The final flush

My Chemical Toilet News


This is the last My Chemical Toilet post, for I am now “putting it to bed”.

Say whaaat?

Don’t be sad (but don’t be happy or indifferent, either). It’s been a fun old thing to do, and I hope that since it began in 2007 it’s provided some interesting and amusing stuff to read.

I’m getting on a bit. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that it’s undignified to be writing silly things about music once you’re nearer forty than twenty. And I’m certainly not saying that I’m too old to love music anymore. But keeping the site updated, and feeling the urge to say things about music, has become more and more of an effort over the last year or so. And I think if something like this isn’t fun anymore, it’s kind of pointless to continue with it.

What’s really behind this? Is your back giving you “jip”, old man?

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Did your Saturday night feature Whigfield’s “Saturday Night”?

Digital Love/Hate/Indifference

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There’s this new thing called Storify, which allows you to “pull in” “content” from various “sources” like Twitter and Facebook and stuff, and publish it all together in a neat wee “stream”.

I decided to try it out by creating a “story” that looks at how big a part Whigfield’s 1994 song “Saturday Night” plays in people’s actual Saturday nights. I did this by searching for Twitter mentions of the song in the lead up to, and from within the guts of, the Saturday night that just took place. My incisive commentary appears within the stream.

(I suppose you could do this yourself by going out next Saturday and asking people whether they intend to, or have already, danced to Whigfield’s “Saturday Night”. But I think we know that if someone’s not on Twitter they’re not really worth listening to, don’t we?)


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Paloma Faith, Annie Lennox & VV Brown to sing for gender equality, live audience

Music News

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VV Brown for EQUALSQUESTION: Where would we be without women? (Some women you may be aware of include Annie Lennox, Kate Nash, Paloma Faith and VV Brown.)

ANSWER: Nowhere. Literally nowhere. We wouldn’t exist. Nobody would. Literally nobody would exist. Imagine that. Imagine it now. Imagine it now with your brain, which would not exist if it wasn’t for women.

OK, I’ll calm down. The centenary of International Women’s Day is on Tuesday 8th March, and to celebrate a friendly bunch of charities – going under the banner EQUALS – are putting on what is commonly known as a “gig” at the Southbank Centre in London on Friday 11th March.

(Disclosure: I have “helped out”, in a minimal fashion, with the EQUALS campaign.)

The bill for EQUALS Live will feature absolutely no men in skinny jeans*, and will instead showcase the womanly talents of Kate Nash, Paloma Faith, VV Brown (pictured, giving her answer to the question: “When will we know men and women are equal?”) and the ceaselessly caring Annie Lennox (International Women’s Day is kind of A-Len’s baby).

Tickets for EQUALS Live cost between £30 – £50 and are going faster than Annie Lennox’s hair colour use to change back she was a Eurythmic.

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Bell Biv Devoe remain obsessed with poisonous female

I Thought You Were Dead!, Video

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New Jack Swing pioneers Bell Biv Devoe popped up on Jimmy Fallon’s show last week, performing their brand new- sorry, their twenty-one year old song, “Poison”. The chaps looked pretty good for their age, taking wise, if funky, precautions against televised indignity: green leather waistcoats to hold in the guts, and shades to hide the crow’s feet. Respect for trying a few moves before running out of breath, as well.

“Poison” still sounds great today, although of course not many people realised on its realise that it was a subtle warning about HIV and AIDS. Or – no, that was “Poison” by Alice Cooper, wasn’t it? Or – no, was that “Poison” by The Prodigy? Or – hang on, was that “Poison” by Nicole Shirtslinger? Or – could it have been Poison the band?

Yes, didn’t Poison the band form with the noble aim of preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS, with each song’s lyrics part of an overarching, career-spanning narrative bemoaning the loss of sexual freedom in the eighties and nineties? Wasn’t there something in “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” about avoiding pricks?

I don’t think Bell Biv Devoe’s “Poison” was about HIV and AIDS. It was merely the tale of a woman whose wily sexual powers were such that BBD decided she bore a resemblance to an actual poison, such as cyanide, sarin, strychnine, ricin, tetrodoxin, hemlock or potassium chloride.

It’s still not clear exactly which substance this toxic femme resembled, but given the effect the above examples have on a human being’s central nervous system we probably owe Bell Biv Devoe a hearty thanks for the heads-up.

Or at least we might if they had TOLD US WHAT HER NAME WAS. Pillocks.

Chris Morris’s best musical moments

Film, TV & Radio Goodness

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Buy "Disgustin Bliss" at’ve just finished reading this book about Chris Morris. Want a quick review? OK – it’s goodish because there are no other Chris Morris books out there, but it doesn’t have the depth or detail you’d hope the definitive Chris Morris book would have. So, you know, if you’re a fan check it out but don’t expect too much.

I thought it would be good to look at the best music parodies he produced when he was on TV & radio. I hate even using the word “parody”, thanks to all the berks on YouTube who use the word to describe their dickings-about.

Chris Morris produced all of these before YouTube even existed. Ponder that.

Blouse – “Oh Me Oh Myra”

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Miley Cyrus now palatable to hipsters thanks to Rye Rye

Video, Where Have I Heard That Song Before?


You shouldn’t really need an excuse to like Miley Cyrus’s's’s’ “Party in the U.S.A”, because it’s a rather adorably catchy little twit. But let’s face it, folk of a certain age, or people who have a misguided sense of their own coolosity, will never be able to admit liking it.

So here’s Rye Rye with a hipster-friendly remix of it. She’s probably only a year or two older than Miley Cyrus, but I think everyone’s allowed to like this “Party In The USA” remix because:

1. Rye Rye is “urban”, and her version is “dancefloor-friendly” (i.e., it’s faster and contains rapping).

2. For the video, Rye Rye appears to have raided M.I.A’s “closet”. Perhaps it was while M.I.A. was guesting on her recent single “Sunshine”.

3. Rye Rye adds plenty of “eyyy”s and “yeah”s – and even uses the word “bitch” a few times – which the original version sadly lacked. Crucially, she also employs the well-worn question “where the party at?” – which, in case you were in any doubt that you were listening to a track intended for dancing to, helpfully clears things up. Of course, she knows damn well where the party at, the minx. It’s in the title of the song she’s sampled, for goodness’s's’s’ sake!

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Re-evaluating a twenty year-old mixtape

Mixtape Memories


Twenty years ago I was in the midst of a decade-long slog to tape every song I liked for posterity. Back then I didn’t know that one day you’d be able to obtain songs from the ether, just as I failed to anticipate that there would come a time when shiny Puma tracksuits would go out of fashion. You live, you learn.

The result of hours and hours of taping the charts (and in later years, The Evening Session and Mark Radcliffe) off the radio, I have dozens of tapes that quite effectively illustrate how my music taste (d)evolved through my teens and early twenties.

I thought it would be interesting – and humiliating – to go back to one of these tapes and take a look at what I could learn about the me I used to be.

My key findings were:

1. I had no clue how to create a running order.

2. I adhered to a music policy that bordered on the deranged.

3. I possessed very, very small handwriting (thanks to my primary school teacher Mr. Davies, whose strange, pathological hatred of anything larger than what you can squint at in the above image had done its damage).

So join me as we see how, within the space of one TDK D-90 – which covers, by the looks of it, late 1991 to early 1992 – one teenager’s taste managed to veer from Mariah Carey to Senseless Things; from Julia Fordham (??) to The Prodigy; from Ride to Shanice. This is the alluringly-titled Compilation 17.

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John “Rappin’” Hood and his merry men: Ice-T and Dr. Benton

Film, TV & Radio Goodness, Video

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I won’t go into the whys and wherefores and wherefore art thous, but I found myself watching a film from 1985 called Rappin’ recently. I would imagine it was one of the first films to try and incorporate hip-hop into its narrative, because it’s utterly appalling.

Mario Van Peebles plays a man called John Hood, who, to the ears of everyone around him, is a brilliant rapper. The viewer soon realises this is not the case. Or, most viewers do – here’s The New York Times around the time of the film’s release:

Rappin’ has a finale that gives everyone in the cast a chance to rap a line or two. Some of them, like Mr. Van Peebles, are quite good at this; most are not.

Anyway, whatever his verbal abilities, obviously the protagonist ends up being known as John “Rappin’” Hood.

His crew contains Eriq LaSalle, aka Dr. Peter Benton from ER, and they use this rapping stuff to try and fight off dratted property developers who are attempting to evict people so they can build a MegaMall or something. Ice-T pops up for a bit, in a significantly less scary form than in the years that followed.

If you’d like to watch it for yourself, it’s on Lovefilm’s online service. Maybe don’t make it your primary reason for taking out a subscription, though.

Dubstep: LUV or HAT?

My Chemical Toilet News

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I wrote a thing about my recent fondness for dubstep for LUV & HAT.

Shame it prompted Stuart Heritage to descend into a pit of despair, but them’s the breaks.

Read LUV & HAT: Dubstep mere seconds after clicking this link

Follow LUV & HAT on Twitter

Austra promote beats, pulses, hair-scarves

Free Downloads And Streams, Up-And-Coming Acts

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If you’re missing the doomtronic flourishes of The Knife or Ladytron, this Austra lot may appeal. They’re new signings to Domino, and “Beat And The Pulse” combines foreboding synths and a pop sensibility to pleasing effect.

It’s the kind of goth pop that always seems to go down very well in the States, so you might expect to hear it in a club scene on CSI: Delaware or something similar before too long.

Nice hair-scarf, too. The good thing about a hair-scarf is that it’s very difficult to lose one in a pub, unless you happen to be drinking with the kind of maniacs who bring clippers with them on a night out. And if you are, you kind of only have yourself to blame. Get some new friends, I would.

Austra – Beat & The Pulse (Radio Edit) by DominoRecordCo

Buy Beat And The Pulse on 12 inches of round plastic

[via Nialler9]