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The Guardian's Dorian Lynskey on popular music artists with autoparodically distinctive styles of titling songs:
Ten years ago, my colleague on the soon-to-be-defunct Select magazine, Steve Lowe, had a good line in inventing fake song titles, spoofing the faux-profound contradictions of Oasis (Money Makes You Poor), the twee archaisms of Belle and Sebastian (Take Your Coat Off or You Won't Feel the Benefit) and the parenthesis-loving rock cliches of Richard Ashcroft (Standing Out from Everyone Else (Sure Is Hard)).The article was prompted by a new Richard Ashcroft album with a track listing packed with clunky banalities, but soon explores further afield, mentioning fake track listings for unreleased albums and commercially successful artists' unintentionally comic lapses in self-awareness:
I'd like to think Primal Scream were sending themselves up on 2006's Riot City Blues with titles such as Suicide Sally and Johnny Guitar or We're Gonna Boogie, but I fear not. Equally, Christina Aguilera's Sex for Breakfast was probably conceived in the spirit of Sex and the City 2 rather than Flight of the Conchords. And Oasis's Don't Believe the Truth is every bit as stupid-clever as Money Makes You Poor.And, as one might expect, the discussion turns to Morrissey, whose later material serves as a perfect horrible example:
I once made the mistake of telling Morrissey how much I liked the witty self-parody of How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel and was rewarded with a withering glare. "It's amusing when you say it," he said unsmilingly. "I don't know why. Isn't it something we all feel at some stage?" The shrivelling of Morrissey's spirit since the Smiths can be measured by the fact that Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now is funny and How Can Anybody Possibly Know How I Feel is not.And in the comment, Guardianistas inveigh with their own suggestions, one positing that the entire heavy-metal genre should be disqualified from contention because it has a monumental unfair advantage.
Music Critic John Harris writes in the Graun about the 10th anniversary of Oasis' Be Here Now, at the time obsequiously lauded by the critics, but since then somewhat fallen in stature. (Harris' piece is titled, appropriately enough, Cocaine Supernova.)
The Guardian's review claimed that Be Here Now "validates most if not all of the Gallaghers' boasts about their greatness." The Daily Telegraph told its readers that Be Here Now was simply "a great rock record." Q and awarded BHN the full complement of five stars and compared it to The Beatles' Revolver. NME reckoned it was worth eight of ten; in Mojo, Charles Shaar Murray was so enraptured that he lapsed into patois: "This is Oasis's world domination album. Dem a come fe mess up de area seeeeeeerious."
So, there you have it: the empty sound of being off your head and convinced of your own brilliance at the start of the Blair era and the endtimes of what was known at the time as - oh, please - Cool Britannia. These days, Be Here Now actually sounds grimly fascinating: a crystallization of its time whose absence of restraint (try, for example, timing the length of the intros) is really quite something.And there are some interesting opinions in the comments:
I remember the first time I saw Oasis, on the Word in 1993 and I thought, "So that's the death of British Indie Pop then." Soon afterwards Primal Scream abandoned their support of emerging electronica in favour of a Rolling Stones tribute album. The Stone Roses (always over-rated) proved they were a one-trick poney by re-recording Led Zepplin 2, with flat vocals. Blur became the Small Faces for three years, but mercifully got over it. Morons, football hooligans and former Mariah Carey fans became epsilon caricatures of indie kids and leading the way were two knuckle-dragging dullards from the city that had brought us so much hope and the label that had given us My Bloody Valentine. Alan McGee laughed all the way to the bank, but we wept as he drove past.
It's all down to what you prefer - intricately composed, technically innovative music, or facile singalongs while you chug Stella and snort coke off a copy of Loaded after the match.And:
British indie isn't a complete write-off but the death of Britpop (Be Here Now being the final nail in the coffin) did seem to mark a strange, counter-intuitive shift in music journalism. British "alternative-rock" got worse and more derivative at roughly the same time as the press became more insular. Even at the height of the Blur vs Oasis nonsense, you could read Melody Maker or NME and get a fantastic, passionate review of the latest GZA single or Einsturzende Neubauten album. I can only assume that, from 1998 onwards, readership of the main indie outlets fell and they had to concentrate more on commercial domestic rock acts lapped up by a younger, less demanding core audience.
I could never get why their ugly, clumsy music ever garnered such adoration. Listening to any Oasis song is like eating a soggy Ginsters conish pasty under a grey, rainy sky next to a motorway, breathing in exhaust fumes. It's just not fun, and it never was.
I bought the NME last week as the cover showing Tony Wilson looked good. The Paul Morley obit was great, but the rest of the mag made Smash Hits from the 80s look like Plan B...
According to NME, that Daily Star of Indie™, Oasis' "Definitely Maybe" is The Greatest Album Of All Time™. It is followed by lesser luminaries such as The Beatles (at #2. #3, #13 and #14; not bad for an earlier, imperfect form of what Oasis would become), The Clash ("London Calling" is at #12), David Bowie (#18) and The Smiths (#9). Elsewhere on the chart is a lineup of NME darlings from years past, including The Stone Roses (#7), The Strokes (#20) and glamorous-nihilists-with-really-good-stylists The Libertines (#15). That really says it all about NME.
xrrf reckons that Jet are the Australian Oasis. And there I was thinking that Oasis were the Datsuns of their time. (via Graham)
It looks like Noel Gallagher, of ladcore outfit Oasis, has become a follower of the teachings of David Icke. That's the former BBC snooker presenter who now goes around the world claiming that the world is ruled by giant shape-shifting lizards (including George Bush and the entire British royal family) who rape and eat us. Perhaps Scientology is a bit passé these days or something...
After the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons series (in which Winston Churchill barely pipped Princess Diana for #1, and genuinely deserving candidates like Charles Darwin were left in the dust), bolshy TV broadcaster Channel 4 have compiled a list of the 100 Worst Britons. Tony Blair is #1 (though if these were voted on by the Guardian-reader types who watch C4, it's hartly surprising), followed by Jordan (she's some kind of model or something, right?) and Margaret Thatcher. Other notable figures: The Queen is #10 (one behind Geri Halliwell), Liam Gallagher is at #11 (though you'd think his ex-wife Patsy Kensit would get a mention on the strength of her complete inability to act), Prince Charles at #24 (Diana is apparently still too much of a national saint to merit the list), Harry Potter is at #35, Tracy Eminem at #41, Pete Waterman at #45, and Loony Left Red Ken at #50. (via VM)
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