2
Jun 04

The Day After Tomorrow

Do You SeePost a comment

The Day After Tomorrow

Brrrrr! Wrap up warm!

PS

Why are cinematic portrayals of librarians always so cliched? – Oh the precious books! Don’t burn the precious books! philistines! – I was thinking that I’d burn the books without hesitation, and would probably say “no, not the chairs, these books will burn much better”. I’m a terrible librarian :(

PPS

WOW! Wind Chill Factor!!! Brrrrr!

PPPS (Thursday morning)

Oh yeah! At one stage I was thinking it’d be great if there were Pompei style frozen bodies littered around, and low and behold there they were!

30
May 04

A note on some new songs I heard this weekend:

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

A note on some new songs I heard this weekend:

Phixx – Wild Boys: It really is last-chance saloon stuff for these guys, I quite liked the naffness of Love Revolution, which I think barely made the top ten. Now, you can’t really go wrong when you cover Duran Duran, which very little deviation fron the original bar a teeny bit of scratching and each of them singing in turns. I predict they will go top three with this one! Haven’t seen the video, but I’d be very surprised if it is any different from the original. Simon et al will be happy with royalties.

Seether feat Amy Lee – Broken Wings: The enduring legacy of grunge it would seem is the continued use of the Vedder/Cornell gravel ‘laying on the emotion with a trowel’ voice. And, employing the first lady of metal will mean that this is a hit, even though it sounds like every other gravel voiced post-grunge song ever (read as, I kinda like it)

28
May 04

Avril Lavigne: Under My Skin

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

Avril Lavigne: Under My Skin

Avril returns with a patchy kind of album, a busy mid ’90′s indie rock affair. The songs are a little difficult to remember, perhaps they should have been allowed to breathe and develop at a gentler pace (Rockist Bible 2001). At the worst of times she comes across as Alanis’s mini-me, wallowing far too much in teen angst and meeting the wrong guy (over and over), you wish she’d through in something a little more joyful, there’s no Sk8er Boi’s here. It’s not all disappointing, the best songs are the single “Don’t Tell Me”, “How Does it Feel” and “My Happy Ending”, which all have an anthemic feel that I like, and allow Avril to go through all her vocal styles.

The album tails off quite badly, from one mangled powerchord gloomfest to another, the last song proper is quite a nice ballad about loss and is only the real departure from a pre-occupation with ‘relationships’, and there is a UK bonus track “I always get what I want”, a laboured attempt at punk attitude, which really could have been left off. Overall, I want to like this more, “Let Go” seems a much more accomplished album in comparison.

Sacking the band and going blue grass would probably be a good career move at this point, or you know just trying to write some happier songs with sing along choruses. I?d really like Avril to cover Alice Cooper’s “How You Gonna See Me Now”, it would surely rock, or you know sit Avril down and play her some Journey, Cheap Trick and Heart.

3
Mar 04

Pavement – Elevate Me Later

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

Pavement – Elevate Me Later

It’s ten years since Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain came out, it’s only a couple of years since I realised that this particular song isn’t actually called Alleviate Me Later, and only a few minutes since I realised that I’ve spelt alleviate wrong for the past 27 years (eliviate). Not that I’ve ever had much call to use it.

Anyway, why talk about Pavement now? It’s because it’s just struck me that one of the things I like about Pavement is that they sound exotic, like far flung places, art school sophistication, a hazy kind of summer that I could just maybe enjoy. Not at all like I find myself today, sitting at my desk doing homework, exactly the same as when I first heard this album. It’s quite depressing.

This song is nonsense, flowing words that make no sense, casual instrumentation. Probably, one of the first bands, along with Eric’s Trip (who I’m going to listen to next) that made me think you don’t need to play well to be in a band, but you still need something. The moment my heavy metal view of musicianship really just fell apart, the learn some power chords, practice your scales, drop D tuning…

It’s the “sleep with electric guitars” line that I always remember, like it’s something to aspire to.

2
Mar 04

Oh, Pete has already written about Along Came Polly….

Do You SeePost a comment

Oh, Pete has already written about Along Came Polly….

But, I’ll post my review anyway, if that’s okay?

My “it’s got Ben Stiller in it so it must be good” theory has been somewhat exposed by his latest effort “Along Came Polly”. It’s not a terrible film, but it relies way too much on toilet humour (haha if Ben eats spicy food he gets the runs, there’s no toilet paper, flood, shock, horror! – and the even worse “I just sharted”, I won’t explain, work it out). I’m not sure about Jennifer Aniston in films, she was okay in Bruce Almighty, but she doesn’t really come across well as the free spirit. Stiller plays a typical urban neurotic, though not as well as he did in the Royal Tenenbaums. It follows the old rom-com formula, of broken hearts and staid routines, the new love, the odd lie here and there, the transformation and the she’s leaving town. It really all adds up to an okay movie that is watchable, say just as watchable as the Guru was, at least it’s not too long. Actually, the side story of his bitter ex-child actor pal might have made a better film, but wasn’t there such a film out recently?

Anyway, I saw a trailer for Starsky and Hutch, it’s got Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and the X-Factor of Snoop Dogg in it, so it must be great! I hope this hypothesis won’t be cruelly refuted…And then there was the trailer for “50 Firtst Dates”, Sandler and Barrymore = A WINNER!

18
Feb 04

It’s 9:16 am, and I’m writing about last night’s Brit Awards

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

It’s 9:16 am, and I’m writing about last night’s Brit Awards. Why are you telling us the time Jel? I hear you say, well it’s because I know that by the time I get to post on this NYLPM the Brits will have been discussed to death, and my points will be mute, but I have some things to say anyway:

a) I was very disappointed that every single band and singer thanked their management team. Whereas in US award shows everyone seems to thank God, over here it’s the management team, the stylist and the guy who does the bookings, sociologists would have field day. Just thank your parents, your friends and the fans, is what they should do, stop kissing backsides pop-stars!
b) There were three special collaborations during the show. The first wasn’t a collaboration at all, Andre 3000 did his song, then Beyonce did hers, there was limited interaction between the two. Then those two boring ‘jazz’ people (jazz should not involve singing, it’s be-bop or nothing in my house), well anyway they did “Love Cats”. The final special collaboration was Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani and Missy; my dog passed wind.
c) The naffest part of the night was the special news flash about 50 cent being arrested, and his subsequent interrogation down the local nick, luckily 50 and his buddies escape, but instead of doing a runner they go to the Brits. Seriously, the acting was sub-WWE, but 50 seems like a nice bloke, so I’m not holding it against him
d) Busted, for some bizarre reason played a turgid cover of Teenage Kicks, they should have played one of their own songs, as they are much better.
e) The best part of the night was Duran Duran, which isn’t usually the case with life time acchievement award performances. They played Hungry Like the Wolf, Ordinary Day and Wild Boys. I tried to convince my mum that the video to Wild Boys was one of the most iconic images of the ’80′s, especially the bit where Simon is on the windmill and is being dunked under water, but she didn’t remember it.
f) The Darkness played two songs.
g) The public loves Dido.
h) Some people won awards.
i) Cut to Will, cut to Gareth.

All in all, I was a little under-whelmed by this years show, no one got drunk, no one said anything silly, it was all rather sanitised.

Oh, it seems no one has mentioned the Brits here, so yeah, it really wasn’t all that great.

1
Feb 04

Funeral For a Friend – Escape Artists Never Die

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

Funeral For a Friend – Escape Artists Never Die

A band with a silly name, and silly song titles, is usually a recipe for the kind of music I like. They seemed quite likeable on PopWorld this morning (all I do is watch TV). FFaF make jaunty nu-metal-dawsons-emoish-rock, you know loud bits and quite bits, power chords and whispers. Best of all, they have a shouty guy and imcomprehensible lyrics, apart from “the red poison of your lips” I can’t catch a word after this. Perhaps, it’s because it’s not like the old days when I used to read the lyrics to Megadeth and Anthrax songs as they were playing, and could recite lyrical passages from memory. On another song (Moments Forever Faded) they seem to be singing “No pudding, no pudding”, I love this band!

I watched

Do You SeePost a comment

I watched Yu-Gi-Oh this morning, it’s a cartoon that has just one basic element: two people have a deck of cards each (kinda like Top Trumps), and they bring up computer animated versions of the characters and whatnot on the cards to fight! It’s just turned based – “a-ha my red eyes black dragon will defeat your puny bone warrior!” “You’re over-confidence is your biggest weakness, I shall play my power drain card in defence mode” “what?!? no!” “You must believe in the power of your cards” (or something like that, there’s a lot of complexity in the simplicity). Anyway, it’s a critical stage at the moment, Yu-Gi (the weird haired kid who is very Zen in battle) is playing against his pal Joey for the privilege of fighting the evil Pagasus, who has captured Joey’s sister and Yu-Gi’s Grandfather! Oh no!! Does this mean that only one can be saved?? It’s a more cerebral/cynical Pokemon, whichever is your viewpoint, I’m sure there’s alot of merchandise involved. I’m sure the kids love it!

1
Dec 03

Warrant – Cherry Pie

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment

Warrant – Cherry Pie

It’s kind of like being one of the best dinosaurs ever, and then a comet hits you.

Warrant were the last great pre-grunge cock-rock, hair metal bands, and combined all the best elements of luminaries such as Poison, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Van Halen etc, big hair, big riffs, big chorus. The last pre-post modern party band, rocking out on MTV, whilst Kurt and his boys were playing shows in seedy backwaters. Cherry Pie was out in 1991, almost at the same time as Teen Spirit. Why hair metal and grunge couldn’t co-exist is anyone’s guess, it had an okay relationship with Thrash/Death Metal after all, but there was a growing stigma for cheesy power ballads and adolescent songs about girls. Rock and fun had a messy divorce at the beginning of the 1990′s it would seem, and yeah I’m stating that Green Jelly/o’s “Three Little Pigs” was not fun.

I remember the time well, things changed over night (well the day I bought Nevermind and Nine Inch Nail’s “Pretty Hate Machine”). Waking up the next morning thinking, “I can’t listen to Warrant and Poison anymore”. Please forgive me, I was just 16 at the time, and I’ve done my best to make up for this temporary flirtation with the cool.

In hindsight, Warrant should be out on the road filling stadiums on endless greatest hits tours, but it’s not to be. Five years too late, or twelve years too early, whichever way you want to see it. And, hey if you like the Darkness, go and get Warrant’s greatest hits, coz it’s quite a bit better than “Permission to Land”.

27
Sep 03

Do You Remember Saturday Morning TV?

Do You SeePost a comment

Do You Remember Saturday Morning TV? – Philip Schofield, Emma Forbes, Sarah Greene, Cheggers, Andi Peters, Gordon the Gopher…where are you now?

This morning I switched on the TV and witnessed the hideous debacle that is “Dick and Dom In Da Bungalow”, a show devoid of humour, where kids throw “GUNGE” at each other, and the “ZANY” presenters wander around stately homes in a game where they try to say “BOGEY” louder than the other. Where are the pop star guests? Where is anything associated with saturday morning shows? Whatever happened to FUN?

Oh, maybe I’m being too harsh, but I expect better. And yeah, I probably should be doing something more construtive on Saturday morning, but you know I’m worried about this for the kids. They should be laughing at Philip and Emma in the kitchen when the cookery segment goes wrong, not some kid getting a bucket of gunk thrown over him/her. *SIGH*

At least Top of the Pops Saturday is still on.