Mixing ecstasy valium and xanax before having to play in front of thousands of people was one of the more poor decisions I’ve made (duh)
So says Nathan Williams, the main guy from indie darlings Wavves, who had an onstage meltdown at Spain’s Primavera Festival which has already passed into legend. He’s subsequently cancelled their upcoming European tour, which shows that his decision-making is at least improving.
News has been announced today that R&B/soul/funk/rock/alternative/whatever supergroup N*E*R*D are due to hit the motorway in August, with three dates in the UK announced so far. The question on my mind is – will Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo’s live show compensate for a disappointing album track record?
Look, I’m a big fan of N*E*R*D – or, more accurately, The Neptunes. And, if you took the best tracks from their albums, you would have one killer playlist – “Rock Star”, “Truth Or Dare”, “Lapdance”, “She Wants To Move” and “Everyone Nose” show the breadth of styles and moods these phenomenally talented musicians can work with.
But… it’s not really enough, is it?
Like The Go! Team? Junior Senior? I Monster’s“Daydream In Blue”? Chances are you’ll love Sonny J then. But the album itself – Disastro on EMI – has received mixed reviews, with the Guardian giving it two stars and calling it “tune-free and joyless”. The album is certainly mixed, with some tunes that just don’t work, but I’m finding it hard to resist the energy of some of the tracks – even if the formula does seem to be very familiar by now. Old 60s tunes, re-worked with some electronic noises and catchy beats – it’s all here, appealing to that part of our brain that thinks Hair is a great musical.
But is that really so bad? I mean, I bet most of you sing along to “Drinking in LA” even though you know deep down that it’s a second rate bit of sub-Eels summer fun. Well, now it’s time for you to decide. Check out the videos over the turn and tell us if you think Sonny J is the new soundtrack for the summer or if it’s OMC’s How Bizarre happening all over again.
“My free album is better than your free album.” “No it isn’t.” “Yes it is…” etc. That’s right, NiN fans, Trent Reznor is the bestest at giving stuff away for free. The Nine Inch Nailer (that sounds dodgy – apologies) has hit out at Radiohead for only making a low-quality version of In Rainbows. Of course, he’s not all angry, as he’s impressed with the decision to let people pay as little/much as they wanted for it, but he wasn’t all that impressed by the horrendous digital compression on all the tracks… let alone the lack of artwork.
Reznor says, “What they did was a cool thing. But if you look at what they did, though, it was very much a bait and switch to get you to pay for a MySpace-quality stream. There’s nothing wrong with that – I but don’t see that as a big revolution (that) they’re kinda getting credit for. What they did right – they surprised the world with a new record, and it was available digitally first. What they did wrong – by making it such a low-quality thing, not even including artwork… to me that feels insincere.”
Apparently there’s rather a large popularity contest going on across the pond. Whatever you think of mixing music and politics, the chances were always there that Barack Obama would inspire some well-meaning musos to hop on his bandwagon – and so it has come to pass.
Yep, Bazza Obama is now a truly legitimate candidate because he’s got a bunch of over-sincere celebs to appear in what may be the most toe-curling music video you’ll see this year.
Steel yourself and check it out over the page.
My counterpart here on the Toilet, Mof, has made his opinion clear recently – when it comes to ’08′s post-Winehouse soulstress onslaught, he’s in Candie Payne’s camp. Although to be fair to Payne she’s been plugging away for a while now, and in my opinion deserves a break on the strength of “One More Chance” alone.
But what of Duffy? The Welsh singer is being hyped as one of the year’s solo stars, alongside fellow large-lunged warbler Adele. As with Winehouse, she’s got some heavyweight collaborators, although not quite as starry as Ronson: Bernard Butler and David McAlmont are in her camp, which will do her no harm in the swelling strings and soaring choruses department.
Her album, Rockferry, is due out in March on Polydor. With the record industry going through difficult times, you can take it as read that it needs to be an instant hit for the major label to stick with her. I seem to be one of the few who didn’t fall in love with the title track instantly, and it’s shocking these days how willing one is to write artists off on the strength (or weakness) of one song.
I think that next year I’m going to start a campaign to ban the Christmas No.1. Let’s just get rid of it. Then the hightest a single will be able to reach in Christmas week is No.2. Simple.
So, you may have noticed that there’s a slight anti-Christmas music bent to the ol’ Toilet recently. Well, it’s Monday morning, it’s raining, so…
MORE OF THE SAME. Actually, this goes beyond the pale and references misery itself, rather than merely inspiring it. Malcolm Middleton was a member of 90s miserabilists Arab Strap, so it’s nice to see his Christmas song continues in the same vein.
I’m sick of simpering crooners. Celine Dion is the latest. The warbler recently scrapped a concert in Canada due to ‘media bullies’. Basically, poor ol’ Celine felt bullied by local residents and the press. Someone give those local residents a medal! The My Heart Will Go On singer was all set to play in the city of Halifax, North America on 23 August next year… but now she’s not going to bother and is preferring to sit at home and moan about how terrible it all is. That’ll show ‘em, eh?
Her husband and manager Rene Angelil says the gig has been scrapped after critics of the star made her feel unwelcome. He said: “I’m gonna tell you something and I hope everyone is listening. Don’t try to find any reasons for canceling the concert. There’s only one reason and you know what it is. I’m not saying that all people in Halifax are negative, but… this is a question of feeling. We’re humans. If you would go to a city and you read day after day
Stuart Waterman on
Thursday November 22nd, 2007 at
Just how long can the Sugababes go on? Of all the pop groups in existence, Sugababes are the ones most likely to be found in the collections of the more discerning collector as well as the teens who prop up the pop market. However, numerous line-up changes and scurrilous tales of backbiting and bitching seem point towards a gradual unraveling of the pop threesome.
Even though they’ve just had a big hit and they still manage to retain some kind of cred, it seems the plastered smiles are beginning to crack. The rotating line-up of the Sugababes implies that all is not well in the camp – and whereas once we could all debate over who was to blame, now it looks like it’s the only remaining member, Keisha, who is drawing all the knives.
What does this mean? Well, it suggests that people will tire of the (apparent) bickering and leave Keisha with a solo career. Will people buy into her? Maybe, maybe not… you can only take so many divas, can’t you?
Stuart Waterman on
Monday November 19th, 2007 at
You can always tell when a band is on the up and up because they start advertising their LP on the telly. The latest up and upper is The Pigeon Detectives, who are getting a load of airplay with their brand of white boy indie that lies somewhere between Franz Ferdinand and The Arctic Monkeys. The Take Her Back single is the embodiment of wiry FF guitars and the Yorks drawl of Ver Monkeys… but seeing as I don’t like any of the bands I’ve mentioned so far, it’s hardly surprising that I’m not keen on the latest NME soup of the day.