Posts from 18th May 2001

18
May 01

Elidor bows out

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Elidor bows out (temporarily, we’re assured) with some of its best-ever pieces. An essay on the Skitz album, Countryman, which has been getting heavy and well-deserved net buzz; a review of Eve’s Scorpion doubling as frenzied personal writing; and a very useful piece explaining the relevance of the BBC Radiophonic Workship to today’s forward-thinking pop music. All accessible from the link above. Good luck with the new site, Robin.

Thousand

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Thousand: with another special mystery guest star!

Sonicnow

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Sonicnow asked for a link and a link they have got – indie-ish e-zine with interviews and features.

Other stuff – there’s still two-and-a-half hours to demand that NYLPM/me reviews a song for you. One track each please – for people who’ve suggested more, I’ll pick the ones I can find. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, now I just have to track them down using the magic web.

IMPORTANT! If Mike sent you a pop music focus group ballot and you want to take part then please fill it in and send it to him cause apparently people have been slacking (not least me in typing up the UK jury’s votes, alas).

N’SYNC – “Pop”

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N’SYNC – “Pop”

Pop’s not dead. “Pop”, though, is barely twitching, a patchwork of modish elecro tics (yea even unto the bitchin’ treated guitar) sewn together by N’Sync’s hamster-tough singing. They keep calling their pop “dirty” when really they mean “untidy” – their song never coheres as an idea or a tune, unless of course the idea is to send up the self-justifications of ‘proper’ musicians, perpetually moaning about people classifying their music and how they just make the music they like. (Presumably “if anyone else likes it, it’s a bonus” didn’t scan well enough to make it into the song.) But sadly I doubt it – N’Sync mean it, or we’re meant to think they do.

So “Pop” makes for uncomfortable listening, and not just because it’s a song celebrating body-shaking pop impact which tells but doesn’t show (wasn’t this meant to be a garage track? Good grief.). To work as the fuck-you comeback it half-wants to be it would need to get much more personal – name a few names, call out the past-it pop-haters and mealy-mouthed rockers. But it pussyfoots around making excuses for itself, and it never dramatises its pop pout to give you-the-listener a way to get inside the song, either – there’s no “living in a disco / forget about the rat race” epiphany here, for sure.

Still, better to send N’Sync down these referential rabbit holes (the album is called Celebrity!) than to let them write their own songs. Defensiveness is written into every chartpop career, and it’s generally the midwife of decline. But pop stars singing about being pop stars (N’Sync; Survivor; Lopez’ deliciously bratty “Play”) is at least a fresh way to dodge those whispers that they’re not for real. The damage, though, is done the second the stars start listening in the first place.

Up Middle Finger

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Up Middle Finger As it turned out, excessive bounty and largesse was spread yesterday evening in the Blue Posts to commemorate Emma’s increased agedness. The result was some deeply poor jukebox selections: A Forest by The Cure, anyone? Lying Eyes by The Eagles?

I think we should have taken the hint when the machine kept refusing to accept our pound coins.

Stopsmiling

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Stopsmiling reviews Amnesiac, and I can’t say much more about the article than that it’s generally lucid and I kept nodding my head when reading it. Also from Stopsmiling, an entertaining sort-of-interview with The Clientele, which brought back happy memories of when all NME filler features used to be like this.