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Archive for June, 2010

Objection (Tango)

Objection (Tango) – Shakira

Now’s the time for successful top 40 stars of yesteryear, i guess. I blame work’s radio, where successful top 40 stars of yesteryear go to pasture. Wondering whatever happened to Shakira led me to research and to find out she not only has the official song for this year’s World Cup but also is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and recently funded and opened a 6 million dollar school in her hometown. Sometimes things that lose position and relevance in my corner of the world really shouldn’t be made an indicator for the rest of the world.

shot in the dark

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Come Undone

Come undone – Robbie Williams

Where’s Robbie Williams now? I mean, his songs are still everywhere (right where he left them) but not with the marketing force we’re used to. I haven’t seen a five minute filler TV spot promoting one of his greatest hits albums for a long time. I think Take That have recently reformed. Maybe he’s busy with that. Anyway, there’s only room for one Robbie Williams in my life:

ROBERTA

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Book of revelation – The Mr. T Experience

I posted the Fastbacks’ cover last time, so the Mr. T Experience original this time. I’m not sure why, of all the songs in the world, of all the bands in the world, the Fastbacks would choose to cover this song. There’s probably a connection i’m not aware of. Like maybe the female voice (if it is a female voice) at the end is Lulu or Kim’s. Or maybe i have the profile of the Fastbacks inflated in my mind, and it makes sense that the two bands played with and supported one another. Oh well. This is the Mr. T Experience in what have actually have been their classic line up, but before their recognized classic line up, with Jon Von on second guitar and all the fiddly parts he played. The Mr. T Experience’s Kurt Bloch.

3 women

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Heavens above – The Pastels

Ba baa ba ba badadada That’s love. Ba baa ba ba badadada Heavens above.

From the first Pastels record, the Songs For Children 7″, which as the singer from the Pooh Sticks has on tape, i have on mp3. “Pure popcorn,” as Stephen himself says. Sublime, dumb, brilliant, above (though i’m sure there was plenty) reproach pop music, which maps out the Pastels’ career perfectly, even foreshadowing the inevitable maturity because no band will stay this simple and great forever. I wonder if Stephen was even at this stage the dish he came to be, or if there was an awkward, gangly, uncrafted stage that he had to groom and act foppish his way out of.

kung fu master

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On the wolves’ tip – Huggy Bear

Weaponry Listens to Love was the first Huggy Bear album i owned. It’s the only album they ever released, but you know what i mean – the first Huggy Bear i could take home with me. I was not at all ready for it. All i had heard was the obvious: Dissthentic Penetration, Pansy Twist, Her Jazz. All i expected was straightforward. in anger, intent and music. Like the English Bikini Kill. I don’t mean to say that Bikini Kill were straightforward, just that they were instant with me.

It is kind of hard to go back and remember how impenetrable and disappointing this sounded the first time i played it. It is everything but to me now. I’m wary to say that i get it, but i do, in the most vital way. It was after reading the amazing, self-authored Huggy Bear chapter in this book (i can’t remember the title of but as soon as i go back to university i’m going to read it again) about women in rock that just in print, in their words, that they came to be an indispensable thing in my life, impenetrable or not.

So from the beginning i went, Rubbing the Impossible to Burst onward, finding even more avant garde-y material that should have baffled me even more but this time blew me away just as i needed it to. They really are the most incredible and important band. Weaponry Listens to Love i think is considered not their brightest hour, that something was lost, but that hour came all at once for me so i can’t gauge that. If i’m expected to mitigate love for it, i can’t. It’s everything i love about the band. Every inspiring, incendiary thing. Rhythm and detonation, exactly.

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Dark Wing

Dark wing – Boyracer

Because i have nothing better to do, i spend much of my internet time reading the archived posts on the indiepop mailing list. Fifteen years of people dropping in and out, buying and selling things, arguing, defending, being enthusiastic, being petty, being clueless, being cluey, dead links, but above all talking about and preserving talk of bands who only ever make the smallest of blips. It is history. It is framing, illuminating history. And it’s fascinating (to me).

So delving back into this past, amongst talk that was once current and instant, not shaped by what was to come only by what was, i often come across some perturbing things. For one: Boyracer were absolutely reviled back then. There were some defenders, but the majority opinion held in this little scene (or those with internet access and care enough to send an email about it) was that this little band i would call one of my favourites was a source of aggravation and disdain for a lot of people.

Maybe it’s because they were on Sarah Records, ruining sensibilities and expectations all the way. People really took offense to Boyracer. People on the list really don’t, or at least used to not, realise indiepop is a punk rock as much as any other, harsher sounding punk rock. Where it came from, philosophy, intent – it is nothing but. Obscuring perfect pop songs with distortion and feedback is a bit much for some people, i suppose. Who am i? Yelling at people fifteen years in the past over something best left fifteen years in the past. The things you get riled up on if you have enough time.

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Here We Come Around

Here we come around – Dear Nora

My girlfriend needs the computer a lot today so there’s no time for the four hours i take up writing these things. Still, i offer this song as a great song by a great band whom everyone should find and love.

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Suspended from class – Camera Obscura

Arse“. I can’t bring myself to believe Camera Obscura are boring live. To spite this conviction, every report i’ve received has been that they are indeed boring live. I guess i could actually go see them and find out for myself, but now i’m scared. What if they are? It is a possibility. But as mopey and maudlin as they can be, i transcribe nothing but good times to their music – and if not good, then necessary and cathartic times, as only pop music can provide.

Maybe earlier in their career (i.e. around the time of Underachievers Please Try Harder) they hadn’t yet found their groove. But from Let’s Get Out of This Country on, when those symphonic instruments, and the songs and the ethos of those songs, came into Camera Obscura’s hands, to be still without that groove, to be boring, seems to me impossible. It’s irresponsible.

robojox

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She Said She Said

She said she said – The Beatles

Oh wow, a Beatles song. And the only Beatles song i have on my computer. It’s not like i’ve purposely put up walls to prevent such a thing and one crept through. It just happens to be the only one. It must mean something to someone. There’s a reason it’s here. It came as part of a mix, or a recommendation, or appeared on a list and i just had to check it out.

It’s pretty good too. The world’s replete with Beatles information and it’s nice to know from a little research on this song that they thought Peter Fonda “boring” and “uncool”. They keep surprising me with how astute and upright they were.

sans soleil

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Famous

Famous – The Magnetic Fields

There might come a day when i give up this dumb, ill-reasoned advocation of the small town. The pain that will come on that day, seeing the time squandered, the dreams kept unfulfilled, the complete abandon of hope, is probably enough for me to ever keep it from coming. I could get out of this town. I’m sure i could. I could follow that obscure allure that homes everyone to the city, but why? Oh, yes, all those very good reasons.

I can’t move easily. I can’t belong anywhere but home. It was painful enough to get me out of Wilberforce (and don’t tell anyone but i secretly want to move back). I think my hope, however misguided, is imagine what these towns could be if everyone remained and not relegated these places to those who cripple us and make us want to move out. If two people could find each other, find others, remain, and create something. Chances are i won’t ever make anything happen, no matter how many good ideas i (think i) have, because… i think it is a personality thing. But i will die in the suburbs, ever on the right side of the Hawkesbury River, so that if ever i do it will be in the name of the small town, in spite of the city. Eat it, typical route of youthful aspiration and liberation.

16 candles

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