All 21 entries tagged Music

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May 09, 2005

Indie wet dreams, number 3: Stereolab

Doing more for lalalas then any other band known, yet at the same time apparently promoting a Marxist agenda. For obvious reasons this pushes their cool points through the roof.

They sound like no other band, whilst simultaneously sounding like a lot of bands…wait, this is going nowhere. They sound like Stereolab. All the time. Sometimes this induces frustrated screaming in the listener. NME once gave them a 0/10 album review. You can kind of see why, although the NME is of course a shit-sucking rag. Stereolab are probably not a live experience extravaganza, I don't know.

Whatever criticisms might be levelled at them, Mars Audiac Quintet remains the most gorgeously formed work of internationalist genius, and elsewhere Infinity Girl is possibly the greatest song ever consigned to existence. In fact, forget criticism, everything Stereolab ever did is pretty much perfect. Perfection might not always be listenable, but in the right frame of mind, Stereolab are pretty much flawless.

And of course, they made looking like a bunch of cosmopolitan coffee-drinkers seem cool. Quite an achievement.

May 04, 2005

Indie wet dreams, number 2: Steve Albini

Lets look at the deal here. You're Steve Albini. Everyone with sense knows at least one of the three great bands you've been in. Perhaps they've heard of Shellac, the three-member band who don't really sound like anyone else on earth. They may have heard of Big Black, the three-member band who sound like quite a lot of other bands, but only because they've been ripped off by a lot of people who've done it worse, and without a drum machine. They probably haven't heard of Rapeman, because you pushed the boat out on that one and decided to offend people before they'd even heard the record.

Sadly, most people will probably know you from the liner notes of some dumb junk band like Nirvana or Bush. Hey, I guess it pays the bills, plus nobody can really ever call you a sellout, as you kind of define independent punk spirit, I guess. That's pretty much permanent get out of jail.

I imagine a lot of people find you easily dislikeable. Not to worry, you can just steal their beer and piss on their amps, whilst detailing your encounters with prostitutes and making it very, very plain that the music industry is a disgusting sharkpool.

You aren't "offensive" in the typical sense of some kind of "ooh risque" U.S. sitcom character. You are indeed offensive, but in a genuinely disturbing way. The listener listens to "Fish Fry" several times, and realises that it is indeed about a man beating a woman to death with his boot. Big Black aren't really background music.

You can write a song about squirrels, call it "Squirrel Song", tell everyone it's about squirrels, and include the line "this isn't some kind of metaphor", but people will still refuse to believe that it's a song about squirrels.

You are Steve Albini, and you rock.

May 01, 2005

Hipster count is up to (5)

!!! – There's no fucking rules dude
The germs – Circle one
Quit your dayjob – Pissing on a panda
Coachwhips – Evil son
Viza-noir – Run for mayor

April 30, 2005

The grip of America

As I have certainly thought, and possibly mentioned, before, I am in thrall to the behemoth that is the United States.

Bearing in mind, by saying this I discount its politics, its people, and indeed 99% of its composite. In fact, the only aspect of it that I am indeed in thrall to is 0.1% of its culture: underground bands that are infinitely better than the dross that the natives of the British Isles present as "indie".

For instance: in one of my many tralls of the internet for listenable sounds, I have just encountered a band entitled "run away from the humans". I would go into detailed description of their sound(s?), but let us just say the following: a) they are not Franz Ferdinand b) they are not Kaiser Chiefs and c) they are not Kasabian. Point to me.

Well, this is covered ground. I have previously, in the distant distant past (a few months ago) deplored the fact that BRITISH BANDS FUCKING SUCK, and I was called "a nob" for my pains. Ah well.

All this reminds me: I must somehow learn the rudiments of instrument playing, throw off the shackles of Britishness, and usher in the new Valhalla (or at least make some plong plink noises that I can term as tolerable).

A brief interlude from all this musical malarkey, indeed a rare (for myself) prayer to God: please, please keep Carlisle down. Let them rot in non-league purgatory for at least a season more.

Returning to my point: I will now download a randon song by a random American band – using the wonder that is (legal legal legal !!!). I guarantee that, had it been from Britain, it would have sucked a lot more than this, which is, incidentally, by The Speaking Canaries.

Perhaps I am unfair: in the U.S. the shit is weeded out at a Texas or Idaho level, so that I never hear the ultimate in dross that I would if I one day attended a local * spit * Coventry gig. I. Don't. Care.

I still harbour the dream of living in America, although I harbour a lot of stupid dream-type-things. I am acutely aware that it would, of course, suck, and in no way resemble the innacurate fantasies that my rather impressionable brain attempts to stamp to the inside of my conscience. Ah well. Olympia here I come.

I compiled a list of place I would like to live in America. I will name them if I can remember/can be bothered.

Ok, let us play band prediction. I can just, just just just TELL, that the band I am about to hear for the first time, are going to RULE. For Faaarks sake, they're called The Casket Lottery, they have to be great…goddamit, I was expecting to be able to say either "they rule!" or "they suck :-(", but they're actually just averagely good. Proving that you should never judge a band by their cover, although remember, any band called "Bikini Kill" have to be good (of course).

Che Arthur – he's in Atombombpocketknife, who I think I remember thinking were quite good, actually, I can't remember properly, whatever, this sounds really good.

Oh yeah, a massive wtf for this, that I got a couple of days ago – The Streets & Electrelane – either that's a serious fucking meeting of minds or just a remix. Or renamed badly by useless P2P failures. Sadly, this isn't option 1. God fucking dammit.

Whenever I get into a certain frame of mind, I feel the urge to play Final Fantasy VII. What an absolutely sad, lame urge to have (but at the same time, it's ffffffffb (fucking brilliant)). Because FFVII RULED.

Yes, so I've come to the conclusion, I don't believe that Electrelane have anything to do with this WHATSOEVER.

Oh wait: Pinhead Gunpowder. They have the decency to start their song with the * spit * "classic" "1 2 3 4" and they sound just like mere punk, but hey respect, it's pretty good.

Desperately searching my hard drive for Electrelane's "I want to be the President", but I fear it isn't there.

April 28, 2005

Indie wet dreams, number 1: Mates of State

A husband-wife organ-drums duo, so just like Quasi minus a divorce. However, the fact that they both sing, whereas Quasi's Janet Weiss tends to concentrate mainly on being a shit hot drummer, engages my suckerness for two at a time vocals, and thus elevates them above their better-known rivals. Rivals? Maybe not, but it sure would be cool to see the two bands fight.

The name is cute, the songs are cute, and the two of them both have just the right amount of not-quite-right about them to be cute in the extreme. Aww, they pretty. Like Quasi, only about 50% of the songs drag themselves up above inoffensiveness and into listenability, but when they do it's like, really good. And cute.

Songs to start off with – Ha Ha and The Kissaway, both from the 2003 album Team Boo. Go on, download them, God told me it's ok.

April 24, 2005

Hipster count is up to (4)

The Pipettes – Simon says
Pony up! – Shut up and kiss me
Lesbians on ecstasy – Pleasure principle
I love you but I've chosen darkness – I want to die in the hot summer
Porcupine Tree – How is your life today?

April 16, 2005

Picking random songs

Look, I am randomly skipping through the contents of this computer, for songs that I may play to affect my mood.

Low and behold, the first I picked was thus: Kenny Rogers & the First Edition – Just dropped in (to see what condition my condition I was in). A minute's silent bowling in memory of my copy of The Big Lebowski, alas now sadly taped over and consigned to history. I will buy the DVD soon, and expand my mighty DVD collection to the huge figure of precisely four.

Joy Division – Warsaw. Because they worked better as a vaguely dynamic loudness, rather than just letting Curtis be a miserable Tory shite. Not that I'm laying into their music as a whole, merely stating that this is stunningly good, as always, yet not the sound of depression in musical form.

Next: listened to a Guided By Voices track, it rules, but then that speaks for itself, RIP Bob, even though you're not dead.

Next is The Breeders, live, covering GBV's Shocker in Gloomtown. Man, the guitar and drums that start this are fucking brutal. It's a shame it's downhill from there, though still damn good. Kim Deal produced GBV's Under the Bushes Under the Stars, which in my view was their best ever album.

To bed, I think, but only when I've picked GBV's bones clean.

April 15, 2005

Hipster count is up to (3)

Huon – Hazy
Oxford collapse – Back in com again
Haiku d'etat – Mike, Aaron and Eddie
Afraid of stairs – Not today
Treepeople – Andy Warhol

April 10, 2005

On music

A problem: how to start this. As with all things I wish to write that I consider in any way important, beginning is a problem, almost as great a problem as trying to have any coherent point whatsoever.

Luckily on this occasion I have solved the problem of starting by talking about the problem of starting. Sadly this only works once, and has probably destroyed any coherent point whatsoever that I might have been trying to make.

The problem: a person, let us call him or her "Whiskey McGin" wishes to be recommended a band. Myself being (of course) the world's foremost expert on music ever since the sad and premature death of John Peel, I would love to oblige. Yet there exists a problem.

A person who enjoys the sounds of, let us say, Oasis, is perhaps not going to, I don't know, exist in the same sphere as myself. Depending on my mood I might wish to shred the ears of any self-confessed Oasis fan with beige-coloured barbed wire, yet I admit that this would be unfair, if only because I might be committed to prison for this most charitable of acts.

To put it simply, I feel rather stupid recommending a relatively obscure band to a person whose tastes are somewhat conservative, bearing in mind that in my view, "somewhat conservative" means "everybody who isn't me, except for a few people if I'm in a good mood".

A flatmate of last year said something along the lines of "you're into indie music aren't you"? I nodded, unwilling to humorously genre-ize by saying "well I'm more of a acerbic brainfuck post-Jar Jar fan really". They asked to borrow an "indie" album. "Indie" is a horrible term, it can mean anything, even the aforementioned horrors of Oasis when the term is used by the right creti… um, person.

I panicked somewhat, though this wasn't the panic of a person about to die, more the panic of a person slightly panicking. I gave them a Folk Implosion album. Is that indie? Probably. As I say, it's a stupid term. Lou Barlow is certainly an extremely indie man, I guess, if such a term can be applied.

Another drawback is that I often know very little about bands I wish to recommend. I cannot easily say "hey, listen to this band I just heard called Kill Sadie, I've only heard this one song by them, they might sound completely different usually, and for all I know they might be international pariahs after one of them buggered a nun in Portugal".

Knowledge may have nothing to do with the act of listening to music, but I feel it somewhat necessary in order to fulfill my role as encyclopedia of whatever the hell I've just been talking about.

April 09, 2005

Hipster count is up to (2)

Prolapse – Flex
Atom and his package – Shopping Spree (live)
Atmosphere – Party for the fight to write
The arcade fire – Haiti
The murder of Rosa Luxembourg – Slap the cubo

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