Viewing all items for tag Music Critisism

Highest Praise

This, from a certain Mr Nelson Galaxy, is probably the single item of criticism that Electric Baby Grand has thus far received of which I am the most proud:

‘If you do not already own this album I suggest you get a copy right now, it will be the best decision you have ever made. Singer/songwriter Davy Lawrence is one of the greatest songwriters of our generation – up there with Lennon & McCartney’

- And I did not have to pay him a penny for him to say that; though it is probably safe to assume that he was drunk when he wrote it.

Mercury Rave

I just don’t get the Klaxons (or is it Klaxons), the south London band that last night won the Nationwide Mercury Music Prize for their album Myths of the Near Future.

I have never understood the ‘new rave’ tag that has been used to describe them. Never having been a fan of rave music originally, perhaps I am missing the point. (As usual – Music Crit Ed.)

I suppose their songs are accomplished and catchy enough but, to me, they hardly fit the ‘innovative and forward-thinking’ description that the judges were apparently looking for.

It was gratifying to see Amy Winehouse (the person who most people thought was going to win the £20,000 prize) perform at the ceremony though. Her album was deemed too ‘retro’ – whatever that means in these post-modern times – to have any merit, but the fact that she made an appearance at all, against expectations, underlines the way in which the tabloid press in this country can sometimes get it so spectacularly wrong.

And, as well as stealing Winehouse’s prize from under her nose, the Klaxons also proved that they could out-drink her too. The band were set to be interviewed on BBC News 24 at 8.30am BST, but turned up at the studio still to drunk to appear.

Good to see the new-ravers demonstrating that rock’n’roll is not dead – even if they are a bunch of boring toffs.

Wonderful Wembley Warming Warning

Although I was left feeling disappointed by Spinal Tap – I think they had a few technical difficulties, I really enjoyed Madonna’s energetic performance at the Live Earth concert in London.

I was impressed even further when she was joined on stage by that strange Romany fellow with his electric fiddle. The wonderful faces of mock-incredulity he kept pulling, together with his impeccable comic timing made me want to rush to the local farmers’ market to buy some goats’ cheese. Which I did.

On the way home, Audrey took the opportunity to worry some sheep. ‘A massive comet has been discovered deep in space that is on a collision course with the Earth,’ she barked at them.

Black Holes and Poisonous Musings

How sad I was (hehe) to learn today that puffed up, miserable progressive rock band Muse have cancelled dates on their US tour with My Chemical Romance after members of the bands and their crews were struck with food poisoning.
Apparently, some of them became ‘violently ill’ after a gig in Virginia on Sunday (it wasn’t me) and a number of people were treated in hospital as a result, causing two concerts – so far – to be cancelled.
I do not wish any harm on Muse and their entourage and, indeed, I know only too well from first-hand experience how suffering from an illness on tour can be a terrible inconvenience for all concerned but . . .
. . . I really have no idea why so many people like Muse; I think that they are truly awful: depressing, uninspired and quite derivative.

There is no accounting for taste, I suppose.

Nurse – The Screens!

It’s easy to criticise the Eurovision Song Contest and the songs that the entrants sing; but spare a thought for all the poor songwriters on Tin Pan Alley, banging away in dusty closets, damp backrooms and frosty booths.

I think we would all agree that, as a whole, the work they produce for the contest isn’t always of the highest standard and doesn’t always have much musical or cultural value but – to my mind, at least – that does not diminish their valiant individual and collective efforts.

Indeed, there have been some memorable classics produced in the past: who can forget Abba’s Waterloo or Love Shine a Light by Katrina and The Waves? Who doesn’t remember with immense fondness such remarkable British creations as Lulu’s Boom Bang-a-Bang, Save Your Kisses for Me – Brotherhood of Man? And who, when buying provisions in Sainsbury’s, does not often find themselves absent-mindedly whistling the catchy melody of last year’s winsome and understated Finnish winner Hard Rock Hallelujah by Lordi?

Don’t scoff should you hear anyone mention the Eurovision Song Contest. Try not to dismiss out-of-hand the hard-working callow acts as they jiggle and spin through their elaborate, spastic dance routines. And don’t snigger or smirk at Terry Wogan’s cynical comments when the BBC transmits the final on to our television screens in May.

To say the whole affair is ridiculous and absurd would be to indulge in riotous understatement; but please, I sincerely implore you, consider your country’s invisible legion of much undervalued professional songwriters – they need your love and support.

Neighbours

This morning, Audrey and I are spying, through our net curtains, on the new tenants who are moving into Bernard’s old flat. (Bernard was the idiosyncratic old man who we used to occasionally meet in the street and who died recently – unexpectedly and completely alone.)

Unfortunately, they have a boom-box playing loudly in the uncarpeted hallway while they are busy feathering their new Derbyshire nest. I say unfortunately, because it is gruesome Irishman Ronan Keating who is honking and sheeshing his way through a smorgasbord of formerly enjoyable popular standards. Listening to Ronan Keating makes your brain feel like you are breathing in the stench of shit. Watching his videos makes you feel like you are enjoying it.

But what is rather startling is the proportion of furniture and sturdy boxes – presumably containing a fresh assortment of sundry personal items, paperback books, alarm clocks, kitchen utensils, footwear and the like – to the amount of people involved who are actually carrying the stuff inside.

The new residents of 28a seem to number eight or nine at my last reckoning, but the amount of property and belongings going inside seems to be tiny by comparison. Yes, I know, I’m being nosy; but bear with me a moment. So far, I have counted 1 table, 3 chairs and a sofa, 6 large cardboard boxes, 1 cupboard, and what appear to be about 5 rather flimsy single beds.

It is only, as far as I am aware, a two-bedroom flat, and quite a modestly proportioned one at that. These cheerful people who’s new home it will soon be seem to be quite young – about twenty or so years old  – and, as I say, there are at least eight of them. And they seem to be speaking some flavour of East European language that I cannot yet recognise. Hmm… I think further investigation is required. (This investigation will not be a difficult one to undertake, however: four of our potential new neighbours are of the female variety – and very pretty ones at that.)

Come on, Audrey - let’s make a nice wholesome vegetable hotpot to take around later.

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