It’s hard to write about music the past few days, as i have been listening to almost no music the past two days, aside from really getting into the soundtrack of a Miss Marple movie that was on in the background (lots of funky harpsichord,) a bunch of Gorillaz mp3s that i downloaded out of sheer perversity, and some other songs that were downloaded because they were mentioned on other sites. It’s really not a big deal. We went to Bath, and this morning the washing machine began to leak. Anyway…
Glorious Noise tried to champion the Gorillaz album, but even they lost heart, and shrugged it off as not that bad, but certainly not great. The perversity that i was mentioning ais that i have no desire to say anything bad about the Gorillaz album. I really and truly like Blur and Damon Albarn. The song “Clint Eastwood” doesn’t bother me at all, and i rather like the Albarn chorus. The song that Ferrar sings on is pleasant enough as well. However, I have yet to run across anybody who is enthusiastic about the album. Sadly, it didn’t even occur to me to be perverse, and try to find some sort of neglected greatness about it until it’s too late. Even in downloaded mp3s, i completely forgot that i might want to hear any of this album, getting into Scandanavian heavy metal instead. Anyway, i found the rest of the album rather blah. Slowish sparse beats, samey vocals, spacey noises, with occasional acoustic guitar strums (Damn, so far that sounds much like the Beta Band?!) and a guest to break things up a little every few tracks. Admittedly, i kinda like “Rehash” and “5/4” , and parts of other tracks, but the reason i remain lukewarm towards the album is because i like Blur, and find Gorillaz lacking, not because i hate Damon Albarn. I still have not figured out what’s so loathesome about him in comparison to the arrogance of so many other pop stars.
(hours later)In my total lack of inspiration, i picked up the new issue of Q to find an interview with Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. Delusions that “Clint Eastwood” is as big as “Song 2”, even though every other action movie out of Hollywood uses “Song 2” in the the soundtrack, something “Clint Eastwood” is extremely unlikely to repeat. Lots of bragging about partying, large quantities of drugs, namedropping of Big Stars… okay, i remember why Albarn is so loathesome to so many people, although he still seems no worse than many. However, it’s one of Hewlett’s comment that is relevant, even drawn out into one of the blurbs to be even more obvious, “Twelve-year-olds are probably getting the most enjoyment out of Gorillaz, becuase they’re not thinking, Oh, it’s those two wankers.” (Which Albarn amens shortly afterwards.) See? Music by cartoons. Screw all of this adolescent sexual awakening and avant guarde tech production. If i was twelve years old, Gorillaz would probably be the coolest band in the world.
Yet despite all of this manuveuring and justification for the nonvillification of Gorillaz, i’ve been downloading Radiohead B-sides this afternoon, rather than the rest of the Gorillaz album. Why? Two newly discovered reasons why i think Thom Yorke is cool… One: he talks about the way that Tom Waits records albums (although i think he was thinking about Mule Variations when he said Bone Machine, an easy switch, but i could be wrong… Two: He bought Julian Cope’s book The Modern Antiquarian and went on some of the walking tours… Three: (okay, i said two…) he thinks the horns in “The National Anthem” are funny too.. Four: They were not being ironic or sarcastic in saying that they were inspired by the Ink Spots.
There’s also a short interview with the Beta Band in this magazine. The seriousness makes me wince, but it doesn’t surprise me. Lots of dour resentment at pigeoholers and hipsters, but as uncomfortable as some of it makes me, i agree with almost all of it.
I forgot about the Tindersticks. Vale introduced me to them several years ago (happy birthday Vale) and i lost track of them after Curtains. Although i not in the mood for dark, velvety, brandy-huffing music lately, it’s probably going to turn into a must-have, even though i don’t even own Simple Pleasures. .
Pearls That Are His Eyes is going on hiatus for awhile. Kathleen explains why.
I’d love to attend this art show. It’s more of a nod towards the RE:Search compilations than Rolling Stone or Q flogging back catalogues.
The Henry Kissinger Quote of the Day: (Evian, France, May 21, 1992)
“Today American’s would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”
Go down the page to find the boldface headline of Miami Redux. It explains how the preppie Republican thugs that stopped the recount in Miami-Dade last year are getting together to scramble more elections. If you read the account of what happened in Jake Tapper’s book Down and Dirty, this is downright spooky, in a nonparanoid conspiracy-mongering way even.
I feel awkward making any kind of political comments or links on the page right now. Not being in the U.S., i feel less qualified to criticize, as i’m not in my own country to attempt to do something about it. I don’t care what other citizens of the world say, as they are doing what they can from where they are. I joked that i would leave the country if Bush’s people managed to make things worse, and here i am on the other side of the ocean with Louise. The joke’s not so funny now. Much of my righteous fire feels cold now, and it’s a struggle to write anything social or political, and not feel like a total ass. i hope that this is a temporary feeling.
But this Bush quote still scares me, “We should not let legitimate environmental and labor concerns undermine the capacity of the president to make good free trade agreements.” THAT is why he should not be given the fast-track approval than Clinton managed to lose for the presidency, and why everyone should fight the WTO.
Via Plastic. I’m surprised that doctors want those awful consumer designer drug ads off the air. In my experience, doctors are all too triggerhappy with their ballpoint pens and prescription pads. It may seem odd, but i find the story reassuring that there’s more doctors with ethics than i suspected.