Thursday, 18 June 2009

Stop Fucking Ruining Music You Talentless Fucks In Suits

"Speakeasy / at the link it's easy" is probably the benchmark of favourite records becoming the property of the snarling, soul less, gack hoofing ad execs. One day Joe intern comes in to work whistling a tune and Farquad McSuityprick goes, "You know what the tune really summarises for me? That's right... the sweet sensation of chemically induced alpine freshness" and bam, The White Stripes are advertising toilet bleach.

The White Stripes were lucky though. They got away with an imitation, royalties avoiding, tribute to 'Hotel Yorba'. Shed Seven on the other hand were gripped by the afformentioned ad exec douchebag, and whilst noshing on his coke shrivelled dick Rick Witter uttered the immortal words at the head of this post. That has to be the tipping point for selling out. Shed Seven re-recording one of their few really good songs for a mobile phone shop staffed by a tricked out Nova's worth of garage and RnB loving wankers hopefully pursuaded any bands who could smell the greenbacks that you could go too far. It hasn't stopped it happening though, and it's understood. For every Shed Seven there might be a Jose Gonzalez forging success from oblique and inventive commercials.

The only execptions to the rule - doing an advert = loss of all credibility, respect and rock n roll heritage - were Levi's and maybe now Sony. Do a Levi's / Sony ad and not only were you garunteed a number 1 single (when that counted for something) but also a place in rock n roll legend. Give me a man on the street who doesn't know the wolf whistle on the Steve Miller Band's 'Joker' or knows Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ without actually knowing that's what it's called.

Recently Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers ended up advertising Weetabix with 'Egyptian Reggae', The Sonics started hocking something along the lines of sanitary towels with 'Have Love Will Travel' and now just to really fuck the world inside-out Langhorne Slim is selling Pedigree Chum. Pedigree 'Dog Feeding' Chum? It's no Levi's Launderette that's for sure. So Langhorne may not have actually said 'Woof' himself but someone's made that call and he's pocketed the fee. Does it air in the USA, or is it specifically for the UK so he'll never have to face it? I'm sure it's not going to stop his following turning out but they'll remember it, some will definitely lose sleep over it and others will be set off on an unsatiable dialogue that followed a sleepless night wrought with emotion and a loss of faith in things they held dear.

When will Levi's start doing TV ad campaigns again?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Mika Miko 'We Be Xuxa'

I was right. Mika Miko and No Age sitting in a tree, et cetera. Proof is two Randy Randall produced tracks on the latest and most polished from Mika Miko. To say they were the strongest tracks on the album, 'We Be Xuxa', would be a) unfair and b) untrue. 'Sex Jazz' and 'Keep On Calling' carries No Age, New York no-wave, new-wave out the end of an album that has many strengths.

I hoped not to mention the Ramones or post-punk in this review, but quite blatantly have. Thing is they do sound that way and are honest about it. Throwing Ramones covers into live sets and reaching deep into the post-punk bassline sack for tracks 'Totion' and 'I Got A Lot (New New New)' is a pretty obvious call out. 'We Be Xuxa' is, in actual fact, a great gateway album to old bands - The Gun Club, James Chance and the Contortions, The Ramones, The Au-Pairs, The Bloods and numerous other bands you can find on Rough Trade's Post Punk Volume 1.

The barking between the two distinct vocalists is alluring, Jennifer sometimes sounding like she has a singer trapped inside a hardcore punk while Jenna keeps her cold shouldered vocal chipping away. Musically the guitar throughout invokes jealousy in the same way as The Slits claiming they had no musical ability (the only mention of them by the way) with naive riffs and scales. Jennifer and Michelle chop and change guitar responsiblity live and the same occurs on the album. Massive credit has to go to Seth and Jessica, drums and bass respectively, who lavish the album with popping basslines and frenetic rhythms that lock the chaotic mix of styles into something somewhat danceable and the reason post-punk will continue to crop up, whenever they are brought up.

I'm toying with a simile to sum up the album, but it's gross. Something around the notion that this is a quickly executed album that doesn't necessarily look pretty (in an visualization of the sound kind of a way, because actually, the album photography is splendid and the typography, while confusing, is entirely beautiful), but in the moment is so completely satisfying that you might feel guilty after listening and with consideration know it was somewhat degrading but hope the opportunity will definitely arise to do it again, and soon.