it happens for a reason

staying up late is easy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

LISTENING SINCE THE PREVIOUS POST:

DIGITAL MYSTIKZ- 'MISTY WINTER/CONFERENCE'
VARIOUS ANALORDS
VARIOUS PRODUCTION ALBUM
LILY ALLEN- 'SMILE'.
HOLY SHIT- 'STRANDED AT TWO HARBORS'
THE STROKES LIVE ON 'LATER'
CAT POWER LIVE ON 'LATER'
MANDY- 'BODY LANGUAGE MIX'
'CORDIAL DANCEHALL' MIXTAPE
DEPECHE MODE COMPILATION
V/A- 'EUPHORIA; OLD SCHOOL CLASSICS' COMPILATION
PAAVOHARJU- 'YHA HAMARAA'
HOT CHIP - 'THE WARNING'
SEAN PAUL, HEARD ON TUBE FROM GIRL'S MP3 MOBILE PHONE.
REINHARD VOIGT- 'TRAX'
DIN S.T- 'CLUB GOODS'
WELSH MALE VOICE CHOIR LIVE @ 'ABBEVILLE FETE'
SAMI KOIVIKKO- '100 MINUTES' MIX
ROLL DEEP SUNDAY RINSE FM SET
NEWHAM GENERALS SUNDAY RINSE FM SET
BURIAL- S/T
RAW FLEX 103.6 FM

tell you what i love, at the moment. i love those mobile phones that broadcast mp3s. i like it when people play those on the tube and on buses. it fills me with hope and gladness that people care about music so much to want to show the music that they love to the wider world. that they choose that way to express who the are. with the advent of walkmans making the 'ghetto-blaster' quickly obsolete in the 1980s, we retreated into our own musical worlds. music was a private affair, which we were careful not to let others intrude on, nor let intrude upon others.

late capitalism. the all-consuming fear of 'harassment'. personal space. private space. zizek. (and, may be, 'etc')

but now, with these mp3 mobile phones, we are out in the open again, together. music as part of the public space, the life of the polis. if music isn't about self-expression, if it's not about relating to others, then we've lost something big. music has to be communal, otherwise we're cut adrift, forgetting the original meaning and purpose of music as focal point for public life. the development of recorded mediums for music as been a curse, as well as blessing, i think. we can now hear more music than ever before, but more and more we choose to listen to it alone. thankfully, now, there are small strikes against our little boxes of enclosed privacy. these mobile phones are just one example. the welcome innovations in car-stereo speaker systems are another.

what's more, i love the crapness of the sound quality of these mobile phones. so tinny, so distorted! to see people who are so into music that they are still willing to listen to their favourite songs even when swamped in trebly crackle always brightens up the morning tube journey to work, a time that otherwise can suck the hope and life out of you. death to hi-fi fetishist boredom!
these people, glared at as an intolerable nuisance by many, have, i think, got it so right. whereas those glaring faces, invariably bordered on each side by ipod wires forming a white halo of 'cool', haven't.

-----------------------------------
it was a busy weekend so i decided to take friday night off. to my horror, one thing led to another and i ended up watching Later With Jools Holland. i've always been kind of fascinated with this programme, in that it has such depth and breadth to its awfulness: the fact that jools holland has no talent for presenting tv programmes whatsover, and actually seems to be getting worse and worse. the 'jam' sessions. the almost painfully cringesome interviews. the way the audience have to sit around tables drinking beer as if they're in some trendy dive and not a shed the size of an air craft hanger. the token fashionable and young musicians that are dragged on, to get the official seal of approval from the establishment, their reputations thereby ruined, as a million parents tell their offspring, 'oh, yes, i do like that lot you were just playing. jools [it's alway first name terms, isn't it?] played them the other week'. the sheer, horrible fucking muso-ness of the whole thing. and, of course, the boogie pissing woogie piano.

so, i was feeling humbled and ashamed, watching this dross on a friday night. then the strokes came on and i got ready to feel my shackles get raised. i've always felt this weird kind of rage towards the Strokes. fucking hipsters. the consciously elitist tyranny of Cool.
You know.
so i was all looking forward to screaming some of my favourite swear words at the TV, but then they came on and...i just couldn't. and i even felt sorry for them. they looked so sad and kind of embaressed (an embaressment which went beyond the usual, and to be expected, shame that everyone has after being subject to an introduction by 'Jools').

they're getting on for thirty now, and yet they still have to dress up in their little leather jackets and their hi-top converse, and pretend that it's still the 70s and that they're really quite tough kids from New York that are don't belong anywhere but the Mudd Club. being stuck to a silly dress-up game you did when you were young and that seemed cool back then...it must be fucking soul-destroying. poor bastards.

and then my mood brightened, as i realised that since i felt sorry for the Strokes, i must feel superior to the Strokes, and that was exactly what i wanted. lovely. and, you know, the song that they played wasn't at all bad. a bit motorik-y, nicely minimal. thrum and hum. and he's really got quite a nice voice, hasn't he? i like a kind of a droning quality to voices. like john peel's. so, i was proved wrong, against all my pride and prejudice. a lesson learnt.
-------------------------------
skepta on sunday night's roll deep set---- so big. he's up there with D Double and sharkey major right now, definitely.
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lily allen- heard her for the first time on sunday. her music is very boring and sadly no self-conciously Lahn-dahn accent is going to make it not-boring. oh well, another expectation raised by the music press dashed. still not as disappointing as the Long Blondes, though.

2 Comments:

Blogger LRJP! said...

I'm trying to grasp the affection for Mp3 phone broadcasts, but, but... It's just horrible. I really don't get it. Call me a hifi snob & fucker if you will. I get what your saying mind an i'm about as fascinated as i am annoyed by the phenomenon. I've noticed that (either by choice or technological limitation) they tend to only be capable of spooling five minutes of audio, so a sustained journey can really mash your head or drag you to a higher plane of minimal conciousness...

Typing this has got me thinking mind – it must feel lovely to have the phone rattling in your hand like that right?

10:49 AM  
Blogger signaltonoise said...

Later with Jools is the utter pits, I have been watching it for years mainly as a comedy fix- the "interview" with Dizzee Rascal a few years back was uber-classic, Jools' non-technique being met with utter contempt, the sound of the mics being turned up and up to register every last monosyllable from the rightly unimpressed Raskit... horrorshow tv at its best/worst...

1:56 PM  

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