Posts from 4th July 2003

Jul 03

Join my army

I Hate MusicPost a comment • 387 views

People often say to me, this hating music malarkey must be a lonely profession. Well, my inbox is always open to perusal by naysayers to see how many people agree with me. Take Mark Turrell. I know nothing of him but just the other day he sent me a lovely e-mail eviscerating Booby – I mean Bobby Gillespie, Sonic Youth and other. Why how about this for insightfulness:

“number one requirement for lead singer of male brit
guitar band. ability to cock one head at an angle to
appear vulnerable and worthy to all the girlies cf thom
yorke, coldplay, travis, the coral ed infinitum)”

Now obviously he need a wee bit of schooling in the old art of the capital letter, but this kind of music hating perspicacity shows that I am not alone in this world. And perhaps it also shows the need for the personal touch. You see the contradiction faced by my seemingly endless task is that sometimes I have to listen to what I despise so much so I can render my acute opinions upon you, my disciples. Like Mary Whitehouse watching porn (but with out the gimcrackery involving a certain salad vegetable) I torture myself so that you don’t have to.

So what if you could invent a machine to listen to music for you and then tell us why it is so wretched. Yes? Well another of my mails appears to have done just that: one Mr Mike Trinder. Try out his site: – it had me initially very excited when it said the following about Back To Life by Soul II Soul:

“Soul II Soul? Oh my God. I thought Soul II Soul’s fans died out years ago. I remember Back to Life / Keep on Movin as being particularly awful…

Back to Life (7″ Version) could be mistaken for my father singing in the shower just after someone’s turned on the hot water tap downstairs if you don’t listen very carefully, and, believe me, you don’t want to. Track 2, Keep on Movin’ isn’t that bad. Ha ha. Got you. It’s just a tiny bit worse than, say, the sound of a dawn chorus of crows slowly being ground into mince for the cheap meat market.

In fact, there’s no excuse for people buying this and taking it into their homes to torture their innocent children”

All sentiments I’m sure we can agree with. Nevertheless it pops up with such speed, such alacrity that one can only think a quantum supercomputer fuelled completely by gin had listened to the tune for me. Are my days over I thought. I am to be freed from my (admittedly occasional at best) mission. Then i noticed in the corner of the site a wee “Powered by amazon” sign and the truth became clear. As much as I would like to return to the womb and just drink gin all the time – how could I leave you in the hands of a machine which just searched Amazon for the albums details and then attributed random insults to a review. It may seem that this is what I do but I can assure you that my torture and torment is real. And how do I know that one day, Mr Trinder doesn’t take down his site or even tinker with its complex algorithmic workings to allow the odd compliment through. Maybe he has a special “liking Radiohead” clause.

As clever and loveable as Mr Trinder’s site is – I shall not retire. I have seen the Terminator films and know what happens when we let the machines take over. More importantly I have seen the cover to Kraftwerk’s The Man Machine, and know that the upshot might be a hell of The Model played over and over to infinity. So the good fight will be left to people like myself and Mark Turrell. Who has this to say about turntablists.

‘turntablists, fuck me. next they’ll be classing the
roady that tests the mics on stage as ‘microphonists’

Further perusal of the historic pub interiors list

Pumpkin Publog1 comment • 573 views

Further perusal of the historic pub interiors list shows that we have most certainly been sold a pub with theis CAMRA survey. When is a restoration not a refit after all? Of the five pubs in Central London with authentic pub interiors, two are Sam Smiths who go a bomb on turning back the clock and the other three are pleasant enough tourist traps. Whilst I would agree the The Salisbury on St Martin’s Lane has a sumptuous gin palace interior, you are talking absolute bollocks if you are saying that nary a lick of paint has seen it. There is definately at least a screen that has been taken down.

Things get even more suspicious when we look at North London. The Salisbury Green Lanes, and the Queen’s Hotel in Crouch End. Both nice, rambling examples of Victoriana, who have both been – as the CAMRA North London Drinker pamplet says – sympathetically restored. The Salisbury was more authentic back in the days I drank there, cheap and nasty with its rambling rooms. But again tell me that this was not a seperated pubs and you will be talking nonsense.

Yet again this list is a CAMRA backslap to the “protected pubs” or to the occasional pub chain that tries to restore a pub. And don’t get me wrong, restoring a pub is a nice enough idea. But let us not pretend that nothing has changed for two hundred years. Show me a pub on their historic interiors list with a ladies toilet and I’ll show you the door.

It is intereresting that the Guardian piece notes a 1930’s estate pub to be added to the list. I would be surprised that any other estate pubs, or indeed pubs built this century have made the list. It’s a horse brasses or nothing kind of list.

What is it about

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 378 views

What is it about Crazy In Love, by Beyonce* that makes me think it isn’t finished. It just does not quite have a chorus, which bugs me a touch but considering the rest of the tune is a jittery, brass-led piece of brilliance it does not bother me as much as it should. In this way it reminds me of the last seemingly unfinished single which I let slide because iot was so much fun. Work It Out by – oh hold on – Beyonce. One might be tempted to think that what Kelly and Michelle bring to Destiny’s Child is choruses. And Kelly Rowland’s singles so far have certainly had mighty choruses – you can still recall how Mary knew she she had the same sized hands as Marilyn Monroe right? But then the song before Work It Out that was most conspicuous for not having a chorus was probably Bootylicious. Instead all these singles have grooves which may not go anywhere but are more than enough fun in themselves. It worked for Sly Stone, it works for Beyonce.

*She is famous enough not to have to use the surname she is forcing upon us. Anyway, how many other people called Beyonce do you know? (Ditto with Solange her sister, its all part of a family masterplan. Are they the Venus and Serena of the pop world?)