Monday, January 17

Clusters of Boredom

This report on the way songs are profiled these days is no surprise, not even news; but as it's whacked out today I thought I'd remark on these clusters of boredom attempting to infiltrate our lives - and why I'm tuning out.

I've spent the past week leaving London, and am temporarily ensconced in Strictsville, somewhere in the deepest south of England, before I'm free to embark on some proper european adventures.

While moving, as various bits of home entertainment were packed away, ready to be freighted, I was left with a sole clock radio (old, awaiting the dump), which in turn left me at the whimsy of daytime radio.

So I flicked around Radio One, then XFM, and back and forth. For two days. Giving them one last chance. What did I get?

Didn't hear one new song I rated.

I was slightly surprised that both stations still plunder the back catalogue of Oasis (two or three times per day) and other, lesser, Britpop luminaries of the 90s (I assume it's the dominant taste of the target audience); slightly surprised but, given the current moribund state of British music, it's understandable.

What really pissed me off was the drivel being spoken inbetween. There's a particularly annoying Irish git on Radio One - a reminder that the IRA should abandon the peace process and return to what they do well: killing Irish people. (And from now on, I promise to make my contribution to The Cause every time I'm approached in a faux-Irish boozer on either side of the pond.)

It was this, on top of the fatigue I felt while having to pack my few thousand CDs, that pronged me to thinking that I should actually throw two-thirds of this collection away. I didn't do it, but I came close.

Seeing the nominees for the Brit Awards was another nail; in the old words of Morrissey (himself a nominee, thouigh with zero chance of winning), the list said "nothing to me about my life". Yeah, for Franz Ferdinand* - and no to just about everything else. The Libertines' nod for Best Live Act is in itself a joke, given that throughout 2004 they didn't play a single gig as the REAL band.

The Lifetime Achievment nod to Cunt Geldof is shameful, when someone like Ray Davies goes unrecognised (I remember laughing, laughing with bile, when during the 80s Ray Davies was used to present the same award to Eric "the beard" Clapton. Shurely shome mishtake?

Nope. That's the way it was . . . and it's the way it is.

A world of yarbles. Pure London yarbles.

So I'm retreating. Retreating to the likes of Miles, Mingus, and stuff outside the daytime clusters of boredom. People like Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, neither of whom got a whiff of airplay in two days of my listening. And I'll be doing more of what I have been doing: listening to shows on stations such as WFMU - shows like Trouble and Give the Drummer Some, where I hear loads of songs, albeit often old songs, that are a fresh delight to my ears - and there's a whole lot less DJ bullshit.

Oh - the capper on it all was flicking around the TV channels to see that Busted held a press conference to announce their splitting up. What the fuck!?! Who do they think they are, the Beatles? Of course, we all remember that legendary press conference when The Smiths decided to call it a night . . .

Yeah, exactly. And they're just the first off-the-top-of-my-head act that I could pipe up who should be ahead of Geldof in any Lifetime Achievment gong.

My, culturally in the UK, these are dull, dull times. Well, I could surmise that it's the price of prosperity. Everything levels out. No confrontation, no fun. Dull books*, dull films, dull music.

Even Prince Harry's Swastika stunt was dull. It proves that, even in a family of idiots, he's the king biscuit. So fucking what if he pogos round his empty study to the Sex Pistols' God Save the Queen?

To end at the bottom of the trivia heap, this morning I saw old Lovejoy, Ian McShane, scooping up a Golden Globe for his notch in Deadwood (a very apt TV show title, I trust). In twenty or so seconds of highlighted acceptance speech, he rubbed the bow doors of his nose three times, which tells you all you need to know: he's one more jolly rogerer on the ship of fools . . .

Of fucking course, I want aboard! Let me out of Strictsville, let me out now.

* Franz Ferdinand. Well, they're okay, but to reiterate what a good friend of mine said about them: "Everyone's wrong: they're not the Talking Heads, they're Showaddywaddy."

** Over the weekend, I read an excerpt from the new Ian McEwan. Boy, he just doesn't do it for me. And this new one, Saturday, seems to be a tiptoe through the territory of JG Ballard. I expect a lot of the critics to hack it to pieces. I think he should leave the London of NOW to Martin Amis - and me, of course. Yeah. McEwan: fuck off back to the past!

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posted by DD @ 09:42 

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