Posts from 8th September 2000

8
Sep 00

Barmy Army

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Barmy Army: having said, oh, there’s loads in the Guardian today I might as well blog some of it. This is an excellent review of Alan McGee’s first offerings on his new Poptones label, identifying and parading the reasons why the whole label ethic is so fundamentally misguided. “This vision of “perfect pop” – imagine the Stooges produced by Phil Spector – is unlikely to be shared by as many people as McGee would like…this is esoteric music aimed at an ever-diminishing number of hipster cognoscenti”. Cool music made by and for cool people tends to also be dull, in other words.

THE UNBEARABLE SHITENESS OF IAN

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THE UNBEARABLE SHITENESS OF IAN

This title was originally reserved for a piece on Ian Dury, until somone pointed out that since the monotonous one died recently it might be in bad taste. I will indeed revise that piece, not so much for taste purposes more with the understanding that since you cannot libel the dead I can be even more profligate in my insults. Let’s just say that Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 4) may well be the title.

But that leaves us with this wonderful play on literature and words, and no-one to use it on. Surely there are no other pop stars called Ian worthy of this title. Well my friends, read on.

Now I have mentioned Mr Ian Brown – the de-evolving man – and his attempts at the funk. Calling an album Golden Greats is a ludicrously simplistic stab at irony – its just not clear who the joke is on. And the simians stab at wrting a pop song about the vagaries of evolution falls down on the fact that the premise makes no sense. “If dolphins were monkeys” – he postulates “We’d live in the sea”. Now of course what Ian is trying to suggest is that if the evolutionary ancestors of human being were aquatic then there is a strong likelyhood that the human race may too live “Under The Sea”. What his clumsy phraseology actually suggests is that if – in some strange animal transformation sort of way dolphins morphed into monkeys – we humans would take this as a call to arms to grab an aqualung and head for the sandy banks. This I find unlikely – since the upshot of dolphins growing hair, arms, and losing their underwater breathing gear would be the mass death of the dolphin/monkey race. (If monkeys were dolphins we would have silvery torpedo-like apes giggling to their deaths halfway up a tree). I for one do not see this mass genocide as a good reason to get wet. Of course, if dolphins were Ian Brown they would all die of embaressment.

Then of course there is the cheery funster Ian Curtis. A man whose own inadequacy haunted him so that he decided to end it all. Of course if he had chosen just to be a lonely poet instead of a maudlin pop star we would have been spared that most unlikely of pop spin offs New Order. I think all we have to say on this instance about Curtis is a comparison between two songs with the same name. On the one hand you have “Atmosphere” by Joy Division. On the other hand we have “Atmosphere” by Russ Abbot. At least the second one is instructive. We know to avoid Russ we must avoid parties with a happy atmosphere. That said, to avoid Curtis, just stear clear of a particular graveyard.

But the final Ian is Ian Pooley. A music fan from Germany says the following: “ian pooley is back… with a maximum chill-factor! the tracks are all a bit latin-flavored and bring you back to you where you guys all wanna be – to the san an sundown blvd. with cafe del mar, cafe mambo all the likes. so, turn on this cd, lay back and enjoy – id prefer it to all the cafe del mar-samplers!”. And so its not an album I know at all well, Ian Pooley wins. Because hey – we all wanna be at the san an’ sundown blvd…..

“A knowledgeable fellow of excellent taste”

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“A knowledgeable fellow of excellent taste” (it says here), Lee Jackson was also an a.m.a. regular in the good old days, when he posted as keyserfleck and demonstrated good humour and mighty learnings on the subject of the psych-pop-noise-drone-avant-folk-etc. underground. A fine fellow, in other words, and I was delighted to have a chat with him and play catch-up the other evening via ICQ, which I’ve started using again a bit. Anyway, Lee writes for a zine, Broken Face, which is the proper kind of ‘zine you can read on the toilet, but maintains a web presence there. Go and look at the mouthwatering features and interviews on offer, then order one.

A lot of stuff in the

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A lot of stuff in the Guardian today, but the most amusing pop-related story isn’t linked, sadly – William Hague, the balding runt currently leading the Tory party into saloon bar oblivion, has fallen foul of Massive Attack, after choosing “Man Next Door”, the Horace Andy-sung track off of Mezzanine, as his ‘mini-manifesto’ launch music. Massive are apparently consulting lawyers and suchlike, since they are, as their spokesman tenderly put it, “considerably to the left of William Hague”. The question is, though, why that track? Knee-jerk populism is all very well, but it wasn’t even a single and it’s not as if the party faithful are going to know a John Holt tune….maybe the little feller’s notorious appearance at the Notting Hill Carnival a few years ago wasn’t just a publicity stunt and Billy Fizz is a dyed-in-the-wool reggae fan? Hmmm.