Monday, April 27, 2020

Fairly Maligned

Whenever someone tries to rehabilitate the reputation of the third Oasis album, Be Here Now, please note that they're doing so because they don't remember hearing it.
Thanks to self-isolation, people have significantly more free time on their hands. Time to finally get through that stack of books, maybe, or learn the piano like you’ve been telling your mates you will for a decade. There are endless evenings to ponder the really big questions. How will humanity rebuild after a pandemic such as this? What do I want to change about my life once lockdown is over? Was ‘Be Here Now’ actually… quite good?
I probably like this record better than most people. I remember getting it, I remember where I was when it came out, and it was fine. I didn't feel angry or cheated and I didn't trade it in for something else like so many others did. There are great songs on Be Here Now. It was played and sung as well as could be expected. But it was a bloated, overly indulgent affair because there was no one around to explain that mixing an album whilst high on cocaine is a bad idea.

It's easier for me to flip this album with The Masterplan, which was a compilation of B-sides that came out as a stopgap for the demise of the band. Oasis should have put out The Masterplan as a proper, standalone third album, and said, "here you go, this will tide you over." They should have built it around the title track and Acquiesce, and put out singles and acted like it wasn't just something thrown together. In and of itself, The Masterplan is a classic rock and roll album.

Everything written after that should have been shelved for a bit. Oasis needed a break and they didn't take one. Then they should have edited twenty minutes out of Be Here Now and had someone who wasn't high as a fucking kite mix it.

There you go, there's the truth.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Don't Care, Don't Want to Watch

There are music genres and styles that do nothing for me, and then there are cultural markers that go past me and I just don't care.

When it comes to the Beastie Boys, I just don't have the time of day for any of this garbage and I'm going to write something completely negative because why the hell not? I would prefer to celebrate and talk about something good, but I just can't find anything redeeming about their music or their career. No problem with them as people, very sad to have seen them lose Adam Yauch, but there isn't anything that I could have less regard for than their music. So, this is not an attack on them personally. The art they made means shit to me.

We're all supposed to treat Paul's Boutique like Trout Mask Replica, and I'm here to tell you that you can go your whole life without hearing either of them and you'll be alright. Their License to Ill album was supposed to be a landmark example of how of young white men who wanted to use cultural appropriation to break into the world of Hip Hop could entertain a nation eager for such things. Come on, who gives a shit about that dated crap?

Lots of people, I guess. I know I'm wrong, but I don't care.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Matthew Seligman 1955-2020

Matthew Seligman has died:
Musician Matthew Seligman, best known for his tenure on bass for The Soft Boys, has died aged 64.
As well as playing on The Soft Boys’ 1980 masterpiece ‘Underwater Moonlight’, Seligman was briefly a member of 80s pop outfit The Thompson Twins, and played bass for David Bowie at Live Aid in 1985.
After The Soft Boys disbanded, Seligman would go on to play with the band’s frontman Robyn Hitchcock on his first two solo albums.
Outside of music, he practised as a human rights solicitor.

Seligman's work with The Soft Boys and Robyn Hitchcock is simply without peer. He was an incredible musician.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Tim Burgess is Here to Save Your Sanity

Listen along with Tim:
When the listening parties took off @matbroughty & @gingerbeardman (who didn’t know each other) got in touch to offer help with a website so we could keep track of what was happening when. Together they made & maintain
we just clicked past 1,250,000 views
Tim's Listening Parties is now a thing, and it has translated into an effort to support musicians by encouraging people to buy the music they're hearing.

Lots of people have been asking where they can buy vinyl copies of the albums that we've featured at the listening parties. Record shops need as much help as we can give them just now so I had a thought. We've had over 1,000,000 views of our website in the last couple of weeks...

...we'll start a page on the website with links to independent record shops (that do mail order) so you can browse and buy new and second hand vinyl, CDs etc. So, get in touch if you are an independent record shop and we can make a start. Sound good?

Basically, these are hosted events that bring people as close together as possible, given our circumstances. People are talking about music and sharing as much as they can. This is a good thing.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Bands You Should Know

I'm pleased to see someone including The Suburbs on this list, but, really, they are not a nostalgia act. You can follow this band and love what they do and access them through the modern music they're making right now.

The article compares them to The Replacements and Husker Du, and I think that's a mistake. The Suburbs were bigger than either one of those bands for a brief period of time and they made a completely different kind of music, something innovative that neither band could access. The Replacements were entirely a different animal--a raw blast of sorrow and smartassedness. Husker Du was the perfect vehicle for two songwriters and three instruments and a cohesive assault on the senses. And all of these bands went through so many different phases and changed what they were doing and looked for ways to improve themselves. You can't put anyone in a box when it comes to this stuff.

I wouldn't compare any of these bands to one another. They were all after different things. You can enjoy what Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Bob Mould are doing today as solo artists, but they're not in the same business as Chan Poling, who is writing and performing in what has to seem like an entirely different industry. It's an embarrassment of riches, and there are diamonds being left everywhere.