Posts Tagged ‘Crap Music’

Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head

October 22, 2008

Random internet people, I need you to do me a favour.  If I ever get to the point of meteoric stardom (and with no acting talent and a face like a slapped arse it’s only a matter of time before I join Eastenders) I need you to arrange a hit on me. 

Nothing flashy, or too machiavellian – just hire one of those hoodies to knifecrime me in the back of the head.  

You’d be protecting me from the negative sides of celebrity.  Having so much money and fame would effectively alienate me from the rest of the populace, meaning I would be living in my own world, surrounded by a group of ‘yes men’ – spineless arse-kissers who realise they can let me indulge in any hair-brained vanity project so long as they market it the right way.

Which brings me to Johansson.  She’s the one of the latest stars to hit A–List status and thus she’s decided to record her own album. Unlike other A list bands, who tend to be poor copies of whatever’s popular at the time, it’s a covers album.  Of Tom Waits songs.  Yes, that Tom Waits. 

What next? Keira Knightly records her own version of Trout Mask Replica?  

The song in question is one of Wait’s better ones, ‘Anywhere I Lay My Head’. It’s basically a horn section and Wait’s voice, which sounds like a gravel pit with a forty-a-day habit. From the bottom of the bottle, Waits rasps on about the changes he’s going to make to his life after being spurned by a lover. It sounds something like a male ‘I Will Survive’ but in that fuzzy state of consciousness where your head is spinning and you lost coherent thought-processes ages ago.

While Johansson’s voice doesn’t add anything to the song, her vocals take away all the character and feeling. Waits fans aren’t going to want to listen to somebody murder a good song, so this must have been written for people that just happen to be fans of both. Or, more likely, it’s written for pretentious twunts who want both a bland, inoffensive recording by a famous face and something they can put on their iPod that’ll let other people think they are cultured and well-versed in popular music. 

Which is all well and good if you’re that kind of soulless parasite, but that means the rest of us have to put up with a steaming pile of shit.

Which is why I want you people to knifecrime me. Or at least, when I’ve made a few good films and start recording ‘Ugeine Sings Led Zeppelin in French’, please have the balls to tell me it’s rubbish.

I’d hate to inflict such a misjudged project on an unsuspecting public, simply to stroke my own ego and to give some idiots music cred points.

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Later With Jools Holland

February 4, 2008

Later with Jools Holland hit its 200th episode on Friday, which mathematically means it has been running for 59 and a half years. Despite this, Jools is still stuck in the 43 year old body he’s inhabited since The Tube first transmitted on the somethingth of a month, nineteen eighty something – before Paula Yates killed herself and probably while she was still married to that do-gooder bloke from the Boomtown Rats. The point is, Jools Holland never changes. He is forever an awkward, no-necked misfit who can’t interview people for toffee – but we like him anyway, for he has always been there and always will be.

So, Jools and company decided to celebrate this anniversary with a stellar line up of super-duperstars. He had Feist (her from the Apple advert), Radiohead (from the Skins advert), Mary J Blige (who isn’t really very famous over here), Dionne Warwick (didn’t she do the dirty with David Frost back in the day? The lucky swine…), Robyn Hitchcock and finally Cat Power, whose The Greatest album I had heard before and thought quite pleasant in places, unremarkable in others.

Then I remembered Mrs Power had recently recorded a covers album. Cue disaster.

I’m not a big fan of Sinatra but like everyone else, I know the tunes inside out. New York, New York is a bona fide classic and, in the clip above, we can see Mrs Power ripping the very life out of its pomp and joyfulness, ordering her session musicians to play the most pointless blues bore-jam as she gurns a performance of pure pointlessness from the bottom of half a lung.

What’s going on with her face? It’s like she’s singing out of half of it while the other segment tries to remember the words. I thought a ‘breathy’ voice was meant to indicate a sort of laid-back passion and melancholy – here it seems to require the singer to avoid symmetry by all means necessary. And all that bouncing about is silly as well. So stop it.

Cover albums must be the least profitable thing an artist, supposedly at the top of their game, could put out – so why bother? You can’t top the greats. Is it an attempt to establish credibility via association? Probably. Is it borne out of laziness? I assume so. Does it sound absolutely terrible? In this example, yes. Yes it does.

Kate Nash – Mouthwash

October 25, 2007

Nash 

Kate Nash…Kate, Kate, Kate. What can I say?

First off, I have to say I’ve only heard two of your songs, so there’s a chance (a fucking remote one, but a chance nonetheless) that the rest of your musical arsenal will contradict everything I’m about to say. But I doubt it.

I’ve heard these two songs because I listen to XFM, an ‘alternative’ radio station. Not as alternative as it used to be, judging by Kate’s recent arrival onto the airwaves. Kate is another member of the recent herd of female singer-songwriters who have, frankly, made me hate women. No, that’s too strong. They’ve just made me hate THEM.

The first one I heard was ‘Foundations’. A dreadful song about a spoilt little bitch who enjoys being fucking horrible to her boyfriend and somehow (in a way, let’s be honest, that most men will recognise) make out it’s all his fault in the first place. She screeches in the least convincing regional accent I’ve ever heard apart from that fucking chim-er-ney sweep in Mary bastard Poppins.

The accent she tries, if you haven’t heard it, is cockney. Only it’s not cockney at all, it’s what middle class children who are embarrassed about having a received English accent think is cockney. People often refer to it as ‘mockney’, I prefer to think of it as ‘cuntspeak’.

In this dreadful, dreadful self-pitying song she admits that the story she’s telling in the pub is boring, but then rounds on her poor boyfriend for putting up for it for ages before trying to change the subject. He was saving you love. No-one around the table liked your story and he was trying to move on as he could see the sideways glances your mutual friends were giving each other, and he was embarrassed for you. He claims at one point that she must eat an awful lot of lemons as she’s rather bitter, to which her witty (and entirely irrelevant, juvenile and brattish) retort is, “I’d rather be with your frendz mayte, cuz they are mach fittah!”. Dreadful bitch. I’m assured that this song is a ‘floor filler’ for the young ladies at the discothèque, which doesn’t surprise me. It just adds to the already steaming pile of lady-favourites such as ‘I Will Survive’ and anything by Lily Allen which show that a lot of women empathise with self-pitying crap bleated by spoilt little madams.

The song that she has on the radio at the moment is called ‘Mouthwash’. I’ve heard it a couple of times because, if it comes on when I’m in the bath, I don’t bother turning it off, unlike at any other time when it doesn’t get past the first two bars.

I don’t understand this song at all. Not one bit of it. I don’t know all the lyrics, but a fair few have made their way into my brain like an illegal immigrant with plans of racial unrest and terrorism and detonated a shit bomb within, leaving lasting damage. This is what I can glean from the song:

She has a face, it is covered in freckles, the occasional spot, and some veins.

Furthermore, she has a bo-o-o-deeeeee. It’s covered in skin. Skin I tell you! Not all of it you can seeee.

She drinks tea.

She uses mouthwash.

Sometimes she flosses.

I shit you not. That’s what the song is about. Yet she sings it in the character of a tragic Eliza Doolittle (prior to getting porked by Professor ‘Iggins). You can just imagine her looking pained while banging away at a piano like the bastard sister of Tori Amos.

Why are these silly, silly girls getting record contracts? There are young women out there with something to sing about, in their own fucking voices, whether they be cockney, scouse, brum, Geordie, taff, jock or just some middle class type from North London. There’s really nothing wrong with being Middle Class, Kate. Middle Class people are allowed to have opinions too, and singing a load of old cock with a fake accent doesn’t make it any less of a load of old cock.

Kate Nash: She’s well shit.

Lovebox 2007

July 23, 2007

Lovebox 

Lovebox then. Not sure how I got hoodwinked into this one, but I was, the missus was keen and so we set off on Saturday afternoon in the unwavering sunshine. I’d not been to anything like this since the Phoenix Festival in 1996, and I can barely remember that because ageing hippies kept putting drugs in my face. All I really remember is sitting on the coach home for half a day, covered in mud and feeling thoroughly miserable. Luckily this mini-festival was pretty much on my doorstep and we only had a one-day ticket, so after a 15 minute wander we were at the gate, a bizarre cattle grid wherein guestlist types had a choice of six heavily staffed entrances and the rest of the hoi polloi (ie me and my better ‘alf) had to crowd round a thin strip with no idea what was in store for us.

Turned out a thorough search was in order, I fully expected to be asked to bend over. I had to sump a bottle of wine before going in because I was obviously going to smash people over the head with it rather than drink it. I had a fucking wrench in my bag which they didn’t notice, but still the bottle had to go. Bastards.

The minute we got in, a tropical rainstorm appeared from nowhere and we got fucking soaked. Braving it rather than allowing ourselves to be washed out, we were immediately seized upon by a Christian Aid git. Our spirits weren’t dampened as yet so rather than tell him where to stick his petition regarding carbon emissions, we signed it, chuckled about the torrential downpour as our toes instantly developed trenchfoot and then bid him farewell. Drenched and past caring, the only solution was to follow the obvious plan. Food. Beer. Smokes.

Always well-prepared, the lady had pre-rolled some beauties so all we had to do was grab some noodles with tempura vegetables, deep fried to a mush but just edible and then queue at the bar. Because everyone was hiding on the dodgems I got served almost instantly. Splendid. Two cans of redstripe – I wagered they’d be charging a good £2.50 for it, pub prices for a can – fair enough. £3.20 though. £3 fucking 20p for a can of red stripe. BASTARDS. That’s the price you pay for a pint in the kinds of pubs I avoid, the way I’d avoid syphilis or gonhorrhea – by not fucking entering. Still. It was a necessity so I purchased and consumed. And in the end I’d spent £32 on ten cans of lager like the alcoholic twat I truly and horribly am.

It was still raining so we decided to wander around and absorb out surroundings. There was the dance tent – apparently done up like an interior in Doctor Strangelove. Peeking through the crowds, I can confirm the walls were white. Beyond that there were so many heaving bodies that it really wasn’t worth investigating. Especially seeing as the music sounded like this: WOOOOP WOOOP WOOOP WARGH WARGH WARGH twat twat twat twat twattwattwattwattwattwattwattwat WOOP WOOOOP WARGH WARGH.

The fairground looked fun, but given the rain we weren’t sure we fancied our chances, slipping off a lubed high speed ferris wheel and landing in a splat of limbs in Walthamstow didn’t seem worth the risk. So what else was there to do? The day was about music, supposedly, so we checked out the other stages. First, the Clash stage was the indiest of the stages, except that these days indie tends to mean electro and middle of the road rock. Looking at the crowd, 16 year olds in trilbys and 39 year old women dressed as Lily the fucking Allen, it wasn’t worth hanging about to see who was on. So over to the main stage we went and en route the sun came out. Hallelujah. In fact, it came out so strongly that we almost went from drowned to burned to a cinder. God bless British Summertime.

En route to the main acts, we noticed the set of a burned out building with a big crowd around the front entrance. Turns out this was some kind of fake New York 70s club, with lots of people in fancy dress having a dance inside. By mid-afternoon the queue for this attraction actually cut the festival site in two. The queue was longer than the one for the female toilets.

Speaking of the female toilets – surely we can develop some new system whereby ladies don’t all need a separate cubicle? it ruins things for everyone. Moody boyfriends waiting for ladies to queue, the bladders of their other halves pushed to breaking point. We either need some kind of technology that can be attached to a wanny discreetly and store their effluents, or they need to stop being prudes and whip out their urethras in a communal manner. I don’t particularly enjoy the urinal experience, but it beats queuing – so come on ladies, grab a slice of the unified urination movement and save us all some time. In the event, the ladies ended up using the boys’ cubicles, which meant after a few beers I found myself pissing into a plastic latrine whilst a hundred women stood around chatting. If I were a damaged man it would have been nothing short of erotic.

And so to the main stage. Groove Armada were running the event and, being easy-listening techno types, they’d selected acts that they felt would rock the field but in a style befitting their tastes. They failed miserably. Despite the beatbox champion who played compere and who was actually really great, the rest was a letdown.

First up, the Junior Boys made me feel I was trapped in an 80s elevator and having my brain fiddled with by a vocoder. Truly awful, po-faced rubbish.

Then followed Patrick Wolf, a young man I’d despised but who turned things around here by actually having decent tunes and making a complete and utter twat of himself. I laughed quite hard.

After this, the Presets arrived to bore the masses. Beyond tedious. It was like being stuck in your car in GTA Vice City with a stuck radio, repeatedly driving into a brick wall. Interminable.

New Young Pony Club in the Clash tent lifted spirits. The tent was packed with the population of Hoxton but all the same this was a good set, we found a spot where you could sneak out to have a slash beside a van and all was well.

Wobbly by now, we made one last jaunt over to the main stage and caught most of Blondie, singing along to Tide Is High as we doddered home. Deborah Harry looked whacked out by the way, poor old cow. Imagine having to jump about on varicose veins in the evening at that age. She should’ve at least been given a comfy chair and a cup of tea.

Not a bad day all in all, but wet and overpopulated by 80s synths – not always a bad thing unless dropped into the hands of the Presets or the Junior Boys.

Highlight of the day, for me, was getting home, drying off and sticking on Lucio Fulci’s House By The Cemetery without a single member of public in sight. I don’t think I’m leaving the house ever again unless absolutely necessary.

Princess Diana Memorial Concert

July 2, 2007

Nazi 

Halfway into Re-Animator, the 80s gorefest about a Victor Frankenstein type who injects a dead cat, then perished humans with his life-giving serum, the fucking DVD froze as all borrowed DVDs seem to do these days. Kicking my DVD player into oblivion with my karate feet, I decided to watch TV instead, as hyper-violent reanimated corpses were now officially off the menu.

CURSES.

I made my way over to good old BBC1 for an evening of quiet, pre-return to work programming, or so I hoped. Songs of Praise, Last of the Summer Wine, Antiques Roadshow – the perfect antidote to a weekend’s boozing and a pair of lungs that were inside out after Friday’s last ditch attempt to cram in as many carcinogens as possible before the smoking ban kicked in.

But the whole of the BBC’s schedule had been riddled with the kind of sentimental old shit that makes any right-thinking person want to kill. The Princess Diana Memorial Concert was in full swing. Shit.

When I switched over, Nelly Furtado was whining along to her tit-hits, all of which seemed to be in horrible minor keys and involved her bleating like a lamb caught in a snare. Her drummer’s kit was ridiculously massive and my shock at the stickman’s arrogance at least took my mind off the winsome crap the popular artist was banging on about. To make matters worse, William and Harry were bopping along with no real sense of timing, frugging away like the posh morons they are.

After dry-retching myself into a catatonic state, I was privy to Jamie ‘Coke-Fiend’ Theakston and Fearne ‘Argh’ Cotton attempting to provide filler in what was the worst constructed live extravaganza I think I’ve ever seen. Fashion-photographers and ex-toilet roll caddies lined up to say how nice Diana was to the black kids in far flung places who’d had their lips blown off by an angry landmine. They talked for an eternity about that ‘winning smile’, which to me seemed more like a sort of guilty-looking squint.

All this did was serve to show how cunning Lady Die was in her role as an insane self-PR machine. Sick of the sight of her after 10 minutes, it was like 1997 all over again. Harry, who recently outed himself as the kind of mong who finds Nazi regalia a fitting costume for a night out, mucked about with some African children whilst mugging for the cameras. Nice to see Mum’s self-celebration (and hypocrisy) has rubbed off on the little shit.

Later we had Jason Donovan and some curly goon what won Joseph singing ‘Any Dream Will Do’, joined by Donny the Osmond for a rousing chorus to the bewilderment of everyone watching. The relevance was lost on me.

Through streams of hateful tears I changed channel whilst swearing profusely out of an open window. Plucking up the courage to give it one last shot, I switched back later on. Sarah Brightman and a berk were twittering along to Phantom of the Opera as I broke every item of glassware in the house with my bare teeth. For me, this was the end, for if I subjected myself to John Elton and his old Joanna grinding out Candle in the Wind for the bazillionth time I might well have crushed next door’s cat in a fury and set fire to the entire terrace with maniacal abandon. Thankfully, I found the on/standby button and simmered for a bit.

On the news this morning, Harry was quoted as saying that the concert was a fitting tribute to his mother. The sprawling mess of an event was contradictory, cloying, confused, irritating and had had way too much money thrown at it. So for once, His Royal Highness was right. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.