Posts from 11th January 2001

11
Jan 01

“We all know pop music sucks in the year 2000”

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“We all know pop music sucks in the year 2000”, or according to this site we do. So why am I pointing to this primitive rubbish? Well, jack up your speakers and you too will understand. What in Kurt’s name were they thinking?

The first must-visit link of the evening

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The first must-visit link of the evening is the welcome return of the legendary Radio On. Radio On as a fanzine and as a hushed whisper on the rockcrit grapevine (cause obviously it wasn’t a fanzine anyone in Britain knew about) was the direct inspiration behind the Focus Group: so if you’ve read and enjoyed our acknowledged but still shameless rip-off then you owe it to yourself to check out the real thing.

Well here’s another live publog from “Sosho”

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Well here’s another live publog from “Sosho”. John, Magnus and Kate are on the tiles, mopping up a few wannabe haunts. And so we find ourselves strangely drawn to the prospect of revealing our innermost drinking thoughts in a style that I’msure we’ll regret come the morning after. This APPALLING keybaord isn’t helping much. Look:The quick broan fox jusmprs over the al yf adog. There,see how difficult it is?

Please forgive us. Some Amber has been consumed (the lager, not the semi-precious stone). REport to be filed tomorrow. Over and out.

How To Make A Schmindie Video

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How To Make A Schmindie Video: Are you an aspiring videaste auteur, dedicated to bringing the message of useless existential self-loathing to the overprivileged suburban masses? Jyoti Mishra, creative guy and FT music focus group participant, gives you step-by-step instructions for How To Do It.

For what it’s worth, here’s my thoughts on the world of drinking in said region

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For what it’s worth, here’s my thoughts on the world of drinking in said region. As I am not very good with maps I am hoping all pubs mentioned fall into the catchment area but this is a very tricky part of the world to navigate as whenever I come out of Old Street I am 100% guaranteed to go the wrong way.

Anyway – first pub is (I think) the Red Lion near the 333. It was exceedingly packed when I was there but it wasn’t bad – my companions seemed to approve of the jukebox in particular. Unfortunately our table was right in front of the fag machine so our peaceful drinking sesh was not very peaceful.
Verdict – OK pub.

Second drinking experience was my effort to get into Home bar on Charlotte Street on a Saturday night. It too was exceedingly packed and also very noisy. Didn’t stop for long enough to have a drink and I don’t know if I would bother trying again.
Verdict – This place doesn’t belong in Pumpkin Pubs as it was about as far from a pub as it’s possible to get.

Third and final drinking experience – New Year’s Eve 2000 in the Bricklayers on Charlotte Street. Guess what – it was exceedingly packed and operating a ‘one out-one in’ door policy. It took half an hour to get served (this is not an exaggeration). When I first arrived they were playing the latest Spice Girls album and then Music by Madonna (not sure how this fits into Sosho cool – is it ironic or not?). However the decorations were nice. Very nice indeed.
Verdict – Hard to judge properly as it wasn’t really a normal night.

Final verdict – the drinking establishments of this area are exceedingly busy. This is because there are many clubs and people need somewhere to drink first. So I figure there must be an optimum number of pubs / bars required to service the needs of the clubbers and this area has not reached that number. And it’s not good enough.

A FEW LOW BLOWS

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A FEW LOW BLOWS

I’ve done the archives, and it’s even left me enough time to have a go at the High, a job which in fairness even Bob The Builder (“You want the top of your charts looking at? That’ll take three weeks and several million quid”) would polish off swiftly.

The High are a sad example of that peculiar-to-indie phenomenon, Before-They-Were-Famous Bands. You have a band, yes? By some freakish mischance they become successful and famous. But in your bandular career you have left certain stragglers, and as Artful Dodger are all too keen to remind us, it’s all about the stragglers (a pitiful plea for love in the wake of their guest singer’s craply-bearded megastardom, but I digress). Said stragglers are individuals too shit to be in your band: what then happens to them? Do they see their former friends coining it in, smile ruefully and say, hey, them’s the breaks? No they do fucking not. They form another, by definition even worse band. Examples: Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy (too friendless to even manage a band), The Creepers, The High.

Andy Couzens you see used to be in the Stone Roses, back when they were Goths. Then they invented baggy and became a roaring success with the young folk. A miracle they kicked him out, actually, when his musical development seemed to match theirs so very closely. For Mr.Couzens also went baggy – imagine the surprise – and had a couple of minor hits. Foremost in this snail’s pace race was “Box Set Go”, a somewhat overoptimistic title for a band never likely to amass more than a 3″ CD single ‘best of’. Or perhaps the ‘box set’ they spoke of was a Shreddies packet, since the High were a band tailor-made for giveaway compilations, nestling uncomfortably alongside Crystal Waters and a Mica Paris remix.

“Box Set Go” you may recall asked us, “What’s the sound, the real sound, of government?”. Let me see: rustling of papers and a bunch of overfed schoolboys grunting, belching, farting and yelling “SHAME!!!!!” every five minutes? Ah no, it’s a baggy beat and a wah wah. Although considering Tony Blair’s pub rock pedigree maybe the High had a point. Anyway they soon enough got the point and vanished from the charts – curiously like their parent band. But here the pop mastermind that was Andy Couzens slipped up. There were rumours that the Stone Roses were making a rock LP. So the High emerged triumphantly from their hibernation with….a rock LP! If only Andy had just waited a few short months before shooting his hard-riffing bolt, he’d have been able to see the hoots of derision that greeted Second Coming and adjust his game plan accordingly. But it was not to be: box set gone.

Heaven Help Us!

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Heaven Help Us!: how I would love to see the local press coverage of this one.

Twenty Underappreciated Bands Of The Nineties

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Twenty Underappreciated Bands Of The Nineties: Disco Inferno! Yeah! Loads of indie pony! Um….(thanks to Vaughan for the link).

Jiffysquid

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Jiffysquid and Simulare are new – well, new to me – music blogs turned up by Kathleen a little while back. Styles: Jiffysquid is pleasingly big-print and is also pro-indie rock, though not as single-minded on that front as some. It’s also given a home to Western Homes’ top ten of 2000, for those of you old enough to remember who that is. Oh, Internet time! Simulare meanwhile is a sensitive sort and writes briefly and perceptively about albums on the right of the page while doing a more ‘traditional’ weblog thing on the left. Likes Baxendale in places, if that gives you any hints.

I should also point out that the Reynolds link below is via DJ Martian.

Simon Reynolds picks his

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Simon Reynolds picks his dance albums of the year: a tempting list, I have to say. What I find interesting are the hybrids he’s identifying between IDM and gabba, and IDM and booty bass – I’m personally having plenty of fun exploring non-hybridised booty, but a rapprochement with cruder forms seems to me exactly what IDM needs to regain a bit of interest. A similar thaw in Reynolds’ attitudes to IDM should make for compelling journalism, too. So everybody wins, apart from the poor bastards having to track down the import records.