Posts from 10th July 2002

Jul 02

THICKE – “When I Get You Alone”

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THICKE – “When I Get You Alone”
if there’s one name in rock that deserves to be delivered with caps lock on, it’s ANDREW W.K; about two car-lengths behind is THICKE. the emergence of this young singer confirms what many of us have long suspected, not to mention feared: alan thicke has been breeding again, and within the last twenty or so years.

like his old man, robin thicke is a practitioner of the songwriting craft, but whereas alan confined himself to the television theme song genre (diff’rent strokes, facts of life, wheel of fortune), robin has joined the growing ranks of pop/r&b artists. many people would try to conceal the fact that they’re the son of the guy who sang the theme to 1973’s ill-fated wizard of odds, but robin obviously revels in it. there is something unspeakably crapulent about the name THICKE in all capitals: perhaps it’s the monolithic excess it represents, or maybe because it calls to mind alan’s one-man off-broadway stage show, THICKE!, which was riddled with difficulties from day one. then again, maybe it’s just an american bias as it seems to be the very symbol of the canadians’ successful assimilation into our society, how they pass themselves off as one of us, conspire to steal our women, and monopolize our theme song industry.

the sins of the father, as they say, should not be revisited upon the son: robin has a song, and it’s not half bad at all. sure, kid rapper a+ beat him to the punch with the sample of “fifth of beethoven,” but robin uses it far more creatively and extensively. vocally, he falls somewhere in between justin timberlake and bobby brown; he places similarly on the freak scale, the lyrics making coy mention of putting one’s (preferably female) toys (e.g. a vibrator) away for the evening. what’s most disconcerting about the track, lineage notwithstanding, is the way the backing vocals and strings and synths create a wall of sound akin to michael jackson’s “thriller,” so it’s not so much “when i get you alone,” but “when i get you backed into a corner in this here dark alley.” anyone who’s seen the “thriller” video, and that means you, knows that that’s no way to get ola ray into bed –then again, michael jackson’s pops wasn’t the dad in growing pains.

Back At The RIAA

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Back At The RIAA: Sometime last week, I meant to subject you folks to some shameless self-promotion regarding an essay of mine (clicky clicky) published by those lovable, open-minded guys & gal at Pitchfork. (By the way, the phrase “six to eight teams” should NOT contain any dashes, thanks.) However, I soon found out that most of the points I made in my essay (about the RIAA & the FMC & other organizations completely approaching the peer-to-peer file-sharing problem from every angle but the smart one) are also made in this lengthier, and better, essay (written by Janis Ian). More facts and figures, more knowledge (from someone IN the industry), and a whole boatload of sense:

If you think about it, the music industry should be rejoicing at this new technological advance! Here’s a fool-proof way to deliver music to millions who might otherwise never purchase a CD in a store. The cross-marketing opportunities are unbelievable. It’s instantaneous, costs are minimal, shipping non-existant — a staggering vehicle for higher earnings and lower costs. Instead, they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off, bleeding on everyone and making no sense.

Gloriously bizarre article

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Gloriously bizarre article from Stylus Magazine which starts from the premise that dance music journalism is marred by its obsessive reliance on football metaphors. Nowhere in the piece does the writer suggest how dance music should be written about, other than an acknowledgement that dance music is the “infinite game” that transcends materialism and the death-urge (I may have misunderstood this part). Summaries on an e-postcard please…


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“Take a look at my girlfriend – she’s the only one I got,
Not much a girlfriend – we never seem to get along”

Now I’m no relationship counsellor but I think I can see why you – Mr Trampus Trampus Superior might not be gelling with your main squeeze. Acknowledging casually in a rubbish mid-seventies soft rock style that your girlfriend isn’t up to much is a sure fire way for her to cool her jets with you. And talking about jets, the whole premise of this flimsy song is that you want to dump said girl to go ogling the girls in California. For breakfast. But let us examine the flight schedules of all major airlines. You see it takes about nine hours to fly from the UK to California. However California is seven hours behind the UK in time difference. So to arrive for breakfast, the raison (bran) d’etre of the song you would have to leave at about breakfast time in the UK. However for the individual flying, it would actually be dinner-time by their internal clock – hence any meal taken would personally be dinner, whether or not it was being served in the morning. Not only am I being logical here (as the band would approve in the somewhat illogical Logical Song) but I’m Bloody Well Right too.

Perhaps this song was equally written under the influence of jet-lag. It can easily disorientate a person, leaving them confused, nauseous and on the strength of Supertramp’s output wholly robbing you of any musical talent. That said – it is nothing compared to being snuck up to in a dark alleyway (Californain or not) and being lead piping lagged.

I wonder why the music industry had never thought of this before

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I wonder why the music industry had never thought of this before. If you don’t want people pirating Eminem then put out loads of bogus Eminem files on the web. It certainly comes under the definition of fighting fire with fire. Even better than making files that don’t work is making files that do and either fill them with Wierd Al Yankovic doing an Eminem piss-take or some old Bobby Vincent track. Why not get creative after all? Imagine waiting for ages on a dial-up just to find out that the file you were after has turned into a track by Peter, Paul & Mary….

Just an addendum of the pub history stuff,

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Just an addendum of the pub history stuff, I walked past the board outside the Bull & Mouth on New Oxford Street last night which has a detailed history of the pub and its name. The only part of this it that really interests me is at the end. The pub itself is a bog standard T&J Bernard hostelry, overpriced but okay – its tables are crammed in a nice way and it knows how to suck a tourist in from the hotel next door. Still its history explains its somewhat unusual name, leaving in the tantalizing tit-bit that the pub changed its name in 1982 to The Falkland Arms. It changed back in 2000.

The name the Bull & Mouth is more interesting I suppose and ties into a long more illustrious history. But when I first drunk there it was The Falkland Arms and whilst it’s obvious why the name was changed I’m a little bit sad it was changed back. There are plenty of pubs called The Trafalgar still knocking about after all, and this is the way pubs actually document history.

No More Moby!: Why on earth is he so popular?

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No More Moby!: Why on earth is he so popular?: A Slate writer seems to believe it is APE LAW that all music must rock, and with that, a promising anti-Moby rant turns to dog food.

OK, once more, with feeling — the antirockist position in a form that even a Clinton speechwriter might be able to understand: a musicworld where spontaneity, surprise and shock is a mandate rather than an option is a fucking oppressive one, like something out of a Firesign Theater future shock scenario. It’s also not very “rock,” either.