Posts from 13th February 2002

Feb 02

I Hate Music lyric watch #10: Transglobal Underground – “Templehead”

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 809 views

“Music, it is the universal language”

Oh, right. So that’s why in Star Trek all the alien races speak “music” then. Why do we speak English or French or Chinese when we could all be happily burbling along in the Esperanto that is music? Surely all those wars and “damage done by those people in power” that the politically naive TGU later bang on about would have been solved if we had all started speaking music. Or perhaps this is tosh. What they really meant was: Music is a universal concept. And one which equals crap.

Open fires in pubs

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 318 views

Open fires in pubs. Attractive? Yes. Bloody uncomfortable if you are sitting three feet away from them? Double yes. As part of the soon to be announced Pumpkin Publog Pub Of The Year award we will be taking into deep consideration comfort of heating. Be warned.

THE STREETS – Too Much Brandy

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 249 views

THE STREETS – Too Much Brandy

There has been much excitement in Freaky Trigger circles about The Streets album Original Pirate Material but I must admit that it was something that did not quite click with me. Listening to the single Has It Come To This I was struck by its amateurish production, the lacklustre delivery and just the feeling that something this laughable should not be on daytime radio. Now having heard Too Much Brandy, another track of the album, everything becomes clear. The Streets are peddling the hardest thing to do in pop, they are playing a role and making good music while they are at it.

Has It Come To This was garage, but to ears which had recently been pricked by the So Solid Crew, it appeared to be pretty poor garage. Too Much Brandy takes a more dub reggae style beat with a lovely smooth chorus to punctuate the apparent stream of consciousness which makes up the rest of the lyrics. There is not a lot going on here musically except the backing to some truly remarkable word games, and yet it becomes hummable, it lodges in the brain. Individual passages about the drug fueled nightmare that occurs in Too Much Brandy battle with each other to stick in your mind – but the sheer quality mean that none stand out. It reminded me of Midfield General’s Midfielding, it was a song with a narrative. It struck me that this really was the sound of disaffected youth; you can tell because he actually sounds disaffected.

Humour rarely performs well in music, and yet I think the Streets have more of a chance of success than most. First there seems to be a real knowledge of the music behind these rants – there is not anything outstanding about these tunes and yet they fit the stories just right. Too Much Brandy is soulful, the way dub is the perfect music to articulate a hangover. Has It Come To This was bad garage, much like all original pirate material. This is the underpinning though – the fireworks are with the verbal, not the musical – which these days makes a change. Add me to the list of people who will be getting the album the day it comes out.

Is this your CD collection?

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 159 views

Is this your CD collection?: they stole our idea!! Well, ILM’s long-running “12 CD” trope, anyway, which here gets a Guardian style going-over. It’s quite a funny article but leaves a bad taste in the mouth – I bet Stuart Jeffries’ collection (like yours and mine) is full of a right load of rubbish. The general assumptions you can see lurking behind the article – that pop music shouldn’t be this comfortable thing you put on at dinner parties – need thinking about too.

And on cue, I get an e-mail from Maura discussing this, and commenting in part that the Top 10 irritates her because most of the critics seemed not to leave their “comfort zone”. This is probably true – I certainly didn’t, as my ballot will tell you at a glance if you bother looking for it. But why do we have this idea that “comfort” is such a bad thing for music to aim at? Part of it is maybe that in the times of greatest stress or anguish music can’t actually do much at all – Chuck Eddy, in his comments here on the state of music after 11 September, makes the very sensible point that the vast majority of people’s tastes just got back to normal in a few weeks. Music is a sticking plaster or an aspirin, nothing stronger than that – so maybe we push away pop’s comforting aspects because they inadvertently remind us how small it is.

Your Ananova correspondent

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 167 views

Your Ananova correspondent is busy expanding her international borders by looking at Spains version of Pop Idol, Operacion Triunfo! From what I can tell there are three winners, one is a fan of the hippy look called ROSA! Sadly she bears a resembalance to Vanessa Feltz but I am sure she is a wuvvly singer. She’s certainly better than the two mingy blokes. EWWWW.

Will reveals ‘superstar’ image on debut single cover

New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 201 views

Will reveals ‘superstar’ image on debut single cover – since our usual Ananova correspondent is clearly infatuated with Will Young it falls on me to ask the key question – does this person, o readers, look like a “true superstar” or like “pop’s thickest man”?