I Hate Music

16
Mar 04

THE FATIMA MANSIONS

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THE FATIMA MANSIONS

So what was shocking about the Fatima Mansions? Was it the fact that the Irish music scene had never seen such vitriolic satirical bilious lyrics before. Was it the perfect meshing of Cubase beats and thrash guitar with pointed lyrics. Nah. They were just shocking. As in bad.

If a future generation were to dig up a copy of, say, Viva Dead Ponies, they would certainly claim it as the reason we all perished in a nuclear holocaust sometime in the next twenty years. Or at least should have. For the Fatima Mansions are as unlistenable as Cathal OCochlins name is unpronouncable. Unfortunately OCochlin lived in a fabled time when anyone who could operate Cubase and play a guitar was seen as the saviour of indie dance. That these fabled times spat out abortions of nature such as Carter USM and Jesus (oh Jesu!) Jones should come as no surprise. They all seemed a bit thick to operate complex machinery, but then their songs never suggested an in depth understanding of the program.

Take The Loyaliser. Look, its a political song about Catholicism. You cannot really tell that from the lyrics, as they are pretty much just shouty bits over a jackhammer beat and some very messy guitars. And this was their biggest hit. If we dont count their clever double B-Side of Everything I Do (I Do It For You). It was a clever B-Side as it was on someone elses record. It was less clever careerwise for
a) Being someone elses song
b) Being for charity
c) Being absolutely no fucking good.

And then he made a record with Sean Hughes called 20 Golden Showers. He was taking the piss. 20 times.

12
Mar 04

HERBIE HANCOCK – Zippit

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HERBIE HANCOCK – Zippit

Imagine if you will that you are a jazz musician (horrible thought I know). You’ve played with the – ahem – greats such as Miles Davies, Canonball Adderly and Quickdraw McGraw. You have even survived the prog-rock, acid jazz phases to make it out to a new hip-hop, electro audience in the 1980’s.

And what single track are you remembered for? What track will be played on the obiturary on Liquid News on the announcement of your death. A track that is played on the zip to a parka jacket.

You couldn’t make me laugh more than if your first name was Tony.
(Those famous Herbie’s in full. An annoying Volkswagen. An annoying robot from the Fantastic Four cartoon. Um, that’s it.)

11
Mar 04

LLOYD – I MEAN LOWELL – GEORGE

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LLOYD – I MEAN LOWELL – GEORGE

Like some sort of curmudgeonly pop star who only plays his new album that no-one knows in his new concerts, I don’t really do requests. Except, it struck me, that if I ever ended up being like a curmudgeonly pop star I would slash my wrists. So flicking through my copious mail sack for alimony cheques for the various Rolling Stones children I have pretended to sire (like they they remember who they have shagged) I came across a slightly left field request. Lowell George.

Imagine if you will a world where the most respected British statesman of the twentieth century was not Lloyd George, but rather Little Feat pharmacologist Lowell George. There would never have been a depression at the end of the 1920’s for one. We would all have been far too whacked out of our bonces to care. Luckily though the inevitable upshot of this policy, namely the death of an entire culture, was averted by his birth in America in 1949. A generation is saved, at some say the relatively small price of Mr George being involved in some of the worst records (and album covers) of all time.

If one were to collect all of the worst musicians togethe rin a room together, what method would you use? Best ask Frank Zappa, because he did it with the Mothers Of Invention. Zappa deserves a whole week of slagging, so I’ll leave him alone here, but rest assured that a job of employment by the father of Moon Unit is a sure sign of being lousy. It is unclear whether George left the Mothers or they kicked him out(!) but forming Little Feat was no great improvement in his skills. Except it put him front and centre, maybe him band heroin buyer and idiot with responsible for getting those fucking shoe ducks drawn on the album covers.

Like a poor mans Steely Dan, Little Feat were feted for having anodyne full productions and supposedly sharp songwriters. George was but this time a so called master of the slide guitar, something which came about because his pudgy fingers were far to fat to make proper chords any more. Their most representative, for which read lazy, song was probably their only hit Rag Mama Rag, a song about menstrual fluid. It was in this period that George also grew the scankiest beard in rock, which he kept until his premature yet deserved death in 1979.

He had left Little Feat by then due to musical differences, the rest of the band never being sure if he was capable to stand up or not. His only solo album Thanks I’ll Eat It Here, summed up his entire philosophy – his heart attack being caused in more than some part by him being fatter than Mr Creosote. Many people say that the track Twenty million things, on said album, is made awfully poingnant by his death. I disagree. In it he suggests he has twenty million things to do. If even 1% of those were making more music, his heart did us all a favour.

1
Mar 04

I HATE MUSICALS 1: The Sound Of Music

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I HATE MUSICALS
1: The Sound Of Music

Three and a half hours long! There are pregnant women in labour who dont suffer for that long. Now I am no fascist but I bet I am not the only person egging on Rolf and his Nazi chums when they hunt down the Austrian version of the Brady Bunch in the final stages of the film. This is after all a film which is about someone not competent enough to be a Nun. Considering the onerous duties nuns have we have to wonder about her mental state. From what I remember the duties of a nun are
a) Wearing a wimple
b) Being generally quiet, thoughtful and serene

(There is a c) which involves being stern and whipping children but this is predominantly in historic Irish dramas). Anyone who cannot pull off these two jobs not, as the nuns suggest of Maria here, a wilo the wisp, a flibberty-gibbit or even a clown. She is a mentally damaged imbicile and should not be left to look after six children. Especially children who turn twee into an artform. Much like Maria turns curtains into clothes. Do you remember the kid whose mum made him clothes out of curtains at school. No, me neither – I guess I repressed his tragic suicide from my mind.

I have often fantasised about the hill Julie Andrews twirls her way up at the start of the Stinking Sound Of Music. Hoping that this time the hill would suddenly end, leaving a gash in the landscape that she unfortunately tips herself down. Yodelling all the way down so those Men With a Beer With Its Head Afloat could hear*.

If any children of mine, rather than going to bed, took five minutes via a complex, multi-lingual song, I think I would send the right down the workhouse. The Von Trapp children are described as thoroughly naughty, but with all their girlie singing are about as hard as candy floss. The lyrical nonsense thrown up by this film is almost endless. Edelwiess – I am happy to meet you – its a plant! I am sixteen going on seventeen -you are sixteen going on six feet under if I had my way. La – a note to follow soh – whats wrong with La – a rubbish scouser band?

As for Captain Von Trapp of the Austrian Navy. Austria is land locked. He just putts a few yachts around Lake Geneva. So we have a failed Nun, a pointless captain and a family of halfwitted children (especially the youngest one with a face like a sprout) – versus the Nazis. Am I really the only one cheering on the Nazis here? Go Rolf, go.

*The Lonely Goatherd also rhymes Table DHte heard with the titular LG, forming possibly the worst rhyme in musical history.