I Hate Music

31
Jan 02

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS – Come With Us – A Review

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“It was Alexander Pope who said “A little learning is a dangerous thing”, and never has this been more clear than in the release of The Chemical Brothers fourth Long Player. Electronica’s darlings, the dancesmiths its okay to rock out to appear to have stumbled out into the Post World War II twilight and are unsure of what mood to kow-tow to. Somehow the skippity sledgehammer beats do not instill the euphoria of those previous days and it is unlike that Frank Capra wil be using Tod and Em Chem’s newer disc to underpin his new feelgood feelbad movie Its A Wonderful Life.

Star Guitar is their answer to The Drugs Don’t Work, which someone somewhere said. But as an answer it should only be given an F, and perhaps post the great crash of 1929 the Chemicals don’t work either. Even getting an inspirational diva of the calibre of Beth Orton in can do nothing but suggest that this – much like The Basement Jaxx and The Daft Punks of this world are the same old same old. No-one’s buying dance music in the States and all you English people do not understand the pain of walking round the Lower East Side with only a pair of headphones for company.”

What all the reviews of this album are actually saying is, this is the only album which has been released this month so I’ve got to use all of my purple prose on it even though it is the dullest slice of turgid bollocks I have ever heard. But then they pay music journalists by the word…

29
Jan 02

POP TAUTOLOGIES 1: PINK – Missundaztood

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POP TAUTOLOGIES 1: PINK – Missundaztood

Well, if you are going to spell like that, its no wonder you are going to be misunderstood. Not to mention forgetting to dye your hair pink. Did Debbie Harry ever go out without blonde hair? Is Ludacris anything but? And as for Garbage….

POP TAUTOLOGIES 2: GARBAGE

25
Jan 02

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Rainbow

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Rainbow

They say there is a crock of gold at the end of the rainbow, guarded by crafty Irish leprauchauns. Well, that may well be the case, but all I saw when I got to the end of this Rainbow Of Rubbish were the four girls from B*Witched doing some cod Riverdance to try and regain some sort of career. I soon smacked them upside the head, but C’est La Vie as I’m sure they would say.

No, at the end of the spectrum of shite is one final entry, a band who had so little shame that they decided to name themselves after the entire Rainbow. They were called Rainbow – and unsurprisingly they were rubbish. It was a vanity project, an offshoot from the equally dull (and colour mentioning) Deep Purple. The Purple were famous primarily for writing the easiest record ever made – in Smoke On The Water. This tag slowly got to their guitarist Ritchie Blackmore until he could take it no longer and left. Notwithstanding the obvious fact that he had written the childishly simple song ever and that fact was not going to go away by changing bands. Indeed it became quite clear that Blackmore was a bit of a blamer in general. Rainbow got through three seperate singers – all kicked out citing creative differences. I assume they wanted to be creative – and this was different to “three note Blackmore”.

Rainbow – in the great tradition of British Heavy Metal – were dull, lumpen bores. Their most successful song was “Since You’ve Been Gone” a Blackmore penned number about how nuts he’s been since someone has – unsurprisingly – been gone. If you were so worried about people leaving you wouldn’t keep kicking them out of your band. In the end the dictatorial style of Blackmore (and lack of sales) forced the band to split – Blackmore went and joined Whitesnake (what is it with this guy and colours?). Rainbow had never really been a band anyway – just Blackmore and bunch of puppets. Blackmore on Guitar, George on bass, Bungle on drums and Zippy on vocals.

22
Jan 02

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Babes In Toyland – “Bruise Violet”

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Babes In Toyland = “Bruise Violet”

Riot Grrls and I have an unhappy history together, readers. Of course when they turned up they declared war on dreary boyrock, and that’s a battle I’m always happy to fight, so I went along to the UK recruiting office. It turned out to be a smelly Brighton flat but hey, all revolutions have to start somewhere. More worrying was the fact that the flat was full of musical instruments – guitars, drums, a bass, even a microphone!

‘Do you play these?’ I asked in horror.

‘No way sister!’ replied one of the grrrls. I breathed a sigh of relief. Clearly they had stolen these instruments from evil BOYROCKERS and were now going to have them humanely destroyed. I told them to count me in!

‘Great!’ she said, ‘You’re in! We’re rehearsing Tuesday.’

CURSES! Too late I realized the error of my ways. My fearful question had been misinterpreted – of course the riot grrls could not ‘play’ their instruments the way the phallocrats defined it. However they certainly planned to get onstage and make a racket with them. Your reporter made her excuses, left, and then shopped the lot of them to the bailiffs.

Even so, wiping out all music made by half the Earth’s population is an aim I could get behind. But there were two problems with Riot Grrrl. First of all it became clear pretty quick that the problem was not so much men as the Riot Grrls! terrible taste in them. Take Courtney Love: Trent Reznor, Julian Cope and Kurt Cobain had one bath between them during the entire course of the twentieth century, and Billy Corgan is a bald egomaniac goth. Of course she’s going to have ‘issues’! Back in Britain meanwhile the grrrls from Huggy Bear were full of praise for one Blood Sausage, aka a tubby bloke called Dale who yelled ‘What law am I breaking now?’ over music sounding like a tramp humping a shopping trolley. The answer was ‘none’. Unfortunately.

The second problem was that Riot Grrrls weren’t very scary. The word ‘Grrrl’ should have tipped you off. ‘Grrr’ is what those scary riotous rule-breaking figures Tony the Tiger and Alan Partridge say – oh, and founding your whole movement on a weak pun is also no path to quality (see also: trip-hop). Riot Grrls talked tuff but they were as threatening as a Scooby Doo monster.

Which brings us to “Bruise Violet” by Babes in Toyland. Specifically the lyrics thereof which prove my point most elegantly. Here’s how they start: “You got this thing that really makes me hot / You got a lot and more when you get caught / You got this thing that follows me around / You fucking bitch I hope your insides rot / Liar liar liar” Wow this is hard-hitting stuff, brilliantly capturing the feeling when lust and loathing collide, etc. etc. Let?s see what they do next: “You see the stars through eyes lit up with lies / You got your stories all twisted up in mine / You were born with glue instead of spine?” – you tell ’em Babes in Toyland! Now finish them off with a killer last line:

“Of thee I sing tied to a string”

Oh.

21
Jan 02

TANYAS RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Indigo – MOLOKO

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TANYAS RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Indigo – MOLOKO

I often wonder exactly what would have happened if the bloke out of Moloko had replied – as obviously would have been the right answer – no. The famous (as famous as any story about Moloko can be) story is of course that the Irish bint out of the band came across blokey at a party and asked him Do You Like My Tight Sweater. A bit forward, and the correct answer would probably have been no. At least if it is anything like any of her other sartorial choices – including the glitterball dress from the Sing It Back video.

Moloko were a no hope trip-hop band, releasing albums to a completely disinterested public. Then some fool remixed Sing It Back and for a reason which still eludes me to this day it became a big hit. Perhaps it was the tedious house beat, perhaps it was the genius of rhyming of sing with bring. Whatever, they were granted some spurious claim on existence. Luckily they have now retreated back to releasing albums to a completely disinterested public – pretty much on the strengths of ditties such as Indigo.

Usually when I take a deep look at a songs lyrics I dissect for sense, meaning and intent. In this case it is merely a matter of stupidity. The most frequently used words in Indigo are Rameses (Egyptian pharaoh) and Collosus (large statue, wonder of the world on Rhodes). The reason for invoking said sculpture and king are not clear, except to highlight how wacky the singer is. This is compounded by the chorus in which the colour is mentioned in typical deep and meaningful fashion:
Indigo here we go-ho
Indigo here we go-ho-ho
All this over a beat they would like to describe as slinky, but would only get away with if sounding like a spring falling down some stairs could ever be described as rhythmically adept.

Indigo is the no-mark colour of the rainbow, marking time between blue and violet. Moloko are much the same, marking time between Portishead and Morcheeba – with seemingly the only point of notice being they have a singer who does the Im crazy me schtick all the time. I just hope that the mummy of Rameses rises up from the dead, whilst rebuilding and animating the Colossus of Rhodes to smite the Sheffield simpletons for taking their names in vain. Short of that though, them losing their record contract would suffice.

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH XTRA: The Blues

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH XTRA: The Blues

I woke up this morning”. cf: Any blues song ever written.
I wish you hadn’t.

18
Jan 02

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Blue Monday – NEW ORDER

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Blue Monday – NEW ORDER

New Order Question One: How do you replace a dark genius like Ian Curtis?
A: You get the drummers wife in.

New Order were – as everyone knows – formed from the ashes of Joy Division. Now I don’t know whether you have ever seen anything made out of ashes but they are pretty insubstantial and dull. Grey, bland and flaky – all words which happily describe the Order – especially mid-eighties. There was only so far they could trade on the reputation of being that tragic band whose mate topped himself. After all, people started wondering why he topped himself when the reason is plain to see that he was trying to get away from the other three. Of course Mr Curtis there is no peace in heaven (or to be more precise “suicides hell”) – especially not now the drummer from Feeder and Zac from EMF have joined you too.

New Order Question Two: Your singer has killed himself. Who do you get in to replace him?
A: The fella with the dullest voice in the band

Blue Monday is a truly stupendous record. It is so audacious it should be called a piece of conceptual art and put in a gallery – preferably one with a very good lock on the front door. Still everything made by Factory Records was art, from the bongs knocked out of a Panda Pops bottle by Shaun Ryder, to the Brylcream stains on the leather upholstery from Tony Wilsons hair. Manchester was a great place to be in the eighties, as long as you had the right kind of firepower. Blue Monday came out of this period of experimentalism, and is a unique collaboration between a drum machine, a drummers finger and a typical Barney Sumner stream of consciousness burble. If indeed he was conscious. I have it on good authority that not only was Sumner asleep during the recording of Blue Monday, but he had actually been replaced by the prosthetic head out of the lousy BBC TV version of The Hitch-Hikers Guide To The Galaxy. You know, the one that could only say “hey” and then broke.

New Order Question Three: How Does it feel, to treat you like I do?
A: Fucking terrible Barney. Stop singing.

A song which is merely a man reprogramming a drum machine constantly is not my idea of the most successful 12″ single of all time. And nor would it be if this did not prove an early example of my own influence on the British record buying public. You see I found out that due to that whizz of economics Mr Tony Wilson’s incompetence – Factory Records actually lost 49p for every copy of Blue Monday they sold. This was due to its unique packaging which made it look like a floppy disc. Only four times as big (still Wilson never had a sense of scale). So out I went, telling the kids to buy, buy, buy – in a vain attempt to bankrupt the bastards. I failed on that attempt, but my trip to Manchester did at least introduce me to the source of the final downfall of Factory. Shaun Ryder’s first wrap of cocaine.What I like to call Fac 666 – ha ha ha….

17
Jan 02

TANYAS RAINBOW OF RUBBISH (BONUS ENTRY!): Shitti Politti

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TANYAS RAINBOW OF RUBBISH (BONUS ENTRY!): Shitti Politti

Clever pun, eh readers? And every bit as clever was Green Gartside, singer, songwriter and eventually (his comrades having fled) sole member of Scritti Politti, the 1980s foremost deconstructionist pop pin-ups. Rather like a turd, Scritti Politti emerged from a squat: they brought with them radical new do-it-yourself music though where most DIY resulted in sore thumbs, Greens resulted in sore ears. Their first single showed their Marxist credentials by listing the costs of production on its sleeve. (Their second single was set to show the income side of the balance sheets, but ran into entirely predictable problems). Soon though fame and fortune were to come calling, with yet worse results.

What do you think of when you hear the word Green? Trees, grass, yes but less tangible qualities too. Perhaps you think of nature itself, bursting with life and energy? Not words applicable to Mr.Gartside, whose music even at its peak sounded like bored employees playing marbles in the biscuit tin factory, and was sung by a man whod had his lungs replaced by meringue. In fact had Scritti sounded any tinnier and oilier theyd have been mistaken for tuna (more likely that than being mistaken for a tune, mind).

Green is also the colour of envy, of course. Green Gartside woke up in his lice-infested pit one day to find to his horror that the Thomson Twins, at that point the only squatter band crustier, ranker, more incompetent and generally useless than his own, had got a record deal and were now on top of the pops. Im having some of that he thought, and the rest is pop history (footnotes thereof). You might think, reader, that envying a band who lived on the same page of pops great chronicle as Howard Jones and Sal Solo would lead one to make some of the most insipid and wearying music ever pressed to disc, and you would be entirely right.

But Green had a great advantage over his peers hed read a book or two and so he called his songs clever things like Jacques Derrida and Philosophy Now!. How much did the songs have to do with Jacques Derrida and the current state of philosophy? As much as Venus And Mars by Wings has to do with astrophysics. Greens idea was to subvert the pop public by charting with these post-modern trifles, and a track or two got through the net. Having heard them, though, the pop public swiftly told him to Fouc Aulff.

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: The Green, Green Grass Of Home – TOM JONES

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: The Green, Green Grass Of Home – TOM JONES

Oh, he’s a right leather-faced boyo is our Tom Jones. A real eighteen carat charmer. Actually, I have confession to make. That renaissance he had in the eighties, when The Sun ran the story about women throwing their knickers at him – that was started by me. In an honourable cause though. I had the raging shits for days and it was my form of dirty protest against the man who has apparently got snake hips. Snake don’t have hips anymore. They were so appalled at being compared to Tom Jones that they evolved rather than being thought of in the same breath.

To the rainbow though, as I daresay Virginia Woolf would have said if she had filled her life with such an important project like this of mine. The Green, Green Grass Of Home, so green they named it twice. The song is a eulogy from a man to his home town, seeing his Mama, Papa and a young sweetheart Mary who had the misfortune to be born with lips like cherries. Still with lips made of fruit you would have a tough time singing, so I’m on Mary’s side. I just hope she dumped Tom before he let loose his god-awful bellow on the world.

However all is not peachy in Tom’s world for it transpires that the first two verses were all a dream. You know, that rubbish plot device that at school you were told off for using? Well its all a dream because Mr Jones is actually in prison. For once I punch the air, for this is quite obviously where Tom ought to be – high security in C Block for his crimes against crooning. Not only that but it turns out that the very next morning he is going to be hung by his turkey neck to die. Die I tell you. At least until Trevor Horn and his Art Of Noise decided to breathe some life into the old corpse and make everyone lose their dinners watching a very old man gyrate and talk about kissing us.

I hate the Green Green Grass of Home because there are only two logical conclusions to it. Either Tom Jones lied and was not actually sentenced to death for the crimes has most patently committed. Or worse. That he is some form of undead, cursed to continually do cover albums with his countrymen, foisting and reinforcing the evil of bands like the Stereophonics and Catatonia for eternity. Do you blame me for throwing some crap at him?

16
Jan 02

TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Mellow Yellow – DONOVAN

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TANYA’S RAINBOW OF RUBBISH: Mellow Yellow – DONOVAN

INT: A dark hippy party some time in the sixties. Neil Diamond is playing on the shitty dansette in the corner while dirty, grubby hippies pass around joints. A ginger haired girl called TANYA is talking to her friend LUCY.

TANYA: Is this really hip Lucy.
LUCY: Sure is Saffron.
TANYA: The hippest of the hip. Man these drugs are driving me wild.
LUCY: I can’t feel my feet.
TANYA: You haven’t got any feet. Remember the accident?
LUCY: Oh yeah. Hey, who’s that freaky looking guy over there?
TANYA: I don’t know. He looks real ugly though.
LUCY: What’s he smoking? Isn’t that dried banana skins?
TANYA: I think so. Christ he’s not that bore that Neil was talking about earlier. The guy who is trying to flog Electrical Banana’s.
LUCY: Oh shit. He’s a real bore. He says they’re going to be the next craze. Is he staring at you?
TANYA: I think he is. Try not to look at him.
LUCY: He’s coming over. Bummer.

Over comes the ugliest, most hippy hippy you have ever seen smoking a banana skin which keeps setting light to his Kaftan.

DONOVAN: Hey girls. I saw you looking at me.
LUCY: we were staring really.
TANYA: Cos you are such a freak.
DONOVAN: What’s your name?
LUCY: (Hissing) Don’t tell him.
TANYA: Er – (thinking rapidly) You can call me Saffron.
DONOVAN: Hey Saffron. You know, I’m just mad about you. Do you know who I am?
LUCY: The high priest of Looniville? The Grand Vizier of Just Gone Round The Bend?
DONOVAN: They call me Mellow Yellow.
LUCY: Christ on a bike. Do you mind if I call you annoying Dylan knock off copyist bloke?
DONOVAN: No babe, that’s cool.
LUCY: I think I’m going to be sick. (Exits to be sick).
TANYA: I feel strangely drawn to you Mr Yellow. Yet my eyes, ears and every inch of my skin is crawling in revulsion. Tell me, how have you bewitched me.
DONOVAN: It must be this banana. Its strong stuff.

In the background we see Lucy, in disguise with Neil Diamond – leaving. Tanya was never seen again. Donovan was never seen again either, but mainly because his was a novelty record at best and frankly if your schtick is being a half-arsed British Bob Dylan it is unsurprising you dipped below the radar of publicity. Nine months later Lucy gives birth to a baby girl. She names the girl Tanya after her missing friend (despite her not having ginger hair or looking anything like that pop star loving freak) – and tells her never, ever to hang around with pop stars. Look what happened to her friend.