Posts from 6th July 2000

6
Jul 00

Thankfully living in Orange County it doesn’t apply

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Thankfully living in Orange County it doesn’t apply — apparently in my absence Orange County hosted another big radio rock festival thing. Korn and Limp Bizkit played! Eminem was going to play but had to make more money elsewhere! Moby played! Lit! STONE TEMPLE PILOTS! NO DOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUBT!

Frankly, Eminem should have been there, because his core constituency, over here at least, is not that following the hip-hop tour he’s on, it’s the braying, ugly bunch of motherfuckers who were in the audience at this show, according to those who went. It’s hard to see the alleged appeal of the man when I’m confronted with his usual fans — it’s the inversion of Belle and Sebastian’s equally annoying and self-celebratory personal universe and those who obsessively swear by it. Actually, now that I think about it, both Eminem and the Strathclyde nogoodniks essentially operate by the same principle — “I’m me/we’re us, the world doesn’t understand and nobody ever gets the joke. Buy my/our records. Leave me/us alone.” Heartwarming.

Their new logo looks half like some horrible

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Their new logo looks half like some horrible White Dwarf font, but that and the grim Pythonesque pseudonyms aside I like I N D I E S H I T E . I like it even though it’s slagged a friend of mine. I’ve never understood how being nicey to online people is less ‘real’ and more ‘sad’ than a posey hostility schtick, but the latter offers more opportunities to swear so it has its advantages. The basic paradox about the site is that in order to get the most out of it you need to be the kind of crit-obsessive who reads all this online music writing anyhow. Though I very much doubt they give a shit.

The interesting thing about Indieshite, though, is how after a blistering first week or so it’s now talking more about what it likes in music writing. Surprise, surprise, they want reviews to talk more about the music (man) but not be boring about it. But music – the stuff itself, the technicalities – is pretty boring unless you’re a musician: it’s the context that’s the fun part. That’s especially true since the things I love about bands – the catches in voices, a certain gorgeous bass texture, silly blurry stuff like that – just can’t be caught in useful words. They can inspire some pretty beautiful writing, but that’s no help in describing the record to anyone but the writer. Criticism is impractical, it’s about the writer more than the music: its pretence not to be is what keeps it great. (More on this here, sort of)

That said there’s the context I can get round, which sheds some kind of perverse light on what you’re going to hear, and there’s the kind of PoMo tricksiness that Pitchfork occasionally goes in for. Though christ knows if I had to review the sausage-factory alt.music a lot of these sites do I’d try and indulge myself a bit in the process too. But as I’ve said before, nothing’s forcing people to review records.

The irony about Indieshite is that it’s one of the best music sites I’ve seen in a while because it doesn’t talk about the music: if the writers centered themselves by talking about their own tastes it would lose all its bite. (The only actual opinion there is that the Snow Patrol album is an “£8 coaster”, which laughably overestimates the going second-hand rate for said item but otherwise is hard to fault.)

“Corgan is a hideous amusical scab…”

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“Corgan is a hideous amusical scab…”: It’s the final results of Duel! Thankyou for your patience. Watch NYLPM for further steamy band-on-band action.

HEY BOY – HEY GIRL

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HEY BOY – HEY GIRL

Do you think The Chemical Brothers were surprised by their success (I certainly was). Are they squirreling away their millions in case the whole world turns round and notices that these particular dance emperors have no clothes on – a most unpleasant image. They certainly are not spending any of their money on new ideas, new collaborators or shampoo. It is plain to me that Tom and Ed – names of one fifth of Radiohead – never expected to get big. After all, why would they originally call themselves The Dust Brothers. Surely not as a homage to the yank remixers of the same name, more that they thought they could flog a few of their tin-tray rattling tunes under false pretences.

Not only are they wholly responsible for the career of Beth Orton, but they also leant a degree of so called credibility to the in-credible sulk himself (Noel Gallagher) and resurrected the career of those perennial second-raters The Charlatans. How did they do this? Well, they noticed that people liked builds in dance records. They therefore created tunes which contained nothing but builds. Alien to them was the idea that the build had to take the listener somewhere. Nope, in a CB production the build takes you to a wholly new build. Or at least a build which sounds surprisingly like the previous one. Its Build For Build’s Sake – as 10cc would have put it.

Lack of imagination is nothing to scoff at in pop, it’s often the creative buggers who give us the most trouble. That said to tool three double albums which are genetically identical to each other in nearly every sense takes the formula to its limit. Six tracks mixed together – for the party. Then a Noel Gallagher track, a Beth Orton slowie, a dodgy whispy instrumental and the some ten minute noncey piece with Mercury Rev adding their special touch. That Rev special touch in full is usually a flute and a flanging pedal. The worst thing about the Private Psychadelic Reel is that it wasn’t. Private that is.

Imagine instead, the better world we would live in if instead of making records, the Chemical Brothers (they don’t take chemicals, and they aren’t brothers) had faltered at the first hurdle. ”Do you want to come round and make ground breakingly repetitive records?”. In the perfect world the reply would have been “Nah, I’m washing my hair”. But we don’t live in a perfect world so these superstar DJ’s aren’t going anywhere. Exit Planet Dust – Enter Planet Arse.

no rulebook, my ass

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no rulebook, my ass: perhaps i should post that e-mail i received detailing all of the rules for posting to nylpm, all of the dos and don’ts. basically, if you’re thinking of posting here, be prepared with either a review or a link, or face tom’s unyielding wrath.*

however, if you want to post to my blog, you’re free to do whatever. cast off the shackles and come on over! just drop me an e-mail and i’ll get you started on your way. for all of you who do have access, today is a blog-for-all day meaning you’re welcome to blog whenever.

*(Capital letters would be a start, methinks. Everyone join Fred’s Blog Squad, it’s great. But that’s enough in-joke NYLPM blogging – Returned Ed.)

Lonyo – “Comme Ci Comme Ca (Summer Of Love)”

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Lonyo – “Comme Ci Comme Ca (Summer Of Love)” – all over your FM radio

Laconic as hell and sexy as fuck. If the UK Garage explosion means my pop is as lovely as this then bring it on. No intellectualising here (hey, it’s another NYLPM first!), it’s just nice. I don’t care about the credibility or anything like that; I just sing along when it’s on my radio or my TV. I even try the funny little bits of (pseudo-?)French in it and sound like an idiot.

It’s the summer of love, baby, and I’m loving every minute.

I’m Greg Scarth, yes I’m the real Greg, all you other…

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I’m Greg Scarth, yes I’m the real Greg, all you other… – the next me? A scary prospect. Tom, you know full well that Eminem should be mentioned every day, never mind every week. We’ve been quite lax in letting it slip over the last few days. I’ll try and make up for it now – I would have blogged the Guardian’s Pass Notes on the man except for the fact that it’s really, really bad. Hopefully now our supervisor’s back the NYLPM blogging team might become a bit more orderly.

Remember, kids, if you walk, talk and blog like me you just might be the next best thing, but not quite me! Yeah right!

Oh come now,

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Oh come now, Celine’s not that bad! I suspect the readers of PTAHE! are voting with their ears rather than their eyes, for how else would that bleached goon Stefani be escaping righteous censure?

I should go away more often. I am basically

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I should go away more often. I am basically staggered by the quality and range of the contributions made to NYLPM while I’ve been in Greece, and I thank everyone who contributed. To them I say: I kiss you! And keep it up. To anyone else I say: join the fun! – a simple e-mail is all that it takes, and you too could be the new Greg Scarth. You have to mention Eminem once a week but other than that there’s really no NYLPM rulebook.

Thanks, boys.

SONGS ABOUT NIKITA KRUSCHEV

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SONGS ABOUT NIKITA KRUSCHEV

In the multitude of discussion brought about by my insane suggestion that Elton John’s lyrics to Your Song are a blight upon humanity, it was brought to my attention that “at least they rhyme”. After spiking said persons drink with some Tom Waits piss I had lying around it came to me that much evil has been done in the name of rhyming. Moreover there are some words that rhyme but perhaps never should be put together. I’m thinking specifically of the words biology and ideology.

Elton John only wrote the second worse song to come out of the cold war. Nikita becomes a little bit more palatable when you realise it is based on a youth time crush that Dwighty had on Nikita Kruschev – not on the fox fur hatted communist lovely who operated the border controls into Soviet Siberia. It was sad that he would never know, anything about John’s home (much like his short lived wife I daresay). Even if Premiere Kruschev had been alive to flick through a copy of Hello! it is unlikely he would have believed his eyes at the foolish house contained within. In the end though it was just another love song about a opulent pop star fancying an international statesman (second only to the Dead Kennedy’s “Indira Gandhi Makes Me Randy”). No, it took a real master of the art to hit the political commentary button.

You can imagine Sting (for ‘tis him) during one of his four hour marathon tantric shags with the missus suddenly sitting bolt upright with revelation. Possibly waking Trudy in the process. “We share the same biology, regardless of ideology” – peachy huh? No Sting, it is nonsense and if you spent a proper amount of time shagging, rather than going for some sort of holding cum record you would see it. And did he really wonder if the Russians loved their children too? Did he expect them to send them to some sort of Gulag in Uzbekestan, where they get constantly tortured until the ideal of the Supreme Soviet is instilled in them. Looking at the fall of communism, one cannot help thinking that perhaps the Russians were a wee bit soft on their kids. What price Pepsi eh – Mr Sumner?

Bottom line is that any two words sharing the same suffix will rhyme. And yet the world has not been over-ruin with couplets such as “Sting features in this anthology, We demand a full apology”. Though perhaps we should. “Mr Krushchev said he will bury you”. Why didn’t he then? Sting could have done with being ten feet under. In the end the only Nikita I like is Luc Besson’s.