Posts from 8th May 2000

8
May 00

This is footling: an essay/gripe about how sad the lead character in High Fidelity is

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This is footling: an essay/gripe about how sad the lead character in High Fidelity is, which promptly confuses fiction with reality and decides that a recognisable and amusing caricature of the collectormentality must actually stand for what all record collectors are like in real life. Nope: it is, amazingly, possible to attune oneself both to the ‘inauthentic’ emotion of a pop song and the ‘authentic’ emotion of, I don’t know what this guy thinks is authentic, a dinner party or a snog or something. And what makes the former emotion more ‘sad’, anyhow – the fact that you experience it alone? Or with friends rather than lovers?

Mind you, I’m still not going to show this link to my girlfriend.

I thought it prudent to help Tom snag some more readers by…

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I thought it prudent to help Tom snag some more readers by pointing out that there are a few others contributing here, though since this is Tom’s baby it’s strongly Tom-oriented. :) Along those lines if you’re from westernhomes and bummed out by any part of Tom’s list, compare to mine and see if it makes you want to stay.

BEST SINGLES OF TODAY
(I don’t think about singles as much as Tom, and thus I don’t keep a very long-term list.)
YO LA TENGO – “Be Thankful for What You’ve Got”
THE DISMEMBERMENT PLAN – “The City”
LOW – “Do You Know How to Waltz?”
EMINEM – “The Real Slim Shady”
SPIRITUALIZED – “Stay With Me”

BEST ALBUMS OF ALL TIME
(These don’t change much.)
LOW – The Curtain Hits the Cast
MILES DAVIS – Kind of Blue
MILES DAVIS – Bitches Brew
MASSIVE ATTACK – Protection
SPIRITUALIZED – Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space

Hopefully this will entice the rest of the nylpm team to join in (hint, hint)…

Hey Hey Hey! NYLPM seems to be getting hosts of (undoubtedly one-off) new readers thanks to a link from the mighty

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Hey Hey Hey! NYLPM seems to be getting hosts of (undoubtedly one-off) new readers thanks to a link from the mighty western homes. Come on in, you know you’re welcome here! But to find out whether or not you want to stick around, here’s a listlet of my favourite albums and singles of all time ever today. If it repels you, best click that back button before further grief ensues….

BEST SINGLES EVER (subject to extreme change):
DONNA SUMMER – “I Feel Love”
THE TRASHMEN – “Surfin’ Bird”
THE PIXIES – “Debaser”
ROXY MUSIC – “Virginia Plain”
THE SHANGRI-LA’S – “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”

BEST ALBUMS EVER (subject to possibly less change):
PUBLIC ENEMY – “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back”
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS – “69 Love Songs”
BOB DYLAN – “Blood On The Tracks”
PET SHOP BOYS – “Discography”
KRAFTWERK – “Trans-Europe Express”

PAUL VAN DYK feat SAINT ETIENNE – “Tell Me Why (The Riddle)”

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PAUL VAN DYK feat SAINT ETIENNE – “Tell Me Why (The Riddle)” (Deviant Records CD Single)
Couldn’t have put it better myself, frankly. Saint Etienne’s output over the last couple of years has been desperately erratic, swinging tedious retropop to the intriguing blanked-out cityscapes of Places To Visit, then to last month’s flailing non-epic “How We Used To Live”, and now to this collaboration with Paul Van Dyk, droid-eyed purveyor of ‘tasteful’ trancebag to the Our Price crowd. Get past the grisly sight of Van Dyk (the missing link between Marc Almond and Vanilla Ice) in a white poloneck and this isn’t strictly bad: Dyk’s beats may be regimental-issue but they at least give a bit of backbone to Stanley/Wiggs/Cracknell’s increasingly flakey, floatey songwriting. More beguilingly, “Tell Me Why”, with its similar snow-falling refrain, seems to work as a loved-up companion piece to “How We Used To Live”, and the two songs would each have worked much better as the other’s double A-Side. As it is, Saint Etienne’s ongoing identity crisis remains frustratingly unresolved.

The Suit

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The Suit: theatrically written, but still misery-inducing look into the life of a record industry executive (thanks to Doug).

When in doubt, head for the

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When in doubt, head for the josh blog. Josh talks a bit about trip-hop, thus triggering my bonnet’s most implacable bee: I think in retrospect my mistake was to use a Massive Attack or Tricky review to address the subject at all – those artists are deeply individual and have done magnificent work (though they’ve also both done dodgy work, if you ask me). What I was talking about is much closer to trip-hop’s definition as instrumental hip-hop for dope smokers: check out the epochal and largely awful Headz compilation for an early example of this. Nowadays at the commercial end we have comps like Bar Culture which goes to show that ‘eclectic’ and ‘predictable’ are not mutually exclusive things. Of course the title of the compilation is the biggest pointer to why I don’t like the stuff – put a good example under a film soundtrack (see my Ghost Dog write-up on Blue Lines) and it can work really well. Put it in a bar and the homogenity of the music really, really grates.

Oh look, I’m sorry, I can’t explain why I hate this stuff, I just do. Every record on Ninja Tune could be bundled into a huge skip and pushed into the fucking Thames for all I care, and the world would be an infinitely better place, as indeed it would be if people who designed bars to be ‘funky’ and ‘kitsch’ were given a one way ticket to Saudi Arabia to ply their wretched ironic minimalist trade there.