Human Rights Violations? Iran-Contra? Sounds Good To Me!

John Negroponte’s greatest hits! Definitely a person I’d trust with running all of American’s intelligence services. By 2008, I’m fully expecting Oliver North to be the head of the CIA, with Henry Kissinger and the Ghost of Richard Nixon on Foreign Policy…

currently playing: Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart

From the marketing geniuses at Warners!

I give you, Buzz Bunny!

currently playing: New Order — Krafty


iPod Lego!

Oasis sells out Madison Square Garden in less than an hour. Not bad for a band that “never broke America” (™ and © the British press, disregarding facts as usual).

Aluminium cases for the iPod shuffle.

USB Snoglobes!

That would be the record industry dedicated to paying the artists, then.

Alan Keyes (last seen being slaughtered by Barack Obama in November), being completely understanding: by throwing his daughter out of his house, and halting her college payments. Classy.

currently playing: Dubstar – Stars

This Is Not A Valentine

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s. That title would have to go to Dexy’s Midnight Runners, with either their cover of Jackie Wilson Says (I’m In Heaven When You Smile), or This Is What She’s Like; two pitch-perfect love songs, one describing the concentrated thrill as a crush walks by, the other an eleven-minute epic that manages to capture an almost indescribable feeling, and does it using no words. And yet you can tell exactly what it means.

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s, because I don’t think New Order were ever capable of writing such a thing. To indulge in a little indulgence, Love Tore Them Apart. But, of course, to say that is to ignore Temptation, which perhaps is the greatest love song of the 1980s; “oh you’ve got green eyes / oh you’ve got blue eyes / oh you’ve got grey eyes” Eight minutes of Factory heaven and the memories of picking up yellow tapers five floors off the ground.

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s. And that’s fine, because, despite the title, it is not a love song. It is, instead, a song for mending a heart. Stitching back together something that no longer works. 12 inches (and it must be twelve; 7”, in this case, is an edit too far, a course of antibiotics that you never finish, allowing the infection to grow back) of care.

It begins, with the forming of a beating heart, the drum. But something’s wrong; it skips, it jumps. It needs help. Which is where the synth comes in, dancing in and out of the left and right channels, hopping like a butterfly, whispering sweet thoughts to those who will listen to its charms. The drums chime in appreciation, allowing the synth to settle, and play its tune for all to hear.

Every time I think of you
I feel shot right through with a bolt of blue
It’s no problem of mine
But it’s a problem I find
Living a life that I can’t leave behind
But there’s no sense in telling me
The wisdom of the fool won’t set you free
But that’s the way that it goes
And it’s what nobody knows
well every day my confusion grows

Then there’s the bridge. The synth just glides over the beat, gleaming in its perfect shimmer, before another synth swoops in to introduce the chorus.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

And it’s just perfect. How wonderful does the backing sound here? Why does every chord sound as if it’s moulded to Sumner’s voice? Then the drums and the synth play against each other to head back. Back to the verse. Back to the real world. Back to hurt and suffering and loss and why does it have to continue? The drums clatter, as if something’s still not right.

I feel fine and I feel good
I’m feeling like I never should
Whenever I get this way
I just don’t know what to say
Why can’t we be ourselves like we were yesterday
I’m not sure what this could mean
I don’t think you’re what you seem
I do admit to myself
That if I hurt someone else
Then I’ll never see just what we’re meant to be

Resuscitation, An extended synth and drum piece. Effects bounce all over the studio walls, simple ideas becoming complex harmonies. Building up, then stripping back down to drums, real mixed with the drum machine. But can you tell the difference? Glitches stop and start. Then, something magical happens.

At 5:32, the song gives up. It accepts failure. And with that, it is cured. With that, it can live.

The song comes to life. The synth sings for us. Primitive Fairlight technology, but the merging of man and technology is complete. The synth, female, of course, sings the chorus for us, heart cured. It then duets with Sumner for a final encore, before it opens the door the outside world.

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

Every time I see you falling
I get down on my knees and pray
I’m waiting for that final moment
You say the words that I can’t say

This is not the greatest love song of the 1980s.

It is a 12” band-aid for the heart.

currently playing: New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle

Welcome To America

While talking with audience participants, the president met Mary Mornin, a woman in her late fifties who told the president she was a divorced mother of three, including a 'mentally challenged' son.

The President comforted Mornin on the security of social security stating that 'the promises made will be kept by the government.'

But without prompting Mornin began to elaborate on her life circumstances:

MS. MORNIN: That’s good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

currently playing: Björk – Hyper Ballad


Waiting For The Sirens' Call cover

currently playing: Altered Images — Dead Popstars

An Open Letter

Dear Great Britain,

You suck.

currently playing: Joy Division — Love Will Tear Us Apart

A Slight Return

Whatever that was, I hope I don’t get it again anytime soon. Today is the first day since Saturday night that I feel like a human. And I can eat things again! Let’s not under-estimate the fun of being able to eat…

Having said that, I’m still not back completely. So, how about a few links just to be going on with?

Google Maps! It’s probably useful, but it’s also great fun!

Because…well, I guess somebody thought it was necessary - the 5.25” disk sleeve archive!

Words failed.

I’m not entirely convinced by the new series of Look Around You. In both episodes so far, there’s been a few points where I’ve smiled (the Spectrum loading signal sound effect in the Health episode, for example), but it’s just not as funny as the 10-minute first series. Or funny at all, in places. A shame. However, the website is worth a visit; it has quizzes, extra information, and, of course, the countdown to the live finale.

Off to blow my nose again for the 500th time today…

currently playing: Saturday Looks Good To Me – Until The World Stop Spinning


Full of the flu. But, I have three tracks from the new New Order album…

currently playing: New Order — Waiting For The Siren’s Call

Take What You Can, Eat Off The Man

I’ve been thinking about Kenickie a lot this week, mainly due to a post on No Rock ‘n’ Roll Fun which has an article by Emmy-Kate Montrose (which includes the discovery that her real name is Emma Jackson), discussing the fun of being in a band that the record company didn’t fully understand. I remember seeing them play at the end of ‘Fully Booked’ one Sunday, Lauren’s face screaming “why are we here?!” as she mimed to “I Would Fix You”. And then the Chris Moyles interview, which is the source of my long-held dislike for him. Marie and Emmy-Kate did their best, but he obviously didn’t want them there, leading to a few pointed exchanges (and as a tenth-rate clone of Chris Evans, it’s not hard to imagine who came off worse). I do remember enjoying most of their print interviews, though, especially the ones where Lauren proclaimed her love for Dennis Skinner, MP. I do wonder if it’s more of a UK problem. While Sleater-Kinney, for example, have had their share of “ooh! look! girls playing guitars! how extraordinary!” interviews and articles, it doesn’t seem to have affected them as much, perhaps because their record label wasn’t trying to make them something they’re not (it also helps that the US can support independent record labels; the UK indie scene flourished in the late 70s and early 80s, but died out as the 90s progressed).

Anyway, there’s a bigger discussion to be had about Kenickie at a later point this year (after all, it is the tenth anniversary of Catsuit City!), but for now, I’ll leave you with a track from one of their sadly-not-available-on-CD Mark Radcliffe sessions, a cover of The Pixies Letter To Memphis. And, in a stroke of luck, some kind soul has put it up on the Internet, so download and enjoy!

Kenickie — Letter To Memphis

currently playing: The Avalanches – Since I Left You