Dec 8, 2006 · 2 minute read
Shimura Curves — Stronger
Given the (somewhat surprising) news last night that ‘Ver Curves are no more, it seems only appropriate to dedicate today’s entry to them. They were destined to appear anyway, as their mixture of spacerock, classic Phil Spector girl-groups, and laptop pop (or LapPop, as I insist on calling it before being threatened with hammers) was a highlight of the past twelve months.
(note of bias: I spent a lovely afternoon with Kate Shimura Curves and members of ILX before a SC concert back in June. The strawberry beer does not cloud my judgement)
I could have chosen Noyfriend
, with its wonderful “das ist my noyfriend!
chorus (complete with dance!), or the Jesus And Mary Chain / The Ronettes homage of Just Like Friends
. But I didn’t, ace though they are. My favourite Shimura Curves song is Stronger
, mainly for the lyric towards the end of the song:
My sin wasn’t that I was angry or was hateful;
It was that you wanted to save me, and I wasn’t grateful
With that, the space-y guitar solo takes the song straight out into space, gazing up at the heavens. It’s a beautiful moment.
The best band to be named after an elliptical curve used to prove Fermat’s Last Theorem? I think so.
Dec 7, 2006 · 2 minute read
Christine Aguilera — Ain’t No Other Man
It hasn’t been a banner year for Pop, has it? Smash Hits
was the first to fall, although with Black Type
long since having been consigned to the dumper, it wasn’t a shadow of its ‘80s heyday. TOTP followed shortly afterwards; the changes to the UK chart, countless failed revamps, and the move to BBC2 each nailing the show’s coffin shut. The Sugababes continued their campaign for Pop’s Most Stalinist Band, while Girls Aloud limped back with an ace Greatest Hits but also with an abysmal version of I Think We’re Alone Now
that makes the Tiffany version sound like Martha Reeves and The Vandellas. Robbie Williams continued his downward spiral, and Mr. Timberlake’s follow-up to Justified
didn’t come close (what is a SexyBack, anyway). And does anybody have sales figures for Paris?
So, almost by default, the Pop highlight of the year was Ms. Aguilera’s Ain’t No Other Man
. This year’s One Thing
(last year’s Dangerously In Love
), the DJ Premier-produced track jumps from the go-go stylings of Amerie’s and Beyoncé’s songs to a more horn-based affair, but is no less fun on the dancefloor.
Just avoid her album, as it’s one good track followed by two CDs worth of mush, as far as I can tell…
Dec 6, 2006 · 1 minute read
I think this happened last year, as well…
Dec 5, 2006 · 1 minute read
David Simon talking about The Wire (hopefully tracks of the year to resume tomorrow).
Dec 3, 2006 · 3 minute read
Most embarrassing moment of the evening: heading back to Stay Beautiful, lost, as usual, in my own dreamworld, and almost bumping into Lolly. Oops.
To think that I was disappointed that I missed their April concert this year; mind you, having seen them twice, I would still go for a third time before the year is out.
After a very thorough sound-check (seriously, it lasted longer than the performance, and was quite fascinating to hear some of the sacrifices that have to be made to bring an album like Johnny Boy
out in a live setting; backing tapes stopping and starting at odd times, syncing up video footage, etc.), the band came on at eleven, Johnny Boy's Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel
leading in to Johnny Boy Theme
, introduced by Davo by saying "This could have been a Christmas Number One!", Lolly countering with "Well, perhaps a January one." Is that a hint? Are we going to see singles next year? The question remains unanswered, but who cares as Robert De Niro runs across the projection screen, Lolly again breathlessly asking "Johnny, we're your friends, what they hell's got into you?"
(and her curling 'r's in War on Want
being another highlight).
The crowd was somewhat more animated than the Luminaire concert, although we were lacking the dancing accompaniment of Kieron
and Alex DeCampi
. Chat between songs was fairly brief, but everybody seemed to be having a great time.
Exactly the same running order as back in June; I still don't know how Bonnie Parker's 115th Dream
sounds like a 1930s Ford running across a dirt track, or why All Exits Final
sounds like Grant Morrison's Kill Your Boyfriend
compressed into two minutes. But they do, and they're still sublime. I'm repeating myself, and will be repeating myself again in twenty days time.
And then…well, you know what's coming.
"This could have been Christmas number one last year, this year,the year after, and the year after fucking that, you know. This is You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Fucking Deserve"
If there's a hint of regret, it quickly disappears as the Be My Baby
drumbeat kicks in.
"And I just can't help believing, though believing sees me cursed"
Anything but a cynical stab at the Christmas market. "Yeah! Yeah!"
Lots of dancing down at the front, lots of singing, glitter hanging in the air as the fireworks shoot across the speakers. Just wonderful.
To end, like last time, a riotous cover of The Ramones' Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
, the club erupting into a punk hoe-down, as images of Dylan, Smith, Rotten, et al flash across the projection screen. A Merry Christmas from Johnny Boy, just as good as you could imagine. Here's hoping that 2007 brings more from them…
Dec 3, 2006 · 0 minute read
Dec 3, 2006 · 0 minute read
Dec 3, 2006 · 2 minute read
As is customary around these times, the next few weeks here will be home to a step through some of my favourite songs of the year. They’re in no particular order, except for the 24th, which will talk about the best thing I’ve heard all year (and it’s probably not going to be much of a surprise, really. A clue: see the entry after this one). Entries may have downloads, they may not; it all depends, really.
So, let’s begin!
Lily Allen — LDN
Tommy McCook & The Supersonics — Reggae Merengue
Despite there being lots of reasons to dislike Allen (celebrity nepotism, fawning press, another use of ‘MySpace’ to discover an artist who, surprise!, was already signed to EMI), I just can’t do it. Not when she calls out the NME for dropping her and Beth Gossip from the cover for Muse, slags off part of her own album which was foisted on her by the record label, and well, for songs like LDN
. Based around a horn sample from the linked track above, LDN’s
cheery sounds belies the rather depressing lyric of a trip through modern London. It’s rather spiffy. The single lacks the rather sad image of the video with Lily wandering around a grey London in her red dress, but it’s still rather splendid.
And yes, I can forgive her for the “Tesco” / “al fresco” line. But only just.
Nov 27, 2006 · 2 minute read
Dr. Date-Rape, please indulge in a bit of misdirection that does nothing but show you're a really bad doctor!
What, we're not supposed to play football in the office? You bitch!
I think I preferred it when I came across pig aliens.
I'm edgy in a sex pistols t-shirt. Plus. Boobs. BBC3 is classy.
Hey, I remember Earshot!
We're making lots of references to sex! We're so hip!
I'm really sad. Poor me. Perhaps I'll make a cup of tea.
GIRLS! KIsSING! OMG!
No, really, I remember Earshot.
Just call me Jonathan!
Let's stay here while your dad loads the gun, sweetie!
My God! I'm even more annoying this week!
Jack, despite being the computer nerd, I've completely forgotten how to use Google. God knows why the alien tentacle thing I've just had sex with is making allusions to Greek myth, but please help!
And then Darla and I were in China during the Boxer Rebellion with Spike - oh...
Hey, don't be so judgmental. At least my mouth looks normal.
Earshot! Earshot! Earshot!
That's impossible! Mouths don't look that normally? I've been living a lie!
What is it? I'm brooding. Do you know have many years Wayne had to do this before he became Batman?
Tosh! I'm setting up a plan which I'll forget I even mentioned in ten seconds time!
Wait, that makes it three rogue members now? Out of five? God, I suck at being a boss.
Remember that bit about how we scavenge technology to protect The Crown? You do? Damn.
I'm still really upset!
No time for love, Doctor Jones! You interrupted my brooding!
STEVEN MOFFAT! COME BACK!