This is what the onset of winter does to a soul….
Its not all bad..out of some sort of respect for New Zealand Music month, I’ve not mentioned any local acts…..actually I’m lying here..there are no NZ acts that fit the bill. As I mentioned in my last ramble, Wayne Bell and I had tossed around a worst of NZ (which has now been honourably named “Nature’s Worst” by an anonymous commenter below…..a wholly appropriate name as there is a fair crossover between our list and the “Nature’s Best” top 30) but that is song based rather than artist based. Let’s face it, most NZ acts, no matter how lousy they are, don’t get to make enough albums to reach a truly despicable rating, a career F-; although The Narcs came close. And Mi-sex almost qualified but they were more indescribably average than awful, something we in NZ have always celebrated.….These guys just make or made records you simply don’t notice.
This being incredibly negative thing is quite a release actually.
So….to the venom…in no particular order apart from numero uno. I almost can’t bring myself to type……
- Dire Straits: there, I did it. My god I hate Mark fucking Knoffler and his whinging bunch of low rent money-for-nothings. I’ve never been able to figure out the appeal of these soulless, rhythmless, tuneless, faceless twats. Some acts develop a kitsch appeal from a distance. No such luck here. If the National Party were a band, they’d sound like this.
- Sting & The Police: Who in god’s name buys this stuff. Actually no one these days. Universal advertised a Sting album on TV for about a year and still didn’t manage to chart it. Not bad in a country where selling 20 copies nationwide in a week gets you in the top 30 for much of the year. An odious little school teacher with no obvious talent or charisma. No wonder his band mates hated him. Mark Knoffler is his mate……
- Bruce Springsteen: yep, I know he’s an icon and all that and he’s worthy, an artist and the working man’s poet but really, it’s all verbose pretentious crap. The working class man with millions in the bank, a model on each arm and too much to say. He almost redeemed himself when he came out publicly against GWB, but, lets face it, you’d have to have an IQ below that of the average piece of coal to vote for Bush…so, Bruce…sorry, no offence meant, but fuck off…..
- Bob Dylan: Up to about 73, Bob was cool…he was the man. He looked like nothing on the planet, wore shades better than any man ever has and he wrote sharp songs, funny fuck-you sort of stuff, culminating in the peerless “Blood on the Tracks”. But then it all went to shit. He became the nauseous, eccentric voice of an aging generation with nothing to say. Yep, I know he wins Grammies (nuff said) but seriously Bob…shut up.
- Fleetwood Mac: the first albums were okay (the Peter Green era), but, honestly, since then its been a black hole. Actually..more like an endless nasal cavity with a missing membrane. The cocaine addled soundtrack to suburban mediocrity. And now they’re hailed as “Balearic”. Makes you a bit ill really…
- Steely Dan: beautifully played, beautifully produced soulless crap. Miles Davis hated them and that’s good enough for me…
- Supertramp: largely forgotten now which is some sort of justice, but in my youth you couldn’t escape this nasal fluffy shite. The reason why large slabs of the seventies are best forgotten.
- U2: I’m eternally grateful for the massive bar tab these buys ran up at Cause Celebre all those years back, and I have a quiet soft spot for the first album “Boy”. But seriously, since then it’s been a spiralling descent into an ever growing void. To be honest, I feel more sorry than anything for this talentless foursome. Well I would if they didn’t have a higher GDP than most African nations. The sad, desperate, re-launch of the band with every album makes me cringe...remember the “Discotheque” thing…oh dear. Bono is a truly embarrassing self important dickhead and the rest are not a lot better. What sort of grown man calls himself “The Edge”.
- Coldplay: somebody give these guys a spine
- Bob Marley: now I’m in trouble. Bruce might be an icon but Bob is now celestial, especially in a country where the national day and his birthday are one and the same. Big, big fan of the Wailers and Bob up till about ’75 but the corporate machine after that leaves me cold and does my head in. Good gig though…..
- Bootlegs / Remixes: the dance variety where some old rock or soul track gets a four on the floor treatment from some hack like Grant Nelson or such and gets picked up as a floor filler by DJ no-hope. See Fleetwood Mac & Dire Straits above. Also Funky House.
And talking of whingeing: over at The Life of Riley, Myk has a fair old go at Auckland on a return visit and gets a bit of flack for it. Fair enough I reckon. How dare you have an opinion on the country that god chose as the anointed one, bro. What the fuck do you
To be fair Myk, the drinks are somewhat cheaper than Londontown in my experience..$7.50 is only $1 more than the clubs were charging a decade or so ago, and the ciggies in clubs ban gets my vote. But musically, bang on I reckon...viva la revolution. Fuck knows we need it.
And buy the Fat Freddy’s album Myk…its fairly representative of where independent music is at in NZ right now. It’s not my cuppa…it’s pleasant enough, and its hit a nerve in NZ, but it still sounds to
I don’t think that last line is enough to keep
I promise the next post will be really really positive……
so i'd better get to it pronto
so i'd better get to it pronto
The Positive Post
Six months into 2005 and its been a pretty astounding year for music. A pretty astounding year for debut albums too, despite the doom and gloom and depression that allegedly is swamping the music industry. The iPod and all the other players, and the ongoing online revolution, both legal and illegal, has given popular music a thriving new currency. So much music being listened to with so much passion by so many people.
I love the Plantlife album and can’t for the life of
The Tussle album is a funky (a much abused term sadly) twisted left field disc that evokes the spirit of ESG and Liquid Liquid (Dennis Young is on the record), and the 12” mixes on one of my favourite labels, Rong, are simply the shizz. Big gnarly basslines and banging grooves that twist your spine.
And why are so many good records coming out of
The new Kraftwerk double live is one of the best soul records I’ve heard in years, and “Numbers” is still one the most sensual four minutes and 28 seconds ever committed to tape…
The fifth season of the Sopranos is out on DVD this month...at bloody last…I missed the second show in the series and pointedly saw no more in it, preferring to wait for the DVD since I’ve not missed an episode to date and wasn’t about to start. I know all the guff about whether each series is as good and the last and all that, but, really, who gives a monkey’s…it’s the Sopranos…the best TV to co
It’s a bit like Star Wars..is it as good as the last one..isn’t it cool to pretend you don’t care about Lucas….you’re above that thing. Bullshit...every man, woman and child on the planet, from the third world (who already have it on pirate DVD) to the first, is gagging to see Anakin turn to the Dark Side (good on him I say..that Jedi Council would turn anyone….and….when you think about it...as I do, with a bit of help from my Force obsessed ten year old…the ancient prophecy was right...Anakin was the chosen one (of course you care)...it was Darth who tossed the Emperor over the edge in “Return of..” (does anyone else think the new pope..the Hitler Youth one..looks like the Emperor?)). “Sith”…I loved it. Ro
This week there are two NZ pop singles in the Australian top thirty and an album in the top 30..this has never happened before. It really makes Don Brash's mumbling on about hip hop tours look like the silly out of touch ramblings of an old man that they are. I thought Don was supposed to be an economist...I wonder what sort of tax return to NZ this success will bring?
And, after close to a decade,
On a completely different note, but positive in a sad way…wasn’t George Galloway good? The best first line ever in DC:
“Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.”
He completely nailed his inquisitors, so much so, that they've pulled the testimony off the Congressional website. But you can find it here. It was just bang, bang, bang, one after another and they couldn’t stop him..live on nationwide US TV. Ho