Friday, 30 March 2007

Soap Round-Up: The Psycho Woman Edition

I say soap round-up but obviously I don't watch Emmerdale. It's shit!
So Eastenders has come out of the mire a little. However, they always drag stories on for waaaaaaaaaaaay too long, when will Max and Stacey get caught out? The whole Dawn baby saga is a bit sick and depressing and just goes on and on and on improbably. How does May plan to get the baby off Dawn? Wrestle her? Swap it for the useless husband? Yawn, who cares.
The Stella/ Ben thing is the best storyline at the moment. Stella has gone from Queen Drip to Child-Called-It territory. I feel pretty frightened of her. I can't WAIT until Phil finds out! What will he do? Rarrrgggghh! Rip a table in half! Go all red! Order a double vodka with your orange juice! I love it. I can just see her laughing in his face. He's going to go postal. However at the rate storylines are going at the moment, I expect this episode will occur at some point during the 2012 Olympics.
What else? I find the whole Billy and Honey thing dull, dull, dull. Can't think what else is going on. Parklife and co haven't been in it this week. Has Bert left yet? I mostly fast forward when him, Yolande, or Jim come on. I know they suspended the road-sweeping girlfriend-beater week. We can only pray that the old folk start sniffing coke and fucking hookers real soon so we can get rid sharpish.
As for Corrie, Tracey's trial has been reasonably good, and I enjoyed the two-hander the other day when she confessed to Deirdre she offed Charlie. Also we didn't have to see any of that shitty new family who've just moved in. If I wanted to watch twats off Brookside I woud have done it in the 90s when it was in some way relevant.
Anyway. My boyfriend really hates Tracey with a passion but I love the fact she concocted such a ridiculous and fundamentally flawed plan of murder just because someone cheated on her. I also liked it when she said 'Do you think I'd EVER let a man hit me?' Go Tracey! She is evil, but she's funny. Berating her lawyer for telling her off was genius. I suspect she's going down.
David Platt (still not gone upstairs and transformed into a hunk, dammit) is offensive to both the eye and mind. I really want to smack him in the mouth. I'd rather do ten years (she's not going to get twenty! Don't they read the papers?) than sleep with that foundation-smeared, snub nosed little smuggard.
As for Deirdre, can someone sort her clothes out? She really does wear the most revolting things. The neck I can deal with, but those belts are just a step too far.

Thursday, 29 March 2007

The Apprentice

I have never seen The Apprentice before but my boyfriend likes the American version so we gave it a go. Everyone seems to rave about it for some reason, the same reason they enjoy watching Gordon Ramsey's wrinkly foreheaded bellowing at people, I presume.
So I watched. And what I saw was a bunch of tossers, the kind of people you'd go out of your way to avoid at work, droning on about 'giving it 120 percent' and 'you gotta step up to the plate'. Just fuck off! In fact these people weren't just tossers, they were SUPER tossers. Pudgy women squeezed into ill fitting suits, balding bespectacled men who think having a snazzy car in the drive makes up for them being a first-class cunt. Well, it doesn't. And I don't want to watch it.
This programme makes me think about work. It makes me think about all the very worst parts of office life, and business, and business people. Soulless people who only want to 'win' and win what? More money. Money is so boring! Money even makes people boring. I'm not saying I don't like my laptop living in the flat that I do. I'm not saying I'd say no to more money. But people who dedicate their life to the relentless pursuit of more and more and more money are quite simply, dullards. These people aren't artistic, or creative, or even interesting. In every one of them you can see the bullied little child screaming for attention.
And of course, you can see this in Alan Sugar. Strangely I find him neither offensive, or loathsome, or funny, or interesting. He is just nothingy. He is Simon Cowell without the barbs or the laughs. He has an angry little face despite his piles of money. So what's the fucking point?
I hate the bit at the end where he moans at them and they all try and pin the blame on each other. It is revolting to watch humans being so desperate. I don't want to hear people shouted at. It makes me cringe. If someone shouted at me like that, I'd tell them to go shove it.
There's a couple of things more important than money, believe it or not, and one of them is self-respect. The other is Galaxy caramel eggs, so enjoy them while they last, that's what I say.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Stop Me, oh, Stop Me (please fucking stop him)

As you are probably aware, the most offensive cover version of all time has recently been released. To avoid the bad-karaoke-Morrissey-impersonator trap, Mark Ronson simply decided to take the Smiths classic Stop Me If You've Heard This One before and repeatedly bludgeon it round the head, stab it, shit on it, spit in it's face and film it on a mobile phone, then release it for other like-minded sickos to enjoy.
He applied a David Gray style 'singer' (also in a ridiculous EMF hat but you can't see that on the radio), a bunch of unnecessary strings, a drum machine, gospelly backing singers, and most bizarrely, when you think it couldn't possibly get more God-fuckingly obscenely wrong made it turn into 'You just keep me hanging on' at the end.!!!!!!! WHY???
He also made it 70 billion times more awful, twice as long, and completely removed any wit, style, charm or tune. Morrissey and Marr need to die immediately, just so they can turn in their graves. Has Morrissey HEARD this? I know you're not in control of it anymore. I know you're not. But this is WRONG.
The insipid radio DJ incorrectly stated that this cover version 'splits Smiths fans down the middle'. No it doesn't. Smiths fans FUCKING HATE IT.
Warning: if you listen to this cover verion more than three times, your enjoyment of the original 'Stop Me...' will be irrevocably impaired.
The pain is enough to make a shy bald buddhist reflect and play a mass murder. Oh yes.
Come back Tatu. All is forgiven. Actually, I love that cover version of How Soon Is Now by Tatu. It's better than the original. Hahahahaha!

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Wife Swap: Mmm, raw meat

The American version of Wife Swap is the same as the English one, except with a fancier beginning. This week a couple who lived on a farm in Ohio swapped with a good-looking city-living black couple. There was one small factor: the couple who lived on the farm lived solely on raw meat. They were also planning heavily for the apocolypse and didn't believe in cleaning or personal hygene. The black couple seemed pretty normal for Wife Swap, except they were quite tidy and liked fashion and soft-furnishings.
The main thing that struck me about the advocates of the raw meat diet was how unbelievably unhealthy they looked and how bloody miserable they seemed. They were angry, erratic and dogmatic. They talked constantly about health whilst having hair more lacklustre than Worzel Gummage. They had blotchy skin, brown teeth and worn-out faces (and that includes the kids). They didn't drink water and somehow survived. They brushed their teeth with clay and butter (!?) They ate month old meat out of grubby jars that looked like Dickensian film props and forced themselves to wake up on filthy furniture at 2AM to eat because if they didn't their bodies would go into an anorexic state' (no idea what that means- but it sounds alright to me). They said germs were 'their friends'.
How this poor personal assistant woman stayed the distance in that environment was anyone's guess. She asked the husband if it was safe to eat raw meat, and he said 'would God put something on Earth to harm us?' She had no apparent answer for this, but my boyfriend said sharks and I said crack pretty much straight off the bat. There's probably about another 271,367,823 things on top of that.
The farm woman looked at the beautiful flats in California and said 'what would they do if there was an ice storm?' An ice storm? Then she told the husband, 'what would you do if your power was out for a week?' A week! If my power was out for an hour I'd be sobbing by my modem and giving the kiss of life to my TV.
What did I learn? I learnt watching someone drink raw eggs was disgusting. Watching someone eating raw chicken makes me feel queasy. I learnt there are still some people in America so backwards and weird contemplating it too much would bend my head.
Come Armageddon come. I'll take my chances, thanks.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

NME free stickers!

Yes I still read the NME. So shoot me: I read J17 until I was about 21- those posters of Josh Hartnett were just TOO tempting.
But this weeks NME has taken it a step too far: free stickers! Yes, free stickers, just like you get with the Spongebob magazine, or Smash Hits. Isn't Smash Hits defunct now? Perhaps NME feels like it needs to squeeze into that gap.
I remember NME laughing heartily at free stickers once upon a time. Now we've got stickers saying 'the Klaxons r cool' and 'Emo rules' and 'I love junkies' and 'NME sucks corporate cock' (or something). I've never felt so old.
I did a in-depth online survey about the NME a couple of months back and the questions were things like,
'what do you think of Nu Rave?' (it doesn't exist)
'should we feature more Emo?' (no)
and 'what are your favourite bits of the magazine?' (the letters page)
Since then, my favourite bits have been all but obliterated so I guess more kiddies replied to the survey than adults. Still it seems wrong for them to sell out their heritage so blatantly: the NME was once a respected brand, now it rolls over and plays dead for Topman and Shockwaves and HMV and Carling and... need I go on?
Even talking about this seems defunct and dated because no one reads it anymore anyway, since it shrunk and shrunk and got thinner and got glossier, and the feature articles were reduced to literally one.
But I have hung in there, despite the patronising tone, the building up and knocking down of various degrees of rubbish, the rabid Pete Doherty obsession. I even let them like Destiny's Child, then admit they were shit a year later.
I would have killed to write for the NME, but never got the chance, probably because I don't like the perveyors Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby and I don't think My Chemical Romance are worthy of anything but mild contempt. There is a taste vacuum and it's getting wider.
Anyway: these stickers are the last straw. I don't have a folder to stick them to. I can't annoy my parents with them. They are just a message to me, and it's a message saying 'fuck off. You're not required anymore.'
And I've got a message back: next time, let's at least have one of Moz, or Conor, or even Brandon (nah actually- not til he's shaved his moustache off).
Will I still be buying the NME? Well yeah. I'm too young for Q. I have LastFM and Drowned in Sound and yourstandardlife and all the million other music sites that are fresh, un-patronising and current to turn to when I'm online. I'm not stuck for music news or new bands to fall for.
But I know it's only a matter of time before either I give up on the NME, or they go under. Until then, it's a battle of wills. In the meantime I will dream of the music newspapers of the 90s and wonder where it all went wrong.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

You are Not a Writer

Being on telly, getting your boobs done, being in a band: none of these things give you any sort of writing credentials. Indeed, even writing credentials don't give you writing credentials unless you can- wait for it- actually write. There are a trillion people who think they can write. There are creative writers everywhere churning out complete and utter drivel and expecting it to outsell the Bible. Poets are the worst- any old cobbled together rhyming or non-rhyming pap about death or kittens and they declare it poetry. I never tell people I write poetry because although my poetry is half-decent, anyone who has never seen it will assume perfectly reasonably that it is useless because of they 99% of other poetry that came before it.
The irony is, despite a plethora of nutcases declaring themselves to be literary geniuses whilst churning out shit, every day you will get an effortless email or even a text message from a friend that is one billion percent (thank you, Simon Cowell) more creative and well-written than anything these 'writers' could dream of. Yet your genius friend would never call themselves a writer.
So why then, am I subjected to Michelle Heaton of Liberty X fame 'writing' a column in the magazine in the middle of OK magazine? Answer: because I buy OK magazine. Admittedly, it is my own fault. But I tolerate Kerry Katona's 'the papers hate me! I don't drink nuffink! My husband is a good-looking man whom won't let me own my own mobile and definitely won't run off with another woman and all my money in six months!' drivel (hold on, Katona would never use the word 'whom'). I even allow Jordan's (what qualifies her to be a psychotherapist?) trite problem page, but Heaton's column is just a smack in the mouth too far.
It's all 'I hope Kylie's feeling better' and 'I hope Robbie is Ok after rehab' and 'I hope Britney's hair grows back quickly'. URGH. This is not what we want to hear from a columnist, and she's messing it up because she's NOT A WRITER. Half her double page spread is a picture of her with her ridiculous eyebrows leering out. And if it's not inane wittering about how much she loves everyone and everything it's unashamed plugs of her band or her latest TV show or she rambles on about her boring husband whom she trapped into marriage.
Michelle Heaton: you are not a writer. You aren't even a singer really, but hey, you're not stepping on my toes churning out rubbish pop music. Your column however, offends my sensibilities.
Great writers are heroic. Morrissey, Conor Oberst, Charlie Brooker, Grace Dent, that guy off and Dr David Thorpe off These are writers.
Michelle Heaton or Michelle Scott-Lee or whoever the fuck you are now. It won't be long before you're sacked. Unfortunately no one good will take your place because all the cool people swear too much, or are lyricists or on the internet, not sandwiched grotesquely between Katona and Jordan, sucking the souls of the too-dumb-to-question-it masses.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Bright Eyes- Koko 16 March 07

And so the day finally came. We left early, in the hope we'd get near the front and got in the queue about ten past six. We were slightly alarmed about the number of children in the queue- do i like kids music? Boo. I was also deeply offended when someone behind me said 'Digital Urn, Digital Ash was a rubbish album'. 1. It's not called that. 2. I'll go out on a limb and say it's my favourite album of all time. We seem to be in the minority in loving the rocky/ screamy stuff and not the straw-chewing stuff. Conor is only our age!!! He can still push himself artistically. There's 40 years for him to turn into Johnny Cash.
Did my usual thing of no drinks, so I didn't need a wee as I have the weakest bladder on earth. We got right near the front, one from the front again, standing on the metal barrier, like at the Killers. Perfect view. Koko can be a bit crappy when you can't see well. And you have to watch out for the gig-slugs who push in at the last minute but we were pretty well-defended.
The support band were quite pleasant: scottish Belle-and-Sebastian lite that didn't offend as much as the real B&S (hmm, appropriate initials). My nerves weren't jangling like normal when I'm waiting to see a band that I really, really love. And Bright Eyes ARE my favourite band.
I've seen Bright Eyes twice before and I knew they weren't going to do a greatest hits set. When I saw them at Shepherds Bush a few years ago they only played one song I knew and Conor didn't look up the entire time. Also, due to the new country direction (blah) I knew we weren't going to get A Line Allows Progress... more's the pity!
Still: it was very exciting. They came onto 'I Must Belong Somewhere' and Conor was hiding behind his new long hair. He looked absolutely tiny, not just short but really slight. I'd never seen him this close before. They played 'Cartoon Blues' second which was really good, and he got a bit sweaty so you could actually see his face/ expression etc.
The songs that went down best with the crowd were, unsuprisingly, 'We are Nowhere...' and 'Old Soul Song'. Conor DEFINITELY looked at me during 'We are Nowhere' haha so that was exciting, of course. 'Old Soul Song' was the highlight for me though, proper goosebump time. Its in a different league to most songs in existence. Of the new stuff they played I hadn't heard of I hated one song and loved the other, which sounds about right, really. 'Four Winds' and 'Soul Singer' don't set my world on fire on record but were good live.
Conor seemed on good form, making jokes (clowns/ Roger Rabbit), jumping on the drum kit and manically playing/ hitting his guitar. I love it when he really lets go vocally and screams and there was a bit of that
The encore was excellent, I loved the rocked-up version of 'June on the West Coast' especially as I've been listening to the really mellow version they played at Bonnaroo.
Ultimately it was a great gig, and we had a perfect view but I would have loved about ten more songs. Like Morrissey Conor plays what he wants, not what we want.
I guess it's too much to ask for him to play 'A Poetic Retelling of an Unfortunate Seduction'. But I can fantasise!
I can't wait to see them again... dare I dream of Glastonbury?
(and yes we took that pic)

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Idlewild- Make Another World

I have been an Idlewild fan for many years. Roddy Woomble is the best front man name ever and I always found him very attractive, despite his lack of dental care. These concerns aside, I always liked the bands energy and Roddy's spiky lyrics, almost berating you for having a lower vocabulary than him. I first fell for them via 'When I Argue I See Shapes' which is a truly great pop song- and was released so many years ago that I don't even want to think about it, because it's depressing. I'm still 15 in my head.

The album 100 Broken Windows was Idlewild at their peak: the songs were all short but worked whether they were loud or mellow. There was not a bad track on it. I can listen happily listen to this album forever without fear of filler and it's only half an hour long. Perfect.

The Remote Part was also an excellent album, with some brilliant singles and B-sides. The B-sides in particular were amazing. Perhaps they should have saved a few for the intervening years because Warnings/ Promises was severely patchy, with just two or three decent tracks and quite a lot of zzzzz. The REM comparisions I never got, except I heard REMs last album and that sucked too.

The new album is a similar story. I was quite pleased that the first track or two at least seemed to pack a bit of a punch, and hoped they were going a bit punky again, and the first couple of tracks seemed quite promising. However, most of the album just seems dreary. The title is lame. The lyrics mean nothing anymore. There are no tunes. I kind of woke up at the last song Finished It Remains, but it wasn't really good enough. I want to be berated! I want to feel alive! And I don't.

So this is the first Idlewild album I won't spend cash on. And that is a shame, because they were one of my favourite bands for a long time. I still think Roddy is a big talent, a great singer and a gifted writer. Maybe he's just past it? For a band you loved when you were a kid, that's a hard thing to come to terms with. But hey, half of my favourite bands died on the Britpop wave. I'm used to tragedies.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Celebrity Round-up

I'm listening to the new Arcade Fire album (which is shit so far) and TV is uninspiring lately (even Freaky Eaters sucks- aren't they meant to CURE them?) so I'm just going to rant about the world of zelebrity.
I read today that Kate Moss and Jade Goody have been nominated for Mother of the Year. I personally could not think of two worse mothers (except maybe Britney, but she's mental, which is a better excuse.) Jade Goody does not give a fuck about her kids. Kate Moss doesn't give a fuck either, or she couldn't go out with the crackhead. Simple as that. its not even a choice. It would just be a no, wouldn't it? Who the fuck votes for these things? Didn't Kerry Katona win it once too? At least she primarily looks after them, I suppose. Even if she has married that clearly-psychotic crow-faced control freak. I give that six months. In fact, he might even kill her. He's took her phone off her so her friends have to go through him! Eep. That's the sound of several alarm bells. Take heed, Katona, you coke-headed chavtopus.
Britney is just too boring now really: one thing I will say is just STOP IT to all these people who keep saying they 'feel sorry for her'. I couldn't feel less sorry. Does Britney have to get up at 7.30am? Does Britney have to buy clothes for a tenner and get her hair cut by students? Does Britney live in a box in Holloway? Britney is stupid. It is her stupidity that has made her ill. She will either die or get better. Ho hum.
You can tell I've been reading too much OK/ Heat because I'm really fucked off with Danielle Lloyd as well. How come Jo O Meara is (still) rocking back and forth in a padded cell and Danielle is on the front of OK getting her hair and make up done? They were both equally culpable. I don't give a fuck about Danielle's fashion line or her love life. She is scum. Fuck off. As for Jo, for god's sake, give it a break. It wasn't 'editing'. You're a cunt. Deal with it somewhere else.
This Arcade Fire album is still crap. Glad I didn't buy it. Basically the only good song they have is Power Out. Oh alright, and the 'hiding from your brothers' one.