Posts from 2nd April 2002

Apr 02

Everything’s Gone Green…

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Everything’s Gone Green…

So, have we really got something here? Something that’s got the proverbial zeitgeist by the short and curlies? We’re (being who, Jess? Music geeks basically, the people who support the fag end of the music industry, the 70-80% which sells 1/10th of what the other 20-30% does) cannibalizing the 80s left and right these days. From “electroclash” (urrrgh) to this semi-recent (although I remember The Face running a punk-funk revisionist article as early as 99) spate of punky-disco-party pastiche. I’d be lying if I said the whole affair didn’t make me happier than a pig in sparkly shit; both my blogs are named after post-punk songs, I spent equal amounts of money in 2001 on new stuff and records recorded 20 years ago. (That goes for downloading time as well.)

The combinations which make up this music – Chic bass & mangled guitar noise, Zion dub & the glitzy baubles of Babylon, maschine noise vs. muscle noise, black & white (& latino & asian & well, you get the idea…), gay & straight, punk & disco – continue to fuel me in ways not much else does these days. Because these are dyads and not oppositional forces (the way, well, most of them are now), they also suggest possibilities, most of them still unexplored by the decades end. Which, on the surface anyway, should save all this stuff from being mere crypt-robbing.

But still, there’s something which nags about the general theology of the “scene.” Something which makes me the consumer uneasy. Like I’m participating in a wake more than a celebration, like I’m running away from more than I’m embracing. After 17 odd years of electronic dance culture, after 7 years of Timbaland style electro-ping pong, I’m coming around to the idea that we might be missing something really good in the heft and sweat of people playing dance music on a stage. But these guys aren’t the ones to provide it for me. (Us?)

The publog – post its mass excursion to France

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The publog – post its mass excursion to France – has been given time to consider yet again the difference between English and continental drinking habits. This time the focus no longer lies with the regulations – in some of the places we were at you would be hard pushed to get a beer after ten in the evening. Instead we should look at the establishments where drink is served. The difference after all between pub and caf’ culture may after all simply lie in the difference between a pub and a caf’.

First let us admit that there is nothing that all cafes have in common, just as pubs can range massively. From the swankiest high street venue to the lino-tabled PMU betting tabacs all these joints serve alcohol and other beverages to your table. Where you are sitting will affect the price of your drink, and you might be surprised how pricey spirits are. But if we boil it down to the one significant difference between the pub and the caf’ it is this table service. And hence table billing.

Table billing makes the link between caf’ and restaurant impossible to ignore. To the British patron this instantly makes a caf’ appear classier. However this is not the most significant aspect of table service and billing. Firstly because your order is now at the whim of the waiter you have to wait for him to take your next order. As the whole group rather than an individual is responsible for payment this makes round buying impossible. Therefore the imperative in pub drinking to buy a round when the first person has finished their drink is removed. As the waiter only comes over when the last drink is near finished this produces an opposite situation to that in a pub. In a pub the drinks are bought at the speed of the fastest drinker. In a caf’ – the slowest drinker is king.

I see this as a fundamental difference and many will say that this is a good thing. Pace is slowed down, drinks are taken leisurely – and as one of the slower drinkers I should approve. And I do – when I am in a caf’. But a caf’ is not a pub – and the edge of pubs is the round buying, is the oddly competitive edge to the drinking, the rules. This publog is not about enforcing pub rules (cf the discussion below on standing up) but to discuss them. And caf’s seem too easy to suss. The rules are those of a restaurant, which is a different kettle of fish altogether.


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SHERYL CROW – “Soak Up the Sun”

Looks like someone’s been listening to some Whitechocolatespaceegg, with “Headache” in heavy rotation. (She even mentions Russians! In the FIRST LINE!) (Well, communists. Same thing, really.)

UPDATE: Looks like someone recorded their Liz Phair-esque song with accompaniment from Ms. Liz Phair. Well, shut my mouth. (I wonder what the Dixie Chicks collaboration will sound like…)

American song poems

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American song poems = the enclave of people who haf RAW SONGWRITING IN THEIR VEINS but just haf never managed to master the acoustical guitar and howly voice needed to be a Yankee singer/songwriter. Whot fate lies in store for these great unwashed hordes?? Well the above site tells a scary story of what happened when someone tried to make their dreams come TROO. Send in your words, it promised, and we will turn them into a song! And scarily enough, many people actually did so! I recommend for your first download: JUNKIES and MONKEYS by Kay Weaver.