Friday, January 06, 2006


I apologise, I really can't be arsed to do a round up of the albums and gigs that were the best of 2005. No scratch that - I'll compromise. There's one award and in the manner of every other PAID music critic this year it seems...

We'll call it the 'I Look Ill Rolling Stone Magazine Best Album of The Eighties Goes To London Calling Oopsy Might Want To Have Checked The Sleeve On That One Album Of 2005'. And it goes to...

...for their 2004 classic...

...The Arcade Fire and 'Funeral'! Congratulations! We go over via live satellite link to the band who are being presented with one of my old football trophies by who else? Fucking Bono! "Mr Bono?! Mr Vox?? Would you care to say a few words on behalf of yet another perfectly decent band that you're ruining for everybody?"

I might do my predictions in a couple of days time. Keep checking back.


Having ventured out to the shops at seven-thirty this morning I was confronted by either The Sun or The Star (I didn't bother to check which, 'cos it really makes no difference) showing the desperate faces of this year's Celebrity Big Brother contestants. In amongst the chancers and C-listers, I noticed a couple of chancers and D-listers.

Preston from The Ordinary Boys and 'Maggot' from Goldie Lookin' Chain. Why? You tell me. I'm tempted to tune in just to see if either of them takes Jodie Marsh roughly against some bins, but I think I can resist.

The good news is that for at least a couple of weeks you're safe to venture out without running into an Ordinary Boys or a GLC (no... not Ken Livingstone's old council) gig. I just wish that the show's producers had contacted me - I could have filled that house about 40 times over with bands that I wanted out of the way.

UPDATE : I couldn't resist nipping over to The Ordinary Boys' Website (I would have gone to the Goldie Lookin' Chain site, but was fearful of the amount of my ribs that would inevitably crack from simply taking it all in) to see how the kidz on their forum were justifying it. In their defence, the majority of them are mystified, the rest of them are much too busy telling the newbies on the board to fuck off. There's an interesting official statement on the front page explaining the Preston's reasoning including this bit :

"I'm going in because the lines between alternative and mainstream are so blurred,this is the final taboo... plus they phoned me up and asked me and if I said no I would be a bitter old man".

Ignoring all of the blurry lines/taboo bullshit for one moment, I think I can understand the last bit, the appeal of the unknown and all that. However, I want an apology when you come out of there, sunshine - what's wrong with being a bitter old man, exactly?


Bewilderment and speculation run rife on the Television Personalities yahoo group. It's been discovered that in the current Italian issue of Vanity Fair magazine there's a list of Robbie Williams' 10 favourite songs. Not unusual in itself, except at number two sits 'Geoffrey Ingram' by The TVPs. The cynic in me assumes that he's had help with it from his publicists to give off just the right impression, but The TVPs? At number two? WHY?

To give it some context, here's the list in full

1) Jay-Z: 'Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)'
2) Television Personalities: 'Geoffrey Ingram'
3) Glen Campbell: 'Wichita Lineman'
4) Dream Academy: 'Life in a Northern Town'
5) Marianne Faithfull: 'Why'dYa Do It?'
6) Lewis Taylor: 'Lovelight'
7) Man Parrish: 'Boogie Down Bronx'
8) Scott Walker: 'Jackie'
9) McAlmont & Butler: 'Yes'
10) Electronic: 'Get The Message'

Robbie Williams is quoted as saying of his choice (translated from Italian) "Because I want to be like Geoffrey".

Daniel Treacy (TVPs man), by contrast, says this "yeah...i would like to know robbies other top 9!
what a hoot if he records one of my songs... i have a new one he might like. one decent cover and i will be made for life... not have to hang around with you lot anymore.

no more indie anymore... (stranglers)"

Is it any wonder that his fanbase is quite so loyal?
TVPs : Three Wishes. 'Geoffrey
Ingram' is on the B-side of that! Oh,
if you see a copy - get it. They're worth loads.

(Thanks to Filippo Dulio for, well, all of the information and for being Italian in the first place. Go look at his popfloor website, as it's aces).

Thursday, January 05, 2006


The downside of MySpace is that you get dozens of bands cold-calling you so in the end your friend request box ends up full of the unlikely assertion that 'Terry & The Idiots would like to be your friend'. Terry doesn't really want to be your friend. Terry's just out for himself. And as if The Idiots care. They're Idiots.

The beauty of it is that should you find out about A NEW BAND elsewhere and their website has a link to their MySpace page - you can actually hear them in all their glory. Smashing.

Allow me to digress for a moment. You can't really stop me - it's my blog.

When you're surrounded by post-emo bands that couldn't find a tune in The Brill Building on one side and whinging, dull, lifeless singer-songwriters on the other your best bet is to hunt down some good old fashioned power-pop. But what is it you want from your power-pop?

You either want it to be from the USA in the early 1970s... OR around today, country-tinged, Scottish and in love with Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, Melody, Harmony and CHORUSES.

Go and find out all about The Hazey Janes here, then go and hear them on MySpace. 'Your Enemy' is like a trashier take on the Teenage Fannies' 'Star Sign' and is utterly glorious. I love it when new stuff happens. By accident.

The Hazey Janes : Unfair Funfair Affair.


When I emerged, twitching and bleary-eyed from my festive recovery yesterday I was amazed to find on the White Town site for all that should wish to download it was the whole of the first White Town single 'White Town' by White Town. Complete with original artwork, no less.

Who? Allow me... "der-dah-de-der-dah-de-der-dah-de-der-dah", "I could never be Your Woman". Them. It was number one in the proper pop charts and everything.

This was of course long after Jyoti and I both agreed it probably wasn't a good idea for me to be in White Town anymore. Let that be a lesson to you all. Sack me at your peril. Just seven short years later you'll have a hit pop record and become fabulously wealthy. Ha! That showed you!

It does make me rhetorically wonder though - how many times do you depart a band that goes on to have a number one hit record? Let me assure you, the answer is hopefully fucking once. Ever.

Anyways, it still sounds young, bright, energetic and everything. The bit on the song 'White Town' where the drums kick in still sends a tingle down my spine 15 years later. That's surely what pop music is all about. Go get it.

Sean, Jyoti & Nick White Town : "Bit more Indie lads,
more Indie, bit more. Lovely lads." [click]

I'm already in trouble, so I may as well shout for TRUFFAUT! to be released. AGAIN.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


It's happening to everyone! The Arctic Monkeys album has been leaked before it's on sale! How on merry Earth has that happened? In light of this it might not sell by the fucking bucketload anyway.

Whatever will the poor boys do? I imagine that that Alex Monkey bloke will say something self-effacing in the manner he's becoming prone to of late. It's quite charming how he goes "We're a flash in the pan! By January, everyone will hate us anyway! Please, please, don't write anything that makes me look even vaguely big-headed!". How many older brothers must he have waiting at home ready to give him the kicking of his life the moment he becomes remotely cocky? He ought to be declaring "I'm 16 years old or whatever it is and I've already been number one in the pop charts. Our album is going to outsell everything in sight when it's released and let me assure you, should there be any doubters out there, I am currently up to my neck in drugs and fanny".

But he's not. Arctic Pansy.


Will you look at that! A two-week plus hiatus! You might think it was in some way connected to the fact that there wasn't a single moment in which I was sober over the festive season.

You would be wrong.

I broke up for Christmas far too early, came back far too late and took an unjustifiably lengthy break cos I've figured out - I'm technically in the music industry! To tell you the truth, by finishing on the 19th of December it makes me one of the ones who's finishing late and 'working right up to christmas' in their terms. While I think of it, none of them will be back this early either. I'm such a workhorse. I need a holiday.

That's by-the-by though.

I'll tell you one thing - I don't understand the motivation behind this - Radiohead songs from 1988 and 1990 leaked online. Naturally, I presume that EMI/Parlophone have done it and I anticipate the announcement of a Radiohead 'Early Demos' CD/DVD/Collector's Boxset in the next couple of days.

Worth noting in that story is that while it's fairly commonly known that pre-Radiohead they were called 'On A Friday', at some point between then and becoming the glorious Radionecks that we all know-and-went-off-about-seven-years-ago they opted to rename themselves 'Shindig'. Shindig. As in party. Knees-up. Having a good time.

I wonder why they changed that then?
Thom Radioneck : Having a laugh,
most probably at a Shindig somewhere.