All 31 entries tagged Music

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October 30, 2005

this title is better than yours

Ok, so recently I conducted a poll amongst myself to find the most "rock and roll" and most "punk" songs ever written or recorded, and found that the answer to both questions was the same: Bikini Kill – Don't Need You. And people dared to say that Johnny Rotten sounded "punk" – Kathleen Hanna fucks Johnny Rotten up the ass.

Thought 1: any good band needs good drums, and I don't mean that in the "man, he plays good drums", justification for Blink 182, kind of way. Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), is a good drummer, but this would mean shit if it wasn't for the fact that the drums sound good on record and live. Meg White, for instance, is a great drummer in that her drumming is perfect for who the White Stripes are: Travis Whatthefuck from that defunct pop-punk band would sound ridiculous in this instance, and hopefully would get a pounding from Jack White (who seems predisposed to doing stuff like this).

Recently, I went to a Warwick Offbeat night, and had a shit seven hours salvaged slightly only by my own drinking. My bitching on this subject has been covered before. But my new angle is thus, and influenced by my recent listening: why did they not play anything by MF Doom. Doom annoys me because I hadn't heard anything by him before he breached mainstream indie conscience and pitchfork started furiously beating themselves off over him. Thus I cannot get heard-him-first syndromed. However.

Doom utterly rules. I have no idea if he and Aesop Rock have ever recorded on the same track, but if they have, it's probably the pinnicle of everything ever, or something.

Less now, more then: I wish the Moldy Peaches would reform. I must have seen them live about four times, and seeing as I've been to two gig in the last two years (man I need to stop being a recluse, or at least move to America where they have good bands) that is pretty good going. Oh the UTTER joy when John Kennedy played Rainbows on live radio without having heard it before, then realised quite what the language on it was like. Sample lyrics:

"You gotta have rain
to have a rainbow
You gotta have dick
To have a dick in your mouth
You gotta skin a rich kid
to wear a rich kid suit
And you’ve gotta know by now I think you’re cute"

Is it only me who finds those lyrics strangely touching and beautiful?

Anyway, I met John Kennedy once, but was too starstruck to talk to him. Starstruck, by a man who looks even more a nerd than I do. I don't even believe in the culture that would ALLOW me to be starstruck. Man I am quite lame.

October 09, 2005

10 reasons why the NME has always sucked

Julie Burchill
Stuart Maconie
Johnny "Stereolab 0/10, I went to Warwick University, I have a rubbish name and I hate Billy Childish because he wouldn't let me into a gig for free" Cigarettes
Gary Bushell
Michael Winner
Danny Baker
James Brown (Loaded founder)
Tony "worst human being in existence" Parsons
Conor McNicholas
A million and one other cliched fuckfaces

Steven Wells aside, the NME has always been a hotbed of shit. Thee Headcoats got it spot on: "we hate the fucking NME".

October 08, 2005

songs that you could listen to on repeat for approximately three hours and they would still rule: 1

The Thermals – No Culture Icons

hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly garbage
hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly garbage
more coloured liquid
no scent no skin
more stained paper
more parts per million
no new deafness
no self reference
no cults and
no new stands
no one ideal
know what i feel
no two the same
no two with the same name
hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly garbage
hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly started
more coloured liquid
no scent, no skin
more stained paper
more parts per million
no new deafness
no self reference
no getting psyched on
no culture icons
no one ideal
know what i feel
no two the same
no two with the same name
no one ideal
know what i feel
ooh, ooh, ooh
hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly garbage
hardly art
hardly starving
hardly art
hardly garbage
more coloured liquid
no scent, no skin
more stained paper
more parts per million
no new deafness
no self reference
no getting psyched on
no culture icons
no one ideal
know what i feel
no two the same name
two with the same name
eyes so deep you'd
never see through I
can't fucking stop thinking about you

October 06, 2005

joe's extra–special part e (or not) album for discerning listeners (aka things i like)

1. nation of ulysses – the sound of young america
2. the rogers sisters – freight elevator
3. martha reeves and the vandellas – (love is like a) heatwave
4. papas fritas – lame to be
5. detroit cobras – hey sailor
6. j live – satisfied
7. computer cougar – stunt pilot
8. chicks on speed – we don't play guitars
9. ikara colt – one note
10. bratmobile – fuck yr fans
11. erase errata – owls
12. mc5 – the american ruse
13. the gossip – don't (make waves)
14. refused – summer holiday vs punk routine
15. eyedea & abilities (featuring blueprint) – untitled
16. coachwhips – evil son
17. fu manchu – king of the road
18. pussy galore – yu gung
19. evaporators – ripple rock
20. shonen knife – keep on rockin'
21. big black – he's a whore
22. bikini kill – finale


+ only one british band there, no problem?

September 30, 2005

Indie wet dreams, number 4: Bob Pollard (Guided By Voices)

The man had the quality control of a dog pissing on a car tyre. He was an ex-teacher, famously a drunk, and sacked god knows how many band members. He was quite clearly a genius when it came to songwriting, even if at least 1/3 of his songs were scratchy demos that he stuck on albums regardless. Utterly brilliant, listen to The Best of Jill Hives and say that he didn’t have a beautiful singing voice. And he drunkenly high-kicked higher and better than anyone will ever do.

Sometimes the titles come first; sometimes I write poetry and I’ll write songs to the poetry, so the lyrics comes first; and then other times I’ll be sitting around playing guitar and brainstorming chord progressions on my tape recorder. I don’t really have many guidelines or formulas. I just let whatever comes natural. I know some people worry about writer’s block, but I’ll have to knock on wood—I don’t have wood, I have glass here—I have not experienced writer’s block. So I don’t worry about it. If I get to the point where I don’t feel very creative, I use that as a time to relax and just wait till it happens—and it does. You never know what’s going to trigger that spurt of creativity. It could be movies, it could be albums or it could be hanging out with people that are saying interesting things.

In Bob we trust – goddamn right

September 22, 2005

Steve Albini quotes

"We have never done anything to pander to anybody's expectations, whether it be somebody in a record company or someone in a peer group or someone who could be classed as a fan. We do things based on what we intuitively know to be the right thing to do. It is a lot easier to do that than to do what people expect of us."

“Hey, breaking up is an idea that has occurred to far too few groups. Sometimes to the wrong ones.” (from the sleeve notes of Songs about Fucking, Big Black's final album)

"Whenever I talk to a band who are about to sign with a major label, I always end up thinking of them in a particular context. I imagine a trench, about four feet wide and five feet deep, maybe sixty yards long, filled with runny, decaying shit. I imagine these people, some of them good friends, some of them barely acquaintances, at one end of this trench. I also imagine a faceless industry lackey at the other end holding a fountain pen and a contract waiting to be signed. Nobody can see what's printed on the contract. It's too far away, and besides, the shit stench is making everybody's eyes water. The lackey shouts to everybody that the first one to swim the trench gets to sign the contract. Everybody dives in the trench and they struggle furiously to get to the other end. Two people arrive simultaneously and begin wrestling furiously, clawing each other and dunking each other under the shit. Eventually, one of them capitulates, and there's only one contestant left. He reaches for the pen, but the Lackey says "Actually, I think you need a little more development. Swim again, please. Backstroke". And he does of course." (from "the problem with music", aka "some of your friends are probably already this fucked")

"The male-female relationship, as a subject for song, is thoroughly bankrupt"

"yeah, people are fucking idiots"

"Jazz serves a cultural function in the music scene. It is a signifier for musical "adulthood." To embrace jazz is to don a kind of graduation cap, signifying a broadening of tastes outside "mere" rock music. This ostentatious display of "sophistication" is an insult, and I find the graduation cappers transparent and tedious. Certainly there must be interesting music one could call "jazz." There must be. I've never heard it, but I grant that it is out there somewhere.

Jazz has a non-musical parallel: Christiania, the "free" zone in Copenhagen. In Christiania, like in jazz, there is no law. People are left to their own inventions to create and act as they see fit. In Jazz, the musicians are allowed to improvise over and beside structural elements that may themselves be extemporaneous. Sounds good, doesn't it? Freedom — sounds good.

The reality is much bleaker. Christiania is a squalid, trashy string of alleys with rag-and-bone men selling drugs, tie-dye and wretched food. Granted Total Freedom, and this is what they've chosen to do with it, sell hash and lentil soup? Jazz is similar. The results are so far beneath the conception that there is no English word for the disappointment one feels when forced to confront it. Granted Total Freedom, you've chosen to play II V I and blow a goddamn trill on the saxophone? Only by willfully ignoring its failings can one pretend to appreciate it as an idiom and don the cap". (his views on Jazz)

"Punk rock, which used to involve taking shit and physical confrontations for granted like one takes for granted a favorite pair of Pro Keds, has come to mean fitting in, not rocking the boat, paying lip service to pop cultural icons and ideas and, above all, maintaining an affected disinterest in the society which props it up from behind."

"It seems preposterous now, but at the time, people seemed overly concerned about the literal meaning of our lyrics. I know we never discussed it among ourselves. Lyrics seemed a neccessity, so we had them, but the subject matter was an extension of our interests—not part of a political or aesthetic battle plan. They lyrics were subject to change at whim once the subject had been decided on anyway. Anybody who thinks we oeverstepped the playground perimeter of lyrical decency (or that the public has any right to demand "social responsibility" from a goddamn punk rock band) is a pure natural dolt, and should step forward and put his tongue up my ass. What we sing about is none of your business anyway" (from the Pig Pile liner notes)

(and finally, also from the Pig Pile liner notes)
"Organizationally we were commited to a few basic principles: Treat everyone with as much respect as he deserves (and no more), Avoid people who appeal to our vanity (they always have an angle), Operate as much as possible apart from the "music scene" (which was never our stomping ground), and take no shit from anyone in the process.

It meant nothing to us if we were popular or not, or if we sold a million or no records, so we were invulnerable to ploys by music scene weasels to get us to make mistakes in the name of success. To us, every moment we remained unfettered and in control was a success. We never had a manager. We never had a booking agent. We never had a lawyer. We never took an advance from a record company. We booked our own tours, paid our own bills, made our own mistakes and never had anybody shield us from either the truth or the consequences.

The results of that methodology speak for themselves: Nobody ever told us what to do and nobody took any of our money

May 22, 2005

Oh man, how perfect

For some reason, I had assumed Helen Love had split ages ago. I checked their website around three and a half minutes ago, and happily discovered that this is not the case. \0/

Does your heart go boom is utter wonderfullness:
"I know he's getting better 'cuz he's getting excited
telling everyone he hates Man Utd".

Such wonderfully apt and timely words. Joy unto all the world.

May 21, 2005

Guess the point that I am trying to prove (there probably isn't one)

"influences include gnr, ac/dc, aerosmith, thin lizzy, led zep all classic and hard rock"

"influences include the smiths, the clash, the libertines, the beatles, joy division etc"

"I like a wide range of music from Led Zeppelin to G'n'R to Iron Maiden"

No no no no.

Why do peope who form bands tend to advertise for those that, like themselves, share such mediocre tastes? Obviously, such adverts are generally going to contain well-known names to maximise the respondents, but, in interviews, bands regularly cite similar names, whilst their music betrays the obviousness of their imitation.

There are a million and one shitty, nothing to them bands, filling up pubs across the country, and all sounding like the worst kind of derivative dirge. One of them, Oasis, managed to escape beyond even the clutches of a one page NME interview, and assumed a major role in musical culture.

Oasis fans – just what exactly do you see in them? "Proper rock like?" I despair.

To me, the rise of Oasis and others of their kind has had the same effect upon British music as Hitler had upon German democracy, and for once THE COMPARISON TO NAZISM IS PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED.

On the bright side:

Praise be to God.

May 19, 2005

The old 1–2

Reasons to like Nakatomi Plaza:
1. They sound really good. Yeah I know, what an ineloquent reason – where are the flourishes ffs?
2. They take their name from Die Hard. Which, let us be honest, is a great film.

Reasons why One Armed Scissor is an utterly fantastic song, but The Mars Volta aren't all that:
1. ATD-I were never anything special, beyond that one song (in my mind, anyway).
2. But man, that song. Seeing them mock tv slimes such as Jools Holland by afroed jumpings and hurlings of guitar, barely coherent singing and guitar playing, no relationship to the stand-and-strum that pollutes music, provoking the disapproval of anyone who ever liked Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and thank fuck for that. "Will you get this letter" etc, man it is something.

Reasons why The Honor System disprove old stereotypes:
1. American spellings are not only just as valid as English ones, they are often easier to type.
2. They prove that not all "emo" is sucky shit.

Reasons why I will be either pleased or displeased by the random choice of next song I am about to choose from my hard drive:
1. Pachinko – The Ballad of Bon Scott Mominee.
2. Dammit, I am neither pleased nor displeased. Note that next time I will fix this so it's something great or shit.

Reasons to justify the existence of Dressy Bessy:
1. It's summer, and so are they.
2. Twee is good, just remember Talulah Gosh.

Reasons why The New Amsterdams disappointed me:
1. They failed to live up to the name.
2. In fact, they were just pretty dull really.

Reasons why Shellac will always deserve more than two points covering them:
1. This great live in Tokyo set I just found.
2. Just fuckin' kill him.
3. That absolutely brutal guitar, particularly on Dog & Pony Show. The audio equivalent of hitting things with a wall, and I'm not just saying that for NME factor, that is actually what they sound like at times.
4. Steve Albini being himself.
5. Being prepared to have an instrumental three minutes prior to any lyrics, AND being able to pull this off perfectly, because guitar, bass and drums happen to be 75% of the fun in this case, not just fodder for a whiner to excrete his voice over. Scum bands take note.
6. Cocaine and cosmetics, mafiosi and prosthetics…BACK IN THE BOX (I think).

Two songs I have been particularly loving recently:
Wire – Ex-lion tamer
Papas Fritas – Afterall

Coming soon, "Refused, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, and how I learnt to unlove the Baader-Meinhof Gang".

May 12, 2005

The Smiths

I have only just remembered how great they are. And I believe tonight is the Warwick Offbeat Smiths night.

Having given this free advertising, I am still, of course, not going. 10,000 words in six days, plus of course, knowing no one who isn't a culturally devoid fool, means that my attendance will not be taking place. In truth, either of these two factors would be enough.

But The Smiths really were very, very good.

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