Articles

  • Name five musical acts...

    30 déc. 2007, 14h36m

    Stolen from CircusOfHeaven. Guess who's procrastinating on the homework front!

    Name five musical acts that you like, that surprises people:
    Bauhaus - "You can't like Bauhaus. You're a Split Enz fan, for God's sake." Huh. I do like Bauhaus, as a matter of fact. Even if everyone thinks I'm making it up to make myself sound cool. So what if I like Split Enz too? Speaking of which...
    Split Enz - because no one expects a sixteen year old girl living in London in the year 2007 to like Split Enz. Wrong time, wrong side of the world...
    Jimmy Cliff - I like reggae too!
    Klaus Nomi - Because not many people realise that he was actually a genius. They think he was a novelty act. Not true. :(
    Alice Cooper - An odd one out for me, musically. But I do love him.

    Name five musical acts that you don't like, that surprises people:
    Pink Floyd - Anything post-Barrett leaves me cold.
    Duran Duran - Because apparently, judging by all the other bands I like, I should worship them. Well...no.
    The Decemberists - I'm sorry, I just don't. :(
    And those are the only ones I can think of off-hand. Might come back and edit later.

    Name five musical acts that you are indifferent to, that surprises people:
    Just one. The Beatles. There are probably others, but...

    Name five musical acts that you really like, that no one else seems to have heard of:
    Patrick Wolf - Yeah, okay, on the internet it's a different matter completely, but how many people have I met in real life who have the faintest idea of who he is? Not many.
    Original Mirrors - Excellent Liverpudlian new wave band that made one brilliant album, one not-so-brilliant album, and then faded into obscurity.
    Klaus Nomi - sigh.
    Swingers - possibly because over here at least, you can no longer buy the albums for love nor money.
    The Associates - sad but true. Billy MacKenzie is dead /and/ forgotten, apparently. ;_;

    Name five musical acts that you used to like, but don't anymore:
    *NSYNC, Busted, Avril Lavigne, Good Charlotte, Sum 41. What can I say? I grew up!

    Name five musical acts that you used to not like, but now like:
    David Bowie - I know, unbelievable! But when I was in my crap music phase I failed to see the light. I imitated his warbling on Life On Mars?. Now, of course, I adore the man, and am making up for lost time.
    Talking Heads - For a long time I thought they were a bit too sterile. I couldn't get into them. I'm not sure what it was that changed my mind...possibly Psycho Killer
    ABC - Once I thought they were "too 80s". Now I know there's no such thing.
    Japan - I don't love them, but I like them much more than I used to. David Sylvian's voice has grown on me.
    Soft Cell - I discovered that they weren't one hit wonders after all, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Name five albums that you you used to not like, but now like:
    The Lexicon Of Love - it wasn't love at first listen, but now I'm utterly obsessed.
    Dazzle Ships - Even now it's not my favourite OMD album, but it has a strange kind of charm...
    Country Life - yes, it's growing on me.
    Can't think of anything else right now.

    Name five CDs you could listen to over and over and never get tired of:
    Strawberries - currently my favourite album by The Damned, and even if I change my mind about that, "Strawberries" will always have a very special place in my heart.
    Dizrythmia - so ridiculously comforting.
    Kimono My House - perfect pop, a masterpiece.
    Roxy Music - my favourite Roxy Music album, I still play it to death.
    Sulk - every track is flawless, and it's the most inspiring album I own. If I ever finish writing my book, it will be mostly thanks to the Associates, as strange as that sounds.
  • My Dream Festival

    23 nov. 2007, 15h31m

  • Best song/worst song

    10 nov. 2007, 11h00m

    I'm supposedly in the middle of writing an essay about how Shakespeare presents women in Act III of Hamlet, but...

    - What is the best song of your top ten artists?
    - What is the worst song of your top ten artists?

    1: The Damned
    Best: Eloise
    Worst: Creep (You Can't Fool Me) (anything from MFP, really...)

    2: Split Enz
    Best: Six Months In A Leaky Boat
    Worst: Strait Old Line

    3: The Associates
    Best: Skipping
    Worst: Heart of Glass (the radio one version is brilliant, but the single is just a bit...weak).

    4: Patrick Wolf
    Best: Paris
    Worst: Peter Pan

    5: The Velvet Underground
    Best: Venus in Furs
    Worst: Temptation Inside Your Heart (there aren't any VU tracks I really hate, but this just happens to be one of my least favourites)

    6: Roxy Music
    Best: Mother Of Pearl
    Worst: Avalon (erggggh)

    7: David Bowie
    Best: Life On Mars?
    Worst: It Ain't Easy (I'm sure there are worse - I just don't like it that much)

    8: Love And Rockets
    Best: Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)
    Worst: I honestly can't choose one at the moment. Gosh.

    9: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
    Best:
    Electricity
    Worst: Walking On The Milky Way

    10: The Psychedelic Furs
    Best: India (current favourite)
    Worst: Pretty in Pink (ooh, controversial!)

    And now I should probably go back to that essay.
  • Be negative about your top twenty

    29 oct. 2007, 14h26m

    -is extremely bored-

    20) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Nick has an unhealthy fixation with death. Murder Ballads is rather morbid. :x

    19) The Only Ones - Peter Perrett can be a bit emo at times. "I'm in love with extreme mental torture", "Why do I go through these deep emotional traumas?"...PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER MAN.

    18) Soft Cell - The Tainted Love video is lolarious. Marc prances around in a toga, showing off his very skinny legs, whilst singing to a little girl who looks a bit bemused. All the Americans who comment on the video on YouTube seem to be convinced that he's a paedophile. No, just in need of a a better video director, I think...

    17) Lou Reed - It's generally acknowledged that Metal Machine Music is one of the worst albums ever made, but that's too obvious. Hmm. This picture is a good reason why it's so easy to laugh at him:



    Hahaha.

    16) Goldfrapp - If I'm honest, Goldfrapp are pretty derivative. Not so much Felt Mountain, but the other two...well. Not particularly original. Although that doesn't stop me listening to Strict Machine again and again and again.

    15) Orange Juice - Ohhh, I feel mean saying anything negative against Orange Juice. Edwyn Collins is so sweet. Erm...I suppose they're a bit too twee at times but then...that is the point of them. Arggh.

    14) The Sonics - A tad repetitive.

    13) Magazine - Lol, Howard Devoto takes himself far too seriously.

    12) Muse - THEY'RE TOO POPULAR. And yes, that is Muse's fault. Hrmph.

    11) The Psychedelic Furs - Lyrically, Richard Butler has a tendency to overuse the words "stupid" and "useless", and back in 1980 or whenever someone really should have bought him a thesaurus. Having said that, I don't even know if he was the one who wrote the lyrics...

    10) The Jesus and Mary Chain - Not much fun to listen to if you have a headache and/or womanly pains. Ouch.

    9) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - After Dazzle Ships they went a bit downhill, and Andy McCluskey was later responsible for the careers of Atomic Kitten, something that I've never quite forgive him for.

    8) Love And Rockets - Um. Seeing as Bauhaus have split up, L&R should really start touring again, and they're not, and that's upsetting. Yes.

    7) David Bowie - Won't admit to having sex with Marc Bolan in the 70s. WE ALL KNOW IT HAPPENED.

    6) Roxy Music - Oh lordy, if I start mocking Bryan Ferry I'll never stop. I suppose I'll just say that I absolutely loathe Avalon and leave it at that.

    5) The Velvet Underground - Only made four proper albums. Boo hiss. :(

    4) Patrick Wolf - His lack of professionalism at concerts can be endearing, but Patrick, Patrick! When will you learn to tune your ukulele properly?

    3) The Associates - Billy MacKenzie's DEAD which is extremely upsetting. Other than that...Boys Keep Swinging isn't very good. Even if it was a brilliant piece of marketing.

    2) Split Enz - Did a reunion tour but didn't play in England. Grr. But that's literally the only negative thing I can say about them. I love them to bits. Tim Finn is a god. Their music makes me so warm and happy inside that I don't think I could actually live without them. -clings-

    1) The Damned - Wore too much leather circa 1987. And...yes. That is their only fault.

    I'm not very good at being negative. Let's end with a Bryan Ferry macro.

    Because as I said, it is oh-so-easy to mock that man. <3
  • Baby Doll is on her trapeze

    22 oct. 2007, 11h54m

    Baby doll is on her trapeze
    Wearing the smile that she never sees
    Thinking of dollar as she tries to tease

    Time to play Sheba on a wooden stage
    Taking off the clothes that are grimy with age
    Rubbing down the skin that is white and cold
    And the sticking plasters that cover up the holes
    Stared at by a man that would do her harm
    Needs to earn the money that will feed his arm
    He promised you security safe and warm
    He promised you security safe and warm

    They'll never know the hurt that you feel inside
    The emptiness you try to hide

    I would melt your eyes that are glassy and cold
    And as for the future when you grow old
    Baby doll
    Baby doll
    They'll never know the hurt you feel inside
    The emptiness you try to hide

    Take a tiny costume from a pile of clothes
    Just a touch of glitter and a glow of gold
    Pick on a failure make his knees go weak
    Mouth open, eyes wide, fake your peak

    He'll wipe a line of dribble falling from his mouth
    Make your wages later when you're back at his house
    Try to hide the mirror 'cause it's never kind
    Kick start the heart that's so hard to find
    Try to save the beauty and to draw the line
    Baby, baby, baby doll
    Continue your search for a genuine love
    Continue your search for a genuine love

    Baby, baby, baby doll


    The more I listen to Baby Doll by Soft Cell, the more I am convinced it is the most intense, disturbing pop song ever written. Seriously.

    The moral of the song, I believe, is "Don't become a prostitute - it isn't much fun".

    :/

    On the bright side, I think The Art Of Falling Apart may be one of the best albums ever made.
  • Twenty eight questions...

    6 jui. 2007, 18h59m

    Stolen from someone, as always.

    Of all the bands/artists in your cd/record collection, which one do you own the most albums by?


    Probably David Bowie thanks to all the vinyl I've inherited from my mother. If I was only counting things I'd bought myself, then
    The Damned. <3


    What was the last song you listened to?


    Party Fears Two. Utter heaven. MORE PLEASE.

    What's in your record/cd player right now?

    I don't think I've got anything in my CD player at the moment, but in my record player it's Bauhaus with "The Sky's Gone Out" Love that album.

    What song would you say sums you up?

    Sister Ray. No, that was a joke. I honestly have no idea.

    What's your favourite local band?

    Oh lord, I have no idea. I live in greater London, so I'm going to cheat and just say a London-related artist. Patrick Wolf!

    What was the last show you attended?

    Lou Reed at the Hammersmith Apollo, performing "Berlin" in its entirety.

    What was the greatest show you've ever been to?

    Lou Reed again!

    What's the worst band you've ever seen in concert?

    A rubbish boyband supporting Busted, whose name escapes me. And yes, I know Busted are in theory a rubbish boy band, but I don't care! They were fun to see live, and much beloved of my eleven year old self.

    What band do you love musically but hate the members of?

    I don't think there's anyone I hate. I hate Johnny Borrell, but I hate Razorlight too, so that doesn't count.

    What show are you looking forward to?

    Arcade Fire! It's my only forthcoming gig, as a matter of fact.

    What is your favorite band shirt?

    My Damned t-shirt, for sentimental reasons.

    What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?

    Nick Cave? And Antony (Antony and the Johnsons) because I want to hug him.

    What musician would you like to be in love with for a day?

    Golly. Dave Vanian (The Damned) or Daniel Ash (Bauhaus, Love And Rockets)

    Metal question - Jeans and Leather vs. Cracker Jack clothes?

    Come again?

    Sabbath or solo Ozzy?

    Er, no opinion?

    Commodores or solo Lionel Ritchie?

    This quiz is taking a decidedly dodgy turn.

    Punk rock, hip hop or heavy metal?

    PUNK. That was an easy decision, seeing as I loathe both hip hop and heavy metal.

    Doesn't Primus suck?

    Who?

    Name 4 flawless albums:

    Erm.

    David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
    Lou Reed - Transformer
    Sparks - Kimono My House
    The Psychedelic Furs - The Psychedelic Furs

    Not necessarily my all-time favourites, but they're albums where I love every track.

    Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?

    Yes.

    What was the greatest decade for music?

    The 80s! Which is proof of how, as much as I like to pretend I'm cool, I'm really not.

    How many music-related videos/dvds do you own?

    Ten? Fifteen?

    Do you like Journey?

    No.

    Don't try to pretend you don't!

    That wasn't even a question. I feel so cheated. :(

    What is your favorite movie soundtrack?

    Either A Clockwork Orange, Donnie Darko or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    What was your last musical "phase" before you wisened up?

    I've only been through one phase I'm ashamed of, which was the boyband phase.

    What's the crappiest CD/record/etc. you've ever bought?

    Anything I bought when I was eleven.


    Do you prefer vinyl or CDs?


    Vinyl, /obviously/.
  • Lou Reed's "Berlin" at the Hammersmith Apollo

    1 jui. 2007, 15h44m

    Sat 30 Jun – Lou Reed

    I really don't know where to begin. Good lord. I'll try my best to be articulate, and start...er...at the beginning.

    My mother and I got there horrendously early and spent an hour wandering through the Apollo, people-watching. Most of the people there were couples in their forties or fifties, although there were the occasional family with young children, which was quite cool. Maybe the parents just couldn't get babysitters or something, but even so. I wish I could say my first gig was Lou Reed. Instead it was Busted, which was, funnily enough, also at the Apollo (back in 2003). Oh, how I've grown up!

    There was also one, solitary transvestite (yeah, I know - only one? - this is Lou Reed we're talking about, here....) who looked rather lonely. :(

    Once they actually let us through to our seats, there was more hanging around, while they played Lou Reed's eighteen minute long Like a Possum. As much as I love Lou, that song does drag on a little. :/ Especially as they played it at least twice while we were waiting...and Sister Ray it is not.

    BUT.

    When the lights dimmed and Lou Reed came on with his orchestra and children's choir (!!) it was possibly the most magical thing that I'd ever seen in my life.

    In Berlin, by the wall
    You were five foot ten inches tall...


    Oh my God, that voice. Seriously. If I had to make a list of my ten favourite things in the universe, Lou Reed's voice would probably be somewhere in the top three. It's got even better with age, if that's actually possible, and it's so lovely and deep and mmmmm. I love him. <3

    And I love "Berlin". Because that's what last night was, after all - an opportunity for Lou to perform what must be the most bleakly, tragically gorgeous album ever written. For anyone not familiar with the album's concept, it's basically the story of a doomed relationship between Jim and Caroline in Berlin in the 70s. They take drugs, Jim beats up Caroline, Caroline has her children taken away from her because she's "not a good mother", Jim gets jealous because Caroline's such a slut, Jim beats up Caroline a bit more, Caroline cuts her wrists, and, presumably, they break up.

    Cheerful stuff.

    The song that really stood out for me - and it's always been my favourite - is Lady Day. Without wanting to sound too melodramatic...oh, never mind. It felt like my blood had turned to ice. I've never, ever seen a song performed live that's had that effect on me. From that moment onwards, I spent the rest of the evening torn between being on the verge of tears and wanting to laugh because of the sheer brilliance of everything.

    The way it was arranged was perfect, too, with the full orchestra and the children's choir and the huge screens at the back.

    I was worried that the screns might be too OTT, or distract from the music, but in fact it was fine. For The Kids there were images of "Caroline" playing in the garden with her children, and anyone's who actually heard the song can probably imagine how stark the contrast was between the images and the lyrics:


    They're taking her children away
    Because they said she was not a good mother
    They're taking her children away
    Because of the things she did in the streets
    In the alleys and bars, no she couldn't be beat
    That miserable rotten slut couldn't turn anyone away

    I am the Water Boy, the real game's not over here
    But my heart is overflowin' anyway
    I'm just a tired man, no words to say
    But since she lost her daughter
    It's her eyes that fill with water
    And I am much happier this way


    (And they had the recordings of the children screaming at the end, too - it still sends shivers down my spine)

    For The Bed there was a similarly dramatic effect, with images of blood-stained sheets floating in a bath full of water, and Lou singing

    This is the place where she lay her head
    When she went to bed at night
    And this is the place our children were conceived
    Candles lit the room brightly at night

    And this is the place where she cut her wrists
    That odd and fateful night
    And I said, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling
    And I said, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling


    And the choir echoed the "what a feeling" line so that I swear all 8,000 members of the audience collectively shivered.

    Lou himself was everything I could have hoped for and more. He's like this wise old man, all tiny and wrinkled, but with a voice that's so filled with emotion that when he sings, it's almost beyond singing. I don't know what it is. You can see that he's not churning out the same old songs; it means something to him.

    After Sad Song ("I'm gonna stop wasting my time/Somebody else would have broken both of her arms") there was a standing ovation and Lou, all humble, thanked the band and the audience, and went off.

    Ten minutes later, with everyone still clapping and shouting "LOOOOOUUUU" at the top of their lungs, he came back on to play Sweet Jane, Satellite of Love and Walk on the Wild Side, all of which were just as incredible as you could expect them to be.

    Just before leaving the stage for the final time he mumbled a few more words of thanks, and then, raising his arms, said "I love you up there", and of course I naturally pretended that it was directed to me. :D Lou Reed loves me!

    To conclude - was it worth missing the prom for? YES. Was it the best gig I've ever been to and probably will ever go to? YES. Was it the highlight of my life so far? YES.

    Look up any positive adjective in the dictionary, and chances are it applied to last night. That was how good it was.

    When the lights went back on, the woman in the row in front murmured breathlessly to her husband "Marvellous!", which is a gross understatement. But then, I know how she felt. It's hard to convey quite how special it was, and I was lost for words for quite some time afterwards. I still am.
  • Life Soundtrack

    26 mai 2007, 13h51m

    Well, it certainly beats GCSE revision.

    You know how to do it - put itunes/mp3 player on shuffled and so on and so forth.

    Opening Credits:
    Six Months In A Leaky Boat

    Waking Up:
    Sunday Morning
    (uncanny)

    First Day At School:
    Model Worker
    (!!!)

    Falling In Love:
    St. Elmo's Fire

    Fight song:
    Desperado

    Breaking Up:
    Ca Plane Pour Moi
    (ha!)

    Prom:
    Inside Me
    (that would be a very interesting prom)


    Life's OK:
    Orgasm Addict
    (hmm)

    Mental Breakdown:
    Subway Train

    Driving:
    You're Gonna Miss Me

    Flashback:
    Solid Gold Easy Action

    Getting Back Together:
    Germ Free Adolescents

    Wedding:
    Motion And Heart

    Sex Scene:
    Gimme Some Salt
    (interesting)

    Birth of Child:
    53rd & 3rd
    (now that would be a messed up kid)

    Final Battle:
    I'm a Boy
    (probably would have made more sense for "Birth of a Child"....)

    Death Scene:
    Good Dancers

    End Credit:
    Why Don't You Kill Yourself?
  • Is David Bowie's "Low" overrated or am I just "not getting it"?

    22 mai 2007, 17h19m

    I love David Bowie. After going through a stage of having terrible taste in music I finally listened to my mum and gave Bowie a go. Hearing Life On Mars? was enough, and I fell in love.

    I won't pretend to have everything Bowie's ever released, but my mum had kept most of her Bowie records, and it was through her old vinyl collection that I discovered Diamond Dogs, Aladdin Sane and Station to Station, all of which have become some of my favourite albums. The only "main" album that she seemed to be missing was Low, and when I asked her why, she said that she'd sold it or given it away ages ago, after having played it only a couple of times.

    Anyway, I wanted to make up my mind for myself, so I finally got my hands on Low about a week ago. According to RYM it's his third best album, and seeing as it's so highly rated I thought I might as well have a listen and see who I agreed with.

    Admittedly I haven't listened to it many times yet, but it just hasn't gripped me in the same way that Bowie's other albums have done. Sound and Vision is still amazing, but nothing else stands out. Is it just me being weird and fussy, or is Low slightly overrated? Of course it's not a bad album by any means, but overall it seems slightly bland when compared to most of Bowie's other albums. Most of the time it sounds oddly detached and impersonal, and while that may work for some albums, I'm not convinced that it does for Low.

    I suppose I could sum up my feelings about Low so far like this - none of the albums I love could ever be used as background music. I couldn't do my homework with Diamond Dogs on in the background without getting distracted. But after "Sound and Vision", I found myself forgetting that I was listening to music at all, and completely tuned out.

    It's a frustrating feeling not "getting" an album that everyone else adores, and although I feel guilty about labelling it "overrated", I can't help but wonder why Low is thought of as being one of Bowie's best albums.

    So if anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd be interested to hear them. And if anyone wants to rip my head off for not liking Low, then feel free...
  • I am in love...

    19 mai 2007, 18h08m

    ..with Love And Rockets. I'm almost beginning to prefer them to Bauhaus, which just feels wrong. But I wanted to post this video:

    Yin and Yang...

    which I have been watching repeatedly for several days now, and I've decided that it is quite perfect. At the line "Alcohol is your yoga baby" I feel all strange and woozy, but in a nice way.

    And I'm really not doing justice to the song at all, but good music always makes me incoherent.

    P.S

    How lovely is Daniel Ash? Very.