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we're happy: it's a fact.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

nice stuff from simon carr in the Independent today;

"If IDS survives, he will be left with the Groucho Marx question: would he really want to lead a party so gutless, so stupid, so effectual that it couldn't even get rid of him?"

11th nov; aphex + the bug @neighbourhood, ladbroke grove. come with it!


amartya sen's son, who goes under the name MC Kabir, has his hip hop album reviewed in this months Wire! this excites me more than it should, i think.


i'll miss elliot smith.

Monday, October 27, 2003

actually maybe i was too hard on daphne + celeste. sometimes they got it horribly wrong, yeah, but also they got it horribly right sometimes [u-g-l-y]
also in this grouping;
-most of kid606's stuff
-blectum material, solo + together
-a lot of britney [esp. that one about the 'hollywood girl' thats really squawky]
-maybe the rapture [ultimate oddly great squawky, shronky skronk...]

also forgot to mention ANOTHER great thing about homocrime- BINGO! with PRIZES!

also; tate modern at the moment- eternal sunset + dozens of bolshevik posters. well worth a look

Sunday, October 26, 2003


HUME AND BOYZ IN DA HOOD; that delta track is so good because its slightly irritating. i think somewhere in the treatise on human nature Hume says that love is more intense if yr partner annoys you because this annoyance makes all the passions stronger and more 'violent'. not sure i agree with that as it concerns human relationships, having always disliked both arguing (or rowing, at least) and people who annoy me rather a lot, but as far as music goes i think the theory holds. some of the best music is so exciting because of the slight irritation, even discomfort, it causes- happy hardcore, being the obvious example, but also digital hardcore, a lot of sugary pop [girls aloud often get this strategy absolutely spot on i think], noise, pansonic, onkyo. it can all go horribly wrong of course; see Bis, tatu, daphne + celeste etc. but get the balance right and it can be quite wonderful. i guess really there's two things here; simple discomfort, which noise artists excel in, and that queasy, sugar-high/mild nausea feeling that happy hardcore, pop, and maybe DHR (check the 'future of war' album for full on mid frequency overload] do so well;music that causes you to overdose on quick and easy aural delight. it great because its so packed with flava-some cheese and immediately fulfilling but thats also the cause of the discomfort. like sweets, a lot of this music is a young persons game- ATR are a little too much for me now, in my old age- but its fun to visit occasionally.

digression; atari teenage riot are perhaps the only band that i feel genuinely betrayed by. they meant so much to me in my early to mid teens, and are probably the reason why i studied a politics degree and am now studying political philosophy- lyrics of theirs still come into my head often and unprompted- 'you should feel guilty if yr just watching', 'its obvious that capitalism has failed', 'lets get back on the street, start living again'... the conviction and energy are just so intense. but i do feel betrayed. and not just because of the sorry state of their later years [when they stopped treading that line between punk and jungle/rave and fell into rock chug and noise] and alec empire's recent attempts to turn himself into a teutonic trent reznor. but mainly because, looking back on it, i doubt whether they truly cared about politics in any meaningful sense; they supported v. few concrete political causes, and did hardly any benefit gigs, as far as know. and looking at the lyrics now, its striking how they hardly mention redistribution, theories of radical democracy and political participation. or western foreign policy crimes [i read an interview with alec empire once where he refused to comment on the palestinian/israeli conflict because it was too controversial. i mean come on man, yr meant to be in the most radically political band of our age, at least have SOME opinion. and i didn't see or hear anything from him in the run-up to, or during, the iraq war]. rather, the lyrics either lambast racism [worthy cause, of course, but not a position that marks them out as particularly radical] or are silly, poppy calls to revolution [although we never found out from them what the world after the revolution would be like. except that it wouldn't, of course, be capitalism]. i guess i just thought they were more radical than they actually were. and my sense of betrayal is also, i think, partly just embaressment at my naive 15 year old self.

LAMBCHOP, THE STROKES AND WONDER; forgot to mention that one of the most amazing things about 'is a woman' is that on the last track lambchop come perilously close to whiteboy reggae, yet it isn't horrible and is actually rather lovely. apparently the strokes have gone reggae on their new album, for one song at least. and isn't the latest strokes song RUBBISH? ''woozy, and lifeless'' as wonder's 'what', yes, but just shit as well. its a fine line, and wonder got right, the strokes got it so wrong. where's the fresh , lithe bounce of the modern age?

but the latest sugababes song is so so good. moments like that make all hours of the top of the pops disappointment amost worth it.

also, homocrime, last saturday of every month @ needles, 5 clipstone street W1 is a great place to dance the night away to riot grrl and old soul records.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

today i was told it was going to snow and it didn't. life can be cruel sometimes...

ha ha just noted the mistake in the previous post- 'mazed' instead of 'amazed'. i really like that; 'mazed' probably puts across what i was trying to say better than 'amazed' ever could.

just heard a track by delta from boyz in da hood, which i think might be called 'baby', which is like a counterpart to 'i luv u'; same insistent, point-blank brutal and messy rhythm which verges right on the edge of being irritating but is all the more thrilling [and MAZING] for it, although this track has what sounds like samples of african talking drums [although i'm not an expert on such matters...] rather than dizzee's digital squelches but the overall gabba-fied insanity is still pretty close to 'i luv u'. also, same use of samples of female vocals to say the words that the MC can't even bring himself to say- 'baby', 'i love you' etc. and lyrically its like a more misogynistic 'i luv u'. sample lyric; 'when the condom bursts, i'm not involved, cuz its not my (baby)'. nasty.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

pale blue skies, sharp wind, orange leaves hitting me in the face as i walk down the street; autumns arrived and good lord does it feel exotic- wearing long coats and sometimes scarfs seems full of fun and novelty after our soylent green-ish summer. and autumn seems to be bringing about a change in what i listen to, without any conscious decision to switch on my part; gone are the reggae reissues, sean paul, The Bug, and soundmurderer that soundtracked the summer, for the time being anyway, and we've been getting spooked by palace [my favourite album of will oldham's 'arise therefore', which apparently he dislikes, and which features the oddly beautiful song 'you have cum in your hair and your dick is hanging out'], nick drake, nina nastasia and lambchop- if 'nixon' is the perfect summer evening album [as i posted a few months back] then 'is a woman' is the perfect autumnal sunday morning one. my love of this band has come quick after years of apathy but its pretty intense right now. 'Is a woman' is really mysterious and evasive; the lyrics teeter right on the edge of having any meaning for me, and the songs are often superficially lounge-jazz piano pieces with alt country stylings placed on top but listen carefully and there's more going on- scribbles of feed back, heavenly female backing vocals, ever so subtle hints at a cinematic, orchestral vision. and kurt wagner's vocals meander round the tune, never really being at all 'catchy' and yet making you want to sing along. the more i listen to lambchop the more confused i become and i love that.

for ultimate musical confusion though, the best is wonder's 'what', a pretty old grime tune now i think but i'm still mazed by it every time i hear it- its just so lifeless, dark and woozy, the sound of stumbling round in a post big night haze, knowing you'd hate the situation if you had the mental alertness and energy. i mean, what is this? does this still fall under the hugely vague category of 'dance' music? its truly like nothing i've ever heard before. whatever, its great.

Monday, October 13, 2003

crikey, david byrne's got a new album out! and apparently its pretty good. talking heads were the first band i ever got into, when i was 8 years old. and they're still the most absolutely perfect band to me. its weird, cuz when other people talk about talking heads albums, or at least the early ones, they say things like 'these tracks are good but these are filler/badly produced/unoriginal etc' whereas i still see them in my much more naive 8 year old way, not breaking things down in a critical analysis, but just accepting them as the way music is supposed to be.

liking talking heads so young means i always enjoy those 'what was the first record you ever bought?' conversations, cuz buying '77' at the age of 8 is pretty much unbeatable compared to the usual admissions of buying whitesnake/billy idol/mc hammer etc etc as yr first entry into music. pathetic, i know. oh well. and i think the second record i ever bought was stiltskin's 'inside', so i can't take too much pride in my early hipsterness...

i was always disappointed with david byne's post-talking heads solo stuff. way too theatrical overblown, literal and obvious i think; check (or don't) his 'good and evil' song as an example.
but his last album, look into the eyeball, was quite wonderful and moving, capturing the beauty and the sadness of a hot summer really well.
interesting also that this latest album has got members of mogwai and belle and sebastian on; when my friends and i used to listen to all that stuff a few years back i always tried to get them to check out talking heads as well- a 'if you like this (rock bands trying to be as un-rock as possible...) you might like this...' thing. and some of them did. but they still said some of the songs were filler. bastards...

showing my ignorance here, but whats that track getting rinsed on pirate radio all over the place at the moment in which a sample of radio static is used over and over? thats some post modern marclay-ish commenting on the fragility of the broadcast medium through what is broadcast stuff! alert The Wire!

yesterday i attached a metal clothes hanger to my radio to get better reception, which kind of worked. always used to see cars with hangers as aerials, but no longer. what happened?

Friday, October 03, 2003

before coming to london i'd thought that 24 hour access to pirate radio would turn this blog into a hive of activity. alas, it doesn't seem to have worked out that way. too much time spent wandering damp streets wondering at the grandeur and grime of it all [as well as trying to get back into reading moral philosophy seriously after my post-finals break]. but from now on i'll try to be a bit better with posting. and thats a promise. beautiful and lush stuff is being put out all over the place at the moment. in fact, a pirate DJ a few nights ago on Deja said, after playing wliey and target's 'pick yrself up', 'you hear that? its real music, get me. its LOVELY'. and it was. but also grime seems to be getting colder, even more minimal and mechanical as the winter sets in; check out youngster's DJ sets on rinse on tuesday nights. last tuesday the MC was goading youngster to 'take it colder, we're gonna get below minus degrees'. and the music got ever more inhuman hostile and grinding to point where it was just a stuttering electronic pulse with metallic flickers over the top. And they refused a request to play 'eskimo' cuz 'this is a forward show'. is 'eskimo' now old skool/played out?!

but all this makes for some great moments of light/dark, organic/mechanic, feminine/masculine juxtapostion stuff, my favourite example of which being this tape i have of a DJ playing kele leroc and sticky's song [called 'the things we do for love' maybe?] which is just straight gorgeous, almost etheral in its lightness of touch and slowly,slowly mixing wiley's 'igloo' into it, letting the tension build and build until dropping kele and sticky out of the mix suddenly leaving only wiley's bare thrashing synth line.

got wasteland's 'amen fire' the other day [the joys of having roughtrade as yr local record shop...] which is far better than i expected, and pretty great. maybe post more on it soon...

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