Posts from December 2002
In 2002, nothing much happened. Again. Those fans and writers who like to plot pop history in eleven- or thirteen- or eight-year cycles were once more left looking like cultists, forever trudging up hills in search of an end of the world that never comes. Wishing for a new world may be more sympathetic than longing for apocalypse, of course, but the truth is we’re stuck with the one we’ve got.
Marianne Faithful-Love in the afternoon
There are songs that seduce by raw power. Fuck me now back against the wall yowlings. They are fun enough, but often not very good, and often I think easier to write.
Then they are songs like this, songs that seduce by subterfuge. It starts with a disco beat, and then her speaks-soft growl, a description of the environment, a snaky bass line. Then a come on- ‘…lets make love again we have time/I am yours; you are mine…’
So it’s a conventional love song, right? Then an electronic foreboding that foreshadows something darker. This is where the piano emerges and she warns him not to fall in love with her- how can you not fall in love with Marianne Faithful? She has a divine gift. There is mention of basic details, zipping her dress in the dark, finding her shoes.; she mentions a husband and children and everything changes.
More drums in the third verse, she has stayed too late, and he loves and she doesn’t mind. The last line “thanks for loving me call you tonight” are followed by a brief coda of strings and keyboards, a lonely and desolate wasteland that expresses perfectly the problems of being caught between desire and duty.
Download This! (2002) – 80 to 61: hooray, back at home so part two of my end-of-year round-up can go up. Must dash, more soon.
I know! I know I’ve made some massive claims for this record just about everywhere, not least on The Compass and ILM. But lets get less personal on this bitch and more musical. It strikes me now that So Much Love To Give actually sounds like when a DJ leaves the box and leaves something looping and the whole night is over but kind of jars and stays alive for an extra 3 minutes. It’s kind of a real blurry dream sequence thing, and of the two times I have heard this record out in a club one of them really worked in this way. Jon Carter, November 2nd, he’s a DJ who really does avoid the hooks and just fire it out, something which means he’s a real fanbase DJ. A DJ most people get to like by seeing him at a festival or randomly 3 times and realising he blew the place up each time. Anyway this particular night I think he played harder than ever, Phil Kieran’s My House Is Your House, the poppiest tune was Underworld-Rez/Cowgirl (nice!) and then after all this really crazed banging stuff he just dropped So Much Love To Give. About 2 hours of dance energy just dissipates into love ricocheting around the room, it really is just a fucking pendulum effect, a record that’s the background music while you take stock of the myriad of shit around you which made you have a wicked night out.
Lets hope that Basement Jaxx never bother releasing a “regular” single. I suppose you can dance regularly to Acid Love but it really begs for you to jump up and down like a 4 year old at a Christmas party. In fact a mate of mine deserves credit for saying it sounds like acid house teletubbies. A minimal beat somewhere in the background and some jaunty acid growls which build but never explode anthem style. But even as fucked up and weird as Acid Love is, it’s still more dirty club and less pop than the usual Jaxx release. (Note: they may feel they have licence to do this because it’s been released under the name of their label “Atlantic Jaxx”)
It’s strange to hear an acid house track which is so quietly groovy and doesn’t go off in your face at some stage. Instead it’s just skipping hopping playground house from start to finish with a late entry for lyric of the year; “I’ve got acid, in my brain. I don’t need, no cocaine, I need you, aaaaaaaaaaah acid love, aaaaaaaaaaah acid love”. In the unlikely event of Acid Love becoming a single, lets hope the boys do a Happy Mondays style video with schoolchildren.
The way that you can tell whether a pop song will last is how it interacts with an every day environment. If you find yourself hearing it in the mall shopping, or waiting for the doctor and think-I like that, it works.
I like the new Madonna single, but was worried that it wasn’t a pop song, using those criteria.
I was worried because it didn’t fit with the bond girl genre, because it shredded the tropes she was working with to shreds, it had too many allusions and it was too clever.
GONG!: So Neil Strauss wants you to believe that “the musical taste of the [United States] seems to have changed.” He supports this claim by listing all of the albums to have held the top position of the Billboard album charts in 2002. This list includes baby-faced noobs like Creed, Dave Matthews Band, Eminem, Shania Twain, Santana, and Faith Hill. A little bit of research shows the kind of straw Mr. Strauss used in fashioning his anti-pop Frankenstein. (Pssst – it’s the same straw pro-pop mad scientists use, when they’re not building with reinforced concrete and good ol’ American iron.) If you’ve got pitchforks & torches handy, feel free to riot over here.
Usually it takes me more then an hour to flee from the realtions banality into my own music, this year its exactly 34 minutes and I’m downstairs listening to the sex pistols. I blame it on a mix of popera and kenny g.
UK Garage Highs’n’Lows of 2002 – from RWD magazine.
Freaky Trigger’s 2002 Party finally kicks off with my vague ideas on the year in summary and my rather more specific list of my favourite 101 tracks this year – or the first 21, at least. Caution: this list is not definitive and does not pretend to be – I’ve already heard about 5 things that should have been there!