Posts from 12th February 2002

Feb 02

Kym Marsh vs Jonathan King

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Kym Marsh vs Jonathan King: a short – and possibly even controversial – article by Mark Sinker on Jonathan King, and Hear’Say, and showbiz cynicism.

No wait I take it all back!

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No wait I take it all back!: “”Extending oneself beyond monosyllabic utterances is usually an indication one is more educated and learned,” said the researchers about analysing the average length of the words in each artist’s lyrics. Pink Floyd were the class swots again, using some very long words indeed.” Cited study possibly low on academic credibility. (via The Null Device).

Marcello is right

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Marcello is right: well, half-right. One of my biggest regrets last year was not finishing parts 2 and 3 of the ‘Death of Pop’ articles. The plan was to draw a line under the bullishly pro-pop attitudes we’d been espousing here, to explain – to myself as much as anyone – that the case for pop had been made, and to my satisfaction won, and now the point was to expand “pop”, to bring all the other stuff that I listened to and loved back into the fold, and to praise its pop qualities without guilt and oppositional rhetoric. The key thing Marcello has right is that bands like the Strokes and the Hives do make more sense to me – become more enjoyable – when they’re in the charts. There was a moment last Spring when “Pyramid Song” was in the top 5 next to DJ Pied Piper and I thought, yes, this is the kind of chart – the kind of ‘pop’ – I care about hearing. I should have written about that.

But for a lot of reasons I didn’t. For personal reasons it’s been easier to coast on my opinions, take the easy options, write less. Coming back to edit Freaky Trigger kicked me out of my inertia and I’ve been very pleased with what I and others have written for the new site: I think it’s been lively and insightful and fun. It would be a shame if a knee-jerk snippiness on my part obscured that and if all anyone remembered about FT was that it liked ‘pop’ and was mean to ‘indie’.

Marcello’s solution – stop writing about music – I don’t agree with, though. I don’t agree with him doing it because his last few music posts have been excellent. I don’t want to do it myself because I’ve only just started enjoying writing about music again. But I am going to try a lot harder not to fight these old pro/anti pop battles, and not to reach for a dig or two at indie’s expense when really I want to say something else but can’t be bothered to work out how. My personal hope, of course, is that you’ll hardly notice the difference.

Tanya Headon’s Rock School

I Hate Music1 comment • 708 views

1: Play Harmonica like Bob Dylan in three easy steps:

1. Put harmonica to your lips
2. Blow
3. Suck

Repeat for the length of the solo but whatever you do, to be true to the unique Dylan style, do not move your mouth. This may introduce other “notes” as musicians more adept than Dylan call them, spoiling the overall tuneless effect.

We do give a damn about our friends

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We do give a damn about our friends: intense excitement accompanies the new release of a split single by Clock Strikes Thirteen and The Clientele, covering one another’s songs. The Clientele are long-standing FT favourites of course, but for added nepotistic (though entirely coincidental!) thrills the Clock Strikes Thirteen side features “tracks and tracks” of violin by NYLPM contributor Maura K Johnston!

I want my ILM

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I want my ILM: if you’ve been having trouble getting onto ILM and ILE, this url might be more reliable for ILM (and this one for ILE.)

Kylie can’t be arsed to be big in America.

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Kylie can’t be arsed to be big in America. There is no story here of course, but I like the analogy where it appears that Kylie is using the old “Funny how the girls you fall in love with never fancy you, funny how the ones you don’t do” line. I have been watching the success of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head with interest, since it is undeniably a great single. Whatever you say about the vagaries of the charts, sales success is the most objective way of proving this. Kylie adopting a can’t be bothered attitude is unsurprising – she has tried and failed so many times in the past. She may also be right, ignoring people often the best way to pique their interest.

Dave Popshots is right

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Dave Popshots is right – this is very good. Captures nicely the mix of diffidence and enthusiasm you feel when you listen to records a lot, and asks some useful questions on the way.


FT/Post a comment • 2,675 views

There’s too much love to go around these days

How much do you think I like music? Sometimes I get e-mails, angry about this or that, telling me I don’t like it at all. Sometimes I’m inclined to agree. Every now and then a poster pops up on our discussion board, I Love Music, and tells us the same kind of thing. We don’t love music, they say – if we did we’d know how great this band is, or that band, or we’d be so dumbstruck by music’s shocking beauties we’d rightly find no words for it at all, at least not the dry or sarky or clever ones we do come up with.