Posts from 3rd January 2002

Jan 02

Nutter popstar given heave-ho by label

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 230 views

Nutter popstar given heave-ho by label, or as the BBC will have it “Mariah’s ‘£35m golden handshake'”. Well, poor love she’s had a rough time of it over the last fifteen years, what with single handed inventing dance music (cf Glitter) and rap music (cf that record on which she appears to bump into Method Man and gives him a fiver for mumbling over Fantasy). Problem is with a couple of reinventions already under her belt she’s pretty much alienated most of her audiences – she ditched the MOR covers lovers and teenage girls do not see loopy divas as role models – just look at Macy Gray’s lack of career. Not only that but she has pissed off a couple of the biggest record companies in the world too. Will anyone want to sign her, considering she will ask for a massively inflated sum.

Still £35m will pay for a half decent psychiatrist.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 420 views


I get a goodly amount of post, as you might imagine. Much of it centers on a particular question – “What kind of music do you like, then?”. As I believe I have said before, somewhere on this site, I hate music. I do not like any of it. Asking me this is like asking someone with a nut allergy – “so what kind of nuts can you eat, eh?”. The people who wonder about my music tastes are as cretinous as the people who asked in the 1980s “That Boy George – is it a boy or a girl?”. The clue, as with my site and Ryan Adams, is in the name.

Sometimes though further clarification is needed. Here is a missive from “lyz”:

“What kind of music do you like? Building work?”

Well, Lyz, maybe if I had lived thirty years ago the healthy sound of men and machines at work could have been a joy to my ears. Now it fills me with suspicion and dread. Is that Mayor Ken’s boys extending a bus lane…or is it an impromptu gig by Einsturzende Neubaten?

Yes, long before Europe had a single currency it was united in mock-admiration of Einsturzende’s bold pushing of instrumental boundaries. On this record they used a saw! On that a jackhammer! At first I too was intrigued – were they using these machines to destroy musical instruments (with maybe a bit of “collateral damage” to the wielders!)? But no, O horror! They had perverted these honest tools of industry and were using them to make music!

Although something about Einsturzende Neubaten struck me as a little suspect. The builders outside my window are big ugly fellows and any one of them could fit Blixa Bargeld down his bum crack. Were we really expected to believe that his consumptive Goth weed could even lift a pneumatic drill? No, the evidence is compelling: Einsturzende Neubaten are the Milli Vanilli of the industrial avant-garde. Still they can be proud of their legacy: Bob, Wendy, Muck, Roley, Loftey and Dizzy would be nowhere without them.

No smoking areas

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 265 views

No smoking areas. I know these have reared their ugly heads before, and I know that there are arguments for and against both sides (not least that I know a number of people who have had smoking related illnesses recently). Nevertheless if there is one truism that we in publand can hold dear to it is that PUBS SMELL OF SMOKE. They are supposed to, it is part of the experience. An arbitary no smoking area will not stop this, though it may stop you getting smoke blown in your eyes by a sultry nineteen year old who is the dead spit of Lauren Bacall.

That said if a pub has to have such an area, they should use their bonce. Take a Pumpkin Publog favourite like The Lamb, on Lambs Conduit Street. A lovely, charming pub, well appointed, nice beers and a no smoking snug. The sung is in itself about two metres squre, right by the bar and open to the atmosphere to the rest of the pub with no ventilation. There is one table in said snug, so if you have smokers and you want to sit there you actually won’t be inconveniencing anyone else. So why do the bar staff enforce it with a rod of iron? Leading to the ridiculous situation that if you stand a foot away from the table you are able to smoke.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 394 views


1: Basement Jaxx : Doctors

This is not merely based on the fact that the two fellows from the Jaxx look almost as unhygenic as the inside of Badly Drawn Boys bobble hat. No, on their last single they asked the simple question “Where’s Your Head At”. The standard answer to this one boys is a couple of inches above your neck. Unless the person you are asking has been decapitated – say by a guillotine. In which case you’d be a bloody fool to ask them in the first place.


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 447 views


Chris de Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling

Okay, I know its a bit late, but this little bastard creapt up on me on Christmas day no less when I was cheering on the Nazi’s in The Sound Of Music (with the sound down of course). Squashy faced Irish pop prince in a not strictly canonical Christian story shocker. That enough I would have thought would be enough to have him strung up by his balls in County Limerick. But couple it with it being a ridiculous addition to the original far fetched tale and hideously smug, we have what can be considered one of the worst Christmas songs ever. And as you know, that’s saying something.

The plot of “A Spaceman Came Travelling” is that 2000 years ago, in a barn in Palestine and unmentioned mother is giving birth to an unmentioned child. De Burgh is not going to risk the wrath of the Catholic Church by saying exactly who this song stuffed with sleigh bells and released in December is about after all. Then along comes this spaceman – who comes travelling – who incidentally thinks that Light Years are a measurement of time. Rather than circle the globe looking for the most advanced civilisation (possibly the Chinese at the time, but Rome at a push) he just so happens to rock down by this barn. He gets out and does the “I come in peace, do not be afraid” schtick – though because it is set in Biblical times he says Afeard – like what they did back then. In Palestine. And then he goes:

“La la la la la la la la-di-dah,
La la la la la-di-dah”

This lyrically trite little ditty is the spacemans gift to the unnamed – but can you tell who he is yet – child. Mary – or whoever she is – is probably holding out for the wise man with the gold at this point. Nevertheless De Burgh tries to get across the transcendental beauty of this little tune by bigging it up in the following verse and saying that no-one on Earth will hear music of such brilliance for almost 2000 years. Not until they invent a Fairlight anyway. And the the spaceman fucks off. And we hear the rubbish gift tune again – as if to suggest that Chris De Burgh’s brilliance is so great that his music is only equal to that of a super advanced (but pretty stupid it would appear) alien lifeform.

Now I would agree that Chris has some of the looks of an alien life form and has the musical talent of that Martian algae that NASA never quite find on the Red Planet. Beyond that though I find his reinterpretation of a tale a bit like the Christmas one to be riddled with inconsitencies, dramatically flawed and – well just crap. Especially when you consider that with all this “do not be afeard” bollocks De Burgh is tying the alien in with the Archangel Gabriel. And then saying that the music made by Gabriel will not be bettered until some other almost godlike presence is given half an hour of studio time and an echo box.

Frankly I find it very difficult to believe that an advanced alien race would merely pop in to sing a song to a baby in a barn. I find the baby in a barn thing pretty difficult to believe, but not as hard to swallow as the idea that an advanced civilization would just nip in to sing a song. Harest of all though is the idea that such an advanced civilization would ever come about without destroying all music first.