Posts from 10th August 2003

Aug 03

Starsailor? ARSE-HAILER

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 455 views

Of course my serene mood was soon rudely shattered. While willing the thermometer ever higher, hoping for it to reach the happy point at which cheapo Taiwanese stereo components melt into unconductive puddles, a headline caught my eye that caused me to spit my morning gin all over the balcony (where it evaporated within minutes). “STARSAILOR RETURN”. Yes, I thought, just who you’d want to soundtrack Britain’s hottest ever Summer, eh? Though perhaps my cynicism was unwarranted, since their music sounds eerily like a baby mammoth slowly drowning in one of the tar pits Britain’s motorways have become.

Anyhow, the band Phil Spector would rather be jailed for life than produce are indeed returning. Apparently Chris Martin stepped in and funded the record as sales of his own needed a boost – “Don’t think you need a second copy? Look at the alternative my dear fellow.” Starsailor combine gall with stupidity though as their new single is called “Silence Is Easy”. Why yes Mr. Starsailor, silence is easy, considerably easier than being bricked around the ears on a regular basis by your unspeakable croakings. Or perhaps he is saying that silence is the easy option, the (admittedly appealing) life of a Trappist ascetic being of course a piece of piss compared to spending your days knocking out barrel-bottom trad rock about driving your poor Dad to drink. We’ll see how easy Starsailor bloke finds silence on his next tour, as he contemplates the yawning gaps between songs, filled only with embarrassed shuffling and the occasional polite cough.

A fight too many ye say

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A fight too many ye say? Avast, ye landlubber! But the Pirates of the Caribbean had a secret treasure: a post credits appearance by the Zombie Monkey. Surely all hearts would have been melted by the antics of this tiny, cheekily entrailed fellow, had we stayed to learn who the assistant grip was.

I thought the movie was great fun. Yes, yes, a visit to the island too many, perhaps a device that would have been less of an encumbrance in a children’s book, but that Johnny Depp – he’d win Pop Idol in a swordflash.

The only omission from the genre checklist was that the pirates didn’t tend to adopt that borderline corrupted first person plural present tense dialect which is obligatory in genuine pantomime.

We’s be wantin’ that, we’s be.

SIX FINGER SATELLITE — ‘Save the Last Dance for Larry’

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People who think like I think are certain that the songs on a compilation with ‘post-punk’ in the title should be from the late ’70s or the early ’80s. Most of the songs on Rough Trade Shops Post Punk 01 fit into that frame of time, and then there is a small batch of inclusions from the late ’90s and early ’00s sprinkled here and there. On one hand, Rough Trade was smart to bundle the ’70s/’80s groups together with active ones that have taken several cues from that era; it’s timely and works as a cash cow oops crash course for younger Rapture fans. On the other hand is my head, because there is an itch that needs to be scratched: There is a big hole in time, a breach in the bloodline, between the ’80s and the late ’90s, that goes unrepresented. A skim through the liner notes — words like post-rock and Oasis stick out — confirms that the hole was caused by a blind spot.

Was there not a series of bands from this hole that laid part of the foundation for the latest post-punk rebirth? Of course. This series of bands had names — Dog Faced Hermans, Trenchmouth, Brainiac – that were just as ridiculous as those from the original era, and people used a similar list of adjectives — jagged, angular, disjointed, off-kilter, herkyjerky, etc. — to describe their music.

Six Finger Satellite was another group that existed during the hole. In fact, you could fit their entire existence into the hole. ‘Save the Last Dance for Larry’ would have fit nicely on Post Punk 01 between James White & the Blacks’ ‘Contort Yourself’ and World Domination Enterprises’ ‘Asbestos Lead Asbestos.’ Or it could’ve replaced DNA’s ‘You and You’ to fall snugly between PiL’s ‘Careering’ and Life Without Buildings’ ‘The Leanover.’ Abrupt psssoup-psssoup rhythms broken up by stop-start dynamics; cranky vocals with a concise, chanted refrain; a near absence of melody; a break-down where the loping bass bobs along and the darting guitars that slashed elsewhere act like alarms’ this description could be used for dozens of other songs, several of which were made during a time that Post Punk 01 forgot.

(Taking sides: revivals vs. waves vs. continuums)

‘Council’ Tasked

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 304 views

‘Council’ Tasked: Dee O’Connell’s irritation at people using “pram face” or “council” as insults is something I can definitely sympathise with. I don’t think it’s the ‘new racism’ or anything like that, though, mostly it’s just snobbery, given a little fillip of hipness by masquerading as ‘pop sociology’ or ‘observational comedy’ of whatever. I’m not as pessimistic as O’Connell about it either – nasty jokes have a short lifespan, writing as someone who’s guilty of using them. The first time I heard “pram” as an insult I repeated it to all my mates in the pub that evening – it was 1997 or so (a Spice Girls joke) and I thought it was funny. I thought it was funny mostly because it was so awful, and so when it stopped seeming funny it just felt awful. The flare-up of these kind of gags I reckon happens just before they become unacceptable – the humour comes partly from a kind of risk, who’ll be the person to go too far / not realise the tide has turned and bring the social Jenga tower down on their heads. It’s a bit pathetic (aren’t we all?) but it’s not the harbinger of anything.

VICTORIA BECKHAM feat M.O.P. — “It’s That Simple”

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(US readers can skip to the next parentheses)

OK you’re not exactly crying out for a review of the Victoria Beckham single but it’s too hot to actually think about music and VB doesn’t require you to. This is Vic’s “Jenny From The Block”, not in the sense of being a classic pop single that everyone slags off — it’s rubbish – but in the sense of being conceptually built on a hugely unbelievable conceit. “It’s That Simple” is based on the idea that La Beckham’s man is a no-good hound who’s been doing her wrong and is one wagged finger and a guest-rap away from being shown the door for good. Unfortunately we all know that the fella in question is the 21st century poster boy for monogamy as well as everything else, and that Victoria Beckham’s love life is the least interesting thing about her bogglingly expensive lifestyle. For the first and only time NYLPM will plead — more authenticity!

(Hello US readers. Yes, it is that M.O.P. Their bit is funny.)

The Ataris-Boys of Summer

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The Ataris-Boys of Summer

The fury of the guitars provide a wall of noise, pushing the chorus along of course but it does something else. Don Henley’s orginal is a paen to middle class nostalgia–it is a way to remember that warm summer nights occured. This single moves so quicky as a way to avoid the same kind of nostalgia. It is a way to forget that these summer nights will ever end.

The young sing along, drinking along with friends, driving along in the first car, the lust of bikini clad pretty girls, the lies that come from the innocence of first love–no one ever thinks the fun will end at 17–this is why the cover is more poignant then the boomer classic.

Cruel Summer or Shut Up Sunshine!

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Cruel Summer or Shut Up Sunshine!

It’s probably best not to look forward to things, but I do, and I’m often disappointed. I’d waited quite a few weeks to see Pirates of the Caribbean. I mean the trailer was great; skeletons, Rob Zombie, Legolas, booty (treasure), pretty girls and corsets, so it had to be the best film ever! It wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong it’s a good film, but I felt it lacked something. Johnny Depp without a doubt made for a great pirate, a resplendent vagabond riding in on his sinking ship, and his bizarre Michael Caine/Gary Oldman accent was a marvel. The entire cast gave it their best shot, and the first hour or so was pretty good, almost Carry on Pirate. Then it sort of got bogged down with chases and fights. But, here’s the deal it felt like I was watching a live action version of a modern Disney cartoon. It was too safe, the jokes too sanitised, the plot a little too thin. The kind of film your 7-year-old niece/nephew would watch over and over again, and would know by heart. It needed more oomph.

I didn’t leave the cinema wanting to wave my imaginary sword and swing on ropes, maybe because it was still 80 degrees at half past ten. I wish it were October; I would have a much better time if this film were coming out then. It was 100 degrees today; this is not a good thing.

What I mean is: I wanted to love it, but I didn’t.

Caldeirada de Lulas!! Talitha brought me

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 418 views

Caldeirada de Lulas!! Talitha brought me squid stew in a tin for tea on Thursday, and it was the best thing ever, just spread on thick bread. Like a sardine tin, where you peel the metal top back. She got it in a shop called Lisboa, somewhere in West London. Weird food presents are sometimes the best presents.

New Evanescence single

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New Evanescence single: debut airing on the American Teen Awards 2003. It’s really not fair to keep us watching with the promise of a new album from x-Nysync star JC Chasez but instead give us the black clad American equivalent of the Cranberries. The new single doesn’t even have a funny bit with $fatbloke attempting a rap. And instead of the amusing CHUGGA! CHUGGA! geetars from Bring Me Back To Life we get more of a turgid sludge. Thank goodness that American Teen Awards 2003 featured no real actual teenagers in the audience else there mighta been a riot. That would have been fun actually. Nevertheless, Evanescence still get a point from me as $fatbloke wore a “I [heart] Alyssa Milano” t-shirt.

And we do, don’t we?

I can’t remember what the single was actually called. No hooks. A very bad idea in these pirate obsessed times.

But Tom, what of the PIRATE ZOMBIE MONKEY

Do You SeePost a comment • 925 views

But Tom, what of the PIRATE ZOMBIE MONKEY? I neither am at a grate barbequeue as I am being a goth and avoiding crowds and going outside in the heat. Instead I am here to comment that the LADIES from 24 are completely interchangable with the GURLS from Hollyoaks. Quite frankly, just turning on to a final repeat of the The Hour before The Final Hour, I’m still convinced that Jack’s k-annoying daughter is called Izzy and might be disappearing off to Australia.

Having not really followed this season of 24, I seem to be repeating my viewing habits re: last season. Barely watching at all until the last hour and then getting quite excited about the last episode. Has the BBC finally managed to make an advert that really creates suspense? Am I believing the hype? Who is the blonde lady who threatens IzzyJack’s Annoying Daughterface? She looks GRATE but I’ve not seen any of her in the few episodes I’ve seen. I hope she wins. That’s one in the eye for Jim Robinson!