Posts from December 2002

19
Dec 02

TONY ALLEN – Afroshite

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TONY ALLEN – Afroshite

Tony Allen is generally regarded as being one of the most innovative drummers in the world. Now of course I have no regard for any kind of musician, let alone a drummer. But let us examine that statement. He is an innovative drummer.

Where is the room for innovation in drumming?

As far as I am concerned drummers are the most boring members of bands for a reason. What they do is monotonous. Literally. So to innovate a whole new kind of monotony is to raise your monotony to such a fine art that it is quite obvious where the Tony part of monotony comes from. Drumming sets the tempo, it accompanies, it gives me a fucking headache. But innovation? Note that when he left Fela Kuti’s band in the seventies, old Fela had to draft in not one, not two but three drummers to replace him. On to drum and the other two to tell really dull stories about what they did in the war, and this really big fish they bought once.

Unfortunately leaving Fela Kuti’s band did not mark the end of the career of the only drummer who is proud that he can’t keep a beat. Instead he decided to try and spread his afrobeats around the world. The method with which he has recently tried to do this is via the power of a collaboration with Damon Albarn. Which just goes to show yet again how stupid drummers are.

THIS IS NOT AN EXIT

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THIS IS NOT AN EXIT: Year-end rundowns are springing up everywhere you look – MORE MORE MORE say I (I’m partway through the Freaky Trigger one, if anyone cares) – check Blissblog and Church of Me on the sidebar for some high-fibre 2002 lists. This is from a blog not on the sidebar – I don’t agree with most of the choices but the author’s gone a step further and put up MP3s so you can judge for yourselves. Nice one!

“You’re an old man at the end of your career.”

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“You’re an old man at the end of your career.”: this is miles better than Blur vs Oasis.

Tom’s Top Ten!

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Tom’s Top Ten!
WHAM! – “Last Christmas”
GIRLS ALOUD – “Sound Of The Underground”
SAINT ETIENNE – “I Was Born On Christmas Day”
FOX – “S-s-single Bed”
SLADE – “Merry Xmas Everybody”
CLIPSE – “Young Boy”
DARLENE LOVE – “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
SPANDAU BALLET – “Gold”
BAND AID – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
BOOT CAMP CLIK – “And So…”

You might also notice a huge big expansion of the sidebar with lots of good weblogs added. I’m still missing quite a few, I know.

17
Dec 02

Things I’ve learned by listening to

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Things I’ve learned by listening to AT40 with my wife:

– Dirty songs sound better when you hear them on the way to church (“Girl Talk”, “Dirrty”).
– Creed has no redeeming features whatsoever (this was more confirmation rather than something new).
– The right lyrics can win someone over to a musical style that is normally avoided by the plague, even if it is only for that song (“Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”)
– Kid Rock is a better singer than Eminem AND Sheryl Crow.
– Kelly Clarkson may be the sweetest girl on the face of the earth, but “A Moment Like This” needs to GO GO GO GO GO.
– Despite the best attempts of marketing geniuses across the country, Americans like Kelly more than Beyonce. AS THEY SHOULD.
– Mariah Carey is still enough of a star to get pity airplay.
– Nelly has completely lost it. I really hope he’s invested well.
– Avril Levigne should stick to ballads.
– One of the guys in The Calling left that band to join his brother’s band, Lifehouse. Sonic similarities between the two begin to make sense.
– Madonna needed to go all creepy-robot-alien to get another top 10 hit. God bless her.
O-Town have turned recycling Backstreet Boys material into a science.
– If people really understood how impressive it is when Michelle Branch floats the “WHYYYY-Y-Y-Y” part of “The Game Of Love” so effortlessly, there’d be a lot less criticism of her.

Christina Aguileras New Video

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Christina Aguileras New Video

I saw this on MTV this morning after a sleepless night, and i have a few thoughts about transformation and dirrty versus virtue, but it all went out the window when i saw the two cute blonde boys snogging, not only did it give the pervert in my a hard on, it made me think that this was the greatest politcal view of queer desire ever, just two people who liked to pash (’cause who doesnt like to pash?). It’s not the eunuchs of Will and Grace or the exotic sluts of QAFand more effective then 10 000 pious public service announcements. This made me happy.
But not as happy as the thought of XTina as fag hag. (really darlings-it’s us and teenage girls who love the pop mini divas, embrace us!)

BTW-I didnt get the title of it, any one know?

SONGS ABOUT LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY

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SONGS ABOUT LAURENCE STEPHEN LOWRY

I like art. I’m not saying I am particularly cultured but you do tend to get a better type of person at a gallery opening. Namely those nice poeople who give you free glasses of wine. More importantly the self imortant babble of anyone at an opening always drowns out the tinny music someone decided to put on out of the tiniest of Bush Tape Players, so it is a happy respite from the usual aural attack. That said, there is always a down side – and that is songs about artists. Of which there are a surprising number. Vincent Van Gogh (a long time hero of mine for going the whole hog and ripping an ear off due to the terrible state of the Dutch Philharmonic) has one. Andy Warhol has that ridiculous number by Bowie. But it goes to show the general artistic favourite of the art wrold when the towering art genius who has had the most songs written about him, nay the most number ones, is a bloke who couldn’t draw people properly. And no I don’t mean Picasso.

Lowry painted “matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs, he painted kids on the corner of the streets in the sparkling clogs” according to Brian and Michael’s incomprehensible 1978 number one. A song designed for the playground, with those hellions from St Winifred’s Girls School Choir doing the backing vocals, it misunderstood that most kids don’t want to sing songs about boring only Northern painters. Instead they link arms and sing “Lets play war,” and play kiss chase and the like. Brian and Michael’s artistic survey made proud boast of Lowry’s artistic talents, suggesting that “even the Mona Lisa takes a bow” which when you look at relative art prices and standing in the worlds galleries is absolute tosh. It is probably due to lousy songs like this that the Mona Lisa never smiled. Brian and Michael tried to follow up this hit with a song about Mondrian called “Straight lines and coloured squares” – but the rot had already set in and now they can be seen outside them factory gates, with a tin saying “will sing about Lowry for food”.

Lowry is obscure enough an artist to make one number one look impressive, but back further in the mists of time we get Status Quo’s song. Pictures Of Matchstick Men – whilst not as tediously biographically detailed as the Brian and Michael effort – managed to keep the same air of ennui by being – well a Status Quo song. The song is more about Francis Rossi being haunted by Lowry, and wherever he hides he sees his face – in the sun, under a pillow, on the toilet. Indeed to try and sum up quiet how awful this song is it is best to look at this quote from ice-cream heir Rossi himself about how he wrote it:

“I wrote it on the bog. I’d gone there, not for the usual reasons – having a crap and what have you – but to get away from the wife and mother-in-law. I used to go into this narrow frizzing toilet and sit there for hours, until they finally went out. I got three quarters of the song finished in that khazi. The rest I finished in the lounge.

If that isn’t the most rock’n’roll story you have ever read then, well you have probably read another. Not only was the song written on the toilet it was returned there spiritually by being covered by The Divine Comedy. It is enough to make you truly sorry for Lowry, who even now according to ‘Matchstalk Men’ “takes his brush and he waits, outside them pearly gates“. Not however to paint matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs, but rather to wait for Brain, Michael and Status Quo to die so he can beat the shit out them.

Catastrophe! (I Am A Twat Department)

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Catastrophe! (I Am A Twat Department)

I have lost my laptop. I have either left it in the pub or on the tube. If the former, I’ve got a very good chance of getting it back. If the latter, who knows. This is bad from a personal point of view because it is my work PC and has all my work on it. It’s bad from a Freaky Trigger point of view because it has several unfinished pieces, the top-tracks-of-2002 list, and all the focus group scores in it. So don’t expect to see any advance on those until I get it back. God I’m annoyed with myself right now.

UPDATE! Hooray it is safe in the pub.

16
Dec 02

George Anthiel–

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George Anthiel–Ballet Mecanique

Four days after Independence Day, in a new century in a fairly new country Anthiel was born. It only took him 25 years to flee to Paris, where a generation of avant guardians was drinking together. Under this influence he created a grand folly that managed to sound more inventive and new then any number of similar experiments made at the same time.

What sounds contemporary about this ballet?

There is that gee-whiz, that’s a neat sound, can I record it, found aesthetic of Cage, and Metal Machine Music and later sample happy puppies like Kid Koala, but in a way that requires one to get two airplane propellers up on stage.

It has an obsession with percussion, its all percussive and it all has a beat, percussion is the instrumentation of this new age, and you can tell how modern something is by how percussive it is dancing is all about the bass line, and so is this.
remember it was constructed as a ballet.

Then there are his feelings around automation. He gets past the artist as auetur and allows player pianos and electronic bells to merge seamlessly with acoustic instrumentation like glockenspiel, gong, cymbal, et. al.) so that it achieves a cyborg grace.

The critical reception of this piece was wholly negative, and his next piece is an achingly pretty neo-classical piece of chamber music, perhaps to remind his audience of his skill, perhaps as a fuck you to his critics, and perhaps as a way to say ‘this is what you guys want, this is what you guys will get.’

IHM POP LYRIC WATCH: PINK –

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IHM POP LYRIC WATCH: PINK – Just Like A Pill

You’re just like a pill
Instead of making me better, you keep making me ill”

I Hate Music Lyric watch would also like to draw this item to the attention of the lawyers of Glaxo-Smithkline-Welcome-Beecham-Pfizer (truly the pharmacutical worlds equivalent of Crosby Stills Nash and Young). You see for some reason young Mz(understood) Pink appears to think that to be just like a pill not only do you not make someone better but indeed you make them ill. If I remember my last hospital visit, after they pumped my stomach they gave me a number of pills for the express reason of making me better. So if this fella keeps making you ill, in what way is he – and I quote “just like a pill”. I think you need to go back to your remedial comprehension classes and work out the difference between “just like” and “completely dissimilar”.

And while you are there ponder upon how clever it was to name yourself after your hair colour, now you don’t dye it pink anymore.