What the hell were you doing the rest of the time?*
*That question's only relevant if you actually got a press pass. If you just went as paying customers and reviewed it whilst you were there, it's none of my business?
Also, how come nobody mentioned the obvious glaring point about the Dirty Three set? i.e that Warren Ellis was utterly, utterly, utterly pissed out of his skull? Excellent set nonetheless!
I'm JAGing a bit here and there's also an interesting Gina G cover...
I don't think it's their best song by a long stretch but I still remember the utter excitement I felt at the prospect of a new Manics single at the time and being out with my parents knowing it'd be debuted on Radio 1 and scrambling for a frequency I could hear it on. Great though Youtube etc. are there was something exciting knowing this exact time was the only time you could hear the single first played and, back in the days I listened to the charts yearning for the bands I liked to do well, I remember how delighted I was when it was a number one hit too.
is there were occasionally glimpses that they could have done something good - Untitled, Oceans and Astrogirl were all decent songs and did have a bit of a new direction to them but, as you say, they're surrounded by rubbish Suede by numbers (Street Life being one of the worst songs ever written).
although I actually think Indian Strings is the (possibly only) genuinely strong song on that album. Amazing to think this was Melody Maker's album of the year.
I still love it now. Not as good as Dog Man Star obviously but - even if I am the only person on Earth who prefers it the debut - I'm happy to be in that minority.
For me the only time that album comes near a weak track (and even then it's still pretty decent) is This Hollywood Life.
Not heard the reissue yet though.
Doing a gig with them in May. Seriously can't wait!
I never rated the venue quite as high as some people (mostly due to how hard it was to see the stage from several points in the room and especially when crowded you really struggled for a view but it was a lovely room and obviously somewhere where the people who ran it really gave a fuck. And the recent Jonathan Richman show was ace!
I hope the people who run it stay in music promoting in some capacity.
That's the worst cover I've ever seen!
I'd rate I Fought in a War as one of their finest ever moments. It gets criticised a bit but I think Chalet Lines is really powerful too. And I still occasionally break into Don't Leave the Light on Baby several years later. Completely agree with Nice Day for a Sulk and Beyond the Sunrise though. The former is the worst Belle & Sebastian song ever to not be called I Love My Car.
I agree it's one of their weaker albums but I don't think it's bad. I'd put it with the Life Pursuit and Boy with the Arab Strap in the "ok but not one of their best albums category.
Which is probably where I'd put Write About Love too, although it may have fewer really strong songs than any Belle & Seb album (possibly along with the Life Pursuit). Most of its quite good and - whilst there's the odd bland moment - there's no absolute clunker. But I Want the World to Stop is the only song that immediately strikes me as genuinely outstanding.
Great live too. Laura had lost her voice and they still managed to pull off an amazing gig!
Top stuff. They seem like lovely people too.
But I do stick by Coming Up, having listened to it fairly recently. I mean it does have two weak tracks - Starcrazy, as you say, and She. But I think Beautiful Ones and Trash are brilliant pop songs, By the Sea and Picnic by the Motorway are great and much of the rest of it is pretty damn good.
I mean obviously it's very different (and much more straight-forwardly pop) to the first two albums and doesn't touch Dog Man Star (though very few albums do in my opinion) but I do genuinely rate Coming Up.
Different from the first two but great nonethleess.
They ran out of ideas a bit after that although even Head Music and New Morning had a mattering of great songs on them.
Not sure how I feel about them reforming though - I loved them but they do feel like part of the past...
I still think Edward is Deadward is probably the best thing she's done. Certainly lyrically I do.
I mean it's not the be-all and end-all of being a music journalist but anyone who wants to read a music review fundamentally wants to know
a) Does the person reviewing it think it is any good?
b) Why do they think it is or isn't any good? (ideally with enough info so you can tell if this person looks for the same things in music as you do)
c) Will I like this band or album?
It's all well and good if music journalist does more than that as well but certainly, with reviews, it's the item being reviewed rather than the reviewer people are interested in.
Obviously a lot of what Swells did was opinion pieces, and obviously with that you read it for the entertainment and opinions of the writer and is a different kettle of fish entirely.
That's surely just a free download?
I know I'm being insanely petty but surely journalists of all people should have a grasp of appropriate terminology?
I definitely prefered Maladjusted.
Having not heard it for years I seem to remember Alma Matters and one possibly called He Cried are good songs. Possibly Ambitious Outsiders too. Is this the case or was this more my 15 year old music taste talking?
Speaking as a musician it's quite depressing how I find myself under increasing pressure to look for revenue via places like adverts and sponsorship that I really don't want to be dealing with. So far I've turned down the offers we've got (though I did let a song be downloadable on a jeans (or was it shoe?) company-sponsored website. (I've utterly forgotten who the company was so the sponsorship's not worked on me at least!) but it is depressing that musicians are having to look at revenue from these kind of sources to survive.
Sadly I think the horse has bolted. People are too used to getting music for free and ultimately I don't think there's a way of reversing the trend. But it does raise very disturbing questions about where the money's gonna come from.
DiS has pulled a real coup in getting him to write for him.
So how the sodding fuck as he managed to write something that atrocious? It comes across like the very worst sixth-form fanboy writing. It tries to be experimental but the experiment ends up as all aesthetic without any real meaning. There's a bunch of hyperbole but, even as someone with only a passing inteest in Patrick Wolf, it's told me absolutely nothing I didn't already know (except where he bought his first guitar. Are we supposed to be Smash Hits readers now and, if not, why would we want to read a piece for that level of insight?
It's probably up there with the worst pieces of writing DiS has ever published. Having finished it I'm not convinced Paul Morley even knows anything about Patrick Wolf himself. It feels like he just visited the guy's website then wrote it up in flowery language.
It wasn't even a badly written review (Alc**k reposts it in the course of the discussion thread if anyone's interested).
Sure, he's wrong about how it's going to be remembered and of course he has (in hindsight) gone against the grain of popular opinion but he actually gives a thought-out and well-reasoned critique of the album before concluding he doesn't think it's very good. Obviously many people'll disagree with him, and that's fine if they want to do so (for my part I certainly think Everything in It's Right Place, Idiotque and How to Disappear Completely are very good songs even though I don't think it a great album on the whole) but certainly DiS has published far less considered and far worse written reviews in its time and its ludicrous to single this one out for historical revisionism.
What I find especially depressing about this is I distinctly remember either Sean or Mike Diver proudly boasting about how DiS differs from NME in that it doesn't have an dictatorial editorial policy and there's no "magazine official line" that writers are obliged to follow and this action makes an utter mockery of that claim.
I'm sure a lot of people genuinely like it but I'm also sure a fuck of a lot of people like to feel there's something to "get" and that stating a preference for it as their favourite Radiohead album proves they truly appreciate music as "art".
It's obviously fair enough if people's favourite Radiohead album genuinely is Kid A but you do come across people with this evident sense of smug self-satisfaction that they enjoy the album and you don't and feel they're smarter than these plebs who just don't "get it". Personally I'm pretty sure get what they're trying to do but I far prefer OK Computer and I do detest the snobbery certain Radiohead fans have towards it.
This utterly vile indie snobbery is nowhere worse showcased than on the "apology" that's now replaced the original review. It's easily the most embarrassing and unpleasant thing DiS has ever done. For fuck's sake, you accepted and printed the review at the time. Re-review it with a more balanced review later if you want but it's shocking, unprofessional and despicable behaviour to
a) slag off your own reviewer for stating an opinion
b) rewrite your publication's own history due to embarrassment in hindsight
c) Claim there's something wrong with someone for not liking an album.
but the only real reason it's happening without their involvment is their refusal to be involved, if that makes sense. I agree it'd have been better if they'd been involved and added something really attractive to their packages but it seems to be them refusing to be involved rather than EMI refusing to involve them.
Wtih regard to the point that they're putting out staff that adds nothing to what fans already own I utterly agree but again that's true of any reissue - they're not things I'm in favour of myself (especially if there isn't the option for people who own the album itself to purchase the extra tracks without repurchasing an album they already own). But ultimately all EMI are doing is putting a CD on a shelf - it's down to fans whether they buy it and, whether we like it or not, if fans buys them labels will continue to release them.
is the fact that hardcore fans will own the B-sides and rarities and casual fans won't want them but there's absolutely no ethical issue beyond that
Radiohead's issues with EMI are purely and simply egotistical nonsense. You sign a major label contract, you expect them to exploit and try to make as much money as possible from your work. You sign the rights of your music to someone else, you no longer have a say how your music is used.
Radiohead seem happy to take all the benefits they had of being on a major label (worldwide fame, large amounts of money pumped into recording and promotion costs, being involved with a major label at a time when they'd still stand by you if your debut album initially failed ot sell) but unable to accept any responsibility for the downsides. EMI have only done what they said they'd do and Radiohead have no-one to blame but themselves if they're unhappy with the terms of the contract they signed.
And surely the argument
"gender's not a genre and all that, but Lissy Trullie might upset this perspective just ever so slightly, because what makes her so intriguing is that she's doing a lady take on NYC black leather jacket swagger rock"
is utterly invalidated by PJ Harvey releasing This is Love 7 years ago which does the same thing only at least 956 million times better?
PS The Jon Ronson book she mentions is excellent. As is the follow-up "The Men Who Stare at Goats".
Not to mention the likes of Oasis etc. Hell, even Robbie Williams has done it and one time or another.
And ultimately part of the marketing of Lily Allen is that she's "supposed to be" edgy and dangerous os I don't think she's taking any risks by doing that. Both her and her label know that and, as you say, the controversy will work for her.
You say the audience and marketing is different to Kanye or Radiohead but it's different to James Morrison and Take That too and its not true to say that she's taking any risks with her audience with these subjects. Whilst I'm not suggesting she's being deliberately controversial, I think in actual fact it's this kind of thing that'll help rather than hinder her.
PS You're right - SYMM is atrocious and, for the last decade, would always have been answer to the worst lyrics of any song ever. But I'm actually not kidding or exaggerating when I say the George Bush song's lyrics are infinitely worse.
"What other pop star would delight in (and generally get away with) taking on subjects such as convoluted as terrorism, politicians, drugs?"
I mean for crying out loud. Can people stop praising pop stars for their originality in writing about ridiculously well-covered subjects? You cannot possibly for a second not be aware that there have been fuckloads of songs about both George W Bush and drugs in recent years. In fact praising a pop star for writing about such common-place subjects is pretty much akin to praising a lawyer for drawing up a contract or praising a teacher for conducting a lesson.
It utterly baffles me that seemingly intelligent people both on this site and at the Guardian have commended her for tacking these subjects. There's absolutely no courage or bravery or bravery or sik in criticising an ex-President whose supporters even no longer think he did a good job. There's absolutely no courage or bravery or risk in writing about drugs in a culture where even the leader of the Conservatives doesn't get outraged by suggestions he might have dabbled in the past. These are not brave, risky, original or gutsy subjects to write about and, whilst if people want to write about 'em it's up to them, they do not deserve praise for doing so.
PS Her song about George W Bush probably actually has the worst lyrics of any song ever written. I'm even including the Manics' S.Y.M.M. in that.
MIA's not a favourite of mine and the rest I don't think I've heard but I'm looking forward to it - I'm in general not a huge fan of acoustic singer-songwriters but I definitely think she's way ahead of most of the pack.
I very much hope it is as good as it sounds from this.
What's the tracklisting by the way? I was looking for it the other day and failed miserably in my attempts to find it. (Not sure if it was hard to find or if I got distracted by something shiny mid-way through my search)
but I don't think it's a great thing when an indepedent music site's main news of the day is a thinly-disguised advertisement for an ISP.
a) Too Young to Die (the singles compilation up to 1995 or so)
b) Tales From Turnpike House
How much stuff is on here that's not on either and how good is it?
I'm not Ash. It's pretty easy to check up on that and you'll find that it isn't the case.
It is also very very clear that you're NelsonM and are making yourself look sillier with each post.
However I'd massively appreciate it if you continue to deny it as it's so blatant you're lying that it's actually very funny.
that you should be making your first ever post on here at this moment in time with exactly the same writing style as NelsonM.
and it's absolutely none of my business but presumably you're aware if someone reads through the discussion you come off far worse than Greenstone does?
Someone's given a bad review to album you either really like or, it would appear, were probably involved with. So what? Let it go...
To be honest, having just looked up the lyrics out of curiosity my main issure with "Days of Fire" is it doesn't seem to have much to say or, if it does, doesn't do a great job of saying it. Yes, I understand he was there (it's been pointed out enough times in thread already) but so were loads of other people and I just don't think he offers much of an insight.
Yes, it's a "mad situation" and the guy's "all out of emotion" and he's seen the "city change in so many ways" but that's about as in-depth as the analysis seems to get. Given the lack of details or insight in the song in general the guy might as well not have been there at all.
but the watches/crothes line really doesn't sell it well and puts me off if anything. I don't doubt there are far better lyrical gems than that on the album though.
but nonetheless feel this series of pictures reveal the fundamental problems of photographing acoustic singer-songwriters in performance in terms of the lack of variety between them.
The article does sound like a press release re-printed.
I really want him to release something brilliant and was really hopeful after reading the interview.
But the two new songs sound like he's auditioning to soundtrack a furniture advert.
in that he has What a Wonderful World and Good Vibrations to Obama's What's Going On.
I think my overall conclusion is Obama's is more of a solid and consistent set of song while McCain has the odd moment of brilliance that lifts the overall standard of a weaker list.
Not sure what this tells us about the election though.
so you'd end up with a collection everyone wanted but no-one'd buy?
is all we've got to go from so far is
*a witness report from someone who witnessed it and weren't sure what was said
*Kele's comments that race was brought into it but with no clarification of what happened
*a witness report from someone else who says it was a racist incident but isn't entirely clear on what happened.
I think the point is that we actually don't have a full picture of what happened and, whilst judging from what we've heard it may be appropriate to criticise Lydon as a racist and a thug, we're actually only doing so on partial accounts of the story and haven't actually heard what happened from his perspective.
And, in the interests of fairness, it's probably necessary to get more information from someone who had a clearer view of what happened, and to know both Kele and Lydon's accounts of the incident, before we could fairly draw a conclusion.
I don't think anyone's trying to say nothing happened, or condoing racist behaviour but it's not unreasonable to suggest people don't make snap judgements without a clearer picture of the facts (which we may never get of course, but hopefully the police will and take whatever action is appropriate)
I mean obviously there was a pretty major incident and Lydon does look like desrving a lot of criticism but it doesn't seem incredibly clear exactly what he said or did (or didn't do, in terms of not intervening) and it does largley seem to depend on a lot conjecture.
Certainly Lydon doesn't come out of this looking very good at all but, in the absence of more information, it's hard to know to what extent he should be condemned for his actions.