I Hate Music

Nov 00

BRYAN FERRY – From Roxy Music to Poxy Music

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BRYAN FERRY – From Roxy Music to Poxy Music

Itís a conundrum. The organisers of Miss World 2000, looking through their post-ironic lenses, have to choose a venue, a host and a musical star for their event. Of course, this year’s Miss World could only be held in the multi-million quid double-D cup that is the Millennium Dome. The host – well, Jerry Springer is cheap and cheesy and will no doubt go down well with the dumb fucks who one-handedly watch this crap.

But who would be suitable to open the show? What musician would possibly accept the ignominy of opening this parody of a mockery of a caricature?

No problem! Send for that laughing stock, Bryan Ferry. Surely he is available; since itís still November, panto season wonít have started and he will be at a loose end.

Flicking between Eastenders and two lemurs rodding each other on the telly tonight, I caught Ferry performing “Letís Stick Together”, surrounded by T&A from the USA and the rest of the (Miss) world. Heís lost the pencil moustache but the lank hair and tuxedo remain. As does his godawful howling voice.

The longevity of Ferryís dismal career is remarkable. The one saving grace in his solo work is its consistency – all his songs were equally shit. “The In Crowd” was toss, “Letís Stick Together” is murder and the less said about “Slave to Love” the b.

But, Tanya, these three songs all emerged before 1985. Surely Ferry is a spent force now? Well yes, but that hasnít stopped him from producing a stream of musakal slurry since then. Album after album, each released just in time for them to be bought for Dadís Christmas Present and for Ferryís slappable face to hit the cover of some hapless menís magazine. I had the misfortune to hear him talking about his latest project on Radio 4 last month. Ho hum, the wankmeister has produced an album of covers. Please stop it Bryan – leave the shite tribute records to UB40.

Bryan Ferry. No shame then, no shame now.

Nov 00

THOMAS DOLBY – “She Blinded Me With Science”

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THOMAS DOLBY – “She Blinded Me With Science”

Time has been harsh to Mr Dolby. Not only has he been usurped by THX in all but the most flea-bitten of cinema’s but now rock history sees him as the poor mans Howard Jones. And considering history regards Howard Jones as some bland idiot who was most notable for having a mate who did not know the difference between mental and physical chains – its unsurprising Thomas gets short shrift.

Its also unsurprising when you listen to “She Blinded Me With Science”. Pointless keyboard noodlings yes, but more importantly it is never quite plain what science she is blinding him with. Wishful thinkers might go for the science of the red hot poker, but instead it seems rto be the science of the cheap and nasty sample. Considering the sample is of Professor Magnus Pyke a now long dead TV scientist, any relevance this song may have ever had is completely nullified. Its a rubbish sample anyway – this woman blinded Pyke too – which is along the line of some sort of serial blinder and something the police should have been tipped off about.

Instead I have my own theory. Perhaps Thomas was confused. Perhaps she did not blind him at all – perhaps she deafened him with science. It would explain why al his records sounded so bloody awful.

Nov 00


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Forced hiatus chaps. Just as I was getting into my science stride. Ah well, “Clouds Across The Moon”, and “She Blinded Me With Science” will have to wait. I have just escaped from being kidnapped and tortured by Elton John, and am feeling a wee bit clapped out.

The self styled Captain Fantastic, and about two of his fans, have taken umbrage at my laying all of Elton’s lyrical woes on his doorstep. And so in the dead of mid-morning, some diamante studded Commando’s stormed my gin palace where I was dozing after a particular heavy night on the mosaic and dragged me off to his secret hideaway.

“Tanya”, saith the berugged one. “I don’t write the lyrics. Bernie Taupin does.”

I tried to reply but he had hand-maidens force feeding me Victoria Plums (‘The most expensive fruit in Tesco this week’ John told me with glee). After nipping out to buy the entire stock of Tower Record for his five homes and converted volcano, I finally got to talk to him.

“Reginald,” I said – because there is nothing I like better than showing up some pumped up prissy pop-star by using the name they were born with. “I know you do not write the lyrics. But you sing them. And I cannot help but notice you lavishly luxurious lifestyle which seems to be at odds with the poverty of said cod poetry.” I could not help but notice since whilst I said this very sentence he had thrown another bank-roll of tenners on the fire. Presumably to see Charles Darwin go up in smoke: Elton has always felt bitter about his place in the evolutionary ladder as some kind of Cro-Magnon throwback.

“You would think with your predilictation of wasting money wherever you go, on wigs made of Hedgehog Pubes f’rinstance, that you could hire the worlds best lyricists to pen your words for you. Then at least the dazzling wit of the poetry would at least detract from the artistic shortfalls of your major key bombastic piano stomp alongs which belittle even Billy Joel’s keyboard obviousness.”

This made Elton rub his chin for a moment (it not being wise to scratch his head). Then he rubbed a fake chin made out of the entire world stocks of Beluga Caviar.

“You have a point there Tanya – one which I already dealt with when I collaborated with Tim Rice. No?” He tried to look all superior, which is very difficult for a man who’s goggle eyes and slipping rug makes him a poster child for computer nerds everywhere.

“Elton,” I said, “that’s like swopping constipation for bloody stools.”

Oddly he seemed to know what I was getting at. He truned away haughtily and I I just settled into the torture which involved poodles pissing on old Johnny Cash records.

Nov 00


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Y’see the clever thing is that people from space are called Spacemen. But in the hippy dippy parlance of the sixties both the worlds “Man” and Spaced” were commonly used shortcuts to saying “A person” and “the condition of being somewhat affected by mind altering drugs”. Couple this with the late sixties space race there is no surprise in the number of clever songs about spacemen.


But here’s two anyway. Now certainly you are not expecting any Vivian Stanshall song to make any sense – he was a self styled peddlar of nonsense. Lyrically he saw himself as a capering jester. “I’m The Urban Spaceman” is no change from this policy, with the added bonus of having Neil Innes making farting noises in the background. Now I am well aware that the song is meant to be a hippy dippy pile of claptrap, but I think any first week philosopher might have trouble with the following Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band lyric:
“I’m the Urban Spaceman baby, but here’s the twist,
I don’t exist”

Now many a hard line sceptic may plough the furrow that the only thing they can prove is the existence of the self, but its a non-starter philisophically if you cannot even assert that the I doing the assertation does not exist. Descartes would certainly see the inherent flaw in its construction. Now I know th Bonzo’s never expected to be cited as a major existential text, but nevertheless – this is a bit bleeding obvious.

Not as bad though as the amazing fattening man. I am, of course, talking about the excellently named Jaz Mann (or Jazz Mag as his friends would call him – because he was a wanker). One hit wonder par excellence he can now be seen blocking out the sun in Bradford. From svelte androgyne to rotund lard arse in the chart life of one song. And said song was “Spaceman”:
“Spaceman – Always wanted you to go
Into space – man”

Can you see what Mr Corpulent has done there? Apart from turning an excitingly skittery five second advert tune into the most turgid of goth operas? He’s used the Spaceman / Space – Man trick. Forgetting that this was the nineties and the kids in the street were scratching their heads suggesting that if said man was a spaceman then he would have already gone into space. And hasn’t that bloke got lardy fast.

“Jaz Mann – always wanted you to go
Into Job Centre”

Nov 00


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H.G. Wells’ “Things To Come” was a seminal piece of work which predicted much of todays reality way back in the 1920’s. Whilst the film version is a bit pervy (in a 1930’s sort of way) it still stands up today as a great piece of speculative fiction. But books are for fools right? In the second half of the twentieth century we looked to pop to tell us the things which were coming.

Well no, we didn’t because most pop stars flunked out science and just watched the odd episode of Doctor Who instead. Hence the doom laden prophecy of Zager and Evans “In The Year 2525”. (Just as an aside, you never get the feeling that Zager and Evans were 100% comfortable with each other. On the one side there was tin foil wearing Zager, all futuristic name and Moog mauling. On the other we had Evans from the Rhondaa valley.) Z’n’E had a rather murky crystal ball at best. They merely posited that in the year 2525, we may not all still be alive. But if we were, then best not look to our laurels. What about the year 3535. And so on. Repeat ad nauseum (and trust me the nausea sets in solidly round the year 5555).

Nevertheless even this is preferable to Jamiroquai’s look into the near future. He would have been a lot better off just repeating one line, rather than spinning out such nonsensical couplets as:
“Its a wonder man can eat at all
When things are big which should be small”

I can only assume that Mr Kay is talking about his ego, because its tricky to work out what else is undergoing this small big transformation. Computers? Radio’s? Cars? Perhaps he is talking about pumpkins? Certainly in his local village fete there was a monster pumpkin that rocked in the size of one of the smaller Hawaiian islands. Jay was probably scared shitless when it was turned into a learing Jack’O’Lantern, floodlit from the inside.

Virtual Insanity, even forgetting the trouble that Mr Middle Of The Alphabet has with his furniture in the video, is a troubling song for troubling times. You see our futures are governed by the love we have for useless twisting of our new technology. I think we all know where the seeing eye dog of plagarism is coming from here. Though its not so clear what he means when he suggests that “Now there is no sound, because we all live underground”. Is this some sort of deadening effect of caves. I remember pot-holing once, and there certainly is a lot of sound, especially when some knob nosed git goes “halooo” in an echoey chamber. Nevertheless this is Mr Van Outen’s fantasy and we must abide by its rules. Indeed I am happy to abide by them as JK is talking about a future utopia. I am not sure how he is going to wangle it – this no sound underground business, but I for one am up for it. No sound equals no music equal bliss.

Therefore, despite the incoherence of nearly all the lyrics, Jamiroquai are my picks for the HG Wells of pop. No sound. If only it could happen.

Nov 00

DR. TANYA’S WORLD OF BIOLOGY…. “Trouble” – Coldplay

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“Trouble” – Coldplay

Too right you’re in trouble, my lad, for your pitiful knowledge of the animal kingdom, sub-section arachnids. If you are in the “centre” of a web, then the likelihood is that that you are the spider, and therefore not “caught” in it, even if it was built by some nebulous “They”.

Also, if you’re going to write ballads with such ignorant lyrics it’s a good idea to get past Chapter One of Elton’s World’O’Pop, “The Piano” and gen up on a few other instruments, eh?

DR TANYA LOOKS AT THE SCIENCE IN…. “Save The Best Til Last” – Vanessa Williams

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“Save The Best Til Last” – Vanessa Williams

“Sometimes the snow comes down in June”
You cannot argue with this one. Sure, those of us in the Northern Hemisphere may mope that its a relatively rare occurance but as anyone who has been caught in a Nepalese Junetime blizzard will testify, that snow doesn’t just come down in June. Avalanches have been know.

But hey, its not that line that lily-livered Indie fans turn their nose up and use to prove all pop is rubbish. Its the next line:
“Sometimes the Sun goes round the Moon”.
Ha ha, they say from their dorm rooms. Vanessa must be even dumber that the pre-renaissance Popes. Well, Dr Tanya (its short for Damn Right) has news for them. Sometimes, in fact quite often, the sun goes round the moon. It all depends on your point of origin. If we fix the moon as our universal point of origin then everything moves around it. In particular the sun can be plainly seen to orbit the moon, handily proved by the existance of both Lunar and Solar eclipses. I’ve drawn a diagram on the back of a fancy cocktail mat and I’ll post it to you if you want.

One day the leading Universities in the world will notice that they are not so much learning institutions as places where small town kids can go an watch bands. If Cambridge downed library and set up a facility merely to house snot-nosed Indie kids, they would save an awful lot of money. Give them internet access, a CD burner and a radio which they can pooh-pooh, but do not pretend that they are being educated.

Do not slag off “Save The Best Til Last” because of some belief in its dubious science. Instead face the fact. It is merely rubbish in itself.

Nov 00


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This site is not called I Hate Science. I think, in general, that science is a rather good thing, especially in the field of medical advances. I am not even anti-cloning – since the music industry succeeded in this field a long time ago and clones seem no more dangerous than the originals. Given the choice of getting stuck in a lift with Radiohead or Coldplay, I think I would pick ver ‘Play every time. Musical clones are the same as the originals – just with a smaller canon. Probably easier to beat up too (as an aside readers, do you know where I can buy a Brickbat? They sound like fabulous things. Baseball bats made of brick. Smokey Robinson wouldn’t be crying tears of a clown after a quick go with that).

During my enforced vacation from hating music for the last few weeks, into hating Internet Service Providers, I have been doing some scientific research. And so I hope to show the effect of science on music. We will be taking a trip through Moog’s (rubbish scientific instument), via the use of science in songs and of course, everyones favourite, science fiction songs. Hold on to your astro hats, because this is going to be nasty. To start off with, the nastiest of sci-fi songs: courtesy of our old favourite Elton John.

ELTON JOHN – Rocket Man

Of course that is not the full title to the song. Oh no. Full title is “Rocket Man (I Think Its Going To Be A Long Long Time)”. Well it certainly seems longer than it is, in the way that good things seem to fly by. From the appallingly titled Honky Chateau album, this was Elton’s go at ripping off Space Oddity. Now whilst Bowie is a cock-eyed fool, and this has been much discussed round here, he is at least a cock-eyed fool with a modicum of sense. Whereas Elton – lyrically – is the stream of consciousness, never rub out a lyric kind of guy. Take these for starters:

“Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell”

A charitable woman might say that Elton is using clever symbolism here, in as much as Mars is red – like the stereotypical depiction of hell, and yet it is cold as hell (though said stereotypical depiction paints hell as being hot). I am not a charitable woman. This line is thoroughly uncalled for. Previously John has been mentioning how lonely it is in space, and then – out of the red if you will – he considers starting a family on Mars. Whilst the coldness might be a good reason to not set up creche facilities, Reg finds a much better reason:

“And there’s no one there to raise them if you did”

Grammar watch alert. There is no-one there to raise your kids, if you were to raise your kids there. Well obviously there would be. You would be there. Duh! Admittedly you would be cold as hell, but…. Anyway, Elton realises his general stupidity in this and other aspects of the song and finally admits that

“All this science, I don’t understand“. This certainly proven by the fact that he believes rockets reach orbit when they get as high as a kite. Its quite clear that the space race was all about who got to the massive rock of cocaine that was the moon first. It was one small step for man, one giant line for mankind.

Elton – if you don’t understand science (or for that matter Grammar), don’t write a song about it. Frankly there is nothing I would like to see more than you be sent into orbit with half a dozen whizz-bangs shoved up you diamante arse, but if we can’t have that, then at least shut your trap.