Aug 29, 2005 · 1 minute read
Why does it hurt when my heart misses the beat?
(Aside: SOS Titanic
. Now, admittedly, as it’s the same event, I’m sure that some crossover was inevitable, but I swear, Cameron stole several shots from that for use in Titanic
. But in this version, David Warner lives!)
Aug 25, 2005 · 1 minute read
From No Rock & Roll Fun and Sweeping The Nation: Lauren Laverne to host CD:UK (some other people as well, but do they count? I think not, although will it be the first time two former musicians hosted a music programme since Mark & Lard’s all-too-brief residence on TOTP?). I’ve been re-reading some old NMEs in the past few days (as part of the Britpop nostalgia which is going around; and indeed, my copy of Slight Return has gone missing), and the best possible CD:UK line-up would be to drag Emmy-Kate from university, Marie from the PR firm she works at, and just let the trio run free for an hour.
It’d last three weeks, but it’d be glorious.
Aug 24, 2005 · 4 minute read
The Pussycat Dolls - “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was raw like me?” Is there a problem with cooked women in the west coast at the moment?
The Go! Team — Bottle Rocket 2005
There are many reasons why a band chooses to re-record a song. Sometimes, there’s a change in line-up, sometimes the original may fall foul of sampling rules, and well, sometimes I guess a band thinks it can do better. I don’t know for certain, but I suspect that this new version of Bottle Rocket
is mainly down to the first two reasons. According to rumours, Thunder, Lightning, Strike
is being held back from release in America until Sony/CBS can clear all the samples it uses. So a new version of Bottle Rocket
is, perhaps, a little suspect (and maybe a sign that we should stock up on the UK version to sell to our overseas friends). But it can also be explained by reason two.; as far as I can make out (and yes, I should have perhaps asked about this when I interviewed them a while back), the original version was made before Ninja joined the group, so it features a different vocal. So it’s fairly reasonable to remake the track in the image of the band before they are given a big push by their new record company.
But does it work? Ah, not quite. The wonderful thing about The Go! Team is that their songs sound so compressed; tinny delights packed close together with no room to breathe. As soon as Bottle Rocket 2005
(as the hip cats, er, probably won’t be calling it) begins, you can tell the difference immediately - there’s so much space
; it’s like they’ve blown the song up with a pump. It’s not bad, but the jump outside of Ian P’s bedroom has hurt it a little (strangely, Ninja’s version sounds better live).
Robyn — Robotboy
It’s this year’s Annie! Just look at the similarities! Five letters in their name! Both from Scandinavian countries! The blogs are fawning over them! And an almost-equal record of setting the charts on fire! (check charts: hmm, not even smouldering)
And, just like Annie, it’s a bit of a shame, as Robyn’s album, Robyn
(boo, you could have gone for a pun, dear! Annie did and it got her, um, well, okay, you might have a point) is full of great songs drawn from the New Pop school, stopping off to pick up some sass from Missy Elliot and flick dirt in Gwen Stefani’s face (Konichiwa Bitches
anybody?). The album limps a little at the end; finishing with four ballads is probably something to be avoided in most circumstances, even if Bum Like You
are rather splendid. Abby has already waxed lyrical about the double-timed cello in Be Mine
, so I’ll point out this track, about the oh-so-common problem of a death-dealing robot running out of power far away from home. No, really. The moment of genius in this piano and strings ballad? That’ll be the first verse, as Roybn sings ‘find your co-ordinates home
’, at which point ‘home’ breaks off from the verse, looping and repeating over the rest of the song. Makes you just want to give it a big hug.
Erm. Moving on…
The Shortwave Set — Is it Any Wonder
Common descriptions of The Shortwave Set include ‘Saint Etienne if they started playing in the 1880s’ and ‘Fairly splendid, Jeeves’. Despite that, their album The Debt Collection
is an enjoyable British take on the Avalanches/Go! Team/Plus Tech! Squeeze Box style. Annoyingly, Is It Any Wonder
reminds me of someone, but I just can’t remember who. Anyway, pleasant and mellow; just the right thing for a sunny day. Let me know when one turns up.
Scarlet — Independent Love Song
“Oooooh! I’llll shoooooww yooooouu hooow too taaake meeeee! Goooo dooown, goooo dooown!”
Wonderful meta-pop, and anyone who says otherwise is dead inside. Dead. Inside.
Aug 23, 2005 · 1 minute read
A pox on Tyler James’s house, then, I feel…
Aug 23, 2005 · 2 minute read
As I promised - Japanese school girls.
is a manga adaptation of a 2003 film with the same name. Having said that, it has very little in common with that film, except for the opening scene: a group of schoolgirls, holding hands, jumping into an oncoming train. The story follows Saya, the sole survivor of the accident, and her best friend, Kyoko, who begins to get suspicious about the company Saya is keeping.
Somewhat unusually for manga, it’s only one volume long, so can be read very quickly (although the last few pages are somewhat…uncomfortable). It hasn’t been officially translated yet, but you can get hold of a fan-translation here
(a warning: it’s definitely not for children). If, for some reason, you’re in the mood for an unsettling story involving teenage suicide, well, it’s your lucky day!
Also enjoying Viz’s Short Cuts Vol. 1
at the moment. It’s been around for a while (as you can tell by the Western right-to-left layout of the official translation), but I’ve only just come across it. Manga has a fairly well-deserved reputation of having stories that take place across 30+ 200 page books, but here, a tale is doing extremely well if it gets to a third page. It’s a funny send-up of the clichéd handling of, er, schoolgirls in the manga scene (look, I swear, this post didn’t start out as dodgy as it’s turning out).
In cartoon news, Bonnie and I have discovered The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
, currently showing on the Cartoon Network. Billy and Mandy are typical children, winning a bet with the Grim Reaper, and as a consequence, he’s their Best Friend Forever. The Grim Reaper also appears to be Jamaican. Series Three began on Sunday, and since then we’ve had a spider that insists Billy is his dad, an Evil Tricycle from an alternate Pittsburgh (complete with bad British accents), Billy racking up thousands of years of bad luck in a mirror shot, and Grim’s body becoming a supermodel. It’s insane and very amusing…
Aug 22, 2005 · 1 minute read
I do have an entry planned involving Japanese schoolgirls and mass suicides, but that’s later - this is now:
Stars are playing a concert at the Garage in London on September 7th. Anybody fancy going?
Aug 20, 2005 · 1 minute read
The new Rachel Stevens song sounds much better blasted through headphones on a summer’s day. We can only hope that it sparks a mini-Adam Ant revival.
Secondly - someone from the Stevens/Girls Aloud/Sugababes/Xenomania/Richard X axis should cobble together a cover of Bis’s Eurodisco