Monday, 22 June 2009


R&B has become one of the biggest misnomers of all time.
See, I personally think that when you have "Rhythm" as part of a genre description, that implies something lively as opposed to say, something that sounds like a slug crawled over a drum machine.
Also, when the other part of a genre description is "Blues", that implies, well, blues music. Having the blues, y'know. Not attractive, sultry people cooing in my ears that they're going to make love to me/girls/boys/whoever.
No, what most of modern R&B actually is, is sickeningly smooth sentimentality. And it's getting weak. Sure, when Boyz II Men crooned "I'll make love to you, like you want me to.", it was insipid, but at least they could actually sing. And it was a Hell of a lot better than Shontelle warbling about how she misses some guy so wears his t-shirt ("T-Shirt"), or Soulja Boy Tell 'Em (I'm still not sure whether that name deserves total ridicule or bizarre respect for it's utter stupidity) singing about how if you can't be with him, you can call him up and kiss him thru yr phone ("Kiss Me Thru The Phone"). I mean, at least there was a point to what Boyz II Men were doing. 
So as the central message and underlying statement of these songs, along with the talent of those singing them gets weaker and weaker, I've started to wonder what the next generation of modern R&B stars will be singing, and I've come up with some ideas. Fancy becoming the next big R&B sensation? Well why not commission me to write you one of these songs:

* Say Hi To Your Parents From Me.
* Hugging My Pillow.
* I Cleaned My Teeth With Your Toothbrush Coz I Miss You. (or just 'Toothbrush.' for short)
* Scrolling Thru Yr Facebook Photos.
* Wow! You Bought That Ham I Really Like!
* Doctor's Note. (A song about how someone feels they should be signed off work because of a broken heart)
* My Last Rolo.
* Have My Coat.
* You'll Always Be My Orange Wednesday 2 For 1 Partner.
* Blog Abou' Choo.

And I'm sure I could think of plenty more.
Come on. We'd make a fucking mint.

Oh, and just in case anyone does do the whole "OK, if it's not R&B, what is it then?" or "What would you call it then?" thing, there is already a genre of music that centres around slow paced, slick, polished, sentimental love songs. It's called 'Easy Listening'. 

Thursday, 18 June 2009

17th June 2009. Doner Kebab Pot Noodle.

Yes. You did read that right. Look, there it is and everything. I was in Tesco yesterday and my eyes did glance upon this newly released culinary experience.

Immediately I was struck dumb with disbelief. Then a number of questions flooded into my head. 
"What on Earth is that gonna taste like?"
"Who the fuck thought that was a good idea?!"
"Is this for real?"
"Is this a joke?"
Then that first question popped back into my head again, and before I knew it there was one in my basket.

That evening I managed to pluck up the courage to actually go thru with trying it. Now, I'm normally of the "I'll try anything once." frame of mind, I remember one time me & Paul Heard were going to try Lamb's Brain in a restaurant only to be told they didn't have any in at the moment, but I nearly pussed out when I smelled this. It smelled like I imagine a marathon runner's perineum would smell.

Oscar's cat food smelled better.

Looked better too.

It took me a while of thinking "Am I actually going to do this?"...

...before I did it...

...and instantly wished I hadn't.
Fuck me, that taste was fucking horrible.
Imagine the worst kebab you've ever tasted. Now imagine that someone has taken that kebab and put it in a blender with a dog that has been dead for about two weeks and some car tires. Imagine they blended all of that up, dehydrated it, put it into a plastic cup, then got you to pour boiling water on that and eat it.
It is without doubt one of the most revolting things I have ever tasted. If someone came up to me with one and said to me "Eat this or I'm going to punch you in the face.", I would let them punch me.
Try this only if you want to know how it feels for your mouth to temporarily die of despair. This isn't food, it's a torture device. Either that or a practical joke that went too far.

Score: Minus eleven billion out of ten.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Lindstrøm at Koko 11/06/09.

Yesterday I went to old Londinium to see Lindstrøm play at Koko.

I don't normally mind going to gigs on my own. I find there isn't really the need to have someone there when bands are playing or when you're watching someone perform. Don't get me wrong, it's nice and can certainly enhance my enjoyment, I just don't find having company at gigs a necessity. At this gig however, Mike Simonetti was dj'ing between bands and he was playing some cracking tunes. It made me wish I had someone to dance with, and actually made me feel quite lonely.
This probably wouldn't have been quite so bad, if it weren't for the fact that I was in Koko which, as nice a venue as it is, does attract what can at best be described as a shower of twats. Aside from all the obvious trendy posing and stupid clothing that was to be expected because y'know, it's a gig in London so that's basically par for the course, these people were just unbelievably rude. Thankfully I've forgotten most of the sheer unnecessary behaviour of these people otherwise I would probably just explode into wild and unedited rage for the rest of this post, but I'll give you the prime example. I was feeling a bit dehydrated and weak during Glass Candy's set, so I went to the bar to get some water and went to have a sit down until I felt a bit more normal. Now, someone thought it was perfectly acceptable behaviour to come up right next to me and lean on me. After the initial "What the fuck?!" reaction, I nudged them off. What did they do? They just leaned on me again!
This is one of the things I hate most about London. Londoners in general are arrogant little fuckwits who think they can get away with doing whatever the Hell they want and can be as rude as they like while doing it. London is basically what would happen if you took a bunch of spoilt brats and put them in the same place to grow up never learning any moral values so they could just carry on being spoilt brats for the rest of their lives. GOD I FUCKING HATE LONDON!!!

A-hem. Anyway...

First band to play were a band called Desire. I caught about half of their set. They were really good. Basically dark 80's style, italo influenced synthpop. If that doesn't help as a description, go here: :and listen to that, although I will say they were a lot more exciting and full bodied live than they are recorded. Don't let that sentence put you off having a listen tho, it's still good stuff. Just not as good.

Next up were Glass Candy. Now, although I was here to see Lindstrøm, I was really looking forward to seeing Glass Candy as I've been into them for a couple of years now since the Italians Do It Better Records label sampler compilation "After Dark" came out (May have been 3 years ago actually, I'm not sure and not feeling pedantic enough to double check). To describe them I would have to use the same description as I did for Desire (Unsurprising really. Desire are also on IDIB, and also share a core group member.), but the thing that really struck me was when I compared them to Crystal Castles. 
See, I have a bit of a thing about Crystal Castles. When their album came out I was quite excited by it. It was loud abrasive and arrogant and IN YOUR FACE!!! However, after listening to it a few times, I also realised that it was kind of empty. Look beyond the shell of that sound and there doesn't really seem to be anything to it. It's hollow. It's the classic "All surface and no feeling" thing. It's the same problem I have with Health. It's just a bit too showy. A bit too LOOK AT ME!! A bit too lacking in substance, but in a way that's going to suck the indie crowd in. That's it. It's too much like a fashion thing. Like those bands are just filling a gap in the market, without actually giving a crap about what they're doing. That's the feeling I get when I listen to Crystal Castles or Health. It's all for show. It's vacuous. There's nothing to it.
Glass Candy have the same set up as Crystal Castles (man on synth/programming duties, woman on vocal/prancing about duties), but the sound they create is so much more involving. You really get the sense that they believe in what they're doing. It's believable. It's real. You can feel it. It has heart. And it sounds great.
Have a go on this: :my favourite song of theirs. Again, they were a bit more full bodied and exciting live, but with Glass Candy the quality of their recorded stuff is just as good. 

LINDSTRØM!!! His "Where You Go I Go Too" album was easily one of my two favourite albums of last year (and the more I listen to it, the more I wonder if I should revise that list and put Linstrøm at No.1 and Fleet Foxes at No.2. Jury's still out on that one at the moment.), so I was VERY excited to see him live. He did not disappoint. His set was an hour of pure joy. It started off with the blissful sounds of the "Where You Go I Go Too" title track, which morphed into track after track for a set that got progressively more dancey and danceable as it went on, leading to a final third of just pure dance your face off awesomeness that even some of the hardest posers couldn't resist getting down to. They were no longer dancing to be seen, they were dancing because they needed to.
And then it was over. A massive roar from at least the front section of the crowd, who could've easily and happily handled another hour. Sadly for us that was it. The posers went back to their posing, and Koko was as it was before. For a moment though, Lindstrøm managed to break thru some of their barriers, and got some of them to actually genuinely feel something. The Vice mag model wannabes. The middle class slackers whos looks are bit too considered for you to believe in them. The muso guys directly in front of me who looked at each other and tutted when the bass became slightly distorted coz the levels were a bit off. They all just let go towards the end, and then shuffled off to the bar or to strike a pose, slightly embarrassed when the music was over and there were people screaming for more and hoping nobody noticed what they had just been doing.

I already knew as much, but fuck, that Lindstrøm guy is seriously good.

I was going to complain more about London here, but I don't want to anymore.
Wow. He's REALLY good.

(Oh Yeah. Listen to this Lindstrøm track. It's not from the "Where You Go I Go Too" album, but it is really fucking good because he just is. )