Friday, October 28, 2005

Paul Shaffer – is that a drumstick in your pocket or are you just really happy to see Dave?

Fuckin’ Paul Shaffer.

I hate him.

Anyone who’s ever watched The Late Show with David Letterman (I know that you have, so don’t lie - it’s not becoming of you), will know who talking about. He’s the shrimpy, chrome-domed band leader of the CBS Orchestra. He’s the annoying, snivelling, crawling, arse-kissing lackey who’s always laughing at Dave’s gags, providing the *ba-dum-ch* on the drum-kit at the end of Dave’s jokes and repeating Dave’s punch lines throughout the show (whether they were funny or not). He’s like a grovelling little lapdog. He’s like a one-man “We Love Dave” club… It’s tragic!

And he wears his sunglasses at night. Yeah, he takes style tips from Corey Hart. 'Nuff said.

My question to you is; does anybody actually like him? (Maybe someone’s mum does but it's probably out of pity.) Is his presence really justified on the show? I wouldn’t mind if he was just there playing conga drums and jumping around like a jackass but why does he have to speak? Couldn’t Dave do the banter thing with someone else? Do YOU like Paul Shaffer? Someone must. And I want them to explain why. So, leave a comment. Do you love him? Do you loathe him? Do you have better things to do at one o’clock in the morning than watch guys who are only vaguely funny anyway dragging out the same material and the same schticks year after year? Tell me!

Monday, October 17, 2005

A review for a CD that I haven't listened to...

I will stop reviewing things soon, I promise. I just needed to get a few things off my chest about this album.

Anyway, the CD in question is the 2003 release Rock N Roll by Ryan Adams, (yeah, Ryan, NOT Bryan. We'll get to the name later). You may remember Mr. Adams because he released a song about NYC when it was a very commercially smart time to do so, ie. right after 9/11. (It was actually a pretty forgettable little tune, if you want to know my opinion.) I hardly remember this particular album making much of an impression when it was released, but it certainly made an impression on me when I stumbled upon it in a musty corner of the library (although, to be fair, all the corners at the ERC are musty; not just the ones with his albums). The reason I was so intrigued by the songs is because almost all of the titles sound like the titles of songs that already exist! Sometimes embarrassingly so. Some examples:

This Is It
sounds like...
Is This It? by The Strokes. Plus Betty Davis had a song called This Is It.

sounds like...
1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins.

Wish You Were Here
is already the name of at least two successful songs, one by Incubus and one by that little known band PINK goddamn FLOYD. (This is a cover of neither song.) Plus Fleetwood Mac have a song of the same name.

So Alive
sounds like...
a million songs. Not least the lame arse one by POD. (But also Pearl Jam, Oasis, etc.)

Rock N Roll
sounds like...
Well, has any pop band NOT written a song with 'Rock N Roll' in the title? I mean, apart from Rock N' Roll by Motorhead, and Rock and Roll by Gary Glitter (thanks Anon!), there's also: I Love Rock N' Roll (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts), Rock 'n' Roll Star (Oasis), Kill Rock N' Roll (System Of A Down), Whatever Happened To My Rock N Roll (BRMC), Rock N Roll High School and Do You Remember Rock N Roll Radio? (The Ramones), blah blah blah.

She's Lost Total Control
sounds like...
Here's one of the embarrassingly specific ones. It's almost exactly like She's Lost Control, which is the iconic song by iconic band Joy Division. SHEESH.

sounds like...
a million other songs, including Kym Wilde's Boys. Most importantly, though; Britney has a song of the same name. Shouldn't that be enough to advise against writing another one?

The Drugs Not Working
sounds like...
The Drugs Don't Work by The Verve. Another embarrassingly similar one.

When I look at the list I can't help but wonder if this was a weird kind of concept album. I mean, maybe he decided to deliberately do this. Perhaps because his fuckin' name sounds almost exactly the same as another successful artist (ie. Bryan Adams) he decided that the song titles had to follow suit.

So, without having listened to this album, I will now give it a rating. The rating is based on cover art, CD title, song titles, general aura of hackney-ness.

Rock N Roll, by Ryan Adams receives:
1/2 star out of a possible 5.

Any Ryan fans wanna take me up on this? Leave me a comment.

The fact the he thinks he's so fuckin' indie because Parker Posey was exec. producer also annoys me. (NB. She's credited in the liner notes as exe"cute"tive producer *vomits*)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I wouldn't have cared if Maximo Park weren't attractive...

... but I won't pretend that it wasn't great that they were. It was strange going to see a band play that I couldn't have picked from a line-up. The media snippets and the CD liner notes gave absolutely nothing away; they had a bunch of models playing air guitar, and even the faces of the models were obscured! So when they came on to the stage and Svet and I feasted our eyes on the band we were not disappointed.

OK, that intro was a little obtuse. I should probably say first of all that I went with Svet to see Maximo Park at the Corner Hotel the other week, and as I only recently started liking them I knew absolutely nothing about them, (incl. what they looked like). All we knew was that we really liked their music, (check out A Certain Trigger to find out why). Here's a summary of our night out.

The support... Riff Random.
We didn't stick around to catch the start of their performance. We wisely decided that once we got pass-outs we should high-tail it down the road to stuff our faces with roti. (We are so punk rock.) Once we returned, our fingers covered in grease, (from the roti! Get your mind out of the gutter!), our senses were quickly assailed. And not in a good way. They were so many kinds of awful. The main let down was the lead singer, who was a talentless phoney. He couldn't sing, indeed he was consistantly flat throughout, and the lyrics were just disposable clichéd rubbish. He jumped around in a manner that suggested Craig Nicholls, except without any of the charm. (Say what you will about Craig, but the boy has a certain je ne sais quoi. This guy did not.) He just looked like a try hard loser. He did this pathetic "rock" scream in every song which was really hackneyed and yet another thing he couldn't pull off. And shouldn't have tried to. In fact the only thing about the whole set that remotely reflected any kind of real rock and roll attitude (and that didn't look like an affectation) was when the lead singer said:
"Coming up is the Futureheads!"
Which was a rather sarky little reference to how much Maximo Park sound like the aforementioned band. (OK, they do. But I LIKE the Futureheads!) I thought that it was pretty ballsy for a dodgy Aussie support band who were being heckled by the crowd at every opportunity to pay out the international band that they were supporting. It was funny, but sour and ungrateful... Very rock and roll.

The main event...
But soon enough they left the stage, and the fabulous Maximo Park were able to assume their rightful place. And the crowd really went nuts. I wasn't expecting there to be such a high level of enthusiasm. Indeed, the only people who went more nuts were Maximo themselves. Between Lukas Wooller's (keyboardist) robotic arm thing (remember, Svet?) and the lead singer's epileptic-fit dancing and scissor kicks there was always something going on onstage. (Paul, unlike that lame arse Riff Random singer, could actually pull off the rock star thing. Which was surprising considering I couldn't help thinking of Coronation Street when he spoke.) They really put on a performance, particularly Paul, who I couldn't keep my eyes off all evening (not to mention that you could see his package in his too-tight slacks. 'Twas hypnotic, man!). He looked really intense when performing but wasn't pretentious. You've got to give them their props; they were putting on a show, and they weren't being limp-wristed about it. What was also refreshing was that they haven't got to the point of being up themselves pricks (really affected, or jerky); they seemed genuinely pleased (indeed, genuinely surprised) to be playing to such an enthusiastic crowd so far from home, and were very polite and gracious to the crowd. When they shook people's hands at the end Duncan Lloyd (guitarist) has this look of sheer wonder on his face. You got the feeling that they were shocked (and rapped) that a bunch of Aussies were going crazy for them and knew most of the words to their songs. Sonically, they were really solid and Paul Smith's vocals were really strong and controlled; very much like on the album but because it was live, there was an added power. With regard to the set list, it must be tough when you go on the road to promote your debut, but they mixed things up a bit by including a B-side and handful of new tracks, including one they laid down for the War Child benefit CD. And they did a classy two song encore, finishing on one of my favourites (Going Missing), which is going to be the next single, I think.

I have to send a little message to the psychos in the pit. In the words of Travis from Clueless: WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF PIT HOSPITALITY?! I was not at all surprised when some of them yelled out that they were from Scotland because watching them I got the feeling that they had to be British. What a bunch of fucking chav, soccer-hooligan psychos. And to the people crowd surfing: couldn't you have gotten it out of your system when you were 13 like everyone else?! What gives? I was anticipating a rather more sophisticated crowd, who weren't violent and selfish (I wasn't expecting young women in the crowd to get punched in the head, for example). Indeed, that was the only down point of the evening, (apart from the sucky Riff Random, and the fact that Svet and I were stood-up at Ding Dong's by a sexy Strokes look-alike named Remy. Oh, well, not that much of a loss: he was a Xavier old-boy and into Motley Crue.)

So, that's my review of my night with Maximo. If you haven't heard the album, give it a listen. I mean, you've gotta love a band who aren't afraid to use the word "riposte" in a chorus. Oh, and I touched Paul's hand. I know that's very juvenile, but I got caught up in the moment.

Sexy-mo Park...

The saviours of modern music? No. A great night's entertainment? Yes. Posted by Picasa