Posts from 16th July 2000

Jul 00

LINK WRAY – Batman

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LINK WRAY – Batman

Some people used to suggest that Batman and Robin’s relationship was improper. Can you believe it? These people claimed that Batman had lured a troubled young man into sinister vigilante activity, regularly exposing him to the possibility of a brutal death at the hands of some of the most vicious and amoral lunatics in Gotham City. In fact as was very clear from the comics and TV series, Batman and Robin’s partnership was a much healthier, more loving one involving nothing more outrageous than a bit of dressing-up, role-playing, and mild S & M.

Link Wray’s recording of the Batman theme is clearly designed to point this up. There’s a tender playfulness in the men’s voices as they banter about Batmobiles and nuclear signals – ‘Bruce’ is avuncular, ‘Robin’ puppydog eager and almost giggly, both are flirtatious. Link’s guitar work is rocking but offhanded, a driving beat tempered by sly good humour. As the climax of the theme tune approaches, the track takes a saucy turn as the lovers indulge in a little bit of spanking play: “Ow! Aaah! Oooh! Ow!” yells young Robin, and the track fades. A deeply enjoyable two minutes, Link’s track is also a marvellous put-down to those sick individuals who persist in misreading Batman as some kind of dystopian fantasy of violence and revenge instead of the simple, if slightly naughty, love story it so plainly is.


I Hate Music1 comment • 1,943 views


(SCENE: St.Custards’ SKOOL LAB. I, N.MOLESWORTH am about to demonstrate my new invention to my grate friend PEASON.)

PEASON: Wot is this? Yore new hem hem invention? It look very TINY. Wot does it do?

MOLESWORTH: Peason thou clot, it is a box which will pla the new MP3s when you downlode them from the ATOMMICK BRANE.

PEASON: But MP3s are rubbish and for tinies Molesworth! The downlode time is too long and Pater sa the sound quality is most abomminable.

MOLESWORTH: MP3s are revolushunising music Peason as any fule kno. You are a – Cave! Someone’s coming!

(Enter FOTHERINGTON-THOMAS, skipping like a GURL)

FOTHERINGTON-THOMAS: Hello clouds! Hello sky! Hello Molesworth! Hello Peason! Wot is that you hav in your hands? It look very pretty!

MOLESWORTH: Chiz chiz rumbled it is an MP3 plaer Fotherington-Thomas you would not kno wot to do with one it is quite beyond you –

FOTHERINGTON-THOMAS: Hello MP3 plaer! Oh Goody Molesworth! I hav now in my PORTABLE BRANE some MP3s by the COCTO TWINS. May I pla them on yore machine?

PEASON: The COCTO TWINS? You are a weed and a wet! The Cocto Twins are a band for GURLS their songs all sound the SAME and also HORRID.

MOLESWORTH: Wot is more the names they giv their songs are LARFFABLE. I giv you “Frou Frou Foxes In The Midsumer Fires” and “Pearly Dewdrops Drops”. Even “Fairy Bells” plaed by Molesworth 2 on the SKOOL PIANO would be PREFFERABLE.

PEASON: And the gurl who sings singeth like a TINY, she canot sa her words properly and hav not even the excuse of being from ICELAND. In short Fotherington-Tomas the Cocto Twins are the WETTEST band in the WORLD.

FOTHERINGTON-THOMAS: Oh please Molesworth please let me pla my MP3s! They are so beautiful you will like them!

MOLESWORTH: My hart softens I canot be so crule. Very well. Bring your portable BRANE here and let the downlode begin.

(5 minutes later)
COCTO TWINS: Weeee-waaa! Uwoooo! Wuhhuu wuhhu wuhhu!

MOLESWORTH: Wot is this? I feel my spirit soften my ruough soul becom more DELICATE! Can it be I like the Cocto Twins?

PEASON: Molesworth you fule! Turn it off! A BEAK approach!

(Enter SIGISMUND. He scowl in HOROR at the sound.)

SIGISMUND: Turn off that raket! Wot is this? Molesworth and Peason listening to the COCTO TWINS? There is only one PUNNISHMENT for that – the KANE!

(Chiz chiz this is wot come of listening to wet music. Had it bene SKUNK ANANSIE our punnishment would have been worse tho. You canot win it appere unless you are a frou frou fox.)

Reader Response

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Reader Response: Already we put the results of the Readership Survey into action. Somebody wanted more Belle And Sebastian, somebody else wanted more long articles – and this is, yes, a long article about Belle And Sebastian. It’s also full of thoughts on indie rock and music communities in general, though. And yes, somebody also wanted less Belle And Sebastian – that person can take consolation from the fact that I’ve shot my bolt on the topic for now.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 418 views


Maybe I’ve missed the boat. Maybe I’m still stuck in the waiting room. Maybe my train has already been and gone. Maybe I’m the only one who actually dares to say that Asian Dub Foundation are over-rated. Innovative? Sure. They’re just Apollo 440 with a political agenda. That’s as far as the innovation stretches these days in music.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not prejudiced against them. They just make boring, uninspiring music. No-one dares speak out against them in the press because that would appear detrimental to the causes that ADF are supporting. Everyone seems to love them out of some fear that they have of the consequences. Well, as you can plainly see, I don not fear the wrath of anyone.

Would it be too much to ask for some tunes? Keep the messages, just get some tunes.

Non-Music Thing

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Non-Music Thing: To the person from the University of Idaho who came to NYLPM and H-Clicked me, and asked why H-Click could be a hassle…..well, because it sometimes goes offline and throws you out of the chat and makes me look really rude. And of course precisely that happened just after you asked the question: Alanis moment, eh?

There’s a couple of new things at

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There’s a couple of new things at Tangents – an article on grammar pedants, and an interview with Fosca which admits from the outset it’s not that interesting, and I have to agree. But there’s also a front-page piece by Alastair talking charmingly about yet another in his endless series of lost 80s indie bands, so go and read that at least.

More links to the usual people: April flouts indie pop orthodoxy by admitting that she ‘doesn’t get’ Stephin Merritt. HOW DARE SHE!. Oh, Okay, quite easily then. I can see where she’s coming from on the voice, though frankly the deeper he gets the more tingly I feel. As for the songs, I admire their simplicity and also the way he’s actively trying to write ‘standards’, rather than writing from a more personal point of view. Though this, and his ‘cleverness’ is what puts a lot of people off, maybe her too.

Meanwhile, NYLPM regular Robin Carmody has written a long piece on analogue pioneers the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. What’s important about the Workshop is the way they worked experimental and avant-garde sonic ideas into the everyday life of Britain in ways that dwarf the achievements of experimental popularisers both high and low, in the same way as Hollywood film scores introduced modernist musical tropes into cinemas worldwide. None of which made any difference to the fate of modernist and experimental music in performance, but why should the fate of music rest on performance, anyway?

If you want my take on the Ronan Keating single, you can read it at Steal This Blog. And finally, Happy Birthday Kathleen!. Have a great one.

Log On, Tune In, Drop Out

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Log On, Tune In, Drop Out: finally some interesting thoughts on the impact online music will have on how we listen to and socialise through music. Michelle Goldberg is gloomy – internet radio is solipsistic and unlikely to create a community, and MP3s herald the death of the album, and thus the death of the album-as-cultural-touchstone (count the Lauryn Hill references). Oh, and nobody on the Napster bulletin boards wants to talk about music.

Yes, yes, and yes. But she doesn’t mention the benefits – online bulletin boards and small-scale zines have a positive impact on ‘music community’, and if the communities thus created tend to be small, well, that’s in many ways a more realistic and satisfying situation. A radio station threatened with closure can mobilise 10,000 protestors, which is great, but I can run a zine and actually get to know a good proportion of the regular readership, and that feels just as good too.

In the long run it’s better for music, too. Again speaking from personal experience, most of the people I’ve ‘met’ online don’t share my music tastes (and I’m sure you can’t blame them). What they share is a love of certain ways of approaching music and thinking about it.* That actually means that we all get introduced to much more new music too – had we met through a certain band or label mailing list or radio station, there’d be much more unity of taste and a consequent lack of adventurousness.

*(What this means, I’ve suddenly realised, is that I’ve made hardly any friends online through mutual liking of bands, but several through mutual liking of music journalists, including Mike who sent me this link. This probably makes me a deeply sad individual.)