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The doctors are avoiding me

Posted By tom On May 14, 2007 @ 7:21 pm In New Media, song of the week | 7 Comments

Previously on the internets….

My friend and colleague, mister Hollin Jones, from the high castle that is [1] his own blog, proposed that the musical movement known as ‘punk’ was, in his words, “incoherent puerile and rasping“, and “Pointless, crass and cretinous. Badly produced, badly played, tuneless, throwaway, self-consciously vulgar in place of having its own identity“.

Righty ho then. I have in front of me (inserts CD into Mac, tracks load up in iTunes) the free CD that provoked the publication of such a heartfelt opinion, and I’m going to address each track in turn, and assess to what degree I agree, or maybe refute m’learned friend’s suggestion that “punk is the musical equivalent of drinking a warm bottle of someone else’s piss and being really happy about it.“…

Anarchy in the UK. The Sex Pistols.
Growly, snarly and thoroughly overplayed in the last 30 years, but it’s still a bombastic call to arms against a ruling state in any form. Something the Wachoswki’s completely failed to appreciate when adapting V for Vendetta, and instead we got an army of masked clones marching on… Sorry, got off topic. It’s rough around the edges, but that’s the point. And the guitar chords alone would make The (insert trendy/ironic band name here) weep in envy.

New Rose. The Damned.
Never been a big fan of The Damned, and I can see why. There’s not much here, except a clever reworking of lyrics and some banging guitars with a hairbrush. Ok Jones, you win this one. But it’s still got a melody and some tune.

Hangin’ On The Telephone. Blondie.
Now this refutes everything proposed elsewhere on the internet. Musicianship, melody and Debbie Harry. Tell me this doesn’t make your shoulders beat in time to the music and I’ll call you a great big stinky liar. And no sign of a brick anywhere near that guitar. And don’t you go calling ms Harry incoherent or rasping either.

Peaches. The Stranglers.
By the Flying Spaghetti Monster! This is beautiful! From the opening chords to the poetic rhyming of skewer with sewer (ok, that’s a little forced) this is perfection. It’s a little bit shouty, but it’s everything that “pointless, crass and cretinous” simply isn’t. Ironic, funny and funky.

Whole Wide World. Wreckless Eric.
Did you listen to this, Jones??? It’s poetry. It might not be the Wu Tang Clan, but it’s heartfelt, and representative of a disaffected youth. It builds a musical theme, returns to it, builds over it, and crescendos in a big pile of meaning, longing and desire.

Germ Free Adolescents. X-Ray Spex.
Ok. You can have this one too. Poly Styrene never did it for me, and she still doesn’t now. The tune is mostly lyrical, but her voice has always grated on my spine. It’s a little shouty and strident, but not to the point of Hip Hop’s seeming desire to grab everyone in the room by the collar and make sure they know that it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread.

Boredom. The Buzzcocks.
Nope. Not for me. The Buzzcocks were a bit of a passing thing when I was younger. People’ll shake their heads at me for that, but I’m sorry, it’s true. Nothing to hear here.

Roadrunner. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers.
I want to enjoy this, as it’s a classic, but it sounds like a remix of New York punk, via the Velvets, and then filtered through London and back again, with all the good stuff taken out for a focus group. Hits all the right notes, but, for me, not in the right order.

Do You Believe In The Westworld? Theatre of Hate.
Can’t help liking this. It’s a little incoherent, sure, but in such a good way. Bombastic, but lively and energetic. That sounds like a tagline for a fruit drink, doesn’t it?

Gary Gilmore’s Eyes. The Adverts.
Stunning. Mostly, I admit, because it’s a near perfect filter through which to read Mikal Gilmore’s ‘Shot In The Heart’ (I’ve just given Chris nightmares by reminding him that book exists. Sorry), but also because it is the perfect track to end on.

So. Four no’s, and six yes’s. I pass the baton over to Jones, and await his considered response.

Elsewhere, [2] photos from the wedding of the Greatest Living Englishman. I predict that The Dissertation Donkey will henceforth be inspired to wear Edwardian outfits and arrive everywhere in a carriage. As befits a person of stature.

And Jacob Nielsen sticks his head above the parapet and [3] whines about usability. Again.

Article printed from other things: http://www.tomabba.com/otherthings

URL to article: http://www.tomabba.com/otherthings/?p=367

URLs in this post:
[1] his own blog: http://macfiend.blogspot.com/
[2] photos from the wedding: http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2007/05/some-photographs-from-wedding-of.html
[3] whines about usability: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6653119.stm

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