Posts from January 2003

23
Jan 03

JOAN JETT-“Crimson and Clover”

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JOAN JETT-“Crimson and Clover”
You know the kind of boy (or girl) that you refuse to think about, cause all of the blood is caught between your heart and your loins ?
this is the song for that. Hearing her sing Crimson and Clover over and over is lonely and hot and brooding and funny and oh so tragic.

DIXIE CHICKS-“Travelling Soilder”

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DIXIE CHICKS-“Travelling Soilder”

MASH was about Vietnam, not Korea.
Despite the lyrics this song is not about Vietnam, its about the new war, the tenuous war that has happened and hasn’t happened at the same time, the problem is that you cant really talk about something that hasn’t happened.
But Country and the Army often overlap when it comes to demographics, and for something that is on the mind of its listeners you cant avoid it.
This is what they do, they make a folk son ca 1967, a perfect pastiche- like The Ballad of Penny Evans, but with more respect for the Solider.
The lyrical details are trenchant: He’s 18. There is a football game, a wife is made widow too young, mention of prayer, of public grief and private mourning-of the letter home and the promise never to love again.
The music is stark, a voice as lovely as Baez or St Marie, some martial fife and drum, a mandolin keeping tune.
Its not the pop country, its not the usual good times-this is the band that made a novelty hit out of domestic abuse(Goodbye Earl)-its a common song about a common tragedy, that manages to be universal.

that was a naughty bit of crap

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that was a naughty bit of crap – via Blissblog, bloody excellent music weblog. No permalinks yet but the top story is about Chris Morris’ pastiche reggae 10″, which sounds to me like a tribute to the notorious Sex Boots Dread and “Tickle Tune”, a mighty record introduced to me by NYLPM’s latest and much-revered contributor, Mr Tim Hopkins (scroll down for Taskforce write-up). Reminds me also to get working on my article about blogging (yes another one).

22
Jan 03

KOMATROHN – “Mirrors And Chrome”

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KOMATROHN – “Mirrors And Chrome”

Simon Reynolds pointed out last year that neo-electro bands were busy making tracks not songs, which meant they didn’t ever really hit the heights of their 80s forebears. And Ronan Fitzgerald pointed out last year that tracks would do him nicely thanks and what was all this ‘eighties’ shit anyway? Between them they’ve put up a most comfortable fence and I intend to keep sitting on it – Komatrohn’s “Mirrors And Chrome” is about as songy as these records get but listening to it just now it’s still the bass I vibe off.

Komatrohn’s song-template seems to come from Visage – the same marble and crystal keyboards, the same detatched but hungry scene-voyeur perspective, the same European rhythm axles and pop-song chassis. “She wears hair just like Limahl / She is posing like she’s seen / Famous people in magazines”. It’s ludicrous. It might even be a pisstake, I don’t know. It might be a pisstake on people who want it to be a pisstake. 1980 New Romantics were ludicrous too in what looks now like a weirdly innocent way – maybe they wanted to turn the clock back to 1973, Bolan-Bowie-Roxy starworship, but all the stars were dead so they had to put the clothes on themselves. 2003 Electro kids want to smash the clocks and disappear down the mirror-lined rabbithole of bluff and counter-bluff, pose replying to pose. There is nothing whatsoever innocent about Komatrohn. Uncomfortable listening in a sense, but exhilarating too.

TASKFORCE – “Fugs R Us”

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TASKFORCE – “Fugs R Us”

It must be a couple of years now since Taskforce released the best EP yet made by any UK hip hop act, “The Voice of the Great Outdoors” on Lowlife. It was goofy, palsied hip hop set in wacky stoner countryside and outer space. The new single, “Fugs R Us” is smack in the heart of the city, and it’s Taskforce’s stab at the current Holy Grail of UKHH: the Club Banger. There seems to be a feeling that UK artists have the mellow head nodder sussed now, that the next leap forward (in profile and – crucially – sales) will be via the clubs.

Which clubs constitute ‘the clubs’, I don’t know but I guess the record succeeds up to a point: you’d probably nod if you heard it played loud. It’s big, glaring and heavy but it’s nowhere near their best. Despite funny lines throughout, it doesn’t sustain itself and ends up plodding rather than punching, what a shame.

I don’t know about them being thugs, either: “What you looking at? I’ll snatch your granny’s bag” doesn’t strike me with fear. Just in case anyone takes the hard talk (or the gunshots) seriously, the cover is film style and the song is subtitled “Is It Real?” I bet they’d be sly in a fight, but Taskforce are at their best when they make a noise which sounds more like the mildly unhinged product of too many nights indoors. They’re going to make an unbelievably good record anytime now.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for something to download, try “Cosmic Gypsies” (mentalcase rustbucket sci fi), “Butterfly Concerto” (stoner leaves the sofa) or their contribution to the Braintax LP, “Godnose”.

Under New Management!

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Under New Management! One thing we haven’t really talked a whole lot about here on the Publog is the tricky art of being a landlord. We can bang on about the decor and beers on tap all we like, but in the end it is the management who really give a pub its identity. Its unsurprising we have not mentioned it. The last twenty years have seen the big breweries and pub chains destroying the concept themselves. Removing live in landlords with managers, rotating from one Wetherspoon’s to another does have the effect of creating a homogenous pub style – something the chains are happy with. Unfortunately it leaves you with pubs which are perfectly competent but nothing special.

I mention this because the one thing lousy small pubs do when they change management is to happily exclaim Under New Management – as if all the woes of the previous regime will now be banished. But without actually explaining how this newness will change the pub it only really means one thing. If you were barred before you can go back to the pub.

PINK FLOYD – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 2 – 8)

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PINK FLOYD – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 2 – 8)

Anyone who has had the misfortune to listen to the Wish You Were Here album will be aware that this magnificent piece of (shit) work is bookended by Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) (Parts VI-IX). Now I am not going to mention the fact that this album only has five tracks on it, and that two of these are the same song. I’m not even going to mention the fact that the Floyd are so lazy that despite only having four songs they got a guest vocalist in for one of them. No – I am here to make a revelation of possible national magnitude.

I have found parts 2- 8 of Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

You see whilst the song goes on forever on the album it only has two verses. What I have found, scrawled in Roger Waters worst orange crayon, are the vitriolic lyrics which would have formed the final verse. Unfortunately it was exorcised by EMI lawyers from the song when they realised that even in his most drugged up state that Syd Barrett would notice that they were libellous.

Remember when you were mashed, You spent all our cash.
Fuck off you junkie bastard.
You spent all of our dough, for a half pound of blow
Fuck off you junkie bastard.
We are art school career boys
With mother fixations
We want to do prog rock.
So fuck off you user, psychadelic boozer,
Fuck off you skagman, you pothead you loser and DIE.

Now I have a conundrum. I am sure that if I release this barely cogent but somewhat nasty lyrics to the non-sexed fans of Pink Floyd I could easily make enough money to fund my campaign to destroy music properly. However by doing so I will be helkping prolong the legacy of Pink floyd, musicians. So after much debate I have decided to set fire to them, much like the man on the front of Wish You Were Here was both on fire in the picture, and the copy I stole from a Marie Curie Cancer Shop that I burnt. And then you will hear my madcap laugh.

21
Jan 03

PALL OF SHAME

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PALL OF SHAME

More from the readers. ‘Rob’ writes on behalf of his idols:

“Please do not insult legendary artists when you clearly have little or no idea about them or there music. Anyone with the vaguest idea of Elton John’s music should know that the lyrics to “Rocket Man”, and, for that matter, all his other songs, are written not by Elton, who writes the music, but by his longtime collaborator. Any pathetic and juvenile criticism of the lyrics of Elton John songs should therefore be directed at his songwriting partner, Bernie Taupin.
Both men, by the way, are in the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame”

My apologies, Rob – in fact I was avoiding mentioning Mr Taupin out of a misplaced desire to protect the man from the consequences of his folly. All Bernie did, after all, was write awful poetry – never a good idea but not in itself worth a slating. His one terrible mistake was to hand this poetry over to my old pal Elton John, who promptly converted his verbal castor beans into musical ricin. However I now see the error of my ways: believe you me, from now on whenever Elton needs the Tanya Treatment, Bernie will get it too.

Thankyou also for reminding me of the Songwriters’ Hall Of Fame – though if Taupin is an alumni I can only think it’s some kind of Internet spam scam. I have two suggestions to make this sorry institution into a proper Hall of Fame.

– when anyone joins it they should only be allowed to do so with a 3-letter name. Bernie could be “BUM” for instance. Songwriters who can’t think of a name get called “AAA”.
– when you get into the Hall of Fame, it’s Game Over, so you can’t write any more songs. Ever.

If we must have this awful thing, then people, let’s do it right.

Olympia Manchester Athens Cologne?

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Olympia Manchester Athens Cologne?: Pitchfork launches a singles-review weblog! With “no regard for age, popularity or genre”. (“Singles” in our download-friendly age meaning single tracks, of course.) Good idea, good format, good luck.

FAITH HILL — ‘Cry’

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This song surprised me at first — granted, it was the video that surprised. I didn’t think I’d see Faith sulking through a sweltering dystopic lovelorn backdrop any time this century – I didn’t know she could sulk! With my cursory exposure to Ms. Hill coming via her teeth-rotting hits of sunshine (‘This Kiss’, ‘The Way You Love Me’, ‘Breathe’), the bitterness and anger seething between the swooping strings sounded — not authentic, and not more real. Different. A different sort of different I didn’t expect — fie on me for having low expectations.

Of course, after beating the song into my head these past couple of months, it’s pretty clear that ‘Cry’ isn’t much more than the root canal flipside to all the sugar and spice she fed the Billboard charts these past couple of years. It’s not a personal glimpse into that bitterness & anger you get with love gone wrong, though. ‘Cry’ is a Rorshach blot that doesn’t leave much room for interpretation — unless you’re the type to take round-trip plane rides with your Frequent Flights of Fancy Miles, you’re going to see the same thing in that amorphous blob as millions of other listeners. And shame on you if you’re reading that assertion as a criticism of the song – most songwriters would fold, spindle, and mutilate for just one opportunity to tap that universal vein. (Brief aside – show me a songwriter / musician that doesn’t want to communicate with as many listeners as possible, an artist that wants to entertain and inspire on their terms and their terms alone, and I’ll show you about 1000 CDs from my collection, days’ worth of music made by talented, creative folks struggling / that struggled to rub two coupons together.) (OK, I was wrong – 1250 CDs, give or take two hundred.)

If you notice Faith’s pushing through the words instead of singing them (like she’s never done that before), there’s no need to grouse — it’s belabored a wee bit, but the conviction is there. Professional actors know when to mug for the camera and be totally, shamelessly obvious. Sometimes, there even has to be a little effort put in by Happy Me in order to wake up my inner Goth and realize some quality existential angst. Even if it’s only for 4 minutes, it’s worth the effort.