Posts from 18th July 2000

Jul 00


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 417 views


Swearing is clever, in real life as in music. My objection is to UNNECESSARILY COY SWEARING. This occurs when the artistís natural predilection for BEING RUDE is suffocated by their labelís desire for airplay/greed. The result is some of the most cringeworthy records from every possible genre.

Exhibit A in this trial of champions: “Letís Get Rocked” by Def Leppard. Now, “fuck” is a swearword. “Rock”, although denoting something that is obscene and unacceptable to the general public, is patently not a swearword. Craggy sweating blonde men querying “I suppose a Rockís out of the question?”. Ha fucking ha but no thanks.

“Freak” is not a swearword either, particularly as used in “Freak Me” by Another Level. Certainly, given their already very freakish qualities, I donít expect that many of the members of Another Level would need much more freaking in order for them to become dangerously freaked. If, on the other hand, it is a simply a shag theyíre after, I would suggest that they might be better off just asking for it.

Who have we got to thank for the tragic tale of urban ennui that is “Funk Dat”? My Lord, itís none other than Sagat! In the “clubs-only”, adult version, Sagat sounds like one tough hombre whoís had enough of the travails of modern city living. In the radio version (went to no.25 in Great Britainís Top Forty), he comes across as a whiney narcissist who hasnít had a friend since he told his last one to piss off after he called him once too often on his home phone. “Maaaaaaaan, FUNK DAT!” To paraphrase ODB, I donít have a problem with you fucking me. I have a BIG BASTARD PROBLEM with you funking me.

Hmmm, is it rude or isnít it rude? The Americans obviously think it is, otherwise they wouldnít have made a fuss about “I See You Baby (Shaking That Ass)” by Groove Armada, insisting on it being changed to “Shaking That Thang”. Of course, if they had shown any sense at they, they would have insisted on the whole bastard piece of shit record was changed to, say, four minutes of silence on a CD. Groove Armada got it wrong first time out, though, because “Shaking that Arse” is much ruder and has a rather pleasing rustic Britishness to it.

Sorry, there are no records with the word “tits” in them. Made you look though.

Supergrass. Four guys from Oxford. I donít think any of them are aged under five, although the giggling, “you-show-me-yours, Iíll-show-you-mine”-edness, of “Pumping on Your Stereo” suggests differently. And Iím sorry but “humping” is, if anything, LESS RUDE than “pumping”. So it fails on all counts. And the songís bollox.

Cypress Hill are not a band that would generally be described as reticent. But in their 1993 hit “When the Sh.. Goes Down”, you canít help but think that they are singing about some ferry disaster. If they want to say “shit”, why canít they just say “shit”. Especially as this is such total shit. Such abbreviation is the musical equivalent of the use of asterisks to denote swearing, as is usually found in fanzines written by 14-year-olds and in IPC publications. Bunch of c***s.

Coy swearing – leave it out.

I’ve been getting a lot of hits

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 234 views

I’ve been getting a lot of hits from mailing lists and fan pages this week. Tanya’s rabid onslaught on Pulp attracted the attention of the band’s news site, and my rather gentler Belle And Seb piece has sparked some gratifyingly interesting comment on their Sinister list. I’m thankful for the commentary, and have come to expect hits for I Hate Music from irritable fans, so why do I feel a little bit uncomfortable? No, not uncomfortable, exposed is a better word.

I think it’s because in traditional print media you’re far less accountable to the readers: in fact there’s almost an assumption in the offline press that anyone sad enough to be a big fan of a particular band is a no-account obsessive whose views can be comfortably discarded. But on the internet, particularly doing an amateur zine, your writings (and e-mail address!) can be in the hands of hardcore fans minutes after publication. And they tend to be a hell of a lot more well-informed on the subject at hand than you are. Which is great – that kind of feedback is hugely valuable. But I think my slight feeling of exposure comes from the gap between this kind of dedicated reader and my (pretty unformed) idea of Freaky Trigger‘s audience. FT is written for (and by) people like me – generalist dilettantes who hover over bands long enough to get something out of them and then hop off looking for further novelties. Whereas readers like this know a band’s work inside out, and so I tend to shudder a bit and feel that they must find my stuff desperately wrong-headed or naive or glib. None of which is meant to suggest that I find the attention and hits unwelcome – very, very far from it. But I always get a little bit more nervous about opening the inbox when I get home in the evening.

LOUISE – 2 Faced

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 172 views

LOUISE – 2 Faced
Louise is a fixture in the FHM Sexiest Woman In The World polls. I am a twentysomething man. Case closed, thinks the grumpy woman at the Our Price till, and I feel like I’m buying a stroke mag instead of the breeziest girlpop single of the so-called so-far Summer. I was embarrassed anyway, since Louise’s previous singles were to a disc rubbish, Mariah imitations without the charisma (what charisma? Precisely). But with a decent vocal hook the blandest of singers can do alright for themselves, and “2 Faced” boasts two, the nasal “Oh oh” lead-in to the verses and the way Lou sings “bitchin'” better than anyone since 1982. She can’t do nasty or tough terribly well, but the song doesn’t call for them so much as for a kind of dim, wounded niceness, which is of course precisely Louise’s strong point. And the you-talkin’-about-me conversation at the end is the first time that trick’s been tried in pop since Dexy’s Don’t Stand Me Down, and if Lou’s take on it isn’t nearly as uncomfortable as Kevin Rowlands’ it’s a hell of a lot more succinct. She looks better in a dress, too.

The hip-hop pornographer

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 2,092 views

The hip-hop pornographer: it’s almost worth skipping straight to page 2 of Salon‘s piece on the new little Li’l Kim album, which is where discussion of the demerits of a pro-porn position gives way to discussion of the record itself. Though ‘discussion’ in both cases is a little too strong a word: Michelle Goldberg essentially suggests that there’s a conspiracy in the media made up of critics educated at ‘porn-friendly’ Universities, and then goes on to slate Li’l Kim’s new record for being nihilistic and hostile. After two pages about the “direct parallel” between pro-porn feminism and people buying Kim records, she does finally accept that perhaps the rapper’s hostility is down to her lover having been shot dead. Wow, you think so, eh?

Modern Humorist – The Britney Papers

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 464 views

Modern Humorist – The Britney Papers “Ride young Valkyrie! Ride! – ‘Camille Paglia’s letter to Britney is the funniest of Modern Humorist’s five parodies, though it’s still not all that funny.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 323 views


I have this acquaintance – I believe Tom may be allowing him some space round here soon – who hates films with purportedly the same ire that I Hate Music (name of the site, and yet again all of it. Christ you kids don’t let that one rest). Me, I’m more ambivalent about celluloid. Obviously I don’t like musicals (I Hate Music-als you see), and there was a period in the mid-eighties where films seemed to merely exist to spit out half-arsed soundtrack albums and perpetuate the careers of the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds. The eighties gave us care in the community and the soundtrack revival as forms of rehabilitation. I prefer the former. But on the whole I really do not mind a decent piece of narrative cinema.

This does not mean that films have not spawned one of the stupidest ideas ever conceived in the pop world. As far as I understand it, the process of making a film goes something like this. Someone has an idea for a story. Said story gets written in the form of a screenplay. Screenplay is then taken up by the director who casts and films it. Editor comes in, chops it about into a serviceable shape and then – oh yeah – they might put some music on it. That last stage I don’t like so much, however it is still preferable to the way Barry Adamson, Andrew Wetherall or David Holmes make films. You see these guys believe that somehow we will create a purer artform if we start with the – soundtrack.

David Holmes’ Bow Down To The Exit Sign is described as a soundtrack to an imaginary film. As far as I can work it out, all films are imaginary (well – okay – I’ll give you documentaries but I am in a charitable mood today. I didn’t even kick the busker on the Tube.) What he actually means is that the film will never be made, because there is no story, no plot and no point to the whole exercise. Instead its an excuse to release a few scratchy dance tunes that no-one can dance to. If you take real soundtrack albums, they are often an excuse to play the same tune over and over again at different speeds and using different instruments. All in all a thoroughly worthless idea, but preferable I suppose to an album full of different, equally poor tunes like Adamson’s Oedipus Schmoedipus.

Can you imagine say – Steven Speilberg – coming across Haunted Dancehall by The Sabres Of Paradise, taking one listen and thinking “I can see that film in my mind, and must make it now”. I can imagine this, and said film would be eighty minutes filming the anal passage of a heffer as it wanders the highways and byways of the nastier regions of South London. No the truth of the imaginary soundtrack is that is merely another way of saying “concept album”. Bow Down to The Exit Sign is the 2000 equivalent of Tales Of The Topographic Ocean. Expect to see him perform his next album live at ice skating rinks with Torvill and Dean playing a pimp and a hooker.

You see, in a movie the music is supposed to serve the film. That’s too restrictive for these sonic pioneers. Hopefully one day they will also realise that recording the music is too restrictive, and they keep their damn imaginary soundtracks where they belong – in their imaginations.

Horton Jupiter of the very wonderful

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 464 views

Horton Jupiter of the very wonderful They Came From The Stars (I Saw Them) asks me to tell you about a party coming up this Saturday in Stoke Newington, a fantastical celebration at which the band will be performing, and he ominously adds that it might be their last gig! Say it ain’t so! E-mail me for further details – I’m not doing this to be all secretive but because said further details are on my other machine.

Oh, and if the bloke from Sound Storm who humanclicked me at the weekend wants to e-mail me too, that would be great.

Hee hee. And there’s a lot more banners where

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 201 views

Hee hee. And there’s a lot more banners where that came from, the Teen Pop Sucks page (unearthed by Kathleen). Some – particularly the one involving an enormous and curiously distorted Dave Grohl straddling the globe – might not be suitable for younger readers, mind you.