Posts from 17th October 2003

Oct 03

Any day now I expect to receive my invitation to appear on

Do You SeePost a comment • 235 views

Any day now I expect to receive my invitation to appear on the new talking heads show Grumpy Young Women, in which I will, for some inexplicable reason, be allowed to air my grievances about random collections of male C-list celebrities [no link; they really don’t deserve it] who complain about how damn DIFFICULT life becomes when some hapless call centre worker doesn’t fully understand that in fact the world revolves around THEM and THEIR apparent inability to follow recorded instructions even when the lack of an option to do so would result in about 12 hours more of that hold music they so despise. Bill Nighy and Lemn Sissay, I’m disappointed in you. You can DO things, so why don’t you DO them instead of whoring yourself to BBC 2 and whining on like a schoolgirl who got a pony for Christmas then found out that it shits a lot? At least Will Self gives REASONS for his heroically petty gripes. (I could also use my airtime to say a few things about the really quite annoying throbbing in my right temple every time I see or hear Matthew Parris, but who on earth would be interested in that?)


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,306 views


Dammit, it’s not like I didn’t have iPod envy as it is. The new ad campaign features silhouettes wearing iPods dancing to this song against a gigantic block of color. The ad is visually arresting, but the SONG! The energy alone is fantastic, propelling BEP firmly toward the forefront of the backpacker partyjam clique that they’ve inhabited since their major label debut. There isn’t anything revolutionary here (beyond of course the addition of a female singer to their ranks, making me wonder if they were big fans of the first season of P. Diddy’s Making The Band and showing that the distance between the “conscious backpacker” and the “chart-topping playa” is about as far as the distance between Madonna and Britney at the last VMAs), but the simple fact of the matter is you don’t have to be revolutionary to get people amped.

Britpop Is Back!

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Britpop Is Back! That’s the premise of this Sunday’s Observer Music Monthly cover story – but here’s the twist: Britpop now means Busted and Sugababes, who are posed like synchronised swimmers on a monster Union Jack. The story’s by NME pop advocate Peter Robinson, who unless memory fails me also set up Popjustice, so it ought to be good. In fact I’m quite excited by it, an excitement only tempered slightly by the fact that I was planning an article along similar lines and am probably going to spike it. For one thing it’ll really piss off some fans of Britpop Mk I.

Anyway I expect I’ll agree with the piece – UK pop feels on a creative high at the moment, even discounting the underground (and the excitement around grime etc. will mean Good News for mainstream pop soon enough anyway – the industry’s too small and hectic for good sonic ideas to go unexploited for long). I think one reason is that there’s a big market for songwriters at the moment: a glut of new boy and girl bands, solo careers for previous pop band members, plus careers to be forged for the winners and runners-up from three or four separate Reality TV shows. The competition to get the best new songs must be fairly intense, particularly as weak singles do get punished in the charts (whither One True Voice?). The side effect of celebrity overload in pop culture, in other words, is that to stay famous and keep public attention celebs have to stand out more – and if you’re a singer or in a band, one way of standing out is to bother making good records.

(Of course, if you don’t agree that UK chart-pop is good at the moment then all of this is nonsense, oh well.)

I almost feel like a traitor even bringing attention to Turn on Terry

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I almost feel like a traitor even bringing attention to Turn on Terry, what is quite plainly and clearly the worst programme on television. I always had a soft spot for Terry Christian and always thought he was a sharper wit than most people imagine. I am slowly coming to the opinion that I must have been wrong all along. For those of you who go to bed at a godly hour and have not been punished by the trial by television that its TOT, let me explain.

Turn On Terry is no less and no more than a television review programme. The format is equally simple. Terry Christian stumbles over his autocue introducing a recent television programme, and then asks his two guests “what they think ov thaat then?” His guests are people he has stumbled across in Manchester Piccadilly Station and nearly always consist of Tony Wilson. Last night he was joined by Amanda from Big Brother, a contestant so spectacularly uncsuccessful even I did not recognise her.

Myself and my two flatmates gawped on in horror, barely registering a word as these people then proceeded to slag off everything on television, without realising thegrowing hypocrisy. Perhaps in Terry Christians world there should be 24 hour Turn On Terry, but this will finally mean it would have to pay attention to itself and realise that it was truly the worst thing ever committed to video. And Paul Ryder, the lifeless leader of the house band (! – this show has a house band AND a milling about audience) knows it. Droning “Its end of Part one” far too long than was strictly necessary he knew that Dante had written a book about this kind of torture.

RONNIE HILTON – “No Other Love”

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#46, 4th May 1956

My MP3 copy of this is all glitched up, but this is a bit of a trial to listen to in any case. Journeyman Brit crooner Hilton brings little in terms of character to this ballad, so the arranger tries to add a smidgen of interest via drum crashes and sudden orchestral surges. All that happens is that Hilton?s calm romantic seas become choppy and the listener feels a little sick.

Rodney Dangerfield is in talks with Clonaid

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Rodney Dangerfield is in talks with Clonaid, the shadowy cloning organization headed by the Raelians, a cult based on the revelations of a French racecar driver and based in Quebec. There is so much that needs to be said about this. So much. There are plenty of jokes, for sure, that can be made, but I think this sort of defeats jokes.