All 8 entries tagged Cultural Fetishisation

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August 28, 2005

The outsiders are gathering, a new day is born…

Writing about Did we miss anything? from Erm... oh ok

WARNING! GEEKISH MEANDERINGS AHEAD.


to Rick for his excellent entry on R.E.M.'s seminal debut album Murmur. In response I've been inspired to update my previous entry on the band's canon (for oh yes, 'tis mighty indeed), which you can view here.

Exchange of the weekend -

The Ballard: (upon stumbling into a viewing of the band's latest promo videos in our living room) "Christ alive, how much R.E.M. can you take?!"
The Carter: " - Is that a challenge?!"


July 22, 2005

"Let us quote", as the good lord once said…

Now then, now then...

Don't you just hate it when magazines run lists of the all-time greatest movie quotes and just get it all wrong? You know the drill - you start fingering their crisp, seductive pages with the highest of hopes but before long they're giving you "I coulda been a contender", "Are you talkin' to me?!" and "Here's looking at you, kid" with all the imagination of a pre-op Charley from Flowers For Algernon. Well, no more!

Here they are, kids – the real bad-boys, the only ones you'll ever need, the zingers that escaped the tastemakers but have somehow entered into pop-culture lore on the sly (plus a couple from Problem Child). Peruse, divulge, enjoy and – of course – regurgitate them endlessly until they basically lose all meaning and simply become another part of your everyday lexis.

In alphabetical order, according to title…

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

President Marshall (Harrison Ford): "Get – off – my – plane!"

(from Air Force One, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Capt. Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves): "Joey… have you ever been in a Turkish prison?"

(from Airplane!, 1978)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Ash (Ian Holm): "You still don't understand what you're dealing with, do you? A perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility."

(from Alien, 1979)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale): (to two bemused hookers) "Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album - 'Duke'. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy. Too intellectual. It was on 'Duke' where, ah, Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think 'Invisible Touch' is the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility, yet at the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums.

– Christy, take off your robe.

Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument.

– Sabrina, remove your dress.

In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, and sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little. Take the lyrics to 'Land of Confusion'. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. 'In Too Deep' is the most moving pop song of the 1980s about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting; and lyrics are as positive and affirmative as, ah, anything I've heard in rock.

– Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole.

Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial, and therefore more satisfying in a narrower way. Especially songs like 'In the Air Tonight' and, ha! 'Against All Odds'.

– Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it.

But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group than as a solo artist – and I stress the word, artist. This is 'Sussudio'. A great, great song. A personal favourite…"

(from American Psycho, 2000)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Defence Counsel Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino): "That man is guilty! That man, there, that man is a slime! He is a slime! If he's supposed to go free, then something really wrong is goin' on here!"
Judge Rayford (Jack Warden): "Mr. Kirkland, you are out of order!"
Kirkland: You're out of order! You're out of order! This whole trial is out of order! (Then, while being dragged out of court by police officers) …I just completed my opening statement!"

(from ...And Justice For All, 1979)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen): "Charging someone with murder in this place was like arresting someone for speeding at the Indy 500…"

(from Apocalyse Now, 1979)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Austin Powers (Mike Myers): "You didn't happen to see..." (Observing blind man's white stick) "...Anything at all."

(from Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Buford Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson): "Manure… I hate manure!"

(from Back to the Future Part III, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Coop (Trey Parker): "I'm not gonna do it, dude, end of story!"
Reemer (Matt Stone): "Dude!"
Coop: "Dude!"
Reemer: "Dude!"
Coop: "Dude!"
Reemer: "Dude!"
[Coop looks shocked]
Reemer: "Dude..."
Coop: "...I see your point."

(from BASEketball, 1998)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

The Joker (Jack Nicholson): "Never rub another man's rhubarb!"

(from Batman, 1989)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Serge (Bronson Pinchot): "Ack-well?! – Ackwell Fo-leeey?!"

(from Beverly Hills Cop III, 1994)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Elderly Woman (Robyn Hilton): (While being punched repeatedly by thugs) "Have you ever seen such cruelty?!"

Also:

Governor William J. LePetomane (Mel Brooks): "Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph! – Hey! I didn't get a 'harrumph' out of that guy!"

Also:

Buddy Bizarre (Dom DeLuise): "Cut, cut, this is a closed set!"
Taggart (Slim Pickens): "Piss on you – I'm working for Mel Brooks!"

Also:

Sheriff Bart (Cleavon Little): (To two members of the KKK) "Hey, where are all the white women at?!"

(from Blazing Saddles, 1974)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Banky Edwards (Jason Lee): "Now that, my friend – is a 'shared moment'."

(from Chasing Amy, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

President Bennett (Donald Moffatt): "How dare you come in here and lecture me! I am the President of the United States!"
Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford): "How dare you, sir…"

(from Clear and Present Danger, 1993)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Alex (Malcolm McDowell): "I was cured, all right..."

(from A Clockwork Orange, 1971)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Wooderson (Matthew McConaughey): "Alright, alright, alright! I love those redheads!"

(from Dazed and Confused, 1992)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood): "When an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy."
Mayor (John Vernon): "Intent? How did you establish that?"
Callahan: "Well, when a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he ain't out collecting for the Red Cross…"

(from Dirty Harry, 1971)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Mister Senor Love Daddy (Samuel L. Jackson): "Whoa! Y'all take a chill! You got to cool that shit off! And that's the double-truth, Ruth!"

(from Do the Right Thing, 1989)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Pep Streebeck (Tom Hanks): "Well, Muzz – I guess it just you, and me… your balls… and this drawer."

(from Dragnet, 1987)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx): (Singing) "If any form of pleasure is exhibited / Report to me and it will be prohibited / I put my foot down, so shall it be – this is the land of the free! / The last man nearly ruined this place, he didn't know what to do with it / If you think this country's bad off now, just wait til I get through with it!"

(from Duck Soup, 1933)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Peg Boggs (Dianne Wiest): (Applying make-up to Edward) "The light-concealing cream goes on first... and then you blend, and blend, and blend. Blending is the secret. Mm-hm... More concealing cream... You know, your complexion is so fair... that this is a touch of lavender in it! Let's give it a try here... close enough. Okay, this should do the trick here... (Observing his purple face) Huh... - I have another idea. We'll cover up the scars, and start with a completely smooth surface. (Wrestling with stodgy concoction) ...Darn this stuff…!"

(from Edward Scissorhands, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Lucas (Rory Cochrane): (Upon losing the day's takings at a roulette table) "I wonder if I'll be held responsible for this?!"

(from Empire Records, 1996)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

John Kruger (Arnold Schwarzenegger): (To an alligator he's just blown away) " – You're luggage!"

(from Eraser, 1996)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

D-Fens (Michael Douglas): " - I'm the bad guy?!"

(from Falling Down, 1993)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Nicholas Pike (Michael Nader): "Who are you? Where did you come from?"
The Flash (John Wesley Shipp): "I came from you, Pike! You made me..."

(from The Flash, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) "I'm not trying to solve a puzzle here, Richard."
Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford): "Well I am trying to solve a puzzle. And I just found a big piece…"

(from The Fugitive, 1993)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Gunnery Sgt Hartman (R. Lee Ermey): "Well, no shit. What do we have here, a fucking comedian! Private Joker! I admire your honesty. Hell, I like you. You can come over to my house and fuck my sister!"

(from Full Metal Jacket, 1987)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray): "Back off, man. I'm a scientist."

(from Ghostbusters, 1984)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Richard Roma (Al Pacino): "You stupid fucking cunt. Hey, Williamson, I'm talking to you, shithead. You just cost me $6,000. Six thousand dollars, and one Cadillac. That's right. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do about it - asshole? You're fucking shit. Where did you learn your trade, you stupid fucking cunt, you idiot? Who ever told you that you could work with men!"

(from Glengarry Glen Ross, 1992)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Will Hunting (Matt Damon): "Let the healing begin!"

(from Good Will Hunting, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Grandpa Fred (Robert Prosky): "Creature what is it that you want?"
Brain Gremlin (Frank Randall): "Fred, what we want is, I think, what everyone wants, and what you and your viewers have: civilization."
Grandpa Fred: "Yes, but what sort of civilization are you speaking of?"
Brain Gremlin: "The niceties, Fred. The fine points: diplomacy, compassion, standards, manners, tradition... that's what we're reaching toward. Oh, we may stumble along the way, but civilization, yes. The Geneva Convention, chamber music, Susan Sontag. Everything your society has worked so hard to accomplish over the centuries, that's what we aspire to; we want to be civilized. I mean, you take a look at this fellow here. (A bibbling Gremlin wanders onto the set wearing a daft hat. He shoots him in the head). Now, was that civilized? No, clearly not. Fun, but in no sense civilized!"

(from Gremlins 2: The New Batch, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Martin Blank (John Cusack): "I was hired to kill you. But I'm not going to. It's either because I'm in love with your daughter or I have a newfound respect for life."
[In pursuing car]
Mr. Grocer (Dan Aykroyd): "That punk's either in love with that guy's daughter or he's got a newfound respect for life."

(from Grosse Pointe Blank, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford): (Dressed as a ticket inspector, to a planeful of passengers after hurling a Nazi out of the window) " – No ticket!"

(from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, 1989)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino): "And Jeffrey Wigand, who's out on a limb, does he go on television and tell the truth? Yes. Is it newsworthy? Yes. Are we gonna air it? Of course not. Why? Because he's not telling the truth? No. Because he is telling the truth, and the more truth he tells, the worse it gets!"

(from The Insider, 1999)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Jay (Jason Mewes): (To Silent Bob) "Fuck you, Fatty."

(from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, 2001)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Jack Robin (Al Jolson): " - Mammy, don't ya know me? It's your little baby! (Singing) I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles, my ma-a-a-ammy!"

(from The Jazz Singer, 1927)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Louis Mazzini (Dennis Price): "I shot an arrow in the air; she fell to Earth in Berkeley Square."

(from Kind Hearts and Coronets, 1949)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks): "Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING?! – There's no crying in baseball!"

(from A League of Their Own, 1992)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Frank 'T.J.' Mackey (Tom Cruise): "I swear to God, I will drop-kick those fuckin' dogs if they come anywhere near me."

(from Magnolia, 2000)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Dolores (Kathleen Turner): (looking at book) "The Complete Poems of John Lillison, England's greatest one-armed poet".
Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (Steve Martin): "He wrote 'In Dillan's Grove' and 'Pointy Birds.' (Reading) "O pointy birds, o pointy pointy; anoint my head – anointy-nointy."

(from The Man With Two Brains, 1983)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

The Mask (Jim Carrey): (Making balloon animals) "For you, sir... a poodle!" (He then pops it and it deflates) …Sorry son, dog was rabid, had to put it down."

(from The Mask, 1994)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

James St. James (Emilio Estevez): "Have you seen my gloves, amigo?"
Carl Taylor (Charlie Sheen): " – In the… glove compartamente?!"

(from Men at Work, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen): "Nice beaver."
Jane (Priscilla Presley): "Thanks. I just had it stuffed."

(from The Naked Gun, 1988)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen): "I like my sex like I like my basketball… one-on-one, with as little dribbling as possible."

(from The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, 1993)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Junior (Michael Oliver): "Not the nuns... NOT THE NUNS!!!"

Also:

Junior: (Upon being presented with his first taste of "managing money", a one-dollar allowance) "A buck? How do you manage a buck?!"

(from Problem Child, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Dewey Finn (Jack Black): "Ok, here's the deal. I have a hangover. Who knows what that means?"
Frankie (Angelo Massagli): "Doesn't that mean you're drunk?"
Dewey Finn: "No! It means that I was drunk yesterday!"

(from School of Rock, 2003)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Johnny 5 (Tim Blaney): "Hey, laser-lips! Your mama was a snow-blower!"

(from Short Circuit, 1986)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Charlie MacKenzie (Mike Myers): "Woman! Whoah, man… Whoooah, man! She was a thief, you got to believe; she stole my heart and my cat…"

Also:

Stuart MacKenzie (Mike Myers): "A'reet, now go give your mother a kiss or I'll kick your teeth in!"

(from So I Married an Axe Murderer, 1993)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher): "Will somebody get this great big walking carpet out of my way?!"
Han Solo (Harrison Ford): "No reward is worth this…"

(from Star Wars, 1977)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Mikey Livingston (Jonathan Osser): "Consuelo, what is rape exactly?"
Consuelo (Lupe Ontiveros): "It is when you love someone and they don't love you, and you decide to do something about it."

(from Storytelling, 2001)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

General Zod (Terence Stamp): "KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!"

(from Superman II, 1980)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Michael Corben (Richard Grieco): "I'll nail your ass to the wall!"

(from Teen Agent, 1991)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Scott Howard (Michael J. Fox): "GIVE ME - A KEG - OF BEER!"

(from Teen Wolf, 1986)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Casey Jones (Elias Koteas): " – Cricket?"
Raphael (Josh Pais): "Cricket?! You gotta know what a crumpet is to understand Cricket!"

(from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 1990)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Timothy Evans (John Hurt): "But... it was Christie done it!"

(from 10 Rillington Place, 1973)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Network Executive (Philip Baker Hall): "For God's sake, Chris! The whole world is watching. We can't let him die in front of a live audience!"
Christof (Ed Harris): "Why not? He was born in front of a live audience…"

(from The Truman Show, 1998)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Scott Turner (Tom Hanks): "Don't eat the car! Not the car! Oh, what am I yelling at you for, you're a dog!"

(from Turner and Hooch, 1989)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea): "Open the pod bay doors, HAL…"
HAL 9000 Computer: "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that…"

(from 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Buck Russell (John Candy): (To High School Principal with large wart) "Take this quarter. Go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face!"

Also:

Buck: (To drunken Clown) "Get in your mouse, and get out of here."

(from Uncle Buck, 1989)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Fenster (Benicio del Toro): "Han' me-uh keys, you fu'in co'sucker!"

(from The Usual Suspects, 1995)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Glen (Ed O'Neill): "Why is it that if you kill a man in the heat of battle, it's called heroic; but if you kill a man in the heat of passion, it's called murder?"

(from Wayne's World, 1992)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Withnail (Richard E. Grant): "Don't you threaten me with a dead fish!"

(from Withnail & I, 1987)

LESSONS LEARNED

1) Hell hath no fury like Pacino scorned.
2) Harrison Ford gives good growl and is the only man who can get away with talking back to the President of the United States.
3) An artless quote from Jason Mewes is worth ten Brando monologues.
4) Never underestimate a film starring John Ritter.
5) The 1980s is a veritable treasure-trove of great quotes from suspect movies.

Your additional contributions are welcome...


June 10, 2005

No sooner were the following words written here…

"...what narks me more than anything is when a great band with the clear potential for mainstream appeal… just get completely overlooked and are forced to break up, which deprives the rest of us of their work. When their music means so much to you as a fan, I just find it such a fucking shame, and so hopefully you'll forgive my anger at those people whose ignorance breeds this kind of apathy and robs genuinely great musicians of their ability to get heard"

– then this goes and happens.

Christ alive, what a desperately grim day for British music. SIX.BY SEVEN were one of the nation's most consistently fascinating and vital bands and it's a sad indictment of many people's apathy that they went largely unnoticed during their eight years making music. They stood head and shoulders above all the depthless indie fashionistas for their intelligence, honesty and integrity, and their third album - 2002's The Way I Feel Today (go buy it) – remains not just the best record of its year, but also one of the most passionate and ferocious statements of musical intent to emerge from this fair isle in the last decade. They will be sorely missed.

I'll leave the last word to one fan on the band's messageboard, who had this to say:

"if the world was too ragingly stupid to listen then it's not your fault, but I guess the banging of heads against brick walls had to stop somewhere".

DAMN YOU, BRITISH RECORD-BUYING PUBLIC!


"Aw, bugger...


June 02, 2005

Warwick Students Union presents… THE TNC SOUNDSYSTEM

Now see here, kids!

Exams finished? Housemates a bore? In the mood for something a little different this Saturday? Then get yo' ass along to PARTY TUNES in the Students Union for a night of the most bangingest, thumpingest, poudingest tunes this side of a full-on bludgeoning from Lennox Lewis.

Oh yes indeed. It's the event so awesome they had to make up a bunch of adjectives which have never existed. For one night only, THE TNC SOUNDSYSTEM bring you a selection of massive tunes guaranteed to get the monkey shaking to the point of apoplexy. You may not know them all. You may not even know any of them. But by god, come with an open mind and we guarantee you more fun than a bathtub full of Jennifer Aniston lookalikes!


[Gratuitous cheap ploy]

TWO DJs. NO RULES. NO CHEESE. NO COMPROMISE.

Come along, or the dog gets it…


March 17, 2005

THE TOP FIVE (FOUR) LYRICS OF ALL–TIME

In the spirit of that just entered below…

"I can't go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend / What if something's on TV and it's never shown again?"

(from 'The Outdoor Type' by The Lemonheads [original by Smudge], Car Button Cloth, 1997)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

"And you who reject masculinity, baby I'm with you / As soon as you forsake virility, and aggression too"

(from 'Everybody Is a Fucking Liar' by The Posies, Amazing Disgrace, 1996)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

"This world is topsy-turvy, and it is mine to eat / She's a pebble in my mouth, and underneath my feet / She's the puzzle-piece behind the couch that makes the sky complete"

(from 'Alison's Starting to Happen' by The Lemonheads, It's a Shame About Ray, 1992)

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

"I smoke too many cigarettes / I place too many losing bets / I watch too much TV / I think too much about me..."

(from 'Closet Heroine' by The Crocketts, We May Be Skinny and Wirey, 1998)


BRAND NEW ENTRY INTO THE TOP FIVE LYRICS OF ALL–TIME

"Is there anything that I could do / That someone doesn't do for you?"

(from 'Coast to Coast' by Elliott Smith, From a Basement On the Hill, 2004)


October 10, 2004

By popular demand – it's the all–new R.E.M. retrospective!

Aha! In reponse to the comment posted on the Around the Sun review, I managed to dredge up the following (updated 28/08/05):

R.E.M. - THE RETROSPECTIVE

What struck me recently upon witnessing the band's concert at Hyde Park was the sheer volume of people in attendance who clearly owned only a couple of their albums and/or the Greatest Hits compilation. Along with anyone who dismisses R.E.M. as "depressing" or "unoriginal", this has always struck me as something of a pointless exercise, as you simply can't measure the power and influence of their output on the basis of a few bubblegum radio hits. They are, at heart, an art band who just happen to possess a knack for a killer tune; that they later metamorphosed into mega-selling stadium rock giants seems irrelevant, as many of their singalong anthems are relatively lightweight or even throwaway in comparison to their more reserved or studious output.

After their recent tour I've decided that I probably won't go and see them live again – there's only so many times I can watch them blast through the likes of 'Orange Crush' while secretly wishing they'd completely ignore the audience and pull out a set of songs like 'Low' and 'Falls to Climb'. They're also knocking on a bit and not quite the force they were even a couple of years ago at Glastonbury (which, along with their post-9/11 set in Cologne, was simply one of the finest performances they'll ever turn in), and I'd hate to see them turn into The Rolling Stones just banging out the hits for a bunch of drunk bastards unable to remember what albums they came from. Hopefully when they grow tired of rocking out they'll "do a Springsteen" and start touring acoustically, an exercise which ought to adequately showcase the quality of their back catalogue and restore their status as one of American music's all-time greats.

Regardless, here's an expanded version of the album-by-album rundown which first appeared on the Offbeat forum a couple of years back…

Murmur (1983): Easily the most consistent of their early LPs in terms of its overall project and tone – it fits together effortlessly well and is best listened to as a whole instead of picking out individual tracks. As such I can see why many people rate it as their finest work – it's an elliptical and mysterious mood piece which, like all the best art, slowly draws you into its own world and keeps you bobbling about there for its haunting duration. The quality of the songwriting is remarkable for a band still in its infancy – check out 'Perfect Circle' and 'Pilgrimage' for a more considered alternative to straight-ahead balls-out rockers like 'Radio Free Europe' and 'Sitting Still' (mind you, if you can make out what Stipe's singing even in these then you're a better man than me).

Reckoning (1984): A deliberate reaction against the calculated mysticism of their debut, this can be quite patchy in places but it still contains some of the greatest songs they've ever recorded in the form of 'South Central Rain', 'Don't Go Back to Rockville' and 'Pretty Persuasion' (to this day, the former may just be their very best – certainly the band themselves rate it very highly). Disjointed, but a bit of a lark, all things considered.

Fables of the Reconstruction (1985): Opinion is divided among more hardcore R.E.M. fans as to whether this is the band's darkest, most incoherent hour or their most interesting work, though time has elevated it to the status of one of their most important albums: if you ever want to hear where the likes of Interpol got half their ideas from, meld this to a Joy Division record and you have your answer. Not for the first time, its traumatic recording almost broke up the band and this is reflected in many of its moody, understated compositions. Still, you'd be hard-pushed to find a more upbeat double-header than 'Can't Get There From Here' and 'Life and How to Live It', even amidst the likes of cutting opener 'Feeling Gravitys Pull' and the rattling doom-dance of 'Auctioneer (Another Engine)'. Oh, and 'Driver 8' really gets the monkey shaking.

Life's Rich Pageant (1986): While they undoubtedly benefitted from roping in producer Don Gehman to beef up the sound and coax Stipe into projecting his voice instead of retreating into it, this album can actually be quite wearing at times - the constant jingle-jangle becomes rather monotonous when basically sustained all the way through (especially on forgettable tracks like 'Hyena'). That said - and this is a big "that said" – when it's good, it's magnificent: 'Begin the Begin' and 'These Days' kick things off in grand style, whereas 'Cuyahoga' and 'Fall On Me' (high up in the top five R.E.M. songs of all-time, no question) are real gems.

Dead Letter Office (1987): As a B-sides compilation I don't suppose this technically counts as a proper album, though the inclusion of their brilliant debut EP Chronic Town is a major incentive for purchase. Equally, early tracks like 'White Tornado' make for interesting curios, and their covers of choice tunes by The Velvet Underground and Pylon are major plus-points. The less said about the likes of pissed-up drivel like 'Burning Hell' the better, mind.

Document (1987): Overall this album can be quite frustrating, perhaps due to the fact that the obvious standout tracks became big hits and so immediately stand out from the rest of the album ('Finest Worksong', 'The One I Love', 'It's the End of the World As We Know It'). Even so, it's a brash and ballsy record which marks the turning-point in their career and heralded their move from art-rock cult favourites to bona-fide stadium-fillers.

Green (1988): Not as almighty as some would have you believe (many critics proclaimed it the best rock album of the decade upon its release), but Green is still a formidable piece of work. Experimenting for the first time with instruments outside of the accepted line-up for a four-piece rock band, 'World Leader Pretend', 'You Are the Everything' and 'Hairshirt' are all magnificent pre-cursors to the world-conquering albums which would follow, whereas 'Pop Song 89' and 'Stand' make for likeable throwaway tosh and 'Turn You Inside Out' raises the stabbing stadium guitar blueprint of Document a notch higher. Note also the fascination with the number 4 on the cover artwork - Michael Stipe accidently hit the letter 'r' on his computer keyboard when typing out the track numbers and the idea just stuck. Given that '5' appears on the cover of Document, many R.E.M. conspiracists took this to mean that the group would split in three albums' time. Unintentionally, they almost did…

Out of Time (1991): Bright, breezy and bursting with life, there just isn't a duff track on here (for the record, 'Shiny Happy People' is perhaps the best non-ironic pure-pop song to ever somehow count itself as an ironic guilty pleasure). Yet amid the elation there exists the same intelligence, melancholy and attention to detail which has characterised even their most artful releases: 'Low' is as good a slow-burner as they'll ever write, 'Losing My Religion' as skyscraping now as it ever was, 'Half a World Away' aching as sin, 'Me In Honey' highly undervalued, and 'Belong' the source of the finest harmonies you'll ever hear.

Automatic For the People (1993): As with Document, the omnipresence of the major hit singles can give this record a somewhat disjointed feel overall, and in recent years I've found myself more drawn to its more introspective tracks, particularly 'Drive', 'Monty Got a Raw Deal', 'Find the River' (again, top five R.E.M. songs, hands-down) and even the unlikely 'New Orleans Instrumental No. 1'. However, no amount of over-exposure can diminish the sheer power of its crowd favourites, and you simply haven't lived until you've seen 'Everybody Hurts' performed live at a festival – their cathartic and emotionally-charged version at Glastonbury 2003 was utterly phenomenal. If anyone ever tells you this is a depressing song, either walk away shaking your head in despair or simply hit them, as they quite simply are a moron with the attention span of a goldfish, and thus beyond help.

Monster (1995): Despite once being named one of the most forgettable records by a major act of all time in Q magazine, this is in fact a pretty decent album which I've always had a great amount of affection for. True, at times its glam-rock posturing gets a little tiresome ('King of Comedy', anyone?) but there's some genuinely great stuff here amongst the bombast: 'I Don't Sleep, I Dream', 'Strange Currencies', 'Bang & Blame', 'Tongue', 'Let Me In' (written for, to and about Kurt Cobain) and the horrendously discordant 'You' are all winners. Of course it's no Automatic, but then that was the point: as a dolled-up, sexed-up exercise in reinvention (the entire record throbs with an alternately sinister and sorrowful sense of lust or longing), this is pretty hard to beat. Definitely time for people to reappraise this one.

New Adventures In Hi-Fi (1997): Production-wise, this doesn't sit that well with me, as the rather hollow arena sound is quite distracting and there are certain songs which would've sounded infinitely better recorded in the studio as opposed to done live. Equally, tracks like 'The Wake Up Bomb' and 'Binky the Doormat' could have been pruned for the sake of brevity with no dentrimental effect to the record as a whole. Nitpicking aside though, its highlights are awesome: 'E-Bow the Letter', 'Leave', 'Electrolite' and 'How the West Was Won' are all instant classics which showcase a band at the top of their game. Incidental trivia: the band struck a deal with touring buddies Radiohead for Thom Yorke to come over to America and sing an R.E.M. track of his choice, with Stipe doing the same for the Oxford boys. Typically esoteric in his thinking, Yorke plumped for 'Be Mine', as can be witnessed on the excellent documentary This Way Up.

Up (1999): This is without question the band's most complete album: every single track on here works within context, and if you take one song out the whole thing falls apart. Robbed of the solid backbone of their previous incarnation as a quartet, this is also the moment when the band were forced to reconfigure their sound in the wake of Bill Berry's departure. As such, their humanity shines brighter than ever before: Up is the shuffling, awkward sound of a band naked before the world: fragile, vulnerable and having to prove themselves for the first time in years. It's absolutely fucking magnificent from start to finish.

Reveal (2001): Another step towards the fractured electronic-based sound hinted at by Up, this is let down only by a couple of slightly weaker tracks midway through ('Summer Turns to High', 'Chorus and the Ring') and the fact that it's one song too long – why they felt the need to include 'Beachball' when 'I'll Take the Rain' would've finished things off so perfectly, I'll never know. 'I've Been High', 'She Just Wants to Be' and 'The Lifting' are all wonderful, but the highlight is 'Saturn Return' – their most opaque, ambitious and artistic track to date. Pointless trivia: 'Imitation of Life' only ended up on there at the record company's insistence; the song it replaced, 'Fascinate', is superb.

Around the Sun (2004): A curious step backwards for the band in that it marries the more straightforward approach of Automatic to the experimental edge of Reveal, to not entirely successful effect. Patience elevates it above an uninspiring first few listens but its enduring weakness is the wishy-washy production, which lends the album an airy feel which never quite gives certain tracks the kick they require. Michael Stipe is the key player here, and it's a shame that his eloquence is never quite matched by Buck and Mills' compositions, which often meander where Automatic excelled. Perhaps the first of their albums to truly disappoint, it is nevertheless a major grower with some real standouts: 'Boy In the Well', 'Electron Blue', 'The Outsiders', 'Leaving New York' and 'High Speed Train' will justifiably enter the pantheon of R.E.M. greats given time.

As is clearly evident here, I have way too much spare time on my hands. If you do too, buy up the R.E.M. DVDs This Film Is On and Parallel. They will change the way you look at music videos forever.

Unfortunately the article I wrote for The Boar a while back on the band's Warner Brothers output has now disappeared from their website. For the record though, I recently made my friend James a 2CD 'Best Of' compilation and after much idle pontification the tracklisting was as follows…

DISC 1

1) "Airportman"
2) "Monty Got a Raw Deal"
3) "We Walk"
4) "Electrolite"
5) "The One I Love"
6) "Me in Honey"
7) "Live and How to Live It"
8) "Fall On Me"
9) "Radio Free Europe"
10) "Losing My Religion"
11) "Cuyahoga"
12) "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" – MTV Unplugged 1991
13) "Driver 8"
14) "Electron Blue"
15) "Leave"
16) "Half a World Away"
17) "Strange Currencies"
18) "Walk Unafraid"
19) "E-Bow the Letter"

DISC 2

1) "Daysleeper"
2) "Sitting Still"
3) "World Leader Pretend"
4) "Crazy"
5) "I've Been High"
6) "How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us"
7) "Hairshirt"
8) "The Outsiders" (feat. Q-Tip)
9) "Low"
10) "So. Central Rain" (MTV Unplugged 2001)
11) "Drive"
12) "I Don't Sleep, I Dream"
13) "I'll Take the Rain"
14) "You Are the Everything"
15) "Find the River"
16) "Let Me In"
17) "Country Feedback"
18) "Saturn Return"
19) "You"

– - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - –

[Addendum]: does the soundtrack LP for Man On the Moon count? If so, there are a couple of likeable instrumental tracks on there in addition to 'The Great Beyond' – plus you also get the band performing 'This Friendly World' with Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman/Tony Clifton, which is a hoot…

A few other worthwhile extracurricular tracks for completists out there:

  • 'Happiness' by Michael Stipe & Rain Phoenix (from the Todd Solondz film of the same name)

  • 'Only In America' (from the soundtrack of Canadian Bacon)

  • 'Revolution' (from the soundtrack of Batman and Robin)

  • 'All the Right Friends' (from the soundtrack of Vanilla Sky)

  • 'Furry Happy Monsters', as performed on Sesame Street (only
    R.E.M. could get away with this)

  • 'I'm Gonna DJ', a new track performed on their recent world tour which contains the rather sterling lyric "Death is so final / I'm collecting vinyl / I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world…"

R.E.M. backing band member Ken Stringfellow has also had an illustrious career worth investigating, first with The Posies (one of the most underrated American bands of the 1990s) and then as a solo artist. The Posies' 1993 album Frosting On the Beater is a full-on classic which ought to made compulsory for anyone with ears.

I still hold out hope that one day some really hot babe's going to wander over when I'm DJ-ing and utter the phrase "Bugger this nonsense, let's talk about R.E.M.!". In the meantime, a life is, I feel, sorely needed in this corner…


October 03, 2004

(Fanfare): THE TEN GREATEST FILMS OF ALL–TIME!

I noticed that a few people were doing lists of greatest albums etc, so as a saddo High Fidelity devotee I thought I'd weigh in with a few cinematic choices.

A few points before we begin:

1) This list was initially compiled while writing a Film Studies Postgrad essay on what makes Great Films ™ "great". The final criteria were set as longevity, influence, artistic achievement, critical significance and directorial authorship. To be honest, I couldn't really give a monkey's yazzock about most of these. So the films selected here are either perfect examples of a complete synthesis of form and content, or the greatest achievement of an individual writer or director.

2) Obligatory semantics: we're talking "Greatest" here, not "favourite", so I'm trying to think as objectively as possible. Stamp and cry all you like but Dirty Dancing is, under no criteria, a Great Film. Plus, before people start weighing in with lists of films solely from the 80s and 90s, it generally helps when doing these sorts of things if you've seen stuff which came out before Star Wars and don't discriminate against something on the basis of it being foreign and/or silent, black-and-white etc…

3) …That all said, I genuinely love every single one of these, and the first four are clearly personal favourites (though as objectively as possible using the above-listed criteria I do believe them to be genuinely brilliant and will defend them until my dying day!)

I do of course fully expect people to weigh in with comments of the "fascist", "film snob" (resolutely not true – none of these films are obtuse, pretentious or unwatchable) and "Where's Pretty Woman?!" variety…

1) The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998)
2) Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith, 1997)
3) Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton, 1990)
4) Dazed & Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)
5) The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
6) The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
7) Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
8) Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1987)
9) Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
10) The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959)

[nb. Just bubbling under, a couple of which were kept out on grounds of favouritism] –

Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)
JFK (Oliver Stone, 1991)
Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)
Quiz Show (Robert Redford, 1994)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (Joe Dante, 1990 – I'm not kidding!)
Problem Child (Dennis Dugan, 1990 – okay, I am kidding)


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