Posts from 16th June 2006

Jun 06

Day 71: Walk Like An Egyptian

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 672 views

I was taken by the soldiers into custody where I explained how I had gotten into Iraq and what I was doing there in the first place. I was pleased to see that my mission resonated with the marines which surprised me a touch, until one of the chaps explained it to me.

“Its urgent and key you get back to the UK as soon as possible. While you have been away a terrible scourge has been unleashed on the British population.”
“What, Billie’s made another record.”
“No, even worst than Robson and Jerome from the frankly unrealistic television programme Soldier Soldier. Now this is much worse. James Blunt. Not only are his sappy, 45 year old woman loving songs enough to drive any sane man mad with tedium, he is bringing the Marines in to disrepute. You see he used to be a Marine, and now whenever we attack the enemy they sing “You’re beautiful” to us and laugh. We are supposed to be the hard men of the army. How can hard men like us write a song like that? Please, destroy him for us.”

So I agreed and got a lift to Egypt for my troubles in a Harrier Jump Jet (or was that the Falklands?)

Walk Like An EgyptianTHE BANGLES

Now I am not going to expect the Bangles band to have a degree in Archaeology, Egyptology or to have even been to Egypt before they make pronouncements on the Egyptian character. They are American after all. I’d be happy if they had been out of their state (state of piss poor musical poverty). But the sad thing is that the Bangles knowledge of the way an Egyptian might or might not walk is based on a few drawings on the inside of a pyramid. Drawn 4000 years ago. When they did not know about perspective.

You see the Bangles believe that pictures drawn on an Pharoah’s pyramid 4000 years ago accurately represent what Egyptians look like today. They also believe that all the cops in a doughnut shop are singing “way-o way-o-o”, which seems equally odd. And even if their beliefs were true, this all girl gaggle of gruesomeness are still missing a point. The Egyptians, as drawn in the pyramids, aren’t even walking. THEY ARE STANDING.

Not that I would like the song if it was called “Stand Like An Egyptian”. But at least it would be fucking accurate.

Its All Gone See Hear

Do You SeePost a comment • 470 views

When it came out, Its All Gone Pete Tong got very middling reviews. A half arsed stab at a dance music Spinal Tap, six years too late and about a Ibizan scene that had almost died. A comedy with a serious plot, which then undermines both the comedy and the serious plot. And Paul Kaye doing his ugly gurning thing for the second time in a major British movie seemed unwelcome.

All of these are a bit true, but the error comes in thinking of Its All Gone Pete Tong as a parodic comedy. Yes there are moments which work like that, but this film is actually a quite serious, uplifting disability film. Kaye plays Frankie Wilde, legendary Ibizan DJ cum record producer who finds himself going deaf. There are of course some comic spins on this, but quite quickly the film settles on a fall and rise scenario. He goes deaf, he goes mad on drugs, he gets clean and he gets redemption. The manner of his redemption is via a lip reading teacher, who he then romances and discovers that he can make music just by hearing the vibrations. It a lot of ways it is a latter day Beethoven story but with more drugs and whiskey. And, with perhaps the caveat that the disabled characters are being played by hearing actors, makes a pretty good stab at making it clear that disability need not be a barrier to much of modern life (indeed its best jokes are at the hands of people discriminating).

BUT. Who knew? Okay, Inside I’m Dancing , which had a similar message, was seen from the outside as a mawkish piece of sentiment. That is not the case here, where Wilde’s redemption comes plainly from a ditching of drugs (though clearly not alcohol). Indeed the film is keen on showing a wild and rapacious lifestyle for the deaf characters. But perhaps its most critical audience, people who are deaf, may well be put off by the films very theme – dance music. And the fact that all the marketing (for honest stealth reasons perhaps) is clearly aimed at us thinking this is a silly and out of date comedy.