Posts from 1st December 2002

Dec 02

Farben – Silikon

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Farben – Silikon

11 pm on Thanksgiving night, a bunch of suitably overstuffed Americans. I want to put on some music to sleep to, as the last several days had been filled with the oldies station on the four hour drive to Bellingham and Nancy’s mother’s collection of NPR incidental music since arriving the night before. (You know the drill: cool jazz, twinkly sub-Fahey guitar pluck, etc.) We settle on Farben, thinking it unobtrusive enough.

It’s amazing how – at low volume – almost all the midrange in this music falls away, leaving a few high-end pops and an obscene low-end. Obscene both in the “embarrassment of riches” sense and “ooh, that’s so nasty.” Something that typically gets lost in the Farben-specific Incredible (Headphone) Journey Through The Organs of House Music rhetoric. Eventually I had to reach over and turn the stereo down.

And suddenly there’s another holiday memory: I’m 16, and my friend Alexis had just given me my first jungle mixtapes before Xmas break. I sat up Christmas Eve playing them, way too fucking excited to keep it quiet for long. The volume kept creeping up, until my boombox speakers sputtered under the weight. And my dad, pounding on my door, demanding to know exactly what it was I thought I was doing.

My parents tolerated a lot out of me, musically, as a kid. Screaming-at-a-wall hardcore. Gabba at impossible volumes. Black metal, thrash metal, speed metal, noise. ‘Devil music,’ the bin my mother cheekily slotted it all in. Yes, they tolerated a lot of things. But disrupting the Long Winter’s Nap was not one of them. I didn’t understand then. (Who does?) But being woken up at 7:30 on Friday to the sounds of NPR-shlock… I understand now.

According to Pierre at, Hip Hop is

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According to Pierre at, Hip Hop is dead. WhatEVAH.

Stevie Nixed’s Top Eleven!
The Coup – Me and Jesus the Pimp…
Missy Elliott – Work It
TLC – Girl Talk
Foo Fighters – All My Life
MOP – Cold As Ice
Christina Aguilera – Dirrty
Justin Timberlake – Like I Love You
Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
BBCS & A – Rock Shock
Queens of the Stone Age – No One Knows
Ms Dynamite – Dy-na-mi-tee

Iron Maiden — Bring Your Daughter’ To The Slaughter

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Released on Christmas Eve in 1990, in a shrewd move to get a number one thanks to the loyalty of Maiden fans, I doubt if anyone who wasn’t already a fan bought it. Still the only chart topping single I’ve ever bought (though I can’t find the never been played 12 inch single). However, the joy of my favourite band being number one was tempered by the sad truth that I was slowly going off Iron Maiden, the ‘No Prayer for the Dying’ album had been such a let down (Iron Maiden by numbers, none of the melodrama of Seventh Son or freshness of Number of the Beast, jaded metal), and I was tempted away by thrash metal and Poison (it was Teenage Fanclub that got me into indie at age 16)

This year has been the first year in ages that I haven’t listened to much new music, or been interested in it, Electroclash, nu-garage, undie rap, bootlegs, have all just passed me by, I occasionally look up like the dormouse at the tea party, but quickly retreat back into my teapot world. The charts have been great (I do have a radio and TV in my teapot world), I’d say it’s been the best year for pop in a long long time. I have bought a ton of rock, not in an attempt to recapture my youth; I have no hesitation in saying that being a teenager sucked. Rock and particularly Iron Maiden got me through my teenage hell.

I heard Bring Your Daughter for the first time since the early 1990’s recently. I’ll admit that it’s just a collage of Maiden, the running bass, the smooth guitars, the marching pace and the ever valiantly barked vocals — BUT — woefully bereft of the usual Maiden imagery, just a set of vaguely smutty lyrics that wouldn’t have made it on to Bruce Dickinson’s ‘Tattooed Millionaire’ album, it’s just silly. The song one has one redeeming moment: at 3 minutes and 14 seconds, is a ‘na na na’ bridge that builds back into the chorus, and just about saves the song.

I’m glad they had a number one, as they are the best band to come out of Britain in the ’80’s (controversy!!), but why couldn’t it have been ‘The Evil That Men Do’?