot! Open to all comers (almost) – closing date for responses 9th June.

It must have seemed such a good idea:

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It must have seemed such a good idea: “I know! How about a TV show in which we get bands on to play one of their own songs and then a cover version of their choice!” You see — their choice, BBC choice — it all makes a horrible twisted sense. So this week we got Doves doing a note-for-note Smiths homage (Please please please let me get my license fee back, this time…); Liberty X doing Radiohead no favours (High and watching paint dry); and worst of all, Vines vs Outkast.

When “Mrs Jackson” was in the charts, there was much speculation amongst various folk associated with NYPLM as to the horror that would be wreaked across the globe when the song reached the karaoke CD. Inspired by the wholly plausible near-impossibility of karaoke-Eminem, we wondered what would happen when someone forgot that there weren’t just nice singing bits in the song, but horrendously fast rapping too… Well, Vines have shown us the result. They turn Mrs Jackson into a generic hybrid indie-lite, pitched midway between Ride and Nirvana. They leave the chorus intact and — erm, well they forget about the rest of the song (all those words, so fast you see, you can’t put any emotion into it…). All hammered out of a plodding rythmn section that made Liberty X sound funky, and even left atrocious presenter Dermot O’Leary looking positively competent.

I don’t know what lesson we draw from this: but I felt a definite undercurrent of something shameful swelling across the TV studio. Whether it’s the casual assumption by the Vines that they could do this too; or that the song would have any kind of impact stripped down to its ‘proper’ song-structure, without all that fancy psychedelic metal machine music going on in the background, and certainly without that shouty bloke; or… well, I just don’t know. Have a look at the video clip when it goes up on the site at some point in the next week, and marvel. And then weep. Oh Gods, what have we wrought?