Posts from 11th April 2002

Apr 02


New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 165 views


Blink 182 the soundtrack for date rape? Hardly. “First Date,” their latest single, is nowhere near as insidious; it’s nothing more than the backing music for That Guy. You know, the one with style for inches and inches — so much style that he can’t remember to zip up his fly and wash his hair.

You know That Guy – he’s in his brother’s Camaro, “First Date” comes on the radio, and That Guy will yawn, and stretch, and put his arms around the girl of his dreams. And, unbeknownst to him, said Dream Girl will be making out with the captain of the football team, leaving his lips to savor the gentle caress of a well-scrubbed commode, a makeshift speedo plumbing the depths of his crack, and a set of teeth Shane McGowan wouldn’t envy. (Back to the inflatable doll, boyo.)

Now, really, if you’re looking for the ideal date rape soundtrack (…), you want a bunch of party-hearty tunes with good beats that you can dance to (skeevy lyrical content optional). Stuff like “Party Hard”, “South Side”, or “The Next Episode” fits the bill all too well – all of them possess that intangible insidiousness, going from A to B in that confident manner that typifies the gait of a movie slasher pursuing the non-virginal co-ed.

In this light, wanton crap like Custom’s “Hey Mister” is perfect, geared specifically for that date-rape demographic. “Hey, mister, I really like your,” pause, “daughter / I’d like to eat her like ice cream / maybe dip her in chocolate.” Speaking these words in a voice dirty phone callers would avoid (too over-the-top, they’d say, panting) only helps in digging out the niche. What we have here is the undiluted essence of every undersexed grunge / metal-rap / emo / rap song, the sound of unchecked testosterone blasting through the back of a car, all that rage and force compacted into one simple insistent misogynistic pulse. Over. And over. And over.

Of course, the ever-vigilant MTV has decided to not air the video, claiming it’s “pedophilic and offensive to women”. Custom says they’re missing the point:

“The girls like the voice saying she’s not a tramp if she likes to [have sex]. It’s OK … that doesn’t mean she’s a slut. I’m not saying there’s a profound positive feminist message in the song, but at least it’s thought-provoking.”

Yeah, he’s right. I’m thinking that he has absolutely no idea what’s he wrought. He should know better than appeal to our intelligence – when you’re talking about unbridled, irresponsible screwing, the last thing you want to do is THINK.

DUEL! 2002 — Round 2 Seedings

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DUEL! 2002 — Round 2 Seedings

The first round of Duel! 2002 is finally over and the draw for the second round takes place tonight, among the following contestants. Seed status was determined by the margin of victory in Round 1.

1. Creed
2. Nickelback
3. Starsailor
4. Limp Bizkit
5. Coldplay
6. Dido
7. Travis
8. Moldy Peaches

Unseeded: REM, Badly Drawn Boy, Stereophonics, U2, Muse, Manic Street Preachers, David Gray, Blink 182.

Yesterday’s Result: Blink 182 54% – Wheatus 46%

One of the closer-fought Duel!s to close Round 1, with Blink 182 clinging to a slim lead throughout the voting. Here’s what you had to say:

‘blink-182 a) relies too heavily on porn stars & midgets for comedy, b) is from california. wheras wheatus is from long island, so of COURSE they are not as icky siliconed.’

‘The guy from Blink 182 has a chapped head. You’d think this might make me like them but you’d be wrong.

“All the / small things / lodged in my face / I ming”‘

‘Hahaha! Dude, both these bands are great! Teenage Dirtbag vs. All The Small Things, like, two of the best songs to be released in the 21st Century!’

‘At last I’m not voiting with the winning side. Who on earth thinks Nickelback are worse than Primal Scream?? And once more, this time at least it’s a hard choice, cos I actually quite like the dumb noise of 182, but Wheatus are really good. I mean it. I know they are more hated, and will be in the next round, but you are all wrong. The album is perfect guitar pop.’

‘I accept Blink 182 when I do not actively love them. They’re just adult enough to resist all manner of teenaged punk clichés that I thought were pretty lame when I myself was teenaged. (Midgets and porn stars are adult clichés: witness The Man Show. ) Alls I remember about Wheatus is a deep nasal whine and something ambiguous about going to see Iron Maiden.’

‘Blink 182 – The soundtrack for date rapists.’

‘Blink 182 are thirty year-old men acting like thirteen year-old boys. That pretty much says it all.’

‘blink 182 is worse. the singles rule, the albums suck. also, they keep kids away from the true punk, but you know how that goes.’

‘I’d vote Blink 182 as being worse no matter who the opposition was. Limp Bizkit? You bet. Staind? Uh-huh. Creed? Undoubtedly. Blink 182 ARE the worst band on the planet and deserve to win the whole Duel!’

‘Blink 182 are objectively the worse band. But some people who ought to know better like Wheatus – and this makes them the worse.’

I’m really not convinced that there is ever a good season to pub garden

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 413 views

I’m really not convinced that there is ever a good season to pub garden. It’s just one of those things that the British don’t seem to be very good at al fresco eating & drinking – yes, I know it’s a clich’ but it is true. The problems go like this: it’s too cold (most common) in which case you spend your time offering to help whoever is getting a round in, desperate for the warmth of the inside of the pub. Or it’s too warm (it can happen) making you sweat uncomfortably on your splintery old bench / stick uncomfortably to your sweaty plastic chair. It’s too sunny – you can’t see a thing & keep walking into people. There are insects everywhere, and wasps seem to have a strong alcoholic bent and love nothing more than flying into your pint. Not to mention children – no, not flying into my pint, I mean that daytime garden drinking seems to attract parents who would never under normal circumstances allow their little darlings into a nasty smoky pub, but who seem to think that pub gardens are an extension of the local playground. As far as I’m concerned the old adage should be ‘no garden supping of stout ever. At all.’


I Hate MusicPost a comment • 559 views


No – not the godawful paean to that homosexual homeland (or homoland I suppose) San Fransisco by the Village People. Not even the ironic – yet not – yet still rubbish version by the Pet Shop Boys (who have some sort of obsession with the word West as West End Girls conclusively proves). No – I am talking about the pop band from the mid-eighties, contemporaries of Johnny Hates Jazz* and Curiosity Killed The Cat**. Like the Pet Shop Boys they were that most curious of pop artifacts – a proper band made up of just two members. Not for them the idea of adding makeweight ugly blokes, or even a drummer. With a bass and a guitar they could make every sound on their records. Bar the backing track.

We Close Our Eyes was their best known hit. I understand that once musicians are proficient they can indeed play their instruments with their eyes closed. However it is not such a good idea when you are barely proficient as it is. After all its easy to close your eyes – not so easy to close your ears. Of their other hits I actually have a soft spot for Call Me – as I have been wracking my brains trying to remember it and only get the hellish Blondie track or Burt Bacharach’s limp, lifeless record.

Indeed we were spared much more from them when DFS and the Parents For Nicely Behaved Children got an injunction out to stop their second album “Dancing On The Couch” being sold in Woolworths. These days they can be seen – shadows of their former relatively insubstantial selves, performing on eighties tours playing We Close Our Eyes over and over again. You might as well open them chaps – you’ll see nobody either way.

* I sympathise with the bands hatred, but their music was hardly an improvement was it now?
** I probably would have liked them more if they were called Curiosity Killed The Family Cat.

This is your official Britney news on your official Britney station

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This is your official Britney news on your official Britney station. Problem is of course that it is quite plain that Brit does not love rock’n’roll – not in the dirty, grubby sense that Joan Jett’s original manages to express. The scene in Crossroads in which Britney does a karaoke version of I Love Rock’n’Roll probably took about a second to write – a karaoke scene is a perfect way to naturally shoe-horn songs into a film after all. Nevertheless what this scene fails to understand about karaoke is that it is only entertaining when it is either
a) stupendously good (step forward The Gossip and Mr Dan Perry)
b) stupendously bad (um – me and Starry’s interpretation of Paranoid Android).

Competency at karaoke is what has led us up the Pop Idol garden path – people who sing okay and that is all they do. Where is the sense of performance, where is the connection with the lyrics. Because there might be irony in I Love Rock’n’Roll by Britney – but I’m not sure if she realises it.

‘Tis the season to pub garden.

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 337 views

‘Tis the season to pub garden. Actually it has just clouded over and our magnificent weather for the last couple of weeks have turned cold – but this reminds me of a pub garden truism. Never venture to outside drinking until at least May. This is based on sound meterological and astronomical fact. Not so much that it will be cold, windy and prone to changing “just like that” (though this is true). It is much more that the sun is actually very low in the sky still, most pub gardens have high walls and for a evening pint it is quite possible the garden will be fully shaded by time you get there. Of course your pub of choice may have those outdoor heaters – which will imrpove the temperature but frankly does very little for the environment (on both a macro or micro level). Follow the old addage and you will be fine: “no garden supping of stout til May is out.”

Greenspun is down currently

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Greenspun is down currently but I just thought I’d say here that the ILE drinks this evening are STILL ON. They’ll take place at the Glasshouse Stores on Brewer Street in Central London and I for one plan to be there from about 6 PM.