I Hate Music
PILOT – January
You think I’m going to do twelve months of this crap, you’ve got another thing coming.
All that said though, January by Pilot is a godawful piece of shit which does deserve a singular bashing. I think many of us could agree that the month of Januiary is not exactly a bundle of laughs. Now the idiosyncrat that I am has a soft spot for it, basically because the pubs get shot of all the pre-Christmas amateur drinkers and I can stretch my legs. But even I resent the cold and the slush and the massive Jan 1st hangover.
All that said – I am not sure it was wholly fair that Pilot blamed their “sicked and tiredness” upon January. Its always the sign of a poor loser to blame things out of their control for being miserable. Surely they could have looked to their own laurels, their own cod sing-song choruses and feeble instrumentation. Harmonies which can only be achieved by a cheesy grin and a thumbs up sign – which belies the sadness at the heart of the song. January was Pilot’s biggest hit. They tried to follow it up with a song about February – which bombed. They were then Marched out of their record company offices with a P45. No-one was singing “don’t go” then.
THE COMMODORES – Easy (Like Sunday Morning)
What are the Commodores talking about in this record? Certainly in the mid-eighties when the track got hijacked (much like hijacking a hot-air balloon) by the Halifax Building Society the consensus was that Sunday mornings are chilled, everyone asleep, yuppies in loft flat, buying milk for cats sort of things. This was nonsense: in the mid-eighties you would be hard pushed to find a shop open on a Sunday morning selling milk. Anyone who has been to a Catholic service on a Sunday morning will tell you there is nothing easy about the hellfire and brimstone services often doled out for elevenses.
So what was the band with the original man with Orange for a surname in pop talking about? As far as I’m concerned I haven’t even seen a Sunday morning to note how easy it is. If they had said “Easy (Like An Eighteen Year Old Girl From Leeds Drinking Southern Comfort In Ritzy’s)” I would have known exactly what they meant. But instead the story of Easy is one of inter band rivalry. For when Lionel Ritchie croons that he is easy like Sunday morning, he does not mean the time between 4am and 12pm. He does not even mean the bit of time after midnight Saturday which most people consider as an extension of Saturday night but is strictly Sunday morning – and is oddly when a large number of people become easier due to excessive alcohol. But Ritchie is talking of none of these. He is not even talking about how easy the blind girl in Hello was – though she must have been to let Ritchie get away with following up that greeting with the thoroughly insensitive “Is it me you’re looking for”.
Nope, the Commodores are actually putting a sly dig in at everybodies favourite cause of art music wankery – The Velvet Underground. Whilst the Commodores had wrassled out hits like Three Times A Lady and other soft soaped mid seventies Motown slushfests, they felt they were not taken seriously. Unlike the VU who got most of their kudos from having known a bloke with Einstein hair and a German bird. Hence thid attack at the kiddy piano snoozeathon that is Sunday Morning. Which like Perfect Day, Last Great American Whale and everything else Lou Reed has had a hand in (except Heroin) is about taking heroin. Probably. The soul singers felt that they could have written a song like Sunday Morning with a mouth full of gravel and a selection of Fisher Price instruments. Which is pretty much what it sounds like. Wheras they write a soulful ballad about someone changing sex three times (or is it five times becaue she would have to change into a man twice) and people laughed at them. Funny that.
What The Commodores never understood was that their very name consigned them to their critical mauling. The name being a combination of:
a) The Comode : Victorian toilet in a wooden box
b) The Doors: Sixties toilet in a wooden box. (At least Jim Morrison is).
MOTT THE HOOPLE – “Saturday Gigs”
“Saturday Gigs” was Mott The Hoople’s farewell single. Farewell records occupy a special place in my heart, because….well, you can probably guess why, actually. On this track Mott bid a tearful adieu to their small and foolish body of fans, with a versified look-back over their star-studded career, from “All The Young Dudes” to “All The Young Dudes” and back again. Now, truthful lyrics would have run as follows:
“I was in a pub prog band
Nobody wanted to know me
Then I went off cap in hand
To scrounge from David Bowie.”
Actually, the real “Saturday Gigs” is still brutally honest. And, predictably, stupid with it. “Do you remember the Saturday gigs? We do! We do!” yell Mott. Yes, of course you fucking do, you sock-brained gimps, you’re the band! You were the only ones there! But in the end the song founders on the simple fact that aside from one undeserved brush with fame, Mott were no-hope circuit sloggers. The proof? As the first verse builds to a climax, Ian Hunter tells of the band’s early struggles, culminating in a glorious, triumphant cry…“AND THEN WE WENT TO CROYDON!”
At least they left us laughing.
THE CURE – Friday I’m In Love
Some cynic has just e-mailed me to say that this whole worlds worst week of pop was constructed so I could get yet another dig in at the corpulent kings of goth rock. To you sir I say – you can never bash Fat Bob enough (that amount of gut protection makes him difficult to bruise), and secondly do you really think a grown man should be going round in an outsize jumper knitted by someone without fingers. To shame.
I will leave aside though the faux whimsicality of the track, the catawauling singing and the thesis of the song which suggests that Bob cannot be in love any other day of the week (he just don’t have the stamina of Craig David). With Bob its Saturday…Wait (delayed/no ejaculation), wheras Sunday always – ahem – comes too late. Only on Friday can he synchronise his sexual ability. But all that is rent assunder by the glib admission that on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s he always has a heart attack.
As loathe as I am to save an individual pop stars life, I am no believer in the death penalty. Not even for All The Cats Are Grey. That said, if you are regularily having heart attacks on two days of the week I think a trip to a cardiologist is in order. Of course its easy to guess what said heart doctor will say when he sees the lumbering form of Mr Smith loll toward him. “Mr Smith, your constant heart murmurs taking place on a nigh on weekly basis is probably due to the fact that you appear to have eaten all of the pies. Cut back, slim down and maybe we can restrict the heart attacks to once a week, or even once a month.”
He might also enquire if Bob has a history of some form of motor neurone disease, or the early onset of Parkinsons, since his lippy seems awfully messy.
BRIAN ENO – Thursday Afternoon
It’s possible – nay, likely – that, had you bought Thursday Afternoon back in 1982, you’d have taken it back to the shop. “Hold on,” you might have said, “I expected the innovative new record by Brian Eno, the cleverest man in pop and the groundbreaking father of ambient music. What I have purchased is the Most Boring Album Of All Time. It consists of sixty minutes of some bald bastard playing ‘sonic clusters’, or to give them their layman’s name, chords, very slowly and with big gaps in between. Might I suggest that instead of stocking any more copies of this disc you repackage them as sophisticated implements of torture and send them to doubtful overseas regimes to the future embarassment of the UK Government?”
Such would have been your case, and the facts would have been accurate. But a refund would not have been forthcoming. Let us examine the evidence.
A: It’s by Brian Eno. You should by 1982 have known what to expect with a Brian Eno record, being as the man’s based a lucrative career on being too incompetent to even make proper lift music, and on being a keyboard player. A swift digression on keyboard players: generally they join for album #3, nobody can remember who they are, and their advent heralds the rapid decline of any group into terminal insignificance. Roxy Music however had their keyboard player on board from the start, which made them revolutionary and he famous, despite looking like a ninny. Eno’s every record is like a shovel smack in the face of Dame Quality, from his student-revue lyrical caperings to the poxy new age ones he made with his equally benighted brother (imagine being called Roger Eno. I blame the parents). And Thursday Afternoon is no exception.
B: It’s called Thursday Afternoon, for God’s sakes. What is the most tedious time of the week, eh readers? Sunday? No, you’ve got a hangover but you’ve also got tine to sleep it off, you can have a fry-up, it’s all rather civilised. Wednesday? Wednesday is horrible, to be sure, but at least it’s actively agonising. It lacks the sheer absolute pointlessness of 2PM-5PM, Thursday. Nothing has ever happened between those hours and nothing ever will. So when Brian Eno named an album after this weekly dead zone it’s hardly bloody surprising that it turned out to be so disembowellingly dull that you can feel your brain fossilize as you listen to it. Frankly, reader, if you do own this record I have even less sympathy for you than usual. Get out of my site.
JAMIE WEDNESDAY – “We Three Kings Of Orient Aren’t”
This ill-advised week of wank ™ comes to its hinterland now as we enter the not oft sung about days of the week Wednesday and Thursday. This could well be because many a pop star is making love by Wednesday – not for the sultry reasons that Craig David’s “7 Days” suggests, more because there is nothing much on the television. This lack of songs though make Wednesday and Thursday easily my favourite days of the week. Note that my updates rarely come on these two days, because I am too full of the joys of not hearing any music that my embittered rage can be with-held. Its only Thursday night when the gin proportion of my body is raised to near equalling blood levels that some fool suggests we go to a club – and the lure of more alcohol just wins over the horror of facing loud, pumping music.
Last nights horror was within an indie club – the idea being that if I was going to have to listen to music it might as well be one dimensional, four to the floor, meaningless lyrics, homogeneous crap. That said, when they played a Carter USM track I went into one of my occasional music triggered fits and was in a pretty bad state. Of course no-one else in the club could tell the difference between my grand mal and the ridiculously over aged indie kids dancing, so I was left to seize in the corner for half an hour. I shall reserve full judgement on the Unstoppable Sex Machine until a later date (don’t want to get mouth foam on someone elses keyboard) but they do give both a nice link to Tuesday’s record and Wednesday’s band.
I do not think that anyone can deny that the lyrics “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday/Come home you silly cow” do very little to educate or illucidate the problems of child and spousal abuse. Yet the two man-children which made up the band pushed this aspect of “After The Watershed to the exclusion of its other qualities”. Those other qualities being appaling puns, wholesale theft of lyrics, lumpen tune and shouting. The only plus point of any Carter track was its nice and crisp percussion, which finally brings us to Jamie Wednesday.
Y’see before Carter there was a band which had all the rubbish members of Carter, and replacing their good members (the drum machine) with real, live human fools. The lyrics were as appalling, just the rythmn section were terrible. And they released one single whose title today brings a chill dread to my heart. You thought comedy titles were dead, well meet the song that killed them. “We Three Kings Of Orient Aren’t”. Let us examine said title. There were not three members of Jamie Wednesday. They were not kings. They were not from either the orient (for which read the inscrutable east in the simplistic South London mindset), or from Leyton Orient – football team of the East London region served by the Waltham Forest borough. So the song stressed three things which the band blatently were not. You get the feeling maybe it came from a back of a beermat discussion in a boozer.
Why not be proactive Jamie, why not say what you were. “We Five Talentless Fuckwits Whom Two Of Will Surf The Zeitgeist Of The Worse Downturn In English Pop For Two Years But Who Will All Be Queueing For Our Dole Money In The Peckham Job Centre By The Year 1998. ARE”. Works for me.
THE ROLLING STONES – “Ruby Tuesday”
And “Manic Monday” is just the start – the names-of-days/pop music connection is deep and baleful. Take this self-pitying bloater of a track, for instance. It’s fairly stupid to have a chorus which goes “Who could hang a name on you?” when the title of the song is a name. But that’s not the main issue. The main issue is that the Rolling Stones were execrable at ballads. Probably because the R and B bands they so slavishly aped didn’t do much in the ballad line, the Stones tended to sound completely lost when they slowed it down, sliding into hideous cod-Medievalisms (the even worse “Lady Jane”, where Mick Jagger comes off like the capering minstrel at the end of a Blackadder episode) and sickly over-enunciation. Jagger pronounces every verse word in “Ruby Tuesday” like he’s speaking at a Debating Society: a particularly insincere performance from a man who’s made a too-long career of them.
THE BANGLES – Manic Monday
Now this one also goes out to Prince who had the temerity to write this shocker. I’m not saying the all girl group are completely blameless, they threw themselves so wholeheartedly into the pretense of being office workers that its a safe bet that the drummer is probably holding down a nine to five knocking out paradiddles on an I-Mac. And it would seem a little bit out of order to knock the song on banality alone. So instead I just have one little point to make.
There are six other obvious words which rhyme with Monday. Sunday is one. Funday and Runday are not.
Oh and Suzanna Hoffs can wipe that grin off her face. This burning isn’t an eternal flame, but it lasts long enough to incinerate your shortarse winsomeness.
I Hate Music is no stranger to dodgy acronyms. The lousiness of DMX’s soubriquet has already been given short shrift. All that said – yet another rapper has wandered into the insult padock, with not one but two acronym related issues. Ladies and gentlemen, but ladies in particular because we all love cool James don’t we, I give you LL Cool J. And his new album The GOAT.
Now LL has been in the business for a long time, and he can chat with the best. Even I have to admit that Phenomenon was something like a phenomenon, or at least something like the film Phenomenon – which was a rubbish John Travolta scientology promo. Now I’m not saying that The GOAT is something like – say Battlefield Earth – but it does show a massive misunderstanding of the use of acronyms. You see The GOAT is not actually comparing Mr Cool J with a scrawny mountain dweller. Poor sheep substitute is not the angle LL is after. No, The GOAT is actually an acronym, for the Greatest Of All Time. Greatest what, I hear you ask. Well greatest ninny, or at least nanny (goat joke – cheers). Y’see if you are in the acronym business you want the actual word the acronym makes up to be impressive and symbolic of the actual meaning. So while LL Cool J reckons he is the Greatest Of All Time – we get to see him literally playing the Goat. Surely he could have found a few words that would make up LION.
But of course LL has had problems with abbreviations before. His name causes an infinite regress which has stumped many of the major logicians of our time. LL Cool J – or Ladies Love Cool James. (That’s Cool James, rather than sad, whiney pomp rock James who are all about Coming Home and Sitting Down and copying U2). But as soon as his name has been changed from James to LL Cool J, there is no James for ladies to love. So instead he should now be called LL Cool LL Cool J. This prodcues a second name change – which by inductive reasoning we can see will constantly repeat itself. So the fella has a name reminiscent of Pi, continuing in infinite regress.
Makes it kinda difficult to buy an album by him. Especially if its called The GOAT.
I am not going to make a habit of linking to other weblogs. However, this act of heroic civil disobedience deserves all the hits it can get. Jerwin Maximo, I salute you.
“I returned Kid A this morning before coming to work. When I handed the CD over and demanded a refund, the HMV store clerk looked at me, startled and shocked, as if I had just committed the most heinous crime on earth. She nervously asked me to fill out the refund slip, which I did. Her eyes widened even more when she saw what I had written.
Name: Jerwin Maximo
Phone: 1-xxx-xx-xxx, ext. xxxx
Reason for return: TERRIBLE!