Thursday, December 28, 2006

"I..I really, really like them!"

As promised, a quick round up of 2006 as seen through the eyes of the overworked propellerheads at IrkThePurists Towers. Drum roll, please....

Most overrated band Red Hot Chilli Peppers
How can a band that gives props to The Gang of Four and The Durutti Column in their interviews consistently turn out the most turgid, lily-livered drivel and yet still fill stadiums on a regular basis (I've a feeling the two things may be connected...)? Their latest, Snow, is unmitigated dreck, a sing-songy nursery rhyme that goes nowhere and takes an age to do it.

Most unanticipated re-union All Saints
You have to at least let us miss you before re-forming, OK?

Most overused phrase "Fit For Purpose"
Once only uttered by New Labour policy wonks, this tired cliche has now found its way into policy makers' jargon and appeared in every paper, proposal, and booklet I read in 2006. Enough already!

Best jazz-rock album Acoustic Ladyland--Skinny Grin
Acoustic Ladyland are (confusingly) the electric version of Polar Bear, a skronk-jazz outfit of some repute. Skinny Grin, their second long player, includes a mix of one track by Scott Walker and guest sax by long-missing-in-action NY scenester James Chance, and it's mighty impressive, ranging from Peter Brotzmann-like sax squalls to percussion-driven workouts. By the way, kids, if you want to see what twenty-odd years of heroin abuse will do to you, just gaze at the ravaged visage of James Chance in Don Letts' recent biopic Punk Attitude. Even scarier than Zammo singing 'Just Say No'.

Most disappointing album Primal Scream Riot City Blues
After three trail-blazing albums in a row, Bobby Gillespie and co decide to play it safe, eschewing the Can, Velvets, Kraftwerk and My Bloody Valentine influences for tired Byrds and Stones riffs. Out go the politics, and in come the crowd-pleasing cliched lyrics, as Bob seems more interested in being in Heat and Grazia than in doing it for the kids. I blame Kate Moss.

Most outspoken pop star Pink
Good for her. Mr. President isn't a must-listen by any means, but at least she's stuck her head above the parapet.

Best cartoon band since The Banana Splits Eagles Of Death Metal --I Gotta Feeling
Chanelling the sound, if not the vision, of Alice Cooper. Axl Rose called them "The Pigeons of Shit Metal", but you really can't pay attention to anything said by a man with cornrows.

Best hidden track Cunts Are Still Running The World--Jarvis Cocker
Tucked away at the end of his recent Rough Trade release, and still, surprisingly, awaiting a playback on Saturday morning kids' TV...

Best music-related book Rough Trade by Rob Young

Best autobiography Rupert Everett's Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins

Most interesting new prospects The Victorian English Gentlemen's Club
They're Welsh, which is slightly confusing (though Welsh Gentlemen's doesn't have those kinky overtones), and more than one critic has compared them to the B-52s. And that's no bad thing.

Best live act Scritti Politti
And I wish I'd put money on this. Just think of the odds I would have gotten in December 2005. Graham Coxon ran them a close second.

Most low-key comeback Section 25 at Poulton-Le-Fylde's Over The Edge club
Northern miserabilists decide on another go round; typically perverse, they do it some 4 years after interest in Factory peaks with 24 Hour Party People.

Album I most wanted to love and couldn't quite Joanna Newsom--Ys
The critics said this was an album you'd either love or hate this. I beg to differ. I certainly don't hate it; it's different, it's ambitious and hell, it brought together Van Dyke Parks, Steve Albini and Jim O'Rourke on the same record; that doesn't happen every day. Its longest track clocks in at 16 minutes. It's sumptuously packaged. It'll make your hi-fi sound like a million dollars. It's the best album by a harpist you're likely to hear this year. And yet I'd be lying if I said I'd taken it completely to my bosom. Perhaps its the convoluted subject matter, perhaps it's the depiction of Ms Newsom as an medieval wench on the sleeve, perhaps it's her voice, midway between Bjork and Janis Joplin. But somehow, I couldn't quite fall in love with this, much as I wanted to. Maybe it'll grow on me in 2007.

Bonus interview: Steve Albini talks food

Download Acoustic Ladyland Salt Water (Scott Walker mix)
(deleted Feb 2007--sorry!)

Download Joanna Newsom Cosmia
(deleted Feb 2007--sorry!)


Anonymous said...

Hellooooo -
thanks for your card, I love that Jarvis Cocker track - its my new anthem...having a shitty christmas from hell, roll on 2007
xxxxxxxxxx Carlotta

irkthepurists said...

Hello to you too, honey-pie. I'm sorry that your Xmas isn't so great...I hope it wasn't as a result of downloading my festive selections last week. That Cocteau Twins' Frosty The Snowman should put a smile on anyone's face...

Hope your 2007 is a good one, and that we can meet up at some point. Love to your girls x

felicityendoscope said...

happy new year irk and madame irkesse! :)

most overrated band - red hot chilli peppers - oh my god how i agree with that one. they are SHITE.

most overused phrase - choice of two. "keep in touch" and "best" (at end of letters) both of which now want to make me puke as they're so trite and fucking meaningless. no you don't want to keep in touch, so don't fucking well say you do! no you don't wish me the best, you hate me! jeez hypocrisy, drives me nuts.

most disppointing album - agreed.

most outspoken pop star - it would have to be madonna. she opened her mouth to speak.

best autobiography - going to read that irk. rupert was great on saturday morning kitchen :)

can you tell i'm in my "january" mood? ;)

irkthepurists said...

Oops. I habitually sign my e-mails with a "best" rather than "best regards" or similar. Though in my defence, I always mean it! But I will rethink my e-mail sign-offs...

Any other categories, anyone? Best haircut of 2006? Most shameless resignation (Donald Rumsfeld would be a shoo-in, I think)? Least useful website?

BTW, Miss Felicity, I did as you asked, as you can see. Though why you think your lovely comments might put 'em off is beyond me...:-)

jude calvert-toulmin said...

> I habitually sign my e-mails with a "best" rather than "best regards" or similar. Though in my defence, I always mean it! But I will rethink my e-mail sign-offs...

it's industry standard now for non-personal emails. "yours sincerely" has died a death. but i don't like "best" for some reason. what the fucking hell does "best" mean? i am turning into a grumpy old woman!

> Best haircut of 2006?

kylie's. it's just so wonderful to see her hair growing back, and she still radiates warmth and goodwill (unlike madge.) kylie's now turned from a lovely girl into a lovely woman.

> BTW, Miss Felicity, I did as you asked, as you can see. Though why you think your lovely comments might put 'em off is beyond me...:-)

it's just that i'm posting under my real name, and i'm the only person in the world with my name, so everything i write on the internet is easily googled, and sometimes i don't want to be stared at and pointed at, that's all.

then it occured to me, there's only one felicityendoscope in the world too...if you google it, you come up with irk the purists if i don't want to be gawped at, i'd better post as tinkerbell. i can't be arsed to log out and in today though ;)

BrianT said...

Funny, but I've always thought Primal Scream recycled tired old Stones and Byrds riffs, even back in the Screamadelica days, which was their only mildly interesting phase.

As to the Chilis, well I once rated them. That was in the 1980s, when they sounded fresh and innovative, and had Jon French playing drums briefly. You can get a tiny glimpse of them on a monitor in a club in the film Tough Guys, starring an ageing Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas. I saw them (the band not the actors) in 1988 at leeds Uni and they were pretty blinding, I have to say. They have since fallen out of my favour, although I could watch the video to 'Californication' all day long.

Electric Ladyland I saw 3 years ago at The Wardrobe in Leeds. Fabtastic. Jude, you'd hate most of their stuff. Peter Brotzmann-esque is quite good for the more squawky bits, but they can do mellow and even poppy in places, just to soften you up for more sound tornadoes.

Wish Jarvis had gone into the "Celebrity" Big Brother House. Him and Marliyn Manson. And Peter Stringfellow. Oh, and Fern Britton, Vinnie Jones, Tony Benn, Jerry Sadowitz, Jeremy Clarkson, Ruby Wax, Nell McAndrew, Peaches Geldof and Jo Brand.

No walking allowed.

I'd watch THAT.

irkthepurists said...

>>No walking allowed.

I thought you wrote "no wanking allowed". If The Sun is to be believed this week, Jade's BF already broke that rule...

BrianT said...

Well let's face it, wouldn't we all if we were in bed with La Goody?