Posts from May 2005
Former UN worker barred from charity gig because incorrectly ‘authentic’. If this is true (link from popjustice) then things are worse than we thought. The alliance of bleeding heart crypto-liberalism with the elitism of the arts open up a new front in the war on pop. If discrimination on grounds of ethnicity is banned, why isn’t discrimination on the grounds of ‘authenticity’? (And of course, ethnicity = authenticity, for much of the left.)
following up tom’s post, i just realised i carry in my head a kind of “old person’s equivalent to kid’s free pass” in ref pop cult stuff: viz that if my dad (and obv it applied to my mum too) expressed liking for something, i never applied the “provocation and/or posture filters” that i’d automatically bring to bear if
one of you lot say some mouthy ilx bigwig proclaimed a like or (more usually) a dislike for x, y or z
ie re eccleston-as-who: when we were watchin the “winged beats of time” ep, there wz a shot of ecc watching from the street corner in mute appalled disgust as rose created the timefold, and dad turned to me and said “he’s very good in this, isn’t he?”
and i chose to interpret this as “good as in just GOOD” (ie not some triply-complicated crypto-brechtian adjustment in ref what WE ONCE HOPED POP CULTURE WOULD BECOME or ditto) (this wz also why i liked talkin to mum abt TV: bcz she didn’t have an agenda beyond her own stimulation and distraction) — i KNOW my liking for dr who this time round is (partly) complex and positional, even though i also really do actually enjoy it “on its own terms”; but i assume my dad’s has none of the first tumult of faff, so he must be “less likely to be deluded’ about the latter — but now that i have written this assumption out cold, it seems questionable to me somehow (but how?) (or else why?)
i. is it really actually true that not so long ago, chirac went on TV w. a purple balloon labelled “plan b” and popped it w. a pin??!?
ii. noting placing of france in eurovision song contest – ie LAST – can we expect relegation or similar? the provisional EU = mitteleuropa; the continuity EU = france; the Real EU = the uk!!
iii. is blog 7 still about politics?
(i enjoy how half the responses – ie to all france’s NON – have been “this is a calamity! but actually it won’t make much difference to anything” on which case, BEST CALAMITY EVER!! )
Talent In A Previous Life‘s review of the Glasgow Girls Aloud gig 2 weeks ago. The most exhaustive description of the show I’ve seen in a pop-blog, and though the actual performance I saw differed in only minor details (the ‘g-g-g-go’ was NOT done at Hammersmith), I’d def disagree with more than a few opinions. First off: Teenage Dirtbag is totally ACE. Yeah? Well you can shut up too.
The night had a few “mini bootleg” moments. I was expecting “And The Beat Goes On” to make an appearance as the intro to Sound of the Underground started up. It didn’t, but the “My Sharona moment” made its expected appearance. Not quite so expected was a chunk of “Another Brick in the Wall” which we were sadly denied a full cover of. Less expected than that was the squeals of delight caused by support act Kute, who used a Rainbow sample to extraordinary rock/pop effect. That’s Rainbow the band, not the kids telly show, fool. You may be hearing more about this from other nylpm’ers, but if you look at the home page of Talent in a previous life you’ll find more info on Kute than you’ll find on any official site.
Talking Repair Man Blues.
Alan Jackson is the best example of countryist, a historically minded obsession with purity mars the rest of his music and this is the latest example, after examples like Gone Country (which, even with the huge sales, seems horribly outdated), Chasing that Neon Rainbow (which is why the j-pop cover has a certain perverse genius), and Murder on Music Row (with George Strait, a fellow purist). The song in question is a talking blues and he?s been doing story songs like that, even if he isn’t talking about what happens when pop starts taking over Nashville.
This one’s weird though, it’s also a template for making the perfect country song, and a mockery of everyone who thinks they can do it. It is a mechanical paean to the power of a good hook and that, said it sounds it. No real energy, no rambunctious joy?just a barely disguised fuck you.
Alright, what happens here is that Alan Jackson brings his work to a mechanic, who told poor Alan that his car repairs would take nine hundred bucks, after spending the entire verse cataloging everything that could be wrong with his car?the chorus starts and it’s supposed to be a sing-along, but it’s sort of anemic, and he harmonica is perfunctory.
The mechanic sings?and then Alan Jackson talks about how badly written the song is, about too many adverbs and verbs that are too weak, well that works, that’s easy writing advice if you are bob Dylan or Britney Spears. Where it gets weir ,are the next lines. The most technical explicit discussion of the actual transcribing and writing of music I have ever encountered, it’s studio notes from the guitar gnomes of Nashville made public.
Do you think that anyone who listens to country knows what ?it?s got so many dotted eighth notes in it? or the importance of ?50 beats per minute? or how many ?augmented chords? are too much. He then charges the mechanic a hundred bucks more then the car?proving to the world that mechanical, technical craft is needed and a form of skilled labour, like carpentry or being a rigpig?something that blue collar, but just a little more special, a hundred bucks more special, really. Smarmy shit all around, and not as humble as he needs to be.
(actually of course by the 51st century this is a hopelessly quaint and inadequate formulation)
(viz SYNCHRO obv)
yesterday wz the GOLDEN GOGGLES AWARD for swimmin pools good and bad (and shut down)
it wz presented in uber-classic synchro/performance art format: viz happened in an EMPTY SWIMMIN POOL DO YOU SEE! (step forward marshall street pool) where a CLOTHED DUNCAN GOODHEW DO YOU SEE! made announcements of winners and losers while his voice was LOST TO MIRROR-SURFACE CERAMIC ACOUSTICS DO YOU SEE! while the list he wz supposed to be readin from was LEFT SOMEWHERE ON A TAXI DO YOU SEE!
the politics of swimming are even more interesting than the politics of foopball bcz they involve THE DIALECTICS OF RISING UP OUT OF THE SEA and WHETHER WE WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPIER if we had (as some radically argue) STAYED THERE??!!
Down in Sunny Peckham something’s happening.
You can call it socially engaged practice, you can call it democratised art, you can call it goofy fun, but we can all agree it’s Pet-Tastic.
I think I was unsuccessful in my attempts to persuade some good friends of mine to take their months-old baby down there dressed as a doggy. That would have been the best thing.