Thursday, May 18, 2006

Don't forget the joker

I still haven't written that review of Pinball 1973; but I'm relieved to note that Ian Hocking has been similarly slack with his Murakami-related duties. I have however, gone a bit OTT on Roxy Music 1974 at Tangents. And of course, the FA Cup Final and the Test Match (England fielders: What ball? Oh, that ball. Sorry.) have intervened. On the subject of the latter, serious question time; can anyone tell me why Sri Lankans have so many first names? In this match alone we had Denagamage Proboth Mahela de Silva Jayawardene, Kulasekara Mudiyanselage Dinesh Nuwan Kulasekara and the magnificent Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas (but his mum just calls him Chaminda). Was Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath on drinks duty, perhaps? A little Googling also unearthed this guy. Pity his poor mum when the time came to sew in his nametags for school.

Damn, I really need to do some work. Got a major business writing slog to complete in the next month, before I go back to England, and after that it's full steam ahead with the top secret indie rock book project. But there may be a bit less action at this site than you're used to. I'm sure you'll cope.

However, couldn't resist this one: Metallica frontman James Hetfield spoke about his battle with booze and drugs at a fundraiser for addiction charity MusiCares MAP in Hollywood last week. A tearful Hetfield described the sex, drugs and rock'n'roll ideal as "a horrible myth". Also in attendance and sipping alcohol-free beverages were a number of celebrities who have joined Hetfield in repudiating a lifestyle of excess and hedonism. These included members of Alice In Chains and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have lost bandmates to drugs, substance-damaged wildman Ozzy Osbourne and, uh... Lemmy. The man who only resorts to "Just Say No" when someone asks if he's sober.

And also, while I'm here: Marina Hyde (is she still intercoursing Piers Morgan, by the way?) analyses NuLab NuSpeak, with the help of TS Eliot; the ever droll David Freedman identifies the a priori of humour; the French PM turns into Louis XIV (although XVI might be more amusing); a Danish band plays the music from Commodore 64 games; Andrew Marr imagines a pub for ponces; from 3am, a pretty definitive soundtrack to depression from the guy who made Rose Royce samples cool; in Tokyo's restaurants, the Duran Duran years are back; and the president of Universities UK, we learn from an otherwise pretty uninteresting press release tarted up by a bored hack at Reuters to look like a real news story, is called Drummond Bone.

Now, obviously, nobody's really called Drummond Bone. That would just be too silly. So is this in fact a new piece of Cockney rhyming slang? (Drummond Bone = congestion zone, maybe?) Or is it a new dance music genre that people in Hoxton are pretending to like until July? Or what? Suggestions, please.

10 comments:

Geoff said...

Could be worse. Could be Professor Boner.

Robert A. Swipe said...

Tim,

Haven't read the Ferry piece fully, but have a really close listen to the French talking before the 'jamais, jamais ...' bit in Song for Europe. He puts in any old French words and I'd never noticed it before - it really is quite unsettling because the music is quite solemn (dour, even) and yet BF is so obviously taking the piss. I can't think of an example off hand, but you'll see what I mean. As you say, it is very delicately poised between camp, irony and (imho) absurdist...


God, I love Roxy - listened to nothing else in Paris.

love on ya,

Bob

Tim Footman said...

Maybe his foxhunting Tory squire attitude is absurdist as well.

lucien de la peste said...

As a foxhunting Tory squire, I take exception to that remark.

Cock over!

LdP

Tim Footman said...

You'm be one of them Swipesters, bain't you? You'm all poncy grockles with peculiar predilections. Be off with yer an' leave me to me parsnips.

WV: "tuivum"

An as yet unidentified part of a goat's genitalia, occasionally found in suspiciously cheap dim sum.

Robert A. Swipe said...

Tim,

I'm with you on the faux laird thing, but that's the only thing that stops me declaring that Roxy Music were, BAR NONE, the best British pop group ever. I think the whole point of it was that they understood right from the word go that the music worked at both levels - sublime and ridiculous - simultaneously. Ferry's lyrics exceed Morrissey's and Bowie's in their intelligence if not their wit and he and Eno were both subversive in their intent during the period they were in the band.

I would argue very strongly that Stranded (post-Eno) is perhaps a better LP than either of its predecessors (Ian MacDonald thought so too, calling it 'magnus opus time' in his 1973 NME review) Listen also to John Porter's production of the first Smiths LP and then listen to Flesh and Blood (Porter worked with Ferry before and during Roxy era) - The Hand that rocks the cradle owes a huge debt to the guitar work on F & B (in particular to Over You)


I could go on ad nauseum but I really think you owe yourself a fresh listen. Start with Stranded and work back, then forwards. there's so much really fine and innovative music right through their career. Even Avalon is a minor masterpiece if you see it for what it is - the culmination of a long-honed journey to a style that is as diaphonous as a veil. Eno could have rejoined then and made an ambient tour de force with them.

Tired of the tango? Fed up with fandango???


Ta-ra,

Bob

Tim Footman said...

OK, I'm sold. I'll get down to some intensive listening next month, when a slightly higher proportion of my time might be my own.

But you're not going to sway me over 'Jealous Guy'. Not good.

Robert A. Swipe said...

I wouldn't ever try Tim. JG is the exception that proves the rule...

Listen to Virginia Plain, Pyjamarama and Do the Strand back to back and then name me a more potent first three singles by any band before or since. And don't even think about it Frank Ferdinand....

Make sure you listen to the recent remastered series of CDs (if you can't get first pressing, pink rim Island label vinyl, of course...) They are among the best remasters I've heard - really punchy and dense sound.

Class dismissed...


Bob

lucien de la peste said...

Get a grip, girls....

Ever heard his covers of Carrickfergus or Take Me To The River?

Robert A. Swipe said...

Yep Luce - The Bride Stripped Bare is a belter! This Island Earth, Can't let go, That's How Strong my love is, Sign of the times....he could pick a tune old Bry, that's for sure....


Love on ya,

Bob